Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Love and Hope

Sitting in the balcony of a megga church in Denton, Texas tears streamed down my face. My older sister put her hand on my shoulder not sure of why I was crying. To be honest I wasn't even sure. It was as if that morning was a hint of the tears that were soon it come. It was Christmas 2009, and I was ready to let go. I came home to San Francisco and embarked on one of the most heartbreaking years of my life. My friendships changed, my housing changed, and my faith changed. I was doing the work of hoping: trusting that little tiny voice in my heart that was crying out for something more than what I was settling for. The tears were so intense they took me to the floor on more occasions than I can count and more than this prideful heart would like to admit, but a year later I can say I found the hope I was longing for. I found love so much greater than I was allowing myself to have and even as I am still single, going on random dates and being hit on in bars by men I find amusing at best, I now know that I am surrounded by love. My sisters were both married at 21, and by Texas standards I am an old maid, but my life overflows with love.

I just finished rewatching Love Actually. Here is the thing I enjoy most about this movie, the love in this movie is messy and it doesn't always work. Some of these stories are failures and some of them are ridiculous, but they are love stories nonetheless. My life might not be a romance but is is a love story, and for that I am grateful.

Merry Christmas (even if it is December 28th) and Happy New Year! May 2011 be the year of love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Winter Song

I know I said I was taking a break, but it just felt too perfect not to share.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

(image found here)

Merry Christmas!

Taking a break from blogging. There will clearly be a 2010 in review and a goal list for 2011 future post coming, but I just don't think I can commit to daily posting while enjoying my time off. But I will post on Kahlua making, eggnog making, and adventures in general, they just might show up in January.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I urge you to still every motion that is not rooted in the kingdom. Become quiet, hushed, motionless until you are finally centered. Strip away all excess baggage and nonessential trappings until you have come into the stark reality of the kingdom of God. Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Core. Richard Foster, Freedom of Simplicity

In a season of chaos, rushing from one thing to the next, cramming in drinks with friends before they leave for a week, as if it hasn't been months since we have seen each other anyway, I realize two things - genuine conversation with people I have not seen in months is seeking the kingdom and I am doing too many other things that aren't kingdom if the holiday rush is what forces me to sit down and chat with a dear friend.

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the calm of an empty city next week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Draw your recipes

My lovely friend Lisa just sent this to me. I am excited about it for three reasons:
1) I love love love recipe drawings
2) I love Chai
3) I love making things

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Laura Marling

So I have found some new music to love. (She did a project with mumford and sons, so clearly I love her.) The honesty of both her music and these videos are beautiful. Enjoy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

rain, sorrow, and waiting

(image found here)

Rain drops seeping through my sweatshirt, allowing my vices permission to win, begging the tears to fall as I wait in painful anticipation for this longing to end, hoping for the day that the questions will fade, I hear you whisper through the rain, 'I am with you.'
This is not the story I imagined myself in, this is not the hope I have been waiting for, and I know I have gained more than I lost, but I am mourning, still. It has been ages and this heart is still mending. There are parties to attend and the rain has yet to wash this mess away. Still, I will praise the God who gives and takes away.
It is a slow and constant struggle, but maybe this is what it means to be fully alive; to cherish and love the tears I cannot cry. I feel the need to quote a thousand songs of people who have said it better than I.
Maybe this is what advent is about. Longing, hoping, praying, begging for redemption and reconciliation. The rain will make the world green again, but it is only December and spring is far away.
Tonight as I celebrate the coming Savior, I am aware that am still waiting.

The Casting Crowns song Praise You In The Storm has been in my head a lot lately, but the video was too cheesy for me to post it here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tiffany's Windows and the Promises of the Season

She roamed the busy streets, too early to go to her next appointment, she remembered that she loved the Tiffany's windows at Christmas. Finding the paper folded and cut to create such simple joy, she sees the promise of the fairy tale, the journey from the small little cottages to the steps of the castle, and with these little images she let her heart dream.

May the season give you reason to dream.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"I don't gather that God wants us to pretend our fear doesn't exist, to deny it, or eviscerate it. Fear is a reminder that we are creatures -- fragile, vulnerable, totally dependent on God. But fear shouldn't dominate or control or define us. Rather, it should submit faith and love. Otherwise, fear can make us unbelieving, slavish, and unhuman." Philip Berrigan

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MINXY boutique

Last weekend my roommate and I had some much needed mission roaming time. This is the stuff our friendship was built on before she moved in, roaming around, discovering new shops and hitting up craft fairs. We roamed and talked for just a few short hours as we both had to get home at in time to prepare food for a potluck.

Finds like Minxy are my favorite part of roaming. This little shop is on 24th close to Harrison and is super cute! The owner of the boutique was there, dressed fabulously with a jacket over vintage red top, pencil skirt, and fishnets with peep toe wedges. (yes, I do remember) She had just the right amount of bling on to fit the feel of the shop and I was inspired to redo my entire wardrobe. (or at least to wear the vintage items I already own) The prices were very reasonable for a mission boutique and the feel of the place was welcoming, complete with a little dog that walked right up to me and begged to be pet.

If you are down in the mission check it out. It is fabulous.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Standing at the corner of 25th and Geary I waited in frustration hoping the bus would get there faster than the predicted time and standing in the middle of the lane searching for a taxi. Taxis don't go to the Richmond on Sunday mornings, or at least they didn't yesterday morning. I was running late. I had gone to sleep at 2:30 Saturday night after working my new part time gig for a photo booth company. Four hours of sleep and a few early morning errands later the bus was making me late and I needed to be at church on time because my kids were singing during the service. The bus was not coming, in fact the predicted time was now later than it had been a few minutes earlier.

Finally it arrived. When it reached my stop I ran most of the remaining blocks, I was still late. The service had started and I needed to slip into the front two rows.

It was earlier in the service than I thought and I was there in time to settle in for a second. I found my seat surrounded my children that are not accustomed to sitting still during service. I took a deep breath and let the songs of advent surround me.

I have decided to stay in SF this Christmas. It will be my first Christmas day to wake up away from my family. Up until yesterday I faced this reality with nervousness, but yesterday morning something wonderful happened: I felt very much at home. I helped position a bunch of rambunctious children on stage to sing at church, I sat on the floor to help guide them as they sang and I realized what it meant to build a real life here in San Francisco. Specifically, I realized that building a real life is staying here. It is waking up here on Christmas morning and not missing a single Advent Sunday between now and then. It is running late and slipping in just in time and sharing moments with people, especially those awkward moments of slipping around the row of seats in a full sanctuary in view of everyone so I can encourage 2 small boys that hitting each other is not a good way to participate in service, even if the other boy is being loud. As I realized this I got excited. As I have posted many times it is a thrill to me that I get to live here.

Over the next few weeks the chaos of the city will ebb just in time for me to take some deep breaths before heading off to Christmas eve service. I will do some more Christmas decorating (I still need/want a tree) and I am excited about setting up a small orphan Christmas Eve late night cocktail party, but more than any of that I am excited about doing it all while I am at home.

Yes, I will miss my parents, my sisters, their husbands, and their precious children, but on Christmas I will wake up in my own bed, walk my streets where I live, ride my bike to a dear friends home, and see my city bright with Christmas lights. I will experience longing for the day my family joins me in my life here, but that bitter sweet longing will only enhance my appreciation for the families here that open their homes to me, it will also increase my empathy for anyone that has faced the challenge of creating a home away from home, it will enhance my love for the stranger amongst us.

I am excited to have my first Christmas here and to make this place home.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Not only is another world possible, she is one her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." ~Arundhati Roy~

Happy Advent.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

(purchase above print here)

I love this little phrase and I see this print everywhere. Maybe because it is a great little reminder.

It is Saturday morning and it is already a crazy fabulous holiday weekend complete with small disappointments, great conversations, complete joy, double booking on people I care about and knowing that when I leave my house in 30 minutes I will not be home until after midnight and the same thing will happen tomorrow.

So I love the holidays, but I am a bit torn about the fact that waiting in anticipation for the Savior's birth has me running around like a bit of a crazy person.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The SOLD Project

Offer Children a Life Free from Exploitation from The SOLD Project on Vimeo.

I spent my evening last night at Winte Vineyards at a fundraiser for the SOLD project. I am always so excited to hear what they are doing to prevent child trafficking. They are looking to expand that their work and create a sustainable model of prevention in Thailand. The work they have already done is amazing and I am hopeful for their future and the future of the children they work to protect.

Please, as you think about gifts for Christmas consider giving someone the opportunity to never be sold.

Donate Here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Decorating

I started my Christmas decorating last night. I was starting to get nervous that I would run out of time and not decorate again this year, so at 11 pm last night I just got up and did it. (or at least most of it, I need a wreath and I want a tree.)

I am not done, but these two little pics make for a fun start to the Christmas set up to come.

Growing up some of my favorite memories of the holidays were of completely redecorating our house the day after Thanksgiving so that every surface was covered in Christmas decorations, everything else was put into storage for the following month. It was always a ton of work, but I loved the after effect. The decorations in the photos above were part of the decorations I grew up with and I am excited to have them in my grown up home.

Another favorite of mine was going to my grandmother's house and seeing her large Christmas tree. Each year she chose a new theme and it was always fabulously put together. I kind of wish I had the patience to redo a theme every year, complete with blue birds one year and all red the next. In any event I am inspired to be more like her all the time.

In addition to the images posted I have hung lace on my walls and hung ornaments from them. I would show you those but I have not been home at a good time to get the photos with natural light (and as you can tell from these pics, flash just doesn't do these decorations justice.) More pics will appear in the near future as I continue to prepare for Christmas.

Happy Advent!

Monday, December 6, 2010

“People are, if anything, more touchy about being thought silly than they are about being thought unjust.” E.B. White

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday in the rain

I spent the day with Rachael and Rachael, (Rachael Butler is really Sarah Rachael, and my name is Sarah, we have the perfect set of names to be a junior high mean girls clique, but we are grown and nice.) Rachael W got a citycarshare car and we roamed. I have stated before that something magical happens in my soul when I get to drive on open road. We didn't make that far at all, but we did get to drive on Highway One. I love love love living so close to the ocean.

As we roamed we found Fort Funston. It was kind of amazing standing in the rain over looking the ocean. We laughed as the wind attempted to break their umbrellas and we day dreamed of fabulous events hosted over looking the ocean. We planed hikes and trail runs. We moved without an itinerary and just let the hours be. It was wonderful.

Sometimes I can't really express how grateful I am to live here with these fabulous people in my life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Party Season

Christmas party season has begun in full force. I am excited and already exhausted. Nonetheless, we all know I love to celebrate with old and new friends.

Happy Holidays! It is going to be fabulous fun!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rest or something like it

(This is a picture of a picture, obviously. The picture is hanging on the wall at my desk. I think of this picture when I am being crazy and obsessive. It helps me relax as I remember the feeling of driving on open highway on a Spring break road trip I took in seminary. My friend Becky and I went to see our lovely friend Amber wed the love of her life. We covered most of the Southern Stated that week as we headed to the Carolinas. We also drove 3 hours in the wrong direction; it was amazing. Driving and roaming often heal my heart. I am ever so grateful for the ability to wander.)

I am looking forward to this weekend, I am looking forward to sleeping in, cleaning my house, decorating for Christmas, celebrating Dani's birthday, sipping coffee with Elaine, attending my first Christmas parties of the season, teaching small children old testament stories, and resting Sunday afternoon. It will be fabulous and I really do love my life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Laura Marling - Ghosts from kadei lemberger on Vimeo.

Might love this.

Love this

A few weeks (months?) ago I wanted Jaclyn to go to Mumford and Sons with me; I also wanted a new piece of art. The above piece of art is a result of the barter we came up with. I absolutely love it. I love the reminder that each one of us is responsible for ourselves. No one else is going to make us happy or push us to succeed more than we ourselves can. I also love the image of roots and wings. The idea that our passions are most alive when both grounded in reality and reaching for the day dream of how things can be.

Side note: the actual art is a very vibrant yellow, but of the photos I took this one was my fave. If you want to see its beauty in person you will just have to come over some time and enjoy some coffee or wine with me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


(image found here)

It is December. This is the last month of the year, but we all knew that. It is also Advent, my favorite time in the Church calendar. I love it because it is both difficult and beautiful. It is a time of waiting and celebrating. We are waiting for the Messiah to come again, and celebrating that he has come once already. This is difficult because the first coming didn't end with peace on earth, but it is exciting because it did end with resurrection and the promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth. It is difficult because we are living in the space between, and the space between is hard and beautiful.

I read a pastors blog the other day that really hit home with some of the struggle I have been having with God and everything lately. Danielle Shroyer closes her post with these questions:
If the little child has come, and shall lead us, did we simply not follow? Did we miss our chance? Did we get lost along the parade route and never realize the party broke up? ‘Tis the season to dream big dreams and hope big hopes. But the hardest question remains: Why is the earth not yet filled with the knowledge of the Lord?
As much as I often find myself focusing on my own issues of "why not now?" My deepest most honest question this advent is: "When will the world see true redemption?"

With the start of the last month of what has been a killer hard year I am excited. I am excited to see how 2010 closes itself out, with parties, concerts, time off from work, a fabulous stay-cation, some serious house decorating, and time to remember the birth of our Savior. I am excited to spend some time remembering what I am really waiting for is ahead. Yes, on January first I get to put the mess of 2010 behind me (at least figuratively) but I also get to look back on a year of incredible growth and rebirth; a year of gentle whispers from a God that loves me; a year of being honest with God about how abandoned and betrayed I feel; a year of recognizing my need for relationship and love, as well as my need for redemption. In the next month I hope that I finish well, I hope to lean into the waiting and trust that there is so much more ahead. Redemption is a slow and beautiful process, and even if it has already been 2000 plus years of waiting, rescue is coming.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things that make me thankful

I returned home from my Thanksgiving trip late last night. My trip was enjoyable, but felt a bit rushed, three homes in 6 days with over 30 hours of that spent in transit was a bit much. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my family very much.

Now before November is over here is my thankfulness list.

impulse buys
new friends
old friends
long car rides
audio books
airport taxis in the form of good friends
cool autumn days
learning to breath
all things vintage
genuine compliments
all things shiny
crafting headbands
all forms of cameras
(mostly film)
the elliptical
photo booths
red lipstick
huge leaves lining the side walk
my nieces and nephews
my family
screen prints
paint on my finger tips
planning parties
my job
my apartment
my city

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This week in over view:
Monday - community group
Tuesday- NDV community dinner
Wednesday- travel all day, snack at Dallas Love Field with grandparents
Thursday - be thankful with my parents, sisters, their hubbies, and 4 of the most wonderful children on the planet
Friday - I might shop (I don't love this idea but it seems like it will show love to my sisters)
Saturday- driving and older sister time
Sunday- parents house
Monday - fly back to SF

needless to say there will be no blogging, or at least no commitment to a daily blog

Sunday, November 21, 2010

“We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice, or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.”
~Benjamin Jowet~

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

It is raining and wonderful. It will be a taxi kind of night heading to a fabulous birthday party than out dancing!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Feature

This is Jaklyn. I have already stated multiple times that I have an artist crush on this lady. Over the past few months she has become a close and inspiring friend. We are part of a small community group together and I have been blessed by her leadership. She has helped me see that I have the courage and the resources to start new, reminded me that it isn't weak to admit when the emotions are too strong, and today she is someone that celebrates new joys with me.

She answered some of the same Friday Feature questions as my other artist friends and I think you will enjoy her answers.
1. Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by courageous people. Courageous people who are also artists are not only fascinating but in my mind also make an incredible impact on the world. Mexican painter Frida Coelho comes to mind as a fearless and uninhibited woman whose artistic expression inspires me towards honesty in all I make. Sister Corita Kent was another courageous woman whose serigraphs are not only rich to me aesthetically (love her use of color!) but also combine her faith which informed her advocacy towards radical social justice. Another rad female artist who is alive (yay!) and creating out of Oakland is Favianna Rodriguez. Her drawings and screenprints are my favorite and often involve themes of social justice for immigrants and refugees.
I'm also inspired by my friends- people who love others relentlessly, who face their own fears, who are honest with themselves, who show up for life ready to give.

2. What is your favorite thing to create?
As far as getting my hands into things... screenprinting: few things are more satisfying than pulling ink through the screen and seeing what happens on the paper. Of course, you're supposed to know what's going to happen, but then there's that random smudge or the opacity that didn't turn out as expected which is sometimes fun and sometimes not. The anticipation that the process builds keeps it exciting for me. Screenprinting, especially in your bedroom, is a very involved process with a lot of variables. It's messy and there's a lot of room for error. Which is why, when you finally get to part where you actually get to print, it feels so good. I like to start a painting with a general sketch and visual concept but always leave a lot of room for changes. Some artists are very technical. I am not. Screenprinting and painting and photography can all be technical and I admire those who operate on that level but for me it is mostly intuitive and tactile and expressive. I'm a feeler and honesty is important to me so I bring that into my creative process and pay a lot of attention to what I need and want to communicate.

3. How did you get into textile art?
My creative journey began as many do with crayons and paper and paint as a child. I just did a lot of it. I kept doing a lot of it through middle and high school and by the time I started taking chemistry and trigonometry I knew I wasn't cut out for anything involving equations. I got through with good grades but didn't honestly give any genuine effort for anything other than art. It's a safe place for me to be who I am and I love that it allows others to do the same. I went to the College of Design at North Carolina State University studying studio art and design after being turned down twice. Welcome to competition and exclusivity! But there I worked with amazing classmates who I admire immensely and grew and grew and there I was introduced to screenprinting and another favorite, textile art. I tend to bounce around combining methods and materials and I'm thankful that in my training I wasn't limited to one but introduced to many techniques and disciplines.

4. If you could wake up anywhere in the world where would it be?
If I could wake up anywhere I would wake up to the sound of roosters crowing, children crying, and mosquitoes buzzing in Adjumani, northern Uganda.

5. What excites you about life?
People, adventures, love, explorations, taking risks, trusting a loving God.

When I asked her to provide an image of some art she loves she shared the piece below. It takes my breath away and I had to know it's story so clearly I asked.

This one is part of a series of three called "The Fierce Urgency of Now". The first two in the series I created before living in northern Uganda for a year and involve themes of war, child soldiers, darkness v. light, intrusion and the perseverance of joy and hope in the midst of that. I started this third painting in the series before leaving but was having a hard time finishing it when I decided to wait until my return and sort of culminate the series with my reflections from the year. I'm really glad I waited. The first two reflect very real themes but my only influence for those two were the media, books and films that I was immersed in as I attempted to understand the conflict in northern Uganda and how it was affecting the lives of people there. The third painting reflects a calmer, more grounded perspective. Still there are themes of light and dark, but I was creating from a much less chaotic frame of mind and focusing more on hopes of restoration, life and beauty flourishing on a backdrop of darkness. The sun rising behind the tukuls is an image that remains in my mind from the many mornings waking up in La Jopi village. It reminds me that no matter how difficult the day before was or how hard it was to sleep that night, the sun rises in the morning bringing new life, fresh perspective and the hope of a new day ahead.
Check her out here:

By the way: the piece above is for sale, as is the first piece in the series.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This amazing woman is coming to San Francisco for the weekend and I am thrilled!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Looking around at my life in the past few days and weeks and even months I am aware that I am surrounded by people who love me and bring joy to my heart. I googled images of joy and found this. I like it. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Go and find Jesus when your patience and strength give out and you feel alone and helpless. He is waiting for you in the chapel. Say to him, 'Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all I have, and you know all. Come to my help.'" Sr. Jeanne Jugan, Founder of the Little Sister of the Poor (1972-1879)

Today has already been a beautiful day and I am feeling refreshed and happy. Nonetheless, I love this quote. It is a great way to live.

Monday, November 15, 2010


For years I have loved the passage in Job 38 when God shows and up says "who are you to question me, and where where you when I..."

I have loved it because God showed up and spoke. God didn't ignore Job's anger and questioning. God showed up and responded.

Ever since posting last night's post I have felt God saying "I am here, and I have been with you all the while."

"I am in the loving texts and phone calls from friends. I am in the mistakes I have protected you from. I am in the faces of children listening to Bible stories. I am the songs you sing at the top of your lungs, and the songs you sand in silence for. I am on the hills you run and the Bible you keep sitting, often unopened, beside your bed. I am in the fiction you read. I am in all the things that bring you joy and all the ways you have courage to face your pain. I am in the water you drink restoring your tired body. I didn't go anywhere and I am not planning to. I am here, in whispers."

This truth woke me up this morning before my alarm went off and while I was still begging to sleep warm in my bed. I have not been forgotten or abandoned. God is here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Prayer and confession

I got to chat about church and theology (loosely) tonight. It has been awhile and it felt good. I have decided I love the church staff at City Church. I caught myself a few times with snide remarks that were a bit too harsh and cutting towards other believers in the city and in the U.S. I confess I hope that I am not judged as I have judged. The standards I have set are too high and often unfair. Still, the staff seemed supportive and interested in my thoughts and I enjoyed their company.

Still, today was another day that my relationship with God hit me like a brick wall. I participated in the Eucharist without an issue, I sang most of the words of most of the songs at church, I told the story of Elijah with authentic joy, but when I went back to church this evening for a leaders meeting and was asked to split into small groups to pray I slipped off to the ladies room. I couldn't authentically participate. I could have prayed with close friends, but I couldn't pray with strangers or church members I don't know yet.

My time in the ladies room was wonderful. I ran into a friend and got caught up on exciting news. Later we walked together and she affirmed that she thinks God is doing something in me that I don't understand. That felt good to hear, until I heard some of my own bitter words sneak past my lips and I wonder if I am really moving towards greater love.

This morning I told the story of God coming to Elijah in a whisper. I was struck by the fact that God went to where Elijah was hiding and spoke to him, provided for him and eventually revealed Him/herself to him. God could handle Elijah's fear, anger and accusations. God could deal with the fact that even after all the great works God had done Elijah was running and hiding scared.

So tonight's prayer might be a bit on the accusatory side, but it is also a confession. I plan to balance it out with other people's prayers, because to be honest I believe God can handle my frustration, but I am not sure I can.

cynicism sneaks out of well crafted phrases
snide remarks and haughty gazes
I am exposed
bitter and jaded
all pretense has faded
as I confess
this is my unrest
crying out for care
you are not there
not in the steeple
not in the pews
not in the churches I am accustomed to
I have not found you
you have been untrue
your faithfulness once brought tears to my eyes
now songs of love feel like lies
hope feels like despair
looking for you to hold me
you are not there

With all of this going on in my soul and mind; I am asking God: Be here.

Other People's Prayers

~Mother Theresa~

Deliver me, O Jesus,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire to being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being suspected.

Dear Jesus, help us to spread Your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being, so utterly,
That our lives may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us,
That every soul we come in contact with may feel Your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus!
Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as You shine;
So to shine as to be a light to others.
The light O Jesus will be all from You, none of it will be ours;
It will be You, shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise You without preaching, not by words but by our example,
By the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do,
The evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to You. Amen.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy
Guide me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them today, through our hands, their daily bread and through our understanding love, give peace and joy. Amen


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recycled Child Project and Dinners

Meet RCP Participant - "Oi" from Recycled Child Project. on Vimeo.

Tonight's dinner was in honor of the Recycled Child Project and it was amazing. We raised a modest $190, and I hope we inspired people to give in the future. Please watch the video above and donate.

I will confess going into the evening I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and discouraged. Monthly Dinners are a project I began in my previous faith community with a dear friend. I have since left the community and my friendship with this amazing woman has been affected by a challenging year. She has chosen to focus her energy in other areas and I went into tonight feeling like the one year anniversary of the project might also be it's end.

It is not. At one point one of the guests asked what my vision was. I told her this was started as a simple way for people who can't be philanthropist to invite people to give. In an ideal world the project will grow. Dinners will happen all over the city with 3-4 homes hosting dinners for the same organization all on the same night so that 40-50 people are involved and more money and awareness can be raised. I also said, honestly now that my partner in this has decided that she wants to do other things this might be our last dinner.

I can't do this alone and I will not do this alone. I want a consistent partner in this, and as these words were spoken I was given a new partner. The dinners will continue. I am excited.

I am excited because not everyone can give hundreds of dollars to support non-profits. I know I can't. But most of us can spend $20 on dinner. $20 = 2 meals for 15 young boys in Thailand through the recycled child project. To be honest I would host dinner parties either way. This way I get to know that what I am doing impacts young men who are being sold.

My dearest Scott, Ning and Sophia, I am excited to start this adventure with you!We are going to host some amazing dinners!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Feature

Meet Amy Foote. She is kind of amazing. Her energy fills the room and her voice will move your soul. She is part of an ensemble that tours and records. She is working on her own site and teaches voice in San Francisco.

Her passion in every area of her life inspires me. She is one of the most fully present and honest people I know. I am grateful to call her a friend!

I asked her a few fun questions. Enjoy!

Who inspires you?
Sometimes I have the privilege of witnessing someone perform completely unadorned of ego, the desire to impress, or with selfish intentions. Some people perform because they have a deep desire to connect with other humans on a level that even Kant couldn't really wrap his mind around. A few people I admire have made a meaningful connection with their audiences by connecting art with politics (hans verner henze), through communicating with 200 year old operatic stories (patricia racette), and sometimes through being 8 years old and singing a cover of David Bowie (seriously though...I teach a lot of kids...and they can perform like the best of them!).

What is your favorite thing to create?
I love to create (or perform) music that makes people think about something they haven't considered before (avante guard/ chamber music). I also love to write and perform folk songs with my autoharp because simplicity is comforting...and it makes my mom smile. :)

How did you get into singing?
I've been singing since I was able to romp around the house pretending to be the Little Mermaid. It's been quite an adventure from that, to singing in church, going to undergraduate school, and finally ending up in graduate school where I finally got my shit together and realized that I don't want singing to be just for fun...want I want it to be my job. I started taking singing a lot more seriously once I got to the graduate level and realized that not only is the classical world extremely competitive, but it also can be extremely powerful if performed well. I'd like to be a person that is known for communicating well. :)

If you could be anywhere in the world when you wake up in the morning, where would you be?
Paris...preferably somewhere close to IRCAM. However....now that they've banned burkas and are kicking out all those gypsies, I just don't know anymore!!!

What excites you about life?
Meeting new people that have a completely different background than me (whether they're rich, homeless, foreign, or from the south [ha!]), yet noticing that we have an awful lot in common. I also get really excited about the MOMA, dancing, learning new songs, doing handstands, and being near squirrels.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace." ~Brennan Manning~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Most Personal

Hitting publish can be one of the scariest things I do a day. At times it is easy, at times I am posting lists of songs. pictures of things I like, or ordinary updates on my life. Those times it is easy, almost embarrassingly unnecessary, except that for over 6 months I have posted nearly daily, even if quantity does not prove to improve quality. I do it so that maybe someday I will develop the discipline to write, so that the countless number of drafted posts that are actually good might someday see the light of day and I will pass on yet another post of boats. (You know you love the boats, come on admit it, they are awesome!)

Nonetheless despite the fear it seems that the times I say the most honest stuff I get the most responses and I realize why I write. It is for the connection. The moment that someone calls, texts, facebooks or comments and says "that was real, thank you."

It is amazing to feel the love when I admit I am doubting and friends respond in love and support. It is reassuring to have friends say they get it. It means something when friends tell me they have the same blog post drafted, but they are not ready to post it. I feel like it lets us be in this together.

I used to feel like facebook and blogs and all other forms of online social networking were creating false communities. I will admit that I have friends that live in my city that I talk to more on facebook than in person and that might be bad, but it might be good. I would be sad if I never got to hear how they were doing and if their blog didn't let me know how I could be thinking of them, praying for them as they dealing with life. I also feel like this networking thing is growing my community to a much broader scope than I ever imagines it would. I have stumbled onto blogs of a women that lives around the world from me, read her stories and felt more human, because I could relate to what they was saying. Their pain and joy and their admittance of it has helped me be honest about my own and even though I don't know them I am grateful.

I am a fan of honest space. Even if the most honest thing I can say is that I love bird cages and pirate ships, but even better if the most honest thing I can say is I laughed today, held a beautiful baby, ate dinner with lovely friends, and grieved the changes I didn't want to make.

Henri Nauwen is often quoted for saying "what is most personal is most universal." I feel like those are some of the most encouraging words I have ever read, and I am grateful to all the people that help me experience their truth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something pretty for your Tuesday morning

Generally I post pictures of flowers that I have taken. As my phone was stolen and I use my phone as my camera I have been too distracted to take any good flower pics in the past few weeks. I will get back to this soon.

But as a practice of embracing beauty I often roam the internet looking at beautiful blogs by floral designers (I kind of secretly wish I was a designer, or maybe it isn't a secret? oh, well I think if I wasn't working in social services I would wish I was, so I am happy. That is another post all together.) So since I am not posting my own picture feel free to roam these.


It is rumored that it is a proven fact the flowers make you less anxious and generally happier. I think I might pick some up on my way home tonight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sitting together singing praise songs I had to face it. The doubt. The feeling that just maybe I really don't believe these words. I can recite the Apostles Creed. The Lord's Prayer is fine with me. I can take the Eucharist without doubt. I read Psalms of Lament and sorrow. To be honest the stories of my faith often intrigue me in a cultural sense more than a spiritual one, but the reality of God in human flesh showing us how to be human inspires me. Yet, somehow when I attempt to sing of God's love forever the words choke me and I sit in silence, tears blurring my mascara and making my foundation smudge.

I am not sure what is happening. I have not lost all hope, but on most days I can't see past today. Today, I enjoyed coffee on my friends couch and told the truth. Today, I taught Sunday school, took an afternoon nap, drank good wine at the harvest festival, and met with Christians to sing songs and pray, and up until the last activity of the day I was doing well. Today I was happy. Today was a normal day, parts of it were almost mundane, but it was good.

Than somehow when invited to sing and pray I fell silent in my doubt. Am I ever going to have the role in the church that I felt God calling me to years ago? Am I ever going to be truly loved? Will it ever be any different than this? Will these wounds ever heal? How long till I can't do this anymore? Is God even listening? Does God even care? Does God see my faithfulness and my longing? Would it be better if I just quit now? Do I still believe that God loves me?

I thought of Hannah at one point. She begged God for a son and she was given one; but God has not answered my pleas and I have been begging for years.

For years I begged the church to be a safe place for other people who doubted. Now I am begging her to be a safe place for me. I am an ordained minister, that does not work for a church. I teach Sunday School. It is my greatest desire to walk with people as they seek after God and become the people they were created to be. But somehow tonight brought me to tears as I faced the reality that there are very few words I can sing right now and very few words I can pray.

I sometimes fear I am going through the motions of being a Christian. Hoping if I fake it long enough it will work itself out and I will be the Christian I once was. I will find joy in Christ again. Nonetheless, it seems these days I am more likely to find God in a piece of art and standing on the shore of the ocean. I don't go to church out of compulsion. I have experimented with not going to church once before and to be honest Sunday mornings feel safer than living room prayer gatherings. I can blend there, sneak in the back, listen, smile, and have a polite encounter with God, and that is about all I can handle right now.

I guess what I am saying is this is harder than I want it to be, but I am not done yet.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

I didn't do nearly the amount of cleaning I had planned this weekend. (I never do.) However, I had some really lovely chats with some really lovely women, about figuring out who I am and how I feel about the way things have turned and are turning out.

It is amazing to be single in a city where I can go out anytime I want and have about a billion options; however, moderation is a wonderful thing. Learning that I don't need to do everything I can do, that I am often more fulfilled my an evening in and a fabulous project completed is huge. I think I am going to make it a goal over the next few weeks to make more dirty dishes at home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly … Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and [the Lord] will say, Here I am."

- Isaiah 58:7-9

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday*

It's Monday and alteration is fun, but really here are thoughts on the end of the day.

The day had been overwhelming and a bit too long. Entering to room echoing from the chaos outside she filled the apartment as she scooped a bowl of homemade chili and poured a mug of wine. It was nearly 8 p.m. she was late and this was the first night of the new community group.

After 2 and half years she was no longer a vowed member of a faith community. She was, however, a committed member of this little gathering.

She had taken the summer to heal and listen to God. Unexpectedly her summer break became permanent. The plan was to go back in August, but it was November now. Over the past few months she found herself in a community that was in the prayer process. With some hesitation she had joined in the process. That process was beautiful and painful. Just last week she shed tears of exhaustion and grief, but still knew that this was real community. The community had spent months listening to each other and refusing to move forward if it meant leaving community members behind. It was powerful.

Tonight after the challenging decision to become two groups the two groups met separately. Nine of people sat in a living room. They read a scripture together and it was suggested that as this new group move forward stories should be told. Tonight's story: what brought you to San Francisco?

Everyone shared.

At one point Jaclyn stated that hearing the stories of fellow Christians is like hearing the gospel over again. These are the narratives of God moving and it can be heard with every person that recounted the events that brought them here.

I left feeling refreshed. I am starting over. I am moving forward. I am rewriting and retelling my story. I am letting go of so much more than a heart break, and less so much less than my faith. I am redefining my life knowing that there are moments in this story that changed everything, but these moments are not the story, they are sentences, paragraphs and maybe chapters of a narrative only just begun.

*The song and the post might not have anything in common, but than again they might.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I was reminded in a few blogs, tweets, facebook posts and messages of a sorrow that I cannot forget. It has been 5 years ago today since the loss of an amazing pastor, a loving father and a friend. He inspired us to live well. I am grateful for Kyle's life and legacy. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his friends, family and our church.

As you go forth this week, May you Love God, Embrace Beauty, and Live Life to the fullest.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What will we do?

I attended a really interesting discussion last night, that I will blog about soon. But first I am curious, really really curious.

Now that we can do anything, what will we do?

That was the question that sparked the book, that lead to the discussion I attended, and really with all my heart I am curious to see where people are going and what people are doing and what will we do?

So, I know I have readers (I have a tracker thingy, so I know you are out there) BUT I have few responders and I am very curious. What are our dreams? What will we do now that we can do anything?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharing is caring

So as early as you can do anything you learn how to share. So why is that we all want our own everything?

I am going to a discussion tonight hosted at the HUB Bay Area in Soma to chat about rethinking the way we consume. I am pretty stoked about it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010


The way sadness and joy work together is a mystery to me. It seems that one cannot fully exist without the other and together they enrich our lives.

Lately, I have felt like the two emotions are at full out war with each other in my heart. I want desperately for them to reconcile and realize that they are the two things that cause me to be fully present in my life right here and right now.

I know it sounds crazy but I know that the sorrow creates the contrast in my life that helps me fully know the power of joy, and joy helps me see the value in sorrow.

I learned of the death of an amazing woman today and my soul is grieved for her loss and for all of the amazing people who love her. I am at a loss for words because everything I type feels cheap. It feels impossible to think of joy in these moments, but when I think of her all I can think of is her amazing smile, her vibrancy, her Joy. She will be missed. The world was a better place with her here. Still, even as I write this with sorrow, her legacy is her joy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

(Image found here.)

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~Langston Hughes

I looked up my street today and the sidewalk was covered in red and brown leaves, while rain came drizzling down. Rainy season came way too early this year after a summer that was way too cold. Nonetheless, I finally have fabulous rain boots and I am going to take advantage of the rain and my cold as an excuse to curl up and read.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Go Rangers! (and Giants)

This feels like an appropriate image for this weekend. The weekend as not gone as I had planed. I feel a bit like I am safe on base but barely. I am so exhausted it is unreal. My purse was stolen. I hosted an open house to fill out newly opened room. Way fewer people came to the open house than I expected, but that is a relief. It will be easier to choose someone to move in.

I am about to get dressed and face the rain to go to a house warming party. Tomorrow, I somehow have to teach Sunday school, show the room to three more people, get a rental phone while I wait for my new one (Thank you purse snatcher for costing me $130, I really didn't need that money for anything. No really, I wasn't planning to buy new make up and a pair of jeans that fit. i hope you have fun with a phone that is locked and my Egyptian scarf.), AND go to Palo Alto to see a friend that moved there a few months back. (I say that like PA is so far away, but it is out of the city.)

Dear family, these boring update posts are dedicated to you. I love that you are my most consistent readers and I get to update you on my life when our timezones make that more challenging than I would like.

And last but not least: Go Rangers!!! I am so excited that we are going to the World Series!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Feature

Please meat Jordan of Night Owl Creations. Her work can be found at BellJar. She is kind of fabulous and has inspired me to begin Feature Fridays.

I love her work. She creates fun jewelry from recycled pieces of vintage jewelry and other fun items. I adore her work so much I plan to have some pieces made just for me.

1.Who inspires you?
That's a tricky concept for me to wrap my head around since I get my inspiration from everywhere. I adore exploring thrift stores, art galleries, cute boutique shops, magazines and books. I look at life and observe what is plainly around me here in the city and take my creativity from that in order to make art. I can't get enough vintage themed arts and crafts, recycling projects and the idea of mixing new with old because who says we should have to draw the line when life itself is so mix-matched everywhere to begin with; that's where true beauty lies.

2.What is your favorite thing to create?
I love creating earrings the most because usually its a pretty simple for me to whip something up. This is good for me since Belljar actually called me just recently and asked me to drop by and put more of my earrings on consignment for the store since the items I had showing there already sold. This whole jewelry thing is happening so quickly because more and more people are becoming interested and my only concern is to create as much I can to meet the demand which is difficult since all of my jewelry is one of a kind.

3. How did you get into jewelry?.
I've always been crafty and good with making things with my hands, which I take after my mom so jewelry came naturally to me. It simply started as a hobby several months ago; I would sit and watch movies in the evenings and fiddle with what materials I had lying around and started making necklaces and such for myself. people started becoming interested in what I was making and after getting compliments every time I went out and about wearing my jewelry everyone told me over and over that I should make jewelry and sell it, and so I did.

4.If you could be anywhere in the world when you wake up in the morning, where would you be?
Europe, most definitely. My dream vacation is Paris, France accompanied by my mother, where I would stay in a vintage french hotel, go shopping, attend galleries and travel around and see the most romantic city which I so badly am fascinated with.

5.What excites you about life?
Being a christian, and experiencing the joys and ups and downs in the most alive way that life has to offer.

Seriously check these out!

they grow apart

(image found here)

500 Days of Summer is an amazing movie. Zooey Deschanel is adorable. I want to be her. I already have the bangs, now I just need the acting and singing career. Oh, and the wardrobe. Maybe I will just start with buying a tambourine.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

“When you pray, move your feet.” ~African Proverb~

Roomie love

This is how my roommate described me:

Sarah is a case worker for a non-profit that teaches teens job skills. She has also studied theology so open-minded religion and centering spirituality is very important to her. Around the house you'll find Sarah running around finding the perfect vintage outfit for her next fundraiser event, cooking up a gluten-free meal for a few friends, or on her laptop e-mailing people about how they can help contribute to her charities.

If you read my craigslist add for a roommate than you read this. Nonetheless, I cannot say how honored I felt when I saw that this is how she saw me.

I am so grateful for my roomie.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mumford & Sons

I have the JOY of spending my evening with Rachel, Jaclyn, and Mumford & Sons. I am so excited!!

“Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them.” ~Mother Teresa~

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Broken Social Scene

Last week I outed myself for my terrible taste in music by posting a fabulous country music video. This is an effort to redeem myself. It is also a collection of videos by Broken Social Scene, who I saw this past Sunday at the Treasure Island Music Fest. (Thank you Workshop for letting me volunteer and giving me free tickets!! and thanks Matt, Kevin, George and Jill for dancing with me in the masses! So glad I ran into people I knew and I got to teach Matt how to make a beer cozy.) Anyway, rock on.

Something pretty for your Tuesday morning

(Flowers in the craft booth at Treasure Island)

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I am For

"To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against." Christina Baldwin

I am for:
  • fabulous weekends
  • listening to voices that are often unheard
  • dancing at concerts (even if no one else is)
  • dancing in general
  • warm sweaters
  • IJM (specifically the upcoming benefit dinner)
  • good music
  • talking to cute strangers on the bus
  • sleep
  • green tea
  • fair trade - everything
  • all people earning a living wage
  • creative decorating
  • hospitality
  • budgeting
  • eating real food
  • running
  • red wine
  • education
  • daily bread - and gratitude for enough
  • healing
  • reconciliation
  • equal rights
  • Polaroid cameras
  • film cameras in general
  • paint
  • recycled/found object art
  • brunch with friends
  • the expanding programs at my work
  • jobs
  • The SOLD Project
  • SAGE
  • faith
  • asking questions
  • doubt
  • vintage jewelry
  • being still - or at least trying
  • over booking myself - and admitting it
  • responsible fashion
  • international travel
  • good theology
  • taking risks
  • believing in change - and knowing that it takes time
I am pretty sure the list is much much longer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fabulous Friends

Lisette - One of my first friends in the city. Honest, loving, patient, direct, and driven. She inspires me to be more of who I hope to be. She has given me courage to change and share some fabulous fun along the way.

Elaine-Also one of my oldest friends in the city. Fabulous, gentle with some spunk, honest, and growing. I am so grateful that she has let me in on so many intimate parts of her life. She is beautiful.

Amy - Former roommate in a room too small for one, let alone two. Always up for adventure, chasing after her dreams and inviting others to do the same. As a roommate she taught me so much about forgiveness and grace.

Leah - One of the first people in SF to seek me out as a friend. Thoughtful and present. With great integrity she is discovering who she is in light of who she has been and what she has believed. I am inspired by her truth.

These are the woman I roamed the One with last weekend. I enjoyed them immensely.

I will eventually post pics of the weekend. I just wanted to start this weekend off by celebrating my friends.

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."

- Proverbs 25:25

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Safe in the Arms of Love

I might have performed this song when I was 16. I still love it, and I love how fabulously cheesy this video is. You can totally tell it was made in the 90s. I do love the circus theme, but wow she could have used a better editor.

Breakfast At Tiffany's

I absolutely love this movie. It is my go to anytime I need something fabulous to watch to take my mind off the world. It is beautiful.

(side note: I would never kiss someone while holding a cat. Cats are gross.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Angry Conversations with God

I heard a speaker talk at my church on Sunday and I was both inspired and annoyed. She said a great deal of what I wish people would say about knowing God. Basically that it is hard work, the church is messing it up, and we have screwed-up ideas of God in our heads for a ton of reasons that have nothing to do with God. She had a lot of really great things to say about God and us.

The thing that annoyed me was that it was pitched a singles event and she was pitched as being angry with God because she was single longer than she wanted to be (note: she is now married).

To be honest I am often angry with God. But not for the reasons most people expect. I don't see God as a husband or a father. I have never had a husband and I have had God in my life, my entire life. So God is something else. I don't see God as my father. I love my dad, but he is clearly not God and I don't think the comparison is fair to either one of them. So to add to those statements I am not mad at God for failing to be the husband I want or the father I want. God is neither of those two things.

I get mad at God for not being the God I want. That is what I am working on right now with my relationship with God. You see I want a God that doesn't allow starvation, war, poverty, tragedy, sickness, loneliness, and pain to be so dominant in the world. I want a God that didn't think it was a good idea to allow sin to exist. I want a God that is God. In control and keeping all things Good. I want a God that never let sin happen. I am not mad at God because I am 28 and single. That is just ridiculous. I am mad at God because everyday I interact with people that have never felt loved.

BTW: I am a moody ridiculous creature, and probably will not be mad at God by the time this thing posts to my blog.

Here is the thing, I think God is relational. I think God can handle my anger and that if we don't fight every now and than we will simply stop talking to each other. I think God can handle conflict. More that that I am trusting God that God will handle it. Today God and I are getting along just fine, but I get mad pretty often. I used to be scared of my anger, but I am beginning to think it is a good thing. It is keeping me honest.

I may or may not read the book. I am leaning toward reading it (although I do think the book cover is terrible). I will say this woman is funny and you should check her out.

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