Friday, June 25, 2010

St. Simon's, Here I Come!

In just a few short hours the journey to camp will begin! I'm so excited I could scream! (in case I have not properly conveyed my excitement to you bloggy friends as well as anyone who talks to me!) I'm not sure how much I will blog while I am there. I guess it depends on what free time looks like each day. Whether or not I'm working week 2 is still very up in the air and I probably won't know until the end of week 1. I have so many mixed feelings about it, but I know I will be exactly where God needs me, even if I don't understand why I'm there. It's going to be a great week (or 2?) and God is going to do great things!

Some things to pray for:
-safe trips for tomorrow. it seems like there are always all kinds of complications getting there.
-safe trips for our campers. also full of many complications.
-that all of us huddle leaders can be spiritually prepared to lead these students the way that they need to be led and be open to however God chooses to use us.
-guidance in dealing with the difficult students (it wouldn't be camp without a few of those) and finding the balance between love and discipline as a leader.
-that students would come to know the Lord, either for the first time or deeper.
-patience through sleep deprivation.
-and most of all, that the students, staff, and other huddle leaders would see Jesus and his joy in us through everything we do and that He would be glorified!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Jehovah- raah: the Lord my Shepherd

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1

What does it mean for the Lord to be my shepherd? We don't really have much concept of this because, let's be honest, most of us don't have sheep. But when this was written, the analogy would have meant a lot to the people reading it. God refers to us as sheep a lot. "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). "My sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27). "We are... the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3). "I will... both search my sheep, and seek them out" (Ezekiel 34:11). Sheep are some of the dumbest animals. They need a shepherd to keep them in line. Without a shepherd, they will literally wander right off the side of a mountain. They easily become victims to predators and are defenseless. They are 100% dependent on their shepherd. The better the shepherd, the healthier the sheep.

Jesus uses sheep and shepherd in the parable in John 10. Part of a precept study is focusing on a couple major things in a passage.
sheep: only listen to their shepherd's voice. follow the shepherd wherever he leads. need the shepherd to function.
shepherd: knows his sheep by name. leads them. goes ahead of them. lays down his life for his sheep. doesn't run from trouble.
thief: doesn't enter through the gate. comes to steal, kill, and destroy. abandons the sheep.

I know that I need Jesus. I have known that I needed him since I was 7 years old. But the more I know Him, the more I become painfully aware of how human I am and, consequently, how much I really need Him. I need Him to even get up in the morning. I need Him to guide me through the day. I need Him to tell me where to go and when and how to get there and what to do when I do get there. I cannot do it without Him. It's such a simple concept, but so hard to actually do sometimes. Ok, a lot of times. For me at least. I want to plan. If I'm honest, I basically want to tell God how we are going to do it sometimes. And every time I do that He throws all of those plans out the window. The best part is this: when the Lord is my shepherd, my Jehovah- raah, I shall not want. I will find contentment. Satisfaction. Peace. That is what I really want.

48 Hours

until the camp festivities begin! Tomorrow I pack most of the day and get any last minute things I need. And make these for all my girls: 
... except the ones I make will have a much smaller bow. they are for high school girls, not 7 year olds (but you better believe I will be making these for a precious little Chinese girl of my own one day)
Friday morning will be a morning with my mom and probably getting a few even more last minute things then a much needed La Parilla lunch date with Kati. Lindsey (not roommate Lindsey. I have a lot of Lindseys in my life) and I are meeting up with Lauren and headed to Cissie's house in Athens for the night. I am so ready to be with them and catch up. They are like a breath of fresh air.
(Cissie, Linds, me, Lauren)

I am already so excited I can hardly sleep! I can't wait to be on the island again and be at Epworth. Every year it's a life changing experience for me. I can't wait to meet my girls. It's so awkward at first but I love it. I love them. I wonder what they will be like. I can't wait to be their "mom" for a week and take care of them. I can't wait for my attire to mostly consist of my Nike shorts, t shirt, and Chacos and to have those awful corresponding tan lines. It's going to be great. God is going to do great and wonderful things and I cannot wait to see what they are!!

2008- Huddle 8: Alice, Macey, Ann, Abbi, Victoria, Hope, Megan, Sydney, Megan, and Beth.

week 1- huddle 16: Sarah Beth, Elizabeth, Karis, Alexis, Kristen, Lauren, Kalli, Reesa, and Jessica

week 2- Huddle 7: Becca, Caroline, Danielle, Lisa, Simone, Alli, Jeanette, and Alex

"everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades, never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lord, I Want To Know You

I am almost done with my first precept Bible study called Lord, I Want To Know You by Kay Arthur. I technically should be done by now, but some days I stretched into 2 or 3 days. The book goes through some different names of God and it has rocked my world. It has shown me the many different roles that God can and does take in my life at the exact moment that I need Him. For each name I think about a time that He has been that for me in the past 6 months. Then I write that name next to all of the verses I have about that particular name. It's so cool to flip through my Bible and see how God takes on those roles. I am so thankful to serve a God who can be exactly what I need Him to be when I need it. A God who is so huge that He holds the entire world in His hands and so personal that He cares about me and what I need and has plans for my life.

He is 
Elohim: Creator.
El Elyon: God Most High
El Roi: God Who Sees
El Shaddai: All Sufficient One
Adonai: Lord
Jehovah: Self Existent One
Jehovah- jireh: The Lord Will Provide
Jehovah- rapha: The Lord Who Heals
Jehovah- nissi: The Lord Is My Banner
Jehovah- mekoddishkem: The Lord Who Sanctifies You
Jehovah- shalom: The Lord Is Peace

All of this has shown me how much I don't know God. I didn't know Him. I knew Him, but not like this. And all of this brings me back to one of my all time favorite songs: What Do I Know of Holy?, by Addison Road. Saturday I got to see them at Atlanta Fest. The lead singer briefly mentioned Isaiah 6, which was what was on her heart when she wrote the song. It's about Isaiah seeing the Lord and His holiness. Well, a small glimpse of it. For the first time I began to imagine what it would be like to hear the angels singing the most beautiful song I will ever hear: "holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. the whole earth is full of His glory." What would it be like to live in a world entirely full of His glory? How incredible it would be! Isaiah didn't just worship God in that moment, he realized how small and unworthy he truly was. But as he cried out, his guilt was taken away and his sins atoned for. And when he had received such an awesome gift and had seen even just a small portion of God's glory, he was immediately willing to go and tell others. God asked who He should send and Isaiah answered, "send me!" I know that the Bible doesn't say this precisely and that this may or may not be theologically correct, but I imagine Isaiah being excited when he volunteered. Yet humble in the knowledge that he was not worthy.

Why aren't we like Isaiah? Why don't we (myself included) fall on our faces in humility upon catching the slightest glimpse of who He is? And why don't we jump at the opportunity to go in His name for His glory? And what would the world look like if we did? If we spread His name all over the earth because our hearts simply could not contain the amazement we felt from seeing Him. When will we step up? What do I even know of His holiness and how much more is He waiting to show me?

I made Your promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from heaven, but I talk the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all
If you touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood but the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of holy?
What do I know of wounds that would heal my shame?
And a God who gave life its name
What do I know of holy?
Of the One who the angels praise
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?
-What Do I Know Of Holy? Addison Road

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Shostak

The wedding festivities began for me on Thursday with a trip down to Madison to see my sweet roommate Lindsey. She was housesitting for a family so I stayed with her for the day/ night. A wonderful day that consisted of Sancho Pancho Blockbuster Mexican, pool, hot tub, Bones, and much laughter. We had a wonderful self-made food bar set up by the pool that consisted of all of our favorite things.

what more could you want? all you have to do is float on over. after dinner we set up Bones by the hot tub and watching this beautiful sunset. I could totally get used to this.

Friday we headed to Jasper for the real wedding festivities and Saturday my wonderful Big and dear friend became Mrs. Shostak. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen and I was so blessed to be a part of it. I am so excited for Case and Ryan and can't wait to see what God has in store for them together. I love you both!

(pictures compliments of Linds)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You Won't Forget This Wandering Child

Rewind with me for a minute to July 10, 2009. Last day of camp. Week 1 was easy. Week 2 was insanely difficult. but worth every second. When we left that day, I felt like I was leaving a piece of my heart. I was already geared up for next year.

Fast forward to August, junior orientation day. Last day to sign up for classes and I suddenly realized I was going to have to take 2 summer classes. Which meant no camp. That wasn't even an option. So I met with my advisor before I left that day and added another class, giving me a grand total of 21 hours for the semester. It was so hard, but I knew it would be worth it. Still, I swore I wouldn't do it again... until the next semester. About half way through the semester and around the time to apply for camp, I started wondering if that's where I really needed to be. The very thought scared me. How could I even entertain the idea of not being there? I went back and forth and prayed about it so much. I wasn't getting a "no" about it, so I applied. If that's where I needed to be, then I would be there. By the time I left for Panama, I still hadn't heard anything. Suddenly it hit me that I actually might not work camp. And I wasn't ok with it.

A few weeks into Panama, I finally got an email saying I was working both weeks of camp. Then I got one that said that there was a glitch in the system and all the applicants got the confirmation email. Then I got a real confirmation that I was working both. A whole lot of excitement then disappointment, but ended on excitement. The week after I got home from Panama I got a call from Jennifer saying that we don't have many girls signed up for week 2 so they don't need me to work. Of course I said I understand and said all the right things, but none of that stopped the tears. Nor did that understanding stop the tears yesterday when I found out for sure that I won't be staying 2 weeks.

Yes, I'm disappointed, but more than that, I'm mad. Not sure who I'm mad at exactly, but I am a little mad. I worked so hard all year so that I could do this camp. I could have taken those classes over the summer and missed a couple for one week of camp and it would have been fine. I am just having a hard time understanding why I felt so strongly that I am supposed to be there and took all of those classes. I know that God has a plan here, and I know that I am not called to understand that plan, but it doesn't make it any easier.

All of that being said- aka a whole lot of rambling- I am beyond excited to be at camp in only 8 days! And for all you creative people, I need an idea of something my girls can wear for competition every day. I've already done bandanas and want something new this year :)

It's Been A While

My blogging has been slacking something major these days. I have been rather preoccupied. It is possible that the full extent of the happenings of my life will come to you, my dear bloggy friends, soon... if I am feeling rather feisty in my blogging. Tomorrow I finally have a free day. A free day that has many plans in fact.

1. do laundry
2. clean my room (I actually just took a picture of my room to put here and then realized that my extensive sleepiness was clearly causing me to make bad decisions. it's a wreck, y'all.)
3. blog. yes, we shall meet again very soon. about Case's wedding, camp, my thoughts on my very first precept Bible study, life, etc. exciting times, my friends.
4. review everything from Bible study tonight (we are doing Revelation and it is blowing my mind and takes a couple times of going over it for it to sink in for me)
5. respond to many emails.
6. finish my book.
7. go to dinner at Sarah's.

so basically the point of this is more to less to say yes, I am here. and I shall return with legit bloggy goodness very soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekly Recap

I have to agree with Linds and say that I am the worst at knowing at all what day it is during the summer. Maybe one day I will actually do this on a Friday like I'm supposed to. Since I am really falling behind on my blogging these days, I feel like it's ok to post on a Tuesday.

{I'm dreaming of you} St. Simon's, and all that you entail.

18 days and I will be there!

{song on repeat} Look So Easy, by Dave Barnes. I love the new CD!

{gotta write it down} "seek My face and you will find fulfillment of your deepest longings." -Jesus Calling

longings. it's a word that keeps coming up in my life lately. it's so much more than a want. my heart longs for things so much it hurts sometimes. but in Him I find fulfillment. such a simple concept that I so easily forget.

{lesson learned} when I try to plan my life and do things on my timing, I think that God laughs and throws me for a loop. a good loop, but a big loop. the best thing is that His plans are always 1000 times better than mine were in the first place.

{picture to frame} I sure am missing these precious faces these days.

{highlight of the week} seeing Case, Linds, and Em on Saturday.

{weekend to-do list} Tory and Taylor's dance recital. coffee/ lunch/ afternoon with Case, Linds, and Em. good, quality time with Kelly. Buckhead church. then the best Sunday night I've ever had. all of which equals a good weekend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weekly Recap

Lindsey started doing this, and I like it :)

in one word or phrase: exhausting. Most of the week was spent in Panama working on our presentation all the time. it's hard to believe I've only been home for about 4 days. Panama feels like forever ago already.

I'm dreaming of you: new camera who I want so badly

song on repeat: Love is Waiting, Brooke Fraser

gotta write it down: 
"what matters most in a Christian relationship isn't whether we use the term dating or courtship, but that we live for God's glory" -Boy Meets Girl

from Lord, I Want To Know You-
Jehovah is the self-existent One- "I AM WHO I AM." He is the eternal I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the same yesterday, today, and forever. All of life is contained in Him. Why do we look elsewhere? Why do we not rest in His unchangeableness? He has never failed. Would He begin with me or you? He cannot. He is Jehovah, the self-existent, covenant-keeping God. 

Time and time again I have found Him to be my all-sufficient God, my protector, the unconditional lover of my soul.

Although we have been given a free will, still God so rules and overrules that no person, angel, demon, or devil, nor any circumstance of life, can thwart His plan.

For if God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of fate (whatever that is), in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil.

You know what I long for, Lord. You hear my every sigh. Psalm 38:9

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5

picture to frame: I seriously have to pick one from all of my Panama pictures?!

I pick three.

highlight of the week: 1. Juana, Hillary, and Narichel surprising me at our presentation. 2. coming home. 3. being with my people again and surrounded by encouragement. so refreshing.

weekend plans (ok, I'm a little behind): Friday- came home from Panama! Saturday- Chase's birthday party (he's 11?! what?!) and Sasha's wedding. Sunday- church, annual date with Caroline.