Friday, January 28, 2005

T-Minus 2.75 hours.

It is 2:11 PST, and at 5:00pm, the 95+ Kiddos are scheduled to begin arrival at AFMC! ACK! ACK! I was in the Youth Center 2 hours ago, and there was chain link fence and dirt everywhere! Because apparently they are fencing in the skate ramps! Oh dear.


Tomorrow, I will be on a raft on the Skagit River quietly gazing at Eagles, and the anticipated chaos of tonight will be behind me. Praise you Jesus.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Neo-Spring and Plan B.

Apparently, this snow thing is an epidemic. This article in the Seattle Times proves it. No snow in the whole state! Apparently, it's all in Boston, as I can see from looking at Natalie and Levi's poor car.

So, we go ahead with Plan B for this weekend. Meaning that me, some other leaders, and about 90-100 kids are going to stay in the Arlington Free Methodist Church youth center. The weekend will also include a trip to Illusionz, a GameWorks-type facility, an Eagle Float on the Skagit River, Paintballing, Skateboard Demo's, 3 Bands, and our Speaker for the Weekend....

So....plan B is a go-ahead...and my administrative mind is buzzing with programming and risk management details, but I hope all will be right in the end.

Pray for kids! Pray for their hearts! Pray for their salvation.

AND, btw, Tsunami is officially: YD Presents "Bob's Island Getaway."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Prayers and Petitions.

Oh dear! So, so much to write about. Yesterday afternoon, I tried to load pictures of my birthday party and my trek to Canada, and the server was being difficult. So you have to just IMAGINE you can see a beautiful picture of Heather and friends in front of a British Columbian McD's and you have to IMAGINE a humorous photo of Heather in birthday garb opening "Cranium."

What's weighing on my mind heavily this morning is the fate of our dear Snow Retreat. It is supposed to begin on Friday, and unfortunately, for the last ten days, the snow level has risen back up to 9000 feet and the temperatures at the Ski Resorts have been in the 40's. Bronco and I and the kids have been praying hard-core for snow and for "thy will be done, O Lord," and have spent the last few days trying to organize a back-up plan.

In the process of organizing said 'back-up plan' there has been a significant LACK of communication between Arlington YD and the three area churches with whom we are co-sponsoring this retreat, and last night, I heard rumors that the retreat was already set to follow our 'back-up plan' according to area sources, although, Bronco and I were not a part of that decision-making process.

Amazingly enough, after I found this out, I went to my 20-something women's Bible Study where we spent an hour discussing how to effectively manage our frustrations and our anger! Oh I spent much of last night and much of this morning praying and praying and praying that this situation would work out in God's way, and that our irrational need to program things to OUR level of comfortability would not interfere with God's perfect timing. He knows we need snow on Friday and Saturday. Who are we to assume on Wednesday that He cannot provide? Is Satan trying to interfere? ACK!

Hopefully, there will be mucho communication between Bronco, the youth pastors, and I this morning and we'll at least know what Chapter of this process we are on. STRESS!

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Firs, B.C. and Friends...a magical combination.

The past three days were spent with the amazing YD staff at "The Firs," a conference center in Bellingham, WA. We were supposed to get to go to Mt. Baker and stay in a mountain chalet, but unfortunately, the excessive rain this week not only raised the snowline back to like, 9,000 feet--it also washed out the mountain road with a mudslide.

What it did mean, though, is that my YD friends and I got to drive to British Columbia! My first time crossing the border--and I didn't even take my passport or a birth certificate....which is apparently bending the rules a bit, but, the border official let us back into our homeland nonetheless.

The funniest thing? My YD friends were sooo excited to go to Canada because they have a Tim Horton's there! I was like, WHAT? Apparently Tim Horton's are Canadian, which I didn't know, because there's one in COSHOCTON! So my Oregon friends are like, "Hooray, Tim Horton's!" because there are none in Oregon or Washington, while I am like, "I drove all the way to Canada to go to someplace I can visit in Coshocton!" So apparently, to YD staffers, Coshocton has the key component to making it an exciting place to visit.

Our three days were intense, and I only got about 4 hours of sleep each night, BUT, I was significantly challenged on lots and lots of things--things related to taking risks, seeking God's will wholeheartedly, managing risks at expense of relationships, and most significantly--on recycling my pain and my the pain of my story to teach kids about the awesome power of Christ.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

If you need me...

...I will be here.

Monday, January 17, 2005

mile marker 207.

Last night, for my love of youth, I spent six hours at a Rest Area on I-5 with a teenager and my friend, Erin. We were manning the Arlington Free Methodist Youth's Coffee Stand.

Apparently, in the great state of Washington, rest areas often host fundraising coffee stands... at first I found it a bit odd that anyone would encourage spending more than ten minutes at a rest area, but just because Washington loves its coffee, I suppose the tradition is fitting.

It actually turned out to be a lot of fun. We were crammed in a cozy cubby behind a very nice brick wall and deadbolted door under the glow of heat lamps, while we pawned coffee and home-baked macaroons to Washington's travellers. We kept track of the number of shady men that we saw, which in six hours, was actually only two.

And--the youth group made some money for the August trip to a Leadership Conference in Colorado, so all is good and well in the world.

I am spending the next three days at Mt. Baker, which was certainly named after me. I will be with all the YD Staff for a 3-Day Conference, and I am ECSTATIC to go.

Also--keep in mind, that as of today, there are only six shopping days left until my 24th birthday. ;-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It's official.

My favorite online cartoon is no longer "Banana Singing about Peanut Butter and Jelly while riding a donkey" , it is "Dude Rolling Down Hill."

With my rather meloncholy Monday and Tuesday behind me, my Wednesday has been made oh-so-very bright by this happy cartoon. Enjoy.

(And check out all of the links in my new blog section "Because I'm in Youth Ministry..." which have the ability to ease any tension incurred by too many awkward encounters with 15-year-olds.)

New Tsunami Rename Ideas.

Here are some new ideas for the Tsunami Rename....we've been getting mixed reviews on 'Surge', and sorry Suz, but I don't think 'Sluice' is going to catch on.

Yesterday I played around with the Thesaurus, and here are some ideas I really like:
Velocity, Jolt, Rampage, Torrent, Rush, Uprising, Cadence.

For some reason, we like names that are big with lots of movement, most of which happen to be associated with natural are some other ideas, although, many would reference volcanic explosions or earthquakes, which in Washington, are highly possible:
Quake, Tremor, Shock, Flood, Eruption, Plunge, Submerge, Immerse, Drench, Engulf, Emerge, Evolve, Cadence, Momentum, Metamorphosis, Tempest, Storm, Impact, Clash, Electrify, Core, Epicenter, Tremble.

Some of those names don't work either, i.e. 'Storm', because it's the name of Seattle's WNBA team, or 'Core' because it's the name of a nationwide Youth Worker's Training Event....

Do any of those really stand out to you. I really like Velocity or Uprising or Cadence. I told Bronco we should rename it "Coup," which laughingly incurs the image of 150 YD kids storming San Juan Island with pitchforks and torches.

I was also thinking about the name "Alter" for its dualism in Christian language....

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Check Your Link!

The blog was having problems fully loading today. It seems to be alleviated if you go to and NOT to

For whatever reason--it likes the first address better, so please update your bookmarks so that the site loads properly. Or maybe it's just me. I'll blame it on Windows XP.

Today has been longer than yesterday, which I didn't think was possible.
Inspiration for today: Psalm 34:18.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday morning is taking all day.

In John Mayer's "Why Georgia Why" he describes his day as "The kind of morning that lasts all afternoon." Enduring my first Monday at work in many weeks, I feel like I am enduring a morning that's lasting well into the afternoon...which is funny, because I have awoken eagerly at 7am every day for the last week and even made my bed! But--alas--Monday's seem to have this powerful grip that is entirely their own...and so far, in the climactic fight of Heather v. Monday (1/10/05), Monday is winning.

This haggard morning is aided by my extremely sore abdominals. Last Thursday, Corrie and I applied for membership to the Stillaguamish Athletic Club, and two days after my Saturday morning Pilates class, I can STILL feel it! Euk!

This evening commences Girls' Bible Study again, and since we haven't met as a Girl's Group since our sleepover on December 3rd, I will be very happy to see them. We're going to be doing a comtemplative prayer service from the Book of Uncommon Prayer, taking most of our evening to specifically reflect and pray for Tsunami victims.

On a completely different tangent, on Saturday night, I paid a visit to the Seattle Center, specifically to visit the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show at the Pacific Science Center. My roommate and several members of her brother's bridal party and I were absorbed in the pounding rhythms of "The Wall" while watching some very crazy psychadelic laser lights action. I realized that I am glad that I have never been under the influence of any illegal substances, because the laser light show was as close to insanity as I ever care to be. Also--since they gave us free tickets to the U2 Laser Light Show, if you're come and visit me, I will take you there for free.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Of Tsunami's and Name Changes

The YD Staff are currently in deliberation about whether or not it would be best to change the name of our Spring Retreat on San Juan Island to something else. It's currently called "Tsunami." We recognize that a "Tsunami" is a recurring natural disaster that had meaning before the December Tsunami in India, but we also do not want to be insensitive to the tremendous loss of life that has occurred. Our retreat is designed to bring 150 students to an isolated island setting in the Puget Sound for 3 Days of Activities and Evangelism. Most of these students are not Christians and the event makes a huge impact on the lives of these students.

So we're throwing around ideas. Suggestions have included "CastAway," "On the Rock," "Surge..." I am the appointed "CEO of Marketing" for this grand event, so I am supposed to be developing a logo and promotional materials right now...but I'm waiting for our team to come to a bit of consensus about the naming or potential renaming of Tsunami.

If you have any thoughts or ideas, I would love to hear them.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"It's A Great Day To Be Alive."

In my normal past-life, I'd be embarrassed to ever like a Travis Tritt song....I mean, the man is the apex of redneckedness, and I believe that 15 years later, he still wears a mullet. BUT--I have downloaded his song "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" to my iTunes this morning, and I feel oh-so-ready to greet the day.

This attitude is aided by my new scarf (which is the third one down in the list). At the high school today, everyone asked me if I lived in Gryffindor, because the Calvin College scarf Sean gave me for my birthday this year just so happens to have the same color scheme as Harry Potter's dorm. And my attitude was further aided by a bit of falling snow on my walk to my car this afternoon...amazing.

I am feeling very much like I am where I belong in this return to Washington. There are some amazingly huge things to accomplish over the next few months too--A Student Leadership Training Day, A 3-Day Staff Conference, A 3-Day Snowboarding/Skiing Retreat, A Fundraising Banquet with a $20,000 goal, and A 3-Day Spring Retreat on San Juan Island to plan. But as I call up print shops today, plan layouts for T-shirts, and eat lunch with teenagers in my Harry Potter scarf, I think it is, in fact, a great day to be alive.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My friends and I at the "New Year's Extravaganza". Clockwise from top-left: Suz J, Lynn, Bekah D, Allison, Chris, Wladimir, Barrett, Suz P, Becca M, Mike, Heather, Janelle, Jake. Posted by Hello

Home Sweet Home.

I have returned to The Evergreen State as of 11am yesterday morning. 24 hours later, I am renewed from an entire night's sleep, the joys of which I had not experienced for the last week. I have said goodbye to the amazing 14 people who crowded my parents' Ohio home this weekend for many laughs and tears. I have said goodbye to my family, whom I will not see again for a long time...and I have been refreshed and renewed to greet my kids again.

The time away has allowed for a lot of new vigor and new goal-setting for second semester, and if I look at everything that needs to get done by April, I am a bit overwhelmed...but this morning, as I was laying in my cozy bedroom reading the Word, I prayed, "Lord, may everything that you do through me these next few months be evidence of your greatness working in me."