Monday, June 15, 2015


Twenty-four and so excited for this year of living passionately for my savior. For my birthday this year I just wanted to spend the morning alone embracing this time in my life. Those of you who have read my blog continuously know the journey I have been on and right now I can honestly say I am exhausted not only in my body, but also my soul. The past two years have definitely been years of learning, growing and challenging. But lately as I have been asking God why? He has pointed me so clearly to His truth. He is definitely using these years to draw me closer to His heart and transforming me to become a Proverbs 31 woman of excellence not perfection. I have tried to live my life for so long in perfection filling my schedule packed full, trying to do everything so well and putting a lot of pressure on myself. I am slowly learning what it means to depend on God completely and alone instead trying to do things on my own or depending on the world.  With all this to say I really felt like I just needed to set apart time to refresh, remember and refocus on my birthday.
My students surprised me with a "healthy" cake!  
I made the adventure to Seoul by myself. I loved every minute of it. It was so peaceful, exciting and relaxing. I found this really cute street of shops and coffee shops. I just browsed through stores and then sat at my favorite Starbucks for an Early Gray Tea Latte and greek yogurt! Journaling and blogging have become my dear friend since moving overseas- it has been a beautiful way for me to express what’s on my heart and process it all. (Really this blog is more for me than anyone else, but I am glad that you enjoy reading it and hope it points you to Christ!) Three words came to my heart as I was journaling, soaking in scripture and being still in God for this year of living out twenty-four refreshment, remembering and refocusing.

Refreshment: Something that I have been striving for for so long is rest and longing to have energy. It has been a struggle, but I believe this is my year to be refreshed. And I am starting it by having a nice and relaxing summer with family and friends. Many hours will be spent sipping earl gray tea, reading, soaking in the sun, time apart with my Savior, and being spontaneous.  For the rest of the year I want to be intentional and not feel guilty about setting apart time each day to relax and reenergize whether that’s through reading, running, journaling or napping J! I have been learning that “our mornings, our evenings, and our every hour-in between have purpose, and that purpose is to know Christ and to make Him know”, but this can’t be done apart from feeding on the Living word of God and choosing to have our identify rooted in Him.  I say this because I believe that my soul will find refreshment the more I focus on God and see that everything that I do has a purpose even the little things like washing dishes or big things loving on my community or students.  Instead of allowing these worldly things to suck my energy I am choosing to change my mind-set to see them as a way to bring glory to God and make His name known!
Remembering: I believe of a lot of this year will be remembering. Remembering the past twenty-four years and how faithful God has been.  Sometimes when you go through hard seasons it’s hard to see how faithful God is, but can I tell you He is so faithful in every season. Oh, my! How faithful God has been. Remembering the people who have impacted my life and encouraged me so much the past twenty-four years. Remembering the memories that I have been so blessed with you. It hit me hard this birthday how blessed I am to be alive and that I have been given twenty-four years of life so far. I don’t want to waste a single day focusing on worldly things, but instead living each day as an ambassador of Christ! One goal for this year is to complain less and focus on trying to see the best instead.
Refocus: I really believe this year is a year of refocusing on what God has for my life. Pressing into Him with the desires of my heart. Deep down in my soul I feel (expect) God is going to do BIG things in my life this year and I am ready! I have no idea what He has planned, but I am so ready to listen and be obedient! J A piece of scripture that God has laid on my heart for this season is Psalm 37:3-7:
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heat’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. “
This scripture speaks so clearly to my heart- there is so much in this chapter and it has so much more meaning to me than I going to write out because there are just some things that are meant to be kept between God and I. Just know that Psalm 37 brings hope to my year of twenty-four!
Twenty-four is year of expecting and waiting patiently! J Waiting patiently is hard for me, but I want to be able to wait patiently in God because He knows so much better than I do!
The rest of my birthday was spent going to church with my roommate, shopping for a bridesmaids dress for my brother’s wedding!!!!! (unsuccessful, but still fun), trying new things like raw sushi! and a late night of talking with a dear friend! It was a beautiful and refreshing day! So far I loving twenty-four!
My birthday day summarized in pictures!

Happy birthday to me!
Love, Daniella

2nd year of teaching

This past week has been a whirlwind. Nothing in this past week turned out how I had planned it and saw going to happen, but God knew. He knew perfectly well and gave me the strength, the wisdom and support from others to walk through it.

School suddenly closed down unexpectedly on Tuesday because of the MERS outbreak in our area. NO end of the year breakfast party or real good-byes instead I have to trust that sending a letter to each of my students will show them just how much I have loved having this year with them even though personally it was a very challenging year. These students showed me so much grace and love. They taught me how to practice more patience and God used them to help me draw on Him for strength throughout the day instead of depending on myself. It’s amazing to think that most of my day is spent with little second graders trying my best to teach them the world and to show Christ to them.

 As I reflect on this past year knowing it was only my second year of teaching my heart feels overwhelmed thinking that God has so passionately placed me in this profession to love on each child that enters my classroom door, to show them the world and grow their knowledge. The past two years of teaching have been hard trying to figure out how I want to teach and help my students grow. As I quickly packed up my classroom this year in the chaos I made a choice to not transfer a lot of my files from the past two years and throw away a lot of papers because I want to change. I don’t think I have been a bad teacher the last two years, but I also slowly was losing my passion- I want to be excited about teaching each and every day. I believe it is something that my students deserve from me. They deserve to have a teacher who is dedicated, engaged and a life-long learner!
Oh, this class of boys and one girl!
This summer is going to be filled with lots and lots of rest and allowing God to refresh me so that my heart and soul will be ready to teach and love on each child that enters into my classroom. I need so much energy to teach so I am going to try to store up on it this summer (that’s how it works, right?! J) This summer will also be filled with lots of research, studying and planning how I want to teach this next year! If you have any great ideas- please feel free to share!
My original class at the beginning of the year!
Anyways, back to my class. My class changed so much this year. We started out as a class of 6 then went to a class of 5 then 6 then 5 again! This class rocked transition and accepted each other so well. We became a little family- the good and bads. How can you not get a little annoyed with each other when there is only 5ish people to be pair with. We enjoyed lots of laughs and even more physically activity with all our energy (not the teacher’s energy though)! We loved learning about camping, and Christmas around the World! Science experiments were our favorite and we enjoyed being tech pals with another second grade class in Bolivia as well as being pen pals with a Kindergarten class in North Carolina! What a fun and challenging year of my second year of teaching! J
What a year it has been with these little ones!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sara(h)s in my life

I am completely amazed at how God so incredibly works in our lives and how He knits and orchestrates everything in my life together for His good. For His glory. For His way. As I have been reflecting on the past ten years of my life (Wow! I can’t believe that’s how long it has been since I was a freshman in high school- I’m getting old!) I have noticed a common theme more like a common name no more like a common name of three amazing ladies and one little girl who have impacted my life, pointed me towards Christ, supported me and loved me so incredibly well! These four beautiful women all have something so in common even though none of them have ever met each other. These ladies all share the same name Sara(h). They may have different spelling, but it is still the name Sara(h). Sara(h) meaning “princess”, a noble woman. Each of these ladies reflects this name so well being a noble woman of God- seeking His kingdom first and pointing others towards Christ. I feel so incredible blessed to know these Sara(h)s  and just stand in awe praising God that He so divinely placed each of them in my life at a strategic time.

In high school, God placed Sarah Schmautz in my life as my Tuesday morning bible study leader. I would wake up every Tuesday and drive to “town” to hang out with other high school girl’s at 7am to listen to Sarah share her heart with us and point us to Christ while enjoying a yummy breakfast. She showed me so much love and how to dig deep into a bible study- one of my favorites was Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. She was so encouraging and loving. She met each of us where we were and encouraged us to seek Christ throughout the week with our actions and words as we lived out our role as students. Sarah- I don’t know if I have ever told you how much of an impact you were on my life in high school, but I want to take the time now to tell you! You blessed me so much and were/are an amazing example of a Godly woman.  My heart desire is to be able to do something like you did for me in the future for high school girls. I would love to have a breakfast bible study! J

Don't have picture of us, Sarah Schmautz, but this quote is perfect!
In college, God blessed me with another Sara, Sara James! Sara came into my life my sophomore year as my hall director and towards the end I became a PA under her meaning I got to spend so much awesome time with her my junior year. I would never trade that year for anything. Sara- I want to take the time to thank you for pouring into my life, for pointing me towards Christ, for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, for walking with me through heartache and unknowns. Thank you for loving on me and always encouraging me. One thing you taught that will always stay with me is seeing the fruit of the spirit as a way to see if I am living out my faith! It is something that I constantly come back to throughout my days. I miss our heart to heart talks. I miss you massaging my hair during PA meetings and your joyful spirit!

I love you, Sara James!
In my first real years of adulthood (aka. Life outside of college) God so divinely and purposefully even before I arrived in South Korea placed my name on a heart of a Sarah, Sarah Houser.  Sarah has heard my heart, my pains, my frustrations, my joys, my tears, my thankfulness, and my journey of learning what it means to live a life for Christ alone. She has been a safe place, an encouragement, a blessing, a joy, and a prayer warrior in my life. She has so graciously share her family with me and has allowed her family to become #myfamilyawayfromfamily.  Sarah- As we continue to walk our journey together here in South Korea however long God has us in the same place I want to make sure to never take advantage of gaining wisdom from you! Thank you for so faithfully pouring into my heart even when I don’t always deserve it.  You have shown me what it means to live a life of continuing to seek God even in the hard, even in the waiting and even in the unknowns, and even when we don’t see the reason, but we can rest in God because He is faithful and His timing is perfect, not ours. Thanks for being my cheerleader!
Sarah Houser- I love you!
One little girl, Princess which means Sarah!!! What this is crazy!!! God works in such amazing ways! This just blows me away that God so perfectly orchestrate this all together- my heart is overflowing with praise to Him. If you were sitting next to me as I am writing this you would see the biggest smile on my face and hear my voice singing! God- you are SO good. You are SO incredible! You are SO faithful and provide in such amazing ways. I completely blown away by you! Princess is the little girl who captured my heart in Kenya when I felt defeated, not valued, not loved or supported. She loved me, hugged me, laughed with me and smiled with me.  God used her to show me how valuable we are to Him. We are His beautiful daughters who are so loved, so cared for, so worth it and completely in need of Him alone. If you would love to hear more about Princess and the impact that God used Princess in my life you can read this blog post!

Forever in my heart, Princess!
Each of these Sara(h)s have allowed God to touch my life! It just overwhelms my heart to think that God loves me SO much. He cares about me SO much that He would take the time to orchestrate each of these Sara(h)’s into my life and use them to bring me closer to Him. How GREAT is our God!
Love, Daniella

**Just to clarify if your name is not Sarah it does not mean that God has not used you in my life. God has placed so many incredible people in my life and I am SO thankful for each and every one of you. The Sara(h)s that are mentioned are ones that God has been placing on my heart again this year as a reminder to me of His faithfulness in my life as I live out my 24th year- a year of refreshment, remembering and refocusing! (More to come on this in another blog). Please don’t be offend or hurt that’s not my goal behind sharing this with you all! If you would like to talk to me about please do! **