Tuesday, December 26, 2017

instagram doesn't show everything

The year of 2017 has been a crazy year for me. My brother Zach got married, I finished my first year of college, some of my family members moved away, I went on my first solo roadtrip, and my dear grandfather passed away. I've been blessed and humbled, but most of all, struck completely in awe by the grace and beauty of God. And even though some hard things have happened this year, my life has been full of adventures, from road tripping and camping, to climbing mountains and hugging giant trees. So much beauty has been presented to me this year and I feel so very blessed.

One of my dear friends, after stalking me for awhile on instagram, said "Liz, your instagram makes it seem like your life is just so much fun and like you're always getting to explore new places." And it really struck me just how easy it is to create this persona of having everything put together, even when you're not trying to.

I have this journal that now has three years of entries (I really suck at keeping a journal). I picked it up a couple of days to let out some frustration, and saw that the last time I'd wrote in it was exactly a year ago, Dec 23, 2016. And the one before then was Dec. 22, 2015. It surprised me just how similar they all were.

Dec. 22, 2015.

Today I am here to vent all my feelings. It's probably healthier than bottling them all up and exploding. My biggest issue right now is how spiritually dry I feel right now. I haven't been focusing on God the way I should be. I've been letting the stress of school, work, and boys go before my bible study and prayer life. I know this needs to change, but I feel this distance. 
Lord, help me to set my heart and soul in focus to you. Give me back your joy so that I can better serve you in my daily life. 

Dec. 23, 2016

Lately I've been going through a lot of ups and downs. One day my relationship with God seems great, but then a couple days later, I feel like He's not even there. 
I feel like a screwup.
I'm constantly messing up. I'm constantly giving into sin and going after what I desire, not what God desires. It's not something I like, and it's never worth it, so how come I keep falling into this trap?I feel like I keep digging this huge hole for myself and I try to climb back up, but then I slip and it gets deeper and deeper. 
Is it possible to keep forgiving someone who continuously makes the same mistakes? 

Dec 23. 2017

Today is the day before Christmas Eve and wow, I honestly can't believe another Christmas season has come and gone. 
Life lately has been crazy. I feel so discontent, like I'm doing nothing with my life. Yes, I'm working my butt off, and I'm getting good grades in school, and future adventurous plans may be coming my way, but those plans seem so far away, my job continues to drain the life out of me, and school just adds to the tiredness. I'm busy, but I don't like the busy I'm busy with. 
I know God has an ultimate plan for my life, and that He'll guide my steps, but sometimes He too seems so far away and so very quiet. 
But all the same, I continue to remind myself that this won't be forever. I work because I need money to save for the future. I go to school because an education is important to my dream of teaching English.  I won't be rooted in this spot forever. 
This restlessness won't haunt me forever. My Savior is indeed good, so so good. There are greater things in store for the future. Sometimes it just takes awhile.  
Oh Lord, please give me strength to climb mountains. 

This is the season where people present their best selves. Their pictures are full of fun in the snow and smiling faces decorating a Christmas tree. We get greeting cards in the mail full of happy looking families and we sing carols full of holly jolliness. But instagram doesn't show everything guys. Those happy family Christmas cards don't mean they have everything put together. My caption about how beautiful God's creation is and how he just humbles me every time I step outside, doesn't mean my relationship with God is perfect.

And that's why I share these journal entries. To show you that despite what I and everyone else may present to the public, it isn't everything. I still have struggles, doubts, sadness, and restlessness. My relationship with Christ is constantly being stretched and strengthened. There's a backstory to where I am and how I got there and what I'm feeling. Today, I want to be honest and show you that messiness and struggles and bumps are always present, yet God gives us strength to climb mountains and touch waterfalls and sing at the top of our lungs. Sometimes though, we just don't show what got us there. So let's make 2018 the year where we present more honesty and embrace authenticity.

Do you present yourself differently online than in real life? How do you feel about hiding the "less desirable" part of yourself? Trials and fears and doubts are a part of what makes who we are. Don't ever be ashamed of reaching out to the Lord and the people who love you. Let God assist you in your journey to climb mountains <3

Have a wonderful week,


Sunday, November 5, 2017

10 Reasons Why Christmas Starts on Nov. 1st

1. it snows and makes everything beautiful and is just screaming at you to listen to Christmas music.

2. your mom and grandma start asking for your christmas list.

3. commercials on tv start having red and green and jingle bells.

4. peppermint mochas are too yummy to wait for till after Thanksgiving.

5. not everywhere in the world has Thanksgiving in Nov. so therefore if Christmas can start other places on Nov. 1st, than it can in the U.S. too.

6. Christmas music makes people happy and why shouldn't people be happy during Nov?

7. it's cold out, baby, it's cold outside.

8. starbucks' christmas cups come out so obviously a huge corporation agrees with me.

9. more time to eat christmas candy.

10. because gosh darn it i love Christmas and should be able to celebrate it however long i want. stop judging me!!

(tell me why YOU think christmas starts on Nov. 1st)


Saturday, October 7, 2017

when life gets too busy...

when life gets too busy, take 20 minutes...to read your bible, say a prayer, pet your dog, rest your head, stare aimlessly outside your window.

when life gets too busy, go visit your grandma...drink lots of tea, give her hugs, and laugh at old family memories when you went to the beach and aunt susan got pooped on.

when life gets too busy, go to a bookstore...or two, or five. browse, smell, read, buy.

when life gets too busy, treat yourself to pie...that good pie from your favorite bakery. eat and share with a friend while watching your favorite tv show.

when life gets too busy, go outside...walk along the water and breath in the fresh air, because you're alive and it's there to wake you up. sit and observe while drinking coffee.

when life gets too busy, slow down and cook...make something you've always wanted to try and promise to yourself it's okay to take your time and make mistakes.

when life gets too busy, grab a friend...go outside when its pitch black and pouring rain and dance your hardest. sing at the top of your lungs. teach her how to swing and ask her to show you how to waltz.

when life gets too busy, hop in the car...and go watch the sunset, or sunrise. explore a new place and sing along to the radio, not caring if the other drivers are judging you.

when life gets too busy, sleep in an extra hour...enjoy the refreshment of rest.

when life gets too busy, stay home on saturday...watch the rain pour outside from your window and hold a cup of warm tea in your hands. catch up on your favorite bloggers and read for pure enjoyment.

when life gets too busy, rest...take time for yourself to reflect and recharge, and join back in when you're ready. because the world is waiting for you, it'll be there when you come back.

when life gets too busy, what do you do? as school starts up again and we head into the holiday season, don't forget to take some time to rest in the Lord, read a book, and drink some tea. don't let the hustle and bustle get to you. remember it's okay to take time to stop and reflect. 

have a wonderful weekend,


Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Summer of 2017

-my brother got married!! and all my siblings got to be in the wedding party. it was such a beautiful day, plus, aren't my boys just adorable?
-the zoo happened. i brought me nanny kiddos and we explored and laughed and complained and pointed and smiled.
-i explored state parks in washington. and took dramatic photos and later got burgers from a drive-in.
-lots of sunsets and car rides. and country music and a very happy liz.
-i finished my first year of college. with a good gpa and a new friend. whoop whoop.

-4th of july happened. which meant fireworks, campfires, bike riding, bbq's, polaroids, and flag-themed attire. 
-i went camping. without my family and with a good friend. we may have almost burnt the campsite down while making popcorn. but other than that, we rocked. 
-evening swimming. then following an evening on the dock with deep conversations and soft sunsets.
-explorin my second home. aka the north cascades, where there are lot of mountains, and trees, and lakes, and beauty.
-i bought birkenstocks. wow where have these been during the rest of my life? (probably $99 away).
-hiking with the chloe. who is the bomb (and who tried to kill me by forcing me to hike up hills). 
-relaxing afternoons spent hammocking. while reading and journaling and resting in the one who gave me breath..
-ice cream was consumed a lot. because what's a summer without ice cream?
-i started summer classes. the ugly of the summer (the bad was working, the rest was the good). 

-my super awesome bestie came to visit me. we spent a lot of time eating candy, reading books, and exploring new coffee shops.
-lots of homework happened. because summer classes were not my friend and kind of took away my august.
-we had a puppy visit! and they were so cute oh my gosh.
-i explored artist point again. it's so pretty up there by mt. baker and i was honestly in such a happy place, i didn't want to leave.
-Murphy and I had some quality time picking berries. i picked, he ate.
-chloe and i explored seattle. there were lots of pretty flowers, crowded streets, and tall buildings that made me feel small but happy. 

-chloe left for ywam in amsterdam. if you don't know exactly who this chloe is, she's my best friend and i miss her so much but i'm also so happy for her and excited. ah. 
-i became a bangs ambassador! (white shoes pictured above). honestly these are the comfiest shoes ever and the company is amazing, go check em out (and comment if you're interested in becoming a bangs buddy and receiving a rad discount, i'd love to hook you up). 
-i reintroduced myself to portland. and i still like it just as much as last time, especially since there were flowers involved. 
-i went to in n out. which is hundreds of miles away from my house so this was surreal.
-yosemite was just as beautiful as i imagined. and going back and staying multiple days (or weeks) is on my bucket list.
-there were tons of big trees at the redwoods. i hugged a few and found my inner tree.
-i got sandy. because the oregon coast and salty waves get along quite well with me.
-i watched lots of sunsets and took too many photos of them. but who can have too many sunset photos in their life? 

what kind of adventures did you go on this summer? leave me a comment down below and let's chat about the amazing, beautiful summer God gave us this year. (also yes this is so late but i needed to post this anyways because of memories) :) <3 

have a wonderful day,


Thursday, September 14, 2017

#stay // your light matters

when sweet sweet elissa asked me to write a post on the word "stay" in honor of World Suicide Prevention Week and her dear friend Maddy who passed away on Oct. 4th, it got me thinking of a lot of moments in my life where "stay" was difficult. I remember having to move and loving where we lived, i wanted to stay. i remember my dad holding on to the last of his days, being told i had to let him go, when all i wanted was for him to stay with me. I remember the anxiety and sadness i felt, and not wanting to stay anymore. but most of all, i remember the whisper i heard, telling me to "stay," because i was never alone.

so what does stay mean to you? for me, i see it different ways

i. staying present. it's hard these days to sometimes just keep yourself planted in the now, instead of alway being worried about the future. but staying present, taking note of where you are and respecting that, that's what staying should look like.

ii. staying faithful. this is a hard one sometimes, because it's easy to want to do your own thing and to think you can figure it all out on your own, but stay faithful to the Lord. seek his presence, give him your time, and live your life in step with Christ. stay faithful, fighting the good fight.

iii. staying hopeful. it hurts when people tell you to just be positive, because i get it, that's not always possible, but don't lose hope. one of the many many wonderful things that our Lord gives us, is never-ending, unrelenting, overflowing grace and hope. because of him, we can have hope for the future and say "it is well with my soul."

so honey, i know life is hard, i know there are struggles that no one knows about, that you're ashamed of, that you keep hidden in the darkest corner of your closet. i know, because i've been there, i've hid in that closet, fists held tight, eyes blurred, and silent sobs so no one would hear. it's so lonely, and scary, and small, but you know what dear friends? that small closet is never too small for God. stay, and find refuge in him. stay, because your light matters 

stay-what does that word make you think/

love you all my sweet friends,


(find out more about Elissa and why she's so passionate about this topic here)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Walking the Streets of Seattle // SBL 2k17

Hey there,

It's official, August has ended and the beginning stages of fall will soon be upon us. Hasn't this summer gone by quickly? For me, it's been jammed pack. Any free day where I wasn't working or had a bucket load of homework, I tried to squeeze in some adventures. I was actually looking at my August page of my agenda, and realized not one day was left unmarked. With that being said, I'm so thankful for the lovely times I've had this month.

On August 30th, my friend Chloe and I took to the streets of Seattle to explore. Chloe is one my best friends, and she's actually leaving for YWAM in Amsterdam this September on the 17th. I'm so beyond proud of her and I know she'll have an amazing experience, but nonetheless, it's hard to see her go. To have one last adventure together, we visited Seattle like true tourists, and of course, recorded it using Chloe's beautiful camera and photography skills. 

Our first stop (after 30 minutes of driving in circles attempting to find parking) was Pike Place Market. If we were to explore Seattle like a tourist, this was a must. I for one am not a fan of large crowds, but the market is such a classic and has lots of interesting items. I adore all the flower stands, though I've never actually bought any (only because I didn't want to walk around carrying them for the rest of the day). There are also numerous book stores, candy shops, food stands, and more. I tried my first turkish delight (it was amazing) and listened to amazing street music. Would Pike Place be somewhere I longed to visit all the time? No, but it's a nice spot and definitely and important place to visit when exploring Seattle.

Of course, to add to our tourist activities, we took to the waterfront. The waterfront has some more cute shops, lots of seafood, the Seattle Aquarium, and the great ferris wheel. I'd never been on the ferris wheel, mostly because it costs a lot and being stuck in a cage while it goes in circles never appealed to me, but it was actually quite a lovely experience. The views up top were beautiful, you could not only see the city, but look across the water as well while boats were sailing by. Lots of pictures were taken by Chloe (many that are not shown) and it was definitely worth the stop!

After our day of walking and exploring (and find this adorable pink wall), we found a starbucks for the much needed coffee boost, and explored the city by walking and shopping and getting lost. As someone whose grown up in a small little valley, it takes awhile for me to feel comfortable in the city, but as the day came to a close, I was finding myself more and more in love with the bustling of people, towering buildings, and coffee shops on every corner. Maybe I'm not ready to move to a large city yet, but I have a feeling Seattle may be seeing more of me. 

Did you grow up in the city, or more away from the hustle and bustle? Which environment do you prefer? I think both have lots of positives, but I'd have to say I do love the quiet and easy parking that my valley has. Makes for a much less stressed Liz.

Have a wonderful day,


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