Thursday, October 27, 2005

Road trip

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I get to embark on an adventure of gargantuan proportions!!!!!!!! Yes, yes...myself and my boss Charlie will be taking 25 college students down to Southern California for a road trip. BRING IT.

I have been looking forward to this road trip for a long time. I am looking forward to spending time with the students outside of the four walls where we meet for our Wed. night gatherings. I am excited about long car rides where you talk and eat and play dumb games and get delirious in LA traffic. We'll be staying in a hotel near Disneyland, so I can't wait for the shenanigans that will occur there, as I'm sure there will be many. (Our college guys are way too much fun) I am stoked about the fun times that we'll have at fun places like Universal Studios, Venice Beach, and drum roll...Saddleback Church! (Rick Warren, the Purpose Driven Life guy's church)

Road trip, baby...ROAD TRIP!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hike time=good time

Yesterday was a fun day. The church I grew up in was at camp for their annual weekend retreat. I had the opportunity to lead a nature hike and it was good times. I had adults and children. Here are some observations:

* I love how you can tell kids something is edible in nature and they eat it without reservation. In fact they'll keep eating it like crazy until you tell them it will give 'em the runs if they don't stop. Adults are another matter. They are much more cautious. They sniff the plant, rub it, lick it a little, look at each other with skeptical eyes, ask repeatedly, "Are you SURE this is edible??", and then finally (slowly) nibble a corner of it, decide they don't like it very much and swig another drink from a cherry Icee their child has given them to hold. I much prefer the child's way of doing things in nature.

* Wasps were having a HAYDAY yesterday. Luckily no one in my group got stung, but dang...every where I looked before and after the hike, I saw kids crying with swelled up lips, arms, and backs. Parents were holding ice against the stings and trying to console them. Poor little guys. Apparently, some kids had accidentally stepped on a wasp's nest or something. One little girl got stung 10 times because a wasp got stuck inside her shirt. Ouch! They're so brave.

* We went down to the creek at one point and I used some rock paint to make a little boy look like a TIGER. He was so excited and starting roaring at us.

* It was a beautiful day! The sun was out, but for most of the hike, we were covered by the shade of the trees so it was perfect. It was so neat to see points where the sunlight snuck into little crannies of the tree branches and shone down on the trail.

At one point, I was holding up some redwood needles and talking about how cool the redwood tree is, when it hit I really live here?! Am I really surrounded by redwood trees? In the middle of my little schpiel (however you spell that), I just had a moment of "Wow-I-love-living-here".

What do you love about where YOU live?

Thursday, October 20, 2005


My first talk EVER is done. Wow, I have so many thoughts and emotions running through my head right now. How do I put into words what I am feeling?

Ecstatic, thankful, relieved, humbled, exhausted, joyful.

I think my favorite part of the talk was about 1/4 of the way through when it didn't even feel like me talking anymore. The words were just flowing and the Lord was takin' over!! Watch out! =) It was such an amazing experience. I had some great conversations with students afterwards and I was so blessed by that. Thanks, God. It's all for you.

** A special shout-out to my girlz who came last night for support: Jenners, Copey, and Emmy. Love you ladies. **

Ok, I'm off to take a very long nap. Ahhhh.....

Monday, October 17, 2005

"I am not in control"

I grew up going to Sunday school. This picture is a perfect example of what my Sunday school teachers would put up on the felt board as they told the Bible story and I would sit wide-eyed, listening and looking at the image.

This is the story of Jesus calming the storm. It's found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And it is the story I will be speaking on this Wednesday night at college group. My first time speaking EVER. Am I a bit nervous? Yes. Am I excited? Heck YES.

We are in a series called "5 Things I Wish My Parents Had Told Me". Week 1 was "Life is hard." Week 2 was "You are going to die." (Morbid title, I know. But it's basically like, you are going to die, I am going to die, let's live life accordingly. How do you want to be remembered when you are gone? What do you want your legacy to be?) And then there's Week 3 this Wednesday: I am not in control.

So, Jesus and his disciples get on this boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. The water is nice and calm, many of the disciples are trained fishermen and they're comfortable with the water, no prob. They're in control. Jesus is exhausted and takes a nap at the back of the boat. And then...the HUGE storm comes. All of a sudden, they are not in control at all. The wind is going nuts, the water is spilling into the boat, the disciples are afraid they are all going to drown. They cry out to Jesus for help.

I honestly think there is no better topic for me to speak on for my first time. God has been at work in my life this past year (more than any other year) and this is one of the biggest lessons He has shown me. I am not in control. I may try and have control and make my own plans, but I have learned to leave my ideas, will, and plans with Him.

It's so comforting to know I can cry out to God when I'm afraid...and I know He is there and He will calm my storms. I am not in control, but I know who is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

$1 Scoop Night

I like ice cream.

I like when ice cream is only $1 a scoop on Tuesday nights.

I like friends.

I like walking to Baskin Robbins $1 Scoop Night with friends.

I like mint chocolate chip. It's probably the best flavor known to man.

I like laughing with friends and talking about "Chester", the man we think is living in a van on our street.

I like my life.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Laughter at the mission

<< WARNING: the following post contains a swear word. I did not say it, I am merely repeating it. I hope it doesn't offend anyone. >>

Let me give you the background to this story. Last night I took 8 college students to a homeless mission. It is located downtown and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night it serves food to the homeless community. They have a service in their sanctuary from about 5-6 pm and then food is served after that. A couple weeks ago, we had a "Service Night" at our college group, talking about ways in which we can serve in our area. I had imediately thought of this mission because I took high schoolers there all summer and LOVED it. Sadly, in the summer we only made the food, we never got to serve it. Making and preparing the food is just as important, but I wanted the college students to actually have interaction with the homeless, so this was perfect.

So we arrived at 5:30 and got straight to work, preparing everything to be served. There was a group from a nearby college also there to help, so we had tons of people. The college students were totally into it, so I helped for a bit and then decided to go sit and talk with some folks. So I sat down and had the best/most interesting conversation with a man named Mike.

Mike was probably in his late 50's, early 60's. (He's actually in the top picture, sitting down on the left side of me. He has a long beard and is wearing the plaid red and blue shirt and baseball cap) He was very sweet, polite, smiling, and friendly. We chatted while he finished his meal and then THIS is where things got fun. He pointed to his cap and I noticed it said "Vietnam Veteran" on it, so I asked him if he wanted to share about his time in the war. (My dad was in the Navy during Vietnam, so I am always interested in hearing other people's stories) He started right in and began sharing some adventures.

THEN, he tells me that when he finished fighting in the war in 1968, he was visiting some friends in Texas and he and his friend started smoking weed. "Umm, ok..." I thought (about the sudden change of conversation). And then he turned to me and asked, "And Sarah...guess who came over and started smoking with us?" I had no idea. So he smiled and said, "You'll never guess...Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Janet Reno, Barbara Boxer, and Colin Powell!"

I quickly put my hand over my mouth as if I was surpressing a cough, but I was fighting dearly not to laugh out loud. He was smiling so big and was so proud of his story. "Yup! We all got STONED together!!" You guys, I was dying. And THEN, it got even better! Can it get better? you ask. Oh yes, it can.

So as I was getting myself under control, he then brought up the topic of the world today. He shared that our government IS the terrorists, we should not even have a government, and he doesn't trust anyone to be president who once got stoned with him in Texas after the Vietnam War. And then to cap everything off, he said in a matter-of-fact way, "And besides, soon Jesus is going to come down here and bitch-slap the world."

Oh. My. Word. I don't know about you guys, but when I am shocked by something or don't know how to respond, I always end up laughing. Which is super inappropriate and doesn't help the matter at all. But honestly, I didn't know what else to do! So I started to chortle and tried to choke it away, but to no avail. I began giggling like a fiend in the middle of him still talking. I was so embarassed, but I seriously have no self-control when it comes to laughing. I could NOT believe he just said that! I kept giggling and giggling and he was just staring at me. And then HE started giggling, too. Either he realized what I was laughing about and thought it was funny too or he just laughed at my laugh. Whatever reason, we both sat there giggling like crazy for a good two or three minutes. People were fully turning around and giving us looks. And then after about 5 more minutes of talking, he had to leave so we said goodbye.

Side note: (Please don't be might have been a "you had to be there" moment, but if you had seen the look on his face and the tone he used, the scene would have struck you as quite hilarious)

As he walked away, I remember thinking, "That was the coolest and weirdest conversation I have ever had. I will never forget Mike as long as I live."

Aren't you all glad I shared this story with you? =)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Smell the autumn

Sometimes I think summer is my favorite season. Other times I think, "Maybe my favorite season is spring?" But no, I have come to realize that autumn is my favorite season of them all. And it is upon us now. I can smell it.

There are so many things I love about autumn. The sunshine with blue skies, the brisk-cold-fresh air, pumpkin patches, the wind blowing in the trees, long walks outside, chilly nights where you want to bundle up and make hot chocolate, pumpkin scones (I am a sucker for them and they have just started making their appearance, which makes me very happpy), the feeling of harvest...but the thing I love MOST about autumn is the leaves.

Ahhh, the autumn leaves. Trees that I have seen with green leaves for 6 months or so are beginning their ritual color-change. Suddenly, I am noticing the bright reds, oranges, browns, and yellows emerging. Bright, vibrant colors just shouting out at us to have a look. Then, the ritual falling from the tree. Just the other day I stopped and watched as the wind blew and hundreds of brightly colored leaves fell gracefully to the ground. The sunlight would catch them as they twirled around each other. Amazing.

Do you remember as a kid, walking home from school and walking on all the leaves you could? There was something deeply satisfying in that CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH sound. I was always bummed if I stepped on a leaf and it was silent. No, no, no, the crunchy ones were the best.

So, needless to say, I am pretty stoked that autumn is here. And to take full advantage of it, I'm off for a bike ride so I can continue to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and colorful leaves.

Smell the autumn, my friends. It's a beautiful thing.