Sunday, March 20, 2016

lent two.

I'm a newcomer to Lent.

This year (my second one to date) has been a weird jumble of feelings. Unease, confusion, displacement, peace, love, interconnectedness, despair, hope.

To have Lent coexist with the rise of Donald Trump in the United States' political arena has been unsettling. A strange juxtaposition of a terrifying present reality met with the timeless and overwhelming beauty of an even greater one (for me) - that Jesus came. That God joined us. That He still does and will.

As Zecheriah sang, so will I: "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

So, for me, Lent has been hard and wonderful. I have songs that carry me through important times in my life, and this is no different. Perhaps this song will bring to you what it has brought to me the last few weeks.

Friday, September 11, 2015

pray for those who mistreat you.

Every September 11th I see a slew of posts that really trouble me, because of how U.S.-centric they are and because of their intense other-ing of people who live in different countries often paired with the movements and groups that hurt so many that day. But yesterday's daily readings in mass made me think about how important it is for us to apply Jesus' teachings not just to our own lives, but to how we expect those who lead the countries, states, and communities where we live to act. Here are a few segments from each of the readings that I really loved, and if our leaders would have followed them or could follow them now, how different things would be.

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one Body.

1 Col. 3:12-15

If we love one another,
God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

1 John 4:12

To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.

Luke 6:27-30

Imagine how different and more open our world would be if, after September 11th, we tried to understand why those who hurt so many felt compelled to do so. If the leaders of this country let the peace of the Christ they profess belief in control their hearts, if love remained within them, and forgiveness instead of bombs was given in return. Violence begets violence, but love and understanding will heal. These may sound trite, but the Christian Gospel is simple, and the promises God makes for trying to follow its messages of love, acceptance, and openness are real.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

good evening, world.

I'm laying down in our guest room (it has the best air conditioning) in our little house hearing my coyote dog play with the dog-like kitten we've acquired. Nearby the hrumphy little dog man is snorting his disapproval at their antics.

I was thinking this week about what I needed to do in my life to be happy and feel fulfilled since I'm coming up on (possibly) the hardest semester of my life, and I decided that more regular journaling was the key. While I would like to be disciplined enough (like my chirpy 18 year old self) to write, by hand, in my journal every night I know I will only do that some of the times, so I figure this blogosphere will have to do for those other times when I have thoughts and the notion of walking 6 feet from a comfy position to get my journal is too much. Or, you know 1 foot depending on my locale.

My thoughts tonight are pretty simple, and they surround being excited, really excited, about the life you're living because you are animated by a love grounded in something bigger than you. For me, that love is grounded in God. In my Father and His Son. In the Holy Spirit that lets me feel that love so deeply and completely.

One of my past professors whom I am Facebook friends with is consciously trying to not express negative feelings right now, and she has really inspired me to try and do the same in my life. I'm not as good at this as it appears she is, but it has only been a couple of days. It's especially hard when you have interactions with humans that treat you as an object, but that story is for another day.

Nevertheless, I thought this a good time to engage on this thought experiment as I embark on another semester in my seemingly endless (especially and probably to you, limited readership) academic endeavors where I am taking 18 - yes, 18 - graduate units. I took 21 units at my worst in college, and this, I'm relatively certain, will still be more difficult. That does not mean I need to be negative, though.

I'm so incredibly privileged to be able to engage in the academic world, to study law and society, to be paid to imagine different ways of being - to professionally think. While I know I will fail a lot at remembering this, I need to be better at rejoicing in the season I am in instead of being my super plan-centric, obsessive compulsive self and only thinking of what my life may be one day. I think that could possibly be the worst form of negativity -- not rejoicing in what is.

In the meantime while I struggle to rejoice, I will aim to remember that as long as my heart is filled with more love than anything else, I can be the positive human I long to be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

new beginnings.

Christmas Eve is one of my most favorite days of the year. It is a reminder to me of the brilliance and simple and unmatched beauty of a Father's plan to send a Son, cloaked in humanity and full of divinity, to redeem those who are His brothers and sisters. It is also a reminder to me of my shortcomings in the past year to draw near to Him who so perfectly drew near to the Father. It is through the Son that I return to the Father, in every way - and not just in the redemptive sense. I reach the Father's love through the Son, the Father's mercy through the Son, the Father's grace through the Son, and the Father's enabling powers through the Son.

It is difficult to put into words at the end of the year how I feel all at once blessed and at peace and beautiful while feeling completely overwhelmed with my own inadequacies to submit to a God who I claim and truly feel I love so much. But that is what Christmas is to me. It's feeling all of these things all at once. It's feeling like I'm everything to God, and nothing in comparison to Him. It's feeling closest to Him because He gave us His Son and so far away from being worthy to enter His kingdom.

What brings me understanding, however, is the example of one who seems to have felt these similar tuggings before the literal coming of the Savior into the world. It seems as though she who was Christ's first disciple felt the same measures of hope and humility that tend to flood my soul at this time of year.

Mary uttered, "How shall this be?" while still proclaiming, "I am the handmaid of the Lord." She praised God when meeting Elizabeth while recognizing her own status below, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the lowly state of his handmaiden."

She knew that she was chosen. She knew that she was doing a great work, that she would be honored and revered for her incredible and essential part in salvation, but she knew that she was only great because her Lord was great. Her humility was coupled with great hope of what she could be because of the glory of Who she carried inside her.

This time is a reminder to me that it is these dual feelings that make up my human experience in trying to come to God, in trying to understand what God wants for me, and in trying to move forward, be better, learn more, grow closer, and forsake more. As advent comes to a close, it is still crucial to remember that the next year is spent preparing for the next coming of the Lord and that I must make changes in order to really be ready for it. Christ let the world know through His birth that new beginnings were here with the hope of His life and love, and Christmas does the same for me. While I am aware of my failings, I know that there are new beginnings always because of Jesus Christ and that because of His mercy my successes and love for Him will be enough.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

oh hey, world.

I realize it's been months since I last posted.

This is honestly because I've been really busy living my life and enjoying every single gosh-darn morsel of it.

The past year has drawn me closer to my Father in Heaven than I feel I have ever been...closer to Him through prayer, through study, through introspection, through drawing closer to and loving His Son, and through trying to understand and love those around me better.

Also in the past six months I started dating the most wonderful human I have ever known.  This has been more of the reason for the scant posting than the first thing, which has led me to lots of journal writing, just not on the blogosphere.  Because I'm really excited about this relationship, I'm actually not going to make our goings on public on here, cause, well, I like that we have some things just between us.

I also started law school! It's not as hard as I thought it would be, but it is even more detail-centric and awfully time-consuming than I imagined.  Also, contracts are not my favorite juice.  I honestly just don't understand why people can't just promise something and do it.  Honesty, people. Honesty.

My family is wonderful, as always. And I am blessed that they are so incredibly supportive of me in all my endeavors.

I figured I would post today because the cutest little new nugget just entered our family at a whopping 10 pounds 4 ounces! (Gooooooooo Kimi!!!)  I'm excited that Miss Noelle is here with us.  Here's a little video from Kid President to welcome you into the world. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

o my soul.

Shake your chains to the Earth
And rise up with the dawn
O my soul

Each step
A living prayer
And we never walk alone

Lift up your eyes
Take back your sight
And shake your chains to the Earth

O my soul

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Inspired by and dedicated to my little niece, Eliana.

I just want to give the whole world a hug,
Wrap them in my arms and cling to each person,
Let them know I love them, God loves them, and
We are all one.
I just want to dance in a circle with everyone alive,
Holding hands and spinning around,
Look into everyone's eyes and
Let them know each one is beautiful, perfect, and
Cherished always.
I just want to give each person I meet, and even those I don't,
A flower picked from a newly blooming field,
Remind them they are noticed by me and their Maker,
That they are unique, yes, but also made of the same stuff as everyone else.

But that it's that same stuff that makes me want to
Hug them,
Hold them,
Love them,
Accept them,
Nurture them,
Sing with them,
Shout with them,
Mourn with them,
Frolick with them,
Be with them always.