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Sunday, August 4, 2013

July---A summer update


This probably won’t be too in depth or detailed but I did want to write a little just to catch you up on the reason for my elongated absence from writing.  The desire to write is there but the time and motivation haven’t been on the same page so maybe later…

But, let’s see….a quick rundown of life this last month. 

I’ve been to two funerals and one renewal of vows.  The first event was a funeral of a local woman who actually played a major part in starting the church I currently attend.  I never met the woman, but I knew she was a strong pillar of faith and wanted to honor that.  I was greatly refreshed by the testimony shared among those she personally touched and I think the biggest take away I had was that it’s not the words you say, or those quotable quotes that people will remember, but the time you spent and the love that you poured in over the years that makes all the difference.  The woman clearly loved Christ and shined brightly as a beacon for Him throughout her life. 

The second funeral took me out to Ohio unexpectedly to attend the ceremony for my uncle.  It was not the circumstances that I would have desired for a trip to Ohio, but it was a blessing to see and spend time with many members of the family, including my father.  I hadn’t seen dad since Thanksgiving and not sure when I’ll see him again, so it was nice to catch up some.  It was also a tremendous blessing to spend days with my Grandpa/Uncles/Aunts/Cousins.  We don’t come together often enough as a family in one location, so it was nice to have that time.

The third of those said events was a special blessing, being able to watch my precious friend, Anna, renew and speak her vows with her husband, children, and extended church family present.  Anna and her family have since moved down to North Carolina and are getting acclimated there, but I am glad to have been a witness to the beginning of a new chapter in her life.  God has done great things in you, my friend!  Keep on, keeping on!

If anyone is keeping up, specifically on my Facebook page, you’d know I am one to travel a lot.  I decided that this summer, I would try an experiment and “live alone” on my own for the summer to get acclimated with the single life, but to be honest, I’ve only had almost two weeks at my actual house alone since the summer has begun.  To be technical, I’ve spent more time in Maine than I have in New Hampshire since June 18th.  22 days in Maine, 21 days in New Hampshire (6 being outside of my “house” when I was house sitting for friends and two of those days being at SoulFest for the entire day so let’s call it 13 days at the house literally), and 4 days in Ohio. 

Allison and I at SoulFest 2013. Notice the Mainer wearing a hoodie and the Texan rocking the no sleaves.....I was totally built for New England.

So that brings me to Maine…oh, how I LOVE Maine.  I think Maine is my hearts home.  After being acclimated and laying roots there for six years, I’ve made connections that have endured all six of those years, and many that have come along the way.  I have families there that have adopted me in and I already have a standing and firm invitation to Christmas 2013 with one of those families that is dear to me.  For those who don’t know, I served with Camp Good News® of Maine for 4 full summers (2007-2010) and this summer, though I can’t commit to full summer ministry anywhere, I was able to volunteer a few weeks there and it blessed my socks off.  I already posted about my 10 days of Christian Youth in Action® (see here) but I went back later in July to work as a counselor and team leader for their Teen Camp.  One of the biggest blessings of Teen Camp was getting to reconnect with an old friend and being able to serve together as well as pray for one another as the week went on.  I hope and am praying that I might have one more week of ministry available there before the summer winds down.   
 Amanda Nkamwesiga and I at CGN's Teen Week.  Amanda and I met years ago at camp and since then had gone off to work for Word of Life, first in the states and now in Uganda.  We hadn't seen each other in years so it was sweet to catch up.  Thanks for being a great prayer warrior for me!

This summer chapter of my life has me learning many lessons, some of which I hope to write about when the time is right.  But I’ll give you a glimpse at my heart and the lesson titles I’d give to what I am learning: Walking in Grace; Identity across borders; Acceptance/Forgiveness; and Legacy Building.  You can ask me specific questions about those titles if you’d like, but I’ll save an elaboration on here for another day. 

In the meantime, this week is set aside for more intensive school year preparation.  First day of school is only three weeks from tomorrow (*gulp*) and I am scheduled to teach Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 again (this will be my third year with these subjects/curriculum) but I will also be teaching new courses to me of 8th grade math and U.S. History (11-12th grade).  Also, though I helped teach Physical Education last year, I am restructuring it in hopes of making a more legitimate program and teaching a Community Service class along with that.  AND, I hope to be involved some with the Soccer program and Basketball program as well as start up a new Student Leadership group that will act as an Honor Society of sorts.  

My school load can feel pretty heavy at times but God is good and I am blessed with the job He has provided and the students I am blessed to teach.

So needless to say, lots on my plate for the new school year…this is why I took the summer off to plan (HA!).  Here’s hoping for a massively productive week ahead!  Wish me luck (or better yet, pray for me!) 

Until next time,

In Christ,

Joy Lynn

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