June 2009

Thank goodness it’s finally healing.

So today was wonderful with just a few moments of exception…but I’d really like to NOT think about that right now :].

Sometimes I don’t really know why I have this blog. I have 162 posts…and a great majority of them aren’t anything worth reading.


Would you care for a sampling from my stream-of-consciousness about Del-Haven? It’s comprised mostly of inside jokes :P

…please excuse the excessive *haha’s*.



The first night it POURED, and I had to go out in the rain and close the shutters, hahah. I asked Mel to hold the light through the window for me so I could see, but I kept accidentally making her move because I would close the shutter she was at, hahah. Then Mel had to go to the bathroom, hahahaha, and so we were going to the bathroom – but I was getting wet! So I started running to the bathroom, BUT I DIDN’T” LET GO OF THE UMBRELLA, hahaha, so Melody had to run with me, and she lost her shoe!! She started screaming those very words, hahaha I LOST MY SHOE, like five times, but I kept dragging her on and we made it to the bathroom. We were SOAKED, haha.

The first morning, the boys told me that while they were eating breakfast, there was a little bit of a lull in the conversation, and so Raymond goes “I had ham for breakfast”. Just randomly, as if he was just bored with the previous conversation, hahah. And then, on the second night, Daniel said that quote again, and Billy looks at him dejectedly and says “You had ham for breakfast?! All I had was French Toast!”

During one of the meals, lunch I think, one of the boys goes to Cameron (on his lap) “I can see your scalp! It’s kinda pink.” And Melody responds “I can see yours from here.”

OH haha, we practiced my skit for AGES, and Billy had all these monologues about how Daniel was so stupid for liking the rules (see above quote) and then we took a break, it was the four skits people and Jake. And then, for no reason, all the guys start yelling random conversations stuff ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Cameron and Billy were behind the puppet thing, and I was playing the keyboard, Daniel was wearing his floaties and sitting to the side of the stage, Jake was standing by the first pew. Then, somebody says something that just makes everybody DIE laughing, and Mel and I just look at each other like WHAT THE HECK. And Cameron’s like, “I just realized that Daniel was just screaming gibberish – MY ANKLE MY ANKLE!” (he sprained it on the first day, poor guy) and then Jake said “I was yelling and screaming and then Billy stuck his head through the puppet stage and screamed “I HOPE I DIE!” and that was the funniest thing ever. OH, and after that, we all lay down in the pews and stuck our heads up going “WhoooP!” and then I started singing Barbara Manatee and everyone else popped up and sang the backup………and it was GREAT!

Then, the second night we met in the dining hall, with a table full of junk food. EVERYTHING made us laugh. Billy scared me SO BAD though, cause he kept laughing his “force out air slowly out with eyes squinted and shoulders hunched forward, leaning forward until everyone thinks I’m going to pass out from lack of air” laugh. FREAKED ME OUT. Hilarious though. And then we rehashed all our inside jokes…and it was all AMAZING.



Still trying to find my writing “voice”.

I feel like I’m still the young writer who simply copies the voices of the authors I respect. I don’t want to be stuck in that. I want to have my own style and stick to it…but I’m not exactly sure of how to develop it.

I’m reading this book by Phillip Yancey, Finding God in Unexpected Places. I’m really enjoying it. There was this quote that HE quoted from The Ghost Writer:

“I turn sentences around. That’s my life. I write a sentence and then turn it around. Then I look at it and I turn it around again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and write another sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and start from the beginning.”

I like that a lot. That sounds a lot like the few experiences with writing that I’ve had. You write something, you study it, you rearrange, you search for the thesaurus for a more specific word…and start over.

I was telling Audra the other day that I loved how writing is so…forgiving. There is no limit to how many times you can change a sentence around, or how many times you change your main character’s first name, or if you decide to make it a fantasy novel instead of non-fiction….no one is judging you! It’s your own words, and you can take your own sweet time making it as perfect as you want, making it communicate exactly what you mean.

I love writing. I really do. I just don’t seem to get around to it very often anymore. And that’s a pity.

Do you guys know what your passion is? What you were made for, what gives you fulfillment, what would drive you to get out of bed every morning? What God made you for? Sometimes I feel like I’m just drifting…there are so many things I want to try, want to do. I want to stick my toe in the water of a hundred different desires. I want to live a life of adventure, want to follow God’s every whisper.

Where to begin, though…

The most beautiful light…

I’m so excited for these next few years, but I’m a little nervous about how/what is going to happen. I’m a little stressed at the moment, because as of now, I have little idea of what is going to happen in these next five years. Everything is open.

BUT, since I want to be happy, I’m going to focus on how AWESOME that is.

I can do anything. ANYTHING. My future is wide open. My parents are open to relatively anything.

Oh. Hate to break it to you all this way…but I’m not going to Chicago. I think you all knew that I was having some major doubts about it…well…those doubts morphed into strong persuaders that I should not be in HQ right now. Perhaps later, but not right now.


I had this wonderful/horrible night last night. After I came home from volleyball, I was exhausted. In every single way. Last Friday was the day I decided I wasn’t going to Chicago, and it had been a tough week at Del-Haven since then. Del-Haven has this bewitching quality about it – you only remember the good things about it from the year before, and so you’re deceived into thinking it’s going to be a marvelous, easy-breezy week. LIES. All lies. It was wonderful, of course, and I have so many wonderful inside jokes and happy memories from it…but I’m also fully aware of how exhausted it left me.

But anyway, I came home last night, and I was in one of those “night” moods I get every once in awhile where these ideas – crazy, absurd, and; occasionally good – ideas. At the moment when I get them, however, they seem like the most wonderful things ever. And so I was on this high, having all these ideas about how I would spend this next year at least – and it all seemed just FABULOUS and I was enthralled…I had this amazing God-time where I just felt more His than ever…but then about an hour later it all seemed ridiculous.

Today I woke up late, grumpy, and just altogether discouraged. I worked hard today….doing chores and cleaning up our basement, just random stuff…and while I did, I listened to about half of “Do Hard Things” by the Harris twins. It’s awesome!!! But I don’t want to do things just because they’re hard (which they don’t endorse – it’s just something I would do). But I also don’t want to do things simply because they’re easy…I feel like that was my motivation for going to Chicago. It was just too easy. Too natural.

It’s important, SO important for you to know that I just want God to be glorified!!!! More than ever before, that’s my heart cry. But I want to do it in the right way! The most effective way…

I’m not afraid of doing hard things. But I want to do the RIGHT thing.

I’ve been struggling with doing the menial tasks lately, too. That’s something I’ve always struggled with. That’s the main thing I learned at Del-Haven this year, I think. God reminded me that every menial task I do for Him (getting girls ready to go swimming, giving piggy-back rides, pushing kids on the swings, making sure they eat and drink….) is important, significant, an act of love. Nothing is worthless if it’s done for Him.

Hahah, I’m a bit pessimistic at the moment. A little tired and discouraged. But this is a verse that stuck out to me last night, and it gives me peace:

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Think about that :]

Our God…wow. Just wow. I love Him.


I had a marvelous conversation with a dear friend of mine tonight. Every once in awhile, usually somewhat late at night, we start talking about Heaven. These are no ordinary singing, harps, and clouds conversations. These discussions are about how far we can stretch our imaginations to try to BEGIN to understand how…AWESOME Heaven is going to be. (I literally sat for a minute trying to think up a word good enough to describe it, and I COULD NOT).

Every time I have “that” conversation with her, our daydreams become more and more…gleeful. There was a point when I literally SQUEALED with excitement about what could possibly be. …and yet, it’s STILL beyond what we could ever conceive.

How GREAT is our God?!

Just take a second and think about Heaven, right now. Think about what would make you the happiest in the world, and imagine being able to do it perfectly – without sin, in complete glory to God. Imagine being able to do things you never could, imagine talking to people who have done amazing things, imagine asking God a limitless amount of questions! Imagine joy, pure, unending JOY. Imagine finally being filled to overflowing with God’s love, and finally understanding the very depths of it!

We have a HOPE. We have THE HOPE. There is nothing more to fear. Hey death, where’s your sting now, huh? SYKE!


My roommate from a conference a few years ago just posted something amazing that I had to share – Audrianna, I highlighted a part for you that I thought was really interesting :]

“So do you want to hear how amazing God is?!

Let’s just say He is taking over my workplace. =)
When I first started working at Perkins in many ways it was like entering Satan’s very own playground. On the surface, Perkins seems like a happy go lucky pancake house. I was excited to fulfill my little girl fantasy of being a waitress like my big sisters were.

After working there less than an hour I discovered that there was way more to the job than delivering chicken strips with honey mustard sauce.

I usually work with a group of about 5 waitresses and 3 college age guys who do the cooking. I had always heard that people without Jesus were desperate, but I’d never seen it until now. To these girls, life is so empty. Their greatest excitement is to see which guy they’ll end up with that night, and how many swear words they can fit into the conversation.
It’s sickening.
And it breaks my heart.
If you know me well, you know I’m not a fan of confrontation. I love to be loved, and if people don’t like me..it hurts..a lot.
I had no clue how I could possibly stay in the good graces of a group of catty girls and at the same time tell them about my Jesus without them totally rejecting me and think me a bible preaching freak. I love Jesus, but I wasn’t thrilled about being thought of as a freak.
Let me tell you- it’s taking Holy Spirit power, because I’ve been doing and saying things that I’d never do or say.
For one thing, I keep blurting out things about God! He is literally not letting me keep silent about His great works in my life.
For another thing, He is making me do small acts of kindness for the other girls that I would NEVER do.
Yesterday I found myself handing over the money I had made so far to one of the girls. I was just as shocked as she was! Let me tell you, Lennae Reidsema is not that nice. I know myself, and I don’t do things like that!
In the four weeks that I’ve worked there God has given me an opportunity to tell the girls I work with multiple times about His Salvation from their meaningless lives.
Although there are still some “bad days” the swearing has actually DECREASED. Every time someone swears I pray for their salvation, and it’s pretty much a catch-twenty-two for Satan. LOL

One particular girl named Maria has been on my heart constantly. She is only 24 years old, and she has a cute little daughter named Diana. I want to tell you the most beautiful story about her!
Last night our dish washing machine broke and I spent 3 hours up to my elbows washing dishes. Maria kept coming back to see how I was doing, and was continually shocked to see that I was still happy. (yea, the happiness was definitely not me…I hate washing dishes)
She started asking me about my family and remarked how much she wished she had a family. Her dad has been in prison since she was three years old, and her mother abandoned her and her sister. I could see the hurt in her eyes and watched her head fall, and shoulders cave in as she told me this. In that moment she seemed completely alone.
I turned around to look at her, wiping the suds off my hands as I asked, “Maria, does your little girl need a grandma?” I thought she was going to start crying as she nodded yes. Then I said, “and do you need a mama?”
She said, “Yes”, the tears, almost ready to flow.
“Well, baby,” I said, “You’re going to be my new sister.”
She smiled really big and said, “Will you be my friend too? I don’t have any of those.”

I cried the whole way home. =)

Maria is coming to my house this Thursday. I’m going to take pictures of her and her little girl, and she gets to meet her new ‘mother’.
Pray that she feels loved and accepted. Pray that she recognizes Jesus as the only solution to her desperate life.

You want to know how awesome my God is? He’s using ME…and He’s changing lives.

Pray for Maria and my other girls. I love them so much! I want to see their lives transformed for Jesus.
Pray for me though also…Whenever you have an impact there’s going to be temptations in your own life. I’m already starting to be faced with some stuff, and I know it’s only going to be worse.”

Well hello there blog. I’ve missed you.

Actually that’s a lie, I’ve been avoiding you. Please don’t be offended, I just dread writing nowadays. Now don’t cry! I promise I won’t abandon you anytime soon. I just needed a fresh start…and to get used to this new keyboard. I can’t type fast on this new keyboard, and it drives me crazy.

Ok I can’t keep that up, haha, I feel too creepy.

But I finally got back from Nashville! And it was FANTASTIC. It’s hard to explain to a non-ATI’er what the Nashville Conference is like. Think of crowds of large families in navy and white, boys with green shirts on, girls in burgundy. Imagine an older man holding a crowd’s attention for hours on end, with fascinating life experiences. Imagine a preacher so hilarious and passionate that you are within minutes laughing then crying. Imagine stepping out of each session with a fire raging inside of you to be…more. More like Christ, more filled with character, more at peace…’more ready’ to keep on going.

It’s a big let down to leave a conference like that, though. You leave on a high, but you know from all the other years that there are only a few resolutions you’ll keep. You know that you’ll have to go back to the “real world” and face the daily struggles that just don’t seem so difficult when you’re in the energy-filled environment.

Anyway…I’m going to make a much more concerted effort to memorize and meditate on the Bible, something I’ve never tried hard enough at. Also…as sad and humbling it is to say this, I’m going to work harder on getting my devotions SUBSTANTIAL and daily. It’s time…you know?

I’m also going to try to exercise for once, hahaha. Audrianna and I have plans to play tennis a lot :]

I feel like I have SO FAR to go…

“I tried to fly but my wings were broken…trying to reach you…””…all that I long for is all that you give” “when I feel so far” “I tried to fight but I’m my oponent”

Keep me in your prayers? :]