week 2!!

"The Lord is near...
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:5b-7

week 3 starts in 1 hour and 5 minutes!!

i just had one of the most amazing weeks of my life... i wasnt going to write this for another week or so, but i'm so excited that i couldn't put it off any longer!!

here are the 3 most important lessons i've learned since i've been here:

physical activity is not always scary..... the most fun time i had this week was definitely the 1 1/2 hours that i spent playing tennis with 2 of my girls... we had so much fun!! i played tennis twice last week, and i played volleyball with the interns friday night!! and let me tell you, when i woke up saturday morning, my forearms were bruised and swollen and every muscle in my body ached!! hahaha i was like "is this normal?" they were like "no...." hahaha, but it was totally worth it.... i'm still a little bit scared... but not terrified like i was before!!! God answers even silly prayers!!

almost anybody you every meet named emily is gonna be great..... emily b., emily c., and emily m., y'all are three of the greatest people i know, and i truly thank my God everytime i remember each of you! the new addition is great! emily averitt, my new roomie, is definitely my best friend at the ranch! she totally fits right in with all of my emilys! in this world of change, God really has answered my prayers for a little bit of consistency, even if it is just in a name.... i can handle all the other changes.... my amazing kids, my beautiful home in the smokie mountains, my adventures in physical activity..... my God is so amazing!!

a broken car is NOTHING compared to a broken heart, a broken body, a broken spirit, or a broken family... but none of these is too small or too big for God's healing hand... thursday night, camile (13), one of the new girls in our house, knocked on my door crying at 11:30ish... i sat in the hall and talked to her for a little while until she was ready to try to go to sleep again.... she's so homesick, and she was certain that she couldn't stay here any longer... it broke my heart to see her that upset, so when she went to sleep, i wrote her a note w/ a few memories from the past couple days, and told her i thought the list needed to grow... i assured her that there are a lot of people praying for her, that God doesn't put us in situations that we can't handle, and that we all love her... friday night when i got home at 12ish, there was a note under my door.... it totally made my week, and probably every week from here on out.... so.... i wanted to share it with you....:

"Dear Mrs. Anna Kathryn,
I am sooo glad I have had the pleasure of getting to know you, it has been a fun roller coaster ride, but don't worry, we have a couple more months to go! Thank you for being there for me last night, I was having a very rough night. Thank you for giving me your shoulder to cry on, just like a 2nd mom, or a 5th older sister! I know staying at the ranch is going to be difficult for me since I'm away from my mom, but I know God has a purpose for me, and I gotta stick with it, cause if I don't I will miss out on a great blessing! I luv ya lots! Please keep me in your prayers!
Love, Camile"

wow! God is a miracle worker! i have seen his healing hand at work in my other girls too, whether in the 30 minutes i spent with Arissa (10) making fish faces at mikey (my fish), or seeing Lensa's excitement over her door decorations on her 19th birthday yesterday (which she was dreading!) He is surrounding this place, and hears all of your prayers... please keep my girls in your prayers: lensa, laura (18), camile, and arissa... they're all so amazing and i have a great new friend in each of them!

i have been blessed beyond all comprehension this past week... i am so excited to see what God has in store for us in the coming weeks and months! thank you so much for your continued prayers! i can feel them throughout the day! i love y'all so much, and can't wait to see you soon!!!

week 3 started about 50 minutes ago, so i better run... this email is once again, much longer than planned.... haha, i hope that's ok!! i really will try next time! :)

--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.... sorry about the puctuation.... hahaha i was feeling rushed!!
pss.... i attached a picture from our trip to the aquarium saturday... it's just arissa and camille, but i'll have some pictures of laura and lensa soon!!

here are some things that i have said since i've been here that some of you might find humorous:
"we had so much fun at tennis today!!!"
"I think i'm gonna clean the bathroom and vacuum tomorrow..."
"wow! that was so fun! we should play that again!" (cranium!!)
"patience is a virtue..." (hahaha as opposed to "patience is a quality that few possess...")
me: "i know right!"
camile: "ok... you said that 4 times in that conversation.... 34 times today so far..."
me: "you're keeping a count? haha... maybe i should work on that...."