Posted by Teen Bean

My old roomie, Shinhye, came by this evening and cooked steve and I an amazing S. Korean curry. we laughed loads while she flung bit and pieces of carrots in the pot and all around my kitchen. Then we sat down on my very casual living room floor (minus the dinning room table that i don't have because i don't have a dinning room!) and just enjoyed a little asian cuisine and some good convo...

then we master the art of playing Uno with three decks of normal playing cards... it was immense. Shinhye and I got walked to the bus by Steve, then got to ride the bus part way as she went home and I went to work.

While we sat on the bus i was able to say hello to Christina a young Ukraine girl who is working in the city and on her way home from a semi slow day... as well as casually converse with Michele-Ellen an intelligent young women that is studying to be a nursing assistant.

Shinhye laughed and asked "Tina is there anyone you don't know?"... I laughed and defended myself by saying "i'm on the bus for a long time... might as well know the people i'm around"...

but at that moment seattle felt a bit like home... familiar surrounds, familiar faces, familiar routine... wow that was a weird moment!

how it happens i don't know

Posted by Teen Bean

so tuesdays have organically turned into prayer days. i pray with tiffany about community in the early afternoon. Then when steve gets back around 5pm from his volunteer day we pray together. Then this tuesday we met up with Caleb (one of the guys that is going to be living in the community house). we drove over the the community house and did a little pray/blessing over the house.

it reminded me again how much i love going out to pray. ahh i just started thinking how great it would be on tuesday to go out and find people to pray with. i met up with loads of people today and getting to pray with them, just made the day have so much more meaningful.

I really love praying with people and being intentional about taking praying out.

I really do love praying in my apt... and the whole intimacy that brings... but there is something that really spur my outward desire for prayer when i invest in prayer inwardly.

I have this pot of change that we prayed over at one of the prayer nights i had at my apt. we were praying for "change" ... i still have all the change. i was meant to take it out some place and spread it out, but i never did.

i keep seeing that pot of change and being like "where should i take that?" but i never really get an answer. But interestingly enough, i have begun to notice that as i am taking myself to work at 1020pm ever night that the little corner near my apt turns into a collection site for drug dealers, homeless, prostitutes, drunks, and frequent police arrests....

i am thinking that is a good place for some "change". I remembered seeing a sign that Stanford boiler room posted in one of their prayer rooms stating "keep your coins... i want real change" i think that might be a good statement to lay down with these coins... i was so inspired by that statement that i even wrote a whole paper on how the world is looking for real change and what that real change is...

we shall see, we shall see...

no tears this day!

Posted by Teen Bean

so normally, on this day i would pretty much be a puddle of tears. steve has been here for 13 days and normally in our lives after two weeks of heavenly bliss, we have to take that horrid trip to SeaTac airport. Endure a horrific moment of trying to smile and say good-bye, even though my heart is actually being shattered into a million pieces. Then walk away from each other for undetermined (and usually way to long) lengths of time.... :( :(

BUT NOT THIS DAY! :) :) :)

Steve gets to be here with me for a whole 6 weeks and one day! these two weeks have been prolly some of the happiest of my life.... I sit around trying to focus on normal things like checking e-mails, or watching my shows, or talking with friends, but my mind seriously will just start humming little ditties about how much i love steve and how i see hearts ever where!

i'm hopelessly in love!

and the crazy thing is that i just keep falling deeper. Is there a cap to this? Ever day steve will say something or do something that actually makes me be like "holy crap!! i love you even more!"

people keep saying there will come that "moment" when we get annoyed or tired of each other. but i seriously think it is impossible.

everyday is incredibly normal and ridiculously adventurous. today steve and i got to sit and read the bible and pray together a little longer then we normally do. i was sitting next to him, loving God so much, and was blown away by how amazing it is to worship God with this incredible man who has ridiculously made my life more lovely to live.

do you know what it feels like to touch a real live blessing? to hug a blessing? to laugh and pray and eat and do dirty laundry with a blessing? to whine about slugs in the kitchen, to go dancing with, and to encourage a friend with a living, breathing, blessing?

In the person of Steve Lawton, i will tell you it is the most incredible and privileged place to be! I love him so much... yep its the truth... and i never ever ever will stop!!!

happy are these days...

"the nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter" psalm 30:5

p.s. thanx for coming to see me steve!

dinner and refugees

Posted by Teen Bean

I really love my hostel internship/work experience. I am working along with the programs director for Hosteling International. They gave me the responsibility of organizing and running their "Cultural Kitchen" program. I have to find groups of people who would be interested in learning about another culture and then put a menu together based on that culture and then have them cook and share the meal and what they have learned at the hostel.

It pretty much is like planning dinner parties with a purpose... can anyone say my dream job!?!?!? hahaha tho seriously i really do love it.

Another really cool things is that i really was trying to figure out a way of making this culture kitchen really have positive impact. one of my classmates is working with an organization that helps integrate refugees here in the Seattle area. the two of us are going to work together to see about customizing a cultural kitchen to help serve the refugees she works with by having them learn about american culture and then cook an american meal at the hostel. It is really cool to see how multiple organizations can work together to do some really positive and fun stuff!

I'm really excited to see how it all kicks off over the next few weeks!


Posted by Teen Bean

is being blind good or bad?

lately i have realized that i just don't notice crime/ badness when it is happening? people were being stabbed? drugs were being sold? women were being trafficked!?!?

i don't know weather to be pleased by this innocent ignorance or annoyed by the obnoxious naive-ness???

coming from quite a sheltered back ground i am always confused by my place in a world of brokenness, pain, crime... loads of time i just see like the good of it all or experience the happiness i am perceiving???

what does this mean about me... am i selfish for just seeing the world from my limited worldview?

hmmm how do i un-blind myself with out becoming overwhelmed?

p.s. steve and i went out for a little midnight stroll tonight in seattle city. why are the cops always in the safe places? Belltown (the high/posh place of seattle) had cops on ever freaking corner. In capitol hill there was not one cop to be seen...

on a cool note.. we saw this van picking up drunk people off the street and helping 'em out.. steve and i both where like "wow just like the Ibiza team" haha it was a good reminder!

what is discipleship?

Posted by Teen Bean

i've been having rants with steve while he is here. we were talking about gap years and setting aside time for God...

I started to wonder if exploring the whole idea of journey's really is me desperately seeking out new and innovative ways of discipling and being discipled?

what is discipleship? is it relevant to our world today? can people be discipled before they are a disciple? is discipleship hospitality?

once i really wanted to eat a watermelon i had grown. i grew up in the city, a world away from farms and growing. but something in me was determined. i spoke with a friend, Jonas, who knew about "growing things". He explained how to get started, the tools, the process, the nurturing. He told me how watermelons had to be started in cup first. little cups filled with just enough dirt and really saturated daily with water. He told me how they would need sun. He told me how one day they would be too big for the cups and need to be transplanted to the real earth. He told me how it would take all summer. He told me he would set aside space for me in his garden for the great transplant, the growing, and the harvest.

And so i started. I got the little cups. I planted my packet of watermelon seeds. I started watering. two weeks went by and my little cups were just alters of mud. but one scrunchy morning i came out to those little cup to the birth of my first watermelon sapling.

From that day on love grew those seeds. I found myself rushing home to check them, re-arranging them in the sun for "perfect exposure", even reading bible verses to them (isaiah of course)... and grow they did. Soon they were to big for their cups and i drove them out to the farm... the real earth. I have never been so nervous to hand off my babies into the hands of another. but hand off i had too.

the rest of the summer was spent letting the watermelons "go native"... watermelons need room. to spread out, to go viney, to frutify... i would go out and check my watermelons like a mother checks her baby. I would take people to visit them. I was so proud....

oh the day the fruit was visible! but still i had to wait. blazing summer days began to turn to crisp autumn opportunities.... then the time came...

The watermelons were harvested. I planned a special party that night in honor of my full grown watermelons. my friends joined me in laugh and enjoying the blessing... cutting into that first watermelon, letting my lips glisten with the taste of my first harvest was a mixture of pride, honor, satisfaction, and respect.

is discipleship like growing watermelon seeds?

be inspired by your childhood!

Posted by Teen Bean

So recently i have been listening to a children's radio show called Adventures in Odyssey. For all you oldies out there.... you will know what i am talking about. In reality it has just been so much fun laughing at all the old jokes and concepts, that as a kids, would have me in stitches.

then i went to community dinner at the Chapins house. They are a lovely family with 4 beautiful daughters. I love going around their house on sundays because there house is buzzing with life and excitement, as these girls are on the edge of living life! The beautiful way the girls creatively attack life has me craving for the sweet childhood love of dreaming and hope.

summer is an amazing time to remenise about childhood dreams and hopes. recently someone asked me what i dreamed of doing as a child. I had to laugh out loud as i remember my biggest dream was inspired from two favorite childhood movies of Annie and Peter Pan. I remember wanting to run an orphanage for young people that made them as happy and content as Peter Pan was in Neverland.... I was crushed when i had asked about orphanages and was told they didn't exist in America....
Lately God has been inspiring this dream in me again. I had wanted this dream so badly as a child that when i was told it was impossible i kinda of whip lashed the other direction and avoid youth work and hospitality in an effort to ease the pain of letting go of my first love.

It was a mighty jolt to have someone re-ask... what did you dream of doing as a child... and even more shocking to realize that that dream of housing young people in places of deep imagination and safety are not as far off as I once thought.

I think its important for everyone to ask themselves that question multiple times in life "What did you want to do as a Child?" and then really try ask yourself "how can i bring my childhood dream of living into my life now?".... it such a powerful way of reconnecting with the passions of your heart! TRUST ME!

field work

Posted by Teen Bean

so i've had to manage putting together some practical "field work" for my graduate program that allows me to interact with a culture that is not my own and be involved in a social justice project. Oddly, it has come together. I will be spending a large majority of my summer working with two organizations. Hosteling International (HI) and YouthCare. I will be working with HI's program director to help sustain some cultural awareness programs, i'm very excited to work with them because hosteling is something I love to do and if done responsibly I think could change the world.

The other organization. YouhCare, happened more randomly and sporadically, so i know it is probably more of a God thing. YouthCare works with homeless youth in Seattle. I am looking into helping serve with one of their local transitional housing projects. They are really interested in having people help at a new house, that just so happens to be working with young homeless girls that were involved in prostitution. I am very excited to work with them and spend this summer building relationship and just widening my world view/ experience in the area of helping build homes for the abused.

Its going to be manic that is for sure. Steve comes in 3 days and I am soooo excited to just be 3 days ahead of myself! hahaha...

its going to be a good summer!

Deposit Down = Community House

Posted by Teen Bean

I went today and put down our deposit for a community house. It is a four bedroom unit. Nice and tight... very cute. Its in the Central district of Seattle... so smack in the middle of the city. I think there are four people committed. Tiffany, Jessica, Caleb, and myself. I am from the midwest, Jessica is from the Seattle area, Tiffany is from California, and Caleb is from Africa... it for sure will be an interesting mix.

Jessica has been in Malawi all summer, she gets back in august.

Tiffany and I have been meeting all summer praying for our community house and it is feel very exciting and peaceful.

More fun stories to follow i am sure, but your prayers for our community house and soon to be new community are for sure needed! We want to be intentional about prayer and community dinners and discipleship. It should be big!


Hello and Good-byes!

Posted by Teen Bean

This summer has been such a weird summer of really excited, really bummed, really happy, and really sad.

I am really excited for all my classmates and the adventures we are all going on this summer. A part of my program is that we have two months this summer to go and experience other cultures and get involved with a social justice project. Most of my class mates are off to those far way places most of us just dream of. Kenya, Thailand, Malawi, India, S. Africa, Bangladesh... and so many more. A few others of us are holding down the fort here in the Seattle area, getting involved with the other cultures that are right here. Some of us are working with refugees, sex-trafficking, the homeless. I personally am trying to put together a combination of working with a hostel organization as well as volunteer with a local youth housing shelter. Both are coming together though it is still slightly up in the air how it will work out... (nothing like last min or anything).

I'm a bit bummed because i really do love traveling. I so love seeing other places and meeting new people and the thought of not getting to do that this summer is a bit disappointing, but I am excited to learn the value in the place I am and to remember that you don't always have to travel thousands of miles away to learn about other cultures and get involved in social justice.

I'm really happy because in just 9 short days Steve Lawton arrives and gets to stay with me for 6 whole weeks. I am really excited for us to just get to spend a bit of quality time together. So much of his visits before have had such "big" events. The first time he came... was, well, the FIRST TIME HE CAME! Then the second time he came we were going to Chicago to meet my family... which was just a big moment. But this time we just get to have fun and spend time together which should be awesome!

I'm really sad because summer just last for a season and sometimes i want it to go on forever!! I am missing being in the midwest where it gets proper sunny and HOT (on the 4th of july i was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt... that was first). I am sad to say good bye to some of my really good friends for a summer. I know it will go by fast, but I love this crew out here and will miss calling them, getting cheep drinks, and having random long night hang outs! i'm sad because its been a complete year that i have been gone from england and i miss my besties there and really just want that normal life back.

So yeh... life is as it should be. A healthy mixture of excited and bummed, happy and sad... just enough unknown and weird to make life unexpected, interesting, and hopeful!

summer on... summer on!


Posted by Teen Bean

so it all started very innocently with laundry.... well there really is nothing innocent about my laundry... the evil way it just stacks ups week after week and becomes a hideous monster is just pure evil...

but I digress...

so there i was in the laundry room. two massive loads of laundry finally done and out of the dryer. I really should consider myself blessed to live in the basement because the coin washer/dyers are just a few doors down... but i still find it annoying that i have to take my laundry down there... oh the day that i own a washing machine again!


so as i was piling these two loads of laundry chin high into my laundry basket, i was patting myself on the back for being able to make this trip back to my apartment in one go... as i went to leave the laundry room i was caught in a bit of a conundrum. All of my body was focusing on teetering and compacting my laundry into a much to small laundry basket... but i needed to shut off the laundry room light and shut the door...

i decided then and there that the best plan of action would be to use my face to shut off the light switch... one simple swoop in and i was hooked... LITERALLY! my nose ring caught on the light switch and in an effort to release myself i ended up yanking it, along with a bit of my flesh, out!

ahhhhhhh, laundry down, nose ring out, blood everywhere (ok there really wasn't blood everywhere, but it felt like there should be blood everywhere!!!)

Laundry abandoned, I ran back to my apartment, sure as anything, that my nose would be a mangled mess of blood and ripped cartilage... but thanks to the sweet baby Jesus (who coincidentally i believe grew up being fully man/fully God and who completed three year of ministry before he was murdered, raised, and is now reigning in heaven, all for the restoration of the world's (i.e. my) sins).... where was i in this story!?!? ah yes so... my nose was not as bad as it felt... there was blood to be sure, but the hole in my nose was of normal size... thanx to my lucky stash of spare facial jewelry I had an new ring in and it is as good as new...though it has gotten a bit red and is very much tender to the touch....


all in the name of LAUNDRY... see, i told you, my laundry is evil... pure evil!