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125 Years

I would drive past that little white clapboard church every morning on my way to work. There was no Fairfax County Parkway then, only a very windy West Ox Road with long stretches of fields—some with horses. Each day as I turned onto Centreville Road, only two lanes back then, I would glance to my right and smile, thinking, “That’s such a cute church.” Eventually I found myself planning a wedding and searching for a house closer to work. I also found myself looking for churches. I “shopped” at least ... Read More »

When Hide-and-Seek Becomes Here I Am

“Ready or not, here I come!” I always loved hearing those words because that’s when the fun really began. I knew all the best hiding places around our house. In the stairwell, behind the bushes, between the pine trees, by the swing set… What made them good was this: you could see the seeker, but they couldn’t see you. You had to hold your breath as they came near so you didn’t give yourself away, and then as soon as they went past, you sprinted for home base. “Safe!” you hollered when ... Read More »

Hiding

I am really good at hiding. You may not know this when first meeting me, but I’ve been hiding my whole life. For years, I stole snacks from my parents’ parties and meetings and then disappeared to the basement, avoiding conversation with “grown-ups.” When I saw people on my college campus handing out flyers or eager to chat about the latest cause, I hid behind my phone, headphones or just a stone-cold glare. Even now, I refuse to answer a phone call from an unknown number, and if someone calls ... Read More »

Would I Rather be Right or Would I Rather be Kind?

In recent weeks, I have been closely following a news story about a local politician embroiled in what will likely be a career-ending scandal. Sadly, I would usually be right there with the rest of the public shaking my head in judgment and cynicism, lamenting the lack of morals and good sense so often on display in our public officials. In this case, I am just heartbroken. I know this man, and I have worked with him. In spite of the demons he appears to be battling, I have always ... Read More »

Today I Was in Your Presence

Dear Airport People, Did you notice me? Did you see me? As we rode the escalator together, did you realize I was standing next to you? Could you feel my fear when we sat next to each other? Suit, your conversation seemed to be very important. Giggles, you must have been chatting with an old friend. You were both contentedly consumed in your own conversations, in your own worlds. Did you notice Somber? Or Serious? Or each other? Or me? So absorbed in your phones and laptops, I don’t think ... Read More »

Not the Plan

This is not how it was supposed to go. This was not the plan, at least not my plan. She was supposed to graduate and come home, find a job in D.C. and live here for a few years while she saved money. Then she was supposed to move into a house in Ballston with a few friends. I mean, isn’t that what young people do? They come back home for few years, right? But in truth that was my plan, not hers and certainly not God’s. Instead she completed ... Read More »

A Surprise Meeting

Have you ever had an experience through which God completely surprised you? I’ll admit, I was not feeling any particular nudge from God when I entered the lecture hall at Oakton High School for a senior parent meeting recently. What I was feeling, however, was a desire to avoid parents whom I recognized but didn’t know very well. In hindsight, I can see how my effort to sit on the other side of the room and hope to be anonymous actually made me completely available for God. I walked toward ... Read More »

Blessed by Camp Hutchison

As another year of Camp Hutchison comes to a close, I have taken time to reflect on all that this program has given back to me over the years. Initially, I took advantage of the opportunity to serve as a junior counselor for three summers while I was in high school. This was when I first discovered what a blessing working with the children of Hutchison Elementary really is for me. Serving in the classrooms with kids who were always excited to learn was my favorite part of every summer. ... Read More »

Good Work at Jeremiah Project

Editor’s Note: Last week seven middle school students and two leaders traveled to Winchester, Virginia to participate in a Jeremiah Project (JP) mission camp. Students help with a wide range of home repair opportunities, from painting to building wheelchair ramps. The following is a blog post from two of the students, Audrey Kim (A) and Grace Horner (G). Where did you do good work on this trip? A: On Thursday, we cleaned some stairs at our homeowner’s house with bleach. It was kind of nasty since all the moss that was ... Read More »

Ms. Brown and Selfies

Editor’s Note: This week seven middle school students and two leaders traveled to Winchester, Virginia to participate in a Jeremiah Project (JP) mission camp. Students help with a wide range of home repair opportunities, from painting to building wheelchair ramps. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Sean Egan. In Winchester, we worked with our homeowner, Ms. Brown. Her home was in a beautiful place and a quiet neighborhood. It was decorated with many crosses, and she had a lot of pictures of her children, grandchildren and ... Read More »

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