Friday, January 16, 2009


I think the #1 thing on my list is reading. My first memories of reading are bittersweet. I remember being so excited to start kindergarten because in kindergarten, you learn to read. I went to my first day wit high hopes; met my teacher, played on the playground with the boy next door, and came home crying. I hadn't learned to read yet. And from then on, I've been hooked.

My grandma visited in August and brought with her a box of books. Many of them are written by Jane Kirkpatrick - an Oregon resident and author of mainly Northwest Historical Fiction. I just finished the second to last book in the box and may have to resort to re-reading favorites, which is my tendency when there are no new books. :)

Jane's books include the beautiful stories and scenery of the Northwest (as well as a few other US locations, including Florida and the entire length of the Oregon Trail) but what I have found most inspiring is her inclusion of salvation stories and relationships with Christ and the characters.

I finished Mystic Sweet Communion last night and came across this passage which convicted, inspired, and encouraged me:

"I guess my greatest prayer is to be faithful to the path I think God set me on, Pink, to take care of things, right wrongs. That I wouldn't let fear or my own willfulness get in His way. That's what I hope. It's a good question you've asked. A very good question, indeed."

This sentiment is a perfect description of how I feel about ministry. I feel God has set me on this path and that there are tasks and relationships and wrongs that I can affect. But, like the imperfect human that I am, I sometimes let "fear or my own willfulness" get in the way of God's plan for me.

I've been mulling this thought over in my mind since late last night and it's helped me reignite some passion that I've lost amid administration and data entry (which are important and enjoyable for me). But my heart and soul come alive when I think about righting wrongs for students. When I think about showing them how to succeed in school and the surge of confidence when a topic is finally grasped. And behind all of that is the hope and expectation that God will touch their lives and show Himself to them as a Father, Friend, Savior.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What Are Margins?

There is a valuable member of the pastoral team at my church who teaches on "margins". Not only does she do a great job teaching on this idea, but she makes it very applicable to the lives of ladies. So, let me explain what margins are and why this blog is one of them.

We all have busy lives. And, especially women, we find ourselves losing who we are amidst the schedules. Pastor Jill uses the word margins because it is a positive way of looking at boundaries. In printing, a margin gives order and space to text. Imagine reading a book with no margins! It would stress me out!

In the margins of our lives is where character is developed, where we know God, where we breathe. It is the in the margins that we are filled up so we can continue to pour out in our busy, busy lives.

In her teaching, Jill encourages us to list out the things that drain us and the things that fill us. Some of the things that drain can be eliminated, but many of them cannot. And often, at least for me, I find that I don't do the things that fill me up.

This blog is a place where I can collect the things that fill me up and serve as technological accountability (oh yeah, I just said that) to continue to do them.

My prayer for 2009:
God, please take my offering of this year. This year I want to serve you with every fiber of my being. I know it will cost a lot and that there will be times that I don't want to. But I ask that in your faithful, gentle way you would remind me of this promise. I commit my heart to finding and knowing you within my margins so that I can pour out on your children the truth, peace, love, and joy having a relationship with you brings. With all my heart. Amen.