Tuesday, April 29, 2008

such big news!

Mike has a blog-AND  just posted his first post. Yep!


Check it out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I am rapidly approaching wrapping up year 26. It's kind of weird-each year, about 2 months before I start to "get used to" the number coming up. 2 years ago, I accidentally said I was 25 to a few people when I was still a few weeks (or months out) from my birthday. Then Mike so lovingly corrected my age with them and it was as if I forgot that I was still 24. (Ok, this is ever so slightly embarrassing). As a kid I was always SO excited to be older (I have always wanted to "grow up" fast). 

This is the first year where it feels a bit different. I've been trying on twenty-seven for a while now, but been pretty attached to twenty-six. But I'm feeling as though I am shedding twenty-six faster than I am ready to let go. I'm a little slower on the "trendy" side of things than I used to be these days. I am realizing I don't know the newest slang and that my language is starting to become a bit more adult like (um, like, yeah, totally!). I am slower to speak, but still not quick to listen. I haven't gone to SF for a concert in YEARS. Yes, years. days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and here I am, shedding my twenty-sixth year faster than I can remember year twenty-five. or twenty-four. oh, man.

Here I am, looking to this next year and although I am slightly struggling, I feel like God's giving me new insight. And even though the external "mile markers" of where I wanted to be don't match the ones I dreamt up at age six, internally I am a new(er) creation than last year. And because of that, I'm excited, but not to be "older" but to hopefully gain wisdom. Not look "look more spiritual" to others, but to know that my faith (in secret, behind the door, when no one's looking) resembles what I portray to others in the public. Not to be more "popular" but to grow in deep, authentic community-even if its with only just a few people. Not to be more "happy" but to grow in true contentment (that's a whole 'nother post for another time). Not to have the coolest birthday gifts but to have beautiful memories to last me when I am partaking in another twenty-seventh birthday party 50 years from now. Memories to share with my kids, my grandkids (whether my own or just kids in the Spirit).  

I know I always "say" these things, because if you are a "good Christian" you will want these things. I have externally told myself and others for many years that this is what I should want, therefore those would be my "birthday wishes". But really, secretly, internally, I wanted just the opposite. I wanted it to be about me. Not Jesus. Not others. But me. But...this is the year I think I am not lying to myself. I truly desire this.

27 is growing on me. I am starting to like the way it sounds, feels, tastes. It's kind of like one of those mexican lollipops with a chili lime coating, but once you suck off all the coating, there's sweet mango inside. You may not like the taste right away, but it grows on you and getting to the center is worth it. I feel that this year is going to be such a big transition. Maybe not in "external events" but the internal processes that have shaped me to be me over the last quarter century. 

I'm taking off my winter coat and settling into the person God is calling me to be. I am finally warming up and it feels good.  

Sunday, April 20, 2008

mary in a martha world

funny that I named this blog as such. I think there's a book called this and i think i had to read it in college. 

But I digress. 

So I realize I am really impatient. When I was a kid, all i wanted to do was to grow up. Like, I could not WAIT to go to kindergarten. I wanted to grow up as an elementary school kid and to do so I had my daily dose of Oprah and Growing Pains. I was always looking for the next thing. Junior high. High school. College #1. College #2. College #3. Graduating College. getting married. Moving to Sacramento. Getting my first "real" job. Quitting my first "real" job. Moving from Sacramento. the list goes on (and on and on). I am like this with houses I have lived in. If I have lived in a home for more than 1 year, I go STIR CRAZY. I seriously could move to a new house down the street and quench this fire for the time being. 

I think that is also really resonant of my spiritual life as well. I am always looking for the next thing in my walk with Jesus. I think when I was a new Christian I thought that quantity was really what Jesus wanted. That if i sat at His feet for like, 7 weeks straight, in a desert, with only a bible and water, He would just unfold this scroll of what He wanted from me and how he wanted to use me. Then I'd know exactly each step I needed to take, what He wanted from me. Ha! Oh, Lord, help me now.

Now i realize that I have the attention span of a rat and I cant really sit at Jesus' feet for long, extensive amounts of time. I am actually currently blogging during a worship gathering now because if i dont do it now, I will forget (remember...attention span?). and it has really enhanced my blogging experience. I really felt as though God was really directing my typing. it was like a worship experience. What was I just talking about?

Oh that's right. So I have a hard time not multi tasking my relationship with Jesus. Doing more than one thing at a time at all times. I get caught up in the tasks of the kingdom of God and not the relationship with God that i need. Sundays I find myself wondering, "are the candles lit? how is the tech team? is the (fill in the blank person who helps out on a given sunday) ________ here yet? are we running late? should Josh cut a song? will he see my note? It's dark in the pocket, should I get a light? Oh, crap, I forgot (fill in the blank of something you would see at Vintage on any given sunday) ________! Who could run to (name any given store we shop at each week)  ______ ?". So...that's sunday, which really should be a work day, not a sabbath so I probably need to really "rest" on my day off and like fall off the face of the earth on saturdays or something. Again, I digress. 

Anyway...I want to be Mary. I mean, she just sat at Jesus' feet. Screw the dirty dishes and the unclean floors. I just want to listen to Jesus sing a sweet song to me. And, to be quite honest, I am Martha a lot. I am a Mary in my marriage and my family but I am a Martha with our church community and with our friends. I don't think I am by nature, but the environment my whole life, has been molded into Martha. Society and even Christian culture has molded me into Martha. And I have chosen to be Martha - probably to fill my self esteem, my self worth and maybe even to fill my pride. I admit it. 

Yet, I long for the quietness at Jesus' feet.  To be. just be. Not be impatient with Jesus when He hasn't laid out the scroll of my life of what He wants next. That's really what the whole relationship with Jesus thing is all about. And each time I have waited for the next "spot" in life, He's brought me to the next place- it's been so good. maybe hard. Ok, always hard. But so good. And when I sit at Jesus' feet, I know that good things come to those who wait. Whatever it is.

So tonight, I'm sitting, waiting, wishing. At Jesus' feet. For Him to show me the next steps. Whatever it might be. 

(ok, is this the scatterbrained blog yet?)

Monday, April 14, 2008


today was one of the most transforming sundays I have been a part of in a while. It felt like the focus was unintentionally on family. It was so neat gathering wise, as Justin and Josh Fox tag teamed the message on purpose, their mom Brooke led an interactive art piece and having most of the Fox family at Vintage Faith-I'm guessing is somewhat of a rare sighting, getting all of them together in the same room. In the coffeehouse at the 11, I think I counted 6 new babies being taken care of by their loving parents in the coffeehouse. I got to catch up with a friend who has a new baby and ask plenty of questions. At the 7, I caught up with friends who I haven't talked to in two weeks, hung out and just chilled. 

I realized today that Vintage Faith is my family. I mean, I have a biological family, which my immediate family is close. But there is something about the family of God that gives me a bigger purpose. I haven't felt like this since I was a young, green jr. high director at WestGate. I had missed having this bond for the last 4 years and wasn't sure if I ever would have it again. But today solidified it. Vintage is my family. I woke up SO excited to see people that I loved. People that mean more than a nonchalant "hello" in passing. I just couldnt wait - people of all ages and situations and life circumstances. I actually had a moment today where I knew I just love everyone, and I never want to leave this family. Things change and people are ALWAYS added to this family, but this is family (dysfunction and all). 

Thank you, God, for bringing me here, adopting me as your own, bringing me into this amazing church community. I PRAY that everyone can find community (words cannot explain how amazing it is) whether it is at Vintage or somewhere else. There's just nothing like it. 

That's all from me. I am just thankful tonight for this place and for something so beautiful to be a part of (pardon my incorrect grammar, I am falling asleep as I write this).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

expecting the unexpected

when Mike and I were dating, we thought it would be really funny to buy one of those really cheap Mervyn's plastic rings. You know, one of those that is a "diamond" in a "setting" (so funny writing about this 4 years later, as Mike now works a a fine jewelry store). And...we thought it would be funny to fake a proposal to one of our good friends, Dave and Nancy Larson. 

I believe it was a Sunday morning at WestGate, and we were in the video overflow room. I threw that cheap ring on my ring finger and my hand and said, "We're engaged, Nancy!" and I am pretty much sure she was in shock. we had only dated like, 2 months, and people knew that we were dating but didn't know how serious we were. She shouted "Congratulations!" and hugged us, and then we threw out the kicker: we were just kidding. We did the same exact thing to Dave, who was a bit less animated but did give us a congratulatory hug. And lo and behold, less than 3 months later, we really were engaged and she said, "you are kidding me this time, are you?". And she knew us, knew we were jokesters and we still got her pretty good. sometimes we just expect the unexpected. She expected us to do some kind of prank, but was still caught off guard and was not expecting it.

I sometimes act like this with God. I expect that he won't use me, and yet he does in ways that I can't be expecting Him to act. I expect something to work out a certain way, and he works in a way that it totally unexpected. I was cracking up reading my last blog when I was saying "I'm not even sure I will have any deep revelations during my hiatus from the world to blog" (I obviously did not send much time on my grammar-hah!). It was probably one of the BEST times where God has given me such clarity. Maybe not deep thoughts, but much clarity. 

I unfortunately went into vacation time expecting that it would be dull, boring and uninspiring. That I would come back to work tomorrow just as tired and weary. That I would be cynical during a wedding (not of the couple, i think they are great, but of the "romanticizing" of marriage. Hello, its a lot of work! Wonderful work. but it's hard.) That I would be cynical to the people I would meet and cling to Amy Boschen like I was in kindergarten and she was my only friend (sorry friends!). 

But instead, God did the unexpected. Every area where I did not expect Him to work to change my perspective, He did. I have fallen even more in love with my husband. I have fallen more in love with my job. I am feeling as though the paradigm has shifted and priorities went with it. I met and reconnected great people my age (with and without kids) who are making it (somehow). We were well taken care of by a little italian housekeeper and woke up to breakfast, coffee, orange juice, and a hug every morning (a bit more than usual-well, minus the hug). I was filled with a newfound hopefulness, a sense of being renewed and a new understanding on what it means to be taken care of by God. 

It doesn't just mean that there is food on our table and a roof over our head, although that can be part of it. But I am remembering this weekend that it is more than that-He comes to give us life and give it to the fullest. When we are weary and tired, He fills us. When we are thirsty, He quenches it for us. And He continually fills us and my soul is refreshed. Instead of a fake Mervyn's ring, He gave me the real deal. And while I expected God to do something, I didn't know exactly what and to what extent-and God showed me the unexpected. You'd think I'd know how He works by now-but He's caught me by surprise yet again. And I love that about Him.