I just wanted to write a quick update to you all. I am still alive and well, and busy as ever.
A lot has happened this last month since I have blogged. The month started off with a former teammate of mine getting married to the man of her dreams in Lynchburg. It was a great time to see some friends from college and even some former teammates.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful and God was clearly glorified in it all. After the wedding it was time to gear up for packing and moving. My parents moved from Lynchburg, VA back to Indiana. It was definitely bittersweet to be leaving a place I had called "home" for the last 9 years. I am currently living with my sisters in Xenia, OH until I head back overseas Lord willing.
The rest of June has been pretty busy so far. Caleb and I road tripped up to Michigan to see one of his teammates from Dordt College get married. It was a beautiful, quaint wedding. Caleb and I had a blast together.
The month of June looks like it will continue to be busy which is fine. I will be heading to Washington D.C. to help my brother and his wife move next week. The Lord has seen fit to lead them to Indiana.
I just wanted to write a quick update to you all. I am still alive and well, and busy as ever.
Sorry it has been awhile since I last blogged. The time has seemed to have sped up since being home. I have made a couple of trips to Ohio, went on a vacation with one of my best friends to California, and then also got to see my brother graduate from PA school at George Washington. Also mixed in, were a couple trips to TN to see my boyfriend and his family.
First off, I want to say how proud I am of my brother for completing his schooling at George Washington. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for him and his wife as they enter into this next phase of life together. Amy is currently a Physical Therapist in DC and is doing awesome. I also want to give a shout out to my sisters and say how proud I am of you both. They are currently nurses in Ohio and are also in school full time to become Nurse Practitioner's. They are wrapping up their first year of school and will have a little over a year left!
My trip to California was amazing! I flew out to San Jose, and then drove up to San Francisco. I was in San Francisco for a few days sight seeing and then my friend and I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and stayed a night in Pismo Beach then drove on down to Santa Monica. I was able to meet up with a teammate who I played with in Israel, so we stayed with her and her family for two nights, then spent the last night in Los Angeles, because we flew out early the next day to come back to the East Coast. What a fun trip it was with one of my best friends - Brittany Cook. She is just completing her first year of residency as an OBGYN Doctor....you are doing awesome Britt, and I am so thankful for you and proud of you as well.
Link to look at pictures from the California trip:
I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! These next few weeks will be busy as I help my parents pack to make the move back to Indiana. I would appreciate your prayers as we wrap up our time here in Lynchburg. I am so thankful for the past 9 years we have spent here!
Today is also a pretty special day, for a couple of reasons! First off, it is my Mom's birthday. I want to wish her a happy birthday and I am so thankful the Lord blessed me with an amazing mom who is selfless and caring and has such a servant's heart. What a blessing she has been in my life and I know in the lives of many other people. Her influence in my life will be one I cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you Mom for the person you are in Christ...and thank you for raising me in such a way that I could see Christ in you by how you have lived out your life. I am so thankful for you and Dad and all you have done for me. I love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Also, today marks Caleb and I dating for 22 months. The time has flown by that is for sure, but what an amazing blessing from above he is to me. Thanks Caleb for your love, support, and encouragement. I love you!!
So pumped that this weekend my brother and Amy will be coming down to visit and Caleb will be as well. It will be the first time my brother and his wife have met Caleb, so I am really excited about that. Life has a way of being busy, so I am so thankful that Caleb will have now met my entire family :)!!
I will try to write in here from time to time as the summer progresses. Thanks in advance for your prayers, and if I can be praying for you all in anyway, please let me know!
It is by God's grace that I am able to even write this update, and let you know all of the different happenings going on. Thank you Lord for you abundant and undeserved goodness to me. To God be the glory great things you have done. I love you and I am so thankful for YOU!!
Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
I just wanted to let you know that I made it home safe and sound! It was quite the trip home. I left around noon in Israel, but got stuck on the plane for 2 hours before we took off because of air traffic control. I then had close to a 12 hour flight into Newark. Once in Newark, I had a short layover because of the delay in Israel, but then my plane going to DC was delayed because of the weather. I landed in Newark around 6:45 p.m. and ended up not leaving the airport until 11:00 p.m. Originally my flight was supposed to leave at 8:30 p.m. and get to DC at 9:30 p.m. So, I got into DC around midnight and by the time I got my luggage and picked up my rental car, it was going on 1:00 a.m. I decided to catch a little bit of sleep and take a shower at my brother's apartment and then I woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. and got on the road by 6:00 a.m. to drive to Lynchburg. I made it back into the Burg today a little after 9:00 in the morning. I spent the next little bit unpacking and settling in. I am so thankful to be home!
I am looking forward to an evening with my parents. We are going out to eat soon and then going to relax some. I am also going to be watching some of the Women's Basketball National Championship game tonight...a match up between 2 undefeated teams!
I probably won't blog for the next few days. I will be relaxing for a few days and then heading to my boyfriend's this weekend to spend time with him and his family! Caleb has a birthday on Sunday as well!
Thank you for all of your prayers!!
Reading for the day:
Exodus 19/1 Corinthians 1
Exodus 19 – The Lord gives to us the Ten Commandments. I am so thankful for Him showing those to us!
1 Corinthians 1 – What an amazing chapter this is talking about the wisdom of the Lord. “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31b
Exodus 20/1 Corinthians 2
Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments continues to be written out…what a blessing!!
1 Corinthians 2 – Thankful for God giving us the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct us :).
I just wanted to write one last blog from Israel before I head back tomorrow to the USA!! Today was a full day here. I slept in some, then went for a run, then had lunch with my GM and Trainer, then I had a little bit of chill time, then I went and had my exit meeting with my coach, then went to dinner with my teammate Jacqui. We went to a little hole in the wall place for dinner and it was great!! I posted a couple pictures above from the meal.
Tomorrow I fly back to the USA!! I will write a blog in the next few days once I get Stateside. Thanks for following me for another season overseas :)!!
Over and out from Israel...
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Today has been a good day! I slept in which was really nice after not sleeping a ton the night before. I then went to the beach for an hour and then came back and packed and did some cleaning.
This evening we had a team dinner which was fun! Tomorrow I am in Israel for my last full day. I am getting lunch with a couple people and a teammate and then I am getting dinner with Jacqui.
It is crazy I only have 2 more nights left here!!
Psalm 14 – The Lord promises His protection…so thankful for that!!
I wanted to write a little more in depth blog as I close out my season here in Israel. Last night was a little busy so I didn't write much. After the game, I went out to eat with a couple teammates and then I went and picked up my friend Tolu so that I could take her to the airport this morning as she flies out back to the States. I didn't get to bed until after 3 a.m. and then I was up at 5:50 a.m. to take Tolu to the airport. I figure now I might as well redeem some time this morning before I head out to get some things done.
As I reflect back on this season, this season has had a lot of "ups" and it has had a lot of "downs". I am so thankful for the experience that I have had to play and live in another country. Israel truly is a blessed country and I feel honored to have been able to live in this beautiful place the last 6 months. Yes, it has been a little over 6 months, since I first set foot in Israel...time flies! I have nothing but good things to say about my team in regards to the management and how things were run. Organization is at the top here and I have to give a big shout out to my General Manager Shira...she is awesome! From her countless texts to the team telling us what time practice was, to being willing to pick us up and give us a ride, or lend a hand...she has been phenomenal. To the president of the team Rachel...I am so thankful that I was able to play for a team this year who does in fact pay on time, and who cares about us as people not just on the court but off of the court. To my coaches Orna and Raffi, there were definitely some "highs" and "lows" throughout the season, and while we didn't always agree on things, we as a team made it through the season. To my wonderful teammates what a blessing it was to have some pretty awesome and amazing girls as teammates and also I am so thankful that I have made some lifelong friends as a result of playing on this team. To my roommate "B" (name is too long to spell out lol) - what a blessing it has been to have a roommate like her. After living by myself the last two seasons, I had gotten used to my own living space and area, but I have to say that my roommate this season was awesome!! We both have similar personalities and are both easy going, so the living arrangement couldn't have been better. To the fans of Ramat Hasharon thank you so much for supporting us as a team through the roller-coaster of a season...so neat to have loyal fans who have a smile on their face whether we win or lose.
This team was a special team and one that had a lot of talent! While I don't feel like our talent as a team was ever maximized this season, it was still great to be a part of. As with any season as it comes to a close it is filled with bittersweet feelings. I am always thankful to complete a season healthy and I am thankful that I have been able to do that this year. I am thankful for the many people I have met and will continue to stay in contact with. I am thankful that as a team, us girls, stuck by each other through the thick and the thin. I do feel like we had the potential to make a lot of "noise" in the playoffs, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. The "sweet" aspect of finishing a season is knowing that I will be going back to the USA in a few days. I am excited to see my family and friends, and I am really looking forward to seeing my boyfriend as well! God has been so good throughout these last 6 months and I want to ultimately thank Him for seeing me through and giving me the strength when some days I didn't know if I would be able to get through on my own. ALL the honor and glory belongs to you and you alone Lord!
Each season I glean different things and the Lord teaches me many lessons. There were some painful and tough times this season, but as I mentioned earlier I can't brag on my God enough...He is so good and He is faithful!!!
I just thought I would share a few of my thoughts as I close out my time here in Israel. These next few days here will be spent packing, tying up loose ends, and saying bye to teammates and friends.
Reading for the day:
Exodus 18/Romans 16
Exodus 18 – It is awesome to see Jethro (Moses’ father in law) pull Moses aside and advise Moses to seek council and help from other men who are God-fearing! Moses was getting worn out from constantly having to be “on call” and talk to all the people whenever a problem came up. I think delegating is something that is hard for some people to do, but is necessary. What a great reminder to us all that it is okay to seek outside help…and when we do we must strive to make sure it is good counsel. I am so thankful for the Lord’s help and advice in my life!
Romans 16 – So thankful for Paul’s instruction to be ever watchful and vigilant for “smooth talkers” or those who want to trip us up. May we strive to be walking along with Christ so that we can be sensitive to what is right and wrong.
I would love for you all to check the song out below! This is my prayer as I leave Israel and head back to the States!
We lost tonight, so the season has ended! I will write more later tomorrow. Another season has come and gone overseas. Thankful for my health and the Lord's blessing on my life. I am looking forward to getting back stateside in a few days!!!
Reading for the day:
Exodus 17/Romans 15
Exodus 17 – The Israelites continue to complain and yet God remains faithful. The Amalekite Army attaches the Israelites but God intervenes and defeats them. How amazing that the Lord saw fit to protect the Israelites despite their doubting and grumbling. I am thankful that in the times I find myself doubting or complaining God is still faithful and loves me despite my faults. Lord help me to be ever mindful of YOU!!
Romans 15 – God calls us to love others and not live for ourselves but rather live to serve others. If we think and reflect on the life of Jesus he lived a selfless life. What an example we have to follow and imitate.
Tomorrow it is do or die here for us. If we lose then we are done for the season, if we win then we force a game #5 in the series. Today has been a good day. I slept in some and then did some things around the apartment and then did an ab workout.
This afternoon we had video and team practice. After practice I ate dinner with my roommate and teammate and then went to some young girls basketball game which was fun.
Tomorrow it is game time! We play at 12:30 or 12:40 p.m. EST which is 7:30 p.m. here, so keep checking the live stats until they show up! Here is the link to follow the live stats:
Reading for the day:
Exodus 16/Romans 14
Exodus 16 – Amazing to see the Lord’ s provision of manna given to the Israelites each morning. Despite the Israelites continued complaining the Lord sees fit to provide fro them. Yes, complaining is something that I think we are all guilty of, but may we try to catch when we do, so that we can complain less. A mind transfixed on the Lord and His many blessings to us will help curtail complaining.
Romans 14 – This chapter talks about the danger of criticism. Who are we to judge someone else…especially over trivial matters such as what we eat or what we wear. God is the ultimate judge, and we can rest in that. How many conflicts have arisen and continue to today because people are critical of each other. May we have the mind of Christ and “Go with Grace”!
So, I wrote this blog out last night, but apparently it never got published, so today it will be a double blog.
Unfortunately we lost a close one!! The series is now 2-1 and we will play again on Thursday at our place. If we lose again on Thursday then our season will be over. If we win, then it forces the series to a 5th game and that will be played on Monday!
Today I slept in a little bit and then went to the beach. We had OFF today which was nice. I also baked some pumpkin/zucchini bread along with some M&M cookies to take to my teammates tomorrow. This evening I ate some pizza with a couple of my teammates and then I played some tennis with a teammate for about a 1/2 hour which was a lot of FUN!!
Tomorrow we have practice in the afternoon and then my roommate asked if she could make a belated birthday meal for me to which I said "sure". So, she is making dinner tomorrow after practice and then we are going to watch a young girl on our team play her last school team game. It should be FUN :)!!
I hope you all have a great day!! I wanted to share with you some things I typed out yesterday morning that the Lord put on my heart:
LEARNING TO TRUST EVEN WITHOUT ANSWERS
The definition of trust is “to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of”. Trust is something that takes time to build and is not something that happens overnight. Trust can also be broken. It is easy to trust something or someone when the details are well mapped out, but what happens when they aren’t? I have been reading through Exodus and it is so neat to see how Moses and Aaron trust God’s plan to deliver the Israelites despite them not always totally understanding God’s plan. I am so thankful that I serve a God that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can trust.
Think about someone who you trust? Maybe it is a parent, a sibling, a friend, your spouse, or boyfriend or girlfriend. Honestly, I think we can all say at certain times we have had trust broken from time to time and not always is it right or valid to do that, but yet at the same time we live in a carnal world and therefore no one is perfect. We unfortunately all make mistakes! I believe that true trust requires grace. Think about when Jesus went to the cross to die for you and for me. I am sure He didn’t exactly want to have to go through the pain, torture, agony, and ridicule that He was exposed to on this earth, and yet he TRUSTED His Heavenly Father and he knew that enduring the cross was part of God’s perfect plan. The result of Jesus “trusting” in God’s plan, produced grace upon grace that we are given as a free gift. Who can I extend grace to today?
Trust is something that we may not always feel like doing, but trust is not a feeling it is an action. Once again I think Jesus is a perfect example. Who feels like dying on a cross and being spit at, mocked, ridiculed, etc…yet Jesus did just that! We may not always feel like putting our trust in the Lord, but when we do trust Him despite our feelings He grows us and as a result we are blessed by our action to trust. Are you trusting Him with your whole life or are you trying to trust Him with a little bit of you but not all of you?
It can be hard when I realize that my plan and my timing may not be the Lord’s plan or the Lord’s timing, but that is where we must trust that God ultimately does know best, and His perfect and beautiful plan will come to fruition in His timing. When I am in the Lord’s will there is a supernatural peace that He bestows and even though I may not understand I can TRUST!!
I am reminded of the song, “trust and obey for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus…but to trust and obey.” Those simple words I think some up what we as Christians are called to do and that is “TRUST AND OBEY”. Am I willing to trust and obey when there is an unforeseen death, illness, tragedy, trial? Let us all be reminded and encouraged today that we serve a God who knows everything!! He alone is trustworthy and we can rest in that. If you are going through a trial or questioning God…just surrender to Him completely and TRUST!
My ultimate desire is to be able to TRUST and OBEY my Lord and Savior not just when everything is going well, but in the times of “wondering”, “doubting”, or “questioning”…Lord help me to TRUST You!!
Exodus 14:13-14 - But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Psalm 9:10 - Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
Reading for the day:
Exodus 14/Romans 12
Exodus 14 – The Lord delivers the Israelites by causing the Dead Sea to part. What an amazing miracle the Lord performed and as a result saved the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army. I am so thankful that I serve a God like that!
Romans 12 – This chapter talks about being a living sacrifice for God. What is a living sacrifice? It is dying to self and allowing Christ to work through you and use you to honor and glorify Him. It is turning from selfish desires and loving those around us. I want to live like that!
Exodus 15/ Romans 13
Exodus 15 – It is great to see the Israelites sing praises to the Lord. It can be easy to thank the Lord and praise Him when all is going well, but do we do that when we are going through a rough time? May we be ever remembering things that the Lord has done for us! The chapter ends with the Israelites grumbling because there is no water to drink. How quickly we can lose focus sometimes. The Israelites had literally just been delivered, and now they are complaining because they don’t have water…don’t they remember ALL the Lord has done? The Lord once again makes sure they have water despite their grumbling.
Romans 13 – I love this chapter…especially the ending! God calls us to love those around us. How different would our world look if we did just that? We are not to just love our family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, but we are called to love “the least of these”…those who are homeless or into alcohol or drugs. We all want to be loved, and what an example we have in Jesus. He loved us so much that He went to the cross and died for us and by no means did we deserve it.
Today has been a good day! I went to the gym and worked out and then came home and relaxed some, did some reading, and then went to practice in the evening. After practice I came back and heated up some leftover chinese food and then plan on relaxing the rest of the night.
Tomorrow we play Game #3 of the Final Four Series against Ashdod. This time the game is not on TV, so we will be playing at 7:00 p.m. which is 12:00 EST due to the time change that we had over the weekend.
Link to follow the live stats of the game:
No mandatory reading for today!