Saturday, November 7, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Really though, I am sure you are wondering. WHAT HAPPENED. Well, every Wednesday Dad meets with 3 other men and they discuss all the world's problems over breakfast. That is at least what it seems like they do. You know... they talk about things crazy things that happened to them through out the week. Usually Dad comes back sharing some story about raccoons or just random guy things. I love hearing the stories. For those who know my Dad, you know that he is the MASTER of telling stories. He can put me to shame, it is no task for him to keep an entire room captivated one moment and laughing the next. Maybe that is why he's been such a success as a teacher. :) (This is his 32nd year. Wow. Most would say that is a HUGE accomplishment, but he just plays it off and says the accomplishment is in the fact that he can now refer to himself as the old fat bald guy at the end of the hall) Gotta love Daddy-o.
Back to the story. (Tangents are my thing) ANYWAYS... Dad always goes to breakfast BEFORE school on Wednesdays so it ends up being pretty early. He drags himself out of bed and grants himself an extra cup of coffee. This would seem quite normal right. Except for the fact that this lovely day, Dad accidentally forgot to turn the alarm off. Therefore... Mom could not sleep. This was the big no no.
Now most of us have probably experienced a situation similar to this. There is nothing more annoying than someone else's alarm waking you up. But even worse than this, Mom couldn't figure out how to shut it off. Aggravated, she called Dad's cell phone to try and stop the problem. He didn't answer. Mom left a voicemail and was all upset. After a while, it went off again, and Mom called Dad a second time. This time her message was short: "It's going off again!"
Here's where the story really starts to take on some humor. Mom can't sleep and decides she's just going to get up and go downstairs. Plopped right there on the kitchen table was the best possible welcome present. Dad's phone. So as a means of getting her point across, Mom hid his phone in the living room and stashed away the chocolate. :) You can tell its getting serious when the chocolate gets put away.
For me, the humor came in the fact that all day Mom cooled off about the whole situation, Dad came home and was super sorry. He listened to the messages while we were at the kitchen table, and we all smiled as he saved the last message. "It's going off again."
So when my parents read this on my blog I know they will say: "I can't believe you put that on there." There is however, a point to all of this. At first the story can seem like a funny glimpse into our lives, but the phrase is what has been stealing the show in my life.
I have been home for 16 days now. A fantastic break. I have been busy doing quite a bit of shopping with Mom... I've had reunions/good bye get togethers with friends here at home, and of course, I've spent a little time at the lake. This time has also given me a chance to get ready for school. In my last post, I talked about how this summer I learned a lot about relying on God for EVERYTHING. What does it mean to talk with Him all throughout the day and see life through His eyes. Time and time again I find myself saying this phrase: "I hate change." It is the truth. I am a girl who loves getting into the routine. I love adventures, but still, I like to know what is happening.
The count down is now one week until I head off to school. I am going to be a Junior which sounds CRAZY coming out of my mouth. Now I love school and shoot this is my third year so I know what to expect. So you can imagine... I was quite surprised when one day this week I found myself getting nervous about school. I can understand the nerves when you are going to be a Freshman but I didn't expect that now. I am established at school. But it was through the whole alarm going off story, and that simple phrase that it finally clicked for me. I have just experienced a summer of life change. I feel close with God, and His peace has helped me be more chill and slow down a little.
Why then a sense of worry about returning to school? You would think I would be EXCITED to return and share stories from this summer. Don't get me wrong... I am excited to see everyone. :) I think it is because last time I was at school, I was a different person. Last year I often felt like I was in a race, trying to keep everything organized and under control. I had to give 100% at softball and I had to get A's in each of my classes. HAD TO. But in the midst of all of this I seemed more like a chicken running around with its head cut off. I left the year tired and not satisfied with my accomplishments. This summer was a summer of breaking me down and everyday letting God show me how I could be in the midst of a jam-packed schedule, constantly have questions flying at me, work a 17 hour day with teenagers, and still be calm. WOW.
This time.... I want to go to school and let God lead. That doesn't mean I am going to forget about grades and no longer push myself. It simply means, I am going to take a little of my own medicine and remind myself of my favorite phrase:
"God's God It."
Moral of the story.... BOTH Christi and I have heard before that we should write a book about our family. On days like these, I realize a book would be a great dream, but I am just not so sure it could capture it all. Instead, I'm thinking a reality TV show. Who doesn't want to get the inside scoop w. the Church's. :D Maybe we could call it:
"It's Going Off Again."
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday marked the completion of my first week of YouthWorks! programming in Lincoln County. WOW! It was amazing. On Sunday right before they came I was SUPER nervous but right away I connected. Some girls liked High School Musical so I KNEW I was in. :)
Sunday night went really well with Orientation and CLUB. The best part was when Lindsay and I wore beards and came out to introduce ourselves and Lincoln County. Mark has a HUGE beard so it was just funny to see us acting like him. I said to everyone, “Welcome to Lincoln County!” and then Linds goes, “Home of Abraham Lincoln!” I stopped and just went…. “No its NOT!” It was HILARIOUS, and I knew…. It was going to be a great week.
All the rest of the nights, the CLUB’s just seemed to get better and better. I was truly amazed to see God work through me. It’s hard to put it into words. My experiences and my willingness to share myself TOTALLY paid off. Through out the week I had more and more teens approach me and talk about what God was doing. There were times when I didn’t know what to say, but I tried, and I felt like that was all God was asking me to do. Take myself out of the picture and let Him work.
On Thursday, we had our final CLUB, and being up front facing the teens, I had to fight off tears. God had allowed me to get to know so many of them, and I knew that they were going to leave changed. WOW! We then did a foot washing service all to empower them to return home and serve others in their communities. I just could not thank God enough for the ways that He showed up and gave me the courage to be bold in my statements.
The teens left of Friday morning and all I was thinking was…. How can I do this week after week? This group was so great… How can we repeat? I guess that will be the challenge… we have another group coming in today. This time they are families so the programming will look a little different. I am excited to see how although the format is going to be new, God is still going to show up.
After the teens left, we all went to my new favorite place… M&R Restaurant. This is where the story began.
Our first time in there, Lindsay asked about the special…. “What exactly is in Chicken & Gumbo?”
Mark piped in, “Chicken….. and Gumbo.” The waitress thought this was a hoot! Her laugh filled the entire tiny restaurant.
So, she thought about the question and said, “Well… Chicken…. And Gumbo.” Again her laugh exploded. :) Then she says, “Hold on, let me ask.”
NO JOKE… she turns right where she is standing, and yells into the kitchen. “What’s in the Chicken and Gumbo?” The cook in the back hollers out, “Chicken and Gumbo.”
At this point we were dying. Finally, the cook just brings some out to us to taste saying, “Just try it cause that’s WAY easier than explaining.” The experience was something else and for all these reasons, M&R Restaurant has a spot in my heart.
Now this phrase has a whole new meaning. “Chicken & Gumbo.” :)
The pictures are of this past weeks group, and of course, M&R Restaurant.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Training was fun because I was met a lot of people and just got a chance to learn about the summer to come. One of my friends I made, Stockton, was SO sweet. She's from North Carolina so her accent was the cutest thing EVER! I was practicing all week and basically stopped everything to listen when she was talking. She's going to be in Niagara Falls this summer so I think it will be awesome for the teens when they come and hear her. It was just awesome because even though I wasn't feeling well, we were able to have fun, laugh a lot, and I was blessed by her amazing heart.
Finally on Friday, I was still sick. Saltines and applesauce weren't cutting it SO I headed to the ER. After 2 IV's, watching the Lakers make it into the NBA finals, and having a little alone time for the first time all week, they sent me back to play the waiting again. I had been dehydrated though so I was feeling a lot better to just get some fluid in me again. So Saturday morning at 1:00 I left the hospital and by 8:00 the next day my team and I were driving down to where I'm currently at. Hamlin, West Virginia.
Although I wasn't feeling too well let me tell you.... IT IS BEAUTIFUL DOWN HERE! I never knew I was such a country girl but I am just LOVING it! :D
Well on Saturday night we pulled in to our new home, the Hamlin Fire Hall. It is the old elementary school and we came in on BINGO night. Every Thursday and Saturday night they fill the cafeteria for BINGO so it was fun to see community members right from the start. We met Joe who is a fire fighter really taking care of us, and he showed us all around. When we arrived there was a Tornado Warning (I know Mom~ "low levels of rotation") and Joe mentioned that the roof needed a little repair. We headed into the "girls sleeping room" and saw that water was coming out of the light and all down one wall. WOW! At first I was really overwhelmed by our site but now that we have attacked it with bleach water and scrubbed like its nobody's business, things are looking better. We have been really working on drying it all out and killing the mold but thankfully we have the rest of this week to prep, and then an additional week right before the teens come.
Sunday started with us heading out to the Trinity United Methodist Church. There are 2 Methodist Churches here in the small town of Hamlin. Population is 1100 but down the road there's Central Methodist and Trinity United. The Pastor is the same for both and when we met her she said that she drives from her house to Central, then directly to Trinity and then home and her odometer doesn't even read 1/2 mile. :) I loved it. Down here everyone is familiar with YouthWorks so we are automatically accepted. It was so fun because it seemed like immediately I had gained a whole slew of Grandparents. It was May 31st that day, the last Sunday of the month which is apparently when they celebrate the May birthdays. So on the 1st Sunday being in West Virginia, I ended up getting sung Happy Birthday to in the front of the Church. SO... they know how to win me over I guess. :D
Monday was GREAT too! I was feeling a lot better and it was time to get rolling with our massive checklist. Well I called my first community contacts Duane and Michael Midkiff. They are AMAZING! I don't have time to talk all about it but Michael is a "Clogger" and he will be leading our Monday night activity with the youth. We headed to see one of his practices and he taught us a routine. Yeah... that's right. I am now an official WV Clogger. :)
After clogging practice we headed to the Midkiff Hollow and met Duane and the boys Mother. This woman truly has a heart of gold. We had pizza around the bon fire and got to hear about how Duane like carving walking sticks. Who knew it but pretty soon Duane came out of his house with handcarved walking sticks for each of us. I was blown away. They are BEAUTIFUL! I took a picture so I'll try to get it up soon. It is awesome! I told him my Dad would be jealous but I'd hold onto it really tight. :D
Well It's time to get back to the checklist. We have to work really hard right now and then we will be heading to Logan, WV for a practice week with teens. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer. If I've been learning anything down here so far, it is to enjoy life's little blessings.
OHH!!! And John set up our address to receive mail. And if you know me, you KNOW how much I love snail mail. At school I'm pretty sure I check my mail 2-3 times a day... Just in case. :)
So here it is~ You can just put
Haley Church in care of YouthWorks
P.O. Box 612
Hamlin, WV 25523
In my devotions I read these verses and although they have been some of my favorite, I remembered just how much I love them:
"I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;"