Thursday, March 24, 2016

kitty friends

Thor and Loki have been having way too much fun with Amy this week. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

happy spring + goals for a new season

 Photos taken at Priest Point Park, Olympia, Washington.

It seems like winter has been eternal this year. If it had been a proper winter, with long stretches of frigid clear days and blankets of snow, I don't think it would have bothered me... but no, it was a western Washington winter, and not only that but the wettest western Washington winter in decades (at least). Rain and gray for months on end has worn me out.

But yesterday and the day before we got just a hint of springtime, with sunshine in patches and temperatures in the 60s. Sam and I hiked at Priest Point Park and strolled through downtown Olympia and worked in the yard and it was like I finally started to break free of a winter-long depressive state. It is time to make things new.

Goals, spring 2016:

- plant a lot of flowers
- get involved in women's ministry at church
- go hiking as many weeks as there's sunshine to do so
- line edit my book
- actively love my church family
- listen to a hermeneutics/Bible lecture every day
- keep doing daily yoga
- balance my eating habits
- get a lot of fresh air and exercise
- get out of my comfort zone

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


There are so many ideas swirling in my brain, waiting to make it to a page, but they're still so clumsy and undeveloped, like baby birds fledged too soon. I sometimes hate this stage of mental processing, when there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to my thoughts and yet I know that somehow they all interconnect. But I have also begun to get used to it, begun to accustom myself to flailing a little, to taking the time to slow down and listen and breathe and wait for God to clarify and redirect. I have started to appreciate the in-between period when I can both see the hand of God in the process of working and wait expectantly to see the result.

God has been teaching me, and this place of learning is such a delightful and refreshing place to be. For awhile I thought I was utterly isolated, irredeemable; I know what it is to panic in the pitch-black and feel irrevocably lost. And I think that's what makes this awkward time of idea-fledging and humble re-learning so sweet: just being able to see again a shaft of light, and know that the Truth still reigns and that whatever I have been or failed to be, I am not alone.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

i am not as fine as i seem

I'm scrolling down my screen and it's filled with names. These are my friends, I'm told. Facebook points out which name has shared this and which name has liked that, as if I'm expected to care. But the more often I see a name typed across the screen in dark blue, it seems, the more fake and far away it becomes. These are not friends. These are not even people to me anymore. They are just names, just symbols of my popularity; I wait on their likes and comments because I think maybe that means they care, but I know that's not what my own likes usually mean. So why should I expect it of them? This social media phenomenon, this invention that was meant to draw people closer together, has become no more than what its name implies - a book of faces. Faces that mean less every time I scroll past them. Faces that hide stories and struggles and real lives, faces that overshadow souls and sins and the image of God. Faces that are more like facades.

I have one too. A facade. My profile picture is always smiling so you wouldn't know that behind it is a heart breaking with loneliness. I post Bible verses and pretty pictures and all the while I want to scream, "I am not as fine as I seem!" But that does not seem safe when I am surrounded by people as fake as myself.

I think my dad got social media right all along. He calls it Farcebook. And that's petty much exactly what it is.

Friendships aren't created or maintained on Facebook. Ministry isn't sustainable on Facebook. Discipleship is impossible on Facebook. A tenuous connection, yes, maybe that can survive; but in truth, the more time I spend among my 200-something virtual "friends," the more terribly alone and empty I feel.

But maybe it's not all Facebook's fault. Maybe it's mine... maybe, over time, this would have happened regardless of my social media presence. Maybe (gasp!) I am by nature a sinner, a selfish human being who wants to appear whole and righteous and desirable to those around her even when the cost is destroying herself with loneliness. Facebook was made to make connecting with people easier, but I think what it has truly made easy is the ability to appear connected while keeping everyone at an arm's length. Responsibilities like accountability and relational investment - which are nonnegotiables of functioning as a biblical part of the Church - are removed when you are able to erect a charade of virtual spirituality. Post enough selfies at a coffeeshop with an open Bible - #blessed - and you can deceive yourself, along with the believing community around you, that you're a healthy and fruitbearing branch that doesn't need training or equipping or the asking of hard questions. Post enough Bible verses and holy-sounding thoughts, and I can maintain a comfortable bubble of space between myself and the probing spiritual edification of those around me, who might discover in the end that (what!) I'm not perfect after all.

But the reality is... if I'm honest, the kind of relationship that comes with probing spiritual edification (even, and especially, the kind that knows me for what I really am) is exactly what I most intensely crave.


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