Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

“I will give thanks to my Lord
with my whole heart,
I will recount
all your wonderful deeds
Psalms 9:1
Giving thanks and having a thankful heart is something that my heart strives for each and every day. I have written many blogs post about this topic and God has continually shown different ways to look at this topic of gratitude.
Gratitude- is a word that fills my heart and makes me feel so warm and excited inside. This year I am so thankful for my Savior. I would not be the person I am today without Him. I still have so much to grow in and figure out, but God is overwhelming my soul with Him. I am so thankful for His grace and love each and every day. I am so thankful for His guidance. I am so thankful that He desires me. He does not need me, but He wants me. He loves me. He likes me and He calls me His own.
Ephesians 2:4-6 says “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespass, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
These verses speak so boldly to my heart; capturing it and reminding me how much I need my Savior and how much He truly loves me. I am so thankful for my Savior. I can’t say it enough. I am so thankful. He carries me through all circumstances and there is nothing that I can do well without Him (John 15:5). Thank you, Jesus- there are not enough words to express how grateful I am for you and what you have done for me on the cross. You paid my debt with your amazing love. THANK YOU!
My life is full of big and little things that I am SO thankful for. Sometimes I unfortunately take advantage of all that I have, but I am ever so gently humbled by my Savior in those moments.

Give Thanks In Injustice
Thankful for… my family, the Houser’s, friends, my roommates, journaling & blogging, teaching, my students, reading, book club, prayer,, thankful list, bible reading, the season of fall, church community, earl grey tea & bubble tea, changing of my heart, homemade granola, sweet notes of encouragement, mail, being creative in the kitchen, connections, running, facetime, small group, and so many things….
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to remember all that you are thankful for, but I challenge us to take this heart of gratitude each and every day. To live out truly in every circumstances…
Living a life of gratitude is what my soul loves.
Love, Daniella 

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Half-way. I am half way through my new committed time to Korea. Whoa that’s crazy to think about. But that’s not the half-way I am really thinking about these days. These days I am thinking about being half-way through living out the book Seven by Jen Hatmaker. This book has racially changed my life. It has challenged me to really think through how we do some things, how we consume so much and how much we waste and desire a lot. It is reckoning my life for the good.
In this book, Jen picked seven areas that she felt were areas of excess and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day disease of greed, materialism, and overindulgence. She documented her true feelings throughout each month. I love the way she writes- it’s so convicting at the sometime you are smiling and laughing. I love it! Anyways, I have taken these seven things and have arranged them a little differently in my life to fit my schedule and everyday life. So far I have completed almost three months out of the seven and have I learned so much!!!
Month number one I practiced giving away seven things every day. Yes, you read that correctly- seven things every day. That’s 210 items, folks. It was great in the beginning, very freeing and felt so good to be getting rid of the clutter. It was a challenge at times because I don’t have that much stuff since I did move to Korea with just 2 suitcases, but it is amazing how much stuff you do collect over time. This month really helped me to put into perspective to think twice before I buy things. As the month continue on and I had fewer things to get rid of I started getting rid of time by myself (spending it with people), and writing notes of encouragement. It was just a different way to think of “getting rid of”.  The month ended well.  I have tried to continue to live out the lessons that I did learn from this practice of being careful of what I buy and getting rid of things that I just don’t need or use anymore.
Month number two I did my very best to not use seven types of media (tv/movies, facebook, pinterest, Pandora, intsgram, texting*, and using the internet.  *I did text some friends & family to keep update to on some things.
Surprising this month was not as hard I was anticipating. Not using these different types of media allowed for more space to be created for moments of quiet (which are much needed, but I rarely do it), moments of intentional time with people face to face and more time with my Savior. I have gotten into some pretty bad habits of checking facebook often, wasting time on pinterest and posting too much on instgram. Facebook is a great tool of communication, but also a very destructive tool for jealousy and comparing to others. It was hard to not be on facebook in the community that I am living in because so many rely on it for communication, but it was a beautiful month of not comparing me to others. I am still trying to figure out how to use facebook with more caution and not allow the lies of jealousy to feed me while I am on it.  The use of media is still definitely a weakness of mine and something that I need to continue to practice using in moderation…
Month number three has found me wearing a certain amount of the some clothes all month. Confession- Jen (the author) only wore seven pieces of clothing all month, but I just couldn’t do it with my currently lifestyle of being a teacher, running and such. So I picked out 15 pieces of clothing that I have been wearing throughout the month. It hit me this weekend that I am starting to get sick of my clothes, but I have learned a lot through this practice. (I only have one more week to go… yay!) One, nobody even noticed. I asked my roommates- they didn’t. I asked the Houser’s- they didn’t. And these are people that I see almost daily! Oh, my! It has helped me to realize that people really don’t pay attention to what you wear. People don’t really think “huh, didn’t you just wear that last week?” Moral of the month: you don’t really need a lot of clothes to live each day of your life.  I have decided that the money I spend on clothes can very well go to something else that is much more need in someone else life. This month has taught me a lot about being less selfish and more about being humble.
There are four months to go in this journey of learning what it means to conquer excess, greed, materialism, and overindulgence. I am both excited and anxious about the different practices I will be learning from! J  What a beautiful journey it is taking me of looking deeper into my heart and allowing God to show me areas that I need to work and change!
A challenge for you… read the book Seven by Jen Hatmaker! It is a great read!
                                                                                                                        Love, Daniella

Monday, November 17, 2014

the decision

The long awaited decision of what’s next in my life has been made. Through countless hours of prayer, seeking wisdom from others, stressing (I tried not to, but was not very successful), reading God’s word and learning oh, so much I now know where I will be in a year from now. It is such a relief. Through this whole process I have learned so much: 1. I am a horrible decision maker and I need to work on getting better at this… 2. I have learned more about what it means to follow God’s will (my perspective has changed in this area for the better). 3. God loves me and has the perfect plan for me. He does care about the desires on my heart. I just have to trust Him with them. I need to surrender- all of me. 4. Joy in all circumstances is a must. 5. I live by emotions and feelings which isn’t always bad, but isn’t always a good thing either. 6. Seeking wisdom is great and needed, but seeking God and His word is way more important and much needed. 7. God’s true word is so powerful. 8. There are not going to be signs of confirmations painted across the sky like I would love instead it’s trusting and walking in faith. 9. Fighting what God wants is never the easy or right thing to do and once you bind your knees your life is filled with JOY and PEACE. 10. Praising God in all things is so worth it even when your heart is overwhelmed and you can’t hear God’s voice. In those moments you cling to truth that He has given you an anchor to hold onto during these times and He will love you no matter what. I am His and He does have a purpose for me in all things.

Walking in peace in what God has for me this next year...
It has been a beautiful messy journey in making a decision of what’s next, but my journey is not finished yet God is still working in me and I will continue on in this journey of faith. Are you ready to know the decision??!! Drum roll please…. This next year you will find me in South Korea teaching and loving on the students that God places into my life. Yes, you read it right I have decided to stay in Korea another year for round 3.(Three always a charm, right?!)  I just don’t think my time here is over yet.  I don’t want to leave with regret or unfinished work. Am I anxious about this decision- a little bit for a few reasons, but I know with all my heart that God knows the desire on my heart and I can trust Him in them. Am I excited about this decision- yes, I am! There were many amazing options that I was seeking out, but as I was pursuing them I just didn’t feel peace about them. Some of them I would love to do someday so I have definitely tucked them inside in my heart for another season in life maybe?! How did I finally make this decision? Peace. I was fighting the idea of staying in Korea for a number of reasons, but as soon as I allowed the idea to sink in I was overwhelmed with a peace that only comes from God. The smile and joy that I had been missing from my life this last month came flooding back.  Joy in all circumstances is what I am learning these days and I am sure I will need a lot of it throughout this next year.  My prayer is to not allow the circumstances in my life take away from the deep love and joy that my Savior overflows me with daily. To not allow myself or this world to get in the way of God’s will.

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Truth. I don't need this world. I need Him. My Savior
Well, there you have it. I will be in Korea another year! I will not be in the states for Christmas, but I will be home with my family this summer! J Thank you so much for all your prayers. They were much needed and I felt so much support from those around me. Thank you!

Love, Daniella