Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Break :)

I have about a week left of my Christmas break and I'm ready to get back to Crown :)

Here are some of my highlights of break so far:

1. A good long weekend with my Aunt Darla and Uncle Curt. Filled with laughter, GOOD food, and time for relaxing.

2. LOTS of working at the Bemidji Theatre! I've missed it SO much and I feel very blessed to have such an amazing job with incredible coworkers.

3. Coffee dates at my favorite coffee shop! :) It was nice hearing about all that's been going on in other's lives. Thanks for hanging out with me Becca! And soon to be Gracia and Lauren!

4. MICHAEL. :D Thank you for going to Life of Pi with me even though I got you in trouble with Mr. McCranky....And thanks for enjoying our "date" at Perkins :) I love that no matter how awkward others try to make our fun times together, they are ALWAYS so good!

5. CRAZY good times with family. Christmas was chaotic but so AMAZING. I loved seeing you all and enjoying the delicious meal! (HAMMMMMMMMMMMMM :D)


6. Sleepover with Callie Johnson :) It was a time full of good talks, actual "sleepover-ish" events, and wonderful naps. So thankful for you, Cal!

7. Times of quiet. I've started to realize my need to take some time for myself and just refuel myself. God has been so faithful to show me truths about Himself in these times and I know He alone sustains me.

I could write about so many good moments that I've had here in Bemidji. It's been weird to be back but I've been discovering that college didn't change me but instead I like to see it as realizing the woman I've always been but didn't allow myself to become.

I'm excited to see what is to come.

Friday, December 7, 2012

First Semester is Finished!...minus finals :D

Today I completed my first semester of college! :) Unless we're getting techinal that is. Next week is finals week but I don't really count that because I only have three finals AND I am fully aware of what is going to be on each and every one of them.

It's kinda surreal that I've already finished one whole semester. WHERE DID THE TIME GO???
It has been quite the journey and I know I've grown a lot as a student, person, and daughter of Christ. I've made good friends that truly care about me and have been right by my side the entire way. I continue to have peace about choosing Crown. Though, I've learned that this college isn't actually what I expected and is much more flawed then I origionally thought, I am confident that I am here for a reason and feel lucky to feel so secure.

Something new and a little bit scary is just around the corner. As I begin next semester, I not only have the priviledge to experience new classes but also new roommates. Both of my current roommates will be moving out after finals for various reasons and I will most likely be rooming with some of the incoming transfer students. I'm excited for this new opportunity to make more deep relationships and hope that I will be able to (through God's grace) be the best roommate I can be.


After finals, I will be going to Brainerd, MN to enjoy a good long weekend with my Aunt Darla and Uncle Curt!!!  I love these two so much! This will be a perfect start to my christmas break and I am looking forward to it.

Then I travel to my little Bemidji! While I will be enjoying a break from school, I will be working hard at the Bemidji Movie Theatre once again. (Can't wait to see my wonderful co-workers! And make some much needed money for next semester) :) I've missed my job SO MUCH! So it will be nice to be able to be there for three solid weeks.

I hope to also be able to see many friends and enjoy catching up on where everyone is at in life!

I am: Loving Life, Feeling Blessed and Incredibly Grateful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Trip Back....HOME!

It's been awhile since I last wrote...oops! What can I say? The college life is busy! This last weekend was my first time back to little Bemidji, MN. It felt like a very long drive and when I finally got there it all seemed so surreal. I ran into my mom's open arms and got the best hug ever! Then we were off in our little beat-up car to our house.

Before I even got all my bags out of the car, my little brother was running down the front porch stairs to give me a HUGE bear hug and spin me around in the air. We tripped and almost fell to the ground but my little brother isn't so "little" anymore...he caught us and kept us from making even bigger fools of ourselves :D I enjoyed a relaxing night at home talking with my mom and then finished the night with a much missed bath!

The next morning was Thanksgiving Day....time to go to DADDY's!!!! Manny and I got ready and had our mom drive us out to Dad's. We were the first of the kids to get there (other than my little sister Brandi, of course) and we were greeted by the new addition of the "farmers" animals...A HUGE TURKEY by the name of Clyde. He strutted right up to us and I felt like I was in the twilight zone! I thought we were eating turkey....kinda made me feel a little morbid and cruel to greet this turkey when I was about to enjoy some turkey meat later that day....

My brothers and sisters all started to arrive and the fun began! Our family is getting bigger each and every year. (There are 8 of us kids and 6 grandkids and 2 our the way!) So to say things get a little crazy sometimes is an understatement but I LOVE IT! We have a great time together :) I'm kind of the oddball because I younger than all the adult siblings and older than all the younger ones so I just bounce around enjoying being with my nieces, nephews, and younger siblings & the adults.

The food was delicious like it always is :) I'm lucky to have such a great cook as my stepmom! (Thanks Barb!!!!) And I really appreciate every minute I got to spend with my family.

The next day, my dad, stepmom, little sister and brother, and I all went Black Friday shopping. (Didn't see that one coming!) It was so much fun. I loved the car ride and the laughter that was shared, usually because of my dad and his silliness. We got some great deals and had a blast shopping for the grandkids :) Then we treated ourselves to some chinese for lunch....YUM. It was a great day!

On saturday, I was a little cranky...but my mom and little brother love me so much that they put up with me and tried their best to make me laugh....***key word: TRIED. :P After a good nap, I woke up feeling better and there was dinner waiting for me :) I'm so spoiled now!

I enjoyed dinner and then I was off to Michael Willie's house for a Thanksgiving Get Together with a bunch of friends. I was honestly a little nervous because I didn't know if things would be different because of college but it was a wonderful night. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends. It was a good mixture of college freshmen and high school seniors so that made it even more fun.

We played a ghetto version of catch phrase, a dice game from Pirates of the Caribbean, ate LOTS of junk food, and just enjoyed laughing and catching up with each other.

After the party, Michael, Matt, Lauren, and I all went out to Applebees for half-off appetizzers. We order WAY TO MUCH and barely ate anything but we had a great time :) It was kind of bittersweet. The next morning we would all be going back to our seperate schools and back to the "real world." But as I looked around the table I had this peaceful thought that in heaven we will be able to enjoy moments like this, moments that we wish would never end. All these friends were children of Christ and I smiled with a tear in my eye, as I thought about just how much God had blessed me by putting these amazing people in my life. <3

The next day, I packed up and headed back to Crown College. Austin and Cody picked me up and I enjoyed some quality time with their little sisters in the backseat. (Tori and Lexi are pretty incredible girls!) It was a very very long drive. We were all tired from the long weekend but we did our best to endure the ride. I got to drive from St. Cloud down to Crown and that was fun! We arrived safely back and I am now working hard to finish up the last two weeks of the semester.

It's funny how much you miss something that you used to be so ungrateful for...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

An Encounter with Jesus

Another week has gone by, and I'm getting closer to finally visiting home again! Classes are getting CRAZY busy and stress gets to me every once in a while...but I just have to keep on working hard.

Last night I had an incredible experience during one of our random worship sessions here on campus. I went with my friends Austin and Cody and my new friend Rinada. :) She is from Kyrgyzstan, and she is one of the most genuine women I have ever met.

After only a few minutes, Rinada came up to us and asked how she could pray for us. I was hesitant to say anything and I was a little uncomfortable because I wasn't expecting someone to come pray for me. I asked her to be praying for my dorm room because there has been some serious problems (especially over the last month)  that I had been stubbornly avoiding to bring to God.

She began to pray for me, and in that moment  I felt God was right there beside me, forgiving me for the mistakes I've made concerning this situation, and giving me hope that he would be guiding me and my room the rest of the semester. I forgave myself and had a new perspective on the entire situation.

The words Rinada prayed, were exactly the words I was too proud and selfish to say to my Savior. I felt the depth of my need for God to come and renew me. And as Rinada poured out her prayer for me and tears streamed from her eyes, I knew that God was healing his broken daughter.

I am so thankful for this selfless action from Rinada. And I felt so priviledged to witness the effects her simple obedience to the Holy Spirit had on everyone in that room. Because she not only, prayed for me and my two friends, but she took the time to go and pray for everyone in the room. I even had the opportunity to go and pray with someone. <3

This unexpected more has now set me free from the weight of the burden I put on my own shoulders! It didn't promised me that my living circumstances would become any easier or guarantee that I would never again struggle with patience and respect towards my roommates, but I was reassured that God is still God and he is always good to his children. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm supposed to be a grownup...? NAH!

When you move away from home to a new place, surrounded by people you have never met, and new responsibilities, you would think that life might get a little more "adult-ish." But let me tell you I am fully enjoying my time of being a crazy fun girl every chance I get. :)

 My two friends Austin and Cody (who just happen to be twins!) are two of the most fun guys I've ever met. They bring out the inner kid in me and we have many abnormal adventures that bring a smile to my face whenever I think about them.

A few days ago, we got off campus and went into Waconia for a late night snack at McDonalds. But the fun part came when you went to the city park and played on the playground. We used our imaginations and played silly games that probably made us look like we were five-year-olds in nineteen-year-olds bodies. It was a blast!

And last night, we went on a night walk down to the lake on campus. We ran around like little kids, played games we made up, sang beautiful songs completely off key!, danced like no one was watching...I hope no one was watching!, and enjoyed God's beautiful night sky. :)

After our fun at the lake, we ran to the coffee shop to get something to warm us up. But we didn't run like normal teenagers. Nope! We ran like zombies :) Oh the crazy things I do with these two!

Today, once my lazy friends finally wake up, we will be getting off campus to have some fun, people watching at a mall for a class project. I already know that we will be have a great time being ridiculous together.

Oh! And not only, do I have a great time with these guys doing stupid crazy fun things, we are starting to have a daily bible study together to encourage each other to draw closer to God.

I love these guys! <3 They are my big brothers here at Crown!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What are you up to Lord?

The events of this week really make me wonder what God is doing.

1. I have had a complete attitude change this past week towards difficult relationships with my fellow students. Super cool!

2. I LOVE MY VOLLEYBALL CLASS! It is such a great start to my day. And I throughly enjoy being a goofball and waking up everyone in it! (It's at 8:00am so most people have just rolled out of bed and shuffled into the gym)

 3. The last two days I've been in a emotional funk but I asked one of my floormates, Emily Clarkson, to pray for me and she did. (while she held my hand!) Today has been a much better day! We have become prayer buddies and whenever we see each other we stop everything and pray for each other right there.
 4. I finally got back into my bible reading time last night and GOD IS GOOD! He refreshes me and gives me peace through his word. I don't know why I always wander from him...
 5. I made my mom a FB....haha! She wanted to be able to see what was going on in my life so that will be interesting! I wonder if she will ever really get the hang out it. Good thing she still has Manny at home to move her into this technological society we are living in.
 6. I rocked my 5 page research paper on vaccinations and now I need to get started on 10 page one on same sex marriage...not too excited for that one. Hmm...10 pages...20 sources...Ugh. Not the coolest thing about college but I WILL conquer it.

It's been a very eventful week but that's not even the beginning of it. 

Everyday I realize more and more that there are so many hurting people all around me. It breaks my heart to hear the struggles that some people here are going through. I have been given the opportunity to be an encouragement but sometimes it's so hard.

There are moments when I have no words to suddenly make them feel better or give them hope or a way out. It's so difficult when all you want to do is help someone and all you can say is... "I have no words of advise but I'm really sorry that you are going through this..."

But as my mentor Gwenn Hovestol taught me, maybe just showing you care can sometimes be enough. She didn't always know what advise to give but she always showed me she cared by showing her love both through her words and actions. <3

And so I choose to continue to trust God even through uncertainity.

Lord, I know you are working here at Crown. I pray that you would continue to open my eyes to your goodness even in the midst of the pain and hurt that the evil of this fallen world brings. Remind us each of your ever-reaching kindness and love.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm still truckin' away!

I truly feel like a college student now. The work load isn't too bad but it's definitely reaffirming that I am in college. I've taken 3 exams already and done well on all of them! :) I know both my mom and dad are super proud of all the hardwork I'm putting in and it really is paying off. The newness of the college experience is sort of worn off by now but I still love it here.

It's so peaceful and beautiful at Crown! Especially now as the colors are changing!

                                               Photo compliments of my roommate Chloe!

 Yeah, sure there isn't much to keep you entertained when it comes to activites or fun places to go nearby but that's fine with me. That just makes you more thankful for the times you get to go on an adventure off campus. Speaking of that....tomorrow me and a few friends get to travel to Maple Grove and go to a Tenth Avenue North concert!!!! SO EXCITED.

I'm really starting to appreciate the little things in life such as a warm fireplace, honest friends, getting mail!, and a good nights rest. :) For the past few nights, our little fridge in our room has been making strange squealing noises at the most inconvienent times...(1am, 3am, and 4am) And while I don't particulary enjoy being woken up by it every night, it has created some funny moments and even more bizarre dreams... :D

As I continue to work hard and enjoy each moment here, I look forward to seeing everyone back home at christmas break! I will be journeying back up North for thanksgiving but most likely won't see anyone except for my wonderful family. So until then, please keep me in yours prayers and if you ever want to write me a letter it would make my day!

My address here is:

Kera Kilde
Mailbox #189
8700 College View Drive
St Bonifacius, MN 55375

Monday, September 24, 2012

Reflections of my heart

It's been one month since I moved into Crown College and what a journey it's been already. God has already proved faithful in the ways in which He provides and gets me through each day which brings new challenges and discoveries. This has been a confusing, exciting, and extremely life-changing experience and it's only the first month! I wonder what an entire semester will bring?

This week we have a Deeper Life Conference, which is a time to refocus and take time out of our ordinary schedules and come to Jesus on our knees. We have a guest speaker who will be giving us messages on the topic of "Who do you think you are?" and I'm interested to see how this will effect my personal life. Although, I go to a Christian college, where the expection is that all students and staff would be God-honoring and live a lifestyle that reflects Jesus Christ to the world, there are definitely signs of our human sinful nature. So I'm very excited to see what will come of this conference and I pray that God would be moving in my heart,my fellow students'and the faculty as well.

At moments, I am in such awe of what's going on around me but other times I become so scared that I am not being myself or that I don't even know who that is...I guess this conference has the perfect focus for me right now. Thanks Lord! :) I look forward to seeing how God will continue to show me what steps to take and how I can draw near to him no matter how far away I am from those that love me.

I am really starting to miss my family and I pray that God is continuing to place people in their lives that are being an encouragement and showing them Christ's love. If you are reading this and you know my family at all...please be praying for them and if you feel called maybe even reach out to them? Maybe someone could invite Manny to youth group??? At times, I feel so useless so far away because I can't protect him or be a good example anymore so if you could be praying for them and me, I would so appreciative.


Praying for peace...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Each day reminds me that things change so fast! College is teaching me so much about myself or rather I am changing into the woman I want to be. Through classes, quiet time with God, and fun times with some pretty amazing friends, I am starting to see how truly good I have it.

 I have been given a mind that desires to learn and I keep working hard to soak up as much as possible. I have a desire to be the best daughter, sister, and friend I can be. I love to make people feel loved and safe...Crown is a great place to practice this. Every one of us freshmen are trying to "find ourselves" and that can be really lonely when no one knows you at a deep level like your family and friends back home. I love to help people study or listen to their concerns or simply be an encouragement to them in whatever way they need me to be.

These past few weeks have also shown me that as much as I love to be a goofball around people....(SEE PICTURE BELOW)

 and make them smile, in order to have the energy to that I need some good ol' time for myself. I'm an outgoing introvert! Who would have thunk it? :P I've been lucky enough to have a good balance of people-time and kera-time....that's saying something considering I live in the dorms and on a campus with plenty of people surrounded me all the time.

God has been so good to me and I continue to deepen my relationship with him and get to know him more and more. I have made the commitment to read the entire bible again and look forward to what He is going to show me this time around. :) This period in my life seems pretty surreal so I need to work hard each day to pause and look at all the amazing things going on.

Awwh! I'm so happy and thankful <3

Monday, September 10, 2012

Building some AMAZING relationships!

This last week has been pretty spectacular! I've really started to make friends and I hope to continue to meet new people and get closer to those around me. Here's some of the fun people I've befriended so far...

1. Chloe, my incedible roommate. (WORM) She is so encouraging and she challenges me to see things from different perspectives. I really appreciate her willingness to be here for me when I need some advice or just someone to listen to my concerns.

2. Jess, my other awesome roommate.(aka ORCA) She is so funny! And I just love how she is so honest and sincere. I love how she is so true to herself. PLUS: she's fun to sneak up on :P
Left to Right: Chloe, Jess, and Me! (aka: Worm, Orca, Mullet!)

3. Lexi, a wonderful woman on my floor. I wrote about her in my last blog but seriously, she can relate to me in so many crazy ways and her desire to grow this year (in many different ways) makes me so happy :)

4. Aubrey, another cool cat on my floor. She allowed me to go with her this past weekend to her hometown and we had a blast! (With a couple more girls on our floor) She is also going into Youth Ministry so I look forward to learning along side her :)

5. Kristine, another fellow 1st Strohmer (that's our floor!). She is sarcastic! I enjoy spending time with her and laughing! I look forward to getting to know her more and more this year.

6. Dina, 1st Strohm baby! I really have enjoyed getting to know Dina over these past 2 weeks. She is so real and I hope to be an encouragement to her as we grow along side each other. :)

From left to right: (Dina, Kristine, and know which one's me so...well yeah :P)

7. Elaine, my RA. She is so enthuastic about her role in our lives and I love that I can ask her anything and she will answer it as honestly and openly as she possibly can. Plus she speaks my love language! ;)

8. Austin and Cody, "THE TWINS." My fellow Northern Minnesotans! (They are from International Falls) These two are the quietest guys I've ever met but they are hiliarious! Everytime I'm around them they make me laugh and for those of you who know what my laughter is like....I look quite ridiculous. Because no one can hear what they say but then all of the sudden comes loud and booming laughter. :)

There are so many more! But I've got to get back to the books so I'll leave it at that for now.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Where did the week go?

I can't believe it's only been a little over a week since I arrived here at Crown College. There has been so much going on! Between classes, homework, and socializing I feel like I haven't had a moment to sit back and process all that has changed.

 To say it's been an emotional rollercoaster would be putting lightly. There are times when I am filled with excitement because of all the new things that I'm experiencing, but then there are also times when I am suddenly so sad that I'm not surrounded by all the people that know me and can understand me without the slighest effort. It's tough to feel like myself in this new setting.

I'm working very hard and actually enjoy doing my "homework" because I love to learn but also that's when I feel like I'm putting all my money to good use. Choosing a private school was very expensive and I will get everything I possibly can out of my time here at Crown. I feel very lucky to be able to have the opportunity for an education.

My roommates, Chloe and Jess, are simply incredible. We all have our distant differences but yet we are so considerate of each other and respectful of each others needs. I'm not naive enough to think that there will not be days when it becomes harder to be so kind but I trust that we will see each through it. We all love to keep our room clean and blast praise music when we are doing homework or just hanging out. :)

I've made some good friends on my floor. There are two girls in particular, that just click with me. One of them is Lexi Smoot! She is from South St. Paul and has just a way of understanding what I'm going through. She is always cheering me up, reminding me that the transition phase will end eventually, and Lexi has a way of making me smile like no one else. The other girl who I've really connected with is Victoria Olmos Gonzalez! She is from Bakersville, California and we instantly were able to talk comfortably with each other and share about our lives. It is so AWESOME. :D I am looking forward to getting closer with each of them!

I also connected with my RA (Resident Assistant) Elaine. She is so sweet and genuine. I love that she always gives me a pat on the shoulder or knee when that's exactly what I need. :) I look forward to sharing my story with her and becoming close friends with her this year.

God has really been working in my heart already. Last night, I had this amazing hour of quiet prayer after a long draining day. And as I silently cried (again emotional rollercoaster!) and thanked God for the things he had already done in my life I prayed for all of the people I care about most. It broke my heart that I'm so far away and each of us are on different adventures but it was so nice to feel like I was able to be there for them through prayer. It was an experience I will never forget. I was able to let go and give all my concerns and desires to God.

There is so much more but I'll wrap it up with these verses which have been popping up everywhere over the last few days...

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" -Luke 11:11-13

Monday, August 27, 2012

And the Education Begins...

Today was my first day of college classes and I'm happy to report that I'm still very glad that I chose Crown. :) I absolutely loved all of my professors and am excited to challenge myself in these classrooms. There will be a lot of work that needs to be put into everyday but I know that I won't regret hardwork when I succeed!

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I have World Civilization to 1500, Old Testament History, and Foundations of Discipline Making. So today I got introduced to what to expect this semester from those classes...WOW. It's going to be a good year. I will definitely be challenged and have to buckle down and study hard but I'm so excited for all that I'm going to learn and for bettering myself into a great student.

I love getting done with classes at 1pm, it feels amazing to not have to waste time sitting in a classroom when you are not learning anything. That is one huge thing about high school that I couldn't handle! It's so nice to finally feel like I'm using my time for a purpose each and every class time. :)

I'm not a big fan of history so having two history classes this semester is going to be...interesting. If I didn't already feel that my profs are seriously and honestly here to help me through, I would be a little more concerned. But Crown's staff are all so willing to work with you and answer questions and just be here for you. I love them already! :)

My Foundations of Discipleship class is my clear favorite, probably because it's a ministry class and that's my area of choice. It is going to be so awesome! We got our first assignment today and guess what it was!!!!! It's called the Disciple Triad. Basically, ourselves and a partner in the class, have to find one other person at Crown and have a bible study together focused on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and learn the basics of being a christian. CAN YOU SAY AWESOME!?!?!?!?!

I'm so excited to grow close to my fellow students and grow as a person. It is my prayer that I wouldn't get so focused on the difficulties of college that I forget all the things to be thankul for as well. The first day was a success, lets see what is to come! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

First day at college

The big first day is over! I can't even begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to crawling into my new bed and falling fast asleep but I thought I would let you all know how it went. You better feel special! :)

The day started at 5:30am, when my Aunt Darla and her huge gentle giant of a dog Zion (a great dane) woke me up so we could pack the truck and make the two and a half hour drive to St Bonifacius. It was a nice drive filled with laughter, Panera bagels, and a very fun navigation guide...if only she had a brittish accent. :P As we drove I could barely contain my excitement to finally move in to my dorm and start the college life! And as we got closer, I expected the nerves to hit and the doubts to come but I was pleasantly surprised that I was still just as enthusiatic as the moment I decided on Crown.

We arrrived. I was in awe of the beautiful rolling hills, cute little pond, and the AMAZING trees! You would think that growing up in bemidji I would get used to the trees and lakes but each day I think I grow fonder of God's creation all around me.

 Anywho :) Back to college. After checking my room for damaging, bonding with my roommates while sweating and shoving furniture around our room so it was actually livable, and then registering into the dorms, I finally got my key! I quickly unloaded the truck but then hit quite the roadblock...Where was I going to put all this?!?!?!?! I was overwhelmed by all the stuff and didn't know where to begin with organizing and unpacking it all. But with the help of my Aunt Darla, I eventually got it all situated. Then came lunch with one of my roommates Chloe and her dad which was a fun time sharing our first meal together.

Just when I thought I could relax, I looked at the schedule for the day and realized, "Nope! It's gonna be a long day! A good day, but definitely a long one!" A welcome address was held in the chapel for all of us freshmen, then an academic orientation, and then we had transition talks which were meant to help us deal with the huge change of COLLEGE.

Since neither of my parents were able to make it to move me in I got a chance to call them and tell them that everything was fine and I was moved in and loving everything about it!

 Then I met up with some guy friends I had met here at Crown on an earlier visit, which was SO FUN! We went to the awesome loft in the coffee shop to catch up and enjoy each others company. They introduced me to their friend Paul who..turns out...has the same major as me!!!! Youth/Social Ministry! We talked about so much and clicked instantly. I hope to encourage him and be a good friend because he is quiet lonely being so far away from home. Where is he from you may ask? Indonsia! :) Didn't see that one coming, did ya? I didn't either with a name like Paul. tehe. But he has a great story and I'm so excited to grow spiritually along side him.

Lets see...then we had supper and a little bit of free time. Oh and then we had worship! Which was so powerful. I'm so glad that I choose Crown. After that we had a very interesting skit....It was called THE EXTRAVAGANZA. Basically it was a bunch of older classmen doing funny skits to tell us the rules and the myths of college life and Crown specifically. But I didn't really get the jokes. I'm not really aware of the newest pop culture or viral video fads so I just laughed and pretended to get it. :D

And to wrap up the night, we had a floor meeting which was rudely interuppted by our brother floor (LOTS OF MEN.) barging into it and starting a pillow fight. What the heck? Lol. But seriously, I am exhausted and need sleep because tomorrow is another packed day of socializing. Keep praying for me. please :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

I wave goodbye

Today I said goodbye to Bemidji, MN and traveled to Brainerd for a visit with my wonderful Aunt Darla and Uncle Curt. The only difference this time is that I will not be going back to my hometown after this visit but rather I will be jumping into the next phase, also known as, college.

I'm looking forward to this exciting time but as I drove here today, I can truly say that I realized what I am leaving behind. As the sun was shining down on me and the bright blue sky was surrounding me, I was reminded of just how lucky I am. To grow up in a place where the lakes, rivers, trees, and green grass, were there to show me the beauty that life can bring each of us, if we are simply willing to open our eyes and hearts to what's around us, was breathtaking.I couldn't imagine better scenery as I began my journey south.  

The drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the beauiful memories made and even the hard times that have made me the woman I am today. It was such an amazing time for me to praise God for what he has done in my life so far and to thank him for what he's about to do. All of the stress, and planning, and preparing for my last day in Bemidji disappeared as I just sat in awe of how God's hand had been working in my life.

So as I enjoy a quiet house, (well until my crazy awesome Aunt gets home!) I continue to be thankful for the opportunity I have had to be loved and to love others. I look forward to telling you all about my first days in the dorms, how classes go, and of course all my ups and downs of the college life. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Things are coming together! :D

As I sit here in my favorite coffee shop in little old Bemidji, I am thrilled to tell you all that I am one step closer to being ready for college. I have just finished ordering and paying for all my textbooks for the first semester!!!! This is such a HUGE weight off of my shoulders and now my only hope is that they arrive before I need to leave. :)

I am beginning to realise just how close I am to everything changing and I can humbly say that I'm scared for this next step. There is definitely something intimidating about growing up and leaving your home to go to an unknown place filled with responsiblities you aren't quite sure if you are ready for or not. :S But I am encouraged by the fact that I am not the only one in this position and that all the thoughts and emotions running through me are a "normal" reaction to a change of this size.

There is still plenty to do but I am excited to be able to say that there are a lot of things completed that I no longer need to worry about. A big thing I praise God for today, is that all the loan stuff has been figured out. I have enough for first semester and need to trust that He will help me figure out the little bit that isn't covered for next semester. :)

So as the stress comes, I am constantly trying to remind myself that I have a God who provides and my worrying does no good. How thankful I am to not be doing this alone! Taking each day as it comes, has never been my strong suit but that's what I'm going to try to do over these next two weeks in order to remain sane. :P

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm going to miss you.

As I spend time with those who have been apart of my lifestory so far, I get an overwhelming mixture of feelings; mostly of sadness and joy. I'm sad to say goodbye and go it alone, not having the people I care most about there along for the ride. I'm also sad to have to tell those who know me best all about this new life I'm going to be living, instead of them being a part of it. But even in the sadness, there is this joy that comes to my heart. A joy that comes stems from all the memories and times that we've shared. These people, my loved ones, have helped in times of sorrow, have laughed with me in times of happiness, and have been here to encourage me to be a woman of character. I am truly blessed to have all of you.

I want to specifically thank all the families that I have been able to be a part of in my life. Firstly, my own family. Thank you for always supporting me in everything that I have been involved in. Even if you didn't always understand why God was so important to me, I know that you loved and accepted me for exactly who I am. And I will always thank God for each and everyone of you.

 I also want to thank the Ackley Family. Lois and Doug, thank you for all that you have taught me! Lois, you have shown me what it means to have a servants heart. You do so much for everyone else and your willingness to make delicious meals, take Julia and I to amazing concerts, and to open up your house for various events, have meant so much to me. You will always be a person I know I can come to for anything. Doug, you have this way of making everything a lesson to be learned. I really appreciate how you make me think and defend what I believe, this is a skill that will be very helpful when I'm on my own.

The Riegert Family, oh how lucky I am to have been "adopted" into the family! :) Faye, each day you remind me what it means to be thankful for what God has given us. I love that you have this ability to make even the smallest thing into something special. You teach me that love can go much farther then material things and is much more important. Pat, you show me what it means to have a passion for gifts given by God.  Hearing you pray with the boys before they go to sleep makes me so happy and shows me the importance of a father being the spiritual leader. (and your hugs are the best!)

Hovestol Family, thank you ALL for the simple things. I will always cherish the times where we would just sit around talking and enjoying each others company. Dan, you are such an amazing father and you're love for your kids is such a gift to me. You show me what it looks like to be consistent in everything. Gwenn, thank you for always being here to listen, to give your wisdom, and for always keeping me in your prayers. I love that you are honest and don't always have all the answers. It's such an encouragement to see how humble and real you are with me.

And how could I forget my family out on the farm? :P Norman Family, I have truly enjoyed every moment I've spent in your home. You show me the importance of working hard and appreciating everything. Julie, you are always thinking of your daughters and it's inspiring to see how you desire to help with anything you can. Steve, I love how you go out of your way to help and serve others. I feel so lucky to get to see the way you provide for your family and you are a great example of what a gentleman should be! :)

Johnson Family, you guys have a way of making anyone who comes into your home feel as though they are apart of the family. Jerry, you have been such a spiritual encouragement to me and I am thankful for the ways in which you have taught me as my youth pastor, my friend, and one of my father figures. Your advice will also be treasured and I know that I can always come to you for guidance. Debbie, thank you for all the deep questions you've challenged me with over the years. You're way of directing your daughters with a calm, wise, and loving voice has been incredible to watch and I hope to learn how to do this when I become a mother. 

WOW! Am I blessed or what!?!?!?! Six families who have all been and will be important sources of wisdom, love, and encouragement to me. This is what makes me step back and realize that no matter where I go in life or what I do, I will always have a home. My home is not a building or a location, but rather it is in the hearts of thoses I will always call family.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Loans, Loans, and MORE Loans!

I knew college would be expensive and a financial burden but MAN I hate loans! Just the idea of going into debt makes me want to panic and run away so you can imagine that the process of finding, applying, and accepting loans makes me FREAK OUT!

Choosing a private christian college comes at quite a high cost...literally. I'm really working hard to try and save enough money to buy books, things for my dorm, and for all the other costs of living on my own but even that seems to be a tough thing to do right now. Mention the cost of tuition, a meal plan, and fees and I might just have an anxiety attack! FAFSA has been good to me but still isn't enough to cover I'm still searching for loans and hoping that God will provide.

I'm lucky to have Dan Hovestol in my life, being the financial aid advisor for the wonderful Oak Hills Christian College and my friend, he has graciously been helping me with all the stressful tasks involved with getting money to pay for college. It's so nice to have someone who knows all the steps I need to take, he makes it seem so easy...

It seems so easy to say we trust God with mouths but I'm starting to see its when we are going through tough times that we really put our words to the test. In this time of chaos, I need to remember that God is still God and he led me to Crown College. His plans are better than mine and sometimes life isn't going to be comfortable or easy for me. But if he got me this far, I know he will continue to lead me, providing for my needs and directing me to where he is calling me to. :)

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortess, my God, in whom I trust." ~Psalm 91:2

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time Flys?

Only about a month away? That's crazy! At times it seems like graduation was forever ago yet to realize college is just around the corner is simply incredible. My day-to-day life seems to drag on as I'm consumed with work at the Bemidji Theatre, packing up my room, and helping my family begin to let me go. But while each day seems to take an eternity, I look back on each week thinking "WOW! That went fast!" I'm anxious to get everything underway, to begin this new season of my life but appreciating the mundane responsibilities of my life right now does not come easily. I'm really learning what it means to trust God and wait on him.

For all of you adults reading this get ready to smile at a young person finally admitting you know more then them :)  I have also learned that it is true that the friends you make in high school won't be the most important people in your life. There are so many friendships that have already fallen apart and some that are just beginning to. While this is a bittersweet thing to attempt, it is also something that is a part of life. I am so thankful for the time I've had these people in my life and I know I will always cherish them but soon they will not know me anymore. Yes, they will know my name and face but soon my heart, personality, and overall being will be changed. I hope that I will be changing for the better and I humbly admit that I'm scared to see who I will be after four years of college but I'm also excited for the gift of a fresh slate.

Crown College is a new place where no one knows my story or who I am (or rather who I used to be). I can be whoever I want to be and while some who go off to college, choose to change themselves into who they think they want to be, I choose to go to college uncertain of who Kera Kilde is and excited to discover who she will become. :)

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." -Romans 8:18

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Preparing To Say Goodbye...

I know it's only July 10th but I am already getting ready to leave comfortable little Bemidji MN and head off to Crown College.

 There are so many different emotions going on in my heart. It's hard to leave my family behind and I know I will miss them all SO much! But at the same time I'm excited to see if I can do it on my own. I'm looking forward to realizing just how lucky I am to have a mother who does my laundry, helps me find things that I misplace (which is...EVERYTHING!), and is always there to comfort me when the reality of just how unfair life can be falls upon me. Not only will I miss my wonderful mother, I don't know how I'm going to cope with not having my little brother there for me. Manny has always been the closest person to me. As he once told, "we just get each other. I don't have to explain myself with you. Even when I say something with all the wrong words, you understand." (paraphasing of course :P)

I will miss every single person that has spent time listening, praying, and loving me. All the people at the Edge who have been a HUGE part of my life for the past 7 years, all the friends I've made at BHS and Upward Bound, and all the others who don't fit into those categories. Each of you have changed me and shaped me into this person that I am today. God has been good to me! I love all of you and want you to know just how thankful I am for you. As this new chapter in my life begins, I will not forget all the people who were there with me ever step of the way. :)

So as I pack, plan, and prepare for August I am in awe of the support system I have had and thank God for the blessing you all have been to my life.

 For now, I will wait in this inbetween time, trying to enjoy my hometown and all the things that I still get to experience here while preparing to say goodbye to what I have known and step out into the unknown that is ahead.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." -Colossians 3:17