Wednesday, July 30, 2014

She Wanted to End her Life | Staci's Story on Suicide & Depression

I have a story to share today. It's not my own, but it is the story of over 30,000 people each year. This might be you. This might be a friend. This might be a daughter or son or niece or grandchild.

My very brave friend, Staci, tells her story of battling against suicide and depression, knowing there are more like her out there.

Where light shines, darkness has no place. Consider this a sunbeam.

Want to connect with Staci? Leave a comment or send an email and it will be forwarded to her! You can also connect with her on her own blog, Unearthing Eden

Monday, July 28, 2014

Office Hours

“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own.” 

One thing I love about this team is that we are all extremely different. It can be a source of contention sometimes. But that's a whole other post. Today is about how we're working to open up the lines of communication. 

Six people. Six different backgrounds. Six angles on theology. Six preferences on worship. And those six have to make each weekend work well. 

The secret? Talking. 

As awkward as it can get, talking has been what's unified us most. We're trying not to assume on our team. We're learning to ask questions and really understand where each other's coming from. Hashing out philosophies and hurt feelings, sorting through the good and bad ideas, trusting the other person has our heart in mind. Because we know, all the talent and anointing in the world can easily be irrelevant if tainted by division. 

And so far, it's bid us well. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunday's Set | Shoreline North Campus

Oceans (Hillsong) | Always Will (Hillsong) | Alive (Hillsong) | Forever (Kari Jobe) | Hosanna (Hillsong) | Sixty One (Shoreline)

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I am so proud of the team Ty and I have joined at Shoreline Church. Between the staff and volunteers, there are so many talents hands and brains that go into each of the services. To be honest, we're still soaking it all in. (And I swear I'm not making the "skinny arm" in this shot. I don't actually know what I'm doing. #typical)

If you'd like to watch our weekend live, it streams Sundays at 9AM & 11AM Central Time

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Giving Up My Husband's Holiness

It was our third anniversary and my parents gave us their last weekend at their timeshare in Lake Tahoe. While we'd never experienced the glorious beauty of the west lake, in every mention of where we were going, people would rave. I mean raaaaave about it's beauty.

It'll make you think of heaven, one friend said. Especially when the water is still and glassy.

If only I'd known how much prophecy was percolating in her words.

We checked in, grabbed some dinner, and then decided to take a little drive around the lake.

Now, those of you who've been to Lake Tahoe know that "little" and "lake" aren't quite companions.

We drove in silence for the first 30 minutes, both lost in our own thoughts about the last three years.  Another 30 minutes passed of small talk about how beautiful the lake really was. Then I blurted, How big is this lake?!" 

We laughed.

And then I started crying.
And then Tyson, like the average guy, was utterly and totally confused.

You see, when we began our drive around the lake, I remembered my friends words about heaven and glassy and stillness. Man, it does look like heaven. Or at least what we perceive heaven to be. I can't wait for heaven. I can't wait for the Ctrl+Alt+Dlt button on life. Although I love my life, I know heaven will be greater. 

Wait, how do I know that? How I do know God is just going to start everything over? That goes against everything we know about Him. He is a Creator, an architect, a designer and a lover of beautiful things. He takes His time. He owns time. (Click to tweet.)

So what would cause me to think that in the new heaven and new earth, all things will cease to exist as they currently are?

Tradition maybe? Bible flannel graphs? End times debacles and Armageddon tales?

But if what I know about my God, the Creator, is true, then He is currently making all things new. Without obliterating them first.

Which means, speaking directly into my situation, He is making me new.
Which means, He is making Ty new too. Right now.

That's when the tear broke the dam of responsibility.

I am not responsible for my husband’s holiness. God is. 

At the time, his sin seemed way worse than mine, because, well, I had a scale by which I measured them. No matter my good intentions. Up until that point, I was so focused on purging him and "helping him," I lost sight of him. I was so focused on the him sin was clinging to and not the him God created. The eternal parts of him. The parts that matter.

The husband. The musician. The artist. The man of his word. The integrity. The loyal. The steadfast. The committed. The fighter. The hard-worker. The warrior. The victor.

Focusing on the temporal was prohibiting my view of the eternal. The beautiful, magnificent, mind blowing eternal. (Click it to tweet it.)
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This is why I wept. I started to get uncomfortable with the silence because my thoughts were so far ahead of me, into a territory of faith and grace I'd only wished for, and I was afraid to talk about it. Especially with my husband.

Why? Because he knew me. He knew my prones and wanderings. He knew my fear and my lashes.

And what I was mulling over for the last hour had gone from curious contemplation to a big-huge-marriage-turning confession.

Babe, are you ok? He asked.

No, I'm not okay. I need to apologize to you for the last three years. 

I was faking forgiveness as best I could. I tried to control situations and circumstances as "preventative" measures for this man of God I'd married. And while I liked to think it was all for him, it was actually because I was terrified of losing my fairytale. My Christian fairytale.

Until the lake.
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I'm sorry, I mustered through the ugly crying. I'm so sorry for only seeing the temporal ugly fading parts of you and completely missing the eternal parts of you. I'm sorry for holding so tightly to your holiness and not giving you freedom in our marriage. I'm sorry for holding your sin over your head in the most Christian way possible. 

I'm done.
 No more. I want to be a safe place for you from this moment forward. 

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That day, we were set free. Again.

And now that I think about it, I'm going to refer to that day as our second marriage.

We committed again. We laughed again. And we continued on our marital journey with fresh faces and clean hands.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Office Hours

I'm currently hashing my way through a post on what it's like working in the job I only dreamed existed. The pros far outweigh the cons, but there's a lot less glamour in the church worship world than people think. And to be honest, people think glamour because, well, that's what we show you.

The Starbucks meetings, the microphones, the lights, the big crowds and amazing sets. And while I thoroughly enjoy those aspects of the job, there are other, not-so-glamorous responsibilities and meetings that are just as, if not more important.

I get to go to work with some amazing people. Talented people. Real people. And I don't think it's fair to any of us, especially in the church world, to make this line of work out to be as pretty as a perfectly poured latte.

If you look through my Instagram, you'll see I am totally at fault for this.

So in the name of demystification, you'll see some more behind the scenes photos here. The real ones. Of our team talking, typing, writing, possibly debating. Unstrung guitars and cord filled stages. Boxes that the guys  some people can't seem to get rid of. Maybe even some post Sunday tonsils. jk. #itsnotpretty

This is going to be fun yea? See ya Sunday!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday's Set | Shoreline South Campus

Always Will (Hillsong), Sixty One (Shoreline), Thank You Jesus (Hillsong), Oceans (Hillsong), Jesus Paid It All (Hymn), Forever (Kari Jobe & Brian Johnson)

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What worship song do you have on repeat right now? Mine: Victor's Crown

Friday, July 18, 2014

If We Were On a Coffee Date | No. 5

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'll probably never camp again. Especially in Alaska.

If we were on a coffee date, you'd probably ask me why.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd chuckle and then tell you about the super cold nights, the nasty welt biting mosquitos, the bears (ok, we didn't actually see bears, but the rangers did), how many layers I put on Sym at night, the infection, and the flu. All. in. one. week. #wooooo But we did find a super cute ice cream shop! #silverlining

If we were on a coffee date, half of you would pity me and the other half would laugh at me. If you're in the laughing half, our date would end here. JK. #kinda

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you've ever been camping and where and if it was out of free will or persuasion.

If we were on a coffee date, we'd then talk about our likes and dislikes about camping and then probably Alaska and then probably about traveling in general. Do you like to travel? I love it. Except camping. haha.

If we were on a coffee date, what would you have to tell me?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Little Seed that Made Me Blub

Let's be completely honest here, good kids books are hard to come by. Like really good kids books. We all have our favorite Dr. Suess (Are You My Mother?), or and we all sing and cry at the end of Love You Forever. Those are given. Can I get an amen? 

But when it comes to finding books, not just with good morals or "life lessons," but solid theological stimulation, Ty and I have come up pretty empty handed.

Until we discovered Graham Blanchard Books.

As I read Little Seed to Symphony, I was impressed with how much truth they packed into this tiny board book. Purpose, seasons of life, calling, strength, perseverance.

The story takes your child on a journey of this little sunflower seed that goes through the summer and winter and fall seasons, weathered yet protected by its tough, God given shell and finally takes root at it's final destination and blooms into this tall, strong, beautiful sunflower.

Confession: I bawled at the end of it.

But not because the sunflower blooms. Although, if you've read here for a while, you know things blooming, especially people, really get me.

I cried because the very last page of the book (spoiler alert) says, "One fall day, its seeds drifted to the ground...and so the life of one Little See became the life of many."

Thus, teaching my child that life isn't all about her! It's about legacy. It's about generations. It's about each of us living into our callings right where we are and then passing the baton. 

To think that we could teach a new generation these principles from early childhood; they'd be unstoppable. 

They'd have less tendency to see short-term ahead and a greater capacity to dream wide and long and far. 

There is no limit to legacy. (Click it to tweet it!) And I'm so thankful Graham Blanchard is fanning that flame.

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Symphony and I were gifted books (Little Seed, Close as Breath, & Jesus Saves Me) from Graham Blanchard Publishers. But all review and flamboyant approval and chatter is entirely my own. Let the record show I love them and the books they're creating for my child. 
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If you're new to this space, I usually reserve Mom talk for Thursdays. This isn't a mom blog. But I do blog and I am a mom. So naturally, it leaks through ;) 
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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