Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's What I Love About Wednesdays...

Wednesdays are one of my favorite days of the week. Here's why: (In list form of course)

1. I don't have as many regularly scheduled activities on Wednesdays. Because these days are free-er, I am able to visit and spend time with members of the congregation. This past Wednesday I had afternoon tea with Tammy Drennan, and her three kiddos: Caitlyn, Noah, and Joel, who are all under the age of 5. They are some of the most creative, fun kids I know!
2. I don't have to cook dinner on Wednesdays! Someone always feeds me before church so I don't have to go home. I have a standing dinner invite at the Mowdays, but this week I had dinner with the Grittens.
3. TREK Youth is every Wednesday night at the ministry centre. We start the night off with time to hang out--playing Uno, chatting, ping pong, listening to music. Then, we have a devotional or break into groups for discussion or prayer. Even though I am usually pretty tired by the time 7:30 pm rolls around on Wednesday nights, I am always re-energized in the next hour and half.
4. After TREK Youth, most of us head to Maccas. I always have the girl car, which means we crank songs like "Hey Soul Sister" and anything by Colbie Callet and sing our little hearts out until we make it Maccas.
5. I love McFellowship after church on Wednesday nights because it's such a mix of ages around the long table at the West Gosford Maccas. You see elders mixing with teens, and just taking the time to get to know each other. There is always plenty of fries and ice cream to share, and the best part is FREE REFILLS!!!
6. I am always exhausted on the 20 minute drive home on Wednesday nights. But as my car drives by the moonlight bay, I am reminded of how blessed I am. I am reminded of exactly why I am here, and I am assured that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Caitlyn, Me, and Noah

Literally the funniest kid I know!

More evidence that he is hilarious!
Yes, those are my glasses and my watch.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crazy Busy

I used to think weekends were for sleeping in, staying in your pajamas until 2 pm, reading entire books, and taking naps. That's what weekends used to look like. Not any more! Weekends in ministry look a little bit different. They are usually more busy than during the week. These pictures tell the story of my crazy weekend.
We hosted the OJ (Only Jesus) Teen Only Event for May. Churches from Sydney and the Central Coast take turns hosting every other month. For our turn, we decided to have a lock-in from 8 pm on Friday night until 8 am Saturday night. It was a real party with over 40 teens and chaperones attend. Gosford church represented with 20 teens--kids in our youth group and all the friends they brought.

I was in charge of big group games to get the night going. We played a game (which I stole from Jamie Canham) that required each team to choose a person to be "it," who they wrapped in masking tape. The rest of their team shot q-tips at them through straws. The team with the most q-tips stuck to "it" won. It was so hilarious to watch!

We spent the rest of the night playing games (including Mexican Train!!! which is what we are doing in the picture), hanging out, and watching movies. Around 10:30 pm, we had a time of worship led by Dan and Evan did a devo on God's timing. I did sleep for 3ish hours from 3:30 am until 6:30 am, which proves I really am getting old! We finished off the lock-in with pancakes for breakfast!
I only took a 2 hour nap on Saturday afternoon to recover from the lock-in. (this is the part where you say how proud you are of me!) I couldn't sleep too long because I had to experience another Aussie first: a Rugby game! Dan, Amber, Jacob (another STAMP student), and I went to see the Sydney Roosters play the Newcastle Knights in Gosford. Since Gosford is smack in the middle of the two cities, we bundled up in our warm clothes and rugby jerseys before making the 10 minute drive to Blue Tongue Stadium. Even though there are some similarities, rugby is different than football--there are no pads, you can only pass the ball behind you, you get 6 tackles before the ball goes to the other team, anyone can kick the ball forward, touchdowns are called trys, and trys are only worth 4 points. Sadly, the Roosters lost, but it was still a fun night.
The scrum to see who gets possession of the ball.
Rugby watching crew: Me, Amber, Dan, and Jacob
Amber and I with the Rooster mascot.
After worship and teaching Bible class this morning, it was time for the next Kids For Christ (KFC) event. Hannah and I organized for the kids to go swimming at a sports club in town. Luckily, it was an indoor pool since we are winding up autumn and heading into winter. Seven of our kids came to spend the afternoon going round and round the whirlpool, jumping into the water, and getting sprayed by fountains. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Me, Sebastian, Tanesha, and Hannah enjoying the pool party.

Monday, May 10, 2010

JGray Sr.

I'm not sure when it happened. I'm not sure at what moment my mom went from being my worst enemy and to my best friend. In high school, we battled it out over everything to length of my shorts to who's turn it was to clean the bathroom. Sometime during my senior year, I stopped slamming doors and rolling my eyes, and our relationship changed. I didn't realize how much I depended on and loved my mom until I went away to OC. Watching your parents drive away after they have moved you into a not-so-luxurious freshmen dorm and left you with a roommate you barely know is one of the worst feelings ever. At the end of the first week being away from home, I realized I had called my mom every day. I never in a million years thought I would be that kind of girl, but I definitley am.
Thanks to my clever Dad, my mom and I have the same first name. At times it's slightly annoying to share a name, but the rest of the time, I am proud to call such an amazing woman my mom. She's the one whose top priority is to love and serve God above anything else. She's the one who goes to Africa at least once a year (this year it's 3 times) to spread her knowledge about HIV and AIDs to people who really need to hear it. She's the one who drops everything to take care of her Dad, when he is in the hospital for 3 months. She is the one who teaches bible class on a regular basis, and is always writing cards to people who need encouragement. She is the the one screaming the loudest during your baseball games, and she is the one swoops in to save the day when you have to move out of your apartment in 24 hours and nothing is packed. She stays up late on Thursday nights so she can skype with you. She's the one who talks you off the ledge when you think stress might actually push you over the edge. She's the one who brushes your hair off your face as you cry into her lap over a boy. She's the one who drives 4 hours to watch Spring Sing, just to turn around and drive right back the same night. She's the only one who truly understands my love for diet coke. She's the best and she's my mom.
The more places I go and the more people I meet, I realize that I have it so good. I am so blessed to have a great relationship with the lady who's literally been with me from the beginning. No matter the distance or time change or miles, I always carry her in my heart.