Friday, August 28, 2009

5 AM theives, towels, & a u-haul

A week ago I was all packed up in the house ready to pack the u-haul in the morning. Our good friends came & helped us pack everything up & then we had the day to do last minute errands & go to a wedding of a life long friend.

4:30 Sunday morning came around after a few hours asleep & I got up. As I'm taking my last few belongings out to the car I hear that the newspaper person (not sure if it's a man or woman) caught some guys trying to break into the neighbor's house. Thus while all my possessions were sitting in the drive way (or car park, whichever you choose) & thankfully nothing was taken. I have so much I may not have noticed, ha. Anyway, a little bit later we were pulling out to get on the road & have to stop because there are 2 girls walking down the street in possibly nothing other than towels. They may have had swim suits on, but it wasn't much. This was a funny start for a 11 hour drive ahead of us. THEN 15 minutes later when we were driving through one of the many small towns in northern Indiana there was a man sitting in the middle of the side walk on a computer. It's true how the world never sleeps.

The drive went by with a few stops here & there. My co-pilot had a burst of excitement as she woke up from her nap & burst out with what a certain billboard read. Oh the joys of long road trips!

I had some great help move everything into my apartment & have spent the week learning my way abouts both the apartment & the area. I bought my books for the semester, made a casserole (it is NOT a hot dish), & have enjoyed randomly happening into friends at places like Target & the MOA. I also got to help serve dinner to the new YE teamers. Sorry if this is a bit disjointed, but I'm rather tired. God is good ALL the time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I've been done with my Youth Encounter commitment for a week now. It's strange after signing up for an intentional community & all of a sudden being done. When you live & work that closely to others you know how things work. For instance, for the most part for the last 2 years I haven't had to make a decision on when or what I was going to eat for dinner. That's absurd when you really think about it. Now I can eat whatever I want, when ever I want & I actually find myself not having an appetite. Monday morning I woke up & my first thought was "I have to empty out my closet & dresser today." I knew I wanted to do this, but honestly who wakes up after going non-stop for 2 years & thinks that? It was good though, I got it all out, tried lots of things on & parted with many articles of clothing. I think I might still have a yaffa cube of shoes I haven't gone through yet though. It was a challenge using the rule that if I hadn't worn in the last year to get rid of it because I haven't had a good majority of my clothes with me since college. I have learned how little I can truly live off of being on a traveling team, living out of a bag or van, however one views it.

The week went by fast with a bump removal from my jaw, a hair operation (it's heaps shorter now), & a decent amount of resting. I also got to visit with some good friends I don't see all that often. I learned a new fun way to display my earrings too! My dear friend & I were hanging out & I saw this picture frame with netting behind it/attached to it & wondered where she got the idea. She had gotten the idea from another friend & promptly offered to make me one. We went to Michael's picked out a frame which was nicely on sale & then went home & cut the netting to the right size & then stapled it down. I now have a fun new display for my earrings.

After visiting her I went to visit my cousins. I had planned on going to church because I enjoy church & this might be my last weekend for a while choosing where I go to church, plus I really enjoy the community of people at their church. Well we ended up staying up quite late & I didn't think anybody was going to go. However my father woke me up with just the right amount of time to get ready & go. He kinda came & nudged me & said "Hey, are you awake? What are you doing?" I clearly wasn't awake & was sleeping, but he was awake & knew I had said I wanted to go to church.

In the midst of getting ready my cousin woke up & decided to join us, so the 3 of us trekked off to church. Today the church was finishing a series of reading from the book of Ephesians. Both of the theme verses for Youth Encounter over the last 2 years, at least for the ministries I was involved with, were based from Ephesians so I'm pretty familiar with this book. It talks about how the Christian body is meant to work together and live together. A retired pastor spoke, he preaches about once a month there, & it was great to hear how on fire & passionate he was for the message of Jesus Christ. It made me excited to know I'm going to be soon studying more about the Bible & the Christian church. It also got me thinking about how many people around the world are unaware of this message or of who Jesus is. It made me think of all the wonderful people we met this year & how we are called to live for Christ, but their ways of doing so are limited because of many things like government & family situations.

It's easy to come up with an excuse not to go to church, such as not getting enough rest, but why shouldn't we go, especially if we believe & belong to a church? God has done everything for us that we could ever need, even that which hasn't happened yet, God has already done! I can't wrap my mind around that really. I feel indebted to my family around the world that doesn't have the freedoms I do here to go to church, to learn more about the stories I've heard time & time again so that I can do what I believe we are all here to do & live for God knowing His word & His wants.

Monday, August 10, 2009

so what now?

SO I'm done. Yep, my life as it's been for the last 2 years is now done. It's really wierd!

Saturday was Youth Encounter's annual homecoming celebration for the end of the 2008-2009 team year. It was a long, but fun day. I woke up at 6:20am central time only because most everybody else was already up & moving since we needed to be out of the church by around 7. We then had a long fun day of celebrations. It had been raining in the morning, but cleared up for lunch & the afternoon concerts outside & then started raining again after dinner break.

The biggest transition for now is realizing that I don't have to report to anybody & I can choose where I go, when I go, & what I eat. That may seem like life was really strict over the last 2 years, but it wasn't. It was just an intentional community living situation where you check in with everybody else for most everything, or are supposed to. I know it all sounds crazy, but it's been some of the best times of my life. God never fails for fun & adventure. I'll miss all the people & of course I don't like not knowing when I'm going to see many or any of them again, but if nothing else we will all reunite in the kingdom of God some day.

"So what now?"

This was the big question everybody was asking each other on Friday & Saturday & probably all last week while the traveling teams were in debriefing. A good chunk of people are serving a second year with YE, many are starting college, many are going home to rest, & some of us are starting jobs &/or grad school. I belong to the latter part. I'm home at my parents for 2 weeks organizing my life as much as possible before moving to MN for grad school. I'm a bit anxious about all the changes, but glad for a new beginning. It is also a big comfort having so many friends in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

We had a fun & God filled summer working at Camp Wapo. We worked mostly with the TIM Teamers (Teens in Mission). TIM Team is a high school leadership ministry program. The campers would come on Friday evening & stay till the following Friday afternoon only to be followed by a new group that evening. We lead low & high rope adventures, workshops, & numerous other silly camp activities.

Today the sorting begins, I'm off to dig into my closet, pull it all out, & sort through what I don't want anymore.

Thank you God for extending your family & for giving me the health to partake in the last 2 years!