How can I keep giving my life away?

four person holding each others waist at daytime

I recently hosted my friend and her little girl overnight while they needed a place to stay. In reality, though, my whole community hosted her through how they equipped me: My friends Emily and Austin gave me the bed she slept in My friend Lauren gave me the recipe for the Chicken Pot Pie that was in the fridge My friend Kristin helped me assemble the dresser in my room My friend Megan gave her the car she used to drive to my house My roommates Lisa and Cierra helped clean the house My friend Sarah gave me my bedside lamp My landlords Andy and Kristi provide a great, safe, and well-maintained house for us My friends Garrett and Mindy sparked the vision for where I live A group of friends from church helped me move into this house last year In other words: I can welcome her because I […]

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What Lasts is Love

homeless sign

My mentee Ally and I volunteered at a homeless shelter together last week. We handed out toothpaste, floss, towels, and more from a supply closet to the men at the shelter. We spoke to a man whose dog Bobo had all the guests (and us!) enraptured. Another man told me about his son who died at age 18 – and I shared about my brother, in heaven at the same age. We reasoned they were likely having a party together now. Do you think age matters in heaven, that you tend to make friends with people your age like you do on earth? We didn’t always have what the men requested – eyeglasses so they could read, clean boxers, or the right charger for their phones. The needs felt so great in this building where dozens of men shared one communal room in which to sleep and find shelter from […]

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Join Me in Making a Holiday Resolution

girl looking at phone during holidays

We’ve gathered together, we’ve offered our thanks, and we’ve taken our Thanksgiving naps.  Next: a flurry of activity as we prepare for Christmas. Gift buying and wrapping, parties and Secret Santa exchanges. For those grieving: loneliness. For others: joy. For others still: stress.  Before we launch into the month of December, let’s pause for a moment. Breathe in, and out, and in again. Still and listen.  I’m making a reverse New Year’s Resolution this year.  Instead of committing to something starting in January, I’m making a commitment to a goal that will end in January.  Today, I would like to gently offer a reflection before we reach the end of the year. I would be honored for you to read.  In her book None Like Him, Jen Wilken writes how certain traits (being all-powerful, all-knowing, etc) can only describe God, while other traits (being loving, joyful, patient, etc.) are for […]

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God Hasn’t Left Us

person wearing silver ring on ring finger on bible

I stayed in Charleston for 10 days straight this summer, working from a hotel, exploring the town in the evenings and weekends. At the hotel, I made a friend named Greg. We ran into each other over a continental breakfast of muffins, granola bars, and microwavable waffles. We’d see each other in passing – the elevators dinging open to a chance greeting and bringing a sense of community in a new place.  Greg was being treated at the hospital around the corner for cancer. He just finished a bone marrow transplant, and the staff was monitoring its success. This was his third bout with cancer – it hit him in his early twenties, and then again a few years ago, and now again in his fifties. His family lives several hours away, so he’d been at the hotel alone for three weeks – isolated and with an uncertain future. Greg […]

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The Butterfly Effect: Building Trust in Society

butterfly

Last summer, I penciled in my journal, “Build trust in society.” We know healthy relationships require authentic and reciprocated trust. We know healthy communities are the sum of healthy relationships. With this in mind, when the fabric of our society feels like it is tearing apart, what would it look like to build trust in society? What would it look like to increase, instead of decrease, the trust we have in one another and in our leaders? Many of us came  out of 2020 feeling fragile and worn thin. For many of us, the year held both much beauty and also great loss. We witnessed death brought by covid, and we experienced a hundred smaller losses in our reality of normal. For many of us, we took a look at the fabric of our systems and found it to be frayed and hurtful to people of color. For many of […]

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The God Who Loves Us Will Hold Us

perfect love casts out fear frame

I’m feeling a sense of sadness today. I work for Southwest Airlines, and I frequently have the chance to give out my buddy standby passes to those around me. So far, I’ve given them out to friends for adventures, mutual connections for birthday surprises, and refugees for their journeys home. This week, I gave out my first buddy passes to friends for funerals. There are no good answers for this, for why death comes to steal, kill, and destroy. There are no easy responses for why Jesus, who has come that we might have “life abundant,” doesn’t sustain earthly life for those we love. Does he not do so because he is unable? Because he is fake? Because he doesn’t care? We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of deaths due to COVID in America alone this year. More people have died from the coronavirus this year than from the flu the […]

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