Archive for the ‘Iowa State Fair’ Tag

A Pause   Leave a comment

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This week I will be making my annual trek to the Iowa State Fair.  It is always a wonderful ten days of enjoying the hard work of many individuals.  Staying in the campground has also given me the opportunity to form relationships with individuals who I camp near and see every day.  My volunteer time at the Fair has also created some great relationships with those whom I work with sometimes every day and in other times a few days each year.  So this week is a kind of homecoming for me.

I have come to understand the importance of taking pauses in life.  These pauses allow me to experience things outside my normal routine and normal environment.  My schedule is different.  My focus is different.  My sleeping arrangements are different.  During these pauses I am able to refocus.  I am able to get a different perspective.

So, my blog posts will probably be a bit more erratic and briefer.  I will try to share significant aspects and experiences which I have during the Fair.  Keep checking in, you will not know what I may discover and share.  Afterall, it is the Iowa State Fair, the greatest state fair in the world!

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Juggling Act   4 comments


English: Picture taken of me juggling.

English: Picture taken of me juggling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


As a leader, I am like most leaders, I spend most of my days as a juggler.  There always seem to be enough issues and enough projects to keep me feeling like I’m constantly juggling balls or spinning plates.   What makes the juggling act even more challenging is if there is an extremely emotional element attached to one of the balls or plates.  A leader can become pretty exhausted in this type of work and that is why it is so vital for leaders to have opportunities of respite.  However, sometimes life does not offer a respite.  There are commitments and self-placed expectations that cause a leader to push forward even though there is a strong desire for a break.


This week is a prime example of one of the times when I crave a respite but know that it is not possible at this time.  I had many trips scheduled in June, July, and August.  Added to this busy travel schedule was a surgery for my son that ended up being two surgeries and almost two weeks at the hospital.  I vowed that all other matters took second place to my son and was very good at honoring that commitment.  However, now that he is out of the hospital, I am trying to play catch up.  In addition to that, I need to provide care for him at home as much as possible, especially over night.  I know that this is a temporary situation and I know that it will all work out but when in the midst of it, I struggle to keep all the balls in the air.


I am scheduled to go on a trip to a conference next week.  I am a bit torn about this since I do not want to leave my son unless he is doing much better than he currently is.  However, a lot of money has been invested in this trip and I would not want to see it go to waste.  So I am forced to practice some of what I preach — I must trust.  I must trust that the Lord will take care of all the details.  I must trust that the Lord will bring healing.  I must trust that the Lord will give me wisdom in the decisions that I make.  I must trust that the Lord will give forgiveness if I am not able to keep all the balls in the air.  I must trust that the path I walk is being walked by my Lord as well.  I must trust that when I need carried, the Lord will pick me up.  I must trust that the Lord will lead me to the future and these struggles will remain in the past.


I also need to remember that next month I have ten days scheduled as vacation.  These days will be spent at the Iowa State Fair where I will experience respite, excitement, and an opportunity to serve in a different way.  That is not very far away and therefore I can manage through this.


As a leader, I am a juggler.  As a leader, I have a Lord that can take over for me and will pick up the balls that I drop.  As a leader, I MUST trust.


Back To The Routine   Leave a comment

The Passage of Time

Image by ToniVC via Flickr

Alright, the Iowa State Fair is over and now it is time to get back to business.  Today, I shift from my normal routine at the Fair, to my normal work routine.  But even as I make this transition, I also realize that I am transitioning from my summer routine to my fall routine.  Yes, I know that fall is officially little less than a month away but since school is back in session and activities are starting to fill the calendar, the fall routine has begun here.

I find routine to be a blessing and a curse.  Since I am the type of person who likes organization, routine provides a level of comfort because time and activities are a bit more organized.  So the blessing is that I am returning to the familiar; I am returning to organization.  The curse is that it can be a struggle to move back from the leisurely to the rapid pace of my routine.  I look at all the items on my “to-do” list and wonder how I am ever going to make it through this day.

This has caused me to give thought to the importance of sabbath.  That much-needed opportunity to rest and to commune with the Lord.  The need to turn to the Lord for re-energizing.  The need to admit that we cannot go at a rapid fire pace all the time.

While having time away at the Fair was truly a sabbath for me, coming off of that sabbath isn’t always easy.  But I know that the Lord is always ready to re-energize me, I just need to take the time to turn to the Lord.

Posted August 23, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Faith/Life Connections

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Community   Leave a comment



It’s moving day at the Iowa State Fair.  Today is the last day of the fair so that means most of the campers will be moving out at some point today.  It is a bittersweet day.

This has caused me to think about what it means to be community.  Most visitors to the fair do not venture out of gate 5 on the east end of the fairgrounds to see the small city that exists in the State Fair Campgrounds.  But if you do, you will be amazed at this temporary community of individuals.  From all parta of the state and country, individuals and families join together in a community.  Some are people who work or volunteer at the fair.  Some are families who have camped here for over 50 years.  Some have small campers, some have converted buses, some have huge campers, and some, like me, have tents.  Some are here just on the weekends, some for one or two days, some are here all 11 days.  It becomes quite the melting pot.

But does it take more than just being in the same area for a length of time to be a community?  I have camped in the same location for four years.  Many of my neighbors have been the same for all four years.  We recognize each other, have small chit chat, and tend to notice abnormal behaviors in a somewhat watching-out-die-each-other sort of way.  Does that make us as community?

I am sad as I watch my neighbors pack up and move out.  It feels a bit like the tearing down of a community. I know we will come together again in a year with maybe a few changes.  We come because we love the Iowa State Fair and for a bit of time we are no longer strangers but neighbors.

So I ask my readers, what does it take to be a community?  I think that the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds at least has some of those qualities.  Come join us sometime!

What Goes In   1 comment


One of the many attractions at the Iowa State Fair is the food.   The picture that I put with today’s post is looking down one side of “the triangle.”. Fair junkies call it the triangle because roads cause this triangular land section to exist.  It is the home to multiple food vendors including the vendors who has introduced fried butter to the fair this year.

Looking at all the food vendors has caused me to think about what food and other items we take into our bodies.  It also has made me think about all the ideas, opinions, and influences we take into our minds.

I think that the key in both situations is balance and caution.  While we want to experience a variety, it is important to keep those two words in mind.

Posted August 19, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Faith/Life Connections

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Worth waiting for   Leave a comment


Today as I volunteered at the Living History Farms in the Agriculture Building, I was able to watch the never ending line of people waiting to see the butter cow.  It made me stop and think about what we may determine is with waiting for. 

What is it in your life that you are willing to wait for?

I think for me one is a combination of relationships and seeing people achieve the potential I can see in them.  I continue to work on building relationships that I feel will give me the opportunity to help the person grow toward their potential.

Another thing worth waiting for is the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises.  The Lord has not failed me yet so I will wait as the Lord continues with the fulfillment of all that he has promised.

Shelter   1 comment


Well its day one of the Iowa State Fair.  As I was looking for a faith connection today, this is an image that came to me.  The picture is of the tent and the screen shelter that I call “home” during the fair.

This reminds me of the shelter th Lord builds around us.  My shelter was made by humans out of synthetic fibers and put together by me.  The Lord’s shelter for me is made from love, created and put together by the Lord.

Posted August 11, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Faith/Life Connections

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