Monday, December 30, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- My God Man

question-the bridge from despair to hope

My God Man

I grew up learning of your gentle heart
your care for the lost and broken.
I dreamt of the time when we would meet-
my mind always believed the sunday school image.
You would scoop me into your arms
caressing my tear stained heart.

My adolescent heart saw a distant powerful man
capable of miracles and taking away my sins.
Somewhere I tried to believe that was for me too-
but the sins of others trapped me under my own.
In all that though I clung to a child-like hope
that you would someday come to rescue me.

Into my “adulthood” I shed any sense of faith
too many years of abuse squashed out innocence.
Filled with volumes of rage and pain-
I turned them on you my God man.
You never came to take the shame away
so I began my search for a better hiding place.

I searched and searched until I fell exhausted to my knees
to the place where I could lift my eyes to your heart.
In a moment I offered a silent prayer-
can you shed the God man suit my heart wrapped you in?
Reveal the compassion and love in which you came to bring

and help me see living deity.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Mask You Live In - Trailer

Many friends have shared this link on fb and I cannot wait for this documentary to release.  This was done by the same people who created MissRepresentation, a documentary that I watched about a year and a half ago that was really a catalyst for me and my blogging exploration of gender inequality in this past calendar year.

I worked with pre-teens and teenagers all of my professional life.  I was barely out of adolescence myself when I began ministry with young people.  Adolescence is a developmental stage that grew out of the change of the family during the industrial revolution.  Childhood and adulthood were mostly experienced on a binary continuum before technology advanced our culture to a place of not needing to work so hard to survive.  It was really a matter of survival...you were a child until you could bring money to the family through working.  On that day you were graduated...good times over.  Okay, maybe it was not so simplistic, but I think you get my point.

In our culture there is a growing cushion of time and space between the carefree innocence of childhood and the reality of living fully adult.  And it is a good thing to have a chance to transition from childhood into adulthood.  It is the space where autonomy is explored and identity is solidified.  We human beings tend to do really stupid things during the teen years and it seems to be universal...crossing over every divide of gender, socio-economic bracket, race, religion, nationality, etc.  I truly believe it a brain functioning thing, but none the less, it keeps us all aware that in the end, we are all human beings and equal by birthright.

Our culture is a problem for girls and for boys but unfortunately we don't really get the scope of the problem until our youth start to self destruct.  Once the *bad behavior * starts surfacing, we adults run around trying to put blame on the shoulders of someone...anyone but ourselves.  When we launch into the histrionics the teens in need get missed a second time and start becoming the identified patient in our culture.  We gawk and point at them for the self destruction, but rarely do we come alongside to understand what they are trying to communicate to us about the toxicity of our culture.

Girls generally act inwardly...eating disorders, cutting, suicidality, sexual promiscuity, esteem issues, etc.  Boys act outwardly...aggression, violence, damage to property, etc.  The documentary MissRepresentation explored the areas of gender inequality and even touched on the male dynamic a bit, but in the end I was left with a burning in my bosom to keep exploring the issue...specifically as it applies to boys and male teenagers.  This new documentary seems to continue the exploration...




We need to find solutions for our girls and our boys and we need to craft these changes to apply on the very moment a newborn is placed in arms to be nurtured.  Our thinking needs to change, our conversations around gender need to evolve, our parenting needs to be more mindful, our modeling of appropriate behavior need to be valued, our discretion of media needs to be monitored more carefully.

As a parent, I am super strict with what media comes into my home for one very simple reason...I don't trust our culture to give my family a helpful message of what being an adult looks like.  Or to put it more bluntly... I think that our American media is really messed up.  The mighty dollar rules what messages flow out into the world and not what is moral or helpful for healthy human development.  My super strictness is but for a season though and it has always been my intention to slowly relax the rules so that by adolescence they are thinking critically about all media and mostly given freedom to explore what's out there, you know, because they'll do it anyway.  I will prefer they do their exploration in my home so they can be mentored through the process of mindful media usage, rather than to need to go behind my back to see what everyone else is seeing.  I am militant now because my children are building a foundation for adult living, but my intention is to slowly give way to letting them explore the full range of what the media offers, once I feel their moral compass is cemented.

I am not afraid of media, it is just a tool that unfortunately gets handled mostly by the rich and powerful among us.  I have a deep understanding that our media shapes our culture and has for quite some time, but since media is merely a tool it all comes down to who controls what messages get out there.  I do not trust the man behind the curtain to give me or my children any messages that are good for us to thrive in this life...and why should I?  Isn't it my job and my joy to give my children the messages that they need to thrive in this life?

So today I have chosen to use the tool of media to share about media that I find helpful...may it be helpful to you and yours.

Here is a link to to the trailer for MissRepresentation:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- can You heal?

question-the bridge from despair to hope

can You heal?

what will allow me to believe myself safe,
in the presence of you, the physician of soul?
a question posed by a frightened child
folded into self deep within my eye.

imagine a faith that lives beyond shame,
a humbleness not then used to break my hope.
picture relief found from tear finally shed

and in that moment is where my heart needs Your rest.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reflection looking back at me...

...is not a teenage girl nor a young adult.  And I know my heart has grabbed hold of the stillness only freedom brings.

"God says we need to love our enemies.  It hard to do.  But I can start by telling the truth.  No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me.  Once I told the truth about that, I felt free.  And I got to thinking about all the people I know.  And the things I seen and done..."
Aibileen voice over at the end of the motion picture The Help

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Small Christmastime

Sometimes I just get tired...really tired.  You know that bone aching, brain fogging tiredness that a morning, noon, and night coffee addiction cannot even begin to touch.  I’m in that place right now and it does not balance well with what season the calendar tells me we’re in.  Bleh.  

Ever been there?

This year it’s for some very simple reasons.  My life is in transition.  Saying good-bye to what was, and saying hello to God only knows...

When my children transition from one stage to the next, I know it’s happening because they sleep more, eat more, cuddle more, and are more sensitive than normal.  I call it a growth spurt and I celebrate it because I know there is a blooming right around the corner.  I curl up with them and snuggle just a little bit longer because they need their energy and strength to burst into the next stage of their life. 

But when I hit these transitions I do not give myself this sort of graceful living.  I call myself lazy when I need more sleep.  I call myself sloth when I need more food.  I call myself needy when I desire more affection, and I call myself crazy when I’m more sensitive to the harshness in life.

Ever been there?

How in the world do I balance this with the Christmas season?  One day at a time I guess...

...because...

Who says Christmastime needs to be so full?  God with us is all the fullness needed.

Who commanded I be at the top of my game so that peace, love, and joy can come in?  Nothing needs earning, these things are offered freely.

Who says perfection is the goal?  I think brokenness is what makes us human...and God chose to be human for a season...so this humanity thing must be important.

I have no idea what I want this season to be like.

Ever been there?

I know I want my children close.  I know I want less rush and more silence.  I know I want celebration...but a quiet one.  I want a small Christmastime.

Ever been there?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Helpful Conversation...

...around the issue of privacy vs. national security.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Stopped for a Moment

question-the bridge from despair to hope

Stopped for a moment

Stopped for a moment- a quick breath.
Was my soul still intact?
Could I continue to squeak by on loan 
or would my truth be made known?

Running to stay with the pack
looking for spiritual nourishment of life.
All while, thrust into a vortex of lies
there told run harder, push harder, make more time.

Robbed of energy soul on the line 
I sit and look around to see brokenness
Forced to look up where your tears fall on my brow

telling me to just let Your rain fall.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Joy

edited using Rhonna's Designs app

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let's just pretend...

...that I'm a good blogger that announces when I'm gonna be silent for a week, or a month, or a year...


...life happens...
...when I'm wise, I stop to live it...
...this blog goes on even still...


...I hope you had a wonderful holiday last week...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- The Real Question

question-the bridge from despair to hope

The Real Question

Is barrenness on the other side of being full;
or the natural outflow of life lived authentically in You?

Can the searching for certainty reveal Your truth;
or prove just how little I know for sure?

Will my faith produce happiness:
or a deeper understanding of  Your grace?

Is a life bearing You meant to be lived on the mountaintop;

or more fully intertwined with the valley too?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Imbalance- a follow up post


So after my post dealing with the conversation around church decline, I received a text message from a dear mentor friend of mine.  I trust this woman to be on my side as she has come alongside me with grace and wisdom for years now.  She was really curious about more specifics in regard to the sort of unkindness I was referencing.  I replied by saying I’m often afraid to give specifics, but she is right in the idea that I need to be more specific and my soul knew it immediately.  She encouraged me to go deeper and because of our relationship and the way she lives life being real as she goes along, I know to trust her encouragement.

Here’s the thing though.  I have a sad back story.  I don’t often share the specifics of my back story publicly.  I’ve been blessed to be able to work much of my trauma out in relationship and so because of that, I have reconciled relationships with people who created difficulty for me in my childhood. It is for this reason that I try to be sensitive and share mindfully.  I do have skin in the game though, so I’m all in when it comes to being a church that reaches out to those in pain.  As much as some of my pain came through negative experiences with people within the church, so has redemption.  For the times I have been hurt within the context of a community of faith, there have been five times more experiences of Jesus followers coming alongside me to point me towards the goodness of God.  The text conversation with my mentor friend that I just shared is one example of such truth.  I do believe I have some more specific things to say about the issue of church decline though, so here we go...

In my last post I referenced this idea that the church is way off balance in this age.  Let me be clear about a few of the reasons I believe we are off balance:

1.  The church and the American Christian culture are not the same thing.  If the church was able to make it through the dark ages, it will make it through this era too...of that we can hold faith in.  I am struck with annoyance in response to the histrionics around the state of the church because I believe we are confusing this fundamental detail.  That is the belly of what I was responding to in my last post.  The sky is not falling...change is happening, so I want to cut through all of the histrionics...it isn’t helpful.

It is the Christian culture that feels too much like the rest of our culture and not in the sort of fire and brimstone way where...

...we drink, we chew, we go with folk who do...so we need to repent and separate ourselves from culture...

No, the Christian culture feels too much like the rest of our culture because we, as a body of believers, lack maturity.  We lack maturity in my estimation because we gloss over and push to the edges, the suffering of the human condition.  That, or we glorify it and have a group think victim stance that paralyzes us into inaction.  The bible is really clear that maturity comes through perseverance in the midst of the suffering we face.  So when we let fear write our sermons, or lead our finance meetings, or influence our responses to death, addiction, mental illness, domestic injustice, sexual exploitation, or anything else painful or messy, we lack the sort of maturity necessary to be the hands and feet of the Prince of Peace.  We are ill equipped because we are resistant to letting God’s messy plan really play out.  We want the journey of life to be neat and to be nice.  God’s plan brings chaos into order; neatness is not usually the priority.  Which leads me to my second issue...

2.  I think we confuse niceness and kindness and that is the vehicle in which injustice plays out unchecked in community.  Good intentions go tragically wrong in the name of being nice.  When we silence victims we are compliant in the act.  When we shuffle struggling leadership to a “safer” venue to avoid messy without providing healing opportunities and accountability, we are compliant.  Or when we do the flip and we publicly shame and stone someone whose brokenness is exposed...without extending a hand of grace and healing opportunity, then that’s right, we become a part of the problem and not part of the reconciliation.  Health is rarely found at the edge of either extreme.  That’s were depravity resides and we all have way more depravity than we’d like to admit.  

There has been much talk in our secular culture about it being a rape culture, where the system enables sexual violence to be common place and I believe that reality is mirrored in the church right now only with the veil of needing to be nice and concerned with Christian unity.  So when tragedy strikes and a victim responds, we get silenced and discredited.  Too many female voices in the blogosphere have written about this.  I have lived it....

Unwanted sexual advances while trying to do ministry- check
Unwanted matchmaking by a leader- check
Verbal assault- check
Employment exploitation- check
Shame inducing pastoral *counseling*- check, check, check

I don’t share this list to point fingers...I share it to offer that these sort of experiences are real, and not just virtual folklore.  (and it's not just happening to women...)  I also share because I believe that through sharing we can do better as a community to correct the imbalances in our church.

We have a church that functioning inversely to the way Jesus designed it.  We are in an era where the first, come first, where impulse is unrestrained, and where denial is held up as ideal...because of the culture.  I believe the conversation of church decline is gaining momentum with church leaders because of the lack of acknowledgement about this issue and I so get that.  There is a mental health crisis among our clergy and regular folk alike in this time, so no one is really very healthy.  Good leaders are being exploited and expected to turn water into wine with their own time, money, and resources.  The people are asking this without really knowing it too, and so there is a huge imbalance in our midst and that is creating a vicious cycle.  We are missing the vital truth while we are so far off balance:

God calls a few to be leaders of the people, God calls the rest of us to accept their leadership, and then God maintains the responsibility of saving and sustaining us all.   The people don’t need the leaders to save them...even when they demand it.  The leaders don’t need people to follow blindly...even if they resort to bully tactics.  And God doesn’t need any of us to save the church or one another...he’s got that covered; instead he commands us to love each other well.  That is where the church is failing.

There won’t be strong and healthy leadership if the people don’t support those who are called to vocational ministry and there won’t be anyone to lead if leaders don’t control their frustration and stop defaulting to indirect communication while standing with a death grip on the bully pulpit.  We need to correct the imbalance and since the conversation sparked by my last post, I actually have a few more issues to explore.  I won’t launch into them here because this post is already twice as long as I’d like it to be, but at the end of this post I will list some future issues I’m exploring for upcoming blog posts.

Right now, fear and pain are at the center of dialogue with regard to church decline, but really we all need love and kindness to be at the center of our conversation so there can be some positive change and transformation.  Kindness does not require us to be untrue or sugar coat to maintain niceties.  Niceness will do us no good at this intersection...so it’s truly good news to know that we are not actually called to be nice.  We are called to love each other...may we find a way to come together to do love well.  If we are able to do that, it will reestablish trust in this age because we will be what we are called to be...salt and light.

What I plan to touch on soon-ish...

* If you ask a future pastor to have a seminary education, they're gonna have a ton of school debt.  If they have a ton of school debt, there will be a ton of stress.  If the salary out of seminary doesn’t offer a way out of the debt, then stress will become the church’s mess.-  AKA “A lay person with no idea about true statistics with regard to this issue, asks some simple questions about the ordination process.”

* Non clergy church employee compensation packages...or really the lack there of.  If we claim to be concerned with social justice, why do we exploit our own workers?

* Who is doing discipleship well...let’s celebrate the positive areas of growth in this age.

Past Posts of mine you might find fit in this conversation:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- lament of a saturday night

question-the bridge from despair to hope

lament of a saturday night

lying awake in my bed long past the sleeping dawn
dreading the wake, the plunge into Sabbath day
this isn’t how a faith full heart is to beat
in my depths I want to serve You with joy
but I hold myself back from pouring my will into yours

fear of losing something a part of me knows isn’t mine anyway

a sinful spirit plagues my innermost places
can You redeem my weary servants heart
oh how I long to taste Your sweetest grace
to embrace Your dream for my life
I have no idea what that is in my mind’s eye


yet a growing discontent beckons me to move deeper into You

Friday, November 15, 2013

Studio Work

Not the sort of creating I envisioned when I put our garage studio into motion,
but Minecraft has taken these kids' artistic expression to a whole new level!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kind of sick of the sky is falling rhetoric surrounding church decline...

“Life is pain, Highness. 
Anyone who says differently is selling something.
The Princess Bride

I have been marinated in this sort of cynicism most of my life, it’s all around me in culture, in peer pressure, in the human condition.  So when I live out my faith on a daily basis, this is the mentality I’m up against inside my own head as I contemplate my attendance at church each week, or how I’m going to give, or in which ways I will serve.

You see there is truth in this quote.  A part of life is pain, but it is not the only part of the human experience.  For me to live a balanced life I need to be open to experiencing pain, joy, anger, hope, grief, jealousy, faith, despair, and love.  Yes, I need community, but I need that as much as, I need solitude.  Yes, I need communal worship, but I need that as much as, I need private meditation.  Yes, I need to be growing alongside other believers, but I need that as much as, I need my own identity that is separate from the group.

So let me say a few things that will probably counter the current thinking about church decline:

When I don’t show up on Sunday morning, I’m not struggling with consumerism spirituality.  I need a balanced community of faith.  I don’t expect the church to meet all of my needs on a transactional basis.  I want to be present and to give without abandon, but I do need kindness and sadly that is what the church is lacking during this transition into the digital age.  There is a lack of kindness all around us by way of social media and in real life so if the church feels too much like the rest of my life, I don’t always feel compelled to get out of bed on a Sunday morning.  It’s really that simple.


In this season of my living, I feel like I’m finding the balance that will work for me in regard to my worship attendance, my financial giving, and my offering of time and talent and it doesn’t follow the rules of *good christian*.  If I’m not showing up to church on a Sunday morning it’s partially my stuff and it’s partially the way church is living out the faith.  

When I don’t show up on a Sunday morning it’s not because I feel like church isn’t relevant anymore.  I need to be able to have trust for the institution in this age.  Some powerful injustices have been carried out by church leaders around the world for centuries and in this age, clergy members were allowed to victimize the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us.  And I don’t care to hear the defense that we are not the Catholic Church, because here is a truth I know in the depths of all I am...every denomination has these sorts of skeletons in the closet.   Until the church gets really serious about reconciliation in this age, decline will continue to be a reality.  The church has lost the trust of culture and for good reason.  I don’t know how to reconcile the level of inconsistency that goes on for me between what the church is telling me it’s about and what I am experiencing the church actually being about.  The church created the rupture of trust, it is on the church to bridge the gap.

Until we, as the body of believers understand that we are responsible to come alongside those in pain and offer more than some gimmick, we will be in decline.  Honestly, if we spent half of the energy being spent on articulating, bemoaning, theorizing, diagnosing, and criticizing about church decline and redirected it towards helping victims rebuild their lives, things would begin to turn around.  

I’m sick of the rhetoric and I’m inside the body of believers.   I can’t even imagine what someone on the outside looking in is thinking and feeling.  So let’s get more serious about turning things around, not just talk about why things need turning around.  The church cannot just gloss over the pain of the people, especially because in some cases, church leadership created the pain.

Instead we need to put all of our energy towards...


love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Galatians 5:22,23
... and that sort of living will take all of our energy.  It’s that simple.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

I got into this conversation a while back when the first news broke around the NSA and Edward Snowden.  The person I was talking with suggested that this contract worker that chose to leak national security documents was a national hero.  I disagree with this wholeheartedly.  I don't know Edward Snowden, but he lit a match and then fled the country.  I don't know what he is, but I will not believe he is a national hero, at least not at this juncture.

When our elected leaders voted the Patriot Act into law, we as the people had to know that we wouldn't want to know what measures were being employed to *protect us*.  The manner in which the whole issue of privacy came back into the national conversation seems to be all drama to me...and he provoked it, but not to be a part of a solution.  His motives still seem unclear to me all these months later.

A true national hero is someone who is willing to lay down his or her life to preserve freedom,  justice, and liberty for all.  This is what a national hero looks like:



or...



On this day I want to remember these men and all of the men and women of our armed services.  Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Transcendance Movement Three- unaVoidable

question-the bridge from despair to hope

unaVoidable

I felt that empty vacuous feeling again today
in between the daily tasks created to fill your void,
it stayed but for a moment 
just long enough to remind me- depravity.

My heart pushes against your hiding place.

How can I trust a sovereign god man 
who leaves me to cope with this life?
but for that damn void 

that brings me back to my knees each time.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Humor Abuse



I had the joy of seeing this play on the last day in LA last weekend and it was amazing.  Even more amazing was getting to meet dh's cousin Lorenzo and his father Larry for the first time.  I am so looking forward to this documentary.  Lorenzo's stage production was insightful, kind while exploring the truth of his life, and of course also hilarious!  He is a very talented human being and I am grateful to have met him, even if for just a few minutes.  Next time he is in LA or I'm in New York, I want to go to coffee with him.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reflections

Boo wrote this essay for a contest at his school last week and I just want to share.  This child has the gift of writing.  Enjoy!



Ideas
 By Boo 10 years old

Many things happen in my bed every night.  The first is reading, whether it’s required or just for fun.  Books or magazines, for inspiration or for relaxation, I will always read.  The last thing, of course, is sleeping.  But, you may ask, what else happens?  The answer lies in my own brain. 

The first step is to think.  Thinking about what you know brings inspiration, which brings the idea into existence.  This is the part where you should start telling people about your idea.  If they like your idea, great!  If they don’t, well, you can’t please everyone.  Besides, in many cases, the joke’s on them!

The second step is to brainstorm.  These dreams build on the idea, until the idea is truly amazing.  If you want, you can even go on past amazing.  You can make it blow away any other ideas!

The third step is to have faith.  Believing in the idea is what truly makes it possible.  Try not to think about the technicalities, downsides, or issues with the idea.  Just believe it can happen.

Of course, this process can take place any time of day.  Also, it can happen for anyone, not just me.  What would a human be without ideas?  I can’t imagine!  So, use those ideas!  Make them work in whatever you do!  Believe that your dreams will come true, and live on to inspire all who know of them.  This is my message, and I truly mean it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Blindness

question-the bridge from despair to hope

blindness

losing faith, can’t see the good.
poured myself into the cause,
only to find more despair
is it me, is You...
or those who claim to know You

I feel like I’m missing something real.
eyes gone blind,
heart gone hard
was it me was it You...

or those who claimed to know You

Friday, November 1, 2013

Order Restored

balance of priorities includes me once more...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Special Birthday Post to my Awesome Nephew

My awesome nephew on the day he graduated elementary school.

I have known you since the very first day and have been one of your biggest fans since the moment I first laid eyes on you and cradled you in my arms.  I have watched you grow from newborn to this awesome young man that stands before us today.  I love being a mom but my favorite gig on this planet is being your auntie.  I know you're growing up... just promise to keep in touch...I might be able to supply you a car in a few years!  ;)  Happy Birthday!!!

Things I learned from this past season...

...Lists that seem funny in my head are not so much on my blog.  I tend to have a quick, self deprecating humor in real life...and yet somehow when I write from that place something gets lost in translation and I just read as mean.  No.more.listy-memey.thingy.posts. (Ignore that I’m using that style here...these are not the droids you’re looking for.)

...Wisdom comes through living life fully present.  It is a gift that comes right on time and not a minute too soon....no matter how much I wish it sooner.

...My first instinct about a situation is often spot on...and when it’s not there is a good reason worth exploring anyway.  Enough of listening to the voices in my head that say I’m too sensitive, I’m too obsessive, I’m too much of some things and not enough of others.

...I can’t out Maureen the Maureens of the world.  (5 points for a reference to Rent)  I can go the drama route, but it doesn’t feel good to me .  The Maureens of the world and I find each other that’s for sure...but I’m usually the one doing the tango only doing it backwards in heels.

...I was born a utility player...need a sacrifice bunt and I’m your girl, right or left handed.   I am slow and steady wins the race and not superstar.  My father noticed that about me early on in my softball years and he nurtured that consistently until my skills were mastered.  (Using the term nurtured in reference to my father feels like I’m telling secrets.  My dad plays hardened dad/ coach well...but he still has a very tender side.)  I can be me...don’t need to put on a show, just get the job done.  That feels good to me.

...Things I need to weather the storms of life-  One solid, honest, kind friendship, faith and hope in that which is bigger than me, and the book of Proverbs.

Things I muttered to the wee ones in this past season.  Things that I never thought I would need to say...


...If you want to spit swear that’s fine with me, but you have to do it outside.

...There will be no money changing hands to get your younger brother to do what you want him to.

...Do I really have to tell you there are no nerf guns in the kitchen?

...I’ll give you a run down of the science of why farts bubble in the water when we are not at the public pool...and yes I know people pee in the pool, but you will go in the bathroom.


Yep I’m a mom to 2 boys...why do you ask?!?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- broken branch

question-the bridge from despair to hope

broken branch

broken back for a cause untrue
molestation of belief
wisdom saved for the fool
hurried motion to disinfect 
don’t leave don’t retreat
atheism complete 

in action and belief

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who You Are: A Message To All Women (+playlist)



I originally wanted to share this first video Who You Are: A Message To All Women after a dear mentor friend of mine shared it on Facebook, but I could not figure out how to isolate it to post here.  So after fiddling for a bit I just watched the other videos as well, and wow...just wow.  This is some powerful mixed media artwork...enjoy!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Tragedy

question-the bridge from despair to hope

Tragedy


Help me to understand help me to see-
that pain is not my only reality.
This isn’t the norm, it’s locked me in terror.
Give the eyes to see, the heart to believe,
that you aren’t just a cruel entity.

How does a little girl become an object-
a little boy a rag doll for rage?
A person in light to fall victim,
while one cloaked in darkness let to hold influence?
Creating such tragedy.

They tell me to trust, to believe-
how can I pour myself into such dichotomy?
Reconcile within me a purpose, a plea.
This can’t be some kind of comedy...
tell me it kills you to see victims’ enemy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Self Care Lacking

This is what my workspace ends up looking like
when I have let my needs slip too low on my priority list....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How does the Affordable Care Act affect you?


(I highly recommend you find the whole interview from this night...I cannot link it here, but it is well worth the watch.)

Critical thinking is still alive.  I probably disagree with both of these men about some dynamics surrounding the Affordable Care Act and I am so okay with that.  I don't need to agree with everyone. America does not need the branches of our government, nor the two major political parties to agree about everything.  America needs critical thinkers that want to solve problems on all sides of the political spectrum.  We need leaders that are willing to find compromise, with justice, mercy, humbleness, and respect.


Put some big girl and big boy pants on leaders...respresent the best interest of the people!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Brokenness

question-the bridge from despair to hope

Brokenness


I want to scream to God...
I want to scream and to ask him why life has to include such pain.
I am afraid...
I am afraid because of the answers he might give 
in response to my arrogant question.

Tell me you’ve been there.
Help me feel less alone as I look at the world around me.
A world filled with chaos that encompasses every possible emotion.
My answers continue to fall short 
as I fear yours will too.

Life complicated
Inconsistencies run wild
Paradoxes baffle
Brokenness paralyzes
Coping ceases to work

Monday, October 7, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Questioning

question-the bridge from despair to hope

Questioning


Can’t help but wonder ...

Is wholeness worth the cost of growth
or joy worth the rate of despair?
Does awareness provide more depth than numbness
or pain required to make the gain?
Do trials make a man
or do men make the trial?

...where is the rhyme?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just Keep Swimming...

...seems like upstream most days.  But hey, at least it's 15 years of upstream together...


Monday, September 30, 2013

Transcendance Movement Three- Skipping a Step?

question-the bridge from despair to hope

Skipping a Step?


Dive under the surface --
why would one choose that fate?
Pain exists can’t I know that true--
without having to experience it?

What’s the point--
is it to excavate truth? 
Or is it to strip me--
the little dignity I attempt to produce?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Transcendance Movement Two- Search For Definition


despair- a human response to depravity

Search For Definition

My days seem to run together
and today got lost behind time
The lump of regret sits so in my throat
as memory is reminded of lie.

Once long ago before season of soul crime
the heart was left to beat as You willed.
Now the pannicked muffled cries from the city
invade me to drown out a depraved sorrow.

I am so acutely aware of desire to re-define
unearth the truth foundation for my life.
To recapture that moment before denied
frozen in the depth of lost time.


*** For the record, this movement has been very heavy, so today I am glad to be able to be at the end of the look into a human response to depravity.  Next Monday begins the bridge from despair into hope.  I may have written these pieces more than a decade ago, during a different season of my life, and yet as I have shared this work publicly, the rhythm of my current life seems to be making time these poems again in this season.  Grace Be.  ***

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hold it Close...


As welcoming as I am towards ushering in some cooler weather and having more down time in a quiet home during the day, I am really struggling to let go of the carefree summer.  I love being with my kids.  I love being with my kids without the daily grind of homework, activities, and responsibility.  I want the carefree to last just a little bit longer.  And so, I find myself in a bit of a "I don't wanna put my big girl panties back on again" funk this week.  You know the one where...

... I'm struggling through organizing this fall routine and doing it awkwardly...

so then...

... the kids are getting used to this new routine as it falls into place and feeling uncomfortable too....

so...

... I'm facing lots of questions about what power is and is this how you use power in your life from said kids...

so...

... I'm am more emotionally taxed and drained because I have to hold the line more repetitively.... AKA “Ogre Princess Momma”

and...

... the kids are disappointed that good choices are still expected even in the midst of transition...AKA “More time-outs and consequences than usual.”

so...

... the carefree summer feels like it was so long ago.  Soon we will be settled and find the joy in autumn, but for now I will clutch the great memories from this past summer and say... Grace Be.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Transcendance Movement Two- distorted disguise

despair- a human response to depravity


distorted disguise

uncloak evil from distorted disguise
modeled so vehemently by those of the fire

beckon hidden beasts from the plastered clerical mold
designed to steal mystery and destroy light

show your infinite power claimed right
prove that sinful desire melts in your splendor

Monday, September 9, 2013

Transcendance Movement Two- walking the Edge into sorrow

despair- a human response to depravity

walking the Edge into sorrow


a psyche ready to explode- the thought of... 
pretense or reality?

I am floating above me... 
attempting to ignore the obscenity of past

but I cannot escape…
the toll is taking a bite out of soul

anesthetize
bury
obliterate

make it not real anymore
change the havoc of my past

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to Routine...

Picture Edited with Rhonnadesigns.com app

I normally don't add words my Friday images, but today I must.  I love adding special touches for my kids on many special days throughout the year.  I happen to be a crafty sort, so I don't often feel anxious about these little splashes of creative love, but I have heard from other friends that it can be a huge stressor for moms.  Every now and again I add my back story to this little ole' blog, to help keep things real and break this down to a manageable size for those moms that want to do theses sort of things....not that every mom *should* want to do these things.  (Each person gets to decide what things are important to them.  I rarely cook a from scratch meal...in fact I doubt many would classify what I provide for dinner as cooking at all.  I am okay with that.)

I thought I had left over paper from years past to make place mats for the trio for the special day, and I was so confident that I waited until 10 PM the night before to pull this together.  I did think ahead by purchasing the books when they were on sale.  So at 10 PM I had no school paper in my studio...boo.  After considering a meltdown, I calmed myself into believing this was not a time to stress...it was an opportunity to improvise. I have a ton of black construction paper and plenty of chalk...so whala...instant place mat that I will feel no angst in throwing out next week!  The notebook paper napkins were in the the dollar bin at Target.  That was all that was needed.  Oh and those cute pinwheels...I made those several years ago and I just keep re-purposing them over and over again.  They first made their appearance in our family life in this post. 

So to re-cap... here are my pointers to make this happen:

1. DO NOT stress out... it isn't worth it.  I always tell the kids I teach art to that there are "No mistakes in art...only opportunities to be creative and make something better."  If you procrastinate like I did, just work with what you have.  The kids are gonna wreck anything paper anyway, so it's okay to change course!

2.  DO NOT spend a ton of money...it isn't worth it.  Look for sales and tuck away things that might come in handy someday.  I keep a gift closet with toys I find on clearance throughout the year.  I know we are gonna need party gifts and Christmas gifts and so I try to stay ahead of the game.

3.  DO NOT re-invent the wheel...it isn't necessary.  Re-purpose what you have, search the Internet for ideas, and borrow things from friends.  Share and pass down what you've done too.

4.  DO NOT try and do it all...it isn't even possible.  Decide what you want and what will make the biggest impact for your wee ones.  Discernment is the super power I am trying to grow in my heart these days, because I believe it allows me to have some balance in this crazy life of raising school aged children.

I believe things like this are supposed to be fun for the whole family... and that means mom too!  I took this picture on my phone and edited it with an iPhone app.  It took me 5 minutes... but I am already a photographer, so I have madskills... you know as in *crazy*.  I imagine that you can easily do it in 15 minutes even if you are a newbie!