Adventures in Employment

Busy is an understatement...

Do not adjust your screen. This is not an illusion. Yes, my Red Bull can is practically the size of my head.

And that's a good thing. :)

It's a good thing because yes, I may be tired sometimes and yes, my calendar for the next several months is ridiculously full...but it's full with so many exciting options that I feel overwhelmingly blessed. 2008 is turning out to be a year full of incredible journeys, experiences and once in a lifetime opportunities. I think that I have walked into probably the most complex "busy season" of my entire life, and I intend to savor every moment of it.

Here are just a few highlights of my adventures to come over the next 6 months:

1. DRIVE - next week I get to play a small role in helping our staff teach over 2100 church leaders from around the country all the in's and out's of how we do ministry...what has worked for us, what hasn't, and most importantly, help equip and encourage them to go back to their parts of the world and create irresistible ministry environments where people can come to learn about God and experience His love and grace. I can't even describe the coolness of this conference - you'd have to see it for yourself.

2. The continual opportunity to pour into the lives of 25 high school girls that i've been leading and tracking with for 3 years now. They're almost juniors, i can't believe it. I'm so honored and humbled (and sometimes terrified) that I get to be a person of influence in their lives. Someone who gets to love them, laugh with them, cry with them and invest in them...and hopefully keep them from making some of the mistakes I have growing up. We get to spend a week at the beach this summer again for our annual camp, The Walk. It's always an incredible time of bonding, sharing and learning. LOVE IT. LOVE THEM. These girls continue to challenge me in ways I could never imagine.

3. The honor of walking alongside and standing at the altar as two of my best friends, Rosie and Cristin marry two amazing men that God has clearly chosen for them. It has been such a privilege and blessing to watch these two extraordinary women meet, fall in love with, and now prepare to share the rest of their lives with such great guys. And I am so blessed to be able to have witnessed all of it. I couldn't be happier for them and I feel so truly honored that they have asked me to be part of their special days!

4. of the biggest catalysts in my life four short years ago when I was desperately wanting to get 'connected' and do life with other singles who were on the same page as me. I have met so many people and been touched by some incredible communicators who have taught me and challenged me...and now i'm blessed to get to be on the planning side of this event. I'm always so excited that I get to be creative and help put this event together with my dear friends in mind - knowing that it's such a great weekend for connecting and growing. Just plain awesome.

5. And for this last one, I barely have words. I'm completely blown away by the fact that God is going to use me to hopefully play a small role in helping connect college ministries for students on the other side of the world. This year I will be traveling to Australia. Not once, but twice! I'll be part of a team that's leading the Sydney leg of the Passion World Tour. I could write an entire book on this, but i'll just wet your appetite for now. MUCH more on this in blogs to come.

Fasten your seatbelts folks, it's about to be a crazy ride. And i'm rollin' full speed with the top to join me? ;)


7|22 is HERE!

What a night! Once again I was blown away by God's goodness. I'll admit, I honestly probably underestimated God's ability a little to "bring it" on our first night, because I was really only expecting us to start out with about 500 people. I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear and do a little happy dance as I stood in the back of the auditorium looking at 1300+ SINGLE ADULTS (finally! no offense, high schoolers and college kids...we love ya, but well, you know). The music was amazing, the teaching was excellent...all in all I feel like the night was a success!

(there was this one little hiccup called parking, but I PROMISE we're working on making that better for next time!)

Can't wait to see what God has in store for next month! If you missed October, you don't want to miss the next one! November will be worth all the parking hassle. :)

Is it morning yet?

It's exactly 2:40am. I have probably a 15 hour work day ahead of me tomorrow. Any other idiot in my shoes would be sound asleep long ago. But not this idiot. :) I can't tell if i'm still awake because i'm overwhelmed looking at my to-do list, or if it's because i'm so incredibly excited for what's going down tomorrow. (or maybe it was the Red Bull I drank at 7pm...nah, that wore off long ago) I feel like it's Christmas Eve, but instead of being excited about waking up for Christmas tomorrow, i'm actually excited about waking up and going to work. Wait....what? Did those words just come out of my mouth? Yes they did, and i'll tell you why...

To update those friends that I might not have talked to in a while, about a year ago I fell into my dream job. No, i'm not a rockstar. (but maybe one day) I'm talking about the job where what i'm passionate about and what i'm good at collide. A place where my job revloves around serving people and helping them grow in their walk with Christ. A place where I get to use my creativity in ways that I never imagined I would be able to at the workplace. A place where my co-workers are like family, and I actually speak to them (sometimes more) when i'm off the clock. I've been so incredibly blessed to be able to say that I get paid to do something that I love to do...serve Jesus and everyone around me. There has not been a single day in the past year that I have not thanked God for my job.

At the beginning of the year, my pastor Andy preached a sermon about "praying big." We were challenged to pick something that was beyond us, something huge, and pray for it daily. Little did he know that I had already been doing that for the past three months...his message was just additional confirmation for me that I was to continue to be a prayer warrior for this big dream that I had.

My dream was for 7|22, the singles ministry that I work for, to burst onto the scene in the city of Atlanta, to meet the singles population where they are, and to impact them all for the Glory of God. Our whole team has felt it for some time - that if we REALLY wanted to be able to dig in deep into this massive population of singles that are continually flooding to the Atlanta area, we had to be close to them. We had to get in where they work, where they live, where they play. (collectively I should say "I", since I fall into that population as well) We knew that the perfect location was in progress to open in the near future, and we knew that we had to be there. Of course, that's much easier said than done. There are sooo many details and logistics to work out that I could bore you for hours with the details (but seeing as it is almost 3am and I have to be up in 3 hours, i'll spare us both). Some of these details we're still trying to figure out at this very moment.

But the time has finally arrived, and we will open our doors tomorrow for the first 7|22 in Buckhead. A day that felt like it was years away just a few short months ago. We know the potential that we have to create an environment where God can show up in a HUGE way. We also know that we have the potential to completely crash and burn. (let's pray for the first option) :) I have every confidence that God is going to show up in a big way tomorrow..He's been doing it all along. I just continue to pray that our team will be good stewards of the time and resources He has provided to us. We can always show up and put on a great "production," anyone can do that - the challenge lies in allowing God to plan out our steps for us...for us to create a space for Him to show up, no matter what that looks like. It may mean things being completely different each time we may mean trying something and failing miserably a few times before we get it right....but whatever it means, its important that we're ready and willing to follow His path for what is best for our singles community.

That's an added bonus to my job. Not only am I serving God and the singles around me, but a lot of those singles happen to be my friends. What a joy it is to be able to play a small role in encouraging growth in their faith. Again, I am so truly grateful for every day that I am allowed to do this.

So pray for our team...for guidance, wisdom and endurance (and maybe some sleep next week...its going to be a looong day). Pray for the single adults that are going to walk through those doors tomorrow...some will know Jesus and some wont - we must love them all alike, just as Christ loves us. Pray for smooth parking...its a big hairy beast we're still trying to work out (be patient with us!)...and most importantly, pray that God shows up in an amazing way. He always does.

Oh, and check out our new We've been working our bootys off re-designing the entire thing, and i'm not gonna lie, its pretty awesome, and i'm pretty darn proud of it. Enjoy!

Fear Factor...Work Edition

Waaay back in the day God gave us the Ten Commandments:

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods but me.
2. Thou shalt not make thyself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
3. Thou shalt not misuse the name of the Lord thy God.
4. Thou shalt remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5. Thou shalt respect thy father and mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not envy thy neighbor.

Notice it does not say anything in there along the lines of "Thou shalt encounter rodents in the workplace"

.....its a good thing I love my job. :)

Today at 3PM I did the same thing that I do every Tuesday at 3PM...I headed down to the church to get set up for the evening. I put my stuff down, and went straight to the 7|22 storage closet to pull out everything we need for the night. What I didn't know was that an unwelcomed visitor would grace me with his presence and send me screaming into the East Auditorium moments later. Ugh.

Let me back up a little bit...

About a month ago, as I was pulling out the snack baskets for our volunteers I noticed that someone had helped themselves to quite a few pieces of chocolate. But this was not your usual hungry employee wandering aimlessly into our chocolate stash...oh no. This time the culprit left his mark...teeth marks, to be exact...straight through the wrapper, leaving half eaten (but still wrapped) Hershey's Kisses all over the place. Yup, you guessed it - apparently a mouse had helped himself to our goody stash.

At first I found this humorous, affectionately referring to the little fella as "Herman" to make him seem more friendly (even though im not a fan of rodents of any kind). Then I got a little freaked out when he ran across my (bare) toe today and scared the heck out of me. Now that I see even after I hid all the chocolate in solid plastic containers, that he has helped himself to our potato chips, its just plain war.

Nowhere in my job description did it say that I would have to fight off four legged vermin, but unless Herman decides he's going to become a 7|22 volunteer he's not getting anymore of our goods!

It's you and me Herman. Or, uh...its you and the exterminator (i'll be hiding behind him hoping that he catches you). I will NOT fear the mouse in the closet! :)

Daylight Savings?.....Nah!

It's mornings like today that I wish I hadn't gone back to being a brunette, then I could just choc my stupidity up to having a 'blonde moment' and get on with my day...

I go through the exact same routine every morning...set my alarms (all 3 of them) - hit snooze about 10 times each, wake up late and scramble to get out the door by 8:15 to make it to work by 8:30 (I am so not a morning person). Now considering I went to bed extremely late last night, I might have been a little out of sorts when I woke up this morning. Maybe that's why I did what I did. I glanced at the clock....quarter till....shoot! I only have 30 minutes to get ready and out the door. I rush around getting ready, trying to find the clothes on the hangar that needed the least amount of ironing (and think to myself, 'I have got to start ironing clothes when I hang them up') and im out the door.

As I pulled out of the neighborhood and turned on my headlights, I thought to myself that we must be getting closer to the fall time change, because I never have to turn my headlights on. Either that, or its just super cloudy...and I kept driving on in sleepy oblivion.

It wasn't until I pulled into the parking deck at work that I think I actually woke up. I pulled up the ramp to the 2nd floor, and was surprised that there were available parking spaces...I always have to park on the 4th or 5th floor by the time I get there.

And that's when it hit was 25 after SEVEN, not EIGHT!!!

How in the world I managed to get up and get to work an hour early, and not realize it until I got there is beyond me...either I was really, really tired or maybe, just maybe that blonde is seeping back through....haha. ;)

Happy Weekend!

Don't touch my stapler...

I, like Milton, often tell people in the office "dont touch my stapler," but with good might get your finger involuntarily stapled off! You see, I have this electric stapler that sits on my desk right next to my computer. A week or two ago I noticed that every couple of hours I would hear a slight buzzing sound, and then stapler would automatically just staple (absolutely nothing), all by itself. (One time it went off with my hand dangerously close to it...I almost jumped out of my chair!) I determined that either my stapler was demon posessed, or it was the curse of Milton.

Today I figured out why it really goes nuts...

Since ive been working here, I always sit my cell phone in the same spot on my desk - next to the electric stapler. Apparently if you sit it too close though, the phone has the capability to transmit through the stapler! (kind of like when you put your phone too close to the tv, and you hear a chirping sound before it actually rings) I kid you not, as I am typing this blog, I hear it chirping again...creepy.

Which leads me to my next thought....if a cell phone has the power to make an electric stapler work all by itself, what the heck is it really doing to our brains when we hold it to our heads? Yikes!

And the moral of the story? Handsfree is a good thing....mmmmkay?