Saturday, August 27, 2005


Bittersweet (adj) - Pleasure (happiness) mixed with sadness. -- Webster's Dictionary

I am finding myself using this word a lot. There is a lot of change going on in my life. It's not bad, it's all very good. But this word seems to pop into my brain when I think of how to describe these transitions.

For example, camp ended a week ago. Best summer ever. (I like to speak in extremes) I am so happy that I got to experience this summer at Ponderosa and I loved all the kids and staff I met. But I am sad that those kids and new friends are now gone.

Another roomie just left this week...precious Laura (aka: Lola). Just like when Cara left, I am so flippin' excited for Lola and her new job up in Oregon. She is going to have a blast! But...I miss my friend and roomate.

And lastly, yesterday was my last day as the intern here at camp. On Sept. 7th, I start my new job as the college mininstry associate at my new church. I will miss working here with such amazing people, but I can't WAIT for this new opportunity. I think it is going to be a great job.

Bittersweet feelings.

I think it's good to be sad about what is gone. It shows how much I loved it and how much it meant to me. But then it's good to look ahead at what God has in store for me next. And I'm STOKED! I am all about bring it on.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Klamath River and shooting stars

People experience God in different ways. One of the ways I do that is through His creation. It could be hiking through the redwood trees or bobbing on my board waiting for the next wave. I just got back from a white-water rafting trip down the Klamath River in Nor Cal. Those days were full of fun, laughter, and me praising God for the beauty He has made that we get to enjoy. Here are my highlights from the trip:

- Gotta love 9 hour car rides crammed in a 15 passenger van. Hilarious conversations and MASH ensued.

- the rapids! Woohoo! So much fun. "Dragon's Tooth" and "Rattlensake" were the best. Class III or IV, I believe. And I don't think anyone from our group fell out. Sweet.

-I have never gone rock-jumping before and I did it! It was only 10 or 15 feet, but it was so much fun! TONS of water up the nose, though.

- We hiked to a waterfall on the first day. After jumping over this one rock so we wouldn't get bitten by a rattlensnake that crawled under it (I think I jumped over it and yelled, "I'M GONNA DIE!!!" but I was ok) we made our way to this gorgeous double waterfall. Some people swam up between the two falls but I went around and got pushed down by the strong water. Scary! Luckily, a friend grabbed my arm and pulled me out. I guess you appreciate something a lot more if you have to work hard for it. =)

- We saw a bald eagle chasing an osprey in the air right above our raft. One guide said he thought the osprey had a fish and the eagle was chasing him to snag it. Go, baldie, go!

- I swear, I saw probably close to 136 dragonflies gettin' it ON just on the first day alone. They were EVERYWHERE. They were super colorful and beautiful, but definitely getting some loving. Some couples even had the audacity to land on my leg, as if I would be ok with that. I would quickly blow them off and they'd be on their merry way. Enjoy, little ones.

- The second day, our raft was lucky enough to have Charis, my boss' 3 year old daughter. Which meant we could attack other rafts as much as we wanted during water-fights, but if they tried to retaliate, we'd scream, "No! We have Charis! Don't get us!!" Hahaha *evil laugh* We rock.

- At one point, we all got to jump out of the rafts and ride a rapid ourselves! Feet forward, of course. (Safety first) It was so dang fun. I was lifted up and down in the water like a baby. I felt so ALIVE! =)

- We hiked to a place called "Clear Creek". Clear is RIGHT. The water was this pretty blue and completely see-through. And also completely freezing. So I chilled in the water watching little fish, an orange lobster/crawdad thingy, and friends rock-jump.

And lastly, one of my biggest highlights was on the second night we were there. After dinner, I went off with my dear friend Holly. We lay on the rafts by the river and had a "heart" convo. While we were talking, the sun went down and the stars came out. AMAZING NIGHT!!!! Oh my gosh, you guys. Being away from city lights, it felt like we could see every star in the sky. We even saw the Milky Way. And while we were talking, God gave us a little show: shooting stars. I was just awestruck. They were flying all over the sky. Two good friends having a deep talk, listening to the crickets and frogs, bats flapping above us, seeing a skunk waddle right by us, watching the stars fly and explode into nothingness. It was the most incredible night.

My mind was reminded of a couple verses in Pslams that put into words what I was feeling. So I had to go and look it up. It is in Psalms 19:1-2:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
Night after night they display knowledge."

Ok, how cool are those verses?! Go ahead and read them again. The heavens declare the GLORY of God. Man, I experienced God during this trip. Not just on the water (being surrounded by the hills covered with green trees) but at nighttime, when I looked up at His heavens. Thank you, God, for the Klamath River and shooting stars. What a great trip.

Disclaimer: I have NO idea who those people are in the rafting picture...I just snagged it off the internet. =) Ha!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"I'm not strong enough..."

Last night at camp we did something we have not done any other week: we had an outdoor movie night. We sent the campers to their cabins to put on pj's, grab their sleeping bags, pillows, and mattresses, and meet us back on the lawn. We had a huge screen up against our meeting room wall and showed The Incredibles. I was super excited because I don't think I have watched a movie all summer. I was like a kid in a candy store, with my eyes the size of dinner plates and my jaw to the ground.!!!! *drool*

I saw The Incredibles when it came out in theaters, but I have not seen it since. I liked it the first time, but I enjoyed it even more the second time. If you haven't seen it (all five of you), it is about a family of superheroes who have to conceal their powers and try to fit into "normal life". There is a dad (Bob), mom (Helen) and three kids - Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. There was a scene in the movie that totally hit me that I feel like sharing about. Bear with me as I set it up.

So, Bob is in a job he dislikes and misses the old days of being a superhero and saving people. He starts to accept jobs from a secret organization so he can re-live his glory days. I guess you could say he went through a mid-life crisis. He buys a new car, starts working out like crazy, is just basically stoked on life. However, things turn bad and he finds himself in danger by the movie's "bad guy" - Syndrome. (dumbest name EVER for a bad guy, by the way) He is chained up and can't move when he hears that his wife and kids have crashed the plane they came in to save him. He is devastated.

Later, he finds out his family survived and he is beyond relieved. They all fight off bad dudes and finally get off the evil island back to their home. But they are followed by this crazy ball of destruction that is intent on killing them. He and his wife are driving towards it and he gets out of the car and tells them to stay there while he goes to fight it. Helen, the wife, is insistent that she goes with him. This is the part that got me last night.

Bob, the dad (Mr. Incredible), is pleading with her to stay in the car but she still wants to accompany him. He quietly says, "No...I'm not strong enough..." She gets mad and thinks, "What? Is this one more challenge that will prove you are strong enough!?" And he just looks at her and again quietly says, "No, I'm not strong enough...I can't lose you again."

Picture all these junior high campers just sitting, waiting expectantly for the next action sequence to occur, and then there's me, freezing cold and shivering, and totally tearing up. What was my deal?! I'm tearing up over a Pixar movie? But I couldn't help it. His words were so beautiful to me. I couldn't shake off what I was feeling when he said that. It made me think. He realized how much his wife and kids meant to him and he was so sad when he thought they had died. He couldn't bear the thought that his wife could die if she joined him in fighting this machine. He wasn't strong enough to lose her. Ironic, huh. The guy with super-strength wasn't strong enough for that. Because things like that affect the heart. It's beyond physical strength.

Is it wrong for me to want that? To be with someone who will be so in love with me that he never wants to lose me. And is it wrong for me to want to feel that for someone else? To love them so much that the thought of losing them would devastate me.

Maybe this is a topic too deep to take out of a kiddie flick. Maybe this is just me and my hopeless-romantic side coming out. And maybe this is something a little personal to share with anyone who reads this. Sure, maybe. But I can't deny that it DID hit me when I watched it. That was the thought that resonated with me as I left the cold air after the movie and got into my car and pumped up the heater.

"I'm not strong enough..."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Birthdays? Yes, please

Woohoo, today I turn the big 2-8. I am so excited!

28 years on this beautiful earth.
28 years of experiencing joys and sorrows.
28 years to be where I am today.

Thank you, God, for life.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Gordon House and another goodbye

I love my house. I have had the privilege to live in the same house for the past three years. We call it the Gordon House. It was built in the 1940's by the grandparents of my friend, Jen. They both passed away a few years ago and we were allowed to move in and pay rent. When we walked into the house and were checking it out, we found out Jen's grandfather was named Gordon. We said, "You know...this house just feels like a 'Gordon' House." And the name stuck. We like to call ourselves "The Gordon Girls". (Not to be confused with the "Golden Girls" ha ha)

We have had some amazing women live in this house. But sadly, many have left. Marriage, new jobs, change of location, all different reasons. It's hard when they leave. The Lord has been super faithful in providing new roomies, but it's still sad when one leaves. Today was such a day. My dear roomate, Cara, left today to move up to Seattle to work with Wyldlife (the middle school Young Life). I am so happy for her because this is her heart's desire - but selfishly I wish she could have stayed here. I am going to miss my friend.

I guess this is just part of life. It's such a strange, transitional time. Losing roomates, meeting new ones and learning how to live with them. It's all good though. I am very thankful for the roomates we have had in the Gordon House. Each one has been special and has left their mark on this place. Jeni, Dana, Katie, Nefertari, Lindsey, Carrie, Cara, and soon to be Laura...I love you all. Thank you for all the laughter, smiles, hugs, talks, good times, and for sharing life with me.

I heart the Gordon House 4-evah.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I love camp

Ok, so I have been working as the intern at a high school camp since January. Up till June, most everything we worked on was to prepare for this summer. And now summer is here and I have realized the ever-lasting truth:

I love camp.

I grew up going to camp and I was a counselor for three summers in college at a camp for 4th-8th graders. When I finished my last summer in 2000, I thought that was it. I had a blast, but it didn't look likely that I would ever work at a summer camp again.

Woohoo, I am so glad I was wrong. It has been a great summer so far. We are in week 5 out of 7. I have been blessed by so many things. I'll highlight three.

1) I pickin' love our staff. Could they be cooler?! I think camp ministry attracts the funnest (not a word, but oh well), friendliest, and kindest people who also just so happen to LOVE Jesus as well. How amazing to be surrounded by them for the summer.

2) Who knew that I would enjoy high schoolers so much? I have never worked with that age group before now. I only worked with elementary age kids. Little ones are fab, but I am really liking high schoolers. I appreciate their passion, the questions and doubting of their faith, the way they love to show off for each other and flirt, and the depth they can bring in conversations.

3) I love the ministry here Each week between 75-200 kids come with burdens, heartache, and the need for love and acceptance. And throughout the week, I can sense the Lord moving in their lives, showing them how much He desperately loves them and will always be there for them. Yeah, they still have to go home to their hard lives, but they hopefully go home closer to God than when they came. And with a deeper understanding of how they are cherished by the One who made them and cares for them so deeply.

I thank God for bringing me to this place and allowing me to be a small part of what He is doing here. I wish summer was longer. It has gone by too fast.

Who thought up the concept of camp? Whoever they are...they are beyond cool. I mean, WAY beyond. There's not even a WORD that describes them, that's how cool they are.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ahhh...the beginning of a new era...

Wow, I can't believe I am actually starting a blog. This is a pretty big deal for me. If you know me, you probably know I am "technologically-challenged", as my boss would say. For instance:

- I don't have a digital camera (there's something so great and old-school about having the physical pictures in my hands and in my photo albums)
- I don't own an iPod or anything like that
- I am not a huge fan of cell phones. They kind of bug. I only have one in case my car breaks down or something.
- I don't have a Palm Pilot (what are those things called? Blackberries? Blueberries? Strawberries? haha)
- I don't have a computer and I can barely navigate around on the ones I work on. I enjoy emailing and's about it. Oh, and right now I am working with high schoolers and I had no idea what "My Space" was...which apparently is a crime. My bad.

Maybe this makes me 5 or 10 years behind in technology. But you know what? I'm ok with that. I'm actually really ok with that. I remember life without all that and it was fine. And life was still fun! Plus, I could totally see how that sort of stuff could clutter my life and make me all "I-have-to-get-the-next-best-thing!!!" ish.

So, I guess all I want to say is that I enjoy living simply.

However, I am venturing into the world of blogging. I guess that is very "2005" of me. I am really excited to see how this goes. I think I am going to dig it. Forgive me if I don't know computer shortcuts or lingo or if my blog doesn't have many fun pictures or razzle-dazzles. I just think it will be cool to share from my heart and see where that goes.

May the adventure begin...