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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Beyond Hoping

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Beyond Hoping

In her response to the book Leaving Church:  A Memoir of Faith, a blogger I am particularly fond of asked her readers to consider the question posed in the text:  “What is saving your life right now?”  I have yet to read the book; however, the question, and it’s greater implications, intrigue me.  Here’s my response, and I encourage you to post your own thoughts about what’s saving you this summer:


This is what I think:  without hope, I’d drift aimlessly and sink eventually.  For me, hoping creates the foundation for saving, and saving moves me into believing.  What saves me are a few, simple things helping me breathe deeper, so I can find a reason to hope every day:

I work somewhere that values and fosters the contribution each person can make to make the world a little brighter. This makes it easy to go to the office.

My apartment is well-loved and decorated.  Home sweet home!

My new apartment is cozy, decorated, and well-loved.  Home Sweet Home!

Summertime means produce is plentiful and affordable on my student budget!

Summer break means I have time to do nothing-things like painting, napping, reading, and being. I forgot how lovely it is.

Recently, I spent a week with my best friend. She asked me all the right questions and, of course, danced with me to trashy pop. Oooh Payphone.

After how incredible 2011 was for new music, I was doubtful about 2012, but summer releases offer much promise.

Colorado’s beautiful these days, and this view is in my neighborhood. Or the one adjacent.

Reading the words of Henri Nouwen and Rainer Maria Rilke: a massage for my soul.

It comes down to simple, yet vibrant, beauties and small kindnesses.  In the mundane, more than the obvious or grandiose, I feel renewed, connected [again] to people, and able to hope.  In these things, life, and the Spirit, speak loudly, and I am quiet enough to hear.

May your heart be quieted and your soul rest in these final, summer days.  If you struggle getting there, I suggest a pitcher of homemade sangria.  Works like a charm!


All that Is Unresolved

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Frequently, I think about where life leads, or, more accurately, where the spirit of Christ leads.  I am half a year shy of 25, which is, all at once, exhilarating and frightening, leading me to ask questions such as:

“Social worker” is my title, and serving people is my “vocation,” but what, specifically, is my “calling?”  

Who do I want to share my life with?  (I forget, oftentimes, I can be selective about this one.  Hmm.)

Does how I live reflect my deepest values?

Who do I respect and look up to?  Who respects and looks up to me?  

Who do I lead?  Am I taking them somewhere worth going?

When I was 15, I thought life would look a whole lot different, on many levels, than it does. Am I disappointed?  No, maybe slightly disillusioned (or maybe just rationale) about particular things.  People like to tell me, “Now is your time!  You’re young and well educated!  The world is your oyster!”  Bullshit, this world is not an oyster.

I am, however, oddly hopeful, because I am at a point of accepting surrender.  For as long as I can remember, I have envisioned a crazy, wonderful life full of adventure and purpose yet had no vision for how to get there.  Of course, I had a plan involving airplanes, foreign romances, and wavy hair (yes, my hair is wavy in my fantasy world.), but involved no work.  No, I don’t have an oyster, and, yes, I have limitations, but committing to working hard and taking a few losses every once in awhile in hope of something better is well worth it, because I will live a life I envisioned and worked hard to get.

The questions above wait for an answer and a million more puzzle my brain and force me to sit with what is unresolved and listen.  It wants a whole lot of things, a whole lot of resolution, but the real, crux of it hinges on my ability to hang loose and hold on.

Thankfully, I have a lifetime and more to figure out how to do it, this whole surrendering thing.  Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways…

Much and Little to Say

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Three.  This is the number of times I sat down this week to blog but ended up elsewhere.  It’s not that I have nothing to say; let’s be real, I have something to say always, but maybe it’s this context.  Certain things are not meant for the eyes and ears of the world, or those who Google, or maybe just those who are creeps.

One thing is certain, though, I miss writing and reading.  Grad school wiped away the pleasure factor of these activities, but, thankfully, it didn’t touch literature or poetry.  Case in point:  I walked to the post office the other day to purchase stamps, and as the attendant flipped through my options, I eyed the Twentieth Century Poets and about peed.  I selected that page immediately, and she asked me, “Oh, are you a writer?”  Immediately, I wished my answer was, “YES!” but stuck to the standard, “Well, no, but I studied English in college…”

[For the record, in my head, I hear Another One Bites the Dust.  Thank you, Queen.]

But I’m not a writer.  I’m a social worker.  Interacting with people, being a part of social movements, and partnering with others more passionate than myself invigorates and fulfills me in ways I never thought a vocation could; however, a tiny part of me longs to hide away, wearing my grandpa sweater in a nook with a legal pad and a bottle of whiskey.  The whiskey is for iconic effect more than consumption.  Let’s be real; I’m not competent, let alone literate and articulate, while shooting liquor or guns.

And as quickly as the glamor of the writing life encompasses me, swooning my heart, I glance toward the oven and snap into reality.  Rest in peace, Slyvia Plath, rest in peace.

For now I’ll stick with people, and maybe if I stick with them long enough, I’ll come across stories worth telling, compiling tangible material to make into something write-worthy.  I’d like that, I think.