It’s November!?

WOW. I promise I didn’t mean to ignore you. Life has been such a roller coaster of excitement! I cannot believe almost 2 1/2 months have passed! This wedding is getting closer than I thought! Words cannot even begin to describe the happiness I have been feeling. I am so truly blessed to have such an amazing support system of family and friends! Student teaching as been wonderful, not to mention my 28 little kiddos are completely awesome! God has blessed me with most perfectly imperfect classroom. He has challenged me in so many ways and I am so thankful for every single one of them! School has been super busy and filled with projects after projects, not to mention a mini work sample unit! I know it is a lot of work, but this will only help prepare me for the future. I have been so busy planning lessons and doing projects that my social life has been put on hold. On the other hand, I am so blessed that God has blessed me with lots of friends who’ve reached out to me in this time of stress and have helped me get through the hard and stressful times! Coaching has been crazy as well, not a surprise! I added 10 new talented young woman to my team. Now I currently have a full squad of 20! Most people would say YIKES, but I say YES! I love showing new girls the passion I once had in high school. This was my outlet and I hope inspire others to show them that this could be theirs as well. Well Halloween and Thanksgiving were the last two holidays we just celebrated and I was so lucky to be able to spend them with my sweetie! I am so blessed that God has blessed me with more time with my fiancé. Only seeing each other every other weekend has been rough, but in the end it is totally worth it! God always makes it worth it.

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13

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Holy Crap! I’m Engaged!

That’s right, you read it correctly, I’m engaged!

I’m gonna be honest…I have really be slacking on updating this whole blog thing. Life has just been crazy and is about to get even crazier!

Let’s start where I left off. I have been staying extremely busy with student teaching and coaching! My girls are doing fabulous and I get to meet my little fourth grade kiddos tomorrow! I am beyond excited!

This big weekend extravaganza started basically on Sunday! I was finally able to see Jonathon after patiently waiting for 2 weeks. I had a fun-filled weekend all planned out to celebrate his 24th birthday! Little did I know, that my plan was nothing compared to his!

We started out by going to church, before we headed to Pacific City. We listened to Pastor Barry’s amazing sermon on New Beginnings. He gave a wonderful sermon about how new and exciting things are about to happen and how they could even happen today! Coincidence vs. God’s Perfect Timing? God’s Perfect Timing HANDS DOWN!

After church we headed to have lunch with my parents to celebrate Jon’s birthday and then headed to the beach. On the way to the beach I remember telling Jonathon how excited I was to go back to Pacific City because this is where I knew I was in love with him (another coincidence? I think not!).

As we arrived at the beach we decided to hike up the big sand dune. It took us about 30 minutes to climb because I was being such a baby and my calves were burning like NO BODY’S BUSINESS! Needless to say, Jonathon basically dragged me up the hill half of the way. Finally we made it to the top and sat up there for a while and people watching and relaxing.

We then headed back down the hill and walked along the beach. We admired all the dogs and I wrote our names in the sand, cause doesn’t that what everyone else does at the beach? By this time I was hungry so we decided to go eat at the Pelican Pub. Of course, it was an hour and a half wait, and Jonathon said that he was starving so we settled for Ben and Jeff’s Taco and Burger Restaurant! (I found out later Jonathon wasn’t even hungry at all, but he couldn’t wait an hour and a half to eat because we had to make it to Cape Kiwanda by sunset).

I ate my yummy fish tacos and drank a Full Sail IPA and Jonathon had fish and chips and a chocolate milkshake. Finally after we ate Jonathon and I started the walk out to Cape Kiwanda (the big cliff). We finally made it to the starting path of Cape Kiwanda, when I told Jonathon that I didn’t want to go any further because the path out to the cape looked very sketchy! The path rides along the edge of the cliff and one wrong move and you are free falling at least 100 feet down.

We settled in safer spot looking at the sunset, but then three very chatty ladies were ruining the ambiance, and Jonathon finally convinced me to climb up the sketchy path to Cape Kiwanda. By this point, I could tell he was a little irritated haha (: Not to mention that I had been complaining the last 20 minutes about how bad I need to go to the bathroom. I’m sure by this point Jonathon was probably going insane about all the “problems” arising. Looking back now, all I can do is laugh because I know I can make life so difficult for him sometimes, but yet he still loves me the same (:

I remember praying right before I headed on the trail. I asked the Lord for his protection and safety as we crossed over. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace that God had everything under control (and boy he did!).

We carefully and safely make it across the path and Jonathon finds the most perfect spot to watch the sunset.

We sat there just admiring when Jonathon started to talk. I didn’t notice anything different in his tone, but I knew it was going to be a somewhat deep talk. Some ask how come I didn’t know he was about to propose? My answer for that is Jonathon and I always seem to have deep talks, so I thought nothing of it. He started talking about what Pastor Barry said in his sermon earlier in church, how I said I fell in love with him year over a year ago in this very spot, and how he thought this place is truly special to us.

Then all of a sudden….he stands up and is digging in his pants pocket and I bluntly ask, “What are you doing?” Legitimately not knowing at all what was going on. I thought he was looking for my cellphone, because he has been holding my phone in his pocket all day. Completely caught off guard he said Michele, and got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?”

From that point on, much of the next few minutes is a blur of me screaming “Oh My God” and a rushing flow of joyful tears, smiles, and laughter. I barely can get the “YES!” out of my mouth because I was in so much shock! He grabbed my left hand and slid on the MOST gorgeous ring I have ever seen in my entire life!

We spent the next few minutes of me sobbing and laughing in his arms! Of course I got mascara all over his white sweatshirt (:

Then I remember thinking to myself, man I wish there was a photographer here to document this moment…then about a minute later, a random lady came up to us and said, “I think you two need your picture taken.” I look and Jonathon for an answer, but he had none for me. A complete stranger came up to us and asked to take our picture. Turns out she had no idea what had just happened AND that she is a professional photographer! SCORE! My prayers were answered!

Of course right after, I called my mother screaming and crying! Turns out Dad already knew about the whole plan, but of course Mom didn’t know. Obviously because she gets too excited (: and cannot hide that big of a secret from me (:

We spent the rest of the evening calling friends and family! It was such an amazing experience! I am so blessed to have such an amazing fiancé! He truly knows me better than anyone and always puts the Lord as the center of our relationship!

The next day we had a fun-filled day spent at the Oregon State Fair and Jake Owen Concert. We had so much fun just celebrating with great family and friends!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

God is always planting new seeds for us. He wants us to open our eyes and realize what he is doing in our lives! New beginnings are happening every day! Big and small all over the world. Trust God in these new beginnings in life and really listen to what he is calling you to do!

Throughout this whole weekend, I have only experience Joy! And I have found out that his joy can only be found through God. I am so, so blessed, but all the praise and thanks has to go to the big Guy upstairs, because he is the TRUE GOD OF JOY!

Simply Bliss

WOW! It has been WAY too long since I have written last! So much has happened in the  last 20 days. Words cannot describe how blessed I have been through the rest of my summer journey!

Here’s the recap! I left Breakaway on August 14th, of course, bawling my eyes out as I said good-bye to my family. Yes I said it, my family. In the midst of all the chaos we bonded together like brothers and sisters.

Life was a hard adjustment at first. I didn’t really know what to do when I got home. I missed waking up by my sister Sarah, laughing with the boys in the kitchen, and staying up super late just diving into the Word.

I started practice the day I got home. I have 12 amazing, beautiful young woman on my junior varsity cheerleading team! At first I had my reservations, but these girls are doing AWESOME! They are such hard workers and are so determined to succeed!

I had lunch with two of the most amazing role models in my life: Kathie and Annaleah. It was just what I need to regain my focus back on life at home. Both of these women have taught me so much and really have helped me in my journey this last year. I am so blessed that I was able to reconnect with them. Not to mention catching up with lots of other friends!

I was able to hang out with my two beautiful best friends Emily and Bibi a few nights. Spend a couple evenings with Katy and Meagan. Also having a chill night at the Ram with Matthew! I have also mean’t some new friends during the process!

Currently I haven’t seen Jonathon since his mother’s surgery on August 15th. It has been really hard to see each other because of our conflicting work schedules, but all is well because he is coming to hang out with me for a few days to celebrate his birthday! We have a very exciting weekend filled with the beach, fair, concert, and spending time catching up with friends! And the best news of all is that mom is doing great!

I think part of the rough transition back at home was dealing with my body image. I gained about 5 pounds when I was away at summer. And I’m sure you’re thinking, 5 pounds no big deal, but it was a huge deal to me. I have always been self-concious about my body image and I finally was just tired of being upset with the way I looked.

So I decided to make a change. I made a promise to myself to start eating better and working out more. The goal is not to lose a whole bunch of wait to just gain it all back, but just to make a healthy change in my life. I have been working out 6 days a week and watching what I eat. Truth is changing your body is about 70-80% of what you it and only 30-20% of how you exercise. Sometimes we forget its that what goes into our bodies could be doing more damage then what we think.

To be honest, eating cookies every meal at camp was the best choice haha. I have been working out for a total of 2 weeks now and have lost 6 pounds healthily! I just want to maintain a healthy! This has definitely been a self-confidence booster!

Now…to the MOST exciting news! I GOT PLACED FOR MY STUDENT TEACHING! I have been waiting and waiting for this day to happen. I remember seeing other friends post all over their facebooks that they received their placements and I was just so jealous, which is not a good thing either!

I finally decided to check my inbox and about passed out when I saw that e-mail that I got placed! I am placed at school that is truly inspirational. The staff is like a big, happy family and everyone is so welcoming and inviting!

I have been working at my school for the last 3 days and every day I realize how truly blessed I am to have such a unique opportunity. I know the Lord is going to do GREAT things in this school and I am so blessed that this is part of his plan!

My mentor teacher, Stephanie, is such a loving and caring woman. She has a heart of gold and loves on kids like I have never seen before. She has a grounded faith in God and this truly is shown through her love for these kids! I am so blessed to have a mentor teacher who is Christ-centered! It has really opened up my eyes and I know I will be able to learn a lot from her this school year!

Our first day of school is next Wednesday and I am full of mixed emotions about how this day is going to go! I have been waiting for this day for so long and I cannot believe it is almost here!

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers this coming week as I embark on a journey that I have been waiting for since I completed fourth grade!

“And this is my prater: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of sight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the fay of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11.

Spread the love

God is so good! He is so, so good!

Life here at camp is surreal. I see broken kids everywhere. Kids with real problems, kids with problems bigger than my own and they are half my age. Kids battling abuse, divorce, neglect, bullying, feeling alone, eating disorders, suicide, pressure, and death. The list is endless.

Some of these kids suffer more right now, then some ever will in their whole life. It makes me think twice about how we should talk and treat kids. I mean, we don’t always know their background, history, and lives. We make judgments based on looks and personalities.

Truth is kids aren’t as superficial as they may seem or put off to seem.

Kids are really broken inside, and the only cure for this broken heart is Jesus. So the next time we scold a kid, yell at a kid, or respond to a kid in a negative way, stop and think. How can you show this child Jesus? How would Jesus handle the situation?

We are not perfect, we will mistakes because we are sinful in nature,  but if we just make a small effort to treat all kids with respect, this world could be a little bit brighter!

Take the time to get to know kids, surround yourselves with them, be there for them, and most of all love on them!

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

The Lord commands us to love one another as he loves us! Today I challenge you! Spread a little love, with your kids, with your enemies, with strangers! I know it’s easier said than do, but let’s all try to spread some love today!

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Without blemish

Wow, it has been a too long since I’ve blogged recently. Time has been flying by so fast here at camp! Let me get you caught back up to speed.

On Wednesday August 1st it was my first day off in 8 days. Talk about relief! I headed east to Hood River to visit my boyfriend Jonathon. Prior to him getting off work, I had breakfast with my amazing friend Megan. It was great to see her smiling face and just be able to vent to her about my life! I love this girl because she truly understands me!

After a quick breakfast, I met Jonathon after work and we planned to spend the day around Hood River and at Marina Beach! Of course, I didn’t bring my swimsuit, because the only one I had with me was a horrendous one-piece speedo and I was not about to flaunt that on the beach!

We drove all over town trying to find a cheap cost-affective swimsuit! Ladies and Gentleman! Breaking News! If you are not willing to spend at least $60 per piece on a swim suit forget about it! Hood River is fresh out of swimsuits in August!

No worries, I bought at make-shift swimsuit from Walmart for $10. This consisted of a clearanced $5 yellow swimsuit bottom and a clearanced $5 tank top, hey it worked great!

We spent the rest of our day hanging down at Marina Beach watching windsurfers and kite boarders. It was definitely a much needed day of relaxation!

I headed out for the 2.5 hour drive back to camp and was ready to start my 6th out of 8 camps for my time here at Breakaway!

We continued on our 6th group of kids and gave them one of the best weeks of their lives! Again I was blessed to be able to drive the boat again, but unfortunately the tubes didn’t make it! ): Within a matter of a couple of hours both of the tubes became deflated! Luckily we were able to temporarily fix them aka shoving a whole bunch of lifejackets into the tube covering and prayed the kids would get some type of ride! What a disaster, but a major blessing at the same time!

This last Saturday my parents made the trip up to visit me! It was a pretty rough drive from what I heard!

Plus the traffic was backed up pretty bad on Highway 26 and 101. Finally, my parents made it after a long, miserable truck ride in 90+ degree weather!

We relaxed on the beach, where it was nice and cool, and just talked and caught up on life! We headed out to dinner at Dooger’s Seafood and enjoyed an amazing meal! We also walked down the promenade, drank some milkshakes, and drove on the Gearhart beach!

The sunset was so beautiful! It reminds me of how amazing God’s creation really is! “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

 

 

 

The beauty of God’s creation is speechless to me. No words can describe it’s beauty and wonder! I am so blessed to be able to experience this with great friends and family!

Now finally to today! Today some of my amazing friends drove up to see me! These two beautiful women are like my mentors and role models! They both hold me to high expectations and love me unconditionally as a sister in Christ! I am so blessed to have them in my life! 

We started out our day great by visiting the wonderful Hug Point!

Man it was wonderful all right, but we didn’t know exactly what we were looking for! There were so many rocks. So we decided that all the rocks there were Hug Point!

We took lots of pictures and walked around the beach!

We next headed to Ecola State Park where we had a small nature walk and took pictures by the viewpoint!

We laughed and caught up on life the whole way there! It’s crazy how much can happen in a short couple of months.

Then we headed to Norma’s for lunch and indulged in a delicious meal. Of course, I had the crab cakes, I’m pretty much addicted!

That is the third time since I have been in Seaside that I have eaten crab cakes!

We then walked on the Promenade and sat on the beach for over and hour and just laughed and talked about all of our future plans!

We then headed to the ice cream and candy shoppe for some goodies!

I had deep friend oreos, Danielle had a deep fried 3 Musketeers bar, and Kathie had birthday cake ice cream on a cookie cone. They were all yummy, but I wish my deep fried oreos were a little crunchier. I can’t forget to mention the $16 bag of salt water taffy that Danielle bought, and the $10 bag of salt water taffy Kathie bought! Let me tell you, it was all worth it! Some of the best and freshest taffy in Oregon! I’m sure they ate it all on the way home so they didn’t have to share it with their husbands and children (:

We then headed back to the car and drove to the outlet mall for some shopping! I ended up buying a book from the christian book store and Jessica’s baby shower gift (I would post a picture, but then she might snoop on here and see it)! When we realized traffic was backed up, I convinced Danielle and Kathie to stay for dinner at Breakaway! We shared a meal with some amazing assignment team members and just enjoyed each other’s company before we had to say our goodbyes!

We had such an amazing day! I am so blessed to have such amazing friends who take the time to spend time with me!

It is so humbling to know that God placed people on earth to teach us things. I keep coming back to this key point: community. God is calling us to be in community with one another! To rely on each other, hold each other accountable, and love each other! Words cannot describe how these two women have/are impacting my life! They are such amazing role models and I look up to them for guidance! I am so, so blessed! This reminds me of a verse I read in Colossians, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you and by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. ” Colossians 1:21-22.

God has saved us. He died for us on the cross and forgave us of our sins. He is telling us we are reconciled and our chains have been broken. We are no longer chained to our sin.

This reminds me of how blessed I am to have friends who lift me up. I am tired of surrounding myself with people who are selfish. I know I’m not perfect either, but the Lord has definitely been leading my heart to surround myself with other people who challenge me and lift me up, and not ones that bring me down.

I am tired of being bogged down by others’ blemishes and disinterest in my life. I have too many people who are willing to stand by my side and challenge me to be a better woman of God and who help me glorify Him.

 

Being obedient

Obedience.

Definition: 1 a: an act or instance of obeying b : the quality or state of being obedient.

I find it very difficult to be obedient sometimes. For example, when my parents would ask me to pick up dog poop in the backyard, I refused to do it. No matter the consequences or rewards. I absolutely refused.

Being obedient to teachers and coaches. I hated running the mile in PE class. I felt like it was just a pointless activity to see who was the fastest. Also, when coaches would give orders to do something that seemed impossible, I always dreaded conditioning.

How can we forget about our obedience to God? I struggle with this one the most. I struggle being obedient to God because I believe I have it all figured out. I believe I have complete control in my life and that I can make my own decisions. Better yet, that the outcome of my life is controlled by me.

What I have realized is that God is begging for us to be obedient, he is laying our life out in front of us, all we have to do is listen and follow.

Easier said then done, right?

I have realized that I can’t do it on my own anymore. I have realized how much I really do need him. More than ever now.

“But [God] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!”                                              Philippians 2:7-8

If my Lord, God, and Savior was obedient to death on the cross to die for me and all of my sins, then I can sure as heck be obedient to what he calls me to do. He died, so I can have a life full of love and grace.

His plan for me is better than any other plan that I could make for myself, so why do I resist? Why do I try to do it on my own?

Letting God have control is a scary step to take, but I promise it will be the best step you ever take. God brings peace, and most of all brings hope! He always provides. There is nothing better than a God who is always there for you.

This reminds me of an amazing song by Hillsong United, “Father”

“Father
Let heaven and earth collide
In the endless wonder
Of Your love upon the cross
We will follow
And offer this life forever
To see Your love unfold.”

Step back put your sword away

What I am about to say may sound crazy, may sound bizarre, or maybe they sound like hope. I have literally been mind blown since 7:30pm this evening. God has literally been so evident in my life, that I cannot even begin to express how. My words will never be able to give justice to how blessed I am to have been able to receive this moment.

This may make no sense, this may be a huge ramble, but God knows my heart and that is all that matters. You can judge this, critique this, and even rip this apart, but I promise this has caused me to rethink my relationship with Jesus.

I give all the glory to Jesus for this evening. He definitely used people here at Breakaway to catch my attention. I literally feel like Jesus reached out his hand and said “Michele, come with me. I’m still here. I never left you.”

Let’s back up around 7:30-8:00pm, Shane and I are in the kitchen cleaning the griddle, which I have been frustrated with all day, and out of no where, which probably was not really no where, Shane says something along the lines of, “How are you doing? Really how are you doing?” Normally, I would just say, “I’m great,” but something was telling me to be honest. Something was telling me not to lie, not beat-around-the-bush, not to fake it, not to do anything but tell the truth.

So this is how it started, a real conversation between two friends. A conversation between two people who care about each other, who want to help each other, who want to help each other grow. This all started because someone said, “Hey How are you really doing?” There is so much power in that word “really.” It just conveys that “I’m not messing around, tell me what’s really going on” meaning.

So I did. I shared my struggles. I shared my pain. I shared my heart. A real one-on-one connection where the Lord was using Shane to get through my stubbornness. The whole time Shane is sharing his experience, his knowledge, and his thoughts, I am being convicted by the Lord, in a good and bad way.

A huge rush of emotion is flooding my mind, overwhelming me to the point where I cannot even hide it. It feels like it is written across face with black marker. I feel all the labels pouring out: Luke Warm, Envious, Doubtful, Jealous, Self-Concious, Promiscuous, Liar, and most of all Sinner.

I feel my sin is just vomiting out of my mind onto the floor. It was the third time since I given my life to Christ at Washington Family Ranch during June of 2007, that I felt actually felt the Holy Spirit working in my life. In reality, the Holy Spirit has been with me the whole time, whether I chose to accept its presence is a different story.

Tonight i felt the Lord screaming at me, begging for me, yearning for me to come home. To remember what home feels like, what home with Jesus feels like. What a safe-haven with Jesus feels like. I felt the Lord screaming, “Step back Michele. Step Back! Step Back! I got this!”

I felt the Lord calling me to step back while I was watching a sermon by Judah Smith from The City Church in Kirkland, Washington. I am not letting the Lord take charge of my life. I am trying to fight this battle alone when I need to let God stand right in front of me. He is telling me to step back and I am refusing to listen. He wants to fight for us, we need to be obedient when we are called.

This video literally caused me to rethink how I am currently living my life with Jesus. God used this sermon to open my eyes about how I am living, how I am struggling, and how I need to change.

I pray that if you watch this sermon that you do it in a quiet place. In a place free of distractions where you can be real. Be open to it’s interpretation, and go into it with an open mind.

Shane gave me some great advice before watching this video. He told me that I could apply this message in ALL aspects of my life. He told me this message by Judah does not just relate to sexual immortality, but all sin in general. I definitely agree with this statement.

If you feel lead to watch this video, I promise you will not regret it. It really opened up my eyes and showed me how I am living my life. To be honest, I hate the way I am living my life currently. There are so many things that I want to change and wish I could change, but I know I cannot do it alone.

What I have found out though, is that if I just change one thing everything else will work out. A good friend also told me that with Jesus everything will work out. Not in the end everything will work out, but right now if you are in relationship with Jesus everything will work out. It will. It’s a promise. Everything will work out.

I am literally floored, awestricken about what I have heard this evening.

These verses from John chapter 8 changed my perspective and my relationship with Jesus. A group of Scribes and Pharisees, which are a just a group of men, brought a woman to be condemned by Jesus because she was literally caught in the act of adultery. The men brought her before Jesus and this is what happened…

“7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

I would say I have been a Christian for 5 years now, but in reality my relationship with God has been a huge struggle. It has been a rough road personally with him and I. I have lots of doubt and insecurities, but this message tonight was SO CLEAR IT WAS LIKE WATER! “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Those words finally set me free. I finally feel set free. God has set me free.

God has a plan for me and it will work out. God has blessed me with some amazing family, amazing friends, and an amazing boyfriend. God has placed all these people in my life for a reason, and I may never know why.

God knows I have been struggling these last couple of days. He knows I was hurting, but gosh this message brings me so much peace. So much healing and so much joy.

Our God is a mighty God. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is always walking with us. Sometimes in front of us and sometimes behind us. Our God is perfect.

The Lord wants us in real, true relationship with him. He wants a true commitment, and he has given us the free will to make that choice. God is never going to leave you, he is never going to forsake you, but he is begging for you to choose him. He wants that relationship with you.

Our God is the everlasting God. He is the maker of all things. And He is mighty to save. He is the God of Love and the God of Grace and he is begging for us to realize that we just need to love him back.

Tonight I start over. Tonight God and I start our even stronger relationship together. Tonight is a beautiful starry night sky at Breakaway Lodge. I am forever grateful. 

Bittersweet victory

First of all, I need to think all my friends and family for keeping me in their prayers. The outpour of love and support has been so overwhelming, in a good way of course.

Endless messages, e-mails, texts, and phone calls from my supporters letting me know they were thinking about me and praying for me. Literally I am so awestricken with how much I am loved.

Today has been a complete turn-around from yesterday. The abundant outpour of love has given me the strength to move forward. I am so blessed God moved these people’s hearts to reach out to me. He really knows the desires of my heart.

Today was the first day I was able to drive the boat and pull campers on the tubes. It was such an awesome experience. Campers were having the time of their lives and I got to drive a pretty stinkin awesome ski boat.

The only downfall to this story is that I ruined my phone. As we were pulling campers I hit a HUGE wake at the wrong angle and flood the inside of the boat for about 10 seconds. Of course my phone was near the splash zone and totally destroyed it.

The highlight of this time was that I was able to take out the work crew on the tubes. Let’s just say…I lit them up pretty good. They won’t be giving me anymore attitudes in the kitchen!

After the amazing day at the lake I went to go see if I could get a new phone from the AT&T store, and of course they will not let me get it right away. When I found out this news an overbearing sensation of hysterics crossed my face and I had a complete meltdown and anxiety attack.

Looking back now, I ask myself, why? Why can I not be out a phone for a couple of days? Why did I need to get that upset over not having a phone? Why can I not trust that this is ALL a part of the Lord’s plan for me?

Truth is…God did this for a reason. I may not know why now, and I may not ever know, but he has a purpose for everything. Every mili-second of our lives has a purpose. Our life is perfectly imperfect. The Lord has a plan. We need to have the faith to trust in his plan for us.

Today I saw this image on my friend Vicki’s facebook page.

‘While you wake up today someone is taking their last breath. Thank God for another day. Don’t waste it.”

How true is this! I need to be thanking God for ALL the moments in my life. Embracing all the highs and all the lows, because he has given me another day on this Earth to do his work. I need to work on not being so selfish and worrying about my needs and focusing on the needs of these kids here.

I wish God didn’t need to destroy my phone for me to see this, but he has to do, what he has to do, to get my attention (ha). 

God is yearning for my attention. He is begging me to rely on him for everything!

Thanks to my amazing friend Marya Pennington for this verse.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:1–4, 23–24 

Test me and know my anxious thoughts…this is exactly what the Lord is doing to me right now, right here. This is what I have been begging him to do.

To wrap this up, God gives you the desires of your heart. Whether they come out how we predict them is a different story. Rely on him for strength. He is begging for us to turn to him. Embrace love. Embrace defeat. Embrace Jesus.

Burnt to pieces

Today I hit my wall. I am burnt out. I am tired. I want to go home. I have been here for over  a month and I am ready to call it quits. This feeling of exhaustion seems endless. I am emotionally, physically, and socially exhausted (if that’s even possible).

It has been an extremely hard transition from session one to session two. I think the hardest part is that I feel like I should have gone home when my session one team left, but the fact of the matter is that, I am here and I need to be just as open, just as honest, and just as excited about my session two team.

Don’t get my wrong my new team is amazing! Really amazing actually. I think I am having an inner-battle with myself. I think I am just physically tired of doing my job every day, mentally tired of dealing with all the pressure, and socially tired of trying to keep my patience in the kitchen.

I am struggling with keeping my patience, keeping my stress level down, and keeping the purpose of why I am here in mind.

TRUTH IS…I can’t do it alone. I am realizing that I am not going to make it through the rest of my assignment without Jesus right next to me. I am realizing that God is begging for me to rely on him, give him my struggles, and ask him to renew my strength. HE WANTS TO DO THOSE THINGS FOR ME.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”                                Isaiah  40: 28-31

Right now I need help. I need prayers that I can confide in the Lord and ask him for strength. I have always had trouble asking for help, because I like to do everything on my own. I don’t know who I am trying to prove my strength too, but I need to learn that I NEED to rely on the Lord. God wants me, and is begging me to rely on him.

Tonight prayers for strength and that I rely on my amazing, all-powerful God, would be amazing.

To add to the number daily

Change is difficult. Change is hard. Change is rough. Going through life’s changes can be exhilarating, difficult, and even scary. Saying goodbye to people who you invest all your time into is extremely heartbreaking.google

I’ve spent basically every waking moment with these people, whom I now call family. Saying goodbye is hard because there is always the fear established in the back of my mind that I may never see them again. However, I hope and pray that I will stay connected with each of them.

I think the hardest part of this time of transition is having a new team coming in as my old team is leaving. This time is very bittersweet.

Tonight we were able to sit down as a new, cohesive group and just really focus on why we are here. What is our purpose and what our mission is? Liz read us the first two chapters of Acts, where Luke shares that we are called to “add to the number daily.” We are called to share the gospel with one another and share God’s love with campers.

Liz’s message was extremely important: every one matters. Every leader matters. Every assignment team member matters. Every camper matters. Including leaders, assignment team, and campers in the past. Every single person matters. Every one is an integral part of what happens here at Breakaway.

We are called by God to spread the gospel and add to the kingdom daily, Lord willing. We do not deserve the glory, but we are used by the Lord as a tool to show his love and share his word. 

“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47.

From this day forward we share the word and spread the love with old friends and new. We are not here out of self-gain, and we sure don’t deserve a pity party. We remember all of our friends old and new and do the work that Lord has called us too. Because when it comes down to it, even if one camper gets saved all of our hard work has been worth it. It is not our responsibility to save every child, but rather to give every child that opportunity, and hopefully one day, and at their own pace, to meet Jesus.

Our mission is clear: “to add to the number daily.”