Thursday, July 30, 2009

He is with us in the process

So, I don;t have all that much to say today, but I am going to milk it.

I have been having some pretty exciting, encouraging, and generous meetings as of late. Some of them job related (which I am not going to talk about for a little while longer), but the others just relational. I had the chance to meet two wonderful women yesterday. I had coffee with Jenna who has just finished up nursing school here in Charlotte and is looking to get involved in Young Life. She seems like a woman that I could truly grow to be in great fellowship with and I am excited about getting to know her better.

I had lunch with the committee chair for Ardrey Kell, the school at which I will be leading this coming fall. Judy is AMAZING. She has had such crazy experiences and affirmations from the Lord. What a blessing it was to be encouraged and prayed for by her.

It is almost August people, and I have no idea about where I will be living. August is a big month, and also a scary month for me. I would be lying if I said I was not a little bit nervous. But God is in the process and the details, not just the fruition that we deem successful at the end of the process. He is out on the water with us in the midst of the storm, not just in the moments when he calms things down and brings us back to shore.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guest Blog: Amy Satt!!

***This is a Guest Blog done by one of my very best friends. I have known Amy for four years and spent many a sleepover late night hanging out and laughing. She just graduated from high school and although I knew her at first as one of my Young Life girls, she quickly became one of my dearest friends. She is the first friend to visit me down in Charlotte since moving and I am so thankful for her. She is heading to Baylor in the fall for college!***

I hate my life. So okay I just thought I deleted this whole post and rewrote a whole new one and then saw that it automatically saves which is super sweet if only I had known that 5 minutes ago. So this is the original. Enjoy?

Okay, so this is semi-awkward for me. I am, in general, pretty awkward so yeah idk this is just like story of my life. I am a horrible writer and sorry, but there probably won't be any squibs (which is a new word I recently added to my vocabulary as I desperately looked it up on my iTouch when I was in need of its definition as it appeared in Harry Potter--but there a squib is a wizard without the ability to use magic, not a witty saying) in here. ANYWAY, please don't judge Jaclyn by this blog. She does have other friends and isn't limited to this dork right here. Okay, it is kind of fun to do this. I actually have my own blog but I have only written on it once so it was a definitely epic fail on my part. Right now I am in Charlotte visiting my long lost friend who ditched the Nati to come to the warmer, prettier, nicer-peopled, less smoggy city of Charlotte. Why would anyone want to do that? Currently, Jaclyn has left me again. She is running off to some important meeting while I love on the two cats she is house sitting for, as they are never tenderly cared for when she is around. I mean, she gets the job done, but with little love--appalling to me, an owner of four cats.

I don't really have any one special thing to write about..I could mention how we just spent like 15 minutes looking for 2 lost cats that weren't actually lost. That was fun. I guess I didn't even really introduce myself. I am Amy. Jaclyn was my leader in Cincy for the past 3 years. She's been my best friend too, which is fine I guess :). I am playing but yeah she has really challenged me with my relationship with Christ and I owe a lot to her. It is also nice to have her around because 1. she makes me laugh and 2. when the four of us get together (Ally, Cece, Jac, and I) we always make fun of each other. Jaclyn is usually the butt of all the jokes but more recently everyone has been making fun of me so I now feel some sort of sympathy for what she went through. I'll be a freshman at Baylor Univ next year so we will be miles and miles away from each other but luckily Skype is our new best friend so it is really not that big of a deal.

Do you guys love how random this blog is? I am the least creative person in the world. Our friend Ally is like so creative, she would have written a novel already. You should read this essay she wrote.. all of her stuff is hilarious. If you need a laugh, call her up. (Woot! This blog just autosaved at 3:42).

I am going to tell you a story. Okay, so my grandparents live in Portland, OR and we always used to fly up there to hang out with them and go skiing and all that jazz. One winter when I was like 10 years old, my brother Timmy, who was 8, (and is now a junior in HS and goes by "Tim" by people who don't know him) and I were taking snowboarding lessons on Mt. Hood. We were separated into mini groups after a big group session on the bunny hill, which was mildly successful for me and completely unsuccessful for him. Anyway, I was riding up on one of the lifts with my instructor who was being nice and friendly. I was feeling pretty important.. considering I had just turned the big 1-0 and had gotten a sweet new winter coat. I was looking like a true snowboarder. Meanwhile, Timmy was wearing a hand-me-down onesie snow suit that was teal and zipped up from the crotch all the way to his neck. It had been my cousins, then my older sisters, and now his. So I was riding up this lift looking at the mountain and my instructor started to laugh and pointed to this kid who was trying to snowboard down the mountain. I looked down and I saw this little teal blob zooming uncontrollably down this huge slope headed for a tree. Luckily, the blob didn't hit the tree, but instead did a complete face plant onto the fresh snow and was just sprawled out like a splat of teal paint, unmoving. I laughed pretty hard and told my instructor that it was my brother. He/She i forget felt really bad but my brother and I are pretty close so this was just hilarious to me. Anway..Timmy is a really good skier now. He hasn't touched a snowboard since. There really was no point to that story but it was the first thing that popped into my head.
MORAL: It is nice to try new things, but you don't necessarily have to stick to every one.
There. Now there was a point.

Anyway, I really want to get back to re-reading Harry Potter 7 and I need to take a shower. So.. wherever you are and whatever you are doing, happy living! It was nice being able to ramble to you all :D

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Losing my bridesmaid virginity.

As far as having friends who I have been friends with all through high school up until now I don't have many...maybe one. BUT as far as females that went to my same high school that I as not GREAT friends with while going there but and WONDERFUL friends with now, I have plenty!

My best friend that went to my same high school is Shawna. She is beautiful and wonderful and such an amazing wonam of the Lord. It has been such a blessing to be walking in my faith alongside of Shawna. SHE IS GETTING MARRIED...and she asked me to be a bridesmaid. WOW YESSSS. She is the greatest. And John, well, he's not too shabby either.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giving it up

So, I have some pretty exciting things coming up. I have a wonderful visitor coming on Saturday. One of my best friends while in college was Amy. She just graduated from high school and is going to Baylor in the fall. She is wonderful and she is coming to visit for a few nights. Plus she likes cats so she can give the whiney and annoying cats that I am taking care of all the attention they desire.

I also have some job things coming up. I am going to keep these on the down low for now, because there needs to be much prayer surrounding what might actualize in these situations. Please be praying that my heart and my head are on track with the Lord's will. If I am not meant to get a certain job, I just pray that it is clear to me.

My living situation is still pretty up in the air for now. I am looking, but trying also to trust the Lord. I am trying something new that is an idea I am ripping off from The Shack, which I just finished. In the book, Mack, through much questioning, realizes from Papa that he does not just want to be aour number one priority in our lives, but rather the center of everything and in turn a part of it all. At summer fellowship last night we read Luke 14, about the cost of being a disciple. Scripture says:

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

So, Jesus is asking us to do something that at first glance sounds so out of whack from his message of love. But what we came to discuss was the fact that the way that we love every simple little other thing in our life should PALE in comparison to the sacrifice and love we show to Christ. One translation said that we should be "indifferent" to those other things. But, in bringing in The Shack metaphor, God doesn't want to be at the top of anyone's list of priorities; this would denote that he is a separate entity. Rather, he wants to be at the center of each priority, void of a hierarchical system.

So, all that was said in order to explain that I am really trying to focus on trust and surrender. Our God is faithful, and even more so if we let Him be. So, in living and in working, rather than just in ministry or relationships, I am trying to surrender my desires to God's will.


On a completely unrelated note, I played my first game or Settlers of Catan last night. This game is a mix between Risk and some stock market game with resource cards. It is the number 8 most popular game in the world, and I would liken its players to those that play Pokemon or Dungeons and Dragons. All that aside, it has become pretty popular among my male friends in Young Life and so in turn, piqued my interest. Last night I played for my first time, and will willingly admit that I really enjoyed it. It takes about 15 minutes to set up and after we were about an hour plus into the game the power went out at the Robillards. Amie grabbed some candles and we continued to play much like true settlers, by candlelight. Well, I had begun to get pretty involved in the game and was standing up to see the board better from above. Neil was making fun of how into the game I was, so I went to sit down but in the dark my foot missed the couch and my right ankle gave out, only ot send my hand crashing down on the table, uprooting all pieces, including points, settlements, roads and puzzle pieces. So, once again my clumsiness ruined everyone's fun. All five guys that I was playing with just died laughing, and I am left with a sore ankle today.

I love hurting myself doing embarrassing things.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Proverbs 4:11-12

I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nerve endings

I apologize in advance, knowing that this post could end up being a bit of a downer. Today in church the pastor read from Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Since I moved, I feel like patience has been drilled into my head. I have been comforted over and over by God's words telling me that His plans are greater and BETTER than mine, that His timing is the only timing worth abiding by. In the midst of this I have read about men like Paul and Moses, men who waited not days or weeks or months for the ways that God would bless them, but YEARS. On top of that I read a book about Rahab. I prostitute who came to know Jesus in the midst of unbelievers and WAITED for God to come save her.

If you know me at all, you know that patience is not one of my easily definable spiritual gifts. That being said, I have been walking in the direction of patience since I moved to Charlotte. It has been amazing how the Lord has proven to me that through Him, even I can learn to wait. All of that has come to a head now though. I have been waitressing now for 3 weeks, and I am fighting an awful internal struggle with my job. I work at a place where I feel so underappreciated and taken advantage of, and where I feel there is never any offer of grace. When I ask others a question, especially management acts as if Iam doing them a disservice. I feel constantly on the battlefield there, struggling to hold steadfast to my faith and morals, while I am feeling as if my spirit is being constantly driven to bitterness.

Maybe this is what they mean when they talk about carrying the cross of Christ. My honest and immediate response is that I did not sign up for this, but realistically, I know that I did. Proverbs 16:9 says this:

A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

Waitressing at Firebirds isn't even close to feeling like home to me. It is not a place that I want to spend time settling in to, but do I have the wrong attitude. I went into this job thinking, "Rejoice always," but leave everyday halfheartedly thinking, "Rejoice in my sufferings." God PROMISES to "prosper" and "not to harm," and I have never doubted that promise. So, I pray for patience, understanding and hope HOPE hope for the future that is promised.

At 4 pm tomorrow I have a phone interview for a job that I feel like was made especially for me. It has the appearance of being a job that I would excel and thrive in, while also being challenged. If you could pray for that, I would be so thankful. Lord, please give me the patience to take each day for itself, rather than fixing my eyes on the unknown. Instead let me fix my eyes on your promises.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quick note from the Outer Banks

Hey All! I have been virtually invisible on the interweb this week because I have been at the beach, and really, who wants to be on the interweb at the beach? So, I am heading back later this afternoon, and will work on updating Saturday or Sunday! Yay, miss you all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I did not plan to blog at all today, but of the 31 blogs that I follow, only 2 of them updated today. So, since I have nothing to read, I will drop a line. I am sitting at Caribou Coffee, my home away from home, killing time until I have to go back to work. I am bored. The restaurant that I work at does split shifts. I go in at 1130 to work lunch...get off around 2, and then head back in at 5 to work dinner. Silly, I know. Tonight I am hoping its dead so I can just be cut first and go home, money or no money. I am ready to start beach mode and that requires me to be off work first. As of tonight after work, its beach me all the way.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Neat stuff to come.

I am currently running on 6 days in a row of work. I am pretty wiped and the money I am making is NOT cutting it. So, I am being hopeful and patient. Really am. Relying HEAVILY on the Lord...Read Colossians 3 this morning and received such encouragement and affirmation in my patience.

I applied for a job today as an administrative assistant at the organization that initially drew me to Charlotte, with whom I did not end up getting a job. This would be a great opportunity and seems to fit very well with my skill set. We will see. I worked HARD on the cover letter. How is everyone else?

I leave for the beach on Saturday. Thank the Lord for that. Rejoice in that! I cannot wait to play Monopoly, Scattergories and Racko. I cannot wait to leave Monopoly sitting on the table all week, only to come back to it for a few hours each day in order to finish. I cannot wait to do chores with my cousins and design dinner menus. I cannot wait to camel boogie boards, floats, packed lunches, towels, toys and chairs to the beach to relax all day. I cannot wait to read books with Jessica, both on the beach and sunburnt on couches in the evening. I know I will do more laughing this week than I have since last going on vacation with my cousins, and I know we will make more memories that I will cherish long after. No boyfriends, just family. And I cannot wait!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Incidental. (synonym for random)

Nothing much going on here as of late. I got to spend July 3rd boating with a friend and respective family. One thing I am totally coming to appreciate about Charlotte is the generosity of people with lake access. I have reaped that benefit as much as possible. I have been relinquished to getting wet up to the neck for the past couple days because of stitches, so I had to be smart and stay off the tube. You are welcome, Mom.

Last night I had my first night waitressing on my own. It went well. Waitressing is a hard job, but I enjoy meeting so many different people. At times I wish I worked somewhere a little more casual, so that it wouldn't be so frowned upon when I spend lengthier amounts of time greeting tables. Blah, blah management...get off my back. (:

On the flip side, I made it over to REI yesterday to return the laptop sleeve that I bought because it was too small. I got me a new one and picked up a little goodie. I have been looking for some good techwick SLEEVELESS shirts since moving down here. When I run my main deterrant for long distances is the heat down here. IT IS SWELTERING. I did a quick little sweep at REI and found one on sale for 13.99..HOLLER. I love it. So, here's a picture!

Raining here today for the first time in a week. Held off all holiday weekend. Gotta love that.

And just for fun because she took it on my computer a few weeks ago, here is Becca looking FINE.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I couldn't have made up a better story.

(I take no credit for the movie reference, because Tyler thought of it on his own. It will make sense later).

Okay, have you seen the movie Hitch? Well, there is a part in the movie when Will Smith takes Eva Longoria to Ellis Island on a jet ski for this really moving scene where she sees her ancestors signature from immigrating or something. Irrelevant. is there first date. And a really good idea for one at that. On their way back, Will Smith is getting on the jet ski or something, and he swings his leg over the top of it, clocking Eva Mendes in the head with his foot. Later scenes show her with an ice pack on her face. Now...keep this scene in mind as I tell you the story of one of the funniest and most memorable moments of my life thus far.

Five years ago, at Kiawah, the cousins and I made friends with some boys from Statesville, NC...about an hour north of Charlotte. We stayed in touch with the off and on, but mostly via facebook. Tyler C. is a year younger than me and one of the guys in the group. He is a cadet at West Point, but this summer he spent some time in Hawaii for some military stuff and leaves in a couple days to go to Georgia...same idea. He has been home for a few days in between and he sent me a facebook message wanting to know if I wanted to hang out since he knew that I had moved to Charlotte. If you can't tell yet, I have very few friends in Charlotte, and until I had this waitressing job I had just about nothing to, I welcome any and all plans being made. After some careful planning around all of the time that Tyler's mom deserves with him, he proposed that we go to the US National Whitewater Center. Now I have been DYING to actually go to this palce and experience it firsthand. I had been out there once before to clear trails, but its the one place people keep saying you gotta go for outdoors stuff.

So, Tyler picks me up around 9:40 Wednesday morning, with snacks packed...haha. We met his friend William who works at the whitewater center and he took us flatwater kayaking. Then we went adventure rafting together. While adventure rafting I, being the smart alec that I am, ask the guy if anyone really gets hurt at this place. They make you sit through a 30 minute safety spiel every time you raft. Even if you go 5 times in one day. They tell you one thing that is an absolute MUST on the river: NEVER LET GO OF YOUR T-GRIP. A t-grip is the end of the oar that your hand holds. He tells me some examples of injuries, but I am still not sold. It all feels pretty contained and sealed up real neat there, as opposed to being on a real river. A step up from adventure rafting is Rodeo Rafting, which our guide assures us will make us swim, meaning that we will get knocked out at some point. Tyler and I look at each other and I think I tried to send facial expressions that said, "Come on, come onnnnn...I wanna do it." Silly me, my eyes are always bigger than what my body can usually handle. I am starting to feel like I might be a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

So we eat lunch with William and Tyler looks at me, smiles, and says we should go Rodeo. Yessir, it worked. We get on a trip at 330 that is expected to last 1.5 hours. So we suit up and take our swim test, which consists of us having to float down a rapid and then swim to an eddy where we can safely stand and get out of the "river" (manmade). I pass the test, but ignore the omen that warns me of what is yet to come. As I float the rapid I am holding my paddle parallel to the ground with both hands in front of me, the force of water to my face causes my paddle to make contact with my nose in such a way that I feel like I probably have a nosebleed, but luckily, I exit the water unscathed. We make our first trip down the regular rafting course and it goes smoothly. Our guide informs us that the next trip won't go so smoothly. He assures us that we will swim. Lucky for us...none of us swam. And that was kind of Tyler's fault.

See, there is a whitewater rafting technique called "surfing." This entails going down a rapid then paddling out to an eddy so that you can paddle back upstream into the rapid and "surf." While surfing you are usually getting tons of water in your boat and a bunch of waves in your face. I didn't get waves to my face, but I did get something else to my head. While surfing, my paddle gets pulled under by a wave and the leverage makes it force upward like a teeter totter with all the weight on one end. I quickly grab hold of my t-grip, but not before what I perceive to be it hitting me in the head. At the same time that this is happening, I am starting to fall out of the boat, and PRESUMABLY, Tyler LETS GO OF HIS T-GRIP (see paragraph 3), in order to pull me back in. This plan to be a (careless) chivalrous gentlemen of course backfires because he has broken the cardinal rule of rafting.

I feel something hit my helmet and then settle on my right eyebrow with what feels like a little bit of force. Like maybe only 6 G's. We finally get out of the rapid and I sit up regular smiling and ready to roll, only to turn my head ot look at the faces of my boatmates and see their mouths wide open. I quickly start to feel liquid dripping in my eye, go to wipe it off and at the same time as the girl behind me tells me I am bleeding, I look at my hand covered with blood. I am laughing because I still think I did this to myself and because really, this always happens to me. Our guide rushes us to the bank and makes us walk out of the river and over to the main building ot see the EMT. On our way we pass a big group of kids who all look at me like I stepped out of a coffin, or some Michael Myers movie. Someone asks me if its paint or real blood. Yea buddy, its paint, brought it special for the rafting trip.

I finally walk by a window where I can see my reflection and I look like I belong in a haunted house, like someone threw 15 of those fake blood capsules at my forehead. From my eyebrow down, the whole right side of my face and neck is covered with blood. I kinda laugh, nervously, having no idea how this happened. I mention that I did it to myself and the girl who was in our raft corrects me, saying she thought it was Tyler. Up to this point he has been quiet except to mumble that he is so sorry while I shush him and tell him no big deal. He then proclaims that he too thinks it was his paddle that hit me in the face...i.e. Will Smith kicking Eva Mendes in the head.

Well, after cleaning me up very minimally, the EMT vocalizes what I am dreading...STITCHES. boo, really? You know I always wanted stitches when I was younger...and a cast. This year I got both. When I was growing up going to summer camp at Bluestone we had to play the scar game, where everyone told a story about their favorite scar. I always made stuff up and told people that you couldn't see the scar because it was under my clothes. Even scandalous as a child. Too little too late Stitches. So, the EMT wraps my head like I am some war victim that lost an ear or took some shrapnel to the brain. I feel like McDreamy just did neurosurgery. I walk around the whitewater center aimlessly while Tyler frantically runs back and forth tying up loose ends. One guy walk past me and mumbles, "Purple heart." Thanks for mocking me a-hole.

Tyler and I put on dry clothes and begin the 35 minute drive back to Charlotte to get my insurance card which I have so conveniently left back at my apartment. He then takes me to Urgetn Care to get checked out. In case you didn't know, I just graduated. Which means shortly if not now I am off my parents health insurance. Lucky for me, my mom pulls strings and bends rules. We pass the initial screening and make it back to the patient room, Tyler in tow despite his proclaimed and proven weak stomach for blood. He is a trooper. We get in the room and my nurse is a large black woman who Tyler claims looked at him like a woman-beater. Rightly so my friend, rightly so. All three women who enter our room gush over Tyler and his tomato red thighs, arms and face. Thanks for wrecking my face and stealing my thunder man. Hello ladies, bleedinggggg.

The PA comes in to sew me up but first gives me 15 shots of something numbing. After she contonues to prick me and I am still not numb I tell her to just put me out of my misery and get to work. If she is going to be sticking me anyway we might as well be making progress, numb or not. Initially I was told 1-2 stitches. The first nurse says three. The PA finally tell me four and then pulls a magic trick, making my gash bigger, and says my lucky number is five. How do those people do that...and better yet, why? This isn't clown school Patch Adams. Throughout the whole thing Tyler is a total gentlemen. I ask him to tell a story to distract me and he is gracious in obliging. I get outta there with 5 stitches and a swift punch to the stomach with the promise of a return visit to get the stitches removed in 5 days. Thanks folks. These things don't dissolve? Plus I cannot get them wet. Perfect since its 100 degrees here every day.

Well, other than a little headache, some mild throbbing, and some ego bruising I'd say the day was a success. Tyler and I made it to Bible study right on time and even got to go out to dinner to celebrate, while he quizzed me for my menu test for waitressing. Even though I got the memory knocked out of me I passed the test and even survived my mock dining. Hooray, I am a full fledged waitress. Can you hear the excitement in my voice? For the record, the correct answer is no. At least I had a good ice breaker at all my tables today because of the piece of gauze taped to my head. And Tyler can tell everyone he knows how ot give a paddle to the face. I don't think he'll be giving any rafting safety demonstrations anytime soon.