Saturday, September 24, 2011

1 year. And everything's changed.

Summer has come and gone and here I am, September 24th, 4 months since my last post. I don't even know where to begin with what's gone on in my life. But since today is significant, I'll just re-cap quickly what Summer 2011 meant to me. 

That's the word that comes to mind when I think about my summer. There's nothing more humbling than cleaning a toilet on your knees every single day. I thought I knew what it meant to be humbly submitted. I had no idea what it meant to be humbly submitted. I cleaned Wagon Train. I cleaned up after 8-11 year olds, doing the same thing every single day. And every single day I was blown away by the things God taught me. I remember how I got opportunities to spend time with kids and ask them how their week was. I got to listen to kids worship Jesus every morning. I got to build relationships with people I normally wouldn't. I was given humility by learning to be humble. It was incredible. The most incredible part of my summer was an incident while I was cleaning the girls bathroom. A counselor looked at me, exclaimed, "i know you!' and continued to tell me how she and her girls went to Meadow Ranch week 4 and heard me speak at the girl's night, giving my testimony. She then told me that her girls STILL to this day talk and discuss what I had shared. My world was rocked, because even when I was cleaning a toilet in Wagon Train, God still managed to use me. It was awesome.

in August I moved to Fresno. Yeah, yeah, I know. I went from traveling the world to Fresno. Trust me, I wasn't excited about it either. But God has been teaching me many things from this Fresno experience. He's continually showing me that we are in an incredibly broken and hurting world. Something I couldn't really see from Hume Lake eyes. When I landed in "the real world" the veil was lifted from my eyes and I could really see what I couldn't see before. And hear things. Oh my goodness, for someone who has never cussed a day in her life, obviously it's TOTALLY normal to cuss every 2 words. That I wasn't prepared for. College is different than I expected, but I'm learning. I've been working with the Well's jr high youth group and absolutely loving it. My lifegroup is INCREDIBLE and I'm learning how to make friends outside of Hume Lake! Thank you Jesus! 

But now for the real reason I'm writing. Today is a significant day. Today I hopped on a plane at LAX. I got stopped in the x-ray line 5 times and had my bag searched for something sharp which turned out to be my Crayons for my Princess Coloring book. I sat in the middle seat and did not get up at all in 10.5 hours. I survived my first Heathrow experience. I got on a bus and got to know the people who I would be spending the next 6 months of my life with. I walked into a fairytale. Ate pasta. Unpacked. Made friends. And my life was changed.
I cannot believe it's been a year. I keep looking at the calendar, thinking there has to be something wrong. Surely it hasn't been a year, surely it's only been a few hours. From the very beginning, walking off that plane, to the very end, waving goodbye to a bus-full of family with tears streaming down my face, God has been good, and he has been faithful. I came home different. I live differently. I can be where I am today because of this place called Capernwray. Friendships became deeper in 6 months than what took me 11 years. I cannot believe that my incredible God allowed me this adventure. I am so thankful and so humble for the works he has done in me and my fellow Capernwray-ers. I miss it every single day, and feel as if there's a hole in my heart that will never be filled until all 175 of us stand together in heaven, holding hands and praising God like we did that last night in England. I cannot wait for that day.
But for now, we go on, and we continue in the adventure that England started in us. I cannot wait to see what He does in us. I cannot wait to see them again.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunshine and Snow and Rain and Sunshine and Snow and Rain and....

The weather is going crazy. And with it so am I. 
These past few weeks have been so much fun, and I've really been having a good time. Getting back into reading my bible, falling in love with Jesus again, falling in love with this camp again, falling in love with life again. Work has been fantastic, and even though I love the Meadow, I've gotten an opportunity to meet lots of new people and be friends with not just one specific group of people. It's  been stretching me but I love it. This is going to be an incredible summer and I can't wait to see what God's going to do in these kids lives. I am on Wagon Train crew this summer, working with another Joshua student named Sarah. I get a fake-name, which I have no idea what it'll be, but I'm working on it. I will never repeat what my name was when I worked the Train when I was 11...let's just say it was a bad idea and I am haunted by it now. :) 

At Wagon Train we get the awesome opportunity not just to clean in one of the camps, but we are blessed to actually be apart of camp, getting to know the campers in more of a dynamic way than other cleaning crews. One summer staffer in WT had the incredible opportunity to lead a little girl to Christ. I can't wait to see what He uses me for up there in all that dirt. It's going to be awesome.

Little Summer Staffers are arriving and with that comes the "I own this camp" entitlement they all feel. But they've got nothing on 11 years of growing up here, which I will remind them of ;) 

I miss England so much it hurts sometimes and when new summer staff ask what I've done and I tell them about England, the memories come flooding back and I miss it even more. I can't wait for the opportunity to go back, or at least see one dear Capernwray friend who blessed my time there. I miss them more than I can say. 

I'm excited for what the future holds, and I can't wait until I have more exciting things to share with you, because I know there will be in time ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

America has made me a terrible blogger

That and the fact my computer broke, my iPod broke, and this old desktop PC is not my number one choice of fast internet. 

Anyways, life has been busy. After Easter I began working in S.S. That stands for Secret Services...I mean, Support Services. It's been a long road. I'm still battling with my pride and trying to be a servant like Jesus, working with a smile and doing the best I can do no matter what I'm doing. I'm not perfect, and there have been days where I just feel like screaming at God asking him why the heck I have to do this. But do it is obviously what he wants me to do, so I keep working. 

It's been difficult finding my place back at Hume however. I left England with a pretty good sense of who I am, and got back to Hume and obviously forgot it. My friends were all younger than me but since we went to school together it didn't matter. Now I'm not in school, I'm working, and I don't feel connected to that part of who I was anymore.And that just makes me so sad because I absolutely love these Hume kids and the incredible blessing they are to me. Now that I work with my friends who are all older than me, it's been a rough road to walk because how far do you go as friends and how far can you go as co-workers. Balancing it all out has been tough, and I had a breakdown one day when all I wanted was to be back in my castle with the incredible human beings who shaped me into what I'm becoming. I wouldn't trade the friends I made in England for anything, and I miss them absolutely every day. 

So now life continues. Figuring out who I am where I am, who I will be as I go on, and how much of who I was will affect my future. I still don't have everything together, I'm constantly asking God what he's doing because I don't understand, and he continues to show me through people who love me the wisdom of holding your head up high and to keep on walking, even when the road is steep and there's no end in sight. 

Summer is coming and I can't wait to see what God does in the lives of the kids he's going to bring to this incredible place this summer. Until then, we keep walking. And cleaning lots of toilets. Lots of them. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

The day where forever was changed

I know I know. I've been a terrible blogger since I've gotten back. There's no excuse. I have way too much time on my hands but I just never feel like writing. The other reason is that my favoritest baby laptop that I own has died. It's also the only laptop I own so that should count for something. This past week was spent in Fresno. Oh yes. Fresno. While Mom and Dad went to spend their days at the Beach, I stayed at Gramma's house, with 2 birds, 1 aunt, 1 sister, and one 12 year old boy. It was a riot. From sitting in a treehouse reading the DMV handbook, playing dominoes and bananagrams, sitting in the DMV for 3 hours, watching depressing movies and staying up way too late, it was a pretty great 4 days. Even for Fresno. My last day was my favorite, sitting in Borders for 3 hours reading the newest book I've been waiting to read, having a man paint a picture of me, (creepy, yet too cool for me to care), and discovering my new hangout, where I will be spending the majority of my time while studying. Teazers World Market. Every kind of tea you can imagine. In a funky art-esque atmosphere that relaxes and calms you, just like tea. It's going to be a fantastic relationship.

The real reason for writing today is because today is the day forever changed. The day where my worthless life was made priceless, all because a man who did nothing wrong loved me enough to take on what I deserve 2,000 years ago. Today marks the day where forever was changed in my life, because my life doesn't belong to me anymore. Because of this sacrifice on a cruel and wicked cross. My heart is covered in the blood of his redemption. My hands are held in His nail-scarred ones. And my life is filled with the beating of his broken heart for me. 
Today was the day where I was meant to die. The day all my wickedness and all my foolishness was sentenced to death. Because I, smallest of all creation can't be in the presence of a Holy God while I am so impure and covered in dirt. But it all changed, with a soft-spoken whisper when the creator of the Universe called his son to take my place. To take my punishment, to feel my shame. So that we could be together. And when I realize and remember that sacrifice, I am humbled and ashamed. I am not worth it. There's nothing the human race can say that makes me worth it. But God decided I was. And with that knowledge, I stretch my arms out just like my friend Jesus did, and offer all of me up to Him, so that my life will mean nothing, and His will mean everything. 

Today's the day forever changed. Just wait until Sunday gets here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's all that white stuff outside?

So much for thinking I'd bypass the snow by moving to England. Apparently it missed me too much while I was away and just had to come back and surprise me. Well...Surprise! Wish the feeling was mutual.

Tomorrow will mark 2 weeks of being home. 2 weeks? It's gone by so fast and so slow at the same time. I think now is the beginning of "post-Capernwray" depression because I am definitely missing my castle and amazing friends. All I want to do is walk around the loop, make fun of the sheep, and drink copious amounts of tea. But, I am here. In a mountain that refuses to let Spring stay more than a week, waiting for something exciting to happen.

My days have a schedule.It basically goes like this: Wake up. Too late. Make coffee. Watch David Tutera's: My Fair Wedding, work-out with my favorite Tiffany, eat lunch, watch Say Yes to the Dress, help Malissa grade papers (Yeah, I thought I'd never set foot in school again, and here I am gladly grading papers...where has my dignity gone? Haha, just kidding), walking to the office, saying hello to my Mama, helping my favorite Jocey with wedding plans, coming home, making dinner, reading a book, and watching a bit of Gossip Girl before my eyes close and I sleep in my nice and pretty bed. Not too much for excitement. . But I'm going to enjoy these moments of nothing, because soon, when real life starts, I'm going to wish I had this back. So I'll savor them for as long as I can.

That's about it. Not too exciting, not too bad. Not too England, but, we all knew this day would come. It's been great seeing everyone again and catching up on life. Soon things will get real busy as we prepare for all those kids with a God-shaped whole in their hearts. It's going to be incredible. I can't wait to see what he does with this summer.

Now if only the snow will melt.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jesus' hands and feet were always dirty.

Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
That sucker punched me in the face today. Actually, I think it’s going to continue to do that whenever I read it throughout my life. I claim to live in Jesus, but do I walk as Jesus did? Heck no I don’t. And whenever I see that and realize what I just said. I’m ashamed and humbled.

Let’s go back to what lead me to this. Over the past few months, I’ve been put on a roller-coaster called, “Do you trust me?” over the future. And while this will continue to be my ride for the rest of my life, the main theme of this ride was over Summer. Those of you who know me know I’m a Hume Kid. Since I was a little tyke this place filled with the smell of pine trees and dirt and the sound of screaming campers has been my home. It’s been a place I’ve come to love so much more since I left. A place of comfort, growth, and love. However, it also became my identity, and who I was and what my faith was, was defined by this place. Being surrounded by Christians who’ve known you, know your parents, know everything about you, makes it very easy to coast through the river of Christianity. I never had to work at my faith, because my camp did that for me. I never had to openly work at showing my Jesus to those around me, because at this place he IS everywhere around me. When I left for Capernwray, suddenly I wasn’t, Katie MacDonald, Hume kid we’ve known forever. Suddenly, I was Katie MacDonald, who we don’t know. My character had to be shown through my actions, and through who I portrayed myself to be. It was one of the most humbling and incredible things I’ve experienced in my short life. To suddenly be able to figure out who I was without Hume Lake being my whole identity. Suddenly, Hume was a part of my identity, but my character and my love for Jesus was who I was. It was freeing, and made my love for the place I call home grow so much stronger.

Now back to Summer. This will be my 9th summer. Which means, yes, I’ve worked a lot of jobs. So far, I’ve been in every department except Maintenance. I’ve been blessed by that, and have gotten the opportunity to work my way up the ladder, you could say. These past 3 summers I’ve spent the best summers of them all in my favorite place, the Meadow, working with crazy junior highers, and loving every minute of it. This summer, I won’t be there. And that hurt. A place I had come to love so much is obviously not where God wants me this summer. And coming up to that point is hard, especially when it’s somewhere you believe you should be. I still don’t understand why I’m not going to be there this summer, but obviously, I have some things to learn, and who am I to mess with God’s perfect plans?

For a long time, I couldn’t imagine working any other places. I didn’t want to work anywhere else. I felt entitled to the job I wanted since I’ve been here 10 years. Entitled because of who I was. And that entitlement got me a smack in the face when I was rejected. I pushed for jobs, but not the “not-fun” jobs. Not the hard ones. Not the ones that required behind-the-scenes work. Because I was above all that. I earned my place at the top. I worked hard to get there. I was not going back down to the dirty floor for another summer. And in the middle of that rant, is when I saw a picture of Jesus. Bowing down and cleaning his disciples feet. He had everything, he was everything, he was at the top, and yet he got down and dirty to do as he said he was sent for. To serve. Even in the dirty, hard jobs. Even to do the jobs no one else wanted. And the tears came. Because the hypocrite in me realized my foolishness, and I was humbled.
If I love Hume Lake and these campers as much as I say I do, then I need to be like Jesus, and bow down and be a servant in whatever capacity I can do. And if that’s cleaning toilets, then it’s cleaning toilets in the name of Jesus, so that these campers can have an experience like none other, that they may come in contact with a magnificent, and awesome God who was the ultimate servant. Working at Hume Lake, had in a way, become a glory thing for me. I liked being at the top. I liked being up-there with the kids. And not all of that is bad. There will be more summers to do that again. But this summer, Jesus is teaching me to be a servant. And I’m going to be the best servant I can be. And love these kids the best way I can. Through showing them the joy that there is in serving the humble and righteous King, who humbled himself to serve me. And who knows what kind of situations I’ll be thrown into where my life and my love for Jesus can shine light to a campers heart.
I claim to live in Him. Now I need to walk as Jesus did.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Here's to a new adventure

And  new blog!

I figured, since I am out of England, I should make an Out-of-England blog. So that is what this is. A time, out of the teapot, as you could say. Continue to journey with me as I navigate these strange new waters of my future. A future made perfect in nail-scarred hands. I don't know where my path is going, but I'm starting to walk. And I can't wait to see where He takes me.

I hope you enjoy walking with me, and enjoying a cup of tea or two  as the adventure continues.

And here we go!