Tag Archives: ball state

fall is the best.

but really. fall is my favorite, for so many reasons. the colors, the weather, the smells… everything. it’s always been easiest for me to see and appreciate the presence and creativity of God in the midst of nature, and autumn is the time, in my opinion, when nature is at its most beautiful.

last weekend was fall break, and it was wonderful. for the first time in a while, the entire family was together. plus, chris joined me for the weekend, so he got to experience my family in its fullness, which was really cool. friday evening and saturday were full of laughter and talking and joking and love. we caught up on each others’ lives, we watched movies, we played games, and we ate some delicious food. one of the things i love most about my family is that we don’t have to be doing anything in order to have fun with each other. i love it.

plus, on saturday, the wilhites showed up! everyone except britt was there (though we managed to skype her in for a minute), and we spent some time loving on each other.

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on sunday, chris and i headed up to camp. i had been given the opportunity to speak at camp’s annual meeting (a state of camp address, if you will) about why camp is special. lots of what i said was covered a few weeks back, and it was cool to have the chance to talk about it all over again. camp is a unique and amazing place, because it is both rooted in and permeated by the love of Jesus. with that kind of love, a love which defeated death itself, as its foundation, how in the world could camp not be special?

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but the coolest part was seeing camp in the fall. i’m not exaggerating when i say that i was speechless at the beauty i saw there. pictures don’t do it justice. it was like God had taken camp and infused every piece of it with a soft, golden glow. everywhere i looked, deep reds and rich oranges and yellows saturated the trees. it was stunning.

 

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man. i love that.

after getting lost on the way back from camp, chris and i just hung out at home monday and part of tuesday.  we went down to the river and walked to the old lock and dam. i grabbed lunch with owen at panera and got to talk about life and show choir and high school, and how weird it was that almost four years had already passed since we met. on tuesday morning mom and i went to breakfast, which was wonderful. we always make time for some kind of date when i’m home, and it’s always a highlight.

and then it was over, and life was back to normal at ball state. it snowed… but that’s okay because i’m still a firm believer in fall extending itself for a few more weeks. possibly. hopefully. either way, it’s been wonderful so far.

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“knock-knock.” “who’s there?” “squirrel.” “squirrel who?” “look, a squirrel!”

so this year i’m in college mentors again, as i mentioned earlier last month. but GREAT NEWS, i actually get to be henry’s mentor this year, as well as malakai’s! this is the best news ever, because, especially after meeting them both, i have decided they are two of my favorite people ever. since they’re on fall break this week (and ball state is on fall break the following week), i won’t see them for a while. so i decided to post about them instead.

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henry (the one on the right) is the one who always has something brilliant to say. the past two weeks he entertained us with his on-the-spot knock-knock jokes. here’s a typical one:

“knock-knock.”
“who’s there?”
“grasshopper.”
“grasshopper who?”
“i don’t want to eat grashoppers!”
“that is one of the best knock-knock jokes i’ve ever heard.”

we decided that he gets five knock-knock jokes per tuesday, so he has to make them super awesome.

henry spends most of our time together telling me to watch him do awesome things like jump really high or run really fast (racing places is our favorite). he’s always happy, always ready for whatever is planned, and never has anything but a huge grin on his face.

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malakai is the thinker. he’s quieter than henry, but not in a rude or withdrawn way; he simply takes time to process things before reacting to them, and usually is more reserved when he does. i see a little bit of my younger self in this guy.

malakai is super friendly and polite. he loves to engage with the older mentors, but also loves playing with his friends during the activity days. he’s very intentional with everything he does, and conversations with him are great. also, he’s super into being a gentleman. i asked him (and henry) to start holding doors open for the rest of the buddy family wherever we go, and he is totally into it. he got the biggest grin when i thanked him for being a gentleman. it is precious, and so encouraging to see someone so young have a heart for being kind to others.

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our past few activities have been lots of fun! the first week we had a picture scavenger hunt around campus so the little buddies could see ball state. walking around gave us lots of time to get to know each other, as well as point out some cool places that they hadn’t seen before (frog baby was especially fascinating to them).

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last week each of the little buddies tie-dyed their own bandanas, which was both incredibly messy and incredibly fun. henry and malakai loved it, the idea that they were the ones designing their very own bandana (and, i’m sure, the fact that it was way messy… henry looked at his hands, exclaimed “whoa! it’s not coming off!”, and then promptly stuck his fingers back in the dye).

plus, while we were waiting for our turns, we got to run around and play tag and stuff. and race, of course. maybe i’ve just forgotten, but man, that is like every other activity we do, and it never gets old with these guys. i love that energy!

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we spent the rest of our time creating designs for this year’s college mentors t-shirt! between that and a little journal time, we finished out the activity day, and said goodbye to our buddies for the next few weeks.

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i love seeing the connections already being made between little buddies and their mentors. hannah had been waiting for a while to meet her little buddy and it was a happy day this past week when they finally met for the first time. it was jenna’s little buddy’s birthday, so she got him a present, including a sweet iron man mask. let me tell you, he was all over it. and everyone thought it was the coolest.

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things like that are the reason i do college mentors. we get to show kids that we love them and we think they’re awesome just for who they are. i’m a fan of that.

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“your beard connects all the way to your hair!”

life is in full swing here at ball state (it has been for the past month, actually), and it’s been way too long since i’ve posted. is it weird that one of the main reasons i’ve waited so long was because i got a new camera and just hadn’t taken a whole lot of pictures yet? it’s hard to get out of the camp mindset. i never had to warn anyone that i loved taking pictures of life… it was kind of just a natural thing there.

in actuality, the main reason i haven’t been on is that this year has been a big adjustment. there are lots of new things this year, awesome things, but things that take some getting used to. but they’re all awesome. seriously.

i live in a house this year with five of the coolest guys i know—dan, austin, sam, drew, and tom. they love Jesus, they love fellowship, and they take responsibility and accountability and the pursuit of God seriously. it’s the best.

we celebrated tom’s birthday recently with applebee’s, cake, and monty python. last sunday we had our first official monthly house meal. austin, sam, and i grilled up some steaks and made some mashed potatoes and corn. it was delicious, and we got to take some time to just talk about life and encourage each other.

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last saturday drew organized a time of prayer in the morning. we got together, praised God for all He had provided, and prayed for each other and our ministries. these are the kinds of things that constantly remind me how blessed i am to live with these guys.

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even though i’m not at camp, God’s provided tons of opportunity for me to hang out with and minister to kids. i’m leading my church’s middle school boys’ bible study with matt, who i know but have never spent a whole lot of time with before, and i can already tell that it’s going to be awesome. we’re studying the book of jonah, and the guys are all really invested in legitimately growing in their relationships with Jesus, which is just super encouraging. plus, leading with matt is a total blessing—his honesty and insight are both encouraging and humbling. i’m so excited for what the year holds!

i’m also involved in two other ministries: kids hope and college mentors. both are things i’ve done before, and God’s given me the time to invest in both. through kids hope, i meet with a second-grader named isaiah. he’s the best… talkative, hilarious, and really sweet. last friday we spent his lunchtime taking funny pictures and talking about books we both like to read. he asked if next week i could try to get some pop rocks, which he’s never tried before.

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we haven’t had our first activity day for college mentors yet, but our buddy family rocks and i got to meet henry (not my buddy but one of the guys in our family for the year) on tuesday, so i’m super excited. my guy’s name is malakai, and he wants to be either a police officer or a target worker. so he’s obviously the best, even if i haven’t met him yet.

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other things are awesome. like action group and learning to make food instead of buying it at woodworth and seeing camp people everywhere! we made hobo dinners and i can always count on running into a fellow camp crazy, usually while we’re wearing our respective unit shirts. not mad about it.

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life is good, God is great, and there’s a lot more ahead this year. i’m excited to share it with you!

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if you were a laser, you’d be set to ‘stunning’.

so tuesday was tanner’s birthday. that’s this guy:

he’s one of my best friends. and yeah, he was one of the guys helping set up the suite and making it look all presentable and stuff. he has a twin sister (just like me!) and his birthday is in august (just like me!) and he rocks. so we wanted to make sure his day was awesome!

i have a million post-it notes lying around. it’s great. so me and dan and a couple other guys decided to write as many awesome things about tanner that we could think of, and then plaster them all over his door. note the creativity of these compliments, guys. you should be impressed.

why tell someone that they’re one of your favorite people when you could say this instead:

and why tell someone they have a nice smile when you could phrase it like this:

we set them aside for later so we could capitalize on the greatest amount of surprise. tanner visited after class (he’s the unofficial seventh member of the suite) and hung out for a bit.

later that night we all went to puerto vallarta’s, a mexican restaurant that serves delicious food. it was with a really fun group of people, and everyone enjoyed just spending time catching up on summers and celebrating tanner’s birthday. we filled up completely on chips and salsa, naturally, before the food even came out, but we made room and it was delicious. someone had even brought a cake and candles!

     

the birthday celebration was made even more special because special friends like casey poe and katie deboy showed up! it’s weird not having these friends in deho anymore, but it just makes the times we do get to see each other that much sweeter.

after dinner we went back to campus, and i finally got all my homework from all my classes into one planner. it felt good to do something productive. then, THEN! i ordered all my books. i was really excited until i realized that some of them won’t be in until two weeks from now. so, that sucks. but it’s okay, because they’re ordered.

later that evening, tanner went with his twin sister brennan and casey poe to applebee’s, and dan and i decided it was the perfect time to plan a post-it note attack. we walked to kinghorn (quoting the emporer’s new groove the whole way… did i mention i’m glad this guy’s my roommate?) and snuck up to tanner’s room, where we proceeded to post-it note the crap out of his doorframe.

     

     

then we ran back to deho. before he went back to his room, tanner stopped by the suite with some delicious lemon cake backed by none other than jamie burton, a brilliant jack-of-all-trades who was an r.a. in deho last year. we munched on some cake and laughed at funny youtube videos and enjoyed each others’ company.

then the fire alarm went off.

we all look around, confused, and someone goes, “my popcorn!” we all rush to the only microwave, located in daniel and brandon’s room, only to come to the doorway and see nothing but thick, gray smoke. thankfully the building alarm wasn’t tripped, but things will smell like popcorn and smoke around here for a while. we have fans plugged in and dryer sheets hung up to make things smell better.

but so it goes in the 3d suite.

tanner hung around a little bit to make sure everything was okay, and then we said goodbye and he headed back to his room. he was plenty surprised by the notes, and we were glad to get one last birthday surprise in before the day was up.

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“if you get a b, you should be ashamed.”

things i have been very thankful for in the past week and a half:

1.) seeing amanda and hanging out with her. getting to hear all about her summer and her job and the awesome people she got to work with. spending some unhurried, quality time together.

2.) seeing christian, dylan, eric, and craig. some of my favorite people in the world.

3.) going to old chicago, eating pizza and giant cookies, and pretending to know what i’m talking about when i talk about football.

4.) friendships that last no matter how long you’re apart.

5.) getting to see the joshua, jonathan, and faith. knocking on their door and hearing feet pounding the floor as jonathan sprints to open it. and shooting off fireworks in their backyard. no big deal. catching up on school and gymnastics and their pet cat and stuff.

6.) getting to see owen, one of the guys that i was in wizard of oz with. getting to talk about how his summer and past school year went, tell him about camp and my school year. he’s going into 8th grade… wowza!  surely senior year wasn’t that long ago. crazy.

7.) hugs.

8.) feeling appreciated and loved.

9.) reliable friends that will come over at midnight to pack up a u-haul full of furniture while it’s raining just so you can leave early the next morning.

     

10.) turkey pasta salad.

11.) time with mom and dad.

12.) more reliable friends that will help you unload a u-haul packed with stuff. friends that will rent out four carts and help bring everything to the third floor in two trips, just because. friends that will stay to help set up a suite, and give solid advice for the layout.

     

13.) great deals on great kitchen tables and chairs.

14.) dan carpenter, my new roommate. just look at this guy. he’s great.

15.) random visits to becca’s new and wonderful apartment. so cozy and cute!

     

16.) an amazing turnout at the bar-b-cru! the way that God works through the feeble efforts of His children to accomplish awesome things. people willing to serve others. the excitement that accompanies first time events of the year. all the freshmen that we got to meet and hang out with.

     

     

     

17.) hearing stories from people’s summers and seeing how God is so clearly working in their lives. how He is so clearly working through them to impact other people.

18.) seeing drew from awana at new life on sunday as he ran up to give me a big hug. i love that guy.

19.) a church that i can look forward to attending, one where i know i’ll be taught, challenged, loved, and accepted.

20.) knowing that i get to wake up tomorrow with new mercies from God. knowing that He promises to finish the good work he’s started in me, even if i don’t know exactly how that’s going to pan out.

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