Sunday Thoughts: like pouring an ocean into a thimble

I wish I had an easy, pre-packaged inspirational thought to share with you today, but instead I have a poem.  I don’t think I’ve written a poem since 10th Grade English, but this week’s Story 101 Assignment inspired me to try again for the first time in ten years.  So my thought for this week is like life.  It’s messy, it doesn’t follow a pattern, it’s not always grammatically correct, but it’s a little bit of honesty.   [Read more…]

Life Experiments

October is my favorite month of the year, so to celebrate I am launching a brand new guest post series called “Life Experiments.”

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I believe that it’s okay to experiment, it’s okay to take risks, it’s okay to fail.  I’m looking for bloggers to share their stories about overcoming failure, adventuring, or trying new things.  If you would like to submit a post, email me a document, an idea, or a link to a blog post by Wednesday, October 1st.  I’d love to hear from you!

I will be posting a new “Life Experiment” every Friday in October (because Fridays are the best, after all).

Thoughts on Prayer

This week, I’ve been exploring prayer.  Not because I’m an expert, but because I too often find myself asking “What’s the point?”  99% of the time, I’m asking for all the wrong things.   I don’t understand why anything I could ask would make any difference at all.

I don’t have it all figured out, but I can tell you that the times I have felt most at peace have been the times when I haven’t used any words at all.  I think that sometimes I forget that an important part of any conversation–even with the creator of the universe–is listening. [Read more…]

Guatemala

Sometimes, Guatemala feels like discovering some great secret to living that few people know about. 

I used to read books about traveling.  I used to look at pictures of mountains.  I used to think about leaving.

But then one day, I made a choice.  

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This week sounds like… climbing mountains.

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous. – Thomas Merton

This week sounds like doing hard things, like climbing mountains (or in my case volcanoes).  It sounds like being cold, wet, and tired, but finding a tiny bit of hope at the end, just knowing that I did something I’ve never done before.

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Laguna Chicabal, Guatemala

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Thoughts on Community

I live in a community.  Literally, as in I share a kitchen and two bathrooms with six other people.  Seven people, sharing space, food, and a shower that you have to light with a match.  (That’s what “gas heated water” means in Guatemala). 

Community has meant lots of different things to me over the years.  Community has meant and summer cookouts and movie nights and Goodwill shopping.  Community has meant church. Community has meant shared meals and $3 bottles of wine.  

Last week in my little church in Guatemala, the lesson was from Romans chapter 12, and it reminded me of some thoughts on community I wrote a few years ago while I was living in Indiana.  [Read more…]

This week sounds like… trying again.

So, friends, I tried.  Really, I did.  I tried to start a tradition, and then life happened.  I spent the summer catching planes and trains and buses and being a tourist and visiting family and dealing with unreliable wifi and moving to Guatemala.  Etcetera.  Somewhere in there, my weekly soundtrack got lost.  So, I’m trying again.  I’m really trying to be a more disciplined person.  So on Wednesdays, I will be posting my Soundtrack of the Week posts.  What do you think of that? [Read more…]

Singleness and the Enneagram (New post for Single Roots)

I really hate it when people tell me I need to work on myself before pursuing a relationship with someone else.

Seriously, it’s probably one of my top ten pet peeves, next to guys who ask me out on Twitter. It always comes off as slightly condescending when another person assumes that because I’m single, I don’t possess some vaguely defined amount of self-knowledge and superior morality that every married person in the world must already have.

But even so, I am reminded nearly every day that a part of me is fundamentally broken. I don’t think this is a singleness problem, but a human problem. Continue reading

 

There is a Season

It’s funny how some stories don’t seem meaningful at the time, but in the silence you realize they need to be told.

Right before my 25th birthday, I got a retail job.  A few months earlier I sat down at a table across from my principal and heard the dreaded words “We just don’t think you’re a good fit for us.”  I also had two part-time teaching jobs, but they barely paid enough to cover my gas to get there.  So, for about two weeks, I had a retail job. [Read more…]

When Everything Goes Wrong

“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college.  I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me?  [Read more…]