July 10, 2010

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…

Posted in CBSP at 2:59 am by Katie

Oh man…so yeah, no update in a LONG time. I apologize. Project life is just one crazy, busy, hectic mess…but it’s a beautiful, amazing mess, just like we are.

Job…or lack thereof: So, Things Remembered didn’t work out. The lady was very interested in me, but it was only going to be 10-15 hours a week in St. Pete, which is a good 30-45 minutes away, so it just wasn’t worth it. So, I went to the temp agency and after about a week received a job with Hit Promotions – basically a factory job. I did this for a week…on my feet, 8-9 hours a day, catching bags off of a dryer and counting and boxing them. Long, hard, hot, miserable work…but doable. However, that first weekend, my right knee was hurting and swollen. By Monday, it was to the point where I couldn’t bend down – a big part of my job. I called in and went to the doctor, who informed me I have patellofemoral pain syndrome…which, from what I understand, boils down to this: The angle between my hip, knee, and ankle (called a Q-angle, apparently) is over 12 degrees, which causes my knee cap to slide around. Because of this, and the added strain of being on my feet for 30+ hours that first week, my knee had swollen up under my knee cap. It’s something I’ve always had; it just hasn’t bothered me really up until this point. The doctor asked if I had ever felt like my knee was weak or going to give out when going up and down stairs or bending, which it had – and that’s a sign of this syndrome. Anyway, the consensus was to quit the job because of all the added strain. Unfortunately, this came at a time in project where I only had about 3 weeks left, so finding another job was a little out of the question. So, now I’m just doing as much as I can to provide rides for people to and from work and serve as much as possible around the motel. It’s definitely stressful because I am SUPER broke, haha, and stressing about move-in expenses, etc. But, I’m trusting that this is what God had planned for me this summer all along and that He will provide.

In this, I think that God is actually using me not having a job to strengthen my quiet times with Him. Not having a job means I have plenty of time to devote to being in the Word, reflecting on what He is teaching me, etc. My quiet times have always been an area of struggle for me, just because it’s hard for me to be consistent, but over the past week to week-and-a-half, my quiet times have been amazing. I’m going through the One Year Bible reading plan, which I am woefully behind on, but I’m just keeping with it, per the wise Mary Storie’s instructions. I also receive M-F devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Yesterday, the P31 devotion discussed all of the little, menial things that we, as women, do around the house that are sometimes just so frustrating – dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. But, instead of getting caught in those moments, it’s important to remember that we are handpicked by God, even if we feel overlooked by everyone else, just as David was handpicked by God to become king in 1 Samuel 16. This is just huge for me, because even though I love serving others, it gets to the point where I just get frustrated by it. So, remembering that I am handpicked by God to do these tasks is a wonderful and much-needed reminder.

Other Lessons from God: The biggest thing I’ve learned this summer is just to put my identity in Christ instead of other people. The Lord has really convicted me in this area over the course of the summer. I’m such a people-pleaser, and I went through high school and college just wanting to fit into a group and be wanted and accepted. God has shown me that in stripping away some of these friendships and relationships, He was showing me that I didn’t need these relationships to feel worth; all I needed was Him. Am I sad that a lot of my high school and college friendships are no longer what they once were? Of course. But I’m beginning to learn the lessons that God was weaving through these and use these to build on future friendships and relationships.

Evangelism: Y’all…I came on this project SCARED TO DEATH to go talk to people about my faith. I knew how awkward and touchy it was talking to friends back at home and in Kentucky, so how much more awkward would it be on the beach to people that I did not even know? But the Lord has completely blown me away in this area. Even though I still hate approaching people and determining who I’m going to talk to…once I get into a conversation, I am set. Sure, I don’t have all the knowledge or answers, but I have exactly what God and the Holy Spirit give me, and that’s really all I need.

I purposely chose the Evangelism Team as one of my ministry team choices to force me to step out of my comfort zone, and I have just loved my role on this team. In addition to straight-up evangelism on the beach, we also did an outreach with big sandwich boards covered in 4 big questions, “Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is love?…” and I’ve forgotten the other one ’cause we talked about two. I want to say it was, “What is the meaning of life?” … or “What is truth?” … or um, yeah, I don’t know. Haha. Anyway, we had these set out on the beach, available for people to come and write their answers on and then used these answers to get into conversations. We also did one outreach at Pinellas Hope, which is basically a tent city for homeless in Pinellas County, FL. We partnered with our church here to serve these precious people and provide them with a hot meal. Even though I was serving and cleaning up most of the time and didn’t get into many conversations, it was just amazing to hear the stories that others shared. We are doing two more outreaches with this organization in the coming weeks, which I am so excited for.

Leadership Roles & Staff Leaving: We are so blessed to have wonderful, wise staff leaders to spend half of the summer with us, but at that point they turn the reins over to us and leave us to run the project ourselves. My leadership role for project is operations/finance, which I share with another student here. Basically, we are in charge of the money and making sure project doesn’t fall apart, haha.

Transition night was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. In John 13, we see Jesus washing the feet of His disciples in a beautiful display of love. After staff leadership had announced our student project directors and assistant directors, they proceeded to wash the feet of the newly named LifeGroup leaders, who then washed the feet of their LifeGroup members. It was just such a stunning display to see that played out in person and to pray together. When we transition, the girls’ LifeGroups combine, and so we prayed together as a combined group for the first time that night. I can’t even express to you the emotions that were felt that night, except that there was much crying, loving, hugging, and prayer.

Fun! Oh y’all…we know how to have a good time, haha. Right after staff left, we had like…four solid days of rain. Oh my goodness…do NOT put 41 students in a hotel where it rains for four days. The first day we actually had sun…well, let’s just say I spent two days outside by the pool or at the beach. Other random things that have occurred…

  • Fat Fridays – the gas station down the street offers a special with a large cheese or pepperoni pizza and a 1 liter of pop for $6. Aka…fat Friday.
  • Free Chik-Fil-A…why yes, 25 of us did dress up as cows and went and got a free combo meal at Chik-Fil-A tonight. Haha. AMAZING!
  • Crazy random trips around Clearwater to random locations…Goodwill and Salvation Army? Okay.
  • Round and round the circle of death aka roundabout…ohhhhh man.
  • All you can eat spaghetti and breadsticks for $5.50
  • Being a kid, eating dinosaur chicken nuggets and chocolate pudding cups
  • Going through 11 gallons of sun tea since I’ve been down here
  • Permanently being known as project mom and Jordan’s personal assistant
  • Raft adventures in the ocean with Morgan and Stephanie

And so, so, so many more. Including an apparent Sonic trip that is about to occur.

Anyway, I need to wrap this up, but I just wanted to (finally) update y’all on what’s going on. I love you all so much and miss you guys!

Katie ❤

Oh yeah! I finally uploaded more pics to Facebook, so here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2182980&id=48211371&l=16c7335e1b

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