So uh…. I’m not going to lie. I HAD AN AWESOME SPRING BREAK!!!! I mean sure I really didn’t go anywhere special or don’t anything really amazing. To be honest with you it was really just boring by spring break standards, but I can say for sure that I rediscovered my youth.
So what if I do have that awesome spring break that most college students had or even wish for. Hey I look at the positives, I didn’t spend too much money, I didn’t anything stupid and I still had a great spring break.
As you can tell from the big picture above the blog, I got really close to my inner child this past week. While actually doing a homework assignment for a class, I went into a crazy Hey Arnold binge and it was glorious. It should be expected and I’m not hiding it, my favorite is Gerald. Arnold’s best friend and all around baler extraordinaire . He’s bring the cool factor to Hey Arnold.
I mean look at him, he’s a stud. That hair too… I mean there are no words to describe that hair.
Also, I rediscovered my love for one of the greatest shows of all time…
If you have not seen an episode of that 70s show… shame on you on. Thanks to ABC Family and Netflix, I fell in love with this show. It had everything the awesome catchy catchphrases, the basement meetings (you gotta watch the show to understand this one), the awesome awkward romances. This show was amazing. The show takes place in Point Place, Wisconsin, so you know they have to really think outside the box to make a boring place like Wisconsin fun. (Sorry to anybody reading this from Wisconsin.)
If I’m like anybody on the show, I’m like Hyde, just less edgy. Hyde is the black apple of the group. Like Eric Forman (you gotta watch the show) said, “Hyde… you’re the reason you we do so many stupid and senseless things.”
This describes Hyde perfectly…
Even though Hyde is person I would love to be from that show, my favorite character on the show is Fez aka Wilmer Valderama.
Hahaha I’m cracking up just typing this thing. Fez is an exchange student, but you never find out what country he came from. You really watch the guy grow through the show from awkward high schooler to a… somewhat awkward adult. Still Fez is a man of many talents, he is bilingual, a very talented dancer, and he is also a ladies man (I mean he dated Lindsay Lohan, yea he really dated Linday Lohan on the show… well the character she playing but still come on!)
My favorite episode is actually from the first season…(I know I’m really geeking out here, but I LOVE THIS SHOW!) Season 1 Episode 7, “The Disco Episode” where the gang goes to a disco. This is when we all learn that Fez is an amazing dancer.
Here is a picture from that episode. Here you see Fez and Jackie getting down. Fez basically woos Jackie in this episode but he couldn’t close the deal. From this episode on I knew that Jackie and Fez were destined to be together.
It just only took until the finale till they were finally an item. Like almost 8 seasons later it finally happened but it did happen so I was right in the end.
The show also had big names in it…
You have Ashton Kutcher (Kelso), Mila Kunis (Jackie), Laura Prepon (Donna), Danny Masterson (Hyde), & Wilmer Valderama (Fez).
So today I wanted to write something that is very close to my heart. I recently started to work with an organization that does advocacy for victims of sexual assault and rape. One of their main purposes is to also educate the community about assault and rape. Some are quick to conclude that education is not needed, “everyone knows what rape is.” However, there are some major misconceptions within our society. A majority of our population when hearing the word “rape” automatically pictures a stranger in a dark alley. This is what we call “real rape” because our society assumes that this is what rape looks like. However, research has shown that this only accounts for around 10% of all cases. So that means a majority of rapes and assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
Because in most cases the perpetrator is known, a lot of victim blaming and shaming (however mostly unintentional) takes place. A lot of victims, we like to call them “survivors,” have explained the things they were told and had heard. “Well if she wasn’t wearing that” or “if she wouldn’t drink.” Most of these comments aren’t meant with harm, however when survivors hear this it only brings shame. They hear, “If I didn’t wear this outfit I wouldn’t have gotten raped.” (Also women are not the only ones this is happening to, men too).
Our culture tells us that rape is only the “real rape” kind, and anything else isn’t. This makes reporting to police very difficult for victims. They struggle with wondering if anyone would believe them or if it even was actually rape. And can we blame them? I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have heard someone say “well she’s after something, that’s why she’s saying she has been raped.” That isn’t our job as a society to judge. Our job is to seek justice and healing for victims.
This documentary, The Hunting Ground, takes a look at the cover-ups of rape and assault on college campuses. Not all college campuses are this way, I am very blessed to attend a school that does not stand for these actions. Unfortunately there are campuses in this country who are more worried about keeping a reputation.
As members of society we need to educate ourselves and others. As potential jury members, government officials, teachers, parents, and/or college deans, we need to know how we can prevent, how we can bring justice, and how we can bring healing.
The amount of hate and discouragement I have seen reading the comments on this documentary’s trailer only further proves to me the importance of education and sensitivity our society needs. If you haven’t thought about rape and assault in this way before, I would suggest learning more about it. Not to bring discouragement, but to better improve our society.
As a Christian, I feel that I have a responsibility to be informed citizen and loving. To be someone that represents Christ. Learning more about this issue gives me more reason to pray and to pursue righteousness.
So if you’d like, the organization I work with pushed hard in getting a special screening of The Hunting Ground, come watch the screening at AMC in Olathe on 119th St. on Friday April 10th or also on the same day at Glenwood Arts in Overland Park.
Last Thursday, the squad (Ana, Rico, Annie and I), flew to Florida. We had an awesome time, and unfortunately, we get to go back to school tomorrow. Yay 8AMs. These photos are just a taste of the fun we had there, from the beach to the awesome food and different restaurants we visited, we made some great memories. Watching sunsets on the water, visiting the Botanical Gardens, and even having an allergic reaction to jerk chicken were even better with these awesome people.
After the trip to Colorado, it has been nice to relax for a bit before starting back up in school. We worked incredibly hard both days of work. We specifically focused on improving parts of Golden Bell Camp.
The first day we got to tear down parts of walls, clear out an old storage room, paint the game room black (it’s going to look like a mine!), and the group I was in painted some more in a staff house after lunch. We worked about 7-8 hour days which honestly wasn’t too bad. Once I started working, I didn’t want to stop! After lunch the group in the picture above and a couple more ladies started on a rough looking building. Some of the Golden Bell staff stay in this house and after many years, it was time to be renovated a little bit! The house was first an old trailer that was fixed up a long time ago. By the time we got there, it was in need of a LOT of heavy duty cleaning.
When we got there, it was colder inside the building than it was outside because there is absolutely no heating system in there at all. We were bummed about that, but we didn’t let it bother us too much. With the group we had, we were able to accomplish quite a bit in the small amount of time we had. If we finished a task, we would immediately look for more: that’s just how motivated we were! You’ll also be happy to know that we only saw one spider and thank The Lord it was a tiny one.
“they see me rollin…they hatin”
Our work continued in that house on the second day as well. We did the same stuff: painting, spackling, wiping down floors, and having fun! We played music to pump us up and even though we were doing the same thing all day, we made the most of it by laughing and staying positive.
The amazing Heather with her mighty weapon!
Laura was having fun with paint…
I’m proud to say that the was the screwdriver master. I unscrewed lights and plug in/light switch covers from every room. It was AWESOME. I really don’t know why it made me so happy, but it’s the little things in life right? Whenever I heard my name, I was there with the screwdriver!
Though the work at Golden Bell doesn’t seem like much from the outside, it needed to be done and we were happy to be a part of it. I know the campers and staff will appreciate the improvements. We weren’t able to finish our projects, but more teams will make the final touches before the campers arrive in the summer. I’m excited to see what the future holds at the camp and what God has in store. Camp is a place where many teens accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. The director of the camp never turns away a young teen wanting to go to camp. He desires for those kids to leave camp and be transformed by Christ’s love. It is absolutely amazing to be a part of that ministry.
We were blessed with another tourist day to explore the wonderful city of Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods was the highlight of the day. It is a random red rock formation in the middle of the mountains and what’s even better… it was free. Here are some pictures to show all the fun!
As you can see, we enjoyed our time in Colorado no matter what we were doing. As a future missionary, traveling and doing God’s work excites me more than a child on Christmas morning. I encourage anyone who hasn’t been on a mission trip to take the opportunity! You won’t regret it!
Like I said last week I’m currently in Colorado!!! Yes, that means the beautiful mountains. I can see Pike’s Peak from the window. We left yesterday morning and 9 hours later arrived at our destination! It’s absolutely marvelous out here and I’m excited to share so many pictures. We haven’t started our mission work yet, so we’ve been enjoying a little vaca/tour time before working tomorrow. Next week I’ll post specifically on the mission work and how God is moving here at Golden Bell, but this is a fun-picture post. I hope you enjoy the photos!
The “Golden Bell Girls”
When you see it…
Starbucks never gets it right
and last but not least…
The amazing squad people talk about for “squad goals”
Let me tell you why every week should be Spring Break by giving you a low down on what I am doing this week!
Things Sam is doing this week:
Eating endless amounts of popcorn
OKLAHOMA for a weekend!
Spring break it all about sleeping, resting and napping. What more could a college student want from a Spring break? While all my friends are out of town I will be spending this week watching MNU Baseball play, Netflix and sleeping as much as I can. Also having a bonfire with some of my softball friends this week as well. Also taking a little weekend getaway to Oklahoma. Gosh, this is truly what life is about, just hanging out.
In other news, MNU baseball plays several times this week. They played Saturday with a 1-1 kick off on conference games. They play Tuesday, Wednesday and the following weekend. I grew up watching my brother play baseball and my dad was the coach. As a little girl I wanted nothing more from the weekend than to sit in the dug out with the boys watching baseball. I grew up watching it and so it is a joy to watch MNU play, especially because I have several friends on the team. Usually this time of the year, if I am not in class I am off watching baseball or softball play.
ENJOY YOUR WEEK! Do something for yourself: buy yourself a slurpee, get your nails done, buy something new or if you are a dude go lift weights or whatever guys do! Just enjoy your week!
I spoke in class chapel last week and a lot of people had asked that I share what I talked about. So if you didn’t get to hear it, here you go! This has something that has been on my heart the last several weeks and I am glad it spoke to so many:
I don’t like to ask for help. I will try to find places on my own first before looking it up on my GPS. I never asked my parents or teachers for help in school. I think there is a part of me that really likes being independent and self-sufficient.
I think as humans our relationship with how we view and interact with God is a conflicting battle between two things. Reverence and intimacy. It’s either we grew up seeing God as close by and a comforter but sometimes forget to see Him as the creator of the universe. We forget about the wonderment and amazement. If we aren’t careful we may even make Him and our relationship like one we can relate to (so something of this earth). Than there are some of us who were taught (whether as a child or recently) that God was far away. He was this God who is out doing big things and doesn’t have time for our little things.
I think the best relationships with God have and find a balance between the two. Because its true that God is a big and amazing God, but he also cares about the small things. For me I struggled with God caring about the small things. I felt like I had this intimate relationship with God, but I felt that He was too big to care about the small things in my life. When I have a little fever, or I am beyond exhausted, if I needed to receive a particular grade, or I was really hungry and didn’t have much to eat for dinner. Those are seemingly day-to-day basic and simple things. Than there were a little bigger things like when I was upset and hurt by something had told me, or other broken relationships, a loss of a loved one, or the stage and feeling of helplessness. I always thought God was too big to care or see me and what I was going through.
When I was heart broken I would think, “ok there are 27 million people enslaved around the world, millions of kids are starving to death, I live in such great wealth and blessing. I shouldn’t feel this way, or more that I feel this way but God doesn’t care as much because He has bigger things to do.” Although I don’t necessarily believe that that kind of thinking doesn’t have a place- I definitely thinks it gives perspective and humility- but I think we underestimate God and his character and abilities. We place a limit on who He is and His power. When we think we will be fine and can handle it, that it is not as big of a deal as some other people’s issues, we rely on ourselves and underestimate God.
One of my favorite stories is the story of Hagar. So we are going to read it Genesis chapter 16
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael,[a] for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward[b] all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”
Part of me reading this story makes me angry. How could Hagar be mistreated like that? But I think we get to see a glimpse of a sweet side of God. I don’t have all the answers of why there is evil and why bad things happen. But God saw Hagar. He went out and found her, increased her blessings. Hagar responds with something so profound and says, “You are the God who sees me.” He sees us. Hagar was a slave, a minor character in the story of Abram later known as Abraham. Abraham! I mean the father of the Israelites. The guy who has the most insane faith- He almost killed his only son because He so trusted God. This Abraham we teach in Bible stories. Hagar isn’t like an Abraham. But God sees her. He saw her tears and her pain.
The God of the Universe sees your pain, he sees your dreams, he sees your daily simple needs and HE CARES. He knows us and our dreams. And he CARES. How much more could God do in our lives than us trying to do it ourselves? We do ourselves disservice when we think we can figure it out on our home. Why figure it out ourselves when the God who knows all things wants to be a part of it? What a God what a love.
If you aren’t convinced about a big God that cares and includes us in His story I wrote down some times in the Bible this was true:
Jesus fed the thousands. (He definitely didn’t have to)
God saved Israel over and over and over again. He saw them whining in the wilderness and provided for them every time.
In Matthew 6 He talks about how he feeds the birds, “How much more does he care for us?”
Genealogies- lists out all the people- doesn’t leave anyone out.
Israel asks for a king, God gives them a king.
Jesus reaches out to tax collectors
God sends angels to tell shepherds to tell of Jesus’ birth (could have told a nobler group)
There are so many more examples. Moses and Joseph. I just think it is so cool we have such a big God that 1. Cares about the little things in our lives 2. So desires to include us in His story. However we have to keep praying and asking for God. We have to take the first steps and be proactive.
So I hope I talked to at least a couple of you today. I know it is a message for myself as well. A couple things I want you to take away is
Start seeing God in a different way. Whether that be with more reverence or if you need to start seeing God as a God who cares. He is both, don’t forsake one for the other.
A mentor of mine once told me “God moves when we pray because He wants us to know that it is Him at work, so His glory can be shown.” If you are hurt and broken, or tired and frustrated, or anxious and scared, or maybe everything is good… give it to Him in prayer.
Maybe you don’t have a relationship with Him, you never wanted one or maybe you didn’t know much about God and never thought anything of it. I might ask if you feel so bold and up for a challenge to read the Word, talk with someone and see if it will change your life. I’ve lived life with God and I’ve lived life without Him (the good, the bad) and I will tell you there is nothing like Him. He is worth it all. A God that is so big yet cares so much, is worth living radically. Life with Him has been anything but boring. So see what learning about Him will do.
This week, I found out that I did not get hired as a Resident Assistant for next year. When I was notified, I was shocked, disappointed, confused, and honestly heartbroken.
Those are a strange variety of emotions to feel all at once, so let me explain what led to those emotions stirring up in me.
Toward the beginning of the school year, I thought for sure that I wanted to be an RA. I already knew some of the RAs before I started going to MNU, so they told me a little bit about it and recommended that I apply. I was excited about the possibility and started praying about it the second week of school.
After months of praying, I was confident that the Lord wanted me to apply…
That confidence faded after the first RA meeting, though. After hearing about all the demands and not-so-fun aspects of the job, I thought “maybe this isn’t for me.” I began thinking that I didn’t want to do it and even started making living arrangements in Spindle with some friends for next year.
The whole time I thought I wasn’t going to apply, I felt a tiny bit of conviction, but I shrugged it off. Surely if The Lord wanted me to apply, He would place the desire in my heart to be an RA, right? Well, not necessarily. I knew He was still calling me to apply, although I was unsure if I even wanted to.
The night before applications were due, I scrambled to fill it out and get it turned in. While I was answering the short answer questions, I was reminded of the reasons why I originally wanted to be an RA.
As the application process proceeded and I was interviewed a few times, the desire in me to be an RA rose dramatically. I really wanted the position. I thought to myself, “Yes! The Lord is faithful and He has placed the desire in my heart.”
To be brutally honest, I thought for sure I was going to get the position. I was confident that The Lord wanted me to apply, and why would He want me to apply if I wasn’t going to get it?
I started thinking about how awesome it was going to be to be an RA. I was pumped to get the opportunity to cultivate community in a place that I believe in so much. I believe that God has called me to MNU to help strengthen the unity in this community, and being an RA sounded like an efficient way to do that. I even started thinking about how I wanted to decorate my hall. You could say I had RA-fever.
Although I was confident that I would get hired, I still fervently prayed that The Lord’s will would be done throughout this process. I surrendered my sophomore year to Him, telling Him that I trust Him to place me where I can best glorify Him and serve Him. I prayed for the Residential Life staff, that they would have wisdom when deciding who to hire. I must admit that although my prayers were pure, I still thought I was going to get hired. I thought I knew where God wanted me serving next year.
So, fast forward to Friday, March 13, the day that I found out I was not hired to be an RA.
It was shocking because it was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. “God, why would you tell me to apply if I wasn’t even going to get it? Surely this is a mistake.” Friends, God doesn’t make mistakes… just FYI.
It was disappointing because I had already started thinking about how fun it would be. I was looking forward to it. A lot.
I was confused because I didn’t know why God did what He did (and I still don’t). I knew, deep down, that there was a reason for this, but I didn’t even want to know what it was. I didn’t want to make sense of it. I just wanted to know WHY.
I was heartbroken because I put so many emotions into the process. I truly believed that I would have made a great RA. I truly believed that this was an opportunity to be a leader on this campus. I wanted to influence MNU in a positive way, and I thought being an RA was the best way to do that. My heart was hurting pretty badly that afternoon.
It’s been a little over 24 hours since I found out and God has worked through this situation so much already. After a few hours of letting myself be upset and grieve the news, I decided to lean and pray like crazy. I desperately needed to feel Jesus… to know that He had this all figured out.
He does have it all figured out, even though I don’t yet. There are already opportunities that are coming up next year (keeping them confidential until they are official… can’t wait to share them with you guys!). I also made living arrangements in Spindle with some amazing girls. They are going to bless me in marvelous ways next year, I can feel it already.
I feel so good about next year. I feel so good about not getting the RA position. The only reason I can confidently say those things is because Jesus Christ is REAL. He’s always faithful and good. He knows better than we do.
I am beyond excited for the RAs that got hired for next year. I love them all and know they are going to do amazingly. I believe that The Lord has placed them in those positions because they will have positive, meaningful influence on their residents. A sincere congratulations from me!
So, to wrap this novel up… when you don’t get what you want, don’t fret. It’s not about you anyway (it’s about givin’ glory to the One we’re livin’ for, y’all).
Every day Mrs. J puts in the work. I’m always in awe watching her lift.
You know one of the best things about MNU is meeting new people and hearing the stories that brought them to MNU & how MNU has changed them. Well this story is one of my favorites. Ladies and gentlemen meet Janelle Schafer. I call her Ms. J. Ms. J is from Centennial, Colorado. She is also one of the strongest people you will ever meet, both physically and mentally. It would just take too long to describe Ms. J to you and I do not wanna set the record for the longest MNU Blog ever.
This picture perfectly describe Ms. J. She is an inhuman bundle of energy who can always get you to smile no matter what. This display that you’re seeing here is something I have only seen Janelle do. It’s called Koalaing, I’ve never been Koalaed but It does look kinda cool.
The best things about Ms. J (well at least for me) are her amazing determination and her ability to make everyone around her feel better with her boundless amount of energy. I can never stay mad around Ms. J, she always just knows how to make me. (To be honest with you it’s kinda wierd how she always does that.)
Ms. J is a woman of many talents. Apart from being a MNU cheerleader, she is also lifts weight competitively. She is the strongest woman (like literally I’ve never even seen anyone who can even come close to her in the weight room.) In the weight room at MNU there is a handwritten note that says, “Somewhere there is a little Chinese girl warming up with your max.”
I still remember the first time I saw this picture. It’s kinda funny but it’s also true. We don’t really have to look at the picture anymore to see “a Chinese girl who warms up with your max” all you have to do is walk into the weight room everyday and see it happen in real life (although I don’t know if Janelle is of Chinese dissent or not.)
Ms. J is also really into cross fit and you can tell it has done wonders for her. She has also surrounded herself with people who push her to reach her goals. She wants to compete in the big ESPN national tournament. When she is with her squad, you immediately can tell that they are a close knit family plus they all look like they all should be a cover a fitness magazine.
Janelle and her squad. I mean look at them… you just see them on a magazine cover somewhere.
You guys should see her in the weight room she is a monster, but she is always willing to help anyone who need it. I’ve asked plenty questions back when I was in there lifting with her about my form and technique. I can’t tell you how many times she has made the football team just stare in awe of her and the way she lifts. Even though they won’t say it, there are a lot of guys who wish they could be as strong her, I know I would love to be as strong as her.
Mrs. J and her lifting partner Garrick Sargento, they always lift together. I don’t think I’ve never not seen them lifting together. Garrick is her rock, her rival, and her best friend. They are always pushing each other to reach new heights.
Last semester, Janelle represented the USA in Chang Mai, Thailand in the 4th annual World University Weightlifting Championship. Janelle and her team finished in 3rd place and got to explore Thailand a little bit.
Janelle Schafer in Thailand, representing the USA in Olympic weightlifting. She competed in
Here she is I guess trying to put a tiger… it’s Ok Ms. J I would be scared to pet the tiger too. First of all I wouldn’t even be that close to thing, no matter how majestic it looks.
If your reading this right now, I hope you guys get the opportunity to meet Janelle. There is no one else like her, she is a woman of many talents, and she burn with a passion that will take here to great places and help here accomplish amazing feats. I won’t surprised to see in ESPN one day doing something amazing and shocking the rest of the world, and I’ll just be sitting there like.. it’s about time that the world learned about Janelle and how amazing she is.