Saturday, February 28, 2009

30til30: Day 4

I have 30 days until I turn 30, so I thought I'd try to choose 30 moments that have helped shape who I am and want to be. Coming up with the list has been challenging...and enlightening. These are in no particular order.

4: Youth Ministry with Paula Watson.
Someone thought it would be a good idea to hire two twenty-something single girls to help with and then run a youth group. Talk about a risk! I, for one, am really grateful. Some of my favorite memories have Paula in them. This is why working with Paula was one of the best experiences of my life: 
  • We had a true partnership. Paula showed me, more than anyone else I've ever known, how to be a team player. We helped each other with everything. What she was bad at (pretty much nothing), I was good at and vice-versa. 
  • We had each other's backs. I can't even count the number of times we had to stand up for each other.
  • We had a blast. 90% of our work was an absolute joy. It says a lot when you want to go to work every day.
  • We were creative. There was innovation everywhere I looked. 
  • We gave each other grace and support through failures (with that much innovation, we had to!).
  • We ran. The pace we kept was insane, but awesome. 
  • We were friends. I can't even begin to explain the depth of friendship I experienced with Paula through our time in ministry together. It's unlike anything else I've ever experienced. She is one of the best friends I have ever had. We've loved each other deeply, hurt each other deeply, laughed together, cried together, but through it all God has truly remained faithful and sovereign over our relationship. He's known what was best, and it shows.
How it shaped me:
  • That time laid a foundation for my professional career in ministry. While I didn't feel a calling to youth ministry in particular, I knew I needed to be in ministry in some capacity.
  • I know that, for me, laughter breeds creativity. I try to laugh a lot.
  • Balance has become very important to me (God, family, friends, work, self, etc.).
  • I cling tightly to my friendships and treasure them as much as possible.

Friday, February 27, 2009

30til30: Day 3

I have 30 days until I turn 30, so I thought I'd try to choose 30 moments that have helped shape who I am and want to be. Coming up with the list has been challenging...and enlightening. These are in no particular order.

3: Witnessing the birth of Emma.
I was honored that my sister wanted me to be in the room when Emma was born. I was also scared to death. Originally, the plan was for me to just come and snap some pictures. That plan quickly changed when a bossy nurse said I had to do some work. I was thankful, was awesome.
  • Amanda was really brave. I was impressed. 
  • I realized, probably for the first time, how strong Amanda can be.
  • My mom was really great for Amanda. It was incredible to witness mothering that wasn't directed toward me.
  • The whole process is so intense. I was shaking the whole time (probably equal parts adrenaline and fear).
  • My mom got to cut the cord...awesome.
  • I was snapping pictures of Emma furiously (no desire to see any sort of afterbirth situation), when her eyes popped open and she stared right at me (the picture above). I immediately started crying...and I fell in love with her.
How it shaped me:
  • I know that when you're holding a woman's leg during childbirth, you shouldn't push it toward her too hard or she will have hip problems for the rest of her life and you'll feel a horrible pang of guilt every time you see her limp.
  • It made me 100% sure I want to be a mom.
  • It brought me closer to Amanda.
  • It created a special bond between Emma and I.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

30til30: Day 2

I have 30 days until I turn 30, so I thought I'd try to choose 30 moments that have helped shape who I am and want to be. Coming up with the list has been challenging...and enlightening. These are in no particular order.

2: Short-term missions in Haiti.
"Oh, hey...I've never been on a missions trip before. Maybe I should go to HAITI." I don't think I fully understood what I was getting into, but I got into it anyway. Ten days in that country truly rocked my world. I still can't believe some of the images I saw and things I experienced:
  • Someone plucking a chicken into the Pool of St. Jacques.
  • Three heads on the spikes at the top of a gate.
  • Looking down the street in the dark and, as my eyes adjusted, seeing hundreds of people walking around.
  • Kids playing in a pile of trash right outside of a gated Royal Caribbean resort you pay to get into.
  • Four men walking toward us with machetes on their shoulders.
  • Riding a "tap-tap" (you just jump on whenever and hit the side when you want to get off. sometimes they stop, sometimes they don't). They are usually pickup trucks and mini vans filled with about 60 people.
  • Talking with the Haitian kids that frequented the compound. 
  • Worshipping with the Missionaries.
  • Visiting the medical clinic.
  • Teaching English to some Haitian students in the school.
How it shaped me:
  • I don't plan to support Royal Caribbean with my business in this lifetime.
  • I have a healthy perspective of needs and wants.
  • I have a high tolerance for "bad things" happening.
  • I am pretty sure that I am not meant to have a vocation in overseas missions.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    30til30: Day 1

    I have 30 days until I turn 30, so I thought I'd try to choose 30 moments that have helped shape who I am and want to be. Coming up with the list has been challenging...and enlightening. These are in no particular order. 

    1: The day my Grandpa Crawford died after a battle with lung cancer.
    This was significant because it was the first tragedy I experienced. I was only 8, but I experienced the grief deeply. I remember this event through a fog, because I went into one. Here are the snapshots I still have in my memory:

    • Sitting on the couch with my sisters and a wonderful Pastor trying to help us cope.
    • Seeing his chest rise and fall in the casket like he was breathing. 
    • Laying in the chair he always sat in for many days.
    • Nightmares about his wig coming to life (no idea).
    • Horrible cold sores.
    • My mom sending me to Ohio with my Aunt for a vacation by myself (this is what snapped me out of it).
    How it shaped me:
    • I don't smoke, and never have smoked anything.
    • I cherish moments with my family.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    I Made Myself a New Blog Header

    I'm not sure what I think of it. Let me know what you think!

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Book Review: Killing Cockroaches by Tony Morgan

    I’m going to be honest, I almost didn’t get past the first pages of this book. The Table of Contents scared me. It was very overwhelming…until I read Tony’s explanation. Killing Cockroaches reads more like a devotional than anything else, and that is ok by me!

    Because I’m reading this book much like I would a devotional, I’m not done with it yet. I’m pacing myself and letting myself digest the information for a few days before moving on. I wanted to get a review up for Tony, though, so here I am.

    There’s a neat feature in the book that I loved: “If You’re Curious About” (pg. x). This simple page got me to bust out laughing. In what other book would you see chapter titles like this on one page:
    • Why the book is titled Killing Cockroaches
    • What it takes to find Mr. (or Mrs.) Right
    • How to repair Mustang convertibles
    • The ten signs that you’re not a leader
    • Seth Godin’s thoughts on marketing and the church
    • The time I walked on water
    You know what? I began my experience with those six sections. In my opinion, it’s a great way to start.

    I love that this book doesn’t have to be read in order. With that said, my favorite statement is all the way on page 232: “Here’s my encouragement to you: Don’t condemn others because others are different than you. Don’t create division. Do what God tells you to do.” Amen, man. Amen.

    If you’re a church leader in any capacity, pick up Killing Cockroaches. It’s incredible (so far). I also want to encourage anyone who works in church communications to read it. Tony is a master in this area, and it comes through over and over (so far). I love this book (so far).

    Psst…Tony: I can’t wait to hold a real copy and make the cockroaches run! (Hm...I guess that works on two different levels, doesn't it?)

    Twitter: An Outsider's Guide

    Part three in a series about Twitter (here's part one and part two).

    There are plenty of long-winded articles out there about why Twitter is valuable. You don't need to bother with those. Twitter is only as valuable as you decide you want it to be. The deeper you get in, the more valuable it becomes.

    Here are some great uses I've seen (some I use, some I don't):

    • Getting up to the minute news (I'd be willing to bet that your favorite news source Twitters)
    • Using it to update your Facebook status without having to get sucked into the mind-numbing vortex of poking, notes, pictures and requests.
    • Letting people know you blogged about something (this can be annoying, though).
    • Getting advice from real people about where to go and what to do in a strange town.

    Here is how I use it:

    • I tell people what I'm doing. That's what Twitter was designed for.
    • I manage my daily task list.
    • I have a group of designers and communications people that I follow. I can both learn from and teach these folks. It's a great mix.
    • I talk to my friends and stay connected.

    Here is how Grace Church is (and is going to be) using it:

    • We're putting out summaries from our blog (through HootSuite).
    • Prayer requests and devotional thoughts.
    • Event information and weekend promotion.
    • Volunteer coordination.

    In Short:
    If you don't want another thing to crowd your online life, steer clear. If you want to harness a valuable tool for your online life, climb on board. From what I can tell, Twitter is here to stay.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Twitter: An Insider's Guide

    Molly had a great comment about helping people learn to decode "twitterspeak." Here is a quick, barebones guide for beginners (Seriously, there are better resources out there. I just want to help get you started.):

    Don’t Feel Like You Need To Follow Everyone and His Mom:
    1. Follow people who mean something to you.
    2. Follow people you can learn from.
    3. Follow people you can teach.

    Don’t Ignore Weird Symbols and Letters (They Probably Mean Something):
    @ = The person you’re following is talking to/about another Twitter user. When you use this, don’t put a space between it and the user name (like this: @daniellesuzanne).

    # = (Hashtag) This tweet is about something that a lot of people are involved in and is now searchable (like a conference, natural disaster, topics of interest, etc.). Use sparingly. A lot of people find them annoying and intrusive (like this: #grammys).

    RT = (Retweet) This tweet came from someone else and was found valuable. It’s a way to give credit where credit is due. Use this a lot (like this: RT @daniellesuzanne).

    d = (Direct Message) When you put a “d” then a space and the person’s twitter name, you will be sending a message that can only be seen by the recipient. Use this when your @ conversations get out of hand (people find that annoying, too) (like this: d daniellesuzanne).

    These sites will help you get the most out of Twitter:
    twitpic : for uploading pics and providing links to them.
    twhirl : a great desktop application for Twitter (operates like a chat window).

    Follow me if you need help (or if you just want to).

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    What is Twitter, Anyway?

    Here's how it works:

    Once you figure it out, feel free to follow me and let me know you exist!

    I'm Not Sure Why I'm Not Blogging Right Now