Thursday, August 19, 2010

Senior Year!

Okay, so it's official.  Yesterday was my first day of senior year.  It seems like I've been a senior for months.  Seriously, I walk down the halls feeling like I've been back in school forever, not just one day.  It's so weird.  

Anyways, many of you know how incredibly stressed I was ALL THE TIME last year.  Junior year was not kind to me in many ways.  I had to deal with not being able to play the sports I loved because of my SLOW healing heel and also with an intense course load.  I really don't know why junior year has to be so hard.  I wish they would just make the classes every year be moderately hard so junior year isn't such a terrible wake-up call.  And I know it's not just at my school.  It's nationwide.  Every single one of my friends who don't go to WHS agree completely.  Excuse my language, but at times last year, I felt like I was in a living Hell.  I had AP Chemistry, AP U.S. History, French 4 (which is the same class as French 5), Honors English (which is harder than AP at WHS), Choir, and Computer Applications, which was my one easy class.  I think there may have been 3 days throughout the year that I didn't have homework, and on those days, I still felt pressure to be reviewing for the AP tests.  Oh, and I stayed after almost every day for AP Chem.  I wouldn't have passed that class if our school wasn't blessed with such a sweet soul as Ms. K.  Picture the cutest old lady: white hair, glasses, teaches with her eyes closed, country accent... but also hilarious.  She has such bad language sometimes!  It's great.  :)  Hearing Ms. K drop the "F bomb" is one of the funniest things you will ever hear.  Ms. K stays after school to give help EVERY day, just because she strongly believes it's her duty as a teacher.  She is wonderful.  I wish there were more teachers out there like that.  And it's especially unique because she is a career changer... she retired from being a chemist to become a teacher, and was truly talented at both.  I love Ms. K.  She's one of my favorite teachers of all time.  

Anyways, I survived junior year and now have a MUCH easier senior year.  Thank goodness.  I have the classic senior schedule that looks great to colleges, but is in actuality a really easy course load.  I have one dual-enrollment class through the local community college and AP English, but the rest of my classes are a piece of cake.  I don't even have to be in school for 3rd period some days!  It's so weird coming home from XC practice and not being stressed out about finishing my homework.  I had time to watch TV tonight!  I NEVER watched TV last year (not counting my NCIS on Tuesday nights with my dad).  It's crazy how I can go from one polar opposite to the other.  

I'm just really excited to be a senior.  To be able to love on the younger students and show them that high school really isn't something to dread.  These have been hard years of my life, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I'm going to treasure this last year and make as many memories as possible, including a trip to Maine with my very best friend!!!!  
THIS is where we're going!
We are so excited.  I have a countdown going... 49 days!  I seriously can't wait!  We're flying up by ourselves and spending about 4 days in Maine with my "might as well be family."  It's my favorite place in the whole world and I can't wait for LB to finally be able to see the place I'm always talking about.  (The reason I even considered going up during the school year is because I wasn't able to go up this summer for the first time in my life.  It was really hard not to go up, so I figured out plans, bought plane tickets, and we're going up in Oct!)  It's going to be the best trip ever and will be such an awesome senior memory.  I'm not quite ready to graduate yet because there's too much I want to do this year and too much God wants me to do.  I'm just waiting to see His plan unfold into my senior year of highschool.  

I hope you all have a great night!  I'm sure I'll be up for a while... I had coffee at 8:00, and my body reacts to caffeine very effectively, so sleep isn't in my near future, I'm sure, haha :)  Well, that'll only give me some quality time with God and time to pleasure read (something I didn't get to do all summer because of my stupid AP English summer assignment).  

Thanks for reading!

YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made :)

Love,
Ky :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

From the Heart

At Campaigners tonight, my leader B gave us some time to read and journal about John 15:1-17.  I can definitely say it's some of the best and most vulnerable time I've spent with the Lord in a few weeks.  I've been very selfish in my thoughts and actions this past week, not wanting to serve others and wondering how much I really want to sacrifice my life to love younger girls... My thoughts went kind of like this, "I mean why should I? I'm a senior loving and showing Jesus to my classmates, no matter their age, and that just seems too hard sometimes." 

I was brought back to my senses today.  REALITY CHECK.  This next passage is what I wrote after meditating over John 15:1-17.  Haha, excuse the grammar :)

"What does it really mean to lay my life down for my friends?  With all my doubts about YL I have seen myself and felt myself become more selfish about my actions.  Jesus laid down his life for me, his friend, so why can't I bring myself to do that joyfully in  my day to day life?  Why do I forget that I'm a child of God?  I am supposed to do everything without complaining or arguing so that I may be blameless and pure, a child of God who shines like stars in this crooked and depraved generation to which I hold out the light of life.  Why do I become so selfish and unwilling?  I know I am human, but I am a CHILD OF GOD who is loved and who can't do anything or bear any fruit without being attached to Jesus.  How am I going to better lay down my life for my friends?  Well, God, here I am back to the one thing I really took from work crew.  EVERYTHING MUST FLOW FROM MY HEART."

I can't pull the "I'm human and I'm going to make mistakes" card because it's not valid.  I'm a CHILD OF GOD.  Not saying that I won't make mistakes and won't fall short of the glory of God but I do hold myself to high standards and have purpose behind all my actions.  I know God has a purpose for my life and it's freaking terrifying to let Him lead sometimes (aka with college) BUT I know it's the only way.  If I separate myself from the vine, I won't bear fruit.  And I can only bear fruit from the vine... that must come first.  No matter how much a drag my feet and have selfish motives, God always brings me back to my true purpose, which is to witness the love of Christ to others and be a disciple to him.

Well, that was my epiphany for the night :)  I hope you enjoyed reading.

YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made.

Love,
Ky

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something 'Bout Love

I am a HUGE David Archuleta fan.  Laugh all you want, but I absolutely love his music.  Plus, try and find one other pop singer who is living for the Lord; you won't find it very often.  David (yep, we're on a first name basis, haha) is about to come out with a new album and just released the first single, "Something 'Bout Love".  I've been reflecting on the song a lot recently and really thinking about the lyrics.  

Every night it's all the same
You're frozen by the phone
You wait, something's changed
You blame yourself every day
You'd do it again
Every night

There's something 'bout love
That breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh
It sets you free

There's something 'bout love
That tears you up
Whoa oh oh oh
You still believe
When the world falls down like the rain
It'll bring you to your knees
There's something 'bout love that breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh...
But don't give up
There's something 'bout love

When you were young
Scared of the night
Waiting for love to come along
And make it right
Your day will come, the past is gone
So take your time
And live and let live

There's something 'bout love
That breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh
It sets you free

There's something 'bout love
That tears you up
Whoa oh oh oh
You still believe
When the world falls down like the rain
It'll bring you to your knees

There's something 'bout love that breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh...
But don't give up
There's something 'bout love

Don't fight
Don't hide
Those stars in your eyes (in your eyes)
Let em' shine tonight
Let em' shine tonight

Hang on
Hang in
For the ride of your life
It's gonna be alright
Hold on tight

(There's something 'bout love
That breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh)

There's something 'bout love
That breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh
It sets you free

There's something 'bout love
That tears you up
Whoa oh oh oh
You still believe
When the world falls down like the rain
It'll bring you to your knees (to your knees)
There's something 'bout love that breaks your heart
Whoa oh oh oh...
But don't give up
There's something 'bout love

Whoa oh oh oh..
Sets you free
There's something bout love
That tears you up
Whoa oh oh oh
You still believe
When the world falls down like the rain

I know the first thing that comes to mind is a guy/girl relationship and all the ups and downs that go with it.  But then I thought, "This kind of relationship about "love" is exactly like roller coaster we experience with the love of Christ."  I know I feel like my heart breaks under the love of Christ and I'm often brought to tears due to His overwhelming loved for ME.  Love is mentioned in the Bible SO MANY times.  I'd love to go through and underline every time it is written.  The truth is that the love of God does set us free and we can always believe that love "when the world falls down like rain."  I challenge you to really listen to the lyrics (even of secular music).  You never know what truth you might find through it.  

YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made.

Love,

Ky

Oh!  If you've read my previous blogs, you'll rejoice with me when I tell you that I RAN 6 MILES YESTERDAY!!  Another great milestone in my recovery :)  God is good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Growth through Pain

If you had told me last August that having surgery on my heel would have made my relationship with God grow stronger, I would have laughed at you.  Now looking back though, His work is so evident through my pain, frustration, and overall disappointment over the effects of my heel surgery a year ago.

Okay, so let me start at the beginning.  November of my sophomore year while running indoor track, I acquired a sharp pain in my heel.  Still to this day I have no idea how or why it started.  My goal in running indoor track was to keep my running shape from XC season.  I had just completed my best season to date and I was really excited with the prospects of being in great shape when soccer season came around and to be picked for the Varsity team.  God apparently had other plans.  I stopped running indoor track and started at my first physical therapist.  She treated me with ultrasound and taped my foot to make me feel better.  I did that all through the November and December, but because the treatment wasn't really working, she sent us to a doctor over in Charlottesville.  By now, all I wanted to do was be pain free by soccer season.  He set me up with orthotics (special insoles for my shoes) but they didn't come in until a week after soccer started.  I had been going to every varsity open gym and watched my friends practice with the goal of showing my dedication and want to be on the team to the coach.  All the winter I was not running and it was killing me.  I LOVE to run and I absolutely hate feeling out of shape and this was the most out of shape I had ever been in my life.  I was so disappointed when I was told that I wasn't going to be on the varsity team, but placed on the JV team for the 3rd season.  I understand why the coach made the decision and I don't hold a grudge at all, but it was heart breaking at the time.  I loathed being on JV at first, but by the end of the season, I discovered through leading on the team, I was able to connect with younger girls (especially rising ninth graders) who I wouldn't have had the opportunity to otherwise.  We weren't good, but we had fun and formed a bond through being on the team.  Nick-names were given, long-lasting friendships began, and I became so much closer to the older girls on the team.  It was also a great opportunity for me to lovingly and positively lead these girls as I was the only sophomore and a captain on the team.  God always shows the silver lining, even if I'm too stubborn to acknowledge it at the time.  So, back to my heel.  It hurt all soccer season, so I took the summer off and wore my orthodics nonstop with the HOPE of running XC, my favorite sport, in the fall. 

By the time August came around and XC practice started, I thought I could possibly run.  I was wrong.  I couldn't make it through one practice without having to walk because of the pain, and I have a really high tolerance for pain, so, it was pretty serious.  My parents and I decided to go ahead and have surgery on my heel.  We were all sick and tired of the pain it was causing me.  I had surgery the first week of school my junior year and missed about a week of school for it.  I was on crutches for about a week.  It was one of the worst school weeks of my life, actually, it was the worst.  It was so hard to get around the school with all my books on my back and of course, non of my classes were near the elevator.  People did help me with my books, but it was still really difficult.  After crutches, I got to walk around in a boot for I don't know how long.  To say the least, the first nine weeks of school was really hard.  I was involved with the XC team though.  I went to every meet with the team on the bus and was as much a part of the team as I could be.  It was still really hard to watch the girls on my team run without me.  I wanted to be out there so bad.  On the bright side, looking back, there would have been no way I could have finished all my homework without having all-nighters (more than I already had) if I had run.  Last year was by far the hardest course load I've had: AP Chemistry, AP US History, French 4, and Honors (harder than AP) English just to name a few. 

In the mean time, I was going to aqua therapy and regular physical therapy for my heel.  Oh! And by the way, I want to study to be a physical therapist in college and this experience only increased my desire to do that.  :)  Neither really helped, but I was still determined to be ready for soccer in the spring.  I started going to a family friend who is a very good physical therapist.  She put me on a strengthening plan, gave me new othotics, and then after a while a walk/jog plan, but not in time for soccer season.  I wasn't actually too upset that I couldn't play this year.  I missed the team, but I was able to support them from the sidelines and I was also able to support my little brother who made the JV guys' team.  He's was in 8th grade and that is a huge deal!  Our varsity guys team also made it to the state tournament for the first time ever this year and I was able to follow them the whole way.  It was awesome!  By the end of the school year, I was jogging as much as I was walking, which was really exciting.  I was about to leave for Work Crew (which I told you about in my last blog) and I knew I wouldn't be able to work out very much while there.  I did run for the first time painfree while at work crew though!  I was able to share the experience with a really good friend too.  We prayed afterwards and thanked God for bringing me this far.  It was one of my favorite moments from WC.  God provided for me in such an obvious way that day.  I didn't run anymore while I was there because I really needed new shoes, but I don't think I'll ever forget that first run.

Now, I have new shoes and am running on mostly flat land.  It's great, but I can't wait to be completely back to normal.  I feel it coming soon. 

Overall, because of my surgery and long recovery, I was able to spend time with people I wouldn't have been able to after school.  I had more time to do homework, and I had a lot of it.  I also spent more time in prayer and was able to be more involved in Young Life, and in turn be surrounded by people who encourage me in my walk with the Lord.  I had to let the Lord show me who I was outside of sports, which used to be my identity.  It's been a hard, stressful, frustrating, LONG, and painful journey, but one through which I have learned so much.

This is a verse I recently found that I connected with and found hope in:


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11


YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made.

Kylie

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Service!

Half of the Dining Hall!
This summer has by far been the busiest of my life.  I started it off spending 4 weeks serving on Work Crew at Young Life's Lake Champion, a non-denominational Christian summer camp.  Work Crew is a group of 50 high schoolers all who applied and were chosen to come serve other groups of high school campers for a month, voluntarily.  I was a server in the dining hall.  There were also housekeepers, ODC (Out Door Crew), Cooks, and Pitts (the dishwashers).  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  It was the hardest work, and the longest hours I've ever worked, BUT I also had the best fellowship and grew so much closer to God.  My day at Lake Champion looked kinda like this: 
-Wake up at 6:30 to be at the dining hall by 7:30 (7:45 by the end)... and yes, it took me an hour to get ready every morning.  I love the mornings, but I'm a SLOW morning person :)
-Get to the dining hall and have our quiet time with God.  I usually did the devotional that they made for us, but some mornings I would just read and journal.
The picnic tables from the end. Sorry for the bad view!
-After that we would all go eat at a HUGE picnic table out back.  It was a wonderful smorgasbord of food and friendship.  There'd be constant laughter and shouts down the table to "pass the milk!".  Meals were such a great part of the day.  We did get sick of the food after the first week though, haha.
-After breakfast we would preset and then serve the campers breakfast!  We'd all line up in the kitchen with the huge trays and fit as many tables' food we could. (Usually 2 out our 3 tables' on the first round).  We would be running back into the kitchen for refills all meal.  Our goal in serving is to show Christ to the campers through our actions.  It's awesome to also see the change in the campers' attitudes throughout the week.  They are always more gracious and happy, and TIRED.  Haha, it was always significantly quieter in the dining hall by the end of the week.
-After breakfast we would bus our tables, stack all the chairs on the tables, sweep the floor, take all the chairs down, sanitize the tables, then set all the tables for lunch.  Usually, by the time we were done doing all that, it was time to preset for lunch and serve the campers!
-We would do the same after lunch and set for dinner.  We usually had a break to rest and change between lunch and dinner though.  After dinner, we would also mop the floor, and then set for breakfast the next morning.
One of my favorite things that work crew got to do while at camp was visiting cabins of campers.  We got to go into cabins and visit with them the first night (and bring drank of course :).  On one of their last nights there, we would return with the hopes of being able to share our Testimony with the cabin.  (Our "testimony" is how we came to know the Jesus and want to live for him).  It was the coolest experience.  I was given the opportunity to share my testimony to 3 cabins over the month.  I can only hope that I added to their camp experience. 
Because the work was so intense, I learned to really lean on the Lord for everything.  I thought that I knew what that meant before work crew, but I really had no idea.  I had to be in constant prayer and to really lean on Him for my strength and patience.  It was a very humbling experience.  Learning that was one of the most significant things I took away from work crew.  I also learned that as easy as it is to go to other people with your problems, the Lord wants you to go to Him first.  I learned to do that more at work crew because I didn't have my normal group of close friends who I could confide in.  I made some great friends there, but I definitely learned to go to God first.  He showed me so much through my time at work crew.

Once I got back from work crew, I had 5 days and then I turned around and went right back up to Lake Champion with my school for camp!  It was really weird being back up there as a camper and not on work crew.  I went up to Champion not wanting to go at all.  I only wanted to be home with my family.  God changed my heart though, and helped me find my place in the group at camp and made me excited for camp.  It was a great week and many girls started their relationship with the Lord.  One really cool thing about this camp trip was that we have many other campers on the trip who already know the Lord and who are living for him who are constantly encouraging the new Christians.  It's such a blessing to be a part of this growing community of Christians at my high school.  

Now I'm just back home frantically trying to finish summer work and get ready for school to start back up.

YOU are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made!

-Just Plain Kylie