A Time for Everything

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Today is my last day on Young Life staff. I wanted to share a few reflections…

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace a time and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This verse rings so true and boldly in my life at this time. When there are transitions and changes ahead, I am comforted by it. These three ring especially loud in this moment:

…a time to plant and a time to uproot…

I have been so blessed to call Seattle home the last 6 years. (I can barely wrap my head around how quickly it flew by.) Six years of a strong community, never ending city explorations, and endless discoveries of the truth that surrounds me: God has me right where He wants me for a specific reason.
It’s at this time that I am switching gears — a new adventure awaits! The planting I’ve done here in Seattle will slowly become uprooted as I move to a new city, where new planting will occur. Even with unknowns and variables galore, planting season is coming again, soon. The uproot process must happen before the planting can begin again fresh.

…a time to tear down and a time to build…

Just as there is a time to plant and a time to uproot, so is there a time for tearing down and building. There have been times these past few months that I have experienced both challenges and celebrations in the ‘tear down’ time; in ways this process will continue even as the building process begins. Rebuilding comes both with comparisons and expectations which can taint the healthfulness and movement to build in the first place. I am hopeful that the building processes of community, purpose, and identity are refreshing and renewing.

…a time to weep and a time to laugh…

I foresee the next few months to be filled with both of these things: weeping and laughing. Leaving a role I am convinced I was made for is tough.  Moving away from a place where I have found freedom, adventure, and friends of a lifetime is something I never thought I would do. In weeping, though, there is also laughter and I look forward to rich time with dear friends this next month in Seattle. It will be a sweet time, I am confident.

I never thought I would have the opportunities that I did this year during my time on Young Life staff. I have learned more about myself this year than any other year. And as I approach the beginning of my 26th year of life, I am thrilled to embark on this journey ahead, experience God in new ways, and walk through the open doors He has already perfectly placed.

Thank you for walking along with me in this journey this past year.

Jenica

Malibu 2015

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Assignment at Malibu in pictures…

Malibu Bound

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Preparing the last 6 months for camp has been a whirlwind! With the school year in full throttle, the departure and reality of camp seemed so far away. Now that college students are home for the summer, Seattle is a bit more quiet, and camp is much more loud. Loud in a lot of ways: we are the 2nd group to go up there starting next week. There have already been hundreds of campers that have experienced camp and heard about Jesus this summer already. Praises for that!

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And loud in a way that camp is very, very close. The garage is packed with game supplies and costumes galore! We are going to bed dreaming about our lines and writing scripts when we wake up. Making packing lists like mad and thinking through all the details time after time.

Interested in a sneak peak of camp? Meet the Hipster Hamsters Lloyd & Lola. And the MMA (Mythical Messenger Academy) postal people, Craig & Tina (otherwise known as Baby T). Now imagine the heavenly glimpses of Malibu + these characters + the truth of the Gospel being told + fun-filled, packed days = you’ve got CAMP in a nutshell.

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I am honored to serve in this role as Program Director. It’s always been a dream of mine to do Program at Malibu; I truly never thought it would come true this fast.

With the hustle and bustle of summer, would you keep a few things in mind as you’re praying for our time at camp? Having a team committed to praying while we are gone is essential to our survival, strength, and energy. Thank you in advance for partnering with us and building us up from afar.

A few ways in particular you can be praying…

  • That I would be aware and receptive to the things God is teaching me — that I would spend time in the Scripture on the daily and experience Him in new ways
  • As a team, that we are servants for each other; we can communicate thoroughly and clearly, as well as love each other well in all things
  • That I would feel encouraged and empowered by my teammates who I can learn so much from
  • Be intentional about learning names well and remembering them — our Work Crew, Summer Staff, Assignment Team, and Property Staff
  • That I can discern when I need to take time for myself; because I radiate energy from others, I have a difficult time taking Jenica time
  • That I can be fully present at camp, focus on the task at hand, and serve with my whole head and heart
  • That we would all stay healthy and safe — in our travels, but also as we lead 400+ campers throughout each week (and they would all stay safe as well; you never know what can happen with that many high schoolers running around camp)

I cannot thank you enough for your continued support, love, and encouragement as I step into this role with a confidence and boldness that only comes from the Lord.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be (wo)men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 

In the meantime, the end of my year-long commitment to Young Life Staff is coming to a close, which means there are many transitions ahead! Stay tuned for more when I return from camp!

May you be blessed this summer — quality time, adventures, and memories with your families and friends!

100 Miles in 100 Degrees

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Mile 0: A blazing 70 degrees before 8am! 

Mile .3: Almost ran into a dog crossing the path.

Mile 15: Beautiful views of Wenatchee orchards!

Mile 25: Pit stop with roasted potatoes and a man dancing around with sunscreen.

Mile 31: Shot block time.

Mile 33: Hello, chip seal. You are 100 degrees. I don’t like you.

Mile 37: After climbing for an hour or so, we reach another pit stop with a daunting downhill ahead. Mostly would be exhilarating if we did not have to climb it at mile 58.

Mile 53: Pit stop. My knees about to pop out of place. Got a Popsicle.

Mile 58.6: We reached the summit. SO RELIEVED! We began a downhill for at least 20 minutes!

Mile 66: Get hit with a sprinkler we passed by. Perfect timing.

Mile 75: Last pit stop. Ready to be finished.

Mile 80: Deadman’s Hill. Yes, the hill lived up to it’s name, unfortunately. The ‘last’ hill we heard.

Mile 88: We heard wrong. Hills on hills on hills. My legs burning.

Mile 91: “Single digit miles!” -JoAnne aka: my encourager & reason why I survived

Mile 97: The last three that felt like 30.

Mile 100: I dropped my bike on the grass, crawled over to the rest of our Young Life team members that rode as well. Friends welcomed me with ice packs, ice cream sandwiches, and iced tea. Our faces explain it all:

JoAnne cannot wait for her next one; I wondered why we just did that; Mum so thankful to be done; Dad all rested & considering where the next one is.

Thank you for all those who were praying for us, helped us raise funds for college students, and have played such a significant role in our lives! I am happy to report our completion of this race for kids that I have met this year as well as the students I will have the pleasure of knowing for the rest of my life because of the mission and vision of Young Life!

Living the spring dream and dreaming of summer ones

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to say there have been adventures galore in the past few weeks is a gigantic understatement.

what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘adventure?’

After the last three weeks especially, I think two things when I hear ‘adventure’:
1. Bike rides, walks and talks around the beautiful neighborhoods of Seattle, and dreaming of the adventures ahead with students about what their summer holds (just to name a few).

2. This grand adventure called ‘life.’ And realizing the best and wildest adventure there is is this: the doors that open (and the doors that close) orchestrated in God’s perfect timing (whether we trust it or not) and that His plan is incredibly better than anything I could ever imagine.

I get really excited about the last one because it’s becoming so relevant and real in my life in this season. No, I do not have a lot of answers or solutions, but I am excited for the surprises and realities that will come to life in this adventure of following Jesus.

As the end of the school year comes to a close, countless to-do lists are created as well. In the next month of so, here is the final countdown until I leave for camp for July:

1. Ride 100 miles on Saturday. I am a little over $200 away from my goal of $1K! Would you consider giving $15 or $20 to help me reach the end? Click here to give. [*The percentage bar has not been updating. You’ll have to forgive the interwebs.]

2. Celebrate the wonderful seniors who are stepping into a new season of life! What a joy it has been to see them grow over the last 4 years!

3. Rejoice in the opportunity to recruit new Young Life College leaders as the year comes to a close! Students are stepping up to say ‘YES’ to serving their peers and sharing the love of Jesus with them. I am thrilled to invite new students onto the team!

4. Continue to pray, pray-pare, and prepare for the month of July as I serve as the Program Director up at Malibu. It will be a month full of challenges, as I am stretched in a myriad of directions, but learning to trust the Lord will provide each and every need before I even ask for it. & for the hundreds of campers packing to experience the best week of their lives!

I cannot thank you enough for your continued support in this role. Of all the lessons I’ve learned this year, I am realizing more and more how crucial it is and what a JOY it is to have a team of people who believe in me, are praying for me, and who are cheering me on from all over! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A day in the life…

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I’m convinced I accidentally consumed some bugs on my training ride yesterday. I blame it on this literal jaw-dropping view of the Puget Sound. A fellow YL College staff member & I rode north from Seattle & stumbled upon this:
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Over the past few years, I’ve really learned to appreciate and love cycling as transportation. Propelling yourself from one place to the next as you pass by people, greet others on the trail, and enjoy the outdoors is a rewarding experience. (Especially when you come across mile-long downhills and you pick up speeds close to 40mph, like we did yesterday.)

Last weekend when my parents were in town for the weekend, we biked around Vashon Island just southwest of Seattle. There’s nothing like adventuring and cycling with the family! (And so glad we will all get to ride together on June 6.)

IMG_8690We are three weeks out from the Century ride. With every ride I not only feel stronger, but get to see more beautiful views of what the PNW holds. I can’t believe I get to call this part of the country home.

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I am halfway to my goal of raising $1K — some pledged and others already have given! Click here to donate and thank you for partnering with me on the ride!

 

I’m biking 100 miles…

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…all in one day. “Are you crazy?” you might be thinking. That makes two of us. But it’s worth it. “Why?” Because I believe in the mission of Young Life and am so proud to work for an organization that introduces students to Jesus and helps them grow in their faith.

To add to the fun, my sister, JoAnne, has committed to riding for me and with me! Sunday we trained a bit:

And we need your help!

I am raising $1K to ride — will you consider pledging $1 for every mile I ride? Every dollar counts! Follow this link to view my personal fundraising page. Thank you for partnering with me in this race — I could not do this work without your help!