Sunday, August 31, 2008

a few highlights

highlights of the past few days-
decorating the apartment with molly
putting things on the wall by magic
getting all sorts of calls from my RAs
pancakes for dinner
the offer of tea every few hours
my staff
the hoedown
dancing with kaitlin
dancing with steven and kaitlin
worship in the amphitheater
making a slideshow of silly staff pictures for our all-area meeting

after being here for almost three weeks, my senior year is going to commence.
tomorrow's the first day of classes, and i am so excited to begin my one-on-ones and begin classes...
and just a tiny bit sad, knowing that this is the last time.
but my prayer continues to be that i would enjoy what God is giving me,
that i would do what he asks of me during this season and
trusting him to provide for the rest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

an in-service week list

my sickness from walkabout is still lingering.
and my body is tired.
and it was difficult at times to have a good attitude about in-service for the third time.
but whenever i was having a hard time, i would make a list of things i love. and things i don't love.

so here's one of the lists-

things i don't love-
being sick
learning how to do work requests
bugs who want to eat me

things i love-
sitting by lisa in class
robin baker
walkabout friends
double AC-ness
loaner vacs
kevin's british accent
naps in my living room with martha
fire extinguishers
being called "ali"
my staff

Monday, August 25, 2008

i LOVE team camo!

walkabout was quite an adventure this year. it was quite different to be on campus for the week leading up to our wilderness trip. for one, i got to be the one to make all the banana bread and peanut butter power spread for each group. all the preparation that i helped with really made me appreciate all the hard work that i've taken for granted in years past. it was also really great to get to hang out with martha (and all the other acs and aacs) that week, as we worked to get ready for the days ahead.

friday finally came and we got split into our walkabout groups. i was so excited to be on walkabout with martha, but the rest of our team turned out to be pretty awesome too. cash got to lead our group which was so fun. we also had four leshana ras-brent, elizabeth, j and rebekah, two pcwb ras-heather and steven, and two co-ed ras-liz and darek.

i was the only returning res. life staff member on our trip, making me (along with martha and cash of course) the only one to have been on walkabout before. i was also the only senior in our group-so, needless to say, i was a little worried that there would be too much distinction between us. i was also afraid that this trip would be too similar to other walkabouts. however, God truly dispelled both of these fears entirely.

from the very start, our group seemed to have a comraderie. martha gave me the task of coming up with some get to know you games. i decided to break down barriers early on and have everyone make animal sounds that came from an animal that shared the starting letter of their name, this was hilarious, along with the start of many group jokes, particularly steven's sasquatch noises. and it only seemed to get better from there. (i was an aardvark and made slurping-up-ants noises, if you were wondering)

God provided not only the connection for our team, but also the different challenge i was hoping for. =) for starters, our first night was awful. as martha said, "now we know what hell is like." we followed the same trailhead as last year to mirror lake and set up camp. but unlike last year, it was excessively hot and we were suffering from swarms of mosquitoes. it felt like we were experiencing a plague of Biblical proportions-utterly miserable. sleep was difficult to come by for all of use, due to the constant buzzing in one's ears, the insects devouring you and the awful heat. thankfully, we packed early the next morning, eating breakfast on the trail, finding some respite from those small terrors.

our next adventure was found as we attempted to summit the south sister. we awoke at 3:30 AM in order to get an early start, but after hiking about 45minutes we were caught in a thunder and lightning storm. brent had prayed that our group would see the glory of God that day , but this wasn't what any of us had imagined. after waiting under some trees for the storm to get farther away, we all went back to sleep. after our naps, the storm had passed as we decided to climb the mountain-at least as high as we could go before turn-around-time. we ended up at least 1/2 way up. not only did we have lunch up there, we also had christmas. cash had carried 2 bottles of martinelli's sparkling cider up with us. he gave us the task of finding or making christmas gifts for one other person in the group. there were definitely some creative results. j carved me a mooth stick and i made brent a snow woman made out of rocks (a little shy, but solid and if she were truly made of snow, she would have melted at the sight of him. =) aside from gifts, there were toasts, christmas carols and "family pictures" taken under the christmas tree-decorated with our whistles, sunglasses and bandanas.

the next day (day 4) was a long day of hiking, with 9 miles to cover. but everyone's spirits were high since j and elizabeth (our leaders for the day) had declared it to be accent day. very entertaining! the only bad part about this hike was that i woke up with a sore throat and being a little sick/stuffy made the hike not quite as pleasant. that night began our solo time and as i was placed in my area for the next 24 hours, i realized how sick i was beginning to feel. so i promptly set up my tarp and attempted to get some sleep in spite of the daylight. however, sleep did not come easily for two reasons-1. i was feverish all night long and 2. it POURED down rain. despite the good shelter i had made, 1/2 of my sleeping bag still ended up soaked. i didn't find out until the next morning that i had been one of the only ones not to abandon their individual tarp for the group tarp (which also ended up completely soaked.) in the morning, my fever had gone away, but the rain had not. i awoke to cash gently calling my name and then informing me that we were packing up and heading to the van (about 5 miles away.) because even in the event that it stopped raining, there wasn't enough time for wet clothes and sleeping backs to become dry. and besides people, including me, already were or were getting sick.

hiking in wet clothes in the wind and rain 2 days early wasn't anyone's favorite, but everyone had good attitudes. when we got to the van, we discovered we weren't the only ones who made the decision to hike out. all but 2 groups had left sisters wilderness early in the best interest of their groups. although i was (and still am!) a little disappointed to leave sisters early and have plans changed, walkabout didn't end with our van ride home (which included listening and laughing at brian regan, along with martha and cash's imitations of him, and the soundtrack of our trip-which included, down to the river to pray, ain't no mountain high, and raindrops are falling on my head)

after showers and sleeping in a warm, dry bed, we met the next morning for more walkabout time. martha got it worked out for us to spend the day at the camp where we had our spring staff retreat. we even got the same cabin! the day was spent getting coffee at chapters, telling life stories, eating walkabout food, having some solo time and laughing.
this was such a good day, coupled with the blessing of the next morning in my apartment-pancakes, verbal affirmations, pictures and worship.
it was so hard for me to let go of this beautiful week.

so-a few things, God showed me on walkabout this time around-
-a new excitement for my staff this year and all that God has planned for the days ahead
-trusting him whether i think i "know" what's coming or not
-true peace about my future
-the blessing of good people in my life

how we show love

i've watched this video at least 10 times. probably more.
but i never get tired of it.
its magical every time.
so, here's a tiny taste of the blessing of my walkabout week-
this just might be our favorite way to show love: slapping each other's faces.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

loving a person is no small thing

God always gives me what i need to make it through whatever circumstances he places me in-
soaked sleeping bags

he provided-
good attitudes
slapping games
hokey pokey in the rain
gentle wake-up calls
concerned questions
christmas on a mountain
life stories
servant leaders
group pictures
smiling eyes
encouraging words

in spite of everything, this was one of the best weeks of my life. that may sound like an exaggeration, but it really isn't. this was one of the hardest, most beautiful weeks i've yet to experience.
my cup overflows.
my heart is brimming with the joy of true worship and the sorrow of knowing the ache of not being home yet.

the biggest blessing of this week were the ten people i spent it with-

cash, who became more dear to me than i ever could have imagined in a week's time. he's a good man.
my own dear martha, always loving on people
darek, what a servant, always willing to do whatever needed to be done
liz, caring and positive
steven, sweet, sensitive and caring
heather, perpetually optimistic and sunny
elizabeth, kind and genuine
j, spreading jokes, friendship and song
brent, fun, teasing and strong
rebekah, gentle, smiling and encouraging

aside from the beauty of the mountains, wildflowers, trees, streams and lake, i was able to get a true glimpse of the beauty of God's creation through these 10 image bearers. no matter the pain of this week coming to a close, i wouldn't change a thing. i hurt as i hugged cash good-bye today, and even as we split into staffs. but i don't regret loving these people.

Friday, August 22, 2008


before i share about all my adventures on walkabout,
i want to enjoy the blessing of today.

today was some of the best worship i've had in a while.
cash made the comment that this is what makes God happy. our worship to him was not listening to the sermons of a preacher, but instead speaking truth into each other's lives.
through encouragement.
martha's tears.
serving people food.
cash making our video.
life stories.
verbal affirmations.

i hate that cash is leaving tomorrow. when he was in my kitchen this afternoon doing my dishes, it made me want to cry to think that so soon after discovering a dear friend, i have to say good-bye. in fact, later, i did cry.
i hate that it won't ever be like this again, this side of heaven.
my heart hurts.
and what's worse is i know this is only the beginning for this year.
and i also know i'm not going to do anything to stop the hurt.
i plan to love deep. and love hard.
and ask jesus to hold me when it hurts.
and when i have to say good-bye.

Friday, August 15, 2008

sisters, or

walkabout time again!
we leave bright and early tomorrow morning.
i'm filled with anticipation, nervousness and excitement.
butterflies in my stomach.
a new group-and they are AWESOME
some of the familiar, but definitely some of the unknown.
i know it will be a good, hard week.

hanging with robin

"anyone have any question for me?-anyone that is, except lisa..."

it was really fun to hang out at robin baker's house this week. i laughed so much. i'm pretty sure he didn't expect us to be quite so crazy.
this picture also makes me laugh. robin was surprised at how few of us were the students. i think he thought most of the ACs were students too. and scotty was definitely cropped out of the first picture taken. i think jonathan didn't think he belonged. =)

abby, lisa, robin, alison, denae, scotty 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

not the only thing

trust isn't the only thing God's been teaching me lately.
i'm also learning the lesson called...
being willing to adjust my expectations.
giving up some things that i want
or even think i need.

i'd like to think i'm flexible,
but today i got an e-mail that made me not feel exceptionally flexible, and even a little frustrated.
and we've been doing lots of things in AAC training the past few days which are reminding me that trust involves flexibility.
lots of it.

davy & jane

i miss my kitties.
i miss soft fur and wet noses and whiskers.
i miss the dear animals that are always glad to see me.
and that purr at the sight of me.
not many of my friends do that-no matter how glad they are to see me.

"when you're used to hearing purring and suddenly it's gone, it's hard to silence the blaring sound of sadness." -missy altijd

Monday, August 11, 2008


i'm back.
as i've said, it was hard to leave my family.
it really was a good summer with them.
but some of my sadness was quickly replaced with joy as i entered my apartment.
waiting for me were fragrant, beautiful lilies and treats from martha.
and even more lovely was seeing jenny
and then the loveliness continued with seeing
all the other AACs-lisa, abby, scotty and denae
and all the ACs-ben, jonathan, tami, keith and my own martha.
in spite of an initial meeting, it was a fun evening with ice cream sandwich dessert and wiffle ball-guys v. girls.

it feels a little unreal that this is my job now.
"where's the AAC?"
oh wait-i'm it. that would be me.

i had dinner with martha tonight.
and i am SUPER excited for this year.
sometimes it makes me nervous to think about the logistics of how everything will work out-meetings, nursing, scheduling, but then i remember God's in control, martha is the coolest, i have a great room-mate and it will all be better than fine.

a little bit of sadness

jordan all packed up.
and a few sad kids.

picnic time

this was a really fun family time.
and it provided me the chance to accomplish a few goals that i've had for myself.

-skipping rocks (i had never skipped a rock before this night, but i even got 3 skips a few times!)
-throwing a football decently (i think i still have some work on this one, but it was good to practice at the very least)
-frisbee (ok-so this wasn't really a goal, but i like frisbees. and i'm excited to have my cookie frisbee with me at school for any opportunities that may come along)

and one other goal that wasn't accomplished on this night, but was partially accomplished this summer:

-driving stick (i've always wanted to know, in the case of an emergency where it was necessary for me to drive one. i only had one go of it, and it was pretty rough, but i understand the concept and could manage my way through it if i was ever in that situation. but i'm pretty sure i would still be freaking out of my mind, even if it i was able to drive stick in that moment.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

to trust you

it was really hard to say good-bye to my family today.
even harder than usual.
but that could be because i know that this is my senior year.
or maybe because this is the first time i went by myself (since i have jordan now)
or maybe its just because its been a while and its really always this hard.

as i made the drive a song came up by ginny owens. i actually skipped it and was prepared to listen to the next song on my ipod, when i felt like i should go back and listen to it. and boy, am i glad i did. it was exactly what i needed. not only for today, but for the year ahead of me.

I'm knocking on Your door,
Won't you answer?
I'm waiting for a word,
Or just a whisper;
But if You can't answer me this time,
I can handle everthing just fine
'Cause somehow I seem to think I have power,
And I know best how to make things better,
I try to carry everything alone,
But now the time has come to let go

To trust You with my life,
To believe You all the time,
And to leave my doubt behind,
Oh to trust You with my life.

Will I ever learn to stop and listen,
To keep knocking on Your door until it opens,
Teach me what it means to believe,
That You are strong enough to carry me

Oh, to trust You with my life,
To believe You all the time,
And to leave my doubt behind,
Oh, to trust You with my life.
And to give You everything,
All the deepest parts of me,
And to know You're always right,
To trust You with my life.

Broken here before You on my knees,
Is my only hope of finding peace

Saturday, August 9, 2008


on wednesday, we had a picnic.
aside from all the fun activities and yummy food,
i really enjoyed all of the beautiful creation to be seen at potlatch state park.
God's glory proclaimed by rocks, water and trees!