On an Adventure of a Lifetime.

The story begins with two blogs and two writers, one from Alabama and one from Arizona. We thought it would be cool to write one together as the Lord has brought the two writers together. Josh’s words are the regular print and Kirsten’s are italicized. This is our story.

Sometimes the greatest and most grand adventures that God has formed, happen when we least expect them. The journey our souls long for and are made for can show up in the weirdest, but most intricate and glorious ways. 

It all started with re-igniting a passion for writing, one that is in my blood. I have a tendency to make endless paragraphs, due to the massive amount of things flowing out of me constantly. So, I began to search out the best formats I could find, so that anyone who reads won’t see it as a tedious task to read what I have written. Little did know how much this one decision would affect me.

As I began my Google search for just the phrase “wordpress blog,” I felt kind of a need to read some of my results. I glanced at a couple, including a food blog and a game review blog. It wasn’t until the very last one I checked out that something just really struck a chord within my soul.

As I read this final blog, I saw that the writer was seemingly passionate about God, much like I am. So, I felt a push to read more, because I love hearing the perspective of others who love our Creator just as passionately. What began as me just reading and loving a post, quickly turned into getting to a part where the writer had written some things they had dealt with and had spoken to them recently, completely identical to some of the things I had dealt with over the last two years. This was the spark to it all.

The blog I just had encountered hit me on such a deep level, that I felt the Lord just telling me to do something completely crazy and search this writer out, and to contact them. I had no idea why He was pushing me to do it, at the time, but I’ve learned that just because it may not make logical sense doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. When He says to do it, I’ve learned that it always has a purpose He wants to show you.

 I’ve been writing a blog for the past few years, ever since I adventured on The Experience. I have had seasons of writing much and others of not so much. Over the years I have had some very dear people in my life encouraging me to keep up with the blog and my writing. The most recent post that I wrote came out of a hard season of knowing that the Lord was present, but not knowing how to hear His voice. It was a frustrating season full of many changes and wrestlings, but in the end stepping out into some things that did not quite make sense and little did I know, the Lord was about to blow things up. 

Due to this person’s somewhat unique name combination, and the fact that I use Instagram sometimes more than other social media, I searched them out on Instagram. I came across Kirsten’s page and was instantly blown away. This seemingly powerful woman also happened to be the most beautiful woman I had seen, by far. So, I commented on a photo of hers that I believe best showed off her smile that complimented her joy that seems to flow from Him, through her.

I wrote a super sweet comment and kind of got a casual response, thanking me for the flattery, being understandably guarded about the randomness of me writing that. I kind of felt Yahweh telling me to just comment and wait for a day or two. So, I waited. Before giving her a chance to respond to my last comment I left, I heard His voice as clear as day, telling me to direct message her and tell her everything and to be patient and that she would see. I had no idea what He was referring to on her seeing, but I did it anyways.

It was a Sunday night, I had spent the evening with my roommate working on school work as normal. I remember seeing an Instagram notification pop up on my phone at some point in the evening, but did not open it because I did not recognize the name. Later that evening I went into my room and laid down to go to bed. I did my usually scroll through social media as I laid there and read a comment left on a picture from a few weeks prior from someone named Joshua A. Turner. The flattering comment caught me by surprise and I immediately jumped out of bed and ran into the dining room where my roommate was still up working. I read the comment to her and after me being the skeptical, good-girl Kirsten, she encouraged me to reply with a simple thank you sort of comment. Joshua replied back the next morning, and at this point I was not to sure what to think. I talked to my mom on the way to school that morning and she encouraged me to be very cautious. I arrived at school and decided I that I needed to tell my dear discerning friend and mentor what was going on. She was immediately very skeptical and gave me very wise reasonings as to why. I trusted her and thought there would be nothing more to this guy who had messaged me. Later that day Joshua direct messaged me on Instagram apologizing almost word for word in the things that my friend and mentor had warned me against earlier. At this point I looked to the Lord and said, “what is going on?” With that I began to type a reply back on my phone. 

I wrote Kirsten a message, trying to just explain everything, and she responded. Being understandably guarded, she informed me that her messages are short because of not knowing me, which I told her I totally understand, because it’s not every day something like this happens. Through this, I still felt the Lord pushing me to continue to write her and to just see where it goes, and He told me to not be afraid of her having her heart guarded.

It was from this moment that everything took off and changed. With patience, came an understanding and a reminder to keep honoring Him through the conversation.

We began to write more in-depth, just asking the most random things. It’s from here we started to see that we have the weirdest of similarities, like a love for hot sauce and Captain America. We continuously just wrote and got to know each other, little by little.

As we began to talk about church, through a common connection through an evangelist I’ve seen and was under the same spiritual authority as, we realized that we seemed to be on the same level of what we believe, based off of what was shown at face value.

That Monday night we began to message back and forth. I held back a lot of what I could say and kept my replies simple, but it soon becomes obvious to me how much we had in common and how easy it was to talk to Joshua. My roommate Jenn gets home late on school nights and I’m usually about passed out on the couch or already in bed, but not that night. I was wide awake, trying to process what was happening. I was still super skeptical, almost trying to find something wrong, but as hard as I tried, the more I found how cool this guy was and how much I enjoyed talking to him. Days passed as we continued to direct message on Instagram and then Joshua asked if I wanted to plan a time to Skype. I replied with, “yes, I think I would like that.”

So, we made the move to start a Skype session. I had no idea what to expect at first. I mean, the woman I had just told that she was the most beautiful woman I had seen was about to be on Skype with me, after days of messaging each other. To say I was nervous, was a bit of an understatement.

As we began that initial Skype conversation, we learned that we had so much more in common, than just basic things. We talked about some deep things about both of our lives’ and issues we both each had with a parent. It was through this conversation that we both began to realize that everything we both had been praying for in a spouse, was just showing up in each other. This was only just the beginning of it.

We Skyped on an early Saturday afternoon and I didn’t get anything productive done that entire morning. I sat patiently in front of the computer awaiting his call. The computer began to ring and I pressed the green button. Meeting someone for the first time over Skype is a strange thing. I sat in my usual “shy at first” Kirsten state, trying to soak it all in. From what I could tell, I really liked this guy. We talked as long as we could until I had to go; I remember not wanting the conversation to end. Later that day, we talked on the phone for a few more hours and then the next day was the beginning of our hour upon hour Skype dates.  

What I had prayed for in a spouse for years and had been patient for as of late, had always seemed like a case of me being too picky, but nothing else made sense to not believe in that in a wife. I just never felt right with even having a thought to settle for less than what I know I longed for and needed, that the Lord had placed in my heart.

I had always wanted someone who is phenomenal with kids, since it’s a sign of a great mother, something I didn’t get to have in my childhood. I prayed for someone who believes the same and is passionate about Yahweh as I am, someone with a love for adventure and travel, a love for coffee, a love for hot sauce and Captain America, someone with a love for either baseball or football. I had longed for someone who I just flow naturally with, a best friend, someone who points me always back to Him. As much as I love punk and hardcore, I wanted someone who had a love for worshipping our Creator and loved worship as much, because my heart in music has always been within worshipping my Father. Kirsten was all of this perfectly, among other small details I would joke about having in a wife, but not being totally serious.

Something my Apostle at my church that had struck me as recognizing my wife would be that we both would know from the beginning. By the point of our initial Skype session, we both had realized this and agreed that we both knew this was it. It’s just something we both knew, even though it’s weird trying to describe it, because He instills so much through it and makes it so amazing, it’s hard to put into words.

As Joshua and I continued to get to know each other I was amazed by how many things I had prayed for that were apparent in him. Even little things that I had joked around about. My family has found it amusing to find out some of these silly little things because they have heard me joke about it over the years. 

After a couple of Skype sessions that all lasted around 3 to 4 hours, we came to the decision for me to fly out around my birthday, to Kirsten in Arizona, then both of us going to New Mexico to see my dad and sister and because I hadn’t taken a vacation since returning from Afghanistan in 2012. I booked the flights, in anticipation of what was ahead, not knowing exactly how things were going to go.

All the emotions. Those are the words that I’ve used to describe so much on this journey. Joshua was coming to Arizona and I was going to get to meet him in person! At this point it seemed as if things in the world’s eyes were moving very quickly. Most of the time I did not question in the least bit what the Lord was up to, but every once in a while when the apprehension tried to sneak in my mom, family, friends, and support system were (and still are) so encouraging. 

After a couple weeks of Skyping nightly for hours on end and phone calls in the mornings after a morning sweet text, we hit the week of flying out before my birthday. I went through some circumstances out of my control that led to losing my job as an IT Systems Administrator in Mobile on that Monday. It was at this point, we began to pray for what to do. Due to the loss of my job and the lack of IT jobs in Mobile, I knew that I was going to more than likely have to move at least out West, near my dad, to get back on my feet financially.

After prayer and peace about it, and because the flight was already booked, this turned into my moving of everything I have, to Phoenix, to be with Kirsten and live with her family until I have my own car and place. That within itself is a huge blessing and I’m more than thankful for her and her family and am honored to have that opportunity. Interestingly enough, this was one of the many examples of the Lord answering desires of our heart, because we both realized how much Skype is cool, but how being closer would be ten million times better.

I have had to learn how to trust in such a deeper way. Trusting the Lord and trusting the Lord in and through Joshua. The Lord blows my mind. He has given such an incredible peace each step of the way. 

After setting everything in motion and shipping my gorilla box and giving old clothes to Goodwill and a Military surplus store, I flew out. It was probably the longest time of flying, because of wanting to be in Phoenix, but the anticipation was worth it. I landed, and we saw each other for the first time. It became the most powerful moment I’ve ever had with anyone, and the moment that we both knew for sure. When you know, you just know, and unless you know what we mean, it’s hard to explain.

The day that Joshua flew out was one of the longest days of my life. I walked into work that morning with all of my co-workers shouting “today is the day.” I got to the airport super early and waited. I had no idea what this moment was going to be like. Seeing Joshua for the first time was like a fairy-tale moment. I knew. It was natural. My best friend was home. 

Throughout this intricate and crazy story of proving how faithful Yahweh is in everything and how He listens to even the smallest of details, everything still points to His writing of this.

Everything about Kirsten in detail, is everything I’ve ever wanted in a wife, and more. She’s strong, loving, patient, kind, fierce, full of His fire, and she always helps point everything back to Him, and she wants to go even deeper with Him. To tell you how much of an honor it is to get to by her side and to change the world with her, I still wouldn’t be able to explain how excited I am.

The Lord leaves me in awe each and every day. I wake up sometimes having to make sure that all of this is real. Joshua points me towards the Lord every single day. Getting to go to church with him is so much fun. Watching him bond with my brothers and family makes my heart so happy. He is the best adventure partner, a gentleman, kind, understanding, funny, discerning, and most of all a man after the Lord’s heart. 

If anything, we want the Lord to use this story to inspire others. We want to show everyone that He definitely hears your deepest desires and will answer them to the smallest of details and more, if you’re willing to trust Him and take the chances He places before you.

Our story is not about us, it’s about the Lord and how awesome He is and how faithful He is. For those who dare to believe deeper and to go after everything He’s placed in your heart, go that deep and be patient. Sometimes He might make those happen at the times you least expect, but never give up, no matter what it takes.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast lave and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

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On Funky.

Well, it has been almost 11 months since I have last posted. There are a lot of reasons for this, some that I’m still figuring out. I’ll try not to bore you with a long list of reasons, but I hope that some of my reasoning will serve as encouragement. I’ve come to call these past 11 months my “funky” season. That is really the only way I know how to describe it. While it has not been my most favorite season, I am beginning to see how much there is to learn from it (isn’t it funny the way God works).

I’ve had a really hard time writing over the past year, not just in terms of blogging, but in my personal time too. I am usually an avid journalist, but there are not many pages that make up the past year. In this, I have kept saying that the Lord has been quiet. I have felt that I have had a hard time hearing His voice.*

Along with this, the whole year has been full of transition and not feeling settled. Many times I have felt as if I was standing in the middle of a room with open doors surrounding me on all sides, not knowing which one to enter.**

Over this past weekend, I had the honor of playing at a conference. Needless to say, the Lord wrecked me and showed me some things regarding my “funky” season.

*On the last morning of the conference I was sitting and listening to the speaker, when she said something that the Lord has been telling me over the past year. However, up until this point, I thought what I had been hearing over the past year was crazy. I sat there on Sunday morning with tears streaming down my face and the Lord said to me, “Kirsten, I’ve been talking the whole time, I’ve never gone anywhere.” My friends, the Lord is never far, He does not hide Himself from us, and He gives us all of Himself. When we are living in and through Jesus, we have to be confident in the Lord’s voice.

**I’ve heard this next part many times over the past couple of months, but I love confirmation and new perspectives. “God is not afraid of mistakes, just step out and do it.” Yes and yes. Sometimes I think the Lord is asking us to just do something, we get so tied up in waiting and thus miss out on so much. If we move to the wrong place or choose the wrong job, we best believe that our God is powerful enough to fix it. We serve a God who is full  of adventures, don’t get stuck in the waiting, move!

Well there’s much more, but that’s enough for now. One quick update, I took a Second Grade teaching position at the charter school that I have been working at. I envision that this blog might start shifting to what I’m doing in my classroom, of course with what the Lord is teaching me through all of it too!

And, this wouldn’t be a true blog post if I didn’t include some pictures!

The Simple Gospel.

Don’t you just love when the Lord smacks you in the face multiple times with a truth He wants you to try to grasp? Over the past week or so I’ve been reminded of the Simple Gospel. I think sometimes I get overly focused on trying to understand all the details, that I miss out on the overwhelming grace and mercy of the simple gospel story. Not a day should go by that I don’t acknowledge and find myself on my knees in worship thanking the Lord for the work that He completed on the cross.

We live in this weird space with the gospel because it is such a mystery. “It’s so plain a child can see it clearly, yet so mysterious the most educated theologians will always have more to learn.” I think it’s important for us to live in both of these spaces; never letting go of our child-like viewpoint, but always pressing forward to learn more.

The other day we were sitting around and singing some songs and my friend started singing the song “Lord I lift your Name on High.” If you don’t remember the lyrics, let me remind you:

Lord I lift your Name on High. Lord I love to sing your praises. I’m so glad you’re in my life. I’m so glad you came to save us. You came from Heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross my debt to pay. From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your Name on High.

I sat there listening to the lyrics remembering how much I used to love this song as a child and how I would use to actively engage in the hand motions. The other day I was left in awe by the words of this song and realized how amazing it is that such simple lyrics can have so much depth and meaning. I turned to my friend and said, “it’s amazing how powerful the songs that we sang as a child are.” He replied saying, “exactly, remember, we are told to humble ourselves like children.”

I was talking to my best friend the other night and telling her about what the Lord as been reminding me of and she goes, “Kirsten, I’m pretty sure United Pursuit just released a new album called “The Simple Gospel!” I encourage you to take a listen. I have found myself in tears and laughter as I have engaged with the words being sung. For now, here’s a sneak peek into one of the new songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcJV7j5D3PU

First and Everything.

Tonight I got home from school and told my brother, “there’s a blog post that the Lord is stirring on my heart, but I’m not good at writing at night so I’m going to wait till the morning…”

Well, as you can guess, the Lord got me out of bed and here I am writing a blog post (yes, at night). What I am about to write may not come new to you, but the Lord has taken me to new and deeper levels over the past couple of weeks in what I’m about to share.

My friends, it is seriously all God. Yes, that’s what I’m sharing, it is seriously all God.

I could stop there, but I’ll expand some. I’m realizing on deeper levels that it all comes back to being with God. It’s our intimate relationships with God that change everything. It all comes back to spending time with Him and carrying Him with us always. You see, I think I overanalyze my walk with the Lord too much sometimes. My focus often turns to wanting to be humble and wanting to show love and wanting to be joyful (which are all good things), but I strive after these things instead of striving after God’s heart FIRST. If I don’t put God first and in everything, I’m going to have a hard time being humble, showing love, and being joyful (the list is a lot longer than just this), because God is all these things and if I want to become like Him I have to be with Him.

And I’ve learned recently too, when there are a lot of questions and pain, it all comes back to worshipping Him. No, the questions might not get answered (at least right away) and the pain might be a process to walk through, but when we dwell in His presence He becomes our peace, joy, and strength, among a bunch of other bazillion things.

I don’t think I’m even close to beginning to wrap my head around some of this. But, His presence changes everything. When we’re with Him, we become like Him. Let’s walk hand-in-hand on in adventure with Him each moment of everyday.

I’ll leave you with this quote from my dear friend C.S. Lewis: “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

On Transition.

This is a hard, yet exciting post to write. A year ago I could have never imagined that I would be sitting here writing this post, but I guess I should know by now that we serve an adventurous and “unbound by time” God. Currently I am walking through a pretty big series of transitions. As announced a couple of weeks ago to my students, and then this past Sunday to the whole congregation, my time as the Youth Director will be coming to a close at the end of this month.

Over the past few months the Lord has been stirring up a lot of things in my heart and in the places  around me. It would take way too long to write about everything, but know that there are some really cool Jesus stories that have taken place and that there is usually a process in everything. As most of you know, along with working at the church I have also been working at a Charter School over the past year. Long story short, over the past year some pretty remarkable opportunities have opened up and the Lord has begun to lead me through those doors. And then, a few months ago, the Lord started stirring up the idea of going back to school. Another long story short (but REALLY cool story), about a month ago I started a year-long post-bachelors program in which I will receive my teaching degree for 1st-8th grade. This program, as you can imagine, fulfills a lot of my time.

As these things started brewing, I quickly became aware of what the Lord was asking me to do. I wrestled with the Lord asking if I could have the strength to work two jobs and go to school. Of course, the Lord just shook His head no. Then I began to wrestle with the question, “what about my degree in youth ministry and my heart for youth ministry?” That’s when the Lord very gently spoke to me, “Kirsten, working in a school IS youth ministry.” And it’s so true, the opportunity to get to work with students who may not know Jesus  is indeed youth ministry.

And so with all of this, like I said in the beginning, my role as the Youth Director at the church will be coming to a close. I will still be involved at the church and  helping with the youth ministry as much as I can. My heart is still very heavy in all of this though. The initial decision was made a while back, so at first I was not that emotional because I still had so much time left. As the weeks have been approaching though, it is so much harder than I ever thought it would be, especially after just returning from camp. The tears hit when I least expect them and I’m holding on tightly to these last few days. There has been a lot of points of humility in all of this. I don’t want to make this too sappy, because like I said, I’m still going to be around and somewhat involved in these student’s lives. However, I do want to say this to my students:

It has been such an honor and joy to walk side-by-side with you over the past year. You have taught me so much and the Lord has used you to blow my mind in so many ways. I have watched your hearts for worship and intimacy with the Lord take root over the past year. I have heard you step up and not be afraid to ask the hard questions. My heart has exploded when I see the way that you function in unity and community with one another. You have brought me countless laughs and tears. My instinctive mother’s heart has developed for each of you and my understanding of care has been taken to a whole new level. My friends, don’t stop pursuing the Lord. Don’t stop asking the hard questions. Seek Him daily in Spirit and in Truth. Worship Him hard. Be lights that shine His Name brightly everywhere you go. Lean into the Lord and lean into each other, you have a beautiful community in which to support and encourage one another. You guys are awesome, and I cannot even begin to describe how proud I am of each and every one of you.

On Youth Camp.

I know that my writing has not been very consistent and I am hoping for that to be changing shortly. I will share more in upcoming posts about why I have been more “quiet” over the past few months, but it’s not quite time yet. For now, I want to take a few moments to brag on God, some incredible leaders, and some awesome youth group students.

This past weekend was youth camp! Those of you who know me well I’m sure can imagine the internal battle that took place inside of me in the months and weeks leading up to camp. And on top of all of that there were a lot of other very unexpected things that seemed to continue get in the way in those weeks and months leading up to camp. The funny thing is, I should know by now that when there is such a battle going on, the Lord is at work and He is in control. I won’t go into all the details, but I will have you know that there were many important details that kept changing right up until the day before camp, and again, those of you who know me, know that I am a big planner. It’s in these reflecting moments that I see how the Lord loves to stretch us out of our comfort zone to help us rely on Him and gain a deeper trust in Him.

I should mention that I have a love/hate relationship with youth camps. I love that youth camp is a place where students (and leaders) can be removed from distractions, are surrounded by community, get to witness the beauty of God through creation, and spend many hours learning and engaging with the Lord. I hate youth camps because as soon as they are over you are thrown right back into the distractions, home life, and so on.

Regardless though of my attitude towards youth camps, I cannot deny the fact that the Lord did some pretty awesome and amazing things this past weekend. My fervent prayer is that the things that took place this weekend would have a deep impact and that transformation would continue to take place in each life.

First, I want to brag a bit on my leadership team. In the beginning-planning stages for camp I would have never guessed that the people that the Lord brought together would be the 2015 youth camp leaders. It was an honor and a joy to have Zach and Kendra join us as guest worship leaders. Their passion and joy for the Lord is remarkable and I’m so thankful for the way that they stepped right in not only to lead worship, but in building relationships with the students and much more. They truly went above and beyond. My dear friend Sarai has been my right hand girl and such a huge encouragement and help through the planning and executing of camp. I would have had a really hard time pulling this all together if it was not for her (and of course the Lord). I’m so thankful for her obedient and servant heart. Luis and Marina, first of all, if you do not know this couple, you should. I love the friendship and relationship that the Lord has built between us over the past year. Their excitement, passion, and unity astounds me. They recognize the voice of the Lord and act on it without hesitation. Their caring hearts and humor bring peace and joy to a room. I have to mention two specific things that I am extremely thankful for from them this past weekend: One, the car ride with Marina and the conversations that the Lord led us into. Two, the way that Luis went above and beyond in helping care for a student. Last but not least, Robert. Shout out to this guy for being so willing to some what last minute (actually last week, technically) join us at camp as a leader and drive one of the vans for us. Robert is a new friend and I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for the way that he stepped in, cared for the students, and shared the love of Christ.

The other thing I want to mention regarding the leaders is the unity that took place. A lot of the leaders had not even met each other until the first day of camp. The unity that happened though and the friendships that formed was so cool. I heard students multiple times ask different sets of leaders, “how long have you guys been friends,” not knowing that we/they had just met recently. Not only was there this “friendship unity” but there was also a “spiritual unity.” The theme for the weekend was worship and we broke the days down into: Why we Worship, What Happens When we Worship, and How we Worship. Apart from that, not much other detail was discussed concerning the messages and the worship. And wouldn’t you know that everything flowed together in a way that only the Lord could have planned. In fact, the part that I am still teary-eyed over is that all of the messages incorporated the verse John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.” It became our theme verse of the weekend without us even planning it.

Anyway, enough about the leaders for the time being, let me brag on the students for a little bit. Man, these guys are awesome. One, their capacity astounds me and two, their hearts for the Lord blow my mind sometimes. I’m not going to share too many details about what the Lord did, because a lot of it is more personal to the students. I highly encourage you to talk to them and ask them what the Lord did, they will be able to tell you a lot better than I would be able to anyways. I will tell you this: chains were broken, hearts were changed, healing and redemption took place, and of course a lot of fun was had.

I also have to take another bragging moment and tell you that right before lunch on Sunday I was talking to the Program Director, Jake, at the camp (who was our main contact and help during our stay) and he said that he was “very impressed with our group and sad to see us have to leave so soon!” I’m so stinking proud of these guys.

Personal Camp Highlights:

  • “Blameless” – look up this song by Dara Maclean if you have not heard it
  • Meal times and reflection times with the leaders
  • Inside jokes and laughs
  • Morning prayer
  • Free time- getting to play games and have cool conversations with various students
  • Workshops! I was not sure how this was going to work, but it was so neat. There were three workshops that took place and the students got to pick which one they wanted to participate in. The workshops were “Worship Dancing,” “Worship Doodling,” and “Worship Shredding” (aka prayer and confession).
  • Getting to watch the Lord’s hand at move
  • Seeing the stars
  • Girls small group and panel

I have to give just a couple of more shout-outs! First, to my dad who literally, the day before camp, became a van driver for us. He went above and beyond in sacrificing his time for us. Second, to Wayne, Judi, Wannetta, and Pastors Len and Sharon for all of their help in the planning and prep. Third, to everyone who was praying for us before and during camp. Fourth, to everyone who contributed financially, I’m so glad to say that we received all of the funds that we needed! So thank you deeply from the bottom of my heart. Fifth, to the YMCA Triangle Y Ranch and all their staff, especially their kitchen staff for going above and beyond and being so accommodating. Lastly, a huge shout out to Jesus for taking control and center. His grace overwhelms me.

On Three and One.

This past week marks some pretty monumental “anniversaries.” It has been three years since I started my adventure on The Experience and a year since I moved back to Arizona. I find it funny that I am spending this current week in Colorado and getting smacked in the face with a lot of joy and emotions as I process some of this. I’m going to attempt to share some of my thoughts and the things that the Lord has done and is doing with these marks.

Three years ago I was just a couple of days into a pretty crazy adventure. I was just getting acquainted with some people that would soon rock my world, teach me more about community, and become some of my best friends. Last night, as I was sitting around with friends representing four Experience teams, I realized that I don’t talk about the Experience that much anymore, yet there are so many areas in my life that I live and function in because of what the Lord taught me that summer. We went around last night and all shared our highs and lows from our summers. It was so neat to hear such familiar things, yet from different perspectives. Later in the evening Jon, Mackenzie, Julia, and I were talking (we were all on the 2012 team) and I realized how cool it is that even when we all don’t always keep up with each other as much as we would like to, we always have such a common ground to come back to, and that common ground is only something that our 26 other teammates can fully understand. It’s quite beautiful and special when you think about it.

Then we come to one year ago. It has been a year since I graduated from CCU and moved back to Arizona! What!?!? I know I talk about time going by fast a lot, but seriously, I have no idea where this past year went! I still find myself trying to say that I just graduated, but there’s now a whole other group that has graduated a year after me. I think that the theme of good-hard has continued over this past year of being in Arizona. Honestly,  I think part of it went by so fast because I was pretty checked out and not wanting to be in AZ for about the first six months. I’m not thrilled with myself for having the attitude that I did, but the Lord has taught me much through it. There’s a lot more that I could say and will say, but that will be for a later blog post. With this though, I was talking to my friend Stacey yesterday and we were talking about these first  years after college in terms of grade levels in school. So for instance, I just finished my freshman year of life. And you know, when I think back to my freshman year of college it was a lot of settling, trying a bunch of new things, probably extending myself pretty thin, and finding a lot of who I was. For now, that it is a pretty good summary of what this past year has been.