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!
I have some exciting news to share! Instead of doing the first part of our outreach tour in Hong Kong, my school leader has decided that will be traveling in New Zealand with the founder of YWAM! We will be spending the month of April touring and serving in New Zealand, and then spend May and June in South Korea! Below is a portion of a letter from my fabulas school leader, Maria Jackson.
DEAR STUDENTS, WE ARE SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU ALL SO VERY SOON.:)
TODAY, ONE THING WE MADE DECISION FOR OUR OUTREACH LOCATION. THAT IS, WE WILL NOT GO TO HONG KONG BECAUSE DOOR IS NOT OPENING. BUT OUR YWAM FOUNDER LOREN CUNNINGHAM WANTS US TO TOUR WITH HIM TO NEW ZEALAND ONE MONTH OF APRIL. SO TODAY WE MADE DECISION WITH HIM. NOW OUR OUTREACH TOUR NATIONS WILL BE NEW ZEALAND AND S.KOREA. WE ARE SO VERY EXCITED FOR YOU AND IT IS UNUSUALLY SMALL SCHOOL. AND WE WILL HAVE 21 STUDENTS AND 13 STAFF. SO ALL TOGETHER WE WILL BE 34 OF US!
This news is so exciting for me! I am so at peace about going on my DTS, even though my health has been in question. I have faith that God will provide what I need for this trip; physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Please for continue to pray for me, I am definitely experiencing some spiritual warfare. The devil can try to keep me home, but its NOT GOING TO WORK!
Blessing friends, hope you Christmas is peaceful 🙂
On October 25th, some friends and I hosted an awesome fundraising event for my DTS: A Swing Dance Party! We had a great turn-out, people of all ages and stages of dancing. We definitively raised awareness for my trip and had a LOT of fun, plus raising over $300! God is good! It was also an honor to dedicate the night to the family of Dave Huttala, who had died exactly one year before. He was the dad of a dancer friend of mine. Please enjoy these pictures of the event: Photography by my friend Dane Vandwiele.
DJs Josh and Amy watch the action from the stage
Dane (photographer) and Chloe (close friend and event volunteer) enjoying a dance together
My mother at the welcome desk; a guest signing in
Friends watching the couples on the dance floor
The more experienced dancers doing the “Shim Sham”
Stumptown Stomper Performers enjoying the music
David and Rachel teaching a great dancing lesson
My sister coupling up with my friend Matt for the lesson
Mindy (Owner of Stumptown Dance) and good friend Sam performing their signature Lindy Hop routine.
Stumptown Stompers performing a group routine
Mindy, Sam and Peter (who made our awesome flyers!) doing the “Shim Sham”
Long time friend Kati teaches her boyfriend how to swing
Folk dancers performing an Israeli folk dance
Friends Sydney and William enjoying a special moment
This is a song I wrote while listening to a sermon at church with my grandma. I posted it on my personal blog “Choosing Joy” on November 25th, 2011. I have been meditating on these works a lot lately! All based of scripture!
All For You
By Heather McClish – The Corpse Butterfly
D A Bm
I am strong in the Lord who sees past my sin,
Who sees the few strengths in me.
D A Bm
He has a purpose for my life that is good,
Em F#m G A
He has a plan that I cannot see.
G A Bm G2 A
All for you, make me all for you
G2 D G2 Asus A
Build me strong, fill me up, help me shine for you
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.
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.
Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together. Please enjoy the stories and pictures. Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago!