Posts Tagged ‘life’

Happy Birthday to Me

November 26, 2008

bday-cakeSo I have been 28 for a week now.  It doesn’t feel much different than 27 except the possible exception that I am quite cognizant that I am closer to turning 30.  : )

My birthday was GREAT!  I woke up and decided to have breakfast at the Waffle House.  I love the Waffle House because I feel like I am stepping back in time when I go in there.  It’s like the twilight zone.  I got calls from my mom and my friend Jen to start off the day which was lovely.  I worked most of the day but the guys I work with in the maintenance shop took me out to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays.  I tried something new and it was very delicious.  I left early and had a bit of down time before heading off to church for dinner and Bible study.  It was nice because I actually got there in time to have a relaxing meal instead of having to battle traffic and then eat quickly.  Then to top off the evening, I was treated to dessert by my friend and mentor ‘A.’  I had tiramisu and Bailey’s and Cream.  It was great!

It was a long day and I was very tired by the time I got home, but I felt loved and appreciated and thankful for another year of life.  In reflecting back on this year, it has been both exciting and trying.  In my 27th year of life I really began to understand God’s call on my life.  I also took the first steps towards that call and started seminary and became an Inquirer.  It has been a year of change.  The ideas and ideals that I have held for many years have been re-evaluated in this year of life and some of them have been replaced, others have been tweaked, and still others remain on the table as unsolved mysteries.  I preached and led a worship service for the first time too and that was an amazing experience.  I started this blog.  I met some new friends that have blessed me immensely.  I also celebrated my one year anniversary of resigning my commission in the Navy and walked down the aisle as the Maid of Honor in my Mom’s wedding.

In the midst of all that this were many tears, quite a few laughs (some from the toes), many hours of friends patiently listening to my end of conversations that all too often turned into monologues, and quite a few good books.   

All in all I can say this: I am glad to be alive.  As trying and gloomy as some of my days have been, I am still glad to be here on this third rock from the sun.  And I am glad to be a part of the Kingdom now.  So 28, here I am!  What will this next year of life bring?  No body knows.  But I am hopeful that God will give me the grace and strength to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.

Photo by: zappowbang

Nooma: Tomato

November 12, 2008

tomatoFor those of you who are interested, the new Nooma video is out.  It’s called Tomato and it’s streaing for free at Neueministry.com.  I don’t know that I like it as much as some of the others I have seen, but it’s still good.  It focuses on the life cycle of life and death and how that has played into God’s plans.  Enjoy!

A Book Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

October 8, 2008

I ordered this book because a few peoplehad either referenced it or quoted it in your blogs lately.  I didn’t read any reviews or excerpts other than the quotes in the blogs.  And I have not previously read anything by Anne Lamott though I have heard good things from various people about her writing.  I started reading this book on a rather pensive afternoon while I was still at work.  In my line of work this does not fall into my job description (couldn’t claim continuing education or anything nice like that) but I figured I had a broken toe and I was doing something worth while to be there to answer the phone if it rang.  So I read.  And I was immediately sucked in.  I have read many books in my life.  I have loved to read for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes it is to escape reality.  More often it is to come to grips with it.  I didn’t really have any expectations when I started reading Bird by Bird, but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

I can honestly say I have never read a book that I felt was speaking directly to me.  You know what I’m talking about.  Sort of like when you are sitting in church and the pastor says something and they happen to be looking directly at you when they say something very poignant?  I identified with this book like I have with no other book.  Sure there have been other books that have moved me and challenged my and encouraged me and enlightened me as I sought understanding of myself and understanding of God and understanding of the world in which we live.  But reading the introduction to this book made me feel one with the universe.

Intense?  Yes.  Slightly melodramatic?  Possibly.  But I really identified with what she wrote.  It’s amazing really.  I have written my whole life.  I kept a diary as a kid and wrote awful things that I didn’t want anyone to read but hoped they would.  I have written update letters to friends and family thinking they were short notes only to find out from a friend who printed one out that it was three pages long.  And I have always loved words.  My friend Heather exclaims in joy every once in a while when I take a word like crap and turn it into crapily (i.e., I slept crapily last night.)  I told her tonight, “Words are our playground!”  I told her that because I know she agrees.  We are of one mind in this.  All of this and yet I was so wrapped up in the procurement of perfection and so drunk with my addiction to approval that I never allowed myself to interact with the irreverent. 

But a life that’s perfect isn’t worth living becuase perfection is a lie.  Life is reverent in it’s irreverence.  Life is beautiful in it’s imperfection.

Reading Anne’s book has helped me see that I think I’m finally okay with that.  And so now I can write.  Now I can write because can finally stop telling lies and write what is true.

Life vs. Life

September 13, 2008

So I had an interesting conversation with a guy from church at the party I went to tonight.  It was about politics.  As it was a follow on conversation from some discussion during our last small goup meeting, it pretty much cut to the chase.  The discussion was about the candidates and their stance on abortion.  This is a hard debate for sure.  There are a few things that stick out to me though:

1) Pro-life in the abortion arena does not = pro-life in general
2) Pro-choice does not = abortionists

It seems to me that the picture that is painted is that if you are pro-choice, it means you hate babies, are a murderer, and should be thrown into the pit of hell.  I find it interesting however, that many pro-choice folks do not support abortion.  They support choice (hence the pro-choice label as opposed to, let’s say, a pro-death label).  And they also support lots of reform to those things which would contribute to a woman feeling as though she doesn’t have any other choice than an abortion.  Anyway, while I am sure there are some women who would cold heartedly just abort a baby because it was an inconvienence, I think there are many more women who are faced with the difficult decision of being able to provide for themselves and the family they may already have, and providing for the child they now carry in their womb.  Am I saying that make aborting a child right?  By no means.  I’m just saying it’s complicated that’s all.  There is a great article in the latest issue (and by latest issue that is referring to the SEP/OCT 2008 issue in case that link changes) of Relevant Magazine titled Leading the Charge that speaks to this.  Cameron Strang writes…

Many Christians want to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but I don’t hear nearly as many leading the charge on a national adoption movement.  If Roe vs Wade is overturned, where are all those babies going to end up?  Christians should be focused on personal action regardless legislation, not just waiting for the right number of Supremem Court Justices to come along.

In another article of this same issue, titled In the Booth Not of the Booth written by Adam Smith, Tony Campolo is quoted as saying

The abortion issue cannot be ignored…Here’s where you can see where both parties have something to contribute.  The Republicans want to overthrow Roe vs. Wade, and the pro-life people would cheer that, and they should.  The other side of the story is this: Seventy percent of the abortions in this country are presently driven by economic orces.  You have an 18-year-ld woman who works at Wal-mart at minimum wage–she has no hospitalization, she has no opportunity for maternity leave, she has no access to daycare when the baby is born, she’s in dire straits.  If you’re going to be pro-life, you cannot only be concerned about the unborn; you have to be concerned about after they are born.

The quote from Campolo goes on and he makes it a bit more personal by asking questions like, “Are you willing to give her maternity leave so that she doesn’t hvae to either loose her job or have an abortion?”

And it’s hitting me while I write this that Jesus came to give life and life aundantly to everyone.  To the born and the unborn.  So, if by focusing on those already birthed into this world and providing economic support to women who are pregnant in order to allow them to choose to have the child that is growing in their womb, life is protected better than a law that says abortions are illegal, do we need a law?  Those who are cold hearted enough to abort a baby simply because they don’t want to inconvienence of a child will still manage to aborth babies whether abortions are illegal or not. 

I guess what I am saying is, there is more than one way to skin a cat.  While it seems very polemical, underneath it all both sides want to protect babies and mothers.  They just have different ideas about how to do that.  So  maybe instead of deamonizing each other, we should try to find a workable solution that accomplishes just that. It seems to me that it is very doable.

On another note, after reflecting on this issue, the pro-life designation is interesting to me.  It is interesting because it is reserved for the issue of abortion only.  There are HUGE contextual and practical differences between abortion, war, and the death penalty, but it is strange to me that life and death are common threads in all of these issues and yet we seperate them.  To be a bit crass, babies are much cuter than convicts, but does God not value life because God has given it?

Letting go

August 31, 2008

I think I am going through my teens late.  I feel as though I am just now discovering who I really am.  It is as if I have forced myself in a box too small.  I think I’m finally seeing myself as I was meant to be and simultaneously letting go of who I forced myself to be.  It has taken a good deal of courage to let go of what I have and in reality, it probably isn’t very much.  But I am not trying to down play it…it is what it is.  I ask myself, “Self, why do you run from who you are?”  It reminds me of Nelson Mandella’s speech where he said

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Speech given by Nelson Mandela, text by Marianne Williamson

I think the woman who wrote this was really on to something.  Now that I have come to realize that life is a journey and salvation a life long process I feel more at ease with the world and myself.  And it’s neat because the more I get to know the real me, the more I like myself which is significant indeed.  I have taken a lot of the pressure of myself and let my guard down a bit more.  I took a cultural diversity class last summer and one of the things that really stuck out to me was the idea that we give our daughters roots and our sons wings.  I have wanted to fly my whole life and there have been so many bogus things that have kept me grounded.  I am starting to feel like I can fly.  There is so much out there in the world.  So many people to meet, so many places to go, so many foods to taste and things to see, so many songs to listen to and play, dances to learn, people to love, faces to kiss…the world is scary and terrible but beautiful and wonderful.  It is a paradox.

Oh yeah….and I found out I like The Goo Goo Dolls.

Photo by: paveitapics