Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Music to My Ears

I believe that it is hard to really love others if you don't make it a priority to love yourself.
So one way I am loving myself is through making it a priority to treat myself.
I love music, and I will be buying myself 10 new songs a month.

So this month I got 10 songs at: noisetrade 
This album I got is a collaboration of indie artists from Tennessee.
I was able to make a donation to the artists and get some great new songs.
Song #1: Just You 
 By: Amy Stroup

Song #2: The Ladder
By: Andrew Belle

Song #3: Not Foolin' Around Tonight
By: Butterfly Boucher

Song #4: On A Day Just Like Today
By: Gabe Dixon

Song #5: The Bed You Made
By: Jeremy Lister

Song #6: Where I Come From
By: K.S. Rhoads

Song #7: Free My Mind
By: Katie Herzig

Song #8: Home
By: Matthew Perryman

Song #9: Leave to See
By: Trent Dabbs

Song #10: The Only One
By: Tyler James

Listen to my favorite pick here: The Ladder

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coastal Postal

So I have a list of GOALS
I want to share living in an intentional way
 with my HEART, HEALTH, and HOPES.

  Heart Goal Update     
So I was always the kid who loved getting the mail.
To me, mail meant that someone was thinking about me. 
I checked the mailbox everyday on my way home from school.
I got excited whenever I got mail at camp, or sent mail on a vacation.    
 After moving, I decided to reawaken mail in my life so that I could stay intentionally connected.

Mail From The Heart:
Decorate the envelope
 Send someone you love a card just "because"
 Find Cards, Postcards, or Pictures that are specific to a person

(DIY) Creative Cards:

Idea #1: Magazine Mosaic Card
Put your old magazines to good use and  clip the pictures and words from your old magazines and paste them to a personalized card for someone.  You can even pre-clip things that you think would be great in a note and then store them in your craft closet.  I did this last week for a friend and she was impressed that I took the time to cut out the pieces and put it all together. This is also a way to send mail on a budget.

Idea #2: Holiday Cards Any Day!
Ok so I might be the only person crazy enough to do this, but I am encouraging you to send a holiday card anytime.  I always buy Christmas cards to send out and then I get busy, and sometimes I am left with stacks of cards that are taking up space. So recently I decided to send one of my best friends a Christmas card (yes in September).  I will be traveling back to Atlanta where she calls home so I figured out how many days till Christmas -- which is also around the time I get to see her and I wrote that down along with ways I am hoping to celebrate the holidays with her. I am sure cards sent like this are sure to stand out, make someone laugh a little, and more than anything let them know how special they are to you.

Idea #3: Very Vintage Post Card
Estate Sales, Thrift Stores, Vintage Stores, Your Grandmother's House...all might be locations old postcards live.  Shake off the dust and use them.  Sure maybe a note has already been scribbled on some of them, then matt the postcard with some pretty paper and mail it! For friends that love vintage and handmades, this is a sure way to send a note that brightens their day.

Question #5: What about your friends, family, and church?
- Most of my extended family lives on the West Coast :)
- I do miss my friends but I have been able to stay in touch with many of them.
- I loved my church in Dallas, but God works in more than one church!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Transformation Taking Place

373 Days Ago: I arrived in Oak Cliff (Dallas) ready to LOVE kids and the world through a year-round internship with Project Transformation.

In the past month I have been able to reflect. pray. cry. laugh. and more than anything truly think about what Transformation really took place in me.

Mummy Contest
So here are 10 ways Transformation has Taken Place:

1. I cry more, I used to think I was above crying, now I know I am a big softie.
It could be a little kid playing at a park, or a phrase like "exactly" that makes me think of the youth I worked with and the community that I came to love, and I get overwhelmed with how I saw God at work this year, and can't help but tear up.

2. I honestly get disappointed when I go to worship and we are not dancing as we sing.
Seriously, worship in my mind now means breaking it down and jumping around to songs with 100+ of my friends.

3. I have a really hard time throwing away toilet paper rolls.
I always think there could be a craft or project that uses toilet paper roles.

4. I miss group prayers and hearing "Dear Lord Jesus."
There is something so powerful when over 100+ people are on one accord and are praying together whether its before a meal, or before a night of worship.

5. I hate that nobody really "gets" my site stories.
So many times, something will remind me of an experience I had at site with PT and its hard to even begin to share.

6. I have all of these phrases that I say that nobody else uses or understands, instead I just get weird looks.
I still find my self saying "dot com" on the end of things (thanks Cordell Simmons) and once I caught myself saying PTlationship and then I realized I might as well be speaking in a completely different language.

7. I still can't get used to not having a roommate especially after living with about 100 people.
Seriously, I jump at every sound, and a part of me wishes its club SAE or the guys playing basketball behind SAE, but then realize its just the fridge making a sound.  Living in community has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, living with others who are passionate about God and serving His children has been one of the most amazing blessings I have ever experienced.

8. I get excited whenever I hear Spanish, even though I only know about 10 Spanish words.
I know this may at first sound silly, but after serving at Wesley Rankin, I began to love the rich Mexican-American culture and heritage that was so much a part of the community.  Before I became an intern with PT I didn't know any Spanish, and I also didn't know much about Mexican culture.  I came to love much more than the elotes(corn) and street tacos, and left with a deep respect of all the amazing aspects of Mexican American culture including the strong family ties, the way communities truly work together, and the clear way that parents value education.

9. I miss a group of about 40 teenagers in a way that most people cannot understand.
I honestly think about the youth all the time, God has carved a special place in my heart where only my youth fit.  After hearing so many of their stories, my kids truly began to hold a place in my heart that made it so hard to leave.  I find myself wondering how they are doing in school, or if someone is giving that one kid who some see as trouble the attention he doesn't get at home.  More than anything I find myself praying for some youth from West Dallas, that I did not even know a year ago.

10. I not only just sing "Oh who will build the church now" out of habit, but now as I sing these words I truly think, who will build the church NOW?
I think that God is calling us as his people whether we are college students, recent grads, retired reading volunteers, or just your average joe to live intentionally to build the church.  Not only do I think this, I now know that jenga means "to build" which is a continual action.  So we are called to continually act in a way that is building God's kingdom.

Wesley Rankin Family Fun Night

Question #4: What are you going to do for work?
- I am excited to announce that I will be working with Young Life.
- I get to continue loving on youth and pointing them to Jesus.
- Please pray for me ---- pray that my words and actions point to Jesus.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kickin' it Still Involves Movement

So I am officially kickin' it with Jesus, my family, and my new friends.
I will be working to save $, and to regain focus for the next chapter.
I have come to the realization that this is a chapter within itself.
I am making it a point to spend my time intentionally.

So in order to direct my time I have created GOALS.

Heart Goals
 Explore Interests:
- Complete a sewing or crochet project
- Take music lessons (guitar hopefully)
- Blog twice a week

Love is an Action:
- Send snail mail twice a week
- Complete a significant act of kindness for my grandparents once a week

Make Memories:
- Take the time to do special things with my grandparents
- Go to Seattle once a month to hang out with my cousins

Health Goals
Always Active:
- Be active 4 x's a week.
- Mix it up (bike, kayak, zumba)

Eat Good Food:
- Seriously! Pick yummy fruits, veggies and whole grains when shopping
- Try new recipes

Mind Matters:
- Read 1 book a month

Treat myself: 
- Buy 10 songs a month
- 100$ a month for me

Hope Goals
Study the Word:
- Find a good reading plan
- Read 15 mins a day in the Bible
- Maintain current devotional study

Financial Freedom:
- Save $2,500 by May
- Thrift like a pro

Pursue the Future Path:
- Visit Seminaries
- Pray about Missions, and learn about different mission programs
- Study culture

Question # 3: How long will you stay?
--- I do not know how long I will stay in Grays Harbor or Washington for that matter.
--- I could here 2 months or 2 years.
--- I would love to start pursuing/making plans for going out of the country to serve and/or seminary.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Seaside Sabbatical

Question #1: Why this town?

--- It is absolutely gorgeous - The perfect getaway (lake, beach, and mountains)
--- Some of my favorite people (my grandparents) call Grays Harbor home 

Question # 2: Why the change?


--- I needed to set time aside for God, myself,  and to make memories with my family
--- The Lord has called me to take a Sabbatical

So many people have heard of a sabbatical, college professors take them, some people take them to "find themselves" or to travel and accomplish some lifelong goal.  So many of you might find yourselves asking a question that I started to stumble on a couple of weeks ago.  What really is a Sabbatical, and why would God call me a 23 year old who is PUMPED about life, and ready for any adventure to take one? 

    (ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA):  Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work. The foundational Bible passage for sabbatical concepts is Genesis 2:2-3, in which God rested (literally, "ceased" from his labor) after creating the universe, and it is applied to people (Jew and Gentile, slave and free.)

So join me in this journey as I figure out what it means to rest, to abide in God and to regain focus. I have made goals for my time, which I know seems to be the opposite of resting, but I do not want to waste my time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tick Tock

Project Transformation (Dallas,TX)

Celebrated my B.Day and Easter (On the same day too.)

Finished Project Transformation After-School Program
Went to Atlanta (loved me some time with the fam, and my best friends for life)

PT Summer! 

PT Summer!
Went Atlanta for my cousins wedding. Congrats Katie and Kevin.

Project Transformation ENDED (Yes I did cry, those were an amazing 11 months)
Urban Camp (Wore my lifetime share of yellow)
Wesley Rankin Science Camp (Awesome field trips with some pretty cool kids!)

So NOW, I find my self living in a small ocean community about 2 hours south of Seattle.  Its a small town where you see people you know all the time.  Its the kind of place where eating dinner with 4 extra people is considered a party (although I think Jesus would totally be fan of this.)

why this town 
why the change
 how long will you stay
what are you going to do for work
what about your friends, family, church
what are you going to do with your life

The ANSWERS are to come.  Although I don't even know all of them myself...prepare yourself, for my story is a little wacky, unpredictable, and as I am convinced rarely boring (cause God doesn't like boring!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Joyful Joyful

My all time favorite movie is SISTER ACT 2.... I love the combo of tough youth, with a crazy but determined teacher...and the fact that 80's clothing is a part of the mix just makes it pretty much the greatest movie of ALL TIME.

All this to say that the last song they sing in the movie (Joyful Joyful)  is of course amazing.  I love that God is the provider of Joy...He is the giver of immortal gladness.  Today in church we talked about being content (joyful) rather in ALL circumstances.

As many of my friends and family know the last few weeks have been trying, here are some things that have gone down.

--- Total blessing (check the story out in previous blog)
--- I lost the income I used for grocery money
--- I had a crazy allergic reaction (that lasted for 5 days)
--- I got sick :(

 With this said, I have had more joy and  in the midst of these trials than I did beforehand.  God has proven Himself to be more than enough.  He has given me joy that is hard to put into words.  I have learned that no circumstance no matter how challenging changes his character, strength or position in my life.  I hope that wherever you find yourself whether in abundance or need that you REJOICE for He is ever-present and faithful!

Check out the Video and Philippians 4:10-13 and Isaiah 40:31