Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"That was Easy..."

School, school, school. According to Staples, it's the most wonderful time of the year. According to students, it is the worst time of the year. See the difference? Well, this year, I was actually semi-excited to go back to school, as excited as anyone can be to go back to work and teachers and being critized for not making your periods big enough (Though I think the last time that happened was 6th grade.) I started Orientation yesterday. Basically, I learned how to send an email, look up stuff on the internet, and write a word document (All things I pride myself in doing quite well.) Up until today, after every section of my orientation, I wanted a Staples Easy Button to slap, and then the voice would say "That was Easy." Sadly, due to my lack of a Staples Easy Button, I said the words myself (It didn't have the same effect.) Until today... Today, things got a little harder and I only wished that my imaginary Staples Easy Button could be pressed and make everything just that, easy. We began to have issues, with our scanner. See, our scanner never properly hooked up to my computer, and for online school, one of the things we need is a scanner (See my problem?) Well, my mom spent all day working on getting my scanner up and connected, with no such luck. So... I just emailed my TAG teacher (The one who is teaching my orientation) and explained my little dilema.

I hope you're all having better luck with your "School days" Then I am. Tell me about what's going on in your life as this school years begins.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sharing Sunday

Yesterday was our sharing Sunday at church, a chance to tell the church congregation all about our experiences on the trip. Like I said before, my youth pastor had asked me to talk about working with the kids at Grace Point. It took me over the course of 2 days to write down what I was going to say, and even then it didn't totally cover exactly how I felt, but it came as close as I could with only mere words.
That morning I was a bundle of nerves. I wasn't really nervous until that point, but that morning, it was definatly real. We prayed before the service, all 12 of us gathered around a table in the back. We practised where we would stand to sing, where we would stand to speak, where we would sit when other people spoke, where we would sit when the slide shows played, things of the sort. Finally the service began.
Thank goodness I was scheduled to go near the begining (Third in) because I don't think I could have handled sitting there with all my nerves any longer. I fidgeted in my seat as the two people before me gave their speeches. Finally it was my turn. Taking a deep breath, I stood. It was then I heard the whispered encouragement from the person sitting next to me, "You'll do fine, I promise."
Those were the words that carried me through my speech, as I clung to the podium, my legs shaking violently. Those were the words I held on to as I hurried through my speech (Only stopping to breathe 3 times, according to one of my other team mates, I was told. Apparently I talk really fast when I'm nervous.) Those were the words swirling around in my head as I returned to my seat once I had finished, my legs still shaking, my head still light. And as my team mates offered their congratulations, I realized this said person had been right, I was fine.
During everyone else's speeches, we talked silently among ourselves. We talked about being nervous, offering each other whispered words of encouragement. We tried to decide who would cry as they were talking, and pointed out whose mom was crying at that moment. I think our casual conversation was a way to ease the nerves we felt.
Now Sharing Sunday is over, and I almost want it not to be. Not that I particularly enjoyed those crazy nerves, but because now we're all going our seperate ways. After appx. 6 months with these guys, it's all over. We're all going our seperate ways, to college or back to school, back to the hectic schedule of our lives.
I've grown to love these people more then I ever thought I would. They're like family to me now, and after everything we've shared, it's hard to be moving on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm Back!!! (With a list)

We've been without internet for a couple of days now, and of course, the time when we are without internet is the time when everything that happens to me seems worthy of a blog post or a facebook status. Then, of course, once you do get internet back all of those old new things don't seem as importent anymore because they have been replaced by new new things. Either way, here's some of the old new things that I was ready to tell you about a while ago, but couldn't...

  • I got school books. School books! A reminder that school is just around the corner (Like appx. a week around the corner) and it's time to get back into routine and learning and homework and deadlines.

  • I got a new cell phone. With texting and a keypad and a Taylor Swift ringtone. (I was thinking of naming my phone Ruby (Yes, I name my phones) How does that sound?)

  • I finished writing that thing I wasn't sure how I was going to write, about working with the kids at Grace Point. I didn't find the 'right' words, but I did find words that describe what we did and what the kids were like (sorta) Now I only have to get through reading it at the meeting tonight, and again in church on Sunday and I'm home free. Why does reading it sound so complicated now?

  • We're going to Edmonton tomorrow. For a vacation. No hospitals or doctors or tests or anything of the sort. For some reason, even if I know we're going to Edmonton for fun, I can't get over my phobia of hospitals and doctors and tests. I just relate Edmonton to the hospital, don't ask me why. And for some reason also unknown to me, staying in a hotel in Edmonton gives me that panicky feeling of having to go to the hospital the next day, even if I know we're not going to the hospital. So my blog posts may cease to be until next Monday.

Like I said, everything seems so much less-importent now because the old new things that were exciting and blog-worthy have been replaced by new new things, which seem much less blog worthy. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging somewhat regularly next week. Until then fill my inbox with lovely comments (Not just facebook notifications)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

With All The Words In The World...

Today my youth pastor asked me to do something I'm not sure I'll be able to do, put into words the experience I had with the kids at Grace Point. Grace Point and the experiences I had there are high points of this trip for me. They are experiences that changed me and taught me so much, causing me to grow and learn. Putting these experiences into words is another matter entirely. How I'll put into words the amazing time I had there escapes me. How I'll put into words the things of God that happened while we were there, the relationships I built with some pretty amazing kids and the experiences and realizations I had that changed me, I have no idea. One thing I know for sure, if I want to describe Grace Point, really describe it, and my time there I'm going to need more then just a few minutes. To tell all the stories that touched my heart, to describe all of the people that impacted me so greatly, to talk about everything I learned on this trip, I'll need more like a few hours, if not more. The experiences I had at Grace Point were like a story written by God's own fingers. Every piece of that portion of our trip was more then I could have ever imagined. I was blessed in ways I didn't even know I was able to be blessed in, challenged in ways I didn't know I could be challenged in, grown in ways I didn't know I could be grown in. And even with all the words our there, how, may I ask, do you find words to describe what can only be described as a God thing?

My prayers are with a family whose little girl, only 10 months old, went to be with Jesus yesterday. She had problems with her heart and on her 10 month birthday, she finally went home. She's not in pain anymore, and she had no more struggles and a perfect heart. Please pray for her family as they grieve the loss of their baby girl.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How He Loves

July 23
I have appx. 15 minutes before I wake my girls up to leave, but I wanted to journal quick. Last night was the concert and talent show. The concert was amazing. As soon as the band came up, I was thinking 'what have we gotten outselves in to?' But it turned out fine. The last song they sang is How He loves (A favorite around camp.) Everybody crammed into the aisles. Some of our team was packed in beside each other, and we all draped our arms around each other, including all the children, waymakers and other staff who stood along the way. A few other groups followed our lead. Lots of hands were raised and our voices drowned out the band. There, in that moment, praising God and holding and being held, I had one thought... "This is it." This is it, the spiritual WOW moment. This is it, this sense of belonging and love and worship. This was 'it.' After the concert, we had a rushed cabin devotion time and then it was time for the talent show. After, when we were all finally in bed, the girls asked me to sing. So I did. I sang every song from my childhood, every hymn and every camp song, worship song or other christian song I could think of. I sang for a bit, before Sandy requested a song of her own. She sang How He Loves and cried. Hearing my girls this in to it nearly melted my heart. It's hard to believe they're leaving today.

later that night
I'm not entirely ready for this trip to be over. I'm excited to go home and tell people, but I'm not ready to leave this team, my 'family.' I want to go back to Winnipeg and love on Karlee and the other kids. I want to see miracles happen with another group of campers at camp. These 2 weeks taught me so much, about depending on God for everything, about loving the ones that might not be the easiest to love, about how everyone has a story. I've loved lots, served lots and been blessed 1000x's more. I never thought God would work in the ways that He did. Slowly, He crept up on me, surrounding me, covering me with His love. I'm proud of myself for going. This trip was amazing, plain and simple. Even if it wasn't what I had imagined and even if God didn't use the stuff I thought He should, it was amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything more
(Not as amazing as hearing all the kids at camp sing it at the top of their lungs, but amazing none the less.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dear Little Girl Me

Ever have those moments when it seems like everything is happening too fast? Like blink and you'll miss years of your life? I know parents are supposed to feel that way as they watch their kids grow up, but do you ever feel like that? I know I do. I'm feeling like that right now, that when I blink again I'll be all grown up and heading off to college and starting a family of my own. And it'll all be over, all of this. It seems like not that long ago there I was, a little girl, waiting on this day, the day that I would finally be a teenager. I remember I practiced for it. My and my best friend, we would dress up, I wore a lovely dalmation spotted coat, and we would walk down the street and imagine what life would be like when we were finally here. We would imagine the boys we would date, the clothes we would wear, the cars we would drive. But we didn't know that teenagers didn't play house on the dirt hill after school. We didn't know that when you got to this place, these teenage years, everything would be so different then you'd imagined it being. Instead of dating and turning heads of all the guys in the building, you'd be sitting there, longing for the guy you have a crush on to just look at you and smile. Instead of wearing all the cool clothes, you would wear tee shirts and jeans, because you could totally break your ankle in heels. Instead of driving around that cool convertable, you would be sitting behind the wheel of your mom's SUV, scared to death, afraid that one wrong move would send you over the cliff. We didn't know that when we where little because teenagers were these people that could do no wrong, they were these idols. And now we're here. Now we're at the place where nothing is as simple as it used to be. Looking back, it seems like everything has happened so fast. I'm not that little girl anymore, I'm the teenager that little girl always wanted to be. But it's not at all like I thought it would be and sometimes I just want to curl up beneath the covers and close my eyes and bring that little girl back. I just want to play house on that dirt hill after school. I just want to go back, to be that carefree little girl again. Because everything is changing so fast and I just want to put on the brakes and say "Stop!" I'm not ready to be this teenager who drives and has responsibilities and cares more then she would like to admit about how she looks or boys. I want to go back, but no matter how much I want to freeze time it's not going to happen. No matter how much I wish I could just stay here forever, never get older, I know that something amazing is waiting for me just over the horizon, in the short time it will take me to fully 'grow up.' And that no matter how fast this ride is going and no matter how much I want it to stop, it's here now and if I blink I just might miss everything that may have been importent to me, all these memories. This is who the little girl has become. This is the teenager the little girl imagined herself as. She's not coordinated or a beauty queen. She doesn't turn the heads of every guy or drive a cool car or wear cool clothes. But she has everything she needs. She has friends and family who love her, even when she's clumsy and crazy. Somehow, all those other things little girl me wanted don't seem so importent anymore. Sure, I still care about how I look or about catching the attention of that oh-so-lovely boy sitting across the room, but that's not 'it.' So, my dear little girl self, I may not have everything you wanted me to have, but I have everything I need. I may not be able to stop time but I can enjoy every single minute of this amazing ride. Somehow, I think you would be proud of the young woman you became.

'I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list'

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Birth Announcements

July 20 ~ Chance became a Christian!
July 21 ~ August became a Christian!
July 21 ~ Elese became a Christian!
July 21 ~ Sandy became a Christian!

4 of the girls in my cabin at camp accepted Christ! I remember after they had all prayed I was so excited I was just bouncing around. It was so amazing! I had loved these girls all week, prayed for them and with them and showed them God's love, and then they accepted Christ! Ah, It was just AWESOME! I was given the privelege of praying with a couple of these beautiful girls. I got to introduce them to the only one who will never leave them, who loves them unconditionally.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday's Song

No other words for today, really, other then watch this. It's a song that's been stuck in my head lately, and it really fits with how I've been feeling this last little while.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Family is...

What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What We Do...


So Much Maffia! A favorite past time of ours

Our Arizona and Reese Puffs. Just for the record, I did not consume any of these.

Rockin' out in the van on the way home, highly entertaining

Knight of the Broom and Dustpan

Yes, We gave him that. Our 'stylist' didn't do that bad of a job. The mullet didn't look half bad

So here's a peek into what we did during our spare time on the missions trip. We had lots of fun and laughed lots. These people made the experience so amazing, and I love them all

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Limos, Lattes and My Life On The Fringe

Limos, Lattes and My Life On The Fringe is the fourth book in the real life series by Nancy Rue. This is the story of Tyler Bonning, an average, african american teenager who is nominated for prom queen as a joke. That theme alone would make for a pretty interesting story, but when Tyler decides to turn her nomination into a cause and starts the Prom for Everyone campaign, a whole new level of crazy is added to her life. When you combine all of that with a cute boy who helps Tyler with her campaign, a sister who isn't the easiest person to get along with, parents who don't seem to understand, a new french friend, some old friends causing some new issues, and a strange book called RL, that's Tyler's life.
The main characters in this story are Tyler herself, Patrick, Valleri, Yuri, Sunny, and her parents. The minor characters include Dierdre, Matthew, Candace, Kenny, Hayley, Alyssa, Joanna, Egan, Youtube, Fred, Ryleigh (a character I named) Graham and Noelle.
Tyler overcame the challenges she faced regarding the the way she's percieved by others, the Ruling Class, and the K-Mart kids, doing the right thing and God, just to name a few.
My favorite character in this book would have to be Tyler. Even though I'm not a brainy, african american teeanger, I did relate with her, in the way she clearly struggled with her own identity. Once she decided something,though, she stuck to it, even if other people were trying to shut her down or obsticals came up in her way.
My favorite scene in this book is probably the scene where Patrick comes to visit Tyler in the hospital. It's near the end of the book, and it's not the scene where Tyler's true strength comes out or where she makes a total turn around, but it's the scene where she confesses the love that's been building up in her heart for Patrick. It was really sweet, and I absolutely loved it.
I really liked this book because the challenges Tyler faces are real and relatable. By the end of this book, I was in tears, though I wasn't sure why. I was just sitting there, with tears streaming down my face, holding the book to my chest. I would recommend reading this book, because even though at some parts the whole 'smart kid' language got a little hard to understand, the theme of the book was amazing and by the end, it did touch my heart enough to make me cry. I was unable to put this book down, just ask my mom. I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5. I'm sad the RL series is over, but this book was amazing work by Nancy Rue, and left me wanting more, and more, and more...