Friday, February 19, 2010


"I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” –Philippians 3:12-14 (The Message)

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

I’m exploding with blog posts! So, maybe this one is best to do highlights.


Haiti: Since January 15th, yes a few days after the actual earthquake in Haiti, I have been on my computer reading all I can about what’s happening. On January 15th @ Uncle Rog’s 60th surprise party, Aunt Trish hugged me good-bye saying every time she reads about Haiti she thinks about me. “I know you’d be there if you could.” Translated for the general public- if I had my nursing degree, I’d be there helping with disaster relief. This has surely caused a swell in my focus with nursing and even just beginning to look into disaster relief through the Red Cross, PREPAREDNESS! I’m not “plugged in” as far as following the news goes. I get bits and pieces, my home page is (British Broadcasting Corporation) so the headlines that pop up sometimes coerce a click on the link. I also get a 20 minute break at work in which I usually read USA Today if one of our regulars happened to be in that morning (yes, we have people who come in virtually EVERY morning for breakfast!!!) and left his newspaper for us. Consequently, it took me a few days to actually hear, in the midst of class-studying-work, the enormity of the earthquake’s effects. I have since been moved on a nearly daily basis.

Lent: Fat Tuesday came and went, Ash Wednesday too. I received an email newsletter from a friend a few weeks back. It contained a challenge to drink only water (and eat) for the 40 days of lent and use the money saved to support clean water ministries. I was intrigued, of course, “What a great idea!” And then I followed with a number of reasons why this was a bad idea for me…all of them selfish! It dawned on me, why WOULDN’T I do this? These are the things which strike a cord in my fibers. So, I have been drinking water, hot water-room temp water-ice water etc. I realize how easy it is for me to walk into the kitchen, grab a big ol’glass, turn on the facet and raise the cup to my lips for a clean drink of water. I want to be reminded, mindful, grateful of this and to act responsibly on a global level. I don’t have that figured out, but I know it starts with living simply.

Living Simply: I live in a gorgeous house with lovely roommates and we live in a hip, gritty, weird Portland neighborhood-Alberta Arts district. The neighborhoods around this area of NE Portland are spectacular- everything is perfect. I drive down 15th Ave. at night, gazing in the windows of these homes, and I am struck on two sides of the spectrum-they are perfect-neat and tidy (and you know how drawn I am to order) and they are devastating-it reminds me of the “haves and have nots.” The sum of these two causing a weight, an awareness that I am all too familiar with and which I have spent time tending to as a way of finding peace and reconciliation within. I no longer believe finding the balance is necessary and have accepted that these are to me reminders of the place I am to call home and initiators in continuing to move forward in living my life in a way that reflects where my priorities are-His Kingdom.

His Kingdom: On many levels, moving from my own apartment into a house with roommates was to continue to learn how to be in relationship with others, as well as to keep myself from building my own little perfect kingdom here on earth. In this act, so many things have followed. Community/family dinners, putting our pjs on at 7:30 and hanging out in the hall where all our doors meet (which at a later point in the evening usually turns to me grabbing my tooth brush and Annie getting upset over the fact that I’m brushing my teeth and still talking to her at the same time!:) ), witnessing Gretchen truly make strides in walking faithfully as she unquestionably simplifies life and packs up to move to Cambodia chasing her call (a phenomenal process for me to watch so personally), and turning up at home after work only to get caught up in a conversation in the kitchen about life and faith with Liz, who is in the process of seeking a Ph. D. What a house, I do believe! These women, gifted in photography, words, wisdom, creativity- a common rhythm of faith throughout.

Faith Throughout: And this leads me back to the beginning, “Surrender.” This has been a BIG area for me-to believe that in walking out my faith, day by day, surrender is my best play. It is so difficult for me to trust that in ALL things He is working out my journey. Some times are easier than others. It does seem obscure to me that in the times I feel I should be laying down deeper roots I am actually loosening the grip of my culture. No, I’m not going anywhere right now, but in making loose the stuff of my life, I feel a great ability to care about the deeper things of life.

I've emptied the thoughts which have been brewing for a while. I do believe that is all for now, save for a few end notes...

***I have been listening to Kari Jobe sing “Revelation Song” while writing this post. Google it or go to YouTube and give it a listen. Don’t watch the video, you’ll be distracted! Listen to the words. “Jesus your name is power, breath, and living water, such a marvelous mystery.”

***This blog is about me, but I truly don’t want it to be ABOUT ME. I hope in your reading, you might find yourself moved or challenged, tempted to view life through the scope- “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”-James 4:14- and finding purpose in viewing life from this place.