I’m a seminary student!

That’s right – I’m going to seminary! Technically, I’m going to the Graduate School of Theology at Northwest Nazarene University, but it’s still seminary by definition!

I graduated with a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009, so going back to school is more than a little daunting. This time, I’m pursuing a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. It’s a 40 credit program that takes about 2.5 years. I’m in orientation now (where I have to write a research paper due in about 10 days), and I start my first official class – Old Testament Interpretation – on January 9th.

I’m both terrified and thrilled. My ultimate goal is ordination in the Church of the Nazarene and, God willing, a career as a chaplain.

I’m asking for prayers as I begin this journey!

Saying goodbye to my Mamaw

I’m struggling to blog these days, even though I have a lot of words in my head and things I want to get typed out and posted. I’m in the middle of yet another Rheumatoid Arthritis flare and am struggling to walk – for the second time this year – so I’m not in the best headspace. BUT it’s Christmastime (specifically, it’s Christmas Eve by the time I’m getting this posted), and I will always seek to find the joy in this beautiful season.


First and foremost, though, I’m mourning my wonderful grandmother, Lila, who passed away on Sunday, December 4, at 88 years old. I was able to finally go home to Indiana in mid-November (more on that later), and I got to see Mamaw while I was there. She was almost immobile, struggling to walk, and was so frail and weak, but her dementia allowed her to have a “good” day and she knew who I was, which was a blessing. She went into the hospital the day after I flew home, and then she moved into hospice a week later due to renal failure. She passed away peacefully with my mom, grandfather, and uncle by her side. I was able to attend her funeral via livestream, which I appreciated. Mamaw was from a different generation – deferring to my grandpa for decisions and going along with them even if she disagreed – but she was a model of the kind of person to be. Kind. Caring. Loving. Gentle. Addicted to Dairy Queen ice cream 😄. A excellent cook. A woman of deep. Deep faith. She was a lovely human, and I will miss her forever. I also can’t stop thinking about my grandfather, who is now alone for the first time in almost seven decades. They would’ve celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in late January.

Second, I’m thinking a lot about how my grandparents were so influential, even without my realizing it, in choosing the Church of the Nazarene as our denomination. My grandparents were Baptists when my mom was a kid and even when I was born, but they joined the Nazarene church well over 30 years ago now. I remember it causing a minor scandal in the family at the time since nobody really knew what the Nazarenes believed and assumed they were “holy rollers,” but my grandparents found happiness and spiritual support at their Nazarene church. Part of the reason I explored the denomination was due to their influence. So now that Mamaw is gone, I’m feeling blessed and honored that this, too, is my denomination and where we’ve found happiness with deep spiritual support.

Finally – it’s Christmas Eve! Here’s this year’s Christmas tree (pretty similar to last year). Despite our sadness, I still very much love this holiday and the beauty of the season!

I have some exciting news to share, and lots of thoughts stored up, so I hope to blog more in 2023, although I’m about to get A LOT busier (more to come!)

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL WHO READ THIS!

Our tree – 2022

Let’s talk bibles!

Let’s chat about bibles. The purpose of this post is NOT help you discern what translation is the best one because 1) My opinions are my own and; 2) Let’s be honest – the BEST bible translation is whichever one makes you pick up your bible, open it up, and start reading. Instead, I want to talk about bibles, in general. I have inadvertently started bible collection. It wasn’t on purpose, but I’ve discovered that I love exploring different translations and bibles that are focused on a specific topic.

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You gotta listen!

Although it feels like a multi-part true crime podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill from Christianity Today is, in fact, a deep investigation into the collapse of Mars Hill Church that was once in nearby (to me) Seattle. It was recommended when I was listening to the Hearing Jesus podcast, and I quickly became addicted as I was sucked into the titillating and shocking behavior of Mars Hills’ leader, Mark Driscoll. Episode after episode kept me hooked. Check it out – you won’t regret it!

Crying out to a God that listens

I’ve been in painful health sojourn lately, and while it physically broke me, my cries to God were heard. Not in the way I hoped, but we don’t always get the answers to the questions we ask….

Backstory first, of course: I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder, in January 2015. In the subsequent 7+ years, I have only been in a brief remission once, have damage in dozens (or even hundreds of joints), have failed off every medicine available out there, and have had my diagnosis changed to the following: Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Pseudo-RA, and Pseudo-Gout (only with calcium crystals instead of uric acid). 

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Divine timing and bubbly water

I’ve had this blog for 12 or 13 years, and I don’t really know how much I’ve talked about my autoimmune disorder on here (without scrolling back and taking time to read), but I suffer from very, very bad Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). I’ve also been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis because, honestly, I don’t have the exact hallmarks of either disease. But what I do have is horrible, debilitating, painful arthritis that I do not wish on anyone.

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Coming clean

On this final day of 2021 (while mourning the loss of Betty White), I’m posting for the first time in months. Why? This is my post to finally “come clean.”

You see, we celebrated our first Christmas in six years just a few days ago. 

Our first Christmas tree in six years!
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Grapes? Grapes. Grapes!

Since we moved here in May, I’ve been irritated at the 20 feet of vines growing along our front fence perimeter. The rest of the fence line was completely clear, so why did the previous owners allow this to grow so wild? About 3 months ago, we were about to pull onto the road when Tim said, ”Wait, are those grapes?” We stopped the car, got out to investigate, and sure enough – those vines were grape vines! Thanks to my handy plant identification app, I discovered that they were California Wild Grapes. Since then, we’ve left them alone until this past Monday, when it was officially harvest time.

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