Wednesday, March 30, 2011

50 miles South

Me, Heath & Neil freshman year
..... ok so i've made it to Eugene. haha yeah yeah I know it's not that far away at all and I'll get to Conway later than I wanted to but here is the story. So I realized that I have a whole other group of people in Duck Country that I need to see one last time and say goodbye to so down highway 99 I went.
      It's been good though, I crashed on Neil and Heath's couch and I must say these two are awesome. I met both of them freshman year and have still stayed in touch with both of them even while I've been in Corvallis and Neil even studied abroad in China last term! Both of them are like brothers to me (especially Neil, sophomore year we got his residents to believe that we were siblings for real haha) and I will miss both of them so much! Every time we get together it's an adventure... literally. One night we went down into the steam tunnels under the UO campus and then I spilt hot chocolate all over Neil but... that's a story for another time haha.
Me and Kelsey on Summer Staff '08
     I got to see Kelsey too :) Man do I love this girl! She was one of the first people I met down here while I was getting plugged into Eugene Younglife and have been so blessed to still run into her at the Ranch or while we are in each others opposing cities. We went to Agate Alley and talked forever and spent another hour in the car talking while we said "goodbye" about ten thousand times. So grateful to have her in my life! why am I still here? Well currently I am waiting for my refund from OSU to be deposited into my account because while I have direct deposit I don't want to get to far away from home until it's in. Part of me is still waiting for something to go wrong, like this isn't really going to happen. It feels like I am just visiting the Eug like normal and then I am going to turn around and head back to Corvallis. I know that's not going to happen but I don't know, maybe I'm just getting scared. I know this is what I need to do and I know that this is where God is calling me but it's scary. I think the last time I drove past Eugene on I-5 was to go to the Graves wedding in Chico, CA with Brendon. I need to do this. Please be praying for my strength and courage to stay strong and safety on the road and also for everything to be deposited tomorrow and go as God is planning. I know it's not going to be smooth sailing but really need it.

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The one I call Madre

       You know a dream is like a river/ Ever changing as it flows/ And a dreamers just a vessel/ Who must follow where it goes/ Trying to learn from what's behind you/ Never knowing what's in store/ Makes each day a constant battle/ Just to stay between the shores.

I will sail my vessel/ Til the river runs dry/ Like a bird upon the wind/ These waters are my sky/ I'll never reach my destination/ If I never try/ So I will sail my vessel/ Til the river runs dry

Many times we stand aside/ Let the waters slip away/ What we put off till tomorrow/ It has now become today/ So don't you sit up on the shoreline/ And say you're satisfied/ Choose to chance the rapids/ Dare to dance that tide

I will sail my vessel/ Til the river runs dry/ Like a bird upon the wind/ These waters are my sky/ I'll never reach my destination/ If I never try/ So I will sail my vessel/ Til the river runs dry

     There's bound to be rough waters/ And I know I'll take some falls/ With the good Lord as my captain/ I can make it through them all

      Most of you may think it's strange to start a post about my Mom with Garth Brooks lyrics but to me, that is my mom. My whole fascination with country music came from her and while she doesn't really listen to it anymore, Garth is still very high up on her list. When I think of the music I grew up on it's not the Backstreet Boys or Christina Agularia.... it's Garth Brooks and John Denver. 
     While some of you who have been around a while you know that my relationship with my mom hasn't always been the best. We are both strong willed and match that with my adventurous spirit and her need to know the details mindset, needless to say, we but heads on a number of things. But all in all she is my mom and while as we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, she is still my mom and I love her. Another note, as much as I try to fight it sometimes, I secretly love the fact that I am a clone of her. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard "Oh you must be Nancy's daughter!" There is a picture that hangs in my grandmas house that if you didn't know better and the quality of the picture wasn't aged, I would even think it was me. I talk like her, I laugh like her, I eat in order like her, I separate my M&M's like her, I keep lotion in my cup holder like her, once my cousin asked me "you tilt your head like your mom." I'm not really sure what that really means but it's true. 
     I got to see her yesterday for the first time since Christmas break and was probably the best two hours I have ever spent with my mom. I told her everything and there were a lot of tears and hugs and understanding between the two of us. It was a lot harder to leave that driveway than I thought it was going to be. 
     Never take your family for granted. Especially your mom. She was there when you were born, remember? She loves you and always wants the best for you and will probably never want you to grow up.

     This particular Garth Brooks song however I find pretty appropriate right now. This is my dream that is coming to life. This is the next phase of my life that I am stepping out in faith with the Lord and letting him steer me in the direction of His will. The last verse of the song.... technically I think it's the bridge or something..... says "There's bound to be rough waters and I know I'll take some falls, but with the good Lord as my captain I can make it through them all."  I can't express how true that is. Relying on myself alone I will fail. Without God in my life I wouldn't be where I am today and there is no way that I would be moving to Arkansas. The ministry of Younglife is the tool that I use to to reach kids and students and tell them about the good news that changed my life but ultimately the reason is God and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Keep dreaming and let God control your waters and guide your vessel.

Thank you everyone.
Til the next new day ♥ ,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dear WFR,

     I know I didn't have the chance to say goodbye to all of you before I left but I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to come out the last couple years and every time welcoming me with open arms and becoming a real family to me. That place is home to me and where my whole story starts. Before you even knew me ya'll watched me accept Christ into my heart and start to become the girl that God wants me to be. Thanks to another great friend of yours I was able to start and continue an amazing relationship with that place and all of you, past and present :) You guys have seen me in my all time high and my unbearable brokenness and all in all leading to victory. I am so blessed and thankful to have been considered part of the family out there and to have been able to help and serve in literally almost every position I could! (I counted the other day and I think ODC is the only thing I can't check off my list... lol although I did kinda help dig a ditch at work week for a little bit with the Khulman girls haha)
     The work and life experience is something that I will never forget from my time at WFR and there is NO WAY I could forget any of you! I mean c'mon, this is Younglife after all, it's not like it's gonna be forever! It kinda feels like that though. Man I'm sure going to miss you guys, I love how Craig always referred to me as "Off-Property Staff," and just the love that I felt every time I came out knowing I was going to get to see some of the best people in my life. I am serious when I say that you guys have become part of my family. You guys have helped me through a lot and without knowing taught me so much. Some of you I have known for the last couple years and don't know what I would do without you and some of you I only met this year but am so blessed to call you guys my family and friends.
     I am excited for this next phase in my life and I know that a lot of you guys helped me get to where I am now.  I'm so excited for Sharptop and everything that is coming ahead and shoot!! I'm pumped for you guys!! You have an awesome group of interns on your hands and a whole new camp coming in! Words cannot express how excited I am about not only Creekside but the great things coming in at Canyon as well. I expect to get updates btw haha. Alright well I think you guys get the picture, although it hasn't really set in yet that I'm not coming back out there in 2 weeks but sadly, but great at same time, it's true. So.... Everyone, i love you and thanks for every thing :) I promise to keep you updated :)

♥ ,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is Me

    As the last couple things start to fall in line for my moving to the south and starting a new life I can't help but have a overwhelming peace about it knowing that "this is ME!" I couldn't be any more excited to drive across the country and find out what God's got planned for me there :)
     I got my acceptance packet for Sharptop Cove the other day and using email addresses of the other people it got sent to, myself and some of the other interns this summer were able to find each other on Facebook (yes I brought it back lol). I already feel like these people are my friends and I haven't even spoken one word to them (well physically). I know that without a doubt this is where I am suppose to be this summer. As much as I will miss being at the ranch I know that neath those Georgia woods is where I need to be!
     All of this originally started with a joke of commuting 2,000 miles to lead Younglife but wow does God have a way of working,.... it's becoming a reality, a really real reality and I couldn't feel more "at home" about this decision.
     I had my last Monday night pool with Shannon, Thomas and Jonathan... my last line dance with the Eagles last walk around the Oregon State campus... my last Yogurt Extreme... my last Beaver game at Reser stadium (in the fall)... this weekend will be the last time I'll be at the Washington Family Ranch for college work week... you know what is really cool about that thought? The week I became committed to the Lord was my first week at camp after my senior year of high school. It was the very first thing I ever did in Oregon at WFR and the speaker was a guy named Kent McDonald. The very last thing that I am doing in Oregon is college work week at WFR and the speaker this weekend is a guy names Kent McDonald. I haven't heard his name since that first week and I am stoked! He has no idea who I am but I will probably have to restrain myself from bull rushing him when I see him this weekend. Crazy huh? It's like God planned it or something ;)
     Well, I should get some rest but know that things are happening, God is moving and I know that without a doubt, this is me and this is where I need to be... and I'm not even there yet!

This is real 
This is me
I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be and now
Gonna let the light
Shine on me
Now I've found who I am 
There's no way to hold it in
No more hiding who I want to be
This is me!!!!

"Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you will shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..." [PHILIPPIANS 2:12-16]

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life's a Dance... So Watch Your Step

Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead
Sometimes you follow 
Don't worry 'bout what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go

The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you want to receive
There's a time to listen, a time to talk
You might have to crawl even after you walk
Had sure things blow up in my face
See the longshot, win the race
Been knocked down by the slammin door
Picked myself up and came back for more

     John Michael Montgomery couldn't have said it any better. Life is a dance the only way we learn is by dancing. When you are learning a new line dance we always tell people to get in the middle. That way when you change walls (face a different direction) you will always have someone on either side of you that you can watch and learn from. It may take some time, it may take a couple tries of making a fool out of your self but eventually you'll get the steps down. And even after you get the basic steps there are still times when we forget the moves, there are always more variations that we can learn from each other, but again the only way to learn is being out of the dance floor, learning as you go.

     Even in the Christian life there is no cake walk. Making a commitment to follow Christ with everything you have usually means that while you have been given this gift of freedom and grace and unconditional love, life usually gets harder. The enemy knows this as well. He knows that while we have a desire to be in a right relationship with our Father, he knows that we are weak and he knows how to clue into our temptations, struggles and appear as "fun and easy." And unfortunately the only real way of knowing is dancing the dance of life. Trying you hardest and running to the cross in every situation but we are human and we do make mistakes. Falling isn't fun. Falling victim to our sin is not anything that anyone should go through but we all do it. We all give in to the mysteriousness that is the enemy attacking the children of God. He knows how to appear alluring and seductive. He's the mysterious attractive guy leaning on the bar, he's thinking that we can take care of ourselves, he's the girl that is giving you attention when you are feeling lonely, he's the sweet taste of another glass of whiskey, he's in our desire to be noticed by the wrong people, he knows what our struggles are and he knows how to use them to get us to fall. And as fun as it may seem at the time and how sucky it becomes afterwards, sometimes that's how we learn. We have to be broken to be made new. The line in the song that says "You might have to crawl even after you walk" relates to just that. Most people think that the Christian life is a track that looks like this:

Where you are on a high for awhile but then make a bad decision and you feel like crap and then you try to come back up for a while but can't hold on any longer and it's a back and forth of being good and being bad and not realizing they can do anything about it. It also holds more weight because we feel like this shouldn't be happening because they want it to look like things are getting better all the time and we should just be going up.                                                                             
                                                                            When in reality it looks like this:  -->      
We are constantly moving and constantly growing in our life and in our faith and walk with the Lord. There are going to be times where we take a step back and go through some really tough stuff and some really bad mistakes and decisions but we will never be back where we started. In everything that God is teaching us he is letting a part of us that shouldn't be a part of us die and left in the valley. As long as we are seeking Him and running back to the cross in our broken states, even in states where all we should do is praise Him we will keep growing.  
     Earlier we talked about how when learning a line dance you need to have people on all sides of you to watch and learn from and ones who are going to help you learn. The same goes for any other situation. The last couple days have been extremely hard and if I didn't have the friends that I did, who I knew I could call and wouldn't judge me and would know what to do to take care of me and be with me for 3 hours that they could have been doing homework or something anything else besides literally waiting for me and letting me spend the night at their house and just the friendship that I have built with these 3 girls is unbelievable. God calls us to live in community and this is why. We need people on all sides of us who we can watch, and who are going to help us get through whatever it is that we are going to get through no matter if you are just feeling bad or just made the biggest mistake of your life. No matter what wall you're on, someone else is going to be there surrounding you and guess what, when you rotate walls, now they are looking at you and count on you just the same. In leading YL that is one of the biggest changes I've seen. It's almost the "dirty little secret of younglife" that we do it because of the lives we know we are impacting but mostly because of how our lives are being impacted thought this process. 
  You can't worry about the next step in the dance. You can't worry about what you don't know, all we can do is hold tight to Christ, watch out for the enemy and his attacks and learn as we go! 

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow" {psalm 51:7}

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. each day has enough trouble of its own." {matthew 6:34} 

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You're Gonna Miss This

      So I figured out that while waiting for the bus my iPod gets internet! From where, I have no idea where it's coming from but it's great!!! Anyway Corvallis is beautiful today! And warm too!!! I am about to go on an adventure with my friend Neil. We met freshman year at the University of Oregon and have stayed really good friends even after I moved to Corvallis. I'm excited, our adventures are always amazing. Our freshman year we were able to get into the steam tunnels under the campus and the city. Who knows what we are doing today. I will miss him though, I'm moving and he's going into the peace corps, so I will miss him. Along with everyone else.

   It is getting a little bittersweet now that more and more prices are getting put together. I was talking to a friend in dance class today and we realized that we are only going to have about two more chances to really swing together. He was my "original" dance partner and who I've been able to learn a number of tricks with. We both have been able to branch off and teach the rest of our friends, invite new people to Eagles (or Bushwackers depending on the mood!) and learn new things but we definatley have our own style and it's always fun to go back to that every once in a while .
     Then there is my roommates, it's been an interesting year for sure but I love all three of them. Me and Hannah have become especially close, and honestly if you would have asked me about a year or so ago, I would have thought you were crazy. Same with my friend Thomas, for one reason or another I really didn't like either one of them when we lived in the Courtyard together but now they are probably the two people I spend the most time with. It took a while too. I think that is what I am worried about the most. I have no problem making friends, I'm not shy what so ever. But I love intimate relationships and that closeness and it took me a couple years to find that but I love that and I thrive on that. I know I'll have those connections when I leave here but I also know that it's going to take a little while. I'm ok with that though and I think my internship is really going to help that. I am really excited for the people that I am going to meet this summer!
      But it doesn't stop their either, there are 4 of my girl friends I've just started to really get to know this year and I love them all so much! Sometimes I am a tad jealous because they all live together but that doesn't really matter. We have become a dancing machine the 4 of us, and we are all involved in younglife so I've been able to lead with one of them and have many Washington Family Ranch adventures with the other two and one of our other guy friends as well. Just thinking about all the connections and traditions we've developed. Like trips to the Ranch and Monday night pool at McMenamins happy hour and country line dancing! I feel like everything started to really fall into place this year and now I'm gonna have to start all over again. The traditions, the inside jokes, even the comfortability level you have with someone takes such a long time to develop. Case and point, one of my absolute best friends right now, I use to hate his guts about 2 years ago. Now I spend almost too much time with him but love every minute. My friends really are great. From family dinners to dancing, I know that they've got my back and love me as I love them!

   We had a Younglife team meeting tonight and even then I realized this whole other family that has been created in Corvallis! They are going to do such great things, I am so excited to for what this area is going to accomplish as they let God work in them and through them to love on some of the best high school kids I know! We really are a family and tonight was so evident in that.
     I think also to the friends that I have back home in Washington, from high school and such and I am grateful that I've been able to keep in touch with them over the last couple years. It's been a little challenging at times but I do know that the ones that have stayed in my life will stay there forever.
  I will never forget my friends here and the traditions we put in place but I am excited to develop new ones and see this adventure God has for me! Thanks to todays technology (and yes I will bring my Facebook back when I move) as well I know I'll be able to keep in touch with all of them. I mean just look at my zip/swing crew from summer staff this summer.

All 9 of us are spread out over 5 states and they are one of the closest group of friends I have right now. I truly believe that the people that are going to be in your life are going to stay there forever. One of them is the reason this whole moving thing came about. Another is like a sister and is coming to see me in a couple weeks!! Another is the goofiest kid I have ever met but is so intentional about keeping a relationship with you and wanting to know what's going on in your life that he will drive across 3 states just to pick you up. All of them are so great and we've loved staying in each others life. It's been about 7 months since we were able to spend that month with each other and it's about now that things start to fade out and people loose touch but I would say they are the 8 people I talk to the most! Not to mention other connections I made on summer staff as well.
 I didn't even know I applied and it was the greatest month of my life!

      God doesn't place anyone or anything without intention. I had one major piece of the puzzle fall into place today. God [IS] Faithful! One more real piece left!
 Can't wait to see where this goes.

"Friends come and go but a true friend sticks to you like family"
 {Prov 18:24, The Message}

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this
~Trace Adkins

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Reality Sinking In

     p.s. (OK I know this is the beginning of the message but oh well..) if anyone is wondering and if anyone cares I did deactivate my Facebook. This is temporary, well right now it is. I was annoying myself for how much time I was spending stalking my friends rather than just asking them about their lives! So right now it's just this lovely blog of mine! I am planning on bringing it back when I move but I will let you know. Even then I am going to limit myself by how much I am on it. 

     Well guys, I found someone to take my room for spring term..... it's real now, I have to go somewhere! It's my roommates little sister and I love her very much! I think she's pretty cool but you can see for your self Hi Michayla! But with all that I am realizing that I can't really take a lot of stuff with me when I leave. I have a mini fridge, my full size bed, numerousness book shelves, the dining room table is mine.... random stuff that I am going to need to sell and start over. I am kinda of getting excited though about being able to decorate my apartment with whoever I end up living with after my internship at Younglife's Sharptop Cove!!!

    There are so many cool ideas that I have right now for what my place in Conway is going to look like. Especially my kitchen. {I LOVE BEING IN THE KITCHEN!} Me and my current roommate Hannah were talking about kitchens and stuff when the plan was to live together in Portlandia next year. One of the things that we really wanted was a coffee cup wall hanger, which we got :), and a wine rack. I was able to find some sweet ones on There's tons of stuff and kitchen toys like slicers, free standing pantry's, loads of gadgets and stuff outside the kitchen too. I think I "stumbled upon" it (again another death to my life and academic career) but knowing I am going to have to start over and get to (kinda not really) build a kitchen that I love... it's entertaining. Right now I am just using it mainly for ideas and such. Ya know get the creative juices flowing.
      But I need to be careful not to get ahead of myself until everything is certain and I am in my car (which I still don't have) driving across the country. Remember a lot of this move to start College Younglife is a huge leap of faith and I am learning to give it God one day at a time. Not let the little things break me. Tons of prayer and tons of listening to what the Lord is telling me. Right now it's scary because so many doors have opened and that's where I am feeling pushed but there are things like money and a car that I still don't have. I know He is faithful though and I know He will provide just as He let the Jews escape through parted waters. I know I need to be trusting and just wait in expectation. {psalm 5:3} Hold on, Spin around and Let go remember?!

     Needless to say I am extremely excited however! There are business details that I need to work out but I do know that it will. Because God is bigger than that, He is bigger than all of that. He's going to direct me in His will in His time. There are multiple people who think I am absolutely crazy but you know what, I am sorry but those people aren't me, they don't have the same peace I do and they are not the King that I am serving.
     I mapped out where I would be going. Anyone know somewhere I can crash between Santa Rosa, CA and Austin, TX?? haha I know someone in Arizona, maybe I should call him... I should probably call my Uncle in Austin too huh? He's awesome though, I miss him a ton! He's my uncle and Godfather on my mom's side. A couple years ago he gave me a C.S. Lewis year devotional book, LOVE IT! In my phone he is just "Texas."

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
You dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?
~ Sara Bareilles

{1 Corinthians 1:18} "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. "

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hold on, Spin around and Let go!

First of all, I know, I did some major reconstructing of the look of my page and I may say that I'm pretty proud of myself! I like it, I hope you do to and I hope that it's a little easier to read. I honestly could sit here doing design on the computer for hours. It's days like these that I kinda wish that I stayed with my design stuff but can't go back now! and I still have to take a bunch of upper division electives so maybe I'll just base them in new media and web design or something who knows.


     Last night we went to the first Western Wednesday at the Top of the Peacock and I must say, it was a success! One of my friends was kinda the brains behind the operation and we had no idea to expect. We usually go to Albany and go dancing at the Albany Eagles Club on Thursday nights and it's a completely different atmosphere. Some people didn't like it because there were so many people, it was darker, more of a night club scene and a lot louder.. but that's why I loved it! There were no breaks in the songs and I ended up knowing a ton more people than I thought. We didn't think anyone was going to show up. And I don't think the peacock did either. We are guessing they are going to have to hire another bartender for Wednesdays cause that poor guy was slammed! But I never left the dance floor! I would go from line dance to line dance and then when a partner song came on, find a new partner. I was dancing for about 3 1/2 hours straight!
     Believe me my knees and feet do hurt today, we'll see if I go to Eagles tonight. 
     When you are dancing with someone, especially swing you have got to hold on! The biggest thing that I am working on right now is leading, or NOT leading. Now I am not trying to say this to brag but because of my skill level compared to some of the people (especially in my CW class), I tend to do what's called "back leading." This is where the girl is still doing the follow moves but leading the guy from her position. It's kind of like back seat driving. I'm not leading in the leads part but I still try and take control. This however gets me in trouble when I start to anticipate the leads move. He tries to lead a move and I will unconsciously take over and end up messing both of us up. This is mainly a problem on the two-step and waltz. I love two-step! But I need to learn to just Hold on, get Spun around and Let go of trying to control the dance.

Life's a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead sometimes you follow
Don't worry 'bout what you don't know
Life's a dance you learn as you go 

     If you haven't gotten the metaphor yet here it is. This stance of holding on and letting go is what I am also learning in my walk with the Lord and laying the process and decision of moving to Conway before Him and really letting God take over and trust that He is going to provide. If you're not walking with God right now this is all going to sound like foolishness and utter nonsense. But this is real to me and this is what has gotten me this far in life and I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
     You have GOT to Hold on tight to the Word of God, His love and grace, and what the Holy Spirit is ever so gently telling you, and be ready to get Spun around like a whorl wind because God leads us in the craziest directions based on what He is trying to teach us and how we are choosing to learn. I can't tell you the number of times God is flipped a 180 in my life. But above that we have to Let go of control over our own lives. My devotional yesterday said just that:


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"
{Philippians 4:6-7}

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blessings from a friend

First I want to say thank you to all who have been praying for me in this process of taking the internship at Sharptop Cove and the road to Conway, AR. Thank you for your prayers and responses letting me know that you are all praying for me and the constant reminder that God is bigger than all of this. There was one letter today that I got that rocked my world. I am so glad that I have gotten to know this friend over the past couple years and while I don't see him all that much anymore, when I do, it's always a great reunion. But I wanted to share what he did with me because I know God is behind everything.

"The first is Psalms 46, written by King Hezekiah in relation to his unwinnable battle against the Assyrians. God hands the Assyrians over to Hezekiah, but only after he truly understands what it means to "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) 

"Be Still" literally means "Take your hands off" "step away." Knowing that you are naturally a go getter Jill, and are a "hands on" kind of person when it comes to problem solving, it is difficult to fully understand this idea. A lot of people like to say they are relinquishing control to God as they continue to control certain details in the same moment. You know that God cannot be defeated Jill, sometimes you need only relinquish full control.

Second verse 

Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will Fight for you, you need only be still."

In this verse, the Jewish people have been marched out of Egypts to the desert by Moses, and the Egyptians are closing in between them and the Red Sea. Immediately the Jews complain, expecting certain death. But Moses calls on God, knowing he has no option, but, to be "still". The next moment, because we know the end of the story, the Red Sea is parted. It's easy for us because we know the complete story, we know that the Red Sea is going to be parted. The question to ask yourself, if you were one of the Jews, and did not know the end to the story. Would you have the faith in the moment of sure death to "be still, and allow the Lord to fight for you?" In this moment, you don't know how the story ends with your mom, or your finances, or whatever else is marching at you...."

It's true, I have no idea what God's gonna do. I could get to the end of this process and he could say "nope, you're staying right where you are, I wanted to know if you were faithful." I just can't know unless I am faithful and give it all to him and ask myself if I was one of Jews and didn't know the end of the story, thought I was dead for sure.... could I still give it ALL up?

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Jack & Jill and a Circus of Butterflies

JACKSON THOMAS: Today (and by today I mean yesterday) was my brother Jackson's birthday :) Jackson is 9 years old and my best friend. He has taught me so much more than probably anyone else, he lives in Northern California right now so I don't get to see him all that often but dang do I love this kid. Happy Birthday Jackson!
It's funny how kids sometimes know so much more than anyone else. They ask the questions that we are too afraid to. But sometimes that the innocence that the rest of us have somehow lost in the process of growing up. I got to talk to him tonight, he shared his birthday with my dad and stepmom at the restaurant and a girl who turned 21 tonight as well gave him a piece of her cake. So great! Jackson also happens to have Aspergers Syndrome but to me that doesn't matter. I mean yeah talking to him and playing with him sometimes gets kind of hard as you might compare him to the other nine year olds you see in his classes but he's still my brother and I know that God knitted him together perfectly and he is the way he is if only to be able to teach me more about life through the eyes of a child again. Granted yes I am only 21 years old but there is a big difference in the way a 21 year old female college kid who is itchin to experince something bigger than herself and a 9 year old boy who loves to play with bakugons and college marbles sees the world happening around them.
Last spring break I got to take Jack to Disneyland. Well my dad and stepmom took both of us but the plan was for me to take Jack and we would get to run around the park together and my dad and stepmom could have their own Disney date weekend. Believe me, I think I was more excited about this than he was! The first couple days however were not as planned. Part of it was how tired he was from traveling and running around the first day, which went great but the second day was another story. You never know with Aspergers. Rides that he had been on twice the day before were now too scary or he thought he was too little, and he didn't want to do anything but sit at the base of the California Screamin Rollercoaster in California Adventure and watch the launch happen. We tried every trick in the book to get him away from that roller coaster and we knew that if we could just get him on the ride he would love it! I was so sad because I knew how much fun he had had the day before and how much I wanted to share this place that I know WAY too much about (really though I have a problem) with my brother who would be just as excited as I was. All we could do was be patient with him. It's more than just him being a brat and trying to be stubborn. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Aspergers Syndrome is a high functioning form of Autism. The Autism Society defines it as
"People with Asperger's Syndrome appear to demonstrate normal cognitive and language development ( though the onset of speech may be slightly delayed). They are less obviously socially impaired than children with autism, and may develop relationships with parents and other family members. It is with peers that the qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interaction become most apparent. They may also have unusual or elaborate preoccupations with objects or topics... Diagnostic Criteria - A) Qualitative impairment in social interaction; B) Restricted and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities; C) Causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning; D) There is no clinically significant general delay in language; E) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behaviour and curiosity about the environment in childhood; F) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia"
Jack & Jill @ Disneyland!

 So needless to say we couldn't exactally just pull him away from the rollercoaster. There was more to it than  that. When we rode it the day before I videotaped the ride and all the way home and in the hotel room that was all he wanted to do. He was memorizing the ride and playing the pattern over again in his head. The next day however I was able to get him up early and take the monorail straight into Tomorrowland, completely avoiding Cali Adventure. HE LOVED IT! This was the day I was hoping for :) We had so much fun! We got to see Captain Eo, the Michael Jackson film that they brought back to Tomorrowland and meet Mickey and Minnie and I will never forget riding the train around the park and having him see the Autopia cars and the light on his face looking up to me and asking if we can go on those ones. We did. 3 times. But I loved everyminute, and he's actually a good driver.... kinda... best vacation ever!
So happy birthday Jack! I love you and I hope to see you soon!

THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS: ok thanks to Sony, I can't think of "butterflies" without having a quote from the wonderful Despicable Me movie pop into my head. ...
 "Ah, my caterpillar never turned into a butterfly,"
"That's a cheeto."
"oh".. (eats the cheeto)
HAHA love that! however that is not what I am talking about here. The Butterfly Circus is a short film about a n extraordinarily ring leader who can see the true triumph behind what everyone else sees as defeat. To a non believer this movie is still uplifting but I challenge you to look at it with Christ in mind. It becomes mind blowing. My heart breaks and cheers at the same time while watching this but I will let you see for yourself.

Til the next new day ♥ ,