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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Night in a Box: A Photo Diary

Night in a Box is a city-wide event in my town to raise money for the local homeless shelter. Church youth groups join together in a parking lot and sleep in cardboard boxes. This year was the 8th year for the event but Colonial's first, at least that I remember. Our box was easily the biggest. It held our entire group. It started at 5pm and runs until 7am. I left around midnight.
I might caption some of the pictures, but most of them won't have anything.

The wind was knocking our walls down so we had to come up with a support system

The hospital was next door

Hot tub!

Our leftover boxes, wait, I mean plates

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Haiti: 30 days

Yesterday was 100 days until Orlando and today is 30 days until Haiti!!

I'm joining a team from my church for a weeklong mission trip to Haiti at the beginning of June. We're going to join up with Healing Haiti on the trip. There are 14 of us altogether going.

While we're there, we'll be delivering water, rocking babies, visiting with elderly people, playing with children, and more. I believe we'll be spending more of our time in Port au Prince.
These are homes in Port au Prince.
Grace Village
We'll also be visiting an organization called Grace Village. It's a part of Healing Haiti. It has several different branches.

  • Grace Feeding Center Feeding over 400 Children, Elderly and Adults weekly.
  • Grace Children's Homes Home to 44 abandoned or orphaned children.
  • Grace Medical & Dental Clinic Serving Grace Village and the Village of Titanyen.
  • Grace School A Christian school for 380 children.
  • Grace Church A community church for up to 1000 people to praise and worship our creator.
  • Grace Aquaponics Initiative An integrated Aquaponic Tilapia Farm providing a constant source of protein and fresh vegetables for Grace Feeding Center

While I won't have internet or my phone during the day, in the evenings, the guesthouse we're staying at does have wifi, so I'll be able to post about what I did that day! I won't have pictures until I get home because the team leader will have the only camera. We'll bring them all home on a memory stick.

I'm excited/nervous about the trip. It will be my first major mission trip. I've gone to Tulsa and Arlington and done VBS's for kids, but this is a whole different ball game. I'm one of the youngest on the trip, along with a friend who's my age and two girls from up north that none of us know yet, but I'm still looking forward to it.

I've slowly been gathering up what I need to take with. I bought a protein powder to take to drink for lunch. We'll be provided breakfast and dinner, but our lunches will be out in the field so we have to take our own food. I bought some long skirts to wear to church on the Sunday and to The Hospital for Sick and Dying Babies that we'll visit on one day. I still need lots of basketball shorts. We have strict rules about dress.

We've been asked to bring donations for the trip, so we're all working on gathering items. The donations will go in the checked luggage.

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes 
  • Maxi pads
  • Wound Wash
  • Gauze pads - 2x2, 3x3
  • Medical Tape
  • Bacitracin/Neosporin
  • Acne Cream
  • Acne Face Wash
If you can help with any of those items, you can take them to Colonial Church or you can give them directly to me and I can take them where they need to go. If you give money, we can buy the items.

Friday, May 2, 2014

100 days until Holiday 1960!

Dear peoples, guess what?!

It's officially 100 days until Orlando, or as we (or at least me,) affectionately call it, "Holiday 1960."

There are six of us that are going to stay at a fabulous new Universal resort that's 50s themed! It has a diner, a bowling alley, and all sorts of cool things!

Our gorgeous hotel
We'll be driving there, so that won't be much fun, but hopefully we'll all get along the whole way there and not fight over the radio.

The lobby!
We're going to go to Disney World, and maybe Universal, and maybe the Kennedy Space Center, and maybe a drive-in movie! We're still deciding.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Road trip to Edmond

Selfie with the giant cross!
Flashback: Last year, I went to LifeChurch OKC with my fellow youth leaders at church. We were going on a field trip to see how a different youth group operates. It was a wonderful trip and when we got home, I "liked" the church on Facebook.

Flashforward: I logged on to Facebook last week and lo and behold, I see a post from LifeChurch. It's inviting people to go attend a live sermon taping of Judah Smith.

Now, about Judah Smith. I heard him first in London at Hillsong Church. I also heard him at Hillsong Conf. Then I heard him at PassionConf Houston. I shared the post and asked if anyone wanted to road trip.

SOMEONE DID. My friend Cici, who I went to PassionConf with, said she'd go with. The next day, another girl had joined our merry little band.

So on Monday morning, I went to classes. Monday afternoon, we offed to Edmond. The event started at 4, but we had to get there at 3:30 to get seated. We ended up getting there around 3 and drove around the campus lost for a bit. When we headed inside, we got pointed to Studio B and found some seats.

Super nice!

Until Sunday morning, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know how many people would be there, what the room would look like, anything. Then on Sunday morning at youth, we watched a Switch video, which is LifeChurch's youth group. The video was filmed in the room above and it was of Hillsong New York's pastor. It was really neat being in the same room. And who knows, in August, the youth group might be watching the video of Judah Smith and I can say "Listen! You can hear me clapping!!"

About 15 til, they did a small worship set and Craig Groeschel came out and talked for a bit. He had us all stand and welcome Judah Smith, but then told us he was going to welcome him again and for us not to stand this time. Since they were filming, we had to do some things twice.

After his first message, both Judah and Craig changed shirts because "it's a different week."

Judah talked about the same basic thing both times.

Sermon one was about God's love for us being not phileo love, but agape love. Sermon two was about how God does everything because HE loves US. Not because WE love HIM. It wasn't "For the world so loved God...." but instead "For God so loved the world..."

Kevin Durant was there listening, but I didn't know it was him.

Transcript chronicling how I found out it was Kevin Durant

After it was over, we headed home after stopping to get a quick bite to eat. I'll definitely go to another sermon taping at LifeChurch!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I started a new blog at

It has everything on it, and for now, I'll probably still post on both, but just FYI, go there now. #NotASentence #SorryNotSorry

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's gonna be a busy summer, folks

Haiti. Arlington. Orlando.

This summer will be a fun one, y'all.

I'm spending a week in Haiti on a church mission trip. 38 days.

I'm spending a week in Arlington on a youth mission trip. 78 days.

I'm spending a week in Orlando with a group of friends. 107 days.

I'm sure a family vacation will jump in there too.

Be prepared for fun blog posts starting in approximately 45 days. Some may come sooner, but definitely after Haiti. There will probably be several after Haiti. I won't make one massive post. I'll probably do four or five.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Puerto Vallarta AGAIN?

How cliche...
Year four Puerto Vallarta is over with! We stayed five nights this year. Because of spring breaks, half of our group went the week prior, but next year, we've figured it out to where we can overlap our vacations!

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and only had a bit of time on the beach before dinner.

Smile Daryl!
I didn't get to eat most of my favorite foods because they all had bread in them. There was no parmesan chicken or tres leche cake.
I'd only thought I'd moved to the adult table.
 Some of our dinners were really late, so at 10, before the adults had even had the main course, Daryl decided she was tired. This is the fancy Italian restaurant.
Nap time at dinner?
On our second to last day, AKA my 20th birthday, we decided to venture out to Sayulita. We'd wanter to go the year prior to surf, but it didn't happen. This year we did though! We took a bus that held us all perfectly and it took about 45 minutes to drive there.

We went from Puerto Vallarta, in the middle of the bay, up to Sayulita, then left to Punta de Mita before heading bace to the resort.

Group picture in our matching shirts!
Selfie on the way to Sayulita!
We made it!
Sayulita is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. It's a town full of Americans too.

Four of our group took surfing lessons
They all did great!
The main street
After eating lunch and heading back to the bus, we drove to Punta de Mita. There's a sister resort to ours that we wanted to check out. If we wanted to, we could stay there. On the way, we passed a forest fire. It wasn't bad, but it looked like it had been before we passed it. There were firemen all around.

When we got to the sister resort, we kind of wandered the grounds until our tour started. All of a sudden, we started hearing the kids giggling and shrieking. We walked down the steps and one of them yells "We found a water slide!" All their shirts were in a pile and they were lining up to go down. This resort had one child staying at it. This was more activity than this hotel had seen since it opened.
Beautiful view from the sister hotel 
After seeing the rooms, we headed back to our hotel. We didn't have time to go to the beach that day, but we did go to the Mexican fiesta!

On our last beach day, we sat in our chairs and had food and drink brought to us from morning tip night. I went out boogie boarding with the other kids for a spell, but someone claimed to see a water snake so I got back on land fast. The whole trip there had been marine life in the ocean. One whole day was lost because of stingrays. 

This is the life.

We got dressed for dinner early that night to meet up for pictures at the beach.

Don't be mistaken. The picture above was taken before this picture.  I don't know why it looks so bright.

Leaving was sad, as always, but we've already booked for next year! It'll be the best one yet, especially because we'll end up going to Pipi's as a group. For the first time, we didn't go this year. We took the road trip instead. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Passion Conference 2014 HOU

I've been waiting for this day for months. At 8:30 am, my parents, my friend Cici, and I loaded up the car to head to Houston. In Houston was Passion Conference. It's a big Christian college conference put on by Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin. It's usually in Atlanta, but this year there was one in Houston too.

Love this place 
This is inside the store. I've never noticed it before.
We stopped at Buc-cees on the way there and back, because it's a great place.

We then drove the rest of the way to Houston. When we got there, we decided to go ahead and quickly head out to the Toyota Center. We walked to look for food on the way.

Our hotel used to be a bank. I didn't get a picture of the vault door.
I liked the sink.
It had a cool vintage-y-retro-y feel to it.
It was about a mile walk to the center.
I found the Houston newspaper office! 
The center was downtown in the business district, so it was hard to find food. Everything closed mid afternoon. This place was open though! 
Potato soup <3
We ended up stopping at some Mexican place. It was pretty much like a Mexican Parkway Grill. It was good. I had potato soup. 

Then, we continued the walk to the center. We got there and saw a huge clump of people.

We joined the clump for a bit, but then decided we had an hour to wait. We walked around the building. On the other side, there was an organized system with two forming lines. 

We waited in line for a while, and then they finally let us inside. We rushed inside and tried to figure out the best seats. Did we want to sit on the floor? Did we want to sit in the center? We pretty much had first pick, so we settled for some seats about five rows from the ground, diagonal to the stage. We could see everything!
Our view for every session
There was a group that was starting the youth group classics: the wave and the roller coaster. The wave was going good for a few minutes, but the roller coaster never really caught on. 

We wore our badges the entire time we were there.
Then it was time. We had speculated all day about who would be the first speaker and singer. It ended up being a huge group that included Crowder, Chris Tomlin, and Kristian Stanfill on worship and Louie Giglio on the message.

Over 17,000 students were here. They sold out.
You have to kick off with confetti, right?
Chris Tomlin
Louie faced away from us during the message, so I didn't get a picture of him. 

His main message was "How do I know if I've seen Jesus?"
  • It's not the cross, but your cross.
  • You know God was not a passive bystander at the cross; he was the instigator of the wrath.
  • You know God's wrath poured out on Christ obliterated our curse.
  • You know your past is gone.
  • We see we are crushed by God's grace.
When he was done speaking, Hillsong United came out and did a worship set. I love Hillsong. After that, we got a taxi and headed back to the hotel at around 1 am.

The next morning came sooner than I wanted. We were back at the center by 8 to get seats for the 9:30 session. It started with Crowder and he was amazing. Then Shelley Giglio came out and introduced some special guests.

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the creators of "The Bible" series.
Jesus was there too.
After they spoke to us and encouraged us to see their new movie Son of God, it was Francis Chan's turn.
I love Francis Chan.
Chan is one of my favorite speakers. I heard him at a DNOW I went to several years back. We went to a conference and he and Kristian Stanfill were both there.

He spoke on the fact that no one is more godly than anyone else. Everyone is at the exact same level.

Beth Moore
Beth Moore talked about time. She spoke on living the dash between birth and death. She spoke on how time is getting anxious for the coming of Christ.

The curator of the American Bible Society
I don't know how to spell her name, but it sounds like Dr. Leona Lupus. She's a little, old western European lady. She brought the first Bible printed in America. It's in an extinct Native American language. They wouldn't tell us how she got it to Houston.

Genesis in the Native American language
I bought every book except for Beth Moore's. It was hardback and I didn't want to carry it. So far, I've read the blue one and am working on the colorful one.
I'm definitely going back next year.