Thursday, February 28, 2008

more beauty

I mean seriously, how can you see this and not be amazed by the power of the Creator God.
I took this on the silent retreat. I will tell you more about the weekend when I have words, for now I have pictures. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

California is BEAUTIFUL

just some pics of the beach in Santa Barbara, tomorrow I will show you the snow

Embrace Beauty

I am working on the whole "what does it mean to be beautiful?" question in my head. So with some verses in mind (Prov. 31:30; 1 Peter 3:3-4) I am trying to let go of some of the outward things that I have begun to define as beautiful. 

I wanted to let you in on the experiment:

No makeup and minimal jewelry until orthodox easter. 

The hope is that if I purposely let go of distracting superficial things I can focus on the things that really are beautiful in myself and around me. As I understand more beauty within myself I will then be better able to see the beauty in others and in creation. 

So that is the plan. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

luxury and silence

I hate laundry, and I am kind of a brat about it. My friend Cody reminds me that his mother grew up in Chile. She had to scrub all her clothes by hand. Still, even with the availability of washing machines and driers, I hate the task. 

Today I broke down and washed some clothes. It was an ordeal. There were no washers available at the laundry mat. I took my stuff to a friends house. They only solar dry (it is better for the environment). It is raining. So my clothes are scattered throughout my apartment.

The point of this is about how disconnected I am from the work required to live. I regularly abuse the luxuries I have as an US citizen. I live in a country that uses a majority of the worlds resources. I get to wash my clothes in a machine and they are dry in no time. I forget that this simple task uses electricity and water (precious resources). I forget that I am lucky enough to be in able to wash my clothes without rubbing my skin dry. I am often unaware that this lifestyle is a luxury.

Tomorrow at 7 am I am leaving for a silent retreat. 

We are driving for 3 hours to get to a cabin in the mountains to be silent. There are about 15 of us total. I will be cooking. It is mostly soups and stuff with fresh veggies that I bought at a local store today.

I need this. I need to be calm and quiet. I need to chop vegetables and stir food. I need to be connected with what I eat and with the world I live in. I need to be quiet before God and with God. I need to be aware that I am a consumer in this world and I need to be responsible with what I consume. I need to live in a way that reflects the fact that how I live in this world is worship. 

Yet even in this act of simplicity I am in luxury. As I am thinking about my time to spend in stillness I am reminded that some of the most amazing theology of our time is trapped in the developing world because those who write this theology cannot take time to write it. They must live it. Theirs is the theology we hardly studied in class because it is barely written. Instead it exists as these theologians seek to survive. 

With that in mind I am grateful for the luxury of spending time in thoughtful silence. Pray that I use it well. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

now for the hard part

I have decided to live more simply. This means changing my spending. So here is where it gets challenging. 

I have two projects in mind for painting type thingys. And I am really excited about them. I am excited about them for many reasons including the fact that no one is going to buy them. They have not been ordered by someone. Therefore there is no timeline no pressure to please no stress. They are all for me!! They will go up on my wall in my new room. But since no one is buying them no one is paying for them.

I just need the patience and supplies to make them. that is the tricky part. You see I have made a purposeful choice to live simply. Therefore all the supplies I need for this project to happen have to materialize without me spending money on them. So far I have two canvases that I obtained without theft or spending money. Now I need paint, paper, and glue. So in my experiment in living more simply I am trusting that I can create this art without spending a ton of money. 

Here are the ideas: 

1. This one will involve the pictures of the side walk art that I took the other day (reference the heart I posted two days ago). I will take a bunch of them create a collage type thing and then paint the streets of the city over it (like a map). It is going to be sweet!! and I will post a pic of it here.

2. I wrote 3/4 random poems recently that were mostly just flow of thought words. I have typed them up and I am going to print them out and paste them onto a canvas that I will have already painted. and I think that I will create a lotus flower out of collage paper (I am really into this collage thing right now) and it will also be on the painting. There will be a series on with each poem.

so soon there will be pictures here of the art to come. Art that was created without creating waist and without spending beyond my means. I am excited!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

say something worth reading...

As a point of developing the discipline of writing I am going to try to write something here daily.
I made this choice yesterday when I created the blog. 
I want this to be a space where I share my journey of attempting to live the life Jesus has called me into.
Even though I have spent a great deal of my life teaching, it seems that I have not really developed my voice. (at least not with people my age and older)
So this is an experiment in learning to say what is going on in my head. It is an experiment in introspection and all of you have been invited in.
But even with that said, when I sat down to write today there was nothing. I think mostly there is nothing because it is intimidating to know that someone somewhere will read this.
So maybe tomorrow. I have some poems I think I want to share but I am not ready, so maybe tomorrow.
But know that even if I guard myself from you, you have been invited in. Into my head, into the way I want to change things and first I want to change me. 
This is my becoming.  

Monday, February 18, 2008

Where will my heart be next?

I took this picture the other day walking in the Mission.
It was painted on the side walk.
It just seems to fit here.

I live in San Francisco.
I moved into a sub-let. It is for real, and I am planning to stay as long as I can. I feel like it fits me, for now.
I still call Texas home when I think about my plans to visit in May.
But this is home.
I am sad that I have to get rid of my TXDL so that I can drive in California. 
My soul still cries out to roam. 
I long to live in India, Taiwan, Japan, any part of Asia.
My heart still tugs at me to be in Africa. 
It still screams for the world to care about the needs of that great continent as if it were part of me.
I still desire the snowy cold of upstate New York.
As much as Alabama was not the place for me, I think of my juvy kids with every rap song I hear.
I still call UBC my church. 
I identify my self as being from Dallas.
Mineral Wells is the official address I put on everything. (even though I have never lived there)
I start my new job as a 7th grade tutor tomorrow, but my favorite Jr. Higher is still in Waco.
All of my family lives in TX. Their pictures are on my desk and I call them regularly, so I can pretend they are near.
My heart is everywhere I have ever been and still fully here.
So I took the picture on the side walk, an exposed heart, open to the elements, it could be any where, but it is here, and as it is posted here it is now everywhere.


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