Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Leaf" Your Name.

Of several friends planning to wed this May 19th, one commissioned me to make a "thumbprint tree guestbook" as inspired by many on Pinterest. She requested a tree swing, which added a sweet touch! I was a little unsure if I could handle the task at first, but it worked out pretty well!

Congrats, Mark & Michelle!

Your wedding day draws nearer and nearer... :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Drew is going to graduate. Neat.

Drew plans to graduate as a super senior this year! Cheers!

He's single, ladies...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Lost Me.

Recently, I picked up a book "You Lost Me. Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church... And Rethinking Faith".

I'll tell you why I picked it up.

Living as a young adult innately requires self-examination. We are constantly shedding our beliefs/values/patterns of living and integrating new as we transition from childhood to adulthood. To top it all off, we live in a culture of dramatic and rapid change - technology, science, economics, and immediate access to information. Navigation is not simple; it can be downright confusing.

Though I cannot begin to adequately explain the book in a concise manner, here's the gist. The Barna Group is a research group based in California that examines the "intersections between faith and culture." Their lastest book, written by David Kinnaman, examines the disconnect of young adults and the church at present. He names us "Mosiacs" - those born between the years 1884-2002.

They group young adults with Christian backgrounds into three categories: Nomads, Prodigals, and Exiles.  (However, they also emphasize that every person's story is different and unique. These are simply broad categories formed from examining common themes and trends.)

"Nomads are described as persons who "wander or drift away from active involvement with a church or faith community."  Defining themes:
  • They still describe themselves as Christian and believe personal involvement in a Christian community is optional.
  • The importance of faith has faded.
  • Most are not angry or hostile toward Christianity.
  • Many are spiritual experimentalists.
Prodigals are those who "give up on the faith of their childhood." It doesn't suggest they'll return to faith, just that they don't consider themselves "Christian" anymore. Defining themes:
  • They feel varying levels of resentment towards Christians and Christianity.
  • They have disavowed returning to church.
  • They have moved on from Christianity.
  • Their regrets, if any, usually center on their parents.
  • They feel as if they have broken out of constraints. They experience leaving at freedom.
Exiles are those who "feel stuck between the comfortable, predicable world of church and the 'real world' they feel called to influence." The author compares exiles to Daniel - those attempting to be faithful to their faith heritage while trying to live in "Babylon" (new culture). Defining themes:
  • Not inclined to be separate from "the world." They long for spirital loves to be connected, to be whole, and to make sense.
  • They are skeptical of institutions but are not wholly disengaged from them.
  • Young exiles sense God moving outside the walls of the church.
  • They are not disallusioned with tradition; they are frustrated with slick or shallow expressions of faith.
  • They have not found faith to be instructive to their calling or gifts.
  • They struggle when other Christians question their motives.
So where do you classify yourself?

I would probably call myself an exile. Throughout college and after, I have struggled to navigate connection with a faith community in a meaningful way. As a kid and teen, I was fully engaged in the Philly suburb independent church my Dad pastored for ten years. I had a head full of hope and was bred for leadership, ministry, and community. It still runs through my veins, but today's image of my faith different, more fragmented than 6 years ago when I graduated high school. I went to a pretty liberal Mennonite University, traveled to the Middle East for several months, learned to walk with my brother when he came out, started seriously dating a dashingly handsome and charming Mennonite, and I became a nurse (... going to church on a consistent basis? ha!).  

I am wary of the church in many ways. These days, I ask more questions than I give answers. The world we live and work in looks so different from the church at times that it's hard to reconcile the two. So when I read a few pages from this book, I was pulled in because it's hard research of exactly what my generation is feeling and thinking and doing about church today.

I'm curious to hear about other people's thoughts on this book, so if you need something interesting to read and talk about, do it! I'm all ears.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Shall we take a peek at the things at my place this week?

First, craft time! I made some scrabble coasters, and I think they turned out pretty snazzy!

Flowers from Ben + Kate's wedding:

Hydrangeas outside my casa door.

More goodies from Kate's wedding. It's officially fall.

More home projects.

I found the two frames at Mercy House Thrift shop and gave them a face lift. 
Frame the ones you love?

The wall hanging on the left is a Ten Thousand Villages find - Indonesia!

A home for each piece of jewelry...
 and where I lay my little head to rest after my 12 hour shifts.

 PhotoWork station!

Wedding gift from Kate Bergey :)
Lavender, of course.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kate + Buds at Bluestone Vineyard

A few weeks ago we celebrated Kate's Bachelorette Weekend all over the Shenandoah - partying in Harrisonburg, wine tasting in Bridgewater, and dining in Stanton. Here are a few snippets from Bluestone Vineyard

Kate and Hanna: a dynamic duo. These two have so much sisterly love for each other, and there is so much to admire about their relationship. If this picture doesn't demonstrate their special sister friendship, I don't know what does.

And... Hanna is beautiful, clearly.

If you've got the curls, rock 'em.

I am so happy for Kate, the friend who speaks my heart language and has literally lived with me through the ups and downs of 5 years. Ben, you're one lucky dude!

Time for a Change.

The page needed a face lift. I think this is much much better.