Sunday, October 31, 2010


I have no idea where to start...

Ok, so times are trying right now for me. I am still swimming in the sea of confusion in a lot of ways. I am still lacking a sense of home for where I'm at right now. My spiritual life is not going so well. I really like my cohort members but I wish there were more opportunities to hang out with them outside of class. Work is great and I absolutely love my boss, but that even feels like meh.

Tonight a very awesome individual and someone I look up to a lot here and don't give enough credit to asked me how i was doing. This immediately turned into quite the conversation. I have this way of categorizing life into good times and bad times. I have been through a lot of both. I would like to change this way of thinking because perhaps life isn't supposed to be but into those boxes. If we constantly think this way then we will always be happy and praising in the good times and fearing the bad times. All times make up this great concept of LIFE. People say "that's just life". Most times this phrase is in reference to those traditionally bad or negative times. It's just kind of humorous that the bad times get the "life" title. It would sound weird if when a new baby is born or your son or daughter graduates form college, that you say "oh that's just life". Hell no, you are shouting for joy, congratulating yourself and others, and counting your blessings (hopefully). We are so fragile as humans and are swayed so many different directions. As we live this life we experience many different things. I have forgotten that regardless of the season of life anyone is in, GOD REMAINS THE SAME. He wants our happy. He wants our selfish. He wants our broken. He wants our secret sins. He wants our successes. He wants everything and deserves nothing short of that. I had lost that belief. I walked away from Christ, or so I thought. Good thing that's impossible. Sometimes we can say that we don't feel God or we are guilty because we feel less spiritual than we once did. Even if we never felt God or had no emotion toward that relationship at all, wouldn't we still worship Him? Wouldn't we still pray to him during tough times? Wouldn't we still acknowledge that He is God on His throne?Emotion is a gift and should be treated only as that. As humans we have that gift of being able to emotionally connect to our creator. Unfortunately, because of this gift we abuse it often. When we are not receiving this emotion we lose sight of the relationship. This shouldn't be. If anything it should be a spring board to worship harder and to seek Christ more.

Let God sit with you. Let God cry with you. Let God dance with you. Let Him be with you. Let Him meet you where you are and tell you that you are going to be stronger through whatever you're going through. Let God be happy with you. Let God meet you where you are. Let Him smile at you when every human would frown and scoff at your behavior. Let Him be consistent. Let Him be the only consistency. Let God forget your wrong doings. Let Him lead you with confidence. My friends, you are loved by an unconditional love.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rockin' the Boat

I am in a very contemplative time of life right now. The honeymoon stage of grad school is over. I am settled in here for the most part and just kinda going along. Work is fine and my events are happening. School is fine and my assignments are happening.

I am being rocked. I am confused. The curriculum in class is rocking my views that I have always known and been comfortable with. Living in California is also rocking my views. I am starting to feel my age playing a part, or lack there of. I feel young and inexperienced a lot of the time. I am spiritually dry. I miss home a lot. It is always good in grad school to be around people with similar interests and I feel blessed to have that, but I also need those people that are nothing like me. Student affairs is people and feelings based a lot of the time. Where are my logical and unemotional friends when I need that balance.

Ok sorry I just word-barfed all over you....

I have a lot on my mind right now, and I'm in desperate need to reflection and meditation. The theories and things we are learning in class are excellent but they also confuse me and I dont know how much I truly believe some of them. Spirituality is so neutral here which is a good change that I need, but I need more Christian discipleship in my life right now. I do feel like I'm in a bit of a dry spell with Jesus. I have lost some faith and trust and often find myself questioning things I have always known. This weekend was very hard for me being so far away from Waco. I vow to never miss another Baylor Homecoming again in my life because I was just a mess this week over it. I also thought that my cohort would be more of a family than it is. I am close with a lot of them and absolutely love the people I have gotten to know, but being from Texas and not having an established life outside the program has made me feel like an outsider at times. There is a lot of people from California and more specifically from this area and they already have friends and other involvements here. Also, everything is so spread out here. I miss the closeness in location of my friends and I these last 4 years.

Ok, I just did a lot of venting. I can assure you that you do not need to worry about me at all. I am not worried. In fact, I am prepared to dive into this state of confusion. I don't necessarily think it's a bad place to be. I feel like I have no answers for anything right now and that's ok. I like being here and I smile amongst the storm just thinking about me on the other side of it. I know God has his arms around me right now even though I sometimes choose to ignore them. Prayers are always appreciated and stay tuned for updates on this great stage of life. Love you all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

BIG Update!

Ok, I feel like I start every entry like this, but I am very sorry that I have been lazy and not updated. So many amazing things have been happening that I had to write this entry before I called it a night.

So, since my last update, a ton has happened. I know I said I have found a church, and if you know me well you know that I am an impulsive individual that shares exciting things upon that impulse. Well, to be honest, I haven't necessarily found a home church yet. I have visited some amazing ones but still looking for that place that fulfills my strong desire for discipleship. I have had some thoughts of starting a bible study among guys in my cohort. Then I begin to think that I really would like to keep the academic side of grad school as secular as I can at this faith-based institution I have chosen for grad school. It is important for me that I am able to get a job at any type of university after I graduate. That includes large state schools. The more evangelical ones reading this might say that I am missing opportunities to minister to those cohort members of other faiths, but honestly, I would rather learn about their particular faith because those who do not know about other religions, in my opinion, have no place arguing that Christianity is the only way to go. I am here to learn and be sponge so that I can strengthen and refine my personal beliefs. ANYWAY, I will be stepping of my soapbox now before I have unwanted trouble. To summarize, I am still praying for areas in which I can experience discipleship and weekly accountability. If you are reading, prayers are greatly appreciated.

So much has happened at work. I mentioned that I have three very fired-up undergrads under me. To remind people, fired-up equals individuals with so much potential to so amazing things and also individuals that, if not coached and managed correctly, could eat each other alive and do the opposite of their original goals. Can I get a "what what!" for strong personalities? I literally learn something completely new about my capabilities, my limits, their capabilities and limits, new managerial techniques, and what it means to fail or succeed every single day. I finally developed a system that is working so far in regards to splitting up duties between them. This ensures that minor details and not forgotten and the big picture of an event is also thought about. Today ended up being a terrific day. I began my one-on-ones with each of my three amazing students and each of them went very well. It is always great to pull people away and figure out what's happening in their life and talk to them about how they can improve and grow individually and as a team member. The day started out with worry and ended with a feeling of contentment that things are going to work out and be great. Regardless of throwing a successful or sub-par event, if growth and development happens in these students, I have done my job. What an amazing job I have. I still am in shock that I get paid to do what I do.

I STARTED CLASS FINALLY! I was honestly scared to step into the classroom. I was not the best student in undergrad and the whole class idea frightened me. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to announce that Garrett Isom is a student and enjoys studying. I'm not sure if I have reached nerd status yet but I am well on my way. I find myself so interested in the material I am reading and the topics discussed in class that I cannot wait to go to the next class. I love my professors, Mari and Carol (my program allows the first name basis), this semester. They are brilliant and have a ton of experience and research to educate us on. I know that some things in class might become a drag but I am truly interested in this material and I thank God everyday that I don't have to take another finance class in my life. Can I get an AMEN? Currently, I am taking an intro class on college student affairs and also a theory class, where we are exploring different student affairs scholars and their particular theories about the field. We talk a lot about the rising diversity in college students of today and these topics inspire excellent discussions in class. Aaannnddd, now that I am boring you, I will stop with all this academic talk.

My roommate situation is something to brag about. This living arrangement literally fell into my lap and was a huge answer to prayer. I have 6 roommates, 5 who I didn't know at all before moving in. Two of them are in my program. I know I have talked about them before, but they are two of the most amazing individuals I have ever met. All three of us are so different but we all love and cherish (and a lot of times laugh at) those differences. I have had some of the best conversation in my life with these two guys and I know I will keep in contact with them well after grad school. They make me very excited about the memories to be created these next two years.

I am finding myself at an excellent place, spiritually, mentally, and physically (Did you notice, I left off financially? Yyyyeeaaaa.......). I am in my second week of half-marathon training and it's going well. It took me a while to get my breathing down here in Southern California, but the runs are getting easier. A prayer request that I have is just to remember who provides the good times and the bad times. All credit should be going upward and I need that daily reminder. God is taking me down such an exciting road and I just need to remember to look up and thank Him for providing such a great path. I am learning new things everyday. In my program, I am one of the youngest ones, but to be frank, it pushes me even more to learn and stand up for what I know and what I believe in. The reality is that I am still figuring out a lot of those things, but even being about to admit where I lack and what I need to work on is a new aspect of my life.

I appreciate every single person who has helped me get to this point in life. You know who you are. Everyone who has believed in me, seen me through my MANY faults, and kept striving with me even when you wanted to quit. I cannot thank you enough and I can only hope that you will read this and celebrate what God is doing with me. Praise Him for his faithfulness and love for his corrupt and stubborn children. Without His wisdom and guidance I would have no idea what to do with my life. Also, if you know of people that have similar personality traits as myself. Please let them know that they can make a living forming relationships and hanging out with college students. That is all for now.

Peace and blessings, peace AND blessings,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The whirlwind has begun.

It's been a few days so there is a few updates. So I left off last Saturday.

Saturday night was awesome because I got to hang out with my great friend, Kelly Donelson, from Baylor. We both moved to LA around the same time. She is kickin' butt in the film world and she is very inspiring to all who are trying to make it in a tough or competitive field. I drove to Santa Monica and went out with her and one of her co-workers. Great people, great times. Sunday was such a blessing of a day as well. I had heard about a church in downtown LA where a few Phi Chi alumni attend. I obviously had to check it out at some point so I went this past Sunday. It was absolutely amazing. I met this great family who sat next to me. It was their first time also and we bonded over that. Thank you Deanne, Razeez, and little baby Bliss for being a genuine family after God's heart. I plan to make this my home church. The church is called Oasis Church and it is in a Filipino community of LA. The area is great and the church doors are wide open to anyone who wants to enter. They speak from the word and have let God move the worship how He may. I will keep you updated on the church and the great things going on there!

Monday was an all student leadership training day at APU from 8 am to about 8 pm. In the beginning the only thing going through my head was the fact that I have been a student leader for a while now so I thought the day would really drag. It did pick up though. It was a contemplative day for me. I am still getting acclimated to the APU culture and I learned a lot on training day. We went to workshops on reconciling with yourself and God and also ones on diversity and having tough conversations. All in all it was an informative day that got me thinking about a lot of things that i need to be thinking about. The silencing factor of moving to a new and uncomfortable place is a great thing. I was quiet and thoughtful for most of the day.

Tuesday and then today is where the whirlwind comes in. We had orientation for my program yesterday so I finally got to meet all the grad students I will be spending the next 2 years with. It was refreshing to meet so many smart people with similar interests. Work then turned a little chaotic. Obviously I am still learning how to become an effective manager and supervisor and these past couple days have been a huge test. I have a very talented and excited team of undergrads under me and with that brings a heavy dose of enthusiasm, opinions, and sometimes chaos. It is my job to run the whole ship and tonight I was able to sit and think about this year a little bit. I just started praying for God to give me strength to effectively use and organize this great talent before me and I was very blessed to hear from Him. I believe I've come up with an effective was or at least a spring board to tackle these all-university events we have for the year. Praise God for being good!

Well that is all until next time,


Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm home.

HELLO. It has been a week and I'm sorry about the delayed post. I have been on a week long retreat with my office, the Office of Communiversity (Student Activities). The retreat was in Big Bear, CA in the mountains and consisted of the Director, Assistant Director, Office Manager, 3 grad assistants, and 10 undergrad interns. This was also the first time I had ever met the undergrad interns. They are all split up between the 3 grad assistants and the Assistant Director (Director of Outdoor Adventure and Intramurals). I have 3 wonderful and talented sophomores under me.

To start, let me just reiterate the not-at-home feeling, I have been struggling with. I'm not upset at all that I don't feel at home seeing as how a move from Texas to California is pretty drastic. Well, I have been on retreats before and I know that a lot of bonding usually takes place. I was hopeful before the trip, and a little nervous too. Initially meeting the undergrads was awesome. Immediately everyone could sense the talent and fire in them to make this year a year to remember.

This week long retreat was one of the most amazing weeks I have had in my life. We hiked, rock climbed, played team building activities, shared our life stories, slept on the floor, planned and conducted business a little, laughed until we were in pain, went bowling, and gazed at some of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen. Although these activities were amazing, they were not to reason the retreat was so wonderful for me. Even after the first day I knew why I was here in California. I am here to announce the grace of God has allowed me to have such a family here. These people are some of the most different, talented, and hilarious people I have ever encountered. As I begin to make the switch from an undergrad student leader to a supervisor of these, I am very glad that I stepped away from my comfort zone in order to develop myself as leader but even more a follower of Christ.

I am struggling to put these feelings into words. I am home. Last night we had a little worship time with our team and we sang, "Here I am to worship". I know, I know. Familiar song that probably should be stashed away. But when I was singing that song I just began to cry and I proclaimed that I was here in Southern California, at my home, to worship Christ only. Everything else will fall into place. I desire to grow and realize things about myself I have not yet. This is the beginning of something beautiful and I cannot believe God has blessed me with such amazing people. It was something I originally was just expecting and waiting for, but now it is something I cherish and will cherish forever. I have a new home and I cannot stop smiling about it.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blessings when you least expect them.

So today was the first day I visited a church here in LA. Actually, the church I visited today was in Brea which is in Orange County, but whatever. So as some may have read, right before I moved I posted some goals that I had when I first got out here. One of them was to find a church body that I could dive into. I have a few reasons for this but the biggest one is a need for discipleship. I think for me personally a steady discipleship between other believers and myself is a great way for me to stay on track with my faith and also have opportunities to disciple others.

SO. I visited with church today and didn't like it at all. No big deal, just not the church for me which is perfectly alright. I am sitting there and my fixer personality clicks in and I'm thinking ridiculous things like I am wasting a Sunday on this church and I should leave and go to another church at the later service so that I can experience God. I know, I know these thoughts are completely selfish and ridiculous but they are prevalent to the story.

I visited with my roommate, Leif, who is from central California and is also in my masters program at APU. He had similar thoughts about the service we went to and this ended up spurring on one of the best conversations I have ever had with another individual. We went to lunch afterward and talked about church, life, struggles, and everything in between. I am writing this entry to say that he is a big answer to prayer. It is amazing how God has blessed me with people I can relate to. I have always loved meaningful relationships and loved finding meaning in relationships.

As an encouragement, do not waste any moment. Whenever you feel useless know that God can use you. He will bless you with people that will lift you up or he will bless you with no one so that it is just you and Him. Find those blessings in the little things and don't forget to be approachable Christians on the Sunday. Find the hurt and the great in the world and dive in and be a worker for His kingdom.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting adjusted.

Hello all,

So I have been in California about a week now and there has been a lot to say about it. The transition has been up and down for me. I felt like I prepared myself for the move out here, but I don't think you can even prepare yourself enough. My Dad was here the first 2 days and that was a great last experience with my Dad for a while. I am very glad that he came out with me to help with the move because I loved showing him around the school and the city. The second day he was here we basically did a loop around LA. We drove from Azusa to Newport Beach and walked along the coast for a while there. The weather was actually cloudy for most of it which was kind of a bummer, but the weather eventually cleared up. When we got to the beach we were starving and we walked into this little cafe to get breakfast and it turned out to be a Texas theme and Texan run restaurant which was awesome. Of course we had wonderful greasy grub and huge portions of it. Texas sure knows how to eat, that's for sure. So after the beach we headed to Beverly Hills because we had to get and Hollywood so my Dad could experience those areas for the first time. Very eyeopening they were. Then we drove around the opposite side of the city to get back to Azusa.

My thoughts these first few days were interesting. I didn't have any place here yet. This still doesn't feel like home to me even though I know it will eventually. But these first days were a little tough. I could be in the coolest place in the world but, for me, it's all about the people so I was just ready to meet everyone I would be spending the next two years with. Shocking, I know. Then on Sunday, I took my Dad to the airport and off he went.

The next day I started work. I was very excited to dive into what I'll be doing this year. This week of work has been great. It is a ton of information, I could not be blessed with a greater office. My boss if phenomenal and great supervisor for me and my co-grad assistants are equally as amazing. I learned a lot about the events my team will be putting on. One day we all shared our life stories which is always great in my book. I already feel really close to the people in my office and it's only been a week and I haven't even met the undergrad interns. Last night my friend and coworker, James, whose also an amazing photographer invited me to a party in Hollywood for this new hotel lounge called the Stone Rose. It was awesome. It was so fun to be out in Hollywood and to top it off we saw Venus and Serena Williams. We were guests of the host of the party who is one of James' friends.

The most meaningful activity I have done so far was this morning at 5 am. I was not really excited to hear that our office was hiking that early but I was really excited to hike for the first time in a while. We hiked up Garcia which is a small mountain near campus. It was only about a mile up but that early it seemed a lot longer. When we reached the top there was a cross there and we all just sat in awe as the cross covered stretched our entire view of LA. It was by far one of the coolest things I have seen in my life. People know that LA is a crazy and sometimes very dark place but to see Jesus cover all of it was unbelievable to experience. My supervisor asked us what we wanted to leave at the cross today. I am here to announce that I left my fear and comfort of a new and different place. This is my home for now and I am going to do everything I can to respect my calling here. It was a wonderful moment with Jesus this morning and I hope that you everyday are leaving something at the cross. I am blessed to have such an amazing opportunity here and God really opened my eyes to that this morning. Praise Him for that!