Tuesday, June 28, 2011

my friend Sara

Hello dear friends. I would like to introduce you to my friend Sara. She is beginning a new journey with Camp All American this fall, and the Lord is going to be doing great things! Check her out:

SaraSamchok goes to CAMP! from Audra Starr on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

things I love about today

  1. Running in the rain
  2. Running period
  3. Driving my mom's car (it's cooler than mine)
  4. Catching up with old friends
  5. Starbucks on every corner
  6. Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
  7. Hugs...good, long, warm hugs
  8. Scrapbooking with my mom
  9. Laughing with my sister
  10. A high on life feeling after Zumba class
  11. Uneven gratitude lists like this one
  12. Waking up to the sound of a thunderstorm outside my window
  13. Not having all the answers
  14. Nostalgia
  15. Spaghetti and meatballs
  16. Bonding over first year teaching experiences
  17. Looking forward to Athens this weekend... :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Martin

One of the greatests joys in life is the privilege of watching your friends move into new life stages as they begin new journeys and write new stories. My dear friend, Katie Snell, married the love of her life, Cory Martin and subsequently became Mrs. Martin on June 11 in Savannah, Georgia. The wedding ceremony was short and sweet; my favorite part was seeing the sheer giddiness and joy on both of their faces as they said their vows and committed to love one another before God, family and friends. Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Martin! May the Lord bless your new journey together.

A beautiful wedding party, if I do say so myself.

Sheer joy.

Mmmmm...

Friends since freshman year!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

summer nights

Last night, my mom and I watched her favorite movie, The Preacher's Wife, outside in our sunroom. I loved watching this movie with her for the umpteenth time and noticing new details. What I also loved was watching the fireflies in the trees in our backyard. Our Lord does, indeed, care about the little things.

Please pray for this family

Sadly, this young man was my uncle's nephew. I never met him and do not know his parents well, but they are in a world of pain. Please pray for their family, who is deeply hurt right now.

Family, police chief remember 21-year-old who drowned in Lake Mu - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Thursday, June 16, 2011

community

Community is so important to me. I am not sure if I have written about it as much as I have thought about it, but community is one of those things that I simply could not live without. Now that I have lived in Chihuahua for almost one year (hard to believe, I know) I am constantly reminded of the relational blessings the Lord has poured out on me. 

My church, Calvary Chapel Chihuahua/Capilla Calvario Chihuahua has been a safe haven and place of refuge for me since October. Our fellowship is very unique. We are a bilingual church, meaning that 99% of what we do is in Spanish and English. The people of my church hail from various backgrounds and life experiences; there are lawyers, Tarahumaras, hairdressers, teachers, and businessmen. And yet we have one thing in common: the love of Jesus Christ. We love Him and we love one another. Our church is only two years old, but there has been constant growth. We just completed an expansion project a couple months ago, and more people are coming each Sunday to hear the word of God preached, verse by verse

I love my church because I love the community I have found there. People who love and accept me for who I am. A community dedicated to reaching our city.  There are a plethora of opportunities to serve our city and love on others outside of our fellowship. The people of our fellowship are genuine and kind. For these reasons and so many more, I give thanks to God for Calvary Chapel Chihuahua.


Everyone dressed up for Pastor Sean's 40th birthday.



On Sunday, June 5th, 12 people, young and old, were baptized. The afternoon was a beautiful celebration of God's goodness to us and was filled with fun and fellowship amongst friends. 


Pastor Sean and Pastor Chris baptize Rafa, one of my favorite greeters.

Marcos translates before Sean baptizes Andrea,  our translator in women's ministry.

Marcos baptizes his sweet little niece, who is a new believer.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"this is so good"

On Thursday, I flew into ATL and met my beautiful family in the airport. My travels to ATL from El Paso were perfect. The only problem came when we waited for my suitcase for an hour. :( After that, we headed to the mecca Chick-fil-A, and even though they were out of honey roasted BBQ sauce, I was able to enjoy some delicious nuggets, waffle fries, and sweet tea. 

Friday was met with a smile when I woke up around 9:30. After bumming around the house and packing up my things, I ran a couple errands, and then my best friend/college roomie Kai came to get me, and we were Savannah-bound. While the traffic was intense (we are in Atlanta), we made it to Savannah that evening and reunited with our friend and my twin Jessica Summers, who is in med school at Mercer University in Savannah. After catching up for a while and walking on the pier in her gorgeous apartment complex, we went to bed and slept quite peacefully in anticipation of the beach the next morning.

Saturday morning, we left for the beach around 10:30 and were on the beach by 11:00 AM. We staked out the perfect spot and set to work. We did, in fact, have a mission. Kai's goal was to sleep. Mine was to read. Jessica's goal was to study for her final. All of these goals were met. There is something so delightfully simple yet calming about being with friends by just being. On Saturday, we snacked, read, and chatted with one another, but we were mostly each in our own little world, taking in the sights and scents of the day. The salty scent of the ocean air and the feel of the sand between our toes was almost too good. Add to that the waves and the warm water, and we were in heaven on earth. Our day was perfect. 

There were a few moments throughout the day where I thought to myself, "Wow. This is my life." Thankfulness welled up within me as I sat in my beach chair, dug my toes in the sand, and stared at the vast and wide ocean before me. All weekend long, there were moments where Kai just looked at me and would say, "This is good. This is so good." I could not agree more. 



 

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach."

-Henry Beston

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

to my girls

Dearest Jaci and Bri,

Congrats! You made it to your high school graduation! Now what? Everyone has been asking you all year long what you are going to do next. Are you going to college? Are you going to Bible school? What are you going to study? Where are you going to work? Where are you going to live? You don't have to know all the answers. You don't need to know what you are going to do with the rest of your life at this point. No one knows what she wants to do with the rest of her life. We just take things one day at a time, hand in hand with our Lord. 

No one tells you that being an "adult" is kind of a scary thing. No one tells you that you actually need structure and that your teachers and parents are actually kind of smart. Let me tell you, being an "adult" is kind of a scary thing. You need structure. And your teachers and parents are really smart.

When you finally spread your wings and leave your parents' home, you will miss them. You think that you won't, but inevitably, you will. You will miss their hugs and their affirmation and their wisdom. Cherish those things while you can. Cling to what is good and run from what is evil. Run from even the appearance of evil. Try not to learn lessons the hard way. Pray for wisdom, and the Lord will freely give it to you. Listen to wise counsel. Love with your whole heart. Dance like no one is watching you and sing loudly with all of your heart.

Know that you are beautiful. Know that you are loved. Know that you have everything inside of you in order to accomplish all you dream, but also know and recognize that the Lord has dreams for you that are far beyond anything you could ever imagine. His dreams are always so much grander than anything you could ever imagine with your little brain (no offense; I had to tell you the truth).  

I dearly love you. I am so proud of you. 

Love,

Jessica


Congrats Briana Faith Arnold!

Congrats Jaci Granger!

Monday, June 6, 2011

the cry of my heart

I need You more
More than yesterday
I need You Lord
More than words can say
I need You more
Than ever before
I need You Lord
I need You Lord

More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than the next heartbeat
More than anything
And Lord as time goes by
I'll be by Your side
Cause I never want to go back
To my old life

Right here in Your presence
Is where I belong
This old broken heart
Has finally found a home
And I'll never be alone

We give You the highest praise
We give You the highest praise
We give You the highest praise

I've been to the moutaintop!

Okay so I haven't really been to the mountaintop, but I came close. This past weekend some friends and I set out on an adventure to climb a mountain on the other side of town called Cerro Grande. On one side of the mountain lies a cross and the number 300 to commemorate the tricentennial celebration of the city of Chihuahua. We decided to climb up that side, and we almost made it to the top. Almost. The fact is that the mountain is quite rocky and steep. These things I did not realize. Thus, I took a little break with my friend Abraham and then we watched Tanya and Judit keep climbing. While we didn't make it to the very top, it was still a quite enjoyable time. Yes, my arms and quads and head hurt afterwards, but it was worth it. 

Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico




Tanya and Judit at the (almost) top.

Friday, June 3, 2011

hard things

I'm not going to lie, these past few weeks have been difficult and challenging. The Lord has been teaching me some hard things, and I keep having to remind myself that He disciplines those whom He loves. This past month or so has been such an emotional roller coaster. But the one thing that has kept me sane are these little nuggets of truth that the Lord keeps bringing before me. He is so good. He is faithful, and He is so worthy of my everything. I do not want to forget my first love. His love is everlasting, and His grace is sufficient for me. If grace is an ocean, I am truly sinking.

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
-Hebrews 4:14-16

I am so grateful to know that He knows how I feel. Sometimes I forget that, but I am so grateful to know that He knows exactly how I feel and that He allows me to come to Him just as I am

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

why I do what I do

This morning I almost cried as I read these words from a sweet student:

Miss Miller, 
You were the funest teacher I've had in years. You bring joy to me when I see you. I can't wait to have you next year! Thanks for being patient while teaching me. And for helping me understand the things I don't. Thanks for comforting me when I was frustrated. But most of thank you for being my teacher. May God Bless you over the summer. I'll miss you a lot. :) 

P.S. Have a great time with your friends and family in Georgia!
Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. :)
See you next school year!
I love you! 
BTITW Best teacher in the world

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