Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sorry for the long gap in posting, I've been busy with various adventures summer, so I'm going to take all of my activities and lump them into one giant post.  Feel free to skim.=P

The summer began with a trip to Colorado Springs, for NITOC.  The road trip was great, and the tournament was a great time for reconnecting with friends.  I did fairly well in debate.  However, despite feeling I did well with my speeches, I didn't move on.  It served as a great reminder that our successes have very little to do with how well we think we perform, but rather they depend on the grace of God.  If you think about it, this truth applies to all areas of life, not just speech and debate.  God puts us where he wants us to be, not where we think we deserve to be.  God also reminded me that His plans are always better than our plans.  Since I didn't break, I had a lot of time to go watch other speeches.  This gave me a great opportunity to support my friends, and meet and chat with some cool people that I probably wouldn't have had time for if I was trying to rush to a round.  Overall, the tournament was a great life lesson and a great time with friends.

The next big event was the NCFCA National Championship in Minnesota.  The tournament I'd been working towards all year long.  I wanted to make the most of it, as I knew many of my friends were graduating, and it would be a long time before I would see most of my Region 2 friends again.  The tournament was amazing.  From a great drive over, to John Branyan's comedy, to placing 6th in extemp and 4th in LD speaks, to playing frisbee in the sprinklers at 11 at night it was one of the best weeks of my life. 

After arriving home, there would be no rest from speech and debate as it was time to prepare for the Boise speech and debate camp!  God used the camp to put me in a position to mentor young speakers who were just beginning to be introduced into NCFCA.  What an amazing opportunity!  I could see tremendous potential in them, and it was so cool to be able to see them grow in their confidence and abilities even just during the course of a week. 

The week after camp, moving became more and more of a reality as the truck came.  We had very nice movers who worked very hard during the week.  After the house was empty, my dad flew up from New Mexico to sign the papers.  It was hard to drive away from the place we had lived for the past eight years.  As I look back on all of the songs I had written in that house I realized the story that they tell.  I am not the same person I was eight years ago.  I'm much closer to the person I want to be, but I still have a ways to go.  I know the move and my experiences the next few years will also work to change me for the better, and add to my life story.  I miss the people in the Northwest every day, but at the same time I know this is where I am supposed to be.  Sometimes God puts us in a place that we don't necessarily want to be, but He does it to help us to become more like Him.  The Israelites didn't like wandering through the desert for forty years, but God used it to prepare them for the promised land.  I know God has the perfect plan for my life as well, and He will use these experiences to shape me into who He wants me to be.  What an awesome adventure He has for all of us!

After spending about a week in Santa Fe, I had the awesome opportunity to fly up to northern Idaho for the TP camp in Post Falls.  I got to stay with my very good friends, the Pauls, and I was able to see many of my Region 2 friends one more time.  It's very cool when it feels like your friends are more like your brothers and sisters than just friends.  I also was able to practice debating with my new debate partner Josh, which I think will really help us as we compete this year.  Simply an amazing week with amazing people.  I feel very lucky to know them.

After debate camp ended, I flew out to Oregon.  The morning I flew in, I got to hang out with another one of my good friends from debate, and then I went to the coast for five days with my old band mates from Boise.  We had an awesome time playing badminton, poker, and jamming on guitars.  We also got to see a lot of the sights along the coast.  Such a cool place.

As a write this, I'm back in New Mexico and the summer's adventures have come to a close.  Another year of school is in front of me.  Life the next year is starting to look extremely boring compared to last summer.  I am determined to change that, though.  I'll use my spare time to record my first CD with the songs I wrote in Boise, and I'll prepare for my last year in debate.  A lot of doors close after this year.  I'm going to make the most of them while they're still open.

The promise I remind myself of:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11.

God bless, everyone.