I was up early for round 2 of the West Coast XA Staff Gathering!! I was expecting a great day with great people but I had no idea what was in store!!
Saturday morning, Scott preached one of the most convicting messages I have ever heard. He encouraged us to be leaders with integrity and to keep things in the open. This is something that I have definitely wrestled with- wanting to keep the “happy” mask on when I’m really dying inside.
Lunch time was reserved for gender specific luncheons! I love the word “luncheon” it makes me think of hats and fancy dresses and finger sandwiches. There were none of those things at this luncheon, but it was still fun that it was called a luncheon. Once again, Kimi had some AMAZING gifts & prizes for people. One of the ladies she honored at lunch had an INCREDIBLE story! Upon hearing that another missionary needed a kidney but was unable to find a match, they decided to offer her husband’s kidney. It was a match and that lady is now off dialysis and living well! Dang!
Crystal Martin, the national director of Chi Alpha’s international student ministry XAi, spoke about being vulnerable and finding an Elizabeth. She talked about how when the Angel appeared to Mary and told her she would birth the Messaiah, Mary hurried to see Elizabeth. When she got there, Elizabeth embraced her and celebrated with her and believed in her as an older, trusted woman.
I thought it was especially fitting that this ketchup bottle was on our table.
I sat with a lovely group of ladies at lunch who shared my love for the Bachelor/ette. This intense-o morning was followed by some quiet time reflecting and processing and napping and olympics-ing.
That night, we had yet another service time. Kimi gets up there again with all of these presents. I was excited yet again- I love seeing people get presents! I was thinking, “This is so fun! I can’t wait to see who they give presents to!” I’m totally serious- that’s really what I was thinking. Kimi’s telling this story about staff and interns and how staff is important and I am trying to guess who she’s going to pick. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN! SHE SAYS MY NAME! (I KNOW! I KNOW!) I felt like I was on the Price Is Right. I was somewhat unable to “Come on down!” because I was so excited. I couldn’t even close my mouth.
They had contacted Shawn & Candi for gift ideas & for a short blurb about me. (Yes- about me!) AND THEN Jen got up and said all of these nice things about me!
AND THEN SHE STARTS HANDING ME PRESENTS! AND EVERYTHING IS MY FAV COLOR/SCENT/JUST WHAT I WANTED! I WAS FREAKING OUT! Look at all of this stuff:
-A delish smelling coconut lime candle. (It’s lit RIGHT NOW- smells awesome!)
“This is my favorite! I needed a new candle!”
-Wild Citrus Sunflower lotion/body spray/shower gel
-A book about writing
“I really wanted a book on writing! I’ve been looking for one!”
“This is my favorite color combination!”
“Did you know I have peacock feathers on my dresser???”
“I’ve been LOOKING for something neon!”
-3 mini journals
-Mango/Coconut lotion & body scrub
-“K” note cards
-Trader Joes & TJ Maxx gift cards
“How did you know these were my favorite stores!?!”
AND THEN SHE HANDS ME THE BIG BAG and says “Now these are a risk….”
I pull out a BEAUTIFUL pair of wedges. I’ve been looking for wedges for 100 years. I can never find ones that I like/like the price of. Take a moment of silence and joy as you scroll through these photos:
Whoa- beyond surprised, blessed, and honored! So so so very undeserved and unexpected. It was so fun! I am so super thankful to Kimi, Will & Jen, Shawn & Candi, & the UCLA team that made it possible!
Remember how I told you that I had amazing roommates for the weekend? WELL I got back to the room and we were settling into bed. Esther says something along the lines of, “This is going to be a really great next season for you- I feel like the Lord is going to give you lots of gifts. Like it’s not like you need a candle to live- but Jesus gave you that to show you His love.” YEAH- remember what Danielle said? Remember the wedges? Well this basically opened the flood gates and Esther and Becca just start prophesying left and right. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a situation where people had been giving you words from God, but it can be interesting sometimes because people are humans and make mistakes. Or sometimes people just give you really general word. Sometimes- it’s totally awesome/amazing/inspiring. (This is most times, actually!) Can I tell you? These were spot on things they were saying. They were saying things that I have only ever told God. They said too many things to write here, but the one thing that Becca said was , “I just hear ‘new day’ on repeat.” That totally resonated with me- like a LOT. They kept going until I drifted off to sleep. What a double-triple treat?!?! The cool things about these words, it that they get confirmed because Jesus is awesome and wants to make sure He has our attention because He super duper loves us:).
More on that in part 3…..
Missed part 1? Read it here.