Category: Insignificant Details

June 29-July 4th–UTAH!!!

In my summer of travels, this was the first plane trip. It was great to be able to take one of my favorite people, Hannah, on this trip. I loved that we finally got to travel together. We have wanted to do one of these promotional trips together for as long as we have known each other. (We did travel to Ecuador together, but that didn’t count, I don’t know why).

We got to Utah, found our rental car, and headed on our way. (We had a sweet white pontiac grand am). We found the hotel and went exploring to find the main office. Now, that was much more difficult than it seemed. We couldn’t find the right door to enter into, and then the convention center was so huge we were walking in circles. It is after lunch time at this point, and we are hungry, but we find the room and check in.

We decide to do lunch at this point and wander over to the Olive Garden. We had a delightful lunch and then went back to the hotel for a little bit of rest before the evening session with Francis.

We got to the session and found Timmy, Hannah’s boyfriend’s brother, and were able to sit with his youth group. I was surprised by how organized the conference was, all the groups had assigned seating with the exact amount of seats assigned to them in certain areas of the convention hall.

The convention was great, it was so good hearing Francis speak, and we even went to a couple of other sessions which were equally good. I love how God uses each of these conferences in my life. I am overwhelmed and blessed that I get to attend these conferences.

The time at the booth was great. We were next to the other EBC…Emmaus Bible College. It was so fun to hear what they are doing and to get to know Israel and Reagan. We all decided that everyone should come to EBC. (We just didn’t say which EBC we were talking about). As far as my EBC is concerned, it was a great conference. We loved being ther and had a great response far surpassing what I thought it would be.

Hannah and I also got to see some great sights in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. A highlight was going to the Mormon Temple to get a tour and to understand more about mormonism. It was so interesting and informative. We both agreed it was one of the best things that we did when we were in Utah.

The last day, Hannah and I drove up into the mountains to a place that was recommended to us. It was called Ruby’s Diner, and it had the best breakfast ever!! We got to sit outside on a beautiful patio and eat a delicious meal, then we drove to Park City to go to the Olympic Park. We got to see people training for the winter olympics. They would go down these big jumps in snow skis do flips in the air, and then land in a giant pool. It was awesome. We also decided to go on a 1/4 mile luge, called the Quicksilver Alpine Slide. It was a really fun ride! We left there and went into the heart of Park City for awhile, and then left to get back to the airport and fly back to California. It was a great trip!

The Best Single Girl’s Dinner Ever!

So tonight I decided to go to the grocery store to grab some dinner. I didn’t quite know what I wanted but decided to get pizza and some ice cream. I sat down to eat and realized that I was eating Ben and Jerry’s, Pizza, and Diet Coke. Isn’t this the epitome of a single girl’s dinner?
All of it was diet of course: diet coke, lean cuisine pizza, and lowfat frozen yogurt. It was a great dinner, that I loved, but couldn’t help laughing about.

June 23-26, 2008–Biola and Momentum West

I headed down to Southern California (more southern than where I am now) with Nadia, an EBC student, for a conference that Francis was doing in Bellflower. The housing was at Biola University, my Alma mater, and I was excited to go there and see some old friends.

Nadia had gotten engaged two days prior to this trip, so her mind was on her beloved Steve. It was fun to see her excitement, count the diamonds in her ring, and hear all about Steve. It was really cute to see her so excited about her engagement, and the thing that I really loved about the situation was that she was completely content just to be engaged. She didn’t know the wedding date, and at that time didn’t really care, she just was enjoying being engaged to Steve. I was so encouraged by her.

If you know me you know that contentment is one of my hobby horses that I talk about all the time. I just feel that it is so important to be content right where God has you NOW versus where you are going to be at any time in the future. God is calling us to be completely content in Him alone in every stage of our lives, and each of us need to be striving towards contentment to better glorify God with where HE has us. Nadia was a great example of what I am talking about. She was completely content with where she was and a great example of being content where you are not where you are going to be. It was fun to see her joy in true contentment with where God had her.

So we got to Biola and checked in. It was really fun to be able to move my stuff into Stewart, a dorm that I had never lived in. I ran into Randy, an electrician on campus who recognized me and greeted me by name (I graduated five years ago). It was great to see him and hear about his family. He would come up to Thousand Pines and serve up there, so I had a couple of connections with him. We got our stuff in the dorms and headed to Bellflower. We got checked in and started to assemble the EBC booth.

The conference is one that I went to last year, so I got to see some familiar faces: Dana, TK, Dave, and Ed Lewis were all there. It was great to see them all and reconnect knowing that I would see them in a month or two at the Momentum East Conference. This conference had fewer students attend and there were only about 300 students there total, about 100 of them being from Operation Barnabus (the youth service team from Momentum).

The conference started and was really great. Worship was led by Todd Proctor and Francis spoke the first night and the next morning. I feel so blessed to be able to hear him teach in so many different places. It is neat to see his ministry all over the country. I feel so blessed.

I got the opportunity to meet a lot of the Operation Barnabus leaders (college leaders for the high school service groups). It was so fun for Nadia and I to meet each of them and to have lunch on day two with Sarah and Stacie.

One of my favorite memories from this trip comes from one of the Operation Barnabus students. Dominque came up to me and was asking about EBC, she ended up finding out my age and about my singleness. She decided that because I was of a certain age and single, I would be perfect for her youth leader. She brought him over later and was not sly at all in her approach. It was pretty funny. I had never been set up by someone who wasn’t one of my kids.

I also loved meeting and hearing Mike Yankowski share his story of living homeless for five months in five different cities. It gave me a heart for homeless that I haven’t had before and I am still figuring out exactly how I can get involved. He wrote a book, Under the Overpass, and I would recommend it to anyone. It is amazing.

I know this is so long, but I did want to share about my time at Biola. I got to “go visiting” with Nadia to all of my old hangouts. I got to run into Mark Hooper, who I haven’t seen in awhile and talk to him a bit, and then go to Student Services where I got to reconnect with Nancy, Carolyn, and Beth. I was bummed to miss John, Roxanne, and Ruth, but glad that I got to see the rest of them. I loved talking with them and catching up. It made me feel real special to be remembered after all these years. I definitely miss them and it honestly felt nice to have them remember me. After leaving that office I cried for a bit just missing what once was. We went to Feinberg after that to visit the professors, they were all on vacation, but Val was there and it was really nice to catch up with her.

We left Biola and came back home…Utah is next….

My Bible Study

One of my greatest joys during Spring Semester of last year was my Bible Study that I got to teach to a group of amazing girls, we first went through Hosea and then went through Idols of the Heart. These girls are so fun and we had a great time learning together.
From Left: Kelsey, Rachel, Scarlett, Leah, Ashley, Me, Heather

Boring Blog

There are a few blogs that I read everyday. Some of them don’t post anything new for a long time. I often wonder why people don’t update their blogs more often. They have boring blogs but I look at them each day anyway hoping that there is a new post.

The other day my friend Susan (who I think may be the only person who reads this blog) said to me, “Your blog is boring.” I realized right away that she was right and that I have to update the blog. So much has happened, I have seen so many places, and I need to take some time to update this blog with what has happened.

I am going to try to blog a bit at a time and update all my readers (Susan) on my life. This is the first of hopefully many blogs to come.

Birthday Week

So this past week was a big week for me. It was the week leading up to my 28th Birthday. Each day prior to my birthday God gave me a special gift and I wanted to blog about it so that I remember to be thankful for what God has given me.

Wednesday May 21

David Cook won American Idol! It was such an exciting night that shocked me. I was not expecting my favorite guy to win. I was expecting David Archuleta to win and it was so exciting that David Cook won instead.

Thursday May 22

The work ladies took me out to lunch for my birthday. It was really special because in four birthday’s here there had never been a lunch from the ladies I work with. It was great to spend time with Suzy, Becky, Sandy, Kelly, Kristen and Yvonne.

I also got to cook a scrumptious dinner with Caitlin and hold my precious nephew Hayden.

Friday May 23

After years of wanting a video of Francis to be posted on our website, my dream came true. Mark worked on it a ton and it finally happened. I can’t believe it. (check out http://www.eternitybiblecollege.com/ to see the video, just click on Francis’ face).

Also, my long lost friend Mindy called me and asked to go to lunch with me. We went out to Sharkey’s and got to catch up, it was really nice. I only see her every few months so it was a good time.

Saturday May 24

I just had a chill day at home and relaxed and watched movies most of the day. It was good to just be around the house.

Sunday May 25

This day held an amazing surprise. I got to make rainbow lemon cupcakes with Jennifer and her friend (which was a fun experiment), and went to church at seven, but the surprise was when Kimberly called and said that her and her boyfriend (who I really like) were in town and wanted to stop by and say hi. (For more info on that see the post: an unexpected visit). It was a gift from God to have them come.

Monday May 26

I came back from my morning walk and the Larcombs were all loading into their truck and asked if I wanted to go to breakfast with them. I climbed in and we went out to breakfast. It was really fun to be with the whole family. The Drinkhall family also joined us, and they are a lot of fun as well. There was constant conversation.

I also got to scrapbook which I haven’t done in forever. It was so good to get more done. I made it through November 16th and EBC’s trip to Wicked.

Tuesday May 27

Brittany took me out to lunch at Musashi, which is a fabulous Japanese food restaurant. It was so so good. We ate in the Teppan section of the restaurant which was amazing. I had never been to a place like this where they prepared the food right in front of you! It was great!! The food was so delicious. I had salmon and Brittany had filet minon. The food and service was outstanding.

That night, the Larcombs threw me a surprise dinner party with a whole bunch of EBC students and the Beuvings and Kristen also came. Everything that they served had beans in it which are my favorite. Beans are amazing!

Wednesday May 28th

I showed up at work to find Mark there early as well as three girls: Hannah, Christine, and Mallory which had decorated my office with streamers, presents, and two huge signs. It was awesome. Kristen later showed up with balloons and the day started.

Everyone wished me a Happy Birthday who came into the office due to my streamers. Emily came and took me to lunch at Corner Bakery, it was so tasty!

The Snee’s took me out to dinner, it was amazing. We went to Sushi Traditions and had great food. I loved it. Mark had to leave to go to The Rock, and Caitlin surprised me with two little Ben and Jerry’s Ice Creams.

After that Christine came over and we went and rented Bella and grabbed some frozen yogurt. It was so good. Bella was an interesting movie and it was a fun night.

Overall, my birthday week was amazing. Thanks to all my friends who made it so special. I feel so hopeful for 2008 and hope that it will be amazing.

An Unexpected Visit

It was about halfway into our conversation when I realized that my face hurt from smiling. I must have been smiling the entire time we were talking. I can’t remember the last time my face hurt from smiling.

It was an unexpected visit, an amazing surprise just a few days before my birthday. I received the text from Kimberly around 5:30 saying that she and her boyfriend Derek were in the neighboring town. A few texts later we planned to meet at Starbuck’s around 9.

I beat them to Starbuck’s and when Derek and Kimberly walked in, and I couldn’t hide how much it meant to me that they were here. A few minutes into the conversation and I knew that they also knew how much it meant to me that they came to visit.

The beautiful part about it is that we didn’t do anything abstract or necessarily special. We just talked, laughed and learned more about each other. It was amazingly normal without pressure or expectation. I was genuinely who I am as were they. It was refreshing.

It was a true picture of how relationships should be in my opinion. Three friends sitting around telling stories about their lives and laughing. There should always be laughing.

They left about an hour after they arrived, and I went home feeling refreshed and myself again. I feel so thankful that God would bless me with their friendship. I just can’t wait until I see them again. My face hurts from smiling just thinking about it.

April 25, 2008

April 25th was one of the best days ever. I wanted to write about it so that I could document everything that happened that day so that I can remember all of it.
The day started out as any other day. I went to work. I had recently been trying to be funny so that my mood would follow and it would become a happy mood. Anyway, that morning Joshua, Kristen, Mark and I had an amazingly fun conversation that ended in at least one inside joke…”En Fuego.” None of us will ever see those two spanish words the same.
I got a call to go to lunch with Geoff, Stacy, and Bella…they were in town for a wedding. I met the Leatherman’s, Trent, Danny, and Wes at Chipotle. It was great food with great people. It just seemed normal to be with all of them. Bella is getting bigger and growing cuter and cuter by the day.
As I was walking to my car I realized…TODAY IS MY THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT EBC!!!! I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten all day. That made me so happy that I had such a great morning and I knew that I was in store for much more excitement as the day went on.
In the afternoon I went grocery shopping for the Student Life Event that Mark and I had planned. After shopping I went straight to Joshua’s house to set up. It was neat to know while I was there that I could use anything that I wanted, and feel a bit “at home” even though I was at my bosses house. I was able to get everything ready a whole 15 minutes before everyone showed up. This means that I just sat there for 15 minutes…that does not happen in Student Life Event preparation.
So the BBQ started as planned, at around 5:30pm Kristen showed up to Joshua’s house. She was carrying a bouquet of flowers. I thought to myself, “She brought a centerpiece.” She walked over to me and handed me the flowers. “They were delivered for you” she said. I didn’t know who could have sent me the flowers but there they were, as beautiful as can be. I looked at the card, and it contained a sweet message from Heather, one of the girls in my Bible Study.

Beautiful Flowers from Heather C.

The BBQ came to a close and we left for our first ever EBC Mini Golf Tournament. We went to Mountasia in Santa Clarita. Around 20 students played in the Tournament. It was really great.

A Group Picture of the Students
My team consisted of Mark and Laura B and Andrew J. and I. Games are always more fun when you play them with Laura.

Laura and I

Mark and Andrew
It was a blast. We had a fun time and got to follow Kelsey, Sam, Karianne, Andrew, and Josh. The tournament ended with Andrew winning for our team and Malone winning overall.
Overall, it was just a fun, funny, and tremendously needed perfect day.

The Song

So today I have been thinking a lot. Thinking about how I really lack the faith to trust God in a lot of areas of my life. I have been so frustrated lately about where I am and why I am here. I thought that my life would look different from what it looks like now. I realize how much God does love me and care for me and I know that my life looks exactly how He wants it to look. As I was driving home tonight I was struggling thinking through this and I changed the music to more reflective music so that I could think more.

I put on my favorite song of the last year and began to sing. In the midst of the chorus I realized that the answer to all of my questions was within the words of the chorus. “Own me, Take all that I am, And heal me with the blood of the Lamb, mold me With Your gracious hand; Break me till I’m only Yours-Own me.” For a year I have been singing these lyrics and meaning it. “Take all that I am…mold me…break me till I’m only yours.” Now I am in the midst of it happening and instead of running to the arms of my Savior, I am trying to analyze why this is all happening and instead of trusting, I am worrying and taking all my burdens upon myself. He is breaking me to bring me closer to Him and I am ignoring Him because what I am going through is hard.

My prayers have changed tonight and I am now praying a different prayer. I haven’t stopped singing the song, but I am praying that God would change the desires of my heart, that He would help me to focus more on Him, and that I would be thankful for the things that He has given me.

Yes, my life doesn’t look like I thought that it would but God still does love me and has not forgotten me.

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” Jerry Bridges in Trusting God

From Squirrels to Rabbits

There are a few ways to get to the new house that I live in. I often choose a street that reminds me of the mountains that I used to live on. It starts or ends with a big curve and Lola (my car) and I both get excited to take that turn. It reminds me of the mountain. Tonight as I was driving home, singing acapella at the top of my lungs, I swerved to miss a rabbit. This is pretty customary at night, and it didn’t startle me but caused me to think of what else I used to swerve around. I had a hard time pinpointing it until I remembered the squirrels, up in the San Bernardino Mountains there are millions of grey squirrels. They are cute the first week that you live up there or if you are visiting, but after you live there you kind of get annoyed. They are always in the way, especially when you are behind the wheel. Now, I also had to swerve to miss bears and coyotes, but the squirrels were the most frequent.

In this thought process of thinking about squirrels and rabbits I was reminded how far God has led me in my journey through life. Not only from squirrels to rabbits, but from isolation into community. I can’t say that I understand the power of the church body when they are loving each other as the Bible tells us to, but I can tell you that in the past three years of being at Cornerstone and EBC, God has shown me time and time again how much I need the church body. Even though I am alone in the eyes of the world, I have a Savior that loves and amazes me everyday, and often times uses His people to show me that love. He has surrounded me by believers who love Him and point me towards His arms when I forget that they are there waiting to hold me.

The Lord is always faithful, the Lord is always good, the Lord is always merciful, the Lord is always my protector. Thank you Lord Jesus for what you have done in my life and how you are constantly working. I read Ephesians 3:14-21 this morning, and it just hits me time and time again how God does do abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine.

Three years ago, living in a fifth wheel in the middle of a forest with bears, coyotes, and squirrels I never thought that I would be where I am today: content in God alone, patiently waiting and seeking after my Shepherd. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1.

And all this because of one rabbit that God put in my path.