Dear Friend,

This is my 1ooth post, and as you may know I planned on listing 100 memories from this past year. This plan, however is NOT going to be implemented. After all, in order to actually do this I would have to pull out my journal and search for the best activities of the past year IN PUBLIC. The computer lab is an awesome place and it makes me focus, but when it comes to searching through your journal for information about what you have been up to… not exactly a smart place to do so. This is, as you might suspect, because my journal holds more personal stories, stories that I don’t particularly want to share with the strangers sitting beside me. So instead I thought I’d share with you about what has been going on recently.

This week at EMU is all about spiritual growth. Brenda Matthews, or Mama Brenda as we prefer to call her, is speaking in various setting this week and I am LOVING IT! Mama Brenda spoke at both of the MCUSA Conventions I have attended as a part of the Youth Worship and so when I heard she was coming to EMU… lets just say that I stared at the poster in awed disbelief for a few moments before doing a little jig and skipping to my room. Mama Brenda knows how to motivate others. Her words not only challenge you, but empower you with the sense that you CAN live out God’s call. It is AMAZING.

Have you ever written anything and not wanted to share it because it was so personal that if anyone read it you would feel as if they opened your soul and started poking around to see what was there. I’ve written things like that. Letters and Poems that express what I can’t bring myself to say aloud. You see Mama Brenda is hosting/participating in (but mostly hosting, if she has her way) a poetry session tonight in Common Grounds. I have this poem, several actually that all fit together… they reveal more than I understood when I wrote them and those whom I’ve shared them with say I should share at least one tonight. This not only a scary thought, but a frustrating one. This goes beyond sharing with a close friend, but to the public “eye.” People who won’t understand the circumstances…people who will, perhaps too much. There is also, of course, the fear that my reading won’t be… right. That I won’t say the words with the right inflection, that my tone won’t reflect the rhythm in my head. Maybe I’ll share… maybe.

Love, Mandi Jo