The time has come. Seven hours until the new year, 38 hours until I step on the plane to Kona, Hawaii. And while I still have a lot to do, I’m so ready. Ready for the emotional and physical roller coaster of 2013 to be finally over; ready for the island breeze of 2014 to rush over my body.
My take-away from this year? Simple: God’s plan is NOT my plan, of which I am so thankful for. 2013 has been about my expectations being ground to dust, to make room for things so much better. There is no way I could have anticipated the mountains I would climb this year, and as hard as it was, I’m glad I climbed them. I have found my victory is Jesus.
This new years, I’m focusing on what is coming, instead of what has past. I’m focusing on the blessings instead of the valleys. I could talk forever about the lessons I’ve learned this year, but I have neither the time or energy. For now I’m simply looking forward: to the new friends I will meet, the new lessons I will learn, the new places I will see, and most importantly, the new ways I will grow closer to God. Because I’ve learned when everything is stripped away, he alone matters.
These past few weeks I have been meditating on the words from the Valley Song by Jars of Clay:
While we wait, for a rescue, with our eyes tightly shut,
face to the ground, using our hands, to cover the fatal cut. And though the pain is an ocean, tossing us, around, around, around, You have calmed greater waters, and higher mountains have come down.
I will sing of Your Mercy, that leads me through valleys of sorrow, to rivers of joy…
Thank you dear friends for reading and keeping up with me! I am so excited to share with you about new adventure! Stay tuned for updates while I am in Kona! New Years blessings on you!
Be Still…translated from the Hebrew word râphâh, which literal means cease, fail, idle, let alone, slack and to be weak or slothful.
Think about those English words for a moment. Do they sound like good things to do? Not in the culture! In our present age, it is all about being the fastest and most efficient. We strive to be self-suffocate, independent people. Its all about how much we can do do do, to be there best best BEST! Busy…has somehow become the new happy. But it isn’t very happy at all.
From reading Psalm 46, it sure doesn’t sound like God’s idea of happy either. Apparently, God wants us to slow down…stop and think if him. This is does not come natural to me, this has been my struggle for the past couple months.
I am different than a lot of people; I’m an odd combo, an oxi-moron. I am a major extrovert…with some major depression. What does this mean? It means I get my high from people. Being with my friends, feeling connected and in the middle of whatever is happening is better than any drug for me. I can be physically and even mentally exhausted to no end, but when I’m with a big group of my friends, I become an energized social butterfly! For a lot of people this type of situation can be overwhelming and exhausting, but normally it isn’t for me. With some friends by my side…I’m on top of the world. But when I’m all alone; doing homework, riding the bus, trying to fall asleep…there’s a different side of me. Its a sad, lonely, confused Heather. There are few that have seen this side of me, which isn’t even really on purpose. Its just the people that know me well enough to be spending time in a one on one setting who see glimpses of the depressed side of me. For years I have had everyone fooled, thinking a was happy as all get out, and I wasn’t even trying to fool them! Because I DO have great moments and I HAVE been blessed by a lot of things. But for some reason, whether its by nature or nurture, I can have a great night with friends and still cry myself to sleep that night.
This is one of the reasons why it so hard for me to follow the Lord’s instructions and “be still.” Being busy is probably my greatest coping mechanism. It isn’t very healthy, but its better than some of my alternatives, and it looks great. When I have to hold yourself together to be busy, nobody gets to know how sad I am…including myself. When I’m busy, with often very good things, I get to hide from my emotions.
I have been living the functional yet dysfunctional lifestyle since September. Now, the school term is over, I am not working or dancing. I have twenty days to get ready to go on my trip, but not much else going on. While it should feel like a relief, and it does a little, it is actually very scary. I feel like I am going through withdrawals from school…because at school I have so many friends and so I love it. I am dreading this holiday season, because it has such bittersweet memories, but mostly, because it is suppose to be a time of rest. And for me, resting means I have to feel.
A lot has happened to me over the past few months. There have been very hard things happen, but I had to keep going, because I was busy. There were always places to go, people to see, no time to be sad and cry. Now it is different, I can’t be numb anymore. I know that is going to be good for me, but honestly, it really stinks. I pulled things together really well, and now I have to un-pull-it-together so that I don’t completely fall apart while on my missions trip! Honestly…I don’t even know where to start, except by writing this post. And by remembering that verse, meditating on that day and night. Tonight, that is what I am trying to do.
Laughing…because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.
I am coming home from the Tri-Cities tomorrow and I NEED HELP! I have been very successful with Black Friday Shopping and have been able to get most of my Christmas/thank you gifts for people and a lot of new comfy/workout clothes for Kona. I got some new bed sheets and towels for my move also! I have been advice to get what I can here for cheap because everything is so expensive in Hawaii. So now I just need to sort everything out! I need to sort: what I am planning on bring to Kona, what clothes I am going try to sell, what items I can use for my next fundraiser or donate to my Grandma’s House, what items I need to put into storage, and what things go together to make nice Christmas gifts!
This is fun work, guys! And I have tons of yummy food to feed you and old things to give you if you so desire! But I do need help staying focused and lifting things. I also have finals week after next and need help studying! I actually enjoy my classes and homework, its just really helpful having someone with me keeping my on track and quizzing me.
I am sad to announce that I am having more health issues. I will not get into the nature of this yet because at this point there are a lot of unknowns…which is so frustrating! So my Go Fund Me site I would say is about half missions funding and half medical funding…crazy. I am excited to be ending my second day without any Dr./Urgent Care/ER visits…but I know it all will continue once I get home again. What I can say right now is that my right wrist is still giving me trouble (its is still obviously sprained/dislocated), I am very low iron and I seem to be having some heart trouble.
One more crazy hiccup in my life…my beautiful purse was stolen/lost on the bus on Tuesday! Yes, I have checked in with my bank. Yes, I have emailed Trimet. NOTHING! Finally I had all my IDs and cards in one place…then ALL GONE. Fortunately I still have my phone and keys.
So, here are the prayer/help as you can needs for right now:
That my purse will be returned
That I will have clarity concerning health decisions
That I will be able to focus and do well during finals
That I will be blessed with helpers to get things done; even the simple things are so hard sometimes
That my friends will be able to understand my needs and help me, especially financially
That I will be able to get on a good sleep rhythm
That I will be able to have good boundaries with certain people, no matter how much I love them
That I will have the energy and focus to get the important things done
That I will be thankful for many people and things I have been blessed with
That I will rely on GOD NO MATTER WHAT
I have several new blog posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving thankful post, and a recap of the Swing Dance Fundraiser…WITH PICTURES! But this is what I have got for now. As much as I hate admitting it, I need help.
For a couple of years now my sister and I have had a running joke that the song Downtown Girlby Hot Chelle Raeis about me. We laugh because while I am not a hooker as the song suggests, a lot of the qualities described I can relate to! If you don’t know already, I’m a REALLY typical extrovert. Depressed and dysfunctional, maybe, but extraverted all the same. So read the lyrics or take a listen, take a look into the life of Heather. And tell me what you think!
Ready for my day…DOWNTOWN GIRL! 😀
She’s a weekend beauty queen of the black like clubs wearing out the scene
Well I do love the weekends, but no, I don’t go to clubs.
You know her type, out all night
Yup, pretty much 🙂
Starry eyed for the dirty dream, always looking for the prince where the cash is king
Starry eyed? Yes. Dirty dream with a prince where the cash is king? I sure hope so not, although I think sometimes it comes out that way. But anyone who really hangs out with me know that money is the last thing I care about.
On the boulevard in a big black car, She’s everywhere you are
Well I’ve never been in a limo, or any sort of big black (fancy) car. Normally its an old car, trimet bus, or as of lately, me walking with my “homeless gypsy cart.” I am everywhere you are however 😉
I smell her sweet perfume making rounds around the room
I do hope I smell good as I make my “famous” rounds around the room 🙂
Cause she is a downtown girl a downtown girl
I LOVE downtown Portland. LOVE IT!!! PDX makes me feel ALIVE.
Her lips are red and those hips are turning heads
I have been rocking the red lipstick lately! I didn’t think I could pull it off but I love it! And as selfish as it sounds I love when heads turn when I walk through a room. This often happens when I am at a church service or a swing dance event! I’m always tearing through the room trying to find the people I love!
Living like a celebrity all the guys lined up and the drinks are free
I’m not sure if the song is saying the drinks are free for the guys or the girl. My drinks are NOT normally free, and I normally end up paying for everyone else too. But that is because I genuinely like to!
She’s knows she’s hot but that’s all she got
This line makes me cringe a bit. Half of the time I am convinced that I am an ugly skeleton, and the other half of the time a know I look damn good. Sometimes I feel both at the same time! That was be beautiful paradox of my Corpse Bride costume for Halloween and my musical, I got to be super-skinny, scary AND pretty!
BUT. The idea of that being “all [I’ve] got” is really scary. That is my nightmare. But I know that my looks is not all I’ve got. I have a sense of humor, a joyful personality, and of course…MY SAVIOR!
Everybody knows she’s on the move with her six inch heels and an attitude
I actually almost never wear heels. I say its because I’m too tall for heels, but its really that I just have a lot of short friends. And I’m a BIG klutz. But when I do wear heels, I do feel VERY sexy. And I’m actually really good at walking in them, and dancing for that matter. Hmmm…maybe I’ll wear heals today.
When I’m out and about…I DO have an attitude. It changes in nature, but I do.
To seal the deal she shoots to kill, but I’m not going down
This is another line I don’t understand. I can be intense, but I’m not going to kill anybody 😉
Likes the attention gets the attention her name is on the bathroom wall
I’m an extrovert; I do like attention. I can’t lie. And when I need it, I get it. But I’m trying to do it in the most mutually respectful way possible.
The party never over she’s always coming over even when the music stops
YES YES YES A MILLION YES! Most of the time, whenever a certain social event is over, I’m still ready for more. And really its because I have a hard time going from lots of friends and excitement to NO friends and excitement. I just have a really hard time making that switch. That is why after swing dancing or another event, I’m almost always trying to get people to go out to eat or at least carpool home. I love that “winding down” time almost more than the actual event. And when I don’t get that “winding down” time, I normally end up bawling my eyes out while driving myself home all by myself.
All the boys staring at the girls, staring at the boys
Its hard to admit, but sometimes I like it when the guys are staring at me and visa versa! And I think that is ok and healthy!
Well, I was going to write a post entitled “I Have a Big Mouth,” which I think I will still write sometime, but I decided to write this one instead. Today I’m going to talk about riding the bus.
Public transit has a big stigma. I really surprises me how many people will ride public transit all over the world, but never in their home town.
I rode the bus for the first time alone when I was twelve. We were taking care of my aging grandma, who we couldn’t leave the house with. I took the bus to my dance lessons. I didn’t complain, because I knew my mother was doing the best she could. I didn’t have a cell phone, but neither did my parents. Sometimes it was scary, but I lived.
Riding the bus has never been my favorite thing to do, but it gave me freedom. I wasn’t completely reliant on others for rides anymore. I had the power to leave a situation of I was uncomfortable or scared.
After doing some traveling with friends in europe, public transit seemed much less taboo to me. All of my friends and I were riding transit together, no matter how well off they were back home. Even my rich friends had to walk sometimes. I thrived, because I had done so much of that already at home.
Most of the time, I really enjoy riding the bus now! It is more relaxing than driving. I love watching people, listening to music, and running into old friends. Bus riding is very physically taxing, but emotionally calming. Its the same route, the same people, the same automated messages. For so many people, its their rhythm, their routine.
I will always associate different bus lines with certain people or events. I was asked out on my first date on a 33 bus. I listened to endless Group 1 Crew and TobyMac while riding the 35. You get the idea.
In conclusion, riding the bus is still not my favorite thing. Sometimes I see people I don’t like; sometimes I get scared. Its a freedom and a responsibility. Its a gift and curse. But sometimes, its ok. Sometimes listening to early in the morning sitting on the bus and listening to that certain song while watching the city outside wake up is just what I need.
What do you think? What sort of stigma do you see public transit having? How do you think it varies from place to place? Don’t forget to pray for Sarah Evans and check out my new Facebook Page! Blessings to you all!
If Jesus came back today, would you rise to meet him in the air? Are you ready and waiting, are you’re affairs squared away?
Do you daily practice seeing the best in people? Do you see the people in you’re life as who they are, not gay or straight, catholic or protestant, black or white, male or female? Do you love you’re neighbor as yourself?
What does it mean to be clean before the Lord? Does one’s purity really depend on their physical body? Is it possible for us as humans to learn to see each other as the Lord sees us, clean if we are in him?
And now maybe a few harder questions, possibly blunter than is conformable for some. But nevertheless, questions that need to asked, that must be mulled over. Please join me in wondering…
Do you refrain from jumping from conclusions about the people around you?
Those wondering hands? They have been taught that fondling is the only way to love.
That loud mouth? Its under the influence of substances and doesn’t even know it yet.
Those cut up arms? They Bleed because they eyes attached can’t cry tears.
The girl you call skinny? She knows that she resembles a corpse and no, skeletons are not considered pretty.
The dark makeup? It covers the dark circles caused by dozens of sleepless nights.
The panicky eyes? They have seen more in their few years than most in a lifetime.
Join me today in my questions. Think before you speak. But please, do speak. Somebody needs to.
Today marks my third official year celebrating Halloween. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this day, and I think I always will. I’m not going to get into a debate today on the ethics and theology of Halloween, I have many friends who both embrace and deny it. I do believe it is a special day though. I think that things happen on this day that don’t happen on any other day of the year.
Many different memories come to mind on this day. I remember the dress-up box getting put away, because God knows who would get us if we dressed up on October 31st. I remember being kept home from activities and church groups because of the costumes. I remember our curtains being closed, locked out from the whatever evil the rest of the world was doing. I remember all the candy that I would somehow get a hold of after the holiday was over. I knew there was something magical that I wasn’t getting to be a part of.
Two years ago I went to my first Halloween/harvest party. I dressed as Ragity Anne, and prepared at my friend’s house. I watched her and her current finance’ fight and yell about his drinking habits, and was thankful that I wasn’t getting a ride home with them. The friends I did get a ride home with was lit up with glow sticks and thankful we weaseled our way out of a ticket when we got pulled over.
Last year I made a warm welcome to Halloween at swing dancing and community college. I prepared a killer costume of Deb from Napoleon Dynamite with the help of friends. I organized a group of my friends to go to a special costume swing dance event. Amazingly, the people I spend that night with are some of the friends who have supported me greatly this year.
And this morning I found myself stranded in North Portland, dressed as the corpse bride, to exhausted and scared to get myself home, watching the city go by. I made it to school around noon where I was treated like a celebrity due to my costume and rising networking status. After crashing in a friend’s car, I made to downtown Oregon City where with my theater company we brought in the evening with a bang. Soon I will make my journey back to Portland where I have the best of friends waiting for me to make sure I have a safe and fun night, whatever I need that to be.
Stranded in N PDX. thank god for portlandy coffee shops with wifi and gf breakfasts! #loveourcity OH. and I'm dressed as the #corpsebride 😛
Stranded in North Portland! Making the best of things as the corpse bride hangs tight waiting for a ride on this crisp beautiful hallow’s eve morning. #corpsebride #halloween #lovethiscitySo tonight I am blessed.
To tonight I toast to the people that have stood by me through thin and thin. I toast to those who have been affected by my careless words and behavior. I toast to my friends who are rising above the gossip and rumors in order to keep people safe. I toast to the Lord because he is so good, and I toast the devil because he reminds us how beautiful our God is. The clouds have a silver lining, because the sun is so much brighter. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
I remember swing parties and will be with you in spirit tonight, even though we are separated by some 66 years and an entire continent. I’m also excited for you as you prepare for your Great Adventure and will be mailing a contribution soon.
I will also read your blog and email you from time to time. (I’m not a big Facebook fan.) When I turned 18, I had just finished my first year at Lindenwood College, a small Presbyterian school in St. Charles, MO, just outside St. Louis. I was on my own for the first time and loved every minute of it.
Aloha and Welcome to HeartBridge, Performing Arts & Media DTS!
We are so very happy to accept you as one of our 2014, JANUARY quarter DTS students! You are an answer to our prayers, by join our calling to Know God and Make Him Known through the Arts and Media.
Friday, January 3 / There will be orientation and a welcoming Celebration. ( We are encouraging every students to bring one small gift from your nation to present to the Lord as gift in this day.
Monday, January 6 / Our first full week of lectures begins.
Right from week 1 (Jan.6) – week 12 ( March28) the daily schedule will include Lecture content, plus Skills Training, which involves learning/rehearsing 1-hour long production called “Coming Home. If you want a glimpse, check our website: www.goheartbridge.com or www.uofnkona.edu – Performing Art (we will give you the weekly schedule on Arrival Day.)
Then, March 30 – June 30 will be tour ( Outreach ) to the Hong Kong ? and South Korea for 3 months. ( Cost is $6,000 )- Please open to change. We are still praying.
( We might have HeartBridge Company extended tour in Korea for one or two more months. )
During week one, it is our custom to hold auditions for every student to try anything you want. That will help our very experienced staff to identify your best gift for JESUS.
Many students have been asking what date they should book their return home. I recommend scheduling your return ticket home some time around July. 1-3.
And we might recruit few people for “Heartbridge Company” extended one or two more months tour in same nation we are ending if we see your skill level is intermediate to pro and character is mature. Also we will have time to recruit for next our staff. Then if you want to move into next YWAM, Kona Staff or other courses then YOU need to Change the date for your return ticket later.
For your information, we also have an incredible continual secondary school Biblical Foundation for the Art ( Sep. ) & School of Performing Art 1 ( Jan.) scheduled to start as module course towards AA or BA degree for the U of N, that may serve as the perfect warm up for you to join our two-year Performing Arts degree track called “Center Stage,” which runs from early as September , 2013. Please check the course info :www.uofnkona.edu and you can register through online after completed your DTS.
We welcome any student who has successfully completed the PADTS to audition for our full-time performing arts company called HeartBridge if your Art skill is intermediate or professional level with mature character .
Well, we are so excited to see you soon and pray for you that God will protect you and provide everything you need. May all your friends and families will blessed by your obedience to God!
Friends, I am humbled and overwhelmed. These last couple days God is making his plan so clear. His timing is not our timing, his ways are not our ways. But he does have our joys and dreams in mind.
University of the Nations Youth With A Mission Kona, Hawaii
Aloha, Bienvenido, 환영합니다, 欢迎, Bem-vindo, Welkom, добро пожаловать, Willkomen, and Welcome to the University of the Nations Kona, Hawaii!
We’re very excited to let you know that you have been accepted into theDTS – Performing Arts! So . . . welcome to our family here in Kona, Hawaii! We’re looking forward to seeing you on Arrival Day – January 02, 2014.
The foundation of our calling as a mission and university is “to know God and make Him known”. In our training we want to see you encounter God in a fresh, new way and begin to discover your role in bringing the Gospel to a world waiting to hear the good news.
As you come here to YWAM Kona you will join a movement of hundreds of students from all over the world. Many have come to attend a Discipleship Training School as their first step of discovering God’s will for them in missions. You will also find students here who are pursuing Undergraduate or Graduate Degrees with the University. We’re excited to have you with us as we seek to see lives, families and communities transformed.
You’ll find our “Preparing to Come” document attached, which has lots of helpful information and will hopefully answer most of your questions. One of your school leaders will also contact you with information that’s specific to your course.
In island culture it is customary to bring a gift to honor your hosts. As you come, would you bring a small gift that is unique to your home or nation? All student gifts will be presented by your school leaders at the Hawaiian welcoming protocol.
In the culture of the islands all guests are treated as Ohana – Hawaiian for family. We’re looking forward to what God has in store for all of us during your time here. So . . . as a new member of our Ohana, “Aloha and e komo mai!” (Hello and welcome).
I am so excited to be officially starting this journey. Especially these past few days I have realized how pivotal I believe this adventure will be in my life testimony. I have been broken in deep ways this week, and I am so excited to be in a God loving environment where he can put me back together in deep ways. Praising him for thrilling news!