Friday, September 30, 2005

happy birthday to ME :)

yes. the rumors are true.
well.. ok, i'm sure there haven't been any rumors. not about me anyway, 'cause honestly... why would there be??

today's my birthday.

billie and christine sent me a bracelet from australia. how cool is that. it's an awesome bracelet, too. something only one (or both) of them would get, and that i absolutely love. they sent the best card too! i laughed so hard. it made me a little sad, too, just 'cause it's such a billie/christine card. i miss them so much.

but, i get to go to a wedding today. :) valerie's younger sister is getting married. it's cool that she invited me 'cause i'm not that close w/her. i can't think of a better way to spend my birthday (except being in australia w/billie and christine). i get to get all dressed up and girly, be with people i love, dance, laugh, have fun, and watch two people who love each other start a new life together. it really can't get much better than that. and i get to wear my favorite purple dress!! yay!! :-)

this morning, as i was praying, i found myself asking God to help me stop thinking i'm too old to do certain things. not that i'm old (not yet anyhow), but i'm not in my early twenties (heck, i'm not even in my twenties). i read stories of missionaries going off and living in another country for two years and i think "man, that'd be awesome." but then i think i'm too old to do that. people do that when they're 23, not 35.

i really limit myself in that way. and it mostly has to do w/wanting to have a wedding ceremony of my own one day. it's like i think i have to stay put in order to meet the "right guy". but if i have a passion for foreign countries and people, chances are that anyone i'd be attracted to would share that passion and would probably be traveling himself, right? you'd think i would have figured out by now that i can't control this aspect of my life. not by traveling, or staying put or doing this or not doing that. God will do what He'll do when He thinks it's time to do it. unless of course i'm not meant to be married. it seems that if i could accept that as a real possibility, i'd be much more free, 'cause then it just wouldn't matter where i went or what i did.

i need to remember too, that the first guy to summit Mt. Everest did it when he was 34.

anyhow, i just need to get over it and go have fun.

now.. if you'll excuse me... i have a wedding to get ready for! :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

patience is a virtue

there's this nature photographer. i think his name is david blevins. i tried to post one of his pics but it didn't work. he takes the most amazing pictures. he'll go to a location and wait, sometimes for hours or even days, until the lighting and everything is just right. to look at his photographs, you'd think they'd been photoshop'd or something. but they're not. he's just willing to wait.
it makes me wonder if i'd see more beautiful and miraculous things in my own life if i was willing to wait just a little longer. impatience is a killer, really. killer of relationships, ministries, churches, marriages.
i remember, when i was in amsterdam, taking a tour of "oude kerk" which literally means "old church". it's the oldest church in amsterdam. it's been abandonded for years. and it's right on the edge of the red light district. the building was magnificant! it can't be adequately described. when i walked in, it literally took my breath away. i think i even got teary eyed. people look like nothing in this mammoth structure. someone, at some point in time, believed so strongly in God's presence and ability to affect the people of amsterdam that they build this grande place in honor of Him and His presence. and yet.. at some point, they also gave up. decided God wasn't there, or couldn't work or wasn't working in people's lives.
what if they would have hung on? what if the next great awakening was right around the corner? how different would amsterdam be now? what if the next great communicator/evangelist/discipler was prepared to walk in the door, but found the door bolted shut?
and what about my own life? what about this writing thing? what if i quit? what if the next great job is right around the corner? what if that person i've been trying so long to reach is closer than i think? what if patience teaches grace, humility, love? what if i could learn to humbly, genuinely love others, even the one who are nothing like me, if i was patient enough to stick around and learn to see what God sees?
what if the summit is closer than it looks?
and what about your life? what if you quit? what if that person who drives you crazy is the one who could speak into your life like no one you've ever known? what if the job you can't stand leads you to someone who's desperate to know about Christ? what if the mundane is meant to teach you that being is more important than doing? what if the next great thing is right around the corner, but you stop in the intersection?

what then?

Monday, September 26, 2005

where's the joy?

and why is it so hard to find?
i should be so excited and happy with my life. but most mornings i wake up and wonder what the hell i'm doing with my life. and it's not like things aren't going well. i have a 4pm meeting w/someone who wants me to re-write the content for her company's entire website. i'm one step away from getting a $2000 writing job. a publishing company has agreed to publish my books. i should feel so excited about all of that. and yet, it takes everything in me to finish the work and get it submitted. And there are still a couple of other things in the works.
so what is it? why do i struggle so much to enjoy this? is it as simple as "warfare"? i know the enemy would love nothing more than to steal the joy from this little endeavor. and maybe i'm not as good at fighting as i think.
on a different note:
i was reading today in Haggai 2, God's warning to those re-building the temple. the amplified version calls unholiness "infectious", like a disease. the passage basically says that if you're rebuidling the temple and your personal life is unholy, you're infecting and descrating your work in the temple. i find it interesting that unholiness is infectious, but holiness is not. you can desecrate something or someone else, but you can't make them holy. a warning to those who play around the edges of sin. and to those who think they can 'save' people.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Who Says Fantasy Football is Just for Boys?

the picture is small, do i'll describe it to you:
a Pretty Pony, wearing a football jersey, cleats and carrying a sign that says "touchdown"
that's right folks.. Pretty Ponies is officially a Fantasy Football team. and thanks to my lovely, goofy and witty roommate, so is the Pink Ponies. :)
actually, it was Valerie's idea. she started it with the award-winning name Pink Ponies, and... much like Buffy... sucked me right in.
so the drafts have taken place, the teams have been set.
see you at the Super Bowl.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

here's an interesting twist

i got an email from jason yesterday. spring hill is looking for a program director. spring hill. and he thinks i'd be great at it. and he told them that. so he's supposed to find out what i need to do to apply and i guess i'll be applying for the job. i feel like i should be crazy excited at the possibility, but i'm mostly uncertain. first of all, this puts into sharp focus my incredible insecurity about my creativity and leadership abilities. everyone around is always so much more certain about my abilities than i am.

sometimes i wonder if i have a tendancy to sabatoge (sp?) my own success. there's really no reason why i shouldn't go after this with everything i have. i mean first of all, it's spring hill.. so many kids come through that place. second, it be the perfect blend of adventure-based youth- ministry and programming. third, it'd be a steady income that would get me through the lean years of project311.

of course, all the speculation is putting the cart before the horse. i haven't even talked to anyone from spring hill. i don't know what they're looking for, if i'd have the qualifications they want, etc, etc. so i guess we'll just see what happens.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


i love the concepts in 'the barbarian way'. i love the idea of finally living a reckless, faith-filled life. i read the book, listen to the messages, and it sturs something so deep in me.
it's the way life is meant to be. loving w/no concern about being loved in return. serving w/out concern for who i'm serving or how much. meeting the needs of others and being completely unmindful and unconcerned with how much i've given, am giving or will give. energized by Jesus' love for others. being completely poured out, like a drink offering, as the apostle Paul worded it. to love and live and walk and run in absolutely reckless abandon. that's the kind of life i long for. a life of passion and service. of seeing God in the face of every person He brings into my life. being a conduit for His love and grace, not because i have so much to give, but because i've received so much of His love that it simply pours out to those around me. to finally see, understand, and believe that the playing field is level. i'm not reaching out because "oh.. those poor people need my help", but because i'm poor and empty without them. and to finally live this life regardless of whether anyone else lives it with me. to finally stop looking left and right to see who's around me, and simply look forward, look to Christ, and stop worrying about all the rest.
that's the life i long to live. and the fact that it's even a remote possibility excites me and inspires me beyond words.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

holy everything!

so i met w/a publisher yesterday. and she wants to publish my books.
how crazy is that!
it was the coolest meeting. there were a couple of times when i was almost shaking. holy spirit moments, you know?
she really challenged me on my Exodus book. and i think she helped me find a starting point, too.
she's also "re-assigned" me. i had been doing editing work for her. now it's going to be strictly writing, which is so great.
good stuff. good stuff.
ok.. i gotta get to work.

Friday, September 16, 2005

exCUSE me!

the publisher that i do editing for just filled out the feedback survey on Guru.
she only gave me three stars (out of 5) for innovation and creativity.
i'm sorry, but.. who's she talking about??!!
this is why i need to stick w/my own stuff. i'm apparantly not good w/other people's writing.
still... 3 stars. c'mon lady.
and despite that, she's meeting w/me at 11:30 to discuss publishing one of *my* books. how does that make any sense??
people strange.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

difficult search

one of my clients has asked me to write an article about the environmental affects of hurricane katrina on biloxi, mississippi.
i've spent the last several days researching, and most of what i've come up with has been about new orleans.
granted, between being hit almost dead-on by the hurricane, and the levy breeches that happened afterwards, new orleans has had a tough time of it.

but it's only one city.

do you realize that the total area affected by the hurricane is close in size to great britain? i heard one estimate that the damage was spread across 90,000 square miles.
and all we're hearing about is one city.
'cause that's where all the controversy is.
hence the reason i never became a journalist. the controversy isn't the real story. the real stories are happening in places like biloxi. the real story is a $700 million/year fishing industry that's gone. wiped out at least for the season if not for several years. the real story is industrial chemicals killing what's left in the gulf. entire species of fish washed out to sea. the livlihood of an entire industry - gone.
and we're still arguing and talking about the people at the sports dome in new orleans.
the stories extend so far beyond new orleans, and we're not hearing a thing about it.
this is why i always tell people that you've got to investigate stuff for yourself. if you leave it up to the media, you'll never know the full (or true) story.

Monday, September 12, 2005

i moved my ring today

for the last couple of years, i've worn a ring on my wedding ring finger. it's silver, and says 'purity'. it was always meant to be just between me and God. granted, other people could see it, but that was never really the point.
i don't even know how to go into detail about the reason for wearing it or the reason for moving it. i don't know how to find words for something that runs so deep. though i can say that, to some degree, i've been hiding behind that ring. using it to keep me safe, keep me from having to be vulnerable. in part, i feel like God is telling me it's time to stop hiding. and, truth be told, i don't want to hide anymore. yea, there's too much running through my head to write it all out here. and some's not fitting for a public journal anyway. admittedly, i find it odd that He would say that now. tell me to move the ring now. because now i'm beginning to understand and relate to Him as bridegroom like i never have before. ironic.
also ironic... i've been hit on twice since moving that ring. ;-)

tonight we start the barbarian way study. man i'm excited! i'm so excited at the chance to begin defining those things God's called me to. the things i've put off or ignored out of fear. i can't wait. last night at church, God gave me a vision of me standing on the edge of a cliff. it was a cliff He led me to. and He asked me to jump. it was funny, 'cause i could picture myself in the free fall, but couldn't picture myself actually jumping. and each time, He'd put me right back on the edge and say "no. jump." and i understand why. it's easy to enjoy the freefall once you're in it. take the step that puts you in the freefall is harder. and honestly, i've never really minded the freefall. but stepping off the edge has always been hard. and i have a sneaking suspicion that He's gonna keep setting me on the edge until i willingly step off.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ladies and gentlemen.... my latest obsession...

my roommate is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. and she's totally reeled me in. mostly because of this guy. mostly because he's absolutely beautiful.
sadly, he's a vampire on the show. but my goodness!!! i've come to the realization that i'm a sucker for this european look. the sunken cheeks, high cheekbones. so very attractive. i really do need to move to europe. amsterdam anyone?? :-)

i haven't been sleeping well lately. lots of questions running through my head. what it comes down to is that my life doesn't look like i want it to. nor does it look like the picture God has painted, the vision He's cast. i remember telling aaron one night that i don't know what else to do but take the next step on my current path. the problem is that every step feels like it moves me farther away from the things i truly want: a home. a family. a thriving, effective youth ministry.
then i'm reminded of the israelites. they were promised a land of abundance and peace, only to be led into the desert and pursued by a vast army moments later. i'm reminded of the lessons they had to learn. the faith that had to be built.
i'm also reminded that the Promise Land had to be taken. it had to be fought for. God's word to the israelites was "I've given this land to you, go and defeat these armies and take it." they didn't just walk in and start building sub-divisions. armies had to be defeated. nations destroyed.
so the promise land, God's vision for our lives, has to be taken. it has to be fought for and obtained. because in that fighting, strength is gained. along with wisdom. patience. faith. and gratitude once the battle has been won.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


sitting here at the internet cafe, and this song comes on the radio.
'cool night' by paul davis.
hardcore old school song.
it always reminds me one particular night when i was in jr. high
my mom and i were living in kansas city. my aunt had come to visit and we decided to go to 'worlds of fun' (kansas city's version of cedar point). they always had free concerts during the summer. this particular night, it was paul davis. my mom and aunt really liked him, and i knew the one song, so we decided to go see him play.
and it was perfect.
he played that song, it was his encore, of course, because it was his most popular song. i was sitting there with my mom and my aunt. it was a perfect summer night. the stars were out. there a just a hint of a breeze. warm enough for short sleeves but not so cool that you needed a jacket. i remember sitting in between my mom and my aunt, and it was one of those moments that's "right". know what i mean? one of those moments that, if there was such a thing as the planets aligning and all the world being just right, it was happening right then. a snapshot of a memory that's filled with feelings of love, safety, contentment. peace. one of the few times in my life when i felt a true sense of peace.

man i love that song

Saturday, September 03, 2005


the last couple days have been hard.
i'm involved in some cool stuff. project311, my own writing, stuff at church.
but the truth is... i'm sad.
i'm lonely.
putting this stuff together requires a lot of solitude. sitting at the computer typing away at emails, article, proposals, etc. and sometimes it's really hard.
i miss having that group of friends that was always around. you know what i mean? that group that you always do stuff with. that group that you're a part of. i miss being a part of something. instead, i'm just a part. separated. at least that's how it feels.
it's like there's a disconnect that's created when you're trying to get something up and running. a certain distance that happens. like a team coach that doesn't hang out with his team 'cause he's busy strategizing, planning and building. or like Jesus. i think He felt alone, alot. He was working and walking towards something that no one really understood. that no one could really see. i'm sure there must have been times of heartbreaking lonliness. of course, even Jesus had His twelve. i'd settle for just two.
either way, there's this nearly unexplainable sense of separation. maybe it's just 'cause this world isn't really home. or maybe i'm just not very good at letting people in.
i feel kinda lame, writing this out on a blog site. but there's something theraputic about typing it out. like if i don't let it pass from my heart to my fingertips, through the keyboard and onto the screen, it'll just keep swimming around in my head and my heart.
and i'd rather it not do that.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

reason #151 why i love teenagers...

here's the I.M that accompanied this pic:

giraffe lab: omg stefanie i'm so glad you're online
Sira Kebbeh 99: hey girl! how are you?
giraffe lab: i'm great. but i found a picture of you and me that's sooooooo cute and i want to show it to you

seriously. how can you not love that?! :)