Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Silver and Gold

You know that old Girl Scouts song, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold"? That's how I'm feeling these days. While there are a number of things that I struggle with in this environment, most of which are just little, the one thing I have the hardest time with each day is not getting to share in these crazy moments with the people that are so near and dear to my heart. Over the last decade or so, I have been blessed with friendships that are unlike any others. With my ladies from Ohio, I enjoy complete simplicity and lack of jealously. Never do we envy the life the other person, we enjoy and support each other in each adventure life allows. The females and fellas I grew close to in Bloomington are fun and diverse, no two friends are exactly alike. I think that's why we work so well in our big group, not to mention our love of God's people. We all believe in the bigger picture, the awesomeness of creation and the gianormity of God. Beyond that, I barely get to speak with my family, meaning my main wolf pack seems further away in the forest. I miss these people terribly, I wish I had a live feed to share with the group of people closest to me. But, I have been blessed with a team full of friends and a staff willing to laugh. If you would like to know what an average meal looks like for MoCrank5, check out the following video:
Whether we're deciding to start a video blog or nominating a team member to fill the role of "Team Chaplain" (a position neither required or created by the directoral team at CIY), we laugh almost constantly. Our director last week mentioned that when we're all in the van, he can normally find me being loud about something, Morgan trying to keep me inside the box, Austin plugging his ears from sheer volume overload, Jake tapping away on his IPhone to ignore us while finding the newest and best music and Kristin just laughing her face off in the middle of it all. These are the people that God has given me for this season and I plan to enjoy the bits and pieces of them that I can.
Prior to starting the internship, we took a personality test to help put teams together. The test is called Servants by Design and was specifically created to help ministry professionals and other Christian organizations. The test describes each person as a house, made up off the same 6 personalities to different extents. The percentage of each personality type you are determines how easy it is for you to act in that phase during an average day. On the very bottom, is the quality you are most, it's call your foundation. Most people are 100% whatever is in their basement, but it is possible to be less than 100% and still have that as your foundation. The quality you are the next highest on, is the quality in which you are currently regularly acting. For instance, Joe's house is made up of 100%, 75%, 50%, 50%, 25% and 4% on each quality, he is "maxed out" on his foundation and acting most often like the 75% piece. Why am I saying so much about this? Because I've come to understand each person on my team more becuase of this test. Morgan, Austin and Kristin are all foundational Harmonizers, meaning they enjoy the harmony of groups. Each one of them keeps us working together and helps us from killing each other when nothing seems to be working quite right. Jake and I are both foundational Energizers, but we are nothing alike. I am center of attention and he isn't. But our reactions to stress are very similar, we tend to blame others for something that's gone wrong. Beyond my foundation, I'm also 100% Dreamer and Harmonizer, which means that I have already been through phases of my life in which these were dominant. Now I can easily move between them during my day without losing my energy. I was surprised to have maxed out of the Dreamer phase, I think more than ever I spend time alone and retreated from others so I can hash things out in my head. But, I am 69% Persister, which means I'm values oriented and stubborn. No surprise there. When I start arguing about the meaning of something on one of my favorite TV shows, my teammates know to chalk it up to this part of my personality.
We have such an awesome balance, I actually prefer to just have the 5 of us together rather than the 15 other staff members and college students that are here to help us out. The production staff and college reps are so fun and we have a great time, but I've learned so much about my 4 teammates that I just want to be with them sometimes. Even though I miss the Gold friendships I have in life, the Silver ones seem to be pretty awesome as well.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tens I See

Trying to come up with a creative title for this post was difficult. So I went with a play on words, you know the old saying... "You're the only Ten I See". It's clever, laugh now please.
I've been in Tennessee for a week and a half now, we're on Day 2 of TN2. Again, check out ( for more information. I'm most specifically talking to any of my family members who are reading this now. We've been staying at Johnson University just outside of Knoxville. It's a gorgeous campus but completely out of the way. There is a 6 mile road that takes you from Dunkin Donuts to the school and once you are back here, there is no where else to go but back up that same road. I can see how some people would completely love being here, but it's a little isolated for me. Thank goodness we are constantly busy and have very little down time to think about how far we are from most people. This campus is so much better than Ozark in Joplin. We have our own bathroom in each room and each building is gorgeous brick. 
We made it through the first event as a staff last week. It was hectic; we had a water main break and a fire alarm. I spent the entire week attached to a work cell phone, that rang almost every hour. Youth Ministers were given the number to use if they had problems, and they had plenty. Most complaints were about the rooms they were given, in the dorms and for their small group time, which is usually a problem the university must solve. It's a hard balance between just getting things done and making sure we comply with the University's rules. We don't want to ruin relationships with these places, because they are the hosts and the chief requirement to put on a Move event. At the same time, we want to make our customers happy to ensure they have the best time with their students.
I've come to learn that the people I work for are true gifts. I had a really hard week last week, but my bosses here and back in Joplin were so incredibly supportive. I got a text from the Chase, the guy who hired me, with a verse he was praying over me for the coming week. Honestly, these people care about us more than we give them credit for. They put up with my complete lack of hushed-tone and do my ridiculous self-five to give me a laugh. I don't know how working without employers and co-workers like this could be possible.
After completing the week, we were evaluated on our work. As I type this, I'm talking about the evaluations with one of my teammates. It's interesting to hear what they think of your work immediately after being finished. Nothing was surprising about what they said, I was marked highly for working independently and initiative. I was marked low on verbal criticism and language. I'm looking forward to seeing how other directors evaluate my work because I'd like to hear more about things I don't already know.
I'm expecting each week to get easier, but who knows!

From the mountains,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CIY: 3 Week Recap

What a whirlwind! Today is the last day I'll be in Joplin before we get on the road. I realized how little I'm able to share with the people in my life due to our busy schedule, so I thought I would post on this here blog that I haven't used in forever.
Here's the rundown on what I'm doing while working with CIY. My title is Customer Service Manager, I have a partner who shares job responsibilities with me. Her name is Kristin. We do the following things: place youth groups in dorms, contact all the youth ministers before the event starts, take all requests from churches to make sure they have the best experience, lead meetings with all leaders at events, know everything about the whole week, carry a computer, make the directors happy, make the program coordinators happy and mostly get some sleep. Basically, we work long hours. This week was the kickoff week, we've had a conference here at Ozark Christian College for the first time in CIY history. Each morning we get up and go to the morning session, then we go to work, then we have dinner and then we end the day with an evening session. Prior to this week, we would go to work all day, then find some fun activities to do in the evening. We're known to play ultimate frisbee, soccer and volleyball. I shouldn't say we, because I rarely play. But sometimes I do! We also spend a lot of time at Sonic, because there are 6 in Joplin. 6!!! One on almost every street corner. 
There are 26 Event Staff members (interns). Most days we spend quite a bit of time together, which has been kind of exhausting for me, given that I lived essentially alone for the last 2 years. But it has been really awesome to get to know so many people from different places. Staff members are from all over the country, California, Virginia, Texas, Florida, and quite a few from Oklahoma and Missouri. Oddly, I'm one of the older interns, only a handful of us are graduates. It's very bizarre because I've typically been the youngest in my group of friends, even amongst my friends in Medina. 
We are living in dorm rooms at OCC. They are nice, but still dorm rooms, so don't imagine any sort of luxury. I'm back to sharing showers and common rooms. I guess I should be fine with that, especially because I will still have roommates in the fall. Shout out to Kyzo and Big Fek! I have also had some run-ins with my trusty items. Bertha died twice, thank goodness my team leader Morgan knows how to jump a battery. I dropped my phone directly on the face of it, cracking the screen and rendering it useless. 
For anyone from Fuel reading this, we are reading through the life of Joseph this summer. Weird, huh? Turms out I won't be leaving Genesis any time soon. Which leads me to talk about the events themselves and CIY. I couldn't have imagined how fulfilling this job would be when I applied in October. If you aren't aware of the story behind this job, let me just fill you in. I applied after a conversation I had with a friend who works full time for CIY in September. I felt an immense call to care for the church in whatever way possible. Chelsie thought CIY would be a fit for me, so she told me to apply for this internship. I obviously did. I didn't find out that I was still being considered until January when I got an e-mail with a 3 day reminder to send in my reccomendations. I thought I had already sent those in. Skipping the middle correspondense and Skype interview to 6 weeks later, I got a call while driving back to Ohio to let me know I was being offered a position. Bertha and I had no idea what would be ahead of us when that position what offered to us. 
What I have found here is completely mind blowing. First, the people that work at CIY genuinely love their jobs, even when it is hard! They don't complain and they laugh a lot. I haven't been able to see work as a satisfactory in a few years. Watching these men and women work each day is just remarkable and inspiring. I think it has a lot to do with working for the Kingdom, greater purpose at work makes it more meaningful and fulfulling. Second, the creativity that takes place here stirs me to do and know more. I love knowing that the people who create the stage and the videos we play and the small group material all do so with such intentionality that it's not hard to see that links to the broader topics. I'm thinking bigger and grander and asking God what more I can do with my imagination. Third, while I'm getting less sleep each night because we work the whole day, I'm not tired. We get to wake up, go straight to session and worship God. After work, we go to session and worship God. When I start and end my day with worship, I'm not tired, I'm full. 
It's just simply amazing. I have no idea how stressful or joyful these next 3 weeks in Tennessee will be, but I'm excited to be where God has me. 
If you want to know more, visit I'll be at Tennessee 1, 2 and 3. Then California 1, 2 and 3. 

More to come from CIY.