Wednesday, July 30, 2008

being messy

my room is a complete disaster right now.

very rarely do i let things get out of order. i've always lived by the motto, 'everything has a place and everything is in its place.' even when that place is a deep shove under the bed, i like stuff to be put away. tidy. organized.

right now, it's just messy.

kind of like my life.

but it's an organized mess--all this stuff has somewhere to go. for the first time in a month, maybe even since i left ram village in may, there is room for me to unpack & settle in, make myself at home. i just need to get around to putting things away. or any many cases now that i'm home for good from unc, finding a new place to put it away.

kind of like my life.

right now my life feels like an upturned trash can. thoughts & emotions flying everywhere, scattered ambitions, questions and misgivings, age-old doubts rotting on the floor. i need to take a minute & delight in this mess. jump into the dumpster & just sit on the junk.

a time for me to just be. when have i ever done that? when have i not been moving, been going, defining myself by my goals & my success?

what if i let God put this mess away? when He's ready. and i get to just sit here & take it all in, drowning in His goodness & love. realizing that the Gospel is all about Jesus coming to pick up our mess & set it right Himself.

what if this is my chance to see who He really is? to stop moving & start listening for His still, small voice.


to all my friends--i love yall more than i can express. when i feel like a failure, you tell me that you're proud of me, that i have strength. you hug me from across many miles. you pray for me & listen to me verbally process. thank you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

by way of explanation--the musical

Sanctus Real, "Whatever You're Doing":

It's time for healing, time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone, time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything, I surrender

Time to face up, clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

(not verbatim for what's going on with me, but pretty darn close)

by way of explanation

after verbally processing a lot of things that have been stewing over these last three weeks--this is what came out. i needed to write it all down so i could communicate things fairly to my boss. i gave this to him, so here it is for yall to hopefully understand as well.

i'm sorry if i've been facetious, even on this blog where my hope was to uphold honestly & transparency for you, the people i love the most. so here it is now--the nitty-gritty of how i've been feeling & what led me to the decision to leave the internship in KY.

i want to give myself wholly, heart & spirit. not get the job done & feel empty at the end of the day.

my explanation follows:

I am not passionate enough about this work.

--I came into this opportunity hoping to have the chance to explore a ministry outside of children’s so I could determine if that was the ultimate place God wanted me. I thought youth work would be a great place to do that, but I’ve already come to see that this is not fair on my part. I’m not all in. I have no idea what I’m doing & I’m not really excited about doing it. With all our planning we’ve been doing, I feel about 20% excited about the opportunities for ministry, and 80% unsure and inadequate. I don’t want to keep lying to you or to myself or to the kids when my heart is with children’s ministry. I keep thinking about finding a children’s ministry internship when I finish this year, or going to school for children’s ministry when I’m done here. I even got jealous of the Crossroads children’s ministry internship announcement, wishing that I could be doing that instead if I was going to be out here. Clearly this shows that my heart is not in the right place, and I know that you want someone on your team who is 100% youth-driven. I see that in Derek very much, but I don’t see that in myself and I don’t think that’s fair for anyone.
--I feel God has gifted me for children’s ministry, and that is where my passion lies as well.

This all happened too fast & I think on both sides we’re guilty of diving in without looking.

--I had a whirlwind college experience trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. For a while I was settled on children’s ministry, but when I decided to drop out of the school of education, I got nervous about pursuing any type of work with children. I wanted to make sure that’s where I belonged by trying something else for a while instead. That’s how I ended up here instead of with a children’s ministry internship somewhere. I can see now that that was a decision that wasn’t well thought through. If I wanted to explore other areas of ministry, I should have done so in a less fully-involved capacity. This is full-time work for a year away from home, and I don’t think I’m cut out for it. To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed the work so far, and I know it’s only been a time of adjustment & transition, but as I said above, I don’t think I have the passion for this work, so I don’t foresee myself flourishing as things progress.

--I think I looked really good on paper & perhaps that hasn’t translated as well as we both hoped to the actual job. I find it a little strange that I didn’t have to fill out an application or give any references—everything happened so fast. I sometimes am not sure if you’re aware that I have no background in youth work, for example when you asked me one day whether I had taken youth ministry classes in college. I have no experience in this field & I think it was my hope that I could translate my work in children’s ministry & my leadership in my college ministry into some kind of youth ministry compromise. That certainly is a mistaken impression of my own, which I can now clearly see.

I think God wants me to experience failure

--I’ve been struggling with call since I’ve been here. Why would God bring me here to be miserable? I have been trying to trust that He knows better than I do what I’m doing here, but now I begin to see that perhaps God wanted me to come here & fall flat on my face. He wanted to show me that I can’t do everything. He wanted me to face failure & have to deal with it. To crawl away with my tail between my legs for the first time in my life. To not be perfect. To not be able to handle a job with finesse, skill, and passion. To recognize that I’ve messed up & made a rash decision, and to deal with the repercussions of that decision.

I’d like to pull out before I become too committed—before small groups start, etc

--I know that I’m letting you down, especially after we made all these great plans at the overnight retreat. But truly I think it’s best if I do this now before things have even gotten off the ground. Right now it is all ideas—things that can certainly materialize without me. I wish I could be here for the young women of this ministry, but I know there are leaders who can step up & fill the need for girls’ ministry.
--I feel a lot better about leaving now before I’ve connected deeply with much of anyone, instead of having kids feel like I’m deserting them after having been here a couple months or something.

I feel completely unconnected

--I like my roommates a lot but don’t feel that we have a lot in common or that they’ve been overly welcoming
--Likewise with the college small group. I feel like I’m barging into the middle of things, and though they are kind, I’ll never catch up but always be on the outside.
--Coming in 6 weeks after Derek has also been hard. He’s already established himself here, and has been interacting with the kids once a month this whole year. And he’s from KY, so he has a brother here & a girlfriend nearby. The contrast between his connectedness & my lack thereof is stark.

I’m miserable away from home in NC, my family, and friends. I’m worried about getting depressed.

--I’ve been really lonely. Again, I understand that’s part of transitioning, but it’s been far worse than I was expecting. I think I took on too many transitions at once—away from college, away from NC, away from family & friends. I don’t think I can handle all of these at once, and at least by going back home I will be dealing more primarily with just the transition from college into work/”the real world” instead of that transition plus the transition of a new place and new friends, completely separated from family & friends.

prayer request

i've decided to leave lexington & i'm coming home tomorrow to start over.

more to come on this, i promise.

your continued prayers would be very much appreciated.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sharp shootin'

i hardly even know what just happened in my life over the past two days. but i am going to try & explain it to you. be warned.

yesterday morning i left church with scott, tim, and derek. we had an xsm staff overnight retreat to plan for the upcoming year. your first hint about the character of the weekend--none of us knew where scott was taking us for this retreat. we headed out of lexington, and after backtracking through smalltown, kentucky, usa we ended up at this place called canoe creek lodge (or some such name). even though we were literally in the middle of nowhere, it looked nice. and then we walked in the door. friends, there were enough stuffed animals in that room to send the children of 5 taxidermists to college. now certainly there are people in north carolina who hunt... i do not know any of them. most people from chapel hill/unc upon walking into that room would've reacted in a similar manner that i did (at one point i curled up in the fetal position on a couch...only somewhat jokingly) or far worse--running in the opposite direction might have been appropriate.

fortunately, the place we were staying for the night was across the property & was virtually dead-animal free. we settled in there, then came back to the main lodge. while our hostess prepared lunch, we took a golf-cart tour of the clay pigeon course. i had a lot of fun driving, until i nearly killed my boss & i driving down this death-drop of a gravel hill (rachel--several times over the course of this weekend, i experienced similar feelings to yours in denali. less justified feelings, perhaps, but the same ones, nonetheless). and as if driving a golf-cart for the first time was not enough, after lunch we shot guns. real ones, with bullets. (well, that's one check off the ole bucket list that i don't recall even writing down) i sort-of-kind-of hit the target, and it was actually a bit exhilarating, but i have no desire to partake again. this is what i get for being one female working with 3 guys all year.

after that we did a lot of work, which was really good. for dinner we decided to drive way back down the road towards lexington to a new shopping center with a movie theater so we could see the dark knight. we ate at a japanese steakhouse beforehand, which brought about the third first of the day--eating whole bites of sushi rolls...and liking it! ugh, but i haven't ate as much as i ate last night in a long while. another symptom of being around guys perhaps? the movie afterwards ended up being really good--not something that would normally be on the top of my list, but with all the hype i definitely wanted to check it out. christian bale is hot, heath ledger was astounding--that got me through (haha, just kidding). it was very disturbing (which means it was done well) and had an all-star cast. really long though, but good. of course on the way up the long, creepy, deserted driveway back to the house later that night, scott thought it would be funny to stop the car halfway up and cut off all the lights. no, not scary at all in deliverance-ville, KY. nor did it help that the doors of the house where we were staying had been unlocked all night because the lady didn't give us a key.

still yet, i slept long & hard after all the day's excitement. only minimal nightmares. waking up in the morning, eating breakfast outside, and taking some time to talk with God in the middle of an amazing natural setting was really good. i read in Micah 7 and Colossians--such beautiful words about the supremacy of Christ (the "all things" hymn). all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. Likewise the words in chapter 3: "as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with..." these good things. Over all these put on love and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts! What truth & beauty!

while talking to God, i was thinking about the relient k song, "i'm a little more than useless." and i heard God answer, "and that is enough." He is awesome for loving me. for loving us.

our morning meeting was a marathon of calendar planning. we've got it all laid out--which makes it seem like the year is going to fly by, and i'm sure it will! that planning portion took longer than expected, so instead of venturing out for a lunch break, it was decided (pretty much by the male consensus) to just "snack on" the foods we had. which was trail mix, chips, popcorn, and cookies. yea, i still feel nauseous. that is not lunch. next time i think i'll fast.

but we got a lot of awesome stuff done on this retreat & i'm very excited about the upcoming year! now it is my prayer that these things will be actualized, with our combined efforts, with help from willing leaders, and with the input and direction of the students.

my own personal goal is to make sure (as likewise the ministry--and every ministry--seeks to do) Christ stays at the center for me & in the work that I do. it must be so easy for Jesus to slip out of all these activities and events and plans and gatherings. if He does, then none of it matters. it's a careful balance to maintain. you can't just beat someone (especially a teenager) over the head with a Bible and expect them to keep coming back for more. my challenge will be to find my own balance as a minister of fellowship/fun and of spiritual growth.

Monday, July 21, 2008

opportunities knock

excitement abounds in the XSM ministry! though i'm sure the kids are dreading it, i'm looking forward to the start of school when a lot of new programs and ministries will get off the ground.

this weekend we did a short n' sweet skit in the high school service. very basic, little rehearsal required--but the girls were SOO excited. one told me she hadn't slept the night before she was so pumped, and another said just what we wanted to hear: "you know, i can't sing very well but i love acting so i'm so glad i get to participate in the service." we're hoping to get this creative team rolling so more kids can participate in things like dramas, and hopefully dance, art, photography, etc & realize how that is beautiful worship unto the Lord! there's interest in doing the Lifehouse "Everything" skit (check it out here), which the youth at my church in Charlotte did right before I left. It was extremely powerful, and I'm excited to hear that the kids here want to perform it--both in their youth service & hopefully in the main service.

lots of other things in ministry to get excited about--we have an XSM staff retreat this week where we're going to plan TONS of stuff. i know that will get me super motivated & eager to dive in, even though it will be a lot of legwork. plus next week we're heading off to Panama City! i get to throw in a few community games suggestions for this retreat. IV folks, you'll be happy to know that i've suggested Bible roulette, funky chicken, and train wreck (plus I played altered beast with the middle schoolers this past week). and for any glee club ladies out there--i thought get-to-know you bingo would be good too (minus the question about who owns more than 10 pairs of pink underwear! haha)

ps--i hope to take some pictures soon of my office & house for y'all to see. i know you're waiting with bated breath :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

settling in

i'm currently having "a big night in" (according to the oxygen channel) with the phantom of the opera. i think they did an impressive job with this movie, and those soul-pounding organ chords alone are enough to give me the shivers. i love that movie musicals are big again! here's a few thoughts through the commercials...

i've decided to be at peace here. to save each day's worries for its own. to trust God's sovereignty. to recognize that coming here was more of a leap of faith than i realized, and to remember that God has carried me to a safe landing through previous leaps. to accept a few weeks of solitude while i adjust, and rejoice in the great multitude of dear friends i left behind, whose presence i am now missing.

even as i write this my new roommate Constance just called to invite me out for ice cream with her & her babysitting charge. last night another roomie, Crystal, invited me to see The Dark Knight (though several sold-out showings turned the evening into a late dinner out). i am well looked after :)

okay--back. sorry NC folks, but they have this ice cream place called Graeter's that really is quite better than most stuff we have. mmm delish.

so even though things are different, i've really just got a new set of circumstances--what's important has stayed true. i've traded in franklin st, cameron ave, and manning drive for richmond rd, todds rd, and man-o-war. i no longer attend chapel hill bible or LOC, but crossroads. i can't meet face-to-face with sara & susanna for discipleship any longer, but i have a whole youth group full of young girls to mentor.

i miss living with kristen and mallory, and hearing mallory run the vacuum at the strangest times. i miss seeing katie at the gym on monday and wednesday mornings. i miss cracking up with anna & alison & hunter in glee club & rolling my eyes at betsey across the room. i miss meeting rachel in the parking lot after rehearsal on wednesdays & heading over for dinner & soul-searching at kristen's. i miss tuesday night life group & sunday morning in the nursery at church. i miss IV on thursday nights and the endless mingling afterwards. i miss walking across the quad & sitting in the union. i miss zumba class with holly. i miss living with amanda & ashleigh, finding ourselves in either supremely deep conversations or facebook flair searches . i miss these things, but now must cherish them as memories, looking forward to the times when they will be revisited, and trusting in the new experiences i will build here.


on another note entirely...

i had one of those "i immediately regret this decision" moments today--a big one. a big, ironic, kick-yourself-in-the-toosh kind of moment. i was sitting in starbucks (in the most comfortable reading chair EVER by the way) reading a book that was given to me at Crossroads, called Unchristian. The book is written by a Christian research analyst who did a huge project on the perception and reality of Christian living--and how both are pretty decidedly Unchristian. The point of the book, of course, is to raise awareness of these discrepancies for believers so that we may do something about it. Anyway, it's one of those books that I'll read in public places with the cover pointedly facing outward, instead of on my lap, in the hopes that someone would strike up a conversation with me about it. Lo and behold, that was exactly what happened today--sort of. As I was closing the book & heading out the door, a man across from me asked if I was reading something interesting (I don't know if he could even see the cover title, but nonetheless...). I said yes & gave him a brief synopsis, which was thereafter followed by an awkward pause, and a comment on the comfy-ness of said chair. I then bid him good day and walked out the door. I didn't even make it to my car before I had come up with what I should have said. Clearly I didn't pursue the conversation with this man far enough to know whether he was a Christian or an atheist or a seeker or what have you, but clearly this was a heaven-sent moment where I could have shared my faith and engaged in a stimulating spiritual conversation. Could have. But I left.

A couple years ago at Rockbridge (Intervarsity's summer camp) I was in the track called Good News, which was about evangelism. One of our speakers within the track shared a story about witnessing on campus, beginning with his realization that we can boldly ask God for opportunities to evangelize. He made that prayer, and saw it through to fulfillment. Today was such an opportunity. I don't know what would've happened--he could've shut down the minute I started throwing spiritual jargon around, or we could have sat and talked for an hour & I could have left after inviting him to church this weekend.

The irony, of course, is that i was reading this book called Unchristian. The particular chapter I was in was addressing hypocrisy, and particularly some statistics that showed no significant difference between the lifestyles of Christians and non-Christians. I've thought about this a lot recently--who am I to even call myself a Christ-follower if my life is no different from anyone else? What good news have I to share if the gospel isn't changing my life? What impact has His world-saving love had on me if I can't be distinguished from the crowd? Jesus was distinguished--He was radical & everyone knew (even if they thought He was crazy) that this man was not living in an ordinary way. Something had affected Him (ie the love of and communion with His Father) & was visibly impacting the way He lived His everyday life. That's what we all need to be doing--and here I am reading about this tragic problem among Christians today, and mourning over that & pondering how I can live in such a way. Then I walk out the door when God literally slaps an occasion down right in front of me.

Forgive me, Lord. Help me to get it someday. I pray You will be generous to grant me more coffee shop opportunities that next time I will have the courage to take.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

lows and highs

(from Tuesday):

i forgot how awkward & uncomfortable it can be to make new friends. last night i went to a college-aged Bible study, recommended by other intern Derek, & as i walked to the door by myself, i thought how strange it is to knock on someone's door & go hang out with a bunch of people who know each other but don't know you. certainly it's one cool thing about being part of Christ's body--knowing that I could do this & be welcomed, but it still was a little squishy (i don't know if that makes sense as an adjective here, but somehow it feel like an accurate description...) of course once you start talking with people, most of that goes away. i'll just be glad to make it to the conversations that are more than introductory. (this really is all like freshman year of college all over again, just not in the lovely Chapel Hill. i can forgive you for that Lexington) i'm excited about this group though--everyone i met seemed really awesome & they seem to have a lot of social activities in addition to bible study.

i had a pretty good day at work today. we met as an XSM staff this afternoon, which was very helpful in clarifying the direction of the next couple of weeks. we also have a middle school ice cream party tomorrow afternoon, which i'm very excited about. the more chances to hang out with kids, the better!

still, even after such a good day, i get these desperate waves of loneliness with a little homesickness thrown in. it really is just such a roller coaster. fortunately this week i've been on the upside more than the down, but it still is so awfully heavy on the soul when those down moments come in.


okay, that last post represents the low yesterday which came out of nowhere. i called Mom once i hit that wave of homesickness, and suddenly all this junk & built-up frustrations came bubbling out & i had a good cry, for sure. i went to the Y and worked it out a bit, but it was just hard to have that all hit me out of nowhere.

today, however, was definitely more of a high. this morning i met with scott to discuss some of the ideas i'd been brainstorming from my job description. it was good to do that & now i feel like i have more direction & specific things to work on. then, around 1pm, the middle schoolers showed up! yay! we ended up having around 12 or so. when the kids got there, we moved to the gym & were going to play catch phrase for a bit, but then the battery died and scott threw it across the room (only finding out afterwards that it was my personal game, not the church's! haha--i have no idea where it is now) so then we did intros & i heard a little more smack talk about being a tar heel ;) we had a good mix of ages & boys/girls. we decided to play kickball (ooh, the 5th grade memories!) girls vs. boys. plus scott was on the girls team ;) we had fun, & topped it off with our ice cream. we made one heck of a mess, especially once we decided to pelt derek with ice cream toppings. and butter. yea.

the kids were great fun & i really enjoyed getting to know a few of them better & figuring out some more about how they think. clearly these are the best parts of the job--but the office parts are about making it meaningful.

one more thing about the day--this morning scott asked me if i had taken any youth ministry classes at unc. i was like ummmmmmmm, no. wait, i take it back, bart ehrman was my professor for that one. haha, i guess not everyone is a tar heel. reli at unc is not so much about building up people for Jesus as it is about tearing them down. broadening our minds and whatnot. so yep, i'm a moses. i have no idea what i'm doing.

Who am I that I should go?

I will be with you.

exodus 3:11,12

Sunday, July 13, 2008

any given Sunday

here's the latest from Lexington, KY!!

i attended "big church" on Saturday night, which was really awesome to finally check out. the lead pastor is currently on sabbatical, so one of the associates is teaching a series on Romans 8 this summer. he's a really cool guy--led the student ministry for quite a long time, played laser tag with us the other day. when he got up to begin speaking, he literally was tearing up as he spoke of God's great love for us. it was really beautiful. we also took communion--they do that every week. afterwards i went down to the XSM room with Derek (the other intern) & we ended up talking about creative team stuff for awhile. i'm super pumped about this! it's going to include the worship & tech teams, but also a general "creative" team that will focus on drama, visual arts, etc. the vision is to help kids find the God-given creativity that is within them & help them express it in a worshipful way. this is definitely right up my alley, so I'm very excited to go to my first meeting tomorrow night. I met a couple of the girls who're interested in doing the skits, and I think it's going to be great!

and this morning i finally got to meet the youth & see what XSM is all about. this week i was in the middle school room with a great volunteer named Greg (Tim usually leads in here but he is in Bolivia with a mission group). He showed me the ropes--we did a couple worship songs with Derek, then played a game, did Bible "drills" (who can find a given verse first), and then i did a little "talk", just introducing myself. it went really well--i even found a few tar heel fans in there :) i even got to play mario kart & rock band with them--yes friends, they have video games in the lounge/MS room (and a Wii in the lobby). Nintendo for Jesus?! Anyway, we're having a little ice cream social on Wednesday for the MS kids, so it will be good to hang out with them some more. I haven't really been around middle schoolers much since I was one (cue screeching horror music)--i forgot that they still worry about cooties & can be terribly shy. they need lots of love--i hope i can give it to them!

small group girls--shout out! steel magnolias is on tv :) kristen G, you need to see this!

so it was really good to finally get to the meat & potatoes of this ministry! i'll still be glad when all this transition mess is over but i've almost been here a week now, so that's something! haha plus Greg told Derek that his "honeymoon" period was over (he's been here about 6 weeks)--so maybe I should think of it that way & enjoy it ;) I've also been doing a bit better & haven't felt like moping quite as much. I joined the Y & started the day off there yesterday--they have an indoor lap pool which I'm so pumped to be able to use--even though I'll smell like chlorine 24/7 from now on. I also went to see an outdoor Shakespeare play on Friday & went to the mall with one of my roommates, Crystal, & her friend. I found out that the college-aged ministry meets on Monday nights & it sounds like they do a lot of great activities plus the weekly Bible study, so I'm definitely excited to check that out! Over the past couple days God has been urging me to trust Him more through this transition, and believe that He wouldn't bring me here just so I could miserable. Finally seeing all those kids this morning definitely helped me remember that there is work he brought me to do.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


i should have seen it coming a little more than i did, but now it's hit me like a ton of bricks.

i'm lonely.

i didn't know anyone coming here. i'm like the kid in high school who went off to college in oregon or somewhere with no one else to see around campus. is this crazy, like that kid was crazy? i know God has great things for me here, because He pretty much ordained this opportunity all the way. and i love Crossroads and my boss & coworkers, and i KNOW i'll love all the students when i finally meet them & get to know them better--but i miss my friends.

it's not fun (or easy) to start over. i struggled with this at the start of college, but my small group girls and choir buds pulled me through until i adapted a bit more. and i thought i learned a lot from that transition--and i did, but that doesn't change the straight-up hurt of being alone.

last year at IV we talked a lot about people on campus being plagued with loneliness, and it became our mission statement to address that epidemic among our classmates with intentionality. i could resonate with that feeling of despairing loneliness, but i forgot what it really felt like in your chest and in your gut--sad, bored, craving relationship, missing friends. i now can really see the importance of people reaching out to the lonely, on college campuses, but hopefully i will meet people here who'll be ready to reach out as well!

any suggestions for meeting people in a new place, friends who've already (or are currently) weathered this storm, this post-partum college lull? i hope to plug into a young adult small group at church, but without letting that involvement take time away from my ministry work & small group leading. i know all these things will take time, but it's hard to be patient when i don't have much to do!

your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated. i love you all & miss you so!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

first day on the job!

hello friends! i am now a resident of the lovely state of Kentucky! i made it in yesterday at 4:30 & am slowly getting settled in my new digs. things are a little crazy here because our head youth minister Scott & his wife just acquired a week-old foster baby! so i am certainly not alone in feeling as though life is hectic! i've met a lot of people, am starting to see what i actually will be doing at work, and have already gotten lost once (but not too badly).

the big question that has been on everyone's mind (including mine) would be my job description, which i finally got today! my top 3 responsibilities (as of now) are the following:
  1. first impressions management--overlooking what students see when they first walk in the door on Sunday mornings & following up with new visitors. there are 3 areas to consider: the lobby, the cafe, and the lounge. i'm excited to observe this process this Sunday morning & get some good ideas about where to begin
  2. Girls' ministry--this is where my brainstorming has already shot into overdrive! i'm so excited about being the go-to gal for the female youth in this ministry. there isn't anything strongly in place, so i can't wait to toss ideas around and see what the girls feel they need in their ministry. super pumped!
  3. marketing/promotion--basically working on pub for events within the ministry, but also getting the word out about the ministry in general
my other tasks will include creating a biweekly newsletter, creative team/worship type things, and occasional teaching (giving the lesson/leading things for Sunday morning, either for HS or MS). I'll also get to serve as a youth small group leader (yay!). One other thing that's really awesome is the component of my internship that will involve me "crossing over" into other ministries and observing their function. everything from tech to children to worship, etc. it's pretty mind-boggling to consider just how much i'm going to learn this year!

but the day wasn't all about business. we had a new-staff-welcome the laser tag arena!!! sweetness. i came in 9th out of 25 people or so--not too shabby considering i haven't played since i was 12. it was such a blast! the funny thing is, the three youth leaders (Scott, Tim, and Derek--the other intern) dominated everyone else & took top 3. so i don't doubt i will be enhancing my skills in the laser tag field as well :) we also had lunch all together as a staff, & went out for ice cream afterwards. haha i got to show off my mad reli-major skillz today when one of the teaching pastors jokingly made some reference to dispensationalism as he asked me about my church history. i said, 'do you mean premillenial dispensationalism?', and proceeded to (vaguely) discuss the tenets of this theology. thank you, John Charles and reli 440. it was one moment of me looking like i knew what i was doing when the rest of the day was awkward new-girl day. but they all tried to make me feel right at home--and of course i expected nothing less. i couldn't ask for a better work environment to dive into right after college. i really enjoyed chatting with my new co-workers & i already know they will richly bless my experience here & my life.

i really miss you guys though. i was just thinking today how odd it is that the end of college equals a virtual ending of one community. most of us go our separate ways & have to start over with new friends, new hang out places, new churches, and of course new jobs. it's not like i will never talk or see people from Carolina again, but it certainly is radically different. then i started looking forward to that "settled down" phase of life (which i have been observing in the lives of the adults i've been around this past day) when community is less likely to just be ripped away, but will ebb & flow a little more naturally. i know that's not a guarantee, but it's nice to think that friends i love as much as my fellow (former) chapel-hillians could potentially stick around for a long time. it's also exciting to think that i'll soon feel that same love for new friends here in Kentucky and especially for the youth. but then i'll be off again...sigh. oh transience. sorry, that's a little morbid for my first day. this adventure has only just begun!

on a cheerier note, i just made brownies & they are delish. when i came into my office, there was a huge tub of goodies, including my very favorites things courtesy of Mom's tip-offs (thanks!) & these brownies. yum-o. and speaking of my office, it is sooo great! not only do i feel important and grown up with my very own desk & window & phone extension, etc, but it's got a few special touches that already make it feel like my own. i have a vase of gerber daisies (again, thanks Mom!) on the table between my two cool swivel chairs. i brought the prayer shawl from Grandma's church & already put it there, where i am sure it will be greatly used both by me & by students i meet with. there is also a sign on the back of my door that says 'chicks rule' with a female stick figure standing before a kneeling male who is holding up flowers. the woman is saying "good boy." haha--reversely misogynistic but funny, and quite appropriate considering the fact that i own a set of very bright yellow sheets that likewise say 'chicks rule'. i also now have every office supply known to man & a sweet new set of books to put on my soon-to-arrive bookshelf. i have been excited about that bookshelf for awhile now--seeing all the books i have been collecting, in addition to the new ones from the church, together in one place, not only a wealth of knowledge but of truth, comfort, and direction. okay, yes, i get excited about weird things sometimes....

i will try to keep posting frequently now that i am actually here and have a ministry to share with you all! you will definitely be hearing from me after this Sunday when I get my first taste of the youth worship service & meet lots more students!

if anyone wants my contact info here, let me know & i can email it to you. my phone number will remain the same! keep in touch :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

i'm off!

hi friends! sorry it's been awhile since i last posted. it's been a whirlwind past few days--Betsey and Luke are married! and today i am leaving for just an hour or so I'll be hitting the road! so you'll be hearing from me soon from my new home in Lexington :) more updates on life once i'm out there & somewhat settled. i love you all & will miss seeing your faces---so keep in touch!