Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am....

About 16 months ago, I decided to stop running/ignoring/denying/making excuses for what I had felt God calling me to do.

My general rule on life is if it's something God wants God will open the doors for me to walk through. If it's not something God wants, God will close those doors and I will walk away.

So, 16 months ago I said.....Yes....I will do this. I will surrender myself to what you (God) are was asking of me (even though I'm scared, unprepared and think you are a wee bit crazy) because my way just isn't working.....I am just unable to IGNORE you anymore.

For the past 16 months, when asked, I have responded with "I'm going to..." "I'm hoping to..." "I'm thinking about..." "I'm beginning...."

Even though I have completed some of the things needed to pursue this, it just never felt official; I didn't feel like I could announce "I am...." just yet.

Until today.....

After some emails between my mentor and figuring out a glitch and doing a few other items on my "to do" list, I saw in the header bar of the website that I was navigating through, after my name, "Candidate, Active"

I saw the words...

"Congratulations on your decision to pursue ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church!"

I felt like today, it was official.

I felt like today I could finally say.....

I am a candidate for ordained ministry in the Untied Methodist Church.

It'll be a long journey (Methodist....there's a method to the process....and it's a methodical one!), Even though I think it's impossible I know with God, all things are possible.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent: Fast.....Give.....Prepare....Pray.....

Today is Ash Wednesday; the beginning of Lent. The time of the year that people try to give something up for the time between now and Easter.

If you give something up this time of year, why do you do it?

Do you do it because you like a challenge?

Do you do it because everyone else does it?

Do you do it to try to lose weight (seriously, I have heard this as a reason before)?

Do you do it because it is a sacrifice that you are willing to make for 40 days because of the sacrifice Jesus made for you?

Maybe it's a combination of some or all of the above.

I was looking for scripture to fit Ash Wednesday yesterday and The Message interpretation of Isaiah 58:3-7 really spoke to me.

"The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won't get your prayers off the ground. Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in lack? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like? This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families."

It tells me to really think long and hard about my fasting and how I am going to do it. I can't do it with the intention of making myself look good. If I say that I am going to fast from something but still treat others poorly, then what's the point? I need to think about doing something that is truly pleasing to God.

In a sermon several years ago the pastor said, we shouldn't say we are going to give up chocolate or soda for Lent just for the sake of doing it. We should look at our lives and try to give something up for these 40 days that gets in the way of our relationship with Christ. Fasting finally made sense to me at that point.

Whether it's during Lent, once a week, or a different time of the year, fasting needs to be a time of drawing closer to Christ.

Instead of sacrificing something for Lent, have you thought of ADDING something to your life for 40 days? Something that will draw you closer to Christ???

Maybe it's giving something to someone in need or volunteering your time to a ministry or service project. Maybe it's spending more time in your Bible? More time in prayer? More time in Church?

Regardless of if you decide to fast or give this Lenten season, or a little of both....remember that this is a season of preparation; a season of reflection; a season to meditate on Jesus' journey to the cross; a season to look at your life and YOUR journey to the cross and re-evaluate your relationship with Jesus.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Growing fast....

Me: Are you my baby??

Little Dude: No. I a kid.

Me: Oh.... (sniff)

Jesus Loves You

Me: Who loves you?

Little Dude: "Jesus wuvs Meeeeee" (sung in perfect Sunday School tune!)

Me: Where is Jesus?

Little Dude: Jesus in my heart

Me: Jesus is in my heart too

Little Dude: No. Daddy in your heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

All You Need is Love

Did you know that I have a job??? As of January 1st, I am the Youth Coordinator for a Parish of seven Churches. I am mostly responsible for organizing, coordinating and communicating all the extra, fun stuff to help the youth connected to our Parish grow in their faith. It's a little weird receiving a paycheck for the first time in almost 8 years and I hardly feel like it's work.

Yesterday I felt the lives and worlds of some of the youth I serve (and some who I don't) resting heavily on my shoulders.

Life is tough for some kids and it breaks my heart; some of the kids just say things that make me worry as if I'm their mom and I want to lecture them; some of the kids I want to scoop up and put into a bubble.

All I could think of to do was pray. It all felt too overwhelming to do anything else.

This morning I opened my daily piece of scripture that gets sent to my email inbox. It was from John 13:35 (NLT) and said,

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

As Little Dude was falling asleep for nap time today, I opened up the Bible that I have been reading. It is The Message Remix Pause. It matches up one Old Testament reading and one New Testament reading each day and can get you through the Bible in a year if you are diligent about your reading.

Guess what part of today's reading was???


John 13:35

When scripture pops up more than once in a week I usually figure I'm suppose to pay attention to it. Today it popped up twice. The Message translation says,

"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other."

I read it again trying to figure out what God was trying to say to me

And then it dawned on me....

All I have to do is love them.

I don't need to fix all of their problems. I don't need to plan fantastic lessons. I don't need to micro manage their faith walk. I just need to LOVE THEM where they are and for who they are in the same way Jesus has been loving me all along.

God will take care of the rest.

Then a little tune popped into my head....

"All you need is love,
All you need is love,
All you need is love, love is all you need"

Our Story.....

February 15, 1995

This was the night I was meeting his parents. He came to pick me up after he got off of work. He lived about 30 minutes away from me in a small town.

I remember him pointing out a video rental store and thinking, "Why is there a video rental store in the middle of no where"

Then we drove a little further and he said, "Welp, that was it. That's the town I grew up in!"

I remember thinking, WHAT town??? I didn't see anything!!!!

We drove another 5 minutes and pulled into the sub-division where he lived with his family. Then we pulled into his driveway and I saw the house and thought, "I am out of my league with this guy! LOOK at this house!!"

We had dinner, I met his family, we watched a movie, we kissed, I cried, I told him I had forgotten who I was with (nice, huh?) and he took me home.

That was 15 years ago......

I suppose that's not our "whole" story....but it's how it all started and what a beautiful story we've created together ever since.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Story.....

February 14, 1995

....the clock struck midnight.

My head was laying in his lap and I was looking up at him.

He said, "I think you know what is going to happen" (HA!!)

And he leaned over and kissed me.

BEST start of a Valentines Day EVER! I thought!!!!

It was a Tuesday and I knew I wouldn't see him that day.

It was an especially busy day at work I remember.

He came in the door and I kind of waved at him and kept on going. He was waiting patiently as I worked through the busy lunch crowd.

Someone asked me if he was here to see me. And even though it was BUSY they told me to go talk to him real quick.

As cute as could be he pulled out a single red rose.

What is it about one red rose that is so sweet?

I was so excited. But work was so busy that I said thank you and quickly got back to work.
(I think he was expecting a kiss or something but I was feeling a little shy!!!)

The gals at work were doing the "AWWW THAT'S SO SWEET's" and asked if he was my boyfriend.

I giggled and said yes.

I put my rose someplace safe and got back to work.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Story.....

February 13th, 1995

He came over to my house that night. I think he had dinner with us that evening.

He met my dad.

I remember them visiting around our kitchen table.

I remember thinking, I'm not sure my dad likes this guy.

We went downstairs and watched TV in our family room.

We talked.

We flirted.

It was a fun evening


Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Story.....

February 12, 1995


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our Story.....

February 11, 1995

I can't remember if I had to work that day or not. But I do remember talking to him on the phone and making arrangements for later that evening.

The plan was to go to a movie. We were going to a later movie because I did have to go help work a Public TV event. I helped in the "TV Studio" where kids got to go sit with different local TV anchors and be interviewed. It was fun and made the evening go quick.

I remember being annoyed with my mom because she told me I needed to be home at midnight. I didn't want to have to tell this guy I had an early curfew.

I remember thinking I wanted to look cute but not LOOK like I was trying to look cute.

The doorbell rang and he looked cute!!!

We did some quick introductions and were on our way to the movie.

"I'll see you at 1," my mom said as we walked out the door. (TEEEHEE!!! She must have thought he was cute too!)

We went to see a movie...."Before Sunset" I remember thinking it was a good movie, but remember spending most of the time hoping and waiting for him to hold my hand!!! He did eventually.

After the movie we went and got coffee and pie and talked.

This is where the story has a different perspective for each of since it is my blog, I'll tell you MY version.

We get back to my house and I very slowly take my time getting out of the car, not wanting to seem like I was trying to run away from him. We causally walk up to the door.

We look at each other.

It is awkward.

He says goodbye and I go into my house.


NO kiss!!!

He must not like me!!! I was a little bummed. A little unsure of what to think. But maybe he was a gentleman????

His version goes something like this....I ran to the door so quickly he couldn't keep up. I got to my door, said goodbye and let myself in and he had no time to give me a kiss.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our Story.....

February 10th 1995

Class was over. I was in the furthest possible building from where my mom was going to pick me up. I don't think our friend was in class with us again that day, for some reason.

He walked with me through the halls and tunnels back to the main building.

Just as we were about to walk up and out of the tunnel he asked, "What are your plans this weekend"

"Nothing really....." and I think I said something completely lame like, "I'll probably just stay home and hang out with my brothers"

REALLY!! I couldn't have just stopped at "Nothing really."

Then he asked if I'd like to go out and do something.


I'm certain that I was a little too eager with my response.

Then it hit me.

OH GREAT!!!! I have JUST received a pity invitation to go out Saturday evening!!!!! GO ME!

I got into the car, a little more giddy than usual, and told my mom that I had a date the next evening.

I later found out that he was actually parked just outside the building where our class was and that after he walked me all the way to where I needed to be, he had to turn around and go back to where it was we had just come from.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Our Story.....

February 8th, 1995

We were less than a month into the second semester of the school year. I had met one of his best friends the semester before and now this semester the three of us shared a class.

The two guys would go to lunch after class. Eventually I started to "tag along" too. Apparently we had been doing it for a few weeks because our friend wasn't in class that day, so we went to lunch together, just the two of us. No big deal, right?? It was just lunch.

We went to a Gyro place.....I ordered chicken strips.

Then came the awkward moment.

"Will this be together or separate?"

I drew a blank. It was a simple question yet I had no words! It was almost like I was choking to get my words out....there was no reason for the bill to be "together".

"It'll be together" he said, a little hesitant.

I felt like a big jerk! I had just made him pay for my lunch!!??? Way to go, ME!

We took our food and sat down. What I remember most about our conversation was him sharing the idea of opening a place called "food wars" A place you could go, and have food fights for fun.

I remember him making me laugh.

I remember him making me smile.

I don't remember the ride back to school but I do recall that it was a sunny February afternoon....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Police Report

Date: February 4th, 2010

Time: Crime occurred sometime between 1:15 p.m. (after the mother put the suspect down for a nap in her bed) and 2:30 p.m. when the suspect came to the door claiming to have "waked up" from nap.

Suspect: Male, Blonde hair, Hazel eyes, About 2 1/2 years old, Adorable

Crime Scene Photos:

Conclusion: After reviewing the evidence and taking note of the suspect falling asleep (or passing out) at 5 p.m. the same day as the crime, it is our conclusion that the suspect did not actually take a nap when he was suppose to.