7 Quick Takes Friday (vol.7)

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It's been a crazy wild ride IRL this week.  For one thing, I've discovered - thanks to Shauna Niequist (who uses this shorthand often) and a bit of internet research - that IRL means "in real life."  (I've also discovered the meaning of another important shorthand term (thanks to a friend who texted it, sure that I would knew what she meant): "IMHO" - which means (in case you didn't know) "in my humble opinion.")  In an effort to display why such things are important, might I suggest that IMHO, VR (which can mean more than 75 different things, but in this case means "virtual reality")  does have a place IRL.  And that LILABOC is an excellent shorthand for "Life is like a box of chocolates" - because you can say LILABOC a lot faster, and explain the rest of what you meant while eating chocolate later.  With friends that you met on the internet and then randomly (or not so randomly) ran into at a conference.

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Last weekend I had the privilege of spending two days at a conference called Bold Boundaries.  It was an absolutely amazing weekend.  A handful of people from very diverse backgrounds and theological perspectives spent the weekend swapping stories and asking questions about friendship between men and women, particularly in the church - exploring the ways in which our social and gender constructs have shaped our beliefs, debunking some myths, and looking towards Jesus for His perspective.  I learned a LOT.  I also found healing (I wasn't expecting that), came home with a few great questions to talk about with my friends, and felt so incredibly privileged to be a part of a group of people who embodied so much of what it means to be the church.  I'll have a lot to say about a lot of it over the next few weeks as I process thru it all, so please stay tuned!  (And join the conversation.)

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One of my personal take-aways from the conference was a new-found appreciation for the gift that it is to feel completely safe being 100% myself.  I have a handful of friends with whom this has (almost) always been true and I am so grateful for their love and acceptance - not just of my positive qualities, but of my growth edges as well.  Being truly seen and understood (without having to explain it), is an experience far more rare in the church than it should be.  And it is a gift.  Finding it among strangers who quickly became friends last weekend is a memory I will treasure for a very, very long time.

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One of the funnest moments of the conference happened right when we arrived.  My friend Steve went with me.  I'd observed at one point that it was kind of lame, going to a friendship conference by myself, and Steve decided to come along.  We were greeted at the door by a wonderful lady who was absolutely thrilled that we had come together.  So much so that she summoned her husband immediately, and with great joy, announced: "This is Happy, and this is Steve.  And they're friends!!!"   Lol.  Maybe you had to be there, but it was incredibly sweet - and I think we both felt really celebrated in that moment.  We are friends - and it's awesome.  And it was fun, in that moment, to know it made someone else happy, too.  :)

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Speaking of friends, and things that make people happy - here's a shameless plug: if you are looking for a good story (or several), you really should swing by World of Shandor.  I'm privileged to know the women behind the website, and I'm really enjoying their latest story, The Levour Exhibition.  Kind of wish I could go walking around in the world they've created.

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Tomorrow is Derby Day!  I haven't picked my horse yet, but I'm looking forward to sleeping in and then just puttering around most of the day - cleaning, writing, drinking entirely too much coffee, and watching all the pre-Derby footage.  The only better way I can think of to spend the first weekend in May would to actually BE at the Derby, wearing a sensational hat.  Someday...  Maybe.

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In the meantime, here's my video pick of the week.

Wil Wheaton, on "Why It's Awesome To Be A Nerd."  (It's pretty great.  We just won't ask the obvious question: what in the world is he wearing?!)

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