Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Finding the time to change I reach up into the sky where the stars shine and wait for Your resistance. Fly past the wounds and You invade my space in all the ways that only You can. All the times I can't find myself I find You. Spinning in the latest growth is the fight that I take to live, to know You, to be free. And You find me, breathing in Your love and looking up toward hope.

Hunker Down

When Hurricane Rita threatened to ravage the city of Houston, the mayor told all us citizens to either leave by Friday or "hunker down" where we were. We chose the second option, and spent three days preparing for the non-storm. I don't mean to make light of the situation for those who were affected, but here are some humorous anecdotes from my experience:

--To brace a glass door, we screwed a picnic table across it
--One house near mine boarded up their windows and spray painted "go away rita" and "bad rita" on the plywood
--While stuck in the horrendous traffic trying to get back to my house, a car with four guys passed us, then passed us again with all the men sans shirts
--When my grandmother got lost coming to my house, we went to look for her... we found her just minutes from my house but I had to jump out in traffic to get her attention

You have to laugh, right?

Saturday, September 24, 2005


My Grandma just gave me a Book of Etiquette published in 1921 that belonged to my great grandmother. It includes topics such as how to run your home, how to handle correspondence, and proper protocall for courtship, engagements, and weddings. It's hilarious. Some examples of good etiquette as set forth by Lillian Eichler are as follows:

--the first intimation of recognition after an introduction must always come from the lady
--extra engravings and crests on a woman's card indicate bad taste
--a "friendly" letter is different from a "social letter"
--after a man proposes, he must explain his financial and social status to her parents
--birthday parties for children are from 3-6 in the afternoon (unless you turn 16, in which case it's from 5-7)
--a cultured man is never angry, impatient, or demonstrative
--40 years of marriage is the woolen anniversary

The author suggests that this volume is written "not for the exceedingly ill-bred or for the highly polished, but for those who find a certain sense of satisfaction in doing what is correct (vi)." Approaching others with dignity and respect and conducting yourself in a gracious manner are important, to be sure. But living to the letter of the law in either faith or "social graces" simply leaves us all unhappy. However there is some good advice in this volume... having self confidence v. conceit, owning up to your mistakes and faults, possessing a friendly nature, and, of course, purchasing a typewriter as it is a social necessity.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Tradition, Part Two

Feminist stay at home moms... it's possible, right? I think so. But what about this reaction: women in entrenched patriarchal structures really don't have that many choices. Just because one can see agency in a woman who chooses to move within and influence her surroundings, culture, institutional structure, etc. doesn't actually mean that she has any real choice in the matter. Society is still keeping her down.

I don't know. I guess there is a danger of making every woman a feminist (even those who reject that label) if application of the term is placed on every woman who chooses to be strong and influential within their life structures. Perhaps I'm forcing the concept of feminism because I want all of my Christian sisters to identify with the broader cause of women in the world. All women just aren't feminists, I suppose. Still, I think it's important to look for human agency in all people, because we all have elements of control within our circumstances, we all make decisions within our strictures.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Overcoming a Legacy of Inequality

We're all guilty of it. Treating others as less equal than ourselves, treating entire groups of people that way. It's become painstakingly apparent to me with recent events, recognizing systemic, generational poverty that in many cases has to do with racism. And even in teaching the history of our nation, so full of greedy men and women who thought themselves better than everyone else, and therefore feeling they possessed inherent rights higher than others.

But what I've realized is that regardless of my gender or race or class or whatever, I'm a beggar in the kingdom of God. In God's sight we're all on one plane, there isn't Jew or Greek or Gentile or male or female or intelligence level or status. We're all equal.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Living, She Grows

Living, she grows, anticipating the silence
Of a life walked out in the shadows, a life
Vivid, yet unrefined; redeemed, yet undercounted.
Still the silence is unwavering, forgiving,
Owing its treasure to the strength of its influence,
The influence of a life well-lived.
While counting the dreams, she wrestles with the
Undercurrent, wrestles with the questions
Of how best to work out salvation, how best to enjoy
The sunlight, how best to live. The decisions of
Today seem so far beyond yesterday, so far, beyond
Even the reaches of her own soul and intellect. Yet
There is relief, there is strength in that shadow if
That shadow is Your wings. Living, she grows, moved
To underscore a greater Name that bears the answers
To all the moments that leave us silent, leave us here.

(Copyright LAK, 10/14/04)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Someone Else's Smile

Trying to recreate.
All the outward signs of anything unworthy
Lead me to
Redemption, or the things
That make me whole.
Waking up
I turn to embrace
Someone else's smile in the way that
Only I can.
Leading up to the doorway
Of imminent success
Is my attempt at loss,
Counting it all rubbish.
Accepting You as gain.
Believing that You are more.

Copyright LAK, 9/2/05

Thursday, September 01, 2005

First Day of School

I love the first day of school. Even though I was homeschooled my sister and I always got new clothes for that first day, when summer had become boring and my brain was ready for a workout again. Now I can't sleep the night before the first day of teaching. I'm excited and anticipatory, usually a little nervous also.

This semester my school has such a high enrollment that we've brought in temporary buildings. Every time I move into a new classroom I'm a little unsettled, not quite knowing where to stand, or where to put my things. I got to school quite early so I could set up, and soon thereafter three students came in asking if I was Mr. Lopez for political science. I am indeed not Mr. Lopez so I called our division secretary and found that I was supposed to be next door. I then proceeded to call the IT department for a remote for the projector; they sent someone who promptly showed me that the remote was right there on the wall by my desk, where they said it would be.

The longer I teach the more I think I will have it together, but the opposite is really true. And I don't think that's a bad thing. There are so many things we can't control and even the one's we can I take too seriously sometimes. Thank God for the crazy days that turn out to be favorite stories.