Sunday, June 19, 2011

Catch Up

Hello everyone! I'm sorry, I know it's definitely been far too long since my last post. To be completely honest my life has been an insane roller coaster of unpredictable events over the last month or so. I have been so thankful for our community and the wonderful conversations I've had with many of you since the last entry in my blog. But I would like to summarize what's been going on since that last post.

This whole housing situation has been the major contributor to the turbulence in my life. As it stands right now, I still don't have a place to live and I am staying at my aunt's house living out of suitcases. I am so fortunate to have that kind of support in my family and she has been a huge support for me during this time. We began searching for a house well over two months ago and we began that search with a lot of excitment and hope. The search eventually became incredibly stressful without reaping any sort of progress. The places we could afford ended up being way too far away for me and in kind of shady areas. I'm not sure if it's because I was the only one with an upcoming move out date or not, but no one else seemed to be grasping the urgency in our house search. I was the one communicating and orchestrating things with the realtor and it was increasingly diffucult to get people to turn in paperwork in a timely manner etc.

So about two Sundays ago we found out that we had finally been accepted for a house to rent. The house was rundown and all the way up in Fullerton. But the price was really good, so we were going to move forward with signing the paperwork. A few days later and some suspicious actions on the part of the owner's and the listing agent later, we found on the county record that the house had been filed for default and foreclosed on back in April. The house was a scam. The owners and listing agent were trying to cash in on our deposit and first month's rent before skipping out leaving us to find an eviction notice from the bank a few days later. Thank God we caught it before any of that happened and indeed before we signed any paperwork! But it did set us back a week or so and certainly caused us to be more cautious.

It was after that close call though I began to become wary about my future living situation. I really didn't want to have to commute as far as Fullerton considering that I go to school and work in Irvine! And my car has been acting up a little lately. My car has proven to be incredibly unreliable over the years and I've replaced almost every part in it other than the engine itself. So if my car did break down completely it might be forever and I most definitely can't afford to buy a new one at the moment. I have wonderful and amazingly supportive parents who happen to pay my rent and at evaluating all of this, they began to pressure me to reconsider living closer to campus. After a lot of consideration I decided that I would have to tell my other roommates that I would need to start looking for an alternative. I found an apartment complex in Santa Ana that I really liked. When I expressed this to my future roommates one of them was incredibly understanding and was on board to live with me in that other apartment. The other did not receive this information well at all. There are a lot of details that go into what happened after this but I'll keep it short. She saw my decision to abide by my parent's wishes as a betrayal of our commitment to live together. I knew that it would a difficult task telling her this information, but the response I received in doing so blew up in my face. I saw a side of her character that I had never seen before. She insulted me and my family and just really lashed out in general. I'm still kind of in shock about what happened. Like I said there are a lot more disappointing and discouraging details about the actual confrontation that I'm skimming over, but all in all it was an incredibly hurtful and disturbing encounter. So I guess I could really use some prayer in recovery in that. And for her as well, she obviously acted out of hurt and anger. I know that she is incredibly hurt by me as well and I'm definitely praying that God will use this in her life. As guilty as I feel about the way things went down and were taken, I have this overwhelming peace about the situation. I think it just took me a really long time to realize how ultimately unhealthy this relationship and living situation was becoming. There was a lot of strings attached to living with these people and I think that I probably let the things that were bothering me go on a little too long. I am an incredibly passive person and in a lot of my past relationships I have been taken advantage of. So for God to use me to stand up for myself and really speak my mind in this situation has been a very unusual and encouraging experience. I have been granted a certain kind of boldness and peace I have never possessed before. And for that I am incredibly thankful. I am also very hopeful about the place I will eventually find. It is now just going to be me and my friend Jessi and I am feeling much more secure about that! I'm praying and know that God will redeem this entire situation and ultimately our new living environment will be ideal.

God has really been giving me a lot to look forward to in regards to my future! I have a camp that I am working at in my home town to look forward to in the immediate future (I really need to blog about this....Art's Camp is one of the highlights of my life every year!!!). And I am looking forward to going forward with High School and maybe helping out with Circles for the next year. I really just want to be available and present so that God can use me wherever I am needed. I feel like it's really important for my to stay plugged into the lives of my high school girls! I can't really describe it, but I have this overwhelming feeling that God has a lot to teach me and reveal to me over the next year and I am stoked for that journey. I have been really desiring to allow Him to change my character and make it more like His. This year has been very introspective and I've learned a lot about myself and I've gained a lot of knowledge. Because I have learned so much I can see now how much more I need to learn! It's an exciting season to be in for sure!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Something happened to me about a week ago that I am just now getting around to recording, but I feel that it is important to share anyway. And in light of Darin's message on Saturday and the weekend message, I think it ties in rather nicely.

So let me set this up for you.

My class:
I'm taking an inter religious dialogue class this quarter. The class is set up so that in our lecture of about 300 on Tuesday the professor presents a prompt and the historical/religious context. On Wednesday we have a discussion of the papers we wrote in response to the prompt in a class of about 30 people. On Thursday we meet in the lecture hall again of and the professor asks people to come up to the front and present their response to the prompt. Then the class can ask the volunteers questions. That's the basic set up. But as you can imagine, it becomes very heated. I'm not a person who does well with confrontation and it has pained me to see people talk themselves into a corner and see people say horribly degrading things to one another. In short, this class is the very definition of spiritual warfare. But don't get me wrong though, I absolutely love this class. I love the challenge, I love the writing, I love having an open mind.

What happened:
The lecture this particular week was a lengthy list of reasons why theists believe in God with corresponding atheist responses. For the prompt we had to pick the most convincing argument to us for either side and defend it. I feel very comfortable speaking my mind in the discussion, but I have never felt bold enough to volunteer to go to the front of the lecture hall and speak. This week however, a boy named Juan who I have never talked to before, approached me after discussion and began talking to me about what I thought of the class. At some point I asked him if he was going to volunteer the next day in class. He told me that he would if the Spirit lead him too. I had been feeling for some time now that I really should be bold and speak in class. But I couldn't stop myself from confessing to this near complete stranger that I was scared. Juan went on to tell me that God knows what I am capable of and that he would never put me in a situation I would not be equipped to handle. He said that God only has love for us and that He ultimately has our best interest at heart. Now it wasn't as if any of this was news to me, but I am convinced that this Juan guy was literally a mouthpiece of the Spirit in that moment. I have never felt more encouraged and convicted to do something in my enitire life. And the revelation that this was an honest to goodness conviction from God absolutely terrified me. I literally wanted to run away from this conversation. Now I did not do that, I felt that might have been rude to Juan. But I certainly became very uncomfortable and I was so when the conversation ended. But I couldn't shake the conviction. I wrestled with it all day and it was at the high school life group that I finally realized that denying this conviction would be the worst thing to do. I told the girls so that I would be held accountable and so that I could recieve prayer. I knew that if I kept this to myself there would be nothing to compel me to follow through.

So I did it. I spoke in class. I was obedient. Nothing dramatic happened, no one asked me any questions or attacked me, God didn't bring divine enlightenment upon the class. It seemed like I had made such a big deal over something that ended up being relatively simplistic. But I am certainly not taking this for granted. This experience has actually been incredibly monumentuous for me. The first being, the power of prayer. Wednesday, the day of the initial conviction, was stressful to say the least. But the next morning, and even right after I told the girls, I felt this overwhelming and calming peace. I know my girls were praying for me and I can not deny the power in that. Kati told me a few days later that she had prayed that the class would be silent and just listen to what I had to say. And that's exactly what happened. I'm just blown away by how amazing that is.

The second reason for this being monumentuous is the simple obedience of it all. In reality, what I said in class wasn't really that important. I have no idea if what I said changed anyone's life or if they will eventually turn to Jesus--I'm certainly not denying that as a possibility--but ultimately this was such a literal act of obedience. I felt convicted to do something and I did it. I think that is what gave me such peace about the whole thing. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed that I didn't feel "fulfilled" or something afterwards because the day leading up to it caused me so much grief. But what I'm walking away triumphantly from this situation because I have this new confidence in my walk in obedience to God. I have been praying for boldness and for God to use me in some way. This has been my prayer for quite some time now. Chris Ward described it in a past sermon as a "whatever moment". I was presented with a circumstance for me to prove it. I feel confident that this was just the beginning of a new series of events in obedience. I am so excited and so ready.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Songs of Praise

"How great is our God”

“You caught my soul when I was struggling to breathe”

“You are the love that frees us, you are the light that leads us, like a fire burning”

“You make beautiful things out of dust”

“He has cheated Hell and seated us above the Fall”

“The earth is Yours and singing”

“You are the living water, flow through me, wash me clean”

“I once was lost, now I’m alive in You”

“To live for Christ, I first must die, to all the rivals in my life”

“Tear down the walls that divide us, let love rebuild and unite us”

“All glory, honor, power is Yours, Amen.”

Monday, April 18, 2011


So I've had something on my mind grapes* these past few weeks and I wanted to get some feedback from my fellow slices and mentors. I've never been baptized before and it's something I've really always wanted to do. I really can't figure out why I haven't done it before, maybe timing, laziness, or lack of conviction, but in a way I'm really glad I've waited. Many of my friends were baptized in middle school or younger and they hardly remember it. I really feel like I'm at a place in my life where baptism would be really symboloic and meaningful.

That being said, I'm also having some significant hesitations though. The first one is a little bit trivial and I know it doesn't seem like something that is incredibly crucial, but I've always wanted to get baptized in a river. All of my friends were and the church I went to back in Folsom did summer baptisms in the American River. I guess I always just pictured that for myself. But it just seems like such a material or worldly desire. I know tht the significance of baptism goes beyond those things. My main hesitation is that my family wouldn't be there. I went home for my spring break last month, so I can't afford to go back up for this month. Also I don't have anytime off from school. Are those good reasons to wait on something like a baptism? Shouldn't it be solely a personal decision? Why do I feel so hesitant about the lack of community support?

I'm just curious to hear what you guys have to say. I'd really like some advise and prayer on guidance in this matter. Thank you so much for reading everyone!

*high five to anyone who got that reference....

Friday, April 8, 2011

0 Unread

Oh man does that feel good! I did it! I read every single one the of the blogs! Can I just say how much I love all of you guys? Seriously, I am so blessed to be a part of this community. Each one of you has this amazing inspiring faith that I continue to learn from each and every week through blogs and conversations. I'm praying for all of you and I am so thankful that you are all in my life. Thank you.

And now that I've done that, I simply cannot find the motivation to write my own. I pray I find some sort of inspiration and motivation come morning time. Here's to an insightful and moving blog tomorrow!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Core Five

I can't exactly figure out why I am feeling so sentimental this afternnoon, but I feel called to share how incredibly blessed I am by the friendships in my life.  This might be a little cheesy so I apologize.  I'm not normally this gushing over in emotions...except for during Disney animated films, but that's not what this blog is about.

I've been fortunate enough to have the same core group of friends for the past nine years or so.  I met this wonderful group of girls when I started attending my middle school youth group and our group grew once we reached high school.  I think what made this group so unique is that very few of us went to the same school, but we still remained close throughout all of those years.  And even now we are sprinkled across California and even across continents, but I still consider them my closest confidants and influences over my life.  I heard it said one that you are the average of the five people you hang out with.  It really makes you think twice about who you are asssociating with.  Not only are you the average of those people, but it's important to realize that outsiders will perceive you this way as well.  I look at these girls and I am so grateful that they are the women I have become an average of.  We have all grown up together.  Grown up in every sense of the word: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  If everything about my character is an average of these girls, I am especially grateful for their faith.  These girls challenge me, inspire me, and hold me accountable.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this intimate little community we have created.

I realize how much I have in these girls when I compare this lifestyle to my sister's.  I'm not sure if it is just happenstance or the drastic differences in our personalities, but my sister though she has always had a multitude of friends, has always lacked a close intimate group of best friends (or just the singular version of that).  Growing up, it seemed that every summer or school year she would be hanging out with a different group of friends.  I could hardly keep track of it because as soon as one girls face and name would become familiar to me she would be replaced with another a few months later.  When I was in middle school, at the beginning of my relationship with Sarah, Tarrah, and Marissa, I remember my sister just being in adoration of me and my friends.  I think what impressed my sister the most was that these same girls would be coming in and out of our house year after year.  And despite my sister and I growing apart as we entered high school and middle school respectively, I could always tell that she somewhat envied my consistent relationship with these girls.  She eventually became too cool to want to hang out with us, and she shut herself away from me and my parents.  Even though she became incredibly difficult to get along with I could always sense this distant sense of desire to have friends like mine.  Alli is still a little bit difficult to get along with, but I think the distance of me moving out has made it easier for me to connect with her.  It's definitely a relationship in my life that is not perfect and I definitely need to be more intentional with her, but I can see the beginnings of her chipping away her hard outer shell.  I think it touches her to see that even though I live 400 miles away, every time I come home those same girls she looked at with adoring eight year old eyes are still present in my life.  I long to be an example of community, accountability, and love in my sister's life, but if nothing else this makes me so incredibly grateful for the wonderful relationships in my life. 

I am just so impressed by these women in my life.  Two of us are devoting our lives to ministry, one of us is going to be a pilot, one of us is studying abroad to be a teacher, and one of us has a heart for the physically dehabilitated and is studying to help out with that.  But most impressive of all is their inspiring walks with Jesus.  These girls are my inspirations of faith.  We can spend hours in deep and meaningful conversation or hours throwing around ridiculous meaningless inside jokes.  We drive by this hill in Loomis all the time when I'm back home and we have this joke  that we are all going to buy the five houses in a row on top.  Our "plan" is to knock out the fences and have a giant Midwestern style backyard between us.  Natually babysitting roations would be set up among us etc.  My mom overheard part of this conversation and sounding concerned, asked me if we were starting a commune.  So yes.  We are starting a commune in Loomis. 

All joking aside, I just can't even express how grateful I am for these girls.  I am also expecially excited as I begin connecting with the Life Groups in the high school group.  I desire so much to encourage younger girls to go after these sorts of friendships with other girls.  I hope I can mirror the example of my own friends in their lives.  I am so grateful for my wonderful core five.  I am so blessed to be considered the average of such an impressive group of ladies.

Margarita Madness

Ok, shameless work plug, but....

It's Margarita Madness at Chilis right now! I gave up facebook and twitter for Lent, so this is my only social media outlet to advertise right now.

Margarita Madness is a nationwide contest between Chiliheads (that's what they call us) to sell the most margaritas over the next three months. There are a lot of really amazing prizes, including a brand new car, for the top sellers. I'm really only going to be pushing this contest because I am on the training team and we're expected to be in the top 10 at our store. So...because my hours are somewhat limited due to school I have to really push my friends to help me boost my margarita sales! So if you like margaritas come visit me at work! They're offering guest incentives this year too, so you guys can be entered into a drawing for gift cards every week if you come out.

So sorry about the work plug! I'd love to see you guys at Chilis though! I work every Friday night and I might be picking up another serving shift on Thursdays in the near future!