(you can find the first WHO I AM post off to the side if you want to read along)
Soooo....CSCS was the land of the rich and famous.
Well, maybe not the famous, but definitely the rich. I couldn’t believe the houses that these people lived in. Seriously? A winding staircase? A maid? A basement with a movie theatre? How was I supposed to invite anyone over to my little house in the “south” part of town? I found myself running in some serious money circles and I lived on Chestnut street, which is WAY far away from Briargate, and even further away from Monument.
And as for church? Well, we didn’t exactly go to woodmen or pulpit or new life….we went to First Wesleyan….ever heard of it?
I look back and I’m actually thankful that I grew up in a family that didn’t really have money. I look back and am in awe of the heritage that I have in the Wesleyan church, but back then?
Back then I was just embarrassed.
I always wanted to hide in the corner every time my dad would pull up to soccer practice in our huge blue beast while all my teammates were throwing their gear in the back of sweet SUV’s. But, there’s not really a corner in the middle of a park, is there?
I was forced to learn at an early age to NOT put my confidence….
-in what kind of car we drove
-in what kind of house we lived in
My parents were constantly driving into us the precious, precious truth that we could be confident in who we were in CHRIST. And that confidence in Christ? Let me tell you, it is steadfast, it is unwavering, and it is, by far, my GREATEST possession.
(quick Jesus background: had the whole “acceptance” experience when I was 4 or 5 on my bro’s bed during family devos, was baptized when I was 12, by my dad, at First Wesleyan....
(it's super blurry, but i TREASURE this picture)
....which just happens to be the church where my grandpa pastored, the church my parents got married in and the church that Dave and I got married in….talk about legacy…geez)
Up until the middleschool zone, “church” and “God” were family things more than me things. I LOVED camps growing up and it was at a summer camp in the middle of Nebraska where I remember making a decision to walk with, to follow and give my ENTIRE life to HIM.
NO MATTER WHAT.
God used Ray Boltz song “I pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” to solidify MY faith in Him. (I know, I know, Ray Boltz….scandalous)
Let’s see…..High School……..I was WAY into soccer at this point.
Doing tournaments in the summer, playing for Pride in the fall,
indoor in the winter and for CSCS in the spring.
(me and joy....she was always SO tan for the spring soccer season, cuz they always went somewhere "beachy" for spring break)
Soccer memories and highlights.....
-my club team played in a friendship tournament up in denver. Teams came from EVERYWHERE around the world. We traded pins and flags and tshirts. I remember one team had to have an “oxygen” break since we were playing at such high altitude. (wimps.)
-we went to semi-finals in state my freshman year. I think I was too young to grasp how big this was and what a big deal it really was.
- scoring 4 goals at a regional game my senior year (this was a big deal cuz I never scored more than rals :))
- losing to Faith Christian at quarterfinals my senior year. What a feeling….the last time playing for my school and LOSING. It SUCKED (and they put maroon dyed carnations on all of our bags….ridiculous)
I had 4 closest friends throughout high school (jess, joy, tasha, and danielle).
(us at a banquet...there are about a million pictures of the 5 of us at some banquet)
The 5 of us were ALWAYS together. We even went to California together for Jess’s birthday.
(did you ever cut out pictures? i have TONS of pictures of the 5 of us that i cut out and taped in my locker :))
We were all so different, but we loved and laughed HARD together. I don’t really even know how it happened, how the 5 of us became inseparable,
(another cut out picture....this one, i apparently got all crafty and even cut out around the heads. wow.)
but it did and they were the BIGGEST part of my teenage years (aside from meeting and falling in love with Dave :))
These girls (now amazing women) taught me SO much about life.
(in the hallways of CSCS)
I’m so thankful that I learned at a young age what true friendship can look like. You can fight and disagree and say what you think and still be best friends.
(i had to include this one...one day we thought it'd be super cool to go to hobby lobby and do a photo shoot of ourselves :))
(one from our combined graduation party...jess's eyes are closed...sorry jess)
The 5 of us went through lots of crazy emotional things together, we learned a lot together, these girls played a major role in making me who I am today and I am so grateful for their friendships (still today :))
i could just KEEP posting pictures of the 5 of us....seriously. but here's a final pic of me with the posterboard we made for our graduation party. it's all pictures of "us".
Love you Joy. Love you Jess. Love you Tash. Love you Dan. You are FOREVER apart of me and have FOREVER impacted my story.
During High School, we went through a couple of HARD things as a family.
Matt went off to college. I remember crying SO hard at his graduation. My dad retired as Pastor of First Wesleyan….this meant a new church, and a new house (we lived in the parsonage up till this point). I’m so glad that my friendships were rock solid at CSCS, otherwise I KNOW this could have rocked my world WAY more than it did. (in fact we ended up moving super close to Amanda…who ended up being one of my closest friends our senior year, throughout college and still is to this day)
I went to Mexico twice during high school. Both times to build houses in Juarez. I know that God did a BUNCH in my heart during those trips.
-Gave me perspective, compassion and gratefulness.
-Gave me a glimpse into the vastness of his love and the HUGENESS of His heart.
-Taught me that being uncomfortable can be SO GOOD for us and that working HARD on someone else’s behalf is very rewarding.
-HOOKED me on loving kids and teaching kids about how much Jesus loves them.
Sooooo, my Mexico trips along with a very impactful sermon by John Maxwell at a Youth Conference had me determined that God wanted me to be in ministry….specifically ministry to children.
I got a scholarship to play soccer at Indiana Wesleyan University, and I had heard GREAT things about their Religion Department, so I headed there in the fall of ’99.
(didn’t really touch on Dave and I at all in this one…. I think I’m going to do a Who I Am-The Dave Story after I make it through my college years)