Happy Thanksgiving from Ferguson!

28 November 2014

Hello All!
Just sending a late Happy Thanksgiving!
With family traveling in until last night we postponed Thanksgiving dinner until tonight.
So Happy Thanksgiving from the Speicher clan in Ferguson, MO!!
Have a great time with family and friends this weekend!

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A Weekend At NYWC Atlanta

24 November 2014

Hey y'all!! It was quite the weekend down south! I went into the weekend tired, stressed, and not entirely sure what to expect. After getting to Atlanta and jumping into the conference I was too busy to really process it all. No lie, I am still working on processing it all because there was a lot to take in. But just being there was so wonderful. We were going nonstop which was tiring, but I still managed to come back feeling rested.

There were so many wonderful speakers in Big Rooms and Seminars. The musicians and artists were incredible. The resources in the Exhibit Hall were numerous. There was a plethora of information and resources to be gained from the conference. I have around 20 pages of notes from those four days. There are some things that I want to share with you on the blog and plan to do so starting next week once the holiday is over.

Getting back last night means that I have less than 48 hours to unpack, do laundry, and repack before heading down to Ferguson tomorrow for Thanksgiving with the family. I am excited but there is so much to do. I am taking some time tonight to watch the news for information on the decision about the Michael Brown case in Ferguson. I am sending prayers up for the Brown family, as well as the protestors and the rest of the community as we wait for the decision and in the hours and days after.

So I am off to do some work. I am going to leave you with the highlight video from the conference from this weekend...

Have a wonderful week!
God Bless!

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I'm Atlanta Bound!!

20 November 2014

Hey y'all! This morning I am packing the last minute items in my bags to leave for Atlanta in just an hour! AHH! I'm so excited! I've never been to Atlanta and have been anticipating this trip all semester. This trip is actually the entirety of one of my classes this semester. We go to the conference and write a few papers when we get back. Probably one of my favorite classes ever! A pretty large group of us Ministry majors are heading down south for the National Youth Workers Conference. We leave today and we get back late on Sunday.

So just a forewarning now, if I do not reply to comments or emails it is because I am going to have full days at the conference. I do have a post scheduled for Saturday, but that is all. I will be back next week with details and pictures from the conference!

Have a great weekend!
God Bless!

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How To Handle A Rough Living Situation

18 November 2014

Have you ever lived with someone who you originally meshed with but over time things just got messy?

Have you ever lived with someone where the tension was palpable and you didn't want to be home?

Have you ever lived with someone who you rarely talked to?

Well these are just a few of the things that have been characteristic of my current living situation. There are four of us in a two bedroom apartment. It is a pretty nice apartment for college students who are living in campus housing to occupy. No complaints on that end. However, what started out as a very amicable living situation has progressed throughout the semester to be a tense and stressful situation. One of the roommates and I decided to try to help out the situation by suggesting a moving around of rooms, to which the other two agreed. On one hand things have gotten better, on another it seems they have gotten worse.

Through this experience so far I have come to realize some key things that come into play when living with roommates who don't exactly see eye-to-eye with you or who seem to question any bit of assertiveness you show that contradicts theirs. So here are some tips to make the situation better.

1. Compromise
This seems like a fairly simple concept to most, but sometimes it can be pushed to the wayside or ignored entirely.  As I am now in my 19th year of sharing a living space with someone in some capacity, I have come to stress this as one of the most important ways to make living with others bearable. It is not always an easy concept, especially when it can feel like you are on the losing end (in your opinion). So often we look at compromise as a win-lose situation, when in reality it should be a win-win situation. Compromise is all about meeting in the middle, finding a healthy balance between what you all want. 

When dealing with roommates this is a key concept. Compromises must be made on the use of various items, sharing of food, noise levels at various times of day, and so on. A lot of times it is a struggle to make a compromise that works for everyone, but in the end it is more often than not beneficial for all.

2. Communication
Again, this seems like a simple concept that we all talk about being important in relationships. Yet for some reason we seem to leave 'roommates' out of the relationship category. I think that 'roommates' most definitely falls under the relationship category. How can you not have some sort of relationship with someone you are living with? It is very hard not to. One of the biggest issues that is dealt with in relationships is communication and I don't think it should be any different when it comes to one's roommates. 
This goes hand in hand with compromise. Talk it out. When something is bothering you let the other person/people know so it can be taken care of before it becomes a big deal. Verbalize where you are coming from and allow those you are living with to share where they are coming from as well. It should be a two way street. Effective communication means that everyone is heard. Mix this with compromise and you are in pretty good shape. 
3. Be Honest
How many times have you been around someone in one setting and they were one way but in a different situation they seemed like a completely different person? Yeah, that makes two of us. This also connects directly with the firs two, communication and compromise. When people are like this they aren't being real and they aren't being honest. In order for a roommate relationship to be healthy and enjoyable you have to be honest with each other. If something is bothering you, tell your roommate in all honesty (but don't be harsh). If you're having a bad day, inform your roommates of that. There's no need to keep on a smile when you're home.

Honesty is always the best policy. When you aren't open and honest you tend to hold things in and then they grow and get worse. By sharing honestly what is going on then everyone is able to communicate in a healthy way and if needed find a compromise for the situation. It also allows your roommates to be praying for you...

4. Prayer
This is so key and yet so often forgotten about. Prayer plays a significant role in the rest of our lives and it makes no sense to avoid it in regards to a living situation.  Pray for your roommates. Pray for the apartment. Pray for whatever you need to in regards to your living situation. But do pray. It can make such a huge difference, one that you will be able to see in real life.
I am not saying to pray for things to be perfect or for some idealistic living situation that is not gonna happen in real life. I am saying that you need to pray over those people. Pray that God is working in their lives, shaping and molding them into who He desires for them to be. Pray that His hand is in whatever situations they may be dealing with. Pray that He may use you to bless them. And so on and so forth.

These tips are just some of the ways that you can work towards a more amicable and healthy living situation for all. I can say fairly confidently that I doubt the situation will just magically get better, but over time it should. Roommate conflicts can be messy and can get emotionally driven at times, so remember to be honest/truthful and communicate openly without being harsh or judgmental. Praying for your roommates and the living area, as well as being open to compromise, will be huge as well.

Have you ever had a rough living situation? What are your tips for dealing with the situation?
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It's A Monday

17 November 2014

This GIF fits so perfectly! It is indeed a Monday and it hasn't been a half bad one either. If you haven't seen this video by Olan Rogers you can check it out here. (If you're uncomfortable with the topic of poop [yep, I said it] then you might want to avoid it...) I love this video and this line has been going through my head.
This weekend didn't hold any huge significance with the exception of the fact that we split the bedrooms in the apartment. This was an attempt at lessening the tension that was present. So Ellie and I are in one room and the other two are in the other room. The ironic thing is that it got more tense right after, but it seems like it is getting better now. Except that no one is ever in the living room... This is the opposite of what was supposed to happen. Oh well. Ethan came over, as well as a couple of other friends, and we moved furniture and got pizza. Not a highly exciting Saturday evening, but there were some good laughs amidst the tension.
Yesterday was youth group and we ended up at Starbucks enjoying their Holiday Drinks. I went for a peppermint mocha (surprise, surprise for a white girl, eh). We spent our time discussing prayer and the format that is presented by Jesus in the Lord's Prayer. The teens have some good thoughts on it and it allowed us leaders to help straighten out some of the things they were confused about. It was all around a good time!
I also got out my guitar this weekend and I am striving to play about 20mins a day in hopes of getting my chords down, as well as some basic strumming patterns. I am excited to actually get to playing!!
I will also be going on a trip the end of this week and I will be sharing more about that later this week!
Enjoy Olan and Have a great day!
God Bless!

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Currently Loving // V. 1

15 November 2014

Today is going to be a long and stressful day due to some things going on with the current roommate situation that we are hoping to remedy this evening. But I want to start off today by sharing some of my favorite things that I came across on the internet this week!

I came across this video yesterday from I Like Giving's website. It features Michael Jr., a comedian, who has changed how he views comedy. It has some funny moments, some serious moments, and some adorable moments! Take a couple minutes to watch! So...How can you be the punchline?

I absolutely love this video! It is so adorable! This guy went above and beyond for this proposal. They have a great story and you can read it and watch the video again over on Candlelight Films Website (The Perfect Proposal)!

This list of verses has been such a help this week! This was posted by one of my favorite blogs, Simply Clarke, that I read on a daily basis!! (And they are expecting a little one! So exciting!) They have been a blessing as I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. If you need a little pick me up or life is making you anxious right now, head on over and read these verses for a little relieve and peace of mind!

So I couldn't find a website to link to in order to give proper credit to whoever made this image, but I know it's from Tumblr. I'm putting a link here for my 'LOL' pinterest board where I have it pinned. This just made me laugh the other day! If only I could think of things that quickly!

So those are some of the things that I have been loving this week! I am linking up with the Currently Loving Linkup hosted by The Happy Type. So click on over and check it out! Maybe even link up!

The Happy Type

Have a wonderfully fantastic weekend!
God Bless!

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I Need God More Than My Life

14 November 2014

Photo from Proverbs 31 Ministries // Click on picture to go to website
This is my prayer right now.
Life is crazy and hectic. Tense and stressful.
I feel like I am spending more time focused on my life than on God.
My thoughts are consumed with the mundane, everyday tasks.
This makes me stressed, anxious, and tired.

I want my thoughts to be consumed with Him.
I want my days to be filled with His peace and joy.
I want everything in my life to be focused, consumed by Him.
I need more of Him in my day, in my life.
 This is my prayer.

God Bless!
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A Letter...// The Betts Family

08 November 2014

Dear Nate, Jill & kids,

     This last month has been filled with laughs, stories, memories being made, plenty of tears, and goodbyes said multiple times by the same people. The announcement that you were moving south was exciting to hear, but also sad on another hand. The last month has provided adjustment time as we have been allowed time to come to terms with the fact that you are now gone. Although if we were being honest, a month was not enough time but then again no length of time would have been.

     It is weird to think that as I sit and type this you are settling into the new house and getting ready to get a new routine set up. With visiting family in town on Friday I was not able to come say goodbye in person before Jill and the kids headed out. I was upset about it but I could not change it. So here is a short letter to all four of you.

    Just over three years ago I had no idea what life would be like here. I didn't know who I would know or who would be a significant part of my life. Yet looking back there are so many people that have come into my life, including all of you. It is hard to pinpoint the exact point in time that your family because such an important and consistent part of my life. I think it really started Spring 2012. 

    As I look back over these last couple of years I can't count on two hands the number of stories and memories I could share. The number of days spent at your home for a variety of things. Coming with the guys to help move things or do some cleaning. Late evenings talking about life and sharing individual experience. Early mornings doing set up for church and lunch after we packed it all up. Trips to Union Station when I overslept my alarm during Christmas break. Being in the same small groups. This list could go on. 

     Then there is the incredible blessing of being able to be involved in the life of the kids. Kallie and Keegan have been such a blessing in my life! I have absolutely enjoyed getting to watch them grow up and hit all kinds of milestones over the last couple of years. They may look alike but their personalities are different and so much fun! Kallie with her sassy, 'hands-on-her-hip' independence and Keegan with his spunk and energy. I love those two so much and I am going to miss getting to invest in their lives!

     Nate & Jill, I couldn't list all of the ways that you both have made an impact on my life. You have both invested so much time in me and I can't say how blessed I have been by both of you. Your relationship, your marriage has been a great example for not only me, but many of the other college students. An example of what a loving, caring, Christ-centered relationship/marriage looks like. You have welcomed me and so many others into your home on the good days and the bad days. Getting the opportunity to live life with you and the kids has been so great. You have been such a support and encouragement over these last couple of years.

     While goodbyes are never easy, even when they are temporary, I know that it isn't forever. It isn't going to be easy to realize that you're not just 10-15 minutes away and that you won't be around on Sundays. Yet I know that there are some great things ahead for you. I have no doubt that God has a wonderful plan for your family. I am praying for you as you make the transition there and get settled in. I'm praying for God's guidance, peace, strength, and joy as you make your life down there.

     I am so excited to see what God has in store for you all! It is going to be fun to watch through pictures and Facebook posts. So thankful for your presence in my life! 

I wish you the best! God bless!
Love you,

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Weekend In Review

03 November 2014

This weekend was kind of slow but also kind of busy. I let myself relax on Friday and Saturday which was much needed. I also got to enjoy watching our first official snowfall! The weather has been crazy around here and I have been waiting for it to start snowing. The ironic thing is that it was 60 some degrees today. Go figure.

First snowfall...not much but it is still something!
Saturday I went and did a little bit of shopping. I got a new coat, a new maxi skirt, part of a Christmas present for one of my roommates, and what I needed for a lingerie party that is coming up this Saturday. It was a good morning. I then came back and was excited to watch Nebraska play Purdue, only to find that the game was blacked out on my tv. I was a little frustrated but I still represented by wearing NE colors. And we won the game for an 8-1 record!!
Sunday was a hard day as it was Jill and the kids last Sunday at Journey. They are moving on Friday afternoon. Just for fun we took some group pics in JourneyTots. These are what I got...

 It started out okay with the exception of Elijah who wasn't having any of the whole 'group pics' thing haha. The last picture was kind of the culmination! Love these kids!

For youth group we ended up going bowling with JourneyKids. It was fun!! These kids are crazy but totally awesome. We did Bible study in the bus because they wanted to. It was chilly but we had a good conversation!

I didn't have time to change so I wore my maxi skirt. Lol! It was kind of weird to bowl in a skirt, but hey it worked. Two of our teens brought friends which was awesome. I might share a video or two of their bowling styles later! :)
Overall it was a great weekend!! The week has started out kinda crazy with an onslaught of information, so I am glad to have had a relaxed weekend.
How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?
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November Goals

01 November 2014

I can't believe it is November already! Seriously...when did the year just disappear?! It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in just a few weeks and Christmas is just under two months away. The year is almost over, as is the semester. Life has been getting kind of crazy with some sudden changes and unexpected obstacles, so I am hoping that by setting some specific goals I will be able to get things done that I need to get done and want to get done. So here are some of my main goals for this lovely month of November...

1. Make a decent dent in my reading challenge list (15-20 books) // 2. Spend a Saturday wandering around Chi-town // 3. Go line dancing at DC's // 4. Get a job lined up for Christmas break // 5. Find a good internship for next semester // 6. Make some headway on plans for after graduation // 7. Blog at least three times a week // 8. Make French Toast Casserole for a Saturday brunch // 9. Run at least twice a week // 10. Update/clean up my wardrobe // 11. Start Christmas gift shopping // 12. Visit St. Louis for a small break

Some of these are serious things, but some are fun and I am looking forward to accomplishing! This weekend was a start on number 10 and I am excited to share what I found this weekend.

Do you have any goals for this month? Are they mainly fun or just serious life goals?

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