Confessions of Single Woman

This morning my Facebook update said,
“The morning after your ex husband convinces you to sign up for an online dating service. Like buyers remorse only a lot weirder.”

I realize there are several things about that sentence that are strange.

So yes, I hung out with my ex (or, as I like to call him, my former husband) yesterday for the first time in two years. There is no handbook on the ways to go from married to divorced to friends, but there are probably few who could or should do this. Our situation is special for reasons that I won’t share here, but you’re welcome to ask me about in person.
It was so good to catch up with him, to be like friends again. We live very different lives now, but are still family.

And, like family, we chatted about stuff like jobs, challenges, joys and dating. The last was a short story on my part because I don’t really date. He asked if I’d ever tried online dating and I said it had never occurred to me to even consider. So he gave me the skinny. The down-low. And I thought, “Huh. Why not?”

It was interesting last night to fill out a profile and answer questions.

But then…. Continue reading “Confessions of Single Woman”

Caffeinated Rant

This morning in the coffee shop I had this really typical conversation with a young lady. I ordered my usual, a decaf quad Americano. Well, it’s my new usual, really. I had the stomach sick about a month ago and since I wasn’t able to eat, I kicked the caffeine. I figured I might as well keep up that good habit and switched to decaf.
Anyway, so the conversation started with my order and next  came her questions and then my confession that I don’t drink caffeine. She then asked me, with sincere bewilderment, “How do you wake up in the morning?”

In some ways I find this kind of thing delightful because I like to mess with established assumptions about reality, but in other ways I find it disturbing that in so many ways we’re all still in high school.

I’m not making jabs at this young woman because The Need For Coffee is just a symptom of a bigger issue. That issue is our fenced in thinking.

You might be shocked to hear a missionary invite you to be open minded, but that’s just what I’m doing…. Continue reading “Caffeinated Rant”

Level Up?

Today I advance one year in the age game. I’m not bothered by the number, although since I spend most of my time with people a decade younger, I joke that I’ll be turning 29 again.

The day did not start out so good. I woke up a little after 5 to work out…

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otherwise known as walking to Starbucks. The weather report had predicted snow, but this wasn’t as much snow as tiny shards of sharp ice – all flying at my face, regardless of wind direction. About a block and a half from home I slipped on the ice just in the way you see a person encounter a banana peal in the cartoons. Yes, I did laugh at myself, but I also landed in daintiness square on my right hip. If there were a movie of my life, it should start with that moment. It also may end with a  similar moment in fifty years.

Because I’ve been watching this tv show lately about spies, I actually considered the rest of the walk as a stealth challenge.

For a second.

Then I considered what it could feel like to fall on my throbbing hip again and I decided that studying today is quite enough of a challenge.

No other incidents in the last three hours since The Fall, but I’ll keep you updated. In the mean time I’ll be here with a mocha my roommate bought me and my nose in this commentary on Philippians.

Voices Carry

Sometimes I talk really loud. Sometimes I say The Wrong Thing too loud in The Wrong Place.

You probably never do this.

Those of you who walk around using your European voices (that’s what I call it when people speak at quieter decibels), you may not understand that sometimes – just sometimes – my volume control gets all wobbly and turned way up and I don’t notice until it’s too late.

For example, the other day I was hanging out at the pool with some friends. I have friends. There’s this pool. We hung out. No big deal…. Continue reading “Voices Carry”

Wanderlust and Wonder

Geography is not my strong suite. This, despite the fact that I have a strong desire to visit every nation. I think this desire stems from the fact that of all things I am mostly relational. Even my enjoyment of nature comes from the fact that I unconsciously (and consciously) interact with animals, nature and even inanimate objects as if they are secretly human. So when I meet someone from another place and I get to know them a little, I want to see where they are from.

I saw this documentary a few years ago that took place partly in Mongolia and afterward

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I would sit around imagining what it would be like to be there in person. What does the air smell like? Is the air fresh like my hometown in Washington or is it still and full of decades of bodies and meals cooked like downtown Chicago?.. Continue reading “Wanderlust and Wonder”

To Build a Home

I’m grateful to realize that the story I’m about to share has already been shared with several friends in person. Living in Colorado and being so busy has made that a  near impossibility for the last year. I forgot what it was like to get to share a story so many times out loud that it gains something vital in each telling.

To begin, please imagine you hear swelling, dramatic music

I’ll start with age 17 when I felt called to be a missionary. I thought that meant I should go to Bible college and although I didn’t actually need to go to college, God used that year at Moody Bible Institute to work a lot into my life. After failing horribly in my classes and feeling horrible for a good, long year, God led me to an organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I did a DTS (Discipleship Training School) for 6 months in 2003 and had a real experience in missions. During that time I came to the realization that what I really needed was a real home and community in the USA  from which to be sent.

I had no idea how to find a home, let alone how to become a meaningful part of community…. Continue reading “To Build a Home”

Tuesday’s Child

Sometimes posts are more fun with bullet points.

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* Next week we start on the Old Testament! I’m actually excited. I feel a kinship with those ‘children of Israel’… and most of the adults, too.

* I’ve been having stomach problems for a few months, so I decided to try cutting out various things for various times to see how my body reacts. Right now I’m off gluten. That’s on top of not eating sugar or sugar substitutes. Whoa…. Continue reading “Tuesday’s Child”

Whole Hearted

Life, as a concept is much like a real human being. Blood and bone and muscles… gooey organs packed into a flesh container. It seems pretty precarious and complicated – how it functions, grows and then deteriorates. And so many things effect its processes.

There are positive equations- exercise, vegetables, sunshine, sleep. Friendship, hugs, worship of God, rest.
And negative, too- laziness, sugar, drugs, insomnia. Enemies, loneliness, self-centeredness, distraction.

We think if we just do enough of those positive things to tip the scales then life and body should be good. But there are always factors outside of our control.
And where does “inner peace” come from? Do you experience it? I know that I do and sometimes the distance between inner war and inner peace is merely shifting my focus. Sometimes it’s a matter of doing battle against whatever is coming against the peace. Sometimes I have to do battle with myself.

Where am I going with all of these random thoughts?… Continue reading “Whole Hearted”

Kissing the Day

The sliding glass door in my room faces East. In the morning I wake up before the sun, shower and then, once my roommate is up, I open the curtains. This is just a little before 7am and the world is light, but that hazy, cold light that makes me feel a safe distance from the duties of the day. I set up a cozy little nest on my bed, then and hang out with God for a bit. My mind is sleepy and messy at this point, songs from the day before, moments, phrases, loose threads from the dreams I had in the night… but this time is sort of about letting go of those things and focusing, expressing gratitude, confessing need….

And then the sun makes its ways up the sky in earnest.
As I mentioned above, my room faces East, so as the sun climbs the sky, it peaks over some low hills and  paints itself on the wall next to me in a cheerful orange and then hits my face.

If this happened as a way of waking me up I might find it annoying but, by this time I’ve had my shower and have come to some form of acceptance about being alive for the day. It’s more like a big, happy kiss from the day.

The sun has a lot of ground to cover, so my moment with her is brief.
But awesome.

I just now realized that January is done… Phewf.

Lunch for Thought

I’ve been in Colorado Springs for a week now! It has been a good week. A tiring week.

After spending a few nights recovering from the stomach flu, I started one of my new jobs on Monday as the lunch cook. Last week and this coming week I am partially assisting and partially in charge as I learn how it’s done.
The fun and slightly nerve wracking part of this job is that there are two culinary arts schools happening here right now, so I share “my” kitchen with  a ton of chefs and student chefs. When I expressed that this was a bit intimidating to me, one of the teachers told me I should look  on the very bright side- if I ever get stuck there are a lot of people who know what they’re doing and I can ask them for advice and help….. Continue reading “Lunch for Thought”

Blue and gold day

There’s something about Colorado Springs… in the old suburbs… that reminds me a lot of Chicago.

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I spent the day at my friend Kris’ house on Sunday. We baked, she raked, I took pictures… we went to dinner and then watched a movie. It was really lovely.

On my photo excursion (around the block) I kind of marveled at the crisp, blue and gold beauty of the day.

I could not really capture it the way it was because it involved so much more than color and shadow.

But also the colors and shadows were in glorious splendor…. Continue reading “Blue and gold day”

Cool for School

Connection.

My original plan for this blog was a way to connect with My People as I travel to who knows where as a “missionary”. I put that in quotes because sometimes I think the distinction

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between every day Christian and Missionary is imaginary. Not much about me has changed from the when I drove off in my little, white car several weeks ago.

Oh, wait, I forgot. The paycheck. That is different.

Also, as a class we pray together quite often. That is different…. Continue reading “Cool for School”

Unbirthday Gifts

Currently I am sitting across from two of my nephews. Randall and Jonathan. They are 10 and 11 years old. Cousins who are also friends. Randall is fake coughing to make me laugh or … annoy me? He is also a little annoyed that I’m writing about him on the internet. Jonathan explains that I may be planning world domination with my typing. So we sit across from each other and make silly faces and noises. When he discovers that I’m  typing about our interactions, Randall furrows his brow- an impressively clear message is given.  He is not pleased with my public communications about him.

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Later in life he may be both proud and embarrassed to know what an amazing Aunt he has and how much she adores him.

But this is not what I meant to sit down and write about…. Continue reading “Unbirthday Gifts”

Threesday

Writing a note to someone who asked how I was doing, I realized I’m sitting in front of a large group of threes.
3 shifts left at Starbucks (Saturday is my last day working there)
3 years is how long I have worked at Starbucks
3 weeks until I leave for Colorado (I’m shooting for September 10th)
3 months of being a student in a YWAM school (called The School of Missions Communication)
33 is my age
3:30 is when I have to be at work today
$3,000 is how much money I will need for the 3 months of school

I like this kind of list because it makes me feel like stuff is important and meaningful in a way that is bigger than me.
Does that even make sense?

What are the 3’s happening in your life?

The fence between Solitude and Loneliness

Solitude is a good thing, right? I think so. I think it’s possible to find solitude when I am not alone but what happens when I’m alone is the interesting thing because it seems to happen so rarely.

There is always the possibility, in this alone kind of solitude that things will turn south towards loneliness.  Is this the point when you know you should reach out to others? What if it’s the middle of the night and you just can’t sleep?

Last night I was in this very situation….. Continue reading “The fence between Solitude and Loneliness”