Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Answers

When I wrote the post about my tires, I really felt that was what God wanted me to share at the moment.

Then, I hit publish.

Then, the doubts came racing in.

Then, I started to argue with myself and think that this was a situation that I should just take care of myself.

Then, I started to think that I was totally kidding myself and that with the state that this world is in no one was going to want to give me money for tires. Tires? What's spiritual about that?

Then, I started to think about how it's the middle of winter, I just answer the phones and who in the world am I to approach people to ask them for money? For tires?

Then, God started to work.

Then, God did a miracle.

Then, I ended up with about $300 extra that someone wants me to put in an emergency car fund.

Then, I remembered that the God who takes care of getting me ziploc baggies when I need it will take care of my tires.

Then, I remembered that I am here because this is where God wants me to be and He has made it VERY CLEAR that He will be the One to take care of me. Not me.

Then, I relaxed because I realized, yet again, that He has this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

this is life

Well, hello there! Thank you for stopping by to see what life looks like in my world today. It is markedly different from yesterday (considering yesterday it was 70 and I was warm in a long sleeve shirt), but it holds its own adventures.

After all, it's not every day you get to dig yourself out of your house, multiple times a day. It is especially exciting when your roommate takes/hides the snow shovel, so the best thing you've got is a rake. However, rakes and fireplace pokers and dustpans do not come in especially handy when your guest becomes stuck trying to leave and high center their car. In the road. In the path of the snow plow (or perhaps "potential path of the snowplow" would be a better way to phrase that).

It is also fun to see the wall of snow building itself up outside the window. It is quite serene from the inside of a warm, cozy house with good friends (my stranded friend count is at 3 right now).

It is not quite as warm and cozy outside. However, there is definitely beauty to the scene.

After all, you can't really make snow angels in anything besides snow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Missionary Living

I am a missionary. Obviously. I mean, that's the title of this blog after all!

However, I don't often share about the missionary side of my life. The part where I get no income outside of support. The part where I watch my balance day after day (I am the one who does the books at camp, so I always know what is going on). The part where I wonder where the money is going to come from. The part where I get to see and experience God doing miracles on a yearly, monthly and daily basis. The part where I rest in the faithfulness of God.

I have no outside job. I have been on missionary support for 2 1/2 years and God has never let me down. My support level is not at 100% yet, but month after month after month I have had what I needed. My bills have never gone unpaid (except for my own forgetfulness ... but that's another story for another time!). I may not be able to buy everything I want, but my needs are very, very, very well taken care of.

Anyways, a situation has come up. It is a need, not a want. But it's one of those situations where I feel that I should just buck up and figure it out myself. But, I feel that God is telling me that would be selling Him short. This need is one that directly affects my life, ergo my ministry. However, it is one of those practical situations. Not one that is glamerous or spiritually based. Just one of those life situations that cannot always be avoided.

It is an issue with my car. Well, that's not entirely accurate. It's not my car, it's my tires.

In the past week I have had two tires reach the point of no return. One of them I have had for two years and it has already been patched. That one hit a rock just right and blew a hole about the size of a ping pong ball. The other one popped a hole in the side about a month after I ran over an object in the road with it (I was passing a semi on the interstate and could not swerve and it developed a bump and that bump popped). Since I can stick part of my hand in the side, I am pretty sure it is a goner! However, not only is my tire ruined, but my wheel got bent as well and as a result a different tire could not hold air.

It feels like it is just one thing after another after another. I wish there was an easy answer and an obvious fix, but there is not (it seems like it should be doesn't it? but, I am a person who can complicate any situation!).

Should I get new tires? Well, how many? My back tires were a pair and my front tires were an entirely different pair. My back tires were about worn out anyways, so should I get two new back tires and a new front tire? Where should I get the tires from? They are pretty expensive here in town, but the next closest place is at least 36 miles away. The best prices would probably be in a larger populated area, which is several hours away. How would I get them? Where is that money going to come from?

Should I get used tires? Apparently there is someone here in town that sells good quality used tires, but we can't get ahold of him. Does that mean I should pursue a different avenue? Where else can I get tires from? A junkyard? All junkyards are a ways away. How will I get them from there to here? How will I know if they really are good tires and not just something that the owner is selling as good?

I already have the answer for one part of my conundrum. I did some calling around to junkyards in the Black Hills yesterday and found a match for my wheel. It was $65 and hopefully in good shape! My pastor was going down there anyways, so they were able to pick it up for me. Luckily he is a car guy so he would know if it wasn't good quality.

So, that just leaves my tires. Our maintenance man Ted fixes a lot of my car issues for me and he keeps asking me what I want to do. And the answer is I DON'T KNOW!

However, I feel that God is asking me to wait on Him. I feel that He is going to do something with this situation. I don't know what that is and what it is going to look like. But He has something up His sleeve. I just have to sit back and take faith in that!

Friday, March 20, 2009

miss millie gets a haircut

For the past couple of weeks Millie's hair has been driving me CARAZY! I had just let it go over the winter and so it was super long. Super long means mats. Super long means picking up every single stick she walks by. Super long means yuck.

So, tonight that changed. I shanghaied her and made her sit until I got this :

And my shirt looked like this :

And Millie looked like this:

And this:
I forgot to get any before pictures, so you'll just have to use your imagination!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

in the past week i have become an insomniac.

where it came from and when it will leave, i don't know!

now, you have to understand. i am a girl who likes sleep. LIKES SLEEP! lots of it. during the winter months it is not unheard of for me to go to sleep (not just bed and read awhile ... but actual sleep) at 9:30 (i am my parent's daughter after all!). now that i have school (and internet at home) it has turned more into an 11:00 bedtime, which is fine, cause that gets me ready for the summer schedule at camp.

but i digress.

in the past week, bedtime has turned more into awake time. very very awake time. a couple of nights i went to sleep at around 130 or 200. one night it was at least 3. last night it was between 4 & 5.

even when i get to sleep, it's not good sleep. its full of weird dreams and reawakenings. but i wake up in the morning like i had gotten more sleep than i did. i'm just more mellow than usual.

i don't know what to do! i'm so very very frustrated. i just want to be reunited with my sleep!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

why do i love my job?

the question was put to me the other night about the favorite part of my job. i struggle with that because as i talk about the surface things, it brings up other things.

also, when i first started, it was all new, it was all exciting and it was all amazing. i do not ever want to sound jaded, but sometimes the shine wears off.

however, i don't think that is all bad. i think that sometimes a person needs to lose the glitter and the glow in order to see the real working mechanism underneath and to fully appreciate what it truly is.

so what is my favorite part?

is it walking into the dining hall on a full camp week to hear the roar of the kids? is it seeing the kids worship?

is it sharing my testimony with the girls that i counsel and have them respond with such openness and grace? is it hearing them open up and share their struggles and know that they trust me?

is it doing the secretarial work which makes is possible for these kids to come to camp? is it taking them on a trail ride?

is it being surrounded by majestic pines? is it standing on top of the cliff and taking a deep breath as i survey God's Creation for miles and miles?

is it the loud roar or the quiet whisper?

all of those things are amazing. how can i choose?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

the beginning of this life

Three years ago at this time my life had hit bottom. Not rock-bottom, cause I'd definitely been lower .... but bottom nonetheless.

I had finally quit Taco Johns (a job that I worked for 4 1/2 years and that was sucking the life right out of me) and was ready to pursue other avenues. I had finished two years of college and had an Associates of Art in Liberal Arts (a transfer degree according to the diploma) and was taking some time off to figure out what I wanted from life. I was involved in a really great Bible study that helped solidify my desire to be involved in ministry. I had found a ministry that I thought was the avenue God wanted me to pursue and was getting ready to go.

Then, family issues came rushing to the forefront (originating with my desire to go to northern Minnesota and serve with a ministry there). I ended up in counseling (which, quite honestly, was one of the best things that ever happened to me and I am such a better person today for it!). Against my father's wishes I went north and then was asked to go home two weeks later. I was devastated.

I ended up working a dead-end job for a local catalog company. I moved in with my former pastor and his wife, to work with the two developmentally disabled guys that were living with them. I thought that God was asking me to live in Fergus Falls for a couple of years and I was slowly adjusting to that.

Then, I went to talk to Sherri one day (my counselor). She asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I was blown away by that question. I am the youngest of three and the only girl. My family is great, but they are not afraid to make plans for my life and let me know what I should do. I had gotten to the point where I could hardly make a decision for myself and wanted to please them all.

I could hardly even express what was in my heart, but slowly I was able to get out the fact that I felt called into the ministry. We talked about the different needs and where I wanted to end up. I walked away from that conversation knowing that God had a plan for my life and what the next step was.

That night I went home and Googled "Christian Camps in Montana."

Why Christian camps? Well, after discussing a lot of different ministry opportunities, I knew that I was not ready for overseas missions. I also didn't think I was qualified to work for a church. It was summer time and camping season was happening then. Also, I had spent two weeks in previous summers as a camp counselor, so obviously, it is what made sense. I think we might have talked about me maybe applying for summer staff the next summer, but patience isn't exactly my strong suit ...

Why Montana? Well, I had visited here a couple of times when I was younger and, of course, totally fell in love with the mountains. Also, I grew up on a farm and was totally into horses when I was younger. I still enjoy horses and the idea of that type of lifestyle. Sherri and I talked about how I would probably enjoy a setting in Texas or Montana more than in a city ...

Add them together and there ya go!

So, I found a site that listed all the different Christian camps in Montana and I went down the list. First I visited their website and tried to figure out if they needed anyone on full-time staff. Then, if I liked the way they looked, I sent them an email.

Most of those emails never got a response. Actually, all those emails except for one never got a response. But that one? Well, that reply came in the very next day. It just so happened that they were looking for an administrative assistant (and had been for two years).

Now there is something you need to understand about the reply that I got. This was not the top camp on my list. In fact, I really debated about whether or not I should email them. They weren't in the mountains and it was a support based position. However, God would not let me pass them by.

So, I took the information that Pat emailed me and prayed about it for a weekend. I got more and more excited and called her early the next week. We talked about it for awhile and then it was decided that I needed to come out to see it. So, I finagled my work schedule and got time off so I could come out on a Thurs-Sun to see what this whole camp thing was about.

I told my parents (well, my mom and I think she told my dad ...) and my three best friends where I was going. My two jobs didn't know why I took the time off (even the people I lived with had no idea) and no one else had a clue. I hopped in my car and drove the 500 miles to get here.

I spent a great couple of days at camp, talking to the bosses and connecting with the other staff members. I was overwhelmed with everything that was happening, but as time went on, we all became more and more sure that this was an avenue worth pursuing. No one had any red flags (which is unusual) and so, basically, the job was mine. All I had to do was fill out an application (cause yes, I totally went out there without an application or resume. whoops!).

I went home and started telling people. I gave two weeks notice to my jobs and wrote a letter to people telling them what I was going to do. I lined up two speaking engagements (cause I WAS going to be a missionary after all) and packed up my car. 6 weeks after I first heard about Trail's End Ranch, I was here.

I had no constant support, no idea of what I was getting myself into and no one I knew. 2 1/2 years later, I have a semblance of support (and never, ever go short!), have a fair idea of what I'm doing (except this is camp, so nothing is ever the same!), and have made life-changing, life-long friendships.

this is life!

Monday, March 2, 2009

this is life

my bathroom ... an update

here's all the stuff in my laundry room ... waiting to be used!

my new tub! it was touch and go for awhile whether i could even get a tub cause of the size, but Kim did some research and was able to go to Rapid City to pick it up for me. i was pretty excited!

sheetrocked walls

jim doing a little last minute mudding/taping

this is what it looks like today, after the first layer of primer.

i finished the second layer this evening and after a couple of last minute fixes should be able to get in a paint soon (we're all going to be gone at a conference this week, so that's looking like it will happen next week). after it's painted, then it's just a matter of putting everything back in and cleaning up my house (the guys are not exactly the neatest workers there are ..........)