When You Walk Into the Room

A few weeks ago I was on a mini road trip back from a wedding, and my friend asked, “what’s your favorite place and why?” What seems like a normal question actually launched me into some real processing of my past year. As we talked through places that have meant a lot to us, I realized how many memories I have that are defined by spaces. Specific spaces where I spent important moments in my life. I told them about the bench on a mountain in Canada where I sat with a high school friend for hours, and the Nile river in Uganda, where I symbolically (and actually) conquered a lot of fears. I thought about the fire pit in my parent’s backyard where many important conversations have taken place and how I always enjoy finding myself on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I told them how much I love bridges because they are a picture of connection.
This year, my first year as a resident director, taught me a lot of things. And I’m finally getting around to processing them (welcome to the next few weeks of the blog). The first thing is this very idea, the power of spaces. My job deals with very tangible, specific spaces. I oversee people’s living spaces for a whole school year. Their health — physical, mental, relational, spiritual — in many ways is dependent on the health of these spaces.

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Dear Twenty-Seven,

Dear 27,

You were a rollercoaster! So much has happened and I am incredibly grateful for you. At the beginning I was not so sure; I told people it felt really old, maybe because it was more syllables than any age I’d been before (or will be, for another nine years). Or maybe it is that when you start inching closer to 30 something happens inside you. Like all of a sudden some of those life goals or hopes that you have kept stuffed in the back of your mind start pushing their way to the forefront, and things start to matter a little more than they used to. Each passing year makes me hold my days a little more tenderly, knowing there are (I know it is morbid) less and less left.

But the days were beautiful and full of surprises. When I rolled up to my 27th birthday party in that sassy romper and lipstick I had no idea that a year later I would be living in a different home, have a different job, and have traveled practically around the world.

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God Knows Exactly What He is Doing (Uganda Stories, Part I)

As I sat in the school office, I did a double take. Did that sign really say those words? 

Rewinding back to around three months before we were supposed to leave for our trip to Uganda: we found out that the organization we had planned to work with was cancelling all their summer trips. It was scary and overwhelming and heartbreaking. Not just for our team, but for everyone involved with this organization. They put loads of time and energy into that decision, and we knew they had not made it lightly.  We had no choice but to trust that God still had a plan for us. 

We felt confident that the Lord had invited us to go to Uganda, and we knew that this change of plans was not a surprise to Him. I sat down one day to pray about the situation, and the only words that I could utter were these: You know exactly what You are doing.

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Scary Freedom

Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

Galatians 4:9 “But no that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”

Galatians 4:16 “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

I feel these verses so deeply in every part of me these days. Why do we keep putting ourselves back into our chains? Why do we do this? Why can’t we actually live free? We are no longer slaves.

I told a student this past weekend that as much as we do not want to admit it, we want our chains. Because if we were actually free, so much more would be required of us.

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The Anticipation [of hope]

We can find hope right here and now; we can make it a practice in our everyday lives. And we can hope for a better future, both in our lives here on earth and when Jesus comes back.

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On Running, the Sunrise, and Saying Yes to Your Life

So I’m choosing to run. I’m choosing to say yes to depth in relationship, to the scary new things, to knowing Jesus even more personally each day. I’m choosing to read Scripture and figure out what I believe. I’m choosing to fill the space God has given me, to step into my life and stretch it to its limits.

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The Treasure and the Treasurer

I have to ask myself these questions. Otherwise I start to question if God knew what He was doing when He created me. Woof.

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contentment versus comfort.

May we learn to be truly content, not just comfortable, whether married or single, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, healthy or sick, so on and so forth. May we walk in the riches and comfort of knowing who we are in Christ, and depend not on earthly status, possessions or ease.

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what i like about you

Maybe it is because September is finally upon us and summer is slowing abandoning us for her sabbatical, maybe because I’ve been without my best friend for five weeks, or maybe it is because Kanye West announced he wants to be POTUS and I just can’t stop thinking about moving to New Zealand or London or Africa or anywhere that would be better than President and First Lady Kimye…for any of these reasons, or maybe others, it has been slow and hard and one of those weeks where I’ve just felt small.

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