Losing a Student

That’s something you never want to experience in youth ministry. Wednesday night after our SWITCH experience we got a call from a student who was leaving. He said a kid got hit by a car on NW Expressway. Vince, my fellow youth pastor and I ran as fast as we could out to where we saw traffic backing up. My mind exploded: “No, oh Jesus NO!”

Before we knew it he was gone. Anthony Guzman an 8th grader from one of our main middle schools CAPPS in the Putnam City district.

That night set in motion a wave of grief that settled on our students and leaders from CAPPS. The next morning we were up at the school all day, sitting with students, holding them while they cried, listening to their questions of why and not able to really answer them.

We don’t know why.

I was so proud and blessed by the showing of our team of leaders. The whole CAPPS team was present along with others. A few of my fellow staff members from other campuses joined us to minister to the students who lost their friend. More than twenty-five adults stood in the lunch cafeteria that day holding hands to pray for the 8th grade class of CAPPS. God’s presence was there. He was comforting, healing and showing Himself to these students.

Losing a student is something no one ever wants to experience. But if you have to I would want to be surrounded by the people who showed up yesterday to give comfort. I would want to be a part of a community who I know is praying and reaching out any way they can. Our group will never be the same after this tragedy. But I think the change will be for the good. God is good even in circumstances like this.

A memorial fund has been set up in Anthony’s name. You can donate at any metro MidFirst Banks. Thank you for your prayers.

It’s Been Too Long

Hello everyone!

Forgive the absence from the blog. I’ve been super busy with so many exciting things happening.

Cody and I are working hard on starting a blog together. This will be mostly based around marriage, communication and our lives, with touches of each of our passions and thoughts on things like technology, overcoming insecurity, leadership, political views etc. We’re really excited about it and feel God calling us to start this together. It’s going to be a www.livelaughlight.com Here’s a little taste of our logo done by the beautiful Amy Sharp over at www.amyellacreative.com

Out of this blog I’ve also started a personal training/boot camp business called LiveLaughLight. Starting in January I will offer classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30pm $100 per person for four weeks. Send me an e-mail or DM if you’re interested!

I’ve been working hard on the first draft of a book that’s been stirring inside me for the last three years about overcoming insecurity. I have an end goal of December 15th for the first draft and will send it in to a friend to hopefully get some ideas for publishing! More to come on that one!

We’re wrapping up our semester for SWITCH and I’m just so excited for the Christmas holiday this year! I was just reading in Luke about when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated. You can access a great reading plan at www.youverson.com it’s called Rediscovering the Christmas Season.

Today’s reading focused on two people who waited at the temple everyday for the coming of Jesus. Simone and Anna–two prophets who dedicated their lives to seeing the Christ arrive. I was encouraged and challenged when I read about how devout these two people were for the coming of Christ. In the reading plan it encouraged all of us to have that same excitement and expectation for the second coming of Christ–when He returns for us. I know I don’t always think about it, getting too caught up in the life I lead here on the earth, but it really made me think. I want to have the same excitement for the coming of Christ that I do for Christmas. I want to be so in love with Christ that I do what Anna the Prophetess does “She talked about Jesus to everyone.” Luke 2:37 and I want to encourage all of us to foster that same excitement. I think if we truly knew what that day was going to be like, there wouldn’t be anything that could keep us from being as excited as we possibly could.

So today, get excited! There are amazing things to come!

The Right Side of Obedience

There’s a certain confidence that comes when you know your purpose in life. You have guidance, and an invisible arrow pointing you in the direction you know you’re supposed to be going.

However, simply knowing your purpose isn’t enough.

Living your purpose is where life really gets sweet.

When you take that step of obedience there is a greater confidence that comes along, like a companion on the journey of life, keeping you company as you trudge forward. There is something about living on the right side of obedience that gives you the keys to unlock the doors that used to be closed. A new realm opens up. You see things differently. You experience life more vibrantly and carry a new sense of purpose you’ve only ever heard about.

Are you living on the right side of obedience? What will it take for you to take that step of faith and start doing what it is you know God has called you to do?

Living? Or Just Existing?

I came across this video and it made me think: these guys–and girls are living life to the fullest, taking risk, and having a blast doing it! I’m not saying I want to jump on a bike and dive into a pond, but I am saying when I get to the end of my life I don’t want to look back and realize I lived a safe existence. I want to live, really LIVE! Hopefully you feel the same way! Check this out:

Stretch, Massage and Get Rid of Cellulite

A friend of mine told me about this foam tube used for stretching muscles. She showed me how to use it at the gym and I haven’t been the same since. This small tube gets down into the deep tissue and even reduces cellulite in problem areas. You can use it anywhere: legs, inner thighs, back, arms, neck, head. Check out my deep tissue massaging moves!

I picked mine up at Target for $20.00 (actually it was a birthday gift from mom and dad! Thanks!) It’s amazing how good it feels to stretch tired muscles after a long run. I highly recommend getting one yourself!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Cody and I love to do home improvement projects around the house. Since the Light family flood of 2010 where we had a swimming pool in our living room, the house had been in a constant state of improvement. Now that everything is done for the most part, we went on to tackle other projects I’ve been dying to get to.

We decided we wanted to spruce up our bathroom and bedroom mirror. Look at it, it’s just a sheet of glass hanging on the wall. Bor-ing!

So we decided we wanted to frame it out using crown moulding. Here’s what you need to complete a project like this: a few pieces of crown moulding picked up at your local Home Depot or Lowes. This was only $1.72 a foot!

Next, you will need a can of paint in whatever color tickles your fancy. I like flat black since it matches with everything else in the bathroom and bedroom.

And of course you can’t forget your hunk of burning love willing to help you with this project. Ohhh, he’s so cute!

Once you’ve made your measurements you can cut the crown moulding to size. Be sure to cut the ends at a 45 degree angle so they line up at each corner. (It took us a couple tries to get the measurements right, but eventually, with enough patience (Cody’s the patient one, not me!) we cut them to size and started painting.)

Besides taking pictures and holding the boards while Cody made his measurements, this was my only job. I leave the heavy thinking, planning and executing to him, he leaves the “girly” stuff like painting to me.

Once the paint is dry it’s time to hang them up. We had to use stabilizers behind the crown moulding to make it even on all sides, but I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

What do you think?

We also did our bedroom mirror. It really makes it stand out more.

Two “like new” mirrors for less than $50 dollars! Now that’s what I call a good investment!

What home improvement projects have you been meaning to get to?

Any inexpensive ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments!

Messy

Life is messy. But for so long she’s been trying to walk through life without getting dirty.

She’s walked so carefully, with her white shoes, and white gloves, being careful to not make a mistake that would cause her to fall down into the messiness of life and soil her nice white, clean clothes.

Sure, the bottoms of her pants have rubbed against the messiness of life and they’ve gotten a little tattered, but you can’t really see them. For the most part, at least as far as people can tell, she’s still clean, she hasn’t let the messiness of life get the better of her.

She’s grown up with a sense of pride that she’s made it this far into life without getting really dirty. She’s made good choices, hasn’t made a lot of mistakes and played it safe.  That’s how she’s come to be so clean. You can’t be taking all kinds of risks and expect to stay out of the mud. Everything has it’s time and place and she’s got a plan for just about everything. Can’t be caught by surprise if you want to stay clean. Her thoughts swarm, as she takes each careful step through life, “What a perfect life I’ve led so far.” “Look how clean I am, not a spot on me!” But when it’s time to tell the stories she comes up short.

“No, I didn’t fall and get my gloves dirty. Why? Oh, well I guess because I played it safe. No, I can’t say I’ve ever been up to my knees in the mud… I mean look at my pants, they’re so white… Why? Oh, well I guess because I never took that big step. What kind of stories do I have to tell? Mmmmmm, ………………………… My gloves are really white!”

Does she carry a pride of never messing up? Does she think life’s goal is to get to the end of her life with her clothes still white? What is wrong with celebrating imperfection? Isn’t it okay if not everything lines up? She’s made all the right choices and because of that she’s been blessed. But what if the blessings were the consequences of taking a risk? What if the true blessings were the lessons that come with falling into the mud? Why is she so afraid of being wrong? Messing up? Making a mistake? Taking a risk?

What is faith? Faith is making sure each step will be the right one… faith is making sure each step will keep her away from the mess. No, that’s not right. Her mind and heart are at war, but she cannot let it keep her from moving forward. One last look at the clean, white gloves and she decides. It’s time to get messy. It’s time to try some new things. It’s time to take the risks. It’s time to take the big steps.

Top Women’s Ministry Blog

I got this e-mail last night:

Dear Anna,

Congratulations! Jen here, and your blog, Anna Light Ministries, is a
Master Blog of Women in Ministry!

We’ve scoured the web looking for amazing blogs that not only are great in
content, but informative and helpful when needed.  And we’ve determined your
blog to be such!  We like to call it a Master of its category!

You can see your blog and others right here

Click on the link and see who’s number 4! Pretty cool.  Thanks for making my little corner of the world a place others feel is worth knowing about.

Get Dirty

This is a video we are showing at SWITCH tonight. Our series is called “Get Dirty” We’re moving our students to a culture of servanthood, encouraging them that it’s necessary to get a little dirty when you serve others.

I was trying to find some videos to use as transitions and I came across a whole series called “Muddy White Socks.” I’m not sure what to think of it, and I have no idea why it is so intriguing. See for yourself. It’s only a min and a half.

Go With the Flow

I started to write a blog this morning and I just wasn’t feeling it. Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow and the flow just wasn’t there.

Which is a great question. Do you find yourself often going with the flow? Sometimes it can be a good thing and sometimes it can be a bad thing.

Going with the flow shows a sense of trust. Like when you’re out with a group of friends and no one really knows what’s going on, going with the flow can depend on whether you have a good time or not.

Someone who can’t go with the flow is like a rock in a creek bed. The water flows right past it, but it sure takes a lot of pressure because it just sits there. It’s not willing to go with the flow, but the flow keeps on going.

It’s an interesting thought when you apply it to your life. In some cases going with the flow might not be a good idea, but in most cases going with the flow is the best way to go.

That is my blog for today. Don’t hate. Go with the flow.

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