l.v.c.

August 28, 2010

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps.

a volunteer corps. founded by lutherans…but open to anyone. so no, I am not lutheran. (and neither are all of my housemates…though 1 or 2ish of them are) but yes, i am a “volunteer”…though technically i get paid a stipend to eat off of.

so the lvc is “a community of faith that unites people to work for peace with justice.” they partner with other local (and international) organizations that are also working for peace with justice. from environmental advocacy/preservation, to building houses for those in need, to feeding and empowering the homeless, to empowering the developmentally disabled to pursue their passions and occupations. the last of which i am blessed to participate in. all of the above causes are what myself and my housemates will be doing for the next year.

so the organization that make a trio of myself and the lvc is: L’Arche.

(http://www.larchethc.org/)
the people you see in the scrolling photos on this site are the folks i get to hang out with every day. and they are amazing without question. where i work is called “Noah’s Workshop” and it’s basically a day program that’s a part of a community of group homes where folks live, love beautifully, and are loved immensely. in my program, we facilitate daily activities, lunch, and outings for each of the Core Members (the folks who live at L’Arche) such as shopping trips, dog walking, visits to museums, and volunteering that THEY do (i know…it’s incredible) at places like food banks, childcare programs, and transitional housing for women. they are smart. they are beautiful and they are hilarious.

today we had chapel…in an adorable chapel on campus, where a priest comes and leads us in liturgy, song, a short teaching on scripture, and the eucharist. that was a beautiful time to experience with them.

this is amazing. i have already built invaluable relationships with some of the core members and i am so excited about the continuation and deepening of those for the next year. 🙂

so another part of the lvc is living in community. my community (in-house) for the year = alayna, iain, molly, mike, and rachel. as a community, we hail from ohio, michigan, minnesota, wisconsin, and florida.

molly: works with me at l’arche, but on the farm. lately her garb has been overalls, which she rocks. molly has the voice of an angel (mixed with norah jones and ingrid michaelson) and can play some beautiful tunes on the guitar and piano – mainly folk in sound. molly doesn’t fit into a mold. she is encouraging and loving and  loves the earth and most everything about it. she also lets me run with her, and for that i am thankful. molly cares. God has gifted molly with empathy.

iain: is a musical kinda guy. he enjoy celtic tunes, playing and listening. he plays many an instrument, namely the irish whistles, bagpipes, and guitar. iain loves to cook, and we all reap the benefit of this hobby. iain has spent the last year serving with americorps and is now serving with us lvc’ers. this guy enjoys good people and good conversation and can usually be found among others. God has gifted iain with the ability to take joy with others in their joy.

rachel: is my roommate. she is a lively one…so don’t let her height fool you, she could mess somebody up if the need every arose. she is a sweet soul and a kindred spirit. rachel loves the outdoors and eating random plants therein. rach has a great laugh, and loves to hug. she is an avid reader and she doesn’t take crap. rachel brings life and love. she also brings me lots of laughter. God has gifted rachel with joy and peace.

alayna: wants to be all that she can be. (and not in an army way) alayna enjoys and seeks community and adventure. new and unknown things fascinate and invigorate her. she is passionate about ultimate frisbee, different cultures, and friendships. alayna is an independent and brave soul, and she too has a beautiful voice. she is curious, driven, and hungry for knowledge. God has gifted alayna with enthusiasm and a mind to think for herself.

mike: likes to go on random long walks by himself – exploring, talking to anyone he passes, learning about our community and neighborhood, and finding karaoke bars to frequent. mike is a quiet, contemplative one most of the time, but when he speaks, he makes it count…and it’s usually hilarious. mike is a joyful soul who can be passionate about most anything. he is a mover and a shaker. he is accepting on all fronts. already i am learning from mike. God has gifted mike with courage and hopefulness.

more to come…

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safety.

August 15, 2010

the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. countless goodbye’s…or as some have demanded of me…only “see you later”‘s. lots of packing, strategizing, traveling, closure, redemption, and many many tears. it has been difficult and draining.

i am now in the air…on my way to a new adventure. as the doors to the plane closed and the seat belts clicked, thoughts of “no turning back…this is really it…what am i doing!?” raced through my mind. fear and worry and doubt crept into my stomach and my soul and i was overcome with so much emotion. the tears signify many things all at once.

i have been bombarded with love from friends and family. gifts, special dates, endless support, sweet sweet cards and kind words, mystery cash, and copious amounts of hugs and encouragements and blessings. it has been overwhelming to say the least. i am so unworthy, and endlessly grateful.

as i reflect upon the past season, and as i anticipate the next, i wonder…”why has this transition been so hard?”

safety.

less than 48 hours ago, as i sat in the last supper of our summer staff and listened to my brothers and sisters share thankfulness and love with one another, i couldn’t help but think of safety. “this place is safe”, i thought to myself…”and i have to leave it.” safety comes in many forms…

– relationships.

– jobs.

– a “home.”

– comfort.

– being known.

– knowing.

i am stepping out of a 5-year journey in the comfort of a beautiful place called Camp Living Stones….where I have literally met thousands upon thousands of people over the years, and built life-long and beautiful relationships with so many. i am stepping out of that…into the complete and utter unknown. nothing about this is comfortable, nothing is familiar. i know no one or no thing about where i am going. i have never been there. i don’t know how it smells or feels or sounds or looks. and it is scary. terrifying, actually.

i then reminded myself…this world and this place on this mountain are not my safety. this is not my home. CHRIST alone is my safety. he has always been, and will always be. HE is home…HE is the only sure thing i have. and he is the best thing that there is, and in that and that alone, i have peace. because he has promised himself to me and i to him.
as the tears fall and the thoughts and emotions whirl…i can only pray.

God…i know you’re there. please hold me. i know you have me in your hands. i trust you. i am afraid. i believe, but help my unbelief. i am alone of people and familiarity, but never without you. help me to feel you. help me to trust. i do believe that you know and love me deeply and i remember that you care for the lilies. you are where i have been and you are where i am going. more importantly…you are IN me. i desire to know you and for you to be made known in and through me. this is all that matters. help me to not lose sight despite my circumstance. draw me close. restore my joy. go with me. bring me peace. thank you for your love. help me to comprehend its infinite depth. fill me. give me rest. you are nothing but good. Lord, i cling to you and your truth. be with the ones i have left behind…might we continue to walk on this journey together in spirit and in truth, seeking to know and love you and to know and love one another. and be with the ones i will soon meet, may we bless you together. thank you, God. thank you for this pain and this journey, and the blessing of intimate relationships and love that the hurt signifies. may i be a light for you. help me be a light.
prepare the way, oh Lord.

“peace i leave with you; my peace i give to you. not as the world gives do i give to you. let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  – Jesus, the Christ.

welp. here goes!

chaos -> peace

August 4, 2010

moving.

changing jobs.

leaving comfort.

changing addresses.

new state.

new roommates.

roommates period for that matter.

new church.

new bike. no car.

new bed.

different food.

new driver’s license.

life in suitcases.

rain and cold.

so much going on. so much to look forward to. too many goodbyes to handle comfortably. so many questions…

God is teaching me about rest. about anxiety. about trust. about His provision and love for me. about solitude and silence. these are the things i’ve been learning about this summer. it hasn’t always been pretty…but i am so grateful for these lessons and his truth and growth and the journey to come.

seeking peace. waiting. trusting. trying to live today yet prepare sufficiently for tomorrow. it is a crazy time. it has been a crazy summer. but god cares for the birds. he is ever present. he has a plan for a hope and a future. and everything will be ok. 🙂

more to come…