Tuesday, April 20, 2010

it's official, y'all.

i grew up in michigan, where we referred to our carbonated beverages as pop. twenty years later, i moved away to college in anderson, indiana. there i found myself surrounded by people who mostly called it soda, and somewhere during those four years, i found myself converting from pop to soda.

you may have noticed that i occasionally write the word y'all. but i've never said it, or if i have, it's been a joke. until saturday night. that's right friends, i've lived in nashville for almost four years now, and as i was going through the wendy's drive-thru with some friends, i said to them, "i'll just put it on my card and y'all can pay me back. [pause.] i just said y'all. [pause.] i just said y'all."

it's true.

and i'm not ashamed, there's no reason to be.

but then it got me thinking. about how when we immerse ourselves in our surroundings, our culture, and our community, they begin to rub off on us. sometimes it's something as simple as dialect, and sometimes it's as big as visions, passions, beliefs, hopes, and dreams.

and since that night, i've been thinking of all the ways i've been changed by my community. some changes have been good, some not so much. and that's okay. and i also have been wondering how i've been changing my community. it's pretty eye-opening to think about, and all i can do is hope and pray that i am using my gifts to have the most positive influence i can on those who surround me.

Friday, April 16, 2010


when i first watched the film "when the night comes", i was blown away. and i continue to be blown away each time i watch it again. (i've lost count of how many times that has been.) if you don't know what i'm talking about, please please please go check out the website, or at least read this old post where i mentioned the film screening here in nashville.

one thing that the film really hit me with was the reality of how much we are affected by the circumstance of our location. we are lucky enough to have been born and raised in a country where malaria is not a threat. that is something we had no control over, just as our brothers and sisters in africa have no control over the fact that they were born in a place of constant fear... fear of a tiny bug, the mosquito.

i remember this time last year, some friends and i were getting ready to travel to oklahoma. one friend was particularly concerned about the spread of h1n1 at the time. she was certain that she would catch it from someone else while we were there, or that she would catch it before hand and not be able to make the trip.

h1n1 was considered a pandemic in america, and was all over the news. but look at these statistics:

this... is just sad. i believe this is what happens when we live in the mindset where our community is what we know and see around us. but the reality is, we live in a global community. those fighting malaria half-way around the world are our brothers and sisters, and we count on them for resources. we need to stand up and fight and take action.

so how can you help?

it's simple.

just click this button and sign your name on the petition. once 2,500 names are added to the petition, 2,500 bed nets will be donated, for free, to families in africa. we have the power to save 10,000 lives. all by simply clicking a button and typing our name.

join me, will you?

Monday, April 12, 2010

beautiful mess

when i was in high school, and then again in college, i took a spiritual gifts assessment test. both times one of my top three gifts was hospitality. i have always love opening up my home to friends and family, and want any one who enters my house to feel at home.

the past few months have been a little crazy. it seems as though 80% of the time my roommates and i have had some sort of guest staying at our house. (there was a night we were up to eight guests. in one night. people sleeping on the floor all over the house.)

tonight we have two guests. and the house is a mess. it isn't the guests' fault, it's just a mess.

but that's what happens when we allow our friends into our homes, and more importantly, into our hearts.

community, at it's most real moments, is messy. but it's a beautiful mess.

Friday, April 9, 2010

it's always been there

[first of all i would like to thank jen for giving me permission to step away from my billing spreadsheet (the job that pays the bills) in order to blog while the spark is lit. and no, jen really doesn't have the authority, since we don't even work for the same company. but i'm running with it.]

it's been there all along. something i've been wanting for and praying for and trying to get. it's been there. i just didn't see it, because it's not what i thought it looked like.

and that's okay.

because he knows what he has given me, and he knows why he has given it to me, and for how long i will have it. all that matters is that it's there, and that i can finally recognize it as such.

so yes, again i might be vague as to what specifically i'm talking about, and i think that's okay too. because maybe it's something else for you, and maybe naming my thing would hinder you from finding something you've been looking for. i don't know.

but it's there. it's always been there.

just like the romance i prayed for last month.

(and sometimes it takes the strangest things to open our eyes.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

living my story

if you remember, in the beginning of february i began a great adventure of learning what my story is, and how to tell it. i started reading "to be told" by dan allender. and it's a great book, it really is. and i started learning a lot about myself, my community, friends, family, and creator.

i had planned to finish the book by the end of february.

but i didn't. and then march came. and went. and here we are, a week into april, and i'm still approximately 3/4 of the way through the book. because you see, something happened.

life happened. pieces of my story happened.

the past two months have been a whirlwind of activities, visitors, conversations with friends (new and old), and lots of story-telling. while i might not have yet figured out my story as a whole, i have been living, and telling, pieces of my story my whole life... and especially these past couple of months.

and april isn't slowing down. and i don't want it to.