Wednesday, March 31, 2010

sitting here, waiting

"if you figure out what we're doing here, sitting between the crucifixion and the resurrection, let me know your thoughts..." said a friend.

today there's been a general sense of
waiting. it's a hard kind of waiting, too, anticipating the sorrow and hoping for (but not yet experiencing) the joy that will follow. i think this is ok. even healthy. so often we rush through Holy Week. in all our desire for Easter we live the week in a blur, not allowing ourselves to truly live it.

as i grow older, a lot of things gain greater significance. Easter is one such event. the development of my faith, the relationship I have grown with God, the way I have studied and learned, the lives around me--these things have together created something in me that is turning remarkably profound as I come to Easter this year. i don't think i can explain it, so i'm not going to try. but i pray that you sense some of it too, this Holy Week.

I know it isn't officially Maundy Thursday but I am posting this prayer of Brueggemann's now.
- - -
The Pivot of Hope
This day of dread and betrayal and denial
causes a pause in our busyness.
Who would have thought that you would take this eighth son of Jesse
to become the pivot of hope in our ancient memory?
Who would have thought that you would take
this uncredentialed
Galilean rabbi
to become the pivot of newness in the world?
Who would have thought that you--
God of gods and Lord of lords--
would fasten on such small, innocuous agents
whom the world scorns
to turn creation toward your newness?
As we are dazzled,
give us the freedom to resituate our lives in modest,
uncredentialed, vulnerable places.
We ask for freedom and courage to move out from our nicely
arranged patterns of security
into dangerous places of newness where we fear to go.
Cross us by the cross, that we may be Easter marked. Amen.
(On reading 1 Samuel 16:1-13 on Maundy Thursday/April 12, 2001)
- - -
What is this waiting? why are we sitting here...?
I am deeply aware of desires we are unable to satisfy, captured as we are in cobwebs of sin and patterns of ill-behavior that demonstrate remarkable mistrust and genuine need. I am struck by the significant truth of the God-man Christ who reflects a vision for humanity--for the world--that means a reversal, a remaking of things. Yes, newness. The word itself is a quiet comfort. Newness.

But wait.
First we reject him. First we do not understand. First we struggle to believe. First we are confused. First he suffers and dies for this newness. First he must leave us...
and we wait.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

no idea what life will look like

this internship makes me want to teach. sigh. craziness. i am realizing more and more each day that i have no idea what my life is going to look like.

it's been an interesting week. very interesting. i'll try to update soon. i'm too tired tonight. i'm off to bed, grateful that tomorrow is friday and that there is the weekend to follow. last week's insomnia is finally catching up with me. this week wasn't a whole lot better, either. grrrr.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i'm a sucker for thrift store mugs

and i guess my friends know it...

while lacy was in NM with mariah, they went thrifting and she found me this WONDERFUL mug! Isn't it a beauty? just perfect for soup or cereal, tea, coffee, or anything else that might taste better out of a mug (which, we all know, is pretty much anything). hurrah for thrift stores! and hurrah for dear friends :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

"What more, you may ask, do we want? … We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it." —C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

spring snowfall

oh eddie vedder, i am enjoying your sound. into the wild soundtrack. like it so much. pandora "ray lamontagne" station=great.

it's been snowing all day. oh goodness...

and i've been grading papers and working on my internships all day. i'm getting closer and closer to putting the syllabus together. have i mentioned that this project kind of makes me want to be a professor? i don't know what that means (or will mean) but, it is what it is right now :)

last night i couldn't fall asleep until 2AM! what?! i don't understand how i can go to bed tired...and not sleep. uuuugh. i ended up reading through an old journal from a few years ago. i really enjoy reading through old journals. when i do, i am always (always) made to realize something rather important that i have either forgotten or overlooked. do you sometimes feel like you understood more "back then" than you do now? last night i felt that my faith was somehow stronger back then, August 8, 2008,

Recognize the growing "urge" to walk away from Him...from Him who is life. The thought is terrifying and I wept before the Lord as I confessed it tonight. And as I did so, I think I was able to "determine" why it is I feel this way. I'm angry with Him...I'm angry because I long to see the lives of those I now love at the Club [this was when I was working at the Tucson Country Club] made new, whole--given hope. I don't see God changing them and I suppose I've "despaired." What a wretched response. Weak heart I have. Sigh. There's a beauty in the brokenness I feel. I am grateful to the Lord for placing me here. A job obviously provided by Him. A job I hated. A place I "wanted out of." An environment that seemed impossible. Now (two weeks left), though I'm feeling ready to go back to school, I feel deeply sad. Frustrated to be, once again, saying goodbye to a group of people I might not ever see or work with again. I have an empty feeling when I think that they will be out of my days in a few short weeks...My desire was to stay in Chicago, working and taking summer school. I saw no "reason" to be home in Tucson working. Goes to show how nearsighted we are...Forgive my anger toward you--forgive this unbelief. Restore to me the grace to walk in mystery and trust you when I don't feel I know how. Help me keep this faith alive when I don't even want to.

We are always in a place requiring us to trust and entrust. I am increasingly aware of our tendency to mistrust. I had forgotten what a difficult summer that was--how I hated it and wanted nothing to do with that environment. He changed my heart tremendously and redeemed that experience right out from under me. Life is full of new places, new steps, new "seasons," as we say, and its so easy to forget what happened in the last place, step, and season.

I've been doing a lot of "forced" remembering lately. Maybe that's why I can't sleep...
God's reminding me of old things and calling me to new things. The other night I got out of bed to write Dad a letter that I've had in mind to write for quite awhile. I wanted to tell him "thank you" for being a good Dad. So many of my friends have been profoundly abused and broken by their Fathers. I am grateful that, while of course Dad has faults/quirks (and sometimes I am too vocal in pointing them out), he has been the protector of me. He has cared for me body, soul, and spirit. This is something I am increasingly and deeply thankful for. I had to thank him. I don't thank people enough--for their place in my life, for the things they say (or don't), for the examples they are, for the admiration I feel. There are so many people around me that I consider it a privilege to rub shoulders with. Why don't we name the beautiful things that are often a result of "life together"? A challenge for us: to be people that name life and live it--in all its hurt and delight; beauty and brokenness. I am under the impression that such an approach will help us be honest will demand that we speak to God, speak to ourselves, and speak to others about this life--this world--our faith, and the hope we maintain for things after all of this. Wouldn't it be a "thicker" living?

I don't know. It's just a thought. I should probably get back to work :)

[Sam Beam just sang from my speakers, "So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten," from Upward over the Mountain. I love this song. I love that line...]

Friday, March 19, 2010

alone for the weekend

It's just me in the apartment this weekend. Tiff went to visit Heidi in Milwaukee. I hope they have wonderful roommate reunion time!

I talked to Hallie for almost two hours tonight! so. good. to catch up with her, finally.

I just finished watching Good Will Hunting. What a good movie. I know, i had never seen it...
As it turns out, i think it was the perfect movie for me to watch tonight. Hmm. lots of good food-for-thought. Plus, Matt Damon is great and Robin Williams played a role similar to that in Dead Poets (i.e., quality).

I was feeling a bit tired this afternoon and wanted something low-key for the night. So I enjoyed the warm weather (before it snows tomorrow, what the heck?!) and walked to blockbuster, then to Jewel for a pint of swedish vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered almonds (nothing like eating it right out of the container!)

I plan on sleeping in tomorrow and then spending the day reading (with intermittent knitting) while it snows...or whatever it's planning on doing...sigh. It's going to be a little wintry again here while its nothing but spring (or summer!) over in Virginia where little Sam is busy running around outside. Oh, to be with him in the backyard playing...i wish i lived nearer to them.

Back to school on Monday! It's hard to believe break is already over. Whew, ready for the big push? I think I've been revived and refreshed enough to do it...

Alright, goodnight all. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On human rights, human flourishing, and Crystal (my divine interruption)

I've been working on two interrelated research projects over break. One, a curriculum development project (that is serving as my internship), and the other, a paper exploring the relationship between the image of God in humanity and the problem of sin. Research for each helpfully contributes to the finished product of both, which is helpful for two reasons. First, I don't have as much time to devote to these projects as I wish I had--story of my life right now--so the "overlap" is welcome. Second, seeing the interconnectedness of so many themes and topics thickens my understanding of Scripture and wets my appetite for the richness therein. For this I am very grateful.

In reading portions of Miller's The Way of the Lord: Essays in Old Testament Theology, I came across this great quote. It comes from the section entitled "That it May Go Well with You": The Commandments and the Common Good. These pages have delightfully offered themselves to my study of understanding a biblical theology of human rights. Here's the quote I want to share:

"While it is not necessary to argue the issue of whether or not rights theories focus excessively upon the individual or to challenge the legitimacy of rights arguments in seeking the common good in its moral dimension, it is important in this context to note that the way in which the Commandments provide a structure and space for the moral life is not in terms of rights but in terms of responsibilities. One may use other terms, such as, ‘duties’ or ‘obligations,’ in this respect, but the term ‘responsibility’ better connotes what takes place in the Decalogue. Several primary spheres of human good—work and rest, family and household, marriage, reputation and truth, the administration of justice, goods and property (economics in a broad sense), life and freedom, and human desire—are areas in which human flourishing, and so the good of the community as a whole, are protected by the assumption of responsibility for the good of the other, for the good of the neighbor. The orientation of the Commandments is always toward the other, whether the other is the God whose proper worship is the ground of all other acts or the other is the neighbor/brother/sister." Patrick D. Miller, The Way of the Lord: Essays in Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 142.

Did you catch that phrase, human flourishing? There it is again. Huh. It keeps popping up all over the place!

How meaningful to think of "human responsibility" instead of "human rights" (or, to link the two). How important it is to consider the structure of the Commandments for the communication of this mandate. There are so many different thoughts whirling around in my head as I try to unpack some of these biblical themes and how they come to bear on the "modern world" and "contemporary faith."

I continue to mull things over...
- - -
In other "news," something very interesting happened to me yesterday. I met a stranger in the library who turned out to be a divinely positioned agent, inserted into my day to interrupt me with truth about life and about God. It was really rather remarkable. I must tell you the story.

For the past week and a half my "library days" have found me at the same table, in the same chair, with a pile of books and my computer. At about 11am yesterday I noticed that someone else had come downstairs and was walking towards me. She wore a black coat, walked with a limp, and was rather unkempt. "You are the lone studier," she was standing just in front of my table. I smiled, "Yeah, there aren't many others down here, that's for sure." It became obvious that she wasn't going anywhere. I smiled again, "Are you from around here?" She just looked at me, "I was a student here. I graduated in 2003."

It turns out that this mysterious stranger was a Moody Alum. Yes, she even carried a beat up copy of the blue thin-line "alumni bible" that I will receive in a few short months. She left her notebook and Bible on the table as she wandered through the isles of books. She sighed loudly when she sat back down, "This place is so full of wonderful resources. I've missed it. I never took advantage of it when I was here." Again, I just smiled at her. A friend of mine, Drew, had walked up by this time and next thing we know out of Crystal's mouth comes the simplest, most profound little statement (I wish I could remember it word for word but it was something to the effect of...), "Sometimes I would come in here so starved--so hungry--and here are all these wonderful books." She commented on the fact that everything has moved around since 2003 (fair enough, it has been seven years). She was so cute, sitting across from me interrupting my studies every five minutes or so to share a thought or ask a question. She would always apologize for keeping me from my work, shushing herself for approximately five minutes before interrupting me with a new thought. She was leafing through a few different commentaries on Romans :)

I listened to her talk about her time on the mission field. So much pain filled her voice--so much heartache, burnout, loss, and confusion. We shared questions, thoughts about God and life, thoughts about Moody, memories, and people. She kept asking me to keep her in my prayers, that she had made some decisions she wasn't proud of and needed strength and direction from the Lord.

And we prayed. We sat at the table I've been sitting at for so much of break and we prayed. I prayed things for her that I have been praying for myself...cries for stronger faith to believe that God is present in our misgiving and mistrusting; hope that God will sharpen eyes to see and ears to hear Him when His work is simple and his voice is small; tangible guidance for an unknown future--how can we follow, we are so weak in our trusting? I confessed to her after that I am having a hard time trusting God. Even though I know that He moves in ways I cannot see, I am so quick to mistrust. And this is frustrating. Oh to just believe like we want to believe! She was quiet. She just stared off. Then she started talking. She didn't look at me, she just spoke. "Sometimes, as we follow God, our dreams for ourselves really become something great. They become big and wonderful as we pursue them. But I pushed God off to the side. Once He showed me which way to go, I acted as if I didn't need Him anymore. That's a mistake." It was so simple--some might even say "cliche"--but there was some really important truth in her words. I thanked her for saying it. She was quiet for a little while and then said matter-of-fact, "I'm going to go now," and she left. That was it. It was so strange. It was so "perfect," as if it really was the right time to leave, even though it was also abrupt. It was as if she said what she needed to say and that was enough. It was as if I heard what I needed to hear and that was enough.

All day I was perplexed by that interaction. Even more so once I remembered that I had written in my journal the night before and when I read back, I found this simple prayer: "With two months till graduation I recognize how short my time here is. Help me to use it well. Provide friendships--new and old--to encourage, challenge, and teach me. Be close to me in the business, God. Open my ears to hear you and my eyes to see you. Break into my thoughts. Interrupt my days as you see fit--one final burst of growth or douse of humility before I go from here. You know what I need most before I leave..."

And I remember her words at one point in our conversation, "thank you, I don't have very many friends in the world." We were friends for thirty minutes--thirty minutes that really mattered, to both of us.

I guess I call Crystal a divine interruption because there was just something so remarkable, out of the ordinary, and so necessary about our time together. This year I've begun to see how God steps into our lives and gives (or takes away) what we don't know we need. These can be very painful experiences of living with God but they aren't always. There's a huge comfort in knowing that He knows even the way in which we need things, though we might never have thought of it. He can provide what we don't know we need when we don't know we need it. I think that's astounding.

As I struggle to trust God with my "dreams" (my life, really. and lets be honest, what graduating senior isn't in this place)--wondering if they are worth it, questioning how they are possible, believing that He's given them for a reason, and asking how to move forward--I am awed by His simple ways of bringing me to attention (i.e., my new friend Crystal), of calming my heart (reminding me often that 1. my life is not my own 2. i am not alone in life), of providing for my needs (I found a second job today to help pay loans and save for grad. school), and of encouraging my soul (how he enriches my faith in ways that teach me to live the life I have). In all of it He is so patient with us--so deeply committed to relationship. This, too, is astounding.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

weave me the sunshine

after almost two weeks of grey skies and scattered rain, the sun is shining in through our big front windows. YESS!

and I am singing along with peter, paul, and mary "weave me the sunshine, out of the fallin' rain. weave me the hope of a new tomorrow and fill my cup again."

seriously. thank you, Mr. Sun, i was hoping you'd come out today. woohoo!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

If I could...

I'd spend the weekend here:

(on the river in Canada)

Or here:

(backyard in Arizona)

(mountains of Colorado)

Pretty much 1. I'm tired of being in this city, and 2. I really just want to spend some time IN NATURE. Sigh...

Two months from today I graduate. aaaaaaah. I have SO MUCH to do before then!! How on earth am I going to get it all done?!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a pasty and a pile of books

The smell of a baking pasty is drifting from the kitchen and I am at home on the floor of the apartment with a pile of books: The Way of the Lord: Essays in Old Testament Theology, The Ten Commandments: The Reciprocity of Faithfulness, Character & Scripture: Moral Formation, Community, and Biblical Interpretation, and Imaging God: Dominion as Stewardship. I will be working all evening on this paper of mine and tonight I really don't mind. I've been sick all weekend--yesterday was kind of a drag--and haven't been able to get much accomplished. Actually, I take that back. Yesterday I worked for hours doing my taxes. I successfully completed them mostly by myself (a few phone calls to mom and dad). My sore throat was so bad yesterday I started wondering about strep. But I ventured through the gross rain to Walgreens and stocked up on sucrets, zicam, and ramen noodle soup. I took two tylenol pm at 8:30 and slept until 9:45 this morning! I woke up feeling much stronger and my throat hasn't been as bad today.

This evening I walked up to North Avenue and back--the fresh air was welcome after being inside all day. But the wind started irritating my throat so I came back inside. Somehow the little jaunt gave me a renewed desire to sit and study. I hope it also lengthened my attention span (which has been short this break).
I was planning on making so many phone calls this weekend and then this sore throat...but talking drains me of energy in a matter of minutes. I am so behind with so many friends. I hate that feeling.

Mmmm. It smells soooo good in here. Oh right, most of you probably don't know what a pasty is. If you pronounce "sauna" saahnuuh (that's the best I can do) then you really don't know what a pasty is (or how to pronounce it, for that matter). It's a U.P. thing. I had one in the freezer from Christmas at Grandma's. Oh so good. They make me miss Papa. He would always say, "hey, have a little pasty with your ketchup, why don't you!"

I hope you have had a good weekend. What did you do? Share a favorite moment!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

early morning reflecting

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat. I'm kind of a baby when it comes to sore throats. I don't know why I can be very strong about any other sickness but sore throats discourage me so much, make me miss mom and the couch at home with hot soup and tea. But I pushed through yesterday and, of course, as sore throats go, it got a little better as the day progressed. I got home from babysitting last night pretty exhausted. I've managed late nights and fairly early mornings all weak to get research done for several projects. The sore throat reminded me to take it easy and get enough rest. So I decided to go straight to bed when I got home last night--which I did--and not set an alarm (which usually means I will only sleep in until about 8:30/9).

At 4am this morning I started tossing and turning. My throat was dry and stingy and kept waking me up. I tried and tried to sleep but 4:30 rolled around and I decided to get up. To my surprise, I was rather "wide" (this term is somewhat relative) awake. sigh. So much for sleeping in. It looks like it will be an afternoon nap for me instead. ugh, being sick is no fun at all.
Here I am at my desk with a hot cup of apple chamomile tea thinking.

I saw a scrap of a 3x5 card with a verse scrawled on it sitting atop a pile of papers next to my computer. It made me smile because there's a story behind it.

Throughout high school and now through college, I have had the hardest time starting new jobs. I don't know what it is about it but I hate new jobs. I hate job searching and I hate all that comes with being the "newbie" because I always feel like I'm not good enough or I'm not learning the ropes fast enough, etc. It happened with Marie Calendar's, Hillsdale Natural Grocery, Fry's Grocery Store, The Tucson Country Club, Francis Xavier Ward School, Eagle Lake, and even my nanny job now. It takes awhile for me to adjust and feel confident/capable.

The funny thing is, these have all turned out to be great experiences. Some of them, in particular, have provided incredible friendships with people I wouldn't have otherwise met or hung out with (I think of midnight burrito runs with Jordan and Anne Marie; laughing with Freddy and Karen; the kiddos at FXW that both drove me crazy and delighted me on a daily basis; the finer things club at ELC--unforgettable friendships). Each of them has also contributed to an overall growing sense of self. Maybe that's a "duh" but its just something i've been thinking about. So many of life's mundane experiences contribute in big ways to our formation--the faces we see, the people we interact with (and how we do this), the embarrassing moments ("Sir, would you like me to milk your bag?" Yeah, that definitely should have been "bag your milk." Awkward), and the lessons we learn.

You're probably wondering about that slip of paper. So am I. It's 5am and I should be asleep, dang-it! Well, Psalm 27:4 is written on it in obnoxious teal blue ink: "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." The story behind it? Whenever I start a new job, I write out a verse that pushes my heart towards the care of God because, for some reason, I feel really alone whenever I start something new. I keep that scrap of paper in my wallet or purse, tape it somewhere where I will see it, carry it around (as at Fry's) in my apron pocket so I can pull it out at random intervals throughout the work day. It started out as an act of 16-year-old insecure desperation and has evolved into something simple but beautiful. From time to time I come across crumpled or worn out slips of paper with short verses written on them. I think I've mentioned before how I need tangible ways to enact my faith. This is something I have only recently "learned" of myself but whenever I stop and look back, I am amazed at how many little things made this clear throughout the years, I just didn't realize it.

So, let's think of small, simple, beautiful ways we can enact our faith as we live through so many mundane/routine days.

I really want to sleep. As soon as this second cup is finished steeping, I'm taking nap #1 on that couch over there. sigh...

Friday, March 12, 2010

my not so secret "secret" project

Remember when I told you I started a new knitting project at my sister's? Well, I've come far enough along on it that I think I will share a picture (or two).

It's a lap blanket!! My first "big" project. I haven't had much time to work on it because I am busy with classes and such. But i pull it out from time to time. I am babysitting tonight so I'll get some good knitting time in after the kiddos go to bed! I can hardly wait :) It is a peaceful pass-time. Ah, so wonderful.
I so enjoy crafting. Something about creating with these hands. Love, love, love it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

goodnight, dear void

before i crawl into bed for the night i feel the need to whisper a simple prayer of gratitude out into the quiet void.
in certain ways it's been a rough day and a half but a conversation with my brother-in-law earlier and an encouraging email from my sister this evening have reminded me that i am loved and appreciated. sometimes those simple reminders are the best.

Lord, teach us to live so that we aren't conformed to this world but are transformed by the renewal of our minds. interrupt our hard-headed habits and relentless routines. remind us that you are the Bigger One. be more hard-headed than us, so that we can experience you more fully. we are weak at it but we do so desperately love you. tonight i am grateful that you call us yours.

Do pirates have birthdays?

This is my fourth consecutive morning in the library. Yes, it's true, I am spending my spring break in the library (not all of it, just a lot of it).

I have actually rather enjoyed it. It is so very quiet down here. I am with one other--a modular student, i think, taking a two-week course here at the school. I am surrounded by books, the smell of old pages, and the hum of fluorescent lights. Aaaah. Ok, maybe I am going crazy :) But I've been able to get a lot done! I have researched for my internship a ton and compiled a hefty bibliography. I also started writing my first lecture: The Image of God and Human Rights (a biblical theology of human rights). It's been fascinating and exciting stuff to research and study.

Also, I've been working on a paper and a load of reading. Slowly I am chipping away at the lists and lists of things I have to do before graduation in a few short months of class. Sigh.

Soon we will be apartment hunting. We are already checking in with craigslist from time to time looking for cheap (or free!!) furniture, etc.

Mixed in with all the library time is work and play. I have enjoyed this week with the kids. I love that a 4 (almost 5) year old will ask me, "Andrea, do pirates have birthdays?" and we are able to get into a rather significant conversation about Black Beard and whether or not he celebrated his birthday, and whether or not it was a "fun" occasion (since he was, after all, a baddy not a goody). We planted the apple seeds in a small pot that now sits on the windowsill in the sun. Yesterday we sat on the swings out back when we got home from school. The air was warm and the sun shining so bright. He said, "this is a beautiful day," and I smiled and agreed. Spring might be slow in coming but days like yesterday remind me that it is indeed coming...

Then there have been sleep-overs with Lacy, runs to dunkin doughnuts, frozen pizza and a movie...etc. These fun little things break up the endless lists of To-Do's. Last night we watched Precious. That movie is incredibly difficult to watch. Good, but hard.

I should get back to my reading. This break has been nice :) More later, I'm sure, when I can better articulate some of the things I am learning buried down here under these piles of books!

Hope your spring has sprung!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

routine interrupted

yes, it's spring break! i admit its kind of hard staying on campus for a two-week long break...ugh. but hopefully the "quiet" will mean a productive two weeks. plus, i look forward to exploring fun coffee shops and cafes as the weather warms up. i have homework to catch up on, internship writing, and a few papers to research. also, i am working. so i guess i'll be busy. the rain today doesn't help the "i'm trapped in a big city" feeling but this week is supposed to be mostly sunny and 50's (keep your fingers crossed!!). one thing I hate about this time of year in the city: when the snow melts there is dog poop all over the sidewalks. it seems especially bad this year. gross. If you are going to have a dog in the city, as least clean up its poop!!

i try not to think about how glorious it would be to have a car that would get me out of the city to wide open fields and forests...or, even better, to mountains for rock-climbing and camping. sigh. i don't think i was made for the city.

Tiffany and I kicked off spring break by going to see Alice and Wonderland in 3D. I liked it. I wouldn't let my young children see it (it is Tim Burton) but it was well done and i enjoyed it. On a side note, i think 3D movies are probably really bad for our eyes. Mine felt strangely over-stimulated. huh.

Lace and i watched 5 episodes of ALIAS back-to-back last night. I know, nothing says spring break like sitting on the couch freaking out about how cool Sydney is or how wretched the plot becomes by season five. ah, gotta love ALIAS.

Today is 1. laundry 2. grading papers 3. the oscars.

Also, i've made a few promises from time to time about posting recipes (probably mostly for my sister or hallie :)). I have two new favorites. The first involves tofu, which probably makes most of you scrunch up your nose. But before you dismiss the idea as "hippie" or "earthy" (because i know you people are out there) consider the fact that a big block of tofu at Trader Joe's costs $1.99 and lasts for a very long time. When you are on a tight budget and can't afford to purchase meat on a very regular basis, tofu is a great source of protein. Alright, I've defended it enough. Now for the recipe.

"Tofu Scramble" (improvise: i've never actually measured my quantities)

In a frying pan saute over medium-high heat for several minutes:
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic (cloves, hallie ;))
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin

stir in:
1 1/2 cups crumbled tofu (I cut off about 1/4 of a trader joe's block of "firm" tofu and crumble it up in a bowl so it sort of looks like scrambled eggs).
turn heat down to medium-low until tofu is hot or until it turns a little golden (preference)

I had half of a baked potato left over once and threw that in--i really liked the addition.
I prefer to make burritos out of it with a little cheese melted on top. You can even add salsa if you want. MmmM"

"Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro"
This is a great recipe my sister sent me a few days ago. I just made it today. The link is here. I cut the recipe in half and still have two meals of it left over. I stuffed a Trader Joe's whole wheat pita with the quinoa-goodness and then put the cheese on top. Yum.

Just some fun and inexpensive ideas.
oh yeah, and instead of buying fresh cilantro i used some of the frozen pureed cubes I had in the freezer (also TJ's). It tasted great.

Alright. I want to go work on grading before dinner.

Friday, March 05, 2010

i have the coolest brother

Luke and Dad recently spent a few days on the Salt River. Rain interrupted the trip but they still had some fun adventures. Luke emailed me the story and I thought I'd share--its a good one :)
So first off we went to the Salt river planning on doing a three day backcountry float, turns out it was raining. And you know what its like when it rains in AZ, so we (mainly dads decision, but hes getting old and i didnt want to hoof his hypothermic body out on my back)decided to just do the day run cause he doesnt want to be stuck in an open canoe on wild whitewater. When we got back we looked at the water gauge online and it went from the 800 cubic feel per second we were expecting and jumped up to 3,000. I need you dan! That would have been pretty wicked paddling in a kayak.
So we head to fossil creek that night and get there with an hour of sunlight left, so i ran the mile hike along the creek up to the falls. It had stopped raining but the creek was flooding like mad, my heart was happy. We woke up the next morning and the creek had receded by about half as much water, my heart hurt. It was still decent paddling, but that extra water would have boosted it to excellent.. guess you cant win em all. My first run .. its the first picture attachment.. theres another little drop bellow that you cant see, the water pushes you between a boulder in the river on the right and a cliff on the left. I got launched into the cliff and rolled under and up.. and my paddle blade was snapped in half (yaaay for plastic carlisle paddles!). lame. So i ran and got my backup one.
Now, turns out this backup paddle is the one Owen used when i took him down the Salt river 4 years ago. He snapped the shaft in half right in the middle during one of his hundreds of swims. He assured me he would fix, and he did. He slid a metal pipe in either end of the paddle shaft and glued it.. ??? Metal doesn't float Owen! So i took it apart and did the same thing with PVC pipe (plastic). Now i have by sketchy backup paddle and i'm heading straight for this 7 foot vertical drop. i'm all jacked up cause in the place where my line was the boil line was waaay far back and i need to nail the boof. (the second picture attached, my lines river left.) when im about 10 ft from the lip of this thing my paddle snapped in half. bummer. so i paddled, C1 style, to the river right side of the drop and it was a piece of cake.
I came here for the 20 footer and was not about to bail just because i didn't have a paddle. So i carved a stick and jammed it up in either end of the paddle shaft, figured all i needed was something that could get me to the lip of the falls then let gravity work its magic. the third picture is my work of art.
We booked it to the falls, skipping several 5 to 8 foot drops along the way, and i ran it no problems. Its a super friendly water fall, simply go over the left side not the right and your groovy, you could land backwards, upside down, sideways and it might hurt but you'd survive. On impact half of my paddle popped off the stick.. so i rolled up with one half.. and watched the other sink. I ran the falls once and called it quits.. i figured God was against me on that trip and didn't want to push my luck. There's a video of the falls on fbook, i have videos of the rest of the runs, but they're just stupid.
Thats my story.

The drops look tiny because Luke's not in the picture. But they are about 7 ft.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sorry for the bother, there has been a change

I've had this blog since 2004. That's a long time. Sometimes I wonder about it...
Is it worth keeping up? Should I continue posting?

I don't think I could ever delete it, though. It archives some really significant periods of my life, spilling and splashing the contents of my heart and soul onto computer screens...somewhere out there?

I've just been thinking about what's documented here and why it is "important" to me to write pages and pages of cyber text. I think because i recognize this small but valuable life I live--that each of us lives--and appreciate the opportunity to hash out some of my explorations (of faith, and our journey through the world).

Anyway, after much thought today, I am (of course) keeping the blog. But the site address had to go. I'm sorry. "Satisfied joy" was chosen about six years ago and the cheesy was getting to me. Maybe the new one isn't much better but I am pleased with it :)

I chose "a new cadence" because we are, each of us, born into a rhythm of life (i.e., "cadenced"). For some of us, a more painful rhythm than others since Creation's cadence has been devastatingly interrupted. Everyday we experience the brokenness of a world out of shape, twisting and perverting itself into painful (destructive) rhythms. The stunning beauty of redemption's story is that it promotes a cadence that is marked by health, hope, and wholeness. In Christ, aren't we "cadenced" in remarkably new and needed ways?

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Second Sunday in Lent

I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I appreciate that my church follows the church calendar.

Yesterday's service was beautiful. Bob's reflections before communion were really wonderful. Something he said has been with me since, "We need to be mindful of the ways we live that cheat us of human flourishing." He went on to explain how God's desire is joy for life--that we enjoy the world He's created for us to possess; the ways in which we use our minds and imaginations; the work we do; the dreams we dream; the relationships we share; etc. He even spoke of human potential, which is something that I have been thinking about lately.
Later he mentioned what a remarkable gift the Gospel is in that we are given the opportunity to go to God for the love and forgiveness that we cannot give ourselves. We acknowledge the limitations of our humanity--things that mark us of our need of Him. Again, spoken in the language of my thoughts lately :)

His homily reflected the second lesson, 1 Peter 1:22-2:3. Also really wonderful. He spoke of "holy" community and being a people deeply committed to loving one another: "living our lives into each other" (i.e., human flourishing). He talked about the role of Scripture for the believing community as a script to be performed; music to be

Anyhow, i was greatly refreshed.