Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Been a Long One

The picture you see was taken by one of my Kappa Sigma brothers. His name is Shengkai Su and he is from China. It has nothing to do with this post but I thought I would share it. It's cool that a college student from China can experience New years in NYC... As an American I haven't even done that.

It's New Years and I needed to write again. Something happened...something clicked in my mind as a spun around the room at 12:01am to see what everyone was doing/saying. Something really hit me. I think as I get older I'm just becoming a train wreck or an old woman. Because I almost cried. I learned what New Years was about.

I spent the evening with my family, my families work friends, and just other family friends. We had a party at my Uncle Curtis' house in his outdoor bar that he built that he likes to call "The Huckleberry Hut". I kinda like it. The Browning family has a meaning. The last name Browning has a lot behind it and I kind of know why tonight too. My dad has 4 brothers, 2 of which were there tonight making a total of 3/5 of the Browning brothers. All of them have their own character and differences but they all have something in common. Love. They love people to death and will bend over backwards to serve anyone and to put a smile on their face. I've always been told, "You're daddy is a good man." And I think that applies to all of the brothers. Their name even has weight at Duke University where the 3 brothers work. Everyone there has heard the name Browning a time or two. Speaking of Duke, to my surprise one of their work friends unexpectedly showed up at the party. I have known this man since I was a kid and it was the first time I had seen him and his family in a long time. His dad died yesterday. He was an emotional wreck to say the least. But he was damn happy to be there and to see the Browning family and the other people there. I had never seen my dad, my uncles, and this man so happy together in a time of emotional distress. I learned what true friendship is like. When I went to shake this guys hand, he hugged me. Then I saw his wife and her mouth dropped open. She couldn't believe how much I had grown up and how "beautiful" I was. How do you react to that?

Now that I gave some kind of background information mixed with current information...Lets get on to 2011.

Right before 12:00am hit everyone had a drink, whether it was soda, beer, liquor, water, or the god-awful champagne I had. Everyone stood with their individual family and namely their loved one. I of course was alone...for the 20th year of my life. The ball dropped in Times Square and the Acorn dropped in Raleigh, NC. Everyone shouted Happy New Year! and drank a sip of their drink and kissed their loved ones. I zoned out for a second and began to examine the room. Everyone was smiling, laughing, hugging each other, kissing each other, wishing each other a Happy New Year. Even those who didn't know each other that well. It sounds typical, but it was a beautiful moment in my eyes. I learned what New Years was all about.

New Years isn't the modern holiday where you get plastered and make an ass of yourself. It's a celebration of life. It's a moment you share with those around you where you know that you made it just another year. You did it, you survived. Despite your ups and downs, you are still standing right there in that moment, the very first second of the beginning of a New Year. It's a celebration. At the same time it's a time of letting go. You are letting go and moving on from everything that happened in the previous year. It's a wrap up. It's the bow on the package, the rubber band around the envelope full of files.

For me it was definitely a time of putting the rubber band around an envelope full of files. The incredibly high highs that I have experienced this year were trumped by the lows that I have had, if I'm being honest. This has been one of the hardest, craziest, most emotional years of my life. I'm going to reflect a little:
  • I was able to perform in my first college production
  • I became a founding father of the Rho-Eta chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • Finished out my freshman year of college
  • Lost a scholarship
  • Was able to serve along side Orange Team with Student Life for the entire summer
  • Traveled to & through 11 states during the summer
  • Missed my annual family vacation
  • Became a Resident Assistant to 48 awesome freshman guys
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting the lead role in Our Town
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in the world premier of Love/Sick
  • Auditioned, was called back, and missed getting cast in True West
  • Auditioned, was called back, read 5 times for the lead, and missed getting the part in the short HPU film Connected
  • Became incredibly overwhelmed by being in classes, theatre, an RA, and in a fraternity
  • Didn't get the GPA I needed to get my scholarship back
  • Lost one of my residents, John Evans Lacey
It's been a tough one as you can see. I'm not throwing myself a pity party by any means. But I have dealt with some stuff, and it has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I would rather not reflect on the year 2010 and in the words of Cee-Lo Green... "Forget You".
All I can say is that I have experienced every emotion possible and have learned a lot about life and especially myself. But what I really ask myself is, "God, what in the world are you preparing me for? What is next for me, really?" I have tried to figure it out, and obviously I can't do that so I guess I will have to wait it out.

So, I think I really just rambled a lot...but I got to write it out. So here's to a New Year...I'm thankful for the one I just got to experience but I really hope God reveals what He has been preparing me for this year. I need it. So, how was your year? Think you know what you're being prepared for?
I saw Natasha Bedingfield perform this song on New Year's Rockin Eve with Dick Clark tonight. I think it's a great song to end with. Here's a video with the song and lyrics:

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Angel

This is John Evans Lacey. I met John in late August when he moved into Blessing Hall room 503-1 at High Point University. He was a charming guy with a great smile and has a lot of character. As his Resident Assistant, I was excited to meet him. I was lucky to have a resident like John for the school year.

John Lacey died on December 21, 2010 from a seizure. He died, he's dead, he is gone, he is not here, he is with the Lord.

I keep having to remind myself of this as the days go on. Finding out this information was like a piece of news that felt like a joke, like Ashton Kutcher and MTV camera's were going to pop out to tell me I've been Punk'd. It didn't fully hit me until today when I was at his memorial service. I've never been to a memorial for someone that is around my age, or better yet younger than me.

At John's service his dad, stepdad, and sister all shared things about John and memories they had with him. While his sister shared the comedic and very true characteristics of John, his dad shared the deeper characteristics. He described him as a prism that expanded and presented different colors of light. Those colors: yellow, blue, and red. He gave an explanation for why John can be described in those 3 colors and each reason was remarkable and true. His last thoughts though were that now, John can't give off those colors any more....but tomorrow on Christmas day he will be represented with the color white... snow. He will be our Christmas Angel.

The memorial service really touched me and was hard to sit through. I haven't cried that much since I left my team of Student Life staff this past summer.

I've said this before and I will say it again: As an RA, my residents are like my little brothers, and I lost one. Residents really mean that much to me and I didn't realize it until this point. I would say that I am one of the only RA's on campus to know all of his residents names, what individual room they live in, and for the most part where they are from. I do take pride in that, I won't lie. And I've always felt like since all 48 of my residents are younger than me, that I have to look out for them. Be there as a mentor in some way. And I don't know why but I feel like I failed with John even though death is out of human hands. I don't know why I feel that way and I know I didn't fail, it's just how I feel. I know a lot about my residents for the most part, some more than others. When it came to John, I knew him. I knew him decently. However, it hurts because I know I didn't get to know him well enough and never got the chance to truly invest into him. Or at least, that's what I think. I miss the kid so much already. The family is down one- to 47.

It's hard. I don't know what to think or feel honestly. When we get back to High Point I know it will be harder. We have to get used to him not being on the hall, and then a memorial service for him. I don't know whether to be an "RA" and be there for residents, or go with my emotions and let the moment guide me. I think I have an answer to it now after today.

At the service John Lacey's sister expressed how John lived in the moment and for the moment. He soaked up life and everything going on around him. That's what I need to do. Live like John. Live in the moment always. Soak up and enjoy everything going on around me. Smile. Love on everyone I come in contact with. Shine a light in this dark world. Offer a glimmer of hope during hopelessness. Be like John.

I don't know what I was trying to accomplish with this. I just needed to speak, or express myself or whatever. So, I will leave you with a little something: Take time to invest in everyone you know. Find out as much as you can about them and pour into their life. Live in the moment. Smile and be happy and enjoy everything. Be a light in this dark world and trust in the Lord. God is sovereign. He know's what is going on always where as we don't always have answers.

Rest in Peace: John Evans Lacey

August 18, 1991 - December 21, 2010

A Christmas Angel

Monday, July 12, 2010


Man, I feel like it's been forever since I posted last....and I really think I say that every time I post.

Lets set Student Life aside on this one.

So, slowly but surely I have been going through the book of Acts. I've been learning what the first churches were like and what the apostles/disciples did after Jesus' death. For some reason for the past 3-4 days I have been hung up on chapter 2. If you read it, you may understand why. It's frustrating to get caught up in but joyful at the same time. I can feel myself digging for the understanding. Aching to know what God is trying to tell me. Desiring to know how the Holy Spirit works every time it is mentioned in this chapter.

It started with the whole speaking in tongues thing. But the beginning of this chapter has brought maybe...a change of heart? For some reason I really think that possibly everyone has there own "language" with God. Not like "blah howp glahboo pa" speaking in tongues stuff, but the type of language where you speak to God and God speaks to you in one specific way that may be stronger than others? I'm confused by that myself. For instance...some people communicate with God through his creation. God may speak to them through His creations and that person may speak to God through their joy and admiration of that creation. Or through things like, music, watching other people, being still, screaming to the top of their lungs, singing, dancing, acting, running/walking. Whatever it may be, I feel like everyone has some different type of strong line of communication with God. Then there's the real speaking in tongues. That maybe through the power of the Holy Spirit you can share the gospel with someone who speaks a different language than you, but they still understand it and hear it in their own language. I have no idea.

I got caught up and really excited on Acts 2:40 "And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." ....People wonder why the world is so messed up, why things are unfair, and why so much nonsense occurs. But they just sit back and take it on because they feel like thats just the way the world works. No, we are told to save ourselves [through Christ] FROM this crooked generation. Like, don't just be a part of the generation or let it really affect you. Save yourself from it. Blatantly, the Bible is calling us to salvation. AGH! Why don't people get it?

And the last thing that really spoke out to me, which was my prayer after reading this was verses 42-47 under the title, "The Fellowship of the Believers". It's talking about the way christians act. Ironic, no. It explains the way the disciples acted and lived, and how that left people in awe. They didn't get it. However their lifestyle and the joy that the Holy Spirit gave them confused people. But better than that, it made people come to Christ. It added to God's numbers. It created believers. I just pray that my way of life and the words I speak, and the moves I make will leave people in awe. Not leave people in awe of me. But leave people confused, blank, aloof, dumbfounded. Leaving them empty so that they may approach me to ask me what I am filled with. Is it a "new wine" or something else. That something else, my friend, is the Holy Spirit. And then, may one accept Christ because of Christ in me.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Teach the Teacher

So, it's been a week since I have updated. And a lot has happened in that one week.

I was blessed enough to be able to lead a Family Group with Kaitlyn this past week and it was awesome. It was the first time that I was actually able to interact with the campers on a regular basis and hear what is going on in their lives. I think at the same time it reminded me but also made me realize once again why we put on these camps. There is so much going on in the students lives that we have no idea about, and our ultimate goal is to help them know Christ. I just want to ask everyone to pray for the students that were in my family group this past week.

As for myself I really learned a lot. Once again God put it in front of my face that we, as the body, are His hands and feet. We only assist in His ministry and plant seeds, and Christ is the savior. There is nothing we can do to make people accept Christ. We are only assisting God in what He is doing in other's lives. Therefore, we must understand that God is the one who saves, not us.

I also really learned that I must be confident in teaching and ministering to others. God is my rock and support through it all therefore I have nothing to worry about. This week I felt really burdened that I missed it and didn't explain a few of the studies right. But as the week progressed God really showed me that yes I was doing it right and that He was working through me.

Last but, definitely not least, I was reminded once again that God works through many for the same purpose. Whether it be the flow of different scriptures being brought to a student, the repetition of prayers or words being said, or whatever else.... "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Rushed, I know, but I gotta go. There is no telling what I will learn this week but I'm extremely excited to see what God has in store for this week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Camp has been awesome this week. I've enjoyed my time being able to hop around and spend time with all of the departments. Family group leaders meeting every morning, production after that, recreation or missions and maybe a little office time, then dinner with the staff, the production again. I love the flexibility aspect of my job. It has enabled me to get an insight to what everyone else is going through on a daily basis.

However, frustration has risen once again. If everyone doesn't know, which you should, I get frustrated easily. With others, with things, and with myself. It's frustrating that I get so easily frustrated. It's like if i miss something even by a little bit, I beat myself up for it. Or if someone doesn't quite get a concept that seems so simple to me, I bite my tongue in frustration and just let them figure it out without making a comment. Or if someone is just rubbing me the wrong way I get agitated and brush it off. But I know there are times when I have to step up and say something without it being harsh but yet making a statement. Idk, it just happens. And I really need to work on having patience. Just simply, patience.

On another note, I've once again been reminded of something this week. I really need to give people the benefit of the doubt. I make assumptions and jump to conclusions when regarding people. It's not even like a judgmental thing, really. It's more of like...I just assume because I either know someone who looks, dresses, acts, talks like the person I'm assuming things about. And the person I'm comparing them to may have some kind of bad rep. I don't think I'm explaining this well. But either way, I just need to learn to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I'm pretty stoked about going back to LA Tech. I don't know why either. Maybe it's because it's the only place that will seem familiar to me this summer. But, it will be a weird week too because after next week, we are halfway done with our summer. Uhhhh where has it gone? Oh well, I need sleep.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Time Has Come

Alright, so I haven't posted in quite awhile. Why? SL has been pretty busy I would say.

But the time has finally come when everyone is beginning to be exhausted, drained, tired, sick, vulnerable, on edge, and plenty more adjectives can fill in here _____. It's unfortunate, but I think it was bound to happen. The traveling for days at a time, nonstop load-ins and load-outs, and late nights of work really wear on you. And for myself, yes I'm exhausted. But I wouldn't change it for a second. Amidst the feeling of exhaustion, I know that God is working in the staff's lives as well as the students for sure. And I think it's nice to see His work and see where it is going.

Last week we had Todd Agnew and Matt Carter in the beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. They are 2 extremely open, vulnerable, and down to earth guys. They definitely brought it home in Estes Park. Estes Park has to be my favorite week so far (I know it's only the third week). But last week was fun. I got to move around to shadow lighting and at the same time see what was going on in the lives of students during services, work backstage, go out to rec, spend time with production, and plenty more. I loved it.

This week at Wake Forest University in my beautiful home state of North Carolina has just begun. So far its gone well, but there have been issues here and there, such as load in. Load in seemed chaotic since it was raining and we hit every problem possible. But, we pulled it together and got out at some time around 1am. Hopefully load out will go better?

One thing I learned just from today is that if someone scratches your back, you scratch theirs, if they bend over backwards for you, you should break your back for them. And, I'll admit, I haven't been doing that necessarily. But I will surely attempt it.

I know this update may seem pretty all-over-the-place...but it's an update. Peace be the journey.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Traveling America

Oh man, it's been an insane 3 days. Friday we left from Ruston, Lousiana at somewhere around 1 and drove all the way to Perry, Oklahoma to stay the night. Then the next morning we got up and drove from there to Limon, Colorado all day. And then today we drove from Limon, Colorado to the beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.

Although it's been kind of obnoxious driving for extended periods of time, I really enjoyed it. When you spend somewhere around 8 hours in a vehicle with the same 7 people, you really have some good conversations and get to know each other pretty well. It's going to be crazy driving from Colorado to North Carolina at the end of this week. I'm having a blast so far. And it's late, im tired...I'll update later.
Man, I love all of OT10

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Compassion International

So, I finally sent my paper work in! I'm officially sponsoring this kid through Compassion International, a program that helps kids in poverty receive plenty of food, schooling, and hygiene education.

This little guy on the left is Marko Mataba Mabula. He is a 9 year old from the plains of Magu Town in Tanzania. He lives with his parents and 2 siblings! He carries water, runs errands, and helps in the kitchen for his family. He goes to church activities, reads his Bible, and his favorite activities are singing, art, and reading.
I'm pretty stoked about sponsoring him and writing letters back and forth, and maybe even getting to meet him one day. That would be awesome. If anyone wants to know, I can tell you the story of how little Marko got placed in my life, if you ask me. But, I think all of you should check out Compassion International and maybe even sponsor a child yourself!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oh, Man

This week as been tough but amazing all at the same time. It's kind of weird being on the other side of camp, as in, working for the camp rather than attending the camp. I love it though.

S0, since the last update, I've changed states. The Orange Team is now at LA Tech University. It's extremely different than High Point in good ways and bad ways. All I know about this place's extremely humid here. But our load-in and set up took about a day and a half, and in between celebration and worship we tweak things. It's a lot of hard work and long hours to put this stuff together, but extremely rewarding to see the students open up and worship God.

Today was the first full day of camp. I woke up at 6:45 and had breakfast and went to morning devotional. Then we went to the worship center and had Celebration for the students to help them get woken up and ready for the day. There was some cool student interaction with the AT2AP drama team, some fun videos, awesome worship with David Walker, and a relatable message from Ed Newton. Then I went to a family group leadership meeting for youth ministers and then the the students had recreation time. The Production team worked on some stuff then I work on some cool things in the office. THEN! Get much as I don't like ultimate frisbee, that was the free time option I had to lead today. And, it was a blessing. I enjoyed running around with the kids just playing ultimate and getting to know them. It was great. Then I had dinner and now I am currently backstage waiting for worship to begin.

So far I'm stoked to see what God is going to do in the lives of campers, student staffers, staff, and youth ministers/leaders. It's going to be thrilling. But this song has been resonating inside of me all day and I can't get enough of it even though I've known it for awhile:

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Oh. My. Goodness.

These last few days have been super overwhelming and amazing all at the same time. I have met some of the coolest people. Orange team has already been able to connect and relate to one another to literally become a family already. I can't wait to learn more about my team mates and become close to them. Each and every person is amazing. However, during this training week in Shocco Springs, Alabama, each team has been able to work together and get to know one another. I've made a lot of cool friends on the Aqua, Brown, and Blue team. But I am sad to say that we all have to disperse at the end of the week and won't see each other until possibly next summer. It's a weird feeling.

Ok, well this week we've had to load in equipment and prep it to be trained in how to begin the process of setting up the camp. My job allows me to do whatever I want. I can assist whoever and basically help anyone who needs help. It also allows me to learn about other jobs and learn how to run them, which is amazing. I will admit, sometimes I feel inadequate because I don't have as much knowledge as those who have worked with the equipment before. It's ok though, I will learn!

But each night a different team hosts the night of worship where they rehearse or run a night like it's camp so that they get practice. We had the first night and I had to do lyrics. Lyrics are easy on powerpoint in church....not on ProPresenter for a large and loud event. I was nervous and messed up on occasion but it's alright. Our production team is really cool and I love all of them. We all connect and support each other really well. The Rec team is very outgoing and super fun, I love them. The Missions people are very down to earth and work driven, awesome! And the "office" team is very focused and pinpoint on a lot of things which is great!

I really just can't wait to get on the road and meet kids and have the real camp happen! It's going to be an amazing summer and I know that God is going to do some amazing things in the lives of our staff, student staffers, and campers. Keep Student Life in your prayers please!

(Oh and for the record...Orange Team won today at staff recreation!! Thats where the title of this comes from...our chant.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Beginning: I'm Blind

Alright! Soooo, the beginning of my Student Life adventure this summer.

Well I never thought I would say that I have had to wake up at the time I usually go to sleep. On this fine morning I had to wake up at 3:30 in order to make my 6:00 flight from Raleigh, NC to Charlotte, NC. Wooo! First time flying alone was weird. So me and my dad got to the airport and I had to check my bags...the most confusing thing ever. We said our goodbyes, and I went through security and then to sit at my gate. I was pretty nervous, not gunna lie. After we boarded the plane and took off it was a rough ride. We flew threw clouds, wind, rain, fog...everything. I was nervous...but the girl sitting across the aisle from me was freaking out. Hah.

So now I'm at a Starbucks (ahhhh) at the Charlotte airport...blogging. I'm so stoked to fly out to Birmingham! I've never been off of the east coast in my entire life so it's going to be weird traveling around. I have no idea what to expect when I get to the Student Life headquarters...I have no idea how many people I will meet...and I have no idea exactly what I will be doing today. All I know is that I'm going into this thing blind, but I'm so ready for it. I just pray the God would move in a mighty way this summer and change the lives of many. I'm so excited to see what is in store.

Keep Orange Team '10 and the rest of Student Life as well as the campers in your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friends Come and Friends Go

Alright, well I feel like I have to write something on here. I can't just abandon my blogggg.

I guess since I've been home I've just realized a lot about friendships in relation to time and effort. In high school you hang out with whoever you're comfortable around or who you get along with. You may only have so much in common, but it's just how high school works...especially if you go to a high school with stereotypes. But in college you actually are forced to go out of your way to meet people; meet people who you have things in common with or who you want to be around. It may be different for other people, but I've found that this has happened for me.

It's weird. I only keep in contact with a few people from back home since I was away at school, and it's kind of unfortunate. But in the "friendship" we both put effort in to communicate, so it works. But there are so many people who I was "friends" with, that I no longer speak with. So now that I'm home, I feel like there's literally no one to hang out with other than those select few who I still stayed in contact with.

Now that I'm home though, I've realized that I genuinely miss my friends from HPU...more than my friends from high school. I just miss them being in my life? I don't know, really. I think it's just cool how close I've gotten to some people and how I've developed good relationships. And I don't usually get attached to people.

But here are some things I realllllllllllllly......reaaaallllllllllyyyy miss about school:
  • Being able to walk out of my dorm, go play beach volleyball, then go to the pool, and get ice cream from the ice cream truck
  • Randomly texting some one and going to dinner 2 minutes later
  • Bike rides
  • Sitting out on the promenade while talking and listening to music.
  • My Kappa Sigma brothers
  • My discipleship with John Sheets
  • Cru and my guys Bible Study
  • Seeing the same people every day, yet meeting someone new every day
  • Theatre...*sigh*
  • Coloring at 2:30 in the UC because there's nothing better to do
I guess I'm just reminiscing? I don't really know. But I'm done. If anyone cares... I'm listening to Relationships by Friendly Fires. (I miss how you could post what you were listening to while blogging on Xanga)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's Try This Out

Alright, so I've noticed a lot of people have BlogSpot over Tumblr, so I'll do 2 blogs. I think I will just use this one to blog about my journey with Student Life this summer, and then my Tumblr just for me. And then, I think I'll decide which one I like more. Who knows.