Thursday, May 26, 2011

So I'm a pretty terrible blogger. Oh well. 2nd post of 2011 and we're not halfway through the year yet so I'm doing alright.

I am now a K-State graduate. Hooray! Actually, it's kind of bizarre. I had no idea that so much could happen in 4 years or that it could go so quickly. College has been awesome. I had some of the highest and lowest points of my life so far but have learned so much and hopefully grown. Now I'm feeling kind of sentimental so I'mgoing to do a little college collage.

Freshman Year:
Rooming with the lovely Anna Corey was wonderful and we had SO many great nights full of laughter, way too much junk food, and minimal studying. Freshman year was also when I met Diana and the three of us hung out ALL the time. Here is just one example.

I think it was around this time that some girl knocked on our door and told us to shut up.
Anyway, we had a blast. And I definitely learned so much about friendship and loving people well. These two definitely had the most impact on my life that year.

Sophomore Year:
Sophomore year I became an RA at West Hall which was wonderful. I had an incredible floor and made some close bonds with the rest of the staff. This year was also really hard for me. I struggled with depression more than I ever have and was at one of my lowest points. Thankfully, I serve a God who does not abandon and He used people in my life to get me through and teach me more about depending on Him. Diana played a huge role in that, as did my dear friend Meg who I became closeto this year. I also started going to Ichthus sophomore year which had a huge effect on my Junior and Senior years.
A little taste of Sophomore year:
One of the many walks we took on the Konza.

Junior Year:
Junior year started out with me as the RA in the basement of Smurthwaite for overflow students. I had been praying all summer that Jesus would really use me in my RA job, and boy did he. The issues and challenges that my residents were facing was overwhelming to say the least. That basement was one of the most spiritually oppressed places I have ever been in. But I think that Jesus did use me as a light and I was able to help the girls. Second semester I went back to West and that was wonderful. That semester I really got close to a lot of the staff, especially my good friend Joel. We had some really great conversations about life and everything that goes with it during the course of that semester. But truly the whole staff was incredible and I loved each of them so much.

Hanging on the Bluestem patio.

Senior Year:
This year I moved out of the Residence Halls and got a house with 6 of the most incredible gals ever. I also led an Ichthus Lifegroup that's missional focus was Ogden, where I also did my Family Studies internship. I feel like I'm still processing this year so I won't say too much about it. What I will say is that I don't think God has ever put more wonderful, encouraging, genuine people in my life all at the same time.

The ballin' ladies of 1511worth. Best.Lifegroup.Ever. Before the Ichthus Banquet.

So that is 4 years in a very small nutshell without any previous thought to what I would include. I'm really excited for the future and for my new job, which I will *try* to remember to blog about in the near future.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ogden, KS.

Population: Around 2,000.

People below thePoverty Level: Around 23%, about double the state average.

There is need in Ogden. Lots of it.

I am growing to love Ogden. God is putting a passion for it in my heart - for its people. Especially for its children. Some of them don't really have a chance. The odds are stacked against them. Their parents are drug and alcohol users and abusers. Or just unemployed and uneducated and doing their best to put food on the table. They've been shuffled around the state and country so that when they wind up [back] in Ogden for 5th grade, they've already gone to 5 0r 6 different schools.
They are starved for attention. After I've talked with them once, maybe twice, they cling to me, they hang on me, they hug me, they hold my hand - they tell me that I'm their best friend. Sometimes I can't even remember their names - but they always remember my name. They light up when I smile at them. They burst with pride if I compliment them on a job well done.

Jesus loves Ogden. I know He does. He loves the children and he loves the parents - the parents that I have a hard time not judging. They have a story. Somehow along the way in their story, they've gotten to the point where they neglect their children or develop a drug or alcohol addiction. I don't know their stories. I can't judge them. I need to love them, like Jesus loves them.

I'm trying to figure out what God wants me to do next in Ogden. How do I get people excited about it? How do I make people understand that by going and hanging out with the kids they're bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth? How do I help cultivate fertile soil in the heart's of the people I interact with? Am I supposed to move to Ogden? Does God want me to stay in Manhattan/Ogden after graduation? Will my work there be finished in May or does He have something more in store for me? These are my questions. I have faith that He will make the way clear. In the mean time, I'm just doing my best to obey and to love.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This has been quite the year.
I got to be an Aunt x2. (My nephews are the cutest and the best. Don't even try to argue otherwise.)
I wrestled with, and am still wrestling with, some big questions related to God, the world, and my place here. But Jesus is always faithful and I hope and pray that I come out of this closer to Him than where I started.
I've learned a lot. I made some pretty big mistakes but learned from each one.
I've gotten to know some people that have forever changed my life. Especially a few people who look at the world completely different than I do and have challenged me in a lot of ways.
I have allowed my heart to heal from some things that happened in the past and it has been a painful process, but the good kind of pain - the kind of pain that you know is getting you somewhere. I'm still in some of that, but it's worth it.
(Nerd moment: I've been re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia and in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Aslan helps Eustace stop being a dragon and become a human again and tears his skin away... that's what I feel like has been happening.)

In this next year, I will graduate from K-State. That part of my life will be over. And that is CRAZY to me. I probably won't ever be in Manhattan again for more than a couple days. There will be people that I never see again. But more importantly, there will be people that I stay in touch with and continue to go through life with.
I'll start working, hopefully at the Wyandot Center again and figure out where I want to go to graduate school and what exactly I want to do.
I'm excited.

One last thought that has been impacting me a lot:

"Hope is about choosing to believe that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us" -Anne Lamott

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pain and Triumph

This semester has been an interesting one. Not what I expected.

I came into this semester expecting an easy class load, more time on my hands than when I was an RA, and a passion for Jesus that wasn't going to be diminished.
Whoops. None of those have proven to be true - Two of those things are out of my control and, more importantly, one part is in my control. Can you guess which are which?

This semester has been rough. I've been dealing with a lot internally. Big questions. Like, Jesus, where are you when 3 year old babies are being trafficked for sex? Jesus, how can I do anything to help the brokenness of the world? Where do I start? How do I tell a girl who has been neglected by her father to trust our Heavenly Father? And instead of really wrestling through those questions in prayer and God's Word, I just kept pushing those questions aside. "They're too big. I don't have enough time. What if I don't like the answers?" Those are my excuses. Needless to say, my relationship with Jesus suffered. In a talk a few weeks ago, John Schwartz gave the analogy that someone who has those questions and did what I did is like someone sitting down in the middle of a battlefield and just giving up.

Then my dear friend's brother was killed in a car accident and I was privileged to spend the next week directly following his death with her and her parents. I witnessed raw grief as I had never seen before. I learned what it really means to "mourn with those that mourn". And then I witnessed her 60-something dad give his life to Jesus.

I can't afford to sit down on the battlefield. The battlefield isn't a fun place to be but we're fighting a battle and we know the outcome. Jesus is victorious. I still don't have the answers. I don't know how to fix the world. Sometimes I feel paralyzed by the enormity of suffering around me. But then I look to the Head. I ask Him where He wants me and I focus all of my attention there.

And that's enough.

That's what He asks for.

I can do that.

Monday, August 2, 2010

4 days left

I have four days left at my job this summer. I've been working at the Wyandot Center in a summer treatment program for kids that have been diagnosed with an SED (Severe Emotional Disturbance). The summer has not been what I expected. In some ways it has been better and in some ways worse. I'm writing this on the one of the worst days I've had this summer so I'm going to try not to let that cloud the summer as a whole.

I started typing a whole description of my summer, but decided against it. It's really hard to describe my job to people who haven't been there - and I don't say that in a pretentious or arrogant way. I thought that I knew a lot about mental illness and about kids when I started the summer and I have come to realize throughout the summer how much I don't know. Every single kid is different, and every single kid's illness manifests itself in a different way. These kids have gone through more in their short 11 years of life than many adults I know have gone through.

There are times when I get angry with these kids and it takes every ounce of strength I have not to let it show. When it's hard for me to love them. When I would rather be at home sleeping. But at the end of the day, I'm so thankful for this summer. I have learned so much and virtually all of it has been taught by the kids.

I'll never forget them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In some ways this summer has been incredible, and in other ways, well, it hasn't.

My job is wonderful. I have been so blessed by the kids I'm working with and have been learning a lot about myself, and what I want to do with my life in the future. My patience is tested day after day and I have begun to learn what I have to do to avoid burn out. I've been wrestling with how to show Jesus in implicit, rather than explicit, ways. I have awesome co-workers who encourage me and keep me sane.

Living at home as been so good. It's been peaceful. It's been restful. It's been exactly what I've needed.

Vineyard is exactly the church I need to be at this summer and God has continued to show me that. The way that He orchestrated my being there again has been obvious proof of His will for my life.

But I have put my relationship with Jesus on the back burner. I have been convicted of sin in my life that I knew I would be confronted by the moment I opened the Word and started listening. So I didn't. I avoided it. Until last night. And, of course, Jesus confronted me in His firm, but gentle way. And I listened to Him. Finally. And a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel so free. Things are not perfect. There is work still to be done. But I've finally stopped trying to do it myself and have given Him the reins. Praise be to Jesus, who knows what He's doing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I might be wrong

Ohhhh, pride.
It's something I struggle with a lot. a lot.
Jesus is teaching me that even when I think I'm right, I might be wrong.
There are few things of which I can be absolutely certain:
I am a sinner.
While I was still a sinner Christ died for me. And rose again.
I need to live my life for him.

Other than that, I could be wrong.