Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

he's back...

now that clifton is here, I feel this subtle pressure to write witty-er posts, to make you laugh out loud in inappropriate places.

thanks a lot, buddy.

[for your reading enjoyment... http://lazyepistemologist.blogspot.com/]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

And they were beautiful
everyone's beautiful
all of us crawling on hands and knees
in need of you.


I am reminded through Becky's blog that everyone's beautiful, yes, everyone is made in the image of God. I am already used to the rolling of eyes and scoffs that we don't flush the toilet as often as others [if it's yellow, let it mellow...] and that we do our best to recycle and save energy and spend less money and get creative and build our own spice racks and shelving units, not only because creation is ours to look after [which is most definitely a reason that I do these things] but because of this: Before we can truly recognize the need to care for and reach out to the rest of the world and understand much of its poverty, we have to first recognize our own lives, in all its richness. Most of us (dare I say, all who are reading this post) know nothing of one flush of a toilet for us equaling the total amount of water that many people on this earth have for their total water use in a day.

and because everyone is beautiful, I need to live as simply as possible.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

:: because you're different ::

you know the difference.... someone who is different, well, on purpose. someone's whose life goal is to go against all authority, all normality, all that's "good and proper," everything you think they should do. someone who is all too happy to define all the post-modern words you don't understand and even lift a nose in slight disgust that you even thought you and he could be friends (for you are not different enough for him.)

Then you meet someone who is different, yet truly at home in their skin. someone who is, "hmmmm, just different than most." someone who breathes life and lives it just as fully, who might even appear to walk on air, trusting in nothing more than today. in good books, and conversations, and a good set of paint brushes. someone who can wear their hair up, down, swept into a barette, or blowing in the wind. someone who likes hot tea in summer and icees in the winter, just because they can't keep it straight and like it that way.

i see a difference in these two types of people. when I glance back at the past, at what I once knew of this person [the first mentioned], i see years of not fitting in, of being picked on, of being laughed at, of always feeling short of expectations. could this have caused a bitter,rough-hardened heart to remain? could this be the cause for this new rebellion? one that may not fit, but he/she is going to be a part of the rebellion, because it sets them apart, but this time, they have complete control. he is going to be a part of this rebellion on purpose.

see, before, other people singled them out, pointed fingers, made snide remarks, snickered in class.... but not now, no, now he has complete control over himself, over how people look at him. in fact, now he wants everyone to look at him, craves all the control, needs your attention (but pretends like he doesn't need any of your attention.)

oh, but the person who owns their uniqueness, their "different-ness," those are the ones in whose presence you feel relaxed and at ease, someone you trust because they aren't different at all. she is just "different" to some because she lets her insides spill over, and those happen to be daring and beautiful and will probably catch you off guard sometimes.

but really...
she is just being herself.

peace be with those who walk and live among us who need the differentness just so they can rise above their own past.... peace.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

marriage and stuff

[ for Josh and Chad ]

Life, thus far, has changed in some ways, and refused to change in others. Here is the update many have been waiting for.

Our wedding was perfect: very Jeff-and-Abbye-ish (or Jabbye-ish, for those who like the combination nickname, affectionately coined by Mikey P.) I wouldn't change a thing. My brother had trouble lighting the altar candles (pre-wedding) and recieved a generous round of applause when he finally achieved victory with the tallest candle that simply did not want to light! I knew it was going to be good when from the hidden space I was in, I could hear people clapping (and I learned that Josh took a huge bow in response to his applause.)

Honeymoon-- excellent. Despite what we couldn't do--hike, bike, walk long distances--we had such a great time. Jeff was in a bit of pain, and later we found out he had gout. This was our hugest struggle, since upon returning from the trip he got gradually worse. Even after a trip to the doc, we took things into our own hands and treated him naturally (thank to my newly acquired knowledge of natural medicine!) He is much better, no worries, though you can be assured I was not always graceful having to wait on him hand and foot. I am MUCH more selfish than I thought I was. It was humiliating at times to admit what a jerk I can be! But we made it through.

Here we are, in Hattiesburg, MS, living in a very affordable rental house, which is a huge blessing. Besides, if we get a hankering for Mugshots, it's only a few footsteps away. Jeff is itching for something different, as am I most days. Our struggles consist of discontentment, not with our stuff, but with our hands. What is there to do? How can we get more deeply involved? For Jeff, he wants to matter; he wants to stop waiting tables and do something to move him toward the things he really wants to do--open a restaurant, start something big, something life-changing. Our pastor reminds us to "bloom where you are planted," which helps me through most days. I work at a retail store where I learn about natural health and vitamins, herbs, natural deodarants and shampoos to people. I have learned so much, I have a great boss, and really, it's good in many ways. But often, I, too, am very bored, longing for something else. Some days I want to move, some days I just want something else here. But on the days I do want to move, North Carolina and Memphis and Michigan all look appealing (North Carolina is on the top of the list!) But our constant reminder to each other is the here and the now, what matters now, who are we loving now, seize the day, don't waste your life, etc. etc.

Marriage is beautiful, and I love waking up next to Jeff. This is very, very true. So believe it, that marriage is worth it, gout attacks and all!

This is all the update I am sending now, lest you get bored....

Peace, family.....

Monday, October 1, 2007

oh, the hours...

The days and hours pass so quickly, yet so slowly, that I find myself not knowing what to do with myself. Be thankful for my job, with my wonderful boss and the knowledge I am gaining from it and the beautiful, aching customers I get to meet and enjoy, or despair because it keeps me locked inside a retail store for too many hours. Perhaps I should keep reading Mother Teresa for lessons on gratefulness. Though it is very true I would rather be lying on a blanket in the grass or gliding down the Longleaf Trace on my bike right now, this is the real world, as my hubby reminded me, and sometimes you just have to make money to survive. So I am trying my darndest to choose gratefulness and joy, in all things. It is necessary. India. Brazil. They remind me of gratefulness, and not just because, "Phew, glad I'm not living on the street or sniffing glue or born into a brothel," but because there is a God who orders the universe and set us a little lower than god-status, and lets us have our hands in this whole beautiful mess. And for that I am learning to be... grateful.

The wonderful body of believers we get to be a part of are really stretching us, in wonderful and frustrating ways. I've always been a part of the United Methodist Church, and even after bitterly running away, I am drawn back to this place. Though I believe that denomination is our measly way or wrapping our hands around a tangible God (who is, I think, intangible) I am still drawn to this body of believers who choose the banner of United Methodist. Inside our walls are more skin colors and tastes in music and home lives than I've ever had in one place before, which obviously is difficult and absolutely refreshing. It is difficult as a self-proclaimed, free-spirited 22-year old to sit in a pew on Sundays singing hymns that I appreciate so deeply, yet yearn to wander from sometimes, just a bit. I would just love to sing.... to God. I'd love to help run sound just to stop the endless squeaking on Sunday mornings, when the mics are turned up too high because someone doesn't really know how to run sound, but is trying to very hard (out of the goodness of their heart, I am sure.)

Then I come back to this: gratefulness. Grateful for this body of belivers, who are struggling just like me, even if over completely different things. But really, what looks different, is quite the same, I think--which is, we're all just trying to figure this out. We're all just trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, how to get through life, how to sing good songs, how to be organized, how to play our roles in life... how to make the journey.

But sometimes I just want to throw it all out and start over.

Starting over, though, is an impossible thing to do. And so I will be start with this hour, this very fleeting, passing ever-so-quickly hour, by being grateful.