The Greenhouse Project Part 1: Preparation not Permanent 25/52

Here’s another book that found me. It came as a free copy in a leader’s gift bag from some conference. The Greenhouse Project is about the cultural shift that needs to happen in modern day youth ministry.

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A greenhouse isn’t meant to protect a plant forever. It’s a temporary place of preparation for surviving in the elements. The church is not meant to be a building where we as believers hide and wait for Jesus’ return.  It’s meant to be a place where we gather to prepare ourselves to reach others for the sake of the Kingdom.
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Letting Go Of Plans.[24/52]

If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I may not always be organized, but I like lists, plans and goal settings. For people like me, it’s sometimes so incredibly difficult to let go of our plans. Earlier this summer, I made my list of how this was going to be the best summer I’ve had in a long time. 16 things I was going to do. This summer ended up completely different than I planned.  I was going to just ignore it. Pretend that post never even happened. Maybe even delete it and sneak a boring post in that no one would notice and that I’d hopefully forget was a replacement. However, reality is a thing, and hiding from it doesn’t change the truth.

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Villain Plays The Victim [23/52]

They see you a little too human,
A wolf dressed in Granny’s nightcap is still a wolf
Beyond the surface, the claws and teeth remain.

Cornered in the wolf’s den.
Screaming ‘til my throat is numb,
Countering every step to keep the space between us.
Doesn’t anyone hear me?
Isn’t anyone listening?
We can’t do anything unless the wolf attacks,
It’s not fair to the animal, they deserve second chances, too.
That’s all well and fine, and I’ll remind you when this happens to you.

When the wolf scratches her skin, and tears her limb from limb.
Wounds can heal, but there’s always scars.
Painful reminders of the time no one came through,
She cried for help, but what did you do?

We’ll scold the wolf, and reform his evil way.
A slap on the wrist, “be nice Mr. Wolf!
Now, go, and be on your way.”

Beneath the Surface [22/52]

This is another piece I wrote a few years back.

“Beneath the Surface”
The tinted glass, conceals the true contents.
Makeup for a building, to cover up the imperfections.
Never let them see you sweat.
Never let them know you’re human.

When did relating to the rest of humanity become a flaw?
Whose idea was it for the top of the self righteous pedestal to be our goal?

We build our stained glass towers,
To keep the world away.
Safe in our superficial steeple
While we watch the ivory fade to grey.

When did preserving our reputation become the priority?
How long do we think we can keep our facade in tact?

Our compulsive obsession to keep the dirt away.
Has given us a skewed version of clean.
We see the expensive fine made rug
But are afraid to see what’s swept beneath the surface.

Something a little different [21/52]

This summer has been all about getting back to things I used to love. One of those things is writing. Another one of those things is not being afraid of what others think/will say. The pieces I would call my better work have stemmed from some  heavier times. I never put them out there because I was afraid of the reaction they would get. Not any more. I’m getting back to being me, and that means honesty. This is something I wrote about 3-4 years ago.

“Suffocation”
Slowly, but surely,
I’m drowning.
The work. The demands. The expectations.
Why did I sign up for this?
Isn’t life more than this?

Never being done,
Barely getting by.
A little sleep, but never rest.

One thing after another.
How far can I stretch?
How long can this last?

The house of Truth.
Feeding into the lies.
Smothering that little flame inside.
Do they know what they do?
Do they even care?

They take credit for my good,
And blame me for their worst.
A momentary lapse of consideration,
leaves me stabbed once more.
Will I ever make it out?
Will I make it out alive?

You Must be THIS TALL to ride this ride. 20/52

This is my recap and response to a message that sunk DEEP into hurting places in my life. Inadequacy is something that haunts all of us. For some it may be more subtle, but it is definitely still there. There are few messages I’ve heard that create an “everyone I know needs to hear this” response. This is one of them. I was only there because I overslept and missed the service where I was going to go. Just so happened this was the day the youth and children’s pastors were giving the message.  Accidents just don’t exist. You can listen to the original message here.

At 28 years old, I am still only 5′ 1″. As you can imagine, I get plenty of short jokes. I’m the arm rest for tall friends. The Pastors also brought up the turmoil this sign created in their childhood, and as parents for their children.

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This sign had the power to make or break any trip to an amusement park. As young children, we waited year after year until we would finally make the cutoff for all of the big kid rides. You knew your future of theme parks was set when you measured up to the height requirement sign. David in the Old Testament is no stranger to the agony of not measuring up.

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Summer Fun List & Getting Back On Board[19/52]

Ahem. I clearly have fallen behind on blogging and every other resolution I may back in January…except one. I’ve still washed my makeup off before going to bed every single day. Time to get back to it!

If you know me, you know I love lists. Yesterday was the first day of summer. Few things make me as happy as summer officially being here. Last summer was full of working crazy hours and a whole lot of youth ministry. This is the first summer in a long time that I have this level of freedom in my schedule.  I am so excited to have a typical summer. Here’s my to do list for Summer 2017

  1. Go to fireworks for 4th of July. My birthday is the weekend before 4th of July. This means I get to see fireworks ON MY BIRTHDAY!
  2. Tie-dye. I haven’t done it in years, and everyone loves a good day of tie dying.
  3. Go to the beach. Another thing I haven’t done in years. This is a mandatory thing. I love the beach, and it is a crime and an injustice that I haven’t been there since 2013.
  4. Go to Knoebels. If you’re not from PA, you have no idea what this is. It’s an old fashioned amusement park. It’s free to just go and walk around and they just charge per ride. It is so much better for groups of people. Plus, they have an awesome variety of rides and delicious food.
  5. Do something I’ve never done. I’m a create of habit. Routine is just who I am. So, I want to do one brand new thing this summer.
  6. Go to an epic concert. Tickets AND meet and greet passed already purchased. One of my favorite bands of all time- The Rocket Summer is doing a 10 year anniversary tour of my favorite album!
  7. See a movie at the drive in. For living 20 minutes away from the drive in, I don’t go nearly as often as I should. The one closest to us has awesome theme weekends and older movies. I’m all bout the blast from the past.
  8. Go kayaking.  I first went kayaking when I was a camp counselor. I’ve loved it ever since. I ALMOST purchased my own kayak, but then my jeep broke down. We all know my neon is NOT hauling a kayak anywhere.
  9. Have as many bonfires (And by “bonfires” I mean excuse for s’mores) as possible. Nothing says summer like the summer of your clothes after being at a campfire. I also just really like roasting marshmallows.
  10. Go to a professional baseball game. We have tickets for the Phillies in July for my mom’s birthday. There’s also plenty of opportunity to go to minor league games.
  11. Get another tattoo. You’re supposed to keep tattoos  out of the sun; so, this may be an end of summer adventure. I have approximately 34,932 tattoos planned. I have time to prioritize them.
  12. Get a tan. Life of a pale girl I want to look like its summer. I want to get out of my office and into the sun.
  13. Swim as much as possible. I still harbor some resentment for my parent’s tearing down our pool around the time I got into middle school. Most of the time “swimming” translates to standing around in the pool socializing. I’m okay with that.
  14. Go to the local carnival/fair.  I have a giant container of coins that I save for carnival/fair season. I know the games are expensive and the prizes are junk. However, it’s fun and fair food is amazing. Funnel cake season is upon us, folks.
  15. Hike to the top of the trail at camp. I don’t love hiking. I would like it if someone could guarantee I wouldn’t encounter snakes or bears. I’ve helped clean the trains before,but I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the very top of the mountain. This summer, that changes!
  16. Take more photos. I used to be the girl who took too many photos. Now, I am the person who never takes photos. I need to find the healthy balance between “I miss really awesome moments because I was too busy taking photos of them” and “I really wish I had a picture with this person/of this moment.”

That’s my summer in a nutshell. Stay tuned as I get back on track from my hiatus from goals and plans.

bekks