Monday, June 02, 2008

I'm Back. . .Maybe

Some friends have recently started blogging and I found myself going back through my old posts. Partly due to nostalgia and probably a little over-ambition I decided to start posting again. Now, in all honesty, this will probably be my only post for 2008--just want to have at least one a year.

So. . .I might be back.

Or. . .I might not.

We'll see.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The New Me

Over the last few months I have been acutely aware of my need to gain some balance in my life. Family life, church life, work life, life life have been in direct competition for too long now. So much so that I have sought out the wisdom and prayers of a spiritual director. She has me looking over the things in my life and identifying them as either consolation or desolation. And, she has me working on embracing the love of God instead of trying to achieve more of God's love. i.e. by doing a really good job at all of the various things I do. She said today that God could never love me less AND that God could never love me more. I knew that God could never love me less. I mean, I teach that to every teenager I talk to. That's the truth I carry with me. But to think that, even if I develop the best product ever at work or start running again and finally lose that baby weight or get through the day without raising my voice at my 4-year-old or sing in the choir or teach that bible study or take on every burden known to man--even then, God would not love me more than he does now. Hmmm. Now that's a thought that makes me want to sit down and soak it in. I think I will.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A New Thing

So my blogging record has dwindled to once a year and I'm really embarrassed about it. I have a lot of (in my estimation) really profound thoughts, but I lack the fuel to get the thoughts from my head to the computer.

Anyhoo- I want to tell you about this new thing that is going on in the Youngman family. NO, IT'S NOT ANOTHER YOUNGMAN and don't even think it lest it become true!! Although, it does feel a bit like birth; I've been working on a record for the last nine months or so. At first I was too shy or emarrassed to say that I say out loud that I'm a songwriter, especially in Nashville. Seems a bit cliche. But this last year God just did some amazing things in my life to bring these songs to the surface. And, I got connected to a really great producer in Nashville, David Henry of Brother Henry, who helped me live into the idea of being an artist.

In the last month I have opened for Beth Neilsen Chapman who was very complimentary of me to the point of wanting me to send her the record when it's finished so she can pass it on to some crazy-famous artists that she thinks might want to cut a song or two; I have printed an EP to get a few of the songs out there before the whole thing is finished (the nights and weekends production plan takes a long time to complete); I had one of my songs selected for the emergent podcast; and I just walked out of the studio realizing that I had nine songs in the can. That means I've got one more to go and I think we'll call it an album.

I don't really know where this whole thing is headed, but I have to say that I am really cognizant of the way God lets various aspects of our callings percolate in us until just the right time. All of this is to say that God is always doing something in our lives and when we pay enough attention to it we can, almost tangibly, feel the presence of God doing a new thing.

My website is coming together. You can read my press kit and listed to a few songs at my epk site. Stay Tuned.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me

I've been 31 years old for two whole days now and I'm finding myself a bit reflective. I've been trying to assess what I've learned in my thirty-one years and here's what I'm thinking:

*naps are a really good thing
*so are Peanut Buster Parfaits
*that going to sleep and waking up next to your best friend makes every day worth the in-between stuff
*you should forgive an offender when you'd rather hold a grudge
*that loving people just the way there are is really, really hard sometimes
*that's it's probably hard for other people to love me just the way I am sometimes
*that girl's night is increasingly essential
*that kids are exhausting and amazing at the same time
*that there really is a time and season for everthing under heaven
*that following Jesus is a decision I have to make every day
*that living out your dream may sound crazy, and even be crazy, but it can make you feel so alive
*that God is always doing a new thing
*that I'll be thinking about all new things when I'm 32

May it be so--

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Dollar A Soul

The other night while waiting for Mark to come home I was in a channel-surfing trance until I came upon a "Christian" station that was having a telethon. The preacher was bouncing and repeating himself because he said it was so good we needed to hear it again. He was talking about sowing seeds and reaping harvests. He said if we have enough faith and believe that we will reap a harvest than we'll get it. If we don't have enough faith we'll be stuck with a cancer or other illness, broken relationships, loneliness, and over all misery. He was really laying it on.

The bad part is that he wasn't the bad part of the whole deal. Across the bottom of the screen there was a ticker. It read, "Give $1,000 to save 1,000 souls. Give a dollar a soul." Of course he never actually substantiated that our money would indeed pay for the salvation of a soul. I'm not exactly sure how that whole system works, but boy was he preaching it! Would I be able to see the face of the soul I was saving? Is there some kind of quantity discount?

I'm wondering. . .for all the "abominations" Christians go on about these days, shouldn't someone, somewhere be speaking out about this crap? Shouldn't we be concerned with the heretics that attach American dollars to souls and brainwash vulnerable people into believing their lack of faith is why they're not rich or plagued with a disease or reaping a "harvest"?
What the heck???!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Here Goes. . .

This is my attempt to take the Gavin approach to blogging and just sit down to write something even though I have no idea what to write. Here goes. . .

Mark is in his final stage of ordination that propels our family into the cycle of itineracy. I've known all along that this would be the life we live and I'm OK with it. People ask me how I'll deal with it as if it's a disease we'll live with forever. I just think about all the different experiences we'll have that we wouldn't necessarily choose for ourselves. For instance, we probably wouldn't have chosen a small-town 70 miles away from Nashville, but we so value this experience and some relationships we've formed.

I realized the other day that I've never really had a sense of having a "home church" that people speak of. All my life I've sort of lived in the community, but enough outside that if I left it wouldn't be the end of the world. As I say those words a sinking feeling comes over me that maybe I've never fully committed myself to a congregation--given all of my prayers, presence, gifts, and service. But upon further reflection I think it was God's way of preparing me for the life we will have from now on. I have had great relationships in every church I've been a part of, but my "home" is in the larger community--the body of Christ. My membership is in a particular congregation, but all of me is a part of the Church. I wholeheartedly give my prayers presence, gifts, and service everywhere I go.

I'm also thinking that I'm part of a generation that is less about rooting itslef in a single congregation for life and more about what it means to be about the work of the Church in the world. Maybe that has something to do with it. All I know is that I'm ready for God to do what God will do as we continue this unpredictable pilgrimage toward the heart of God.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Prayer This Day

My God, in these quiet moments I caught a glimpse of your vision for me. Inspire me, my God, to carry into the everydayness of my life all to which I aspire at such a moment as this. May my faith have feet and hands, a voice and a heart, that it may minister to others--that the gospel I profess may be seen in my life.

I go this hour to encounter the routine of duty with a new vision. Equip me for my common tasks, that I may this day apply myself to them with fidelity and devotion. . .

. . .I give this prayer to you who inflames my soul with vision and desire, that I may be a faithful laborer in the fields you have assigned to my stewardship. Help me to be a good and faithful steward.

--a prayer by Norman Shawchuck