Thursday, February 25, 2010

i got an email

that's right. i got an email. i got an email from Ashlee Hoskins from our regional office. that email told me that

i am officially accepted to LEBANON!!!

i sent in my $250 deposit yesterday and will begin working on my support letters this weekend :)
yay for Jesus and His awesome-ness!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

twenty three.

twenty three.

that's the number of appointments i have left in order to meet up with all of my girls. all of them. all sixty seven of them.

sixty seven.

twenty three.

i love Jesus.

if you could keep this process in your prayers, i'd greatly appreciate it. i have nine weeks left in this semester. that's a little over two girls a week. oh boy. i'm just glad Jesus is bigger than i am :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

sore all over.

last night was jr/sr broomball. also known as awesomeness to the extreme.

while wearing tennis shoes and many, many layers of clothing, the juniors and seniors of our crusade ministry went to cary ice house and played games out on the ice rink: freeze tag, multi-ball soccer (3 at one point, 5 at another), and duck duck goose. i had so much fun playing, but today i woke up and was pretty sure i couldn't move. the feeling reminded me of something like the morning after the encounter new years dance party. it was fun four hours ago, but you're paying for it currently.

i woke up with a HUGE knot on the top of my head where i connected with the hockey goal, two majorly bruised knees and shins and just aches and pains everywhere else. but it was so worth it.

i remember at one point while i was playing goalie for the first round of soccer, i had a mini flashback to Clearwater and our rousing games of Hurricane Football, which is still one of the greatest games ever invented. we would run around in hurricane-like weather and play and rough house. a few people might have had some bumps and bruises and scrapes by the end, but we laughed the whole time. the reverie made me smile.

as i was thinking back to The Summer of My Life, i couldn't help but think forward. Forward to this summer. possibly, a summer in Lebanon. yes all of my exams have been moved (praise GOD!), but i still haven't gotten that wonderful phone call saying that i have been officially accepted. if i do get accepted, i have no idea what is waiting for me on the other end of a 14 hour plane ride. i have no idea what kind of clothes to pack (due to cultural/religious differences), i have no idea where i'll be living or even an idea of who with. i never realized how much i treasured the Clearwater Beach Summer Project Facebook group until now while i'm walking blind into Lebanon. i have no idea what kind of food i'll be eating or what sort of shoes i need to bring. i have no idea who my neighbors (foreign or domestic) will be, or how close the mediterranean is. i have no idea how open or closed the country is, and therefore i have no idea how loudly i'll be able to sing praises from every street corner to my Beautiful Savior.

although i'm walking into this blind, i'm still walking. which for a planner and ocd organizationalist like me, is a serious step of faith. and i know that God has multiplied that faith when i realize how much joy i have walking into those six weeks; albeit they're still hypothetical.

we'll see how it all turns out. for now, i'm going to go pop some more ibuprofen and take a nap :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

my sinless Savior

i'm not at all a fan of whiny people. i mean really. they get nothing done, they have no suggestions on how to improve their life or others, they just want to complain and annoy the mess out of me. that is their goal in life: to annoy the mess out of me.

one of the worst complaints i hear towards my Jesus is "He doesn't know what I'm going through." seriously? seriously, hypothetical person that i'm ranting at right now? are you really that naive? are you really that shallow in your walk with Him that you don't know what He's done for you?

the phrase "He died for my sins" has become so watered down in our culture that it makes me sick. "Oh yeah. i know Jesus. He died on that cross thing. yeah, about two thousand years ago." yes, all of this is true. but there's so much more to the story!!!

i was preparing for my Bible Study earlier and had to cross reference our lesson with Isaiah 53. My heart leapt immediately when i saw "Isaiah" written on the page. i am a huge fan of the book of Isaiah. it taught me so much when i was going through a time where i desired to discover the world and my Savior who isn't of this world. a quote from Amy Carmichael set up reading Isaiah 53, and before i enter my rant about how absolutely amazing my Jesus is, i want to share with you this quote.

The Hand that touches is the Hand that was pierced--a pierced hand is tender; it knows the feeling of pain.

okay. so please tell me what Jesus doesn't know about?

"He doesn't know what it's like to be alone." ok. really?! God turned His head away from His Beloved Son in order for Him to be crucified. we, us measley, terrible, sinful human beings, have the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus, the author and perfector of OUR faith, didn't get that same offer. He wins Round 1.

"He doesn't know what it's like to cry myself to sleep every night because i'm so hurt and confused." He sweat blood as He was crying out for the cup to be taken from Him. in the words of jeremy clayton: boom roasted. (and by the way, the cup didn't pass. He stopped sweating blood and starting to have His own physically ripped out of His veins. my Jesus knows suffering.)

c'mon people. give me a hard one.

"He doesn't know what it's like to love someone so much and give them everything i have to offer, only to have them walk away."
how do i put this gently?
there is no greater love than this: that man lay down his life for his friends.
as Jesus was committing the greatest act of love that ever crossed the face of this earth, the people He loved so much were spitting in His face. His perfect face. His perfect hands were being pierced. His perfect side was being stabbed. His perfect feet that brought The Good News were being NAILED into a splintery wooden cross. and as He was being laughed at, spit on, mocked, abused, whipped, and nailed some more, He looked at the laughers, the spitters, the mockers, the abusers, the whippers, and the nailers and said


don't give me crap about my Jesus. He wins. He always has. And He always will.

Monday, February 15, 2010

exam drama & other things.

i have figured out what i'm giving up for lent: port city java.

i know. ridiculous. but i was thinking today...i usually have something from here about 4 times a week, if not more. the coffee is so delicious and i love their food. ohmigod it's fabulous. so right now, it just makes sense.

but what about meeting with girls? i normally do it in at a pcj. they have soda. i'll buy a soda. or i'll just meet girls in talley to talk or get ice cream if there needs to be some sort of food buffer for the conversation.

that's my random tangent of the day.

exam drama: haven't completed my dialogue with my psych professor about my exams, but as far as i know, i'm good to go there. went to office hours with my economics prof, and as usual...he was a butthead. but he gave me the contact information for his superior that i can talk to about getting it moved, so we'll see how this goes.

this one exam really is the only thing standing between me and lebanon. maybe this is the door that God has chosen to close for me to see that this really was just a test of my faith. i don't know. but i'm not willing to go to The Throne with any excuses until i know that i've done everything i can.

now it's time to completely b.s. my way through a paper for my literacy class. whoo freakin hoo...

Friday, February 12, 2010

moving forward.

I have officially spoken with both of my professors about getting my exams moved for Lebanon!

One just needed proof of my participation in this opportunity for us to discuss my options, so I should be free and clear for my Adolescent Psychology class.

My economics class, on the other hand, is the one that I think will be the toughest battle. I've emailed him with proof of my involvement in the program, and told him that I'd be willing to work however he wishes to in order for to get out of my final exam date.

I've done all that I can! We'll see how this goes! Ahhh!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

two lessons on worry.

Yes, I do realize that I have already posted today. You'll get over it.

When I first applied for Lebanon, I made it very clear to God that if this was just an test of faith if I would be willing to step out of my comfort zone to follow Him, that was fine, but please don't let me get accepted! Although I am not accepted yet (still waiting on references), I received an email from one of our staff people telling me there was a problem with my application.

I had marked that my date of availability was May 12. Being that I was told earlier that our project was looking like May 15-June 22, that was no problem. However, the email said that we are looking to leave more like May 9th or 1oth. If this happens, God will REALLY be taking me out of my own plans--missing Meredith's Class Day with my Bible Study girls, missing Mothers Day, being run out of Raleigh before exams are over, not being able to work at all during the summer before I leave, whew! The email asked if I could talk to my professors to see if my exams could change.
I have four paper exams this semester. Two on two days, then skip three days, and take two more, then supposedly leave for Lebanon. Of course, the two exams which directly say on our syllabus "these exam dates are non-negociable" are the two I need to get moved.
I've sent an email to one professor to see about this and I'll be going to office hours with another prof ASAP so I can let Regional know soon if I'll be available.
Oh boy.

I read a book (I know, big shocker!) earlier this semester entitled "Calm My Anxious Heart" and a few chapters were focused on worry. One quote that really stuck with me was this (although this is quite paraphrased):

"Worrying committing infidelity in our relationship with God. His part of the relationship is to provide grace and unconditional love and our part is faith. When we begin to worry, we have lost our faith that God has our best interests in mind. When we have lost our faith, no matter how small, we are backing out of our relationship with Christ."

This struck me. My relationship with my Savior is one of my most precious possessions, how could I so easily just leave it. And worrying really doesn't solve anything! It just makes you eat chocolate and gives you heart problems. When I read this, I resolved to worry less. Well, the thing with resolutions is that you are often tested with them. I have definitely been tested with this particular one! In case you missed this quote's relevance, see above...or below.

I am entering my fourth semester as a Bible Study leader with Campus Crusade for Christ here on State's campus. I absolutely adore it and my girls are my world! Well, because Jesus enjoys putting me on the big screen in Heaven and watching me with a bucket of popcorn, He's been working on my life recently, especially in the Bible Study area. I had a meeting today with my West Campus director and both of my co-leaders to discuss some strain in our Bible Study recently. I went into this meeting with a horrible attitude. I knew how to solve this problem and I had been fighting this battle for a long time, but my tears, concerns, pain, and stress had been falling on deaf ears. The fact that we had to talk about this stuff AGAIN was severly pissing me off. I decided at the meeting that it wasn't smart for me to talk at all because I knew I couldn't mask my frustrations and I would possibly burn bridges, severely hurt feelings, step on toes and possibly leave my girls--who wants that? Thankfully, my co-leader Ava Michelle stepped up and voiced alot of the same concerns that I had been voicing and because God was definitely speaking through her, she was able to communicate alot better than what I would have been able to. She handled everything gracefully with kindness and tact. For the first time in many, many, many months, I walked away from a meeting about Bible Study with hope and even joy! I had been worrying myself sick with many different outcomes of this meeting and Bible Study in general but I now have an amazing peace. Once again, God had to teach me the lesson that these girls are His first and mine second. He had to teach me that I am not important and He can do this work without me, He just chooses to use me for some reason. And I am so glad He does :)

yay for my kaitlyn :) :) :)

So today is Wednesday, which means yesterday was Tuesday. Which means at 9:00 yesterday evening about 15 of God's most wonderful girls walked through my front door. We had a wonderful sharing time and went through Chapter 2 of our study book for this semester, "Becoming a Woman of Freedom," by Cynthia Heald. The girls really opened up--we even had three new girls and they even shared! It's always absolutely amazing to watch the body of Christ come together and worship and love one another. It's one of my favorite things about being a Christian, community is.

Well, after we went through Chapter 2 and the girls were filing out, two of my girls hung back, Kari and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn's been around since Day 1 pretty much and Kari finally started coming last semester. About two weeks ago, I submitted a reference for Kaitlyn for her Summer Project application. Kaitlyn came up to me after Bible Study and said:

"So...I was wondering if you could help me write my Support Letters?"

I started squealing out of sheer joy! One of my Baby Girls is taking a leap of faith and allowing God to completely rock her world! I am so excited to watch her and see where God is going with this adventure.

If y'all could be praying for Kaitlyn as she embarks on this faith building adventure of a lifetime, I'd greatly appreciate it. She's got about $3000 to raise over the next few months before she heads to Ohio for the summer. I know that God is going to challenge her and stretch her and show her His amazing plan for her life. I can't wait to watch as God shows me once again that He loves these girls more than I do.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I've attempted one of these things before, but it didn't exactly go as planned. Alot of what happens in my life isn't for me to explain to the world, but this go 'round I have more to talk about. For all I know, I'll start and end in the same post.

I wanted to get this thing up and running before I started sending out support letters. That's right. Support letters! The Lord placed on my heart that this summer was meant to be spent in Lebanon with Campus Crusade for Christ and therefore, I would have to raise roughly $6000. I haven't heard back from the office yet about whether or not I need to start packing my bags, but Jesus made it so clear to me that this is where I belong that I'm going ahead and acting as if I've been accepted. So, Step 1: Make A Blog.

Thanks to my 18 hour course load this semester, I'm unable to say everything I want to say here, but here's a lists of topics to come:
-how GOD called me Lebanon
-how support raising is coming
-how GOD is making the way for me to actually go
-apprehensions about leaving
-excitements/expectations for going

I can't wait! God willing and weather permitting, I'll hear back soon and I'll have more to tell :)