Friday, December 31, 2004

what a year!

wow. new year's eve, 2004. what a year! looking back it's been one of the most intense, fruitful, life-changing years of my life. i found parts of myself i never knew about before. some parts needed a lot of work, and others needed a lot of nurture to grow and still do. i will look back on 2004 fondly. strangely enough it was a very virtual year in many ways. much of the people who impacted me i'd never even heard of until i started blogging. wow, sitting here going through the list in my head i realize how long that it truly is. it's shocking.

i was going to begin the listing, but i would hate to leave someone off by accident and hurt them. you know who you are, and if you even think 'i wonder if she means me too?' the answer is YES! if i have ever commented on your blog or we've exchanged emails, you have a part of my heart. that's the kind of person i am. words are one of the most important parts of my world. your words endear you to me, challenge me, encourage me and have made me more like jesus this year. thank you all! happy new year!

looking forward to meeting many more of you in 2005!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

holding our breath

this tsunami/earthquake devastation has touched our family. our little compassion son yeremiah lives in indonesia. his little face looks out at me as i type this. he's 5. we have not heard how he and his family have faired through this horror. i cannot imagine the fear, loss and tragedy his family and country are facing at this time. my imaginings only leave me in tears. the powerlessness of one small family trying to help one small family so very far away seems like a tiny drop in the bucket.

watching pink and buck cope with the news that their little brother far away is facing the horror they see on the tiny bits of news brings them both into a world that i'd much rather protect them from, but know that they will be stronger and larger for it. giving them a global perspective instead of the small sheltered one i'd prefer to protect them with is hard, but i know important. pink wrote out yerimiah's name and placed it in our prayer bowl on the altar when we heard of the devastation. she also wrote out jenifa's name. she is our daughter in kenya who is facing drought and possibly famine.

we are so blessed, so confusingly blessed. why us? why them? it reduces me to a pool of tears. so helpless to help. oh god please move those who can truly make a difference to fund the real help that needs to take place to bring healing and health to those horribly affected places in the world.

preacher blogged bene diction's fear that this kind of tragedy silences us. rayne challenges gwb spend as little as possible on his inauguration (figures are from 30-40 million) and send the rest to the people who really need it. god please make it so. we waste so much, the need is so great. god please move the mighty to give mightily. amen.

UPDATE: rick sent me to the information site. the indonesia projects have not been destroyed, but at least 2 in india have. you can find update information here.

Monday, December 27, 2004

home sick...

we made it home safely last night (this morning) at 1:00 a.m. we decided to travel yesterday instead of today because liam's dad was too stressed with us in the house, and liam's mom was sick with stomach flu (from liam's new little niece we hadn't seen, until of course she came to visit and passed it on to my son and maybe the rest of us...) ugh.

so, we traveled up to ontario to see liam's dad for about 30 minutes, although we stayed in his house the whole time and not even see his mom... and of course to pass disgusting germs around in a multicultural exchange... i'm sure we left some of our bronchitis germs up there in exchange... it's like a viral game of pit. yuck.

anyway, it's so good to be home and hopefully buck can sleep through the night without the trauma he went through today (and thankfully we made it home before the trauma started, although he moaned and cried through most of the trip home...)

needless to say i hope we don't have to do that kind of a trip ever again! a weird holiday to say the least. liam and i were able to connect with his brother and sister and their spouses a bit, so it was good for that.

hope you all had healthy holiday weekends! it's good to be back!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

quick news from the north

safe and sound in ontario. liam's dad isn't doing well, mostly spends time in bed, it's been hard on liam to have travelled so far to see his dad and not have his dad engage. oh well, at least he knows he's made the effort.

boxing day with liam's mom's family tomorrow (i think this is about day 6 of presents for pink and buck!) hope all is well with you, doing great here except we forgot the WHOLE ENTIRE bag of toiletries - nothing, nope, none, zip - not even a hairbrush. that one cost liam a pretty penny... i refuse to see people i haven't seen in four years without a toothbrush or makeup! :)

have a wonderful holiday! miss you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

merry christmas to all!

we head to the great white north today. i've been recoverying from bronchitis in and amongst the christmas preparations. we celebrated our family christmas last night. figured we wouldn't give the border guards the joy of opening all of our presents! :p

hope you all have a wonderful season, merry christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

now that's a church christmas card!

now that's a church christmas card!

ben bell creates the christmas card for his church in london each year. this is his newest for 2004.

the model is a 14 year old girl in his youth group (stuffed with tea towels), he's got other images of 'mary' on his blog. very moving and puts into perspective the innocence of mary and the reality that she truly was so young. after reading claudia's 'incarnation' it seemed such a wonderful image for my morning reflection. beautiful.


my favorite diva

claudia is back in a big way and making me snot all over myself this morning. beautiful, beautiful words. what a gift, what a woman. enjoy!

somehow we become


Saturday, December 18, 2004

top 5 for 2004

corner bob has challenged bloggers to take a look in the rear view mirror and post their top 5 for 2004. i've only been blogging since memorial day, but this hasn't been easy to cull through all of the posts i've done and pick my favorites. a lot of my writing is done in 'shitty first draft' style (ala anne lamott). i just write and post and rarely ever read it again. i use my blog to get the stuff out, not to have well written prose. reading back i would change a lot, but i guess the rawness of what i wrote at the time was important and necessary to get me to this place in time.

so here are my favorites - 5 out of 302 (116,557 words before this post!) hope you enjoy this retro look back into my life this year.

my refrigerator box

we forgot the taste of bread

searching for answers

happy birthday liam

that little red haired girl

playground memories

Thursday, December 16, 2004

one person's trash...

i have been using the past 10 days or so to turn a bit of junk into some $$ for our trip to canada for christmas. one item i had treasured a lot, but i knew that parting with it and simplifying was important. it went for an abismally low amount yesterday, it broke my heart. but the best advice i've ever been given regarding ebay was 'list in faith, reap in faith'. i start those kind of auctions at $.01 with no reserve, it creates a lot of watchers and quite a competition for bids. unfortunately this item just didn't have much of a buzz. someone got my treasure for a paltry sum, hopefully it will make it an even more special item to them, who knows?

i had a couple auctions just close tonight. things i actually picked out of the garbage. honest. one was a vintage box from a mattel ken-type doll - it sold for over $25.00! and a vintage guitar that was in need of some resortation just went for over $100! yippee! it will definately make our trip a bit less tight.

one person's trash is another person's treasure. (or spending money for a trip!)

deep thoughts for christmas

this christmas is looking very different than it has in my past. it's much simpler and by choice free of the crazy making schedules that our christian culture has told us we must embrace to have this holiday. it's really been a joy to have everyone think that i'm as exhausted and busy as they all are, while i sit back and smile in the joy of a clear head and light shoulders. i'm not shirking any responsibilities, honest. i've just chosen a different path this year and I LOVE IT!

i'm also receiving christmas and advent differently this year. honoring the waiting, breathing through the lower emotions and being present with the people in my life even in the midst of their flurry has given me a richness i've so often passed by in search of what i thought this holiday was supposed to look like.

two blog posts i read yesterday have really helped me unlock some wonderful truths and deep thoughts about this season and i thought maybe you'd enjoy them too.

si johnson turns the stable on it's ear in Asymmetry and Bethlehem. my favorite line is:
For you could just be better off looking in the unstable than the stable, the asymmetrical than the symmetrical. Afterall, a god-baby surrounded by a matrix of power in a shed is asymmetrical.
and blue brings me to tears again with A Gift Worthy of the Season. blue's grasp of grace regularly quiets my soul. here's my favorite line from his post:
The Christmas story is not a story about perfection. The angels did not come to the shepherds with a message of "You'd better get this right." No, they said, "Be not afraid..." The Christmas season is not a time to demand that anyone--ourselves included--become Norman Rockwell perfect.
i think those are all words we need to hear this time of year. peace.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

wide open

I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

2 Corinthians 6:11-13


Tuesday, December 14, 2004


this past month has been a new stage in the lives of our family. pink and buck have grown up into wonderful, polite, helpful kids. they are becoming independent and capable and contributing parts to our home life. not that they didn't ever contribute before, i dont' mean that. but they are now contributing without huge amounts of effort from me.

i doubted years ago in the middle of toddlerville that this day would ever come, but it has and i want to note it. hurray! the high maintenance stage has given way to a lovely interaction of family life that i am enjoying fully.

i can't imagine life without them, they bring so much and i am so thankful. we're even having great times of in depth discussion and lots of belly laughs. buck has quite the quick wit and pink's perspective always brings fresh new things to our family.

i know there will be the high maintenance stages coming again, but this season we have entered is truly a blessing and a joy. a big parental sigh.

Monday, December 13, 2004

this beautiful vision

i grew up with dispensational theology that said 'kingdom' language in the bible was totally reserved for the future millenial kingdom. this world here, oh it was just the waiting room for heaven. just get as many people 'saved' as you can, that's the reason you're left here. ugly theology. it makes sane people suicidal and justifies all kinds of wars and cruelty to fellow mankind.

this theology redeems that broken kind of thinking. this tells me there is a purpose here, today, right now. the kingdom is at hand, prepare the way of the lord. i truly think the world would be a much better place if that dispensational theology (ie. left behind crap) was cleaned out of our churches and lives. god has a great purpose in TODAY, you are part of the kingdom. i am part of the kingdom - live like that today!
Anticipating the Vision

The marvelous vision of the peaceable Kingdom, in which all violence has been overcome and all men, women, and children live in loving unity with nature, calls for its realisation in our day-to-day lives. Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises. Every time we forgive our neighbor, every time we make a child smile, every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens, and work for peace and justice among peoples and nations we are making the vision come true.

We must remind one another constantly of the vision. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are. Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision gets us involved.
from henri nouwen.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

sally the ragdoll

some might notice that i've changed my image. i adored that little girl who used to be there, but i just watched 'the nightmare before christmas' yesterday and connected with sally. it's an amazing post-modern parable, i loved it.

sally is a kindred spirit and i loved that she never gave up, kept speaking up and kept going till the end. i loved her heart and determination. sewing herself back up and seeing reality even when others were unable. she's my new icon for a season.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

great advent perspective

Waiting in expectation.

I have listened to this piece by Nouwen on tape several times. There can be no thoughts on Advent and Incarnation without taking into account the need to wait. Nouwen reminds us that waiting breaks through our fears and brings us to a place of hope:
A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her. Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary were very present to the moment. That is why they could hear the angel. They were alert, attentive to the voice that spoke to them and said, “Don’t be afraid. Something is happening to you. Pay attention.”
via karen</a>.

coming to a theatre near you july 2005

july 2005!

charlie and the chocolate factory trailer

translators for the rest of us...

this is hysterical! thanks to maiken for the head's up!

the dialectizer - you can post your blog in a variety of translations - here's my banner translated into the following dialects:

swedish chef:

imergeeng seedooeys. Um gesh dee bork, bork!..

thees is un ununymuoos blug tu fent, groo, chellenge-a myselff und feend my fueece-a. i em a vumun in a mun's choorch und seyeeng sume-a ooff zee theengs i need tu sey mey hefe-a mure-a cunseqooenses thun i vunt tu deel veet reeght noo, su thees is my elterneteefe-a, un unuymuoos blug. yuoo cun cell me-a bubbeee-a.


emergin' sideways...

this is an anonymous blog t'vent, grow, challenge mahse'f an' find mah voice. i is a woomin in a man's church an' sayin' some of th' thin's i need t'say may haf mo'e cornsequenses than i be hankerin' t'deal wif right now, so this hyar is mah alternative, an anoymous blog, acco'din' t' th' code o' th' heells! yo' kin call me bobbie.

elmer fudd:

emewging sideways. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! ..

this is an anonymous bwog to vent, gwow, chawwenge mysewf and find my voice. i am a woman in a man's chuwch and saying some of the things i need to say may have mowe conseqwenses than i want to deaw wif wight now, so this is my awtewnative, an anoymous bwog. you can caww me bobbie.


emehgigg sideways...

dis is an anonymous blog t' bent, uh, grow, uh uh uh uh uh uh, challenge myself 'n find my boice. i am a woman in a man's church 'n sayigg some of the, duh uhh, thiggs i neid to say may habe more consekenses dan i want t' deal wid rite now, uh uh uh uh uh uh, so dis is my altehnatibe, uh uh uh, an anoymous blog. you can call me bobbie.

and my favorite - cockney:

emergin' sideways...

this is an anonymous blog ter vent, right, grow, right, challenge meself and find me voice. i am a lass in a man's church and sayin' some of the bloody buggers i need ter say may 'ave more consequenses than i want ter deal wiv right now, right, so this is me alternative, an anoymous blog. yer can call me bobbie.

funny christmas!

click here.

via fast company.


Maine Coon
You are a Maine Coon! You are larger than life, a
gentle giant. You are independent, but very
affectionate with your friends and family.

What breed of cat are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
thanks mumcat!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

the gift of choice

i received a surprise yesterday. a present. smack dab in the middle of hunting season liam chose to take a day off of work, not to hunt, but to spend it with me. i know to many that won't seem like any great shakes, but to me it was the best present i have ever received.

you see, my love language is time, but my dialect in that language is time freely given, with no strings and not asked for - that's when it's truly special. if i have to ask, or if there is hesitation in the choice, somehow that just negates the eventual choice. yes, i know, it's selfish, to request or require that love be spoken under such stringent requirements, but know it's never demanded, it's rarely even identified.

i receive love in other ways too, but this, this is what touches that part of my soul that hides like that young girl, under the bed crying and so wanting to be reassured. this is the love that was spoken to my soul yesterday. it was so rich, so right, so deep and so needed. i didn't even realize how needed it truly was.

you picked me. just for me. not for what i can do for you, not to win anything or score any points. you picked me. when i realized this we were standing in the hallway. you held me as i wept. it so completely filled that insecure place in my heart that was convinced that no one would ever understand this or choose me. i was heard. i was validated. i was accepted, for everything i am, and nothing i have to be.

it was spiritual. i never really understood how very much god loved me this way too. not for what i can do for him, or make myself into. just for me, in that deep spot of my soul no one ever sees. liam saw that spot and surprised me with the choice of time. without asking, without expecting anything in return. just to be with me.

i just needed to remember this. to mark it down so that when the fears come, as i know they will, i can chase them away with this memory. i am loved. i am chosen. freely given, freely received. thank you liam. i love you too.

sunrise wonder

donate your air miles to our soldiers

willzhead has given a head's up to a great ministry called heromiles. you can use your unclaimed airmiles to help soldiers and loved ones travel. i don't fly/shop enough to have any airmiles but i can help by increasing awareness. donate here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004

trigger happy?

finally having some silent time this past week has allowed my brain to percolate through a lot of different areas, i'm kind of on blog fodder overload and choosing where to start to process any of this online becomes difficult because it's all really linked together (in my brain) but may not make sense when i finally put it on paper, so to speak.

one of the most successful stepping stones i've found in my recovery is identifying my triggers, what is the bell that rings that causes pavolov's dog to salivate?? compulsive behavior is not as unattached (at least originally in my thinking) to surroundings as many may think. i know for myself loneliness and shame are two huge triggers for me and i really have to change loneliness to solitude to keep myself on track.

figuring out my codependency triggers has not been as easy for me. i finally clued into one yesterday. liam is a self-admitted workaholic and one of the less known id's of that addiction is retreat mode. at times the workaholic gets sick of the rat race and withdraws, sometimes to lick wounds, sometimes to punish others, sometimes because of burnout or exhaustion. the push from august to thanksgiving left liam pretty drained, it was intense. i only realized yesterday that he is in 'withdraw' mode. unidentified this causes alarm bells to ring in my codependent state. this time i was able to identify them and talk with liam about it. he agreed that he was in shutdown mode and understanding that helped him through this process too.

it was a missing piece to the puzzle that both of us really needed. so, no, i'm not happy that i get triggered into codependent craziness, but i am happy that we were able to identify it and resist the temptation to do anything other than observe it for what it was, evidence that the crazy pace is draining us dry. december is really a gift in the youth ministry calendar. a couple of banquets and no real duties in the christmas holiday, it's a good slow down time, now we just need to know how to enjoy it!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

seek justice

one of the missing pieces in my recovery from abuse has been seeking justice on behalf of those who cannot find it on their own. international justice mission is one of the foremost ministries doing global work to free the captive, bind up the wounded and seek justice for the downtrodden.

liam and i have donated a small amount monthly and i have committed to pray weekly for the ministry. they have 3,750 prayer partners currently and are seeking to raise that level to 4,000. for me personally being allowed to involve myself in the lives of bonded laborers and young girls finding freedom from sexual abuse has been one of the most empowering aspects of committing to pray.

it is step 12 in it's finest form for me.

if this is something you would be interested in you can sign up for their weekly prayer email here. i also have permission to forward a copy of their prayer email if you'd like to it, just email me and i'll get that off to you. (there is also a canadian branch for my friends up north - just click on this).

Friday, December 03, 2004

permission slip

bobbie (insert real name here ) has my permission to be herself. she doesn't have to play, pretend, create or construct what she thinks she should be or others think she should be anymore. she can make her own choices, declare her own needs and set her own goals. she is a participant in a family and a community, but not responsible for the life or growth of either of them. she is responsible for her own and to be who i created her to be.

signed god.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

your voice matters

Did you know...

* Americans can help stop 2.3 million Africans dying of AIDS each year.

* Americans can help put 104 million children in school around the world.

ONE is a new effort to rally Americans -- ONE by ONE -- to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. The ONE Campaign is engaging Americans everywhere we gather -- in churches and synagogues, on the internet and college campuses, at community meetings and concerts.

ONE will be promoted with the help of a diverse coalition of faith-based and antipoverty groups, celebrity spokespeople as well as corporate partnerships and local ONE Campaign organizers.

Please read on and learn more about the ONE campaign, then sign your name to the petition and add your voice to those calling for an end to global AIDS and poverty.

Your voice DOES make a difference.

sign the petition here.

maybe next year

click on image to enlarge

this is brilliant. i wish i would have had time to prepare our family for it this year. we're too far along to begin it now, but i think this is a concept that needs to catch on.

we're simplifying in our family, this may be drastic with young kids, we've got 12 months to decide as a family for next year, but it seems like a much better idea. it's not anti santa or super spiritual, it's just not buying into the materialism and commercialism that has run rampant in our world.

we've run a simple, credit-free christmas for the past couple of years and that is really a step toward simplifying life. i just know we're still so caught up in the craziness of it and it is stealing the joy. hmmmm... lots to ponder.

click on image to enlarge

the furnace of transformation

oh this is exactly where i am at today:
On The Journey Towards Solitude
written by Sue Mosteller

After his baptism and led by the Spirit, Jesus entered the desert of solitude to hear an invitation to transformation. The devil said, "Do something relevant by changing stones to bread; be spectacular by jumping from the temple before the crowd; and claim all worldly power by worshipping me." Jesus is alone to decide. He knows and we know that it's much more painful to be hungry than to be satisfied, much more 'ordinary' to be hidden than spectacular, and much more incomprehensible to be powerless when power is offered. But he also knows, as do we, that hunger, ordinariness, and hiddenness, ground us in the truth of our lives.

In "The Way of the Heart," Henri Nouwen says that solitude is the furnace of transformation. As the intense heat of the foundry furnace melts, purifies, and transforms hard ores into precious metals, so the furnace of solitude melts deceptions, confronts us with death, and invites our surrender to the presence and love of the One who dwells within and loves us with an everlasting love. This intense human struggle and surrender to our deepest heart and integrity is long and of great proportions -beyond our best abilities.

Let us reflect for a moment quietly on the burning issues of our lives today in the light of our certain death in the near or distant future. And let us connect for a moment to that wonderful and privileged place in each of our hearts where the One Who knows us intimately and with everlasting love speaks. "I love you. Your name is written on the palm of my hand. Do you love me? Act from your unique love and compassion and feed my lambs."
sign up for the daily or weekly reflection here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

confusing grace

liam said something last night at our small group that made me groan inwardly. we were all processing our family thanksgivings and he was talking about having my brother-in-law here, who is quite legalistic and judgemental. quite a reminder of how we used to be. (back in egypt) liam said, 'well i guess grace is about allowing other's to live in their legalism without judging them.'


i want to judge them. i hate the pharisee. i burns me up like nothing else. grace means i have to let the pharisee be a pharisee?? crap. he's right. their path and journey is different from mine. i need to live here in the light and freedom, stand fast in the liberty, and breathe. hopefully that looks attractive enough for them to break free from the slavery they have chosen someday.

father, forgive me for judging them, and all the pharisees in my life so harshly. please allow me to extend grace to them where they are instead of requiring them to be where i am before i will show them the grace that you have shown me. amen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

you are forests!


Where is your dream place?
brought to you by Quizilla

the world is a bit safer today

my hero

steve at ragamuffin rambler highlighted a washington post article on the courage of republican congressman dave hobson to lead the fight to stop new nuclear testing and development as part of an omnibus bill. this is a rare instance where the republican congress has gone against the president, and i would like to honor them for that. you can write congressman hobson here.

you can also write your member of congress here.

people in glass families...

You are Zooey. You are intelligent, determined,
and have a quick sense of humor. You have
compassion for the lost, broken, and forgotten.
Unfortunately, you also judge too quickly and
have a tendency to alienate people. Not that
you care.

Which member of J.D. Salinger's dysfunctional Glass family are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

via steph.

Monday, November 29, 2004

wonder zine!

i just finished jen's and pache's new christmas zine and it is wonderful. i have never had a better preparation for the upcoming season. i've been kind of blah to it this year and their stories, articles and ideas have warmed me up beautifully!

i highly recommend it to all of you!

you can support their great work here.

space invaders

i thought i'd have the house to myself today. i somehow forgot the kids were still off school today. i'm such a bad mommy... i'm feeling horrible this morning, this last week just sucked the life out of me.

my sister and her husband came to stay for the past 4 days and it threw everything off kilter, especially my patience. i have tried and tried to like my new brother-in-law, i really have. by saturday night i was stretched to the edges of civility. i maintained, but barely. i can't imagine how my sister endures. he has a good heart, and isn't a mean person, but he's so thoughtless and at times ignorant and rarely stops talking. it was difficult to want to hear how my sister was doing, but have the air constantly filled with his opinions and words. i think she likes hiding behind him now, i really don't know. she wouldn't open up at all.

i'm just plain wiped out. i was really hoping to have the house all to myself today. i just want to curl up with a good book and not have anyone require anything of me today... pink and buck are such easy kids, i shouldn't begrudge them another day off school, it's just been constant since i returned from seattle. sick kids, company and life in general have flattened out any energy i might have had...

i think maybe i need a nap. maybe it will help with this headache... hope all of you are fairing well today. peace.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

i before e?

i have been taking personality profiles and tests since i began therapy 20 years ago. i've done them all, but recently i have realized that part of my brokenness was being very disillusioned with what it meant to be female and what it meant to own my femininity.

because i had no female role models that i could honor (either there were women held up as the 'model proverbs 31 woman' that i was supposed to emulate and couldn't, or women who were strong, independent types that i was drawn to, but they were targets for my culture's venom as women's lib-ers or too 'unbiblical' to allow myself to really look up to them) i created in my broken psyche what i thought a christian woman was supposed to look like, and i was supposed to emulate, and then went from the extremes of trying/failing/give up/trying/failing/give up... it was a very confusing process.

this is why i can sympathize so closely with my mother even though there was much in our relationship to cause pain and a lot of therapy. she was as confused as i was, and didn't fit into that mold that the church tried to stuff us into for so long either.

so back to the personality profiles... i think i have answered the questions on those tests with that image i thought i was supposed to be, instead of how i really was. i have been very confused deconstructing this image, replacing the lies with the truth and deciding what to keep and what to throw away. so much of this has wound it's way into the very core of my being.

somehow in that constructed image i thought that extrovert meant strong and confident and an introvert was weak and shameful. i decided i was not going to be weak (it's filled with paradox because i was always rebelling against the tight constraints given to me by the church i was raised in) and have constructed myself to be an extrovert. it's like i saw it as a goal, set my mind toward it and forced myself to BE and 'e'. i am only now realizing how damaging that has been to my person, how little value i placed on who i really was, and how much i shamed myself throughout my life for failing to be that constructed image of who i thought i was supposed to be.

i'm finding that i can hardly trust myself to respond to questions on personality tests because i've convinced myself that i am something i'm not, and i've done it for so long, and so well that i have succeeded in desperately confusing myself.

it's only been through reading the blogs of others (especially blair) as she embraces the introvert parts of herself that i have come to realize how damaging this mistaken belief has been to me. i now can see that each time i would push myself to be that extrovert the recovery process that would follow would be so intense. i would shame myself through the time it would take for me to forget how damaging that last episode was, so that i would push myself to do it again (and again, and again).

i'm having a terrible time trying to put these pieces together as there is so much shame i have to pick through to find the pieces of me in the shrapnel. i can hardly find the words as i have had so much 'people time' with company here that i can't think or express what i need to express, but i'm muscling through writing it just to get some of this out of my head and onto paper (er, well screen).

i love solitude. i love deep interactions. i love to be alone with my thoughts. i love to write. i love to dig deep. i love real, intentional relationships with others. i love my home to be my nest, safe and away from those things that drain me.

i hate forced relating. i hate small talk. i hate the church foyer, filled with all of that. i loathe being forced to be sociable and fake. i don't like people in my home who make any of the above happen. and most of all i hate that part of me that shamed who i really am for so long for thinking that anything else had to be true.

i embrace my introvert self. i was made this way. even though i am capable in front of people it doesn't mean i'm an extrovert. this is what i look like. this is who i am. i will not force myself, or allow others to force me into being something i am not. i embrace me. i am an 'i'!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

happy thanksgiving ya'll!

the daily dig resonates so deeply with how i've (and many of you) have been feeling lately.
Life is a Banquet
Dorothy Day

We cannot love God unless we love each other. We know him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet, and life is a banquet too - even with a crust - where there is companionship. We have all known loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes with community. (Dorothy Day: The Long Loneliness)
i pray we all can find the crust of community, true community within our lives during this season. this is something for which i am truly grateful this thanksgiving season. the way our lives have intertwined and our hearts have been seen. i thank god for each of you today.

i am also thankful for the daily dig - want to receive it every day yourself?? here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

what part of thanksgiving dinner are you?

You Are the Stuffing

You're complicated and complex,
yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

thanks mumcat! we're stuffing twins! :)

emerging - visual thesaurus style

stephanie just drew my attention to this.

you can get a few free searches and i, of course, typed in 'emerging'

i wish i could get the graphic to paste here, it's like a chemical structure with branches off in different directions, and circle hubs that place definitions that surround the word.

the adjective definitions given were:
-coming into maturity
-yet to be or coming
-in the process of being born or beginning
-coming into view
-coming into existence

i know most of you think of the emergent church when you hear the word emerging, and maybe that's how i meant it when i titled my blog, but it's become so much more than that for me. it is a metamorphosis of me. i am emerging. i am finding out who i am. i know that may sound self-centered or inward, maybe even immature, but i'm okay with that. i have never truly been a peace with me or even known who i am.

i am learning to own my own name, i haven't gotten there yet, maybe that's one of the reasons anonymous works so well for me? maybe it's about being okay with who i am and learn to stop shaming myself for not being all of the things i've tried so hard to be all my life, never doing any of them well.

i really do feel like i am coming into existence somehow. like i am being born again, in a more complete way. things are being redeemed, realities are being owned. it is painful, but important.

other words that surrounded emerging were:
i like those words.

they are hopeful words.

yahweh by U2 is about being born, redeemed, living in the present, waiting...

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

that song resonates so deeply with where i'm at right now, the cry of his (my) heart put to music. hope, emerging hope.

thankful hearts

my words are scarce today, so i hope these express my heart more fully...
  • Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie)
  • A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. (Cicero)
  • Gratitude is the memory of the heart. (J.B. Massieu)
  • Gratitude takes three forms: A feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return. (Anonymous)
  • Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. (Mark Twain)
  • Nothing is worth more than this day. (Goethe)
happy thanksgiving all!

image via.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

true confessions

i LOVE books. i spend any free money i have on them, surround myself with them and hunt for them in 2nd hand stores and garage sales. i love the way they smell, feel and open my world to everything possible.

i have a horrible habit. i love to start a new book. it's like meeting a new friend. i'm almost (well probably really) compulsive about it. to receive a new book and not open it's lovely well seems almost sacrilegious to me. i love books.

i have updated my sidebar, i hadn't changed it since i first installed it, so it was definitely time. but if i was honest there would be WAY more than 4 books that i am in process with right now. it's a horrible habit. i leave them scattered about my house, guiltily stealing a minute with a couple pages where ever i go. i tuck them into my purse in case there is a moment to spare waiting. i love waiting, it's a guilty pleasure, because i always have a book.

i am horrible at finishing books. it's like saying goodbye to a friend. i plow through fiction, that's never a problem, but non-fiction really feels like a deep conversation with a calibre of people that i rarely have in my life, so i cherish each moment (page) with them.

i guess i shouldn't feel so guilty, i do eventually get around to finishing them, but it can take up to a year because i have so many on the go. but that time spent with my author friends is sacred to me. it fills me up with knowledge, information and encouragement just at the right time i need it. it never fails.

when i pick up a book that i have set aside, or misplaced under a stack of other books and papers, it re-engages me at exactly the right place. i probably wouldn't have been ready for that gem if i had plowed through it non-stop. sometimes it's only a paragraph, but it's exactly the RIGHT paragraph, at exactly the RIGHT time.

so, i confess, i'm a messy reader. i regret the sad parting of a finished book like the wave to a friend i don't know if i'll ever see again. i know i can go back and re-read, but it's just not the same. i love books.

Monday, November 22, 2004

$250 iTunes credit or a free ipod - help please!

all i want for christmas is a free ipod, a free ipod, a free ipod... all i want for christmas is a free ipod... so i can... i'll stop honest.

okay, yes, me begging again... the people who signed up under me for the free ipod thing scrambled on me, so i'm yet again begging.

did you know that if you already have an ipod you can get a $250 iTunes gift certificate?!?!?! you know you want that U2 catalog - it's $149.00 - with the iTunes coupon you could get that and still have $101 to play with for other songs - come on, you know you want it!

here are the 3 steps you need to take to make this work.

1. go to yahoo or hotmail, make up a disposable email address. the gimmick here is that they sell your active email address to other companies (nothing r-rated or anything, so far it's like sprint and car companies, etc. - and it is spam, but who cares, after you're done with your commitment you can let that account just fill to the brim and never check it again, right!?!?!)

2. go free ipod here and sign up using that disposable email address. choose either an ipod of a $250 iTunes credit.

3. sign up for free 2 week blockbuster trial (the least expensive and the give you a free month when you go to cancel) - plus you get to watch dvd's sent to your home which you retun in the mail.

4. post your link on your blog, or email friends to solicit your five people to sign up under you.

i normally would be doing that instead of hassling all of you, but i used my emergingsideways email address and because it's anonymous i can't beg anyone i don't want to know about my blog... argh!

this isn't a scam, it's real, lots of bloggers have shown pictures of their new ipods (or gift certificate for itunes if you'd prefer) on their blogs.

bobbie wants an ipod for christmas! :) PLEASE!!

this is a real product!

truth in advertising!


Sunday, November 21, 2004


wes roberts' word in process is imagination. i have blogged on his other words, revolution and beauty, and each time have spent quite a lot of time contemplating the words. i thought i got hung up on beauty because of self image, but i think all of the words are forcing me to face issues in my life where there lack.

lack of imagination is as difficult for me as lack of beauty. so i have been avoiding writing (and even reading his posts on imagination until today). i long for this word to be associated with me, i want to be a person of great imagination. yet i find it is not necessarily always welcome. verbalizing imaginative solutions means a couple of things... 1. there is a problem, 2. the way it's being done isn't the most imaginative way and 3. the imagineer thinks they know more than those around them.

i remember the first time we met a real live imagineer. his name is c. mcnair wilson. many of you know him. i know he's a good friend of wes and judy's. mcnair is truly the most imaginative person that i know, he drips with it and he doesn't let anyone tell him it's not okay. it's written on the very core of his being, his soul, and just by being around him you can feel the rings around the planets in your brain start spinning in ways you've never dreamed of. mcnair gave liam and i permission to embrace our imaginations. he challenged us and inspired us. i love him for it, and i miss him. i could use a good shot of mcnair right about now.

we brought him into our little burg and found that there were few like us who wanted permission to be imaginative like us. that was okay. we got to spend some real quality time with mcnair, and even took him for a day to the local outdoor flea market looking for items to add to his collection. he purchased himself a trombone.

for liam and i ideas are like kleenex. oh, here's one, oh, don't like that, oh, another one just popped up, try that one, or here's a couple more... we never realized how incredibly threatening that can be for people without vision. (read most senior pastors (sorry) and board members...)

our enthusiasm and passion flow in a way that is like trying to drink from a fire hose sometimes... so most of the time we turn off the faucet. it's easier that way. less messy, and we make far smaller targets this way.

being at the path ignited that place in me that burns with a holy fire (i hope it's holy) to use our imaginations for god. i'm tired of being in 'off mode', trying to hide and not be who i am, and not see liam be who he could be. watching him try to fit into the business mode of doing church, overwhelmed with administrative busy work and reports to write is just stealing all the joy from his soul, and he's gotten so used to it that he doesn't even realize it anymore...

imagine... i can't remember if i told you that part of the path is envisioning yourself 3 years from now and writing the whole day down - morning to bedtime - what does that look like? this was dangerous ground for me to walk on. this meant i really had a life, not that i was a moon orbiting around everyone else's. and i liked it, i liked it a lot. liam did too, but the fear and the tapes in his head play so loud that the holy fire keeps dying out. imagine...

i wrote so much more but somehow it must have been closed down (pink and buck were playing on the computer and i must not have hit 'save draft', so i've lost the whole ending... - well imagine that it was wonderful! i'll try to remember what i wrote and edit it later...

i thought about this a lot this morning and guess that maybe the stuff that i wrote that got deleted was just for me, so maybe i'll keep it that way.

my new retirement/college fund plan

i first saw this about a week ago over at the main point. michael drew attention to it when it was only at $3.50. i had a little giggle and moved on. i just read about it again this morning and it's up over $15,000!

it seems this 10 year grilled cheese sandwich has not molded or turned green and holds the face of the virgin mary. it's also a good luck charm as the owner has won $70,000 in casino gambling winnings. i love that it's resting peacefully on a bed of cotton balls! that just makes me giggle.

so i'm getting me a case of wonder bread, some kraft singles and frying me up a mess of sandwiches, maybe one will look like mount rushmore?

jeep - you made my day and it's only 5:26!

mike over at a jeep in summer has posted the following:

March Will Come

Plan B: Further Thoughts On Faith
by Anne Lamott

List Price:


You Save:
$7.66 (32%)

Availability: This item has not yet been released. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives from

i can't think of anything i'd rather read! woo hoo! i was hoping her next work wasn't going to be fiction, i love her, but her best work (imho) is her everyday struggle and outlook on life.

you can find it on amazon here. (no image or i would have added it in my excitement!)

ps - mike, your comments don't work for me or i would have told you of my joy on your blog, and that there is a protestant monastery in the works - if you go to tallskinnykiwi you will see that andrew and his wife are in the process of locating a site for one in the orkney islands in northern scotland! (was going to leave that comment yesterday!)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

i have a new addiction

Miracle Drug

I want to trip inside your head
Spend the day there...
To hear the things you haven't said
And see what you might see

I want to hear you when you call
Do you feel anything at all?
I want to see your thoughts take shape
And walk right out

Freedom has a scent
Like the top of a new born baby's head

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile
I've had enough I'm not giving up
On a miracle drug

Of science and the human heart
There is no limit
There is no failure here sweetheart
Just when you quit...

I am you and you are mine
Love makes nonsense of space
And time...will disappear
Love and logic keep us clear
Reason is on our side, love...

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile
I've had enough of romantic love
I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up
For a miracle, a miracle drug, a miracle drug

God I need your help tonight

Beneath the noise
Below the din
I hear a voice
It's whispering
In science and in medicine
"I was a stranger
You took me in"

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile
I've had enough of romantic love
I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up
For a miracle, miracle drug

Miracle, miracle drug

all i need to know about church i learned on a greyhound bus

church - get this, please!!

"Teamwork, a common mission, a flexible leader who's willing to listen, a sense of humor... all from a Greyhound lost in Queens. Yet it's remarkable how many business (church) environments are lacking these simple (organic) elements."

cnn's not taking itself so seriously

these new ad campaigns are very funny. especially the anderson cooper out-takes. he was the mayor of munchkinland!

via fast company

the things that will destroy us

i just wanted to remember this quote.

"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice."


found here.

Friday, November 19, 2004

images from the path

i have finally gotten my pictures from vancouver so i thought i'd share them with you all. just looking at them again brings back so many wonderful memories. i miss you all!

the GREAT room at linwood house

gwen mc vicker (needs to blog) & lisa - get yer goat

stephanie - just etchings & idelette -

anj - living at both ends

neritia - coming down the mountain

deb abiding and lynne (mike todd is her brother - waving or drowning)

lisa - get yer goat

back to basics

i just can't seem to get back in the swing of things. travelling always does that to me, and i guess mix that with having a sick kid for a week and i'm pretty off my stride.

this morning i journalled instead of blogged. i started toward the computer and thought 'no, change something, what you've been doing isn't working for you'. so i grabbed a pen, a lit a candle and sat and journalled. then i sat in distracted silence for longer than i thought i could manage and hoped it would ready me to face the day.

i went to our book study this morning as was pleasantly suprised as our discussion turned to living in the broken-ness. i usually feel like the 'odd man out' there, but today i think there were a couple kindred spirits in the room, and even some 'ah-ha' experiences taking place. i'm a little jaded to be too hopeful, but there is a spark there that i pray will blow into a full fledged campfire of community.

i realize i have lost a lot since this summer, most of it has slid away slowly, so slowly that i haven't noticed. serenity, disciplines and areas of focus that served me better than what i've been doing lately. i realize that the recovery program at our church is bringing me little support or recovery. it's sad, but i've come to realize that it's too much like a bible study instead of a support group. platitudes and homilies aren't enough for me to maintain the level of growth i'm desiring.

i know that i must have a difficult, diplomatic conversation with 'the powers that be' and i am even more jaded to think that there will be any benefit to this other than me no longer having to participate. the last conversation where i attempted to explain how i felt and my desires to participate left me feeling very patronized, as she informed me, with saccarine sweetness where the power lay. i got the message and tried to play along, and have for the past 18 months. i no longer have the heart for it, i really don't. i will give it one more week and if after thanksgiving i feel it is still not giving more than it's taking i will withdraw with another conversation. accepting the things i cannot change...

this is also with the knowledge that i will be moving on to other, truer things, not running away like i have in my past. this is an important part of my growth, learning how to close things down, finish things and leave in a healthy way. walking toward, not running from.

i also know that my eating has become messy. i haven't broken my abstinence, but i have gotten lazy, and the scale is creeping upward. i had a magical plateau for the summer that i was able to maintain and be sloppy with my food. i can't do that now. i've got to make some progress in this area or i will lose (gain) all the footings i have gained (lost) so far.

god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can and the wisdom to know the difference. living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace, taking as jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as i would have it. trusting that you will make all things right, if i surrender to your will, so that i may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you forever in the next. amen.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

how do they do it?

okay all ya'll home school moms - i have SO much more respect for you since trying to keep pink updated on all of her missed school work. she's on an antibiotic and hopefully it will clear up her sinus infection SOON...

i always did have a healthy load of respect for anyone who would choose not to send their children away on the bus every day and keep them home instead, but the level of frustration i felt today as pink struggled with breaking the numerical code on this silly homework assignment matched waiting in the express line at the grocery store behind 4 people with overflowing carts.

breathe... i wanted to tear up the paper, say 'this is so stupid, don't bother, you're not learning anything here anyway except how to frustrate yourself and your mother...' how do you all not do the work for the? or just give them the answers?? you must have the patience of job, i can't stand it.

poor kid. i took a breathing break and came back and said 'this isn't about you pink, this is about me, i'm sorry, my frustration is about things other than you or your ability to accomplish this homework assignment.' aaargh! she's going to school tomorrow whether or not she's feeling better! i just can't do it anymore! please god keep my son healthy and strong, i really need a break!

lost lives here

christy at dry bones dance is peeling back the flannel graph on some great parables today.

best line: And only the greatly privileged have the luxury of thinking lost lives somewhere else.

go and enjoy here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


"this is the job, these are the decisions, when to push them, when to back them, worrying about your children is sanity and being that sane can drive you nuts."
jars of clay on the soundtrack, adult child of an alcoholic, real father, great director, oooh i can't wait!

watch preview here.

coming to theatres near you december 17th!

ask for what you need

one of the reoccuring phrases that resounded in my ears during the path was 'ask for what you need'. how novel. i come by 'sideways' naturally. it's in my dna. i was raised in an environment of independence and rarely did i hear anyone 'ask for what they need', and so i likewise find this very difficult.

it's definately a two step process, 1. what the heck do i need?? this is usually the thing that trips me up as i move through my day never really acknowledging that fact or admiting i have any needs at all.

2. trusting someone else enough to verbalize the vulnerability that i actually do have a need and requesting that they help me (gasp) to fill or meet that need.

this is foreign to me, so very foreign.

i loved it when my children were finally able to do this, verbalize a need. i sweated with frustration at times when all they could do is look at me with teary eyes and cries. my heart thought 'tell me what you need!'. i wonder if god feels that way with me sometimes... seeing tears in my eyes as i can't even put into words my deepest wants, desires, dreams and needs. ask for what you need.

i know there is a huge spiritual principle at play here too. giving voice to our needs is crucial to their being met. i believe this is one of the reasons prayer is so important - to build community. if i have no verbalized needs i have no community. you have not because you ask not.

jesus constantly forced people to verbalize what they wanted from him. he was never 'magical', never met needs without being asked. i so want to be the kind of woman who can deeply identify my needs and trust both god and my community to meet them. right now i have difficulty even requesting a babysitter, who i'd pay to come and care for my children. it seems indulgent, like i'm opening myself up to judgement somehow. so i isolate and protect, fear and critique, oh and don't forget complain, because i have all of these unmet needs for community that i resent others (my church) for not fulfilling... crap.

poor liam is the only person (and maybe my kids in a small dose) that i trust enough to really verbalize my needs to. because he's such a 'fixer' he ends up feeling the overwhelming responsiblity of meeting those (all those) needs himself. we're working on this. i know that this is not what god intends.

oh father, i ask for the ability today to identify my needs specifically, to verbalize them and to trust, both you and others enough to verbalize them. i am afraid, i have a need for courage, please give me courage to enter into face to face community today. amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

take action - close the school of americas!

The U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers located at Fort Benning, Georgia. SOA graduates have been responsible for some of the worst human rights atrocities in Latin American history, including:

* Two of the three officers responsible for the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980
* Three of the five officers responsible for the rape and murder of four U.S. churchwomen in 1980
* 19 of 26 responsible for the massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter in 1989
* The man convicted in Guatemalan courts for the assassination of Guatemalan Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi in 1998
* The man arrested for the murder of Colombian Bishop Isaias Duarte in 2002

Originally set up as a counterinsurgency training school in 1946, the SOA has claimed numerous reforms in the way it selects and trains its students over the years, culminating in its name change to the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" (WHISC) in 2001. Each of these changes came only because of grassroots and congressional activism, but none has permanently closed the school or allowed for a full accounting of its tragic legacy. The school continues to train soldiers from countries with the worst human rights records in the region.

There are three ways to take action today to close the School of the Americas:

1. Arrange to travel to Fort Benning, Georgia, this coming weekend for the annual vigil to close the SOA. Join Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Sr. Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame, Bishop Gabino Zavala, and thousands more people of conscience to stand in solidarity with those affected by the atrocities committed by SOA graduates. This annual vigil serves as a powerful reminder of the work that can be accomplished by those who care enough to take a stand and take action. Go to for travel details, and if you can't attend yourself, consider giving financial help to a local college or church group making the trip.

2. Begin planning to take part in the SOA Lobby Days, February 21-22, as faith-based activists from around the country make a personal appeal to congressional representatives to close the school.

3. A bill sits in Congress that would close, investigate, and prevent another cosmetic remake of the SOA. Please contact your congressperson today and urge them to co-sponsor HR 1258.

Click here to send a letter.

via sojo

two roads diverged...

will at willzhead has blogged about the southern baptist and lifeway boycott of leonard sweet's new book out of the question, into the mystery and his server was down, so i couldn't post my comment there, so i decided to blog on it too.

it stuns me to think that there are 'christian book stores' who are making these kind of business decisions. it shows how limited their scope truly is. to be cutting your market in 1/2 by determining which books can and cannot purchased in these times of amazon and wal-mart is absolutely stunning to me. spookyrach over at skewed view has a hysterical story to tell of her last visit to the jesus five and dime.

personally i welcome their boycott - it does wonders for disney's business - maybe it will do the same for sweet's book sales. i know i would have bought it 2nd hand originally, but i'll be purchasing it new, and pushing it up on my reading list because of this.

'build the walls higher' only works for so long - soon that kind of mindset will have very little power over controlling the belief systems of those in the pews, and they are terrified, downright terrified.

i have felt for over a year now that there is a big divide coming. i am not a prophet, but i can feel it in my bones. there will be a time soon where the powers that be in the evangelical church 'reclassifies' itself as 'for' or 'against'. the black and white, easy answers crowd who like everything in a neat little box, and the rest of us.

i see this especially happening in youth ministry. the josh mcdowells of the world cannot tolerate questions. the 'bible answer man' types will bunker down and drawn their lines. i think it's only a matter of time before another restructuring happens. loss of power and control will force their hands.

and i don't think it's going to be pretty, in fact i think it's going to get really ugly. i can see the discomfort in our sr. pastor's eyes when my husband speaks of rob bell or a generous orthodoxy. they are the gatekeepers, and it will be an easy call in their eyes to determine which side of the line is truth and which side is error.

the beauty of the internet is that it wrests this power from their hands. those in the pews, if curious, now have acess to the kingdom in ways that truly never happened before. that 'us' vs. 'them' or the 'we're the only ones with the truth' mentality is shown for what it is to those truly seeking truth. just a fearful grasp for power and control.

i pray i'm wrong, but i fear i'm not. liam and i have had this discussion many times, it is the soul of who we are. introducing the next generation to a life-giving truth that has wings instead of a dead lifeless one in a box. i wrote on this for youthworker journal last summer. questions truly are important, they were important to jesus. he's not afraid of our questions, he welcomes them, living in the questions is the point. having all the answers isn't faith at all.

hallucinations and lack of sleep

well, pink has been sick these past few days with a fever and every time i get ready to take her to the doctor she perks right up and it looks like the worst is over. well, this morning i awoke to her tearing things off her wall because they looked like people coming to take her away. poor wee thing.

there were also spiders. that was always my hallucination as a kid. spiders on the ceiling. today i guess we need to get to the doctor.

so, 4:00 wake up and another day 'at home' with this kiddo. i informed her yesterday that sick at home on a school day didn't look like sick at home on the weekend - no tv and a lot of time in her room. she complied, but was disappointed. it's so hard to balance. i think we'll do a lot of reading today to pass the time.

is it horrible for me to have really wanted her to be healthy and back to school?? especially for her, but also for me... i really wanted today to just have some silence and solitude. to contemplate the workings of this past month or more... oh well, it's not to be today i guess.

just in case

hey, it seems like a couple of my people have 'flaked' on the free ipod thing, i only need a couple more and all you have to do is sign up an email (make one up on hotmail for free - they will send you emails, not spam yet, i'm sure it will get to that point, but these seem to be from reasonable businesses) and get blockbuster dvd's for 2 weeks and talk 5 more people into doing the same (what a pyramid scheme!!!! bhwaaaaaaaaa) and you get a free ipod. it's real. adam cleaveland at pomomusings got his (well, he didn't get it because it came to his parents and they shipped it to him and it got lost in the mail... so he is grieving his lack of ipodness still).

anyway - if you want one of your own please click here.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

the goal is soul

great ny times article on u2 here.

thanks to peregrinatio for the head's up!

the hand of a mother

the first exercise we did on 'the path' was to stand in a circle, close our eyes and move about the room. i thought to myself 'yuck, i hate these kind of games, this is why i work with youth, so i can make other people play them, not me...'

during the discomfort of our temporary blindness and sharing a room with other strangers also feeling so uncomfortable we were told to extend our right hand and clasp the hand of another. we then spent time 'getting to know that other hand'.

it's a strange experience to say the least. it felt like 5 minutes, but was probably less, but in that time of exploration i realized that the hand i was holding felt so similar to my mother's hand. it became very comforting, almost 'otherworldly' somehow.

we were then instructed to say 'goodbye' to that hand. i raised it to my lips and softly kissed the back of it. i know it was strange, but i truly felt as if i was holding the hand of my mother (who died almost 17 years ago). we then were to mingle about again, and then had to refind our partner's hand. i knew that hand, i knew i would have no problem finding that hand again. other hands would grasp mine and i shook them off because i knew they were not 'mine'.

once we refound our 'hand' we were then able to open our eyes to reveal who the owner was. mine was a woman named constance, she was kind, quiet and i looked forward to getting to know her more.

meal times at linwood house took place in the dining room and the parlor. two tables were always set with lovely china awaiting our glorious meals (prepared lovingly by stephanie). dining in the parlor was always a spiritual experience for me. i posted while there about 'thin spaces' - that parlor was the place i was referring to.

sitting at that table with 8 women who barely knew each other we began to tell our stories. i don't know how it came to be, but we found that most of us had either struggled with infertility, adoption, birth or other deep issues that surrounded motherhood. it was then that connie spoke of her infertility. i don't know why, but the spirit told me i needed to share with her that she had the hand of a mother.

after the meal i spoke with connie and told her of the experience i had during our hand holding exercise. it was a sacred moment and one i will treasure forever.

at the end of the path we were to choose partners to take us from the retreat into the working out of our visions. both connie and i did not want to be selfish in our choosing, but i knew that i truly wanted her 'motherly' influence in my life, i needed that, it would redeem a place within my soul that felt great loss. she is a woman of creative force and beauty, a deep well, and i long to get to know her more deeply as time passes.

you can too, she has begun a blog and you can find her here.

band aid II

i was a very different person 20 years ago for band aid I, judgemental and self-righteous, not touched by the hunger, loss and pain in this world. today that there must be a II breaks my heart.

on november 29th - feed the world, support band aid II

what's wrong with gossip?

There is no law but love. Love is joy in others. Therefore it should be out of the question to speak about another person in a spirit of irritation or vexation. There must never be talk, either in open remarks or by insinuation, against anyone, or against their individual characteristics—and under no circumstances behind their back. Gossiping in one’s family is no exception. Direct address is the brotherly or sisterly service we owe anyone whose weaknesses cause a negative reaction in us. An open word spoken directly to another person deepens friendship and will not be resented.

Eberhard Arnold
wow, is it any wonder why our churches are so screwed up. we don't practice this. i don't practice this. i want to, but who has the time? i don't mean that as a cop-out, but the list of 'irritation or vexation' is pretty long (especially today) - i can see this really happening in communal living (which is looking really attractive right now), but in our suburban culture i could never see this kind of thing happening. what a challenge though.

i'd like to try. it would take me a month just to clear up the gunk from the yesterdays so that i could start fresh, what a concept... what a challenge...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

femme fatal (not fatale)

this past year a lot of my emerging surrounds who i am as a woman. most of you know i come from a heritage where being a woman in the church really meant we were second class citizens in the kingdom of god, bearing the curse of eve in silence.

last week was very helpful for me in many ways, but one of the most important was reclaiming a bit of what it means to be a woman in the kingdom of god. i have no role models for this, i'm really flying by the seat of my pants here. my giftings look so little like the women who are allowed to serve publically that i really have very few role models or a place to fix my sites on to set my course.

one of the greatest ah-ha moments that happened last week was that i have modeled myself and the use of my gifts after men because there are so few women role models that are similar to my personality and passions. setting my course to track after a male role model has brought me a lot of disaster. i am not a man. when i try to use my gifts and model the masculine (because i know no other way) i am floundering and off-key, i am also not well received and people can sense my ackwardness and discomfort so much so that it becomes their own.

i don't know if this is making any sense, but what i know is that in order to use my gifts and passions in the kingdom i must find a way to do so as a woman, not as a woman trying to be a male version of a woman. this has nothing to do with sexuality, it has to do with owning my soul. i just truly don't know what it looks like to do that. i so long to minister from my soul, instead of trying to create what i think it's supposed to look like and making everyone, especially myself very uncomfortable.

the only place where i have had any success is in the classroom. i have had many positive role models in this area - i know what it means to be myself infront of a classroom, i am at home there. i just don't have a clue what it looks like to be 'me' in any other situation in the kingdom, yet.

i am surrounded by women who either are totally comfortable in their frilly, tablecloth, hospitality or fake it really well. i just know i've tried, and i suck at it. i really do. but i can't seem to figure out how to walk away from that stereotype and be myself. heck, i don't even know what 'myself' really looks like.

i feel like a version of me. i never realized this before last week. i never really knew how totally dissatisfied i am with the 'status quo' here. i have attempted for four years to find my niche at our church. the need is great, everyone is SO busy, overworked and in need of help, but every time i volunteer i am shrugged off or patronized, smiled at and not called. okay, i've got the hint. i get it. there isn't any place for me here, i'm okay with that, but i can't really believe that is true.

as far as my church is concerned i'm not 'fit' to lead a table discussion group at the women's bible study. i'm not trying to brag, but i really know my bible. i would have no problem leading the study, i can understand not being asked to do that, it's quite a status left to the sr. pastor's wife and her friends, but not even a small group, it just stuns me.

i went through the 301 class and my interview last january and was told 'well, it will probably be november before we have anything for you'... well, it's november and here i sit. it's not like i'm looking to do up front power things either. i was volunteering for administrative things, for which i have tons of work experience, and still i am overlooked. it's such a weird place to be, my husband is on staff, but they have no need of me. i help with his ministry, but will not sacrifice my children for theirs, so maybe that's what it's about, i really don't know.

i just know it feels really good to be getting this 'out'. it's been making me a bit nuts. i lived with it before, but now that i've experienced real community and been with other women who truly accepted me for who i am (granted it was only 5 days, but i don't think it was artificial in any way) and i saw/felt what it was like to be a part of something bigger than myself - and it felt good, really good.

i started to verbalize some of this with liam and he's not receiving it well. he thinks he needs to fix it, or that i'm becoming dissatisfied and therefore it means i think it's time to 'move on' or oh heck, i really don't know what he's thinking, other than it makes him really uncomfortable.

and maybe i do think it's time to move on. i have no heart for the seeker sensitive church any longer, that i am sure of. people matter more to me than programs now. i'm tired of being so busy with nothing that i don't even know my neighbors.

i know that this means i need to divest myself of churchy junk and invest myself here in my community, i'm just not sure where to start.

being female in my church growing up meant no one got to serve, i think it's almost worse here, only the pre-approved women, who are very similar and like-minded get the stamp of approval. it's like a popularity club and i didn't make the cut. i tried to re-make myself into their image and i just ended up hating me as much as i disliked them. i know there's got to be a solution. i know god has protected me from ministering in an unsafe environment, but it still is so frustrating and discouraging to be sifted and found wanting.

i could even handle that if they verbalized why. if they took the time to mentor me, or give me small tasks where i would be allowed to prove myself.

i guess i am ready to move on. to find a place better suited to both of us. i know that will freak my family out. i don't mean tomorrow, but i do know i need some hope, something to look forward to. i am normally a really content person. i just know that i tasted something sweet and i know there is more of it 'out there' - i just don't like the thought of not having it again.

thanks for listening to me whine. i feel a lot better putting this out there. this would be a lot easier if i had a career that met this need, there isn't. i've never wanted anything other than to fulfill the call god has on my life. i'm figuring out what that is and what it looks like, but not how or where to use it yet. i know that will come, i just wish it was sooner rather than later.