Thursday, March 23, 2017

"What's up friendship lady Sarah?"

Oh heck yes-- doesn't blasting people with love seem like the best possible thing? This week I want to find creative ways to do that for people who might not expect it. Thanks Cass for this snail mail in my mailbox!

Since Campaigners last week, I've been thinking more about prayer and how we can be intentional about it. One of my friends has a stack of notecards, a name on each one, that they go through every morning. Another friend has a list of names in their journal that they go through each day and journal about. I've got a Post-It note for each day of the week with names of my people on each one. If prayer is the most important and powerful thing we can do I want to make sure it's a priority. 

One of the best moments in the past two days was with Washburn. We ran out of chips before all of the queso was gone, but that didn't stop her-- she ate a forkful of queso. Love what you love, even if other people might think you're weird. 

Junior High kids are so good love blasting...
1. Pen pal letters from Brookie Cookie

2. A surprise note on my desk during passing period from Moldy

3. Here's the wall by my desk...

the bottom of the wall...

the picture Ellie and Brooke added of themselves when I wasn't looking...

Today is the perfect opportunity to go love blast some people, make a plan to pray for our friends or eat queso by the forkful. Let's do it.

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"Yeah, I made my headband out of this zipper and this rose petal. I'm the Queen of the Earth."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Go be brave. Go be just brave enough for today."

This semester, I've been reading chapters from You Belong with my 8th grade girls and HS Wyld Life leaders. The book is written by a collection of Belong Tour speakers and their friends-- so many women I'd heard of before from books or music or blogs. Because it's written by so many people it's a very eclectic sampling of writing styles and topics. 

I just finished reading the book in it's entirety on my own and these nuggets of faith and wisdom were my favorites:

We have one God in common, and he's taught me how to pray for, speak the truth to, and encourage every woman in my life. Prioritizing relationships is a chance to initiate, to be genuinely interested, to be transparent and to learn to listen.

Friendship is such a privilege.

I keep thinking the something is the obstacle, and God keeps whispering that it's my opportunity. 

Seek him because he promises that you will find him, that you can know him, that he has been there, will be there, and is right here in the something. Go be brave. Go be just brave enough for today.

This is what I know, both on water and in my life: The wind is where it's at. When you trust the wind instead of pushing through with an engine, when you wait for life to lead and unfold in its own timing instead of shouting out your answer, when you create space for uncertainty instead of pushing for a plan, the feeling is the same: exciting and calm in the very same moment, one of the best feelings in the world. 
And this is what I know: You can trust the wind. The wind takes us places we've never imagined, and it often knows us better than we know ourselves. It brings us to futures we longed for but couldn't even say out loud. I believe God is that wind in my life, that he's working all the time, and that he's good and loving.
I know how scary it can be to give ourselves over to that beautiful, terrifying wind, how hard it can be to trust the journey, but I also believe that it's worth it--that when you do, you'll feel alive and free and you'll want that feeling over and over for the rest of your life, like a drug, like falling in love.

LESS STUFF (!!!!) As I sorted it all, I asked myself four questions: Is it useful? Is it beautiful? Does it add meaning to your life now? If this item were free at a garage sale, would you take it? When you finally let go of the person you used to be, you get to discover the person you are now and the person you want to become. 

In the tender first age of friendships, those girls were our lives, but in the second age, they are women who help us navigate what has actually become our lives.

Living in community is the only way to live.

Me, too. These may be the two most powerful words in a relationship. Nothing brings a bigger sigh of relief than knowing that someone understands, that we're not crazy, that we're not beyond hope.
Maybe our issues are a little bit different, but we can enter into the sacred space of shared feelings and pain. We're on the same team. You're not alone. We both struggle, and we can struggle together. 

The more we're willing to let go of, the more He multiplies.

I am trying to act quickly on crazy ideas these days. I'm finding they are often the best ones.

Your mess doesn't disqualify you. It's your ticket in.

Words are valuable, and everyone needs to know that they're loved, that someone's proud of them, that someone sees the magic that makes them them. So this is my challenge for you: Use your words. Use them today. For someone you love, someone you're proud of, someone who needs to know they matter. Everyone needs to know they matter.

If we want to experience mind-blowing joy, then we have to be willing to take risks.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Just go do things and make friends."

Do you have certain routines in your week that remind you that it's a certain day of the week? For me that looks like Young Life on Monday night, #tecumsehtuesday posts filling my Tuesday Insta feed, Wilderness girls Wednesday mornings, FBC after school Thursdays and teachers wearing jeans on Friday. I threw that predictable schedule off the rails this week when we moved the Wilderness girls to Tuesday instead (we're working on a love bomb of sorts and had to gather all the fun stuff). And on this magical Tuesday we filled every single seat at our table-- this is what dreams are made of. 

My love for reading has been rekindled this year and I just can't get enough of good words and good stories. Today I love these words from Belong. If you like to be in control of things, maybe they'll resonate with you too.

Tonight was an epic Tecumseh reunion with Indy girls. We don't take advantage of living so close together very often, but when we do I'm reminded of how much I love these people and how our history together was so profound. It would be hard to ever forget... 
BSC backpack potholders with Kathleen, 
Country Cookin' Kristyn in her overalls, 
the way Mary Brody expertly zeroed in on the kids who were off to the side and needed a friend, 
Ellyn's dance moves for My Lighthouse that took Camp T by storm, 
Arie's drama skits (like the Raccoon Night Before Christmas, the Elf inspired search for the Respect Bead or the Mean Girl's Golden Toilet conclusion) that will go down in history, 
BRUNNER RUNNER RUNNER's ability to befriend every single Blazer and Brave boy she met by playing tag with them or teaching them in soccer clinic,
Shelby's laugh while playing with puppets,
and Molly Henry's strength of integrating Taylor Swift into every activity ever. 

Look at this wall. Don't you just want to be friends with someone who has a wall like this? This person will also gladly make you a mug of pour over coffee, play Dixie Chicks in your car, put you on her Insta story with a boomerang, pray for you or just be with you and listen to your story. Katie Smelko is a winner in all the ways that matter most. I'm thankful for time with her tonight.

Honorable Mention Blog Titles:
"Sometimes I think if I make eye contact with the person it'll make my eavesdropping less obvious."
"I've been doing this thing where I convince myself I don't have any homework. I don't know, it's not sustainable. It's got to change."

Monday, March 20, 2017

"I want to start off by saying that I found the pretzel stick you all just shared on the ground over there."

"Community is more than just fitting someone into your schedule." Every Monday night I'm reminded of that truth as friends and leaders show up at the barn, hug it out, sit in circles together and share truth about life and faith. This is how we're meant to live. 

Tonight Anna Morgan was speaking my love language. She gifted me this free burrito card from Chipotle-- if that's not sacrificial love, I don't know what is. 

This my friend and yours, Cassidy Ogan. She wins the picture game every. single. time. Honestly, I know of no one else that can steal the show with a facial expression, odd lean or hand placement like she can. Today, and all the days, make sure to take a second and spot Cass in pictures. I promise it will make your life richer.

My heart grew two sizes when all 9 of these friends showed up at Campaigners to hang out tonight. Seniors + Cass. They're my people.

"Oh, there are 10 of you-- that's perfect!" Ryan, formally of the Straight No Chaser acappella group, told us after we asked him to put is in position for the picture. Next time we'll borrow some of his shiny suits.

We've got 8(?) weeks left together (plus 44 more weeks for Cass) and I don't want to take it for granted. These girls are bursting with potential and life and heart and I'm so proud of them.

Honorable Mention Blog Title:
"40 is so old but 30 is so young. It's hard."
"I'm taking him to Taco & Burrito place tomorrow night. It's a movement."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"If you get too caught up in the future you miss out on today."

Highs of the weekend:

1. Linc and Red wearing their green for St. Patrick's Day-- I saw a lot of green on Friday but I think these two get best dressed

2. Leadership Upper Room Saturday morning with YL and WL family--
"We have to carry people in our prayer life before we can walk with them in real life."

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for... I ask God to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so taht you can see exactly what He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for His followers." Ephesians 1:11, 18

"What is interesting about the way our ministry has changed over the years?"
"What do we consider normal that other people aren't even aware of?"

3. Taco & Burrito Place Round #7 with Ellie girl

4. March Madness and fruit smoothies... even if my bracket is in shambles...

5. Brookside Community Church-- making friends with Sarah, Carolyn, Angela, Charles, Andrew, seeing God at work, being so aware of the kingdom

6. Indy adventures to the IMA 100 Acres, Crown Hill Cemetary, Broad Ripple Bagel and Nicey Treat, people watching on the Monon

On Insta, I asked people what they would add to this board...
Meet Will Smith, train my own falcon, climb a mountain, meet Kid President, go to Norway with my best friend, visit all 50 states, learn to surf and swim with dolphins, hold a baby sloth, make a difference, eat a whole pizza, save a life

7. I wasn't actually there... but Wyld Life leader Caitlin Tyner and her 7th grade girls made 12 batches of slime for our upcoming Lock In

8. Chipotle Party with Smelko and Hools-- the best food and the best conversation

9. Showing up at the Myer's house to hang with the family and getting to jump out and surprise Johnna and Mal when they got home from youth group

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"I want to make it a thing where phones are not cool anymore. Seriously. A lot of 20 year olds have beards these days-- and beards DID NOT used to be cool. We can do this-- phones aren't cool."

Alex Craig and I agree-- just seeing Rachel Phillips at Wyld Life is not enough. We need more Rachel time. We convinced her to party with us at Big Apple Bagel before we headed off to school and she flew off to New Zealand. 

There are so many applications for this form of multiple choice questioning when you want someone to agree with you. The possibilities are endless. 

We've have reached a new chapter in the year of FBC my friends. Track has begun which means that all of our 8th grade pals now have to go to practice on Thursdays to run laps around the track instead of hanging out with us in FBC. Lucky for me, I've still go on a gang of non-Musical, non-track 7th graders who rule. FBC has moved to room 107 and we're all feeling quite at home.

It only took till Round #6, but I got Justin to Taco & Burrito place. Thanks to him, I found out that the name of the cook I love is Oscar, I tried a Strawberry Jarritos and finally learned what a torta is.

And on the day before her 25th birthday, Smoon stumbled upon this life changing verse... I knew I loved those silver hairs of mine. 

I just finished reading Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. I remember seeing people read it last Fall and hearing such good things-- it finally made it to the top of my book pile.

Some of my favorite excerpts from Uninvited:

Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.

The beliefs we hold should hold us up even when life feels like it’s falling apart.

When we abide, delight and dwell in Him, He then places within us desires that line up with His best desire for us. Therefore, He can give us whatever we ask, because we will only want what’s consistent with His best. He can fully satisfy our hearts, because they are consistent with His heart. He can promise us stability, because we’re tapped into His consistent power.

The more we fully invite God in, the less we will feel uninvited by others.

Relationships don’t come in packages of perfection; relationships come in packages of potential. They have the potential to be great. But they also have the potential to be hard at times. No matter what, it takes work to make it work. And wrapped in between the wonderful and the work are inevitable times of imperfection and possible rejection.

There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to realize that being set aside is actually God’s call for her to be set apart.

The Devil is powerful, but he’s also predictable. He is vicious, but he’s not victorious. Lies flee in the presence of truth.

Pain is the sensation that indicates a transformation is needed. There is a weakness where new strength needs to enter in.

Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me but were never meant to define me. Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season. But it’s never a final destination.

Honorable Mention Blog Titles:
"That's my biggest fear with dating someone-- what if we look alike and we're actually long lost twins."
"I was at the ER till 11:30 last night. But my bed time is 9:00. And I LOVE my bed time."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"If I had a house that large my family would hide out in closets just to get away from me."

Wednesday Morning Girl Gang ft. Erin, Cass and Syd

Clubhouse ft. Erin and Brookie-- proving once again this is the greatest Junior High on the planet

Wyld Life Campaigners ft. Rach, Hools, Jess, Kegs, Mal, Danielle and Cass
Doin' friendship work: Be brave enough to speak truth in hard conversations. Schedule space in your life for your friends. See Jesus in your friendships by praying for your friends.

My new favorite paragraph via Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Can I get an amen?