Thursday, December 31, 2009


If I was going to be able to get to a computer at 12:00 am, I would so be writing a blog post, but since that ain't gonna happen, let me write now . . .


I'm so excited!!!!!! I love "new." The resolutions will be coming quickly [hopefully].I hope you enjoy the last few grains of 2009! May the dawning of 2010 bring you into His presence! See you in the New Year . . . <3

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two Thousand Nine Review

The last grains of time are slowly falling down the hourglass, and I'm amazed. How the years fold and stack up so quickly. It's amazing. This has been a wild year. I'm trying to brainstorm some of the happenings. Hmm . . .

This was the year I became a SENIOR!!! Um, WOOT!

I started blogging . . . that was a new deal. [This is the first time I can blog through a New Year! Oh Yeah!!!]

I visited Asbury College and Multnomah University. . .

My family and I took a road trip to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore. That was a lot of driving. And I didn't throw-up. Not even once. [Now for someone who is semi-prone to car sickness, this is a master accomplishment people!]

I went to my first high school formal, my first senior class retreat, had my first awful year of not being able to go to my church camp, played Mary in my Church's Christmas pageant ---> first time EVER!

I worked a whole summer watching 2 kiddos.

I learned about trust. Oh how I'm learning. I haven't arrived, but I'm trying to figure it out. I'm learning that Jesus is so trustworthy, but the jump's hard. Always.

Oh oh oh, I got postcards from ANN KIEMEL!!! One of my favorite authors. Love this woman! She's one of the bloggers I follow. Oh how she blessed me, encouraged me.

I got to see one of my dear friends from Oregon in Kentucky! How fun!

This was the year Paul Nisely came and spoke at my church . . . how he shook us up, gave the opportunity and reminder to surrender.

Pastor Phil came to Fairview! Wow! Pretty exciting to have a new fellow on board at my church . . . excited to see where God will take us.

This was the year of taking Weight Lifting with an all-boys class, except for me and my teacher. :) haha ;) One of my favorite memories of that was when Teacher surprised me with a cake and the boys singing Happy Birthday to me. Oh how I love them. That seriously made my day!!! And two girls made me a cake. I got presents, cards. Felt so blessed. Was so blessed. What a special gift. I wish they could know how special they made me feel . . .

This was the year Daddy took me out to eat on Valentine's day, and we picked out my purity ring. <3

Another highlight was helping with Vacation Bible School and bringing two squirmy, beautiful little kiddos. They got so into it. Beauty.

And then there were the constant threads that were spun through this year: Friend's Letters, love from family, laughter with cousins, funny moments, painful moments, tears, victory. That's the color of life, no?

And in the end, when I've been faithless, He's still been faithful. Where I've failed, He's remained pure. Holy. Rock Solid. Oh "what is man . . . ?"

Here's my rough draft review of a good year. I'm so excited for a new year, new beginnings. New Years is one of my favorite holidays. New Years Resolutions are my weakness. I'll try to share some of mine with you when I come up with a list. Maybe you can keep me accountable?? ;) Adios!

Monday, December 28, 2009


I have so much to be thankful for . . .

336. Frosty boughs

337. Being with family for Christmas

338. Sunshine . . . a gift

339. Love that prompted wrapped packages

340. Christmas music after Christmas

341. A brand spankin' new ESV Bible!

342. The way God teaches my heart to beat newly

343. Delicious Christmas meals

344. Kids blowing out candles on Jesus' birthday cake

345. His wide-eyes . . . recounting.

346. Encouraging Christmas reads from people like Ann Voskamp found here and here also and precious people like Kayla, a girl that I don't know, but so appreciate from following her blog. These people encouraged me to remember the real reason of beautiful Christmas.

347. The unimaginable love of God that would cause Him to give Himself for us, for dirty, mangled, dying humans. Wow. . .

348. That I completed two homemade aprons!!! Yes! First time EVER!!! Are you proud, Grandma?! :)

349. String duos and trios

350. For each season as it comes . . . and that Jesus walks me through each one. alleluia.

Merry Today! :) And Jesus? Thank You . . .


I marveled at the world Saturday, at the way the frost clung to the slender branches, the way the sun shined and made the earth sparkle, the blue of the sky, the green of the grass. Mom and I took a walk, and my lungs gasped for oxygen, and I was so glad to be alive. While my family and I were having lunch, I looked outside our kitchen window . . . we really do have an extravagant view, . . . and I thought about the trees and the earth and how these takes each season as it comes. Of course it doesn't have much choice. Of course it probably doesn't know better. But still . . .

I'm not very good at that. I'm learning that my patience level is quite low. I want to experience things now. I'm so excited for college and finding him and getting to know him and getting married and having a family and well, for other seasons of my life. I feel like I'm growing and outstretching this cocoon. And growing hurts. But I kinda have this inkling that maybe I need to slow down a little, that maybe I'm missing out. I'm missing out on the now, on the season of winter where the frost clings and life can be cold and hard, but there's beauty here and the sunshine feels so much warmer against the cold and I feel alive and joyful. I'm living in winter where the fog sometimes does keep me from seeing beyond me, but where I'm at is beautiful too, and I think it's where God wants me now. Maybe not later, but now. Spring will come, and it will be glorious, but I don't want to miss winter. I don't want to miss the snow and the cold and the grace and the joy of Jesus walking with me Today. I don't want to run through this. I want to wade it out. Wade the joys of being [insert age here . . . smile], of being absolutely single, of being in high school, and living at home. Wade through the times of uncertainty and the hope that God knows, and that's all I need to know sometimes. I can live in tomorrow another day, but I only have December 28, 2009 once, and then it's gone. I want to minimize the regrets of tomorrow . . . so shalt I live . . . today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas After December 25

K-LOVE is still bringing on the Christmas classics even after the day, and I'm quite enjoying it. You know, it's incredible to me how commercialism dates Christmas December 25, and shortly after, the Christmas ads are pulled from the T.V. screens, the stores are packing in their Valentine's cupids and conversation hearts, and the focus changes. Christmas becomes a point on a time line, a sterile, round spot, and when it's over, the majority of America crashes, depressed and weary and wondering why there's such a feeling of emptiness. Yay for K-Love letting Christmas spill over December 25! because . . . Point A) it makes the ending of Christmas less depressing and Point B) it reminds me that Christmas is so much more than a date; it's somewhat the beginning of one of the most crazy world-rescue missions ever put into motion.

Pastor Phil gave the message at my church last Sunday, and one question he asked us was whether or not Christmas was a historical event or a present day event (?). I'm learning that it's a present day event. Christmas is about Christ coming here, into our heart-ache, our brokenness, our unknown tomorrows, our trashy secrets, our fear, our dirt, our hearts. It's the beginning of a journey of Love transforming Himself to wear our skin, to look like one of us, and to change us forever. It's Him meeting us where we're at, on our dying, thirsty soil. Who does that?! Only One . . . And His name: Jesus. Alleluia.

So y'all, I hope you had a fabulous Christmas! But I hope it's not just a "had" . . . I hope that you continue to enjoy Christmas, to dive in deep, to search the Pages and understand it, feel it, experience it. Experience Love Himself, experience God with us. We can still do that, ya know. Even after December 25! Hoorah! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gifts Under a Cross

This past Friday was Spiritual Emphasis Day at my school. It's a day of class parties, games, a chapel, devotions, workshops, seniors leading the school in caroling, etc. Well, our chapel speaker this year was son of one of the teachers at E.L., and he was comparing some of the aspects of Christmas to Christ's story. For instance, He compared the Christmas lights to Jesus being the Light and the presents under the tree as the many gifts God has given us. Now a lot of those comparisons I had heard in some form or fashion, but he ended the chapel by painting a word picture I had never seen. He reminded us that we use evergreens as Christmas trees, and evergreens represent eternal life. He wanted us to picture the Christmas tree as the cross, and the lights on the tree as Jesus hanging there. Where His blood spilled on the ground was where we are left with His gifts, presents. That picture captivates me. It wakes me up to Christmas. Real Christmas. Christmas isn't just about Messiah's birth, but it's about the beginning of a journey He took for us, isn't it? It's somewhat of a beginning of the Ultimate Gift given for us.

Not every gift fits under a tree. Here are some gifts that I've received lately from a gracious God, and not all of them could squeeze themselves into boxes, but I'm still so grateful. I'm grateful for His blood and His grace. Yahweh is so good. So. Good.

316. Class laughter during Christmas party

317. Playing the game wink-em as a class . . . it was a hit!

318. Prayer meeting before pageant

319. Unity of a church wrapping ourselves together to present Him . . . our Savior.

320. Associate Pastor is back home from Iowa.

321. "Baby Jesus'" grin and that he quieted in my arms

322. A new Bethany Dillon CD from Friend

323. Bouquet of lilies and red carnations

324. All those that came to see me and others at pageant . . . what grace.

325. The nativity music box . . . a reminder of a remarkable experience

326. Three performances of the story of Jesus' birth . . . my first as Mary. What an experience. What a journey.

327. Broken release . . . tears and more tears.

328. Joy comes in the morning and so does peace.

329. Broken peoples' smiles

330. That make-up bag she snuck into my bag . . . love.

331. "Aunt Elizabeth's" kindness and gentleness

332. Gaile made it Home for Christmas. I'm going to miss this godly man who passed away during our pageant . . . maybe even during the scene he used to play in as Simeon, during the line "now my soul can rest in peace. I have seen Him!" Wow . . . what a story of God's grace! It's not an easy story on this side of the veil, but on the other, glorious side, I bet Gaile is so happy! And I'm happy for him.

333. Drama teacher's presence

334. Dust has settled

335. Christmas VACATION!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Alleluia . . . is He not good?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Oh Jesus,

I need You. Please open my ears. Speak louder than my desires scream. Soften my Will to say "Yes" to You; harden it to say "No" to the Contrary. Define what the Right looks like. Light up the crevices. Please quiet my spirit to hear that whisper . . . oh Jesus, teach me to wait . . .

I love You, . . . danae

Monday, December 14, 2009

An Abundance

I am so blessed . . .

301. Visit to Multnomah University

302. Listening to Ambassador choir sing Christmas carols

303. Small flakes of snow

304. Fuzzy, warm pajama pants

305. A packed Sunday School classroom of silly, little kiddos

306. Grandma and Grandpa coming to pageant dress rehersal

307. Prayer chapel and him playing piano

308. Squirming little five month old and those alert eyes

309. Warmed earth

310. Laughing due to sleep deprivation

311. Clean water

312. Inspiration of Biggest Loser . . . can't believe it's over!

313. Sitting in on college Bible class

314. Her prayer blessing

315. Encouragement and prayers of friends, pulling me through

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The past few years, Christmas was not on the top of my list for favorite holidays. It has been glamorous and extravagant, and well, empty. Each year, I tried to focus on the King. I'd sing, "I want this Christmas to be different than before . . . I want something more, so to the manger I run, to the manger I bow before Your tiny feet, with the straw beneath my knees, this is what Christmas was meant to be." I tried to spill Christianity into Christmas, and I always failed. I think it's kinda a personality thing actually. I'm a very "sensing" person. In order for things to really click, I need to feel them, touch them, EXPERIENCE them. You can tell me a story of poor Mexican orphan kids and show me the pictures, and it'd possibly break my heart, but if you really want to touch me, I've got to experience their pain and connect with them. I hadn't been experiencing Christmas. I had been trying to make Christmas an experience if that makes any sense at all. Well, this year is kinda different (and I'm so happy!) . . . I've been given the opportunity to actually EXPERIENCE Christmas.

During November, my Sunday school teacher asked me (well, to be true to the circumstance, I guess "told" would be a better word choice than "asked") if I'd play the part of Mary in our church's annual Christmas pageant. Oh. My. Word. I was so shocked! and Excited! Being Mary was kind of an impossible dream I semi-subconsciously had. But this wasn't dream land, this was R.E.A.L! I honest-to-goodness felt like Mary at that point, felt like I had been handed this enormous gift, and I completely didn't deserve it. (I know, I know . . . deep down, I'm kinda a drama queen, but this meant so much to me!) I've spent hours practicing and so has the rest of the cast. Tonight's our dress rehearsal. Our actually performances start this upcoming week. I can't believe it's almost here!

Playing the part of Mary has really shaken up my Christmas mood this year (as well as listening to mainly Christian Christmas music). Let's just say that Mary and I are pretty tight this year, and I'm learning so much about what she might have been feeling by playing this part, and let's just say, that girl didn't have it very easy. Amy Grant gave a little talk about her, aired on KNLR radio lately, about how Mary had to have been so vulnerable, so completely dependent on God. Imagine how scary it would be to be semi-responsible for the Son of God! And I have no idea what kinda feelings she had for Joseph, but I couldn't imagine how her heart dropped when it clicked that she'd have to tell her man that she was pregnant. Scary! She had to fully lean on Father God throughout that whole experience because the townspeople sure weren't going to give her grace or applause or honor for something they might have perceived as fornication. Her hope had to have completely rested in God as well as her peace.

I don't know what it will be like for me after this pageant is over. I'm kinda dreading it actually, but I can't worry about that now. I've got to enjoy each moment, huh Kayla? :) One thing I do know however, is that I truly believe God has used this whole experience (the ups and downs . . . and there were downs, but that's a whole other story) to bring me closer to Him and to let me really experience Christmas. One of my favorite songs through this whole phenomena has been "Let the Water's Rise" by Mikes Chair . . . the words go like this:

Don't know where to begin
It's like my world's caving in
And I tried but i can't control my fear
Where do I go from here

Sometimes it's so hard to pray
You feel so far away
I am willing to go where You want me to
God I trust You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If you want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

I will swim in the deep
Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach

God You know where I've been
You were there with me then
You were faithful before
You'll be faithful again
I'm holding Your hand


God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I'm holding on to You

God your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You

(Lyrics from

I kinda think Mary felt like this, and I know I have as I've played her part and just as I've lived life. One thing I'm learning is that God and I can make it through those raging waves, and that I can even WELCOME those seas because my heart is with the One I'm following. And I love Him so much!

I'm not sure what the purpose of this post is. It's kinda jumpy. [smile] I just kinda wanted to write, and this is where it took me. :) Now I should probably go take a nap; it could be a long (but yes, fun) night. So thanks for reading! Have an absolutely wonderful week! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Peace + More Gift

I'm so glad my church participates in the advent tradition of lighting the candles before Christmas and pulling out a theme each week. Last week's theme was hope, and this week's is peace. Peace. For some reason, we don't hear too much about peace, do we? Love is highlighted and circled, but peace waits like a nearby fog, waiting for us to step in, relax in the arms of Christ. What a gift from God! What a relief to be able to breathe. To live. In peace. I am so grateful for it today, as well as so many other things. Here's a few of them as I continue my trek to 1000.

286. Colored icicle lights dripping off roof [not literally, people . . . :D]

287. Riding side-saddle on a donkey for the first time

288. The ability to hear

289. A brilliant moon

290. Peace . . . this week's advent theme.

291. Child-like Christmas chain of red and green

292. Him sharing his heart . . . I'm glad I could be there to listen. Still don't know why he echoed his heart to me? But I pray for his peace . . .

293. My whole senior class being together a few days last week . . . a rare occasion but a fun one.

294. The reminder that Mary must have been completely dependent on God; she couldn't hope to get her approval and her love from proud townspeople. Her Father was her Need-Provider, her Peace.

295. My "Aunt Elizabeth" helping me prepare for my part . . . her grace.

296. Compliments: a challenge and a grace.

297. Opportunity to learn heart-humility . . . teach me, Father God! Help me to learn it right, to pass this test.

298. Four little kiddos in Sunday school class

299. Deep sound of a cello, viola, violins.

300. My THREE-HUNDREDTH Gift! Isn't our God incredible?! alleluia . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I was in chapel today, sitting, listening, my mind wandering and careening through random thoughts. And it hit me. Lately I've been so distracted. My thought life has been booked with an issue I've been working through, my church's Christmas pageant, different styles of worship, the whole seemingly mystical Spirit-movement that seems to be seeping into several churches, things that I think the church isn't passionate about, what it means to be the person I was meant to be, etc. A lot has been spraying through my mind, subconsciously and consciously. I haven't been able to read the Bible recently without my mind wandering the plains of distraction. I found myself agreeing to a seemingly fantastic quote yesterday and then someone said something to the effect that he wasn't sure Jesus would have said it like that, and it put me on hold. Have I really not been comparing things to the very Word of God to find truth?

Anyway, I feel like a trap has been laid out for me, a trap of distraction, and I'm falling for it. And as I fall, I miss it. I miss the simplicity of a purpose-filled, focused life. I miss the deep stains of true living, . . . seeking Jesus, through His Word and through prayer.

Oh Lord, please calm the swirling seas of my mind. Speak peace into the waves and calm the throbbing thoughts. Please center me so I can live a life that's focused . . . on You. Alleluia.