Apr 29, 2010

thankful on a thursday-simple things

I love that when life feels overwhelming it seems it's always something small that resets my perspective. This week has been full of little things, each one refocusing, re-turning me toward my Center. This week I am thankful for little things:
  1. A glimpse of the sunset on a week without sunrise.
  2. Walking home in the rain on purpose.
  3. Navy blue nail polish.
  4. A fresh, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
  5. Honest conversation.
  6. Pie for breakfast.
  7. Sharing a meal with friends.
  8. Silly games after youth group.
  9. Rainbows just outside my kitchen window.
  10. Lilacs in bloom all over Portland.

Apr 28, 2010


...a walk home in the rain is just what my spirit needs.

Apr 26, 2010

that's a lot of gratitude

I was thinking about this on Thursday, that after a year of Thankful on a Thursday posts, I will have a list of 520 things for which I am thankful. They probably won't be 520 entirely different things because I'm pretty sure I mention that I'm thankful for coffee almost every week. But it will still be quite the list. I am looking forward to looking backward, to rereading and remembering. And, even though it's not Thursday, I am thankful for Nish and this wonderful idea of hers. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you're missing out.

Now, did somebody say something about coffee....?

Apr 23, 2010

a lovely friday

I found this months ago, but never posted it. I find it absolutely delightful.

Apparently it was one of the 2009 Cannes Lion Winners...not that I know what that means.

Apr 22, 2010

thankful on a thursday-short and sweet

No introductory thoughts tonight.

Just this list of things I am thankful for:
  1. The conviction that comes from the simple, honest observation of high school students.
  2. Honesty.
  3. Good news from the doctor about my hip.
  4. A weekend away in Bellevue.
  5. Rides to and from youth group and the conversations that take place, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always awesome.
  6. A themed movie night with a friend.
  7. Prayer.
  8. My relationship with my dad.
  9. Reconciliation.
  10. The lilacs blooming.

Apr 15, 2010

thankful on a thursday—lovely, joyful

Today my heart is filled with gratitude. Today I am thankful before I get to the place in this post where I write my list. Today I am filled to overflowing—this WEEK I am filled to overflowing.

Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's what lies ahead. Maybe it's what I've left behind. Or maybe it is all of those things wrapped up in Goodness and Mercy and Love and Faithfulness raining down on me like the petals of the cherry blossoms when the east wind whips up the Gorge and down the streets of Portland.

I am thankful...
  1. For sunshine and spring green leaves burgeoning from every tree and flower bed I pass.
  2. For free 12oz iced coffee from Stumptown.
  3. For a weekend at the coast with high school students who show me what God looks like, who teach me how to love, who show me my heart has so much more room in it.
  4. For capture the flag filled evenings, rediscovering my inner child, army crawling through dirt and falling over tree trunks.
  5. For scripture that trips me up and causes me to look deeper and draw closer.
  6. For the possibility of what lies ahead.
  7. For a weekend away with Lizzy and Briby.
  8. For words of encouragement that water the dreams I long to see bud and flower.
  9. For belly aching laughter that turns to tears.
  10. For Joy that has nothing to do with happiness.

Apr 9, 2010

glasses please

I love discovering videos like this on Friday. It almost makes it feel like the weekend has come early.

I Am A Girl - The Girls With Glasses Theme Song from The Girls With Glasses on Vimeo.

beach retreat

The Imago high school youth group beach retreat is this weekend. It has been over THREE YEARS since I've been on any sort of youth retreat. I am so looking forward to this time. I love the way the students let go and step outside their comfort zones. I love the silliness and seriousness that soaks into each moment.

If you're reading this and have a minute, I'd love your prayers for safe travels; honest, God-filled conversation; and wisdom and discernment for all of us leaders as we talk with the students.

Whether it's 45 and pouring down rain or 65 and sunny, I can't wait for this weekend

Apr 8, 2010

thankful on a thursday

I feel exposed, and I don't like it. There used to be walls I could hide behind when life got hard or I didn't want to engage. I look around, searching for my self-built fortress, and all I find is the remainder of soggy cardboard boxes painted to look like stone. Its temporary and ineffective nature exposed, I find myself out in the open, standing on a rocky outcrop, staring out at the slate gray sea and stormy skies. Seeking protection from the impending storm, I look around amidst the soggy cardboard to find I'm standing inside the foundation of what will become something more, something stronger. A lasting fortress, not meant to keep people out, built to protect from the storms of this life.
  1. In my emptiness, He comes in and fills me up.
  2. Blue sky and sunshine in the exact spot I stood waiting for the bus this morning.
  3. Early morning adventures full of grace and never-ending love.
  4. The way praising Him always turns my heart around, reorienting me toward His Goodness.
  5. The understanding that resurrection means NEW LIFE.
  6. A weekend away with high school students, living, loving, playing and learning more about Jesus.
  7. The smell of coffee early in the morning.
  8. Living in Truth is better than hiding behind lies.
  9. A weekend with my cousinsisterbestfriend in her new home.
  10. The sound of the wind outside my window.
  11. My story is not finished.

Apr 7, 2010

these are my confessions

Nish and her good blogging ideas...first it was Thankful on a Thursday, which I look forward to every week, and now it's public confession.

The first time I encountered confession outside of Catholicism was in Don Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I admired the way he wrote about it from a distance, never considering I'd experience it for myself. Fast forward to May of 2009 and, with two strangers during a prayer meeting at church, I confessed my sins out loud for the first time ever. After my confession, one of the women in my group affirmed my forgiveness, saying, "Haley, in Jesus' name you are forgiven." It was an incredibly powerful experience.

So, after reading Nish's blog today, I thought a bit of public confession might be in order. It's one thing to confess in the privacy of my own head, or in prayer with a close friend or two, it's another thing to post them on the internet. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of these confessions are relatively new discoveries. Putting them out there, being honest about them, is part of forgiveness and part of the freedom I want to live in.
  • I am selfish.
  • I have serious entitlement issues.
  • I have a terrible relationship history.
  • I am judgmental of others and myself.
  • I listen to Lady Gaga, loving every minute of it.
  • I use humor as a way to diffuse uncomfortable situations.
  • I have a hard time forgiving myself.
  • I am a prideful person.
  • I have serious control issues.
  • I struggle to see others as individuals, not projects to be fixed.

Apr 2, 2010

black friday

A few weeks ago one of the pastors at my church said, "When people ask you when you were saved, the correct answer is 'when Jesus died on the cross.'" I'd never thought about it like that before. I had always thought the Resurrection was the point. I was always searching for some personally definitive moment or experience that would define my moment of salvation, when in reality, just like God says, it has already been accomplished.

It is so easy to focus on the Resurrection because at that point there is rejoicing and glory. The tomb is empty! He is risen! But what about Friday? What about Saturday? What was it like to see Jesus on the cross bearing the full weight of sin? What was it like for Peter to deny his beloved Savior; only to later watch Him hang there—each breath requiring more effort from His frail, beaten body—dying? What was it like for the other disciples, who walked with Jesus so closely, who saw and heard more than we will ever know, to then see the life leave His body after crying out to His Father wondering why He had forsaken His only Son?

Selfishly I am thankful that I did not have to live those two days. It is difficult enough to sit and imagine what those 48 hours were like. My God is so near. Always. What would it be like to watch what could only have seemed like complete and utter defeat? How dark that Friday must have been. How lonely each of Jesus' followers must have felt—a loneliness deep enough to rip your heart in two as though it were the curtain of the temple itself.

Apr 1, 2010

thankful on a thursday

Full and empty all at the same time, that's how my mind feels tonight. Attempts to sort through my thoughts are easily derailed. I am overwhelmed by all the things on "Things to Sort Through and Figure Out" list. How do I make my way through all these thoughts? What is the best way?

Though it doesn't negate the inner confusion, gratitude provides much needed respite.
  1. Francine Rivers' vocabulary.
  2. Understanding a bit more HTML
  3. Adventures with friends.
  4. The way church lasts all day on Sunday.
  5. His incomprehensible love.
  6. The smell of freshly ground coffee.
  7. Brand new running shorts.
  8. Letters that arrive in my mailbox not my inbox.
  9. Tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert.
  10. Pictures of my lovely, sweet little niece that arrive at least daily via my phone.