Friday, March 31, 2006


YIPEE! off to celebrate, more details soon i promise! thank you again for your prayers!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

sophia - wisdom within

this is the second art piece i completed for lent. it's rendered in charcoal and based on (copied...) a piece by one of my favorite artists doris klein. the first time i saw the piece it made me gasp. most of her art does that to me. it touches a virginal place in my soul that little else has.

the parts of god the church destroys, denies and shames away are depicted by her with such beauty and emotion. doris klein's art touches the places in me that are awakening. a place that freaks me out, terrifies me and i must admit makes me feel like a pagan in my most honest moments. but then i remember tony campolo speaking of the feminine parts of god that most of the church denies and am comforted by his 'permission'. should i need that permission, no, but somehow it makes me feel safer. less on the edge of witchcraft, and more in the place of understanding the pieces of god that i have been denied so long.

i am coming to understand that much of my struggle (and that of many of my sisters) stems from that denial. this solely MALE god is a distortion and it has damaged and is damaging our ability to worship, and i don't just mean the female part of creation either - but creation as a whole.

i know that my healing and becoming real will take me to this place of a WHOLE god. understanding the feminine of the image i bear will allow me to realize in my own body and soul the places that have shamed me for so long. the temptation to delete this and avoid blogging about it is great. but i have realized that being labeled a heretic, avoided or shunned can't matter any more. i need to navigate this here if i am ever to find the healing and the life i long for.

this art piece was my first attempt to get in touch with this emotion and these questions. to express and allow myself permission to dip my toes into the water and worship this part of god i hardly know myself. i don't know about the morals of imitating someone else's art. it's not for sale or profit. i just knew that i was unable to create (yet) that place of birth or unique ideas from within myself on this subject. i hope it is seen as the most sincere form of flattery.

the metaphor of the shell and it's spiralling wholeness speaks to me of wisdom and knowing and deep elemental truth. it expanded sophia to me in such a rich and textured way. as i shaded and highlighted i understood a little more of the inmost places sophia resides. that time, silence and being fully present are the only ways to find those concealed, spiralling places. it is an offering of worship to the part of god i've yet to fully understand, but long to engender, to honor and know.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

a day in the life

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

the situation we find our selves in right now has forced liam and i to get creative on the earning of income. we've had so many conversations and brainstorms. one exciting possibility is that a local glass artist has invited us to apprentice under her. she is incredibly gifted and is as excited about our creativity and what we bring to the table as we are about her.

this has always been a medium we dreamed of working with - and it's so ironic to both of us that the possibility of the dream of actually living off of our creativity (and a lot of hard work) just might really happen.

it would afford lots of time to brainstorm, create and possibly even write. we're also working on a curriculum proposal to see if something we did with the youth at our old church has any legs. we know it won't be the easiest life choice, and we're still open to 'real jobs' - but they just don't seem to be dropping at our feet... so maybe we'll have that life we've always dreamed of?

i've been embracing creativity this lenten season instead of giving something up. the image i've loaded is of one of the art pieces i have been playing with. with my limited art supplies and mediums i have had to be inventive. children's watercolors, charcoal pencils, watercolor pencils and pastels are my only pallete.

these are just for me. i am overcoming a blockage in my soul that started back in art class in high school. i had a domineering taxidermist/animal illustrator as a teacher and he squashed everything within me that was coming to bloom. breaking through all of that feels really, really good.

i've completed three pieces and am working on my forth. this is the first i did. it's not perfect, but that was the point. i needed to finish something. to have something with some closure. i even painted the old frame and it now sits by my bed as a reminder to me that finished is better than perfect. it's one of my favorite quotes from ghandi:

there is more to life than increasing it's speed.

well, i'm off to see the sea with a friend today. the sun is shining and we're supposed to break 50* - yipee! spring has sprung!

Monday, March 27, 2006

sister joan... again

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, March 24, 2006: "If there is such a thing as national neurosis, are we in it? Will public paranoia be the disease that defeats us in the end?

While we frisked little old ladies in wheelchairs in our airports on the grounds that they might be foreign agents, we would have allowed our commercial seaports to be serviced under the auspices of the very people we said we were trying to keep out of the country.

While we preached the fear of foreigners, we spied on our own.

While we assumed the right to invade the borders of every nation on earth, we tightened ours against the poor whose poverty came as a result of our wealth.

While we preached life, we practiced death in its name.

Has our hysteria reached the point where, like a blind giant, we are raging around the world swatting flies with a pile driver?"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

the law of gravity

kristen at unveilings has a blog post about finding and maintaining your own sense of self. she writes:
I’m learning slowly this week (read: lifetime) about how to love people without bearing too much of their weight. I’m not sure how to get my mind around this one, though, because I believe we’re all interconnected, and that lives don’t have definite starting and stopping points so far as the space we each take up. We’re not paper dolls. We’re more like, maybe…universes.
welcome to my world (or universe?)!!! liam and i have been navigating this cosmos in detail this past 12 months.

what i have realized through much of this struggle is that if i don't hold on to my gravity i become a satellite, or a moon to his universe. and i've awakened, sadly, to the realization that i have done that for the past 20 years. it was bred into me. i was created and nurtured to be a 'help-meet' - that distorted word that smacks of satellites and anti-gravity. i found that i had never even explored the dark side of the moon.

reversing this and it's magnetic pull is such a procedure that i'm sure it's what rips most established marriages apart.

we both know the way it has been is damaging to us both, but these ruts in our lives have been worn deep, and we revert to them so mindlessly.

to break this cycle and re-write these interactions we are trying hard to put up markers, red flags, if you will, along the way. we need to identify those familiar impulses and reactions as a flag - an alarm to remind us that our gravity is off balance and we're doing it again.

i truly believe this is why long established marriages dissolve or become lifeless and loveless. it's very hard work. both spouses must be fully invested and committed to the process. too many times one (or both) falsely believe it easier to begin anew, start over. or my guess is that one (my fear is it's usually the wife) gives up and reverts back to the old ways. it is truly so much work.

liam and i know that those temptations are lies, the better way, that so few actually ever attain is to continue on, push through, each step is a tiny victory, but a victory nonetheless. the real struggle is that so few ahead of us have truly chosen to walk this path and walk it well. honoring our diverse universes and each becoming fully formed into what god has created us to be.

YOU CAN DO IT! and i highly recommend doing it now before the ruts become too well worn. before the responses become so natural that you forget, forget what anything else ever felt like. exploring the dark side of the moon can be terrifying, and rather depressing. not much has been allowed to grow there and it's work to find 'booster rockets' (friends & vision) that realign the planets into the sun so that things can grow again.

a couple of years ago i was introduced to the image of the mandorla by anj & connie. it is an ancient symbol and it represents for liam and i our goal. two fully formed lives, planets, orbits that exist separately but choose to dwell in connection, alike yet distinct. similar but not the same. equal yet very different. together but not combined.

the website i've gone to for research on this is here -

they define mandorla as:

the symbol of the liminal space in which we are called to "remain"

it is such a visual reminder to use as our guide. we know that an eclipse in either field brings unbalanced life and an overshadowing of another's world. having seen the spectacular image of the sun blotted out, or the moon disappearing - it is such a graphic image that cautions us to remember that the choices we make each day will model one of these metaphors - do we honor each other's orbit or return to the distortion of the eclipse?

the almond shape in the center of the mandorla is where intimacy lies. emotional, physical, spiritual intimacy. it is where liam and i meet as one flesh and true, honoring intimacy happens. to find this place, in balance, is usually a mystery of sorts, but when it does happen it is unlike anything else in the world and it's the most beautiful thing.

i find this supremely important, especially now as our children are at the ages of individualizing and launching into their own new worlds. what does it look like to honor their gravity? how can we model this so they see our mandorla and not an eclipse? how do we keep from eclipsing them? or in reverse, their gravity becoming so strong as to throw off our own?

such big responsibilities and questions. i know this is why so many don't bother. why so many give up. allow another's planet to rob the resources it needs to survive. blot out the sun so that nothing can grow and sustain life on it's own. sometimes i fear that the pull of another's gravity is so much stronger than my own.

god help me to keep my feet firmly on the ground of my own planet today.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

mary & martha

christy at dry bones dance has a great post on mary & martha today and it has jogged loose some thoughts i've been having as i dig up this garden of theology i've been raised with.

she writes:
I’ve been hanging out with Mary and Martha lately, and they are a lot more interesting then I was raised to believe. Martha gets a lot of crap over the story where Jesus is visiting and she’s trying to get the food all ready to serve everybody. She’s preparing everything while Mary is seated at the feet of Jesus listening to his teachings. She starts to wonder why she is the only one working and tells Jesus what to do. “Yo, Jesus! (because when I hear Martha speak, she sounds like she’s from Brooklyn) Didya notice I’m doing all the work here? Tell my sister to get up and help me already.”
i have found that asking new questions and looking at everything differently gives me fresh perspectives that jump out at me in bold. i have been a gospels junkie for the past year (at least) - it's the only part of the bible that has life for me presently. the old testament with it's war mongering and dysfunctional relationships just make me angry, and the epistles clang with the distorted theology from my past and tie me up in knots right now, so i've been playing it safe in the gospels. i have been spending a lot of time with the women that jesus spent time with and watched how he treated them. so i too have been hanging out a lot with mary & martha.

this kitchen story has been clanging around in my head so loudly lately. very different thoughts than what i was raised with are coming to light and instead of being afraid of them i'm just gonna blog it. i've not thought it all through, but i have to put this into words to see if my theory holds any water. if it doesn't that's okay, but i need to see if this marked a change in history, a pivot point that may have been overlooked or cast aside.

i'm just gonna plop down my new perspective and see if it resonates with anyone. be gentle please, these tender plants are new, they might be weeds, and if they are i'll pluck them up, but i've tended them for awhile now and i'm new at this gardening thing, so your footprints will leave marks in the soil. tread lightly please, i would LOVE your feedback.

you all know the story, martha is cooking, mary is at jesus' feet. the questions i have are about the culture - we know they reclined at meals, there probably weren't chairs for everyone like a dining room at davinci's 'last supper'. i think that is a big distortion - it wasn't like the italian renaissance, everyone on chairs on this long table. i think the people would be reclined on the floor - holding their heads up with one arm and eating with the other, their feet stretched out and they made a circle around the food.

so even if they weren't eating yet, even if there were a couple of chairs most of the others would have been on the floor too and everybody else would have been sitting on the floor (even possibly jesus). so the 'subservient' way we describe mary being at jesus' feet would be said about all of the disciples, not just mary because she's a woman, right?

and if they were eating that means that mary is right next to jesus in the circle (possibly at his RIGHT HAND which we know is a place of honor...) so in either scenario the way i have always read 'mary at the feet of jesus' as a frail, wilting flower wouldn't be the truth. if my questions hold water then mary has some chutzpah here - women weren't allowed to learn, or to dine with men up to this point in history.

i think in this passage that martha is possibly ticked, not only because she's doing 'all of the work', but because mary is stepping outside of her 'female role'. men and women didn't dine, worship or learn together in that culture - their society seperated the men from the women. mary was breaking with the norm. rabbis didn't teach women. they were not a part of the schooling process. here mary is becoming a disciple (no, not one of the 12, but a discipled one, nonetheless).

she is acting outside of any jewish norm that has happened before in history. i think she decided that if jesus didn't have a problem with her learning with the men then she was going to be there at his feet like all of the other disciples.

i wonder if in this story that martha was trying to re-enforce the traditional role, remind both mary, and jesus, just in case they had forgotten, that a woman's place was in the kitchen. i wonder if when jesus confronted her he was breaking that role wide open - 'martha, it's okay, women have brains and they can learn too. you were created to be together, not seperate. come join us.' and i think she did. they were sitting with the man who had just fed 5000 people, made all of the food (women's work) and gave the bread of life and the living water, he was right in their midst. i think they all chose the 'better way' that day.

i wonder if that's why martha can go toe to toe with jesus after lazarus dies. she is no longer a voiceless female - she has a new role, and she can look jesus in the eye and tell him her truth, and he hears her and doesn't shame her back into the kitchen.

:her soledad:: at 8

i have found a new and beautiful blog and i think you'll be as moved as i have been. she writes like our ragamuffin diva and she's sharing her deepest story:

I remember being sure that I was beautiful. I remember being oblivious to whether I was the right height, and weight. I remember knowing I was the perfect shade of soft soil brown.

read more here::her soledad:: at 8

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

when two fall down

i hardly know where to start? these past couple of weeks have been full of emotion and depth. such extreme highs and devastating lows. sometimes it's difficult to remember the other extreme when you're caught up in the swing of the pendulum.

one of the truths of our relationship is in the past 20 years it seems that when one of us is down in the depths the other is stronger. could be an element of the co-dependent dance we do, or just the grace given that gets us through, i'm not sure, but i have been grateful it has been this way.

last week that truth came to a halt and we both hit the carpet full force, face down. it seemed like there was no hope, no help and no light. the lowest low was a terrifying place to be, and looking back very little had really changed. we're all healthy, have our needs met and we are far more blessed than we realized at the time. i don't want to diminish the reality of our emotional state, but we weren't faced with the death of a loved one or the sickness of a family member. we were both just at the end of our resources and ended up in a very dark place.

light has broken through. loved ones have rallied around us and we are facing and dealing with some realities that we might not have wanted to face before. liam's resources are very thin right now. this past year has taken it's toll. the fear of watching my husband endure emotional pain and be helpless to relieve it brought me to a place of terror. he's always been the strong one. i'm the addict, i'm the unstable one, i'm the only one who's allowed to break. not him. not now. i'm not strong enough to do this.

i have since realized that that is a lie. we are in a safe place where he can get and receive the support he needs. he can be the wounded one, i am strong enough. he doesn't need me to fix him or shore him up any longer. it's okay to need. it's okay to break. it's okay to heal. but it's a very scary place to be. and i forget. my emotional tank struggles from short term memory loss. how quickly i forget that i am strong enough. how immediately i assume it is my responsibility to fix things. how desperately i long to cover things up, to hide and to isolate and protect.

i was speaking with hope today and i told her i really need to find some recovery in our area. i have been avoiding it and i really need to commit to seeking some support and get my head back in the game. i've been running on fumes and when people speak 'recover-ese' around me, or write about it i'm like a moth to a flame - so maybe it will motivate me to seek it beyond my telephone and computer screen.

she told me of something that rick at 'new life emerging' wrote that impacted her and about put me on the floor.

what other people think of me is none of my business

wow. i needed that. i am so intent on 'making a good first impression' around here that i forget that it's important to decompress and heal and be needy here for awhile. not to come in like the great white hope and be all strong and together. recovery will help me remember that.

Monday, March 20, 2006

is fair trade coffee fair?

great article to go along with your cuppa joe!

Reason: Absolution in Your Cup: The real meaning of Fair Trade coffee by Kerry Howley

thanks jordan!


fun time waster found on stephanie's 'i am unfinished' blog:


First = "40" u2
Last = your way - stephen iverson (prayer)


Longest = 58:10 - monastery garden - natural sounds
Shortest = 19 seconds - sparks fly - david crowder band

First = 1000 kisses (rain - patty griffin) - i don't have the full album, just this song, but it came up first...
Last = worldwide - audio adrenaline


1. fix you - coldplay
2. in the son - michael stipe
3. down to the river to pray - allison krause
4. you are my joy - david crowder band
5. don't give up - alicia keys & bono (for africa)


flood - jars of clay

Search for “sex.” How many songs come up? – 0

Search for “death.” How many songs come up? – 1

Search for “love.” How many songs come up? – 19

rays of hope

i just have a sec to update before i have to run a friend to the grocery store. i just couldn't leave that last post hanging out there, it was so gloomy and desperate. please know that YOU have all made such a difference, your support, words and prayers have shown us we are not alone, and your faith is sustaining us. thank you!

i'll write more soon, i just wanted you to know we're doing better. thanks!

Friday, March 17, 2006


well, the board said they can't afford him, but they will gladly keep his resume on file if they get a bigger budget next year... sigh. it feels so sadistic that this would have even been dangled out to us as hope.

this feels so wrong. we're both so discouraged. neither of us has anything left and we're feeling kind of desperate and panicky. we know that this was where we were supposed to land, why is this happening?

what happens when two fall down and there is no one to pick us up?

recycled, reused & redeemed community

Not Breaking the Bruised Reeds

Some of us tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged. Instead of repairing them we say: "Well, I don't have time to fix it, I might as well throw it in the garbage can and buy a new one." Often we also treat people this way. We say: "Well, he has a problem with drinking; well, she is quite depressed; well, they have mismanaged their business...we'd better not take the risk of working with them." When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.

We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak.

Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

do not try this at home!


please pray

hey all, we would really appreciate your prayers regarding a possible opening for liam. he originally met with the company because they were looking for relief workers, when the supervisor met him and saw his resume she immediately asked if it would be okay if she could approach the board about creating an afternoon supervisor position for him. it's full time with good pay and benefits.

the board meets today and we'd really love this not to be held up in red tape if it's supposed to be for him. we really need this and it would allow liam to do school in the fall. it's a well managed facility and has a good pace to it. it will be hard for the kids to miss their dad, but we'll just start our days early with an intentional family breakfast time until summer.

thanks for praying!

this is us!

oooh, oooh, go to itunes and download 'this is us' by mark knopfler & emmylou harris' mini album on itunes - shivers!

aside - why can't you get the album cover images from itunes for spinning?? if i purchase the album i want the image too!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

personal DNA test - very cool!

this is really cool - run your mouse over the blocks of color and see the areas that i tested high and low in - trust and spontanaity are really, really low - this test nailed me in all the areas except the extrovert was a bit higher than i think it should be. really cool test format too - highly recommend taking the 15 minutes it takes to do it.

ht to hazelorbs

please call your senator today!!

i have been shocked and awed to see that my former senator from pennsylvania, rick santorum has proposed a bill for critical aids, malaria & tb funding. i wrote senator santorum last year a very personal letter asking him as a man of faith to take action in this arena. i am literally in tears to see he has done so. i know that i cannot take the credit for this, but i am so glad that i added my voice to this cause, and it is truly making a difference.

YOU CAN ADD YOUR VOICE TOO!! i just received this from the ONE CAMPAIGN:
Yesterday, thousands of you called Capitol Hill, asking your Senators to keep critical AIDS, TB and malaria efforts running around the world. Today, we have a little more time to make our voices heard and keep up the positive pressure!

Please keep calling 1-800-786-2663 and ask your Senators to support the Santorum-Durbin Amendment for global AIDS funding.

Together, we could make a real difference for the world's poorest people. The Global Fund saves lives, providing prevention, care and treatment for millions. It’s an effective international effort and U.S. contributions even challenge other countries to do their share, with each U.S. dollar matched by two dollars from other donors.

If you haven't called yet, please call 1-800-786-2663 today to be connected directly to your Senators.
please call NOW!! they will connect you with your own senator - no need to look up names and numbers - just call!

my real live lighthouse

before we moved here i had intended to change my blog template. i located a really beautiful one, can't get it to work, but it's beautiful. then i found my lighthouse. it's so close to the one here on my blog i now hesitate to change things. so instead i'll save that one for later use and keep things as they are for now.

i can't wait for the nice weather to finally come and stay so that we can go explore more of the coast. come on spring!

Monday, March 13, 2006

it's really me!

i have updated my blogger profile image and it's really a picture of ME! liam took it of me the day in february we pointed the volvo toward the ocean to see what we could see. it was a glorious day. we went beach combing and found a real live lighthouse.

this was my first view of the bay without landscape in the way - i was welcoming the ocean into my life here. it has gotten deep into my soul in a way i never expected.

as you can tell i'm feeling a lot safer here than i did back in pennsylvania. a few people here have asked me for my 'mystery blog' - i haven't given it out yet, but know that i can be easily found by a good googler if they are determined. i would just ask that if you do find me you tell me - it's not a big deal, i just would love to know you're reading.

i blog later on the talk at church. email me if you want the link to the audio and i'll gladly send it to you.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Grid blog for International Women’s Day: if i had a hammer

pink: mom, there's a commercial that says it's international women's day. it's our day mom, did you know, today is women's day? we should both get red plates today mom.

we have a tradition in our home. special days are honored with a red plate for breakfast or dinner that says 'you are special'. pink got the red plate that night for dinner. yes, it was international women's day. it was also march break, another day with my husband job searching and me falling to the bottom of the priority list... again. patriarchy has created a mean case of co-dependency and invisibility in my life.

i have spent my life virtually invisible, to god, to the church and even to myself. i become whatever is necessary, whatever is needed for those in my life so that i can have meaning, so that i matter. i am the satellite to your moon. i only exist when you need me. it's been this way for so long that i don't even know how to stop it, or what i'd do if it did stop, because then, i fear, i would truly, be invisible.

patriarchy has planted and nurtured most of the plants in my garden. their roots go very deep. my hammer looks more like a machete some days - whacking away at the branches and leaves that overshadow everything else i try to plant. i can nurture it for a moment, for a small season, but then the well established roots catch up to me and i am left in the shadows again. too exhausted to care any more. too ashamed for even wanting this small life to grow on it's own.

the thought of a hammer makes me violent, smashing and crashing to release some of this deep, dark anger and rage i have against the machine. i realize it will make me no more than those who have made me this way. violence will solve nothing however tempting it would be to crush that which has wounded my very soul.

so, i am turning in my hammer for a plowshare to clear out these roots, once and for all, get to the bottom of that ugly theology that has made these plants that overshadow everything else i try to plant. remove them, shred them, burn the seeds so they cannot take root ever again. and maybe pink will grow up without them too. nurturing her own plants and bringing life to what god has planted inside of her.

is that codependent? yes, it is. if it was just for me i probably wouldn't bother. that's how discouraging this process is for me. how exhausting it is to do alone. i long to find that god who honors all of creation and will come along side me in the dirt and plant something truly beautiful. something that can give life and shade to others in a healthy, meaningful way.

rachelle has orchestrated this grid blog. you can go HERE and see the rest of the people who got their posts done on time. feel free to add your voice too.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

happy birthday erin!

my friend erin is having a birthday today - i wanted to tell her how much i have appreciated her transparency, openness, thoughtfulness and creativity!

i look forward to the day when i actually get to meet her face to face, but the glimpses of her beauty and spunk will have to hold me over until that time!

happy birthday biscotti woman - may this be a year of joy, hope and wonder!!

Monday, March 06, 2006

shocking new article

kester just highlighted an article about water consumption. don't read this unless you want to be shocked and a bit depressed.

Cry Me A River

reason escaped me

these past couple of weeks have been hard. not just the tides, but some storms of a financial sense have taken their toll. end of the month i guess. it feels all too familiar and i don't like it.

you see about 6-7 years ago the church we were at nearly bankrupted us. going into ministry ruined us financially. it was a very scary time. we were eating out of the food bank and buying diapers for pink and buck on credit. no one cared and we were very alone.

for the past 5 years we have determinedly crawled back out of that financial hole and became debt free, learned to save and had a steady income and lived simply and generously and within our means. i don't say any of that to pat ourselves on the back. i just need to lay a groundwork so that you might understand my fear, confusion and downright anger at god these past couple of weeks.

i truly believed we had planted seeds of generosity, that the overarching laws of the harvest would come to bear in our lives. i didn't want or even expect wealth or windfall, just not to go backwards. i truly believed in my heart of hearts that it worked. live openly and generously and it will come around if and when you need it too. moving up here was an exercise in letting go. free-cycling so much stuff that i had strangers emailing me to thank us for being generous instead of selling things. i love living like that. it is an area of gifting for me. i learned it at the knee of my father. he is one of the most generous people i know. hold things with an open hand. i wanted to be that type of person. i wanted to model that type of life for my children.

when much would not fit in the moving truck i sadly let it go. said goodbye to the oak claw foot table and press back chairs from my mom knowing, really knowing in my heart that god would supply exactly what we needed up here. that is why the junk we ended up with wounded me so deeply. it feels like lack. it feels like scarcity. it feels like poverty.

i loathe going backwards. i hate it. deep within my heart it makes me feel like i wasn't smart enough to learn it the first time so i had to have the lesson repeated for me because i didn't catch it the first time through. i pride (yes, and i have to admit, pride is the right word here) myself on extracting the truth from an experience. i ponder much. i chew and dwell and rehash nearly everything in an attempt to draw out meaning and learning. i don't want to go backwards.

this all felt far too familiar. this felt far too close to where we had been years ago. i figured if god didn't open one of the 45 doors to job postings and resumes sent that he would provide in other ways. i literally expected that somehow someone would be moved to share with us financially. someone would be moved to give so that we didn't have to go back into debt to make our bills. i would watch for the mailman, wait expectantly for that 'brethren handshake' (yes, our church tradition had a secret way of giving. someone in the church would shake another's hand and there passed folded bills or a check. it was their way of following what they believed to be the biblical way of giving. i have many times been the recipient, and even sometimes the giver of those handshakes), or some ray of light in the dark hole i could see us heading toward.

nothing came. nothing. no jobs, no checks, no handshakes. no light. and i was angry. so very angry at god. i mean spitting, swearing, wailing kind of angry. shake my fist and take my ball and go home kind of angry. and i told god. i told him how i loathed going backward. how we would gladly do any work put in front of us. how we knew his arm had not grown short. how we were living as simply as we could. freezing in 3 layers of clothing and sleeping with mittens on. what more did he want? how do you exercise any generosity, use this gift if you have nothing to give from. people in debt cannot live generously. and i wept. i confessed. i wailed and railed. and i felt like writing about it would betray my husband. like it might wound his already wounded self, so i was silent.

even among friends who called, family members didn't know how angry i was at god. how ashamed i felt for going backwards. it's not the kind of thing you can tell anyone without them feeling like you're asking. i didn't want them to provide out of guilt. i wanted god to step in and prove that living generously works. that planting seeds of a generous lifestyle reaped a life that when lived simply doesn't go backwards.

it was friday that it all crashed in on me. the bills got paid by the credit card. no miraculous interventions happened and i had to facilitate a celebration for my son who turned 8 on saturday. standing in the dollar store with my daughter so we could get buck his birthday presents and buying the 6 things i needed at the grocery store and having the cashier say 'oh, that's a credit card. i have to run the credit card through' like i had either stolen the card or was too inept to do it myself. the look she gave me was like 'charging milk are we?' i felt like trash. both stores reduced me to near puddles. if it hadn't been for pink along with me i think i would have just dropped to the floor in an ocean of keening wails.

liam and i spent some time that evening praying together on our knees at the couch. i begged god to make sense of this. to help us learn what we obviously missed the first time. to speak more clearly this time, more slowly so we could catch it. because obviously being held back in the school of kingdom finances was necessary. i'm not proud of my anger, of the words i said to god, but i do know that he can take it. i do know that my lament was necessary. i would endure this if i could just understand why. make some sense out of what seemed to me to be incredibly senseless.

yesterday before church liam and i were having our coffee. it felt like the cloud had lifted, if not financially, at least emotionally. as we were talking things started to fall into place. lights turned on and i realized that part, if not all of the reason that this was necessary was that if we are truly meant to minister in this part of the country that we need to understand first hand how difficult it is for so many of the families in our community to truly make ends meet. to find hard goods (table and chairs) and hold your head up in places like the grocery store when the world looks down on you. i was given great compassion instantly for those who have far less than i've been complaining about. and with the light came the mission. with the light came the conception of the plan. and making sense of the senseless gave me hope. and hope is all i really wanted in the first place.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

lenten contemplation on jesus

this was a featured video at church this morning - thought you'd enjoy it too.

my blog cloud

get your own cloud here.

ht to the holly

recipe: tea biscuits

pink and i made breakfast this morning together. it's a simple recipe and so yummy! i took some pictures for her because it was the first time she really did most of the work, and i wanted to encourage her pursuits in this area.

it's so much easier than it looks, and you just can't beat the comfort food factor when these come out of the oven.

you look like a pro!

here's the recipe we used:

raisin tea biscuits

pre-heat oven to 450*

2 cups flour (works well with 1 cup whole wheat flour)
4-6 T sugar/splenda (splenda works amazingly well in this recipe - no difference at all - except in your blood sugar!)
1 t. salt
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 c. cold butter (margerine works, but why?)
3/4 c. cold milk
1 c. raisins (i soak them in hot water so they are moist after baking. also works well with craisins or currents.)

mix first five ingredients, cut in butter until it is pea sized.

add milk, stir to combine (don't over mix). dough should be soft.

turn onto lightly floured surface, knead 8-10 times.

roll to 3/4" thickness, cut with biscuit cutter or glass. 2" cutter makes 9 biscuits, 1 1/2" makes 12. recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.

brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar or splenda.

bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes.

enjoy! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 04, 2006 to rival the Gates Foundation in charitable giving |

good news indeed! to rival the Gates Foundation in charitable giving |

land, gold & women

As it has been for centuries, women who are raped in Pakistan are widely considered to have been shamed. Many commit suicide. Most remain silent. Those who do go to the police fear being raped again or even thrown in jail. Recently, however, Pakistani women are fighting back. They are confronting religious conservatives and a series of retrograde laws. They are confronting the police, the army and the Pakistan government. They are confronting an ancient tribal code in which a man is expected to fight to the death for what are considered possessions: "Zameen, Zar, Zen" - Land, gold… and women.
cbc will be airing a documentary on these women Sunday, March 5 at 8 PM ET
Thursday, March 9 at 10 PM ET & 10 PM PT.

CBC News: Correspondent - Land, Gold & Women