Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alaska 6

Check out Ketchup Two at DNG's site!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Alaska Video #5

I'm going to post two videos today. Because I can.

Alaska Video #4

So, Here we are on video 4. Real blog later this week maybe. Lots to talk about. Alaska pics on facebook.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Alaska Video #3

Also, check out Julianna's sweet video here. These are the "ketchup" Catchup videos from the Anchorage airport. We were exhausted (as noted by the long bouts of uncontrollable giggling and the sideways-ness that is video 1)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alaska Video #2

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alaska Video # 1

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Party in the Tundra Part 2

I know, I know, I know.

I promised real time updates from the great state of Alaska.

Obviously, I failed.

It has been busy and the places we've been aren't so condusive to blogging. (Read Tops of Mountains).

However, Alaska is BEAUTIFUL and I have had a fantastic time. Stories and pictures to come when I return to a time zone three hours ahead of the one I'm currently visiting.

Also, we made some pretty sweet videos. Be ready to watch and be amazed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Party in the Tundra Part 1

To the Tune of "tomorrow" from Annie:

Todaaaay Todaaay
Alaska Todaaay
I'll be in the tundra Yay!

Todaaaay Todaaay
I can't wait Todaaay
You're only a plane away!

(I am excited. Unlike the Spode, my office is still messy, my apartment is a little bit messy, I'm not sure if my bag weighs over 50 pounds, though surely not and will then start stuff clothes into my carry-on bag and hobo bag purse).

Pictures when I return and maybe some real time blogging!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bundled Up

I feel like I have lost an entire week. Grief is an amazing time zapper. (I don't mean to sound blythe about the emotional stress that was last week, but man, you can miss a lot).

As we have been working through the corporate grief of losing a beloved congregation member, I have learned a few things. Yesterday, Kathy, a deaconess came and talked with our Sunday School class about grieving and how to reach out to a family that has lost a father and husband.

One of the things that struck me yesterday that Kathy talked about was about being "bundled." She said that each person, alone is like one stick, easily broken, but when we are bundled together, we are stronger, and less likely to break. She then asked the rhetorical question (or perhaps the silent, sleepy high schoolers were supposed to answer, but failed), "how strong is your bundle?"

At certain points in my history in Oklahoma, I would say that my bundle has been pretty weak. I was the single stick, easily broken. Now, I can say that my bundle is strong, thanks to the GirgisMelsons, Caplingers, Mary youth chair, Laudermilks, Kristy, Jamie, Spode, Sarah, Bethany, Crazy Tall Matt. All of them have allowed me to be me, to talk, cry, laugh, and celebrate as me. That makes for a pretty strong bundle, not easily broken.

As I am thankful for my bundle, it is my sincere hope and prayer that I am that for them as well.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Update

I heart Joshua Radin.

Just downloaded his new album. Love it.

I would marry him and have his babies.

Weekend has been fantastic so far.

Live at the Plaza, VZD's, IHOP (IHOP!).

Favorite quotes from last night?

"Ummm, those are aprons, not guns"

Alaska Tuesday. As my friend Matt the Spanish Teacher would say, "SHEBOYGAN!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seeing God's Hand

Today, for the first time, I am beginning to see God's work in these past few months. I am still sad, but I know that God has been working things according to his purpose, not mine. I am in wonder at this God who is and has been taking care of us before we knew why.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Down the Rabbit Hole

Since Friday Morning, since the phone call, I have been waiting for someone to call me and say that this is all a big joke; an episode of Punk'd.

As I have comforted people, cried with people, shared the news with people, I want to laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. 38 year old men aren't supposed to die. Not ones that were healthy and took care of their families, cared for their children, volunteer at church and are so excited to simply hear what's going on in your life. As one of the high schoolers said today in Sunday school, "you always knew that he really cared about you." Absurd.

But I know the truth. I know that this is real, this grief is real. That there is a family hurting over the loss of a Dad, a wife mourning the loss of a husband, a small group missing their leader, all of us missing a friend.

The disbelief makes it seem like this is just another thing on my "to do" list, but I know that there are harder things coming. There will be a small group that needs a leader, a youth led worship without a drummer, 4 children without a father, birthdays and christmases and celebrations.

We are only beginning our journey down the rabbit hole.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A New Way Forward

Today, Darren, husband and father of four (twin boys-17, and a boy and girl 5 and 3), passed away suddenly.

Darren was an amazing man. He was a small group leader, an NYG chaperone last year, and all around champion of adults who worked with youth. It is a shock to think that someone like Darren can simply be gone.

Today, there are lots of phone calls and tears, emotions and grief. Perhaps tomorrow there will be comfort in knowing that he is in heaven, but today, I'm sad. Today, all I can think about is how much he will be miss here. How much his family will miss him, how much this church will miss him.

We are all going to have to learn a new way forward without him.