Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Year Ago

Speaking of "a lot can happen in a year," I am remembering this time last year. It was a weekend full of nostalgic pain, as a former student of mine was killed in a car accident.

Amy was 25 when she died - a young bride heading off to UCLA's MBA program...full of life and hope and dreams and zest like no other. Dimples, strawberry blond hair, something in her eyes far more than a twinkle - almost a lightning bolt? or a shooting star? So bright - so magnetic for Christ - it's still hard to believe that a mere accident could snuff out a light like that.

So in a year's time my grief has gone from acute and piercing and a little duller and more "achy..." but still confused. To visit her memorial page and see her pictures ( is to scratch the wound and let it bleed - so it's easier to not go there.

One thing I've taken away from her life and death is to really savor my children since there are no guarantees that we all see our 80th birthday. Too often we forget that - we think we are immune to the unexpected. Katie in particular reminds me of Amy - brilliant in mind and spirit, dimpled and zesty - I think in honor of Amy, Katie will be getting some extra kisses and hugs from her mom this week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

After Five Years - New Chapter

Last night might have been my last night as a small group leader in Student Ministries.

I've led a group for the past five years, and have loved spending my Wednesday nights with junior highers - mostly 9th grade girls. I love being a part of the leadership, the laughter, and having that midweek shot-in-the-arm of worship and refocus. I love being inspired by the spiritual growth in young people, which is quite humbling and incredibly real. I owe whatever is young and fresh about me to the youth in NW3 - without them I would be undoubtedly a cranky crone.

However, I had felt a sense of change even before Pastor Jake posed a new opportunity before me. I've "felt my years" in a sense - felt that my age was more of an asset to the leadership (perhaps) than to your typical 9th grade girl. Understandably they want someone young, fun and cool....and I definitely only fit one of those qualifications!

Next year I think I'll like being the Small Group Floater Chick for both Fuel and Deeper. I'll get to connect to ALL the Student Ministry leaders and stay connected to ALL the students, which truly is a dream come true....I absolutely hate when students leave and they become a memory instead of a reality in my world. (no, I am not good with change!) In my wildest dreams/prayers I wish I could go to Houseboats AND Wenatchee, both retreats and Mexico too! For sure I will keep on with Student Leadership as my best connection to actual students.

But with every new phase in life you look at the old phase and wonder what parts about it you will painfully miss. I'm wondering if I'll miss that sense of belonging with all the other small group leaders - will my presence seem natural or awkward in my new role?

Next week might cement my resolve to move on to that new role: our last activity as 9th graders is to dress up in beautiful "prom dresses" (good night nurse! mine is 25 years old and a size 3 - no way in heck is that fitting), and we will walk around the Kirkland waterfront with ice cream cones. The "cement part" is that most of the girls are planning to jump off the dock into Lake Washington, and I'm sure the young, fun and cool leaders will jump too. I'm pretty sure it will be at that point where I KNOW it's time to move on! I'll tell you next week if I jump as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorable Memorial Day wedding

The only thing I love more than rocking babies is a wedding.

Kellyn and Joe were married on Sunday night, and my heart is still warm and squooshy. I loved his vulnerability at the altar - such unabashed love and devotion towards his bride beaming out from his tear-drenched face. He looked ready to die for her - or ready to LIVE for her...what better embodiment of love could there be? And of course Kellyn was her typically radiant self - but at the altar I glimpsed another side of her....strong and steady like a rock - ready to be loved and to love - someone you could bank on for the "better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health." Quite a woman.

The night was warm from the sun and the fellowship. The venue spoke timelessness and beauty. Love was thick and welcoming and magnetic and powerful. Memorable Memorial Day wedding.

Monday, May 26, 2008

How Do You Measure a Year?

In honor of my new blog, chronically a "year in the life," I want to throw in some of my favorite lyrics to a song from Rent. I'm sure this will be the first of many lyrics I use to express myself here - I am a confirmed Broadway/Country/Christian music lover and think that if I were a scooch more talented (LOL) I'd be a composer. Or if I were a scooch more emo I'd be a poet.

Anyway, here's "Seasons of Love" from Rent:

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.

525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love?

Measure in love...Seasons of love.

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.

525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.

In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

It’s time now to sing out, though the story never ends

let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.

Remember the love! Remember the love!

Measure in love...Seasons of love!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Lot Can Happen in a Year

Have you ever been quoted before? I envy those people who come up with inspirational or quippy quotes that are forever attributed to them....or that go beyond the typical "as my mom used to say....someone's gonna put an eye out!" or, "as my mom used to say....someone's going to get hurt!"

(why is it that mothers have doom and gloom sayings? what is that about?)

Anyhow, probably the only thing slightly original that my kids have heard me say repeatedly is, "a lot can happen in a year."

friends can come and sometimes they go....feelings can change....circumstances and opinions and world events and popularity ratings and families and favorites....they all have a way of looking different from one year to the next. even God's truth in the Word will affect me differently one year to the next, although for the record I maintain that He is unchangeable, immutable and a ROCK. when you hear that phrase, "some things never change," He is what they are referring to.

I think the goal of this blog is to capture some of the changes that happen along the way from June 07 to June 08....possibly longer if this becomes addictive. :) I'm not expecting anyone to find my musings pivotal or riveting - rather, they might be mundane and occasionally inflammatory (since I tend to be both)....but I am trying to keep in mind that this blog is not for others necessarily....rather, it is to challenge myself to become more vulnerable and expressive, and perhaps leave an immortalized blip in the cyberworld.