Welp. I’m sitting here sick in bed (I’ve been sick off and on for the three weeks that I’ve been home and missed a lot of work because of it) so I guess I might as well finish what I started in the airport!
It’s been quite the nine months. I’m sorry for my continued absence on this blog, but between school, increased health struggles, and the de-motivation of not having a camera, I just haven’t been able to keep up. I’m hoping for the chance to write about some of the things I learned over the school year throughout the summer.
But for now, here are a few highlights of the school year:
I’ve loved every class I’ve taken this semester. Every one had its fun times and its difficulties. Every one had great friendships and awesome professors. Some of my favorites were String Techniques, Music Production and Engineering, and Old Testament. I also loved Music Theory, but I already knew the material, so I tuned out most of the class except for the fun times. And my applied lessons were amazing! Both semesters I took piano, voice, and songwriting. I learned so much from Dr. Menth, and after having the same piano teacher for almost seventeen years, it was refreshing to have a new one (sorry Mom!). I grew so much in my vocal technique. Like, my singing is almost unrecognizable from what it was sometimes. And songwriting was just flat out fun, because the whole class crashed Professor Denler’s office every Monday evening and sang our songs for each other. And our final was being locked in the room together for fifteen minutes and writing a song together!
Guys, it’s been twelve years since I had really good friends that I saw consistently and lived in the same place as I did, with a couple of exceptions through those twelve years. It was amazing to make a few good friends and start learning to trust people again as I learned that the people around me cared about me! I’m not used to be able to turn to people nearby with my problems, so that was a big leap of faith and learning curve for me. Choir – particularly tour – really helped with this. I walked away from this school year with a large family made up of primarily the entire music center, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! I was especially blessed to end up in a small group of friends called the “Nerd Family” made up of a strings player, a guitarist/vocalist/engineer, a crazy musician, and a marine biologist with no musical skill whatsoever who watch Marvel movies together. My professors were amazing, too, and were especially kind and gracious about working around my health issues. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the support shown to me by the whole CCU community both in getting me to school and through school.
I’ve gotten to do so much! I was in two primary ensembles and two smaller ensembles throughout the year – University Choir, Chamber Strings, President’s String Quartet, and the dance ensemble. Each one was an amazing opportunity through which I was able to hone many skills. As the school’s only violist, I was able to get many unique opportunities such as orchestra pit for the spring musical and several student projects.
This year was really rough healthwise. At the beginning of the spring semester, it was a miracle that I wasn’t in the hospital. Still not sure how I pulled that off. God’s grace is the only explanation. But through that and also the aforementioned aspect of new friendships and learning to open myself up to people, my relationship with God was broken down to very basic and raw elements. Much of my life has been made up of a running conversation with God, but this year it was often just snatches of, “God help me, I have nothing. I need you to get me through this.” I’m quite honestly not sure how I’m alive right now, but I made it through with God’s help. It was literally step by step. It took many tiny moments of looking at the path just ahead and still not seeing where my foot would land as I stepped out in faith – again. It was exhausting. But God carried me through.
Anyways, that’s a snatch of my year in review. I hope to elaborate on a lot more things throughout the summer, but for now this will have to do. I have many ideas floating around in my head, it’s just finding the time, energy, and WiFi to do it! See y’all around!
A year ago, I published my first post on this site. It hasn’t grown much since then, because I was launched into one of the craziest years of my life, so crazy I couldn’t document it. So crazy that I literally just eat the same food day in and day out and that’s boring and I don’t have super creative recipes from that!
2018 was possibly the best year of my life. Sure, I felt like I was dying for most of it, but so many blessings happened, and God made so many dreams come true. I grew so much and became a much healthier person mentally and emotionally, if not physically.
The beginning of the year was fairly normal. I had graduated, so I focused on not dying, working on CLEP tests, and running the house. I did a lot of volunteering for our local crisis pregnancy center and spent a lot of time on the ice. I was trying to decide on my college plans – that was the big question that got decided after I took care of a farm for two and a half weeks. It taught me that I was perfectly capable of being independent, and I was confident that I could finally fly the nest and pursue my own dreams.
I got to fly to Unalakleet for the first time, a small oil village on the Bering Sea. It was beautiful, like something out of a book. The ocean was frozen for as far as you could see from shore. It was an experience! I also auditioned for Colorado Christian University's school of music, and was accepted.
I worked at a local tourist attraction, Gold Dredge 8, and finally made my decision to attend Colorado Christian University at the beginning of the summer. I traveled by myself for the first time and attended the Young Christian Conservatives Leadership Conference in order to get another scholarship for CCU, made my first really good friend at CCU, and found the place that I would end up working for in September. At work, I got to spend a lot of time on outdoor ops, which was super fun. My favorite part of that was getting to crawl around inside this giant machine in the early morning and get it ready for guests to learn about our history here in Fairbanks. It was hard work, but I didn’t quite die, so that was a plus.
My dear friend Courtney and her sister visited this summer, and it was so much fun to explore Alaska with them in the couple days in between work! We spent hours in the car singing together as we drove across the Denali Highway (with lots of little sidetrips for sightseeing and hiking) and drove to the Arctic Circle and back (again with random stops for hiking).
Bible Bee this year was so different for me, because suddenly I was no longer a contestant, but a host and on the Alumni Service Team. I got to help other kids learn to love and learn Scripture like I have gotten to for the last nine years. A huge highlight of that was, of course, Nationals, because I got to spend time with inspiring young people (mostly the Primaries, ages 7-10) and was honestly floored by their handle on and love for God’s Word! Also, running around backstage and watching production happen was pretty cool, since that’s kind of where I’m heading with my life now. The fellowship at Nationals was very different this year, since I was on a small team of very busy people, so my fellowship was not as much with the whole group of people at Nationals, but more with a small group of staff. It was an amazing experience.
I had to leave “my” camera behind, and then my parents left the organization that owns the camera, so I don’t have that anymore. That was kind of sad, but I was already ready to upgrade. Now there’s just about $3000 standing between me and more fun photography. That’s probably one of the reasons I haven’t been posting recipes as much – they’re not as fun when you can only take pictures on a sub-par phone camera.
In August, my life had some crazy change. I moved out of my home, putting a whole country between myself and my old home, and began attending Colorado Christian University. That has been a completely new adventure. I thought that I was being taken to college for academics, but it turns out that the biggest lessons God had to teach me were about myself and about relationships. It took a little while, but I suddenly have good friends who live close at hand and I see on a regular basis. I haven’t had good friends nearby for over seven years, and it’s been nervewracking at times, but absolutely amazing.
I knew how to run a house already, but there’s something very different about living in and running your own apartment and life, really. This is honestly something I would encourage other young people to do – experience living on your own for a while. It teaches you things about yourself and your way of living that you simply will not learn while living with your family.
I grew so much as a musician, as well. I finally feel like I’m doing what God made me to do, and I’m loving it! I got to do several auditions, which I’ve never done before. I became the school’s only violist, playing in the main string ensemble and in the President’s String Quartet. I learned about dance and acting and got new experience in choreography in the stage movement and dance class. I got to finally learn a lot about sound systems and how to run them and run a live production. I learned two new instruments – cello and double bass – in my string techniques class. There’s something about being in a place where everyone is studying music together, cheering each other on, and striving to glorify God in what they’re doing. I’ve been pushed and learned so many skills as a musician, and most of that is because of the professors and other students and their influence on me. I got to be in my first major concerts, and took a class that really affirmed my decision to pursue music rather than some other of my options such as science. As an added bonus to the school year, I’m still alive.
It’s been an incredible year, and while my health has been a struggle that I can’t even describe, God has taught me so much and allowed me to have so many experiences that I never expected. I hope and pray that this new year holds as much growth and joy as this past year has. L’Shana Tovah – to a good new year!
Hey everyone! Long time, no see! I’ve been terribly busy with summer activities/work/Bible Bee, and have sadly neglected this poor blog. I do have several recipes that I need to sit down and get published, so be looking for those!
Today I do have some big news to share with you. I have decided to attend Colorado Christian University for the 2018-2019 school year! I am excited to see what God has in store for me to learn through this experience. I’m registered for classes, have an apartment and roommates, and am really looking forward to piano lessons and practice time!
You remember my old post Options? Well, God has made a path pretty clear by providing financially for me! One of the ways I obtained scholarships was through a full-tuition competition in January, where I got to stay on campus for the first time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the full-tuition scholarship, but through various smaller scholarships and grant money, I have almost gotten the entire tuition amount provided for! Praise God!
I’m heading down to campus again this week for the Young Christian Conservatives Leadership Conference, which, again, gets me scholarships. First time flying on my own – that’ll be interesting! Hopefully I’ll have some AIP and solo travel tips after this experience!
As someone with huge diet restrictions, I have been able to get a meal plan waiver so that I can cook for myself. BUT that takes a lot of equipment in my own kitchen! I have an Amazon wishlist assembled of the basic things I need (plus some fun stuff, haha). Take a look, if only for your own inspiration! But if you feel inclined to help me out, I’d be quite appreciative. :)
So, follow me on this journey! I’m excited to share with you the process I took to get here – I already have a bunch of blog posts and tips that I’m looking forward to publishing!
See y’all around!
There are so many different types of sickness. Mental illness, heartbreak, emotional sickness. But today, I’m going to talk about plain old sick. Well, chronic plain old sick.
You see, when I sat down to write this, I had an idea in my head of what I was going to write about. But, a few minutes in, I can’t remember what that was.
This post will probably sit on my computer for days while I forget to take a picture – and then have to actually expend the energy to get it.
Guys, it’s hard to be sick. If you are sick, I want to encourage you to take time to heal. Take initiative to heal. And believe me, it’s hard not to feel hypocritical when I say that. I’m the queen of not working to get better.
Don’t push yourself. I know that under normal circumstances, ‘pain is gain’. But not often in this case. Give yourself a break!
I know that it’s tempting to hide how sick you are. To put on your ‘tough-girl’ face. To laugh it off. Believe me, I do it all the time. I want to maintain my status as a hard-working, unbreakable Alaskan.
But you have to face it. I simply can’t carry ten gallons of water at a time from the watering hole. I can’t shovel snow for two hours. I can hardly haul any wood. And I tremble when I think about trying to wrestle an angry goat. Sometimes I hate what I’ve become. I compare myself to the early teenage me, and grind my teeth in frustration over what I can’t do now.
If you hide what you can’t do, if you hide that you’re breaking, you’ll break faster. Be willing to say, “I can’t do that.” Be willing to SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE and ask for help.
You know that feeling when you hesitate to go eat at someone’s house because you know that, no matter how hard they try, you probably won’t be able to eat half of what they prepare? You know that feeling that you don’t want to participate in an activity because you’re afraid that people will slow down and show pity on you? Too often, half of that feeling comes from pride. Don’t allow your pride to come between you and others. Instead, be humble, willing to be thankful for the kindness that others show you. God made us social creatures, even the severe introverts such as myself. God intended us to lean on and depend on each other in our weakness.
Let yourself depend on others. Rely on God’s system.
At the same time, don’t pretend to be worse than you are. Don’t use your illness as an excuse to be served. And be looking for ways that you can help and encourage others. Look for ways where you, though you might not be physically or mentally strong, can help someone else in an area where you might be stronger.
Paul said to the Corinthians, “I do not mean that others should be eased, and you burdened, but by an equality, that their abundance may supply your lack, and that your abundance should supply their lack, that there may be equality.” (2 Corinthians 8:13-14, probably slightly paraphrased)
That’s how God made people to work, and being sick can be a huge reminder of that!
Finally, don’t allow your sickness become your identity. When we got home after three months of traveling, I was thoroughly fed up with detailing why I couldn’t eat so much to a different person every. Single. Night. And yet, I still find myself talking about my sickness way too much. Allow yourself to enjoy life and not always dwell on the hard part. Allow yourself to have ambitions, and keep yourself busy with things you enjoy. Some things won’t be possible, but when you’re sick, you probably have time on your hands. Fill those hours, don’t allow yourself to be absorbed by your sickness. Spend time with the people around you, use this time to invest in others!
I think the key word in that paragraph is invest. Find the gifts and opportunities that you can take advantage of when you’re sick, and use this time to develop those!
Remember to rely on God – He can be your strength. Be joyful! Find the good things in your life, and enjoy them to the fullest!
To read Sick - Part Two: Caring for Your Sickie, head over to my dear friend Bella's blog, Worth It All.
I opened up D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' book on spiritual depression, and the first thing I saw was Psalm 42:5: "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."
This kind of hit home, because I had literally been sitting there in church twenty minutes earlier, fretting about my college choices. What major do I actually choose? Music, science, pre-med, or psychology? What kind of music major? Should I even be pursuing college? Or should I be pursuing this college?
So when I read that in the book, I closed it and started writing this instead.
We worry about our options way too much. We drive ourselves crazy over the simplest choices. Sometimes I wish there were less options in this world. I wish I knew what the right choice was. I want to honor God, but sometimes, I don't know which path will honor Him. Sometimes I feel like any of the doors open to me would be honoring Him.
And I bet you feel that too.
You know what worry is? It's a lack of trust in God. It's a reliance in ourselves. It is us trying to twist circumstances under our own control.
We were staying with a Bible Bee family recently, and I found myself talking with the mom in the kitchen one evening. She has sent two off to college so far, and something that she told me that was so encouraging was, "God isn't going to let you take the wrong path if you are trying to honor Him. He'll make it clear where you are supposed to go. He won't let you do something that you're not supposed to."
Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps." That's something that we've seen true in our family for generations. And it's a bit of a comfort to the flighty person like me.
You can have the best-laid plans, an ambitious but realistic future. You can have your whole life figured out to a 't' - but God can change it in an instant.
Whatever crossroads you are standing at now, be encouraged that, while there might be a couple of right roads to choose from, God will close the doors to the wrong roads. He will guide you to the right place.
So, while you have the responsibility of making wise choices, you also have the comfort that if you are consulting God over it and your goal is to please Him, He will help you make the right choices for your life.
Trust Him and press on!
My mind is a strange place. I am a Christian first and foremost, but I'm also a musician and an artist. I love science and natural health. I love the ice and I love to dance. This page will contain as much randomness as myself.