Sunday, October 17, 2010


Disclaimer: This is my attempt at "thinking in a straight line." A difficult process for me right now with all the thoughts running through my head. It's likely to be a little disjointed...

I started this book back at the end of the summer after a friend recommended it to me. It's been's been's been something I've needed to read.

I'm about halfway through (I took about a month long hiatus during an insanely crazy season of life....more on that later), but I'm ready to dive back in, and as I do so, I stopped to reflect on a passage that has stuck with me almost constantly from the beginning of the book.

Looking at Jesus' calling on the disciples:

"Ultimately, Jesus was calling them to abandon themselves. They were leaving certainty for uncertainty, safety for danger, self-preservation for self-denunciation." (Radical, pg. 12)

Wow. Yikes. Scary. But....kind of exhilarating too if you stop and think about it. What an adventure! A crazy, scary adventure....but an adventure nonetheless. I think so often as kids, we look around and dream big crazy dreams that our parents, friends, family encourage us to pursue...telling us we can do anything, be anything, dream big, shoot for the moon. We're not fearful....we feel invincible. But then we grow up...and somewhere along the lines most of us (not all of us) allow ourselves to sit back a bit. Step more cautiously. Temper our dreams. Risk less. Maybe it's fear...maybe it's past failures. Who knows. But we lose that desire for an adventure.

*I should clarify....when I speak of dreams of childhood...I think those are good dreams. God given dreams. However, I'm not talking about a desire to get back to those specific dreams. Rather I'm using it to paint a picture of a simpler sense of trust and and willingness to "jump in" that we posses as children in contrast to what often amounts to timid, unsure steps as adults.

My question to myself has been this...what hinders that desire to embark on a wild adventure? For me, it's a combination of so many things. But as I truly stop and think, I am reminded: The final victory is in Christ. He has known the end from the beginning...and the same spirit that allowed Christ to live the most RADICAL life ever lived....lives in me. He's guiding my every step if I'll simply rest and trust...Even a step to abandon myself.

This is my present reality....Learning to rest and trust in the radical life that Christ calls me to. As a dear friend puts it...I'm trying to learn to live palms up, and open handed...ready to give and receive from the Lord as He asks.

And it's a good place to be.

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it...So therefor, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-28, 33

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Count

My Christmas so far...
  • Being sick (boo)
  • Watching the Food Network all day while sick (yay)
  • Bacon wrapped Filet Mignon for dinner (thanks Jon!)
  • New York City at Christmas time (loved it)
  • Times Square (First visit ever....loved it)
  • Macy's (crazy sales people)
  • Rockefeller Center (First visit ever....loved it. Took token family picture in front of the tree.)
  • Saw Hair (on Broadway....First time actually seeing a show on Broadway in NYC. Loved it!)
  • Lincoln Tunnel into the City
  • George Washington Bridge out of the City
All in all, it's been a good Christmas so far! (Minus being sick....oh well.) Hair was awesome by the way. A little risque (ok, maybe a lot risque, but still really really good.) And at the end, they put railings on the stairs and invite the audience to come dance with them on the stage! Sweet! (No....I didn't go). I definitely recommend seeing the live stage version if you ever get a chance.

Now I'm off to finally do some Christmas baking (the bad part of being sick at Christmas is missing out on all the baking. Boo.)

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Epic Expiring Espicades

So I mentioned in my previous post (which was now like a month ago....sorry to the 2 of you who have actually been waiting for something...) that I had some wonderfully exciting travel experiences. First there was the bridge....oh the bridge... then the moving airport. Previous to that there had been hammers confiscated by travel security, emergency chutes deployed on airplanes causing day long delays. As I've said many times, I'm always ready for an adventure when I travel.

So a couple of weeks ago I was heading to New York again to visit my sister. I was so excited. I hadn't been on vacation since March, and I hadn't been to my sister's since last November (see the story of the moving airport.)

My flight left Indy at 11:30 Wednesday morning. I figured "I'll leave at 6:30, get there by about 9:30 and have plenty of time for any delays on the road, problems etc." Boy am I glad I gave myself extra time!

6:30 my room....putting my wallet in my carry-on. For some reason I think to myself, "I should just double check my driver's license. You know...make sure I have it and whatnot." Oh slay me.

Let's back up for a minute...I was traveling on Nov. 18. My birthday is Nov. 14. Four days prior to the date of my epic trip. This is important.


Yea....driver's licenses expire on your birthday.

Not kidding. By myself in my room, as I frequently do when I get flustered, I muttered to myself (ok, there may have been some yelling) and proceeded to figure out how to deal with this. Got online, looked up BMV hours printed directions to the BMV in Carmel and headed out.

Part-way there realized I'd be hitting Kokomo right about 8:30 when the branch opened. So I called my dad to get directions to the branch in Kokomo, at which point he just said "Well, did you think to just grab your passport? You can fly with that?"

More muttering. Dang it. Wisdom I could have used 2 hours earlier.

It all becomes very unexciting from here....I make it to Kokomo, am first in line to go in, and make it in and out in 15 minutes with a new license. Hallelujah!

Made it to the airport by 10:30 and was just fine to catch my flight.

The moral of the story....Traveling is always an adventure for me.

And oh yea...Check the expiration date before you travel.

Coming soon....How to catch a mouse when you return from vacation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aaaaand.....I'm back

Not that there's actually anyone around reading this anymore (except maybe my dear friend Rachel...Hi Rachel!) But I am officially back after a 5 months blogging hiatus...Also known as "camp was in session and life was crazy busy but incredibly amazing at the same time."

I would love to share lots of insightful thoughts about this summer and everything going on....but quite frankly my brain is a little fried. So instead, a list of things that I am so incredibly thankful for.
  • My family. They were a great sounding board all summer. They listened to my thoughts, celebrated the successes with me, and continued to steer me in a good direction.
  • The people I work with. They truly are a great team of people who do everything to make sure that kids have the opportunity to hear about and experience Jesus every day at camp.
  • The way God provides. So many times this summer, God provided in ways I couldn't have imagined or expected. As my boss said recently "I need to pray bigger prayers!" I serve a BIG God who loves to answer prayers in a big way.
  • My Life Group. It's a great "home base" group of people who are walking through life together. Even when I couldn't be there throughout the summer, we emailed, talked, and met when we could. We share the ups and downs and I am so thankful for the community that God has so clearly provided.
  • My Church. I am challenged, encouraged, and strengthened by worshipping every week with the body of Christ.
It's been a good few months. Many ups and downs along the way. But in the end, I know that my God is a God who provides.

So I close with a song that has been perpetually on my iPod all summer and into the start of the fall.

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great Leaders

Each of my summers at camp, I have been blessed with incredible staff leadership...people from within the ranks of the summer staff who step up to lead and supervise during the summer program. They've been AWESOME!

This year is no different. I've got motivated, hard-working, self-starters who are working hard already to make sure things go well for training and the entire summer. Working alongside them this week has made me sit back and think about what qualities I have valued in the leaders I've worked alongside over the past 2 1/2 years.
  • I value people who try to lighten someone else's load. Their attitude is, "It's got to get done, so let's get it done. We can either keep pushing and do this now, or someone else will just have to do it later. Let's serve the staff by taking care of this before they even know about it." How great is that!
  • I value people who think outside the box. I get stuck in my plans and my way of doing things. They point out other options that I hadn't considered. Together, we come up with a great solution rather than settling for a good solution.
  • I value people who challenge the process while still respecting authority. They question and offer alternatives. But bottom line....they know where the authority to make the final call lies, and they submit to and follow that.
  • Every single one of them is unique! They all bring something different to the table. IT's in that balance that I think great things happen.
My leaders are here. My staff arrive Saturday. We've been planning, preparing, and praying all year for what begins in less than 48 hours. I can't wait to see the staff come together, the directors arrive, and the campers meet Jesus.

Camp is here! It's going to be awesome.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


To begin: Why are all my recent posts centered around rodents? I would love an answer to that question. Oh wait....I know why....I LIVE IN THE BOONIES.

Moving On.

This epic story began Sunday morning, just before church. I was inside with the dog, the cat had already escaped outside. I opened the door to let the dog out and found myself standing on the front porch shrieking as the cat chased a CHIPMONK into my house. The dog of course followed, while I stayed on the porch...still myself. Picturing it? Yes, I am an idiot.

Well, before I even got my act together to run inside and at least find out where the blasted rodent had gone, the dog chased the cat back sign of the chipmonk. One questions: WHAT KIND OF HUNTERS ARE THEY!?!?!?! My dog and cat stink at the whole "stalking their prey" thing. So, I was left to go inside, having no idea where the chipmonk had gone. It literally could have been anywhere.

I had about 10 minutes before I had to leave for church, so I quickly glanced under the sofas and behind the piano...the most obvious places I could think of. I did NOT, however, check under the sofa chair that sits in the corner. Mostly because there was no way to look under it without fully tipping it over, and I surely wasn't going to do THAT to let the thing escape and run upstairs and hide in my bed (which is clearly what it would have done.) I left the door open during all this hoping that maybe it would miraculously find it's way outside on its own. I didn't find it, before I had to leave for I just left.

Got back Sunday sign of the chipmonk, the dog and cat weren't going crazy or anything, so I assumed that maybe it had in fact run out while I had the door open earlier in the day.

Friends came over for a cookout Monday evening. My dear friend Erin stayed late, and as we were sitting on the couch chatting at about 10:30 that evening, I heard rustling and scratching guessed it, the sofa chair in the corner. I calmly looked at Erin and said, "The chipmonk is still in my house." She graciously agreed to help me out. So we set about devising a plan.

Our step-by-step thought process:
  • How do we know the chipmonk is actually under the sofa chair? We need to find out.
  • But if it is, and we tip the chair back, it's free to run anywhere in the house....therefore, we must contain it. How do you contain a chipmonk?
  • You build a SWEET FORT! That's right, we built an awesome barricade using plywood, coffee tables, end tables, name it, and blocked off from the wall where the sofa was to the front it was contained in the fort until it ran outside. Brilliant eh?
  • We didn't want to open the door until we knew it was Erin in her infinitely genius wisdom figured out how to open the front door with a broom handle while still standing OUTSIDE of the fort. Erin....hats off to you my friend.
  • I patted down the curtains for good measure to make sure it wasn't there, then tipped back the chair. We didn't see it, so Erin came over to help me tip the chair alllllll the way back and pat it down with the broom. Still no sign of it.
  • We concluded we had been hearing things.
  • Erin began tearing down our fort (don't worry, we got pictures), and I righted the couch and began sliding it back into the corner when all of the sudden.....
The Chipmonk appeared out of nowhere right at my feet!!!! I screamed (again....are we sensing a pattern when I'm faced with rodents?) and yelled for Erin to get the door. Well she had a choice to make: fix the fort that she had started tearing down so it didn't escape, or open the door. She fixed the fort, but the door stayed closed, so it ran to the door, and promptly ran back to the couch.

We finally opened the door, I grabbed the broom, found the little guy hiding behind the couch (not under or in it again...he was too tired...and probably pretty close to a heart attack) and began sweeping him to the door. He tried to climb the plywood and escape to the kitchen, but I swept him down and out the door!


Let me just say....I don't like rodents. Period. Erin made me promise not to scream during this entire ordeal. I asked her "what if it climbs my leg?" She agreed that then I would be allowed to scream. Well...given that leeway, I screamed every time the curtain touch my foot or leg. I thought Erin was going to choke me.

Alas, the chipmonk is gone, and I can sleep peacefully knowing that the only animal I'll find in my bed when I wake up the next morning is my stuffed Owl. (Okay, I don't really sleep with a stuffed owl....but I do have one.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Another story courtesy of camp...

Took trash to the dumpster yesterday.  As I pitched it in, I noticed that as it landed, something moved in the dumpster....and looked up at me with beady little eyes.  Yep.  A raccoon.  Go figure.

Normally I hate raccoons.  All they do is cause destruction and spread grossness due to their ripping apart of trash bags and strewing about of garbage.  However, I'm not going to lie.  In this case, I felt kinda bad for the poor little guy.  Why?  Because the dumpsters had been recently emptied, so now that he's in there, he's going to be waiting until garbage piles high enough that he can get himself out.  Basically....he's stuck.  And I'm NOT going in there to get him.

The end.