Sunday, March 23, 2014


I know that most of post since moving to South Korea have been about the hard aches of my transition here and the lessons that God is/has been teaching me through every heart ache, tears, disappointments, struggles and misunderstandings. Well, today I want to share with you that I think I am starting to feel {settled} in where God has me. There are still many frustrations, disappointments, and struggles, but through it all God is/has been modelling my heart and showing me the simply beautiful journey He is taking me on through this chapter in my life.

In front of my home- it's really starting to feel like home! J  
Today, I spent the day really resting, having lunch with my girlfriends, reading cards on my rooftop while soaking in the sun, going for a run, buying fresh strawberries to make chocolate dipped strawberries and updating my blog. Oh, I forgot to tell you… my spring break has started! Yay!  With all this said I was reading through the wonderful cards that so many people who mean the most to me have written to me while I have been in Korea. I came upon an envelope that I had jotted down some notes on. I have no idea what book or blog I was reading, but let me tell you it must have been a good one because these quotes are good. One that really stuck out to me today was:
“God is saying to us, over and over “What can I do today to remind you again how good this life is?”
So true! My life is so good because I get to journey through it with a Savior, Jesus Christ who makes it simply beautiful. God never promised life would be easier actually He said “that we will face trials”, but with that He said “He would never leave us or make us do it on our own!”

Corrie Ten Boom is one of my favorite heroes. I try to read her book The Hiding Place once a year. Every time I read it, it puts my life into perspective again.  Anyways, I love this quote that she says “With Jesus even in our darkest moments the best remains and the very best is yet to be…” My desire over spring break is to allow God to change my perspective of being here in Korea. I have had the perspective of it being hard and not at all what I expected it to be, but I have decided that I don’t want to stay stuck in this mind-set. Through lots of prayer because I know that is the only way I am going to be able to change my mind-set to see what the very best yet to come is going to be. My prayer is that I will embrace where I am and seek to see the goodness in it all. To allow joy to flow in and out of me. To focus on positivity. To focus on an eternal perspective. To change my heart and my mind to focus on the journey that God has for me and have peace that there is a reason for each emotion.
Love these words!!
This spring break is all about refreshment and gaining a new perspective. I have the lovely opportunity of traveling with some co-workers to see Taiwan. I think this is perfect timing because it will allow me to leave Korea (leave behind the old mind-set) and return to Korea with a desire to gain the new mind-set. I have also taken the weekends to rest and organize my life. Much needed! So, after all the post of storms it looks like the sun is breaking through the clouds. Yes, I do know that I am still going to face hard times, but that’s okay- it’s life and that’s what makes it a beautiful mess! J  

Love, Daniella


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Today another very special man in my life celebrates his birthday, my brother Nathan. He is turning 24!!!! I love being his younger sister for lots of reasons, but one silly reason is that I am thankful he gets to embrace turning a year older before me! Haha!
                                                Happy Birthday, Nathan!
My dear brother- I want you to know that I am so thankful for you. I love that we have always been close and have been able to live life together. I hate that we have lived in different states and now countries for the past 5 years, but I am so thankful that I know you are always there to encourage me, be a listening ear and give me lots and lots of advice! I am so proud of you and the journey that you are taking with our heavenly father. He has amazing plans and a purpose for your life. You are so awesome, kind and encouraging in managing the sports store and coaching. You have proven that you are a hard worker and have a passion for sports and seeing youth grow. My prayer for you this year is that you will seek God for a clear direction in your life and to not be afraid to take a risk.
Hope you have an awesome day celebrating! I wish I could make you that gluten-free cake mom made you last year! J We will have to celebrate this summer!
I love you so much, bro!
My awesome brother and I at my graduation! He has always been so supportive!!!

                                                                                                                           Love, Sis
P.S This makes me miss you SO much!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

by faith

Warning: This may be a “longer” blog post, but it is something that has really been on my heart this past month. My time so far in Korea has been an incredible time of learning- learning so many different things from teaching, a new culture, more about “my faith” and what it means to be on my own for real. A little a while ago I had to put together a little devotional for my co-workers. We each take turns each morning giving a devotional before we start our day of teaching and ministry to our students. I had been praying about what I should share and God kept placing Hebrews 11 on my heart. I finally read the chapter and was overwhelmed by how many times by faith was written. I just kept reading the chapter over and over again and the words by faith kept repeating over and over again in my head.
By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith, By faith!
This year has been a very emotional year and transitional year. It has been a year where I have experienced more joy and more pain than ever before. Things that I have pushed aside for a long time have finally made their way to surface and things that God has been trying to teach me for so long have finally clicked in my stubborn head. There are many things that I wish I could change, but I am learning that I can’t change them on my own. I need my savior, God who promises to walk beside and help me through each change. He doesn’t want me to do it on my own. He wants to be there- He wants me to have faith. Faith means believing what you can’t see. Faith is amazing act of trusting and believing. Faith is something that I want so badly, but sometimes I just struggle having that true faith. Yes, I do have faith that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that He loves me unconditionally. The faith I struggle in sometimes is the little faith- the faith I need to make it through this season in my life. The kind of faith that satisfies the deep desires of my heart that I long for someday and so badly wish to have like being a mom. All of this to say that while reading Hebrews 11 God kept placing these questions on my heart: What I am (God) asking you to have faith in? What do you need to trust me with by having faith?
So I challenge you… what is God asking you to have faith in? What is He wanting you to trust Him with? Just like I am trying to remind myself I want to encourage you to step out in that faith and believe in what you can’t see because it’s going to be awesome- it has to be because God is awesome!
I have included the whole passage of Hebrew 11 for you to read and mediate over. If you don’t have time to read the whole chapter I challenge you to look at how times I have bolded the word faith!
What an amazing faithful God I serve. I am thankful that even when my faith is little He gently expands it and shows me His amazing ways.
Hebrews 11
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Love, Daniella

Monday, March 10, 2014

Adding to the List of Firsts

The list of first keeps getting bigger by the day. This year has been an overwhelming amount of firsts for me. Awhile back I wrote a blog post all about my firsts and what God was teaching me through them. Well, I feel the need to add to this list and share a little more of what God is teaching me through these new firsts of mine. Oh, I always feel like I am learning. Good thing I am a teacher who needs to be a life-long learner (thanks to my professor at Taylor for ingraining that into my head J)
In September, my list of first constant of:
First time living overseas by myself for a long-period of time (I still can’t believe that I am actually living in another country- this totally freaks me out sometimes!!), first apartment, first year of teaching, first paper cut of the school year, first time living in a city, first case of lice in the classroom, first visit to Seoul, first time cooking with eggplant and first Saturday spent at school working.
Adding to the list of first are: coaching the girl’s high school soccer team, planning a bridal shower (by the end of year I will have had plan 3), riding in a taxi by myself, going to the doctor’s and getting a shot of antibiotic into my bottom and planning my first field trip by myself.
Something that has added to my schedule after school is coaching my school’s high school girls’ soccer team. I have never coached before, but I have always had desire to someday. Of course I thought I would be an assisted first, but when you teach at small school where others are just not passionate about coaching soccer (totally fine they are passionate about many other great things!!!) you jump right into being the head coach! We have been practicing for about three weeks now. We just had a week of two games and we won both of them! Hooray! I have never been more nervous in my life. If you know me you probably know that I am super competitive inside and if you didn’t know this oh, good I try to keep it hidden because it is embarrassing!
Coaching soccer has definitely been a huge eye opener for me in who I am, the impact that I can have on others and learning how to have grace with myself and my team. My prayer these days is that I will have the confidence I need to coach these girls well spiritually, personally and in their soccer skills.
The other day one of wives of a co-worker asked me if I was modelling my coaching off of a coach I had when I was younger. Honestly, not really! The coaching philosophy that I have develop is a mixture of seeing things that I didn’t like my coaches doing and doing the opposite and also watching the coaches at Taylor University coach.  My deep desire is that my team of girls will glorify God by their actions on and off the field. We talk about this constantly and what it means to do this. It means to be kind and encouraging to one another. It means to play as a team. It means to uplift one another. It means that we pray to God before and after a game no matter what the score giving Him all the glory. This has been so humbling for me as our game on Friday was not a good game of soccer, but I have realized that instead of getting really mad at my girls tomorrow at practice before our next game I need to encourage them and speak truth into their lives about how well I know they can play. One thing I love about coaching soccer is that I get to know these amazing high school girls who are just trying to make it through high school years with so many life obstacles. I feel so blessed to be a part of their day!
My Team! :)
Something else that I have learned is that I need to give my self-grace. Grace is something that constantly comes across my mind as I am coaching practice-sometimes a drill is a complete fail, but I just quietly give myself grace and move on. I have also realized how important it is to give my girls grace as well. I do know that they are improving and are only playing with twelve ladies on the team. Even though soccer adds so much business to my life I am definitely thankful for it and find much joy in coaching these girls.
After our very rainy game!

The new firsts that I have added to my list are ones that I can honestly say have given me joy (coaching), tears (shot), a feeling of independence (taxi ride), abundance of love (bridal showers), and a feeling of satisfaction (planning my first field trip-I will let you know how it goes!!)
These firsts are just another way that I believe God is drawing me closer to his heart and shaping me into the woman He has created me to be.
Well, I made it a goal this week to be in bed by 8:30pm to read and relax so that I can have the energy I need to teach, coach and do life this week! I am not going to quite make it tonight, but I will be close! J