Dec 27, 2010

greasy hair

I've got bags to unpack, greasy hair that needs to be washed (tomorrow, before work, I SWEAR), and dinner dishes that need doing. After a long weekend in the winter wonderland of Glenwood, Washington these are the LAST things I want to do. I want to sit on my couch and stare at the lights on my Christmas tree as I remember snuggling with my sisters and laughing with family over silly things that only families laugh at. I want to sip a cup of hot cocoa, curl up under a blanket, stay up too late and have it be okay because I'm still on vacation.

Real life starts tomorrow. But this long weekend of Christmas, of slowing down and remembering what this life is all about, has me thinking about how to do life a little differently. I'm thinking about finding making time for things that make my heart glow and my feet seem to hover a few inches off the ground.

First step: dishes in the sink.

Second step: make hot cocoa.

Third step: pjs and knitting.

Dec 24, 2010

emmanuel, God with us

What I'd love to do is find some time to create some beautiful picture and overlay the text of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" over the top of it. But I don't have that kind of time. So instead, here's my heart today.

It is Christmas Eve, and this past week I have been overwhelmed by how loudly the stores I pass have proclaimed THEIR Christmas story.

But their Christmas story is not THE Christmas story. The Christmas story is about an unwed teenage mother and the man who would become her husband, shoved into a cave because everywhere else was full, giving birth to her Son. It is about the God of the universe coming down, somehow cramming all of Himself into the tiny body of a newborn so He could save us, so He could reconcile us to Him, so we could be with Him. It is about the now and not yet reality of Emmanuel, God with us. He is HERE. NOW. And He is coming again.

Rejoice!

REJOICE!

Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.

Dec 17, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—a little pop a little not

Okay. I sort of love this song. ALOT. If it's on when I'm in the car [on those rare occasions I'm actually driving] you will find me singing it. LOUDLY.



And this? This is my city.

Dec 10, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—firework

Katy Perry.

Firework.

This song, if you can believe it, reminds me that God's got all this mess that feels like my life right now figured out.

On my own I am broken and wretched and sinful.

With Him I have purpose, I shine, I am who He created me to be, unhindered by the weight of the world, free to live and love unburdened.

With Him I shine.

All from a pop song by a former PK with a catchy hook.

Dec 9, 2010

thankful on a thursday—i'm back?

It's been a while. And there are reasons. And I've got an unpublished post or two that discusses those reasons. But instead of waiting until they're ready (translation: until I feel comfortable posting them on the interwebz) I'm just going to tell you that this Thursday I am very thankful. I'm also going to tell you that I have missed these weekly pauses where I reflect and am thankful.

  1. Lizzy and Ashby are here and spending the night with me tonight.
  2. The joy and beauty that seems to explode whenever Ashby smiles, laughs, babbles, basically whenever she does anything.
  3. The rain that's pouring down outside and the way it reminds me of the way He washes me clean.
  4. There is beauty in the broken mess of life.
  5. The broken messiness of life is even more beautiful and wonderful when we invite others into our own broken mess.
    **Excuse me while I go repeat that to myself while looking in a mirror.**
  6. I am His beloved and He is mine.
  7. Twitter's direct message feature and the conversations that take place behind the scenes.
  8. Going to my first, but not last, NFL game and seeing the Seahawks WIN!
  9. Tattoo Friday.
  10. When He looks at me, I am holy and blameless before Him because of the incomprehensible sacrifice of my Savior. I do not understand it, but I cannot deny that I have done NOTHING to deserve this gift, and I cannot deny my gratitude at the enormity of this gift.

Oct 29, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—sometimes you need some sugar

I bought the new Taylor Swift album this week. And I love it. Even if she is a little crazy. I also realized that I love the song "Dear John" [which is apparently about her dating John Mayer. EW.] because it reminds me of this new song we've been singing in church called "Yahweh." Which is kind of weird. But it's the truth. I enjoy the video for "Mine" because it's cute and sweet. And because it makes me think of Rosemary. [Hi Co!]

Please to enjoy some sugary sweetness.

Oct 28, 2010

thankful on a thursday—be still

When I can't seem to keep my head on straight, He reminds me to be still.

When dreams for the future vanish like the sun in the midst of an autumn rainstorm in Portland, He reminds me to be still.

When I am so tired I can barely drag myself out of bed, He reminds me to be still.

When nothing makes sense, He reminds me to be still.

He reminds me to be still and know that He is God. When He reminds me to know that He is God, I am reminded of His goodness. I am reminded of His promises. I am reminded of His jealous love for me. I am reminded of the lengths to which He has gone to love me, to intercede for me, to ensure that He is with me always.

In that stillness, if I listen, I swear I can hear Him breathe. I swear I can feel the warmth of His breath on the top of my head, whispering the love and kisses of a Father to His daughter. "Trust me. Abide in me. I love you, and My love is more than enough for all that you are going through."

  1. The reminder to slow down, to be still and KNOW.
  2. I have the best friends.
  3. Bourbon and ginger ale.
  4. Honesty in the midst of the messiness of life.
  5. The middle, even though it's hard to live there.
  6. My lovely cousinsister Katie has moved back to the Pacific Northwest.
  7. I am not the same person I was a year ago, or even six months ago.
  8. Warm coffee on rainy autumn days.
  9. He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it
  10. This time to stop and be thankful each week, and my awesome friend, Nish, who started it all.

Oct 25, 2010

save blue like jazz

Blue Like Jazz. As a movie. I don't know about you, but reading this book had a real impact on my faith. It was incredible to be invited into another person's faith journey, to see it unfold, to learn from it, to be challenged in my own faith journey as a result. I read this book in the fall of 2005, I specifically remember an afternoon when my friend Hunter and I laid on a bench in the middle of a circle of redwoods reading for hours.

A few years ago I heard they were going to make Blue Like Jazz into a movie. Then a little over a month ago, Don announced that there wasn't enough funding to make the movie, so the project would be on hold indefinitely. LAME. And then...then this happened:


Your chance to help fund Blue Like Jazz, to participate in history, ends tonight at 9:00PM. Do you have $10 to spare?

Oct 22, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—matt wertz

Stumbled on this guy while watching the latest batch of Save Blue Like Jazz thank you videos. I looked up the people in the video I didn't know. Matt Wertz was one of them.

I'm pretty crazy about the chorus, which is just "sing my lonesome away." Lots of awesome in only four words.

Oct 21, 2010

thankful on a thursday—His bride

These past few weeks have been amazing, so full of joy, love and excitement. These past few days have been challenging, full of doubt, fear and worry. In the midst of this doubt, fear and worry, He reminds time and time again that I am His. He reminds me that He is GOOD, that He is TRUSTWORTHY, that He is FAITHFUL.

I bathe my heart in the Truth of His Word. I soak in the richness of His promises. I drink deeply from the well that NEVER runs dry. I look up, an unworthy bride, into the eyes of the most faithful and loving Bridegroom I could ever hope to wed. He pulls back my veil and cups my face with His hands as His love washes over me with such force that, were He not holding me, I would surely be knocked backward.

I don't understand how all of this works. I don't have a map. I don't know where He is leading me. But I want to be led on HIS path, on the journey HE has prepared. I am not the one setting the course. I am the one along for the ride. And it's risky. There are no guarantees, but I trust Him. I trust that my Bridegroom will lead me safely through whatever we encounter. I trust that He will never let me go.

Today, friends, I am so very thankful.
  1. His love NEVER fails.
  2. The willing ears and reassuring words of good friends.
  3. The way the sunrise never fails to remind me that His mercies are new every morning.
  4. A week of autumn sunshine.
  5. One last day without rain means one last day in sandals.
  6. New races on the calendar and a friend to train with.
  7. He is always interceding for me.
  8. One way or another, the risk is worth it.
  9. Waking up with a peaceful spirit two days in a row.
  10. Watching my high schoolers act out Ruth 3 last night was priceless.

Oct 15, 2010

cold suck

Dude. I have a cold sore. I have not had a cold sore in YEARS. Last week was stress to the max. Not enough sleep. Crazy stress at work (that kept me from sleeping). Marathon nerves (which are gone cause I took care of that on Sunday).

I've had cold sores before, obvs. My experience with them has led me to realize that none of the OTC stuff helps. Usually it just makes my lip bleed. Ew. Resigned to the fact that there's not much to do but tough it out, I thought I'd use the Google just in case I was missing some killer at home cold sore remedy.

No such luck.

I did find out that avoiding certain triggers of cold sores will lessen the frequency you get them. Here's the list:
  • Fever
  • Infection, colds and flu
  • Ultraviolet radiation, such as a sunburn
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in the immune system
  • Trauma
  • Food allergies
  • Menstruation
  • Dental work
A fantastically helpful list. Except for the second to last item. Excuse me. How on earth am I supposed to avoid menstruation?! I am a woman of child-bearing age. Whoever wrote this list needs to go back to med school.

Oct 10, 2010

marathon morning

It's 5:23AM. Coffee's made, breakfast is warming up, and I think I'm actually ready to do this thing. Kath came in about 10 minutes ago and asked how I was feeling. I said, "I think it's a good thing I have no idea what I'm getting myself into." The folks are picking me up in about 25 minutes, and then it's off to the start.

Oct 8, 2010

thankful on a thursday friday—free

He wants me to be free. He wants me to live in freedom. He wants me to rest with Him, trusting, knowing that with Him all things are possible, with Him there is nothing worth worrying about.

His freedom is like nothing else I know—and there is so much more to learn than the little I know of His freedom. His rest is imbued with a peace that passes all understanding.

I rest, knowing that He is the one steering this ship. I rest, knowing that I am His beloved and that nothing, literally nothing, can separate me from His endless Love.

I rest at His side, curious about the course He has plotted for our journey, trusting Him to guide us there safely. If the waters grow choppy, or a storm blows in, at His side, under His protection is exactly where I want to be. It is in this place, by His side, that I am free.

  1. This peace that fills me, washes away my anxiety, and reminds me of His goodness.
  2. Kathy is running the marathon with me on Sunday!
  3. The encouragement of friends and family as I get closer and closer to my first 26.2.
  4. Skype date with Erica Sue, that was one of the best hours ever!
  5. Seeing the beautiful Miss Emrie Kent, all sleepy and silly.
  6. New, soft merino yarn, waiting to be knitted into a slouchy beanie.
  7. God's timing is perfect.
  8. My Portland peeps.
  9. An evening walk in the Pearl, complete with beautiful sunset.
  10. I am my beloved's and He is mine.

Oct 6, 2010

sleepless

For the third night in a row, I've woken up long before my alarm goes off, and I have not been able to go back to sleep. This morning I woke up around 4:00AM, yesterday it was 5:15AM, and Monday it was 5:30AM. I. Am. Exhausted. I wake up and my mind starts racing, and I cannot slow it down long enough to fall back to sleep. Sleeping has never been an issue for me. So if you think about it, I could use some prayer because I don't know what else to do to fix this problem.

Oct 4, 2010

pruning

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

If I am to bear fruit, I must be pruned.

"My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."

The discipline of my Father is good, and it comes from His immense love for me. As He rebukes me I can feel Him pulling me close, wrapping His arms around me, whispering words of Love into my ears as my tears soak his chest.

Oct 1, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—potpourri

In an attempt to redeem myself from the Zac Efron videos from two weeks ago, I was determined to find a really amazing video that would underscore my [usually] great taste in music.** Friends, I've failed. The song I've had stuck in my head for the past TWO WEEKS is not cool. I mean, I think it is, but not in that "cool" way. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to post it. And I'm going to post two other videos because as I'm sitting here writing this I'm listening to another video and remembering a different video I watched last week. That's right. THREE videos, and none of them Avett Brothers [not that they're not still #1 on the music chart in my heart, they are]. I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.

First, the song I can't get out of my head. My apologies to my orange and black blooded family members.



The second is a fantastic video by none other than Joy Eggerichs and her father Emerson about the importance of respect. I find it challenging, thought provoking, and I love their father-daughter dynamic.



Lastly we have Pomplamoose with Ben Folds and Nick Hornby singing and discussing the wonders of the written word. Bonus, you get to see girl gun noises vs. boy gun noises AND magic nursery babies? Oh, for awesome.



Enjoy friends, loves!

**Everyone thinks they have great taste in music and a sense of humor, but they couldn't possibly all have good taste and a sense of humor. —Marie, "When Harry Met Sally"

Sep 23, 2010

thankful on a thursday—busy as usual

I started this post last week, and, as seems to happen more and more often, Thursday came and went all too fast. Today I find myself rushed, needing to get too much done in the next 60 minutes before heading outside for six miles along the water. I cannot wait to leave this office and lose myself in a run. With that, here are a few things for which I am so very thankful.
  1. Insecurities are universal, and I am not alone in my struggle with pride.
  2. The Portland Marathon is one and a half weeks away, and whether I walk, run, or crawl across the finish line in six, seven or ten hours, I will have completed a 26.22 mile race.
  3. Forest Park is only 1.74 miles from my house, and once there I have 40+ miles of trail just waiting for me to explore.
  4. Honesty, whether it is hard or easy, is always a good thing.
  5. Pruning hurts, but I cannot produce fruit without it.
  6. For the lines, "Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of All," and the way they touch the core of where I am and where I want to be.
  7. Watching my high schoolers struggle forward on their individual journeys, and the fact that they choose to share stories from those journeys with me.
  8. There is nothing like a good book.
  9. I may love the rain, but these blue skies are heaven.
  10. Watching leaves on the hillside change colors.
  11. The chance to be a student again.
  12. Reading the book of Ruth with new eyes.

Sep 17, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—bet on it

I'll admit it, I'm a fan of the High School Musical movies. I'm a fan for a number of reasons.
  1. Back when I lived in California, one of the students in the high school ministry remade this video out on the golf course behind her parents' house. It was hilarious.
  2. Just before school ended in May, we had an all girls High School Musical Movie Marathon for the Imago youth group. It was amazing.
  3. It reminds me of Smarsh and zooming out of the parking lot at TLC for some afternoon adventure or another (lunch, coffee, errands).
  4. They are campy and there's something wholesome (and completely unrealistic) about them that seems to be so contrary to what mainstream media throws at high schoolers (because it errs on the side of innocence rather than promiscuity).
So in honor of my HSM fandom and my wee crush on Zac Efron that I don't want to talk about because he's 22 and I am 28 and the memories it evokes, here are a few of my favorite songs:



Sep 16, 2010

thankful on a thursday—jump and roll

You know when life starts going too fast and all you can think about is how you want it to slow down. Then you think about slowing down and it's like when I think about what I would do if I were kidnapped, shoved in the back of a car, and facing certain death / danger and try to imagine at what point the car would be going too fast for me to try to jump out of the car and roll onto the shoulder [at which point I would jump up and run into the woods]. I think about that analogy and I think I'm past that max speed. I don't think I can jump out of the car and survive the landing.

Work is crazy. Life is crazy. Running is crazy. I have too much to do [then why are you blogging, Haley?] and it seems like there is never enough time to do the things I want to do and still slow down enough to just REST. I am not a fan of this breakneck pace, and friends, I want out of this car. I keep telling myself it will slow down, and after October 10 it will a little. A lot of anxiety and stress goes away after that day [why do I want to do this marathon again?]. Have I mentioned my hip is bothering me again?

On top of it all, September has begun to turn rainy, and rainy autumn weather [I know it's not technically autumn yet, and I know we barely had a summer] is my favorite. It reminds me how much I love to slow down and rest. I hear the rain out my window and imagine curling up on the couch with coffee, knitting, and a movie and NOTHING sounds more appetizing right now. But I can't. Because I have to be at work early to finish the day's to do list so I can leave work early so I can go for a run before I go to a meeting to discuss the fall teaching series on Ruth for youth group.

Right now it feels like the only thing that could evoke real gratitude would be a broken leg or a case of pneumonia.

  1. Waking up to the soft patter of rain outside my window.
  2. The quiet, thoughtful, thought provoking music of Thad Cockrell and the person [whose blog I totally creep on and you should too] who introduced me to his music [through aforementioned blog creeping].
  3. Knowing that in this world I will have trouble, He has OVERCOME the world.
  4. New, square, metal double pointed knitting needles that wait patiently for life to calm down so we can spend hours on the couch with coffee and unfinished socks.
  5. Canning tomatoes.
  6. Clean, delicious water right from my tap every day.
  7. Long drives and the way they lend themselves to good conversation.
  8. The chance to pray for others, and how, in that mysterious way I don't think I will ever understand, it underscores my Father's love for me.
  9. My high schoolers, watching them discover and experience life.
  10. A warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
  11. Flowers and a card from my boss after a very long week.

Sep 10, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—you walk in with me, you walk out with me

I always find little gems when Nicole posts her Honor Roll [a.k.a. the things she finds on the interwebz that she just has to share]. Today is no exception. There was a video she linked to that's from NPR's Story Corps, and it was so lovely. It is part "When Harry Met Sally", part deep longings of my heart, and part "Ren & Stimpy". Before you watch it you might want to grab some kleenex.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Sep 8, 2010

clogs

I remember back when Garance Dore posted all about clogs and how she would never ever love them [at least not yet]. I clicked through her links, and when I saw them I knew, KNEW there was NO WAY I would EVER think clogs were cute.



Ahem...I may have been wrong. Additionally, I MUST find some way to incorporate these into my wardrobe. Impractical? Totes. Awesome anyway? TOTES.

embie

Perhaps you remember, last week, when I wrote about Ryan and the album he put together to raise money and awareness for SMS? If you didn't, you can go back and read it. Well, as you may have noticed, the album artwork features a large, green monster. Oh, you don't remember that? Well, here's the album artwork:



Anyway, Ryan decided that the monster needed a name and he opened up the naming to all his readers. I looked at the monster, and I thought for awhile about what that monster should be called. Ryan calls his son LB, which stands for Littlest Buddy, so I thought, why not MB for Monsterist Buddy. But instead of just MB why not Embie, which is just MB written out phonetically.

So Ryan went through and read the names to LB to see which one he liked best. After reading out Embie, LB "let out his best monster roar." I can't believe LB liked the name Embie that much! Monster roars from kids are just the best, and I am stoked that LB liked Embie enough to show off his monster roar.

Sep 3, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—avetts again

I couldn't NOT post Avett Brothers videos for today. After their EPIC benefit show on Monday, I feel it would be irresponsible of me to NOT share some of this EPICNESS with you.

First up: Portland Town [their opening song]



Next up we have "Pretty Girl from Chile" [which, during the first few bars I was convinced was "Go to Sleep"]. I've seen the brothers rock out and go crazy before. But this was a whole new level which, you end up missing in this video because the song went on for another four or five minutes after this video ends.



Next is "Please Pardon Yourself." It's quite the breakup song. At this point in the post I should inform you that I'm going to post ALL the youtube videos I can find from this show.



Oh man. I was SO excited when they played "Jenny and the Summer Day." It's so quintessentially summer and it made me wish I had a river to jump in and a big jug of sweet tea to drink. As is evidenced by the camera work of the person who shot the video, it's hard to contain yourself when the Avetts play the songs you love.



This next one is for Ms. Kathy Simpson since my attempt to send my lame video from my phone didn't work.



Okay. There ARE more videos. But maybe that's enough for one post.

Sep 2, 2010

thankful on a thursday—sweepy-tired

Dudes. I am tired. SO tired. And hungry. Always hungry. All of the running is making me very tired and very hungry. I'm pretty sure I was hungry all day today. Until tonight when I made myself rice, pinto beans and eggs, and topped them with cheese and tomatoes. Now I am not hungry, but my eyelids are oh so very droopy. So, it being just a wee bit past ten o'clock, I'm going to get on with my gratitude and then hit the hay.
  1. A cozy, comfy bed to crawl in every night.
  2. The upcoming three-day weekend.
  3. When my folks go out of town, they always let me borrow their car while they're gone.
  4. The opportunity to see yet another EPIC Avett Brothers show.
  5. Quiet evenings at home.
  6. A surprise visit from Lizzy, Margie, and Ashby.
  7. This morning's sunrise, and the reminder that He makes all things new.
  8. Hanging out with my high schoolers twice in one week.
  9. There is food in the refrigerator and on the shelves.
  10. Being made aware of my struggle to trust Him, and the way that brings me closer to Him.

Good night my friends. Much love.

do fun stuff

A while ago...almost two years I think...I stumbled upon a gorgeous picture of this pregnant mother, belly almost bursting out of her top, glowing with love for what she was growing inside of her. That picture was part of a maternity series, and that maternity series was photographed by her husband, Ryan. I began visiting Ryan's site to check out the maternity series. Then I subscribed to his RSS feed so I could read the posts he was writing and see the pictures he was taking between the maternity photos.

It was amazing reading about the pregnancy [my very favorite post, that I emailed to as many girlfriends as I possibly could, is this one.]. And the posts between the pregnancy posts were amazing. They were about life. They were about what it was like for Ryan and his wife Cole to be newly married. They were about what it was like for Ryan to be an expectant father, and they were about what it was like learning to be stepdad to Cole's son, who he refers to a LB [the Littlest Buddy because Ryan calls all his friends buddy].

Mid-pregnancy LB was diagnosed with SMS [Smith Magenis Syndrome—read more about it here.]. And from there, as I've read Ryan's blog, I—and all his other readers—have watched Ryan and Cole grapple with what it means to be parents of a kid with SMS, what it means for LB to have SMS, all the while doing it with the fierce love of parents who want the very best for their son.

After reading his blog, one thing Ryan most certainly is is driven. So when he decided he wanted to do something to help not just LB, but other people with SMS, it didn't take long for it to become this HUGE idea. What did Ryan do? Oh, you know, he got a bunch of his musician friends together and they made an album. WHICH DEBUTED AT NUMBER ONE ON ITUNES. Ryan's going to release an album every year on LB's birthday, and the proceeds of the album go to SMS research. Because right not there's not much information and there's not a whole lot of funding.

So. What does this mean? It means that if you're a parent and you have good taste in music and are sick of listening to Kidz Bop and Yo Gabba Gabba, there's a BETTER, AWESOMER album out there with music for your kids that won't make your ears bleed. You can listen to the album below, AND you can buy it on iTunes. Also, I love the birthday song. I kind of want to find a way to incorporate it into my next birthday.



PS.I'm late to the game here, friends. All the cool people blogged about it on Monday. I suffered from Notenoughpeoplereadmyblog-itis, but a run this morning, complimented by ruminating on how much work Ryan and his friends and family have put into this project, cured me real quick. Even if I'm the only one who buys it [and then gives it too all of my friends with kids for their respective children's birthdays], I still want you to know about it. K. That's it.

Aug 27, 2010

bsg @ emp|sfm

Who's going to see the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the EMP|SFM? ME. That's who. You're invited if you want to come along. It will be frakking awesome.

Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition at EMP|SFM 10.23.2010 from EMP|SFM on Vimeo.

fabulous friday video goodness—weird

Weird but good.

Aug 26, 2010

thankful on a thursday—struggling

On the last Wednesday of the month my church has a prayer meeting. We gather together and pray individually, in small groups, and corporately. We confess. We praise. We cry out. We intercede.

Last night, before a time of individual prayer and confession, one of the pastors challenged us with this: If you are in the midst of a certain sin, you are not struggling with that sin. You have already given yourself over to that sin. It in only when you turn away from a sin and are tempted to return to it that the struggle occurs. He went on to quote Hebrews saying, "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood."

None of us are perfect. I am not perfect. Sin will always tempt me. This isn't about being convicted to "live like a Navy SEAL for Jesus". This is simply about conviction. This is about the discipline of a Father who loves His children so much that, where we have given in to sin, He has persevered, even to the point of bloodshed in our place. His strength, his ability to struggle, is made perfect in my weakness, in my inability to struggle without Him calling me, guiding me back Home. For that I am eternally thankful.
  1. A long run, off the pavement, with a running partner, and incredible views.
  2. A weekend of quiet with nothing to do but cook, bake, and knit.
  3. A last minute ticket to see The Avett Brothers in Portland.
  4. Late night brainstorming sessions over microbrews.
  5. For friendships, new and old.
  6. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
  7. Free laundry.
  8. The way He reminds me that He is always with me.
  9. A long drive all to myself.
  10. Digging into a new book I can hardly stand to put down.

Aug 24, 2010

a weekend away

This weekend I am going away. I will leave work on Friday, stopping by Extracto for an iced late and A Close Knit for a new set of knitting needles (square and metal and divine), before heading out along Marine Drive. Upon arriving in Glenwood, Washington I will lug my laundry, my rolling pin, my knitting, a bag of groceries and several books inside.

There are a few things on my to do list for the weekend, and I am looking forward to each of them. A weekend away with a to do list? Yeah, but check out this list:

Aug 20, 2010

thankful on a thursday—post script

One more bit of thankfulness to add to yesterday's list:

11. Nish lent me her shoes for most of the walk back from Lady Gaga last night because my usually comfy and oh so cute black heels were killing me. She shuffled along in my too-big-for-her shoes and I wore her TOMS. SO thankful!

Aug 19, 2010

thankful on a thursday—all over the place

Today I feel all over the place. Almost every item on my to do list is only partially completed [except for planning my outfit for tonight, that I finished around midnight last night]. As soon as I start something I am distracted by some other thing, partially done, sitting on my desk asking me, "but what about me? Aren't you going to finish me?"

Perhaps it's because there really is too much to do. Maybe it's the Stumptown latte coursing through my veins. More likely it's trying to do everything all at once.

In the midst of the excitement of seeing a dear friend, attending what is sure to be an EPIC Lady Gaga concert, getting back into the groove of normal life after a crazy July followed by two weeks of vacation, and processing what it means to trust, believe, and accept God's unconditional love, I find myself—my feelings, thoughts, and life—all over the place.

That's what I love about Thankful on a Thursday. I get to pause and focus. Even if the things I'm thankful for are totally random and disconnected, this exercise in intentional gratitude brings them all together.
  1. Seeing Lady Gaga in concert.
  2. Five days with my high schoolers in Southern Oregon, hiking, rafting, and swimming.
  3. All the conversations and things that took place between the hiking, rafting, and swimming.
  4. Friends to run with on my long runs for the next TWO weekends.
  5. Adventures and conversations with Katie on Sauvie Island.
  6. Belonging to a church that lives out honesty, transparency, and grace even when it is hard.
  7. A few quiet moments of gratitude and grace at His table.
  8. Lounging around on familiar furniture, beds, and beaches with family.
  9. Last night's voicemail from Erica Sue.
  10. His love is present and true no matter what.

Aug 18, 2010

they toil not

It's tattooed on my arm, so why doesn't it live in my heart?

I have food to eat.

I have clothes to wear.

I have friends and family and so much love.

Why doesn't it feel like enough? Why don't those things and those people feel like blessings? Why won't this wanting, this needing, this loneliness be quenched?

What is left undone? What is misunderstood?

Grace.

LOVE.


What does it look like to rest? To trust that it doesn't matter that I'm not enough, that I don't have it all figured out?

How do I JUST LIVE in this place? No striving to make it better / easier / prettier. Just live. Just be. How do I stop trying when it's all I can think of to do?

Aug 14, 2010

missing the chaos

After two weeks away from home, it was nothing short of amazing to shower in my own shower (sans flip flops), climb into my own bed, and fall fast asleep. It was incredible to wake up without an alarm and know I could just lay in my big, comfy bed without worrying about who I was supposed to wake up when or wonder if I'd be able to grab five minutes to myself to just be.

In the midst of enjoying my self-imposed solitude I noticed the quiet, the lack of laughter, the absence of birds and river water. No one was challenging anyone else to escape from a camp chair after being tied up. No one was attempting to do any sort of awesome jump off a rock into the river. No one wanted to know if they had time to go to the bathroom / shower / river / frisbee golf course before our next activity. I miss that.

I miss the chaos. I miss the laughter. I miss the silly contests. I miss driving a Suburban full of kids who are singing, dancing and air guitarring their hearts out as I drive us through the windy back roads and secluded state highways of southern Oregon. I miss seeing the stars from the window of my tent as I fall asleep, separated from the ground by a quartern inch of thermarest, wrapped up in my caterpillar green sleeping bag. I miss the joy of the water finally boiling and passing out oatmeal and french press to sleepy students and leaders. I miss the brief moments where I see this chaos for what it really is—love and grace lived out in the midst of the messy lives we live.

These kids are the best. Those five days in southern Oregon will go down as some of my favorite. While my introverted self is still a little tired, I cannot wait for Wednesday and the chance to relive even just a bit of that holy chaos that's become so dear to my heart.

Aug 13, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—how He loves us

In the midst of anger, struggling with resentment and a self-imposed, stubbornly narrow-minded understanding of blessing, I know He loves me.

Jul 30, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—mumford & sons

Accordion.

Steel guitar [I think].

Incredible lyrics.

Please to enjoy Mumford & Sons goodness.



In these bodies we will live
In these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love
You invest your life


thankful on a—what the heck it's friday already!?

TIME FLIES. And folks, I have so much to do before I leave for TWO WEEKS OF VACATION on Monday. Really, I shouldn't even be writing this. I should be printing out documents for Board packets and sorting through my inbox, then I have to send this massive email [which still needs some edits btw], and don't even get me started on all the qualitative data I've got to quantify. And that's just today at work. WHEW. Why isn't the coffee ready yet?

If I'm so busy, why the blog? Because you gotta pause. Because I have to pause. I have to stop, close my eyes, and take a breath. Otherwise I will go crazy. So this is my pause.

This Thursday Friday, I am thankful.
  1. For an empty office so I can turn the music up and get stuff done in my own crazy way.
  2. A run with a friend after work that is guaranteed to clear my head and bring me down from a ten to a two.
  3. Cool mornings and warm summer evenings.
  4. Homemade sushi and honesty.
  5. The familiarity of home away from home.
  6. Thirteen days away from the office...the last time I did that I was unemployed.
  7. Getting to see Nish in person. [Squee!]
  8. The beeping of the office coffee pot, it's not french press, but it's found its way into my heart.
  9. A southern feast cooked for family.
  10. Running eight miles when I didn't think I'd make it more than five.
  11. His patience with me when I make time for everything and everyone but Him.

Much love friends. Now it's time to go kick this to list apart!

Jul 26, 2010

CB10: one week

Here I am, all set to write about how there's one week until CB10 and now I have Bare Naked Ladies "One Week" stuck in my head. Whatever.

One week until:
  • Speed Scrabble
  • Ten Thousand
  • Sleepy Monk Coffee consumed AT their coffee shop
  • Beach gifts
  • Toe Rock
  • Gin yer hert be cauld I canna warm ye
  • Alright, everyone grab four pieces of wood
  • Laughing until we cry
  • Crying until we laugh
  • Three generations
  • Jokes years in the making
  • The familiarity of a little twin bed shoved close to the window
One week until Windwhistle.*


[Pronounced Whhindwhhistle.]

Jul 20, 2010

encouragement

After yesterday's mini-meltdown about not being able to run the half and being worried I wouldn't be ready to run the full, I was in the midst of venting to Kathy when I got an email from Kelly on dailymile*. If I was still on the fence about running the full, that email clinched it for me. Here were a few of Kelly's reasons:
  1. You still have 12 weeks! That's plenty of time to get up to speed. I can help you with any training questions you have. We can also look for a training group in Portland.
  2. There is no foul in walking. My mom did her first marathon walking the entire thing. She was the last to finish, but came in with tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face. We can come up with a plan so that you walk every 15 minutes and still finish this thing.
  3. Run to the nearest bar after 13.1. If you're not feeling good after 13.1, let's share a pint at the nearest bar. No pressure!
  4. We'll be there to help you through it.
  5. It's gonna feel really good to cross that finish line. One of the best feelings in the world.
He also suggested running in costume, but all I can think is how shrivelly it would feel to run in something other than running clothes. :)

Portland Marathon, here I come.

*Shameless plug: if you're not on dailymile yet, you need to fix that, stat!

Jul 19, 2010

let's do this

Hip issues early on in my marathon training slowed me way down. "No worries," I thought. If worse comes to worst I'll just run the half.

Well, worse seemed to come to worst at my last physical therapy appointment when my PT said he was concerned about me being prepared for the marathon in October. I was discouraged, but not all that surprised.

I kept my chin up and gave myself a few weeks to mull things over. Then last week I decided I would email the race director and ask about running the half, certain it wouldn't be an issue. It is an issue. The half is sold out. This leaves me with the following options:
  1. Blow off the race.
  2. Take a DNF.
  3. Just go for it.
My first reaction was to do #1. My second thought was a slightly defeated, "yeah, I guess I could DNF...." My third and final thought was, "LET'S DO THIS."

[Image is from Threadless]

Jul 14, 2010

CB10: sunsets

When you look back through old photos of our yearly trips to the beach, there are always, ALWAYS pictures of the sunset. I would venture to guess that there are hundreds of pictures of the sunset, all taken from within five feet of each other. And every year we take more. Because every year the sunsets are beautiful and different from the ones, not just that previous year, but different even from the previous day's sunset. Just like those sunsets are different each year, our trip to the beach is different each year, even though each year we stay in the same house, sleep in the same beds, enjoy fires in the same fireplace, and play endless games of 10,000 and Speed Scrabble at the same table.



E I G H T E E N D A Y S

Jul 13, 2010

CB10: the countdown is ON

Dudes. It is almost here. What's almost here?? The BEACH. That is what is almost here. Only 19 days.

N I N E T E E N D A Y S.





Jul 9, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness

After a ridiculously amazing hike along the Dipsea trail, beers on the beach, and dinner at the Sand Dollar in Stinson Beach, we wound our way back to San Francisco along the 101. All five of us, Kathy, Kelly, Ben, Tess and I played the "let's all share our favorite YouTube videos" game. As a result of that game, I've had the Local Natives acoustic cover of "Cecelia," by Simon and Garfunkle, stuck in my head almost all week. It's the perfect summer song. I encourage you to grab something pale and delicious, lemonade, a Corona, plop your feet in some water, and enjoy...but maybe keep the computer away from the water. I don't know if you've heard, but water and electronics don't really mix.

Jul 8, 2010

thankful on a really hot thursday

I know even I, the perpetual lover of rain, got to a point just a few weeks ago where I was tired of the consistent precipitation. And I knew this would happen. I knew that as soon as it got above 85 degrees I would start complaining. But you know what? This is a THANKFUL day, so that is what I am choosing to focus on.
  1. A long weekend away with the lovely Kathy Simpson. It was long overdue and every minute was absolutely wonderful.
  2. Strapless dresses and strappy sandals.
  3. Ice cubes and ice cold water.
  4. Living water that never runs dry.
  5. The proximity of my house to a fantastic gelato place.
  6. My uncle Peter has gained four pounds even as he is in the midst of chemo and radiation for esophageal cancer.
  7. Good Southern comfort food.
  8. A good summer read.
  9. My fourth Avett Brothers concert NEXT weekend!
  10. His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways.
I'm off to stick my toes (and the rest of me) in a tub full of cold water and watch a movie. Loves.

Jul 1, 2010

thankful on a thursday—exceeding expectations

I expected this week to be overwhelming. I expected it to be too much. I thought the days would be too long and the nights too short. My expectations were, for the most part, met.

What I didn't expect was that this week would be so good. I didn't expect encouragement from unexpected places. I didn't expect that I would love my quiet mornings in the office before everyone else arrived as much as I do. I didn't expect to enjoy running this week.

This week has been so much more than what I thought it would be, and it's not over yet.

This week, I am so very thankful.
  1. For quiet mornings and fresh, hot cups of coffee.
  2. The gift of friendship, and all the many forms it takes.
  3. A WHOLE weekend in San Francisco with Kathy.
  4. A reminder that sometimes it is the storms in life that He uses to save us.
  5. The softening of my heart toward things I'd promised myself I'd never do...like baking pies.
  6. Fresh berries from local farms.
  7. Running with the One who gives me the ability to run in the first place.
  8. New jeans.
  9. Celebrating with friends as they commit their lives to one another.
  10. The smell of the salty air on a sunny summer day on the Oregon Coast.

Jun 28, 2010

simpsoka

It's the second semester of my freshman year of college, first week of classes. I'm leaving class, walking side by side with a girl I've just met. I'm intrigued by her intelligence, her independence, and the spark that ignites when two people just get each other.

Fast forward a year and a half. It's the end of my second semester of sophomore year. School is about to start, and this same friend and I are headed to our respective homes for the summer, me to Vancouver and she to Alaska. Inspired by Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (yes, really), she suggests that instead of sharing pants we mail journals back and forth all summer. This remains on of my favorite highlights of our friendship to this day.

Another year and a half goes by and we are roommates living in three-quarters of a garage that's been converted into a small house. There are Saturday morning breakfasts, movie nights, road trips, quote boards, and memories that have faded into the fabric of friendship only remembered in the familiarity that exists between us.

After only six months of being roommates, she moves. Then she moves again, and I move where she is. We spend a summer hiking, biking and laughing our way through Skagway, Alaska and its surrounding wonders. And then summer is over.

Real life sets in. She moves. I move. I visit. She moves. I move. I move. She moves. I move. She moves. I move. She moves. And all of a sudden it's been several years since we've seen each other. How does life move so quickly? It doesn't feel like years because we talk every week. But when I think about the last time I SAW her laugh, not just imagined it as she tells me she's laughing over gchat, the time becomes evident.

On Friday the wait will be over. It will no longer be years since we've seen each other, and I cannot wait.

Jun 25, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness

I was all set to post a different video today. And then Nish reminded me just how much I loved...Blink182. Those boys with their potty jokes, their tattoos (mmm...tattoos...) and their piercings, playing their sugary bubblegum punk. How I loved them. So in honor of the past, here is Blink182.

Jun 24, 2010

thankful on a thursday—under the wire

Here it is, only 39 minutes from Friday, and my TOAT post is still unwritten. Because there's so little to be thankful for? Not so much, see last week's post on all of the busy in my life for more information.

Friends, here is my list of things for which I am thankful:
  1. Early morning runs marked by sunshine and a cool breeze/
  2. Deep belly laughs.
  3. Wisdom and love imparted by cousinsisterbestfriends.
  4. A weekend away at the cabin with family.
  5. Learning to trust that He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it.
  6. The anticipation of a more than long overdue weekend in San Francisco.
  7. That first glass of cold water after a run.
  8. The process of reconciliation.
  9. The high school students who brighten up my Wednesday nights with their laughter and love.
  10. Opportunities to go big or go home.
Good night my friends.

Jun 18, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness

I discovered this video when I was over in Scotland. Several things to notice:
  • The size of the cell phone you see around 1:50
  • The awesome dance moves
  • Eyebrows [you'll know them when you see them]


I only have one question for you...why can't we dig each other and just hang?

Jun 17, 2010

thankful on a thursday—a little crazy

Life these days feels a little crazy. I feel like I have so many different things to manage, and I never sit down and organize all of them at once. I'll be in the midst of putting together a to do list at work, and something on my list will remind me of an email I meant to send to a friend. So I'll open up my email and get half a sentence in before I realized I've abandoned my previous task of organizing my to do list.

A few years ago someone asked me how I kept myself organized, where was my calendar? I smiled, tapped my index finger against my temple, and said, "it's all up here." Now, I'm not at the point where life is so crazy that I'm forgetting what I'm doing when and with whom...but I am at the point where my schedule is a little more than crazy. My homebody self is not getting enough time at home, while my extroverted that-sounds-awesome-lets-do-that! self is getting PLENTY of time out with others.

I get that it's MY CHOICE to say yes or no to spending time with friends. No one is forcing me out of the house. Maybe the problem is reminding myself to stay in. Self-imposed lock-ins, or designated nights each week that I'm always home? That seems a little too rule oriented for my taste.

It's not so much about rules as it is making sure I make time for the things that, regardless of how crazy life gets, keep me grounded. It's making sure I have time to just sit with my Bible and my journal, without anything else to distract me—this is why I no longer attempt to read my Bible during lunch at work or on the bus. It is taking time to be alone, in my room, on a run, but to just be alone without music, TV or a book to distract me.
  1. The peace and quiet that accompanies every run.
  2. Library books.
  3. A handwritten card full of love and encouragement.
  4. The familiar ache in my quads as I climb the stairs, a byproduct of running regularly.
  5. Hood strawberries fresh from the farmers' market.
  6. The smell of coffee as I prepare to take my first sip of the day.
  7. My nephew Jonah Bear, who is about to turn ONE.
  8. Homemade pie, lemon meringue to be precise.
  9. The light in the kitchen, early in the morning, and the inevitable sigh of relief I breathe as I sit down.
  10. Last, but CERTAINLY NOT least,Kathleen Alice Simpson, who was born 28 years and one day ago today.

Jun 15, 2010

remember

"Remember who you are and what you stand for."

My grandpa, Pop, would say that to me, and the rest of his grand kids, as he and my grandma, Mamie, would hug us goodbye. It's not as easy as it sounds, remembering who I am and what I stand for. The enemy is crafty, with schemes and enticements for each and every day. But more and more I am learning to stand in who I am, who I am created to be. I am learning that just because the waves crash against me, doesn't mean I will be knocked off my feet. I am learning that when the storms rage I can lean against my Rock.

Jun 11, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness—BONUS AVETTS

A little bonus Avett Goodness via the always awesome Joe Kwon[the cellist for The Avett Brothers]. A lovely Friday night to you all, and please to enjoy.

The Fall - The Avett Brothers feat. G. Love from Joseph Kwon on Vimeo.

fabulous friday video goodness—AVETTS

It's been a while since I've posted any Avett Goodness here, but it's not because these brothers have been far from my heart. No, no. Check out this video of their song, "Tear Down the House". It's one of my favorites, and this video makes it even more so.



PS. Anyone around this summer and want to go see them at Edgefield??

Jun 10, 2010

thankful on a thursday—friendship

I cannot believe all the amazing people God's put in my life. Tonight, sitting at my kitchen table with a little Jack Johnson on in the back ground, I am overwhelmed by the women and even a few men I get to be in community with on a regular basis. The more time I spend with people, the more I KNOW that we are not meant to be alone. We are not meant to live independently of one another.

We are meant to be in one another's lives. Not just when the house is clean and there's a delicious meal to be shared, but when the house is a mess and I haven't showered in three days, and I'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown. That is when it is the MOST important to open the door and let my friends in.

It can be SO DIFFICULT to let people into my mess, but it is so much better than the alternative, which is loneliness and fear. The fear that led me to plop down in the middle of the mess, certain that life would always look and feel like this, dissipates when another person sits in that place with me, with YOU, with us. Why miss out on that in an attempt to appear perfect, to try and prove that I've got it all figured out? THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO DO THAT. Yeah, that was a rhetorical question, but I answered it anyway because I want to be VERY CLEAR that I am learning that community exists because God, in all His infinite wisdom, knew that we couldn't make it through the mess alone.

What about you, is it easy to let people in? Or are you slower to let others in?
  1. FRIENDSHIP
  2. Handwritten cards and letters
  3. The anticipation of a Friday evening run that will push my running limits
  4. The Wednesday Farmer's Market
  5. Rodeo
  6. Laughter with friends
  7. The joy that comes when we share and bear each others burdens
  8. Stove popped pop corn with kale chips and garlic
  9. Celebrating with friends
  10. Coffee dates with friends that cover the mundane, the profound, and everything in between
  11. The anticipation in the four minutes before the the first cup of french press


Jun 4, 2010

fabulous friday video goodness

First it was the Single Ladies cover. And now...NOW POMPLAMOOSE DOES GAGA!

Please to enjoy this Fabulous Friday Video Goodness.

Jun 3, 2010

thankful on a thursday—don't should on yourself

Shouldn't I have this all figured out by now? Shouldn't I know WHO I am and WHAT I want to do with my life? Shouldn't I be a responsible, well adjusted adult by now? In the words of my friend / pastor / mentor / former-boss Charlie (who was quoting someone else I can't remember), "Don't should on yourself."

I'm a planner, and I like to have ALL the answers, not just some of them. When people ask me about work, about what I do, about what I want to do, there's this knot in my stomach and my throat tightens just a little. How can I be honest AND positive? How can I make it seem like I have my stuff together, like I have a plan, like I'm okay in the absence of a plan.

This absence of a plan freaks me out. It takes SO much faith and trust that I will be led—that I AM being led. Some days it's easy to trust, and others I am a messy wreck. But in the midst of it all, He is still there to cling to, and for that I am so thankful.
  1. My uncle starts chemo this week, and the doctors are not worried about him.
  2. A lazy weekend.
  3. A good night's sleep in my own bed.
  4. The use of a car for two and a half weeks.
  5. Epiphanies.
  6. Friends, old and new.
  7. Just because I can't sense God doesn't mean He's not there.
  8. Library books.
  9. Discovering a new coffee roaster.
  10. Honest conversation.

May 31, 2010

fabulous video goodness

I officially need a tuxedo and some dance lessons.

May 29, 2010

Eebs

Many happy returns on the day of thy birth, many seasons of sunshine be given,
May God in His mercy prepare you on earth for a beautiful birthday in heaven.

May 28, 2010

guest blog

In anticipation of having NO free time during moving week, Nish asked if I'd do a guest post on her blog. Let me stop here and say that if you're not reading Nish, you are MISSING OUT. I love her honesty and her sense of humor, the way she invites you into her life and shares whatever is on her heart. She also has FANTASTIC taste in music. (Gagaohlala)

Basically, she's awesome and she asked me to do a guest post, so check it out.

The Outdoor Wife

thankful on a thursday—one day late

Blah, blah, blah. Life is busy. Blah, blah. Needed sleep. Blah, blah. Excuses.

Thankful on a Thursday...but on Friday. So here's my list:
  1. High School Musical movie marathon with my high school girls!!
  2. The sound of rain on the roof as I fall asleep.
  3. Physical therapy.
  4. The return of Saturday morning runs!
  5. Two weeks worth of my friends' CSA share and the green garlic pesto recipe I got to try.
  6. I am not who other people have named me.
  7. A long weekend with almost nothing to do.
  8. Honesty.
  9. Hot coffee on a cold morning.
  10. Family.


May 18, 2010

OH. EM. GLEE.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS.

JOSS WHEDON.

GLEE.

I AM TOTALLY GLEEKING OUT RIGHT NOW.


May 17, 2010

missing gratitude

So I missed this last week's Thankful on a Thursday post, which kind of bums me out. I look forward to it every week as it's always a time of reflection for me, a time to zoom out and look at more than what's right in front of my face. My reason for missing was pretty awesome though...my little sister Lauren graduated from the University of Montana this weekend, so Thursday was all about rushing around the office so I could leave work early and catch a plane to Missoula.

In lieu of a Thankful on a Thursday post let me simply say that I am SO THANKFUL for my sister.

May 6, 2010

thankful on a thursday-longing for peace

I am confused. I am certain. I am doubtful. I am assured.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Fear. Peace. Fear. Faith. Fear. Love. Fear. Trust. He wraps me up in so many layers of Himself, but the enemy reverts to his tried and true weapon—fear.

I am trying to wade through, to see His Truth, to find my path. His path. Words that once brought comfort and freedom only seem to confuse. But He is not a God of confusion. He is a God of peace. He does not hide from me when I seek Him. How do I quiet my fears enough to hear His still, small voice?

Within this back and forth I am still thankful. It is a choice to be thankful, and it is a choice worth making.
  1. A quiet evening at home.
  2. The comfort and solace of His word.
  3. My first physical therapy appointment.
  4. A day of sunshine without rain.
  5. A double shot eight ounce latte.
  6. Celebrating my sister's graduation with lots of family.
  7. Books on loan from friends.
  8. Good local beers with friends.
  9. The joy that fills each Wednesday night.
  10. God's unendingly, patient, bottomless love.

Apr 29, 2010

thankful on a thursday-simple things

I love that when life feels overwhelming it seems it's always something small that resets my perspective. This week has been full of little things, each one refocusing, re-turning me toward my Center. This week I am thankful for little things:
  1. A glimpse of the sunset on a week without sunrise.
  2. Walking home in the rain on purpose.
  3. Navy blue nail polish.
  4. A fresh, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
  5. Honest conversation.
  6. Pie for breakfast.
  7. Sharing a meal with friends.
  8. Silly games after youth group.
  9. Rainbows just outside my kitchen window.
  10. Lilacs in bloom all over Portland.

Apr 28, 2010

sometimes...

...a walk home in the rain is just what my spirit needs.

Apr 26, 2010

that's a lot of gratitude

I was thinking about this on Thursday, that after a year of Thankful on a Thursday posts, I will have a list of 520 things for which I am thankful. They probably won't be 520 entirely different things because I'm pretty sure I mention that I'm thankful for coffee almost every week. But it will still be quite the list. I am looking forward to looking backward, to rereading and remembering. And, even though it's not Thursday, I am thankful for Nish and this wonderful idea of hers. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you're missing out.

Now, did somebody say something about coffee....?

Apr 23, 2010

a lovely friday

I found this months ago, but never posted it. I find it absolutely delightful.


Apparently it was one of the 2009 Cannes Lion Winners...not that I know what that means.

Apr 22, 2010

thankful on a thursday-short and sweet

No introductory thoughts tonight.

Just this list of things I am thankful for:
  1. The conviction that comes from the simple, honest observation of high school students.
  2. Honesty.
  3. Good news from the doctor about my hip.
  4. A weekend away in Bellevue.
  5. Rides to and from youth group and the conversations that take place, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always awesome.
  6. A themed movie night with a friend.
  7. Prayer.
  8. My relationship with my dad.
  9. Reconciliation.
  10. The lilacs blooming.

Apr 15, 2010

thankful on a thursday—lovely, joyful

Today my heart is filled with gratitude. Today I am thankful before I get to the place in this post where I write my list. Today I am filled to overflowing—this WEEK I am filled to overflowing.

Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's what lies ahead. Maybe it's what I've left behind. Or maybe it is all of those things wrapped up in Goodness and Mercy and Love and Faithfulness raining down on me like the petals of the cherry blossoms when the east wind whips up the Gorge and down the streets of Portland.

I am thankful...
  1. For sunshine and spring green leaves burgeoning from every tree and flower bed I pass.
  2. For free 12oz iced coffee from Stumptown.
  3. For a weekend at the coast with high school students who show me what God looks like, who teach me how to love, who show me my heart has so much more room in it.
  4. For capture the flag filled evenings, rediscovering my inner child, army crawling through dirt and falling over tree trunks.
  5. For scripture that trips me up and causes me to look deeper and draw closer.
  6. For the possibility of what lies ahead.
  7. For a weekend away with Lizzy and Briby.
  8. For words of encouragement that water the dreams I long to see bud and flower.
  9. For belly aching laughter that turns to tears.
  10. For Joy that has nothing to do with happiness.

Apr 9, 2010

glasses please

I love discovering videos like this on Friday. It almost makes it feel like the weekend has come early.

I Am A Girl - The Girls With Glasses Theme Song from The Girls With Glasses on Vimeo.

beach retreat

The Imago high school youth group beach retreat is this weekend. It has been over THREE YEARS since I've been on any sort of youth retreat. I am so looking forward to this time. I love the way the students let go and step outside their comfort zones. I love the silliness and seriousness that soaks into each moment.

If you're reading this and have a minute, I'd love your prayers for safe travels; honest, God-filled conversation; and wisdom and discernment for all of us leaders as we talk with the students.

Whether it's 45 and pouring down rain or 65 and sunny, I can't wait for this weekend

Apr 8, 2010

thankful on a thursday

I feel exposed, and I don't like it. There used to be walls I could hide behind when life got hard or I didn't want to engage. I look around, searching for my self-built fortress, and all I find is the remainder of soggy cardboard boxes painted to look like stone. Its temporary and ineffective nature exposed, I find myself out in the open, standing on a rocky outcrop, staring out at the slate gray sea and stormy skies. Seeking protection from the impending storm, I look around amidst the soggy cardboard to find I'm standing inside the foundation of what will become something more, something stronger. A lasting fortress, not meant to keep people out, built to protect from the storms of this life.
  1. In my emptiness, He comes in and fills me up.
  2. Blue sky and sunshine in the exact spot I stood waiting for the bus this morning.
  3. Early morning adventures full of grace and never-ending love.
  4. The way praising Him always turns my heart around, reorienting me toward His Goodness.
  5. The understanding that resurrection means NEW LIFE.
  6. A weekend away with high school students, living, loving, playing and learning more about Jesus.
  7. The smell of coffee early in the morning.
  8. Living in Truth is better than hiding behind lies.
  9. A weekend with my cousinsisterbestfriend in her new home.
  10. The sound of the wind outside my window.
  11. My story is not finished.

Apr 7, 2010

these are my confessions

Nish and her good blogging ideas...first it was Thankful on a Thursday, which I look forward to every week, and now it's public confession.

The first time I encountered confession outside of Catholicism was in Don Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I admired the way he wrote about it from a distance, never considering I'd experience it for myself. Fast forward to May of 2009 and, with two strangers during a prayer meeting at church, I confessed my sins out loud for the first time ever. After my confession, one of the women in my group affirmed my forgiveness, saying, "Haley, in Jesus' name you are forgiven." It was an incredibly powerful experience.

So, after reading Nish's blog today, I thought a bit of public confession might be in order. It's one thing to confess in the privacy of my own head, or in prayer with a close friend or two, it's another thing to post them on the internet. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of these confessions are relatively new discoveries. Putting them out there, being honest about them, is part of forgiveness and part of the freedom I want to live in.
  • I am selfish.
  • I have serious entitlement issues.
  • I have a terrible relationship history.
  • I am judgmental of others and myself.
  • I listen to Lady Gaga, loving every minute of it.
  • I use humor as a way to diffuse uncomfortable situations.
  • I have a hard time forgiving myself.
  • I am a prideful person.
  • I have serious control issues.
  • I struggle to see others as individuals, not projects to be fixed.

Apr 2, 2010

black friday

A few weeks ago one of the pastors at my church said, "When people ask you when you were saved, the correct answer is 'when Jesus died on the cross.'" I'd never thought about it like that before. I had always thought the Resurrection was the point. I was always searching for some personally definitive moment or experience that would define my moment of salvation, when in reality, just like God says, it has already been accomplished.

It is so easy to focus on the Resurrection because at that point there is rejoicing and glory. The tomb is empty! He is risen! But what about Friday? What about Saturday? What was it like to see Jesus on the cross bearing the full weight of sin? What was it like for Peter to deny his beloved Savior; only to later watch Him hang there—each breath requiring more effort from His frail, beaten body—dying? What was it like for the other disciples, who walked with Jesus so closely, who saw and heard more than we will ever know, to then see the life leave His body after crying out to His Father wondering why He had forsaken His only Son?

Selfishly I am thankful that I did not have to live those two days. It is difficult enough to sit and imagine what those 48 hours were like. My God is so near. Always. What would it be like to watch what could only have seemed like complete and utter defeat? How dark that Friday must have been. How lonely each of Jesus' followers must have felt—a loneliness deep enough to rip your heart in two as though it were the curtain of the temple itself.

Apr 1, 2010

thankful on a thursday

Full and empty all at the same time, that's how my mind feels tonight. Attempts to sort through my thoughts are easily derailed. I am overwhelmed by all the things on "Things to Sort Through and Figure Out" list. How do I make my way through all these thoughts? What is the best way?

Though it doesn't negate the inner confusion, gratitude provides much needed respite.
  1. Francine Rivers' vocabulary.
  2. Understanding a bit more HTML
  3. Adventures with friends.
  4. The way church lasts all day on Sunday.
  5. His incomprehensible love.
  6. The smell of freshly ground coffee.
  7. Brand new running shorts.
  8. Letters that arrive in my mailbox not my inbox.
  9. Tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert.
  10. Pictures of my lovely, sweet little niece that arrive at least daily via my phone.

Mar 31, 2010

hunker down and read this

A few years ago my cousin Lizzy sent me this book, Redeeming Love. I read it because I love her, not because I actually enjoyed the book. I was, apparently, a literary scholar at that time as was evidenced by my profuse criticism of the book...which continued throughout the years [just ask Erica.] The actual MESSAGE of the book completely missed me. Either that or I was too scared to pay attention. [Cough! Too scared. Cough, cough!]

It is a retelling of the book of Hosea, set in the midst of the California gold rush. I'm not saying you'll find it, 20 years from now, on some snooty best book of the decade list. What I am saying is that I'm reading the book a second time. It's been on my heart to pick it up again for a while, so I have. And it is beautiful. It is exactly what the title says it is, a story of redeeming love. It is the story of God's love for me. Love I can't earn. Love that is never-ending. Love I was created for. Love I yearn for. Love that is so pure it is only satisfied by Love itself.I get trying to avoid that kind of love, not wanting to be drawn into that story. But I am made for that story. I am living that story. I can run all I want, but Love goes before me. Love is behind me. Love runs beside me. Love is waiting for me when I finally stop, exhausted from avoidance, arms open wide, rejoicing at my return.