Friday, September 26, 2008

Honduras in November

The final word is in... I'm going to Honduras in early November, to produce a Global Leadership Summit for Willow Creek.

Ever been there? Any tips?

Dry Spell becomes Funk- news at 11

Been feeling pretty dry on the blog front lately... not keeping up well with communication/relationships in general. Feel alot like I'm going through the motions of life, zipping through hallways so I don't have to talk to anyone, living for my pillow and the numbness of sleep.

Had a good conversation with someone yesterday.
I tried the easy excuses but they didn't stick.
And then we got down to it.

I'm afraid. Afraid I can't make something happen. Afraid I can't fix something. Afraid I'm not enough. Afraid of feeling alone in a crowd. Afraid of making old mistakes. Afraid.

It's so easy to see when I write it that I'm pretty much all about me and my mortality today and who wouldn't find that scary????

So, today I'm putting my "scary" list back in God's hands.
Leading Well
Hurting Family
Hurting Friends

Do you ever get funky? How do you get out of it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Living with or without...

Been reading Proverbs and Ecclesiastes... become the oldest person in the room for a meeting or two... joined the walk of a couple of friends who are in the midst of chaos... been watering trees everyday and wondering if I'm as wise as God intended me to be at 43, if I'm as available to God as I need to be.

Today I start a challenge of thinking eternal vs. temporal in my finances. It's the focus of our weekend services next week and our team will challenge the congregation to tangibly interact with this concept. Many on the serving team for the week are doing this, this week so that we can approach the challenge to our church from a place of understanding not ony how big the "ask" is, but what God can do in the midst of it.

In my case, I've decided not to spend money on temporary (unnecessary) things this week. I'm thinking I might blog this out, here.
From the outside, I'm a pretty simple person. To my eye, most people i know have more "stuff" than we do. But, I still have what I want, most of the time when I want it. I still spend money on myself to make myself feel better, whether that's the morning chai, a trip to Old Navy, or dinner out because I didn't plan ahead and am tired and don't want to cook or clean up.

Our pastor shared the following yesterday in church:

Hamilton Securities made it easy to practice an attitude of gratitude when they published their list of what the world would look like if you shrunk the Earth’s population to a village of 100 people. They said there would be . . .
80 people living in substandard housing,
70 would be unable to read,
50 would suffer from malnutrition,
Only one would own a computer, and
Only one would have a college education

I'm pretty blessed, even though I am craving a tall vanilla whole milk no water stirred Tazo chai tea latte...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update from Chris

So I am through the worst of the hurricane and giving a quick update (although I think the meat of what I would have said is already on my mom's blog):

The hurricane was quite a bit of fun. I don't know why, but it cracked me up seeing my classmates sleeping by the milk refrigerator, the salad bar, the grill counter, etc. It was a fun and unusual experience and I was never particularly worried about damage or my life or anything so that made the whole thing fine. Except sleeping on the floor, which felt particularly uncomfortable last night. Everyone passed the time playing board games. I don't have a very good idea of the damage yet because they haven't let us out yet (there is still a curfew in Houston and at Rice). My window faces a flood plain and some large uprooted trees. All of the exit signs along the hallways leading to my room have come apart; apparently they are not constructed with hurricane winds in mind. There is some flooding in dorm rooms on the first floor and my room has some puddles (the windows are apparently not sealed water tight, but I had removed everything so there is no damage that matters). Power was flashing throughout the night so we were on generators most of the night. We didn't have water pressure around 8 this morning but it's fine now.

School is going well but keeping me very busy. I am currently considering dropping one of my classes and taking it next year so I can focus on each of my classes better (I have been getting my work done but not having time to read the books or pay attention in class, which is fine if all I care about is grades but not if I actually want to learn the material). Grading takes up a lot of time (12-14 hours a week from here on out). It is wonderful being on campus, for the food and the company. Having my own room is a mixed blessing: it means I can study more easily but it also means I have fewer incidental conversations with my roommates, which is unfortunate. But I suppose I get a fair amount of those over meals.

That's the story from here,

The View from Chris' Room

Update- Chris and Ike

everything is fine. They're making us stay here for 3-4 hours. Very windy and its raining sideways and sounds very neat against Wiess' glass walls. No water pressure One of the residential colleges flooded a little but Wiess is fine. Flooding in Brown on the North side of campus, next to where we stayed this summer. WE have generator power.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike Update

from Chris
strong wind and rain now. we're on generator power. lightning outside but it doesn't seem dangerous yet. they say worst is from 3-6am.

I talked to Chris on the phone an hour or so ago and the kids are sleeping in the kitchen/serving area of the cafeteria. some on mattresses, he's on a garbage bag, some kids made a tent by hanging sheets off the salad bar station etc. So far, he thinks it's all pretty funny, camping out. They had to move things away from their windows, but he's on the third floor so doesn't expect water damage.

in harms way

Tonight is surreal.
This photo is Mike sitting in the Gulf of Mexico, at Galveston. There's one of he and I at the beach, but you're not going to get to see that one. :-)
The day we visited there were flash flood warnings, and some flooding of streets, then an hour later we were swimming in the gulf and it was beautiful. The blogpost from that day is here.
Less than two weeks ago Chris was back there swimming and jet skiing with friends.

Today, I have sat in front of CNN and the Weather Channel waiting to see what IKE will do to Galveston and Houston 50 miles north.

A few times in my life I have felt like my kids were in harms way. A missed curfew, a text message of a lock down at school, that sort of thing, but this is crazy, sitting watching it come at him.

I'm not afraid, I am grateful that he's living in the college this year and not in a house off campus, like last year. He will be protected and well taken care of and it will be an adventure. And he's living in his cafeteria so at least he'll have food.

What I am is intensely aware of a newfound sense of compassion for the parents of soldiers. I don't know how they do it.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Hurricane update from Chris

Wiess servery. Everyones moved in stuff to servery (cafeteria) and is in the commons watching Casino Royale until they tell us we have to go in for good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chris and Ike update

So for those people who have been emailing me asking me what I am doing about Ike:

Rice has told everyone to stay on campus. I know a few people who live in the Houston area who went home but 90% of people are staying on. They have a part of our dining hall reinforced for us to stay in if need be.
It should be really exciting :)
And it means no class tomorrow


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My New Best Friends

Been a while between blogs... worked too many days in a row, adjusting to the "school" work schedule and, oh yeah I have new best friends. The trees. 29 in fact. A set design to kick off our series on Growing Wise. I don't have plants at home, or pets for that matter, because they require constant care and attention. But for several weeks I am the primary caretaker for these !@#$ trees.
The curious, surprising, interesting thing is that I'm beginning to almost like this ritual of slowing down for 30 minutes...
I've found myself talking to God, well more specifically I've been crying out to God that he can keep the leaves on the trees for the 5 weeks of the series if He wants... I'm still not a big fan... but I have a new appreciation for this whole gardening bit.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Incident

This morning as I was pulling away from dropping off Abby I was thinking about Molly learning to drive, and that she's ready and what a huge responsibility it is and then I ran over someones cat.
It was horrible.
I cried. Molly comforted me.
We didn't speak for miles.
I had no idea what to do.
I'm sick to my stomach reliving it... but I genuinely don't know what to do.
Do you stop? What should I have done?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Need Help: Music Search

I'm looking for an instrumental underscore for a segment in our 9/7 services.
People will be writing in their journals while this plays

- quietish
- slow to mid range tempo
- not a familiar meloday

any suggestions?
So far i'm considering
Waiting by Acoustic Eidolon

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

deja vu, sort of

So when Mike and I were first married one of the things we disagreed on was 90210. He basically thought it was trash.
I thought it was harmless.

Well tonight, the new version of 90210 is on.
I think it's trash.
Daughter (to be nameless) thinks it's harmless.

He was right, it just took me a long time to figure it out.

Man, I can't wait until LOST starts up again....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Koppert 06 Scrapblog

This is year 6 of spending Labor Day weekend with friends at Koppert Lake in Washington

Here's the scrapblog: The "girls" are now old enough to drive themselves... that was strange. Emily and Megan drove over bright and early, our girls hopped in the car and off they went. They got to camp hours before Mike and I and set up their own tent and campfire. (Emily Johnsen, Molly & Abby, Megan Johnsen) Koppert is our mud spa treatment prior to going back to school each year.
One thing I love about Koppert is getting to see old friends.
In this silly photo... Michael, Sara Phillips and her three boys, Paul and Spence Boelter. They are looking up for two sky divers who landed at the lake within about 50 yards of us. Pretty cool.
Kurt, Austin and Tim had a slack line set up at their campsite... It felt a little, ok alot, like a prediction of my old age, wobbly legs and Molly helping me get around!

Slack line - Abby from Janet Fraser on Vimeo.

Family photos

A positive evolution

Portlander, Donald Miller, was invited to give a benediction at the DNC. He said yes, and I love the why. Here's an excerpt from his website

I was honored to deliver the closing prayer at the DNC on Monday night. Evangelical voices have been scarce within this party, perhaps since the Carter administration. But as strides are being made on key issues of sanctity of life and social justice, as well as peaceful solutions to world conflicts, more and more evangelicals are taking a closer look at options certain members of the Democratic Party are beginning to deliver. There is a long way to go, but sending a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket, thus causing each party to carefully consider the issues most important to us, is, in my opinion, a positive evolution. I am glad that, for the most part, the dialogue has been constructive and positive. Will you join me in keeping the conversation thoughtful and not reactionary?

I've had the chance to hear Don Miller speak a handful of times and love his communication style, the way he lives a real life, is so relatable while well read and smart. He's the kind of contemporary leader who challenges me out of my soccer mom, church lady norm to pursue and do something that can make a real difference. He's also (finally) got a blog up and running. Oh, and he's the guest teacher at Sunset's Every Man Conference this year!