My Story

My God is full of wonder, and each day I am learning more about Him
and the amazing plans He has laid out for the adventure that is my life.

This is my story.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bends in Roads & Thoughts Along the Way

I love how the straightest looking road can surprise you with a turn or a bend.

This is how I feel about being here, living in an apartment in SoCal, going to grad school. My roommates are two lovely girls I'm so happy to know. I love that we seem to like so many of the same things, even though we are all so different in many ways. The more I get to know those in my cohort, the more I'm starting to warm up to them and I'm starting to get excited about spending the next two years getting to know them better. My classes are interesting. I don't think I could have chosen a better career path for my personality and interests. I'm just eating up all that we're learning about the theories of adult development.

I'm also learning still so much about myself. The journey of self-discovery is never ending, and just as surprisingly bendy as that road I was talking about earlier. Even crisis can be a wrapped present of possible discovery.

And this makes me think about God. Some people say that "how can there be a God with so much bad in the world?" But I just don't see that. I see how bad this world is, and I know I don't even see the half of it, but I don't just see the bad. I wonder how there can be so much good in this world, with even the bad things leading to good in the craziest ways if there wasn't a God full of goodness watching over it all. He can't help it that we asked for our freedom and then blame Him for every bad decision that one of us makes.

We expect paradoxes. We say people should be able to do whatever they want to do if they just don't hurt anyone. But then who determines what is "hurt?" We say truth is relative. But is that truth relative then? And if I say truth is fixed, why do you get angry? By your own admission, you shouldn't be able to tell me that I can't say that or believe it.

Why is this not obvious?

For me, I can only rest in the belief that my life does have purpose and meaning, that there is Someone who is perfect and good and cares who knows me and is responsible for me. I can only find relief and the ability to try, because I know that whatever I do, I can't ruin His plans. There is something greater and bigger than me, and guidance is available for the asking. There is still hope for this world. And because I can rest in the knowledge that Someone so trustworthy and dependable has my back, I have the courage to be brave and to try things I never would risk if I thought I was on my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pintrest, Editing, and So Much Homework

I found this on the internet while looking for script structures for an assignment, and I found this. Even though they are two of my favorite epic stories, I never realized how hilariously similar they are. I wanted to put it on Pintrest, but it wouldn't work, so I thought I would put it on my blog and then I would post it on Pintrest from there.

That's really all I had to say about this. Hopefully it works.

Oh, and I really love my writers group. They are so encouraging and I have never found editing to be so fun.

OK. Now hopefully back to homework... after a little more Pintrest.

And I promise to write soon about my beginning experiences of grad school! Here's a peak: I think I'm gonna like it here. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kindled by my Kindle

I have become the "Kindle Evangelist" at my office. Whenever I take a brake for lunch, out comes my Kindle, and inevitably, out comes the expected questions and comments as well. "I just don't think I could ever give up reading a real book." "How does it work?" "How much was that, and do you have to pay a monthly subscription for the internet?"

I just look into their eyes as a gleam from within starts to "kindle" at the thought of how my "Magic Library" has changed my life. And without hesitation, I'm off once more, giving my whole little shpeal about how great a Kindle could be for their life as it is for mine. I can't help the glee that seeps into my tone and often squeals in a girlish fashion at the end. I invariably tell the story of how I had dreamed my life of having a purse, or a box, or a container of some sort that was able to magically hold my own personal grand library, and now that dream has come true. For the first time, magic has truly become a reality in my life.

Today was another one of those moments. And today I was officially coined the "Kindle Evangelist." And today a new thought seeped into my mind as I contemplated how much I loved my Kindle - have I ever had a conversation such as this about my faith?

I'm quite passionate about my faith, what I think about the God I choose to serve and love. I spend time reading (on my Kindle) His words every day. And I try to be in constant communication with Him throughout each of my days. He's invariably apart of my conversation and I have among my possessions and wardrobe, quite a few indicators that I am a Christian. But when someone notices one of these facts, do I bubble over with a warm and excited explanation like I do about my Kindle?

No. When I think about the times I have been asked, I realize that I usually explain almost as if I'm apologizing. And it's not that I'm embarrassed that they found me out. I'm not embarrassed. That isn't the feeling. When I analyze these moments I find that I feel more like I shouldn't show too much emotion, that I should hold back and allow the person every opportunity to let the question slide, as if I'm expecting anyone who asks me to be horribly offended at my extremely politically incorrect answer.

Apparently, I have unwittingly given in to the idea that people don't want to hear about my faith; that anything is on the table for discussion accept that very unseemly topic. But I think this is a big social lie. And now that I know what my subconscious seems to be doing, hopefully I will no longer inhibit my zest for explaining my passions with loaded enthusiasm to only socially "safe" topics of technological magic, sports teams, and art.

This doesn't mean that I am now going to stand on a street corner and shout "Jesus" at everyone that passes by. I wouldn't do that about my Kindle either! I'm not that kind of person or "evangelist." Never have been. But hopefully, the next person who asks me what I'm reading, if it's my Bible, I won't just blush and give a little one worded explanation. But instead, just like every other aspect of my life, I will allow myself the freedom to be my warm, passionate and wordy self.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello Again

Hello again world! And all of you who have been desperately waiting for a terribly overdue update on my present adventure (slightly being facetious here if you hadn't noticed already). But it really has been quite a while since my last blog and quite a lot has been happening... hence the belated updated.

I have been working in the Center for Academic Service-Learning and Research, helping with special projects and getting ready for undergraduate training since July 5th. And now training is almost upon us! My real internship will be starting next week. My official title is in keeping with the length of the office's name: Graduate Assistant of Student Development and Project Operations... or something like that (I'm still trying to memorize that behemoth of a title!). Basically, I will be the supervisor/mentor of nine undergraduate student workers who will be facilitating Service-Learning components in fifty+ classes. I'll be in charge of making sure they're doing everything they're supposed to do and acting as the proverbial bridge between them and the permanent staff in the office. I'm really looking forward to them coming and this all really starting.

Especially since this weekend when I went home and randomly picked up one of my dad's text books for a personality profiling class he teaches. I ended up reading almost the entire book that day, taking the Meyers/Briggs test and other such tests and taking notes about what the findings mean. I've taken those tests plenty of times before and read the little paragraph descriptions about what the results say I'm like, but I had never really paid much attention to the validity of this research before. I usually made some joke about "Of course the description accurately describes me! It asked me to describe myself and now it's just reverberating what I already know about myself!" But now I know I was just scoffing out of my own ignorance. Reading that book opened my eyes to things about myself that I have struggled with my entire remembered life. Things I've always wondered about if I was just horribly messed up ended up being just apart of my personality type and it even gave me advice about how to deal with the common issues that are apart of who I am. It also affirmed and explained so many half-formed notions, hunches, and thoughts about me and how I react and respond to others. It was intensly fascinating!

I am an INfJ, which means that I am an Introvert/Intuitive/Feeling/Judging personality; an "Idealist Counselor." Basically, I couldn't have picked a better focus for my M.S. (College Counseling and Student Development), and apparently I am specifically crafted for this exact type of work! And also, the type of guy I've always been attracted to - turns out that's the type that my type is usually most attracted to and gloriously vice verse as well! Unfortunately, our two types apparently only make up about twelve percent of the general population, which does perhaps explain at least one of the reasons for my rather small experience in the world of dating and romantic relationships. Here I thought I was just being picky. Turns out, I'm only really attracted to about two percent of the human race! Figures.

Well, classes start September 6th. I really have no idea what to expect, but I think I'm excited. One of my best friends is getting married on the tenth, and I finally get to be an official brides-made! I also get to see friends I haven't seen in forever and get to stand upon some of my favorite spots in the world. I don't think I'll sleep the whole weekend, just so I don't miss any moment of it all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Island is Behind Me

It had to happen eventually... I no longer live on the island that can't be ugly. It was quite a bittersweet departure. On the one hand, I was happy to not have to yell over anymore children trying to teach them something they clearly could care less about, and I surprisingly needed a break from being around so many people all the time (extrovert as I am). But on the other hand, my heart started to miss the island and all the friendships I had made there just as soon as I stepped upon that boat to leave.

I will miss so much. Catalina Island has been added to the list of special places that I will carry in my heart no matter where I go in life. It was quite an experience; one that I will probably be processing for quite a while longer.

However, now it is on to the next adventure - Grad School! Eighye! Now I need to start looking for housing, getting my financial affairs in order, and looking for a part time job to help pay for it all. And it looks like I am starting my internship that I acquired this July, which is less than a month away! I'm hoping that I will absolutely love this new two year commitment and that I will make many new deep relationships and will learn everything I need to know to be an excellent administrator for the college world. And hopefully I'll finally be able to support myself completely on my own with a very good job at the end of this experience. Hopefully. (And hopefully that doesn't mean that my adventurous life isn't almost at an end.)

So, farewell Catalina. You're forever in my heart.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

1st Week of the Crazies: Pleasantly Pleasing

This week I am the lead for a little Christian school of twelve sixth graders and two teachers who have worked with these kids since they were five years old. They are possibly my most favorite group of kids yet. Luke wears the same green beanie with a red stripe on it every day with his glasses and his special pencils. He is an artist and draws the most beautiful sketches of the birds and fish. You can tell from his constant inquiring look that he is quite possibly a genius and most definitely destined for greatness. Then there's Ben, who is the wise cracker, always having some clever witty commentary going on the side of what I am saying, which means he's usually getting the "look" from me and his teachers and has lost all his candy privileges for the week (but he's adorable and we're all laughing inside). Bret is so kind and helpful. Logan is lost in his own little world. Natalie is incredibly athletic and always by my side ready to get started. I could go on, but I believe that is enough. You don't know them. But they are truly a great little group and I am so happy they are one that are here for the whole week.

I have been doing better emotionally as well. I've had a lot more time on my hands since breaking up with my boyfriend, so I've spent most of that time reading. Sherlock Holmes has kept me company most days, with a few visits from Hannah Hernard and J. M. Barrie. Working with him still makes it hard to stop being attracted to him because he is so my type. However, I am now at the place where I am almost completely happy that we have broken up. It is definitely for the best and we both deserve better matches. I do know now better then I did before that I am really quite beautiful and worthy of being wanted. I've also learned so much about myself when it comes to the realms of how I react and view men that was only abstract conjecture before. And so I can say that I am not sorry that we dated in the first place, even though he now has my first real kiss (and I can never get that back). What I really miss is the fact that we can't just go back to being friends like we were before. I think I miss his friendship the most. The cuddling I'm sure will be even better with someone who really wants to be with me, but he was such a singular person and I so miss our conversations (back before he started scoffing at everything I had to say). And that is all the bitterness I will allow. Like I said, I am mostly happy that we broke up. But there is still a part of me that thinks he really made a poor mistake and ended something that could have just started to be a really good thing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Preparing for Crazy

It's Sunday, the day before our first big crazy week of camp commences. This month is supposedly going to be insane! Hopefully I live through it without getting too fatigued, emotionally exhausted, or too sun burnt.

This past week was quite chill and enjoyable. I was with Firefly (not the lead, which means I didn't have to wake up early to do announcements!) with a group of 7th and 8th graders who were incredibly fun and charming. We didn't have any problem children and the principal who came with them who seemed to be cantankerous at the beginning of the week turned out to be rather wonderful and a whole lot of fun by the second day and beyond. I had charge of the 8th graders, although we mostly did everything together. Firefly and I got to spend some time together and I got to get to know her a bit better and I like her even more. She is such a sweet giving soul.

This weekend we were able to just relax and watched Saturday morning cartoons (Megamind) and played a lot of pool (which it turns out I'm not half bad at). Then we had a big game of ultimate Frisbee and I actually was able to catch and throw satisfactorily on occasion, which is a definite improvement!

Last week was also full of the first real sunshine and warm weather without a whole lot of wind that we have experienced all spring so far. Unfortunately I hear it's supposed to rain this week and it went back to cold, overcast, and windy this weekend. Which also means I had no chance to even out my tan. For the first time in my life I am actually tanning! However, I've been getting most of my tan on my legs during kayaking, which means that I now have some pretty dramatic top half and short tan lines on my legs that desperately need some evening out! However, hooray for skin that has finally learned how to work with the sun!

Emerald Bay is such a beautiful place to live and I feel that I have been living like crazy this spring, learning more about myself and life in general than I have in the past few years put together. What a life journey I've been on! It makes me wonder what God has in store for me next. All I know is that no matter how wonderful going back to school and starting my internship will be, I am going to dreadfully miss this place and this time with my new (sometimes slightly dysfunctional) MSA family.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Need Help!

Hi Everyone,

Who ever would have guessed that the mountain camper bookworm would find herself teaching sixth graders about marine fish and birds on a beautiful island?! However, I am having quite the time of my life as God has once again blessed me royally with one more fantastic adventure.

I write now to tell you about something very important that the camp I work for, Mountain And Sea Adventures (, is putting on. They are in the midst of a fund raising drive in order to afford to bring at least one hundred (if not more) students from inner-city at risk schools to the island for a life changing marine science camp experience. Some of the kids will have never even seen the beach, let alone snorkeled or kayaked in it! The heart of this organization is huge and they need help pulling this off. And as much as I hate asking anyone for money, it is what is needed right now to make this dream a reality.

Therefore, if you have some extra cash from recently filing your taxes or you just find it exhilarating to help kids who have never had an opportunity like this one to experience a life changing adventure, then please go to their special Donor Website ( where you can donate with ease. You can either give a one time gift, or participate in our monthly pledge system. And if you choose the latter, you will also be able to participate in receiving some rather amazing prizes that have been donated by caring businesses toward this cause. Also, by donating and mentioning that I was the one who asked you to, you will also be helping me to get some much needed paid time off to do some more pleasure hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling all over this incredibly beautiful island!

Please consider donating. I have already seen what even a few days here can change in the hearts of some of the campers I have been in charge of this spring. Our motto is "Break You Fears!" And I have seen a child so scared of getting in the water clinging to my neck finally stick her face and snorkel into the water and see a whole new world open up before her eyes. Then the problem was trying to get her out! We also fervently speak on and do games that are oriented toward Environmental Awareness, and I had one camper that was so inspired by the life she had seen in the ocean and by what plastic and pollution was doing to it all that she created a letter to the president and formed a school program to raise awareness and be part of the change that needs to happen to help keep our oceans and therefore our world a cleaner and healthier place.

This is what we are doing here. Please, if you can, help be a part of it by helping to send those who rarely ever get an opportunity such as this.

In His hands,

Mary Divine

A Difficult Week

This past week has been the most challenging week of my life here with MSA by far. And by challenging, I mean an emotional roller coaster of hard and difficult experiences.

My group this week was a holy terror all by themselves. To be honest, the campers were wonderful... individually. I had 3rd graders this week, which meant that they were all as cute as a button saying the darnedest things that made me crack up constantly when I wasn't trying to teach them. However, as a group in an outdoor teaching setting, having sixteen 3rd graders is quite the nightmare for one's nerves and vocal chords. They had to pea every fifteen minutes and they were constantly asking the most ridiculous off-topic questions. I almost completely lost my voice by the time they left only three days after they had arrived. But I really did love the kids. They even taught me some new dance moves strait from the hood; them being from the inner city. However, their main teachers were my two chaperons, and I have to admit I've never had a more difficult pair. I'm not even sure how detailed I can be in this blog, but let's just say I hope they never come back, and if they do; I hope I'm not here to deal with those two pills again. And can I just say that selfishness is one of the most annoying personality traits ever?!!

And that was only the first half of my week. The rest involved breaking up with my boyfriend and finding out that I had received remedial reviews from my dearly departed chaperons and was therefore asked to re-watch some of the classes I have been trained to teach and had been getting excellent reviews in.

Thankfully, all weeks must have their end. And this one ended with good friends all around me giving me more love than I knew what to do with. I still feel incredibly blessed to be here and am still very much in love with the island. It will always have a very special place in my heart. Every morning I awake with the sun and step outside to see it rising upon the waters just over Indian Rock. Sometimes there's even a pirate ship sailing by. And cormorants are usually flying in mass to feed upon some school of mackerel or sardines; a gleaming blackness across the shining waters.

This week I get a new group of fifth graders and yesterday I was taught how to sail a sail boat, so already things are looking up! I will try not to be too horribly boastful in saying how thrilled I was to successfully turn my boat around with the "boom" on my first attempt!

I am reminded of when I was a little girl taking swimming lessons with Miss Banita. She said I was a little fish who never wanted to leave the water. That feeling has returned and I don't know how I'll cope when in a month I have to leave for the desert and school once more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm On Island Time ;)

Life is continuing to get better and better as the island continues to get warmer and sunnier. I also heard back officially from Azusa Pacific Un. and I got the graduate assistantship I wanted! I'll be working as a mentor for college students coming up with ideas and projects to better our community and to encourage higher education in middle schools and high schools. It's in the Research and Learning Center, which means that I'll have opportunities to present and possibly publish!

But enough about that! Santa Catalina Island is beyond beautiful, even when cold. And I am greedily cherishing each and every moment of my time here as I know it will end all too soon.

So, some of what I've done so far:

I finally was able to achieve diving in a wetsuit! If you are unaware, wetsuits are incredibly buoyant. They pretty much make you into a full-bodied flotation device. When practicing, I couldn't get myself any further than my rear, and then back to the surface I would come. This made diving for cool invertebrates at the bottom of the ocean to show my kids while snorkeling was rather difficult. However, a couple days ago I was able to dive successfully for the first time! I was snorkeling around and suddenly spotted a sea hair! They are a mollusk that is pretty much like a slug in the shape of a bunny (sort of). I was so excited that without thinking, I just dove for it and had it in my hands about ten feet underwater before I even realized I was under! It's also rather good that I don't mind touching slimy things, because the ocean is rather full of those kinds of things. :)

They're now making me the lead for different schools, which means that I've been getting to know the chaperons and teachers that come along with the campers better. This has been quite the positive experience on the whole. They have been so supportive and helpful. I find that I love doing this more and more.

This weekend will hopefully be one of the first lazy full weekends that we've had as a staff to just hang out together. Jules and I want to have a two hour ballet class, which hopefully will be joined by Debs, Melodie, and possibly Juan. Marcus and I are also trying to put together a group to go out snorkeling around Indian Rock, which is just outside our bay and looks like a wonderful place to see more marine life. I absolutely love everyone that I work with here and am so incredibly blessed. This is what continually pops into my head at random moments throughout the day... well, when the song from The Sound of Music isn't playing through my head as I gaze at the beautiful green hills all around me.

Here's some more pictures from the island. Enjoy :)

This is a Garibaldi fish, which happens to be the Cal. State Marine Fish and has the coolest Genis species name ever: Hypsipops rubicundus!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

9 Interviews in 2 Days

The past two days have been an absolute whirlwind in a suit. I took my first step as a grad student, ending up interviewing for nine different graduate assistant internships in two days. I am thoroughly exhausted from having to talk about my strengths and weaknesses and why I want to go into Student Affairs. I start to shake at newly formed phrases that have been completely worn out and murdered, such as "deliberate mentoring," "supervisory preferences," and "intentionality."

However, as the pain in my toes from wearing oh so cute, but impractical heals started to ease on my way home barefoot in the car, I received a marvelous call. My first choice for internships called (even though I don't think they are actually supposed to do that) to say that I was their first choice as well! Thank you God! I'm in! And rather thrilled and honestly nervous to start this very new big step.

The internship's official title is: Coordinator for Student Development and Program Support in the Center for Academic Learning and Research. Yes, it's a mouthful! It sounds like my main duties will be mentoring an intimate group of undergraduate students while working as a team to create and implement different programs and events on campus as well as in the community that encourage further learning and the betterment of society. The staff seam absolutely lovely and very interested in encouraging the dreams of their staff members. We'll see how it goes!

And that is all that my brain can crank out at this time. But as always: there will be more to come sooner (or later).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Life is Shiny

This past week was my third week teaching outdoor education, but only second on Catalina Island (I spent one week teaching in the mountains of San Bernadino). It turned out to be quite a blast. I had fourteen seventh graders from a prep school, and they were the best set of kids yet! I loved them. And because they were all such good listeners, my two chaperons were involved and helpful, and they all seemed so interested in everything I was teaching, each of my classes seemed to go almost perfectly!

This was my third attempt at teaching Fish Lab, which involves getting everyone into a wet suit and snorkeling along the kelp forests and rocky reefs of Doctor's Cove, apparently considered to be one of the best places to snorkel in the world. My last attempt was an epic failure. If you've ever attempted to put on a wet suit (especially a Body Glove one), you will know the potential for torture that attempt can be. It took almost an hour and one of my chaperon's knuckles were bleeding by the end, and then we only had about fifteen minutes in the water seeing almost nothing at all for all that! Needless to say, I was rather filled with trepidation at having to repeat this class and have the same events follow. Thank the Lord, it couldn't have been a more different experience! The wet suits all went on in less than thirty minutes and we ended up spending almost forty minutes in the water snorkeling because we had the time and there was so much to see. There had been a storm the night before, which had apparently brought a lot of living creatures that are usually out further in the sea up to where we were. We saw all sorts of fish, swam through hundreds and hundreds of tiny jelly fish and other see-through creatures, spotted a huge black and blue spotted octopus, and a vast array of other invertebrates including sea snails, urchins, sea stars, and crabs.

I keep pinching myself to make sure all of this is actually real. How in the world did I get so lucky to be blessed with all of this?! I live and work on a beautiful and almost certainly enchanted island. I get to work at a camp again doing what I love and am good at. I've made some wonderful new friendships as well as had two old friends come work with me here too. My boyfriend (who I met during training) lives and works alongside of me. And we both have shiny future steps waiting for us in the fall in the shape of grad school.

And to know that all of this was entirely God setting things in motion by a random phone call because of a resume I sent out into ciber space a year before is a thought that always leaves me speechless. I wake up each morning to the sound of the ocean at my side with joy and thanks bubbling out of my heart.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Could I Actually Be Enjoying Teaching?!!

Finally! I am now a full fledged Catalina Island Waterfront Lifeguard and Marine Science & Mountain Adventure Instructor! I've been teaching for two weeks now and am almost flabbergasted by how much I actually am enjoying myself being a... ready for it... TEACHER! My experiences previous to this in the "teaching world" have all been rather unfortunate and horrible and have therefore always retreated from the idea of teaching. But that just might be (dare I say it?!) changing!

I am so enjoying my time here on the island teaching mostly sixth graders (but some fifth and seventh as well) about fish, invertebrates, pollution, astronomy, marine birds, kayaking, snorkeling, the island's history and ecology, orienteering, shelter building, and so much more! Who would have thought that working could be such a pleasure when involving teaching?!! Sixth graders, I am learning, are quite enjoyable, even if it is almost impossible to keep the little blighters quiet for long during lectures... ever! They're just old enough to be able to have wonderful conversations with them while also being young enough to automatically love me just because I am in charge of them. :)

Unfortunately I might have killed my camera by accidentally getting sand in its every orifice. I'm hoping for the best though and will give you an update on whether or not I was able to save my camera, or at the very least still upload my pictures. But for now, just so you can see what it all looks like, here are some pictures taken by my friend and co-worker Deb:

Deb's the one to the right of me and Melody is to my left. They are truly wonderful girls and fast friends!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Santa Catalina Island ~ Finally Here!

Again, I start with an apology.

It has been far too long since I have last written on my incredibly interesting (to say the least) adventure with Mountain and Sea Adventures here on Catalina Island. It has partly been due to the fact that we have not had that much time to do anything but train in the mountains where there was little internet connection, and partly because my life has recently become rather more complicated than ever before and writing a blog just wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.

A short recap of what I have been doing in general is that training is almost over! We ferried over to Santa Catalina Island this past Monday and spent the week shadowing other experienced educators run camp for a group of the rowdiest kids I've ever been among. This next week should be my first time to experiencing teaching everything I have now learned about marine life and the scientific names for whales, crustaceans, and seaweed, among other such interesting specimens. To be honest, I am starting to feel rather anxious about having to teach all of this entirely new information so soon after getting here; not to mention everything else that has been going on my life that has all but been distracting me from learning about fish and birds.

Santa Catalina Island was named by the second conquistador to have found the island in 1602. He apparently arrived upon the island on the eve of St. Catherine's day, who is the patron saint of single women (of all things!). And so, I suppose appropriately, it is here on Santa Catalina underneath the moonlight on the pier overlooking Emerald Bay, a boy I have been working with and growing rather fond of asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes!

And so it begins.

Pictures are sure to come soon of this magical island that reminds me so deeply of Neverland!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Here We Go!

The moment has finally come. Second star to the right and straight on till morning!

Tomorrow we go to Catalina Island. Training is almost over, although we will have one more week to learn from those who have been there before to show us just what we're supposed to be doing! Tomorrow I will kayak to Indian Rock to look at birds, take my first watch as a lifeguard, and hopefully become the best island marine science instructor possible for this artsy nature girl.

I should be getting internet there, so I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my next exciting adventure!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

MSA Training & A Surprise

It has been three weeks now of intensive training with Mountain and Sea Adventures, the camp I will be working at on Catalina Island this spring. This company obviously cares deeply about the development of not only the campers that come to their programs, but also their staff. I've never heard of a camp devoting a month of training to their staff! We've now been taken through an exorbitant amount of personality quizzes, prayer sessions, and teachings on everything from "the Father's Love" to "Brave Communications" to the healing of root problems in our lives. Soon, this will actually be morphed into a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM, hence the major focus on knowing God better and finding healing in Him for our own personal lives. I've really appreciated the hearts of the leadership in this organization and how much they want to focus on us as individuals. However, to be honest, I'm getting rather antsy to start working on the island and am finding it rather hard to focus as we sit for hours each day hearing lectures. Fortunately, this is our last week and we're scheduled to travel to the beaches of Cabrio to get certified in CPR, 1st Aid, and Waterfront Lifeguarding! So the action should pick up soon.

Our team is a wonderful mix of individuals and I so look forward to working with all of them. I've made some great starts to friendships that promise to grow deeper as we continue to work with each other. And through them I am learning new things about myself that I was never aware of before and definitely growing in new ways. Living in such a close environment doing everything together 24/7 really jump starts relationships!

One of a few of my most meaningful experiences during training so far happened two weeks ago when we actually had a group of middle-schoolers come up to the mountain for a week of science camp where we watched and observed how classes are taught and the program runs. They were from a Christian school, and so on the last night at their campfire service they all were asked to open up about what they learned about God during the week. It turned into an incredibly powerful time where each student shared some amazingly deep things. One boy in particular caught my heart as he confessed that he was suicidal. I was able to pray with him and see him praying for some of the other kids. It was quite emotional. And when they were about to leave, he hugged me goodbye. He definitely continues in my prayers and thoughts.

And this is just one example that thrills my heart to have work again doing something that matters, as apposed to office work where I just feel bad about all the seemingly unnecessary paper waste.

One more week, and then we move to the Island!

ATT: In other news...

I just got the call that I have been accepted into the masters program at APU for their College Counseling and Student Development degree! I start this fall and in two years I should have my masters in Student Affairs and hopefully looking into Residence Life positions! I might still be in shock. :) Thank you God for such clear direction!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Random Ramblings

So, if anyone actually still follows this random ramblings blog, I apologize for dropping off the face of the planet for a while like I did. The Christmas holidays hit among other things and I decided to see how long I could go without using the internet.

Turns out I'm fairly addicted. There wasn't a day that went by where I didn't think, "Hm... I should check my email and facebook to see if anyone has written me anything." However, when I got back and checked, almost all my emails were either uninteresting adds or related to work. Which makes me wonder why I spent so much time wanting to check up on things in the first place. And apparently fasting from the internet for another prolonged amount of time probably wouldn't be that bad of an idea.

All that to say, if you are at all interested, I will now catch you up on a few interesting things that have been going on in my life. And then I will probably be going back off for a while due to one of those interesting "things."


-My parents, my four younger siblings, and myself all piled into our suv and drove 29+ hours to the very toe of the boot of Louisiana to visit our grandparents and other relatives for Christmas! There were quite a lot of sore backs and bums, one unfortunately greasy BBQ pit stop in Texas where absolutely everyone in the store was noticeably overweight and the food made most of us regret the decision of eating it later, watching a beautiful sunset over the bijoux, eating pounds of shrimp and crayfish, and enjoying the joyful company of our grandparents probably one last time. All in all, it was a pretty nice Christmas. (I also found some awesome Dorothy Sayers mystery novels at a used bookstore in New Orleans that I had been looking for and devoured quite happily throughout the trip.) However, this Christmas I also was given some really horrible news that one of my dear friends whom I cared about very much was involved in an accident on Christmas and was killed. No one should die on Christmas. And no one should die the way that he did, and when he was still so very young and had so very much to offer. And since I was gone, I couldn't make it to his memorial service. I hate that this happened and I am still struggling with of all things, anger. I keep braking down at weird moments, crying a little, and then getting angry at him and at what happened in general and angry at myself for not keeping in touch like I could have. Death is such a big staggering final thing. No matter how many times I am accosted with its finality, I am staggered by it's shocking repulsiveness. I hate it!


-I have been recently hired to work as a Marine Science Instructor with a Christian Camp in (drum roll please...) Catalina Island!!! I can't wait to watch the sunrises and sunsets on the beach, take groups out kayaking and snorkeling, and making new friends down here in SoCal!


I'm sure I will have lots to report about this new adventure and can't wait to get started. Training starts in two weeks and I'm not sure how much time I'll have on the internet then, but when I can, I definitely will.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me and those of you who for some reason enjoy reading these sometimes quite random ramblings.

For more random themed items, I will now post an old little poem I once wrote and thought enough about to save:

Death does not follow life.
The reverse is actually so.
A seed must be planted,
Before a plant may grow.