Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's that season!

Earlier this week, my son and I were in the front yard talking with the neighbors.  After a while, they asked if we wanted to come inside and take a look at their Christmas decorations.  Now personally, I can hardly believe it’s November, and I really hadn’t thought about decorations.  However, when we walked into their home, it felt like Christmas!  Their house made me feel like I was walking into a winter wonderland! 

After we walked away, my little boy couldn’t stop asking if we could put up our decorations… He was enlivened by the whole experience… jumping up and down, talking a mile a minute, and running ahead to tell mommy about everything. 

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is really an incredible thing.  There are far too many times in my life when I think I’ve seen everything.  It is wonderful to experience a different perspective of joy.  Compared to our neighbors, our decorations are pretty mangled.  The tree, the wreaths, and all the lights had been shoved into odd corners of the garage, but they still filled us with joy!  Everyday our child lights up in a new way, and I am so thankful I get to experience it!

I think we all need to take time to experience the world through the eyes of a child.  I hope you can all take a little time this week to really cherish the season and the meaning behind it all.  I pray you could all see the blessings before you!



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Remembering Veteran's Day

Ten years ago I spent the summer as an Intern Chaplin in the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis MN.  I was only there for a short period of time, but I look back on those moments as some of my most transformative in my entire life.  It was the first time that I sat with a family as their loved one passed away.  It was the first time I saw people broken by pain... whether that pain was physical, mental, or spiritual.  It was also one of the first times that individuals looked to me as a spiritual leader.  There were people who shared some of their deepest vulnerabilities and moments of loss with me.  In so many ways, I was not ready for all of this, but I felt blessed that God was working anyway.

I learned a lot from each one of those veterans.  In fact, I’m sure I grew much more from them than the other way around.  They were generous, patient, and I received an incredible amount of love that still affects me today. 

Every year, as we remember Veteran’s Day, I think about my time at the VA.  My entire experience there was powerful, but more than anything else, I keep coming back to all the conversations I was blessed to have.  I was called to be present through joys and sorrows, and there was really something sacred about that.  This week, I am so grateful for the service of every veteran, and I hope and pray we can all spend some time cherishing the freedom, the people, and the love we have in our lives.



Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hope and Halloween

What do you love about the holidays?  Is it the people, the atmosphere, the energy, the food? What really draws you in?  Personally, I don’t think there is just one thing.  It’s a combination.  When people come together in hope, wonderful things happen.  The holidays offer a magnificent opportunity to see this. 

However, I am guilty of becoming kind of judgmental about holidays like Halloween.  You see, I am one of those crazy parents who spends way too much time worrying if my kid is eating too much candy.  (I am probably giving my child a complex by trying to ration everything… and I know I’m giving myself one!)  I also think I’m just kind of a scaredy cat, and I don’t like creepy nature of the all costumes and decorations!  J

The Super heroes in our house!
Whatever the reason, I was putting a lot of stress into how my 3 year old was going to celebrate Halloween.  In the end, I decided if people were coming together in hope, I didn’t want to stand in the way of that.  It’s fun to dress up, laugh, and eat too much candy!  However, my favorite part of the night was watching my 3 year old get super excited when trick or treaters came to our door.  He couldn’t wait to hand out candy! (He even wanted to give them the candy from his own bucket!)  We literally had to hold him back from walking all the way down the street to give away candy!  It was a beautiful moment to share… (Next year the candy complex will probably have set in and he will hoard it all, but this year was fun!) We found some really special time together as a family, and I was reminded of all the surprising ways that hope can show up.

Happy Halloween everybody!

I pray that all of you can find hope this season!  May you know God’s Blessings and receive God’s Grace!