Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
here's a link from the discovery channel's "space" people that a friend posted today on facebook.
my personal favs would have to be #'s 7-10. how there's no logical reason for planets to coexist amongst stars. how the recipe for life itself...the leaps from basic elements to organisms...are a complete mystery. how the pre-cursors to the birth of our universe are virtually unexplainable...
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
you would not believe the number of times i encounter people who seemingly view my single status as...a flaw...or unfortunate circumstance. no, they don't say it outright. but their unease with what to talk to me about (because i don't have children to prattle on about) and subsequent focus on how to find me a man...it's really weird. and i, of course, would gladly talk about someone else's kids and all that...it's not me that it makes uncomfortable.
i guess it makes me wonder...shouldn't it be a concern when conversation for a person can only revolve around parenting? where's the "you" of YOU as opposed to the "do" of YOU?
and believe me...i'm not out desperately searching to "find a man". my man...and i know he's out there somewhere...will find me. when god says the time is right. in fact, the "worst" life for me is no longer "being single". nooooo, the worst would be living as if there is no life without a man. wow...god really helped me with that one. me being romanced by the romancer for the rest of my life...is certainly not the worst thing. so, i'm just living with an open heart in the meantime. and what will be...will be. thing is...puts me in a place of wanting to really share my life with a man someday...rather than get my life from him. interesting.
the other frustrating thing...and i get the boundaries of it sometimes, i guess...is how some people cannot be friends with me (the single gal) because it might not look right to others. it just is...well, what am i supposed to think of that? granted, i get the balance...believe me, i've dealt with a little bit of loonie on that one...but why does the extreme wacko situation have to necessitate absolute boundaries for some?...especially when it actually could be healthy? there are single gals out there that respect what marriage means...and who are not out to steal someone's man or woman. it just seems a little legalistic is all. very odd.
so...welcome to a moment in the life of a singleton.
these woes, by the way, do not rob me of my joy. heck no! they just make it a little irritating from time to time...:) and also make me so greatful for my married friends who are real people who can share their real lives (and even their lives with their kids) with a girl who is single but not lacking...;)
Monday, December 22, 2008
it's so disgusting to me how much american dollars contribute to the sex trade. and in a round-about way, even seeing our culture's abuse of sexuality in magazines, movies, and internet sites...do we actually encourage this abuse in some way?
i just don't want these people to be forgotten...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
a couple of things about the movie...
one...it's a beautiful redemptive story. a lost man finds his way back to his heart.
two...it's a great picture of the distinction between 'religion' and 'faith'. not all 'christians' are the same...oh, to part company with the legalists...
three...it's an amazingly terrible picture of what pride can do...
so, anyway, a must rent...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
i tend to like fruity scents more than floral or "natural". however, one of the side effects is the following struggle...one that i've learned to live with. ;)
due to a strange propensity of mine, i tend to want to touch and taste cool things i see or smell. (yes, i know...but oh well). so for those that may have the same "calling", love spell does NOT taste as good as it smells. in fact, it's awful.
i've tried it several times just in case it changes...don't ask.
you know the rejection grid through which some people view all of life? the lens of "everything you say or do or don't say or don't do is really you rejecting me!"...IT DRIVES ME FREAKIN' INSANE!
there's not one thing, aside from prayer, that you can do to argue with it or convince it otherwise. it's demise only hinges on the person choosing to lay it down and risk that loved ones are NOT doing what is assumed.
and i'm at my wits end!!
i wrestle with how to give love WITHOUT entertaining the manipulation of it all. because that is NOT ok!! and i struggle with holding my tongue...huge flammability potential...and choosing the right words.
i know it seems insensitive to point it out...i do totally understand that there is deep pain underneath that method of life survival...it's just that i have no idea how to do healthy life when someone's got that grid. only their healing...which most people try to avoid...will be their rescue.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
i seriously can't wait for the day when this doesn't have to be true anymore. can you even imagine?
we weren't designed for a life where "guarding the heart" was even necessary. in eden...walking in the fulfilling intimacy and security of the trinity. true wholeness and holiness...living OUT LOUD.
but the broken world today...and our battles to walk out of our fallenness...well, an entire host of enemies, idols, and security blankets crouch, ready to pounce, or even flagrantly offer themselves as the candy for the soul.
and so, we must protect the most valuable creation...the human heart.
i'm not one for the "guarding" that is totally based on fear...that's not protection. that's insulation, isolation, cowardice.
no, i'm referring to the caution that comes from "guarding" that's motivated by wisdom.
but right now, i'm a little frustrated with said "guarding". an area where i'd love to be unrestrained some day. free to be and free to love.
i feel the weight of responsibility in guarding myself...there's actually real life in my heart now that i can give. and i own the charge to watch over the other hearts involved...but i just long to be...unguarded someday.
i mean, i can see the floundering in the social department during the awkward youth years...which, by the way, we assume they'll figure out as they wrestle through the pungent body odor, key boundaries of personal space, and the "me, me, me"...but in "mature" adults??? oh dear.
i have no response...
nor do i know what to do about it...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
this is deanna troi from the tv series "star trek: next generation". oh my goodness, i used to LOVE this show and this character! deanna is half-human/half-alien. her alien side gives her the ability to sense the feelings of others, which actually ends up being helpful in situations as words or appearances don't always give the full story.
here's why i like her so much...her character represented the value of the emotional side of life. her "gift" gave relevance to more than just the rational or intellectual perspective on matters. her presence was needed for the full picture in any given situation.
so here's what i've been realizing...i think i have a spiritual gift in this department.
when i was growing up, i would be struck with emotion sometimes that i could not identify as my own. sometimes i would actually feel it from specific people or situations. sometimes it was just an unidentifiable cloud. because i couldn't understand this, it became easier to just withdraw...or question my sanity, but as i learned more about god and his heart, i began feeling that perhaps this emotion was something more.
years later, i started to get more serious about prayer. on occasion, my eyes would just start watering. i wouldn't necessarily be sad at the moment it would start, but regardless, my eyes would just start leaking all over the place. a mentor told me later, as a half-joke, that i didn't have to be concerned with speaking in tongues because my prayers came out of my eyes. :) the funny thing is that even today i still don't speak in tongues or have a prayer language...mostly my eyes just water and twitch a little. yes, different mascara required. ;)
which brings us to the present...well, i've been practicing not being so resistant to the emotional nature that is "me". i've been trying to not hide in the rational (not a good fit all along), but instead just seeing where god takes me if i'm open to him.
and god gave me a wonderful blessing the other day...
i decided to take on a challenge of being one of the prayer support members for a men's retreat. i got together with a couple of other people during specific times to pray for the sessions, the leaders, and the hearts of the men involved. during one specific time, i started to feel that "sadness" that i mentioned above. i also got a sense of the particular individual that the sadness pertained to, and the words "boy pain".
so i met the symptoms with prayer. i asked for god to intervene and bring healing to this guy's heart in whatever the "boy pain" was about.
i left it at that.
a few days later, i felt like i should email the man to tell him what happened. i made sure he knew that i was new to this thing and could totally be off. he replied that he didn't know what it could pertain to, but that he would pray about it.
i left it at that. :)
well, here's the thing. god did something for him in the days that followed. i got to hear a little bit about it from him a few days ago...god was revealing himself to him...and revealing his "boy pain"...and was beginning to heal him.
i was so, so happy for him! still am! :)
and i was so, so thankful that god actually showed me how he could use that emotional sense if i was willing to trust him.
i'm telling you...the holy spirit is amazing!
in a conversation with my pastors on monday, i found out that this happens with others too! turns out that it's a different kind of discernment and very much a part of intercessory prayer.
so i'm massively excited!!! and now i'm out to learn more!! woo-hoo!!!
here's what i mean...
our true heart's story began in absolute glory and wonder. a perfect intimacy and adventure with the trinity. it was the fullest of life that we were designed for. but our story's villain, satan, began to hate god...and hate everything that god loved...and launched a war against the hearts of men and women...to rob god of everything that reflected his glory. our once mighty world became a broken place filled with pain, disease, abuse, passivity... but, because the trinity's love is full of such wondrous desire...god could not leave us stranded. under the cover of night, with the open heart of girl and the protection of her husband, god was able to sneak into the enemy's kingdom...as a baby.
it was the beginning of the end...an arrow shot towards victory.
so, here's the crazy hair-flinger's version of some christmas music. i hope it is as powerful for you...maybe crank it up. ;)
i had a student talk to me this morning about something "serious". in hushed tones, she told me that she was sure she was dying and wanted me to "tell her straight" if it was, in fact, true.
internally...HAHAHAHAHA! i was laughing hysterically, remembering this same terrified question to my mom when i too had the unfortunate "experience".
so, for the fearful or the fans of "too much information"...here's a note of ease.
for those that have ever or may ever experience this phenomenon...yes, a little embarrassing...you aren't dying. you've just ingested something with dye in it. a little "welch's" goes a long way...black licorice...ice cream or frosting with food coloring in it...or even lots of green veggies or excess iron.
awkwardly...i "googled it" to confirm.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
we've made it all about "clean-up".
largely, we present a message of repentance that is too narrow. we make it about forgiveness of sin (which is wonderful and beautiful)...but then we leave it there, which can make life about abstinence...not true freedom.
have we made it the equivalent of someone going to the doctor with a horrible limp? we diagnose it as something that's made a mess of things. we get it cleaned up and prescribe something to help keep the pain in check. it's good...certainly helps with the limp because now they can't always feel the shooting pain from the broken bone underneath the surface. but, my gosh! we don't want to simply numb the tension...WE WANT THE BROKEN PIECES SET IN PLACE. we want them to be restored to the way they were before the brokenness...
we forget that real restoration...which is god's full intent in the process of real and deep repentance..consists of 1) confession and forgiveness and 2) healing.
both are a part of god's plan in jesus to restore our hearts to eden.
that's the path to wholeness...
you know what is so amazing? stepping into that reality, while painful and messy, also turns into a wonderful journey of discovery. not only does god clean the wound, set the bones, answer the source of pain...he shows you how fast you can run...how high you can jump. it's full of so much wonder and delight...and true intimacy.
he shows you who he is. he shows you who you REALLY are.
life becomes about true living...not maintaining.
and all along the way, it blooms into holiness. you begin to love it. you begin to nurture it. you begin to call it out. and it's so wonderful because it's true holiness...not religion. it's the great dance...not the shameful hiding.
man, sometimes i wish christ would return so we can really get to it.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
she's been carrying a bar of soap in her pocket and sleeping with one under her bottom sheet at the foot of her bed. she prefers 'zest' in a ziplock. :) OH!...but not dial or dove, by the way. apparently, they have too much moisturizer in it.
another positive???...i smell really...clean.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
i have to admit that it just makes my heart sing...that God is the lover and romancer of my heart. he paints it on the sunrise, he whispers it in my ear before i open my eyes, and today he sang it through this song.
i'll never understand why, yet at the same time, i will never regret saying "yes" to his invitation to dance.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
kicks and giggles, i have to say.
well, one of those people in my life was talking about 'unbelief' within our faith. she felt that a major issue feeding the weak christianity of our culture...a faith that is still very self-focused and independent of god and each other...is that western christians, while knowing a great deal about certain propositional truths, have no relational understanding of our powerful god. in essence, many christians place god into a well-defined box that is far, far too small and instead live outside of the intimate experience of our awesome, mighty god.
how can a person live powerfully...expect powerfully...hope powerfully...believe powerfully...if they do not believe in the living power of their god?
well, i've included some links (because i'm a youtube maniac). this is a great speaker named louis giglio. he travels with chris tomlin, matt redman and david crowder for the passion conferences. he loves science, and allows science to reveal the greatness of god. but don't worry...if you aren't a science buff, he's still pretty interesting.
the first time i heard him, i thought to myself that i was so small. the second time, i was so amazed that god was so BIG! hahaha...it actually made me question if i was being too much of a wuss in the way i lived my life.
so here goes...each is 10 minutes...enjoy!
today, a student of mine was researching at a computer. a female student came up and asked me to look at him some time because he was a little "disturbing". so i meandered over to find this young man with two blood lines across his cheeks!...EWWW! so...trying to remain calm...i asked him what in the world he was doing with blood all over his face...ON PURPOSE!!!
now mind you...my 7th grade boys are actually a pretty innocent group. they are bundles of delight and adventure in my book. energy-o-rama, for sure...but it's a blast usually.
well, this blood-dipped young man showed me a little cut on his knuckle that he had apparently been "milking" for his painting extravaganza. and then he explained...he just felt like being a warrior.
and so i had to do the customary explanation regarding why we probably shouldn't have blood all over the place in a public setting...anti-bloodborn pathogens and all...but secretly can i just say that i hope he never loses his inner warrior.
boys, boys, boys...:)
Monday, December 1, 2008
i should preface this by saying that i'm not talking about the sense of lonliness that comes for a "people-person" who has a moment of "no people" or a person who has had to say 'goodbye' to a loved one. i'm talking about that something that most people fear in the deeper part of themselves...that thing we try to outrun...that void that we are trying to fill...the unanswered question that feeds our hungers...
you can see it all over the place...
*in this season when materialism rears it's ugly head more clearly.
*for the person who can't be home alone on a saturday night.
*for the gal that thinks there's something wrong with being single.
*for the guy that can't NOT work himself to death.
*for the person that has to have a critique about every single thing.
*for those that have to hide in a substance or a pizza or a shopping bag or a relationship.
*on and on and on...
that lonliness that we refuse to face makes us into oversized vacuums...
and that's not life...that's survival...
i wonder what we'd find if we took those moments when we sense the inner tension...to not run or feed or fill...but to stop and sit right in it. might be tough. might even be painful...but inviting god into that???...the lonliness becomes the most powerful opportunity to place real substance and security into that vacuous hole.
what if, what if, what if...
divine love in those places never degrades, never recedes, never decreases. it's the rest, the food and fill that we were designed for.
Friday, November 28, 2008
my aunt and uncle had some gift certificates that they weren't going to be able to use, so they asked if i'd be interested. ummm...YES!
so, my friend steph and i dined and dined and dined tonight...and with achingly full belly, i say, "THANKS!".
oh!...for the record, i want to assert...if ANYONE has any gift certificates that you just can't use, i'd be more than happy to use them for you. i could even tell you all about the experience so you can feel included! detailed notes, photos, whatever! :)
It is sung by Calaf, (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles. If he fails, he will be beheaded.
In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot's prospective suitors. Nevertheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects is to sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.
As the final act opens, it is now night. Calaf is alone in the moonlit palace gardens. In the distance, he hears Turandot's heralds proclaiming her command. His aria begins with an echo of their cry and a reflection on Princess Turandot:
"Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o Principessa, nella tua fredda stanza, guardi le stelle che tremano d'amore, e di speranza!"
(English translation: "None shall sleep! None shall sleep! Even you, O Princess, in your cold bedroom, watch the stars that tremble with love and with hope!")
"Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me; il nome mio nessun saprà! No, No! Sulla tua bocca lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!"
("But my secret is hidden within me; none will know my name! No, no! On your mouth I will say it when the light shines!")
"Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio che ti fa mia!"
("And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!")
Calaf, now certain of victory, sings:
"Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All'alba vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!"
("Vanish, o night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At daybreak I shall win! I shall win! I shall win!")
the cool thing???...what he wins?...her heart. the prince's name?...love. reminds me of jesus...
Monday, November 24, 2008
it's a tricky one.
and i worry that pride is often more of an influence than we'd like to admit...
how many lesson-filled moments do we miss because we choose the blame-game instead? how many fires do we light to rally a team when we could be learning more about each other and true fellowship? how often could we simply choose to not be offended in the first place?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
all of that to say, my little boycott plan came up in a discussion the other day...and i found out that others have been doing the same thing. all of us thinking we were in our own little act of rebellion against bias in the media.
so here's a link to an interesting article from one of media's own. check out the whole thing. it's pretty eye-opening.
and perhaps you'd like to join our little 'tea party'...take a little break from power-hungry editors and enjoy a little peace and quiet. :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
We are made for intimacy with God, not just knowledge about him. There comes a time in the life of every believer when propositional truth is no longer enough. It will always remain central, the foundation for our faith. And sometimes it is all we have, and we can run far and long on it. But women long for romance. We are wired for it; it’s what makes our hearts come alive. The path of our restoration as women, the healing of our feminine hearts, that path takes us into a deeper experience of God and his Lover’s love for us.
A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she’s loved. We’ve seen this many times – you probably have, too. Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one waters anymore. She withers into resignation, duty and shame. The radiance of her countenance goes out, like a light that has been turned off. But this same woman, whom everyone thought was rather plain and unengaging, she becomes lovely and inviting when she is pursued. Her heart begins to come alive, come to the surface, and her countenance becomes radiant. We wonder, “Where has she been all these years? Why – she really is captivating.”
Think of Fran in Strictly Ballroom, or Tulah in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Remember Lottie in Enchanted April, Adrian in Rocky or Danielle in Ever After. Their beauty was always there. What happened was merely the power of romance releasing her true beauty, awakening her heart. She has come alive.
This doesn’t need to wait for a man.
God longs to bring this into your life himself. He wants to heal us through his love to become mature women who actually know him. He wants us to experience verses like, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14). And “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride.” (Song of Songs 4:9) Our hearts are desperate for this. What would it be like to experience for yourself that the truest thing about his heart toward yours is not disappointment or disapproval but deep, fiery, passionate love? This is, after all, what a woman was made for.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
in my family, we let the kids pick out some of the gifts we will give instead of the typical gift-giving craze. they really get into it and usually like to get farm animals. (pigs, of course, would be my preference in the farm animal department.) last year world vision also started adding other categories like educational supplies and tuition, hiv meds, business loans for widows, etc. one that really struck a cord in me was the donation to girls that are getting out of the sex trade. they help them get out, find counselling, and get solid vocations.
so, if you are interested in a bit of a different christmas this year, how about checking out http://www.worldvisiongifts.org
Thursday, November 13, 2008
let's be candid for a bit. all this talk about the "end of the world" and "obama is the anti-christ"...in the nicest way possible, well, you need to settle down. fear and faith were never meant to be bed buddies even remotely. so why be entertained by fear-mongering?...and why perpetuate it?
i'm not debating the actual issue of apocolypse possibility. i personally don't think so...but regardless, i don't care either way!
it's the reaction that concerns me...the fear, the judgment...
let's say for one moment that it really is the "end of the world"...honestly, my reaction is "FINALLY!" i mean, seriously, let's get it done...the sooner the better! i've been longing for 'home', for the life i am truly meant for.
i know that it would be a scary thing, but doesn't our "freaked out" factor reveal where our true security lies? comfort, prosperity, peace...all desirable things, but truly not the resting place for the heart. just ask someone who is legitimately persecuted for faith...are they concerned about gas prices, stocks, liberals, etc.?
what an opportunity for you to let god show you that you could have your hope in a much more secure place...in him!!! no matter what comes!
you know what else this reaction reveals?...where your kingdom lies. is the kingdom of god defined by the borders around these 50 states with a leader that hopefully is a conservative? if you think that a nation is the kingdom you were meant to serve, there is so much more for you! god certainly asks that we be good citizens in our countries, but the kingdom you should be living for and serving...the one that should define every morsel of you...is the one with christ at the helm. your primary calling was not to be the hands and feet of the republican party...first and foremost, you were meant to be the living, breathing love of christ.
what hope there could be for you if you stepped into your rightful place in your rightful kingdom! what hope for the world too!
who knows what's going on? i don't. you don't. but god does! i'm sorry to say that he might not have the comfortable, peaceful plan for your life that you'd like, but truly, he will never let go of you. this earthly existence is but a blip on the radar...there's the best of the best ahead...real, true adventure...a great dance with the trinity...unbelievable abundance and fulfillment.
let your heart rest in that...and in fact, let your heart start to experience that life...today.
the election drama was a downer for me too. i also have some concerns as we move ahead. but my issue isn't so much the one man as much as the people that would place all their hope and security in that one man. what an impossible burden to bear! misplaced security...disappointing ends if you ask me. but then again, isn't that what all the post-election fear is also revealing?...just on the other side?
so, let's take advantage of this invitation from god to go back to the ancient truths...the real hope, the real security. let's step into our rightful places in the eternally established kingdom and really be the love of christ...givers not takers...champions who need no political backing to be effective...
I lie here paralytic
Inside this soul
Screaming for you till my throat is numb
I wanna break out
I need a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating
Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
I Wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
I lie here lifeless
In this cocoon
Shedding my skin cause I’m ready to
I wanna break out
I found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I’m suffocating
Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when I’m gonna breathe you in
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’m gonna feel alive
Tell me when I’m gonna live again
Tell me when this fear will end
Tell me when I’m gonna feel inside
Tell me when I’ll feel alive
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
5 years ago today my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. she developed a cyst in her abdomen that began to grow rapidly. they scheduled surgery after a blood test also revealed high levels of a cancer-indicator chemical. by the time of surgery, her cyst had grown to the size of a volleyball...we were all completely shocked...and horrified.
following her surgery, there was a horrible night. turns out there is a family over-reaction to morphine where they sink so deep into rest that they stop breathing. people spent the night trying to pull her out of that while also trying to regulate pain.
then came the port into her aorta, the chemo, the nausea, the anxiety, the loss of hair...
it was hell.
i will never forget that moment in a cramped little conference room when the surgeon came in to explain the situation. lots of family and friends were squished in with us. but when the words came out...oh man, everything just came crashing down. so many consonants and vowels and percentages were floating in the air. it was hard to breath.
and then we just started to cry. it was the only thing we could do...
i was thinking though. that time was the beginning of my undoing...in a bad and then really good way. i absolutely couldn't handle the notion of losing my mom. i was trapped in the job from hell, having to spin all those plates...and then to have to somehow wrap my heart around the cancer question mark...i completely blew up. because i had no idea where to go for support...and couldn't see god in it...i went into major hiding inside...started doing all kinds of things that were painful and wrong. but...as wonderful a god as he is, it was also the start of my walk towards real life.
sometimes you have to explode so you can rebuild...
so, today is 5 years for my mommy...well, all of us...20/20 hindsight shows god's fingerprints all over the place, and i'm so thankful.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
i've been laid up for a bit with a back problem, so i've been filling my horizontal time with seasons of 'buffy the vampire slayer'. i know, i know...it's odd...but she's actually had me considering...noticing what inspires me, what grieves me...things that point to real existence for me.
i included the photo above, not so much because of her, but because the saying in the upper corner says "see the world. it's how you see the world." i had to mention that because i have found that our perspective on the world (it's people, and their value) really drives what we fight for...and if we even fight in the first place. it's one of the things i love about her character...she fights because she believes there is something of value to defend.
i received an email the other day. it said, "how would you live your life if you truly knew how important the heart really is?" it struck me to the core and has continued to resurface in my buffy adventures. the human heart...the most precious of all creations...is it really worth fighting for...no matter the consequence...a war of abandon???
she has me considering...
and buffy's war...it's not against people...it's against evil. in fact, she's often working for the restoration of people who've fallen, who've become pawns instead of players. sometimes that means she has to stand against them until they turn...it's a tough thing, but it's always because she believes they could be more. sometimes, sadly, they don't come back, but the chance that they might makes the fight worth fighting.
buffy has a fellowship of friends that walk with her too. all of them couldn't live without each other. however, she also bears a kind of lonliness, and i can so relate to that. i imagine many can. there are things she has to bear sometimes that others cannot relate to, decisions she has to make that can go uncheered, strength and hope that she has to muster when others succumb to fear. i don't know...some of that gels with real life on occasion.
but you know what struck me in the end???...she begins to be more intentional in investing in others. other girls specifically. she begins to show them what she is daily learning...fighting as women can.
so...in a very odd sort of way...buffy has given me an appointment with "calling". her drama of slaying vampires...yes, i told you it was odd...has pushed on some things that i think god wants me to notice.
i wonder if this will help with my manifesto...:)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
so, i've been considering that possibility lately...and the american people in that setting.
Monday, November 3, 2008
it was something to look into.
so, a manifesto...thanks to dictionary.com...is "a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization".
and it seems like it's also appropriate for the individual.
so i'm taking this opportunity to consider the driving force...the passionate conviction...behind my doings. the reason?...i want to live a life that is "on purpose"...not one that never stops to consider the direction of the arrow.
so, that's one of my assignments in the next however long...to form my own "manifesto".
one interesting fact about this man is that he actually spent one entire year in complete blindness because of an accident. his suffering, however, was not something he regretted. it was through his blindness that his eyes were truly opened to god's artwork all over creation.
"Though in that terrible darkness,
I died to light,
I lived again,
and God who is the Light
has led me tenderly from light to light,
to the shoreless ocean of rayless, beamless Spirit light
that bathes these holy mountains."
so i guess i'm thinking today about the challenges that we all face...the tough stuff...the sufferings. and i'm reminded today that so much hope and possibility and depth can be birthed out of those things...if we chose to invite god into them.
Friday, October 31, 2008
why does the answer to our struggles have to be removal of the consequences?...what if it's an invitation for brave-hearted people to step in and support each other through whatever trials come? i've never understood it...never will.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
my preference would be that the painful feelings would just be gone someday. and i suspect they will. it's just that i'd sometimes prefer the "fading into the moonlight" approach as opposed to the moments of intense burning.
i don't know...if you've ever had those moments where you've felt humiliated...well, and used, i should admit...the "getting over" is often harder than the "getting involved".
and then to have god issue an invitation into a cool opportunity...but also discover that those old memories and hot spots will be a part of the deal...it's just tough on the heart.
god is a good god. he's constantly inviting us into more of himself and true life. i'm guessing he's excited to offer more life to those hurt places. it's just a little daunting at the moment.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
can i just say...I LOVE GEOCACHING! it's like a treasure hunt...a dose of adventure (just without the pot of gold on the other end). all in the journey, right? ;)
we found a really cool one today...out in the middle of NO WHERE! to be honest, though, i really enjoy the ones we have to forage through the woods to find. the cool one was actually strung up in a tree. if it hadn't been designed with a yellow drawstring, we would have walked right by. clever dude who hung that one...
this is me finding one that was hidden in a burnt out tree stump. one of my first solo finds!
along the way, we occasionally see some odd/cool things. this is a weird mushroom thing. we stumbled across an elderly couple going mushroom hunting with massive buckets out in the boons. there were some awesome local hiking trails with some sweet built-up walkways that we never knew about. we also ran across a man that had to live out of his truck...sad. oh...and did i mention the hunters? ya, we had to clear out of one cache because there was a sudden burst of gunshots right by us...ah, the adventure.
because jen's hubby thinks we don't forage enough...bound through the roughage...here's proof. i picked a fight with a sticker bush...and lost. oh well...proof is in the pants...eh-hem...on the pants, i should say. ;)
oh my!...some caches are located in city parks. this is one where the darn cache is a "micro" which means it's probably the size of a match box. well, we thought it might be magnetically stuck to this tank...so i'm checking the underbelly of the beast. hahahaha! oh dear!
Friday, October 17, 2008
being his actually allows us to be quite settled and complete in the core of ourselves...the more we step towards him...the more we dance with him...the more we let him own our hearts.
the journey towards that can be VERY difficult as we untangle the "ties that bind"...but with our eyes on his, our load is lightened...we step more into who we really are.
being a disciple though...i guess that's more what i'm meaning...well, it isn't always an easy thing. ha...not exactly wrought with comfort. having to stand up for what's right, having to defend his passion for the heart...well, it often doesn't have the support or temporal rewards that we'd like. it can mean losing friends. it can mean standing alone. it can mean being persecuted. it can mean our own demise.
in our heart of hearts, we can absolutely rest in his hand, but the choice to be obedient to his way can have many external consequences.
i've had a couple of situations lately where the choice to be his disciple has caused some suffering. walking out a divinely broadened definition of love can definitely be met with hardship. but my cousin reminded me today of a conversation she had with a friend. the point was a reminder that being his has costs...in the scheme of his love, they are well worth it...but still, those costs can be full of pain.
and i'm reminded those costs are something he is well acquainted with. he fully knew what it would cost him to love me....dying on a cross...but really dying of trillions of broken hearts all at once. but he saw it to completion...had the last word...and let love be the beginning and end of the story.
so for me...rather than retreat into cowardice...which truthfully has far less drama sometimes...no, i'll run to him. in the deepest part of me, i'll sneak into his arms, hear his heartbeat, have my hope restored, find strength in him...and head back out.
Monday, October 13, 2008
several years ago, my family had an exchange student. in the time he was here, he became like a little brother to me. what a special guy! however, it soon became clear that this was a guy who had no idea who he was...the man god had in mind for him to be. a wounded heart often has no clue of the wonderous identity and destiny...hope...that could be.
so, i've always prayed for him, hoped for him...kept him near in my heart.
well, i got some horribly sad news last week that he is not doing well. i mean really and sadly struggling. lost, lost, lost.
oh man, my heart is just broken for him.
unfortunately, further communication with family indicates that even though he's in a desperate place...he's not lost enough to return yet.
i'm so heartsick...i can't even describe it.
i wish there were more people who knew about drugs/alcohol and all the stuff that goes along with that prison for the heart. someone who knows how free the heart can be...what healing there is. someone who could speak to this guy's heart the way a man can. HA!...and one that'd get on a plane with me right now! i need someone like that...
but alas...why is it that my plans seem a little outlandish and...expensive?
so, i'm in that restless place of "having" to pray...*sigh*. i know in reality that's the best place to be for him...fight for him! why does it feel so small though??? probably just satan...
so, i'd get on a plane myself if i could...but...in the meantime, if anyone can, could you please pray for my little lost brother? he needs to find peace...and stop running.
Friday, October 10, 2008
we are also projecting a movie on the wall of the second tier. 'hitch' is the theme of the night. very funny.
so, it's been jody and me for a while now...with lots of visitors. it turns out that most visitors also come with food. bonus!
we are waiting for the 'secret' attack by some kids...but don't worry! we are prepared. but that's all i'll say about that for now...
i was absolutely dreading this night...it's been one of THOSE weeks...but now that we are into it, it's been a great ending to a sour patch. and to spend it with jody?...well, that's awesome. she is the spice of life for me in this place. keeps me balanced when the going gets tough. :)
so...if i'm not an ice cube by tomorrow, i'll be chatting more.
update: well, some naughty teachers made a poor decision to ambush us last night. rach and shelly stayed with us, which was so fun...but we were all chilly so we came inside for a sec to warm up. we were sitting in the staff lounge...in the dark of course...and all of a sudden all the power went out. the two doors to the room burst open and all these people came running in with masks and silly string. chaos! there was screaming...it was messy! of course, i got ticked almost instantaneously and began plotting my SURE revenge. let's just say...some things are best left in the planning stage...hopefully, they'll learn their lesson THIS TIME!
no, i don't make threats...just promises! ;)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
it's a song about the rest we can find in our wonderful god.
the video isn't interesting, so maybe read the lyrics below...or just sit back and listen. :)
Still, soft quietly spoken voice
That persistenly calls my name
And quickens my heart to come
And I come
And I rest in the shelter of Your love
And I rest in the wonder of Your Grace
And I rest in the shelter of Your love
And I rest in the wonder of You
Embraced in the promise of You
Is rest for the weary soul
Releasing all that is mine
I reach for You
Take all the old and You make it new
Everything I give to You
You're the hope that can pull me through
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
people who vote that way...well, it's just not a smart way to go.
it has been so helpful for me to have people in my life who study the issues...all sides. factual information...not hype. listening to their "learnings" has been so helpful to me...not always what i want to hear, but absolutely making sense of necessary steps...responsible steps.
but...i'm concerned that this is not the nature of the typical voter.
boy, i hope i'm wrong.
i'm getting used to hearing...in our "entitlement" society...the popularity of the people who promise all sorts of ear-tickling answers. the "i'll give you all the comfort...remove the struggle" kind of candidate.
but some simple study into factual...not fear-hyped...information...?
well, it's making me respect the candidates who don't necessarily tell me what i want to hear, but instead tell me how we are going to get there.
are there others out there who don't want government as "daddy"? others who see that as a bit of a problem?
i don't know...i'm just a little concerned.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
i wish more christians...people who want to live like jesus...would serve more. issues like homelessness, abortion, starvation...well, they wouldn't even exist if we'd commit to life outside our selfish interests.
you know the interesting thing is...that we are MADE to be givers. stewards of this world... and if we live from the heart, this is something that should be natural to us.
so it makes me wonder...if christians aren't sacrificing and serving, are they really living from the heart? ohhh, that's not good. so sad for others AND for them...sorry, but it's true.
i had to speak in chapel a few weeks ago and was sharing about how god really sees us...who he's restoring us to be through christ...becoming his princes and princesses who walk with him (just like the garden). the interesting thing is that being his child doesn't mean being locked up in the castle all day eating grapes. no, no, no...it's taking caring of his creation...including all those he loves (everyone!)
and if we are not living lives marked by service...living a legacy of love...then are we really walking with him? at least in the abundance we are made for??
so...food for thought...
by the way...for some reason we think that giving means money...but for this gal who lives on pretty much nothing...giving is so much more than pennies...it has to be! and, it's so much more rewarding.
so, i'm ending with an oldie by michael jackson. it's a song he wrote before he got all wacky. but it's got such a great message about making a change to take care of our worldwide family. (lyrics below...)
I'm Gonna Make A Change
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right...
As I, Turn Up The Collar On
My Favorite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere To Go
That's Why I Want You To Know
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change
I've Been A Victim Of
A Selfish Kind Of Love
It's Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No Home
Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me
Pretending That They're Not Alone?
A Willow Deeply Scarred
Somebody's Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya' See
Cause They Got No Place To Be
That's Why I'm Starting With Me
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make A Change
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could've Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That...
Friday, October 3, 2008
realizing that he doesn't have all of this religious, legalistic pressure to somehow make me figure it all out....that i don't need to force a facade....realizing that he mostly just beckons with "are you willing to open yourself to me?"...life is now so much more full of LIFE. go figure.
and the odd ways that he dances with me when i say "yes, i'm willing."...odd, but real...quirky, but deep. but led by him! and followed by me...
and today...i am happy. just happy. and i have no idea why other than...him...and his peace that is such a mystery.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
and more than work...real LIFE is full of moments like these. the tough parts of really loving people.
it's funny because when that stuff has to go down, it's like some people think we just love being hard on people. that we must not care at all. that we like to see misery and inflict "pain".
and...it's so not like that.
it's just hard to convince someone of that in the heat of it all.
so today, i chose to do that part of loving that i don't relish to the fullest. seeing the bigger picture of life and who we are all destined to be, it was a good and right thing to do. but the "doing" of it...kinda felt heavy.
...especially because i'm familiar with the backlash that comes...
so, do we keep on keeping on? i guess i like to think people's hearts are worth it...
Monday, September 29, 2008
it talks about standing...with a heart that's abandoned to god and his wild love. i think it's a beautiful picture of what true life in christ is destined to look like.
and it makes me think...this is what i hope is said of me someday. hopefully, in god's eyes, i'll have finished well...with a life that looks like this.
and yet those people aren't just a tad bit concerned that obama has a similar lack of experience for being a president????
oh my gosh....duh.
i'm sorry but while sarah palin's been actually doing something with the issues in her state...heck, actually having an opinion and making decisions even if it wasn't popular...proving that she's well qualified to attack problems and make decisions without party drama...well, while she's been doing that, obama's been doing a HUGE nothing to advance his career. he actually voted "present" (not "for", not "against") in over 100 federal senate votes...not committing any way on many issues. AND...when he did vote, he voted "against" actually regulating 'freddie' and 'fannie'...voting with the partisan split. that's GREAT experience...pllllease! AND...he was the only senator to vote that babies who actually dare to survive an abortion procedure should be set on a table to die of neglect and exposure. all that because he's concerned that if his daughter ever got pregnant someday, he'd not want her to be "punished with a baby".
so, i'm wondering why a "willing to work and actually prove it" sarah palin...who's looking at a second-in-command position is getting so much drama as opposed to a "who the heck knows what he really thinks about ANYTHING" (oh, except a super bad decision building to economic debt and an infanticide perspective on abortion) obama who's looking for the top job!!!
the latter makes me wayyyyyy more nervous than the prior.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
so i decided to try to raise my spirits a bit by trying on some of my costumes. over the years, i've acquired a variety. some were purchased in my "princess" push...gotta have the prom dresses to go with the crown. :) others were purchased for costume parties and "just in case" whims.
so today...with a kleenex shoved up each nostril, i landed on my costume for this year's costume party.
batgirl!...complete with mask and arm guards.
the pic...in light of my illness today...wasn't too pretty. but i'm confident that time will help me get in the swing of things....and become the batgirl that i'm meant to be. :)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
yesterday, in health class we began talking about the endocrine system, hormones and glands. the students had to complete a worksheet about the various glands, describing function and location. well, the sheet also listed "gonads" (the reproductive organs). within my earshot, one of the students asked another where gonads were located... he replied in a whisper, "below the waist and...uhh...above the knees."
i haven't laughed so hard in a while.
so, just in case you aren't sure where your parts are...check below the waist and...above the knees. should be somewhere in there...!
Monday, September 22, 2008
a friend of mine quoted this the other day over lunch. she's had some negative experiences with a certain type of man...no, "guy" is the better word, i think.
can i just say that this is not an uncommon thing? i've heard four stories of this in the last 5 days!!!
it's so frustrating!!!
living in a culture that doesn't raise up and release real men...is hugely depressing. they bounce from woman to woman trying to work out their wounds...leaving hoards of feminine broken hearts who couldn't be medicine enough to make it all better...
simply because this type of guy can't help but be parasitic...
it's so hard...and heart-breaking. so many girls are walking around dazed and confused at how they must have been the problem...classicly too much or too little...not pretty enough...not tough enough...not enough of a doormat...the sick disease of the heart left in the wake of his sailing ship.
and the thing is...no girl can solve this for him.
it takes a "man" to teach a "guy" to be a "man"...
but "getting some" and moving on...or "putting down to build up"...and on and on and on...it's just way easier to do than get it together.
how will we even recognize a real man when he comes along anymore? looks are so deceiving...
and few realize how truly terrifying it is to risk it all...all over again...
just has me thinking of late...more common than not, it seems.
Commentary by Kevin Hassett
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.
Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.
But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.
In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn't make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.
The problem was that the trillions of dollars in play were only low-risk investments if real estate prices continued to rise. Once they began to fall, the entire house of cards came down with them.
Take away Fannie and Freddie, or regulate them more wisely, and it's hard to imagine how these highly liquid markets would ever have emerged. This whole mess would never have happened.
It is easy to identify the historical turning point that marked the beginning of the end.
Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Comiission's chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie's position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ``on the page'' of allowable interpretations.
Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a ``world-class regulator'' that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting miscreants were less eager to be associated with them. The time was ripe.
The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''
What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.
If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.
But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.
That such a reckless political stand could have been taken by the Democrats was obscene even then. Wallison wrote at the time: ``It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats and the few Republicans who oppose portfolio limitations could not possibly do so if their constituents understood what they were doing.''
Mounds of Materials
Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons. Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices. Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.
But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.
Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.
Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.
There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.
Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.
(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)
To contact the writer of this column: Kevin Hassett at firstname.lastname@example.org Last Updated: September 22, 2008 00:04 EDT
Saturday, September 20, 2008
if you are in a place of needing to walk through something, walk away, step into something deeper...this is for you!
walking through things...dealing with stuff...you meet more and more of the real you...the wonderful, beautiful, strong you. and you meet god there...the loving, adventurous, awesome god.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
As large as the role our mothers have played, the word “mother” is more powerful when used as a verb than as a noun. All women are not mothers but all women are called to mother. To mother is to nurture, to train, to educate, to rear. As daughters of Eve, all women are uniquely gifted to help others in their lives become more of who they truly are - to encourage, nurture and mother them towards their true selves. In doing this, women partner with Christ in the vital mission of bringing forth life.
The nurturing of life is a high and holy calling. And as a woman, it is yours. Yes, it takes many shapes and has a myriad of faces. Yes, men are called to this as well. But uniquely and deeply, this calling makes up part of the very fiber of a woman’s soul – the calling to mother.
All women are called to mother. And all women are called to give birth. Women give birth to all kinds of things – to a book (it’s nearly as hard as a child, believe me), to a church or to a movement. Women give birth to ideas, to creative expressions, to ministries. We birth life in others by inviting them into deeper realms of healing, to deeper walks with God, to deeper intimacy with Jesus. A woman is not less of a woman because she is not a wife or has not physically born a child. The heart and life of a woman is much vaster than that. All women are made in the image of God in that we bring forth life. When we enter into our world and into the lives of those we love and offer our tender and strong feminine hearts, we cannot help but mother them.
The capacity of a woman’s heart for meaningful relationships is vast. There is no way your husband or your children can ever provide the intimacy and relational satisfaction you need. A woman must have women friends.
It is here, in the realm of relationship that women receive the most joy and the profoundest sorrows. The friendships of women inhabit a terrain of great mystery. There is a fierce jealousy, a fiery devotion and a great loyalty between women friends. Our friendships flow in the deep waters of the heart where God dwells and transformation takes place. It is here, in this holy place that a woman can partner with God in impacting another and be impacted by another for lasting good. It is here that she can mother, nurture, encourage and call forth Life.
To have a woman friend is to relax into another soul and be welcomed in all that you are and all that you are not. To know that, as a woman, you are not alone. Friendships between women provide a safe place to share in the experiences of life as a woman.