Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy New Year....?

Happy New Year, friends.
Wait, what?
The first day of Spring marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.  Since I’m a white girl who grew up in Indiana, it seems a little odd that I’d choose to acknowledge this day, but I love the fact that I live in an environment where it’s okay for this white girl to embrace a new tradition.
My roommate is Persian - so I get the perk of living in a home with gorgeous Persian rugs and eating some of the best BBQ after her family spends the day in our backyard.  This is the first year she has chosen to celebrate the New Year on her own and she invited the other roommate and I to celebrate with her.  
Last weekend, a Persian New Year table appeared in our lounge.
thanks for the photo, D.

The table includes 7 things that being with “s” in Farsi.  Our Persian New Year table is unique in that it is made up of contributions from multiple cultures and belief systems - Muslim, Christian, Buddhist - it’s all there.  And I think it’s awesome. 
Today, she handed me $5. Apparently, you give money to people younger than you. I didn’t complain - until she reminded me that our other roommate is younger than me. :-/
With the new year should come a spotlessly clean house.  Well, I can’t speak for the rest of our house, but my sheets are washed, my floor is vacuumed, and my room is dusted. And in the cleaning process, I found a $50 gift card from Christmas I’d forgotten about, which will allow me to celebrate another Persian New Year tradition...
Buying new clothes.  Or, in my case, a new swimsuit.  Because the rain outside isn’t doing a good job of  reminding me that summer is coming.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

mourning what i missed.

i flipped through my journal tonight and found this and wanted to share my mess of jumbled thoughts (an unfinished work, for sure...excuse the run on sentences):


john 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Thanksgiving is in 3 days and for the third year in a row, I'll be spending the "family" holiday without my family and with people who have very different definitions of the word "family." I feel blessed to have a job that will pay me to simply be present.  I don't have to do or say anything profound - I just have to be there.

Two and half years ago, before my newly earned bachelor's degree had come in the mail, with a desire to serve the brokenhearted people of this world, a heart that was still healing from my own brokenness and loss, and a sense of independence, freedom, and adventure, I left my little town in Indiana - bound for California, not sure if I'd ever return.

I titled the last chapter of my life "discipline" ( I'd title this one "fear."  There's a sense of pride being 23 and living independently - it's like I've proven myself to the world.  I've proven that hearts do heal with enough time, that I can follow my dreams even if the dreams don't always live up to the "dream" I imagined in my head.

But at what cost? It cost me every holiday for the last three years with my family. I didn't really get to watch my baby sister grow up and become the adult she is today.  I wasn't there for my aunt's wedding or get to be there for a friend who has found her first love.  My family sometimes has to wait a week or more for my phone calls because in my busy-ness and adventure, I don't prioritize those relationships as I maybe should. More than the guilt of the present- I fear the future.  I'm not sure that my generation knows that "settling down" looks like because we're so transient and mobile. "Settling down" scares me. And is it a one time decision that I make to become "settled" or is it something that happens as life happens and all of the sudden, someday, I'm going to wake up and realize "Oh shit, is this what 'settled' is?"

I don't want to be fearful of my future because I know that I trust in a God who knows my heart and knows my fears and knows me better than I know myself.  But sometimes it's good to put it on paper. To remind myself that fear is normal and mourning what I missed is healthy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

my journal is lonely.


my heart is a mess.

i need to write.

Friday, February 4, 2011

If it were up to me...

It would be appropriate to wear my blue and green flannel Tom’s to work everyday.  
I would know the name of the man at Starbucks  who gives me free shots of espresso and with whom I’ve spent almost every lunch break this year.
Flights to Indiana would cost $50 each way.  
Everyone would be able to afford therapy and all therapists would be good.  
I’d send more Hallmark cards than e-mails.
A normal work week would be 30 hours.
Growing my own vegetables would be easy.  
Time would stop when I sit down and have a cup of coffee with my mom. 
I’d be able to understand why God seems so cold and distant.  
All kids would be able to swim.  
Cookies wouldn’t have calories.
I wouldn’t be scared of failing.  
There would be a Philz Coffee more conveniently located to my home or my place of employment.  
Deciding what I want to eat for lunch would be easy. 
All of my pictures from my lifetime would be digital and not hidden in my boxes in my parent’s basement.
I’d be inspired to spend more time on my blog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

love 'em or hate 'em.

New Year’s Resolutions.  Either you love them or hate them. For some reason, they’ve become really important to me in the last few years.  I always want to live my life with purpose and intention- like I’m living for Someone or something greater than little me.  Creating big goals at the beginning of every year is a way for me sit down and ponder and pray about what I am want my life to look like over the next year- how am I going to spend my time? who am I going to spend it with? I'm in a very different place today than I was one year ago: figuring out who I am, why I'm here, and what do I want my life to really look like, so resolutions were a little tough this year, but since I love them,  here’s what I dream my 2011 will look like:

+Run another half marathon (and maybe a full one).
I really want to run a marathon this year. Really.  I know my body can do it. I know my brain can do it. I know my emotions can do it.  But I don’t know if my schedule can do it.  Can I really commit to running for  4 hours every Saturday morning for three months? I don’t know yet. If I put it on paper, then I have to do it. And I still haven’t decided, so I’m just going to commit to another half.  Who’s in?

+Stay committed to my small group. 
Last year, I found a small group.  As my schedule got fuller and fuller, I was more and more tempted to quit going to my small group.  But I desire the accountability and community that a small group can provide and I’m praying earnestly that the group will be not necessarily what I want, but what I NEED this year.  

+Backpack in Yosemite.
Try backpacking: Check. Backpack with the girls: Check. Get my own pack for Christmas: Check.  Who’s ready to take on bear country with me this summer?!?

+Find new ways to worship.
Go to Mass.  Take communion in the privacy of my bedroom. Look for glimpses of Jesus at work. Skip church sometimes and be church in the world.  

+Post on my blog once a week.
It doesn’t have to be profound. It can be a quote, a picture, a prayer. It can be anything, but it must be once a week. I want the world to know that I'm still living and breathing.  Or actually, I just want to be challenged to write more.
And find out what rest means for me in this crazy chaotic world.  
+Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers once a month.  
Put them in my bedroom, on my desk at work, give them to a friend.  It doesn’t matter. I just want to invest in beauty.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

what kind of world...?

God has left the world unfinished. And with every action, we're continuing the ongoing creation of the world. The question is - What kind of world are we creating?

-Rob Bell, from Sex God

Sunday, January 9, 2011

reflecting on 2010

Two thousand and ten.  It wasn’t twenty-ten.  It was two thousand and ten.  It takes longer to say- but to me, two thousand and ten just sounded right.  I had intentions of accomplishing all of these goals this year, but alas, time passes, life happens and even our greatest intentions don’t come to fruition.  2010 was a year of a lot of transition and change for me- and to be honest, it was a really tough year.  I did some really cool things- like hiking to the top of Half Dome and obtaining what I thought was my dream job, but I also walked through a number of trials I never expected, didn’t learn lessons as quick as I sometimes wished, and spent much of the year trying to figure out who I am and what my place is in this world and in God’s Kingdom is (and what God’s Kingdom even looks like, for that matter).  
Here’s how I did:
///Study two world religions apart from Christianity and visit at least one other religious service.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to be more educated on, but just haven’t taken the time to study or’s the time. 
:::Half check.  I attempted to learn about Judaism and Islam.  I read a few books and watched a few documentaries, but there’s a lot more I want to learn.  
///Run a 1/2 Marathon. 
Even if I don’t run the San Francisco 1/2 that I’m planning in July, I want to be able to run 13.1 miles by the end of this year. Eeeeek...this one will take lots of work! 
:::SUCCESS.  Nope, didn’t run 13 miles in June.  It took almost the entire year to motivate myself to do it, but on November 14, I finished the Big Sur Half Marathon.  Accomplishing something has never felt so good. 
///Visit Yosemite.
...because I didn’t make it last year.
:::Check. Check. Check. And Check.  Because I went FOUR times.   Each time was completely different.  And each time was incredible.  I plan to spend much more time there this year.  
///Wrestle through my beliefs on homosexuality.
It’s something I should have done years ago, but has been staring me in the face more and more now that I live in the bay area. 
:::Fail. Kinda.  I tried. Really hard. For a couple months.  Then I gave up....because this is a HARD topic.  This is one of the most controversial topics in the church, especially in California.  This is a topic that garners more emotion and passion than almost any other topic and I’m still on the journey of figuring out what the Bible says and what that looks like in God’s Kingdom and in today’s world. 
///Read the Bible in two years.
My church challenged us to read the entire Bible, not quickly, but transformationally, so we’re reading the entire Bible with a 2-year plan. I’m excited about reading the Bible with more purpose. 
:::I have some catching up to do as I start this year- but I’m continuing this resolution into 2011. 
///Be involved in a small group. 
Why this one is so hard for me I don’t know. I love people. I love hanging out with purpose, but I can always find some excuse as to why I don’t fit in this small group or that small group. This should probably change. 
///Finish the book “Surprised by Hope” by NT Wright that’s been sitting on my bookshelf half read for almost a year.
:::Fail.  Still not finished.  But it’s still on my bookshelf.
///Buy Fair Trade coffee every once in awhile. 
I drink a lot of coffee, but since I’m not planning to curb my consumption, I should at least be contributing to the greater good of the world when I drink it. 
:::eh, I think I failed on this one, too. :(  I think I forgot this one was a resolution.  Lesson learned: go back over your resolutions at least once a month.  
///Start a blog. 
I’ve already filled up at least 20 entries on iWeb that no one has ever seen. Why not publish them? Even if I’m the only person in the world who knows where its at. :)
:::Check.  Read next year’s resolutions to see how I’m going to attempt to further this goal into the next year.
I don’t my New Year’s Resolutions to be the only indication of my growth or accomplishments over a year- because they are the tiniest glimpse of 365 days in a life.  But I love reflecting on the year in this way.