Friday, January 11


It’s really hard to find the motivation to send Christmas presents to a person who hates you. Have any of you ever done it? Buying presents for the person that doesn’t like you can be a struggle, but you’re in the store anyway buying gifts for others and so you get caught up in the moment and suddenly giving them a gift doesn’t seem that bad. In fact, if you talk yourself into the right attitude it can seem like a noble gesture. You’re being the better person. You’re embracing the spirit of the season and you’re living out Jesus’ command to love those persecute you.
But then you get home. All the presents get wrapped. During the season there are Christmas parties and lunches. You see your friends and relatives and one by one you give each person their present. But the ones for that person who hates you sit under the tree untouched. This person – thankfully lives far away so you aren’t going to see them this year. The presents will have to be mailed. You’ll have to get a box. Tap (which you have somewhere, but who knows where). You’ll need to figure out where you put that slip of paper that has the address. Not to mention going to the post office. If you’re like me and work downtown – that means walking 6 blocks. And of course it’s been raining and the building with the post office isn’t connected to the tunnel system.
Do you see all these hurdles? All the hoops you are going to have to jump through to get these gifts to this person who hates you? This person - who isn’t going to hate you any less anytime soon. It’s hard. There is no payoff. No warm and fuzzy emotion waiting on the other end, just a long line at the post-office and a high shipping fee you’d rather not have to pay.
But you do it anyway. Because you love your kid and your kid loves this person who hates you. Because you know that it’s the “right” thing to do. Because Jesus’ command to love rings loudly in your ears. Even if you can’t bring yourself to actually love the person, you know that you have to at least try.

Monday, December 31


I'm not going to lie, I haven't posted much because I often start to write than think, "Never mind. This is exhausting."

I am ready for this year to be over. Today feels like Christmas eve when I was small - bubbling over with anticipation. Tomorrow I will wake up and it will no longer be 2012. It will be gone forever and I will not miss it. It's been a place holder in time. I am working towards a Masters of Divinity degree. I am working towards a promotion at work at the same time I am working towards a new career. At the moment my life feels like that old saying "If you watch the kettle the water will never boil."

I'm not making any grand resolutions for the new year. I don't know what the new year brings. It is filled with a lot of "if this - than thats." So I am keeping it simple and hoping for just a few things: less anxiety, a lot more sleep, and joy - pure joy.

Of course no end of the year post can be complete without a list. So here is a list of the things I want to remember about this year - in no particular order.

1. Downton Abbey - this show is a wonderful diversion and allows me fall in love with Maggie Smith over and over again. It has been my savor in a time when there is nothing good on TV and I've read so much for school that I haven't read much "for fun" recently.

2. Holy Spaces; Holy Silence - I had the opportunity to spend four days in silent retreat at Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, NM. It was beautiful and brilliant. It was time away from and time with. The chanting of the Psalms is something I carry with me now.

3. Middle School - Alex is in Eighth grade. She will start high school in 2013 and if there was a reason to not want 2012 to end that would be it. She is my baby. She is precious. She is a teenager. She is aggravating. I love her deeply. I want to ring her neck. I want to give her space to become her own person. I want to demand to have my four year old who loved being my princess back.

4. West Elm - I bought furniture from a store for the very first time ever - couch and a rocking chair. They were both floor models that just happened to be perfect for the space in my town home.

5. Gryffindor - He's had some health scares this year, but he pulled through. I feel like I am confirming just how much I love and value him every time I drive to the vet to buy his ridiculously expensive food.

Saturday, October 20


Last week I was sitting in my local Starbucks, studying. This song came on the radio. My heart swooned. It's just that kind of song. 

That night there were two young women who were working the coffee bar. This song came on the radio. This conversation followed:
I don't like this song.
Me either.
What's it even suppose to be about?
Yeah, no kidding. 

That night there was a middle aged gentleman who was buying a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper on his iPad. This song came on the radio. This conversation followed. He looked up and made this simple reply:
This song is about love. 
The redemptive power of love.

Last week I was setting in my local Starbucks, studying. This song came on the radio. My hear swooned. This conversation followed. A simple reply was made. It's just that kind of song. 

Wednesday, September 26


The personalized licenses plate craze seems to be hitting an all time high. I’m not sure what it is about the 9th floor of the downtown garage I park in each day, but that is where I’ve seen the best ones.  My top five:
            5)   GDLUVU
            4)   FRODO
            3)   ZOMBIE
            2)   OB1
            1)   DU OVR

I  just noticed the DU OVR plate this morning and it instantly stole my heart. I think the fact it’s on a BMW makes me wonder that much more, “Why do you need to DU OVR?”  

Of course everyone could use a do over now and then. This weekend I had the privilege of leading a writing workshop for women who are in recovery. As we went through the day and I heard these women’s stories I could see just how much my life paralleled theirs. I’ve done a lot of the same things that lead them down the path they are on. In the lottery of life I have struggled, but I have also had more breaks than any one person deserves. I have been forgiven, saved by a safety net that was thrown out to catch me even before I had done anything to earn it. I’ve needed more than one do over and I’ve been lucky enough to get more than I can count.

One woman shared her frustration of looking for a job as a convicted felon. “I’m just looking for a do over and that’s hard to come by.”
She was just relaying a fact about her situation, not really looking for a response. Honestly I didn’t know what to say because she is right. We don’t give out do overs that easily. We want to limit the number of chances we give people because what they did was so bad.

There was a guy in the Bible who lied once and an entire village was slaughtered as a result. He committed adultery. He murdered. He was a prideful jerk who thought he had all the answers and when he failed, thousands and thousands of people died. 

So what does God say about him: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart,”

Did God get it wrong? David ran away and got people killed. How can he be called a man after God's heart?

Because grace is scandalous. Grace does not make sense to our tiny human brains. We can’t control it. We can’t limit the number of do overs people get. And when we try to I think it breaks God’s heart.
The God I serve accepts every repentance and confession. The God I worship works for the good of all humanity. I know a God who delights in you. A God who suffered on a cross not to show the limit of grace, but the expanse of it.

Friday, September 21


I'm fiddling with the layout of the blog. If it looks like I'm not sure which direction I want to take the design it's because I'm not. I'm just fiddlin' at the moment. So excuse the mess.

And now for a completely random segway...

Alex, my one and only baby is in 8th grade this year. Part of being in 8th grade means your parents get to buy an ad in the yearbook to congratulate you on graduating to high school... and show you how much they love you.

Alex wanted final approval on whatever picture I might choose to use so I let her pick 10 pictures that would be acceptable. She didn't want me to use a picture of her in a princess dress so this ruled out almost every picture I have of her under the age of 5. She also didn't want me to use a picture of her making a silly face or joking around. This ruled out almost every picture I have of her. She finally settled on 5 workable options. Here are 3 I chose:

This is Alex at our local rock climbing gym. I feel like I spend half of my life driving her here. I'm always in awe when I have the chance to see people do something that they truly love. Alex has a true love and passion for this sport. 

This is Alex on our most recent trip to Disney World. She is standing next to Bo, the 1950s cut out.
No, I don't know why either. Which makes it all the more fun.

This is Alex when she was  2 years old. I'm pretty sure she was officially the cutest 2 year old ever to walk the earth.

Thursday, September 20

I'm fine. Or not.

I never know what to share about these kinds of things, but I was talking about this with my yuppie lawyer sister and she said, “Write a blog post about this. I want to read it.” So here we go.
As I wrote about back in January, I’ve been taking shots. Back then I honestly thought that this would be over by now – that by July I would be on to just taking a pill a day. But see my doctor has been really good at ruling out causes for my blood clotting issue, but he still, 9 months and a bunch of tests later, has no idea why this is happening. The reigning theory is that all the chemo and radiation I’ve had possibly changed the make-up of my blood. As my doctor so eloquently puts it, “It could be your blood is just different now, but I don’t really know.”

I respect the fact that he has the guts to actually say he does not know. I’ve talked to a lot of doctors when they just don’t know how to scientifically explain why my body is acting the way it is. A lot of them like to use really big words to describe what is happening. Leaving it me to say “but you don’t know why" for them.
The problem I’m having is that this why – whatever it is – isn’t going away. We did an experiment last week wherein I didn’t take the shots and they tested my blood to see if it’s still clotting. It is. So the answer? I’m still taking the shots. They will test it again in 3 months.  

I’m just not really enthusiastic about that plan. It actually kind of blows my mind. I guess I’ve been hearing this idea that this is a change in the way my blood acts and in the back of my mind I’ve been imagining that these shots were reversing that change. This is just kind of reminder that actually we aren’t curing anything; we are just putting a band-aid on it.

Also I think it bugs me that I tell people that my body is doing this quite possible life threatening thing and then they look at me and I look perfectly normal. So their question is, “but you’re fine now right?” Which is true. I’m okay right now. I’m probably not going to die from this as long as I take these shots. But it feels like I’m sitting here with a tourniquet on a gaping wound and while I’m not bleeding to death RIGHT NOW… I’m not FINE either. Or maybe I am fine and I’m just too paranoid to see that. But which is it?

*Just as a side note before you ask, I am going to get a second opinion. But ug.. .what a pain the butt that's going to be... 

Monday, September 17

Where my mind is wondering

It was recently pointed out to me that I haven't posted in over a year. I'm not sure why. A lot has happened, and a lot hasn't changed. I have nothing of note to say at the moment, just random offerings, but I think it gives you an idea of where my head is right now.

German theological vocab word of the day: Sitz Im Laben. This is a phrase the German theologians used to shift the focus of reading the bible from a historical reading point of view to that of reading legend. So we aren't looking for the "What is happening in this bible story?" as much as we are looking for the sitz im laben - "Why is this story being told?" An important distinction to make I think. 
-I have just saved you about 100 pages of reading and hours of class lectures... you're welcome.

Random Quote from my music library: "It's not the end of everything it's just the end of everything you know ... head vs heart equals bicycle vs a car."
- Bob Schneider, "Bicycle vs Car" from Lovely Creatures

Alex Quote from Friday: "Are you going to turn that down when we get to school? Cause I'm going to open the door, and I have to live with these people 8 hours a day 5 days a week and I don't want them to think I listen to that stuff... It's YOUR music, not mine."
-We were listening to Nirvana when she said this. Can I just add that it breaks my heart a little that she disowns Nirvana which was my all time favorite band when I was her age. At the same time, that she can't identify with Kurt Cobain's lyrics is probably a very good thing.

Insight from my spiritual director: The most complicated role in life I am tackling at the moment is "mother." That the best thing I can do is to pray for my daughter every day. The best best thing is that I reminder her, tell her, show her that I love her every single day - no matter what. The rest is in God's hands.
- I found this to be really powerful and so I just wanted to pass it on even though I realize you might have theological differences.

On a Political Note: What the hell America? Let's just stop, realize that we are human beings and then start over - this time with dignity and understanding.