Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm back!

Back in the land of the living! I feel like I've been somewhere else the past few days. They have been absolutely crazy.

I already posted about Charissa's grandma. Holly and Bekah were in Denver for a merchandise mart when the news came, which meant we didn't have Bekah's managerial stability or Holly's emotional comfort and support. Charissa is supposed to be second in command when Bekah's gone, but needless to say, she wasn't quite able to step up. I understand that losing a loved one is a really rough thing in life, but it doesn't mean that you can stop living. Anyway, Teresa and I were trying to manage, and I started feeling sick Saturday night. I could not imagine worse timing--Teresa was off and I knew Charissa was not stable enough to do anything by herself, and Bekah was still out of town. So I worked Saturday night and Sunday morning, but Teresa was back Sunday afternoon, so I took off. To make a long story short, I spent Sunday night throwing up and Monday lying on the couch, trying to recover. It was so miserable, though--people were always in and out of the bunkhouse and anything like peace or solitude (or sleep!) was impossible. Charissa's best friend flew in to visit, so that was added chaos house-wise, but really good for Charissa.

Anyhow, I was woken up at 7 this morning when people started getting ready for work, but I feel a lot better. I'm really tired, but I can function again. I have to go back to the chiropractor today, so I went into town a little early and had lunch (yay for eating!), and I'm writing this in a cute little coffee shop called the Steamin' Bean. My favorite coffee shop, Off the Beaten Path, is closed for a while for relocation. I'm really sad that they're relocating--their location was my favorite part of them! But the Steamin' Bean is good, too.

It's times like this that I feel like I can't stand communal living for another season. I am SO ready for my own place and my own kitchen and some respect for privacy. I think the summer will be better, though, because I will always have the option of going outside. I anticipate long hikes to journaling spots and prayer walks along the river, or even just sitting out on the porch. I CAN'T WAIT until the snow's gone. I am so ready for spring!!

Please pray that no one else will get sick and that I'll be able to sleep long and soundly tonight!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Prayer request

I wanted to post a quick prayer request. Charissa just found out tonight that her grandmother passed away. She was in good health and her death was completely unexpected. Apparently she had a bowel obstruction and someone found her throwing up this morning, but she didn't make it. I don't know all the details. Charissa and her family are believers. Please pray for them to know Jesus' comfort and peace through this, and for His truth to prevail over Satan's lies in their hearts. She will probably be going home as soon as possible, but it's so hard for her being away right now and not able to be with family. Please also pray that I'll be able to show Jesus' boundless love towards her and sensitivity to her needs. Thanks so much--your prayers mean the world to me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I went to the chiropractor today. It took me about 45 min to find the office because I got really confused by the fact that there's an E Victory Way and just plain Victory Way. I was almost an hour late for my appointment, but they were really nice when I said I came from Steamboat and squeezed me in. I was nervous because I don't like going to new doctors and/or male doctors, but he was very kind and gentle. I thought it sounded cool and athletic to have a skiing injury until he asked me to explain exactly what happened. "Well, there was this four-foot ledge, and I skied right off it and landed on my back." Neither cool nor athletic. It turns out my neck was sprained and I had a rib out of place, but he twisted me around like a pretzel and made a lot of popping noises, and even though I'm really sore now, I feel like things are back in the right place.

I got to see the lunar eclipse as I was driving home tonight. Good times. I did some shopping while I was in town, too, which was really great, except I fell into the black hole of spending money. But I got some new jeans and some "goin' to town" shirts, as Jess calls them. And some flip-flops to wear in California! I can't wait. Bring on the sunshine and sandals! And then HOME!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Conflict Resolution: Part II

I feel a long post coming on. So get a cup of coffee and settle back...

Rob has been pretty intolerable lately. He's been getting mad about stupid little things and refusing to communicate with us. Sunday things came to a head. Peggy and Jerry, the ranch owners, came for breakfast. Peggy asked for a half portion of the breakfast quesadilla, and Jerry said no potatoes, which usually come with every order, and no fruit garnish on his plate because he doesn't like to waste it. Charissa put the order in, and Rob got really mad and said "I don't do half quesadillas!" Then he made Jerry's plate with garnish and potatoes, and when we reminded him (even though it was written on the ticket), he blew up and said it was written too small. Charissa asked if she should take it off, and his response was to throw his spatula into the sour cream and slam plates down on the counter. I thought, "This is utterly ridiculous; he's being unreasonable and childish," so I scraped it off myself. Then he started yelling again: "Don't touch the plates! I'm the only one who ever touches plates!" which is not true. I was mad by this point, and I admit I was heated and frustrated when I said, "Then you need to tell us that when we ask and not just throw things!" I am so over being afraid of him. The rest of the day was uncomfortable, and things blew up again at dinner that evening. One of the guests had a sick daughter who wanted to stay with her parents for dinner, but naturally she didn't want to order osso buco or braised rack of lamb. Her parents asked if they could get her a plate from the kids' meal in the back, so Teresa took them back for some mac'n'cheese. Meanwhile, Rob was getting all flustered because she hadn't brought their ticket back yet. When she came he asked what took so long, then got really angry because he didn't get to plate it up and it wouldn't look good enough for the dining room, blah blah blah. The way he talked to Teresa was absolutely inexcusable. He was completely unreasonable and aggressively angry and rude and disrespectful to her. She handled it so well, though. She told him she could take criticism from him and he could tell her what she was doing wrong, but she could take it better if he treated her like a person and didn't disrespect her. They had a long talk later and parted on good terms, but I had had it with him and I talked to Ben the next day. Working with Rob has been so good for me because it's forced me to face conflict rather than run from it, and I've learned to deal with what he says to me, but when he talks to other people that way, I don't feel morally right about doing nothing.

It was so good to talk with Ben. Partly just to be heard, partly because he really listened and cared, and partly because of the way he handled it. He agreed that Rob's behavior was not acceptable and said he would have a talk with him. He also asked me to pray for his talk with Rob and reminded me that I should be praying for Rob all the time, and part of the reason he's so hard to deal with is that he's a hurting person who needs Jesus in his life. It's so easy to be quick to anger and judgmental of him, and so hard to offer him grace, because he so obviously doesn't deserve it. But what makes me think I deserve it any more than him? How can I not pass on the undeserved grace that I receive every day? I love that Ben is willing to work with Rob and try to help him develop better communication and people skills rather than just yelling at him or telling him it's over. I think that is a true reflection of God working in our lives. It's a great role model to have in a boss.

In other news...I still don't know a date when I'm coming home. I think I'll be working here until March 15, and then Elisha and I will be driving home. We still need to figure out what we want to do and see the most and limit ourselves to those things.

Something weird has been happening to some of the girls physically. Yesterday Teresa was dizzy and got a nosebleed right before dinner. I was really tired and felt dizzy and had a headache today. I think the headache has something to do with the other day when I skied off a four-foot embankment. You're supposed to wedge your skis into the sides and climb down, but when I was skiing up to it, I couldn't stop, and I went right off the edge and landed flat on my back and head. It was actually one of those moments I wished I had instant replay of--I think God and I will watch it in heaven and enjoy a chuckle. But my neck and back have been hurting. I am going to a chiropractor tomorrow. I have to go to Craig, so hopefully I will get to do some shopping, too! I was so tired and disoriented last night that I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie, and I ended up sleeping there all night in my formal dining uniform. Elisha tried to wake me up, which I vaguely remember, but I just said "Ok" and didn't move.

Oh friends, I miss you all! I am ready to leave the snow and see you all again!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


by Eli

Lying at the bottom - I can clearly see the top
Pressed against this firm foundation, I count none of this as loss
As I struggle up this mountain, with every bloody knee
Though I'm often prone to stumble, it's this rock that catches me

And it's this rock that tells me that's what valleys are for
It's from here that we measure just how far we must go
You don't know how tall you stand until you fall

Mountains cast a shadow - at times its hard to tell
Will the darkness overtake you? Will you succeed or fail?
Though I've climbed a thousand mountains and stood upon their peaks
I still find my greatest comfort from the rock that lies beneath

And it's this rock that tells me that's what valleys are for
It's from here that we measure just how far we must go
You don't know how tall you stand until you fall
That's what valleys are for
Yeah, that's what valleys are for

At Last!

It figures that if they were going to name something after me, it would be something like this:


Hehe :D

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


So, I am going to be a little more open in this blog than usual. I just really need to process some stuff out. And this blog is an excellent place to do that, not to mention the thoughts and feedback I get from my faithful readers!

I have been facing a lot of stuff lately with one of the other girls. I feel like she challenges all the things in me that I've always been the most secure in. I think part of the problem is that she's not very secure herself, so she's always throwing her accomplishments in our faces to compensate. Lately things have been happening, like her transcripts getting lost in the mail and having stomach problems. I understand that none of this is fun, and I wouldn't be happy about it either, but she completely goes to pieces. She cries and complains all the time and dumps on everyone and expects the world to offer her limitless sympathy--one of the other girls aptly applied the term "attention whore." I pray all the time for compassion because I know I don't have enough of my own, but it's like she uses it up instantly. She has a way of sucking my sympathy and energy and still needing more. And that's not enough for her--she expects endless condolence and empathy from everyone.

So anyway, I've been trying to figure out why this bothers me so much. I don't really care about the fact that she's needy--that's her problem, not mine. After much pondering, I realized it's because I am very much like her. I used to be an attention whore and want endless sympathy from the world. And it's not that I ever matured past that point, like I thought--I just got bitter and cynical and decided that people didn't care and if I didn't stop, they wouldn't like me any more. The reason that I get so upset is because I feel like it pays off for her--people here are so nice and try to take care of her. The indelibly imprinted ideas of "people won't like you" and "they really don't care" aren't true for her, and I feel like I've been cheated. I never want to stoop to that level again--she's also shown me how unattractive it is. But it's definitely shown me how I'm no better than her. I don't really know where to go from here--I don't ever want to be that person again, but I don't want to be bitter and cynical and merely covering up being that person. I don't know; I've never been any other person and I don't know where to go from here. I'm pretty certain that God is supposed to play some kind of role in this transformation, but I don't know where to start. I don't like this person that I am, and I know that I need to change, but I don't even like facing this. So, in short, prayers would be appreciated.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Vegas, baby!

Back home safe and sound from Sin City. Elisha and I had a good trip. Thanks to a limited number of guests, we had three days off, so Elisha and I packed up and headed out.

Tues and Wed were spent driving. Elisha has friends just this side of the Utah border that we stayed with. The weather in Colorado was a little hairy, but we prayed a lot and God kept us on the road. The term we used for the slippery hairpin turns through the mountains was "death-defyingly beautiful." It was completely unspoiled and ruggedly stunning, but sometimes there weren't even guardrails.

We decided there's a good reason that Utah is a four-letter word. We looked at the map and saw plenty of little towns along the way, but all the exit signs said "No Services" once you actually got there. The gas light was on for many more miles than it actually should have been when we finally came across a Shell station in the middle of the desert. We are now whole-hearted supporters of Shell.

We made it to her friends' house and slept in our own rooms with full beds--heaven compared to the bunkhouse. The next morning her friend showed us around a little, and we drove into Vegas.

I was not super impressed by Vegas. I thought it would be very glamorous. Only the strip was flashy and glamorous, and the rest of it was sketchy and depressing. We ate lunch in a pizza place with bullet holes in the door. The strip itself was too much--all this opulance and pretension and so much reckless spending of money. It was sensory overload. I played a dollar on the penny slots, but I didn't win anything. My favorite part was the fountain show at the Bellagio. It was coordinated to music, and the song was a beautiful classical vocal song. We had plans to find Wayne Newton because Elisha knows him, but sadly he was not to be found.

Thursday was a long day of driving with more bad weather in the mountains. We were just happy to be home, esp since it was pitch dark, which made the hairpin turns merely death-defying. We had the same Johnny Cash CD on repeat for about two hours because were so on the edge of our seats that we didn't want to be distracted by changing it. But we made it safe and sound. I was glad to be back.