Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mission Arlington


So I HAVE to tell you about my weekend!! This weekend has been planned since January and I have looked forward to it all semester!! We even started a bible study in January for it! This weekend = Amazing-ness! 

So why was it so amazing?? Well let me tell you!

Myself and five of my girlfriends loaded up two cars with food, water, work clothes, church clothes, and  bibles! We left San Angelo at 1 on Friday and drove to Mineral Wells. We hung out with my family and prepared for the next day (that's when my excitement kicks in) but before I can tell you about Saturday, I have to finish Friday. I haven't felt my life so complete before. I had Jesus (duh!), my family, plus my amazing beautiful best friends with me all in one house!!! PERFECTION! okay now moving on......


We woke up at 5:00a.m. (if you aren't familiar with this time of day, it's still dark outside and many places are still closed) We were on the road by 5:45 on our way to Arlington, TX. We went to downtown Arlington and went to a place called Mission Arlington. We got there around 7 and were put to work by 7:15. We weren't sure what we were going to do, we just knew we were there to be the hands and feet of Christ. We were hoping for lots of interaction and getting to "preach" the gospel. Well.....

We got put in a clothes room.  We were given instructions to pack up winter clothes and load them on the truck and then hang the clothes that needed to be hung....easy right?!? WRONG! the clothes just kept coming in full force, we could never catch up and it was a bit overwhelming and discouraging. I could tell my girls were getting frustrated. 6 girls plus some of the girls assigned to mission Arlington to complete their community service in one room that wasn't well ventilated was a tad exhausting.... so around 11:30 we decided to go find a place downtown to have a picnic and regain our composser..... 
side note, thank you to Wynell and Kelli for providing our food! It was delicious and a huge stress taken off of us, and it also enabled us to do more work and not search or go out and buy food!!
Hey girls it's almost lunchtime which means you're about halfway done! Keep it up! Remember to work as though you're working for God not man! YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!! Keep up the good work ladies! Remember the harvest is great but the workers are few!!
Ms. Tillie is probably in her late seventies early eighties. She founded Mission Arlington. It started off as an apartment complex, but people kept coming to her in need, so she opened up a food pantry, and clothes closet, and drop off. It has now grown to have medical center, dental center, child care, a church building, furniture barn, Christmas store, and so much more! She and her son run it. They said on average every day 1,000 people walk through the doors for help plus during Christmas time they serve 3,000 people and share Luke 2 (Christmas story) in six different languages!!! Ms. Tillie, is still just as active, hoping into big semi trailers and unloading and loading like she was twenty! Amazing woman and STRONG!
Each of the 130 kids had a bible and highlighted, wrote a note, and then gave it to a stranger. One girl gave me her bible she had been studying out of! WHAT A BLESSING! Kara and Kayla also received one. 

So as we were sitting at lunch, I asked what the girls thought.... many said they weren't expecting this and that we were actually going to be "preaching" the gospel. Well at that time one of our friends, who couldn't go on the trip due to health issues last minute sent us this text message....

So reading that, it hit us, we might not be "preaching" the gospel but we are helping someone else do it.... If we weren't folding and hanging clothes then that would take someone out from the front lines and maybe lose an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus..... So we were prepared to spend the rest of the day in that room working like it was the last job on the planet....

We got back to find a few more girls in there assigned from the courts, and it was tight quarters. The clothes had quadrupled and it was miserable..... I finally just prayed, and asked God if I should go talk to Ms. Tillie about a new job. (He said yes as clear as day)....... I walked into her office, and before the words could come out of my mouth, she said "I've been waiting for yall, ready for a new job? Go get the girls!"

SO back to our day.... She told us 130 fourth and fifth graders were about to walk through the door and they needed group leaders, to help lead them in working....... Can you say God's timing is perfect?!?!
We are all education majors and really wanted to hang out with kids..... So Ms. Tillie told us to take them to a parking lot and split them up into groups, then we were each given jobs.....Emily's and my group of 30 kids were taken back to the clothes closet -_-. lol i was like REALLY??!?! lol. but the kids worked HARD!!!

I loved seeing them work so hard to get a job done, they only worked for an hour but they worked hard. You could see sweat and concentration trying to complete a job.

Taylor and Jill's group organized school supplies and bagged candy.
Kayla's group cleaned the church building.
Kara's group had to lug water to a storage building. 

When it was all done and the kids were pooped they were still saying scripture! The two they kept saying were "Acts 1:18" and "Micah 6:8". 

When we were done with the kiddos we were put out to unload the cars of stuff coming in for donations. We were working with the the kids and adults serving community service hours. These folks were rough. They have had a hard life and chose not so smart lifestyles. Hearing their stories broke my heart, but i told the girls work with a big smile on your face and show Jesus to them.....

Well sure enough the first reaction wasn't positive but during our two and half hours out there, they came around and we were able to work aside them. They were shocked people would drive five hours to come and serve because they just wanted to!

When we left we headed to the Texas Rangers game and had a blast!!! (Jill, Kara, Taylor, and I were on the jumbo scream dancing like dorks)

We got home around midnight and were finally in bed by 1:00 (that's being up, working, no sleep, in the heat for 20 hours)

But we weren't too grouchy or tired. I really think we were just totally pumped to be serving the Lord!!

Sunday (today)
We went to my dad's church and then made it back to Angelo around 4:30!

It was an amazing weekend! I have learned so much about these girls and myself! It was amazing to serve the Lord with the most amazing best friends I have ever had!!

SO real quick here is what the Lord taught me::

Our verse was "Where you go I'll go" -Ruth 1:16. 

1. If you have read this blog before, you'll know I really don't like San Angelo but I know this is where God has put me, so I will go and be here for he next eight months serving Christ here in San Angelo (good thing I have my girls here)
2. After planning this mission trip and executing it, I have a love for doing this stuff, and i realized I can't wait to work with my husband doing stuff like this, but it will be God's timing.
3. I am called to Arlington, Texas (this weekend was just a confirmation)
4. God has grown me a lot, even when I wasn't a big fan of him.... I am 21 now and almost out on my own (no more college). He has big things in store for me and this weekend just showed it!

SO i hope you enjoyed this blog (if you read all of it). Sorry it was long, I got excited! Thank you for your prayers. Love to all!! Enjoy some pics from our trip!

In Front of Mission Arlington!
the clothes closet. 

Group of kiddos! 
Ms. Tillie!

A few of my sweet girls in my group!

the sweet girl who gave me her bible!

At Brazos Pointe Church

 Thank you Jill, Kara, Taylor, Kayla, and Emily for loving Jesus, for being amazing friends, and serving Jesus this weekend!!! I love yall!! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Broke Down on the Side of the Bed.

Hey guys! Long time no talk, sorry this semester has been crazy. Let me update you on a few things real quick so you know how life is going.

  •  I'm doing really well in classes this semester! 
  • Two weeks till i'm done! Pretty pumped. 
  • I got a little promotion at work and still love my job.
  •  I have found a group of girls, who have saved my life, so to speak.
  •  I turned 21 and had my very first alcoholic beverage.
  •  I am now in charge of Upward Cheerleading here in San Angelo!
  •  I move into my first apartment in two weeks!
  •  I leave for Kenya in just 3 months! WOOPIE 

 So there's a quick update on my life. Just some of the main points.... but here is why i am writing.... i'm going to be very honest here, so bare with me.

 Since I was a little girl I have had my whole life mapped out. I was to be engaged in college, find the love of my life, and shortly after graduation get married. I was going to wait exactly two years before I had my first child. I had so many details of my life planned out. It was my perfect life.......but read clearly it was MY perfect life. I have always prayed God would comply to my life and that my life would magically be just like i have planned, and I would say it's God's way, but in all reality that's just not the case.......

 So the week before my 21st birthday, it all came crashing down and I got the biggest reality check I've ever gotten. I was not going to get married by the time I graduated college, I don't even know who my husband will be. There is a possibility I will have to live alone the first year of my teaching career, there is a chance that I won't meet "the one" till i get to Arlington. So when I realized that, I shut down. Now I need you to pay attention the word shut, because that's exactly what I did... For almost a month now I've been shut down. Off mode. I have been extremely unhappy, on the verge of depressed. In all reality I was freaking pissed at God.(keep reading, i'm gonna jump around)

 The crazy thing is, I am also totally in love with Jesus at the same time. I can't tell you why or how I had both emotions but i did. God is sending me to Kenya in July, and the more i get to talk to people about it, or get trip info, I just find so much joy in God. I also have been blessed to lead an amazing bible study, where these girls and I really dive into the word and invest so much of ourselves in each other. I love seeing God work in them, and that makes me fall more in love with God, but while i'm so giddy with God I am also so livid with him.

 So why am I angry with God? plain and simple, my plan didn't work out, I am not a fan of San Angelo, I miss my church back home, the one church i loved in San Angelo was taken from me, i'm alone.... so I got angry.....

For almost a month now, I haven't opened my bible, except to lead bible study (hypocritical huh?) My prayers have been shallow. I pray for my family and girls but past that my prayers aren't really heartfelt. SO today at work I must have daydreamed and during that I had a panic attack, nothing major (I've had quite a few this semester) they usually make me sick but today i caught it early. So tonight I couldn't stop coughing. It was painful, i couldn't catch my breath. I was watching the Rangers game (no surprise there) and when it was finished. I grabbed my bible and opened it up for the first time in a long time........ I was called to read Zephaniah. Why? don't have a clue.....

 There's a verse in that book, that has been on my mind since my birthday. Zephaniah 3:17. I read it at bible study last week, but it wasn't till tonight I put meaning behind it.

 "For the LORD your God is living among you (Ashlee he is right beside you)

 He is a mighty savior. (Ashlee he can do anything!) 

He will take delight in you with gladness (Ashlee he things you are amazing, he made you and loves you) 

With his love, he will calm all your fears. (Ashlee don't fret, God is going to take those fears, let him have them)

 He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." (Ashlee he's with you always and is singing the song of your heart.) 

 So why do i write this long blog??? I feel like Christians make Christianity seem easy or they become holy rollers, and it causes a weird disbelief in Christianity. I feel like Christians aren't real anymore. We hide our sins, our failures, and we act like we have it together by posting crap on facebook or twitter that is only shallow bologna. I hate it! I want to be real with you!!!

 I haven't read my bible in a month!!! But you know what? God still delights in me. He knows I was angry, He knows I was frustrated, he knows I was confused, but he loved me regardless.

 THE CRAZY THING IS:::: he still used me.
 Don't you dare think that because you have messed up or haven't been the A+ Christian student that God is just going to let you wiggle around by yourself. HECK NO!! He uses you. He uses you through your inconsistencies, through your sin, and through you in general!

 So with all that said, I broke down tonight on the side of my bed. I admitted I was angry and I reached out and touched the cloak of Jesus. Sometimes you feel like you're too far gone, but let me assure you friend. God is never out of reach!!! So where ever you are, if you are like me and just plum frustrated with God (and yes that is okay to say) just break down. Sometimes that's the best thing to do. I am not going to lie and say I am H-A-PP-Y with God right now, but I'm done shutting him out and with HIS help I can overcome my feelings.

 Don't fake it till you feel it, be honest with yourself and God. Just cry out!! I love you all! :)