Thursday, September 30, 2010


What was missing? My sweater. When was it missing? This morning, thereby setting into motion the following series of events:

I searched frantically for my sweater watching the time growing ever closer to the time I needed to leave for class (at Stark) and then pass it. I gave up, and left very frustrated as this was my favorite sweater and from Anthropologie even. I drove about two blocks (sweater-less...which means wearing my blue shirt that is a "back-up", I never really feel "ready to go" in it) realized I was missing a folder I needed for class and turned back around. I searched for about 5-10 minutes in the house for it and gave up (again). As it turns out, it was already in my bag I was taking to school. At this point, I realize I am going to be over 20 minutes late for a 50 minute class. I check the attendance policy on the syllabus: I only get one absence so I decide to go for it and try to make it to class (after all I still have flu season to survive...I may need my one measly absence later int he semester).

I am making my way down 77, yes, rather quickly. I am mad about my sweater, mad about my folder incident, mad about attendance policies, and mad that I'm mad about any of this. It was at that moment I looked in my rear view mirror...and know exactly what's next--flashing lights. It was at this point I finally burst into tears and feeling quite ridiculous about that (who cries over getting pulled over??? apparently me).

The cop approaches, tells me I was going 83 (yes, perhaps I was out of control). I am hysterical and feeling absolutely ridiculous that I'm hysterical and wondering why I'm hysterical when the cop (who was very nice by the way) says "It's ok, I'm not going to hurt you." Seriously? Am I that out of control and hysterical? This really only creates more tears and hysteria for me. Finally, I get my ticket and I'm on my way and I'm now going to be 40 minutes late for a 50 minute class and I don't even know if this now constitutes being "present" for class (so much for flu season...if I'm puking, I'll bring a bucket).

So today I arrived at class 40 minutes late, sweater-less, soon to be 114 dollars poorer, and yes still hysterical and unable to calm down.

The good news is, the prof for my class is a genuinely understanding woman, and didn't think I was crazy for being hysterical(although I still do). Also immediately following that class is a four hour break between my classes whereupon I retreated to Starbucks and then Borders where I used my phone to make out a pictorial Christmas list of the books I would like this year. I also had a conversation with my sister and have now blogged. I think (I say this ready to duck) I have fully recovered from my hysteria and can now move successfully into my afternoon. Also if you look to your right, you will see that there are only 85 days until Christmas. This is a good thing and that alone should make anyone feel better.

Thank you all for listening. If you happen to see a brown Anthropologie sweater, size small...please let me know. It is still missing and I feel it should know that its misplacement has caused quite the ruckus.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So I'm trying to post because its been awhile, and I'm posting about reading because I always mean to and never do. That being said...I love this book. It's everything I could want in an anthology of poetry. Every poem in the book was chosen by Garrison Keillor for his NPR show "Prairie Home Companion". In the collection you can find famous poets like Dickinson and Whitman. You can also find poems written anonymously and it's a GREAT way to find new poets to read and enjoy. I discovered Mary Oliver and Donald Hall, among so many others.'s great.

What I love most about this book is it's simplicity. It really is exactly what it says it is--Good Poems. I love "picking at" this book. Grabbing it, opening it up and reading whatever happens to be on the page I opened to. I love picking poets and reading every poem included by them. I love picking a poem and reading it over and over until it becomes a part of me.

I love the way the poems are organized; into chapters with names like "Snow", "A Day", "Yellow" and "Music". It's so simple and common in a beautiful, wonderful way (except Dickinson...I never feel like she is simple...ok, so she's not my favorite).

If you like poetry (even a little)I cannot recommend this enough. Read it. Buy it. Enjoy it. It's wonderful ands often my inspiration for writing my own poems (or at least trying).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Yes, that is a countdown to Christmas you see to your right. I LOVE Christmas and everything about it. I fight off the urge all year to listen to Christmas music. I definately am one of those people that as soon as Halloween is over, I'm pulling out Christmas decorations,recipes,CD's, movies...all of it! I just can't get enough of it! So expect posts about Christmas. They are coming.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I'm awake and it's 6:48 am. I know, I know to many of you that's really not all that early, but I've actually been awake for hours....thinking. Dangerous, I know. I don't really know if I've been awake because of the things I've been thinking (which you'll soon find out what those are), or because of a nap yesterday, or because I had sweet tea too late at night. Who knows? All three? At any rate, for a few hours its just been me and my thoughts, and now you. Whoever "you" are, which is the scary thing about this. And what may make me wait until I'm a little more coherent before hitting the "publish" button.

Lately, I've been thinking about a lot of things. Thinking, not talking. This is ok usually. But lately, I'm not sure if my motives behind not talking are all that healthy.

I've been thinking about Christianity, about church (we've recently changed churches), about how really, a lot of the newer friendships in my life know nothing about this part of me. Nothing. I'm genuinely not a proponent of beating people over the head with Christianity, or standing on street corners with clapboards and megaphones, or hokey t-shirts, or tracks, or really anything like that, to me those things are fake, and shallow and not really anything that Christianity is. (I didn't used to feel that way...sadly)

What I'm talking about are that people that are friends and want to know me....don't know me. I'm not being honest to hide this part of me. I'm going out of my way, to not be myself. I actually feel like avoided the fact that yes, I would call myself Christian. If it is mentioned, my words are so filtered, among Christians and non Christians alike. If ever I describe my faith or my relationship with God, I feel like every word is guarded, chosen slowly and painfully, like they may be my last. (This isn't always a bad thing, sometimes that's just called good communications, but I don't feel that is my own goal when speaking this way lately). Or I feel I have to duck after saying them, like some Christian somewhere is going to get out thier doctrine stick and hit me with it if everything I say doesn't quite line up.

Why is that? This is the question I've been asking myself as of late. Why do I feel the need to be so filtered? Why among those who call themselves Christians and those who don't do I feel like I can't just talk? Why am I afraid, in this aspect of my life to just be me, just be upfront?

I wondered if I was embarrassed of what I believe, if I was doubting Not it. Am I being too worried about what people think? Yes, that has to be part of it. But why only with this? Why is it I can talk freely about anything else..even controversial topics like politics, teaching theories (so, not controversial around everyone, but you have to remember who I hang out with all day at school).

All I can come up with over and over as my answer (right or wrong) is Christians. Recently (meaning within the last couple years) I have seen the ugly side of Christians. I have seen the judgemental, "well meaning" but mean spirited Christians. I have seen the Westboro Church side of Christianity>. I have seen close friends be hurt by those who would also call themselves Christian. I have seen Christians say nasty things too each other. I have seen Christians turn doctrinal molehills into mountains. I've seen them unable to listen, grieve, and do things that people (christian or not) do.

This is it. This is why I struggle lately. This is why my soul feels so worn out and tired, and I lay awake at night, thinking of these things. Wondering how and why and what makes people act like this. Wondering how and why and what my reaction should be, and trying to figure what my own reaction really and truly is. I am afraid to speak to Christians about what I think (see above paragraph as to why, or the part about the doctrine stick), and I am embarrassed to associate myself with the above Christianity to those who don't believe it (see above paragraph as to why).

Even in all that though, this is what I know, and what I need to preach to myself (over and over and over): The above Christianity, is not Christianity. It isn't the Christ I know, and it isn't the Christ that ever existed. Christianity isn't hateful, its not ruled by guilt. The point of it is not to beat the whole world or Christians into some nice neat "christian" mold. It is actually quite the opposite of that. Christianity and Christ are life giving, freeing even, when understood and accepted for what they really are. There are moments, for me at least, when all that is easier said then believed given recent experiences and having the Quran-burning church at the forefront of the media.

Please, please know after reading all this that I don't hate Christians (I'm one of them after all). I don't hate church. I believe it is capable of being the most world changing, life changing, soul changing thing on the planet. I don't hate Christianity, I believe it to be the most world changing, life giving, soul changing thing on the planet. And yes (for those with your doctrine sticks..I'm half kidding..sorry) I still believe in only Christ (and in the importance of doctrine for that matter). What I believe hasn't changed. That I go to church hasn't changed. What I want that to look like carried out in my own life--that has changed over time, and I'm more then ok with that. Know to, that I am still working through all of these things. This post of this blog is not my final statement on Christianity and Christians. It's just where I am at this point in this beautiful, messy, thirst creating, thirst quenching, wonderful, sometimes terrifying, wild, precious, abundant life that is Christianity.

So that was it. My (almost) unfiltered thoughts on my current Christianity (I'm still giving it a little time before I hit the publish button though). :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

stretchING (myself thin!)

It's September. Which means back to school, a few more hours at work, we have a new small group, field studies at local schools, not mention,all school related activities come with a commute up to the Stark County needless to say life is busy. Right now it feels like every hour every day is a precious commodity that must be spent wisely and carefully (in a different way, shouldn't all of life be that way?). Work added an extra hour to my schedule in the morning and I could feel the noose tightening, and the questions of "When will I study, do laundry, sleep?!" All this to say I feel stretched out. As Biblo Baggins would say "Like butter, scaped over too much bread..." (Sorry for the nerdy Lord of the Rings reference, I love it). I don't just feel stretched out in my time, but in all of my resources. Mentally, emotionally, physically (running around in this heat is exhausting!)

September also brings one of my favorite times of the year though, fall. I love autumn and all that comes with it. Brilliant colors, cool quiet evenings, back to routine, chilly mornings, Halloween, carving pumpkins, fall festivals, sweaters, hoodies, soup suppers, the crispness in the air...ahhhh....I could just drink it up. Yet sometimes with all that is my life going on right now, it's hard to stop and do just that. It's going to be incredibly easy this semester to not take time to do the things I love, like drink cider slowly, read books I love, blog, felt, cook, and go for walks.

It's easy as people to feel like if we aren't constatnly accomplishing, and checking tasks and goals off our list, that we are failing. I thnk goals are important and so is a sense of accomplishment. We need it as people, but it can't end there. We need to stop and breath and drink it all in just as much as much we need to accomplish and feel like our life has momentum.

I know this is all obvious and really I guess most of life is, but it is usually the obvious that we miss so easily.

Anyway, I feel like I write this post a little hurried, knowing that in the back of my mind I need to iron my pants, change for work, pack my bag for school, clean up the kitchen etc., etc., ect...but it was great to even to take a few minutes to write and think and reflect. If you happen to see me racing from one place to the next, or furiously and frantically studying, feel free to remind me to stop and to stretch and enjoy life. :)