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Posts Tagged ‘Camp’

A Lesson from Race Across the Creek

August 7, 2009 1 comment

Today I got to looking at pictures on Facebook of a relay race I was apart of at camp this summer: the First Annual Race Across the Creek. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, along with one of the most unique experiences of community I’ve had. I remember how difficult it was to get out of bed knowing what I was heading toward, but when it was over, I knew it was the right decision. That being said, I realize that the time I spent that day with Grace and Allison may be an example of a bigger step to take place in my life in a few short months.

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

I got to thinking tonight about how amazingly at home I feel here in Lexington. I know I’ve only been here for 2 days, but I feel better here these two days than I did most of my previous 4 years. I know things may change once school starts, but I finally feel like I have a life. My church family has provided me with a free place to live (with wonderful friends, nonetheless!) and a wonderful job. I’m going to start another job in a month or so, and my best friends move back this weekend. But even with all this, I know I’m not meant to stay in Lexington. God has been preparing me for something else, and I may have figured it out. The thing is, it’s going to be a lot like doing the Race Across the Creek.

I’m going to have to leave the comfort of Lexington and go somewhere and do something more challenging than I’ve ever done in my life.

It’s going to be so hard to leave. I have been praying for the strength to be able to up and go when the time comes. One of my best friends said to me the other day, “You knew it would happen. We all struggle with [our focus]. God may ask you to give up a good life to go where He’s called you.”

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The Beginning of a Call.

July 27, 2009 1 comment

During the sixth week of camp, our Camp Pastor was a man named Tom Richter. I got to know Tom last summer, seeing as the tech girl spends a little more time with the Camp Pastor than most of the other staffers. Tom grew up in Murray, went to Murray State, and was called during seminary to a church in Queens, New York City. On the third day of camp, I happened to have to walk to the road to mail a card, and Tom drove by and offered me a ride to lunch. During the 2 min drive, he asked me what I was doing since I had already graduated, and I told him I had no idea. He then asked me if I wanted to come to New York. Figuring he was just asking, I said, “sure!”

If only the story ended here. As I went throughout the day, the idea of going to New York City didn’t leave my mind, but every time I pushed it away figuring I was trying to make a big deal out of something because I wanted to know my next step so bad. But Day 3 of camp is themed “Beyond Your Plans,” and so that night Tom preached about a “semi-colon moment,” talking about a verse where Peter paused and then his next actions were important. Peter chose Jesus’ plans. And it hit me. I’m at a semi-colon moment in my life: I finished college, did my semester of “bumming around” postponing real life, and now was nearing the end of camp – my last act as a college-aged person. I felt God calling me.

So I wrote Tom a note and told him about what my heart seemed to be telling me. The next morning he slapped a business card in my hand and told me we would talk. Later that afternoon we had the unique ability to spend about an hour and a half together before dinner and we talked about how I felt I was beginning to be called into the secular culture of the media industry, and not into a church job as I had hoped and attempted to find. He told me about his church, and every bit of it sounded eerily similar to the growth I have found at my church in Lexington, Church at Tatesbrook. Tom told me he had been praying for me specifically, and that if God was bringing me to New York, he wanted me at his church, and would help me find a place to live and a roommate.

And so I prayed. Did a little freaking out, and then prayed some more.

And then I told Tom I was in. Now, all I’m waiting for is God’s timetable with a job. As the next 3 weeks passed, and I finished up camp, God granted me a peace about this new direction. He gave me a peace that I don’t have to know when this is going to happen, and I’m okay with the fact that it might not happen soon, as a lot of my friends at camp feel like it is going to happen.

So now that I’m a day out of camp, Satan has definitely attacked this peace I’ve had. My dad shot down the idea as soon as I arrived home and tried to talk to him about it, and I have to say my life in Lexington is lining up quite nicely. But during the long drive to Florida today, I’ve had a lot of time to think and pray, and what I have come to realize is that I may have to leave a “good life” to follow God’s call for my life. I also realize I may have to live in a lonely situation at a low-end job when I start, but if all else fails, I am going to grow in my relationship with my Creator.

Please be in prayer for me, and I will continue to update the process. Also, if you know of a video/graphics editing job in NYC, let me know!

merry day after Christmas.

December 27, 2008 Leave a comment

9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.

10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.

11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.                       -Psalm 38

I don’t know what’s going on. I mean, I know I’m a college graduate, and I also know that didn’t get me a job. Now, I’m back at square one. Actually, square zero. I don’t have 3 and a half years to figure anything out anymore. Being here at home has done nothing but remind me of camp, ironically, and I just want to go back. I want to be back at JCreek because the real world seemed so far away then. Everything that wasn’t important was far away. Now I find myself sitting up in a dark living room questioning things I haven’t questioned in a long time. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Yeah, I know I am to bring glory to God, and that’s just it. Where do I go from here to do that? Is going back to Lexington to live in and clean the BCM bldg really what is next for me?

So much drama and stress happened over me leaving, and I prepared my heart to leave. In time, I became anxious to go. To move on. To start over. Now, I’m stuck. I’m living on campus, without a job, and without direction. I don’t want to force anything, but I’ve been looking at the Journeyman program. Two years overseas. I don’t think my parents could handle that, but I know I was made for more than substitute teaching in Somerset, Kentucky until something better comes along. I was made for more than working in fast food in Lexington, Kentucky until something better comes along.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , ,

College in a nutshell.

December 18, 2008 Leave a comment

FRESHMAN YEAR: so long ago – did it really happen? The good ol’ days of Patterson dorm living, trying to adjust to being in college, and all the while trying to maintain friendships back home.n12918440_7456121_2436

-I remember riding to the BSU for our Halloween party and I was in the back of Jenna’s jeep with her toy gun. I kept popping up and shooting people until I accidentally did it to a cop car! Needless to say, I kept a low profile for the rest of the ride. That was when the leaves on the trees along Columbia were bright red and I was so in awe. It was my first autumn! I loved everything about it, including flag football, even though Kristina was bitter and jealous toward my immediate rise to freshman star quarterback. Haha!

n12918731_30356112_20301-I loved living in North Campus, and the Annex girls of Patterson that year were truly one of a kind. Though I have parted ways with most of them, they were influential in my first adjustments to college. Jenn and I enjoyed rearranging the furniture in the room every few months or so, and it always was a challenge to maneuver. I was so homesick that first semester, but the fact that I made friends fairly quickly was the biggest encouragement of all. North Campus was especially great because it was so close to Lauren’s apartment, where I spent the majority of my spring semester. We scrapbooked, had amazing game nights (IMAGINEIFF!) and watched Cats’ games.

-Architecture school. Ugh. I never realized how miserable it made me until I was no longer in it. There aren’t even any good memories except getting to spend time with Danny. Jerzy’s class almost killed me to begin with, followed up by four hours of studio four days a week in the spring. I applaud those who have stuck with it, but it sure wasn’t for me, no matter how much I tried to convince myself it was.

-Fall Retreat (PUT IN WILL SMITH!), Freshman Council meetings (where’s Bustle?), the beginning of the FAB 4 (WinterJam, Spring Celebration, Thunder), mine and Kristina’s roadtrip to Florida, a summer back in Florida working 40n12914974_30880638_4075 hours weeks at Chick-Fil-A.

SOPHOMORE YEAR: As a whole, the worst year of my life, but the year I learned the most. It was spent living with Kristina in the Wesley Foundation’s dorm, the Methodist campus ministry – definitely an interesting experience. I can’t tell you how many times I was woken up by an alarm in the next room, or got to take part in conversations I could hear from upstairs. Oh well, it was only 2 minutes walking distance from the BCM…

n12918712_31876020_662-SMUDBALL! one of the most fun times I’ve had on campus. Those clothes definitely went in the trash. I do remember falling asleep on the floor of Carrie’s room while I was waiting for Kristina to get out of the shower, ’cause we didn’t want to shower in the Wesley.

-Going to West Virginia for fall break and seeing the most gorgeous views I’ve seen EVER. Oh, man 4-wheeling for hours in the mountains was amazing. Front row ball games with Kristen. Flying Carrie’s step-dad’s plane for a dinner trip to Rough Ridge. Spending Thanksgiving break up here in Lexington. Leading worship for the Hayride. My surprise n12934172_32907691_78621birthday present, getting lost on the way to Fall Retreat, the beginning of my car Corey’s competition with Ben’s car Wallace,  “quality time” with Tiffany, my first time skiing, PHONE BOOKS, Carrie coming home with me to Florida for Spring Break, Thursday night Grey’s at Kristen’s.

-My 19th birthday. Carrie and I driving to dinner when Kristina suddenly pops out of the trunk. Surprise – Chris Tomlin concert in Louisville! That night had some very memorable quotes. Kristina: “I was in the trunk for 45 minutes. I’m such a good friend!” Me: “Don’t both telling me anything once we get inside, cause I’ll be in awe.” Carrie: “Well then, now’s the time to tell you. I’m preggers. And I’m smoking crack. But don’t worry, I’m going off it for the baby.”

-The Lip Sync Contest: Fab 4 does OK Go on Treadmills. Utter glory. The video is my most watched clip on Youtube to this day. It only took us a couple hours of sweaty practice in the Wesley basement to get it down. We should have won. SO ROBBED. But everyone liked it so much that we got to do an Encore at the end anyway. Fab 4 rules again!n12900452_32954957_5463

JUNIOR YEAR: one for the record books. Essentially a year of starting over with most of my closest friends deciding they wanted to live in Louisville. 🙂 Finally living off campus in a beautiful house on Woodland. Five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and barely any heat. Though I felt like I practically lived alone, it was worth it. This was a year where I finally developed friendships that I knew were going to last for the rest of my life, be it a future roommate or a BCM intern. 🙂n12932532_35523421_57201

-Spending every weekend (practically) at Tiffany and J’s house. That big red couch became my second bed. I loved the times we spent there, studying, watching Grey’s, having serious conversations, making pancakes!, having girl’s nights, and playing guitar hero (J, I did beat you at My Name is Jonas!), cooking dinner for the boys (you guys just let me stir the mashed potatoes), getting ready for Spring Celebration, crashing after my week in the DR.

-There was that one night we had a party and were drinking white strawberry juice, or whatever, but all the pictures make me look like i’m downing a bottle of whiskey! And of course the random picnic and photoshoot at the arboretum. All the girls did senior photos and I just pouted and didn’t want to participate, so instead I look like a bird in every picture. Haha, that was such a great weekend. There were the many weekend days spent “studying” at Erin’s apartment, and playing MarioKart and SuperSmash brothers at the B together. I improved enough for Erin to consider me halfway decent. 🙂

-Football season. We rushed the field! I was happy to have Kristina by my side in blue, considering she was a UofL cardinal now. And then the best 21st birthday present of all, beating #1 LSU in 3 OTs! Watching with my best friends in Louisville being celebrating was a night to remember always.

-I finally managed a flag football championship, winning in 28 degree weather. I have no idea how I even threw a football with fingers that cold. My parents got to come, cause they moved to Kentucky (finally!). We spent the first 8 months in a 2-bedroom apartment and finally bought a house in Somerset in April. I love being able to go home on the weekend.

n12917418_34934782_9222-The most random roadtrip of my life – Chicago! Gabe, Ben, Rachel and I spent the weekend walking aimlessly through the city. The Navy Pier Ferris wheel was probably my favorite part, being able to see the whole city’s skyline, although Rachel about hyperventilated. And of course, how could I forget the creation of “The List” on the way back. (and the chaos that ensued from that piece of paper once we returned…)

-Wisconsin in April? Spending 4 days on a choir tour to Wisconsin was something I dreaded so much I can’t even express, but it ended up being a lot n50907677_31777331_1348of fun. I got to know two little freshman a lot better, and of course spent quality time with my adopted mother, Ms. Rachel Henn. 🙂 Lindsay bought me my first purse and we shopped. A lot. Then we sang. Then we shopped. Oh, and how could I forget the night in the random people’s house? Rachel, Erica and I talked Robert into asking Rachel to Spring Celebration. Hahaha!

-of course I rocked out the Lip Sync contest again with Lori and Tiffany by my side. We were robbed. I will argue it forever. How can you beat 4 choreographed dances to Staying Alive, Thriller, Can’t Touch This, and Cupid Shuffle? Exactly.

-my week in the Dominican Republic. It was the beginning of big changes in my life. My first trip out of the country, my first bit of analyzing what I was doing with my life, and my first experience of culture shock. I fell in love with a little boy named Jeffrey, talked about my hairy past through an interpretor to inner city Domincan kids, and helped bring clean water to a little village in south central DR. We played Risk, Euchre, and crammed 16 of us in a 12 passenger van. It was glory. Even though I spent the next month insanely sick, it was worth every second.n12917418_36249505_7660

SUMMER 2008: Although this isn’t a year in school, my summer spent working at Jonathan Creek camp was the msot influential time in my life. I went scared, anxious, and full of dread. I left changed, with amazing new friends, and with a better grasp on my relationship with my Lord.

0524f-03-videos… Dumping water on the boys in one take – I knew from the beginning Tracy was a champ. Boat Race promo – putting a kayak on the Tower, on the mountain bike trail, in the boys bathroom, etc. etc. The Turkey Leg promo – no one knew I was filming it: surprise! The Lark video – the only time I got in front of the camera. At least we have funny outtakes from me not being able to lift the log. “Oh no, it’s Bivens!” Haha, and re-voicing that video was amazingly funny. The Poo Pond video – Corky’s dance. Enough said. Creating that Staff DVD is one of my proudest works, especially the time I got to spend with the likes of Tracy, Laura, and Brittany in the tech booth late at night coming up with superlative names. Haha.

-our room’s rap song. It started training week and continued far into the summer. “hey yo ho, get yo panties off the flo’ / bright pink flower panties on the flo’ / hey panties! hey panties!” Our room most definitely had the most interesting late night conversations. We will rival any claims from any other room. Our room was also the messiest, no thanks to my bunkmate (right AC?).0627-10

-Capture the Flag/Softball weekends. I was really sick and running on 3 hours of sleep (like every Friday), but I was hardcore. After chasing down the boys after finding the flag the first time, I took to the offense and after a 30 min stint on the boys’ side, I completed the only successful jail breakout. No thanks to Corky and his cheater flashlight! Of course, all the boys cheated. In the pool? I mean, really?! Then the glory of the softball game. Brittany took the video camera so I could focus on playing. I will never forget our trash talking into the camera right before we had a 6 run inning to come back and win the game. Classic.

-Zambia. TA time. CC. late night talks on the dock, in the tech booth, in the POI room, outside JCafe, and at the POI lunch table.

SENIOR YEAR: Living at the BCM. It was the perfect set-up. I’ve practically lived there for 3 years anyway, free rent, and living with my best friend. What could be better? Then there’s that whole stripping and waxing the floors thing… Considering I decided in early September that I was graduated in December, I think I got a lot crammed into my last semester as a college student.n27401108_39153863_2483

-YOU SHUT UP LATISHA! Oh LaSarah, you have brought such joy to the BCM this year. Lauren and I love to yell it through the apartment, joined by Tiason upstairs. I’ll never forget him jumping on the window at Fall Retreat. Other Youtube videos that have affected us this year: Can I Have Your Number?, Bon QuiQui, and Beyonce’s Single Ladies.

n51804604_32730701_87432-Refocus aka Summer Staff Reunion. Lauren, Shelby and I went to worship and absolutely nothing else all weekend. It was very relaxing and definitely interesting to be back at JCreek. But I got to eat Matt B’s with Lindsey, spend time with the Rouses, and of course Corky, Susanne, and the girls. I still wish that weekend was like real life. I got to show Audra where I spent my summer, and we got to have some great conversations late at night in our sleeping bags.

1013f-20-My birthday. The girls surprised me after my night class with a party in our apartment! We played karaoke, ate pizza, and then Erin, Josh and I ended up with a crazy night downtown with a finale of running through the fountains by the courthouse. It was a great day to be 22.

-The claw. It’s stupid. Ben heads up the pro-claw club, and I am queen of the anti-claw. Third down stops will never be the same again. And that’s all I have to say about that.

n1196970013_30171490_3118-Retro Prom. Utter glory (or laud, right Aud?). I’ve never seen all my friends look so hideous (except Erin, leave it to her to look cute…) and I’ve never had so much fun with them at a BCM dance, that’s for sure. Everyone was so much more relaxed cause there wasn’t the pressure of trying to look pretty, haha. And of course, the boys chose me to be serenaded to “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” as a celebration of my last BCM Formal. It was completely embarassing, but really fun all the same.

-Camp friends. I’ve been able to not only maintain friendships from camp, but they have become some of the cloeset and most treasured friendships I’ve ever had. We’ve enjoyed football games, the golf driving range, basketball games, movies and books (Twilight, Trace & Laura?) awkward social situaions with friends from “real life,” sledding, getting tattoos, and concerts. We’ve helped each other through school crises, family situations, boy drama, and other deep things I know I would not have made it through as easily without them.

-The accident. As sad as it is, I cannot have a complete synopsis of my Senior semester without mentioning the impact this had on me and everyone here at the BCM. I never felt like the BCM was more of a family until we had to help each other mourn the loss of two of our brothers. I think about them every day, especially Tom, and thank God for the final moments I got to spend with them. Losing them and having to learn to help each other mourn different taught me more about love and grace than I can say. The deaths of Tom May and Bradley Hall have unified us, taught us, and driven us. I am excited for what we have planned in their honor. And I’m excited for the fact that they are in heaven.

A symphony.

October 16, 2008 1 comment

I’m taking History of Classic and Romantic Music, and it’s the hardest class I’ve taken in my college career. This has caused me to actually attend class and pay attention for once. The consequence of this is that I’ve learned a lot about symphonies. Hang with me here; I have a point.

A symphony has 4 movements. The first lays out the theme and is usually fast and in a major key, giving an upbeat feel. The second movement is in a minor key, sounds melancholy. It can have varying tempos, sometimes quick and other times slow. The thirds is a Minuet and Trio, which is a type of dance usually light-hearted. The fourth movement is the finale, big and bright, much like the first movement. I say all that to say this:

My life is like a symphony, more specifically Beethoven’s Third.

And I’m smack in the middle of the second movement. Beethoven’s Third Symphony’s Second movement is a funeral march. My first movement ended at the end of high school, with graduation serving as the boisterous coda. Those years growing up laid out the theme of my life, developed me, and set the tone. And it did it well.

College brought about a key change. These past 3 and a half years I’ve modulated into a major key for some time, and surely have changed tempos, speeding through in a strum und drang style and other times lyrical and slow. I thought camp this summer was the definitive end of the second movement, and I was ready to dance. But my Composer fooled me with a false cadence. I’m still drudging through the funeral march.

One day, though, I will be dancing. Hopefully this dance will intertwine with another’s symphony, and together we will conclude our symphonies big and bright.

One day.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,

JCreek ’08 – the final installment (VI)

Now that I’ve been home a few days and had the time to evaluate the past 67 days of my life, I’m truly amazed at the blessing it was. I remember what my status on Facebook was the few days before I left: Ashlyn wishes it was August. Now that I’m staring in the face of August, I’m full of the craziest mixture of emotions. Sadness, excitement, anxiety, gratitude, exhaustion, and confusion all rolled into one.

I’ve been thinking back to training week and how scared I was. Helping everyone move in, wondering how we’d fit that many of us in that room (still wondering how we did that), and trying to figure out what the heck I was doing with that video camera. Everyone thought I was really quiet and shy, which I’m pretty sure they don’t anymore. I was always nervous to ask people to be in a video. Thankfully, everyone was up for the random ideas I had, like putting a kayak on the tower, tackling each other, or running in a huge group over the hill.

One of my favorite times of the week were Sunday afternoon lunches. We all came together before another week started. Those that left the past weekend were welcomed back, and memories of time together was laughed about. Although I despised most of the rest of Sundays, this time at 11:30am is something I’ll always cherish. As I struggle to figure out how to incorporate the past 2 and a half months into “real life,” I feel as though I’m desperately grasping at the wisps of the summer falling from my mind. Yes, I know there’s the Staff DVD, but it’s not the same unless I’m sitting in the JCafe listening to my friends laugh at it for the first time or sitting in Lindsey’s apartment getting ready for a wedding and laughing again.

I think the thing I am most afraid of is that as I return to school and BCM and my impending graduation from college, all the things God showed me and taught me this summer won’t seem real because I’m no longer in that environment. I spent my entire summer being around the same 30-35 people, practically 24 hours a day. Suddenly, these people are mostly gone from my life and I am shoved back into a world of school loans, living paycheck to paycheck, and people not being intentional and real. I don’t ever want to forget what I learned about being a servant, about true leadership without recognition, about finding worth solely in Christ. I don’t want to forget conversations outside the Cafe on the weekend, conversations in the tech booth during Bible study, or conversations sitting on the beach chair during third rotation. I don’t want to forget laughing at kids on the ski boat, cracking up when staffers couldn’t go down the slip and slide, or taunting each other playing dodgeball. God BLESSED me by allowing me to serve alongside amazing people this summer. I still feel so unworthy to be considered in the same group as them. I feel like making a 45 minute staff DVD was nowhere near enough of a gift from me to them.

So as I face the next few weeks of detox, know that while I won’t miss the snoring reverberating around the room, I will miss nightly roommate conversations. Though I won’t miss the incredible mess in our floor and bathroom, I will miss the community of all our crap being in one place. Though I won’t miss most mornings, I will miss making faces behind Crenshaw on screen and her never realizing it. Though I won’t miss yelling “staffers, we’ve got a church!” I will miss the Rouses’ Sunday Staff meetings (and the Rouses in general). I won’t miss the goose poop, but I will miss the cross. Not the dart game, but flamingo. Not cleaning, but my cleaning team. Not running slides, but the time with those in the tech booth.

I’ll never forget being able to pray for my friends, Crossings Life, and worshiping alongside amazing staffers. Thank you for 67 amazing days of learning, sleeplessness, and fun. I owe you more than I could ever repay.

Categories: Camp, Ministry Tags: , , ,

JCreek ’08 – Installment V

[Installments II-IV can be found on my Facebook.]

Well, we have three week lefts here, and the end of my time here is not only on the horizon, but plainly in view. Last week was a week of exhaustion, both physically and emotionally, and we’ve all had the realizations of the difference between real life and life at camp.

This weekend I got to see my family and my best friend, and as I was driving the 3 hour drive back from Louisville, I felt, for the first time, that real life is going to be okay once camp ends. I am scared that my friendships here won’t last past camp, and I am scared that my growth and learnings here will disappear as soon as I get back into school.

God has taught me about my worth, and where to find it, and I’m pretty sure He’s going to continue doing that by removing things that are comfortable to me. He started with my physical environment, then my communication with my best friend, and then my video camera. I have asked Him to continue taking everything away until I find my worth in nothing else but Him.

It’s amazing how I came to camp to minister to kids through my videos, but I have learned so much more than anything I’ve ever shown a kid (I am only the video chick, anyway). I never would have imagined I would have opened up to people like I have, try to be a servant to people like I have, or had as much (or not as much) sleep as I have. I truly could stay here with these people forever, but I know this isn’t possible.

My time at Jonathan Creek is almost over, and for that I am sad.
But my journey with my Lord continues, and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for this, my last year of college.

Categories: Camp, Ministry Tags: , ,