Serve the City

There was a college student I once knew who was, for the most part, your typical 20-something. She had a full load of university classes, was working two part-time jobs, trying to balance homework and time with friends and keep up with her share of her chores at the apartment she shared with her roommate.…

Butterflies and Blackberries

I am currently in Bobbio Pellice for our annual all-european summer staff conference. Never heard of Bobbio Pellice? Well… “It’s where Jesus lost his shoes.” This is my first time to this corner of Italy and it is absolutely stunning here. The weather has been great, the time connecting with friends and colleagues refreshing. This…

Regrets

‘Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through What I could’ve done better but what good do “what if’s?” do? From “Forget And Not Slow Down” by Relient K I have a lot of regrets. Actually, “a lot” may be a bit of an understatement. They come in all shapes and sizes. Here…

Hesitation

Recently I hesitated… it’s one thing to hesitate when you are pulling out into traffic or in deciding whether or not to make a big purchase but this was different… It was lunchtime on a holiday and the small town I live in felt like a ghost town. I had gone for a walk and…

Church Buildings

I don’t know why but some of my greatest epiphanies come while I am in the shower. Today’s epiphany? Buildings were never meant to be called “church”… Sure, tens of thousands of buildings in the world are referred to as church buildings; they are dedicated places where people gather to encounter God and those who…

Stuff

I just returned from a trip to Portugal a few days ago. Three days ago, to be exact. It was a great trip on the whole. I really enjoyed those I met there for the first time while also reconnecting with colleagues who I’ve met at previous conferences. Alan and Deborah Hirsch were the keynote speakers and…

How Santa Is Like Jesus

Years ago, while listening to some classic Christmas songs, the thought occurred to me that Santa and Jesus have a lot in common. I was listening to songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.” I grew up learning about Santa from songs like these and from watching classics Christmastime…

The Usefulness of Pain

Recently my surrogate Sicilian dad, Mario, was taken to the hospital due to severe chest pain. He spent the night in the hospital but was released the next morning when the chest pain subsided. No immediate conclusions were drawn from whatever tests may have been performed during the night. Fast forward almost two weeks. I…

Embracing Tension

Here is the definition of “paradox” according to the Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary: paradox /ˈparədɒks/ noun  : something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible : someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities…

My Only Sponsor

Most of my close friends here in Sicily understand that I work for a faith-based, non-profit organization and that my monthly support is provided by “sponsorizzati” or financial supporters. With a few of these friends in particular, I have had multiple conversations regarding sponsorship and how it works. This is a very foreign concept in…

Just Like Dad

“Be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Ephesians 5:1) They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. As a younger sibling, I used to hear my mother quote this saying quite often to my older sister whenever my sister would get annoyed that I was copying her. But the saying holds true: most…

Enjoy the Ride

What I Learned From Reading Steven King: I just finished the last book of Steven King’s bestselling series, The Dark Tower (his recent (2012) insertion of book 8 into the middle of the series aside). It’s taken me a little shy of three years to finish the series. I am not a Steven King kind-of-girl…