Monday, November 14, 2011

Current Happenings

1. I ran a half marathon*.
2. I enrolled in my final 2 classes for my masters.
3. I got word I may be able to go to Ethiopia for a month instead of 2 weeks (be praying about that)
4. I got to see my favorite Broadway star in concert (youtube: Idina Menzel in Wicked)
5. I submitted my first application for a job
6. I work 60-70 hours a week for the Chrstmas season.
7. I went to Silver Dollar City and ran a 5k* (aka. Plaza on steroids at Christmas)
8. I fell in love with the Hans Zimmer station on Pandora
9. I am seeing Breaking Dawn at midnight on Thursday evening (I'm not even a little ashamed)
10. I am ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas break (which also involves the Knoth/Loney wedding!)

Fundraising Update: $3,300!

*Remember how I hate to run?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doubt

This is what I have been doing in the past few weeks of my life. I am a professional wedding guest.

This is only one of the pictures from the 3 weddings I have been to in the last month. Two of the weddings were in Kansas City. I had the pleasure of showing some of my Institute friends the beauty of KC. Asha's wedding was last weekend and it was a little Insty reunion. So blessed by this group of people.

After I returned from the wedding, I was exhausted. Oh did I mention I threw a shower for Kristen that weekend too? Anyway, I had a huge list of projects (18 in total) and I have been discouraged by fundraising. I haven't received anything in a week. I have 48% of my funds raised. But to clue you in, 48% of a lot of money is still a lot of money.

I walked to my mailbox last night, and I saw nothing there (little did I know that my precious suitemate had already grabbed my mail) and as I walked to my room I was admitting to the Lord that I had failed to trust Him, yet again (a lesson I learn far to often) and that I knew that this trip was in His hands. I was waiting on Him.

I walked into my room and saw the white envelope with the Dig Deep sticker on it. I immediately opened it and there was a check that singlehandedly moved my total from 48% to 69% (at this point I would like to add that the Lord was probably sitting on His throne, shaking His head at me and saying 'I knew this all along, I told you I would provide, oh you of little faith. Have I EVER failed you?').
Lesson (none of this is new): He provides in ways we never could imagine.
Lesson: He is faithful even when I am not.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's Not About Me.

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small.
And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?
So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?
I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.
So goodnight, dear void."
-Kathleen Kelly, You've Got Mail

I have never claimed to have You've Got Mail as one of my favorites but I have noticed that any time me and the other interns are trying to decided what movie to watch, this choice always makes it into the pile. It's a great go-to movie. When I was in college, my friends and I would quote this movie back and forth to each other until we quoted most of the movie. I always connected with the main character Kathleen Kelley*. She feels as though her life is small but valuable.

As of late, I feel that my world is really small. I am working at the Institute surrounded by incredible people who love the Lord and I have my job at Gap but I am still learning/navigating establishing community here in Branson. I was doing my quiet time this morning I was reminded that my favorite Bible characters lead very small lives. Take Moses: he wasn't a leader, he had a speech problem and tried to get out of serving the Lord. Jacob: a ordinary father who played favorites with his sons. Rahab: a prostitute. Mary: a teenage girl in love.

And they only thing that gave them value was the things they were doing that effected eternity. My life should be small and valuable because I serve a God who is bigger than any thing. My value is found in the Lord.

I lead a small life, valuable but small. I serve a big God and in Him I find my value and bravery.

*My current roommate's name is Kathleen Kelley, although she goes by Kate.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Even more than I expected.

Mini kamp reunion!
Dee and I in front of the Bean at Millennium Park!
The Bean!

I went out of town for a long weekend with my director and her daughter to Chicago. It was great to get away for a few days, since I have been an 'working adult' for a month now.

I returned home and checked my mail. I had 6 support letter responses!
Totaling $425! Which roughly is 12% of my goal!

One donation was in cash form and anonymous.
So if you happened to be reading this post, thank you.

The Lord has blessed me so much! Going to Ethiopia and Uganda is a reality!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Blessings

I am in a month into my internship with the Kanakuk Institute (and currently on a train to Chicago for a long weekend.). I am loving it. I am constantly being challenged in ways I never expected. My fellow interns are incredible, so glad I get to know their hearts this year and one of my best friends from the Institute is staying on Kauai’s property working for Link Year. This year does not feel like a sophomore year of the Institute but I am so glad 9 pieces of my class have stayed here and I can be reminded how beautifully broken this past year was and how I absolutely loved my class (even though I know my class was the reasoning behind some new rules…)

I am so blessed to live in a town like Branson. The Lord is in the business of surprising His people. He knew exactly what I needed after coming out of the Institute, ready to take on the world. One of the biggest blessings of this year has been being able to get more involved with the community and my church. I started attending a weekly Precepts study. We finished Esther and are now moving on to Zachariah next week. I am staying busy piecing together a 40-hour work week with my internship and working with Gap. Topped with my master’s classes (graduation May ‘12!)

I am so excited because I have worked for Gap for a year and there are going to be about 6 students joining me there. My prayer is that we can overtake that place for the Lord. Gap may be my full-time mission field after this year (parents-don’t freak out). Part of me would love to stay there and work full-time and love those people with Christ’s love. I love that no matter where a Christian may work, it is their ministry and mission field.

I’m going to enter a stage of the unknown in April. I won’t have the security blanket of the bext step with school to cling too. This time two years ago, this fact would have terrified me. Not anymore. I refuse to be the person I was senior year of college. It’s liberating to not know the next step (hopefully in April when I am still unemployed I’ll still feel that way.)

BRING IT ON LORD.

Where you lead me, I am willing to go.

I am willing to do what you want me to do for YOUR Kingdom.

My goal is to testify to YOUR GRACE.

Acts 20:24, However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task Lord Jesus has given-the task of testifying to God’s grace.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Worst Fears

(This blog may contain graphic images)

When I was younger I watched a lot of 20/20. You know the show that was on Friday nights and Barbara Walters was the host? Anyway, this show caused a lot of (ir)rational fears in my life.
They range from hotel comforters to not using automatic hand dryers to pool drains to poisonous spiders (especially Black Widows and Brown Recluses). I used to have a re-occuring dream of these spiders crawling down my throat while I was asleep and biting my lungs. Now if I had the same reaction that Peter Parker had when he was bit by a spider I would fully welcome the bites*

A few days ago, the Institute students traveled to Joplin to volunteer for a few days to help with clean-up from the May tornadoes. The interns decided to go for the day and help out. My team of 11 (7 students and 4 interns) was assigned to a church distribution center to unload a tent of supplies into a trailer. We moved on to build a circus looking tent to house donations. As a team we had to move these massive boards that would serve as the floor. Literally, it took all 11 of us to flip these over and build the floor.

(I bet you're wondering how this relates to 20/20, I'll get there)

So we are about half way done and a girl drops the board and just goes "oh.my.goodness." and points to the board. Ladies and gentlemen there was a black widow the size of a nickel (which is HUGE). I came face to face with my fear. Luckily we had work gloves so it was picked up and then stepped on (which we heard a huge it pop...disgusting I know.) I mention to one of the students that I hate black widows and now I felt like they were crawling all over me. Then I say as long as I don't see a brown recluse I would be good. Three black widow sightings later, I see it. The brown recluse. These spiders are deadly. And gross looking. Here's the proof:



I came face to face with my fears...and then we I stepped on them and continued to work. But you better believe I did not remove my work gloves for the rest of the day. I still feel like they are crawling one me as I type this.

*Peter Parker=Spiderman

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Letter

Dear Kanakuk Institute Class of 2012:

Your world is about to be rocked. Rocked to a point that it is broken apart and you don’t know how it will be put together again. In that moment when you feel that all you knew was crashing down, all you have is you sweet Savior to run to. You will be ‘torn to pieces, but he will heal you. He has injured you. But he will bind up your wounds…that you may live in His presence (Hosea 6:1-3).

These 8 months are hard. They are painful. You are in a constant state of sanctification. You are being molded, put through the fire, refined and challenged. There is beauty in this. The beauty is the Lord restores you. He redeems you. He is made strong as you are discovering how weak you are. He is sovereign. He reveals your pride shows you that without Him you are nothing. And then you realize that the only thing that matters is knowing your Lord, you grow in ways you never felt possible.

In the midst of this year, you will be blessed beyond belief. You will meet some of the most incredible people. You will meet men and women who will change your life. The Lord uses your classmates and the staff to challenge, encourage and point you to the cross. Your life will ever be the same.

Cherish this year. It goes by fast and once the summer hits, your friends are spread across the country. You will never experience community like this again and you will long for it for the rest of your life. There is no experience like this year. What you learn this year will change the course of your life and you will be left wanting more of God's Word.

Study the Word. Make time for friends. Pay attention. Ask questions. Take things seriously. Stay accountable. Challenge yourself. Challenge others. Pray. Serve others. Be intentional. Know God.

Sincerely,

Institute Graduate, class of 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Biebs.

I hate how much I love the movie 'Never Say Never'
Seriously. The weekend it came out on DVD I watched it three times in one weekend*

Any way, at the end of the movie the Biebs is quoted to say
"There's gonna be times in your life when people say you can't do something. And there's gonna be times in your life when people say that you can't live your dreams...this is what I tell them 'Never Say Never'!"

Ok. So he gets a lot of flack and whatever. I love him because he reminds me of the long boy-band phase I went through (*NSYNC and Backstreet Boys)...Can you imagine a boy-band made up of Biebers? I also love him because he was told it was impossible and is living proof that you can live your dreams. I don't love how obsessed The heart of a 13-year old is perfectly depicted in girls who have the Bieber fever (but I probably knew the exact same facts about my boys in *NSYNC.) If you don't believe me, watch the movie. It's sickening. Bt we all have been there at one point or another.

And I am ashamed that I just blogged about the Biebs.
I'll make up for it in a thought-provoking blog about something great like the Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant.

*In my defense I watched it with 14 year old girls at a slumber party, the second time I watched it with the host fam** and the third time...well I watched it with girls my age.
**My host fam's boys look like the biebs when they were little. No lie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Next Semester

-2 grad school classes (6 credit hours)
-Average of 4 assignments/readings a week
-work 20 hours at Gap
- work 20 hours at the Institute
-5 weddings
-1 half marathon
-Leading 1 small group a week
-Attending 1 small group a week
-attending 1 Bible study a week
-Fundraising for Ethiopia and Uganda
-1 trip to Chicago
-Few trips to KC
-4 textbooks to read

BRING.IT.ON.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

KC Vacation

I rarely have time in Kansas City. Towards the end of kamp I realized how drained I was from 5 years of college/kamp/athletics/kamp/college/athletics/work/kamp/Institute/kamp/internship/masters.. So for three weeks I am on vacation. I am hanGing out on the futon at the parents house treating my time off as actual vacation.
I have slept in, visited some unique cuisine in KC and hung out with friends I have known for 18 years.

Tonight I went to my dear friend Julie's house for a little KCC mom/daughter catch up time. There are about 4-5 girls that I make sure that I keep up with and make a point to see each time I am back in this wonderful town. As I was sitting at the table tonight I was struck with the thought that three girls I was with, I have known for 18 years. That is a huge chunk of time, especially considering I am only 23. We have known each other FOREVER.
The beauty of these friendships is I know, without a doubt, they are not going anywhere. We have changed over the years* but somehow we are still mesh.

I have just realized how blessed I am in my friendships. I mean, I know I have incredible friends. I have girls from KCC that I still keep up with and challenge me. I have girls from kamp and the Insty that do the same. I have close friends from the church I grew up with and girls from random places such as Sheridans and Nekamo.

The Lord truly works in my life through the presence of these wonderful ladies.

*Not only our hairstyles (thank goodness...) but parts of our personalities and interests

Side note: My next paycheck is coming from KCC. Ironic. Spent 13 years of my life in that place.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rollercoaster Otherwise Known as MY JOB

Term Four:

Day 1- After dinner My kitchies inform me that the dishwasher (otherwise referred to as Hobie) is not working. I do what any good staff member does and call Donna. Donna is one of those people who does EVERYTHING, seriously. Kamp does not run without her. Seriously. She takes a look at it and calls Rice Equipment for me.

Day 2- 6:30am I arrive at the kitchen and see Mr. Rice Equipment taking a look at Hobie. He informs me at about 7:30 that Hobie is fixed. If I have any more problems I need to call him but he says if the float (?) is out and it will take a week to get the part in. Awesome. Good thing the Hobster is fixed. Or so I thought.

9:02am My kitchies inform that Hobie is not working. My mind starts to race and jump forward to the fact that this is the biggest term that Kauai has ever had. Not kidding. We have no empty beds in the entire kamp. I gather my girls up and let them eat second breakfast (we are truly Hobbits) and I formulate a game plan. We have to start hand-washing dishes. We currently have 315 people at kamp with 5-piece place settings not including serving utensils, prep dishes or cereal bowls. You do the math.

I call a neighboring kamp and borrow dishwashing soap (did I mention that we were out?) and Dee and I golf-cart it over and grab it and I devise a game plan. I assign girls to 3-step all the dishes (wash, rinse and bleach). I then decided to get all the cups, pitchers and silverware and truck it over to one of the Branson kamps. These dishes take up the ENTIRE bed of the truck. I head over to K-1 with 3 girls and we wash dishes for 2 hours. In the meantime, I have called Mr. Hobie himself and they are sending an emergency repair man. The rest of my crew is dominating the kitchen back at Kauai.

(loading the truck for K-1, annoyed but dealing with it)

(trucking the dishes over, sitting on cups and vats)

12:12pm Mr. Hobie arrives, tinkers with the Hobie. Which of course is working just fine at this point. My girls serve lunch and eat. I have them start cleaning up and hand-washing the dishes (thankfully we were allowed to use paper plates at lunch). I am secretly hating my job and selfishly wanting to curl up in my kamp-bed and hide under the covers. I drink a cup of coffee and try to brainstorm with Dee to decide what to do if Hobie does not get fixed before the next meal.

2:17pm Hobie is repaired. We clean as normal and girls are dismissed at 3:02. I decided to take a short nap because it had been a non-stop crazy morning. I was expecting a quick visit from KK and Michael and I was so thankful I would get to see them on this day.

4:16pm I meet Kristen and Michael in the office to officially sign them in. Which I never actually got accomplished…I hug on KK and side hug Michael (gotta keep it k-rated) I go behind the desk to get visitor stickers. KK tells me that she hopes I don’t pee my pants. I get confused, turn around and see A ROCK ON HER FINGER. Ladies and gentlemen. I scream, instant tears, drop to the ground, pounce on her, side hug Michael and keep repeating my shrieks of joy. The girl is ENGAGED.



(Just rocking out the Chiefs and the Wildcats, post-announcement)

The girl I have known since Mrs. Stetler’s kindergarten class, the girl I went to school with for 16 years, the girl who was my roommate for 2 years, who played Smash Brothers and Sporcle into the wee hours of the morning. The girl who kept me in check spiritually, emotionally and physically in college, the one who introduced me to Kanakuk, the girl who has been one of the pillars in my life is going to be a MRS!

This day started off as one of the worse days of kamp (kitchen wise) but I am so blessed by my girls who rocked out washing the dishes by hand and didn’t complain and then the Hobster was fixed. I got to take a nap, woke up 30 minutes later refreshed, ready to see my dear friends. Then I saw the ring and I have been so giddy since then. So excited to go wedding dress shopping with her in August.

In the words of Keith: ‘It’s all Good’.


(Michael, Kristen and myself after the shock of my day)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

twentyfourhoursoff

Never underestimate the power of a 2-4.
For the past 4 summers, I start my first 2-4 of the summer the same way:
Turkey Bacon Bravo, Chicken Poppyseed salad and a Dr. Pepper (only because Panera carries Pepsi products, I won't hold it against them.)

I have never been so ready for a day off this early in the summer.
I usually spend my 2-4s by myself BUT I had some great friends off this time. Tanya, Mallory and Kristen (otherwise known as the best 2-4 ever) were all off and our time overlapped. it was so refreshing to have those women off at the same time. I was able to debrief with all of them about kamp and life. We laughed till we cried, told hilarious stories of the year and slept in this morning. And by slept in I mean we woke up between 8:30 and 9:00. Oh and ate tons of donuts.
The best kinds of friends are the ones that simply being together brings a sense of happiness that can't be matched.
And now we all will split up and go back to Lampe, Golden and Branson. Bring on the K.

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

I never want to be at a place in my life that I don't have women who are holding me accountable. I want these women to confront me if they see sin in my life. I want to do the same for them. This 3 women are a huge blessing in my life.

All thanks to KK, I ended up at Kanakuk 4 summers ago.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Staff Training Week

These 10 days are the always the HARDEST at kamp. It may seem crazy but summer is easier than staff training. I am so grateful when kamp starts because it means life slows down! This year especially has been crazy. To start matters off, our entire lower fields was flooded. And by lower fields I mean bottom half of kamp was an ocean. Literally. We did not see grass for days, but thankfully all the storms have left for a while and we have had nothing but sunshine.

I am so exhausted from the schedule this week but I know it will slow down. And since this is my 4th summer I know what it looks like when families are here and I am so ready for that aspect of kamp! I am so so so ready for families to get here!

I am coming into the summer so much more prepared than I ever have before. Being back in Branson by May 1st did wonders for my kamp-mindedness. I had time to write the DHDL notebook. I did tons of research on health codes and created daily spiritual themes for the kitchen and assisted my director with anything from writing emails to new staff to making dinner for the family.

I have an awesome group of kitchies. Which makes my job so much easier and a ton of fun. I am excited to have this group of 14 girls. I cannot wait to dive into James with them and live life with these girls for the next 6 weeks.

It has been really encouraging to see friends from the Institute. I have seen the besties, everyone who is currently at kamp and some Insty staff. It is awesome to hear how the Lord is working in the lives of my classmates and seeing how the Insty was a training ground for the rest of our lives. We learned how to pursue the Lord using just His Word and how desperately we need Him EVERYDAY. It is not about being in the mode of the Insty and pursuing the Lord because my school requires it but it is about the rest of my life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Happy Place

Welcome to my summer office. Don't you love my new desk?

A little tour, starting from the left:
James Precept Notebook: you know, gotta teach that book to 24 different girls this summer, good thing I was taught it at the Institute
Spiral Notebook: EVERYTHING gets written down on this bad boy, it is full of daily to-do lists
Jesus Calling: Every morning I do this with my kitchies, I highly recommend this little devo. My old director told me about it last summer.
Post-it notes: I mean they basically are a necessity
Kanakuk Mug: I mean I have recently realized that I am 'that kamp girl'* so why wouldn't I have a kamp mug?
Sharpie Pens: writing utensil of choice, this is a brand new set and since pens vanish around the kitchen, they may or may not be labeled with my name on them...
Precepts Pens: same as Sharpie Pens, I may be a little OCD about my pens.**
White Board: It probably won't get used to change the world but I just erased a picture one of my kitchies drew of an octopus. So it will be used this summer.
Pictures of Institute Friends or Institute related things: T-group, Tanya, Caroline and scenery from Israel
Favorite Verse: Exodus 14:14, The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still
Computer: I'm always working on DHDL things. And I am OCD do it has to look nice.
DHDL Notebook: 47 pages later I have the handbook written for the person who takes over my job when I leave
Cookie Recipes: I mean I made 402 dozen last summer, here's to another summer!
Mountainsmith Bag: My mobile office, this keeps everything I possibly may need during the day so I don't have to go back to my room until 11 at night
Calendar: No reason, I just love it (although May is not my favorite picture). Each page has a patten on the back that you can recylce it and make notecard or gift boxes
Keys: let's be honest, for once I know where my keys are!

*Qaulifications for being 'that girl': working at kamp longer than 2 summers, attending the Institute, working for a kamp ministry during the off season, spelling c-words with a k andowning: chacos, a crazy creek, a mountainsmith bag, nike shorts and white v-necks.
**My sharpie packs are not on my desk because I know they would vanish, so my 2 24 packs of Sharpies (fine and ultra fine) are hidden in a crevice of my office and only brought out when needed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Sunday

Commercialism of Holidays DRIVES ME CRAZY. Almost as much as when people scrape their teeth on their forks.

Since when did bunnies and duck replace the fact that our Savior defeated death once and for all?
Don't get me wrong, I love Easter candy. Cadbury eggs? Possibly one of my favorite things EVER. Peeps? How can you go wrong with sugar covered marshmallows? I only eat them when they are stale and chewy though. Reese's eggs? Phenom.

But I think it has gone to far. Russell Stover's has chocolate crosses. I'm sorry. What? It really weirds me out. Like. A lot.

I know this has happened before (remember the Dixie Stampede Nativity Scene incident?) But since being at the Insty this year each holiday has meant so much more to me since learning all I have learned. I find myself reacting (or overreacting) to typical holiday activities.

I will never look at Easter the same again. I have had a good amount of Easters in my time. I know the story inside and out. The difference this year? Knowing and believing the importance of this event. Now in hopes of restoring any respect I have just lost, I know and believe that Christ dying on the cross and raising from the dead is a vital part of the Gospel but it is so different this year. I have seen the places where it all takes place.


Matthew 27:33, And when they came to a place called Golgatha, which means place of the skull

Matthew 27:5960, And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in rock; and rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Matthew 28:6 He is not here, for He is risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

I have studied the beauty of redemption. I have seen redemption throughout the Old and New Testament. I have seen redemption in my life and the lives of those close to me.
Redemption. What a sweet precious word.

And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine,
bought with the precious blood of Christ.
(verse 4 of 'In Christ Alone')

My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things;
That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.
(John Newton)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bittersweetness.

Last night I was on gchat with a friend from the Institute (although she moved from the 'institute friend' category to the 'life friend' category a long time ago).

After catching up on life (I know it has only been 2 days since graduation but a lot can happen in 2 days!)
A piece of our conversation went something like this:
"When did we grow up?"-Me
"I think it was Friday."-Tanya

As we parted ways for the evening I was thinking about this small part of our chat.
It is so true. (yet we both still work at kamp so we aren't entirely there yet)

On Friday, I was a finishing a school year with my peers and Saturday morning we were driving separate ways across the country to start jobs. BITTERSWEET. Probably the most bittersweet event I have ever experienced.

The Institute graduation was a beautiful picture of how it is necessary for something to end so the Lord can start something new and exciting and scary.

One things I was convicted about this past week was comparing where I am called to the callings of others. I am called to Branson to intern with the Institute. End of story. I am where the Lord wants me. Even though some people in my class are called to pretty sweet locations (such as Ethiopia, Florida and the Dominican Republic) we all are doing what the Lord asks of us by following Him where He leads.

I am sad this season of the Institute is over. It was a refining year for all of us. But it is so exciting to see what is next up for me and my classmates.

A few pictures from Graduation:



A cord of three strands is not easily torn apart.
Long live the walls we crashed through, I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.



I will truly miss this group of ladies. We learned so much from each other. Anywhere from Biblical truths to the beauty of the sassy arm in pictures.



Megan, sweet Kauai friend. Who would have thought when we first met in 2008 it would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And we would be where we both are today.



Sweet Caroline. This year would have been so much different without her. Her time at kamp is over but i am so excited for her next adventure: nursing school!

It's official. I graduated the Kanakuk Institute (also known as the Insty to the class of 2011)

(Thanks to Tanya and Mallory for picking out/forcing me to buy that graduation dress)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Packing

One of my least favorite things to do is pack up a room and move. It just means that a chapter of my life has come to an end and I am having to say goodbye to people that I have come to love. First it was the move from Kansas City to Manhattan. Once in Manhattan it was from Boyd Hall to Viva Vattier to Kearney Krazies. Then once college was over it was from Manhattan to the current location of Branson.

Each time this happened I always forgot the upside to it. I always focused on the chapter that I was closing and what I was leaving behind and not what I was getting ready to gain. The move just meant that a new chapter in my life was about to begin.

As you can tell, I’m currently taking a break from packing up my room. This time it is different. I can see parts of this chapter that I will be sad to see go but the best is yet to come in the next chapter.

-I’m sad to say goodbye to this community but I am lucky enough to have had a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. I know that I will long for this type of community for the rest of my life.

-I’m sad that I will no longer be sitting in class learning but it reminds me that learning should never cease, especially when it comes to our Lord.

-I’m sad that there is never be a time in my life that my 54 classmates will all be together again but I know that our personal ministry will be better off when we are scattered among the Nations preaching the Word of God by our actions.

-I’m sad that I have to say goodbye to some dear people in my life but I am so excited to have another year in the Branson community to grow closer to the ones that are still here.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear friends
(meaning the 4 friends that actually read this, my mom and my mom's friends),

I changed my blog theme tonight. My previous blog theme was 'In the Land of Milk and Honey' because I stepped out on faith to move to Branson much like Moses when he was leading the Israelites to the Promise Land. Tonight I changed my theme to 'Life on the Lake Shore' and emphasized all the newness in my life but how my Lord is the same. Now with that being said...

I am OFFICIALLY staying in Branson for another year! The Lord is so good. I applied for an internship with the Institute and 6 weeks and a few miscommunications later I was offered a position titled 'Keith's Writer'. You may laugh, which is what I did when I first heard that title but I am really excited about it but I definitely will be needing prayer come next Friday if another job offer comes through. For the record, Keith is the guy who dreamed up the Insty and is the director of it, his wife is my Timothy group leader.

Now that announcement is over I can talk about PANELS. For those of you who don't know panels is the most dreadful/beneficial aspect of the Insty. All this semester we have been writing what we believe on 10 different topics and then each statement is backed up with Scripture. This week we signed up for a 30 minute slot of time that we go into a room armed with our statements and the Word of God and we sit down and 3-7 people fire the tough questions that unbelievers may ask you and we must have a response. TERRIFYING. But incredible. This time last year I would have never been able to tell you the answers to any of the questions, let alone the Scripture that goes with it. Incredible. Awesome to see the growth in 7 months.

Graduation is next week. Part of me is sad but I know that this chapter of my life is ending and I know that I have made some great friends that will be by my side until the day I die, regardless of our location. So blessed. I am so thankful that I choose the Insty and not Denver Seminary. The Lord had a much bigger and greater plan for me. I didn't realize that bigger plan included a smaller town, a group of friends who have become family, and an opportunity to work for a ministry that I believe in.

Love,
Sarah: the girl who told the Lord she would be in Branson for one summer in 2008 and somehow never got away.

Monday, March 28, 2011

JBU

video
Sometimes I feel like I am back in college.
But honestly, I am okay with that.
(watch Malpal, she may have gotten some bruises)
You tell me what you do to unwind after an 8-hour class!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Israel

I don’t know if I can sum up my trip to Israel in a few words.
I don’t know if I have ever experienced the peace of the Lord is such a powerful way.
I don’t know if I will ever view the Bible in the same way.
I don’t know if I will ever taste hummus as good as it did in Israel.
I don’t know if I will ever adopt the Kosher way of life, even though I understand the reasoning behind it.

I do know that my heart has been burdened for the nation of Israel.
I do know that I am blessed to be a Gentile and see the power of the New Testament.
I do know that I want to go back.
I do know that I want to study the Old and New covenants more in depth.
I do know that the Lord is sovereign.
I do know that I have turned the grace of the Lord into Law.
I do know that I am obsessed with Mediterranean food.
I do know that jet lag can cause panic attacks.

A few pictures until I can do a much better blog post.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another list, another post.

You know how much I love my lists, so here you go:

1. On Friday my Aunt lost her 2 year long battle with cancer. Although in my opinion she was pretty victorious because she is forever in the presence of our sweet Lord, Jehovah-Rapha*. I'm actually jealous, forever in glory? Incredible.
*Jehovah-Rapha is the God who heals

2. I saw Justin Bieber's 'Never Say Never'. This embarrassing for multiple reasons: (1) I loved it, (2) I teared up, (3) I left inspired, (4) I am planning on seeing it again, (5) I am so happy the boy-band type music is coming back (6) I justified going because I went with a 14 year old, a 10 year old and a 17 year old (but let's be honest, I would have gone by myself anyway.)

3. My birthday. I have committed to being a 20-something. I am a 23 year old. This past birthday may have been one of my best (except my 21st that I stood 2 feet from Jon McLaughlin and he wished me happy birthday...can't really beat that) I woke up in one of the most comfortable beds ever that did not make noise because it was not made out of bamboo, went to coffee with a college roommate, had time by myself, went to dinner with friends (Thanks Kels who came in town!) and watched Baby Mama with a few friends from the Institute. Which may or not be one of my most quoted movies...ever (followed by Mean Girls, Dumb and Dumber, Heavyweights, Galaxy Quest, The Holiday and a mass of YouTube videos)

4. Adulthood. A few of us were talking the other day about when we feel that we have met adulthood. Granted none of us actually feel like adults because we live in Cabanas and work at summer kamp. But there ares ones in the group engaged, applying for real life jobs or pursuing more education and moving to new places. But nonetheless, most of us are adults. I think I have reached adulthood. I am becoming a member at my church in Branson and I have a phone with internet. I set up my own bank and have a grocery store. I am applying for jobs are are not just for the summer and after April, I will never sit in a classroom again (unless the Lord decides to be funny and call me to teaching...don't get any ideas) Even when I look at this, I don't feel like I am there. You know, at adulthood. I'm starting to think Meredith Grey is right:

“I've heard that it's possible to grow up - I've just never met anyone who's actually done it. Without parents to defy, we break the rules we make for ourselves. We throw tantrums when things don't go our way, we whisper secrets with our best friends in the dark, we look for comfort where we can find it, and we hope - against all logic, against all experience. Like children, we never give up hope...”

5. Israel. The Holy Land. The land milk and honey (hence blogspot tagline). But I leave in about a day. I am so excited. I seriously get to walk where Jesus walked. You know I love the story of Moses and the journey to the Promised Land, I am pumped to see the Promised Land in living color! I don't think it has hit me yet that I am going to the Middle East. I literally am pumped to go to the land that I have read so much about.

Peace out friends