Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I wish I had something more profound to write about... but I don't. I haven't had any real epiphanies in last few weeks- but I feel one brewing.

In the mean time I will have to copy my Pops....


1. Went to Utah on a 10 day mission’s trip with CCBC and had an amazing time! The Lord did a lot in those few days amongst all of our lives and within the Mormon Church. Really radical to see that in movement

2. Graduated from CCBC in May. Just got a piece of paper for those two years- but it was 2 years that changed my life forever

3. Got accepted for my internship at the new CCBC campus in Montebelluna, Italy

4. Spent the summer with my ailing grandmother. A summer I will always cherish and even though it was many nights of watching game shows and waking up in the middle of the night: I wouldn't change a thing.

5. Same summer, I got to know my Jr. High girls. That was radical.

6. moved to Italy for the fall. Had no idea what was ahead of me...

7. traveled Europe. that was cool (Norwegian skinny dipping at 3 in the morning... who does that?)

8. Cooked with 5 Italian women in a small kitchen. Had no idea what they were saying, but the best day in Italy I had

9. 5 weddings in 2009. (Congrats, Sara, Becca,Jamie, Caroline and Jul)3 I am in, 2 I will can just attend. one of which....

10. Is my older brother's. William proposed to Jul after almost 4 years of dating. About time buddy!!! (love you)

Friday, December 19, 2008


The smell of bleach and febreeze are dancing around the house as I finally get to sit down. Today was deep clean/pack up day. (I find it ironic that the cleanest the house has ever been is when we are moving out.) Later on tonight we have a ceremony for the three graduates from our campus, and then afterwards we are all heading for one more time of Italian pizza. Tomorrow, the leaving begins. Its crazy to me, that in 3 days I will be landing in the Atlanta airport. I will be bombarded with American Christmas, starbucks and English. Can I say that I am a bit excited? :)

Over the past week or so, we have kept pretty busy just trying to get everything in. We went Ice Skating in the next town, Feltre, near the mountain (which gave me the meanest blister of my life!) We took our Italian friends to go get mexican food. (well.. it was close) As of right now, it is just soaking it all in. I didn’t realize what all I was leaving and how many goodbyes there would be. Its a bittersweet time, but I can honestly say, I am ready for the next season.

For the past few years, I have been in one step- just to look forward and plan the next. I was graduating high school just to go on to California. I was leaving a semester in school to come home, just so to leave again. I graduated Bible College and was going home and then leaving for Italy. Now... I am heading home with no plan of leaving. To be honest, I never thought I would be going home without a plan to leave again. Yet, as usual, God is chucking at me. I don’t have a next step. Which is actually more exciting than knowing. I get to relax. I get to have a routine that won’t be broken in a month. I am now able to get involved in home, in my church, and I get to be part of people’s lives again and actually physically be there! So as I look at my suitcase and wonder how it will all fit, seeing how the walls are slowly becoming bare, and trying to ration the food I have left, I realize that soon, this Dorothy will get to tap her shoes and be at home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


One of the things I have really enjoyed this semester is how much we have been able to experience the culture of Italy. This past weekend, I think I really got the full dose of that part of being here. Over the last few months, the church here has been putting together a Gospel Choir for the Christmas season. I can’t tell you how entertaining it has been, just to be part of it! When they asked the bible college to be involved we all thought it would be Christmas songs in Italian. Little did we know we would be reinacting “Sister Act” and singing about Jesus coming back on a white horse... in english. But what is amazing, is all the Italains, even with thier song sheets in phonetics casue they can’t speak english, are so excited about this!! We had 4 hour long practices (that were pretty entertainig) every saturday, all leading up to two concerts that we were putting on. This past weekend was the first and over 600 people showed up!! It was amazing. (Check out the pictures. Sadly, I can’t take credit for those. Kyle is the photographer on that one)  The Pastor was able to share the Gospel message with the whole crowd, and turns out the following Sunday at  church had a few more new faces than usual. 

After the events of Saturday, Sunday was our day of rest casue monday was going to be crazy! Two ladeis from the church, Silvana and Gabriella, wanted to teach us how to make home-made raviloli. So at 9 in the morning, the 6 hour long process started. Everything from rolling out the dough and pressing it, to folding over 300 pastas, our kitchen was packed with eagar  students wanting to learn and the Italians “talking”  and showing us what to do. It is always intresting to be in that atmosphere, casue even though only 2 out of the 15 people in the room spoke Italains, I don’t think I learned so much in that short of time. With Silvana and Gabriella not knowing english and none of us really knowing italian- the hand motions were necessary. 

By the time 3:00 came we were all ready with our full stomachs for the afternoon nap.  But our Italain adopted mothers had other plans. The worship leader in the church was playing the violin for an Italian Opera concert that night and he had invited all of us to go. We were leaving at 4. So we drank one more shot of espresso, changed clothes, and got in the car. The concert was in an old Catholic church (everything is held in an old Catholic church) and was beautiful!  

My stomach was full, the music was soothing and the eye lids were getting a heavy. The weekend was a success and it was full of memories I will never forget. Check out the pictures I put of thanksgiving, our concert, and the cooking day. 

God Bless all and thanks for everything!

I leave in 13 days to come back to the states!!


Saturday, December 6, 2008


Twilight approaches. The darkness has past and the Light is coming. I know the darkness is behind me, I have a desire to look over my shoulder and see it dissipate. But all I can do is gaze at the Marvelous Light that is in front of me. I stand, my weak and feeble knees are gaining their strength again. I have been crawling for so long and finally see the hope that I have known was always there. I give into my desire and turn- the darkness really is leaving. Oh how small my faith can be. I know now- it was all for the blessing. I know now, that no matter what happens to me- no circumstance, no trouble, no amount of stretching or grinding I may feel- it had to come through Him first. The Light is fighting for me against the darkness and He won’t let the enemy win. I know that all my panics, all my tears, all my emotional outcries of despair were all because He loves me. Even though, at the moment I don’t quiet see the harvest, I know that if He let all this come, there must be more. It was all for this... the twilight. My strength is slowly returning, my smile is back and I can’t stop. The tears are now filled with anticipation of what is to come. My joy is now made full once more. I will no longer fret. I will no longer distress or disquiet my mind. I know now- that there was a great purpose. I can see the Light approaching as it continues to head towards me. I take a deep breath- I didn’t even realize I was holding it in. Why didn’t I see this before? Why didn’t I recognize that the battle was already won? Why didn’t I remember that the victory I can rest in is in the Light. The Light was already here, all I had to do was call upon its Name.

"Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones you have broken my rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners shall be converted to You." Psalm 51:7-13

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


“White as snow. White as snow.

Though my sins were as scarlet....

...You will make me white as snow.”

I wrestled awake trying to remember where I had laid my head the night before. I turn over and looked out the window as the German sky had opened up and the snow was covering all that I could see. The night before we had arrived at the campus in Siegen, Germany and was now being awaked to the seasons first snowfall.  As the weekend progressed the snow kept coming and coming- 5 inches total! For me, the Florida girl that I am, the twelve year old came out in me as I threw the hundredth snowball that first day. Although my fingers were numb and my toes were tingling- I had the best time I have had in such a long time!  (check out the pictures I posted to get a more detailed look at the weekend)

The last night approached and as I was sitting on the couch- sipping on a new found friend’s tea, I tried to take in the last bit of my Narnia that I could. Before the white snow came, the dead grass and withered trees were all that surrounded. The leaves had changed and fallen as the end of Autumn concluded and the start of winter had arrived.  

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...

...My heart shall not fear; though war may rise up against me, in this I will be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3

The semester is almost over. In 26 days I will be heading back across the Atlantic Ocean and in all honesty don’t know when I will be back. Do I want to? Definitely. It has been a hell ride these past few months and one that I needed. It was (and still is)  a time when I have been put through the fire and have had to face the sin that was buried deep inside of my own self. I had to learn to swallow, to let go, to realize when I am crawling that I know I will be on my feet again. To know that in the desert God will provide the living water. In the fire I am being refined. In the battle the victory is already won and I can know that triumph is on its way. And when the Harvest comes, I can see that I am overflowing just to be emptied again. In all of this- in every season- I can take hold and comfort in that God is still God. He is still on the throne and I am going to praise Him.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed 

that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Finger Tips

“I  am dying of thirst by the Fountain.” -unknown

In my kitchen,my hot tea and bible are keeping me company as the cold rain pounds the windows.  I try and soak up the rarity of having the apartment to myself. As the afternoon approaches, I realize what a week it has been. Too often I sit here and come to the recognition of what is truly going on in the world, and in my own life. Even when you have salvation and you have the strength of the Lord, we too often fall back into our old ways and start to thirst for the drowning that will swallow ourselves.  I realize that I am not taking advantage of what has already been given to me.  I find myself holding on by my fingertips- I am holding on, but barely.  Right as I feel as if that last finger is just about to slip away, and I find myself trying to hold myself up, I  become aware of what I am doing- I am struggling.  I find myself feeling stretched and sprawled out right in front of  exactly what I need- I find myself dying of thirst as I am right near the fountain. Yet, once I come to the realization that I am in restraint and struggling, I am set free. It is only when I stop struggling, that I  survive.  

Knowing that our old man was crucified with HIm, that the body  of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:6-7

It is rather ridiculous when we really think about it. We have salvation right? We have the promise of eternal life, the promise of the Holy Spirit to help guide us and to be our Helper, and we have the promise of the Word. Yet one promise I seem to forget (and I am sure I am not the only one out there, so admit this to yourself as well) is our freedom that we obtain by our salvation.  We all struggle with something- for some it is a bit more evident in their lives then others- but we all have something. We all have a flesh, a sin nature.  Yet, as people who have salvation, that old man is no longer draggin behind us. Our old slef dies when Christ bore our sins and was crucified. We no longer have to be in the bondage of that. When we bear the name of Christ and choose to have Him abiding in us, we must realize that He died once and for all.  Not “once-and-for-all”, but rather “one time and for all sin.”  

When I accepted the gift, and I made the choice to receive salvation, I was freed! I no longer had to deal with the bondage and sin that kept me back before. So why do I let it get me now? Why, when I  have the promise of the Word, do I let the enemy get to me- letting my thoughts and my mind think I have to do anything.  All I must do, is let go, come to fountain, and jump in. All I need to do- is take part in what I already have- and that is liberty in Christ.

“For when there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.  For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” Hebrews 9:16-17

Daily I have to ask myself...


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Writers Block

Its been almost a week since I got back from Rome... and I am sorry that I am just now sitting down to get it all out.  I was sitting in our freezing cold living room- thinking of ways to be creative and trying to “think outside the box” when thinking about how to describe my trip.  But I couldn’t. So what better way to tell you about Rome, then to show you. I posted about 100 pictures that will show you the 5 day trip to Rome. My roommate and I met her parents there and well lets just say, it was unforgettable. 

Check them out and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This past week the school ventured out on, once again, another adventure. Two weeks after returning from Austria as a family, we all spread out and conquered our own journeys. Four went to Scilia to encourage and pray with a group that desires a church to be started there and three went to Rome to help with a new church plant. Meanwhile me and six others trekked opposite of the heat and headed North- to Kvitsund, Norway. After roughly ten hours of bus, train, and plane we arrived at a christian boarding school... in the middle of no where.
Before leaving Italy, we were informed of little of what we would be doing and participating in at the school. All we knew was we had a few nights to do whatever we wanted with the students, but nothing was mandatory for anyone to attend. So basically, we could of gotten there and all 180 students completely ignore us and the trip be awkward and pointless. Thank the Lord it was anything but.
Over those 7 days, we were part of a major work that the Lord is doing in a very dark country. As we ate four (yes four) meals a day, played dodge ball, prayed and worship with the students- our minds were opened to something we never would have expected. We were all enraptured into the lives of these people- and for some reason they grabbed onto us as well. Through out the week we had opportunities for the students to come and we would do worship (with a guitar, not an organ) and just share our hearts and lives- being completely open and available for whatever they needed. As I mentioned before- nothing was mandatory and was optional for everyone. Yet, every time we had an event- our jaws would drop and our hearts rejoiced as the students and staff pilled in.
I strive to write about the experience and the feelings that happened in Norway- but sometimes, words just can’t come. Sometimes you experience something so joyful and satisfying that you don’t even know how to explain it to yourself. You think about it- and you hit this wall of frustration cause you can’t express what is going on inside of you. All you can do is praise the Lord that He chose you. All I can do is thank Him for the privilege He gave everyone of us in going to Norway. I look back on all the people I met, all the encouragement I got and the fruit that came from our prayers- I see that I have no idea what I did. When we can sit back and look at the fruit of a work and not be able to see how it all came to pass- that is when you know it was anointed. I can honestly say- I could have been anyone. I did nothing. I am honored and astounded that the Lord would choose us to encourage the lives of the students.
“And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’
Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’” Exodus 33:14-15
Just as Moses prayed that he would not go alone- I pray the same for my own life. I desire nothing if the Lord’s Presence is not evident. These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions, a speratic out cry of desperation and tears, and a realization of how empty I am. But then- I remember that I am not alone. That I will continue in the walk of my life and will not go forward alone.

***check out the pictures on the website to your right.. there are a ton!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Valley Girl

Standing there, looking out of the window of my room, my eyes trying to take in the scene that stood in front of me. As another fall breeze swept through and the changing leaves fell down below, I had to remind myself to breathe. I had to remind myself that, yes, I am in an ancient castle in the mountains of Alps and have had the “Sound of Music” soundtrack playing in my head since I stepped off the train. For the past week we took the students to the Bible College campus in Austria- which so happens to be in an ancient castle. This week, known as “Speakers Week”, was a time for all of us- students and staff- to get out of the routine for a bit. With no ipods, no computers, no Internet and just each other- we spent the week getting our focus back on Jesus and just relaxing out of our routine.  The castle is gorgeous, peeking through the trees of a mountain and facing a lake with the Alps enclosing you in. It was a great week to really just sit back and listen. We were on top of the mountain- but you can’t stay on top of the mountain forever.

When we leave a certain time or event, usually we learn more from that experience once we look back. Once we are no longer in the midst of it and begin start to examine it from the outside in, then do we realize all that happened in that time. Once I came down from the mountain and we were heading back to Italy, I came to the realization of something: I like the mountain. I like the times when we are on top, when we are all taking in the moments of joy and the refreshing time with the Lord. Selfishly I like the moments where it is just me and God- and I can see things from the top of the mount and not be in the valley. 

" We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have the power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. The moments on the mountain tops are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God's purpose."  Oswald Chambers

How humbling it is to realize that we weren’t made for the mount. We were made to for the valley. To be amongst the “devil-possessed and lift them up.”  To the be light in the darkness and to bring glory to our God. We all long to be on the mount all the time, but when you really look at it, what greater joy is there than to know that you are doing what the Lord has asked of you. What greater fulfilment of Joy is there, knowing that you were used to help someone get on the mountain and catch their breath.

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:3-5

This valley girl longs to hear the voice of her Shepherd call her by name.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of  hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”  Psalm 45:10

Be still. That is something I don’t think I will ever fully understand the concept of. With things starting to pick up and get busier here at the school- I am having a harder time to just sit with the Lord and be still. Being still in my mind. Being still in my heart. Being still in my spirit. To just be still and recognize that He is my Lord. 

This past week we have been bust getting everything ready and put together for the up coming months. On monday we are heading to the Bible College campus in Austria- spending a week there in what we call “Speakers Week.”  It is basically a time where we, as one body, can go and get away from the what we have grown accustomed to in our little Italian bubble. Were we can go, be together with no distractions, be in a  beautiful castle (yes, a castle) and to be still before the Lord. While we are there, we will be brought into a time of quiet solitude in our spirits so we can be refreshed and rejuvenated. Dang, I am looking forward to that.

“Don’t screw up the present cause you are dwelling on the future or the past”  -Jay Colle

Sometimes having a writer as a dad can be very annoying. They always come up with these catching one liners that convict you to the core of your gut. I was needing to be still this past week. My mind, my rampid thoughts were not calming down and the Lifetime movie in my head was beginning to get more like a bad soap opera. I was venting to my dad over an afternoon skype chat and he when he sent that I think I actually said “ouch” out loud. But conviction is suppose to hurt our flesh and our pride. This past week- my flesh was strong, my spirit was willing, and I was weak. But thankfully- “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge” and we can stand strong in His faithfulness. We can stand against the fiery darts of the evil one- cause the Lord is our armor. 

Pray for an amazing week in Austria- that the Lord would speak and the Holy Spirit would be poured upon our lives.

P.S. Need to mention one more thing: We have our “Outreach Week” 2 weeks after we get back from Austria (Oct. 11-18). Me, along with the guy intern and 6 students, are going to Norway. More to come on that later....


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heart Broken

This is for yall who know me.  This is a thank you for those who have put up with me for the past three years (for some longer) and have supported me.  This is for those back home who let me do what I needed to do so that I could (and continue) to find out who I am.  For the past three years, I have been in and out of your lives- being anything but stable. I want to take this, and first thank my family. I am sorry if I seem to be the nomad, roaming daughter/sister who can’t seem to find her ground. But I am so blessed because I have parents and brothers who let me.  You knew I needed to do my thing and I needed to find out who I was and who I am suppose to be. Even though this journey is still in the fast lane, I know I will always have a place to call home. For my friends (you know who you are and I am missing those meetings more and more), thank you for understanding. Thank you for letting me leave, and then when I come home (even if its only for 2 months) embracing me like I never left. These past three years have been radical, surprising, breaking, unexpected and the best of my life. But they would be nothing without knowing I am supported.  I am sorry that I am not there for all the little things- and some big. (if it makes you feel any better, I hate living through pictures on facebook and emails). I am sorry I am not there to see you grow and find who you need to be and who you  are.  There are times when all I want to do is be at home, sitting in my living room, FSU on the TV (wining of course, so you know its a dream) and everyone I love eating really good food and just being able to breathe. But for the moment I am here. Right now,we are half a world apart. Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely love it here and can’t really picture myself being anywhere else.  I am so joyful and so blessed to be here.  Majority of that is cause of back home.  Thanks agian.  I miss you. I love you!

Always always,

Laura Jean

p.s. for those of you who care- a legit update will be coming soon. But in light of recent events, I felt this was appropriate. 

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor the fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food, though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no heard in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength; he will make my feet like deer’s feet.  And He will make me walk on my high hills.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


“I am dying of thirst by the side of the Fountain.”

-Charles D’Orleans

I was sitting on our couch, snuggled up in my favorite blanket, the sixty-five degree perfection breezes through the door- the only things messing up this moment is the drilling of the arguing plumbers working on our broken shower. But, other than that (which is getting fixed) things are going pretty well on this side of the hemisphere. This past week, us girls went to Venice for the day. Majority of the guys were suppose to go as well- but they saw it contained a 90% chance of rain and chickened out. So as us girls made our way to the ancient historic city on our own- it became an adventure none of us will regret. Everything from not really knowing what trains to go on (we ended up just following these ladies the whole way on the trains- unbeknownst to them) to not really having any idea what to do when we arrived. But thankfully, Venice is a city to get lost in. Its a place where the streets wind and turn, dropping you in places that are more beautiful than you imagined. We stopped and got a caffe latte and pastry along the way to San Marco Piazza. We had done pretty well staying dry until we reached the Rialto Bridge. That is when the heavens opened up and the floods started rising. All but myself had an umbrella- but that didn’t do much for you anyway and there is only so much cover to run for when the majority of the city is water. We were hiding under a covered walkway, talking to our new friends Dennis and Rudolph (yes like the raindeer) from England when we realized it wasn’t going to let up any time soon. We didn’t come to Venice to strand in a covered walkway just to stay dry, so what do 4 crazy american girls do when you go to Venice and the streets are flooding? You take your shoes off, roll up your pants, and make a run for it. Needless to say our day in Venice wasn’t what anyone would have expected. (The again,most would have seen the 90% weather forecast and stayed at home.)  But what a day, what an adventure we would have missed out on if we had stayed back.  We were running in puddles up to our ankles through San Marco Piazza dancing around and laughing and enjoying every wet minute of it! We took our chance and got caught in the rain.

And they were filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, 

as the Spirit gave them utterance.” 

Acts 2:4

As we were standing there, I turned and caught my reflection in a darkened window. Sopping wet, hair matted to my face, clothes drenched and my converse squeezing- I realized this is what I want everyday. Maybe not to be literally soaked to the bone, but I long for my soul, my whole being to be refreshed a new each day in the living water of our Lord. For that Living water to pour over me, causing me to dance, laugh and enjoy every wet minute of my life serving Him. To be refreshed with the Holy Spirit everyday, so I can no longer walk through the desert, but walk through the streets drenched in the power of the Holy Spirit- that Living Water.

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Acts 17:6

Let us turn this world upside down.

My flickr picture website is acting funky- so for the time being use this one:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It seems like good conversations always seem to happen in the kitchen. I don’t know if its the aroma of food, the relaxed atmosphere mixed with a glass of wine or just the fact that there is a pre-mindset of just feeling welcome. For whatever reason it may be, I always seem to find myself having my deepest “coming to Jesus” conversation in the solitude of the kitchen. For example today, me and Kristyn had the apartment to ourselves while the girls were all in class. I was sitting on the counter top, catty-cornered to her at the table. Next thing you know, we have talked about everything under the sun: What we see happening this semester between us and the girls, our hearts so far on what is happening, and even just what we are learning right now. One of the major things that we both agreed on was the act of surrender. I know it sounds cliché and comes up a lot in typical christian discussions. But if it comes up so often, and us humans are talking about it so much, apparently we haven’t grasped the concept quiet yet.  I know, for me, its an everyday act of saying “Lord, I can’t do this. You can.” But more than just surrendering over your life, your will, and so on- I have to wonder- do we surrender over the parts that make up our lives? In the Christian world we hear all the time to “surrender your life over the Lord.”  And don’t get me wrong- it’s a necessary thing that we need to do in order to live a consecrated life. Yet, if we break that down- not so overwhelming as LIFE- but more of just today. what about our dreams? Our desires for our ministries? Our desires for our jobs? Our desires for our family or friends? Our relationships? Do we surrender our desires? If you really think about that sentence- it is completely false.  The question should be said, do we surrender HIS desires? 

When I think of all the things I want out of life- A good, God-fearing Husband; children who love and serve the Lord; a ministry that I can say is glorifying to Him; a house with a wraparound porch on some pretty land in the country; NOT a mini van; a circle of family and friends who know me and love me  or who I truly am and are willing to be honest; to be able to dress my kids up in mini FSU cheerleader and football outfits for game days and go tailgating; so on and so forth. I have these desires and more, but where did they come from? Most of us, when we became saved, knew that our lives would be so much better off if the Lord’s will was done and not our own. So, if we were letting Jesus Christ truly rule and reign in us, if we were allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us (cause it is a choice- saved or not)- wouldn’t these desires be... from God Himself? I would hope so. I would hope that I wouldn’t  have- what I think is perfect for me- thoughts and dreams for my life just to be teased by them.  Now- some are frivolous and some are a little more dominating (obviously, I am can be a little flexible on the specifics of the house).   But the point is- these aren’t truly our  desires. So, if they aren’t truly ours  and they rather still belong to God ...we have to give them back. Yes, He did give them to us.  But He gave us these hopes, dreams, visions and burdens in our hearts cause He has a specific plan for each one of them.  In order for them to come to blossom to their full potential- we have to be willing to let them go. We have to lay them on the alter, sacrifice them over and let God have the reigns.  We can’t make the painting better than the Artist who imagined it in the first place. 

“Then the time came when the risk it took to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
One Sunday, my Pastor talked about visions. One of the things He said that I loved was how a vision is between two people: you and the Lord. God gave you that vision/desire/dream/burden because He wants to use YOU.  When we get this vision we must realize that it is one part of the plan and what God wants to do. For us to fully see what is to happen- for it to fully blossom- we must surrender it. It is our responsibility to see what it could or should be by giving it back to the Lord and letting Him use us to bring it to glory Him.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


We walked to church this morning glistening profusely from our walk- I was the only one used to the muggy bubble that causes you to sweat just cause your breathing. We walked down the back roads to a typical Calvary Chapel Building- a warehouse. Looking at the front door you would never guess that people gather here twice a week to worship their Lord. It has been about 6 days since I arrived here in Montebelluna, Italy. So far- it is nothing like I thought it would be! If any of you know- CCBC is known for trying to cram as many girls as possible in one bathroom. So to walk into our apartment and have 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and tons of living space (we have a roof that is open to our apartment we call the “Terrace”) its more room than I could ever have guessed! The Lord has provided every step along the way thus far- from years of me suffering with stomach issues and coming here and be able to eat Pizza and Pasta with no side effects (There are such things as miracles!) and then trying to adjust to all the changes. As I sat in church this morning, the whole service was in full Italian, so I could hardly understand any of it. But at the same time I absolutely loved it! As Americans I think we tend to think the world revolves around us. And I hate to break it to you if you haven’t come to this realization, but it doesn't- at all. And as I looked around today- seeing people I have never met, let alone thought ever existed until today, they were worshiping and loving the same God that I do. They were raising their hands, lifting their voices and praising God with their lives- just like anyone else back home. It was amazing to me to realize that even though I might not be able to understand the message, or to have a real conversation with them after the “Hello”s and “Ciao”s- one day I will. We are all living for the same Father and are all loved, saved and restored by our Lord Jesus.
As the days go by, the students arrive, and school gets started I pray the Lord uses all of us in mighty way. That we are brought together in that brotherly unity and all desire to stand on the common love of Jesus Christ. I pray our hearts are molded and shaped into the men and women God has called us to be, that we are all able to become broken and restored before His throne . In these next few months I am expecting to be taken out of my comfort zone- only to be brought closer to the Lord. Continue to pray for all of the students, interns, staff and Italians. That in all we do God’s name is glorified.

I miss yall and love yall!

P.S. I was sporting my FSU shirt on Saturday even though I was across the world. GO SEMINOLES!! :)
Pictures are up!! check the link to your right.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame."
-E.M. Bounds

Set me on Fire and watch me burn....

p.s. We have our apartment! I found out last week that the school has found us a roof over our heads! We are moving forward....

Monday, June 30, 2008


“Step of faith.” We hear the cliché all the time as it floats around our Christian bubbles and even as it overflows into the society around us. We are reminded of that “step of faith” and I don’t think we really comprehend what it all encompasses. If we are truly honest with ourselves, that cliché is a whole lot easier said then done. Personally, I have become numb to it. I catch myself saying it, and as the words flow out of my mouth I am thinking, “Do I know what kind of faith that takes? I encourage people to take that step, do I know what I am saying?”As I prepare in these next few months to go to Italy, I find myself taking that certain step more often. Recently I purchased my round-trip ticket to Venice. It was an exciting moment as the emotions erupted when I clicked the “confirm purchase” button for the last time. Yet, as the excitement calmed down, the reality set in: I am doing it. I am taking that step of faith, buying my ticket and stepping forward. Before making my big purchase I knew it would require my faith—that the Lord will provide-to become more dominant. But I had no idea how dark and insecure I would feel. Jesus says if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) And in my finite eyes this is a fairly big mountain. But you know what? This is nothing. I take this step of faith into what I feel like the abyss of my confusing path of existence—but I stand strong and take confidence that my Father is leading me by His right hand. That He knows my heart. He knows my desires. He knows because He put them there. He put them there because I prayed for Him to abide in me and put His desires and His heart into mine. In Ezekiel 36:26-27 it says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” We have our heart of flesh and our spirit is renewed, we can stand strong and confident in the fact that Jesus has us and isn’t letting go. Do I let my thoughts my mind and freak myself out as I over think everything? Of course. Do I have to pray everyday that I let go and let God? Oh yeah. But I can breathe, step into my darkness, and be led by the Marvelous Light that knows exactly where I am going.

p.s. to the right is the link to where my pictures from Italy are going to be posted. But there is nothing up there from italy yet. Just so you know...

The reasons why

As some of you may know, this past spring I finished my time at Calvary Chapel Bible College and graduated in May! For two years, I was given the opportunity to set all things aside and just spend time in the Word and just soak in what the Lord desired to reveal to me. In those two years the Lord wrecked me, broke me, shook me, brought me to my knees just to get back on my feet once again. It was time that I really learned what a “concerted life” meant, and the true act of surrender. One of my favorite people in the Bible is the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah. While Nehemiah was the cupbearer for the King, his heart longed to be in Jerusalem with his people. During this time he found out about the destruction of the walls of Jerusalem and the desperation the people of the city felt. What did Nehemiah do? He fasted and prayed before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:4). We later find out it was another four months before the Lord gave him the opportunity to help the people of the destroyed city. But when the time came, when the King asked his saddened servant what was wrong, that is when the door was open. At that point Nehemiah had been able to seek the Lord and become prepared for specifically what the Lord desired to do with his heart for the people. As you continue to read the rest of the book, the Lord uses Nehemiah in a powerful way- not only to rebuild the walls of the city, but also to bring glory to the name of God.
I tell you all this for a purpose: last spring I got this random desire to pray for the country of Italy. I never really had a desire to go there before but one day I felt the need to pray. Because of the faithfulness of the Lord evidenced in my own life, I knew prayer was the most powerful thing I could do. So I did. The summer came and went and I continued to pray. In August I headed off to Israel for my fall semester and I still had this urge to pray for the people, the country, the churches and the missionaries in Italy. I didn’t really know what to do with it, I just knew I needed to surrender it to the Lord and give it to him. I knew I needed to be obedient in what He had put on my heart and the only way the heaviness in my heart was lifted was when I was praying. That semester I was reading through Nehemiah. I read those first few chapters and felt like I was reading the story of my own heart. I had been wrestling with questions of “why?”—God, why do I have this burden? God, why can I not stop praying and thinking about it? But reading about the patience and the fervent prayer of Nehemiah, it showed me this is a time of preparation. One day, the fruit of my obedience would show; I may not see it come to bear the way I think it will, but it will be there. I knew I had to stand strong in the faithfulness of knowing that God is going to lead me by His right hand.
So, I give you this big introduction because God is faithful and He does answer prayers! This past spring, it was announced that the rumors going around were true: Calvary Chapel Bible College was opening an extension campus in Montebelluna, Italy. It took several slaps across the face and a few wake up calls along with some very encouraging family and friends (I love you all) before I decided to apply for the internship at the new campus. To make the long story short (too late!): a month later, I was accepted! As of right now, I am planning on joining the staff and Pastors in northern Italy this fall as an intern.
What exactly will I be doing? Short answer: whatever they need! As a new campus, this semester is going to be stretching for everyone involved. Students, staff, churches, interns—we are all going to need to be patient, flexible, strong and willing to understand. But, most importantly, the goal of the entire campus is to reach out to the Italians and to spread the Good News of God’s saving grace and the unfailing relationship we can obtain by abiding in Him. While we all live, study, eat, shop and buy coffee, we hope to share the love of Christ and build friendships and relationships with those who need that everlasting love of Jesus.
So where do you come in? Well, just like Nehemiah did, we all desperately need your prayers. We desire to be those living epistles with truth written on our hearts. We all desire to see the Holy Spirit be poured upon that nation, upon its people and for us to be refreshed daily. For us to not walk out of our house without the armor of our mighty God, knowing He has the power and the desire to save. So I am asking for you to join us, maybe not physically, but in prayer. I am asking for your support: that you decide to stand in the gap and pray for us as we represent the Truth, the Way, and the Light to the nation of Italy. While I am there I will be keeping a blog with updates on what is going on and all the happenings, along with pictures. As you pray (which is most important) if you feel lead to help support me financially please send everything to my parents at the address below. (they are my bank :) )
Again, I thank each of you for everything. May the Lord bless you, and keep you. May His face shine upon you and grant you peace.
Laura Colle