Sunday, September 30, 2007

Badger Badger Badger Mushroom

Life is continuous here in Racine. So much has happened yet it doesn't necessarily seem like anything worth reporting. Talking with a good friend we decided that God is using us to understand transitioning and learning a great deal of patience in life rigiht now. I just recently read somewhere or heard, I don't remember which, that God doesn't grant us patience, He gives us things in life that make us learn patience. I found this very interesting because I had never thought about it like that. It makes sense though. Patience is an emotion like any other that you choose at some level. I'm definitely to just sit back & let God's work be done in, through, & around me.

We have started our Wednesday evening program at Emmaus and the first Wednesday was very overwhelming, but the second was a tad better. Many of the children we're working with come from home lifes that I have only heard about, but never witnessed. I could get wrapped up in the fact that their home lives may not be ideal according to societies standards, but really all I can allow myself to do is be a person of God's love when I'm with them & pray for them when I'm not. Our Thursday night programming is picking up some with mostly high school youth. There is a group of girls that are all juniors and seniors and they are VERY lively. It's exciting to go from one dynamic of young elementary age to older youth. Occasionally we get to work with elderly as well & I really enjoy that because they have so many great stories.

We have been surrounded by a great group of pastors and coordinators and people within the churches. We also have been blessed with the occasional visitor or two such as my parents coming last weekend. My teammates & I have all gotten some of our belongings and really made or started to, make our rooms our places so it's much more of our home now. We had an installation service a week ago and were gifted with pray shawls that are georgeous! God is present in everything around us, some times we need to slow down & just be & acknowledge that God is there in the small things, not only the big "aha" moments. Today Anthony & I went to Zoe Church, an African American church and it was a great experience. The congregation was very welcoming and the music was amazing & I don't know that I've ever received so many hugs in my life outside of Spoke Folk. so once again my thoughts are scattered but here they are.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Damnit

At Barnes & Noble after a long day one of the first books Anthony finds is a book that’s main part of its title is “Happy Damnit.” We thought it was pretty funny and decided that it was written just for us! Then I started singing “Dontcha be a grumpy, when the road gets bumpy, just smile, smile, smile!” It’s from the movie “Where the Heart Is.” It’s amazing the calming effect a good chai can have on me. Seriously, I take one sip & remember to breathe & I think, “the world is all good.”

If only it were this easy & didn’t cost money & weren’t so many calories to remind me to stop & breath. God’s love is free, but somehow that seems to be the hardest thing to fully accept some days. I’ve really come to the conclusion that if I were meant to understand some things like love & life & ministry & people then I would. God would give us all that knowledge & life would be hunky dory & grand.

We find comfort in the silly things like chai, a good conversation, a worship that seemed to be planned just for you, or watching funny movies like what we’re watching right now. Ant & I are watching “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” with Donny Osmond & I’m not sure if he’s supposed to be Joseph or Tarzan. I’m pretty sure I have never seen this movie, but I’ve seen the musical done a couple of times.

This is a random post just to say that God is crazy & enthralling & I don’t know that I’ll ever really know what He’s thinking or doing in my life, but it doesn’t really matter. If anything it makes life more exciting. No matter what I’m gonna be happy, damnit!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My drugs of choice

My first drug of choice is Jesus, hopefully that's obvious. My second though I shouldn't even have to specify as much, but it is a chocolate frosty from Wendy's. SO good, however, they should've never made vanilla even an option. Seriously, what were they thinking? Dave Thomas is probably rolling in his grave!

It seems like SO much has happened since I last had a chance to write, but really it hasn't been that long. The teams are all moved to their new homes now. Our parsonage is great and we have some fun furniture. Eventually I'll have to post some photos on here, but I'm not on my own computer currently. The walls are very white though so my teammate, Anthony, & I have spent some time making a collage of random magazine clippings on the wall. We're also planning on putting up the traveling team posters when they get printed, so that'll decorate another wall. Then we're going to have a wall for quotes & such.

We have been doing a lot of orientation between Redeemer (where the parsonage is) & Emmaus. We go to Our Saviours for the first time tonight so that is exciting. All the churches have a lot going on with different ideas & different ministries. We have been well taken care of with several people taking us out for lunch & dinner as well. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I was surprised by Miriam Kline at our sending service. It was great to see her & have her play mom for the evening. Back to life in Racine though, all the pastors & congregation members have been so welcoming & I'm really looking forward to continue learning of what God has planned for our year here with all of them.

Dad & Mom are visiting next weekend & bringing me stuff from home so my walls won't be so white & scary. I need color in my life! My very good friend Melissa is visiting this weekend & I haven't seen her since January so that's exciting. We are hopefully going to be graced by another Spoke Folker who lives nearby & actually went to school with my teammate. I'm sure there is heaps more I could type about, but I can't think of it right now. If you would like more detail be sure to ask & I'll do my best to say more. This roller coaster needs to turn right side up & slow down a bit for a while!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bloody Murdy

This is my new call name, Murdy for short, as I was freaking out one night as we were roaming around the church & my teammate, Anthony was teasing me because there's a bat roaming free around here that nobody's been able to find & I'm terrified of bats & I got so worked up that I said if I saw the bat I was going to scream bloody murdy. Yeah, I meant bloody murder, but it didn't come out like that. My teammates have definitely learned that I have my own language & way of saying things especially when I'm sleep deprived.

Another week of training down! This week we spent 3 days in the YE office building taking a class through Youth Specialties with around 20 other youth worker people from around the states. It was interesting. I actually met the former pastor of Bethel Lutheran (the church in Noblesville that I attend in the summers while living down there). He now lives in the UP. Gotta love the small Lutheran connections! The last few days have been spent in different lessons/classes at the church here in Stillwater. We've learned a lot & been challenged a lot. Tiger McLuen and a few guest speakers were the ones that taught at the class earlier in the week & then TJ Anderson is the pastor here & led the sessions that the wonder Lisa RK didn't lead. Lisa is the Mosaic team boss basically. I know that's not her technical title, but she's great & actually my prayer partner for there as well as Amber. We decided to have prayer partners within the Mosaic community since most of the other teamers, actually prolly all of 'em only had that week to get to know theirs, not 6 years like Amber & I have had.

This week I've questioned a lot if I've been placed in the right area or am doing the right thing. It's really scary as I rarely question what I'm doing to this extent. I know that God is working constantly in, through, and around me though. It may be hard to see some times, but He's there. I really wanted to be placed with the Ohio State team, but I know that would've been a comfort thing since I would've been working with college students. Working in Racine is going to be a challenge, not necessarily bad, but it'll be new. A good portion of the people in Racine are unemployed & I lived the last 4 years of my life in a very wealthy suburb of Columbus. I may be questioning what I'm doing, but I am very anxious and excited to get to our site. We only have a few days left here with the other Mosaic teams & then on Thursday morning we'll be heading across the river & on into the cheese state for the year. I like cheese!

Tomorrow some of us are going to church at my friend's Kristen's home congregation & then spending the afternoon at the Mall of America (none of us have money or any need for anything though) & then going to Kristen's house for dinner & Upper Room for worship. Hopefully I'll get to see some SFers tomorrow or later this week. I've invited a few to the sending service & I haven't invited you & you live in the area then it'd be great to see familiar faces. The sending service is at Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, MN Wed. Sept. 5 at 7pm. Anyway, it's about time for Last Word so that's it for now. God's peace & love!