I have been TERRIBLE about blogging regularly. When I sit down I can write three at a time, but the problem is sitting down to do it. I always have a hard time starting things and this blog and my summer building projects are feeling it. There were several things that happened in May that I wanted to write about and since that was almost 1-2 months ago I thought one post of random May events would do. So here we go.

Philly.

For my job we take the Jr. High students on a mission trip to Philly in the spring. It’s a long weekend trip where we serve at homeless shelters, love on kids in hard living situations, and see Jesus in unexpected ways. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to this trip, but I knew I would enjoy it once I was there, and that was very true. We broke up into teams and I had the pleasure of being with an awesome co-leader, one senior intern, and 7 Jr. High students. What I was most surprised by and loved the most was how our students got out of their comfort zones to talk to people. At youth events they usually clump together, which can be unwelcoming when new people come, but they were splitting up to talk to different people or to play with different kids. Their willingness and excitement to serve was moving to witness. In the evenings all the teams would come together to debrief the day and share stories. My favorite was one of our 7th grade girls led a little boy to have a relationship with Jesus. As she shared, she was so moved she started tearing up and I almost started crying because I was so excited for her, that little boy, and God moving in their lives.

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Confirmation.

The week after Philly was filled with confirmation. The youth pastor had asked me to speak at the service and I said yes without realizing it was two days after the Philly trip. So Monday I was back to work and spending the evening preparing my talk, which was difficult because I had no idea what I wanted to say. I started with the idea of talking about the Israelites journey through the dessert and ended up using a tree analogy based on Psalm 1. I’m always amazing how I say yes to speaking things when I really want to say no, yet I enjoy the preparation time because I learn so much that I want to share it with others. I always think I get more out of it than those listening to me, but I hope God was speaking through me and they took something away from it too! It was so encouraging to see 5 of my Freshman girls join the church. It was also encouraging to meet their parents and hear their encouragement. So many times I leave small group thinking my girls don’t like me or I’m not making a difference in their lives, so it’s encouraging to hear their parents affirm that I am.

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Detox.

On our drive home from Philly, my co-leader went on a rant to me about what I should and should not be eating. She is super healthy and was telling me all about it. I will admit that I was inspired to try eating healthier. One of the blogs I follow was doing a week of clean eating the day after the trip, but I wasn’t going to do it because I didn’t think I would have time to prepare since I was gone all weekend. Then on Monday morning Chris got an email from his mom about a 3 week detox their gym was starting that day and he was actually interested in doing it so I jumped on board. While it got easier over time, it was very hard! There were five things to cut out of our diet: alcohol, caffeine, diary, sugar, and grains. The first two were easy, but the last three were hard. So what could we eat? Meat (preferably lean), vegetables, some fruit (the low sugar ones), eggs, and nuts…. that was about it. The first week was just powering through. By the end of the week I was so bored eating the same foods that thinking about meat made me nauseous. So week two was all about being more creative with meals. We went to Barnes and Noble and looked up some Paleo meals which were good. We ended the detox at 2 1/2 weeks because we were going on vacation, but we were very satisfied at the end. We are trying to eat similarly 80% of the time, but it is hard, especially after I started eating sugar again… that is definitely  my weakness.

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Practice Build.

This summer 100 high school students and adults are going to Mexico. We will be splitting into 7 teams and will each build a house for a family in need. To make people more aware of our trip and to get some practice in, we spend a Saturday building one of the houses in our church parking lot. Each team came for an hour shift and picked up where the last team left off. I will say the shift we got was a little slow and many of my girls were bored because they wanted to helped, but there wasn’t much to do (or they were given the typical “girl” tasks which are lame). I reminded them that when we are in Mexico there will be a lot less people working on our house so they would have plenty to do. I’m really excited to work with me team of students. I hope to get to know them more and that they will experience God moving in a way that will change them when they come home.

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Gala.

Every year the school I work at hosts a gala and this year’s theme was James Bond. I wasn’t planning on getting super dressed up (aka I didn’t want to spend money on a dress), but then I heard what some other people where wearing and knew I needed to step it up. So I had my mom mail me my high school homecoming dress from Junior year and just prayed that it would fit. Thankfully it did. I put it on, curled my hair, showed up and my boss didn’t recognize me haha. The gala was ok. It was fun getting dressed up with Chris and he got to play some casino games. There was also a funny video, but it was school related so he didn’t get a lot of it. The main reason for the gala is to raise money for the school. They do this through a silent and live auction, plus asking for donations to go towards a specific school program. We didn’t mind that part, except that we couldn’t bid on anything because starting bids were above our price range. I REALLY wanted the tickets to the next Hunger Games premiere in New York… except that it went for 6,000!!! The thing we didn’t like is the aim to get people to drink so they will spend more money. We felt like we were in an atmosphere that claimed to be Catholic, but there are so many people who don’t see a need for Jesus in their lives and that weighed heavy on our hearts. Chris observed this more that I did, one because he has eagle eyes, and two because I had to work the second half of the event. So overall we had mixed feelings about the event, but it was good to experience.

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Well that was an extremely long post about so many things. This is why I need to blog more regularly!