Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And to breathe...

... I realized yesterday that I haven't been breathing as deeply recently.  It's like I've been holding my breath, waiting for summer break, because then I will allow myself the time to just be.  But then today I just decided:

Screw the tells me my kids have 3-4 more weeks of school.  My soul says it's time to exhale now.  My spirit longs to release the used up and spent, so that I can breathe in freedom, joy, and fun.

Nothing like the park on a wonderful spring day...

Monday, May 27, 2013

With Great Sacrifice...

... Comes Great Freedom.  May we use this great freedom in a way that honors the fallen and the veterans, so we can pass this legacy on another generation.

It is with a grateful and humble heart that I wish you and yours a Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Transcendance Movement One- homesickness

depravity- a nature of isolation


a reality of terror
sweeps through the living quarters
stealing breath of life
requiring innocence to hide

home- a place of warmth of comfort
so foreign a concept to breathe
home- haunting air of despair
a comfort only of familiarity

steal one breath
life requires me live underground
so as not to wake the aching truth
best be silent and still alive...

..than succumb to the death of hope...

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Do I Tell Them I Have No Internal Monologue...

This has been a bit of a hectic week for me so the new groove I have found on this blog has been a bit disrupted.  In truth though, I can't do static very well on this blog, so it was bound to happen!

So today I bring you my rambling internal monologue:

I have the most awesome kids... love who they are becoming...

I love our family tradition of going to Disneyland on Mother's Day...

I love Disneyland, which is so counter to my personality, and I rail on Disney hard about their cultural influence, but I love most everything about the land...

My kids are awesome and I love hanging out with them... we are going to start blogging our way through the Hidden Mickey's in Dland... and it was their idea....

We bought a book and the kids dreamed up this gig over dinner last week and they reminded me about their old picture blog I did for out of state family...who didn't really do the blog thing back then...I'm ahead of my time...That's how I roll...What was I saying?!?

...Oh yeah, so I had this blog years ago that I used to post on about the kids, and it used to have wonky privacy settings, so I fixed that, and will use it to document our scavenger hunt...eventually.  The people are coming and the land gets scary and hot in the summer, so our trips will be less frequent...

Here is the link to that blog, there are some awesome moments from way back...

My kids are awesome... and sometimes I love to take a break from their awesomeness...

I'm going away this weekend for my bi-annual scrapbooking retreat with the most awesome woman in the world...  We go to the same hotel less than 20 miles from our houses and we eat lots of sugar...scrap our hearts out and process our crazy amazing lives....

We have a routine...she gets the loft bedroom and bathroom all to herself...I get the downstairs bedroom/ bath all to myself...a major luxury to moms with kids!
We move the entire living room around to fit our needs and we do it the same way every time...
...I've been told she is my hetero-life mate...
...I think that's accurate...

...see now aren't you glad you don't live inside my head?  I'd rather be John Malkovich some days...just saying.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Transcendance Movement One- broken heritage

depravity- a nature of isolation

broken heritage

like a machine the monster swallowed lives
casting collective soul into the familiar wasteland
pushing down the given life until drown in sewage
holding power down into the depths of the innocent

the monster is not just human but the collection of depravity
warped into something awful- passed down through generations
for fear that life would be worse than succumbing to nonentity 
sustained by swallowed souls who chose not to fight

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

I have a complicated relationship with this holiday.... it's always struck me as a bit like forced intimacy. I've gone through the many seasons of my response to a holiday that is filled with expectation.  I've loved it, I've hated it, I've been hurt by it...and "it'" is just a holiday...nothing more...nothing less.  

A couple of months ago I ran across a you tube video that piqued my curiosity.  It was a bit o' propaganda so I won't share it, but there was enough truth in the middle of the attempt to manipulate me towards a particular ideology, that I began doing a bit of research on the history of this hallmark holiday.

What I found to be true helps me integrate this particular day in a much more joyful and holistic way.  You see the beef I have with this holiday is that motherhood is an art and a science.  I don't want to be told how to honor my mother and I don't want to be told on which day to do so.  I love my mother and I am grateful for her presence in my life.  I want the way I live to be the honoring of this woman I hold so dear.  I also don't want my children to feel forced to pay me homage.  I want them to live big lives with passion, conviction, joy, and integrity.  That is all the honor I desire.  The thing about this consumer culture is that many voices shout out that to be a good child or to be a good have to send cards, flowers, and gifts.  But this day did not originate in anything materialistic.  The materialism strips empowerment from this day...this movement.

Read This:  

Mothers are the main attachment figure for the next generation.  Some women never get to have children of their own, but they are still mothers if the care about and advocate for the next generation.  Support mothers in our world, because it is hard work.  Daily work.  Thankless work.

No more guilt or shame for doing the right thing in the eyes of some advertising executive who told us we are not quite good enough unless we consume and we bind ourselves and our families up in unrealistic expectations.  Instead there is an opportunity to excavate those passions that can heal the world, heal our communities, heal our families, heal ourselves.  

On this Mothers Day I dream this gift for us all... that we find the fire in our bellies that will lead us to join a movement that speaks to the humanity all around us.   If your passion is new life, support new life.  If your passion is adoption, advocate for that.  If your passion is gender equality, connect with a young girl and pour into her and then connect with a young boy and pour into him.  If your passion is the homeless, give.  If your passion is peace, serve a veteran.  

My passions are pretty obvious.  Gender equality, attachment issues for children, sexual violence advocacy, and a kinder faith expression within the church that stands on the teachings of Jesus.  Rather than feel anxious and bound up, I will spend energy on advancing those causes.  I will still enjoy cards and gifts.  I will still give cards and gifts... because I want to, and that’s okay too.  No guilt, no shame...just joy and love.

Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stuck In The Middle

Rachel Held Evans sometimes takes the loose ends inside my own brain and heart and weaves them together in her blog posts.  She does this in such a way that my loose ends get integrated into coherent thoughts and emotion and then suddenly I have my voice again.  Every time she does this through her posts I think, "Yeah, what she said" and then I feel compelled to throw my perspective into the blogosphere.  Last week Rachel dove into the issue that led me into a moderate stance politically, socially, and spiritually... and not just on the issue at hand, but really in all areas of my life.  I usually avoid the issue of abortion in this age because it is deeply personal to me...though not in the way you might think.  I have not ever had an abortion, but I have been up close and personal with a dear friend who has had more than one abortion.  I won't share that story because it is sacred and it is not mine.  I can share what it was like to live my life walking with her through hers because it changed everything for me and I could know longer see human issues in absolutes.  The world lost it's black or white nuance and questions started surfacing about every belief I held and it happened in rapid succession.

Read This:
Why Progressive Christians Should Care About Abortion

I think our nation has lost the ability to publicly proclaim that we just don't know the answer to some moral dilemmas in this current political and social climate.  We need to stop and reclaim the truth that we are failing to let into the light on the public stage.  In truth here's how I see it:

Humanity, policy, politics, faith, science, morality, sexuality...there is mystery and unknown within each issue.  On purpose.  God wants us to have the freedom to discover ourselves, others, and the Creator/ Redeemer/Advocate (God three in one).  

When we truly allow the light to shine over reality, it is hard to deny this one core dynamic that keeps the truth somewhat in the middle between all or nothing.  The unknown, the mystery, the undefinable, the subjective.  We can choose to be led by fear and deny or reject the existence of the gray.  We can also instead choose to be curious and humble in the face of not knowing and be challenged to grow and let go of control.

We live in a broken world and we are a broken species...but with grace,  healing and reconciliation are possible in the exact way God created this earth and humanity.  The earth is hard wired to repair and restore.  To use ash and decay to bring forth new life and beauty.  We too are made to heal and evolve.

The most important truth I know is that Love is absolute.  So no matter what the topic of conversation comes into play, love will guide my principles.  Love will guide my thoughts and with the intervention of the Advocate (the Holy Spirit),  love will guide my behavior.

So I proclaim... I am right smack dab in the middle with the issue of abortion.  Life is precious and it is a gift.  With this particular issue...both lives are a part of the equation, and in fact there are many more lives in the equation because a pregnant woman is always in relationship within least in relationship with a man-the silent partner that helped her get into the situation at hand.  And so everyone is affected, the issue of unplanned pregnancies does not exist in a vacuum.

I am grateful Rachel spoke up about feeling stuck in the middle.  She gave me the courage to stand up and say I don't know what is the right direction and to acknowledge that the answers are not one size fits all.  I have mostly stayed silent about this issue because I am in the middle, but I cannot stay on the sidelines anymore.  I stand with women who find themselves in the crossfire of the issue of pregnancy termination.  I grieve with the loss of life...whether it be the new life created within her or it be the life as she knew it...or both.  I see the anquish and I feel compassion.  I come alongside and I pray.  I can't fix it... but I can weep with my sisters and brothers.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Transcendance Movement One- movement static

depravity- a nature of isolation

movement static

movement static trapped in webs
underneath my own harsh hand
nothing flows freely within my soul
a tight ship to drown my sorrow

order will chase out the shadowed glance
structure to mute fear and torment
choked back humanness cracked
prove that perfection can grace my path

isolation promises to push down my lacking

Friday, May 3, 2013

From a Certain Point of View...

The perspective of an artistic eye creates a good photograph...not a good camera or photoshop...though such tools help the process of creation become more exciting.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Embracing My Inner Choirgirl

A very good percentage of the music on my iPod is music covered by the Glee Cast.  Even if I already own the song by the original artist, I am a going to buy the Glee cover...because Glee music makes my feel joyful.  Even when the song is dealing with sadness, despair, or brokenness, my listening experience still brings me joy, because I feel more alive and in touch with my life force when I let my inner choirgirl come out.  I am not alone in this experience.  When I had to do the horribly wonderful and wonderfully horrible high school thing, I chose a path that was conformist and I was well rewarded for that path.  I never would have joined choir at school, even though I sung in my church choir for something like 7 years during junior high and high school.  For me it felt like social suicide then. May be if I had let my inner choirgirl breathe during those years of identity formation, I would not have contemplated actual suicide in that time of my life...but then I cannot live my life in reverse.

I did not have the control to stop the exposure of people and situations that were toxic to my soul back then.  Now I do have that control and embrace it firmly.  I did not have the resources to learn how to nurture my inner choirgirl and help her heal during those years.  In adulthood I found those necessary resources and I worked things through,  even as it is an ongoing process.  I believe this is an experience many adults can bond over and I even believe it is a purpose of the Glee creators to bring this phenomenon to the surface.  I believe that this is the reason the show has had such popularity.  

High School is the preview to what skills will be necessary to navigate the "real world".  How a person navigates those tumultuous years say a lot about who we are and who we are going to become.  It is for that reason the issues can trigger so much inside of us regardless of whether we block our experiences out because it was a bazillion years ago, or if we relive it over and over again just like it was yesterday. Living in community is really hard sometimes.  Being an individual within a community is even more difficult.  

Here is the point where I'm going to take a sharp turn... I've been speaking about something cultural and I'm turning on a dime to give some commentary on an issue that I don't feel is being addressed in the church right hold on tight...

I believe the current emergent church movement is mostly failing to reach new believers in North America in this time because we have confused a few important details.  I have witnessed some leaders in charge across the country and across faith traditions being led by the idea of community...or at least some form of it.  I have felt my inner choirgirl pressured to conform to the ideal of what a cool Christian is supposed to be like in this age and then judged when I don't conform.  I have been a part of teams with people who have clearly not worked through their issues from childhood and so are bleeding them out around the conference table while ministry programming is being developed.  I have bled out on the table trying to create the magic elixir to reach new people with the love of God and realizing that truth sent me on a different path.  I am doing my work to resolve my childhood issues, so now I stay outside the cool group but will not stay silent anymore about what I see becoming a huge issue.  

1.  The church is not supposed to be a place where leaders get to work out the problems they carry with them from childhood, nor is it a space to allow group think to reign supreme under the guise of creating community.  Our generation of leaders is from an era of great brokenness.  Society brokenness, familial brokenness, personal brokenness.  Therapy is the space to address the effects of that brokenness.  Church should be the space to be free to be as created and redeemed...and not just for the leaders who get to form the inside clique.

 2.  Jesus was not a conformist.  What angered him the most was when people manipulated God’s love to meet their individual needs.  God’s love is free and has no limit.  Social justice is an important facet of following the example of Jesus, but it should not be the cornerstone.  Relationship needs to be the cornerstone.  Having the right *beliefs* isn’t nearly as important as loving people and their inner choir girl/boy.  

I go to church to meet God and become more like God...not to fit in.  I’ve noticed it’s sometimes a liability and a threat if I don’t want to dive into some form of forced community.  I was one of the cool kids in high school, it didn’t work out for me then and I refuse to try that out again in adulthood.  Who I am and how I live is way more important than sitting at the cool kid's table.  God is concerned with transformation and reconciliation.  Community is a great place for that work to take place, but only if the point of community is celebrating uniqueness, not requiring conformity.   God creates community and in my experience it happens organically, it cannot be programmed into existence by people that desire it.

...ah my inner choirgirl feels a bit better...I’ve needed to say this for years now...