Saturday, November 26, 2011


Wow.  It is my last night at home for 6 months.  The last night I will sleep in my house.  This is crazy, terrifying, sad, exciting, emotional, and exhilarating all at the same time.  At the moment, my mind is going a thousand different directions.  I still have a lot of little things to get done before I leave tomorrow.  So as a way of getting a grip on what's going on, I decided to share a short post and organize my thoughts.

Song of the post is Tears of the Saints by Leeland.  Been stuck in my head all day.  A song of passion for the lost.  Let's do something about it.  Let's lead them home.

Its been a wonderful, tough week.  I have LOVED being home.  It's been so good.   But now I realize that this feeling of being home does not even compare in the least to what it will feel like to be home eternally.  It's going to be....INCREDIBLE.  And it's our job to invite people to that home too.  We need to lead them home.  The home that we never have to leave.  The home where there is no saying goodbye.  The eternal home with my Father.

I hate goodbyes.

I'm also not a fan of crying.  It just isn't fun for me.  Some people say it makes them feel better.  And you know.  That might be true sometimes.  But a lot of times for me, it makes me wanna just sob some more and then sleep forever.  I hate being sad.  But I guess its a good thing I'm sad to be leaving.  Just so hard.  But its already started.  My little sister made sure of that.  The little pipsqueak had me crying while I did my hair this morning.  Not cool.

As I write this post, I find myself reflecting on all the good times I've had in the past 3 months.  With all the things I've learned and the amazing people I have gotten to know and then being able to come home and feel more love in 8 days than some people feel in a lifetime, I am overwhelmed by how blessed I am.  I don't know why I am this fortunate when so many other people are not.  It's something that I will never understand I guess.  But what I do know is that since I am so blessed, I can be a blessing.  That is my prayer.  That I could be a blessing to those I meet.  I want to help those around me and be moved with compassion to act. 

Today and tomorrow have been and will be emotional.  Tears will be shed, I have no doubt.  And its good, as much as I hate to do it.  But, I want to have tears, not only because I am saying goodbye for a little while, but because I am so passionate for the kingdom of God that it breaks my heart to see the lost.  Being sad is not a bad thing.  But the fact that I am dwelling on my sadness is a bad thing.  Yes, I am leaving for 6 months.  It feels like a long time if I compare it to days or weeks.  But really, in light of eternity, 6 months is nothing.  Really.  And as my soul is finding peace in all of this, I realize I have more courage to face what is coming.  6 months.  I can do this.  My team can do this.  God can do this.  And if God is for us, who can ever stop us? 

Thank you so much for your prayers.  I have felt them, and they work.  I honestly feel at peace right now, and I know there have been prayers going up for me.  Please pray for my family, boldness, unity, compassion, and for God's guidance in everything we do.  It's been quite the journey.  And as it continues, I'm buckling up for some adventure.  God bless. 

Monday, November 21, 2011


This is Home by Switchfoot.  Great song.  check it out.  I was obviously drawn to pick this song because I am home for the week, but its not talking about my earthly home.  Just a really good song that was picked as the song of this post because it sparked a desire to be home and feel loved.  .....Yeah. 

But yeah!  I can't believe DTS is already over.  In some ways the 3 months feel like I have been gone a really long time, but in other ways it feels like I shouldn't be leaving the RIC yet.  Just as my perception of time is all over the place, so are my emotions.  At this point, I don't even know what to think.  A BIG part of me is so so SO glad to be home.  Another part of me is sad to have left all my other friends that I have lived with for 3 months, especially knowing that I won't see most of them for very much longer in my life at all.  Terrible thought.  Another part of me is so super pumped for Chile and the adventure that awaits me.  And still another part is pretty nervous about being shipped off to Chile without my family and only knowing 4 other people.  My emotions are going crazy, and I'm really trying to not let that get me stressed out.  I want to enjoy my time at home. 

I love my family SO much.  And in just 2 days, I have felt SOOOOO loved and blessed beyond belief.  My family and friends are the greatest.  Quick shoutout to my sisters.  Kloe, you are my precious baby sister.  Yes, I made you sound like a newborn just now, but my time away from you has shown me how much you mean to me.  You are a mini me.  You make me so proud, Scamp.  I want you to know that.  And you are more aggressive on the bball court than me and Kaly combined.  Seriously, I can't wait to watch you on TV someday :]  I love you so much, Bud.  Always.  Keep working hard at everything you do and love Jesus and others always.  I miss you already, and I still have a week before I leave.  Kaley, you are my best friend.  No question.  You are one of the few people who can make me laugh no matter the situation.  You know me....really know me.  And you care about others more than yourself.  You are sweet, kind, beautiful, hilarious, clever, and just down right fun to be around.  Don't know what I would do without you, KK.  You inspire me.  Keep allowing God to mold you, and He's gonna take you on an adventure bigger than you ever dreamed of.  Love you always. 

Anyways.  DTS flew by.  The last week kinda feels like a dream actually.  Friday was especially crazy.  I had to pack all of my life up from the last 3 months.  And man, that was a job.  I have accumulated a lot of stuff since I arrived at the RIC.  It was crazy.  I was flying around, shoving things in my suitcases, until I got to the point of not being able to shove anymore in.  At this point, I resorted to grabbing trashbags and flinging random things into them.  Needless to say, I had to take multiple trips up the stairs with all of my junk.  And since I had so much stuff, I couldn't pack it all fast enough and had to do some major cleaning in the middle of it all.  Basically, I was flying around the entire morning, trying to get everything done as fast as possible.  CRAZINESS.  Then amidst a few random other events that took place in the afternoon, I found myself heading to the Commissioning service that evening.  SOOOO GOOD!  Worship was incredible and the message that followed aligned perfectly with it.  I just felt at peace during the whole thing.  And then we were all prayed over by the people that love us, and it was just so incredible.  I just felt like God was right there, holding my hand through the whole thing.  Goodbyes are a hard thing, and I'm really not looking forward to saying them anymore, but through it all, I know I have Jesus to cling to.  I never have to say goodbye to Him.  HALLELUJAH. 

Saturday=PHENOMENAL.  Basically, the whole day was a hugungous birthday present to me from my incredible sister.  Buckeye game with really good seats and a bunch of energy.  So fun.  Would have been a bit better if we had won, but, whatever.  Still had a blast.  Then right after, we walked to the Newport and witnessed a fanfreakingtastic concert by none other than TWENTYONE PILOTS.  Sold out show.  We were there.  WOOT.  Crazy, original, creative, spectacular.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Thanks so much, Mcblobbers.  For real.  You are the best.  :] Then some late night PB time with Miss Ash.  Pretty fabulous day if you ask me. 

Sunday.  A week before the sobbing fest.  One week.  Wow.  Its hard to get my mind around that.  Its like my head knows it, but my heart doesnt realize it yet.  Seems to be the case in a lot of areas of my life.  But I'm working on the heart part.  All I really know is that attending my own church felt SO good.  I really do miss Sunday mornings there.    The sermon was about being thankful, and it was really great.  I picked up so many good points from it that I think I will share some :]
- Love never fails.  God is love.  My God never fails. 
- I WILL cast my worries on Him because he CARES for ME.
- There are no big things for my ENORMOUS God.  A lot of times people wonder if God really cares about the "small" things in life.  Well, what do we think God considers "BIG"?  Nothing can stump or trip up my God.  He's GINORMOUS.  He cares about us.  That's all we need to know. 
- Philippians 4:6-7- do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
           *This really stuck out to me because I am finding myself being very anxious about things lately
- Rejoice in all circumstances.  God is good ALL the time.  Suffering is the megaphone to the world for what is really inside of me. 
- What am I broadcasting?  Thankfulness?
-God is love.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is joy then.  This is just a thought, and I may not technically be right, but in my mind at this point, I believe it to be true.  If we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, I believe we should be filled with joy.  If we are truly living out life in tune with the Holy Spirit, we should be filled with joy, no matter what.  Joy is not the same as happiness.  Its not based on the circumstance, but on Who I am living for.  I dont know.  Just some of my thoughts. 
- Often times, we put a lot of emphasis on and take a lot of pride in our family name.  We want our name to be honored and respected.  People say, "That's the (insert last name here) in you!" when you do something.  Well, we should be living in such a way that people say, "That's the JESUS in you!"  Great point, Rick. 

Just so many good things.  Felt so refreshing to be in a familiar place again.  A place called HOME.  A place filled with family and friends who love me and care about me.  GENUINELY care.  And it is so good for me to feel that and to know that although life is moving right along without me in it, I am still cared for. 

I got to see my sister ball it up all day too.  She is a BEAST.  The kid is so aggressive and quick.  She makes me so proud.  I'm so happy she has the opportunity to play the sport she loves at a young age to get GOOD.  I'm just sad that I won't be able to see her play for most of the season.  She's a baller. 

Now comes the time for shopping and packing for random necessities.  And the time to hang out with the people who have influenced me and made me the person I am today.  Family, friends, friends who are like family.  Everyone.  Time to laugh and not get stressed over the little things.  Time to drink in the fact that I am here now.  Time to prepare of the incredible adventure awaiting me.  Time to grab ahold of every opportunity.  Time to rejoice and be thankful.  And time to LOVE no matter what.  Prayers would be appreciated, not only for me, but also for my family.  Prayers for peace and courage and just a big trust in God for protection and comfort.  Love you all.  Thanks for everything.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sum Up

Ok.  So first off, this post is way overdue once again.  I'm just so bad at this.  I do love blogging, but when so much time has passed before I get around to it, it gets a little overwhelming.  So I think I will just do a little overview of what we have been taught.  Basically, I'll just post some quotes that have really stuck out to me in sessions.  Very cool concepts.

But first.  Song of the post......Boasting by Lecrae.  First time I heard it was today actually, and I loved it right away :]  Great message. Written by Lecrae.  Enough said.

Our session on discipleship was AWESOME:
- We don't make disciples; Jesus does.
- Jesus speaks to US.  Always the Word of God, but He knows what speaks to us personally.  He spoke fishing to the fisherman.  He will do the same for you and your interests.
- Jesus doesn't ask us to change the world.  He just asks us to do the little things, like going the extra mile.
*I was very challenged in this session.  The speaker was just so good.  His name was Bill, and he was just a really wise dude.  He said, "Don't lose your voice to the world because you settle for mediocre.  Be EXCELLENT." Challenging.

We've been learning a lot about different cultures and how we should approach and adapt to them.  It has been so eye-opening.  One thing that really stuck out to me was how the rest of the world views Christians.  We are seen as being very arrogant and ignorant.  These characteristics come across to people in the way that we go about ministering a lot of the time.  People say we don't try and learn about their culture, but that we just write off their beliefs without even seeing what they are about.  From one lady's experience, her Christian friends invited her to a Bible study, and she went, to see what it was all about.  But when she tried to  get them to come to the temple with her, they declined and didn't even try to see where she was coming from.  That was definitely a new perspective for me.  I needed to hear it.  I don't want to stunt God's work because I come across as rude and disrespectful.  Something to think about.

Another thing that was really eye-opening was World Awareness Week.  Monday- Thursday, we were only given rice and beans to eat at every meal, and we were not allowed to snack.  We could not use the internet and had to take cold bucket showers.  We had to do our laundry by hand, and on the last day, the electricity and our mattresses were taken away from us.  We ended the week with a meal where we had to play certain roles that were randomly picked.  There were 5 classes: high, middle, working low, nonworking low, and beggar.  And we got served based on our class.  I was in the working low class.  We ate on the floor and had  the standard rice and beans to eat with water to drink.  It was pretty intense.  The higher classes ignored us and fancy foods.  And the lower classes had dirty water, rice, or nothing at all.  The statistics that we heard throughout the week and that night were.......they were terrible.  It really hit me hard.  We are SO blessed and  so much of the time, we are the ungrateful ones.  I don't want to go back to my calloused heart.  I want to truly see the needs around me and share love with them...the True Love.

Man.  I just feel like so much has happened!  I've been really challenged recently though, to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there.  I tend to be pretty quiet here, and while that is not a bad thing necessarily, I sometimes make it a hindrance to my testimony.  Like, I hide behind my shyness?  Yeah, thats the only way I know how to put it really.  I dont know.  I just want to be bold for Christ and to make that happen I need to be willing to set aside my fear of what others think and step out.  Be outgoing and friendly with people.  Just simple things like that that I can practice.  So yeah.  That's something that I am really working on right now.

God is not passive, for love is never passive, but always passionate; and passion always leads to action.  Just one of the many powerful lines from the book Soul Cravings by Erwin Raphael McManus.  Its a great book and I highly recommend it.  I'm reading it right now, and I'm learning so much.  Yes.  Go read it.

Throughout all this learning and growing, we have had some really fun times.  Especially this past weekend.  On Friday night we had the Thanksgiving Extravaganza.  We got all dressed up and fancy and had some really delicious food.  Good banquet.  Throughout the dinner, we played some games, and it was just really fun.  Then we took a GAZILLION pictures.  Not gonna lie.  It was probably a GAZILLION.  And after we had captured the moment of us being all spiffed up and stuff, we had a big picture/video scavenger hunt to complete the night.  Lots of laughs and funny moments.  Good times.  Saturday morning, the girls blessed the guys with a big breakfast/movie time in the big classroom.  Very chill, relaxing time.  Everyone left happy.  And then a bunch of us went to play sand volleyball.  I was in the cold for like 3 hours straight, but it was SO FUN.  Made me miss playing with my team back at home.  Miss and love you, girls!  You guys made me so proud this year.  Just wish I could have seen you play.

I dont know.  I just feel like so much is happening and going on right now that its hard for me to sum up things I've learned.  Just growing a lot in where I am placing my identity and really trying to step out in that.  I want to be seen as my own person.  Not just a tag along.  And just trying to find my place in that.  The book Soul Cravings is really helpful and thought-provoking, and I'm in the middle of that, so a lot of processing is going on in my head from that.  I am just really terrible at expressing myself. And I'm sorry.  Hopefully I improve.  Just a little insight into my life and whats been going on recently.

I come home in 4 days and leave for Chile in 15.  About ready to FREAK OUT!!!  In a good way tho.  I'm super stoked to come home and see my family and friends and just chill, but at the same time I am really not looking forward to ending my time here with these people that I have gotten so close to in the last 3 months.  It's hard to leave when its the last time I will get to hang out with most of the people here.  But at the same time I am SUPER STOKED to come home and be normal again.  My time at home will be crazy tho.  Its Thanksgiving, my birthday, I need to pack and buy things for Chile, and see all my friends and family.  Gonna be so busy and chaotic, and I can't wait :]  Bring it on, break.  Bring it on.  And.  I am super pumped for Chile as well.  Mostly just excitement but sort of nervous too.  Nervous because I know I'm gonna miss my family a lot.  I already miss them, and I'm 20 minutes away from home.  So that makes me a bit....nervous I guess.  Otherwise, I am so pumped to go!!  CHILE!!!!  YAY!

Also, some food for thought.  It's not about the number itself but how you view yourself when you look in the mirror.  That is all I will say on the matter.  It just sounded so wise coming from my mouth :]

Thanks for all the support, you guys.  Honestly, it has been crazy.  I got a lot of mail over these past few weeks, and it has been such an encouragement!  Just knowing that people back home care and want to know about what I have been doing and in return hearing about life at home has been the biggest blessing.  Also, I raised all of my support and I can't thank you guys enough!  You are so awesome.  Can't wait to see everyone on break and talk with everyone.  Gonna be such a good time.  Thanks again for caring.  Praying for ya.  God bless.