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10 Things this Youth Minister Wants You to Know.

So, every couple of months, a listicle from varying authors appears on my Facebook news feed. Most recently it appeared as this one. Many times this listicle speaks from the perspective as someone who is ordained/clergy. I have worked in churches or parachurch organizations for the past 16 years, and I am not clergy. There is a lot of crossover, but there are also differences as well. I thought about it, and I wrote my own listicle. 
(Fun Fact: Spell Check recognizes listicle as a real word.) 

1. Yes, this is my real job, and no, I am not called to be a pastor. 
There are many folks who work in youth ministry as lay staff, who go on to seminary to become pastors. There are also many of us who are called to being a lay minister. I am not called to ordained ministry. I do see my position as a Youth Minister as a calling. I went to seminary with no intention of ever being a pastor.  
2. The church is changing. 
Just like every field, the church has changed drastically since I started in youth…
Recent posts

What's in my bag?

So, Julie and I had a brief conversation about what is in my "go to" bag.  Well, here it is!  Sometimes I feel like it's excessive.  Then again, rarely have I found myself in a situation when I didn't have what I needed.

So the Kermit bag (and some accompanying things) comes with me when I travel or when I know I am going to present somewhere.  I've got Lightning cords, 30 pin cords, mini-USB cords, a plug, a mini jack to stereo jack adapter, headphones, extra speakers, audio cords of varying types, headphones (apparently 2 sets), and two styli.

I may go a little overboard on the audio cords, but then again, sometimes overboard can be helpful. I've been able to plug my computer into flat-screen tvs with an HDMI cable (left).  The one in the
middle is a mini jack to RCA cables.  This is the cord that plugs into sound systems (PA or theatre). The one on the right is a standard mini jack audio cable.  

And thus begins the overkill section.  Here's the conten…

Anita's Cheerleaders Part Deux

So, I'm going through some serious transition times.  Yes, it hasn't and won't be easy.

I am thankful that I have awesome friends who are super supportive.  And I am going to need some support along the way.  I want to get back into running.  I just did the Color Run.  (I highly suggest that you do this sometime in your life.)  My friend Laura Kay did this with me, and we did it in 53 minutes, which is a really good time for me.  I just figured out the start to a book that a professor suggested I write.  I want to get back to writing.  

So, what am I asking for?  I'm asking for cheerleaders once again.  It doesn't matter where you live.  I just need folks to cheer me on and keep me on track.  I need to remember that I have support from all over the world.  
So here's the job description...Weeks begin November 4.  The last week begins December 30.  So, friends, pick a week, and let's do this.  


Job Title: Anita’s Cheerleader
Classification: Seasonal, Weekly
Purpo…

Runs with Cheerleaders

So this spring, I attempted to set myself up for success.  I realized what I was missing here out in the woods was a community of folks to cheer me on.  So I asked friends to sign up for a week to be my check in person.  Their job was to make sure that I was working out and eating.  This was a humbling experience as many folks came forward to take the job for a week at a time.  The cheerleader part of this plan worked splendidly.  I did not.
A few weeks in, I caught a cold and/or had some serious allergies, so that put me out for over a week.  Around the same time, the crazy pace of camp came back, which made running more of a challenge.  The nail in the coffin was some rain.  I run on trails, by myself, and I slip when there is no mud.  I didn't want to hurt myself, and have to get myself home.

So, what did I learn this time around?
1. I have pretty awesome friends who send me food (literally) and play lists, and support me when I need it most.
2. Spring is NOT a good time for …

Stories from the Woods

Spring is springing here at camp!  It's beautiful.  Everything is becoming green again.  It's been raining a lot, which has been desperately needed.

Apparently, this spring, I am obsessed with birds hatching.  I have watched the Decorah Eagle Cam at least once a day, to see how the eaglets are doing.
BUT, close to home, there is goose nest down at the lake.  Mom and Dad are both at the nest.  At last check there were three eggs in the nest.  (My estimation: The eggs should hatch at the end of April.)  It's super stressful to be watching this whole process.  A couple nights ago, around 10 pm, I was walking Jack before bed, and I heard the geese honking up a storm.  I got super worried.  I tried to get Jack to bark, but he wouldn't cooperate. I wish I could put a webcam up similar to the Eagle cam.  I also learned that geese lose their flight feathers when they nest, so they can't escape a predator.  I have considered installing an electric fence around the area of…

Job Description: Anita's Cheerleader

So here's the job description for the week for my cheerleaders.  I still need a couple more.

Job Title: Anita’s Cheerleader
Classification: Seasonal
Purpose: To make sure that Anita trains between now and Memorial Day, 2011
Essential Job Functions:
1. Be aware of Anita’s goals and keep her accountable to her training goals for the week.
2. From afar (or a-close, depending on where you live), cheer for her in whatever way you know how (e.g.:Facebook messages, e-mails, postcards, etc.)
3. Suggest a playlist for the week for her to listen to while she runs.
Qualifications:
1. The ability to use the phone, computer, pen and paper
2. The ability to encourage
Compensation
Anita will equally cheer you on for whatever is going on that week.
Postcards. Definitely postcards.

Stories from the Woods

This past weekend, I was talking to my friend Lauren and LK. I was telling stories about living in the woods. Lauren suggested that I blog some of the funny/interesting things that happen to me while living in the woods. It's quite different living out here. For example: When I was in the city this past weekend, the first thing I heard when I got out of the car was police sirens. That scared me, as it's been weeks since I've heard sirens. With that being said, here's a story from a couple weeks ago:

Jack and I set out on our morning walk. Soon, we heard this shriek, and Jack let out this echoing bark. I turned to look in the field, and there were two tom turkeys fighting for dominance. Around the toms were a circle of hens, watching the fight. It was turkey fight club. The fighting stopped, and the toms and hens looked at Jack for a second, and (in my head) said meh, and resumed fighting/watching. Jack kept sniffing in their general direction, and after dec…