Sunday, June 21, 2015

Orientation at University of West Florida 2015

I must warn y'all before you start reading this post that it is going to be pretty long. I just couldn't help myself this time!

 Okay.... what the heck Jamie!? Why are you turned backwards! Anyways, this was my group for orientation. 
These last five days have been super busy for me. It started out as a normal weekend on Friday. I drove myself to piano lessons, then went to teach a piano lesson. I filled up my gas tank, went to the bank and ran a few errands... I don't remember what they were but almost every Friday without fail I have something I have to go do. Saturday came and I woke up at 5 am to get ready to volunteer at a run that was going on in Pensacola called the Run 4 Hope. All proceeds from the run go to Christian charity organizations. My younger brother Levi decided to participate in the 5K run so he slapped on his boots and blue jeans and came along with us. My mom and I were working at a water booth at the one mile mark with other folks from our church. I've never volunteered at a run before so this was a fun new experience for me.

After the run there were food and drinks available for everyone and booths with information about the ministries the run was supporting. There was also a chin up bar where a competition got started to see who could do the most. I had fun cheering and watching everyone's neck muscles bulge and their faces turning red. The highest count was twenty two! Levi did eleven.

After the run I went to the farmers market and bought zucchini, cucumber, a cantaloupe, corn, and a spaghetti squash. After the market I stopped at Reynold's Music House in downtown Pensacola, did a little shopping at Target and TJ Max, then met up with Mom, Dad, and two of my younger brothers to go to the same adoption picnic we attended a year ago before we had met my four foster brothers. (I mention it briefly in this post here.) This time it was at the beach so we had a lot of fun.

After the picnic I was dropped back off to my car because I had to pick up some contact solution which I had forgotten to get earlier in the day. When I finally got home the day was almost over but I spent about an hour going through the music for church the next day.

Sunday morning came and I accidentally got up a half hour earlier than I needed to. *sad face*. Sunday's are normally pretty tiring for me but this Sunday was especially exhausting. After church everyone rushed out of the building as quickly as possible because everyone was going to head over to the Smith's house for a big summer fish fry/going away party for the Anderson family. The food and drinks were delicious, and we had all sorts of fun playing in the water. I went kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding and jet skiing. There were other things to do like playing ring toss, giant hula hoops, knee boarding, and getting pulled behind the boat on the biscuit and trying not to get knocked off. I pushed little kids on the swings and showed them interesting creatures you could find in the rocks and sand/muck of the bay.

This is downstairs at the Smith's house. Their home is raised up on stilts so there is plenty of space below for ping-pong, foosball, pool, a mini basketball hoop, Mr. Ron's shop, and plenty of storage for water toys and floats and what not.
When the party was over we didn't leave... my parents kept on talking. The sun had long since went to bed and I desperately wanted to follow. Alas, I was stuck there with no bed in sight. I mean, I like a good party, but you can't stay forever! When we finally got in the van to head home I said in a pitiful voice "I sure hope I don't have orientation tomorrow!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Breaking the Silence

Sometimes the silence is unbearable. Don't be afraid to make some noise.

This is the thought that slipped into my head a few weeks ago and it still hasn't come out. There is a book coming out called Tear Down this Wall of Silence by Dale Ingraham and Rebecca Davis. It's about sexual abuse in the church and how we should handle it. I haven't read it, but I believe my mom has and if you're friends with her on Facebook; then I am sure you have seen her post about it a few times. Even though I've never been sexually abused, this title still resonates deeply with me.

When I was young Mom gave me a small paperback book called Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved. It was dark blue and had a simple line drawing of a little girl looking up at a particular constellation in the sky. I remember laying in the bed of our small pickup truck at my brother's football practice. It was night and the lights were so bright on the field, that it was almost day. The story was about this little girl and how she grew up being sexually abused and how she dealt with it becoming an adult. Gazing up at the ink black sky, searching for that constellation, I learned compassion. I am thankful that Mom gave me that book to read. It is one of the key points that God used to open my eyes to see others suffering.