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a weekend prayer

7 Apr


This is the day that so many call “Low Sunday.” People are worn out after the extravaganza of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
I get the feeling.

It’s still Easter, yes. But the alleluias are quieter, subtler. And that’s okay.



what i’m into {march 2013}

4 Apr


I’m a blog stalker. It’s true.

A ton of my favorite bloggers post monthly about the books, music, TV, and links they’ve been loving. I love lists. I have ever since my high school days, when I cut out the “Modern Library’s Top Books of the 20th Century” list from the newspaper and started highlighting books as I read them. (Not a nerd. Ahem.)

Since I’m blogging every day during the Fifty Days of Easter, I decided to summon up my courage, stop blog stalking, and actually write my OWN “What I’m Into” post. Here’s what I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, and doing in March.

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the rising

2 Apr

“It is not enough to celebrate Easter and say, ‘Christ is risen.’ It is useless to proclaim this unless at the same time we can say that we have also risen, that we have received something from heaven. We must feel appalled when the tremendous events that took place, the death and resurrection of Jesus, are proclaimed again and again and yet actually nothing happens with us. It has no effect.” -Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, in Bread and Wine

The day after Easter, I am not sure what to do.


On Easter, I rise.

We go to church. We shout our alleluias, we sing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” Afterwards, we feast. I cook a turkey for Easter dinner, my first ever, won in a trivia contest. (Don’t ask.) Josh and I watch basketball with some friends, eat turkey and potatoes cooked in cream and carrot cake, drink good beer and good wine.

And we go to bed, and then it’s back to life the way it was, before the Lenten disciplines, before weird lifestyle changes or diets or food given up. Christ is risen, and things are back to normal.

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high tide

31 Jan

The sun is sinking in the sky as I watch the waves roll in.

la jolla cove

It is October. We’ve been Southerners-turned-Californians for a month. It is hot outside, hotter than I thought it would be. I am looking for a job.

I have been looking for a job every day. I sleep too late. I go to the public library. I dig through the bargain bins at the grocery store, see how much food I can buy with twenty-five dollars. I play fetch with the cat. I walk around the labyrinth of graduate student apartments until the midday heat is too much.

And I look for a job.

It’s been just a month, but I am already panicked. I keep ten browser tabs open. Temp agencies, Craigslist ads, calls for medical study volunteers, human resources from all the area colleges., which makes me more panicked with its angry red bars that mean there’s more money going out than coming in. I feel helpless. I have no idea how people stand unemployment for years.

Josh comes in the door as I am walking back and forth, bedroom to kitchen to living room to spare room. “I need to get a job,” I tell him. “I still don’t have a job.”

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one word for 2013: here

17 Jan

What we need is here. –Wendell Berry

california coast

Four and a half months ago, we drove our boat of a Buick through the desert and into San Diego. It was the last leg of our cross-country trip. Two weeks, 3000-some miles.

“Do you want to stop for lunch in Arizona?” Josh asked me. “No,” I told him. “I just want to get there.”

We had waited to be here for six months, since Josh accepted the offer to study at University of California, San Diego. And even though we didn’t know where here was then, we had waited to be here for years. A place where I could be in ministry, where Josh could study and teach. Where we could be together, both doing the work we had been called to do.

We pulled into a space at the grad student apartment complex. Opened our door with our key. Moved in the few boxes that we had fit in our Buick. And we began again here.

Sometimes I have been good at being here, at being where I am.

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what it is

8 Dec

We start our Advent practice six days late.

I have been working fifty, fifty-five hour weeks between my two jobs. One I’ve had for a month, the other for two. I just learned how to put in schedule requests at my second, so I work late Saturday nights, driving pizzas, sweeping flour into dustpans, mopping the floor. I get home at eleven-thirty Saturday night, rise at seven on Sunday morning. At seven-thirty, we are out the door.

“Do you want to read some Scripture, pray, light the Advent wreath?” I ask Josh in the evening, after work. We have no Advent wreath, no candles, no matches. We read the passage–Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them–and then we sit in awkward silence. “I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, this Advent practice,” Josh confesses to me later.

We sit down, watch Rudolph, put together the little tree, drink our eggnog. It is 10 pm, after my shift at work. We are tired, but this is the time we have.

It is what it is, I learned to say a few years ago. I don’t know when. I say it with a sigh of acceptance, resignation. And what I mean is this: But it’s not what it should be.

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23 Nov


Two weeks before Thanksgiving, my grandfather died, and we flew East on a jet plane. A couple days after that, I got the second job I had been praying for.

One week before Thanksgiving, the woman in front of me slammed on her brakes in rush hour traffic. I slammed on my brakes too, but not fast enough. I felt metal on metal, my first car accident, and I cried.

A day after that, I went with Josh to trivia night and won an entire Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a twelve-pound turkey, and I laughed.

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quiet around here

10 Nov

It’s been quiet around here.

After 31 Days of Healing, I was tired. I’m not gonna lie. I had planned to take a couple days off to rest from writing, watch election returns, and pour myself into my new job.

This past Wednesday, my grandfather passed away. He was 86, sick for a long time. Longer than he liked.He hated fuss. He hated hospitals. He passed away quietly, in his bed, in his sleep.

Planning for meetings and programs can easily change to packing suitcases and flying across the country. Plans for an election-related blog post and a new blog series can quickly change into looking at old Navy pictures of my Pa Pa with family and eating comfort food in my aunt’s house.

Just wanted to let you know what’s going on here. I’ll be back, I promise. But for a while longer, it’ll be a little quiet around here.

quiet {day 28}

28 Oct

I can feel my soul getting thin.

That spring, I begin to know how I feel. For a few months, I rest. I stop the coffee. I stop the shoulds. I eat breakfast and lunch. I drink water and take my pills. I sing and dance and write three things. I stop freaking out, as much as I can, because I can’t afford to. A sermon or a paper or a perfect dinner is not worth a breakdown.

It’s as if the dial’s turned just slightly. At first, there is radio static. Then, I can hear myself, clear as day. I can hear what I think, what I feel. I begin to think simple things: This cake smells good. Those leaves are lovely.

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fifty-one minutes {day 27}

27 Oct

I ran my first 5K two months ago. “What was your time?” was everyone’s first question.

“Slow,” I said, smiling. I didn’t tell them how long. “But I finished.”

I finished. I watched the Olympics a few months later, as muscled women in uniforms ran. It took them half the time to run the 10K as it took me to run my 5.

I’m thin, but I’m slow. After eight weeks of Couch to 5K, my sides still ached as I jogged. I tried to ration my water, breathe right. But I still panted. I stopped too often, bent over, put my hands on my knees, and breathed heavy. I felt like I might throw up.

And I finished.

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