Tag Archives: lists

“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.


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.


DSCN2668     DSCN2675


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.

DSCN2687     DSCN2688


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


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


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.

DSCN2707     DSCN2711

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.

DSCN2699     DSCN2693


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


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

Tagged , , , , , ,


guys. here are some awesome things.

1.) coordinator training this weekend. this is where we come up with even more ideas for the summer and work through what it looks like to support the rest of the staff and help make the camp family come to life. i’m excited to see everyone again and talk camp stuff. this summer is going to rock.

2.) last week a bunch of the ball state camp people got together and made hobo dinners and s’mores. it was the best ever, basically.



DSCN2645     DSCN2647


DSCN2649     DSCN2640


riley had some trouble getting his out of the fire.


the s’mores were delicious as well. we’re all hoping there’s no fire ban so that we can be doing things like this all summer.

DSCN2655     DSCN2654


3.) friendship bracelets. there is finally time to make them.


4.) the first campers arrive in about 32 days. so here’s a picture because why not.


Tagged , , , , , ,

things that have happened in the past twenty days.

life has been crazy and busy and wonderfully full, which is why it’s been rather difficult to update in the past three weeks or so. but here’s a rundown of everything awesome that’s been going on, in no particular order.

1.) college mentors.

it’s been a great year so far. ben and i are the only male mentors for seventh grade, but we make a good team and it’s been a blast leading with him. the boys are crazy, but they’re beginning to get comfortable around each other, and i’m actually starting to see some growth in maturity, which is both a relief and really cool to see in action. we’ve done lots of fun things. a few weeks back we did a photo scavenger hunt across the campus, and the guys really seemed to like it.



it’s great when we can give them activities that allow them to run around and be crazy. we had a halloween party two weeks ago, and we painted paper plates, did some mummifying, and even got to get into the face paint! it was a blast!



please note that the above two pictures were taken after i said “hey, look at the camera and smile!” the results aren’t unusual for these guys. it seems to be a pattern with all the buddies in our group.

but man, they’re awesome. plus, i get to hang out with this stud:

2.) reading when we get it wrong by dominic smart. this is easily one of the best books i’ve ever read. it’s based on a series of talks smart gave to a bunch of seminary students on the life of peter and drawing parallels between his failures and ours, and how the Lord intentionally uses them to draw us closer to Himself and grow our relationships with Him. i’m sure i’ll be doing some individual entries on this material, because it’s just so good!

“Now this is something about the love of God that we need to grasp. There is a relentless severity about His mercy, a clarity of purpose about His transforming grace that will not be distracted. If you follow Him with all your heart, He will have you right, though it will pain you enormously. It sounds inconceivable in these self-sensitive days when therapy must glow pleasantly, but like a surgeon, Jesus would rather hurt you to have you well, than gently indulge you as you sink into a spiritual coma.”

the Lord has been faithful to remind me that my discipleship to Him is not based in anything that i have done or try to do, but rather in the perfect discipleship that Jesus had in submission to the Father’s will. that’s part of what it means to be “in Christ” (another entry i’m working on) – that i can rest in Jesus’ perfect pursuit of the Father. it’s really cool stuff. more on that later.

3.) youth group.

yep, those are real swords. this semester robert, adam, and i have been taking the guys through a book called do hard things, which is about rebelling against the low expectations society has set for teenagers. one of our earliest discussions was about success – not just how it’s defined by the world (aka: make lots of money), but what it means to be a successful christian man. robert has a friend named david who forges swords for a living (he’d be too humble to tell you, but he designed and created the gate keeper’s sword in the movie thor. no big deal, right?) and he agreed to come in and talk to the guys about what it looks like to use the gifts that God gave us to glorify Him, and to create and cultivate within society instead of only conforming and consuming.

it was a great message, and it came from a true man of God. david speaks with passion and authenticity, and every word is soaked in humility and an accurate view of God’s holy and incredible mercy. plus at the end we got to play around with some swords. like, real swords. that he forged. because he’s a swordsmith.



don’t worry, we had a hold-only, no-swinging rule. everyone was alive when the night was over. but some of the boys were legitimately considering asking their parents for swords for christmas.

4.) i got a new phone! it’s a basic flip phone, and it is the best ever. mainly because now i can receive messages from people who, you know, need to get in touch with me. i love it.

5.) dinner with jessica!

this past week jessica and i brought our wits together and came up with some great ideas for a meal that included pasta salad, some delicious baked chicken, corn casserole, and fruit salad (my contribution… i was rather proud of it. took a lot more work than i anticipated, but was easier to make than i expected… does that even make sense?)


we felt daring and decided to make some apple dessert braid or something from pinterest. it took a lot of work and i ended up defecting and making my own apple-bread-bowl thing. it was really good.




any time with jessica is always well spent. it was good to catch up on life and talk about things that were great and things that sucked and what things look like in the future (hazy for both of us). jessica’s the kind of friend i can count on to be authentic. she says what she thinks and doesn’t apologize for it, which is really cool. i wish i was more like that.

6.) nanowrimo! it stands for national novel writing month  (aka: november), and it’s one of the reasons i’ve been slacking in updating the blog. nanowrimo is a push for writers to use november to basically write a 50,000 word novel. it’s connected with an online community, but writers are able to send in their zipcode so they can connect with other writers in their area who have signed up. encouraging emails are sent out, there’s a mutual accountability among writers, and there’s no sense of superiority at all.

the purpose is to specifically not edit any of your writing; that can be done in december and january. the purpose is just to get the words down onto paper (or computer) so that they actually exist. i’d heard about it before, but this is the first year i’ve decided to try it out. so far it’s been really cool. there’s a goal of about 1700 words per day, which is demanding, and i doubt that i’ll reach the 50,000 mark by the end of november, but i see it as an awesome chance to grow in my ability as a writer, as well as a chance to advance the plot of my novel!

i’m actually expanding a short story i wrote in high school for a writing competition that i entered. it had to be less that 4500 words, so it’s been an interesting process stretching that into something with enough substance to stay captivating over 50,000 words. i think what i’ll be doing is posting a chapter of my original short story every few days to make up for the entries that will undoubtedly be lost (but only this month!). hopefully it’ll give you a picture of what my novel’s about!

until then, something i haven’t done for a while. three things i’m thankful for:

1.) free hours to write and blog.
2.) unexpected and wonderful phone conversations with Mom.
3.) the ability to read and write.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

things i’m okay with.

1.) procrastinating on this paper a little bit.

2.) hearing the ways God has worked in the lives of my friends.

3.) beginning to understand what it means to enter God’s rest. a little.

4.) college mentors tomorrow. and having four buddies instead of two this year.

5.) a clean suite.

6.) the final book in the giver quartet finally being released.

7.) good music playlists.

8.) friendship bracelets staying on even after twelve weeks.

9.) getting letters from campers.

10.) singing in the talent search tomorrow.

11.) learning to play guitar.

12.) granola bars and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

13.) conversations with wonderful old ladies.

14.) blankets.

15.) naps.


things i would be okay with (if they were to happen):

1.) finding my camera.

2.) finding my small bible.

3.) getting a perfect score on this freaking paper.

4.) getting nine hours of sleep (ha!).

5.) gaining the ability to control time.

6.) not having to worry about anything, ever.

7.) having more time to just write.

8.) having more time to just read.

9.) having more time to just rest.

10.) having more time to just sing.

Tagged ,

things that have made this week really great so far.

1.) going to pedro’s baptismal service with dan and paige and zack’s family. he texted dan and i on friday and invited us to indy to celebrate with him, so we said absolutely and piled in dan’s car on sunday morning to drive up. it was a beautiful event to witness. God is good and as dan said, it is awesome to know that we will be worshiping God for eternity with pedro. how crazy and cool is that?

2.) sunday evening was youth group. robert and i were not planning on leading this one, especially since both lydia and i had servant team to go to that night. however, through a series of unexpected circumstances, it ended up being placed in our laps. in another set of unexpected circumstances, we were at new life planning for it for about ten minutes before kids started arriving. in other words, we were not prepared. at all. and yet it went so well. the Holy Spirit was moving, and using mine and robert’s feeble efforts to get discussion going. the kids were involved, the conversation felt natural, and it was clear that some of the kids were really contemplating the stuff that was being brought up. we were talking about being a true follower of Jesus instead of just being a fan, and it was cool to see the kids wrestle with some of that stuff. God’s really blessing these sunday nights.

3.) working at the writing center. my coworkers are the coolest ever, i get to work with some pretty awesome clients, and if i don’t have anyone that i’m working with, i can just do homework. most people i know with an on-campus job aren’t too crazy about it, but i have felt really blessed at the wc. also there’s this add-on story we’ve created on the back bulletin board:

talk about a cliff-hanger!! what will batman do with the stronger-than-steel hair? how will he stop the rhinos? will brittney play a larger role in this adventure? so many questions.

4.) my time with the Lord. sometimes i get so caught up in how i’m supposed to have my God time… should i be studying a book of the bible, or going through a reading plan? do i have to write a few pages in my journal for it to count? i should probably spend some intentional time in prayer. all that kind of stuff. and then what happens is i totally miss the point of God time: God. the purpose is to draw closer to Him. if what i’m doing draws my focus to something else (even something “Christian”), then i’ve missed the point. cary, my discipler and bible study leader and good friend, had some good advice: just read. just spend time in the word and see what God reveals to me. don’t worry specifically about what or how or when, if that’s getting in the way.

so i took his advice. and the past week has been on of the most rejuvenating weeks, ever, in my walk with the Lord. i’ve been switching back and forth in the past seven days between a study of hebrews and a study called roots that we’re going through in dan’s navs study. both have been renewing, enlightening, and have made me love Jesus more. i had an especially sweet time of prayer late, late Friday night, and came away feeling so refreshed. i got a small glimpse of the mind of the Lord. it was humbling and intoxicating.

5.) the first guys’ group of the year. youth group is on sunday nights, and it’s with middle school and high school guys and girls. on wednesday nights, they all split up. adam, who usually leads the high school guys, is now a father (to a son named stark! how awesome is that?) and is taking the next few weeks off, so robert and i lead all the guys, even though we’ll normally be taking just the middle schoolers. it was just really awesome. we’re going through a book called do hard things, and it seems like all the guys are wanting to own this idea of being Godly men and stretching themselves for God’s glory. robert and i were really encouraged at the end of it, and it was so cool getting to know some of the guys that i’ve seen around at new life a little deeper. i’m excited for the rest of the year!

6.) college mentors interviews. i’m doing college mentors again (and if you’re a student at ball state, you should too!!) and i’m pumped. i went in for the interview, and it got me excited all over again. although one of my buddies from last year isn’t in it again, dylan, my other little buddy, is. so i’ll get to hang out with him all year again! i’m really excited to continue being his mentor… it makes a big difference when you don’t have to spend time at the beginning of the year getting past the awkward i-don’t-know-you stage. plus i found out that one of the kids that was in college mentors my freshman year, jack, is in it again this year, and i might be paired with him! i came away from that meeting so excited and ready to pour into these kids. lots of times they just need to know someone thinks they’re really worth it, no matter how they behave or what they say. i’m ready to be that person for them.

7.) watching lost with dad. it was the first time we’d caught up on an episode in a really, really long time, and it was great to get back into it. we have this great system of skyping while having netflix open, so we can talk to each other while watching an episode. there were some minor hangups, and an unexpected pause so that we could calculate some intense math problems, but otherwise it ran rater smoothly. watching lost is great, but my favorite part is always catching up on life beforehand. we usually do that longer than it takes to watch an episode. and i’m good with that. he’s pretty great, i guess.

8.) jimmy john’s with tanner and dan. after cru tonight, dan, tanner, and i just went to jimmy john’s to hang out. we talked about life, julian smith videos, and plans for the semester. i dearly love those guys. i’m continually realizing the importance of having men in my life that encourage me and point me to Christ. these are two of them.

Tagged , , ,