Monday, May 27, 2013


Well I am a year older. And wiser. And more beautiful, of course. Some people mark time by the calendar year or school year. I keep track of time that way too but my birthday is so close to the end of the school that I am in for double reflection when May 25 comes around. I also graduated this year so you can add that to the list of opportunities for me to reflect on the past and look to the future. Before I look at the past year I'm going to go back to last year on my birthday.

My birthday has always fallen on Memorial Day weekend. I grew up in a family that spent Memorial Day in a cemetery and not at the lake, which means any year now were I don't have to do that, I already consider it a great birthday (I can pay respect to those that have gone before without spending my birthday in the cemetery). As an adult, trying to plan a birthday with your friends always proves to be problematic which I have just come to accept. Anyway, last year I turned 30. For some this can/is seen as a scary thing, but I embraced the new decade. I was in a job that I enjoyed, pursuing an education that challenged me, reconnecting with old friends and making new, and feeling healthy for the first time in a long time. It was a season of thankfulness.

Now it's not to say that I'm not thankful now. I look at my life and I know that I am very fortunate. But to say that I am in the same season of life as last year just isn't the case. I'm in a season of waiting. And for anyone who knows me knows that waiting and practicing patience are NOT things that I am good at. But yet here I am at 31 and a few days and I am waiting. And trusting that God is good and that He is working where I cannot see. 

In the spirit of waiting, I was reminded Sunday that God desires to be my stronghold in the waiting. It is really easy to praise Him when we are in seasons of joy and thankfulness, totally different to worship Him when we are anxious/confused/nervous/afraid. And yet He desires to be the rock that I stand on. The place that I go when confronted with doubt. Psalm 27 reminds us of this. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. I know that I am part of a community that waits with me and that I belong to a God that is present as I wait. 

Growing up in Kansas we are told that if we don't like the weather, wait awhile and it will change. I don't pretend to believe that life is like that, but I do know the seasons we are in don't last forever. But during these seasons I do know that God is refining me. He continues to mold me into the person He has already created me to be. And so I wait. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I did it!
Yes my friends, I did it! After three very intense, occasionally stressful, expensive and time consuming years, I graduated from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Yes I am happy. Yes, I do feel a sense of accomplishment. Yes, I suppose I am glad to be finished (though I'm not sure what to do with all this free time). I think the thing I really feel though is grateful. Even with the late nights, studying all weekend, reading books and writing papers on my lunch break, I am so grateful for the amazing season of growth I just experienced. God was so faithful through the entire process and I am so thankful to my friends and family for being patient with me when I was writing papers instead of attending birthday parties, reading books before and after Thanksgiving dinner, and uploading moodle posts during other major life events. I am also grateful that I took my parents advice and paid my way through seminary. It was an intense experience but I am so, so grateful. So where does that leave me now?

I began graduate school thinking I had a clear calling of youth ministry. While I still enjoy working with high school students (which is helpful in my current job) I don't feel that same sense of calling now three years later. In fact, I'm not sure what the next step is on this journey. And for me, the girl that is usually described as being very determined, that makes me a little scared. But I know God is faithful. And I know He has placed passions on my heart and given my skills and abilities that He desires to use for His glory. To reflect His light.

To Be Light

I've been camping out in these verses the last couple weeks, trying to wrap my brain around what it means for me individually and what it means for the community of believers that I belong to. I'm blown away with how the chapter starts. Here is a disciple that has just been with Jesus and he can't wait to tell the people about the truth that he experienced. Not only can he not wait to share the good news, but it would make his joy complete to do so. Our joy should be made complete when we share our experiences with Christ with others. In doing so we enter into a fellowship that is richer beyond comprehension.

Next the author tells us that God is light and in Him there is no darkness (v.5). No darkness. Only light. Only truth. Only purity. Only hope. So if I am called to abide in Him and walk in His light then these are the things that should be a reflection of my life. I have so far to go.

The Road Not Taken

If someone would have told me five years ago that I would be graduating from seminary, I would have laughed at them. But here I am. I left behind what I thought was my dream job in search of a bigger plan that I knew God had in store for me. I took a path I never thought I would take. And again, God is faithful. And I know that whatever path I am headed down now, He will continue to be faithful. 

God is good. 

All the time.