Thursday, April 27, 2006

This Weekend...

As most of you know, my job generally gets kinda crazy - weird things happening, crazy patrons, computers breaking...let just say I have earned my gray hairs that I am pulling out each week...

So you can only imagine how excited I am for my upcoming 3 day weekend! Not only is it a long weekend, I get to spend most of it at the Women's Retreat...every year I look forward to the Women's Retreat and not hardly anything could keep me from going. I know this will be the recharging, life-contemplating, relationship-growing weekend I am so desperately in need of. The icing on the cake of this weekend is that the retreat center we are going to is emersed in nature! There is a gorgeous lake, trees, flowers and plenty of God's beauty everywhere...its going to be amazing!

So here's to all the women who are heading out this weekend - and to the men - miss us lots and we are coming back changed in some way shape or form...

Prayer for the hurting

Over the last week it has seemed that there have been many tragedies plaguing the news...IU students killed when their plane crashed, a local police officer dying while protecting his friend, and then this morning, a Taylor University van getting slammed by a semi, losing 4 students and a University employee. Three different events, many devastated people. I didn't know anyone involved in any of these tragedies, but yet they all seem to hit a little too close to home...

I have an IU degree and know many past and present IU students...

I have many police officer friends, anyone of which could have been in the same place at the same time...

My sister graduated from Taylor - she used to take a school van to her children's programs she ran...

And lastly, the semi. A semi causing a tragic accident. Eight days from now will be the anniversary of when my dear friend was killed by a Semi. I feel for the family and friends of the Taylor students, I know how much it hurts and how simple it sounds to just give in to the anger.

Dear Lord - please stay with the friends and families of all these people who are hurting and so desperately need you right now. Help them to grieve and then to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away. Give them comfort when they feel there is none to be given. Hold them in the palm of your hand even if they push you away. And please help everyone outside of the situation to be strong, supportive and loving of the people who are hurting. Thank you Lord! Amen

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blah Kinda Day...

Today has been kinda a BLAH day...all kinds of strange computer problems, the library is FREEZING because the temperature outside dropped, random things just driving me NUTTY! So here are a few pictures of my girls (in honor of the Women's Retreat this weekend...) because looking at pictures of our craziness makes me happy :)

Today has been kinda a BLAH day...all kinds of strange computer problems, the library is FREEZING because the temperature outside dropped, random things just driving me NUTTY! So here are a few pictures of my friends, because looking at pictures of our craziness makes me happy :)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Flashing Neon Signs

Some of my girlfriends and I are always pondering what life would be like if God sent us flashing neon signs. Now we aren't talking about signs to tell us which way to turn or what restaurant to go to, but some obvious signals about the major decisions we are all called to make in life. Such as, for example, where to go to college, what to do with my life, who to date, who to marry, where to live, what next step we are supposed to be taking.

We sometimes wish that when thinking about a guy to date that God would send us a huge flashing neon "YES" (or gigantic green checkmark) or a "NO" (a monstrous red X would work as well) in order to help avoid some of the pain and frustration that occurs when dating the most definite WRONG person.

But recently I started thinking about our request, and wondering, how many times does God send us a God-version of a flashing neon sign and we choose to ignore it. Or perhaps we purposefully "read" it wrong in hopes that our own desires will sway God's. What if God really did send us a red X or green checkmark - would we finally listen? Would we take His "advice" or would we just chose to do our own thing anyway?

I've come to realize that the person we become is a reflection of how we chose to learn from our past and our mistakes. If I hadn't dated some REALLY wrong people, I wouldn't know what I want in a man. Qualities I used to think I liked, now drive me crazy after experiencing them first hand in dating, and things I thought I would hate, I really kinda like now. (Shoot I dated a redneck thinking all boys from the South were good ole boys like The Dukes of Hazzard - had to learn THAT the hard way!)

I still often wish for Flashing Neon Signs, only now, I am finding out that sometimes I already know the answer. That God has already spoken to my heart, and I dont need a green checkmark, I just need to trust in Him and believe in myself.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New Pictures!!!

My Melissa who will be home in a few short weeks!

Aaron and Linds cheezin it up

Naomi and Sarah - two hotties

Austin and Adam!

Jason thinking really hard

Katie - I don't think she got a strike :(

Classic Jeanna/Linds pose

Todd - the master pool man

Jen and Jeanna...with the Creepy Guy in the back

Richie Rich!

Stephen Hinkel - The Dork!

Rachel - no she's really not praying...

Hailey Bean

Awww - How cute!

Little Known Things

Here are some little known things about me [some are not so little known].

1. I love children; but get really annoyed by kids that run around like wild possessed lil people.

2. I hate snakes – nothing makes me cringe more!

3. I love the flavor of mushrooms; but I hate the texture.

4. I love eating cookie dough at the beginning stages when it is just butter creamed with sugar!

5. I love to read but hated reading required texts for classes.

6. I have a scar on my upper lip from when I split it open when I was younger.

7. I can’t smile for pictures unless I am already smiling or laughing. (Yes, thats right, can’t – there is a story behind this – if you really want to know, ask)

8. My toes are always moving – I was like this in the womb and it’s too late to change me now

9. I am completely obsessed with big trucks. Jess and I even have the beginnings of a song – turns out there are many ladies out there with similar feelings on this issue!

10. My favorite movies are Empire Records, The Goonies, Wedding Singer, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Fast and the Furious, Ghostbusters 2, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, The Wedding Planner and the list goes on an on

11. Person I'd love to have dinner with [living]: Lori Salierno

12. Person I'd love to have dinner with [deceased]: my grandmother – there is so much I could have learned from her only I was too young to appreciate it when she passed away OR my grandfather who I never really got to meet – he died when I was not yet one year old

13. If I could turn back time, I would go back to: 1984 – the times of those were the good old days

14. Favorite fruit: fresh pineapple!!!

15. Favorite veggie: In the summer I love fresh green beans!

16. What I love about my job: some of the amazing people I get to work with as well as some really nice, sweet people who come in looking for help

17. What I hate about my job: the crazy, creepy, scary men who come in the lab – give me the heebeegeebees

18. What I love about myself: I am truly trying to let God guide my life and all that entails

19. What I don't like about myself: my insecurities

20. Nieces/Nephews: I have one nephew who is so adorable and I miss sooo much! And a niece by choice!

21. I love the zoo - don’t really know why, but a day at the zoo is always appealing to me

22. Favorite childhood activities: I loved building stuff with my dad, riding the lawnmower with my grandpa, gardening with my grandma, walking to the playground in Rochester, “styling” my mom’s hair, playing outside and riding bikes with my friends.

23. People that are a waste of time to watch: People on Reality TV

24. My favorite dressing is ranch – on salads, chicken, french fries, potatoes, veggies, chips, the list goes on and on

25. Place I'd rather be right now: Outside in the gorgeous weather or vacationing places where people I miss live

26. Song that could be the soundtrack to my life: The Dance by Garth Brooks, I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack and This Is Your Life by Switchfoot (once again, if you want an explanation, just ask) :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My Wish

Lately the song that has been on my heart and my CD Player is My Wish by Rascal Flatts. Its a new song off there brand new album, and everytime I hear it, it hits me. Sometimes songs feel like they are coming straight from your heart into the mouths of the artists - this is one of those songs. This song goes out to all my friends - this song speaks how I feel about you, and the things I wish for you and your lives. I love you all...enjoy!

My Wish
By Rascal Flatts

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with the choice and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ ‘til you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
But more than anything, more than anything


My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves youAnd wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wishI hope you never look back but you never forget
All the ones who love you
And the place you left

I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Oh, you find God’s grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take
But more than anything, yeah more than anything

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Over the last few weeks God has been doing amazing things in my life. Once He finally got my attention (sometimes its hard to believe I ignored His voice for so long) boy did He have a lot to say to me...starting with...

My ministry - I have stepped down from my leadership role in Son City Kids. I am not wired up for this kind of leadership role. While I love the kids we serve, my holy discontent is not Son City Kids. It has taken me months to be able to admit this - I wanted SCK to be my holy discontent. I wanted it to be what fires me up. Kinda funny how sometimes the things we want blind us to God's will.

My holy discontent - My eye-opening came about through a New Community service on Salt and Light. At one point in the service Rob said there were two things God was trying to tell us - "I believe in you" and "You matter" While these are awesome phrases in and of themselves, they held even deeper meaning in my life. When I went into teaching, the two things I wanted to build into kids was that someone believes in them and that they matter. It was with these phrases that God finally got my attention. It also fired me up. I realized that I don't just want to build into kids - I want to build into people everywhere! My holy discontent was suddenly blatantly obvious - people who don't realize they matter or that someone believes in them. A few months ago an amazing woman who had "adopted" me as her own passed away. When she died I kept thinking how well she lived her life. How there was no doubt in my mind that God had told her "Well done, good and faithful servant" when she made it to see Him. I knew there was something special about her - something about the way she lived her life that I wanted - and this last weekend it hit me...she built these two things into the lives of everyone around her. She was my example - perhaps God placed her in my life to show me how to love well, how to build into people.

Breaking out of my comfort zone - Soon after that New Community service, I was approached by a couple of ladies who work at the church about going on the next mission trip to India. At first my reaction was the same it had been for years - "Maybe someday, a few years down the road, but not right now" Only this time, I couldn't get it out of my head. This trip is different - a group of women from GCC will be traveling to Tamil Nadu to build up women church planters in India. Women are not viewed in high regard in India and the have the chance to build up and into women in a country that so desperately needs God - my heart wouldn't let me be. I knew I needed to do this. I have applied for the trip and hopefully will be hearing soon if I will be traveling to the other side of the world. Everytime I think about India or hear about India or talk about India, my heart fills. I know this is what God wants me to do - this is my next step - and its a doozie!