Friday, December 22, 2006


Inspire the way to be whole.
Receive the advent and
Uncover the blind,
When you were broken
And Life saved you.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Joyful Pain

A baby comes to live among us and covers my heart in entirety. Its cries entering the world echo my own uncertainties as I cling to the life I need to know. And somehow I become more alive, letting the baby into my soul and opening to the risk that accompanies love. Beautiful saving and I'm not the rescuer.

And he was torn away from us even as he embodied salvation. The pain of rebirth is to difficult to come to terms with. And the time you left felt like an eternity, us clinging to the promise that you would come back and make it whole.

And you came back like you promised, saving the whole earth and making us right. Peacefully captivating my heart in brilliant ways, rebirthing humanity in the joyous painful saga of your love.

The word of the prophets speak loudly--You have prepared a way in the wilderness.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Give Thanks

Give thanks to the LORD
His love endures forever
He has healed and saved and proclaimed
His love endures forever
He lifts me high above the hills
His love endures forever
He protects my mind and my body
His love endures forever
He provides shelter and sustenance
His love endures forever
He guides me through storms and trials
His love endures forever
He gives me courage and strength
His love endures forever
He carries the weary and binds up the brokenhearted
His love endures forever
He stands for justice and righteousness
His love endures forever
He directs destiny
His love endures forever
He will heal and save and proclaim
His love endures forever.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


"Oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."

Everything culminates
And I resolve to believe
That You will not let me go.
I deserve to be here
And to flourish,
And You deserve to
Use me.
I will succeed or fail
Even as You
Guide my steps
And help me to create
My own stories...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Justice for Janitors

If you haven't heard about this, the Houston janitors strike has now begun. There is a rally this coming Saturday and there are other ways to show your support. These are hard-working people, a majority of them women, with families and bills that simply want job security and a fair wage.

For more information:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Prufrock's Lament

Every moment is a crisis
When you dare to be afraid.
The unknown is worthwhile
When you seek to
Know the difference
Between what is real
And what is unrevealed.
Finding purpose
In all that makes us whole.
And you look back
With no regrets
Because you sought the
Answers and lived.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Don't try to make yourself new
Without me.
Taking inventory of what
You are not
Can be hell and I'm here to
Fight for you.
All the reasons you're alive
Make you
Ready for things you can't
See or feel.
Displace your guilt and don't
Pass generosity
When it bows down to
Emrace you.
You can articulate your identity
And be firm
In who you are and we know
Who you are
When you try to undo it.
So rest
And be strong to fly,
To be.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Officially Yours

For CS and LD

Time to believe in love
To overcome all the things
You thought you couldn't be.

Making it the way to
Grow into one and
Bring all things to the light,

By the ocean
Where everything begins and ends
And the water interprets your

Fears and possibilities and
Makes the end a glorious beginning.
Starting to break the waves into

Crashing and thunderous ovations
Of your eternal happiness.
Still, standing firmly together

On the sand that sways where
You do not.
And without asking for it

She found her desires
When you found her.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Will It

She will go,
She will win,
She will rise up and
She will become.

Blend into the beautiful monotony of
All that comes with completing dreams
And decide to rise above.

She is equal,
She is able,
She is ready and
She is strong.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Theology of Culture

These aren't my ideas, but ponder this... (thanks to Genzo Yamamoto at Wheaton College)

Culture is formed by individuals. All individuals on the planet have two things in common: they are inherent sinners and they are formed in the image of God. These two identities come before identity in Christ. We need to recognize that these two previous identities link us to everyone else. Therefore, individuals create and replicate culture as sinners and images of God. This is a theological framework of culture.

(And I would add brings us all much closer together than we commonly believe...)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The end of every beginning is a crash course in underestimation. What we feel we can handle is never quite as much as what we are given, and that is enough to make us rise to many challenges. If obstacles are meant to inspire, then I have become the victor of every writer's block when attempting to climb these mountains.

Hope believes all things,
And so do I.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Proverbial Ramblings

I am not the reason anyone compromises.
You can't love what you don't know.
Knowledge is not a substitution for wisdom.
Comparison nearly never begets inspiration.
You can never prepare for the inevitable.
Time is not a box or a line, but it is uncontainable.
Pain is relative but grief is universal.
Quietness and stillness are not neighbors.
Wonder should never belong only to children.
I am not the reason you left.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Women's Equality Day

Since 1971, August 26 has celebrated the anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment (which, everyone should know, assured women the right to vote in 1920). Every year the President issues a proclamation declaring August 26 a day of rememberence and honor for women in the past and women now who are working toward equality.

I now work in women's studies and am constantly surrounded by information and voices about the inequalities in our world. I have to work hard not to get depressed at the state of my sisters around the globe and to funnel my energy into doing something to help people.

It has also occurred to me that I really don't know what equality is supposed to mean. I know that God has said there is neither male nor female, that we all are created in the image of God, and that He loves all people equally. What I don't know is how best to act that out.

I don't think the answer lies in a role reversal of 1950s stereotypical marriages or in gender-blindness. But I think it starts in the way we view people, viewing everyone how God does, as having equal worth. That everyone means the same and they are worthy because they have been created by God.

Women getting the vote in the U.S. is an old story, but it's not in much of the world. And still a number of disenfranchised women live in this country. If we want to work toward equality we have to acknowledge inequality.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Fact from fiction
Only enough to believe
That what you are
Is enough.

What the future holds
Is no longer reticent
And what I possess
Is no longer trivial.

I've know all these things,
Been all these things,
Believed all these things,
And I am not the answer.

You are first;
You define everything else.
I cannot do anything on my own.

Endure my promises
And risk Your life
On the premise that
I am worth it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

All Our Struggles

There are obstacles we simply cannot overcome on our own. Humanity is a beautiful symbol of grace and power and yet capable of such shame and degradation. How one tiny soul has the ability to simultaneously create and destroy, I will never understand. The human condition is a quandry of vain emotion and helpless surrender, peaceful endeavors and hopeful triumphs. My soul lies in wait for the answer to all my questions, where the old self meets the new self and the new self wins.

We put Christ in the center of all our uncertainties and throw our worries and sin at His heart like daggers. As if we thought our transgressions would bounce off of Him, we spit in His face and turn no cheek. This race of humanity bears the image of God but reaches for its own destruction. How long, oh Lord, will You let us wreck Your creation and each other? How long do You plan to leave us here?

I am a part of every man, woman, and child. Your Body moves as one, struggling against and for. We are broken at the sight of Your holiness and awed by Your presence. This is where I find my solace: in Your arms that don't judge or condemn. You love me, You love us all, all this broken mess that You made to be Yours. Bring peace, bring hope, bring justice.

And Love will rescue, Life will win.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Yes, my life is in yet another season of transition. For those of you keeping up with me long distance, I moved to the city and am taking a break from teaching to focus on my exams and dissertation. Add preparing for my sister's wedding and recently returning from Europe, among other things, and I've got my plate full.

Many things have led me to re-evaluate my goals and calling lately. Michaelangelo dissected human cadavers in order to understand human anatomy and therefore paint and sculpt the human form more accurately. I want to apply the same passion in my chosen work, because I feel it is worthwhile and because I think it deserves that kind of attention.

God has been very faithful to me, and the opportunities opening up are amazing. All His promises are true...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Isaiah 62:1-5, For my Captive Sisters

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.

The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah, [a]
and your land Beulah [b];
for the LORD will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.

As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I must indulge the fact that the ebb and flow of life is more fluid than I like to believe.
I move with that current in subtle anticipation of what You will accomplish,
betting on the fact that Your dreams really are more vivid than mine.
Relax and contract and rise above,
these waves that toss me and cradle me in all the different phases of life and make it life.
Why can't the undertow prescript its movement to coincide with everyone's tide?
I mourn the loss of everything comfortable and embrace all that is before me.
I am all these things, capable and strong and beautiful,
turning to face the crests and run against them;
swimming into the unknown with bravery and surrender;
standing up to all my giants, looking them in the eye, and overcoming them.
The salt stings my wounds and I look up to the blinding sunlight,
Where I am rescued and made whole in Your grip--
Standing only on the promise that You are everything.
Waiting for the water to change and moving with and through the current,
burning through the embers of each white wave and
dancing, running through the ebb and flow of this story.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I just learned more about this fabulous organization... International Justice Mission. They are involved in a myriad of human rights advocacy, particularly human trafficking. Check them out:

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not a Victim

Today I attened a local/global dialogue on women and AIDS. The panel was sponsored by the UNAIDS council on women and addressed ways to empower women and thereby fight AIDS. Yes, AIDS and HIV affect men as well, but for women, particularly in developing nations, women are disadvanted and often have little negotiating power within their relationships and circumstances. And as one woman on the panel put it, women are not the victims, they are empowered to take center stage in the fight against this pandemic.

In the Q and A, I asked about the influence of religion, both positive and negative, on the fight againt AIDS. The panelists had nothing but discouraging things to say. The representative from Honduras noted that there are so few ministers do anything to help the AIDS crisis that it is impossible to locate them. An antrhopologist and lobbyist both stated the importance of the church in fighting AIDS and lamented that getting churches to do anything about it is extremely difficult.

The representative from Zambia spoke of her pain in losing both her husband and brother to the disease and blaming God when she herself contracted it. The reigning idea taught by Christian churches in her country is that HIV and AIDS is a judgement. She spoke to a council of Zambian church leaders wearing a t-shirt that said "HIV is not a punishment from God--John 8:11". In forming a support group that now boasts 1000 members, she has found joy in the church again but finds is hard to locate a congregation that does not stigmatize people with AIDS.

I wanted to apologize to every panelist for the lack of action on the part of the Church. I told one woman that she had my word I would talk to my ministers about how to help with the AIDs crisis. Get informed... I was ashamed at the lack of knowledge and perspective I had about AIDS after the dialogue. I'll fight.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What They Learn

On the last exam I ask as a bonus question what that student learned that was most interesting or how their perception of history changed after taking the course. Many of them reveal how they liked learning about the First Ladies, how important the vote was, random trivia, or the significance and breadth of women's role in the historical process.

This time around one student wrote something to the effect of "I always thought the U.S. only intervened in other places when it wanted to help them, but now I know they don't really do anything unless they'll get something out of it. I love my country, but it's done some horrible things."

This young man swore into the military in the course of my class. To be honest, I'd much rather be the teacher that empowers and excites students about all the good things in history and their lives. But sometimes the best lessons are the hard ones, the ugly ones, that change the way we think about the world we live in. Hopefully, those lessons spur us toward change.

If we don't know injustice and walls exist, we can't resist them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why I Believe in Miracles

Simply, because they occur.

Things that could be attributed to modern medicine, or chance, or luck, but that really could not have occurred without phenomena. They happen all the time.

I don't see them, not most of the time. I rarely even hear about them.

Because we are all so caught up in the mundane, or the past, or the future.

But tonight I was part of one. The miraculous birth of a baby girl less than two pounds. God saved her life and the mother's, seconds from danger.

Life triumphed and God has heard.

Simply, we're all the miracle, caught up in grace because it bears us like a child, saving our lives and making us strong.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

For Fletch

Profound notions
Obscure my connection
To what is real.

Bracing myself for pain,
I devote my psyche
To works of reason.

Feel, as if there is
No other choice.

Living, dying
We press on.

I am the one not in control
Of the fate of the world;

I lift up my hands
In surrender,
And resolve to particpate
Freely in the human struggle.

Touch my lips,
And I will speak.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Over 60,000 people in the world are over 100 years of age.
There are enough people at or over the age of 110 to have their own name... "supercentenarians".

In that case, I am not even one quarter of the way through my life.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Way You Decide to Move

Step lightly, slowly, often. This is the key to forgiving the things you don't know and unlocking the things you do. Don't underestimate the power of interrupted discipline, particularly when it applies to moving along. The ugly desire to be all and do all should not overshadow the desire to live well, and to be, and to persevere on every small account. Dance, and dream, and decide to move past everything you can't, and find it all waiting in the sun.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gonna Make It

Forced by beauty and design
I carry my own weights
And wait for You to
Take them off.
Healing is only easy when it's done for you,
Not when you actively pursue it
And wait.
What we don't see is what we can't hold,
What we hope for is what we can't see.
Creat fire to burn,
Release rain to engulf,
Exude light to enlighten.
And I'll thrash through the current
That leads to better living,
And to You.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let Them Praise His Name with Dancing

I dance with a small modern/lyrical company comprised of women who desire to see the arts brought back into churches, particularly in the form of dance. I've been doing worship dance for nearly 10 years now, starting with the summer I was 15 when I trained at the Ballet Magnificat! School of the Arts. Ballet Mag. is a professional ballet company that uses dance to communicate the Gospel in creative ways. My company seeks to do the same thing, on a much smaller scale.

This Sunday I had the opportunity to dance three different places. I started in the morning at a First baptist church. That's right, a Southern Baptist church let dancers on their stage. We went on right after the handbells and the "mature" early morning congregation and robe-donning choir welcomed us with quietly whispered amens at the conclusion of our dance.

In the afternoon, I had the privilege to dance at a Hospice service honoring those who had passed on this last year. As I read the countless names in the program and listened to the conversations of grieving loved ones, I teared up and struggled to know how best to react. A woman whose mother had died from cancer introduced herself and told us her story. Many of the people there had never met one another before; they were connected in death. Just as we all are, connected and unified and brought together under the death of Christ, under His blood, and then unto life as we live under His resurrection. The parting words of the song we danced to: "Come to Jesus and live."

I finished out the day with the evening service at my emergent church, a community that celebrates the arts in tangible ways (a portion of our space is an art gallery) but it is still an honor to be able to worship there. This was a particularly intimate evening, just the guitarist/singer, a drummer, and me. The dance was truly improvisational as I had no choreography prepared save the chorus. I moved and felt the music and the people and the Spirit all at once.

Dance, in all its forms, crosses over boundaries in ways few things can. Movement can interpret God in ways that words and music cannot. And life provides movement that must be expressed in sacred places.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What the Bible says about...

The TNIV website (and others) have this reading plan exploring how we should be involved in social justice. I think it's pretty good:

Two Weeks on Social Justice

Day 1: Exodus 3 - God hears the cries of the slaves.
Day 2: Leviticus 25 - The year of jubilee, a time of economic revolution.
Day 3: Ruth 2 - A poor woman finds help.
Day 4: 1 Kings 21 - Elijah speaks to a land-grabbing, murderous king.
Day 5: Nehemiah 5 - Nehemiah demands justice for the poor.
Day 6: Isaiah 5 - Warning to fun-loving materialists.
Day 7: Isaiah 58 - Worship that God appreciates.
Day 8: Jeremiah 34 - Freedom for slaves.
Day 9: Amos 2 - Sins against God by his own people.
Day 10 Amos 6 - Warning to the complacent.
Day 11: Micah 6 - What the Lord requires.
Day 12: Luke 3 - John the Baptist tells how to prepare for Jesus.
Day 13: Matthew 6 - Jesus speaks on material things.
Day 14: James 2 - How to treat the rich and the poor.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Homeless King enters the City

Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. (Psalm 51:10)

Your Body is my body, bruised and broken and crushed.

Let the wounds You have allowed be healed.

Turn and save me.

Allow and disallow and remain.

Savior, sweet Savior, draw near and stay.

Let the words of Your mouth speak clearly.

Your Body is my body, restored and healed and whole.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Making it official

Today my sister got engaged... that's right, my little sister is now officially promised to become a Mrs.! He managed to keep it a surprise and the whole thing was really beautiful. A myriad of emotions have been my companion today, but I feel I am entitled to such dramatic tendencies on the day that my only sister and closest friend gets that all important ring.

In other news, I am now the official owner of a Mac. My conversion from pc is quite certain at this point and I really do love this ibook. It takes me back to the days of playing Oregon Trail on my family's Apple II GS, oh so many years ago. I like that mac's interface allows for more than one way to do things. Is it to much to suggest that the influence of postmodern thought processes have stimulated the sales of these computers? (I should have stopped at Oregon Trail... :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Going back to Cali

Here's some pics from my recent (spontaneous) trip to California... the sun setting over the beach at Santa Monica and the mission in Santa Barbara, where I used to live. It was about 40 degrees the whole time I was there, but it was still great!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Finding that faith
Comes in sizes unforeseen,
I remember my previous refusal
To live inside a box.
I pride myself
On being alone,
Longing all the while
To commune intimately with others.
I let myself believe
That my own path is the best way,
That my own road less traveled
Marks the way to happiness.
But marked on that road
Are shortcuts and obstacles,
Where I find myself reevaluating
The consequences of directing
My own destiny.
Providence requires a great deal of
And when unassisted will immediately
Change the course.
And for that I am retrospectively
I resolve to risk,
To underestimate,
To pursue the dreams
That seem so shelved.
And I will look for those dreams
In the form of many colors,
Dancing through
And seizing each moment
For what it is worth...
And that worth is found intrinsically
In the sweet wonder
That flows from imagination
And spiritual awakening,
Eyeing all odds and changes as simultaneously
Beautiful and terrible.
My own road is not yet completely determined,
And I surrender to walk it somewhat afraid,
Journeying into the sweet mist that clouds
So many of my plans,
Grateful for each
Struggle, and
Live easy...

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Lenten Protest

Lent is the time when the Church historically observes a period of waiting in the weeks leading up to Easter. This time is to remind us of life before Christ, to encourage us to reevaluate our commitment to God, and to deprive ourselves of some necessity. So this year for Lent I am giving up… nothing.

I am not fasting from anything, I am not conducting extra rituals or spending more time reading the Bible, and I am not quitting any habits. I have followed this portion of the Lenten tradition in the past. Chocolate, caffeine, television, movies, and others have made the list of things I have given up (or attempted to do so) for that very long six weeks. I believe one year I fasted from Starburst jellybeans. But this year is different.

Perfectionism is one of my greatest struggles. It affects and influences my work, studies, relationships, and communion with Christ. I decided that I do not need one more thing for which to seek perfection, another task to make me crazy for fear I will not wholly accomplish it. Giving up anything would at this point induce me to obsess over the work of that fast.

If Lent is meant to further entrench the works mentality and fear of imperfection that I hold so closely, then I will not participate. If wearing an ashen cross on my forehead will equate me to a Pharisee because I desire to flaunt my piety, then I benefit no one from that display. If depriving myself from a pleasure leads me to find a substitution less healthy, then I have really fasted from nothing. If Lent is intended instead to spur believers to practice gratitude for salvation and to observe waiting in hope and expectation, then I will do so.

So in some ways I am giving up something. I am giving up on the suggestion that I need to be or do more than I am to be pleasing to God. I wait and I hope and I offer thanks. But for this year, that is all.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


What follows are disjointed thoughts and questions, that all tie together somehow, but not necessarily in a coherent manner...

The February 26 Relevant Podcast features an interview with Don Miller in which he discusses a number of issues, including the war. Miller mentions that although Peace Studies programs are becoming more and more popular in American universities, only one Christian university has such a program (it was started just last year). Why are we afraid to talk about peace?

I am more and more of a pacifist. I think Christ teaches peace, loving your neighbor and yourself, living in harmony with others. Jesus did, of course, turn over money tables in the temple and loudly confront hypocritical leaders. But He communed with the unlovely, He loved everyone, and He invited all to join His Life.

Does it matter if I support the war or not? Yes. Does it matter more that I love my neighbor (meaning my brothers and sisters everywhere), myself, and my God? Of course.

And why is peace only mentioned when we are closely affected by or involved in war? Do we need a drastic and negative example of the opposite of peace to inspire us to consider it?

I helped with the kids at my church on Sunday evening and heard one of the mothers discussing with her 4 year old why hitting another boy was unacceptable... she provided a recent example of when he had been loving and went with him to apologize to the other boy. That is where peace begins, teaching children non-violence and the love of Christ in practical ways.

Following the tradition of non-violent resistance, what ways can I contribute to issues of social justice? Is my green "Save Darfur" bracelet really helping to save Darfur or am I just making myself feel better by wearing it everyday?

Peace Studies is a wonderful idea, but unless we are equipped to really love others and deal with injustice, it is merely an idea. We can talk about how to be peaceful all day, we can debate the benefits being anti-war, but in the end we need strategies, we need tactics, but most of all we need to let Christ's love fill us and overflow out of us. Trying to be peaceful on our own is entirely fruitless.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Black History Month

This weekend, American Shani Davis became the first African American to win an individual gold medal at a winter Olympics. Let me just say I found it quite appropriate that he made this history during Black History Month.

Which brings me to honoring other great African Americans. I look up a great deal to Black women. Nothing against men, of course, but the feminist in me is drawn to the strong women who work hard to overcome the "double bourden" of their race and gender. And not just to overcome it, but celebrate who they are as well.

Two of my favorite African American women in history are Ida B. Wells Barnett and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Wells-Barnett was banned from the South in the late 1800s when she used her journalist credentials to expose lynching. She later became a charter member of the NAACP, female suffragist, and American leader. My favorite Ida anecdote: When NAWSA and the National Woman's Party refused to let Black women march with them in the famous 1919 suffrage parade, Wells did something extremely brave. She and a few other Black suffragists stood at a bend in the road, where the parade could not continue without them. She stepped in the parade and marched with the others until the end.

Hamer, one of twenty children in a sharecropping family, was called a "latter-day female Ghandi." She first became involved in the Civil Rights movement through SNCC in voter registration after attempting to vote, in her 40s, for the first time. Her accomplishments are limitless, including food and clothing drives, running for senator, organizing projects to help poor, rural African Americans, and encouraging womens' involvement in Civil Rights. What I find most inspiring about Hamer is her drive, her desire to secure freedoms and respect at a later point in life, her sheer courage to defy her position.

My list goes on, but here's to also celebrating the people we don't know about, whose low-profile contributions to history are invaluable.

Friday, February 17, 2006

My Plans

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Surrender my ideas
Of perfection,
Of time;
Take into account
Every factor
That makes things
And do not
Give in
To despair,
To failure;

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Channeling St Valentine

How did we get so far from restoring sight to the blind?

From the Catholic Forum

Priest in Rome, possibly a bishop. Physician. Imprisoned for giving aid to martyrs in prison, and while there converted the jailer by restoring sight to the jailer's daughter. While Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome sometimes have separate entries in martyrologies and biographies, most scholars believe they are the same person.

There are several theories about the origin of Valentine's Day celebrations. Some believe the Romans had a mid-February custom where boys drew girls' names in honor of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno; pastors "baptised" this holiday, like some others, by substituting the names of saints such as Valentine to suppress the practice. Others maintain that the custom of sending Valentines on 14 February stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date. By 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day "every bird chooses him a mate." The custom started of men and women writing love letters to their Valentine on this day. Other "romance" traditions have become attached to this feast, including pinning bay leaves to your pillow on Valentine's Eve so that you will see your future mate that night in your dreams.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

To Be, To Become

I am perpetually at odds with myself and the world. I don't often realize how small and big my life is, all at the same time. I am at once a 15 year old child and a 25 year old woman, that decade representing so much metamorphosis and yet none at all. The same things still try to hold me, to make me less able, to own me. Sometimes I am SuperWoman and can manage it all, and sometimes I can manage nothing. Don't leave everything to me, but don't leave nothing.

Try with mixed emotion to see who I am and help me believe it. I channel Aprhodite and Ungit to make me beautiful and brave, and fall into the Hope that has become my own. I am more than the banal qualifications given to Woman by her own sex and others, because my life emobodies the Image of the God who sees and knows and imparts. Do not roll your eyes at my desire to be more, to live the full life to which I am called. The ancient words and modern hearts all sing the same song of longing to be, to become. To feel, we must represent what we cannot hold.

Approaching the close of one chapter I race toward the end to see the fruits of my labor in a measurable end. How difficult it is to look back, to remember struggle and the hardest times that build up to now. How wonderful it is to beat against the current and end up in the safest and scariest place. So much fear and hope lie in the same moments. The same existential and eternal processes catch me up into the Story that is bigger than myself. Both scripted and improvisational turns in my journey lead me to be, to become, to believe.

And I, holding all these thoughts and feelings, take a deep breath. I dive headlong into all the beautiful and mundane things that make life come together into an abundant experience of You.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Relief Projekt

My good friend has just published her report on Swiss and German medical relief organizations. She spent 18 months putting it together, doing research in Germany and Switzerland and doing medical relief work herself in Mexico and Africa. The perspective is challenging and I encourage all of you to read it. The site also includes some really fantastic photos that she took on her adventures.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

I got my pictures from my trip to Disneyworld earlier this month. I had never been so I found it to be quite magical! This pic was my favorite.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Little Quiz

Yesterday was my first day teaching women's history... it was a blast! I have a sharp group of students and the gentlemen in the class who were not aware they signed up for women's history promised to have an open mind. I asked them these questions as an icebreaker to see what their preconceived notions hold. See what yours are. (Click on comments to see the answers)

True or False:

1. Most American women did not work prior to World War II.

2. Historically, the Deep South is a bi-racial society (black and white).

3. The March on Washington was initially proposed by a woman.

4. Women did not get the right to vote until 1920 in the U. S.

5. All feminists are bra-burning leftists.

6. The women’s rights movement began in the 1970s.

7. Women were not allowed in the military until the Vietnam War.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Women in the Emerging Church

My article, "Women in the Emerging Church", came out last month in Reformation and Revival Journal. It's in the December, 2005 issue, 14:3. I meant to post this sooner, but here it is now. You can get a subscription to the journal for a good price, or you can just buy the individual copy. Go to their website and check it out... the name of the journal is being changed to Act III Review, but for now go to Reformation and Revival.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why I'm a Feminist, Part Five: The Future

I could continue talking about this forever (and I will). But I’ll wrap up this series with a discussion about what I would love to see the future entail for feminism:

~ An increased consciousness of women’s experience around the globe. American feminism is so focused on the U. S. that it misses the work and trials of our sisters/neighbors abroad.

~ A greater respect for faith. Faith-based and faith-supported feminist groups are on the rise, but the feminist community in general invalidates these causes because of their religious bases.

~ The involvement of younger women. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings are particularly ignorant today of feminist issues. Empowering and educating these young women will prove integral to the survival and breadth of the cause.

~ A broader definition of feminism. For example, in my opinion, abstinence, stay at home mom-ing, adoption instead of abortion, and dedication to a life of faith should all be seen as feminist choices.

~ Continue to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Many feminist organizations speak up for children, victims of abuse, and victims of many forms of marginalization. This should increase.

~ A unity of women and men across class, race, and religious lines. The American feminist movement has struggled for years to develop commonality across these signifiers and I think everyone will benefit from sharing the struggle with understanding and love.

Some of this is very idealistic, but no one would be anywhere without ideals. Today we are living in the hope of someone who went before us with the help of the divine hand that led us to new heights. Susan B. Anthony, who toiled for women's suffrage over 50 years and never herself had the privilege of the ballot, put it this way,

"Failure is impossible."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Why I'm a Feminist, Part Four: The Term

For those of you who agree that men and women are of equal worth and who work for and practice egalitarianism may have never thought of yourselves as a feminist. (This summer one of my friends was excited when I told him men could be feminists and he proudly sported the label). It might have never occurred to you that when you are okay working for a woman or when you don’t buy into misogyny that you are, indeed, practicing feminism.

You may not want to be a feminist. You may think the term has too many derogatory connotations, that it is too liberal and too weird, that it enables women to bash men and do whatever they want to do without any boundaries whatsoever. The label might imply that you are not a person of faith.

So here is why I use the term.

First, I do believe that men and women are of equal worth. I believe all the definitions I talked about in Part One.

Second, using the term connects me with a broader movement. I can work alongside others fighting for women’s rights in a wider context.

Third, it signifies a big part of my goals. True, my first goal is to know God and make God known (okay that’s two goals). But feminism does carry a big part of what I am attempting to communicate and achieve in our world.

Fourth, I don’t see an issue with defining myself as a feminist. Missionaries identify themselves as human rights or medical relief workers, for example. The term carries a lot of meaning but it does not exclude me from my faith.

Finally, the term “feminist” is, in and of itself, empowering. Women cite their choices as feminist from little changes like dying their hair to huge changes like becoming a CEO. Calling yourself a feminist can give you more meaning and confidence.

Happy new year to all!