Monday, May 31, 2010

Dragons and Truth

Harry Potter and friends on a Dragon

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.
~G.K. Chesterson

I don't generally like fantasy, but I am finally reading the Harry Potter series. I have seen all the movies and I loved them. I just read the part in book 4 when Harry flew around dragon to get the golden egg, and I loved it. I mean who can help but love the underdog survivor that just wants to be good and is always in trouble? Who can't help but love the boy that is so lonely and scared? Who can help but love it when it isn't his strength but his brains that save him?

I also love the quote above. I like that truth is not found in fact but in meaning and message. I like that courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to face it, and I think that hope is not the absence of doubt, but the willingness to believe in the best despite it. So as I enter a new week I must say:

Hello world, bring me your best dragons, I will beat them, or just fly around them for a while.

Is it still Sunday if I have not slept yet?

So the goal/plan is to post daily, as a practice of challenging my mind to think creatively more often and to talk about the things I really care about more. Nonetheless, I have had more than one post in the 2 weeks, since I started this goal, as inspired by Dani, that have been benign updates on how my day was. (Dani inspired the disciple to write daily, I wrote the benign posts, just to be clear).

With my goal of writing I have started quiet a few posts about theology, God and life that were not ready to publish by the end of the day so they are still in my edit list. This has me wondering how this discipline works best: write and post daily or write daily and only post what is worth reading?

Who knows. I fear that if I say I will write but don't commit to post, I will not write; however, posting for the sake of posting results in mediocrity. Such a dilemma.

Well 2 am is fast approaching, I should sleep.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Fabulous Saturday

I started the day with a double americano, cleaned my apartment's bathrooms, walked over to Amoeba to listen to Band of Horses live and for free, almost went to the beach but ended up walking through the rose garden Golden Gate Park, hoped in a cab with a stranger and told her stories of traveling in India, spent a hot second in the Mission, watched the Giants destroy the Diamondbacks complete with garlic fries, and finished the day watching drag queens sing at Cafe Fore.

San Francisco knows how to entertain and I love her for it.

You should listen to Band of Horses New Album linked here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On strengths finder my first strength is restorative, and according to enneagram I am a helper and according to some ministry profiles I took in school I am a shepherd/pastor/healer... yes there is a theme. I love all thinks broken, old, rejected, hurting, healing.

Sometimes it is a really bad idea, but other times it is a great idea. I am a case manager and I want to work on changing the systems of oppression around the world. I see the potential in people and things. I see old buildings and ponder their structure (despite the fact I know nothing about architecture or engineering) and I daydream of what it would be like if someone rebuilt what was there instead of starting over.

I am learning to like this about myself, and the balancing act it requires.


write for fear that the words will leave
write for hope and write for need
write for documentation that you have healed
write to prove that you know what you feel
write to practice poetry and prose
write because this is all you know
write because it will leave a mark
write because words are the light in dark
write out of compulsion
write to be brave
write to say everything you wish you could say
write as if your heart is exploding
write as if the sound of the keys has the power mend
write to learn how to live again
write to say goodbye to a new friend
write, and when this is all over
right it again

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

photo taken at the half way point of my 12 mile run/walk last week
running is healing my heart

Psalm 119:32
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Half Sleeping

C: Hey you want to go get tattoo tonight.

Me: What? Sure. I am going back to sleep now.

C: Okay we are leaving at 7:30.

Me: Okay, see you then. (roll over and back to sleep)

And that is how I decided to get my first tattoo. I was taking a nap between classes my Sophomore year and one of my best friends woke me up, I told her what I needed to so I could go back to sleep. I was 19 and stupid.

I now have 4 tattoos and I want 2 more (at least).

The tattoo looks like a Japanese character to most people at first glance but it is a cross with a Christian fish on it. It is not artistic, and at this point in my life I would choose different symbols to express my faith. Nonetheless, I love that when I was teaching English in Taiwan my students thought it looked cool and would doodle it on their school work. I often think about covering it up with a more artist image, but I kind of love the memory of being young and stupid (because at 27 I am now old and wise, obviously). I think it is funny. I have had it for 8 years now. That seems like a long time until I remember that by the time it is all said and done I will hopefully have had it for 80 (assuming I love to be 99).

I am not at all sure why I am writing this post, except to say, I love that at 19 I thought it was such a big deal that I was getting a tattoo. I am amused by the fact that I made a choice to permanently alter my appearance while being interrupted from a nap. And I wander if at 35 I will look back on this year in awe of the choices I made while half sleeping.
If you worry about who is going to get credit, you don't get much work done.

~Dorothy Height, a founding matriarch of the American civil rights movement

Monday, May 24, 2010

5 movies

I was asked to name 5 movies that have affected my spiritual life. Confession I really can't name the ones that effected my spiritual life as any different than the ones that changed my life so here we go:

1) Hotel Rwanda
2) Crash
3) Born into Brothels
4) Saved
5) ???

I honestly have no idea what the fifth one would be. Saved is a stretch to have on the list and I know there are movies I have moved me more. But can I really say that Breakfast at Tiffany's has impacted my spiritual growth? Honestly I just love the movie. It is my favorite movie. I love all Audry movies, but I am just at a bit of a loss for what movies I think have challenged me spiritually.

Well for you 11 people that follow this thing, I would love to hear your movies that shaped you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Morning Rituals

(egg photo taken at Pie Ranch a few weeks ago)

Sitting in my back yard, my roommate's cat has just muddied up my dress with her dirty paws and I am pondering the beauty of Sunday.

For the past few weeks my Sunday morning ritual has been interrupted by my schedule and my failure to practice the discipline required to get out of bed in the morning.

My favorite Sunday mornings include a simple routine: walk over to Cole Street Cafe for a short double Americano, head the Civic Center farmers, worship at City Church, let the rest of the day flow, ending the day with a long run/workout. Once a month I leave church and start cooking a meal for friends to raise money for an organization of our choosing.

This morning was an improvement over the last few weeks, but not quite there. Getting ready took longer than expected as most of my summer dresses no longer fit (yay, for working out and eating fresh foods; boo, for needing to buy clothes without the budget for it). So, I missed church and just headed to the farmers market. The flowers were beautiful, and fruit is FINALLY back in season. I mostly just needed eggs, but I bought berries and cherries, and there was some gluten-free Indian bread so I had to get some. To be honest, it was allot like how I think Church should be. Surrounded by the bustel of people all out getting ready for the week, taking in God's abundance (even if they are unaware of where their provision comes). Seeing all the colors of the fruits and vegetables I saw plainly that I do indeed love and serve a good and creative God.

Later today I will be celebrating my dear friend Robin's graduation from college. I am sure that my drive to Napa as well as the time I will spend there will only affirm the beauty of God's creativity. Furthermore the fellowship of celebration of such great accomplishment is just a tiny taste of heaven. So even if I haven't quite caught up with myself and my desired routine, I do love my Sundays.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last night's Psalm of Praise

I wish I could read Hebrew- cause this psalm is an acrostic and it would just be cooler if I could read it as one.

Additional side note: it is really stressful to me how strongly masculine the language is in the Psalm it says he in every freaking verse! Nonetheless, I enjoyed praying with my community and praising God.

Psalm 34

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.

14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;

16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

22 The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let me love you when I find you

random google image, sorry I can't give credit

Let me seek you in my desire,

Let me desire you in my seeking,
Let me find you by loving you
Let me love you when I find you.
~St. Anselm

In college I hated the fad of 'dating Jesus' but I was in love with Jesus. I mean I was smitten, I was so desperately passionately in love with Jesus. I was not one of the girls that had 'dates' with her Savior, but I was over the moon. Blissful nights of standing on quiet balconies whispering words to my Romeo, promises that I would love Him forever, and confident that He would do the same. Loving God was all I desired and I was caught up in task demonstrating my love. I would spend mornings in silence watching the sunrise. I spent hours in service because it was the best way I could demonstrate my love. I remember so many worship services filled with euphoric awareness of God's presence and love, dancing in His joy. Those were beautiful and dramatic years, filled with passion and hope and reckless abandon to the love of God.

I am not sure if it was the result of my first real broken heart or the academic nature of studying God in seminary, the trauma of seeing real injustice in Swaziland, the realization that I was not going to live in hut in a magical distant land, or just plain old post adolescent cynical maturity, but my relationship with God has lost its romance. I plead the prayer above, because I miss the desire. I still obey, to the best of my ability. I still believe. I still love God. There are days that I trust this version of my relationship with God more than I trust the one before; this relationship has lost its naivete. This one is a choice to keep loving. This is a commitment, to stay even when the infatuation has faded, but I still must confess that I maybe should spend some more time seeking and desiring and loving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

it is just time and a face that you lose

random google image, but i like it allot

it takes time
writing, reading, drafting, searching
healing, running, dancing, praying
investing, listening, talking, playing
working, resting, cleaning, studying
worshiping, serving, loving, sharing
cooking, hosting, planning, inviting
we do these things a thousand times
and forget that doing them takes time
time to find the next step
time to have faith again
time to breath
time to find the space you need
time to dance and time to sing
time to do everything
there is a time for ever purpose under heaven

I am not good at taking time for certain things
I can take time to be busy and to be social and to run and to work
I don't like the time it takes to wait for my cold to end or for my broken heart to mend
I don't do sabbath well because it requires that I take time to do nothing and doing nothing should not take time, but it is a holy sort of nothing
For a few weeks now I have been intentional about not working on my Sundays - this has been really challenging for me. (So challenging that today is Tuesday and I am just now reflecting on it.)
I will confess that learning how to take my time, is a lesson that also takes time
Time is a terrible thing to lose and I feel that I have lost enough of it

Monday, May 17, 2010

A reflection on a Saturday

A few weeks ago I shared a glorious Saturday with my friend Julie. I just wanted to take a moment at the beginning of a new week to remember it.


oh the stories this day will hold
of dreams chased and tales untold
of finding your feet and love songs so sweet
chocolate tarts and healing hearts
fine wine, cheese and dusty bird cages
feeling like the memories shared could last the ages
berry pies and bright blue skies
so filled with hope she almost cried
when the coffee seeps of good days here to stay
coastal winds promise the life of a new day
the car windows down
excited to drown in the noise of adventure
laughing into the wind she is ready for life to begin again

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Faith Journey and Ordination

Exciting News I am in process of seeking ordination. I have a council of great people that will determine if they feel this is what God has for me. Soon I should tell the tale of how I decided it was time to do this, and the years I thought I would never do it. But today I am going to share my faith journey post that I had to write up for the people on my committee.

I was four years old when I decided that I believed the story of Jesus and I wanted to follow him. I was twelve when I realized the love that God had for me and I wanted to have a real relationship with God. I was 17 when I felt God calling me to participate in mission. I was 18 when I realized that as hard as I tried I was never going to be a perfect Christian, and God was going to love me anyway. I started seminary immediately after college. During both my college and seminary years I was given the opportunity to see God work all over the world. I was challenged to rethink how I lived my faith and recognized that faith without works is dead. At 24 I discovered that I had health issues that would prevent me from being a missionary with any of the organizations that I knew of, so I had to rethink God’s plan for my life. It was than that I realized how much I could do working with the American Church. This lead me to explore creative ministry options in the U.S. and that eventually brought me to San Francisco.

I realize the above is a quick fire timeline but honestly the details in between can sometimes feel overwhelming. From the time I was 4 I have been on a journey with God that has taken me from complete doubt to confident faith.

So this is where I am at today: I am deeply in love with my Creator, I am seeking to follow Jesus and am engaged in inviting others to join me. I believe that there is no greater religion than to care for widows and orphans, that I must learn what it means that God desires mercy and not sacrifice, that I am called to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. I know that the wages of sin is death, and we all must grieve sin, and trust in God’s grace to forgive and heal. From my own journey with God I have seen that God is active in the redemption of all things, and has called all people to join in the healing of the world.

It is my desire to join God in movement and mission through out the world. I am currently doing that by leading in my faith community as we meet in homes each week. Someday I would like to start my own Church. As I spent time as a chaplain at Baylor I discovered that I had a pastoral gifting. In my time living in San Francisco I feel that God has allowed me to engage with the Church seeking justice in beautiful ways.

I am seeking ordination as a way of asking my community, dispersed across the U.S., to affirm that you all see God at work in me to engage the world with the story of Good News.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good Bye

In less than 2 months I have said goodbye/will say good bye to 5 people I adore. These are my notes to them.

Melody - Your sweet presence and honesty is so beautiful. Your simple joy and earnest heart; your questions and desire to act justly; these things made me so grateful to have you in my life. Your laugh at your wedding reminded me of how God delights in us and has delighted in the way you have chosen to live. I am so grateful that I was able to work on projects with you, our relationship was built on changing the world, one creative endeavor at a time.

Maggie - Every conversation with you has been real, transparent and inspiring. You have reminded me to seek God and trust God so many times. You have been a great listener. You have understood what I meant when I said that the city has brought out the best of who I want to be and challenged me to see the worst of who I can be. Our time together has been limited by busy schedules and hectic lives, but the time we had was meaningful and that is more than I could ask for.

Robin- Our ridiculous adventures and the way you listen and the way we spaz out - all of these things have been wonderful ways that, even in the small things, you have helped me grow into the freedom to be more of who I know I am. As we overcame anxiety together and faced the reality of post trauma. I appreciated how much you understood that part of me. I also love your innocence that is not naive, but intentional. It is beautiful! It has been a joy and I know that life has great things ahead of you.

Rach and Kevin- I love that our friendship was built on our mutual desire to end slavery. I am excited that your next adventure is taking you directly into the mix of child trafficking so that you can protect these children. I also love that I am inspired by your love story. I am so grateful that you chose to let me in on the great celebration that is your life together. The way you two love and support each other is inspiring. I love that you are wine drinking, clove smoking, care free spirits that are as in love with God as you are with each other.

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin