Monday, August 30, 2010

O the Weekend, how I love you!

I love the weekends in Chicago. There is always so much to do and it always makes for a good time with good friends. 

Saturday a group of us went to Greek fest. We ate some really delicious gyros and enjoyed the festive atmosphere! (Sorry Debby the crazy lady taking the picture cut you out)

After Greek fest we walked from Greek town to Grant Park. It was an adventurous little walk. 

We climbed under the bridge over the river and watched as boats went under us. I have heard about these things since freshman year and have always wanted to do it.
 While at Grant Park, Alexis, Katie, Elizabeth and I decided that we wanted to be adventurous and so we each took turns jumping the fence and climbing into BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN. I had so much fun scheming with these girls about our plan of action and then laughing so hard after we each about died jumping back over the fence.
 Sunday our apartment actually got to feel like a real apartment. We invited a group of friends over for dinner and dessert. I made a baked pasta dish, garlic bread and chocolate cake for dessert. It was our first time having people over for dinner. It was nice having a fun chill place to hang out and eat dinner. We also had loads of fun watching lots of dumb youtube videos and reminiscing about our favorite bands during our middle school years. Yes, NSYNC and backstreet boys were at the top of the list.

Now its back to the grime of a week of classes. Next weekend is a 3 day weekend and I am super excited for even more adventures.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Senior year....hello, where did you come from?

I have been back to Moody for a week now and it still hasn't really hit me that this is my last year here. The first time someone asked me what year I was it sounded so weird to say senior. I'm really excited for this year but so nervous at the same time.
Last night was Vespers, which is where the whole student body gathers for dinner, worship, and a charge to start off the year. It is probably one of my favorite student gatherings.It is so nice because at this point everyone is still super excited for the school year. I realized as we gathered that this was the first of the lasts of my time at Moody. It made me sad and excited all at the same time. During the worship, I found myself reflecting on God's faithfulness in my life over the past 3 years. God has been so faithful in providing, protecting, healing, etc. in my life during my time at Moody and as I look back I see where I really took that for granted. As I think about this school year to come I have worried about so much. Will there be enough money for my school bill? Will the bed bug problem ever go away? Do I stay in jenkins or go back to houghton? Will I become disconnected not living on the floor with my closest friends?  etc....  All of these thoughts crossed my mind yet in the midst of worship at Vespers while singing "How Great is Our God" I realized that my worries were for nothing. God is so great and he takes those worries and burdens and carries them for us. He has been faithful thus far so I know he will be faithful still.
This year will be challenging as I struggle with these worries and uncertainties but even if I am unsure about anything else one thing is for sure....God is faithful through and through. 

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

A pic with some of my favorite people from Vespers. I am looking forward to a fun year with these girls!


Ab is at MOODY!!! I am so excited to explore the city and enjoy life here with her. This was her first Vespers and my last Vespers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why is saying goodbye so tough?

Tonight I stayed for one last dinner at the CWC because I knew that it would be my last chance to see some of the guests because tomorrow is my last day there. I never really thought over the course of the summer that I would ever be sad to leave the CWC or say good bye to all the great people there but I was really sad saying good bye. As I hugged some  of the young girls telling them bye, I could not help but cry. Thoughts of never seeing them again, not knowing what kind of ladies the they would grow up to be, wondering if this cycle of homelessness would ever be done for them crossed my mind as I stood there telling them how much they had taught me this summer.  Every child, women and staff member that I have come into contact with this summer has impacted my life and spiritual growth in some way, whether it was teaching me patience, showing me kindness or sharing with me what was on their heart. 
Its funny because at the beginning of summer I fought so hard against the idea of doing my internship at the CWC. My dad recommended it and I was so against it that I didn't even want to think of the possibility. I looked in to every other internship possibility there was. I thought for sure that I would never have a heart for homeless women, I thought that foster care/adoption/children homes were where my heart was completely at. Though I do think that I still have a heart and calling to work with children in the system and still want to pursue something in that field, I have realized that God has softened and opened my heart to homeless women.  God has really taught me a lot about grace and compassion this summer. I now see those women on the streets as women of value as they should be seen. No longer do I just want to turn my head and ignore their problems because I have learned that behind their dirty and tattered clothing is a heart that needs Jesus and His love shown to them through us.

These are pictures of Mary and Kayla. These are 2 twin girls who along with their brother and sister have won my heart over during the summer. At first I was intimidated by this family because of their behavioral issues but slowly we warmed up to each other. They always offer me a beautiful smile and warm hug every time I come into the CWC, no matter what kind of day I am having I can count on a hug from at least one of the twins. The other day when I told both of them that I was leaving to go back to Chicago soon, Kayla gave me a huge hug and then asked me if I could adopt her and take her to Chicago with me. My heart melted. Knowing what life was like in their family I so badly wished it was just that easy. I wished I could snap my fingers and life would be good for them. Yet I can't, and I get to go home to a house and then off to school with all kinds of amenities while they are still stuck living from shelter to shelter depending on their mom's mood.
Aren't they just Adorable?
PLEASE join me in praying for Mary and Kayla. Along with their sister Sierra and brother Billy. They really need some extra loving. Also pray for their mom Kathy as she leads this family on her own and is making tough choices about leaving the CWC to go to another shelter. I am going to miss them tons :(

Monday, August 9, 2010

One Big Happy CWC Family!

Today was the big day for my internship...the Center For Women and Children family style picnic. It was my "special" project for my internship to plan the event and put it on for the guests and staff. I had a lot of fun. It would take to long to describe everything that went on so I'll bullet point it and then add lots of pics!
  • We had about 60 people come, including guests, staff and their families.
  • LOTS OF FOOD! My dad was great and volunteered to do  all the cooking and it was great! 
  • Swimming in Lake Monroe! Kids and adults alike loved getting cooled off in the lake. In 94 degree heat the water was definetly a blessing.
  • BINGO! We played rounds of Bingo under the shelter and the ladies loved it!
  • TIE DYE! Everyone got the opportunity to tie dye t-shirts. For many of them it was their first time getting to do that and they absolutely loved it!
  • Cookie Decorating! we had lots of beach themed sugar cookies and everyone got to decorate them and then eat them!

I am sad that Friday is my last day at the center. The summer has flown by and a little piece of my heart will be left at the CWC when I head back to Chicago. I have grown to love and really care for the guests and staff. They are my Big happy CWC family!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Feeling like a failure....

.... but learning to trust God through those times!

 Last week I had  a really rough week serving at the CWC. Part of it was that I was just so busy getting stuff ready for the upcoming CWC family picnic that I just became overwhelmed. I was trying to serve the ladies the best I could and meet their needs but I felt as if I kept falling short of that. I felt as if I cold just never show enough love or enough grace to these ladies that need grace and love poured out on them. There were 2 separate incidents that really took me for a loop. I felt as if I had failed to provide the care that was needed for two guests and yet I didn't know how to fix the problems and wasn't really given tools either.  I also struggled because it seemed like this week that the staff really pushed that I was an intern that didn't know anything. There were a few ocassions where I was given tasks to complete and did so in the manner they were to be done. I would then later be told that it wasn't right and then others were told..."sorry, she is just an intern she doesn't really know anything about our program" Those words hurt because all summer I have been striving to learn from the staff and willing to listen yet at the end of the summer I am just referred to in that manner. Prayer was what I turned to. I realized that yeah I messed up there wasn't anything I could do. God was in control and I have to  learn to trust Him wholeheartedly. 
Please pray for me as I have just over a week left at the CWC. Life is a little stressed right now as I try to wrap  things up and still put the final plans together for the CWC family picnic.

God is good, all the time!
All the time, God is good!