Day Guide to Amsterdam: Part 1.

Day Guide to Amsterdam: Part 1


Hello, friends!

I am excited to finally be sharing my pictures from our trip to Amsterdam in April with you! I have been pretty busy with a variety of different things, but am excited to be getting this out! I also wanted to include a little bit of a day guide with what we did and where we went.



We first arrived at around noon and checked into our AirBnB which was located in De Pijp– a district of central Amsterdam. It was seriously one of the cutest places I have ever stayed at! Although there were a lot of Buddhist decorations, it wasn’t overwhelming. The only downside was we couldn’t figure out how to manage the shower (that whole hot and cold thing) and every once in a while, the bathroom would smell like weed… pipes from the neighbors…

All in all, it was a wonderful place and I would definitely stay there again! So central and easy to get places. Also far enough away from other tourists.


After we were done checking in, we were VERY hungry. Thankfully, our host left us a variety of maps and tourist books on things to do in Amsterdam. In the Lonely Planet book, it recommended “The Butcher”- a burger place with burgers that are grilled right in front of you behind a wall of glass. It was really delicious and a good price! Tip: If you want to go, it is in the middle of the Albert Cuypstraat Market. Be sure to look behind the tents of the vendors! We almost were unable to find The Butcher!

The Albert Cuypstraat is a really cool flea market with a varitey of different things to buy: cheese, flowers, sunglasses, clothes, souvenirs, etc; It’s a long street, too, so there is a lot to look at!



After eating and wandering down the Albert Cuypstraat, we walked north on Ferdinand Bolstraat and we stopped by the Heineken Experience. We spontaneously bought tickets online (you save 2€!) and didn’t have to wait in a line when we got there! We were given a bracelet with two little buttons on it which we were able to trade in to get 2 free beers😀 The museum is seriously SO COOL. You learn about the history of Heineken beer, how they make it, how to drink a beer, how to pour a beer yourself (I was awful at it), and see horses. The whole thing is just so much fun! And you get a free beer. So, what’s better than that? We left as big Heineken fans.


After we left the musuem, we walked along one of the canals and right across from the Rijksmuesem, is a little booth to buy tickets for a canal boat tour. Tickets cost about 18€ for an hour and a half. But different companies offer different tours and different prices. But we were pretty satisfied with what we had🙂 It was like a bus, it stopped at different places and told you what was in that area to go look at. It’s also cool, because you go through all the different canals. Amsterdam is just so big and it is nearly impossible to see everything, so taking a boat tour is a great option to see a lot and save energy for your feet.


We left the boat the same place we got on, across from the Rijksmuesem (a modern art museum) which was also located near the Van Gogh Museum. We got out and walked around a bit and took some pictures of the I AMSTERDAM sign and the billions of beautiful tulips! Thankfully we were there in April because that was in the time of the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam! If we had more time (and money) we would have taken a day trip out of the city into a tulip field to see windmills and flowers! But, we stayed within the city. Still so beautiful and such a perfect day.


Have you been to Amsterdam? What were some places you saw and did? Go to the same places we did? Tell me about it!


Until next time,

Sara xoxo

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5 Steps to Overcome Loneliness.

5 Steps to Overcome LonelinessI once read a tweet that said “Being alone is lonely.” Pretty much.

So, here’s the thing about living in a country you didn’t grow up in where everyone you know and love (okay, not everyone…) is 5,000 miles away. It is fun, exciting and adventurous at times! But other times, you feel homesick and just lonely.

Homesickness is a topic for another day, but today I am going to tell you some things that have helped me along the way with dealing with loneliness.

  1. Acknowledge the face that although you may feel lonely, you’re actually not alone.

I know this may sound weird, but in reality, we really aren’t alone. There are so many opportunities for us to get out of the house and out of our loneliness and do something about it! There are people in your life. There is DEFINITELY at least one person in your life who cares about you and loves you. It could be your Mom or a best friend or maybe even a person who you wouldn’t expect? Search out that person! Allow yourself to be and feel loved. We all know how good it is to talk with Mom for a little bit.

2. Write down your feelings.

Grab a notebook and a pen and start writing down on paper your emotions and how you’re feeling. Why do you feel lonely? What situation occurred that made you feel that way? Writing can sometimes be a good release. It allows you to express how you’re feeling in your own words and gives you a larger perspective of the situation and maybe even an idea of what you can do to fight back.

3. Go for a walk and make small talk with people you encounter.

You honestly never know who you will meet down the road. Or stop into a coffee shop and make small talk with the person in front of you. If you’re real nice, maybe they’ll buy you a coffee😉 No promises there, but if you are willing to break out of your shell just a little bit, you’ll be surprised by how many new and exciting people there are in the world that you have yet to meet!

4. Take a drive. 

Now this one is something I do personally. I haven’t done this since living in Germany because a) I don’t have my own car and b) driving stick around a bunch of aggressive Germans doesn’t make me feel any better. But in Oregon I used to do this quite a bit, I would get in my car, turn some music on, and just blast it as I tried to get myself lost. Fun fact about me: I have an incredible sense of direction. Most of the time, I would end up driving past some one’s house and then call them to see what they were doing. You have a 50/50 chance that someone is home and will want to hang out with you. Do something that just gets you out of the house. That I cannot stress enough.


Friend, if you are just down in the dumps and are incredibly introverted like I am, get yo butt in a cozy blanket and turn on your favorite movies and grab some of your favorite snacks. That “diet” can wait another week (because we all know we just wait until Monday, anyways). You get yourself some you-time. Or maybe you just want to go shopping. Do it. Put your favorite outfit on and do your hair and make-up if you’re into it. And go grab a Starbucks frappachino with way too much sugar in it and go window shopping (even your wallet won’t allow real shopping). Also, please don’t understand this as shop until your bank account drops. Don’t do that. Just do something nice for yourself!

These are some of my favorite ways to battle feeling lonely. Do you have some tips and tricks? Tell me all about it in the comments🙂

Until next time,

Sara xoxo

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What Vacation Did For Me.


Have you ever felt like all you do is work and then you find that there isn’t just one day that you don’t look forward to going to work, but rather every day? You begin to count down the minutes until you can go home? You stare at your work for at least 5 minutes without doing anything because you just can’t seem to concentrate? You lack creativity? You just start going with the flow with what everyone else does or says, because you can’t come up with any ideas?

Well, that was me the past couple of months. I hit a wall.

Did you know that it is recommended that people actually TAKE a vacation because they WON’T.

I honestly can’t even understand how one would not want to take a vacation.

America is full of workaholics. But you know what happens to you if you don’t take a vacation or any form of a break from work?

It effects your “health, happiness, productivity, the economy, careers, finances AND personal relationships.” (Read more about it here: Business Insider)

AND… “Employers who discourage vacations end up with stressed, unhappy employees…..not taking vacation has been found to correspond to increased chance of heart disease for both men and women.”- Forbes

It has also been said that the ideal length of a vacation is 10 Days.

That is just the science of it all. But it’s true… happier employees truly are better employees.

Ever since my vacation, I have been more invested in my friendships, my marriage, my own personal growth, my job and wanting to enjoy doing it all.

It’s so important to learn personal boundaries and when to recognize that you need to take a vacation.

My personal boundaries:

  • I find it difficult to get out of bed to go to work.
  • I don’t look forward to leaving the house.
  • I don’t look forward to meeting with people.
  • I can’t come up with new ideas on my own and need others to tell me what to do.
  • I get impatient.

Those are just a few things. Do you know your boundaries? Do you need a vacation soon?

It’s HEALTHY and GOOD for you! What a blessing!

Until next time,


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Tips For Travelling to Amsterdam.



Micha and I recently went to Amsterdam, as most of you know… and we had a great time! But there are some things I wish we would have known ahead of time or wish we would have done differently. So I am going to share some tips with you that might help you if you ever choose to go to Amsterdam!


  1. Stay in an AirBnB!


This was the best decision we made. We were able to stay in De Pijp which is in the central part of Amsterdam, but is also not the city center. We were just a tram ride away from the main parts of town! Staying in an apartment gives you the opportunity to get into the culture. De Pijp was also an awesome place to be because there weren’t any tourists and there were a ton of great local restaurants and bars! Also having an apartment gives you the opportunity to cook your own meals, so you get to save money! AND our host was sooo nice! She left us a bunch of books about things to do in Amsterdam and was always just a text away whenever we had a question or needed something.

2. Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES take a car to Amsterdam.

We learned this the hard way. But not as hard as others. Unless you know that where you are staying there is a place to park for free for the whole time. Otherwise… parking on the street costs you 3€ AN HOUR. Parking houses are even more expensive. The only option you then have is to park at a park and ride. But, you have to do your homework. We had to find a park and ride location that was open 24 hours where we could leave our car for the four days we were there. Some locations are only open during the week and not on weekends. Others may be closed due to events. We also tried to find a place that was closest to where we were staying. The one we wanted to park at was already full when we arrived, but we found another one that worked out just as well. Park and ride works out well, we payed 4€ for parking for the four days (1€ a day) and 5€ for two tickets to the city center and back to get our car.

3. Brush up on some info about the street trams.

This is connected to the tip number 2. I was HEAVILY confused about the tram tickets and how they work, especially with park and ride. Basically, the park and ride is outside of the “city center”. When you get into a tram, there is a little machine where you scan your ticket and you “check in”. Once you get into the city center (designated on a park and ride map) at the location you want to get off at, just scan your ticket again and you are then “checked out”. The park and ride is only good for two rides. Once into the city center and once to get back.

For other tickets, 1 hour or 24 hour tickets, you can buy them from the conductor on the train. FYI, they do not accept more than a 20€ bill. We made this mistake and had to get off at the next stop and try to find a store where we could break a 50.

The trams are fairly easy to figure out if you know where you need to go. Most tourist books will tell you which stop you need to get off of for a specific place. Just look at the signs at the stops to see where the train will be going to in that direction (sometimes you will have to cross the street to go in the other direction). When in doubt, ask!

4. Get to the Anne Frank Huis at least 30 minutes before it opens.


And also try to go there on a weekday. We tried to get there at 8:30, but because of tram problems and confusion, we got there an hour later than planned. We had to wait almost 2 hours, but it was also very much worth the wait! However, I know that had we gotten there an hour earlier, we would have saved ourselves a TON of time.

5. Take the city in quarters.

In Amsterdam, there are different areas. For example, “De Pijp”, “Jordaan”, “Western Canaal”, and “Medieval and Red Light District”. There are others, but figure out which districts are most important to you and make a day out of it! Try a new restaurant in each quarter. Check out all of the cool and unique shops! Buying a tourist book will help you plan out a daily itinerary.

6. Try your hardest to not got to a restaurant made for tourists.


We tried a lot of different places that weren’t filled with tourists. The food was better AND cheaper! Don’t miss out on these goodins! But definitely eat the popular Dutch fries. SO GOOD.

7. Go on a canal tour!


These can be expensive, but it is a great option to get a view of the city from a different perspective. You can get through all of the coolest parts of town and just relax and hear about the history of specific things. There are also a variety of companies and tours that they do. The most average tour there is, is one that is about an hour or hour and a half long for 18€. I think it’s worth the money. Now, if you are willing to spend a little bit more money and want to have a romantic getaway with your significant other, there are also dinner tours. These can be quite pricy. But I’m sure the food is good!

8. Pick out some of your favorite museums you must see in your time there.

My must see’s were the Heineken Brewery, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank Huis. Depending on how much you are into museums, Amsterdam is full of them! Ranging from modern art to a museum about the Red Light District. There is genuinely something for everyone. Micha is not much a museum goer, but the Heineken Brewery was a lot of fun and we got a few free beers out of the deal!

9. Buy yourself some damn good Stroopwaffels. 

Broooo. I don’t know where to begin. These things are so good. You can get them pretty much anywhere in Holland in a supermarket. They are these little round waffels that are stuck together like a cookie with caramel. It is goodness from heaven. I wanted to eat the whole thing at once, but it is so sweet that you can’ have more than two or three at a time. This is just a culinary must.

10. Go during the Tulip festival.


The tulip festival is between March and May and there are tulip farms outside of the city. We would have gone, but those tours can be pricy. However, downtown there are BUNCHES of tulips all throughout the city. Mostly located at the most popular places. They are so pretty and we were so lucky to go in April right in the middle of the festival where the flowers were out and about and everywhere! Love springtime in Amsterdam!

11. Finally, bring a jacket! 

You are on the water so it will be windy and chilly. It can get real cold real quick.


Have you been to Amsterdam? Got any tips you would like to add on? Tell me about your experiences! I would love to again sometime soon!

Until next time,


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See Sara Travel: Wellness Hotel- Bad Wildungen

IMG_5964I am really excited to finally start writing bout one of the things I have been wanting to write about for a long time, and that is my travels! Since I got to Germany in September, we haven’t been travelling very much. But we finally went on a 10 day vacation– which was very much needed, btw.

Our first stop was at the Göbels Hotel AquaVita Wellness Hotel in Bad Wildungen in Hessen, Germany.

THE HOTEL.IMG_1144.jpgIMG_1146.jpg

We arrived at around 2 pm in a small village in the middle of nowhere. The hotel on the outside was fairly average looking. But on the inside it was pretty nice.

The Hotel offers a sauna, 3 large pools (one of which is outside) a beauty lounge (which offers massages and manicures), a hair stylist, a fitness studio and a restaurant.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to book a massage, which we were really looking forward to, because we asked about it too late. Everything was booked up. TIP: if you are ever planning on going to a Wellness hotel, book a massage when you book the room. And try to book as early as possible so you aren’t dumb like we are and wait until you get there to ask about it.

THE ROOM.IMG_1119IMG_1131IMG_1133

We had booked the “deluxe” room, which apparently was the most expensive one they had, but it wasn’t the nicest room they had? That was weird. But it was still comfy. We had a lot of room which was nice and a little balcony with two chairs and a table. The bed was nice and soft and the blankets were warm… maybe a little too warm. But maybe that is just because I get hot really quick unlike most women.

On the bed laid two bathrobes which were as thick as bath towels but weren’t all too soft, but did their job. I am a fan of bath robes, so I was still excited to just have one.

The bathroom was nice. Was large. It also had a bidet, which neither of us used. But, it’s the thought that counts. It has two sinks and a shower/bathtub.

Upon check in, the staff told us that we would get a bottle of champagne delivered to our room. We would just have to call the front desk and they would deliver it to us. That evening we watched the Mummy and called for the bottle, I wasn’t expecting them to bring it into the room. I was in my pj’s and wasn’t exactly expecting company, but it wasn’t thaaat bad.

Overall: It was enough for what we needed. We would have liked a more asthetically pleasing room, but it was still a very comfy evening🙂


But we weren’t there for the room, we were there for the POOL.

The pool area was seriously a dream. It was my favorite part of the whole experience! I could seriously lay on those beds for hours on end. The nice part was, although there were a lot of families, there weren’t that many people at the pool when we were there. I guess everyone else was there for some other reason. But we enjoyed the pool in private. There was also a jaccuzi. It wasn’t hot, but it was warm. Every 2 minutes or so, you had to press the buttons again for the bubbles. One of the pools was outside, which was nice when the sun was out, otherwise it was too cold. The water temp could have been a bit warmer, but it was still nice once you got moving around.

Overall: 10/10. Would go back in a heart beat!


IMG_5973The village the hotel was in had only a few restaurants. We decided to just eat at the hotel for dinner, which is fairly regret. There were only a few options. You could either pay 22€ for a dinner buffet (which is actually a pretty good deal to get an appetizer, salad, main course and dessert) or just order of the menu with only a few options. The buffet really didn’t have anything I wanted, so I stuck to the main menu. I just went for the Schnitzel and roasted potatoes, even though the brought me fries on accident. The fries weren’t very good, but everyone has their own preferences. The food was expensive and if I wouldn’t go back.

HOWEVER… part of our stay included the breakfast buffet. It was REAL good. There was an option for everyone. Yoghurt, cereal, fruit, bread, croissants, eggs and bacon, coffee and all kinds of juices. It was breakfast heaven and it cost us nothing. I would return for the breakfast.


In between watching TV, taking naps and swimming, we got some ice cream and took a walk in the village and a nearby park. The sun was shining and it was nice🙂


I don’t know if I would return for the hotel, unless I went for a massage. I would however go for the day just for the pools. Staying there is nice for one or two nights, but no longer than that. There really isn’t much to do in the town where it’s located. So unless you have yourself booked in the beauty lounge for the whole time and are comfortable with staying in your room for most of the time.

Would love to try out some more Wellness Hotels… have you been to one before? Where do you like to go?

Until next time,

xoxo Sara


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Photo on 30-03-16 at 18.50Funny sitting before the computer again and looking at a blank screen awaiting words.

This is sort of an update post, but more about my experiences with homesickness.

Since I arrived in Germany, I did not feel homesick once until just recently. I always said “Germany has always been my second home.” “Yeah, I miss my friends and family, but I love it here.” “I’ve toughed it out before, I can do it again.”

Well friends, here I am at the end of my toughing it out. Or should I really say the beginning.

I really didn’t miss home until now. The honeymoon stage of coming to Germany, being with my love again, beginning work, getting legally married, moving into a new apartment, the holidays and all of the other stuff are passed now. I sit here in my routine of a life– don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my life here!– and still feel like a piece of my heart is missing.

Being away from friends and family is hard enough with the “out of sight out of mind” concept. I was fine not hearing from people in the States often, because I had enough going on here to keep me occupied. But, those lack of conversations have added up and people are missing from me. Yes, long distance relationship/friendships are a two way street. I could have messaged people more often. Which is what I am trying to do now.

Something I have found to be interesting about my homesickness, is that when it hits, it hits. Someone could ask me what I want to do and the only things that pop up in my head are restaurants or places where I used to sit and read. And every place here in Germany that we could go to just wouldn’t suffice.

Homesickness for me is also closely tied to nostalgia and memories.

miss home.

I miss Oregon and it’s chlorine water that costs nothing at restaurants.

I miss friendly strangers in supermarkets who allow me to go ahead of them in line because I only have a few items.

I miss sitting in my backyard in the springtime when I was younger on a Sunday afternoon seeing the cherry tree blossom it’s beautiful white flowers and doing cartwheels as I hear airplanes in the sky.

This memory leads me to wanting to go play golf with my dad at Langdon Farms and then eating chicken strips afterwards.

I miss going to Oswego Grill for happy hour. Or going to every McMenamins I could find.

I miss spontaneously driving around because I didn’t want to sit at home and no one was available so I would drive around and eventually end up at Target.

I miss cuddling with my dog Max and watching Gossip Girl on a Monday afternoon and slowly drifting into a little nap that would last until my Dad got home in the evening.

I miss my parents.

I miss my friends.

I miss my house.

I miss all of these things. And I am still trying to figure out what role this hole in my heart is turning me into. I know I am exactly where I need to be and that I do not regret the choices that got me to where I am now. I love my home and wish everyone could see it and experience this life with me.

But sometimes, it’s okay to miss home. Home is what got me here. I hope home misses me, too.

Until next time,


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The Engagement.

IMG_5455There is something so beautiful about writing out the story of some of the most precious moments that happen in your life. As life goes on and memory fades, words stand still. I want to be able to read this again over the next decades of my life and remember this.

September 20th.

After waking up really late, I dragged myself out of bed to head downstairs to go to church. I wasn’t feeling very motivated to see so many people, yet. But I am so glad I went. So many people were there and were so sweet in welcoming me back. After church, Micha and I went out with our friends, Raphael, Christine, Jones und Francine und Milan. We went to this new restaurant in Bühl that serves vegan food. We all had burgers and ice cream. We had so much fun, even though we were causing a bit of a ruckus. After lunch, Micha and I went to a nearby salt water pool that is used to relax and has jets to massage your back and different muscles. We were there for a couple of hours just relaxing and enjoying our final moments of vacation together. We then headed back to the house for a delightful house meeting/dinner. After that we both wanted to go out for a bit and took a little drive in a convertible lent to us by a friend. We drove through small towns and through the black forest. It was beautiful to see the stars and be the only car on the road. It was so peaceful and fun. We stopped at a viewpoint where we could see city lights of difference villages all over the land. Then Micha said he wished he had wine and was like… “Let’s drive home and get some wine and drive somewhere else.” I was like…. “It’s almost midnight but okay.” So we drive all the way back home and he runs into the house to pick up wine and some other things.

September 21st. 12 am.

He finally gets back to the car and we head off again. We end up at this spot among vineyards and we trek up this steep hill to get to the top that has a really cool view. There was a little hut and Micha had brought blankets and rugs for us to sit on. He pulls out some good red wine and a couple of glasses and says, “Happy one year.” We sip on some wine and enjoy the view before he stands up and says he wants to go look at something. He goes back down the hill a bit and he eventually comes back with something in his hand. He sits down and hands me some grapes that he tore off from the vines. He hands me the bunch and in it was a ring. I pick it up and start to cry. He got down on one knee and asked me, “Do you want to be my wife?” I started crying uncontrollably and couldn’t get any words out. I could only nod my head and hug him. The ring is so beautiful. It had this silver band that has little bumps, making it look uneven and like a branch. Near the diamond, there is a small branch that extends out, that looks like a leaf. The part of the ring that holds the diamond is made with a soft gold and the diamond is so beautiful. He told me that he picked this ring because Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches and we abide in Him (John 15). That is why he put the ring in the grapes because they are the fruit from the vine. The spot he took me to was also a spot where he would go with a friend to talk about life and their dream girl.


For those of you who don’t know me very well, I am not much of a crier. I will cry when I am devastated or when Jesus is speaking deeply to me or when a dog dies in a movie. But other than that, I don’t cry very often. I have never cried out of pure joy and happiness before. This was the first time and neither of us thought I would cry, but I did. There was something so spiritual that happened there. I was experiencing a new love for Micha. Not a newlywed infatuation type of thing, but a deep, deep love. A love that I didn’t think I could possess for someone. I instantly felt connected to him like never before and it was almost as if Jesus had married us then and there. I think my favorite part about it all was that it all felt so spontaneous, only to find out it wasn’t. (Well, kind of because he originally planned on doing it over breakfast.) But we weren’t dressed up fancy or anything. I was basically in pajamas and didn’t have any make up on.


Micha, I am so excited to experience life with you in all seasons. In the good, the bad and the weird. I love you and thank you for being so wonderful to me through all of my craziness, the ups and downs, and the distance. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to share my life with and you are my number one team mate. I am excited to see what our wedding day will be like and the love that will pour out from there from us and from God! Bring your tissues!

Until then,

xoxo Sara

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90 Day Challenge.

90 days

I like to watch vloggers on YouTube. It actually inspired me to do videos a few years ago but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it… yet. In a recent video I watched the other day, a favorite YouTuber of mine, Alfie Deyes, was inspired by another friend to do something called the “90 Day Challenge.”

Basically, the 90 Day Challenge is a challenge to make you be the best person you could possibly be- in whatever shape or form that looks like for you. If that means eating healthier and exercising everyday and doing the best you possibly can in everything, then DO IT! Or maybe it means reading a favorite book, or trying to not be lazy or procrastinating things anymore. It’s like a mental cleanse.

I think this is SUCH  a great idea! Why would I want to wait to be the best person I could possibly be? Why not start now! There are so many things I tell myself I wish I would do or good habits I wish I would pick up again. So why wait?

Here are some of the things I want to be better at:

  • Reading the Word everyday.
  • Praying more.
  • Eating healthier.
  • Restore friendships.
  • Exercising everyday.
  • Complain less.
  • Do things I love to do and not just watch Netlfix all the time.

Will you join me in this 90 Day Challenge and let’s see where we end up at the end! My hope is that at the end of the 90 days, I would continue to do these things and not just stop because “the 90 days are over.” May this just be a kick starter to get me motivated!

Have fun, kids!

xoxo, Sara

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Hobbies, Skills and Talent, oh my!

Photo on 8-4-15 at 22.35
I have been thinking a lot recently about hobbies and talents. In a recent conversation with a friend, we talked about wishing we were really good at something. Singing, or dancing. Maybe a sport. Maybe being really good at playing an instrument or really into fitness. As we talked about it, I realized I didn’t know what my passions, hobbies or talents were. Okay, sure.. I might be able to sing a little here and there, but nothing that will get me a record deal. I can hit the ball in golf and used to be decent on the high school golf team.

But, there is nothing that I really do that makes me want to get up in the morning and really pursue a particular hobby, passion or talent of mine.

You hear the saying a lot: “If it’s important to you, you make time for it.”  But for me, my days consist of work, errands, going out to eat with friends and Netflix. In my last post, I had mentioned that I was missing certain happy things in my life. One of those things is being so engulfed in a book that I can’t put it down. I used to read books and devour them in one day because I would read it every second I got. Nowadays, I have to find and make time to even open a book. Even then, I am too distracted by the other on-goings of life to even get the will or want to start reading.

I remember my Sophomore year in high school, there was one class we were required to take called “Future Focus”. It was, for me, a rather fun class. We took quizzes that told us what kind of personality we have and what kind of jobs would best suit us. We had job shadows with jobs that we chose for ourselves and had mock interviews. Basically, it prepared us for the real world and getting a job and choosing a career path. Just recently, I came across a book we made at the end of the class with all of the information we had gathered throughout the term. I had read the things I had written and the results of tests I had taken in regards to my personality. I had thought that because I was “older and wiser” now, that maybe my results would change. To my surprise, the results I read perfectly described me.

As a kid, my dream job was to be in a movie. Not necessarily to be famous to or a celebrity, but to act in a film. All I have ever experienced is theater and stage acting. I never particulary enjoyed that aspect of acting. I wanted to be a character without having big movements or yelling to be heard in a room. But to have a microphone pick up the slightest sounds of a whisper or cry is so beautiful to me. To truly portray another person has always intrigued me. In the 5th grade, I went to a modeling and acting school. Modeling never interested me, but I went because this school would serve as an agent for me. I would get emails of casting calls of directors or other agents or producers in town who would come and look or local talent. I went to Hollywood for a week to be a part of a modeling and acting convention. I had one call back but nothing come from it because I was unable to move to L.A. to pursue my dreams further. I always wondered what my life would look like if I had moved.

But, because we didn’t move, and I never really cared for theater, my passion for acting slowly but surely died because I realized my fate: it would just never work out. It’s probably not in the cards for me. And I moved on.

In high school, my favorite subject was English. Especially English Literature. Because I loved reading and have a natural gift at learning languages, I wanted to be a book editor and publisher. I was going to go to college to major in English and eventually work at a publishing firm and one day become an editor. On the side, I was playing golf in high school and was telling myself, “If nothing else works out, I’ll just become a professional golf player and play with the greats.”

After high school, God had a different plan for me. He took me through a two-year discipleship program and Bible college. Through that He showed me a passion for people I never knew I had. He revealed to me my calling to be a Pastor in Germany. So after graduating, I went to Germany to start my training. Then had to be sent back home.

Now here I am. Working at a restaurant, babysitting, tutoring a South Korean student, and hobby-less. I don’t read anymore. I sure as heck don’t pursue acting anymore. I hike sometimes. And I watch a lot of Netflix.

Is this what life has come to for me? Do I have no passions anymore? Am I supposed to go to Germany to finish my pastoral training and maybe bartend on the side? Or work retail? Was I meant to have no career path? No dreams to pursue?*

*Of course a part from my pastoral dreams of forming a house church one day and the possibility of it growing by just loving people and having a place where people can come as they are and experience Jesus each time. Here I’m talking about a “side” career.

I have been considering doing some sort of a challenge where I let go of some things in my life and pursue the hobbies and talents I had/have. Let me know what you think or if you have any advice for me as I begin to explore this new journey!



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Photo on 7-14-15 at 20.48

The past couple of weeks I have been “busy” with work, finishing up my practicum and catching up with friends. Something I have neglected to do is give myself time to do things that I really truly enjoy doing. Watching Netflix on my off hours does not quite cut it.

Something very few people know about me, is that I love Big Band/Swing music. When I was 11 until I was about 13, I would come home from school, put on a dress and heels, and turn my TV on to the Big Band/Swing music channel and I would move all the furniture out of the way and I would dance as if I had a dance partner. I love Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald– all the American classics. I am also a very big Beatles fan. Ever since the movie, Across the Universe, came out when I was in middle school, I became very influenced by the Beatles. All of my school projects were done on the Beatles; I had so many Beatles posters; all I would listen to was them.

Tonight, although I did not get dressed up and dance by myself in my room, I listened to Frank Sinatra sing my favorite Beatles song, “Something”, on Youtube. I have not felt so content and so relaxed since I have been back from Germany; or for a really, really long time, rather. As I lay under the fairy lights in my room hung above my bed and listened to a new band I discovered at Al’s Den on Burnside in Portland the other night, Old Wave. Check them out here!
In one of their songs, they do a short snippet of “All My Loving.” It reminded me that they had sang “Something” at their live performance, and I had a hankering to hear that song again. I just wanted a calm, soothing, cover with beautiful harmonies. I came across something much better. I came across Frank Sinatra doing a beautiful rendition of the song.

I closed my eyes and smiled. You know that moment when you remember something that used to make you really utterly happy? Like that memory where you almost feel like a kid again because you forgot about the world and all the worries of everything and just enjoyed the moment? I haven’t had that in a while, but I experienced that tonight. It reminded me that in all the work I do and moments that I share with others, I have neglected the other parts of me. The parts where I play music really loud, lay in bed and harmonize to songs; or watch some of my favorite movies which never get old and always intrigue me; or painting (I used to paint). Any of those one-person activities that I would do alone and enjoy alone.

It’s really easy to get caught up in life and work, then come home and watch Netflix, or go out to dinner with friends, and just keep living. But, what about the times where you are 100% yourself and do things you enjoy with yourself? I think as you get older, you begin to devote more time to work and others that you neglect yourself and your own hobbies and things that just make you happy. May this be a reminder and wake-up call to anyone reading this who remembers that you don’t do things anymore that you used to enjoy doing because you just…. stopped?

Go read that favorite book. Go to that favorite coffee shop. Go walk that favorite trail. Listen to that favorite album. Get out the paintbrushes or drawing pads.

Don’t neglect yourself.



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