New.

New.

Right now, that’s what everything is to me. New apartment. New city. New state. New school. New job (hopefully soon). New people. New places. New everything.

While this is slightly intimidating, its so much more exhilarating. I say that now because I have finally dragged myself out of my apartment refusing to be intimidated. The apartment I have basically holed up in the past two days, laying on my couch, binge watching Hawaii Five-O. (Bring on the judgmental looks). Yeah, I have driven around and gotten lost in my tiny town already, but that’s not much to be proud of. Baby steps right?

But today. I’m currently sitting in the Panera in Fayetteville, Arkansas loving this day. I’ve spent the past four and a half years in the same town where no matter where you go, you always end up running into someone you know. Now I am sitting in a city, that reminds me oh so much of home in California, where I know roughly 4 people. Seriously, four may be overestimating. But its so refreshing.

Yeah I miss my friends like crazy. And give me about two more days of not knowing anyone and I may start going crazy. But right now there is a peace in this new situation. I know this is where I am supposed to be and I cant wait to see what the Lord has in store. (Maybe even more binge watching Hawaii Five-O).

Its a new place. New people. New adventure.

Being Thankful- Day 12

As Character Camp is in full swing now, I am continuously floored by the opportunity God and this school has given me. I get to hangout with 10 freshmen and pour into them and pretty much have a blast and a half with them. We have so many different perosnalities that is mixed in with our family and our cousin family, that boredom really isn’t an option.

So today, I am thankful for laughter. Throughout the Challenge Course, lake trip, volleyball fun and Festival of Interpretive Arts (FIA) practice, I have laughed a ridiculous amount, FIA practice especially. I’m always surprised how willing people are to put aside their fears and get up in front of a ton of people and dance. Our fam, our cousin fam, and Abby and Jason’s fam got to practice tonight and let me tell you, its only going to get better from here.

Also, the fams learned how to sound like a seal at the lake today and I almost peed my pants.

I love the serious moments, but thank God for the laughter cause it rejuvenates my soul and brings endless joy to my heart.

Being Thankful- Day 11

Today is the official start of Character Camp Fall 2k14!

Earlier this evening, we got to meet the ten students we would call family for the next 8 days! Right off the bat, their smiles were so encouraging. These kids don’t know us and I sure as heck don’t know them…(yet) but we get this amazing opportunity to build relationships with them and many others over the next week. I’m sure Family 7 will be all over my posts the next few days cause I am already beyond thankful for them.

But today I am thankful for something else.

Today, I am thankful for the confidence I have in Christ and the ability to be comfortable making a fool out of myself.

I would consider myself a born leader, but I never really was the one to be on stage and comfortable directly in the spotlight. Tonight, as I was literally on stage in the middle of the spotlight rapping to 300 freshmen I have never met before, I was so thankful to remember who I got this awesome opportunity and gift from.

There is no way that I could rap on stage or be goofy or make a fool out of myself in front of so many people without having that confidence in God. God has put me and so many others, especially this week, in roles where we are challenged and pushed out of our comfort zones so that these freshmen are welcomed and taken care of.

So what if I mess up some lines? So what if I trip and fall in front of everyone? So what if I smear peanut butter all over my face? Yeah, I look crazy and goofy, but thank God I am His and He has given me the chance to help impact these kids lives.

If that means I continue to be goofy and still love on these kids, I’m all in. Its not about me. Its about letting the Lord touch their lives and spark a growth in their lives these next few years and I am beyond blessed to be a part of that.

Being Thankful- Day 10

Tonight I am thankful for the other Character Camp moms and pops and the community they bring.

The past three days our lives have been filled with getting to know each other, share advice, learn the schedule and practicing for some of the most ridiculous skits. Every one of them has impacted me in some way and has put so much into this experience already!

Tonight, we had a worship night where we all got together and got to just worship our Lord and Savior. There was laughter, beautiful music, tears, powerful prayers, touching scripture shared and most importantly, the Spirit was moving and alive!

I was surrounded by real people. People that have been struggling and stressed just as much as I have been and we were all able to give it all to the Lord. He works in amazing ways I cant even describe and I could have stayed in the auditorium with those people all night long.

I was touched by the caring nature of some tonight and the thoughtful ones as well. One of my good friends, Trey, came over and prayed for me and this week. First off, I bawl any and every time someone prays for me. It just happens. So of course I bawled. And it was so meaningful because he prayed for things I had just been praying for and he thanked me for the work put in during training. He cared. Another ‘mom’ that I hardly knew before this week came up to me and gave me a huge hug and spoke kind words as well. And then two more at least throughout the day and I was overwhelmed by the love and support of these people. Despite the level of which I know them, we all support each other and are willing to be real and vulnerable in front of each other.

I am so thankful for these other ‘parents’ and I can not wait to see what God has in store for the coming week and our families and each other.

The Lord is good y’all. He is so good.

Being Thankful – Day 9

Today marked the beginning of my last Character Camp. Sorry in advance for all the CC related posts in the next two weeks cause it will be my life. But the experience is growing in wondrous ways!

For anyone that doesn’t know what Character Camp is, its a freshman orientation program that CofO puts all incoming students (most being freshman) into. Its an 8 day thing where each freshman gets put into a ‘family’ to hang out with and build relationships the whole week. It is used to help freshman get accommodated and comfortable in this hectic, new situation.

Well Luke and I are ‘mom’ and ‘pop’. Which means we get to be their ‘parents’ for the week and lead this family of 10 freshman. This is our 5th time and this is quite possibly the most excited I have been.

Anyways, today we had training, skit practices and shopping for gifts and snacks for our fam. Then we went to the office and worked then played Settlers of Catan with Elana and Vincent.

So today, I am thankful for spontaneous and fun game nights in the midst of stress. Even though I sucked at the game, (I am a total sore loser), it was so fun to hangout with people I haven’t seen much of or even really know that well and just get to have fun and not worry about the stress. OH and I am also thankful for encouraging talks with Elana after the game. (:

Enjoy the down times when you get them!

Being Thankful- Day 8

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Tonight, I am thankful for my Fossil family.

I started working there in February and have grown to love it so much. Its not the job. Its not the retail. Its not always the product. But what makes it worth going in and spending my days, is the people. Management is a hoot. The staff is all so fun and friendly and whether you have worked there a week or a year, you are treated like family.

Tonight, we had a goodbye celebration for one of the best managers around and a send off for all the associates that are leaving to go back to college. Like 70% of our staff is leaving for the fall semester and it is such a bummer.

We have all had so many stories and shared experiences together that we could probably write a book. I am continuously laughing and having a good time and its truly a blast.

Yes, we may sometimes irritate each other. We may have our own bad days occasionally. We may be on the struggle bus frequently. But it all makes us a family. And I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world.

 

Being Thankful- Day 7

I’ve always loved kids.

Growing up I helped in the nursery at my church, led Vacation Bible School groups, and babysit a ton. Now at CofO, I work in the Daycare with the 2 year olds. This summer I got to nanny two little kids. Friday, I got to spend my evening being a human jungle gym and punching bag to 30 CofO faculty children. Last night, I helped Ramsey chase around 11 kids. In two weeks, I return to the Daycare for one last semester.

Needless to say, I cant stay away from kids and I have always wanted 3 or more of my own.

So today, I am thankful for children.

I’m thankful for their hearts and their unconditional love. The way they can just meet you and a minute later already be jumping off dressers and expecting you to catch them. I’m thankful for the way they cuddle with you because nothing is much better than that to brighten up your day. I’m thankful for the goofy moments when they tell you they cant wait to meet my own kids one day. Im thankful for it all, even if they may drive me insane occasionally.

Even when they continuously ask me what my boyfriends name is while pointing to Luke (holla Ruthie Bell), I am thankful for them. Cause cmon on, regardless of how untrue it is, its precious.

I’m thankful for their childlike faith and how they think Jesus does yoga (thanks Willow), and how they insist God wants me to have a boyfriend (shoutout to Keegan).

They brighten my day and they bring so much joy and light in this world. So I am always thankful for children.