Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

  • Adrienne and Raqel visited my family with me. My dad cleaned the house because he thought Adrienne might be a boy
  • Spent Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite peeps: Joe and Heidi, Karrie, Dave and Tricia, Lisa, and Jess Stucky and then attended the big band concert
  • Hosted Women to Women with Heidi
  • Enjoyed the Idiot Abroad Dinner Club
  • Had an informal interview on the beach for my dream job without realizing it
  • Saw West Side Story :(, Beauty and the Beast :), Bill Cosby, The Gettys, as well as Miracle on 34th St. at The Million Dollar Theater in L.A.
  • Discovered Cleo’s a trendy Middle Eastern restaurant close to the Pantages
  • Enjoyed “Game Nights” and a bacon feast with RED, Adrienne, and Phil
  • Made 500 cake pops and bars for the Ladies’ Tea at Church
  • Went to Iowa and celebrated my Grandmother’s 90th birthday with the Wilhite Clan.
  • Road Trip with Jessica Wiley Frederickson for Sarah Marquez Wiley’s Baby Shower
  • Spent Easter with RED, Adrienne, and the Dennis Family
  • Helped with Breakfast for Year End Show
  • Said goodbye to dear friends: Jones Family and RED.
  • Settled into my first apartment
  • I became an RD after Dave and Karrie sang a job offer and after Joe gave me the RD Pep Talk
  • Had my first and hopefully my last root canal
  • Attended the Grand Baby Wedding for Bel and Bella
  • I ran out of gas
  • Survived August and learned a great deal about God as my rock, my defender, and advocate who knows my concerns, my needs, my fraility and my sin and despite all of that saved me and chooses to allow me to participate in His ministry
  • RD, RA, and SLS Retreat and WOW Week
  • Became friends with Sarah, Noelle, Natalie, Kaylin, Rae, Summer, and Stacey
  • Had many house guests including Raqel, Kellie Zerlang, Laura and baby Garrett, Cynthia and Jodi
  • Played Gotcha for the first time
  • Went to the Pasadena Flea Market and became a fan of Good Will
  • My sweet niece, Isabella, was born
  • Became reacquainted with old friends
  • Went back to school
  • Completed C.E.R.T – Community Emergency Response Training
  • Introduced to Dr. Mario, the best game ever :)
  • Watched the Keller boys for a weekend when Mabel was born
  • Celebrated 3 more holidays with the Kintner/Ramirez/Allen Families
  • Started a new tradition of retreating to Mount Hermon for a few days after Christmas

So thankful for the days God ordained for me.

Increase My Faith
November 16, 2011, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Christian Living, Good Advice, Gospel, Lessons Learned from Reading, Vocation, work

Recently my group of coworkers read a chapter from a book on words of life and words of death. It examined the counsel that Jesus gave to the people He encountered. It caused us to think about I Thessalonians 5:14. To be helpful we must choose our words wisely. They must not only be true but they must address that individual where they are at. The article reminded me of the fact that most people come into counseling with their interpretation of the problem and the solution. Martha did. She thought the situation was that she needed to put on a fine meal, the problem was her sister, and the solution was Jesus telling her sister to get her petuty into the kitchen to work. Jesus didn’t reply the way she wanted. To reply the way she wanted, would have been harmful to Martha. It wouldn’t have brought life to her soul it would have caused her to rely on herself, be preoccupied with making a meal, and to continue to judge God in thinking that He didn’t care for her, if He didn’t respond the way she wanted Him to, in order for her to control the situation. Instead he says, “Martha, Martha, You are anxious and troubled about many things. Mary has chosen the better portion and for that she will be rewarded.”

I am a people pleaser and as such these words about counsel are hard to think about. I need my faith, wisdom, grace, and love for God and people to be increased by God so I can walk in the Spirit and minister rightly. If I walk in the flesh, my counsel, is going to lead people away from Christ not to Him.

In chapel, a speaker spoke on evangelism. He said the fields are ripe for harvest and yet we tend to look at them and say they are green… Who can live this way? God why did you choose me? I’m so awkward, I’m not a good representative. Why didn’t you choose the best, the brightest, and the suave to represent you?

If God wanted to bring a person to the saving knowledge of Himself or encourage, confront, and have them change He could snap and it would be done perfectly. Instead He chooses to graciously and patiently work through imperfect you and me and He gets the glory and He works for our good.

Recently there have been a number of things where I have been led to cry out in response to God’s commands or God’s call on my life, “Who is sufficient for these things?” “Why did you choose me? Why didn’t you choose someone who was wise or more gifted, someone who wasn’t broken and didn’t mess things up?” “Lord, increase my faith and increase my love!!!” I’ve been led to see my desperate need for Him and I’ve been reminded of the confidence I have in the Holy Spirit abiding within me. I see the work He has done and I know that He will be faithful to continue it. I have a confidence that He will grow my faith and He will foster more love in my heart because He is faithful and He will finish the work He has begun in His perfect way in the perfect time. One day I will be with Him and I will be like Him and I will see Him as He is but for now I will walk humbly and faithfully, confessing my failures and sins, and depending on Him for truth, growth, and life. And in the mean time, I join with the disciples at seeing the great call of Jesus to forgive others in Luke 17, in saying, “Increase my faith!”

Busyness and Identity

Months ago, I read through Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent, typed up the following quotes and coined the title of this post:

“… busyness provides status in our society. People expect us to be busy, even overworked. Setting aside our own tasks to help others meet a deadline or crisis makes us appreciated, popular. In the activity we gain a sense of security.” (62)

“Today we are increasing our speed in most dimensions of life – yet we have a decreasing sense of direction and goals. Movement seems to be an end in itself, stifling questions of who we are and where we are going” (68).

“An arch-enemy of leisure, as well as of our daily devotions, is the modern cult of busyness. Society encourages us to define ourselves in terms of our possessions and our reputation. The pursuit of both can keep us busy for all our waking hours, spurred by an activism that is never satisfied” (124).

“Leisure offers a unique opportunity to place greater emphasis on making a life, not just a living. It enables us to ‘stop, look and listen’ to the question of who we are and what is most important to us. It should not be a time to evaluate work goals but to explore other dimensions fo our life, to think in terms of our total person. It is an occasion to bring our life into better balance as we manage it under the lordship of Jesus Christ” (125).

I’m still thinking through this one and need to consider this more. Switching jobs has helped me recognize that this is more of a problem in my life than I had previously thought. One question I’ve been asking of myself lately is, “Why does every job I take on become supersized?” It’s not healthy and it’s not helpful to the institution or the individual who replaces me. I realize that I always take on jobs that I love and that are worth pouring my life out for, but where is my motivation? How often do I see myself as a mini-messiah? How often do I take the weight of the world on my shoulders, try to juggle all the spinning plates, and try to hold all the loose strings all at the same time? How often am I motivated by impressing people rather than serving people? How often do I work for their pleasure and comfort rather than their sanctification and God’s glory? How often is my day ordered by what others think rather than on what faithfulness to God looks like for that day?

I do not clock in or out of my job. My job is working with and loving people. In my job, I have a platform to see God at work in many people’s lives. With this awesome job comes a few dangers, a person can start to think of himself too highly. I need to remember that I am replaceable. The ministry will go on when I leave. I need to remember that this isn’t my only calling. God has called me into relationships outside of the college. He has placed me as a daughter, a sister, an aunt. He has given me friends. He has called me to the local church. I need to remember that while this is a good calling, I can’t place my hope in it. God called me first and foremost to Himself. I can’t be devoted to a job. I can’t seek comfort, peace, strength, deliverance or anything else that He was meant to provide from a job. I can’t lower my hope from the person of Christ to anything else even a good thing like ministry or service or else I will be sorely disappointed or devastated. I’ve been advised to take opportunities to get off campus and to surround myself with people that won’t let me take myself too seriously. I need to laugh and sometimes I need to not be available. I need to not jump at every knock, text, or phone call. I need to be careful to understand what the college is asking of me and what things I’m chosing to do. I need to spend time doing what matters and doing what is most helpful to the ministry not ironing things on shirts for six hours so we look good at the Matthew’s Bowl.

I’m still working through some of these questions and thoughts. I welcome any feedback or input. For another good resource on considering how busy we are and some of the heart implications, click here.

Expectations for Youth
September 6, 2011, 8:37 am
Filed under: Good Advice, Lessons Learned, Life, My life, tmc, Vocation, work

I hope y’all don’t mind. I’m going through my drafts section and re-writing posts. Some of these thoughts may be outdated and some may be updated (or more developed). Some of them may seem strange (like this one) since I just changed jobs and it has nothing to do with this season of my life , but these are lessons God has been teaching me or has taught me that I want to take the time to record.

I’ve been challenged a lot over the last two years to think about vocation and calling. (Mostly because I’m at TMC and we talk about that a lot, but also because I was in a job that didn’t come naturally to me. I would despair at times thinking I had missed God’s call for my life.) I forgot to realize that Jesus started his ministry in his 30s, why should I expect to have a flourishing ministry or vocation at 27? Jesus didn’t waste His life. I wasn’t wasting my life away. I was being faithful to what God had called me to for that season. I wasn’t wasting my talents even though not every one of my gifts were being used in my 9-5 job. Why do we think as 20-somethings that we have to have a job that uses all of our strengths? Why do we demand that we have a job that we absolutely love right now?

I also would spend time in my last job worrying that I was not changing or growing. I thought, “I need to be in that job to really flourish or grow.” I waisted my time in doubt instead of by faith grasping God’s promises and trusting His Sovereignty. God was in the process of changing me and preparing me. It’s crazy awesome how I can look back at the last 8 years and see the Spirit faithfully leading, guiding, and teaching me so that He could get me where I need to be. The Spirit’s guidance is discernible in hindsight but not in the moment, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t at work. He is so faithful even when I am faithless. Although I had times in my last job where I felt stagnate, it was amazing to start interviewing for my new job and to be reminded in conversations with my coworkers that I wasn’t what I was when I came here three years ago and that I’m not what I will be in a month. God is at work when we don’t see it and He knows what He is doing. My boss (who is now my bosses’ boss – yes, that means in corporate terms I moved down the chain :) ) said to me in the interview process, “A year ago, I would have said you shouldn’t apply. Now, I’m eager to see what God does in the process.” Another coworker while remarking about how she had seen me change said, “Who get’s to grow in those ways in a secretary job!!!!?”

About the same time that I was thinking through my expectations for having  a job that was a perfect fit or that I was wasting my life if I wasn’t changing the world at 27 , Gunner wrote a post called “Life is Short … So Don’t Waste It?” which was very helpful and thoughtful (I would expect nothing less from Gunner). I hope it is helpful to you too.

First Day on the Job

Great first day on the new job! Most people hate work meetings but my meeting today involved a tea garden and 3 good friends: Dave, Karrie, and Ona. I can’t believe I get paid to hang out with three awesome people; to be encouraged by their wisdom, experience, and the truth they speak into my life; to laugh with them; and to creatively think through how to motivate the students on our campus to worship, love, and serve God as they live out the one-anothers. I’ve been meditating on the command found in Hebrews 10:24 to consider how to spur others on toward love and good deeds. God thinks this is important enough to command us to do this and I don’t think I do this often enough but this meeting today was not only a consideration of that but it was actually the application of that consideration. We encouraged one another in our love for and pursuit of both God and people all over a lovely Vanilla Earl Gray Tea Latte. Yum!

More on Rest

Happy Sunday! The last post made me think of this article entitled “Human Flourishing” that our staff recently read. Read it today! It’s excellent.

Books for 2010
January 2, 2011, 8:00 am
Filed under: Books, Cool Finds, These are a few of my favorite things..., Vocation

One of these days I will start reviewing books I’ve read instead of posting a list, but today is NOT that day. Today is a day for reading on a plane on my way to Texas.

One of these days I will also get around to posting my Valentines Day Resolutions.

Oh, what’s that… It’s supposed to be New Year’s Resolutions? Why didn’t anyone tell me before the new year? Well I know what resolution numero uno will be… Resolved to be on time and get things done in the season they are called for.

You can click here to see last year’s resolutions. They went really well and actually changed my habits and tendencies for the better. Here’s hoping this year goes as well and that I can read even more books than I did this year.

Now for the reading list (The Ones with Links come HIGHLY recommended):

Cain’s Redemption
Speaking Truth in Love
My Heart in His Hands: Ann Judson of Burma
Charlie’s Choice
House of Love
The Courage of Nikolai
A Peep Behind the Scenes
Change and Your Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
The Pursuit of Holiness
Insight and Creativity in Christian Counseling
The Passage: From Darkness to Light
Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety
Rosa of Linden Castle
How can I change?
Anger and Stress Management God’s Way
Lost Art of Disciple Making
The Peacemaker
How People Change
Depression: A Stubborn Darkness
Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem
Counsel from the Cross
Three Cups of Tea
God at Work
Hunting Eichmann
On Writing Well
Future Grace
The Leadership Dynamic
The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make
Have a Little Faith