Monthly Archives: September 2009

One Month!


I have 2 questions for you. Both of them are short, and both of them would be easy to just give some random answer to and then be on your way; but I’m going to challenge you: think about the answer you give. Then, if necessary, let it change you.

Number 1:

If you only had one month to live…what would you do differently?

Number 2: Why is it that you would wait until the last month of your life to live that way?

I’m certainly not saying you have to answer HERE on my blog, however, I’m definitely NOT opposed to you doing that.


Posted by on September 27, 2009 in Just thinking


Journal Excerpt #3

IMG_0547I think this is #3, I suppose I could go check, but I’m too lazy right now 😉

This is something I wrote a few nights before I left for Guatemala this summer. I don’t know why I feel the need to share it…I just do. Maybe it’s because I want people to know how much I love this life I live, and this happened to be a time when I could put it into words somewhat eloquently. Most of it is word-for-word from my journal, other parts are things I’m realizing right now. Anyway…here it is (hope it’s not too long):

Recognize that when you come to love people in another place, there is always going to be pain-you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place” –Miriam Adeney

That sums my whole life up right there: so much richness because of all the people I know and Love. much of that richness has been as part of CTI, and I don’t know why the joys of all that have been given to me. Why does He choose to pour out His love for me this way? He keeps pouring out love and my heart keeps growing bigger and bigger.

I spent much of my adolescence yearning to be part of something huge. I didn’t know what that something was until this moment. Now that I see it, it seems so obvious, I don’t know how I ever missed it before. It’s not being part of an organization. It’s not making a name for myself in this world. It’s not even being on stage, doing something I love…it’s being part of & loving the body of Christ. It’s having your eyes opened to all that God is doing ,all over the world. I don’t think I’ve ever felt smaller, yet more significant than I have this year. Smaller because I’ve seen, in so many ways, that God doesn’t need me to accomplish anything. I dn’t offer anything He can’t do on His own. More significant because he chooses to use me anyway. He calls me to take part of His love by serving alongside incredible people….so that I will know Him more. It’s overwhelming! It’s the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen when people, who don’t know each other, come together and worship Christ by their service. And they learn what He meant when He said, “Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Being part of a Fulltime team with CTI, and now leading a Summer team, I’ve learned what “laying down” my life really means. It’s not just saying that I am willing to die for someone. Of course I would say that! Instead it’s saying, “I’m going to die to my own desires so that I can look out for their best interests. I’m going to serve them in this moment by doing what’s best for them instead of what’s best for me…because that is love”.

Isn’t that what God did for us? Yeah He died an earthly death, but, in becoming a man, He died to His own rights as King of the Universe…for our good. Oh how different the world would look if we all took on this “attitude” of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11).

Christian (my co-leader of Awesomeness) added a great thought to our team-devotional time the other day (actually, I think he was quoting Paul Vasilko but…whatever). He said that if all 10 of us on the team are putting everyone else before ourselves, “then there are 9 other people putting your interests before their own”. That’s a cool thing to think about.

You know what else I’ve learned this year?  I’ve learned that my standards for love are NOT too high. I have this renewed hope in what I’m trusting God for.

I’m trusting Him for a huge gift that I don’t even deserve. I’m trusting Him for a man who is unashamed, in every way, of his love for Jesus. A man who fights sin at any cost. A man who delights in, and abides by, every word from the mouth of God. A man who is passionate, and loving enough to love the Lord more than he loves me. A man who will challenge me; to love more, to pray constantly…to trust my everything to the One who gave it to me. I’m waiting for a man who comes alive when he forgets himself. A man who I will be so proud of, not because of his talents or his job or his looks…but because I see Christ more clearly through him.

I’m sure there are a million things from this past year, that I will be learning for years to come, for now though, I’m rejoicing in these.

Thanks for reading my rantings.


Posted by on September 21, 2009 in "Debriefings", Just thinking


Sometimes Believing is Better Than Knowing

Guatemala GirlI learned something today, and that is: sometimes what’s in ones imagination is more beautiful than what is real.

Some of you know this, and some of you do not but, I have never met my birth father. Well, I mean…he was there when I was born and he was there for the first 2 years of my life, but can that really count? I don’t remember any of that so…I’m gonna say it doesn’t.

I wish I could say my father taught me what a man is supposed to be. Instead he showed me only that people leave.

For the past several years I have had it in my head that perhaps Rick (that’s my father) was walking around with a burden of remorse. Maybe he thinks about whether I’m alive, or where I am, or what kind of person I’ve become. Perhaps he wishes he never walked away. I mean, it’s one thing to get divorced but it’s another to say you never want to see your daughter again. Especially since I was TWO! Come on, how does a father walk away from his toddler? And, let’s face it, I was probably EXCEDINGLY cute!

Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking maybe I should try and find him. Maybe I could just meet him and tell him that I’m not angry at him. Maybe if he could just see me and know that my life has been incredible…he could move into some sort of closure or relief. And what if I still have a grandma or grandpa out there? Wouldn’t they like to know me, or at least know that I grew up and am fine? If I were a grandparent I would be heartbroken to never know my grandkids.

If I were younger I would have wanted to rub my life in Rick’s face. I have a very strong and incredible mother, and the Lord blessed me with a fantastic step-father, which led to one amazing family. None of that would have come to pass if Rick were around. And…I think, because my father left, I have seen and fallen in love with God’s Father-heart. I know Him in a way I may not have if circumstances were different. I have traveled all over the world. I do the things everyone says I can’t.  I feel like, I’m a cool person to know (on some level at least). But he hasn’t been part of any of that.

Nonetheless, now that I’m older, I wouldn’t do that to Rick if I met him.  I would simply tell him I forgive him, that I’m happy, and I hope he is too.

That was a scenario I honestly thought might happen sometime in my lifetime…until today.  Today I found out that Rick showed up at my moms work 2 years after  their departure of ways. He wanted to know if she still wanted him. She said that she did not. As he left she called after him, “Gretchen’s fine by the way”. His response was, “Oh….yyeah”. and then he left, never to be seen or heard from again. My mom said that all his family had my mom’s contact information and her family’s contact information, and she didn’t hear from one person one time all these years. That hurts me. Rick was RIGHT THERE! He could have easily asked my mom how I was or if he could see me sometime. But he just walked away. He walked…away.  That answers my questions on whether or not he’d like to see me, or if he even wonders about me. Pretty sure he doesn’t. So this will end my entertaining ideas of meeting him one day.

I’m not mad. Really I’m not. Just sad. Just disappointed. Just realizing that this must be the reason I have such a low expectation of men. I always assume they will eventually leave .  I’m deathly afraid I’ll fall in love with, marry a guy….then he’ll tire and leave me without a second thought.

How’s that for vulnerable blogging?


Posted by on September 17, 2009 in Just thinking