Monday, May 21, 2012

my new meantime.

For those of you wondering and/or those who follow my blog at all, I’ve just come through a time of major discernment of how God would have me serve in His Kingdom.  I’ve loved my time serving in campus ministry.  It’s been an invaluable experience and a great first two years of professional ministry and development.  I have been so blessed by a place that has been full of relationship, worship, and mission opportunities all centered in bringing honor to Jesus and furthering His Name.  I do strongly believe, however, that God has used these past two years to prepare me for what’s next.  I’m confident in His calling for me to be a DCE in Arizona.

I will be serving as the first Director of Christian Education at Risen Savior Lutheran Church in Chandler, Arizona.
  I served there as an intern for a year about four years previous and have been delighted to see the growth and development that’s taken place since.  My position is DCE of Students and Serving.  I’m excited that I’ll be working with students and creating meaningful connections where they can grow in faith and life and fall in love with their Savior.  I’ll also be working in a brand new area of the church, which is the serving part.  I am thrilled about how God has impressed on this congregation’s heart to take bold steps in serving and honored to be part of carrying that out.  The congregation wants to be intentional about serving both locally and globally.  One of the ideas it seeks to explore is making a community connecting with some local Native American reservations.  I will be playing a significant role in those connections and how we might partner with those communities as well as other local serving.  My role in serving would also include coordinating and leading multiple mission trips each year to places around the globe.

The older I get, the more I realize that I have a unique heart.  God has gifted me with a random bunch of skills, passions, and gifts.  (Then there are these other things that I have not a clue about, but are exciting because I see opportunity for God to totally show up without me trying to take credit.)  I’m so excited about this new calling because it seems that my unique heart fits in the gap of this church’s need and where they are heading.  I love diverse people groups, orphans (both physically and emotionally), mentoring, traveling, culture, serving, worship, teaching, and walking with people as they get introduced to all of these things.  Most of all, I love Jesus and helping others love Him, too.   This position is going to challenge me, allow me to grow, allow me opportunities to step out in faith amidst lots of looming fears that tell me I can’t, and this position will offer grace and freedom to follow Jesus wherever He is leading for the sake of His Gospel.  You bet, I’m a bit scared, but I’m every bit just as excited.  I’m putting on my game face and saying, “Lord, lead on.  I’m trusting You.”

You know, a friend of mine recently told me that we’re supposed to dream big.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  That freedom that comes from the Holy Spirit brings a wildness—something massive and adventurous—that we are incapable of.  It causes us to dream dreams that we often think “oh, that’s not reasonable or practical.”  My friend reminded me that God doesn’t care about that.  He thinks “impossible” is fun.  He does “never gonna happen” in His spare time.  We are being used and following the Spirit when we dream so big that it draws us to our knees every single day because we have no idea how it’s going to happen, but we know God is working and capable.  So we, eager to be part of His creating and recreating, humbly submit to how He might use us.  This is how I’m entering this new call.  Excited.  Totally humbled by what I don’t know.  Expectant.  Joyful.  I never know what’s going to happen next, but if I did, that wouldn’t make the adventure very exciting, now would it? :-)

Thank you for your prayers through the discernment process.
  I’d love your prayers as this process unfolds—as God and I begin to dream about what this next chapter of my story holds.  Welcome to my new meantime.

new (original) song: I wait.

Well, it's not Bethany Dillon's EP, but creativity begets creativity and I was way overdue for some creative outlet.  A very rough first recording of my newest creation...

I Wait

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"To those who wait;" New EP from Bethany Dillon

Bethany Dillon has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters for a long time.  I've had the opportunity to see her live several times and chat with her a few times as well.  I've always admired her and enjoyed her work because it often seemed to me that we had similar hearts.  That was confirmed in the release of her new EP, To Those Who Wait.

You can pick it up on iTunes, but here's one of the tracks for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I think “home” is a strange concept.  People say, “home is where your heart is,” “there’s no place like home,” or my friend says, “home is where life realigns itself.”  After a childhood full of moving and an adult experience that has been nothing but transient, I have grown content with the concept that heaven is the place that is home.  Until then, each place feels a little like home, but parts are missing.  This is largely due to my philosophy on home.  To me, home is people.

I’ve thought this for a long time.  After a year in a van with 6 other people, it becomes apparent rather quickly that consistency, a sense of home, is only found with those consistently with me.  Home was my team.  I’ve seen that happen with college, camp, and internship.  It became the most obvious, though, once I’d left my “homes” and returned for visits.

This past week, I had the pure gift of spending a few days in a place where I’ve never lived, but it has seldom been trumped in the sense of home it brought to me.  I’ve never called St. Louis home before (except for in regards to Busch Stadium..go Cards), but a handful of my closest people live there.  They make it so for me.

It’d never been so clear as it was this past week that we are created for relationship.  More than a location, mom's cooking, or gardening in the summertime, home is a state of the heart.  Think about what you do when you get home after a long day.  You change into sweats, put your hair in a pony tail, lounge on the couch, and let it all hang out.  Home is where you can be comfortable, safe, and let down walls and masks that get put back on the moment you step back out the door.

This is my heart’s reaction when I’m among these people.  I’m comfortable.  I’m unafraid to show the most embarrassing and silly things that are often the most honest things about myself.  I feel safe to put on my emotional sweat pants and wipe off the make up of what is socially acceptable.  They see me with my flaws, joys, fears, doubts, and whimsical dreams.  I am known for all the crazy and lovely that I am without my value being placed in it.  And because of that, I can rest on the couch that is our friendship.  I am recharged, encouraged, delighted, and delighted in.  We laugh at things that would never even be shared outside of this home.  We cry about things the rest of the world wouldn’t understand.  We reach the silliest and most broken parts of who we are and the best parts of who we could become and it’s beautiful and refreshing.  In that place, I am so restored.

I watched in these past days as three of my favorite married couples delighted in each other and found home in those relationships.  For the most part, they are all away from familiarity of family and friends.  There are struggles, changes, and growing pains that they are enduring.  They have learned to lean on each other, have grown in that relationship, and have become home for each other in a very real way.  I can’t even imagine.  I already feel so at home with some of my friends.  Even thinking about being known and loved at a level greater than what I've experienced thus far is thrilling.

My dream of home refuses to stop there though.  How thrilling it will be to finally be in the presence of our Maker!  He knows us completely and loves us fully.  To be present in that kind of relationship and see it face to face is beyond amazing.  It’s wholeness.  It’s what my heart yearns for.  Even more than my greatest comforts or relationships, it’s satisfying.  To walk in and be welcomed by familiar open arms that I didn't even knew I recognized.  I see the best parts of myself in this Being.  I am consumed by His love and His glory.  I am complete and all is as it should be.  And that's when it happens.  I've arrived.  This is home.

I'm reveling in the fact that I got just a glimpse of that this past week.  I want to hear--what's home mean to you?