Friday, February 25, 2011

More wood on the fire!!!

Last night at Angelus Temple was fantastic. They had a MARVELOUS guest speaker Lloyd Bustard. He spoke about how when you do what God calls you to do, it is a open invitation for a full on attack from the enemy. Then at the end of the service he had some people come up on stage and hold up a piece of wood, resembling what they've been battling with. Some people had been battling with depression, fear, loneliness, guilt, failure, divorce...the list went on and on. It was crazy how fast the people came up on stage to grab that piece of wood. Once everyone had a piece of wood the speaker explained that the wood was the attack/battle that the enemy was throwing at us. But, there was a way to take that wood and turn it against the enemy. If you take the wood (this is what I'm going to call the battle from here on out) and set it down on top of all the other wood in the pile then it will help light the altar for Jesus Christ. In that, we are giving our battles, our struggles to God and from there He will take care of it, and defeat the enemy.

The hard part of this for most people is that we say we trust God, we say we believe in God but try to take care of everything, we think "I can handle this one on my own" which in the end, almost always leads to failure of overcoming our battles and attacks from the enemy. (I say "we" with all of this because I am one who tends to try this out a lot of the time.) When we lose it gives the enemy power and then he can easily come after us again and again and again until we finally go to God and give it all to Him.  Only He can help us completely defeat the enemy. 

This message hit hard last night, and it has kind of put me in a stump. Here I am going through all this emotional stuff, wondering when it's just going to be over. I keep having to force myself out of bed every morning just to make it through one more day. I'll be honest my mood has been kind of poopy (sorry, I've picked that up from my amazing boss) lately and I have been trying to make a fake happy attitude, and a lot of people who don't even know me have been able to tell that I'm not ok. That can really get annoying.

So, my new goal is to start a DAILY prayer just surrendering everything to God and just TRUSTING that God is going to take care of everything. He will give me HIS strength to make it through each day. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

That was quick...

God moves so quickly. Sometimes I'm just so blown away by how fast He can work through certain things. Like my craving for touch. I'm a person of touch. I love to touch people rather it be a hug, a pat on the arm, a high five, or a playful tap. So when I've been away from the people that I'm used to getting touched by daily, like a hug from my amazing mother or the cuddle time with my wonderful boyfriend, I start going a little crazy. Not getting my fill of daily touch actually sets me on edge. I start getting moody, I snap at people, I stress out more easily and I also start sinking down into the mood where all I wanna do is lay in bed and cuddle up with my monkey from my monkey and just be sad.

So, today I just so happened to be in one of those moods where I just NEEDED hugs. You know those days? Well I went through my work day, and I had a pretty good day at work, got a LOAD of mail and lots of impatient people but, it was still a good day. Then I came back to my room, climbed in my bed and just started cuddling. Then one of my new friends started texting me. So I ended up getting out of bed, going to meet up with them and by the end of that hang out time, which was only an hour, I had had multiple people that I consider friends come up to me and just give me hugs.

God REALLY knows what I need, when I need it and how to make it happen. Now if only He could send me hugs from my mommy and my man in a box or something so that whenever I need one I can have it on hand... =)

Easy, right?

Working at the Dream Center Mailroom could seem like a VERY calm job right? You just answer phone calls and sort mail, make copies for people, you're pretty much a secretary. Well when you actually work in here you would easily come to the realization that yes, you're a secretary but you are a secretary for EVERYONE here at the Dream Center. You get hundreds of phone calls a day, a whole BUNCH of people coming in and asking you questions that as a new person you don't really know the answers to. Then on top of that you have dozens of names you have to learn to figure out where their mail goes, you have to learn which department they work in and that kind of stuff. There is so much that goes into a person working in the mailroom, yet there are moments when you're like, "hmm, what to do, what to do?", then a swarm of people come in asking for their mail, or copies or whatever they want. 

All that to say, I like my job. I love my boss, I love that I can listen to music while working, I love that I see people all the time and I love that I'm pretty much in a position where I can easily get spoiled. That's something I'm having to adjust to because people will buy you things and give you things and its so rude to reject them yet I have such a problem with people buying me things. For instance, today, a friend came in and dropped off chocolate for me. How nice right? Well for me, I had a hard time accepting it, but he insisted and he always gives me this speach about how people giving me gifts could be God trying to bless me, so how could I reject God's blessing?

Now, I'm enjoying God's blessing, NUMMY NUMMY CHOCOLATE!!!

So, the point of this rambling? Just because a job may seem easy, "don't judge it until you've tried it" which is me saying, "stop telling me I have the easiest job ever until you have come to Dream Center, dealt with the people I have to deal with daily and tried learning over 500 names and where those names go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Question, WHY am I here?

So, I've been in california for only 20 days and yet I still have to wonder, WHY am I here? Sure, I enjoy the new friends I have met, especially my new boys Aaron and Tim, they seriously make me feel at home here. But then there are the moments when I'm about to go to bed, or when I just have a moment to think and I ask myself, and God, WHY am I here?

I mean really, if you think about it, I could be back home with a 9-5 job working in an office just fine. Here though, I'm in what feels like a WHOLE NEW WORLD where, even when I'm with friends that do make me feel at home and loved, I still feel like I'm just not fitting in or supposed to be here. What am I doing here? What is the point of being on a constant roller coaster, feeling forgotten back home, missing people so much your body physically hurts, and being so worn out from all this that you just want to sleep but you can't sleep because you have to do work, try to get out of your depression and listen to your room mate talk when you try to sleep. Sometimes I want to say that I hate it here but I can't because of the friendships that I have made and the awesome ministries the Dream Center has.

What I am going to say though is that this is tough, and I was NOT prepared for WHAT is going on inside of me. I was not prepared for the anger, sadness, depression, or confusement. I expected some sadness due to leaving home, some tears as well but I didn't expect tears everyday or my body actually hurting because I am so emotional. If people back home thought I was emotional THEN, they'd think I belong in a phsyc ward now.

The only things I DO know is
1) God IS BIGGER than this
2) God sent me here for SOME reason
3) God doesn't owe me any answers
4) I REALLY just have to learn to trust God in all this
5) I have to make the best of what I've got
6) The people back home better get used to having phones calls coming from a very emotional me and they will need to learn how to handle it and what exactly it is that I need to hear at those moments, which is usually "Sarah, I love you, you can do this and God is still there for you".

Dear Lord, WHY am I here? What have YOU called me here for? Everyone says You had a reason, so my question is WHAT IS THE REASON OF ME BEING HERE????

Welcome to the Dream Center

Some of you know what I'm currently doing with my life, but some of you don't. Even those of you that do know what I'm doing would probably like to know a little more about what exactly I'm doing. I am currently staying in Los Angeles at a place called the Dream Center. It is known for a lot of things, but mostly a rehab center. Which is always so sad when people are like, "oh that rehab place?" because it's not just a rehab place. Yes, they do have a rehab center and a program for after that called discipleship and it has helped a lot of people, one of them being my new friend Timmy. But the Dream Center has so many other programs. They have the family floor, the teen discipleship program, the food truck, the food ministry, project prevention which helps families about to lose their kids because they can't afford food and other basic needs for their kids, project hope, and the skid row outreach called Jonah Project, the hope for homeless youth program that has a lot of different ministries in itself but one of the main ones is reaching out to the gays and the prostitutes, and the movement, a one year school set up for just you and God to figure out "the cause within you" (sorry that phrase is said so much with Pastor Matthew Barnett's book being released).

Pastors Matthew and Tommy Barnett are the founders of the Dream Center. Matthew came out to Los Angeles to start a church and then God called him to go out to echo park where he saw all the hurting, lost, and homeless people. He found the old Queen of Angels hospital that was for sale, looked around and really felt God's calling for the building. With a little persuasion toward the people selling the building and, of course, God's blessing, they were able to purchase the building. Cool huh?

See the building he purchased? It's been remodeled and such now and I have no clue what it looked like before, but isn't it beautiful?

This is the other half of the building that the first picture doesn't cover. Then there's two other buildings and the hope for homeless youth house on campus. I just haven't gotten pictures of that though.

So as I work here at the Dream Center I will be working in the mail room which is actually a very fun job, minus the stressful moments and the angry phone calls.  I love my boss Jessyca and my co-workers Kayla and Julia. They are all super cool and Jessyca takes me out quite often for lunch and such. She's very easy going and she's someone I know I can talk to.

Meet my fishies, I'm still working on my boss to get my own all to myself on my desk. I hope so, I need a companion closer to me.

This is the view from the door. It's been a little rearranged and less messy at times, but yeah, this is my work area.

This is what a day of packages can look like. This doesn't happen everyday but it does happen often, especially with Pastor Matthew's new book hitting the New York's Best seller's list. Cool huh?

So, the main idea of the mailroom is to sort all the mail into each department and give it to them. We have a lot of individuals come in looking for just their mail and I can't do that. I have to sit at that desk a lot and answer the DREADED phone. Cool part of the job? I get to Instant Message my boss and co-workers with questions so I feel like I'm talking to people a lot. And a lot of people DO come into the office, most of the time though they are frustrated with the fact that I don't know my job very well yet. According to the people that work with me though, I'm doing a good job. They MUST believe this because they have left me all to myself now in the office, which is VERY scary at times.



As I was growing up I shared rooms with my siblings. I used to sleep in the same bed with my sister at one point. And over the years as friends have stayed over I have shared a bed with them. But I have NEVER shared a room with two strangers. It's so weird. I came here and met my roomies, one at a time due to their different schedules. I was extremely worried that they weren't going to like me or that I wasn't going to like them or whatever. And sure we have our...MAJOR differences, like, they're REALLY girly, they love shopping and the primp for a LONG time, but I like them.

Kendra is from Canada and she's a daddy's girl but she's cool. She talks A LOT but we love her for it anyway. She has the weirdest sayings, and she gets excited for the oddest things. She has a good style in clothes and I think she's the one that takes the longest getting ready but that's ok, everytime by the end of it she always looks good. She sleeps A LOT and she has the CRAZIEST work schedule either. We are all still adjusting to that one.

Bri is from Oregon and she's a super cutie. All the boys fall at her feet and are instantly in love with her. Sure sometimes that part is annoying because then when you're hanging out with a bunch of people all the boys want is to talk to Bri but we're getting used to that one too. She is pretty cool though so we all understand why all the guys are so interested in her. She is crazy though, she gets so excited over the funniest things ever. She mumbles a lot while talking so I have to have her repeat herself a lot but that's always ok because then I don't feel like the only mumbler around here.

We are starting to all adjust to each other and get used to each other's different ways. We are all trying to work together when it comes to our differences and they are teaching me how to be neater, let's see how that one goes. They keep trying to get me all girly but that's not going to happen, I forbid it. FORBIDDEN!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Life's a BIG journey...

Anyone who knows me knows that I like being home, with my family, closest friends and my wonderful boyfriend. But who would have known that little, hyper, Sarah was going to leave her lovely Northwest home and go south to Los Angeles? Not me. Well, I sort of did but not for sure until I was actually here. I didn't want to leave home, I didn't want to leave my people, and I sure as heck did not want to go to Los Angeles. See, I love my cold home. I love the rain, I love the wind, I love being able to still be in town and see the wonderful, amazing, incredible stars that I love SO VERY much. I love it that when I'm upset I can go to someone rather it be my best friend, my mommy, or my boyfriend and have them hug me tight and tell me it will be ok and feeling that, because I heard it and felt that I had their support that it WAS INDEED going to be ok.

Well, now as I'm typing this, I am sitting in my new room that I share with two room mates and trying a hand a blogging (let's see how this works out). I wanted to really write out my thoughts and struggles and just my journey in general of my new life at the Dream Center. I will be here for 8 whole months by myself, well at least with no one from back home. This is a HUGE step in my life and in my faith in Christ. I haven't ever been in a situation were it is completely and utterly just me and God. I have had to learn that God is the only One who will NEVER leave me, hurt me, or disappoint me and that He is the One that I can trust with EVERYTHING. He is calling me here for some reason, I'm still lost as to why, and I have to trust that by the time my 8 months here is over I will know for sure. I'm indeed excited to see what He has in store for me. I know that it is most definitely going to be a roller coaster, both emotionally and spiritually but I have to trust God in this. After all He is all I've got currently, which I'm starting to appreciate.

Sure, the people back home are still there for me and have had to deal with NUMEROUS emotional phone calls already and it's only been three weeks but God is the one that daily, sometimes numerous times a day, give me the incredible strength to make it through the day still sane...well sometimes still sane. I have had a few days where people have wondered if I didn't belong in a different program here at the Dream Center due to my over-emotionalness and hyperactive behavior. I still GREATLY miss the dear people back home whom I love all so very much. They truly are a blessing in my life, even the ones that sometimes drive me crazy. But as I've been here, after my first couple...ok, I'll admit this, WEEKS, of depression, crying, anger, stress and mixed up feelings I have started to see that even though it's mostly just me and Jesus, He has sent me other companions as well.

Although I won't say and show all of them, but I will give you an idea of who I am talking about from here on out. Here are just a few of the closest ones, or the ones I talk to most often. Granted I don't have a few people here like my other room mate, Kenra, or my awesome boss, Jessyca. I also don't have my other co-worker Kayla, she's pretty cool too. There are so many people here but these are just some of my new companions.

Meet Valorie. She was the first person I met here, we went on our tour together and even went to Target togther. She's awesome.

This is Meagan. She's engaged, sorry boys she's off limits. She's actually room mates with Valorie, so I see her quite often.

Meet Marcus, he's a dance teacher here at Dream Center. He is going to teach me how to dance for my "one day will happen" wedding day. He's pretty cool too.

This is Godi. When I first met him he came into my office and afterwards my boss goes, "Doesn't he remind you of the guy off of twilight? HEY! Maybe you guys should be friends! He looks like a twilight person, and you're from the twilight area!" No matter how much I try to tell her that I'm NOT from Twilight area she still calls me Twilight, along with other nicknames. Back to Godi, he works for Pastor Matthew, and he tries to dance like his best friend Marcus. I wish I had the video to show you, SO CUTE, he really does TRY to dance. He's awesome in different ways than dancing.

Meet my Australian Julia. She is ALSO room mates with Valorie and Meagan. She's pretty cool, she's a good person to talk to too when you're uspet. She's just kind of tall so I have to make her sit down.

ROOMIE!!! Meet my room mate Brianna, I call her Bri, she's amazing. I love her and am glad to have her as a room mate. Although she and Kendra are trying to turn me into more of a girly girl by shopping and make-overs, which just ISN'T going to happen, I enjoy being around her too. She is probably one of the people that I'm closest with.

Meet Greco. Not Gecko, G-R-E-C-O. He's pretty funny. I went with him to my first Adopt-A-Block. He has a beard and is NOT going to shave it until he finds a woman...someone PLEASE send him a girl who doesn't mind a hairy man!

Meet Martin. He's a security person here at the Dream Center. He's awesome. Tall and SWEDISH. Yeah, Swedish. Pretty cool huh? He walks into my office close to every day on his rounds, a few times a day, so I see him A LOT. He's probably one of my favorite boys here.

Matt Wheeler. He's a worship leader at Angelus Temple. He comes into my office a lot to see Julia, the other one that's in the next picture. But, he has an absolute adorable smile and the PRETTIEST eyes EVER! Ha ha but he's awesome. He's a teaser too, reminds me of a certain someone back home at times, aka my wonderful boyfriend Kody. Even though he's actually kind of famous, he doesn't act stuck up. I like that.

THIS is the OTHER Julia. She's SWEDISH as well. Yeah, again Swedish. I love Swedish people, they're awesome. I work with this Julia. I just don't kow her last name so I can't distinguish btwn the two Julia's when talking about them except for Australian or Swedish Julia. I love them both though, they are both sweethearts.

This guy...ha ha, this is Tim. He is a second year discipleship guy. I'm actually ALLOWED to talk to him. He can be a little terd sometimes with his teasing ways but when it comes to being serious about Jesus, this guy is pretty radical. I haven't learned his story yet but I have a feeling it's pretty cool, just like everyone else here.

FRIDA AND TEE! Ok, his name isn't ACTUALLY Tee. I just call him that because his name is the SWEDISH form of Matthew, it's like Mattias or something like that and I just can't get it down right so I call him Tee because I already have a Matt, aka pretty eyes guy.  Anyway Frida and Tee are from SWEDEN as well, yeah there are actually a LOT of SWEDISH people here. Frida decided to come to the Dream Center and when they were only dating for a few months she asked Tee to come with and he said "yes" so here they are. She works with Food Truck, he works with Gifts in Kind. They are so super cute together, they're like attached at the hip though. They, sadly, are only here for four months, but it's still awesome that they came all the way from Sweden to serve here.

This is Nea and Hollie, left to right. Nea is ALSO SWEDISH. Hollie though is IRISH! My first Irish friend! So super stoked about that one. She has an accent and everything. They're room mates and they spend A LOT of time together as well. Actually, since they got here I haven't quite seen them by themselves. Cool though, they're just good friends.

Of course, I knew this stinker before I came here. This is Jonathan, aka Cuba. He wasn't thrilled that I was taking this picture as he was in the middle of talking but if I try to get a picture of him when he's expecting it he always does these weird poses where you can't really see him. So, I snuck one in. This guy is AWESOME! He is really close with God and just, cool. I haven't been able to spend much time with him yet since I've been here due to our schedules being kind of different. This picture was taken just the other day when we were hanging out for the first time since I've been here. Since then we have only seen each other once for about five minutes, sad but it's ok, we have eight months.

Well, those are my new companions, they're all VERY awesome and SO cool to be around. I miss my friends back home GREATLY though and plan to post a blog with pictures of them, especially my mommy, my besty, and my wonderful boyfriend.

Now, I must go and visit with my roomie Bri and then get some sleep before a full day tomorrow.