Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the next phase in "my life as Leah."

Tomorrow afternoon I grab my duffels and guitar, ukulele and laundry basket, sleeping bag and hiking boots, and hightail my way up the mountaintop to 5,000ft, where I'm spending the next two months working at Calvin Crest Conferences. This will be my third summer on staff, and twelfth consecutive summer spending time at camp. It's a refreshing place, a refuge for many, and somewhere I am very excited to be moving into tomorrow.

Besides a change of cover photo and some color palate changes around this blog, the posts will be shifting  as well too. I'll be casually updating what is happening at camp - what groups are up, how the staff is doing, how we've seen God rocking our (and our guest's) world in our seven weeks together. But it will also be a really reflective time for me - meaning more blogs where I seem to ramble on internal changes going on in my life, what I hear God telling me in the quiet breeze that hits me while I run along the shadow of the Giants trail, how I find myself dealing with new and old and sometimes frustrating friendships.

I'm going to take a little space here to kind of flesh out who I feel like I am right now - where I am starting this summer so that when August 4th rolls around, and I come home, after I take a shower and wash off the last bits of Outpost dirt and mosquito repellent, give my hair a good shampoo, and shake the pine needles out of my journal, I'll be able to read back and understand the changes that have taken place. The growth that has sprouted out of the roots I will lay. I will be able to see the journey, through words I've written - starting at my kitchen table at 10pm, with a vanilla tea latte and Disney Channel on, to a cabin in the staff area, wet hair dripping down my clean (but bug sprayed) face, to back home, where I will be quickly processing life and preparing to move back to the sunny shores of Santa Barbara.

So who I am right now?

I'm not really sure.

You see, the whole last semester I spent out of the country introduced so much "new" to me. I became a native of Istanbul, Turkey, and bringing that back to the US suddenly didn't fit. No, I can't speak Turkish here. No, I can't proudly display a large image of Ataturk in my bedroom. No, I can't take public transportation to a breathtaking mosque that is hundreds of years old. I am trying to become "American" again, but an American that has taken that new information, and managed to fit it neatly into her normal life.

In my life right now, I am searching. I yearning for something "new" which was so normal and routine when I was abroad. Everyday was "new." Now, everything is familiar. And that is nice - of course it's nice to come back to something you know, you understand, you can predict and usually be right about. But if anything is more present in my life after this past semester, it is that I am constantly searching and yearning for something "new" in my life. I want to explore, to run, to see and learn - I want to touch, to feel with my own hands, to experience something "new."

I am also learning to be content. Right now, God is constantly telling my heart, my frustrating, always-seeking-never-satisfied heart to be okay with where it is right now. To be alright that I don't have what I want. Because the thing is, wants aren't always reflective of needs. We tend to mix the two, blur the lines and turn the two into one - a...weed. Yes, a weed. My heart was full of weeds at the beginning of this month. I was determined to achieve what I wanted, what I was absolutely sure was what I needed. And now, I'm beginning to understand the difference between the two. I am trying to pull all of the weeds out of my heart, and make room for improvement. God has been speaking so much contentment into my life, reminding me that my joy and love in life does not come from my circumstances, or my unfilled "weeds."

Who else am I at this point in my life?

I am scared about my future. Seriously, even thinking about where I will be in a couple years scares me so, so, much. I don't know where I am going to be two years from now - which is when I thought I would be completely sure of my life vocation, relationships, and life after higher education. I'm so incredibly fearful of being dropped into a job that I don't enjoy - that pays the bills, sure, but isn't something my heart wants to do. I think my largest, strongest, and most defining goal in life is to find a vocation that pays the bills (because that's kind of important...) and is something I LOVE doing. Something my heart is overjoyed at taking part in. And right now, I think my fear generates from a worry that what I am studying or the degrees I will graduate with won't set me on the right track toward that vocation. "So why don't you just change your major?" Not an option right now if I want to graduate on time. Also, not an option because I do enjoy communication studies. It's just that it's such a huge pool to choose from...I'm scared of not choosing the right one. It's a fear that kind of is growing, shrinking, and slowly scurrying around the back depths of my mind...

That's kind of where I am right now.

Excited for what the upcoming two months will hold, unsure of where I will be after them, reading for something "new" and as always, trying to do it all with a smile on a my face and a joy in my heart - despite what I might be feeling.

So in twelve hours, I wrap up life in little Dinuba, and make my way out throughout the rest of the day, to little Oakhurst, up the mountain a little more and arrive safely at my new home for the remainder of the summer.

Calvin Crest, I'm coming for you.

Respectfully submitted,


  1. Don't worry so much about your major, but more on what you're getting out of the experience as a whole.

    Something I found out is that college isn't about learning something specific in depth so as much as it is learning how to live life on your own.

    You can do whatever the hell you want with your life once you have your degree, no matter what your major - so as long as you've proven to be A) a leader and B) a problem solver.

    The world will always need problem solvers.