30 August 2011

if you see this today...

would you pray? Our neighbor is having surgery to remove cancer. They're also checking some spots on her liver, where the cancer may have spread. She's 21 with three tiny kids. We long for life and fullness and hope and healing for her body and her soul. Her name means Noble and we pray that she would be that.

29 August 2011

23 August 2011

my journal still smells like campfire...

Sun through trees, over trees, lighting morning
pulling steam and mirroring mountain
on the pane of the lake.
Trembled--and the mountain shudders,
shadows, shimmers.

Slowly squinted eyes, stillness & imagination re-
clarify and remind my mind.
Re-flection, re-fraction,
obscures the unobscured.

I thought about the mountain in the morning. The mountain on the water. Real or not real? I got annoyed at my philosophical-ness. And yet, I kept coming back to the thought.

Yes. The reflection is real.
Yes. It can be moved, it is not sturdy.

I'm thinking...is this the kind of authority Jesus has given us over mountains?

17 August 2011

love is a good thing!

We were at Kennan & Becca's wedding last weekend. It's such a joy to be at a wedding, celebrating with the families and remembering the blessing and the journey of this covenant called marriage.

Lately, we're living close with a few families that have grown and developed and lack the foundation of a covenant, and my heart breaks.Marriage can be so, so good. The everyday, richer/poorer, sicker/healthier, better/worsness of it. This commitment is probably the hardest, scariest, transformingest thing in the world and it's a good thing. This is one of our favorite love songs. Go Reckers!!

(Love is a Good Thing by Andrew Peterson)

15 August 2011

the Volcanos!

I hadn't really heard of the Salem baseball team before, but we sure did have a great time!

Debby (David's mom) was invited to sing the national anthem with her acapella group and we got free tickets to go with! (Thank you!!!) They did a great job, just notice how reverent the people in the background look. We all jumped when they actually made some bombs burst in the air...

Ha ha! The mascot is a crater!

I was super duper excited because this is my first real baseball game. David even bought me a $4.50 bag of cracker jacks to celebrate.

After the game--which lasted a riveting TEN innings there were fireworks! It was just perfect.

13 August 2011

spear fishing

When I thought of spear fishing, I envisioned something I think I'd read about in fourth grade.

Now, I have a different picture in my head. Our neighbor, Abi, has been bugging David to go fishing with him for about nine months. Originally, Abi would head down to the river and sit on the side, fishing pole dangling over the cliff, pretty normal-style, relaxing fishing. More recently, Abi's taken up spear fishing. By this he is talking about under water, foggy snorkel mask, slippery rocks, five-pronged spear, fish hunting. David's gone a few times and we've eaten a few really yummy (and free!) small mouth bass.
Yowzers! What a wild and crazy man I'm married to!

12 August 2011


This is probably more for me than for anyone else, but Christina and I just jotted down some thoughts on transitions. Particularly going back to a place that you've been away from for an extended period of time. She's led a group of college interns this summer and they've just all left. Christina wrote the normal, I added the italics.

Adjusting Back...

People will have remained the same, you will be different. They won't know that you’re different. They might not ask you questions. You have to learn to be ok with people not being that interested in what you’ve learned or how you’ve changed.

Along with this, be bold in just volunteering information. You know what you want to tell them. You know what experiences you've had. There are a lot of people that would want to know, but just have no clue what to ask or where to even start. You'll probably feel this even from your family and closest friends.

You will have to adjust to a “new” normal.  Going back home, you won't be able to slide back into normal life. You’re different now. You will be in the process of creating a “new” normal.
This is hard work. And probably more important work than anything you did during the summer. Long lasting change and maturity is what it's all about. 
One of the keys in this for me, was integrating the things that I'd learned into my current context. There's not TWO of you. There's just one and you have new things that you are now responsible to bring back into your context.

Oh, and be okay with letting yourself feel the emotions--happy and sad and etc--of the transition. If you need to cry about something, do it really well! That's really the only way I know of to get it over with. 

Don't expect people will want to know or talk about it to the extent that you want to talk. 
Think about how you can talk about experiences in ways that other people can relate to. Reduce the times you say snobbily "back when I was on my missions trip…" and increase the times you say "last summer…" Internally, this does two things--first, everyone else had a last summer, too. And they'd probably love to talk about it as much as you want to talk about yours. Talk and listen. Second, it helps you to integrate your life. Not two different yous, but one you over the course of time.

But you do need to process. Find people in your world that are good enough friends that will listen to you and set aside times to talk. Keep in touch with other interns and process what its like back home, what you miss, what is frustrating, what brings you joy...

Also, write stuff down--journal, emails, blog, write lists, poems, doodles, funny things, conversations you want to remember. Or draw pictures, write songs, whatever are your ways of remembering stuff. It'll be helpful for next time you go through this same kind of thing. And helpful for remembering treasures and milestones that you don't want to forget.

Think through--realistically--a few people you'd like to stay in contact with and be proactive about it. Think through how to transition your relationship to be current. Talking about things that are currently happening and that you'd like to see happen in the future. If you only ever talk about the "glory days" your friendship won't develop beyond the memory of the past summer.

Remember that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. He is the same in every  city state place and context. He was with you during the summer and is still with you  now. Cry out to him, he will listen, and he will ultimately be the one that will understand. 
If you have personal experience returning or living with a returner, we'd love to hear your dos centavos :)

09 August 2011

uh, yes.... yes, yes, YES!

Three days ago I turned 32. I think the older I am, the richer I feel. Every year I like my life more. And it gets harder, too. We are facing trials of various kinds and I guess I just always wonder how to be. How to feel and rest and be in pain and in the unsolved. And how to rejoice at the same time.

I read this today in James and am mulling over it:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The testing of your faith... For me, these are the questions that come: Is God enough? Is he good? Does he love? Is he able? Can he save? Does he see? Does he care? Will he protect? Do I believe? Often, I hold the questions just below the surface. Just below acknowledgement. But I'm realizing that in the asking of them, in the answering of them, in the hoping and waiting, in the resounding yes!--there is faith.

And the testing, it produces steadfastness...
which we must let have its full effect
                         let the steadfastness bloom
                                     mature, ripen, ferment
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.