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From the moment I set foot on the grounds of Mount Hermon, I knew I was going to come back sometime in the future. I knew that this place would somehow be a big part of my story. After my two summers working summer staff, Outdoor Science just seemed to be a good way to make that dream a reality.  Two and a half years later and a college degree under my belt, I made the big move to my dream home: Santa Cruz, CA..better yet…living at Mount Hermon. God saw the desire of my heart and blessed me with the opportunity to have my life drastically altered.

This first semester of working at Outdoor Science has been, in one word…SUPRISING.

 SUPRISING. I really wasn’t sure I would even enjoy teaching outdoor science. I mean, I am not a science girl. I like Art. English. Writing. I am right brained. Then I started learning about how freaking awesomenature is and now I absolutly LOVE teaching this stuff. I am actually passionate about it! Who woulda thunk??

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SUPRISING. God plucked me out of a time and place in my life in Washington in which I was not following Him. I did not know Him. I could not see Him or hear Him. I wouldn’t allow myself to. It just seemed too hard with what I was involved with. He literally moved me out of that place into one that screams His name every morning when I walk out the door to go to work. He physically distanced me from certain relationships and stagnation in every aspect of the word to a place full of health. This was unexpected. And while I can see the fruit of it now, I did not accept this change with a smile. I accepted it kicking and screaming. A child who didn’t get their way, who realized that life doesn’t always turn out the way they think it will.

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SUPRISING. My friendships here. He is SOOOOO faithful when it comes to blessing me with beautiful friendships. Not only have my basic needs always been taken care of, but on top of that He has always placed me somewhere in which He blesses me with at least one person who I truly connect heart to heart with. This year that person was Char. I thank God every day for this girl, who saw exactly who I was and who I desired to be the day I met her. She battled life with me these last 6 months as I had to let go of those securities that were so engrained into the core of me. She mourned with me. Cried with me. Held me. Made me laugh as I was literally writhing in pain and agony. She and I have the ability to read eachother’s minds from across the room. I love that I have someone here who I find difficult to look at it in serious situations because I know we’ll crack up laughing. She can always make me smile. And she blesses me greatly in what she thinks are the tiniest of ways. Thank you, Lord for my dear sister.

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Beth. I didn’t even know I needed her. I had no idea when I met her (this tattooed, motorcycle riding chick with a lip ring) that she would speak so much truth into my life. I clung to her as I was losing someone so precious to me. And when I confessed things to her and walls were broken down, the first thing that came to her lips was “How has this affected your relationship with Christ?” That one sentence sums up Beth. She is someone I see Christ in every day. She has lovingly rebuked me, counseled me, held my hand, prayed with and for me, reminded me DAILY of His faithfulness, seen me at my very worst, and best of all..is constantly leading me towards Christ. I love that we have been able to walk alongside one another this semester as we battle the loss of such loved people in our lives. And that we rejoice together in His new mercies that are so evident in these trials. She is one of the first friendships I have had that is Christ centered. And not only that, but this girl can make me laugh SOOO hard. I will never forget how anticipated Wednesdays were as we taught Birds and Snakes together (as she gave me grace each week knowing how much I hated teaching snakes), and our dear elective! Oh how I loved Wednesday afternoons teaching young girls about soy candles and beeswax chapstick! Girly playlists and bonding time, embarassing Beth weekly with the BIRD story, and always making extra chapsticks for us and our friends. I will miss these days. Thank you, Lord for my Beth. And then there are all the other people I have been blessed with here, the ones in which God is still working and will continue to work through this next year.

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I can’t wait to see what happens this summer in all our lives. I get to live life with so many amazing people this summer at Conference Center. And then we get a whole other year to do life together at OSS. I look forward to building on top of the foundation we have started in our teaching and in our relationships. I look forward to crazy times in the OC, eating every meal together, more epic campfires, Extendo becoming my favorite day of the week (at least I hope so!) big family get togethers at the Hitch with food and laughter, and above all a better understanding of who God is.

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May this blog be a space in which I can document all the memories, insights, thoughts, fears, and stories of the year ahead. The horizon is so bright.