celebrate good times

I love to celebrate. Whether it's a big event or what seems to be an every day occurence, I choose to make a big deal out it. I see no reason not to. It could be a milestone birthday, a reuniting of friends, a good grade or a good haircut. Whatever it is, I bet it deserves a party. Or atleast a cake.

Lately, I'm happy to say that there have been lots of reasons to celebrate in the life of friends.
Reuniting of the foursome at Ruston's 102 Bistro was the highlight of a few days spent at home after camp. It had been eight months since we could look at one another's faces all at the same time. Four completely different summers. Still best friends.
We talked about the difficulties our friendship could face when we enter "the real world" with real schedules and no more month-long breaks. But we committed to grip the handles until our knuckles turn white and prepare for the sudden drop. We are all still changing. And saying my love for them comes all the way from my toes is not enough. It's deeper than that.

I learned of Natalie's engagement the day after camp ended. I am excited and in disbelief that we could be at a point in our lives where this is happening. It must be senior year! The best part of an engagement party is that it is the first of many times to get to celebrate Natalie and Nathan.

B is finally 21! Here's to a friend who deserves a celebration more like once a week than once a year. Who has been a part of every moment of this college journey. I love you, B!

What can you celebrate today?


back again

It has been exactly two weeks since my summer came to a close. Since I was, well, in total hysterics from saying a string of goodbyes to the faces that set the foreground for my summer. The faces that I love deeper than I ever thought I could love. These people challenged me more than anyone ever has, they knew me and allowed me to know them in such an intimate way that you would never expect to achieve in three months.

And now life is a little strange. Now I don't have a schedule to follow. I get to choose what I'm going to eat for every meal. I'm not immediately responsible to anyone but myself. Now is the time where what I learned this summer is tested. Do I only rely on the Lord when I must complete a difficult task set before me? This summer, that task was being a senior counselor to an incredible staff. A staff who never needed me but needed what the Lord was doing through me. Which, for the record, had nothing to do with myself. But it's no longer my official "job" to counsel these girls which made this daily reliance on the Lord necessary. I was hired, in a sense, to give my life away. And I don't think I'll ever love a job more. At the same time, the Lord reminded me that handing my every moment over to Him was something that He deserved. That my life is not my own. That even if I won't be confronted by a faithful superior for not being intentional with my time, that He has commanded me to lay this life down. To rely on Him to love my friends, roommates, family and boyfriend better. To act and talk and dress and eat and walk as He would. To speak truth to classmates (conviction!). To go work a fundraiser for summer missions instead of sleeping in.

That's what I want to do now. Live in this daily reliance. It's difficult for me. I've been Miss Independent for quite a while and have honestly found that I can do most things that I set my mind to. Why rely on anyone else? Dustin knows this well as he has had to chip away that thick, ugly, "I can do it myself" shell. With astounding patience, I might add. But the Lord knows it better. And I know He doesn't like it. So I'll eagerly try to keep up this pattern of reliance. Because He can do it better. Because it produces joy and avoids those frequent burn outs. Because I hope to be used by the Lord for something that is way beyond my capabilities. Because He deserves it.

I could continue too spill about everything that the Lord taught me this summer. I even brought my camp journal, setting it next to my computer in hopes that I could put all those lessons into a concise blog post. Which is funny because I wasn't even capable of putting some of them into words. My hope is that they will surface in random "life with God" moments. And that I will look back and remember that, whatever it is, the Lord taught me it in the middle of a heart-to-heart with a counselor, or while nestled into our director's couch during a leadership meeting, or while watching a group of high schoolers and their counselors sing praises to their Savior. And it will make the moment that much more special. Because the Lord used Pine Cove to transform my life over three incredible summers. Because Pine Cove is special to me. And always will be.

The plan is to be a more faithful blogger. To not have infrequent novels but to have much more frequent, shorter glimpses of day to day life. Because day to day life with Jesus is really cool. And sometimes hard. But always cool. I feel like this faithfulness is doable. Because, at some point in the last three months, I took on just enough "grown up-ness" to feel like I would rather devote the time I read through (mostly) pointless Facebook status updates to blogging. I also feel like I can keep my room in some semblance of order. Weird.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deuteronomy 4:9