Thursday, January 22


RULES: There are 100 statements and you * the ones you have done. Grab it and play for yourself!!
1. Started your own blog*
2. Slept under the stars*
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity*
7. Been to Disneyworld*
8. Climbed a mountain*
9. Held a praying mantis*
10. Sang a solo*
11. Had stitches*
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch*
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning*
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables*
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept in an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight*
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill*
24. Built a snow fort*
25. Held a lamb*
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse*
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset*
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community*
36. Taught yourself a new language3
7. Had enough money to be truly satisfied*
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing*
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke*
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight*
46. Been transported in an ambulance*
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud*
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason*
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy*
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial*
71. Eaten cavier
72. Pieced a quilt*
73. Stood in Times Square*
74. Toured the Everglades*
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible*
86. Visited the White House*
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox*
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous*
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one*
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone - my parents "own it" but I use it*
99. Been stung by a bee*
100. Read an entire book in one day*

Monday, January 12

If- Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
--Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday, September 9

Found in this Moment

Today I had the pleasure of curling up on the couch beside Max and helping him work through Green Eggs and Ham and Red Fish Blue Fish Old Fish New Fish. It is extremely therapeutic for me to read with Max for an hour every afternoon. In this crazy life it's easy to get lost in the assignments and the pressures, so I'm thankful that God opened this door of opportunity. I find myself getting so excited over each word and when we finish a page I am filled with a sense of sincere accomplishment. Life is full of little victories. Jesus likes to give us little victories so that we don't grow weary. Tutoring my little 2nd grader puts life in perspective. It is good for me to remember that there was a time when it took me several minutes to get through a page in a book. I had to sound out each letter and then struggle to put them together. It is good for me to stop and thank God for the progress I have made in education. It is easy to forget what life was like ten+ years ago. We shouldn't forget, because God wants us to remember who He is, and one of the most powerful ways that He reveals Himself to us personally is by bringing us through trials. It has gotten to the point where I take for granted the fact that I can read, but there was time when it was extremely challenging for me. I need to remember the struggle so that my heart is filled with thanksgiving for my great Savior.

The point of this small post is to remind you to think about the little victories that Christ grants us. Rejoice in the moments, for that is how we live a life glorifying God and enjoying Him. Don't think that something has to change in order for you to rejoice. This is the day the Lord has made. We have the opportunity to praise His name through our thoughts, words, and deeds. May He give us the strength to live for Him forever.

Sunday, August 10


Yesterday Hannah and I traveled to Boston to meet up with my dear sweet Gretchen and her sisters. I have never been to Boston, and it is my new favorite city. There is so much history packed into that place, and it is extremely gorgeous/romantic. I am really glad that we were able to go. I can’t wait to return someday so that I can take more time to soak in the importance of the events that took place in history.

It was interesting because on the way back to Groton Hannah and I were waiting at the train station and it was late, like midnight. Well, there was a troubled woman who walked by us and began cussing at a sign. She was walking on the train tracks and acting very crazy. Hannah and I prayed for her, and hoped that she would go away. Then a couple of boys came up and started talking with us. It didn’t take long for them to be freaked out by the lady who was still screaming filthy words into the darkness. Finally, she came over to us and looked right at me with hurting tearful eyes and asked us not to laugh at her. She said that it wasn’t funny and we had no idea how hard her life was. I knew she was right. Hannah and I gave her compassion, and assured her that we were praying for her and we understood that it wasn’t funny. We were just laughing because we were a bunch of kids and didn’t think she was funny at all. When she saw our sincerity her eyes changed, and she asked us to forgive her. She said that she often does things she doesn’t want to do, and that there is something wrong. We responded with things like, “it’s ok sweetheart, we know. Don’t worry about it. How about you go take a walk Honey? Deep breaths.” She smiled, and reached out to shake our hands. She was dirty, smelly, and kinda scary. Hannah and I shook her hand. Before this summer there is no way I would have handled that situation. I would have freaked out and mostly likely walked away. When she left the guys were in awe at how calm we were and how calm she ended up. We laughed, and thanked God for the lessons he has taught us this summer. Hannah said, “I could have hugged her.”
“I know, I wanted to take her to the Adult Center and shower her and do devotions.” We laughed then, but it was awesome to realize that God has changed us, and we are that much more equipped to love the “least of these” after this summer. We deal with cussing dirty people all the time around here. God has prepared me, and I am really excited to see how He uses me to minister in His name and for His sake.

Tuesday, July 15

An Update

I am sitting in my tiny room writing a blog post to publish tomorrow on my night off. At the moment my temple is throbbing because I hit it hard on the corner of the door when I hopped us to get Amber’s hat from Alfonse. I have a huge knot at the end of my left eyebrow and the skin of my cheek bone is broken and burning. *sigh* I had no idea being a camp counselor would be sacrificial. Lol. In a lot of ways I am proud of it. I am not really the accident prone type, so when I do get a “battle wound” it makes me feel good inside. There’s something very honorable about occasionally taking one for the team. Even though, most of the time I am taking it for myself not the team, but that’s ok. You know what I mean.
I was wrong when I said I was working with middle school age kids this week. My girls are 9-11 years old and grades 4-6. There are seven of them, and we are getting along well. Last night we went out to look at the moon during devotions. It’s been cool because I have been using some of the things I learned last year in my education classes. It’s sorta obvious, but we remember information better when it is associated with an experience or sensation. Last night we were talking about how God created everything- “and it was good”. I had them all walk outside, and we were in the forest so it took a second before we could all see the moon through the trees then we read Psalm 8. It was really quite inspiring. I couldn’t tell if they enjoyed it, but then this morning as we were walking to breakfast Maddy said, “this is where we found the moon.” God has given me encouraging girls this week.
I am noticing that I am more of a touchy feely person than I realized. Aside from the fact that the love language test says that physical touch is my second strongest love language; I find myself drawn to the campers that want me to touch them often. Most of my girls this week sort of avoid physical contact, but Maddy and her sister Ryen (who is in Lorna’s cabin) frequently come up and nestle their head against my side. I love that. Physical touch is so powerful, and it’s weird for me because my family isn’t super touchy, but I like it more than I realized.
God has been especially faithful to me this week. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my great-grandmother’s funeral. She was 96 years old and still living independently in her own home. I am really disappointed that I can’t be at the funeral. I am glad that she died, because she was ready, and I believe she was a Christian. I just wish I could be there to celebrate and honor her life. I suppose I can do so from Groton, MA this evening though it will be lonely.
Earlier today I was feeling rather sick, I mean I have a sore throat and I was all congested. My girls were all concerned for me and we have all been praying that I will get better. So far God is being gracious in to us in this way also. He takes such great care of me.
Today in chapel I got to share about love. It was wonderful because I love talking about God’s love. Seriously, I don’t think there is anything that get’s more excited than sharing the greatest love story of all time. Last week I got to do the same things with the Special needs chapel. “By this we know love, that He lay down His life for us.” Then we start reading through John 19 which is the crucifixion of Christ. It is powerful. I felt sorta bad because I didn’t really try to catch their attention with any creative props, but then I was reminded that it wasn’t my presentation that mattered. There is power in the Gospel and the Holy Spirit is the one that will work. It is so comforting believing the truth.
Well, I should get some sleep. Last night I went to bed the second I put my girls to bed, which was about 9:30. Now I am fading fast because it’s 10:31. Lol. Seriously, thanks for your prayers. I need them so much. May the God of peace guard your heart and mind in Christ.

Sunday, July 13

I Rejoice...

I Rejoice…
When Susan walks up to me with her pink sunshine face and says “I keep you.” It is her way of letting people know that she is grateful and she loves them.

When Ramona (speaks only Spanish) wanders into our room just to give us a hug.

When I wake up to the sunlight gracing the forest with glory. His mercy is new every morning.

When I can come to my Father with a plea for mercy, and I know He will grant my request.

When Robin answers her own questions in a different voice than she asked them in.

When Doreen wants to know more about Jesus.

When the wind dances with my hair and I remember that the Bible says the Holy Spirit is like the wind we don’t know where He comes from or where He is going, but He is with us.

When Patricia asks me to dance with her.

When Margaret is nasty and then grabs my hand with a twinkle in her eye and brings it to her lips for a kiss and an apology.

When Dottie asks, “…how come?”

When Elizabeth looks into my eyes and smiles.

When I get little notes of encouragement from fellow staff.

When I get to have my own room for the second time in my life (the last time was on my mission trip to Ridgefield Park, NJ). The best part is that the only person to talk with before I fall asleep is Jesus.

When I get mail from home!

When Tina comes up to ask if she is my buddy.

When I make time to practice Spanish before I go to sleep. (It has happened probably twice)

When I get lovely phone messages from dear friends. The sad part is that I can’t always call back.

When the Bible speaks directly to my heart and the Holy Spirit helps me know how to apply it.

When Elisabeth (the counselor) gives me a tight hug. She told Alfonse that “we know how to hug each other, thanks.” (When he was trying to show us how it could be better.)

When I found out that I am working with middle school girls this week. I hope to teach that age group someday.

When there are flowers in the rain. Last week when our power was out it was as if God placed them beside the bus just so that I could pick them and rejoice in His goodness even in the storm.

When my water battle is filled several times a day with cool refreshing “water of life”.

When I see the magnificent clouds and quickly remember that God made them to help me glorify His name, and His faithfulness extends beyond them.

When the name of the Lord is praised by the young and old campers that we have here at Grotonwood.

When I can lie down and sleep; confident that He loves me, because He gives His loved ones sleep.

When I get to take a shower after swimming in the lake. Which by the way is my favorite part of every day.

When Courage (my camper from the first week) sends me a letter that says she is praying every day that I will be her counselor next year. Lol.

When I can serve “the least of these”.

When love is so powerful that it brings pain.

When I remember that I am can do all things in Him because I am a daughter of the King.

When God places me under leadership that I can connect with and respect. (Thank the Lord for Alfonse!)

When I hear from my Mommy!

When a new week begins full of challenges and grace.

When my Daddy shows up just because he cares and rearranged his flight.

When I know that at the end of the day I have accomplished much because of the prayers of the saints (that’s you!).

I crave your prayers. Thank you for supporting me in this. These last few weeks have been the hardest weeks of my life, but they have also been the most rewarding. I am broken, but in my weakness He is made strong. God is growing me and His faithfulness reaches beyond the heavens. May His name be praised!

Rejoice in all things. Again I say, REJOICE!

Saturday, July 12

What manner of love?

I wish I could explain love. I wish I could understand how it is that in six days a soul can get so caught up in devotion that to be torn apart at the end of the week is too painful for words (literally). The power of love is exhausting. This weekend I am extremely tired. Saying goodbye to my dear girls this week was harder than I could have imagined. We had some interesting characters. I don’t have time now to talk about them all but I would like to tell you about my friend Elizabeth.

Elizabeth has been deaf since birth, so she could not hear me when I called her name. She is also mentally retared, so she didn’t always understand what was going on. Elizabeth was self abusive, and her body was covered in scars and open wounds. When she came she didn’t smile, when I sat beside her she grabbed my hand and placed it on her shoulder asking if I would rub her back. I spent hours everyday rubbing her back. We would sit in chapel and other activities and I would stroke her battered body.

At swim time every day we would go to the beach and she would sit and look at her calendars. She seriously brough 25 pounds of calanders which she lugged around everywhere. She liked to mark them up and then throw them away. She wanted me to write down my birthday, and when I did, she smiled. Elizabeth hardly ever smiles, but when she did she looked like a princess. By the end of the week I called her, ‘my princess’. The point is that I tried to get her into the water everyday, and everyday she would sit and look at her calendars. Finally on the last day Elizabeth after several glasses of water (which were requested through sign language) she got in the water. She ran down with me and we got all the way in. It only lasted a moment but she was smiling and giggling with me. I loved to hear her laugh.

She didn’t know much sign language, mostly because people haven’t taken the time to teach her. I could tell that she was used to being ignored because she didn’t look at my lips or my hands when we were together. She gazed off to the right or the left and only rarely would she look into my eyes. I would often hold her face in my hands just to catch her gaze for a moment. Then I would sign, “I love you.” She would do something quick with her hands and look away. It made me wonder if she understood love. This sign that we have for love, does she know it? Has anyone ever loved my dear Elizabeth before?

We became quite the pair, and counselors began to wonder why I loved her so much. I really can’t explain it. It was a love from God.

One day when we were doing activities Elizabeth and I were sitting in the grass and I was rubbing her back. I had just put bandages on her open scars and she stopped picking at her skin which was so exciting. Anyways, Peter (the bad one who God tamed a bit this week) came up and asked to speak with me. I said, “No Peter I’m busy”. He asked me what I was doing, and I said, “I am talking with Elizabeth.” When I realized what I had said, I looked into her eyes and said, “Do you know this is the way I talk with you? I love to touch you because that is the only way that we communicate. I love you because God loves you and He loves me. Do you know?” She smiled at me. Poor Peter, he didn’t get it.

On Thursday night we had a dance. I danced with Elizabeth. She can’t hear the music but she can feel it if she dances with someone. She loved it. She laughed and smiled the whole night. She buried her head in my shoulder and I began to cry. What love is this? I don’t understand.
She left yesterday, and I was heartbroken. Her caretakers tried to tell me that she wouldn’t hug me because she isn’t the touchy type. I just looked at them in disbelief. She was so confused and anxious. She didn’t want to leave. I held her tight for a moment and whispered a prayer in her ear. I am trusting that God still speaks to the deaf.