I'll give credit where I think credits due

As you can tell, I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of writing more, so I’m rejoining the link up over at Mrsdisciple.com.  Today’s prompt for the Friday Five is Men I admire.  I should have started last week – her prompt was women I admire, but since I’m constantly talking about those women out there that I follow,  we’ll start here.
I’ve decided to take some liberty with this week’s prompts – I’m choosing characteristics of men I admire.  This is not to say that the list I include within each category only fit into that category, but they are the people who I think really encompass these traits that I admire.  These will be both people I know in real life (whose last names I’ll leave out for privacy purposes) and those who I follow online.  So without further ado:

Friday Five: Five (Types of) Men I Admire:

World Changers

I admire men in this world who are trying to leave their spheres of influence better than how they found them.  They know that they have influence and power and they use it to challenge the way we see the world.  I admire this because I aim to do this as well and I’ve learned from all of these men in one way or another.  Included in this category: my dear friend Dominique who challenges me daily to be better.  Propaganda.  Cameron Strang.

Artists (mostly Music)

I’ve always had an admiration for people who are creative.  I love artists who can take their craft and create something worth listening to, looking at, watching … I admire people who use honesty and vulnerability to create something beautiful.  Of course this includes Ben Rector, Matt Wertz, Lin Manuel Miranda, the men of The Fray.

Good Fathers/Husbands

This category I can only fill with people I do know.  I think it’s hard to look at people you don’t know and say that they are really good at this, but I also think it’s been so important for me to see what this looks like.  As someone who grew up with a complicated relationship with her own father, I really value the people in my life who have retaught me what it looks like to have a healthy marriage and a positive relationship with their kids.  This list is long, which is only to say that I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the best men (and women) there are out there.  This includes both Papa Curt and Kurt, both Tims, Fredrik, Chris, Lee, Mark, Nate, Gary, both Adams, Tyler… the list could go on and on and on…


I obviously learn a lot from other pastors who have taught me what it means to be in this role.  It’s one of those types of positions where everyone who holds it is the same but at the same time so vastly different.  I have learned a lot from past mentors, colleagues and others who have poured into me.  This includes Curt, Tim, Nate, Mark, Russ, Bill, Josh, Nate, Paul, other Tim, Eric and countless others.


Lastly, those who I aspire to be like in my writing and teaching.  Men who have taken topics and given them life through words and deed.   This includes Brandon Hatmaker, Donald Miller, Nathan Albert, Klyne Snodgrass, Soong-Chan Rah, James Bruckner.  Some of those men I now personally but I want you to read there stuff or take their classes, so I’m including their full names.

We're never getting older

This last week I traveled back to my hometown to go to the Belong Tour with the Goddaughter.  It was part of a trip to renew myself – spiritually and physically.  My hope was to take time to vision cast.  For myself, for ministry and to spend time pouring into myself.
There’s this lake near my house that I used to walk around whenever I needed some perspective.  It’s right outside my neighborhood and throughout high school and college it was a sacred place for me.  It has this hill on the backside of the lake that when you got to the top you could look out over the neighborhood and see the mountains in the background.  It was my favorite view.
This last trip home I realized the view changed.  I hadn’t walked the lake in several years.  So many trips home have been too busy to even get a walk or run in, but this trip I took to the trail to get a glimpse of that view.  But when I rounded the corner, up the hill, I looked out and realized I couldn’t see the mountains anymore.  The trees of the neighborhood have grown over the last 10 years and all you see are the tops of the trees.
The pictures above are my best efforts to capture this change.  On the left is a picture from March of 2006.  I was a junior in college – life in complete disarray – or so I thought.  I clearly remember the walk I took, desperate to see something bigger than myself.  I almost wish I could go back to that 20 year old version of myself and tell her what’s to come.  To take a deep breath and brace yourself because it’s gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
In 2006 I was in the throws of my first heartbreak.  I was on staff at my home church for the first time, working out what it meant to be called to youth ministry.  I was mentoring a group of girls for the first time.  I was coming to terms with the concept of a broken family.  I spent my days doing homework at a random little coffee shop in a theater because my friend worked there and sometimes gave me free upgrades on my order.  I was just getting to know some friends who would become my closest allies in the darkest parts of my story.
The picture on the right was last week.  Every time I go home I have that nostalgia for the life that I lived in CO.  But this last trip really gave me some perspective.  I ran into that boy who broke my heart and was genuinely happy for the man he’d become all these years later.  In a moment of divine appointment, I ran into one of the girls who I was mentoring back then and met her son, watched her loving talk to her husband and tell me all about their life these days.  That same friend who used to give me free coffee now owns his own coffee shop and I spent the day dreaming about life and ministry in that gorgeous space. Also attending the Belong Tour was my own youth pastor who gave me my first chance to do ministry.
In the 10 years of life between these two pictures, so much has changed.  It’s not just trees that have grown, I have too.  In those 10 years I have lived in 5 different states.  I have worked at 4 churches doing internships and gaining experience.  I was ordained and called to a church that I love to do a work I feel very passionate about.  I’ve learned to become healthy in the midst of heartbreak and joy.
I’ve become someone who knows there is no truth to the feeling that we will never get older.  Nor is there really any desire in my heart to not get older.  These years have been a gift to me, a blessing that has been bestowed on me.
As we grow, we keep adding identities on top of one another.  The girl I was 10 years ago that took that sunset picture in an attempt to be artsy is still in me, like a nesting doll with head phones blaring John Mayer.  She’s been covered with new versions of me.  And what I’m realizing more and more is that I like this most outer nesting doll.  And I can’t wait to see what the next one looks like.