DR 2012 — T-minus 5 hours

Oh boy, oh boy! It’s almost here! Today I’ve been very excited, but a little nervous, too. Don’t worry, this is nothing like the previous, anxious-nervousness. This is the excited-nervousness of leaving home and country to go to NEW places and meet NEW people, to build a house of worship, to make an eternal impact on hurting seekers, happy believers, and beautiful children. This is the nervous-excitement that reminds me that I have to TRUST Him.
As our team meets tonight to bond, pray, and finish last-minute preparations before our 1:30 a.m. departure, please continue to lift us up to our Father. Only He knows what’s in store for our team and each one of us! Abba, I can’t WAIT. Let’s go!!
I love you all. πŸ™‚ Thank you SO much for your support!
I’ll be sure to give you a report when we arrive home!

NWC, Here I Come! Summer Prep Day and Registration

Wow, that was an adventure! So I went up to NWC on Monday to register for classes, have a prep coach session (I’ll explain in a minute), and meet some other freshmen and transfer students!
First I went to take my music theory IV placement test, which wasn’t too bad. Lots of harmonic analysis. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure I tested out of that, but I will find out soon, I hope!
I went and got my picture taken for my student ID (say cheese!) and finished completing information about me for my ID so it will be ready for me in August.
They gave us lunch at round tables with some others who will be living near us so that we will see some familiar faces on August 23rd when we move in and start Orientation. Then they talked about the 4 pillars of NWC: Wholeheartedly Christian, Academically Excellent, Focused on Community, and Engaged in the World. I was glad that they talked about that because it reveals what NWC is all about and where there foundation is.
After lunch, I went to meet my advisor, Dr. Lange (my advisor might change later, but he helped me out on Monday). We sat down and first discussed my PSEO classes and AP tests before moving on to what I would be taking in the fall. Because I had already registered for my honors courses, we tried to work around those first. This didn’t end up working very well (we had to switch some courses around) but by the end of that half an hour I was okay with the schedule we had lined up.
Then I went to meet with my prep coach, Kai. She led me through theRock (online student website, basically) and answered any questions I had about first year of college. She was so much fun and my mom and I had a blast with her. We had many entertaining interruptions to our little “schedule” (which according to Kai has never happened in a prep session before!) but I really enjoyed the liveliness it brought to my NWC experience thus far. Kai told us stories about herself, her family, and fun people around NWC that I will, Lord-willing, have the chance to meet sometime in the next year!
This basically completes my Summer Prep Day at NWC. After coming home, I’ve spent the past few days fixing my schedule and changing it more so that now I am taking almost all of the classes I need to be taking and I am really excited about what I’m taking! Here’s the (most likely) final schedule:
10:00-11:05 Honors Speech (Glenny)
11:20-12:25 Honors OT Hist. & Lit. (Seevers)
2:00-3:05 Counterpoint (Danek) — MW only –> SO excited! Thanks to Dr. Danek for letting me go for it!

7:55-8:45 Class Piano II (Rogers) — T only
10:45-12:25 Honors West. Civ. (Miller)
12:40-1:30 Music Hour (Kolwinska)

Honors Seminar (Black) — TW
Plus a choral ensemble and voice lessons somewhere in there!

*One exciting musical side note — I went to Guitar Center after NWC on Monday! It was really exciting to mosey around in there looking at all the beautiful instruments and trying a few of them! I figured out about 5 chords on the ukelele (no idea which ones they were because I didn’t know how it was tuned at the time!) and then I played around with picking. Personally I like the concert ukelele best and if I were to buy one, it would definitely have a pick-up. I also tried out a banjo! Fun stuff, I never realized the banjo was tuned to a major triad (again, I don’t know which one, though I could go look it up!) until playing around with it. My mom was laughing at me because I quickly discovered how to play a I-V7/IV-IV-ii-V-I progression! Yay. Fellow theory nerds, that one was for you! πŸ™‚

DR 2012 — One. Week. Away.

I can’t believe it; my team and I will be in an airplane flying to Santo Domingo at this time one week from today! We have prepared much and been in prayer for the people we will minister to and with… that they will be touched and that we will learn from them as well. We have practiced our mimes to the music that go with them. We have rehearsed all the songs that we will sing with the children (in Spanish!) and practiced with the big arm puppets on the rest of the songs. We have collected all of the supplies we’ll be taking with us (each of us are taking two checked bags — one for us and one filled with everything we’re taking to give away and minister with!). We have turned in our passports to our leaders so that no one gets left behind. We have completed all of the logistics and organizational details. Physically, we are ready for this mission. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally… I’m not so sure. I know that each one of us is at a different place in our relationship with Jesus. We each have different worldviews and presuppositions that we bring to this mission trip, some more similar than others. My prayer as we embark in less than a week is that we be unified — in His purpose, as a church body, as fellow believers and friends, as team members. My prayer is that we each let God mold and transform us into the people of His name that He created us to be. My prayer is that we are humble, willing to accept correction and even rebuke. My prayer is that we invest in each life we come into contact with as unique, image-bearing of our Creator and special to Him. Thank you, friends, for your support. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your monetary gifts. Thank you for your love. Amen, Abba, let it be. ❀

Reflections: The Rule of Peace

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
~ Colossians 3:15

Hmmm. This is a high calling. It is hard to let peace rule in your heart. As a being-reformed perfectionist, it is difficult for me not to worry about things, even the smallest things. Paul is saying here not just to let peace passively exist within you without any impact, but to let it RULE your heart. Ruling implies authority. It conveys power over that which is under its rule.

It also says to let peace rule in your HEART. The heart is the center of will, the seat of volition. It is where all of our desires are ordered; it is where we determine the organization of our life. The heart involves the power of choice — what we think about, what we say, how we react to others around us. If we let peace rule in our hearts, this means that we let peace be an over-arching determining factor in how we order our life. We let God’s peace control what we think about, what we say, and how we treat other people. If we let His peace rule in our hearts, just think how much less stressful the world would seem. I’m not saying that the circumstances would change; they won’t necessarily, because this world is still fallen. BUT our perspective of the circumstances can change dramatically if we simply let Christ’s peace have control over our lives.

“Be thankful.” Wow, that can be hard. Again, though, if we thank God for the good things AND the hard, painful things, our perspective of the circumstances can transform our attitude and outlook on the situation. Thanksgiving leads to worship, and worship leads to thanksgiving. Both worship and thanksgiving lead to peace. I think a big way to begin letting God’s peace RULE in our hearts is to start thanking God.

So what can you thank God for today? What pleasant things has He blessed you with? What trials has He blessed you with? Both are what we need, even if they are not what we want. How can you begin letting His peace RULE in your heart?

NWC, Here I Come! Honors Registration

Wow, THAT was fun!! I just got off the phone with my honors Β department advisor, Dr. Black. I am signed up for three honors classes next semester in three different disciplines: Old Testament History and Literature, Public Speaking, and Composition (Eng), along with Honors Seminar. That should be pretty fun! I can’t believe how exciting college is going to be. I mean, if I had this much fun registering for my honors classes, how much MORE fun will registering for my music classes be?! πŸ™‚

I’m also getting to know my roommates on facebook, which has been entertaining. We have talked about some pretty random things already! I was talking with a different friend about it the other day and he said, “I bet they have no idea what a surprise they are in for when rooming with you!” He explained himself, meaning that I am quite unique. Unique and crazy. That sounds about right! Crazy about God, Music, and People. πŸ™‚ NWC, you’re in for an exciting 4 years with me very soon!!

DR 2012 — Missions Commissioning!

This weekend is Missions Commissioning at Autumn Ridge. Our church holds a whole service dedicated to the student missions trips this summer: Rochester, Colorado, and the Dominican Republic. Billy, our youth pastor, gives the message, the youth worship team leads the congregation in music, and the students going on all of the missions trips come forward to be commissioned by the congregation that they may support the students in finances and in prayer.

I am leading the youth worship team and congregation in worship this weekend. We have worked hard by God’s grace to prepare for this, so please pray that He be glorified in all that we say and do!

Thank you, friends!

DR 2012 — Mimes and Ministry

As part of our ministry to the different people there, my team and I are rehearsing mimes to present the gospel and show how Christ can change our lives. This is such an exciting opportunity to use acting as a way to express God’s truth! I am the main character in one of our mimes. I have had a lot of acting experience, so I am not at all nervous about that part. There is one part about which I am a tiny bit nervous, so if you could pray for the mimes to come together smoothly, that would be a HUGE blessing!

Because we are going to a spanish-speaking country πŸ™‚ we are encouraged to try writing out our testimony or faith story (in some form or another) in Spanish! I am VERY excited to try this, but at the same time I want to make sure that I say as many things as possible in an appropriate way. Please pray that I will be diligent and motivated to get working on that so that I don’t run out of time!

We also get to play with puppets! The puppets are huge arm-puppets that we get to man behind a curtain. The puppets will dance and sing the spanish songs (all songs that we learned in church as a little kid growing up!). We are all memorizing these in Spanish, so that is a fun little challenge. My Spanish class has come in SO handy now that I actually understand the words to these songs!

Thank you SO much for all of our prayers!! “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

DR 2012 — The Adventure Begins!

Hey all! Not all of you may know this, but I am traveling to the Dominican Republic this summer for a mission trip at the end of June! I am SO excited for this amazing opportunity to serve God, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for my team there. We are prayerfully preparing and asking God how we may work with Him and His people everywhere that we go.

We will be working with a ministry already down in the DR called Time Ministries. They line up our work project schedule, which will be to build a chapel for a congregation that does not currently have a building in which to meet. It takes a lot of money to provide for a mission trip! It costs quite a bit to travel, buy supplies for building the chapel, and gather clothing and food to give the people there. That said, it costs each team member around $1200 for the ten days we will be gone. We have 21 team members, so that’s a lot of money!! I know, though, that God is faithful and will provide for everything that our team needs.

If you were perhaps wondering, ‘What can I do?’ here are a couple of ways:

First of all, I would like to ask you to PRAY. Prayer is the biggest thing our team could ask for as we embark on this adventure. We need to be unified in Christ on our purpose and as a body, and it can be difficult to achieve that when so many people from such different households and places gather together. We will be working alongside some of the Dominicans, so we need to be unified with the believers there as well. There are SO many facets involved in a trip like this, and only God knows how it will all fit together! Since this is His work, asking Him to bless and and be with our team is the most vital need we have. I will be updating you all as we get closer to the trip date in other ways in which you can pray for us.

Secondly, we could use financial assistance. God can use you to work through us even if you aren’t going with us! He can use your financial prosperity to further His kingdom. Maybe you are tight on money as is — I am NOT asking you to give because you feel compelled, but out of the generosity of your heart. If you are not able to give now, please do not! But if God is leading you to help us reach our goal, we are SO grateful! One way you can do this is to purchase a beautiful poster with 20 crosses on it, which you can see here. The donation we are asking for them is $20 or more. The proceeds all go towards our DR trip, so this is a neat way to contribute and to also have a reminder to pray for us — the poster — on your wall. If you are interested in donating towards the trip but don’t want the poster, that is welcome also! Just contact me if you are interested and, if you don’t live around here, to get the poster to you if you’d like!

A Day for Change!

Today was a day full of big decisions and changes, so I thought I’d let you share in my excitement!

1) I started my first job (outside of my family) today! I am now working at Sargent’s (a garden center, nursery, and landscaping business) for the spring/summer. This should be a pretty fun job for me, considering that I’ll be working retail and I am definitely a people person! Not only that, but I’ve worked in the vegetable/plant field practically since I could walk, so this will be a place where I fit right in! I am eagerly anticipating helping customers with all of their plant questions and problems, and seeing how much I know compared with the other employees there. I’ll still be helping out some at the Farmers’ Market with my family when I’m not working, though, so don’t worry, those of you who see me through the family business will still see me around. πŸ™‚

2) This morning (before 7 am, I might add!) I officially decided which college I will be attending in the fall!! I am going to Northwestern College with the intention to study Music Education (vocal emphasis). I am SO excited and relieved to have finally made this difficult choice. I didn’t realize how much stress I was carrying around from that tension until it was lifted this morning for good. Yes, there are still a LOT of things that I need to do to prepare to actually go, but I am very enthused to begin this new adventure with God and with all of the people He will put in my life beginning in August! Thank you so much, friends, for all of your prayers concerning this decision. Please continue to pray with me that God will work greatly in this place and in my heart and life in preparation for what lies ahead.

Prayer Requests

If you have anything — big or small — ANYTHING you would like me or anyone else who views this to pray for, I would be honored to lift you to the Father! Just comment and I will be faithful in praying.

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