why i don't like cats

this morning mariska was outside barking and growling like crazy - non stop. when i went out to check, i noticed that there was a cat laying down underneath a car in the neighbor's yard...staring right at mariska. she wasn't afraid...just nonchalantly laying there, thinking that the dog couldn't reach her.

well then i took mariska off her lead, and started walking towards the cat. haha. it didn't take long and the cat ran away. i so wanted to just let mariska go and have some fun.

this is why i don't like cats.



Life always seems to be quite crazy and blogging lately has been put on hold. Tonight we're finally enjoying a quiet evening after a busy weekend, so I've found a moment to jot down some random happenings.

- last Monday we had our final home study meeting for the adoption. Our social worker came over to the house to make sure everything was safe. I don't think our home ever looked so nice, in large part due to Shanna's nerves approaching this meeting, but I'm continuing to learn that while the home is just a small building to me, it tends to be way more to the wife. We are so grateful to both of our families for taking long drives and overnights to fix sump issues, paint cabinets, landscaping and yard work, and so many other little things that left big impressions. One of the coolest things about the meeting was when we went through the adoption survey again. We had done this same survey last fall at our first meeting, but it was cool to do it again because it shows us how much we've grown/changed in our feelings of openness in adoption and thoughts towards the birth family. I never thought we'd end up here, and I'm so excited for how this new outlook will change everything. For more info on the adoption you can check out our other blog on the right sidebar.

- right now I'm typing this on our new iPad. What an amazing piece of technology and what an amazing blessing to ministry (and it's just plain fun). My brother decided to give it to us out of the blue as an early Christmas present. I love his generosity and giving spirit. We are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

- it's just over two weeks until we hop on the plane for Mozambique with 6 others from the Student Ministry. I love this group of teens and we've grown so close together over the last 9 months. We had our last training meeting this afternoon, and then celebrated together by doing dinner at The Plum Garden - an amazing hibachi restaurant. So fun. The support from the church has been truly astounding, and it really feels like this is a Lakeshore trip...which is so good on so many levels.

- just came off of our annual all-nighter event... We link up with a few other area youth groups to put on an amazing night of fun, and with our new facilities this year's was really cool. But as an adult leader...I can't stand em. It takes so long to recover from them and I always feel like I'm dragging afterwards. Maybe this was the "thorn In the flesh" that Paul was talking about (back in his youth ministry days).

- just started reading Love Is An Orientation - a book by Andrew Marin that I've been eyeing for a long time. It's a great read for anyone wanting to embrace the LGBT community with love, grace, and compassion. Actually, it's a must read for any Christian because it forces us to stop making excuses and proof texting our arguments, and truly begin to love people the way Jesus loved.


on edge

i tweeted the other day that i was feeling a little "on edge" and i wasn't quite sure why. it's probably just me and my own issues ... maybe a little overwhelmed with all the pressures of life right now. everything is good and we are beyond blessed...it's not that. i could write a million blog posts on all the amazing things we have to be thankful for right now! i guess i've just been disappointed in some people, frustrated with others, and just plain sad for others.

but then something surfaced today that made me even more on edge, and somewhere in my spirit i know my "on edge" feelings a couple days ago are somehow tied to this thing that surfaced. today i received this in a message:

I brought a friend with me [to church...] I know he could use some guidance. Not 1 person even said hello to him. I just don't get it.

i've been the guy plenty of times before that walked by and never said hello. and i guess that may be why this is so frustrating. but sometimes i think we forget how desperately in need the people are that we pass by everyday. the people who come to our church, the teens who come to our youth stuff and wear fake smiles. i'm tired of them not getting noticed, and walking away thinking the church doesn't care. and i'm tired of feeling the pressure as a church staffer to meet the needs and pick up the pieces that the church people should just naturally do anyways.

i'm not angry...just a little on edge.


Camera Broken...

After several unfortunate incidents, my camera is finally out for the count.  We bought her last summer because 1. I started falling in love with photography and my point-and-shoot made me want to cry.   2.  My sister's wedding  3.  Mozambique  4. Future work from home job possibility.

Thousands of pictures have already been taken.  Most photographically & artistically bad.  But, my improvement was obvious and incredibly affirming.  I also loved to hand her off to one of our teens or some other adult and let them shoot for awhile.  First, because I love seeing their POV through the lens and second, my little Nikon D60 can make even the most inexperienced photographer feel really good.  :)  She was an amazing piece of equipment that just knew how to do her thing with very little direction.

I took her to Rowe Photo today to have them take a look.  The guy took her all apart and fiddled with buttons, etc (pretty much exactly what I did here at home though a little more confidently) and then pronounced her issues beyond his scope of expertise.  The next step is sending her back to Nikon.  Getting her fixed will cost almost as much as what it cost to buy her.  Actually, I could probably find a body for only slightly more than what they want to fix the thing.

Well, I'm off to eat some more chocolate and try to accomplish something today other a successful pity party.