Tag Archives: Colorado Springs

Unpacking the Summer

At the end of my adventures in Idaho last summer, I wrote a blog post where I talked about finding a new side of myself. I, bookworm and indoor aficionado,  learned to sleep under the stars, hike for fun, and white water raft. Part of the appeal of going to Colorado this past summer was the idea of further developing this new side of myself. 

And in a way, it was. I camped. I hiked. I white water rafted. (It is a lot more fun without the raft of paranoid middle school girls.) 

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Yet looking back, I would not say this was a summer of discovery. Rather, it became something more precious: a summer of remembering. 

Image may contain: 13 people, including Heather Sherrill, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Abby Welch, Haylee O'Hearn, Kathleen Mattina, Caroline Adams and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Law school is stressful. It is a melting pot of emotions and nuances and feeling like a failure. I emerged war-torn and exhausted. Going to Colorado felt like a terrible idea. As the weeks leading up to my departure became days, I kept wondering if Young Life would really would miss me too much if I just…didn’t go? After all, they’d told me there were two legal interns. Maybe they didn’t need me?

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I knew better than to bail last minute, though, so I got on my plane, read 4 books, and started a truly amazing internship. What made it amazing? 

  • I had work that mattered and that I loved. 
  • I worked with incredible people who made me feel loved. 
  • I lived with 8, wonderful, sometimes crazy women who loved me and took the time to let me know it. 
  • I participated in an internship program that provided mentors, speakers, and a small group that all poured into me and left me feeling…you got it, loved
  • Finally, I got hour after luxurious hour to read and think and be alone, to truly love myself. 

Image may contain: 13 people, including Liz Knepper, Andi Seaton, Kathleen Mattina, Haylee O'Hearn, Shelby Hoovler, Alexavier Xue, Caroline Adams, Heather Sherrill, Amy Buchmeyer and 3 others, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

The theme you should notice is that I was spoiled this summer. I was spoiled because people treated me like someone remarkable, someone smarter and funnier and more pulled together than I ever felt. They made sure to invite me to all their activities and never took offense when I declined to instead stay home and read. I always felt included but never pressured. And considering how many times I turned them down to read, that is saying something. 

Yet while I felt beloved for my reading and bug-killing abilities, I also felt the love did not stem from my personal attributes. I was surrounded by God-loving people whose love for each other stemmed from that love for God. Certain personalities might mix better and certain skills be more praise worthy, but at the end of the day, those things mattered less than the fact that each intern represented someone loved by God and thus worthy of love.

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I was spoiled this summer because I felt unconditionally loved. I was spoiled because I got to do work that interested and excited me. I was spoiled because I got to live in the incredibly beautiful mountains with no humidity. 

I called this a summer of remembering. Why? Because it was a summer of remembering that my worth is not in what I do, or where I live, or what grades I get. It was a summer of remembering who I am when not stressed, not busy, and not networking. A summer of just being…me. Was it hard sometimes? Oh, you bet. But for all that, it was a summer beyond my expectations. 

The thing I want to take away, the thing I need to take away, is that this path wasn’t the most natural, the most prestigious, or even the most sensible. But in the end, it was the most fulfilling. God knew what He was doing even when (especially when) I doubted the most. 

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(And because I couldn’t find the right place for it in this post, extra grateful shout-out to my awesome fellow legal intern, John, who now knows a lot more about Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, public sector labor law unions, and agency deference than he ever could have wanted, but who always let me interrupt him and patiently listened while I rambled away. Thank you.)


Delays and Layovers

I’ve flown 8 times since May and each one contained some form of delay or difficulty. My flight back to Wisconsin proved no different. No sooner did I check in for my flight then I learned it was delayed…2 hours.

I gave myself a 3 hour layover in Chicago because stuff like this happens to me regularly. Even with the 2 hour delay, I expected a stroll to my next gate. But then it got pushed back again. 

What should have been a nice, long, boring layover in Chicago became a breathless dash to make my connecting flight. I did make it, though! And I conclude that from now on I must schedule at least a 6 hour layover between flights. 


Beginning of the End

Today marks my last Monday at Young Life. I will miss it here. I plan to write out a more thorough post at a later time. For now, I just feel a sense of sadness that my summer is coming to a close. It has been a lovely summer full of fun and fulfillment. Mondays don’t feel like Mondays. I’m always eager to get back to work. 

But I guess all good things come to an end. After all, new blessings cannot enter your life if you cling to the old. 

I’m so grateful for this summer! 

Image may contain: Kathleen Mattina and Amy Buchmeyer, people smiling, outdoor and nature


Old Friends, All the Acne, and Scary Amounts of Enthusiasm

‘That looks like Joel,’ I think as I stand in the church lobby and observe the other attendees. ‘But he lives in Virginia.’ 

Joel Grewe is the director of Generation Joshua and a mentor of my high school and college years. 

For a moment I marveled at the resemblance before realizing that Generation Joshua’s iGovern West camp started this week. It could be him. 

“Joel?” I ask. 

Considering the odd surroundings, he takes my presence in stride for a few moments before the oddity strikes him. He motions to where the other iGovern counselors are gathered, ready for lunch. I’m ecstatic. These are my old friends. I practically run across the sanctuary to say hi. 

Then I remember what I’m wearing. I chose sleep over makeup this morning; my jeans have a huge hole and my top is a castoff from my sister – a bedazzled Star Wars t-shirt I only wore because I haven’t done laundry. To match my odd shirt, I paired my choker necklace and I have a decided goth-wannabe feel. Or I would if I bothered with makeup. I wish I had; I’m so broken out today. 

I feel very self-conscious. But also excited. Everyone is confused to see me. It is so good to see them, even briefly. These are my people. They invite me to the camp gala on Tuesday night. I don’t have a ride but I will find one. I’m more excited about the gala than I was to go to the Supreme Court last weekend. 

My ecstatic mood lasts through brunch with the other Young Life interns. I’m bubbly and bouncy in a way they haven’t seen before. I’ve mellowed a lot…but there is nothing like Generation Joshua to bring out all my enthusiasm! 


Colorado Mood Swings

Colorado has the strangest weather. Within an hour, the sky darkens, the clouds dump rain, and then the sun comes out. You would never guess it just poured. This place has the most bi-polar weather I have ever seen.


Flight Update

I am too old for all-nighters. 

They did cancel my flight yesterday…at 9:30 pm. I then waited two hours in line to be told the next flight to Colorado Springs left Thursday. Not an ideal situation. They could get me to Denver, but that meant going from the Dulles to Reagan airport. There was one seat left on the flight that left at 7 am.

I jumped at it. To the airline’s credit, they offered to put me up in a hotel. However, by the time I made it over to Reagan, it was past midnight and security opened in 4.5 hours. I decided it was not worth jumping through all the hoops of finding a hotel. 

Instead, I did what any self-respecting bookworm does. I camped out in the corner and read through 5 detective novels, upping my weekend total to 10 finished books. 

I did nap for about 90 minutes on the plane but otherwise I passed a good 26 hours without sleep and let me tell you, that is not an experience I want to repeat any time soon. 


Flights to Colorado Springs

For the third time this summer I sit at an airport headed to Colorado Springs. And for the third time this summer, my flight gets pushed back later and later until I wonder if they will cancel it altogether.

As I have flown 3 separate airlines from 3 separate locations to get to 1 destination, the common denominator seems to be…me. I guess on the bright side, I get a lot of reading in.