Tag Archives: thank you

Gratitude

A lot has been changing for me lately and I will be free to say more about that in the next few weeks. For now, I just want to share in the vaguest possible way how grateful I am for those around me. I’ve been feeling some strain because I haven’t been able to share on this blog some of the emotions whirling around inside my head. Gratitude, however, is not one I need to keep contained. 

I’m grateful for my family. Moving home after college could have been a really hard decision. I have never regretted it. My parents and siblings are incredibly supportive and kind. They put up with a lot from me and are fun to be around. Seriously, I have a wonderful family. I’m grateful for this time with them. I’m grateful for my extended family too. I have the best aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. It has been so nice to be near them, even if I do not see them all the time. 

I’m grateful for my friends: both the new ones and the old ones. I never expected to find such community in my small home town. I’m grateful for continued friendships from college and high school. I’ve got to travel and visit and bond over the past two years with some really awesome people. 

Though full of ups and downs, life is good. God is good. I’m grateful for where I am at. 


Relief

To say I feel better today would be the understatement of the century. Granted, I basically haven’t left my room, but I have been funcitoning all day on limited or NO PAIN MEDS! :O

I feel happier and sleepier and in general more like my old self. Hopefully I will continue in this direction! This is hardly a full recovery, but it is certainly encouraging to feel better. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me! 


THREE DAY QUOTE CHALLENGE – DAY 2

I was tagged by kathyscottage to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge! Check out her blog – https://katiescottagebooks.wordpress.com/

Official Rules ~

// Thank the person who nominated you.

//Post a new quote, everyday, for three (3) consecutive days!

//Nominate three new bloggers everyday!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Thank you for tagging me!

2. Day 2 Quote ~ 

“The next day brought more visitors. Sarah was eating a simple luncheon with Charis, Ariel, and Guinevere and was experiencing for the first time in her life the pleasure of talking freely with other girls she trusted. It wasn’t that they talked about anything of importance. Indeed, most of their conversation was hopelessly trivial- Mordecai would have shaken his head sadly over such frivolity, Sarah reflected with an inward smile. But to talk so openly, and to laugh so unrestrainedly, was somehow far more significant than any single thing that was said.” – Gerald Morris, The Princess, the Crone, and the Dung-Cart Knight

3. I nominate Hope – therawtoast.wordpress.com 


The Facebook Birthday Dilemma

I love birthdays in general and my birthday in particular. It is fun to have a whole day all about you. I especially love all the birthday greetings on Facebook. It reminds me that – even if only for a moment – people thought of me today. I love how the birthday wishes come from people in all directions of life: work friends, college friends, old family friends, family members, neighbors, etc. Some I have met for the first time this year, others have known me for years. I feel so cherished.

However, I also am faced with a dilemma. How do I respond to all these birthday greetings? Do I ‘like’ them all? Reply with ‘thank you’? Leave a personalized message?

I tried the personalized message thing last year and it lasted about 6 people. I had only so much to say! While there were some people I was happy to catch up with, the majority of well wishers were acquaintances of the I-met-you-at-camp-5-years-ago variety.  Eventually I was just writing wordy thank yous. There went that plan. 

Option 2: reply “thank you” to every post. This gets the job done and acknowledges that I saw their greeting. However, it is super generic and boring. If I am honest, I don’t feel it is very necessary and I shrug it off when people respond that way to my posts on their wall. ‘Cause then, how do you acknowledge their thank you? With a like? Ahhhhhhhh

Maybe there is a specific protocol and I just don’t know it. I’ve decided to give up this year and just thank or like or comment on whatever post I felt inclined to thank/like/or comment on. I think it was a pretty good life decision. 

Sooooooo, thank you for the birthday wishes, all!


My Mom

The adjective I would apply to my Mom this Mother’s Day? Sacrificial. A Mom’s job is one of the most sacrificial roles out there. I can’t imagine how my Mom does it. Day after day, year after year, she has sacrificed her time, attention, and energy to turn me into the woman I am today. Even though I’m graduated and theoretically adulting, I still rely on her every day. Thank you, Mom, for everything you do for me and my siblings. Thank you for your sacrifices and your strength. Thank you for being my teacher and editor and fashion consultant and constant soundboard. I am grateful to be your daughter! ❤

 


Message From the Mothership

This past week I received a surprise gift in the mail from the Generation Joshua Leadership Corps. 

  
It contained a t-shirt, a copy of The Joshua Generation, and a kind note. The package really made my week. 

Back when we had a Generation Joshua club, my Dad used to refer to Gen J HQ as “The Mothership.” Though I don’t get to do as much as I would like with it, being a part of the Leadership Corps helps me remain connected to “The Mothership” and all the awesome people who work there. I highly recommend any graduated Gen Jer take the time and join the Corps. It is worth it. (And not just because you get a t-shirt. There is the added bonus of interacting with the new Gen Jers, who are awesome people!)

Thank you to Gen J HQ for the awesome gift!

   


Identifying Gen Jer

10 years ago today, some long forgotten office minion processed my paperwork and I officially joined Generation Joshua. Little did they know! Actually, little did I know. It is impossible to imagine the past ten years without Generation Joshua. I can’t even imagine the past year without it, and I have been “graduated” for quite some time. Gen J influenced every part of my life. It provided friends, mentors, and answers during the tumultuous years of teenhood, and the early chaos of college. Even now, as I begin my career, I find I owe an unpayable debt to the organization that provided me with vision and experience before I realized I would need either.

I used to tell people, in a rush of words so fast most listeners gave up trying to understand, “Generation Joshua is an organization that gets young people, ages 11 to 19, involved in civics and government. It is awesome. But, you know, it does so much more.”  

Generation Joshua taught me a lot of things. I did everything offered: camps, clubs, conferences, the chat room, book clubs, the Benjamin Rush Awards, Student Action Teams, and later the Leadership Corps. Above all, though, I spent my teen years on the Generation Joshua forums. All those things, but especially the forums, taught me some important truths about life.

I learned…my teen years were a blessing.

Even before my teenage years began I wanted them to be over. I carried a vague notion that all teenagers had boyfriends, wore skimpy clothes, and did drugs. No matter how desperately my Mom pointed out perfectly ordinary and well behaved teenagers, I refused to believe it. I knew what was up. Nothing good came of turning 13! The teenagers on the Generation Joshua forums quickly disabused me of that notion. These students were intelligent, funny, and friendly. They discussed everything from relationships to current events to coffee! Sometimes they goofed off; sometimes they were serious. For me, it was all amazing. I learned the teenage years did not automatically mean delinquency and rebellion. It could be a wonderful time for growth and friendship.

I learned…online friendships last.

Because so many of my friendships began online, they continue to thrive online today. The neat thing about being an adult is that nowadays I get to travel and visit people in person. However, for many years I could have passed my closest friends on the street and not of known them. It made for the most awkward conversations! “My friend Dr. Black, well, I’ve never met him, but anyway he said…” or “Coolweather and I were e-mailing and we think…” Gen Jers learned to be very creative. My friends Tori (CatCrazy), Lydia (LidBiz) and I started an online girls’ bible study using a chat room and blog. It was a wonderful experience, spread across many time zones. Tori lived in Montana and Lydia in Senegal, Africa. We were joined by girls in California, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. Today, I still consider both girls dear friends. Whether through the forums, Facebook, or even “real life”, my friendship with Gen Jers last a great deal in part because we first learned to be friends far away.

I learned…my voice mattered.

Once upon a time I caught sight of the first post I ever wrote, and it made me want to cry. The spelling, the grammar, the content! I flinch to think of it. But you know what I remember even more clearly than the post? I remember TexasCowboy and Pippin welcoming me to the forums and engaging with what I had to say. That meant a lot to me. I also learned that I could put action behind my words via the Student Action Teams and iGovern Camps. Not everyone finds spending a week of grassroots campaigning fun, however it was the highlight of my year. I couldn’t vote, but I could act. I learned I could make a difference, even at age 14.

I learned…disagreement is okay.

God bless all the moderators who kept an eye on us on the forums! They eventually shut down the Civil War thread because it got so heated. Place two opinionated teenagers together and you are bound to have some conflict, add a whole bunch of them to an online forum and you’re begging for it. Heated discussion is not always a bad thing, though. It sharpens arguments and provides a broader point of view. I learned a lot by simply reading the back and forth of others. I saw that you could be friends with people you disagreed with.

I learned…God answers prayer.

The statement almost sounds trite, but it meant a great deal to me in high school. Before I ever heard of Generation Joshua, I begged God for friends like me. I didn’t want a robot…but someone who shared my interests. And God provided. A few years later, I prayed again, this time for closer friends. Not long after, I got to travel to Generation Joshua camp with Danielle (jcfreak) and Sara (Lightning). It was wonderful to have the friends in person and online! Being a part of Generation Joshua grew me spiritually. I saw God’s hand at work in so many ways. I saw faith in the students around me, in the counselors and leaders at camp, in the discussion on the forums. I saw pain and hurt and brokenness. And I learned that God worked in it all, that He was not an afterthought but the very foundation.

Most of all I learned…I was not alone.

There were teenagers like me. People who loved learning. People who paid attention to politics. People who read like crazy. C.S. Lewis said in The Four Loves, “Friendship…is born at the moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one…’” Indeed, I thought I was the only one. And then one momentous day, on January 6th, I joined something greater, where I learned I was not alone. Generation Joshua was so much more.

This is a thank you. I have written many before, but I can only repeat my words again. Thank you to those Gen Jers who were older than me, who mentored and offered me friendship when I first joined. Thank you to my peers, the Gen Jers my age who remain some of my closest friends. Thank you to all the kids who have come after me, it is a delight watching you discover the same thing I did. That you are not alone.

Most of all, thank you to the leaders of Generation Joshua. When I first joined, that meant Ned Ryun. Then Douglas Price. Then Will Estrada. Now, Joel Grewe. Thank you to all the leaders like Jeremiah Lorrig, Lucas Mason, and Michael Zeller. Thank you to my SAT leaders, Noah Oberlander and James Flath. Thank you to the parents who helped get the club going in Wisconsin, people like Mrs. Aguilar, Pastor Andy, and my Dad. I would never have discovered Generation Joshua without The First Generation Joshua Club of Wisconsin. Thank you for all the people who have engaged and mentored and spoke into the lives of the Gen J community. There are countless names I could mention. I have only named a few of the ones most involved while I was a teenager. What you all do cannot be quantified in words. I am ever grateful for the role you all have played in my life.

I hope every teenager has the opportunity to find a place where they discover they are not alone. Generation Joshua was that for me. Thank you, Gen J, for helping shape me into the woman I am today.