Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A book of faith

Have you ever read a story that inspired you in your relationship with God?

I just finished reading a missionary biography that a friend of mine lent me, named "Evidence Not Seen". Darlene Deibler Rose was a missionary in New Guinea, when WW2 broke out. She was separated from her husband and moved to a Japanese camp for women and children. The story revolves around her being a prisoner of war, and all the hardships she had to go through. 

Darlene's faith in this book completely overwhelms me. She constantly sought Jesus throughout her whole journey and never once failed to trust in Him as her Deliverer and Friend. Though she was almost starved, was working well beyond her own strength, and was emotionally and physically exhausted, she always knew her Savior was there for her.

While in the camp, Darlene held devotions and prayer in her barracks. She told people about the Lord whenever she could. This just amazes me...that she thought about sharing the Lord's work and her mission even in suffering! I want to be like her! When hardship comes, I want to be in the middle of God's will. I hope to stand firm in His promises for my life. I would want to encourage others to trust in Him.

What would you do if you were a prisoner of war?

I honestly can't imagine going through what she did, without totally falling apart. But I have faith in God that He would take care of me no matter what. Where He wants me to be, that's where I'll go. His plan for my life is the best one!

I would really recommend reading this book. There are some pretty intense parts, that just about broke my heart, but to see God's faithfulness was amazing. 

One of Darlene's favorite psalms to quote during her imprisonment was Psalm 27:
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?
 2 When the wicked advance against me
   to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
   who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
   my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
   even then I will be confident. ...

14 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD."

Darlene waited. And she lived to the day when she returned to her home. And later, even after all of those bad memories from her 4 years of imprisonment, she returned to the East Indies to continue missions. She returned. That is one courageous woman. And God wasn't done with the work He had prepared for her in New Guinea, so he called her there again. And she answered. Now that is inspiring.
Pigmoid people that Darlene ministered to

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving is a happy time

Oh, how fun it is to celebrate Thanksgiving! 

For as long as I can remember, I have always spent Thanksgiving with my JV family. Over the years, though the conferences have changed as people come and go, JV still feels like my close family. We spend time chatting, preparing food, watching the guys (and some girls too!) play our own Turkey Bowl and, of course, eating a wonderful feast (I might as well call it that!).

With my dear friends Katka and Hayley
It's nice to to break up the usually uneventful month of November. The delicious smells that come with special food cheer me up. Catching up with friends from Slovakia, Poland and all over Czech is refreshing. And how great is it to remember all the things we can be thankful for! 

I am thankful for God's unending mercy, for his love, and constant companionship. I am thankful that I get to be a part of the mission that He has for me and my family in Czech right now. I am thankful for friends and fellowship.

Not only did I celebrate Thanksgiving with my JV family this year, but also with my Czech youth group. It's a completely different experience, because technically Thanksgiving isn't a Czech holiday! These Czechs wouldn't celebrate it at all if it weren't for the Americans living here! 

What I liked about it, was that it wasn't about the traditions of food, but more about the fellowship and time of thankfulness. It was fun celebrating a holiday with them that's close to my heart!

Just had to put this one in! This is a pie that my mom made that I couldn't get enough of!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time for me to begin thinking about what I am really most thankful for: God's own Son- Jesus. In under a month we celebrate Jesus' birth, and that is so special! Thank you Jesus, for saving us! And thank you God, for loving us so much that you sent your Son!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Video of Sluskolona

The first dance- the valcik with the flowers that the guys gave the girls

Here's a video so you can picture what it was like at the ball! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Šluskolona and dance lessons

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time at my very own ball. Well, wasn't only my ball, but I got to participate in it along with around 70 other high-schoolers from our town!
Here's what the ballroom looks like. In this one we're doing a Greek dance!
There is a Czech tradition here for high-schoolers to take ballroom dance lessons in the fall. You can either go with a partner or get paired at random at the first lesson (of course, I chose to go with someone I knew, rather than a stranger- awkward!). It's something that is optional, but so worth it, and really fun too! I took these lessons with my fellow JVK, Noah Ellenwood, which was great, because we're like cousins, so it wasn't awkward at all! 

On my birthday! 
For two months we took classes every Friday (and sometimes on Sunday) and learned how to jive, cha-cha, polka and waltz. We also learned some country dances, rock-n'-roll, the valčík, mazurka and čardáš (a typical dance from this area) and more. It was exhausting, but great! 

Half-way through our lessons we had a "pulkolona" ball, which happened to fall right on my birthday! What a special occasion to have on my sweet 16! That will definitely be a memorable birthday!

Then yesterday came the big day. In Czech, it is quite a big occasion. The teacher even compared it to your wedding. Ha...yeah right! It was pretty special though. We had a grand opening of the classic promenade and then danced our way through 3 hours of the evening. There were dances where we danced with our parents, our partner's parents, in groups, and also free-style! All in all, I loved the entire event. 

Thanks Noah for being a great partner!
It was made even better by my dear friends and family who came to support me, and my fellow dancers that I had spent so much time with! Some of my own classmates were a part of the sluskolona as well, so we had a wonderful time together throughout the whole process of what they call "taneční" (=dancing).

After all that work for two months, it's strange that it's over. I hope that some day I can use my ballroom dancing "skills"! It's such a fun thing to have gotten to do, and I'm so happy that this tradition lives on in Czech. If you ever get the chance to take basic ballroom lessons, take it. It's a marvelous experience.

The last step of the promenade...the bow and curtsy!
The "valcik"
Thanks so much Emily for doing my hair! And thank you Caleb for taking some awesome pictures!
Oh yes...the polka. We had fun doing this one...LOTS of turning for me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thoughts and Moments of my day

A view of snow-capped Lysa Hora

Outside my window...there is already snow on the mountains, but lovely yellow and brown colors still shine in the valley

I am thinking...about how to organize my studying for fall break. We have vacation this week, but next week have four tests and homework on top of that! I need to rest, but also prepare for next week.

I am thankful...for almond milk! I love that I can still have a latte here and there, even if it's not with normal milk, as I'm lactose-intolerant. Almond milk makes a great substitute, and I can make it myself!

From the kitchen...
homemade gluten-free brownies sit on the counter. I made them last night, but didn't have time to fully enjoy them! Hmmm...maybe I want one now! :)

I am wearing...
pajamas! I love slow mornings.

I am reading...Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac. It's a book that is on our reading list for school. I'm still at the beginning, so have no idea what it'll be like!

I am hoping...that I can get some rest this break! The past two months have been crazy!

I am listen to a Mark Driscoll sermon today. I download podcasts of his sermons, and they are great!! It's so encouraging to learn more about God and dive deeper into His Word through these sermons.

I am creating...
a watercolor picture of lavender fields (in art class at school). This is the first time I've seriously tried out watercolor, and I love using them! There are so many things you can do with them, that I never thought of before!

I am hearing...
the treadmill upstairs. The ticking of the clock in our living room. 

I am praying...for healing in many people's bodies these days!

Around the house...Sun beams through the windows for just a few seconds and then hides behind the clouds again. The day has barely started for most of the family...though Caleb is still sleeping, as usual. :)

One of my favorite things...the changing leaves in the fall! I love the brilliant yellows and the occasional reds and oranges. Even the browns are beautiful with the combination of all those colors! 

A few plans for this week
study, relax (watch movies, draw, listen to an audiobook), go to the mall to get a few things. It feels good to not really have any plans though!

A picture I am sharing...the beautiful Beskydy mountains in the fall.

Friday, September 17, 2010


God is so good painting the skies! I was IMPRESSED at this evening's sunset! 

Thank you God for making me happy! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Such a great summer!

I said good-bye to the ocean for the year! :(
It's already the beginning of September, which means summer is over. It's sad, but it had to come some time. I must say that it is nice being back on routine, but I do miss later bedtimes (and wake-ups!), no studying to think about and warm mornings (not talking about Czech here...our Summer was cold!).

My Summer this year was an especially good one. God blessed me with some great memories and some refreshing days. I had the opportunity to go to Gull Lake Camp again this year, as well as see my grandparents both in Oregon and Colorado. I got to be a part of the ministry of English camp in Frydlant and helped out with translating in my English group. I spent days cooking and baking with my mom. 

I had a WARM, sunny vacation in our usual place: Hvar, Croatia! I took in every moment of lying in the sun, since we've missed that this year with all the rain. I think that this has been one of (if not the most) rainy years in Czech...I hardly remember any sun! We had some flooding problems twice, which isn't normal either. Thankfully, our house didn't have any problems with it. 

Since vacation is hard to describe in words, here's some pictures! 
Our campsite packed with all the things we wanted to bring...*ehm*, couldn't live without! (Including a coffee maker, a freezer and fridge, fans etc.)
The whole group up at an old abandoned Shepherd's village

Our family! Yep, even Tyler got to be a part of vacation for one of the weeks! He then flew out of Croatia back to Moody.
My team ("BLUE STEEL"!) for games
And how could I possibly forget about this year's JV Kid's Camp? As always, I love spending time with the other MK's, playing games, and learning about God. Aunt Amy taught for us during the week, which I loved!

I learned so much about Jesus and who he really was, but also about Jewish culture and how that made Jesus stand out even more. We worked on memorization of a passage that I now love-- Philippians 2:1-18. It has so many good things in it that really hit home for me! The teaching was what I needed to spur me on as this school year begins, and I love to think back on it. 
All of the JVK and counselors on "Wild and Wacky" Night!

Now I feel like I can get back to work at school. I've loved the summer, and I hope to love the school year too now!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trip to the States

Normally, I would write about everything we did while being in the States this summer, but so much happened, that I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves!
At the Oregon Coast with my grandparents (and Uncle, who is taking the picture!)
Who doesn't love frolicking in the water at the Coast??

Picking strawberries at a U-Pick with my Grandma! A first for me!
I love this view of my Grandma France in the kitchen!

Went up to Estes Park, Colorado with our dear friends the Chases!
A wild cool!!! 

Picking peas with my Grandpa Patty. He loves his garden...and so do I!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gull Lake family camp!

As my mom posted on her blog-- we are so blessed! We had the opportunity to spend a week at a family camp in Michigan studying God's Word, getting to know new people, making friends, and reconnecting with old ones!

Two years ago we got to go to this same

camp, because my dad was invited to speak at it. He was invited back for this year, and spoke on "The God you never knew". I was in the kid's program (High Tide!), but I heard that he did great at his teaching.

I had so much fun spending time with so many American teenagers my age! It's

totally different being with a group of Czechs and Americans! I feel like I belong to both cultures, so I enjoyed a week in my "american side". God blessed me with lots of amazing, inspirational people last week, and I can't wait to continue on in my friendships with them!

My dad was invited to 2012 Gull Lake camp, and he accepted! Hopefully we really will be able to come back, because I love being there! It's like being at Disney world for me. I guess I should put Gull Lake on my list of favorite places here on the blog, shouldn't I?
Thank you Lord for such a great gift! I loved it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

JV Spring Conference

Oh, how I love JV's annual Spring conference! It's always such a blessing to me and I come away feeling filled up and loved by my family in Christ!

CYT (Christian Youth Theater) came to do the kid's program. We all love when CYT comes! We got to do The Lion King play this year! It was so much fun getting to learn all the songs, dances and lines. Though it was a lot of work learning the whole play in 4 days, I enjoyed every minute of it.

I am so thankful to the people who came and gave their time to teach us the play and give us
the opportunity to experience something of American culture that we don't get here! It's amazing that even though we live in different countries, we get to be a part of a play- just like most kids in America get to experience sometime in their life!

It was also great getting to do The Lion King! Ever since I was little, that has been one of my
favorite Disney movies (except for the part where Mufasa dies!). I got to play Zazu the bird,
which was a really fun character to
be! Hehe... I liked playing a snooty, proud, but easily scared bird! Plus, the costume was awesome!!

I love my JV family so much! I thank God for all the people He has put in my life who teach me
and who are good examples to me. And those people are not just in JV! I am surrounded by solid Christians and inspiring people everywhere. It's great to realize just how many
people like that I have around me!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


It's been a week since the volcano in Island (Eyjafjallajokull :D) erupted. I remember reading about how because of it, hundreds of flights were cancelled and thousands of people were stuck in airports and foreign countries. My mom was one of those people! She left to the States for a 10 day trip, and is getting home today...after 17 days!! Her flight got delayed a week because of the volcano!

This volcano makes me realize just HOW powerful our God is and how His plans are perfect. He took care of everyone during all the confusion! The eruption was terrifying, but also beautiful. Is that how people like Moses felt when God spoke to them? I guess that's what "fearing God" means. He's like the volcano. Terrifying, yet also so so beautiful.

When I fear God it means respecting that He is powerful and mighty, but also not being so afraid that I miss out on His beauty!

I found these couple of pictures that show me just how mighty God is and how amazing his creation is! (Not to mention how small Man is!)

God has taken such good care of our family while my mom was gone. Thank you to everyone who helped and for all the prayers!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Different kind of art post!

Lately, my hobby has been making handmade cards. I make them and send them to people, or sell them/give them to my friends! :) I love it, because it stretches me as an artist and gives me motivation to do art regularly. I like to make each card at least somewhat different, even if it's just changing the colors. Not one card is the same. I have loved experimenting with lots of techniques and figuring out which things I like most. I think it's helping me define my style as an artist!

Card making relaxes me, and gives me so much joy. It's a great thing for me to do when I'm stressed, or just need to have a break. It's a time for me to think and pray, or listen to music!

Here are just a few of the cards I've made recently:

On another note, Spring is finally coming! The crocuses and snow drops are up and it was 60 degrees out today! YES!! Now lets just hope it doesn't snow again!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts and Moments of the Day

Outside my window... snow, yet again! We thought Spring had come, but then it snowed a couple of days ago!

I am thinking... that I should probably clean my room soon! It's messy! :D

I am thankful...for Brian and Aleisha and that they get to be here in Czech!

From the kitchen...Mom just made chocolate-mocha almond flour cookies. Pretty daffodils are on the table!

I am wearing...a long black sweater... I love winter clothes!

I am reading
.... Sense and Sensebility by Jane Austen. It's different, but I like it so far!

I am hoping...that Spring comes soon!

I am going relax this week during Spring break! Yay!

I am creating cards to send, or to give them so that they have hand-made cards to send to other people!

I am hearing...Caleb playing his guitar. It feels good to have him home after not having him here for two weeks. He was first gone because of MSP (a snowboarding camp in Poland), and then he spent a week in the hospital because of pneumonia.

I am praying
...for my mom and Caleb to get better soon. They are both sick!

Around the whole family is home (besides Tyler of course!), and Brian and Aleisha are downstairs!

One of my favorite when Spring flowers arrive in the stores, and we have a vase full of them on our table in the kitchen!

A few plans for the rest of the week
...don't have much in my plan for this week! On Wednesday, I'm gonna go pick up Lucy from school with Mrs Till in Ostrava.

A picture I am sharing
... A beautiful sunset a couple of days ago!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympics and blog pondering

The Olympic Games are on!! Woohoo! Ever since I was little, my family has been watching the Olympics... the Winter ones in particular. It is one of my favorite traditions that we do as a family and it is always a big event when Olympics are playing on TV.

This year however, it's a little bit more complicated. We usually have satellite and can watch EuroSport for English commentary, but earlier in the fall we canceled satellite, because we just didn't use it very often anymore. But now, with the Olympics, we don't have a good steady stream of sports playing in English!! Luckily, I can download the sports that we want to see on Torrentz, so that's how we keep up. It's not as convenient, but hey, it works!

My favorite Winter Olympic sports are Figure skating (of course!), the Snowboard half pipe and Moguls. Ahh... it's so much fun watching! And it helps that Americans do well in those sports too. In fact, in two of those sports, Americans have already one two gold medals! And I don't even know what all has happened, so I'm sure there are more gold medals in those sports!

On another note... I'm not sure if you have noticed, but on the right side of my blog, I have put a "visitor counter". It counts how many views I have gotten. I had no idea that many people looked at my blog! Who is it?? Are there more people that read my blog regularly that don't comment? Or are there random visitors every once in a while? What is it about a blog anyway that we like to read? What do you expect when you come to my blog and see if I have a new post? Hmmm... the pondering of the meaning of a blog.

For me, a blog is not only a way for other people to stay connected to me, but also for me to remember what all has happened in my life. Sometimes it's hard to remember those little stories like baking gingerbread with a Czech grandma, or learning something new through God's Word. That is why I like to write things down. It helps me realize that I am blessed and that I have a very rich life. When I'm down or sad, I look back at posts about happy times or fun trips. It's great having a blog!
I can't wait to continue watching these 2010 Vancouver Olympics closely. YAY for the Olympics!!