Monthly Archive: July 2011

Faith+Hope+Love, re: the mission trip

So, a little fight usually goes on between me and God when He wants me to do stuff. Big stuff, like change the world and work for good and spread love, and whatnot. The problem is, he always ask us to do such hard things. Just once, I like him to ask me to do something easy, like watch a marathon of West Wing episodes.

Anyway, 11 months ago, when I first started as the youth director at Crossroads of Faith UMC, it went something like this:

Him: Crystal, I want you to plan a mission trip for these youth.

Me: Um, what now? No thanks.

Him: I’m serious, you need to do this. You have to trust me.

Me: But, um, these guys haven’t done a mission trip in a hot minute, and I just started, and nobody would really notice if I didn’t plan one, and I’m tired, so ya, I think I’ll pass.

Him: No. You have to do this. You know they are life-changing, you know they are powerful, you know that these kids are bursting with a need to go on one, and you know you can do this.

Me: No, really. I’m tired.

Him: I will give you strength.

Me: Fine. I will sign us up. But if this doesn’t go well, it’s on you.

Him: It’ll go well.

Seven months ago:

Me: All right God, I’m planning this thing and bunch of people at this church are looking at me like I’m nuts and none of the kids will commit and I don’t know where the money is going to come from. Are you sure about this?

Him: I’m sure. Trust me.

Me: Seriously God, I’m on the line here. This is a lot of money, and these kids think I’m nuts.

Him: It will be all right. Trust me.

Me: But I’m STRESSED OUT about raising the money.

Random email literally later that night: Hi Crystal! Our committee would like to donate to the mission trip. How much money do you still need? Signed, Awesome people.

Me: (Sigh). Fine.

Five months ago:

Me: Seriously God, I still have a lot of spots left. And I’m still really worried about the funding. Are you sure this is your will? Because if it’s not, just let me know an I’ll cancel the whole thing.

Random woman at church, three minutes later: Hey Crystal, I was wondering if I could donate to the mission trip. Who should I make the check out to? (true story).

Me: Fine, God. You win this round.

One month ago:

Me: Um, God, I no longer have any adult volunteers except for myself. And I have a handful of spots left and I’M FREAKING OUT!!!!

Him: Trust me. This will work out.

This week:

An awesome set of adult volunteers came together, including a church leader who will be bringing his grandson and my mom (hi mom!). And, assuming everyone who told me they were going goes, 15 kids are signed up. AND, after a slew of fundraisers over the last couple months (including, but not limited to: a church yard sale (those things are A LOT OF WORK), a Mother’s Day flower pot sale, a water bottle/parking event and a pancake breakfast), we have nearly all the money we will need.

Now we just have to get ourselves to Oklahoma. I have a feeling God will work that out though.

It’s not too late to donate to this amazing cause. (We could still use about $1,000 for gas). If you’re interested, please send a check to

  • Attn: Crystal Lindell,
  • Crossroads of Faith UMC,
  • 1570 Rodeo Dr. Bolingbrook, Il.
  • 60490.

Make it out to Crossroads of Faith UMC and put “mission trip” in the memo line.

Me and God thank you.

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Car talk

Fine, I need a new car. Anyone want to buy me one?

On Sunday I was just church-ing along and whatnot and I got in my little emerald green two-door vehicle I lovingly refer to as Penelope with my sister and we attempted to set off for Taco Bell.

Except, you know, it wouldn’t go from park to reverse, or park to drive, or park to neutral or park to anything.

I’m not going to lie, it’s happened before. Once or twice or 20 times, but each time I just said a prayer and wiggled things and banged others and BAM it would shift.

This time, not so much.  (I can only assume it finally decided to take out its anger at me for not ever getting oil changes).

Anyway, so before I started crying or whatever, I called some church people over to help, but nobody seemed to be able to make the stupid thing shift out of park. So, then one of my church friends started reading through the owner’s manual and he figured out some way to override the shifting thingy but sticking a screw driver into a random hole next to the park thingy.

We didn’t have a screw driver though, so we settled on testing out various nails, and then viola! a thick silver one did the trick.

And then, you know, two seconds later the stupid handle on the shifting thingy popped off and my car was all, NO!! SERIOUSLY!!! I AM MAD AND I’M NOT GOING TO WORK!! LOSER!!!

I cried a ton on the inside and a little on the outside. We all gathered together though and calmed Penelope down by slipping the handle back on just so. And sure, it randomly turns around while I go down the street, but the point is that I CAN go down the street. (For now).

And I know for a true fact that this whole time you are shouting at the computer, “CRYSTAL, IT IS TIME TO BUY A NEW CAR!! AND ISN’T YOUR MIRROR FALLING OFF?? SERIOUSLY. GO. NOW. BUY. NEW. CAR!!”

But for serious, I don’t have any money. See, I live in my own place and whatnot and I have student loans that I like to pay most months and well, you know, food is important and so all that doesn’t leave any money left over. Plus, my credit score is lower than well, everyone’s, so there’s that.

So for now, I’m just going to start my car while simultaneously sticking a random nail in a random slot and pray that it doesn’t break down on the highway or while I make a left turn onto Rt. 59. Sounds like a solid plan if I ever heard one. Right Penelope. Penelope? You there? Hello? Crap.

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