Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Monday, January 30, 2006

Young Friends

As I've mentioned, I go to church on Saturday nights now. The 605 welcomes all ages, but the majority of attendees are age 18-35. Yesterday I had to get up early to make a connection with some out-of-town friends, so I decided to go to the 9 a.m. service at Pulpit Rock (the service I attended for more than five years). When I got to church, the masses hadn't yet arrived, and I found an out-of-the-way seat on the aisle.

As worship began I sat alone in my row. But somewhere around the second song I noticed three little people hurrying into my row. Kayla, the oldest of the siblings, gave me a big smile. I met Kayla a couple years ago when she did a school report on Clubhouse. Since then I've seen her several times at church, and one time she and her family attended Focus chapel as my guests.

"I'm happy to see you," I said.

Kayla grinned. "I'm happy to see you, too!"

I gave Kayla a squeeze, feeling more than happy that she and her siblings had joined me.

The interaction reminded me of why I love intergenerational church. In the world, a genuine connection between a 12-year-old and a 20-something is rare. But in the Body of Christ, something deep and powerful connects people of all ages and makes them a family. And these relationships benefit both individuals. Yesterday God used my young friends to encourage me and remind me again of His heart.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

My New Camera

Well, I finally did it. Today I purchased a Canon PowerShot A610. With 5.0 Mega pixels and lots of super features, the camera will breathe new life into my blog (no more camera phone pictures. Admit it: you'll miss 'em.) Journey with me on my first photo field trip!

Of course I began by taking a self-portrait.

I asked the camera where it wanted to go, and it said Starbucks.

I had fun with a school bus I found in the church parking lot.

Time for the 605 at Pulpit Rock Church.

Kevin and Melissa lead music at the 605.

Friends are fun!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Crazy Happy

This picture was taken a couple months ago, but I just got it today. This is me and friend Carmen at the Steven Curtis Chapman/Mercy Me Christmas concert. How happy are we?

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Heart Treasures

I want to share a very special e-mail I received this week. Here it is, unedited:

Subject: Suzanne Hadley!!!!

Thank you for reading and sending me the messages about all of the questions I ask. You also do a good job by writing the stories. I always look to see who it is by and it is normally you who wrote it. It is very nice of you to do this and I liked the story that you wrote about the story "Never Alone." I liked how you wrote it about somebody who is supporting a child in Russia and that it is also cool to see that he goes over there to see her and not just giving her the money and not knowing who this is coming for and what it is coming for. I really enjoy the things that you write. Keep it up! You are a great writer and I would like to see you write some more stories! Thank you for reading this and you can reply if you want to but you do not have to because I bet you have a LOT OF OTHER THINGS TO WRITE BACK about.

Gabrielle, 11

I've been a published writer for more than a decade, and I have received a fair amount of compliments on my writing...mainly from adults. I love children, which is why I feel so at home writing for Clubhouse. But when I write for kids, unlike when I interact with them in person, I don't always know if I'm connecting.

A letter like Gabrielle's is especially precious...and worth more than many letters I receive from adults (although I appreciate those, also). It makes me think of a verse in the Bible about Mary. It says that after she had observed the wise men's worship of Jesus, she "treasured all these things in her heart." I believe the wise men's visit reminded Mary of the awesome role she was playing in God's plan. The Lord gives us glimpses, like Gabrielle's letter, that affirm our calling and give us something to treasure.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Road Angels

I know some of you out there probably struggle with road rage tendencies from time to time. Although I'm by no means a hot head on the road, I do occasionally find myself annoyed by the driving-under-the-speed-limit-driver, the pull-in-front-of-me-driver and the bad-at-merging-driver.

But do you ever have moments of deep thankfulness for a good driver? These moments come often for me. Because bad drivers are always before me, I find myself taking notice of the quieter more considerate drivers: the ones who let me in; the ones who follow at a decent distance; the ones who stop at red lights. I think of them as my friends. I always wish I could give them a gold star or at least a thank-you.

Today as I drove to work a bit white-knuckled because of snow-covered roads, I had one such driver behind me most of the way. He followed four car-lengths behind the entire drive, never rushing me or pushing me to go faster. Even though he could easily have passed (I was maxing out at about 35 mph), he stayed behind me, which I found a comfort in case I slid off the road. He was my snow-driving ally.

When I arrived at work, I realized he was also a fellow employee. As I walked in, I found myself wanting to thank him for his courteous driving...but I felt a little silly.

It's very easy to get angry with bad drivers, but why not focus on those who are making the roads a better place through good driving? If you are one of those drivers, I salute you!

(P.S. That is not my car, although I wish it were since it is a Mercedes-Benz. Sigh.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Not Your Buddy

New on Boundless. Find out why, if you're a guy, I won't be your buddy.

Close friendships between men and women may feel good, but are they doing anyone a favor?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Celebrity Look-Alike

A few months back at a Christmas party, someone made the observation that I looked like this actress who used to be on “Chicago Hope” and currently plays in the TV series “Threshhold.” This was not the first time I had been compared to this actress — most commonly to her role as Rebecca in the movie “Son in Law.”

I finally got around to looking her up on imdb (one of my favorite Web sites EVER). And it wasn’t like I was looking in the mirror or anything, but there is a definite resemblance. Carla Gugino, I was surpised to learn, played the mom in Spy Kids. Hmm. I wonder if I could play her double next time she’s paired with Antonio Banderas.

Who’s your celebrity look-alike?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Heart Libraries!

My friend Krish and I took a fieldtrip up to the Denver Seminary Library yesterday. This library boasts more than 159,000 titles, so I thought it would be the perfect place to begin research on a book I'm writing about young adults and the church.

I was right. The library was incredible. I found quite a few books related to my topic (and written within the last two years). Plus, it was super quiet on a Saturday morning. Being there reminded me of my days at Multnomah. Sometimes I'd wake up at 7 on a Saturday morning, eat breakfast and then hide away in the library for six or more hours (doing Needham's check grades).

I'm out of practice. Krish and I only lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. Still, the trip was rewarding, and I'm sure I'll be spending many more happy hours in this library.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No, I'm Not Going to a Convention

In preparation for my upcoming role in "Star Wars: the musical" (an original comedy sketch to air at the 605), I donned the ensemble. I really don't understand why Princess Leia got so much attention from guys. Bad hair. Bad clothes. Bad attitude. Ah, why question it.

May the force be with you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ben's First Snow

I had to post this very cute picture of my nephew experiencing snow for the first time. Matt led worship at a Jr. High winter retreat over the weekend, and Ben got to play in the snow. Note that Ben is actually smiling in this photo. Ben must really like snow!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

With Withiness

I forgot I could provide the link to this sermon (which also includes my testimony about having Lyme disease somewhere near the middle).

Isn't the technology age great?

Monday, January 09, 2006


This weekend, my pastor, Jonathan, spoke on "withiness" (with-ee-ness). Yes, he made up the word. But it has an important meaning. The message was about intimacy with Christ and how to get it. Because Paul says "Christ’s love compels us," intimacy with Him is obviously the root of everything else we do in our Christian lives.

I know in my own experience I've often felt like I needed to do all the right things — read my Bible, pray enough, minister to others — to achieve intimacy with Christ. But Scripture paints a different picture — a picture of simply being with Christ — withiness.

The disciples are an example of withiness. When Lazarus became ill, Jesus asked his disciples to go back with him to Judea. "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" Jesus says, "Um, yeah." And Thomas' response is: "Let us also go, that we may die with him." Regardless of the danger in Judea (where formerly people had tried to stone them), Thomas' commitment to Jesus was so strong that he wanted to be with Him at any cost.

Jonathan went on to talk about the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus said: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (emphasis mine).

Jesus already has withiness with us, Jonathan pointed out. All we have to do is decide if we're going to acknowledge it. I think I often forget about withiness with Christ in my pursuit of Christianity. As in the case of Martha and Mary, I'm Martha, busily working, while Mary sits at His feet. This year I would like to really delve into what this "withiness" could entail. How would my life look different from just being with Jesus? How would yours look different?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Further proof of the superiority of cats

I just read this article on MSN about an orange tabby that saved his owner by dialing 911! The man had fallen out of his wheelchair and couldn't reach the phone, but he'd trained his cat to dial 911. Could a dog do that? I don't think so. Way to go tabby!

By the way, this image is not the actual rescue cat. I had to search for quite some time before finding a picture of an orange tabby that wasn't sleeping! Well, I guess they have to store up their energy for all those heroics!

Some More Resolutions

I asked members of the Clubhouse online kids' club what new thing they'd like to try this year. Here are some of the answers:

Rachel M. — "I would like to try and keep my room clean for longer than a week!" (Me, too!)

Theresa S. — "I want to know more about rockets." (Who doesn't?)

Christine W. — "I would really like to get stronger and be able to lift my brothers at the same time...altogether they weigh like....200 and some pounds." (Now that would be a feat!)

Katherine H. — "I would like to do Irish Dancing." (You go girl!)

Justine H. — "I would like to try new foods because I don't have a very wide variety of food." (Mmm.)

Joshua Q. — "I would like to go on a chair lift." (Aiming high!)

Hannah H. — "Learn more about Jesus!!!" (Great resolution.)

After reading these, I may have to add a few to my list! Especially keeping my room clean! I hope your year is off to a great start!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I am not a big one on making New Year's resolutions. That is because New Year's resolutions seem to have a track record for failure. Why else are gyms more packed between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14 (when valentines candy hits) than any other time of year? A few years ago I quit making New Year's resolutions. I made the resolution to make resolutions, as needed, throughout the year.

That said, I do have a few things on my list of "things to do" this year. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Take dance lessons. After going swing dancing twice over Christmas vacation, I decided I would like to put some time into this pursuit. I'm also resolving to have fun while doing it!

2. Cut myself some slack. I don't like to fail at stuff. I've recently discovered I have this overwhelming desire to be the best at everything I do. And that hang-up discourages me from pursuing certain things (such as item 1 on this list). This year I would like to do several things that I've been afraid to try for fear of failure.

3. Read more. OK, I have no excuse! I'm a writer and editor but I do very little reading. I will read more this year and be intentional about taking books along on trips, to the gym and on errands.

4. Pack a lunch and make my own coffee. These two are related in that they both save money and require planning. So more grocery shopping and fewer Starbucks visits.

5. Like people the way Christ liked people. I'm currently reading Don Miller's book "Searching for God Knows What." He talks about how Jesus liked people. No wonder prostitutes, tax collectors and the socially disadvantaged were attracted to Him; they felt that He sincerely liked them. I realize I often don't show people this kind of grace.

So there it is. A few simple things on my list of things to do in 2006. Happy New Year...and may you make resolutions all year long.