Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On the road again!!

Well, this summer has been quite the adventure for me. Let me give you a run-down on what I've done.

The week after school got out, I went to Girls State and was there for a week. I was home one day after school got out before I left.

Six days after I got back from Girls State, I left for my D.C. trip. I was gone for six days.

Two days after I got home from D.C., I left to go live with my great-grandma. I was home periodically throughout my month with her, but for the majority I was down there.

I was home one day from my great-grandma's before I went on my mission trip to Chicago. I was gone for nine days.

I got home from my Chicago trip three days ago. I was home two days before I came down to Tulsa to stay with my aunt Lea. She got sick last Saturday and was in the hospital for four days. I'm probably going to stay down here for about two weeks until she fully recuperates and to help with the boys.

When I get home from Tulsa, we have a trip planned for Springfield to help one of my best friends move into college in Bolivar. I won't even be home a full day before school starts. We'll get home the 16th of August and school starts the 17th.

Now don't get me wrong, I like to travel. God has definitely blessed me this summer. It's just gone by so fast. I have forgotten what it feels like to be lazy and swim and shop. Now I'm going to be a senior, and I'm graduating in less than a year. Man, that's crazy. I do have good news though. I passed my AP English Language test which means that I don't have to take comp 1. That means I have three hours underneath my belt. One class I won't have to take. Hopefully, next year the same thing will happen with comp 2.

I have learned so much this summer. Yes I have learned about leadership, our country's capitol, and stories from my great-grandma. But I've also learned more about God than I would've at 5 church camps. The mission trip blew any camp, especially Falls Creek, out of the water. I've learned more about trusting God and having faith in Him. I've learned more about humility. I've learned how important and vital my quiet time is everyday. I've learned not to complain and have more patience.

God is so good. There's no doubt about that. He's my true love and my first love, and that's all I have to say.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I love Chicago

Well, I got home from Chicago two days ago. I'm still lagging on sleep, but overall, it was an amazing trip. I would have stayed there with all the kids if it had not been for school starting and my family. It was so hard to leave those kids.

We traveled up there Friday and Saturday. Sunday we attended the church's worship and church service. I was in church for 6 1/2 hours last Sunday. It was awesome, though. I loved it.

Monday was the first morning of VBS. That went well. Then, that night, I got to go downtown and we fed the homeless. It was like we were in a city underneath the city.

This is where the homeless live. This is a section that the mayor has had fenced off because he is trying to run the homeless off.

Tuesday, we had VBS again in the morning. We were supposed to paint that afternoon, but the paint didn't come so we just kind of hung out around the church.

The six girls that are closest to me in this picture are older girls who I ended up spending a lot of time with. I had so much fun with them. Starting with the girl on the far left, their names are: Charnise, Jaslyne, the one behind me is Ebony, Shada, Destinee, and Michelle. They are all so sweet and fun.

Wednesday after VBS, we ended up prayer walking in the neighborhoods around the church. It was an awesome experience. Then we went to the Moody Church Prayer Meeting that night.

This is The Moody Church.

This is the sanctuary of Moody Church. It's beautiful. Elisabeth Elliot and her husband Jim had their first date at this church. I found out later after the prayer service that the pastor of the church went to Wheaton College, where Elisabeth and Jim went to college. Is God not a god of romance or what?

This is me on the roof of Moody Church. We got to see the lights of Chicago at night. It was beautiful.

This is another view of Chicago from the roof of Moody Church.

Thursday, I was with the older girls again. I got to talk to them about Esther. Then we explained the ABC's of becoming a Christian. I had the opportunity to talk to one of the girls one on one. We read the story of Christ's crucifixion together. She had never heard it before. She ended up getting saved. Her name is Shada.

This is a picture of me and Shada on the day she got saved. I'll never forget it.

Thursday night, we went to the Navy Pier and Buckingham Fountain. They were both beautiful to see.

This is a picture of me at Navy Pier.

This is me in front of the Buckingham Fountain.

This is C.J. I met him on Saturday, and he was constantly at my side throughout the week. He's so cute. I didn't want to leave him, and he didn't want me to leave either. He was probably my favorite kid that I met all week.

Here's C.J. again. Isn't he cute?

This is me and Jasmine. She constantly wanted me to hold her and hug her. Needless to say, I didn't want to leave her either.

These are my girls. They are so beautiful. I miss them so much.

This is me and Lanaii. She was attached to me too. She didn't want me to leave either. It was hard to say goodbye.

Arileous is on the left, then me, then my little Tremel. She's so cute. Arileous forgot to smile, but he's still cute.

I wish I could post all my pictures, but I don't want to take the time to post all 263 of them. I took a lot of pictures. Well, I hope these pictures give you an insight into what we did. I was so blessed to get to go. I am so blessed that it's not even funny. I miss all those kids. I hope I get to go back next year. It would be great. Just remember one thing: don't ever take what you have for granted. Ever

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saying Goodbye

So today I had to say goodbye to my great-grandma. I leave for my mission trip in 2 days, and I'm only going to work one more week when I get back. For that week, I'm going to drive back and forth from home. Today was the last day at my grandma's house.

It was hard to say goodbye. Not that I was torn about what to do, but seeing the look in her eyes made me so sad. When I was bringing all my stuff out, she said, "Oh, I hate to see this." It hurts to hear her say that, but I can't stay down here forever. I think she thought I was going to say even when school started, so she was disappointed to hear I was going home so early.

She was sad to see me go, but I know she enjoyed the company. She must have said three or four times how much she loved me and hated to see me go. I told her thank you for letting me stay with her, and she said it was her pleasure. I don't doubt for a minute that it was.

I hate that she's by herself all the time, but it's not like there is no one around here to stay with her. Most of her family lives down here, so in my opinion, she shouldn't be lonely, but yet she still is. I'm not going to say anymore about that because it is a touchy subject.

Anyway, two days until I leave. I talk to you later. Bye.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Making Progress

So, I'm proud to say that I've lost two pounds. It's not much, but I'm happy with it. I've got to start somewhere. I went for a walk last night and jogged a few times. Then, this morning, I got up and walked and jogged again for about 35 minutes. I was so proud of myself. I have to keep telling myself that I want to do this for me and not anyone else. Then when I got to work today I tried on a dress that was tight last week, and I got it zipped up all the way, and it fit very nicely. I actually tried on two dresses that fit that were the size that I've been wanting to get back into. I'm so happy. I wanted to go down to the Bistro and get a little treat, but now I'm glad I didn't. Trying on those dresses gave me motivation.

Speaking of making progress, I think God put me in that situation Friday night to draw me closer to Him. I started a book that I've already read twice. It's called "Passion and Purity" by Elisabeth Elliot. She's a wonderful author. Each time I've read her book, I've gotten new persectives on things. She went to college back in the 40s and 50s, so her outlook was very innocent and pure. I'm sick of "playing Christian." I realize that I've gotten kind of slack lately in more than one area. But I don't want to stay that way.

Well, 4 more days until the mission trip. I'm so excited. We had our commissioning service yesterday at church. It was good. I will post some pictures when I get back. I know I'll have a lot. Well, I will talk later. I don't know if I'll be able to post more before I leave or not. If not, I'll talk when I get back. That's all for now.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dodging Satan's Blows!

Last night, a bunch of my girlfriends and I got together at one of our friend's house, and we had a little get together. It's been awhile since we were all together by ourselves, like just us. It startled me how a few of my friends have changed, for the worse.

My best friend and I have had this journal that we've been writing back in forth in. Yesterday, she wrote me that we need to take a stand for God and change this generation. That's great, and I'm totally for it, but they were looking at stuff on you tube that wasn't good. It was stuff that I was ashamed to see. Ashamed to see that people that I call my friends were looking at. I left the room, and did not watch the rest of it.

Then we were watching this movie on T.V. and in this movie, they took the Lord's name in vain. I hate that. So, I had the remote, and I muted it. Then, everyone looked at me, and was like, "Why did you do that for?" And I was like, "Didn't you hear that?" And they were like, "What?" It's like they've become immune to it. They didn't even notice it. I mean all of us go to church, all of us say we're Christians, and I feel like I'm the only one who really is devoted to Christ. It's so hard. Sometimes, I can't wait for college. I want to go so bad. I don't know if things will be any easier in college, but at least I'll be able to meet to new people. People who actually are committed to their walk with God.

Then, of all things, I wake up this morning, and there are like three pimples on my face. I was broken out major. If that's not a confidence booster, then I don't know what is. It's like my friends were really different, my face looked awful, and on top of that, my wonderful time of the month has arrived. Satan is really working on me good. But I'm not going to let him whip me. I just wish I had a friend sometimes who had the same standards and was brought up the same way I was. That's why I can't wait for college. My future roommate has been brought up the way I have. If not more so than me. She's a preacher daughter, and she's one of the few pk's that actually is good.

Oh well, just one more year. I just need to pray for my friends and not compromise my beliefs and standards. Just pray.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Well, let's just say I'm a little bit frustrated. I've slowly but surely put on weight, and I've been trying to lose it, but it seems like every time I get started, something comes up, and I mess up. I've read so many diet plans and tried every exercise it seems, and I just keep coming to a dead end. I was going to wear jeans to work today, and when I tried them on this morning, I changed my mind. I pretty much looked atrocious in them. I mean I've been walking every morning at grandma's for like 30-40 minutes, but I'm getting nowhere. I've tried the whole weight-watchers point system, but it works for like 2 days, and then I don't stick with it. I know I probably snack too much, but it just seems like, I don't know, I just want to lose weight.

And then, I have the guilty conscience thing telling me that I'm too obsessed about it, that I need to be more focused on God than my body. I'm hoping though that when drum practice and band practice starts again, that I'll be getting more exercise and maybe my metabolism will speed up.

I guess I just need encouragement, prayer, and advice. If you have any advice about weight-loss/fitness, that would be great. I'm going to a party tonight with a bunch of my friends, and I really don't want to blow it. My goal is to lose my desired weight before I start taking senior pictures. I don't want to look back on them and say, "Man, I wish I could've lost that weight." My mom also told me that I didn't gain the weight overnight, and I'm not going to lose it overnight. I know I can do this. I've done it before. I just need some motivation. Major.

The only thing is, I don't want this to be a thing just for senior pictures. I want this to be a lifestyle change so I can be healthy and not have to worry about it when I get old.

Well, here's my first "yucky" post. Sorry it was kind of down.

Well, talk to you later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

9 more days

So, in 9 more days, I leave for my mission trip in Chicago. I'm so excited. We're driving up there in two fifteen passenger vans.

Let me give you a run down of what we'll be doing.

We will be staying in the church that we are ministering to. It's called the Rose of Light Missionary Baptist Church. It's an African-American church. Sunday morning we get to attend church. They have a very long church service from what I've heard. An hour and a half for Sunday school, two hours for just the worship service, and then the sermon follows. We'll have quite the wake-up call, I'm sure.

Then, every morning, we will be holding VBS from 9-12 for the area children. On Monday after VBS, we will be painting and doing stuff for the church. In the evening, we will be going into the city to distribute food and working at the church's soup kitchen. I know I am not mature enough in the sense to distribute food in the city at night. I will be at the church.

Tuesday after VBS, we have to get out of the church because they have a Bible study that night. We will be going to Wrigley Field and all the stuff that surrounds it. We will also be going to the Field Museum.

Wednesday after VBS, we will be going to the Moody Bible Church.

Thursday we will be attending Uptown Baptist Church and the Navy Pier. Then Friday night is family night for the VBS. We will be driving home on Saturday.

What's so funny is that before I even knew about the mission trip, I wrote this story that included this girl who went to Chicago on a mission trip and worked in a soup kitchen.

Well, I'll talk later. Bye.

Monday, July 9, 2007

God is so Good.

Being down here at my gg's is getting better, but it was wonderful to get to go home this weekend. Things are starting to pick up back in Grove. Drumline practice starts this Thursday, and I'm kind of glad. I haven't picked up a pair of sticks and really played drum stuff since last marching season. Then at the end of this month, I'm going on a mission trip to Chicago. I'm so excited.

At church yesterday, the Sunday school lesson and the sermon were both really good. My youth pastor started this thing where he let a few of us pick an amount of scripture and we get to do a short lesson over it. It just so happened that in the chapters we could choose from, one of the sections was titled "Do Not Worry." What a coincidence. I was so excited when I saw that. God knows exactly what we need and want. Isn't that awesome to know?

Last night, my mom and I went for a walk. After that, we went to my neighbors' house and I took them banana bread that I had made them. They were watching the old version of Little Women on T.V. I think I like it better than the newer version. It was so good. I love the way they picked the actors back then. They were all so tall, dark, and handsome. The part where the German professor proposes to Jo gave me the goosebumps. It made me want to fall in love.

I want to write stories like that someday. I want to write in a way that makes people feel emotions they didn't know they had. Someday, I'll sit down and separate the thousand stories that are swirling around in my head. I can't wait to get my start. I love writing.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'll talk later.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Isn't Life Funny?

So today is July 4th.

All of my family, my mom, dad, brother, cousins, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, great-grandma, and my second cousin, who I have not seen in over a year, are going to be at my great-grandma's house, and I'm stuck at work today. Well, I didn't think it would be too bad because I could work at the pizza place and get to see everyone when they came to get the pizza. Well, because I'm new, the owner of the pizza place's wife is working over there today, and I get to watch the tanning salon. I like working over here, but it's so boring. I get to get online, which is good, but I wanted to be in on all the action at the pizza place since it's the 4th of July. I mean I don't get to see my family anyway because I'm at work, but now I'm over here. Well, at least I got to see my aunt and her boys last week. I just wanted to see everyone together. Oh well, maybe next year.

I guess this is the joy of having a job. Life isn't always easy. I guess this is teaching me what it will be like to grow up and work in the real world someday. I did work really hard yesterday. This could be God's way of giving me a break. He does funny things sometimes, doesn't He? They did say they would come down and see me though. We'll probably be able to talk better here than at the pizzeria anyway. Well, I hope all you bloggers out there have an awesome 4th of July. Be safe and don't drink. Ha Ha. But seriously, don't. Talk to you later. Bye.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Okay, so this post doesn't really have anything to do with waiting, but I'm going to include stuff about my daily life anyway.

I got a job this summer in a little town in rural Oklahoma. It's about 25 minutes from where I live. Well, my great-grandma and a few of my other relatives live in this town. I've been living with my great-grandma while I've been working. I go to church with my family on Sundays though. Well, when I first began living with her, it was difficult. I mean I'm 17, she's 96, there's quite a bit of an age difference there. I love her to death, but it was really hard. I started asking God to teach me why he had allowed me to be with her. So the last couple of days that I've been with her, it's been a little easier.

Then, I got home from work yesterday, and God really revealed why I am down here. She is 96 years old, and she has 96 years of stories and memories built up inside of her. She told me so many stories last night that cracked me up.

She told me of the time when her grandfather and she were going to go on a picnic one day around brunch time. Well, it started to rain. Her grandpa said, "An early morning rain is like an old woman dancing. She'll soon give out." She said her grandpa was always saying something funny like that.

Then she told me that her younger brother, Dorin, use to like to send her funny postcards that would embarrass her. He sent her a postcard one time that showed a little boy getting in trouble for tipping over the out house. His dad was the one that was getting on to him. The little boy said, "Abraham Lincoln's son didn't get in trouble for tipping over the out house." The dad said, "Yes, but Abraham Lincoln wasn't in the out house either." I laughed so hard at that.
She also told me about the postcard that Dorin sent her that showed a man standing with a long line of kids behind him, as far as the eye can see. The postcard said something like, "I wonder what he's doing when he's not fishing?" I laughed pretty hard at that one too.

I knew that my great-grandma had a lot of brothers and sisters, but I didn't know she had 6. I memorized the order. Homer, Minny, Peril, Rilla(that's my grandma), Pat(short for Cleopatra, cool huh?), Dorin, and Palmer. Palmer is the only other sibling of my g-grandma's who is still alive. She likes to call him in the evening at seven. They talk for a little while. She really likes it.

She told me of the time when she was growing up when they had a whole bunch of telephones on the same phone line. At the time, her dad was in the hospital. Well, her mom couldn't be there with him because she had all the kids to look after. But the nurse told the mom that she would call her if anything came up. Well, with the telephone thing, the more receivers that were off the hook, the harder it was for someone to hear a phone call. One night the nurse called, and the mom was having a hard time hearing her. She told the nurse that, and all of the sudden they heard a voice on the line. It was one of the neighbors. He said, "Well, if all these damn neighbors would hang up the phone, you might be able to hear." I laughed because my g-grandma said that word and because it was so funny.

She told me of the time her dad had planted a new tree. Well, my g-grandma and one of her sisters were out playing one day when one of their indian friends came to play. My gg (shorter than great-grandma) told her indian friend about the new tree. Well, most indians have superstitions and so did this one. She told my gg that once that tree grew big enough to shade her daddy's grave, her daddy would die. Well, naturally, that scared my gg. She and her sister wiggled the roots of that tree around, and later it died. She told her dad that later when she was grown up. He laughed and said he wondered why that tree died.

She also told me of the time her dad took her sister Pat to town to get her a pair of red shoes. Pat was so proud of her red shoes. When they got home, some family friends were over at their house. There was a little boy in this family who was around the girls' age. They were younger than ten, I think. Anyway, when the family was getting ready to leave, the little boy cried that he didn't want to leave his red shoes. Their dad pulled Pat aside and told her if she gave her shoes to the little boy, he would take her to town and get her another pair. So she gave her shoes to the little boy, and her dad was true to his word. My gg told me that the little boy died two weeks later, of the cause she forgot. But at least he got his red shoes.

She told me that her kitchen table was her late husband's mom's table. She told me that the table had fed indians and a ton of other people. I asked her about the indians. She told me that if they saw someone walking down the street back then they'd ask them if they had dinner, and if they hadn't they invited them to dinner, whether they knew them or not. You don't see that very often these days.

I also like staying with her because in the mornings I get to walk down her lane. It's good for walking, but it's good for thinking too. There are so many things I think of when I walk. I have my prayer time when I walk. I think I want to write someday, and I think of stories when I walk. If anyone were watching me from a distance they might think I'm crazy sometimes because I have conversations between the different characters of my books out loud. But the glory of it is that no one hears me except God. The country is beautiful.

I miss home, but I know that I'm being blessed by getting to stay with my gg. She's losing her hearing, her sight, and her memory, but I think God is allowing her to recall those things that happened so long ago. I'm finally discovering my blessing that was in disguise, but not anymore.