We live in a world of sin and imperfection. I am a child of God striving each day to live out my calling. Welcome to my blog where you get the inside scoop of this Youth Pastor's world!
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wedding Work Out Challenge

So I have a feeling in the next 6 months there will be a lot of wedding planning posts. Because I pretty much have wedding planning on the brain....For real...6 months.....from tomorrow!!!! That's crazy and completely amazing all at the same time. I'm such a planner and organizer, I'm having way too much fun with this...I have a feeling at some point I might drive Adam nuts, but he picked me so I guess he knew what he was getting himself into...

I thought I would share our wedding work out challenge we decided on yesterday. Adam and I both have been wanting to lose weight but we get bored easily with workouts and with our work schedules it just doesn't happen too much. So we settled on some incentive to get into better shape for our wedding and the rest of our lives....

Wedding Work Out Challenge

Begins: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Ends: Friday, November 21, 2014

The person with the biggest percentage weight loss gets to pick our first dog......


I can't believe I not only agreed to this, but it was my idea.


I better get my butt in gear before I end up the mommy of one of these:


Or these:


Or these:



I'm pretty sure the idea of owning a ginormous dog gives me more anxiety than anything wedding related. If you know me, you know that dogs and I have a really rocky relationship....and the bigger they are the rockier it gets....


Maybe if he wins he will pick one of these gorgeous things:




If I win this is more of what I'm thinking:

Or this:


And just because he hates these as much as I hate big dogs, this: 



I guess we will just have to wait and see what the next 6 months will bring. I have wrapped my head around the inevitability of being a dog owner...of course we will need to find a place to live that will let us have a dog. Coors is going to have a sibling before too long, and each of our motivation and dedication will determine what kind of sibling he will get....whew....pray for us! :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Have Found the One Whom my Soul Loves!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 will definitely go down in the books as one of the best days of my life.

Adam proposed!

It has been such a whirlwind since he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, I still look at my hand and am surprised to see such a gorgeous ring on my finger. I am so incredibly blessed to have this amazing man in my life, and I absolutely love being in love with him.

Our Story:
Adam and I met at Camp Horizon the summer of 2008. I was a counselor and he was there to volunteer. He was still in high school at the time, and I had already completed my first year of college. So yes, I'm older! He ended up spending the whole summer at camp and we became friends. I asked back the next few years to help with Performing Arts Camp. It kind of became OUR camp, until he changed jobs and couldn't come back anymore. Through working at camp together we became really good friends. Then when he didn't make it back the next two summers, we kind of lost touch. Then he moved back to the family farm in Belle Plaine and got a job at the Sedgwick County Detention Center.

We met up with a couple friends for his birthday in September. It was the first time we had seen each other in over two years. He walked in the door and I leaned over to Nicole and said, "Oh I had forgotten how cute he is." I had never thought of him as anything more than a friend, but during that meal it was all I could do to not stare at him. After dinner we started texting and catching up. A week later I decided I wanted to ask him to my brother's wedding. Nicole had a date, and I didn't really want to go alone, so I prayed about it before and just asked that if we weren't supposed to be more than friends then he would just be busy and not able to go. Well it turns out he was free, and he went to Daric's wedding as my date.

I happened to be so incredibly busy that I wasn't a very good date. I felt horrible for ditching him the whole time. Thankfully Nicole was there for him to hang out with so he wasn't by himself with a bunch of people he didn't know. I did manage to push him into the photo booth, and made him dance with me once. Looking back now, I'm thankful for these pictures.


After the wedding he came back to my parents house for dinner and we finally got a chance to hang out. We started talking and seriously catching up. We talked about everything we had missed over the past two years and different things from our lives. We talked for hours. At one point he asked me out, we actually debated whether it was before or after midnight. We settled on before midnight!

Then we just started trying to see each other as much as possible. He started coming up and going to youth group and my kids fell in love with him immediately. We have spent every possible moment with each other since we started dating. He actually moved to Hesston in March to make it even easier to spend time with each other, it also helped with the commute to and from work, and got him off his parents couch. He really likes having his own place.

It has been incredible having a partner in ministry. Someone that my boys can look up to and a good example of Christian guy for the girls. I have a reason to go home from work, I have someone to cook for, and someone to take care of me when I have bad days. He is the first person I think of when I wake, and the last person I think of before I fall asleep. He fills my dreams, and days that I don't get to spend with him are days I don't like.

Sometimes it is hard because he sleeps all day and works all night, and it is often hard for him to wake up and function in the evenings, and it is only fun to hang out with someone sleeping for so long. But we have managed to make it work and create a life together that works for us. We do have the same day off so we get to spend it together.

The Proposal:
Adam planned the proposal for the last youth group of the year. We went out to one of our youth group kids' house. The plan was to grill out and have a bonfire. Adam and the youth council boys went out early to "set up." When the rest of us got there we circled up to pray. After the prayer everyone started to disperse, he walked up to me and started talking to me, then he got down on one knee and proposed. It just so happened that there were three different cameras that caught our special moment, and it was incredibly special having all of my kids there. He stayed up all day to go get the ring in Pratt. He picked it out on his own and then even double checked it with my best friend to make sure I would like it. I do have to say he did a great job, I LOVE it!!!














Save the date! November 22, 2014 is our Wedding Day!!!! :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Found

Title: Found

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

What's it About: Haddix has done it again with another intense series. I am a huge fan of her Among the Hidden series. It was one of my favorites growing up. Found is the first book in the Missing series. These are meant for I would say young middle school students. But I still enjoyed it. Jonah and Chip are 13 year old neighbors. They are both adopted and they start to get creepy letters from an unknown source that says they were found and that someone is coming for them again. This is a story about identity and time travel. 

My Rating out of 5 stars: 4 Stars. This was a super fast read. I could have finished it in a couple days if I had had the time. I have already started book 2 in the series because I really want to know where the story line goes. It is so much fun to fall in love with a series!

I do own the hardback version of this entire series if you would like to borrow. 



As always the picture is a link to Amazon where you can purchase this book.

Church Mother's Day Gifts

So this year I was put in charge of the church mother's day gift. Generally churches give a flower or something to every mother in attendance on Mother's Day. But I don't do flowers. I got on Amazon and was going to order some practical yet cute Mother's Day pens, because who can't use another writing utensil? The item was Prime eligible which means it qualifies for free two day shipping. After I purchased it, it said it wouldn't be shipped until like June or July. Well that isn't going to work. They weren't even going to be here by Father's Day.... Dilema. I cancelled the order, and then proceeded to forget about it until Friday before Mother's Day. Well now it was definitely too late to order anything. So I was cruising around on Pinterest as I often do to find creative ideas. And someone had pinned a bottle of fingernail polish.

From that picture my idea came to life. Mom's like nail polish! Or at least most of them do. And our church budget was right at $1 per item and we needed 60 of them. I knew most Wal-Marts have $0.99 polish and Newton also has a Dollar Tree so this could work. Then our office manager came in needing someone to do Young Disciple's Time. I told her I could do it. I decided that the kids could hand out the nail polish, that would be cute. Oh but I can't do a Young Disciple's Time without some kind of message....

This was the more challenging part. How in the world can fingernail polish become an object lesson. My mother sent me a couple ideas and this is where it went.


  • What is Polish? (I got a lot of blank stares back, finally one of the older girls said Fingernail Polish?)
  • What kinds of things do you polish? (Silver, Shoes, Fingernails, Handbells...I opened this one up to the congregation for help)
  • I asked the congregation if anyone polishes their shoes. The kids thought it was funny when so many people raised their hands.
  • Why do we polish things?
  • Are there other ways you get polished up?
    • Dress nice for church, brush your teeth, comb your hair.
  • What is Today?
  • Does your mother help polish you?
    • Make you clean your room
    • Brush your teeth
    • make your bed
  • Then I gave an example how on Mother's Day 25 years ago I was baptized. 
    • We talked about how going to church and something like baptism can help polish you into who you are going to become.
  • If you raise a child up the way they should go they will never depart from it.
    • We talked a little about the scripture.
  • Then we decided we would help our mom's out by polishing for them
    • Doing their duties
    • Taking out the trash 
    • Cleaning our rooms
  • And as a special treat each mom got a bottle of fingernail polish!
The bottles say: Mom, thank you for polishing me to be the best that I can be. I have a bright future because you never give up on me.


I spent right at $60 for the fingernail polish and the labels I printed the saying on.

I figure since I "borrow" ideas from so many other people, and I haven't seen this idea anywhere else I should share it in case someone needs this idea next year!

Happy Mother's Day from Hesston UMC.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Confessional

When I started this blog two years ago I wanted it to be a place for all the crazy things that come to my mind that I want to write about, but more than that a place where I can be transparent. I feel there aren't always transparent people in ministry for people to see. Just because I work in the church does not make me perfect, even if I am a perfectionist. I consider this blog part of my ministry and therefore I am real, I want people to see the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

So today this post is going to be kind of a confessional. So yesterday I was out to dinner with Adam. We were eating at Montana Mike's, we frequent Applebees on a fairly regular basis so we were mixing it up. We were in the first booth and there was a lady by herself in the booth behind us. She was sitting so that we were facing each other. Adam was in the wrong spot to block her from me, so every time I looked up I made eye contact with her. It really started to make me feel uncomfortable, I felt like I was staring at her. So I tried to scoot over but there wasn't enough room, so I asked Adam to move over for me. He is kind of hard of hearing and if he isn't paying 100% attention to me, then I pretty much have to repeat myself. So I did, but I had to a little louder and I said I was tired of making eye contact. But I thought I was being quiet.

Apparently that lady had impeccable hearing, since Adam couldn't hear me, but she did. She got up from her table and rushed to the bathroom with tears in her eyes as she said, "she thinks I'm staring at her."

Oh my goodness I have never felt instantly like scum of the earth like I did at the moment. Oh I wanted to disappear. Here I was feeling like a creep and in trying to fix that made the poor woman cry. And honestly I had already secretly written her off as annoying because of how many times she called the waitress over for things.

There I was in my Christian t-shirt with a cross around my neck and completely unworthy of everything I stand for. I was immediately convicted and it was all I could do not to throw up the roll I had eaten, as I stared at the wall trying not to let the tears fall. The man I love is sitting across from me trying to figure out what just happened, and whether this is a time where he should tease me back to a good mood, or just let me be. He knows he has a sensitive girl on his hands, and sometimes teasing is what is needed, but not at this moment.

I didn't have words, I felt like I should never be allowed to speak again, I just made the poor woman cry, how in the world could I fix this? Walking over and apologizing just seemed like it would make it worse, Adam didn't feel like it was a big deal, and I just wanted to disappear.

Through some prayer I felt like God was telling me, that I needed to take care of this woman's ticket. But I knew in doing so I would pay for my guilty conscience but everyone that worked there would think I was this super Christian doing a good deed. But it just seemed to be the only thing that made sense so I wrote a note to the waitress, and slipped it to her as I walked to the bathroom.

When the lady finished her meal, the waitress let her know that her ticket had been paid for by someone else. The lady cried again. I felt a tiny bit better for at least being able to help her out a little. Then I heard her call someone to come pick her up.

This woman that I instantly judged when I saw her and made her cry, was just trying to treat herself to a nice dinner, and based on her mannerisms and her clothes and the phone call. I don't think that happened very often. The waitress was super nice to her making sure she had everything she needed and wanted. So thankfully she left feeling like someone cared. Then we got our bill and her meal was 7.99. She had ordered basically the cheapest thing possible. And I felt like dirt again. I should have sent her dessert or something nice... Then the waitress thanked me for paying her ticket.

I wanted to cry out don't thank me, I was trying to say sorry....

So as we left Adam and I were able to freely talk about it in the car without the fear of being overheard again. But I just couldn't make him understand.

I have always tried to live my life as a reflection of Christ, and I don't think I have ever felt like I failed more than yesterday. Even as I write it brings tears to my eyes thinking about how horribly I made that woman feel. That woman whom God loves, God created, God cherishes. And I treated her like she was less than me.

When did I become so entitled? What happened to caring about all of God's children? Talk about being humbled, humiliated, and shamed all at once.

The truth is I can possibly pay to change the way someone feels. But I can't pay to change the way that person thinks about me, and what if she was trying to decide about God and here is this girl wearing a cross and Christian shirt being the opposite of what it all stands for. I could have just ruined Christ for this woman. And that weighs on me heavy today. I want to reflect Christ in everything I do, and that includes the way I think about people, and how I carry myself in public. I don't know how I lost sight so easily of this.

This song is always in the back of my mind. I know the answer for yesterday was no. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to start over today, and try to live like Christ the best I can. Because I can't pay for my sins. My ticket has been paid in full by my savior. So the least I can do is live my life in a reflection of Him.

Today I am thankful for another chance to try again. I'm thankful for forgiveness, compassion, and love, and I'm incredibly thankful for that woman yesterday who put me in my place, even though she has no idea!

Do They See Jesus in Me? - Joy Williams