"my feet don't dance, but my heart does!"

"Whether you turn to the left or to the right,
your ears will hear a voice behind you saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

I was asked recently how I've grown since this time last year... it's impossible for me to look back on this past year without tearing up right now... it's really hard to put myself back in those flip-flops, and think about my fears at that point and everything that has happened since then... This time last year I was terrified of coming here all by myself.... I was doubtful that I had what it takes to work with troubled youth... I was worried that I would burn all my meals, and lose every game at rec for my team... I was ready to call up Mr. Richard and say "why did you give me this job? couldn't you have hired somebody more fit for this kind of work? are you crazy? please... fire me... i know i don't start for a few weeks, but you should go ahead and fire me... really, you'll be doing the ranch a great favor..."

What if I had done that... what if i had never known Arissa... what if I had never flattened my tire that night, or had to say goodbye to the girls when they moved houses... what if I had never known James and Lindy or had to say goodbye to them, and live in this big house with no family.... what if i had never spent all those nights crying so hard i could barely see or breathe or had to say goodbye to emily, abby and margaret all as incredible roommates...what if I had never known what these kids have faced in their lives... what if i had never known this whole place, and never had to say goodbye to this family i have here and all of this that i love so much.... man, I could have saved myself a lot of tears!!

A wise man once said, "I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it all would go........ I could have missed the pain, but I'd of had to miss the dance..." I would not be the person I am today if I didn't have those experiences! Praise God that He brought me here and didn't spare me from all of those things, etc, because He knew that I needed all of that to happen in order to make me more like Him, and to teach me to trust Him COMPLETELY! Not only have I grown through the hard times, but, man, God has poured out blessings on me since last August... A LOT has happened this year! A lot... If I could have foreseen what all would happen, and had opted out, I never would have met these incredible servants of the Lord who will all be part of my life forever... I would have missed out on soooo many fun times, and so much growth! I came here last August hoping and praying that I could make a difference in these kids lives... but I think the flip flop happened, because they have made such a difference in mine, and I am eternally grateful to my God and to each of them! There have been a lot of hard times and a lot of really great times that I will never forget. I thank God so much for everything he has done here this year, everything from taking Arissa away from this frightening world to be with Him, to hanging out in the kitchen cooking 75 eggs.... He continually moves in this place, and I know that what He's taught me here will continue to impact me forever.

I was not emotionally prepared to come here this time last year, and it took a lot of prayer to prepare me.... now, I'm not emotionally prepared to leave here... there has been no other time in my life that has been as fulfilling in any way than my time here, and I will miss every person, every child, and every moment dearly. But the Lord let me know this morning that it's time for me to go, and tomorrow, while i'm driving home, I ask y'all to pray hard for me... I'm a little overwhelmed right now.... there have been a lot of tears, but I know that the Lord has great plans for me and I will follow Him and trust Him fully....

Friday morning I start a new job at Eagle Ranch as a parapro in the science/history classroom at the school there... I am very excited and anxious to start this new journey... and I'm grief stricken and heart broken to leave this past year's journey... but I know I'll be back here and I know that God will provide the comfort that I need...

I can't begin to express my thanks to y'all for hanging around and reading these rediculously long and random novels, and most of all for your constant prayers. Each of you means so much to me. I can't promise that these e-mails will continue after this one.... but if I can find my way to a computer every now and then, I'll let you guys know what is up.... thanks for stickin by me through all of this and for your encouraging words and all of your prayers! I love each of you so much!!!

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

great moments at my surprise leaving party today:

Harley: "Miss AK, what's your favorite animal?"
Me: "Deer."
Harley: "Aw man, you were supposed to say monkey!"
Me: "Oh.... let's start over..... Monkey!!"
Harley, very excited: "LOOK!!!"
....and he holds up a toy monkey!!!

Kristina: "We should have gotten Miss AK a teddy bear so she could say she saw a bear while she was here..."
.........a few minutes later........ David comes downstairs and gives me his teddy bear!!!!

in Eon's letter to me: "I wish my vocabulary was extensive enough to convey how much you mean to me.......... I think I will keep that cup forever!!!"

Quavi, pointing at the dolls Zachary gave me: "See, this is you, and this is your husband and these are all your children....."
Me: "Quavi, I don't have a husband...."
Quavi: "I know you don't... but you will one day...."

i felt very loved today!!! what a wonderful send off!!!

i think this is the moment many of you have been waiting for... (no, not the end of my e-mail.....) i'm announcing my webpage!!! I'm going to start selling my jewelry, and I made a webpage for it, so here's the link.... psalm421.tripod.com go look around... there are some kinks, but it's pretty exciting... let me know what you think!!