Dear Homecoming Queen

Dear Homecoming Queen,

I hope you know that this changes nothing. This is not your identity. This is not your one-way ticket to popularity or to the guy you’ve been seriously crushing on since freshman year. This is not an amazing experience where all of a sudden people look at you different or treat you differently. It almost seems like it never happened because life just keeps moving on.

You get all these ideas about what it’s going to feel like if you win. You think that everything said above will magically come true & that your whole world will change dramatically. You think that you will feel better about yourself because the student body picked YOU. YOU are the chosen one…

But, in reality, nothing changes inside. You feel the same. You might feel great about yourself for maybe a couple of hours, but in reality, you know that absolutely everything goes back to normal eventually. You still wish, however, that it would bring you more joy, peace, happiness, likability, identity, love, acceptance, etc. But none of that is true. It is a lie that the enemy tells us to try to fill our Jesus hole with something that is not Him & everyone knows that a square cannot fit into a circle shaped hole.

Continue reading “Dear Homecoming Queen”

Share

Spiritual Warfare Teaching

Hey all! I pray that all is awesome wherever you are in life! I am SO excited for my first blog post about something that I’ve learned in my DTS. This week, one of my leaders, Dale, taught us about spiritual warfare. It was super cool to see him in a teaching position in the classroom as he is usually not teaching us in there [he is usually teaching us life lessons throughout the day]. However, he was made for this! He absolutely excelled in following the promptings of Holy Spirit & teaching what God wanted him to teach. It was awesome to see him every now & again take a breath & say out loud, “Okay God, what do you want me to say here? I am not sure, so please direct me to say what you want me to say.” Or, “I am confused, and I know that you are not a God of confusion. Give me the words to speak.”

The picture is from the white board that Dale wrote on all week. In the process, he was just writing things in places & told us that it would all make sense in the end. He was correct. There was clarity in the chaos.

Continue reading “Spiritual Warfare Teaching”

Share

New York City: Outreach Prep & Exploring

Hello everyone! I hope that you’ve had a great couple of weeks since the last time that I’ve posted. I have been kept quite busy since returning to 360 earlier this month. The team & I went to Staten Island to do Hurricane Sandy Relief work for the purpose of outreach prep. We leave in about a month & a half for Nepal, so the leaders wanted to work out some of the kinks before we left for the real deal. We had a few days in New York City to explore. It was so much fun!

On Staten Island, we worked on two houses. The houses were built, but there was still much to do. We did insulation, painting, priming, caulking, cleaning, electrical, & anything else that they needed us to do. We worked hard, but there was so much fun involved! Everyone was laughing & having a good time basically all of the time. It was so fun to be a part of such an incredible team who love each other & constantly build everyone up.

We had 2 free days in the city, & it was my first time exploring such a big city! It was super fun & we saw A LOT! On Sunday, we went to Hillsong NYC, which was incredible!! The worship was awesome & the message was so relevant. It was about making God your first love again. Continue reading “New York City: Outreach Prep & Exploring”

Share

Dear 2015

Dear 2015,

You were quite the year for me.

I became homecoming queen. I went to Cleveland, Ohio with 9 other seniors + my principle [& some people from his church] from my high school to help transform a church that was last decorated in the 70s. I went to my last homecoming & had a ton of fun with my friends. I went to my last junior/senior [not prom]. I went to King’s Island one last time with my school. I graduated high school. [PRAISE!] I went on my senior trip that I helped plan for the majority of the year. I got my first henna tattoo. I had a joint graduation celebration with two of my cousins that fell on my 18th birthday & the majority of my extended family came [which was awesome because I love my family]. I went to Virginia with my family to watch my cousin graduate high school & turned that into a vacation. I caught up with one of my best friends who moved to Texas. I started my blog. I traveled by myself for the first time to Germany to visit my aunt, uncle & little cousin for a month [read about my adventures!]. I went to the Air1 Positive Hits Tour & met some really cool people. Then finally I moved to Maine for The 360 Experience – a gap year program that is part of YWAM [youth with a mission] in September. Since I’ve moved to Maine I’ve gained more sisters, done team building exercises like – camping, hiking a mountain, painting a picture, & other games. I’ve also been taught, learned, grown, & stretched WAY out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen & taken pictures at some really beautiful places like Portland Headlight, an apple farm, & Boston. I also did a 23 hour stint at home where my family met my 360 family on our way to Alabama for an YWAM conference. I met some AWESOME people at the Alabama conference & God did some really cool things through me that I’ll talk about in a later post. I have officially been to Boston in the fall, so now I will have to lie or change the lyrics when I sing that Veggie Tales song. I attended the Love Feast that the staff put on for all the students [it’s where we got all fancy & they served us all evening – from our food to washing our feet]. I went home for Christmas & picked up our exchange student from 8 years ago Zehafta [she’s from Ethiopia]. I had an awesome time being home where it was mostly chill. I had a super fun day in Nashville with my family & some of our friends. I finally brought in the new year with my family in our house.

I’ve done, accomplished, achieved, grown, & lived so much in this year. I’ve learned to love & accept myself & my past. I’ve learned to really know that God is always with me & that He loves me through all of it [Colton Dixon reference, but really]. I’ve learned that I CANNOT do it by myself. I’ve learned the difference between being comfortable [something that I think we SHOULD be with God. I think that we need to view our relationship with Him as one that we are extremely comfortable with, such as a best friend or spouse. You feel no shame discussing anything & everything with that person]  & complacent [something we should NEVER be. I think that this is comfort gone wrong. When you are complacent, you are stagnant & there is no growth in your relationship]. I also learned that confrontation is healthy

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who is in my life & has made it fun & exciting. This year is definitely one for the books, and I CANNOT wait to see what God has in store for 2016.

With so much love,

Rebekah 🙂

Share

Christmas Break 2015

Hello everyone! It’s been a while. I am currently at home on Christmas break from my DTS. It’s been a blessing to be home to regroup & gain some rest so that I can finish strong! My family has had a few relaxing days where we just played board games, but we definitely had fun days where we went out. For example, we went to Nashville with some of our friends for a day! It was SO much fun! We watched a Nashville Predators [hockey] game. They played the New York Rangers & won 5-3!

Nashville Preds vs NY Rangers game 2015

our row of people @ Preds game 2015

EVERYBODY @ Preds game in Nashville 2015

& we went ice skating!! I didn’t fall once!! 🙂

Zach & I trying to ice skate 2015

Zachariah wanted me to push him because he wanted to get comfortable skating backward. I was impressed that he trusted me that much as I was SUPER uncomfortable skating forwards. However, neither of us fell, so that’s a blessing.

Laura & I ice skating 2015

Jo & I ice skating 2015

Continue reading “Christmas Break 2015”

Share

YWAM: Intro & Orientation Week


Hey guys! Long time, no blog… Sorry about that. My summer after I got back from Germany was not all that exciting. But now, I am in Maine!! I am currently four weeks into YWAM (Youth with a Mission): The 360 Experience. I hope to start having a weekly or bimonthly blog update about what is happening in my life. It will more than likely be put up on the weekend sometime. This is an introduction blog post, so it will not be formatted like my future updates. This one is to introduce you to my team & staff & let you in on orientation week. So without further ado, please enjoy this update!

Mom & one of our good friends Justin dropped me off 4ish weeks ago. Since then, time has flown by, and I feel like I’ve been here forever. I’ll first give you the scoop of who everyone is:

360 group pic w/ names

That is the whole crew minus the director Josh & his wife Tiffany. There are 9 female students: myself, my two roommates Dora & Dani, Natalie, Courtney, Rachel, Meghan, Azsia, & Naomi. Rob is the only male student. All of the female students plus Cassidy & Emily (who are two of our staff members) live in a house together. It is basically a sorority. Rob lives with Dale (also one of our staff members) a couple of miles from us. They come over every day except for Saturdays for dinner at our house. Garrett & Sophia are married and live elsewhere. Josh & Tiffany have three adorable kids named Cadence, Silas, & Gideon & also live elsewhere.

Now I’ll let you in on what we’ve done so far. Monday – Wednesday (September 14-16) were orientation days where we learned more about the school & rules and other very exciting things like that. We also did a lot of team building exercises. One included painting a picture that depicted the 18 Values of YWAM. We worked super hard & everyone’s opinions & thoughts were heard. It was incredible to be a part of it.

360 group painting

We also did a HUGE scavenger hunt throughout South Portland that ended at a bridge that had a bunch of locks on it. 360 put one on there to signify that our time there is locked in & we are a forever family. It was a blast to discover Portland & run around like a bunch of crazy kids. I have never done a huge hunt like that, so it was so much fun for me!

360 Lock

Thursday – Saturday (September 17-19) were spent at New England Frontier Camp. It is a camp about 1 ½ -2 hours from where we live. It is a place where God rests. For real. It is amazing. But besides that, there is a lake with paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. It was super fun to canoe out to the center of the lake with some girls, then hop out and try paddle boarding. It’s kinda really scary, but also awesome! I would love to try it again sometime. On Friday, we climbed Mount Chocorua which is quite an adventure… (AKA. I would love to never climb it again… like ever). Our group picture is at the top of that mountain. It was beautiful, but it was quite the process. But God is speaking to me about that, so you’ll be a part of this huge process that God is going to take me on. Anyways, on Saturday we help to clean up the camp & do whatever they needed us to do. It was an awesome time, and I would love to go back again!

Last Sunday (September 20) began the first official week of classes and an actual schedule. We had church, then Discover 101 which is a class for new people in the church to discover who New Life (the church that we are interning at) is and how they can fit in. The rest of the day was a free day.

 

The first three weeks of classes have flown by, and they’ve been incredible! Week 1 Josh Lebel (our director) talked about the character and nature of God. Week 2 Troy Sherman (super awesome dude) talked about relationships. Week 3 Tiffany Lebel (our director’s wife) talked about hearing the voice of God.

Soon I will be posting a more in-depth update about each week because they have all been so incredible & all need their own update. That’s it for now!

With so much love,

Rebekah 🙂

Share

Germany: Part 3

Hello everyone! I hope that you are having a fantastic day today! Now I will continue where I left off last time. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 2, 2015. This morning, Caleb had a checkup. All went well, and afterwards we went to have some brunch. I have to say that I am falling in love with German breakfasts. I mean who doesn’t love bread, meat, cheese, and jams?
breafast before & after
After our delicious brunch (where I tried salmon. I loved it!), we walked around for a little bit, & I got this super cute picture of Mogi & Caleb!
Mogi & Caleb 2
That afternoon Kristyn, Caleb, and I hung around the house, and Mogi went to work. Then after dinner, Mogi took me to an organ concert in an old monastery. We both agreed that while it was really cool, it lasted way to long. After the concert, we walked around the wall surrounding the monastery. It was cool to look through the windows & see some houses. It was also beginning to get dark, so I got to capture the sunset. It was pretty magnificent!
Monastery

Sunset from the wall

picture from a window on the wall surrounding the monastery
As we were driving home, Mogi asked if I wanted ice cream, so of course the answer was yes! He parked, then we walked to the same ice cream shop that Kristyn, Caleb, and I ate at a few days before. But this time I wanted chocolate, so I got this massive bowl of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. It was pretty amazing!
chocolate ice cream
As we were walking back to the car, Mogi ran into some friends. To avoid being awkward, I snapped this shot of Schwäbisch Hall at night. I personally really like it because of the watery reflection & the sky.
Schwäbisch Hall @ night

Continue reading “Germany: Part 3”

Share

Germany: Part 2

Hello everyone!! Happy belated July 4/ Independence Day!!! I hope your day has been full of American goodness & lots of yummy food & good times with your friends, family, neighbors, etc!! I celebrated by BBQing some homemade hamburgers as my something American for the day. Anywho, I will now continue from where I left off in my last blog.

Sunday, June 28, 2015. For breakfast we made pancakes & fruit salad. YUMMY!! Church was in the afternoon, so we just had the morning to hang around. And that morning was very important to my uncle, as he was going to make me my first cup of German coffee. I had told him before that I didn’t like coffee, but that I was willing to try anything. So he made me a latte, and…. I really did not like it at all!!! I would post a reaction picture, but I really don’t want that face on the internet, so I won’t. Kristyn also let me try her iced cappucino another day (which is about 80% milk, 18% coffee, 2% sugar & ice cubes), and I still found the coffee too bitter.

i don't like coffee

For lunch, we headed to Oma’s (Mogi’s grandmother) where she cooks every Sunday for Mogi’s parents, but Mogi & Kristyn only go every few weeks. She made us ham, mashed cauliflower, and baked potatoes. I ate the ham and tried the cauliflower, but I did not like the cauliflower, so Kristyn ate it. After lunch, it was time for coffee & cakes. As we figured out earlier, I really don’t like coffee, so I just ate some cake. However, that was fine by me!

We headed home after Oma’s, because we still had a few hours before church. When we got home, I changed because I had a cute outfit idea. And who knew when the next time I could kind of dress up would be? (I guess I should point out that today’s church was a big Passion meeting of all the small groups to give testimonies, have some worship, and have a short message). At church, a few people spoke English and came up and said ”hi” to me. If you were one of those people, danke (thanks!). Kristyn translated it all for me, as you know, they spoke German. There were some really awesome testimonies! The worship was in German, so I just made up my own words. And the message was really cool. It was about God’s glory. Sometimes He works through us, and sometimes He works just by himself. Both are really awesome!!

After church, we Skyped my grandparents (aka Kristyn & my mom’s parents). I also FaceTimed with Abby Sams & my family, as she was at my house. It was so good to talk to her & the rest of the clan!! <3 We had dinner (but no one remembers what we had. It has been about a week..). Mogi read a passage out of Galatians, and then we all dicussed it. We also had communion as a little family. Then we all went to bed.

Continue reading “Germany: Part 2”

Share

Germany: Part 1

Well, I made it to Germany!! Thank you all so much for your prayers!! I felt totally at peace and safe the whole trip! It was definitely Jesus! Now let me catch you up on all that has happened so far.

Mom & Johanna dropped me off at the airport, and off I went! Mom & Jo sending me off

The plane rides went very smoothly, and all my seat mates were very friendly. On the first two flights, I had men who feel asleep, so I just read the Kindle & the airplane magazine. Here is a picture of the wing of the plane & the sky from my Charlotte to Philadelphia flight.

typical wing picture

On the long flight, the one from Philadelphia to Frankfurt, Germany, I managed to get some sleep, eat, and break my ear buds. 🙁 However, the plane food was actually pretty good, and it was hot! For dinner I had the choice of either chicken or pasta (I went for the pasta), a roll, a salad, some gourmet crackers & cheddar cheese, and a double crunch brownie. I was filled and very content! For breakfast I had raspberry yogurt, granola, a mixed berry flat top muffin, and a cranberry medley from Nature Box (I’ve heard good things about them. They are a healthy – no artificial sweetners, flavors, or colors – snack delivery system. You can find out more at naturebox.com.)

dinner on the plane             breakfast on the plane

Once I made it to Franfurt, I went through customs (that went as easy as it could go!) & got my checked bag. I went to the front of the airport, because that’s where I thought that Kristyn would come in from parking the car, but she actually came in from another car lot that was behind me! So we both waited for about 30 minutes in different parts of the airport because we thought that that is where we were going to be! (Note: I did try calling her, but she didn’t hear her phone ring). Eventually I walked to where Kristyn was, and where I was supposed to be, and we found each other.

Continue reading “Germany: Part 1”

Share

Life Update #1

Tomorrow is the day that I head out to Germany!!!!

I will be gone from June 24 – July 21. I will be staying with my Uncle Mogi, Aunt Kristyn, and cousin Caleb. I will fly out of Lexington, then to Charlotte, North Carolina, then to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From Philly, I fly overnight to Frankfurt, Germany where Kristyn and Caleb will come pick me up.

I don’t know what each day will hold, but Kristyn has said that she has some fun things planned for us to do. And I have full faith that she will not let me get bored. I will also be keeping you guys updated on what we do with tons of pictures and details of our day.

I would love if you would pray for the safety of my flights & the pilots that are flying my planes that I am traveling in. Please also pray for my seat buddy – that they will be nice & kind & openhearted. I would also love to not be badly jet lagged when I arrive and when I come back home.

Continue reading “Life Update #1”

Share