Tag Archives: friends

“we’re calling them ‘whale-done’ cards. because… because of the whale thing. get it?”

how is it that time has already flown by so quickly? a week from today, i will have already been at camp for two days. that is insane! but so exciting. the past couple of weeks or so have been an odd combination of restful and busy. i meant to update on here many times, but the timing was never right. there are a few things i want to process through before camp really gets into gear.

for now, a list of awesome things that have happened since coming home:

1.) went flying for the first time in my life! christian invited me to join him as his flight instructor flew a helicopter from the hangar to a local hospital (no one was hurt, it was just routine). it was beyond cool.

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it was crazy how small everything looked from above. i knew it would be like that, but i still had to remind myself that those weren’t toy cars down there. it was the perfect day for it, too. absolutely gorgeous.

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definitely want to go up again. christian’s training to become a pilot, so soon he’ll be the one flying the helicopter (though becca has been given first dibs on the glider).

2.) my friend chris and i have started going through a study of luke together. chris (you can check out his blog here) is one of my closest friends, and one of the coolest guys i know. he recently dedicated his life to Jesus, and it has been one of the biggest blessings seeing his hunger for growth and community with other christians. even though he’ll be in muncie and i’ll be at camp, we’ll be staying in touch and passing along our thoughts, observations, and things God’s teaching us throughout the summer. we’re going through the same study guide of sorts, and i’m pumped to see how the Lord will use it.

3.) coord training! most of the unit coordinators for camp got together two weekends ago to plan for the summer. it was a lot like when the river village coords got together, just on a larger scale. we talked logistics, shared ideas and goals for the summer, and talked about how we can make this summer the best ever. plus i got to see HUGO! it was probably the highlight of my summer so far. which, i believe, is a good sign for the next eleven weeks.

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this is one awesome team (minus a few key players).

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and let’s face it… who wouldn’t want to work at a place like this for the whole summer?

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4.) friendship bracelets. i asked camp people for requests and have made more of them in the past few days than the rest of my life combined. it’s crazy. and it’s fun. and it’s camp, so i’m not ashamed.

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5.) scales lake. every year before i head off to camp, dad and i take a weekend to just hang out, spend some quality time together, and… watch a series or two of a tv show we’re currently watching. this year it was fringe (amazing show, by the way. so, so good). this year we had some really good dialogue about life and the future and things like that. it was just a really good time. plus, scales lake is absolutely gorgeous.

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each year i grow more and more thankful for the relationship and friendship my dad and i have.

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so that’s some of the stuff that’s been happening so far! crazy how fast it’s already flying by.

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“but you’re forgetting we live in the midwest, so…”

while it appears that spring might actually be here for longer than a few hours, i can’t say i’m holding out much hope. over the weekend the weather was trying desperately to decide what it wanted to be, and ended up flipping schizophrenically through beautiful sunshine, dreary overcast skies, snow, and torrential downpour. last week winter decided it just wasn’t done with us:

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but that just meant everyone got to be in elementary school again and make snowmen and have snowball fights and (attempt to) ride down hills on lunch trays.

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that last one is a beautiful snow bear, if you couldn’t tell, fashioned by dan and tanner. after some of the snow had melted a few days later, a couple guys decided it was up to them to destroy it. they did not, however, anticipate just how… substantial the snow bear was. their efforts ended in failure.

phase 1: attempt to roll the bear away for some reason. try again when it doesn’t work.

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phase 2: walk away nonchalantly.

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phase 3: try again because surely a snow creature can’t be stronger than you.

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weekends are also a great time to talk to people you love. austin, nathan, mitch and i decided to do a google+ hangout, because why not. it was better than we could have possibly imagined.

we discovered that you can wear awesome hats and things like monocles and moustaches.

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and play ping pong and such (i lost).

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and have good, deep conversations.

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i love these guys.

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things that make me happy.

getting letters from kellie about how the brave unit is going to be awesome this summer. getting letters from campers talking about how excited they are for camp. getting letters from my fellow river village staffers about how we’re all going to rock the riv.

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paper chain countdowns to camp.

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encouraging and hilarious lists from my twin sister.

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encouraging emails in the morning from my mom.

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the (few and far between) times when the suite is all together at once.

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coming up with ideas for camp in a google doc, and being really excited about it.

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this… comic… that was in new life’s newsletter a few weeks back:

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getting unexpected phone calls from this guy:

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life is wonderful and things are good. the Lord blesses me and my cup overflows.

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things i learned from not going to east asia.

or, perhaps more accurately, things that God taught me through that process. that lengthy, often frustrating, confusing, deliberate, sin-revealing, wonderful, painful, sanctifying process.

first, i still don’t fully know what it means to trust the Lord with everything. certainly before i started raising support, as well as a couple times throughout the past two months, i thought i had the whole trusting God thing down pat. i knew that going to east asia would stretch me, and i knew i would have to trust Him in ways i hadn’t been asked to before. i was excited because, in typical fashion, i figured i could anticipate exactly how and what the Lord was going to teach me.

and, in typical fashion, the Lord had other plans. time and time again, He brought me to the edge of that alleged, half-hearted trust… and gently pushed me further. i thought i’d only have to trust God to raise the money; aside from that, i hadn’t really considered His role in the process. and i certainly did have to trust Him with the support. but He kept telling me to trust Him with more… trust His plan instead of mine, trust that His opinion was more important than that of people, trust that any new sin revealed was covered by His grace, trust that He is still good when things don’t work out the way i think they should, trust that His strength is enough, trust that He already had everything planned out, trust that He would still be glorified if my break was spent at home… trust Him with everything.

i will never pretend that i completely understand what it means to trust God with everything (though soon enough i might forget again). but i did grow immensely, and never have i felt so pursued by God in the midst of such chaos.

another thing i learned was just how much God loves to bless His children through the actions and words of His other children. support raising may have been extremely stressful, but i don’t know if i’ve ever felt so loved by God before. it’s kind of hard to explain. people gave money to support me, but it was their enthusiasm and words of encouragement that blessed me so deeply. i was supported by friends (who were in just as unsure of a financial state as i was), family, parents of guys that i mentored in high school, old acquaintances,  and church family. i was encouraged with words of wisdom, scripture, and affirmation. often i was humbled and surprised by support i received.

my favorite might have been a five dollar bill i was given by a young boy who i’m friends with at new life. it was accompanied by a simple, sincere note that opened with, “it’s not a lot, but i know God will use it.” i broke down in my car when i opened that envelope. wise and profound words from a fourth-grader.

God was also revealing a whole lot of sin in my heart. anger and frustration, arrogance and entitlement, pride and self-pity. i had never realized before how much i didn’t enjoy having to trust in Him. nor the extent to which i treasured the opinion of people; that’s what has historically guided my decisions for much of my life. He used conversations with people to open my eyes. He used time in His word. He used my time in prayer.

and throughout it all, He provided His grace. He reminded me that i will never not need it, and i will never not have it. it’s the kind of love i don’t deserve, the kind of patience i can never earn (though i try sometimes). but it’s absolutely a promise that is mine. a promise of a God that keeps His word.

i decided not to go to east asia for many reasons. time and energy, personal finances, wise counsel from people i trust. and it took a while to understand that this had been God’s plan from the beginning. but even now, only a week or so since spring break, i can already see the ways the Lord was totally in control of it all. and that’s comforting.

“and we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
– romans 8:28

“that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-bring and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.”
– isaiah 45:6-7

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“looks like one direction showed up to cru formal.”

two words, guys: cru formal.

it was pretty sweet. full of great music and wonderful people and crazy dancing. started off the night with these guys:

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awesome men right there, and pretty spiffy too.

when we arrived at the cornerstone center for the arts, the party was already well underway. so we jumped right in!

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but of course, no cru formal would be complete without… the flash mob. one direction’s song what makes you beautiful came on, and everyone started cheering. then they noticed that there was a group of people dancing together, and the flipped out. it was the best ever.

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it was a blast, basically. drove back to campus sweating, exhausted, and jamming with some sweet music. definitely a success.

also dan got to bring along bailey, so. good times.

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