Thursday, September 30, 2010


Have I ever told y'all (whoever that may be) how awesome my team is? Well since words can't describe them and a picture's supposedly worth a thousand words... I'll let these pictures do the talking:

(miss you Weez)

(miss you Ashley)

Turns out I don't have many recent team pictures... we need to work on that. And since Der didn't make it into any of these:

This was a lot more pointless than I had intended (because I didn't realize how few good pictures I had and how none of them were recent)... but my team is just really great and very encouraging. Love them.

Stuck in my head. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

So I wanted to bold the parts that I liked in this song... but they're all so good and so true... so I'm just going to bold what's really applying to my life at this time.

You are good You are good
When there’s nothing good in me

You are love You are love
On display for all to see

You are light You are light
When the darkness closes in

You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
When my fear is crippling

You are true You are true
Even in my wandering

You are joy You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing

You are life You are life
In You death has lost it’s sting

Oh I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough

Nothing compares to Your embrace

Light of the world forever reign

You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say

You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim

You are here You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole

You are God You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

My heart will sing
No other Name


Well that was still most of the song... Oh well.
Just resting in these truths!

Just because I love pictures. This one in particular right now. And I love the people in it. Also I just like adding pictures to posts...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All of my friends are sick of hearing me talk about Africa and making references to it all the time... but I can't help it. I have missed it ever since I got back, but now I'm missing it more than ever. I want to go back, and I really miss the community of people I had there. Specifically I miss the awesome group of people I went with- Anna, Annalise, Jack, Jesse, Lindsay, Meghan, Ryan, and Zach. They were so encouraging, uplifting, such great listeners, and let Jesus overflow from them. How I wish we could all live in the same city! Need them in my life. I feel like my community here just isn't cutting it right now... No offense to anyone. It's just that in Africa we were together daily, going through the same things, walking through life together for 2 1/2 weeks, growing closer to each other as we grew closer to the Lord... and I am longing for that. Love and miss you all.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Time for another shout out...

How sad that this is the only picture I can find of just the two of us
(side note: my hair was SO long)

Jessie Hoaglin

No words to express how thankful I am for this girl. We were placed in the same Quest small group and are both still a part of it. The Lord knew I needed a friend like her to walk through life with. Sadly, we haven't had a whole lot of time in the past to hang out... but she's always my go-to girl when I need someone to talk to. She's honest with me, and that is something that I really appreciate. Even if I don't want to hear what she has to say, it's what I need to be told. It's so great to have someone that will call me out when I need to be set straight. Even though we make each other awkward, and we can't be together for too long before we both get really weird, it seems as if she always, always understands what I'm going through. She speaks truth into my life more than any of my other friends. This girl is incredible and has such an amazing heart. I have recently been blessed with the chance to spend a few hours with Jessie every Friday at Sarah Moore Greene. Not only do I get to see her pour out love on these inner-city kids and get a small glimpse of what her ministry looks like, but I also get to spend some quality time with her in the car where we can talk about life and share our hearts with one another.

Love you, Jessie! Can't wait for Friday :)

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry...

2 Corinthians 4:8-12
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

So thankful for a God that never leaves my side. Thankful for a God that doesn't "just stand there and watch me burn," but walks with me through the fire. Thankful for a God that understands my suffering, that is making me more like him through these hard times. Thankful that He is near the broken-hearted, not just watching me cry when I feel like that's all anyone else is doing. Thankful that He is my strong tower, that I can always run to Him. Thankful that He is teaching me to run to Him instead of to others even though it's so difficult when I want tangible comfort and audible words of reassurance. Thankful that He has overcome, that He will not let me be defeated.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
-Romans 15:13

Things I should have done differently today (and it's not even 10:30 am):
  • woken up the first time my alarm went off (went off at 7, got up at 8)
  • done my homework (the reason I set my alarm earlier than usual)
  • checked the weather/had an umbrella
  • not spent $5 on coffee
  • eaten breakfast
  • remembered to take my stuff with me to go to the library after class
  • ironed my shirt
  • had clean clothes
  • put on make-up
  • not had my phone in my hand while it was raining
  • not texted a certain someone
  • studied instead of blogging
Since I've only been awake for 2 1/2 hours, I'm sure I'll have lots more to add to this list by the time I go to bed.

Side note: really glad One Tree Hill is back on so that I have one more thing to distract me from school... and because I love looking at this man-

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chelcie Crawford

You may know her as Bubs, but regardless of what you call her, you know she's amazing.
We've been friends since we were 8, and I cannot believe that she is now TWENTY ONE! How the h did that happen?

Dear Chelcie,
Thank you for 12 years of great friendship and I can't wait for many more years to come! You are truly one of my best friends and really, more like a part of the family. I don't even know where to start or what to say, but I am so grateful that God has placed you in my life and you have been a part of it for so long! You always, always, always know how to make me laugh and are just such a blessing to my life in so many ways.

I'm really glad we've never done anything stupid or embarrassing together... Gah, we have SO many memories together from our pet shop to Lucy and Lacey to snorting Nerds to your fake bike injury in 4th grade to coloring tissues to pulling out teeth and watching our pupils dilate to Callaway Gardens to Hilton Head multiple times to going to that terrible dessert in Oregon together... I could go on and on... obviously.

Thanks for always being there for me to talk to. I feel like you always understand where I'm coming from. My favorite thing about you (you have SO many great qualities, it's hard to narrow it down) is that you long to serve the Lord. You never want to be comfortable with your life. You always want to be doing something more. You seek the Lord in all you do and that's so evident in the way you live life. You love people so well whether it be your friends, family, or girls at Halls. Thank you for letting Christ shine through you because it is such an encouragement to me and so many others.

Love you, Chelc! HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYY (a day late)!!!!!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Looking back on my post yesterday, I think I spoke too soon.
Trying to remember to give thanks to the Lord in ALL things. Even the things that seem bad at the time because...

"we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm alive to live for YOU.

Really upset that all my pictures are gone! Tried to fix a couple, but it wasn't really working... As Chelcie would say- "tragic!"

Something about this weekend (maybe the excitement, maybe the lack of sleep, maybe the quality time with friends, maybe slamming my finger in the car door and using the boo boo bunny, but mostly likely becoming famous- being on ESPN and dominating the jumbotron) made me feel like myself again for the first time since I got back from Africa. I don't think I even realized how much I hadn't been myself until I felt like I was being myself again... if that makes any sense at all. I knew things were different- that I was even more awkward than before, that I never felt like being social, that my friendships were suffering which I think I blamed more on my friends than on myself which is completely backwards. I have been really clingy in some of my relationships lately (you know who you are, and I am sorry), and I have pushed others away drastically (again, sorry).

All of this is not to say that I'm completely back to the person I was before my trip because that would be false... It was a life-changing experience, and I don't think I will ever be the same because of it. I learned so much about my God, so much about myself, so much about Young Life and my ministry, and so much about relationships. I also grew so much in so many ways, and I am so thankful for that. I hope that I will be changed forever by what this trip taught me, but it is good to "feel like myself again" finally!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


This girl is crazy. She is very loud, very outgoing, LOVES attention... the complete opposite of me. If we didn't have the same jaw structure, I wouldn't believe we were related. She is hilarious- constantly making me laugh. Although I was not particularly happy when I found out she had been conceived, I love her more than I could have ever imagined. I pray that I can walk so closely with Christ that I can tell Olivia to "follow me" as Paul said to the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:1), and that will lead her in the way of the Lord. She's going to be quite a handful for my dad in her teenage years... she already is! He always introduces me as the "easy child" because I never caused any trouble, and it's evident that she will. She has so much personality. I love you, Olivia Gail.
Looking back at past posts about Africa, I feel like I complained a lot. I promise I loved it. It was such an amazing experience, and I had a wonderful time. It was hard. Really hard. But more than that, it was absolutely incredible. Reading through my journal, it is evident that I was ready to come home, but now I long to be back there.

Now on to another shout out:
One of my favorite people and bestest friends-
Where do I even begin? So goofy and so fun to be around. We've been through some rough times in our friendship, but always both care enough to work through it. We're both sensitive and try to pretend like we're mad at each other sometimes, but we love each other too much to stay upset! :) I'm so thankful for him and his willingness to listen to what's going on in my life when I can't talk to my other friends about it. Glad he joined our family vacation for a few short days this summer.
Oh yeah, if you haven't read his Xanga, you should really check it out.

Last night we did our final home-stay. I stayed at Thelma's house with Lindsay, Gracious, and Amanda. Pierre dropped us off at a bus stop, and we walked the rest of the way. Thelma's grandmother just started cracking up when she saw us coming, and her mom seemed so happy to have us. Two of her cousins also lived with her- a 17 year old girl and an adorable 5 year old boy that I wanted to bring home. We climbed some rocks and saw how they fetch water. Lindsay and I shared a bed and had to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. We were just going to go in the bushes, but someone came outside so I went into the "toilet" which was just a triangle hole in block of cement. It was SO dark. Later that night we woke up to the other girls just peeing in a container in the bedroom. This home-stay made me very homesick, but I greatly appreciate the experience.
Yesterday we put on a club for the Matopo leaders, and then they put on one for us. They seem to be learning very quickly, so even though we have such a short time to prepare for camp, I have faith that it will be successful. 

1 Peter1:22, 4:8
Yesterday was really good to be back with everyone after the home-stay, and it was almost a relief to get the last one over with. Now I really appreciate Morning Star and being together with everyone. I didn't realized how much I had missed the city leaders until they got here. They are so much fun and so much easier to communicate with. We did some camp training and had a lot of spare time to relax which was so nice. These past few days are going by much faster than the beginning of the trip did which makes me less homesick. Although I'm ready to be home, I don't want to take advantage of my last days here. I have learned so much and seen how truly blessed I am. This experience has stretched me more than I could have ever imagined outside of my comfort zone which has taught me to cling to Jesus. Last night we sat around the bonfire, ate brownies, played games (attempted to- the Americans aren't very good at games that require rhythm), and told stories. 

The past few days have been exhausting. Saturday we deep-cleaned the entire camp site because it was in terrible condition. I scrubbed toilets, mopped floors, cut sheets, made beds, etc. Sunday afternoon campers got there before we were ready so we had to hold them outside the camp until we were done cutting soap and picking up glass. Last night was really rough- we had to serve each person individually at dinner. There were too many people trying to help out and it got out of control. I've been able to recognize a lot of campers/leaders that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to- Mrs. K's neighbors and Brian (he's one of my favorites) and Joe from Gifford. They all want to take pictures of us, and they often just stare at us. It's almost as if we are animals in a zoo. Today was the 1st full day of camp, and it was much better. Not only do I feel better and have a better attitude, but the day went by quickly, serving got easier, and the obstacle course went really, really well. Lindsay and I got to paint kids faces which was really neat because we could talk to them and get them excited about the OC.

Last night I was so tired and cold when we got back to Morning Star I couldn't write in my journal. The weather was really cold all day yesterday so we hung out in Pierre's truck and huddled in the leader lounge under a sleeping bag. I think one leader, Brian, is in love with me. He always gives me huge hugs and picks me up, calls me "my baby," and plays with my hair. Today when we were saying bye he said it was like a Titanic moment. After lunch, all the leaders and Americans gathered to pray and say our goodbyes. I had no idea how sad I would be, but when I saw Montana crying, I started to cry a lot. 112 kids stood up at say so, including 3 leaders- such affirmation from the Lord of why we did what we did. It was ALL worth it.

And now I've blogged my whole journal!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I thank You for calling me here for Zimbabwe. I thank You and praise You for what You have already done in my heart and the hearts of leaders, particularly here at Morning Star. It is so evident that You are in this place, and that You were here long before any of us even thought about coming. You have prepared the way for us, and now I pray that we can prepare the way for You. Lord, I pray that You will reveal yourself to the kids coming to camp in just a few days. I pray that You fill me with You, that You will give me joy and strength to serve You and these kids. I ask that You will reveal Yourself to the Matopo and Bulawayo leaders as well as those of us from America in a new way. I praise You for this opportunity to see how a completely different culture lives, and even more amazing, how they worship You with such energy and sincerity. Thank You for who You are and the freedom I have to worship You. Thank You for the conversations last night, for leaders from Matopo that were willing to share their hearts. I pray that You continue to bless our conversations and turn them to You. Lord, be the focus of this place, of this camp, and of our hearts.
In Jesus' name,

Because I'm bored in my 3 hour night class...

I finally got to contact my parents for the first time! I emailed them both and then decided to try and call. A man at the front desk at the lodge of our hotel let me use his cell phone for $5.00. I called Dad first because I knew he would have his phone with him, told him to call Mom to tell her I'd be calling her next. I'm so glad I finally got to talk to them! Dad and Matt Rob both emailed me back (so good to hear from my best friend!), and I got to facebook chat for a second with Scott and Nicole (Stridde is engaged!!!!!!!!). I feel so much better now that I've contacted home!
We woke up this morning to watch Annalise, Jack, Jesse, and Lindsay do the "half day adrenaline"- gorge swing, zip line, and flying fox or something like that. Then we went white water rafting which was a lot of fun. My arms will definitely be sore tomorrow along with my legs because we had to hike down to the river and then nearly 2 miles straight back up at the end (NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT THIS!) When we were about 2/3 of the way to the top, I had stopped for a second and two guides came by and told us we were almost to the halfway point. This is really embarrassing, but I started crying because I didn't think I could make it more than double the distance we had already come. I was exhausted! Meghan and Lindsay were so sweet and walked slowly the rest of the way with me (the guide "Colgate" stayed with me and made me stop every few minutes to breathe- told you it was embarrassing!). Colgate felt really bad about making me cry!
After that we thankfully had sometime to relax before we went on the dinner cruise (aka booze cruise because we didn't actually get dinner, just had an open bar). Pierre cooked dinner for us when we got back to the "hotel" (a cabin type thing with one side open to the outside- just thick curtains to close at night to keep anyone/anything out!) and it was very good.
The past two days have been incredible. In a way I'm sad to leave this luxury and head to the rural area where we're going to be "roughing it" even more than we have been, but I am so excited to see what God is going to do because I know it's going to be BIG! I'm just fully trusting Him to get me through the rest of the trip because we aren't even halfway, and I'm almost ready to go home.

(this is a quick one!)
  • drove from Vic Falls to Matopo Hills
    • stopped for snack, gas, and at Pierre's
  • trailer fell on Anna's shoulder
  • Jesse's wallet got stolen
  • great dinner by Norma
  • talked about Spiritual Warfare
  • trying/frustrating day
  • have no idea what camp will look like
2 Timothy 1:14
Proverbs 4:23
Psalm 141:3
Isaiah 52:12
Mark 13:33
1 Corinthians 16:13
Philippians 4:5-7
Mark 1:2-3

**Be alert**
**Guard your heart**

Today leaders from Matopo arrived at Morning Star. We went to two orphan feedings, but at the first one a widow had lost her child so everyone was at the funeral. At the second we were too early and had to get back so we only saw a few children. Then we went to climb the world's largest piece of exposed granite (or something like that) that was 4 miles long. The view at the top was beautiful. 
We also saw some farms that were "farmed God's way."
I no longer feel homesick and loved getting to know the new leaders. One guy, Andy, was telling me how he's never met his father and doesn't even know if he's alive. I also talked to a girl, Stha (spelling?), that told me of her first encounter with Christ and how he healed her from her physical suffering- nose bleeds, chest pain (she had been in the hospital for 2 months). It was really neat to hear their stories.
After dinner we had a bonfire and many people shared what they had learned today which was awesome to hear the things they had taken in about being a leader and putting on a Young Life club.
I've really been missing my Young Life girls and thinking about them a lot- how I can reach out to them and be a better leader to them when I get back.