Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I miss it

I miss blogging. There...I said it. I miss the days of being able to surf everyone's blogs and see what is going on in the lives of people I know (or don't know, for that matter). I feel totally out of the loop and completely uninspired on most days, with nothing to say about the world or what is going on in all of my blogger friends lives. I don't know what happened, where I suddenly had so much work to do in a day that I couldn't see what was happening in people's lives. Now, I just feel like a peeping blogger, a voyeur of sorts.

I don't know when this will change but I miss being plugged in to the blog world. I feel like I've lost all of my sense of humor and any type of insight I might have used to had. Now, I feel like a regular old person who can only have conversations in real life. What is happening to me?

Ok, now that I have said my peace, I am going back to work and doing things that regular people do. Boring.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Life Update

Ok, so my entire family has now moved into the area. Mike and Janna are in Beaverton and my parents moved to Portland. Tim is the furthest from us and he is only in Salem. What is happening? I feel like I've entered into a weird vortex that now includes all of my siblings and my parents. I am excited because I love Portland and I'm glad that I was able to hold out long enough to get all of them here rather than me having to move where they are. This makes things like Christmas so much easier. And, I can do free laundry and mom and dad's house (always good). I went over last night and mom made me dinner.

This story would have been a lot different if I had posted while they were camped out in my living room last week. They put all of their belongings into a storage unit and brought over the air mattress and slept on the floor while they looked for a place to live. Now, you all have to realize that my apartment is probably somewhere between 550-600 square feet (if I'm not being overly generous with my estimation). Needless to say, the quarters were cramped. Praise be to God that they found a place rather quickly and I am back to having my own place. I did however get a wake up call the other morning. My doorbell rang at approximately 7:20am (I can't say for sure as I was still in bed). "Who would be ringing the doorbell at this time?" This was the question I was asking myself as I rolled out of my bed. I peeked out the peephole and saw that my mother was on the other side. "This isn't happening" was my thought as I unlocked my door. It was. She decided to bring me a latte to start my day because she was out taking my dad to the airport. Which, is so nice and I was so thankful once I woke up but I was so confused and disoriented at the time that I'm sure I said nasty things in a nasty tone to my mom.

It's ok. God is now punishing me with a furnace that won't work. I think I have freezer burn on my fingers and toes from sleeping in an icebox last night. I came home from work last night to a really cold apartment. I had this problem several weeks ago and then it just started working again. I told my landlord about it but I have a feeling once I told him that it was working again he didn't bother to take a look at it. So, I thought it was just being finicky. I went over to mom's for dinner and to help her unpack some boxes. I came home and it still wouldn't work. So, I slept in sweats (I hate sleeping with pants on. They get all bunched at the knees), had my feather bed under me, flannel sheets, a down comforter, a flannel comforter and a quilt. When I got up this morning, it was less than 50 degree in my apartment! I didn't want to get out of my bed, but it sure made for a quick "get ready" this morning. I was out the door as fast as possible.

This is my life right now. Things are good, but cold. :) Our students seem like they are in the process of meltdown. It is time for them to have a break and us to have a break from them. You could pray for them. This is a crazy time for them. They're tired and overwhelmed and starting to see the consequences of their choices (both good and bad). We are suspending quite a few right now for various things. This is a tough time of year for our office. We do get rewarded with a week and a half off from work. SOLD! :)

Take care.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Nothing Fancy Today

God amazes me. I just need to say that today. That's all. There is no motive, no story to go with it. Nothing fancy happened.

I pray that you all are blessed today and that you clearly see how powerfully God is working in your life. Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

I just finished reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I was stretched to consider other ways of interpreting faith and my belief in God. Her ideas are rather edgy in comparison to most of my thoughts and I would argue for most people. I have always thought my interpretation of faith and belief in God were a little more "liberal" than most Christians I have come across and then I read this book...

At what point do you have to read God's Word and draw a line at what is "acceptable" Kingdom behavior? At what point do you have to change things that you are doing in your life because they are just flat out do not line up with God's teaching? Isn't part of being transformed and dying to self changing the things about us that are not holy? I am supposed to die to self and allow Christ to live in me. My lifestyle must reflect my death and His life. I did appreciate her honesty and reality about life. She made herself quite veulnerable to my criticism and the criticism of many other self-righteous folk. I definately have my act together like no one else. :)

I don't want anyone to confuse my thoughts with having it all figured out or being better or more holy but I AM convicted that my life should be a sacrifice, it should be giving up the things of this world, things that my flesh desire, that my sinful self would prefer in order to honor Christ. I don't honor him with my justifications or lack of submission. I have to honor God with ALL of my life, with everything that I have, all that I am. This means giving up the things that I want. Does this mean I won't struggle as I make these changes? Surely not but does that mean I don't keep trying? There were times when I was reading that I wasn't so sure there was an understanding of changing the things in our lives that don't bring honor to Christ. Maybe it was my interpretation of what I was reading. Perhaps I am totally mistaken.

Overall, good book. I was challenged to evaluate many parts of my heart and my motivations. I was definately presented with different ideas and was pushed out of my comfort zone at times. I'm always up for reading differing thoughts and perspectives. And for all of you who worry about me and my more liberal political ideas, I've got nothing on this girl! You might as well put me on the same right wing as Rush Limbaugh or President Bush (but please don't).

Thanks for letting me ramble on. I'm still processing.

Monday, October 24, 2005

All You Need Is Love

As Christ has loved me, so I am to love others. This weekend I watched an MTV documentary called True Life: I'm Dead Broke. I watched as three young people struggled to survive. I watched them pump water so they could cook, brush their teeth, try to save enough money to buy a $500 car, figure out how to get into an $800/month apartment (in the ghetto) when they only have $500 to their name. My heart was broken. I can't get the images out of my head and my heart. I don't know what to do about it. I guess there really isn't much I can do for those three young adults. I know that there are people just like them right here in Portland. What do I do to help them? I can't fix the world by myself but I should be doing something to help those around me in need. I have abundance. I am rich. I am so blessed.

God is my strength and my provider. I don't want for anything. I am a spoiled brat. I live beyond my means. I am selfish. I am irresponsible. Christ's love for me covers my irresponsibility, my spoiled nature, my sinful nature. Christ's love fills me and I need nothing else. I am amazed by his faithfulness to me. I have been working hard at developing a relationship with Him. It is amazing to me how quickly He fills us and draws near to us when we seek Him. He is faithful to love the unloveable. He loves me. There are so many times when I feel pretty unloveable. There are so many times that I feel completely misunderstood but Christ understands me. He knows all of my unloveableness and all of my ugliness and He still wants to be with me. He adores me. He wants me to want him. All he wants from me is for me to love him as much as he loves me. Isn't that what we all want? All we need is love...


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trust God?

How do you have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe? How can He be small enough to really care what my favorite color is when He created all of the colors? How do you wrap your head and heart around the reality that He really does want to know everything about you? The part that is so weird about this relationship is that He already knows everything about you. I think this is what makes it so bizarre.

Mike's blog reminded me that I needed to post what has been going on with me spiritually in the last few weeks. My current struggle is not doubting that God is. I believe with every ounce of my being that God is alive and at work actively in my life and yours. I believe that my soul would be empty without Him and my life unfulfilled without him. I know that I need Him in my life and I would die without Him. BUT...(there's always a but)how in the world do you have a relationship with Him? I don't know how to do it. With that lack of understanding, it has made my having a relationship with Him difficult. I don't know how to do it. All I have to compare it to is a human relationship and it just isn't the same. How can I trust that He is faithful to His promises to prosper me and not to harm me when I don't know how to talk to him? How can I trust Him when most people let me down or I let them down? I can't wrap my head around all of it. I know that if I am not making choices every day, EVERY DAY, to invest in a relationship with Him, I will never get there. I want my cake and to be able to eat it too. I want it to be easy but is any relationship worth having easy? I know my life can be more than it is but it's all up to me. It is my lack of work that has gotten me here and made me frustrated. It is my unfaithfulness. How can I truly feel comfortable giving up control of my life to the God I don't feel like I know and trust? So, each day, I am letting God of the hook and taking responsibility for where I am. I am working to understand how to have a relationship, an open and honest relationship with God. I think He wants me to say that this is where I am. I think He wants me to be honest with Him and with myself. As I invest in this relationship, I pray that it will be easier to give more and more control over to God. I want Him to rule over my life, I want to trust Him with everything. It is hard to give over control and trust to an acquaintance. I wouldn't do it with a person and I can't do it with God, but I will. I will get there. I will let go, I will trust Him. I will know Him in a very real and intimate way. I will trust Him with every aspect of my life and every nook and cranny of my heart, my innermost secrets, my hurts, my desires, my joys, victories. It will happen...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I am alive

There has been much going on but none of it very exciting. Paula got married this weekend (that was exciting). It was great to see people that live here in town but I never see because we are all really busy. I have been doing a lot of work and things are starting to feel like they're slowing down. My life is really boring right now. I work and I try to go home and rest. :) I was in bed at 9:15 last night. Why am I so lame? It felt good to sleep that long though, so I can't complain. I was happy to do it.

I did get to see my friend Mamie who is like 6 months pregnant. She is just about the cutest little pregnant thing ever. I have lots of cute pregnant friends actually but she is so stinkin' cute! Amy, her husband Justin and her brother Andrew had to evacuate Houston and so her parents flew them up here. So I'm not sure whether or not I should be thanking God or what but it worked out for me to get to see Amy. I went over to her parents house on Sunday after church and hung out until about 8:30 that night (I got home late). The thing that is so great about her family is that I love all of them. Her brother Aaron and his wife Amy were up for Paula's wedding, Amy's cousin Brooke and her family, aunt Paula and all of the kiddos were there. I feel very comfortable with all of them. Amy and I snuck off for a couple of hours and had a long awaited, much anticipated Starbucks date. We haven't done that in a couple of years. When she was still here in town, we used to do it all of the time. We can sit and talk for hours about really dumb stuff or really great, deep and meaningful stuff. I love that we can just pick up where we left off like we just saw each other last week. We talked about God and about family and her upcoming baby. We talked about marriage and their new house that they bought. It is so funny how we age! I have to admit that we were talking about these things when we were 21 also but it really wasn't a reality then. We wanted to get married and live in the same cul-de-sac and raise our babies together. The odds of that actually happening are slim but it is fun to talk about all of the things happening in our lives. I love talking with her about the things that God is doing in my life and to hear how he is working in her life, too. I am so blessed to have friends that I can talk about God with. I am so thankful for friends that encourage my relationship with God and challenge me to always be examining myself and strive to be more Christ-like daily. I am thankful for relationships that work the way God intended them to work.

I'll update later when I'm not supposed to be working.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quiet Moments

My days have been so hectic these last few weeks and I am trying desperately to remain calm and patient with myself as I attempt to complete all of the work before me. There are what seem to be pointless and time-wasting tasks and requests around every turn. I want to scream because I feel like I spend my day doing things that mean absolutely nothing and the list of "to do's" keeps getting longer and longer.

Like right now, I am sitting in the front part of my office printing off the backs to the student ID cards. I've been sitting out here and normally what I would do is run back and forth from this computer to the one in my office so that I could do more than one thing at a time (time efficient, right?) but Jimmy, the IT guy is trying to fix something else for me in my office and so I must stay out here. I am limited to one project at a time for right now. I guess this is good because I can sit here and update my bloggie-mcblog and reflect on the last few weeks of my life. I felt like a jerk last week. My mom is here from California for a visit. She surprised me with very little notice and it kind of stressed me out because I know that the next few weeks are really busy and crazy and knowing that mom was sitting at my apartment while I was working would make me feel bad for her, adding more stress to my schedule right now. She was great this last week. She was laid back and encouraging, she offered to come in and help me if I needed it (free labor, right?). She took care of me like only mom can and was totally understanding that I needed to work. She even spoiled me with treats I don't need! Moms are like that. It was really nice to just hang out with her in the evenings, a no pressure visit. I really enjoyed my time with her. So, back to why I felt like a jerk. She offered to do something very nice for me and we were trying to schedule it and I got frustrated because it hit me that the reality of my schedule for the next few weeks was ridiculous. I kind of snapped at her because of it and I feel like a jerk because she was doing something so nice, that she didn't have to do, and I snapped at her. Not because she did anything wrong, but because I was stressed out just thinking about my schedule. For that, I am sorry mom. :( Why do we take things out on people when it's not their fault? Why do I get the snappiest with the people who love me the most? My mom would never do anything intentionally to hurt me. NEVER. Anyway, that is my confession for the week.

To go along with that, as I was sitting here being frustrated about all of the things I need to do, it came to me that I need to be thankful for my job and the role I am able to play in the lives of so many young people. My work may seem tedious right now but the reality is that I get to have amazing interactions with young people who I share my life with as they share theirs. We struggle with each other and teach each other things. I make mistakes in front of them and they do the same. We laugh with each other, cry together, encounter God together. I am so blessed to have this job. The pay is horrible but the rewards are so great. I heard a few weeks ago that one of our recent grads who applied for a job told the interviewers that one of the biggest influences in his life here at Cascade was me! What a compliment! I have watched him struggle, we have fought and cried, laughed a lot. I've fed him, done his laundry, and watched him give an amazing speech at commencement this last year. His path has been a tough one, but God has been faithful to him and now we get to be coworkers! He is getting married in a week and a half. I don't get to go but I am so excited for him. I have to be here meeting new students whom I will be able to invest in the way I invested in him (and he invested in me). I can't say that this would happen at many other places.

It was in the quiet moments of printing ID cards that all of this came to me. My work is not in vein. I am blessed. So, as I return to the seemingly mindless work of preparing for students to arrive back on campus, I think about the great things that happen because of the mundane. My work is for the Lord. I may have helped the one student who God meant for me to influence, but somehow I think there may be more work for me.

Find your quiet moment and reflect on why you do what you do. I bet there are blessings in your mundane, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I thought of something but it makes me sound like a whiny baby...will you still be my friend?

I just finished typing my "in progress" to do lists for my job at the College and they are exactly 3 pages long and going strong (that's right, there is more than one and I know more things will come up). These are all the things that I need to do in the next month and a half. I feel like having a pity party and asking for the rest of that chocolate cake that we enjoyed at Shanna's last night. Sorry for whining but I thought someone out there might care that I will be bald by September 1st.

On a brighter note, Mandi said I could come over and eat dinner (this means I don't have to cook tonight. I am down with that. Cross dinner off my list).

See you in September!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Babies!!!!

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Not really mine, but I can't help myself! If I never have my own children, this is the closest I will ever get to knowing what it's like to be totally infatuated. They are amazing gifts from God and I am so blessed that my brother and sister-in-law are amazing parents! Madeline and Jordan are precious and I can't imagine them ever feeling like they aren't loved. It breaks my heart to think about the fact that there are children out in the world who wonder. I am so thankful that I can be a part of their lives. The entire time I was with them, I felt like I couldn't tell them enough how much I love them. Poor Madeline was probably tired of hearing me say it to her 80 times a day. I guess I would rather her be tired of me saying it than wishing that I said it more. May we all tell each other too often how much we love each other rather than have anyone wish that we said it more.

P.S. I'm not sure what face Madeline is making! I think she didn't like the flash on the camera

Monday, June 27, 2005

Back to the Grind

So, here I am back at my desk at work. I would much rather be with my niece and nephew but life goes on, right? There is much to do here in the office since I was gone for a week but I don't wanna (said in most whiny voice possible)!

Monday, June 20, 2005

I love my life...

So, I just got back from the hospital a few minutes ago. I got Madeline tucked away nicely for a nap and got caught up on the blog scene. I just had to get on here and tell you all that my nephew is perfect! He is absolutely gorgeous and perfect! He looks like Mike, which is freaky, but he is very handsome! Go look at Tim's blog for a pic. I wanna go take a nap (Madeline has A LOT of energy!). Bye, friends!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another baby...

I am pleased to announce that my dear friends, Tim and Mandi, had their baby girl last night. OLIVIA MABEL (isn't that the cutest?) was born at 8:47pm weighing 8lbs 2oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. Mandi and Olivia are doing well. I am going to visit them at lunch and desperately wished I had a digital camera to share photos with you of, I'm sure, one of the cutest little girls ever.

Now I just need Mike and Janna to decide it's time for baby. Mike, could you take Janna for a run or something? Madeline said she is ready for her little brother (she did, she told me last night...).

Monday, June 13, 2005

This is what I've decided...

I have decided that shopping for wedding attire is never fun. NEVER FUN!!!! I adore my friend but I did not have very much fun looking for clothes for her wedding this weekend. We did get her dress ordered, purchased my dress, found and purchased a dress for her niece (for $27!!!) but I am not a fan of shopping (at least not for clothes). Let me shop for books, home decor, clothes for my niece, CD's...basically anything but clothes for adult people (especially for weddings). I think the other thing that is difficult about shopping for wedding attire is that everyone has an opinion about what should be happening. You can't solve the problem because everyone wants to be involved in the process (I, myself, am guilty) and give their wonderful ideas (again, I am full of wonderful ideas). With each wedding that I am part of, the better it sounds to go get married on a beach somewhere and invite all of your friends and family. If they can make it great, if not, sorry for all of us but I will still be married at the end of the day. That sounds good.

The wedding is going to be beautiful. I do like what she is doing. It is going to be a lovely occasion. Just not a fan of the shopping.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mullet Central

Since James is dying to know what happened at the concert, I thought I would give you a taste of what happened, though nothing I could say would bring you to that place. :)

I have never seen so many mullets in my life. Now, when I have gone to see Bon Jovi (twice) in concert, there are always some die hard fans

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was released for the first time. But at this concert, I couldn't believe how many mullets I saw. There were gobs of "older women" holding on to what might have been in their youths. These women seemed to have no concept of how they have aged and how you don't still carry a can of Aqua Net with you in your purse, take it out, turn your hair upside down and start going to town with the hairspray. There were TIGHT tapered jeans, men who thought they were as hot now as they were in high school and thought they might actually have a shot at the hottie a few seats down. It was a an 80's rockfest reunion. What frightened me most were the young kiddos who had borrowed (or had their own) original tour tshirts at the concert that they were proudly displaying in the hopes that Bryan Adams or Def Leppard would catch a glimpse of them. I guess its better than them proudly regurgitating 50 Cent or Eminem. Although, there were some pretty provocative lyrics at this concert, too. I guess I sang at the top of my lungs "I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet" and I turned out alright (some might disagree).

Overall, it was a fun concert. I think I enjoyed people watching far more than the actual concert. I think Rici died and went to love song heaven. She stayed down at the stage for the majority of Bryan Adams' performance. She did snap some good photos (we're just waiting to get copies so we can post them). He basically looks exactly the same but older. No one could understand a word that Def Leppard was saying when they would talk.

Anyway, there is a little taste of what we encountered at the Bryan Adams/Def Leppard concert. I know you are jealous.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Poor Some Sugar On Me

Tonight I am going with several friends to a Def Leppard/Bryan Adams concert. I have NO IDEA what the combo is all about but it will be fun, I'm sure. I'm putting some money down that I will see at least 5 mullets tonight. Perhaps even some spandex. I'll let you know all about it later. Rock on!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sunday was a good day...

Sunday was fantastic! Our new minister was here this weekend looking for a house to purchase (they won't actually be here until August). Worship was outstanding! I was moved to tears because I was so happy (I realize I am often moved to tears for various reasons but Sunday it was out of joy). God is so good and He is so faithful to those who seek after Him. I needed to be with my church family and praise Him with them.

We then had a picnic in the park across the street from the community center. We just hung out together and we haven't done that much. It was a good day. I love my church family.

That's all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

It's Official...

Well folks, we have been waiting for this day. I know she is busy working her way through her list of people to contact but I am so excited for her that I can't keep my mouth shut (I often find this task difficult)...


She has been patiently waiting for God to bring this man into her life. She did it God's way and I am so excited for her and proud of her for being wise and patient and doing what God wanted her to do. She is an example to me of what it means to trust God. May God bless you with decades of happiness, friend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My friend Buffy

Today was a good day. I got to walking at the crack with Rebecca Marie (it's been a while) and catch up a little bit. The crack wasn't good but it was good to get this old body moving and talk with my friend.

The best part of the day (sorry Rebecca Marie) is that I got to see my friend Amy, who has several nicknames, one of them being Buffy. I'm not even sure at this point why that happened. I think one day we were making fun of old rich ladies and ridiculous names that they have and started calling each other Buffy...I have no idea anymore. She is the gold to my silver. Everything about us is opposite(she is short and I am tall, she is thin and I am...not, she is blonde, I am a brunette, etc.) except that we love God, we love each other and we love to laugh out loud a lot. I can't imagine my life without her in it. She lives in dumb ol' Houston with her husband, who is a youth minister (and her younger brother also lives there with them). Anyway, I don't remember exactly when the last time it was that I saw her (maybe Christmas 03?). She flew into Seattle to visit with her parents and other family in the area and then she and her momma (one of my other moms) got in the Golden Easter Egg to drive to California where her other brother and sister-in-law live. Amy has a niece that she has never seen (I would die if my brother and sister-in-law were still in Texas and I wasn't able to see
Madeline. Thankfully they wised up and moved back to the Northwest). So Amy and her mom stopped on their way through town so that we could have breakfast together. It is amazing to me that I can have a friend that I haven't seen in forever and it's like no time has passed at all. I am blessed to have a couple of these friends. We had a quick breakfast, good conversation and they were on their way. Buffy is currently with child and I am sad that she is so far away from me. It was, however, a really good day because I got to see my friend, Buffy.

God is so good at giving us people in our lives to love us the way He would if He were here in human form. Buffy is one of those people in my life. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is nothing I could do that would make her stop loving me, just as God does. I am so thankful for both.

This picture is me and Buffy from a couple of years ago. It's the only digital picture I have of the two of us:

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She is one of the best people that God ever made. I am thankful to call her friend.

Monday, May 23, 2005


So, here is how my weekend went...

I was getting ready to head to Seattle on Friday to do an
Arbonne class when I got a phone call from Timmy that his car had broken down on his way up from Salem and he was stranded at the N. Wilsonville exit (he was flying to California to do a youth rally). It was 11:45 and he was supposed to meet the other dude who was going at noon to ride to the airport. "Oh, ok. I will let him know and I will hop in my car and come get you. I'll be right there." Tim was able to find someone to take care of his car (which looks to be a bad battery), so he left it on the offramp and we headed to Portland. I got Tim connected with our friend and headed on my merry way to Seattle. I got to Seattle just fine (although traffic up there is horrid no matter what time of the day you get there). My friend Paula was running late so I sat in front of her apartment for 25 minutes waiting for her. We got ourselves put back together (sortof) and went to dinner and did some shopping at the ol' Super Mall (which isn't very super, by the way). We hung out and watched TLC's What Not To Wear (wild Friday night!!!!). Because we are both old and ridiculous, we went to bed at like 11 (and she had to go to work the next morning). I woke up at 9am bright eyed! I was so displeased. My plan was to sleep until like 11 but it didn't happen. I put a bagel in the toaster and went to the restroom. I was jolted off the toily by the sound of the smoke detector. I tried to burn down her apartment! I couldn't get the smoke alarm to shut up!!!! I was able to save the house but not the bagel. I made another but stayed and watched it very closely. I laid on the couch and watched episodes of Newlyweds with Nick and Jessica and Cribs before I finally got up and showered and got myself ready for the day. I went to Paula's sister's house, who was hosting the class for me. Paula's mom, sister and one other person were the only ones who showed. So, needless to say, it didn't go as well as any of us had hoped. Paula's sister and mom both gave me money because they felt bad and felt like I didn't even make enough to cover my gas. So sweet.

Paula got off work and came over to her sister's house. We were going to Sam's Club because Paula needed to get food for a thank-you party for her volunteers at work (Wild Saturday night is a brewin). Paula switched cars with her mom because all of her goods weren't going to fit in her car. Paula's sister came with us. We stopped at Applebee's for some half-priced appetizers for dinner. It was at Applebees that Paula realized she didn't have her wallet (uh-oh). She called her mom and asked her to look in the car. Not there. Not in her mom's car, not in the Applebee's bathroom, not at her sister's. Where was it???Paula at this point feels like she is losing her mind. Paula has a business check for Sam's club so we go there. She decides she would like to by her office just to make sure she didn't leave it there. We drive 45 minutes to the Sam's club on that side of town so that she can also go by her office. Crazy long night but it was fine. We chatted with one of the artists who was working on a mural at the Children's Village and her husband. They are Christians so it was nice to just talk about life. Her husband was a student at one of the other small Christian colleges in the Northwest. Paula got a phone call at like 10pm that her mom found her wallet in the car after all! YAY!!!!

Yesterday was a crazy long day, too. We got up and went to church, which was fabulous and then I got on the road. I had to stop in Puyallup to deliver some products and then headed back home. I already knew at this point that I was going to need to take Tim back to Salem since his car was not here. The plan was for his plane to land at 5 and I was going to meet him here at the College at 5:30 and get him home. He called me about 3 and said his flight was delayed and he would be getting into town at 7:30ish. So, I just went straight home and took a little nap. I got up and went and visited my friend Amy and peeked in my new apartment (Amy said they had been sanding my beautiful hardwood floors all day). I can't wait to get moved in!!!! I left Amy's and came over to the College. I thought I would wait for him here, check email maybe get some work done until he got here. Well, he didn't get here until 9:30!!!!! I still had to drive Tim home to Salem. We had to go by my apartment so that Tim could get a few things that he had left there. We went through the Starbucks drive-thru for coffee and I noticed that I was short a headlight. Tim and I then drove over to the Fred Meyer and in the parking lot at 10pm with hardly any light, Tim changed the light for me. I didn't get home until 12:45 this morning. God sure thinks He's funny. He did orchestrate a great opportunity for Tim and I to catch up. I hadn't been to Tim's apartment yet and he was able to show me where some of their ministry stuff has been taking place as we drove to Tim's place. God is always good. I will choose to look at Tim's car breaking down, but easily fixed problem, and Paula's missing but then found wallet as God always showing us that He is in control and often, there is nothing that we can do to solve the problem (but how important it is to help each other out when we can). He also wanted me to be a helpful sister and have the chance to hang out with my fantastic brother, and be a supportive and calm presence to my very stressed out friend. So...long story about my crazy weekend~ hectic but good. It was nice to sleep in my bed last night and I am looking forward to doing it again very soon. Let's always look for the blessings in the craziness that is life!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Just Thinking...

I was reading my fantastic brother Mike's blog about some of the things he heard at the Pepperdine lectures. I have also been reading the amazing things that Timmy has been saying about evangelism. I'm just wondering what it is going to take for us to really and I mean really get the message of Jesus. I mean, all of my life, I have known about Christ, I have gone to church and often times thought I was worshipping Christ. Why can't I love people, and by love people I mean really love people, the way that Christ wants me to? What is wrong with me? Where did I fall and totally and completely miss the mark? Why am I so stubborn? Why am I so unwilling to live my life with passion for the God who makes it possible for me to be in relationship with Him? Why do I so crave the trappings of the world when it so clear that my life is full when I am in Christ? Why do I get so caught up in my imperfections and lack the desire to share the saving power of Jesus with others because I fear that they will reject me? How dare I! How dare I not share Him with everyone I encounter! How dare I not ask my friends to hold me to holy living! How dare I not hold my friends to holy living! Will I look foolish? Maybe! Does it matter? No. I have been saved from my sin and yet I chose over and over to live in it and turn my back on the One who freed me from the death that comes with sin. Why do we continue to chose death? Why do we chose death for others by withholding the Gospel out of our own personal insecurities? I think if I truly felt the transforming power of the Gospel, I wouldn't have these hangups. How do I swallow the depth of the Message? Do I need to spend time working through the spiritual disciplines? What do we need to do? What is it going to take for us to really get it? What are we afraid of? What would the world look like if we all became dangerous Christians, unapologetic, unafraid, unrestrained...what would happen if we all let go of whatever doctrine that we have emersed ourselves in and emersed ourselves in the blood of Jesus Christ?

I know that my thoughts are jumbled. What I know for sure is that we have got to get serious about the faith that we claim to have. I need to get busy loving people and finding ways to meet people where they are and not expect them to walk through the doors of Living Streams and understand what is happening there (no matter what that may look like).

Lord, please reveal to me in an unquestionable way the Gospel as you intended it. Help me fight through my own issues so that others may also have life with you. May I never hold back your message out of my own fear. Continue to love me in the way that only you can and show me how to love others the way that you want me to. Please forgive me for all of the times that I haven't chosen to do the right thing for whatever reason I may have done it. Thank you for being a forgiving Father, a loving Father who wants nothing but the best for each of us, I know you want us to all live full happy lives covered in the peace of knowing that you are in love with us and can't wait to be reunited with us. What else could I possibly need?

Friday, May 06, 2005

New Lease on Life!

I am excited to report that I have signed a new lease and am moving at the end of the month. After spending time in South America, I felt like I was monopolizing more space than I need and I have WAY more junk than I need, so when my dear friend Amy told me that there was an apartment in her complex opening up, I decided to go for it. It is a charming complex but space is limited (not like Paula's space was limited but limited nonetheless). I get to downsize and get rid of things that I don't need/use and live more within my means. My challenge right now anyway is to deny myself more than I allow myself and I usually don't succeed. Do I really need all of the clothes I have? Do I need more CD's than I could listen to in a month? Do I need movies that I rarely watch? Where do you draw the line? I am currently challenging myself to get rid of half of my movies and CD's and to evaluate my wardrobe and take it down a little. It's been easy to toss all of the stored up chemically based makeup, shampoo and cleaning products that have been sitting in my cupboards for months but can I really give up 5 of the 10 sweaters I own? Probably with much struggle and inner dialogue. It really will feel better if I can get myself down to even 20 pairs of shoes, rather than 50. Who am I that I need so many things???? I am really truly looking forward to this task. Anyone wear a size 10 shoe who might could benefit from my purge? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

They Break My Heart

My heart is heavy this evening. We had some "interactions" with some students today. Over the past few weeks I have just learned more and more what it means to "get God" and to have a relationship with Him and what it means to not. So many students that I work with (I would argue even staff and faculty members, too, but that is an entirely different issue...or maybe not. Maybe they are learning it from us) just don't understand the freedom of true relationship with Christ. I remember being there. I remember how lost I felt all of the time. I even remember feeling angry and confused about my purpose in life. The world was screaming at me to do things it's way but it felt wrong. I tried to find happiness in worldly things and even when I knew there had to be a better way to live out this Christianity that my parents taught me, I didn't feel right. There was much soul searching and painful, self-inflicting lessons, that brought me to my faithful Father who so graciously welcomed me into His arms. I still don't get so much. I still know that it could be even better than I am choosing. I understand that He is the source of all that is good in my life and I am the one who has to decide how close I am willing to get to Him. He is so right there waiting for me, always has been, always will be.

Thank you God for always being there. I pray that you reveal yourself in such powerful ways to these students who think they have it all figured out. Please cast out all doubt that they may have. Please show them the peace that is found in knowing you and being with you. Please help me to be patient with them when I forget that I used to be there. Please give me words of wisdom and mercy when I interact with them. I want to be a window for those who are seeking and never a stumbling block. Please help my humanness and selfishness to not get in the way of them seeing you in me. I want them to see your love for me and for them. Thank you for holding me to your standards and not my own. Yours are so much better (and often harder). I may not always like them but I am always better for choosing to walk in Truth. God, I ask that you give me glimpses of hope when there will be no more battles with Satan, when I am Home with you and I will no longer struggle to make the right choices. May you be blessed when I do make the right choices!!! May I always give you glory for my successes, for they are not mine.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Here is another story from Venezuela. On Tuesday of the trip we were supposed to take a "jungle excursion". I put quotes around jungle excursion because that is not at all what we did! We went into the Andes Mountains (I would argue the foothills surrounding), and they didn't have any Andes Mints, I was sad about that. Anywho...we all piled into the bus and took a good hour and a half drive into the mountains. It was HOT and sticky. How the bus made it into the mountains I will never know. There were a couple of times when we thought for sure that we would have to get out and push the bus up the mountain roads. The scenery was gorgeous once we left town and got up into the mountains. GORGEOUS! We get to this outdoor "strip" that has 5 or 6 "huts" that are all connected (I don't really know how to describe them). We drove passed it and stopped at the end of the road. Everyone got out and we went over and looked at the horses. Well, you can pay to ride the horses. So, that is exactly what the students did. For $1 (I think), you can ride a horse around the track that they have set up. I think that I very well may have been the only one not to ride (why would I do that to some poor horse!). It was so much fun to watch everyone riding on the horses. You could tell who had been on a horse before and who hadn't. There were lots of funny visuals but the funniest of all is where the title of this post comes from. Lisa is one of our students and she is hysterical. She is a happy girl who loves everyone! Some of you know who I'm talking about, others have no idea and I don't know how to describe her to you. So, Lisa gets on a horse and takes off. The track goes around a kind of hill (a small hill but you can't see the backside of the track because of it). We got busy watching other people come and go. About 5 minutes later I realize that Lisa hasn't come around the track yet, which is a long time. "Where is Lisa?" about that time, you see her rounding the back turn. Her horse is the slowest thing ever!!!! Seriously, like pokey, I think my 96 year old great grandmother would have rounded the track quicker, if she was still alive. Lisa is just as content as can be. She gets closer and we see her with the whip gently tapping it. The only way that I can describe it is it looked like she was tickling the horse with the whip. When she got closer, you could also see that she was talking to the horse, like having a conversation with it. It really was the funniest thing that I have ever seen. Now, the running joke with the girls who witnessed it with me and Lisa, when we see each other, we give each other a little "tap-tap" like Lisa did with the horse.

There are pictures floating around. As soon as I get my hands on one, I will gladly post it! It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen! This experience would be one for the "Why I love my job" category.

P.S. At first, Lisa thought we were making fun of her. It was funny because it was her. It would have been funny if it had been anyone!!!! I wish you all could have been there to see it. You also may be wondering what took her so long to get around the track. She said that her horse stopped for lunch along the backside. He wanted to graze before finishing the trip. Poor horse was hungry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not for the faint of heart

I was at an Arbonne meeting last night and I learned about something that I had never heard of before. I was actually horrified and promptly decided that I was never going to eat again...seriously, if you get ill easily, do not read the article linked to this.

I really couldn't believe that the government is ok with allowing these sorts of things to happen. Where is the FDA and the EPA in this? As much as I am thankful for learning things, sometimes I truly believe that ignorance is bliss.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

what if...

you could just spend your day in relationship with people, never having to worry about making money and doing stuff? I feel like my best work is in relationship with people. I just got done chatting on IM with a friend who met someone for lunch. The gal she met with is searching. She wants to understand her place, why she is here. She was raised Christian but she was never taught to look at God or the Word for herself and find her very own personal place with God. So, now, she is desperately trying to figure out where she fits. She is currently evaluating Buddhism. Basically my point is, we had to stop talking because we both have jobs to do (now I realize that I am actually now typing on my blog but I had to say something). I know that ministry can get draining emotionally and it is difficult. But really, I just wanted to keep talking to my dear friend about the stuff that matters in eternal perspective.

Off to write letters of denial for students who want to live off campus next year but don't qualify. All these students will know of me is that I didn't give them what they wanted and so I will always be a jerk to them. I promise that there are days that I love my job...I love my job on the days that I get to have really hard conversations with students who are struggling in their own faith, wondering, questioning and searching for their own place with their Creator, pushing me to explain my own reasons for why I believe. Those are the days I love my job.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Why do you worship?

My boss, the Dean of Students, is teaching Personal Spiritual Development at Cascade this semester. I went and sat in on his class today. He was talking with them about worship. He threw out the question "Why do you worship?". The class was sitting in silence. It wasn't silence out of reverence for God or thinking about really good times of worship. He then through out the statement "I think you're silent right now because you don't have any idea why you worship". I think I have to agree with him. I think that I am starting to develop a list of reasons why I worship but I haven't always been in that can't answer with "because"...

Why do you worship?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Basically, she makes me happy!

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I just had to share this little piece of heaven with everybody! How could that not make you smile? It makes me giggle every time I look at it. I think she's up to something.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Mecada anyone?

One of the first nights we were out for dinner (which we averaged eating at about 10pm every night for dinner). We had gone to a strip of "keyosks" at the edge of town. There were probably 9 or 10 different places to choose from. Each place was set up with plastic patio chairs and tables. There were several of the church members who were either out with us or came and met us for dinner (and to pick up the students who were staying with them). I was with a couple of the girls, Anna and Shannon. They were low on funds this night so I was going to buy their dinner. We saw the preacher, Leo, and his family eating. His kids were eating what looked kind of like a gyro. They looked good so we decided to go for it. They were called Shawermas. The girls ordered pollo (chicken) because its safe and you know what it is. I felt more adventurous and so I asked what his youngest son was eating. It kind of looked like shredded beef. "Mecada", Leo said. So, being the brave one, I ordered it. I was munching away on my dinner and Anna decided she wanted to know what it was. Jose, one of the guys from Barquisimeto, was sitting at the table with us, eating his cheeseburger and fries, answered Anna's question with a "BAH" sound. "Lamb?" Anna asked. He shook his head no and promptly added horns to the top of his head and quickly changed the sound to me much more reminiscent of a goat sound. We all broke out into laughter...I was eating goat meat!!!! Anna turned to me and said "are you ok with it" to which I replied "How would you feel if you just found out you were eating goat?". She replied with laughter and then took a bite. Both of the girls tried it. It really tasted fine. It was a bit tougher than beef. We took a picture with our Shawermas and Goat horns. Hopefully, I will have a good picture soon to add to the site! So, one of Rebecca's great stories from Venezuela is my consumption of goat. First Spanish lesson for all of you...MECADA=GOAT.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

One Thing I Learned In Venezuela

One of the biggest things I will take away from my time spent in Venezuela is the passion that the Christians have for the Lord and for those who aren't in relationship with Him. You see, about 99% of the population there believe in God, they just don't know how to worship Him. The Christians there say that their job is to teach people how to bring Christ into the daily workings of their lives. These people are on FIRE for God!!!

So, basically, these were the happiest people that I have ever met. They LOVE each other so much because Christ loves them. I was blown away by the love that they have for each other and so freely share. They aren't ashamed to say that they love each other, embrace and they have the greet one another with a holy kiss thing down! I have never had so many kisses on the cheek in my life. All from strangers!!!! The difference is that they don't see me as a stranger. I am a sister-in-Christ. It was amazing.

The lesson that I took away came in the way that I treat those around me on a daily basis and the way that I look at my God. If I truly believe in Christ and His words, I am called to love those around me more than I love myself. I think this is where their happiness comes from. They are SO selfless and generous. These people who have nothing have EVERYTHING! They have Christ who promises to meet every need that they have and they have their brothers and sisters, where they get support and encouragement. Like one of the students so eloquently stated, WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE POOR BECAUSE WE DON'T GET IT. We look to things of the world to make us happy and we are not happy as a whole. They have truly put their hope in God. May I truly find my hope and my peace in Him who promises me these things.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


So, since returning to the States, I have had an incredibly difficult time staying out of the bathroom! I don't know what is happening. I'm convinced that I have a parasite. I feel some comfort in having talked to others who were on the trip and are having the same problem, but there is a problem nonetheless. I am just hoping that I don't get up from the toilet one of these days to find something similar to Rebecca Marie's last post. I have heard some horror stories from people who have traveled outside of the country and come home to some serious problems with new friends growing inside of them. Anywho, please pray for all of us who were on the trip and are having a difficult time right now. There are many upset stomachs! It is quite inconvenient! :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

I'm Home

So, I made it back to the US. For this I am thankful! There are far too many stories and thoughts to put down here but I will gladly share as I can. The best way to sum up this experience is " I will never be the same again...". The people of Venezuela love each other and they shared that love with each of us. They truly understand what it means to love your brothers and sisters. I was told that I was loved by people I had never met before simply because we share Christ. These were the happiest people that I have ever met. They have a real hope in the God of all promises that he will provide for them and that his promises are true. They are a people who have the joy of the Lord! I was so blessed to be in Venezuela this week. They have challenged me to experience true joy in the Lord and to share that joy with everyone that I meet. More stories to come! Lots of work to catch up on. Adios amigos!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's Almost Time!!!!

In approximately 10 hours, I will be gathering with the rest of my team in the Johnson Center at Cascade to pray, double check baggage, maybe catch a couple of z's before we head to the airport at 3am. I have some serious butterflies in my tummy and fear that I may actually make a mess in my pants. Help me God to be calm and trust in you! I am just filled with so many feelings. Feelings of anxiety, excitment and anticipation, a little bit (ok a lot a bit) of the fear of the unknown. In the end I know that this trip is only going to change all of us for the better. I am really excited to see what God is going to teach us through this.

In chapel today, Shane had us reflect on Psalm 139 while listening to the Shawn McDonald song, Beautiful (go to Amazon and listen to a sample):

As I look into the stars
Pondering how far away they are
How You hold them in Your hands
And still You know this man
You know my inner most being, oh
Even better than I know, than I know myself
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I, what am I
As I look off into the distance
Watching the sun roll on by
Beautiful colors all around me, oh
Painted all over the sky
The same hands that created all of this
They created you and I
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I
That You might die, that I might live
What am I, what am I, what am I, what am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I

It is so amazing to think about this big and powerful God who created everything longs for nothing more than for each of us to be in relationship with Him, loving Him and loving others. It is that simple. There isn't anything else to figure out. I am so excited to see how another culture worships the very same God! How can you not be changed forever?! Please lift us up in prayer as we begin this adventure. May we all continue to seek our Creator and come into a richer and more real understanding of Him daily! I love you all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


When was it that EVERYONE became the exception to EVERY rule? Was there a memo sent out to the rest of the world that I just didn't get? I'm having a frustrating day at the office dealing with college students (some even in their 40's). You kind of expect it from 18 yr olds but 40? Come on...welcome to life people where there are rules and consequences for not following said rules! I LOVE my job but there are days like today when I want to throw in the towel in frustration. I can tell it's time for a break. We gather for departure to Venezuela in 34 1/2 hours!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Attention Everyone: Prayer Answered!

Praise the God of Hosts! My passport came this morning via FedEx just as I was leaving to come to work! The original is still missing, but at least I can go on my trip! Everyone who is going on the trip met last night. We were able to pray in our groups and just be together. It seems as if everything is coming together. The primary prayer concern of the students was feeling a bit of anxiety about not knowing what to expect. We are taking a leap of faith and trusting that God has brought us this far and He will see us all the way through. A large majority of these students have not done anything like this before (as I have not). Our prayer last night was that God would bless us and teach us so much while blessing the people that we encounter. We want to be servants first and foremost and what we get back be icing on the cake! We want to do God's agenda, not ours. Man, it is right around the corner and I am getting so excited!!!! I'm sure that I will update soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Where is my passport?

So, I called to check on my passport because I haven't received it yet and well, we are leaving in 10 days. They tell me that it was completed on the first of February and should have it by now. OH GOOD! So, I had to send a statement and copy of my drivers license to them so that they can reissue my passport in time to go on the trip. GREAT! In the meantime, there is a good chance that my birth certificate is just floating around somewhere out in the great Postal Service void. Please pray that one, I get my passport in time to go on the trip and two, that no one has intercepted said birth certificate and passport. I guess someone could try to assume my identity. They would be sadly disappointed when they couldn't buy loads of junk because my credit is OUTSTANDING and my bank account, even better than the credit! So, I guess, shop away sad identity theives! You picked the wrong girl. MUHHAAAAA!

Hurts So Good

I have had some serious AH-Ha moments this week. God is teaching me that I need Him. He is teaching me that I am selfish and most often have the wrong motives when asking for things from him. I was reading in James this morning and I "stumbled" across 4:3, which says "And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure". Um, ouch. I know, I know, pleasure isn't wrong, but when I ask for things that aren't bad, but the reasons that I want them are selfish, I am not truly looking to do what God would have me do. I'm making everything about me when it needs to be all about Him. Um, ouch again. I have to say that it is frightening and horrifying to ask God to show you what you are doing wrong, where I am misguided. He has shown me some very serious issues that have kept me far from Him, unable to truly commune with Him because of feelings I have been having (without even realizing it). He really does show it to you and it is painful yet so good. I have spent more time this week crying out to Him than I have in the last couple of years. These things that He is revealing in me make me run to Him all the more because I can't fix them by myself. He is so faithful, so good to comfort me during this time of struggle. How amazing is the God of all the Universe that He will make Himself known in our weakest moments! In the times when I feel the farthest from Him, His most unfaithful child, He comes in and holds me and whispers in my ear how much He loves me. I am speechless.

P.S. 10 days until I go to Venezuela. Please pray!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Xanga Blocked at Cascade!

Apparently there are questionable things on Xanga making the boys at the 'Cade struggle, so they asked Jimmy to block it! URGH! I mean I understand that we should help with struggles and all, but come on! Before you know it, everything on the internet will have to be blocked because people cuss or have things that bother someone. So, I will begin posting on here until this site gets blocked. :)

This weekend was fantastic! Mostly because I got to see Bebo Norman live (he came to the All-School Retreat). He's just the cutest thing. He brought a couple of guys from his band and they played a very laid back hour of music. Basically it was awesome (all for you Becky). Overall, I had a very mellow weekend, which was fine by me. I thought that I was going to have a lot of things to do but most of them didn't work out.

I am getting really nervous/excited about my trip to Venezuela. We leave in 11 days! WOW!!! 11 days isn't very far away. I still feel uncertain about what we are doing and how everything is going to happen.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My Other Blog

I created this blog so that I could post comments to blogs on this site. I have another blog already established...who knows...maybe I will end up liking this one better. You can visit my blog at See you around!