Friday, October 23, 2009

Laughs, Italics, and Food

Heather has been my supervisor or boss for the majority of the past five and a half or so years. Today is Heather’s last day of work as her husband accepted a promotion and they will be moving to Northwest Arkansas. I am excited for their new adventure, but am sad to see her go. She has been a great boss, taught me lots, and made the craziness more interesting. In honor of her departure and her love of humorous things (and italics!), I thought I’d share a few of my most memorable memories over the years:

Putting 21 hours on our timesheet when we left the office at 4am. Not quite fun, but memorable nonetheless

Endless late night dinners at Bakers and Chipotle to stay under the $7 limit; so many that we could order for each other without even asking

Watching Wedding Crashers with our client; I still can’t believe we had to do that…

Walking off the elevator at our hotel in Orlando to find we were wearing basically the exact same outfit

Calling Brendan multiple times on night at, oh probably 11pm, and me laughing so hard I couldn’t talk; thankfully he and I were buds so he thought his multiple laughing messages were equally hilarious

Late night dinner at Potbelly’s followed by Pokey-O’s; entirely too much food and too much information on who Ashley thought has a good body…

Jim dropping peanut shells on the floor in your cube as if he were in a bar, and the wonderful cartoon Jim on a Post-it

The Stars game…enough said

When the competitive presentation crashed at 11pm and I was so stressed out I just sat in your cube and cried, but thankfully it all came together as everything always does

And probably my all time favorite, the entire Orlando trip when Larry fell on Ashley and me in the van, tried to convince Jim to get a tattoo, the dancing Sunday dress, and…

Heather, thanks for the many memories, pushing me to always do my very best, teaching me, and striving to make our many work hours as fun as possible. I’ll miss working with you every day, but am excited to hear about all of the new Arkansan adventures. And finally following you on facebook. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They Should Call it Hini-way!

A few weeks ago we had our annual high school retreat out at Pine Cove. Thankfully this year was better than last year by leaps and bounds, and I greatly enjoyed the time with our "little" eleventh grade girls!

Oh and if you're curious about the title, Ally thought they should change the name of the retreat from Hideaway to H1n1-way due to the swine flu, but pronounce it "hini." Silly girl. :)

Classic. Dancing, and Allie almost falling on the cord

Emily

Ghetto-tastic Katie K!

Yay for community! We missed Jen and Caryn

Darling Galvin girls

Flamingo kickball, girls' advantage

Flamingo hockey! Super funny

Morgan and Molly preferred to dance

Em and Molly

We're tough

And cute!

Flamingo spoons

Ally's sad she lost :(

Lotsa candy...

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

I write this morning with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes. Two years ago, I began following the story of a young girl named Laurren through her family’s CaringBridge blog. Her family met the Holmes family, one of Watermark’s ministers, while their children were both being treated for cancer at Children’s. The Holmes’ have a blog, too, and have directed readers to Laurren’s page for prayer frequently.

I have never met her, but feel connected to her story as I have prayed for her over these last two years. She was initially diagnosed with osteosarcoma which has since spread to her lungs. After a series of different treatments and surgeries and even experiencing heart failure which terminated one course of treatment, her blog today said the largest tumor in her lung has grown significantly since her last scan (which I believe was not too long ago). This sweet young girl has battled one of the most horrendous diseases possible (if not the most horrendous) and continues to shine and point to the Cross. Her family has been extremely authentic in sharing their hopes, fears, etc, but again, always leaning on Christ for understanding.

At the end of their post today announcing this new, heart-breaking news, Laurren’s dad finished with:

Daniel 3:16-18
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, WE WANT YOU TO KNOW, O king, that WE WILL NOT serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

That verse holds a dear spot in my heart of hearts, because that is exactly how I feel. Everyone wants Laurren to be healed. Our baby girl will be healed of this horrible disease. It will be in Gods timing and not ours, either on this side of Heaven or in Heaven. He is our ONLY HOPE. All our HOPE is in Him.

Precious Lord, you hold this darling girl in your hand and we know you know her pain even more than her parents, friends, or strangers who have joined in her story. I pray you continue to envelope her family in your peace as they trust you for healing. We know you will heal her in your time, in your way. May her story bring glory to your name above all else. May she touch our hearts to remember you, what you have done, and to trust you. I thank you for the beautiful story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego her dad referenced. Not only did they face the fire with pure trust in you, but they were not alone. They had each other and ultimately you, who appeared IN the fire with them. I thank you for promising to walk through the fire with us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not My Thing

I've decided wrestling with decisions, especially when they are so ambiguous I can't quite wrap my head around what they even are, is one of my most unfavorite things. In the past year and a half or so, I've had a thought swirling through my mind. I wasn't sure what it was or if it was just "dreamer Sarah" and not anything ever actionable. I hadn't shared and when they popped into my mind, found myself pondering, praying, getting more confused, and pushing it aside.

Until last night when I had the brilliant idea after making a late night diet pepsi run (sad, I know) to send an email about my random thought. Why oh why do I do that? Irk! In a moment of weakness I share and then fairly quickly miss the days of AOL when you could unsend and unread email... Grr...

Anyway, so if course that opens a can of worms and the thoughts have been ever-present in my mind today, and I've since shared with two more people, feeling more confused and frustrated than before. I want to climb into a hole. Seriously.

I don't process things well. I get overwhelmed, think I'm doing it wrong, and don't really know how to pray through this since it's so flipping ambiguous.

So I blog instead. And stir. And have anxiety. And want to cry. And desperately need some direction. Though I could just push it away again; maybe that's the best bet.

*sigh* I'm tired and ready for bed. Bonsoir mon amis! A bientot.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 5, 2009

Girl Scout Pledge

So this first part is going to be a bit vague, and I apologize for that. I’m just not ready to share with the world.

After dinner on Friday night, my four dear friends Sarah, Jen, Katie and I had the bright idea (well, it was Katie’s really) to do something. It ended up just being Katie and I who embarked on this new adventure as Sarah had to go home and pack for her Cabo trip (still jealous :)) and Jen, well, I suppose she just escaped…for now. Anyway, this thing we did kind of weirded me out and has continued to do so since. Primarily as it involves feeling rejected, yet hopeful, yet cautious, yet crazy confused. Are you confused now, too? If you are a highly curious person who knows me and would like to know what I’m referring to, ask me and I’ll most likely tell you. I’m just not ready for large broadcasts yet…

On another note, I had a wildly awkward experience on Saturday. Awkward is really not a strong enough word; I should really go with one of the most uncomfortable moments ever (not the most, but one of for sure). Anyway, to the story. I went to a conference on Saturday about hurting kids with a group from student ministry. It was at another church that used to be a movie theater and still has resemblances of being one. We all arrived early and were sitting and chatting waiting for the conference to start. During this time, a random man sat in the row behind us and started talking to Kyla. He seemed slightly strange, so Sarah and I chatted amongst ourselves (we were the other two sitting by Kyla) and eventually he walked off.

Conference starting. I have my journal out and pen ready to take diligent notes when all of the sudden, random man appears in my row and comes up next to me. He’s holding a gaggle of papers and a coffee which he proceeds to spill a bit on me and the chair in front of him. He’s handing me his coffee and papers and I’m sitting there baffled and unsure what to do. I notice David peering back and mouths if I need his help to let him know. I nod and Sarah or Kyla tell me just to place his papers on the floor, which I do. Okay, I can concentrate again.

Then he sits down and I get a whiff of horrid cigarette smoke and burnt coffee. Not a good combination. I’m forcing myself to ignore the stench and instead focus on the speaker’s words and cheesy jokes (another story). Then I notice random man scooting closer to me. Ugh, there’s not an armrest! As he scoots closer to me, I edge closer to Sarah. Next thing I know, random man is leaning on me (and I’m in turn leaning on Sarah) and then proceeds to start rubbing his leg on mine. I cross my leg and twist to try and force my back toward him, but it doesn’t help.

At this moment, I’m afraid to look in his direction as I’m fairly certain more is going on. I’m greatly creeped out and quite unable to focus. Sarah begins trying to convince me to get up and move, but I’m conflicted with not wanting to disturb the people around me or place her in the same situation. A few minutes later, SarahBeth (who was sitting in front of us) passes Sarah a note asking if everything is okay and if she needs to tap David. Sarah responds that I’m moving, after which I stand up (amazingly without falling on random man) and pretend to use the restroom; however, I really just circle around the back and sit down on the other side of our row. Sarah places my purse in the chair to stave random man off of her. He eventually leaves. Phew, safety.

At the first break, several people in our group begin questioning me about what happened. At this time, David expresses his deflation in not having had the opportunity to disturb the conference to chat with the guy. Then Mel made me do a pledge resembling that of the girl scouts (I’m guessing, was never a girl scout). I literally had to hold my hand up and repeat after her. Oh Mel, you make me laugh, but I appreciate your protective, loving nature.

I don’t think random man really cared about kids. He seemed very off, possibly drunk? He didn’t really look homeless to me, but you never know. All we know is, he did not show up again. Though we were taunted with shares-his-opinions-in-awkward-times man. What a character he was.

Aside from that, though, it was a pretty good conference. I think the speaker could have cut back on his cheesy jokes and shortened some aspects, but all-in-all, I’m glad I went.