change.

I am (potentially soon-to-be no longer) Calvin College.

wait, what?

after falling in love with Calvin and then experiencing a year there and really enjoying it, I’m uncertain if I’ll return this fall. I love Calvin. I love Grand Rapids. I love the comfort that a place of “home” brings to me.

but the thing is: I love it here. I love the ‘nati and all that it offers. I love the Northminster community. I love that my job includes experiencing the Grand Canyon with awesome high schoolers, running and getting froyo with sweet middle schoolers, and hanging out with really great people my own age. I love what God is doing in Finneytown and Wyoming. I love seeing God work through everyone involved in NSM. I love seriously experiencing God with and through the people I’ve met here. I love the changes that have occurred in my life in the past month.

the next few weeks are going to be an interesting stage in my life. I’ll be getting things together and finishing up my application to the College of Mount St. Joseph. I’ll be waiting (very impatiently) for an admission decision. I’ll be wrestling with whether or not this is what God has in store for my life.

but that’s just it. whether I head back to Calvin in August or enroll at the Mount, it’ll be because that’s where I need to be in order to impact God’s kingdom.

so that’s what I’d love for y’all to be praying for. peace, clarity, understanding, and confidence in my God who knows best.

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down is optional. up is mandatory.

and the long-awaited New Mexico post has arrived.

the trip was amazing. it’s hard to sum it up in words because it was just so great. VBS was crazy and quite stressful most days, but we had 95 kids on the last day, which was awesome (I didn’t even expect to meet 95 people in the little town of Crownpoint, to be honest…). I loved getting to know the kids on my painting team (Team Instagram the Awkward is basically the best). I had so many quality heart-to-hearts with the kids and other leaders. and our host family included Ben, a boy who is also in band at Calvin, so that was fun. :)

minus being miserably sick one day, I really enjoyed visiting Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Four Corners, and Albuquerque (side note: I totally spelled that right on the first try). The Grand Canyon was incredible. I loved taking it slow on the way down, soaking in the beauty, taking pictures, and engaging in conversation with great friends. I hated climbing back up. it was killer. my knee was definitely in pain, the little bit of water that I had left was very warm, I was tired, and I certainly did not want to be encouraged to keep going when all I wanted to do was rest. it was a rough day for sure.

and now we’re back. and I’ve done a lot of thinking since returning… but I really do have to go and it’s not really related to New Mexico, so expect another post soon (one that may surprise a vast majority of you).

next.

it’s been two weeks since I left my beloved mitten and I really do miss it, but wow, do I love Ohio. I’m falling more in love with this place each day, but it’s not just this place. it’s the people, the community at Northminster, the team I work with, the kids I get to hang out with, the people who keep reassuring me that God has a plan for me here when I’m stressed about my leadership skills or missing home.

this past week was really interesting for me, to say the least. I spent the majority of my time planning the VBS that we’ll be leading when we go to New Mexico next week. let me tell you, trying to plan a four-day VBS with five days of material when you’re limited on what materials you can use since you’ll be flying and then driving cramped vehicles is definitely not a walk in the park.

one of the things I wrote on my weekly report on Tuesday was that, after a week, the novelty of this summer had worn off. the first week that I was here was full of meeting people, going over summer plans, and eating. it was a week of adapting and when it comes down to it, it was basically a week of fun. . . which meant that when we hit the ground actually running this past week, I hit a wall (well, a few walls). sure, a lot of fun will be had this summer, but that’s not what the point of this summer is; the point of this summer is to grow, to learn, to be used by God to further his kingdom.

I’m looking forward to doing that here in Cincinnati, but I’m also really looking forward to New Mexico. we leave next Sunday at 3am and return the following Monday or Tuesday night. Monday through Thursday, we’ll be leading VBS in the morning and doing service projects in the afternoon. we’re also leading a YoungLife club on Tuesday, which I’m really excited for. and then we’re wrapping up the week at the Grand Canyon, which I’m STOKED for. I’m not only looking forward to the work we’re going to do in Crownpoint, but to the relationships that are going to develop and grow during this trip. it’s going to be a really great opportunity to get to know some of the high schoolers better and to grow closer to the other leaders. [side note: we’re staying at a CRC church, so that’s another bonus for me. ;)]

I’m planning on posting again before we leave for NM. I’m actually thinking about doing shorter, more frequent posts because this post took at least two and a half hours (you have no idea how bad I am at actually blogging…). don’t worry, though; my distractions were mostly legitimate. . . I mean, I did watch the play-by-play of the Tigers/Reds game in between One Direction and Justin Bieber videos on youtube. . .

anyway, I hope you’re all doing wonderful. feel free to update me on what’s going on in your life wherever you may be ’cause if you’re reading this, chances are I miss you!

today’s requests:
-a not-too-stressful week of final preparations for New Mexico
-health. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately and I definitely don’t want to take a cold (or anything else) to NM
-confidence. I’ve been struggling to remember that I wouldn’t be here if a whole lot of people weren’t convinced that I can do this. the reminders of this throughout this past week have been great, but I’d love to completely believe that myself. :)

rejoice.

ah. today marks one week of being in Ohio. it definitely feels like it’s been much longer than that, but I’m glad that I still have ten weeks left because I’m really enjoying my time here.

this week will be the first “real” week of my internship. I guess by “real,” I really mean most normal. last week had extra meetings and all sorts of orientation-like things, but this week will be more like what most weeks will look like this summer, so I’m excited to see how it goes.

we had the first meeting of 18/28 on Wednesday and it went really well! we had almost 50 people there, which I think was more than most of us expected to have, so that was really cool! I think I’m really going to enjoy being a part of that group this summer. most of the work I’ll be doing is with the middle and high school groups, so it’ll be nice to also be part of a community my age.

this morning, Jake and I were introduced to the church at the four (yes, four!) morning services, which was interesting (and a bit exhausting). the sermon this morning was an introduction to this summer’s series on Romans 12. this morning focused on the word “therefore” and part of the sermon talked about different things that we’re told to do in Romans 12. the one that stuck out to me the most both times we stayed for the sermon was “rejoice in hope.”

rejoice in hope.

I think I’ll be coming back to this phrase a lot this summer. it’s hard being away from home, especially during the summer because I’m away from such a strong community. the community here at Northminster is incredible and I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of it, but it’s definitely not easy being away from my friends and family back in GR. it’ll be difficult spending anniversaries away from the comfort that Grand Rapids brings, but I was reminded this morning to rejoice. to rejoice in suffering. to rejoice in uncertainty. to rejoice in the promise of a great future. to rejoice in hope.

today’s request:
-my knee has been bothering me a bit since running the Riverbank a few weeks ago. for a while, it was just an annoying pain every once in a while, but it’s been really painful today, so I might have to go get it checked out sometime this week. I’m hoping for the pain to just go away, but otherwise that it’ll be something that can heal quickly, especially because we’re heading to New Mexico for a mission trip in two weeks.