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.


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