Tag Archives: God

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.

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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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What about #bostonloving? or #bostonhealing? before we get to #bostonstrong?

I was in Boston on Monday. I have a story to tell too. A story of near misses, a story with fear, a story I wish I didn’t have to have.

I won’t go into all the details of stopping for lunch, retrieving sunglasses and missing trains. We were heading for the Starbucks you can see in the background of where the second bomb went off. From there we were going to the Fire Station on Boylston to cheer on my friend Kerri.

I will say that I’m thankful. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and timing. I’m thankful my friends and I are safe. I’m sad people were hurt and even killed.

And I have a lot of mixed emotions inside right now. I’m hurting for those who lost loved ones and those who are injured. I’m hurting for everyone involved.

I’m still processing all of this. Still figuring out how I feel about everything from the explosions to the casualties to the response and the media.

We all have something to deal with in this. My question is – is #bostonstrong enough to deal with the pain?

Can we really keep talking about this in love, loving one another where we are at and dare I say forgiving those who have hurt us? It’s my hope and my prayer that grace is bigger than this pain and that love is stronger than this evil.

My prayer is that Boston, the city I love, the city I call home, can be BostonStrong in love. Not in a pep-rally to come back and pretend this didn’t happen, not strong in fighting back, not strong in making hurtful jokes towards any one person or people-group. But strong in admitting where it hurts, strong in admitting when we are scared, strong in forgiving those around us, and strong in loving one another.

Let’s dig deep, Boston and love our way out of this.

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Wiper Wisdom

As I was driving in the snow storm today I was struggling with the right speed for my windshield wipers. Silly, maybe, but it was all too fast and kept making the screeching noise.  And it seemed wasteful.  I hate waste.  And I felt like the wildsheild wipers were wasting energy (more on that another time).  So I changed to the intermittent one.  And it went and then stuff started piling up on the windshield and I was like, “ok, come on windshield wipers, do your thing!”  And then I got worried, “they’re not going to show up,” I said to myself, “it’s not going to happen, I’ll have to do it myself.” And then bam!  Right before I could, the windshield wipers swished across the windshield.

And then I thought.  How often do we do this with God?  How often do we say, “ok, God, I’m totally doing this with you, let’s go do this, whatever you say.”  And then when it gets uncomfortable, or things start to pile up, we bail.  We just jump right off the God train and start trying to figure it all out on our own.  Wow, I can look back in my life and see this.  

Now I want to know, what am I missing out on by taking it back at the last moment?  I don’t want to miss out!  I don’t want to miss you Jesus.

Thankfully I am surrounded by people with awesome faith who help push me to stay in it and help me from jumping off the God truing. And when I do stay aboard, God always shows up, just before I fall off the road.

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Running into the Lenten Season

I can’t lie. I’ve been a bit hesitant about this Lenten season. A little hesitant to give up some of my comfort spots, a little hesitant to be more vulnerable and a little hesitant to say, “Hey God, what do you have for me this year?” 

Last Lent was tough. I had just gone through a breakup and I was in pain. That gut-wrentching on the floor, can barely get out of bed pain. 

But then God reminds me of all He gave me in that time. And I am so thankful for what He offered last year.  I’m thankful for the pain, because He met me, I’m thankful for the fight, because He carried me and I’m thankful for the sunshine on the other side, because He is with me.

On the other side of the pain was freedom.  There was deep healing happening.

I’m not in the same emotional distress that I was in last Lent. And so as I continue to ponder this Lenten season, I find myself so thankful for it and so eager to dive in. I want to give up the things that I know will force me to rely on God more, the things that once they are out of the way, will lend me to connect with God more. Because as crazy as it sounds, I long for that closeness that I had with God in that pain.

And I think Lent is a time I can experience some of it. I can fast from things to rely on God and to deepen my longing and need for Him. 

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you wont become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4

As I read this verses I can’t help but think – I want that. I want to shed the things that slow me down, that can distract me from Jesus. I want to let go of the things that keep me from connecting with God wholeheartedly. I think Lent is a space created where we can do just that.Just like Jesus did in the desert when He fasted and instead of giving in, He fought the temptations. He prayed.

So I will fast from some things, I will add some things* and I will run into this Lenten season to see what God has to offer. Because I know, no matter what it looks like, I know what He has for me will be GOOD. 

*some things I will add is a blogging regularly. As a community we are pushing into Jesus this Lenten season and using art to do it….more to come 🙂

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Missing…Another Year Goes By

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Devin and me at my college graduation 2003.

It’s been six-years since my little brother passed away.  And I miss him.  I miss his smile, I miss his laugh and I miss his friendship.

A year-ago, when five-years had passed, I blogged about Devin too.  And even though a whole year has gone by, even though my life has changed, and things around me have changed, not a lot has changed when it comes to missing Dev.

It seems like it was just yesterday and then it seems like it was a million years ago.  And then it still doesn’t feel real at all.

My Mom posted a song recently on Facebook, “Who You’d Be Today,” by Kenny Chesney.  And that just broke my heart.  Who would Devin be today?  I can make a lot of guesses, but I don’t know.  I don’t know what roads he would have went down, who’s paths he would have crossed or what doors he would have opened.

I do know he would have been loved and he would have loved.  I do know that he would have lived life to the fullest (because that’s what he did) and I do know he would have done crazy adventurous things.

I also know that he would have had to feel the pain of Nami (our grandmother) passing.  He would have had to navigate the difficulties of life’s ups and downs and he would have had to endure all the trouble this life throws at us.

For missing those things, I say he’s the lucky one.  As an older sister I often thought Dev was “getting away” with something.  He was “getting away” with an extra cookie or an extra turn on the Nintendo.  And in his passing early, I sometimes think, he got away with something, he got away from some of the hurts of this life.

But for his missing out on all this life has to offer, I say it’s not fair.  Missing out on his son growing up, on God’s gifts of love and relationship with people and of all the opportunities and adventures he would have found himself on.

And for the missing his loved ones are doing now, I say it’s not fair.  The pain, the sadness and the missing feel like too much sometimes.

So Today, while remembering Dev, while reminiscing about his mischievous ways, his loving nature and his adventurous spirit, I will also remember to live life to the fullest and love like I’ve got nothing to lose.  Because that’s how he lived.  And I’m thankful I had him for the time I did.

And today, as I did last year, I ask you to pray for our parents.  Because I know Mom and Dad miss him so much.  I know they hurt and I know they are sad and I know I can’t fix it.  But I do know that God can ease the pain, bring a little bit of comfort and offer love in a very special way.

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