Wednesday, December 21, 2005

back to the blog

it's been a hectic six weeks since my last post. the two biggest highlights would be our nashville convention with 7500 attendees and i moved! it took a little time to get my internet connection set up at my new place. a couple thoughts on these two highlights...

the convention:
it's amazing to have that many youth workers in one place, so much energy and fun, but also so tiring. my voice was hoarse at the end of the week from talking. now that i've gotten some sleep, i can't think of a moment that i'd change. fave moments included peeking into the arena from backstage and seeing that many youth workers just being with god in worship and not being on or working or doing anything but just being, sitting on a zamboni (if only i got to drive it!), sitting with some of the college students who were there with the ysasn schools and hearing their stories and dreams, going to dinner with an amazing group of women: lilly lewin, jeannieo, jamie, denise van eck and jerilyn, having jamie as a roommate, dinner with a group of denominational leaders i work with--it's so fun to see baptists, methodists, friends (related to quaker), sda's and others sitting together and comparing ministry notes, well, i could go on, but these are probably the biggies.

the move:
i moved from the apartment i'd lived in here since a couple months after i'd arrived--i'd been there nearly 5 1/2 years. moving is hard--juggling when you can move in against when you give notice; scheduling and rescheduling rental trucks and friends to help; packing & unpacking. i'm a packrat, both materialistically and emotionally. i have memories attached to the stuff i pack around so some of it is hard to get rid of. i have purged a bunch, but i still have a bunch of stuff to wade thru and decide about. but this all feels very healthy and positive. this move has felt like a new beginning. there are some things in my life that seem to be transitioning and this move plays into that in a really good way. i liked my old place, but i just adore my new one. it's a studio style guesthouse. i have a pool just out my front door and a spectacular view. i can't wait til summer to be able to use the pool, but i don't have to wait to enjoy the view. i get to see the most amazing sunsets from here. it's also very peaceful and quiet and feels very spacious.

you're caught up on the big stuff so now it's back to the day-to-day stuff and the thoughts that wander thru my head.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


i had a frank capra moment today when i went to vote.

my precinct is in the multi-purpose room of the local elementary school. today, there were 4 precinct workers and two other voters besides myself, a middle-aged yuppie kind of guy and an old hippie-ish man. when yuppie guy and i entered about the same time, one of the workers was explaining the ballot and how to fill in the little circles in a rather brusque manner to the old man. i noticed how intently he was paying attention to the instructions despite the tone in which they were being delivered. the old man was scruffy--he had lots of white hair that hadn't seen a comb spilling out from underneath a well-worn red baseball cap that at one time had had an emblem on the front. his beard and eyebrows were thick, bushy and uneven. he wore a dingy white t-shirt and a pair of cutoff jean shorts with a pair of sneakers that looked as old as i am. he took the ballot and the pen and leaned on his cane as he walked towards the little cardboard counter to fill out the ballot.

by this time, yuppie man had checked in and it was my turn. i took my ballot and was thinking to myself, "yeah, yeah" as i was receiving the same brusque instructions as the old man and yuppie had before me. i took my ballot to a little cardboard counter and was filling it in when out of the corner of my eye, i noticed the old man was just standing in front of the row of 4 precinct workers. he set his ballot sleeve and pen on the table and one of the workers peeled off the "i voted" sticker and offered it to him wordlessly. as he took the sticker he said, "i'm always so happy to vote here" in an accent i didn't recognize. and he continued "it's not like it was where i grew up. there men with machine guns would ask you how you voted when you left. you didn't give them the wrong answer. and if they weren't outside the door, they would find you with the purple ink and ask you then. but none of that here. it doesn't matter how i vote here. here i vote for what i really believe." the precinct worker said something to him i couldn't hear, but he responded with a smile and nod and he turned and left.

i turned back and finished my ballot. the first proposition on the ballot was one to require mandatory reporting to parents for abortions for girls under 18. i'd already voted against it by the time i heard the old man speak. i know with many people and christians especially, my choice would be unpopular, even condemned by some. but i also realized i was able to vote what i'd believed and even those who would condemn it won't be holding a machine gun. i feel so blessed to be an american tonite.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


i've known for a while that i needed to do something different about my housing arrangements. i like the apartment i'm in as far as size, layout and proximity to work, church and friends and i've liked that the complex is small--16 units. when i moved here 5 yrs ago, the neighbors were great and it was a fun little community. but of course since it's a rental, there's been turnover and now i'm down to just 3 neighbors that i like and feel safe with and two of them are moving out by the end of the year.

on my lazy day i spent some time looking online for a new place to live and just wasn't finding the right thing so i gave up my search for the moment. the next day, a friend mentioned that his poolhouse might be available by dec. 1. it turned out to be available and so i'm moving. i've spent the day cleaning out and packing. although the timing is crazy since I leave a week from monday for two weeks, it's really a blessing. the poolhouse is set up like a studio and is across the pool & deck from the house where my friend lives. it's a great deal and besides coming with a pool and a great view, it's also good for me financially. best of all the neighbors are great--and they don't have surround sound next to my walls.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

i'm julian of norwich

i'm a little too easily entertained by these quizzes.

You are Julian of Norwich! It's all about God, to
you. You're convinced that the world has a
happy ending. Everyone else is convinced that
you're a closet hippie, but you love them

Which Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 30, 2005

i should've stayed in bed

i had a lovely lazy day yesterday, but today i'm wishing i'd just stayed in bed. today is the second anniversary of mike yaconelli's trip to heaven. that in and of itself makes me sad. i miss him. i miss his encouragement, both personally and professionally. i especially miss his sense of play & his child-like excitement at pulling off a practical joke or surprise.

but i should've chosen to stay in bed when i woke up after a weird nightmare-sort-of-dream that left me feeling cranky with God. we were at our upcoming convention in nashville and yac was there. all 7500 attendees were stuck in the room that will have convention hq, the store, registration, one life experience and a couple other things. yac was there running around yelling over our nextels trying to figure out what the problem was and who was fixing it while stopping to chat w/attendees. somehow in the dream, i also knew i was someone i know who's a friend that i don't see except at convention. i woke up feeling like it was all a cruel joke and cranky with God that the chance of my being married to this guy ever and mike physically being at our nashville are zero. i woke up sad from missing a friend and from feeling loss over my dream of being a wife and mom. and since it's hard to be cranky with someone not physically present, i just felt generally cranky and irritable. i should've gone back to bed, but instead i got ready and tackled the day.

i went to church and then to small group where i learned that last week when i was at the spam museum, our small group had a rough meeting. a discussion over how to manage a project that is supposed to help our middle school students (most of my small group works with middle school students) develop a larger world view and help kids affected by the aids pandemic in africa had gone rather badly. there were two different views and hurtful words were said on both sides. today, less than 1/2 the group was there and it looks like this is going to be a hard thing for people in our group to recover from...much less the group itself survive intact.

add to that news of a couple of untimely & tragic deaths this weekend and i now have a headache. i know if i'd actually stayed in bed that nothing would have changed, but i might not have a headache or feel completely wiped out again.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

lazy day

today is my first day off in 3 weeks. i've kept it protected to have a lazy day. i've slept in, got up and made some breakfast, did some reading and took nap. i'm thinking i'm going to fix lunch now. i might go for a walk later. i have some fresh veggies to grill for dinner if i'm feeling energetic then or if not, i have a couple of lean cuisines to choose from.

the thing is i have lots of things i should be doing...emails to catch up on, a couple papers to write, some reading to do, laundry and my house seriously needs dusting and vacuuming. but i'm tired. really tired. so today i'm honoring that resting and doing whatever feels relaxing. it's definitely a challenge at moments... the 'shoulds' start sneaking in: i should go throw in a load of laundry, i should start on that paper, i should finish that assigned reading. but thing is if i let the 'shoulds' derail my day, then tomorrow, i'll still be tired and my shoulds won't be done as well as they would be if i did them when i wasn't as tired. and the shoulds will all still be there tomorrow. of course for it to be the ideal lazy day, the real trick is not to allow myself to feel guilty about the shoulds because that would defeat the purpose of a lazy day...

Friday, October 28, 2005

mindi needs

thanks to marko for this.

mindi needs:
  • to be patched.
  • YOUR VOTE!!!
  • to be in another comedy STAT!
  • to understand how your kernel boots.
  • to iron out a few more technical details and she will be winning.
  • a caption!
  • to learn that geeks are geeks because they learn.
  • to quit being a trance hater and come with us!!
  • to buy Sonic.
  • updating.
  • an award for her patience and overall laid back attitude.
  • to get some sleep.
and that seems like a good place to end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

idiot girl in minnesota

marketing girl with cute shoes, soul searching, women in ministry, spam (yup, the canned meat stuff) and research methodologies, add a huge mall and a rollercoaster ride and that's my trip to minnesota in a nutshell.

the association of youth ministry educators has an annual meeting and since i work with a number of them through our academic support network, i was able to attend. it was totally great to see these folks among their peers and hashing out research that is currently being done and its implications on what and how they're teaching their students who are becoming professional youth pastors. of course, i am not an academic by any stretch of the imagination and my brain got a workout tracking with phrases like "moral therapuetic deism" and "the intersection of eccesiology with the constructs of current applied practical theology". there were some really interesting conversations around a new study, the results of which are published as soul searching by dr. christian smith. kenda deans book practicing passion was also touched upon. i have some reading to do. another section of the conversaton focused on the research methodologies used and how the method may impact the results. i have to say i was very grateful for my friend amy, or dr. jacober as she has earned the right to be called. she patiently answered my questions and translated the academic-ese during the conference.

in addition to the translation services amy provided, it was interesting to talk about women in ministry. we had some conversation around the fact that there are still people who believe that women shouldn't be in formal ministry. it is just crazy that this is still a struggle for women. i look at women in the bible, such as esther and deborah who were leaders for their people and at the fact that after his resurrection jesus first appeared to women and they were the ones who first believed what they say and were the one to deliver the good news that he had risen, and it blows me away that there is still an issue with women being in ministry.

on the lighter side, the conference was in rochester, mn. and for an outing, we loaded into buses and headed to austin, mn--home of the spam museum. yep, you read that right,spam museum. it's actually won awards for being the best musuem related to a food product--it beat out hershey. anyway, it was quite a hoot with lots of great kitschy spam items. my personal faves were the spam temporary tat and the limited edition spam-a-lot spam. and another fun perk of the trip was the fact that minnesota has some very picturesque farm country that had just gorgeous fall color between rochester and minneapolis. oh, that and mall of america. amy and i had lunch there and then rode the roller coaster at camp snoopy. in a random note, i've now ridden the roller coaster in the world's largest mall (edmonton, alberta, canada) and in america's largest mall. i'm wondering if there are other malls with roller coasters i should check out...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

from the road

first a quick update from the last post:
pittsburgh was good. had a primanti bros. sandwich (cheesesteak with fries and slaw on the sandwich)--not a big ass burger, but good nonetheless. it was a good week with great opportunities to connect with people. especially fun were the random shopping trips (not the mall kind, the "oh crap, we need a _________" so run out and get it kind), and meals with friends. there was even a girls dinner with myself, jamie, lilly and jeannie which was so fun and ranged from laughter to tears and back.

i returned from pittsburgh on tuesday and left on thursday to go to planet wisdom and to the association of youth ministry educators meeting. planet wisdom was fabulous. mark matlock has a great team of folks and this year's event is their best yet. be sure to check it out when it comes to your area. from there i headed north to minnesota where i'm currently writing from. when i arrived i had a couple of hours to spend before meeting up with jay howver to drive from minneapolis to rochester for the ayme conference. since the mall of america (mecca for a shopaholic like me) is only 5 minutes from the airport, i headed there. i should have clued into this becoming an idiot girl trip when it took me three tries to end up in the right lane to just get into the parking garage. on the third try i made it (woohoo!) but didn't end up with much time because of the whole circling the mall on various freeways thing. maybe i'll post the details later because it was kind of funny.

now i'm at the ayme conference. it's quite an experience for a self-proclaimed idiot girl. i feel a lot like julia roberts in pretty woman when she went to the business dinner with richard gere. on the upside, these folks are great and have made me feel so welcome. there are a number of the professors i've worked with through our academic network and it's fun to spend some time with them outside our conventions. it's also been a great view into their world. i'll have to write more about this later but here's a few items for a sneak preview: marketing girl with cute shoes, soul searching, women in ministry, spam (yup, the canned meat stuff) and research methodologies. stay tuned.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

on the road again

tonite, i'm all packed up and ready to fly out in the morning for pittsburgh and our next convention. i'm excited about personally meeting people i only know thru phone and email. and of course, i'm excited to see old friends.

i'm surprised to find that pittsburgh feels a bit nostalgic for me. i've only been there one other time for our convention that was there 3 years ago. it just has some happy memories, but ones that also indicate change and the continuing journey of life that only pauses never stops.

it was the first time i'd gotten to know a new friend. we ended up not being out late socializing, but being up late girl-talking. she's about my age, single and in ministry. we had lots to talk about. betsey lives here in san diego, but we still spent more time together during that week than we have since. and it was very fun.

pittsburgh was home of liberty tavern and the big ass burger. sadly we found out during sacramento that the liberty tavern is gone and the big ass burger is no more.

i remember going up the duquesne incline for dinner with our staff on the last night. it was an italian place that for some reason i remember mike yaconelli being very excited about. the place felt old mafia italian and the food was amazing. i remember looking out over the rivers as we rode up and down the incline and just laughing with our staff. it was a fun night.

i also remember the fish market restaurant in the hotel and having a glass of wine with a couple of friends--one of whom i didn't know very well at the time but was a bit awed by--jim hancock--who is completely stinking brilliant--and thinking how amazing it was and the mix of people.

it was also the city where my friend for years, david welch, was offered and accepted a job at ys. three years later, he's our director of marketing and my boss (and still my friend).

it'll be interesting to see what memories i make in pittsburgh this time.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


i've been pondering and treasuring something that happened last sunday night.

i was saying goodbye to a friend and as we hugged, he said to my ear "bye beautiful". he wasn't being flip or teasing, which is the typical character of our friendship. there was something tender and genuine about how he said it--enough that it struck something deep within me. and it's stayed with me for days since.

i never think of myself as beautiful--inside or out. i'm too self-concious of my inner and outer flaws, failings, shortcomings to believe that about myself. but something about how he said it has made me feel beautiful, inside and out. it has helped me to believe a little more deeply that it is how god sees me--as his beautiful and beloved.

i'm sure my friend has no idea the impact of his words. and i'm fairly sure i'm too shy to point it out to him--especially since our friendship is more casual and kidding in nature. but that use of the word 'beautiful' has been truly a gift to treasure...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

surreal day & san fran airport

i returned home from our first of three national youth workers conventions. i'm tired. really tired. when i came in and dropped my bags on the floor, i was pretty happy to be home and grateful that i'd cleaned house before i left.

it feels strange to be home tonite knowing that it's temporary. i fly to our next convention on monday and since my flight is at 6:30am, i'm spending the night with friends who live downtown on sunday. it'll be much easier to get to the airport that way. i took a nap, checked email and ran to the store to pick up a few groceries...very few--just enough to last til sunday. i unpacked my dirty clothes to wash and repack them.

but the surreal part of the day was the trip home. we (myself and a couple of friends/coworkers) flew home on united by way of san francisco. i've never been to san fran, but my friend marko
has had interesting experiences in the san fran airport. today was my turn. as we were walking thru the terminal, we noticed the red carpet club was closed--by the police with all the staff standing outside. we were kinda laughing about it being closed by police on bikes. as we were sitting in an airport restaurant having breakfast, jay noticed that our airport was on the news--there'd been a bomb scare and apparently part of our terminal had been evacuated--the red carpet club and surrounding area. we could look out the window at the restaurant and see the bomb truck on the tarmac with other emergency vehicles. we were never affected but it was a bit odd to be watching your airport on the news. after that we headed for the gate and i stopped by the bookstore. as i turned around my backpack brushed a man standing behind me. i said 'oh excuse me' and he muttered something inaudible under his breath. as i walked past him, i thought 'hmm, he looks familiar--he kinda looks like sean penn.' i didn't think too much about it and kept browsing the books. i turned a corner and he was standing on the aisle and looked up at me and said 'hey' so i said 'hey' and picked up a book that caught my eye. i decided to just get the magazine i'd picked up so i headed to the cashier passing him one more time. i was definitely thinking he looked a lot like sean penn but much shorter..he's about my height. when i walked up to the register two women were there being kinda giddy--"did you sean penn--i can't believe he's in here" kinda conversation. so, kinda weird but said 'hey' to a movie star today w/o acting starstruck. weird things do happen in the san fran airport...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

growing pains

when i was in 5th & 6th grades, puberty hit and i really hated it. i remember hating all the growing pains--being teased for being taller than all the boys, my changing body & figuring out how to 'grow up'. i remember crying myself to sleep wanting to just be done with it--to be all grown up. i remember my mom and my godmother telling me not to hurry it, it would happen soon enough.

but i don't remember either of them mentioning that there really isn't an end to it...that part of life is growing and changing. that there will be seasons of change and seasons of rest. i am grateful that i get to continue growing and learning to live more fully as the person God created me to be. but at the moment, i'm in the midst of one of those seasons of change and there's implications in all areas of my life. it's hard and uncomfortable.

and in the midst of this one of the hard lessons is sometimes my best isn't enough. i can't do everything perfectly; i can't make everyone happy all the time. that's hard for me. i'm a natural people pleaser--i really want to make people happy if i can. and there are times i just can't. i'm learning to be okay with that, to be okay with not pleasing everyone and to know that i'm still okay even though someone isn't happy. i think it's part of being more sure of myself, of believing more in who i am and trusting myself.

i'm sure when i get to the end of this season that it will be worth it, but for now, it'd be nice if they made a tylenol for growing pains.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

new jeans

this afternoon, i ended up going downtown to pick up a pair of pants i'd ordered. once down there, i decided i could blow off my original afternoon plan and shop for some new jeans.

i'm picky about jeans...they need to fit just right and look great, but they have to be completely comfy--soft denim, nothing stiff. i hate to shop for jeans alone...i like having a second opinion so deciding to do to try some on alone is a bit unusual. i tried on a half dozen pairs and none fit. i'm in between sizes so some were just a little bit too big, others just a little bit too small. it was getting to be time for a meeting so i gave up my search until a day when a friend can come with.

i was meeting a directee--someone i'm offering spiritual direction for. i've been in a spiritual direction and formation program for a year and a half. this year, we're offering spiritual direction to a couple people as our practical application. on my way home, i realized shopping for jeans is a good metaphor for where i am in life at the moment.

i'm in this odd in-between stage. being a director doesn't quite fit right yet. it feels funny to be the director, to sit and listen to someone and to try and reflect God to them. there are lots of pieces of me--my heart and soul--that feel new, changed different as a result of being in the program and becoming a director. but there are people in my life who don't seem to notice...something that feels for me a lot like wearing a new pair of jeans that i love and feel good in and not having anyone notice.

while i'm still looking for an actual pair of jeans, i'm choosing to keep the spiritual director jeans. i'm trusting that in time that it will feel like a favorite pair of jeans.

the decaf life

it's been just over two weeks since my last caffeinated beverage. once the headaches ended (about 3 days in--the first two were the worst), i've felt better and slept better. i am very grateful for caffeine free versions of diet dp and diet coke. diet cherry 7up is a new favorite.

and even though i get pitying looks from the baristas at starbucks, i can order my decaf, sugar-free vanilla, non-fat latte with a smile.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"life is a banquet

and most poor suckers are starving to death!" is a line from one of my favorite books and movies, auntie mame. it's one that has some personal meaning for me, but that's a story for another day.

i mention it because it's number 93 on the top 100 movie quotes from the american film institute. it's playing tonite on bravo (you can catch an encore showing either saturday, october 15 or wednesday, november 23--check your local listings for times).

it's pretty fun to watch--especially if you love movies. which makes me wonder, what's your favorite line? mine is "after all, tomorrow is another day." know what movie it's from?

oh...and if you want, check out the afi's list of the top 100 quotes.

Monday, September 05, 2005


today my plan was to hang by the pool and bask in the sun, but yesterday at small group that plan changed. one of my friends mentioned her sister-in-law, who's a director at the red cross, needed help today. she didn't know exactly what we'd be doing but she just knew san diego was getting some evacuees from the hurricane and that more are on the way. i agreed to help.

this morning a group of nine of us showed up at the red cross and were put to work. the guys helped load a truck with supplies to open another shelter for more evacuees arriving later this week. some of us went to work making lunches for 80 evacuees and the volunteers at that shelter, and the staff at the red cross office who were taking hundreds of crisis calls. then a few of us went to the shelter and served lunch, then cleaned up all the foodservice and loaded it up to back to the red cross hq. as we were leaving the shelter we saw a huge plume of smoke that could only mean a wildfire. when we arrived back at the red cross hq, they were gathering people to go up to the fire command post and provide snacks and water and gatorade to the firefighters and other emergency folks working the fire. a couple of us went up for that. as day turned to evening and dinner time, more of our group brought up dinners for the firefighters. as the fire was brought under control, we were released. in addition to providing canteen services, the red cross also set up an emergency shelter for the 200 families evacuated from homes near the fire. it was a busy day.

but i'm sharing this more because i was needed...and you are too. if you have any time at all, your local red cross could use your help. with so many people being deployed to the disaster area along the gulf coast, local red cross chapters need more folks to help. if you have anytime at all, please visit the red cross onlne to connect with your local chapter and find out about the training classes and opportunities to help. i totally recommend felt good to just care for my neighbors.

comments filter

i added a word verification to the comment posting. it's supposed to help minimize the number of comment spams. i've been getting a couple a day for over a week so i'm trying this to see if it helps. i'm sorry if it's a hassle...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

comments deleted

if you post comments that are basically spam, they'll be deleted...

Saturday, September 03, 2005


i love caffeine...or at least caffeinated beverages--diet coke, diet dr pepper, starbucks. but we all know caffeine isn't the healthiest thing for us. at the moment, i'm trying to get completely off caffeine. i have diet decaf and i'm not going close to starbucks.

i cut down to one caffeinated soda a day this last week and now i haven't had any caffeine since yesterday at lunch. i have a monster headache, but i think if i can survive this, i'll be a decaf person... and when the headache leaves, i'll blog about the adventures the ho shirt had last night..

Monday, August 29, 2005

the ho shirt goes to mister tiki's

friday night i donned the ho shirt and headed out to mister tiki mai tai lounge with my friends. they were taking me out to celebrate my 38th birthday. it was way too much fun...we laughed and ate and laughed and drank and laughed and ate some more. if you're ever in san diego, i totally recommend you check out mister tiki's... get the feast. lots of fun, lots of food, but as is often the case, i'm easily distracted by way yummy food. so back to the topic at hand...

we (the women of my small group and a couple other friends)were going out to the gaslamp--an opportunity to wear the ho shirt. since we were leaving right after work, i brought it to work. it hung around my cube for the of the guys in my office area tried to get one of the other guys to try it on...i think the shirt was more than a little afraid. fortunately, he declined and the shirt was safe. i changed into it at the end of the day and headed out to meet the girls...i must say the shirt was quite complimented and admired, even while it was on the hanger...but as much fun as the ho shirt and i had (really you don't expect me to tell all, do you?)there is something i realized while we were out celebrating

i'm so blessed... i'm blessed with friends who made me feel extra special, who know me...friends who care about me, who put up with the good and the bad of me and choose to help me celebrate... i'm so blessed by this group of their presence in my life, by who they are and who they encourage me to be...

so thank you my friends...for my wonderful birthday celebration, for your gifts, for your kindness, but most of all for being who you are and sharing your life with me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

are we missing the point?

tonite i went to a student ministry event. it had several hundred kids there, maybe a thousand... i don't know...i'm bad at estimating. the event was fine, good worship leader, good drama, good speaker, good use of students on stage, good intent: to encourage kids to 'take their campus for God'... that's not a bad thing, but i spent a chunk of the night wondering if we aren't missing the point with our students...

i grew up in the church, have pretty much always been a christ-following, church-goer. but somehow during that time, i learned more about what to do, how to behave to please God than about my belovedness. i've always felt i've had to earn God's pleasure by doing the right thing, being the right person. it's only been in the last couple years i'm learning to believe and operate in the belief that God could and does delight in me simply because he created me. and that because i'm his creation, i'm also his beloved. it's a hard thing to learn and accept and come to live in the reality of after so many years of feeling like i was saved by grace, but not beloved because of it too. as i'm learning to live in the truth of my belovedness, i think more graciousness spills out of me, i think people feel more safe sharing their true selves with me and i with them.

tonite there were kids at the event who i know don't know that God delights in them, but they did leave with a clear idea of his expectation that they evangelize their friends. i can't help but wonder what would happen if we poured grace and love and an awareness of God's delight into them... i wonder what it would look like if they could begin to live in that knowledge and belief... i wonder if the change on their campuses wouldn't be more profound if we spent time focusing on who they are in God intead of what they should be doing in and for his name...

Monday, August 08, 2005

a new me

i'm sitting here after a jazzercise class, a shower, and a healthy dinner. a little over a year ago, i hit a frightening number on my scale about the same time my doctor told me my thyroid disease is under control and it was time to make some lifestyle better and exercise were the two specifics. to weight watchers & jazzercise i went and it worked. i lost 40 lbs and tend to feel much better. it's had some interesting effects...

...i actually feel better after i work out. when i'd exercised before, i was just exhausted mostly. now with the exercise and the healthy eating, it works. i get the endorphins...i feel better, less stressed & i sleep better.

...i like my veggies. well, not all of them, but way more than i used to. i still like junk food or just healthy food prepared in an unhealthy way--fried. but i like healthy food for itself. and just like when i eat junk food, i crave more junk food; the same is usually true of healthy food, i crave it when i'm eating right and exercising.

...i apparently look "new". people have been telling me how good i look since losing weight. i'm finally starting to believe them, but yesterday i had an interesting compliment. i was chatting with a friend and her husband at a wedding. he finally says to me "i like your new boobs".
"excuse me"
"i mean, didn't you, aren't they new--smaller? didn't you have a reduction?"
"no..i, uh, lost 40 lbs and bought a new minimizer bra."
"i thought you were having reduction surgery," my friend says.
"oh," i say, recalling a conversation she and i had about cosmetic surgery. "i've considered it, but haven't actually done anything."

after an awkward pause, we managed to find a new topic before going our separate ways. in the moment, i was more than a bit embarassed. but there's something else about the new attitude is lightening up too. i'm learning to better laugh at myself. so, within a few minutes of our conversation ending, i was able to see the humor in it. and realize it was probably more awkward for him than me...and that somewhere in there, it was meant as a compliment.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

slowly returning

after nearly two weeks away from home (one week in tulsa, another few days at a retreat center in malibu for my spiritual formation and direction)i'm finally starting to settle back into my more normal routines... today i got online and turned on the tv for the first time since i returned home.

getting back into the routines of life has been suprisingly challenging. during my week in tulsa, i was online a little bit...but nothing compared to normal. i also didn't watch much tv... a late night episode of designing women before bed was about it. i did go to the pool, take naps, read and mostly just hung out with friends and family. when i went to malibu, internet access and tv just aren't options... my cell phone coverage wasn't even good there. during that time i connected with my friends in my class, but mostly i just connected with myself and god. i came to the realization that i have an identity that doesn't revolve around my singleness or my job or my role in my family or what i do for my friends...this may not come as a surprise to some people, but it was quite a shock for me. when i think of myself all those external things seem to define me or at least did. i think this may be why it's been so challenging to reengage in my typical world... i like the person i'm finding underneath the layers, the me who just is, i'm a little afraid this me might slowly evaporate, becoming invisible again, lost in the noise and rush of life... so, for now... i think i'll just keep taking things slow...

Saturday, July 23, 2005

ho shirt, reunions and lost in time

ho shirt update

the ho shirt passed the jge approval and so i wore it last night to my reunion's first event. interestingly enough, according to my jge friend and my small group, the shirt isn't actually a ho shirt. it's too classy according to one, and another said the only thing that was even a little ho was the lo v and even that is just risque for me...not by the world's standards. actually tho, it doesn't matter if it's ho or not... i really like the shirt and the way i look in it... it'll be making lots of appearances in the upcoming months... girls nite out, casual dressy dinners out...any excuse to wear it will work....


i'm in tulsa now for my reunion. it's been 20 years since high school. this is the first reunion i've been to... most people i haven't seen since graduation... a few since college. my senior prom date was there...he looks exactly the same except for some gray around the temples. and let's just say that with a few exceptions on both sides...the women aged much better than the men. while i'm here, i'm also reconnecting with long time friends. as imporotant as hs was, i'm finding that those who journeyed with me in the years following high school are so important... that the bonds i have with them are the ones that i care continue into my day-to-day life. i'm grateful for the friends i had in hs... they've impacted who i am today, but i'm finding that while it's fun to reconnect with the class of '85, i'm much less worried about what they think of me or whether or not i meet their approval...i wonder if i can carry that over to my current life with people who are in it now. i'm sure i'll have more thoughts on this as i finish the week here.

lost in time
my graduating class was only 167...most...nearly 3/4 of the class are still here in the local area...with a number living in or near the neighborhood they grew up in. many of them stay loosely in touch throughout the years. it's odd though, of the friends i was closest to in hs, a couple of them were quite distant. some of the girls who i thought were way too popular to talk to in school are totally the nicest women at the reunion and it was fun to get to know them a little bit. if the women have changed the least physically, they have changed the most emotionally/socially. and the men in our class who changed the most physically so far seem to be the ones who've changed the least socially/emotionally. for many of them it seems--observationally--that not much has changed since high school...same friends...same groups together. it's not 100% across the board on both sides but there does seem to be a pattern. it's all quite odd. i'm skipping the family picnic this afternoon...105 before the heat index so i'd rather stay indoors... but i am looking forward to tonite. some of my classmates who weren't there last night are supposed to be coming today. tonite should be fun...but i'm still looking forward to going home to SD and getting back to my normal life...i think that must be a sign of something good.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

the 'ho' shirt

a few of my friends and i have a running joke about margaret cho's shtick about with any three female friends, there's the smart one, the sweet one and then there's the ho. she specifically references charlie's angels show as an example in a whole thing she does about the 80's. beth is the smart one, jeannie is the sweet one and i'm the ho. not really of course or it wouldn't be funny. (read a friend's comment about it under i guess i'm "the ho") i tend to be mostly modest with my clothing but i do have a weakness for 'ho' shoes--high heels, pointy toes. i've always looked at those shoes, but it wasn't until last fall i found the nerve to purchase and wear them. i also like skirts--ones with slits or that are just above knee length. i've always thought my legs were my best physical feature and skirts are flattering so i occasionally have a skirt that's a bit sexy, but still modest--no risk of anyone seeing more than they should.

but shirts, i'm always cautious...i bought one shirt...just a v-neck t-shirt with a tie-dyed looking swirl on the front. i got teased (totally meant good-naturedly)about wearing a target on my chest. in the last year tho, i've lost 40 lbs. i've gone from wearing xxl t's to l's and i'm a little more confident about my body. but i still haven't bought any tops that aren't pretty basic and ordinary. i've seen shirts that i think 'i wish that'd fit me'--little trendy tops--more meant for a nite on the town. but i haven't dared to try one yet.

today, however, i gave into temptation. i spent $40 (way more than i normally spend) on a very cool, very out of character-kind of-beaded flowy shirt. it's the kind of shirt girls wear with great jeans, and ho shoes (a pair of which i already own). i really like it, it's the kind of shirt i want to look good in, it's a shirt i'd like to have fit my style. i have to admit i bought it for a 'casual cocktail meet & greet' for my 20 year hs reunion next weekend. it's certainly not something i would've worn in high school... and it's a bit of a stretch for me now.

i haven't decided about the shirt yet. i can still return it. i'm much better at shopping for my friends than myself so i'm not making a final decision about the shirt/outfit until I run it past one of my jge (just-gay-enough--straight guy with the fashion sense of one of the queer eye guys) friends tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, July 11, 2005


from iphy

10 years ago:
i was living in OK, transitioning retail management jobs, skipping my 10th class reunion and dating a guy with whom i'd break up because he was 'grounded' by his mom...he was 30 at the time...

5 years ago:
i'd just moved to san diego to work for youth specialties. i was living with a family while i searched for a place of my own. i was in a bit of culture shock to say the least.

1 year ago:
i was relishing my new relatively new position at ys...customer service & partnerships coordinator; spending a week in class working on a certificate in spiritual formation and direction; and had just lost my first twenty pounds on weight watchers.

church...helping in middle school; shopping with a friend's daughter who's like a neice; meeting with my small group to hear kathryn's stories of going to zambia with one life revolution.

DCLA Day in the marketing department; meeting with a group from my spiritual formation and direction program.

jazzercise & preparing a mailing.

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. virtually anything chocolate...esp. chuao chocolates
2. chips & salsa & guacamole
3. fresh peaches
4. popcorn
5. ben & jerry's lowfat yogurt half baked

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:
1. U2?
i can't think of 5 bands that i know the lyrics of most of their songs...

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
1. get out of debt and buy a house
2. take care of my parents
3. set up endowment funds for my favorite charities
4. travel
5. splurge and get a pair of manolo's, a pair of jimmy choo's, and a great little black dress from vera wang

5 locations Id like to run away to:
1. london
2. paris
3. italy--lots of places there
4. california wine country
5. summit county, colorado

5 bad habits I have:
1. procrastination
2. leaving a trail of shoes & purses in my apartment
3. drinking milk out of the carton
4. rubbing my face when i'm tired
5. staying up too late

5 things I like doing:
1. hanging with friends
2. reading
3. messing w/food--either cooking or eating
4. jazzercise
5. sleeping

5 things I would never wear:
1. tube top
2. bikini
3. daisy dukes
4. empire waist blouse or dress
5. another taffeta bridesmaids dress

5 TV shows I like:
1. i love lucy
2. west wing
3. sex on the city
4. coach
5. law & order

5 movies I like:
1. gone with the wind
2. bridget jones diary
3. the american president
4. an affair to remember
5. babette's feast

5 famous people I’d like to meet:
1. george w. & laura bush
2. elizabeth dole
3. pope benedict
4. anna quindlen
5. keith urban

5 biggest joys at the moment:

1. my san diego 'family'
2. my life friends
3. a clean house
4. working with the new 6th graders in middle school
5. a cute pedicure

5 favorite toys:

1. pink iPod mini (current)
2. catch phrase (current)
3. lite brite (childhood)
4. fashion plates (childhood)
5. dolls (childhood)

if you decide to do this...lemmeno!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

death of my alarm clock

yesterday, my alarm clock died. i killed it. it wasn't on purpose. i didn't mean to hurt it.

i like it actually. i'm a huge fan of naps. and i'm typically a deep sleeper. i tend to run at full speed then drop and sleep..kinda like puppies do. i keep my alarm clock on a shelf in the hallway outside my bedroom door. having to get up to walk over to the alarm to turn it off helps me to wake up. when i kept alarm clocks next to my bed, i had murdered them before...just smacking that snooze button way too hard. so i moved the clocks away from the nightstand and put them in places that required me to walk over to them. i hadn't killed any since i made that move.

but yesterday the alarm went off early in the morning on a day with weather perfect for sleeping...gray, overcast, cool...ideal for snoozing a little longer under the covers. i don't remember the alarm going off. i woke up thinking i really need something to i walked out my bedroom door, i started realizing it was kinda bright out. and then i looked at the clock...there it sat, still in its place on the shelf, the snooze button sunken in and no longer pressable, making this really low meeeeeeppppppppp, meeeeeeeeppppppppppp, sound.

today, i'm going to target for a new one. i wonder if they make an industrial, indestructible one...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


i'm trying to figure out for myself when i have enough...enough money, enough stuff, enough friends, enough success.

i just recently ended a membership at an online dating site[there's a subject for a post of its own...maybe later]. on the site, in your profile, it asked the question, "what are some of your goals?". the question was typically answered with some variation of grow closer to god [it was a site for christians], more job success, more travel, find a spouse and have a family. my answer pretty much fit the pattern, but it has become something that keeps the wheels in my head turning.

if i'm always wanting more, thinking about next, is it because i'm not content with myself or what i have? and if i'm not content in the moment, am i missing out on things in the now because i'm distracted by the desire for more, for next? and if there's not a more or next, does it mean i'm settling or does it mean i'm learning to be content? and if i'm content, does that mean i'll become stuck in a rut? it somehow seems there's a line between contentment and desire for growth, more, next that needs to be found, but i don't know what that looks like.

i'm wrestling with this in a couple areas in my home, my job, my hope for marriage in particular. on the home, i have a nice apartment in a decent neighborhood. the neighborhood is a little more country than i'd like...but it's fine, it's safe and clean. and the apartment itself is a great deal--especially by california standards. but there's this part of me that wants to live closer to the beach, in a neighborhood that's a bit nicer and/or a bit funkier, something less country [there are a lot of big trucks in my neighborhood]. and moving means more'd be pretty hard to beat the deal i have here--which is part of why i've stayed in this one apartment since moving here five years ago. on the job front, i don't have a 'next' step on the career ladder. i've always had a next step on the career ladder until now. i don't know what exactly to do with that. a small part of it is how our company is structured. the bigger part of it is, that for 90% of my job, i really like what i do. at the moment there are plenty of opportunities to become better at what i'm doing, but there isn't another step up the ladder. and i'm not really looking for one. i don't think it's bad necessarily, but i somehow feel like i should want more, should have a goal another step up the career ladder and that if i don't i'm somehow a failure. no one is telling me this, but it is something i wonder about. and as for the hope for marriage, i really wonder if it'll ever happen at all. i assume i'll be okay if it doesn't, although i think there'll always be a longing in my heart for a husband and family. i'm certainly not a fan of the word 'spinster', but i am sure i'd rather be single than married for the sake of being married. and after the singles website, i'm really about over the whole dating/looking for someone thing. but there is something that feels like i shouldn't give up, like deciding to be okay with being permanently single is giving up rather than finding contentment.

so what does it look like to be content in the where you are while hoping for more? can it be done? should it be? i think i'll be wrestling with this for a while.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

live 8 & the absent church

i watched a little bit of live 8 today with a range of emotion. there was a bit of nostalgia--i remember live aid and band aid in '85. it was the first time i was really aware of U2. there was a bit of awe--elton john, madonna, U2, paul mccartney, greenday, the blackeyed peas, all performing in the same day. and of course, my heart caught at the 3 second snaps video and crowd snaps that will smith led.

according to the world health organization, in 2005 more than 11 million children will die before reaching the age of five this year. this breaks down to more than 30,000 children each day, 1,250 each hour, 20 per hour. every three minutes a child dies from preventable causes...they're just born into poverty where due to a lack of clean water and proper nutrition, they won't survive. this is the same statistic that was true in the late 80's and early 90's when i did fundraising for a health care & relief organization. it's hard to believe that the statistic remains unchanged 20 years later. during that time, the hardest groups to work with were church groups.

today, the thing that kept bothering me about live 8 is where is the church? i guess what bothers me is that we can find christians willing to unite to protest against music and movies that are considered profane. there's plenty of christians willing to speak out about the politically left media. we can find christians willing to denounce homosexuality and homosexuals. but where are the christians denouncing poverty? did that die with mother theresa? she didn't even want to be in the spotlight...she just sought to be obedient and to 'do unto the least' as jesus would have. and in the process she gave a voice, an image of christians doing something for the least.

now i know that many churches have great missions and outreach programs and i'm not criticizing that at all. i think that's important and that we should be doing those things in our churches. i just wonder why we as christians can't come together to coordinate our efforts in fighting poverty; i wonder if we are as concerned with taking care of a person's physical needs as we are their spiritual needs. i wonder why it is that a bunch of celebrities who are often notorious for leading decadent lifestyles can manage to come together to make a stand. and i wonder why the church can't set aside the denominational and politcal lines that divide us long enough to show the world that we care more about the people in the world than we do our own differences. and i wonder how and where to start...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

a plate broke today

i had a week off work, and when i went back, i hit the ground running. it's good--it's actually fun. we're launching some new things; i'm getting to do some stuff i really love doing. but it's crazy busy. i've felt a little like the guys who try to spin the plates on the poles. i've kept them up for almost two weeks, but today one broke.

i flew to my hometown for work. the plan changed while i was working on plane reservations and i ended up making the return reservation for the wrong day--a day late thankfully. it's not all that bad of a mistake, but it has left me in my hometown without the knowledge of my friends or family--except the aunt & uncle i stay with when here. it's just not the kind of mistake i usually make. and being here on my own, free to wander w/o feeling like i should be spending time with someone while i can, i find that i feel lost.

it's odd to feel like a stranger in the town i grew up in...and pretty much lived in until i moved away five years ago. much is familiar...streets are in the same place, major landmarks are still there, none of my friends or family have changed homes. but the business that line the streets have changed. there are new restaurants--chains have come that weren't here five years ago; a few favorite local places have disappeared-- there's a freshness to the city. it feels familiar and strange all at the same time. i feel a little lost and melancholy and even homesick here. tonite i was to be home, seeing a friend who'd pick me up at the airport, seeing the ocean, smelling the salt air before heading inland towards the valley where i live. i'd have stopped by my neighborhood grocery store to pick up some fruit & yogurt for breakfast in the morning. i'd have slept in my own bed with the windows open, the breeze coming into my room. instead i sit here in a borders, catching up on some work things and noticing i feel out of place... a broken plate amongst the spinning ones.

i wonder what it would take to make a mosaic of the pieces.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


nope...not tonite.

last sunday morning, i'd been awake for all of 10 minutes and was standing in the kitchen waiting for my toast to pop up from the toaster. there was a loud thud and the wall shook. my first thought was 'stupid neighbors!' then i realized the apartment was still shaking and that my spices were falling off the back of the stove. it was an earthquake--not the noisy neighbors. we had another one midweek while i was at the office.

tonite, i came home after 9 p from friends where i'd been in the hot tub and out by the fire pit. i took a quick shower and then curled up on the couch to watch a movie. i was relaxed and comfy and dozed off while watching my movie...and i awoke to a loud thud and things vibrating. after this week, my first thought was 'earthquake!'. then i realized there was a pattern to the thuds and vibrations... it's back to 'stupid neighbors and their surround sound!'.

it's after midnight now and they're still at it... i'll chat with our complex manager tomorrow. maybe i should be extra chipper in the morning and rock out while i get ready for church.

Friday, June 17, 2005

blog book tag

i saw this on a friend's blog (thanks youthguy) and thought it was fun--especially since i'm a book junkie.

how many books do you own?
i have no clue...there's a stack on the end table, a few on the kitchen table, a couple stacks in my room, a bookshelf full...

what is the last book you bought?
the mermaid chair by sue monk kidd...just last friday.

what is the last book you read?
real sex by lauren winner...great read--best treatise on saving sex for marriage that i've ever read. i'll be rereading this one.

list five books that mean a lot to you:
dangerous wonder by mike yaconelli--the book that opened the door for me to think differently about my helped choose the path that has brought me to where i am.
the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd--quite a few revelations about myself came about through the reading of this one.
life of the beloved by henri nouwen--i should probably read this regularly. for some reason, it's often hard for me to remember that i am beloved.
gone with the wind by margaret mitchell--first read this for my hs freshman ap english class and fell in love with the romance, the characters, the history. still one of my favorite books and movies.
little women by louisa may alcott--first 'grown-up' book i mom gave it to me about 4th grade and this was the book that turned me into a lifelong reader. i loved the four sisters...i couldn't decide which of them i wanted to be most...

if you decide to answer these q's on your blog...leave me a comment...i'm always looking for a good read...

Monday, June 13, 2005

choosing to love

according to an online dictionary, one of the meanings of seduce is 2 : to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises

when it comes to love and marriage, i think we as a culture have been seduced. we've believed the fairy tale that love starts with fireworks, followed by an initial conflict that once overcome is followed by happily ever after which is easy and comes in a nice, neat package. when things don't work out that way, disappointment and hurt happen. but rather than work thru and forgive and continue to work thru the conflicts and fight for happily ever after, people simply call "do over", file for divorce, and start the cycle again--waiting for the fireworks.

and sadly, in christian culture, we've simply followed the path the secular world forged. we have christian guides to dating, to sex, to marriage. we have christian romance novels and we have christian dating websites. most of the time, the only difference between the christian version and secular are the jesus, church and bible references.

i want to be married and to have a family. it's something i've dreamed of as long as i can remember. today that dream rattles around my heart, my head, my soul as a longing that sometimes feels as though it might suffocate me under its weight. at the encouragement of friends, i joined a christian dating website. at first this was fun, i began emailing guys i thought were interesting and people emailed me. with a few guys, it progressed to im, using personal email addresses, phone calls, and a coffee date. but the longer i've been in it, something has just felt off about it, uncomfortable, like i've bought a pair of jeans on sale and marked irregular. you can't see the irregularity when you look at them, but when you wear them, you can feel it.

yesterday a friend was talking about something that our pastor said in the sunday service. our pastor pointed out that when people write their own wedding vows, they use the language of i love you today, i'll love you more tomorrow, but that in traditional (old-fashioned some would say) vows, the loving part is worded as i promise to love you. i've been thinking about that. a promise implies a choice of emotion, in this case love. in other words, i'm choosing to love that person and i'm promising to make that choice to love them. this version of love makes more sense to me than the fireworks & fairy tales that we're taught to believe. choosing to love someone makes sense. i choose to love god daily, i choose to try to follow him. i don't always follow him well or closely. some days i wonder if i really love him, but i choose to keep trying. it's the only choice that makes sense to me. this choosing to love is what i think we've been seduced away from, both as a culture and as christians.

choosing to love requires being brave enough to be vulnerable and express your choice in loving ways. choosing to love requires tenacity--a willingness to continue in the face of challenge and adversity. choosing to love requires responsiblity in fulfilling the promise to make the choice to love daily.

i think this is why the dating website, and often times dating in general, for me, feels like an irregular pair of jeans. we're looking for the fireworks, for the opening line of a fairy tale. when it isn't there, we simply move to the next person on the site. i'm not wired this way. i'm wired to be willing to choose to love a good man. i have several good guy friends about whom i've thought, this is the kind of man i could fall in love with. the 'falling in love' part hasn't happened and we've become friends. i think, though, what i mean by 'falling in love' is that this is the kind of man i could choose to love.

so much for this rambling musing... i'm not quite sure where to go with it or what to do with it from here...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


i was sitting here watching the wb news at 10. during the entertainment segment, they aired a report that for the upcoming movie, herbie fully loaded, that lindsay lohan's appearance had been digitally altered. apparently test audiences felt she was too sexy so disney computer animators digitally raised necklines of her costumes and they "reduced her breast size by two cups".

i also read in a friend's blog tonite an article on the value of a hooters girl. ( while moore gets closer to a healthy response, i think there's still a piece missed in how the church and culture responds to a woman's body--in particular a woman who has large breasts. and for years this has frustrated me. tonite the frustration feels fresh because of these two instances occurring in the space of an hour.

to begin to understand why i'm frustrated, you should probably know a little something about my awkward junior hi years. as a long-time friend puts it, my bra has always had its fair share with some to spare. by 7th grade, i was a c-cup and weighed maybe 90 lbs. i was top heavy. junior high boys teased me mercilessly. i tended to be shy and this made me even more so. one day, a boy popped my bra--i gave him a black eye. the assistant principal just saw the part where i slugged him. i was so embarrassed by what he'd done and frightened by my own reaction it took forever for me to explain it to the principal through my tears. during this time, i somehow came to a conclusion that nice girls--good, christian girls-- had small breasts--ones that didn't call attention to themselves by their mere existence. girls who drew attention to themselves using their breasts weren't nice girls and since i didn't have to do anything for mine to attract attention, i worked at trying to hide them. i chose clothes that would help disguise my build. i learned to roll my shoulders forward so that if you looked at me from the side my arms hid my chest. since then i've struggled with my body image--mostly because of my breast size. i've considered reduction surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. i still have a hard time buying anything besides t-shirts. if they fit me through the arm and shoulder, they usually don't button across my chest.

our society has decided that big breasts deserve attention in and of themselves and this attention is automatically sexual in nature. as a result, we have young women who have distorted views of themselves simply because of their bra size. we end up with young women who don't think their breasts are big enough so they have enhancement surgeries--one of the top cosmetic surgeries for women under 25. we have young women who end up defining themselves by their bra size and allow themselves to be objectified. we have young women who, like me, end up feeling ashamed of their bodies, enough so that it's hard to understand when we're told biblically that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. it's only been in recent years--in my 30's--that i've begun to understand this concept and be comfortable with my bra size--enough so that i've given up baggy shirts and sweaters for ones that fit properly.

so tonite i'm frustrated for lindsay lohan, that her body has to be digitally reduced to maintain a nice-but-not-too-sexy image. i'm frustrated that moore's article focused more on the externals for girls--how they dress--than the internals which got only one direct mention ("what would it mean if we insisted that our young girls insist on being treated with the dignity with which they were created?").

in my little corner of the world, for my goddaughter, for my friends' daughters, for the girls i encounter in student ministry, i try to model as much comfort with my body as i can. but i find i'm frustrated that, on a broad scale, there doesn't seem to be a way to make bra size irrelevant to one's identity or image for the generation of girls growing up today. if only bra size were no more important than hat size...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

growing up, growing old

this afternoon, i was talking to a couple friends about a thought i'd had in response to a situation that's currently a bit challenging in our church small group. one of them, one who i look up to as an 'older brother', remarked "wow, look at you min, being all mature!". it was meant as a compliment, but i couldn't help but note the bit of surprise in his tone and expression.

part of me is pleased with the fact that he liked how i was responding, that i'm being mature, that maybe it means i'm growing up. part of me feels a little sad--that a mature response has any element of surprise can't be a good thing. this is one of those things i wrestle with in my process of 'becoming'...

as a kid and even young adult, the "grown-ups" in my life were entrenched in patterns of life for good, bad and/or indifferent. to this day, many of those patterns are unchanged. while there's a measure of security to those patterns (my godparents will be in their same house and my room will still be there, my dad and stepmom will be dressed alike, my mom will be apologizing for something and saying a rosary or prayer under her breath), they've also always frightened me. there's something about them that said to me, "this is as good as it gets, this is all there is" and for me that isn't enough. i'm a dreamer, an idealist who struggles with being pessimistic so that i'm land close to realistic and less likely to be hugely disappointed.

but i've confused growing up and being able to respond in maturity with outgrowing the capacity to adapt, to grow, to learn, to change. as i'm learning the difference, i hope i can continue growing in maturity while maintaining a childlike curiousity and openness to the world around me.

i'm glad i'm not alone on this journey of becoming...i'm grateful that god desires me to grow in maturity and provides these friends to help me along the way (even if they might not realize it).

Saturday, June 04, 2005

surround sound

the bass is thumping. the walls are vibrating. the pictures are now hanging catawampus. i sure hope my next door neighbors are enjoying their movie. i'd fix some popcorn and go join them, but it's 11:30pm and i'm already in my jammies. *sigh*

Sunday, May 29, 2005


on an episode of sex & the city carrie observes, "maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be". as someone who tries to follow jesus, this is something i believe, that whole becoming a new creation in christ--i believe that is something that happens when you choose to follow christ. and i knew that becoming more christ-like was part of the journey, the whole task of following him. but somehow, i've had a fixed idea of what becoming more christ-like is supposed to be. in growing up in the bible belt, there was a definite image of what it looked like: married, good kids, good jobs, decent income, nice house in nice neighborhood with good schools, active in the church, active in the community...blah, blah, blah... i went on mission trips and i saw christians who looked different than that, but where i was from, it was important to look like the other christians. only i couldn't quite manage that completely--i was over 30 & single and had questions about my faith. then i moved to california...a total god thing (maybe i'll post that story someday). now i'm learning that following christ doesn't have a particular look--that it actually is unique to each person with some common characteristics(fruits of the spirit). it's a lesson i've been learning since the day i arrived. but i'm just starting to realize that i'm included in this...i don't have to have a certain 'look' to be a christ-follower. i'm finding that living into that realization is challenging. it requires risk and vulnerability. it requires me to find out who i am without any masks. i'm scared and excited all at the same time... of letting go of some of my past and of the path that takes me to who i'm meant to become. i'm realizing that for me to become who i'll be means daily letting go of some of who i was... if only there were an instruction manual for this...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

single life & normalcy

i'm single. and 37. and this is much longer than i've planned to be single. i thought i would be married with kids who were in middle school about now. but that's not how life turned out. so now i find myself wondering can single be normal? what i mean by this is that if i were a man, no one would think twice about my singleness. there wouldn't be questioning or pitying looks. people would be less likely to ask 'but don't you want to be a mom?' or worse yet, 'what happened? how come you're not married?' or 'you mean you've never been married?'. i've considered printing up cards with standard replies:
  • yes, i'd like to be married.
  • yes, i want to be a mom.
  • no, i've never been married.
  • nothing happened--i just haven't met someone that i can see spending the rest of my life with.

maybe that's the problem. maybe i'm a commitment-phobe. although, i don't think i am. i don't move a lot. i have several friends whose friendships have lasted for years. i think the correct diagnosis is that i'm phobic of a disposable society. everything is disposable--containers, income, and sadly relationships. i know it's an almost archaic idea, but i believe in love for a work thru the hard places & stick it out. divorce just isn't an option for me. i'm probably pretty cautious in my choices, but shouldn't that be celebrated not chastised?

we celebrate marriages...and many will end in divorce. why not celebrate singleness?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

the dance of growth

there's a country song from the early 90's that has a line about taking two steps forward and one step back in a relationship...i really can't remember the name of the song or the artist but that theme has always stuck with me. i don't disagree with growth feeling like two steps forward and one step back and sometimes even one step forward and two steps back. but lately i'm starting to view growth as a dance, sometimes awkward, sometimes your toes get stepped on or you step on another's toes, sometimes you trip, sometimes you bump into another couple, sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, but once in a while, there's a moment, a few perfect steps that are magical when light and color swirl past in a kaleidoscope and it seems that you and your partner are the only people on the planet and that your feet aren't even touching the dance floor. i'm in a place of growth right now both personally and professionally. more often than not i feel as though i've shown up in shoes that pinch my toes and i'm spending my time tripping over the edge of my dress and stepping on my partner's toes. but every so often, i manage a few perfect steps, in time with the music, in sync with my partner, and it feels more like flying than dancing... so i continue with my clumsiness, my awkwardness and my bruised feet because the moment of flight and kaleidoscope of color are worth it all...because each time i'm closer to becoming who God created me to be...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

cool kids & idiot girls

i wish i were a cool know the ones who always seem to have it together; the ones who are quick with comeback, whose joke always gets a laugh, who seem to have a ridiculous amount of self-confidence, for whom a bad day is a lousy parking place.

i am not a cool kid...i am, as author laurie notaro puts it, an idiot girl... the one who has a bad hair day the same day she's bloated, overdraws her checking account & manages to have to go to more than one gas station to actually get gas. i've actually had a bird poo on my hair, my shirt and my pants while i was sneaking out for a clove. when i manage to come up with the quick comeback (especially to a cool kid), it's all i can do to feign non-chalance while trying to resist jumping up down and screaming 'i got you, i got you, i got you' in the annoying sing-song voice of a 10 year old girl and trust me when i get home, i mark it on the calendar...whatever happened to my 2002 calendar that had that day in june marked? i think i've become used to life as an idiot girl...i don't think i could switch to the other side, could i? so is there even a way to switch sides? or are you immediately recognized as an imposter and sent to some category beyond the idiot girls who at least know how to laugh at themselves over a vat of martinis...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

intention or execution

i'm a klutz--clumsy and uncoordinated. sometimes physically (how many people do you know who've had more casts as an adult than a kid?), but more often i'm klutzy in expressing myself to others. i always mean well... largely, my motivations are genuine and meant to be kind, but more often than i'd like, the execution of my actions aren't as fluid as i would hope. but i'm also not the only one. almost everyday, i have or observe an encounter where someone's intentions for goodness, kindness, hospitality are poorly or awkwardly executed. and all too often, the intention is overlooked in the wake of the clumsy execution... and in staring at the execution, we miss the greater gift--the good intention behind it. why do we do this? is it that we doubt others motivations? do we question our worthiness of kindness or hospitality? i don't have answers...but i do have a hope that now that i've noticed this gap between intention and execution, i'm going to try to focus more on the intention of the person and being a graceful receiver...especially when the execution is clumsy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


i tend to wonder about things...big things, little things, things about how i live my life, how others live their lives, how we as people interact with one another. this blog is me putting my questions, my wonderings out into the world. maybe they'll continue to wander on alone...or maybe, just maybe, there's someone else wondering about the same thing... and our thoughts can companion each other...

So, that's what you'll find thoughts, questions, and wonderings...and hopefully, here is where my thoughts, questions, and wonderings will encounter companions for the journey.