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Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States
I left my family, my friends, my comfort zone and moved across the country. I'm learning to love and rely on God in a whole new way.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

His Death Has Paid My Ransom

I love when God sends us something to encourage us. Something we needed at that very moment. Big or small, it's encouraging. I've had an encouraging weekend. Even with one or two small setbacks I feel like I'm finally Carrie again. Sunday proved to be another great day. For an extrovert and christian like myself Sunday is key for a few reasons. One, I need and desire fellowship with other believers. Not just socializing, but actual fellowship and encouragement. Two, I love the youth group. I love being in their lives, and desire to push them to truly trust and desire a real and genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to challenge them to not just float through high school. Three, I love Kristen Pichura. I am encouraged by her on numerous levels. Being apart of her life, and her families lives is a joy, an honor. I'm thankful that God brought the Pichura clan here to Yakima. I'm thankful that we all got to come alongside of them during the adoption of their two precious boys, and I'm thankful for their faithfulness to obeying His direction for their lives. It was an incredible Sunday.
Today I happened across some old emails. Emails that I actually wrote to all of you last summer while I was in Europe. I started reading them, and couldn't stop until I had gotten through the last one. I have read through my journals many times since last summer, but reading the emails was a lot of fun. Remembering how God was using me, and how He was working in the children. It was an amazing trip, and one I'll never forget for quite a few reasons. :) I'm so glad that God sent me, and also that I obeyed His calling and went. I can think of so many things I learned while being away last summer. My relationship with the Lord really grew deeper as I met and talked with my brothers and sisters in Eastern European countries. I still pray for the churches there that God would continue to strengthen their leadership and that truth would be taught. The churches are so young, and oppression is so recent. It was an incredible thing to hear stories first hand. Those stories weren't from the History books, they were from these peoples lives. Incredible.
I've been singing my favorite song in my head all day today. A song all of you know, or should know. So, to finish this blog I'll post the lyrics to "How Deep the Father's Love for Us"
May God bless you and encourage you this week.

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His death has paid my ransom

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Well, I don't have much time to write currently. Here are a few pics from the last few weeks. Some are of the bachelorette party, a few of the babies, and some just random. I thank God for a very busy, but great end to my summer. It has been a challenging year, but I would say that I've been learning a lot. God is amazing, and in the midst of my struggles I see his reign in my life more and more. Praise God.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I apologize for the lack of attention to this blog. Saying I've been busy would be both an understatement and a lame excuse so I wont. I've had some interesting past few months which explains why I haven't posted. One of these days I'll post some pictures from my Europe trip. Also, Jane got married which was very exciting and beautiful.
Although I haven't kept up my blogging I hope to be doing more of it in the near future.
My life has been one of change. I moved out of my dear apartment, and now am indefinitely house sitting at my Grandma Doornink's house. It is incredibly beautiful here. Jane's wedding was held here on the lawn and it was a great experience. It was the first wedding held here at the "Hilltop Haus" as we call it. I enjoy being able to watch the sunrise and sunset everyday. When I look out over the Yakima Valley I'm just amazed at how beautiful it looks. I'm astounded by the view of Mt. Adams, intricate clouds, and infinite sky.
I think of God's promise to us that His mercies are new every morning and I'm thankful that God continues to poor His mercy on me even when I feel I don't deserve it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where to Start

My Birthday was a fun day spent with my Mom, my sister Laura and her two kids, Veheir and Jheiryn, and my brother Kurt. We went on a little day trip to Seattle to visit a farmers market that Laura was wanting to check out. We made a few stops along the way, and overall it was a fun day.

It's fun watching Kurt grow up...and up...and up. The kid is officially taller than I am. He is witty, and fun to be around. I am excited to see him grow and mature. We always have a great time together.

When I see things as beautiful as the falls, I find myself thankful to live in such an amazingly beautiful state. So many things to see.

Fathers day was another working day for my dad. He did stop to have lunch with us though. Veheir was so excited about that hats. She kept asking us to take more pictures.

I'm thankful for Molly and what a fun she adds to our family. College is going to be so much fun for her. I can hardly wait to hear all of her stories.
I love summer. Yesterday when I was out taking pictures the growing apricots and peaches reminded me that summer is in full swing. Cherries are being picked, and soon we will move on to other types of fruit. Seeing the trees burdened with fruit is an amazing site. It is wonderful to think that God created those tree's just to provide us with something tasty to eat. It's awesome.

The cherry harvest has truly started. A whole years worth of work...that has to come off the tree within a few days, or it will just wither and die. It's fun to watch everyone work, and they taste amazing.

This summer is going to be something new and fun for me. It's the first summer in a few years that I'll be around for the 4th of July! I'm looking forward to my trip to Europe, but with new eyes and a new expectation since this trip will be vastly different from the last two. No one is going with me. Hilary wont be there to pick me up at the airport. There wont be any trio singing for money, or japanese exchange student. There wont be "the birdies" or taking side trips to visit people. No, this trip will be quick and purposeful. It will be a challenge, but for two different reasons. This trip will be a lot of work. The excitement of teaching these kids again is overwhelming. The responsibility that I feel is somewhat empowering. Knowing that God will supply all my needs. Not just monetary or stamina, but provide me with the ability to truly honor Him with this trip. To talk to those kids. To share with them the gospel. I'm so excited.
As I look into the short weeks ahead, and then the short weeks of my trip, I thank God for His provision.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Way to Long

My sincerest apologies....I can't believe how time has gotten away from me. I've seriously neglected this blog, but I hope it has all come to an end.
It's 4 weeks and a day until I leave for Europe. My third trip, and the second one this year. Only 3 weeks this summer, but still the excitement of an adventure has not eluded me. I'll be teaching two week long camps. One will be in Cieszyn, and the other in Dzierzoniow. I'm so thankful that God has provided me a way to be able to go. Camp will be busy and exciting, but I'm also really excited to see all my friends in Poland, many of whom I wasn't able to see on my trip in March.
Time has gone by so quickly. I've been busy with work and church. This Friday marks my 23rd birthday. Although I can remember the days when I would dream about what my life would be like at 23....I must admit that the real things isn't anything like I imagined. Although I'm completely content with my life, I just never imagined myself living in Yakima.....and loving it. I always pegged myself as a big city sort. Not living in a relatively small town...especially not the one I grew up in. I really can only attribute my love of Yakima, to my love for Sun Valley Church. My church family is what makes my stay in Yakima incredible. When I think of why I've stayed here....that is one of the few things that comes to mind. I thank God for bringing me such amazing people.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A LONG time!

Wow, time flies right by! These last three weeks have been really busy, but fun and exciting. I have nothing smart, witty, or exciting to say today....but I will think of something soon.

I had a rather sad thought today. This weekend will most likely be Molly's last basketball game ever. I love basketball, and I love watching Molly that makes me sort of sad. It is weird to think that she is my last sister in high school, so even though I'll get to watch Kurt and Brian play it just isn't the same as watching my sisters. I'm excited for Molly. She will have an awesome time at WSU next year, and I imagine that she will kick butt in intramurals.

This was in Venezuela....riding to one of our clinics....
Well, that is all I have for now, but I will try to update soon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I was looking through my Venezuela pictures tonight. I was taken back to a wonderful time spent with my sister, and an amazing time showing God's love to so many children. Here are a few pictures. I was struck tonight by the beauty of the South American people. What a great experience. All of these pictures were from the 2007 trip.

These pictures were so fun to look through. So many incredible times.
It was such a pleasure getting to take my little sis along the second time. She was a joy to have on our team. She was more of an asset then we could have ever expected. I love her so much, and it took a trip around the world to see what an incredible human God had made.
Craft time

Jaireh was one of the kids we spent a lot of time with. She was over at the pastors house often.
WARNING! These Next photo's are Gross.
I just found these photos of my spider bitten, horribly infected legs. I didn't even realize I had these pictures. I find it so funny how quickly I forgot how bad my legs were. I remember the pain, and I remember what I was thinking, but I had forgotten how bad they really looked. The pictures don't really do it justice, but they were example enough. I didn't let people take pictures of my legs because they looked so bad, but I guess there were a few. I'm so thankful that I made it back safely and that my legs healed. Even now nearly two years later just looking at the pictures make my legs ache, and if the pictures aren't enough, I still have some wonderful scars to remind me. We joked around that they are "the scars of the gospel"....that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm so thankful that God protected me. I hate spiders.

The first day they started to swell. These two pictures were taken the day that everyone prayed for me on the drive off the mountain. Although I was in terrible pain, having everyone pray over me was an incredible experience.
The next two pictures are side by sides of the same leg, but a few days apart. The last photo was right after we had landed in the U.S. It isn't very focused, but I don't think it matters....what you see is enough. The photos aren't that great....but I think they are interesting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not Again

So, none of my blogs have been very upbeat lately. Unfortunately, neither is this one. A girl that used to worked at my parents restaurants died this past weekend from a drug overdose. The news was shockingly sad for me. I'm a sensitive person, so hearing things like that automatically cuts straight to my core, but what brought on the tears was the fact that she had a three year old son. This child will never know his mom. He will have to live his whole life with the knowledge that she died of a drug overdose. And, who knows what sort of life he will have now that both of his parents are gone. As hard as it is to believe that she is actually gone, it is almost harder for me to imagine the life of this child. It is definitely a different type of pain then any of my other friends that have died since I know that she didn't believe that there was a God. When Chelsea died I was secure in the fact that she was in Heaven, so this is so different. Today I have taken to praying for the child, Jaedyn. I know that God can change his life. We don't know all that God could have planned for that little life. He is still here and I know that situations like these can definitely be used for God's glory.

When I picked Tre and Maggie up from school yesterday I told them what had happened. And although this situation is not funny at all, Tre's response was. He said, "Carrie, your friends die a lot". I wanted to deny that statement, but I couldn't. Although very few of my friends have died, to a 9 year having 3 people die in a 4 month period is probably a lot. I was thankful for his statement though, because it reminded me again how precious life is. We don't know when anyone will die. I am so thankful for the time I have, and I pray for my friends and family that don't know of the saving blood of Christ.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One day at a time

I'm up tonight. I can't sleep. I have to work early tomorrow morning. My alarm is set for 4:45. I hate when I can't fall asleep the night before I have to work. I'm sure if I didn't think about it I would fall asleep quickly, but because I'm trying to fall asleep my mind runs over everything that has happened in the past week, or so.
I reread my Europe journal, and went through this blog and read some of the things I posted while I was away. It is funny how quickly I was taken back to some of the feelings and emotions I was experiencing at the time. The homesickness, the joy of teaching, the thrill of singing in the streets, the wonderful people, all the incredible things that happened.
I was again realizing how thankful I am that I was able to go, but one thing bothered me. Why don't I have those same emotions here? Why isn't my life in Yakima viewed with that same intensity? Why don't I wake up every morning ready to share Gods love with someone new? Why don't I dwell on what my objective of the day will be? Shouldn't I be ready for all that God can do through me right here in Yakima? I think I am being used here, and I know that some of those things happen just because I am growing and learning through Him, but I want to be prepared to think of Yakima as my mission field. I want to wake up tomorrow ready to show God's love to Tre and Maggie. Ready to help them grow in their relationships with God. I want to love and serve the people around me. I want to truly be selfless. Ready to help at a moments notice. Ready to do whatever needs doing. I want to be a tool that is used, not one that just watches. I want to truly desire Gods will for my life. It is easy to say that I want His will to be done, but am I OK when something doesn't go the way I thought it would? Am I really ready to follow Christ at any cost? I want to be. I want to live a life in absolute submission to His will.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-21

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was sitting on my bed tonight contemplating the term/action of forgiveness. It is a word that is said quite often in our vocabulary, but perhaps one that should be acted upon more regularly. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have said to Tre or Maggie, "you need to go apologize and ask for forgiveness." It is common for us to speak of the forgiveness we have received from Christ through His death on the cross. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Forgiveness. We need it. We can't live without it. And yet sometimes we assume we have received it, when in fact we have not asked for it. Or, we think we have forgiven someone who has wronged us, but time and time again we cannot stop it from clouding our perception of that person. I am guilty. I am the worst offender. I often forget to stomp down my pride and admit my wrongdoing. I regularly assume that my family will automatically forgive me, even when I don't ask. How prideful! How wrong of me!
That pride, that admitting of wrongdoing, is hard, even when it is just a confession to my God.
The real reason I was thinking of forgiveness tonight is because I hate how pride plays a roll in my forgiveness of others. I like to think that I am quick to forgive. I think most of the time that I am. But every once in a while I find myself remembering sins that people have committed against me. Why, if I have truly forgiven, do I continue to harbor the memory?
Somethings will never go away, some memories will never fade, but I need to make sure that I carry no bitterness or resentment. I need to always remember that no matter what was done to me, it did not happen by mistake. God is in control of everything that did, is, and will happen in my life. I don't deserve the forgiveness and grace I was granted through Jesus' death on the cross. So I need to remember that I need to grant forgiveness, and ask for forgiveness even when my sinful pride says that they don't deserve the same grace. It is a life long battle, but one I will fight.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


If you know me at all, or have spent any length of time with me in the past few months, then you know that I've had quite the time deciding whether or not to go back to school. I wanted to, then I couldn't get the money, then the money came, and then I had to actually decide whether or not I felt like God was telling me to go back or not. It is a weird thing, waiting on the Lord. Trying to be patient, but feeling stressed. I didn't feel directed one way or the other. I got to a place where I knew that if God told me to go I could. I was ready. Ready to go and leave behind all things dear to me to embark on another adventure we call college. I knew that I would be able to leave my dear friend, Becky. My incredible kids. My youth group kids. My job. My family. My church. My church family. My small group. My apartment. Everything I love about Yakima. I got to a place where I would have been able to go. I was ready to go.
I thought I would go. I decided to go.
The agony that followed was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I couldn't sleep. I felt sick. Not physically sick, but just mentally bogged down, almost depressed. I didn't understand it though. I couldn't quite figure what was causing it. I was ready to leave. I was willing and excited to go. I started packing.
Something just wasn't right. I knew it. I wouldn't feel this way if I had made the right decision. The two days that followed were spent almost solely in prayer. I read my bible and prayed. I spent hours seeking, reading, and praying for help and guidance. I knew that I wanted to do the right thing, not just about school, but I want to be where God wants me.
So, I changed my mind. The peace that followed the decision to stay was more than enough confirmation. I actually feel excited.
So much good has come out of all that agony. I now just feel an ability to follow God, a new ability, one I haven't had before. I think I needed that thought process. To prove to myself that leaving Yakima wouldn't be as bad as I thought. To fully understand that no matter my circumstances God is in control. I think I understand that now.
Obeying God is far more important than any college class, or education. Being where He wants and needs me is more important then anything else. I want everyone to understand that staying in Yakima was almost harder then going back to college. I wanted so badly to go back and to prove that a.) I will go back to college, and b.) that I'm not just staying in Yakima because I'm stuck in a rut that wont allow me to leave.
I know this is where I'm needed. I don't want to be here forever, and I do want to finish my education, but for now I know that God wants me here. We'll see what happens in the coming year, but regardless I know I can trust that God will continue to take care of me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

An Exciting Weekend

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. This will be my first post of the year exciting! New Years was fantastic, as usual. I was at the Boothmans annual shindig. It was great fun to see my college friends. I was able to catch up and talk with many of them. We sang, and sang, and there is nothing more joyous then ringing in the new year surrounded by your favorite people.
Well, to start off the new year I drove to the Westside to see my good friend Katherine marry her beau JD. It was an incredibly beautiful wedding. It was awesome to be able to see so many people that I haven't really seen since I left WSU.
The drive over was a little crazy, but I'm glad I took the time to drive. I had to drive through Portland since the Pass was closed. It turned a 3 hr. drive into a 6 hr drive....but I didn't mind. I was able to stop in Vancouver and have coffee with my best bud, Alison. It also gave me a lot of time to pray, think, and yell at stupid drivers.(seriously people....just because there is snow on the side of the road doesn't mean you need to go 30mph under the speed limit)... Ok, Ok, I tried not to yell to often, but when you've been driving for as long as I had, the other drivers start to get on your nerves. It was a pleasant drive though. I had a really good time.
Here are a few pictures from the wedding.

I'm sad that this picture didn't turn out a little clearer....but you get the idea. The church looked beautiful.

These were my bible study girls.

Katherine and I
Katherine as she walked down the aisle.

Mr. and Mrs. Weitzel