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my family

I adore my family. Each of them are brilliant in their own unique way. They each have a quality about them that makes my heart smile.

I could write a novel about how much I love them. Even though Jeremy tries to be the tough guy, he's still our baby brother. I will never forget how often we stuck together to help cheer others up. We're a lot alike in some ways. And now he's become a college freshman and such a dedicated basketball player. I am so proud!

Lauren is my drop-dead gorgeous sister who I look up to so much. She's going to school to be a teacher. She's growing into one of my best friends who I can share anything with. We used to fight like crazy....mostly about stealing each other's clothes. Very glad those days are long gone. :) Lauren's going to do amazing things with her life. I'm excited for the people who will get to know her and love her as much as I do.

Ryan has been my sidekick for the longest. :) I love going through old pictures of us growing up together. I try to forget the time he threw forks and knives at me in the kitchen. :) I've never been around someone with more discipline than him. He loves running and it's become part of who he is. There are many things I'm passionate about but I have a difficult time being disciplined enough to make them a daily part of my life. It seems to come easy to him. I think Ryan is the smartest of the 4 of us. :) Well at least he's got the hardest major. And therefore, making the most money. :) We don't mind!

I know I'm biased, but God gave me the two most humble, honest, open and loving parents in the world. Every Mother's Day, we write poems about how much patience Mom has. The patience of an angel. I need so much more of that. She's so calm and steady. I've called her plenty of times in the middle of the night because I was sick or upset. My view of her has changed as I've become a married woman and started to dream of being a mother myself. I only PRAY I can do it with half the grace, laughter, and love that she has.

I think I might as well be the female version of my dad! We have similar characteristics & personality and both feel called to spend our lives in the same field. We can talk together about ministry and leadership for hours. I really feel he has shaped a huge part of who I am. I am called to reflect on this as I enter seminary and we write spiritual autobiographies. I look forward to examining how my family played a big role in me getting here. I've learned grace from my parents. We don't get grace in many places in the world.

The thing I'm MOST thankful for today is that we've stayed in touch so well. I was terrified leaving for college meant the beginning of the end of our family closeness. But if it's possible, we've only gotten closer the farther we've all moved. Thank you to technology! So no matter what life holds for us...I know we'll all share it together.

My husband has been so patient as he deals with a wife who's close to her family! As I reflect on growing up with my family, it makes me want to create that kind of warmth and closeness with my own family.
I look over at my husband when we're watching TV, playing in the backyard with our dog, brainstorming about ministry, on long road trips, or eating dinner and I CANNOT believe God led to me to such a beautiful person.
Aaron has been a part of life now for 5 years now. We're only creating the beginning chapters of our life together. I am content and peaceful knowing we have years together to create a life that we truly love.
But as we've learned this year, we work hard to truly appreciate each other every single day. It could all be gone in an instant.
Well, this is the end of my moment of family adoration for the night. :) Now, onto the reading I'm already getting distracted from!! I'm in trouble if this is what I did to distract me the first week! Just wait until 3 years from now...


Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…