Midwest Girl

I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.

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03 March 2015

Denver Work Trip

Last week I traveled with a group to Denver for a mediation. I will say I much prefer mediations to trials anyday! The first day we had gorgeous, no coat needed, weather. After that it turned to snow snow and more snow. It did make things really pretty though! Plus we were essentially stuck inside an office the entire time anyway.

I still managed to get in a little relaxation in the hotel hot tub while enjoying a great book and local brew nightly.


 

I was quite grateful for my cozy fur hood the first day the snow started falling as we had a little jaunt back to our hotel.




Our hotel lobby had several warm cozy fireplaces so our final day I skipped out on our group lunch and stayed by the fire to read and warm up.

12 February 2015

Winter wonderland Weeked














A few weekends ago while we were cheering on the Creighton Jays at a basketball game it started to snow. At the time they were predicted maybe four inches. My parents suggested I should come home with them and hibernate in the shack with a fire and movies. I figured why not. It has heat, we just got the sate light installed so endless tv options, I had a book I was reading, and lots of cozy blankets, plus wine and snacks.




I woke up the next morning to way more than four inches of snow! But man was it gorgeous. I love when it snows out in the country. Everything has the pretty blanket of white and it sparkles.




It had snowed all night and was still snowing pretty heavily. Big gorgeous flakes. Without a doubt I was grateful it was Sunday and I was in no hurry to get anywhere.


Instead I decided might as well throw more logs ion the fire, find a few movies (as the sate light quit working), and relax with some wine. Quite the perfect snowed in Sunday. Don't worry I didn't drink even half of this wine!


 
 
I easily could have stayed snowed in another day or two. Was awesome to not have anywhere I needed to be and no "chores" to be done. Nothing to do but truly chill. So glad my parents fixed this adorable shack back up. I'm always so proud of my dad and brothers that they built this from scratch. It's the perfect easy hideaway when needed.



05 February 2015

Niobrara Winter Weekends
















A little escape to the country and laid back way of life is always a welcome idea to me. I love that we have Niobrara. Obviously the most fun is the summer when you can spend most of your time outdoors. But even in the winter the fireplace cozies up the place and makes it appealing.



Flannel sheets, PJs, and a great book are always a plus during the cold winter months. I read this book in two days as was so engrossed and wanted to read it before the movie. Wow is all I can say. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie yet hop to it. Such great insight on the war and its impact on those in the country, the terrosits, our brave service members, and their families.






Of course our cozy fireplace means we burn through wood like crazy. Luckily there is always an abundance of dead overgrown trees to choose from. This time I had Erik who was much more skilled than I to help with the wood gathering process.



 

It was cold, real cold one day. But the light dusting of snow was so pretty and Izzy loves to run around and I love fresh air. A few layers and we were able to get out at least a little each day.



 
 


And funny enough we all ended up dressed in flannel one night for an outting at Sportsman's. Must be the new cool thing to wear.



28 January 2015

The Discipline of Friendship

I am currently a leader for a midsize group at our church during the Exodus study we are doing. We get emails about devotions and this one struck a cord so I wanted to share with others.



“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Before you read any further, grab a piece of paper and something to write with. Think of something in your life that you’re grateful for and write it down. Next, think of something that is a concern to you and write it down. Finally, think of all the friends you have. How many of them know the answer to the previous two questions? Chances are that it is less than a handful, but hopefully it is more than zero.

Here’s the thing, out of all the spiritual disciplines that we practice (prayer, fasting, Bible reading, etc.), I wonder if, just maybe, the most important spiritual discipline you can practice is the discipline of friendship. Now, I imagine that most of you don’t think of friendship as a discipline, but for many of us, friendship, not just friendship, but authentic friendships are missing in our lives. Individualism, autonomy, privatization, isolation, and secret sin become barriers to having authentic friendships.

This is a great misfortune because it is in authentic friendships that we develop into what God wants us to be. This doesn’t just happen automatically. It is something we have to work at. We need to place ourselves in situations where authentic friendships happen. We need to practice the discipline of friendship.

Jesus is our supreme example of friendship. At the core of His ministry was a deep friendship with the apostles, whom he called “friends” (John 15:13-15). The author of Hebrews talks about the importance of friendship when we are warned “not to give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:25). This is a call for friendship with other believers, because without it we will never be all God wants us to be.

One of my favorite stories on friendship is found in Mark’s gospel (Mark 2:3-5). A paralyzed man was brought by four of his friends to where Jesus was preaching. The crowd was so large that the men were unable to get to Jesus through a normal route, so they carried the man to the roof, tore open a hole in it and lowered their paralyzed friend to where Jesus was. Jesus saw the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends and healed him. I want to be the kind of friend that the paralyzed man had. I have been fortunate to have friends in my life like he had. I was going through a very challenging time in my life a few years ago and I had a handful of friends who “carried” me.

You see, as followers of Christ, friendship is not optional. We are in a relationship with God and His people and God’s truth is most effective, learned and lived through relationships. So, we must get past our individualism, isolation, and sin and both pursue and practice authentic friendships in our lives.

Kent Hughes sums up friendships best when he writes, “Friendships hold the promise of grace!”

~ Tim Hall

https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

30 December 2014

Best Moments of 2014


 
 
Looking back 2014 was an interesting year. Without a doubt full of a few very very memorable adventures.  I figured I would highlight my favorite memory of the year for a fun little recap and reminder that life is great and I am blessed. However, I couldn’t pick just one as two adventures stood out so I’ll highlight my top two.







 

 
Mission Trip to Mali. I’ve always dreamed of traveling to Africa. I will admit I always claimed I would travel to Africa for my honeymoon – well that obviously isn’t happening anytime soon. Instead I was able to do something event better. I traveled to Africa with a team from my church on a mission trip. We went to Mali to inoculate animals and spread God’s love and gospel. What an amazing trip full of adventure, love, new friendships, and spiritual enrichment. I for sure fell in love with Africa and it’s people and can’t wait to return again one day soon.
 

 

Buying a home in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Another dream of mine was to own a home on the beach somewhere tropic. I always used to think Mexico but then feel crazy in love with this funky little gorgeous island of Vieques. I can say with much excitement that dream of island home ownership was made possible this past year when my parents and I bought a little shack. Ok it’s certainly not a shack it’s a cute little tow bedroom home nestled in a jungle of sorts. It’s not a sprawling mansion on the ocean but its only a few blocks away and perfect. I without a doubt feel blessed and love knowing  I can escape whenever I fancy to this laid back island of beauty warmth and endless turquoise waters.













 

Of course these are only two of the many many amazing things that happened this last year. I am surrounded by a strong loving family and a great group of friends and colleagues. There are so many everyday life moments that deserve celebrating. Plus I took several more amazing trips such as New York City, Las Vegas, and Canada. But if I start listing every great moment of 2014 I’ll be here for days and you will be bored. So instead you get the top two. I also won’t pretend life is perfect, 2014 had it’s fair share of bumps in the road, but I choose to look on the bright side and only focus on the positive. Here’s to hoping 2015 is just as great if not better!

 
 

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