summer

/Tag: summer

What I’m Learning from my High-Church Friends

[Note: This post begins a new shift in writing. During my time in Bible college, this blog served the wonderful purpose of assisting me in processing my musings about the Lord working in my life. I will still seek to honor him in all my writing, but now that I’ve graduated, I’d like to make my posts more structured and topic-focused.]

 

I am hardly a high-church type of person, although I spent the first seven years of my life in a place full of chant-y rituals, clerical robes, and passing the communion cup. That church, sadly, was a dead and cold place, and my parents left seeking Christ’s face in a church elsewhere. From then on, I have been fed and nourished in a series of Bible-based denominational and non-denominational Bodies.

In Bible College, I met my first Anglican friend. In a curious pendulum swing from our parents and pastors of our youth,

What I’m Learning from my High-Church Friends2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Kitchen Table and Expectations

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar in my parents’ kitchen. It’s 9:30pm and I’m knocking back coconut chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, courtesy of my mom and her practical love.

I’m thinking about a lot of things. Tomorrow I leave the Northwoods after a short stint home to begin: Year 4. I feel so funny about starting my last year at Bible College in the big city when three years ago, freshmen orientation was happening and I was scared to walk down the street by myself. In my head it’s only been about a week and maybe five minutes.

This summer, I completed an internship serving in suburbia with a local church’s women’s ministry. I have written a paper encapsulating my current philosophy of ministry to women, studied the Word immensely, took ownership of my retirement account, and upgraded my solo-highway-driving skills. I have struggled with anxieties, calling, future,

Kitchen Table and Expectations2016-08-20T05:02:45+00:00

Please Get Me a Bigger Box

I’ve recently noticed that I have a natural aversion to things I cannot figure out, pin down, hammer out. It stresses me out if I cannot put something  in a box; life is so complex, this obviously is not a problem I can avoid. I am learning more to lean into the complicated rather than shying away, as this is where so much growth happens, but it’s not my favorite. It’s an intentional, arduous mental process for me as such a strategic thinker.

Perhaps that’s why, in an ironic way, I love studying the Bible so much. It’s like an eternal treasure chest that I can’t figure out. Instead of the stress that clutches me when I cannot wade through the loud forum of Protestant evangelical grey areas (here’s my latest), conversations about yet another thing the church should be doing, and arguments about race without a frustrated headache, I rejoice.

Please Get Me a Bigger Box2016-07-28T03:32:47+00:00

A Snicket in Time

Motto for the summer, courtesy of a fictional children’s hero:

“Get scared later.”

I have been blessedly led to an internship in The Suburbs. I have been working with H the Women’s Ministry Director. I have been thrown into ministry and tested and humbled and busy with writing and loving my grandmother, aka my landlord for the summer, along with my Jesus-needing extended family and the aging neighbors down the street. I am being filmed every time I teach. I have been riding the train alone, driving down the scariest highway in the state, navigating a relationship, praying for my friends serving overseas, dealing with future and money.

I am being taught so much. It’s a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a summer of insanity that I couldn’t have imagined 9 months or a year or five years ago. It seems scary, and I joke about my mantra, but by the Spirit, I’ve been able to

A Snicket in Time2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Formica Counter-ing Culture

“Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.”   -King Solomon. Prov 4:23.

I grew up in the mid-2000s, hyper-purity youth group culture of Christianity. Youth group emphasized saving yourself for marriage, dating was implied to be bad, and everyone was always wondering whether or not you “liked” a guy because you talked to him for more than eight seconds. I remember specifically attending a conference on relationships as a teenager where the entire emphasis was, literally, about keeping your pants on. They were selling checkered suspenders in the lobby.

And then I went to Bible College.

Cue confusion over courtship, paranoia about sneak-attack coffee dates (“Is is a date? Does he like me? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN”), and engagements left and right. It’s a strange arena to attempt navigation, and the Starbucks counter down the street has witnessed many a DTR

Formica Counter-ing Culture2016-05-30T20:26:15+00:00

Wanted: a way to see beyond my sunglasses

Everyone wears sunglasses of perspective.

It’s hard to value your own at times. The big trendy thing to do is to take pictures with kids in Africa and/or post a Bible verse/indie song lyric on Facebook with a #vscocam landscape photo of some obscure beach. Meanwhile, back in the backwoods, God is moving quietly and has me singing in church on Sundays, hosting a couple ladies’ breakfasts, and selling toys in the next tourist town over.

Is this as exciting as spending my summer feeding widows in Guatemala or travelling the Southeast putting on Gospel camps for kids? Is it as meaningful as interning at a megachurch co-leading worship or studying abroad in the Mediterranean or serving at a family camp in Michigan?

God’s Word tells me the answer is yes. When I started working fast food at age 14, this was a verse I quickly memorized and treasured:

“Whatever you do, work at it

Wanted: a way to see beyond my sunglasses2015-07-19T00:28:05+00:00

Wanted: balance between relying on God for my future and going after it myself

I want to do well. I don’t do things halfway. I want to be known as someone who is reliable, able, competent.

A drive for excellence is still important — wanting to do well, putting all our effort into a task, seeking to honor God by giving him our best — but we must pray for discernment and conviction t0 make sure these things do not morph into idols of perfectionism.

Especially in a ministry setting, I’ve realized that this can be an iron wall: wanting to do your best, but relying on the Lord means that it’s not in your own power. Add in the the fact that there’s always going to be someone who is “better” than you (read: with writing, teaching, knowledge, gentleness, hospitality, Scripture memorization, master of the Greek text, everyone they talk to gets magically saved and you can’t even manage to effectively communicate your college major

Wanted: balance between relying on God for my future and going after it myself2015-07-12T21:20:53+00:00

Catharsis

It’s quiet around here.

I’m back in the city temporarily for work. Dearest Claire and I are rooming together for the week, and it’s a strange place without the crew, profs, and daily routines that light up campus during the school year. I’ve left Julia the Roommate, Hebrews class, and Year 2 behind. And I have come out more reliant on Christ than ever.

It’s as though this year opened up a whole new level of depth inside my heart. Things seem more real, more three-dimensional, more important. I know how much more I need Jesus, and I have realized that I am united with him as his chosen child. As the church, I am a part of the collective bride of Christ, joined with him as one flesh. I have seen intercessory prayer answered as friends have experienced peace, clarity, and reassurance from the Lord. My own faith has grown as

Catharsis2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00