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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

52_remembered.

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I have been very bad with this project I created huh? I have been thinking about it though. As important as it to remember, sometimes I draw away from writing because of the things I do not want to talk about. While I am open on this blog about a lot of who I am; I am uncomfortable sharing the parts of me that relates to others simply because I want to respect their privacy. Much of my life story has been incredibly blessed. Some of it has been very painful. How do I share those parts without sharing things about my family and friends that they may not want known. For now I’m going with not getting into the messy stories. Right now I’ll share one of the shortest and best stories that I have:

I was sixteen years old. My mom had been battling cancer since I was in the 8th grade, but my sixteenth year it had really begun to show. In reality it was probably only three or four months from the time my mom would pass away. During these days my mom spent most of her time on the couch. She was too tired to do much of anything else. I remember that she had lost so much weight. She probably weighed between ninety to one hundred pounds. One day though she pulled me onto her lap. I remember sitting there partly feeling bad because I was bigger than her, partly feeling like a teenager sitting in their parent’s lap, and partly feeling like it was the most wonderful place in the world. She pulled me close, tugged my head down onto her shoulder, and began to talk to me about how much she loved me. After rocking me and speaking words of love, she began to talk to me about how she was going to die. I think I began crying at that point, and saying I did not want to talk about it. She insisted that I know that she wanted us all to go on. She wanted my dad to remarry, and told me that she wanted me to know it would be okay.

When I look back on that experience, I remember it as the most love I had ever felt from another human in my life up until that point, and for several years thereafter. I was SURE in that moment that I was loved. Throughout the rest of my teenage years though, the memory brought about more pain than joy. I think it was because I felt so alone and disconnected from others. I watched all of my friends with their mothers and knew that I would never receive that kind of love again. I felt like an orphan. None of this is to discredit my father. I would not have survived this time without him. I have always known my dad loves me, but he did not communicate it in the same ways my mother did…and either way, there is no replacing a mother.

As I have gotten older I look back on the memory with less pain. Now it is more a tug in my heart and a vague sensation of losing out on something I still want. Today though, I can see how blessed I was to have that experience; to have carried with me, the knowledge that someone loved me over these nine years.

Many children do not loose their mothers or fathers until they are far into adulthood; but sadly many children never know with certainty that they are, and were, loved. For this I am incredibly blessed.

Potato goodness

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

It has been awhile since I posted on one of my favorite topics- food. Tonight’s dinner though has left me no choice, because I want everyone to experience the deliciousness. I rarely cook from a recipe so you will not find this recipe to be very precise in terms of measurements; instead I made it up as I went. The concoction included:

Baked Russet potatoes (I baked them the way the first thing that popped under the google search bar for “how to bake a potato” told me- If the link involves pictures and not wrapping the potatoes in foil then you probably have the right one)

Sweet onions that I tossed in olive oil and salt and roasted in foil beside the potatoes.

After the potatoes and onions had cooked for an hour and fifteen minutes I took them out. I then opened up the potatoes and sprinkled them with cheddar cheese. Next came the onions (they will make your home smell like a Cuban restaurant just so you know). I then split a fresh avocado between Phil and I.  Local black bean salsa and local green onions came next (Thank you Whole Foods and Ellwoods). The finishing touch was sour cream and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

You should eat this sometime. It was so good I do not even know what to do with myself. I would have taken a picture, but I was too hungry. Happy eating!!

In other food news, I am excited to share that I think this is the year Phil and I will make the leap to year- round gardening. Before we became interested in the local and organic food movement I thought you could only grow during the summertime. I now know this is not true. We will be moving into a new place right in time to plant food for the fall, winter, and spring. I cannot wait to learn more, and eat more food that comes from my own yard.

waiting.

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Life is an interesting thing to live when you are waiting for much of it to change. That is where Phil and I are right now. We are waiting for my semester to be over. We are waiting to throw a big party. We are waiting for me to find a job. We are waiting to find out where we will be living come the beginning of August. We are waiting on whether Phil will find a new job or even look for one. So many other questions hang on these questions. Will we be able to afford the second car we will need? How much vacation time will I get starting a new job? Will going to Guatemala even be a possibility?

We do not have answers to any of these questions, but we are surrounded by reminders of the coming changes. Our apartment is being shown today to potential renters. Phil has been hard at work building us a portable garden that we can take with us in August. Friends and family make plans for the summer and ask us about joining them, but it is hard to commit because we do not know where we will be. I find myself trying to enjoy all my walks and bike rides through the city because before I know it, they will be gone. I have been cherishing walking down to my favorite restaurants to spend time on the patios with friends. When we go for a run down Monument I try to take it all in and not think of the hills I may be running on in the future, or worse yet the indoor treadmills.

The good in all this though is that it is supposed to happen. God has a plan and she/he is going to lead us in it. About two months or so ago, a man who I have never met prayed over me at church. He told me that it was time for me to walk into my calling, that God would open the doors wide and make the path clear. He told me to be encouraged. I am so thankful for his prayers and words. They have kept me going over the last months when uncertainty has threatened to overwhelm me. They have helped me be encouraged during this time and enjoy it for the adventure in trusting God that it is. They have helped me be thankful for the wonderful partner I have in Phil to experience it all with. They have helped me appreciate my family, friends, and church family more. They have challenged me to keep seeking God not for what the future holds, but simply for who she/he is. If God is taking care of it, then I certainly can spend my time talking to her about other important things.

So we wait. We trust. And we try to enjoy these glorious Spring days to their fullest.

For me this has meant trying to finish my school work ahead of schedule (not working out so far) so that I can be less stressed these last couple of weeks of school, reading a non-spiritual book (Reading Lolita in Tehran) because I can get into such a rut of spiritual books, without realizing that the spirit can be in every work of expression humans produce, going for runs (Phil and I are trying to up our running. our mileage goal for the week is 15 miles), eating good food- preferably outside with friends, learning and growing with Phil, Alex, and others as we facilitate a racial reconciliation group at the church, enjoying all the days I get to spend with my clients and coworkers- laughing when possible and crying when necessary.

It is good. I can scarcely comprehend how blessed my life is. I did nothing to deserve all this. I suppose none of us did.

como se llama?

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Dolores Huerta.

After reading this post my interest is piqued. She seems like an awesome lady…doing justice and making lots of babies.

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ~ Dwight Eisenhower

Two disturbing stories have come out this past week. Stories that make me cry, pray for repentance, and in general want to scream.

In the first we learn of US special forces yet again killing civilians. This time though it included pregnant women. One was the mother of ten, the other a mother of six. 16 children just lost their mothers. 2 babies were just murdered along with their mothers. There are also allegations that the soldiers cut the bullets out of the women’s bodies to cover up their tracks. I for one, would appreciate hearing the pro-life church of America speak up about this one.

The back drop of the second story is a blog written by a friend of a friend. My friend Kyle is part of an organization along with the blog writer called Centurion’s Guild. This organization helps military service members be true to giving God their first allegiance. Naturally they are voices that seek to protect all of God’s children…even the ones our country tells us are enemies. The blog contains a video that different groups have been fighting to obtain under the Freedom of Information act for a couple of years now. The video portrays US helicopters murdering about 12 civilians, including two reporters, and then proceeding to murder those who show up to help the wounded. It is outrageous. We should all be aware that our government lied to us about this video, denied that these actions transpired, and in that once again denied the humanity of all people- Iraqi or American.

I do not share these things simply to be incendiary. I share them because the truth needs to be known. We need to know what war turns our soldiers into; or for the matter what it turns us into. We need to know about the children who have their mother’s stolen from them. We need to know the price of our complacency in allowing these things to continue. We need to know so that we can repent and begin to see these wars from the eyes of our God, who loves everyone involved just the same. I post this for these reasons. Will it make a difference? I do not know. I have to hope it will spread, but maybe it will not.That part is not up to me. I feel strongly that to live with integrity I have to speak out, no matter if it ever makes a difference in others, knowing that it will always make a difference inside my own heart.

There was a man who stood outside the White House nightly holding up a candle in protest for years during the Vietnam War. At one point during an interview he was asked why he kept standing there day after day, even though his protest was not doing anything to end the war. His reply was that he did not expect to change things through his actions, but to instead to keep the war from changing him. He did not want to accept the lies of the empire that told him it was a just cause, and neither do I.

I hope that you will take the time to read the articles, watch the video, and to pray. Prayer is where we start and where we end. The kingdoms of this world may fight with their guns and Apache helicopters. We can fight on our knees.

How Do We Bleed?

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm

The day that changed everything.

Jesus turned everything the world knew about how to operate on its head thousands of years ago today. The path he taught us to walk has been at times beautifully understood and horribly misconstrued, or outright ignored by the church throughout history. A few nights before Jesus was crucified he had a final meal with his disciples. He washed their feet and explained to them that their mission in life was to serve the world in love. A few days later he showed them and entire world what this looked like in action.

Serving as Jesus does not mean winning. It does not mean having your way. It does not mean purging the world of its sin. It does not mean getting our moral laws codified in the kingdoms of this world. It does not mean taking anything “back for God”.

Serving as Jesus did means bleeding for people. Literally. It means forgiving our enemies even if they are about to put nails through our hands or perhaps rob us. It means giving of our time, money, dreams and plans so that others (who we think may or may not deserve it) can know they are loved and chosen by God. Bleeding for people requires us to give up our rights just like Jesus. Bleeding for people makes absolutely no sense from a worldly perspective. We get taken advantage of, mocked, ridiculed, we are hated and despised. We become “those” people. When this happens the Bible tells us we are on the right path.

The thing is though that as our blood pours down and out into the world it waters seeds. Seeds of the kingdom. Seeds that bring forth the resurrection we are all waiting for.

My friends lets not make Jesus bleed alone.

holy week, torture, and the coming hope.

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

As holy week winds down I thought I would share Julie Clawson’s thoughts on the topic. I have been following Julie’s blog for over a year now, and I always appreciate and am challenged by her reflections and questions about the Christian faith. I hope that you are as blessed by her posts as I was, and that they draw you into a deeper place with Jesus this week.

I have to wonder what was happening to Jesus right now thousands of years ago. Was he still being tortured? Probably. Perhaps it had just started. Perhaps they had been beating him for a while but had yet to throw that purple robe on him and pay him false deference. Either way I believe that today is probably a day that Jesus is looking down at all the people being tortured right now with special compassion. For those our country is torturing (because it is justified if it keeps us safe…just like it was justified to torture Jesus to those who were doing it), for other countries torturing Christians, or other religious minorities. To all those who are being electrocuted, waterboarded, kept awake for days on end, strapped to headphones with 24 hour blaring music, held in solitary confinement for years on end, those having their limbs cut off, those having their bodies raped (sometimes over and over, and those having their loved ones killed right in front of them…to all of you I offer Jesus. He has been there and he cares. Today as one of his followers I will be working for justice to come to you, and I may not make much of a dent…but if the resurrection teaches us nothing else, it teaches us that just when we think the whole world has gone to hell and there is no hope- Jesus comes back. He will come back and make things right.