Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

The Sunday before I flew back to Korea I attended my family’s church, Fresh Life. I have actually been listening to Fresh Life podcasts while in Korea. They have been a huge ministry to me as I walk through this chapter in my life. I have gone on many walks and runs listening to Pastor Levi speak God words so intentionally and boldly.  During the Sunday morning service I felt an overwhelming feeling of the Holy Spirit healing my heart as Pastor Levi preached about how God “bores us up on Eagles and carries us through it all”. WOW! This message hit me like no other. I have never felt the way I did when I heard that message (a part of me thinks that  this message was written just for me). Everything in the message spoke to me. I had steady streams of tears flowing down my checks the whole service. At the end of the service we sang “Oceans” by Hillsong. This song speaks everything that I am going through and how I want to respond:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Pastor Levi  came up with a list of the ways that he has seen God work in Fresh Life over the past seven years. He challenged us to come up with a list of ways of how we have seen God in our different situations or just agree with the one that he has seen. I took some of his insight and tweak it to what God was putting on my heart:
1.      He went before you and set things up
2.      He always does His promises
3.      He hasn’t given up on us (grace)
4.      He has made me more like Him
5.      Dark days haven’t destroyed me (peace in the storm/ anchor to our soul)
6.      He has sabotaged my suffering (sadness into dancing, crying into laughing)


I left the church service with tear-stained checks, but also with a hope that my faith will be made stronger as I allowed God to carry me. “Oceans” is a song that will be put on replying over and over again in my heart and mind.
                                                                                                            Love, Daniella


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Much Needed

A much needed break happened over the holidays. I was blessed to be able to fly back to states to spend Christmas with my family. It was a sweet Christmas building memories, doing our family traditions and having some very divine appointments with people who have impacted my life somewhere along my life journey.

I loved spending Christmas with my family and was reminded again how special it is to have a loving family. My family blessed me in so many different ways. They listened to my stories. They were patience with me during jet-lag. They spoiled me with everything that I missed from the states (hamburgers, shopping at Target, getting white chocolate streamers & much more). They played games with me. They let me drive. They took me cross-country skiing and I was able to watch my little sis play hockey so many times! J They encouraged me. They let me cry and reminded me again how faithful God is. They hugged me. They let me sleep in. They loved me and show it to me in so many different ways. Thank you dad, mom, Nathan and Mia for blessing me so much this Christmas break.
My beautiful family!
While I was in the states everyone kept asking me “How is it?” “Do you like it?” “Is it good to be in the states?” I have decided that answering these questions are hard- I felt torn. “How is it?”- well, some days it great, and some days it is not so great. It has been a huge adjustment and some of the hardest times I have had to face, but also some of the most beautiful times because I worship amazing God who has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. “Do I like it?”- Yes and No. I love the community that I am starting to feel that I belong to. I love each of my eight students. I love that I am living my dream of teaching. I love the friendships that I building. I love how random things are here in Korea (this is of course very bias).  I don’t like that I can’t speak the language and have no room to learn right now in my brain that is so tried from everything else. I don’t like how stress out everyone seems. I don’t like that it is cold. I don’t like seaweed! I get tired of eating rice and smelling the smells. I am disappointment that our school is going through a year of transition. But overall when I landed back in Korea I had an overwhelming peace that this is where God has me so I will either learn to love my “don’t likes” or survive them! J “Is it good to be in the states?” Yes! My response was “it is a much needed break that I really needed.” It was wonderful to be able to understand everything, to not have to guess what things were in the store, to listen in on people’s conversations and to take a break from grading papers, lesson planning and worrying about if my students are learning or not. “Was I ready to come back to Korea, my new home?” Yes and no! I was ready to see my students again. I was ready to be in routine again. I was ready to see my family away from family. I was ready to take on the challenge again. I was not ready to say good-bye to my family (my supporters). I was not ready to be in place where things don’t look very familiar, but I was reminded again right before I left that God is faithful. He knows what He is doing in my life and my job is to be obedient to the call He has for me. My job is to trust in him whole heartily.

This first week back has been a whirlwind and I have been hit hard with spiritual battles, but it has lead me to lean even more into God who is my anchor through every storm.

An amazing confirmation I got this week was from my students. We started learning about how to write letters this week. One of their assignments was to write me a letter about what they did over break. Almost every one of their letters talked about how they missed me or loved me. Oh, how I love my students. They know how to melt their teacher’s heart!

With all that of this said I want you to know that no matter what I am going through I know that I will make it through it because I have a relationship with a holy God who is so loving  and so caring. May His name be glorified through all that I do and say!

                                                                                                            Love, Daniella

Monday, January 6, 2014


As we say good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014 my mind has been on reflection mode; thanking God for all the goodness of the year, processing through the hardships and anticipating what 2014 will look like. 


GREATEST LESSON LEARNED: I learned to depend on God for everything in this year of transitions. Through this lesson my relationship with God  has grown in a deeper way.

HARDEST THING OF THE YEAR: Leaving a place I loved so dearly and moving to new country where I experienced so many "firsts"!  

FAVORITE MEMORIES: 1) Senior Bucket List with my dear college friends (Nigeria Falls, Florida Trip, Gas City Zoo, ect) 2) Dinner parties with friends 3) Working as a Title 1 Aide at Eastbrook South 4) Graduating from Taylor University 5) Spending the summer with my best friend from high school 6) First Day of being a teacher in my OWN classroom 7) Dinners at the Housers 8) Ice Cream Unit with my students 9) Christmas Shopping (and other adventures) with a lovely friend 10) Being home for Christmas with my family! 

WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT 2013: the memories, the still moments, the dreams that came true and the discovery of something new.


WANT TO LEARN: something new to do in the evenings- something not teacher-related just something fun, relaxing, and inspiring- a new hobby! 

WANT TO GET BETTER AT: balancing life, teaching, and community.

BIGGEST GOAL: working on the fruits of the spirit (more to come on this topic in another blog post)!

I don't know what exactly God has in store for me in 2014, but I can tell you one thing for sure-I'm not planning on spending much of it my comfort zone! I want to experience and embrace all that God has for me in this new year!