{Life update: Church Internship, Traveling, Events}

Wow, wow, wow. This summer has been busier than any summer I've had in a while. At the same time, it has definitely been one of my favorite summers too. So many new things have happened and it isn't even over yet.

First of all, howdy! I have been a little MIA for a few months and you are about to find out why. I haven't posted since the end of April and honestly, I wasn't expecting to go silent for this long. However, here I am again with a lot of fun things to update you on. If you keep up with me on social media then you might have heard about some of the things I've been doing but for the rest of you, this will all be new. This summer was filled with a lot of firsts, growth opportunities, and a lot of fun events too! Let's start with the last place that I left off from- the end of April.

The first week of May brought a lot of fun (and surprising) events. I went bowling with my church small group and then that weekend we attempted camping at a state park which turned into an overnight stay at church due to a huge storm that came through. I am actually glad that it turned out the way it did because we made a lot of fun memories that I will never forget. Plus, we still got to do the things we were planning on such as staying in a tent, making s'mores, and eating a hobo dinner. When you do those things inside, especially at your church, it makes it 10x more enjoyable even if it is unconventional. I also can't forget that we crashed the Friday night game night that the seniors were hosting at the church. They were good sports about it though and even let us join in on their games. Looking at it now I would have to say that it was definitely a win even though it didn't turn out as planned. The next day we were met with the perfect weather and finally had the chance to go to the state park so we spent the day there and continued our camping trip as planned. Since I am a youth volunteer with the church I attend all of the events that they have so we had a Cinco de Mayo party that weekend too.

Our makeshift campsite.
The s'mores were still really good even if they weren't toasted over an actual campfire.
The next day brought blue skies so we took the opportunity to go hiking and swimming.
Part of the park was actually flooded from the storms that had just come through.

The next few weeks consisted of visiting family who had recently moved closer, finishing the semester of school, getting a new addition to the family A KITTEN (who would later be named Stella), spending a couple days doing things with my grandparents and cousin who was in town like going to some botanical gardens and checking out downtown of a town nearby, and traveling back to our hometown in ETX for a day to celebrate an aunt's birthday.

May 16 was my last day of classes and I was so excited to leave that day.
Stella was actually my mom's birthday gift and I can't believe how much she has already grown since we got her!
My grandparents, cousin, and I walked around downtown New Braunfels, Texas and stopped at a cute little bakery!
Yes, the cupcake was as good as it looks.
My beautiful grandma (left) and cousin (center).
The next day we went to the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin.

The gardens have a great view of downtown ATX.

The trip back to our hometown in ETX was short but well spent eating Mexican food.
June was the start of my new summer internship with my church. I began working with the youth and children's ministry and will continue to do so until the end of August. The internship has been a big reason my summer has been so busy and I am so thankful for it. Because I am working with both ministries (and church in general) I had my schedule full with many activities such as swim day with the youth, Sunday school lessons, Bible studies, VBS, a pizza party and water balloon fight with the youth, family fishing day which is a day where all the church families go fishing, a service day at the Central Texas Food Bank, and the week-long kid's camp. At the beginning of June, my family and I traveled to Louisiana for a few days for our family reunion and at the end of the month, I helped a friend move.

I started my internship on June 3. I like to start the day off with a Bible study.
Swimming was the summer kickoff event for the youth.

We helped provide over 7,000 meals to families in need!
I had actually been to Tanglewood Christian camp as a kid but hadn't been back in about 10 years!
I went as a girls sponsor and it was a great week! All the girls had a great time!
I even made friends with some of the other sponsors.

Our family reunion is something that I look forward to every year and this year did not disappoint. The 8-hour drive to Louisiana was definitely worth it.
I always have a great time with the whole family.
July started off with a family BBQ on the 4th and a watch party of Stranger Things 3 with friends (which was so good btw). Then July 7-13 was when I traveled to Durango, Colorado with the youth for youth camp. That week was so good and God definitely used it as a growth opportunity for the youth and myself. He was working in us all that week. Many of the youth grew their relationship with Christ and it was so cool to be able to see that change over the week. I even led the girls Bible study and loved being able to see them grow as well. The camp was a service camp so we made sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic bags and completed more than they were expecting us to make throughout the week! Camp itself was SO good and it was also a time of many firsts. It was my first time visiting Lubbock (where we stayed for a night), was my first time traveling through New Mexico, and was my first time in Colorado (the mountains were breathtaking). But, not only that, but I finally got to meet my online friend of 4 years who lives in the area. It was so cool being able to do that and it still doesn't feel like it really happened! The rest of July included a movie night with the youth, more Bible studies, small groups, a volunteer day at a crisis pregnancy center, a hike and swim day with the youth, watching Toy Story 4 (no hating cause you know it's a good movie) at a drive-in movie theatre for the first time, and a girls paint party with the youth.

The BBQ was delicious.
I also had just hit my 4-year blogiversary! So I took a few celebratory pictures.

Camp was so good and we had a great group of students that went.
The drive was 14 hours long so we actually stopped at a church in Lubbock for the night.
New Mexico was beautiful.
Colorado was beautiful too!

This was the view from Fort Lewis College where we stayed for the week.

I led the girls Bible study each day and it was a really good opportunity.
9 hours and 3,000 bags later, we made 6 mats!

I even got to meet my friend of 4 years for the first time ever!
We got to hang out for a few hours during free time so we walked around downtown Durango.
It is such a cute little town.
The next day we went back downtown with my church and we stopped at a few places including this coffee and chocolate shop! I spent $6 on two pieces of chocolate but it was well worth it.

This was from the drive-in theatre.
The movie was really good and spending it with others made it even better.
August started off with the two-day Girl Defined conference. It was held in San Antonio and I went by myself but I am so glad that I did. It was so much fun and the speakers delivered some great messages. I even met some new friends while I was there! If you don't know what Girl Defined is, it is a ministry that was started by two Texas sisters who share about God's design for womanhood through speaking, blogging, videos, and events like their conference. That next week I went to Schlitterbahn (a waterpark) with the youth and that was a lot of fun too because waterparks have always been my favorite. After that, I went to another conference called CTYL (Central Texas Youth Leaders) which was really good. I learned a lot from the sessions. Our church's 60th-anniversary celebration was the next day so we had a potluck and games after the service. This past week we served by making cookies and cards for the local fire department and got a tour which was really cool to see and I went to the elder's meeting at church to discuss my internship experience as it is sadly coming to a close.

These were some friends that I made at the conference.
I also got to meet Bethany (left) and Kristen (right)-the founders of Girl Defined Ministries.

I usually go to Schlitterbahn every year and it's always a fun day.

The anniversary celebration was a big success and I am so glad that I get to be a part of my church.
Like I have said, this summer has kept me really busy but I am not complaining in the slightest. I have enjoyed every moment and I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have been given to do all of these things. I am excited to see what the rest of the summer brings as I already have many more things planned on my calendar. God has used this summer to teach me a lot of things and I don't think it will end anytime soon.

If you read this far, wow. Thank you for reading and for following along even when I don't post for months at a time. Once the school year starts (in a little over a week!) I hope to get into more of a regular schedule because I definitely want to post more. Maybe I will even get back to posting once a week like I originally planned! ♥



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