Friday, June 12, 2015

random update sans formatting

So it's really odd to be blogging from my phone! No idea how this is going to show up on all of y'all's laptops and such, but it's the best I could do right now. So bear with however the html and whatnot actually turned out, if there is any discrepancy (see also: typos.)

Camp training week is almost over, and if everything goes according to plan, I will have campers by Sunday afternoon. Please pray!! I had a mini panic attack today and freaked out! Not my most pleasant moment.

+It's super hot already. I wear gym shorts and bandanas every single day, and yesterday I bought a whistle. #campswag #staycool +I am nothing without the Word. +Camp food is terrifying, inedible and a little glorious all at the same time. +Coming back to WOL has been like coming home. Hard as it's been, my camp family is all here from last summer, and that's marvelous and comforting. +I just used the word marvelous. Who am I? +2nd Corinthians is my book of the summer. +I see you there, with your Bob Dylan hair.

Staff campfire tonight. That's a thing.
Peace.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

{last} super sappy & emotional post til august

My morning began at 5:12 a.m., when I rolled over on my side, still dreaming with my eyes open. (Does anybody else do this right before consciously waking?) Since today is the day I leave for my next nine week gig as a camp counselor (one week of training & eight weeks of counseling, to be exact), I couldn't get my mind to slow its racing enough for me to fall back asleep. So I got up and fixed myself a bowl of cereal, lit a candle and starting reading blogs as the sky turned from stormy grey to the pale blue of morning.

I didn't want to write one of those super nostalgic posts where I ruminate on the past and marvel at the present and future, but I'm really in awe of how full circle God has taken me. I began this blog with the purpose of documenting my year at Bible college, and now that year is over. My exit requirement before graduating in early August is camp counseling. And then a whole new crop of students come for school in September. Bizarre! Life is all about seasons.

This will likely be my last post until August, unless I can find a (rare) spare moment to catch up, provided I can find a computer. Til then, please enjoy these favorite shots from my year at Word of Life, starting with last summer and ending with this current moment.

Have a great summer! Keep camp in your prayers!

Summer.


A still from the Staff Video. You know, just staring down Germ-X and what not. The usual.


These were my wonderful, silly & Godly roomates for the entire summer last year! Jibbles & Bits, Big Ang, Stephanie, Jena, Usher & Wigs. #summer2014 #neverforget



How I wish I would get to spend a 2nd summer with Maddie, working the front desk, cleaning out the men's restroom (ok, maybe not that!) and living up #thatcamplife. I know God has great plans for her, but I really do wish she was coming to camp this year cuz it won't be the same without her! Love ya, girl.


This was our summer band for the year, minus a few folks. Our electric guitarist will be counseling along with my sister and I this summer, and our band leader is coming back as a video supervisor. Our pianist lives only a few minutes away, so it's safe to say that nearly all of the band will be back again this year! So excited.

First Semester. 


This was the very first day of classes. Kind of insane to look back on now. These were my suite mates at the start of the year. My suite gained and lost a lot of girls over the school year (there's a final photo at the end of this post) but it has been a great experience growing with them!

Mini McDonald's in Safetytown. Nuff said.


These three folks became some of my closest friends this year. Aaron, Malcolm & Adeline. God certainly knew what He was doing when He blessed me by being part of such a great yearbook staff. There was laughter, and there were hard times, but we got that yearbook finished!! I'm so excited to see what our final product looks like. It's been awesome to get to share such fun times working and chilling with my studio family. I love them all!


God also really blessed me with learning how to use a camera. I wasn't that great of a photographer before learning how to use a Canon for the yearbook this year! I still have a lot to learn, and am not super proud of a ton of the pictures I've featured on this blog, but I'm excited to see how I've grown. And I've gotten some rad shots. Particularly of my sister Kaylie at one of our favorite nature spots on campus. 

Record sharing day 2014. Bethany rocks.




There really is some wicked awesome golden hour light on our campus. Grateful for friends that let me shoot them, haha. 

Santa stayed there the remainder of the year. 





My sister & cousin & I got even closer than we already were this year, and we were pretty tight to start with. So grateful for God's timing and the fact that we three got to attend Bible college the same exact year. That's going to be a story for the grandchildren! 

Second Semester.



The view from the studio is pretty stellar. 
Poncho days with my roomie, Baby E.

This girl is my very best friend. Sometimes it feels like we are the same person. We have grown so much together and on our own this year at school, and I can't wait to see how God uses Kaylie as a camp counselor. So glad to have someone who is going through the same things as me this year. 


Feeling judged by the hipster people on Valentine's Day at Oxford Exchange. Loved getting to know Malcolm this year! He is truly talented, driven and transformed by the power of Christ. Cool guy.




Blessed to get to know my friend Aaron as well. (A different Aaron than the one I mentioned previously. There's a lot of us Aaron/Erins!) He has a gift for poetry, words, wit, and is compassionate and understanding. Not to mention, hilarious! Privileged to get to know him and serve alongside him with my ministry team this year.
 



My sweet suite! Beautiful, every last one of them. God has a plan for us, and I'm glad it included being in the same dorm family. Shout out to my awesome RA, Kayla, for all her hard work!

By far one of the sweetest and fun-loving souls on campus! It was a blast getting to know Kyle Steven this year. He definitely livened up the school. On a deeper level, I am inspired by his heart to serve others, specifically on the missions field in South Africa. I know God has massive plans for his life, and I can't wait to see how He accomplishes them! 



One of my best buds this year and frequent dinner accomplice, Chris Smith. (I don't know why I always include his last name. Also frequently referred to as "Rock Wall Chris", his nickname that still endures from two summers ago, haha.) Chris has encouraged me so much this year and has been a great listener! He is a truly rad dude who seeks to be used by the Lord in all he does. He is talented, friendly, funny and is definitely going to be a great camp counselor. Chris, if you're reading this, I still have to post the rest of your pictures. I did not forget!

That's all she wrote~

Friday, June 5, 2015

summer camp say what?????

Currently in an unstable state of procrastinating packing, panicking and sitting on my couch in a stupor because TOMORROW I leave for camp for nine weeks to counsel!! This is my sixth summer at Word of Life, which is insanity! I spent four years as a camper, one as an STCer to earn a scholarship for college, and now I'm going to be a camp counselor! WHAT. I never imagined when I first came to camp as a scared sophomore that I would six years later be a counselor at that very same camp. I don't even have words. I'm freaking out and that's all I have to say.

This verse helped me out during camp last year, and it is my prayer that the Lord would do super wonderful things beyond my ability. I know I'm going to have tons of stories to share with you all! See you in August!

"For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains trembled before You." ~ Isaiah 64:3

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

feelin' that in-between

Not quite a camp counselor,
Not quite a junior in college yet.

It was weird, yesterday my Dad & sister & I sat down to re-apply to the university I spent two years at prior to attending the Bible college I'm with right now. And it almost felt as if this gap year had never happened, as if I had just taken a really long nap between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the fall. And all these memories came rushing back: writing for the school paper, walking down by the bay, smiling and laughing during honors classes with the group I'd gotten familiar with, stepping into creative writing class nervously that first day. And in a way, college has helped shape me into who I am. It's shown me what I love to do and what I'm good at, and how to relate to people who don't share my beliefs. And the downtown area around my school has opened my eyes to such glories as live music and vinyl records, amazing gelato and a glorious sea breeze.

But odd.
So very odd.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

do you notice people when they walk by on the sidewalk?

All these things are happening to people & I can't stop the pain from coming. And it's scary because after trying so hard to be a catcher -- and failing -- I sometimes don't even seem to see the people falling anymore.

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around -- nobody big, I mean -- except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff -- I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.” -- Catcher in the Rye

Monday, June 1, 2015

i wrote this weeks ago but never got around to posting it




Yesterday my sister and I sat opposite each other in a Panera Bread booth and reflected on the last eight months of Bible college. I would like to say that I enjoyed every last minute of my year at the Bible Institute, but I didn't. It was hard. It hurt. Sometimes, I felt as if I hated everything about it.

But I would do it all over again. 
It's what God had for me this year. 

When I first arrived at the "BI" in September, I thought I was going to charge through the year and take it down like a hunter would a weaker prey. I was going to secure a slot on the praise band, I was going to get a perfect 4.0 GPA, and I would basically coast through the year until things got tough during the mandatory exit requirement, being a summer camp counselor to young girls for eight consecutive (and exhausting) weeks.

As it turns out, I was 50 shades of INCORRECT.

I came into this Bible Institute year with a lot of pride and selfishness. I still struggle with these things, and know I probably always will, at least to some degree. But upon my arrival, I really thought I was going to be able to tackle this year on my own. Of course, God used my own self-confidence to break me. One of the passages that have become my own this year is one of weakness:

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~ 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

This year has been all about learning to rely on Christ. I'm so prideful! I think that I know exactly what God is going to do with my life, and I think I can tell Him exactly how He should do it. And then He turns around and does the opposite. He is always surprising me with blessings out of the blue, and with unexpected twists in my path. It's tough, because I want things my way, and I want to be in control. But His ways are better. 

This year I've also learned to set aside legalistic ways. I used to think that if I wasn't reading my Bible every day or praying regularly, that God was looking down on me with some kind of dissatisfied disgust. I thought that His favor for me was based upon my performance. But we are all sinners, and we all fall short. And I don't stop sinning just because I'm saved! So if I think that I've got to impress God, I'm going to be miserable. I fail Him, myself and others daily. 

But He gives us more grace.

"When we were overwhelmed by sins, You forgave our transgressions." ~ Psalm 65:3

I came to the Bible Institute thinking that I had it all together. I thought I could rely on myself, but now I see I can only ever rely on all that Christ is. And that's exactly what I'm going to have to do as a camp counselor in just five short days. EGAD!