My Adventures!

Thoughts. Adventures. Photos. Conglomerate.
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So if you haven’t gathered I’m not a particularly good blogger. I started this blog to help people keep up with my adventures….how can people keep up with my life if I don’t post anything? But it’s summer again so maybe this is a good sign because I generally have more time in the summer than in the school year. (I mean in two days I finished a 300 page book so yeah more time in summer.)

The book I have already finished is call A Year Of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. It sounds a bit weird doesn’t it. Well good because it is. It’s a book about how a woman tries to follow what the bible says about women to a T, right down to separating herself during her “lady time” from her husband. Each month she takes a different virtue like silence, submission, modesty, etc. and does something to honor it. I think every lady in the church fundamentalist, baptist, methodist, catholic or whatever you are needs to read this book. Even if you don’t agree with things she says it’s good to see all kinds of sides. But be prepared…

It’s a faith changer.

Here is a fun story about Janessa. So I come from a Methodist background. Both my parents grew up in a Methodist church. I grew up in a Methodist church. I was baptized, sunday schooled, VBSed, confirmed, youth grouped and now interning at the church I have attended my entire life. My senior year of high school I was in a program that taught me the history of Pan-Methodism. I also interned for that program my freshman year of college. When I got to college I became actively involve in the Wesley Student Center, where I am on leadership, I intern at a small rural church (meaning I go and lead worship including preparing a message pretty much once a month), and by the grace of God got to go to Haiti. So yeah I’m a born and raised Methodist. If you wanna know some random John Wesley or Methodist heritage facts I am your girl. I’m pretty grateful to come from a Methodist background, I love my faith tradition.

Being a born and raised Methodist I didn’t really experience a lot of different faith traditions until I got to college. It’s not that they weren’t in Kearney but I pretty much just stayed in my Methodist bubble. A bubble which promptly burst when I got to college. I am bound and determined to find a faith community when I got to college. So I joined Gamma Alpha Lambda, a non-denom christian sorority on campus. It was here that I got smacked in the face with different theology, so much so that I thought I needed to quit because my faith was so different than theirs.

Now I had been to church my entire life, though I didn’t really begin walking with the Lord until I was a sophomore in high school. It was in a GAL meeting I was first faced with a message on how women are supposed to 1) be silent in church which meant no preaching or teaching anyone other than children. 2) be submissive. At this point I was REALLY REALLY grateful that I grew up in a Methodist background, a faith tradition that honors women to the point that we have women behind the pulpit and ordained elders and deacons. I was a junior in high school when I felt called to ministry. One of my pastors even called me to his office and told me HE felt like I was called to ministry. And here was a group of women telling me that I couldn’t be a youth pastor because it wasn’t my place as a woman. 

It drove me insane.

I poured hours into the bible trying to find scriptures that justified my calling and to prove them wrong (because I am strong willed and have a tendency to always want to be right.) I have struggled with this particular issue for my entire college career, three years to be exact. While I have stood before the burning bush (metaphorically of course) and heard God’s calling for my life, hearing this words countless times discouraged me. It made me feel defeated. For a while I even said no I’m not going to ministry I’m just going to do counseling because that’s what the bible says. 

Enter in A Year in Biblical Womanhood. A book that I hoped would give me some answers. As any good christian book should it gave me answers but also left me with so many questions. (Maybe that’s why I’m blogging all these thoughts to get them all out.) But the biggest thing I took anyway was something the author said at the end not in the chapter on being quiet in church or being submissive. The author was reflecting on her year living with all these rules and stipulations. One of the reflections was this

For those who count the Bible as sacred, the question when interpreting and applying the Bible to our lives is not, will we pick and choose? But rather how will we pick and choose? We are all selective in our reading of Scripture, and so the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Are we reading with the prejudice of love or are we reading with the prejudices of judgment and power, self-interest and greed?

Everyone whether they like it or not will pick and chose the bible. I try to dress modestly but I don’t cover my head when I pray. If anything my biggest take away from this book is to respect everyone’s opinions. Which seems like such a basic lesson and that I should already be practicing. but I think it’s a lesson that is harder in action that in word. Who is to say that my way of interpreting the bible is more right than the lady across the hall from me. 

I am still not sure where I stand on the issue of submission or silence. I know that I’m gonna be a youth pastor one day. But other than that I’m still lost and it’s still an area of exploration. I once heard a sermon talking about wrestling with this kind of thing. Where we stand in our current society vs a traditional biblical society. It was about all kinds of things not just woman things. The pastor then proceed to say that all Christians need to aspire to be luchadors, you know mexican wrestlers with scripture. So that picture is what fills my mind when I think about wrestling with scripture. So I guess it’s time to put on my luchador mask and step into the wring with submission and silence. 

Well maybe not for a while, I have had my fill of “biblical womanhood” for a while. Maybe now I can work on When Christians Get It Wrong. 

Ok those are my thoughts at 12:30 on a Thursday night after reading a faith changing book. Imma go watch Harry Potter now. 

G’night

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Today a friend and I were talking. Halfway through the conversation she stopped and looked at me and said:

If someone told you that you only had five years left to live I don’t think you would do anything different with your life.

I was taken back. But that is exactly how I want to live my life. Not in a state of wishing what could have been but doing it. Why wait and do things when you could just do them now? So my life goal is to now live this way forever.

So I was exploring the deep realms that is the world of pinterest when I came across a fascinating idea. Make a list of things to do before your next birthday. Well since my birthday is so close to the New Year I just decided to make it a new year bucket list. With 22 items because I will be 22 next year. So I’m going to share it on the internet because that’s what cool people do:

  1. Graduate college
  2. Go on a float trip
  3. Participate in a Color Run
  4. Bake through a cook book
  5. Learn to budget money
  6. Go on a road trip
  7. Attend a new sporting event 
  8. Visit a national park
  9. Limit my time on Netflix
  10. Go to a drive in movie
  11. Watch a sunrise
  12. Send a Flat Stanley to a friend
  13. Go to Haiti
  14. Learn a new language
  15. Teach myself to sew
  16. Read 10 new books
  17. Attend a yoga class
  18. Tithe every paycheck
  19. Downsize amount of possessions
  20. Complete a 2000+ piece puzzle
  21. Spend NYE in New York City
  22. Everyday, do something that makes your heart sing

Dudes the last one is cheesy, like the end of every good list should be. But it’s an important thing to include in the list. It’s not really a list of things I have never done because most things I have done. But it’s things I want to do again and stuffs. So yeah. I thought this is better than making a new years resolution because well this is stuff I can do throughout the whole year. 

AND now it’s on the internet and I can’t take that one back.

I know I don’t write on here much but there are things on my mind about this up and coming year that I must share with the interwebs.

Year after year I find myself with no plans on New Year’s. And each year I find myself, how do you say, out of fucks to give. Tomorrow night there will be hordes of people consuming alcohol at alarming rates and stumbling all over the place.

I will not be one of those people. As an introvert, I’m going to stay in and enjoy a bottle of wine and a good book. I’m also not ashamed to say as a 21 year old human being I’m going to crack open a bottle of Sparkling grape juice because it’s the nectar of the gods. That is what makes me happy. Why is it that people must always have something to do on NYE?

Why isn’t New Year’s Eve a night of doing everything that will make you happy? Instead of getting a group of people and bar hopping spending stupid amount of money of a stupid amount of alcohol, we should just do things we love. like if you love traveling, travel. If you love reading, read. And if you love getting white girl wasted, dammit get white girl wasted. And not feel guilty about one single bit of it. 

People also make all these empty resolutions on NYE. Things like I’m going to workout (sure you will), or I’m going to stop drinking as much (you tell ‘em) or even the get a boy/girl friend (go get them tiger). In past experiences I have found I make the same resolutions year after year. And each year those resolutions fall by the wayside by March at the most. Then the next year on NYE the same promises are made. It’s a cycle that most people don’t break.

I am one of those people. But this year I have the granddaddy of all resolutions:

Do what makes you happy.

It may seem silly at first glance that this is my resolution. Like shouldn’t I already be doing that? Absolutely. But don’t we all find ourselves self in a rut of things that are comfortable. I want my 2014 to be full of everything wonderful and happy. A year full of ridiculous, legendary memories. If I get a sense of wanderlust, I will hop in my car and go. If I want to wake up early to watch a sunrise I’ll do it. A year full of things to make me happy. I came across a quote the other day that said :

"Everyday do something that makes your heart sing." 

How beautiful is that? That what I want for my new year; I want my hear to sing every single day. How that will happen I don’t know. But it’s a goal. As people around me are making a goal, I’m constantly telling them this awesome quote. It’s changing how they look at their resolutions. It’s crazy.

I think that is all resolutions should be. Not empty promises, but how are you going to make yourself happier the next year. 

Anyhooo, happy new year everyone. Hope it’s a great one and all that jazz. 

Hello all! I have no idea who will read this but I feel as if a life update is in order.

This semester is crazy. 

Northwest campus dining got a make over, so now I am working at Starbucks. I absolutely love it. Sure we have a Janessa disaster pretty much every day but it’s fine. We move on. The people I work with are awesome. The people I see every day are awesome. Basically…..it’s just awesome.

Classes. Meh. School. Most of the classes I’m taking this semester are required. I am taking The Family, which is a super interesting class and I really enjoy it. The others not so much. I am in this class called Principles of Counseling….it made me realize I don’t want to be a counselor. Which is good I’m glad I didn’t spend a bunch of money on a grad degree on something I didn’t want to do. Now I’m leaning more toward Social Work. 

GAL is great. I really like being on exec. I gave my testimony on Monday and I think it went well? Who knows on those things.

Basically I work 16 hours, taking 15 hours as a student, on exec, still involved in Wesley, and managing a social life (kinda). 

Life is busy, but in all the most glorious ways. 

I MISS MY CAMPERS SO MUCH!

I MISS MY CAMPERS SO MUCH!

Sorry it’s been so long. I have been so exhausted that writing a blurb doesn’t happen. 

The end of camp was a tear jerker. One of my kids gave me his necklace he wore every day. Then when we all hugged him goodbye he started to cry. I watched him go from being sent from because of behavioral problems to being the best helper we had. Oh of the other kids who I got really close with wasn’t there the last day.

This kid was a problem child. Only if he wasn’t getting one on one. Which admittedly was difficult because we had so many kids. But he loved to help. I wanted to sweep every day and help with water bottles all the time. One of the last days he was there we sat on this bench during a whole movie talking about things. He was such a sweetheart. 

These kids changed me. 

Literally two days after I got home we went to Mexico with Edward Jones. There was so many children just running around. Not a big deal. But these kids were like six and had uppity attitudes. So many of the parents were like “Oh they are going to a charter school.” I just thought about the kids I worked with and how they just wanted attention from their parents. I went from one extreme to another. It was a rough transition. 

I know that my Oklahoma kids are going to do great things even if they don’t get to go to fancy charter schools. They are all so wonderful and have so much potential. 

And I miss them so much.

Our house has been overcome by string. We bought so many things for making bracelet’s with the kids that we had left over. Now our house is the bracelet making factory of Mangum. It’s lovely bonding time with the other girls.

Our first all day field trip was this week. It went so well. I was slightly nervous with how the kids have been acting lately but it went really well. We made the bracelets and played at the park and learned about birds. I sat and made bracelet’s with the kids all morning. It was so great. I watched some of our craziest kids just sit there quietly and make a whole bracelet. 

God is doing wonderful things in my life through the kids and my fellow interns. I can’t quite see where he is leading me yet but I know it is going to be some marvelous. The scriptures about caring for the orphan and the widow have been so heavy on my heart being here. One because I am working with children, two because so many of the ladies here are widows. They bring us dinner some nights and we just sit and talk. Caring for the orphan and the widow isn’t hard, it could just being there for company. I truly believe that the church as lost sight of this. We are so focused on getting people into the church we have forgotten the work of the church. 

My life is crazy. In all the most glorious ways. But I am sorry for not updating in a while. 

I am now the science teacher as well as afternoon activities coordinator. Which is awesome because well it’s science. I get to do fun things with the kids. It’s awesome. 

We are going on a field trip this next week. To Quartz Mountain. Which is a nature place. The park naturalist is going to do a program where she has stations set up about different birds. Basically the kids get to pretend they are birds. BIRDS! I am excited about it. Hopefully the kids are too. However, I have realized all the planning things like this take and it’s crazy. 

I am home for a few days, which is nice. The 8 hour drive here wasn’t even that bad. We are headed back Sunday for the last three weeks of camp.

We only have 12 days of camp left. That just doesn’t seem possible. Leaving our kids is going to be so hard. Knowing I will probably not see these kids again is hard. I will somehow get over it. 

spiritualinspiration:

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. (Philippians 3:20)

(via spiritualinspiration)

This week was really trying. For a lot of reasons. 

Number One. I’m sick. It’s that time of the year when Janessa starts to lose her voice yet again. So in the mornings when I am the most busy I’m just all gross feeling.

Number Two. We have had a Texas Invasion this week. We were basically kicked out of our arts and science room so they could sleep there. Which made the kids go crazy. It also meant that for Afternoon Activities we just had movie week. We watched three movies this week. Three. The kids where outside all morning so I didn’t want them being outside anymore. One of them was because our speaker quit. 

Though it was trying I saw God in so many places this week.

On Wednesday our kids were CRAZY. Like bouncing off the walls crazy. Then Thursday they were awesome again. Three of my favorite campers got to help us make popcorn. Two of them are siblings, they have nine siblings. Total there is 11 of them. I found out that the boy sleeps on the couch every night because he mom took his room. Seeing them kind of blossom is so amazing. God is doing so much for our kids it’s great.

Today we went to help the Texans on their job sites. I went with a team to go work on painting a house. Total there were three teams painting. The team I was with was awesome. They had been working on that house the whole week. Before they got there you could barely see the house. Now all the bushes are cut down and the house has a fresh coat of paint. It’s beautiful.

The best part about that was the guy who lived there had this old gross couch. Like the fabric wasn’t on the seats. He told the group he didn’t want to get rid of it. Today a truck came to pick it up so he could get new patio furniture. The team didn’t know he was going to get more. They were so devoted to making sure that couch didn’t leave because the guy said he wanted it. 

It’s so easy to get caught up in mission work. Trying to make sure you get things done but not think about the people who you are working for. The group I was serving with had their “client’s” best interest in mind. They weren’t working for themselves, but they were working for their client. While the Texas group made me frustrated this week, today I saw God working so big in their lives.

God is so good. 

So basically we are all exhausted. We all take naps every day after camp. It’s fine because of the magical thing called coffee. It’s the only thing that helps get me through my day. But really.

This is really no surprise but I love my kids already. I think I have already mentioned this but I have the youngest kids they are going into first and second grade. They are all so wonderful and awesome. Sure we have some discipline problems but it’s expected. They are kids and they are young. 

I do a lot of running around. In the mornings I’m all over the place. First we sing songs which has become my job is to sing songs with them. I read with this one kid every day, who is so adorable. You just can’t say no to him. Then I do errands for everyone else. Like today the arts and crafts teacher needed more duct tape so I ran upstairs to grab that. Then I went to get another intern water. Then I move the kids from reading to arts and crafts. Drop the arts and crafts kids of at science then take the science kids to rec. THEN it starts all over again. I also run around a lot in the afternoon. Just to make sure everything is going smoothly since that is my time to plan things. 

We have also gone to three of our campers little league games. I totally forgot how crazy little league gets. I also realized I was the annoying sister who was always screaming. It’s fine. It meant a lot to the kids because they just keep talking about it. 

I normally don’t bring my laptop over to the church much. So that’s why I haven’t been posting a lot. That and I’m always so tired. 

I think it’s nap time. 

I cleaned up entirely to many bodily fluids today. 

Today was rough. But I think we will have a great summer. I’m in charge of the really little group and surprise they are crazy. Only not surprise tiny kids are crazy. They had some discipline problems…when I say some that means a lot. But there was some cutie pies that made it all better. Two kids were practically married by the time camp was over, which was adorable. 

Though I’m afternoon activities coordinator in the summer, obviously that is only half the day. So basically my job in the morning is running around doing whatever people need me to do. Today I read with some children in the morning. Which was really hard because some children read so good, while others were having a hard time with their alphabet. It really just reminded me why I was here. Sure I’m here to plan fun things for kids to do in the afternoon, but the program is mainly the reading. 

Well I’m exhausted after today. It’s been a lonnggggggg day but it was still awesome.

So the past week has really just been one big old craft party. My job was to make the back drop for the stage and I say I did a pretty good job. 

Now I’m starting to plan our first week adventures! On Monday we are having a mini olympics. Relays, kickball, thumb wrestling and water polo. It’s going to be great. Why? Because I’m dressing up as the goddess Athena. Yeah. It’s gonna be great. Tuesday we are going on a quest for the Holy grail. I’m dressing up as Lady Gwen. It’s going to be awesome.

I love my team. We work really well together. And another lady from my sorority is coming to us in a week! Our arts and crafts person quit on us but it’s fine because know Marissa gets to come! Downfall: we have two Marrisas. Oh well. Both of them are awesome. 

Luckily we have not been affected by the storms. We watched the news coverage for like four hours to make sure our fellow interns were safe. 

Camp starts Monday. Super stoked.