Monday, August 10, 2009

Sioux Falls - 1000 miles away

I'm just sitting here thinking about my week in Sioux Falls and my heart is really sad. I had such a blast getting there, being there, and the ride home. Each year there are new experiences. We renew old relationships and build new ones. For weeks and months, I look forward to this trip. Then it's over and back to reality. Don't get me wrong there are so many great things that happened in SF that I want to share with my friends and family at home. It's just hard for it to come and end so quickly.

It's really hard to explain to people about the connection that I have with SF. Unless you have been there, you don't understand. And maybe if you have been there, you still may not understand. I think Jeff T. understands. He told me that he was looking through all the pictures and had to stop because it upset him too much because he was not there. There's just something not quiet explainable.

One of things that we do is park ministry. There are children that come out to the park for VBS and sports camp that are waiting on us each day when we get there. They hang on every word we say. It seems that they are surprised by our unconditional love for them. These children are experiencing the love Christ has for us through our words and actions. Bonds and connections are made on Day 1. There were siblings that made an impression on me. Corey, Caelan, and Austin. Three of the sweetest children you will ever find. They were their waiting on Monday for us. And they were the last to leave on our last day on Thursday. They listen intensively at every Bible story, learned the songs, loved the games and crafts. They experienced every we thing we did like it was the first time. I have no doubt in my mind that it was probably some first for them. I am so glad to be part of planting a seed in their lives in what will hopefully be the beginning of their walk with Jesus.

The other thing that I was thinking about the friendships we build. Cindy, Gayle, Jeff, Julie, Rob, Karen, Chris, John, Ben, Philip!...these are the faces that are sketched in my mind and in my heart that we have seen and spent time with over and over again. They are each special to me in a certain way. It's really hard to only spend one week out of the year with them. They are like family yet we don't get to see them often enough. Each one of them holds a place in my heart. It's like part of my heart was left in SF. God has been good to extend our Christian family beyond our small town.!

Something else that I think about is how much time I get to spend with some of my church family. I don't like riding a 15 passenger van for 4 days but I love the time spent with my folks. You learn so many things about each other some good and some not so good. The conversations we have are priceless! I absolutely love watching Zack, AJ, Brandy, and Ashley interact with each other and with the children. I see the love they have for each other, the love they have for me, and the love they have for the Lord sometime during the week. You think you are close to people before you go but you always learn something new about them!

Bro. Randy is right when he says you will learn something about yourself, something about God, and something about others.
I learned that I have a love for mission beyond even what I knew. I want it to be more than a week of my summer.
I learned that God is faithful and that we should keep on focus on Him. Just check out Nehemiah 1...this is another blog story that is amazing!
I learned that we have all gifts that if we allow God to use us He will.

Although part of my heart feels sad and is also full of joy and excitement with how used our Louisiana Team.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sometime in the last few weeks, I posted a status on my facebook about my weight loss journey. It said .... Laura Lea needs help and support from all my friends and know who you are....the ones that supported and prayed for me as I lost the first 110 pounds. I need you to pray for me to get back in my routine with that determination that I had when I started!

It is amazing how God works. I got several comments about how people would be praying for me and how they knew I could do it. Some people may even be skeptics and think that this is far out there. But I felt the prayers of my friends and family! That day something changed. I could feel it on the inside that I was changing. My determination is now back. It was not easy the last week in South Dakota but I found myself back in a routine. Early breakfast, light lunch, early dinner. No snacking except for those runs to B&G, Milky Way, and DG! But since it was my snack for the evening. I didn't even snack in between meals. I am so glad to be back in the routine of things. The traveling was difficult. Between we ate when we could and what we could. I was looking at pictures from World Changers and Mission trip....I look different too. My smile is back, my face is clear, I just look different. Maybe it's just me! But I couldn't be more excited to know that I am back on track. I have some new goals....25 pounds by December 1st.....100 pounds by August 2010.

I know that I cannot do this by myself. I have to have the support of my family and friends and most importantly I have to rely on my Lord and Savior.
1. Eat 3 meals a day. 2 snacks in between
2. Curves 5 days a week after school
3. Water water water
4. I am going to try and get out and walk....we are not going to come in last at the EL Memorial Walk.

I am still looking for the me. I know that God has blessed me with talents and gifts. I feel like anything I put my mind and heart into that He will help me do. But I also realized this week that there is so much more for me to do and for me to do it...I have to reach my weight loss goal. I can do it. I want Him to use me even more.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eyesbrowns and broken toenails

So here I am finally arrived in Sioux Falls, SD. I am sitting with Diana, Pro-Zack, AJ, Ashley, and B Randy. It took us 19 hours 30 minutes and 7 seconds, 1 hotel, two dozen cupcakes, Outback, McDonalds, DQ, penciled in eyesbrowns, fingernail polish remover, broken toenail, running a mile to get a bag, numerous jokes about me and Cradle, tons of laughs, a few tears, a lost ring, millions of text messages, Facebook stalkings, bikes and tattoos, Pro-Zack's two new friends, and talking to each other in our sleeep but we are here and excited!