Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Saying Goodbye

brushed framed

i hate saying goodbye.... especially to people that i admire, love, am inspired by and care for. It's already been done twice this summer and probably one more time before this year ends.

Working at Fuller is probably one of the best decisions I've made in the last 12 months. I got to learn about coffee... but more than just coffee, I learned how art is incorporated in what we do at the cafe. I learned that it takes so much hard work for the farmers to individually pick out the coffee beans that we enjoy everyday and how important it is for us to support them by drinking fair trade coffee. I learned that as much as the people I work with love coffee and tea, they also love God's creation and His people. The cafe counter was a magical place. There, we shared our life struggles, our questions, our doubts, our frustrations, our stories, our solutions... we shared moments of breaking news (like Maija being pregnant), hugs, high-fives after rushes, and most importantly, we shared community.

Earlier this summer, I had to say good bye to Alisia, Derek and Emi. There was something about Alisia that drew me to her. I was always so inspired to clean and be organize every time I work with her. She inspired me to do my best at everything. Taking over her position at work started out to be overwhelming... but I'm slowly catching on. Every time I look at the chickens on the top of my computer screen, I'm reminded of her. =)

This past week, I had to say good bye to Dave, Betsy and JJ. 3 awesome people that have blessed and inspired me more than they know. I have NEVER in my life had such a cool manager. Rarely was he "Dave - the cafe manager"... he was mostly "Dave - the cool guy that we blamed every thing on" I was so inspired by our conversations behind the counter about how to live our every day life as church. I love how much he loved his family and how committed he was to them. Betsy is an amazing women. I remember once we were talking about the topic of making money and as this family is preparing to do missions overseas, she looks at me and shrugs, "we have the rest of our lives to make money.. that can wait"

I've been struggling this year to redefine myself. To really see what my core values and goals are in life. To see what I'm about... and the past year... I've learned that there ARE people in this world that HAVE the opportunity to be rich or wealthy or even just financially stable, but give that up to serve God and His people. Those people inspire me. To not just SAY they follow Christ... but really sacrificially follow Christ.... that blows me away!

My whole life has been about material things. It has been about defining success as the world defines it. It has been about choosing my own path and dreams instead of obeying God's path for me. It has been about living extravagantly when I strive to live simply. It's almost like the core of who I want to be was being suppressed by this overwhelming race to keep up with others.

Saying good bye is hard and painful. It's hard to say good bye to good friends that move away and it's even harder to say good bye to a lifestyle you're so use to but want to change so badly. I don't claim to be able to do it on my own... but I do want to try. I want to be less superficial and more intentional with my friendships. I want to hope for people instead of condemning them. I want to strive for simplicity instead of extravagance. I want to follow my core being instead of conforming to who/what society thinks I should be or value.

So to my friends that I had to say good bye to recently.... I'm excited for the adventure God's taking you and your family on. The people that I'm so sure you'll bless and inspire (as you have done for me) along your life journey and the stories & memories you'll have to share with us when we meet again... and thank you, for making a difference in my life.