Thursday, July 21, 2016

poke a what?

The word of advice from my daily calendar says CHILL. I'm pretty sure I don't even know what that means anymore. What I do know is that I am looking forward to the Wednesdays that I am home BEFORE 11:30pm after leaving the house at 8:00am for work. One more week to go to have that luxury. Or, I could kick youth out of my car as soon as I get to their homes. However, it changes things. I have family coming to the car to talk to me, family that watches their language around me, family that doesn't have a trusted adult to learn about life from that isn't biologically related. God is doing something BIG here. It's affecting the entire family unit and it's been interesting to see the dynamic change.

It's a lot like this Pokemon Go phenomenon. But really, is it any different than geocaching without the GPS unit? They have switched out the model a bit, but it's the same concept; walk around, find treasure/pokemon and record it while OUTSIDE. It's helping build family relationships, breaking down other walls because EVERYONE can do it, and helping foster moving.  On the other hand, it's also creating a world of poke-zombies. People endlessly staring at phones unaware of their surroundings. We see this a lot at church; where we typically have a LOT of turn around traffic; it has now doubled due to this game. I've seen several "lost" looking teenager boys with their phones out turning in circles in the back parking lot and then contemplating their next move.
And I sit and wonder HOW we can reach these people and show hospitality to them? It's HOT, like should be late August hot outside this past week. Maybe they need some water or candy or certain characters that only the church can provide? As the main employee into the media/communications/etc stuff, maybe I should download the game?

.... Maybe.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


I feel like I am drowning lately because it's been raining for the last two weeks and my garden needs weeding and my grass needs mowed, but every spare moment I have at home, it's either raining or night time.

And this next week is rummage sale prep at church, so I won't have much time then and Memorial Day creeps up and then Mission Trip. Yep, my next time/day off is in JULY!  JU-LY, people.
We aren't made to live like this at all...

I keep reading in Matthew about how the crowds always followed Jesus and He would just go away for a bit, pray, and come back. Whether it be in a boat or mountain or hill, He'd have to be alone...
He would have to PRAY to get His strength and endurance for the next day.  It's so easy to just let the days pile up upon each other and do MY will for God instead of letting God interrupt my will for His perfect purpose. And so I sit and wait on God. I sit and enjoy His presence, His perfect peace that only comes from Him and the day starts over. The week isn't as long, the youthies aren't as crazy.

So tonight, I run. Tonight I weed the garden, clean the house, pack up rummage sale goods and go. Tonight. While the Marine is sharing in Bachelor Party festivities, I'll be home. And I won't think about work very much, or ever. (sure sure). I can say that now...

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Messy Grace

red + yellow = orange, any 5 year old knows that.

But life is messy. and hard. SO  hard.

I'm joining life again after attending the Orange Conference 2016  #OC16  this past week. We (a Sunday School teacher & friend/family and previous youth chaperone) went to Atlanta Georgia. We left Monday Night due to the chaos of storms heading to the midwest and arrived back home Saturday Evening. So, it was a WEEK of processing and expecting and being away from our NORMALS that has created this twister inside me. 

I LOVED the Conference and cannot wait until next year's event to attend along with the Tour coming to Indianapolis this fall. It's so rejuvenating to be among people who want to invest into babies, children, youth, and families. It's great to be able to FULLY worship without watching the worship leader for song cues and hoping just this once I can get my in-ear moniter on and in place BEFORE he starts the song, or that my drum sticks aren't going to slip out of my hands from sweat, or that my youth aren't misbehaving again in the front pew for ALL to witness.  (or is that just me)? 

But then. THEN I come home. I print bulletins at 8pm Saturday Night for a 10am Worship on Sunday because I've been gone all week. I check e-mail and voicemail and we remove the church marquee  word because it is still advertising last Sunday's Concert. 
Sunday arrives. Normal.normal. Extra hugs from my youth because they've missed me. 
Monday arrives and it ALL hits me. Notes. Memories from the weekend. Song titles from Sessions. And the recap video makes me want to stay in this bubble of happiness.

and then in an ACTION move, I text my youthies (yes, DURING school)! I tell one I'm praying for her day. I respond to a daily HEY text, and send another text about how to help graduation transition. 
and Boom. Not the response I even saw coming. I'm reminded that this bubble isn't forever and MONDAY has come. I'm reminded I'm back in the city dealing with real problems and people and life is messy. It's not even 9:30 am yet. 

I spent a week in a few hotels checking out Louisville, Atlanta, and Nashville in our travels. I slept in cozy fluffy beds that would make anyone sleep. I ate picnic lunches in the shade, free breakfasts, and macarons and steak for dinner. I lived like I wasn't in the city, yet I was there, in three distinct cities all week long.I didn't see the cities. I saw the shiny Turner Stadium, Lifeway Headquarters, Nashville's Rock and Roll Marathon remnants featuring TobyMac, and still didn't see the cities. 

I came home and I saw the city. I learned that 1 in FIVE people living in Indianapolis knows hunger, including some teens I love dearly. I came home from work today after stopping at Redbox to see people in a car BEHIND my house doing drugs. I came home and learned that 20% of Jesus' lineage was step-parent families. Messy Grace.

So while I still have plenty of thoughts and ideas to pull me through this conference bubble, I feel it's been popped way too early for my taste. 

We discussed Judges in Sunday School. and I feel like I can relate to those times. Today in Indiana we vote for the next President in the primaries. The Marine did his research about the candidates and I've done my due diligence as a citizen and we'll take to the polls and vote which way God has lead us to individually. And we pray. We  pray for the messy grace around us. 
We pray for the all the mess that has arrived around us since moving to Indianapolis and living among her people in the city. 
We pray for the Bestie family because while we were safe at home last night, her family was not and she's among the suburbs. and I pray for the cars broken into in the "rich" suburbs of other church leaders. 

Jesus come.