While you get ready in the morning, in the car, cooking, or in your waiting today, I hope you will listen. I pray you will listen with an open mind as I know that some of you have been really hurt by the church and some have misconceptions about the church. My desire is that you will understand what God intended the church to be, that it is FILLED with sinners, and that it is a beautiful gift that God has given us to understand more of forgiveness, love, and encouragement with one another.
fair traveler with vintage suitcase at the station I want to take a second before this post to say, I have missed you ladies! This summer held All. The. Things. The first week of June my older sister had her third baby, making me the happiest aunt to three you ever did see. Immediately after, I was forehead deep in sports camp and vacation bible school and sleep-away camp and “water olympics”… all the joys of working in full-time Children’s Ministry. Then, in August, my sister and brother-in- law filed for divorce. There have been so many tears and late nights as my family figures out what comes next. We are living in the “just take the next right step” season, and if I’m being honest… it’s not my favorite. I haven’t written about it, in fact, I haven’t written about anything lately. So while I am so excited to get back into this blog, I am also nervous. Sharing about community hits close to home. Community has both kept me near the cross and discouraged me tremendously the past few months. I hope you will find grace in these words, and if you’re
This morning, the sunrise was radical. The way the clouds stretched across the dark sky felt like the red velvet curtain in a theater was about to bust open. The surface waters of the Atlantic reflected every speck of light that began to break over the horizon. I could see it all. The land stirring with dawn’s creatures under my feet. The waters full of life only feet away. The sky full of stars that seemed to be so close. Dolphins searching, birds in formation, my family close, track of turles that had come up the beach where their mother’s had laid their eggs decades earlier- community was all around. God created community. God loves community. God is community. When we are unsure of what community looks like for ourselves, we have the perfect example in God Himself- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is the perfect image of community, and you may have heard the radical grace in Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image…” Right from the start, we see that we are created BY community FOR community. So we can’t talk about
When I was a kid the most “virtual” of a community you could have was to have a pen pal from another city that your mom probably set up or some school project paired you up with. You would write hand written letters back and forth, maybe add some crayon coloring or if you were real high tech like I was…you got on KidPix and added stamps, the original “emoticons”, to really get your emotion behind the letter across. I was part of the generation (which makes me feel old) that first experienced “virtual community”. I was just hitting my preteen years when you could start signing up for a Hotmail email account and email your friends you met at camp instead of sending post cards through snail mail. I was in the generation that began chatting online using our very creatively made up AIM screen-names. I was in the generation that began texting…although none of us were allowed to because it cost our parents ten cents a text. My generation was the beginning of something that on one hand held great advances in society, but on the hand other brought on some challenges and stumbling blocks that have hinder
“Hi, my name is Chelsea and I’m a people-loving, complete-opposite-of-shy, social butterfly and expert conversationalist.” A year ago, that big mouthful is exactly how I would have described myself. I’d call myself an extreme extrovert who can talk for days and make friends with strangers. I would have confidently stated that large crowds don’t intimidate me, and new people and places are what make me come alive. And I fully believed this to be true. That is, while I was living in my comfort zone and community was handed to me. I grew up in a small town, small church, small school…everyone knew everyone, and friends were always easy to find and close by. As I moved on to college and then working with a ministry, my community was chosen for me – roommates, classmates, co-workers. You see, I’ve never known what lonely feels like. Community was easy for me. It was something I never had to work for or be intentional about. It was always just there. At my disposal. Someone else cultivated community for me and I was just a pawn with a success story. Then I moved. All by myself. To a brand new city. Where I
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer If you know me by now, you know one thing to be true: I love relationship and community. I love the life that comes from broken people coming together in their brokenness and standing with one another right where they are at. There is nothing more life-giving nor more humbling than the act of friendship. For some of you community and relationships come easy. You’ve always been THE friend-the one getting asked to hang out and never the one sitting alone binge watching Netflix on a Friday night. Then there are those of you who are like me where building community is work. You’re not a difficult friend necessarily but you often feel like no one would hang out with you if you didn’t ask them to. Then there are others of you who feel like you have no community at all and you’re left wondering if God and society has decided your just not friend material. Whoever you are and where ever you land on the spectrum, this series is for you.
Good morning, girls! I hope you are, like me, no longer mourning that summer is over because I know it’s a hard reality to accept after summer! But good news! September is almost here. That means football, fall, scarves, everything pumpkin, beautiful trees, and also AGLM new series begins! We have been planning, praying, and really preparing for our series on Community this fall. Next week we will officially begin, but I wanted to give you a week to prepare your hearts as well for what you will be hearing from us as we lean on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I am challenging you during your #AGLMmorning to read the passage below over and over. Highlight, look it up in commentaries and different translations, ask God to enlighten these words to you in a deeper way than ever before, and pray that he will speak to you personally in our series on Community! And as always, we would love to hear from you! All our love, Allison, Heather, Kelsey, Steph, Nina, and Chelsea So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love,
Ever since I was a little girl I always fantasized about one day living in a red brick house with a fireplace and a staircase. Coming from Arizona where every house was brown and stucco and the seventy degree winters made fireplaces seem irrelevant, my little heart longed for the cozy homes I saw on TV. The day I saw the house is one I’ll never forget it. We pulled up into the driveway, a beautiful summer day, and there it was. Strong, proud, and a brilliant shade of red brick. My heart was already racing at what we would find once we opened the door and looked inside. I was overjoyed as I walked through this beauty to see a perfect staircase and a glistening fireplace. It was my dream home. It was perfect. It was mine. After we bought the house and moved in, we were rifling through a bunch of paperwork the previous owners had left behind when we found them. Pictures. You see, our house was built in 1938 and we were only the fourth people to ever live there. The people who we bought it from had purchased the house from a woman who had called
Lake Louise is a dream. It’s a collection of glacial runoff in British Colombia that seems to glow a blue light. When I stood on the shore to take it in for the first time, my little eyeballs couldn’t quite process the beauty. It looked like an enhanced, 2D postcard. About a year ago, my parents decided to spend part of last summer in Canada exploring as a family. My brother and I knew my mom had been set on seeing Lake Louise in her lifetime ever since she saw it in a magazine YEARS ago. So we packed hiking boots and Clif bars galore. Our days were filled with early morning walks around the lake, hikes through the woods, rock climbing, and trying to find local pubs for dinner to escape the other tourists. And then came the Alpine Hut. Along the ridge of the Canadian Rockies, there are a series of huts and only the most serious mountaineers make the ascent to the huts to stay overnight. No electricity, plumbing, or food access because they’re on ancient glaciers. So naturally, my mom signed us up. Kyle was our guide. He lived in a cabin in the forest and
I stood there waiting to walk in, willing my nerves to calm themselves so the nervous trembling I felt on the inside wouldn’t be visible outwardly. I watched as other girls bounced around confidently, clearly not worried one bit about what we were walking into. The number pinned to my back was scratchy and stiff and my unruly hair threatened to popped out of it’s confining bun, despite the pack of bobby pins and can of hair spray used to contain it. I felt out of place. Here I was, walking in to audition for the Nutcracker. When I was five my parents took me to see the show for the first time and to this day I remember exactly what I was wearing and how excited I was. Here I was about five years later watching it again, but this time it was my own studio performing one of the most attended Nutcrackers in Colorado. I sat in the audience in awe, watching the dancers tell one of my favorite Christmas stories, all dressed in beautiful costumes, and dancing without a flaw. There was sense of pride and ownership that welled up in me, knowing I was a part of
Continuing to share BIG news with you about A Girl Like Me!! I am super excited, humbled, and a little nervous for this responsibility and PRIVILEGE to walk along side of you girls even more deeply! THANK YOU for loving us, all of the AGLM writers, so well and encouraging us to continue in ministry!!! Would love to hear from you! and again sorry about the lack of video quality and that I retreated in my bedroom to make this… you will find out why – Allison