Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Compassion from Steph!?

I'm really excited! After feeling convicted for months now, I finaly wrote the check and signed up to support a kid in Africa for 32 a month! I'm excited to make the difference in at least one childs life there! It feels good that I'm not just talking about it anymore but that I'm actually doing something (as small as it may be, it's something) I hope Mark and I can do more in the future. We are also monthly supporting a friend of mine who is a full time missionary and spending time in Kenya, Africa this summer with 23 other people. They will (among other things) spend a week in Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi (the capitol city).

As far as the G8 decision and all that goes I support Debt relief and Aid to Africa, and maybe I'm wrong maybe it will just complicate the problem. I certainly don't have all the answers. But I do have hope and I hope it will make a difference!

I'm positive supporting a child through Compassion and supporting my missionary friend will make a difference and I feel really good about finaly getting off the side lines and getting involved! I thank God for making it possible for me to do that financialy and helping me develop the discipline to stop buying crap and putting my money where my mouth is!


YEA!! Noah get's home from JRTC today!! Noah, come say something amusing on my blog, I miss you! We will be going to see Noah and Lauren on Thursday! I can't wait! I'm a little nervous about the 13 hour train ride with Malachy and a butt load of luggage to drag along. It will be an adventure and a page in the scrapbook, so that makes it worth it!

Friday, June 24, 2005


Ok, this week has had its share of fantastic moments (playing with Malachy in the blow-up pool at Mom and Dad's, buying matching dresses for Kim and I to wear to Aunt Ann's wedding, having Tommy Walker call me bossy) and many more!! However this week has also had it's share of absolutely horrible moments too!

First of all, I'm getting the feeling that some people I thought were friends of mine (not super friends but pretty good friends) are not my friend at all. And that's akward for me! I'm not sure how to handle it, do you just quit talking to them and let the friendship die? Or do you try to pursue it despite the overwhelming feeling that they talk bad about you any chance they get? I understand there is a fair amout of bad one can say about me, but having friends do it isn't the best feeling. So I'm trying to figure that out and it's hard - well actually, it's more annoying than hard right now.

Second of all, I had a challanging week at work! Last week was the Art's Conference and I worked a butt load under some stressfull circumstances. So I was already a complete mess going into last weekend. Then we were short handed for the weekend and set up was a complete disaster. So in an effort to do my job well and take care of my volunteers, I sent out an e-mail to the programing folks at Promiseland. I know I have a tendency to come off too sharp, so I had Mark and Kim read it to make sure I didn't sound too...anything...and that I was clear in my point. Once I had their approval and encouragement I sent it off....that was a mistake. I just felt crapy about it afterwards. Like people were thinking I was being dificult. The whole thing got blown out of porportion and I feel uncomfortable about it.

Also, Mark and I have been super snappy with each other! Mostly because we are both way stressed out at work and with money. (we're trying to save for our fast approaching vacation!) So that's been a huge downer. I haven't gotten to see Crystal in forever and I really miss her and our Bible study! And working so much extra the past couple weeks made all my house work pile up on me...YUCK!!

What a nightmare!!! I can't wait until vacation! Well I better ge to bed. We have to get to work early tomorrow. Who ever decided to put Arts Conference, Volunteer Celebration, and Baptism this close together is NUTS!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Which is bigger, Malachy or Tutters?

Malachy knows the key to taking down the behemoth is the old "pull the hair" trick.

Steph and Tutters

Father's Day 2005

Mark and Malachy


Joey, Jason, Poppo, Malachy and Mark

Friday, June 17, 2005


The Arts Conference is over!!! I think I'm going to go have a nervous break down and cry myself to sleep...right after I prepare for my weekend program (which is tomorrow and I haven't even started my CG's) , feed and change my baby, and look at the e-mails for New Com which I'm stage managing this wednesday. Aggggghhh!

Oh and a ssuper happy birthday shout out to Noah!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I love my key-key!

I don't know what the deal was today but I was hard-core missing my little Malachy all day long! I almost left the conference to go and be with him because I missed him so much! However, he was in SUPER good hands with Crystal, who left my house super clean-thanks!! I was really glad Crystal babysat because ever since Malachy was born I have wanted Crystal to get to know him. It's important to me that she know Malachy because I love her kids so much and have valued having them in my life and I want her to know andfeel the same way about Malachy! So it was a blessing to me that she got to spend some time with him. Now I just need to find a day to spend with little Madi Patti!
The conference was of course amazing. The thing that struck me the most though was a little video that was a part of our "The God who hates injustice" service a few months ago. In the video they showed starving children in africa and it broke my heart. I have never been a very compassionate person, I was always afraid people would find out just how cold I really am. I don't know if it's from being surrounded by such extremely compassionate and empathetic people like Kim and Crystal...or if it's just one of those gifts/burdens God gives you when you become a mother, but ever since Malachy was born I have had a strong desire to go to Africa and hold the babies. Every time I see them on TV I weep for them and their mothers! My heart physically aches! I just want to hold them, I want to tell the Moms that are to sick or/and poor to take care of them that I will help, that there is hope, that people do care, that God is still there with them and that their babies are loved. I wish I wasn't such a coward or I would be there now. I hope sometime with in the next 2 years I can go! That's my goal. Until then I'm going to have to do the compassion international thing and support 2 kids because I can no longer bare to do nothing. Every time I start to think about it, I get sooo sad that I have to force it out of my head so I can function...it's nuts!
On a lighter note...I sent Noah a b-day present today. It wasn't much but we paid $13 in shipping hoping it would get there in time....you never know with the army! I hope things aren't too hard for him now. I have gotten better about praying and have been praying for him lots! His birthday is June 17th so please pray that he has a good birthday and isn't too lonely. And also please pray for Lauren who is without her husband all month, I know it's hard on her!
Well I'm going to get to bed so I can get up early and have fun time with Key before work .

Monday, June 13, 2005


That's my new favorite word and it pretty much sums up this entry because I have nothing very interesting to say ...I thought about making up some dramatic stories ...but I don't even have enough imagination for that...I know, I'm a disappointment!
Ok well anyhow, The Arts conference starts tomorrow. I thought I would be more excited then I am! Right now, I'm just looking forward to it being over, that's sad! I'm sure it will be fun though. Mark and I are not really involved in the first part, but we will be there. Mark is TD for the second part and I'm Stage Managing. It's pretty simple, so I'm not stressed about that. The only stressful thing was working out babysitters because Kim's attending. Mom and Crystal graciously agreed to babysit. Which is GREAT because I'm very picky about who I will leave Malachy with. I know he will have a great time with both Crystal and Mom! I just hope he doesn't wear them out. He has super fun days and super needy days! Lets hope we're in for a week of super fun days!
We had a good weekend. Friday night Sandy and Alan babysat so Mark and I could go on a date! Sunday we spent some time with Lauren and the parents. And Monday we went to Lords park and saw the Buffalo and Chad. (You can see pictures on Marks blog) We also went to dinner with Stuart, Chad, and Kim. It was great to see Stuart and catch up! We came back to the house and Mark practiced his break out talk...Malachy was delirious...he kept laughing for no reason, it was cute.
Well, I will end this entry because I know if your like Noah you stopped reading 2 paragraphs ago anyway! Oh and please keep Noah in your prayers while he's at JRTC! I worry about the little guy! Training can be dangerous.

Friday, June 10, 2005

growing up?

In an article Kim used to have posted there was a quote by Bono I found very interesting. He was talking about how their newest album was a lot like their first album. He said with every album they are trying to communicate something. The first album was about innocence and this latest album was about looking back at innocence.
That idea really struck me because in a big way I feel that's where my life is too. I remember discovering Christ and community and how fresh and new it all was. It was simply about the goodness of the grace of God and the joy of being able to share that with others in community. Then it slowly changed into being about me. About how I had to figure out all the mysteries of Christ so I could be closer to Him and look smart to everyone else. It was about being important in the eyes of others at church. Then it wasn't about God at all. Right after high-school my life became only about me and how people related to me was the sole measure of their value in my life. Because the world revolved around me, I had high emotional intimacy with the people close to me in those years, I thought that was the point of life.
Then it all fell apart because none of those people, despite the closeness and the emotion, could make me feel whole. I became bitter and disillusioned. I resented the church for it's politics and blamed them for anything I could.
Then I got married, had a baby, and put nearly 10 years of experience under my belt only to discover all of the things I thought were so important back then were trivial. The innocence I had in the beginning was where I should have stayed. So how do you get back there? How do you ignore and reconcile all the things you have seen in the church? How do you die to self with the bitter-sweet taste of a self-centered life stuck in your mouth? How do you forgive and forget? That is the question. The lure is always there, but more and more I find it's best to focus on God's grace and don't sweat the small stuff. Which is just about everything else.
That's why I love this new album. It gives me hope. Hope that I can return to innocence.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Movie do you belong in?

Power Rangers Movie!

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Lauren has this on her blog. I can't believe the movie I belong in is Power Rangers - how embarrasing! Lauren belongs in Cinderella and Kim belongs in Tarzan, both much cooler than mine.

It's HOT out there

I just tried to use the tv remote as a mouse...thats strange. I'm chilling with Malachy today. We're cleaning the house and doing some work on the laptop for the Arts Conference. It was a pretty good weekend....no Petting Zoo fun but we did get some Dairy Queen with our good pal Matt. Also we got to see Noah and Laurens wedding Album and visit with "cool" Aunt Lauren! (Malachy REALLY liked Lauren! He's often leary of people he dosen't see often but not Lauren he was happy to droll all over her) This week and next week are going to be pretty busy but after that I'm hoping the summer fun wll get into full swing! We ae going to upstate New York to visit Noah and Boston for our Aunts wedding in early July, I can't wait! Yummmm....their eating cold stone ice cream on the news! It's super hot out right now, I want to take Malachy for a walk but I don't want him to melt! I guess I will have to take the chance...see ya later

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Hi Friends, things are incredibly busy right now. Mark and I are working hard to prepare for the Arts Conference. I probably won't be by much for a few days so, until we meet again, here's a great blog to check out: Thunderstruck, That'll keep you busy!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Not much to say I guess....just the same as all the rest when your trying to throw your arms around the world

Kim needed a day of rest today, so I stayed home from work so she wouldn't have to watch Malachy. Malachy's been super cute! He just fell asleep all curled up in my lap! I quickly put him down and took my chance to get a blog entry in.

Malachy went to my parents last night so we could all attend New Community. This time he didn't roll off the table..yea!! New Com was good, there was a guest Worship leader and he was GREAT!! The message was good...what I took away from it was similar to last week for me. A reminder to extend love.

During worship, we sang Crystal's favorite song..."Blessed be the name" And the words "he gives and takes away" and "though there is pain in the offering my heart will choose to say blessed be thy name" stuck in my head. At first I was thinking of myself and what has the Lord taken away from me this year??? Mostly my pride here and there. Then I thought about not being able to be at home with Malachy and how I will never get these days back. I thought about losing Mace and how Malachy will never get to know him on this side of heaven, how hard those days in the hospice in Iowa were. How our community lost one of it's brightest stars this year and there is so much pain, confusion, and sorrow surrounding that loss. How some people I really loved working with transitioned out of staff at Willow. How for reasons I don't understand a significant part of the younger generation at church seems to be full of bitterness and anger. I thought of all the people who were hurting more then me and I started to feel guilty for the good things in my life. Because despite all the hard times, for me this year has had more joy then sorrow. At first I felt so guilty and almost embarrassed and scared. I still haven't figured out where to put those feelings. However I do know the Bible says there is a season for everything and if this is my season for rejoicing I don't want to miss it out of guilt or embarrassment! I have to thank God, Having Malachy was such a huge gift, my Job has been a big blessing not only to me but to people in my family. Mace's courage in the end was so powerful to me. The example of hurting people in our community has boosted my faith and given me strength. And the brokenness of the youngsters has strengthened my resolve to fight resentment, to let the little things go, and try to find hope in every situation. Those things are worth celebrating!