Sunday, November 23, 2008


Wow, what a weekend. Friday night we swam... Saturday we watched the Northwestern game until we were interrupted by someone who wanted to come see our house. So we went to the gym and ran 4.5 miles (less than was on the schedule this weekend, but I haven't run the last 2 weeks due to illness).

Today we wrestled through some of the issues I've been struggling with. For the last several months (at least, maybe longer), I have been struggling with some potential theological differences with our church. I don't ever expect to have 100% the same theology as any church, but there are some things I can live with and some that are just absolute dealbreakers. Some of the differences that I knew I had were tolerable... but there was one issue that I didn't know where I stood, but I knew where the church stood. I realized it was time to draw the line - make a decision one way or the other, and if I disagreed with the church I couldn't continue to go there (not so much a matter of going there, but really making it my church home was not going to work out). Geoff knew where he stood on the issue but didn't really know the church's stance on it. Part of this came to light at my children's ministry training last week - although it's been coming up for a long time before that, and is perhaps part of the reason we haven't really made this church our own. Me committing to the children's ministry is a commitment to the church and we need to decide before that. We've talked about it a lot the last couple of weeks and yesterday decided to at least try a different church today. This sounds dramatic and uncharacteristic of me, but what can I say, I'm struggling. And it was a big deal.

The church we decided to go to today had a 6 PM service that we chose, so we had the morning to ourselves, which was weird. We went to his mom's house for lunch (which was fun, we talked through some of these issues a little bit, had some chili, and discussed Thanksgiving and wine tasting). Then Geoff and I decided it was deal or no deal time. Or something like that. Anyway, we decided to work through my issues so that we could make a decision about church. We talked and prayed and poured over Scripture and struggled. Well, I struggled. Geoff was trying to make his point - which isn't to say that he necessarily wanted me to believe what he believed, but wanted to show me why he believes what he believes. I eventually agreed with him - which really is best anyway, because even with one of us having what is to us a very strong theological difference with the church, we really shouldn't be calling it our church.

We tried the new church tonight (not really new... we have been before and weren't huge fans). It was perfect. NOT that the church was perfect... but that the worship experience was perfect for our day today. It was a perfect feeling of freedom and peace saying "yes". I don't know for sure that it was "yes" this is the right church for us but it was definitely "yes" that we are to find a new church home. Everything about the entire experience... from music to preaching to communion to community... spoke volumes to me and Geoff and met us where we are in life.

What a struggle being in Oregon has been for me... my whole childhood I went to the local Methodist church, simple as that. My parents do that to this day... wherever they move, they find the Methodist church and that is that. I did that my freshman and sophomore years of college... and then I changed to a church that many members of my campus fellowship went to. An AMAZING new experience for me... culturally and Biblically and musically and in many other ways. I would never again be content to find the local Methodist church (which is not to say there is anything wrong with that!). When I first moved here I searched for a church and after a few very failed tries, a coworker recommended her church to me. I went and there was an Asian woman leading worship... I thought YES!!!! A culturally diverse church, this is what I need! I don't know why I didn't take a look around that room, that church is classic white suburban. :) And unfortunately, that's pretty much what you get in Portland... I miss Chicago. But at any rate... I called that my church home from my internship through the first several years I was here. I was involved with the young adults ministry, I was a member of a women's small group and on the leadership team for the young adults. That church is in fact where I met Geoff. But at the time we met, he was not in a place where he could have called that his church home (ironically, he probably could now, but there are other reasons we won't go back to that church). So we started looking for other churches... but it was hard because he worked most Sundays. When he changed jobs this winter, we fully dedicated ourselves to finding a church together. I had been mostly attending the church we've been going to together most of the year for most of 2007. In February, his parents asked us if we wanted to find a church together with them. So we spent several months trying out churches and just after Easter ended up in this most recent church - which I (and Geoff when he could) have been basically going to since December of 2006. There's a lot to love - loud, powerful worship, great preaching, Biblical conviction. God is doing great things there, and bringing people (especially young people) en masse. God is DEFINITELY using that church. It's sad and hard and difficult to leave (I would like to pause here to acknowledge that I know that's not correct to say X and Y and Z, that I should say X, Y, and Z. But I do the X and Y and Z sometimes because I think it emphasizes each word. Maybe not, but it's my blog. Writer's privilege or prerogative or whatever it's called). But Geoff's parents recently felt called back to what had been their church home for many years, and in a way, that gave us a freedom to make a choice as well.

So it's the end of an era I guess... I was sad most of today realizing this, but like I said above, felt a strong peace about it tonight, so I'm no longer sad. I pray that we would finally have a church home... I haven't felt like I have since college, and maybe before. I long for a church where we go to worship on Sundays and say hello to our friends and welcome new people. I long for a place where I can work in the nursery and know the parents and know the babies and just love on all of them. I long for a church where I can be a part of a strong women's group and learn how to be a better wife and sister and daughter and friend. I long for a place where I can find somewhere to use my strongest gifts - leadership and administration. I long for a place where I can serve others. I long for a place where I can meet a group of couples who are in the season of life my husband and I are in... where we can challenge each other and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. I long for a place that I can call a pastor and ask him a theological or Biblical question. I long for a home... it's been a long time, and I pray it's coming soon.

End of heavy blog. (Geoff and Momlie were making fun of me today for saying things like this all the time - like "and that is all". I feel like I'm supposed to write a conculsion (is this a 5 paragraph essay?) and sometimes I just can't. My blog is a brain dump... and I know you dearest readers will love this... these types of blogs are the ones that tell you who I am.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Things!

For some reason, big, weighty things have been on my mind lately. They may not be big and weighty to the rest of the world, but I'm a simple girl. I don't think much. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. I guess I should revise that to I don't think about the world much... I think about simple, easy, industrial engineering and Excel type concepts. Not world peace.

Things on my mind lately:
- The role of women in family, the church, and the world
- Pirates
- Gay marriage / abortion / polygamy
- Health

These are just not things I think about often. I just accept the world around me and carry on. Perhaps I'm apathetic... but it just seems easier. I guess that's why apathetic people are apathetic, right?

I had book club tonight. It was one of the most fun book club nights in recent memory. We all got to read our own book and give a "book report" on it. I read a Nelson DeMille book... I love Nelson DeMille. Everyone else read these big weighty things. One person read The China Study and stopped eating meat because of the health benefits talked about in the book. One person read the US Constitution. One person read The Hundred Year Lie (which several other girls had read) and totally changed her diet, lotions/shampoos/soaps, clothing, etc. because of toxins and is thinking of going to Texas to get a toxicology report. One person, expecting a baby girl, read The Female Brain which discusses how a woman’s mind develops and changes throughout her life and various stages of her life, from conception to post-menopause. One person read a book I can’t remember the name of that completely changed the way she interacts with her dog and now the dog acts completely differently and they have had a much more positive experience with the dog since then. I’m telling you, the list went on and on like this. And I read about a wealthy lawyer on Long Island who lives next to a mafia don. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s interesting.

I’m not sure if those two topics (my weighty “mind issues” and a book club full of women who read serious books) have anything to do with each other. But the book club got me thinking (and actually trying to avoid thinking, especially about The Hundred Year Lie) and then I was thinking about how much I’ve been thinking.

I do believe that Americans do not eat what our bodies have been eating for the past thousands of years, just in the past 50 years we have radically altered our diets… I have thought for some time that it’s much better for us to eat whole grains, plants, etc. But how realistic is that? Even if you eat that way at home, what about when you’re at someone else’s home, or dining out? And what about the expense? And what about the fact that there are so many things that could kill us anyway, so should we enjoy our food instead of spending our time worrying about how that Diet Coke we just drank is going to kill us? One thing I AM big on is balance… so maybe you do better where you can, but don’t worry about what you can’t change because... you can’t change it. :)

Philosophical rambling blog over.


It has been a long hard week. Last week I was sick and this week I have been mostly better, but work has been crazy. Demanding, draining, busy, boring, and probably a few other things all at the same time. We have had people here from out of town the past 3 days to figure out some complicated methodology for spliting money up... ick. Plus we've had to "entertain" them after work. And the end of the year is always busy for me at work - right around Thanksgiving is the busiest, then around Christmas it slows way down. I told Geoff I'm looking forward to the following:
I am looking forward to book club (tonight)
I am looking forward to the afternoon off (probably going to do that tomorrow)
I am looking forward to sleep (tonight)
I am looking forward to swimming (Friday)
I am looking forward to football (Saturday)
I am looking forward to running (Saturday)
Goodness is to come.
Relief is to come!

What'd I say I was going to blog about? Children's Ministry was one of them I think. I signed up to help with Children's Ministry at church and there was a training session on Sunday. HARDCORE!!! It's actually quite sad. Lots of rules - stemming from the "society we live in". Unfortunately, we have to think about things like custody battles - Mom has custody and Dad wants it, Dad knows Mom goes to Church X so he tries to pick up the kids from their classroom. So now the drop off parent has to have a nametag, pager, and wrist bracelet to identify them - and you can't pick up your child without all 3 things. I was reading the information before the session and it said only women can change diapers and take children to the bathroom. I was getting kind of huffy about it... then the woman in charge said "statistically, men are more likely to be pedophiles, that's why we have that rule". Well of course I'll get on board with statistics. She said every rule they have is because they've had a bad experience with it in the past - which is sad because it's a very new church. No child can be alone with an adult - you can have 2 kids and 1 adult, or 2 adults and 1 kid, but not 1:1. This is to protect the child, obviously, as well as protect the adult from false allegations. You can hug children under 5, but kindergarten - 5th grade you are supposed to be teaching appropriate physical boundaries. If a kindergartener scrapes her knee, you can give her a hug - but only if you're a female and so is she. Things like that. Middle school and high school - basically no touching of any sort. There's a hall monitor in the hallway during Sunday (and midweek) services at all times. Adults can't use the children's bathroom, and you can only take children to the bathroom if you have 2 or more children with you - and you can only enter the bathroom if it's entirely empty (the hall monitor checks before you go in). There are special needs children and children with cancer and children dealing with divorce and money issues and everything else - she reminded us that no matter what problems we have in our lives, these kids have those same problems and concerns too. You have to have 4 references and a criminal background check, and be a certain age. The goal is to absolutely protect the children first - no matter how inconvenient it may be for any adult (parent, worker, etc). It's a great thing, it's just a little bit overwhelming and sad to think that we need these things. A far cry from when I helped out in the nursery as a junior higher... never would have happened today.

I think that's all for now. Maybe more tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've got several blogs brewing in my head right now - one about my new plan that I like to call the New New Deal and another about my experience at church on Sunday - but for now this one will suffice.

The show Little People Big World is filmed roughly 10 minutes from our house - because that's where the people live! It's been on for about 3 years I think (when Addy lived with me in 2005 and 2006 she was already watching it) but Geoff and I just recently started watching it. I'm not sure what exactly made us start, but we enjoyed seeing our local stores and restaurants on the show. On one episode they were at Taco Bell and we were both like "which one is that?" We looked for clues around the Taco Bell (since there are about 4 very close to us) and figured it out based on a stereo store next door to it. They go to a grocery store we go to often (we have never seen them there in real life though) and they also go to one of my favorite restaurants (they were actually there when we were once, they came in with their film crew and everything). They also go to the same Home Depot we do... actually it's surprising that we've only seen them out and about once, because we seem to shop and eat at the same places quite often.

So last night I'm falling asleep and Geoff is watching the show. All of the sudden he kind of quietly says "honey?" to see if I'm awake... and I say "what?" I know that he's going to point out to me that they're at Wendy's or something and it's the Wendy's near our house or work. But no... he says "I think I just saw our HOUSE." WHAT?!?!?!?!!? So he rewinds... and they are at a soccer game. Well there is a soccer field very close to our house, and we are recognizing houses that look oddly familiar. It's definitely our neighborhood. Then sure enough, in two seperate shots... we can see our house!!!! We are FAMOUS!!!!! :)

Oh and by the way, even though we kind of started enjoying the show for looking for places nearby us... we do actually enjoy watching the family and their interactions with each other and others. But it's still fun to see our house on TV!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm alive!

No, Google Reader isn't just not sending you my feeds, I actually haven't been posting. I have been sick since Saturday - I think with the flu? I was pretty much down and out for the weekend and stayed home from work Monday as well. I've been getting progressively better throughout the week. Today I'm at about 90 - 95%. I'm hoping to be 100% better by tomorrow. So this week has been pretty much a bust.

Other than that, things have been great. Running was going really well, I haven't run at all since last Wednesday so I'm hoping I'll be able to run tomorrow and get back into it fairly easily. The Turkey Trot is coming up in 13 days and I want to stay on schedule for my half marathon training. I officially signed up and bought plane tickets for the half marathon, so I am set!

I have a big Walgreens trip planned today... hopefully they'll have everything in stock. The most exciting thing that I think I'm buying is a new hair dryer. I think I told you this before - but I have one of those travel ones that folds in half to travel. About 6 months ago (yes, embarassingly that long ago) I folded it in half and it kind of made a cracking sound, and now it doesn't go into it's normal L shape anymore. I have to hold it into it's L shape to blow dry my hair. Since I'm cheap, I haven't bought a new one. But today is the day. Let's just hope they have them in stock! There are 3 Walgreens within a 1.5 mile radius from our house, so hopeully someone has them. One is brand new - I'm not even positive it's open yet, but I'm pretty sure when I went for a run a couple of weeks ago I saw it open. I am a freak.

These things are the reasons why I cannot run for President. Someone would find this blog in some cache somewhere and be like "this freak thinks a trip to Walgreens to get a good deal is exciting... she cannot POSSIBLY run our country". Other than that though, I'd obviously be a fantastic candidate. ;-)