Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Caution: God At Work!!!


The past week or so has been absolutely amazing! It's crazy to think what has happened in the past year! My mind just can't comprehend where its been and where it going. God continues to leave His love notes everywhere for me to find as well as some challenges to keep me calling on Him.

Last week I had the opportunity to fly back to Michigan with Bridgit (my boss) for a truly awesome week. My worlds all seemed to come together and collide in some strange way... yet it was really unique too! Bridgit and I traveled to Spring Arbor University to meet with student/faculty Rapport grads as well as some future grads ;) to talk about how Rapport gets to support SAU moving forward. It was truly amazing to sit in a room and see how God was using me 2-4 years ago to prepare me for where I'm at in this moment. Relationships formed as far back as 5 years ago are just now beginning to reach a point of fruition and impacting people I haven't met and may never meet. It just continues to stretch my comprehension of God and how absolutely HUGE He is!!! And it also reinforces in me this desire to constantly nurture and pour into the people in my life because it may be my investments that God is using for a purpose much greater!!

The "Collision of the Worlds" did not stop there... :) Bridgit and I also traveled to my old high school, Franklin, where I delivered School Assemblies to students. Holy Smokes!!! High school students are just SO cool! I love that they make you work for their attention, but that once you capture it... they totally just "get it." It was awesome to sit in an auditorium with 800 teenagers as they proclaimed the dreams they had for their life, yet have been afraid to share. By far one of the coolest moments was when a student was selected to come on stage and in front of all of his peers made a phone call I believe he won't forget for a very long time. Chris made a call to his Dad to share with him all of the things he has never shared with him before... how much he loved him, what he appreciated about him, and as the phone call was coming to an end Chris asked to speak to his Mom as well. The phone call continued as this teenager shared with each of his family members what an impact they have had on his life. With an auditorium of students listening to every word... you could have heard a pin drop... students witnessed the recently crowned Home Coming King pour his heart out to the people that mean the most in his life.

When asking the teachers, "what is the number one challenge you see students facing right now" their response went straight to my heart: the economy. Teachers shared that 1 or 2 students every day walk in burdened that they have no where to live, they are losing their home, or a parent was just laid off. "Hopelessness" was the word that many gave me. What an opportunity I (and each of us have) to share hope with others... this ability to pick someone up and bring them to a place that is just high enough for them to catch a glimpse of their promise land to know that it still exists. I'm heartbroken for the current situation... yet highly motivated to be that opportunity for elevation to others.

That evening I went back to Jackson to attend church with Mike England and Kim Hayworth (from SAU). And God CONTINUED to show Himself as I simply experienced Him. After a few days of consciously looking for how God was at work it was so freeing to come before Him and give Him the praise He deserved.

Sunday I had the opportunity to share with the youth group at Merriman Road...and by this point I'm thinking... Okay God, really?! The opportunities just continued to present themselves. It was amazing to watch the school assembly I had just given be TRANSFORMED as I gave the same presentation, yet inserted the name of God into the equation and the power of that message grew! I found myself learning from the words I was speaking because it was obvious I had become the mouthpiece for the message God wanted to share.

One more story...I promise! Today, back in Las Vegas, I met with the principal at Hinman Elementary School (inner city Vegas) where I have put together a project to supply 700 students with back packs filled with school supplies for next fall. This school is tubular (for the purpose of using a word other than amazing). I'm looking for ways to get our community to join together to meet a need and this one simply popped up in perfect timing. Today I had the chance to play with the students, go in and out of classrooms, meet faculty, and be a kid!! :) The staff were simply amazing as they shared with me their passion for these students and their development. The school has a "clothes closet" on campus to provide for children who are homeless or in need. It's a rough place to be in... yet the school counselor looked at me and said "I have the BEST job in the whole world!" I can't wait to see where this project leads!!

I could go on and on about the ways in which my life was blessed and how God is at work ... and it just makes me so very excited to move forward WITH God. I do realize the challenge that goes with that. I get to continue to familiarize myself with the voice of God so that I may be obedient ... and I get to continue to add armor as I march forward. Yet what a great place to be in!

With much gratitude!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The blonde has gone...

And the brunette is here to stay! Yes, it's true! After living life as a blonde I decided change is always a good thing and took the plunge! Yet, I told Breann at work today... it's my heart that's blonde... not my hair! And I prove that WAY too often :)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to New Port Beach, CA and LOVED it! 80 degree weather and the ocean...sigh! I went with some others from work to a seminar called "THE STAND" put on by Justin Fitica (a Christian), author of Hard as Nails. I've heard his stuff before and was a bit nervous about going just because the approach is quite different than I'm used to. However, it was a great experience! The main message was about taking a stand for those in your life that don't take a stand for themselves. After the seminar we ate dinner down on the boardwalk, spent some time on the beach, and retired to our rooms! Breann and I decided we were going to make it a true vacation and woke up to room service breakfast in our PJs on the balcony looking at the water. AMAZING!! I've never done anything like that before in my life... and the $$$ of it means its probably going to be a while before I do it again! :)

This week I am preparing for my trip to Michigan (March 11-16). I'm excited to mix a little bit of work with a little bit of play :) I'll be doing Student Assemblies in Livonia, Garden City, and Detroit, as well as heading up to Spring Arbor University to meet with some of the Rapport Grads and go to church. And while I'm home I get to celebrate my birthday with the fam and catch up with some friend! Love it!

Just around the corner, when I get back to Vegas I am heading to L.A.with Lindsey to celebrate my Birthday in Hollywood! Woo hoo! We are staying in Hollywood... taking the Walk of Fame, visiting the Hollywood sign, going to the beach, and of course searching for a trace of someone famous. However, we were also personally invited by the winner of the TV show "Bromance" to go hang out as well. That's looking a bit shady... but we will certainly see :)

And it would be a complete shame if I did not verbalize my disappointment with the TV show The Bachelor. Although I must say the "fellowship" (as we called it) that took place around the show was quite enjoyable :)

Well, this brunette needs to catch some shut eye!
Happy March!!