Thursday, September 27, 2007


Watch this trailer

Human Trafficking is a serious problem in our world, both globally and locally. This movie is coming to theaters tomorrow, Sept. 28th. Unfortunately, its not in Raleigh yet, but watching this will give you a taste of why some of our hearts are breaking.

For those of you who are more into news, watch this... David Batstone will be in Raleigh, NC at some point in the near future... I am hopeful that we can bring peace in this area...

Monday, September 24, 2007


These are just a few of the recent pictures that I have taken... Last year, we didn't have children at our tailgate, or close friends and family that we truly hung out with on a regular basis who had kids... As you can see from these pictures NOW WE DO!

I will take a moment to brag on my husband, because, unlike his face in the pic (scroll down just a bit, you will get a laugh), he is truly wonderful with kids. Yesterday he sat and played with our niece Hannah for a while after church service. It was a beautiful thing :) But, I think when it comes to the really little ones, he is bit nervous.

Thanks Kim for letting us take part in caring for Palmer on Saturday. It was super hot at the game, so I retreated to the shade hoping to find Mandy, Shannon and Palmer. I did find daddy and baby and got to hold Palmer and walk around for a little bit. It was fun :)

But Mandy toughed it out in the sun to route for the Wolfpack-- You amaze me girl! She is one of the strongest and positive pregnant people that I have ever known.

I am truly thankful that I have great friends to share life with.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fun Adventures

Nope, this isn't from our trip, but it is breath taking. I love it that we have friends that take fun adventures in far away lands!

For more click here

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Question

Just wondering...

What do you hope for?

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Trap

Sometimes I would like to think that I am beyond the lessons of my "past" and that somehow once I have dealt with an issue that it should be gone and I won't struggle with it any more. I especially believe this because of all of the work I have done to become more self aware and uncover the lies in my head that flow out into my life, but reality... Nope... struggles are still there.

This Trap I am talking about is what I want others to think about me... which really points to how I think and what I believe about myself to be true... but, I am catching myself and learning about the freedom that comes from letting go of striving for perfection and trying to earn brownie points in the eyes of my friends and family, but I still struggle with it. I somehow want to prove myself to others. What if I blow my cover and people find out that I am really selfish?

For example, Jeff was talking yesterday about this desire he has for other people to think he's a good guy... I feel the same way... I often think, I want people to be impressed with how many cool things I am doing (either adventures or service or challenges) and when I am not having those or not understanding how what I am doing is leading to more of those things I am truly bummed. Its like its not worth it if I'm not seeing the reward while putting in the effort into my side of the equation. (some of these references refer to the teaching from yesterday, you should listen to it here).

*Side Note: I know that some of this is due to the passions in side of me and that I am bummed when I am not going in the directions that God is leading me (possibly and possibly not the current situation*

The truth is that I am free to be who God has created me to be, to grapple with the selfish parts, to be honest about them, and to be okay with who I am through God's eyes and not the "world's eyes". When I do this I have less pressure and more passion...

Paul says to the Galatian church, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Chrsit." and again to the church in Phillipi, "Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord , not for men."

So, all this to say is that for others who struggle with perfection, comparisson, fear, and self-doubt... you aren't alone. My hope is that the more we connect with our true passions and where God is leading us, the more communities of people will help each other break the brownie point mentality...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Release in the Tension

Last weekend I almost decided not to go visit one my friends of the heart, I'm so glad that I chose to let go of the stress and worry of school and perfection for 36 hours.

Have you ever been around someone who just gets you completely and allows you to be completely yourself without leaving you there or pushing you away for it? We are at vastly different junctures in our journies, yet somehow the lessons we need to learn are the same...

One of our adventures was to go to the Historic Dave Matthews/ Allman Brother's concert. It was a blast! We both needed a moment to soak in, wrestle with, and then release the tension of life. Releasing it through music, dancing, laughter, living, and breathing.

It took me a while to post this because I hit the ground running when I returned to Raleigh... this morning I took some time to release and reflect. Its important to have those moments, especially since I feel like I am driving through Idaho.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


... the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peaceloving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness...
-James 3:17-18

I am looking for some input as to how I make sense of being a part of the US as a Christ follower and seeing how my faith connects with politics, decisions, responsibilities, how things fit together and where my peaceful passions should be directed... This is why:

I just recently entered a PhD program in Public Admin where I am getting exposed to governmental ideas more intensly than I ever have...

I recognize that we are at war in Iraq and part of me really wants us to leave because I feel like its not our place and we need to leave it up to the people there to work it out... but then I learned that about 2,000 Iraqi civillians die every month (that is like having a 9/11 every other month) and I want us to help those people...

Then I watched as the senators and generals were debating and discussing what our role as a country is in this situation...

Then I got a letter from the Save Darfur Coalition detailing the genocide that is going on in Darfur and how we need to put pressure on the UN to deploy a peace keeping mission into the nation where up to 100,000 people die per month and others live in despair on a daily basis...

The letter was asking for my voice to garner support from our politicians to go and push strongly for this peace keeping mission...

Then I think, is this the US governments' job? Is this the job of the UN? Can these people even do anything about it? Will there be peace with out healing? Do we recognize the cost and challenges that come with true reconciliation? Can we trust that will happen?

I am on a journey in faith that Christ followers are sent as part of God's redemption to bring His kingdom to earth. I believe this looks like taking a stand against injustices such as these... can that include working with politics?... I think part of it is trusting that "peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness"...

My prayer... Bring Peace, Breathe Peace, God breathe your peace on earth! Help me to recognize your compassion and character and be a part of healing and redeeming the broken places... help me to have compassion as you do on the hurting and afraid... get me out of my own self so that I can make connections with other peacemakers... help us to sow in peace...

Friday, September 7, 2007

An analogy--our journey

This little story is helping me to understand my current situation...

Once upon a summer Matt and I got from Portland to Montana. You can draw your own connections, I have drawn many...

California was a ton of fun, everything was beautiful, everything was new, we were high on adventure and hadn't started to get on each other's nerves... then we hit Oregon. Again a beautiful state, but we realized that we were starting to spend a lot of money. (Something neither one of us like to do)... alittle frustration... In Portland we refreshed by attending a gathering of the Imago Dei community. It was just what we needed. We left encouraged and hyped up on caffine and Jesus. We drove for a while, but got distracted by several beautiful waterfalls...

We didn't plan much on this trip, but this day we decided to make it all the way to the Jackson, Wyoming so that we could have a whole day in the National Parks. This required us to drive across Idaho in daylight and into the mountains of WY when it was pitch black. We found a KOA park (more expensive than we wanted), and got there around 2:30AM only to pitch our tent with out turning any lights on.

The next morning we were off for our adventure, we stopped for breakfast to realize that I had rushed Matt into leaving his wallet on the top of the van. Thankfully it was still there after driving 5 miles down the road. After a delicious breakfast (Matt's french toast was better than my buscuits and gravy, but he shared :0) we were on our way.

The Grand Teton's: Our destination... hiked, froliced, noticed beauty, relaxed. Yellowstone: Destination #2: We were a bit disappointed, got in a bit of a tiff, then we saw Buffaloes, Bears, Deer, Mountain Goats, and Free Range Cows and entered the most beutiful part of our entire trip. Highway 212... a surprise! Delighted we soaked it all in...

My lessons:
**There is tension in the journey**
**We needed to refresh in order to make it through the next steps**
**We faced choices and were blessed with surprises!**

1) We could have saved anxiety and $$ if we had planned.
2) We got to have an adventure because we didn't plan.
3) We had to choose where we wanted to spend our time.
4) We had to cross boring terrian in order to get to our "Grand" destination.
5) Sometimes we pitch our tent in the dark and hope for the best.
6) We were surprised because the best part of the journey was when we were leaving our "destination".

So, what does all this mean? Life... School... Faith... Trust...
What do you think?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Football, Football, Football!

Saturday marked the beginning of a new season for the Wolfpack, new coach, fresh faces, hopes, tailgates, parties, fun times with friends (and now their kids), great food and drink!

Well, the pre game celebration was great: Thanks Mandy for the pics (I stole them from our flickr). There weren't any of Matt though.. sorry dear, I'll load some pics of you at other games later.

The game was a bit disconcerting at first, but then we showed some promise in the second half. I don't profess to be a football commentator so I won't analyze the game here, but if others of you want to join in on that discussion... feel free! All I have to say is that I am hopeful for some good competition this year.

I also enjoy the excitement on my husband's face when we prepare for football games, he is more energetic and enthusiastic than usual... We left our house and he was shouting "Football, Football, Football!!" There is something about the competition, the atmosphere, the friendships, the passion that draws him and many others out to shout and scream for our teams. I understand this to some extent from cheerleading.

I must say that the cheerleaders looked great for the first game. I do miss it!

Happy Labor Day!