Sunday, June 26, 2016

2 Year Reflection

Thirty. Single. Living with my parents. Working a part-time job. Driving a car from the 90's. This is not where I hoped or thought I would be at this point in my life.

While I was in Germany, it seemed like everyone who moved back to the states had everything work out so well for them. Found significant others, got married, got great jobs, lived in exciting places, etc. (these are still the same things I continue to see from people who have moved back from Germany since I did). I just assumed this is how it would work for me, too. After all, I gave up five years of my life to serve God on the mission field. Surely He would reward me with these things like so many others. ("Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." -Philippians 2:3-4). It's not that those hopes were my motive, it was just a subconscious thinking of a benefit that could come from it.

When I moved back two years ago today, I had planned on living with my folks for up to a year while working a full-time job to save enough money to move somewhere else (preferably the Seattle area). Finding a full-time job was not so easy. I not only thought God would reward me for having spent five years on the mission field, but thought that employers (especially at churches, ministries, Christian schools) would love to hire someone with that experience, too. Turns out, doesn't make much of a difference. I ended up getting a part-time job at a coffee shop run by a church. I figured if I had to resort to a part-time job, at least I was still working for a church in a ministry setting. However, working at a coffee shop was literally the last thing I wanted to do when thinking about moving back to the states. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that I have a job and for wonderful co-workers and the relationships I've built with customers, it's just not what I was hoping for.

After starting work at the coffee shop, I started to realize just how good I had it in my last job. It was one of those things that I didn't realize what I had until it was gone. It was a job that was ministry based, involved working with and ministering to people, doing a mixture of administrative work, and utilized many of my gifts and passions. I also loved the people I worked with, felt so fulfilled by being able to use my strengths and from being appreciated in the work I did. Ever since, I have wished for a job that could make me feel like that again.

These last two years I have applied to many jobs across the U.S. and every time I didn't get it, I said to myself, "that just means God has something even better in store for me". Yes, I do still believe this is true, but it sure gets harder to think and say with every rejection. ("Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6)

I continue to look for jobs and apply to anything that seems interesting and that I'm qualified for. I still hope and pray for something ministry related as that is where my heart lies, but strive to trust in God that He will lead me to what He has in store for me in His timing. ("Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." -Philippians 4:6) I also continue to slowly purchase things for my own future residence with dreams of what it will be while filling up my parents' den.

I not only struggle in waiting for things to happen in my work life, but also in my personal life. Everyday I jealously see posts of others getting engaged, married, and having kids. I long for that to be me. I think that's what makes it even harder to still be living with my parents. Yes, I would love to have my own place, but I would love even more to be setting up a home with a husband. I so often feel "behind" as many people my age are not only married and having a kid, but have MULTIPLE kids at this point. Trusting God in this can be even harder sometimes as I wish I didn't even have to be looking for a full-time job. What I really want is to be a stay-at-home mom raising kids and volunteering at church rather than working for one. One night recently at work, there were multiple groups of women meeting up. Many seemed to be friends from church. I got this feeling like I am left out of some kind of "club" because I am still single. I am the same age and older than some of these gals, yet because I'm single with no kids, I'm not a part of these groups. It's become painful to see women my age (worse when they're younger) come in to the shop with kids or being pregnant as the jealousy and pain can be so strong. When this happens I silently ask God, "why? why can't this be me coming to a coffee shop with my kid(s) to meet up with a fellow mom rather than working here as a single gal?". Did I mention my coffee shop is also next to a bridal store? Talk about a daily reminder.

Through it all, I hope and pray that one day soon I will be able to say, "This is it! This is what the wait has been for!". In the meantime, I have to go through the hard times that will one day make sense and be able to show God's goodness and plan for this time. Patience has never been my strong suit.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fun in the Sun

I was in charge of the parent letter again this weekend and thought I'd share with you all what I shared with the parents of our girls for an update on our happenings over this last weekend. I added some side notes if I thought it needed it to make more sense to you all. So, here it is:

This weekend was full of warm weather and lots of fun times. Friday, after dinner, Amy (my co-RA) walked with a few girls to a nearby field where you can pick your own flowers. They enjoyed the beautiful weather and bought some flowers for the dorm. The rest of the night was mainly spent relaxing and we put on a movie.

Saturday was filled with sports. First, the 7 girls who are in track had to leave at 6 am to head off to Heidelberg. Many of the girls from our dorm achieved their personal record in their event that day. The track girls were gone all day and got back around 11 Saturday night. On a nearby field, the soccer games started at 10 am with varsity girls. The soccer teams were playing a base called Patch who is known to be one of the best. The games continued throughout the day with varsity boys next, then JV girls, then JV boys last who were the only ones that won that day. Many players and spectators got sunburns from their time outside. We are providing lots of Aloe Vera! They did a great job and played their best. Saturday night we enjoyed some pizza and watching the movie "Inception".

The weather was beautiful today, Sunday, too. We headed off to church this morning and came home and had a delicious lunch that Amy headed up by making and grilling bruschetta chicken. We also celebrated Rachel and Taylor's birthdays which both occur over spring break. Many girls took advantage of the beautiful weather by working on homework in the backyard. Our backyard has many beautiful flowers blooming in it right now and the girls have been enjoying it.

Tonight, for dorm fellowship time, our dorm was invited up the hill to the girls' dorm Blauen. They made baked treats for us and put the movie "Cool Runnings" on a big screen. We had a lot of fun fellowshipping with their dorm.

This weekend was a great one to have as our last one before spring break (this is the last school week). All the girls are getting very excited for their spring break plans whether that means getting to their parents, serving on MTrips or the many other things they will be doing. This year has been great so far and we look forward to those last 5 weeks we get to spend with the girls.

Hope you all are enjoying your spring too!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Long Weekend

Every Sunday one of us staff members or our student dorm representative writes a letter to the parents that we post for them to read and catch up on what our dorm's been up to. This last weekend was my chance, so I thought I'd just also post it onto my blog for you all to see what our last weekend was like too. So, here it is:

This weekend has been an extended one as there was no school today (Monday). It has been crazy, fun, long, interesting, beautiful, busy, and overall great.

Brant and Laura(the dorm parents) had their weekend off which went from Thursday through Sunday. Micah and Heather Powers came to stay with us to help Amy and I out with cooking, driving and such. It was a home basketball weekend, so on Friday everyone stayed after school to cheer on their dorm sisters Taylor, Helen, and Kat in their games. Along with the games they also had a coffee house going on for a junior class fundraiser with Starbucks coffee, baked goods, and live music. At the same time they also had a book swap going on where you could trade in books and/or buy them for very little money.

We all got up on Saturday morning to go see the second day of basketball games. All of our teams lost all of their games this weekend, but our girls played especially well on Saturday. They were just up against a very hard team. Saturday night we relaxed a bit with a movie and some popcorn.

On Sunday we had church and a wonderful supper made by Heather. The weather was beautiful, so many people got out for a walk and enjoyed the sunshine. We also had a mandatory 2 hour rest time in the afternoon in preparation for Superbowl night. Amy and I decided since the weekend had been so busy that we would watch a movie for dorm fellowship Sunday night. We all had a great time together as it is very rare for everyone to get together like that.

The boys' dorm HBR had invited anyone that wanted to go from our dorm to come over for the Superbowl Sunday night (technically Monday morning). We headed out at about 11:45 pm and the game lasted until a bit after 4 am. It worked out well since there was no school today. It was a very quiet morning, needless to say, and we made some frozen pizzas around 1 when everyone was starting to come around. It was another beautiful day, so many enjoyed the outdoors before heading off to the Sadie Hawkins dance. It was a dance where the girls asked the boys and a couple from the community led them in Swing dancing.

As I said, it was a very busy and jam-packed weekend, but it was a great one with some amazingly beautiful weather.

Here are 2 pictures of one of my girls and I enjoying the abnormally beautiful weather on Sunday-

Sunday, October 17, 2010

new pictures and weekend report

First of all, I have added a bunch of new pictures for you to look through! So, check those out by clicking on the slideshow of my photos to the left.

This weekend has been my co-RA's weekend-off. Friday night there were class parties where each of the grades have their individual activities going on for 2 hours. During that time I was able to hang out at one of the dorms that are in the same town as the school and chill with some other RA's until it was time to go pick-up the students. After we got back we popped in Father of the Bride 2 to have a bit of chill time before sending the students off to bed.

Saturday morning I had to go pick up a girl from her friend's house in town and run by the pharmacy. We stayed busy picking up from brunch and just organizing everything until the boys' dorm HBR came over in the afternoon. Our seniors wanted to invite them over for a game of flag-football and dinner. Unfortunately, the weather has turned very cold and wet lately, so some still ventured out to play football, but the other half of the group stayed indoors and played group games. We then had hotdogs and brats, veggies, and potatoe salad for dinner with the boys. I had also made two large batches of brownies in the morning for dessert which worked out well because two of the boys from HBR had their birthdays that day. We decided to show the boys how we sing/celebrate birthdays by turning out the lights in the dining room, bringing in the brownies with candles lit and sang very loudly with pounding on the tables. It was definitely the loudest our birthday song has ever been since I've been here!
Some girls went off to play at the school gym for a bit and then we wathced Spiderman at night. I was quite tired by the end of the day with keeping busy and hostessing.

Today, Sunday, we went off to church as normal in the morning and then we had the great pleasure of being guests at someone's house! The family of one of our girls from last year now lives in the area and the parents work at BFA. They were kind enough to invite our whole dorm over for lunch! This is quite the feat when it means feeding about 23 extra mouths! We had amazing lasagne, salad, garlic bread, and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. We all even fit around 1 large table (made up of a couple tables). It was a great time with all the girls and quite enjoyable to be the guests instead of the hostesses!

I hope all is going well for you all wherever you may be!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back in Deutschland!

I am back in Germany for my second year of being an RA in Witt @ BFA! It is definitely weird to be one of the “returners” instead of a “newbie”. It’s also been surprisingly comforting to be back here and know how to live here and what’s going on. It is sad to not have those who have moved on from BFA here anymore and to not have our seniors from last year, but there is excitement in having new, fresh faces and looking forward to those of our girls who are coming back. My travels went much better getting back here then they went going home for the summer. So, thank you for all your prayers!

When I first got back, us RA’s lived together in Storch dorm again until our dorms were available to move back into. It was fun being with the other returners again and getting to know all the new ones. Unfortunately, the internet was not working in that dorm while we lived there, but now that I’m back in my dorm I have easy access to it. I am all moved into my new room in the dorm and thoroughly enjoying the way I’ve been able to set it up and make it homey. I’m very excited for the girls to get here and see it and hopefully spend lots of good times hanging out in it.

We have 11 returning RA’s and 6 new ones. The smallest girl dorm is short one RA until the new one can raise enough support to get here. Please be praying that her support comes in quickly so that their staff can get the other set of hands that they need. One of our boy dorms is also short a female RA. Please also be praying that God will provide the needed help for them.

I have a new RA with me this year and her name is Amy! She is from Ohio and seems very well fit for this dorm. I’m really excited to see her with our girls once they get back and to spend this year serving alongside her.

I have a friend who was an RA the last two years she’s been here and is transitioning into teaching elementary school for BFA this year. Unfortunately, she is having difficulty raising the new support she needs. Please join me in prayer for her support to come in soon as I’m sure it’s hard to be in the states when her heart is here and ready to teach.

I know I have mentioned many prayer requests in this post, but I do have one more. The burden that is constantly in the back of my mind right now is trying to figure out what to do with my student loan. I would not trade my time at Corban for anything, but it is difficult to deal with the debt I have accrued from being there. I have deferred paying my loan several times out of not being able to afford the monthly payments and the end of my last deferment period I requested is coming to an end in September. Please pray for wisdom on if I should request a longer deferment or if God will provide the money I need to be paying them off. Having these loans definitely plays a part in figuring out future plans for whether or not to stay on the mission field if I can’t be paying them off while serving. Please pray that God will provide the money to pay them, or grant a longer request for deferment, or provide some other solution that I can’t come up with in my limited, human mind.

Thank you all for your prayers and support in what I’m doing here! I love these girls I serve and can’t wait for them to start coming back in less than a week! (Please also pray for us as we prepare for them!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

End of the Year CrAziNesS

First of all, I have added a bunch of new pictures, so be sure to check those out by clicking on the slideshow.

This past weekend has been my last weekend off. Yesterday, though, I was able to go to a special event for the senior girls. It is a mother/daughter tea and all of the senior girls are able to bring either there mother (only possible for a few) or invite someone from the school to come with them as their "mother". I was honored by two of my girls who asked me to go with them. Here is a picture of the 3 of us.

The event was at a Rose Garden and it was perfect warm and sunny weather for it. We had a great time of tea/coffee and little snacks. One woman from the school got up and spoke a little to the group and then each of the senior girls stood up and said where they will be going next year for school and what they would be studying. Then most of us who came with girls took turns giving a blessing/prayer to the group. I read Colossians 1:9-12 to the group.

There are many events like the tea going on lately as the year is coming closer and closer to an end. Graduation is on June 11 and some students start leaving in the days before that. Our girls have been starting to pack all of their stuff too. I'm pretty sure I mentioned before, if not in here then in my newsletter, that our dorm was supposed to be moving to a new dorm next year. I don't think I've mentioned since I got the news that we are no longer moving! God worked a miracle out for us to be able to stay here. It works out perfectly for the school because our landlord dropped the price immensely, so we are saving money and it saves them from having to find a place for a middle school dorm that they are wanting to start back up next year. So, they are going to use the dorm we were going to move to for middle schoolers next year. Our girls, and us as staff, are very happy to be able to stay here and it makes the end of this year A LOT easier then it would have been. I also don't know if I ever mentioned that my co-RA, Cara, has decided that she will not be coming back next year. She is going to move back to southern California where she is from. So, please join me in prayer that God places the right person to work in this dorm with me, the dorm parents, and our girls.

Please pray that we can finish out this year strong and enjoy these last days with our seniors.
I will be home in 23 days! Please pray that my trip goes safely as it will be a very long day with multiple legs of travel.

Don't forget to check out those pictures! Here is one more from the tea with all of our seniors, me, Cara (my co-RA), and Laura (dorm mom).