Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I am a woman

I am a woman.
what does that mean?

be feminine.
don't be masculine.
be discreet.
be gentle.
dress like a woman.
but don't dress in a way that points out that you're a woman.
but be a woman.
don't be a man.
except if you get the chance to lead.
don't lead like a woman.
lead like a man.
don't be passionate.
don't be compassionate.
don't be emotional.
but stay a woman.
don't be honest.
don't ask questions.
don't have an opinion. 
don't talk like a man.
but if you want to be heard, talk like a man, but not like a man.
be gentle and respectful.
don't be direct.
don't take anything personally.
don't get defensive.
don't get upset.
don't sound upset.
smile when you're overlooked.
smile when you're overlooked again.
smile when you're overlooked again.
laugh when a man cracks a joke about women.
laugh when "like a girl" is used as an insult toward a man.
hold your head up high.
but don't be too confident.
be straightforward in a roundabout way.
lead women and children, not men.
you are not a man.
be like a man.
don't be too affectionate.
don't hug.
don't love.
don't weep.
don't feel.
don't comfort.
don't be a woman.
but be a woman.

the list of do's and don'ts.
it never ends.
and constantly changes.

I am a woman.
I am fierce.
I am strong.
I am soft.
I am bursting with ideas.
I am wise.
I am a mother.
I am hurt.
I am healed.
I am unsure.
I am determined.
I am creative.
I am passionate.
I am right.
I am not always right.
I am loved.
I am not alone.
I am beautiful.
I am compassionate.
I am emotional.
I am logical.
I am intelligent.
I am learning.
I am human.
I am valuable.
I am a woman.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

It is what it is.

Its been a year since I stepped down from leading worship.

and its been two months since we basically sorta kinda "officially" left the church we've attended for 17 years... the kids still go to sunday school and youth to see friends.

its not at all awkward. o_0

I've tried more times than i can count to blog about things regarding both, and it's just something that isn't easy to write about. I still try because it's part of the process. but it's almost impossible to do... well it's impossible to do without someone else possibly being hurt or offended or misunderstanding or me miss-communicating. so maybe it's not impossible. maybe it's just really scary. and i just haven't found the words.

so this isn't a post ABOUT either... it's just a post sharing that I'm processing both of these things and it kinda sucks.

but the bright side of it is when dave and i talk late into the night and ask each other questions and share our thoughts. and also friends. friends who listen and journey with us patiently and lovingly.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3 little stories.

Scenario 1. a group of kids want to meet the president of the united states (imagine a fictitious president if you need too lol, I did). So they write him letters and invite him to visit their club cause they really want to meet him and experience his life, see what he's doing and observe how he works. They want to be like him someday. But his schedule is pretty booked for the next year, so they don't get to meet him.

Scenario 2. a group of kids wants to meet the president. They call around and find out he's going to be in Dallas for a weekend. So they ask if they can see what he's doing and how he works. So he says, "sure! Come to 1414 Roadway at 2pm", But their parents don't want to take them... it's too far and too expensive to drive the 2 hours to Dallas. And the traffic will be awful. And they'd have to ask for time off work. So they convince the kids that very few regular people get to meet the president... the picture they have of the president on their clubhouse wall is as close as most people get to the president.

Scenario 3. a group of kids wants to meet the president. they hear that he's going to be in Houston TODAY. they call him up and they ask if there's any way they can meet him. "He says, "Of Course! Meet me at 1515 highway Dr. at 4pm". Their parents don't want to take them, Houston is even further. But the kids continue to beg and plead, so the parents decide to send them on a bus; give the kids what they want and they don't have to be inconvenienced. The parents make sure to tell the kids not to do anything outside of what they're supposed to; ride the bus; take a taxi to the address, meet the president and then come straight home. So a couple hours later they're at a stop in Lufkin and a motorcade drives by. The kids immediately recognize that it's the president and they run to flag the driver down. 
"Mr. president, Mr president can we ride with you?". 
"Of course, but I must warn you, sometimes it's dangerous to ride with the president. People try to do terrible things to the leader of a nation, as well as the people closest to him. I promise you this though, I'll be right next to you the whole time."
This scares quite a few of the kids, they remember learning about Kennedy and Lincoln and other presidents and government officials that have been shot at. Plus, their parents would probably be upset if they change their plans without their permission and put themselves in danger. So most of them get back on the bus and stick with the plan. But one of the kids decides it would be crazy NOT to go with him, after all this is why they started their club to begin with, it's what they talk about at every meeting! But now he's alone cause his friends are on the bus. His parents will be upset he didn't follow their plan, but he remembers that they voted for him and he's heard them say he's a good and trustworthy and very powerful man. How could this be wrong?
He breathes in deeply, take the presidents hand and steps into the car.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Stuck in Forward?

I like analogies. I like painting a picture of a concept so that I can see it and grasp it with a little bit more understanding. Sometimes, though, the pictures I come up with are quite silly.

I was thinking through some stuff we've been reading, talking and thinking about and I was imagining the process of trying to explain such a shift in thinking and what it would look like to others. could I be more vague? possibly. During all this vague pondering, into my head pops an image of MATER. Ya know, Tow-Mater, from Cars, lol. Lightening McQueen has only ever driven forward, doesn't even have review mirrors, and then there goes good ol'Mater, freakin' him out by driving backwards.

Sometimes the things we step into look backwards to others. Sometimes the things we've devoted years to, look like they're moving forward but feel backwards. And sometimes you just have to stop and ask which way you're actually going and really examine whether or not you are actually heading toward the intended destination.

clear as mud?

Tha's alright... Mater doesn't mind a little mud either.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Home Again

Rested from hours and hours of travel with one bag unpacked and one still fragrant with the colors of indian spices waiting to be incorporated into this American home. Morning chai consumed and here I sit with a whirl of thoughts in my heart and mind, yet the numbness of jetlag requires an added effort to form them into comprehensive statements.

We arrived at our final destination and took rest. A short time later we watched the littlest ones practice writing letters and numbers. Then evening brought the next wave of kids home and we were once again all reunited. The following day was filled with more rest, chai, coffee, tasty kabobs and belated Christmas presents of coloring books, stickers and various small toys. In the days following we took lunch to a leper colony, went to the grocery store, drank chai, played with kids, sat on rooftops, drank chai, ate corn... yummy yummy chili lemon corn, talked, watched silly indian shows on tv, drank chai, ate good food, rested, drank chai, visited the kids preschool, ate more good food, fasted and prayed, celebrated, colored, drank coffee, laughed, played, drank chai, tickled, read, wished good mornings, afternoons and evenings, studied for exams, watched movies, drank chai, lived.

The tough part about going to a place like india is it's not always easy to communicate exactly what it's like. once you've been, well then you understand. almost like camping. imagine you've never been camping so someone tries to explain to you how it's like regular life, but different. you still cook, but by different means and with different tools and an altered menu. you have shelter but it's different than a house. it's simplified living really. you only take what's necessary. you dont have all the conveniences you might have at home, like a normal toilet or a printer, but you have everything you need. and you'll do stuff you don't normally do, like walk through woods, or swim in rivers, or fish, etc... or simply hang in a hammock or watch birds. it's just different. but it's not so different.

Of course one might simply call it a vacation. I've heard this said of short term missions trips. folks questions the benefits. I dont call it a short term missions trip. I call it stepping out of my normal context and learning abroad. learning other ways to live. other ways to love. other ways to pray. other ways to rest. other ways to eat. other ways to play. other ways to rely on God. other ways to see the world. other ways to see my world. and what I've learned comes with me, changes me, inspires me, motivates me... it helps me pause to think, it helps me question the status quo, and it gives me courage.

now to process what's next... what adjustments should be made... what things should be pursued. and not necessarily for years to come, but simply for the next few moments.

I'd like to extend many thanks to you if you were a part of this journey whether through prayer, finances, time, energy or encouragement. You all played an important part and I appreciate it.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

2 years

I was focused on our road-trip and then Artlife and then dove into a mural for three days (you can watch a fun little time-lapse video of it here if ya like) ...so i missed the 2 year anniversary of moving into our house.

But I did have a moment of reflection when facebook reminded me it had been two years. Two years since downsizing (aka we still have more than enough room) and moving into the not so great part of town (aka an awesome neighborhood where everybody knows everybody).

and what i realized is that even with the determination and even the "right" conditions... minimizing our consumption and clutter is a non-stop job; and i've totally let it slip. Where once there was an open space, is now filled with stuff. Some important and some not. Some that's hanging over my head to take care of and other stuff that just doesn't have a place and so on and so forth.... ether way it has weaseled its way into our house and I don't like it.

So I'm really hoping that these last few weeks of summer I'll be able to tackle this stuff and get back to freeing up space.

bye bye stuffy stuff.

Meanwhile, painting the mural helped a bit, cause of course I had to rearrange the living & dining room furniture. So now we're weird and our dining room table is in the living room and the living room is sorta spread out but we all like it, so we'll see how long this latest arrangement lasts.

Monday, June 27, 2016


It felt strange to walk into the house last night, mostly because it was clean, HA! OK and also cause that's when I notice how "old" it smells... like a resale shop... and I like it. Call me weird, but it's familiar and comforting. We've been in Mountain time most of the past 9 days, so i expected to wake up later than normal, but the friendly crickets outside my window made sure I didn't sleep in late. gee. thanks. :)

Looking back I just want to acknowledge and thank all the amazing people we got to visit and stay with; revisiting old friends and making new ones ...it's quite evident just how much of an impact people have in our lives. We shape and form each other more than we realize. We saw some amazing sights out there, but it's the people I treasured most.

And I have to say, the kids handled the trip phenomenally ...including hot temps, hot winds, freezing water, nosebleeds, schedule changes, and tight quarters for miles and miles. They enjoyed the humor of Abbot and Castello, the excitement in reading a map, the grandeur of the mountains, the magnificence of God's creation, and the reward of hard work. They made instant new friends in other states, and also graciously loved each other through the bickering, differences of opinion, stepped-on pillows and tiring days.