learning to fly

Month: March, 2013

the valley

This week I’ve been following the Holy Week devotionals at shereadstruth.com. On Monday the ladies who put together the readings usedMatthew 21:10-17, which is the passage about Jesus kicking folks out of the Temple. After this upheaval, Matthew shares that He invited in the blind, lame, and children who all called out, “Hosanna!”

My mind went immediately to the Fraser Valley — a beautiful place nestled under the Continental Divide — surely a temple of His Creation. For as long as anyone ever knew people ran the valley the way they wanted. Skiing, snowboarding, and biking have always ruled out. That is all until God began a work in someone to seek out a new property for Young Life. After seeing many possibilities throughout the state of Colorado, 1500 acres of land were purchased in the Fraser Valley. God was beginning His upheaval.

Crooked Creek Ranch’s construction was finished and it opened in 1999, much the dismay of many locals. People stayed away from the folks Young Life brought in and away from the camp itself. But every summer God brings in His children, a lot of whom leave shouting, “Hosanna!” We are excited about the way CCR is really starting to impact this community. The Lord is working hard.



in like a lion

everyone's so happy to be @ CCR

everyone’s so happy to be @ CCR

Well the month of March came in super strong, as the saying goes. Not only did the Valley get 30 inches of snow in the first ten days, but the Farren Family took the Valley by storm. The gang was all here and it was an absolute blast! In true Farren fashion there were some extra faces in the mix: Megan and Emily are givens these days, but my old Young Life teammate Weston Suggs also made the trip! I was thrilled to be able to introduce everyone to my friends here, and visa-versa.

It was kind of crazy having a full on family-vaca in my backyard. I guess thats called hosting? Whatever it was, it was fun. We got to sleep, eat, ski, and play together for an entire week!! I am thankful that they all got to come here and see this crazy place that I live. [note: anyone is invited at anytime] [subnote: except no one is invited May 12-August 11, busytime in the YL camping world]


Dad. Me. Casey. Emily.

Even though the saying finishes that March goes out like a lamb, I am not entirely sure that is the case for me this month. It has been an absolutely crazy month work-wise. Tomorrow is technically my last day as an intern, then I go home for Easter vacation, and come back a full-time employee! This transition has happened fast, yet slow. I am nervous about everything being official, but I think I am ready.

Things to pray for: rest over Easter, smooth transition, confidence in where I am & what I’m doing.

dream life

In the summer of 2007 I did work crew at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch for a month. During that month of volunteering at camp I thought I felt the Lord nudging me to pursue Young Life camping for a life time. Sounded cool at the time but I was a measly 16 years old. [beginning of a dream]

Fast forward through each summer of college when I had the opportunity EVERY summer to take high school girls to camp to hear the Gospel. It was during these weeks over various summers that I saw why I love Young Life camping: Young Life camps are a place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented so very clearly and where so many high schoolers accept His forgiveness. [reinforcement of a dream]

Fast forward again to February 2012. I vividly remember dropping the little girl I was nannying off at dance practice and almost immediately receiving a phone call from a 970 number — that is the area code of Fraser, Colorado — home of Crooked Creek Ranch — where my application to be an intern had been sitting for months. It was man named Stu on the other end offering me an internship. YES! HECK YES! I got to go celebrate this excitement with the best Young Life team in all the land that evening at Millbrook Club (#wildcatsforever) [continuing the dream]

Fast forward one more time to February 2013. Some how, some way the Lord softened my heart (very quickly I might add) to want to apply for the job as Crooked Creek Ranch’s bookkeeper. As in accounting for stuff. Never in my life would I imagine myself as a bookkeeper, but luckily the Lord did and that is what I get to do. I get to be the bookkeeper here for as long as He will have me. YAHOO!! [living the dream]

Enter this blog…a way for me to keep track of this wild journey. A way for me to improve my communication with my friends at home. A way to inspire me to take pictures of life.

pure excitement

{from February 22, 2013}

February has been a great month! I am excited to share with you all that I have taken a full- time job here at Crooked Creek Ranch! Yes, that does mean that I will be staying in Colorado for a while, but my heart is very much still in North Carolina. I started training for the job this week, then beginning April 1st I will be the bookkeeper for CCR.

It is unreal how fast this all happened, yet how much I felt like I was waiting. As most of you know, I have been waiting for years to have a job on Young Life property staff, but NEVER thought I would work as a bookkeeper (insert lots of time at a desk inside). I had known that this job was going to be available in the spring, I just never considered it until my mentor talked to me about applying one evening. During our conversation my heart was totally softened to the idea and I decided to put my name in. Then, the Lord’s hand became even more obvious when the other two top-running applicants pulled out. Next thing I knew I was offered the job and put in a holding spot for people much higher than me to figure out how this transition would work, going from intern to bookkeeper.

I have felt so cared for by the other interns and the rest of the staff during this process. Luckily, my good friend Jill Burnette was here with me to talk through things as it all began. Even Mom and Dad are OK with me living in Colorado for a while longer! I have been so blessed during my time here and I am excited to be able to continue life in Fraser. One thing I have to figure out is a more consistent way to watch Wolfpack athletics.

things are lookin’ good

{from January 16, 2013}

It may be hard to believe but I think that this year keeps getting better and better. I am starting month-5 of life in Colorado — I cannot believe it has been that long and that short at the same time. During December I got to go home for 9 days to celebrate Emily & Casey’s birthdays and Christmas. It was extremely life-giving to be in North Carolina with all the people that I love.

I am currently working in the dining hall as the hostess. When there are groups in, I train the volunteer workers that come in to help serve the meals. This role is really fun for me because I get a lot of interaction with the guests.

Right after we got back from our Christmas break we had a huge Young Life group come. The high schoolers & their leaders went skiing at Winter Park during the days but came back to came for meals, club, and sleep. I got to form some great relationships with the folks helping in the dining hall.

I have realized I have a passion for Young Life field staff — not to work on that side of the ministry, but to be able to serve them. People that work everyday with high school & middle school students and committees are absolutely incredible servants for the Kingdom! Coming to see this made me even more excited to find out that I get to work on the CCR Guest Services team this summer. I don’t know exactly what it will look like but I do know that I will get to work serving field staff and their families. I am so thankful that the Lord has placed me in that position for the summer.

at last!


{from November 9, 2012}

I think I mentioned before that we host a lot of non-Young Life groups throughout the school season, but this past weekend we had a Young Life group in camp. It was beautiful, sweet, exciting, awesome, and all things good. It is great to still be in guest services right now because I get a lot of hands-on time with the groups. As much as I am familiar with and love Young Life in North Carolina, it is fun to learn and get to know the ministry out here too.

The group that was in camp this weekend is a prime example of why I am passionate about working on property staff. I think that Young Life’s high school ministry is great and effective but there is so much more to the mission, and this job allows me to be a part of it all. Last weekend, the group brought all sides of the ministry here: Suburban & Urban (ministry to high schoolers), Capernum (ministry to the disabled), and Young Lives (ministry to teenage moms). It is such a joy to me to see all of these aspects of the ministry come together and see that the Lord is working through it all.

I get to work again this weekend for a Wyldlife (ministry to middle schoolers) trip, so I am sure it will be pretty crazy around here. Hopefully, their moms will help them pack because we’re expecting some more snow and cold, cold temperatures. But the snow is coming just in time for the ski slopes to open up next week!


{from October 13, 2012}

Recently I finished reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I am so glad to have read it in this season of my life. It is a book about focusing on eucharisteo, the gratitude Jesus taught us via the Last Supper. One line that I love from the book says, “The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.” It has been great to challenge myself to focus on the present and that the present is from the Lord. Its easy to see His goodness in my surroundings; I undoubtably live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but His goodness goes beyond the grandeur of the Continental Divide (which happens to be the view out my bathroom window).

Today I am thankful for our first snowfall in camp, the big flakes falling; for Raleigh Young Life being at Windy Gap; for having gone on our staff retreat this week; for rest after long work days; for NC State beating Florida State, and getting to watch it happen; for having friends from Raleigh that live here too.

As I mentioned, we got to go on our CCR staff retreat this week. Kind of funny but, we went to Trail West, another YL camp here in Colorado! It was a great time for our staff to be together, have fun, and be reminded that we get to do this job. I loved being there with this new community of people and getting to know everyone better.

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