Tag Archives: youth missions international


19 Nov

I realized that I’m way past due for giving you guys an update.  (*Note: I know I say this in a lot all of my blog posts – definitely needs to be will be remedied.)

Anyhow, I’m doing pretty grand right now.  I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away.  Where have the last couple of months gone?!  Before you know it, we’ll be heading into Christmas (my personal fave)!

Speaking of Christmas…BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  Are you ready for it?  Are you sure?  Absolutely positively?  Absotively posolutely?  Okay, okay – don’t get pushy.

Matthew’s coming home to Texas with me for Christmas!

Did you have to read it twice because you were so excited?  I know, me too.  We’ll be in Texas Dec. 22nd through the 29th, and we’re both super excited.  🙂  He’ll get to meet the ENTIRE family on my mom’s side, which should be fun, and I hope to introduce him to a couple of my TX friends too.  And I can’t wait to include Matthew in all of our fun family traditions, including decorating Christmas cookies while listening to a little bit of Mitch Miller & the Gang.  Oh bliss.

My trip to TX back in Oct was fantastic – the perfect little vacation.  And my next day back to work upon my return I was promoted!  So lots of big things happening for me.  (Here’s a little eye candy of me and my Texi-boy for you – can’t wait to see him in Dec too.)

I should also tell you that after a year + working for Youth Missions International, my time there has come to an end.  It was a very natural end for both me and the organization.  The promotion at my other job just made it too difficult for me to try to do both.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of that wonderful ministry and look forward to helping out in any way I can, whether through volunteering and/or financial support.

On to other things now…Several months ago Jessica and I decided to decoupage Mattie’s ceiling fan to match her bedspread after I saw this tutorial on one of my favorite craft blogs.  And I finally got some decent pictures in some decent lighting.  So for your viewing pleasure (click the pic to zoom in):

Each blade is different (obviously) with an “applique” on each one to match some of the objects on her bedspread from Pottery Barn Kids.  I free-handed them and was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself.  😉  It was a really fun project, and I’ve become completely addicted to Mod Podge projects.

And now I feel like I’ve blog-vomited all over the place with all of these different things going on, but so much has happened – which means there’s lots to share!  These next couple of weeks are going to be B-U-S-Y for me, but I’ll try to get an update in here every once in a while.  Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!


Oh the Wonderful Cross

31 Mar

I thought I would use this week’s post to give you a ministry-specific update on the goings-on in my life.  YMI  is blossoming in its ministry.  We’re still “opening up” YMI Brasil and getting things rolling in that department, and, as the summer is getting surprisingly close, we’re preparing for all of our summer trips and new trainings.

For me personally, my ministry has come to a point of uncertainty – unfortunately.  Due to a lack of sufficient funding, my time here in the Northwest is looking more and more limited.  I admit, this is a hard thing to come out and say.  My heart has been struggling with this for so long now because I so desire to be involved in ministry here.  My prayer is that God will give me clear direction about what my next step should be.

I hope that you are eagerly anticipating Easter and what it really means.  What beauty there is in the cross, don’t you think?  The other day I was reading the account of the Crucifixion in Luke (Lk 23:26-42), and I was at the part where the two thieves on the cross are talking to Jesus.  One says (in my words), “Hey, man, if you’re for real get us off of here?”  And the other guy says (again, in my words), “You ignorant fool.  Don’t you know that we deserve to be up here, whereas this man is innocent?”  Then he requests simply that Jesus remember him in his kingdom.  And, in the midst of his suffering, Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:42 – ESV)!  I’m not sure exactly why, but when I read this, I found myself weeping.  I think it’s because it’s really that simple.  We just have to accept Christ and what he’s done for us, and we can spend eternity with him.  Beautiful.


Looks like I’ll be in the Northwest a little longer – I just got a job offer with the Boys and Girls Club of America as the Teen Site Coordinator of the North Mason branch!  Praise the Lord!  Isn’t his timing perfect?!  I’ll give a little more informative update on the job in next week’s post.  🙂


I’m having too much fun…

27 Jan

I did it.  I made a baby blanket.  I think it turned out pretty great.  This is the first of 3 I’m making.  Only 2 more to go.

I also had someone ask me today if I can make a hat that looks like a cupcake.  And all I could think was, “What in the world would that look like?”  So I did an internet image search and found this:

So I suppose this will be my next project since it does, in fact, exist.

Last night was the kick off night for the newest small group at my church (led by yours truly).  It’s a group for young women, and what a blessing they are!  We had a good time discussing what we’ll be doing in the small group and getting excited about loving on each other, as well as those not in our group.  The whole experience is a little odd for me because I’m actually the youngest one out of the bunch and one of the only ones without kids and/or a husband, but I feel so blessed to be able to love and serve alongside such beautiful (inside and out) women.  Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two from these experienced women!

If you’re a praying person, please be in prayer for this group of young women.  And I also ask that you pray for me because I have a job interview at Abercrombie & Fitch on Friday as a candidate for their Manager in Training (MIT) program.  They contacted me last week for an interview after seeing from my resume that I have a Bachelor’s degree (one of the qualifications for the position).  Don’t worry – I’ll still be working with YMI, but this job would allow me a little more financial freedom to do more ministry.  I’m so excited about this opportunity.  Please pray that God will give me discernment to know if this is something that I should pursue (if they offer me the job).

Look forward to an update on the small group and job interview next week!


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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

16 Dec

This last week has been a fun one.  The most exciting part was seeing Santa…twice!

The weekend before last, Matthew and I went to get our picture taken with Santa.  You have to understand that Matthew (who takes after his dad) isn’t nearly as big a fan of Christmas as I am.  So I can sincerely say it was truly out of the love in his heart that he took me to see jolly old St. Nick.  Here’s the pic:

Saturday night Matthew’s family celebrated Christmas together and included me in their festivities.  A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned – in front of Matthew’s mom – that he would be the coolest uncle ever if he played Santa for his nieces and nephews, to which he quickly responded with a solid “no.”  But, much to his chagrin, his mom also thought it was a great idea.  So she bought a Santa suit, and poor Matthew had to play the part Saturday night after everyone arrived.  His nieces and nephews loved it – although they knew right away that their Uncle Matthew was the man behind the beard.  I had such a wonderful time spending an early Christmas with them and am thankful they like me enough to include me in family activities!

The last several days, including the weekend, I have been battling a cold or something.  It’s been a rough couple of days, but I feel like I’m nearing the end of it.  Thank goodness.

Get ready for the most exciting news…I’ll be home for Christmas!  This time next week I’ll be at home in Hillsboro decorating Christmas cookies with my family, watching Christmas movies, and enjoying my mom’s home cooking.  I love living in WA, but nothing beats Christmas at the Clary house.

Hope you’re enjoying this Christmas season!  Only one more blog until Christmas!


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Guns, Horses, and a Kitchen Catastrophe (Almost)

9 Dec

Not much has happened around here lately.  Hannah and I decorated the apartment last night with a few Christmas decorations and watched a few Christmas movies to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy some roomie time, since we don’t get much of it anymore.

Yesterday I was fortunate to meet Juca Cerpe and his daughter Julia, two of YMI’s missionary contacts in Brazil.  They are here in WA for a visit to learn about how we operate as a missions organization and do fundraising because they are going to be establishing a Brazilian YMI (MJI in Portugese) very soon.  I’ve heard so much about them, and it was awesome to finally meet them.  Juca said he had a question for me and (jokingly) asked if all Texans have a gun and a horse.  I shot a quick glance to Brian (the YMI president), who I knew put Juca up to asking me.  Nevertheless, it was so funny.

The other night Matthew and I made fettuccine alfredo…except it wasn’t really fettuccine, just some other pasta.  But it was homemade and so yummy!  Matthew even let me help, which may not have been the best idea.  The whole time I kept waiting and waiting for the water to bowl so we could cook the pasta – the one part I actually knew how to do (although I also got to grate the cheese as well).   So after all the waiting, Matthew finally said I could put the pasta in the boiling water.  *DISCLAIMER: Now you have to understand that I’m from a family of six.  So I’m conditioned to cook for six people.*  Just as I’m pouring the box of pasta in the water, Matthew tries to tell me not to pour in the entire box.  But he was too late.  Needless to say, there was a little extra pasta left over when we were done, since we were cooking for just the two of us.  The good news is that my boyfriend is the greatest and doesn’t get mad at me for little mess ups like cooking the entire box of pasta instead of just a quarter of it.  We actually had a good laugh over it.  And now he knows to be a little more specific with me when it comes to cooking!

Anyway, that’s what’s been going down in my life recently.  Be blessed by this verse (thanks to Jenna Huesing for showing it to me the other day):

“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

Proverbs 30:8


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Blessings All Around

2 Dec

Thanksgiving has come and gone – I can’t believe it.  I was blessed to be able to spend my first Thanksgiving away from home with the Ventura family.  Matthew made a delicious dinner, and I made two decadent chocolate pecan pies.  That afternoon Matthew and I went to see A Christmas Carol in 3D, which was a fun way to end the holiday.  Now it’s time to prepare for the Christmas holiday, and I’m so excited!  Matthew and I went Christmas gift shopping for his nieces and nephews the other day, and it was so fun getting to pick out kid stuff.  And Matthew has a very special surprise for them.  I can’t wait to see their little faces light up!

In other news, I have had several donations for my ministry come in lately.  I feel so blessed to have so many people who support what the Lord is doing through my ministry with YMI.  I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to each of you who have offered financial and prayer support for me over the last couple of months.

The Lord has been doing so much in my life recently.  Matthew’s dad, Stephen, lent me a book (Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley) a couple of weeks ago, and it has been transforming my prayer life.  One of the subjects the book talks about is praying with authority.  Specifically, this concept has changed the way I pray about God’s provision.  In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to be anxious because God provides, and  Philippians 4:19-20 says that God will supply our needs.  Therefore, Ishould not pray to God asking him to provide because I know he will; instead, I should thank God for what he has promised me he will provide.  Once I started approaching the “throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) my spirit is completely at peace and does not doubt for a minute that God will do what he has said he will do.

Another thing God has showed me just this morning was related to my thoughts.  The last couple of days I have had a “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) unlike I have ever experienced before.  Several times I have thought to myself that all I really desire right now is to be righteous in the eyes of the Lord.  And then it hit me:

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you have discerned my thoughts from afar.” – Psalm 139:1-2 (Special thanks to Matthew who pointed me to these verses when I mentioned all of this to him.)

The Lord knows my thoughts; he knows my heart and my desires.  What an odd moment it was when this truth really sunk in.  I am overjoyed that God knows my innermost thoughts and that he’s listening to them even when I do not realize it.  Praise be to our Creator for intimately knowing his creations!


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30 Days of Thankful

25 Nov

In light of Thanksgiving, I decided to make a list of 30 things/people/whatever I am thankful for – one for every day of the month of November (in random order).  Some are serious; some are…not so serious.

I am thankful for…

  • Matthew – my best friend and incredible boyfriend – for always being there for me, for always laughing at my jokes (no matter how lame they are)and being silly with me, for always getting excited about the things I find exciting (even the seemingly unexciting things), and for countless other reasons.
  • Sweet, selfless prayers from a 9-year-old.
  • New friends and opportunities for fellowship.
  • Good health.
  • Central Baptist Church Hillsboro – for being such an integral part of my spiritual formation throughout jr. high, high school, and college.
  • Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection – because of him I am saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).
  • Naps.
  • My dog, Tex – because he is the best dog in the world.
  • April 19, 1993 – the day my sweet Jesus saved me from myself.
  • Pastor Jamie – for tending to his little flock at FBCPO and for not being afraid to step on some toes, including mine.
  • Sheila & Steve Cochran – my “adopted WA parents,” who love me and take care of me here in WA.
  • Music – especially The Beatles, Coldplay, and Hanson.
  • Hannah – my roommate and friend – for “blessing” me (please excuse the inside joke).
  • 22 years and 9 months of life. (Geez, I’m getting old!)
  • My car (as old and clunky as it is) – for getting me all the way to WA from TX with no problems.
  • My family – for loving and supporting me every step of the way, even when I move 2000 miles away from them.
  • ETBU – for my education and the life lessons it taught me throughout (and even after) the four years I was there.
  • God’s mercy and grace – that they are renewed daily.
  • Ice cream.
  • Youth Missions International – for giving me the opportunity to follow my calling and serve in the Northwest.
  • The library – for providing me with hours upon hours of free entertainment.
  • Weekends.
  • The Jarretts and The Cooks – Hannah’s family – for being awesome and for being great friends to me these last couple of years.
  • God’s faithful and unending provision.
  • First Baptist Church Port Orchard – for lovingly taking me in and making me a part of their family.
  • Kasie, Kenneth, and Kristen – for being the coolest siblings of all time.  OF ALL TIME.
  • Mentors.
  • Babies – for their sweet innocence and fresh life.
  • The Venturas – Matthew’s family – for being my second family.
  • The Greening Family – for being my Texas buddies here in the Northwest.

I hope all of you have just as many reasons (and more) to be thankful.