Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yo Momma and her bicycle

Yesterday was a busy, busy day. Staff Meeting, Youth Sunday, Bible Study, Worship Team Rehearsal, High School Group, I came in to work at 10am and left just a little before 10pm. Yes, it was a long day.

In the middle of the day my cell phone rang. I am not a phone person. I do not like the unexpected surprise of whoever is on the other end. Thus features like caller id make me a happy camper. This number, however, was not one that I knew and I was up to my eyeballs in details and decided "let whoever is on the other end leave a message." Mistake. The person on the other end was Papa Bear. He does not leave messages. Papa Bear was calling to tell me that Yo Momma and her bicycle had an encounter with pavement. And not an encounter with pavement that is approved by bicycle riders everywhere where the rider and bicycle stay in the upright position. No, Yo Momma and her bicycle had face to face encounters with the pavement.

See, there was a railroad track along this pavement. It runs next to the bike path they were riding on when a delivery truck blocked part of the path. They had to get veer over the railroad tracks. Then the delivery truck driver walked out into the path of Yo Momma and her bicycle. She successfully avoided them but when trying to go back over the railroad tracks the bicycle tire and the track had an argument. The tire lost, Yo Momma went flying and the pavement won.

Yo Momma's poor elbow suffered major damage. She will now set off metal detectors everywhere with the hardware that is holding her arm together. She's got a cast from wrist to upper arm and has nice little pills that make the pain stay back, back, back! And though I haven't seen it I'm sure she will have a pretty little scar from the "cute, nice and good surgeon" that put her back together again.

Yo Momma's poor children have a few more gray hairs but are sincerely grateful that she has always followed her own advice..."Wear a helmet when you ride a bike!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I sat overlooking LT last week watching the clouds, talking with God and listening to the silence. I sat on a rock and dared the crashing waves of lake to reach me all along aware of the cresendo of noise they made hitting the rocks. I stood on a hill looking over the lake listening to the wind rushing through the trees. I sat beneath trees, my legs resting on a log listening to the sound of the snow hitting the open journal in my lap (which maybe means that it was more like snow/hail than just regular snow...but there was definitely a sound). I stood on a log in a lake listening to the sound of others throwing rocks into the lake. I woke up listening to the waves crashing, rain hitting the roof and silly little birds chirping "cheese-burger".

I sat in a circle of people listening to their stories, their experiences with God, hearing their heartache, pain and joy. I heard myself saying words that I didn't know I had been thinking. I heard my own voice crack with pain, realization, fear and hope. I listened to the noise in my own head, the sounds of my own heart, the hope and pain in my own soul and realized...not my plans, God's plans. Not my hopes, God's hopes. Not my dreams, God's dreams. Not my life, God's life.

Whoever said that silence is golden, really needs to be kicked in the shins. It's messy, it's complicated and allows God way too much space to actually start talking. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, May 23, 2008


It's been a few pretty heavy spiritual days. I'm nowhere near able to express what God and I have been talking about the last couple of days and honestly might not be able to for awhile. I do have to say that those snow storm predictions were right on. Yesterday (Thursday) we woke up to snow and it snowed off and on until 2 or 3pm. Nothing major, just like a light rain only in snow form. That didn't stop us from spending the whole day up by Fallen Leaf. It was a little surreal to be sitting by a lake talking with God and having snow fall on my notebook. Strange stuff. The snow wasn't sticking though and the sun shined through at intervals so I stayed pretty warm and dry.

This morning we woke up to snow actually on the ground in spots. Very fun, kind of cold. Trin and I are heading out to buy sweatshirts cuz the weather forecast calls for more rain and cool weather throughout the weekend. I'm tired of the sweatshirt I brought!

The adventure continues!

Monday, May 19, 2008


I'm supposed to be meeting Trinity in a little over an hour to head to the Lake. Yes, my away time has arrived! I'm so ready to just be on the road and leaving some things behind, taking some things with me. It's time, time, time for a break!

Of course as I'm preparing for my time away there are always little things that crop up. I spent 3 1/2 hours yesterday doing last minute things so that I could leave. Like getting the summer calendar out for the youth groups and making sure all the notes are in place for my volunteers who are running group (thank you!), putting the songs in order next Sunday's worship team leader...because part of being away means I get a break from leading worship too! Oh and prepping stuff for R.A.W. last night. Throw in Church, a Staff Gathering, R.A.W. and the after-R.A.W. gathering and well, yesterday was busy.

Today I turned on my laptop to upload new songs onto my I-pod and most of the screen is well, just random lines in different colors. Pretty but not what I wanted to see. I managed to update my I-Pod despite this interference, but there is no way it's going to make it with me on my time away. Why do these things always happen when I want to take the laptop with me? So much for doing work on the laptop on study leave. Geesh.

One hour, 15 minutes before I'm officially away!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


It's hot. Stinkin' hot. It shouldn't be this hot in here in May people. Really. At 5pm our outdoor thermometer read 102. The thermometer upstairs read 92, the one in the stairwell read 85 and the one downstairs read 80. I've opened all the windows and doors, turned on all the fans and have managed to get the indoor temps down about 12 degrees at 9:15pm. I will say after living in the Central Valley, I do appreciate that nights get cooler on the coast. Still it's just too hot!

The thing that is getting me through this hot spell, besides the fan I've dug out of the closet is the constant reminder that I am leaving town in less than 48 hours. In fact, if I did the math it's probably close to 38 hours. YES! Guaranteed that it's gonna be cooler at the Lake than it is here. Oh, yeah and there's the whole week away from normal work. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I suddenly got a little nervous the other day, though, when I realized that I will be spending 3 days talking with God. It hit me that I am opening up myself to God in a way that I haven't in a very long time and that's a little nerve wracking. God tends to show up and start talking, which always leads to something that I never thought would happen and, well, I'm just a little nervous. I'll keep you posted!

Great, one of the neighborhood dogs just annoyed a skunk. So much for cooling off the house! 37 hours and I'm gone!

Edited to Add: I just checked the forcast for the Lake...they are predicting snow flurries for next Friday. I realize that's a week out but hello from 100 degree weather to snow flurries in a week. Can anyone say Global Warming?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

4 days

4 more days until I will be away...why is it that when one is getting ready to go away the stack of things to-do before one leaves seems to just grow larger and larger and larger?? It's not fair, I say.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Breakfast, airplanes and songs

This morning I had breakfast with two friends whom I haven't spent much time with in awhile. A few years ago there were 4 of us who would meet around the breakfast table talking youth ministry and life. One moved away, one moved out of ministry and our breakfast meetings, well they got lost in the shuffle. But this morning I got up at the crack of dawn to meet with my two friends. It was good to be around the table with them, to share in what is happening in our lives now, to laugh together, to reminisce about days gone by and so on. I didn't realize until we were there how much I've missed those times. That said, if they really want me to be more talkative, then the crack of dawn is not the time to have breakfast.

Getting up extra early this morning was especially painful because I knew that I would be out late tonight. Yo Momma and Papa Bear have been out of town and their plane was scheduled to land tonight at 11:10pm. Crack of dawn to dead of night, that was going to be my day. Yippee! But there is a God and this God had pity on me...their flight was cancelled! They arrive tomorrow at lunchtime. While that makes today oh so much more pleasant, it makes things tomorrow a little bit tighter but if it means more sleep tonight, I'm not complaining!

Finally, onto songs. I listen to a lot of music. I am a Worship Leader for a church. There are a lot of good songs out there...why am I only hearing the bad ones on the "preview" cd's? Seriously, the lyrics to the song I just heard rival another's lyrics that a friend recently pointed out as rather awkward to be singing to God. And while I'm on the subject of lyrics, I'm really tired of hearing how "busy" God must be because God isn't answering prayers the way that the songwriter wanted them to be answered. Bad theology, bad lyrics, not my favorite songs.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I've never been a fan of masks. I take a lot of cues to how conversations or situations are going from people's facial reactions. Anything that gets in the way of my ability to "read" a person annoys me. Ask Jon-Boy. I bugged him for months about his hair being too long because it hung in front of his eyes. Masks are even worse, which is, of course the point of a mask. To hide the persons facial features and expressions from another person.

Tonight as I was praying at RAW it hit me that we all hide behind a lot of masks in life. We all have different masks for different people or situations. My church mask is much different than my family mask. The mask I wear with people I'm meeting for the first time is radically different than the mask I wear with people I've know since Jr. High. On any given day I can wear dozens of different masks depending on the places I find myself and the people I find myself with.

My masks come from a lifetime of learning. I've learned that on Sunday mornings I need my "I'm an introvert making an effort to be extroverted" mask in place during church. In new situations I put on the "I love making small talk" mask. There is the "always happy", the "I'm agreeing with you even though I think you're wrong because I want this conversation over" mask and so on and so on and so on. Some of them are pretty thin and people can see behind them easily. Some masks are so firmly in place that even I don't know that they are masks.

As I was praying I was reminded that the only one who can clearly see beyond all the masks is God. Great revelation right? Yeah, it isn't a huge surprise but it is a reminder for me that as much as I try to hide from God, God still sees. There's no way that I can keep things hidden. God may play along a little, like in the Garden of Eden when God was looking for Adam and Eve and called out "Where are you?", but really God knows every nuance of who I am, how I think and what makes me tick. That isn't a comforting thought at times, especially when I'm hiding from myself. Sooner or later God is going to start peeling away the masks, revealing what's really underneath and that, my friends is painful.

In my Come Away time this last week, God and I had a chat about an issue that we've been talking about for, oh, 10 years. It came up unexpectedly and we had a pretty heated discussion. Well, heated on my end anyway because God started to peel away a mask that I wasn't really aware that I was wearing. I think it's partly denial and partly just a need to keep myself safe from hurt and pain. Anyway the mask has been revealed and now the hard work of either keeping it in place or removing it completely begins.

Wearing masks keeps me safe sometimes from other people, but when it comes to God all masks get removed sooner or later. What mask is God revealing to you?

Friday, May 9, 2008


This has been a crazy busy week and there are still two days to go. I'm going to make it, right?

I've felt like I've been coasting through the last week, just ticking away the days until I go away. I'm having a hard time remembering what I did on Tuesday and it's only Friday and that's just not like me. Oh, do I ever need a break!

Today I started running the minute I got up and haven't really stopped until just this moment. Though there was that beautiful 2 hour period where I had lunch with K and then Trin and I got pedicures but the time getting to that space and time afterward has just all blurred together. I remember it being 3pm and now it's 9. Tomorrow at the bright and sunny hour of 7:30am I'm heading to SC to do a walk-a-thon followed by a fabulous beautiful day at our local theme park for Christian Music Day with the youth. Yes, I am a little wacky.

Okay, I just got off the phone with Train Guy. Can I just say three year-olds can be absolutely adorable? He had K call me back because she hung up the phone without letting him say goodbye. That's all he said was goodbye. Too cute!

On that note, I'll end this post. Time to take my pampered tootsies to bed and rest up for tomorrows big walk!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Small Towns

There are days when I really love living in my small town. I like running into my 5th grade teacher in the store or having my caramel mocha made by a student from my first years of YM. Some days it's really nice living in a small town.

Today it isn't when the name at the top of the headlines is someone that I know and like. Someone for whom my heart breaks. Today is a hard day to live in a small town.

Praying for all those effected.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Two weeks from today I will be away. Or maybe not quite away but in the packing stages for my time away. See, in two weeks I will begin my week of Study Leave, a glorious wonderful time that is not a vacation, yet is away from the everyday-ness of work, where I spend hour upon hour reading books, talking with God and all that away from my desk, the church and the people that I lovingly refer to as "my kids", though they aren't really my kids, they are other people's kids, they are God's kids and they hang out with me at least once a week, which makes them "my kids". Have I told you that I'm going away? I think from that last rambling sentence you may see the reason why.

It's been several months since I have had any serious time off to regenerate my soul. I knew that it was close to being my time away last week when I walked into the church building and said to myself "I don't want to do this. I don't want to be here." That, my friends, is not the way a church leader likes to start off on a Sunday morning and yet there I was. It was the honest reaction from my soul. I need some space from church, from the everyday-ness of work. I need some time to spend with God, to look up and say "Hey, what's the deal?" and actually sit and wait for the answer. Not hurry onto the next thing or answer my cellphone or email or any of the other things that distract me from listening to God's answer. I need time away. (Okay, see now it's just becoming really fun to italicize "away". I am in serious need of a break.)

Making my time away even more fabulous is that I will be on a prayer retreat for 4 days followed by three days with a fabulous friend who is also in ministry and who makes me think and this is beginning to sound like the best Study Leave time ever. Ohhh, and the best part is that all of this will occur in the beautiful mountains on the shores of one of the best lakes in California and you can see why I'm really ready for my time away.

Two weeks and counting.