the one where i have growing pains.

remember growing pains?

no, not the tv show. well, i guess on second thought, that would be rather applicable. i was thinking more along the lines of the ones you get in your leg as a kid. you would tell your mom, and she would say, “oh, that’s just growing pains.”

as we get older into adolescence and young adulthood, growing pains shift into something else. it becomes about behavior, attitude, and often grows out of an existential crisis. we, as young adults, are going through lots of changes. graduating high school, going to college, graduating college, getting a job, moving home, going back to school, moving out of home, getting married, and many others lead to these growing pains.

i suppose one would say i’m at this point of my life. as i’m getting ready to get married and move out on my own, i’m fairly certain growing pains are happening. the world around us is changing, and we must change to continue moving with it, no matter where it seems the world will take us. we make decisions that aren’t the best, and have to learn to reconcile those broken relationships on our own. we begin to think about finances in a more responsible way. we cry because we’re not sure how we can afford an apartment, yet desperately want the independence that comes with it.  we become completely and utterly responsible for our actions, and are expected to act grown up.

however, i think often people forget that we are all in process. no matter what our age, our shoe size, our life situation, or our mental capability, our personhood is drastically shifting based on what is going on around us. this is similar to the field of process theology. process theologians claim that because god interacts with a changing universe, God is also changeable over the course of time. While the basic characteristics of god stay the safe, god changes and is in process based on the world around.

think about the new testament for a minute. “for god so loved the world…” now compare this to the number of times god condemns and sends lightening strikes down at the humans in the hebrew bible. while i am quite familiar that god also saves god’s people, god also participated in many violent acts in this time period. the god of the hebrew texts is much different from that of the christian scriptures. god is in process just like all of us. 

it’s important that we don’t expect people to be perfect, when we ourselves don’t like that expectation placed on our shoulders. we must remember always that all people are in process — we are sojourners on this crazy road called life, and must always remember that we are all in it together, and for no other reason than we are all trying to navigate our way down this crazy road called life.

that was [not] easy

i’m going to let you know what’s been going on in my life by telling you what i’ve learned is not easy over the last month or two.

hence, my list of things that are not easy:

1. death. i’m still trying to figure all that out, because of the death of my friend esquire. it’s still very much a part of my daily life. there is something missing in seminary hall at drew university. i miss you, esquire and know your spirit is here with me.

2. flatware choices. matt and i created our first wedding registries last week! i didn’t realize until then how difficult it is to choose flatware/silverware (my grandma corrected me in that term. no longer will i call it silverware). we did have fun, and are excited about some of our finds.

3. christian ethics. this class might kill me this semester. it is over my head a bit, and i’m kind of confused. i want to love it, but i’m having trouble loving it. maybe i’ll find help, soon.

4. wedding planning. i wish my wedding would plan itself. i just do not have time to dedicate to my wedding, which is going to make it super simple and happy and about the marriage itself. i’m happy, but wow. organizing bridesmaids, fittings, etc. is tough work. i do not envy wedding coordinators.

5. reading all the assignments for seminary. yeah, that will never happen. especially being a full-time student with 2 jobs and a 5 hour/week internship.

6. change. we’re about 3 months into a pastoral change at the church i work at. change, for anyone, is not something that is easy. we are all learning, and i think it will bring great things to the church.

7. waiting. matt and i are so ready to get married. do we really have to wait until may?

i think that’s all for now. i’m sure there are more things, but i can’t think of all of them. i’m learning, and growing in this stage at seminary and learning  a lot about myself.

 

 

i’m still here.

dear friends — i’m still alive and well, i promise. i’ve been on some adventures around here and just haven’t had time to update.

i’m going to leave you with my friend, the pelican, from the outer banks.

and let you know that i’ve been listening to bossypants by tina fey on audiobook. if you love tina fey at all, you should listen to hear read her book. i have laughed out loud so many times. she is amazing.

xoxo

the one where i tell you what i’m into

inspired by sarah over at emerging mummy, i’m going to tell you what i’m into this summer, since i haven’t had much time to post. i’ve been away on mission trips and doing wedding things.

what i am into — summer 2011 edition

well, being a youth pastor means it’s that time of year where mission trips happen. i posted about my experience at the RISE workcamp, and i just returned home from our jr. high camp up to the heifer international overlook farmin rutland, mass. we spent time in the global village, living and learning about how people in countries around the world. we milked goats, hung out with a camel, cooked our own meals, learned about sustainability and ate fresh vegetables. you know it’s a successful trip when a youth posts on her facebook that it was “one of the most eye opening experiences of my entire life.”

what’s on my nightstand?
i’m currently reading Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares —  it’s the 5th book in the sisterhood of the traveling pants series which i read as a teenager. it’s neat to read their stories ten years later, since they were similar to my age now and are now in their thirties as she writes in this book. if you were a fan of them, i’d highly recommend it.

what do i want to read?
well, i like to read fiction in the summer since i read all year long in seminary. currently on my list though?

the help by kathryn stockett
something borrowed (and the rest of the series) by emily giffin

i can’t make too long of a want to read list because i never read them all. my bookshelves are swarming.

what tv shows are worth watching?
when i watch tv, it’s quite rare. my favorites right now: dirty jobs, river monsters, family guy, parenthood, glee, anything on tlc …

what movies have i seen or want to see?
i’m seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 tonight and i’m SO EXCITED. my roommate in college is obsessed with harry potter and got me into it as well. i haven’t been to the movies lately, but also want to see the hangover 2 and winnie the pooh 🙂

what’s in my ears?
currently, coldplay’s new song every teardrop is a waterfall. it’s an awesome song. i highly recommend it. i’m also into u2 right now because i’m going to their concert next week. i’m super excited.

what are you looking forward to next month?
well, now that my mission trips are done, i get a week at camp! 🙂 which is one of my favorite places to be. after that, it’s off to ohio for a skating camp and coaches college. then, vacation with matt and his family to the outer banks. i’m so looking forward to that. then, crazy begins with the skating kick-offs, VBS at the church, and school starts. summer is pretty much over.

anyway, i leave you with a picture of my favorite camel, abu, who lives at the farm in massachusetts.

what are you into these days? 

 

 

 

 

a belated father’s day post.

i stand in hallmark stores and cry when i try and find my dad a father’s day card. you see, it has to be just right. it has to say dad, not father. it has to say how blessed i am. there are all these rules. and it must make me cry. i’m sure the people shopping with me are always wondering what is her problem?

well, for those who don’t know, my parents were divorced when i was very young. my mom got remarried when i was 5. yes, i slept at the reception. missed everything. oh well.

flower girl - 1992

my step-dad, no, my dad has been nothing but supportive and has loved me and cared for me as his own. blood doesn’t matter. i’ve never felt less than anyone else, and i’m really now starting to realize how lucky i am.

we bonded immediately over hockey. he and i would go to nj devils games, and we would play pond hockey on my aunt’s lake:

we also spent time eating carvel ice cream, and played super nintendo.

i could go on for hours. i would say that he is the most influential person in my life, and has taught me more about love than anything else. Because Glenn has loved me unconditionally even though he didn’t have to, I can really truly understand the love that God has for all of us.

We rarely talk about religion around our dinner tablee, but through the actions of my immediate family, I have learned a lot about acceptance, love, and family. I see God in the actions of them, in the love that Glenn has shown me when he did not have too. I grew up with too many people who did not get along with their step-parents.  my story is different.

Jesus didn’t hate people, and loved people, especially those on the margins –knowing this, and experiencing that kind of love on a daily basis has helped me develop a theology of how we should love everyone. it doesn’t matter if we are different — such as the fact that I may be the only blonde-haired, blue-eyed person in the room at family dinner — we are called to love those different than us, and accept them for who we are. We also then begin to realize that God loves everyone. Once we discover that love, our lives begin to take meaning. this unconditional love cannot be taken away, and my understanding of this has developed from a man who has raised me to be the person i am today.

i love you, glenn! you are the best dad ever 🙂

mom, me, dad @ graduation 2009

the one where we celebrate three years

three years ago today, i had just broken off a pretty serious relationship, and was a mess.

i called up my friend, matt. who came to target with me and then helped me get in a better mood by offering to play a game of mario party and watch office space.

a simple game of mario party turned into a kiss … and well, the rest is history. i won’t bore you with the romantic details.

needless to say, today i’m thankful. for this kid, right here:

haha. i love this picture of him ❤

he is so supportive of my endeavors.
he keeps me grounded.
he keeps my head out of the clouds.
he reminds me that i take life too seriously sometimes.
he gets me.
he drives me absolutely crazy sometimes, but i love him anyway 🙂

i couldn’t ask for a better life partner. i can’t believe we are getting married in less than a year. it’s crazy. more to come on the wedding stuff.

i’m thankful for you, matthew 🙂

now, to leave you with this adorable picture…

photo of us circa 2001

the one where i celebrate 24 years

i had a birthday on friday!

i am just now 24 years young. nearly a quarter of a century.

i am officially more than half my mom’s age — she was 23 when i was born, so last year she was seriously crazed at the fact that i was half her age.

on top of white face mountain

aw. aren’t we cute? this was shortly after my first birthday, nearly 23 years ago.

i like birthdays, and they make me reflect back on the last year of my life, and toward the next year as well. this next year, my twenty-fourth year, holds many changes.

i’m getting married. i will be 24 when i get married. (granted, i turn 25 just a few hours after, but that’s not the point). this is the year i will become a wife, which is nuts. this also leads me to the next one…

i will no longer be living in my parents house. this one has been tough for me to swallow. i love living with my parents, despite our minimal arguments.

i’m going to india. on my drew cross cultural trip. matt is concerned that this trip will change my life, and i won’t want to marry him anymore. well, dear, that won’t be the case.

i’m hoping for some other things, but i can’t quite share them yet. because i’m not 100% sure.

regardless, i’m thankful for my 24 years on earth, and i know that the next year will be wonderful.

i know this post hasn’t been anything super exciting, and i apologize for that. this week, i am headed to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It should be a good time, with fun fellowship and holy conferencing. i’m sure i’ll blog while there.

peace to you!