Now I know what Brad and Emily did all day… it took me 4 hours to come up with an idea for Matt’s sermon graphics for this Sunday at Grace Church. Yikes. First I had to look at a million pictures then figure out how I really wanted to do it. I heart vectors. I have done a couple so far but this is the first one I like enough to post.
So we have been in Camas for over a month. Although we love our church and our students and soon Camas, it doesn’t quite feel like home. We are are still in transitional housing waiting for our house to close. Hopefully we will know more tomorrow about the date of our close. Currently we are waiting for our loan to be approved. Even with preapproval, it seems to take an eternity. However, we made it through inspection and appraisal with favorable results. I think we are getting a good deal.
So we are staying up on Livingston Mountain in someone’s house while they are in Arizona. You can get an idea: Google Maps! It is about a 20 minute drive to Grace but even more into town or Vancouver. Today Matt and I drove down together and we will be taking separate cars back as I will do grocery shopping and errands (we left a car at the church the other day). Needless to say this is wearing on us. And I get a little stir crazy because it is higher elevation and colder and LOTS of hills (whining) proving it hard on the asthma when running. So I haven’t really been working out too much.
Have I mentioned I want our house to close soon.
Youth ministry at Grace is going well. There are so many things changing and more to come. I am thankful we have an amazing leadership team and that our students are hungry for more. It makes it easy when they desire change too! We had our High School Christmas party last night and the ugly sweaters were in force. It seemed everyone had a great time. I am getting the opportunity to be pushed a lot in this transition. We are doing both Middle School and High School (at the same time/night) because there is no middle school pastor… yet. So I am speaking much more than ever before from ministry time, announcements. It is good refining and I’m getting over fears I have dealt with.
So there is a little nibble for today.
Today brings interesting feelings. I am reminded that the world is a crazy place.
On one hand, I am continually amazed at the careful planning and creativity of God. Today I was standing in the lobby of Grace, maybe feeling a little lonely. Everyone is amazingly warm and kind and open but there is something to starting fresh. No one really knows me. KNOWS me. There is something exhilerating and overwhelming about that.
I was talking to a family and in the corner of my eye I see someone. She looks VERY familiar and I do a double take and it is my friend Melissa from college. I nearly cried! I was so happy to see her – I gave her a hug twice! We all know how much I love hugging.. well I guess maybe only a few.. I’m getting better. At any rate – I haven’t seen Melissa in years and she has been in England. Smarty got her Masters degree at Oxford. Melissa is the reason I am alive, the reason I made better choices. She is the one who introduced me to Jesus in a real way. She made him make sense.
Really that was enough. Today though, is the 8 year anniversary of that decision. Full Circle.
On the other hand (although not overshadowing), today I grieve for the families, community, and coworkers effected by someone’s stupid and wreckless decision to end 4 precious lives. I can only imagine what the families of the murdered are going through. I pray God will comfort and bring them peace. I pray He will protect them and walk alongside them.
As a former member of the Parkland community, as one who prayed for that community, lived in the community, dreamed for better things for that community, I continue to pray for healing and restoration for the community.
It reminds me how much more we need to be praying for our communities, acting in our communities, and setting the culture of what will and what will not be tolerated. Violence and fear have no place.