Thursday, April 28, 2011

testimonies

Last night at the college group, I shared my testimony with the students.

It was an extremely hard, extremely emotional night for me.

Sharing my testimony means going back 6 and a half years ago to the hardest time of my life. I have to remember the darkness, the pain, the despair, the feeling of hopelessness in the midst of a crippling battle with anxiety and depression.

I hate remembering those days.

After I shared my testimony, I walked into the parking lot and bawled my eyes out. I cried out to God. Oh Lord, you know I hate opening up these scars and remembering that pain. But use it, God. As hard as it was, use it in my life.

And He will.

Just like He will use your story.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is risen!

What a wonderful Easter. I went to church and celebrated Jesus' resurrection with my church family. Then I drove to my parents' house and enjoyed the day with my immediate family (and some friends). Intern Scott was far away from his fam, so I invited him over and he got to meet everyone. My highlight of the day was of course spending time with my nephew, Judah. I luff him.





video

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I should seriously rename my blog

I know the title of my blog is "Laugh long. Laugh hard" because laughter is my favorite thing in the world. But I should seriously consider re-naming it to "The Bullet-Point Blog". First because bullet points are awesome. And second because I seem to be blogging in bullet points a lot lately.

* Hello readers and friends!

* It's April 21. Holy crap. Why is time going by so fast?

* One of my housemates grew up on a farm. A couple weeks ago he came back with hundreds of oranges from his parents' place. I have begun a tradition of making fresh-squeezed orange juice every night before I go to bed. Every night. My body is so full of vitamin C. I will never be sick again.

* I saw the new Jane Eyre movie. Beautiful. Gorgeous.

"Do you think because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I have no heart? That I am without soul? I have as much heart as you and as much soul. And if God had given me some beauty and wealth, I would make it as hard for you to leave me as it is now for me to leave you." -Jane to Mr. Rochester

I think I was born in the wrong century.

* Speaking of movies, you all should go see Water For Elephants this weekend. My youngest sister Emily is living down in LA trying to break into the "biz" and spent most of last summer as an extra in this movie. I'll be looking for her in the big-crowds-in-the-circus-tent scenes. She said the costumes are awesome because it takes place in the early 1930's.

* I went to a beach bonfire with some friends the other night. Saw the most amazing sunset ever.

* We've been doing the "Sex Series" in the college group. Last week I spoke about God's design for sex. Last night we had a guest speaker (a guy I work with at church) and he shared this crazy statistic: If you are between the ages of 18-24 and are not a Christian, 72% of you are having sex. If you are a Christian, it is 78%. Whoa.

* I don't think I'm going to do glee-caps anymore. Sorry if that's what kept you coming back to this blog. I mean, let's face it - Glee isn't giving me much to work with. I only had 2 highlights from Tuesday's episode. 1) the song "Turning Tables" by Hollie Holiday (originally by Adele) and 2) Dustin Goolsby hitting on Ms. Holiday by saying, "Admit it. I'm handsome, I'm good looking, and I'm easy on the eyes. Also, I'm gorgeous."

* I miss my nephew. A lot. I get to see him Sunday for Easter. (squee!!)

* I went to a Zumba class for the first time this week. I LOVED IT! It's like Latin dance (shake those hips, baby!) plus hip-hop. Um, yes please. I signed up for a month of Zumba classes to start. I'm already looking forward to my next class.

* Intern Scott continues to rock.

* This is the last bullet point for today's blog post.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NYC update

I'll be in New York in a month and a half! Woot. Quick update: we found a place to stay. We'll be on the upper west side, right next to central park. Like literally across the street. Yeah! Between the 3 of us, we're only paying about 50 bucks a night, each. So cheap for the city!!

Can I be there now??

Friday, April 15, 2011

i have a new intern

May I introduce you to my new college ministry partner - Intern Scott!


Intern Scott arrived last Saturday night. This past week has been super busy. I've been showing him around town, introducing him to church staff and all the crazy college students, going over what his job looks like and how the group runs, etc. It's been such a good week. Here are some things he's said:

* "Sarah, I heard two students say 'gnarly' in a sentence. Is that a normal word to use in conversation around here?"

* "I LOVE that you guys don't have a Wal-Mart. I can't stand Wal-Mart! They are EVERYWHERE in the midwest and south. They come into towns and drive all other businesses away. And then people become dependent on them, because it's the only place in town where you can get anything and it's cheap. And then people just become lazy shoppers..."

* "I LOVE that you guys are so health-conscious in California. Back home, if I asked for 'grass-fed beef', they looked at me like a lunatic."

* "Do I want to try surfing? Well, there's not too many things in life I DON'T want to try. Although you might want to take back your offer once you get in the water with me. Because I have a feeling I'm going to be really bad."

Wednesday night was his first official night at the college group and he was awesome. I didn't have to babysit him or hold his hand. He just went up to students and started talking and hanging out with them. He can totally hold his own. I love it! We put him on the "hot seat" where students could ask him any question, and he answered them with ease and humor.

And then there's the cool fact that he and I already have a good rapport with each other. That's super important because I work with my intern pretty closely so I need someone I get along with. When we interviewed him, I could tell we would get along. So far we have discovered we both love:

-pop culture
-much of the same music
-The Office, 30 Rock, and Community
-Harry Potter (He's already been to the theme park in Orlando. Jealous!)
-talking about/dissecting the bible
-church ministry
-as mentioned before, a distaste for big chain companies
-quoting movies (we've written a million Tommy Boy quotes on my door at work)
-reading (we're going to recommend and exchange books)
-Disneyland/Disneyworld

This is just a huge answer to prayer. I have been leading the group by myself for 15 months (since my last intern left). It's been hard. I've been way too busy. I hadn't been able to find anyone. And now finally someone is here. And even though it's only been a week, I am so thankful the Lord brought Scott to us.

Off to sleep for 14 hours straight. It's been a long week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

confession

I don't want to keep this secret inside anymore. It's time to put it out in the open.

I have a crush on Joel McHale.

He plays Jeff Winger on Community. My intern Scott (I'll be blogging about him soon) let me borrow season 1 and my crush on Mr. McHale became real.

Here's a quick video from my favorite season 1 episode "Modern Warfare". The community college has an all-out paintball war around campus. It is AMAZING. Netflix it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

opposites

I am realizing things about myself as I get older. Here's what I've learned lately. Many of the things I like (or characteristics that I have) are different. Opposite.

For example:

I am an extrovert. I am an introvert. Equally.

I love dressing in grubby clothes and getting dirty on a long hike through the redwood forest. And then I love turning around and being girly and getting a mani/pedi.

I love big blockbuster movies. But I also love small indie movies.

I am huge supporter of local businesses and I dislike big chains. But I freaking love Starbucks. (the worst big corporation of all!)

I am a big fan of deep conversations that make me think deeply and stir something in my heart. But I am also a huge fan of silly conversations about pop culture or just finding someone to trade witty banter with.

I can simultaneously read the 1,463 page "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo and then take a break and read some Harry Potter.

I am a liberal conservative. Or a conservative liberal. Whichever you like.

Sometimes I feel so strong. I can take on the world. I am woman, hear me ROAR. Other times I feel so weak. This crazy world is too much for me to handle and I just want to cry.

Have you noticed any opposites in your life?

Friday, April 08, 2011

busy bee

Hi friends. I haven't blogged all week because things have been super busy. Two main reasons.

1) This week was spring break for my college students so we helped out at an after-school program about 30 minutes away. We tutored middle schoolers and high schoolers with their math, science, whatevah. These kids don't live in the greatest neighborhoods and many get involved in gangs, so it's so cool to see there is a safe place for them to get help with their homework and play games outside when they're done. (For the high schoolers, they're building a coffeehouse)

2) My intern will be here TOMORROW! Holy crap, after 15 months of not having an intern...we finally have one. And he will be here in 24 hours. He's driving out from Kansas. Although he's originally from Ohio. But lived the past 7 years in Nashville, Tennessee. It's complicated. But anyways, hooray! So when I haven't been tutoring kiddos, I've been getting Intern Scott's office space and room in the intern house ready. It was taking way longer that I planned, but oh well.

I hope you all had a great week! Enjoy your lovely weekend.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

things that made me smile

I went away for a one-day retreat this weekend. A whole day with no computers or cell phones. It was lovely. I need to do that once in awhile. Lots of little things have been making me happy lately, so I thought I'd share some with you:

Sparkle shoes. Seriously, I am in love with them. I'm not a big shoe person. I mean shoes are fun, great, whatever. But I was in Target and something sparkly caught my eye. Glitter ballet flats. They had my size. Before I knew it, they were in my basket. I wore them today for the first time and I kept doing kicks to show people my fun new shoes. "Hey guys! Look what I just bought!" *high kick* And I would walk backwards outside to watch the sunlight on them and everyone was making fun of me. I think I'm too old to wear something like sparkly shoes, but I don't care. I luff them.


My car, Johnny , turns 5 this month. And he is officially paid off!! Woohoo!

Baseball season has begun again!!!

Got my taxes done and got a sweet refund. Thank you, Uncle Sam.

After much thought, I have decided to tackle a book I kept putting off because of its size. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I am flying down to see my BFF in July and we have tickets to see the musical (it's my fav). I figured this was the time to read it, if any. It's huge. 1463 pages, unabridged. And I'm LOVING it. Hugo spends 70 pages just describing the bishop. We haven't even met Jean Valjean yet. I am enjoying reading all the backstory and getting to know the characters in a deeper way. Have any of you seen the musical? Have any of you read the book?

Last week I finally got a new cell phone. My old one was...old. Falling apart. I've had it for 3 or 4 years and was due for an upgrade. So I hit the Verizon store and picked out a new one...fer free! I don't want a smartphone, just calls and texting. So I picked a basic one, but it's a bright blue color. And then I looked online and found a fun cover for it.

I cleaned my room and bathroom. It took forever. But a clean room/bathroom makes me smile. It's the little things.

My day retreat away from the craziness of work and life.

This weather! I wore shorts and flip flops last Thursday and was in heaven.

The twin babies talking with their hand gestures...and everyone's subtitles of what they think they're saying. So awesome!!