Wednesday, February 22, 2012


3:20 PM me: i just chatted for like an hour with a woman from church  
  (i'm at chapters)
  (my coffee shop)
  who i hadn't met before
  but i babysat for her best friend's kids this week
  and her other best friend and HER kids came to my valentine's party last weekend
  and she mentors a girl i'm having coffee with tomorrow
  that's my lifeit's like...
3:21 PM Steve: Emily Heaven

Welcome to Newberg.

Need I say more?


"Oh, Emily. The kids sent valentines in with me to give to you!"


I see a friend from church walking down the hallway of my building, where he teaches as an adjunct professor. We high-five and he tells me about his skiing trip. I saw his wife and daughter doing their weekly Bible study together yesterday afternoon at the coffee shop. Every other Tuesday night I can be found wrapped in blankets on a corner of their couch for small group. This week it was on Valentine's day and I made a pink cake.


Her eight-year-old made the earrings I'm wearing. I ran into her in town- "Oh! You're wearing them!! She's going to be so excited!!!". We took a picture to prove it.


Weekend walk with this lady. She's my faaavorite... so much. Her family is absolutely lovely and hilarious. (Also, she reads this. Hi Nance!! Thanks for being my friend!!)

What, don't you see alpacas on your walks?


This man has taught our church's babies for 30 years.

They like hiding in the cubbies.


Prayer labyrinth in the valley, open to the public. With this view:

It helps me concentrate. And by concentrate I mean not have to think, as I walk with God.


I stop by Chapters for an hour between classes. I run into the leader of the above-mentioned small group, a bearded, kind grandfather of three. "Ah, I was going to email you!", and he pulls out a chair at my table. "I've been thinking about what you said the other day, about what you've been learning about praying for wisdom in making decisions...". He shares some of what he's learned through his years of faith, about how we pray for wisdom, to make the best decisions we can, but "even if it seems the results are bad, God will walk with you, and He will redeem it all." He stands up.
"Well! See you later!".


Co-teaching Sunday school to the kindergartners. Too fun, even on way too little sleep, especially because the main teacher is my weekly coffee date and one of my favorite people. And because five-year-olds have so much personality.
One energetic boy wants to show us how he can count.
"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11..." to 20 and we are oh-my so impressed.
He keeps going. And going.
"51, 52, 53, 54..." Wow! And we are helping other kids with the craft...
"86, 87, 88..." "Malachi, I think it's time to stop now," Miss Pam suggests.
"93, 94, 95..." "Really, Malachi, it's time to do your craft, OK?"
"106, 107, 108, 109-" "Malachi!"
He stops.
"Malachi, thank you for stopping."
He gives us a blank stare. "Well, I only know how to count to 109."

7 am, view from my bed.


Home from a long day and I knock on my roommate's door. She's sitting up in bed and raises her eyebrows when I peek in with an overwhelmed expression. I collapse next to her. We roll over and pull our knees up to our chests and spill everything Jane-and-Elizabeth style. We affirm we are totally awesome and beautiful and capable of passing grad school, and also that we can always drop out and join the circus if we decide we don't like homework anymore. So grateful to live with this girl.


Around midnight on this night. This picture is 100% candid and un-posed.
But we finished. And we downed pumpkin pie lattes the next day. And we slept ten hours the next three nights in a row.
And even just in the past few weeks, these two girls have suddenly become I-have-to-tell-you-something! friends, not friends-in-Oregon.


We sing Gungor to a bell choir (seriously).
Taco Bell with one wonderful family after church.
Homework at Chapters all afternoon.
Baking cookies and watching Downton Abbey with another wonderful family all evening (see alpaca walk family, above).
That's my whole day.


"Joy abounds and life is abundant. But the world is also tainted by sin, so joy is marred by struggle and pain... we cling by faith to the belief that God works redemptively in this broken world. God works everywhere, even in pain and silence, and certainly in therapy offices."
-from one of my textbooks, written by one of my professors
(who goes to my church and lives in my town and whose wife has a regular coffee date with one of the wise prayerful women in my small group... did you get that?)

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may…"

-Mary Jean Iron


Lindsay said...

Alpacas! Miss you, friend!

April said...

I loved the alpacas.

And I burst out laughing when I saw the two-year-olds in the cubbies! So adorable I just have to laugh so much tears come to my eyes. Presh.

Anonymous said...

We're glad you are in Newberg, Emily. You bring sunshine! That's always a good thing in Oregon. -Nancy

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.