Thursday, March 28, 2013

Luther Coffee, HI and Dusty Mysteries

Right now, I'm sipping on some coffee that was farmed and roasted in Hawaii. Can you freaking believe it?  My coffee/espresso obsession is reaching an all-time high in regards to the degree of separation between the beans on the tree and my cup.  The woman's house that I am staying at is the person who owns the coffee farm in Hawaii; she lives mostly there but is back for the week and brought back coffee beans and homemade banana chips! I'm quite impressed.

View right outside of Los Alamos
Yesterday, I hiked through Bandelier Park with Pastor Bruce.  It's one of the many archeological sites of Native American dwellings in this area and it was an amazing walk through and reflection of the lives that have come before us.



These peoples had a rich life and community; it's lovely to see the ghosts of what used to make up this village of families.  Because the rock is volcanic due to a huge volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, it's easy to carve out dwellings as well as carve pictures in the almost chalk-like rocks.
the pegs are where logs that head up the roofs were--these were 2 story buildings

About to head into the kiva that is within an alcove 140 feet above the ground!

beautiful blue NM sky

amazing artistry dating back hundreds of years!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Brown Grass.

New Mexico is gorgeous. It's dry, brown grass reminds me of Colorado and makes me long for home.  The mountains look as if they pop up out of the desert randomly.
Downtown Santa Fe is full of buildings that look like this; it feels as if I walked into a different world.  A world that my heart didn't know it was missing until now.
Art, architecture, vendors, cathedrals and delicious cuisine.  It's really hard to go wrong here.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Moving sculpture in the garden of Laredo Chapel
At the Cathedral, there is a huge purple sign that reads: "LENT: A Good Time to Come Home."  That really hit me; Lent is a time of contemplation within the parts of our lives that are uncomfortable: temptations, weakness, shame, and our own deaths.  Maybe the action of coming home really isn't about physically moving anywhere but really a coming home to yourself and taking time to reflect in the depths of your heart.  I think of the prodigal son and think, "Now is as good a time as any to come home. The father will always welcome his son back. Why Lent?"  Lent calls for dwelling in the pain. Within this pain, there is the joy of union.  A union in your own heart between what you believe and how you act or what you feel and what you do.  The union we long for that is found in self-love and acceptance.  The union I am agonizing over constantly.  It's time to come home to myself. It's time for you to come home for yourself.  Everyone deserves to feel appreciated by themselves.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I'm currently wearing an avocado and oatmeal clay face mask on my face and letting it dry before I wash it off.  Before that, I rubbed a strawberry all over my face (did you know that fruits, such as kiwis, pears, apples, and strawberries are some of the best exfoliates for your skin because of their citric acid? awesome!).  This is the first face mask that I'm donning and I feel as if I'm an 8th grade girl at a sleepover.

It's times like these that I am astonished at who I am today vs. the person I was even just 9 months ago.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and I think: Woah! Who is that?

Short, cropped hair that occasionally finds itself stylish in a decidedly hipster fashion.

A body that gets up at 7am to go for a run.

A left shoulder blade that is adorned with a tattoo.

This person looks dramatically different from the person that I saw in the mirror 7 months ago.

This person looks bold, daring, and adventurous.

Maybe it's because I am.

It's funny because 7 months ago, I felt bold, daring, and adventurous as I moved here.

Now, I'm still trying to live up to this new identity of Berkeley-ite, runner, pacifist and pixie cut wearing feminist.  Oh, and did I mention seminarian?

Life changes.  I keep thinking, "They told said that the first year of seminary would be heart-wrenching and topsy-turvy. Keep on going."

Always fully broken, always fully whole.  Wholly broken, broken wholly.

The mask is dry--time to wash off this reminiscence time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Call for Action

 Isaiah 55:6-12
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

My thoughts are not God's thoughts; the human ability to reason and logic and philosophize is not God's thoughts.  The highest good that we can imagine is the bits of divinity in rain water; those drops of divine traveled a long away from the heavens down to where the raindrop thought lands on my skin and soul.

Is the authority of God where this passage ends?  In the lectionary this past week, the highest authority is placed upon God.  But the text continues on to a powerful finish that sent a message of action for me.  God does not rain down the moments of divine that we can only partially feel in our human skin just so that God can demonstrate how powerful and almighty God is.  These tiny drops of eternal life are given to us so that we can cultivate seeds of growth and change into blossoms of love, hope and justice.  In Isaiah 55:11, God says that the words and efforts that God gives are expected to come back with a human spin on them.  We have the urge to fill the void of emptiness and given gifts to be in community with people so that we come to God full of experience.  That experience might be of loneliness and shame, but it also contains glimmers of hope and love because God gave us the droplets of love in the first place.  We are called to be developers of God's word in our life and in the lives of the people around us.  Anyone can take what has been rained on them and cultivate something beautiful; transformation is always an aspect of life.

What droplets have hit your skin and soul?  What do you plan to do with those droplets?

Every day, you wake up as a beautiful child of God.  What do you plan to do with that beauty?  There is plenty given and plenty to do, but the significance lies in how you act in regards to your gifts.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Abide in the Sea of Love.

The Hope of Loving 
by Meister Eckhart

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover's
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts.  We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their

As humans, we long for connection, acceptance, and community.  In the void that is present within all of us, there is loneliness, hurt, and shame.  There is insecurity and self-doubt.  But, oh but, there is the potential for that void to be curve outward into the world.  The possibilities of laughing so hard your stomach aches, of feeling confident about who you are, the dream of being loved.

There is this eternal hope of an end point of love.  As if one day, everything will be alright because you will love and be loved, Moulin Rouge style. But there are quite a few pieces of the picture missing.  What about the power of the love that we abide in every day, the agape love that we breathe in every few seconds?  What about the sun's rays on your skin or the bitter wind of winter, reminding you that you are human and indeed loved by God?

I sat in worship this past Wednesday, feeling beyond broken and incompetent.  I felt alone in the sea, unsure of where I belonged.  But as I stepped forward to receive communion, this huge wave of abiding in love washed over me.  I felt immense relief in the reminder that Luther said that the people that need communion most are the people that are broken by sin and doubting.  I felt like a young child, being held by something much bigger than me.  I ate and drank the remembrance of the radical act of love in Jesus Christ.

The great thing about this message?  Not only am I full of the love that God gives me, but I am called to wash myself with self-love.  That's the most difficult aspect of love for me, but here I am: open and vulnerable.  In this moment of uncertainty and openness, there is the possibility of change and growth.  Here I am, standing in the moment of kairos (God time), posed for the new.  In this uncomfortable state of what I have felt is failure and being constantly afraid of failure, I have the choice to appreciate and love myself and my opinions.  Challenge accepted.