Anger and Gratitude

I have not really felt like “myself” in days.  This is both disturbing and a bit freeing.

Thursday I came down with what seemed to be the stomach flu. Since I can’t recall the last time I had the stomach flu, it was not what I guessed was happening to me until my fever rose up high in the evening. At this point I was at Jessica’s house and she and her husband let me sleep and sweat on their couch that night.
I guess I don’t really need to go into great detail about being sick except that it adds a strange quality to packing, saying goodbye and then traveling when you feel that exhausted.

I would like to write a post that sort of wraps up my thoughts and feelings about coming back to Colorado Springs into a tidy package but I’m not there yet. My internal landscape for this step is vastly unrecognizable to me. Part of me wanted to stay in Washington, part of me wanted to come back here but most of me wanted to curl up into a little ball and sleep for the rest of the month.
I do not like January... Continue reading “Anger and Gratitude”

Midwinter Nights Walk

It was probably close to 50F when I left Jessica’s house a few hours ago intending to come home and possibly read or knit. The walk from Jessica’s to the house I’m staying is short enough that I almost do not have to experience the weather before I am back inside. Thankfully a light breeze caressed my cheek just halfway home and I took the gesture as an invitation to take a walk. In addition to the nearly warm night air, my tummy was very full from some delicious, spicy dish I had just eaten at Jessica’s.
Add to that a head full of questions, prayers and thoughts, and you have the perfect ingredients for a very good, long walk…. Continue reading “Midwinter Nights Walk”

A still, small gaze

Last night I sat for a while with an 11 month old baby in my lap. He sat calmly staring into my eyes for a long time- searching my face with his little fingers and then taking hold of my nose as if it were my hand. He seemed to have his own inner stillness while he studied my face and it amazed me. The memory of it even now calms me and simultaneously reminds me of the last living moments I had with my daughter.

What do babies know that we do not? What we know may be summed up in the vast amounts of information and stimulation that they have not yet experienced. Everything is right now. Need, joy, hunger, want, adventure, intimacy, sleep….. Continue reading “A still, small gaze”

Wherever You Go

Great change is required inside me for there to be great change on the outside.

I don’t think that is an exact quote, but I heard something like this on Sunday and it just came back to me as I was sitting here. I had a photo shoot yesterday with some friends and I was here at the computer to edit them.  I also needed to call someone with YWAM in Colorado to tell them that I will not be coming as soon as I had previously estimated, partially because I am broke.

Confused is a good word to describe how I feel. How much detail should I go into here on the internet?
I think, for one, that it fits with my personality to wrestle with decisions, directions and changes. I just do that. Sometimes I wonder if I overdue this part of the process. On the other hand it’s possible that I need the struggle to somehow prepare me for the eventual change…. Continue reading “Wherever You Go”

birth is messy

I do not create reality, but here
standing around all physical and fluid
like trees and wet gravel roads and a weighty, rain swelled sky
is the world I am climbing through
not virtual but not entirely believable
undeniable and surreal

How can I presume to act upon this world
press in on living objects
blast out at broken systems?
How should I navigate that kind of heroism?
or stupidity
or soulless duty? and really mean it
How can I balance this moment with eternity?
Love both the world and the person in the room
effectively?… Continue reading “birth is messy”

Choosing Awesome

Sometimes I get stuck in a horrible place in my head. It’s the place that believes that my lot is destined to be difficult and my future is clouded and full of lots of stuff I really don’t want to do.

No joke. It’s not pretty to admit it, but  I feel like admitting this might help me get out of the ditch I find myself laying in the last few days.
I wrestle and worry, crunching my eyebrows together and looking for places to hide. But it’s a little like slamming my eyes shut and cursing my self inflicted blindness. Since I cannot predict the future, what stops me from anticipating awesome things?… Continue reading “Choosing Awesome”

In the Garden Alone

Last Sunday I heard a message about Jesus and his ability to identify with my brokenness.
Since I have been experiencing a lot of stress the last few weeks- with challenging assignments due, life decisions to make and a lot of important but forgettable details to hang on to, I was really struck by one particular way that he can identify…. Continue reading “In the Garden Alone”

Beloved, listen to me

Yesterday morning I spent some time reading Isaiah. For some reason this is the main thing I read when I read the Bible.

I’m drawn to Isaiah.
I find myself identifying with him, craving the words there to be spoken to me and also,  I’ll be honest, I find myself a bit confused sometimes. I used to struggle with making his words personal. I wanted to, but I often told myself,  “No, this was a long time ago and God was just speaking to Israel”, but there are actually many places in Isaiah where God speaks directly to those ‘outside’.

Here is what I read yesterday… Continue reading “Beloved, listen to me”

The Generosity of Ravens

In class we’re watching this video by Eric Foley about “transformational giving” vs. “transactional giving”.

I don’t know that I want to talk a lot about the video right now but I was really struck by a particular story the speaker highlighted.

So here is the story he highlights… it’s in 1 Kings 17:7-24.

God takes care of Elijah in the strangest ways. Just before the story I’m focusing on here, God provides food for Elijah with some Ravens! (This happens again with an angel  in chapter 19 when Elijah gets depressed.)
Then God sends him to this “donor”… this person who will take care of his need for food (since there is a drought in the area).

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The donor? A widow. A woman with a son and no husband. When Elijah asks her for a piece of bread she says that not only does she not have any bread, she is about to go home and make one last meal for her and her son with the very last of their food- and then they will die because it is the last of what they have in all the world to eat…. Continue reading “The Generosity of Ravens”

Intimacy vs. Isolation

Although we have been talking about Creative Process this week, the thing I have been thinking about (in my “spare” thinking time) is the difference between intimacy and isolation. They are, I believe, absolutely apposed.

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Intimacy: close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship, emotional warmth and closeness

Isolation: the failure of an individual to maintain contact with others, apart from others

I don’t think I know anyone who does not long for intimacy. There are several ways to experience this kind of closeness – but it is difficult to cultivate and maintain for some reason. It requires trust. And vulnerability. And there are a lot of unhealthy short cuts…… Continue reading “Intimacy vs. Isolation”

Words, Light and the Need for Sleep

Word and light.

Jesus has been called both.

I cannot speak life giving words or hold out sight giving light without being closely connected – INTIMATE – with the one who is The Word and the Light of the world.

(Just last night I was talking to God about intimacy with Him. I asked Him how I might have this since it is a real and ongoing need but it is also so often elusive.)

This morning I woke up after the usual disturbing dreams and felt okay. The room was clean and a new day was ahead but also my head was foggy and I felt really tired. Shower, coffee, breakfast and then down to the big room for worship with the whole base.
This time of worship was a bit too intense for me…. Continue reading “Words, Light and the Need for Sleep”

Telling the story

Telling the story. That is the point of this school I am doing. How do I tell the story? Also? What story do I tell? I often tell  the stories of my friends through photography or I tell stories with words about things that happen in my life. In class today we heard about William Wilberforce who worked most of his adult life to end the slave trade. He used many media tools to to help abolish this powerful and awful industry…. Continue reading “Telling the story”

Treading on the Heights

On Sunday I headed out with my good

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friend for a short back country camping trip. We left in the afternoon and headed up Highway 20 toward the North Cascade Mountains.  The weather was incredible!
It took us about 4 hours to get up to Harts Pass and since the hike we wanted to hike would take possibly another 4 hours, we decided to camp there for the night at The Meadows campground.
The colors all along the way were amazing and constantly changing. On the East side of the mountains near Winthrop, the colors are a palate of sage green and lavender… creamy yellow and a muted orange/brown.

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At Harts Pass there are a lot of burned trees- white and black toothpicks which were maybe used to poke all those bright holes in the night sky. Also, GREEN, really green with dots of purple, bright yellow and white flowers.

We were visited in the night by some large beasty thing. We did not see it, but heard its heavy footfalls in the gravel around our tents. I’ll be honest- I was scared. I think it was only a large dear or elk but in the dark I have a vivid imagination and to my ears it sounded more like some alien creature looking for freckles on which to feast.
Nevertheless we awoke uneaten early the next morning. After breakfast and reconfiguring our packs, we headed up again…  further up and further in…. Continue reading “Treading on the Heights”

Last bits of summer…

I added several more pictures to my “people” set. It would have made more sense if I could have attached them to the posts they belong with, but instead I will just tell you they are there so you know.

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The packing is going well. Victories are being won here. At the same time I am preparing to camp for a couple of days in the mountains…. Continue reading “Last bits of summer…”