The Accident-May 24th, 2017

5 days ago marked the one-year anniversary of my little sister’s first accident.

It was a typical Sunday, and my sister and I decided we wanted to have a short horseback ride. That ride ended with my sister on the ground, the horse back at his barn where he had escaped to, and the rest of my family and I severely frightened. When I came around the corner of the house to see the horse nowhere in sight and my little sister lying on the driveway, still–I was completely frightened. I didn’t know what to do.

The thoughts that came into my head as I leaned over her were covered in fear. What could I do? I wish it could’ve been me who had been thrown off, not her. Why couldn’t it have been me? Did she have broken bones? Had her spine, neck, or head been injured? Would she ever be the same again? It didn’t look good. Her face was covered in scratches and consequently, blood. There was some blood on her clothes too. It seemed to take ages for the ambulance to arrive and then they called for a helicopter to boot. What was I supposed to think when they thought she needed a care flight to a hospital that specializes in head injuries? I can assure you, I was scared.

I was breathing much easier about 5 hours later when I had learned that my little sister was going to be alright. She didn’t need any stitches. She didn’t have any broken or fractured bones. She was just scratched up and sore all over. Though I was not too keen on the idea of leaving my little sister for a whole month after just under a week of recovery, I was delighted and relieved to know that she was going to be alright. She was going to heal just fine. She was well enough to accompany me to STEP to drop me off for that month away from home–that itself gave me peace that she was truly alright.

Looking back, the accident seems like such a minor mishap. Yes, it did frighten me at the time. At the time I was afraid that I might loose one of my sisters. Scarier things have happened since that scary day in May 2016. But remembering that day and the emotions that filled it reminds me of what a powerful and amazing God I serve. He gave my family and I the peace (though we hardly saw it in the moment, I see it looking back), courage, and strength to press on and trust Him even when the situation appeared to be dire. Though I would much rather have been the one injured in my sister’s place or sometimes even that the event had not happened at all, God still used it. It was through that accident that He reminded me of the importance of my relationship with my little sister. Through it all, He reminded me that life is indeed short. There is indeed a possibility that my sister might die before my eyes when I am yet a teenager. Life is indeed important, and therefore it is important to make the most of it. To make the most of the time we have on this earth, every moment, to make wise choices and invest in the lives of those around us, especially those we love.

God has given me His grace, His peace, His power, His understanding, and His shoulder to lean on through the rough patches. He has reminded me of the importance of life and that time is short. Do not live like there is going to be many more years in your life and in the lives of those around you–live like there is no tomorrow and do not put off the important things till tomorrow when you can do them today.

Psalm 34:4, 8 “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears….O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

Saturday, June 25th, 2016/First Day Home

I got home from STEP last night. Just thinking about that fills me with awe and sadness. Awe because it is finally over after a month of thinking about being home again and being able to sleep in again. But sadness because I’m already missing my team–some of which just left the dorm a little while ago to go catch their plane home [judging by the time I knew they were leaving STEP, not because I am there with them]. Even if I don’t go to STEP Advanced or leadership next year, I’d like to still go to ALERT Academy to visit those that are going through Advanced in 2017. I may actually miss the busy, hardly flexible, schedule [at STEP]. I’ll have to recruit help to get my personal schedule to have some strict guidelines so things get done in a timely manner.

When I was about to go home I was thinking in regard to keeping my sleeping schedule and exercising habits, that I would not. Maybe I would get at least a few more hours sleep daily, maybe sleep in till 7am weekdays. Exercise, I hadn’t thought a lot about, but I figured every other day or not very serious workouts. But now I’m thinking I want to keep as much the same as possible. I’m going to email my buddies and see what they think. Maybe try the same sleeping hours, but if I sleep in, I’ll get up at 6am instead of 5am. Exercise is harder, but every day is important, so even if it is a little smaller than what Emma had us do, at least I’m still doing something. It won’t be easy to keep it up, but I need to try. I guess I should speak with Jess and get ideas from what she did and what she thinks.

Yesterday was more laid back. We had our game PT, then group devotions in the group room at 8am. Then we had time for packing, choir and our last devotion with Chaplain Burch. Then lunch, the dorm cleaning, and more packing. Then dining hall at 3:45 for choir practice and we did that till graduation ceremony at 5pm. I actually didn’t cry the whole night. I thought I was going to, but I didn’t. A few girls were. It was a good ceremony–we weren’t too off when singing or saying verses. The video and pictures were fun–Megan did an awesome job. I’m looking forward to seeing people at church. I’m hoping that through the month I’ve also learned how to stay awake in sermons. 😉 [You would think that I’d have plenty of practice of staying awake when I’m tired, and there isn’t any way I’d be more tired on a regular Sunday morning at home than a day at STEP, right? ;)]

I love home. The high grass is swishing in the wind, the breeze is coming over the front porch, and the birds are chirping. [It is good to be home].

Lord, your creation is beautiful. Thank You.

Friday, June 24th, 2016 Day 28: Last Day

Dear Lord,

I thank you for this month at STEP–for the lessons it has taught us, the friends it has brought us, and the challenges it has taught us to overcome. For we are overcomers in Christ. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s emotional, it’s painful, but it’s also encouraging, it’s a month full of accomplishments, [it’s the best month of my life]. This past month has been one of the longest in my life (so it feels) and also the most accomplished. It may later down the road not be so huge [than it is right now], but I will never forget this long and hard yet delightful experience called STEP. Lord, please be with those who have yet to finish their last few verses. Please give them the strength, willpower, and brain power to persevere and finish strong. Help us all to be encouragers today.

Please help us to carry home what we learned this month–please help us to not throw this experience away, but to put what we learned into practice. Help me to have the courage to get the help I need so that I stay on track [once I’m home].

Thank You, Lord,

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 Day 27

Time has been very short for journaling lately. I’ve been exerting myself in memorizing the verses because I was like 4 days behind–now today is Thursday, Day 4 of Week 4 and I only have day 3 & 4, wk 4 left to memorize. So I’m getting there. I think I said week 3, day 5 & week 4, day 1 & 2 all yesterday. I had some time because Tabitha let me do verses instead of evening cleaning (dining hall duty), I was very grateful. We practiced choir after dinner and such. Some people have almost passed out after heavily exerting themselves in the sun and now standing on the risers for an hour or more. I was exhausted. And still am. I look forward to being home, sleeping in, getting back to Pistachio, the Gregorys, and those good things at home. I almost said “back to my daily routine” but I don’t want to because is was corrupt [I was wasting a lot of my time before I left for STEP]–I want a clean, God-honoring daily routine. Even though I’m exhausted and I feel energy-less I figure that I can last today and one more day. It’s just almost over. I want to make the most of this time but it’s hard. And Lord, you’ll have to work a miracle–I think our race this morning is the 3K. Protect us all. Oh, today is Ashley’s birthday, so our bathroom mates decorated both our bedroom and the bathroom for her. It’s beautiful. 🙂

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 Day 26

Today was STEP Olympics. We started with PT (we got to sleep in till 5:30am and had devotions after breakfast) and our PT was gym things that colors raced or competed in (IS relay races, etc.). Advanced won 1st and we got 2nd. We did running, running backward, 3-legged, crabwalk, and other such activities. Then after personal devotions about 9am we had devotion in the auditorium with Emma about running the race with endurance. Then we went to the low ropes course. We did fairly good, but I don’t think we won. I think red did. Then lunch. Then water Olympics: don’t let the leader get wet, sink the leaders’ canoe, synchronized swimming, then swim the canoe around the buoy and back and now we’re just swimming. Or they are–I’m not, obviously. But we won the synchronized swimming [which I’m sure really looked like a ridiculous water dance ;)] and the sink your leader and going around the buoy. The buoy one we beat one team by 2 seconds at 2:12 (minutes:seconds). We got a medal for the sinking and for synchronized swimming–we did one fo Rosi’s Irish sword dances in the water basically–we won because we were the most synchronized [not necessarily because our dance was the prettiest ;)]. Oh, and we have the one mile run tomorrow [where we see how much our time improved since the first run at the start of camp].

Louie Giglio Notes 6-21-16

Our Heavenly Father Pt. 2~ Louie Giglio

There is a common thing between people. We want our fathers’ blessing. 4 ways we hear or feel that blessing…

  1. Hear “I love you” regularly and with actions
  2. Approval as you are
  3. Active participation of dad in my world
  4. Spoken belief that I can do what I set out to do

1 John 3:1~ He redeemed and restored us

God isn’t a bigger dad, He is a perfect God. God is not the reflection of our earthly father, but the perfection of him. God’s motives are always pure. You don’t have to shipwreck your life for His attention because He is already looking. He will never turn His back on you.

More Notes from Louie Giglio:

Our thinking is formed by our environment and past and that influence impacts what we paint on the canvas of our view of God’s character. Everything in life finds its destination in Christ. A father’s image is so important because that is how God relates to us. So the enemy targets fathers, making it harder for them and all are affected by their dads–by what they did and didn’t do. SO some people don’t want God as their father because their father wasn’t what they needed/wanted–because of what he did or didn’t do. But God isn’t just a bigger dad–but a perfect dad. God can restore and rebuild the image we have of our Father.

Ps 27: 10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”

Ps 68:4-6 “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LordA father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing;…”

You have to look through the cross when seeing the Father for that is where you see that they (Father and Son) love you. We need to view our parents as people as well as parents. If they’re messing up, it could be a result of how they were raised.

Matt Redman Testimony:

His biological father committed suicide when he was about 7. Then his stepfather went to jail for physical abuse. Despite these two broken father-son relationships and broken trust, God has brought healing to Matt and given him the strength to break the chains and give a father’s blessing to his own children.

God as our Father says: Ps 139:15-16, 17-18; 1 John 4:16, 1 John 3:1, Matt 7:11, Matt 5:48, James 1:17, Matt 6:31-33, Is 43:6-7, Rev 21:3-4, John 17:23, Rom 8:31, 1 John 3:16, Is 61:3,1; 1 Chron 29:11

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 Day 25

Trying to make the most of STEP, treasure the last moments with my friends and spend more time with them. But at the same time work on verses I’m behind in and also write notes to everybody–not easy, but possible, I think.

Monday, June 20th, 2016 Day 24

Morning Devotion:

I want this last week to really count for something. I’m trying to write notes to every girl before I leave.

After PT, 6:51am:

Wow, so I wanted to really push myself to keep up with PT and all that happens this week. I didn’t quite make it. Emma took our group for a run–there was no walking till the end. It was a 3K run/1.8 miles. I probably went a mile straight before I stopped running. After that it was 10xs harder to start again because apparently, I’d already told myself mentally that at that spot where I’d stop, that I couldn’t run anymore. So when I did run it wasn’t very long because I told myself mentally I couldn’t. I did finish though and not too far behind, though I did cut some on the route–maybe an 1/8-1/4 mile. Already I’m imagining that if I do it again, for I may, that I can push myself to do the whole thing [without slowing to a walk].

Day classes: Survival skills, building a shelter [ours was the biggest out of all 4 teams, and maybe even the most waterproof], lashing, filleting fish, and butchering chickens.

Sunday, June 19th, 2016 Day 23

Today is Sunday. Mom, Dad, Heather, and Sam came to visit me for Father’s Day. It was a sweet time and I talked a lot. They came to church with me–Col. Tanner was speaking and then we went ant ate at East Texas Burger Co. (ETBC). It was pretty delicious. We pretty much only drove around after that–we went to see Lake Hawkins a little. Then we came back on campus and I showed them around a little. Dad hadn’t seen the lake so we went down there. Because they came to see me, my adrenaline was pumping and I was so happy. So after they left I lost my energy and was really tires. Now I’m back to the 5am-9pm schedule. One more week, I can make it. BTW, I forgot to mention, Saturday night was movie night–Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 🙂 ❤ Two facts I learned Sunday. 1) Jess can’t come to my graduation–she’ll be home Thursday-Saturday morning for a wrist chiropractor appointment but then she has to go back to her place and 2) I have a kitten at home now–Pistachio. He is a tannish/pinkish and very fluffy. I can’t wait to meet him. Oh, and Sam told me that her knee will take 2 1/2 months to heal [from the horse accident]–she basically has a giant blister inside her kneecap. Ouch!

Louie Giglio Notes 6-19-16

Seeing God as a Perfect Father~ Louie Giglio

It is possible to be in a relationship with the Father. Gal 4:4

The term Father helps us to picture a God that we can embrace. “Father” covers all His characteristics so we can embrace Him. Jesus modeled the “Father-Son” relationship, He taught “Father-Son” relationships. He gave Himself so we could become a full sons or daughters of God and receive our full inheritance.