Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back on the Water

     Last weekend was our Conway Young Life leadership overnight. We loaded the cars and headed out to our friends family's lake house on Greers Ferry in Arkansas. We talked and planned and dreamed for the year ahead of us and just spent time with each other. At night my self and Leslie jumped in the lake with our clothes on.... twice. I was thankful I decided to change out of my jeans before we came back the second time. 
     Being on the lake the next morning made me miss home. Growing up I never had a house ON the water but one of my best friends did and we spent every chance we could 5 minutes away at the Foss's on Lake Meridian. I am pretty sure her mom ended up missing having us over more than her own daughter being at home when we all went off to college. She told me so ;) 
Also, growing up in the Pacific NW being so close to the sound, having  a dad who absolutely loves to fish and would give anything to have his boat back and then moving to an hour from the Oregon coastline with the Willamette River running through town... the PNW just says "water" and until now I think I have always taken it for granted. 
     My mom use to call me her "water baby" and I still do love being in the water but I think I appreciate it even more now. I know Arkansas is known for all it's great water ways and rivers but.. it just doesn't smell like fish. I miss the coast, even though I would say I am more a lake girl than anything. 
     The silence, the reflection, the sound the water makes as it hits the side of an anchored boat, watching fish jump and hearing sea life. Even the sound of the neighbors fishing reel and bobber hitting the water makes me miss my dad. I even want to go fishing now, can you believe that dad? A kid other than Jordan fishing? Everything the water brings I am absolutely in love with.  
     Last night as Leslie and I were swimming around, we grabbed a couple life jackets and laid on our backs and were amazed at what was above us. I haven't seen that many stars since I left Oregon. It was amazing. Words could not describe. Our other friend even said he saw a shooting star. We missed that one. 
     Days like this make me want to be to give anything to be back on the water again. It's so alive! Isn't that how we are suppose to live? That is how God wants us to live. To LIVE. not just survive. As I was sitting on the boat parked int he dock slip, the mornings reading was Ezekiel 18.  It explains that even if a father commits evil things and sins against himself and his Father that the son is not responsible and that he shall surely live. It says that if a wicked person turns from their ways, repents and follows the Lord and what he says he will no longer die but he shall live. The Lord is saying to Turn & Live. Just like the water is alive, He wants us to be alive as well. I think there is something else to water. It's magnificent really. Everything in this world needs it to live and we use it for times of pleasure as well. We are made up of water and we can take a boat out to the middle and stay there for days. Water is talked about in the bible a lot. Jesus talked about being living water and was able to walk on water. But you can drown in water too. It's all very fascinating really. 
     I don't know where to go from there so I will just leave that for you to think about for a while. But I do know that I will continue to be alive in the water. 

Til the next new day ♥ ,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eden's Edge

     I love this name for their band. Meet Edens Edge and their new song that has become my new obsession lately! I am sure you will love and they are from ARKANSAS!!!

If you want to just listen to the song here is the official music video to "Amen"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Love a New Life

     Part of me wants to apologize to anyone who actually reads this thing. It was started as a way for my family to be kept up to date on the life of their "JillBean" as she packed her car, took a leap of faith into the Lords hands and drove 2,526 miles across the country to start a new life in Central Arkansas.
     The last couple posts I feel like haven't been all that happy and I only know of 1 friend for sure who reads this and I in turn read hers (we are kind of blog obsessed) but as the things that I have previously talked about weren't all that joyful, that was how I was feeling. However I decided that I am moving forward. In talking to my friend yesterday I started to realize what really matters and how happy I am where my life is now. The things I have learned in the past year have been incredible and the last couple days being back off my internship at SharpTop Cove and back in Conway with my friends and YoungLife College at UCA, I finally feel HOME.

     We had our first College Life event the other night and while it may have been a little rocky, I am excited. I met a lot of kids yesterday and the potential on this campus is unreal. God is truly at work in Conway. I am excited to start college groups and create an atmosphere where college kids can feel like they are coming home. I loved going to girls group last year at the Khulman's house and walking into a warm home with desserts and cider on the stove. Needlesstosay I am going to be stealing ideas and modeling a lot of things off of what I saw happen in Corvallis last year because I know that it works and believe it can touch a lot more people than producing just another "club" at the college level that looks a lot like what the other ministries do already. I can not wait to live out what God has put me here to do with the help of my friends and "family"

     I had a talk with a friend today about how sometimes God strips us of everything we know and everything we thought we knew to start us over and have his way with us. Sometimes we scream out as loud as we can "please! just show me a glimpse of what you are doing! why am I here?!" But remember.... he put his own son up on a cross. The most horrific way for someone to die. Jesus pleaded with his Father and yet there was no way out, but the result was the most beautiful gift anyone has ever seen. One of my good friends had a chance the other night while we were talking on the front porch swing to brag about his family and the inspiration his sister and her family is to him and hearing the excitement in his voice of what his sister was doing with her husband and small child was unbelievable. Dirt poor missionaries who are out not only helping people  but have created a Life and a Home for themselves and their little boy with what they have and who love Jesus like nothing I have ever heard of. You could see it in the way her brother was talking.   

     It's going to hurt and sometimes it just straight up sucks but ya know what? It's our choice day to day of how we can make where we are, what we are doing, not only a life of survival of what we think we need to be doing but a life where we live and thrive in a family with our eternal Father. Life becomes a Home.Surviving becomes Living.

     And I say this to my self but wake up in the morning with the sun and natural light, have a cup of coffee, some good breakfast and spend some time with God. Make your bed, take a shower, put on some clothes you feel good in and a smile. Take Him with you and take on whatever He is giving you that day.


Til the next new day ♥ ,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Forgotten or Desired

     Pictures were posted the other day. And if you've known me for a while now you might know what pictures I am talking about. He's blocked and so is she but that doesn't stop mutual friends (or even their photographer) from posting them all over facebook. It happened not even a year later. I would like to say that I'm fine. I would like to say that I'm ok but that would be lying. Part of me is happy for them. Part of me started crying. Part of me is glad that they found each other but another part of me just feels forgotten. It's not anything really against them, and everyone (including their photographer) has every right to post evidence of their friends celebration. I know it's nothing but the enemy but I just didn't know I was that easily forgotten.

   I live in central Arkansas now. I left everything I have ever known and put it in my car and moved it across the country. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and it was the first time that it actually hit me that I live 3,000 miles away and I have no idea what is happening in the PNW. I thought I have tried to keep in contact with people but apparently not that well. I miss a lot of people and as Conway hasn't really started to fill with college students yet it can get a little lonely at times especially after realizing that I am once again starting over. I do this to myself ya know. And I do have a great community surrounding me and is excited about life and getting Young Life rolling in central Arkansas both in Conway and North Little Rock and I must say, I am excited as well. College Life is getting started and Wednesday we have our first College Life outing I guess you can call it. We already know a handful of students and I am so excited to get the ball rolling with UCA, Hendrix and the Conway High Wampus Cats! (I am still trying to figure out what a Wampus cat is btw).

     I guess it just didn't hit me until now that life moves on. Even when I am gone, every time I move, life moves on. I think I am here to stay for though. At least for a while. My friends at camp use to joke about why it took me this long to move to the south and honestly I don't know. I do love it here - minus the humidity. And it makes it that much more exciting to go visit! I will be back in OR in less than a month for a couple weddings which despite who I know who I am going to run into I cannot be more excited for my friends. I know I am going to run into my old life. My old group of friends. The ones I don't really talk to anymore but for a good portion of my time in Corvallis, my life revolved around them. We had a reason we hung out and after that reason was gone ... it was gone. They are still all great people but you know how it is, awkward.
     It was drilled into me in high school that the greatest need of the human heart is to be understood. I would argue that the second greatest need is to be desired. We all want someone to want us. Make us feel important. Special. Beautiful. Needed. We want someone to be thinking about us when they are out of town. Call us. Remember us. Say our name. It is said that the greatest sound the ear can hear is it's own name. Having someone say your name is special. They know you. They acknowledge you. They remember who you are. Every time I meet someone for the second time I always reintroduce myself not because I forgot that we already met but because I assume that they don't remember meeting me. More often than not however I stand corrected and looking a little embarrassed. But I can't help but error on the side of "what if they don't remember me?"

    Anyway, new realizations come with a new life and I know there are pleanty of people who I love and cherish deeply who are desiring a relationship with me. The most important being God. My Lord. My Savior. My Truth. My Light. My Strength. My Everything. I have my cardboard testimony up on my wall still reminding me that I am:
 "Desired and Pursued by God. Innocent Again."
and that is how I will forever be. Not forgotten. Not lost. But forever desired.
Til the next new day ♥ ,

It Is Finished

Creation resounds the victorious words:
It is finished'
It is done
To the world salvation comes
We're alive!
Hell was silenced when you cried..
It is finished
It is done
Now completed the work of Love
He's alive!
Join the song of the ransomed bride
It is finished
It is finished
And it is finished!

     When Jesus was dying on the cross, hanging there as the sin of the world began to overtake the only perfect human to ever walk the earth, the last words that He said before He gave up His final breath were "it is finished." Over. Done. What he came here to do was complete and it was time to move on to the next stage of His mission. "Completed the work of Love." It's a beautiful picture really and yet throughout my life I continue to make it more complicated than it is when really the problem has already been solved. Nothing is bigger than God and what Jesus did for us and it's already been done. He already took care of the issue and solved the problem weather we accept it or not it's truth. Our sins have already been forgiven and put on that cross with our savior. "While we were still sinners Christ died for us" [romans 5:8]. It's the most beautiful dreadful picture in the whole world. You and me did that to a perfectly innocent man. And he volunteered. 

     My summer as the SharpTop Cove Administration Intern is also finished. I am back in Conway, AR now ready for new things and to start a new life. I left my life in Oregon on an interesting note and I'm not sure how closed that book was but it definitely time for a new book, or at least a new chapter. I said goodbye to all my friends the Lord placed in my life for the last 4 months and re packed my little car (again) and headed north, turned left at Tennessee and ended up in my new home. Whenever someone asks about my time at STC I think I always tell them what they weren't expecting to hear. I say it was good but hard and different than I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong I loved it and will forever cherish the memories, the people, the Georgia hills, the fireflies, the lessons, the work, and the excitement that is getting to experience what Young Life is really good at doing. Young Life camping, and Young Life camping in the South, is an unbelievable phenomenon that I thank God and men like Jim Rayburn, Herb Taylor and Sid Smith for fully understanding and figuring out the importance of what we do and why we do it. But for now all across the country it is finished. Everyone is going back to their home towns to start a new life. Weather it be a new life with Christ and their YL leader, or a new life just after camp. It is finished. But it's also just getting started. 
Til the next new day ♥ ,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Realization in Savannah

     I went into work this morning and all day I felt like people were saying "Hey I feel like I haven't seen you in like awhile!" Well that's because they hadn't, for the last two days I made my way down to GA Hwy 16 all the way to Savannah. This city had more history than I could ever imagine! I like the west side don't get me wrong but we do NOT have the history that this part of the country has. Savannah was amazing. It was just the little vacation I needed at the end of this crazy summer God has given me to be a part of.

     The first part I spent in the city. Historic downtown Savannah has so much to see weather it's by carriage, ship or trolley or walking the streets and poking your head into various shops full of nick-nacks and things we don't need. The main reason (and yes this is my Dork warning) is that Savannah happens to be home to the headquarters and birthplace of the Girl Scouts and Juliette Gordon Low. I have been a scout for 15 years and still going so seeing the birthplace house and going to the city where it all got started has been on my bucket list for a very long time.  It was so cool! At least I thought it was :) I knew a lot of the stories the guide was telling already but I loved seeing her house and her paintings and learning even more. That is one thing I loved about not only Savannah but being in this part of the country is how much history is here and everything that has happened here in our early days. The buildings are miraculous and you can feel the history when you walk into a room or down the cobble roads on River Street. I could have spent an entire weekend just on the river by the way. I loved it and I wish I could have spent more time there.

     I spent the next part of the trip on Tybee Island and got to truly be on the other side of the country. The Atlantic Ocean! It was cool but almost mind blowing because of how different the ocean is. First (and I hope this makes sense) but it was on the other side. In my mind and my internal compass was thrown off a little because of the side the ocean was on and where I was expecting it to be. Also... people were swimming in the ocean, and it was warm. People were just hanging out in the water like you would a pool or a lake. Until now my understanding in going to the beach meant that you probably needed to build a fire, it was going to be cold, really windy, you can wave jump if your ankles don't get frozen off and did I mention that it's cold? It was so cool to just sit on the beach, lay out and be in the water! It wasn't as clear and pretty but hey, it was still the ocean. Gorgeous in itself. But here was the biggest thing for me... on kind of a different note. I was perfectly comfortable laying out on the beach in my swimsuit and just relaxing. I didn't care what anyone else thought and I have also noticed that for the last couple days I had been wearing a lot of dresses and skirts. Do you know how long it has taken me to feel this way? For the first time in a long time I was feeling completely at home, comfortable and beautiful in my own body and skin the way God made me. An old friend of mine use to tell me a lot that he wanted me believe him when he told me I was beautiful. I mean I liked hearing him say it but at the time I NEEDED to hear it to believe it. I needed a second party to confirm what I wanted to know and even then I needed to hear it over and over again because I never really believed it for myself. Now this isn't suppose to start some pity party about how I have a low self esteem, I am merely saying that I realized this weekend that I am beautiful because this is exactly how I was made and looking in the mirror I was actually happy and excited to go out in public because I FELT beautiful. I know that it is true! I can lay on the beach in my swim suit because I like it and I can wear a dress because I want to not because my dad paid me and I can and will line dance down the cobble stone street because that is how happy I feel in the freedom to be me and not worry if anyone is watching.

     It was a realization that I have been waiting for for a while and it kind of snuck up on me to be honest. I know there are times where I am going to wish my hair would corporate or I just can't find anything to wear but :
- I know that this is how God made me,
- I can be confident in my own skin
- and I have every right and every freedom to be me! 
     Oh..,.. if anyone knows where to get a hulu girl for my car, please let me know. I have a disco ball and it needs someone to dance under it...... and because I really like the song Summer's Little Angel and sometimes, I like to think that song is about me :) just joking.... kinda...

Her daddy was a surfer, she grew up on the waves
Her mumma was a waitress, down in "Tiki Daves"
She was born in July, took her first steps in the sand
That's where she found her freeedom,
and that's where it all began

She's got a hula girl dancing on her dashboard
on her ankle there's a string of pukka shells
she leaves a trail of broken hearts along the seashore
she's summers lil angel

She's got freckles on her shoulders, tattooed by the sun
Little white tan lines where her bikini runs
She puts messages in bottles and sends them out to sea
Asking for her true love, thats how she got to me

She's got a hula girl dancing on her dashboard
on her ankle there's a string of pukka shells
she leaves a trail of broken hearts along the seashore
she's summers lil angel

Well summer came and went, just like the perfect wave
But I never will forget how she drove away

With a hula girl.... on her dashboard, I bet right now

She's got a hula girl dancing on her dashboard
on her ankle there's a string of pukka shells
she leaves a trail of broken hearts along the seashore
she's summers lil angel

Summers lil angel
I bet right now...
she's got a hula girl, dancing on her dashboard
summers lil angel

Til the next new day ♥ ,