Friday, April 29, 2011

Lonely Night in Georgia

[ok so not really...]

    Blogging and pandora, what could go wrong? Well currently on my pandora station is Marc Broussard's song "Lonely Night in Georgia," and while I don't want to admit it, is kind of how I feel right now but on another level. This is the chours of the song...

"It's a lonely night in Georgia
And everything I do reminds me of being with you
It's a lonely night, but I'll be alright
'Cause I'm comin' on home, comin' on home to you..."

     Let me start by saying that I absolutley LOVE SharpTop Cove! Please, please don't get me wrong. I mean, it's a Younglife camp... what's not to love? The last week has been amazing and the community out here is awesome and I am so blessed to be able to be with these people for the next couple months and I am extremely excited to meet the future interns that will be joining me in the next couple weeks! This place is gorgeous, the people are amazing and you can feel Jesus alive and well in every nook and on every hill (yes ... this place is very hilly).

Here are 10 things that in my first week at SharpTop that I love about this place [trust me, there are more than no order...]:
   1. Sweet Tea - yall I don't know how I survived the first 21 years of my life without it and right now STC has got the sweeeeetest tea in town
   2. Rocking Chairs - there is at least 4 on EVERY porch, real ones, not green plastic ones, real ones! how great is that?
   3. Tee 18 Par 5 - so I'm kind of talking about the frisbee golf course right now meaning the location of Tee 18. It's my favorite spot on camp right outside the Bear Den on the corner of the deck that looks right over toward the Wheelhouse [club room]. There's a rocking chair and a great place to people watch, over look camp, talk to God, read, do homework and look at the stars.
   4. South Fork - This is where the girl interns live. It's a strange little cabin in the woods that not a lot of people know where it is but it's a home and it's our home! Which leads me to my next point.....
   5. Octavia, Dani, LeeAnn and Erin - These beautiful women are the STC yearlong girl interns, my roommates and my friends :) They have been so great welcoming me into their home and making me feel at home. I have had some great conversations with each of them already and I am so excited to get to know them more, especially Erin! and I say that because I actually haven't met her yet! She is my actual roomate and she has been in across the ocean for her brothers wedding since before I got here! So excited to meet you Erin!
   6. Housekeeping 2 - Housekeeping 2 is a golf cart on property. This particular golf cart use to belong to maintenance and they removed the govenor from this particular cart which now allows it go significantly faster.
   7. The Office - yes this is my job and where I get to spend the majority of the next couple months but I already love it. I love our little home and the women I work with and I even love hearing random laugher from guest services around the corner. It's where everyone comes for everything.
   8. You'll never go hungry - right now, we have access to the best food all the time. Our kitchen staff is amazing. nuff said.
   9. Brothers - Joe, Luke, Mike, Patrick and Brandon are the guy yearlongs here. I am not just mentioning them because I mentioned the girls but because they are true brothers in Christ. They are always asking me how I'm doing, if I need a ride back from the Mill, or just how my day was and how I'm adjusting to life at SharpTop.
   10. Georgia Stars - on a clear night like tonight, nothing beats the view of the stars in the middle of Jasper, GA.

     That being said.... I am still 3,000 miles away from home. I've never been homesick before but I guess there is a first time for everything. I miss the Northwest. I miss the Ranch. I miss thursday night line dancing. I miss tuesday night college group. I miss the OSU campus. I miss coffee culture. I miss being 4 hours away from my mom. I miss my roommates who watch survivor with me. I miss 9th & Circle dates. I miss the smell of Juniper once you turn onto the camp road. I miss knowing where everything is on property. I miss Condo 14. I miss the rock pile. I miss hot chocolate at the Khulman house. I miss unorganized untraditional club in the MU. I miss Bushwackers. I miss Eagles. I miss having people who are just as excited about your 5th pair of cowboy boots. I miss having a dance partner. I miss the rain. I miss the ocean. I miss Corvallis Goodwill. I miss Fred Meyer! I miss a lot of things but I do love this place and I do love the south and I do love God and I have to trust Him that this is where He wants me for a while. So while I do love it, sometimes it does feel like
"a lonely night in Georgia
And everything I do reminds me of being [back home]
It's a lonely night, but I'll be alright
'Cause I'm comin' on home, comin' on home to you [Jesus]"


Saturday, April 23, 2011

HUMBLED [to say the least]

     First a little update...  I have been at my new home in Jasper, GA for about 4 days now and while I worked for a day and then we got a 3 day weekend because of Easter, I love it so much! I am so glad to be back on a property again, and while it's not the Canyon I know that we are here for the same purpose and I can't not wait to experience all that SharpTop Cove is in the coming months. It has it's own glory and magnificance that I can't put into words. Today was gorgeous and tomorrow I get to spend Easter with my new summer family :)

    Now for what's on the plate for tonight.... Every morning I have gotten in the habit of listening to a podcast either from Grace City Church in Corvallis, the Onyx House in Eugene or The Way from Solid Rock in Portland. Right now I am going through the 3 part (and famous) Loveology series from John Mark at The Way and this morning I was humbled to my knees and slapped in the face to say the least. I was on part 2 this morning and he was talking about how he believes there are "4 marks to a Godly relationship" and referred to the Song of Songs (Solomon) which is an ancient love poem between Solomon and his wife. The 4 things he is referring to are:
1. Pursuit 2. Passion 3. Purity and 4. Purpose.
     Now while I am not currently in a relationship, and most of you know was pretty hurt by the last one, the best time to learn about how to be in a Godly, loving, Christ centered relationship is now while I am single and maturing and preparing to someday be married rather than in the midst of one I have already screwed up. Now the first 3 marks that John Mark was talking about were awesome and jam packed with things right out of the Bible and so good to hear but not really something I haven't heard before or thought of. I'm not saying they were boring, they were awesome and did give me a little slap on the cheek saying "Hello Mcfly! Remember how you screwed up before? Use these words to not screw up the next one."....  but the last one, purpose had an element that knocked me to my knees in repentance and here's why.... Brendon and I dated too long. That's it. Plain and simple. We should have broken up probably a 1.5 if not 2 years earlier than we did. We were both too blind by sin we had let into our relationship to understand and see that we were not made for each other.
     Now here is where I am going to be completely honest with you guys, the entire time we were dating and even up until maybe this morning I had a sense of pride in myself that I thought I was better than him. I really don't know where it came from but if you were to ask me I would have believed that he was the one dating up. I would never admit it, even to myself but now I realize what it was. I thought I was so cool!! wow was I wrong! I thought I was better looking than he was, I thought I was more in shape than he was, I thought my social status was higher and I don't even know how you measure that by the way,  I thought I was more "on track with God" because I was a younglife leader and doing summer staff and in all these small groups and volunteered at the church, I had all these completely screwed up lies about how cool I thought I was and then it even carried on into the break up! I thought because I was the one who broke up with him that I was in better shape. I thought that I deserved to be the one to find another relationship first. I expected him to be fighting for me, wanting to get back together when in reality in ended up being me and I wasn't ok with that. I have no idea how but I had put myself on this pedestal thinking that I was better than him and the moment that another girl walked into his life before I had the chance to find someone else I fell even harder ever. It crushed me not because I still wanted to be with him (which is what I would have told you at the time) but because I thought that I should be first and why him? what good is he? But yall that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life.
     Brendon is a great man. He's worked incredibly hard for everything that he has, he holds a degree in Business Management with a minor in Sports Administration and one of the only people I know to complete in 4 years, he had built a company from scratch and is living his dream in the music industry making the details happen for not only a band that he believes in but 4 of his best friends. He comes from a great family and parents who love him, believe in him and loves each other and the Lord, he's caring and has the ability to make anybody feel safe, he loves his job and cares about his customers and the town he grew up in and has built him to the person and man he is today. Yeah he has his flaws but who doesn't? We're human. Today Brendon is engaged to be married to Bethany, a great girl who believes in him and is the love of his life, and while some (even me until recently) can say what they want about the age difference or the time line of events from our break up to their engagement but reality is he is worthy of someone to share his life with and so is she. We dated too long, we let sin enter the relationship blinding us from what needed to happen and my own pride destroyed us and me. I am glad that when he knew that she was the one God placed in his life, he acted on that. Each relationship needs to have a purpose and "what's your name" to "i do" does not need to take a bazillion years unless you absolutely have to.
     I know that for the next couple years God has put me in a position where finding a man is not on the "to do list." I need to focus on being the right person and letting that happen on His time, which I have a feeling won't be for a while but when it does, I don't want to "date" for years again. I have told a lot of people, and I am sorry for this, that I thought Brendon and Bethany are moving too fast but in all honestly I'm jealous. I want what he found and I know it's not going to be for a while because I have other things to do first and it yeah it's going to take me awhile to be ok with that but it's not up to me. I know I am going to be in Conway for a while finishing school and trying to build a new college ministry and I know eventually I want to serve as a yearlong intern at another property and that's my focus not a relationship and honestly it's going to be really hard!!!! I like being in a relationship and I think that's why God is saying "no, right now you are mine."
    So Brendon and Bethany, if either one of you ever sees this which I doubt you will but, I honesty and truly wish you the best in your life together. You were made for each other <3

"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awake love until it so desires.....Arise, come, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me" 
                                                                                                                - Song of Songs ch 2

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sweet Diamond of the South

     The Natural State.
     The Diamond of the South.
      My Home.

     I have been in Arkansas for about 2 weeks now and I must say, I absolutely love it! I am surrounded by some awesome people and meeting some great kids and so excited to see what God has in store for College Younglife and just Younglife in general here in Conway! Conway kinda feels like Corvallis is away. It's a college town. I think it might be a little bigger than Corvallis actually. The first two weeks have been awesome. I've met some amazing kids and feel so at home in the younglife community. I also learned that for the last two years I have been backing out of assignments at the Canyon that would have led me to meet two of my really good friends now that both live here. It took the third assignment but either way God really wanted me to get here I guess. It's crazy when He wants someone in your life, no matter what they are going to be there.
    First off the house that I am staying in right now is amazing. The family that owns the house is incredible and so humble. They love the Lord and they love helping people who are on a mission to expand the Kingdom!
Every Sunday we have church, I've been going to this perspectives class with my friend. It's call Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. It's awesome! Afterwards we have our weekly Younglife leader meeting and I must say that if there is one thing that I look forward to every week it's Sunday nights. We go through a bible study together, worship and then talk about club the following night and just hang out really.
    Monday night is club. Right now we have two but they might be thrown together as one soon when the school system realigns itself soon. Club has been awesome. A lot different than club in Corvallis but it's more traditional which, sorry Corvallis, but is what I like. Program, songs, games and just great leaders loving on great kids.

    I really do love Arkansas. I went to Little Rock the other day and Fayetteville this last weekend but I absolutely love this state. I am official as well. I have an Arkansas drivers license and plates! I know this is where I need to be. I am excited to go to Sharptop for the summer as well. I am actually going out early and will be back for a weekend in early May but right now, they need me and I would love to get some experience under my belt before summer hits like a lightning strike! When I get back in the fall it's tower launch sequence engaged!! For College Younglife at UCA that is!!! I went to the All State Leader retreat the other weekend and was able to meet some awesome people who I know will become great dear friends for life and be able to help me with college stuff. It is a little strange telling people that I am an OSU student in the Ark but hey, it's a great conversation starter!

Til the next new day ♥ ,

I-5 to I-40

Hey yall,
sorry it's been so long, I don't have the internet at the place that I am staying at right now so I go to starbucks and steal theirs. Honestly there is another, and even better coffee shop that I could be going to but man if I can't get enough of that passion tea lemonade! And something about it feels familiar and at home so for all yall who protest the big name coffee chains... sorry, I'm gonna stay here for a while.
Well let's start with the drive shall we?!
I decided to go the long way across the country and it took me about 3 days of 15 hours of driving each! I honestly don't know how I did it.
I left Corvallis and went an hour south to hang out with some of my friends in Eugene for a day and say goodbye to them as well. Then I really started my journey.... Here are some memorable moments from glorious trip from Interstate 5 to Interstate 40 (also known as the modern day Route 66!!)

- Sunrise coming into California over the mountains, coming around the corner and seeing Mt. Shasta

- For those of you who don't know, I love bridges. Coming into Redding I stopped and saw the famous Sundial Bridge

- California is a really big state to drive in one day.... just saying. 
- Calling Adriana a little past the bay and singing "Forget You" on her voicemail 
- I stopped in Anaheim and woke up to the Happiest Place on Earth!!! It was kinda like torture though... I mean I could see Space Mountain... so close, yet so far away :( 

- Driving over the top of Arizona I was this close to finding Younglife's Lost Canyon at one point but decided to trek on. 
- I found the REAL London Bridge! Lake Havasu City, AZ

- I checked off something on my bucket list when I got to drive on the Historic Route 66 and drive through Kingman, AZ the Heart of Route 66 and the real life Radiator Springs! Depending on how long you've known me you can only imagine how excited I was :) 

- I didn't have time to get feathers before I left but I found a place in Amarillo, TX that did them! I was the first person (besides their staff) to come get them. Leave it to the NW!
- I was in Amarillo by Morning. :) 
- Watching the sunset over both Arizona and Oklahoma. 

- Talking to Andrew Pratt and having him tell me that when I got to OKC I had to take a detour to see the Sooner stadium... sorry Andrew. Maybe next time :)
- I stopped in Chekotah, OK, home to Carrie Underwood to get gas while playing the song "I ain't in Chekotah Anymore" and finding the Sonic and Lake Eufaula that are mentioned in the song. 
and finally....
I made it home!!!

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Monday, April 4, 2011

2,555 miles, 41 hours, 7 states, 4 days and 2 time zones later.....

I made it! 
Conway, AR..... WELCOME HOME!

Well family and friends, I'm here! It's still pretty surreal being here and all. I know that this is where I am  suppose to be and I know that there is nothing about this that didn't come from God but it hasn't really set in that I'm not going back to the NW anytime soon. I am currently waiting for my area director to get the key to the house that I will be staying at for the month before Sharptop but until then I've been hanging out at Jumpstreet. I am going to go to the high school for some contact work and then make my way to the UCA campus today but then we will talk about the drive over and my first day in the Diamond of the South!

p.s. to everyone in the NW, it's currently thunder storming right now. Rain, rain, rain.... feels like home :)

Til the next new day ♥ ,