Steps

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Have you ever felt stuck? Like you weren’t moving forward? Or, maybe you felt like you were sliding backwards.

To be honest I think we all feel this way at some point in our lives or maybe many times. But the good news is that that even if you are feeling stuck today, God is still at work in your life. Isn’t that great! Whether or not you have asked Jesus to lead you through life, God still loves you and is directing your steps. He is drawing each of us closer to Himself. One step at a time.

I made the choice many years ago to give Jesus control of my life, by asking forgiveness for my sins and asking Jesus to be a part of my life in a real way.

It’s amazing for me to look back on my life and see how God has always been directing my steps. I haven’t always felt like I was making progress and I haven’t always trusted God’s direction in my life like I should. It’s easy to get discouraged or to think that we know what our lives should look like. But thankfully when we follow God’s leading he doesn’t let us down.

Recently, I returned from Appointee Orientation at World Venture, a big step on my journey as a missionary. One of the things I really enjoyed about this training was the chance to meet other men and women who God has lead into missions work. Hearing pieces of their stories and how God has been directing their steps was truly a blessing! Sometimes it helps to be reminded that we are each on a journey with God and although our journeys may look very different we each have our ups and downs or moments of uncertainty. But the key to being faithful is allowing God to uses us to bring Him glory…no matter what the journey looks like!

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Spring has sprung…?

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Spring of 2012

Spring in Minnesota is slow in coming this year and while the days are still cold and snowy we are all longing for spring. I am ready to delight in the warmth of early summer! Since I can’t physical enjoy the warmth today, I will at least enjoy the beauty of summer. Before we know it summer will be here and we will all be longing for a cool breeze…so let try to be content with what God send our way today!

The Journey

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I want to share with you about the journey God has me on.

To start let me take you back to when God first began to open my eyes and heart to other cultures…
I grew upon a Christian home and at the age of 12 had the chance to go on my first mission trip…which really opened my eyes to the world of missions. But this was just the first step on a journey I didn’t yet know I was on.

Throughout high school and college God used many different experiences to affirm my interest in missions. After college I got involved in serving in my home church and even though I was still looking ahead to mission work, I began to wonder if I could stay here and serve. (I am truly a homebody at heart.) But I knew that God had placed in my heart a passion for missions and I needed to pursue that!

So last spring I began working with World Venture, a missions organization. They helped me work thru my giftings and interests to find the perfect ministry for me.

That ministry is working with street boys in Western Africa. I will be working with the boys at a day center, helping meet their physical and spiritual needs. The boys that come to the day center aren’t orphans, but most of them have little to no contact with their families. Traditionally parents send their sons into the city to study and live with a teacher. But sadly, many of the teachers are just looking to live an easy life at the expense of the boys. Many are not fed or cared for and as part of their training they are forced to beg and if they fail to beg enough, many times they are beat.
The day center provides a place for the boys to call “home” by providing them with a meal, education, games, and most importantly the love and hope of Jesus!

I am very excited that God has called me to minister to these boys and amazed how he has worked out the details of my life to lead me to this point! I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you in the future!

DIY Toothpaste

This isn’t my toothbrush!

Happy Easter! How thankful I am that we have a reason to celebrate! Everything I believe is based on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago…it’s the joy of the ages!! Jesus is Lord and has power over death and the grave!

Here the recipe for a simple toothpaste I have been using for the last year or so. Before I made this, I searched around the Internet looking for a good recipe for homemade toothpaste. The following recipe is a mix of some that I liked the best and has been adjusted over the past year. We like it and I think it works well.

Actually, after I had been using it for just a month or two I went to the dentist. Normally I have a lot of plague, but it seemed better this time. So I asked my hygienist about it and she agreed, then I told her about my homemade toothpaste, which she found interesting. I’m looking forward to going back in a few weeks, I’m curious how my teeth/gums are holding up after a year of no commercial toothpaste.

DIY Toothpaste:
2 Tbsp. Coconut oil
3 Tbsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Xylitol or Stevia
10-15 drops Essential oil
1 tsp. vegetable glycine (optional)
1 Tbsp. Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)

– Measure and soften coconut oil. If it’s a hot day the coconut oil should already be soft enough.
– Stir in the sweetener. I use xylitol which is supposed to be really great for your teeth, but stevia is a good alternative.
– Add essential oils of your liking, you may need more drops depending on how strong you want your toothpaste to be. Peppermint and cinnamon are classic toothpaste flavors, but don’t be afraid to try something new! I’ve thought about making an orange-peppermint flavor for kids. Or, if you have sensitive teeth or gums adding some clove oil may help.
– The glycerine and peroxide are optional, but they do add something to the feel of the toothpaste. The glycerin helps the toothpaste be a little more smooth, but I’ve made it with and without. For me the peroxide is a must! It makes the toothpaste foam ever so slightly as you use it, which makes it have that bubbly cleaning feeling of commercial toothpaste.
– Now comes the fun part…try it out! I never get tired of trying out my newest batch of toothpaste.

This makes right around 1/2 cup. I store mine in a “Glad” container with a lid that is easy to remove. I would love to keep it in a cute little jar, but since it’s in the bathroom I would be afraid of it falling on the floor and breaking. This seems to last quite well, although sometimes I have to add a drop or two of oil near the end, as the flavor dissipates a little.
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Well, I hope you have fun trying this out and I you have any questions or suggestions feel free to share! Oh, just a reminder, I’m in no way trained in dental health so you may want to research homemade toothpaste for yourself.

Here is a link to one of the main recipes I started with.

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, I have a list of things I’ve been wanting to share with you. I’m hoping to have some time in the next few weeks to catch up.