Smile Because It Happened

16 09 2011

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss

Approximately 5 months ago, I was given an opportunity to switch things up a bit come Autumn… I took that opportunity. It will go into effect one week from today.

It really just donned on me last night what this means. I’m leaving one of my favorite places in the world. I know many people who have moved away from this relatively small town recently, all with varying degrees of excitement about their departure. I can’t say I’m excited to leave.  I don’t question my decision – I know it was the right one to make. But I am suddenly realizing just how much I will miss my life here!

I swear it was just yesterday that I pulled up to the Chehalis Starbucks and introduced myself as the new transfer. I sat almost exactly where I am sitting at this very moment and waited for my new schedule. I remember only too well the awkwardness of being ‘the new girl’, and I’m not anxious to acquire that role once again. I’ve met scores of people in this crazy establishment – partners and patrons alike. It will be odd to walk in 6 months from now and know only a handful of the baristas behind the counter. But I know the faithful few will remain, and I’ll look forward to seeing their faces more than they’ll probably realize!

Immediately after that first stop, I made my way to my church (also synonymous with ‘home’). The, shall we say, stomping grounds of my first eight years of life. So many memories from the past. I had no way of knowing how much more it would shape my life as an adult. I don’t think I could properly express just what the past three years at Bethel have meant to me. One thing is certain – I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The life of an intern is nothing to take lightly. It’s like a full-time job (and then some) plus school… But I don’t regret it for a second. I’m not gonna lie though – I’ll be just fine if I never stack chairs again🙂 Internship was so much more than the ‘slave labor’ that it’s teased for. The personal & spiritual growth amounts to something that money can’t buy (although without the monetary funds, I wouldn’t have been there!). I know without a shadow of a doubt that SOM was where I was supposed to be.

After SOM graduation, I was hit regularly with the inevitable question by many – “What next?”. My answer was true, but saying “I’m not sure” over and over got old quick. I was waiting for direction. And waiting. And Waiting. In the meantime I acquired a second job – watching the babies in the church nursery. A couple of months after that, I got a third job – nannying two adorable little boys two days a week. To say the last year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. But I didn’t feel truly exhausted til summer hit. Having three jobs gave me enough variety that I didn’t have time to get bored with one job at any given time. By the time I needed to do something different, I was on to the next job! Plus it kept me out of trouble😉

But now I can see the finish line of this three-year period. The following seven days will be full of ‘lasts’. Sunday will be my last day in the nursery, as well as my last church service at Bethel. Wednesday will be my last night at Fusion. Thursday will be my last day with the boys. One week from now I will be driving through Chehalis for the last time as a resident – from that moment on, I will be just one more visitor.

 

But with every end comes a new beginning… Perhaps what is to come will be an even grander experience than what I am leaving behind!





My How Time Flies…

2 08 2011

I believe my last blog post was over 2 years ago. In that time, I’ve been to Europe and back, added a sister-in-law to the family, graduated SOM &  added a nephew(!). Those are just the highlights.

Some things have remained constant. I still work at Starbucks (I’m beginning to think that will last forever). I live in the same town and attend the same church.

While the biggies have remained the same, I’d like to think I’ve grown at least a little in the last 26ish months. I’ve greatly increased my love of sewing – It’s evolved from a side hobby to a bit of an obsession. One I believe I’ve inherited from my mom, and she from hers. I’ve loved books forever, but I’ve definitely burst the previous bubble that contained my literary world. I’ll never look back🙂 I’ve also added two more jobs to the mix. I’m the lucky nanny of two adorable boys (3 &1) and a Nursery attendant at my church. I guess you could say I’m rarely in need of a baby fix!

I can’t promise I’ll stay on top of this silly little attempt of a blog, but I’ve been thinking about starting back up for a while. Maybe the occasional nudge will be needed. Time will tell!

Some days are a blur of craziness. Others are nothing but shenanigans. Every once in a while I’m attacked by a doozy of a bad day. Whatever the happenings, my greatest goal is to live each day as best I can, ever in awe & full of wonder of the beautiful life I’ve been bestowed!

 





Coming to an end…

22 05 2009

Spring 2009 005

Next week is my last week of being a ‘first-year’ intern. Its incredible to me the events that have taken place over the last year! I have learned so much about God’s never-ceasing love and faithfulness. My faith in turn has increased ten-fold.

My summer will be an adventure (to say the least…). I’m beginning to feel a little bit nervous about flying to Germany by myself, but I know God will be with me, and with my parents, giving them a sense of peace.

Next Wednesday will be my last week with ‘my girls’. I am an assistant teacher to a group of 1st-4th grade girls on Wednesday nights. Last night we had 24 girls (3 regulars were missing!). The weather was incredible, so they played follow the leader out in the field. They had such a great time!

Spring 2009 053Spring 2009 037Spring 2009 038

I know I’ll see them when I return, but it won’t be the same. They are such an incredible group of young ladies!! I can’t wait to see how each and every one of them turns out.

Next Wednesday I’m putting on a ‘real’ tea party for them. My wonderful mommy has graciously allowed me to borrow 37 tea cups and saucers. Lets cross our fingers that the same ammount comes back to her!





Family

26 03 2009

This will be a short post, but I feel the need to share my excitement. Tomorrow I get to see my family. Not just my parents and siblings, but my entire {maternal} family!! This doesn’t happen very often, so these coming moments will be cherished forever!

Although I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, there are definitely two people I’m very excited to see

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The first is my mother – She is my source of all creative endeavors and everything I hope to be as a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.

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The second person is my lovely sister – I seriously doubt you could find two sisters who had such different personality types. I think that’s one of the biggest things I adore about our relationship. It just goes to show that you don’t have to have anything in common to be friends🙂

I haven’t seen either of these lovely ladies since Christmastime – I just want it to be tomorrow night!!





A European Adventure

21 03 2009

I haven’t mentioned it on my blog yet, mostly because it wasn’t for sure, but now it’s looking as if its really going to happen!
I am going to spend the month of June and the beginning of July in Stuttgart, Germany!

I will be staying with the family I nannied for in Spokane. I spent New Years’ with them, and they asked if I would like to spend part of the summer with them – their treat!  ‘Dad’ is contracted out by the military, and they moved to Stuttgart in the last couple of weeks. Some of the variables have changed since January, so I’m crossing my fingers that things will still work out.

Just researching makes me more and more anxious to go… the pictures I’m discovering are breathtaking!





Full Week…

17 03 2009

I’ve been told that its more pleasant to read a blog if there are pictures to accompany it. This is difficult at the moment because my camera recently died a horrible and tragic death.  I guess I’ll have to be happy with pictures from the past!

I’ll begin with a photo from last spring at my parents house…

Spring has Sprung

My computer tells me this was taken on April 19th… sorry mom, you’re still a ways away from pretty flowers!

The next photo makes me a little teary eyed  – it brings great memories.

Easter 2007

Easter 2007

Miss you Papa – can’t wait to see you again someday!

So this week had a crazy-busy kick off on Sunday night. We (leadership at Bethel) are in the midst of Fusion live week.

-side note ‘Fusion’ is the name of the youth group at Bethel. ‘Fusion Live’ is a performance that the students do. They’ve broken off into teams [worship, drama, human video, dance, etc] and will go on tour this summer down the west coast. We’ve been practicing every Sunday night since October, and now its time to show everyone what we’ve got!

So Sunday night was a big practice night, as was Monday. We had our dress rehearsal after some practice last night. Our first performance of the year will be tonight at 7pm tonight, and we will do it again tomorrow night. I’m really excited – the students have done an outstanding job. They are so devoted to there teams. I’m honored to be a part of it.

If you think about it tonight and tomorrow, please pray that the performances go well. Everyone has practiced so long and hard. They’ve poured out so much of themselves. Please also pray for the people that will be attending. The theme is ‘scars’. There are will be some very powerful points into the night.

For good measure, here’s another pic from the past.

Katie&Abby

My adorable cousins Katie and Abbie in July 2005.





Loss For Words

8 03 2009

I just returned from Summit Youth Leaders Conference held at Stone Church in Yakima, WA. I knew from the statements of others that I would have an amazing time. But really, I had no idea.

There aren’t words to describe how I feel right now, but I’ll try. At this moment I’m energized, yet completely exhausted (and apparently contradicting), light-years beyond excited, full of hope for the future. The lyrics to the ‘theme’ song of the weekend describe how I feel completely;

“Awaken my dreams – Passion arise – In Jesus’ name confusion I bind – Restore to me life /\- Breath on these dry bones – Faithful, faithful!”

I’ve never lost sight of my passion for missions, but had definitely fizzled recently(something I was not excited to admit). I was starting to question my calling when I wasn’t receiving returns to emails of inquiry about a specific organization I was particularly excited about serving with. A couple weeks ago a good friend said to me, “Lauren, maybe God just wanted to see if you would say ‘Yes!'” This stirred something inside of me. I’ve had my heart set on India for some time – I had envisioned myself helping girls who had been forced into the human trafficking industry. To be perfectly honest, my heart breaks to think I might not be called to go to that area of the world. The strings of my heart were attached to India – God wouldn’t really sever those ties, would He??

Here’s what I’m getting to – I’ve come to the realization that its not for me to say where God does or does not want me to go. Honestly, I doubt I’ll really know for quite a while. I’m trying to be content with knowing that He has an amazing plan for my future. I know I’m going to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. I might not end up where I origionally thought, but that’s OK. My passion for young people isn’t restrained to the borders of one continent. I’m confident that I’ll fall in love with whatever country He wants me to be in ministry at. He just wants to know that my response will stay the same!

On a sad, and slightly random note, my camera is broken. The screen is cracked and I have no idea as to how it happened. Very aggrivating! So sorry to those who have a hard time reading without pictures. I’m not sure how to help you…