Skip to main content

All I've Ever Wanted

I’ve been parked at Starbucks to work most of today.  This is my favorite way to work—in a coffee shop with a White Chocolate Mocha, my laptop, my Bible, and a notebook nearby.  Earlier a song was playing, and the line, “This is all I ever wanted from life,” played over and over in my head.
That’s how I feel.  At the old age of 30, I have all I’ve ever wanted from life.  I’m married to the only man I’ve ever wanted to do life with.  I have two beautiful, loving, smart kids.  I have a rancher on a 2-acre lot, and we own two vehicles.  Okay, I’m a cliché, but I couldn’t be happier to be one.
This weekend I hated to be away from my family, but I got to retreat with some teenagers and other adults who love teenagers.  Saturday afternoon I sat on a dock with two sophomore girls who are in my small group.  Our toes were in a cool lake while the warm sun hit our faces.  We talked about boys and shaving our legs.  They talked about how rare it is for them to have a Saturday that’s free from school activities, babysitting jobs, and other responsibilities.  I gave them a Sabbath, a retreat.  I guess sitting on that dock with those girls was part of my “responsibility” as their youth pastor.  But all I could think was, “This is what I get to do for a living?!  Seriously?!”

We had a great weekend on our retreat, “Leave Your Fears Behind.”  We conquered our fears with a climbing wall and a giant swing.  (The name doesn’t do it justice; you wear a harness and get pulled higher than the pine trees, and then you let go and fly through the air.)  We conquered fears of eating baby food, ketchup-covered M&M’s, and pickled pig’s feet.  We identified with a man who approached Good Friday knowing the rejection, ridicule, pain, and death that awaited him.  We laid down our fears at His feet and remembered Him with communion.
Saturday evening I instructed everyone to represent their fears on a piece of paper.  As I sat down to follow my own instructions, I realized that my greatest fear is that I’ll mess it up.  I have all I’ve ever wanted from life, and I just don’t want to screw it up.  I see limitless potential in my husband, my son, and my daughter, and I don’t want to impede their growth or success. 
On the way home yesterday, I was riding shotgun with a friend who has been a partner in ministry for many years.  Most of the others in the vehicle (Molly, Sarah, Tanner, Daniel) work with me on a weekly basis to make our student ministry happen.  They didn’t have any responsibilities on this retreat, except for Tanner playing drums.  But they still showed up to services early offering to help, and they stayed late to clean-up that program and set-up for the next one.  They sent me texts offering their help with anything.  They welcomed me onto the volleyball court, even though I’m 5’2” and not much of an athlete…and we had a blast. 


As I sat in that vehicle with that group of people yesterday, my eyes welled with tears.  “This is my life?!  Seriously?!  I get to do THIS work with THESE people?!” 



I am overwhelmed.  I am grateful.  I am thankful.
This is all I’ve ever wanted from life.

Comments

  1. Love all the people in those pics! The fact that this is exactly what you want is exactly why we all want you just where you are.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Response to Charlottesville

Visiting our nation’s capital is an easy day trip for us, and how I chose to spend a precious vacation day this week.  I took pride in explaining the buildings and icons of my country to my children.  I am proud to be an American.  

But today, I am not proud.  
Today, I weep.

Four days ago, I saw the beautiful, infamous words “We the People” with my own eyes for the first time.  
Four days later, I am reminded of how far we still have to go to fully live into those words:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What has happened 63 miles from my home, in Jefferson’s beautifully-domed, colonnaded city, is far from perfect, just, or tranquil.
This is not what our founding fathers wanted for our country, nor is …

A Message to Graduates

I have been a Pastor to Students (The title has changed numerous times; the role remains.) in Powhatan, Virginia for roughly 12 years.  I daresay I've been ministering to teenagers in this community longer than many.

Over the last dozen years, I've gotten lots of cool opportunities to minister to teenagers in this area.   But one had always eluded me--speaking at a baccalaureate service.  My husband had done the honors.  Other great pastors in the area had as well.  Once, I'd offered the closing prayer.  

This week, that changed.  I had the distinct honor to share with the PHS Class of 2016 at their baccalaureate service.  It was a wonderful experience working with great students, parents, and school leaders.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity!!!

A few people missed it and have asked to see what I said, so here it is, ALL of it:

June 1999 I sat in this space for my Baccalaureate service.  Before I was a pastor at PCC, before I moved back to Powhatan to raise my family, …

Disillusionment of Adulthood

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment.  Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like.  I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up.  The gossip.  The hurt feelings.  The misunderstandings.  The fights between friends.  The back-stabbing.  And I remember being told that it would get better.  I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different.  The words may sound a little different.  But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally. Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues. Adults gossip. Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits. Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war. Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode. Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue. Adul…