You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

So, my mentor recommended “The Inner Voice of Love” to me back in November and I ordered it but never read it.  I never read – which I need to work on – but anyway.

While I was typing my blog last night, I was thinking about the various voices around me that I’ve heard throughout this process.  Most have been encouraging.  Other people are feeling the same way.  My mentor was so encouraging.  Graham told me “You’re not the same person you were when you were 22” esssentially saying that maybe the church is not the best fit anymore.  He has just been through a similar situation and I’ve seen how he has flourished after taking a step out – he’s an inspiration, for sure.  There have been voices not as positive as those, though.

However, I saw on facebook yesterday that my friend Brooke “became a fan of” Henri Nouwen and it reminded me of my unread “Inner Voice of Love.”  I picked it up last night and you’re supposed to read it slowly – as a devotional almost, but I kept turning the pages.  I couldn’t stop.  Every sentence seems so carefully crafted to strike at your core and get past your walls and get all the way to your heart and help bring healing.  It’s amazing so far.

So, a few seemed to apply to my current heart-situations… One is too personal and has to do with all of the blogs I deleted last month, haha but here is one that applies to last night’s blog:

Trust the Inner Voice

Do you really want to be converted?  Are you willing to be transformed?  Or do you keep clutching your old ways of life with one hand while the other you beg people to help you change?

Conversion is certainly not something you can bring about yourself.  It is not a question of willpower.  You have to trust the inner voice that shows the way.  You know that inner voice.  You turn to it often.  But after you have heard with clarity what you are asked to do, you start raising questions, fabricating objections, and seeking everyone else’s opinion.  Thus you become entangled in countless often contradictory thoughts, feelings, and ideas and lose touch with the God in you.  And you end up dependent on all the people you have gathered around you.

Only by attending constantly to the inner voice can you be converted to a new life of freedom and joy.

Now, obviously I think it’s important to have wise people around you helping you discern and figure things out… but maybe I should trust that inner voice more.

And maybe I shouldn’t blog about huge life decisions before they happen and get people’s opinions.  ha.  Don’t be surprised if that post disappears soon, ha.  It’s something that I haven’t even voiced with my fellowship group as a whole, so I feel bad about posting it online first…  but we meet tonight and I will definitely bring it up.

I’m in a really strange place right now.  I’ve felt for weeks that I’m on the cusp of a new adventure – that God has brought me to a specific place and I just need to take a step in faith to see where he leads me.  When I was home for Christmas, I was itching to get back here and enact change.  I came up with new ideas every day of ways I could change my environment or life.  I could paint my bedroom, I could build shelves in the living room, I could paint the living room, I could buy a new chair, I could hang drapes in the dining room, I could rearrange my room, and so on and so on.  (It didn’t help that I watched a lot of HGTV while I was home and was really inspired!)    It wasn’t just my house that I thought about changing – my craving extended to other areas of my life.

I tried out a new church the Sunday before I went home for Christmas.  I went to Midtown in the morning, even went to the congregational meeting afterwards, then went to Crosspoint that night.  I had prayed a week or two earlier that if someone invited me to church, I would go.  Crosspoint came up multiple times in conversation and I had friends there and when someone who doesn’t go there said, “You should try Crosspoint,” I gave in.

I had a hard time with it.  I was constantly comparing it to Midtown.  “That’s not how we do it at Midtown, we would never do THAT at Midtown, we do THIS at Midtown.”  It was really hard to clear my head of 4.5 years of comfort & familiarity.  I like Midtown.  I love Midtown.  I went the very first Sunday I lived in Nashville and hardly ever missed a Sunday that I was in town.  Midtown has been my home and community since I set foot in this city.  I have been in 3 fellowship groups across those 4.5 years and I have met amazing people.  I have loved, I have been loved.

But I’ve been restless lately.  Things have been happening in my heart and mind that make me wonder if I need to shake things up a bit.  I’ve settled into a comfort zone and now my heart is not as engaged as it could be.  I find it hard to connect the dots in the sermons, I find myself craving more structure.  Changes are being set in motion at Midtown and it makes me think: Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I am restless, aching for a change in my life at the same exact time that things are getting stirred up at Midtown.

It could go either way:  the changes could totally re-inspire me at Midtown…. or they could give me confirmation that it is time to step into a new adventure and season of life.

I am trying to seek God’s will – I know he prods me along in life and puts me where he wants me.  Looking back, I totally see that.  But it’s been awhile since I’ve stepped really out of my comfort zone and said “Yes, I trust you in this decision.”

I hate sticking to comfort zones – I gravitate toward them and then I’m miserable.  In high school, I went to Girls State (don’t ask if you don’t know – it’s just a weeklong government camp for HS girls.  It’s awful) with my 3 best friends.  I didn’t make new friends there but when I looked around, everyone else was making new friends.  I was so grateful for my girlfriends, but there could have been so much more there for me that I missed out on because I stuck to the familiar and the comfortable.

I think I remember in high school Emily telling me that she hoped I would move away for college and take a chance.  I did – not TOO far away, but I did move away.  I didn’t know anyone at DePauw and that forced me to grow and stretch and make my own way.  Then I moved to Nashville where I had a handful of acquaintances and I forged ahead, making my own way.  4.5 years later, I am settled into what is familiar and wondering if I am missing out on something because I am sticking to the familiar and comfortable.

There are a few fears associated with all this.

1.  I’m scared that saying I want more or that I want a change is telling God that I’m not content with what he has given me.  I’m scared it’s a slap in the face and that I’m telling him what he is providing isn’t good enough for me and I want something different.  Is that rational?  Irrational?  I’m not sure.  A few weeks ago I realized the paradox of my life is that I want a quiet, contented heart but yearn – even ache for a change right now.  Does the need for change essentially say “You are not enough for me?”

2.  Leaving my comfort zone!  This is huge.  I look around Midtown and see people I have known and cared for for a long, long time.  What will happen to those friendships?  How will I feel when they move on without me?  How will I feel when photos pop up on facebook of them having a good time without me?  I know these are very immature, selfish fears but I can’t help but be plagued by them.

3.  What if I make a mistake in stepping out?  Looking back, the risks I have taken that are similar to this have never seemed like mistakes in hindsight.  I have been grateful for them and for the new opportunities.

I am continuing to go to Midtown in the morning.  Randy is preaching about the vision of Midtown throughout January while Pete at Crosspoint preached about the vision there on Sunday.  He starts a new series called “Paralyzed” next Sunday all about – you guessed it – fear.  “Fear is the #1 dream-buster,” he declared on Sunday.

In all of this, I neglected to mention that the 2nd and 3rd times at Crosspoint were easier to swallow.  I wasn’t AS struck by the major differences between the 2 churches.  I really, really liked last Sunday and even ran into some friends there – which was awesome.

All this to say: prayers for discernment would be much appreciated.  I will be church double-dipping for awhile as I continue to pray and try to discern where I belong.  This is a pretty big decision and it’s scary to make on my own – even though I know I’m not alone in it.

i’m hopping on the bandwagon and doing a year in pictures post. here goes! 🙂  BUT I got tired of it pretty quickly, so I’m not really elaborating on them.  🙂

January:

dsc03194

Shannon and me New Year’s Eve 2007 at Patrick and Betsy’s

February:

dsc032711Patrick, Grey, and David (Patrick Collum and the Law) played at the 5 spot on Patrick’s birthday.  We all had fun!

March:  (several – march was apparently really exciting!)

dsc03314

I met a leprechaun!

dsc032831

Carrie and I saw “Who’s Bad” – the Michael Jackson tribute band.  Amazing!

dsc03358

I got a dog!  Louie is the best!!!

dsc03430We saw Jimmy Fallon at Zanies!

April:

The only pics I have in my iphoto from April are of Newworldson at GMA!  LOVE THEM!

dsc03510

dsc03511hair/makeup by autumn petersen!  🙂   me with josh, then me with mark.

May:

dsc03547Dayna graduated from med school and I went up to Indiana to celebrate with her!

dsc03580I got as close as I could to the twin spires at Churchill Downs – we had a little suite on mother’s day – it was awesome!

dsc03759I turned 26 and Dawn made me an awesome fiesta cookie cake!

June:

dsc03834Carly and Brent moved away  😦   but they had a fun going away party!

dsc03840I dressed up as Amy Winehouse for the first time for Stoneroo 08 (Graham Stoner’s guitar hero party) and LOVED it.

dsc03824

I met Ira Glass!  (yes, it’s sideways… i can’t get it rotated… oh well)

dsc03936Creation Northeast – not much to show for it except this pic of Amy Grant with Hawk Nelson.  Random, right?

July:

dsc04094i am kinda a rockstar at Creation NW.

dsc04034SO beautiful.

August:

dsc04672The Wilson County fair is pretty awesome – unfortunately all the really good pics were on Andra’s camera and not mine 🙂

I went to CO but apparently those pics aren’t on this computer!

September:

dsc04714

I had a labor day party – this is me and Janelle!

dsc04703Sassy ladies with candy cigarettes at Gabe’s birthday dance party at the Jarhole.

dsc04772

Shannon and Grey got married!  I love this pic of Shannon from the hotel before the wedding- someone in the lobby had that ridiculous hat and we made her take a pic with it 🙂

October:

was so busy and fun!

dsc04867we went to a cornmaze!  me and kelee on the scary tractor that takes you out to the maze.

dsc04956we carved pumpkins in my garage!

dsc04988i dressed up as amy winehouse again.. (this time for halloween, duh) and met chewbacca!

November:

dsc05027

Mishy’s baby shower!!  yay for baby mia!!

December:

TATTOO!!!

dsc05076

dsc05081

dsc05143

Dinner with the girls and their significant others… i love them all 🙂

dsc05154Me and my mom at Christmas (we didn’t take many Christmas pics with my camera)

dsc05199Dancing at the Jars’ pre-emptive NYE party!

OK, ta-da!  Here’s to 2009!

this page is me and what i want to talk about. if you feel apt to judge, then move along... thanks!

my art attempts

DSC03042

DSC03041

DSC03030

More Photos