Finally slowing down enough to write

Well, I’ve been super busy since coming home from Colorado so I haven’t had much time to write.  I have a busy week the rest of the week at work, but not so much in the evenings… I may go visit with some friends in Chicago this weekend, we’ll see… but other than that… and small group on Thursday, my evenings (starting tonight) are pretty much my own right now. 

 

Barnes and Noble remains ever fun.  I really do love working there… If they paid more than minimum wage I might have even considered doing that as a career, although it’s not nearly as challenging as my job at ISPFCU is, and I do like having a challenging job…

 

On a totally different note, I keep getting creeped out as I write this.  I killed a rather large spidar (spider??) earlier tonight in the basement when I was doing laundry and know I keep thinking I’m seeing things move out of the corner of my eye!  Yikes…

 

In other news… I’m moving at the end of the month.  Hopefully to Monroe Gardens on Dirken.  We turned in our applications today so now we need to be approved and then they need to have space for us.  We’re also looking at possibly buying a livingroom set (if the lady from Chambana would ever call me back).  I’m not sure why she ONLY wants $150 for the set, but that’s better than anything we’ve come across so far…

 

Let’s see… I had a pretty rough day on Sunday… I think I keep things entirely too bottled up… I had a really hard time hearing that God is a Soverign God and knows best and has everything under control… I also was entirely too antsy to sit through church… I left towards the end of the sermon… But Beth, bless her, gout me out of my stupor later that day… she and Bethany and the Joshes and I ended up watching The Ghost and Mr. Chicken later that night and that was super fun…

 

other than that, my life has been pretty boring.  I don’t even have any fun andecdotes or articles to share with you as I’ve not had time to be surfing the net (for anything of any substance or interest to anyone but me… (I’m sure no one really cares about Bank Bribery Act or Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)…  I did get a couple of magazines for writers that I’ve been eating up.  I’ll share some information if I find any of interest 🙂

 

Until later…

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I miss my laptop

While I’ve been here in Denver I’ve been able to use Michele or Meghan’s laptop… I totally forgot how much I love the portability of the laptop and I’m totally getting spoiled by the fact that it works so fast.  I am very grateful to have any type of computer, really, but I do wish I had a laptop or at least a desk top with more than 120mb of memory…

 

On a totally different note, today was fun.  We didn’t end up going to Colorado Springs because of gas prices or Boulder because of the date.  It took us forever to get going this morning… Meghan spend like 3 hours in front of the mirror… it was amazing.  We went to this fun little mountain town and went through a couple of antiquish shops and had some icecream.  Then we went and watched Brian learn how to kayak (msp?) in Golden.  It wasn’t even close to what Meghan wanted to do with her day and she was a bit of a punk most of the day.  But I had a blast. 

I’ve also managed to beat a few songs on guitar hero.  Even one on medium not easy!  I feel very accomplished.

Tomorrow will be our first full day without the kids… we’ll see how it goes.  I know I’m not going to want to go back to work on Wednesday, or come home on Tuesday… so far the only bad thing I’ve discovered about out here are the rattlesnakes.  The mountains are georgeous, the river today was beautiful, the people are fun, you can get just about anywhere you’d ever want to go in 30 minutes or less, and there’s no humidity.

 

Oh, Colorado.

Into the Wild

“When you forgive, you love.  When you love, you let God’s light shine in your life.”—Into the Wild

 

Pretty certain I don’t really like this movie all too much.  Brian is telling us bits and pieces about the book as well, and it doesn’t sound much better.  I’m not sure what he did was really okay or worthy of being too remembered.  I like the anti-materialism aspect, but the idea that human relationships just weren’t important enough to keep him from being silly? 

 

Happiness is only real when shared… something he’s writing in a book towards the end of the movie.  I think he’s finally realized it too…

 

I don’t know.  I think the non-materialistic, etc. kind of thing made him feel unselfish, but I think the life he lived might have been the most selfish life I’ve ever witnessed.  He makes a comment right before the man who wanted to become his adopted grandfather (who became an alcoholic again after learning of Chris’ death) made the forgiveness quote about how human relationships are not the only way to see God in this world.  And while that is true, I think Chris missed the real truth in that statement:  that we DO see God in relationships.

When we started this movie, Brian warned me that Chris died but that he died doing what he wanted in the way he wanted… that’s a 15 year old boy for you… I don’t think Chris ever had any intention of dying in Alaska. 

Brian and I have decided that we’ll have to agree to disagree…  He thinks Chris is really cool and doesn’t see how Chris is selfish or why rules are good things or why some of the Chris did were really disrespectful.  He’s a very interesting boy.  We don’t agree on a lot, but he can really debate with you…  He’s going to be a great man when he grows up I think, if we can weed out this really selfish aspect of him…

I <3 Denver

I really wish I could move to Colordo.  Of course I’m not going to with the way things are right now with Jo, but I’m telling you I could so move here in a heart beat.  It’s gorgeous.  I have to keep making a list of things I love about Springfield, including:

  1. West Side
  2. Jo, Mom, Dad and the rest of the family
  3. Ciera
  4. Friends

All great things…

 

But CO has Michele and the kids as well as a great view, EVERYTHING you could ever want for health and entertainment within a miles, great weather, etc.

It’s been a wonderful place to visit 🙂

 

I wish I had pictures to add, but I brought Jo’s extra phone charger, not the charger to the camera 😦  We’ll try to buy a disposable one tomorrow before we go to Colorado Springs and Boulder.

God works in mysterious ways?

I’m pretty sure that God works in mysterious ways, but really really amazes me is the obvious ways He works.  At least obvious if you take the time to open your eyes.

My family is getting ready to enter a “winter,” more particularly my twin sister.  We are all pretty sad and worried, and “leaking” alot (my sister calls it liquid prayer).

But what’s amazing me is that we can really and truly see God working in this winter.  We can see how God’s been preparing our hearts, and in particular Jo’s heart. 

Case and Points:

  • A few months ago she was either pretty ambivilent towards God (as a defence mechanism) or angry.  There was definately some reconciliation that needed to take place and God has been really working on her heart to spur on that reconciliation between Him and her.  If we had gotten the correct diagnosis earlier, who knows how Jo’s relationship with God would be right now.
  • Jo’s short term disability did not kick in until April 1st… if we had gotten the correct diagnosis earlier, she wouldn’t be able to draw her disability.
  • My mom got laid off at the end of February… and has been unable to obtain employement since then.  Her unemployment just got approved however, and she’s been able to be available for Jo’s appointments and as a nursemaid.
  • Our church is doing a series right now entitled Recycled: Beyond Broken.  SOOOO applicable
  • The last Grow we did… and the first one Jo ever went to… talked about the seasons of our lives and the possitive things that can come out of our “winters.”  How cool is that?

It’s going to be a difficult next few months.  But I’m looking forward to seeing God triumph in the midst of tragedy (and He can do that regardless of outcomes) and I’m looking forward to this time of growth for my family.

Bits and Pieces #3

Well, I missed last week b/c I was home sick and in bed most of the day Thursday and Friday… dang it…

I’ve also been pretty busy, so I haven’t had a ton of time to carouse around getting my fill of culturally relevant news articles.

Bit #1:

I did read an interesting article that was linked in my YS Update this week entitled Students of Virginity.  It talks about Abstinence clubs on college campuses.  What I found most interesting was the fact that a lot of these “clubs” are steering away from any religious reasons for abstinance and focusing on the factors that make waiting for marriage a smart choice regardless of ones religion (i.e. less disease, less baggage, better sex in marriage).  I also liked the take of the main woman of the article, that abstinence isn’t snubbing one’s nose at feminism.  It’s really embracing the feministic ideal that women can do and be anything… even if that means choosing to wait to have sex.

Bit #2

I don’t really have another Bit for this week, though I do have a stack of articles sitting waiting for me to read (I’ll probably take them to B&N this weekend for down time reading).  If you want to know what I’ll be reading here are links:

Notes about Revelations from Dr. Lowery of LCCS

(I’ll also be reading an article about DeBunking the DiVinci Code by Dr. Lowery, but I don’t have a link for that)

Articles written about Atonement from Marco’s blog

Going from Good to Great in Youth Ministery from www.pdymblog.com

and all the Youth Ministry 3.0 excerpts from Marco (I’ve been printing them out so I can actually have time to think… so if I DO have a comment, it’s not a stupid one…)

I’m hoping that I’ll have some time to catch up on my reading and writing on Vacation in Denver next week…

Pieces for the week:

Piece #1

I’m going on Vacation to Denver… I cannot, cannot, CANNOT wait

Piece #2

After a 3 month hiatus, I start back up at Barnes and Noble again tonight… I really like it there, so I’m excited… I just hope they realize I’m going to need a refresher 🙂

Why I volunteer with Jr. High Ministry

Today I had lunch with Chris and Latif to discuss summer plans for West Side’s Jr. High Ministry.  In passing, CHris mentioned that he’d like to discuss what drew Latif and I to Jr. High Ministry.  My easy, first-come-to-mind-answer is always “VBS” (I’ll get to that in a minute).  As I contemplate that a little more, I think it’s probably deeper than that (most things are with contemplation).

When I first started volunteering with anything at West Side it was in the Children’t Ministry.  Erin, the Children’s Minister at the time, was one of the only people I knew, and at that time I was working as a pre-school teacher and had realized I really like kids and can relate to them.  I had done VBS the year before (with 1st graders) as a way to connect with Sarah Jumber (now Admire)(a friend and co-worker of mine from the Puppy who had just gotten baptized that summer).  It was something we could do together that was God-related and kid-related, a place where we could connect on multiple levels.

So that next year (2004 I think it was) we decided to do so again.  She was going to a small country church with her family, but it was doing the same VBS curriculum as West Side, only the week after.  We decided to do both VBSs (THAT was a crazy 2 weeks, let me tell you 🙂 ).  That year West Side needed help with the 5th graders.  I generally prefer (or so I had thought) to work with younger kids, but I’m also pretty laid back and like to help out where I’m needed, so we took the 5th graders.

And, boy, were they a challenge.  I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with kids (or had as much fun) as I was/did with Evan and Shane that week!

But amazingly, I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a group of kids as quickly either (and this coming from someone who really does enjoy being with kids).  While they were challenging, they were also soooo much fun!  And I could see so much potential in them.  They were right there on the verge of something and it was so fun to be there with them.  So I went to Chris to find out how I could continue to be a part of their lives at West Side when they moved to 6th grade.

That could be where the story stops… I followed a great group of kids into the ministry.

But I realized today that those kids are almost done with their freshman year of high school! (and are still some really great kids).  But I didn’t follow them to High School… So it had to be more than just that group of kids.

So why do I STILL do Jr. High ministry?

My mom says it’s because you should never say never… when I was contemplating teaching as a career I always knew I could handle any age… any age, that is, except Jr. High.  I could NEVER handle Jr. High kids… and now look at me 🙂  maybe she’s right 🙂

But I think it probably has more to do with the fact that I remember being in Jr. High (yes it might have been awhile ago, but not THAT long ago).  I remember how lost and alone I felt and how much I would have loved having adults who weren’t my parents to hang out with, to accept me for who I was and to offer guidance and… presence… in a loving way.  I remember feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, that I was in some kind of “lost” stage or “limbo” between childhood and being a young adult.

And I remember tht you probably would have NEVER known that about me.  I was friendly and outgoing.  I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t the least popular kid in school.  I could meld well in several different social groups; I as totally boy-crazy and had several boyfriends; I got along well with teachers and, though I was only a C-student in Jr. High, was smart enough to get by without notice.

I didn’t have anyone close enough to me or willing enough to delve behind the mask, to see the girl who wrote morbid, dark poetry; who cried herself to sleep most nights; who was boy-crazy because she wanted the attention, not that she really liked the guy; who spent hours upon hours in her head making up a different life for herself to take herself away from actual life.

And that’s sad.

 

Most of the time Jr. High Ministry is a high energy, high fun, oft-times silly and/or gross experiment in living life.  But underneath that energy and the silliness and the craziness that is an adolescent; I know and understand the feeling of being in “limbo” or “lost” stage of life.  And I know that those same feelings can occur in any life stage, but I know that if I had a better view of myself, a better view of my value as a child of God (heck, knowing Jesus AT ALL would have helped), and a feeling that I was not alone when I was younger, the times as an adult when I feel like that would be fewer and further between.

I wouldn’t say my giftedness lies in being able to counsel anyone through that (far from it, it’s one of the biggest reasons I know that I couldn’t have pursued a psych. degree).  But I LOVE being present and available.  And I really love investing in others to help them learn to be present and available (yay for being able to invest a little bit more in other leaders as well as kids this year).

So I continue to do Jr. High ministry because I want them to know that God cares about them, and by extension, so do other people.  I want to be present and available.  Whther that be as a person to giggle about boys with, the person to referee a dodgeball game, the person to throw toilet paper at, or the person to talk to because things aren’t going great right now.  Because sometimes there just aren’t answers.  Most of the time life just happnes, and sometimes you just need someone there to help you know that you’re not alone, that you’re loved and valued for who you are, raging hormones, pungent BO, rebellious independece, goofy silliness and lingering childhood innocence included.