What it Takes

Last week I had my first meeting with a Life Coach. You know what that’s all about, right? Of course.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but it’s pretty awesome. Digging deep into the root of problems is one of my favorite things to do. No, really. I mean it. I also like to eat ice cream and lay near the ocean and listen to the surf come in and out. I won’t say they’re all equal, but since I’m not eating sugar and the beach is several hundred miles away, I’ll settle for poking at inward hurty places.

Here’s why; God shows up. He just barges right into these situations and speaks the truth…. Continue reading “What it Takes”

Taking a Dive

An unexpected opportunity has come up since returning to Colorado. Although I had prayed several times for the upcoming Crossroads Discipleship Training School (CDTS), I had only thought a little about staffing the school. I’m not sure why, but in my mind it was far fetched. I did not know well the people who would be leading the school and I have never before staffed any school…. so I mostly just yearned to somehow be a part of what God would do, but didn’t really pursue a connection.

Then last week as I sat resting my ankle, one of the school leaders called me up out of the blue and asked if she could come and chat with me. When she had settled herself on the end of my bed, she asked me if I would want to join their team. In prayer she had been feeling like their team was not complete and when she asked for others to pray, my name came up “at the top of the list” (I put that in quotes because I don’t know if there was a literal list being written with numbered names or if it was just that more than one person who thought of me).

I told her I would pray about it and get back to them in a few days (but not too many days since they had already begun staff development).
Sometimes it is hard to hear God on something when I feel strong ambivalence…. Continue reading “Taking a Dive”

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… Continue reading “This I Know”

To Build a Home

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”

Into all the World

Many missionaries have specific countries or people groups “on their heart.”  God uses all kinds of things to inspire dedication and love in the hearts of his people for his people.

I felt called to be a missionary when I was 17. That was almost twenty years ago. When I speak in those terms, it seems amazing that it took me until just recently to realize where in the world my heart longed to serve.

Here’s where… the whole world…. Continue reading “Into all the World”

Birds Have Nests

The simple definition of sojourner is “a temporary resident”. To me the word conjures up so much more.

As we were reading Exodus, I was moved by the command in 23:9 which says “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”  God is talking to people of Israel who had spent the last 400 years as slaves in Egypt. They were clearly not treated like honored guests there, but driven hard. They were oppressed, to be sure.

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Anytime, too that either Exodus or Leviticus talks about a Sabbath rest of any kind, it mentions the sojourner or the “alien” among them… Make sure they also get to rest. Any guest should be treated like family. Conversely in Leviticus 25 it talks about what you should do when your own brother is too poor to own his home or even “maintain himself” (vs. 35), you are to treat him like a sojourner- you won’t make him work for you like a slave, but treat him as an honored guest.

There is God, being funny again. Treat strangers like brothers and brothers like strangers. It actually makes so much sense, right?.. Continue reading “Birds Have Nests”

Thus Sayeth

God speaks. This particular truth is one I have known for a long time. I experienced God speaking when I first started following Him at the age of 16. He spoke to me on my front porch while I was smoking a cigarrette. Since then, I have believed He would speak in many important (and “unimportant”) situations.

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The reason that I want to study this truth (this last week I did this specifically while studying Genesis) is not because it is new, but because I am learning this in a deeper way the last year. Several years ago I went through what seemed like a very “silent” time on God’s part. This lasted about 4 years. I’m sure He was not entirely silent, but hearing from Him, be it direction, comfort, correction or discernment, was VERY difficult. Looking back I know the reason, but still it was a confusing and painful experience.

For the last year and a half I have heard A LOT from God. He seems to be speaking all of the time. So when I came to reading Genesis and then deciding on a theme, I immediately thought of “God speaks”. Maybe as a way of girding myself up for any time in the future when I may struggle again with this reality. I find His communication so precious that I don’t ever want to lose it again.

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At the same time, as it is seen in Genesis, God speaks when He chooses. He says what He chooses and to whom He chooses. This is also super important to remember and hang on to. He is not a vending machine for direction or comfort. He is a friend, a master and all those other things that involve relationship….

 

Continue reading “Thus Sayeth”

Tale of the Lost Purse

I am about to share a very interesting recent experience. There may be a few things that I will say, without explanation, that sound new or odd… I heartily encourage you to bring it up to me. I feel like the story is important to share but I realize it will not sound like normal reality to everyone. I am comfortable with your skepticism and happy for your conversation.

K. Disclaimer out of the way. Here is my story. It’s long, but worth the time. I promise.

In April I got a note from Washington state telling me my tabs were about to expire (little stickers on your license plate that says you’ve paid car tax for the year). I took care of it online, they came in the mail and I put them in my purse.

Then? My purse disappeared. I mean gone. It’s a little convoluted, but basically, I knew it wasn’t stolen or lost outside of my room because I have two bags I use… this purse and my school bag. When I switch bags, I throw my wallet and keys from the bag I was using into the bag I’m going to use. Without fail I do this. I don’t forget. The problem with my disappearing purse was that I had my wallet and keys. Which means that I had brought it back to my room and done the switch… so the purse had to be in my room. Are you following? It was so unlikely that it could have been anywhere but my room and I. Looked. Everywhere.

My purse was nowhere.

Can I tell you what I really, honestly thought? “God is hiding my purse from me.” I’m not kidding. As sure as I was that He was hiding it from me, I was also sure He had a reason. I could not fathom the reason, but I knew it had to do with me not driving my car because come May 1st, my tabs would expire…. Continue reading “Tale of the Lost Purse”

Relentless Mercies

Today was so incredible and I’m not sure if I can put it into words that will do it justice.

For a start, last night was not good. Bad zombie nightmare and then no sleeping… bad dreams  for my roommate as well and for the kid who lives next door to us (my roommate heard him screaming after she woke up from her nightmare).

But when I woke up very early to work out, I was full of excitement. I refused to let a bad night influence such a day as today.

Just in the introductions this morning I felt an almost overwhelming gratitude rising up in me. I admit I got choked up several times.
Then during worship (which involves the whole base) they all prayed for us students and our staff. I had four different people pray for me things that God has been speaking to me in the last few weeks- using specific words He had used to me. I just stood with my head bowed, nodding and crying because again, God is so good and faithful and generous. He speaks and all of His plans are good…. Continue reading “Relentless Mercies”

Life: Take Two

Sometimes life moves so fast that I feel like I am walking in slow motion. And so it is right now.

Coming to Colorado in January was, what felt like, a huge risk. I even gave myself an “out”… while I felt like God was saying “just try it!” I was saying “Fine! But don’t expect me to like it there”. Which is ridiculous in the extreme. Now that I’ve been back here for around 7 weeks I see how silly and unimaginative my perspective was. Granted, I was struggling with depression and getting to spend time with some of the dearest, best people on the planet.

It is hard to see daylight when you’re huddled up in the dark with good friends. My friends, how I love you.

And what of Colorado? In some ways it’s not so different here at the YWAM base than it was at the camp in Washington. Reach out in any direction and there sits a friend. Look around even just briefly and see ways to help, love and serve.

Now I am again on the verge of something that feels like a huge risk. After praying with and being challenged by a friend the other day, I started moving ahead with one possibility here. The School of Biblical Studies. I’m not sure if I can follow the path of this idea, or if it would even be interesting to read. Mainly I have wanted to do the school for a long time but always felt like I would not be capable of the work required. It’s pretty intense. 9 months of studying the Bible in depth and in entirety…. Continue reading “Life: Take Two”

Connecting the Dots

Work has been added to my plate. I met with a lovely lady named Deb on Wednesday and we talked about the YWAM Communication website. The goal of the site is to equip and connect communicators.
Last Fall when I did the School of Mission Communication with YWAM here in Colorado Springs, I was part of a group project to improve the look and workings of this website. It was a lot of work and although it was hard, I felt like I wanted to continue to work on it after the school finished since we were not able to make all of the improvements that were needed….. Continue reading “Connecting the Dots”

Lunch for Thought

I’ve been in Colorado Springs for a week now! It has been a good week. A tiring week.

After spending a few nights recovering from the stomach flu, I started one of my new jobs on Monday as the lunch cook. Last week and this coming week I am partially assisting and partially in charge as I learn how it’s done.
The fun and slightly nerve wracking part of this job is that there are two culinary arts schools happening here right now, so I share “my” kitchen with  a ton of chefs and student chefs. When I expressed that this was a bit intimidating to me, one of the teachers told me I should look  on the very bright side- if I ever get stuck there are a lot of people who know what they’re doing and I can ask them for advice and help….. Continue reading “Lunch for Thought”

Words, Light and the Need for Sleep

Word and light.

Jesus has been called both.

I cannot speak life giving words or hold out sight giving light without being closely connected – INTIMATE – with the one who is The Word and the Light of the world.

(Just last night I was talking to God about intimacy with Him. I asked Him how I might have this since it is a real and ongoing need but it is also so often elusive.)

This morning I woke up after the usual disturbing dreams and felt okay. The room was clean and a new day was ahead but also my head was foggy and I felt really tired. Shower, coffee, breakfast and then down to the big room for worship with the whole base.
This time of worship was a bit too intense for me…. Continue reading “Words, Light and the Need for Sleep”

Telling the story

Telling the story. That is the point of this school I am doing. How do I tell the story? Also? What story do I tell? I often tell  the stories of my friends through photography or I tell stories with words about things that happen in my life. In class today we heard about William Wilberforce who worked most of his adult life to end the slave trade. He used many media tools to to help abolish this powerful and awful industry…. Continue reading “Telling the story”

Threesday

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?