6 Weeks in Tahoe

So since I told you all I would keep you updated on my trip to South Lake Tahoe and failed to do so, it’s now time to give a recap for those interested… Oy, where to start???

My beautiful sister took on the first leg of the journey with me… Lots of music, discussion, sleep (well, sleep on her end while I took pics of her sleeping – once a little sister, always a little sister), audio books, and laughter — all as expected… Fairly certain I never would have even gone to the school had she not been real with me and said “hav, you need to get a life.” :) At first it hurt my pride to hear, and then the reality of the truth sunk in and how glad I am that between her and Holy Spirit’s nudging I sent in my application… If you have an amazing sister who talks to you straight with love, realize how blessed you are… So the first day there was pretty much a quick sight-seeing venture around South Lake – we went to the base first and met some of the staff and students… Arrived to find that there was no oven or stove in the kitchen, our girls dorm had room for 8 girls who would all be using 1 shower, 1 toilet, and 2 sinks, and hanging our clothes on our bunk beds… I chuckled on the inside thinking “oh wow, how’s this gonna work?!” We left the base to check out more of the town and talked about what the situation on base would be like and decided it would work some way, some how… Mic flew home the next morning… She hugged me, I cried, she smiled and said “all will be well”… :) And it was… So much more than well…

It’s really quite hard to put into words exactly all God’s done over the last 6 weeks… I think we’re just kind of taking time to really get our heads around it all… I’m not sure we’ve fully realized just how much God has done in our lives and hearts in all honesty… People keep asking what my favorite part of the school was, what I learned, what God did… There’s so much I don’t even know where to start – I don’t know how to describe it to give it justice… To be honest, some things I don’t want to share… Some things are in a sense sacred to my heart and the hearts of my Tahoe Tribe… Those things may never be shared with anyone else but just us and that’s how it should be…

I will say that I royally enjoyed living in community… I wasn’t sure I would but I had an absolute blast… From cooking as teams to waking up in the morning making sure everyone had their shower and the shower was free, to getting tickled at the worst possible moments of the night when everyone was sleeping and we needed to be quiet… One of my absolute favorite parts was all the laughter… It was nearly non-stop for 6 weeks. It never got old… The hugs never got old either… Hugs good morning, hugs during the day, hugs at night before bed… I think if you had issues with personal space/bubbles, you’d have really had problems… :) But just this strong sense of unity and everyone being of like heart and mind just made it so easy to be at ease with one another… We were an International Tribe so we did have many “lost in translation” moments — they usually occurred in the kitchen while eating early morning/late night bowls of cereal or ice cream and again, contained stomach hurting laughter… If you let Him, God will use living in community to kill any selfishness you might have hidden in your heart — if you let Him, He’ll use it to really develop in you what love truly looks like – cause it really is patient, kind, it’s not self-seeking, dishonoring, etc. I feel like God used living in community to show me even more His Father heart for us and how we are to serve and love one another as family. I know this much, if I do nothing else the rest of my life but love with every part of my being, it will be a life well lived… To truly love well – that’s the goal…

So many different hilarious personalities… I’d forgotten how much I truly love having friends… Not just acquaintances but true friends who attack your heart with love… Friends that not only laugh but also cry with you… That ask how you’re doing when they can see through to your heart and see that God’s doing some major work… Friends that aren’t just friends but real true honest to goodness family… I didn’t realize just how much we NEED friends… How much we NEED the love of friends who really are closer than a brother… How much we can’t do life by ourselves if we want to do it really well… How much God will use people to restart parts of your heart you needed restarted so that you can fulfill the destiny He’s called you to…

I realized on my 17 hour drive home that I have to re-define what “home” looks like now… Home is where my parents and my sister and her family are, but it’s also wherever Jordan from Tennessee, Martha from England, Tommy from Oregon, David from France, The Dierdorf Sisters from Kentucky, Lindias from Hong Kong, etc. are… Home will always be wherever the Tribe is… And it makes my heart ridiculously happy…

The Lord showed us a lot about His heart for people – for believers and for believers who just haven’t decided to believe yet… :) How He is constantly wanting to speak to people’s hearts… He’s constantly wanting to tell every person on earth exactly how He sees them… And how badly they need to hear it – that they are loved, treasured, highly valued and heard… That He’s for them and not against them… That He desires them to fully prosper and be in health spirit, soul, and body… That He sees and loves them no matter what they’ve ever done or ever could do… He just needs us to be His messengers… He needs us to completely surrender and give Him our full “yes” so that we will be willing to go to whomever He sends us whether it’s to the neighbor next door or the Middle East where people are getting slaughtered day in and day out… He’s just asking us to be decided in giving Him our “yes” – if He has that, there’s nothing He can’t do in and through us for the good of those around us and for the good of His Kingdom… And the freedom that comes from giving Him your “yes” — it’s so so good… :)

Many of us could probably agree that He’s brought to life the ability to dream once again… That He calls the unqualified and downloads them with the skills and resources to accomplish the job so there’s no need to fear or be focused on our lack or inabilities… That when He shows us a bit of the destiny He has for us, we no longer have a right to let our pasts be our focus… It’s onward with Him… It’s onward in His love… It’s onward together…

To my beautiful Tahoe Tribe… You challenge, inspire, amaze, fill my heart with love, and dare me to go deeper with Jesus… I can’t thank you enough… I can’t love you more than I do… What an honor and privilege it’s been to spend the last 6 weeks with each of you… It’s not the end… We’re just beginning…

-hav x

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” — Colossians 3:12-14

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