T Day

The front of St Peter's Basilica- the oldest and longest running house of worship in America! Downtown St. Augustine.

The front of St Peter’s Basilica- the oldest and longest running house of worship in America! Downtown St. Augustine.

Today, I’m back from being out of town for a Young Life work assignment in Florida. I had a the great pivilege of serving as a TA for the Gospel’s seminary class taught to second and third year staff people by Mark Strauss, seminary professor from Bethel Seminary in San Diego, as well as leading a seminar on Ordering our Time and Life to first year staff people. I was impressed with the thoughtful, humble, and transparent leadership by some of the biggest leaders in the mission. I learned so much by sitting and listening- keeping my mouth shut for once!- and enjoying the lessons on leadership, decision making, paying attention and leading with care. I was most excited about working alongside and learning from my good friend Ray Donatucci, and being with my Gateway Region staff peers for a whole week! The memories made, songs sung, laughs heckled, and conversations shared, built into me deeper things of the Spirit and more love for Jesus.

My staff friends at the Ponce de Leon fort in St. Augustine

My staff friends at the Ponce de Leon fort in St. Augustine


Sending a thumbs up back to sick Andi-Girl...in great care thanks to Daddy and GG

Sending a thumbs up back to sick Andi-Girl…in great care thanks to Daddy and GG

Now, Today is Transition day. I’m taking down Christmas around and outside our house, and thinking back to take-aways from being at Winter Training. So far, I’m holding up ok.

To add to the trauma possibilities, I ook Oaks to the doctor for his 15 month old check up which included 2 shots. Instead of nursing him for post-stick comfort, today I offered him Teddy Grahams. We stopped nursing fully when I left last week. Being back with him today and not connecting in that way leaves an ache. I know it’s time and see him thriving but feel the finality of something so precious and so “baby” ending, as a loss. I feel like the luckiest to have sat 4-8 times a day in quiet and tender moments with Oakley this whole past year. I will treasure the times with all my kids in that rocking chair- sustenance and snuggling, calories and comfort- a most amazing opportunity for all 4 of us!

Some Take-Aways from Winter Training:

  1. Young Life has about 40,000 volunteers working in direct ministry to kids and about 4,500 staff people. Staff are essential in the recruiting, training, and encouraging of volunteers. Without capable and intentional YL staff people, we wouldn’t have these volunteers changing the lives of so many adolescents.
  2. Ministry is much more subtle than we first realize.- Ray
  3. Galatians 5:5-6 says“But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.  For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.”   A passionate reminder by Chap Clark that God loves us and wants us to TRUST God and that great love. He said lots and something along the lines of, “The gospel is not sin management. The goal of spiritual disciplines (like circumcision in Galatia, or prayer and Bible studies for us) is not to increase our righteousness but to increase our trust in what we already have, for free, in Jesus.” I do nothing and yet Jesus calls me His.
  4. This year, 2014, for me personally I want to focus on:
  • Not keeping score
  • Entering in- staying in the present with people or a task.
  • Saying much less
  • Believing the best

Last week was a gift. I’m very thankful for the invitation from the Training Department and the preparation of the Spirit, for my time in Florida. I’ve returned filled up. I’m back to the present- ecstatic to be home with my family, grateful for Michelle, Gayle, my mom, and Drew for their help in loving and caring for the kids while I was gone, and enjoying the last lights of Christmas around my house.

Gateway Staff Gang

Gateway Staff Gang

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