Monday Night Ramblings

1. Skype-ing with friends in other countries is amazing!  So thankful to get to see & talk to EBrew tonight!

2. I really miss my college friends and all the fun times we had together.  I know growing up has to happen, but I want to know why we can’t all live a OTH life and see each other all the time and live in the same town and such.

3. I only have 2 weeks left at my job.  It is both a happy and sad moment.  I will miss Berea and my students, but I am ready for what the Lord has in store for me next.   I am also going to miss Richmond and the Panera there as well as the Gilmin Group Home and all it has meant to me this year.

4. I am super excited about lunch with KP tomorrow,  coffee/ice cream/who knows what with my cousin HS tomorrow, and hearing KP speak at UK BCM.

5. I miss blogging and wish that I had had more time for it in the last month, but I have been super crazy and hope that will be changing as a get ready to transition to life with just one job and not being pulled in a million different directions.

6. I really miss writing.  Like doing a lot of research on topics and having to write research papers and essays and such for school.  Really I think I miss school in general!  I am so ready to go back.  If only I had the money to start tomorrow!

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Noah & Eli

*Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ~Proverbs 3:5-6*

Yesterday I said  goodbye to a family that I have grown very close to here in Louisville, The Scott Family.  I emailed them about an ad for a babysitter in the seminary bulletin and it has been a wonderful relationship since then.  Lesley and Thom are wonderful parents and their two sons are adopted from Ethiopia.  Eli is 3 1/2 and Noah is 16 months.  I love these boys and am going to miss them so so much.  Over the last 3-4 months they have stolen a piece of my heart.  I have seen Noah transform and become more mobile and begin talking more and more.  Eli and I have had many sweet moments of cuddling, hugs, and kisses on the couch after we put Noah to bed.

Basically every Sunday night for the last several months has been spent with this family.  There has been lots of hugs & kisses, cuddles,  swimming adventures, swinging & sliding, walks, playing with trucks, dirty diapers, laughs, dinners, fireworks, and sweet times.  I can’t believe that my Sunday nights won’t be filled with them anymore. 😦

One of my favorite memories with them was the weekend of July 4th.  I babysat the boys and then when Lesley and Thom came home they brought a movie and Blizzards with them.  I had already put Noah to bed and we treated Eli with the late night movie and snack.  During the middle of the movie we put it on pause and went outside to watch fireworks that neighbors were setting off and we went out on the back porch and set sparklers off.  Then we went back to the basement to finish watching the movie.  It was so fun.

So I decided to make these sweet boys something that they might not even grasp or like now, but will hopefully bring comfort to them in the future.  I painted them letters (an E & N) with Proverbs 3:5-6 written on them.

I have included pictures of the letters I painted for them and some pictures of our times together.

PTL Part 2

Praise the Lord for he is good in abundance!  I talked to the GM at Panera in Richmond today and he said that it was not a problem for me to transfer there and agreed to give me the 2-3 shifts a week that I requested.  I am so thankful for a God who provides for me!

PTL

Praise the Lord for he is good! I have been provided with a place to live for next year!  I am super excited about the opportunity in front of me and will share more about my living situation as soon as all the details are hammered out.  Thank you for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for me as I transition into this next phase.

What Does This Next Step Mean?

The next leap of faith I am taking in my life is moving to Berea, KY to be the BCM Intern at Berea College.  What that means exactly is something that none of us have quite figured out.  Here is what I do know:

I will be mentoring the BCM President.

I will be in charge of the Monday Night Gathering/Bible Study.

I will be investing in the lives of students at BC and spreading the gospel of Christ to them.

I will be the only paid BCM person on BC’s campus since there is no campus minister there.

I will be meeting with EKU’s Campus Minister and he will be my main contact.

I will be working with the Community Mentor’s who will be working with the students.

There will not be a BCM building for the first time in awhile and this will be a transition not only for me, but for the students.

This is where God wants me and has placed me.  Even though the details are not as clear cut as they are at some other places, the Lord has a plan and will use us to do His will.

 

In case you couldn’t tell by the many mentions of Berea in my blog recently, I am really excited about this transition.  It will be something totally new for me.  It has already made my faith and reliance in the Lord stronger.

Please pray for housing for me.  There is one possibility, but I need wisdom and discernment on if it is where the Lord wants me.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Taking the Leap

Do I go for? Do I not? Is it a smart idea? Is it the right thing for me to do? Is it what God has planned for me? What if it is the right thing and I do not do it? What if is is not the right thing and I do do it?  Is this a selfish choice?

These are all questions that I have asked myself many times, but they have popped up a lot recently as I have considered taking a job in a new place where I do not really know anyone and I could not even tell you how to get to the McDonald’s let alone Kroger or Wal-Mart.  I have asked these questions as I decide to move to my 4th city in a less than a year and as I am around a month away from moving yet still do not have a place to live.  These questions and more are all ones that have been brought up in my mind as my church has been going through a series called “What If?”

So this week when Jason preached on What if you took that leap? I was really impacted.  I had already felt sure that going to BC was the thing I was supposed to do, but even that hadn’t stopped the questions and I can’t say that there aren’t still moments when I ask if this is the right thing, but I have been put at peace with where I am headed.

Here are some of the highlights from the sermon that really spoke to me.

We were examining this question using text from 1 Samuel 14.  Where Jonathan and his armor bearer move sneak away from their army and go to the Philistine outpost. (To get all the details you should totally read the story).

In this story Jonathan had conditions that looked really bad and appeared stacked against him, but he considers the situation and the facts and trusts in the Lord’s provision.  He didn’t just blindly make this decision, but he didn’t let all the What if this and that questions get in his way of taking the leap.

The more impressive part about the story deals with the armor bearer, who from what I know about history and Jason filled in is young, unexperienced, and weaponless.  Yet when Jonathan asks him to go with him to the outpost he follows with out hesitation.  He doesn’t have a weapon, let alone know how to use it, and is headed straight into the opposing army.

Through Jonathan and the armor bearer we can see that the leap is not contingent on our conditions nor our expertise and is not done blindly.  Taking a leap means having courage.  Instead of asking all of the questions, that do not get us anywhere and are really quite stupid, we should just stop and say I’ll do whatever.

There is one more person in this story to consider and that is Saul, Jonathan’s father.  He is the king and is leading the army into battle.  At the time that Jonathan and his armor bearer sneak off he is camped out under the pomegranate tree.  Waiting, he is full of fear and panic.  He is also engaging in a form of idol worship because the tree means more than just a place for shade and rest, it is an idol in their land.

The same thing happens to us when we are not using what God has given us to honor him.  When our time is more consumed with what our Facebook friends did on Friday night, what the trending topic on Twitter is right now, or who the newest “it” couple is then we are engaging in a form of idol worship.

After the sermon I was no longer thinking constantly about if the choices I was making about BC were the right thing or wrong thing and so on, but instead this is what I have been asking myself:

1. What am I holding higher than God (What is my pomegranate tree?)?

2. Am I Saul? OR Am I Jonathan and the Armor Bearer?

Washed

I had the privilege of going to camp with the middle school students from Springdale in the middle of June.  Talk about an amazing week!  We went to camp at Crossings Jonathan Creek in Western KY.  It was a 4 hour hop skip and a jump, that was totally worth it!  I had a blast getting to bond with 13 wonderful girls and hopefully give them an example of how to live a life for Christ after middle and high school are long over (but I am by no means saying that I am the perfect example).

The Lord was by no doubt at work while we were in camp.  Even though this camp was for the students, I totally felt challenge and encouraged by the staff, camp pastor, the messages, and worship.  It was a week away from everything else going on in my life to just focus on Him and on encouraging and mentoring the girls.

The theme of the week was Washed and it was based off of 1 Corinthians 6:11 “… But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 

The whole week focused on being stained, but cleansed by God.  This is something that I think we all know, but don’t think about enough.  We spend so much time focused on how we can become more spiritual and what “good” things we can do, we forget to look focus on the areas in our life that are stained and we are not giving to God.  We make it look like everything is great, but we have our life in categories.  We keep our church family away from our work, and school, and anything else that we do.  That we we can have our secrets and no one has to know about it.  I know that I have been a pro at this in my life.

No don’t get me wrong, the whole week wasn’t super serious.  We had a lot of fun along the way that came in many forms.  I rode on the boat with some of my girls who went tubing, watched some of our students ride the zip lines, climb the alpine tower, and play ultimate frisbee during their POI times.  Not to mention the dance parties and crazy conversations and make-up/hair styling parties that occurred in our room.  It was so great to bond with the girls during these fun times and during worship services and connect points with our whole church group.  Hearing the hearts of our students on how they want to focus on the Lord and serve Him is part of why I am in student ministry.  I want to see these students passion for Christ grow and for them to allow the Lord to use them to further His kingdom!

This week really helped me see that I can’t do things on my own.  This is something that I tend to do a lot.  I have always been independent and a let me do it and try it myself kind of girl and as much as I know that I can’t rely on myself, it is like my default setting.  Never did I think that this would be something that God would work on my heart with during camp with the middle schoolers, but that is totally how he works.  Through these girls and ministering to them, I had to wake up to the fact that I am not able to help them on my own.  I need the Lord and the strength that comes through Him.  Whether it is confronting one student about an issue in their life or the whole group about how they are acting, I need His help and strength.  Not to mention that if without His words and scriptures I would just be giving them my own opinion and that is not how we are to do things.

Not only were the worship services with all of the students, leaders, and staff about being washed impactful, but for me the adult bible studies, the trainings, and the time spent with a couple girls I knew from different things who were helping lead groups from their churches were just as impactful.

It was a reconfirming week for me in that I know that I am doing what the Lord has planned for me.  I had been struggling with moving again and starting over with new people, a new church, new ministry opportunities, and a new city.  I just did this in January and to already be doing it again just 7 months later is hard.  Especially when I am starting to get so involved in the church and ministries I am serving in in Louisville.  To leave behind my new friends, family, and the awesome students that I have been spending so much time with was a huge challenge for me when considering taking the job at BC.  But over the course of the week I became at peace with moving, but that didn’t mean that I am not spending as much time as I can ministering right where I am.  I am sad to be leaving, but I know that there is a reason I have only been here for 7 months.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be back, but then again maybe I won’t.  That’s up to God!

I could talk about camp forever, because I truly learned way more than I could have ever expected at a camp that was for our middle schoolers.  I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to go!  It came at a perfect time in my life.

I am going to leave you with one final thought that the camp pastor left us with on the first night to set the tone for the week: “Will you give God permission to show you who you really are?”