Friday, December 30, 2005

tgif!

wow - one week from today, if all goes as planned, we will be pulling into st. stephen. hard to believe!

pink's party last night was a wonderful time - girls are WAY more fun than boys, well, maybe not fun, but sure a lot more social. i served spaghetti and garlic bread with pineapple/orange punch w/ sherbert - it was so fun to wait on them hand and foot. pink was in her glory. i sat and filmed one of the games where she sat in the center w/ a blindfold and the other girls spun around her in a quasi-mulberry bush kind of game and was so moved at the metaphor of her being surrounded by her bestest friends, encircled in love before she launches out on this new phase of her young life. it was beautiful.

today peace is reigning in our humble home - thank you for your prayers and encouraging emails. they have meant the world to me. please know that although it sounds corny, they are truly wind under my wings! much love!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

ONE WEEK!

feeling much better this morning. survived the boys party and actually had a really good time. whatever they pay children's pastors it isn't enough though. i'd take 500 teenagers over a dozen pre-teen boys! their favorite game was 'musical statues' - not enough room to play musical chairs, so we played musical statues which turned out to be actually more like a dance... the kids went nuts - dance until the music stops and then freeze. a room full of 8-10 year old boys sure think they can dance! pink got to play too and i never imagined what it would do to mom and dad to see her dancing with a room full of boys - yikes! that video will be used for blackmail in a couple of years!

so the girls come tomorrow night and today is filled with the last loads of laundry and packing away the clothing.

pray you all are having a wonderful wednesday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

t-17 and counting

just in for a bit of a 'grown up' break before my house is invaded with a dozen or so little urchins of the male species... yikes. what was i thinking?

deep breathe and only 3 hours, i can do it... right? :O

liam is in charge of entertainment - i just have to get the pizza and serve the punch, greet the parents and hang up the coats. i think i can manage. it's just hard thinking about all of the other stuff i could be doing instead. but i know buck is worth this time and it's big changes for him too.

thanks for the encouragement and prayers!

Monday, December 26, 2005

happy st. stephen's day!

i have been doing some research in the past couple of months with our move and because we are moving to st. stephen, i decided to find out when his feast day was. guess what? it is today - boxing day!

so happy st. stephen's day! i also found that it is mostly an irish holiday, so i am claiming it for liam and my children (liam's parents are off the boat irish) so other than being 100% canadian, he is also 100% irish. they call it 'wren's day' over there and i found out this in wikipedia:

St Stephen's Day is also a popular day for visiting family members. A popular rhyme, known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the mummers goes as follows:

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Up with the penny and down with the pan,
Give us a penny to bury the wren.

St. Stephen's Day is also the "feast of Stephen" referred to in the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas.

In Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, St. Stephen's Day is known as Boxing Day.

so happy wren's day, boxing day, st. stephen's day and second day of christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005

a soft place to land

i blogged this a.m. on the family blog (email me if you want the link) about our 'next' home. it's a temporary stop on our path, a short-term rental, but it will be a soft place to land, and for that we are so very grateful.

i poked around the real estate website this morning to try to make it feel real. right now the 'next' feels so ethereal - so floaty and dream-like - hopefully this will make it more tangible.

hope all is hopping happily in your holiday season!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

invites away!

finally, i have planned, scheduled and finished the invites for pink and buck's bon voyage parties. originally they were supposed to be 'one' party, but their respective best friends had opposite travel plans for the week after christmas. so now we have two, count 'em 2 parties next week... i am fulfilling a promise and allowing them to say their good-byes to all of their friends.

the invites turned out really cute and it was fun to be doing something other than packing or cleaning.

yesterday the house went 'on the market', so it had to be clean and presentable for pictures and the real estate agent. feels good to have that off my list too. (and to have a house that is back 'in order').

most of the presents are wrapped, all the shopping is done and i just need to figure out what i'm taking to my cousins on christmas day. very nice not to have to be cooking up a storm myself!

hope all of your holiday preperations are going as planned!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2 weeks!

14 days doesn't make it sound any longer does it? we move our whole lives, family and stuff to another country in 14 days. yikes.

the other day liam and i were making our many lists and he looked at me and said 'whoever thought we were responsible enough to handle something this big?'

we've both been looking for grown ups to take responsibility on some of this stuff - i can't believe that it's 'us' who are really the grown ups here. hard to believe. i think you know you've grown up when there is nobody left to blame but yourselves.

we got a really good deal on the moving van and it's guaranteed to be a new model truck. it's the biggest offered, so i know we'll have room. i was afraid to go for a smaller vehicle in case we ended up having to make too many really big decisions at that late time while we're exhausted and frazzled.

we have cut our belongings in half - sometimes only keeping 1/3 of the stuff we've accumulated. pink and buck have been amazing at clean sweeping and sorting through their things to find only the things they love.

we're seeing a bit of anxious behavior in buck. tears are more frequent and his frustration level is much lower than usual. pink isn't sleeping well (but i remember that as a problem in my own childhood, so it might not be the move...) and she's a bit more desperate in her clingy-ness. please pray for them. this is still an adventure, but i'm afraid that they could be participating just to please us and covering up their sadness. i really want them to get stuff out if it's bothering them. unfortunately i find they are just at that age where they don't have the ability for critical thinking yet. so 'other things' are verbalized as what is really bothering them.

i know christmas and new years, and bon voyage pizza parties for them in between the next two weeks will give them lots to look forward to in the mean time.

again, we covet your prayers. liam and i are holding up pretty well. my dad's a much calmer man since i helped him to verbalize his stuff and make some plans for his life. there were times last week that i felt like he wasn't going to make it through all of this emotionally. he just gets so very overwhelmed. it's like dealing with a 13 year old sometimes. gosh i'm gonna miss him.

well, i best get my act together here, thanks for listening.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

decorate christmas cookies online!

decorate cookies online!

our moon shot

they don't need your money, they want your voice! have you joined the campaign to make poverty history??

bono writes:
We must keep the positive pressure on our leaders if we want them to follow through. Americans must give these leaders permission to invest just a fraction more of the budget in what we know works, from $5 mosquito nets to drug treatments that cost pennies apiece.

If ONE thing is certain for 2006, this campaign will keep growing, your voice will grow louder, your compassion and thirst for justice will keep saving more lives. By 2008, ONE needs to have 5 million supporters, each of us doing what we can, learning more, telling friends, calling Congress.

Take one minute and ask three friends to join ONE and make the impossible possible with you in 2006.

Beating AIDS and extreme, stupid poverty, this is our moon shot. This is our generation's civil rights struggle, our anti-apartheid movement. This is what the history books will remember our generation for — or blame us for, if we fail. We can't afford to fail nor will we.

We've come a long way, and we've got a long way to go. Now let's really get started.
will you be one of my three friends to sign up today?

sign the ONE declaration today

purgatorio: You Know You've Attained Dispensationalist Divine Status When:

this made us laugh out loud this morning - marc, you crack me up!

purgatorio: You Know You've Attained Dispensationalist Divine Status When:

Monday, December 19, 2005

i need words

I need words
As wide as sky
I need language wide as
This longing inside
And I need a voice
Bigger than mine
And I need a song to sing you
That I've yet to find
I need you, oh
I need you
I need you, oh
I need you
To be here now
To be here now
To hear me now
To hear me now

-david crowder band

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

a day apart

yay, i'm off to spend some much needed time alone today. unfortunately i can't spend it in silence and solitude - i will be the one trying to maintain my silence and solitude at target and other retail establishments... sigh. must finish christmas shopping. it's only my love for liam, pink and buck that is motivating me into those dens of iniquity! ha ha! i have nothing against them in this asinine 'war on christmas' - i just loathe paying those kind of prices! i'm so dang cheap!

then i get to meet a new blogger friend for dinner - i'm so very excited!

hope you are all having a blessed advent. it's meaning more and more to me each and every day i 'wait' to move. packing is coming along smartly, but it's a lot of work to keep going. ttfn!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

augustine interviews god

maggi dawn linked to an amazing link today. thought you might enjoy it as much as i did. thanks maggi!

augustine interviews god

Sunday, December 11, 2005

weird movie request

hey all, just a wonder if you could help out. my cousin is a psychology professor and one of her students is doing a project. i don't know the details, but she needs movie clips of people brushing their teeth. strange, i know.

do you know of any? please leave in comment, i'll forward them to her. thanks!

you were wrong mrs e!

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

do you belong in middle earth?

Elvish
Elvish


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

thanks bro maynard

top 5 for 2005

2005 will go down in my history books as a year i will never want to live over. i am so ready to put an end to it and live in the new that 2006 will be bringing for us. 2005 held so many changes, so much pain, and many disappointments. There were many bright spots and moments that changed all of us forever - it was a pivotal year, but one that i'm ready to put down in the history books.

corner bob is encouraging bloggers again this year to remember the year with a top 5 list. i took the time this morning to re-read through my year of blogging and i must say i can't believe so many of you are still reading my words. what a negative year i've had. yuck. lots of anger, hurt and pain poured into my keyboard this past year - i'm ready to put it behind me! i'm sure you are too! thanks for sticking with me this year - you have all made it do-able - knowing i wasn't alone and feeling your support has been extraordinary. thank you!

i've ended this with my hopes for 2006 - they are big hopes, big dreams and there are even more than 5 - but those will come later. it is with great anticipation and expectations that i enter 2006 this year. i am so ready for change. the best part of it is that i get to take the blogosphere with me, that doesn't change. thanks for sticking by me this year. you're the best!

my top 5 for 2005
  1. i'm expecting
  2. a mirror to our souls
  3. and what a time it was
  4. five golden rings
  5. 525600 minutes
Top 5 moments of the year:
  1. participating in the 1000 journals documentary
  2. being reborn during the dcb's 'deliver me' and 'you are my joy' worship at nywc in pittsburgh (i haven't blogged about this yet...)
  3. the whirlwind east coast tour of 2005
  4. family sabbatical fall 2005
  5. watching liam choose life and health and growth this year, there has been nothing like it.
Top 5 movies: (lame list, i don't see many and i have a horrible memory for things like this)
  1. Narnia (even though i haven't seen it yet)
  2. Hotel Rwanda (i didn't see it until this year on dvd)
  3. HP Goblet of Fire
  4. Shrek 2
  5. Whale Rider (didn't see it until this year either)
Hopes for 2006
  1. Smooth move to NB, no surpises financially or logistically
  2. COMMUNITY, real kingdom life together with kindred souls
  3. Real friends for Pink & Buck - best friends, the kind you remember forever.
  4. liveable wages and benefits so we are able to remain debt free and live generously
  5. to begin our masters in ministry, something i only ever dreamed of before
farewell 2005, a year of transition!

Friday, December 09, 2005

the end of the dig??

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

the daily dig is now a thing of the past.... sigh. i am so very sad.

what happened? does anyone know?? the whole site is down. very drastic, i hope everything is okay...

UPDATE: i found a cached webpage that talked about plough publishing closing up and selling their equipment so that they could focus on their internet operations, and now this. i hope everything is okay.

UPDATE #2: here was a comment left in my inbox: hey bobbie -- i'm not familiar with your blog, but i'm trying to get the word out about http://www.bringbackbruderhof.com -- which i'm hoping can be a place where folks can voice their sense of loss. i'm going to lump it all together and send it to bruderhof...at the very least they'll know how much their site meant to us... could you help spread the word? - so if you're sad like me take a visit.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

venti venting

don't mind me, i'm in need of a good vent... one of my 'best' friends here has a bad habit. i try with all of my might not to hold it against her. she's still on the un-merry-go-round of busy. but it hurts and i need to get it out, and here is safe, so if you don't mind this is just for me...

i hate time limit friendships.

'i have 20 minutes, can i stop by?' 'i have to go do this, but i thought i'd give you a call...' it's her way of protecting herself.

she thinks it's healthy boundaries, but what it does is say 'hey, i have this list here, and this list is the most important thing, and right here, on this list is your name, with a ticky box next to it, and i want to check it off so i can convince myself i have no guilt to bear. so i'm calling/stopping by to see you for my 20 minutes before i go and do the real stuff that's really important that i don't want your guilt to tie me up into, so hi, can i have a hug, gosh i miss you, goodbye...'

i was having a really productive, good day and now i feel like a tornado just blew through... so don't mind me, i just wanted to be able to stop spinning about it and get it out... i'm feeling better now... goodbye.

OptOutPrescreen.com

in keeping with the anti-credit theme i've got going on this week i wanted to give ya'll a head's up on something i've just found.

are you tired of the 100's of credit card applications sent to you monthly?? did you know you can "OPT OUT"??? i did not until today. you can opt out for 5 years, or permanently - yipee!

with moving i knew that whomever bought out home would be receiving our mail after the forwarding stops, as we receive the mail of the person who lived here over 10 years ago - tons of her credit card applications. i am afraid that the next person would use these applications to possibly hijack our credit.

so, to put an end to the millions of trees who must give their lives so that citibank can capture my non-existent credit card business and to keep my name out of the hands of others we here have opted out - now you can too:

OptOutPrescreen.com

and it makes you go hmmmmmmmmm...

google quote of the day:

Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

- Walter Lippmann

i fear it is a common malady in the church today...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Always Christmas for Visa?

consumer's union is petitioning congress to begin credit card reform. they have developed a great reminder for all of us during this time of temptation when wants become 'needs' so very quickly because of available credit and the deep desire to provide those we love with gifts we can't afford but long to give.

even if you aren't interested in supporting the petition take a look at the cartoon - it's a great reminder before you head out shopping this week!

It's always Christmas Time for Visa Cartoon

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

a great explanation of post-evangelicalism

steve bush from generousorthodoxy.net has written a great explanation over at emergent-us, describing the difference of the evangelical mindset and the post-evangelical direction many are taking, myself included.

Postconservative evangelicals believe that the conservative's’ privileging of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy is mistaken. Inerrancy is a data-centered approach to Scripture, whereas postconservatives practice a person-centered approach. In our view, the Bible is not a repository of facts, but rather a witness to a living person: the resurrected Jesus Christ.

We have other theological questions for our conservative friends. Conservative evangelicals tend to see salvation as an individualistic affair, postconservatives emphasize the communal dimension. Conservatives tend to see hell as a place of eternal, conscious torment after death; postconservatives are concerned about this-worldly hells of genocides, slums, and diseases. The postconservative attitude towards non-evangelical and non-Christian thought is an attitude of critical but receptive openness. We are not zealous to debunk non-Christian views, but instead seek to find what is valuable in other perspectives.

And we postconservatives have social and political differences, too. We'’re not trying to fashion America into a Christian nation or put God'’s stamp of approval on the imperial ambitions of the United States. We do not think that one's gender disqualifies one from any position of leadership in home, society, or church. Further, within progressive evangelicalism, you will find not uniform prohibition, but a variety of opinions, regarding the moral status of committed homosexual relationships. Our response to poverty goes beyond charitable gifts and soup kitchens. We want to talk about and practice justice. We'’re concerned about educational funding disparities, inner city unemployment rates, and global trade inequalities.

corrections

while at the new york times website yesterday i noted the link called 'corrections' on their sidebar. wouldn't it be great if all the mistakes we make in life could just be cleared up in a tiny unnoticeable corner of our blog? if anyone cared to look they could see our mistakes and our confessions, but if they didn't they would pass by unnoticed and with far less humility than it takes to own our blunders to the people we have injured or grieved.

i have felt lately like my size 11 feet have trampled and distressed all of those around me. (and really there aren't many, i've been living a pretty isolated life lately, but still have stepped in it far too many times for my liking.)

i received a phone call from the worship pastor's wife last night. she has been the real true friend from around here in all of this who has stuck by me, reached out and listened to me kvetch and moan about all of the struggle. we are kindred in our dysfunction, family junk and take on life. she asked 'hey, god had you on my heart all of yesterday so i just had to call and ask why?"

i was reduced to tears in a matter of minutes pouring out my fear that if i can't even live in this isolated community without stepping in it at every turn, how am i ever going to live in the kind of community my heart longs to dwell? it is one of my biggest fears in this move. what if they don't like me? what if we go all of that way and i still have to pretend i'm somebody i'm not? what if i have to be the wilting female with no opinion just to be included?? i never had that sense while we were there, but oh how it terrifies me to admit this fear.

what if i'm unfit for community?

what if i am the constant square peg looking for that round hole? is it truly going to be the story of my life?

so i have made my corrections, confessed my sins and received forgiveness, but still lurking deep in my heart is the desire to be accepted and loved for who i am when i am my true self. i guess that's all i can do. own my stuff, show my heart and keep trying to live an authentic life as a christ follower. i just am so tired of walking this path with so few beside me.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

tearing off the scab

there has been a scab on my soul, maybe not covering the whole of it, but a pretty good chunk, and not much gets through, especially any sadness or deep emotion. hope tore that scab away today. it's a good thing, hurts like hell, but i really needed it.

one of the most damaging parts of 'emerging' is that you can leave the place you've emerged 'from' behind you and judge it as finished, the past, shallow and ineffectual. i have done that with the evangelical church, and with those we are leaving behind. hope's post 'cracked for good' just cut like a scalpel into the hard crust i have let grow through pride, hurt and woundedness. the scab served it's purpose. kept me from bleeding dry, kept me able to face the future instead of falling into a heap somewhere in the past. but it's also cut me off from friends here - friends i had judged as lacking because they didn't rally to support us publically, or leave the church stomping mad. the fact that they were still there, slogging away, stuck in the busy, crazy life that church requires allowed me to write them off. to silence their stories.

hope writes:
As I have journeyed along a fairly crooked path I have tried to distance myself from where I have been, after I've left it. It was too confusing to embrace the good things about a spot on my journey when I was moving on. It felt like I was both right and wrong and when you are set on being right that doesn't work very well. Black and white thinking resists the shades of grey that real life exposes.
that grey shade is where the emotion dwells - and this emotion hurt too much to dwell there. it's so easy to judge 'them' as small minded - i was open minded now - i was leaving to find jesus - from a place where i couldn't see him any more. i assumed that meant they couldn't find him there either. i became the thing i was judging them for - the black and white thinker who could rule their path ineffective.

she continues:
Wherever I have been on the journey I have often felt the (insecure) need to feel as if I am at the head of the pack.

Have you ever rounded a corner and ran smack dab into someone? I would have been fine except I kept running smack dab into Jesus in the lives of people whose journeys I would have previously dismissed. He kept showing up in places I was sure he wasn't. And I don't mean places you might think. I mean in the lives of people whose spiritual path was different from my own or whose spiritual path has them in places I used to be. People I would normally feel threatened by. And when I find His story in the lives of those I want to distance myself from it gets uncomfortable living in my skin.

I have lost count of the number of times I have read someone's blog and sputtered because where I would have once dismissed them and their journey, I saw God. What was God doing there? Dismissing them would mean dismissing their story and ultimately dismissing God. And oh, I know the sparks that fly when anyone wants to dismiss my story. I can't have it both ways. So often I have read something on a blog and found it didn't fit my preconceived ideas yet it contained that indelible ring of truth which meant I had to make room for it instead of tossing it out for comfort's sake. "Just how small is your God anyway?" pushes against my edges continually.

It's been hard to honour Jesus when I find him in places I was too prejudiced to think He could be. I recognize Him there but I still struggle with feeling I have to let go of what I believe to make room for your beliefs. I realize I've labeled people and their traditions, as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable. In having to face all this I find that seeing Christ in everyone means that the next time I round a corner and run smack dab into Jesus that instead of saying "It can't be You." I simply acknowledge, "Oh, it is You."
this next month is going to be full of goodbyes. i haven't wanted to admit how much they are going to hurt. how much we will miss many of these very good folks here. how much their lives have affected ours and how moving away will leave holes. i don't like holes. it was easier to dislike them, judge them and leave them. i know that the holes would have showed up 'there' instead of 'here' if i hadn't admitted the pain.

the arrogance that came from the fact that because i couldn't find jesus at that church any longer made me think that they couldn't find him there either. how sad. i want to honor their stories, their paths and their friendships. it will make this month more emotional, more dificult, but richer and deeper none-the-less.

thank you hope. your gentle words helped me to pick off the scab that has been covering all of this up and allowed me not to miss out on something that i would have regretted later. i'm so glad your story and mine have intertwined here in the blogosphere!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

seven things meme

from renee

Seven Things to Do Before I Die
1. get off this continent and see the world.
2. write books and get them published.
3. plant a community.
4. paint on canvases.
5. start a storytellers circle.
6. open a coffee house.
7. go whale watching.

Seven Things I Cannot Do
1. keep my mouth shut...
2. tolerate cruelty.
3. fake anything.
4. remember things that fall off my radar without a list or a reminder.
5. absorb information that is not organized well.
6. math.
7. listen to christian radio.

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Husband [romantic interest, best friend, whomever]
1. liam's eyes
2. liam's legs (solomon like towers of ivory... sorry, too much information??)
3. liam's laugh and sense of humor
4. liam's giant hands that make my man hands look feminine
5. liam's lips
6. liam's loyalty
7. liam's childlikeness

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. crap for crap (strongbad...)
2. !()%*)$#
3. make yourself some dang quesidiLLas napoleon!
4. let mommy finish her blog post and then i'll be able to help you.
5. no buck, it's pink's turn to play nintendogs.
6. hey babe, (what i call liam) could you_______________???
7. is that workin' for ya?

Seven Books (or series) I Love
1. travelling mercies, anne lamott
2. let your life speak, parker palmer
3. a tree full of angels, macrina wiederkehr
4. the wounded healer, henri nouwen
5. life of pi, yann martel
6. my name is asher lev, chaim potok
7. pilgrims regress, cs lewis

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again
1. Pride & Prejudice (BBC version)
2. The Princess Bride
3. Napoleon dynamite
4. Shrek I
5. Moulin Rouge
6. LOTR
7. Veggie Tales - A Snoodle's Tale

seven bloggers to tag: hope, stephanie, keith, stephanie, tonya, erin, connie

Thursday, December 01, 2005

what's the difference?

it all seems so insurmountable sometimes doesn't it? like nothing will make a difference. like we might as well give up. how can i help? how can i make a difference? i don't know.

the one thing i do know is that this year i am not the same person i was last year. and the year before that. i am different. i care. i am aware. god use me to make a difference please.

artist link - pero

give the gift of freedom this christmas

now this is christmas - he came to set the captives free!

give the gift of freedom this christmas!

celebrating advent!

our friend susan at visual voice is so much more than just her stunning, thought provoking blog - she is an artist, photographer and business woman!

you can celebrate advent this year by daily visiting her virtual advent calendar - it's incredible, and truly a labor of love. i stumbled across it last year and never knew it was HERS! i have had the opportunity this past year to get to know her a bit more and have come to love her humor, images and inspiration.

you can find her calendar here:

2005 Virtual Advent Calendar

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

loose ends

spending the past couple of days trying to think of and tie up loose ends. stopping pre-approved payments, school transcripts transferred, moving quotes, etc. it feels like my head is heavy with all of these rememberings - and overly concerned with the rememberings that i have forgotten to remember...

i am a list master - i love lists - they are my life line - the only problem with them is that if you've not thought of something in the first place it makes no difference if you finish your list because it was never on the list to begin with. trying to be as thorough as possible.

anybody know of any good 'check all' lists for moving?? just don't want anything big to fall through the cracks. thanks!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

the world is watching

 


thanks mike for the information on this new 'make poverty history' campaign!

add your eyes to remind the G8 that the world really is watching!

the world is watching campaign Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005

which flower are you?

HASH(0x858ed3c)
You are an Iris:

You are logical, analytical, dignified, and wise.
You are studious by nature and may prefer books
to people. You tend to be a serious person but
are capable of making others laugh with your
dry sense of humor. Friends always benefit from
your advice.

Symbolism: Over the centuries the iris has come to
symbolize faith, wisdom, hope, and promise in
love.


Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

mixed metaphors

as a storyteller i am a metaphor junkie. i love to see complicated truth honored in the telling of a good story. this past spring at our old church my husband was allowed to preach and did such an extraordinary job that it really raised the bar for the master pastor. he was always very threatened by others outshining him.

to that end he decided that extensive object lessons and props were what was needed to raise his preaching to the next level. he had runners dressed in all sorts of comical ways to illustrate the things that keep us from 'running a good race', complete with hurdles and a finish line. as they all acted out their parts we were all told in this remedial way that we're not to run with cell phones, shopping bags and high heels, or at least that was the message i got...

he then goes on to preach and i notice off to the side there is still another prop unused thus far and i begin to wonder what lies on the table covered up by the cloth. i can hear where this sermon is going and start to guess at what is under the cloth. it's not long before my curiosity is satiated as he dramatically yanks off the cover to reveal it's contents. i groan inwardly. i can see where this is going. my fingers start to grip the arm rest.... he keeps talking. my nails are digging into the fabric covers. i begin to pray silently... please don't go here...

what was worrying me was the objects he had chosen for his illustration. a bowl of broccoli and one dozen crispy creme donuts. he's talking about the christian life - and how we need to buckle down and do the things that we might not want to do so that we can be successful in our 'walk with the lord'. i'm praying 'please eat the broccoli, please eat the broccoli...' he then compares the things that tempt us to the donuts, and the spiritual disciplines of reading our bible, praying and going to church (didn't you know there are only 3 spiritual disciplines... well, four, sorry, tithing to the church is one too...) to the bowl of broccoli... he then says that we all have to make a choice each day, and proceeds to take a huge bite out of the crispy creme.

sigh.

i am saddened. distressed. forlorn even. we hadn't started the process of leaving yet, so i was still committed to the idea that this was our community. this was the place where my children were receiving a lot of their spiritual learning. so i began to speak to the leadership. first of all they couldn't hardly remember the sermon, but they did remember him taking a bite of the donut. i tried to help them understand that the spiritual leader of our community thought that the christian life is like a bowl of broccoli that nobody really wants to eat. they thought i was reading too much into it. i tried to remind them that all they could remember was that he took a bite of the donut - not the broccoli. they still didn't get it.

he could have used anything. a bowl of cheetos and a nice steak dinner. corn flakes and granola - things of no substance compared to things that have substance - no brainer, right? wrong. if you're reading this and have an audience - please, please, please know that the stories you choose stay with your audience far longer than the 3 points of the sermon you are preaching. choose well - understand the deep truth you are conveying in the story - it's really the most important thing. it's why jesus taught this way.

story stays with the hearer. even if they can't mine the truth out at the moment they will remember the story and it's richness and beauty far longer than any bright doctrine or theology you are trying to pour into their heads. story is the way to their souls. it's living and active and can bring truth to life like no other kind of telling can. please take the time to understand what you're really saying underneath it all. it is a window into your soul.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

a mother's wait

pink drew this last year and i found it so moving i've kept it at my computer for the past year. i loved it's simplicity - mary, alone, worshiping at her altar. it's sacred to me. it makes me think that there was that time when the animals were put out to feed, the shepherds had stumbled home to share their good tidings of great joy and joseph ran out for diapers. and she was left with the sleeping jesus.

there is nothing like that first quiet nap - everyone else is gone and you finally are allowed to study the face of your baby. what must mary be thinking?
"such tiny fingers, and oh, those fingernails, could anything be more beautiful? well, maybe his lips, those lips. the face of god. this beauty incarnate came from my body, i carried this child deep within my innermost parts and now i must share him with the world. but just for this one moment, in this quiet time he's still mine. mine alone."
scott mcknight is blogging advent this year. it's helping me a lot. i feel so disconnected, so cut off, especially from ritual or anything communal. celebrating advent is helping. if liam and i could afford to both go to north park, and survive the cost of living in chicago we'd be studying with scott.

scott writes:
Zechariah and Elizabeth were both “upright in the sight of God” or “righteous before God.” That is, they were tsadiqim – those whose lives were conformed to the Torah. I sketch some of this in Jesus Creed (chp on Joseph), but there is force in the Jewish world in being described as “righteous” or a tsadiq. Profoundly pious, rigorously committed to the Torah, and enthusiastically obedient are the sorts of ideas connected to Z and E’s reputation.

In spite of their obedience, they are barren. This description in Luke 1:7 immediately throws us into the world of Abraham and Sarah (Gen 18:11), Elkanah and Hanna (1 Sam 1), and Manoah and his wife (Judg 13:2). Barrenness is a sign of God not blessing, and they were humbled by their condition. That they were aged complicated their condition.

Zechariah, in his bi-annual opportunity to perform the priestly function in the Temple and in his perhaps only time ever to get to do the incense offering, is met by Gabriel. Gabriel is famous for letting Israel in on the future plans of God (Dan 8:17; 9:20-21; 10:15). That future now includes two things that must thrill the hearts of Z and E: first, they will have a baby boy and this boy, to be named John, will be the instrument of God for a revival in Israel (Luke 1:11-17). In fact, he will be the Elijah figure promised in Malachi 3—4.

Zechariah’s experience occurs when all Israel is praying – this would be about 3pm at the time of the evening sacrifice. It is also the time when Israel gathered at the Temple to say its prayers (perhaps the ha-Tepillah, today called the Amidah, or something like it, perhaps also the Shema).While the people prays for God to come for redemption, which is inherent to these prayers, God is actually doing something about it – in a surprising way by bringing into the world a prophet destined for revival.

The boy’s name is to be Yohanan – “Yahweh has given grace.” But this boy will also be one connected with joy and delight and rejoicing and greatness and the Spirit of God (1:13-17).

Yearning is a theme of the first Christmas characters – they are all longing for the day when God would enter history and reverse the tides of injustice, violence, impiety, disobedience, and poverty. In the hearts of Z and E is a yearning for God’s promised redemption.
i've always felt more kindred with elizabeth than i did with mary. mary never really had to wait. she was the young virgin - didn't have to wait for a husband, didn't have to wait for a child. but elizabeth - oh, she is a sister to my story. elizabeth knows what it is to yearn.

i know what it is to yearn for a child.

we struggled with nine years of infertility before pink was born. every month i became a failure. my body rebelled against me. reminded me i was unfit to parent. unfit to be a mother. i can't imagine the yearning that comes both from longing for a child, and yearning for a messiah. to have both of these satisfied in john and jesus brings me to my knees. two women, related, but so very different - both become social outcasts because of their pregnancies - one bearing a child in her old age and one under mysterious circumstances that cause all to whisper her shame. connected by the fulfillment of the promise, tied together in a way that only god could orchestrate. the waiting of the world satisfied in the wombs of these two mothers who must share their sons in such extraordinary ways.

as we celebrate the waiting this season i will remember these mothers, i will remember their wait.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

it's a girl!

i got a call last night from my little sister as she nursed her new baby girl. yay! i am an aunt! (well liam's sister has kids, but it's somehow not the same). they are naming her marybeth. in this chaos i have no idea when we'll get to meet. i volunteered to go for a week after the birth, but i think my sister would prefer to go it alone. i'm just thankful that she wasn't in labor at the tippy top of their mountain in a snowstorm trying to get to the hospital 90 minutes away... thank you god!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

thankful?

i'm feeling pretty pushed and blah this thanksgiving season. clean sweeping, packing, sorting and selling on ebay makes up the parts of my days not spent cooking, cleaning or homeschooling. it's a pretty steady pace. that's not a bad thing, but unfortunately it's not fertile ground for feeling thankful this season.

don't get me wrong, i have tons to be thankful for, i just am afraid of the emotion that will overwhelm me if i stop long enough to figure out what they are...

i guess the biggest thing right now that i'm thankful for is that i don't have to cook tomorrow... just make a salad and show up at the cousin's house. works for me.

pray you all have a deeper, richer, soulful time than i'm having here.

happy thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

who would paint you?

RG
You have the Rossetti girl look. You are the kind
of girl pre-Raphaelite painters admired; tall,
slender, and fair as a lily flower. The
pre-Raphaelite girl had dramatic beauty; long
neck, large soulful eyes, full shapely mouth
and masses of wavy hair. The pre-Raphaelites
painted girls like this, they showed them in
dramatic situations dressed as famous
characters in legends, plays and poetry. The
favourite colours of the artists were russet,
green and gold. The following artists would
have loved to paint you; Holman Hunt, John
Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, William
Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
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okay, so we've got to work on the 'slender' part... gorgeous painting, i'm not really familiar with the artist, will be fun to do some research.

ht to great teacher woman!

please pray

my sister has just checked into the hospital to be induced. this is her first and her blood pressure is causing them some concern, so they thought it was worth keeping her and starting the process a couple of weeks early. we'd really appreciate your prayers! i'll keep ya posted!

UPDATE: she's pushing - i don't know any more information, but the nurse said it's going well. please keep praying. thanks!

Monday, November 21, 2005

tears of joy

i have a friend who is being wrung out by powerful men in the church. she asked me to pray so that when she meets with them she would be able to refrain from tears. it's a subject close to her heart, and it's moving her deeply. it breaks my heart that in the 'power world' tears are seen as a sign of weakness. i'm praying for her as i type this so that she is able to hold her head high as she enters this meeting today and keep from crying so she is heard and respected by these weaklings. it angers me.

in their short set at the nywc in pittsburgh, jars of clay played 'god will lift up your head' from redemption songs. i haven't stopped singing it in my head since. this song is about breaking through shame.

in pre-teen/teen years my father would get so angry with me because when i walked in public i was always looking at my feet (he once asked my mother why i was looking at my breasts all of the time - sigh). my shame and awkwardness in that stage of my life was so overwhelming that i was unable to look people in the eyes. i still find it difficult to look people in the eyes while speaking to them. hearing the words of that song i realized that only god can take away the shame of my past, the hurt and the horrible choices i've made. only he can lift up my head.

i picture his hand on my chin, raising up my face to look into my eyes. i know that my emerging, the catharsis of this period is bringing me to a place where i will be able to look people in the eyes, stand with my head up and fulfill what god has for me to do.

this year was the first time in 8 years that i have been unable to attend a critical concern at the convention. while we were pittsburgh we were there as volunteers, so the work was more important than participating in my annual discipline of 'practicing the presence of god'. i was really disapointed because mark yaconelli was teaching it this year. the first time i attended it was 8 years ago, and he and his father co-taught the sessions. this year it began on my 40th birthday, and it was all i truly wanted for my birthday - to be reunited and celebrate the event - almost like things going full-circle. it was hard to give that up, but i knew we made a commitment and needed to stick to it.

the first day liam and i were welcoming delegates, a main occupation for the
'affirmation team'. he was dressed in a construction worker's hard hat, safety vest and wings, and i had on a tiara and wings. mark yaconelli happened by and i had the opportunity to speak with him.

it was at that moment that it hit me that i wasn't going to be participating in the critical concern. i wouldn't have chosen that moment, dressed in this silly way to speak with him, but i knew he was only there for a couple of nights and i didn't want to miss telling him how special that time 8 years ago was for me. how it was the first time i ever heard god speak. how it was because of he and his father taking the time in that cincinatti church to take a risk and turn the convention and youth specialties in a drastically different direction. and, of course, i needed to tell him how much i missed his dad and was so sorry for his loss. needless to say, i started to weep, ugly tears, screwed up red faced crying that i hate to do alone, even worse in public, let alone to someone i'm trying to speak with who means so very much to me.

mark was the epitome of grace. he heard my words, saw how deeply moved i was and was so very patient and kind. he told me as i apologized, and i will never forget it, that there was nothing to be sorry for. he went on to tell me that the catholics believe that tears are a spiritual gift, that they are used to water the hard ground to make it soft again. i haven't looked at crying the same way since.

i pray my friend is able to stand in front of those men dry eyed, but more i pray god lifts her head, and that if she cries she knows that those hard hearts need softened by her tears, and that god has given her the spiritual gift far too many in the church shun and disdain.

here are the lyrics to that song:

Give to the wind your fear
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up, God will lift up, lift up your head

Chorus:
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
Lift up your head

Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command
Then shall we wandering on His way
Know how wise and how strong
How wise and how strong

Chorus

Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way
Wait because in His time, so shall this night
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy

(3X)
God will lift up your head
Soon end in joy

(3X)
God will lift up your head
Soon end in joy

Jars of Clay, God Will Lift Up Your Head

i pray we all soon end in joy.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

woo hoo idelette!

idelette has been busy, busy, busy - mother, inspiration and now global girl!! she has launched her global girl network here!

thanks for the head's up robyn!

rhymes with kerouac

I come from a religous tradition that says the Bible is God's final revealed word, that he no longer speaks except through the text (though I personally do not believe this) So for me, all of your answers, and all of the ways in which you experience God - well, it's just wonderful to read!
was visiting 'at the mission' this morning and came across a wonderful thread on hearing god speak. 1/2 way through the comments i found the quote above and felt that same, familiar pull of my ecclesiastical roots - god is silent.

how sad. i lived there for over 1/2 of my life. wondering, wishing, longing. questioning even my own call from god - did i imagine it? am i crazy? the inconsistencies are too vast to even begin to ponder. how can they speak of the 'call of god' on one's life and say god is silent?

hearing god, seeing visions and finding that still, small voice have been the greatest moments of my life. god is not silent. god loves me as much as hannah, elijah and peter - god is as personal as i allow god to be. that 12 inches from my head to my heart was the longest journey i've ever made. all of the theology in the world couldn't stand against the beauty of that still small voice.

the heresey of the silent god is one of the most fundamentally damaging lies the church has ever conjured up. it reduces the power of the holy spirit to an 'illuminator' and 'convictor' - kind of a jiminy cricket, instead of a member of the trinity. the inner teacher is the greatest loss to the church - it sets up so many for spiritual abuse and tragedy. distance from god and impersonal faith and manipulation. i am so grateful to be free - to be liberated from that ugly yoke of lies and fear. it brings such hope and light to life.

thank you god that you are a personal god, that you reveal truth and shed light into my life. that you love me as an image bearer and long to commune with me. please free those others trapped in the lies, perpetuating this dangerous falsehood. empower those under that horrible teaching to find hope and healing too. amen.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

big red button

i dare you to click here!

thanks jordan!

denial is very under-rated you know...

while making supper last night the phone rings. liam hands it to me and i hear 'denial is very under-rated you know.' it's my anj. yay. little else in this world cheers me like a phone call from her. we talk, laugh, share and update each other on life. it's a good thing. she reassures me that the 'bubble' i've been living in isn't always a sign of mental illness (ha!) sometimes it's really a gift. i guess i've been living that gift for the past couple of months.

maybe it's unhealthy, maybe it's sanity - i'm not sure. i just face 'today' for what it's worth. plan for tomorrow, but not stress about it. just for today. i know though that bubble can be very dangerous for me though. life here has become pretty isolated. i keep telling myself it's part of the withdrawing from 'here' so that we can move 'there'. i'm not 'cut off', just not seeking interactions, i say... dangerous ground for my family history.

my mother, and her's before her were both very isolating. both homebodies. most people didn't see it as closely in my mother because she was so sick during the end of her short life. but looking back i can see it. both she and her mother spent much time in darkened rooms, smoking cigarettes in silence, keeping the world at arms length. alone with their thoughts. i often wonder what did they occupy their minds with all of those years. what were they thinking about? my guess is the past, because the future for both of them was so very limited.

i also need to acknowledge that bubble has come between my soul and god. and it's getting more resilient as time passes. it takes a lot to bring me back in touch with it, and with god. the things that used to move me seem tasteless and distant somehow. i can't see where i lost the thread. where it began. how i got here.

i know i'm probably angry at god. i'm not sure why, or for what. probably that familiar tune that goes something like 'hey god, we're serving you, couldn't you at least make a place for us? it's not like we're living for ourselves here, would it take any skin off your nose to make it a little easier? why does it have to be so hard?'... ugly words like that. those kind of things always bring me great shame. so avoidance makes it easier to get through the day i guess.

it's only when i read deep experiences and soulful struggles by fellow bloggers like deb, renee and bob lately that have been able to pierce through this membrane that has cut off my soul. writings like these have pastored me through the past couple of months. shepherd my soul, my dry thirsty soul. the stark occurrence of winter here has shaken the leaves off the trees and exposed how empty the wasteland i'm living in really is. everything feels so grey and lifeless as i look out the window. i miss the color, i miss the cover. i miss the ability to hide, to isolate, to be so busy that no one realizes (least of all me) how absent i am from my soul.

anj gave me such a gift last night on the phone. she told me how something i had said or written came back to her when she needed it. it also came back to me - just when i needed it too. thank you anj. so maybe the tool of denial which was working for me for a couple of months can be set aside now without heading into the chaos of worry and anxiety - but into reality and facing the truth. the cover has fallen and the starkness of winter makes things easier to find.

Friday, November 18, 2005

what a wasted week

well, it wasn't a waste, but i feel like we got NOTHING done. company always throws life into a bit of a tizzy. liam's sister and her family came to visit. it was great to see the new baby and catch up.

they just bought their dream home and will be moving in the spring. she asked 'how are you so calm? if it was me i'd be freaking out, and i'm just moving to the next town. you're moving to another country in a couple of weeks and i would just be so freaked out. how are you so calm?'

well, i was calm. really calm. honest i was. until last night at about 3:00 in the morning. then the voices started 'you should be freaked out', 'you are in denial', 'why are you so calm'.... so today i am a bit freaked out and trying to find the balance of 'yes we are moving and that is a ton or work and it's going to cost a fortune' and 'god will provide, we have lots of time, we're well organized and things will happen like they are supposed to happen...'

hopefully it will at least motivate us to make up for the time wasted in this past week on socializing and hanging out...

introverts repost

hey all - just in case you missed this the first time i'm reposting it - she's gotten a good reply, but i know more information will make the book more helpful in the long run - and that's what all of us weird introverts want, right?

please also feel free to link to the survey on your own site and spread the word virally. here's the post again:

i was contacted last week by a woman who is writing a book on helping the church understand and minister to introverts. she has an online survey to do some research - so if you consider yourself an introvert please help!

here's her info:

Help A Freelance Writer Single-Handedly Change the Church!

Well, do your part to help her write a book which will help churches be more introvert-friendly. This long-suffering soul has taken on the challenge of wrangling personal information from introverts and you owe it to her to do your part (afterall, if you’re an introvert, she’s trying to make things better for people just like you). She’s actually a published author (see her first book, “Life is Too Important to be Taken Seriously” on www.collegepress.com and www.amazon.com ) and this research will help her to write her next book. Follow this link to fill out the quick survey (don’t worry, if it gets too personal, you can skip questions) and she will be eternally grateful.

SURVEY HERE!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

spiritual terrorism

most of you have already read this. i couldn't make it through the first paragraph. it felt like poison seeping into my brain and traveling throughout my body. how could anyone be so ugly? how could anyone make such claims?

all i could think about was kyle's wife, his children, stumbling across this cruelty and having to not only deal with the loss, pain and grief that comes from loosing your soul mate and father, but to have it made into such a public spectacle, milked for notoriety and any internet fame it might bring. it is phariseeism at it's worst. even the slimiest of ambulance chasers wouldn't stoop this low.

i kept thinking, 'that could be us'. anyone could have made the mistake, reaching out, adjusting the mike - how very sad someone is using this tragedy to catapult himself into the public eye by making such horrid claims. it is spiritual terrorism at it's ugliest.

people who need fear and power to promote their cause are the weakest of minds and the most to be pitied. the problem with terrorism is that it never gives those using it's methods what they desire. it only strengthens the opposition.

mr. proctor, the only consolation that can be had is that you have to live your sad, miserable life. you must serve and worship your horrible, angry god, and you must look at yourself every day as you shave and prepare to live out your small, pathetic existence while the rest of us enjoy grace, life and a god of abundance and love. i only pity your family, your children raised in a home where god is such a bastard and life is so demoralizing that you need to inflict the pain that you carry on others in this deplorable way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ABC News: Poker's Popularity Means More Teen Gambling Addicts

scary, scary stuff. we've got quite a few around here who are playing with fire. really good article.

ABC News: Poker's Popularity Means More Teen Gambling Addicts: "Know When to Fold 'Em

But addiction specialist Sandy Klepner is worried about the growing number of teens she sees turning to gambling for fun.

'If you have 10 kids playing, two of them are going to have problems,' she said. 'So that's pretty high.'

It's a lesson one father — who wanted to remain anonymous — learned too late.

He had no idea until months later that his teenage son had moved on from games in his Long Island neighborhood and was instead sneaking into Manhattan — gambling at various underground poker rooms.

'We thought he was at the movies with his friend,' the father said."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

which fantasy/sci fi character are you?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Galadriel

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

thanks rachel!

Monday, November 14, 2005

rerun?

Rerun
You are Rerun!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

thanks to jen (another red-head!) at bloggin my noggin for the link!

rats and roaches

oh i love this guy:

Rats and roaches live by competition
under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.


Wendell Berry

from today's daily dig

Sunday, November 13, 2005

sore afraid

from today's daily dig:

When things look dark and hopeless,
that is the time to find out who your friends and neighbors really are. Or do you think you are the only one who is afraid? Look with new eyes at the people you meet daily, and you will quickly realize that everyone is frightened, at least at some level. But every time we share a burden like fear with another person, that burden is cut in half, and is replaced by love. Suddenly we will realize that we are not as alone as we thought we were.

Johann Christoph Arnold

okay, i have to say it, i'm terrified. life has become overwhelming, all of the what's, if's and maybe's have closed in and the strength i had to hold everything together seems to have flown away. too many questions, too much darkness on the path. in reading this i realized that i had been holding it all in, not admitting the fear to anyone - keeping it all to myself so nobody else started asking questions i didn't have answers for.

but i feel so alone. adrift. abandoned. scared. sore afraid.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

this is how much youth specialties loves youth workers!

i was at marko's blog this morning and saw that he's getting lots of crap for some of the ancient /formative things ys is doing as part of their conventions.

it was these very things that god used to wedge open my brain and find my heart. i am so grateful to yac, marko and all of the ys staff for hearing god's call on hearing god and bringing the soul back into youthworker's lives and ministries.

last year the theme for the conventions was 'wide open' based on a passage in 2 corinthians. i've blogged on this quite a bit, but i've always wanted to blog on this jewel, hidden away, not public or in your face, but secreted on the inside of last year's t-shirt - just so some unsuspecting youth worker might find it, like i did, one day when i really needed a this reminder.

you see this image is on the inside of the t-shirt - a secret message of sorts, a little reminder that shows the depth of how committed ys is to the soul's of youth workers and the teens in the churches around the world. i hate that they are getting crap for the small minded, evangelicon's fear based religion. it makes me sad that energy that could be poured into the kingdom is being used to exhaust people out there doing the work, and doing it so very well.

i just wanted to say YAY and KEEP GOING to the YS staff, marko, tic, karla and company. there are so many of us who 'get it' now - and it'd because of the commitment that you have all made to taking this leap into long uncharted waters. thank you and god bless you - and give you lots of energy for this incredible convention that starts this week in nashville. you're in our prayers - have a ball, and don't forget to jump for me!

the family blog

that reminds me of the tweeddle bugs from sesame street "the family car" - "the family blog"...

well, we've started one to keep loved ones up on what's going on in our crazy lives - if you are interested in doing so (it's not anonymous) you can email me and I will send you the link.

god is in the dregs of our lives

from today's reading:

The goal of the twentieth century is to cure all diseases, order all efficiency, topple all obstacles, end all stress, and prescribe immediate panaceas. We wait for nothing and put up with little and abide less and react with fury at irritations. We are a people without patience. We do not tolerate process. We cannot stomach delay. Persist. Persevere. Endure, Benedict stays. It is good for the soul to temper it. God does not come on hoofbeats of mercury through streets of gold. God is in the dregs of our lives. That's why it take humility to find God where God is not expected to be.

The Rule of St. Benedict, Joan Chittister, pg. 68

Friday, November 11, 2005

tea with mcnair!!!

woo hoo! mcnair wilson is blogging!! yipee!

if you know him you'll be as thrilled as i am - and if you don't yet you are in for a wonderful suprise!

mcnair is the man who planted the seeds in my (our) psyche and soul that said that god made me/create me/chose me for being me - and not some imitation of the other church ladies around me.

'if you don't do you, no one will'

he is truly the most creative, inspirational, and all out interesting person i've ever had the opportunity to get to know.

we will never forget the day at the dirt ball mall!

read on here

Thursday, November 10, 2005

sister joan is making sense - again

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, November 10, 2005: "From where I stand, it seems to me that we are deeply confused. We better look again, all of us, together, at just what churches as churches -- not as private citizens -- can and cannot do in terms of political activities."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

any great christmas music recommendations?

hey all, just getting in the mood for the season and figuring out how to spend my itunes $ for the season.

i'm listening to jars of clay 'little drummer boy' (grinch mix) and 'god rest ye merry gentlemen' - they are wonderful!

i'd really like to get some moving, dramatic christmas music - any tips??

far from home

the full-length narnia trailer is on line here

this is the tag line from it. looking at what is next for us it has set off a stream of tears. oh so many changes happening...

some journeys take us far from home,
some adventures lead us to our destinies

these books played such a deep role in my tween years. they have been foundational for me. hearing aslan speak just seemed so real, it's hard to explain. then again, maybe i'm just pms-ing and emotional? i am so longing for my 'destiny'.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

look at her

there is a place in my soul that the hopeful amphibian reaches when he forces apart the lies i learned as 'truth' long ago. he makes me a hopeful amphibian too.

at his other blog, dissonant bible, mark writes:
Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman?"

Am I mistaken in this, or is it more and more difficult for men in late capitalist western culture not to look at women in ways that objectify them, make of them just one more thing to be consumed? It seems to me that our culture is saturated with images of women presented as commodity, the object of transactions to be carried out between [usually] men. And, yes, some women collude with this objectification, but most of the time they do so within male-owned, male-dominated and, I would go so far as to say, undoubtedly masculist industries (media, entertainment, advertising).

Those images are hard to escape. There's the pseudo-documentaries of late night television, there's the pervasive and accessible presence of porn on the web, there's the music magazine I was looking at yesterday and there, suddenly, the ads for mobile phone wallpapers with softcore pictures of women in different poses of availability. (Not to mention the proliferation of men's "lifestyle" magazines, selling women as children - sorry, as "babes".)

For me, for most men reading this, however hard we work to look differently, the temptations are always there. Bad news...

Which is why I need the gospel - which is why I need Jesus - which is why I need to learn from how he 'looked at' women.

Take the story of the anointing in Luke's gospel (7.36-50). It's that question Jesus poses the Pharisee, who has already been watching the woman - no doubt of that. Simon has looked at the woman and seen...what? Stripper, lapdancer, pornstar, "babe"? I wonder whether his gaze contained that exquisite mixture of prurience and condemnation with which so many religious men look at "sinful women"?

But Jesus asks him "do you see her?" Do you really see her? I don' t think you do - not as I see her, not as God [in whose image she is made, never forget] sees her. Because if you saw her as I do, there would be consequences that would turn your safe, religious world upside down and might just bring in the kingdom of God.

Jesus turned towards the woman on the billboard/video/website and asked me, "Do you see her?"
oh god, please make it so.

great post on a.d.d.

here's a humorous look at living with a.d.d.

Monday, November 07, 2005

introverts unite!

i was contacted last week by a woman who is writing a book on helping the church understand and minister to introverts. she has an online survey to do some research - so if you consider yourself an introvert please help!

here's her info:

Help A Freelance Writer Single-Handedly Change the Church!

Well, do your part to help her write a book which will help churches be more introvert-friendly. This long-suffering soul has taken on the challenge of wrangling personal information from introverts and you owe it to her to do your part (afterall, if you’re an introvert, she’s trying to make things better for people just like you). She’s actually a published author (see her first book, “Life is Too Important to be Taken Seriously” on www.collegepress.com and www.amazon.com ) and this research will help her to write her next book. Follow this link to fill out the quick survey (don’t worry, if it gets too personal, you can skip questions) and she will be eternally grateful.

SURVEY HERE!

525,600 minutes

i can hardly believe it's been a year since i had the great honor of attending the path workshop at linwood house on the beautiful sunshine coast of vancouver, british columbia.

i was so blessed to meet face to face so many i had grown to know and grown to love, through their blogs and our shared emails. people like stephanie, anj, deb, idelette, lisa and mike. and people i was to meet like connie, neritia, lynn, georgia and all of the linwood house women and men.

it still seems so surreal. walking around the airport in seattle looking for a face i had only imagined. meeting anj and then deb and jeff and driving north to vancouver still seems like such a dream to me. driving through the lights of downtown vancouver was breathtaking and it didn't seem real until we hit the ferry dock and stepped out into the crisp, breeze off the bay.

arriving into the warm hug that is linwood house was richer than most experiences i have ever known. my room mate for the week was unable to attend, and that meant i had a room to myself, such an extravagant luxury for my exhausted soul.

i have blogged on the experiences here, here, here, here and here, but i have never publically owned my path. this past month on another surreal, unexpected amazing adventure i knew i was ready to do that now. i have spent the last 525,600 minutes growing into my mission. a year ago it meant a totally different thing to me than it does today. it has grown, expanded and literally taken on a life of it's own. mine, that is.

the process at the workshop is actually a brilliant procedure of boiling down the things that you are passionate about, distilling those things from your life that you cannot live without. finding only the thing that makes you tick, makes your heart sing, makes you want to wake up every morning and clarifies the reason you were placed here on this earth. i know it's quite a claim, but i really do believe it's true. at least i know it has been this way for me.

it's just that it was so HUGE, so life altering that i truly needed to absorb it, to own it and to grow into it. it's me - but the me i long to be. i was afraid of eyes rolling if i said it out loud. 'that's not you' or 'you are not'. like those with power and authority in my life have always done. i'm not sure who i thought those imaginary critics actually were - but they were as real as the breath i just took to me. maybe they still are, but i don't seem to care as much any more.

i have tried to think of a metaphor that describes what getting to know my mission statement has been like for me. i think i can only describe it as a second skin. i would step into it, like a wet suit, try it on, sit with it, look at myself in the mirror of my soul and think 'maybe one day' or 'what does this really mean?' then i'd take it off, carefully lay it aside and dream of one day living in that skin, of becoming that person i only allowed myself to fantasize about.

this becoming has been one of the most intense, challenging, incredible, expanding, breath-taking experiences of my life. it was my own private journey that others built into without even knowing they were participating. that holy wind would blow the most beautiful parcels of confirmation my way like feathers floating into my hands. i'd hear a soft whisper of 'see, this is truly who you are', and 'yes, dear one, this, this is your destiny'. i could hardly believe the love that those feathers brought to me. the beautiful confirmation from god each one was along the way. they have nourished me in the deep, dark, empty places in my soul. 'oh yes, dear one, i have created you for this. this is why you are here. there is this void that only you can fill - it's what you were made for.'

it's really what has kept me going these past 525,600 minutes.

the masterful process idelette uses in refining each one's path is so dynamic and alive. each participant is bathed in prayer throughout the week and given so much support to come to the point of knowing the words of the ugly sentence that begins as your mission statement. then the group as a whole helps to purify and beautify and eventually personify the words until it clicks. it is an amazing process. much like a verbal birth. i 'heard' the click when the words were right deep in my soul. it echoes still.

after each participant clicks with their words they stand and own their path to the rest of the group. i still remember the excitement of saying those words out loud in public. i haven't done so since. they are weighty words for me. i don't take them lightly. i have made every large decision this past year by these words. i have carved them into my soul and pondered, meditated and studied them. what do they mean? how must i change? what doors do they open? what doors do they close? so many questions and so many answers.

hi, my name is heidi, and i am a storyteller of redemptive truth.

i'm not taking this blog from it's anonymous status, i realized that i may need it to blow off steam in the new place we land. i had hoped to have a new blog ready in my own name, owning my path, but life has definitely got a mind of it's own this past month.

i know it doesn't look that scary. 'what did you get so tied up about?' i question even now. 'what was the big deal?' it almost looks silly to be afraid of those words. but they are tied right into the very fiber of my being. they will change who i am today into who i will become along my redemptive journey.

i will tell more about the process of growing into these words, especially this past month soon. i just knew i needed to pay tribute to the anniversary or actually the conception of my path.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

if wishes were pennies...


My blog is worth $45,163.20.
How much is your blog worth?



yah, right...

HT tomichael

i love stolen time!

i don't know about you but cancelling something and creating a window of time is my favorite time in the world! we chose not to go to church today (because we didn't have to - yay!) and to stay home and get some stuff done before the weather soured (and boy are those clouds dark and stormy looking!!) stolen time is so guilt free for me - i just love it!

well - this was a huge technological weekend in our home - we just got our computer upgraded - it's not got a huge hard drive and super fast processor - i have NO idea what the numbers are, liam would, but he's outside - needless to say we're super fast and have tons of storage.

stupidly i said 'yes' to the itunes upgrade and now i'm in the same position i was a couple of months ago - it won't recognize and load my upgrade - argh! i'm sure we'll get it figured out.

having a reliable computer again will now allow me to write and update my blog. i have been putting it off because it crashed so often i would loose info - and that is so frustrating.

the other way cool thing was that we have had a chunk of change saved up for a new digital computer for liam. it wasn't huge, but enough to have a reliable, good quality one. we had been doing research and trying to be the best stewards we could be - and yesterday when we were out shopping for other things we stumbled upon a konica/minolta dimage z2 (a regularly $400 camera for $150.00) brand new! it's way more camera than we thought we would get, and for much less than we'd have to spend to get a much lower grade camera. we're just tickled!

we knew that heading back to school we needed these items because we probably wouldn't be in a place financially to have the cash to make these purchases. so now if i could only get my itunes to work again i'd be in techno geek heaven! :)

have a great day!

Friday, November 04, 2005

best ebay listing ever!

this is hysterical!

thanks karen!

needs meme

i LOVE this meme!!! it made me laugh all along the way - some of these 'needs' are so spot on it's shocking! some are just outright silly! just type your name and needs in " " into google and see what you NEED today! here's mine (i've bolded my favorites):

needs your help.

needs feeding, bathing, dressing her.

needs to tone down her foul language.

needs drapes for her window because the shade is all gone and the sun is bright in the afternoons.

needs to know that there is no correlation between the degree of freedom within a society and its actions in external affairs.

needs to start knitting ski masks.

needs to get real and get off her pity pot.

needs to understand that the Majority of the folks in that state DO NOT agree with her.

needs one of us to go over there, and show her a good time.

needs to eat better so that I can stay healthy.

needs no introduction.

needs her own site.


needs someone to warm her up a bit, she seems cold.

needs that much control.

needs a home.

needs our support.

needs clothing!

needs and craves attention.

needs some extra shampoo and another pairly of manly hands to give her follicles a good going over.

needs to speak a little faster and Garcia needs to sit up and not slouch as she does.

needs love.

needs to go to school.

needs a makeover.

needs to know you haven't forgotten her.

needs to tell stories. (MY FAVORITE!!)

needs to spend some more time on the Stairmaster.

needs to have more opportunities to expand her horizons.


needs a little math refresher.


needs to stop living in fear - help her Father.


needs a new pair of socks.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Girls protest T-shirts - PittsburghLIVE.com

Girls protest T-shirts - PittsburghLIVE.com: "Teenage girls shouldn't allow a major retailer to mock them in the name of fashion, a group of young women said Sunday."

you go girl-cott!

Bart Campolo: Is it time yet, Dietrich?

"It is not for us to fortell the day, but the day will come when people are called to utter the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. There will be a new language, perhaps, quite unreligious, but liberating and saving, like the language of Jesus, so that people are horrified at it, and yet conquered by its power. --Dietrich Bonhoeffer"

Are you calling me that way now, Holy Spirit? If not...would you please?


me too please!

Monday, October 31, 2005

HOME - four sweet letters!

just in time for queen amadala and annikin skywalker to trick or treat. it was their only wish, and they have been so flexible and wonderful these past three weeks. have i told you i have the best children on the planet??

well, off to hand out candy!

ttfn!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

new hampshire to new york

just a quick in - we're in the tiny corner of new hampshire last night and heading to new york to visit my sister and her husband for the weekend.

looking so forward to being back in our home, our town, not so much, but out home definately!

we're all holding up well, would appreciate your prayers as i would really like the time with my sister to go well, it could get stressful as we're pretty thin on resources. we're only staying with them sunday night, so i hope it is a time of reunion, not re-hashing...

much love!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

from the garden state to st. andrews by the sea

we are HERE! and it's amazing. liam and i just talked about how very much it feels like home. it really feels like we've been here before - it's so much like us and where we are spiritually. barring any slammed doors by god it looks like we have a good lead on 'next'. i'm blogging in an internet cafe at st. andrews by the sea, new brunswick.

what a trip! that last 7 hour push was brutal. we hit rain in new hampshire 2 days ago and it didn't stop until this morning. it's still drizzling, but not nearly the levels of torrential rain and ice pellets we endured yesterday through maine.

up until that point we really hit every state at full fall peak - who would have ever thought that we would have had the fall northeast tour that people only dream about. it was glorious!

the school is called st. stephens university and they have a masters in ministry program - it's all round table and interactive and we'll both possibly be able to work toward our degrees here. they are really doing the kind of learning together that inspires our souls. training leaders for the next century - not the last - what a concept!

we also got to have a great visit in the garden state with anj and her wonderful family on the way up. what a wonderful surprise to the visit. i was unable to connect with a good friend in boston, but it was right as the storm hit, so it was probably best we landed in portland, maine when we did.

pray all is well with you - drop me a line in the comments - i'd love to know how you're all doing!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

library access

hi ya'll - blogging here at the library in virginia - it is the first time my fingers have touched the keys since i last blogged - man do we need a laptop!

all is well - we're here at massanutten resort until sunday a.m. (tomorrow) and then we're heading to a over night in new jersey. we'll actually get to see anj (yipee!)as i forgot our passports and they're being fed-exed to anj so we can all get back over the border on the trip home... well, we might have to leave liam :p - but we're hoping they'll hear our plight and allow him back until the 'big move'...

the church agreed to foot the bill for the trip to new brunswick - amazing but true - and we're doing the loop starting tomorrow until the 31st - it will be a lot of driving, but we'll get 3 nights and 4 days in st. stephens to visit the area, see the sights and most importantly meet the people.

it's an anxious time and we're all a bit tired of hotels and condo life - i know that sounds so spoiled - but home sure looks good right about now!

nywc pittsburgh was a great experience - exhausting and not nearly the 2nd honeymoon we were hoping for - but we were able to encourage youth workers and hear many stories along the way. it was enriching to be useful again. it's amazing how serving gets into your blood... when it's missing it leaves quite a void.

it was also great to finally meet lilly lewin and stephanie (unfinished) of blogging fame. (sorry, not enough time to do links!)

well, i've got tons of reservations and maps to google - miss you all - wish i had time to sit here and read your blogs! hope all is well in your worlds! if i get access to a computer along the way i'll keep you posted! much love!