Saturday, February 26, 2011

To The Birthday Boy...

Yes indeed, today is the birthday of the man that I love! Erik turns 28 today, which means today is the day that people get to shower him with love and compliments, prayers and good wishes.
But as I think about it, I'm pretty sure that he makes a habit of doing that for everyone every day. If I have learned anything from this wise man of 28, it is this...

My parents sent Erik a birthday card and inside they included a part of an old journal of mine that they found. I wrote a journal entry to my future husband when I was 15 years old. 

"But what I look for in a guy is really important. I want a man who can stand firm in Christ's love and salvation. This is above all." 

(I think somewhere after that, I said something about brown hair, guitar, and California? Glad to know the priorities were straight!)

But truly, Erik, this is who you are. Rooted in Christ's love. Understanding and accepting of the incredible salvation and grace that has been given to us. And you live that out in your life, in the way you treat others, and in the way you love me.

You live under the commission that every single day is a chance to impact a life. Every single moment is a chance to let someone know that they are deeply loved and special. And why let that pass if you have the opportunity?

For all of the things that I love about you, Erik, I think this might be the one I love the most. Your heart never stops loving and your words never stop showing that love. Even when I tell you that it is awkward to shout "I love you guys!!" to a group of junior boys while they are standing outside of their high school, you still keep showing, and pouring, and preaching love!

Thank you.

Thank you for sharing that love with so many people. Thank you for not stopping or letting up. Thank you for being grounded in the one true love that saves and then letting that pour out of the overflow of your heart onto all of those around you, including me.

I love you.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Last year one of my neighbors came over to my house to let me know that she had seen some old windows in an alley on her way home from work. I'm not really sure how she knew about my awkward love of windows...but she did.
On a side note, Erik and I discussed today about my explosions of excitement about anything that makes me happy and how it may or may not scare people when I go 0-60 on the bliss scale in about 1 second. It is probably a safe bet to say that my neighbor found out about my love for window during one of these moments.


At the time, I was sick with a fever but still made Erik take me over to the alley to collect several of these dirty old windows, which were then put into our garage and moved from wall to wall waiting to be transformed into one of the glorious ideas that I had created in my head.

Fast forward One Year......

As I was cleaning out some of the excessive amount of unwanted and yet oh-so-hard to give away things in my home, I stumbled upon these windows.

Still dirty.
Totally forgotten.
Gleaming with potential.

Is this not sometimes how I look at ministry? At the beginning, there are explosions of excitement, energy, ideas, and opportunity. Nothing can stand in your way...not even a fever!! You jump on board with the intention to make the mundane completely outstanding.

And then....a year goes by.

And some of those great ideas worked, some didn't. Some of that excitement was warranted and some felt wasted. And most likely, the energy is gone. I think that is where I have been for a couple of months.

But the truth is, the potential is always there. It is never gone. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to get things going again. Sometimes just a rainy day. Most definitely the recognition that the purpose is much bigger than myself and that the plans that God has for something, that could seemingly be trash in an alley, are greater than my shortcomings.

And one day, you wake up refreshed and renewed. And stumbling upon something you may have forgotten, you find a new vision and pursue it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Like A Ball Of Yarn

One more day left until my husband comes home. Holy cow am I ready! I miss that guy like crazy!
The simple truth is that he most definitely holds me together. I don't think I fully knew this until he was absent. I'm beginning to think that I have completely unraveled in two weeks.

Example A:  I gave up diet coke. SERIOUSLY?!? And no...I'm not pregnant. I saw a news story about how it is KILLING people and decided now is not my time to go. So...cold turkey. DONE.

Example B: I have a joined a new family.They are a complex and intricately amazing family known as the Walkers. You can get to know them on the show Brothers & Sisters on ABC or on your live streaming NetFlix.

The truth of the matter is, I didn't realize how much I depended on him for my sanity. Don't get me wrong...I love my independence. But, when my husband, best friend, boss, singing partner, best listener, counselor, comedian is gone...well...I just unravel.

However, I've begun to believe that the "unraveling" of myself is not all that bad. I am learning that as things come undone, there begins to be more space for God. More space

"The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play." - Henri Nouwen

So, in preparation for Erik's return, I have challenged myself. Maybe instead of giving things up or distracting myself with fake realities...I should remember that solitude is not all that bad. That it is a gift and a discipline that I often overlook. And that the movement into solitude is a practice I should include in my life. 

And maybe...just maybe...all this unraveling is necessary to gently and persistently draw into our Savior. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love in the Little Things

Yes is Valentine's Day. That wonderful "holiday" that people love to hate and hate to love. I myself was a skeptic many years ago. The good ole V-day would rear its nasty little head once a year during a month that, frankly...was already slightly depressing. Right?
And if your town looks anything like my town...
You have been bombarded with a schmorgasboard of vibrant red and heart filled signs in grocery stores, drugstores, and even street corners, trying to get you to spend half of your paycheck on a human sized stuffed teddy bear holding a pillow heart that says "Be Mine" and a single red know...for romantic effect.

I must admit, that this alone is a good excuse for skepticism.

However, putting all of Hallmark's money making antics aside...I have come to love this holiday. And is not because of the excessive amounts of sugar you are "allowed" to consume without justification.

A dear friend of mine taught me a few years back that Valentine's Day does not need to be hated on because it is a commercial holiday that often turns out cheesier than the quesadillas that my husband makes. Valentine's Day is a day for us to be reminded, and to remind others, that there is love in the little things. That a simple note or a sweet treat to cheer someone's day might be all they need to know that they are loved.

I'm not often a "communicate in fluffy love language" type person, but it isn't a bad idea to have one day a year that gives us a little nudge to say, "Hey, I love you" or "Hey, you really mean a lot to me."

Remember when you were a kid and you would spend all day, maybe even week, making homemade valentines for every person in your class? You weren't dating in the first grade (well...hopefully not) and there were not any pressures on you if you hadn't found the person of your dreams. It was a simple and pure act of.....LOVE.

So go on....

Make a Valentine today for someone that you just want to show some simple and pure love.

Let us not forget that today isn't just about cheesy poems and red roses.

It is about showing love in the little things.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fresh Friday

What exactly is a Fresh Friday? I don’t know. I was looking for something catchy to go with Friday.

So, I’m assuming I can define “Fresh” however I want.

I’m thinking along the lines of “Fresh Honest Perspective.”

So, here we have it…

I hold grudges. Yes…I do. You know how it says in 1 Corinthians 13 that Love holds no records of wrongs. I pretty much fail at this. I have a store house of records, all neatly typed and filed away in my heart, so that when the timing is right (of course…in the heat of battle…always prepared like William Wallace) I whip those suckers out and BAM!! Not only am I going to be upset about the conflict that is going on now…but also about the one from Section B Column Q Row 5.39. Gotcha!

I had a conversation with a girl yesterday, years younger than myself. “Conflicts could be resolved so much more easily if people were willing to concentrate on the issue at hand and not all the issues that happened in the past. Why can’t people just forgive? I mean…REALLY forgive?”

A Fresh Honest Perspective from the mouth of a 15 year old girl.

Why is it so hard to forgive? To hold no records of wrong?

And wouldn’t this world be just a little bit better if we attempted to take those files and records that we so bitterly store away for heated moments and just….throw them away?

How are we supposed to love one another with filing cabinets chained to our hearts?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In A VERY Monumental Effort...

CVS is having a buy one get one free sale on vitamins.

Clearly this is time to make a monumental effort to get really healthy. I mean, this is definitely a sign from God, right? Who else is having such a gigantic sale in the "Healthy Living" section. Probably no one. 

So...I pounce. You really should have seen my basket. Rattlin' and Rollin' those sweet melodies of healthiness and good circulation. And then of course a gallon of All Natural Not From Concentrate Farm Fresh Organic Orange Juice to flush those puppies down! 

And the ONLY right thing to do would be to take them all when I get home. Because I'm being healthy...remember? 


Did you know you can overdose on vitamins? 

Me either. 

Apparently, concentrated doses of 1000mg of every vitamin that has ever been made don't all need to be in your body at the same time. And if you don't want the shakes, the room spinning, potentially a slight reliving of the Tea Cup ride at DisneyLand....

Just stick with a MultiVitamin....unless otherwise directed by your physician. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Beginning of a Shark Week-Kind-of-Life!

So, I have all these friends that have blogs. Also...a lot of friends that start blogs when they have kids. Lets get this straight...I'm not having a kid. At least not anytime soon. But, as I've been reflecting over my life, I'm realizing that maybe I have more to write about than I thought. You husband and I DO have kids. 

Approximately 170.

Ranging from the ages of 12-21.

How is this possible? Try working in Youth Ministry. It is very possible. 

And as many parents know, it is a challenge when one parent is gone. Which would be my scenario as of Sunday. The husband is at Bethel Seminary in Minnesota for two weeks. 

That leaves me alone with the kids. And that is where I begin my philosophy. 

Live every week like it is Shark Week! Some great advice I took in while filling my time with old seasons of 30 Rock. 

What exactly does this mean, you ask? Simple.

Live in anticipation of the most exciting and ridiculously amazing things you have ever seen unfold before your very eyes. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes very dramatic, sometimes even downright ridiculous! But always holding the notion that when you walk away, you will be a little more prepared the next time you step out into that huge ocean! 

And so, with a husband who is away, kids that need my attention and guidance, and nothing to do at night when I get home (other than watch 30 Rock), I would like to say...

Hello Blogging World. 

Let Shark Week begin!