Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Miriam's July Update

Well, hey there! 

Doesn't it seem like we were just here, at the beginning of a new month? June was a flash of activity! I'm sure it's been busy for each of you too and I hope the summer has been great thus far! This month was full of just a couple of things for me, but when I say full....I mean FULL!

~Driving~ 

Are we there YET?!
 My sister, Moriah, moved out to California this month! And what better way to start out a new chapter in life than with a 25+ hour long road trip?! Me, Moriah and our Dad got to drive a 15' moving truck, plus Moriah's car towed behind, all the way out to her new abode in Cali!

While it was a tight squeeze in that front seat, it really was so much fun! I'm incredibly glad to have gotten to spend that time with my family and to see Moriah off to a good start in her new home.

Made it!

I'm going to miss her so SO much, but I know God's got great plans for her out there and will do wonderful things in her life. This next year I'll have to be much more purposeful in peer friendships, since I won't have my go-to girl close by anymore. Be praying with us that God really strengthens our friendship, even being so far away, and with other people who live near us!











~Conversations~


This has been my most encouraging and favorite part of the summer so far! I'm right in the middle of fundraising and helping to build the leader team for Denton next year, both of which require many conversations!

Fundraising - I've gotten to talk to so many of you, my dear ministry partners, over the course of this last month. Each time has just been so encouraging to me as we get to catch up and share what all is going on in our lives.
You are just the biggest blessing to me! Fundraising can be a frustrating and intimidating season for me to walk through, but when I get to talk with you, it helps me refocus on why I'm spending the next three years of my life in campus ministry and to remember that God is always fully in control. THANK YOU for your financial and prayer support in my life! I would not get to be on full time staff without you guys! Please continue to pray that I will be fully funded for next year by August 1st.

Side Note, God Deal Story - This year has been such a hard one for fundraising for me! There have been many times where I've felt pretty helpless and unproductive in all of my efforts. But there have been a couple of really sweet times that God reminds me that it's not ALL about MY efforts. One that particularly blessed me lately was a conversation I had right after getting back from California. I hadn't been able to do too much work and I had been feeling the pressure of time slipping by me quickly! I spent my layover time in the airport sending out messages to people that I had been praying about contacting, but hadn't been able to just yet.

One of those was to a family that had quite an impact on my older sisters and who I have fond memories of, just haven't seen since I was maybe thirteen or so! They responded QUICKLY and we had a meeting set up to talk within the next couple of days. I was so nervous about that meeting, but as we talked, she just put me right at ease. At one point, she mentioned "You know, this timing is crazy. My husband and I had been praying the morning you messaged us about where to start investing in some other ministries. And then I got your message!"

Whoaaaaaaa! That was just a huge reminder that God is going before me and is still in control and has even better plans than what I'm aware of. I'm so thankful for Him revealing Himself in little ways like that and for the peace that brings me. Our God is soo good, right!?

Leader Team 2014-2015
Leader Team - These conversations have been so much fun! I get to talk through the leadership/spiritual qualities FOCUS looks for in its leaders, the amount of commitment it will require and the standard of life that is expected. So far, I'm really impressed with the caliber of potential girl leaders that I've gotten to talk to over the course of this month. It's been exciting to see the different strengths they are coming with and for them to be open about areas that God is working on in their lives. This last month, I've clearly seen the spiritual fruit of many of the girls that I've mentored over the course of this past school year! God is clearly at work in these college students' lives and I'm thrilled to get to be part of it again!




~Summer FOCUS~


My prayer for our students!
This summer has been a stellar one for the Summer FOCUS Sermons! The theme this time around is "Ministry in Community." It's been a very practical and impactful series. We started out with reminding students that the point of being in a Christian community is to minister to each other through Christ. Helping them remember that it's everybody's responsibility to be ministers to each other, not just the ones who have the Official Title of minister or leader, was key in moving forward with the other topics. So far we've talked about battling depression, body stewardship, controlling your thoughts, and emotional regulation. By the end of the summer, we'll have covered comparing ourselves to others, addiction to entertainment, body image, and porn and healthy sexuality. I've heard such good feedback from students about how they've really been ministered to through some of these harder topics. Please keep praying with me that the Spirit continues to move in their lives and that real life change happens this summer.




~Team Bonding~

We had our first "Denton Staff Retreat" this last weekend! Shout our to our campus director, Matt Clark's, parents for opening their lovely home to us! This was a great couple of days to really get to know each other better, spend some time in prayer and worship, plan our goals for next school year and play a million games of croquet. I think this next year is going to be awesome. We have a great team with such diverse thoughts and talents being brought to the table!
From left to right: Cody McCarty - loyal pal, deep thinker and mortal enemy of all croquet players. Kelly Schlitz - extreme organizer and straight talker with a big heart. Aaron Hollingsworth - residential artist, eye for detail and pastoral thinker. Matt Clark - campus director boss man, positive critical thinker and long term plan maker, also astoundingly good at croquet. Me - the sweet one and #2 cryer in all things emotional. Sarah Hubbard (aka Shubs) - the out-loud brain-stormer, driver, and #1 in the reception of friendly heckling as the baby of the team.

Take some time to check out their blogs, too! I'll be working with this bunch for a while,  for which I'm totally stoked! 




~Mom Update~

Mom's doing well! She got to go back to Kansas just before all the tropical storms hit Houston, which was a major blessing. She's about to start her 3rd round of chemo in a couple weeks. It seems to really knock her down for about two weeks after and her immune system is still so low that she can't really see many people even after that, but she seems to be responding well! And she got to drive herself for the first time in six months last week!! Yay Mom!!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for me and my Mom!

Love you all and am thankful for each one of you!