We are moving!

Big news over in the Schaap’s household…..

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Some of you may have heard already but we wanted to put an announcement out there to our friends and family to let you know the Schaap’s are on the move! We are making our way southwest to serve the Lord at a church in Arizona. We leave Minnesota on July 7th, please join us in praying for God’s blessing on the next step of our ministry together and the roadtrip ahead of us.

Justin was offered a position as Worship Pastor at Mountain View Family Church in Queen Creek, AZ.  His first day will be July 15!  We are very excited to be on this journey together and following God’s plan for us.

You make known to me the path of life;  in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.    Psalm 16:11

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Be blessed!

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Restoration Living

I am so completely honored to have some of my personal work featured on Restoration Living this week.

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go check it out: http://restorationliving.org/journal/waiting-on-god-restoration-art

The way I connected with the editors/owners is pretty cool.  Justin (my hubby) met Jon (the husband) through the worship leader network in the Twin Cities, and when they chatted about common threads of people we knew, they figured out that I went to college with his wife’s (Jen) sister  (Alli) in Michigan! Super small world.  Anyway, I met Jen and we talked about our work lives and my passions for using my art and design skills for the work of the Lord. It turned into a collaboration of me being a contributor to their site, Restoration Living.

I hope to continue working with them. They are doing wonderful things for the kingdom! Here is an excerpt from their site, speaking to what they are all about. I highly suggest you start to join their following!

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We were created to be bright, awake, alive, loving, passionate and purposeful. We were created for an intimate relationship with our God and with one another. How is it that so many of us are living lives of isolation, exhaustion and aimlessness – seemingly hopeless despite the living hope inside of us?

When sin entered the world all those ages ago everything changed. God’s whole and holy world was altered and our relationship with him marred. As Christians our relationship with God has been restored. Still, the world remains broken and our daily lives are often left untouched by this transforming power.

Most Christians try to attend church, live by a set moral code and spend time with God. Quite often though our faith holds little influence over the details of our daily life. It’s not uncommon for issues of diet, resources, beauty and the environment to be relegated to the status of ‘physical’ while missing the central truth that everything is spiritual.

When we neglect this truth it is easy for life to become listless. Anything that isn’t ‘religious’ is approached with little thought or care as our lives become unhealthy, exhausting and aimless. We sleepwalk through much of our daily routine and wonder where is our energy? Where is our joy?

A holistic Christian worldview sees every part of life through the lens of our faith. It digs and discusses, trying to understand all of life in terms of God’s original desire. What is God’s intent for your health, your pace, your relationships? How you approach creation, respond to beauty, and open your home? Our faith isn’t silent on any of these issues – even if we, as believers, tend to be.

Restoration Living seeks to draw closer to God and to his original design for our lives. Restoration living is continually healing, repairing what was lost. It aims to inspire others as it serves as a restorative force in the world.

Restoration living is holy and beautiful, inside and out.

I invite you to join us throughout your week as we strive to engage every moment towards God’s restorative purpose. Broaden your outlook with unique perspectives on holistic faith from artists, pastors, health experts and more.

 

This is Jen from RL.

Enjoy the rest of the week!

 

Easter 2013

We had a low-key Easter this year but it was really great for us. The weekend started off with sunshine and warm temps! i love riding in the car with the windows down, holding my man’s hand. He picked me up from work early on Friday and we went to French Meadow Bakery for a coconut steamer and a late lunch for him. We sat talking about the future and filtering through things life has thrown at us but in it all celebrating how God is moving in our life. Then we went for a stroll around Lake Calhoun because it was such nice weather.

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On saturday we both worked in the morning and the afternoon was spent relaxing and making this video of us playing the song, Christ is Risen by Matt Maher.  It was a beautiful thing to make music together. this was the first song i learned on the glockenspiel he got me for my bday. enjoy watching!

Justin led worship at Valley Creek church on Sunday (Easter morning) and i got to come up on stage during the end of the service to play the glock during that same song.  Played my first Easter service ever!

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after church we had brunch at a restaurant called Pier 500 which is in Hudson, Wisconsin (a cute little town right on Lake Saint Croix) – the food was amazing! (the best he’s ever had, according to J) The view was gorgeous and there were cute little tulips on every table. we loved it being just the two of us.

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after brunch we took a veeerrrrry long nap! it was great. the afternoon turned out sunny and 48 so i went for a quick run to workoff all that food and in the evening we hungout with some very dear friends. it was a wonderful holiday for us, even though we were away from family.

but now WE are a family, me + him.

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“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”- Matthew 28:6

 

a “vacation” and a birthday.

last week, the hubby and i took a roadtrip to Michigan for a few days. he was asked to lead worship at his home church on sunday, which is always an honor and he gets to play with his best buds!  it happened to be the same week as my birthday, therefore we took a few extra days so i could celebrate the big 2-5 with friends and family.

the night before we left, J gave me my gift from him. i came home and a giant box all gift-wrapped was sitting on the dining room table. he took a video of me opening it and all my guesses – i guessed guitar first, then xylophone, then piano {when your husband is a musician, thats all you got on the brain when it comes to what he would buy!} it turned out to be a glockenspiel! {same as a xylophone but metal instead of wooden keys} 25 keys for my 25th – he’s a creative one.

i’ve always wanted a xylaphone! there are certain worship tunes we like that have xylophone/glockenspiel parts in them and i think they’re so pretty! now i can contribute to our musical little family and play with him during worship nights. im so excited.

wednesday we left at 3:30 in the morning and we got to see the sunrise on the roadtrip, somewhere in wisconsin – it was beautiful!

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we got into michigan in the afternoon and that evening we stopped over to my friend Laura’s to see her new home they just bought, her new ring (he proposed a couple weeks ago) and her son, Elliot who is a little cutie man. we played music together. her house was adorable too!

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{photo c/o our friend Kayla who also stopped by to see us!}

thursday was my birthday. we woke up and walked a mile each way to go to an old-fashioned donut shop that J used to go to when he did paper routes as a kid – nostalgia at it’s finest.

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then we met up with my mom, sister and her friend for lunch in Grand Rapids. yummy mexican, walked around and got my free birthday drink from Biggby. it was so nice to have a relaxed lunch and open presents with my family for a moment. i had missed those sweet ladies very much! they got me some adorable handmade gifts, clothes and things from world market – which is one of my fav stores.

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in the afternoon we stopped by my sis and bro-in-laws home to see their new renovations and hangout with our niece and nephew! we don’t get to see them nearly enough. Oliver was J’s little buddy, held his hand constantly and wouldn’t stop telling him stories -even when he was in the bathroom, cutie. and we hopped in the minivan with Jodi to pickup Jessica from school. we walked down the hall and she was surprised to see us! she came running and hugged us both. we got to see all the things they wanted to show us and even enjoyed a game of candyland before we headed out. those kids are crazy fun and we love them.

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{photo c/o @jodimichelle}

the night of my birthday J surprised me and we stayed at a B&B! it was so cozy and comphy! {i realize comfy is spelled wrong – the brand of sheets they used on the bed was comphy sheets and oh boy were they amazing!} we had a wonderful night and an amazing breakfast around a big table with the other guests and owners, sharing our stories. it was a wonderful time and we would love to go back one day!

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oh and they had THE best chocolate chip cookies – ever!cookies

after we settled into the b&b we went to dinner just the two of us and then raced to the lake to catch the sunset {i absolutely love Lake Michigan!} we didn’t catch the sunset and it was freeeezing but im glad i still got to see it.

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friday we had a meeting with the service producer for Sunday service at the best coffeeshop in Holland – we covet their chai smoothies. 🙂 {JP’s}

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then we met the in-laws (j’s family) for lunch at 8th st. Grill – known for the super amazing soup bar. then my mother-in-law took me shopping for a bday present, that was so sweet of her.

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later in the day J, me and his friend Danno headed to lansing, mi about a 1.5 hour drive to meet up with my cousin Chels, her bf and my bff Kassi. {who i havent seen in almost a year}

Dan & J stopped by a well-known guitar shop

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we went to a cute organic diner for dinner with bottled sodas and unique food. then i rode back with Kassi to her new home in canton, mi {another 1.5 hours east} i stayed the night at her and her hubby Lance’s house in the cutest guest bedroom ever! {see photo }

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Kass also made this cute purse for me for my bday – she is getting really good at sewing and is super talented!

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saturday my mom and sis picked me up and we headed to royal oak, mi for a GIRL’S DAY. the weather wasn’t great but the company and memories sure were. we had an amazing brunch/lunch at cafe muse, checked out some local giftshops/boutique stores and went to the bean&leaf cafe for an amazing red roobios tea – probably my favorite drink ever! we also picked up cupcakes from taste.love.cupcake to bring home with us – this shop was featured on the show cupcake wars last year and won!

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when we got back to my moms place, i spent some time with my grandma nemo who was watching cooper for the day. had dinner with them and cuddled cooper as much as i could before J came to get me. after he picked me up we had to go back to our friends the willinks to get his stuff – all of his best friends were hanging out there and it was good to give hugs and catch up.

sunday J lead worship at Central Weslyan, his home church, and everything went awesome. our good friends from minnesota traveled to michigan so that Hannah could sing with J on sunday morning.  they are rockstar people. it was so fun to have them there with us.

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after church we had a quick lunch with my mom, sis, grandparents and J’s parents.

photos of all of us right before we left.

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whew – that was a whirlwind just to document and i say “vacation” because as you can tell we were busy bees and tried to fit in as much as we could in 5 short days! we came home with filled hearts though and it was so worth it.

love and be loved!

the best mama

happy birthday to my sweet mom.

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she is the strongest lady i know, always seeking Him in all she does and enduring the hard things in life but encouraging me (and lots of others) even through it.

she is the Proverbs 31 woman:

She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”  (my dad loved my mom so well.)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; (she is always beautiful!) but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Mom, i honor you today as it is the day God brought you into the world, he knew even then that you would be my mom.

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you are a blessing to our family and the world. I love you.

what is it all about?

in the past 5 days, 3 people who i’ve known in my lifetime have passed away.

such a weird feeling.

one was a guy I went to all of elementary, middle and high school with. (only 25 years old) he was in a car accident over the weekend.

one was the dad of one of my best friends in high school. got the news he died yesterday morning. my heart aches for her. i know what its like to lose your daddy this young.

one was my dad’s aunt (my great aunt-only 70 years old) who also passed yesterday.

i tend to contemplate life all over again when i hear how short it can be. no one knows the day or the hour.

this means we need to make it count. before my dad went to heaven, he kept asking us “what is it all about?” this should be a question I ask myself everyday.  how can i make this day count, how does God want to use me today to be His hands and feet?

missing this man a lot today:

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i was a daddy’s girl – always will be

262232_770538268371_2355897_n he loved baseball.

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Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 10.35.51 AMhe gave me strength. he was there on the happiest day of my life.

this passage seems to always come back to me about wisdom in this life:

Ecclesiastes 7

A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.
13 Consider what God has done:

Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:

the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness.

18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other.

don’t let go of the people in your life that God has brought you to be there for. to be a witness to, to love on with a great love.

 

life is fleeting. may you know the love of the Father, the peace his son brings and the joy of the spirit each day.

love day.

when i left for work, it was beautiful. we woke up to a valentine’s winter wonderland.

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it was a day that gave me an excuse to wear pink! and i put on my Lisa Leonard “love&shelter” necklace – because it’s adorable and has a heart on it! she designed it for the hurricane sandy victims in nyc, all proceeds went to Red Cross to help. check out the rest of her things – she does amazing work.

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we had a happy day yesterday. it was our 6th valentine’s day we’ve shared together, 2nd being married…pretty crazy to think about!

he picked me up from work with this little bud vase of flowers – so perfectly me.  he said that too. the nickname for the flowers are “hot sauce” !

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we went to a movie followed by dinner at Pinstripes, a fancy bowling alley with incredible food. i loved it – we are so blessed. the flourless chocolate cake and champagne were complimentary for lovebirds. hehe!

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when we put our names into the bowling screen machine, I obviously picked Hot Sauce, due to the mood i was in and because we recently got into watching Parks & Rec, naturally he went with Tiki Tiki Tom Tom, oh Tom Haverford. we had such a fun time. i whooped him (but he says he let me win) hahahaa

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i couldn’t stop telling him all day how much i loved him, that he’s my best friend and how special he makes me feel everyday, not just on valentine’s day.

 

a toast to forever.

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hope you knew love well that day.

 

the big 2-5

my main man , my sidekick, my PIC, my luuuhver – he turned 25 last week.

bday Jphotothere are so many reasons why i love this man.

so for his birthday, I made a series of 25 typographic cards, each with a reason why I love him.

Warning: this project is personal and sappy, but I had so much fun doing it.

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on the morning of his birthday, i put these all around the house and he had to look & find them in order – he had fun!

and this past weekend, we celebrated with some friends in MN for dinner on Friday night, then I took him on a SURPRISE adventure for the rest of the weekend!

Friday night we got home from dinner around 9 and i spilled – we’re going to Chicago for the weekend, we leave on a bus at 11:45pm! So adventurous we are.  He was thrown off but very excited.  We packed a small suitcase, took showers like we were getting ready in the morning and boarded a bus headed for Chicago.  8 hours later we woke up in Chi-town, found the nearest Starbucks to put an extra layer on, freshen up and plan our day.  (I already had meals planned and told him of the reservations.)

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Starbucks.

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New City Target.

we had brunch reservations at 11 at a place called Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe (voted best pancakes in Chicago – I say anywhere, they were so amazingly delicious.)

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We got there and I told them we had reservations under Erinn and they said “party of 6?” , uh yeah the rest aren’t here yet. He looked at me, what who’s meeting us!?  I let it be a surprise so when his mom, dad, sister and bro-in-law walked in he was shocked!  we havent seen them in 7 months.  we had a yummy brunch with them. then walked across the street to the bean for a photoshoot.

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then we went to the hotel to drop off our things. he didn’t know where we were going but when i spotted it i said, there it is! he looked and saw the hard rock hotel!  he was geeked. we walked in and there were guitars hanging on all the wall, and he even got to pick out a Fender strat to take to our room and play while we stayed there.  he can’t go anywhere without a guitar. (or a fan)

our next plans were pizza at 3.  we walked there and waiting in a separate room were 10 of his best friends who yelled SURPRISE when we walked in.  SO fun. thankful we pulled it off. he misses those people alot. they drove in from michigan to meet up with us! super special guy they did that for.

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happy hearts on the way home. we were exhausted but it was so worth it.

one year

october 7,2012 justin and i celebrated our one year anniversary! we had a whirlwind of a first year but feel so blessed at where God has taken us and how He’s brought us through.

we are thankful.

we had a small photo session with Toni from Bayberry photography who is AWESOME.  she took some “one year” photos for us.  we styled the shoot as a fall picnic complete with our wedding cake.  our good friend, Carrie from A Taste of Joy made a yummy and beautiful cake for us. sent with love from across many miles!

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we also went up north for a few days to celebrate.  we stayed at an awesome resort for one night in duluth, mn right on lake superior. the view was gorgeous. then we kept driving north and stayed in a ski lodge in the minnesota mountains for 2 nights. we spent one day in grand marais (the cutest little town) and that was our favorite! we hiked. we took naps by the fireplace. watched movies. ate good food and truly enjoyed our time away!

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i am so blessed to be his wife.

new year’s eve 2013

for new year we had our good friends, the Yochams fly in for a 5 day stay with us. kaylan and i have been friends since we both journeyed to south africa together 3.5 years ago.  our hubbys had met at our wedding a little over a year ago but this was the first time we all really could hangout for awhile.  they were instant friends, just like kaylan and i.  we had a blast with them here and weeks after they left we are still talking about how much we miss them. they were surprised by the cold up here since they live in texas but they still wanted to do things outside.

we went for a walk outside. austin went to afton alps to snowboard for 1/2 a day. kaylan and i got manicures.  we went to church. we went to a timberwolves game (kaylan and justin are HUGE bball fans.)  we went to the mall of america so they could see it and met up with our good friends the gerbig’s!  their cute little family – i could just stare at their new little ones all day.

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we played games and made a fire. we went out to fun restaurants, made meals in and the guys even made hors’devours on new years eve for us (cute to see them in the kitchen!)

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Dphoto 4we LOVE our friends. they are good people.

next time we see the Yocham’s, they will be parents! expecting in april. so happy for them! can’t to meet her.