Monday, July 23, 2012

Tossing and Turning


I'm officially home from the Haltermaker weekend, by way of a one-day stop in Ohio and sloppy joes at church camp.

I'm just gonna put this out there: For all the smack I got about "stalking" Jen Hatmaker, Ryan and Jon made short work of stalking the living heck out of Brandon. I am vindicated.

(Call me, Jen!)


Tonight I'm in one of those not-so-rare forms where I feel myself turning inside-out. And not just because the van's AC went out 30 minutes into our drive home and I was stuck with 3 kids, one teddy bear and eighteen Beanie Babies in 97 degree heat for four hours.

(I rolled all of the windows up and said, "We have to put all the windows down. There will be no radio and I will not be able to hear a word you're saying to me. It's the only way we'll survive." Cue windows down, at which point I had to stuff my left ear with balled-up tissue in an effort to thwart certain eardrum rupture due to an over-abundance of wind.)


Most of my inside-outness is connected to my weekend. There was so much goodness. So many thoughts provoked. So many heart piercings.

I was reminded again of how lucky I am to be on this strange path. I'm lucky to have a handful of people on it with me. I'm lucky to have Cory, who will spend the better part of a 3 hour drive brainstorming impossibilities with me.

Here are two of my favorite quotes from the weekend:

"A call to love the orphan is a call to suffer with the orphan." - Brandon Hatmaker on adoption (Y''all, I totally busted into immediate ugly cry when he said this. Suffering seems easier when you know that you're not alone and when you're reminded it serves a purpose.)

"Evangelism is less about going at someone and more about backing up so they can come to you."
- Hugh Halter on not being a jerk-face Christian

(If you're want to hear some gut-level truth from Mr. Hatmaker, (a phenomenal speaker, so full of grace and humility) go here and cue it up to about 24:40)

I walked away just a little more changed. I'm not there yet, I won't ever be. I'm still that piece of sea glass that Jesus keeps tossing back in, allowing life to tumble me up a bit more.

My sharp edges are many and sometimes I feel like I might drown.

But this trip we're on feels like a firecracker. Turns out I've always wanted a firecracker life.

(This? No words.)

25 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!
    I sure do love stalkers. ; )

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  2. i've missed you. sea glass and firecrackers... hmmm.... that's what i want to be, too!

    prayers for a cooler van soon. that is NO fun.

    that Hugh Halter is on to something.

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  3. Super fun to meet you and your crew this weekend Shannan. Wish we could have all had more time to just hang out. Thanks for liking the Hatmaker's (Side Note: Jen told me she super likes you too. She thinks yer funny). Humbled that something I shared resonated with you... keep pressing... and keep being real.

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  4. I love the Sea glass terminology.I hear you at times we can barely keep our heads above water but at least they are above Right! ~Blessings

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  5. Oh gosh you are right, ugly cry when I just READ it! It's been a grueling month n a half and I'm waving the white flag. I hope one of those that heard the "how to not be an ugly Christian runs into my daughter

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  6. turning, turning...always turning. the deal is we all are bits of sea glass being refined, but it is so hard to get that all this being jostled about business is for a beautiful reason. it's the looking down instead of up that hurts so bad don't ya think. sounds like a wonderful moment in your journey this weekend.

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  7. Love that quote. Love the sea glass analogy. Firecracker life. You are smart kid. The last picture...awesomeness. A van full of kids with no air...you are a hero too. I am off to give Mr. Hatmaker a listen. :)

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  8. I love that quote about reaching out to people and sharing the gospel. I think so many people go about it wrong, it's no wonder why christians have a bad name.

    You are pretty darn awesome!

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  9. Dearest Shannan Girl,
    I cried real tears when I read the quote about a call to love the orphan is a call to suffer with the orphan...and then I read that you cried too. Is God not right on the point encouraging you...when He does something BIG, He does it right, yes? I love you, Lady!
    xoxoxo
    Dianna

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  10. "Backing up." <-- THAT.

    Shannan, through your posts I found Jen. And, Brandon. I'm reading Interrupted right now. Just finished 7. And, yesterday I was rolling around what Jen says in Interrupted about ladder climbing. And, stepping down - or off. And, how Jesus lived at the bottom.

    Backing up sounds about right.

    I love that you and Cory can sit for 3 hours and toss what if's at each other. I'm blessed to be able to dream with my husband. And, you never know, some of our dreams may become realities. What if...

    Glad you had a fabulous weekend!
    (In 97 degree heat, no A/C driving with the munchkins ;)

    ~ Dana

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  11. Can I just meet you, finally??? You must be a long lost soul sister I know!!! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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  12. glad you had a great weekend~
    can so relate to the sea glass that He keeps throwing back in!
    i'm out there tumbling w/ ya sister.

    and on a totally unrelated note, but i know you share my joy..
    JEF won!! woot woot.
    and sure hope you've already seen it, and i didn't completely spoil it. :/
    even knowing the outcome it'll still make ya swoon to watch.

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  13. Why is it so hard to explain to the littles that when the front 2 windows are up and the back 2 are down....that there is this eardrum thumping whirl of wind that effects the driver and not the backseaters!!! I laughed out loud and not because you didn't have ac! I am blessed that you had a blessed weekend!
    -heather

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  14. So glad you had a great weekend! How exciting! And I hope Jen likes her BFF necklace. :)

    "not being a jerk-faced Christian"...let it be, Lord. Amen!

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  15. What is up with the scary faced Smiths?? We all expect such things from Ryan but what the heck is up with me? For real. Sigh. . . I must have been deep in thought.
    Thankful for our time spent learning together this weekend. . . and excited. . . Jen thinks yer funny girl!! ;) (Insert girly squeal)

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  16. You've been on my mind off and on all day. Sending a little hug and a prayer your way.

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  17. I'm jealous, wish I could have been there. Let's become real-life friends, ok?

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  19. We had a very memorable weekend here at the farm too. I am so excited with the move of God going on in this world. Can't wait to see what He will teach us next. When you say "anything" and mean it, look out!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Mama
      You are such a blessing. I have to admit to sometimes scrolling through the comments to find yours, I appreciate being able to "see" through a mama's eyes.

      I am ready to say and mean it Anything.

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  20. Be careful, Shannon. I've not read any of the books by Halter or Hatmaker that you recommend, but I do read some of their commentaries. A lot of times I feel they are being very critical of evangelical Christians, in the way they accuse evangelical Christians of being critical of sinners. I have grown up in an evangelical church, and in this place, has been imbedded the action of being "Jesus" to all I encounter in my day to day. And the road is getting harder and more challenging! And while they tend to be critical of orthodoxy and traditions in churches, for me to come to my "evangelical church" on the Sabbath means a morning of REFRESHMENT...where we, as a community, worship through singing and praying, and then we are taught through wonderful, RADICAL sermons (which even after 50 years--I still need!!!!!) I feel Halter and Hatmaker need to remember that when we have a true relationship with our God, we don't need to constantly "re-examine Jesus" which is how I interpret their "new church". Jesus is constant--his message is never-changing! There is an Adullam church near where I live in Denver, and while I understand that it is not my way of worship and "being Jesus", and that is simply my opinion, I pray that the folks reading remember to stay alert and be discerning about leaders attempting to "re-examine" biblical truth--Jesus. Be discerning folks--that is all I am saying.

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    1. I highly recommend that you read the books. I'm sort of confused by your comment because it's so divergent from the message of their books. Please remember, they are both pastors. They both see value and beauty in the traditional elements of church. Of course there's a time for singing, praying, liturgy, etc... But the church was made for more than that.

      As for re-examining biblical truths, at the point that you realize you have missed some of the main points all along (as I did), it IS time to re-examine! To re-examine means to take a harder look, a fresh look. It doesn't mean that anything about the Truth changes. Like you said, it was there all along. Jesus never changes. His message never changes. Which is why it's so perplexing to have missed much of what was always there!

      Thanks for your comment and for speaking in kindness. Next time - leave a name! :)

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    2. Thanks for your reply Shannan. I agree with you in appreciating "Anonymous'" posture of addressing her concerns with kindness. That said, I'd love to respond briefly to her comments.

      "Anonymous", please take the time to read our books. I think you'll find a lot of what you hope isn't there... simply not to be there. I also believe you'll find some encouraging direction to process your tension. You'll be comforted with our posture, use of scripture, and VALUE of the church. I simply love her. And am willing to fight for her.

      If you'd like, I'd love to send you a free copy.

      Blessings.
      Brandon Hatmaker

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  21. I LOVE the thought of being sea glass! People are always saying that they are, "diamonds in the rough". I don't even LIKE diamonds! Rhinestones, yes,diamonds no. But sea glass, that soft, smooth,jewel-from-garbage perfected by the grinding of sand and pounding of waves.... yeah, THAT is beauty!
    -Dessy
    P.S. I only do anonymous because Google hates me..

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  22. thanks for the link....i will listen. :)

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