Monday, November 18, 2013

God's Little Lessons

It's been a while since I have been on here and there has been so much on my heart that I felt like I need to write some of it down, this is my way of processing things sometimes. Bare with me here it's 6 in the morning, I've been up since 5, and I'm not normally up this early. I'm just hoping my thoughts come out coherent.

Almost six months ago that Joey asked my to go on the missions trip with the students to Indy. I had been considering volunteering for a while but wasn't sure if it was what I needed to do at the time, or if I was prepared to do it. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. At the time I never could have imagined the ways it would change me.

What I wasn't prepared for was how quickly I would form a bond with my girls. With a few I felt myself becoming more and more protective of them, worrying about them and loving them during that trip to Indy, with others it was more gradual. There have been times that I want to hurt those that are hurting my girls. I walk this line between being their friend and a mother duck, but as I do I can feel God working not only in me but I can see it in these girls.

Growing up due to swimming as much as I was I didn't spend a ton of time in church. My mom and dad showed me a love for Christ and I began to know him, but between practice and school church took a backseat. This is to no fault of my parents they were supporting me in something I loved. However, this caused me to not have a significant knowledge of scripture, my greatest area of concern when working with the girls. I was afraid that because I did not have this knowledge I would not be an effective leader for them. But as I place my faith in God and as I trust more and more in his plan (something that is extremely difficult for me), the more I find myself being at easy with my students. I love sharing with these girls as they triumph, grow and mature, and I hurt when they hurt.

The last couple of days have really shown me the difference between expensive and cheap love. About how as you truly invest in someone the ways they begin to affect your own life, not just how it is affecting theirs. I find myself hurting when I know my students are hurting. This was the case on Friday. I was brought to tears at work as I learned of something one of my girls was dealing with. I found myself praying over and over again for this girl, her family and her friends, praying that God would show me how to handle the situation.

 I don't tell you this so I can get a pat on the back, but I share it to show you how much these girls are affecting my life in ways I never thought possible. Through them I am learning so many of God's little lessons. To trust in him and his plan for me, something I really need to apply to another situation in my life, that when I trust in that plan he will give me the tools I need to accomplish it, and that by showing expensive love rather than cheap love I will truly see a true, deep and even sometimes spiritual difference in someone. It's always funny the ways God decides to share these little lessons with me, I will forever be grateful to him that he has chosen to share them with me through these girls!

Well I probably should get ready for work. It's going to be a long day!

Until next time...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Indy 2013: So much more than just a road trip!

So I have sat down to write this blog a couple of times, I have started it in my head even more. Naturally I am deciding to do it while I should probably working on my test which is due tomorrow or my make up assignment from missing class during the trip. I'm not really sure where to start, what is really important and how in detail to go.

Let me start by saying I had been considering going on the trip for about a month before Joey asked if I was interested in going. When he did ask me my natural reaction was to say no. Those of you who know me know I am hardly an adult. I have avoided being one as much as possible, so going on this trip would be brining me way to close to actually being one. As I started to really think about it the more I felt lead to go.

For over a year I had been praying every night for my path to be shown to me. I have been looking for a place to fit in within the work force. For something I would really want to do for the rest of my life. I had began to feel like I was being called to work with kids, high school or middle school age. Although, I wasn't really sure if that was something I really wanted to do. I decided to use the mission trip as a way to see if working with that age group was really something I wanted.

To say the trip was life changing may be going a bit too far and sound a little clique, but it definitely was way more amazing than I could have imagined it to be. I honestly wasn't crazy excited about going, I was pretty blah about it. Hence the fact that at 7pm on the night we were scheduled to leave three hours later I still wasn't packed. But within a couple hours and several different conversations with our students I realized why I was suppose to be there.

Let me take a minute and just say that I am beyond proud and honored to know the students at City Life! They have changed they way I am looking at the future. If they are any indication of the people that are in this world we will be ok. They are some of the most giving, selfless, and hard working people I know!!! I learned so much from them, their personal stories and their actions while we were gone. I'm pretty sure I came away from this trip changed more by the students we took than the work we were doing. (I really hope that is ok!)

This trip quickly become about more than just painting a few buildings, pulling weeds or organizing a thrift store. It was about giving hope and inspiration to not only the people who would be using those ministries but for myself and for the students. On the last night in Indy I'm sitting in the debrief with the students listening to them speak about what the week had meant to them, it was then that it hit me, this is what I am suppose to be doing. I am suppose to be working with this age group.

I have no idea what this is going to look like. Will I get a job some where and work full time with the age group? Or am I being called to just be a leader on our student team? Well for now I'm taking the steps to do both. I have begin applying for jobs within the school district as well as a few non profit organizations, and I am currently in a "probation" period with the student team to make sure I want to be a leader. What I do know is that I want to be part of their walks with our Lord and Savior, I want to go to their games and watch them play/cheer, I want to develop a relationship with them where they feel comfortable to come to me when they have an issue, and I want to see what they will make of themselves and how they will change the world. Because believe me these kids are going to do some AMAZING things!!!

I want to take a moment and just ask those of you who are reading this to say a prayer for me as I continue to follow this path I feel God is laying in front of me but also please pray for these students. They are not only the future of our church, they are the future of our city, our country and our world!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Where To Go From Here?

It's been a while since I've been on here and not a lot has changed. I'm currently working at an apartment complex, and continuing with grad school. Not much is going on right now, other than my search for what I want to do with me life. You would think since I am so close to 30 that I would have some sort of idea. Well you wouldn't be alone in this line of thinking. I kind of feel like I should too.

As a kid I wasn't really the one that knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unlike both of my brother who knew from a very early age. Mac basically was born, looked at the doctor and said airplane. This kid could tell you all the specs on a ridiculous amount of airplanes by the 3rd grade. Jarrett was about the same age when he decided he wanted to be a doctor. Thanks in large part to the amazing ones he had as a child. For a while I wanted to be a marine biologist, then a sea world trainer, those are the last jobs I can remember really wanting to do.

So fast forward to my college years, I was entering WSU with no real idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Upon advice I received from my parents and those around me I declared my business major my first semester of my freshman year. Looking back this may not have been the best move for me. In retrospect I wish I would have taken the time to take a few different classes to see what I really enjoyed. I choose business because I knew in the long run it would end up being a versatile degree but to be honest I never really loved it. (Yes I realize the irony in the fact that I am currently working towards my MBA!)

Over the last few months as I have been applying for jobs this dilemma I have been facing for the entire life still hasn't become any clearer. I have applied for almost anything and everything under the sun in hopes that somehow thing would become clearer. At times I have begun to feel extremely lost, like I have no idea what the road God is leading me down and what it is I am suppose to do with my life. Nightly I pray that I can see where he is leading me and that he would show me what his plan for me is.

I have started to feel what I can only assume is a calling towards working with children. My time serving as a team leader for the nursery at church and then my excitement when I was asked to be a leader on the student mission trip this summer has started to open my eyes a bit. What is confusing to me is if this is really my calling or if this is me trying to read into the situations around me. How does one really know?

Yes, I realize I blog about this a lot, and I know I am constantly saying that I know there is a plan for me but there aren't really any truer words than those. My plan will be revealed in time and when it does it's going to be amazing! Until then thank you for taking the time to walk this path with me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Almost 30 Birthday

I have to admit as my birthday approached this year I was full of dread and almost a sense of depression. There was going to be 365 days standing between me and my scary brithday. In my head I knew I should be happy I was celebrating another birthday. I was getting a chance so many people aren't given. So why am I complaining?

For the better part of the last week it felt like 30 was just looming over me, taunting me, reminding me I was no where near where I had once hoped I would be by this age. I mean come on 30 seems SO old! Yes I understand it really isn't but lets be honest for a minute, 30 sounds a lot older than 29. It just does there isn't anything I can do about it. Any way, I always thought I would be married with a couple of kids and in a job I loved by now. Insteed I'm single, no kids and didn't have a job. I was just going to grad school, which I realize is a good thing all in it's self but it wasn't enough to make me feel any better. Slowly I began feeling like I was pretty much just failing at life. There were a couple of nights that I was pretty low. I really began to feel as if I was on the edgeof a cliff unsure of what I was to do, or how I was to move from there.

Through all of this I continued to pray, I would pray that God would show me the path he had for me and work within my heart so I could know what he was telling me to do. So my actual birthday came and went. It was a pretty low key day, spent the evening having dinner with some family and friends and just enjoying the fellowship. It was really what I needed. I was spoiled by everyone and so grateful they took the time to out of their busy days to spend it with me.

Then today happened and I couldn't have asked for a better day. I was offered a full time job at a local apartment complex and also took on working for a vet clinic here in town a couple hours a week doing some marketing for them. I'm very excited about both of these, I feel like they are going to give me some invaluable expereince! God seems to always come through for me when I least expect it and in ways that I could never imagine. Here I was worrying about finding a job and in one day I except two. I know that I could never have imagined this, only he could have!

In about 48 hours my entire outlook on turning 30 has changed. No longer am I terrified and unwilling to get a year older but I know say BRING IT ON! This year, my last year in my 20s, the next 365 days, are going to be amazing. There really is so many fun things to be looking forward to. One of my best friends is getting married, our family will grow once again by the birth of ANOTHER boy, and several of my friends are having babies too. I really can't wait! I can tell that this next year is going to be full of God's blessings.

Now if we could just get a win from the Shockers tonight we would be doing great!!! Heading off to watch some more basketball. I really do LOVE this time of year!

Until next time...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Oh Accounting, We Are Not Friends!

OK seriously who invented accounting? Did they have a hatred for business students? I can just see it, and bunch of guys sitting around saying you know what will really screw up future business students? Lets make it as difficult as possible for anyone to ever understand what is going on with a company, we will call in accounting! Why do they ever really need to know what is going on?

How I made it through the last eight weeks I'm unsure! It had to be by the grace of God. Let me be honest there was a TON of praying going on in regards to this class. Part of it could be my fault, the class kept getting scheduled the same nights as WSU or KU basketball games, we all have our priorities. So maybe I was watching scores a tad bit more than I was paying attention to what the teacher was saying. I also got very lucky to have lots of writing, yes writing in an accounting class, lots of essays which I was able to ace and pad my grade with. However, the best thing to happen was all the snow! We ended up getting a snow day causing our teacher to make our final a take home. (And thanks to Brandon for all his help on that one!) In talking to other students who took the class in the past we had it very easy! Which I'm not sure I would disagree with. The thing that surprised me the most was that our tests were open note, open book. Don't get me wrong in no way shape or form am I complaining, but it was very unexpected!

All in all I ended up with a B in the class, which I am beyond happy about! Considering there were many nights I would leave the class convinced that I was going to fail this class and get kicked out, or I would end up getting the one and only C for the entire program. Let me tell you I was beyond scared that I would get a C in my first class and then would end up stressed out the rest of the program afraid of getting another one and getting kicked out!

I have two classes left in my Organizational Behavior class and then I will be finished for the semester. This summer I'm taking two classes for a total of 6 hours, and then taking 3 classes in the fall, for a total of 8 hours. Which reminds me... I need to enroll. Maybe I should get on that! That's all for now, going to enjoy spring break and hanging out with all my educator friends who are off for the week!

Until next time...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oh Valentines Day... We Meet Again!

Yesterday was Valentines Day, the day when we all buy way to many flowers, chocolate, and candy in an effort to show people how much we love them. If you are in a relationship the pressure is on to make the day romantic, this is where so many boyfriends/husbands get themselves into trouble. If you are single you end up dreading the day, it's just another day where you are reminded that you aren't in a relationship. Yay! But this year was very different for me.

Five years ago I ended a relationship that was beyond unhealthy! It probably should have been ended years before. I spent most of the time being hurt and not seeing that I deserve to be treated better. Over the last couple of years I have talked to a couple of guys and gone out a couple of dates, nothing has really stuck. At times this was beyond frustrating. I mean come on, I may not be the skinniest girl out there, or the hottest, and my friends have referred to me as an acquired taste, but that doesn't mean I'm not worth someones time. Does it?

Many times I have looked at Valentines Day as a reminder that someone hasn't chosen to be with me. Unlike the last couple of years this year I wasn't at home on my couch, with a bottle of wine, the chocolates from my mom, watching sappy movies by myself. I did spend my night as the token single friend babysitter for Andrea and Adam, but it was nice spending it with Austin and Avery. This did prove to me how happy I am with there I am in my life. It hasn't been until the last year that I have really gotten to this point, and it has taken a lot for me to get here. Thanks to some amazing friends and family, who have walked this last year with me, I have found a new confidence that I didn't know was there. When I started to stumble and started to doubt myself they are the first ones there to remind me of Gods love, and the plan that he has for me. More than anything this has been the greatest source of comfort to me.

So what is Valentines Day really about? Does it have to only be between a man and a woman in a relationship? Or can it be celebrated between a parent and a child? Best friends? I say yes! Yes it is about a couple, but it is also a day to show those special people in your life how much you really do care about them. Whether that is a parent, a child, a best friend, or a niece and nephew. But should we really wait for this one day of the year to show people we care for them? Don't you think that we should be doing it all year around? Again I say yes. It's nice to be reminded through out the year in small ways that you matter to someone. I don't think it has to be on just this one day. Maybe we all should think about this and decided to show those that we care about they matter to us all year around.

I'd like to take this moment and thank everyone who has walked with me, all my friends and family. I can't name you all by name because I'm very fortunate to have some many of you! You all mean the world to me and I wish that I could repay you for everything you have done. Because of you I am who I am, and where I am now.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Amazingness and Sadness All Rolled Into One

I have spent much of today debating if I should write this blog or not, and if I do should I post it. When I am trying to process something I write about it, it helps me to process the feeling I am having. This weekend was spent at a relationship retreat put on by my church, we had group session, as well as two single breaks out session and one for women. To say that I benefited from this weekend would be an understatement! I really feel like in a way it changed my life and changed how I'm going to live it day to day. The real treat was getting to listen to Randy Storm speak not once by three times! So back to why I wasn't sure if I should write this blog or not... I knew today I wanted to write about my experiences but in light of the death of both Randy and Suzy Storm I was unsure if I should do so. Would it be the proper thing to do? Would it make light of the events? I don't want to offend those who had a close relationship with them and are grieving at this time. After some soul searching I decided the message I learned this weekend was to valuable to not share.

To anyone that knows me, knows that my heart has a desire to be married and to have kids. My past relationships haven't been the best to say the least. I was left with a lot of baggage, a couple trust issues, several scars and I have been unsure on how I will be able to move on one day into a healthy relationship. Through this weekend I came to realize that everyone has baggage and no matter what God still loves us because we are his. We are chosen, holy and beloved in God's eyes.

The most influential of sessions had to be the ones that I spent listening to Randy speak. While both Casey and Chad did an amazing job on their session, I really identified with what Randy was speaking to us about. As someone who is single I often question how I will know when I will be ready for marriage. How will I know when I have met the person God has intended me to spend the rest of my life with? There were a couple things Randy said that have stuck with me and I wanted to share them. The first was "You are ready for marriage when you are content with being single and know what you wont settle less for." This is always something I think I always knew deep in my heart. I knew that I would have to be ok with being single and had to love myself for who I was before someone else would be able to love me. For some reason this just spoke to my heart this weekend. It just seemed to click. I have no idea if this was Gods way of speaking to me through the words of Randy, if for some reason I was finally ready to hear it or if it was a combination of both. All I know is that for the rest of my single days this is something I will continue to work towards and I will try and live my life by. Which obviously is going to be WAY harder said than done.

He went on to tell us that when we decide who we are going to marry to pick someone who we want to run Gods race with. After listening to his story and that of his wife's, Suzy, I have a lot of hope for the future. With out going into to much detail about their stories I realized that I don't have to be perfect for God to work within me or to put the person into my life that I am suppose to spend my days with. He will do this when he is ready. I just have to spend however long this waiting period is working on my heart and my relationship with God so that when it does happen I will be ready.

While I didn't have a personal relationship with either Randy or Suzy they touched my life in a way I never expected going into this weekend. I sat listening to Randy talk to the entire group on Saturday night thinking I can not wait to go through premarital counseling with him. He is going to find a way to get out of me stuff that I didn't even know was there and it's going to be amazing!!! Unfortunately, I won't be able to have that happen, but I do feel lucky to have spent a little time this weekend listening to both of them speak. My life will forever be changed by the retreat this weekend, thanks in large part to Randy and Suzy Storm. As I write this my heart is breaking for all those that I know who had close relationships with them, for those he was counseling, those he had married, and those who will never get a chance to know either of them. Like many I know, I'm taking comfort in the fact that they are with The Lord, together and that Randy can now walk. Their legacy will live on through those who have been touched by them. I hope I am able to pass along the wisdom they gave me this weekend and that it will help someone else with the struggles they might be going through.

Thank you to them both, even though I won't get a chance to tell you this, you have changed my life in a way I didn't know was possible. I look forward to seeing you again one day and getting a chance to have a personal relationship with you both!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is this really what I should be doing?

We are only 19 days into the new year and I already feel like time has flown by. Where has the last 19 days gone? I honestly feel like I have done very little but at the same time feel as though I have been beyond busy.

I think the biggest change so far this year is starting grad school. Now you may be thinking how can it be that different? You just finished an undergrad and didn't take a break in between, you're just going from one school to another. And in part you would be right. I am in the habit of studying and getting my homework done, but at the same time it isn't that simple.

On the first day of class, which was also orientation, I sat there as they start going over everything basically making it seem as difficult as possible to get through. All kinds of thoughts just started running through my head... "Why are you doing this?" "Who's idea was this any way?" "Can I really do this?" Over the last few weeks I have started to feel more and more comfortable with everything but it is definitely going to be a tough road. Honestly I expected that. But I'm not sure if I expected it to be this tough. Currently I'm taking Accounting, which is for sure not one of my strongest classes. The biggest difference between grad school and undergrad... Has to be the fact that I actually read the chapter before going to class. It's amazing how much more you understand when you do this! Slowly I am starting to get to know people in my program and a few are even on the same track as I am which will be nice. I know that by building these relationships it will help to make the process easier and seem to fly by a little faster! Or at least I am hoping that it will!

At times I'm still questioning if this is where I am suppose to be, and if this is what I am suppose to be doing. Especially as I struggle to find a job. It really has been a very difficult process. I feel like I have so much I can offer a company I just don't get why I'm not getting offers. Over time it has really started to mess with my head a bit. Is there something wrong with me? Am I saying something wrong in the interviews? To me I seem to be hitting it off with the people I'm interviewing with but am I really? It really is hard to tell!

I keep having to remind my self over and over and over and over again that God has a plan for me and that in time that plan will show it's self. It will be better than I can ever imagine, and I know he has a job for me that will allow me to not only serve him but also my community, which is something I feel very strongly that I am being called to do. I guess for now continue with school, working on redoing my mom's study and focusing on the job search. Everything will come in time and it will be on God's time, I just have to be patient!