Friday, May 15, 2009

wrapping things up

tonight i had a tea party in honor or my lovely bible study girls who are graduating (most of them) and moving on with their lives= leaving me :(. i am very excited and proud of/for all of them but it is definitely bittersweet. that is the hard thing about college ministry--they start here, and then they leave! it's like parenthood but much shorter and less stressful ;).

the spread: sadly mostly purchased food as i had to choose between cleaning or cooking. i did make the chicken salad and tomato sandwiches f/m scratch.

joanna provided lovely music and brittany brought "margarete" her final project for sculpture class

lovely ladies all dressed up!

including Butchy!

prim and appearance--you should have heard the conversations, though!

we had a lovely evening full of laughter and talking about the future and just enjoying each other's company. it never fails though--i do one of these big things at the end of my time with a group, and then say "why haven't we been doing this from the beginning?!?"

this is the second group of girls that i have led and i learn so much from each group. with the first group, i was in school and much more intellectual and focused on being the perfect leader and discipler. we had very intense theological discussions and learned so much about the Bible. it took me a while to learn how to be vulnerable with them, but it was amazing when i finally did! this second group started a few weeks before i got sick and had my world turned upside-down. half of the group that started with me ended up dropping out, and we had a few girls add over time. i have been more real with them--honest about where i am and not trying to be the "perfect bible study leader". i have not been the most godly woman for them and sometimes i wonder if i'm doing things right, but it's very real. they know that i will not judge them no matter what they are going through or dealing with, and i feel comfort that they will not judge me either. i've learned a lot for sure. with the first group, i honestly took a lot of credit (in my head) for their spiritual growth and walks with the Lord. i held myself responsible for leading them and counseling them, and took any issues that they dealt with very personally. now i have learned--for real, not just saying it this time--that NONE of it is up to or because of me. i am a very flawed vessel that God has graciously chosen to use to water these lovely ladies. I have to let go--these are grown women. they make mistakes, i make mistakes, and ultimately it is in God's hands. all i can do is speak the truth when led, pray for them constantly, love them unconditionally, and give them over to the Lord.

i don't think i will take on any new college groups after this. i think it is time for me to start trying to cultivate relationships with women who are at the same lifestage as me--and who won't be leaving in the near future! it's hard for me to let this go b/c i have learned that teaching the bible and having these types of relationships is vital for me to grow and see the Lord working in my life. i see Him so much more clearly through those around me, and there is no question in my mind that when we are all gathered together to study that He is showing things we wouldn't understand otherwise. there is something so passionate about college students, but sometimes i find that spending time with them makes me discontent with where i am now, and that is definitely not how it should be. i miss the constant mental stimulation, & meeting new people from different walks of life. grown up life is so mundane in comparison! i sit at my desk and enter the same payments for the same patients and see the same faces every day. i am not the type of person who has to have constant excitement and drama--i am extremely stable and commitment minded, but i just loved using that intellectual part of myself. my brain is turning into mush now! but i know that this is just a season. i need to remind myself to just be thankful for stability right now, b/c a lot of people would give anything for it.

i have also been very discouraged about marriages right now. i feel like i am just surrounded by relationships that are really deeply struggling. thankfully, patrick and i are doing well as we approach our 3 year anniversary, but i can't help but be a little rattled. i know so many women who are dealing with husbands who are being unfaithful. it just hurts. i want to shake their husbands and tell them to wake up and appreciate their wives who are so amazing! i'm sad about the whole jon & kate plus 8 thing...i know it's kind of silly, but it just makes me sad to see such a public disentigration of something that was once so uplifting. it makes me want to work so much harder on our relationship to do anything we can to protect it. i'm so happy that we're taking our trip to florida next week!! it will be a much needed time to get away from the daily drudgery that we get so bogged down in.

the end for tonight


  1. The Jon and Kate Plus 8 thing makes me sad too. Those poor kids.

    I only know of one couple whose marriage is struggling, and they are really just acquaintances. It's scary to think about sometimes, though, because so many marriages don't turn out well. However, the ones that work are the ones with people who choose to love and choose to commit every day and rely on the Lord, and I know my husband and I (and I imagine you and Patrick) are those people.

  2. it was such a lovely tea party...beautiful day.

    i love you. i heard you weren't feeling so well this past weekend. i hope you're better!