Monday, January 31, 2005

better definitions

okay, some good comments on the definition of 'woman' have gotten me thinking. and tina asks:
Doesn't seem wrong to me. I must confess, I'm surprised by the definitions. Where is nurturuing and compassionate? Where is creativity and genious?

What would your definition be?

good question tina. how would i define it? what do i want the definition to look like? how can i own my female-ness in a way that isn't defined by my role or my sexuality? this may be normal for other woman, it's not for me. it's a real struggle, so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

here's what we've got so far:

stephanie said - 'I like the comments that encourage us to define who we are. For me it isn't "I am woman hear me roar" but rather I am woman let me dance, let me love, let my soul be filled with passion and as I dance through today may the tenderness and power of who I am cause others to ask themselves "who am I" and begin their own dance."

anj said - 'Is that wrong? Ummm...sounds pretty right on to me. How do you want to be defined? I'm thinking of this for me too - how do I want to be defined? I love being a woman - I want my defination to express that delight.'

connie said - 'Here's my contribution to the definition for woman:
-generative female human
-one who carries life, whether in a womb or in her heart
-grace bearer to the wounded - nurse
-nurturer, peacemaker, arbitrator'

WOW said - 'Maybe I breathe my own air a little too much (as Headless would say) because - the people I hang with, the circles I'm in - don't reflect that at all.
Women, for the most part, (with the exception of the opinion of a few idiots) are highly respected (often more than men) wonderful amazing children of God just like everyone else and just like the whole wide world.'

deb said - 'define me by who I am, not what I do or the preconceived, limiting terms that have defined women for many years.'

rebecca said - 'I too am tired of being defined by having kids'

rob added - 'You're a child of God. Beyond that, I suspect our definitions are arbitrary and not based in anything He cares about!'

Sunday, January 30, 2005

jonny baker's idiot guide to starting your own blog

you know you want to, here's a great talk through the process:


Saturday, January 29, 2005


words are important to me, they are my friends. one of the things on my wish list is the visual thesaurus - it's a beautiful way to bring a word to life. version 3 just came out and i was trying it out. i always try to think of testing a word that will give me a graphic understanding, an image of where that word lies in the web of our language. i've of course done 'emerging' and 'sideways'. today, i tried 'woman' and was sickened by it's results.

is it any wonder we have difficulty finding and owning ourselves with definitions like this?

-an adult female person (as opposed to a man)
-a person who belongs to the sex that can have babies
-woman as a class
-a human female who does housework
-a female who plays a significant role (wife or mistress or girlfriend) in the life of a particular man

i want new definitions. i want to be defined apart from the work i do, the children i have born and the role i play in the life of a man. is that wrong?

Friday, January 28, 2005

like breathing in and breathing out

i LOVE paradox and i'm coming to believe it's where much truth is found and that GOD loves paradox - what a sense of humor THEY have!!

i've been (slowly at first) voraciously reading through 'a hidden wholeness' - parker palmer's new book (i got an advance reader's copy off ebay) and YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT!!

here's a taste that made me gasp out loud this morning:
In a circle of trust, we practice the paradox of "being alone together," of being present to one another as a "community of solitudes." Those phrases sound like contradictions because we think of solitude and community as either-or. But solitude and community, rightly understood, go together as both-and. To understand true self - which knows who we are in our inwardness and whose we are in the larger world - we need both the interior intimacy that comes with solitude and the otherness that comes with community.

When we split solitude and community into an either-or and act as if we can get along with only one or the other, we put ourselves in spiritual peril. The theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer warned us about this risk in his classic Life Together. "Let [the person] who cannot be alone beware of community. Let [the person] who is not in community beware of being alone."

Bonhoeffer's warning is based on two simple truths. We have much to learn from within, but it is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of the inner life. We have much to learn from others, but it is easy to get lost in the confusion of the crowd. So we need solitude and community simultaneously: what we learn in one mode can check and balance what we learn in the other. Together, they make us whole, like breathing in and breathing out.

But exactly how solitude and community go together turns out to be trickier than breathing. When we say we are in solitude, we often bring other people with us: think of how often our "solitude" is interrupted by an interior conversation with someone who is not there! When we say we are in community, we often lose track of true self: think of how easily we can forget who we are when we get entangled in group dynamics.

If we are to hold solitude and community together as a true paradox, we need to deepen our understanding of both poles. Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; it means never living apart from one's self. It is not about the absence of other people - it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others. Community does not necessary mean living face-to-face with others; rather, it means never losing the awareness that we are connected to each other. It is not about the presence of other people - it is about being fully open to the reality of relationship, whether or not we are alone.
see, told you it was wonderful!!

bundle up, it's cold out there!

looking out at the bright sunshine coming in my window this morning i am thankful, but also waiting in anticipation for the blooms of spring. i don't 'do' winter well. i want to tuck in, tune out and stay in my jammies until the thaw.

parker palmer introduced the thought to me of using the seasons as a metaphor for life. he writes (Let Your Life Speak, pg. 102 & 103) this about winter:
"If you live here (Wisconsin) long, you learn that a daily walk into the winter world will fortify the spirit by taking you boldy to the very heart of the season you fear.

Our inward winters take many forms - failure, betrayal, depression, death. But every one of them, in my experience, yields to the same advice: "The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out in them." Until we enter boldly into the fears we most want to avoid, those fears will dominate our lives. But when we walk directly into them - protected from frostbite by the warm garb of friendship or inner discipline or spiritual guidance - we can learn what they have to teach us. Then we discover once again that the cycle of the seasons is trustworthy and life-giving, even in the most dismaying season of all."
i know that my desire to tuck in speaks directly to the fears i am trying to avoid today. learning 'to get out in them' is something i'm trying to do. to bundle up with warm friends, inner discipline and spiritual guidance so i am better able to weather the storms of my life that blow around me.

thank you for the warmth i find here, it's giving me courage to weather the storm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

pray for jake please!

adam at pomomusings has asked us to pray for his friend jake who has just been diagnosed with aml. he's 21. you can read more about him here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

this time last year...

cheryl at octillo's desert asked me this question in response to my TGIF post last friday.

Hi Bobbie,
I haven't been reading your blog all that long so i was wondering what brought about the change from where you were a year ago? A particular event or a more gradual journey? I appreciate your blog.
first of all thank you cheryl, both for the kind words and the question - i LOVE questions! they take me in directions i haven't thought about. i'll do my best to answer it for you here.

this time last year i was voraciously reading this new medium called 'blogs' and my world busted wide open. i found a community of like-minded, challenging, intelligent, honest people who were saying the things i had been thinking and inkling about for years. it's difficult for me to explain, but it was like another dimension was added to my life. like things that were unseen somehow were now seen. i was no longer alone.

each area of my life that i was struggling with, self image, recovery, sexual abuse, addiction, church life, theology and being a woman were being written about on someone else's blog - i was hooked. i grew up thinking that very few of those things would resonate with anyone else, and it is a lonely, silent place to be. although i didn't know those bloggers personally i knew their hearts, and many of them were so much like mine.

i envied their candor, their courage and their medium. i thought that there would be no possible way i could have a voice like their's. it was okay though, at least i wasn't alone any more - it was like breathing clean air for the first time in my life, and really being able to get it all the way into your lungs - big, filling inhales and exhales. it brought much life to my aching soul.

commenting on other's blogs brought about email dialogs and eventually friendships, some stronger than i've ever had. deeper somehow because all of the pretense that comes with physical presence was taken away. it was through these friendships that i was encouraged to blog myself. because of my issues and my husband's employment at a church i had no intention of being dooced (fired for blogging), so i played with the idea of blogging anonymously. i wasn't trying to hide from blogdom, i was just trying to remain google free.

in memorial day weekend 2004 i began blogging. i can't remember what it was like 'before' - it seems like i've done this forever. it's been a wonderful tool, and outlet, it's given me a voice that i've longed for my whole life.

i had been growing and expanding and coming into myself for the past 8 years, but this somehow accelerated it. it pushed it forward somehow and tied much of the loose ends together for me. verbalizing my story allowed it to resonate with others in a way that was/is so validating and redemptive to me. it made the junk of my life useful. it wasn't wasted anymore. it didn't just happen to make my life harder - now it could be used for good somehow.

and the friendships, oh the friendships - they have strengthened and grown, and they challenge me, and speak truth into my life and inspire me and spank me when i need it - oh i LOVE these friendships. people from all over the world that i would have never known. i've even had some opportunities to put faces and hugs to these friendships (and look so forward to more of that this year) - and that has only strengthened and grown my love for each of them.

blogging has made me somehow accepted in a way i have always longed for. i know it probably sounds really insecure, but it meets a great need deep within me that i had only inklings of this time last year.

i know that when you asked that question you weren't asking specifically about blogging, but it's been a humongous part of how i've gotten to where i am today.

another piece of that puzzle has been what i think has gone on with me physically and mentally. i was unable to identify it's effects before the nurse called to tell me of my low thyroid, but i did know that i am much more easily overwhelmed and confused than i had been before my kids were born. it's been a subtle, slow digression that was hardly noticeable until something like this test result popped up and i began to look in retrospect at the time since my kids were born to realize how much has really changed.

i have (undiagnosed) dyscalculia and that mixed with the effect of having unbalanced hormones from my thyroid not functioning properly has forced me to slow WAY down, be much more organized and intentional and say NO to far more than i normally would have. it also forced me to own and accept my introverted nature (instead of the false extrovert that i assumed i needed to be) and spend quiet, still times with god instead of busily trying to prove my worth to him and earn his love.

all of these things have brought me a much simpler, grace-full life than i would have ever imagined possible. it has been a process. learning to be present, learning to accept and love myself for who i am and learning to feel, own and express my emotions and past have all been threads that have woven their way into this tapestry that is my life. oh what a journey! what a ride it's been. the good, the bad and the ugly, all of it is redeemable in the kingdom. i don't know what god has in store for tomorrow, but for today, today it is good. very good.

Monday, January 24, 2005

i hate school delays...

when did this happen? when did they institute school delays? back in the cold winters of wisconsin we never had school delays - sissies! and if they're going to have them, why can't they decide the night before so we could at least sleep in?? momma's crabby this morning. wants some peace and quiet... one more hour until the bus comes... breathe.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Community - Round 2!

Community, a Quality of the Heart

The word community has many connotations, some positive, some negative. Community can make us think of a safe togetherness, shared meals, common goals, and joyful celebrations. It also can call forth images of sectarian exclusivity, in-group language, self-satisfied isolation, and romantic naivete. However, community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own (see Philippians 2:4). The question, therefore, is not "How can we make community?" but "How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?"

Henri Nouwen

Saturday, January 22, 2005

where have all the pillars gone??

Community Supported by Solitude

Solitude greeting solitude, that's what community is all about. Community is not the place where we are no longer alone but the place where we respect, protect, and reverently greet one another's aloneness. When we allow our aloneness to lead us into solitude, our solitude will enable us to rejoice in the solitude of others. Our solitude roots us in our own hearts. Instead of making us yearn for company that will offer us immediate satisfaction, solitude makes us claim our center and empowers us to call others to claim theirs. Our various solitudes are like strong, straight pillars that hold up the roof of our communal house. Thus, solitude always strengthens community.

Henri Nouwen

Friday, January 21, 2005


whew, this week has been a whirlwind. it started last weekend as we had a spiritual retreat planned for the youth at the church. we set up the auditorium with 12 stations where they could do everything from listening prayer to make prayer beads to give themselves henna tattoos with christian symbols. we also set up the prayer path labyrinth for them to experience.

we kept it up until today so my small group of women could attend instead of our normal study today. only 5 showed up and that kind of made me sad, but those who did really appreciated it, and i got to go through today myself. i needed that time of reflection after such a crazy week.

i've done this labyrinth about 8 times now and each time is different. there is one station where you stand in front of a full length mirror - looking at myself today i realized how far i've come. i remember the first time i ever did this years ago at the nywc in cincinatti that i couldn't even look at myself. today i was able to see myself for who i was. i truly haven't changed that much 'outside' but inside i am new, restored, and much more gentle to myself. i actually looked deep into my eyes and smiled. that could have never happened years ago.

afterward i was able to read the journal that we leave at the end of the path so people can write their feelings or thoughts on the process. it became somehow a thank you card to liam and i for taking the time to invest and expose our youth to this type of spiritual experience. i wept as i read of the depth of emotion and experience and god speaking into their lives. it made everything worth it, every little bit.

looking back i realize how much this would have meant in my own life if i had been 13 and exposed to this kind of christian experience - meeting god without someone telling me how to do it or what to think. this they will take with them everywhere they go - it's all portable and can be duplicated on whatever path god takes them.

yay! but i am glad to be on this side of it all!

i went and got the second set of bloodwork done today too, so hopefully i'll have a good idea of what's happening with my thyroid next week, and maybe even start on reclaiming that part of my life back. i'm really looking forward to it.

have a wonderful weekend ya'll!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

preach it joan! From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, January 20, 2005

don't forget - not one damn dime!!

From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, January 20, 2005

well that explains a lot!

in the middle of my preparations for my tea yesterday i received a phone call from my dr's office. i had just had my yearly physical and she ran some standard blood tests, i really had no complaints, and didn't expect anything. (note: this is unusual for me, i spent much of my life trying to invent physical excuses for my depression and because physical illness was a badge of honor in my family of origin. i bordered on hypochondria, and my suicidal bent would bring one step closer to death if i really had some dreaded horrible disease...)

anyway - my dr. called to inform me that i had a low thyroid result and she wants me to do some more blood work to confirm hypothyroidism. i have since done some research and find that much of my weird struggles lately (freezing hands and feet, foggy memory, inability to shake a chill and a host of others) are side effects of hypothyroidism. who'da thunk it?!?! it's not a difficult fix, and i hear that when levels are back to normal i will feel like a new woman - how exciting!

the coolest part of this is that i've learned to live well and accommodate a much slower lifestyle because of it and honor who i've become within this context, and i like it a lot. i think if i hadn't had this time (since my son was born is when i can trace these symptoms back now - 6 years) to slow myself down. i don't think i would have ever found out so much about myself and my relationship with god. i think i would have kept up that break neck pace the church runs at and missed out on so much.

i don't know that much will change, other than having a much clearer head and not having to hibernate from the cold, now that i've found this simpler lifestyle. i also don't think i would have 'been still and known that god is god' either. i'm looking at this as a gift, instead of a problem. it definitely explains an awful lot!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

all's well that ends well

made it through and most were able to attend. 2 we not able to get out of their driveways because of the snow, but those who were hear had a very nice time. the 'queen bee' of our little hive (the tea expert) said 'wow, you went to a lot of work' - i said 'thank you for noticing'.

it's good to be on the other side of this, but i am exhausted. my theme for my tea today was 'my big fat greek tea'. i featured mediterranean pie from stephanie, spanakopita, greek cucumber salad, homemade humas and pita chips. for dessert i made individual 'bundt' (remember that part of the movie - boont? boooont? why is there a hole in the middle?) and i served them with their own little flowerpots in the center. (if you haven't seen the movie this will be lost to you - the greek family is given a bundt cake by the irish parents and they have no idea what it is, when you see the cake the next time there is a geranium pot in the center of the cake).

i talked about our royal heritage as princesses today. we made tiaras out of chennile pipe cleaners and shared about times in our lives when we felt like princesses. i love the part of the orthodox wedding where the bride and groom put on the crowns and become king and queen of their house. it's such a symbolic partnering. i thought this would be a good way to get my friends talking about their childhoods.

anyway - thank you all for your encougement and prayers - it helped. i was reduced to a puddle of tears when the tablecloth i borrowed from my girlfriend was for a square table instead of my 8' long table... it all worked out, and i'm on the other side. i'll have to forget a lot to volunteer to do another one of these in the future though! :)

choosing sanity... at least i'm trying...

in 4 hours 7 women will descend on my humble abode for our monthly 'tea'. once a year i must host a tea in return for 11 lovely teas elsewhere. it's not really 'my thing' to be all fussy and frilly, but i have learned so much and the feeling of being honored and prepared for the other 11 months of the year somehow make all of this work worthwhile... somehow...

this year i am quite prepared, and i haven't had any screaming bouts or crazy episodes, even though my kids had the past 2 days off school. my house is quite clean and my menu is coming along nicely. just need to finish up a couple of things and set the table. unfortunately it seems much is conspiring against me to push me over that very fragile edge...

most of you know coffee is my 'thing', i'm not really a 'tea' kinda girl. this morning my lovely cuisinart self-grinding coffee maker decided that it's thermostat isn't going to work and we've got quite the huge snow storm. at least they didn't call a school delay or snow day... that would have melted me into a pile of tears.

so, here i sit breathing and trying to calm down and figure out what to do with my coffee maker and the rest of my day, hoping that all of this food i've prepared won't go to waste because my friends can't make it here to dine with me... breathe...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

jim wallis on the daily show tuesday, jan 18!!!

hey, tune in tomorrow night for the daily show to see jim wallis talk about his new book god's politics!!! great coverage for an amazing man and a terrific book!

Saturday, January 15, 2005



cool new service site that allows you to send larger files to friends and associates that might normally fill their inbox. dropload informs the recipient that there is a file waiting for them to download and it never touches their inbox. great idea!

found via

making blog reading easier

i've had quite a few requests for explanations regarding using a feed reader. understand i am NO expert on the technical side, but i can give you a practical walk through the site i use called bloglines.

when a blog entry is posted to a blog, a feed signal is sent out (there are lots of these, but you really don't need to understand them, and i'm not the person to explain) and picked up by programs that track the feeds and you can subscribe to them (for free) by using a website like bloglines.

it is a free service and it has made my blog reading much easier than clicking through my blogroll and trying to see if anyone has posted anything.

sign up for bloglines (it is free) and then you can subscribe to the blogs you normally read. there is a small download (totally safe - and bloglines works with both internet explorer and firefox) if you want to be notified if any blogs have been updated - not necessary to use the program.

you bookmark the webpage and then when you have time to read blogs you go to that webpage instead of your blogroll - and it would say emergingsideways (2) - that would mean that i have posted 2 times since you have read my blog last.

the left hand side of the webpage has all of the blogs you've subscribed to (you must paste and clip these into the site yourself - i'll explain how to do that next) and the blog post (or a portion of it) comes up into the frame to read. you never need to click into the blog if you don't want to comment - and it allows you to see all of the blogs you read and if they've been updated. it's a real time saver, and actually allows you to track far more blogs than if you had to manually check them every time you wanted to read them.


once you log into bloglines you will see 'my feeds' as a tab option - click on that - then you will see a link for 'add' - click on that and you will see empty windows next to the text. open another window (or tab if you use firefox) and start to open the blogs you normally read.

when you are at the main page of the blog you will see the blog address in the navigation bar at the top of your web browser. if you were at my blog this is what you would see: that is the information you need to place into the box on the bloglines add page.

highlight (with your mouse - it turns it blue) and hit control c (copy) - switch to the bloglines page and click your mouse into the blog or feed url and hit control v (paste) and then click on the grey box that says "subscribe".

the next page you click to will show you what feeds my blog has - i don't know the difference, but my blog has 3 - i find atom feeds to be reliable - so i click on that one (don't click on all three or you will have 3 subscriptions to my blog, and even i don't read me that much!) - choose one and then you will see you have options:

folder: (you can set these up - some people want multiple folders that divide their interests, i don't use this feature yet).

updated items: when someone edits their blog do you want to know that they made changes or ignore it because it's not a knew post? you have both options.

display preferences: complete entries (the entire post), summaries (if available) or just the titles, you can pick what ever you like.

monitored by bloglines notifier: if you have downloaded the notifier it sits at the bottom of your computer screen with your other tiny icons and when there is a new post it gets a little red dot on it (i read so many blogs there are always new feeds, so it's rare that my red dot actually goes away...)

access: you can make some of them private - if you are using bloglines as your blogroll there may be some that you don't want people to know you read, so you can mark them as private.

notes: anything you might want to note, duh! :)

hit that grey button "subscribe" and now you have your first blog feed subscribed to in bloglines. the default of all of those settings above never has to be changed unless you want it to be. continue with this process until your blogs have been added.

also, when you have bloglines notifier downloaded you get a little icon that sits in your 'favorites' or 'bookmarks' folder of your browser. if you click on it while you are on the main page of a blog it will automatically take you to the subscription page of bloglines and add it to your reading list.

word of warning - do not subscribe to a permalink

this is what a permalink looks like in my blog:

it is only one single page of my blog - not the main page. if you subscribe to that page you won't know when i've updated my blog, because it's not the one that sends out updated feeds.

i hope this makes sense, please feel free to ask any questions, or if you use bloglines and i've described something incorrectly (large chance) let me know so i can fix it please.

disclaimer - i have no stock or interest in bloglines as a company, i just am a satisfied customer.

happy blog reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

tammy jo, where did you go??

i have found in my voracious blog reading that tracking blogs with bloglines is a godsend. for some reason there are a couple of blogs that just don't seem to respond to the feed scan.

tammy jo's a muse is one of them. so i always check that one manually. for some reason when i click there she is not found... does anyone know what's up?? tammy jo we miss you, please come back to us!!!

as a sidebar - if there is anyone not using a feed reader and wants help setting your's up email me at 'emergingsideways at gmail dot com' and i'll be glad to help!

also, i have 10 gmail invitations if anyone wants one!

it's a pirate's life for me

argh, matey, ever been to sea?

pirate blood runs through my veins, really. my great, great, great (how many i don't know) relative (don't remember if it was uncle or grandfather) was captain blood. (isn't that a great name for a pirate?)

liam's getting a bit tired of my salty language of late. he actually said the other day 'you know, if there was someone in our lives who swore like you've been swearing lately we wouldn't let them around our kids...'

he's right. i don't swear around the kids, but it's gotten pretty blue around here sometimes. i've been trying to untangle the reasons that this has crept back into my vocabulary.

i used to swear all the time in high school. i think it was a way of tarnishing that 'christian girl badge' i had to carry. maybe they won't think i'm such a goody 2 shoes if i cuss a bit. because of my compulsive behavior i can take just about anything to excess.

there have been probably two other times in my life where i let things get pretty lazy with my speech, and know how to clean things up. it's a process i use to syphon any behavior that has crept it's way into my life. i know what to do, the thing is, i'm not so sure i want to this time.

it's purposeful now, it's not just lazy, sloppy speech to shoot my mouth off and be different. now it's somehow a tool for me, it gives me something i don't seem to be able to get elsewhere. i only really use it when i talk to liam, or when i write (unless of course i'm around a friend who also speaks pirate). it just seems to encapsulate the raw emotion i'm feeling in an instant. so here i sit. wondering and noodling my conundrum. to swear or not to swear... that is the question.

i told this to liam. he's still pretty skeptical. there's just something a bit romantic about swearing for me - not in the romance form of the word, but in that wistful, wannabe sense of the word. i guess maybe i want to be that edgy writer, that comfortable, non-prudish one that gives others the freedom to speak their minds, even with colorful language. i don't know yet, but i'm farther along the process of thinking about it by blogging on it today. mostly just a big hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

i'm expecting

no, not in the traditional 'oh my gosh, we're going to have a baby' way, i just couldn't resist the title to make your heart jump.

many of you know that in early november of last year i participated in a workshop called 'the path' at linwood house in vancouver, b.c. the path is an amazing experience, a challenging process and a crystalizing event that i highly recommend for everyone. the process is so well done that it gives each participant the opportunity to weed through their hopes, goals, fears and passions to find that THING that makes you tick. the thing that keeps you up at night. that thing that you would rather die than never do again.

it's an intuitive process that gives the participant the ability to slowly own and claim for oneself the part of you that gives you life. maybe, if i may be so bold, the reason that god put you here. it was a life-changing event for me, and i think the many others who participated.

when i stood to proclaim my mission statement i truly felt like something was born within me. i came home excited, ready and eager. i unpacked slowly and treasured each facet of the process. i shared carefully with loved ones and even a bit on my blog and then wham. stop dead. flat. it was like i was punctured, or had the air kicked out of me, i felt weight of my mission. i became overwhelmed, afraid and silent. i couldn't write, i couldn't process, i was unable to even state my mission out loud. i still can't.

i was so confused, so grieved and so very, very sad. i felt like a failure at something i hadn't even tried yet. i felt like if i claimed this mission out loud, away from the safety of our circle of people who were there, it would evaporate. poof. or i would be judged. you? you think that of yourself? nope, wrong, not you. who are you kidding?

this mission is so sacred to me. so precious, so fragile. it felt so arrogant to think that i could ever fulfill it. so i advented. i waited. i participated in the holiday waiting. it felt right, it felt real. i grieved and held on waiting. i didn't know what for. yes, that newborn baby, my savior come to earth, but there was something more.

christmas this year was lacking in any spiritual aspects for me. nothing. nada. we were at the whim of liam's family, no christmas eve service, no reading of the story, no sunday morning church - all of it had been stripped by plans and family get-togethers.

i voiced to liam that i truly felt like i was still adventing. still waiting for that babe to be born this year.

it wasn't until my dear friend anj replied to my frustration with this block in an email:

Maybe it's time to stuff your mission. You know, let it furnace as you might say. Or as I might say, hide it in your heart and let the Spirit make it real. Whether you give voice to it or not, it is real and it is your calling. It comes from the place of creation inside of you, give it time to be remembered before you try to give it birth. Do you know what I mean?
the light turned on. i know exactly what you mean anj.

i had mistakenly thought that 'the path' was the birth of this process, what i didn't understand was that it was conception, not birth - i am expecting. i cannot name my statement because it hasn't been birthed yet. this is a process and i was trying to rush the process. to everything there is a season. i need this idea to gestate, to grow within me until it is ready to be born. yay. grace. peace and wholeness is returning to my soul. the pressure is off and like being 'with child' it is only my job to care for myself and wait. breathe in, breathe out. this i can do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

the gift of our brokenness

my friend hope sent this to me today. i have lost my way with my blog, and have not hardly had time to even read other's. i hope this will help rattle some things loose today.

"Frederick Buechner once said, "To be a writer, one must be a good steward of their pain." I think that is true as well for those who would pray. To be such a steward creates the possibility that others might be healed by your witness to such a thing, that others might see the mercies granted to you in your suffering as evidence of the compassion of God for those who are broken. This gift of our brokenness is often the only gift that we can give or receive with any real honesty and with any real hope and with any real power. We do not demonstrate our faith when we live in the light, we show our faith when we live in the dark."

i have been hoarding my brokenness lately. i'm living in the dark, but haven't had the courage to share it. it's not tragic, i'm really doing well every where but here. it's quite a paradox.

Friday, January 07, 2005

reject torture!

Take Action!
Tell Gonzalez to Reject Torture

Sojourners editor-in-chief Jim Wallis and more than 225 religious leaders have sent an open letter to Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez, asking him "to denounce the use of torture under any circumstances."

Gonzales has also faced stiff questioning from both Republicans and Democrats for his role in policies that have bent long-established international norms and U.S. laws prohibiting torture.

Sojourners is now teaming up with ActForChange, True Majority, MoveOn, Faithful America, and Win Without War to urge members of the U.S. Senate to call on Alberto Gonzales to sign a Declaration Against Torture, unequivocally renouncing all forms of torture and abuse as instruments of American policy. Tell your Senators to insist that as the U.S.'s top law enforcement official, Alberto Gonzales must clearly and consistently uphold internationally recognized standards of human rights.

send your message here

spending time with my friend anne today...

it's here!


Thursday, January 06, 2005

not one damn dime

Not a Damn Dime Day
When: Thursday, January 20 2005 @ 12:00 AM MST - 12:00 AM MST


Don't spend a dime on January 20, 2005 (pass it on)

It doesn't really matter that everyone will be out spending what they didn't the next day - a point or two will have been made: Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it. Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending. During "Not One Damn Dime Day," please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases.

Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours. On "Not One Damn Dime Day," please boycott Walmart, KMart and Target.

Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter).

For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down. The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent them and funnel cash into American politics. "Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,300 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan -- a way to come home.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.

For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.



our good friend henri is kicking my butt today...

Living the Moment to the Fullest

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

Monday, January 03, 2005

misty mountain

hey, i got a quoted in group magazine!!

dave paisley just gave me a head's up about the fact that group magazine quoted my open letter daddy's girl on page 18 of their jan/feb 2005 issue in BIG RED LETTERS!! here's the quote:
the byline states:

-"BOBBIE"," a pseudonym for a 38-year old wife of a youth pastor who writes an online blog called "Emerging Sideways," challenging fathers in "and open letter to fathers of daughters," quoted on (i'm 39 now!) :)

woo hoo! thanks for the head's up dave!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

our spiritual parents

Our Spiritual Parents

Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth.

Henri Nouwen


Saturday, January 01, 2005

vote early, vote often!!

hey, amy loves books has been nominated for a bob (best of blog) award!! congrats amy!!

vote for amy here!

while i was poking around that site i saw that rlp is up for best big blog - he's up against some major's - thought you might like to too vote for him too:

vote for rlp here!

none of the other catagories interest me, and the creative/art/photo ones don't even include keri or superhero journal, so i think they're way off their mark there. go support the one's you know!

sacrifice and bad theology

okay, i suck at sacrifice. i'll give till i'm poor, but require me to change my schedule, be uncomfortable or stretch outside of my comfort zones and i become a sulky, petulant 9 year old again. what's that about? honest, i've been trying to figure it out. give me an inch and i'll usually give you a mile, but if someone hurts someone i love and i'm expect me to sacrifice for them? fugetabowdit.

i really had to search my soul this christmas, heading up to canada just about killed me. i hate typing those words. i don't want to be this way, really i don't. identifying these feelings, feeling them and then exploring them while i did the exact opposite as i was want to do made everything in me clutch and churn.

liam's been working through his stuff as of late and that has of course brought up a lot of family of origin issues. i love that he's going there, but my momma bear wants to tear them limb from limb instead of sitting graciously in their homes and wishing them merry christmas. maybe it's because i wasn't born with a fake gene in my body, being fake takes every ounce of energy i have to maintain that exterior, or maybe i'm just a sulky petulant 9 year old sitting on the pity pot... either way i stink at sacrifice.

i tried to change my motivation each time i ran against the wall, do it for liam, do it for pink and buck, they want to go, it will be good, okay, if you go you can get canadian perogies to bring back and put in the freezer... that's how shallow i am...

none of this has anything to do with our canandian relatives. honest. it is about me. i uncovered a part of my heart that is ugly. i am selfish. i have created a world where it looks like i am a giving, generous, nice person. it's a big fat lie. take me outside of my zones and put me into a situation that i don't want to be in with people i don't want to be around and i am not the person i want to be. this is an ugly truth to realize in oneself. ugly, but necessary. and i must face it.

is this why my children play on no sports teams even though i tell myself and everyone that the system and coaching in our county is so over the top and abusive that i refuse to participate in it, is the real reason plain and simple because i don't want to have to sacrifice the time, my time, to become a soccer mom? where are the other areas of my life that this nastiness resides? i haven't pver-turned every rock yet, but this is one of my goals for 2005. yuck.

all i know is that the raw feelings i felt in having to give up 'my families christmas' and trade it for what we ended up with showed me in many of my true colors and that paint-by-number didn't look one thing like jesus.

i've been trying to uncover what i believe about sacrifice, what is my practical theology, because i believe that what we believe shows up in our actions. because i saw that my actions were ugly, i know that something that i believe to be true is pretty ugly too, i just haven't figured it all out yet.

i do know that a refrain from an old keith green song pops into my head with every time i say the word sacrifice. 'to obey is better than sacrifice, i don't need your money, i want your life, and if you can't come to me every day, then don't bother coming at all...' what shitty theology is that? what a crock of crap! jesus would never utter those words - what legalistic garbage that is. it's really ugly christianity, and i think a lot of us really unknowingly believe it. i think i did until this episode. how many of us growing up with those words had our theology written by keith green? i haven't looked at other lyrics yet, but i wonder if they are as filled with as much legalism and graceless theology too.

don't bother coming at all. maybe i didn't want to sacrifice for a god like that? i don't know. i'm sure i'll be noodling it out here, so i'll keep you posted. onward and upward, here's to 2005! happy new year!