Monday, October 30, 2006

Profiles, Volume 2

Today I get to share with you about Jenny.

Jenny was one of my first friends at Springs of Life Church (SLC). She has been a great joy to me, and our friendship reminds me a lot of familiar and good friendships I've shared with certain folk over the years.

Yesterday, I got to share some sweet time with Jenny during an afternoon drive through the Rockies. It was beautiful, snow covered yet sunny. A perfect day in so many ways. But the best part of our drive was the deep conversation in which we shared about life, God, and life in God.

Jenny has a simply amazing heart. She genuinely loves the Lord and greatly desires to know Him as her "portion." Every time we are together, I am sharpened and challenged to grow deeper in my own walk with the Lord. I treasure the time we spend together and can truly say that I enjoy Jenny.

Probably my favorite thing about Jenny is her uncanny ability to create word pictures that are often comical but perfectly describe whatever she is talking about. This is a gal who can easily laugh at herself, yet she is confident in her identity found in Christ. She openly shares her struggles and the messiness of her life and has deep wisdom to share with all who are open to hear.

I am blessed to know her.

(Jenny is the one on the left.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In writing an email to a friend earlier today, I realized two things:
  1. My prolonged absence from my blog.
  2. That I haven't shared much about these strange new people in my life.
So in an effort to remedy these facts, I'm beginning a new "series." Let's call it "Profiles." In other words, I'm going to share with you brief glimpses of the fascinating people of Colorado Springs.

, Volume 1

(By the way, since I'm not seeking permission from these people to do a write-up on them, I may or may not be using their real names.)

My boss. Dave (which is his real name).

I can't write enough to you about my boss. I continue to be blessed with wise and intelligent men in my life. Men who can provide advice, help me to choose the best path, and encourage me in my journey. Dave is another of those men.

My favorite time of day at work usually occurs toward the end of my shift when I sit down in the chair next to Dave's desk and we chat for 10 to 15 minutes. We talk about any upcoming events that I'm planning, any big changes that are coming up for the store, any rumbling throughout our district, and rumbling throughout the store. Then, inevitably, our conversation digresses to our personal lives, God, Church, etc. This is the part I enjoy the most. I get to see a little of what makes Dave tick. I get to see what's going on behind the intensity that drives him everyday. I get wisdom and advice on where I'm headed and specific things that are going on in my life.

Dave loves books. He loves our store. He loves his job, though he hates a lot of the corporate crap. He loves his wife and his two teenage sons. He has lots of passion, strives for integrity, and is completely honest about who he is and where he is in life. Some find him incredibly intimidating due to his passion, intensity, and straight-forwardness. I find those things refreshing.

(Yep, that's him in the dog suit!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

So there is much more to life right now than writing papers. Would I say that I am settled into life in Colorado? Well, yeah, I think I would. Would I say that I like it here? Yes, yes, I do. Here's some highlights of life in Colorado:

  • Hiking. Lots and lots of hiking in lots and lots of beautiful places.
  • Snow. It snows here. Twice in the last week. But not to the point that the roads are impossible and you feel trapped inside, which I would not enjoy.
  • Work. Yeah, I still love my job.
  • Bookfairs. One of my favorite aspects to my job. I get to help schools and literary nonprofits raise money.
  • Kids events. I get to play with kids and spend time creating crafts, coming up with games, and have fun finding cool, cheap stuff at the dollar store.
  • My online class. Love it. No doubt, there will be posts coming on what I am learning in this class. Friday night Bible Study. Lovin' the college and career crew at church. Lovin' being challenged to go deeper with this group of people.
  • The people I work with, the people I go to church with, the people I go to class with. Lots of good, good people, that God is using in my life in various ways.
  • God. Yeah, He's doing some pretty stinkin' amazing things in my life right now which I hope to share with you all soon!

So how's colorful Colorado? It's great!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I closed my eyes. I clicked the mouse button. And there it went--my first paper submitted in graduate school. I think I need to go for a run now...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

As promised, the more to come....

The last four months (yes, it has been four months since I moved to Colorado, can you believe it?) have been, well, in a word, remarkable. I have seen the Lord move on my heart and in my spirit in amazing ways that I cannot even begin to put words to. Let's just say that I feel that due to His loving kindness, I have grown more and seen more of the heart of God in the last few months than I feel I have in the last two years. For those of you who know my journey well, you know how big of a statement that is because God has certainly done a lot in the last two years of life.

One part of this great movement has been looking for authenticity in relationships and authenticity in myself. Like most of us, I excel at hiding the true me--the me God created me to be--from others. Life's lessons have taught me that people are not trustworthy and that when you are real and vulnerable, you tend to get stomped all over. But these are life's lessons and not the lessons of God.

Since moving here, there has been a huge shift in my relationship base. Before Colorado, majority of my major friendships were with Christians--a truth from my infancy all the way up to Portland. Now, however, majority of my major friendships, work colleagues mostly, are with non-believers. A big shift that has shown me much about how I respond to and interact with others. I find that for the most part it is much easier for me to be authentic with non-believers than it is for me to be with believers. Life has taught me that the expectations and judgments of believers are much harsher than those of non-believers. Non-believers tend to be much more open about accepting you were you are in life--your screw-ups, your achievements, your short-comings, your goals, your skills--the whole big picture of your life. I am fearful of letting Christians see the real me because I am fearful of their judgment.

All this to say that on the retreat of two weekends ago, God began to work a good work in me. I am learning in small baby steps to be authentic with all people. To cast down the idol which I have made of my fears of man, and to put my trust in the Lord. I recognize that people are not perfect, that Christians are not perfect. They will fail me, they will hurt me, but living in hiding does not please the Lord. By hiding I create an idol of my fear rather than turning to the Lord for my ultimate companionship.

These are baby steps in the journey--the first being recognizing the idol I have made of my fear, the second desiring to be authentic with all people rather than a select few. I have no doubt that this will be a long journey of seeking healing from what life broke and learning to live a new, authentic life. But I am excited for the journey ahead. I rejoice in what He is doing. I rejoice in both the trial of it and the life renewed because I trust that the Lord is working a good thing in me.