If This One Thing Happens

Writing my way through seminary

Reclaiming our Bodies – Baptismal Promise

For an intensive course this summer, I was asked to create a ritual and preach a sermon that might fit in that setting.  I chose to create a ritual for healing from sexual violence and abuse.  This was the sermon I preached.  It’s based on excerpts from Genesis 3, 2 Samuel 13:12-21, Ezekiel 37:1-14, as well as a Scripture reading: Romans 6:3-10 and Gospel reading: Luke 24:36-43.


We remember Adam and Eve.  We remember their sin and the consequences.  In the garden, Adam and Eve had full relationship with God.  Outside of it, God’s absence was heart-wrenching, even though God continued to love them. It’s just so human to forget how far God’s love can go.

It’s painful to remember the story of Tamar. Tamar was raped by her brother.  Then told by another brother to stay silent.  The story continues with her brothers fighting for vengeance.  But Tamar never speaks again.

Her silence fills the story with the silence of a million scarred sisters. Tamar’s story doesn’t have a happy ending, sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes it seems as though we are left alone in our suffering, and the story continues without us.  The world just keeps on turning.

But we’re still alive anyway aren’t we?  The world just might move a bit faster than we do.  The people around us may not notice us where we stand.  We’re not those dry bones in the valley in Ezekiel’s story. Not yet anyway. Those bones were dry and dead and forgotten.  We’re still here. We’re still breathing and talking and sometimes even laughing.  Even when our laugh has an edge.  Even when we’re hugging ourselves to make sure we’re still here.  Even when the scars don’t seem to fade, because they were never on our skin in the first place. We may not be gone yet, but we’re missing the piece that this world took from us.  That someone took from us.  And it feels like we’ll never get it back. The world takes and takes and doesn’t let up.

And this world makes us so afraid. It makes us doubt. It assaults us.  It wounds us.  It breaks us into a million little pieces that we might never get back. Our hearts are scarred by the sin and death and violence that surround us.

Even in Jesus’ story, sin and death and violence surround him in his life. His trial is horrendous. His death on the cross unforgivable. Even Jesus, in his last moments felt the absence of God. He quotes the Psalm saying “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is our world, this is our pain, and it seems so unbearable, so hopeless.

But then, somehow, hope shows up.

After Jesus’ death, his disciples are sitting huddled together afraid of what is going to happen next. They were witness to the death of Jesus. And in his death all of their hopes died. They were suffocating in this unbearable, hopeless pain.

But then, somehow, Jesus shows up.

“Peace be with you” he says to them all nonchalantly. And they just can’t believe that he’s alive. He must be a ghost, a specter, something from their imaginations, from a dream trying to give them what they been hoping for. But no one’s asleep.

Jesus has scars too.

Jesus tells his disciples to look at his hands and feet. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Thomas to actually put his fingers into his wounds. The point is – Jesus is alive. Again. Not a ghost. A human, with a human body, with human wounds, and he’s hungry.

That’s how you know he’s really alive. It’s that he eats. He is hungry. Ghosts don’t eat food. This is a fact. They don’t have stomachs, or intestines (at least not functional ones).  It’s Jesus’ real body, and he needs something to eat.

This is the good news. I know it might not seem like it. It seems a little boring. Jesus shows up, everyone’s amazed, and then he eats some food. La – di – da.

But this new life that Jesus has. Even with his wounds, even after his death, is something we get too. That’s what’s so amazing.

Paul in his letter to the Romans, asks them, “Don’t you know?  When you were baptized into Christ Jesus, you were baptized into his death?”

Our baptism draws us into the body of Christ – the church. And that might seem like just a small part of joining a new congregation, but it’s so much more than that. It joins us together as pieces of Christ’s body, pieces of his wounds, and pieces of his hunger.

It joins us in the promise of the resurrection.  Not just ghosts, but real human bodies, united together in Jesus’s death, and in his new life.

God calls us and he says “Prophesy!”He says prophesy to our dry bones. And millions of pieces of ourselves that have been broken by the world and scattered through our lives, those pieces start to clatter and they start to come together. We’re broken statues made from love and forgiveness and mercy, and God breathes life into us and our pieces find their way to eachother. God breathed into us and into creation, God breathed in the Holy Spirit, giving us life, that same Spirit promised to us in baptism. Jesus takes us out of that valley of dry bones, and gives us back our bodies, gives us back our voices, because our silence is just too loud.  Tamar’s silence is just too loud.

Healing isn’t about making our pain go away completely, or immediately. We have been changed. Scarred. Broken. Alone. But those words and that water, it brought us into something new.  It brought us into Christ.

If we die with Christ then we are also raised with Christ. We get to live in Jesus. That is the promise in our baptism. Not just some water, but new life. And in that resurrection of our broken bodies, and the new life outside of sin and death, we share our wounds and our scars with Jesus. We are healing.  Our promises are great, and our hope is growing.  Our scars are part of our resurrection. We’re not ghosts. We’re not invisible. We’re not silent. Our wounds are real.

And Lord are we hungry.


An Essay: Confession: God’s Righteousness in My Story – A Testimony of Gift & Power

I don’t think I’ve ever posted essays or assignments from school, but since this one is so personal, I wanted to share.  This essay was written with the prompt: Explain how your emerging understanding of righteousness and new creation affects your understanding of faith and how your approach impacts who you are and will be as a Christian public leader. How will it influence the way you conduct ministry?

I’ve written many candidacy essays and applications describing my faith story over the last few years, and not once in any of those essays did the words “righteousness” or “new creation” appear.  Which is funny to think about now, since in the midst of this course on righteousness and new creation, it’s obvious to me how accurately this vocabulary describes my own faith story. The ways in which God has broken into my life and made me new now speaks to my understanding of God’s righteousness.  Not only this, but as my understanding of righteousness and new creation grows, it describes the ways in which I find myself ministering to others, my beliefs about God’s love for God’s creation.  God’s righteousness as power and gift has been the foundation for my ministry, even though two months ago that word would never have entered my faith story.

So my story, shortened, as it has been written and rewritten so many times at this point (I can now describe twenty-six years of life into an elevator ride) is this: I grew up in a Lutheran church.  I was baptized as a babe and attended Sunday School regularly.  My life revolved around the church building during many of my formative years.  Part of that formation is of course adolescence, and teenagers tend to be a little less accepting of truths from adults.  I found myself in my second year of confirmation with too many questions.  Unfortunately the interim pastor was too busy to foster my deteriorating faith.  At fourteen I realized that the “faith” I had was not mine.  It seemed to me that the faith of my childhood was a shallow obedience to my parents’ rituals.  I had no idea why I believed in God or Jesus or anything, and I wasn’t going to take my parent’s word for it.  I spent eight years bouncing between atheism, agnosticism, Wicca, and Buddhism.  With most of this time being spent as a professed and proud atheist.

Even in my final year of confirmation, I had tried to convince my parents to let me quit this fruitless Wednesday ritual, as I had no faith to confirm. But grandma decided it was a little money to have me finish this rite.  She bribed me with the shiny technology of 2002, a new laptop, so I continued to trudge through this final year.  Our new pastor started that year, and in my final confirmation interview I honestly told him my doubts, my adamant refusal to believe, and my desperate need for a laptop.  He nodded solemnly and apologized.  He wished someone had been there to tell me my questions were okay.  He confirmed me anyway.  Off and on throughout the coming years, this pastor reached out.  He never kept me away when I wanted to join in the mission trip to Mexico. He bought me lunch on the request of my mother, with no agenda or proselytizing.  He continued to affirm my doubts, and rather than proclaiming the Gospel with words, he proclaimed the Gospel through his actions and care for me.

So what happened?  What changed?  What brought this prodigal daughter back into the fold?  I suppose it was the Holy Spirit.  That’s what my learned theological understanding says.  At twenty-two years old, I found myself lamenting in my car over a toxic relationship, talking to myself over the noise of traffic, and then suddenly feeling as though I weren’t alone.  The skies didn’t open up, there was no vision of bridges or prophetic words spoken to me.  It was just this sense, this feeling, and in that moment my life was changed.  And yet – not.  I realized that this monolog-turned-dialog was my ranting and raving turned prayer, and I didn’t know what to do with this feeling.

So here I was, this new person, filled with faith and hope that I am loved, cherished, and forgiven, and at the same time surrounded by my vehemently atheist friends, filled with embarrassment over my confusing and unsolicited faith.   It was unsolicited, and greatly needed.  “Without our merit – since, after all, we cannot merit anything – He wants to give us forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life for the sake of Christ. For God is He who dispenses His gifts freely to all.”1 And so accepting that this gift of faith was part of my life, I continued to pray secretly in my car for several months.  I didn’t feel as though I could share this gift with anyone else, it seemed too small, too fragile, and I wanted to keep it safe from sarcasm and mockery for as long as I could.

Eventually, as I was this new creation hiding in my old world, the mobile altar of my steering wheel was no longer meeting the need of my growing faith.  I needed to hear God’s Word, I needed more of God’s promises, and so I needed church.  I found myself going back to the church that I grew up in, the church that fed me green eggs and ham in preschool and gave me first communion.  It was in this church that our new pastor confirmed my proclaimed-atheist self and gave validity to my doubts. I knew that my parents wouldn’t be there that Sunday, and I hadn’t kept in contact with anyone from my old church life.  Maybe I could still keep this new creation secret, maybe I could still protect my tiny faith.

That is until I found myself kneeling at the altar, surrounded by aged faces of those I once knew.  My heart was full and tears of joy were attempting to escape from me, this sense of home and comfort were overwhelming me.  Then the pastor came up to me.  Kneeling not with my family, but on my own, in that moment he looked down and said, “Is this Megan?”  The tears escaped.  My head upturned to him and I just nodded, reaching my hands out to get the body of Christ, given for me, the thing that I needed.  This was really my moment of God’s righteousness breaking into my life.  God started slowly in my car months prior, but it was in this moment where I knew that God’s mercy and faithfulness were in me, changing me and making me new.

This is my story, the foundations for who I am as a minister, as a Christian public leader, and as a person of faith.  This is God’s righteousness in my young(er) life, shaping me and changing me in God’s power.   “God’s righteousness is associated with an active manifestation of God’s power.”2 Part of believing that God’s righteousness is God’s power, God’s action in our world and in our lives, means for me that my responsibility as a minister, as a Christian public leader, is only to share God’s Word and promises, through my words and through my actions.  Being a broken person myself, I’m able to share in the brokenness of others, and share in the hope of others.  For me, it means being vulnerable to God’s actions in my life, and being vulnerable with those I minister to.  My vulnerability culminated to that moment at the altar, completely open and new to God’s work in the sacrament.  I think that its in that vulnerability that I find God’s righteousness in my ministering to others.

New creation isn’t a simple thing.  God’s righteousness inbreaks into our old selves and into our lives, breaking open our hearts and revealing something new.  Simultaneously our old selves don’t die so easily.  God’s righteousness begins the story.  “Faith itself is a gift of God, a work of God in our hearts, which justifies us because it takes hold of Christ as the Savior.”3 God’s kingdom only fully comes when Christ comes again, but in the gift of God’s righteousness, we are able to see glimpses of that kingdom in our lives now.  The hope in our new creation, the hope in the ever-changed person in God’s gift, is a simultaneously broken wholeness.  Like the favorite mug that falls on the floor, God doesn’t throw us away, but carefully glues together our pieces into a mosaic.  With faith as epoxy, we become a cup that God continues to fill, even if it leaks a little.

I think faith is a lot like that favorite mug.  A little broken in spots, dripping the coffee into a ring underneath, yet still something we hold close to our hearts.  God does not give up on his broken creation, but instead makes us new in faith, something different than what we once were.  It’s not always obvious to us, looking at another new creation from the outside, or even looking at the new creation in ourselves, but God knows his favorite mug.  We are broken, God does heal us, even if it is a little jagged and piecemealed together.

It was a small and quiet revelation of God’s love and grace that flipped my switch.  It was God’s righteousness in his faithfulness and love that allowed for this change in me.  For me, this was a miracle.  Being a broken, hurt, suffering person living in my own sin and the sinful world around me, was almost too much to bear, but in Christ’s love and mercy in that first moment of God’s righteousness, and in all the moments that came to follow, I was changed.  I was made into this new creation.  And yet, even within this new creation, still broken.

As this broken person, made whole by God’s gift of faith, old but new, I find myself listening to the stories of those who also live in this broken world, and who also need reminders of God’s righteousness, of God’s action, in their lives. “It is a union between Christ and the believer, established by Christ and experienced through faith in him”4, it’s this union where God makes us whole, and by this gift that Christ works in us and through us. More than anything, within this emerging understanding of righteousness, my role in its action has become twofold: being able to name those moments of new creation in the lives of others, and also creating space for others to share the stories of their lives, their hopes for God’s promises and their sorrows in the times where God’s absence seems most prevalent.

Describing my understanding of God’s righteousness in my own life, faith, and ministry comes in many roundabout ways.  It’s through the story of my faithlessness and God’s faithfulness in his gift of righteousness and faith has shaped me, this power has torn me from my previous life.  It has helped me to see the wonder in vulnerability, to be able to share in the vulnerability of others.  It’s cheesy metaphors and hope.  My understanding of God’s righteousness reminds me that God’s unending love and mercy and God’s power is working in us and through us.  God’s righteousness and his making of me and others into new creation holds promise.  Righteousness is God’s promise – mysterious, faithful, and complete gift.

Works Cited

Bassler, Jouette M. Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological Concepts. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2007. Print.

Luther, Martin, and Jaroslav Pelikan. Luther’s Works. Vol. 26. St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1958. Print.

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I Don’t Know – Rambling on God, Suffering, and Light

I don’t have many answers.  It’s been nearly two years in seminary, studying away at the Bible, at theology, and putting into contexts all that I have learned.  But the secret to my faith really has become a faith in not having answers.  In face of this world with such great suffering, which terrible hurts and pains and injustice, how can one believe in a God who allows all this to happen – or worse, planned it?

I don’t know.  My hope and faith is in a God who loves.  Who loves all of creation.  Who weeps when creation weeps.  Who gives us comfort in our greatest moments of despair.  And who can be our punching bag when we need someone to blame for this chaos.  How can God let these things happen?

I don’t know.  I don’t know if God chooses for bad things to happen.  I do believe that God can work through tragedy, but I think first and foremost, before God works through the tragedy, God works through other people to be with us in our tragedies.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this either, another answer I don’t know.  I told myself I would write more often, and so here I am typing away, hoping that the words that come out make sense – so of course I choose a topic where there is no making sense.  There’s no sense in the evil in the world.  There’s no sense in violence.  There’s no sense in hurricanes and tsunamis.  There’s no sense in infants dying.  There’s no sense in suicide.  There’s no sense to it, except that it is part of this broken world.  I believe it is part of original in, and part of the hopes and faith I have that some day God’s kingdom will fully break through into this world, and this world will be forever changed.

In the mean time, I hope for the glimpses of God’s kingdom that I do get to see in the darkness.  God’s light breaks into the heart of a woman in prison who finally realizes that the love for her children can exist without them loving her back.  God’s light breaks in when a man shares stories of his life while he lays in his hospital bed.  God’s light breaks in when this broken world finds a little healing, even if only for a moment.

So this is my secret to my faith – I don’t know.  God’s light breaks into my life, and it’s God’s light that brightens some of my darkness, moment by moment.

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Homesick – Megan’s (not good) Poetry

I miss the mountains, their colors have been mine.

Green and gray, the hues of rain in my bouquet.

The way the sun cheers a darkened day.

I miss the mountains, their colors have been mine.


I miss dancing, the music and the noise.

Twirling dresses and boot heals hit the floor.

Always waiting for one song more.

I miss dancing, the music and the noise.


I miss their stories, voice and grins.

Their laughter, joy and all their tears.

My own reflection in those mirrors.

I miss their stories, voice and grins.


In all this missing I am missing, I forget.

I see the skylines and the river, grey and green of streets and stream.

Standing tall and rushing past me.

Colors live outside of home.


In all this missing I am missing, I forget.

I hear the music in my ears, sing and dance to new melodies.

Rhythm and song hold my memories.

Music lives outside of home.


In all this missing I am missing, I forget.

But now new people share their stories, touch my heart and hold my tears.

Here and there our stories travel.

Home lives away from home.






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I am Told – Uncommon Self-Care and Self-Acceptance

It has been almost an entire year since I wrote anything that wasn’t assigned to me.  Even this blog post is a recommendation by my supervisor.  I really love writing, but other things have come first.  I’m told this is not an uncommon thing in seminary and in graduate school.  I’m told that it’s not uncommon for interests and hobbies to fall to the wayside in lieu of papers, exams, sermons, student groups, and the ilk.  I’ve used this commonality as my rationalization for overworking myself.  I do find some time here and there for rest, for hobbies, for my interests – but it’s not enough.

I am in need of some peace in my life.  This is not something that I easily admit.  I prefer the chaos.  I prefer my to-do list to be full and my schedule to be booked.  There’s something in me about feeling worthy while “doing”.  I am told this is not uncommon.  And I am also told that there is a worthiness in “not doing”, in taking care of my physical and emotional self.

There will always be things to do.  Taking care of my self needs to be one of them.  Writing should be one of them.

So as recommended or assigned, I’m going to work towards blogging again.  Also within this self-assignment, I hope to push myself out of the commonalities of my over-stressed, over-worked self, and accept who I am and my limits in that.  I don’t admit this failure lightly, but I’m hoping that in writing this I can give myself some accountability, and some motivation.


Why Do I Dye My Hair – The Straight Answer

I forget that my hair is an unnatural color.  All the time.  Right now it’s currently this teal-blue-green color that I absolutely love.  But I forget that it’s not “normal”.  That is, until someone asks me about it.  I’ve given all kinds of answers depending on how I’m feeling that day.  Sometimes the answer is “I get bored.”  Which is true.  Sometimes the answer is “Well I don’t like my natural color, so if I’m going to dye it anyway it might as well be fun!”  Which is also true.  Sometimes when it happens to work out right, I laugh and say “Well it matches the liturgical season!”  Gotta love those church seasons.

The color of the month

The color of the month

The truth is though, the answer is much longer and bigger than those.  My natural hair color is this dirty blonde.  I first started getting highlights when I was 8, and had been dying it red since I was 12.  I really don’t even know what my natural hair color looks like when it’s longer than a pixie cut.  I first dyed my hair pink when I was fourteen.  I was incredibly depressed, dealing with severe social anxiety, and I didn’t like who I was.  So I decided to be someone different.  At a time where I felt invisible, I wanted to be seen.

That was the beginning.  Eventually I went back to my burgundy, red, auburn hair and continued to keep that color up over the years.  It was still bright, but wasn’t quite so unnatural, and was a bit more fitting for most workplaces.

It actually was more of a fire engine red then it shows in pictures

It actually was more of a fire engine red then it shows in pictures

At one point when my hair was super short, I even went black.  One of my friends said it seemed too “emo”, but I had gotten tired of the same red, it was beginning to feel less like who I was.

Last year, I was working as a caregiver and from home as a book-keeper, and I no longer had any restrictions on my hair color.  I started trying to make my way through the rainbow.

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I would get comments, mostly good, some not.  At this point my haircut was similar to Romana Flowers from a popular comic book/movie, so simply saying that helped answer the question of why my hair looked the way it did.  At one point, I had a family friend ask me who was it that I was trying to “attract” by my rainbow hair.  I hadn’t thought about it.  I was in a serious relationship at the time, and wasn’t trying to attract anyone, I was just trying to make my outside look out my inside felt.

After a few months, I gave in to the negativity I received.  I ended up going blonde, and trying to be someone other people were wanting me to be.  I had gotten compliments on my rainbow colored hair, but when I went  blonde I was told how much more professional I looked.  How that’s what people want from their pastor, how much “healthier” it looked.  Honestly I hated it.  I felt like I was putting on a show, wearing my mask because the person underneath wasn’t what people wanted me to be.

Then my break up happened.

I cut all of my hair short enough that it was only my natural hair color.

I wore a lot of hats

I wore a lot of hats

I completely started over, I moved to seminary, and I decided that being an adult was about being myself.  I was tired of trying to be something that I wasn’t, and it was so obvious at that point that being that person wasn’t helping me.  I completely redid my wardrobe, no more plain jeans and a t-shirt or office-wear, I wasn’t working in an office anymore, I didn’t need it.  I loaded up on dresses, Doctor Who and Marvel shirts, bright colored leggings, and a lot of really awesome headbands with bows.  I decided:

This is who I am. I can’t not be me.

So why is my hair a strange color?  Why do I change it so regularly?

  • Because I can
  • Because I love it
  • Because when I look in the mirror, I see ME

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Living in Anxiety – How I’ve Pushed Past It

word cloud

Last Sunday, I preached for the first time ever.  My first ever sermon.  There were all these moments leading up to that Sunday where I let that negative self-talk monster get into my head.  What if it’s terrible? What if I trip walking up to the pulpit?  What if no one takes me seriously? What if this isn’t actually what I’m supposed to be doing?

It becomes a slippery slope.  Part of my problem was that I have been suffering from social anxiety my entire life.  From as young as I could remember, I was that really awkward kid who always said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and my peers let me know it, it was difficult to be myself, to be an extrovert who could never say the right thing.  Eventually whenever I had to talk with people I didn’t know very well or any sort of class presentation, I would begin to shake and my face would turn this shade of red that is only ever seen in my skin.  I’d trip over words, suddenly have some sort of stutter that wasn’t there before.  I would be able to feel every part of the joint in my jaw tremoring.

Needless to say, it was a nightmare.  I have this bubbly, sort of over-the-top personality, and I wasn’t able to speak.

When I was fourteen, and in a really deep depression, I decided this was not something I could abide.  I had no idea what my future would hold, but I knew that this anxiety was going to hold me back.  This was long before being diagnosed by a professional with “social anxiety”, but at the time I didn’t even know there could be help for this.

So I started putting myself into situations that made me uncomfortable.  I dyed my hair pink.  I stood out.  Each morning I would go up to at least half the class and say hello.  I volunteered first for every class presentation.

Honestly, it was hard.  And often it sucked.  I still shook and turned beet red often, I still tripped over my words, I still felt embarrassed and ashamed that everyone else seemed to be able to talk normally when it was such a struggle for me.

Once I got to college I was smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day.  Somehow the cigarettes made it easier for me to talk to new people.  We already had something in common!  Not to mention that whatever terrible chemicals exist in cigarettes helped alleviate some of the anxiety.

Fastforward a few years later, and I started doing karaoke as regularly as possible.  The first few times I got up on the stage with the lights in my face and held the microphone to my lips were some of the most terrifying moments of my life.  It was like starting over again, but I just kept doing it, until I was only shaking a little bit.  I told myself the lights brightened my face so people couldn’t see how red it was.  I just kept pushing forward.

These last two Sundays I have gotten up in front of two different churches, and proclaimed the Gospel.  I’ve felt a few moments of shakiness, I had to keep reminding myself to breathe and not lock my knees.  I put on a pound of foundation so the redness in my cheeks isn’t as obvious to those watching.  I can’t eat anything beforehand and I have to drink a lot of water to make sure my throat stays clear.  But I’m doing it.  Twelve years ago I didn’t know what it was I would have to do, all I knew was that I couldn’t let my anxiety control me, and now I finally understand why.  Even though the anxiety still rumbles beneath the surface, I’m finally able to do what I was meant to do – preach.


Playing Catchup – Adding a New To Do List Item

It’s been a bit difficult to get anything written down lately. I think the major issue is that once classes picked up, I was writing so much for class it was hard to find anything else to write about. Now I just feel like I’m always playing catchup, which is usually how I like to do things, but today my to do list just seems completely overwhelming.

I love lists. I specifically love making to do lists, because often there’s so many different things to do, and I need a list.

to do list

Better yet, I need a very well organized listed. With prioritization on all the to dos. I can say “this must be done today”, “this must be done as soon as possible”, and “this must be done”. Each day I review it, there’s one “this must be done today” item that has been there for three days now, but I’m feeling lucky today, I’m thinking I’ll at least start on it.

One thing I’m going to add to my to do list though – is write.

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Moments of Clarity – Why Jesus?

<Re-blogged from Creator Lutheran Church>

My first ever sermon!

Lookin snazzy

Lookin snazzy

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Why I Love Study Buddies – Balancing Social Time with School

Something I’ve learned about myself over the years – I do better if I have a comrade working next to me.  They don’t have to be working on the same thing, but a productive person in the same room while I am also trying to be productive is probably the only thing that has gotten me through long work days and mid-terms, readings, and papers.

It’s fun! I swear!
Especially when finals week or intensives hits, finding time to be social with others suddenly disappears.  My inner extrovert is crying out for some sort of social interaction, but unfortunately the pile of reading I have to do is calling me elsewhere.  And although there are times where I will get together with my study buddy, and no work will be done, that we have a little too much fun, often something actually gets accomplished!

Occasionally we’ll pause the music playing to discuss our lives, and then get back to our separate readings.  Breaks are important for study, and they naturally happen with a friend as laughter and babbletalking ensue.

I am a (relatively) responsible person.  But for whatever reason, I had a very difficult time starting work.  I mean, to be fair, there are often times where I have a difficult time continuing work, and there are times where Game of Thrones calls me and I find my brain wandering away from my task, but more often than not, I just need someone to be like “Hey, what are you working on?” or “How’s that paper coming?”  Or often a swift poke in the side of “Facebook is not reading.”

I know that eventually the work would be done, but having that extra little poke is so helpful for me, it creates a sense of accountability, and sometimes that’s absolutely necessary.

Having someone to bounce ideas off of
So to be fair, often this is just reading a sentence out loud and asking “does this sound like a heresy to you?” or having someone to let you talk out your logic, to make sure it’s actually logical.  But sometimes the conversation goes a little like this:

Me: “I wish I had a beard.”e

Friend: “Okay.”

Me: “I feel like I keep touching my chin wishing I had a beard to help me think.”

Friend: “Like a thinking hat?”

Me: “Yes.”

Friend: “That’d be cool.”

Me: “There’s a costume store down the street.”

Friend: “Here’s my keys.”

And the thinking beard was born

And the thinking beard was born

I get some of my best writing done wearing this beard.


In short – thank you to my study buddies, to my coworkers, for sharing your productive time with me, help me to stay focused, and make me laugh hysterically while at the same time helping me learn, pushing me to finish that last work project, and sometimes helping me just to get enough on paper that I truly earned my drink😉


Megan Filer

Called to serve God through ministry

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