Thursday, September 25, 2014

The End

     I know that I have been silent on this blog now for quite some time; mostly due to the extreme business of my schedule.
     After finishing last school year at the Academy, I got the extreme privilege of traveling with the Eastern summer drama team from the Academy for 2 1/2 months! We performed the play, "Wondrous Love," which is about the lives of several hymn writers, and presented the Gospel in 38 churches over the course of the summer! Then after a very busy two weeks at home in Indiana, I am once again an intern, and am finishing up my degree.
     I would promise to post more often, but I would be lying because I know that at this point in my life, I simply don't have time for it. This year, we interns have our own classes and homework to manage, as well as five major productions here at the theater that we will all be in/help run, one of which (The Venture of 1620) that we will be rehearsing and then taking to Plymouth, Massachusetts to perform over Thanksgiving! Next semester, we will also be going to different schools and homeschool groups all over the east and south, and midwest areas, teaching and running school productions! Oh the awesome life I lead!
     However, I miss blogging and writing so dearly! So I don't want to abandon it. My plans regarding this blog are as follows: I have changed so much in the last year and a half, and have really started a new phase in my life, so I plan on starting a new blog. I am going to begin work on this soon, and will even begin working on posts, but I don't plan on publishing the blog/beginning to post until late next semester, or even after the school year.
     I plan on starting the blog with a series of posts that will tell my story. Not because I want people to think that I am "all that," or that I am the end all, of life, but because I have recently felt led to share certain parts of my story, in hopes that it might be an encouragement to others. My life has been a rather unique adventure and only becomes more so, by the minute, and because of my love for writing, I think that this just might be the best platform for me to share it!
     So, I hope that when I make the move (cyber-ly-speaking) to my upcoming blog, I hope that you will join me, even though it will be a little bit of a wait. In the mean time, would you pray for me? Pray for all of us with the Academy, for effective ministry, and for strength and good health as we try to accomplish all that we have planned for this year, and pray for me that I would grow and learn even more to trust and rely on Him. Also that I would have wisdom and clear leading regarding decisions for next year.
Thank you friends! I bid you all a very fond farewell. 
For now.... ;)   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hope: Found in Purpose

My normal, is not like everyone else's normal. It used to be. Sort of. But then again, "normal" has always been a relative term for me. 
Being at the Academy changes your prospective on life. Slowly at first, and oh so subtly that you almost don't even realize it until it's already done.
I have no regrets though.
This year has been a whirlwind, and as I look back at the six major productions I was a part of, including The Lion, The Which, and The Wardrobe (which I can with confidence say, was epic in both scale and outcome), then the collective nine weeks of being on the road at different schools teaching drama seminars, finishing with our intern production of The Lions of Trondheim, the only thing I really see,
 is Christ.
Narnia: The Lion, The Which, and The Wardrobe, Feb. 2014
I've spent years waiting for life to begin, so to speak, and now I can see that it has.
The path He has led me down to get to where I am now is not something I would have chosen for myself.
 There are a lot of things that I would not have had to go through if we lived in a perfect world. Some things self-inflicted, some things out of my control, but all in His hands.
While, I may not like it, for whatever reason, I now have these things as experiences that I can draw from to share with others. Why?
I'm still standing. You can too.
My first seminar team, April 2014
 It has taken me a long time to figure this out, but for a Christian, the secret to being happy is found first in loving Christ above all else, and secondly in marrying the great commission (Mark 16:15), with the talents and hobbies he has given you.
It's that simple, and that hard.
It's hard because anything, and everything is going to fight you, even those that you thought would be on your side. Even those who should be on your side. It's simple because it's open ended, and He will make the path quite clear in His timing. You just have to follow it.
At least for now, He has made a way for me to combine the two things that are special to me: my love for people, and theater. The point of both being to take the gospel to every corner. Even the American corners, which are so often forgotten. He has even blessed me beyond that by giving me very dear, like-minded people to serve alongside!
There is no other path I would rather choose.
Me as "Widow Froyland" in The Lions of Trondheim

He'll take you on an adventure, if you let Him.
"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him." -Jim Elliot

He has for me, and thankfully He's not done yet.
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Excellent Over Good

     Have you ever had a moment where you learn something, and you think to yourself, "Ok, this is hard, but I understand it better now." And then after a while, maybe even quite a while, you recall that moment, and then think to yourself, "I'm clueless." Yeah, that's pretty much my life.

SkyTop Orchard - October
     I was looking over old posts today and saw a reoccurring theme, that has yet to go away. I need to learn how to trust Him with my future. I don't like to move on, because I don't see how anything else can be better, or even good, but every time I move on when He leads me too, I am blown away by how the "good" I had wasn't as good as I thought, and how much better His way really is. I have learned this lesson over and over, and it will probably always be something I have to learn because just like Aslan and Lucy, as I grow bigger, so does He.

Sunday Afternoon! 
    I never thought that I would be where I'm now. I don't think anyone else did either. Much to everyone else's chagrin I have never seen a purpose in going to college, because He had never approved it. I didn't know that at the time, I just thought it was my own fear and indecisiveness that kept me from doing something, but now I see that it was all His timing. I first heard about the Academy just a few weeks before I returned to the U.S., when I needed somewhere to go, and for the first time ever, after only a couple of days of thinking about it, I was sold on the idea and ready to be there, even though I knew next to nothing about it. It just didn't feel wrong, like everything else did.

The Logos production of "Hero"
When it came time to actually go to the Academy, I was afraid again because I didn't know anyone there, and I was/am ready to leave home because home isn't really home anymore, but in my mind going back means failing, so if I took the first step, I couldn't go back. But now I don't want to.
     It would take a lifetime to explain the Academy, but it is everything I have ever wanted, but didn't know how to put into words. The ability to use theatre as a one on one ministry with kids, is something that I never knew how to combine before, but it's what I wanted long before I even knew the Academy existed. 

The Logos production of "Sounds of Christmas"
The best part though, is the people. I think I know how to explain them even less. I have never known people who truly live out their walk with God minute by minute, day by day, quite the way these people do. They aren't perfect, but they choose to set aside things that might even be good, for things that are excellent instead, and not just on Sundays. If you don't know what that's like, I don't know how to tell you. It's something you have to see for yourself. It's something that I knew should be real, but hadn't seen up close before.  
     People think that being alone is just based on the number of people who are in a room with you, but its not. Alone is a mental state that goes far beyond that, and it can't be remedied by anything you do, but only by what Christ can do. 

The Academy of Arts staff/intern Christmas party
He can take someone broken. Someone who was born with alone-ness in their head. Someone who's fear is mostly of themselves. Someone who hurts when things are happy because it can't be real. Someone like me. A misfit if ever there was one, but He can even use me. I have always been the crazy one, but I just might have found my crazy clan, and for some reason, they seem to like me too, despite myself.
     The Academy is a family where faith in Christ, and talents are combined. No matter who you are, you can do something, and if you're good at something, it can be used. All to the glory of Him who loved us first.  
It doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hope {A Summer of Not-Really-Alone}

Summertime is always my favorite time of year, because of the warm weather, the free time, and the available-time that my friends have. Who can resist things like ice cream, fireworks, concerts, pool time, ferris wheel lights from across the midway, sweet tea, watermelon, and the promise of adventures.

Me and Melissa, last day in England.
However, this summer of 2013 has definitely been a challenge and an inner growth-spurt. Everybody has struggles and conflict, both with friends and family, and with themselves, but the real trial is when they all happen at once, and it feels like strangulation. While there are some aspects of this summer that have flown by, it also seems like it has dragged on for a year. 

Melissa, Me, Heather, and Rebecca, The Color Run 5k.
Things like re-adjusting to life in the U.S., strained friendships, soon to be divorced parents, the balance between showing respect to my family and showing them that I am a separate person with a separate life, prep for the new school that I leave for on Saturday, letting go of my un-related family yet again as we head in different directions for school and life, and the weight and guilt from my corrupt heart: wanting to fall in love with Jesus but always choosing myself first.       

Me and Stephanie, birthday dinner/movie date,
Growing up to be a crazy, has given me a heart of rubber, it's flexible and can take pressure, but it's really hard to make it permanently change shape. Therefore, I can take these things without breaking, but if you don't break, you don't change. It all boils down to where I stand with Christ.
A lovely fellow blogger Michaela, recently shared a quote that made me think about my perspective on struggles.

"I've learned to kiss the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages."
-Charles Spurgeon

Holly and I, Christian concert day at the State Fair,
The purpose of any struggle is not to make it through, but to make it through, changed.
Trials are meant to lead us to Christ.
As Christian's we should have an infinite hope that cannot be snuffed out. Not a worldly hope that is nothing more than wishful thinking, but true hope that is based on a future we can be certain of.  

Rachel, Jessica, Natalie, and I, birthday lunch for Jessica's 18th,

I want to have that hope fill my life and run over. I know that it is real and powerful, but at the same time I am still a pessimistic, and rather doubtful person, but He's still not done with me.
This summer has been rather dark for me at times, but as you can see from the pictures, it wasn't all bad.  It never is.

Holly, Kendra, Rebecca, Me, and Melissa, friend photo shoot,
I face the lie of "you're alone and you're a burden" all the time, but it is just that. A lie. And no matter what happens in my life I can cling to a hope that is bigger than me. It's there for the taking, which is more easily said than done, but that is what the trials are for. To make me abandon myself.

"Hope is what we crave, and that will never change,
So I stand and wait,
I need a drop of grace to carry me today,
A simple song to say,
Hope is what we crave,
I need a drop of grace,
It's written on my soul:
Hope's what you gave."
-Crave - single version, For King And Country
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