Saturday, July 25, 2009

Self-Discoveries from Washington DC

Self-Discovery #87: I love clouds.

Self-Discovery #88: I love shooting random urban stuff from windows...

Self-Discovery #89: It's fun to get your feet wet in fountains around DC...

Self-Discovery #90: I don't like slurpees but I love watching kids smile because of them...

Self-Discovery #91: I love the feeling of being home again (and having fun with my new camera lens!)

Have you had any self-discoveries lately? :)

We had a blast in Washington DC on the mission trip this week...I wish I could share some pictures of the awesome kids I spent time with, but because of privacy issues, I really shouldn't.

Please shoot me an email if you'd like to be on my Mission Trip Update list and I can send you emails when I'm away (more personal than what I share on this blog) as well as some other pictures...

Monday, July 20, 2009

There Will Be a Day...

"I try to hold on to this world with everything I have,
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab.
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew.

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering...

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face..." ~There Will Be a Day, Jeremy Camp.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Neighbors & Spice Cake...

My aunt was over the other day and we were talking about photography. I had my camera out and took a few shots of my neighbors who were playing next door...

I was thinking today (thanking God :) how grateful I am to have friendships with many of the people who live around me. It can be as simple as 'borrowing' a cup of milk to sharing life the 'Spice Cake Disaster' that happened tonight... ;)

It all started when the kids I was watching suggested we make a cake. We did, and the first part was seamless.

I tend to get a little impatient while waiting for cakes to "cool" before you put icing on them, but tonight I was proud of myself for waiting a whopping 10 minutes after taking it out from the oven. I started icing the cake with reservation, but it was staying on well, so I began to heap on generous portions.

And what seemed to be instantly, the icing began to melt and flow off of the cake and drip onto the side of the pan. At this point I told the kids it was ok to use their fingers to stop the dripping, but it was to no avail. Our efforts were useless as the icing seemed to be POURING off the cake onto the oven burners below it. It was a HUGE mess!

I realized that I needed to quickly move the cake over to the wouldn't stop the flow, but it would be easier to clean up (or so I thought.) Instead, in the process of moving it, icing went EVERYWHERE! On my leg, my feet, the floor, the counter...Of course the phone rings, and I can't even pick it up because my hands are covered in stickiness.

Well, I started rushing around trying to clean up, but the kids were getting impatient and wanted some cake while it was still warm. So we all took a break from clean up duty and sat down to enjoy, leaving the disaster in the kitchen for a minute.

The whole thing was quite hilarious in retrospect, and I even got a quote from the five year old that made my night...

"Nobody can make spice cake like you can Kristen!" haha

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Bloom where you are planted." / Enjoy where you are.

The sun slowly fell into the horizion as I drove home tonight. Yellows, reds, oranges...they spread wide against the blue sky and yawned their way onto the other side of the world.

A melodic tune serenaded me over the radio. Peace fell onto my heart. I'll rest in the sweetness of that calmness tonight...

Anyone else ever have moments like these?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Be where you are.

I wrote this on my hand today in attempts of resting in God. My heart feels spread across the globe right now...My best friends are scattered in various countries, children I love and who are hurting are far away too.

Beyond that, my mind keeps thinking and planning future trips with work, church, and for fun. Possibile destinations in the next year are: North Carolina, Washington D.C., California, Jamaica, Peru, Germany, maybe China again...Who knows. ;)

Until then, I know that at this very moment, I am where God wants me to be. And that's more than enough for me. And by all means, I'm startin' to get the hang of this whole 'Summer' thing. It's been a while that I've been home to enjoy June-September, but, I'm starting to get the hang of it...I think.

Yesterday I had off work, and so I headed over to a lake about 30 minutes from my house. It was the strangest mix of bliss and confusion to simply lay back and watch the clouds go by. I can get used to this for now, but not forever... ;)

(Somebody got really tired...)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Lovin' Summer...

I piled the kids I was babysitting in the car today (...literally. I have a honda civic and it always takes some manovering to buckle everyone in their boosters. :) We headed to the park and I let 'em run loose. What else are summer days for?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Teen Camp

Teen Camp in Kermit, West Virginia...

Right now I find myself in Kermit, West Virginia where the population is 199. (Not 199,000…just 199.) The weather has been perfect; the mountainous climate leaves a hint of coolness even during sunny days. We’re not sleeping in tents, though great food and fellowship makes it feel like a camping trip. And it’s so quiet and peaceful, with the added ambiance of an occasional pick-up truck driving by with country music playing on the radio.

This morning I had such a great time with God, just resting in His presence and basking in His beautiful creation. I felt such assurance that I was right where He wanted me to be. That was such an encouragement because a day prior, I’d been feeling torn about not going to China this summer. But it’s amazing that as I follow God’s leading, my emotions and needed peace follow in time.

I’ve loved my role as a team leader; the team here is great, and we’ve bonded so closely already. They are hard workers and get on so well together. I’ve enjoyed looking for ways to support them and be their guide while also jumping into ministry opportunities whenever I can. Like today at Teen Camp…

The church we are supporting hosts free summer camps for youth in the area, and this week of camp is for teenagers (‘Teen Camp.’) It just takes one look at the kids to realize many of them are from tough situations and one conversation with to know your observations are true.

Some of the stories I’ve heard have been so personal and heart-breaking that it’s hard to believe the words are coming from 10, 12, and 14 year olds. Their wounded hearts come alive at our attention, and we speak to them of Jesus while also having tons of fun (it was shaving cream waffle ball this afternoon.) My heart aches for them, and I can’t even wait until tomorrow when they come again and I can spend more time with them.

Please be praying for the rest of our time here. There is still so much to be done…

Love and hugs,