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!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Day One.

Ok I know it has only been one day but a ton has been on my mind today as I moved here to Azusa, CA. First of all, the weather is complete paradise here. It never got above 88 degrees and once the sun goes down it even gets a little chilly, my favorite. So my dad and I got in last night and checked into the hotel. I know a 2 hour "car lag" sounds kind of lame, but honestly we went to bed early and we up by the obnoxious hour of 6 am with nothing to do. Oh well, we made the best of it. First, we walked around campus a little and I showed my dad the campus and where I'll be working and taking class. He of coursed was awed as he should be. The campus is breathtaking with the San Gabriel mountains in the background. Then we took my loaded car to my new place. This is where a lot of my thought come in...

My house is undoubtedly a DUDE HOUSE. I just graduated from college where I always lived in dude houses so I don't mind, but this one tops them all. My worry of my room being too small for two people was relieved when I saw that the room will fit my roommate Jimmy and I with room to spare. He gets in tomorrow and I'm stoked to have him in California with me. I was told that the roommates were very nice and I agree with all the rumors. They all were extremely nice even at 8 am. One of them, Nate, and I talked a lot about his life as a professional musician in LA. I am going to one of his shows tomorrow night at a bar down the street. It was the funniest thing as my dad and I are organizing my room and new faces just kept popping up, so much so that I actually don't know who lives there and who doesn't. Regardless I am extremely blessed to have this living situation and I know that it will always be a fun (and very full) house. All the roommates have their own friends and lives. So I am ready for my roommate Jimmy to get to the house so we can have common ground. We are both in the same masters program and will probably be around the same people most of the time. So I'm ready to have my place in the house.

After getting settled in a couple girls in my cohort called me and we went to lunch. This was awesome and it got me even more excited about the amazing people I will be surrounded by for these two years. They are eager to impact students like myself. After lunch we went to campus and got our ID cards, I got my office key and talked with my boss for a few minutes. I already feel at home here and it's only been one day.

Lastly, my dad and I ate at a Mexican restaurant. It was a perfect, chill ending to the day. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and I am so anxious to dive in. I'm ready to meet people and start work. So much lies ahead and I can't wait to see where it takes me!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Well my car is packed up for the most part! We barely fit everything in but magically its in there. I've been preparing myself for the big move for a while now but it is very real today. I am leaving tomorrow at 2 pm and will arrive at my house in Azusa, CA on Friday the 13th around 10 am. Its gonna be a long drive (24 hours) but, don't worry we have books-on-tape to entertain us.

It has been a lot of goodbyes for me but I'm ready for the next step. I have talked to many of my cohort members this summer and everyone is very excited to be there and get started. I start work on the 16th. I have no idea what I will be doing or even when to be there. Let's hope I gain some info between now and then. This is the first step to a long journey for me.

It is ironic that about 3 weeks ago I began liking country music more than I used to. Unfortunately I will be the only one out in California that really cares for it so that sucks that I just started liking it. Kinda funny though. Also I have tried to do many Texas-inspired activities this week. 2-steppin', eating BBQ, drinking Shiner, wearing boots as much as possible. I think I will miss Texas but I'm not sure for how long. I adapt well to new environments, and California has always seemed like an appropriate place be me, but I'm sure for a time I will miss Texas. I heard that there is a country western dance hall and bar in San Dimas, which is the next town over from Azusa. I am very excited to take my cohort members there to show them how it's really done Texas style.

A few goals of mine just getting there...
1) Becoming a sponge during training considering I am coming with a complete blank slate
2) Run regularly in the amazing outdoor weather and train for the Silver Strand Half-Marathon in San Diego that I am running November 14th
3) Finding a home church that I will actually become a member of. I really want to be involved in a bible study or small group of sorts
4) Explore every area I can before classes start September 8th.

I anxious, ready, packed, a little sad to be leaving so many amazing people, and so pumped for the next chapter of life. I am so blessed to know everyone that I have met so far in my life because I feel so prepared to make this step. Thanks to all who have supported and loved me along the way. I will miss you and let me know if you are in LA!