Sunday, March 22, 2009

$1 a Day- Day 1 of 7

Melanie has inspired me to take the $1 a day challenge. I am committing to only spend $1 a day for 7 days. I have to eat what is already in my fridge. I can only spend $1 all day- entertainment, food, whatever only $1. Today is day one, and it has me thinking about how some things that change possibly shouldn't.

The summer after my junior year in college I experienced a great loss. My Zoe, a '92 Mercury Capri, with white billows of smoke died. With $3 in the bank I traded her in for D.C., a '02 Ford Focus.

With $3 in the bank I bought a slightly used car. (We wonder why our credit system has crashed???)

Buying a car with no money and a low paying job, while also paying rent, paying for college, and all the other needs of life forced me to live as cheaply as possible during my senior year. I was the type that would skip meals and be a little on the hungry side to pay for concerts. That year was a year of creative spending.

I remember opening my fridge on many occasions, seeing basically nothing. Some cheese, an egg, some left over rice, salsa- WAIT! I can put those all together and make a meal! Yay!! The next day- there was no egg, but there is still rice and salsa- another meal!

Each creative creation made me proud.

I was 21, I was paying for my own life (mostly, thanks mom and dad for the health insurance). I worked 3 jobs, I pulled a 4.0 and I was happy. I went to the gym and payed flag football- because they were free. I studied more, therefore earning the 4.0, because studying is free. My friends and I sat on the hillside watching the sun set. We found so many ways to entertain ourselves without spending money. I cannot deny that there were many moments of freak out, because I had spent all my money on a trip down town- still every time I figured out how to stretch my resources I was excited.

What changed? I graduated. I took out more loans in grad school so that I didn't have to be that poor. I got a job that paid me well. The past few years were great years of full fridges and expensive nights out.

This past fall I experienced another great loss- my financial security was lost when I took a risk at a job that required I raise support- I left that job and as I was unable to find a job within my passions.

The car is paid off and sold. Rent, paying off my student loans, and looking for a job that fits my passion are draining my wallet, and I am relearning the sense of accomplishment when I open my fridge to see Quinoa, black bean soup, a tomato, and an half gone onion- Perfect! Throw that together and it's a fabulous meal!

Somethings should never change- the ability to be grateful in plenty and in want is one of those things. (Paul said something like that once. Phil 4:12)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What can you do to end slavery?

Slim's hosted a smattering of people- some from ReIMAGINE, some from Crew, some friends of friends, a bunch of actual fans of the music (and the music was worthy of fans). It was a beautiful gathering of people. Joined together in response to the need to bring slavery to an end.

27 million people are in slavery.

It can end in this life time. I believe that with all my heart.

Justin Ancheta did a great job using his gifts as a musician to craft this night. He did what he knows how to do- he gathered musicians and fans. The event was able to raise some money for the organizations represented. Admittedly not all that had been hoped for- but I think it was a fabulous endevor nonetheless.

So this is my question: what are you good at? What can you do to end slavery?

All of us can do something.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Slim's Tonight!

A group of fabulous people have done some great work to get a concert together to raise funds and awareness to aid trafficking victims and the organizations that serve them.

So head out to Slim's tonight to support them!

The show is $15.

Four local bands will be there! I love Weather Pending! and Justin has done great work to set this up. I can't wait to hear him!

Organizations that will be present include:
Not For Sale
The S.O.L.D. Project

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beautiful Choas

"Where does the food go?"
"Where can I chop this?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"I haven't seen you in weeks!"
"Put me to work."

The kitchen was filled with people. The living room as well. The tiny apartment was crowded with love, energy, and close to 25 people. We chopped onions, attempted to make queso, burned some corn chips, forgot to buy plates and cups, cooked up a fabulous pot of rice, and created a feast!

Tonight was simple and beautiful. My community gathered together to celebrate God's provision, to craft a meal, to be present with each other, to learn from others experiences, to be in the presence of a Holy God as we enjoyed each other, and to feel just a bit of the Kingdom surrounding us.

too obvious

When I went home to Texas in December I almost stayed- well not exactly, but I was dreaming of how I was going to come back to San Francisco for just long enough to say good-bye.

After flying back into my amazing city on the bay in January I felt sure that God was asking me to stay just a bit longer- and I was not comfortable with that.

Who am I here without my role on the ReIMAGINE staff? Who am I as a faith leader not leading in any faith community? Who I am without a title?

Wait!! Did I really just ask those questions??? Did I, a person who has told many people that they are not defined by their accomplishments and titles, really just ask these questions??

The answer was so easy when I was talking to someone else; as they failed a test; as they received rejection letters from jobs and schools; as they were passed over; as they had to reevaluated their identity.

Still, the too obvious answer went unnoticed for much of the past 3 months as I went without a title.

This time last year I chose to go over 40 days without makeup or jewelry, because I needed to know I was not defined by my adornments. It seems this year I am going a yet determined amount of time with out a title, to teach me I am not defined by a job description.

I don't know how long I will have the joy of living in this place. I do however know that at the very least God is teaching me who I am.

Friday, March 13, 2009

another purposely vague post

Today I found out that a job I want badly does not come with a promise of funding for the program.

I want it anyway.

I am either stubborn beyond reason or passionate beyond rational bounds.

It doesn't really matter to me.

I want it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

now or later

A few months back I watched the movie Shop Girl. (In general the movie was good enough- not great, but not a total waist of my time- I might have liked it more in that moment than I am remembering liking it.) In the movie the heroine of the movie has fallen in love with a man that refuses to love her back. As she comes to this realization she says "So I can either hurt now, or I can hurt later." She chooses now.

I never want to choose now. I don't want later either.

I am not in love. That is not what hurts or is going to hurt. However, I am aware that I can hurt now or later. I am choosing now, or at least I am trying to. I am choosing it, because it is honest. I am choosing it because in reality it is my later. I have run out of time and the hurt has caught up with me.

Hurting now requires that I be present in the reality that I am living in, not in the one I wish for.

Despite the oncoming and present pain I am grateful. My friends are some of the best a person could ask for. Furthermore I know that my Creator is present with me in this.

I hate that this post is so vague- but my point is this:

If your options are to hurt now or later- choose now. In reality it is the only real option you have. It is the option that is truest, it is the option that allows you to show up, and we all need you here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So I went onto Wordle today and it created this from my blog- so fun!

Wordle: blogable

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Connecting all over the place!!

My wonderful boos Vicki just introduced me to Noel from CCDA- such a gracious man.

I am excited to say that I am now throwing off all my weekend plans to attend the training in Walnut Creek this weekend! I am excited!

I will let you know how it goes!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Morality and Holiness

I am currently pondering how it is that I have spent most of my life confusing morality for holiness. Even more I am currently pondering what holiness looks like if it is more than morality.

As part of my community's Experiments in Truth I am supposed to pick 3 experiments to participate in over the next 40 days. As I ponder this task I have come up with a few things I want to address in my life. However I have felt a stirring in my soul telling me that, more than changing some habits, my greater desire is to seek holiness.

The problem is that the more I think about creating a to-do list around the idea of holiness, the more I see that I cannot task out what it looks like to seek holiness.

I know there are a few passages that call me to holiness- specifically ones that say "be Holy, because I am holy." (Lev 11:44; 19:2; 1 Peter 1, just to name two of them) I know that I am called to seek holiness, but when I read of God's holiness as well as Jesus' life and sacrifice- morality seems to be a weak response to seeking holiness. I long for a response to God that is worthy of my Creator.

With that said and without any clear direction as to what this looks like I am going to continue to be moral person; I am also going to try to seek holiness.

As for my experiments:
  • I am going to try to get up earlier (my least favorite thing in the world is getting up in the morning) and be more aware of my time. I tend to loose track of what I spend my day doing, and I need to be more aware of this precious life.
  • I am giving up meat and sweets for Lent- and reading the Passion narrative daily.
  • I am going be intentional about encouraging other people- through notes and phone calls. The goal is to love people deeply and make sure I let them know how much I love them.

They seem really basic and I am having a really hard time getting motivated by them. Who knows, maybe they will surprise me and push me toward the holiness I seek.

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