Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Instead of summarizing the happenings of life over the past month, I decided to just focus on one experience. I was moved to share this experience, because though it’s quite simple, it’s profound to me. I was also inspired by another blogger friend that wrote on our longings being fulfilled, which goes along with what I was reminded of this month.

I recently went on a Saturday afternoon walk with a new friend. The path was one I had been to before, a few times, by myself, and with family. The walk is along a nearby river. It’s an environment that I’m fond of. The sound of rushing water, birds chirping, and the fullness and height of the trees is picturesque.

Now, I’m sure there are way better views around. I myself have seen some incredible views, but the closeness of this simplistic nature walk is renewing after a long work week. Sometimes that’s all my soul needs to press on and be reminded of God’s sweet love and creative design.

So the path is a little longer than 2 miles, one way. Really not that long. The times I had gone, I never went to the end. My typical routine was to go to the 1 mile marker and head back. Usually because I didn’t have the time or was worn out from running and walking that the thought of having to do the same distance back was enough to turn me around.

We weren’t in too much of a hurry this time, so without much thought and being distracted by just walking together and conversation, we got to the end.

We stepped down off the path, to the water’s edge, and around the corner of a bridge post to see the panorama view. My friend had seen it before but we still took some moments to just stand and take it in.

I jumped some rocks to get down to touch the water. I sat on a rock for a minute or two to just be. Then words came out of my mouth, “Man, I should’ve come all the way sooner.” My friend said, “I guess you just needed that extra push.”

This experience has me thinking in two different directions…
One, what is it that is really holding me back? Why do I stop myself so short of the end and miss the joy of the view that comes with going all in, all the way. What other areas of my life is this most present?

The other direction is future…
There are several things in my life that I have vision for…longing to see and experience. I at times anxiously await these things. I’ve already had some times where I have waited and waited, worked and worked to get to the end. The relief of accomplishment, taking risks, pushing through, has brought great growth, wisdom, and joy.

Like this experience, I knew the path had an end. Although, I didn’t really know of the peaceful view that was at the end. Not knowing hindered motivation to get there. If I knew, would I have gone sooner? Spiritually, I know the promises that come to the faithful. Do I believe? Why is it not enough at times?

No matter what, the waiting and anticipation, desire to go the whole way is there…planted in me.

What a comfort though, to have a friend by my side to go all the way with, experience it together…have the extra push. Whether or not this “extra push” needs developing in my life, it’s such a gift to find it, discover that it’s there, and know that I can get to the end.

Some things are certainly worth the wait, and much waiting is required. I will press on.
I do need encouragement and companionship.
Friendship is a gift... two are better than one.
We need each other and need the courage to go all in, finish till the end.
The view at the end brings awe and rest...things I think we all long for.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Perfect timing...

Initially I struggled to find inspiration for this next blog post. I struggled, even though so much has happened that has required faith and courage since my last post. I guess I needed to just reflect and bring together the stories. It’s taken courage, my whole heart and mind, to release these words.

I recognize in the past few weeks where opportunities to practice courage have risen up. I’ve had to make choices to be vulnerable, take risks, ask questions, and trust that situations, problems, and difficulties will work themselves out. I have found these opportunities at home, work, days off, and in my personal relationships. My awareness has heightened.

In the past few weeks, I have asked for a raise, taken on a new position at work, moved out of my sister’s place, found a roommate, moved to a townhouse, pursued a new relationship, volunteered to help with youth at church, and decided to intentionally re-discover my creative abilities with writing and art.

Ahh, breathe.

So much has happened and changed in such a short amount of time, but in the right time. Much of what has occurred recently, I have long awaited for.  I feel relief and peace, but still a sense of anticipation and hope. I’m being challenged yet comforted, encouraged, provided for, and loved.

It took practicing courage and faith to persevere through the waiting. Now, that courage is manifest in my daily interactions with others and participating in my life…showing up and being all in.

It’s freeing. I want more. I know there’s more. My character is still being challenged and formed. I look forward to what’s ahead and know that hardships and trials are still inevitable. I believe these seeds of courage planted in me are springing forth. Faith and awareness of Jesus’ presence will guide each step, conversation, and task. I’m covered by his grace and truth every moment of my day. This brings freedom and joy even though I still see where I fail to listen or seek His face with real courage.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Transition: Part of the process

Here's something I wrote almost a year ago. It's always neat for me to look back on my writing and see growth in myself. I think I am still in this time of transitioning, or maybe we always are in transition in some way. We are continually being built and prepared for the next thing, but it's this process that allows us to be who we are, in where we are and what we are doing now. Living in the moment, the present, with those around you takes courage. Take the time to stop and reflect and see how God is working all things out, no matter what you're going through. Be brave and have grace for yourself today. God promises provision. Let Him bring you through and lead you to it.

Let me clear my head just for a moment
I’m here in this time in between
It’s seems so contradicting
It requires little energy, but great faith
Faith to seek opportunities for what’s next,
Faith to trust that God will orchestrate things together

Possibilities seem to be limitless, wide open, actually, pretty freeing
But then after the seeking and making some initial movements,
I’m left here with waiting, reflecting, dreaming, and wondering

Wondering when the time will come
I know I am right where I need to be
but not where I’m meant to stay
I guess I could just make a bold move and go somewhere
but that doesn’t seem to be the answer
There’s a sense of being in control of my destiny, yet not at all
I choose to stay for awhile in the transition, instead of shooing it away

I figure, there must be something valuable here
something to learn, friendships to deepen, quality time needed with loved ones
I mean, “Good things come to those who wait,” right?
I know God has good things in store,
but I quickly seem to lose sight of that when I’m distracted by the timing
doubting, not believing the Truth
With all the questioning and wrestling with God,
there’s something about this uncomfortable tension that brings much growth
even closeness to Him

How many times in life are we waiting?
Waiting for something to bake or cook, waiting for water to boil, bread to rise
Waiting for test results, waiting in line, waiting in the waiting room, waiting for the right relationship, waiting for the baby
These are all moments where we come to a halt,
but in that waiting there is anticipation, hope, vision, and preparation
It really is necessary

Without the transitional times, how ever long it is
it’s important, it frees you to step back and take a new look on things, life
breathe, be still, rest
because soon enough, much more will be required of you
In order to be fully present then, be present now
Fully aware of the people around you, environment, noise, lack thereof

This is the time to be revived, refreshed, renewed, healed
So as you step into what ever is next, you can be at peace with yourself
Secure in who you are, knowing that you will be all right
You will work hard, love others, love yourself, honor God
When you can do that now, in this time,
Hopefully, it will carry through to the next thing.
Embrace transition, in order to gain perspective, care for yourself and others.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Start of Something New

     Bear with me...
Late this past September I moved from rural Pennsylvania to Rock Hill, SC. Why the move? I pondered the idea over in my mind for awhile, wondering if it was the best thing for me. It had great potential for the start of something new. Granted, anything I was going to do next, was going to be new, scary, and exciting because I was entering, "life outside of school." What I did not consider fully, was that faith and learning was going to be knocked up a few notches.

I just finished my undergrad and graduate career at Shippensburg receiving two degrees in Social Work. Now what? A question that many twenty-somethings in the U.S. ask. I really had no clue what was going to happen, except that I was supposed to get a job that would utilize my social work skills and other life experiences, and get paid what a Master's level employee should make. I moved to South Carolina on a whim, based on the perception of, "I might as well." I later realized, it was a pretty bold move. I was welcomed to live with my sister and her husband until my income would allow for me to move out. I haven't been able to move out yet...soon though.

Within a few weeks, I got a job at Target. I continued job searching for social work jobs, which became a tedious and anxiety ridden process. I ended up getting an entry level position at a treatment center for youth 5 minutes from my sister's house. So I find myself working with kids (boys and girls 12-21), many of which have already sexually offended, many have history of trauma done to them, and others have general mental health disorders, low/high cognitive functioning, and poor anger management skills.
 Intense work environment. Not the best pay. Great experience.

Okay, so long story short...soon after moving, I seriously considered moving back to PA to take a campus ministry position with an organization near and dear to my heart..CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach). After yet even more contemplation, prayer, and discussions with new friends and mentors placed in my life, I decided to stay.

You may be wondering..."Why is she telling me all this?" Well, I want to give you a peak into my life right now. I do so, to encourage you, challenge you, or just give you something else to do for a few minutes while you're scrolling through Facebook status', playing solitaire, listening to music, or playing some other computer game. Maybe that's just what I do?

Through this blog, I want to tell stories. Share poems, quotes, life lessons. I want to practice courage and share with you ways that practicing courage and faith, does lead to a more joyful and grateful life. Practicing courage is not an easy task. You have to live life with your whole heart. How often do we really do that? Even a little bit? I have had other experiences being courageous previous to this time in my life, but I am now just recognizing, through this new scenery, new job, new relationships, that I need to step it up. Quit complaining and worrying and be a leader and example for those around me.

These past couple months, almost a year, have actually been really difficult for me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I left close friends in PA. I'm working with kids I didn't even know existed in the quanitity they do, kid sex offenders! I don't think we even talked about that in any of my social work classes! I have had a hard time being confident at this job, and brave enough to ask strangers for help and spiritual guidence. I got into some interesting, not really the best relationships with guys at work. I find myself saying and praying, "I don't really know what to do or how to deal with this, God help me!"  BUT I am so thankful, for God's provision, care, and deep, never-ending love and grace for me daily. It's so evident, and I can't really put words to that.

There are seeds of courage planted inside each of us. We are made in God's image, and he is a courageous God... he loves and is using imperfect people to bring about justice and beauty in the world, displaying His glory. I want to be a part of that. It takes trust, belief, and ability to receive from who you are, as you are. I'm excited to start this blog, and remind you and myslef of His love for you as you are, and practice courage through my writing to you. Look forward to more messy, imperfect, funny, valuable, heart filled posts!