The Journey

Ariel’s trip to Traverse and back

On being home and the gluten free pizza verdict August 17, 2009

I’ve been home for a little over a week now. It’s been nice to have a bit of space to myself, but I must admit, I am sorely missing my TC family. More than the people themselves that I miss, I really miss the constant community, the encouragement, the prayer, the brother/sisterhood we all shared in Christ.

I often find myself bored at home, left with nothing to do. This is completely a lie I’ve made up, after all, I have a plethora of packing to do. However, there’s only so long I can spend in my room, staring at the pile of stuff to be packed before I get a little cagey. I feel like a bird. I know what it’s like to be free and fly, but I’m stuck inside.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been nice to spend some well spent time with my family. Tonight, at a moments notice, I went to the theatre with my parents to see Julie and Julia, my first theatre movie in almost 8 months, and  an excellently photographed film. Now, seeing as it was 9:40 I was already in my pajamas (somewhat), Isn’t that sad? But after a quick hair brushing and a rifle through the pile of laundry to be packed, I grabbed a sweatshirt, slid on some flip flops, and headed out the door.  I don’t think I could have spent a more enjoyable evening than the way I spent this one. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would have been a couple of hours spent at cracker barrel  sitting in the rocking chairs.

For all who have asked, I ship out of Findlay and back to Muncie on Wednesday the 19th. I’m beginning to feel as if my life has become little more than a series of packing and unpacking; lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t see it changing any time soon, seeing as I have another two years of school left (this and the next), and then who knows what else. I have a feeling that  as much as I may long for the security of at some point unpacking, and then never packing again, its not what’s meant to be. I think I will be packing and unpacking many, many times, as the Lord leads me to many different places.

Im so excited to head back to my beloved Muncie, and see all of my good BSU friends, (well, the three or so that still are there), and make new ones. I’m excited to be in charge of a freshman study, and to meet all of these new girls. I’m excited to serve in whatever way God would have me.  I’m excited to meet my surprise roommate, Sara.

Being home has allowed me some time to refresh, make gluten free pizza (delicious by the way), and catch up with a few friends. I never seem to catch up with everyone  I want to, but I’ve come to realize that I never can. Instead, I relish the time spent with whomever I get to meet with, and hope to catch up with others at some point soon. 

As horrible as I am in updating this blog, I’ve become rather attached to it. However, I realize that it can’t retain it’s current title, because it is no longer about Traverse City. It is about the transformation, and the things God taught me there, and about the things he continues to teach me. And so it needs a new name. And so, dear readers, all 12 of you out there, this is where I need your help. I want to give a new title to my blog, perhaps a new web address. I know that you all have ideas. I really want your suggestions,  comments and critisisms on what I could to to make this blog better as I head into the new would be particularly helpful. Please share them, won’t you? leave a comment here, or send me an email at my bsu webmail. It’s

In Christ,



Just a couple more days August 7, 2009

Where is he leading next?

Where is he leading next?

Its hard to believe that project is almost through. It seems as if it were just yesterday that we all got here. I’ve grown to love these brothers and sisters so much, that I can hardly imagine what daily life will look like without them. And yet, I’m thrilled to the bone to get back to Ball State, and see what the Lord has planned for this school year.

Let me give you a quick update on what has happened in the several weeks since my last post, and about the things that I may have forgotten to share.

1. I’m allergic to Gluten. I know, right? This is really a long story, but it’s involved a huge life change for me. I think it’s a life change for the better, because it’s resulted in me eating a lot more healthfully, and I’ve been feeling better as a result of not consistently having an allergic reaction.

2. I have a new surprise roommate. Again, this is a long story. And I was initially very upset about the change. But it’s been amazing to watch the Lord’s hand in this situation, and I’m actually really excited to head back to school and get to know this new gal that God has placed in my life.

3. God’s been teaching me a lot lately. Especially about the plan he has for my life in regards to the future. I think this all started when I found out about the roommate situation, but it’s rapidly progressed into other areas of my life.  I’ve been reading Job 36-39 lately. And in it, I am reminded of God’s awesome power.  So often I fail to trust his power. Which is silly. I serve the God that created the Universe, in it’s entirety. How can I not trust that he can take care of me?

4. I want to spend more time in rocking chairs. Honestly, today was one of the most relaxing days of my life. I wish I could repeat it. Primarrily the part that involved sitting on a rocking chair all afternoon, and just talking to dear friends.

5. I rode a bike with 4 handle bars. Dangerously on Mackinac, and I almost killed a seagull.  hahaha.

6. I’m looking forward to the mystery of what God is bringing up next in life. I wonder what it is, but I do not fear it any longer. My God does not give me a heart of fear.

I’m sad to leave, but really, it’s bittersweet. I know I’ll be spending eternity with these awesome people. Right now, I’m fired up to serve the Lord, no matter where he plans on placing me!

Soli Deo gloria (to God alone be the Glory!)


One week left August 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ariel @ 06:22

Its 220am, and we have sunrise service. We’ll be off to Makinac for the day, and it should be busy. I need to head to bed. Todays usually my day to update. So look for an update later. Sorry I’ve been so bad about updating!


Christian Hippies and Lara’s Baptism July 21, 2009

So much has been going on here in TC!

A shot from Sunday night prayer and praise. Click the photo to see morephotos from project!

A shot from Sunday night prayer and praise. Click the photo to see morephotos from project!

Last week, I started work as a cherry squisher.  I take samples in the factory to make sure that the pitter machines are doing their jobs. Its a lot more fun than I would have expected it to be.  Plus, we’re making a decent wage working 30 hours a week there. I’m still working at the hotel also. Its busy..

Saturday night, we went out sharing. Chris  Dame and I encountered Jehovah’s witnesses, who were very interesting to talk to. We had quite a good conversation with them.  Afterwards, we were walking back towards the Car, when we ran into Laura Maddock and Andrea Coulter, who said that they had seen a group of guys with a Bible a couple of blocks back. As women, we’re only supposed to approach other women when we share the gospel here, mainly for safety reasons, so they couldn’t approach these guys. Together, the four of us approached these 4 guys, whose names were: Matt, Scott, Jacob, and Jordan. It turns out they were on a road trip, and were Christians.  They were just playing some music on the street and enjoying the weather. We had such a long conversation with them, and we got to hear some of their music, and sing a couple of praise songs with them. They were such interesting people to meet. I wish I could meet equally interesting people and have such fun life experiences on a more regular basis. Before we knew it, the 8 of us gained 5 more, a couple of teens and an electronica band  who were recording at interlochen.

Now, this really is selling the full story short. But the full story is much longer than I care to type right now. Ask me about it when I see you next and I’d love to tell you all about it. I hope to have more of these interesting things happen in my life. In a  really strange way, the Lord used it to speak in my heart, and that was really cool,

Yesterday, my lovely roommate Lara Pirtle got baptized in the bay. It was so awesome that all of us got to be there at her baptism.

I’d write more, but the computers about to die. Time for bed!

By the way Matt (my new Christian Hippie friend) owns a thrift store in Grand Rapids  that sounds awesome. Check out his website ( and visit it next time you’re in Grand Rapids.

soli Deo gloria!


Cherry Festival Week July 7, 2009

Zac, Renee, and I on the boat

Zac, Renee, and I on the boat

So it’s been more than a week since my beavers post. Sorry to all who I promised I would update at least twice weekly to.

Things have been busy here, the staff leaves at the end of this week, so we’ve all been preparing to take over our project jobs. I’ve been assigned to the outreach team, which plans outreach events. How fun is that?

The weather last week was terrible, it was freezing cold, and frequently rainy, but this week seems to be going better so far. It’s still a bit chilly at night, but the days are mild and comfortable.

The fourth of july was interesting. The fireworks were considerably better than Findlay’s, and I don’t think I’ve ever watched fireworks from a beach. We also tried to do an outreach before the fireworks started. Some people got some really great conversations, but we got turned down 6 times when we tried to do solarium or a survey. I suppose it just wasn’t the right night for those people.

Sunday night about half of us rode on the calmest water in a catamaran. It was so incredibly relaxing sitting on the boat with a bunch of friends.

This past weekend, we had a visitor, Elaine,  in our room, bringing the total ratio of girls to bathroom to 7:1. We had a great time with her, and I was particularly sad to see her go on Sunday morning.  I look forward to seeing her sometime in the future, probably after she goes to Germany.

This week begins the Traverse City Cherry Festival. Actually, it only runs this week, people from all over the world are here in Traverse City eating cherries in their numerous forms. There are all sorts of fair rides, and fair food to be found.

My job at the hotel has been humbling to say the least. Scrubbing toilets and making beds  should probably be expected to be humbling. Unfortunately, I wasn’t getting enough hours at the inn, so I’ve been drafted as a Cherry squasher. I will be working in a factory Laverne and Shirley style, Hairnets, lab coats and all. I’m the person who inspects to make sure that the pitting machine is doing it’s job properly so that when you eat a pre-fab cherry pie, you don’t end up with a mouthful of cherry pits.  Sometime this week, I will start my 10 hour 3 times weekly shifts, working alongside Sally Barret, and a 5 of the men from our project.

I think that may be about all for now. Hopefully this week I’ll find another time to post. Until then,  be blessed, and be a blessing.  – Ariel


Beavers June 30, 2009

Filed under: The Middle — Ariel @ 06:19

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update. Internet has been spotty, and I’ve been quite busy.

Last week was my first official week as a housekeeper  at the Traverse Victorian Inn. I cleaned rooms, and I learned that people are disgusting… It’s been a very humbling experience, I don’t know how people can afford to feed families on this type of paycheck. I can barely afford to feed myself PBJ each day. the job is also a lot more physical than I had anticipated. Housekeepers work HARD, and they get payed didly squat. 


In other news, I learned how to play backgammon last week, so I can now battle it out with grandpas of all ages. 

This past week has been busy; filled with teaching meetings and outreaches. I’ve been struggling to get adequate sleep, fellowship with my new project pals, and spend time in the word. it’s been a challenge for me. 


Last night we went canoeing. I ended up getting out of the boat on more than one occasion to pull us out of sand, but we had a great time.

Today, Jackie and I accomplished our to do lists by holding one another accountable to not nap. I got part of the way through my list before dinner, but then I fell asleep. Oops. 


We’ve been having fun and learning a lot. 

Updates shall follow soon.


1Peter 2:2-3 June 24, 2009


Hmmmmm, Banana

Hmmmmm, Banana

I don’t even know where to begin; but I think I’ll keep it short. Project has been amazing so far. I’ve been having a great time learning to have authentic community with other believers. I’ve also been getting to share the Gospel, which is a lot more enjoyable than I ever thought it could be. It’s been great to see how God has been working in peoples lives.


Its been great to see how he’s been working in my own life, I just wish I could digest it. This verse really has me thinking: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”  (1 Peter 2:2,3)

God has been teaching me things lately, and I just wish I could learn to digest it. I feel like I’m an infant, just ready for solid food, but my stomach for some reason doesn’t think it can digest it. God, being the perfect father that he is keeps trying to switch me over to cereal and bananas and other big kid foods, but like a baby, I’m hesitant. 

What’s sad is that God has never led me wrong before. He’s never fed me anything I wasn’t ready for, and I’ve never tasted anything quite as delicious as him. So what is it in me that makes that face of a baby who doesn’t want to eat his strained peas?

This is of course all figurative. God isn’t physically feeding me in that sense, but he has really been talking to me lately. I feel like he’s been revealing himself to me, and I like the proverbial baby, am afraid of solid foods! All my life I’ve heard how wonderful these solid foods are, and yet I’m afraid? It’s rediculous! I know in my heart that God’s plan, and the things that he is telling me are beautiful, precious, marvelous, and true. I want to grow in my walk with the Lord. I know I can trust him. So what’s holding me back?