Hello! I hope you're all doing well!
On July 8-9, I was in Seattle to be in the wedding of my freshman year roommate, Kate Schmedake (now Williams). I especially enjoyed the rehearsal dinner on Friday night as both her and her husband Henry's families took time to appreciate Kate and Henry. I've had the pleasure of getting to know both Kate and Henry's parents and brothers over the past four years, so I enjoyed spending time with them over the weekend. Weddings are so fun! It's awesome to have an excuse to celebrate God's gifts of marriage, family, and friends. The wedding and reception, were also delightful. I got to help decorate Kate and Henry's car with other members of the bridal party. Balloons, window markers, etc. So fun!
Last week, my parents came to Spokane for Whitworth's annual Institute of Ministry. As a combined birthday/Mother's/Father's Day present, I cooked all their meals for them. At the same time, I was house-sitting for Adam and Janet Neder, a connection through Whitworth and my Spokane church, which was great for my parents. The Neders have a comfortable, spacious house with beds for both my parents and me! I still don't have a bed at my house, though I hope to by the beginning of August. The meals came off excellently, and I'm still eating the leftovers. I like skipping a week of grocery shopping to save money. :o)
I was able to go to several WIM events with my parents. It was a delight to be at Whitworth again and hear lectures on Church history and the Bible. It made me realize that I've let my brain take an intellectual break these past few months. But even though I'm happy to be done with homework, papers, and tests, I'm not ready to be done with reading, learning, and asking hard and important questions about the world and about faith. I'm thankful, though, to take learning at my own pace, to savor what I read and learn in a way that college doesn't always allow.
I've been reading a book that I got for graduation called "The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Towards God." I love reading about food, so this book is right up my alley. It's fun for me to consider the role of food in our lives as Christians. Since taking a class in Fall '10 called Creative Nonfiction Writing, I've been trying to read creative nonfiction in order that I might learn better how to write about my own life and experiences. This blog is a place for me to practice. If a rather long-ish piece of writing appears soon, you'll know that I've been inspired by this book, which is a great piece of creative nonfiction.
Since my parents left on Saturday, I've had a couple of very quiet days. Part of that is because I'm still house-sitting for the Neders by myself. But another part is that I just don't have anything planned. I'm realizing how much I have had planned since graduating in May. I do have things to finish that need the time (I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs), but all this time alone has exposed something in me. I wonder if I've filled my schedule up with things and people because I'm scared that the lack of constant activity means I'm somehow losing my Spokane community. I don't know if that makes any sense to you. I'm not sure it does to me. But I'm going to put it out there in order to ask a bigger question. Are we so busy because we're trying to mask fear or insecurity? Maybe. Maybe not. Whether it is or isn't, I still think the question is worth our consideration as Christians. I just read an interesting article in Christianity Today by Carolyn Arends about how our busyness can disguise spiritual laziness. She writes, "Part of the problem is that spiritual receptivity requires unglamorous practices like prayer, time in Scripture, and attentiveness to what God is doing in the people around me." Arends holds that our busyness squashes this time. It definitely does for me. I hope this makes us think about all that we do on a daily basis that might squash more important priorities. May everything we do be for God's glory alone!
On a practical note, I am now officially the Harvest of Hope Coordinator at Partners International. Megan's last day was Friday. It was strange to come in yesterday morning and move my things to her cubicle. I still have a learning curve ahead of me, but Megan has given me a strong foundation. I feel confident and excited about the potential in the coming months. I came to work late this morning because of a severe headache, but I was just in time for our weekly Chapel. When our ministry partners come to the United States to visit their supporters, we have a time at work to hear about the ministry and to pray with the visitors. After chapel, I realized that Megan was at Chapel, and I got to have lunch with her. PI will miss Megan very much, but the spirit of the organization is such that she's still an integral part of our community and ministry. I'll be glad whenever she visits over the coming months.
Thanks for reading today! I hope each time you read this blog you feel encouraged to go out and serve the Lord Jesus with vigor and joy! Go in peace to love and serve the Lord this day.