Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Summers

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

--From A Tale of Two Cities

When I was in seminary one of my professor's favorite sayings was "Can you feel the tension?"  We learned what it meant to be immersed in paradox, on the one hand learning so much about the building blocks of our faith while at the same time sometimes losing it.  I remember it being one of the most challenging times of my life.  And yet is was key in giving me a faith I could stand on, as all of the flimsy stuff fell away.  It was there I learned to look beyond the feeling of God's presence to God Who is always Present. As difficult as that time was, I am profoundly grateful for it now.  I am still standing.

But there are days.  Again I find myself in the middle of a paradox.  On the one hand this has been (as my son Isaiah would put it) "the best summer ever!"  Just last night we enjoyed a game of kickball in the front yard during the semi-cool of the evening.  It was a lovely moment of family fun, all of us playing together.  Even my 19 month old was there, except he preferred digging in the dirt on third base.  At one point I paused and looked at my life, filled with wonder and joy, grateful to be there with all my boys.  There have been many moments like that this summer, more than in the past.  Moments full of laughter and love and togetherness.  Sweet moments blessing me with hope and humor.

And then there other kinds of moments, other kinds of days.  My heart feels raw with the pleading for God to answer one simple prayer, prayed with every inch of my being, all of my molecules straining toward Heaven with longing.   There were times like these in seminary when I decided God wasn't there, or that God must be disabled.  I've lived enough since then to know better.  God hides for reasons that are beyond my understanding, yet His hiding always initiates my deeper seeking, yielding treasures that are worth it in the end.  They are just not so worth it in the middle.

I catapult between the extremes:  Gratitude that takes my breath away, and helpless yearning aching for God's intervention in deeply held need.  Sometimes I feel so full, so joyous.  Other times I feel stripped to the bones of faith, empty of all assurances that my prayers matter.  Those are the times I'm no fun to be around.

As much as I long for sight, this is not the time for seeing.  (I hate this!) I believe it is the time for being present.  It is the only thing of value I have to offer Him right now.  "I'm still here," I tell Him.  "That has to count for something."  So far I haven't heard His answer.  But I'm guessing that if being Present is one of His best gifts to me, then He can be pleased that I'm present with Him, especially when it hurts so much.

This is me trusting,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Day at a Time

I remember watching infomercials as a kid.  Back then it was never so much about kitchen gadgets as it was about music.  I used to think about how only old people would know the songs from the advertised albums.  Then there came the day when Time Life was selling 80's anthologies.  I knew then, I'm old.  The last couple of days I have been remembering one infomercial in particular.  It was a commercial selling music performed by Christy Lane, the headlining song named "One Day at a Time."  The chorus goes like this: 

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking from you.
Just give me the strength 
To do everyday what I have to do. 
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.

It's been playing in my head the last couple of days.  It is a summons, an invitation, a beacon, a hint.  So easy to hear, so hard to do.  Mostly because I am a planner.  I like to anticipate what is coming so I can be fully prepared.  I hate to be taken by surprise.  I guess I live by a secret belief that if I can wisely use the resources of today, tomorrow won't be so bad.  But in this moment, it is impossible to see that far ahead.  As much as I have an inner resistance to it, I have to live into this season one day at a time.

On topic, Jesus says this:
  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?. . .  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:25-34).

Of course I want to say to Jesus, "I know worrying won't help, but planning ahead is worth a lot of hours."  In all of this, the heavens have been strangely quiet.

It's as if I am left with the words themselves.  No warm fuzzies.  No angel messengers.  No mysterious signs.  Just my Bible and the familiar faith that says the words found there are worth something.  Familiar faith has to work right now; my feelings are mute.  I can hear the childhood whine in the bottom of my gut, "But I don't feel like it!"  I feel like taking charge.  I feel like manipulating my circumstances to give me and my family an acceptable outcome.  I feel like leveraging all that I am for a future that is out of my grasp.  It's hard to let all that I care about rest in God's hands.  Mine are so much more accessible.  Harder still to rest my self there as well, when God seems so silent.

Seasons of honing our faith are like that I think.  If it were easy it wouldn't be called faith.  It would be called sight.  In my blindness I am learning to live into this day, one day at a time.

This is me trusting,


Friday, July 22, 2011


This morning  Big Bird and Mr. Snufalupagus couldn't figure out why they didn't stay in the air after jumping.  Gordon explained gravity in its simplest terms:  what comes up must come down. Everything falls back to the earth once it is released into the air.  Something about the topic spoke to me.  The weightiness of it seemed to call out to me.

Gravity is defined by as:  "The natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body, such as Earth, upon objects at or near its surface, tending to draw them toward the center of the body."  I realized this morning that life has a lot of gravity in it.

Ordinary things fill me with quiet joy.  Each day is filled with the surprise of true pleasure coming out of the simplest tasks of domesticity.  It is almost as if this is what I have been waiting for my whole life, to be the queen of domestic bliss in my own home.  Who would have ever guessed?  Twenty years ago my plan was to establish a career, situating my anticipated marriage and family around it.  There was no question as to what would come first.  Even when I felt called to ministry and decided to follow God into the great unknown of ordination, the work always had priority.

Since then the gravity of God has quietly rearranged my heart, reordering it almost without my knowledge until the day I was courageous enough to embrace my true self.  What I have found is that I love being a wife and mother.  That is the highest joy in my life.  Last night I sat at the table enjoying dinner with all my boys, a simple meal that I had made.  Each Sunday I now look forward to cutting coupons.  Even restoring order to the house is no longer a chore but a pleasure.  I actually like cleaning our bathrooms.  Who is this woman that I have become?  And where is that other girl who used to be in her place?

The concept of gravity speaks most clearly to me here.  In Bible times farmers would harvest grain by first separating the wheat from the chaff.  To accomplish this the wheat would be thrown up into the air.  The weight of the wheat kernels would send them back to the ground while the wind would blow the chaff away.  It seems like this is how God has quietly transformed me, using the circumstances around me to bring me home to my true self.  There have been several times when I felt like everything of who I was had been thrown up into the air.  Each crisis was a crucial moment when some of my hopes and dreams would die in the moment anguish and disappointment.  Ultimately I would discover that I did not miss what had faded away.  What remained was more vivid and real, truer and dense.  So much more my real self.

In this new airborne time I am finding that not as much of me is going away.  I hate everything being up in the air.  I hate not knowing where everything will land.  But I love the freedom I feel as the untrue parts of myself fall away.  The need to fit into an institutional plan is gone.  The overwhelming responsibility of keeping of a ministry I love healthy has passed.   The burden of believing that Wesley's future depended completely on me has vanished.   I love that I am with my boys more.  I love that I can rest my heart and head under the strength and love of my sweet husband.  Everything about this new path of not working full time just feels so right.  Trusting God to work out the details is hard.  It's something I've usually always done.  But not being the only one to work them out is good too.  I feel like I've come home.  And it is such a sweet one.

For this season, I am airborne.  But I don't think it is a bad thing, as painful as it is.  Because the thing that is being blown away is my tendency to do what I think is right because it is sensible, practical, but not at all what is in my heart.  The gift of this season is that God has done the hard thing for me, the thing I never would have done because I love my family and my students so much.  He removed the burden of trying to do it all, working full-time and being a full-time Mom.  And as much as I love my students, they already have mothers.  For my boys, I am their only one. 

So this is me trusting that following my heart is not a bad thing.  It is a risky thing, but what life worth living is ever without true risk?  For me, the greatest risk worth taking is to turn my back on everything I once thought I wanted and simply come home. 

This is me trusting,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To Stay in the Fire

Sometimes when I write, the truth of my world at the moment emerges on the page, and it's like I recognize it for the first time.  Writing seems to draw it out of me.  It's not something I plan, in fact it usually happens by accident. 

Like yesterday.  I'm writing in my journal, pretty much rummaging around my heart looking for signs of faith.  And it hits me:  I'm not at a place where I can articulate what is happening to me or in me right now.  I have no idea what mark this chapter will leave on my life, my family, my marriage.  I am hopeful, because I've seen enough to know that God really does work things out for good.  But the good I am hoping for seems so far away, and ultimately it may never be.  Good in God's eyes can be so different from the way it looks in our own.  I have no sense of direction, just a sense of being caught in circumstances I am helpless to change.  I see no movement.  I hate being stuck in the middle of uncertainty.

Here are the words that spoke truth to my heart as they landed on the page: 

The circumstances we are in are doing their work in us--like we are the silver, thrust in the refiner's fire for the moment.  It's impossible for the silver to be fully aware of what is being shaped in it while it is in the fire.  All that registers is the heat and the pain.  Only after it is removed and cooled can it see what the heat and the Artisan's hand have done. . . .  To stay in the fire is faith.  To know that someday I will see its worth is trust. 

Faith can be painted in so many different ways.  Often it is tied to our beliefs, and the strength of our faith is judged based upon what beliefs we hold or what we believe will happen.  Believing becomes a convenient indicator of one's faithfulness.  As long as I believe the right things or in the right way, then I get to be counted in the "good Christian" category.  But what happens when our belief comes crashing down and no good alternative steps up to take its place?

It seems to me that inherent in the belief litmus test is an audacious assumption that our beliefs obligate God to do X, Y, and Z.   Quite honestly God is the most perplexing and frustrating person I know.  Like Aslan in Chronicles of Narnia novels, He is certainly good, but never tame.   What then happens to our faith when (as Beth Moore has said on occasion) God does not behave?  Especially when God does not behave the way we believe that He should?

So faith right now for me is about our relationship, the one I share with this incomprehensible, bigger than I can imagine, and I can't imagine what He is doing right now God.  I choose to be in the relationship, even though some things in my life hurt right now, even though my future is uncertain, even though the answers I seek are not coming, even though I hate being stuck in this place that I can't get out of.

Faith for me is knowing that God is still good, even when I cannot feel His goodness the way I want to.  Faith for me is trusting that in His time He will give me eyes to see.  Faith for me is knowing that there will come a time when every part of this uncertainty will make perfect sense.  Until then, to stay in the fire is faith; to know that someday I will see its worth is trust.

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  Isaiah 43:1-2

This is me trusting,



Monday, July 18, 2011

Not Done Yet

I've been wrestling with what ministry looks like for me now that I'm no longer employed in a full-time ministry position.   I have told college students for years that God has great plans for their lives, that they can change the world.  And I never once told them they had to have special circumstances in place to do it.  I just told them they only had to offer God themselves; God was responsible for orchestrating the rest.  Somehow it's easier to be the messenger of such a powerful message.  It's so much easier to believe it for somebody else. 

On my birthday, my sweet husband asked me to read a passage from his library book.  In The Cause Within You, Matthew Barnett shares the story of being at the end of his rope, ready to give up on ministry, on the dreams God had planted within him.  It was then that God brought him to a chance encounter with an ordinary man of extraordinary faith.  This gentleman prayed for Matthew in such a powerful way that Matthew returned to his dreams ready to step boldly into the future.  This is what he says he learned from the experience:  "There is life after giving up!  You may run low on inspiration, but the dream doesn't die.  The calling remains firm.  You are not done giving people hope and new life until God says you're done.

In that moment I felt Barnett's words pierce my heart, bringing tears to my eyes.  Life and faith still continue, even when our paths take an unexpected turn.  From the beginning I have believed that this change in vocation was really an invitation from God to follow my heart's desire, giving my unrealized hopes and dreams a chance to be planted instead of buried.  I guess I also felt that God's ability and desire to do something through me to make God difference in the world had been buried along with my old job description which so obviously gave me an avenue for recognizable ministry.  These words of promise are like balm to my broken spirit, and so like Paul's assertion that God's promises to His chosen people are still viable:  "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable"  (Romans 11:29).

It's so easy to focus on what I can't do, and so easy to forget that I serve a God Who creates the very universe out of the nothingness of space.  It's so easy to forget that God can take the emptiness of what I have to bring Him and do the impossible with it.  He's just that big.  Paul goes on to express this later on in the Romans passage: 

"O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord?
   Or who has been his counsellor?’
‘Or who has given a gift to him,
   to receive a gift in return?’
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen"
(Romans 11:33-36).

So I'm still not really sure what the future holds.  But God can use me.  God wants to use me.  More than I want to be part of His plan for bringing redemption to others, He wants me to be a part of His plan for bringing redemption to others.  At least that is what I would tell my students.  And to be true for them it also has to be true for me. 

This is me trusting,


Friday, July 15, 2011

Hope Rising

I first noticed it a few weeks ago while I was running.  Summer storms had left chaos around the neighborhood.  I had assumed the overturned flower pots were just more debris from the driving wind and rain.  As the days passed I thought it odd that they had never been righted.  Until this morning when I passed them again and happened to look inside.  It seems the upturned flower bins are that way for a purpose.  Beautiful flowers are growing sheltered by the shade provided by the large tin buckets standing on their sides.  It is quite stunning, and gives pause for reflection.  Surely it must be a mistake, I think.  And then I look closely at the neat arrangement of growth, as if someone thought long and hard about what flowers and foliage would grow best in the unusual placement of their flower bed.  It reminds me of my life. 

 When we first learned that I would not be returning to my last place of ministry, it took our breath away. We were in shock.  In the span of a three minute conversation our lives had been upturned, like the flower pots after the storm.  Yet slowly shock gave way to something else.  Quietly, slowly, we began to discover a deeper truth holding us; perhaps this wasn't a surprise to the One who had called me there in the first place.  Perhaps this was part of God's calling me to a new path.  Perhaps this was part of a greater plan.

One of my students shared Gunther's song "Beautiful Things."  I play it often.  It stirs me deeply.  When I feel discouraged, it reminds me that from the beginning of time God has always taken the debris of chaos and plants beautiful gardens.  I love these lyrics:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around

Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

As I am living into this new season of our family's life,  I am learning how dependent my faith has been upon outcomes.  I am beginning to see that faith in God is less about trying to convince Him to arrange for better outcomes and instead to trust that He already has the outcome in His hand.  Faith is becoming a daily choice where I choose to believe that the outcomes are unfolding according to a greater plan.  Even though I don't always understand, by Grace I am choosing to believe that the greater plan is beautiful.  Just like the upturned flower beds.  They are beautiful.  Unexpected.  Singular.  Unduplicated.  But incredibly beautiful.

And just as those new flowers are rising out of strategically placed potting soil, reshaping a lawn into an invitation to enjoy beauty from a different angle, I sense God inviting me to trust that beautiful things are growing out of the soil of my life too.  Though the seeds planted there are still tender, not yet sturdy and strong, their tenacious hold on new life inspires me to hope.  Those subtle stirrings are indeed there, every time I let go of my need to have things turn out in the ways I expected and allow God room for surprises.  Uncertainty seems to be the best seed bed for hope to rise in.

This is me trusting,


Monday, July 11, 2011

Content in My Tent

Nice toes, huh?  I only paint my toenails during the summer.  Most of the year I am pretty unconcerned about my appearance.  I usually dress in jeans, a t-shirt, and hiking boots.  But something happens in the summertime.  As the sun comes out and the days lengthen, I really want to live into the joy of being alive.  Perhaps it is because my birthday falls in the middle of July, and I want to make the season special.  For me that involves taking a little extra time to attend to small details that usually I ignore.  It's like for these three months out of the year life slows down enough that I can notice what it feels like to live in this skin,  appreciating the gift of being alive by adding splashes of color to my normally mundane routine.   To a small degree it is a celebration of the vessel God gave me to house my heart, mind, and soul.  I remind myself with gratitude:  this is the body that gave me the joy of my heart; even with all its scars and aging, this is the body that made me a mother.  And so this is the time of year that I take a little extra care, saying thank you to it and to God for another year of life.  And in just a few days, this body will take me into a whole new year again.  As I celebrate turning another year older and living boldly into the joy of walking a new path, I thought I would share some other things I love about summer time.

Things I love about summertime:

painting my toenails

eating grilled corn on the cob

playing outside with the boys

getting to spend extra time with my wonderful hubby

wearing sandals

trading in make-up for the sun-kissed look with just a touch of lipstick

sleeping in

dressing up and looking pretty

long morning runs

playing kickball in the front yard

making homemade banana bread

enjoying impromptu visits with friends

going hiking with my sweet husband

backyard barbeques

sherbert in an ice-cream cone

camping out in the living room

dancing with my boys

dinner around the kitchen table

sweaty hugs and kisses

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11 "I have learned to be content with whatever I have."  Summertime for me is the best time to practice this.  With a slower than usual schedule I am no longer distracted by busyness.  It is like my family is given the rare opportunity to learn to enjoy just being together again, without the rush.  And for me, I am learning to enjoy being in my own skin, to treat this temple of the Holy with care, dignity, and love.  I am learning to be content in my earthly tent, to accept it as one of God's gifts to me.  I guess this is my birthday present to myself:  to live this season as if I truly like being the girly girl that I am, the woman God made me to be.  It seems like to be an American woman one must criticize and blame, punish and control the body she lives in.  But for this season I choose to be care-full rather than critical, to trade in my complaints for simple complements, and to be at home in the skin I'm in.  For the rest of summer anyway, this is my road less traveled.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Washed with the Word

Last week we found bag worms on our evergreen bush in front of our house.  They are probably the grossest thing I have ever seen.  They are really larvae that create little pods for themselves out of spit and the foliage from the bush they are eating.  Individually they cannot do much, but collectively they can kill your plant in a couple of weeks.

I've wrestled with this image and how it fits into a broader context of my life.  At first I thought it represented my battle with boredom this summer and the struggle to make meaning out of limited choices.  But what I realized this morning while I was running is that there is a much more dire threat looming on the horizon than boredom and limited choices. 

Since I've left my time at the Wesley Foundation, I've been careful to preserve in my heart the truth of this change.  I totally believe it is the hand of God.  I totally believe it is a gift of freedom to be enjoyed and lived into.  I totally believe it is an opportunity to boldly and courageously follow dreams that I thought were impossible.  However, transitions are rarely smooth, and God knows how difficult it has been.  Especially the impetus that created the change.  It would be so easy to dwell and ruminate on the parts of this transition that were unfair, to become bitter about the details.  The temptation is especially strong when someone who doesn't know that my time at Wesley has been completed asks about it.  So I try to focus on the joy of the new journey, the gift of this time with my family, the peace of knowing I no longer carry burdens that were hard to bear.  It seems easier to turn away from those paths of bitterness when they present themselves because my internal reaction to the past is so different from that of looking into my future.  The choice is clear, and I can choose to redirect my focus toward the future.

But I realized this morning there is another area of my life where this choice is not so easily discerned, where discouragement and hopelessness can easily take root, escaping my notice until I realize I have come  to a place of despair that is hard to get out of.  There are some things I have been asking God to intervene in for a long time, years even.  It seems like my prayers have been useless and I would give up praying them, except that these prayers are a part of a deep and abiding love for a dear treasure in my life.  I can't not pray, but it seems like my prayers have availed nothing.  I so want God to show Himself.  I so want to know how God is moving.  I am so ready for this walk of faith to become a place of sight.  I so want to know God cares about this need, and that He has a plan for resolving what is beyond my ability to help.  I so want to know I can trust Him to be present in the need and to meet it in only a way He can.  The lengthy discouragement and repeated disappointment seem to be robbing me of that trust.

And then I remember the bag worms.  Often they are hard to notice because the larvae wraps itself in the very parts of the evergreen that it is destroying.  So the bush or tree looks normal until the little buggers have completely taken over.  Because they don't look alien to the host plant, one doesn't think to remove them.  They look like they are supposed to be there.  But in taking parts of the plant to make their pods, the stuff of the plant becomes the very thing that becomes part of its demise, if action isn't taken.  The remedy is to remove the pods and treat the plant with something that will kill the bag worms.  Oddly enough, one suggested treatment is quite simple.  Soapy water.  That's it.  Ordinary soapy water.

As I was pondering this whole metaphor this morning, I began to think of how my longing for answers from God can easily turn into bitter resentment.  And how deceptive this bitterness can be because it is wrapped in the very stuff of my love and longing.  And yet, when I allow this unrequited longing to come between me and God, it becomes the very thing that kills the faith that keeps me alive.  I am reminded of how crafty the enemy is, so deftly disguising evil in good, masquerading as an angel of light.  I also love how beautifully the metaphor of remedy speaks as well.  Just like the infected plant needs to be doused in soapy water, the best cure for doubt is a soaking, washing, Word. 

Ephesians 5:26 says this:  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  I love that God's Word has the power to preserve us as the radiant bride of Christ, without stain, wrinkle, or blemish.  I so need that.  My heart so needs that.  I can't do it on my own strength.  I need His.  I need Him. 

So I leave this moment no less confused about the predicament of my prayers.  But I think I know which path now is the one to take.  After all, the whole essence of this new journey I'm on is to take the road less traveled.  For this time in this moment it means I must rest my longing on the strength of God's Word, trusting the efficacy of His Word to do for me what I cannot do for myself:  to keep my desire to see Him holy and radiant, without stain or wrinkle or blemish, holy and blameless.  Only God can do that.  I guess I better get to soaking and washing.

This is me trusting,


Sunday, July 03, 2011


"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I love this verse.  When I mentioned it in my last post, it was like manna from heaven, giving me a hopeful and life-giving frame of reference for the last three months of transition.  The last few days I have held this verse in my heart along with the question, "Who am I when I'm naked?"  I'm not talking about standing in front of the bathroom mirror naked.  I'm talking about the kind of naked that happens when something you used to believe was absolutely essential to your personhood is gone, those outward trappings of identity that helps the world know who you are and how you fit into it.
For a long time I associated myself with my job description.  If you asked me who I was, that identity was wrapped up in being a campus minister.  And while I absolutely loved it, it was hard to fit anything else in.  I'll never forget going on a Celebrate Jesus Mission one summer and a gentleman there saying to me about my work, "you have to be committed but not invested."  After he told me that, I began to figure out how I could be committed without losing myself.  I believe God slowly gave me the grace to find myself beyond my job description.  And in the aftermath of no longer being in a position that defined me for so long, I believe it is why I'm okay.  In fact, I am more than okay.  I can see God's hand in the mix of all the circumstances of my life, giving the absurd order and giving meaning to experiences that at first glance left me baffled.  What staggers me and fills me with hope is that I feel joy and peace, like my future is wide open rather than shutting down.  I feel like the captive parts of myself have been set free. 

So who am I when I'm naked?  Every year the trees where I live lose their leaves.  In fact the whole life cycle of a tree is filled with transitioning from one season to another.  Sometimes the outward growth is obvious.  Sometimes all the growth happens beneath the surface.  But whether it is the season for leaves or not, a tree is always a tree.

The last nine years have actually nourished me, showing me to myself.  I know I am a shepherd at heart.  I know that laughter is important to me.  I know that writing connects me to God in ways that nothing else can.  I know that teaching others helps me grow.  I know that being a wife and a mother is my most important work.  I know that my life has to be filled with creative expression.  I know that the only life I want to live is one where I live each day in the presence of God, free to follow Him wherever He leads, free enjoy the life He has given me. I also know that I absolutely hate being an administrator and the one in charge.  I'm so grateful that part of the last season is over.  These are all gifts that my sojourn in campus ministry have given. 

I'm not sure what all that this new season holds.  I am trusting God to unfold it in His time and His way.  But I believe that it hold as much blessing as the last season did.  I believe this new beginning is filled with promise and hope.

This is me trusting,