Friday, May 29, 2009

In Milwaukee!

So, I arrived in Milwaukee around 3:00 and settled into my room. Since I packed so efficiently, unpacking was quite easy. There is a staff welcome dinner at 5:00 - Speed Queen BBQ!
Admittedly, it's a strange feeling to be back in this place that is so familiar to me from last summer. I have mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness, and exhaustion. Please be praying that the Lord will humble me in my time here. I am so prone to pridefulness that I have actually seen the negative affects it reaps in my relationships with others. My time in Milwaukee is God's time and I want to be able to serve both the students and staff members with a grateful and humble heart.
Thank you all so very, very much for all of your support and prayers. I really cannot say it enough. The Lord certainly answers prayer and multiplies the small offerings of our lives. Without all of you, I would not be able to serve in Milwaukee this summer. I appreciate every one of you!
I will have more to write later, but I wanted you to know that Summer In The City-Milwaukee 2009 has officially begun :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Glory of it All

This morning three of my beautiful cousins came through town and I got to hang out with them, my sister and her son, and my brother, sister-in-law and their son. We only had about an hour together, but I just love how family can so easily come together. It was a little difficult to catch up on all the details of our lives, but I heard a bit about their lives. One thing that really struck me was how easy it was to start asking, "So, what's next? What are you going to do with your degree?" I mean, there's nothing wrong with this question, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's so hard to predict what the next few years will bring. And even beyond that especially. I told one of my cousins that I wish people would ask more about my current life and what's on my heart now. Because all we have is right now. And right now, I have a lot of passion for life and I'm happy where I'm at! And dear friends, I would ask you - how is your life? What are you passionate about right now? I would absolutely love to hear your responses. This blog doesn't have to be a one-way street :)
If you're not sure that you have a passion right now, that's okay. But I would love to encourage you with these words from David Crowder's song "The Glory of it All" :

Oh the Glory of it all is:
he came here
For the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all
for the glory of it all

All is lost
find him there, find him there
After night
Dawn is there, Dawn is there

After all falls apart
he repairs he repairs

If you take anything away from the lyrics of this song, please take away that all is lost and broken without Jesus Christ. But he came HERE, to earth! And he repaired our brokenness so that we may have a right relationship with him. And now we are to live for his glory. Live for his glory!!! Be encouraged and be blessed.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's the Little Things in Life

After I got out of work today around 2:30 I dilly-dallied a bit before taking a beautiful walk home. The temperature was perfectly mild, with plenty of blue sky and sunshine streaming down on me. When I got home I caught up on The Office episodes of the past couple weeks. These simple things put me at such ease. It doesn't take much to make me happy, so I love to soak in the little things. A bit later in the evening as I was contemplating the homework that I had for this evening, I felt energized enough to go on a run so I could enjoy the sunset and weather before the day was done. Eventually I found myself on a very secluded nature trail and it was as if God was embracing me between the shoreline and the low-hanging branches. So glorious. I felt so good - so rejuvenated - I didn't want to stop running. For two splendid hours I ran, and prayed, and sang to myself!
Hopefully one day I'll run a marathon :)

If you would like to know how you can be praying specifically for me and for the students that will be coming on the Milwaukee summer project, here are a few ideas:
-Support raising (While I have my support fully raised, many of the students are just beginning to send out their letters. We have a big God. Pray that people would give generously to the students)
-Safety (The inner-city of Milwaukee, or any city for that matter, does have its dangers. Please pray for the residents in the city who experience the most victimization of crime, and also for the students and staff who will be living in this area)
-Open hearts (Going into the inner-city, students may think that they have a superiority to them because they are coming to help. An open heart will let students see the city with God's eyes and will humble them to learn that it will be the city that changes them)
-Unity! (A bunch of strangers coming together can be awkward and difficult at times, but we are called to be unified in Christ)
Thank you all so much!