Archive for the 'friends' Category

the 3 c’s necessary for divinity school

it was just about a year ago, that a colleague and i were having lunch and talking about what i might do after my job came to end just a few months later. i shared that i’d always wanted to go back to school. and she challenged, almost dared me, to consider studying theology and to start by checking out the divinity school at vanderbilt.  i’ll always be grateful to lesleigh for that conversation. it was the beginning of what has been an incredible journey.

Vanderbilt Divinity Schoolnow, one year later, i’ve just completed my first year of divinity school and working towards a masters of theology. i’d like to share the 3 things that have helped me survive, and even thrive, in div school. and actually they aren’t ‘things’–they’re three categories of people: a chaplain, coaches, and cheerleaders.

it didn’t take me long to realize that in a university-based divinity school, one’s faith is going to be stretched and challenged.  divinity school is not for the faint of heart, nor faint of faith. to navigate this, i needed a solid sounding board as my faith has been challenged and has grown.  jim is my amazing senior pastor.  long before i started school, i respected his leadership and his theology.  and as he is a former youth pastor and military chaplain, he is also very direct which i also appreciate.  jim has been my chaplain. he has patiently listened and been a sounding board and helped me process things that have been challenging and sometimes confusing. and he’s also been direct about making sure i have stayed focus on the things that really matter in the midst of all this learning.

going back to school after many years away is a bit intimidating.  academia is certainly a distinct subculture and the transition brought a little bit of culture shock.  but i’ve had two friends in particular, amy jacober and andrew zirschky, who have helped me understand the culture and learn to navigate. and they’ve both been great about being resources as i’ve had questions about research or best practices or study skills.  and andrew especially has been an excellent sounding board for papers and projects. andrew and amy have been my academic coaches.

finally, there have been my cheerleaders who have been numerous! these are the friends who’ve encouraged me, supported me, reminded me that i’m capable and that i’m more than just a gpa.  they’ve let me vent and occasionally whine.  they’ve commiserated and celebrated with me.  i’m so grateful for the love and encouragement of so many who’ve cheered me on!

to my chaplain, my coaches, and my cheerleaders: thank you! you have made this first year of school so much richer because of your presence!

great new music today on itunes

i’m so excited for my friend and worship artist vicky beeching! her new 3 song EP released today on itunes! you can get it here: vicky beeching ep on itunes.  it has 3 new songs and is a teaser for her new full-length CD in april.

if you aren’t familiar with vicky and her music, let me introduce you. vicky hails from across the pond, england that is. she’s oxford educated in theology. i’ve had the chance to get to know her and besides being brilliant, talented (and english), what i appreciate most about her is her transparency. vicky has this graceful way of embodying a lifestyle that integrates worship, evangelism, and justice. she openly shares her hope in jesus with those she encounters. vicky cares deeply about justice especially human trafficking.  and her music reflects all of this.

on her ep, there is a song called deliverer. as i listened to it the first time, it struck something deep in me that brought tears. even as teary as i often am, i can’t remember a song having that effect on me. the song is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in transforming us. it’s stuck with me for a couple weeks now.

but you don’t have to take my word for it: get to know vicky over at her blog. and check out her EP today on itunes.

update: the full cd is now available on itunes. go ahead & treat yourself to the download today!

belay on

belay: To secure (a mountain climber, for example) at the end of a length of rope.

when belaying someone, the belayer when ready says “belay on”. this command lets the climber know the belayer is ready to keep them safe. the climber responds “on belay” to let the belayer know they’ve clipped in and are now depending on them for safety.

i have a friend who’s going thru a difficult time. i want to help them but i feel helpless to do so. i’ve offered my prayers and encouragement as i can and while i know prayer is the most important thing, my prayers feel small and meager.

for some reason, i started thinking about belaying. it’s so tangible when you’re belaying someone. you feel the tension on the rope, you pull out slack or give the climber slack in the rope as requested. it’s a tactile way of helping a friend, of keeping them physically safe.

if there’s such a thing as an emotional belay, i say to my friend, belay on. i’m here for you. i only wish such a thing could be as tangible as the rope belay.

i get by with a little help from my friends

if you want a clue into the friendships of women, check out sex and the city. i really love this show. i totally don’t relate to all the casual sex and picking up men (i’m just way too shy to pick up guys and too old fashioned for casual sex), but i do relate to the single angst, relationship woes and friendships. tonite’s episode was about carrie’s 35th birthday, about feeling alone and growing old. and it was her girlfriends who came along, who celebrated her, who reminded her she really wasn’t alone. i get that. those kinds of girlfriends are the ones who make life a little easier and a lot more fun. i’m so grateful to have a few of those kinds of girlfriends in my life.

lately i’ve been processing the whole growing old alone thing on a really deeply personal level. and in the midst i have a few friends who are sticking by me, reminding me i’m not alone. i’m so grateful for these friends. i couldn’t get by without them.

the ho shirt goes to mister tiki’s

friday night i donned the ho shirt and headed out to mister tiki mai tai lounge with my friends. they were taking me out to celebrate my 38th birthday. it was way too much fun…we laughed and ate and laughed and drank and laughed and ate some more. if you’re ever in san diego, i totally recommend you check out mister tiki’s… get the feast. lots of fun, lots of food, but as is often the case, i’m easily distracted by way yummy food. so back to the topic at hand…

we (the women of my small group and a couple other friends)were going out to the gaslamp–an opportunity to wear the ho shirt. since we were leaving right after work, i brought it to work. it hung around my cube for the day…one of the guys in my office area tried to get one of the other guys to try it on…i think the shirt was more than a little afraid. fortunately, he declined and the shirt was safe. i changed into it at the end of the day and headed out to meet the girls…i must say the shirt was quite complimented and admired, even while it was on the hanger…but as much fun as the ho shirt and i had (really you don’t expect me to tell all, do you?)there is something i realized while we were out celebrating

i’m so blessed… i’m blessed with friends who made me feel extra special, who know me…friends who care about me, who put up with the good and the bad of me and choose to help me celebrate… i’m so blessed by this group of women…by their presence in my life, by who they are and who they encourage me to be…

so thank you my friends…for my wonderful birthday celebration, for your gifts, for your kindness, but most of all for being who you are and sharing your life with me.


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