Category Archives: School

Why I Cried

Last night I cried. Overwhelmed by emotion, I was sad, elated, confused, and oh so thankful. I have never felt so much meaning and purpose in a single moment. Just thinking about it now brings me to tears. 

Last night was closing night of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, this year’s Spring Musical at my school. I played the part of Caleb Pontipee, one of the seven backwoods brothers who learns about etiquette and gets himself a girl. I was the dumb brother and I loved every minute of it. I was able to make people laugh with my mannerisms and then turn around and sing and dance with people that are much more skilled in those departments than I am. I put so much work into this production and now that it’s over, I’m still not sure how to think straight.

After the last curtain call, Mr. Batchelder, our amazing Director, brought the seniors up to the front of the stage and talked about us all individually. When he talked about me, it all came crashing down. A wave swept me up on the inside and forced its way out my eyes. While he was explaining it to the audience, I was imagining my theatrical career at James Madison.

My sophomore year, in drama class, I could not deliver a monologue in front of my class because I was so scared. Just the thought of performing in front of people terrified me so much that I made myself sick and stayed home from school for a week. That was the worst week of my life. I was so depressed and did not want to live. By God’s grace, my mother helped me out of the depression and Mr. Batchelder encouraged me tremendously and gave me the confidence necessary to perform in front of others. The next year, I tried out for the Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride, got the part, made people laugh and had an absolute blast. That year, I was a salesman/dancer/townsperson in The Music Man. Next was Sir Galahad in Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail then Caleb Pontipee.

My journey rushed through my mind, paralyzing me in a state of raw emotion.

And so I cried.

I cried because I was so happy to have the oppurtunity to be in those plays.

I cried because I was so sad that it was over.

I cried because I’ll miss acting on stage with my friends.

I cried because of all the times I laughed.

I cried because of how much I’ve grown.

I cried because I was so thankful for all the encouragement.

I cried because being on stage made me feel special.

I cried because I could not hold it back.

I am crying now because this is so meaningful.

The First Ending

Friday night was probably the last time I’ll ever play competitive tackle football. It was a hard way to go out, losing in the first round of the playoffs to a team we had beaten in the regular season. We weren’t really ready to play and they were. Throughout the entire game, I had a feeling that it would be the last one but it didn’t come home until after the coaches talked to us. They gave us their speech, walked away, and it hit. Hard. A wave of emotion, like a slow tsunami, rolled through my body and out of my eyes despite my best efforts to keep it in. Even though I was sad the season ended the way it did, the tears weren’t full of sorrow but joy. I was so thankful for my teammates and all the leadership they showed throughout the season, as well as all the stupid things we did that made us laugh. I was thankful for all the encouragement from everyone throughout the bad years. I was thankful that we even had this season to remember (we almost didn’t have a football team this year because we didn’t have enough guys). I was thankful for everyone’s hard work that gave us more wins this season than we had had in our previous four years combined. I was so thankful for You and the way You made me so that I could be a valuable part of the team. Like we said before and after every game (win or lose) “to God be the glory!” Thank You!!!

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Me and my little bro who became the starting defensive end. He was awesome!

Being a senior, I’m starting to understand the concept of The End. Football ending is just the first of many endings to come. At some point in the near future, basketball will be over and I’ll be in my last play and soccer will end with baseball and track & field. And then one day, high school will end. And then what? I don’t know yet but I’m excited and thankful at the same time.

Esther is gone… but still family

This morning, we took Esther to the airport so that she could fly back to France to see her family. She lived with us for the school year as an exchange student but quickly became family. It was so great to have her around. She added so much energy to our already pretty hyper family.

During the first week of school, we, the students, were notified that the French foreign exchange student was having issues with her exchange program and that she was going to have to go to North Carolina or something if another family didn’t take her in. I asked my teacher if I could step outside and call my parents to see if they wanted another daughter for the year. I made the call. My parents talked it over. And Esther came to live with us.

We made so many memories with Esther. I really do think of her as an older sister, not an exchange student. She’s part of the family. But now she is going back to her other family. I hope they hug her when they see her.

Esther, if you ever read this, I love you sister. Thanks so much fo coming to America for a year and living with us!!! I hope we can come and visit you in France some time. ‘Till then.

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Summer begins in Colorado and ends in Morocco

I’ve spent the last week taking all my finals early so that I can spend the first two weeks of my summer in Bayfield, Colorado. Every year, my siblings and I go to K-Colorado, a Christian sports camp. We have a blast and grow incredibly in our walks with Jesus and His community. It is my favorite place on earth and I can’t wait for whatever God has in store for us this year! Also, later on this summer, I have the oppurtunity to go on a two week trip to Morocco. My dad is leading a team of young men who feal God’s tug to be a part of His work overseas. I’ll be going with a few other guys from my school and a colleg student or two. I know I’ve been pretty slack in regards to writing for a while. But hopefully over the summer I’ll be able to do this more often. See ya later!

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Why?What?

I found this saved in my documents from about a week or so ago.

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Quite often, I hear about how the world is becoming smaller. While that statement does have some merit, what with the advancements in technology and all, it does not describe, accurately, how I see the world. The world I am experiencing seems bigger everyday I look at it. The world I see is no longer just America. It is no longer black and white. I am a part of a global community; a community of neighbors, some of who are hurting… hurting badly!

The suffering of others across the globe has popped the bubble of comfort that I live in. My heartstrings have been yanked at by the screams of the oppressed children in Africa. The whisper for hope echoing out of the Middle-East is lodged in my ear. My mind is overwhelmed with the fact that there are 150 million orphans in the world and that at least 20 thousand kids die everyday because of poverty and malnutrition and other stupid things that could be prevented if people actually cared enough to do something.

These thoughts have consumed me for about a week, so much so that I could not concentrate on my schoolwork at all. All I could think was if all this crap is happening in the world, why am I sitting in these classes doing nothing about it?

Why? Why? Why? It is such a great question. There is another great question to be asked. What? What am I going to do about it?

Infectious Enthusiasm (JOY!!!)

Watch this video!

I love the way this kid is… I love the way he talks. I love the way he smiles. I love the way he moves. His demeanor is infectious because he is so excited. He doesn’t know what to do with himself. He is about to flip with joy.

This kid reminds me of one of my good friends named Ian. Ian is also overwhelmed with joy. He has a smile on his face everytime I see him. He and I break out into spontaneous laughter each time we walk by each other at school. The greatest thing about the way he acts is that it is totally genuine. He is so full of hope and love and joy in Jesus, he cannot help but have it overflow in his actions. It is such a great feeling to be around him. It is like sampling the love and joy that our Father has for us. It makes me want to burst out in song. Sometimes we do. Joy is a great gift. I am so thankful for Ian and others like him. Thank you Father!

The Music Man: I Can’t Believe It’s Over

Last night was the last performance of The Music Man at James Madison Preparatory School. It was such an awesome experience. It was my first musical so now that it’s over I don’t know what to do. It’s such a weird feeling. I devoted two months of my life to the production and now all that’s left is a memory. It’s over. I feel the same now as I do every year after leaving K-Colorado or returning home from a different country or even after moving from one state to another. Another chapter in my life has been written. 

The play itself went great. Opening Night, the adrenaline was pumping but I had a sense of calm. It was kind of weird. It didn’t feel that much different than a rehearsal. I think it was because we did a full run through that day. The second night, we had the weirdest crowd ever. They were half-asleep throughout the first act but the second act they went nuts. That night, we did the Shipoopi dance perfectly. Last night, we had the best crowd ever. They loved everything. Rock Island went down perfectly and kicked off another great night. We ended the run on a surreal high.

Originally, I tried out for the part of Tommy Djilas, the main teenage boy in the show. I didn’t get it. At the time I was upset but now I couldn’t be more grateful. The roles I received were amazing. I was Salesman #1 in the Rock Island train scene. I also got small singing solos in Iowa Stubborn and Wells Fargo Wagon. I was in all the dances. I got to mess around with Constable Locke and get in a scuffle with the school board. I also had a fun line in the Finale scene. I absolutely loved all the roles I had and would not have traded them for anything. 

I can’t wait for next years musical. I really hope it doesn’t interfere with the K-CO mission trip like it has in past years. I thoroughly enjoy performing on stage. A little over a year ago, I couldn’t even get up in front of my drama class to perform a tiny monologue. Now, I am able to be in front of hundreds of people I don’t know and sing and dance and deliver lines with no fear at all. Thank you so much Father for giving me that strength.