Saturday, August 18, 2012

Resuming blogging

Two years later.... Attempting to resume the blogging process in a new location.

Feel free to follow along [or not] on the new site!

She is Called Beloved

Sunday, August 29, 2010

life together

Simple thought:

Running is often times my metaphor for life... it is where God often times meets me, teaches me, hangs out with me, and reminds me of things that he has already taught me. The image of running a race as a metaphor for life has been very powerful for me, in teaching me perseverance, patience, training, endurance, silence, honesty, sacrifice, selflessness, and many other things

And yesterday I remembered, once again, that I run better when I run with others.

Apply as you will.

Friday, August 27, 2010

FINE! I'll make you happy!

Three months later, and many dollars shorter but memories richer, I return to the blogosphere. I could apologize for many paragraphs, but we'll just leave it with, "friend, it's good to be back!"

The other night I went running, as I have many nights this summer [reason #951 to love the cooler northern summers]. As I was running through one of the crowded areas of the city, I passed a woman in her mid-twenties, talking on [and when I say talking on, I mean screaming into] her cell phone. I'm not entirely sure what the conversation was about, but I do know that the average conversation soundbite that I can actually catch while running the opposite direction is about 10 seconds. This one, I caught about 30 seconds of due to high volume of said individual and the language in that 30 second soundbite alone would have required a R rating...

So I'm guessing the conversation wasn't necessarily a happy go-lucky one.

At any rate, the one phrase, screamed into the phone, that most caught my ear was this:

"FINE! I'll make you happy. I won't be [...] happy at all but I'll make you [...] happy. I hope you know how [...] miserable this makes me."

Man. What a picture of love. Truly the self-sacrificing martyr that one... chances are high that she will [and by that I mean, will not] receive a metal of honor for that sacrifice...

Yet, as much as I roll my eyes and am shocked by her angry, loud, ugly response [to an unknown prompt, in an unknown situation], I wonder how often my own heart response is very similar...

"FINE! I know it's the right thing to do, so I'll do it, but I'm not going to like it..."
"FINE! I know I need to be talk to her/him, so I'll do it, but I'm going to hate every minute of it."
"FINE! I'll go, because it matters to you, but I'd really rather be anywhere else."

I might not verbalize those things... in fact, given my semi-southern culture, you might never know what's going on inside. But the ugliness is still just as ugly.

May I be as convicted of my own bent-ness, as I am of hers...

Have mercy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

thank you, mischiveous friend...

Someone out there deserves mega kudos for a fantastic prank against me. Friend, I do not know who you are, but I'm impressed.

Allow me to give you a sampling of the emails and mailings that I've received in the last two months, arriving each and every day:

- Babies R Us Catalogs
- What to Expect When You're Expecting
- Newborn Photo Gallery portrait options
- A 3 day sample pack of Enfamil Newborn Baby Formula (my personal favorite)

- Emails entitled:
"Congratulations, You're now in your 3rd Trimester!"
"Dealing with your postpartum body"
"Your baby is almost here!"
"Delivering your baby naturally"
"The Pro's and Con's of Epidurals"
"How to Avoid Stretch Marks"
"Congratulations on your new arrival!"

So, anonymous friend, thank you for your sass. Your wit. Your class. And apparently my newly-born child, which can be credited to you. That was the most effortless delivery pregnancy and postpartum possible. Thank you. And I applaud your creativity. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It is what it is.

"It is what it is."

A phrase of uncertain origin, some say appearing as far back as 1949, is a well-known sports cliche, often used to describe unfavorable outcomes or circumstances in games or competitions. Coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers, for example, frequently included it in his arsenal to describe his team's performance... sorry Panthers, better luck next season.

Regardless of its origin, it is a phrase that I have heard a lot lately...

... I just lost my job, but... it is what it is.
... My start-up company failed and we lost 11 million dollars in 11 months, but...
... I am really lonely and would love to be in a relationship, but...
... I have a lousy relationship with my family, but...
... I haven't slept in four days, I am completely overwhelmed, but...
... my elephant has a sinus infection, and is lame in three legs, but...

"It is what it is."

[note, all real examples except the last one]

What does that even mean?! It is what it is. It's like saying... "See that squirrel over there? That's a squirrel." True. Not helpful. See, the way that I see it, there are three possible things that we could be meaning when we utter this particular cliche:

1. Eh. I don't know what to say, so I'm going to fill air space by not really saying anything.
2. Eh. I don't want to engage with you with the fact that this is horrible, so I'm going to just pretend that I'm in control of the situation and okay with it all.
3. Eh. I am currently trying to persuade myself of an alternative reality and parallel universe theory isn't doing it for me, so instead, I'm just trying to pretend that this current situation isn't lame.

Really folks, we can do better than that.

It's a cliche phrase that attempts to fill a space that would have a far more profound impact if we just said, "it sucks" or were silent. It brushes off things that matter in a frivolous attempt to be cavalier and nonchalant.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of many cliche phrases. Just Manny being Manny. That's the way the cookie crumbles. She's moving slower than molasses in January. That's what she said. Bless her heart. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. All's well that ends well. No problems with cliches. But "it is what it is" is a cliche that can go...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I went into CVS the other day, to look for a Father's day card for my dad, which is always interesting. Hallmark cards these days, man. Ridiculous. But what was striking to me this time was the categories into which the cards were broken down, within the "dad" section...

"great dad"
"supportive dad"
"good dad"
"any kind of dad"
"mom's significant-other"
"mom who was strong in dad's absence"
"like a father to me"

This morning my facebook news feed wished me happy Father's Day in many different languages through the words of friends who are profoundly grateful for their fathers, their children's fathers, etc. And it made me smile. I am grateful for my father, and I am delighted that so many friends have extraordinary fathers for whom they are, and should be, profoundly grateful! :)

But, on this day, reminded by Hallmark, I am also deeply aware that there are many, with many different reasons, for whom Father's Day is not a happy celebration... for whom the idea of father brings painful, not joyful, memories, images and thoughts. As my dear friend Alex* pointed out, we are hard wired for good family relationships and, centrally in that, relationship with a good father, of whom God is the original. But, for many of us, that has not been or is not our experience. And so, Father's Day is a complicated, if not grievous, occasion.

And so this Father's Day, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that fact. It's OK if it's hard. And whether today is hard because your relationship with your dad is strained to non-existent, or because he's no longer present, or never was, because he was your hero and is gone, or because you still bear the wounds of his failures, because you miss him, or because you wish that he'd go away, whatever the reason might be... it's OK for today to be hard.

See I think Father's Day reflects well the fact that we are were created for good family relationships... and within that, we were wired for good relationship with our earthly fathers, who are intended to be a reflection of the character of our good Father in heaven. And when those relationships are absent, or broken, or bent, it reflects a part of life that is not as intended.

So in a strange way, I actually want to encourage you to celebrate today, even if that means allowing yourself to mourn, that Father's Day is hard because even that mourning reflects the fact that you were created for and long for good, whole, and holy relationship with a good Father. And that's a holy longing, which is fulfilled, and satisfied in relationship with your perfect Father. That ache you feel is a longing for things to be as they were intended, and if it leads you to press deeper into trust of your heavenly Father and hope for and anticipation of all things made new when Jesus comes again, it is a holy thing.

So, whatever your circumstance today, I think Father's Day is or can be a celebration for you. Whether it's celebration of the good gift that your earthly father is or was, or a longing and hunger for consummation of all things made new and the restoration of things as they should be, it is a day to celebrate. Either in anticipation or in realization.

So Happy Father's Day, to one and all! May it be a day of complete celebration one day soon!

* Alex also has several other excellent posts on God as Father, found here, here, and here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


[Baltimore, Inner Harbor, June 6, 2010]

To sit with bare feet dangling over the water and feel the breeze off the shore caressing your face, watching the sunset in the distance.
To hear the jazz ringing gently in the background.
To sense the presence of your best friend beside you, no words necessary, just being.
The cool of evening surrounding you as darkness begins to take possession of the day.

Sometimes life moves too fast.