The 4 stages of Nashville.*

Unmitigated Awe. You develop almost instinctively a respect for the variety of people, style choices, and coffee preferences; a respect that causes you to defend strangers on the street to your tourist relatives.

 

Unfortunate Prejudice. You suddenly know with great conviction that the coffee shop (or coffee parlor, if you will) that you frequent is far superior to that other one around the corner half a block up in that abandoned gas station, and God help you if you actually drink the stuff they call coffee at the one where you sit on high stools and communicate your order to the barista using only your eyes.

Ubiquitous Cynicism. Somewhere along the way (and transition into this stage is almost imperceptible), your first response starts to become “yeah, ok”. You doubt that anyone is doing anything just because they like it; you doubt that anything can change; you doubt that anything can stay the same; you question all things and all people.

Unfaltering Pride. You’ve seen it, heard it, felt it, and now this is your city. Weird or not, elite or not, ridiculous or not, you love the people, the sights, the sounds, and heaven knows you’ll throw serious shade on anyone who dares to question anything about it.

*These stages are mostly sarcastic, developed mainly for entertainment purposes only, and represent the opinions of the author solely, not all of Nashville. (so calm down, Nashvillians.)

GIF LIFE.

Home from camp. And I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything. Here’s a quick look back and forward for those of you still faithfully keeping up with me.

How I feel about being home

The things I’m going to be doing for the next week:

My reaction so far to wanting to talk about camp:

(but my feelings in 1 picture that’s worth 1,000 words):

ttyl. xoxo -j

 

CAMP.gif

It’s time. If you’re not up to speed on camp lingo, this will probably be a super lame waste of your time. If you are, then you’re about to get the fastest most accurate and thorough update of my summer.

This year, I am Program Director. A fact that when I told most people who know both Fuge and me got this reaction from them:

So basically what that means is that I manage stage/program elements. At first I felt a little like this about getting to run mornings and worships:

Then we finished training week, and my staff is great, and my leadership team is AMAZING (and supportive), so I started being more like this when people referenced me being PD:

I won’t even play, there was a learning curve for sure, but as I love learning new things, and organizing things, and music, and (theoretically) people, it was fun figuring it out! There have been a few curve balls though, so for discretion and the sake of being kosher, I will leave you to apply the thousand words each of these pictures/elements deserve:

When bands want 3 hours of rehearsal a day

When I have to control House Lights by Flipping Breakers (and also get staff to be on time/listen at any point ever)

When I’m in charge of Planning AND Running Mega Relay

When I have to repeat myself, which is pretty much all the time, every time I say anything, ever.

When the band asks for more rehearsal time after camp is in full swing even when they’re not on time for what they already have.

When I move, reconnect, loop, and test all my lights. And they work properly!

When the Sound Guys are on my side.

When campers don’t know who I am AND LITERALLY SHUN ME FROM THEIR CONVERSATIONS

The Band saying they REALLY need like 3 hours to rehearse

So I guess at the end of the day, this is how I feel about being a PD. It’s cray, but I kind of love it.

New Places, New Faces.

I went to Cheekwood for the first time a few days ago with my friend Carrie (don’t worry R.F. we’ll go again!) And their current exhibit “Treehouses” was so so fun! I think I’ll share some of my favorites with the quotes they attached to them.

Carrie & I & a bamboo forrest.

If you have a chance to go to Cheekwood, you should. And take a picnic. And a friend.

“The Rainbow Fish shared his scales left and right, and the more he gave away, the more delighted he became. When the water around him filled with glimmering scales, he at last felt at home among the other fish.” -Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish, 1992

 

still talkin’ ’bout site babies.

One of my favorite moments happened after the first day doing ministry. And it was a sweet middle school boy, seeing the Lord. In debrief he said, “It was so cool how all the kids were different; they were all really unique. […] A lot of them were shy in the morning when they first came, but then by the end of the day everyone was laughing and having so much fun.”

Like I’ve said before, working camp changes your life. Some days I still get emotional and feel broken over who I know I’ve left behind at the end of my summers. Often I see their faces before I go to sleep every night. I laugh when I recall all the ways they made up to pronounce my name/get my attention, and I cry because I remember every word, about the Lord, that fell from their lips, full of hurt and misunderstanding.

But every part of what I learned about people who aren’t exactly like me and my family and my church was worth it. I miss my site babies, always. I don’t know that they’ll stay with me forever, but they have for 3+ years now, and the lessons I learned from them became a part of my character. That’s why it was so exciting to hear this sweet middle school boy be astounded by how creative our God is when He makes us, and how redeeming the love He has can be.

Processing.

Manchester, KY

This past week I got to go on my first mission trip with RHCC where we went to KY and worked with a ministry called Big Creek Missions. It was just the most wonderful group of people, and I think we got to experience some cool things together…I’m processing a lot still though, so I’m just going to share a few things I semi-blogged (in a stickies note on my computer) about while I was there.

One of the first days we were there I heard someone say this:

“I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that they would just not do anything. What does someone do when they don’t work or try to find somewhere to work all day? What are they doing with their lives?”

I don’t think she was necessarily wrong in asking this question. I think it’s one that could be answered in several ways, by some hastily and without understanding, and certainly by those in the situation,  with honesty.

However, it made me think of something.

Isn’t this case the same with most of us? We’re Christians with purpose and position in the kingdom, yet too often we waste away. Not seeking His glory, not desiring His name. We “do” things, sure; we’re a doing people and we can stay busy like nobody else. But when it comes to living to our potential, we so often, sit stagnantly, not doing anything. We don’t try anything. And we don’t even notice it.

How sad.

What a complete waste of who we are and what we have to never make a difference. To never live as though we are on mission for Christ. I hope that in reflection I can see God directing a willing child giving her all to His cause. I hope I’m living my faith.

12.27.2010

so if you’ve been with me for any decent amount of time you’ll know that the day after christmas last year i went to brazil. it was an amazing trip, but probably the hardest thing i’ve done in my life because of what the Lord taught me while there. i journaled on that trip because i like to write and i know how memories work; to remember accurately i would need proof. tonight i decided to read through that journal, honestly a little apprehensive of what i was going to find. what i found though, was conviction. serious and overwhelming conviction. but also a lot of truth and beauty.

i decided to share some of those things. i know it’s ridiculous, but i’m kind of afraid of doing so (like i’ll probably schedule them to post at like sunrise, so only people who truly want to read my ramblings will ever know they’re here), but again with the conviction, i know that i experienced those things and that season for a purpose, so who am i to say sharing isn’t what it is?

this is the first i’ll share. i was still journey-ing at this point; i remember actually looking our the window while writing this on the plane at 30,000 feet.

the way i see it, life’s kind of like the clouds and the sky and the plane flying through them. it’s so calm and flat, so indiscernible. you know there are things beyond the clouds, but all you can see is the flat expanse of the heavens. serenity–if you let it be–if you don’t project panic into it–if you don’t let your fear strangle the awe out of it. then suddenly and almost without warning you dip past the clouds. the ambiguity disappears and is replaced by innumerable shapes and colors and textures. things were happening there all the while, yet you couldn’t see any of it. if you’re patient, if you let God reveal Himself to you in the silence and solitude, He will eventually let you see the orchestration. He conducts so beautifully.

 

KeeKee.

This is KeeKee…and a friend. This sweet cherub is the most loving and sweet child on my site. I really love getting hugs from her every day; honestly, without them, some days would almost be unbearable. I adore the way she says “Mizz Janna” and how her smile completely lights up her entire face. She’s funny too, and inquisitve, and she reminds me of this Precious best friend of mine, Reagan.