Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Preparing for an amputation

I really feel like I am about to lose several of my limbs. My friends have all become a part of me and they are going to be 'cut off'. It feels like a whirlwind time right now....like everything is changing and I can't get my feet planted firmly on the ground. It's honestly hard for me being the person who gets the amputation....I would much rather be the amputated arm or leg. I long for the day when I get to set out on a new adventure and explore a new territory. It is really hard for me to be left behind and stuck in the same old place. For this reason, I feel that God is keeping me here for now at least. It is also sad to lose a good chunk of my local support system. Becca, I'm sure we will see a lot of you because you won't be far away. I definitely plan to visit a lot :). However, Marc is going to be all the way in China. Words can't begin to say how hard this is for me. I am so excited for him and I know it's the right thing, but it is still hard. So now I'm waiting for the quick but painful operation to occur so there will be more pieces of myself scattered around the world. I long for the day when everyone I love will be gathered together forever worshipping our Savior in heaven.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spain on the brain and Georgia on my mind

For those of you who have seen my room (I think most of you have), you know that I sleep next to a giant Spanish flag that is hung on my wall. This morning I woke up to the flag hitting me in the head. It was a breezy morning and I also had a fan on me because I have no AC in my bedroom. This caused the flag to move around a lot. Well the Spanish flag kept hitting me in the head and I couldn't get it to stop. It was really annoying. Ironically, I have been thinking about Spain a lot today. It was like the flag was trying to pound a message into my head......."HEY, REMEMBER ME?". Lynette was showing her Europe pictures to a friend the other day and I think it started me thinking about it. Today I let myself be swept away in a rush of nostalgia as I looked at my (unfinished) scrapbooks from Spain. That semester was such a turning point in my life and really shaped the person I am today. It's fun to relish in the memories once in awhile. It had been a long time since I had taken my scrapbooks out and looked at them. There was even a layer of dust coating them :(. So as for "Georgia on my mind" I just wanted to say that I am really excited about driving down to see y'all in about a month. I am still deciding whether or not to drive my car. I could fly, but I like the idea of a road trip. Maybe I will rent a car but I am afraid I would curse that car too. I am definitely going to come but I haven't decided how yet. So be it by plane, train, automobile, or horse and buggy, I will be seeing you :).

Monday, July 09, 2007


I lie awake tossing and turning because I can't seem to quiet down my mind. I feel like all of the demons of my past are taunting me tonight. I keep re-living every horrible thing I've ever done in all of my past relationships. All of the things that I've been free from for so long seem to be finding me again tonight. I really can't explain why all of this is haunting me tonight. It makes me feel horrible and completely inadequate. I look back on all of the pain I've caused in the past and I feel so helpless and ashamed. I usually look at it as a testimony to the healing power of God but tonight I just feel broken. I constantly fall into the same vicious traps, falling prey to Satan's lies. He constantly tells me how unlovable I am because of everything I've done. Why do I constantly believe the lies when I know better? I know in my head how much God loves me but sometimes I just have a hard time letting it penetrate into my heart.

by Skillet

I hate feeling like this
I'm so tired of trying to fight this
I'm asleep and all I dream of

Is waking to you
Tell me that you will listen
Your touch is what I'm missing
And the more I hide the more I realize I'm slowly losing you

I'll never wake up without an overdose of you

I don't wanna live
I don't wanna breathe
'les I feel you next to me
you take the pain I feel
waking up to you never felt so real
I don't wanna sleep
I don't wanna dream
'cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way you make me feel
Waking up to you never felt so real

I hate living without you
Dead wrong to ever doubt you
But my demons lay in waiting
Tempting me away
Oh how I adore you
Oh how I thirst for you
Oh how I need you

Breathing life

Waking up my eyes
Open up

Don't leave me alone

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pics from Creation 2007

Well we just got back from Creation yesterday. It was great. I feel like I grew so much this past week. I was very touched by the whole experience. This was my 20th year. It would have been my 22nd if it wasn't canceled two times. I took some detailed pictures of it so Jess you can have an idea of what it's like. Here are my pics. I hope you enjoy :).

This is a picture of one of the many signs welcoming Creation. Creation brings about 80-100,000 extra people into this small area in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. As you can imagine, it is good for the area business and a large part of their livelihood.

These two pictures are of the road driving into Creation (Agape Farm). The area is really beautiful.

This is the line I had to wait in to get into the Creation grounds.

While waiting in the long line the Car Curse of Nina struck again. My poor car overheated because it was REALLY HOT. I was originally in one of the lines but couldn't get my car to start. I held up traffic behind me as I waited for Creation staff to come rescue me. They came and asked people waiting in cars to help push my car out of the way. After my car was pushed to this spot I waited in line with the other cars to register and get my wristband. As I walked up to the window I got funny looks and was asked if I had a car with me (imagine walking through a Drive-Thru window). I pointed to my sad car.

I took a picture of this because it is rare that you find a pretty outhouse :).

Josh and Dad came to rescue me at the gate with this huge wagon. We loaded my stuff onto the wagon and began to walk to our site in the 90 degree heat. Josh had to wait in line with the cars because the wagon wouldn't fit through the sides. What a good brother-in-law he is!!

I love the names of the streets at Creation

Soon after I got to Creation, it began to get stormy. Poles from the huge awning got blown down. It took a lot of team work to get it standing again.

More great street names........

During the evening program the sky got really dark. We got evacuated from the arena (a huge field) and it poured and stormed for a little. The main stage is also in this picture. It is built by volunteers and then taken down the last night. It is really quite amazing seeing everything built up and then taken down at the end.

I went back to the campsite to avoid the storm and saw Cindy and Alicia sitting in the car to be safe from the lightning (tents are scary places to be during lightning storms in the middle of a field). She was so cute sitting in the car.

The blue thing in Alicia's way is the car seat.

Dave sleeping while Chris watched the fireworks after the program had started up again after the rain. This is an example of a great Creation story: Dad and I were watching the evening line up while it was raining so we had the umbrella up. As soon as it stopped, we put the umbrella down. I turned around and Dave and some of his group were standing directly behind me. We didn't even realize it. It always amazes me how you run into people like that in a group of 80-100,000 people.

The fireworks opening night.......Jess, I took these in fireworks mode :)

I love these pictures. They are so precious....Cindy and Alicia are taking an afternoon nap outside because it is too hot in the tent.

Becca and Lynette arrived Thursday night.

Lynette fell asleep during Third Day and of course I had to document it!!

Jess, you inspired me to take pictures of pretty clouds :)

A picture of the main stage and some of the crowd.

The group from Glad Tidings in the midst of the crowd. GT is the church where Josh is the youth pastor. I really enjoyed being a part of their group.

Jess, I took this of Bob Lenz for you. He is an amazing speaker and I know you like him because you gave me a copy of one of his messages.

I thought this was neat.....Becca and Lynette are dancing or worshipping or something.

The evening program starring..................

.................Tobymac (he's my favorite and always puts on a good show)

The candlelight service....one of my favorite Creation traditions. It was started because they didn't have power at a Creation years ago. They used candles instead and now it is a tradition. It is amazing seeing the light spread through the arena. The dot in the upper right hand corner is the moon.

Back at the campsite we had a campfire with praise and worship time. We also had a time of sharing where everyone said something they had seen or learned about someonee else in the group. It was very nice. This was mine: The day before Mom had taken my car into town (7 miles away) because it was in a convenient location and I needed gas. She didn't have a cell phone and of course she overheated on the way into town and on the way back. God provided for her and she made it back safely. Well Pastor Scott (Cindy and Josh's pastor) and a group of mechanics (4 of them all together) piled into Pastor Scott's truck with all of their tools ("just in case" :)). They were able to fix my car and get this........they fixed it with the outside of a pen!! Talk about Macguyver (sp?)!! I was very impressed. I was also touched because they dropped everything to come help me. It helped to show me what the body of Christ is all about. During my share time I thanked them.

A picture of the fire taken in the fireworks setting. Jess, you definitely got me hooked on the fireworks setting.

Daily ice runs and working together to fill the coolers.

Alicia and her Uncle Jakie....She absolutely adores him........

The Williams family at the Fringe Stage listening to Cool Hand Luke (the band is actually coming to an outreach event at their church)

Cindy and her mommy pouch

Oops sorry it's on here twice

Lynette and Becca got in for free from a friend who works for Relevant magazine so they volunteered at the booth.

I got some auntie time with Alicia while Cindy and Josh went to a marriage seminar. It was so fun because I never get time with just Alicia. She was so cute at the petting zoo. She loved feeding the animals (and opening and closing the pens).

Alicia liked the ducks a lot, but her favorites were.........

............THE GOATS!!!!!!!!

I thought these goats were so cute!! Alicia loved feeding them and being in the pen with them.

After we got back from the petting zoo, one of the girls took Alicia and a few of the girls fought over who got to hold her. This is a picture of some of the youth group kids dancing with her.

Alicia climbing on the maze of coolers........

She conquers!!

Dad sleeping at one of the shows

Becca's sister Janet at the end of her first Creation experience...........

Becca, I love this picture of you guys

Lynette is on stage at this moment but it is blurry and you can't tell. Working for Relevant got her passes to go on stage to meet Newsboys.

Taking down camp the last day

So the trip home was an adventure (as many of my trips home are). There was a guy in the group who lives in West Chester ( in the same general area as us) so Pastor Scott suggested that he follow me just in case I broke down again. Looking back I am so grateful that Neal was behind me. My car overheated a little into our trip (about 80 miles away from home). Neal found a tear in the top of the radiator so the fluid wasn't circling through the engine. We went to the next exit (Harrisburg, Gettysburg) and found a gas station. We bought water, duct tape, and paper towels. Neal was going to try to fix it with just that and we were going to stop every time it overheated. He called his unlce (who was also a Creation and is a mechanic) and his uncle suggested we go to the car parts store and by J&B weld eproxy to patch up the huge tear in the radiator in order to get my car home. Neal patched up my car and put the duct tape over it for extra support. We had to give it time to harden so we went to Burger King for lunch and some good conversation. So my car only made it 5-10 miles before the temperature gauge began to read hot again. We stopped and Neal put more water in the radiator. It kept spitting it back at him. He let it idle for awhile and it was able to hold the water. We took off again praying that it would make it farther this time. Well we made it all the way to Phoenixville. I was impressed with Neal's Macguyver skills. I felt so blessed to have him with me. I would have called AAA and my car would still be in the Harrisburg area if he hadn't been there. So although it is another annoying car situation, I was to see God's hand of protection over me and make a new friend. It was fun although it took 7 hours to get home (it usually takes 2 1/2-3 hrs.).

This is a picture of the dirty engine after the fluid had exploded on it.

The duct tape used to cover the tear.

The white piece draining into the container is the pen

The gray stuff is the eproxy used to seal the tear. It is supposed to be as hard as steel.

Well here it is. I really hope you can come someday Jess. I think you would have a blast. It is an amazing experience and I am so glad it has been a tradition of my family's for so long. I feel like I was changed.