06 December 2005

what's up?

Training's getting easier. The first week was really hard. I was tired and it's been like a debrief session of the entire last year of life. I'm so glad that I get to be here.

ALSO it's 0 degrees F in Colorado. This is SOOOO cold! I think the cold makes coffee taste even better. Espeically when I get to drink it out of a red paper cup.

Mana motivated me to start reading Jeremiah a few days ago. It's exciting to read it together. Wow. God loves his chosen people. I'm really thankful that he's chosen the church. I'm really thankful that I'm part of that. I've been thinking about this a lot.

I miss being in Slovenia. I feel like I have two separate lives. Thanksgiving was wonderful.

29 November 2005

someplace in the middle

I'm back in America...but I'm not home. Yesterday I landed in Colorado. I am here for three weeks to take a class. I finally get to learn how to live as a missionary. After the first day of classes, I think it's going to be
Those are my words. Today a man was talking about the things that we'll cover while we're here. As he talked about what most people will experience as they move into a new culture, my eyes filled up with tears. He was describing what I have experienced this past year. I'm looking forward, but it also wears me out to anticipate all that we'll be going through in the next weeks. Please pray for me.

17 November 2005

real rest

my soul finds rest in God alone.
my salvation, my hope, my healing comes from him.

he alone is my rock and my salvation.
he is our fortress, we will never be shaken!

(how long will you assult a man? would all of you try to push me down--
this leaning wall? this tottering fence?
they fully intend to topple him from his lofty place.
they take delight in lies.
with their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse!)

find rest, o my soul, in God ALONE!
my hope comes from HIM.
he alone is my rock and my salvation.
he is my castle, i will not be shaken.

my salvation and my honor depend on God.
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, o people.
Pour out your hearts to him
for God is our refuge.

(psalm 62)

25 October 2005

thinking of my dearest grandmother

tea for breakfast will always lean me backwards
to summering with Grandma...

18 October 2005

book meme; part 1

Good luck figuring out what a meme is. I actually don't know. But Alison "tagged" me a few months ago. And I like the questions, so I'll answer them.

How many books do I own?
In Slovenia: two shelves and a few little stacks. In America: a bookcaseful from when I was a kid and a few boxes from college.

The last book I read was...
Journey of Desire-in the middle of it. blink-through the first two chapters. Impact-reading on occasion. The Great Gatsby-oh, nevermind. That's plenty. Oh! I actually finished Searching for God Knows What!

15 October 2005

pretty :)

i got to go with neja to get her ears peirced today. it was really fun to be with her and her grandma at the jewelry shop. the jeweler poked the earings through her ears with a pair of pliers. yeeks! scary!

this is a picture of neja and matt at english camp this summer. i just love it when you laugh, neja!

10 October 2005


Never, ever, EVER (before today) in my life have I owned
cookies all at the same time!
Have you?

Today I got a big package in the mail from my Grandma's sunday school class. It was full of cookies!
All kinds:
-oatmeal-chocolate chip
-chocolate chocolate chip
-regular chocolate chip
-some kind of nuts,

And there was a card with many, many signatures of dear saints who planned, baked, prayed, cared, and mailed this package. How lovely.

This is definately "abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine!"
So, thank you, Jesus.
And thank you, Silver Lining Sunday School class.
(from Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura, CA)

07 October 2005

whirlwind to America; part 1

It was a little Multnomah reunion. Left to right: Jeremy & Amanda (flew from Wisconsin), Alison, Amanda, Brian (flew from Peru), me (also flew).

This is my favorite french press buddy.

Five friends at the rehersal dinner. Whoosh.

Ta-daaaa!!! The beautiful Ligaya Peterson!

whirlwind; part 2

Along with Phil & Ligaya's wedding, there were three other people that I got to spend time with.
The first 2:
My dearest brother and most wonderful sister! Sorry your head is missing, John.

And 3:
Kindra Joy Pickens. Who, strangely enough, I have no pictures of. It's crucial for me to refer to her as Kindra Joy Pickens as often as possible. On December 31st she's getting a new name. I don't really know how to spell it. Hackala?
At any rate,

22 September 2005

this week

Right now, we're at a conference in Czech with missionaries that are affliated with JV--Americans and nationals. What amazing people! It's so delightful to get a bigger picture of what God is doing all around Eastern Europe. I've been here for one year--this week! That feels crazy.

12 September 2005

being alive

like skipping down a hill
enjoying beauty
singing from the rooftop
fastest running
laying on the grass
cleaning wounds
naming midnight stars
crying together
and walking long
laughing at the soaking rain
gulping pure, cold water
teaching children

a few favorites

Brad & Laurel Jenkins visited us in Slovenia!

28 August 2005


a ton of stuff is changing right now.
i halfway love change and halfway hate change.
it's always good and bad.

22 August 2005


In this blind/barren land of fear:
emotional blockades
relational landmines
spiritual ambush
:tradition/happy activity/rules are not enough to lure a person to death.

If it’s going to cost EVERYTHING—
every little part of who you are
and what you have
and how you dream
and why you do—
If it’s going to cost your whole entire life—
If I’m actually going to die to myself—
I need good reason.
Why would I choose to put in everything?
passionate conviction.
pure, true love. sacrifice&embrace.
meaning that has lived with me.
And, these are what we(you&me) taste and see in Jesus Christ.

Leave everything and follow him?
The reason is Love.

All I can do: All that I know for ministry: All my ideas gone: Everything I can ask:
is that God would move&love&embrace here, now.
o, life that springs from death!

Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Come, Lord Jesus.

18 August 2005

use sugar and act confident

Today Polona invited me to Pancake Night/Girl Night at Petra's house. It was Tjasa's birthday. Kristina had the camera. And we were hungry.

Quite the combination: loud music, no parents, flashing camera, and all of us in the kitchen. Hmmmm. Kristina wasn't in palacinke mood so I whipped up some french toast becuase it's easy and they'd never had it. I kind of made up a recipe from what was there. It wasn't quite like any french toast I've ever tasted. But they were impressed. It's all about using a lot of sugar and acting really confident.

Tonight really reminded me of last autumn when Polona, Petra, Tjasa spent the night at our apartment and we made chocolate chip cookies together. I've missed spending time with them.

Okey dokey.
Lahko noc.

15 August 2005

i like technology

(805) 322-7503
That's my new phone number.
It's an American number that calls my computer.
So call me!!

14 August 2005

no more sleeping bag--fortunately or unfortunately

Fortunately, I just got back from camp!

Unfortunately, we had to leave at 3:30 in the morning on our trip up to Slovakia.

Fortunately, David, Meagan and Laurel and I got to drive up together and it was my birthday and the Jackson girls brought a party for the car and my dad called me. (lots of favorites in one morning)

Unfortunately, we were staying in tents and it rained for the bulk of the week.

Fortunately, the tents stayed mostly dry.

Unfortunately, the Frogs (8-year-old boys) floated off down the river.

Fortunately, Joel jumped in and saved their lives!

And fortunately, Becca, Queen Blue, Opa, Grizzly, Joel & Amy, Gavin, David, Jennie and I got to laugh, play, read, teach, learn, and swim with Frogs, Akiko, ZTO, and Journey for a whole week.

Unfortunately, this was my last week of camp.
(boo hooo)

22 July 2005

back home

Cowboy night at our second English camp. Oh, how I love my team!!!

I'm kind of sad these days because Matt's leaving. Tonight's our third good-bye party in a row. It's been so rich and such a treasure to grow as a family together. He wrote really good stuff on his blog about all this.

It's hard to believe it's been almost two weeks since we got back from camp. I've just been so tired!! But most of Ljubljana is in Croatia on vacation so it's a good time to rest. The second camp was super different from the first camp. One of my favorite parts was watching Sebastian and other Slovenes take leadership roles. Sooo good.

While we were at English camp I made the decision to stay in Slovenia. I'll be here until the Lord points me in another direction. It's a pretty big deal. I think I'll head back to the States to get some training, be in weddings (!!!) and raise support in October, November, December-ish.

04 July 2005


found my clothes. headed to austria to retrieve them.

loosing all of my clothes at a castle in Austira is definately a first for me.

03 July 2005

my own bed, a shower, and uhhh...no laundry

Camp was great. I was a tired slug the first few days, but about Wednesday I got into the groove and had a WONDERFUL time!

-Western night: carmel apples, cowboy hats, line dancing...with slovenes. these kids can DANCE.
-my small girls-only English class. The eight of us met every morning for 3 hours. One of their favorite days was the day Glorija took over and they learned about make-up in English. I loved laughing together, watching them care for one another, and discussing deep questions with them.
-being with Brandon and Alison.
-being in action with my team.
-watching kids be moved by God.
-thinking through staff devotion times.
-good hugs.

Last night we got off the bus in Ljubljana and realized that the large, black trash bag of all my dirty laundry was NOt with us. So, right now, with our next camp starting tomorrow...I'm pretty much without summer clothes. No t-shirts, tank tops, swimsuit, etc. Any ideas?

25 June 2005


Well! We're leaving in the morning!!! Yipeee!!! All year I've been looking forward to summer camp with these crazy slovene kids.

Please pray, Christina and I are kind of sick and David's really sick. That's lame because he's our director. More than anything we want these kids to know how much they are loved. Also, pray for lots of kids to come with prepared and soft hearts. We're totally going into this WAR.

THANKS!!! I'll post pictures when we return!

22 June 2005

at home

It is so so good to be here, be home, in Slovenia. As I was leaving the States, my dear friend Amanda gave me a note to read on the plane. In it she said, "...as you travel and plant parts of your heart in different people and different places, you are always with your home because Jesus is home."

Tomorrow the team from Good Shepherd will arrive to help with English camp. We've been preparing lesson plans, preparing activiites, preparing other stuff, etc, etc, etc! This year we have a bunch of new kids that we've never met and there are many people that we do know that are coming! I can hardly wait for the richness that we'll share!

Part of the way that I've been preparing is thinking through the gospel and how Jesus has completely changed me. This morning the verse that is standing out to me:

"I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
for the salvation of everyone who believes." (Romans 1)

Being comfortable, believing the steadiness and security of this gospel, the nearness and power of God. This is a free, strong, at home-ish feeling that's for all of us.

15 June 2005

I can't remember who it was, but one of my friends was talking about how much they LOVE airports. Every person here is in transition...leaving, reuniting, coming, meeting, sending off, returning, moving. Change, change, change.

When I was younger I didn't have any strong feelings about airports, but sitting here in the Portland airport I am overwhelmed with memories and dreams. I'll board Lufthansa flight 469 in a few minutes. I'm remembering trips to and from Multnomah. Trips to and from George Fox. Trips between those trips. And now trips to Europe. Further and further away, less and less frequent. And next time: where to? why? who? ....when?

So as I head back to Ljubljana, I'm full and trembly and tired. Glad that I was here, ready to go back. Already missing people terribly. Bye.

10 June 2005

John and Sarah got married on June 3rd!!! I think it was one of the most wonderful times of my life--the week that they got married. Just right and good, you know. We laughed and cried and prayed and hugged and ate and danced together. Beautiful, good, and rich.

Before John traveled to Sarah's home, the four of us spent the evening together. We had a backgammon tournament, ate ice cream in San Luis, asked each other big questions, and prayed.

The wedding party all arrived at the Boutry's house a few days early. I'm pretty stoked about these new friends-in-laws that I have. Jeanine, Cristin, Nneka, Beth, Ashley and Tammy are keepers.


It seemed more emotional to watch John Paul & Sarah Beth practice than to be there during the real thing. It was suddenly all so real. At least for me.

An all-time favorite.

My sister's pretty, huh?

Well, looks like he got the right girl.

And, just so you know, these are two amazing parents. John and I agree. The way that they have loved the Lord...the way that they have loved each other...and the way that they have loved us has taught me much about loving and being loved. You can tell by looking at them, huh? I'm challenged by the ways that they continue to learn and grow in godliness. (I love you!!)

27 May 2005

I love being in Portland with friends. Oh, it's just been refreshing to my heart to stay up late laughing with Alison. And see married Krista. And to talk and laugh and talk and cry with Kindra. And to relax with Katie and Amanda.

Hanging out at Cannon Beach. This is the way I like to camp.

Also, I continue to be surprised at how much the weather influences mood. It's been beautiful and hot in Portland. Just a slight breeze. Wonderful.

Tonight I get to fly home to CA. And I cannot wait.

22 May 2005

I sent out a huge email of the WRONG dates for my trip home. And when I was correcting the mistake, I sent out ANOTHER email with the WRONG dates. I think the whole fiasco is finally figured out. What a relief.

California: May 28-June 12
Portland: June 13-15
Slovenija: June 16 +

But who really knows, huh? Sometimes when I do things really late at night, they don't turn out quite the way I hope that they would. Let this be a lesson to me.

19 May 2005

I just sent out an update. That's usually quite a project, but this time I did it really fast. I'm going home, so I'll get to tell stories in person! AND I gave out this website address...soo now it's public. WELCOME!

friends after worship night at our apartment

laughing with mana. I LOVE THIS GIRL!

Oh, man! I need to got to bed! Good NIGHT!

16 May 2005

Finally! The bus!
Preseren square!
Ice cream!
A blue sky and warm days...whew. The horrors of a wet, plaster cast are over. Now I have a dry plaster cast. No more boredom! I am out and about!

This is a busy week. There's a lot of girls that I want to see and details to take care of before I leave. I'll fly from Ljubljana to Portland on Tuesday and down to San Luis Obispo a few days later. Then John's wedding! My mom's kidney donation (yeeks)! Then back to Portland...back to Ljubljana. And off to CAMP and CAMP! Here goes the whirlwind.

Fortunately, my job is to be still before the Lord. He wants me near him, loving him, trusting him. What a delight!

See ya!!

14 May 2005

Oh, what dear friends I have! And what a dear brother! John's getting married in 20 DAYS!!! CRAZY!

All of my life I've wanted a sister, and now I get SARAH! Everybody just loves her, so I can't wait to get to spend more time with her!

John and Sarah, ooo-la-la

two Stepanians in Ljubljana

13 May 2005

Tonight we have an English Camp reunion at Tivoli. Christina and I are in charge of snacks. We're going to have little sausages and pretend like they're baby hot-dogs, roasting them over the fire! I'm especially hoping that I get to see some of the girls that I haven't seen in a long time!
Yesterday I got this humongous cast. The old-fashioned, knee to toes, fifteen pound, chalky plaster monster. My mom said that it's retro/cool. I'm not convinced. Mostly I just feel bored.

One of the best parts about being stuck at home is visitors! In the last few days Mana, Neja, Polona, Andreja, Katie, Sara, Lori, Meagan, Laurel, and Kiley have come by. And Christina takes good care of me!

I'm sitting here on the computer and Polona's studying for an English test...muttering away.

So, since I'm home...TODAY is the DAY to start this blog! Here goes!