Tag Archives: Community

Embracing Permanence

10 May


The other day I drove past another place that’s been erased from my past.

The trees were overgrown, and I barely recognized the familiar road until I got to the entrance.

I felt an ache in my gut: part anxiety, part sadness, part nostalgia, part relief,

It’s the same feeling I get when driving past the trailer I grew up in in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire.

“You better not leave me, or I might disappear into nothingness,” my husband joked.


I have a weird history of being a part of things that no longer exist. 

1. 2 out of the 3 High Schools I went to shut down.

2. My first job and the main place I worked when I was 16-18 was also a town landmark to get old-fashioned ice cream shakes, burgers, and fish & chips. It burned to the ground.

3. Teen Mania, which I mentioned above, is the ministry which was the center of my existence when I was 18-22, no longer exists.

4. Youth With A Mission Woodcrest, a small branch of a large ministry where I attended a writing program and ended up traveling all over the world with when I was 22-25, pretty much dissolved.

5. Also, the coffee shop I spent years of my life at either hanging out in or working at is no more.

It’s kinda funny, I know. But here I am at almost 31 and I guess there is not much left in terms of my youth but memories.

I spent those years somewhat of a wanderer, living on a bus and in shared homes and rooms, and I loved everyone moment of it, but then I grew tired and wondered what I was running away from.

Add this to a hundred unfinished projects, and dreams I’ve almost given up on.

I guess what I am saying is while many things may be out of my control,  I do have the tendency to jump from one thing to another too fast. Or maybe it’s just the way my life goes. Lately, it has slowed down quite a bit.

I’ve also had the tendency to view people as temporary, too. Like they will just be out of my life soon anyways, why get close? Although, those few that I really let in, stay forever.

I know it’s immature now. I know I can’t just live like a rolling stone my whole life and truly find happiness.

So now my tune has changed, and I while I know there are plenty of adventures to come, I just want a sense of permeance.

I long to put some roots down in a community, and I finally feel like I actually can.

I know I can be connected to a group of people without thinking in the back of my mind, “Soon they will be gone, so what’s the point?”

I want to feel at home in a town. To know the people there, and to let them know me.

I desire to grow something stable and permanent. To plant a seed and watch it grow until years go by and I can sit under its shade with my children’s children.

Yet, to continue to grow and change. To continue to pursue adventure, while still knowing that I always have a safe place to return to.

And I know my husband, my family, is home. 

I know everything changes and nothing is truly permanent on this earth.

But what truly matters, is.

While these things fade, love remains. 



When You Come To The Edge

30 Aug


“Is it safe?”

I asked, nerves coming out. I had tried to act all cool and adventurous, like I used to be, like I didn’t have a care in the world. But all of a sudden that pretense was falling down, like I imagined my body falling into a herd of Longhorns grazing below, as I went down the 1500 foot zip line,  the skies of a Texas summer storm darkening in the distance.

“Well, it is metal, and lightening is attracted to it,” The skinny collage guy guide said with a slight smirk.

“Thanks. That’s reassuring,” I quipped.

I gulped. Jean-Thomas was waiting on the other side. It looked miles away.

It’s not that I am afraid of heights. I’ve always prided myself of loving them, adoring the adrenaline rush, the feeling of flying.

No, I wasn’t afraid so much of falling.

By the time we reached this last zip line, this grand finale, the wind was blowing fiercely, against us. I watched Jean-Thomas go down the zip line and come to a stop before the platform, hanging like a shirt on a clothes line, only to grab onto the line and pull himself in.

That is what I was afraid of. That I would get stuck.

That I would have to pull myself into the other side, that I wasn’t strong enough to do it.

And while I was stuck, the rain would pour down and the thunder boom, and there I would be, a human lightening rod, dangling in the thin air like a skewered piece of meat over a barbecue, ready to be zapped and fried.

Fear used to control my life. I spent time worrying about dying, about having no one to love me, about being alone.

When I was set free, I began to live like I never thought possible. My inward reality reflected on my outward decisions.

I decided to live.

I sold everything I had. I quit my job. I trekked across foreign unknown lands. I shared my heart with strangers.

I lived with abandonment and uncertainty, always moving forward.

Always choosing adventure.

There were plenty moments of terror, but plenty moments of joy.

But faith and risk needs to be exercised, or you become weak again.



“You’ve got to go now,” I heard the guide telling me, “The storm is getting closer.”

I gulped. Closed my eyes for just a moment. I could feel the wind on my face, cool and inviting.

On the other side, my love was waiting. Waiting for me to jump. Waiting to help pull me in if I got stuck.

The guide reassured me, “It’s ok. If you get stuck they can throw you a rope.”

I realized then, even if I was too weak, it didn’t matter.

I wasn’t alone.

“1…2… 3!”

I jumped. And flew, free, into the storm.

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen:

There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

-Patrick Overton

Hey You! I Need You…

13 Apr

Do you ever have those moments when you forget you’re an adult and still feel inside like you are six years old? I am not talking about wanting to eat out of the frosting container with a spoon or to make up soap opera’s with your stuffed animals, though sometimes I want to do that too.

I am talking about feeling tiny and extremely awkward, like you are the last person in your class to go through puberty. Like you haven’t figured out how to grow up yet.  Like you stop in the middle of signing tax forms or picking out shower curtains and say,

“Wait… I am a grown woman…?”

For me it happens the most in social situations. I spent a lot of time avoiding them. Certain people might be surprised by that statement. If you really know me, you won’t be at all. In certain situations I have forced myself to be friendly and outgoing, but it can be very painful and frightening. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

So I shut off. Or run away, mostly.

Sometimes I fear I come off as being a snob. I’ve had people who later became my friend nicely say they thought I thought I was too good for them. 90% of the time it was really because I am insecure and don’t know how to make friends. If I get the slightest vibe that someone may not like me I back off immediately. Even if you are friendly, it takes a lot sometimes for me to let you into my inner world. I am very much an all or nothing person with relationships. I have this wall I guess, and you are either in or you’re not. Once you’re in, there is nothing to hold me back from telling you everything. I guess it is a strength as well as a weakness.

If you have known me for more than a few years, you will also know how far I’ve come. I spent my childhood not talking to anyone. This is not a cute exaggeration. I literally was too afraid to talk to grown-ups as well as a lot of kids. I wouldn’t even answer the phone, because I didn’t know who it was.

I am thankful for friends in my life who have helped pull me out of my shell and for Jesus for freeing me from the fear the choked the life out of my for so long.

Anyways, I am not trying to make this post all about me and my weird social habits. I am just trying to say that,

I need people. Really. Not just one or two, but a whole community of people that come from different places in life and may see the world opposite then I do. As much as it’s easy to write that, it’s another story to live it. I know the word “Community” has been thrown around a lot especially in Christian circles.

As an introvert, I don’t always feel the need for people. More then often, it’s the need to be alone that overwhelms me and makes me feel like an insane person until I have some solace. I need to be with myself and write to figure out life. I forget that often the same thing can happen in an open honest conversation with someone. I forget I need people.

Quote by Bishop Desmond Tutu. (What a cool guy. And what a cool name)

I put this picture on my bathroom mirror to remind me every day that I am not an island. I need to engage with people and truly see them. Those moments that I do, it’s really like choosing life. It’s choosing to see God in people. I can’t survive without it.

I know this is nothing profound. But often I forget to live like it’s true. I forget that I actually need you.  That life is about people.

Loving people.

Taking care of people.

Letting people love and take care of me.

Experiencing God through our interactions.

Through a hand, a glass of water, a washcloth, a smile, a hug.

Thanks for listening to my rant on Friday the 13th. I needed someone to listen. 🙂

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