week one at wears valley ranch...

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 3:13b-14
it's been one week!!! ...and let me tell you, i am so ready for this week off!!! this place is so great though... the week started off rough, but everyday has gotten better and better.... the mountains are beautiful, the ranch is beautiful, and most of all, the kids are beautiful... i've only been here for a week, but every morning i wake up in awe of what the Lord is doing here.... the kids truly are amazing, they get me through each day... they're uplifting and encouraging and so eager to serve their Maker... it's inspiring... they remind me each day why i'm here... i already love every one of them with all of my heart.....
for now there are only 2 girls in my house, Lensa and Laura, and they're both 18, and so sweet!! they're very different though, it's been interesting... Lensa is from Ethiopia, so I told her about Yemi and we talked about Africa for a little while and then laughed at me when i went to take her to work, and walked into the bathroom looking for the house van instead of the garage... and we've been great friends ever since... haha.... she's really quiet though and it's hard to tell what she's thinking most of the time, but i think she's great... Laura has alot of personality... she's all over the place! we sat in the hallway upstairs the other day and went through each other's earring collections, and that was our milestone bonding moment... haha it was great.... my earrings have been a huge part of my getting to know these kids... i've worn different ones everyday and every morning at devotions the kids look to see what they look like.... shabre, one of the girls in another house, started calling me "loopy" yesterday, because i wore my really really big hoops... or that's why she told me she was calling me loopy... and today a little boy named corey who i hadn't talked to yet, came up to me and grabbed my earring and said "you wear different earrings everyday..." and we started talking... so... they have been a great tool in my acclimation process... haha who knew God would use my ridiculous earring collection for more than just decoration...?
the ranch is amazing, you should all come and visit... i'm surrounded by beautiful mountains, and there's so much to do here... i'm still getting used to the wildlife... haha i go to sleep to the sounds of cows and goats... and they're like actual cows and goats, not just animals that sound like cows and goats!! everytime i go outside, i find a new animal, it's crazy.... last night i was talking about the owl i heard that i thought was a horse at first.... and someone said "sometimes you hear the mountain lions..." that's right, em! the mountain lions! haha crazy... anyways......
when i come back next week i will have a brand new emily in my life.... so that makes 4... emily buffington, emily conner, emily mantooth, and emily averitt (i think...?) i havent met her yet, but she'll be my roommate until december... it's pretty crazy... i get a new emily for every stage in my life... it's great, i feel like God is tryin to give me a little consistency in a world of change.... haha
i have thus far successfully gotten out of rec twice every single day!!!! which is great! because i'm terrified of physical activity!! but i know that soon after i get back i'll be playin a lot of basketball and goin on 11 mile hikes all the time..... so.... we'll see how that goes...
right now my favorite part of the day is 2-4, when we do school... thats when i get to spend the most time with the kids, 1 on 1 or 2, and it's just really great quality time... i actually dug back to the ninth grade and was able to help lensa with geometry yesterday! i was amazed!!
God has blessed me tremendously since i've been here! it was definitely overwhelming at first, but is continually getting better, and i know that none of this would be possible without your prayers... thank you all so much! i'm goin home today and then am heading to columbus, macon and back to gainesville, so hopefully i will get to see most of you this week... if not, then you know you're in my thoughts and my prayers...
i said my next email wouldn't be long, but this definitely is!! i'm sorry, i'll try to do better next time...
thanks again y'all, i love you!
--anna kathryn
"I thank my God everytime I remember you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy."
-Philippians 1:3-4
ps... keep the phone calls and the emails comin!! it totally makes my day when i go outside at night and check my voice messages and i have like 8, or when i check my emails and have like 7..... and if i haven't returned a call or an email, it's not because i don't love you, it's because this place is crazy and i'm either busy or exhausted all the time!! but i promise i'll get back to you!
here are some things i've heard since i interviewed in june that some of you might find humorous:
"The kids are on an 11 mile hike with the interns..."
"Make sure you bring your bike..."
"I think we should play Cranium..."
"Will you say the prayer, Miss Anna Kathryn?"
"Just because you're quiet doesn't mean we won't pick on you..."
"Breakfast is at 8 tomorrow morning..."
"There's a big green bug in our hallway..."
haha, there are so many more..................