Monday, February 27, 2006

i finally got mad

Last night was the first time that I have let my self feel angry about what has happened to my mom. So far I have yet to really allow my self to feel angry. I have pushed down or anesthetized the anger from this event. Sorrow and loss would come but not anger. I don’t like anger; or rather I don’t like the image of rage that I associate with anger.

Seven years ago my mom was in a head-on car accident and was very hurt both physically and mentally. While she has recovered beyond the expectations of the doctors, she is still not the woman I grew up with.

I think in part this came from my helping her shower and get ready for her birthday dinner. There is nothing more humbling and confronting than having to physically care for a parent. It is also one of the places where I get most frustrated with my self and with her inability to function well. I could feel my voice getting harsher with her because of my feeling of failure and because of how incapable I was. Why is it that over all I can care for all the physical needs of a child or baby with relatively massive amounts of compassion and patience but not an adult, my mother who needs help just as much if not more that a child? All of her fears and physical pain come out in force. My mother has such a strong voice in spite of her brokenness; you will know when you are violating her boundaries.

As I was brushing and stylizing her hair it hit me how much she has lost, and we in turn have lost because of her loss. I kept wondering all weekend, what my family would look like now if my mom were “normal”? What would she add or what would she not bring because of that normality? I find that there is less reservation in my mother now than there was before, she used to be so bound by her self that vary rarely did she allow her wonderfully playful humor to come out. And yet now there are so many times when she chooses not engage and try to understand what is being said. She opts out, before my mother was a woman who would struggle through the confusion and try.

It just infuriated me, why does she have to deal with this. She has to suffer great pain, mental confusion, and inability to do simple things for her self. Why is this a good thing? I found my self on the verge of tears wanting to run out of the room and rage at God. So much is now required of each of us children, we are no longer children we are now caregivers. Before we are even established as individuals we are expected to stand as the decision-makers and care givers to our parents. I cannot even care for my self and yet I am being asked to become a trustee over my parents. My parents who are supposed to be fit and able are suppose to be there for me and they aren't.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Is island a place of isolation, a place of beauty or both?

last night after a conversation with a friend i was struck by the fact that we both (based on enounters with art) had different philosophical ideas of the imagery of islands. i based on nick horby's "about a boy" see it as a metaphor for the isolation that we try to have from being touched deeply by another person. where as he saw it as the place of intimacy and paradise between to people, in this case lovers, because of a scene in michael bay's film "the island".

as i have been thinking about it this morning i wonder if it is a both/and idea, meaning that it is both of those and yet also not. because while it's true that we cannot live in isolation from those around us it is also true that we need places of beauty and paradise to mirror goodness. i think about all the wonderful places in the world that i love which are islands; the united kingdom, vancouver island, hawaii, new zealand, bainbridge island,and the san juans to name a few and there is something unique to them because they are islands. yet if they encounter any hardship or suffering and are isolated from the rest of the world then they are screwed. my theology professor was explaining to friends from the uk (he's irish) that hurrican katrina destroyed/effected an area as big as the whole of that island nation. now if the uk had this happen and it was without exterior support it would not survive. we must have beauty and relationship to be whole or maybe the beauty is the relationship between us.

Monday, February 20, 2006

giving up and "that i would be good"

i am giving up...or rather i am learning what it looks like for me to let go and submit. the only time in my life where i haven't worked for something was getting into mars hill. after i told liz this last night, i had been bitching about how tired i am and how hard things are, she suggested that maybe i should give up trying so hard. already i feel more calm. i have gotten more done today but just letting go than i do when i try to get x amount done.

i am also thinking about continuing on the fast we had last week. i was fasting from caffee, minus tea, it was alot harder than i though it would be. i haven't had a cup of coffee for over a week! i am thinking that giving it up for lent is a wise idea. i was aware all week of not having or not being allow to have coffee and soda.

it also helped me become more aware of my self beyond just my cravings for coffee. like on saturday when i was in the grocery store check outline. i was staring at all the magizines and getting really pissed off because all the airbrushed celberities are more important than genocides, aids, poverty, and cival wars that are happening all around the world. and then i caught my self in the midst of mourning all of this wishing that i could be the beautiful middle class woman infront of me because her life must be better than mine. which is both a foolish thought and is wishing after a life that has a tendancy to be self serving and more isolated than mine.

as a woman i am never happy with my self, i don't know if this is a western thing or not but as a woman growing up in america i find that there is so much pressure to fit into the "image" of what a woman is. yet that image is impossible to live up to because it is a work of fiction. i was given two visions of beauty on saturday evening. the first was a requaintance with the song "that i would be good" by alanis morissette and the second was fem-div dinner. fem-div is what the whole eight of us women in the divinity program at mars hill are called. we shared stories and talked and communed together. yet there were two really meaningful moments; the first was reading about the woman who anoints Christ with the perfume and the second was each of us being anointed by another with oil and the words "you will do a beautiful thing". in reading the story i was amazed by the tender strength that this woman came with. strength has always been a threat or compensation for being single. it has been used as a weapon much like the fact that i am guilless(not manipiulative). both are good traits that have been saturated in meanness toward me. but just like guileless was redeamed and honoured last quarter for me, strength came a new. stength is the willingness to be passionate, allow desire, look foolish, and be held. in the anointing of each other i found tenderness, beauty, and strength being called out in each of us. i was privlaged to share the evening with regal, humble, beautiful, mesmerizing women who are the face of change with in the world and the church. we are trying to hear the call of reconcillation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Plastic People, Karoke, and the V-Day

last night i went out with my girlfriends (5/7 of the first church of greenlake bar and grill i'm sorry i didn't include nick or my self in the first posting of this) all of whom are beautiful and for some unknown reason single. it was a great dinner and an interesting expereince after that.

we decided to go somewhere that had karoke, which is how we ended up at ozzies on lower queen anne. i knew the minute we entered that i wanted to go home. there were all these "beautiful plastic barbie doll" like women singing horrible country songs badly. and the dj appeared to be pretty baked. things just got worse, the dj ridiculed a woman until she cried because she choose to sing "it is well with my soul", which he didn't like. what struck me most was the fact that my friends were the ones who called him on it and comforted her and not the man she was with.

this lead me to ponder honor and what it looks like today? i think in this situation it could look like the man this woman was with and all the other men in the room telling this sad little dj man that he was wrong in the way he was treating her and all of the other women in the room. what has happened to us that we no longer honor and respect each other? why is it not only acceptable but expected that men(at least some men) treat women in such a horrible fashion. and how are we honoring men to expect this from them? do we honor men when we expect them to act like jack-asses?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mars Hill and the Elephant in the room....

There is so much weight on my mind, I can feel the tears coming up from places in my heart that I didn't know ached. Saturday night was the begining of addressing a rather large pink elephant in the room at Mars Hill, women in ministry.

Two of my brave and humble brothers presented their idea of a break in tution costs for women in our program. They feel that if we are going to make an impact on this issue it should start with us (ie our school). It was presented with tenderness and passion and lead to, what I hope, is the first of many conversations that will begin to shape the reality of women in the Masters of Divinity program at Mars Hill. My hope is not only for women but for the program as a whole, then our school, churches and beyond. We as women were asked and invited to share our expereince and wounds in a place of safty and tenderness. The men present shared their own sense of loss because of not having womens voices with in the leadership of the church.

As we talked I realized that there are so many aspects to this, so many componants to the whole. Every thing that was said connected to something else and so much of the "whys" are deeply rooted and bound in life as we currently know it. It is almost inconcievible to think about the implications of changing life based on the original question. The weight of that conversation is one of the things that my heart is calling out in prayer over.

As a woman in the program, I cannot be outside of this conversation anymore. Before being at Mars Hill I could champian the need for women in leadership while also attending a church that doesn't allow women to be elders or pastors. This was because I wasn't going to be a pastor so it didn't matter. Now, I still may not be a pastor but I can not be outside the issue either, I cannot sit back and watch my beautiful talented friends be defiled, shamed, and dishonored. They are gifted and called, God has blessed them with great insight and wisdom, why shouldn't they be pastors?

I couldn't go to church this morning. I wanted to be there and yet my heart couldn't in good faith sit in a church that isn't brave enought to tell it's denomination that they are not biblical in the way they approach this issue. My church finds ways around the issue, but yet they never come out and say this is not ok. It is like a person who knows that their family is severly abusive and fucked up and yet still will not come out and call it what it is.

I realize, in a tiny amount of insight, that this is work, big huge work that will take a long time to unravel. It is not a simple task, this dialogue involves the whole scope of gender, roles, equality, sexuality, fear, culture, freedom, and communication just to name a few. Yet it is also part of bringing God's kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. If men and women together are the image of God than heaven must be a place to up hold the equal value and importance of each gender and what they bring to revealing God. This is a justice issue, women have been marginalized, degrated and objectified for centuries and in turn so have men because they have not been able to encounter and honor women. When one gender is desicrated so is the other and God. How has the image of what is male especially in the church been abused because of the lack of women's voices and unique understanding in the church and in society as a whole. We may have had a women's movement fifty years ago but it hasn't helped call out the strength, beauty or voice of women, instead it has created a characture of womanhood that is both hyper-masciline and destructive of beauty and honor. We have become more degridated and yet there is also much more hope for women to arise because of the women's movement.

I pray that is this the begining of a new more whole view of women and men as well as how they together reveal the beauty of God.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Note for those living in Apartments

My friend was driven out of my apartment at 1:30 am. Why you might ask, especially since she was terribly exausted, did she feel that driving home 20 minutes away was prefered to sleeping in my living room? Was it spiders? Bright lights? Both reasonable explantations, yet neither of these was the reason.

The reason was that once again my *fucking* neighbours were well...fucking and very loudly! Why why dear people do they have sex, LOUD sex in places where of course others can hear them. I mean at least when I am in my room there is some buffer zone between me and the boys getting laid up stairs. But, the living god! This is a frequent accourance...I cannot wait to live in a house. In a house there is more space and *hopefully* none of my roommates will be having sex at least not there. It is always good to have a no sex in the house rule. This means that you can only have sex in the house when everyone else is out of town/gone for the weekend. This avoids all those uncomfortable walking in on people incidents. It is never good to walk in on people or be isolated from communial rooms because people are screwing around in them...yucky!

See having a house is so much better than an apartment. In a house you can always tell the people who are being to loud to shut up, with out to much weirdness. Plus you can have raging parties and not piss off to many people.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Sins...

I spent most of today writing a paper that was due this evening in class. I had to do this because I hadn't spent time working on it over the last few weeks since I was given the assignment.I am finding that procratination and laziness are hanging around me alot right now. This is not good. I cannot afford to do poorly in my classes this trimester. I really have no excuse, I had the time to work on this paper I just happened to piss it away.

I hate this about me, here I am in a wonderful and cool graduate school, where I have the gift of wrestling with some beautiful and jaded thoughts. These are things that can birth such amazing dreams and I am wasting this by squeeking by. I am not working hard at all, not putting in the time that is needed. This turns into a cycle of contempt because then I get mad at my self for not applying the time that is needed to do well. I think I am afraid of being successful and diving in because it requires a level of work which I will have to keep up. The I will have the responciblity. I don't want to be responcible.

It is also one of those days where my mind goes crazy on me...I think about doing things that I will regret. Like cutting off all of my hair and wearing nothing but sweats. Becuase then I would warrent, not being noticed. Or something like that. Then I am mad at my self for wanting to be seen and thought of, for wanting attention. Do I want it too much? Do I need to much? AM I ONE OF THOSE CRAZY WEDDING GIRLS?( you know the ones with the book, the wedding book with everything all ready planned out, who just want a relationship and really don't care who it is with).

I know that I am not one of those girls but sometimes I wonder. I am to stubborn to compromise for long, there is to much integrity. Why do I want to be someone I dislike? Why do I wish that I could be in a position to use men when I can't stand the women who have used my friends?

No, what I really want is to be seen for the beauty that I encompass. I want to be called up to something better than what I etch out my self. I want to be called to glory, to have my life(even in homework) be one that reveals glory and beauty and truth. I want to love God enough that I care deeply and work hard on my biblical exigesis because it is important. It is staring at a fish, getting to know it and becoming excited by what it has to share with me.

When I can hate and then love digging into historical context and crossreferencing and bible dictionaries and commentaries then I can bring that glory to other places.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

hope for the future

why can i not focus on homework? i have this paper to write which is due on thursday and can't seem to get to it. instead i am watching "coupling", oh so funny.
i think that my favorite part is the male discussions on women...

"pants, jeff, they start with a little thong and then you end up with pants the size of switzerland."

"susan slept with australia"

i am waiting for the day when i get to watch this with a boyfriend or husband, to talk about all the differences between men and women. but that is not today. today i must finish my laundry and go to bed. i live in the hope of that day.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

To Be or Not To Be

Why are there people in oue lives who touch us so deeply? Even after so much pain and heartache there are pieces of us that just can't give them up.

Today is one of those days where little things have reopened deep scars and they are bleeding heavily. I have encountered people I dearly love and walked away feeling worthless and stupid. I felt like a child acting out trying to get any sort of attention good or bad.

I was talking with liz last night and it came up that I surround my self with beautiful and amazing people who I think are better than me. The two questions she posed in response to that have been bumbling around in my head all day. What do I get from feeling like the lower person in my relaitonships-what does that afford me? And what do I give?

The second I answered right away. I am a caregiver that is what I do for people. And in that revelation it comes out that I can smother; that my care can go beyond care and become oppressive because the other person is not allowed to struggle for themselves.

I think that because I feel less I don't have to try as hard, because of course I will never reach their platform, so why try; and then anything I do is acceptable because not much is expected. Then I get frustrated when the people I have conditioned to think this way actually do. What I really want is for people to see me and draw me out, to challenge me. Yet if that happens then I can no longer get away with being lazy; I am forced (in a good way) to grow and strech to reach that place.

Friday, February 03, 2006

beauty of belief, sitting and wrestling

why is wrestling with God such a profoundly fearful thing? last night in theology class i read short stories. why? because most of class discussion was about people trying to contain their views of God and how he saves. We have been talking about the implications of "being saved through faith in Christ vs being saved through the faith of Christ". the first implys that we must respond to Christ making savation a very personal thing. where as the latter focuses on Christ and his actions that we are fused into through grace. i know these are not simple concepts and yet i wonder if they really needed the constant clarification and accusations of universalism that were thrown at our professor.

as i have though about these responses today, i find that my acceptance or openness to the "new" theological concepts that have come up at school stems from 1. not wanting to limit God 2. not having grown up in one church denomination. i find that many of the people who continue to narrow these ideas are people who are coming out of a tradition which holds to specific theololgical ideaologies and dogmas. now this is not to say that i am not coming out of dogmas of my own but i have not absorbed any specific tradition's view of the docterines we are talking about in class. or maybe i just accept it because then i don't really have to think or wrestle with these ideas.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

everything is funnier with a british accent

i am watching eddie izzard and realized that his accent makes everything five times funnier. another though, i find him really sexy. maybe it is because i saw him as charlie chaplin first or maybe i am crazy and have a thing for guys who dress in drag.

after once again having a uneventful date, i wish that i could meet someone who i actually clicked with so that i could stop having to think about all this. i don't think i want to much, yet i do have a very clear idea of what it needs to incorperate. reading 'intimate allies' has both been comforting and frustrating. i know why i have wanted a certain kind of relationship, i was created for it. we were all created for a beautiful and mixed up relationship that reveal God's glory though it.

so i find my self asking God how long, and yet also submitting to his best for me. that best is a relationship that mirrors his relationship to us and also one that is challenging. i want to be challenged and grown this is why i cannot just be with anyone, or have a relationship just to have one. i guess right now i am just called to grow and wait.

deep roots and bitter heart ache

yesterday, i have several great converstations with my friend becky. they had to do with her most recent post on her blog

we talked about what the sins of our generation are; sex, drug and rock n' roll or is it something more, something deeper than that? she talks about the deep apathy and disregard we have for those around us and their hurts.

we also talked about a church in town which we both grieve over and are angered by. as this church has grown their theology has gotten more narrow and dogmatic. we both have expereinced the closing of doors and the harm this has inflicted upon those around us. i have been mulling over why it is that our generation seems so ready to jump onto the ideas of those in power instead of really think and wrestle. there is such a readiness to attach to one group or belief. i think back to the last ellection and how many people i encountered who were voting for one person or the other based solely on someone(leader or artist) endoresement. they hoped on the rock for change band wagon because it was cool. or voted for bush becaus their pastor told them to.

what is it about thinking and doubting and wrestling that frightens us so much? is it that we live in a culture where we don't have to work for anything? we have anything we could want at our finger tips at any moment. yet, from what i see and read there is no other good way to live life, no other way to grow or encounter God outside of the struggle to believe and figure out why you believe.

i think that sin is evidence of deeper heartache than what ever surface action is going on. it is the roots of selfishness, unbelief, and sorrow.