Friday, May 27, 2005

now that's hutspah!

i have received two newsletters in the past 24 hours telling of the hutspah of the factulty and graduates of calvin college this past weekend.

i salute you!

curious? you can read about it here (free reg. required) and here. (sister joan's article is INCREDIBLE! wow, i love her voice!)

Leave My Child Alone!

Leave My Child Alone!: "DID YOU KNOW... that the infernal Leave No Child Behind Act has a sneaky Pete section requiring high schools to turn over student information to military recruiters?"

you can opt out your child here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

claim your identity

"Love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of healing."
Virginia Satir

the henri nouwen weekly reflection from last week used this quote, and i didn't read it until today. the focus of the weekly reflection has been written by a woman named victoria schmidt and she's entitled the continuing chronicle "On The Journey Toward Reclaiming my Identity". she is also a survivor of sexual abuse and her path resonates very closely with my own, and she seems to be working on the same issue in her recovery and healing that i am currently working on. it's one that is so difficult for me to put into words. this layer of the onion is so very close to my soul.

she writes:

Virginia Satir, the well-known psychotherapist, said, "Love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of healing." Through several years of counseling, this one sentence has helped in my recovery from sexual abuse. It is God's infinite love for me that continues calling me to the depths of my inner self, my true identity.

I know healing life's hurts helps me to become my true self. The struggles of life often create barriers to true love and understanding of self. Once we identify our struggles and make a conscious effort to heal, we begin to see clearly our true identity. Our real, God-centered identity is not the sum total of our experiences. Our God-centered identity is the inherent goodness that came with our creation. It begins whole and is powerful beyond measure. As we move through life, the wholeness gets chipped away and we have to consciously work towards healing.

What are the barriers that keep us from knowing our true, God-centered identity? What are the wounds that need healing? Why are we afraid to heal and to know our God-centered identity? Why are we so afraid to be whole? These are questions I ask myself often, and they continue to guide my own healing.

The love that brings up anything unlike itself to be healed is a love beyond our human grasp. It is the love that is given by the One who loves us infinitely more than we can ever fully understand.
this quote today somehow broke through a lot of the noise in my head and touched me in a deep place. love is calling all of these things forward in me. that helps. a lot.

i was walking with a friend the other day and got back home to shower and i removed the t-shirt i wore for our walk and saw the back of it. i know it sounds strange to be wearing a t-shirt that you don't even know what it says, but we get free t-shirts at conventions and youth conferences all of the time, and i just don't hardly pay attention anymore. just grab the next one in the drawer if i'm working around the house or just hanging out.

as i removed this t-shirt i saw a red fingerprint on the back and thought 'hey, i've never noticed this before.' the back of the shirt said 'claim your identity'. i know i always say i want god to write directions for me in the sky, but on the back of my t-shirt is okay with me too. claim your identity. i laughed - wondering where my coat check tag, or dry cleaner number was so i could walk up to a counter somewhere and 'claim my identity'... would that it could be so easy.

call it a 'mid life crisis' or just plain old recovery and a stay-at-home mom at the end of her ability to use that term - but i truly have no identity that i can claim, truly i don't.

since november i have been battling with myself over the direction i received at 'the path' in vancouver. i haven't been able to claim publicly what my mission statement is. i kept thinking i would grow into it, and i could still very well do so, but i keep hoping for someone else to come and validate that place within me that says 'yes, that is exactly who and what you are'.

i blogged yesterday that i watched 'the snoodles' veggie tale video with my kids. if you haven't seen it i highly recommend it (especially if this line of thought resonates with you at all). the little character is created with a backpack of items, a paint set, an instrument and wings. as he tries each of these items out he is mocked by those in his community. they draw him pictures to remind him how foolish he looked. he carries each one in his backpack, each weighing him down further and farther to the ground. he looks constantly for some place to fit in and finally sees the birds flying high and resting at the top of the mountain.

he climbs the mountain looking for a safe place and finds a wise man in a cave who invites him in for tea. he tells the wise one he is not worthy and shows the pictures he has carried. the wise one tells him he is the creator and shows him a picture of how he truly looks. he takes the snoodle's art and hangs it on his fridge and tells him how the paint set and the instrument were gifts to be used to the creator's glory and the wings weren't just meant for flying - they were meant for soaring.

i was a puddle by the end and pink and buck were so confused and betwixted as to mom's tears. (we processed them later) i know all of these things to be true, honest i do, but i really wish there was a face on the other end of that confirmation, instead of empty air and echoing prayers. arms instead of pillows, words instead of guesses. a community instead of a crisis... sigh.

so again, i am just wanting to get this out, to be heard, not fixed. with this quote above i have the reassurance that love is truly calling all these things forward for healing, not for hurt. to the journey toward my true self and wholeness.

keep the pressure ON!

High-Profile Help for Africa

thanks si!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

best sermon i've heard in ages - Videos: VeggieTales - A Snoodle's Tale

just got done watching this with pink and buck and it made me cry - especially the part about god having my art on his fridge.

the sport utility vehicle song is pretty funny too.

Monday, May 23, 2005

definition of community

<<< the kedge >>>: "Community means stability. Benedict was a genius to introduce a vow of stability into his Rule. If we want to experience community we need to be rooted somewhere among some people. If we constantly move on in search of greener pastures we will not be around long enough to grow the roots necessary for community. Community can not happen on the fly."

i think this is one of the reasons the sabbath law only allowed for walking distances - it forced a community to fight it out, deal with each other and not be able to run to the next church down the street. i think once we were able to move away from that rule splits and issues began to get easier to walk away from than to work through.

as one so tempted to pull up stakes i really needed to hear (read) this today. great post, a much fuller definition on the blog, highly recommend it.

thanks for the head's up laura

classic kiwi

this is hysterical!

TallSkinnyKiwi: If the Bible was Blogged

sick and tired...

well we got back late last night from our site inspection in WV for the mission trip we're taking some teens on this summer. it's a beautiful location in the mountains and we're excited to be able to help where it's REALLY needed this summer.

but we brought home two very sick little kids... we just got back from the doctor and pink and buck have strep infections, buck's is in his ear - and every time we changed elevations in the mountains coming home we heard about it! yikes... makes for a pretty long ride home, poor kid.

so it's pouring rain here and i think i'm just going to curl up with a good book and tuck in too.

hope you are all doing well.

Friday, May 20, 2005

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, May 19, 2005

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, May 19, 2005

"From where I stand, it seems that the information age has, indeed, become the best cover for non-information that the world has ever known."


from the man who brought you the serenity prayer:

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone, therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint; therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

Reinhold Niebuhr

dig it?

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Speaking of Nadine Gordimer, a wonderful word from her: “The tension between standing apart and being fully involved: that is what makes a writer.”

via lauren winner's new blog

what is your world view?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
created with

via tim

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

the highlight of my day...

get it... high LIGHT... groan...

Energizer Trim Flex LED

i have been looking for a good book light for ages - i picked this one up at home depot today and it's amazing. made for contractors so it's good and sturdy, nice and light too.

polyester white trash made in nowhere

the first time i heard this line i wept. it's from u2's YAHWEH. i feel like the shirt bono wrote about sometimes. i'm really dealing with a lot of this shame right now. i don't know exactly where it's roots lie, i was never called white trash or given that kind of direct treatment by others. i think a lot of it was self inflicted. maybe it came from watching the 'haves' play all my life while i waited on them and resented their luxuries.

i have a friend here who grew up on a farm in west virginia, she is an extraordinary woman, working on her doctorate in education and she's always dressed to the nines and so capable of EVERYTHING (i hate her!) :) i began to recognize this kind of underlying shame in her life just about the time i recognized it in my own. i'm sure it helped me on my way to uncovering and untangling much of my own. she tries for all her life to get the stink of that farm and the cruel jokes about WV out of her system for all she's worth. trying to prove she's better than that.

it's easier to observe her issues than deal with my own. but i know this is the layer of the onion i'm chewing on in my recovery right now. so much of my 'don't fit in issues' scream judgement on me that it kicks my shame reflex into overdrive. the smallest look or the perceived judgement lately spirals me into this shame so very quickly.

we're on the 'service' part of the 40 days right now in our small group and the hardest thing for me to stomach is the illusion that doors will fling open for you to serve in your church because you know your gifts and have a desire. i think this is the weakest part of this mentality. rick warren never once addresses the fact that doors may slam in your face over and over and over. i see new families coming into our church (an explosion of growth is happening right now) and i can spot those broken and wounded ones, they look so much like my family members. i think to myself 'run for your lives - you'll never be able to serve here, you're just not shiny enough for them'...

i'm not shiny enough either.

a year and a 1/2 ago i jumped through their 301 hoop and had my interview with the pastor working with service placement. i told him my passion was to hook people up into service - listen to their hearts and help them find a place to serve, desperately needed in our church. he told me he wouldn't have anything for me until november (it was march...) november has passed and still nothing. yes, i could have followed it up, maybe i should have, but really, should i have had to? yes, i'm teaching jr. high and working with recovery, but this, this is where my passion lies.

now they've got 100's of little green cards with people's wish list for service on them and they are scrambling to put people in place to help those people serve. in tears this morning i told liam that i hoped they choked on them all. i'm bitter, yes i know. but i truly despise being made to feel like white trash in the body of christ too. like i'm not good enough to serve. the most ironic thing of all is that we had to interview to get here - how did i get past the interview process and fail the test later, and what may i ask was the test?

if i'm incompetent then they should be mentoring me, or at least telling me why. please don't leave comments telling me i should talk to them - yes i know that, but understand these are my husband's bosses, would you really go to your husband's boss and complain?

i talked to a friend who i had built (i thought) community with for the past year and aired my soul out. i hoped she would hear me and understand i didn't want her to fix things, i just wanted to be heard. well, she went into panic mode and 'should-ed me' into silence again... (she even had the gaul to read me the serenity prayer - she who hasn't had 1 day of recovery...) sigh. i have been sucked into the politics again and it poisons my soul every time. pretty raw and bitter, eh?

this is the stuff that has kept me silent here on my blog. this is the stuff that is poisoning my soul right now. i feel unfit and unwanted and the thought of having to sit in the small group liam and i lead tonight and play 'oh there will be a place for you to serve here' is just about killing me. that's why i had to write, to get it out of my system. i know tonight isn't the arena to address any of this, and i so don't want to poison any of those wonderful couples in our group. i just need the strength to bite my tongue and smile. something that goes against every grain in my body.

i've called my therapist to get an appointment to help me untangle some of this raw emotion and find the source of this shame. we're going away this weekend, so i'm sure the change will do my heart good. this isn't a cry for help, or fixing. i just needed to process things out for myself. thanks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2005

grid blog :: pentecost 2005

pentecost 2005

ah, the day of pentecost. i have lived my whole christian life jealous of that time of church history. i grew up with the teaching that the holy spirit was the 'add on' to the trinity. kind of like jiminy cricket on your shoulder, making you feel guilty, and 'illuminating scripture' whatever that was supposed to mean. so very little of my training and teaching ever came close to any type of real truth on that great wind that indwells me.

it has probably only been in the past year that i have truly began to explore what indeed worship of the holy spirit and the role it plays in my life. 'it' is such an impersonal pronoun, but i just can't seem to use 'he' - it just doesn't fit - and i know if i use 'she' i will be stoned as a heretic, even though the feminine is used to describe 'it' in the biblical narrative.

last pentecost the emergent kiwi used pumice stone soaked in some flamable liquid and used it during his service - i was jealous of that church history too. i wish this could be the type of post that ranted and raved of the amazing intimacy i have with the holy one, that i had a grasp of what all of that means in my life, but i'm too painfully honest to lie to you all. i long for nothing more, but live in a world that is sadly negligent toward this person of the godhead.

between ministries at our last church and this one, and during a few other stages of my life i have desperately prayed to be given 'spirit gifts' - and went to vineyard churches and even 'the airport' for a bit of the blessing to fall fresh on me. i begged god to visit me in miraculous ways, to heal me, to give me the gift of tongues, to do anything that would be marvelous and evidence of his love for me. nothing happened. i was shoved to the floor a couple of times and landed in tears, not because i was moved by the spirit, but because again there was nothing moving. i'm not judging anyone else's faith walk, i just know i've never wanted anything more in my life and been so disappointed when it didn't work for me.

since that time i have found that it is through stillness and meditation that i am given glimpses of the spirit. those quiet times when the inner teacher appears in my life. the path is definately one that i would like to change, and to be more dramatic and active, but it seems i don't get to make the rules. so in stillness and in quiet the inner teacher comes, not as jiminy cricket, but as a gentle guide, a nudge, an inner voice that clears the fog, makes way where there was no way before or just reassures me of the place where my feet must walk.

i long for tongues of fire, powerful, showy gifts and lots of evidence. i am given a gentle breeze that i miss if i don't take the time to quiet my soul. i know that the inner teacher does illuminate and bring light to dark places, and for now, that is enough.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

adult adhd

i got an email this morning from a fellow blogger asking about my new diagnosis and this is what i wrote to her about it.

i started down this path because i saw so much of myself in my daughter, and i wanted to help her not have to go down the road i had to, feeling stupid, getting slighted by teachers, etc. we have a kind of adhd that has a 'halo effect' - we're not the hyper kid who can't sit still - it's just that our minds are racing in 12 different directions - and maintaining focus is so difficult.

we have a 'psychology and learning center' in a local town, and i know he really helped my girlfriend with her daughter's diagnosis, so i took the chance and got her diagnosed. saw that the process was really simple and that the doctor really heard me and treated me with respect. i am so sick of lame doctors lately, i'm so tired of them assuming they know what i'm saying. he didn't do that at all. he was just a psychologist who specialized in adhd and diagnosis. i'm sad because i thought he could treat me, but he doesn't do that...

i'm going back to my therapist hopefully this week, but i need a psychiatrist to prescribe meds. one of the things that i've found out through this process is that we lack what is called 'dopamine' - it's the neurotransmitter in the brain - things like ritalin and the newer drugs are actually stimulants, not depressivants as i had (and most of the misinformation 'out there' assumes) - they don't know why it works, but somehow it gives us the ability to have our brains function in ways that other people's do normally.

he said that meds should only affect the executive functions of the brain - not creativity, mood, affect, etc. just the stuff that we need to be like 'everybody else'.

i told him that i realized that this dance i've had to do to compensate has been exhausting. it's like that joke about fred astaire and ginger rogers - she did everything he did, but backwards and in high heels - that's been my life - trying to dance like everyone else, but backwards and with great difficulty - trying my damnest to keep up.

it's the 'affective spectrum disorder' that really is so shocking to me. i am angry about it because it seems like such a crappy lot in life that i had no control over and now have passed to my children and their children's children... but it has helped me understand my parents and heritage much better and information is power - so we will be able to help pink and buck in ways that we were never given access to ourselves.

liam and buck are next to be diagnosed - i truly think we all are struggling with this. it explains so much and i know there is a light at the end of the tunnel - but it is a tunnel, and i am a bit discouraged. the local shrink can't treat me (she hasn't taken new patients in years i guess...) so i've begun the research and i am doing all i can to get the best help i am able. i just feel so damn incompenent so very much of the time...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

i always wanted some letters after my name...

well, it's official - i have adhd. do you think anyone would notice if i added those after BSc? he also said he suspected that i am in a mild depression. interesting. i knew this winter was harder than it should have been. he said he didn't have a lot to compare to, since he's only seen me for 3 appointments, but he said to mention it to the treating psychiatrist he's referred me to. he also mentioned the term 'affective spectrum disorder' so i'm looking into what that means. new studies seem to indicate that there is a generational link that is possible. i know i've seen it in both liam's and my heritage, and poor pink and buck seem to be as similar to our afflictions too...

i'm excited to get into treatment. hopefully the woman he recommended will take me as a patient. if not my options aren't that great, so if you remember and have the time please pray i can get into the one he recommended (and that the medication and life management will help get my focus back).


life's only true opponent

I must say a word about fear. It's life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It beings in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.

Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression has triumphed over you.

The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are being brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Life of Pi, Yann Martel, Chapter 56

i know i'm late to the party, but i LOVE this book! i can't recommend it more highly.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

hiding in the noon day sun

stephanie at just etchings has written about the woman at the well. it has moved me like not much else has done lately. part of the life of distraction i've been living lately means that i need to feel something deeply for it to hold my attention. i'm sure that's why blogging has been non-existent. either i can't get there, or don't want to and am avoiding it.

stephanie is writing about identity and uses the woman at the well's interaction with jesus. she names the woman at the well galia - god shall redeem - you know me and redemption. i'm thinking about changing my name!

here's a bit of the comments i left on her blog:

i love that she was hiding in the noon day sun - far away from the eyes of the judgemental women who came to fill their water pots in the cool of the day. hiding in the light of the sun.

you mentioned above that "Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth." - this made me tear up. around here lately it seems that the truth matters little to many - what they believe to be true seems far more important.

in the deepest part of my soul i am a truth seeker - probably even more than a christ seeker - i know that truth will always lead me to the Truth. the fact that it is worship never crossed my mind. thank you stephanie, i really needed this. my identity right now is suffering and i am raw with emotion that comes when my spirit is engaged as of late.

"Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth." i'm going to write that out and put it above my computer today. i will also be reading john 4 tonight. thank you for the challenge!

happy mother's day!

as a daughter and a mother today i celebrate and salute you all - you're incredible women - you inspire and challenge me in ways i don't even fully understand yet. thank you for being a part of my life!


Thursday, May 05, 2005

all i want for mother's day

i have heard rumblings about this so i did a bit of research and what joy i found when i realized that mothers have been standing for peace in our country for generations. here's an article that explains it so well:

Julia Ward Howe's accomplishments did not end with the writing of her famous poem, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." As Julia became more famous, she was asked to speak publicly more often. Her husband became less adamant that she remain a private person, and while he never actively supported her further efforts, his resistance eased.

She saw some of the worst effects of the war -- not only the death and disease which killed and maimed the soldiers. She worked with the widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war, and realized that the effects of the war go beyond the killing of soldiers in battle. She also saw the economic devastation of the Civil War, the economic crises that followed the war, the restructuring of the economies of both North and South.

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe took on a new issue and a new cause. Distressed by her experience of the realities of war, determined that peace was one of the two most important causes of the world (the other being equality in its many forms) and seeing war arise again in the world in the Franco-Prussian War, she called in 1870 for women to rise up and oppose war in all its forms. She wanted women to come together across national lines, to recognize what we hold in common above what divides us, and commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts. She issued a Declaration, hoping to gather together women in a congress of action.

She failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who had attempted starting in 1858 to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.

Anna Jarvis' daughter, also named Anna Jarvis, would of course have known of her mother's work, and the work of Julia Ward Howe. Much later, when her mother died, this second Anna Jarvis started her own crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1907 in the church where the elder Anna Jarvis had taught Sunday School. And from there the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. Finally the holiday was declared officially by states beginning in 1912, and in 1914 the President, Woodrow Wilson, declared the first national Mother's Day.


pray for peace.

not this time

via sojomail

In the movie Hotel Rwanda, a journalist remarks that when Americans watch TV images of the massacres, "They'll say, 'Oh my God, that's horrible!' And then go on eating their dinners." We cannot allow genocide to take place on our watch. Take a stand and tell the world: "Not this time."
do something about it here!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

blessed are the poor

Blessed Are the Poor
We who are rich are often demanding and difficult. We shut ourselves up in our apartments and may even use a watchdog to defend our property. Poor people, of course, have nothing to defend and often share the little they have.

When people have all the material things they need, they seem not to need each other. They are self-sufficient. There is no interdependence. There is no love. In a poor community, however, there is often a lot of mutual help and sharing of goods, as well as help from outside. Poverty can even become a cement of unity.

Jean Vanier

Monday, May 02, 2005

forgetting what is behind

okay, i'm wrestling with a verse and i need your wisdom please. our sp preached on phil. 3:12-14 this week and i think he got it all wrong (imnsho...)

as one addicted to redemption as i am i believe that the past is the fertile ground in which our stories take place. forgetting the past would be like the tree forgetting where it's roots lie, right? i'm really frustrated by this mentality that past mistakes are to be forgotten, never look back, blah de blah de blah...

again, imnsho, i think paul is talking about leaving the pharisee life behind. setting aside the bling and the credentials of his old place in life to do the sweaty work of making tents for bedouins, leaving behind the cushy life for the hard call of christ. am i wrong?

any greek scholars (susie?) to help me with the original language here - and i don't want to know 'how it's usually translated' - i think that's where a lot of the problems we have in the church come from - no one challenging the 'usual way'. help me twist this up please - help me come at it from a new fresh, 2 edged sword way - living and active. because the sp's theology of this verse leaves me cold, makes god a sadist in my eyes and it looks a heck of a lot like denial to me...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

passion and suffering

“Passion is loving something enough to suffer for it”
– Jurgen Moltmann
via marko

i consider myself a very passionate person - this gives me a whole new perspective... maybe i'm just excitable! :)