Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Accomplishments

1. Leaning to play the accordion

2. Learning how to be socially excellent (take advantage of situations to get to know people, make sure you keep in good contact with everyone, treat everyone with respect, etc.)

3. Spending 2 hours at El Rodeo

4. Nikki turning 21!

5. Being environmentally friendly

6. Getting absolutely no homework done

7. Coming to the conclusion that it is beneficial to everyone to have a counselor/mental to support you emotionally

8. Making plans to make sure we all visit each other a lot next year when we're not living together

9. Talking about our values at chapter, and as a junior class

Friday, January 28, 2011

Offering My Gift.

Staff training at Camp Tecumseh is really great. It's a wonderful time to connect with old and new friends, to set goals for yourself, and to grow in your own personal faith. I love that the devotions and chapels are tailored to us as counselors just as much are they are good examples as for what to do in your own cabin.

My first summer on staff there was a particular chapel that has stuck with me. Llama led it, and it started off with us just singing all of our traditional favorite chapel songs (Prince of Peace, The Happy Song, Saved By Grace, etc). He then told us a story about Matt Redman's song, "The Heart of Worship." He told us that Redman's church in England had become famous for their music. That the band was so popular, and people would come to hear the music. The congregation would get caught up in singing the 'fun' songs, and wouldn't really pay that much attention to what they're saying.

So they cut all of the instruments, sound equipment, and extra noise out of their service. 

Eventually, the added everything back in and found they had found a deeper meaning in worship. And the song "The Heart of Worship was born."

I love singing, so when I started working at camp, I expected that I would be leading songfests and chapels.

And then I lost my voice. I literally could not sing. This killed me, because I loved singing. And I loved singing all those 'fun' church songs.

Last summer, I lost my voice again while at camp. I started reflecting on how my campers acted during the 'fun' songs at chapel and songfest, and the story of "The Heart of Worship" came flooding into my memory.

Worship is not about us. It's "all about you Jesus."

I then began to reflect on all the times I had served as a cantor at mass and lead worship. I realized that I had not made it about Jesus. I had made it about myself, it was about how good I sounded when singing. So I stopped thinking about leading worship at all because I knew it made me prideful.

This past Sunday, I was sitting next to Lori at mass. As soon as mass was over, she turned to me and asked me why I don't sing because I have a beautiful voice. I kind of laughed it off, and was like yeah, I don't know. She then "voluntold" me that I was going to be helping Ted lead worship at Thursday Vigil Praise. I said no, at first. At our meeting on Wednesday, I explained to her why I didn't want to. I didn't want to become prideful, I didn't want to make it about me.

Lori then reminded me that we all have gifts, and we are all called to use them to glorify God. It is not good for us to hide our lights under a bushel (like in Mark 5:15). She said that it is so good that I am worrying about making it about myself, and if I prayed for God to purify my intentions, he would. So I agreed to help lead. I prayed so hard before and during vigil praise that God would purify my intentions for singing and that he would allow me to worship him while leading.

It was honestly so good to sing again. Afterwards, Amy (a leader for InterVarsity) came up to me and introduced herself and essentially thanked me and told me that she loved my heart and that it was apparent that I loved Jesus. And that he loved me too. It was so good to hear that, because for the first time I was able to worship and connect with God while leading. Prayer works. If God wants to use my gifts in that way, then I will let him. I've been sitting around and saying that I want to follow his plan for me, but hiding things that I am able to do is not following God at all. While in the grand scheme of things, offering to sing at TVP might not be that significant, but for now, I know God wants me to do it. And so I will.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This semester is crazy. I've said it before and I will continue to say it thousands of times this semester.

Yesterday was the busiest day I've had so far. I had 8:00 am class, worked on the Risk Management policy and my announcements for Panhel tonight during my break, had four more classes from 11:00-4:45, went to 5:00 mass, talked to Father about my religion class, ate the quickest dinner ever, ran my first official Panhel Exec meeting, and then went to a meeting for FOCUS student leaders. When all was said and done it was 11:30 pm. Yikes. Monday was a similar sort of hectic, although I had no classes.

Yet, within these two crazy days, I have found myself feeling closer to God than I have in awhile. One of my goals for this year is to "pray without ceasing." Yesterday, Sarah M. sent me this quote (and Sarah W. already blogged about it):
"You say grace before meals. Alright. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." - G.K. Chesterton
I love this because it speaks to how I am trying to live my life. In order to seek His truth, I must pray before my classes. In order to be mindful, I must say a quick prayer as I'm walking to class. In order to seek His will, I must say grace as I'm journaling and blogging. In order to live out my values, I must say grace before Panhel, before chapter, and before the thousands of meetings I will have this semester. I must say grace without ceasing in order to keep God in the forefront of my heart and mind.

On Monday, I said a quick grace before I got coffee with my friend Lauren. We lived on the same floor freshman year and she is now the Director of Rituals in Delta Gamma.
Lauren has the red hair :)
And let me tell you, we had the BEST CONVERSATION EVER. She is so passionate about Delta Gamma and what we stand for. She truly wants all of our sisters to be bonded together as a group, truly caring for one another. She wants to restructure our chapter meetings, spending most of our time together bonding, and talking about our rich history and ritual. I love it so much. I have so much faith in her and what she will be able to do for our chapter. I can't wait to see the huge baby steps she will be making. She is going to have SUCH a positive influence on our chapter and I cannot wait to see what she does. Praise God for her and for our conversation.

This conversation is just one example of how saying a grace before something simple we do everyday can completely reshape that activity and make it for the good of God's will. So right now, I will say a quick grace before my discipleship meeting with Lori, hoping to continue to shape our relationship and my leadership to His will.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17

One of my favorite things in the entire world is community.

I truly believe, through the depths of my being, that God did not create us to live alone and to be alone. In fact, that is why he created Eve after he created Adam! While most people think that generally refers to marriage, I think it can refer to friendship as well.

I am reading Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist right now.
It's so good. I love how real Shauna is. Her voice is so relevant, and she is gifted with putting Jesus' teachings in today's world, and is so good at sharing her story.

Last night, I read the story "The Closer You Get." It's about how even when you think you are as close to some of your friends as possible, "the closer you get, the closer you get."

At one point in her story, she says "You know this doesn't happen over and over in your life. You don't get that many experiences of friendship like the one you all share" (Pg. 32).

I know that this is a true statement. That being said, I have been so incredibly blessed with many different friends in my life. And throughout those close relationships, I have found that the strongest of those have been those founded in Christ. Those friendships anchored in God have given me strength, those people have seen me at my worst, and I know they are always there for me. In Cold Tangerines, Shauna says,
 "That's what friendship looks like to me. Friendship is acting out God's love in tangible ways. We were made to represent the love of God in each other's lives, so that each person we walk though life with has a more profound sense of God's love for them. Friendship is an opportunity to act on God's behalf in the lives of people that we're close to, reminding each other who God is. When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life. We get to remind one another about the bigger, more beautiful picture that we can't always see from where we are" (From "Swimming," Pg. 49).
To those people whom I've had friendships like this with, I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to you. I am so blessed to have known you and I cannot thank you enough for helping me grow in my faith.

I hope to be this kind of friend. I hope that every person I come in contact with leaves a better person, more sure of the love God has for them. I believe that having a community of friends in Christ makes us stronger as Christians and as individuals. I pray to God that I can let him act through me, and that I can be an instrument of His love. True, Christ-like friendship is hard work. But when we put forth the effort, we make the world a brighter place, and we act as God intended us to.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

#7 - Be President of an Organization.

On Wednesday night, we had our first council meeting of the semester. It was a joint IFC and Panhellenic meeting.

The old officers were recognized, and thanked for their contributions to the Drake Community through their service.

Then, the new officers were installed. I am officially President of a national organization. Number 7 on my life list.

Alex (the IFC President) and I ran our first meeting, which was super awkward because it was so formal. I thought it was funny because that is not how either IFC or Panhel typically runs. I am excited for all of the fun we are going to have this year, especially once everyone gets comfortable with one another.

Wednesday was a great way to say goodbye and thank you to my old council friends, and hello and good luck to the new council. 
2010 VP's of Greek Programming

2010 Panhellenic President, our AMAZING greek advisor, & the 2011 Panhellenic President

Being President will provide me with a ridiculous amount of new lists, challenges, friendships, and goals. I can't wait.

Friday, January 21, 2011

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day!
This might be weird, but I love squirrels. Why?
1. They are so funny, especially on Drake's campus.
2. Squirrels communicate with each other using their tails, by waving them around in different patterns.
3. Some squirrels can fly. (Well, kind of). Tree squirrels can run/jump at 20 miles an hour. Woah.
4. They are so cute and fluffy!
5. They use their tail as an umbrella of sorts to shield themselves from the sun.

Squirrels are fun to watch, but there is one squirrel that has a special place in my heart.

This is Evil Kenevil.

He goes by the name of Kenevil.

He's friendly, loves Camp Tecumseh, is a wonderful friend, likes to be crazy, and is always there for you. Kenevil had a very wonderful, but very hard summer at Camp T.

He LOVED living in Ojibwa.

 He was able to make lots of new friends there.

He had fun singing the "Brown Squirrel" song at flagpole, because he got to bring out his crazy side.

But, most importantly, Kenevil got married!

Her name is Haley, and they loved each other very much. Sadly, Haley is no longer with us, so Kenevil had a hard end to his summer.

He has been praying a lot and knows Haley is in a better place now. Although he misses her, he knows God put her in his life for a reason, and is a better squirrel because of her.

Since today is national squirrel appreciation day, Kenevil and I are going to have a lot of fun.

Kenevil says hi to all of his friends! He really misses everyone he met at Camp T, and he especially misses Jane and Brittany. But, he says he is loving life at DG (like always) and can't wait for summer 2011!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Creating My Own Fun

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by what the norm is in college to have "fun". I don't really like to do that. I had a hard time my sophomore year because all I could see at Drake was people drinking (almost) every night of the week. I got really sad because I faced a lot of challenges in changing the culture of greek life at parties, and I felt like there was no one who shared my views. I didn't really want to come back to Drake this past fall because I didn't want to "deal with" the drinking culture here.

I've come to learn that there is potential to find fun everywhere I turn. I can help it if there is "nothing to do" at night. Every single day is an adventure for me waiting to happen. There are people, all around me, looking to do something different and fun. All I have to do is put a little effort forth, and not get caught up in being lazy and bored. If I am intentional in finding fun and adventure in my life, it is always there to greet me!

Tonight, after DG Bible Study, 10 of us headed up to big dorm to find a movie to watch. Instead, we ended up hanging out in middle four and just talking, laughing, and sharing hilarious stories. Sarah M. and I sat in my bed and made friendship bracelets. Carley sat on the floor making some hearts. There were girls scattered everywhere. It was so great. Some of my favorite quotes of the night were:

  • "Is that your screen name!?"
  • "I was weird in 8th grade. My confirmation name is Hildegard."
  • "I'm just picturing Whitney during recruitment with a ramp."
  • "Take a video of a red car passing a blue car."
  • "Usually I'm not this clever. I'm a pro at being funny tonight."
  • "Michelle likes wide ruled paper."
  • "I'm really upset no one wants to fart in front of me."

I've said before that I am going to be really busy this semester. I want to continue to find fun in my every day life, just like I want to find God in my everyday life. I think that God intended us to find fun in our lives. This fun that we create brings us joy, and brings us closer to those people around us, strengthening our community. And I know that God wants us to have strong communities where we support each other to grow in His love.

One other thing I've done this week to find fun in my life and strengthen our sense of community is create a 'question of the week' sign for our bathroom.
This week's question is:
The answers have been fun so far! I can't wait to see what everyone writes. I plan on making a new poster every week, making them funny, random, deep, and important.

I hope to keep creating my own fun this semester.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"180 Pages of Light Reading"

1. I thought I was going to hate microeconomics. But my Professor is a precious old(ish) man who was so energetic and excited to talk about econ at 8 am. I don't think I am going to love this class, but I don't think I am going to hate it.

2. I have an hour break after econ. I got most of my econ homework done then. Hopefully I will be productive during this hour!

3. I am taking a class called "The Life and Teachings of Jesus." It was SO GOOD. Seriously. We're going to read through all the gospels twice and talk about the historical Jesus and what he taught. There was some great discussion and debate in class today, and it was only the first day! I get to sit by Sarah M, Jessica M, and Jordan. It was great. I think this class is going to be a great reminder to keep God on my mind and heart always.

4. In my Leadership and Personal Development class, we talked about what values a good leader has. If you haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE VALUES. This class is meant to help us learn our strengths and become better leaders. How awesome is that!? Also, class got out early so I got to eat lunch. Always a bonus.

5. I was able to sit down and hang out with some of the FOCUS missionaries for about 25 minutes. They placed bets on which student they thought they would see first. Ted guessed Seejo, Mike guessed Samantha, and Lauren guessed me. That was the order they saw us in. It was funny that they actually saw the three of us first, and not other students. I think it says we spend too much time in the student center. We also got into a heated debate about Mike's shoes. He thinks they're cool (they're not) and I told him Sperry's qualify as cool shoes. Then he showed me the bottom. They're Sperry's. 

6. I am so fortunate because I get to do research with one of the psychology professors this semester. There are four students in this seminar, and we will be researching compassion. It will be really great because we are essentially asking, "what would a society look like that focuses on and values compassion?" and "is it possible to teach people to be compassionate in our world today?" It's going to be a lot of work and reading, but hopefully our experiment will come together and eventually be published! How cool is that?

7. Randomly seeing Dana (my little sis) in pilates and going to dinner at HubNasty with her.

8. Doing homework (hanging out and joking around with Emily, Jessica A, Autumn, and Carley) in lower liv. I have TONS of reading. I added it up and I have to read 180 pages by Thursday. Woof.

My biggest struggle this semester is going to be time management. I don't want to fill my days simply with business and meetings, because there will be a lot of that. I want to strive to be present, focus on my relationships (with God and with my friends), and to be joyful.

Monday, January 17, 2011


This is going to be a really great semester. I can already tell.

Yesterday, I woke up at 6:45 am to drive back to Des Moines. I left at 8 am so I could get to DG by 11:00. It was a typically dreary winter day outside, with only clouds and gray-colors in the sky. When I crossed out of Missouri, into Iowa I saw this:
This picture doesn't really capture how pretty it was, but the blue of the sky with the open road ahead of me just made me stop and think, "wow, this is really beautiful." I thought it was a good sign.

After I moved into my new room, I met up with the new PHC (Panhellenic Council) and IFC (Interfraternity Council) in our student center. From there, we headed to Ames for our overnight retreat. I was really nervous to get started with a new council, but it was so good. All the women on PHC exec are so great and we're all on the same page. We're all really pumped to get started. They are going to do some great things.

Today, I finished moving into Middle Four (I'm not allowed to put pictures up yet because my other roommates aren't clean yet), organized my room, got my mail from break (four letters and a new backpack!), and caught up with my friends.

It is always good to get organized before something new starts. I can't wait to start my classes tomorrow and get meetings on a roll. I'm going to be busy, but I am making it a priority to schedule time into my day to stop and listen to God. I don't like that I have to plan it, but I know if I am intentional in trying to be conscious of Him in my life, my semester will be great.

I can't wait to get started tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Values Based Artwork

One day last semester, my good friend Carley said, "I'm just going to stare at this picture of my family and remember my values." The other day, my friend Sarah W. blogged about making a poster of joyful things with one of her friends.

I always keep things close to my bed that remind me of who I am. Last year it was these three quotes and the Sagamore Creed.

I had to stare at how I spelt "continues" wrong all year.

This past semester, I had sticky notes on the bunk above me that said things like

  • "Pray without ceasing."
  • TDH
  • Remember to be 3rd today!
  • And a lovely note from Sarah M

On Sunday, I'm moving to middle four. I'm going to be on the top bunk. I didn't want to transfer my sticky notes over, so I had been thinking of what I was going to tape up next to my bed. That's when inspiration from Carley & Sarah W. struck!


How to make a poster of your values:
1. Go to Walmart. Wander through the remodeled store, and get a little lost because every Walmart is set up differently.
2. Find the craft aisle. Look at all the awesome other crafts. Tell your friend you can make a bird house another day. Today is about coloring and values.
3. Buy a poster. And some really sweet glitter markers.
4. Go to McDonalds and buy the largest soda possible for $1.00. (Kelsey got Diet Coke, I got Sprite).
5. Come home. Get out supplies.
6. Look at how large your poster is. 
7. Cut it in half.
8. Stare at your poster for a really long time and worry that it won't turn out good.
9. Start working because worrying doesn't help anything.
 10. While working, talk about your values, tell stories, and laugh. Have fun.
11. Outline your values with the sweet glitter pens.
12. Make sure you color everything twice so it looks really good (thanks, Sarah W. for the tip!)
13. Add extra swirls, hearts, polka dots, and flowers to fill in the white space.
14. Show off your beautiful work!

I'm really excited to hang this on my ceiling. I love everything on my poster.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lists about Tradition

I go back to school in three days. Back to a greek system where everything is about tradition. Change is a four-letter word in our community, yet it is something that I love. I've been goal setting for my term as Panhellenic President, and it has gotten me thinking about tradition.

The dictionary on my MacBook defines tradition as "the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passes on in this way; a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on this this way."

Tradition can be so good:
  • It can hold memories and bring joy into life
  • It ties people together and makes us feel as though we're apart of something bigger than ourselves
    • Delta Gamma Ritual 
    • Celebrating Mass
  • Tradition can help us honor loved ones or something that we believe in
  • It can give us a sense of belonging, and help us form our identity

But sadly, tradition can be not so good. I've found that it can:
  • Diminish the desire for forward thinking and change
  • Force people to accept something that isn't right
  • Cause people to sing an awful Fiddler On The Roof song (sorry, couldn't resist)
  • Create an atmosphere of laziness, and unwillingness to come up with new ideas
  • Be an excuse to engage in behavior that a person typically would not believe in or support

I believe tradition is two fold. It really can be both good and bad. That is why it is always important to look at your actions and traditions and ask:
  • Does this represent what I stand for?
  • Does doing this allow me to be congruent with my values?
  • Will this help us become better individuals or a better organization?
If the answer is yes, right on. If not, maybe it's time to rethink some traditions.

The next time someone says, "we can't change it, we've always done it this ways," think twice before you agree with them. Starting a new tradition is just as wonderful as partaking in an old, positive tradition.

·  .

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

‎"I didn't ask you to become new and improved today. That wasn't the goal. You were broken down and strange yesterday, and you still are today, and the only one freaked out about it is you."--God via Cold Tangerines.

This quote is currently my friend Arielle's facebook status.

It's from all of us at Camp T's favorite book, Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. This particular quote is from a story called "Old House." I've read the story before, but it really never clicked. Today it did.

I've been upset with myself lately because I am not perfect. I know that God loves me, but I feel as though He is looking at me, and sort of shaking His about all the great things I could do if I would just get my act together.

That is so not true.

Yes, I am no where near perfect. And yes, I need to work on my relationship with God. I know this. But I beat myself up over not praying enough, and for being a sinner. Guess what? We're all sinners. And God loves us (me included) the same.

I think this quote make me realize that yes, there are incredible things that I can do if I grow in my faith and "get my act together" in improving my relationship with God. But the cool thing is, I can do incredible things with God right now. I don't need to be perfect. I can live for Him, I can grow in His love, and I can show others the way simply by living my life with Him as my guide. All it takes is a little initiative and courage.

He "didn't ask [me] to become new and improved today." He asked me to try my hardest, to give life my best effort, and to love others.

I can do that.

Praise the Lord for fbook.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome Aboard!

My phone vibrated with a text message today. It was Sarah Mooney. Nothing out of the ordinary, but she asked me if I knew Paige and Page, two day camp counselors. Page was my DC my first summer on staff, but I don't actually know Paige. When I asked her why, she gave me the best news ever - they are now new members of Delta Gamma at IU! That makes for 6 CT DG's, with 5 of us still working.

This is Brett. She lived in Seminole my first summer. She is so sweet, and it was so fun to be able to talk to her about the differences between our chapters. She was the first person who showed me that the bond of Delta Gamma sisterhood reaches beyond our own chapter.

This is Brit. Brit was in my cabin for staff training this year. One day I was wearing letters and we discovered we have a common bond - Delta Gamma. From that moment on we realized we are basically the exact same person. I loved having Brit at camp this summer. She also lived in Seminole and was my anchor when times got tough. She truly embodies what a Delta Gamma is. She gives me hope.

Michelle, one of Brit's campers, introduced me to her older sister Sarah over the summer. Sarah was going to be coming to Drake in the fall and was hoping to talk to me about school. I was disaffilated at the time so I could not reveal to her that I was a Delta Gamma. She decided to go through recruitment. I was SO happy when Sarah joined. Delta Gamma and Camp Tecumseh are two of my favorite things in this world and they have both had a huge impact on who I am. It meant so much to me that I was going to be able to share these two great things with another girl. Sarah is my link to camp at Drake, holds me to my values, challenges me to be the best version of me possible, and is also an anchor of hope for my life. I can't imagine Drake without her.

This is Page. She was my DC for one week in 2009, but I knew that she was great then. I am so happy that she is now my sister. I am excited for her and Paige to learn what it means to be a DG.

It is so special that the five of us will be able to share this next summer. I cannot wait to take countless sisterhood photos with them, and to share what the ritual means to us. Camp T fosters such special friendships, and so does Delta Gamma. It is incredible what type of friendships grow when the two of them combine. God is so good.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Favorite FOCUS Conference Moments

1. John Leyendecker's Keynote Talk the first night. John began his talk by sharing a quote - "heart speaks to heart." He hoped that by sharing his testimony, our hearts would be touched. And I know mine was. He has been through such suffering in his life, and Jesus helped him overcome it. It was truly an inspirational talk (I cried),  and I am glad to have been able to hear his story.

2. Pre-Screening Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez's film, The Way. Oh my goodness, was this an inspirational film. It is about a man (Sheen) who looses his son (Estevez) and chooses to walk El Camino de Santiago to honor his son. He meets many friends along the way, and the story that is told through their relationships is heart warming. I totally support this fantastic film, and hope that everyone goes to see it. After watching the film, we were able to dialogue with Emilio Estevez about the making of this film. It was a great experience.

3. Audrey Assad's concert. This girl can SING. Man. She has a beautiful voice and was so funny. She is truly using her gift to honor God. Everyone should check out "Restless." I was able to talk to and connect with God when we sang this together. Beautiful.

4. Curtis Martin's talk with the student leaders. He said "we must first build relationships to show people the love and joy of God in our life." Yes. He told us spreading God's word is first about loving people.

5. Being challenged to cut the noise out of my life. Curtis Martin spoke of cutting listening to music in the car out of his life and the impact it has had on his prayer life. One of Rob Bell's nooma videos is about this; it questions how can we except to hear God in the loud noises in our lives. Sister Mary Gabriel echoed this in her keynote, saying that everyone must go on a spiritual diet. She says certain things (noise) must go in our lives. Lisa Cotter challenged the women to cut out the emotional noise (love songs, chick flicks, etc) out of our lives. This is all hard to do. But so worth it.

6. Adoration, confession, and praise and worship on Saturday night. Connecting with God is always so good.

7. Father's homily on Sunday afternoon was fantastic. I can honestly say it was the best homily I've ever heard. He talked how in baptism we have become "little Christ's" (or "Christitos" - like a chip!) and are called to spread the word. He challenged us "if not you, then who" and talked about the bystander effect. It is our responsibility to change lives.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Things I have learned so far at FOCUS Conference.

1. God will not text you or facebook message you or tweet you to tell you what you should do with your life. In fact, he will not even tell you what to do. You, with Him, will choose it, own it, and commit to it. It's cool knowing that He wants me to do what I like.

2. God gave you passions and talents for a reason. If you're good at something, or love to do something, it could have to do with your call.

3. There are thousands of things you can do to serve God. 

4. Those who follow Christ must prepare themselves for an ordeal.

5. Women were made emotional, and "the strength of a woman lies in her emotional life." The devil tempts us through emotional things (chick flicks, love songs, etc).

6. Laziness is the biggest challenge when it comes to living out your faith.

Also, to all my Futures Quest friends, just thought you should know that our keynote speaker this morning told us to "look at your life, and there you will find your choices." Good thing I already knew this, thanks to Pete.

The biggest piece of advice I've heard so far is to "make your life a gift." I want to live my life in that sort of honor, loving and serving the Lord. As Shauna Niequist writes in Cold Tangerines, "I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud...I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift." This year, I want to spend time daily talking to God, learning about my gifts and how He wants me to use them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Journey.

My journey as a Futures Quest mentor ended today.

It's funny, really. We started off as strangers. Most of us knew no one. Yet in two and a half days, thirty fraternity men from around the country came together as more than friends; they came together as brothers. They do not wear the same letters. They hold different values closest to their hearts. Yet, they share a common bond. A bond of Ritual, a bond of brotherhood, and a bond of striving for excellence. They came to Futures Quest unsure of what to expect. They left better people, who are more committed to their values.

Never in my life have I been inspired by men my age. Yet these past few days, I have experienced more inspirational moments than ever before. These men came in, became vulnerable to each other, trusted the process, and grew. They made commitments to themselves, to their fraternity, and to each other. I am proud of each and every one of them.

They have truly given me hope for the future of the fraternal world. I am blessed to have known them.

Their journey at Futures Quest may have ended today. But their journey of changing the world has just begun. I was reminded that my journey has barley begun as well.

Delta Gamma is for hope. Delta Gamma is for strength. Delta Gamma is for life. My voice will not go silent, and I will continue to change the status quo. I will inspire Drake Greeks to become excellent men and women. Because being anything less is unacceptable.

I am excited to see what these men will do.

(PS - pictures will be added when i get my cord)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Do Values Matter?

They define who you are. What you stand for. They define what you will do when the going gets rough. If you are inconsistent with your values, will you be able to live with your decisions? Probably not. You will not have that inner peace knowing you had the courage to stand up for what is right. Values give you a firm foundation to stand upon, they give you things to build an organization, a camp, a family, a person on. They give you hope and challenge you to be congruent in your actions. They give life purpose. They are the reason for fraternity and sorority.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"It's a ball, it'll roll!"

Life is so so so great right now. Here's why:

  1. I got to spend time with four amazing women last night.
  2. I'm in Indiana.
  3. I'M AT CAMP. This is the best place in the entire world. There is just no other way to describe it. Murphy drove me here, and when we pulled in, she sighed and said, "home." It's just so true. This is my second home. This place radiates God's joy, love, and peace. You just can't help but be happy when you're at camp.
  4. I got to see Tom, Mike, Jordan, Adam, Bonnie, and Joel this morning. It was literally only for one minute (I ran down to the office before my conference started), but it amazing how refreshing it is to say "hi, I think you're great, I'm glad I know you, and it's so so genuinely good to see you" to camp people.
  5. We have an amazing team of mentors for this conference. There are 10 of us (3 women, 7 men), and we are all here to initiate values based living and change in greek life. Our purpose these next three days is to introduce living your ritual. It's so good to meet people who"get it" and understand greek life the way that you do.
  6. We got to do team building. I LOVE team building. I love how it can bring people together, how it relates to real life, how it pulls out the strengths in everyone, and how every person involved is important to achieving the end goal.
  7. Jordan came up and visited for a bit when we were done with mentor training for the day. It was so good to catch up and talk with him. He is such a great person and friend.
  8. I got some wonderful texts from my friends Arielle, Sarah M., and Sarah W. today. The three of them are so great and I really love them.
I am really looking forward to the next three days. Future Quest is going to be an amazing experience. I can't wait to get to know the participants, and to bond more with this mentor group.

(Sad news. I left my camera cord at home. I will have to add pictures to my posts from this week when I get home.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I am so excited!

Today, I fly to Indiana. Paige is picking me up at the airport, and then we are driving to Kokomo where we will get to see Murphy, Holly, and Jess. It is going to be so fun. I love friends.

Future Quest starts tomorrow. I know camp has Internet access, but I am not sure if I will be able to post the next few days. I will try my hardest to!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

11 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2011

1. Future Quest

2. Seeing my pledge class take the “big” leadership positions in DG. We have such a strong class and I totally support all the officers on CMT. They are going to do great things and take our chapter to the next level.

3. Getting more involved with FOCUS – whether it be the FOCUS Conference[s], discipleship, or going to/leading a Bible study – I’m excited to get more involved and meet more friends.

4. Spring Break! It's my sister's senior spring break, so we're going to Mexico. I'll just get to hang out on the beach with my mom. It'll be wonderful. My birthday will also be in Mexico!

5. Making new friends – staff and campers – at camp.

6. Being a senior in college. Actually, this is a really scary thing. But I am looking forward to it!

7. Continuing this blog & making more dents on my life list. I’ve had a lot of fun with this already, and even if no one reads it, I’m holding myself accountable to it.

8. NeedtoBreathe, Taylor Swift, and HP7pt2. over the summer with friends.

9. Living on my own for the first time!

10. My sister’s graduation trip. My mom, Steph, & I will be heading to New York City at the end of the school year. We took one right after I graduated, and now it’s Steph’s turn. I can’t wait to go shopping with them, see Broadway shows, and see the city from Kerry’s perspective!

11. The new Panhellenic Council. It will be weird not having my old friends on council, but I am so excited for the opportunity to lead these extraordinary women. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do.