Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A wonderful kick off to the fall

The past week it has really begun to feel like fall.  Good bye shorts and tank tops, hello pants and long sleeves! As much as I love the summer, the transition to fall this year has been a good one. I have enjoyed some of the fun activities that fall provides: apple picking, camp fires, brisk mornings.

Last weekend was our navigate retreat, it was great! I love love loveee being with that group of people.  They are all so full of life and personality.  I really am treasuring the moments of getting to know them.  This weekend we went to a camp in Andover MA.  The two groups (Mod I and Mod II) split after worshiping together.  Worship was awesome, there was something so special about worshiping God in nature, surrounded by trees, animals, and friends you love.  After worship, Mod I gathered around in a circle on these small wooden benches.  We began the afternoon by sharing our testimonies.  It was such a powerful time! I really feel like I know these people a lot better, and I love seeing what God has done in each one of our lives.  By the time we all got through our testimonies it was time to get ready for dinner.  I wouldn't have had it any other way!  There is something so powerful about a testimony.  It really makes you reflect of all the good work God has done.  He is so faithful! Overall, it was a really fantastic retreat.

Then on Sunday, after having a nice breakfast with Liz we went apple picking as a faith group! It was so fun just to be with one another.  I am really excited that God is already making some amazing friendships through this group.  It was also the first apple picking adventure of the season, so that made it very exciting and special.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Navi retreat this weekend!

Let's talk about how stinkin' pumped I am to go on the Navigate Retreat this weekend!  From what Jeremy tells me, it is a really powerful time where you really learn a lot about your fellow navi classmates.  I am really excited to learn more about everyone!  Navigate has been pretty amazing.  I love the people, the fellowship, the teachings.  I really like how we are stretched outside of our comfort zones and normal ways of thinking!  I am so excited to see what God is going to do here.  He already has been teaching me so much! 

Wednesday we watched a video called "The Father Heart of God".  It was a very powerful video (once you look past the terrible filming and crackling sound).  It really emphasized God's love for us as His children! It is nice to be reminded that.  That we are loved as children! Now, I don't have any kids but I can imagine that when I do I will love them with my whole being! I will love them to the point where it hurts my heart.  Now, to think that the God of the universe loves us like that... It's powerful!

Back to the retreat.. We will be meeting tonight at church and listening to a speaker (forgive me, I don't know who it is or what he will be talking about.. It actually might even be a she.. I dunno!). Then, we will go back home and be meeting up at a camp in Andover MA (wow.. we were just there for girls weekend!! Andover really is a bumpin place!). We will split up into our groups (Mod I and Mod II).  Now, I guess it's tradition that the Mod I group shares their testimonies on the retreat, so that is what we will be doing! It's always a little nerve wracking to share your testimony with someone.. It's like the most intimate part of who you are.  Even saying that, I know it will be worth it! You really grow close to one another when you share your testimony and let people into your life.  It also really shows how good God is! He is so faithful to us!

I am so excited to grow closer to these people and really function as a team!  Next year we are going on a missions trip together.  I know that during missions trips it is crucial that you act and function as one complete team.  A team that really looks out for one anothers interests and safety.  and I can't wait to look back on this time and see that all the preparation was well worth it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Faith group :)

So, once again I am leading a Faith Group through the Harbor.  Things are a little different this year, new leaders, new name for the group, new vision.  I was thinking a lot about what I really wanted to be accomplished through this faith group and I ended up writing some what of a missions statement.  I thought I would share it! I am so excited about this group.  I know that God is going to some pretty amazing things, and i'm so thankful to be a part of it.  Oh, the name of the faith group is "Rooted" it is targeted for college aged women.

Living a fruitful life

What we’re about:

We are all about living a life that reflects Jesus.  We believe that God really does work through these small groups to bring people together, to reveal himself to us and to refine us in our walks with Christ.  We really strive to be a faith group that welcomes everyone! We encourage people to bring their friends, whether they are believers are not.  That is one thing that makes the group so special, we have women who are at all different stages of life.  We have women who have been following Jesus their whole lives, people who have come to know Christ within a few years, and people who are just starting their journey with the Lord.  In faith group, we want to provide a safe environment for women to ask questions, share their struggles and celebrate their victories with one another! Our prayer is that we will truly come together as friends and sisters in Christ to support, encourage and spur one another on.  We pray that the women who have known Jesus their whole lives will have a chance to pour into the newer believes and be challenged by their questions.  We pray that the newer believers will be provided with a place to openly ask questions and grow in their faith.  We want this to be a place where everyone is welcome, no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus.  Our prayer for this is that we may be a group who is challenged to think outside of our every day thinking.  That we may be taken outside of our comfort zones to invite our friends that do not know Jesus, and for this to be a place where even they will feel comfortable.  We do not want to exclude anyone from knowing the love of God, and what He has done for us. 

This year we were really led to focus on the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).  It is clear in the Bible that followers of Jesus are known by the fruit they bear.  Everyone who is walking with Jesus should be bearing good fruit that reflects the character of Him.  Each week we will be focusing on one specific fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control).

As your leaders, we are dedicated to you.  We are open (and highly encourage) your feedback on the group and how we can better lead.  We are so excited to see what God does in and through this group and we look forward to walking with you this year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First day of Navigate!

Today is the first day of Navigate and I am soooo excited!
After watching the ways Jeremy and some of my close friends have grown through this training school I can hardly wait for it to start.  Here is a little blurb about navigate from the church website:

The focus of the first year of the Navigate Training School is on the heart attitudes & habits of a disciple.  Life-transforming teachings on topics ranging from the father heart of God to disciplines such as prayer & fasting to key attitudes such as brokenness & humility constitute the curriculum’s core.  Regular Bible verse memorization, a nine-month read-through of the Bible, and the reading of classic discipleship books such as Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God ensure that the student is feeding an ever-growing hunger to know and follow Jesus. 


Friday, September 3, 2010


To all you single ladies out there:

Let me introduce you to my friend, John Prickett.

Not only is John Prickett a dear friend to me and my hubby he is also College Pastor at The Harbor (that's right ladies, eat your hearts out!)
John is an athletic, loyal, funny, dedicated man who is really seeking after the Lord!
He is a fantastic surfer and would be more than willing to give out free surf lessons. 
John has a wonderful way of making people feel welcomed and loved (such a great quality especially for a lady!)

Now ladies, you would be down right stupid to pass this up!

(Note: I do not have permission from John Prickett to be soliciting him like this.)

Against all odds..

It seems as though sometimes the odds are all stacked against us.  Like there is nothing we can do to overcome what the world has thrown our way.  Like there is no possible way we can change our circumstances or alter the odds that are against us.  It seems true.  It seems hopeless, and miserable, and a waste of time.  Life seems to do this to us a lot- it tells us we can't succeed, that we will never make it, that we are failures, and so on and so on.. Life challenges our character, faith, relationships, and health.

I just found out that my uncle got diagnosed with bone and lung cancer.  I feel so discouraged, sad, guilty, and just confused. It makes me so angry! Cancer in general is one of the terrible ways that life tries to tell us that the odds are against us.  And since I have experienced cancer personally, I know how it feels to have all odds stacked against you.  To fear that you won't make it through it to see your loved ones again.  To be afraid of how they will deal with life when you're gone.  To think that you will never be able to do all the things you wanted to do in your life.  I know what it feels like to just give in to those odds.  To accept that your life will be nothing that you had thought it would be.  That it would end early and you would have to deal with it.  What are we supposed to do with devastating news like this?  What do we do when the doctors gives one of  your loved ones six months to live?

When I was diagnosed with cancer at age 16 I felt so scared.  I felt like the world was going forward and that I was going to be left behind.  I felt depressed and alone, like no one could really relate to me.  I felt tired of all the chemo and radiation. I felt defeated when I had relapsed six months after finishing my treatment.  I felt like dying when I had to get a bone marrow transplant.  I had given up. I had come to accept that my life could end and that I would never see my loved ones again.  I had come to terms that I would never graduate high school, go to college, get married or start my own family some day.  The odds were against me, and I was starting to be okay with that... But there was something I was missing as a 16 year old girl.  Something that would have replaced despair with hope. Something that would have encouraged, and persevered even through the hardest times.

The thing is- even when we give up and feel as though there is no way we can defeat the odds against us, we have a God who is fighting for us! Even when the doctor tells us we have only six month to live and it is highly unlikely that the treatment will work, we have Jesus who has already overcome EVERYTHING in the world.  We don't need to listen to what the world is telling us, because we have been set free from that burden.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- John 16:33

When I hear that someone I truly care for has been given six months to live, I feel angry! I feel angry that he has to go through one of the toughest battles of his life.  I feel angry that his family has to sit on the sidelines and feel hopeless. Yet in the midst of my anger and sadness I feel hope..

When I think about my dad during the times that I was sick, I know for sure that he was giving everything he had to help me! That he was fighting for me like no one else I knew.  He was pouring out all of his love, dedication, patience, and hope on me.  He was willing to die for me.  When I think about the love my dad has for me especially in times of despair I cannot help but think about God.  Because from what I know about the character of God is that he  deeply loves us as His children.  I know He would give ANYTHING for us.  Another thing I know about God is that He knows what He is doing and He is in control.  So, when it seems as though nothing else makes sense in the world I need to remember that God would do anything and everything for us because He loves us like no other and that He knows what he is doing.

We face so many different trials in this life.  We are knocked off our feet and many times are literally staring death in the eyes. We can't do it alone, and thankfully we're not! We have the creator of the whole Universe on our side fighting for us.  When we have given up, and can't fight anymore He stands in and fights on our behalf.  I don't know why things like this happen and it makes me so sad to see the people we love go through such difficult times.  Still, when I am lost and nothing makes sense, I try to hang on those three truths about God: That He deeply loves us, He would do anything and everything for us and that He knows what He is doing.

Me and my dad dancing at my wedding. 
My dad is still wearing the Livestrong bracelet that he put on when I was first diagnosed.