Saturday, September 24, 2005

Scavenger hunts rock

I have just finished week three of my new job. And praise the Lord, I am loving it. It was a very tough transition for me, but now I feel I am getting the hang of it. I have met almost all the college students (about 30-40) and they are all special in their own unique way. I enjoy spending time with them and getting to know them. We're starting to develop friendships, which is rad.

One of the big things my boss and I are trying to do this fall is build community. We want to have fun in the group and build those relationships. That way, in January when we start small groups and deeper teaching, the students will feel more comfortable listening, sharing, opening up, etc. One of our big community builders was last night: the O-so-fun-Digital-Camera-Scavenger-Hunt.

I did a Scavenger Hunt this past summer with the program staff which was a BLAST! Why are they so fun?! Maybe there's just something about driving around town, making fools of yourselves, and taking pictures that brings forth sheer joy and excitement.

We had four teams last night and I was with a team of all chicks. "We're gonna WIN!!!!" I kept screaming as we would haul up and down Pacific Avenue. I just KNEW we were...I don't know how. I just had this feeling. We all started screaming it as we ran and people sitting at coffeeshops would start screaming it, too. "You're gonna WIN!!!!"

In Anytown USA cities, people would look at us as if we were crazy and/or on drugs watching us do the stuff we did. But not here. We sang "Ring Around the Rosie" in front of a movie theater, while holding hands and circling with a dramatic "FALL DOWN!" and people clapped for us. We ran into a market and screamed at the top of our lungs, "Auntie Em! Auntie Em! There's no place like home!" and as we booked it out of there, the store employees were like, "Right on, sisters..."

We found a busy sidewalk and all sprawled along it, blocking it completely for one whole minute, pretending to be asleep. Rather than be mad at us, passer-byers patiently waited, smiled, and a couple even offered to take our picture for us. We ran through Jack-in-the-Box, making crazy animal noises and laughing hysterically and a homeless couple outside shouted, "I hope you win!" as we all threw ourselves back in the car. We found a restaurant and sat down with a family, acting as though we were part of their family for a full two minutes. After their intial shock of us, they totally got into it and pretended we really WERE their daughters and took a picture with us. (The pictures above are: 1) college student Jessica pumping a stranger's gas and 2) us screaming at the "mummy" we had just made in the ladies' restroom)

I could go on and on about all the fun stories we had last night. Our final task was all 5 of us ran into the ocean and got completely soaked for 1000 points apiece. And because of that grand finale...we indeed did WIN. But even cooler than that, was that through all those amazingly embarrassing things we did...I totally bonded with the other 4 college students in my car. We ended the night hugging each other and acting like we've been BFF's forever. A couple girls were new and had so much fun, they are going to start coming to our college group on Wed. nights.

Is this really my job??

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thank you!!!....and a joke

Ok, I am so thankful for friends and family. I have been asking for prayer for this hard, transitional time I am going through, and I just feel so (beyond) blessed at the outpouring of love and encouragement I have received. Thank you! It makes me realize I have so much to be thankful for. I am doing a lot better and am feeling less anxious and fearful about my job. God is continuing to stretch me, teach me, and bring me closer to Him through it. It's still hard, but I believe things will get easier as time goes on.

This is so random, but I heard this joke the other day and it made me chuckle, so I felt like sharing. Keep in mind this is the kind of joke our parents probably share with their friends when they go out to dinner for a good laugh. But I thought it was cute just the same:

A 60-year old couple is walking down the beach one day and they happen upon a lamp in the sand. "Hmmm...I wonder..." says the husband. He picks it up, rubs the side of it, and sure enough - out comes a genie. "Ok, look," the genie begins before they can say anything, "Yeah, I'm a genie. Yeah, you got me outta the lamp. But I only grant ONE wish per person, so make it good."

The couple is so excited and the husband lets his wife go first. "Well, I've always wanted to travel throughout Europe!" *POOF* At her feet, a box appears filled with first class plane tickets all around Europe and hotel reservations in all the major cities. She is thrilled.

Then, the genie turns and looks at the husband. "And for you?" he asks. The husband smiles real big, rubs his hands together, and says, "I've always wanted a wife who was 30 years younger than me!!"

*POOF* He turned into a 90-year old man.

(*imagine your parents laughing hysterically*)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mountains and Valleys

There are times in life when you feel on top of the world. A "mountain-top experience", people might say. Life is going great, no worries. I have that feeling a lot and I love it. And then there are times when life gets hard. You go through difficult times. It's more of a "valley" experience. I praise the Lord that the good times WAY outnumber the hard. But right now I am feeling like I'm in a valley.

I could sugar-coat this blog and say that everything is going great...but that's not honest. I always want people to be real with me, so I am choosing to be real with you guys. I am struggling. I have fears and doubts and sometimes I really feel Satan is trying to attack me in my new job.

It is going to get better, this I know. My God is a good God. Every day I focus on a new attribute of God from a list my mentor gave me. It goes alphabetically starting with God is "Able" and will end with God is "Zealous". I'm on the "F"s so far. Today's characteristic of God? "FAITHFUL". And He is. He will see me through this. Walk by faith, Sarah, not by sight. These feelings are only temporary, even though they seem to overpower me sometimes.

If you know me, please pray for me. I will keep you guys updated. I am looking forward to climbing up that mountain once more...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Carmel Mission

Isn't vacation wonderful? I have enjoyed the last week not working and just resting. One of the fun things I have done during vacation was go to Carmel. What a cute place. If you haven't been yet, please go check it out some day. It's great to putz around Ocean Avenue, window-shop, eat yummy food, and walk down to the beach.

One of the things I wanted to visit when I was there was the Old Carmel Mission. I had heard about how beautiful it was from friends, so I was looking forward to checking it out. I walked around the grounds (gorgeous!), the cemetery (weirded me out a bit), and finally the huge basilica.

I don't know about you guys, but that is always my highlight when I visit a chapel, church, or cathedral. I just like to sit in the pews. Just sit. Listen to the quiet. Glance at all the paintings and/or stained glass windows. Be still. Not talk or move or think. It's very peaceful and my heart is moved every time.

It makes me wish I had a room like that in my house. A separate place to go and sit in the quiet with no distractions. My own little "basilica". Get away from the loudness and busy-ness of life. Just a place to meet with God in quietness and stillness. Wouldn't that be great? They should build houses with that new feature: "New on the market! 3 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bath, living and dining rooms, big backyard, and your very own 'Sacred Space' room!"

I'd be stoked. =)