Tag Archives: faith

Connecting to Holy Week

It hit me like a ton of bricks this year. Some times, some ways, some things just connect differently at different times. It’s what I love about faith. It’s alive and exciting. It touches my soul, connects to who I am and meets me right where I’m at.

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a pretty big life decision. A career move if you will and it’s met with all sorts of advice and thoughtful comments from people who I know love and care about me and have been close to me in certain seasons of my life. I value every word they say, and also know that I have to make my own decision.  And no matter which way I go, I will be met with good and sometimes challenging circumstances.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as predicted by prophets of old. And in that moment he was celebrated. He was held in high-esteem, he was praised and made known. He was celebrated for who he was, the son of God.

I wonder if this could have been on of those moments for Jesus when he could see heaven on earth. Those moments of peace when every thing collides to connect with your true self. That moment when you feel known, understood and have purpose. But at the same time, Jesus knew that some of the people with him, closest to him, would betray him. And the same people celebrating him would put him to death. The downturn of this comes quickly, forcefully and with out any compassion. 4-days later Jesus in betrayed, and then beaten and killed.

And still he lived in that moment. He experienced Palm Sunday (or travel tuesday, whatever they called it 2000 years ago). He let them celebrate God. He received it.

I think about my life. The changes that are to come. I think about my life transitions. The beginning often filled with celebration and excitement, but then the downturn comes. Life gets hard, the honeymoon period of relationships end, expectations are left unmet and dreams fade into reality.

But Jesus shows me how. How to live regardless of what’s to come.  Regardless of the unknown that lies ahead. How to celebrate again and again. How to love regardless of what the future holds. And no matter which path I take, it will have a beginning filled with celebration, and a middle filled with ups and downs and a Jesus to show me how to love and be loved through it all.

Over the next several days we will remember, reflect on and celebrate Jesus’ final journey here on earth as a man. It starts with a meal with friends, and then quickly turns to betrayal, torture and death. But it doesn’t end there – there is the resurrection. Because no matter how bad it gets, the end is just the beginning with Jesus. He offers more. He offers redemption. And a future that one day won’t be tarnished by pain and suffering.

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Finding New Wisdom, After Another Year Goes By

Each year it’s different. But each year it’s the same.

This year felt different when I had to tell my roommate what today is. And I cried. Last year I remember being at work and having to tell people. And I cried. Telling people is hard. On a normal day, telling people my brother died isn’t so hard. This day,  the anniversary of his passing, it’s hard.

Maybe it’s the trauma of the day it happened. Maybe it’s knowing my parents are hurting especially hard this day. Maybe it’s thinking about my sister in law and knowing it hurts her and I can’t fix that. Maybe it’s thinking about my nephew never getting to meet his Dad. And maybe it’s just because I miss him.

I miss his smile. I miss his hugs. I miss his words of wisdom. Yup, I said it, my little brother had some good words of wisdom. Mostly along the lines of protecting me from boys who broke my heart or not being afraid to live life to the fullest. Because that’s what he did. He lived.

Devin was a daredevil, a bit of a risk-taker. I’d like to think I get some of my risk-taking guts from his example. I often think of him when I’m making life decisions and think, WWDD? (What would Devin do?) Dev just went for things all out. He lived life “out-loud” with his whole heart.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been waking up with this idea to live my life “out-loud.” And for the most part I think I do. But I want more. I’m not quite sure what all of it means just yet, but I think Devin was a good example of living life “out-loud” and I want to keep learning from that.

He might be gone, but his passion for life lives on. I’m so thankful he was my little brother.

This is the first year in a while that I don’t live at home. It’s hard to not hug my Mom and Dad today and not be there to spend time with them. I know it’s hard for them.

And so as I ask every year, please pray for them. I know they hurt, I know their lives will never be the same, and I know they will always miss my brother in ways I can’t understand.

DevTizBabies

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Life Lessons on My Bike

I live in Madison, WISCONSIN

I don’t say it right. That’s what most people say when I say, “Wisconsin.” Apparently I have a bit of a Boston accent. Not much, but enough for folks to know I’m not local.

Which is true. Just about a month ago, I packed all my stuff and moved half way across the country. And I’m settling in quite nice. And I think I owe a lot of that to my bike.

When I’m on my bike, it’s like I’m a kid again. There’s a freedom and innocence to riding a bike, I think. Ok, let me get a little cheesy (I am in Wisconsin) for a moment. I’m riding down one of the many awesome bike paths, with the wind blowing my hair and cooling my face. The orange and yellow leaves creep in on either side of the path and rain down when the wind blows. The sun shines bright through the branches and each opening leads to bright blue skies that have no end. The warmth comes from within. It comes from that feeling of being alive and being free to be me. In that moment, everything is right. Nothing is holding me back.

And I think there is some cool life lesson type stuff in here. Like living life in the moment. Letting go of what I can’t control or make happen on my own. So much of this transition time, from the time I decided to move and even now, I just keep asking God to keep me present. Help me live in the moment. Help me see, feel and live right now. I don’t want to worry about the future, or try to figure it out.

And despite circumstances that aren’t “just right” or going “my way,” I’m really happy. It’s been such a gift. Just like my bike. I’m so thankful for it and even more thankful for the friends who gave it to me.

And my bike is so cool. It’s perfect. It’s old and a little rusty, it’s yellow, it has mustache duck-tape on the handle-bars and mini-flashlights as lights. Often when I lock it up, I forget to wrap the lock around the actually bike and just lock my lock to the railing…and NO ONE has taken it. It’s perfect.

Kind of like life. It’s messy, and doesn’t always look “put together” but it fits me just right.

Image

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One More Time

This song has been shouting loudly in my head the past week or so.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3ll-5zwe3c0

As I hang out with friends, one more time, doing our favorite things, one more time, walking out of familiar places, one more time, running my favorite routes or with my favorite people, one more time, my heart aches with grief yet celebrates the good that has passed and is to come.

Today, after I pack all my stuff in a trailer to be shipped across the country, I will get in the car and begin my two day journey to Madison, WI. The chapter I’m closing is a tough one to walk away from. Life is good. Love is abundant. Community is vibrant and Jesus is surely alive amongst us.

But there’s a new adventure ahead of me. New people to meet and love, new places to call home, new favorite things to do, new favorite places to run, and new crazy things to do with Jesus.

Worcester you have a huge piece of my heart.

Madison, here I come!!!

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Bittersweet “See You Soons.”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I’ve been trying to write this blog for a while, knowing I have so much to share but finding it hard to slow down and put it all into words.

My life is changing. A lot. And I’m just trying to keep up and savor every moment.

I can not put into words how loved I feel. I am thankful beyond words. My life here in Worcester is amazing. I have my family. I have my friends. And I have this amazing community I get to live with. Every day is a huge blessing and every moment is so full and vibrant.

And yet, I’m about to embark on a new adventure.

In just over a week, I will pack all my stuff (or as much as I can fit) into a Uhaul trailer and move to Madison, WI.

And I’m really excited.

It seems crazy that I’m so excited to pick up and leave this amazing life I have, to move to a colder (read: I hate being cold) climate to do an internship and apprenticeship at a church. The church out there is really connected to The Woo here so when I went out to Madison in May for a conference things just started happening.

I never thought I would move to Madison, WI. I had an idea that I might move away from Worcester someday, but the mid-west!!! Wow. This must be a God thing.

And I think it is. I really feel His leading and guidance in this. It’s never felt like an “I want to do this, how do I make it happen?”, it’s felt like an “ooh, God I want to follow you, wherever you take me.”

And right now it seems He is taking me to Madison. An adventure that’s already been so fruitful and so fun! So many things have fallen into place so well and I already feel connected to some folks in Madison.

I will miss you though. I will miss so much here.

I don’t know exactly what living in Madison will look like. But I can’t wait to find out! And in that, I’m relying totally on God to not get ahead of myself! It’s a precious time right now. This time of transition. A time of excitement and anticipation. A time of bittersweet goodbyes.

But the truth is I can’t say goodbye to you, it’d be too much. I can only say “see you soon.” And the best part is, that’s what I get to do. Because one huge blessing in this is that Worcester is where I’m from, and Worcester is where I can always come back to.

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My Heart is Safe Only With You*

My life is about to change drastically.

And I have so much to say yet I’m rendered speechless so often these days. (I know that’s hard to believe but it happens) I’m in awe of my life. This life I get to live. The experiences I get to have. The people I get to love and who love me back so well. And the God who loves me so much I can’t comprehend it.

I’m in the land of the unknown. Big changes are coming and while I’m engulfed in the rush of emotions in letting go and taking in the new things, I also have no idea what my life will look like in a month. And God is doing this new thing with my heart through this. It’s not so new that He hasn’t done it before, it’s just new in that He’s going deeper. And it’s something, from what I can tell from talking to people older and wiser than me, that He does over and over again. And it feels amazing. And hard.

You see in this transition into the unknown there are things I want to happen in a certain way. Things I want to control and put into place. And, that’s not going to happen. Actually the best way for things to happen is for me to let go and not control anything. And the thing is, I know (from experience) that it’s way better this way. But it’s not always easy.

This time I don’t have to work so hard to let go. God is doing the heavy lifting. So often I’ve been told to just let go and let God. But sometimes it seems so impossible. I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I don’t know what makes this different, but it is.

God is doing the hard work, I just have to look at Him. All I did was ask. I asked God to tell my heart the things my head knew but I was struggling to live out. And He did. He did something amazing. It feels safe. It feels free. It hurts. And it’s a continual process. Because I have my moments where I want to figure it out. I want to plan, I want to know. And again I have to let go.

The process is overwhelming and so sweet.

Today I say goodbye to my job. My first official goodbye in this process. It’s bittersweet. I have enjoyed so many moments at this place. Connecting with co-workers and the community. Serving up coffee, mostly with a smile, and getting to know all those around me. It’s been challenging and I’ve grown a lot through the process.

I will miss every person I worked with. Every customer who comes in. Every person who I pass on my way to and from work. I will miss the community.

Today I will soak in every sweet moment while wholeheartedly looking forward to what’s in store in this new adventure I’m on.

*thank you Lydia Lowe Ferreira for this beautiful line from your beautiful song – it’s brought my heart to new places — God has given you an amazing gift!!! 🙂

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Divine Gifts

What it Would Say

If the ocean could speak, today I thought it would say…
“Your God is my God.”
“My waves bring you peace”
“It is good.”

The sun broke through in the afternoon and God’s gifts were divine. In a 20 minute stroll down the beach, God offered me everything I needed. Vitamin D in the sun, rest in the sound of the waves, peace in the flow of the waves, excitement in the crashing of the waves, childlike faith in the kicking of the sand, grace in the flow of nature and love in the warmth of a friendship and the promise of a new season to come.

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March 1, 2013 · 12:14 am