Sunday, March 16, 2008

random sunday morning musings

  • so i took a 48 hour computer sabbatical--i haven't been online from Friday @ 9am PST until Sunday 10am PST.
  • that makes my random saturday musings random sunday musings
  • being unplugged was nice. returning to being plugged in i feel very behind
  • chocolate chip cookies from paradise bakery are a good thing in the denver airport
  • talking theology with a southern baptist who became an atheist who became a transcendentalist who's currently exploring channeling makes my head hurt
  • on the other hand, i'm glad the person i had the aforementioned theology conversation with sees enough of something he finds real in my faith to have the conversation with me
  • why women should rule the world should be on everyone's reading list--i'll do a separate post on this
  • i'm on vacation through the 25th-number one vacation goal: no alarm clock except easter sunday
  • i'm visiting fam and friends in OK which will be fun
  • i hate being exhausted and having insomnia
  • two desserts in one night is fun especially when you're sharing them with a friend
  • a cool thing about good friends--you're never too old to stay up half the night talking and giggling
  • i'm going to hobby lobby this favorite craft/art/project store ever that sadly we don't have in san diego
  • tulsa and grand rapids might actually be the same city only one is snowier

Saturday, March 08, 2008

random saturday musings 2

since i have a habit of reviewing my week and noting things that stuck with me, i've decided to also try and make a habit out of sharing a few of those here every saturday night.
  • i just might be a quirkyalone meaning i'd rather be on my own than in a lame relationship or settle just to be in a couple (note to self: order book)
  • i'm looking forward to my trip to ok for easter
  • i'm not looking forward to packing (i wish there was a service that would do my laundry and pack for me)
  • it's always a good idea to keep popcorn & cake mix on hand when you host small group at your house
  • i still wonder if i'm being selfish when i'm happy for a friend who's beginning a new adventure but sad for how it will change our relationship
  • i've finished 3 of the 4 books i set out to read this weekend--not sure if i can finish the 4th by monday
  • i'm excited that we'll have an extra hour of daylight in the evening but i really hate losing an hour of sleep

Friday, March 07, 2008

ambitious reading days

i'm trying to catch up on my reading. i perpetually have books lying around in various stages of progress. at the moment on the table behind my couch, there's rhett butler's people (so far so not as good as gone with the wind) that i'm having a hard time really getting into, but am determined to read. there's also my sister's keeper by jodi picoult, probably waiting for my next flight. enduring lives which i recently finished and real sex: the naked truth about chastity which i've been using as a resource for curriculum for my middle school girls.

this week, i'm focusing on some work-related reading plus one other book. one of the cool things about my job is that we publish really good books for teens--invert books. i read them so i know what they're about first-hand. we have a bunch of great new ones that have just released or about to so i'm reading those. this evening, i finished it's easy being green by emma sleeth which released today. i'm almost finished with generation change, an upcoming book from zach hunter that will be available in april. also on the reading schedule for the weekend are confessions of a not-so-super model (i've read excerpts but i'm excited to read it from start to finish) and wisdom on...making good decisions.

the plus one other book is why women should rule the world by dee dee myers. she was the first female press secretary in the white house. so far i just love it.

in the upcoming week, i'll do a little post about each book i'm reading this weekend.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

thoughts from a volunteer small group leader

i lead a little small group of 8th grader girls. we've been together as a group since they started 6th grade. in just a couple months, the girls will move onto high school. over the last few days, i've had opportunities to talk to the girls parents for a variety of reasons including having coffee with a couple of the moms last night.

as i've been thinking about this, i keep noticing how blessed i feel to have good relationships with the parents. i can think of times, especially in my early years as a youth worker, that it just wouldn't have occured to me to get to know the parents of my girls, especially being a volunteer. now, a little older and hopefully wiser, i can't imagine not getting to know the parents of my girls.

below are a few things i've learned as a volunteer working with parents:
  • introduce yourself. send a letter, email, or make a phone call to get started. make a point to meet them in person.
  • make yourself available. be sure they have your phone number and email. let them know you're available as a support and resource for them and their student.
  • help them connect to the larger ministry--make sure they're in the loop on total group events, upcoming outings, etc. (i can occasionally be absent-minded about this)
  • remember that they're trusting you with the most precious thing in their life. as much as you love the kids in your group, you'll never feel about them the way their parent does.
  • remember that you're not the parent. don't try to be one. and don't criticize the parent's choices to the student. instead, be the student's adult friend and a good listener. when appropriate, you can sometimes help a student see their parents point of view.
  • i have a friend who's a school teacher who tells the parents of her students, "i'll only believe half of what your child tells me about you, if you'll believe only half of what your child tells you about me." the idea being kids can sometimes exaggerate the good and especially the bad about the grown ups in their lives.
  • partner with the parents--encourage them to help their child's spiritual development.
  • tell the parents ways you see their child growing up--if you have a reason to praise a kid, be sure you let the parent know too.

if you do these things, when things go well for the kids in your group, the celebration is even bigger. and if things go wrong, the kids have a group of adults around them who can work together to love and nurture them into better places.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

random saturday musings

  • cars are good; car maintenance is a pain
  • i like orange vegetables--butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams
  • haricot verts are just french style green beans
  • i like cooking for friends and having them over
  • i don't like cleaning before and after i have friends over, but it's a necessary evil
  • dublin dr. pepper is available just 2.7 miles from my house and i just found out this afternoon
  • our country needs accessible, affordable health care for everyone
  • easter candy is better than valentine's candy
  • prices are really going up at the grocery store
  • what does it say that my 3 fave celebs at the moment are all food network hosts: guy fieri, robert irvine, and duff goldman
  • i love being a volunteer in youth ministry more than being a youth pastor
  • meeting our parent company's new ceo was good--i'm really excited we have a woman ceo
  • i'm looking forward to going to oklahoma for easter
  • if barack obama really is going to be the democratic nominee and the next president, i sure hope he figures out a way to come even 1/2 close to the hype he's created for himself
  • if barack obama is the president and can't live up to the hype, i think bush's current approval ratings will look really high
  • i still think if the democratic party genuinely wanted to fix things and not play politics as usual, they'd figure out a way to run a clinton/obama ticket; clinton focusing on foreign issues; obama on domestic and after a 4-8 year run, then obama could run and the dems could potentially have 16 uninterrupted presidential years