Adam Lavine

How hot is this man? I'll tell you how hot...VERY. I went and saw Maroon 5 in concert tonight and it.was.awesome.
Unfortunately the restraining order kept me from making out with Adam as I had originally planned, but ah well. My voice is horse from screaming, the whole band did good, but oh my Adam...
He makes me understand the girls I see on TV that pull on their hair and scream when celebrities are around....because I did that tonight.

Counting Crows and Augustana were good too, but Adam Levine, you have my heart.



I'm going to need people to seriously reassess their definition of "disaster"



I heard a piece of information tonight that is alarming to me. Not like, life and death alarming, but a bottom dropping out of a commitment that I thought I had from someone. A clarifying conversation is happening this week, so hopefully it was just a "heat of the moment" type of thing. We'll see.

Commitment: a pledge or promise; obligation
If you're going to do something then do it. Follow through, follow up. Serving isn't always fun, it is rarely glamorous. Sure, it's exciting when you're in the beginning stages and everyone's pumped and running the race to launch successfully. But then comes the few months that follow, if you're lucky the years that follow. The times when you have to create your own excitement. When you have to as a leader (yeah I know, I'm still in the months stage...) motivate other people and carry them along if they need it, and give them permission to move on if God's calling them elsewhere. There are times when you have to have conversations that aren't fun and perform the menial organizational and background tasks that don't include cuddling the cute kids and standing in the best "serving spot" behind the soup kitchen counter.
To me, that's when the dirt hits the road (or is it mud hits the highway? I so don't even know where that analogy is going). That's when people show me that I can count on their commitment no matter what. That's when I feel like I really see into people's hearts.

I've realized that I could never be your woman

This song by White Town shuffled into my iPod on the way to West Chester tonight. In light of recent irrational thoughts I've had, I realized this song is so applicable.

Just tell me what you've got to say to me
I've been waiting for so long to hear the truth
It comes as no surprise at all you see
So cut the crap and tell me that we're through

Now I know your heart, I know your mind
You don't even know you're bein' unkind
So much for all your highbrow Marxist ways
Just use me up and then you walk away
Boy, you can't play me that way

Well I guess what you say is true
I could never be the right kind of girl for you

I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman

When I saw my best friend yesterday
She said she never liked you from the start
Well me, I wish that I could claim the same
But you always knew you held my heart

And you're such a charming, handsome man
Now I think I finally understand
Is it in your genes, I don't know
But I'll soon find out, that's for sure
Why did you play me this way

Well I guess what you say is true
I could never be the right kind of girl for you

I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman

Well I guess what they say is true
I could never spend my life with a man like you

I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman
I could never be your woman


Why getting hair cut without a fever is good

I got new hair tonight. Much to Stephanie's glee and amazement it includes layers AND bangs! It's a whole new world apparently. I haven't had on purpose bangs (and no you don't want to know what that means) since maybe 8th grade.
I'm trying to be brave and try new things. I might color it darker brown too, but I haven't decided yet.
What do you think? Yes, I'm digging for compliments, so be sure to lay them on thick!


It's like 99.9% official...also known as you'll get sick of this subject soon

The seller has agreed to be out of the house by October 10th. Tomorrow I'll sign the contract and get the inspection underway and it's as close to official as you can get before the official closing!

I'm a homeowner...I can't WAIT to do laundry in my own house! It has literally been almost a decade since I've been able to regularly no laundry in the same location I live, as in I could go to the laundry room in my undies if needed (and yes, you're welcome for that mental image).

Here am I...send me

I served in preschool worship this morning, and had so much fun. We talked about Esther and being brave. The special phrase for the day was God is with us so be brave. We talked about being brave, and one of the little girls Gracie said, "I'm brave, but I'm still scared of dinosaurs" We sang a song called "Walk with Jesus" and Autumn asked if we could all hold hands and walk with Jesus together, so we did. I jumped and twisted, clapped and waved my hands so much. Then I went downstairs and sang and played with the 1 and 2 year olds. Ember, a 17 month old (and Autumn's sister) crawled up on a volunteers lap and laid her head down to take a nap. The only thing was, this volunteer had two crying boys on either leg trying to comfort them...after a few minutes Ember opened her eyes, looked pointedly at both of them can climbed down, as if to say, "this is to loud for me!"
Second service the 1 one year old that was there was napping so I was able to go sit in big church for the end of the service. I missed Ben's talk but you can hear it here, which is what I did this afternoon.

They showed this amazing short film. The film was a woman documenting the brokenness in the world, poverty, homelessness, disease, captivity, the list goes on and on. Then she did this speaking/rapping/singing thing as it showed her piecing the film/photos together. She talked through the beginning of the world, through the fall, through her seeing the damage in the world, and her wondering aloud where this restoration was that was promised by God. She said that she knew that God send Christ for her, but that she didn't see things getting better. The climax of the film was a compilation of people all over the world, in all languages saying, "Here am I, send me"

It was so powerful, and I wish I could share it with you. But it was yanking tears from my eyes and deepening the longing of my broken heart to serve the lost, forgotten, marginalized. To feed the hungry and clothe the naked, to love the unloved and give hope to those without hope. I've been trying to see my entire life as a mission field, not just the international places, not even just the poor places in the Cincinnati area. It's been affecting the way I talk and act, the way I drive and even the way I tip in restaurants. It's inconvenient and so deliciously difficult some days, but there are days like today that wring me out and exhaust me, but are so beautiful and achingly lovely in the hope I find in what God is doing and how he is moving. It's like there was a buzz in the air about the conviction whispered to the hearts of people at my church this morning, that I could feel before even hearing the message myself. It was awesome.
So here am I, send me.
On the other side of the world
She stands on the ocean shore
Gazing at the heavens she wonders
Is there something more
Never been told the name of Jesus
She turns and walks away
What a shame

Just across the street in your hometown
Leaving from his nine to five
Gazing down the road he wonders
Is this all there is to life
Never been told the name of Jesus
He continues on his way
What a shame

Whom shall I send
Who will go for me
To the ends of the earth
Who will rise up for the King
Here am I send me
Here am I send me

Whether foreign land or neighbors
Everyone's the same
Searching for the answers
That lie within your name
I want to proclaim the love of Jesus
In all I do and say

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news
Proclaiming peace and your salvation

Ghana Trip Update


They announced at church today our mission trip to Ghana had been canceled. There is no update on the missionaries blogs at the moment, but Ben said the Ghanaian government decided they want to take over the clinic the Jernigans have built.
The missionary organization that the Jernigans serve through has made the decision to pull the Jernigans out of Ghana for safety reasons, as the situation between the missionary family and the government has become unstable...dangerous.
I don't know all the details other then that it has been canceled. I know we're looking into many international ways to serve so I know there will be a trip at some point to an international location, I just don't know when.

Please pray for the Jernigans safe passage out of Ghana and that Gods love is shown and His name is glorified through all of this to the people Andrew and Juliana have been serving faithfully for years in Ghana.

I think I might have bought a house today

Like seriously.
My realtor called and said they would accept my final offer, but wondered if they could stay in the house until mid-October. I really want in the house the 1st of October so I would have about 2 weeks before I move all my junk in to paint, re-carpet the basement, buy living room furniture, buy a new bed, oh and buy a washer and dryer and have everything set up. However, I want the house more.
So I told him that the latest I could wait was October 10th, because my lease is up on the 15th, which is a Wednesday and the 10th is the Friday before.

So, I think I bought a house today. Does anyone have $100,000 plus that I could just have?


Psalm 63 (NLT)

I've been listening to the old testament as I drive all over creation this week. Specifically the psalms. I listened to Psalm 63 about 4 times.

1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

Wrap Me Up

I awoke this morning to the shadow of your laughter on my pillow
Stumbling through my constant attempts to get to work on time I am suddenly paralyzed by the remembrance of you, in my dream, looking at me.
She said that God wasn't done with us yet.
She said that there was still a plan, a hope, and that this wasn't the last chapter in our book.

I keep imagining that the time must be coming. The time to throw it all down and walk away for good. The time to finally be past this. But years have passed with no end in sight. Without invitation you envelop me in a cloud of what if and someday, without my permission you cause me to smile aimlessly as i think of our ambling walks and conversations.

Just the thought of you increases my confidence and rises a blush to my cheeks with the memory of how beautiful I felt that day, in the woods, imaging with you.

I wish I had her vision , I wish I had her patience and confidence for you and I. But I am standing here, waiting, holding the frustration and dull disdain for the years that have passed without you.

It is the same and brand new here without you. It is painless and devastating to move on, to step forward while glued to the same spot I've been in for so long. I am happy and sad without you, and I have no way of telling people that it's not irrational this love I love. My life is at the same time full and empty and I am at the same time holding my breath waiting for the day we may be together again and exhaling with the sheer relief of not being with you anymore.

But it is the shadow of your laughter and how you looked at me in the woods that day that have silenced me and drawn me out, it is the promise of a future that may never come that keeps me moving forward and frozen in place.
It is you that undoes me, and yet wraps me up.

Conquista chart one!

Someone just came up to my desk and hummed Smoke on the Water because they didn't know the name of the song.
After telling them I tumbled back into march charts and flirting with saxophone and trumpet playing boys (wink wink Jake). Which led me to think about the time I lost count during those conductor tryouts because I was thinking about the salisbury steak we were having in the cafeteria that day and how I couldn't look at Alaina and Jake during my oboe solos.

All because someone hummed Smoke on the Water.
I love memory tumbles like that, it really made my heart smile (and it made me SUPER miss Jake....)


On Confessing

I was catching up on a blog I love and came across this post.
I thought it was so beautifully written, and such a departure from the burn him at the stake conversations I've been hearing about John Edwards. As you may realize from my previous post about election apathy, I don't really have strong feelings towards or against John Edwards. But what I keep seeing lately is this lack of grace.

A professor at Cincinnati Christian University left her 11 month old daughter in the car the other day, on accident. Someone said to me today they couldn't believe she was that stupid. This person that said it is a believer, a parent, and a generally all around compassionate person.
I saw a lack of grace, and I recognize it in myself.

The thing I liked the best about what Anne said, was that confession broke her heart in the revelation of sin, but also found her rejoicing and peaceful because of the steps towards restoration with God that confession brought with it.

I've confessed things before, and I've been met by condemnation and grace. Grace sure encourages me to go and sin no more then any disappointment filled sigh and I can't believe this happened condemnation ever has.
I hope that I can extend more grace then I'm capable of whenever someone is in need of it, because I know that I've sure been in need of some hefty grace in my life, and I will need even more of it in the future.

Providential Relationships

Providential: 1. peculiarly fortunate or appropriate; as if by divine intervention
Relationship: 1.a connection, association, or involvement. an emotional or other connection between people

I had two meetings tonight. The first one was just Ben and I talking about The Washington Project, which is an upcoming outreach project that you all will get details about later. We talked about the big picture and thoughts, and also about who we would want on a core team to help build this project and sustain it. A conversation was had about someone, someone that I have clashed with several times in the last few months. This someone that I see a really great leader in, but the leader is just buried under something I still can't even now put my finger on. I've been feeling for awhile now that this person could benefit from an intentional relationship. A relationship with someone that can build trust, and then speak into their life about the leadership qualities they are showing and how to tangibly work those out in a way that meshes with what I've seen as the leadership "style" at church. Those thoughts floated up again to me tonight, while talking about this person.
Then at the second meeting Ben talked about a lot of things, he talked about the call that God has on our lives and the patterns we have that keep us from embracing them. The one that is so close to my heart, time management was one of the two, financial management was the other. While I'm not perfect on the financial front, it's the time management that I struggle with myself. I see how overcommitment and busy busy busyness affect my relationship with God, and I see how it affects those of our volunteers. But the one that really has gotten me, the one that I haven't been able to shake all night was when Ben was talking about providential relationships. A relationship that is intentionally deeper, one that moves past how are the kids and what's new. A relationship that intentionally steps into another person's life and allows God to develop that relationship and grow it in a way that furthers his plan for both of the people, and his kingdom.
Oh, and did I mention that this person was at the second meeting, and sitting next to me? Did I mention that this person asked me for a ride home and asked me directly about the Washington project and how they could be involved in any way because they were so excited about it? Yeah...I get it God. I.Get.It.

This person and I have had our moments. Until literally yesterday I had my doubts that we would ever be able to basically get along. In the last 24 hours this yearning has been rising up in me to intentionally deepen and develop a friendship with this person. I mean, I'm by no means some great leader...but I so want to come alongside this person and help them see what an awesome leader they could be if only they developed that a little more.
Could this just be me thinking that I want people to like me...maybe, but usually when that happens I completely conform to what it is they want, and I don't want to do that here. I honestly want to find the burr in this persons saddle and remove it so they can fully embrace what God is doing in their life. (playing the pronoun game is hard) Could this be my irrational desire to "take care of wounded puppies" (as my mom said the other day.) I don't think so, because when that happens I feel pretty confident in my ability to "take care" of the situation. I have no idea what I'm doing here and I have little confidence in my ability to actually effect change.

Now comes the question...how do I do this?


Have I mentioned.....

That I put an offer in on a house today?

Oh, no? Well, I put an offer in on a house today.


Back2Back Stories

Beth Guckenberger is one of the directors of Back2Back ministries in Monterrey Mexico. It was where I went on my first mission trip to. This is one of my favorite stories she told while I was there, it's just such an awesome picture of how God is still moving.


Oh, and here's another awesome one too...



Today this ends

I went on a walk in the woods today, with a friend that I love so much. I feel like I can't tell you how much because I can't explain to you why I love him.
I love him in a way that stops me from pursuing any other, I love him in a way that still catches my breath in my throat just at the thought of him.

I went on a walk in the woods today, and thought myself beautiful in your eyes. We walked through the leaves, and crunched them together, reveling in the sound of the impending autumn. We circled the grave stone and read the words, we looked for the horse, but couldn't find him.

I went on a walk in the woods today, with the butterflies in my stomach and the sun in your hair. We sat on the memorial benches, said hello and struck up conversations with strangers. We sat on the porch, looking for the secret passageway and hidden treasure where there was none to find outside of our beating hearts.

I went on a walk in the woods today, with the lightest touch of your hand on my back. We walked and talked of nothing of consequence and of everything important..except one thing.
We talked of trees, squirrels, lavish parties, weddings and dead comedians. We talked of dogs and babies, mustaches and glasses.
I talked about Jesus, you listened longer then usual. I talked about my church, you smiled politely.

I contemplated declaring myself, telling you I loved you so. I opened my mouth agape to ask if we should just come out and talk about this thing that is between us...but I was afraid you wouldn't know what I was talking about. Later, as we said good-bye at the top of the stairs...you, just a tall guy, and me just a shorter girl I almost did it again. Still later, a few other polite good-byes under the belt (she has grown so much since I last saw her) and we are standing in the driveway, and you're touching me still.
A hand on my back
A pinch of my elbow
A brushing of my hair coupled with the wink of your lovely eye
You tease me, asking me where you would live if you moved towards me. I joke back that I'm buying a house big enough for two if only....trailing off I clear my throat and open the car door.
That's it you say, I'm coming with you. Hop in I say, knowing to well that you are not serious. Ah, not today...but it was nice hanging out with you, you too I reply.
A swift lingering hug and I begrudgingly pull out of the driveway.

Thoughts of you encompass my ride home, the what ifs and maybes nearly drowning me on dry land.
I think, if just until tomorrow, I'll pretend it could be like that. It's a game I play far more often then is socially acceptable, so I don't speak about it aloud.
It's a game that I play still.
But tonight, at home, opening my bible a paper falls out with notes from last week.

Continuing down the same path that God has made clear won't end well that I've seen from other people and myself that ends badly, but somehow thinking it will end differently for us, this time.

Then under it, traced over several times and underlined three times two words:


In this farewell, there's no blood, there's no alibi. Cause I've drawn regret from the truth of a thousand lies. So let mercy come and wash away what I've done. I'll face myself, to cross out what I've become. Erase myself, and let go of what I've done. Put to rest, what you thought of me. While I clean this slate, with the hands of uncertainty. For what I've done. I start again. And whatever pain may come, today this ends. I'm forgiving what I've done.


Questions and Thoughts on 75

Do you think a semi trailer could be so dirty that when someone spray painted something on it, and then it was washed, that the spray paint washes off because the truck was so dirty the paint never got the chance to stick to the side of the truck?

These are the things I contemplate when I drive on 75 by myself. I listened to a 4 sermon series by Rick McKinely who is the lead pastor at Imago Dei in Portland.
The sermon series was titled Inside Out. He talked about worship and letting God transform lives from the inside out. Such a great series, he talked at one point about missional work and worship and their correlation with each other. He said that worship was the beginning and the end of missional work. Without worshipping God missional work is just good works, there's not that integral sharing of Christ with people. It is the launch pad for it, and when you cease to worship God because you are caught up in busy busy busy then missional work ceases to be about anything other then good works and trying to save people through your own will.

I went on about a 45 minute tangent to Nicole tonight while I was trying to get from Norwood to Fairfield to pick up my dress from Sharen's and head north (stupid traffic). I summed up what was happening in my head this week and the total wasn't good.

1) Even thought I know that the amount of money in my bank account, the size of my home, car, family (kids, husband) and investment accounts isn't the sum total of me I also have felt like I was drowning in that feeling this week. It's getting to the point where I might have to decide to just not buy a house and move into another apartment. My mortgage can not be more then 50% of my monthly income, it just can't. If my worth lies in my finances I'm worth approximately $32.15.

2) It would be easier to buy a home if I had a partner. I would have another income and that would help me make the monthly house payment. But alas I am single. Single and uninterested really in changing that status. Childless and uninterested in changing that status. Sometimes the path to righteousness seems to lead through the land of procreation and partnership in a romantic relationship, and that is not a path I am currently on or pursuing. If my worth lies in love, marriage and kids, then I am worth $0

3) If I had a college degree, then maybe I could make a little more an hour, or even be a *gasp* salaried employee somewhere. But I don't. I'm one class away from an associates degree and I can't decide how to move forward with a degree after that. I know what I want to do, but I'm more scared of failing at that then I am sure I want to do it. So I have all of these college credits and nothing to show for it. If my worth lies in a piece of paper and mountain of debt that says I'm smart enough to make $5 more dollars an hour then I am worth -$11,835 (the amount of my still being paid off student loans)

4) If I was thinner I would have more energy, I would be more attractive to possible future husbands, I wouldn't have spent so much money of terrible food to sooth my aching heart and therefore would have thousands of dollars to put towards buying a house thus reducing my payments each month. If I was thinner I would be less socially awkward and more outgoing (or at least feel less of an inclination towards retching when I step outside my comfort zone and behave as if I'm outgoing). If my worth was in my weight, I would be worth....well, let's not go there I'm feeling rather rotund today...

So added up, I'm worth not a lot if anything at all.
It's been one of those days, and a little bit one of those weeks.
But like I said to Ryan today, it's not exactly like I've been relaxing in my comfort zone lately, so why start now.

I'm so thankful tonight for the reminder that my worth doesn't come from the heights of my credit score, the depth of the love of a man that is/could be my husband, because of children I may or may not raise one day, my worth isn't found in my weight or my education. My worth is found at the foot of the cross worshipping the God that saved me.



I'm watching a documentary on the gold rush and birth of California as a state this morning. The show vacillates between the shiny promise of gold and the dark murder without impunity of the native americans that got in the way of the gold rush.
Often I am at a loss to the darkness under the glitter of our country, the lengths we go to to get what it is we are "owed". But that's not fair is it? Doesn't everyone do that?
Don't I do that sometimes?
Sure it isn't murder, but the depth of the possibility of the depravity of humanity sometimes catches me off balance, confuses and disorients me.
What's worse, is how much better and more evolved we all are at explaining away our depravity and insisting there is no need for a God that redeems

I love PBS on Saturday mornings, especially when I have some time to watch. But this morning I was confronted again with what it is that we all are capable of if we run unchecked and untempered.