Tuesday, September 29, 2009

coffee and vanilla soy milk

a little bit of sweet and nutty but not too much. mmm. fall goodness :)

today is a good day. i looked at the calendar to realize that kira will be here in 15 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i woke up early (5:30) for the second morning in a row--habits are hard to form, i realize. but still. i'm pleased :)
at 7 zach and whitney came over to make swedish pancakes. it was so much fun. zach has an ancient recipe from his grandpa and i must say they're pretty amazing. all three of us flipped pancakes in the pan. yes, without a spatula. pure talent.

good company, fun memories, yummy food, and laughter. we even watched an episode of Recess.

so the other night i made fried green tomatoes.

i bought one at the farmer's market on saturday and got the recipe from the "bonus features" of the movie. well, they weren't very good. lacy's mom makes them with egg, which is apparently the "right" way to make them. i guess i'll have to try again. it was worth it for the fun of the experience, though, and i got to think about how wonderful that movie is :)

i've started my fall knitting project! yesterday i took the kids to the cutest little "art studio" and yarn store. i bought a burnt yellow color to go with my green that has burnt red and yellow flecks. i like the colors so much. also, i think i'm going to learn a new stitch this fall. it's about time.

knitting reminds me of winter nights in tucson on the couch with hannah--knitting away while mom read aloud the little house on the prairie books. those were good times.

i collected another 7 leaves or so yesterday on my way to work. i'm telling you, this is such a beautiful time of year.

i have three books to read this weekend. actually, two to start and finish and one to just finish. ha. i had completely forgotten about one of them. oops. i think i might start packing something for dinner so i can leave work and go directly to a coffee shop to work. hmm.

the grad. school fair is tomorrow. i'm going to talk to the wheaton representative ack!!

alright. enough nonsense that you are probably tired of reading :)

oh wait--a thought for the afternoon:
spiritual disciplines (or healthy life disciplines in general)....what are yours?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

middle america

i remember writing a journal entry last christmas entitled "middle america" (yes, i went through a phase of titling my entries. i still do from time to time). i was sitting at the rincon mountain farmer's market over christmas break, selling my luminarias. i had worked late the night before at the country club cocktailing. there i sat, in a lawn chair watching "middle america" on a saturday morning. there was an old man in overalls--a most friendly gentleman--who i just sat and watched. in that moment i was preferring "middle america" (i borrowed the term from "Omaha" but counting crows) over the wealthier crowd of the country club. there are challenges to people everywhere but the country club environment was hardest for me, i think. sometimes i forget how much i learned and was changed by that experience. hmm.

all that to say, i went to the division street farmer's market with michelle this morning. it was wonderful. she goes much more regularly than i and so she knows people. i bought spinach and feta hummus (pretty much incredible) from the hispanic guys that run the most friendly, most jolly booth on the whole stretch of pavement. they're incredible. they remember michelle from week-to-week and were excited to meet one of her friends. "see you next week," one of them said to me, and it made me so delighted inside.

i bought a green tomato because tomorrow, you see, i am going to make fried green tomatoes. aside from the fact that it's a wonderful movie, i've never actually made them. and i want to. and tomatoes are cheap because the season is closing.

i bought 2 turnips, 1 bell pepper, 2 banana peppers, and 1 zuccini for $2.50. hurra! i also bought a bouquet of dahlia's. they are a most pretty flower. I've never had any before. they've made it on the list of possible flowers to include in a wedding (yes, these lists exists inside my head).

speaking of lists...i have a list that's recently been growing: things i want to do soon in life (that is, in the next 5-10 years).
1. drive across country through back roads and small towns--the heartland (bed and breakfasts and campgrounds)
2. drive up the east coast in the fall (on up through maine to see the lighthouses and learn to like good sea food).
3. live as self-sufficient as i can for a year (that is, garden and can, a cow or goat for milk/cheese/butter, sew a lot of my own clothes).
4. own a bike with a basket

there are a great many things on this list. these are only a few that have been forward in my thoughts. life is unsure and unpredictable, though, and i realize i don't really know if or when any of these things will happen. but dreaming happens anyway :) and i like it.

yesterday was a good day. i finished and delivered my sermon (whew!); i had coffee and good conversation with Charity (finally we were able to hang out...sigh. i love her); good conversation with Amy about our "book club" (The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World); watched No Country for Old Men with friends and discussed it a little (understood more the second time, though it is such a hard film to watch).

ok. i am about to eat lunch (the new hummus on some new whole wheat rye--can someone say YUM?!) and go hide away in a coffee shop to get some work done. but first, i think you should know things i'm looking forward to as fall starts...so you can think about things YOU want to do this fall. Here are just a few:

1. A knitting project with the girl I nanny (Monday's after homework we are working on a pink and purple scarf :))
2. Monday morning breakfasts with Charity
3. Letter writing with a cup of tea (i'm going to try to make this a Sunday afternoon activity)
4. Collecting colored leaves to press for framing or sending in the mail (i've started collecting some!)
5. Waking up early to read Jeremiah (i've decided i need to be better about getting up early...and my interest/desire has been peaked for Jeremiah. I always get shaken reading the prophets. I haven't read in Jeremiah in a long time...)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

life is precious; life is sweet

i've talked to kira, mariah, and mark this week! granted, they weren't super long conversations--especially with the girls. mark gets more time because he's in germany :) you're lucky i picked up an "unavailable" id ;) it's always good to talk with far-away friends.

i've been tired a lot...to bed too late and up early. sigh. i plan to remedy this. also, i'm weaning myself off coffee. i'm down to mostly decaf with a little regular (to keep the headaches off). by next week i should be fine!

i signed up on sundays for community group information. i'll admit i don't particularly enjoy "putting myself out there." I realize that's the way to plug in and get to know people...but i'm not very good at it. i'm going to start going to pastor Bob's home group on tuesday nights. i look forward to it.

i'm learning that kids ask beautiful, uninhibited questions. sometimes it gets old but most of the time its precious. like this one from cam, "who made the whole wide world? and was the sky made, too?"

i want to share more with God. there's so much that I keep to myself because i assume he knows. he does, of course--i'm not trying to say he doesn't know these things i keep. but i want to be more proactive and intentional in sharing my life with him--all the thoughts, dreams, questions, concerns. hm.

ok. i need to not be late for class.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


it's hard to sermon write knowing that my professor for the class is going in for open heart surgery. sigh. Dr. de Rosset had 99 percent blockage. this is so unexpected. in an email to me she mentioned that she's been reminded of O'Connor's words that "sickness is a necessary geography." i love her. i respect her so much.

first sermon and already i've hit walls. mostly i've been afraid to approach it. i teach on psalm 42 (delivered friday)--prayer and lament. maybe it's because i'm intimidated to teach Scripture. maybe it's because i am so gripped by the subject i feel i can't dare do it justice. maybe i realize it's something i need to still learn and keep learning so teaching it seems a bit strange.
but i once heard that we teach best what we need to learn most. this isn't to say that we don't, as teachers/speakers, prepare, study, and understand that which we desire to teach (this is a duty). But to truly learn something can take much longer than we give ourselves credit. so the discovery of the need is a step in the journey (but you're right, let's not settle there). i've discovered my need to learn more bold, raw, truth-telling prayer, and i feel passionately about others doing the same.

hmm. we'll see how it goes.

in researching, i came across this quote again from Billman and Migliore in "Rachel's Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope."
“Prayer in the Hebrew Scriptures freely expresses feelings of distress, anger, and abandonment. Israel cries to God, boldly questions God, complains that God is far off, argues with God in prayer."

make my faith more honest, Lord, and it's expression more true.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

love visitors

the mcgee's were here! i haven't seen them since May. Sam has changed SO MUCH. Wow, he's growing fast. sigh. and i won't see them again until Christmas.

it was good to be with them. talked with jay last night and got some good brotherly advice about life. enjoyed sister time with kristen today sitting on the couch with cups of coffee while jay and sam took naps. mmm. such good times. tonight we had a wonderful dinner and laughed a lot. i love them. hopefully someday i'll live closer to them.

oh life.

i feel like i've been saying "oh life" with a sigh to myself a lot lately. hmm. that's just the way it is.

i got my peter mulvey ticket in the mail yesterday. yep. it's happening. i can't wait.

the sun has been shining a lot. i love it. the weather is cooling a little, too, which reminds me of coming autumn. that makes me happy. the family i nanny for lives in a neighborhood with big leafy trees--you know, the kinds that change brilliant color in fall. i think i'll go early and sit under them when they're yellow, orange, and red.

thank you, Lord, for such a life to live. yes, it sometimes seems to hold "too much," but i wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the story i heard

today will be a day of miscellaneous things.

(1) finish assignment
(2) skip one class and go to another
(3) work
(4) research in the library
(5) hide away in a coffee shop to get homework done
(6) get to bed at a (hopefully) decent hour

tomorrow jay, kristen, and sam are coming. i am so excited. i am beyond excited. i miss my family.
i'm feeling sad today. i don't really know why--its just a melancholic day.

thinking about how i need to get my butt in gear as far as my classes are concerned. sometimes i forget that i need to remember i'll be applying to grad. programs and grades actually do matter, to a good degree.
i have too much on my plate...

oh life.

currently listening to: the story i heard by blind pilot.
i really like blind pilot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

no apologies

so i really didn't get any homework done this weekend. it's ok, though. i make no apologies. you know those times when you just can't really get it done, other things that are more important to you come up, you need a break, and its ok...? yeah, it's been one of those weekends.

melissa came over saturday night. we ended up sleeping out in the living room together and talking into the wee hours of the morning. with lacy's half marathon to drive to in the morning (WOO!) we got a total of 3.5 hours of sleep. i still haven't taken a nap (yawn). but it was so so good to talk with her. it was good to listen and be listened to. it was good to give and receive advice. it was good to give and receive prayer. again, it's a theme, i am blessed by wonderful friends.

lacy ran well and finished 13.1 miles!!!!! SHE RAN A HALF MARATHON!! everyone came over here for lunch and then i went on a long walk. i sat in lincoln park by myself, read some psalms, thought about life, prayed for awhile, thought some more, and walked back. i called hallie on the way back--it had been waaay too long since we've talked. sigh, i miss her friendship close to me. it was good to catch up. I ended up in washington park where there was an art/craft show. i walked by the booths and then headed back home. sometimes those long walks are the best kind of breather.

tonight we watched state of play. good movie.

tomorrow is monday--and my first day at the new job. I'm a little nervous but also excited.

it's a new week.

you know what? I've been looking forward to my bedtimes. you know why? I've started using that "before I go to bed" time to write prayers. it's been good to cleanse and close my days in this way. hm...

we wrestle to let go
we wrestle to let go of our lives
we want to believe that our dreams for ourselves are Your dreams too
we want to be sure we know how it will all "work out"
but then the silence
we wrestle to let go
in the silence we don't know if our dreams for ourselves are Your dreams too
in the silence we don't know how it will all work out
and we wrestle to let go


Saturday, September 12, 2009

"skinny love" on a saturday morning

hearing this song brings back so many memories of the summer--rappelling the afternoons away with Duran (while listening to his hysterical stories about 8 year old campers); laughing uncontrollably with Kira; hanging out on the weekends with Phil, Duran, Callie, and Kira; hiking the 14-er; 4th of July with the OC and Saigon Stars; blob wars before banquet; lazy afternoons in a canoe; laughing at campers; mountain air; morning prayer with Kira...the list is endless. that time was sweet.

i slept in today!! woohoo. it felt so good. i then proceeded to make carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese spread. Mmmmm. it was yummy.

last night Kjieri, Wendy, and I went for a long walk down by the lake. It was glorious. we walked out to the end of the pier and sat in the dark for a long time talking about God, life, relationships, growing up...i treasure moments like those. i really appreciate good conversations with friends. I haven't spent much time with the two of them in a long time. it was so nice.

you know what gets me? we talked about this a little last night...what gets me is skewed understandings (or perspectives) of what it "means" to "be a man" (or "be a woman," for that matter). sometimes i get a little weary of the million-and-one requirements we place on each other in Christian circles regarding gender. Yeah, of course there are differences--even "things to look for/desire..." But really. Men have parts that distinguish them as men and women have a whole set of their own. Beyond that there are qualities we look for and desire but I hate when people try to smash the opposite gender into neat categories. What makes a man a man isn't simply his ability to climb mountains and start fires (though these might be desired skills)--kind of like what makes a woman a woman isn't simply her ability to cook and keep house. There is so much that is important--respect, integrity, honesty, tenderness, care, determination, honor, love, humility, and the list goes on--and gets overlooked if people only focus on strict categories of gender (stereotyping!)...(and i'm not talking about roles in marriage and family)

oh well. it bugs me.
and that was my rant for the day :)

i really really really have to do homework. bleh...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

i've been having lots of confusing emotions lately. i rather hate confusing emotions. i don't know what to do with them.

Monday, September 07, 2009

you know its a tourist when...

...he's having his kids take pictures of a pigeon. maybe their being in front of the sears tower was also a dead give away. take our pick.

i'm back in chicago. you probably didn't know, i was in cleveland. i stayed the weekend with Sarah and T.J. in their new little apartment. it was wonderful...
saturday morning sleep in and talking at the kitchen table eating Sarah's amazing homemade cinnamon roles and drinking coffee. ah, nothing can beat it! Sarah and i went to the Cleveland Art Institute Sat. evening while T.J. was working. We also watched You've Got Mail which made me wish (among other things) for fall. Mm how I'm growing more and more anxious for sweaters, crisp air, and mugs filled with hot liquids. I hope I am able to get out of the city this year to see some more of the color--maybe collect a few leaves or two. Autumn is my favorite season.
i enjoyed the experience of their church and good conversations about what life after Moody is like--particularly church-culture outside Moody. Thoughts I haven't really had yet, but will (no doubt) in less than a year.
it was great to be away from school, with good friends, just living and relaxing together. it was great to see Sarah and just BE with her. sigh...i'm grateful for my friends.

and now i'm back. i feel rejuvenated, which is nice. my internship proposal was approved on friday, which has generated great excitement, nervousness, and some stress :) It's a rather large undertaking but it also really excites me--which is usually a good combination.

i need to get my clothes out of the dryer. have i ever mentioned how much i love the smell of clean, warm clothes? i do...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

weak knees

we tremble before God not because we are afraid of Him, but because we begin to understand that following Him will take us out and away from places to which we cannot [indeed will not; must not] return.
--thoughts from my pastor and echoes of my own heart-realization.

things are looking good for the approval of my internship. i typed up the proposal and meet with the chair of the bible department tomorrow to discuss details...hopefully in the department meeting at the end of september it will be finalized. I haven't wanted to get too excited about it prematurely. it's hard to believe a few weeks ago i had little to no idea what i wanted to do or even a direction to pursue. i've spent the last few days in grateful awe of God's bringing me here--to this place, this time, these moments.

life is such a remarkable gift, do you ever think of that? today i was delighted by Him over and over again. His presence can be so startling and unexpected. its funny how you pray for something day after day after day and if he chooses to break in in a tangible way, it throws you off...even though you've prayed for it. huh...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

friends are great

today i got an email from Kira. it was a $10 gift card to itunes and it said, "it's not much but one of the worst parts of no money is no new music--enjoy. i love you sweet thing." haha. to say the least, it made me smile big and miss her MORE than I already do. sigh... the good news is, she's coming to visit in October. Woohoo. the 15-19!!!

i've now purchased a few of Peter Mulvey's new songs. gosh, he's so good. so i'm on the couch (er, i was until i got distracted by my computer)...with a cup of chai tea...and my book. I'm reading The World Must Know--about the Holocaust. Hm. I should probably get back to it.