Tuesday, April 29, 2008


anyone who knows me knows that i like to organize and order and get things together and streamlined. i do it in my work, my schedule, and sometimes my relationships (sometimes a downfall). hence, you can imagine what this is doing to me...

SO...it's 10:41 and i've begun packing. more than likely i will have to remove everything and start over tomorrow, but for right now, i cannot help myself. and of course, a bag of Dove dark chocolate sits by my side with some fabulous mix playlists in the background. i love how our quirks and those things so rooted within us emerge when our surroundings toss us around.

PS: NO i am not taking all that stuff...much of it is from KC that i haven't unpacked yet. geez.

Friday, April 25, 2008


my dear readers, did you know that i am actually a very wealthy person? beyond wealthy. an inheritance that cannot be exhausted. there are these people in my life that know no bounds to kindness and generosity. their capacity for good is full enough to spill over any capacity for evil, allowing the light of the Father to transform and renew all things. i just feel so humbled by their love and acceptance. each of you has reminded me of the One who loves extravagantly. and in this, i am so glad to have you along this journey with me, to whatever degree.

"when the winds of change feel too strong, close your eyes and let the breeze blow through your hair."

Friday, April 18, 2008


bah. i can't form these thoughts into precise words, and it's bothering me. family. community. shane claiborne. nicaragua. all these things swirling together and inspiring me, but i don't have the language to convey them yet. it will be forthcoming.

in the meantime, i offer you my all-time favorite laffy taffy joke.

what's brown and sticky?

[a stick]

don't ask me why i like it so much...just do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

me rompiste

fix you [coldplay]

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones,
And I will try to fix you,

High up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

what's more amazing is the young@heart group performing this on youtube. check it out.

i really can't say where i am at with everything right now. ask me after next tuesday.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


i booked my flight...on American Airlines. Right. the ones they keep grounding. i fly out at 610am May 5th...registration starts in DC at 130p. this could get interesting.

AND the office returns. tomorrow. so of course, i will be donning loafers, headband and judgemental stare to become Angela for the fabulous office shindig at sara's. trivia, jello molds and soft pretzels.

i heart days off. and jim halpert.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


some things i've been enjoying/inspired by as of late...

"The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now, there's a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.

I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met."
[Rainier Maria Rilke]

"You gotta spend some time--love, you gotta spend some time with me
And I know that you'll find--love, I will possess your heart"
[Death Cab for Cutie]

"The great paradox and humor of God's audacious power; a stuttering prophet will be the voice of God, a barren old lady will become the mother of a nation, a shepherd boy will become their king, and a homeless baby will lead them home."
[Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President]

"Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

[St. Francis of Assisi]

Saturday, April 5, 2008


it's about 545PM and i'm heading with my buddy lauren to meet some friends, our bags filled with pb&j and little water bottles in the back. we join up with our six guy friends and begin driving, to areas most of us haven't been or don't want to go. we are physically pulling ourselves out of our comfort zones, each boundary line a little different, but by the time we hit 10th and Troost, we all feel it.

as we step into the darkened KC streets, there is not one of us that doesn't feel a little bit awkward or uncomfortable. as casually as we are dressed, we stand out with our brand name sneakers and my white and orange bag. ok, I stand out a lot. but ten white people on a neighborhood that most white people choose to avoid or at least drive through are going to stand out. i'm sure they are all asking the same question we are, "what are they doing here?"

Jesus said that to do to the least of these, you do to Him. you feed someone who is hungry, you are feeding Jesus. you give someone shelter, you are sheltering Jesus. this was the driving force behind our night, but more than that, i wanted to share in the humanity of our city. you can drive through KC in your locked car, tunes up and miss quite a lot of it. i wanted to sit and eat with them, to look into their eyes and extend acceptance. i wanted to hear their stories and learn from their life. but all of this requires that initial contact, that first entrance into the city. and it was similar to jumping in a cold pool headfirst.

we stopped at the bus stop. we walked all around various blocks. people crossed the street when they saw us coming. but as we walked, the pulse of the city began to rise up. the fear and insecurities i came in with fell away, fluttering on the pavement like strewn paper; as i ate my pb&j on a bench and smiled at passing people, and they smiled back; as i approached a man named John with a bloodied face and shook his hand; as i looked into Darryl teary eyes and Kevin's heavy ones. and in their place, i felt love and connection rise up. these people are my brothers. my fellow humanity. people that for one reason or another have been discarded by we who call ourselves civilized. i don't even care why they are there - all i care about is if they are hungry and willing to eat with me. if they need to talk and want to share. if they are thirsty and willing to drink with me. my goal was not to end their poverty or "fix it" or even to tell them about Jesus. my goal was simply to live with them, and not just once hopefully, but in a sustaining way that extends friendship. granted, i am leaving shortly, but i know that there will be part of my community growing with their community. and that gets me excited.

and in all of it, i became that much more excited to leave for Peace Corps. this is what i get to do for the next two years...to move into a place of living that is much poorer and different than my situation, but is currently home to my future family. i will live as they live and learn from them, trying to experience the world through their eyes. i can't imagine a richer experience.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


things i am inevitably looking forward to:
-hammocks. lots of them
-hot weather. not just warm, but HOT.
-living in Spanish
-fruit trees
-lakes and volcanoes inviting me to explore
-meeting people with the same mission as me
-teaching again!
-wearing cotton dresses and sandals every day
-sleeping under mosquito net...i know that sounds odd, but it's true
-living simply

things i am NOT looking forward to and thus am trying to prepare myself for:
-bugs. all of them. in all varieties.
-machismo...i wonder how long i can patiently handle the hissing and cat calls
-gallo pinto: rice and beans, fried and then refried for the next meal
-code switching - that part of language transition that makes you feel stuck
-loneliness/homesickness - this is inevitable

i talked to the Nica desk today, and all things in my file are a go, no last minute hitches, thank goodness. staging kits get mailed the end of this week. by next week, i will have my flight info for flying to DC for staging. that is when it gets really real.

i'm finding myself thinking in a lot of "lasts". like, this is my last free weekend in KC. or that was my last time to be home before i come home to pack. or, this can NOT be my last margarita at Cactus Grill with my friends. i don't know if this is really helpful, but i find myself wanting to soak up as much as i can while i am here. and while i know many of my closest friends will still be here when i return, i don't know how that will look when i get back. and that's where i have to stop my over analytical mind because otherwise i'll get sick. so here's to soaking up the last goodies of the good ol US of A. if you are a KCer and have a "last time" thing we should do, let me know!

hide 'n' seek

i think my friend chris said it best tonight with "as i come up on my 25th birthday, i am finally ready to accept my existence."

to accept oneself. period. to stop picking and playing and pretending - to just be and do and live.

i have been coming into an acceptance or unfolding of my own. it's been a thing of deconstruction, like paint thinner slowly eroding the layers of oil paint on my canvases. as the critical eye was replaced with a gentle one, i have found myself unpainted, unstyled, quieted and vulnerable. and in this i have found myself coming out, the one that hides in fear and panders for praise. as i look at myself, i can smile and say ok. i can peer into my thoughts and receive them. i can embrace my sensations and respond, without fear. i have found a peace within myself. that doesn't mean it isn't threatened many times a day - not everyone will find my wild hair attractive. but more importantly, i'm allowing myself to become a fluid thing - a person in progress, right where she needs to be. and in allowing myself to be in this space, i can allow others to let their hair down and lower their guard. this plays into part of the role i feel i am called to play in this life - to see beyond the exterior self into who the person really is - beyond wounds and false images and broken dreams. to look into that person's eyes, smile and receive them - to let them know they are ok. and to invite them out of their cramped cages into the wide open of becoming who they are meant to be. and when they can't come out of that cage, to sit with them until they have courage enough to emerge. isaiah 61 puts it much more precisely - to set free the captives, bind up the brokenhearted, preach the good news to the poor, to comfort those who mourn.

not all will receive this as i have found recently. but the comforting part is that this space i find myself in doesn't require the approval or validation of another. and it does not require me to push anyone to accept or receive me. to let things be where they are, trusting that growth and light and goodness will not be overcome.

solidarity is becoming a concept i desire to embody greatly. this very near trip to live in nicaragua is an invitation to begin this process. to live as they live (though not completely, as PC tends to pay more than our counterparts receive) in hopes of giving and receiving in the life they are leading. not that it is about nicaragua solely nor the idea that "i can change the world because i possess x". rather, i find myself earnest to connect the threads of humanity in hopes of reminding us all where we came from and where we are headed. to shake out the false ideas and replace them with simple truths. to learn what "life" means in another language.

i am so excited to begin this next chapter of my life. the chance to step out of those things i desperately cling to and my romantic notions of living amongst the poor. to have my ideals confronted head on and my dreams shaken. to be tested, challenged and come out refined and alive. 34 days!!!