Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
1. Watching my little brother put together an amazing feast completely by himself, including a wonderfully moist turkey, homemade stuffing, and sauteed brussel sprouts.
2. Getting to be Cameron's sous chef the night before and helping him cut homemade ravioli.
3. Watching Cameron and Trystan (he's nine years old now, oh my gosh) play a ridiculous role playing game and being very intent as they played together.
4. Playing the board game "Infection" with Cameron and Jason and having the following conversation - Cameron: If Jason comes back and wins this game, I am going to be so done playing. Me: Well, yes you will be done playing, because Jason would have won the game.
5. Sitting at the kitchen table and reading my mom journal entries that I wrote when I was 12 and 13 years old. Oh, the angst.
6. Being requested moment by moment by my niece Willow (now five years old!) to sit by her at dinner, while playing games, and just relaxing in the living room.
Sometimes I think about giving up on family holidays. They bring such anxiety, and tension, and hurt feelings. But I just listed out 6 reasons my Thanksgiving was worth it, and I know that with a little more thought I could have come up with 6 more. So, maybe a few moments of anxiety is worth the 12 that I'll probably remember longer.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I got into Vancouver last night only to find my mom gone for the night which meant I needed to break into my own home. I had flashbacks of high school when I'd lock my key inside the house. Last night I had ice cream at Ice Cream Renaissance with Brenna (sorry, Seattle, but you can't do ice cream like ICR) and today I had gelato with Megan in Portland on NW 23rd. Two nights of frozen confections and two nights of conversation with incredible women who love God.
Dear Jesus, thank you for these moments. Thank you for giving me a foundation of relationship and community to see me through the greatest trials and storms. Thank you that these relationships have stood the test of time and space. Thank you for helping us to have grace with one another as we grow together and closer to you. Thank you for these sacraments and by your power making the ordinary extraordinary.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I am more of a re-Trendsetter.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
It's a three story townhouse and this is what I like most about it:
1. It's near a lot of bus lines and two blocks away from Safeway.
2. My room has a small patio off of it.
3. There is hardwood floors in the kichen/living room.
5. Gas stove!
Hopefully I'll post pictures soon.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I got pretty anxious yesterday when Karen and I were talking about it. In part, that is because we have a third roommate we're adding into the mix which means we now have the opinions and needs of an entire new person to consider.
But from more than just a logistical perspective, signing a lease just feels so definite. It roots me in this time and this place for at least a year. And while I have no plans to leave, I don't feel the need to stay. I'm trying to look for things that anchor me a little more to my life here in Seattle. I applied for a job working with youth in Seattle that I think would be utterly amazing. I'm trying to reconnect with my church, which is hard, after going on involvement overload during my two year internship.
It can sometimes feel like a half life here in Seattle. I have my friends, and intentionally seek to expand that circle to include people at church and work. It just feels different, though. Last week, Karen's mom asked me about my job search and invited me over to her house for Thanksgiving and I realized how strange it was for me to have an adult in Seattle express motherly care to me.
I wonder if my Vancouver life and my Seattle life will ever feel like one life. And if I move somewhere else, how will I remember my Seattle life? Who would have thunk that searching for the perfect house would lead to such questions?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
***UPDATE*** Our Molly Ringwald is going to be in Portland for Halloween, so instead Karen, Katja and I are going to go see Where the Wild Things Are at the imax. Just as good!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Daniel Deronda: I read this book mostly because it was a BBC series that I tried to make myself like. So, I tried to do the same with the book. George Eliot is a phenomenal writer, and she paints very vivid word pictures. Unfortunately the main character didn't end up with who I wanted him to, and some parts of this book were way too smart for me. But, I absolutely LOVE the character of Gwendolen.
One Mississippi: So sad. Not even going to get into it. Really funny in parts, but incredibly tragic.
The Knitting Circle: In that new genre of "women get together and bond over a craft and heal together without even realizing that's what they need." Some of the stories were incredibly believable but the device the author used to tell the stories got a little old.
Housekeeping: Marilyn Robinson writes prose like she's writing poetry. I'd reread this book in a book group as I think my tendency to read too fast cause me to miss some of the juiciest language and descriptions.
Where the Heart Is: Amazing! Read it in one day. Love the movie, love the book, love that they are very different form one another. Love it all.
The Passion of Mary-Margaret: I thought I would hate this book, but really liked it actually. I thought it was going to do the Redeeming Love thing and retell the story of Hosea, but that wasn't the case at all. I like that the main character was a modern day Christian mystic, but also an incredibly likeable woman. If I ever have kids, I might name my son Jude, as a form of tribute.
Right now I am reading a Salman Rushdie book and think I need to read it with a dictionary at hand because his vocabulary is far more vast than mine. I requested Northanger Abbey on CD from the library (I've read it once before) and want to load chapters onto my iPod so I can listen to it as I go running. So, that's what we have thus far. I need to read some more nonfiction. It takes me longer, but it's worth it.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Half dreaming and half sleeping never work in my favor. The picture frame was still broken. And all those shadows of longing that I experience in my dreams, from cars, to clothing, to relationships, remain in the purgatory of cognition.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
But, then, the ice melts in my latte, the sunglasses cause unseemly nose sweat, I get scared walking with an iPod because I can't hear people coming up behind me, and a summer of wearing the same shoes incessantly has led to large patches of dry skin. Behind the veneer of THIS Seattle stereotype is a sweaty, dog hating, watered down latte, iPod has run out of batteries, girl laughing hard at herself and all those just like her.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I didn't notice until I got to church and my friend Nick said "What's on your sweater."
I've never been pooped on by a bird before, and I'm a little bummed that the first time it happens I didn't realize it actually happened. I am thankful, however, that the bird just pooped on the hem of my cardigan and not on my head. Because having a bird poop on your head and not realizing it is much more problematic.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
1. Making people laugh.
2. Talking with friends for 3 hours straight.
3. Setting a goal, and then exceeding my own expectations.
4. Giving and receiving really good hugs.
5. Wearing the color green.
6. Drinking the perfect cup of tea.
8. Wordless conversations
9. Sitting in the sun
10. Finishing a good book.
Hmmm...missing from this list is something that was really helping me make sense of me: reading my Bible and journaling. I've been out of this discipline for the past month or so. And I miss it. Yet, somehow I forgot I missed it.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
1. I am afraid of misrepresenting the text. This fear will pass as I will be writing my outline alongside three pastors who will also be preaching that Sunday.
2. I'm afraid my pastor will conclude I'm not a gifted teacher. This would be a little devastating since it brings me great joy to teach and I also highly value my pastor's opinion.
3. I'm flat out scared I'm going to do a bad job. Get nervous. Forget my notes. Throw up. Insert devastating public speaking outcome here.
I have a month to prepare. I'm going to study chapter one tomorrow and take it from there. Please God, help me to remember that knowledge puffs up but love builds up. Please help me to turn aside from the wisdom of the world and remember that your wisdom looks like foolishness to the world. Help me God to prepare well and rejoice in being made to look a fool.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Pre-New Year's Eve:
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller: It took me a while, but this book was actually pretty impactful. Miller uses an analogy of a lifeboat, and who would be valuable to keep on such a boat. I realized I spend much of my life trying to be someone worthy of keeping on the boat when Jesus spent his time with people who no one would keep on a lifeboat.
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott: A good reminder to pay attention to the beauty of the world around me.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: What can I say? I'm a sucker for Jane Austen.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn: And this is where my cyncism with the American and world political system began. A huge reminder to do as Jesus says and give to God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
Persuasion by Jane Austen: Two young people fall in love, her family disapproves and separates them. Years later they are reunited and she is very much in love with him, but he is trying to persuade himself that he is no longer in love with her. COME ON! This is the stuff today's romantic comedies try to capture, but they will always fall short.
SexGod by Rob Bell: This was supposed to be Mere Christianity but I couldn't find a copy of the book. Who would have thunk? This one will need to be reread, preferably with a friend who's also reading it so we can discuss as we go along. I did find great comfort in Bell's discussion of singleness as the first choice option and not as a fall back plan.
Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne: I realize I jumped on this bandwagon a little late, but at least I got on board. In truth, I've always been on board with the kind of vision that Claiborne casts and am constantly struggling with how to change my life to more accurately reflect God's kingdom. I don't think I'm ever going to figure it out, but I'm ready for the fight. And I gave away about 5 winter hats and scarves still leaving me with a hat and three scarves, all of which were gifts that I didn't feel I could give away. It's a small step, but hopefully one in the right direction.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I thought I would hate it, but once I got past the first two or three chapters, I got sucked in. I will also forever be wary of my friends when they knit around me.
The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey: Not finished with this one yet, but it has been very encouraging to read a book that's sole purpose is to lead you to know Christ as he truly is. It has been hard, however, to see Jesus' preferential treatment for the poor, and then to see how uncomfortable church now makes the poor. What happened there?
So far, so good. I haven't been dazzled by any, but I have enjoyed them all. Up next month is a light classic, Crime and Punishment. Yeah, we'll see how that goes.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Which led to some other thoughts about the future...like maybe going to grad school to get my masters in social work. I'd like to stay in Seattle for that, but that would mean going to UW next fall since neither SU or SPU offer a MSW. Still, I'd be working with youth, still hopefully in a Christian context, but in a different way. I never saw myself as being THE youth pastor in a church, and I somehow forgot that. I don't feel anxiety about the future, which is nice. And I attribute much of that to the fact that I've still been reading my Bible consistently through this time of lent.
Tonight was Psalm 37 where David is offering encouragement to those people frustrated that the wicked are prevailing. What God seems to be saying the whole time is: "Don't worry about the wicked people. They'll be held accountable for their actions, but that's not your battle to fight. What I want you to focus on is TRUSTING me, being GENEROUS to others, COMMITTING your life to my will, REMINDING yourself of my goodness, and above all chilling out and NOT FRETTING." Which serves as a reminder to me that I need to be busy with trusting God, being generous, etc. rather than stressing about the potential unknowns up ahead.
So, with that, I raise my glass of hypothetical sparkling cider and say "Here's to the future...wherever it shall lead."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The end result? I put Butler and Chattanooga, two teams that according to my research have not been in the final four EVER since March Madness began in 1939, battling for the National Championship. And both of my teams were eliminated tonight. In devastating losses.
Oh well, it was the first year I've ever made a bracket. Maybe next year I'll make it further than the first round.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
And this cool thing is beginning to happen: I'm starting to see myself in scripture's story. It hasn't happened as quickly as when I'm watching a movie, but it is starting to happen. Today I read Psalm 20 and could hear the words being spoken, but I couldn't hear them being spoken by David. I came to the conclusion that in this case "Psalm of David" referred to this being a Psalm for David and that one of his friends was praying for God to bless and pour out his grace upon David. Now, whether or not this is correct or not is open to debate (I haven't read commentaries or anything like that) but I loved finally feeling that I knew the voice and the character of someone in scripture. I loved being able to hear the voice of someone and knowing where they were coming from and feeling like I too could have spoken those words.
And let's just throw it out there that I also love Miracle because I have a mad crush on about six of the hockey players in the movie. But that's besides the point...
Friday, February 27, 2009
This also made me think of the movie "In Her Shoes" when Simon asks Rose, "What holds you together?" Essentially asking, what sustains you? What is your glue? And I started thinking about that for myself. This is what I know so far:
Deep laughter: the kind of laughter that moves your heart it feels so sacred
Intimate worship: intimate meaning you can tell the leader has had an intimate encounter with God and now they are leading you with the hopes that you will as well
Quiet: Those few moments in a day where your sould breathes and you feel at peace
And to the few people that I know have read this in the past, what holds you together? What is your glue? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
1. I have an unhealthy relationship with food, so I'm thinking about eliminating something that will allow me to eat for sustenance and enjoyment rather than the millions of other reasons I eat. I think this means I'll be eliminating all sweets and also only eating when I'm hungry. In high school, I kind of just ate when I was hungry, and stopped eating when I was full, and I think that's a skill I'm needing to relearn. The reason I think this should be a Lenten practice is b/c I think it would go a long way to having a healthier frame of mind.
2. I need to see myself the way God sees me. I'd like to add in reading some scripture (even just a verse) daily and then journal (even if just for two minutes) daily about what that scripture says about who I am in Christ.
3. Give up putting myself down. More difficult, since it's an internal process, but it's definitely connected to the second one. I already have a host of friends willing to chime in if they catch me doing this. After all, that's what friends are for!
Monday, February 23, 2009
My friend Maggie has a brilliant vision for a new ministry to the girls in our high school group that combines small group with Bible study with practical service with discussions of 'real life' issues that impact them on a daily basis. It's thoughtful, practical, and has the real chance of being a very powerful experience for both leaders and students.
Two of the high school girls were brought to tears during winter camp when our youth pastor told them that he saw in them the ability to be a tremendous leader and change the world.
A group of 15 of us laughed until tears ran down our faces because our high school girls were quoting verbatim various YouTube videos and then reenacting them for us. The best, by far, was their performance of the Harry Potter puppet pals.
My friend Brandon and I wrote ridiculously funny scripts for winter camp where I sat in a pie, dated Zac Efron, taped Brandon to his bed, watched him have a fake heart attack, choked on alka seltzer tablets, broke up with Zac Efron, and had a sleepover.
This is my job? Joy.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A lot has been going on in my head and my heart over the past few months, and for my own sake I’ll have to spread my musings out into a couple different entries. This is also for the sake of the one person who might occasionally stumble upon my blog.
My big questions right now concern intimacy in relationship. I’m wondering 1) how you know when you and someone are ‘intimate’, 2) what that intimacy allows one to say, and 3) what my responsibility is in building that intimacy.
I don’t feel like I have many people around me that know me completely. I have great friends; truly I do, but none that I share my entire life with. My non-Christian friends provide me with great perspective and I truly value their passion for life, but there’s a gap between what I express as core values and what they express as core values. My Christian friends share many of those values, but I don’t share my life with them because I feel like I’m complaining, or I feel that my view of how a Christian ought to live is skewed, and therefore not worthy of being expressed. Which leads me to…
Not share my life with anyone. I share my struggles ONLY once the difficulty has passed, but never in the midst. Because, compared to what others endure, I don’t really feel my daily happenings are worth the time or thought of those around me. There are questions I want to ask my friends about why they make the choices they do, but I seem to be the only one with those questions. Since I am the only one with those questions, I automatically assume that I am the one who is wrong. This means those questions are never asked. Which leads me to…
Withdraw and isolate myself, even in the midst of being with people. What, then, do I do? Do I force myself to share aspects of my life with people, even when I don’t feel we are actually close? I know that I need to do that, to a certain degree, in my relationship with Christ. I know that even when I don’t ‘feel’ Christ’s presence that I need to share bits of my heart with him, and in my sharing, I will be drawn closer to him. Intimacy is built. The feelings return. I also know, as Rob Bell would say, God is always present and we’re the ones who show up. So, maybe my friends are there, and I’m the one who needs to show up.
Do I ask them difficult questions about their faith, their paradigms, their limits and their boundaries? Do I risk sounding like a fool and just share, whatever comes to mind? Do I stop doubting I have close friends and start trusting those who consider me a friend? And how do I do all of that without simply adding it onto the list of “things Suzanne needs to fix about herself in order to be a productive member of society”? No answers. Just musings.