Friday, April 28, 2006

It's official

Starting June 1st, by God's grace, I will officially become the College Director at my church!! Ahhhh...

This was a huge decision for me, including weeks of prayer and seeking counsel. It's been amazing to see how the Lord has turned my heart around during this process. I have a real peace that this is what He has in store for me next. It is of course, very scary to think that I will be in charge of a whole ministry, but I had a revelation a few weeks ago that has been so awesome.

When I was co-leading the college ministry with my boss Charlie, I didn't need to rely on God. I relied on Charlie. Charlie has been in ministry for years and he knows what's going on. So I always went to him when I should have been going to God. Now that Charlie will not be there anymore, I'm left alone. But I'm NOT alone. This is going to give me the opportunity to run to God when I am nervous or feel inadequate. When I have doubts or feel scared. I will be depending on Him so much more. I should have been doing that since the beginning. But now it will really come into play.

And you know what? That excites me. Relying on God like I never have before. It's going to be hard and I'm going to learn alot. But I feel like my life has been leading me up to this point, so I am feeling ready for it.

Oh college students....we have more good times ahead of us.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


So, I guess this is the week for drama in the college group. I am doing a lot of listening and a LOT of praying. I'm a bit drained but hanging in there. It's crazy that there is so much happening at once. And I'm speaking tomorrow night and I NEED to go finish my talk. We are starting a new series - The 4 Loves. Tomorrow night is the 1st love: between child and parent. (Don't ya love the picture?) I am really looking forward to it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sleepy sleepy

A bunch of friends and I are doing a triathlon in two weekends. So it's crunch time for training. I just went on a long swim tonight and really pushed myself. It felt really good. I came home and inhaled my dinner. I was so hungry! And now I am so pooped. I can't wait to go to bed. G'night!

Friday, April 21, 2006

He-e-e-e-e-e-e-r-e's JOHNNY!!!

Hello friends. Big news this week...I got a new car! He is 2006 Toyota Corolla LE. It's been a month or so without a car and I am so thankful to finally have one again. No more trying to find rides or taking the bus. =)

His name is Johnny. Let me share how he got his name. To start off, his color is described by Toyota as "phantom grey pearl". Don't you just LOVE how they make normal colors sound so amazing? So anyway, the roomates were saying I should name my car after someone in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (one of my favs) because the ship is called the Black Pearl. We decided to take the car out for a spin and head downtown for a celebratory ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. On our way there, we were trying out names: Orlando (no), Captain (no), Jack Sparrow (no), Barbossa (no), and on and on. Finally someone said "Johnny" after Johnny Depp and hmmmm...that wasn't too bad for a car name.

So we go into Coldstone and were greeted by a friendly male worker. Probably 19 or 20, Coldstone hat with a l-o-n-g ponytail in the back, a black shirt that said "Friends don't let friends buy grocery store ice cream", and SUPER chatty. He was talking and talking with us. So nice and eager to serve. He and the other workers sang for us when we tipped them. We sat down with our ice cream and were still trying to think of a name. (Johnny was still high on the list) Finally, one roomate said we should go out on a limb and just name my car whatever our 19 year old server's name was! I was like, "No way! What if his name is Skippy?!"

Then we went into this whole tirade of guys' names he might be: Hank, Stuart, Rodney, and more. We were cracking ourselves up. Then we had to figure out how to find out his name because he didn't have a nametag on. So boldly I just went, "OK! I'm going to go ask him!!" I walk over while he's ringing someone up for their ice cream and say, "Thanks so much for your help tonight....what was your name?" He looked at me, smiled, and said, "Johnny."


Out of ALL the hundreds and hundreds of guys' names in the world...his name was Johnny. Not even John. Johnny. It was too perfect. We HAD to name my car that. It was meant to be.

On the ride home we came up with fun ways to use the name Johnny. The "Johnny Rocket!" or "Johnny Angel" and "Johnny Be Goode" (old songs from the 50's) Or our favorite was when I pull up to people's houses I can shout out, "He-e-e-e-e-e-r-e's Johnny!!!" The possibilities are endless.

So there's the story. I've had him for four days so far and I love him already! He drives so smooth! It is quite comparable to how my poor Saturn was driving. And Toyotas last forever, so it will be nice knowing I don't have to worry much about him. When I brought Johnny home, we prayed a prayer of safety and protection around him. That was really cool. It's also cool to think how this car is part of my ministry, too. I drive college students around in my car all the time. On trips, out to lunches or coffee, to meetings, etc. I've had some great talks with students inside my car, too. I am excited for that to continue.

Anyone wanna go for a drive???

Monday, April 17, 2006

We're home!

Since I've been home, people have been asking me , "So how was Mexico?" If you've been in my shoes before, you know how difficult it is to sum up all your feelings about a trip into one sentence. Saying, "It was great!" just doesn't seem to do it justice. But since this is my lovely blog, I will do my best to share about this amazing trip without typing a hundred pages. =)

To start off, I have to say that I have NEVER been on a trip that ran as smooth as this one did. I mean, we're talking smooth. No major problems. Last year there was so much wind, the tents got flown away and people's stuff got lost all over. No wind this year. It was supposed to rain all week down there. It didn't rain until the day we left (right AFTER we crossed the border). Last year over half the group became violently ill from bad water. NO ONE got sick this year. With over 80 people buiding houses at 5 different sites, there were no injuries (besides your basic scrapes, blisters, et). Last year the sites were an hour and a half away and they were all in separate villages. This year the drive was only a half hour from where we camped and the sites were all near each other (which helped with the cohesiveness of the group). I felt like all of these things were little gifts from God.

Beyond all the logistical stuff, it was so amazing to see the Lord at work down in Mexico. The students came ALIVE. It was incredible to watch. They would come home after a long, hot, hard day of making cement, setting up walls, chicken wire, or stucco and they were praising God! They were encouraging each other and lifting one another up! I never heard any grumbling or complaining the whole week. They were so positive, it blew my mind. And they were always giving glory to God.

We'd have campfire every night after dinner with singing and sharing time. The students were very aware of God being with them and helping them when they were struggling throughout the week. By the end of the week, many students had made some awesome revelations that they shared. Some were seeing their need for Christ all the time (not just when it suited them). Some wanted to pursue more mission work in the future. Some talked about wanting to change their lives once they got back to Santa Cruz. -- Campfires were by far my favorite part of every day. --

I wouldn't say the trip was perfect. I have never been a leader on a trip like this before, so I definitely saw our issues and problems (that I probably wouldn't have seen if I wasn't a leader). But God used them all. I really got to see that first hand.

It was very strange to come home. To go from Mexico where people sleep on the floor in tiny shacks to CA were we are bombarded with things we take for granted: running water, flushing toilets, clean streets and hills, matresses to sleep on with warm blankets, TV, internet, showers, homes that won't topple over in a storm. It's quite sobering. And then there's the weirdness of being with the same people for 8 days 24/7 and then waking up the next morning and you're not surrounded by them anymore. It's like we became a family and that is sort of gone. I am adjusting to what people might call the "camp high".

So as I'm sleeping 13 hours a night (I'm so exhausted) and cleaning all my clothes and trying to get some "Me-time" after being with lots of people for over a week...I'm taking time to reflect. Process all my feelings and memories from the trip. Think about what God showed and taught me and what I am taking away from this amazing experience. It was an honor to serve Him down there, that's for sure. And serving Him doesn't stop now that we're back.

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts. And hey, enjoy the pictures. They are just a few out of the 150 I took. (Yes, I am a picture fanatic) They are of:

- the students who rode in my van on the way down (Lynnea, Kyle, Jillian, Garret, Tyler, and Brian)
- our nightime campfire
- a group of students building their house
- myself, Eduardo, and Rosa (two kids I fell in love with the first day)
- the girls who drove in my van on the way home (Courtney, Tanya, little Laura-daughter of an adult leader, Kayla, and Lila)

Yeah for Mexico 2006! "We can. We will. We did."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Viva Mexico!!

Ok friends, I am off to Mexico on a mission trip with 90 high school and college students. We will be building 5 homes during the week we are down there. I am really excited to spend some quality time with these peeps. We get back the day before Easter so I won't be posting again till after that. Keep us in your prayers!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Some pixs

I realized I havent posted any pixs lately, so I found some recent ones with myself and my college students. There is one of me and the student leaders out for a Bowling Night. Another one is a crew of us in our Children's building at church. For a service project (we do one a month) we helped paint the climbing wall behind us, organized skit clothes and props, built shelves, cleaned rooms, and other fun stuff. The last picture is a group of us at Malibu Grand Prix, about the drive the race cars. That was so fun! I had the need for speed...

I love these students SO much.