Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fasting for a Purpose

I am going to take a short break from all my chatter about traveling, fun, and food to talk about food, in a different way. Congress is proposing major cuts to programs the serve the least of these in the US. These cuts will cause people in the US to go without food, some even to the point of starvation. Supposedly it is because we as a nation are broke, and well we are, but there has to be a better way.

Most of my information has come through Sojourners and Bread for the World. They are Christian activist organizations that seek to serve the poor and oppressed in through policy. I have a great deal of respect for their work and have been supporting them in various ways for years. I trust them when they say that the new budget cuts are immoral. Further, when I read that these cuts are to programs like WIC, a program designed to feed women, infants and children, I have to agree that something has gone morally awry.

I have been reading about terrible budget cuts for a while. Most of them seem to make things worse. I am a bit concerned about a nation that is giving out tax cuts but not willing to give out food.

Some of the emails sent by Bread they reference the story of Ester. When she learned of the plot against the Jews she responded with a request for fasting:

16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” ~Esther 4:16

It might be time for some prayerful fasting. Maybe if those of us not in congress fast and pray our representatives will have the courage to go forward in truth and seek protection for the poor that are perishing.

Check out Bread for the World and Sojourners for more information about how you can participate.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home and Fabulously Exhausted!

I want to tell you everything: every meal, every moment, every travel buddy mishap, every glorious connection with amazing community, every museum, every ache of carrying an over packed back pack, every blissful sight, and everything I learned. I am terrified I will forget it all before the words are put to the page, before you see the photos, before I am able to let it change me.

But today, I will say I am still soaking it in, and a bit speechless. I flew to Europe to live out my goal of a year of living a life of why not?. I went to see a dear friend (I spent much less time with her than I would have liked but we will see each other in Houston over the holidays). I went to celebrate healing and because celebration is a discipline. I went to see the world more fully. I went to be inspired. I went because I never went to Europe in college. I went because I could.

I wasn't sure what I expected, but somehow the trip was not whatever I didn't know I expected it to be, it was more. I am a better person for going and for the people that were part of the journey with me. It is crazy how just 10 days can do so much, but the last few days of the trip it became clear that God was moving and doing something. There is a small whisper I need to be listening to. God was there in unexpected ways: in the food, art, culture, and in some very special places, but mostly in people.

Soon there will be posts about coffee, chocolate, macarons, museums, neighborhoods, and food; but there will also be posts about people, and organizations, and the church.

Tonight there will be rest.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Be back soon

(Found on Pinterest)

I am going to Oxford, London and Paris for 10 days. I might post a bit while I am gone but not much.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The King's Speech

I saw this movie Christmas day and completely loved it! (My friend Lydia went with me and made fun of me for saying it was a sign that I was supposed to go to England this year, but whatever, it was, and clearly I need to talk about it, because soon I will be in England.)

I find the story and the marriage depicted to be inspiring. To be the wife of a King that had so much to overcome, and to be that wife when you had never intended to be. He wasn't supposed to be King. His brother was, she never intended to be the wife of the King and no one was ready for a full on World War. Nonetheless, she was the woman that stood beside the man that had to be King. She was the woman that helped the King find his voice when a nation in need needed to hear it. Seriously, this woman is amazing.

So cheers to you Queen Elizabeth.

And yes, the Europe theme blogs will stop soon, and by soon I mean at some point after my trip...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

C.S. Lewis

I get to be where he lived and wrote. I am excited! I am pondering taking a C.S. Lewis book with me just for the cheese factor, but I am not sure which one...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Entre Nous

Once upon a time I had a boyfriend that enjoyed reading graphic novels. I found this pastime to be peculiar and rather juvenile; however, it afforded me the joy of spending hours of my life meandering through a rather large bookstore. You see Waco, to my knowledge, does not have any sort of lovely small book stores, nor are their graphic novel shops: instead I could find my nerdy boyfriend sitting in BookAMillion reading graphic novels, and on a regular basis I did. In fact I was rather fond of the routine, I would run my errands, do whatever I needed to to than drive by the bookstore, if he truck was there I would stop in.

On most occasions I would have my homework and I would bust out my Greek flash card and study; on others I would wander over to the fashion and arts section and peruse. It was on one of these such occasions that I came across Entre Nous. It was a perfect little book for flipping through at the bookstore. For weeks I would walk into the store, find my boy than find my book. Each section is only a few pages long, it isn't a story so I don't have to follow a plot, fabulously fun quotes and pieces of advice are scattered are throughout. This book was a fabulous find, and the beginning of my desire to be more French.

It was a desire to be vulnerable, while still being mysterious; to be classy, yet flirty; to be fabulously put together and at ease at all times, while still being remarkably real; to be feminine and strong; to have that je ne sais quoi that only certain women have.

To this day I am convinced that some of the best life advice I ever received came out of this fun little book.

The nerdy boyfriend and I didn't last, but just two days after we broke up I drove by the bookstore and his truck was not there: I hopped inside and bought the book. (Side note: is was an unexpectedly great break-up book.) Over the years I have loaned it to a few lovely ladies and we have all loved it, so much so that I am pondering a reread as I get ready for to go to France next week. It really is an inspiring little treat.

~au revoir~

4 days till I travel

(Found on Pinterest)

I am so excited about my trip!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Warby Parker Glasses

So, it turns out I am far sighted. I will start wearing reading glasses at work. I am very excited about this because it gives me an excuse to finally get some nerdtastic eyewear.

Funny thing is: when I was at the optometrist I found the frames I wanted in all of 5 seconds, and they were Armani. Really???? Why do I have such expensive taste? Even after insurance covers $130 of it they are close to $300 (if I get non-reflective and scratch resistant lenses, and lets be real if I am spending $200 on glasses I want to spend the extra $45 to be sure they don't scratch). Clearly, I pondered the option. I mean I loved these frames, but it just feels entirely unreasonable.

So, I thought about it, and remembered that a few weeks ago I was at The Parish Trust (one of my favorite places on Davisidero, I want to own everything in the store!) and I tried on some glasses by Warby Parker. I LOVED them. They were very similar to the designer ones. I decided to go to their website to check them out and rethink my good taste. As it turns out I can order prescription, non-reflective, scratch resistant glasses for $95 AND help ensure that someone in need gets appropriate eyewear to help them out of poverty with Warby Parker's Buy a Pair, Give a Pair. Clearly I am excited, this might be some of the best news ever! By purchasing these glasses I can help someone see, therefore help them work, and help them live, and do it while getting beautiful vintage inspired frames for less money than I would have spent getting the designer frames.

Now I just have to decide which pair I want. The three above are my favorite. Anyone have a vote?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

Some commitments are too personal to share online, but for the two ladies I meet with each week to chat about life and pursue wholeness: this post is for you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The beginning of Lent

(I love book art. This was found on Pinterest.)

Rend Your Heart
12 “Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

Joel 2:12-13 (NIV)

Tiny tears on the edge of the surface are held back by the hope that this will be redeemed. Singing the songs of the Ash Wednesday service I am reminded that this will be a time of healing and growth, change and redirection, of finding the little things I have lost. It will be a season of asking why and trusting that I cannot fully know. Despite the sadness there is joy. We are entering into Lent and I am grateful for the time to rend my heart.

Lent is a season of little changes and sacrifice. These are not flippant sacrifices, they are active things I want to do in order to live the life I was created for. They are the way I want to grieve that creation has gone terribly astray, and still we were created good.

In moments of calm honesty I am aware that my heart has questions that are going to go unanswered; nonetheless, God is redeeming this world, and I blessed to be part of it.

For lent I am trying a few different things (all of them will be put on pause as I travel in 9 days... note to self: check church calendar before buying plane tickets). Generally I do a better job of following through with things when I tell people about them so here they are:

  • I want to be more grateful for the luxuries I have in my life: so I will enjoy less of them. Practically speaking: not eating out, or if I do ordering little to nothing; no shopping; no drinking; no pampering activities; no random stops at coffee shops
  • I want to care for my body: eat real food, at home, that I cook with less butter and oil; no meat; no alcohol; no decadent dessert (the last 3 are more about the first category than the caring for my body one, but they kind of overlap)
  • I want to be still: go to yoga and stretch at home; stay in; no clubs; no movies in the theater; all entertainment has to be slow and connect me to the thing that is entertaining me (museums, plays, quality time with friends); less random blog time; less facebook time
  • I want think on all that is good: I am changing my music habits for the month. Most of the music I tend to listen to is depressing. I will listen to music with either no lyrics or praise/Christian music. I find this to be a bit terrifying as most Christian music is sub-par, but I am hopeful I will find some good stuff, and if not I will listen to Mozart.
  • All of this I hope will result in more: actively seeking God time; intentional friends time; a stronger appreciation of the luxuries I take for granted; a healthier me and therefore a more whole reflection of the image of God.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Shampoo Simplicity Update

(Seriously, this add it too funny.)

Well I did it Starting with January 23 I only washed my hair on Saturdays. (You can read the original post here. it was inspired by this post by The GOOD Chanel.) It was not life changing, but it was a challenge.

Each week went something like this:

Sunday - clean, almost dry/frizzy. I find it odd that I never noticed how frizzy my clean hair is.
Monday - still looking clean, easier to fix, less frizz: rinse at night.
Tuesday - still rocking the clean look: rinse at night
Wednesday - the front still looking clean, I need to straighten my bangs so they don't stick together funcky, but I need to do that anyway. The back is starting to feel a bit oily: rinse at night.
Thursday - time to bust out the french braid, but honestly it wouldn't stick in the braid if I didn't have all the oil to help me out, so that is perk: rinse at night.
Friday - I am so ready to wash my hair, but I let it be. The best plan is to curl it, and the curl hold like I have moose in. I can't decide if that is gross: rinse at night.
Saturday - french braid, high bun, and thank goodness for headbands. It is time to wash my hair and thankfully it is Saturday so I get to!! (Insert happy dance.)

My take aways:
  • It is very possible to do once a week and people will not notice or think I am gross.
  • I can would really prefer to only go 5 days not 7 days between washing. By Friday I was very ready to wash my hair.
  • Headbands, hats, the french braid, and buns are all fabulous things when attempting to use less shampoo.
  • At some point I seemed to have forgotten to use conditioner. I think I will use less and less of it as I go to the every 5 day plan.
  • I will save money washing my hair less, but I just can't make the jump to never, or even to just weekly.
  • Ultimately, I think washing my hair is a total creature comfort, and I am very grateful that I have the luxury of doing it.
Has anyone else tried it?? How did it go??

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Friday

Love the sequin dress, and I am very excited about wearing sequins tonight. Yay Friday night dance party!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


(Found on Pinterest)

Losing too is still ours; and even forgetting
still has a shape in the kingdom of transformation.
When something's let go of, it circles; and though we are
rarely the center of the circle, it draws around us its unbroken, marvelous

Rainer Maria Rilke

The day ended with some sad news, and it made me want to be in Texas. I want to be with the people I went to seminary with. I want to be home. The complicated thing is, if I left San Francisco, I would still miss home, because this is my home now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Spirituality sometimes becomes the invention of a life that makes us emotionally comfortable, and thus doesn't address the very real demands of a religion. Serious engagement with any religion requires the adherent to acknowledge its demands and difficulty." Marilynne Robinson

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I am going to Paris

(Image found here via Pinterest)

I spent too much time today dreaming and plotting my trip to Paris. My passport arrived in the mail yesterday (thank the US government for expedited processing!) Last week Rachael and I purchased our Eurostar tickets to get from London to Paris, and today I booked an apartment through airbnb. I checked out Design Spong's guide to Paris, and decided I will most certainly be renting a bike for at least one day of my trip. I cannot wait.

Before Paris, I will be in London and Oxford. I am gloriously excited about Oxford, because I will be spending my time there seeing my dear friend Suzanne. Most all of the trip will include hours of sitting, sipping, and chatting. I am looking forward to interesting conversation and long silences with people that I really enjoy.

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