Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I've been finding a lot of joy in the little things these days. Life is good that way. When we stop for a second and take in the small gifts we've been given. Its in those moments that I believe I can do this... that even though life gets tough, the Lord provides and protects.

Climbing to the top of the mountain is exhausting but so worth it. The view is incredible. There's a freedom at the top of the mountain... something that says you can accomplish all things. There's a vast unknown... something that reminds you there is still so much to be discovered. And there's a refreshing stillness... something that invites heartfelt conversation. All these things bring joy.

Worship is a beautiful thing. Proclaiming what the Lord has done in our lives and praising Him for it brings joy in itself. But that joy increases exponentially when your friends are the ones leading worship.

Sunday morning we awoke to mr. bull moose and his family roaming by the creek in front of our house. Naturally we jumped in the car and drove to see him up close... or at least as close as you want to get to a bull moose. Sierra squealed with giddiness. Mark yelled at him and he looked at us. We laughed. We live with moose. What a joy!

I love the Packers. I am not afraid to hide it. In fact, I'm very proud of it. I love my team and I love watching them. Thanks to The Library in Winter Park, a few friends and I were able to watch the game on the big screen. I can't even describe to you the joy this brought me (maybe you can see it in my face).

Yesterday was September 23rd and we woke up to snow on the mountains. Now under normal circumstances I would throw a small fit about the premature winter weather, but instead I simply sat in front of the window taking in God's beautiful creation. There was joy to be found in September's snow.

Basketball is definitely not my sport. Really, any sport is not my sport. But tonight the family played basketball. And it was loud and crazy and so much fun.

There's also joy to be found in...

...pumpkin scones and a cup of coffee on a cool morning. This is fall, folks.

...listening to a mix cd made by an old friend with new friends. There's something about worlds colliding... something about sharing with new friends just how your old ones have shaped you... and that brings joy.

...laughing so hard it hurts and tears are pouring down your face. Dinner time with family.

...seeing a herd of buffalo on the side of the road and a friend yelling "I've never seen buffalo!" Priceless.

...full moon rising over the mountain tops.

...hearing from the ones you love back home. Hearing their voices, hearing their laughter, knowing the Lord provides joy for them too.

There is joy to be found wherever you are. Joy isn't only in the large moments of life, but the ones that could easily slip by if our eyes aren't open to them. Stop for a moment and find joy in the little things this week. You were made for it. You were made to rejoice.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.          {philippians 4:4}

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Every day I spend at Crooked Creek feels a little more like home to me, and I would love to invite you in. 

home is a wide open living room. 

home is my favorite reading chair. 

home is flowers in a mason jar and a pumpkin candle.

home is a messy kitchen with endless dishes. 

home is a mountain view that continually takes my breath away. 

home is setting the table for 10. 

home is an inviting entryway and the family calendar. 

home is a place to lay my head at night. 

home is keeping all my clothes in one little closet. 

home is photos hanging from twine that remind me of the ones I love.

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest, 
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.  {Henry Van Dyke}

_ _ _ 

If you would like to send mail to my new home, my mailing address is... 

PO Box 250
Fraser, CO 80442
_ _ _

Also, to those who have expressed concern about the Colorado flooding, I am thankful to say we are safe here at Crooked Creek Ranch. Please keep those in Boulder and the surrounding areas in your prayers as the rain continues.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

by faith we trust.

About a week before I left for CCR I received an email saying that I needed to travel to Frontier Ranch to become a certified operator of the challenge course. In simple terms that meant I was going to another Young Life camp to learn how to run the ropes course, giant swing and climbing wall. I helped with these things at Timberwolf so I kinda knew what I was getting in to and, to be honest, I wasn't all that excited. Being a certified operator (CO) means lives are in your hands. That's terrifying not exciting. But it is part of my job as the guest services intern and I wasn't going to say no.

So I went to Frontier Ranch and trained for 3 days on being a CO. A portion of our training talks about the why's behind what we do. Why do we send kids on a high ropes course? Why do we buckle them into the giant swing and let them scream the whole way down? Because it brings them out of their comfort zone to a place where they are stretched. It is in this place they begin to relate their experience to real life. If I trust this CO girl with my life on the ropes course, can I trust God with my life? 

Trust. That's where it hit me. As I stood at the end of the trapeze platform looking down to a fellow classmate who promised he would belay me correctly, I questioned my trust. Every part of me wanted to do it myself. If I could just be the one to jump and catch myself at the same time, I would be good. But I couldn't. I had to trust this guy was going to do what he was saying and take a leap of faith. Literally. I jumped an awkward jump, turning my face away from where I was headed, reaching out for something but getting only air, letting out a slight shriek in fear. It was almost like I forgot what it was like to be a kid again and just jump. Sorta like I forget what its like to have child-like faith and trust the Lord. 

trapeze jump.
(photo credit: frontierranch.younglife.org)

Later that night I was reading about a man named Abraham and his wife Sarah. They were nearly 100 years old when God told Abraham he would have a son. Seemed a little impossible, until I read this... 
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age -- and Sarah herself was barren-- was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who made the promise.  {Hebrews 11:11}
Abraham and Sarah had a child by faith because they knew God to be faithful. I'm convicted by this because I know God to be faithful, but I don't always put my trust in him. I try to do things myself and prove to God that I am able. But he doesn't want that. He wants us to draw to our knees, proclaim our inabilities and trust he is able. Trust he can provide the strength I need. Trust he will make this place home to me. Trust that he can move mountains. Trust that he is faithful to the promises he made.

So today I find myself thanking Him for taking me outside my comfort zone in CO training, thanking Him for being faithful in re-teaching me lessons I've already learned. I find myself drawing to my knees and asking for that child-like faith to return, so that one day someone might say "by faith, Karlie was enabled".

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

7 things I've learned thus far.

I've been at Crooked Creek for a week now, and it has been absolutely wonderful. I live with 9 genuine, funny, joyful, loving people in a beautiful 3 story house in the mountains. It all still seems like a dream, until I wake up again and remind myself this is true life.

meet my new family.

Moving to a completely new place also means learning a lot of new things. Here are just 7 things I've learned thus far...

 1:  always, always bring a rain jacket.  At any moment, but most likely in the afternoon, a rumble of thunder will sound in a clear blue sky. Chances are a storm is about to hit and you will most definitely need your rain jacket.

2:   it is impossible to number the stars. Every night when I look up at the sky I am reminded of just how big our universe is. Psalm 147:4 says God determined the number of the stars and calls them each by name. God numbered the stars and He knows them. The impossible is possible with God.

3:  when in doubt, go in the hot tub.  Yes, it will be cold getting there. Yes, it will be cold getting out. But you will see Mars! That doesn't happen every day.

4:  my body will never be fully accustomed to the elevation.  While living in the mountains is wonderful in so many ways, the elevation will get ya. I am short of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, and I'm told that won't go away soon. Your body is 90% adjusted after 10 days of being in high elevation, and it could take 10 years to be 100% adjusted. Shoot.

5:  living in a ski town is a really big deal.  People spend their whole lives dreaming of living in the mountains. And I'm doing that. All the while doing ministry. I count that as an undeserved gift every day.

6:  the Lord is patient.  The weeks and days leading to my arrival at Crooked Creek, I became more and more hesitant. I doubted the Lord's calling and ability to use me. I cried on the drive into Fraser, CO and told God I didn't think this was a good idea. I'm not what he needs at Crooked Creek. I'm not fit to live in the mountains. But the Lord is patient. He wipes away our tears, picks us up and sets us on our feet again. The Lord is patient when we turn a cheek on his outstretched arm.

7:  the snow could fly any day now.  It might not stick, but flakes could fall from the sky. Long about mid-October, it'll decide to stay around and we'll have ourselves a good ol' fashion mountain winter. Here's to being stuck in Fraser, CO!