Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh Me Oh My

What a fun weekend.

Visit from the Laura
Dinner at Iguana Grill
Presents and presence from people I love
Cranium and Cupcakes
Great quotes, "Was the sandwich named after the earl of sandwich or the earl after the sandwich?" and "It's not that I don't like talking about dead babies, but..."
Lots and lots of laughter
SoulFire leading worship
Coffee Shop
Hooray for A GREAT Birthday

Thursday, January 28, 2010

There are days...

When I'm reminded why I do what I do.

After Saturday's movie night (it went well friends, thanks for the prayers) in which kids brought lots of friends, I received an email from a parent wondering if we had done enough to reach out to those not part of our group.

I had been gauging the event's success on the fact that kids brought friends. Period. But I also know that there is/was probably more that we can do and that Saturday's event was just a "step" in the right direction of being more open to those around us.

Today, I got an email from a parent saying that their child (typically a quiet one) was bringing their friend to another youth event.

That makes for an awesome day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


This weekend, we are taking our high school students to see the movie To Save a Life. I had an opportunity to preview this movie a couple of months ago and am really excited for it and for the discussion I hope comes from the movie is powerful.

The movie is about a boy named Jake, whose life begins to change when a former friend commits suicide. The movie is a pretty accurate portrayal of a lot of typical high school things, (partying, social circles, relationships) and it has an authentic mentoring relationship between youth worker and youth that I really enjoyed seeing.

But mostly, the movie is about...suicide.

A year and a half ago, a student at my church committed suicide.

Since then, that event and the time that followed falls into the category of, "the things I never talk about."

This movie, the message and the fact that I am preparing to lead discussion with the high school students after means that I have been staring down the face of this "thing that I never talk about" and will mean that I may have to talk about it to some extent, throwing me into a bit of emotional turmoil.

So, blog buddies, pray for me. This head on confrontation is causing lots of heartache and a little bit of anxiety.

Thanks, friends.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From the broken...

A couple of weeks ago, during the high school small group, we read one of my very favorite parts of scripture--the sinful woman washing Jesus' feet. We talked about how Jesus, instead of condemning says, "this woman has done a beautiful thing for me."

In life, we (and by we, I mean that I am) are a lot like the woman in this account looking for the beautiful in the broken pieces. One particular youth in this group lost a parent in very tragic circumstances. The fact that he is healthy, strong, living and that his family has built a new life out of those broken pieces is a testament of God's beauty and something that I sometimes marvel.

Beauty out of the broken.

Our broken, sinful hearts seek and cry out for restoration and redemption.

For a time period of about 18 months several years ago (my life seems to move in 18 month time spans), there was a time when I felt broken. Broken by circumstances, failed relationships, friendships, finances, work, life. Much like Donald Miller in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years that he felt as though he would never thank God for the things he was experiencing, I felt the same way. There were many things that I felt would never resolve, would never get better, would never get repaired (as evidenced by this blog o mine).

The other night, while thinking about that time, it suddenly hit me that time of feeling broken was a time that God was using to bring about beauty. There is a lot of beauty in my life that came from that time. New friends, new relationships, new experiences, a stronger wearing, longer lasting version of myself. And even though I thought I would never thank God for that time, I am thankful. Thankful for the newness He's brought and thankful for beautiful things he has done and continues to do for me.