Let Down Your Nets

This weekend I was really wrestling with the feeling that I am not up for the job I’m doing. I had all kinds of questions about how much stress is healthy and leads to growth and how much is unhealthy and leads to deterioration. It’s not as straight forward as setting boundaries for when I work and when I rest because sometimes when it’s time for me to study my brain won’t engage… and sometimes when I feel like I need rest I do actually have to be at that meeting.

Often people will say that if God calls you to do something he will give you the strength to accomplish the job. Thinking along these lines, if I look back at the last school I staffed, I see that it took a while to get the swing of things and until I

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“got it,” I was really wrestling – similarly to how I am wrestling right now.
On one hand it gives me hope that there will be a tipping point when it stops feeling like there’s an ogre sitting on my chest. On the other hand because there is a lot more work with this school, it feels like maybe it’s just more than I would ever be able to handle…

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If I Find My Way

Lately I’ve been finding (and needing) such deep encouragement from friends. A few days ago I posted about an email from one friend and last night I had a really life giving conversation with another friend who was willing to just dive right into my inner mess.

Sometimes I hesitate to post about messy stuff because I don’t want to give the impression that I’m not doing well. One thing my good friend reminded me of on the phone last night was that I am usually more honest than is socially normal. So why would I avoid talking about feeling down?
Partly I’ve been avoiding it because I haven’t had time to understand it and find words that fit. It’s only those who especially love me who are able to sit through the words that don’t fit while I find the ones that do.

This morning I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller, The Wounded Spirit. He uses several verses from the book of Proverbs to talk about the many varied reasons why a person might feel crushed in spirit and what might be done about it.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” This well describes what has been going on recently, but there is also much more…

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Good Time Gal

Every time I come home to Western Washington I have a few fears that tangle up in my hair and gently squeeze my heart muscle.

* I will miss something/someone.

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* I will run into an old version of myself and forget who I have become (am becoming).
* I won’t be able to leave when it’s time to go back to Colorado.
* I will get sick (it has happened the last 3 times). It is, after all, the land of mold.

Just before coming home this time, I asked the staff at the YWAM base in Co Springs prayed for me. Also, I was just honest with God about my fears and hopes and I laid all of those down and said, “Do what You want! You are good!”…

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Withalittlehelp

Sometimes a bad evening happens and all you need is a person (or two) to hear you and sympathize. Nothing major, just friends who care.

Even friends like your own mom. (Thanks, mom!)

It’s a bit like shushing a frightened, crying toddler. Only a scrape… kiss the wet cheek, snuggle a moment.

Except today I was the toddler.

It was nothing. Really. Some crazy people, driving dangerously and flipping me off for not also driving dangerously (you know that strip between Co Springs and Denver where it’s narrow and curvy and everyone drives like maniacs!?). Then some technology issues, then running around and retracing steps because I did things wrong (without knowing the rules) to start….

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Coming Clean

I just reread the post I just posted and thought it might be fair enough to talk about this whole “being vulnerable with people” thing. It’s pretty significant for me lately.

For most of my adult life it hasn’t been too difficult to be real. I squirm when I hear people spouting trite phrases that I don’t believe they believe, so I want to help them by looking for the real words. Some places struggle with these. You know the ones? If you’ve spent time in church or in bars you know what I mean. Why would I put these two locations together in a sentence? Because I believe that these are two places where people are especially tempted to be fake. So while I haven’t been to many bars, I have been to church a lot and it’s there that I have honed the skill of choosing to be who I am in front of other people….

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This I Know

For the last few weeks I’ve been realizing my need for better time management. I read some list of Signs of Burnout and identified with most of them. Of course I read this only a few days before I planned to come back to Colorado and work. So I asked God what I should do and I felt strongly that a long sabbatical was not the solution- instead I need to learn how to manage my daily time in a way that allows me enough rest to keep going.

Then, less than a week after returning to YWAM I sprained my ankle.

The funny(?) thing is that the morning before I found myself crumpled in the parking lot with fire in my foot I was thinking pretty hard about how I could serve the people on my team. I didn’t consciously think, “I need to prove I’m worth having,” but looking back I realize that I felt this deep down. So I invited one friend over to take a walk with me and I would make her lunch. Honestly I wanted to spend some time catching up with her. Our walk lasted mere minutes and then for the next two days she was helping me all over the place; ice for my ankle, rides to a meeting and to the doctor, crutches to get around on, delivering movies for me to watch while I sat in my bed.

Okay, okay, I get it, I’m resting…

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The Generosity of Ravens

In class we’re watching this video by Eric Foley about “transformational giving” vs. “transactional giving”.

I don’t know that I want to talk a lot about the video right now but I was really struck by a particular story the speaker highlighted.

So here is the story he highlights… it’s in 1 Kings 17:7-24.

God takes care of Elijah in the strangest ways. Just before the story I’m focusing on here, God provides food for Elijah with some Ravens! (This happens again with an angel  in chapter 19 when Elijah gets depressed.)
Then God sends him to this “donor”… this person who will take care of his need for food (since there is a drought in the area).

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The donor? A widow. A woman with a son and no husband. When Elijah asks her for a piece of bread she says that not only does she not have any bread, she is about to go home and make one last meal for her and her son with the very last of their food- and then they will die because it is the last of what they have in all the world to eat….

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Treading on the Heights

On Sunday I headed out with my good

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friend for a short back country camping trip. We left in the afternoon and headed up Highway 20 toward the North Cascade Mountains.  The weather was incredible!
It took us about 4 hours to get up to Harts Pass and since the hike we wanted to hike would take possibly another 4 hours, we decided to camp there for the night at The Meadows campground.
The colors all along the way were amazing and constantly changing. On the East side of the mountains near Winthrop, the colors are a palate of sage green and lavender… creamy yellow and a muted orange/brown.

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At Harts Pass there are a lot of burned trees- white and black toothpicks which were maybe used to poke all those bright holes in the night sky. Also, GREEN, really green with dots of purple, bright yellow and white flowers.

We were visited in the night by some large beasty thing. We did not see it, but heard its heavy footfalls in the gravel around our tents. I’ll be honest- I was scared. I think it was only a large dear or elk but in the dark I have a vivid imagination and to my ears it sounded more like some alien creature looking for freckles on which to feast.
Nevertheless we awoke uneaten early the next morning. After breakfast and reconfiguring our packs, we headed up again…  further up and further in….

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Tale of a Tire

Here we are in Idaho after a long adventure.

My sister Jill has a big ol’ RV which we rocked out in, flying down the sunny highway between Seattle and Spokane – 80’s style. Jill’s music mix featured AC/DC, Billy Squire, Rush, Fleetwood Mac and much more music from our childhoods. While the kids entertained themselves with technology and games, we sung along loud and tuneless and felt the bonds of always knowing each other blasting at us through the speakers of Jill’s ’92 Flair.

Those hours were good… those hours of rolling down the road in a rocking living room – but our carefree moments were interrupted by a sudden THUMP…. BUMP….

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Talking to Strangers

I have been hearing a lot lately about “The Woman at the Well”.

This is a story about Jesus and a Samaritan woman found in John chapter 4. The messages that I’ve heard recently point out various interesting points and thoughts about what is said in the story but I realize as I read it myself that I am not a great scholar. I read my notes and am moved but then cannot remember how it is connected with the words in the story. So as much as I want to  share with you the profound things I heard, I think the only thing I can share with you is what I read for myself in this story….

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