Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day Reflections

So many things to be thankful for indeed!
1- I'm home for the holiday this year!
2- My brother's in-laws (basically Marla) was pouting that I couldn't make it over there this weekend, which means they love me :)
3- Met my new doggie nephew, Buddy. A black golden-doodle! Very Cute!
4- I'm on the verge of full recovery for my knee!
5- I have a wonderful home to come home to, which includes my family, pets and friends!
6 - It's now officially Christmas season :)
7- Although I may not know exactly what my life is going to look like in a year - I have been blessed with many talents and I'm excited to see how God is going to use them!

I miss my adventures. I'm making new ones everyday though in some way or another or at least making new memories. Mom and i have been watching a lot of Hallmark movies and they always make me feel good inside. There was one though that portrayed a big-time lawyer and she got magically put into a different life that had a husband and kids. I could empathize with her in both lives. She had a killer down-town office, then the next moment she was tucking in two adorable children. I hope to not have to choose one life over the other someday, but if I did, I would now find myself choosing the later. But why worry about tomorrow - there's a verse about somewhere in the Bible. So, I'll do my best not to and live in today! And my plans for the rest of the day are to help daddio put lights up, do a little grocery shopping and have dinner with two of my best girlfriends from high school! We are going to cook dinner, watch a movie and because we're old enough and it's yummy - drink some wine! :)

Boiler Up tomorrow! Oaken Bucket Game and my last football game as a college student, and I'm taking my daddy. Couldn't think of a better person to spend it with :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winterization 2010

OMG is all I have to say about how I feel right now! Winterization was amazing! We had approximately 481 volunteers between those that went out and volunteered and the crew that supported the madness!

The best part for me was when I got to meet the lady that started the Winterization service project 9 years ago! To see what her idea and passion has turned into was such a rewarding experience. I was in the middle of registering volunteers, so I didn't really get a chance to talk with her, but it was so awesome that she came back and volunteered in this year's Winterization!

So today is your lucky day - this post is actually going to be the usual size of a blog post so I'll just give one last shout-out to everyone at Wesley who rocked it out today and all of our wonderful volunteers!!!!!!

PS - Harry Potter was AWeSomE last night/early this morning!!!!! Got together with some of my girls I don't get to see that often as we screamed, jumped and cried (I didn't, but they did) through the epic experience that this movie was!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving and Service

This Thanksgiving season has offered me a few more unique experiences that I think and feel are going to allow me to appreciate this holiday even more. Through the busy times of college and drama that surrounds every normal human being, I have been offered some opportunities to serve and had some great conversations with a few people that I would consider my mentors.

The season started off with Mortar Board serving a Thanksgiving meal at the YWCA for the local women's shelter. I carved my second turkey in my lifetime, made a lot of stuffing and became the 'finder of all things' in the kitchen. I did not get to interact with the guests there that much, but it was still rewarding to take some time and put towards a great cause.

Then I would count my time towards getting things together for Mortar Board today as 'service.' I love this organization, but the fact that we are insanely busy as an organization on top of all of the students' busy schedules can be a logistical nightmare for me sometimes getting things together as the secretary.

WINTERIZATION is here!!!!! Well, Saturday and we have a RECORD number of volunteers registered. Almost 500!!!!!! This is going to be insane, but awesome-crazy insaneness working with all of these volunteers Saturday morning. These volunteers will help approximately 130 residents within the Lafayette/West Lafayette area who are not able to winterize their own homes. We are about to pull off the most epic Winterization ever and crossing my fingers to avoid any unnecessary jinxing, we are in pretty good shape as far as preparations go for registration, mapping/directions and food!

This coming Monday, I am helping with a leadership seminar with the Tomahawk group on campus. I'm super excited to be helping facilitate this, especially after attending the AFA Conference a few weeks ago. I get to be on the other side of the conversation by driving it and I'm already feeling the giddy excitement/ passion inside of me and I hope the students get a lot out of it!

So overall, I'm super excited to be able to give back in so many different ways this week and I feel it is with a new servant's heart when I volunteer. I had two great, random conversations with a couple of Animal Science professors that I would deem as two of my mentors. Both very strong in their faith and people who I admire. These just seemed to have came at the right time to add to my great week!

Through the busyness of life, it is times like these that rejuvenate my soul and keeps me moving on!!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feeling a 'Nudge'

This past weekend I went to the AFA Leaders Conference in Kansas City, MO. AFA stands for Agriculture Future of America. It was a great weekend filled with awesome speakers, meeting gifted students from all across the country, discussing issues in the agriculture industry and of course leaving me confused to my calling in life. But hey, many of us are most of the time, at lease I hope I'm not the only one?

The theme this year was "Our Voice, Our Vision," and the goal was to equip us with the tools to tell our story related to Agriculture to combat some of the craziness of other organizations that are against production agriculture due to their perceived "ethical and safety standards." I basically want to ask those opposed to production agriculture if they want to eat in 40 years when there are 9 BILLION people on this planet and we are utilizing less than 70% of the land and resources we have in today's agricultural production? Technology and innovation are key people to feed the world come 2050.

The food producers of the world are consumers as well. Do you think they would really produce something unsafe for their own children to eat? Same goes for the use of antibiotics in the meat industry, I would sure like to eat a healthy animal even if it was treated with antibiotics rather than a diseased one. This stuff has been tested and the science is behind it. I could throw out more facts and figures about the safety of our food system, but I think I've made my point, so I'll get off my soap box and move onto another topic.

What I think I got more out of this year's conference was another nudge towards ministry. Every Christian is called to some sort of ministry to share their stories of faith. But it was two years ago at this conference that I first felt a nudge. There were lots and lots of leadership presentations and I thought about how cool it would be to present a lot of this stuff, only with a "Christian twist." It got my mind percolating at least, but I didn't take much action from there, or did I without really knowing it? That's about when I made the first commitment to Disciple Bible Study when the craziness of my 2009 was over. That's about when I knew I wanted to grow as a person and jump into the craziness of 2009 and have experiences of a lifetime!

I've always liked leadership training and development. The Madison County Youth Leadership Academy was my first real taste of that back in 2005 and now I have a minor in leadership in college. I was sitting in my OLS class today and we talked about the spectrum from behavioral leadership to value-based leadership and I could see myself using this material down the road. Servant leadership was the main topic in lecture and it could not have come at a better time - leading for a moral and ethical purpose above your own purpose. Hmmm..... Christian Leadership?

What really gave me this nudge this year was recognizing the difference in my confidence between two different sessions. The first session was an executive forum where we had the opportunity to talk with executives in the industry about key issues and what can be done about them. This wasn't just a panel up there on stage where only about half the audience is truly engaged - it was six or eight students to one executive at a table and we had three rotations to meet other execs. For the most part I felt I could hold my own against these other crazy-ambitious students, but I couldn't come from a first-hand point of view about many of the issues. I couldn't really speak knowledgeably and therefore confidently about some of the topics and I left that session feeling kind of beat up on the inside. Not a complete failure, but definitely not feeling like a million bucks.

The second session was the fellowship opportunity on Sunday morning. It was not a typical worship service. There were a couple of songs and a few prayers, but it was more of a round table discussion again for about 30 minutes where the facilitator had pulled out some practical examples in the Bible that related to our theme that we have been discussing in an ag-related mindset, only now applying it to our faith. Basically, Christians' "Our Voice, Our Vision." Nobody really took the lead at our table to start developing discussion, so I just jumped in before I think I realized it - and it was AWESOME! We had a great discussion, I was pulling questions out of nowhere that helped drive the conversation with basically complete strangers. Well, I have a pretty good idea where I was pulling them from actually, or who was supplying them rather. There was a student from OSU who was at two of the exec. forum tables I was at and who was also at my table during the fellowship. I was impressed by him during the exec. forum because he was very well spoken and knowledgable about several of the issues. He then paid me a compliment after the fellowship session!

To spare this from getting much longer, as I'm sure I'll write more about this in my quest to hone in on what this nudge means, I'm now going to start researching different programs in Christian Leadership. Drumroll please......... that probably means some sort of seminary for me! Growing up, I always wanted to do what my brother did - pulled my two front teeth out when he lost his, played with Power Rangers instead of Barbies, wanted to drive when he started to drive and definitely wanted a letter jacket when he got his! But I still did my own thing: He was a bookworm - I rode my horses, he played with legos - I had my toy horses. Ok, yes, there is a pattern here, I'm horse-crazy - what's new? So now I suppose I'm still playing copy-cat with the idea about going to seminary someday. Although he did admit on the phone yesterday that we are kind of alike and there is a small piece of similarity between the two of us - which is hilarious actually!

Stay-tuned for where this nudge will lead me next!