Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leadership Mentor

Today I was asked to be someone I adore's leadership mentor. Basically I will be discussing questions from his ministry leadership class with him as they are given out. I don't know what all it will entail, but I agreed to it without thinking. It was just one of those things that caught me off guard.

Sometimes it is a surprise to realize someone sees you as more brilliant or good or wise than you see yourself. At least, it is always a surprise to me.

I wish I could have been there in person for him to ask and not 850+ miles away. I wanted to hug him.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Heart's a Mess

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (1:29 pm CST):

  • Death Cab for Cutie's "The Photo Album" uh...album

  • A large Unsweetened ice tea from Mickie Dee's

  • Work at Basket Beginnings (Seriously, this place is adorable, and I get played to hang out in a cool place where I buy all my yarn and get to work on the stuff I'm making while I'm in the store) http://basketbeginning.com/default.aspx

  • Upbeat and lovely people that come into the shop

  • The "Bubbles" ring tone on my phone

  • Remembering Jay & I's nice talk on Friday night

  • Knowing I have dinner with Morgan, Adam and Brian to look forward to on Wednesday night

  • Realizing Sam is so ingrained in ABC and so outside of the regular world that he hadn't even heard about Hurricane Irene (which also means that ATL wasn't really hit like I was afraid it would be...*phew*)

My heart's a mess.

Right now I am sitting in Basket Beginnings thinking about how I should either be working on the baby blanket I am making for Olivia (my friend, Stephanie's little girl) or I should be working on my new epic to-do list, but neither is properly appealing to me. Not sure why.

Maybe I am just thinking too much. I don't know. Today at church, Michael's sermon was about staying connected to the true vine so that you are constantly plugged into the power of God. The Sunday School lesson that Rachel was working on with the kids was about making sure that you are listening for God's wisdom and plan not just thinking everything we think and say and do is always right or best.

You think maybe He's speaking to my heart? I think so.

I have been disconnected a lot lately. Part of it is feeling displaced, but a lot of it is my selfish want to wallow in my own frustration and stress and sadness.

Is my life that bad? No. And is this truly just selfish? Oh yes. I need to be finding ways to better connect and stay connected, not more ways to pull apart. I guess today is one of those days where I need to really take a look at this messy heart of mine and realize that maybe the Mountain Goats had it all right...maybe "a weekend in Provo won't fix what's wrong" with me.

I hope I am smart enough to let go of what is tearing me apart and instead start embracing the things that will truly heal me up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Night, Moon

I keep staring at my phone like something is going to change and happen. Go figure, eh?

This week has been interesting. The past few have been interesting.

Let's catch up:

  1. For Nikky & Yan's wedding, I learned how to tie bow ties. I am crazy proud of this for some reason. Maybe it's just because it's such a random skill, and I'm a fan of those. Whatever the reason, I'm thrilled to know this, and Yan's best man, Fred was adorable about it. He kept his tied through everything that night and told me that he was afraid to untie it because it looked so good and he knew he wouldn't be able to do it again.

  2. Today I got texting on my phone. David and I got a new plan that's just the two of us. I'm a little nervous about that. The plan is fairly basic. I won't go over in minutes because I rarely talk on the phone, but the texting makes me a little nervous. Anyone on Verizon is welcome and able to text me and send me as many pictures as they darn well please, buuuut if they don't have that...it's going to make it a problem. David's girlfriend doesn't have Verizon either, so I am going to try and let him have most of the regular text messaging rights. I have no one like that, so yeah...although, the boy I want has Verizon, so maybe this will work out alright.

  3. Sam kinda kills me.

  4. As a reminder, Jordan Durham is my musical soul mate. For serious (as Joel says).

  5. I am not returning to ABC until spring semester. That's tearing me up inside every other day. It's hard to explain exactly why to be honest. I know I need to finish up my degree at the college, but sometimes I wonder why God's saying "Wait." I'm trying to keep my eyes open because I'm clearly missing something.

  6. David saw me rereading Agnes & the Hitman for the 7th(?) time the other night, and I told him I always see the people I would cast for the various parts when I read it: Mark Wahlberg as Shane, Reese Witherspoon as Agnes, Matthew McConaughy as Taylor, etc. He asked why I don't just right the screenplay. I've been toying with the idea ever since. I just am totally unsure of how you would go about starting that, especially when it's someone else's book. May have to do some looking into that.

  7. My room still looks like the victim of a natural disaster and I'm struggling to motivate myself to change it. I know I need to finish unpacking and actually set up my life here, but it's really hard to do. I just feel overwhelmed, and it makes me want to throw everything but my books out and start over. In reality though, I don't think that would really cure anything. I think it would just be another way of avoiding the reality of this current situation, and I really just need to embrace this and find the joy.

  8. I received a letter in the mail this week from one of my family group girls from FUEL this year. Marisa sent me a beautiful letter and a bracelet she'd made and told me exactly what had stuck with her from all the things I said while we were at FUEL. The whole week I worried that I was saying too much and that the girls were just glazing over. I kept praying that God would give me all the words I needed to be saying to them. He came through for me as he always does. It was so cool to see how God touched one of my girls' hearts and see what kind of change it's making. God does amazing, amazing things.

  9. I've been reminded of how awesome my friends here at home are. Jay and Morgan especially. Jay is coming to the house for our first front porch talk since I've been home (how on earth we managed to go the whole summer without one still confuses me), and hopefully it will catch us both up on each others' lives a bit. We need that. And Morgan, sweet, hilarious Morgan. Morgan has been good at reminding me that we need to spend time together, and that dinner each week always brings me joy and helps me to walk away smiling about something. God blesses me so much.

  10. Books. Beloved, wonderful, glorious books. I've been staring at my shelves again, and I'm realizing that I really am finally breaking my book collection down to EXACTLY what I love best. Everything else is given away or returned to the original owner with lovely thank you notes or donated to the library. The collection may shrink, but now it's easier to see who I really am. I love the worn binding on many of my books and the scribbled notes and highlighted portions of each of them. Each is so loved.

This is but a tiny, tiny portion of my life right now, but it's still what's going on. You needed to know. I needed to say it. And now:

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (12:31 am CST):

  • "Bella's Lullaby" by Carter Burwell

  • "New Moon (The Meadow)" by Alexandre Desplat

  • "Jacob's Theme" by Howard Shore

  • My wonderful friend, Amy's adorable, brilliant new blog: http://lovesewbeautiful.blogspot.com/

  • Texting (I still miss the iPod, but this will do for now)

  • Knowing my bed is a few feet away and in a few more moments, I'll be asleep there

  • The much cooler weather

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Look! A Heart!

Look! A heart! Maybe you really can find love anywhere.

Alright, that was bizarrely cheesy, but really, I love that picture. I loved finding that little heart unexpectedly. It just reminds me to look for those little unexpected moments of joy and wonder.

In the meantime, I'm going to sit in my pj's contemplating a mile long to-do list and wonder what is going to happen next.

Tomorrow my brother David is moving back home. It's not permenant, but he, like me, needs a place to be. So we're home. Should make for an interesting couple of months.

With love,


Friday, August 19, 2011

And Hope Walks In...

This is where my summer started. I was in TN stopped at the prettiest rest stop in the world: Nickajack Dam. I took the time to walk around the rest area and I took this picture. It seemed incredibly symbolic for me.

I was staring up at the steps of my life. The steps that would take me into a new portion of life. A new bit.

Life is far from what I planned. First a summer at home that I didn't expect, and now a fall semester at home. No school, just work.

And yet, this is okay. I feel at peace. I'm homesick for my life at ABC, for the people their, for the churches I'm involved with, buuuut I'm already seeing where I could be of use here. I've got friends here at home that I didn't expect to be here. I have people to encourage. I have new joys to locate and new things to try.

Also, I was asked to be on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization called Children of Change. I thought I'd be thinking about this far into the next couple of weeks, but instead all it took was one really good conversation for me to decide. I agreed. Eventually, according to the plan, when things are off the ground and running, I'll step down from the board and be the office manager. Maybe that sounds backwards, but really, for me, that's perfect. I want to be the one helping keep us together and making sure everyone has what they need. I've been working on offices for the past...what...6 or more years? I'm getting better and better and keeping it all together, and I look forward to the day when I can actually run the office of this grade organization called Children of Change. Just wait, God will do great things here. We just have to stay focused on his lead.

God does amazing things in my life. No matter where He puts me.

I love this.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To Bury All This S P A C E That Keeps Two Hearts Apart

  1. Like a Star - Corinne Bailey Rae

  2. Run - Snow Patrol

  3. Hey Jealousy - The Gin Blossoms

  4. Hold Us Together - Matt Maher

  5. Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric

  6. Washed by the Water - Needtobreathe

  7. You Always Make Make Me Smile - Kyle Andrews

  8. Please Read the Letter - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

  9. Come on Get Higher - Matt Nathanson

  10. Best for Last - Adele

  11. Yet - Switchfoot

  12. Wait and See - Brandon Heath

  13. There Is - Box Car Racer

  14. Blue Eyes - Cary Brothers

  15. Sweet Medicine - Jason Castro

  16. You'll Ask for Me - Tyler Hilton

  17. I Miss You - Incubus

  18. Tonight and Forever - The Damnwells

  19. Heart's a Mess - Gotye

"With every single letter, in every single word/There will be a hidden message..."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Amazing Amy Cunningham

(The lovely Amy Cunningham attempting to eat one of the cream puffs from China Buffet even though Morgan had just made some pretty sketchy comments about their taste and condition. Forever the courageous one.)

The Traveling IL Summer Mix (Summer 2011):

  1. Blessings - Laura Story

  2. Wait and See - Brandon Heath

  3. Hands - The Almost

  4. Sing, Sing, Sing - Chris Tomlin

  5. This is Love - Aaron Winner

  6. Praise You in this Storm - Casting Crowns

  7. Alive Again - Matt Maher

  8. Washed by the Water - Needtobreathe

  9. Our Love is Loud - David Crowder Band

  10. Hello Hurricane - Switchfoot

  11. Hold Us Together - Matt Maher

  12. Love is Here - Tenth Avenue North

  13. Wait for the Morning - Aaron Winner

  14. God of this City - Chris Tomlin

  15. How Great - David Crowder Band

  16. YHWH Saves - Aaron Winner

  17. How He Loves - David Crowder Band

  18. Love Never Fails - Brandon Heath

This was the mix I made for Amy. I feel it was the soundtrack for our summer.

Tonight I went with Amy and my brother Joel to dinner at Taco Bell, a classy dinner to be sure, and it was a great pointless casual dinner. I enjoyed it a great deal and I think they both did as well. The thing about it though is that it was my last evening with Amy before she left. Sad days.

Amy and I really didn't know each other before this summer. We knew about each other and had met, but we weren't really friends. That all changed the night she decided to get in my car to go to Jay's and it would lead to a really hilarious road trip up to MN Camp and a lot of swapped stories about lives and loves and families and favorites.

You ever meet someone who you just feel at ease with? Someone who brings out the best in you? Amy is like that for me. She's one of those great people who sees the good in you and makes you better for it.

I'm glad I came home this summer. I think getting to know Amy was definitely one of the reasons God brought me home, and I am grateful for that.

Life is good. God is good. Thank goodness for hilarious summers and great friends like the amazing Amy Cunningham.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Last Thing Tonight

"But let me talk for one more minute. I have a vested interest in this thing because I'd like to see you be happy. What you need to ask yourself is this: Are you a better person when you're with him? Are you kinder or smarter or happier? Do you think you do more good in the world? ...One man can be perfectly fine, but maybe he doesn't bring out what's good in you, in which case I'd suggest you best not stay with him. But if you find a man who makes you better, or if your're better on your own, then you need to listen to that."
-Jeanne Ray, Step-Ball-Change

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The above pictures are all from the last 24-hours. Yesterday I drove here to lovely Ohio so that I could be here to help my best friend, Nikky with all the last minute preparation for her wedding. She's getting married Saturday, and today we had 500 roses show up at the house. Our morning and the early part of our afternoon was spent getting center pieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres made. Everything looks beautiful. We've realized it's nearly impossible to screw up roses, and for this I am grateful. It's lovely.

I guess I don't have much to say, but I loved all these great pictures. The first couple were from while I was driving, and the rest of them are of the roses and what we were doing with them. The two large boxes are what the roses came in. They showed up like that this morning. It was pretty intense.

This is going to be one incredibly beautiful wedding. I am glad I am here to be a part of this. It's glorious.