For those who don’t know yet I recently moved into Lotus House.  I honestly don’t know what to write or what to say about myself on this strange thing known as a “blog”, but here is an attempt.  I suppose for my first ever (I have never blogged) post I will try to talk a bit about how I found this home and came to join.

To start I never went to church growing up and honestly never believed or respected most of what I heard from Christians until college.  Ironically though, I think some of my classmates in middle/high school thought I was a Christian Fundamentalist because I never drank or went to many parties.  Truth was that as an only child I was a bit shy and not a fan of large crowds.  Even today I really don’t enjoy crowds.  I never drank due to a bad family history with alcohol.  However, that was enough to convince more than a few people that I went to church.  I say all this because when I started college at the University of Evansville I had no interest in frat parties, but I also wanted to connect with new friends.  This meant hanging out with Christians.  During my time in Evansville I never became a Christian but I did gain a new respect for Christians I had not had before.  Suddenly I found that some of my new closest friends were Christians and unlike high school nobody ever tried to trick me into coming to church on Sunday morning.

After an amazing semester studying overseas in England it became apparent that due to financial burdens of going to a private school like Evansville I should transfer somewhere cheaper.  During that summer and fall (which I took off from school) I met some people who invited me to church.  Although we had talked about and “passionately discussed” the merits of Christianity I decided that I could not dismiss something I had never tried out.  In high school I went to a couple of churches briefly, usually because a cute girl would invite me and then the preacher would start screaming about Hell and not speak any intelligible language I could understand.  Sometimes churches forget that not everyone is fluent in “Christinese”.  Anyway, after getting convinced to check out a church under honest pretenses for once I woke up early one morning and checked it out.  Basically it was like my first semester at Evansville.  My view about Christians became nicer, and now after my first time really being interested in exploring a church I was able to gain more respect for established churches.  That fall I began to realize I was actually believing this stuff and became a Christian.

Just months after becoming a Christian I transferred to Truman State University in Kirksville, MO.  I soon came across Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution and also had a chance to visit Reba Place Fellowship and experience what is to this day one of my most memorable church services.  As I got to know more people at Truman I began meeting others who were reading this book and looking for deeper ways of living the Christian life.  Through these conversations I began to explore what intentional communities really looked like, and also realized that although I had no clue what would really be involved I was longing for this kind of life.

After graduating with my B.S. in history I moved to Elkhart, IN, and tried living in intentional community while planning to spend a year doing volunteer work with Mennonite Church USA.  This time was not what I thought it would be.  I would end up being in the program for only three months before leaving.  However that time was also one of intense learning for which I am truly grateful.  It also allowed me to understand in real life what I had only read in books.  Intentional community is hard work and I was not really prepared.  After this I stayed in Elkhart with some really amazing friends who were willing to let me stay with them until I could find work and afford a place of my own.  I was unable to find work and last spring I felt called to move back to the St. Louis region where I originally grew up.

I knew that I stilled wanted to give communal living another shot, so one afternoon in a local library I searched for places in St. Louis and stumbled across the Lotus House.  I have come to most Tuesday night meals ever since then.  Since I lived a little far from the city they were nice enough to allow me to stay over many of those nights and be a part of life in the house.  When a room opened up I asked if I could join and they said yes!