Thursday, December 31, 2009


Here's the visual summary of what I've read this year. For the most part, I had some great reading material this year. Some serious, some silly, some deep, some superficial. Some for fun, some for spiritual encouragement, some for classes I was taking. And I'll admit up front that there are a few that I still have to finish (or that I was only assigned part of for class), but since I've read the majority of those, I'll count them as read in 2009.

My top three picks from the year are: Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris, The Depth of the Riches: A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends by S. Mark Heim, and easily the hands down favorite, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. All in all, though, it's been a good year for reading, and there are lots of books here you should check out. Click on any one of them to be taken to the description. What are some of your favorite reads from this year? Please feel free to share them with me so I can add them to my list for this next year! Here's to another great year in 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

faith and hope

Just a few words along the lines of some of my recent contemplations...

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
- Louisa May Alcott

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

I know, I know... another video and no "real" blogging. But honestly, this is one you should really see. Give it some thought. Give it some prayer. Give it a try. I think we'd all be blessed if we did, and that's not to mention the many others whose lives might be impacted in untold ways if we were to take this seriously. Many Advent blessings!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dumpster Diving!

Food for thought:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

short but sweet

For all my photographer friends out there, or just for anyone who wants to brighten a sick child's day... Check out Karen's blog here for an amazing way to bring joy to someone who needs it!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Europe, my long lost love...

It's been nearly two and a half years... Two and a half years since I last set foot on European soil. And maybe two and a half years doesn't sound like a long time, but let me tell you, it's been semi-torturous! Any of you who are fellow travelers understand the feverish itch to get on a plane and go! I know I've been blessed in many ways beyond what I deserve, and I count my opportunities to travel as a huge part of that. I have no real room to complain, honestly. But I miss Europe... Europe's just amazing in pretty much every way. I miss the sights, the smells, the food. I miss the community I had with my traveling companions and the friends I made along the way. I miss the attitudes and lifestyles I encountered, the diversity which I witnessed. I miss the adventure of going unknown places, absorbing everything I come into contact with and treasuring it for future memories. I miss it all so much!

And now, though it's hard to believe, I'm counting down the days until I'm there again. Less than two weeks to go! On Thanksgiving day, I'll be touching down in Prague, breathing European air, once again surrounded by the languages and customs of people who are foreign and yet so familiar to me. And though it will not be in the traditional way which I am used to, even though I'll be eating airline and airport food instead of turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and my family's beloved cranberry salad, I will be giving thanks on Thanksgiving day. I'll be giving thanks for the amazing experiences I have been blessed with in the past and for the opportunity to once again embark on an adventure. I'll be giving thanks for the family and friends I am leaving behind as well as the family and friends I'll be meeting, especially Joshua and Sarah and baby Jakub Eli, who is about to make his way into this world. And above all, I'll be giving thanks for the God who has made it all possible!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

next semester

Well, the spaghetti and meatballs was amazing, if I do say so myself.

And as far as the class schedule, I met with Chris this morning to get that figured out. Looks like next semester's going to be another fun one! I'll be doing second-semester Greek with Dr. Cukrowski again on Tuesday afternoons. Wednesday mornings will be Chris's Foundations of Missiology class, and then Thursday mornings will be Contextual Education with Stephen Johnson. And I'll also be doing a weekend course called Justice in the Biblical Tradition that they're brining in Robert Foster to teach. That'll be one weekend in February and one in March. So I'll have a regular 9-hour semester, plus 3 extra hours for the weekend course.

The only drawback to the schedule is that I have to be at class at 8 in the morning on both Wednesday and Thursday (ugghhh!), but that's a good thing too, in some ways. Means I'll actually have to get up and will be able to get some things done those days. And I can have some nice long weekends for trips home again. I could leave on Thursday at noon and not come back until Monday afternoon or evening! Hooray!

So that's what's going on in my life at the moment... Now I've got to go (quickly!) to make it to Greek on time, then there's lots and lots of reading in store for me this week! 'Til later!

Monday, October 26, 2009

joy in the smallest of things

Things I'm looking forward to this week:

more leftover spaghetti and meatballs for lunch here in a few minutes!
figuring out my class schedule for next semester
systematic theology
smiling faces
finishing season 2 of Scrubs
the feeling of accomplishment that will follow the insane amounts of reading I have
church on Wednesday night at HOPE, followed by Taco Bueno!!
reflecting on my ministerial identity
reading more in Jane Eyre
sharing my life story with my mentoring group at Monks
dinner with the roomies and co., accompanied by Community and The Office
GST talent show!!!

It's gonna be a busy week, but it's gonna be a good one!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

plain Jane

Now, I know facebook quizzes aren't exactly always the most reliable indicators (ha!), but I think this is a pretty good description of me. May be time to pull this one off the shelf and read it again. I've always identified with Jane since I first read the book back in 9th grade English class. Let's see, that'd be 11 years ago now... What do you think, does it fit me?

"You are Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte's classic masterpiece. You spend much of your life torn between the desires of your heart and the choices you feel are most logical. You're a smart person who is very resilient, romantic, strong, and forgiving. You have a lot of love to offer people, if they're willing to look past your eccentricities to find it. You spend much of your time in a state of humble, thoughtful silence, yet you're not afraid to get assertive when the situation calls for it. You've never been one to conform to society's rules, even if that means making unpopular decisions. People will try to change you, but you'll never let them. Above all else, you're a Romantic with your own set of beliefs and desires. In the end, everyone knows you're going to make the right decision..."

Friday, September 25, 2009

new take on an old classic

I just came across these guys tonight, and I'm honestly very impressed. They call themselves Pomplamoose, which is French for grapefruit... Her voice reminds me a little bit of Regina Spektor and a lot of Ingrid Michaelson. You should check out some of their videos on youtube -- both the covers and the originals are great!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

more praises

11. a good book to read for class
12. a full belly
13. Summit coming up soon!
14. chapel today being encouraging
15. getting to reminisce about Europe with Shaun
16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
17. deep, rich colors
18. my bike
19. loan money in my bank account!
20. smiles

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the gaze of God

For those of you who might wonder what in the world God is up to in your life...

"Perhaps the gaze of God is like the gaze of the artist on the completed painting. Each and every pigment is discrete, and no mark is laid down carelessly; yet this green would not be present in its particular greenness were it not for this blue laid down at some time next to it. Each brush stroke has been laid down, one by one; yet when the painting is complete, we apprehend it in a single vision. But the painting is not 'time-free'; rather, it is a condensed temporality. We gaze on it as on a complete and consummated whole bearing all the marks of its making. People might be like this under the attentive gaze of love."

- Janet Martin Soskice in The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language

Monday, September 14, 2009


No, I'm not confused as to the time of the year, though the rain and cooler days that we've had in Abilene this past week might have made me think that it was about time for some turkey! Rather, I've just had it on my heart recently to work on developing a more outspoken attitude of thankfulness. So, thinking back to the days of the RFC email thankfulness lists, here's a list of my own for the day:

1. a beautiful evening on a blanket at the disc golf course, reveling in God's presence
2. great class discussions today
3. food to eat -- it's time for a snack, and I have the luxury of eating one!
4. three wonderful roommates
5. neighbors who continually knock on our door because our witness of generosity and kindness has encouraged them to
6. getting to talk to all of my grandparents throughout the past few days
7. snickerdoodles
8. cookies in general -- I'm an equal opportunity cookie devourer.
9. the challenge of contemplating the things I've been learning
10. a wonderful new church and new friends there!

What about you? What are you thankful for in your life? How has God blessed you today?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009