the post that could have been

27 04 2010

Last night I had a great post in my head about religious covering for women and what a complicated issue they are.  Somewhat in response to the recent laws being past/considered outlawing them (in Quebec of all places!) and somewhat in response to seeing a woman in walmart wearing a full covering.  I don’t know enough about the issue to use one of the technical names.  Unfortunately Mike came home before I could write it, and I’ve forgotten all the interesting things I had to say about freedom of religion and oppression of woman.

But I did want to reflect on my reaction.  First I was shocked.  Special religious head gear is not uncommon around here, but Amish/old Mennonite head coverings are a part of my mental construct of Goshen.  This woman’s outfit didn’t fit into my frame of reference.  After the initial shock came interest.  Who was this woman and how brave she must be to chose to set herself apart in such a dramatic way.  Then came the doubt that it was completely her choice.  But do we ever truly chose who we are, what we wear, what we become?  Aren’t we all products of our upbringing, family history, religion, belief system or lack there of, societal expectations… and on and on?  My last reaction before I moved on was to scan the crowd around her.  Was anyone staring (except me :-P)?  Did she experience hate in our community because of her choice?  The fact that this was possible, even probable left me with a lingering sadness.


Thursday Night Thoughts by Mrs. H

26 03 2009

As part of my job, I’ve started going to a local church’s young adult group with one of my clients.  It’s a large church, conservative and for all intents and purposes, non-denom.  Last week was the first time I went.  The young adult pastor passed out scratch paper before his lesson and here’s what ended up on mine.

What is hell?    Seperation from God.

Why do people go to hell?…
I don’t believe it has anything to do with what we say.  Is it just about being a nice person?  No not really, but it’s not about a formula either.
It’s about having faith that there is more; faith that there is a creator and believing that living in harmony and pursuing peace and justice and LOVE is how we honor this creator.  And if we truly believe in a creator, how can we NOT praise this Being?
How can I not set aside part of my week to focus on this part of life?  No wonder I struggle so much with balance!  No wonder I always feel that I’m barely keeping my head above water.

(after the pastor read the end of the beatitudes, Blessed are the peacemakers…. and kind of dismissed the whole war and pacifism issue)
“Peacemakers show someone who is at war with God, how to be at peace with God”  Really?  hum, maybe, but I’m not comfortable with refocusiong that scripture.

(after the pastor claimed racism is built into us… trying to support the idea that we are sinful from birth)
Is racism biological at all?  I’ve always thought of it all completely as socialized.  I think it is socialized, but the cues are so subtle and pervasive that we don’t always see the cause.

God is NOT a man.  God is not limited to a masciline identity.  WHY then do we limit God by using the male pro-noun.

I don’t believe in the Old Testament as history.  It is the oral tradition of one people.  Are we really expected to not understand it as storytelling?  It doesn’t make it irrelevant, but seeing it as unaltered fact is not simply problematic, but dangerous, and we’ve seen how it can be used in awful, hurtful ways.

He totally pussyfooted around the issue of non-violence.  For shame.

“Evangelism by works or example is a small part of evangelism”?  Really?

Bible hopping bugs me.  He’s used 7+ passages a verse or two each.  context? cohesion?

With everything going on a teaching on “converting” is the most effective use of our time?  What about all the people who don’t have enough food right now, are losing their homes, power shut off, etc.  I know there’s a passage some where about meeting people’s physical needs before we can evangelize.  But I guess this is my first time, maybe that sermon was last week.

Flowers on a Sunday

20 04 2008

I went to church today!  I’ve had a hard time since moving back finding the motivation to go to church on Sunday mornings, but I’ve really wanted to.  So here’s a start.  And now that I’m the administrative assistant I have even more motivation.  I think it’ll also help that we started an elective series today and the one I joined is talking about alcohol use.  My church (or at least a group of about 30 of us) are talking openly about the use of alcohol!  That’s really cool to me.

After church, I leisurely cleaned up around the house, made lunch, made strawberry lemonade, did the dishes, and lazed around in the hammock reading “The Prophet” while I waited for Phoebe to come over and talk about flowers.  They’re going to be beautiful.  Phoebe is so amazing, and alot of the flowers are going to come from her parent’s organic farm!  Then I worked on the guest book some more, grabbed a sandwich from Blimpee’s, talked to the pampered chef rep about finalizing my order, and talked to my fiance’ whom I haven’t seen all weekend.  That trend (save for an hour here and there so I can provide him with food 😉 will probably continue until his projects are due on Wednesday.  Now I’m off to my parents for embroidery floss.

Check this out

4 12 2007

To be honest I’m not sure things would pan out even if we did raise the money. Goshen is a hard place to start a restaurant. There are alot of loyalists out there who frequent the same restaurants that have been there for years. There are probably alot of other reasons, I just don’t have the knowledge base to begin to talk about it. However, nothing changes unless someone has the drive and inovation to try and change them. Bravo Eric.

Living in the inbetween

6 09 2007

Music: Bubbly by Colbie Caillat (It’s been running and running through my head for days)

My very good friend and former roommate Abby recently posted about being intentional on her blog.  I admire that, and I’ve thought alot about it too, have times when I feel like my blog is a bit useless, but intentionality in this matter is not for me.  I’ve come to realize that it’s ok for my blog to be mediocre.  It helps my family and friends keep up with me and it gives me a venue to tell my story.  I do have a personal journal, but there’s something about sharing myself with others that creates a motivation that my private journal can’t generate.  But I’m very excited to see what direction Abby’s blog goes.

I have been a ball of nerves lately.  I’ve been anxious and distracted and worked up.  I’m a terribly impatient person when it comes to life changes.  And some big ones are coming up.  We just found out today that we should finally be able to move next weekend.  I unfortunately will be in Oregon, but the girls have been gracious enough to agree to move without me.  Bless them.  So at least I know now when it’s going to happen.  That’s a start to me calming down.  Now comes all the work of getting ready.  I have been working some in the past few weeks, but there’s much much more to do.  I can’t wait to be in the new condo!  My own room!  A deck!

If only moving was the only thing looming in my future.  I haven’t written for a while.   I’ve been avoiding myself in this medium.  The me that comes out in this blog tends to talk about Mike, about my journey through a broken engagement and on to new hope.  It’s all so good.  Mike’s home and it’s been a blessing to be able to put my arms around him and look in his eyes and remember the ways I love his actual presence in my life.  Things are serious.  Things are happy and exciting and joyful.  In equal measure there are times when things are terrifying and painful and uncertain.  I keep thinking there’s going to be a breaking point, a time when the pairing of pain and pleasure break apart and I can move forward with joy and leave behind the anxiety.  So the question that’s been rattling around is “should I be going so far down this path if it terrifies me this much?”  And I know the answer is yes.  I feel it even more strongly after talking with my pastor and hearing him encourage me to trust that answer.  The “problem” is vulnerability.  My grief bulks.  But it is a necessary risk to take to be happy, being vulnerable.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record.  I’m sure I’ve said all those things already somewhere in this blog.  But the problem is that it doesn’t just go away.  I guess I just have to trust that life has something better for me than repeated rejection.

And little by little it gets better and worse.  Stronger grief paired with stronger faith.  How easily pain mingles with pleasure.

I’ve been holding on so tightly to this part of my story.  My pain, my betrayal.  Because I’m young and it makes me feel more important.  More valid.  But slowly I’ve been turning it into just another part of the storyline.  My past, not my present.  So hopefully you won’t be hearing much more about it.  For my sake if not yours.

Not obligated

18 06 2007

Now that I’ve released myself from feeling like I should blog, I really want to.  So maybe that last post was a lie.  Also things have calmed down in my life a bit (sort of).  Things that have been happening recently:

I started working with all three babies.  We hired a woman to help me, but she quite suddenly this weekend after just 4 day.  That was stressful.  But my friend Erini agreed today to fill in for the rest of the summer.  Thankyou so much Erini!  You’re a gem.

We’ve pretty much been accepted for the coop that we’re trying to get into, so now it’s just a process of waiting for two of the units to open up (only one needs to open up for us to move since Abby’s gone and we can squeeze 3 women into one condo for a little while).  This could happen any time.  But there’s complications with the one that’s supposed to be opening up soonest.  The woman who lives there is having trouble getting into her new condo.  So it could be next week or it could be in two months.  I’m bad at this sort of unknown waiting.  Grrrr…

Also, a friend of mine from H.S. (also named Abby) just got engaged and is planning on getting married in Oregon sometime in September.  She asked me to be a bride’s maid 🙂  She was going to be one of my bride’s maids, which reminds me, I STILL have her bride’s maid’s dress in my closet at my parent’s house… I’ll have to remember to take it this summer.  Any ways, the complication is that she and her fiance set the date for September 29, the exact same day that I’m supposed to be in my friend Fallon’s wedding!  Abby and Edder (short for Edwardo I think… hum, should probably know this) are considering changing the date of their wedding.  I’m not the only reason, but I’m part of it.  How amazing is that!

Their engagement got me thinking about Mike and I (big surprise there right), but for good reason.  Abby and I told each other about our perspective new relationships in the same phone conversation just over a year ago.  She and Edder have been dating just over a month less than Mike and I.  It’s been interesting to watch both of the relationships grow and compare notes.  I’m a bit jealous of Abby that she’s reached this stage, one that I definitely want to be at, but at the same time, I’m really grateful for the fact that Mike and I need to take things slower.  We’re not at the same place in our lives, he’s still in school, and most of our relationship has developed from a distance.  I’m glad we can’t move as quickly as Abby and Edder could because it would be too fast for me.  I’d be dealing with alot more fear.

A group of interns has come to Reba (our local church) to learn about intentional community.  It’s been fun to start getting to know some of them.  Three of the guys live in the apartment above us and they invited our apartment (unfortunately Abby and Jess couldn’t come due to the fact that they were hopping the pond and spending two weeks in England) to dinner on Friday.  They served Becca and me an amazing meal of Indian curry, eggplant stirfry, and a milk and rice pudding with saffron in it!  Pretty impressive given the fact that they hadn’t had any food in their apartment the day before.

Confession time

19 05 2007

every once in a while (more frequently in the last few days) I check my ex-fiance’s facebook account or add his IM screen name to my list and read his away messages.  I know this is a bad idea and distructive and I always feel shittier afterward.  It’s such a compulsive thing.  I don’t know exactly why I do it.  I don’t know why I care what’s going on in his life.  I had a dream about him last night, so that may have prompted it today, or maybe doing it recently prompted the dream, who knows.  Am I looking for signs that he and Suzi aren’t doing well?  I don’t really want them to be having problems, but if I’m being truly honest, there would be a part of me that was glad.  I don’t think it has anything to do with me wishing them ill will.  I think it’s because I still have trouble with the fact that he moved on so fast and that my absence from his life didn’t seem to make him unhappy.  It makes me feel replaceable and unimportant.  I’m fully aware that this is not true, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel it.

But this is a self-intervention.  You are all now my unwitting accountability partners.  I will post every time I look him up, and the embarrassment of having to admit it publicly will be a deterrent (I hope).