girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


so, i made it.
i will officially graduate from college this saturday.
it's kind of...surreal.
last friday i walked into my classroom to take my last final...
i was the only student there
(graduating seniors get to take finals early).
i sat down and began to write,
but in the middle of the middle of the silence...
the weight of not knowing what i'm going to do when i finished set in.
i nearly went into a panic attack,
which is something that i have yet to ever experience but was still terribly scary.
i sat there for a bit...calmed down...and finished my final.
after turning my test in i walked out to the parking lot toward my car.
i think i lingered a bit longer than normal as i strolled on...
it was a beautiful day and i kept looking around for someone i knew...
someone i could tell...
someone i could share the moment with,
but no one was to be found.
so i got in my car and left feeling kind of sad...and pretty alone.
i didn't know what to think or have any clue what to do with myself.
as i drove out the big arching gates of my university i noticed a policeman on a motorcycle heading toward me down the opposite side of the street.
i figured he was chasing after some speeder and so i proceeded to pull out onto the street.
instead of continuing on, he stopped in the middle of the intersection, raised his hand to halt me and blew his whistle.
i slammed on the breaks in shock and waited for some direction from the officer.
then i realized what was going on...
from behind him came a hearse.
so there i was, pulling out of my university in the middle of an intersection blocking traffic, waiting on a hearse and funeral procession to go by.
what imagery.
i sat there and had to wait the agonizing couple of minutes in sheer embarrassment.
i was forced to recognize that this was the last time i would exit out these gates as a student.
i was done,
and i had no idea where i was going.
a chapter in my life had finished,
and i wasn't sure if i was ready to let it die.
a few weeks ago my therapist asked me why i'm not more excited about graduation.
part of the reason is that i have a lot going on-
i'm still doing therapy and working on getting some healing
(reading the book 'hunger for healing''s a bitch, but great)
and the boyfriend and i came back from the 3 month break and we're still working as hard as ever on who we are as individuals and as a couple.
plus i've got my little sister's wedding, for which i've made all the invitations, thank-you cards, and scrapbooks...
and she's also graduating the same day i am.
i will graduate before my little sister by 6 hours.
yes, that is some sort of achievement.
the thing is, i've never really liked that kind of attention.
i've noticed recently that as i watch people being celebrated-
like at weddings or showers-
that i cringe.
the attention being poured upon someone else is almost unbearable for me to watch.
that's part of the reason why being celebrated is hard...
the other part is my upbringing: somne holidays were hard holidays with my mother-
especially events like birthdays,
so all of this brings up some 'junk' of mine.
another part is that i'm not entirely proud of my degrees-
i'm proud of my sociology major,
but not so much about my christianity major & half my credits in the masters of theology
(which i gave up on finishing)
which brings me back to my conversations with my therapist...
she told me that 'i guess it took you 5 years to realize that you never wanted to have a degree in christianity or theology, and that's okay. that's your journey. you got where you need to be'.
so it's frustrating that i've figured this out after the fact.
probably would have saved me some time and money,
but perhaps she's right.
i told her that maybe i had to un-learn everything i thought i knew and wanted to know.
so now i'm left wondering what the hell i'm going to do with myself now that i've gotten a degree and should be ready to do something with myself.
i've applied for a fellowship with city hall and a position with a 'green' park downtown and neither have worked out.
i'm left wondering what the problem is-
i know i'm a smart, capable person, so what's the hold up?
my friends shannon hopkins and jess strickler have offered to let me travel around europe with them for 3 months working on some of the projects they've got going and the 'tessera' learning trail that's been developed,
and my parents have agreed to help me take the trip...
so that's what i'm going to do...
and hope that i find a little bit more of myself and a chance to breath and process.
...and maybe do some much needed blogging :)



deuteronomy 15.

you are blessed when you give-
when you look past your own nose
to see the need of your neighbor.

you are blessed when you love freely & generously-
lending your hands & your hearts
not expecting interest or even return.

you are blessed when you don't look away-
when you stare the world's need in the eye
without looking through or turning.

you are blessed when you feel the tugging in your heart-
the place where God's hopeful expectation resides
when you hear the voices in your head & heart-
not the voices of shame or guilt,
but of God's bidding to act.

because we do not have to wait for the year of jubilee, 
for jubilee is here.
and time for giving & debt relieving is here.
because jubilee is you &
jubilee is me &
jubilee is we.

with eyes open


jesus creed: 'we have not seen him, but we love him.
to know him is to know the true & living God'

blessings on all of us as we try 
to love those around us,
those we can see & feel & touch.

and blessings on us as we try to love that which we cannot see,
that we cannot touch with our own hands or reach out to grasp
or collapse into.

blessings as you look to see God around you
blessings as you feel God's heat & breath surrounding you
blessings as you touch God as you reach out 
with a hand to help those less fortunate
and as you are held and embraced by those you allow to love you.

seek to love what God loves.
seek not just to obey
seek to believe & to act, 
letting one feed the other...
wrestling in the balance.



bless you as you travel down the road of 'meaning',
stopping along the way,
trying things on as you seek to find
who you are and who you want to be.

bless you as you engage in community,
finding both the safe place to be just as you are
and challenged to be a part of a body-
the hands, the feet,
all with their own prints and never duplicated.

bless you as you connect with something bigger than yourself.
bless you as you delve into God's agenda for the world.
bless you as you lose your life so that you may find it.
bless you as you search,
and above all,
bless you as you continue to hope.

who we are in worship



imagine a place where you could risk yourself totally.
a place where you could be exactly who you are, where you are.
a place where you are not run by feelings,
but allowed to feel honestly.
a place where anger, laughter, tears, and joy 
acknowledge something bigger than yourself,
and are not done, or said, or felt in vain.

imagine people who were careful of what they bowed down to.
people who didn't fall on their faces for the latest trend or fad,
for money or power or control.

people who are humbled by injustice
by the pain of oppression
by the gnawing of the hungry
by the loneliness of a world seeking freedom.
you may consider me a dreamer,
but i know i'm not the only one.

to be clean

'it's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. 
do you have the nerve to say, 'let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? 
it's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. 
wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.'
-luke 6:41


blessed are those who can look themselves in the face
who meet their own eyes in the mirror
who can stare long and hard-
dealing with the ugliness and brokenness that lies beneath.

blessed are those who wear a smile and not a sneer
who do what is counter-intuitive,
what is hard and not easy
who do not mask their judgments with sarcasm,
but speak worlds of love & grace that help wash others clean.

blessed are those who are courageous enough to get their hands dirty-
who know that he world's pain is more important than 
right or wrong,
good or bad,
who are blinded by the need for healing 
instead of the need for judgment or criticism.

blessed are those who are comfortable in their own skin
who allow others to simply be where they are
who do not gloat in their own healthiness,
but come knowing that love...
we can be more than ourselves.

protecting against the least bit of greed


simplicity. generosity. 
luke 12.

be blessed in this time & in this place
as you try your hardest to remain present to this moment,
as you try to live in the now & not the past or in the future,
as you get comfortable in this very minute-
not who you were & not who you might be.

be intentional.
be focused.
be generous.
be dedicated.
be aware.
be responsible.
be present.

be self-less.
be worry-less.
be greed-less.

be committed to being less...
and perhaps then, you will be more.
be blessed.