Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Susie Highschool

I went to a high school class reunion meeting this past week when I was back in Jasper County and I realized 2 things.

1. I love Newton, Illinois. I have this immense amount of pride for my hometown and the people that still live there. While hanging out with my classmates this past week, I realized that there is something very admirable about the people who are content to live their life forever and ever amen in Jasper County. The people that want roots and extended families to celebrate the holidays with and people they've known since they were 2. There's something very attractive about that kind of stability--the kind that if you choose it, you can plan out your life from point a to point b to point c without any trouble. A straight path. Painless. And there's a very large part of me that wants this.

2. There's a part of me that doesn't want that life. I love Oklahoma City, I love Messiah, I love the fact that I have these amazing friends that are evidence of a great 4 years of college. I love that I can still visit Jasper county and be that different and exciting person. I LOVE the work I'm doing. I like that I may not know where I'll be in the next year or the next year or the next. The unknown is exciting and challenging and sometimes painful, but that's ok.

Where's the balance? I think that I can still bleed Newton Eagle Orange and Blue while rooting for the crimson and cream ;)

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Call me Israel because I wrestle with God.

I get so frustrated over things that I can't control and I'm not nice and I'm not pretty when I'm like this and I know that and it frustrates me even more.

The other night I was saying my prayers and was acting like the spoiled child who hadn't gotten her way and God caught me in the act. He told me to let go. That was all. A simple child-like command for my childish behavior. Easy... Well not quite. I made it difficult. I even woke up the next morning still frustrated at myself and at God for what he was asking me to do.

After talking to a couple friends, who all encouraged me not to ignore what God was asking me to do, I prayed about it and asked for his help to let go of the thing that was keeping me from him.

I breathed my first free breath, no stress, no tension, no frustration. Letting go wasn't punishment, it was freedom.

The rest of this week, instead of letting myself worry, I'm trying to turn it over to God.

I'm trusting that the God who makes the sunset with such great detail that it is different every day will treat my life with that same care as he has in the past

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Call and Will of God?

Tis the season to be calling...

Two months ago, one month ago, three weeks ago the answer was easy. I wanted to stay. Two weeks ago I started to realize what that would mean if I did or what it meant if I would leave. So, I did what I'm good at and made a list of reasons to stay and to go and came out even. Some reasons to leave are technicalities, some are big things I need to give more consideration and prayer. Some reasons to stay are valid reasons, but do they outweigh the reasons go go?

I guess that it all comes down to this question though: Where is God calling me? When I realized that is the root of this struggle I'm in, it takes the focus off of me and my expectations but brings up harder questions to answer than do I leave or do I stay.

The questions that reverberate in my mind then are these:
What is His will for my life? I know that God will bless the decisions that I make if I've truly been seeking him, but really, how do I distinguish between my desires and God's desires? Shouldn't they be one in the same? Would I stay because I feel comfortable or because I feel called?

It seems like there's no right answer and maybe no wrong answer to these questions, so how do I decide?I want to be back in the land of black and white, right and wrong. This gray area in which I'm walking causes me to stumble and become confused. I know that God will never let me stumble enough to become confused, only enough to seek His guidance. So I'll walk through this fog and continue to pray knowing that God will answer in His time.

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why
You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Cuz when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to
Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

If You Want Me To~ Ginny Owens

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Patience, Patience, Patience... That's my new mantra.

I know that I am not patient. I'm one of those obnoxious tap-my-foot-"arewethereyet?"-check-my-watch-and-sigh-impatiently- kind of people. I want things done NOW... why wait? So, recently, I prayed for patience about a particular matter, and am finding myself tested, however, at the same time, I'm learning about God's blessing and his providence (his providing) for me in all times and in all circumstances. It's not an easy lesson, and I'd like to learn it NOW PLEASE instead of slowly, but I know that is how patience is developed.

The epiphany I had that was mentioned in my good friend Jamie's blog ( is something that developed from my prayer for patience.

I've been obsessing about something for about a month and a half (my friends can attest that yes, I DO overanalyze), and when things weren't moving as quickly as I thought they should, or the way I wanted them to, I flipped out. Call it a control issue, a impatience issue, whatever. But I realized that I was holding on too tightly to this thing I wanted. God laid on my heart to give it up to him and let him bless it and work with it in His time whatever may come from that. Since then, yes I've thought about it, but it's not been the same "oh my gosh what am I going to do about this whole situation, I have to fix it?!" as it had been. Now it's "I don't know what's happening, but I know that it'll work out however God chooses to work it" and the peace that comes from letting God work and the knowledge that God is working is nice (for lack of a better word).

Since thanksgiving was last week, I'm going to count my blessings (and also I'm copying off of Jamie's blog)

1. My friends specifically Jamie, Jen, Julianna (with her wonderful man brain), Kristy, Jess and Haarman.
2. My family and the fact that they are all OK and healthy. I'm thankful that I was able to spend time with them
3. Messiah: all of them. every single member. this church has been wonderful to me and I missed it so much when I was home!
4. For my friends from illinois who still hang out with me when I'm there: yay for jenny page and sarah kistner!
5. For the good cooks in my family who feed me. :)

Well that's all for now, but since it's Christmas time I'll close with these song lyrics from White Christmas

"when you're worried and you can't sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you'll go to sleep counting your blessings."

Monday, November 22, 2004


This Blog is just a compilation of thoughts of the goings on of the past weekend: I have a lot to type about so, excuse the randomness

In two days, I'll be at home. I'm flying home wednesday and my good friend Mike hanel is picking me up at the airport. I cannot wait to be home and see my family! In fact, this is the most excited I've ever been to go home. I imagine that it'll be strange though too, like the first time I came home way back when I was a freshman oh so many years ago. Only this time it's different because I consider Oklahoma home (and it could be somewhere I stay for a long time not just four years... who knows), and I'm just visiting my family, instead of like at school, where I was just "going" to school there and Illinois was my home. It's hard to describe the difference but it is there. I think maybe the biggest difference is that I'm not taking a "break"... I'm taking a "vacation" Stuff won't stop around here; I just won't be here to see it happen.

This past weekend we had our district youth gathering and once again, I'm amazed at how cool my youth are. I have the best youth in the state of Oklahoma. Kristy and I's opening night games were received well and it seemed like everyone was having a lot of fun. Overall, it was a great weekend and I think that the OK district DCE's did a great job.

Talked to my good good friend Jamie J last night for awhile. We prayed over the phone for each other's lives and ministries That's probably the part I miss the most about school is the people that know exactly what to pray for before you even say you need it.

Yesterday was our church voter's meeting, so after OK'd I went to that and gave a presentation about what's been going on at the church. I was so nervous! Everyone is so kind though that they told me I did a good job :). That's another blessing in my life: this church is great. I had, I know at least 10 people come up and say that they were praying for me and for my family for what's been going on with my family this past week. That is so great (not the best word use, but Im not sure how else to say it). I feel so humbled by these people's care and concern of me. And even thoughI'm going home, I was invited to thanksgiving dinners! yay!

I am blessed. That's all there is to it. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

unmotivated me

Well. It's been quite a week. It's been busy at work and crazy with things with my family. I wish that I could just be home right now, but knowing that I'll be home in 6 days is a wonderful feeling. You see, my aunt and uncles house burned down this week. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and it was just stuff, but I'm still mourning for them and for the loss of it. Another horrible, awful very bad thing happened this past week as well. My sister's friend died in a car accident. She was 16. I know that she is in heaven, but I mourn for the loss of what could have been. I miss my family and the familiar and have just wanted a hug from someone who means something to me (a hug from anyone would do though too, at this point, i'm not picky). I want someone to pray out loud with me and to encourage me. I want to be able to just drive home and go to the funeral of my sister's friend and just be there instead of sitting in my office writing a blog about it.

Now i know that things are bound to get better and I know that my family and kyra's family are being covered in prayers for them, and that gives me comfort.

I just want a hug.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

How many days till Christmas?!

Wow. It's hard to believe that it's the middle of November allready. Time seems to be running through my hands like water and I can't cup it or catch it fast enough to enjoy it. Life is good though. My social life has taken a turn for the better it seems and I get to home for thanksgiving in 2 weeks!

Blanke has stated in the past that the holidays are about the time we interns hit that downward slide of the "intern bell curve" and I can start to feel it happen. I'm homesick, and miss my family and my friends from school terribly, but who knows when I get to see them, especially those student teaching away from seward all next semester. I'm incredibly poor and tired of living from pay check to pay check (right now I have $5.00 in my account and an expensive weekend coming up). My poorness has nothing to do with bad spending habits. I had to buy groceries! This sucks. Maybe the weather is getting me down.

I am looking forward however to my friend Bethany's visit this Saturday, Sunday and Monday! YAY! and cannot wait until I can see my family at thanksgiving (my grandpa is turning 80!)
I'm just ready for a break.

So, this Sunday is our church's youth led worship and i'm pretty apprehensive about it. It feels like its been thrown together (Which it has) and that it will fall apart at the seams (which it might). All I can do, is just hang on and hold out until sunday.

Our district gathering is also coming up and that is another major stressor. I still believe that If I make it out of that alive and unscarred, it will be a miracle. Then November's over cause i'll be at home with my family eatin' turkey and green bean casserole and seeing some good friends of mine. Well... better get to work ... have a great weekend kids.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I know that I just updated this, but I figure it's reformation day so why not be a little festive and post a little somethin' somethin' ;).

Well, I'm on extreme survival mode the next three weeks until OK'd In Christ (our district gathering) occurs. Until that point we have something for either middle schoolers or for our high schoolers each weekend, and luckily we have two events on the same day. (I so did not plan that). After Ok'd means that I get to go home for THANKSGIVING and my Grandpa's 80th bday!I think that overall, Ok'd will be a great time, it's just surviving until that point. It has been "mass chaos" as one of my youth says and continues to be so. We have people canceling, signing up last minute, not turning in forms... oh the life of an intern.

In social news, it seems that the forecast has become slightly less gloomy. I went to a Halloween party last night and had a good time. Kristy Horrocks the other intern in OK was invited from a teacher at her school and then I was invited through her, but Kristy ended up going to lincoln so I went anyway with another someone I know from her church but didn't know too well. It was a good time and I had fun getting to know some people at least somewhat close to my age. It's too bad the party was in Norman (an hour away). I May have to travel down to Norman to check out their young adult ministry at the church there and see what's hoppin'.

All in all life is good, though busy. I'm missing and appreciating my seward girls more than ever and am looking forward to January which is really just around the corner, especially now that it seems they've been snatched and we have boy news to catch up on ;) .

Happy Reformation Day!

P.S. The whole "Fall back" thing is the best invention known to man. We should do it every day! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Well, life has been crazy here, how bout ya'll? (That's my new found Oklahoman Slang ;))

I survived my first university supervisor visit 2 Fridays ago. Tim Rippstein came down from Concordia and evaluated my work and I got two free meals that day! WOO! Overall, it was painless and very affirming.

Then this past monday-wednesday I went to a churchworker's conference for our district. I grew so much from those three days. One thing in particular struck me and so I'm going to share it here... like it or not.

The speaker, Rich Bromfield, said that we need to have empty hands that we present to our Lord. If our hands are full of our own stuff, we can't serve him properly. If we continue to present empty, willing hands ready for service, he'll continue to fill them with blessing after blessing.

Give us clean hands,
Give us pure hearts
Let us not turn our souls to another
God Let us be a generation that seeks
That seeks your face oh God of Jacob
Oh God let us be a generation that seeks
That seeks your face oh God of Jacob
Give us clean hands,
Give us pure hearts
Let us not turn our souls to another.

~Give us clean hands~ Passion Band

Have a happy halloween!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Only a month since my last post... not so bad... right?

This past month has been absolutely nuts. I'm not sure where september went, but now its almost October which means my three month supervisor visit is coming up pretty quickly. I'm not nervous about it yet, but I know that I will be. I sometimes don't have a clue what I'm doing, but i guess that's normal?

This past weekend, we took the 8th graders to Lutherhoma for confirmand camp, which was a lot of fun. I saw a lot of growth happen there and potential for a lot of great things, I just hope we can build on them.

I also did the high ropes course this weekend. I did this one thing called the robin hood (it was pretty neat.. nothing as scary as the screaming cheesy that I did last summer ;)). I also got bit by a poisonous caterpillar and have a big rash on my left shoulder and neck.

Today has been SLoooooooooow. i think i need a day off so I can ret up and get revitalized, but I'm not sure that'll happen till this friday. Well I'm headed home. Blessings all!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tip: If you get lost in Oklahoma City while doing home visits because the internet directions you got off the internet are crap and you end up driving to the dodgy area of town, call the people you are visiting :) they know where they live.

Tip: If you are jumping off a 50 foot cliff into a lake, make sure that you put your together and your arms at your side so that you don't land face first into a lake and end up having to be rescued by your youth.

Tip: Even if you think you are messing up, you probably aren't doing as badly as you think you are.

Tip: Phone calls to lonely interns are great things.

As you can see, Life in intern-land is a continual learning experience for me. Good luck all you back to school people!

Monday, August 23, 2004


These past two weeks have been up and down here in OKC. I've been battling loneliness and I find that if I'm not doing something (ALL THE TIME) I'm not happy. I hope that this is just a phase and that once fall programming starts I'll get outta this funk. I also hope to start making new friends my age, which would make things THAT much better. Well off to work on stuff!

Have a great first week back to school all my Seward friends and Mike Hanel--I hope that it's not too hot and humid in STL when you start back

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Life in the Real World

That's just a catchy title to get you to read this. :) Life in Oklahoma is going well. I'm learned a lot in a short amount of time (I sometimes feel like my head is spinning), but I couldn't have asked for a better place to learn.

Speaking of learning, living alone is a learning experience in itself. For instance: If I don't take out the trash, it will stink up my apartment. No one will pick up after me and no one will yell at me if there's a mess. There are pro's and con's. The Con is that it is lonely, though I have been blessed to have another intern nearby that I can hang out with and friends in Dallas a mere 3 hours away. God knew what he was doing when I was placed here.

Moving from college to career has been an interesting transition. For instance, my roommate in college is still referred to as my roommate (thouroughly confusing people) and I still think of NE as my home (though thats changing somewhat the longer I live here). The biggest change is that now I'm actually doing what I have learned how to do for 4 years. It's like a big final exam.

Well off to be tested some more (in more ways than just the metaphorical)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Well I'm back from the gathering, which was very good. I loved having the chance to hang out with my youth in such a concentrated amount of time. One of our youth leaders has the talent that he can rap VANILLA ICE (which came in handy and is quite entertaining). Now I'm back and in the middle of planning fall events. Life will busy... Allready my schedule is full for September and October and November is allready filling up! Whew!

Was able to hang out with my roomie from College Bethany this past sunday which was a lot of fun. It was nice to see someone familiar and share my world with them. More than anything, I want this place to be real to my friends. I want them to know the personalities of my youth and of my parents and not just have a 2 dimensional idea of what's going on here. I want to be able to say "so and so" and have everyone know about them... like it was at school...

Well, thats all I have for now... Am rockin' out to the fusebox CD I purchased at the gathering. CIAO :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Yes, I know it's been a long time, I'm sorry.
This blog finds me now an intern of 3 weeks and preparing for the gathering. I have been on one trip to St. Louis with my Junior high kids which was great, and I have been able to dive in head first with all the gathering plans. It's been busy but fulfilling and I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this :) See you all at the gathering or soon after!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This Friday, I meet my intern supervisor, Myron Harms. I'm nervous and excited. Right now, I have no worries about my internship church. Tim (our placement director) did such a good job finding a church that fits me, I can handle oklahoma. It seems like everything I asked for in a church is in place. I asked for a church with a school, and Messiah has a new school they are starting, I asked for a DCE supervisor, and got one. Everyone of my requests was answered. The church seems like an answered prayer. Once I get there, that might not be the case, but for right now, I think that God has truly called me to this church.

Now onto bigger things. Last night, I saw a presentation on the peaks and valleys of spirituality. Lisa Hellyer, a DCE in the field, discussed the challenges of being a DCE and keeping faith. She said that so many things that hit home to me. It made me feel a little vulnerable, a little like I was possibly see-through to those sitting near me. The idea that you're going through a spiritual valley is personal, and your pride takes a big knock when you admit that you are in one. However, the Gospel of Lisa's message is that God is still there, always there, always prevalent. She said that "God doesn't knock us around when we're in a valley. He comes in gentleness. Generally, we've been knocked around enough." Our God is a God of gentleness and love and it is because of love that we go through the valleys and because of His grace that we make it out of them with a stronger faith and a closer walk with our Lord.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Well here's my new blog mainly dealing with my life as a DCE intern.
First off, I'm off to Messiah Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, OK working mainly with youth and children.
More later