{ summertime }

this video warms my heart to think of all the people who volunteer their summers away at a Young Life camp.

year after year.

how much stronger relationships with christ are after a month of serving in such community.

how many campers get to hear the gospel because of these people’s hard work.

and this is my job — can i even call it that?!    assign team, summer staff, and work crew have all arrived — it’s day one.   go time, folks!

thankful for the relationships i’ve made (and who i have become) through young life camping.

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{ condo living }

My time has been split between southwind and my condo with a splash of Publix (best grocery store in America!).

I love living in a small space.

It makes me do more laundry and keep it tidy. It makes me embrace a simple lifestyle. Work and home. I was just telling Andrew how there is nowhere to stop between work and home, so there isn’t much of a temptation to shop for a cute new dress, to have Chick-Fil-A for supper, or to stop for Sonic’s happy hour. Most nights, I’ve gone home, showered, made dinner, and gone to bed before 10pm, sometimes even 8pm.

It’s just me and my bachelorette pad. Redbox is my new friend since i’m doing a whole lot of movie watching since I don’t have cable.

speaking of things i don’t have… coffee table, more shorts, rug, more decorations. the list is longer than i just admitted but i want to be grateful for what i do have, which is a lot. Job that I love, an incredibly authentic friendship, crazy good bossman, nice car, fancy clothes.

i’m just learning that living simply in the world’s eyes allows you to live richly when your focus on the Lord.

you are forced to look to him, to spend time with Him (if i am diligent enough to do that daily), and to rely on Him for all things.

He, after all, has given us the greatest gift of all. I need  to remember that more.

(I’m done with my tangent y’all)

ASSIGN TEAM ARRIVES TOMORROW.

WC/SS ARRIVE ON TUESDAY.

CAMPERS ON WEDNESDAY.

hello summer! it sure came quick.

#TENNESSEEFOREVER

HOW CAN I BE GRADUATING COLLEGE TODAY?

{ K N O X V I L L E ,  T E N N E S S E E } will be a place where I became more of the real me, that Christ created me to be.

(sorry that rhymed – unintentionally)

where I drove my first car around

where I hurt more than I knew possible

where freshman-year Saturdays in the fall were full of orange and tailgating around Neyland Stadium

where I formed community (by God’s grace) from scratch

where I lived in the TinyCheetah

where it was revealed that I will continually learn what the gospel truly is for the rest of forever

where I learned the wisdom in walking through life with a mentor

where I went on countless Sonic happy hour runs

where I learned the importance of having a mentor

where I ventured to the Dogwood Arts Fest year after year

where I loved on 4th graders at Cedar Springs Weekday School

where I went on a boy sabbatical

where I let Christmas break in the TinyCheetah be renewing to my heart

where I found appreciation for the simple life

where I learned to view life through a gospel lens

where I heard Tim Keller speak for the first time

where I sought life-long friendships, but found Christ’s consistency

where I led Young Life long enough to be humbled

where I cried tears of sorrow

where I spread news of joy

where I absorbed sermon after sermon of John Wood preaching thankfulness – grace – the holy spirit – true freedom –

where I put in countless (that’s not true 511.25 to be exact) hours at Hope Resource Center

where AK came and got stuck in a hail storm (thank you, God) while we watched our cars get beat to pieces and re-bonded

i’m saying goodbye to this town in two days, but i am leaving with a heart thankful for what i’ve learned, for the relationships i’ve made, and for how Christ has shown me more of Himself here.

{ back down south }

i went north for the last six days, but i’m home!

for a week.

then, off to florida i go!

(sorry mal & roomies)

(if i’m honest, those exclamation marks are not full of “excitement,” but rather “lots to do between now and then” exclamation marks. one day at a time, folks.)

thank goodness i ventured off to southwind, because people get stuck in young life camp ruts — i’m guilty of it too — same ones over and over and over (and over). so thank goodness i’m dating a hunk that works at timber wolf. i would have never known northern michigan’s beauty. look how pristine it is!

our days consisted of camp things and hanging out with andrew’s friends (who are incredibly hospitable, a beautiful attribute of Jesus). i loved the time i spent there and am so thankful that i had time to be present in his community up in the mitten.

a highlight of my trip was a date night to traverse city aka TC — traverse city is like the asheville of michigan. super cool shops, fun downtown, funky local places. we ate at this swanky restaurant called something Stella.

It is in the bottom of an old hospital that:
A.  really looks more like a manor
B.  has cool, funky shops in the old rooms
C.  almost feels like the tunnels of the sinking Titanic with gates that lock upon 9pm (causing you to detour all the way around the building)
 

AK and I ate pig brains. We were feeling crazy. Surprisingly, it was good. And I’m not just saying that. We had good conversation and got to just spend some time together. That is worth a million buck$ to me — quality time all the way, baby.

after dinner, we got hot chocolate at ak’s favorite little shop, the brew.

again, swanky, but not expensive. we enjoyed looking at the random people in there. wondered how these three very different men came to hangout with each other. joked that we liked the live music. and almost fell asleep, thus prompting our drive back to lovely lake city.

i seriously could hang out with him all the time. he is my best friend who gets me and my crazy brain, who can bowl a helluva strike, who makes me giggle, who reminds me i don’t know it all, who is full of emotion, who loves & listens to others extremely well.

the “natural” me comes out when i am with andrew and i love that aspect of being near him.

so michigan was wonderful and i’d go back in a heartbeat. my trip was full of so much that i want to tell y’all, but i’ll keep it simple and say it was exactly what i needed…

time to reflect on all that has happened for ak living in michigan for the last year.

time to think about all the changes that are comin’ up for me.

time to be grateful for andrew and the days the Lord gives us together.