Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lessons From My Dog

Every morning I wake up to the buzz and alarm of my cell phone clear across the room. I get up to turn off my first alarm, grab my phone and plop back on my bed until alarms 2 and 3 force me to face the reality the I must get up.

I am not a morning person.

I never feel well in the mornings. It's as if all the pollen in my apartment has made its way over to my bed and nested in my pillow. If life followed my wishes, we would not start the day until at least 9:00am...for some reason the world does not agree.

Being the anti-morning person that I am, I usually am not all that enthused about jump starting my day.

Ollie and I are a lot alike. It's funny really, but one way we are very different is in our welcoming of a new day.

Every morning as I attempt to drag out the wake up time to just-a-few-more-minutes, I lay as still as possible in my attempts to trick Ollie into thinking that it's not really time to get up...but the alarm dooms me once again and Ollie knows it, and nudges his nose under my hand as I attempt to peal my face off my pillow.

When I finally bring myself to get out of bed, I sit up to a smiling fur ball. Every morning without a hitch, he comes to me with his tail wagging and ready for his morning belly rub. He is so excited that he can hardly stand it. He runs up on my bed and back down again only to return for a snuggle.

Every morning I am remind that each and every day is a gift worth celebrating. Each and every day I have the opportunity to praise God and welcome in the morning with joy and anticipation of what's to come.

Thank you Ollie.


So these past couple of weeks the idea of relational ministry has been sinking it's way deeper into my heart. I wasn't really sure what has been giving me this uneasy feeling, but I think this is part of it. Let me explain. I am soon to approach my two year mark of the grand move to Texas. With this mini-versery making it's way closer I have been thinking through how this year has been different than the past, and what this next year holds (don't worry Texan friends, I'm not going anywhere). Somewhere along this journey I decided that I would let myself "be okay" with being here. Somewhere or at some time, I decided that "being okay" was better than not being okay and I allowed a couple of roots to start to grow. As a result, relationships have developed (don't worry Indiana friends, I'm not talking about a mystery man). By allowing myself to be okay, I allowed some people to "see" me. I let some people hear my story and understand this crazy, quirky, "yankee" (never call me "yankee"...but seriously, don't) and through it I realized that I long for more. See, I think really, we all long for more. We long for deeper, more intimate relationships. We long for conversations that never end. We long for mentorships. Okay, stop generalizing it... I long for deeper, more intimate relationships. I long for conversations that never end. I long for a mentor. In this past month or so, I've caught glimmers of it. I've found myself surrounded by like-minded people and it takes all my will power not to latch on for dear life and beg it to never end. That's what relational ministry looks like. It's outreach, yes, but it's also in-reach. It's right here. It's each of us, every day, intentionally allowing ourselves to get caught up in each others lives and to allow conversations to "go there." So now what? Now where do we go from here? We let the glimmers turn into embers that become an ever constant warmth in our hearts, so that it's no longer fleeting, but is surrounding. I can't wait for that day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bigger than "just'

I think I'm in a funk. Not the kind where a cup of coffee or more sleep (or chocolate) can snap me out of it. I think it's deeper. I feel restless and alone and it's lasted way too long. I can't seem to focus, and it's not the distraction of my normal ping pong brain, but a deeper discontented unfocus. I can't seem to think through what is eating at me. I can't seem to sit and pray or read. I want to, but I just feel stuck.  I have felt the need to sit down and make goals, but nothing comes. I thought maybe it was a lack of "resolutions" for 2013, but nah it's not that. I know what I want to reflect, I know how I want to be, but I'm just not. I want to pursue passions. I want to do art. to write. to play. I want to be strong and confident. I want to be intense. It's there. I can feel it. I want to say whatever is on my mind. I want to reflect Christ's love. I want to be a part of the Story. It's like something big is supposed to happen. I feel like this can't be it, but what is it then? Something bigger. Something that rocks my world, that flips it. Something totally exciting yet terrifying at the same time. I feel it in my core or in my soul. Do you feel it?

Does anyone else feel like this? Does anyone else feel like this can't be it? Every time I bring it up I get these crazy looks or people shift in their chairs completely and utterly uncomfortable with the questions and discontent I bring. Or better yet I get "reassured" that I am "doing" enough. No way. I'm not talking about doing works to earn God's love. No. I am talking about God doing something huge. I am talking about a group of people coming together willing and ready for God to rock our worlds. I am talking about not settling for convenient Christianity, not settling for "just."

Just love those you come in contact with.
Just say a little prayer.
Just do the best you can.


It's bigger than "just"...God deserves more than "just"...God is bigger than "just"...

I have no idea where this is going, but I have a feeling that this funk isn't going anywhere for a while.

Monday, October 1, 2012

28 before I'm 28 - Update 2

I am now 24.5. 3.5 years to go. 
I wanted to update you guys on my list!  

Green is done, blue is in progress, and black is not yet.

1. Learn to throw on the potter's wheel. - my pottery is not the best, but I do throw on a semi-consitent basis. 

2. Have an apartment - make some of my own furniture...furnish it with antiques and quirky items. - done.

3. Finish writing my curriculum series for Children's Ministry. - This one is getting the cut...apparently what I wanted to write has already been written. Bummer dude. 

4. Play tennis on a consistent basis. - back to just being a goal. 

5. Continue to be a learner - read fiction and non-fiction, write, write, and continue writing, dialogue with others who stimulate new ideas and challenge me to grow and think about things in a new way. - I like this one.
6. Surround myself with friends to share life with, and be in a small group. - I'm still hoping for this.
7. Lead a children's ministry. Equip families, tell Bible stories, invest in the lives of children, and love everyone that I meet.
8. Maintain a healthy diet.
9. Buy an Ipad. - The children's ministry got kind of.
10. Hike, bike, kayak, and camp...not just talking about it, but doing it. Well I own stuff, now I just need to use it. 
11. Start on my Master's. - I talked with the Seminary, hopefully in the next year or two this will be blue! 
12. Make my parent's proud.
14. Go on a missions trip.
13. Get published- December! 
15. Find a mentor.
16. Go skiing or snowboarding.
17. Lead someone (hopefully multiple people) to Christ.
18. Learn to play my guitar (not just chords, but actual songs and be good enough to play in front of others).
19. Consistently go to a coffee shop and talk to the people there.
20. Own a dog. - the best dog in the whole world
21. Read through the entire Bible. - I'm not going in order...but I do want to at some point
22. Learn to sew from my mom.
23. Sponsor a child through World Vision. - Compassion won out.
24. Go to a ministry conference (ex. Orange or Simply Youth Ministry) - D6 2012! 
25. Own, and know how to operate, a nice camera.
26. Volunteer at a sea turtle hospital...for at least a day.
27. Own a collection of records...and a record player.
28. Walk in the footprints of Christ getting closer and closer to Him each and every day.

Number 3's replacement -  Network with ministry leaders.

Well, there you have it...I feel pretty good about getting most (hopefully) all of these done by the time I'm 28...there might be a few added and a few nixed as a result of growing and changing, but we go!