Sunday, March 29, 2009

four days with Jesus

I don't have to work the weekend this event called Next takes place this year (I've had to work the past three years).

But I found my inner rebel rearing its ugly head whenever anyone asked if I was going. Just because "everyone" was going, I wanted to get stubborn and make my own plan and not go. That'll show 'em. What? I want to stay home and be bored because everyone I would want to hang out with is literally out of state over Memorial Day weekend? Maybe I just secretly wanted sympathy. 'Awww, Rachel can't go." Who knows. I silenced my rebel diva and finally had a chance to register tonight. I also watched the promo video for the first time on my beauteous new ibook that God so generously provided. Rabbit trail: I didn't even seriously pray for a new computer. I griped about the inconveniences of the old decrepit ones I kept alternating between. I wished for one. I suggested to myself that I should begin a budget savings category for one, but I didn't out and out ask God for one. He gave me one anyway. Totally free. Totally new. This time I'm asking. I would like an SLR camera. Please. That's as specific as I can get until further research. But research I will do.

Back to that conference. Four days meeting Jesus all over again. Add to that awesome fellowship with quite a few of my favorite people, throw in some music and some art....what was I thinking? I have no better plan.

You should come. I want all of my favorite people there. I want to get to know new favorite people.

mooching of my favorite things to do. Usually results in profound ideas, good food, and comfy places to hang out. This time it results in good reading material. Cause I can't think of anything original to write about.

New blog link to check out: Reverb

Thursday, March 19, 2009

worthwhile love

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable . . . The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers . . . of love is Hell. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Monday, March 16, 2009


The nightly news is disheartening: fire, rape, perversion, dishonor, killing, damage, discontent and leprechauns on the weather map.


I'm almost 31. When did that happen?!?!? I feel like it should mean something. (Pause for fit of spastic laughter).

My nephew was 14 Saturday. When I called to offer the proper congratulations, I didn't recognize his voice. He's almost taller than me. Sigh. My niece was 3 today. I forgot to call her.

The last couple days could be classified under "humdinger": noun. informal. - a person, thing, action, or statement of remarkable excellence or effect. Origin: 1885–90. There's a good Colorado word for you. Envision it said by a wizened old rancher in overalls with a hay stalk in his mouth and you'll be set. They were remarkable alright. Excellent? Not so much. They were the kind of days that left behind a bruised heart and pounding head and yet find me saying something stupid like, "I've had better Mondays." or "It's been a long week today." When the truth is I've been acutely aware of every sound, color, smell, and conversation. At the same time, I'm numb and can't find words to explain anything. Especially for the dearly aggravating friends who pose "What are you thinking and feeling right now?" questions to me. For all their attentiveness all they got was, "Uuuuuuh." One of them asked me, "How is your mind? How is your soul?"

My mind: is blank. I'm spent. I'm weary. I'm thinking I can't do this.

My soul: is sad. It hurts. It's been conned, played and lied to and it's angry.

Now that you're stamping your feet in irritation for me to get to the point (yea, right), I'll try.

One of the greatest disadvantages to this job of mine is that I cannot make these young moms get it. I cannot force them to believe - me or God. I cannot save them - from themselves, their past or their future.

All I can do is love them. I love easily and I love hard. It's either all or nothin'. And I am keenly aware that love them is also what I cannot do. For whatever reason Jesus has regenerated this introverted, selfish, cynical, judgmental girl and He loves them through me. I can't help it. I always was a sucker for the bullied kid cowering in the corner of the playground.

Today I said goodbye to a girl who no longer wanted to stay. She coudn't just say so. She had to make a scene, break some rules, blame everyone else and get flat out nasty. Who am I to stop her. Go please. There's the door. Take the nastiness with you. And all the love you've received. And the support. And the care. Cause it's not gonna change. The part about us loving you anyway.

I carried her bags to my car and smelled the stale french fry grease in the air from the Burger King around the corner, cast a wary eye at the cloudy gray day and wondered how long I'd remember that moment. The hour and a half ride from Lancaster county to west Philly passed in silence. We pulled into her street and stepped out into the voices ringing out from around the block welcoming her home. Her family members slowly emerged one by one onto the rickety wooden steps of their piece of porch. I already stood out as the only white girl on the street. I want to cause a bigger scene and go for my best gansta impersonation, effect a pose and yell, "She don't belong here no more. She belongs with me. She ain't got no sense. Yo." I restrained myself and stuck to carrying her bags across the one way street, up the steps, and into the old house. I hadn't wanted to see her world under these circumstances. People came from all directions to carry her life back into the old row home, then retreated to their own porches and front steps. I closed the tape patched stained glass door behind me and sat with her family while the paper work was passed around and half-mocking insults flew. Approximately an hour later I kissed Gramma goodbye, attempted one last seed-planting effort in the stubborn soil of a seventeen year old heart and drove back to farm country. About 10 minutes in the silence was more than I could take and I called for processing time with whatever friend I could find.

To those of you who probed and pried and are yet lurking here. Thank you. I remember days when I was not strong enough to call for help. Now I know that I am not strong enough, and so I do. Thank you for listening, for asking, for hearing me out then gently distracting my aching heart and coaxing out a smile. I feel guilty. I also know I could not go on without you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

cookies aren't the only thing on my mind

date: 2.27.09
time: Friday Night Watch 7-9pm
location: Lancaster, PA City Gate Prayer Room
lyrics (as best as I could get them) to a prophetic song by Gordon

sometimes I look in my heart
and I don't like what I see
and so I come
looking for your release

and I ask you to come
and I agree with you
'cause it's all yours

sometimes the enemy laughs at me
and looks at the destruction he's caused
he points at what he's done
but you look beyond
and I know it's all yours

I know the day will come
that this earth is gone
I wait for the day when you look at me
when you roll back the clouds
reveal heaven above
then you'll look at your church
say, "come - be by my side"

you tell us it's yours
come make this place your own
it's ours
because of what you've done

evil fat gremlins

One of the beautiful advantages of living at and working for a non-profit is that I have the privilege of helping myself to the various donations and supplies that people so generously bring.

These are definitely beautiful.

These were waiting for me in the kitchen last night when I came back from my day off.
Sometimes they are waiting by the boxful at our main entrance.
These and many of the other goodies from Panera fill our extra freezer in the basement.
And take up substantial room in the deep-freeze, also in the basement.
If they keep coming they are going to start crowding out the meat in the deep-freeze in the barn.
These are not advantageous.
That is because the evil fat gremlins that reside in them take up residence in my hips when I eat them.
My missionary budget is not going to be able to fix my computer keyboard from the crumbs that are falling into and clogging it while I type.
Oh wait, at some point someone has surely donated some of that aerosol air-in-a-can stuff to blow the dirt out of tiny inconvenient places like a computer keyboard. Help yourself to a cookie while I go look for it. The real trick will be finding the red straw attachment for the nozzle. And getting my hips through the doorway. Oh well, the exercise will be good for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

On being an Auntie

I don't have a series of photos for every item on the list like Pioneer Woman (Yes, I'm still reading. I resigned myself to short jaunts out in public every other day), but this past weekend I....

drove a combined total of 3 hours to see eveyone I wanted to
the first person I wanted to see was my sister
(one of these days I'll get a good photo to represent all she is to, maybe not just one)
slept till 9 am for the first time in weeks (the favorites shockingly waited to jump on my head until after I was partially awake)
took a grocery shopping adventure with my favorite three year old niece
detoured to buy windshield wipers
stopped to see her mommy at work at Wawa
where we bought a hot dog and pink! milk lunch for her and a vitamin water (yup, the pink one) for me (it was only eleven am)
took the 8 year old stow-away back home
counted all the vrooms (translation: motorcycles) we saw on the way to the store
had 15 minute dialogue with the grandma who stopped to admire her beautiful brown eyes and blonde pigtails at the produce section, and the cereal aisle, and the pasta aisle, and the dairy section
cleaned up her strawberry milk from the chicken aisle (those handy paper towels are good for more than chicken juice)and every item in the cart (ever tried to get all the milk, the pink! milk, out of the twistie-tie area of a package of hamburger buns while perfecting your short-stop catching arm for all the items being flung out of the sticky grocery cart?)
put all the candy bars, gum and tic-tacs back in the display next to the checkout lane
loaded the groceries in the car
took her back inside to go potty (where we also dicussed world politics and interior decorating)
took her home for her nap
played Lord of the Rings Monopoly
threw some chicken in a pot for dinner(I defer to someone else's nifty photos here)
critiqued art from the newest street vendor on Sunset Dr.
listened to the pubescent cracks and whistles from the voicebox of my 14 year old nephew
documented the invasion of a gang of pirates and gypsies

finished cooking dinner with my sister
then ate it heartily with the whole loud 9 of us (yum!)
watched the first half of Australia (I haven't seen the last half yet, so shush)
mingled throughout was delicious conversation about:
God. Love. Art. Memories. Life. Dreams.
fell back into my ever so lumpy yet comfy hide-a-auntie-sofa around midnight

and that was just Saturday