For over 11 years, Bloom! has existed to spur you on in your journey towards Biblical womanhood.  What started as a big dream in the hearts of three teen girls, turned into an international print magazine and then later turned into a thriving blog.  Our heart has been to go beyond the fluff and dig deep into God’s Word and into how to practically apply that to our daily lives.  If any good has come out of Bloom!, we know it is because God is the one who waters the seeds we plant (1 Cor. 3:7). 
This journey of magazine and blog has spanned for over a decade and what a thrilling and beautiful one it has been.God has deepened and widened our worldview.He has given us a deeper understanding of His ways.He’s brought me (Joanna) through some really hard times and pushed me to write despite the pain.He’s shown me that although I am nowhere near perfect, He can still use me anyway.
One thing He’s been teaching me recently is that sometimes, some chapters must come to an end.Don’t get me wrong.B…

How a Journey of 8,000 Miles Changed Me, part 2

Make sure to check out part 1 here!

Want to make friends in a new country?  Be prepared.  This isn't always easy.  Sometimes you meet someone on the train and instantly, you're buddies.  Sometimes you try and try and nothing happens.  Many things factor in - you're a foreigner, you're different, your first language isn't the same as everyone else around you.  Not only all that but your perspective, worldview, and beliefs are almost guaranteed to be different.   Then there's the fact that you've been shaped by your own culture all these years, so yeah, cultural differences are big as well.

All this...and I still live abroad.  Better yet, I choose this life!  Sure, there's been plenty of disappointments, confusions, misunderstandings, letdowns, frustrations and bad days.  But Jesus uses all of those - and more - to mold me more like Himself.  It's in that day getting lost all morning or those 60 minutes spent trying to communicate with the clerk about …

How a Journey of 8,000 Miles Changed Me

Living in another country changes you.  Not only does it change your perspective, but it also changes what you value, what you spend your time on and what you're willing to do (believe me, I've done so many things here that I never planned on or ever dreamed of!).  It tests your faith to see if it's really strong.  It teaches you humility in ways you've never experienced or expected.  It gives you a glimpse of yourself that you had hoped isn't true...but it is.  It forces you to rely on Jesus in ways you never expected.
It gives you a taste of loneliness like nothing you've ever been through before.  Something like homesickness that didn't exist in your vocabulary now becomes something you struggle through every once in awhile.  Because sometimes you just want to hug mama, tease dad, kiss your sister and beat your brothers at that board game.  Things you swore you'd never miss - like that meal you always detested or that drive to work and back, you fin…

Truth is truth


Never be afraid


Tales from Taiwan #22

Dear Sisters,

Thursday night while I was volunteering at the rescue home, I asked one of my boys, Liam* (name changed) how his summer was.  I expected him to smile and answer with all the fun things he had gotten to do.  Instead Liam sobered and said quietly that his dad had passed away.

The kids who live at this home are rescued from abusive, unhealthy or dangerous situations.  Some are orphans and some have family.  They rarely talk about the family they do have, usually because they've been extremely hurt by them.  But no matter what, I've found that family is still family and more than anything, that's what these kids long for - loving, healthy, safe families.  

I told Liam I would be praying for him and his family.  He stopped, looked up at me and asked me if I really would pray for them.  After I reassured him that I really would, he smiled and said he would pray for his family too.  What a moment of beautiful, childlike faith!  

Liam's simple "You said it, so …

The waters

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you." - Isaiah 43:2