Going for walks in the morning is like stepping into a fairytale as some sick, old creature. The woods are glittery and towering, decorated with a million invisible strands of web, still drenched by the rainstorm from several days ago. Naturally I listen to music while I walk, and this just adds to the beauty and romance of the trail.
I didn’t appreciate Robert Frost’s poetry until I moved to Warm Beach Camp, but walking through the woods every day from my apartment to the bakeshop, I got to know nature in a much more personal way than I ever had before… Continue reading “The Wild Quiet”
If I could create a drawing that described this year, it would probably be a comic strip. The whole thing would be a roller coaster ride.
After sitting here thinking for a while, I realize that describing the pictures I would draw is probably less effective than just describing the year itself.
January: This was a month of great elation. I had just completed the School of Biblical Studies, which is a marathon of studying for 9 months. I had puffy, bluish skin under my eyes and a great big smile on my face.
February: I went home for 6 weeks to “raise support.” I put it in quotes because that is not as concrete an activity as some might make it out to be. Basically I hung out with my friends, made new friends, and spoke to a few groups of people about the work I feel called to do as a Missionary…. Continue reading “Holler”
My work as Camp Pastor is now over. It was a lot harder and a lot more rewarding than I expected. In fact, I don’t think I realized I was expecting anything until it all unfolded.
Here’s what I learned about Jr. Highers:
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Their faces do not express what is in their hearts unless you are relentless and then they will cry. Their skill with waiting out the awkward silence almost matches my own. Let’s be honest, a few times, they won the silence. They are both adult and child, mixed together in a way that makes it difficult to navigate things like kindness and discipline. I think it’s mixed up for them, too… Continue reading “Coming of Age”
This week at Jr. High camp, the theme is Finding Your Place in God’s Epic Story. Even though I worked at this camp for 8 years, this is my first time really being involved with the kids. For all of those years I worked in the kitchen or the bookstore. Now I am Camp Pastor. I give it capital letters because the thought has freaked me out a few times.
No more at any point than it did last night in the middle of chapel. It’s one thing to realize you have a gift for a particular thing and it’s another to begin the journey of using that gift. As you may know, there are a lot of things to learn and these lessons are often learned in the middle of making mistakes…. Continue reading “Jr. Highers vs. The Awkward Silence”
Tonight I wrapped up a very mini series with the program staff here at Warm Beach Camp on Intimacy With God. What God gave me to give to them was pretty basic, on one hand, but also felt hard to execute. The two main things that I felt I was supposed to talk about were the spiritual principles of intimacy with God from Psalm 63:1-8 told through the lens of my own story with God.
The four spiritual realities that I found in those verses were these:
Continue reading “Satellite Heart”
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!”… Continue reading “Good Time Gal”
Just one more day left in the great state of Washington.
I could let my current state of broken exhaustion speak to whether the time here has been “successful,” but I’m not sure that it should. We’re big fans of simple summaries. “How was your trip?” “It was good, thanks for asking,” or “Oh man, it was bad, glad that’s over.”
It’s unkind to get mad at people for asking this very generic question as they pass you in the hallway but I have never found simple summaries easy. I need to talk to several people who are willing to listen to me ramble for a while as I figure out what just happened before I can feel comfortable with this one or two sentence response.
I had a good day of realization on Sunday. I had just spent several days doing nothing because of some intense neck pain and I had a “support raising lunch” to be a part of after church. During church the pastor talked about our false selves and how the goal is to lay those down, let God work on us and learn from him about our true selves. I hear that message with my life. I have always felt this sureness that no matter what the social standard is, I will likely not measure up, so the best thing I can do is combat my need for approval with total honesty and an appropriate level of vulnerability. It’s a bit like shock therapy for my false self and it keeps me trusting in God’s love and goodness… Continue reading “The Chaos Theory”
I’m grateful to realize that the story I’m about to share has already been shared with several friends in person. Living in Colorado and being so busy has made that a near impossibility for the last year. I forgot what it was like to get to share a story so many times out loud that it gains something vital in each telling.
To begin, please imagine you hear swelling, dramatic music…
I’ll start with age 17 when I felt called to be a missionary. I thought that meant I should go to Bible college and although I didn’t actually need to go to college, God used that year at Moody Bible Institute to work a lot into my life. After failing horribly in my classes and feeling horrible for a good, long year, God led me to an organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I did a DTS (Discipleship Training School) for 6 months in 2003 and had a real experience in missions. During that time I came to the realization that what I really needed was a real home and community in the USA from which to be sent.
I had no idea how to find a home, let alone how to become a meaningful part of community…. Continue reading “To Build a Home”
One of my dearest friends ever got married on Saturday. Jessica
Beach Wilson. (she gotta married!)
The couple was stunning. He in pale pink, she in pale yellow- both tall and beautiful people. I was blessed to be able to fly back for the weekend to be there for the party.
What I find hard about parties is that I feel compelled to really connect with everyone I love. I am much better with one on one time than at parties. When there are a lot of people I have a hard time deciding who I should actually connect with since often there is not enough time to do this with everyone in a way that, at the end of the night, I feel like I did it well.
Invariably I end the time (which feels like it has gone in fast forward) thinking (in slow motion) over each interaction and how I could have done my part better. Walking home from my friends house Saturday night I was feeling guilty about several things- ways I “failed” that day and then I sort of pulled out of myself and thought “That is really unnecessary and unkind for you to do this to yourself”.
Is it just me?…. Continue reading “Where everyone would love to drown”
Writing a note to someone who asked how I was doing, I realized I’m sitting in front of a large group of threes.
3 shifts left at Starbucks (Saturday is my last day working there)
3 years is how long I have worked at Starbucks
3 weeks until I leave for Colorado (I’m shooting for September 10th)
3 months of being a student in a YWAM school (called The School of Missions Communication)
33 is my age
3:30 is when I have to be at work today
$3,000 is how much money I will need for the 3 months of school
I like this kind of list because it makes me feel like stuff is important and meaningful in a way that is bigger than me.
Does that even make sense?
What are the 3’s happening in your life?
I had a talk yesterday with Jessica about The Unknown.
Somehow the unknown used to seem less scary. Maybe I was naively optimistic about the possible outcomes. Now I am not quite a cynic, but I am more wary. Also I have learned how awesome it can be to be known and know others… to get good and comfortable in the familiar.
When I think about moving to Colorado sometimes I feel afraid. It’s very unknown and I will be leaving some pretty incredible people who have become so dear to me…. Continue reading “Running headlong”