Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 6: Someone That Inspires Me

How do I choose just one person? Seriously?!? I've been so blessed with people who inspire me on a daily basis. One person, who I've never blogged about before who inspires me continually is my friend Scott. The picture on the left (stolen from my friend Stephanie) has Scott, at the top left and his brother-in-law Kevin beside him. In the front row is Becky, her niece Ella, and Stephanie (the source of the picture and Scott's sister).

Scott was my youth pastor when I was in high school and now is a really good "talking out deep concepts of theology, life, and ministry, friend". One thing that inspires me is the way he is constantly learning. When I ask him what he's been reading, he always has an aswer for me, and it's always a variety: Stephen King novels, Lord of the Rings, books about spiritual disciplines, deep theology, social justice, etc. He's just started seminary and before his full course load started he took an intensive Greek class that he passed with flying neon colors because he taught himself most of the course work using a text book he purchased from a friend. WHAT?!? That is crazy.

Another reason he inspires me is that he has a way of slowly, quietly, and kindly pouring love and care on people. I don't know how it happens, but those he encounters feels cared for and are drawnt to his kindness. They want to have dinner, play basketball, hang out with him because people truly experience the character of Christ while in his company. In Scott's office during the time he was my youth pastor, he had a plaque hanging up that said "Preach the gospel always, and when necessary use words." I've heard dozens of people quote that, but very few live it out. He does definitely. (He'd probably list the ways he fails to live up to that call, but don't we all fail a little bit in little ways?)

One way that his friendship has blessed me is that he has challenged me to learn but I never feel like he is condescending or lording his knowledge above me. When I was his intern, he'd give me a book to read, I would mark pages I had questions about, and then he'd ask me about my thoughts on the subject matter. Me, sitting in his office as a 21 year old theology student, felt listened to and not like he was internally correcting everything I said but that he actually valued it. As I've gotten older, I've also felt like he's allowed me to grow up. Some youth pastors I know always treat the students who were in their youth ministry like they are kids. But, Scott has allowed me to grow up and build a friendship with him outside of our experience in youth group.

He also has inspired me to be a truth teller, but to do so appropriately. While I was in high school he was so kind and supportive of difficulties with friends and family, but never said or gave me advice in any way that could be interpreted as being not honoring to my mom. When I graduated from high school, and especially the summer my brother graduated from high school, our family went through some trials, but even as I was devastated and lamenting, he told me the truth when it needed to be said but without condemning, judging, or being snide about people in my life.

I also admire him because he's confident in the person Christ has created him to be. He knows his gifts, he knows his passions, and he pursues them, because those are the ways God has knot him together. I also love that his wife, Becky, is one of my best friends. Even though I don't talk with Scott as much as I talk with Becky, I know that Becky appropriately relates things I tell her to Scott, so I can feel his support and encouragement through her.

So, in a rather large nutshell, that is my friend Scott, one of many people who inspire me :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 5: My Dreams

Is this the weird dreams I have in the middle of the night, or dreams, as in what in my head I would love to accomplish/do/and see? I'm going to take it in the latter sense. The dreams of the moment are:

  • Visit Italy and Switzerland
  • Dance with a guy I like
  • Go skydiving
  • Run a marathon
  • Be in a play
  • Kiss a boy
  • Take singing lessons
  • Perform in a dance show
  • Go to Africa
  • Visit every state in America
  • Live on the east coast
  • Live in England
  • Go to the summer Olympics
  • Go rock climbing
Most of these might seem like they are just small and attainable goals, but I guess what makes them dreams is that most of them aren't things I'm going to pursure right now. Many of them might happen, I hope most of them do, but I think of them often. It's not a thinking that is sad or sorrowful, but it's a patient waiting for the opportunities to present themselves and for me to have the courage to take them.
p.s. This picture is of Italy. It's been the number one place I've wanted to go since I was in college.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day Four: Siblings

I have two siblings. One is older, one is younger, and they form kind of a Suzanne sandwich.

Jason: My big brother by 8 years. Here are my favorite things about Jason: his commitment to BBQ, the way he calls me little sister, how he intentionally has started traditions with his kids, the way he drinks coffee 24 hours a day, the way he listens when I chat with him, the way he commits himself to his hobbies, geochaching, the fact that he still dreams big, he made the courageous decision to change his career (inspiring!), that I know he'll walk me down the aisle when I get married, and how even though I don't always feel like I need a 'big brother' that he'd do anything a big brother is required to do (like beat up a guy who hurt my feelings, encourage me if I made a big life change, and be my advocate no matter what).

Cameron: My little brother is 2 years (22 months techinally) younger. Here are my favorite things about Cameron: that he's one of my best friends, his mad cooking skills, his fashion choices throughout history, that we're running a half marathon together!, that he thinks I'm cool (maybe?), that he calls me to hang out, the way he plays with his our nieces and nephews, he's wicked smart, he's got pie in the sky ideas and dreams, he is funny, he thinks I'm funny, we laugh a lot, we still beat each other up, that he'll also walk me down the aisle when I get married, and that he lives in Seattle so that I have a piece of my family nearby.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day Three: Parents

Okay, so I kind of missed two days. It's kind of crazy the way time gets away from me sometimes. Anyway, today I'm supposed to blog about my parents, which us not a topic that excites me in my trip down memory lane. I've been trying to think of a way to blog about my parents without being unkind or disrespectful. So, in the interest of being short winded, here is what my most current struggles are with my parents.

I haven't seen or heard from my dad in 5 years. About a month ago my mom texted me to say that my dad had gotten in touch with her and wanted mine and Cameron's number to call us. I told her that he could have my email address, but I didn't want to give out my number. I haven't gotten an email at all. My mom mentioned that he doesn't have a computer but I can't help but feeling that if he really wanted to get in touch with me that he would go to the library or use a friend's computer. What's frustrating is that I get to this point with my dad where I feel invincible and like the neglect can't hurt me anymore, but then something else happens and it all comes back.

What's confusing to me about my relationship with my mom is that I don't know what my role is in our relationship. I would like to say that I can just be the daughter and she is the mom and sometimes life intersects perfectly and we're friends. I think to a certain degree that's true, but I think my mom wishes for Gilmore Girls and I keep wishing for Steel Magnolias. Maybe it's neither and a little closer to Whip It! and neither of us want to say that we're just never going to completely 'get' one another. I love her deeply and can't imagine having a different mom. And I know that I know that I know that she loves me to. And for that reason I am way ahead of the game.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day Two: Vices

Vice - 1a: moral depravity or corruption, b: a moral fault or failing, c: a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming

I was originally going to say my vice was chocolate, or romantic comedies, or bad fiction. But, I think a vice if left unchecked can becomed destructive, and while my love of chocolate is intense, I don't forsee it leading to my destruction. After having thought about this today I think my real vice is GOSSIP. Gossip, if left unchecked in my life, could definitely lead to destruction.

Gossip, while fun and sometimes innoucous, often comes from a desire that I have to be the top dog and feel that I have my life together when others do not. I gossip as a way to communicate to people that while others are doing stupid, awkward, or annoying things that I can see their actions clearly and stand above them. Today while meeting with one of my high school students to talk with her about her life, I even said to her "don't tell anyone else I told you this" and then proceeded to share something with her that should have gone unsaid. Earlier in our conversation I told her that if she had to ask herself "is this a good idea or a bad idea" then it was probably a bad idea. In that moment I gossiped while in conversation with her I even thought to myself "should I share this or should I not share this?" If only I had taken my own advice and not shared.

A couple weeks ago I wrote the following in my journal: "Lord Jesus, I am not perfect. Forgive me the way that I sometimes pretend to be. I am embarassed by the way I act sometimes. How I preen and posture and say in my head that I am better than people. That I deserve attention and praise that others don't. I am so thankful for your mercies, oh God...Remind me of my call to see others through the eyes of love. Where there is insecurity, sow confidence rooted in my knowledge of who you have made me as a child of God."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 1: Your best friend(s)

I feel like I write about my friends ALL THE TIME. But I keep doing it because they are my family. They are my nearest and dearest. They are (most days) the very best part of myself. They are my biggest fans and my harshest critics:

Brenna: Brenna and I have known each other for 10 years. When we first met, she was really good friends with my brother, and it wasn't until we started taking theatre classes together, were cast in the same play for the same roles and had to kiss the same boy on stage that we really bonded. We'd stand behind stage, eating pieces of ginger, and jumping up and down with nerves before performing. She's my sister. She's famous to me and I am famous to her. She also inspires me to care for others in a tangible way...to put myself out there and just love people by talking to them, smiling at them, and genuinely listening to their stories.

Maggie: Maggie and I have been friends for 2 1/2 years, but she knows me so well it's like I've rewritten history in my mind to include her in all the most important moments. She knows my story and my history better than most of those who experienced it with me. Maggie is my greatest advocate. She forces me to take care of myself, stand up for what I want, and reminds me that I am worthy and loved by Christ. Maggie is so wonderful I am sometimes stunned that she has chosen me to be her friend.

Katja: When I first met Katja I never thought she'd want to be my friend. Flash to almost 3 years later and a week can scarce go by where we haven't traded at least a dozen texts, emails, IMs, phone messages, calls and Facebook posts. Katja has taught me confidence. In the past whenever someone challenged my ideals I backed down out of fear. Katja challenged me in how I lived my life and then would yell at me (figuratively) when I didn't stick up for myself. My moral convictions, faith in Christ, and commitment to love and serve others has been strengthened tremendously by getting to be friends with Katja. She's also HILARIOUS, incredibly cultured, has introduced me to dozens of remarkable movies I would not have otherwise seen, and she has a marriage that makes me secretly hope I'll get to be married some day too.

Cameron: It is the greatest blessing to me to have my little brother live in Seattle. I've known him his entire life, and we've been good friends for at least half of that. There are countless memories of made up games when we were left home alone, nights of stupid laughter for the years we shared a room, and the hugs that came when our family would get a little crazy. We've started to see one another about once a week, most frequently at Cafe Vivace and every time he confides in me my heart swells that this person who was born my brother becomes my friend a little bit more each day.

Liz: We met on the first day of college at SPU. We talked about Alias, and I'm pretty sure the next day we were best friends. We lived togeter Sophomore year and started meeting together for breakfast and prayer once a week. She's seen me at my worst. She's seen me at my best. We've laughed (a lot), cried (a lot), and thrown things in frustration (only a few times). She is the best gift giver I know and each time she sends me a card, gives me a birthday present, or mails me a Christmas present, I am blown away by the time and thought she put into giving it to me.

So, there it is. They're my fab five - and I could go on for days about Becky, and Karen, and Jaelithe, and Chrissie, and Scott, and Rachel, and Anna, and make it a fab infinity, but I'd give myself carpal tunnel. When I'm discouraged, frustrated, angry at life, I should go back and read this list. Because in each person I've mentioned (and with a million more) I can't ignore the way God has poured his grace out on me. How blessed am I!

New Blogging Challenge: 30 Days of Prompts

I got this off of my friend Loreen Petzing's Facebook, who got it from a friend, who got it from a friend. I've wanted to write a lot lately. I feel inspired to create, but I don't know what to actually create. Here's the list of topics:

Day 1 — Your best friend
Day 2 — Your vices
Day 3 — Your parents
Day 4 — Your siblings
Day 5 — Your dreams
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you
Day 7 — Your job
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend that you've never met
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to
Day 12 — Your dream vacation
Day 13 — Something you're looking forward to
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
Day 15 — The person you miss the most
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Something that makes you different
Day 20 — Your favorite television shows
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — A life changing moment
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — Your talent
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

Each day you write about the thing listed and post a picture. I'm really excited!