girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


it's early...
too early to be awake already,
but i can't sleep anymore.
the realization that i'm leaving for my little 'trip' has finally set in.
i'll be in complete silence for the next four days...
and that starts in a few hours.
to be honest...
i just want to cry.
i'm already homesick...i'm already missing everyone...i'm already wanting to call ryan.
this is something i've been really excited about,
but now that it's finally here...
part of me doesn't want it.
i'm scared.
not because i've built it up so much and i'm expecting something huge,
and not because i'm afraid of what i might find out...
i really have no idea why i am.
i just know that i am and it's not for those reasons.
i think that this is kind of a 'sink-or-swim' moment for me.
i think i've been treading water before this...
not wanting to commit...not wanting to put in the time and effort...not wanting to try,
but i'm exhausted.
i don't want to tread anymore.
the weight of carrying my own body is getting too damn hard,
and i'd like a little rest.
so i'm committing to this weekend,
and i'm deciding to rest if nothing else.
i'm just sick of living in flux, in limbo, in not knowing.
some of that will be resolved,
and some of it never will,
but i'm going to spend some time trying.
think of me...
i'll be thinking of all of you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


[lit-n-ee] a ceremonial or liturgical form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications with responses that are the same for a number in succession.
this past week at wellspring i tried something new...
instead of doing my weekly blessing,
i went with a litany instead.
we replaced our 'jesus creed' with it...and it turned out...different.
i think i was so nervous that i didn't fully explain it well,
and since many don't come from the same background as i do...
it may have been hard to feel engaged with it.
it was derived from ken's message covering psalms 42-43.
i also threw in some ideas from what i'm adding to the gathering each week-
situations in the bible that deal with the number 40.
last week we looked at noah...rod and i did a pretty cool art piece and i was proud of us.
this time of lent is sad for us...kind of depressing...and yet it always ends in hope.
next week i'll be reinstating the was much needed last week.
deep calls to deep
chaos to chaos
the waters are rising
the waves are sweeping over me
-why are you downcast, O my soul?

my soul is gasping
i am dying of thirst
i am consuming only tears
-why are you downcast, O my soul?

where are you, my God?
i lay here
open and exposed
restless and crying out
-why are you downcast, O my soul?

i will be honest and authentic
both my doubt and faith will be seen
'i am not as i was'
-why are you downcast, O my soul?

i am crushed by the crashing wind and waves
my lungs are filling
i cannot breathe
-why are you downcast, O my soul?

you have promised to love my always
through the day your love will guide me
at night your song will be with me
i will put my hope in God
-for i will yet praise Him
my Savior and my God

Friday, February 23, 2007

faith & doubt

my friend jim sent this to ryan a couple of weeks ago,
and i've been reading over it again and again-
especially because conversations some of our community have been in lately.
hope it strikes something...
"because faith is a mystery, we will find ourselves from time to time experiencing doubt, and questioning the very things we have been taught are true.
some religious traditions try to keep doubt from ever reaching the surface of our lives and being spoken, because there is a concern that it will not only lead people to question the institutional faith they have been given, but will also steer them into unhealthy and dangerous belief systems - that it will actually weaken their faith.
in truth, doubt is simply the other side of faith.
one can't really exist without the other.
they are twin movements in our understanding of God and ourselves.
there is no need to fear doubt, because doubt actually helps you make sense of what you believe.
it causes you to question, search, and look for deeper answers.
in fearlessly asking the questions and searching for truth (both about yourself and about the traditions that have been handed down to you), you actually grow up in your faith—you come to a new level of spiritual maturity.
any faith that is not questioned in the fire of life's more challenging moments is a weak faith, because it has no individual understanding and responsibility.
true faith comes from doing what it takes to make sense of who God is in our lives when our lives make no sense, and from wrestling with what God is calling us to do and to be in this world, right to the last moment of our lives.
when you feel doubtful, or find yourself questioning the truth of what you have been told, be gentle with yourself.
don't try to force yourself to believe what seems to be unreal to you.
try to keep your eyes open to see God (vs. your mind's machinations and presentations) in the moments and activities of each day, in the people you encounter, especially those you love, and in the silence of your own soul.
tell God and your loved ones about your struggles and ask for clarity, compassion, guidance, and wisdom.
this is a great gift of your humanity - the ongoing journey that continually deepens faith (through doubts transcended) until we are home again."

renee miller

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


last night i committed one of the seven deadly sins...
it was a great fat tuesday with some of our community.
we headed over to pappasito's...a favorite of our crowd.
today was the first day of lent.
i gave up all forms of audio in my car...
and remarkably...
it was okay.
i drove around a bit, running errands to and fro.
the weather was amazing so i was able to roll down my windows.
i actually listened to what wind sounds like.
i also had a dr. appt to go over some of my tests.
no answers yet, but we're getting there.
i actually waited 45 minutes in a small, white room before the doctor saw me.
it was sterile.
it was quiet.
it was suffocating.
it was only then that i began to notice the silence.
i'm wondering how i'll do at the convent for my 4 days next week...
and how these next 40 days will go.
at church we're going to be doing some really neat stuff.
i don't know about ken, but i'm pretty excited to see how our community responds.
lent is an experience for those that have never gone through it,
and i'm hoping it's received well.
ken has found some great passages...laments...agony...darkness.
we're doing some art stuff on several of the '40 days' referenced in the bible...
noah, moses, jonah & nineveh, etc.
we're using some traditional colors, some self-written litanies, and we're making something fresh. ours.
today was ash wednesday.
i wanted to drop by a catholic church, but my dr. appt didn't allow the time for it.
(i'd have to check with my favorite catholic, ricky, so see if we heathens are allowed-jk!)
and i left the only episcopal church in town about 5 years ago and i wasn't ready to venture back,
so instead...i pulled out my 'ol book of common prayer and did it myself.
there's something different about doing the ashes yourself and not having a priest do it.
i'm still reflecting on it.
either way, today was good.
i got to go to the park and take some pictures...
i hung out with my friend rodney...
and i'm about to finally go sit down to study for my greek final.
this quarter is almost over and it's been my hardest. spring break is almost here...
yep, i'm still breathing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

'be missional'

our dear friend dr. ken w. shuman (voice of authority, as rodney & i refer to him) is creating his dream job...
he's going to help churches and individuals become more missional in our rapidly changing and post-christian/post-modern world.
right now he's in conversation with churches and organizations here in houston that will hopefully lead to more opportunities.
our prayers are with him.
as of now, you can check out his blog here.
congrats ken...we're with you all the way.

Monday, February 19, 2007

...'rhythm, rhyme & rule'...

so speaking of rhythm...
check out my buddy mark berry and safe space's 'daily reading and reflections'.
my friends ken and rodney are going to use them during this lenten season,
and are worth checking out!


"why would you ever complain, o jacob, or, whine, israel, saying, 'God has lost track of me. he doesn't care what happens to me'? don't you know anything? haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. he's creator of all you can see or imagine. he doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. and he knows everything, inside and out. he energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. for even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. but those who wait upon God get fresh strength. they spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. -isaiah 40:27

in the moments where the cost to follow seems
too much
too hard
too long.

a place where eyes grow tired of searching
hands grow weary from the work
voice is strained from the yelling
and the heart is breaking from the waiting.

feel yourself tethered
your mourning, your anxiety, your desperation
will not carry you away.
this is where even your groans are understood.


as you do the hard work of letting yourself go
erupting out onto the other side
stepping into the grace
into the rhythm
into the light.

allow the crying to cease
allow the yelling to subside
feel yourself enveloped in love and patience
by something much bigger than you
something that does not grow weary
and that will never leave you.
rest here...
here in this embrace.

"are you tired? worn out? burned out on religion? come to me. get away with me and you'll recover your life. i'll show you how to take a real rest. walk with me and work with me—watch how i do it. learn the unforced rhythms of grace. i won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." -matt 11:28

Thursday, February 15, 2007


we went on our first official date.
we made reservations.
we got dressed up.
we finally saw my swans...and ducks...and peacocks.
we exchanged gifts.
we were serenaded by piano.
we tried to remember which fork and spoon you use first.
we wined and dined a four course meal.
we realized that the price had changed...
it was $75 per person before tip, tax & valet.
we texted my father who came to the rescue, like usual.
i got over some pride issues,
and he made me smile.
we giggled,
we snapped at each other,
got angry,
i cried,
he raised his voice,
we worked it out.
we pretended to be grown up for a night,
and like most times, it did not turn out as expected...
and yet, it was beautiful.
funny how things turn out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


happy valentine's day everyone.

Monday, February 12, 2007

sheep and goats

from matthew 25 we discussed what it means to 'do even to the least of these'.
ken had a great slide show displaying pictures of people most would consider the 'least'.
it was hard to watch,
but like kevin said...perhaps this is just one of those places jesus is quite explicit.
and perhaps we really are doing this to christ,
and not just for him.
you are blessed.
your inheritance is waiting,
since the dawn of time
when God molded chaos...
even then,
the Kingdom was waiting for you.

you are blessed
because at one point
you too were a stranger.
someone was kind to you
because you were different.
someone listened
when no one else would,
and perhaps even clothed, fed, or cared for you...
a stranger.

you are blessed
as you attempt to open your eyes.
your blindness is gone...
if you choose it.
your heart is softened...
if you want it.
and your hands will begin to help...
if you will only try.

you are blessed
as you choose love over indifference
as you meet eyes with a stranger
as you individually and corporately seek to help
as you are overwhelmed
as you cry out against injustice
and as you are taken into the warmth unseen
as a friend...
no longer a stranger.

be loved.
be welcomed.
be blessed.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

my coordinates

there are times when i have so many things to write...
this is one of those times.
i just got done watching the grammys...
and i'm tremendously happy for the dixie chicks.
i'm not a total fan of country music,
but those girls have guts,
and i like that.
my increasingly conservative and republican mother, on the other hand,
does not like them and was not too happy with their winnings...
she's cute.
lent is coming up...
and i'm pretty much decided on what i'll be giving up:
radio/music/noise in my car.
i always complain about never having silence,
and i figure this will be a good excuse to try it out.
(so much silence this month...goodness)
and i'm also trying to figure out what our little community can do during the upcoming weeks to prepare for the lenten season.
eat our hearts out on tuesday?
try out the ashes on wednesday?
then later, wash each others feet on thursday?
do a tenebrae or stations of the cross on friday?
do an easter vigil the weekend of easter?
perhaps my very liturgically affluent friend mark can help me ;)
i'm also preparing for my visit to the convent over spring break.
the more i watch peoples' reactions when they find out,
the more nervous i'm getting.
am i really that big of a talker?
will this really be that arduous?
we shall see.
i'm finishing up tony jones' the sacred way that my buddy rodney lent me.
i totally dig it.
i'm going through and seeing just how many of these activities and meditations i can fit into my four days in silence.
i'm reading dark night of the soul,
a book on christian mystics,
and all the material i never really read from my hermeneutics class.
i think i'll drink lots of tea as well.
ryan and i got to visit a buddhist temple the other day and i found their tea soothing and calming.
those buddhists have so many things right that we christians are missing,
and i'd like to implement some of the other religions' practices into
i also want to pick up a prayer rope,
try to actually use the rosary that usually dangles 'round my neck,
attempt the jesus prayer and centering prayer,
play with the daily office,
go through the beautiful stations of the cross the villa has set up,
fast a little,
probably cry a lot,
and perhaps even pray.
it's been a long time since i've actually truly, honestly prayed.
and i really want to not plan this,
well, i want to not control it,
which will probably be the hardest thing i've ever done.
so...if any of you think of anything that may be interesting or helpful for me to look at,
i'd love to hear it.
i've also decided to write a book.
well, really i want to compile one.
i've begun asking my little community to write down their story with wellspring thus far.
even if it never gets published or never gets read,
we'll have it,
and that makes me happy.
yes, i am happy.
i am in a happy place right now,
and i'm feeling a little less alone...
despite the fact that i'm still wondering about a lot of things revolving around God.
sight is becoming clearer,
and the future a little less scary.
so...cheers to that i guess.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


'I would only add that the Emergent Church is also in a really bad place right now;
that many spiritual laws are also being violated;
and they would do well to heed the Word of God and repent before their artsy-craftsy plans for the future are unexpectedly altered, like Rev. Lake's.
Clearly, any man or woman who disobeys the physical laws God has established in this earthly domain risks dying a physical death, as evidenced by the tragic event at Baylor.
It should also be noted that those who violate the spiritual laws of God risk death, as well;
and anyone who has researched with any discernment, conviction and knowledge of scripture, the unbiblical teachings and practices of the Emergent Church movement knows all too well that the laws of the Lord and His Word are not only being violated for the sake of the sensual;
but also that the leaders of this new spirituality are teaching others to emulate them and practice many ungodly things in the name of Christ such as new age mysticism, the empty-minded mantras of contemplative prayer, labyrinths, the trivializing and minimizing of God's absolute truths and the casual dismissing of doctrine as divisive, destructive and unnecessary so as not to infringe upon one's own personal experience and opportunities for entertainment, excitement, enlightenment, illumination, stimulation and gratification.'
-Paul Proctor
God Sends Shocking Message to Emerging Church
i suppose when i first posted, i left my comments off because i wanted others to respond in their own way.
i'm not one for starting conflict....well, maybe i am,
but that doesn't change the fact that this quote hit somewhere really deep in me.
ryan's senior seminar on the emerging church looked at this quote.
there are kids in his class right now that have never heard of this 'emerging or Emergent church' and they're having to decide what they believe about it.
more than my hope to control the outcome of those other kids beliefs...
the fact that mr. proctor said that kyle lake died because of something wrong he was doing makes me really upset.
kyle was a friend of a lot of people i knew...
and i watched people in our congregation cry the sunday he was electrocuted in the baptismal while baptizing members of his congregation.
he died in front of his family, friends, and church.
i guess i never really pay attention to what other people are saying about those of us in this whole emerging thing...
because i don't even know what part we fit into,
but every once in awhile i hear something,
and it makes me so angry that i feel i must vent it to someone.
and so i've vented it to you...all of you.

Monday, February 05, 2007

on death & dying

this weeks conversation was centered around this passage:
'i tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. but if it dies, it produces many seeds. the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.'
john 12:24-26
ken made some great points. we dialogued about what it means to die-perhaps that means certain parts of us...much like ken pointed out in the previous passages we've looked at. die to selfishness and greed, to our prejudices, etc.
maybe it's not a full death of ourselves...maybe it's those certain places jesus wants us to be made new.
or perhaps it is full submission. a complete reworking.
the dialogue continues...

you are anointed
as you pursue what it means
to truly die.
while you struggle with the conflict, dichotomy, and the paradox
of birth
just as your birthing process into a life fulfilled seems painful,
so too may be your death.

you are anointed
as you probe and pry
what it means to release-
giving up control
allowing your body to be broken
insides exposed
and you heart rearranged.

as the canyons are etched away by the rushing water
as the desert sands are moved and formed by the winds
as the root and stem struggle to be released of their shell
so too are our understandings
are our desires
are our beings.

you are anointed
as the waters carve you
as the winds move you
as you push through
straining upward and bursting through
warmed by the sun

Sunday, February 04, 2007


i know some of you have been trying to reach me...
and i apologize for being so unorganized.
life gets a little busy sometimes, as i'm sure you're all so very much aware.
so again, my apologies.
here's my new e-mail:
thanks for being so patient with me...

desert wisdom

"abba lot went to see abba joseph and said to him,
'abba, as far as i can,
i say my little office,
i fast a little,
i pray and meditate,
i live in peace and as far as i can,
i purify my thoughts.
what else can i do?'
then the old man stood up
and stretched his hands toward heaven.
his fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him,
'if you will, you can become all flame.'"