Monday, November 7, 2011

Seventy times Seven

Okay if I'm going to be honest, 
I have to admit that one of my greatest struggles is forgiveness.

There have been a few situations in my life where I have really wrestled with God on how to forgive someone.
I believe the lie that society tells us
 "some things are unforgivable".
That perspective quickly turns into a life of bitterness, pride, and ultimately sin.

I have struggled hard with forgiving someone before.
I thought,
 "this person has ruined my life" and "this wasn't supposed to happen" and "Why am i hurting because of something YOU did...I don't deserve this because I didn't do anything wrong."
It didn't help that every person that I respected constantly nagged at me "God calls you to forgive."..."You have to forgive them, Kelly or you're walking in sin and darkness"

And that's what I did, I walked in darkness for a long time.
Forgiveness wasn't something I wanted to say and just move on.
I wanted to mean it from the depths of my being, I wanted to feel it. I wanted to say 
"I forgive you" and never feel bitter towards it again.
but I couldn't, I couldn't say it, or live it, because I didn't mean it.

It took several months for me to grasp God's idea of forgiveness...
I was away from home one summer at a summer camp with high school group.
It was the time in my life where I was right in the middle of all the hardships going on around me.
I realized about mid week that I was struggling to fully connect with and experience God because I was holding this grudge towards someone close to me.
And it was starting to eat away at me.

It was the day of the week that the whole camp spent at the beach.
Towards the end, we were worshipping and sharing testimonies of all the great things that happened so far during the week.
I couldn't take it anymore. I was frustrated. I wasn't feeling fulfilled with God. I wasn't getting the answers I was looking for. I couldn't find i left.
I walked away from the rest of the group worshipping.
I made my way down to the water and just strolled along the shore.
I expressed my frustration with God...
I complained to him about everything that was happening in my life. I asked him "Why?" a million times over. I asked Him where he was. And I begged him to do something.

Then...silence filled my mind and I felt an overwhelming command to Stop.

God whispered into my heart "You are just as much a sinner as they are and I forgave you. Therefore, you must forgive them..."

I broke down crying. I finally understood God. I understood his idea of forgiveness and his unconditional love for me.
I kneeled down in the sand and wrote with my finger, 
"I forgive ______, because God forgives me."

The second I stood up, a wave came and washed it away.
It was God's way of saying, 
"Well done, it is washed away. Now go in peace and love them. Never forget what I taught you here."

and from that day on my heart has been radically different.

I now find myself going through a similar situation where I am constantly in pain because of the hurt caused my another...
and I am reminded of how hard it is for me to forgive someone.

I know that God calls me to it, but I can't help but think
 "I don't want to listen to you God. I'm sick of listening. You ask too much. It hurts."
but in my heart he repeats "Seventy times Seven"

Matthew 18:21-22 
"Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

It doesn't matter how much pain you're in, how mad you are, or how much you think you deserve better. 
God loves you and God loves them just as much.
God forgave you, therefore we must forgive others...even if that means again and again and again.
Because in fact, if we continue to live in bitterness, then we will miss out on what God has for us.

This week, I am praying for a forgiving heart like my Father's in Heaven.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mee-hee-ko (title inspired by Jordan)

In high school, I didn't spend my spring break trips in Cabo, or Las Vegas, or hanging out at the beach

I spent my spring breaks playing with ninos in Mexico.

My youth group went on a serve trip every year to a city called Ensenada
where we were paired with one or two little orphans. 
These individual kids became our buddy for the whole week.


(this was my precious nina, Viridiana, the first year that I went)

(and this little angel's name is Rocio, I fell in love with her and wanted to adopt her instantly)

This trip was EASILY one of my favorite trips my high school group ever did.
I learned how to love people. 
And in return, I learned the depth of God's love for me.
I learned how to serve God with my whole heart
and to serve other people with a willing and helpful attitude without complaining.
I learned to appreciate the simple treasures in life that I am fortunate to have back home...

-my wonderful and loving parents
-my job at the time
-my education
-my church
-my friends
-my life

I also encountered God in a unique and beautiful way with dear friends by my side
by hiking a mountain in the middle of no where...

Each year, it became our getaway, our mission, our fellowship spot.
We helped each other to the very top and once we got there
we stared at the miraculous beauty of the world that God created.
We sat there, and talked about God 
and his creation 
and his love 
and our youth group 
and the ninos 
and our love for one another.
we encouraged each other and prayed to our Father together.

Mexico is one of my favorite places in the whole entire world
for all of these specific reasons...

and i get to go back tomorrow!
Friday- Sunday

[please be praying for my church while we are there]

Blog and pictures soon to come :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Public Transortation...

When you are a student at CSULB, you have the privilege of using public transportation for free in the city of Long Beach.
...I live less then a mile away from CSULB ((I can ride my bike there in 7 minutes))
but i decide to take the bus anyways...just because I can.

This is the bus stop that I wait at:

((of course with some cool effects using my new iphone...holler))

I like public transportation for a few reasons:
1. It makes me appreciate my janky, beat up jeep grand cheroke SO much more
2. It slows life down just a bit.
3. I get to see the wonderful city of Long Beach from a different perspective.
4. The people that i encounter on the bus/metro are so beautiful and so dang interesting.

Today...I took the bus to school
As I was waiting for the bus stop, I decided to paint my nails
 (I appreciated that time I had to sit and do nothing)

Then, I got on the bus and simply sat there and listened to the conversations going on around me.
I paid special attention the 2 older gentleman a few rows behind me...
They were talking about GOD
They were just 2 men chatting away
bringing up Satan, philosophies, the virgin Mary, and Jesus.
One man even said...and I quote..."if I were going to get a tattoo, I would get a picture of Jesus on my back
HA this made me giggle to myself.

As I was sitting there listening to these strange, philosophical, somewhat crazy men talking about Jesus
it made me realize just how much I love my God.
one of my most favorite things in the whole entire world is when I hear strangers talking about my God makes Him feel BIG and close and so very real.

I sat there in silent prayer
thanking God for that moment
thanking God for being BIG and REAL
thanking God for loving me and the people around me
and thanking God for life

Saturday, June 4, 2011


For most of my life, I have appreciated the gift of fellowship with amazing girls that I have grown up with and one of the most influential woman in my life who I truly look up to.

   I am who I am thanks to all of these women in this picture, as well as Julie Flint (who is still at school in SLO)

I have walked through every part of life with them.

Maddy (on the far right) 
has truly grown up with me since we were in about first grade.
I am so thankful for a friend who has chosen to continue to invest in my life from childhood into adulthood. She has been there for me through my hardest times in life and she has shared with me my happiest times. She has walked beside me in serving our Lord and has shared prayers with me crying out to our Father for direction and help. She has hiked up a mountain in Mexico numerous times with me to talk in fellowship and in prayer. I love her so much and i really cherish our friendship and I always will.

Deb (second from the right)
has been one of the most influential people in my life since I met her my sophomore year of high school. She is a woman that I highly respect, look up to, and value advice from so so much. She speaks truth into my life and she isn't afraid to do it. She wants to be involved in my life and she asks me hard questions and in return lovingly leads me to live a life that pleases and honors our God. I cant even explain how thankful I am for her guidance in my life. I can only pray that I can become a small group leader, a FOCUS leader, a mentor, and a friend to girls in such an influential way as Deb did in my life.

Alicia (right in the middle)
is probably my longest and greatest friend. She has been there for me in every situation of my life not only as a friend with a shoulder to cry on but also as a strong and stable believer in our Savior. Alicia is the most strong willed person that I have ever met. She knows what she wants in life and she works her butt off to get it, sacrificing whatever she has to
(needless to say she was valedictorian of our graduating class and now goes to a private engineering school in New York). But the best thing about her is her humility. She is also the one of the most humble people I have ever met. Although she knows what she wants and goes after it, she wants nothing more then to glorify God. When she is faced with a decision to either follow her heart or follow God and where he wants her, she ALWAYS chooses to live for God instead of herself. She has taught me to try hard at everything I do and to never desire anything more then the will of God.

Allison (right next to me!)
has been my closest friend since the seventh grade. She is completely opposite from me in so many ways but we are also very similar. Allison is so genuine and so loving. Last week in bible study we discussed the Armor of God and what that looks like. When we brought up the Shield of Faith, I thought of Allison. In my opinion, she paints a beautiful picture of what putting on the shield of faith ought to look like in a believer's life. Allison has been dealing with a lot of hard stuff for the past few years, when it comes to breaks ups, all of her friends moving away for college, and tough family situations. Throughout all of this, Allison has very rarely complained, she ALWAYS has a smile on her face and always rejoices in our God and proclaims of his redeeming goodness. She has so much faith in our God and it makes me have more faith too. Her faith in God is so stable, so deep, and so real, that it acts as a protection from all of the flaming darts that this world throws at her. Despite of all the hardship, Allison remains joyful, and praising God because she knows that he is bigger than everything else that is going on in the world and he won't let her go.

Julie (not pictured)
LOVES God. She desires to know the heart of God so deeply. She is the kindest girl you will ever meet and she wants to know you, most of all she wants you to know the God that she worships daily and that saved her life. Julie broke her knee at winter camp when we were in the 9th grade and was diagnosed with a nerve disease. She went to several doctors and endured many treatments but the doctors did not know if it could be healed. They had even planned on amputating her leg. But God healed her miraculously and Julie's life became a witness to all of the doctors and everyone else she encountered that our God is real and our God is powerful. The doctors had no way to describe the healing except for a miracle. Julie's faith is inspiring. She fears God with everything in her. But she is not afraid of the devil because she knows that her God will conquer.

I Love these girls so much. We have all been together since middle school and I know we will grow old together as friends. I am so excited to see where God takes each and every one of us and to be apart of their lives. The friendship and fellowship between a group of girls desiring God is something to be cherished. I am so so blessed.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one woman sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Love has definitely been a theme in my life in the past few weeks.

Firstly, I got a new job working at Katella Senior Living community and I really love it.
 There is something about old people, you know, they just have a whole lot of love in their hearts.

Yesterday, a man named Doc, probably around the age of 80, was talking to us at the front desk.
He was telling us about his wife who is over on the other side of the senior living area where there is more skilled nurses and more people to keep a watch on the residents who are ill and need extra care.
Doc goes over to the other side to visit his wife every day and it is adorable to hear him talk about her and how much he loves her and hopes that she'll get better so she can stay on the side of the residential living with him.

Another thing, This week's Gossip Girl was ALL about love.
Chuck and Blaire


It was beautiful. They cried... I cried. It was great.
This scene tore at my heart, I think mostly because I can relate to the feelings, emotions, and thoughts almost perfectly.
What is "Right" love anyways?

Thirdly, my Bible study group discussed Ephesians 5 fairly deeply.
The line that stuck with me the most was verse 2 which reads, "Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God"
The leader challenged us to walk in love rather than to walk in judgment. 
To ask ourselves "What am I for?" instead of "What am i against?"
Walk in love.

and Lastly, I was reminded tonight that I share an overwhelming, beautiful, and perfectly unique Love with Jesus, my savior.
Jesus is the only way for us to experience complete unconditional Love in absolute FREEDOM.
what a precious love.

The truth about life is...human love isn't perfect and never will be.
The only person that will love me the "right" way...the way it was intended to be is Jesus.

...I love you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Just thought I'd point out that we successfully snuck into Lakewood's Prom... 
...All for you  Sabrina Crew!
Congrats on graduating... we all know how long you have been waiting for this

Saturday, May 14, 2011


First off, I'd like to apologize for my recent posts down memory lane...
but I just had to do it.
Tonight is PROM night.
One of my seniors from high school group, Samantha Wariner, is on her way to enjoy a wonderful night of fun, dancing, friends, and memories that will never leave her.
This is her:

 isn't she beautiful?

 I remember my Prom night...
I am pretty sure I switched dates like 3 times
But I eventually ended up with the perfect date.

Meet Vance Smith

He was my very first real crush in the 4th grade
and we remained friends ever since.
He was the perfect date for Prom.

 My friends and I were not ones to take limos and party buses to school dances
so we all piled in Vance's VW Bus

It was a really fun night that I will never forget...

cherish the night. 
You're going to miss this.

...and be safe!

Friday, May 13, 2011

I have been back in long beach for a week now after finishing my second year of college.
Time flies...

Tonight I decided to drive thru Taco Bell for dinner.
While I was there, I observed a number of highschoolers dressed in 
Millikan(my alma mater) sweatshirts running around the parking lot, causing trouble, driving crazy, and making out in the dining room of the fast food restaurant.

I quickly remembered the times when i went to Millikan:

when my friends and I would leave campus at lunchtime to eat Taco Bell down the street
...not to mention the several times we "accidentally" didn't make it back in time before the bell rang for class and ended up ditching the last half of the day

when we used to run around in the local parks way past curfew playing games like sardines, sharks and minos, hide and seek, ninja, and sand monster

when we used to eat lunch at the 800 building every day with all of the other QUESTies where everyone would share homework and their lunches...

when we used to sneak into other school's proms and winter formals and dance all of our cares away

when we used to have sleepovers and make stupid music videos and pull pranks on the boys

The Truth Is...
I absolutely loved my high school experience.

and while I was sitting in the drive thru at that Taco Bell tonight observing those teenagers...
i found myself feeling jealous of them and all of their freedom.