GOOD: It's March! My Mammaw always said the first words out of your mouth on the first day of each month should be "white rabbit" for good luck. So silly, but fun to try & remember to let those be the first words of today. While I am aching for Spring, the sunshine has been absolutely blinding & so bright it makes the mind see creation's beauty even when we don't want to. Ah, the power of the Spirit at work! This past week had a couple of fun surprises. One being a 2 hour long catch up session with family & sharing hopes of future travels to see each other. Another is unexpected gifts celebrating my call as Diaconal Minister months after the fact. A surprise box from family friends showed up on our doorstep the other day & naturally I thought it had come to the wrong house as I couldn't find our last name - let alone either of our first names - on it anywhere. Thankfully a card came separately the same day explaining that the gift was coming. So I opened it up & put my new monogrammed canvas tote bag to work immediately.
BAD: A friend who I worked with this past summer is doing research on homesickness - specifically while at camp - & while I have worked with a number of youth & adults who have dealt with homesickness while on overnights or trips to great places like camp, this is such a foreign concept to me. There have been times throughout my travels that I would journal, "maybe I'm homesick," but even in the pieces of time I've been moved by my emotions to journal this, it is almost always a fleeting thing for me. So it's not that the friend is doing the research that is bad - not at all, I find it rather intriguing - it's that homesickness is one of the few things that pops up in my line of work with those I work with & I simply feel at a loss of how to take care of them.
AWESOME: Something somewhere out there inspires us though, to keep creating & keep dancing because as Kid President shared the other day, we gotta! 'You gotta keep creating! You gotta keep dancing!' Just two nights ago I was blown away by the ways in which those I led a 'End Hunger' themed lock-in for middle schoolers showed up & shared their wealth of knowledge & questions & ideas of how to be the church & end hunger. No matter how much sleep we didn't get, or the youth that didn't come, or the ideas that you think of after the fact that would've made part of something that was shared that much more cool...you gotta keep creating, you gotta keep dancing! The 2015 Middle Ground Ministry (Middle School Ministry) End Hunger Lock-In was great thanks to many people, especially all who shared in the event leading up to the night & throughout the night (& no doubt the bit of cleaning up that had to still be done after we left yesterday morning).
WORD: Professor of Preaching & Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Luther Seminary wrote in a commentary piece at Working Preacher for today's scripture (Mark 8:31-38), "The “theology of the cross” or “to deny oneself” does not mean a contrived kind of humility. We do not follow Jesus by demeaning ourselves. We are called upon to do the very best we can with the talents and abilities God has given us. To “deny oneself” means to keep one’s priorities in harmony with what Jesus told us in the two “great commandments” -- love God and love your neighbor (Mark 12:28-31)."