College: New Friends, New Opportunities, New Me


It’s been a week here at my new home in Seward, Nebraska, and it sure has been extraordinary. Two years ago, I would have never thought I’d be where I am right at this moment. There’s no way I would believe it if someone from the future told me I would be attending Concordia University, Nebraska with an academic and athletic scholarship for dance team. To say that I am blessed is an understatement. I feel so much more than that. All of this grace, love and peace given to me in my life is just one of the infinite number of examples to why we have such a great God.
It’s crazy to think that just last week, I was boxing everything up from my room back home. I packed everything from old vinyls for my record player, (yes, I listen to records) to dental floss, and I STILL managed to forget something. What college kid doesn’t, right? Thank you, Lord for the Wal-Mart three minutes from campus!
I moved in last Friday expecting the move to be incredibly stressful. In reality, it couldn’t have gone any smoother. There were so many students outside of the hall ready to move stuff in and greeted my family and I with a smile. As I entered Room 212 in David Hall, it was hard to believe that this is where I’ll be living for the next year. I actually am guilty of calling it “home” once or twice this week. I wasn’t expecting to do that until later on in the year.
As I was all settled in, and I sadly hugged my family good-bye, I was more than ready to begin this new chapter of my life. With just a week in, there’s not much you can tell by it, but the adventure so far has been a blast. I’ve met a crazy amount of genuinely kind people, who have such a love for the Lord. Not only does their faith inspire me to grow in mine, but they are truly a joy to be around, hang out with, and of course, laugh with. I’ve spent nights watching Netflix with friends, rocking it at Ultimate Frisbee (that was sarcasm), cheering on the Bulldogs, improv worship sessions, and just an endless amount of smiles.
Although I am enjoying my college experience so far, the most rewarding part of this journey has been the rapid growth in my relationship with God. I was so grateful and happy when my professor, classmates, and I all prayed together thanking God for the education and opportunities here. That’s something I didn’t get to experience at a public school. Even with just a week under my belt, I can already feel my faith strengthen by being around my new friends, professors, coaches, and endless worship opportunities on campus. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this is where I’m supposed to be right now. God’s plan for me was to attend this extraordinary university, and I won’t ever be able to put to words how blessed that makes me feel.
Back at home, I thought I tried my best to do everything through God, but being here now, I don’t think I tried hard enough. I’m not upset about this, because learning from yourself is a big part of developing into who you are. Although this is true, looking back, I feel that instead of focusing on how stressed, heartbroken, and reckless I sometimes became, I should have seen the big picture. God needs to be my number one priority.
Of course, typing that out is easier said than done. This will be a challenge, but I accept this challenge with arms wide open ready for my Father. I see Him everywhere now. I see His light shining through my window when I wake up in the morning. I see Him give me hope through the smiles and “hellos” of strangers I have yet to get to know at Concordia. I see His strength as he motivates me to get through that turn sequence one more time at practice. He is truly with me. Everywhere. That couldn’t make me anymore at peace.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved high school, and college is far from a piece of cake. I realize that trials will be experienced and tough decisions will have to be made. But to put it simply: I am so happy. I’m happy that I get to be here, and I can be who I want to be. All throughout high school I sadly tried to be like everyone else in order fit in. Not everyone is perfect, and us students are still immature and judge each other, but I feel so much more accepted here. I’ve heard many people say, “High School is honestly the best four years of your life!” I’m sorry to whoever believes that, but to me, it’s far from the truth. College will be, but not just college, college at Concordia University. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me next. Here’s to the next four years.

God Bless,
Liz 🙂

Here’s just some pictures from this last week. 🙂



sista, sista!

August 12, 2014 might just be an ordinary day to the majority of the world, but eleven years ago today, I met my youngest sister, Ellie Marie. Now, if you follow me on other social media, you saw that Ellie’s birthday was yesterday, and probably wondering why I am posting this now.

Let’s flashback 11 years..
August 10, 2003: I was just your clueless seven year old who had no idea what childbirth was, or the complications that may come along with it. That night, I remember my mom and I watching the annual “Shark Week” on Discovery Channel. I was obsessed with sharks then, and I don’t know why. I could tell my mom was not herself. She was 29 weeks pregnant and hurting badly. For those of you who don’t know, a normal pregnancy is around 40 weeks or so. When she couldn’t handle the pain any longer, she told me to go upstairs and get ready for bed. My dad was on his way home to pick my mom to go the hospital and grandma was on her way to stay with me.

August 11, 2003: I remember this morning vividly. I walked down the stairs in my pink princess nightgown and saw grandma sitting at the table reading. I asked her, “Where’s Mommy and Daddy?” She began to explain that my baby sister was born earlier that morning. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited! I was waiting so long for that day and she came early! With concern in my grandma’s eyes, she began to explain that this is not a good thing. Ellie was born premature eleven weeks early at 2 lb 9 oz. Ellie was fighting for her life and terribly sick. No one knew if she was going to make it or not. As a seven year old, this was incredibly confusing, and I didn’t understand. I wanted to see my mom and Ellie so badly, but Ellie was much too sick to see her that day.

August 12, 2003: My dad came home from the hospital and picked both Hannah, my other sister who was only three at the time, and me up and took us to see my mom and Ellie. I remember my dad telling me that it’s going to be a bit scary seeing such a small baby and lots of wires stuck to her. My dad was right. The first time I laid eyes on Ellie, I thought she was a tiny baby doll you’d buy in the toy section at Wal-Mart. She was incredibly small, and I couldn’t even tell what she looked like because she was covered wires. Despite how scared I was, I put my finger between Ellie’s fingers and she squeezed. That was the beginning the “The Schmidt Sisters.”

Ellie’s birth was one of the most difficult things my parents have gone through, but by the grace of God, Ellie fought for her life and grew stronger everyday. It was a difficult and emotional year, but we made it through. Ellie is now a very entertaining, crazy, caring eleven year old and one of my best friends.

My family calls today “Sister Day” because it was when Hannah, Ellie and I met for the first time. Every year we have done something together to celebrate how thankful we are to have each other, and praise God that He provided Ellie with such strength. When I was younger, all three of us bickered all the time. (Sorry Mom and Dad.) But as I’ve grown older, I started to realize how important they are to me. My senior year, I had quite a bit of friends problems, finding out what ones are true and the one’s who aren’t. It happens, unfortunately, and was heartbreaking for me, but I gained something truly wonderful from this experience. I learned that no matter how bad I screw up in life, or what I wear, feel, act like, etc., I will always have two beautiful and loving young women there by my side. Their unconditional love for me overwhelms me. I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful sisters.

Banana and Elle-Belle,
I’m so proud of the young ladies you’ve become. I’m so proud of how strong your faith in God is at such a young age. I’m so proud of how you carry yourself, and how you show love to everyone around you. I’m honored to know that I am considered your role model, taking after me, and loving dance as much as I do. I can’t thank you two enough. For everything. For inappropriate dinner conversations, random hugs, wiping my tears away when boys broke my heart, movie nights, improv dancing, and so much more. Leaving you girls to go to college is going to be the hardest part, but our video chats dates will sure be interesting. I love you two forever and always.

-Your big sister, who may be shorter, but will always be wiser. 🙂

Here’s just some of the many favorite pictures I have of us throughout the years. Call up your siblings today and just remind them how much you love them. Families gotta stick together!

For more information on how you can help premature babies like Ellie, visit http://www.marchofdimes.com. It’s such a wonderful organization, and I’m so happy I got to volunteer with them and give back for the support they generously gave my family and me. 
Thanks for reading!
God Bless You,
Liz 🙂

         

friends, jesus tunes and a whole lot of thankfulness

This post will be a little shorter than my other ones, but it just has to be shared with you all. One of my wonderful, inspiring, and hilarious friends and I share the same love for contemporary Christian music. I bet you almost everyday one of us gets a text from another saying “Oh my, check this song out. It’s fab.” It’s simply awesome. I could write an entire blog post about how thankful I am for the friends I’ve made so far that I will be going to Concordia with. I totally will in the future. If they are reading this right now, (you know who you are)…..I. LOVE. YOU! 🙂

But I’m off topic…again. My amazing friend sent these two songs to me and for the past couple of days, I’ve been listening to them constantly. I’ve just been soaking up the lyrics and crying them out to God.

I linked the songs and their lyrics below. Try to find some time this weekend to listen to them and thank God for all He has done.

One last thing… I really can’t thank all of you enough for reading this. It means a lot to me. I’d love love love to hear your feedback. I’ve made the comments in a way so anyone can comment. It’s anonymous, so you don’t have to have a Google+ account to comment. If you feel comfortable telling me your name, comment and sign it below! I’d love to hear your ideas of what I should write about next, or if you’re going through something and want me to write about it, I’d love to help you out.

Thank you again and enjoy the songs!
God Bless You,

Liz 🙂

Running In Circles (feat. Will Reagan)
By: United Pursuit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foVRP07WOAg

Stray
By: The Assemblie
Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFEO5scrFfE
Lyrics:

You’ve seen me at my worst 
When I thought all hope was lost
You’ve seen at my best
And still I’ve fallen short
What You see of worth in me
I will never know
I’ll never know

I’m so thankful
That new mercies rise with the morning sun
I’m so thankful
That You’ve never given up on me
Please draw near
You know my heart it tends to stray
It tends to stray

Mystery of all mysteries
What You’ve done in my heart
Once stained by sin and shame
You’ve restored innocence
Why I have this second chance
I will never know
I’ll never know

You must be greater
I must be less
You can take this mess
And make it beautiful
Make it new

Let this be my crossroads
Where faith and action meet
Where looking back at my past will prove
You are faithful God
And if I’ve learned one thing
I know that You are good
Yes, You are good

more than just nine letters

While reading my devotions a few nights ago, I came across the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah. Zachariah was a priest and he had a faithful wife, Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands (Luke 1:6). However, the couple struggled with infertility, and they were both very old. Even though they were in pain from unanswered prayer and being socially disgraced because she was unable to conceive, Elizabeth and Zachariah remained faithful to God. There’s MUCH more to the story, but I’m not the best at summarizing, but I strongly suggest you read it if you are not familiar with it. It’s in Luke 1:5-25.

Not only are Elizabeth and Zachariah inspiring to me that they both praised God in a time of severe disappointment, but they praised Him together. That’s what I pray to have someday; a lifelong spouse to praise God with. At least if it is in God’s plan for me…“Oh please, oh paaalleeeassseee God I sure hope it is!!!” 😉 This is beside the point…

I started to research Elizabeth. I began reading more about her and learning that her name, MY name, means “My God is an Oath.” For those who are a little word challenged, in other words, it means that God is my promise, hope, the truth, etc. This got me thinking. How wonderful it is to have such a name that means something so incredibly true. Mom, if you’re reading this, THANKS FOR THE COOL NAME! I’m sorry I go by Liz though, it’s just so much easier and only three letters.. Anyway…as I was saying..

If we keep The Lord’s Word close to our hearts, continuing to praise Him, love Him, trust in Him, God’s reward of eternal life in heaven is so great that we can’t even understand a sliver of it. God says in John 14:3 NIV, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” How miraculous is that?! We get to be with God forever and ever and ever and everrrrrrr.

So I encourage you all to Google search what your name means and embrace it! God gave you that name for a reason. A name, a path, a plan, a purpose. You are His child and you are loved so much by Him.

Many blessings to you all for taking the time to read this. Your positive comments regarding my last post means so much to me, and I am grateful for the support and love.

You. Rock.
God Bless You,

Liz 🙂