Friday, March 20, 2009

Senior Moments

Yesterday was Molly's last day of cheer practice, ever. It's the first of her lasts, as a senior, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. More than our other kids, Molly has been independent when it comes to her extra-curriculur activites- she's been cheering for 10 years, had great coaches and community there, she's worked HARD, learned what it means to be part of a team and a successful one, at that. 3 state champs during her 3years on varsity.Congratulations Molly!
Next week she travels to Nationals in Anaheim (aka Disneyland!) Go Cats!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Last weekend I attended Sunset's Men's Retreat.
Ya, I know, I'm a girl and it's a Men's Retreat.
When I heard they booked Don Miller for the Sunset Men's Retreat I began to wonder how I could wear a baseball cap, go incognito and get in.
As it turns out, the Senior mission trip team served in the dining hall at the Retreat so I had a free pass to attend. The weekend, at a glance, was perfect for an extroverted girl who loves camp, serving and oh Donald Miller's writing.
In the end, the weekend has rocked my world in a few ways.
First, I absolutely loved serving with the Seniors. I have limited High School ministry experience outside of my own kids and peripheral connection to the worship team kids and I love this age group of kid. The adult leaders i am serving with are awesome and I look forward to getting to know them and forming as a team.
I feel a tremendous responsibility to dive in and give this my all, the best part of me. They deserve it and they seem open to having me around. I absolutely believe that each of us will be changed as a result of giving ourselves to Him in service the next few months and in June in Helene.

Then there's the more difficult stuff... God and I have been talking alot since Sunday about my identity in Him. You see, I have lived a life comfortable with the notion that I live/work/serve in the shadows. At least I thought so. I serve behind the scenes, I try not to draw attention to myself (too often), i hide behind the notion that I'm a great second, and not an out front leader, it even translates to how i dress and dont doll up much or often. I thought I could go to Retreat and honestly be invisible there. It was, in fact, one of the ways that I justified being a woman at Retreat. In reality, as time went by there I realized that I know more men than I would women at a Women's Retreat. I live in a man's world. I lead a team of men. So I was not invisible. And, it made me uncomfortable at times. I tried to lean in to it, use it as energy to power serving, but I wondered about the women at home who would have liked to hear Don, but couldn't come- was I betraying a sisterhood?
When I got home, a friend told me straight up that it wasn't cool that there were women in the room/at retreat. On the one hand, that's a no brainer- he was right. On the other,it stung- it's still stinging.
I had had such a wonderful experience during the weekend, pretty naive of the fact that I could be intruding. The notion of invisible was easier to deal with because I got what I wanted without responsibility for the whole. Not very proud of that.
And, this has me thinking about why I am so comfortable with this invisible self-image. It's comfortable there. I don't have to take on too much responsibility, be open to too much criticism, and maybe that I can get/do what I want without so many restraints on my actions because no one is really paying attention to me. I'm challenged that this really isn't how God wants me living.

Friday, March 6, 2009

For a moment I was almost a normal person...

This week our church announced budget cuts, reductions in hours and layoffs.
The past couple of weeks as I have thought through every scenario... if this person goes, it means... if that person goes it means... the things you would imagine.

But,if I am honest, for a moment, here and there, I also allowed myself to wonder if I was laid off (which I wasn't) where would I go to church?
Now for most people... this is probably not such a big deal,normal people get to do this all the time... but not church staff people,at least not me. This particular idea... it's not something i have really even allowed myself to wrestle with since coming to church at Sunset nearly 10 years ago.

When we first came to Sunset, it was to find a place where our kids would plug in, I joke that i didn't like the Pastor's robe and reading from the transcript communication style, the first Sunday... he taught on worship and how we aren't gathering together to critique the show or the message. I was challenged and hit square between the eyes. I didn't plug in immediately but man, i cried in worship... regularly. The Spirit was alive and moving in me when I was worshipping there. It was unlike anything I had experienced before and our family then, dug in.

We dug in to ministry, Mike first, playing for student ministry, our kids plugged in to Children's and Student ministry and then finally i began to sing in the choir. Reluctantly.

During that time I was working through a challenge and honestly felt like I had no potential for ministry, I originally spent the first bit of time feeling very lonely and private in my worship life and the juxtaposition of sitting in a large church was chaotic for me. Then, God rescued me by restoring me through the ministry of the church at Sunset. As i dove in to ministry more, by volunteering in the office, and then eventually taking a staff position as an admin I felt God's work and direction in my life in a way I had not felt before. I was submitting and surrendering to His will and he was challenging me and allowing me to use my gifts in a way that I could see made a difference, had impact and brought me to life.
Our family continued to grow in their faith and had opportunities to serve at Sunset. As a family, student ministries and camp is a dear part of the Fraser story, individually the relationships that I have built, the way I have been both challenged and released to grow, allowed to fail and given the opportunity to have impact through my work at Sunset. priceless.

So, as I imagined being laid off and wrestling with the question of would Sunset continue to be our church I realized, again, that for me... church is about being in a community where I can be challenged to grow to be more like Jesus and can be positioned to have an impact for him. So as I released my grip on my job, fell in love again with the opportunity to serve him at Sunset, the word came that I am still here. And... as difficult and challenging as the past few weeks have been, I am sincerely grateful for the journey and the opportunity to continue to serve him in this community.