Showing posts from September, 2011

Along For The Ride

I had zero classes today, so I spent the day in the 3rd and 4th classroom. We have "show and tell" every Friday, and every week I find myself laughing to tears. The things they bring to show and tell about are real things, things they are passionate about. Her aluminum that really looks like a seagull diving in for a turtle. His awesome headless man, beheaded by his dog, that stretches across the room. His sweet hot wheels trucks. Her beautiful pink purse with shiny sequins. I admire how passionate they are about the things they love. I long to be that crazy about the little things in my own life. But you can't sense the awesomeness of passion without sometimes sensing the pain of grief. In William P. Young's book The Shack, Mack, the main character has just lost his daughter and is meeting with God:

"I'm afraid of emotions," Mack admitted, a bit perturbed that she [God] seemed to make light of it. "I don't like how they feel. I've hurt othe…


I've started working at the City Church as one of the youth group leaders for the IMPACT youth group. I was nervous about the position at first. I'm always questioning my ability to be a spiritual leader, I'm such a doubter and questioner at times, no sturdy foundation here for youth to depend on. But, God leads in crazy, crazy ways and I've loved getting to know the kids that come to our events. Tim and Jasmine are a couple that come to almost every event. It's amazing how quickly and easily we've bonded. Tonight, I was late to youth group due to my 6 pm class, just in time for worship. Austin had just opened with a few songs and they were reading about the fruits of the spirit. Tim seemed tuned in tonight. "How do you know when you have the spirit?" What a question. I was asking the same question just a month ago. In times of deep loneliness, it's those times when I question. But after questioning I feel much more set in my foundation. I'm g…


"The place where God calls you is the place where your deepest gladness meets the world's deepest hunger." - Frederick Buechner

Last summer I was struggling to put together a plan for life, more like a quick outline, to finish college with some sort of degree. I prayed, reflected, journaled, and prayed more. Finally, one week, at Priest lake (with some of my closest girlfriends on our annual summer trip) I really sought out God in solitude on the shores of the beach. Priest lake is the most beautiful place I know, especially at sunrise and sunset. One night I had a dream that revealed the mystery of my future. I knew God was calling me to teach after I woke up. Sounds CRAZY, I know, because it was crazy! But looking back now, I know it was real!

I love my job as a teacher's aid, working with kids as a tutor, reading my books about effective education, loving it all! I'm excited that school is starting, I'm ready to read my books, do my projects, teach classes…

Happy Sabbath!

This morning I took my Bible carefully off the shelf in my living room, so to not rip the cover off from its current glue job or let any of the loose paper slip out the bottom. Ah, my hands felt so much power when I opened the book. It's been far too long since I've read in a rampant search for something. So much knowledge, more useful than any textbook, packed in between a thin cover. Lately, I've questioned the power of God, the miracles of Jesus, and presence of the Spirit. But this morning when I was reading John 21 in preparation for Sabbath School I read this:

"Jesus did so much in his life on this earth. If everything were written in books, I don't suppose there would be room enough in the whole world for all those books." -verse 25

I don't believe there could be a whole world full of books. Did John know how big this crazy world really is? So, I asked my Sabbath School class and someone suggested that we have a full world of believers and that is …


When I lived in India my clothes stayed packed in a giant black suitcase next to my bed for eight months. There was just nothing to unpack all that stuff into.

 When I got home it took me weeks to work up the guts to unpack it all. Packing and unpacking are some of the most overwhelming activities for me. Sometimes I'd like to leave the suitcase packed, just incase I need to get up and go. But, if I did that, I'd probably never be able to whip up a decent outfit, and I'm not in India anymore, so decent outfits are necessary.

Some Real Truth

We are satisfied by our decent little life. We are pleased with our good habits; we take them for virtues. We are pleased with our little efforts; we take them for progress. We are proud of our activities; they make us think we are giving ourselves. We are impressed by our influence; we imagine that it will transform lives. We are proud of what we give, though it hides what we withhold. We may even be mistaking a set of coinciding egoisms for real friendship. – Michel Quoist
Someone asked me what I believe about anything, and because it was so on the spot, I froze. I wish I knew better what it is I truly believe. But this is truth, I know ...
The walk down the corridor of time has made us bigger and everything else smaller, less impressive. God is being edged out of this world by science. We have become jaded, incapable of wonder and awe. This lessening of impressionability may be a sign of maturity, a necessary and healthy consequence of progress. But I tend to think it betrays a loss …

A Story of Luck and Unluck

I woke up early yesterday morning in the "eagle's nest." When I opened my eyes, I blinked a few times to make sure it was all real. I was looking over the trees at the majestic, purple mountains, set on top a lake of glass, all painted on a pale bluish, pinkish, purplish canvas. GLORIOUS. I rolled over quietly to not disturb, but noticed only one other sleeper in the nest, so I hopped up to find the other one. Shivering on the deck when I came down, she came in and we sat on the couch in front of the huge window. How lucky are we? Pretty dang lucky... Best place in the world, with warm weather, good friends, active bodies, food to satisfy. Dang! Lucky. Lucky. Lucky. Lucky, because there's nothing we have done to deserve such a thing. Lucky, because so few people in this world will ever experience this moment. "My grandma would correct me," she told me. "It's a blessing, not luckiness." I want to believe it was a blessed moment. It sounds more …

Growing pains

When I was a kid, I slept in my parents room on the floor regularly, more often than I'd like to admit. I remember the growing pains that stemmed at night. Sometimes the pain would make me cry and my mom would assure me that one day I would grow tall and beautiful and the growing pains wouldn't haunt me anymore. I remember when I started playing competitive sports in jr. high and after long hours of practice on the soccer field my legs felt like spaghetti. Such pain, was it really necessary? But after the muscle tissue tore, it was a matter of days before they grew stronger and could endure much more. This equation doesn't seem to balance itself really: pain/suffering=growth/strength. I think sometimes we need to seek out the encouragement we need until our bodies have repaired themselves, and I've heard the older one gets the longer the healing time takes. So, then, we must also learn patience.

Edge of the road

8 kilometers, that's probably not too far. 1 kilometer is less than a mile, right? So naively, I set out in the early morning on an 8 kilometer walk into town. As I walked, people recognized my light skin and hair and smiled or waved.
"Bakenang," I would point in the direction of the small village.
"Um, de."
And I would keep walking down the dusty road, now with a light skip in my step. Oh, man. I remember the excitement, just telling the story makes me excited again. As I walked, I remembered it being a distant walk, but after spending the last year at home in the states I had forgotten just how little time seemed to matter here and this walk now seemed much longer than before. So, I slowed my pace to what it might have been when I lived here, and I greeted everyone I saw, because what was the hurry? The small road was busy with business men, hauling their bamboo carts toward the market, and women with their grass baskets on their backs ready…