Sunday, April 22, 2007

Botanic Gardens

If you haven't taken the chance to go up and see the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL you should! It's not in full bloom yet, but it will be in no time and it's definitely worth the trip. Check it out!


Every once in a while, I like to take an adventure. Now, reasonably, as a college student, I have no money so my adventures have to be rather small and rather nearby. So today, I decided to drive the half of the Lake Michigan circle tour that I hadn't driven yet, which is north to Wisconsin. I started out on 94 going north, and then got off when I didn't feel like paying tolls anymore and drove along the lake. It was nice and relaxing. Plus, Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion was on, and today was a talent contest among people in their 20's. And it was good music, too - I mean, enjoyable varieites of music, like and old-time jug band and an Andrews-sisters-esque group. Lots of fun and pretty great for the drive. I got out and sat by the lake and had my dinner and it was fabulous! It was a great day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ready Now

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen (right). I love the weather, the smell, the feel of the breeze, the four or five sweltering days we get, campfires, kids yelling and having a blast, people living free of so many of the inhibitions that are imposed by the current society and doing the dorkiest things. I am excited, I'm anxious, I'm ready to go now and not ready to go at the same time. Bittersweet, I suppose, entering the realm of "real job". But so cool at the same time.

A plea for help.

Help me understand - how do you just kill person after person - not thinking of their futures, as husbands or wives or mothers or fathers or teachers or slackers or cancer-healers? How does it feel to make others suffer and still realize that it can't make up for the lost feeling you have - the feeling persists - and the only solution is to take your own life? I hate being reminded that we, as humans, are capable of so much evil - that's something I've always struggled with - the ugliness that is caused by separation from God. And yet, so often when I have the choice to go God's way or my own, I choose ME, what I want, for me to be in control. And that choice is ugly. This past day's events are a reminder to me to always show love, to everyone, because no one should feel that lost, that far gone that nothing can fix it, that there's nothing but darkness and despair from now on - they should know there is a hope and how to find it. I'm not saying that we should have stopped this, should have seen it coming, or are at all responsible for tragedies in Blacksburg. Only that we should love fully in all of our encounters with others - to represent Christ in the way he deserves, because we are given everything we can never deserve.

Orai sempre. - Pray continually.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Well, I'm still sick - this stinks! You thing one of the four meds. they gave me would have worked, but no, I'm still stuffy, coughing, sore-throated and to top it all off, my ears are plugged up now. I dislike being sick because I just feel tired and lazy all the time and I usually like to be active! Fortunately, this week has been a relatively easy one, so I've had time to relax and drink a LOT of water.
So, today I was thinking back over some pretty amazing vacations we took when I was small, including one to Ichetuknee Springs in Florida (shown above). You can tube from the top of the springs all the way down the river, and it's beautiful and slow and relaxing. I also rememberd a vacation where we stayed at the Wigwam Village Motel in KY, but that is another story for another time...
Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Even in this modern day...

I have been in my bed sick now for a few days, recovering and taking care of myself. It's offered me some time to research a few things I learned about a few months ago at Jubilee 2007. I wanted to look more into the organizations that Gary Haugen (CEO if IJM) talked about, specifically International Justice Mission (IJM) and Amazing Change, two groups supporting the abolition of modern-day slavery abroad. You can sign a petition, read literature about slavery (then and now), and hear stories about the amazing things being done by God through this movement. I know that I have other ministries in my life that take up most of my time, but I just can't abide the thought of young women - as young as five or six - being kept in a semi-truck trailor and sold off into the sex trade. I want to do what little I can to help these women have a new hope and to make the threat of slavery known. We are not all called to the same type of ministry, but I think we are called to be compassionate and aware and supportive. Check it out: and

Monday, April 9, 2007

In the words of Aaron Shust...

My Savior loves, my Savior lives...Really, Aaron wasn't the one to actually say that the first time, but I've got to give some love to that hometown boy! Happy Easter (late). I had a great Easter, though, with church at good old PPC (although I will make no comments regarding the choice of organ prelude), followed by some awesome resurrection rolls. Recipe to follow. Then I headed up to NW to the Johnston's for dinner, where we enjoyed a schmorgasboard of wonderful food and great conversation. It was pretty cool, toward the end of dessert, Grandpa Ralph talked about the first easter dinner held in that house 150 years ago, and could even go home and look in his great-grandfathers journal to see the details. How cool to have such a strong family history in one house! And then Steve had to go and play in the front drive with his little red tractor. I guess Jen Bell was right when she told me that I might as well get used to it, because boys never change...thanks for the wise advice, Jen!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ewingwood in Concert

Just thinking about Tuesday at the Ewingwood concert, with The Morning Light and Jamestown Story. It was pretty cool to see people go wild for a bunch of boys from the Beav' playing their guitars and singing - I think some kids actually attempted to crowd-surf, despite the relatively mellow music. It was cool, though, watching my little brother and his friends play music, work the crowd, and sell their merchandise just like a "real" band. I did get down on my knees and thank God for letting me not be in high school anymore - after watching the new trend toward lots of makeup and teeny clothes and high-maintenance "look at me" lifestyle, I would fit in way less now than I did four years ago. Seems impossible. Just kidding - but I really was thankful that I have found friends and a church and a job that doesn't revolve around how I look, but that I am a child of God and therefore have worth. Anyway, a little off topic there, but I guess you could say the concert was an inspiration in many ways. Alex and Forrest, I'm so proud of you and Nashville is one city that is not going to know what happened once you two show up.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Girl time

Today has been considerably less productive, but what's a spring break for? I just sent some emails and uploaded some photos and then went to lunch with Alex and Mom and Dad (at My Hero, great subs) and then got my nails done with Mom. It's not something we do regularly but it's a fun girly thing to do that's pretty easily altered. If we get more brave, maybe we'll go get some tattoos! Anyone who's met me knows that's not happening!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

All good things must come to an end...

I was just thinking about this coming summer without Greg Davis. G-Diddy, working with you was a great experience and we will miss you a lot. Thanks for the good times. God Bless you and your family as you take your gifts down the road.

Break is amazing!

I've been on break less than two days and I feel like I've gotten a ton done! I relaxed, ate pancakes at the wonderful Maple Syrup Festival ( and bought peanut butter chocolate fudge. I've been a little under the weather lately with a cough, so we spent time watching old movies with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth and taking naps. This morning I got down to real work, though, getting a master list for our 2007 Summer Staff and keeping track of whose got a contract/sent it back and all of that. It's been really great to see things come together. Mom helped me to keep track of all my lists and now I think I have a comprehensive list done! Ten points to me. And ten points to God for supplying an amazing staff.

Let's start at the very beginning...

Wow. I got a nice big binder full of information about my new job at LCCC. And before I say anything else, I have to say that Sal rocks my socks for how incredibly detailed and specific he was with his information. I feel so blessed to have been given a great start through someone else's preparation. Way to go, Sal.
Of course, now I have to begin to think less like a summer staffer and more like a year-round staff. You know, seeing the big picture - the time we spend together doing summer camp is only three months out of the whole year. I am excited to be starting this process of planning summer camp (which, thanks to our stellar interns and other year-round staff is already going really well) but I am nervous as well - there are so many things to think about! God tells us that he will never give us more than we can handle, and I really do have faith that He will equip me - but it seems overwhelming now. My pastor, Chris, always says that God only tests those He wants to use: He grows us stronger and stronger through our struggles becuase He has a purpose, a place where suddenly we realize why we go through the things that test us. I'm looking forward to where God takes me.