Friday, May 29, 2009

One Day...

Johannesburg to Capetown,
the plane had barely touched down.
She was taking photos for the friends back home.
This was always where she felt her heart belonged.
She was finally here,
the sky was bright and clear.

(Two weeks....)
And we all can feel the calling,
(Two weeks....)
to make the world a little smaller.
And so a girl got on a plane,
for two weeks in Africa.

Johannesburg to Houston,
she came home on a mountain.
But school was starting, things kept moving on.
Before you knew it, seven years had gone.
She found a picture of her,
standing, smiling,
arms around the starving kids.
She swore not to forget,
she swore not to forget...

(Two weeks....)
And we all can feel the calling,
(Two weeks....)
to make the world a little smaller.
And so a girl got on a plane,
for two weeks in Africa.

And if we follow our dear sun
to where the stars are not familiar.
Faces turn to numbers,
numbers fall like manna from the sky.
Why, oh why?
Oh Father, why?
One village in Malawi now has water running pure and clean.
One church alive in Kenya's full of truth and love and medicine.

We put the walls up, but Jesus keeps them standing.
He doesn't need us, but He lets us put our hands in.
So we can see, His love is bigger than you and me.

(Two weeks....)
And we all can feel the calling,
(Two weeks....)
to make the world a little smaller.
And so a girl got on a plane,
for two weeks in Africa.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Not A Fan

Most of you who are on Facebook have noticed that you can become a fan of pretty much anything in the entire world... and if you haven't noticed then I think it's time for you to emerge from under your rock and join the rest of the world. Welcome to Earth. Yeah, that's for you, Linds. You can now become a fan of...

-silly string: who doesn't love squirting nasty, colorful, sticky stuff on others and oftentimes forever damaging their clothing
-Jesus, God, and the Bible: while you can become a fan of them each separately, I feel like it's ok to group them as one for blogging purposes. Though I am a fan of all 3 of these, why is it necessary for me to inform all of the world of Facebook by clicking the "become a fan" link? Should my life not be enough to show that I am, indeed, a fan? Because I am. Also, what if I want to become a fan of the Holy Spirit? Why isn't that an option.
-not having the swine flu: Seriously? Now I do not personally have a relationship with anyone who has contracted swine flu, however I am pretty sure that none of them have stated that they enjoy the swine flu. I am also sure that I am just not a fan of swine flu in general, especially after it cancelled my trip and threatened to cancel my September trip. No swine flu, I am not a fan of you and will boycott your very existence by refusing to become a fan of not having you.
-Georgia Bulldogs: while I am a fan, what is clicking the "become a fan" link going to do for me? How will that benefit me any more than stating in my profile that I enjoy the Dawgs. Either way, Glory Glory to ole Georgia....
-Beth Moore: I cannot lie, I did actually become a fan. In my defense 1- at least I was honest and 2- I really just hoped to get the inside scoop on any upcoming studies or perhaps speaking engagements.
-Kris Allen: within 24 hours of become America's next idol, he had his own "fan" page and 200 of my friends were fans. Ok, so maybe that is a bit dramatic, but a lot of them were and 200 makes me sound like I really just have a lot of friends and brings the point home a little more
-cookie dough: Once again, I do enjoy a spoonful of the pre-cookie substance from time to time, but why do I need to be a fan? Do all of my Facebook friends really sit and ponder, "Hmm... I wonder if Caitlin likes cookie dough? Man I am so glad that she became a fan of it so that I can finally sleep tonight!" And is cookie dough going to personally send you a message? Don't hold your breath.
-flipping the pillow over to get to the cold side: I have never in my life participated in this activity, however it seems to be quite a wonderful past time for many of my friends. Maybe I should join the crowd. Perhaps it really is such a wonderful thing that I will feel the need to become a fan... but that's doubtful.
-and last but not least, my favorite, drinking around the bonfire: thanks for telling me about it Linds, because I love nothing more than sipping a beverage while sitting in a camping chair around a huge flame. (in case you don't know me at all, this is a false statement) With becoming a fan of drinking around the bonfire should come becoming a fan of a hangover. I have no experience in the area at all, however I somehow don't think that would be a very successful fan page. Shouldn't have participated in said activity #1, stupid kids. (yes, I'm 80 years old)

Things I am a fan of:
-Beth Moore: as stated above, and because she introduced "my own man, my very own man!" into my vocabulary and I just love her for that.
-Jon and Kate plus 8: with all of this drama going on, I need the inside scoop. I mean I am obsessed with Asian babies and they do have 8 of them.
-Relient K and Bethany Dillon: 2 of my top 10 favorite artists. I have to know when new songs and albums are coming out. duh.
-To Write Love on Her Arms and Invisible Children: because one day I will make it to an event, but I intend to support them until then. and after.
-Express: my butt looks awesome in their jeans but they are expensive. being a fan gives me coupons. huge benefit to my life. and makes my butt look great. (that's for you Sarah)
-Alpha Gamma Delta: this was the first thing I ever became a fan of, mostly because one of the older sisters sent some request about it to me and I was still a baby squirrel who just thought that was awesome. and the craze hadn't started.

Though I have given a few things my loyalty as a legit Facebook fan, I feel that this is getting a little out of hand. I do, however, enjoy texting funny "fan possibilities" to and getting them from Linds. It's rather entertaining.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tears are the Overflow of the Heart

*this is disclaimer: it's real long*
If you know me for any substantial length of time at all you will find out that I cry over everything... and I do mean everything. For every emotion I could possibly feel, I have shed tears. I used to try to fight it, but I have come to realize that crying is what I do when I can't express the amount of emotion I am feeling at the given moment, when my heart is so full that it can't be contained. This weekend has been a roller coaster of all kinds of emotions for me and I just never knew when the tears would come.

It started on Friday night when Timmy and I watched Fireproof. I absolutely love that movie, and no matter how many times I see it, it just gets me. The moment that never gets old *spoiler alert* is when Kirk Cameron's wife comes to the fire station and says she wants what he has, which is Jesus. *sigh* I hope I never get over the gift of someone coming to know Christ, fiction or not.

Somehow, a little bit later, we started talking about when Timmy goes to Liberty. As long as I don't think about it, I don't cry. As soon as I started thinking about it, I cried. Sitting there with him made me realize that it won't be long before he is 7 hours 15 minutes and 414.39 miles away and we can't cuddle on the couch and watch a movie on a lazy Friday night. I am a pretty big fan of seeing him almost every day and it is going to be a big adjustment. Bring on the tears. Now don't worry, I did not break out the ugly cry. I am saving it for the day he leaves don'tcha know, but I finally consented to just stop thinking about it and enjoy this time and we had a (in the words of Mrs. Bennett) most delightful evening and I am so thankful for the time that we do have.

Saturday Mary and I babysat our favorite little boys, Kirkland and Charlie. Mary doesn't like the little ones quite as much as I do, so I took charge of Charlie. When I was feeding him dinner, his huge eyes and big grin with his 2 little teeth just melted my heart. We were laughing because he had his tiny hand on my thigh the whole time and Mary said he was trying to make a move on me (he's smooth Jess. watch out for him), but I loved how precious his little hand is. Later when I was feeding him his bottle and those big eyes were looking at me, my heart just melted again. Even when he was crying for 30 minutes straight, I can't help but feel like I was meant for this. I am called to be a wife and a mom. I just can't wait until it is my own little boy (or girl) that I am holding and rocking to sleep. And enter the tears again as I said a little prayer for the boy/man that Charlie will one day be, for the man I will marry, for our children, for the mothers of our children we will adopt. So many dreams in my heart that I cannot wait to see come to fruition.

Spending time with Coach and Jessica is so good for my heart. They encourage me, make me laugh, inspire me, and show me what a godly relationship looks like. They are such a wonderful blessing in my life and I wish so much that I could see them more than 2-3 times a year. I honestly hope to be just like Jessica one day and am so thankful for her presence in my life. As we hugged Jessica bye and Coach walked us out to the car under the umbrella (such a gentleman! he's so awesome), my eyes welled up with tears. I just felt like I didn't get enough time with them. They have so much to offer and I just want to soak up all of their wisdom. I wonder if I can be that wise one day. I certainly hope so.

On the way back to Mary's house, we began discussing a very difficult decision that she had to make. I know that it was not easy, but I am so proud of her. My spiritual gift is mercy, which also includes compassion and causes me to empathize with other people very easily. When my friends hurt, I hurt. When someone I love goes through something similar to something I went through, I can feel the same hurt all over again. It broke my heart to be so helpless for her. And I cried as I prayed for her on the way home.

I also began to think about how thankful I am that Timmy is back in my life. I told him that sometimes I feel like this is a dream. This is what I dreamed of. When we broke up in high school it was really a leap of faith and act of obedience that I didn't understand much at all. It completely broke my heart, but I would do it all over again to get this. This is 10 times better. This is what God had planned all along. And out of gratitude, the tears came again. His ways are so much higher and so much better!

My heart just can't contain itself. I have never been happier than I am right now, and that is totally and completely from God. I have never felt so sure that I am exactly where I need to be for now. Forever my heart shall sing of how great You are! ...and then probably shed a few tears about it too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pray Continually; Give Thanks in all Circumstances

As I've said before, I'm supposed to be in Mexico right now. While I am still really disappointed with the way things turned out, I am thankful that I am here to hang out with my friends and spend time with Timmy. Even though I know this is where God needs me to be right now, I have still been fighting a lot of discouragement. It's been really difficult to watch a lot of my friends prepare to go to Kenya, Swaziland, Russia, Costa Rica, and Haiti and know that I can't go with them. It's been over 2 years since I've been out of the country and that just feels weird.

I have been focusing on my prayer life a lot lately. I have been feeling really convicted about how much time I spend communicating with my friends and family and not near as much time in communication with my Creator. I have really enjoyed this time as God teaches me more and more about talking to Him and treating our relationship as if He really is my best friend. My heart for my friends and their trips is rapidly growing as I pray for their travels as well as their finances, and it's so amazing to see God show just how faithful He is. Still, there was a twinge of jealousy that they were getting to go and I wasn't.

Wednesday night Kaitlyn was telling me about her trip to Kenya this summer and how she had almost half of her money and I am genuinely excited for her. I am so excited for this opportunity for her and am so proud of her and have been praying for her since I found out she was going a few weeks ago. While the students were doing an activity where they prayed for each other, I started thinking about all that God has taught me through this time, and realized that even though I am not able to go anywhere right now, I still have a very important job here. As a friend, it is my job to continually lift these precious friends up in prayer as they prepare for their trips and when they are on their trips. They need more than financial support, they need spiritual support. Maybe I just felt like I needed to find my purpose for being here, but I really feel like I can be content with being here for the time being and use this time to build relationships, get more invovled with the youth group, and serve wherever God leads. It's nice to feel like I understand a little bit of why God would leave me here for the summer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Children's Ministry?

I have been asked this question quite a few times lately, and my answer has been someone short and along the lines of "I just really want kids to know the Lord." While that is true, the more I thought about it the more I realized it goes so much deeper than that. Part of one of my favorite songs says, "I see a generation rising up to take their place with selfless faith." That single line sums up my reason for children's ministry. Something needs to change in this world. We need God now more than ever. Sometimes I look around and I just don't see how so many people just don't get it, and that breaks my heart. While we all have the ability to make a difference, no matter how big or small we feel it may be, I believe it starts with our children. Someone once told me that it should be my goal that every child leaves the pre-school ministry knowing that Jesus will always love them and that He wants to be their best friend. At such a young age, that's all that they need to know. As they get older, they need to understand the concept of sin, their need for Jesus, and about how He can come into their heart. If they can truly grasp this, then they will be prepared for the youth ministry and be able to understand the relationship they can have. It all starts when they're young, and I don't want a single kid to leave my ministry without knowing Jesus. So many people think that they are too young, but Jesus did say, "Let the children come to me" and I want to make sure that they all have the chance to come to Him, here in America and in any other country God leads me to. As cliche as it is, they are our future, and they can't go unnoticed. They are that generation that will rise up.

Made to Worship

Last night I went to Passion City Church. The title of the sermon was "Extravagant Worship". So much goes under the heading "worship", but most of us think about the singing that goes on right before the sermon. I strongly believe that worship is also the way that I live my life, but I must admit that this sterotypical worship is by far my favorite form. Music is my thing, and it reaches my heart more than any other thing possibly can. When I was growing up, worship was dull and lacking in passion. Everyone just stood with their hymnal and sang the words on the page, rather than from the heart. (now I know, who am I to judge the condition of anyone's heart, but have some passion people) But what could possibly be more pleasing to God than all of His children singing songs to Him with total reckless abandonment? When you do something that you are proud of, or even nothing out of the ordinary, and someone compliments you, it makes you happy. Imagine how happy it makes God to hear us telling Him how amazing He is! From the moment I was born, He loved me. He pursued me. He never gave up on me, even when I gave up on Him. When I turned away from Him and ran, He waited. He cried with me when my heart was hurting. He rejoiced with me when I was happy. He accepts me just as I am, knowing that I will let Him down every single day, and loves me anyway. How could I possibly give anyone or anything else my praise?! I was made to worship, but it is my choice who or what I worship. Who else could be more worthy? Don't be afraid to worship with all you have. Don't be afraid to be undignified. Dance if you feel like dancing, even if it's in the baptist church. Be happy! We are redeemed, forgiven, saved, and set free! So act like it, and do what you do best: worship.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Caitlin Needs...

I stumbled across this on another blog when Carrie was over and we just thought it was too funny!

Type in "(your name) needs" in Google and list the first ten things that come up.

1. Caitlin needs a diet.
Yes, I do, however I did not so much need Google to tell me this. thanks a lot Google.

2. Caitlin needs to grow and develop her own sense of self.
Actually, I am very comfortable with my growth and development of my sense of self.

3. Caitlin needs to be in a hospital.
umm... no thank you..?

4. Caitlin needs a "B" in chemistry to stay eligible for basketball.
They have obviously never seen me play basketball because if they had then they wouldn't want me to stay eligible. Come to think of it, they obviously haven't seen me do chemistry either or else they would know that I would not get a B.

5. Caitlin needs to move back to Indy.
I would prefer to stay here, thank you.

6. Caitlin needs to spend a large amount of time each day on the internet in order to work on a much less exciting but essential aspect of the project: fundraising.
I don't even know what to say about that... hmm...

7. Caitlin needs a permanent family to love and care for her.
wow, Google knows how to pull my heart strings.

8. Caitlin needs to get away.
if it's to another country, yes, yes I do.

9. Caitlin needs a farmer boy.
no thanks.

10. (this is my favorite) Caitlin needs the girls' help to rescue her beloved Ice Bear from the human world.

also, this is really sketchy, but there are many websites that say "for all of your Caitlin needs" I'm not entirely sure what this means nor did I want to really find out.

Monday, May 4, 2009

'Cause I'm Not Really Very Original

Linds posted "Current Favorites" on her blog, and I am a fan of that idea. Therefore, I decided to follow suit.

  • Spanish music
  • journaling
  • Jesus Jams/Music of the Messiah/Songs of Salvation, aka the best mix Linds and I have ever made!!
  • phone dates with my sweet friend Savannah that last so long you would think we had just started dating and couldn't get enough of each other. and that she is coming to visit next week!
  • hanging out with old friends and being able to pick up right where we left off (Carrie, ps- I have decided that we are going to enstate a coffee date on my to and fro Liberty trips, so that I get the best of both worlds-thanks Hannah Montana: seeing you and coffee to keep me energized for the 5 hours and 12 minutes ahead of me)
  • this great boy that I have spent the vast majority of my time with... and have loved every single second
  • hiking to preacher's rock. yes, I said hiking.
  • not having school
  • playing very intense card games
  • my clean car. yes, that's right kids, I actually cleaned out my car.
  • being back at Noonday: it does my heart so much good to be there
  • singing extremely loud in the car
  • that Linds skips lines in her check book now
  • having a little more money because I don't have to buy groceries
  • I kept HOPE!!!!
  • being so happy that I could just do a dance at any given moment

Thanks Linds. :)

The Family is a Haven in a Heartless World

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Plan B?

I found something I posted about a year ago entitled "Plan B". It's funny how easily I forget things that God has said to me after some time has passed. The past week I have really struggled with maintaining a positive attitude about this whole Mexico/school situation. To me, this has been Plan B: the alternative, second best, not preferred. I was supposed to leave on Saturday and when I came back I was supposed to be done with my minor. Then in August, when I started my placement at the World Language Academy, I would be totally confident in my speaking abilities and feel more comfortable in the classroom. Everything was going to work out perfectly. If I said I'm not mad that we're not going I would be lying. If I said I wasn't mad about having to take another class online I would be lying. And if I said I wasn't stressed about having to figure out how to finish my minor I would be lying. I've been trying to be positive, but I just don't feel like it sometimes, and I know that is very childish.

Last night I read this verse: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 19:6. I had it all planned out, but ultimately He plans my steps. He knew when I first decided to go on this trip that it wouldn't work out. He knew I would be upset and knew that I would be stressed. But that was always part of the plan. He doesn't have a "plan B" so why should I? If I am truly committed to following His plan, shouldn't that mean I willingly follow even when one door after another is shut? Instead of being upset, I should be looking for what I can learn from this. I have come to realize that this is an opportunity for me to cling to God and look to Him more and more. I don't know where He is going to lead me, but I'm excited to find out.

whatever You're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos but somehow there's peace. And it's hard to surrender to what I can't see, but You're up to something bigger than me, larger than life, something Heavenly.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Compilation of Thoughts

I have tried so many times to write this great post about all that is going on in my head, and I just can't do it right now. I think my mind is just overwhelmed and I can't quite put any of it into words. Therefore I resort to my all time favorites: music, quotes, and verses.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." -Isaiah 30:21

If anyone could make me a better person you could, all I've gotta say is I must have done something good. You came along one day and you rearranged my life, all I've gotta say is I must have done something right.

I feel like, I would like to be somewhere else doing something that matters. and I'll admit here, while I sit here my mind wastes away and my doubts start to gather. Whats the purpose? It feels worthless. So unwanted like I've lost all my value. I can't find it, not in the least bit and I'm just scared, so scared that I'll fail you. And sometimes I think that I'm not any good at all. And sometimes I wonder why, why I'm even here at all. But then you assure me I'm a little more than useless and when I think that I can't do this You promise me that I'll get through this and do something right do something right for once.

Never be afriad to trust an unknown future to an all-knowing God. -Corrie Ten Boom

"I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainity, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts." -Elisabeth Elliot

We are Your hands and feet, we are free to change the world. Reaching out to the unseen, to those who haven't heard. We are free to change the world. Chosen by Your word to bring hope to the unknown so that they all will know they're not alone. Orphaned ones will have a home if we will go.

Here's what I know: if you're willing to take a chance, the view from the other side is spectacular. -Meredith Grey

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me. It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from. It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me. It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong

Our whole life should be a life of prayer. We should walk in constant communion with God. There should be a constant looking upward to God. We should walk so habitually in His presence that even when we awake in the night it would be the most rational thing for us to speak to Him in thanksgiving or petition.

Now that I've found you in the most unexpected places you were right in front of my face.