Lord, where are you goin’ with this?

Music. Teaching. Writing. Pastoral Care. All my life, I have been led in these directions.  I am at a loss.  You know when I said, “This is the first time in my life I have no idea what’s happening in the future and I’m okay with it”?  Well, those words are coming back to bite me, because I am not necessarily okay with it anymore.  I just want to know what I’m going to be doing so that I can focus on that and refresh or gain even more knowledge in that area.  I didn’t pass my Praxis education tests to get the score for Kentucky, and I’ve heard from a few different sources about this Christian writer’s conference in Michigan in less than a month.  Do I stop looking for teaching jobs and write more?  I honestly didn’t even know where in the Word to turn to, so I googled the phrases, “God’s will + circumstances” to see what I’d get.  I came across a few awesome articles/blogs.  One of them told me to ask myself these questions: “Where has God been leading us? Has He been doing something even when we couldn’t recognize it?  In the light of all God has been doing for us, does what we think we hear God saying through our circumstances make sense?” (Edmondson).  The thing is, God has been leading me toward all four things I started out this post with.  Even when I don’t see it, I look back and realize he has been making me better at those four things.  And now I don’t know what circumstances are saying, because anything makes sense right now.

What I do know is that God has been making it very clear to both Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I that he has a plan for us, and that we are to be in Pikeville, Kentucky for a season.  He has led us to that path in a way that one can’t question.  This last week, Dr. Coyote, my parents, and me drove down to Pikeville (a 2 day drive from anywhere in the upper Midwest).  It was great.  We looked at our apartment that we had signed the lease on a month earlier (smiley face), D went and turned in some forms in person to the school, and I followed up on some job leads I had.  Basically, there have been 3 music teachers hired in the last year, and unless any music teachers are married to a med student who will be moving on soon, there won’t be an opening anytime soon.  But I picked up the sub application for two districts.  And the newspaper, where I sent my resume the week before, was still in the process of looking at all the resumes that have come in.  But the music store.  The music store is looking to expand on the private lessons it offers to band students.  There is a man who gives drum set lessons who would like to focus on something else, so I could potentially have his students.  The owner of the store said we would stay in contact, and that they would probably be able to use me.  So excited!  I love giving lessons.  I love having that relationship with a student and passing on knowledge and watching them grow!  So, ideally, I could be almost-full-time giving lessons, and maybe I could write?  That would be awesome. And while we were there, we also took in some of the sites and got a feel for the town where much of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud took place.  (And I didn’t even really know about the Hatfield-McCoy feud.  I do now!)

The Lord alone knows what the future has in store.  I’ve been finding verses that I feel the Lord has been speaking to me through lately and writing them on index cards so I have them with me to look at again and again.  Verses that calm worry (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:34), calm chaos (Psalm 46:10a, Psalm 37:7a), encourage perseverance because He is with me (2 Chronicles 32:7, Exodus 14:14, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6), command me to love him (Joshua 24:15b, Matthew 22:37-39, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and tell me that he’s got it (2 Corinthians 12:9).  These are only a few verses I read often to calm me and remind me that the Lord is near.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote told me that he thinks the Lord is leading me in 4 directions on purpose.  I know God has been teaching me trust through every single thing he seems to be doing in my life, but this is another one of those things.  He also tries my TEACHES ME patience every time I turn around, as well, smiley face.

Music, pastoral care, teaching, writing.  I don’t really know what God has in store for these things, but I dream of a job where I can use all these things that the Lord has been preparing me for at once.


Do you look at verses for comfort or have some memorized to repeat to yourself when you need it?  What are they?  Does God talk to you through circumstances or does he sort of just leave you waiting and trusting until the almost-last-minute? 


Anna 🙂

Saturday Smiley: Cars

One car, two car, red car, blue car.  Slow car, no car, fast car, NASCAR.  Cars on the highway, cars in the driveway, cars going no way, cars out all day.  Road trip, day trip, far trip, no trip. Rest stop, shop stop, red stop, pit stop.  One car, two car, red car, blue car.

Some collect, some race.  It is a tool of transportation that gets people from place to place.  Fancy or simple, new or old; a car is a car, no matter the mold.  Some take it for granted, some see it as pride.  There are cars everywhere, in our land that is so wide.  Nothing is close together, in the Midwest of my home.  There are acres and acres of farmland, so it is easy to roam.  I get lost a lot, I admit I do.  But I call and get directions from (usually) my mom, it’s true.  Anywhere I am, she can look it up.  She’ll lead back to the road I missed, which is really handy.

There are many types of automobiles, and each have different appeals.  Trucks are cool and can be bigger than you think; they are handy on a farm but are never paired with pink.  Minivans are great, especially if a family is involved; ours now even has swivel seats—look how much they’ve evolved!  Cars seem to be most common, but there is so much diversity.  Name a make, style, and color, and still you’ll get differences…like, at least thirty.  There are the small sporty ones, and the heavier-looking other ones.  There are classic cars and cars for the starts, they are really small mini-cars and really fast racing cars.  There are different brands and different makes.  There are beat-up cars with rust, and beat-up cars without breaks.  A car is taken care of, because it makes things difficult if not.  A car likes a full stomach and working parts, or else it’ll give you its snot.

One car, two car, red car, blue car.  Slow car, no car, fast car, NASCAR.  Cars on the highway, cars in the driveway, cars going no way, cars out all day.  Road trip, day trip, far trip, no trip. Rest stop, shop stop, red stop, pit stop.  One car, two car, red car, blue car.


Smiling always, Anna =)^2

Beatles in Conversation?

So, I had typed this up and I recently came across it.  I had put it as a note on Facebook, but I thought it would do better here. I think this took place on our way toward Rochester late summer, maybe.  Lotsa time in the car.

To set the scene: Mom driving, me riding.  Me coming up with ideas to kick off a new story.  Ready….go.

Me: What should I name my character?

Mom: Jude?  Eleanor Rigby?  Penny Lane?

Me: Really?  I guess I am a Paperback Writer.

Mom: See?  See how they run?

Me: Get Back on topic, mother.

Mom: We can work it out!

Me: Okay.  Where should my yet unnamed character live?

Mom: A Yellow Submarine?

Me: I should have known.  From Me to You, I think we need to listen to another CD.  This ain’t easy.

Mom: Well it’s gotta be about—Something.  We are taking a Long and Winding Road.  You’ll have plenty of time to work on this story

Me: Yesterday—mom—I could have had this done by now!

Mom: We just need to come together on an idea!

Me: Yeah, yeah.  You are no HELP.  Let it be, mom.  Let it be.

(a couple hours later)

Me: Ugh!  I’m not trying to start a revolution here!  I’m just trying to write a story!

Mom: Looking across the universe, are these pesky details really gonna matter?

Me: Hey, Slow Down, Yes It Is!

Note: I didn’t get all of these capitalizations correct, but…who can name how many songs were listed in this so punny conversation?

Vehicle of Life

When I first got my license, I liked to drive.  Everywhere.  Even when my sister, Christina got her license, I would be the one to drive to school every morning.  I liked the control of being in the driver’s seat.  I liked not having to worry about my sister’s inexperience, because, well, I had been driving for longer, and I therefore knew more than she did.

I also liked driving the vehicle of my life everywhere I went.  God was in the passenger seat, but really, do drivers listen to their passengers all the time?  Not always.  Only for directions, I guess.  I mean, God had the roadmap of my life, but he wouldn’t let me see it.  I had a pretty good idea of what it looked like in my head, anyway, so I guess I didn’t need everything on his map.

Even after ending up in the ditch…multiple…times, I thought that I was a decent driver.  I mean, everyone gets in some sort of accident, right?  I never rear-ended anybody or hit another car, so therefore, I was the only one affected.  And I can handle that.

I have come to realize that I…was…wrong.  I mean, I never took drastic routes that needed detours that took me completely away from where I was, but I wasn’t following God’s path how he intended me to.  Though I thought that me, going in the ditch, only affected me, I was wrong there, too.  Who got me out of the ditch?  My parents.  Who fixed the dent I put in the mini-van when I hit a pole?  My parents.  God is my Father who can help and fix all my mistakes; who can make it better and make sure I won’t go in the ditch again.  And even when I do, he’s right there to help me out and make it better again.

I have come to realize that even though I liked organization and having everything planned out in type-A formation, God’s way is even more organized and it is perfect.  Though I can’t see the roadmap he’s holding, I trust that it is correct.  Trying to figure out the best way to take when you don’t really have a clue is worrisome and stressful.  “Don’t worry about it,” God keeps telling me.  “I got it!”

I have let God take the wheel and have sat in the passenger seat, where I feel much more comfortable, anyway.  Even here, I have become the “only when needed” driver.  I mean, I share a car with Christina, but I don’t even LIKE driving sometimes.  When Christina starts getting tired or one of my friends don’t even have a working vehicle, I will drive.  I trust the driver of the car I am riding in.  Okay, so sometimes, I want to drive, but most of the time, I’m alright with not.

Same applies with God, I guess.  I trust him at the wheel of the car.  Yes, sometimes I want to drive, and he lets me, even though he knows I will make a mistake.  But he is right there, waiting for me to ask for help and give the wheel back to him.  And so I surrender the wheel, because I’m no driver compared to God.

Who is driving your car?

Manny the Monkey: A Sentance-at-a-Time Story

Once there was a monkey.  He was 12 years old, yet still relatively agile, regardless of his elevated number of years. One day he decided that he wanted to go on adventure. So he go.  He venture far and wide in search of world-renown large banana.  He found that it was located deep in the jungle of the Congo.  “Me find now!” he said gruffly.  Girding his loins and selecting his sharpest mini-machete, Manny the Monkey dove into the chlorophyll abyse.  As he go deeper into jungle he run into the giant anacondas of legend.  “Bring it,” the enemy hissed and Manny prepared for a battle scene (cue).  – – Editor’s Note – – This story has been altered to make it acceptable for G-rated audiences, and therefore the following battle scene has been adjusted to decrease the overall violence rating.  Ha just kidding who cares about ratings!  The monkeys gathered a huge army and charged the anacondas with spears.  Sum up: the anacondas were pulverized, diced up, and guts were everywhere.  The monkeys took hostages, sold them through the Black Market to snake charmers around the world, and returned to the Congo to continue their hunt a little—I mean much—richer.  When they found the giant banana trees they found that a battalion of gorillas was there ready to defend them (battle was imminent).  So basically…the gorillas were all like, “Son!  I’m so glad you returned!  You were lost and now you are found!  You died and are alive again!”  And Manny’s like “W-T-” and then everyone cheered so you couldn’t hear the rest.  The gorillas served their “family” a giant feast, yet Manny remained on the defensive, not trusting the gorillas hospitality…his guardedness was wise, because during the second course, the gorillas jumped on the monkeys, forcing their little faces into the soup and drowning them in the pre-entrée dish.  Little did the gorillas know that the monkeys were really faking it and drew their swords to slit the throats of the gorillas behind them. Blood oozed out as their jujubes continued pumping blood, and their throats gasped for breath.  The monkeys grabbed some of the bloody large bananas from the trees, and, though tired, started eating (finally).

They say that when you eat the blood of your own kind, you never go back…this is, of course, because the bacteria A.auregeaes begins to thrive in your mouth because of the blood ingestion, causing a systemic infection that goes straight to the brain and rapidly takes over the Central Nervous System.  So in layman terms the bacteria turned the monkeys into ravenous blood-thirsty zombies.  After finishing the rest of the gorilla blood (yes, licking every leaf and blade of grass), they went on the hunt for more.  Manny, knowing that they would soon turn on themselves, called Miss Pepper Potts, his right-hand-gal, to come and pick him up by helicopter so that he could return home with the Large Banana seeds and plant his own banana garden.  In a very anticlimactic turn of events Miss Pepper Potts was able to get all the monkeys back safely with the bananas and gave them zombie medication.  And as Christ raised us all from the dead, Miss Pepper Potts delivered the grace needed to save these monkeys who had died to the world.  They were treated with a cephalosporin derivative and returned to their homeland safe and sound…yet miles away, Manny sat on his crazily tech-enhanced basement, speculating where his next adventure would take him. 

By: Anna, Jill, and Bryan

-written in the car on the way to Kalahari, the end-of-project retreat-

En Route

God, I give you all of me;

I trust you with it totally.

Do with it what you will,

For you, oh Lord, are all I need, to fill.

I’m so excited to see what you’ll do—

This summer is all about you!

Before we’ve even started I have learned so much.

I’ve been blessed, oh God, by your glorious touch.

I know you will use us all,

‘Cuz we went for it and answered your call.

There is a reason you brought us here—

I pray that soon the reason rings perfectly clear.

Spirit, guide us in our conversations;

Be with speakers and listeners at all locations.

Jesus, you are the good news we all proclaim!

Help us remember the reason we came!

Let us give glory to our God all summer long.

Through worship, through praise, and through endless song!


So, this blog was written in the car on day one of car travels.  Well, the four hours to Austin, MN, anyway, to meet up with Ashley, my ride for the rest of the way.

This morning, before I packed my Bible, I read Act 20.  What hit me most was Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian Elders.  Verses 22 and 24: “And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.  But I do not count my life of value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the good news of God’s grace.”  I have read a few of Paul’s letters in the past, including Romans, where Paul says that he would give up his own salvation for his people (the Jews) to be saved.  His heart is revealed over and over: Romans 9:2, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” Romans 10:1, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”

Over this last year, I have often times prayed for a heart like Paul’s.  Maybe I’ve just rejected opportunity to share.  But this summer, I will get to share where I never expected to.  Ever.  Inner-City Milwaukee?  I wouldn’t have thought of that back during first semester, that’s for sure.  The first part of Paul’s quotation, I feel like I can relate to.  Mostly.  I have given myself to the Spirit, letting myself become a captive.  I have no idea what’s going to happen in Milwaukee.  But not counting my life as any value to myself?  I have sometimes struggled with getting the “me” out of doing God’s work for him.  However, that is something I want to work on.  Lord, could you help me get the “me” out of your way?  Sweet, thanks.

I am so incredibly excited.  I’m a little nervous, yes, but not too nervous.  I trust God with my summer, so I’m not worried or nervous about much, actually.  He’s in control.  Just anticipatory excitement, as well as excitement to do God’s work and share his word.  It’s so awesome!

Prayer requsts…Oh, the good news is that I’m feeling much better and less sore where my seatbelt was!  But continue to pray for a quick recovery for my dad.  He’s a farmer who’s got no time for one-handed work!  Praise God for the willingness of my sisters to help him out with fieldwork!

Please continue to pray for all of us in Milwaukee this summer, as well as those who my group comes in contact with.  I love you all for your prayers!


SmilesSquared, Anna


Shot Out:

I could not have gotten here without all the support you all have given me, both with finances and all your prayers! Thank you all!