Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Do/n't

I don't know who I am
But I do.
I don't want to leave
But I do.
I don't follow the crowd
But I do.
I don't fear the future
But I do.
I don't know how to love
But I do.
I don't' need you
But I do.
I don't remember your face
But I do.
I don't save you
But I do.
I don't want to be alone
But I do.
I don't realize your luck
But do.
I don't care what you do
But I do.
I don't forget you
But I do.

(copyright LAK, 11/26/05)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Why I'm a Feminist, Part One: Definitions

"I have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."
- Rebecca West, 1913.

I’ve been posting so much lately on my views about women in the world that I thought I’d expound on them. Being a Christian and a feminist simultaneously might seem really contradictory, but I disagree. So first, some definitions.

According to Webster’s, feminism is:

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

That’s a good start, but I would have much more to add to it. For starters, add “spiritual” to the above list. I’m going to define it this way (I'd welcome other additions):

1 : the belief in the equality of all people regardless of, and considering, gender
2 : the right to choices in all aspects of life
3 : see 2 above

A word about choices... The tenets of Christianity do not condone all choices, though we are given free will. Judging someone's choice is not what I'm talking about, but merely the right to exercise free will.

Finally, to quote the Femist Majority Foundation,

"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early because my sister is working tomorrow. My immediate family, my brother, my aunt, two cousins, and our Canadian friend shared this table. We'll be eating leftovers for weeks!

Remember Relief

Tonight I volunteered at my church for a Thanksgiving dinner for hurricane evacuees. I spent most of the evening visiting with a 20 year old woman displaced with her 3 year old son, husband, and her mother. We've all heard these stories, but I will never get used to them.

For this family, they evacuated from New Orleans to Baton Rouge during Katrina. Then, they left to Atlanta in anticipation of Rita. They found no assistance in Atlanta so they relocated to Houston. While he was away working, she, her son, and her mother, were robbed at gunpoint. Due to the robbery she missed her shift at work and was subsequently fired. They again moved, this time to another part of Houston. They are now trying to get settled, they need basic things like a coat for the baby and beds.

It's the most remarkable thing, sharing in the suffering of someone else. I am by no means anywhere close to experiencing what she has, but I sat down and let her talk and held her son and gave her food, and I tried to be there. I didn't do much to help the relief effort shortly after these storms hit, but I'll do something now. I am going to call this family and give them the material things I can and try to help them. Please hold me accountable to this, it would be so much easier to let it go. But it's too important. They are too important. And God is our relief.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cancer Survivors Survey

A friend of mine is working on her thesis in speech communications and needs participants for a survey. If you or someone you know is a cancer survivor, please see the info. below. I've been through the thesis process and I know how difficult it is, so contribute if at all possible. The thesis project is "Assessing the role of communication competence and social support between cancer patients transitioning to survivor roles and their oncologists." I feel that the study is groundbreaking and worthwhile, so there's my personal endorsement. Read on below.


Would you like to volunteer a few moments of your time by participating in a study for cancer survivors?

1. Are you also an adult over the age of eighteen years old?

2. Are you an individual who has undergone cancer treatment and is now in remission?

3. Do you have access to the Internet?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, you are eligible to participate in a study for cancer survivors. To find out more about how you can participate, please visit this website (http://www.class.uh.edu/comm/pages.asp?PageID=51).This study has been approved by the University of Houston Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (713) 743-9204. The faculty supervisor is Jim Query, Ph.D., (713) 743-8608.

Thank you,
S. B.
University of Houston

Monday, November 21, 2005

Inesperado (Unexpected)

My foster brother just finished a Spanish cd and last week he had a release concert for it. He lived with my family for 8 years and I still consider him my brother. But we don't talk much, don't really have much of a relationship to be honest. I see him on holidays and a few other times a year. But he was really excited for me and my sister to come to his show, and we were excited and proud to be there. I always wonder if he thinks about us, if he cares about us or realize what we tried to do and be for him. I don't mean that in a selfish way, but it's hard not to wonder.

After the show he gave us each a cd. I came home and listened to it (it's amazing... quite a long way from when his only song on guitar was the star spangled banner, hendrix style). And I read the thank yous in the liner notes... on the third line, in black and white, I read "to my sisters, thanks for never giving up on me."

I haven't, and I won't, and I'm glad he knows it, and I'm glad I know he feels it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Organizations for Women in the Church

The Center for Emerging Female Leaders in FL

Mission: To provide social, spiritual and learning opportunities for women to realize the fullest measure of their gifts in all areas of human endeavors. We will strive to do this by discovering, developing, giving voice and visibility to emerging and practicing female leaders in the church or society so they can lead and impact their immediate circles of influence positively.

My favorite quote: "We believe each person is a unique expression and therefore inherently valuable."

Inspire Women in Houston, TX

Mission: To inspire, train, and mobilize women across ethnicities and denominations through educational conferences, award events, gifts assessment and scholarships for biblical training.

My favorite quote: "Will you dare to take a chance for God?"

Note... these two organizations are valuable for both men and women. CEFL is a new find to me, but I know Inspire funds men as well. Both strive to create understanding and positive dialogue for all.


"Aslan a man?" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the king of the wood and the great Emperor Beyond the Sea. Don't you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion--the lion, the great lion."

"Oooh!" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake, said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking is either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis (76-77)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What's a Modern Girl to Do?

Last month Maureen Dowd wrote this article in the NYT Magazine. Her basic argument is that the women's movement of the 1970s produced a lot of conformity among women--women thought, dressed, and acted alike--and that today women have returned to that conformity, only now trying to conform in different ways. For example, early feminists embraced sexual liberation but vehemently opposed the notion that women should be sex objects. Today, Maxim covers are what women conform to, the message is be a sex object.

Conformity is stifling (apart from conforming our hearts and minds to be more like Christ). When my female students care more about shopping, pop culture, and boys than they do the history of women's rights and how much our mothers and fathers struggled to create a more egalitarian society, it frustrates me to no end. But on the other hand, what I want to be sure I am teaching them is to honestly analyze themselves and how contemporary politics and social mores affect them. I don't want to teach them to conform to all feminist ideals any more than I want them to conform to magazine covers and MTV reality stars.

Hopefully the trends will change and women will tire of Paris Hilton's example (don't even try to argue that she's a feminist!). History does tend to repeat itself so we shall see. I'm waiting for the day when a Christ-loving, feminine, Gloria Steinam can grace the cover of our most popular publications.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mountain Harbor

I spent the weekend with my mom at Mountain Harbor, a place on Lake Ouachita in AK. AK is the 25th state so it fit quite appropriately with my recent birthday. (Does anyone know where TX fits in the line-up? I feel like I should know.) Here's some trip highlights:

--The view from Hickory Nutt Mountain
--Bathing in the hot springs
--Chaning leaves
--On horseback, spotting two bald eagles very close by in the Ouachita Mountains
--Listening to "On Fire" standing on the edge of a boat in Lake Ouachita
--Visiting a spa
--Spending time with my mom
--Scenic drives
--Clean air you can smell
--Clearing my head

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Why Switchfoot Should Rule the World

1. They are the best band ever
2. They promote equality
3. They bring attention to world events
4. They don't compromise their spiritual beliefs
5. They have great hair
6. They appreciate the little people
7. They draw inspiration from C. S. Lewis and Plato
8. They make the word "stars" sound melodic
9. They are loyal to their fans
10. They bring a lot of hope!

(did I mention they are my favorite band?)

Monday, November 07, 2005


I was pretty bummed about this birthday at first. Many of my plans fell through and I just felt like I should be more at this point in my life (one of my biggest insecurities). Although many would say that feeling is irrational, and really, for the most part it is, birthdays make you think about the passing of time like nothing else. A good friend of mine whose birthday is very close to mine (we were even born in the same year) passed away this summer . I miss him. I'm seeing his favorite band in concert tonight and it will probably make me miss him more. Why am I celebrating this birthday and he isn't? There's really no explanation for that.

But now I'm excited about 25. All I have lost and gained this past year is making me stronger for the next. I had most of my friends together for my birhtday. I made some new ones. I'm seeing my favorite band, saw a modern dance show, ate Cuban food, my best friend is finally going to come in town, and I'm going on a trip with my mom. It's going to be a great year.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Remembering that I am just one person,
I hold onto the light
That I cannot control.
I am complex,
Full of double entendres and
Multiple meanings.
Trying to redeem myself
And unequivocally failing,
Trying to unearth my joy
And generally falling short.
Hoping to see
That this is not the end
I lean on the hope
That I am more.
Find the music
Deep within,
Discover the story
Hidden underneath
These years of a broken girl
Yearning to breathe free
In light of all I have endured.

(copyright LAK, 11/04/05)