Sunday, December 30, 2007

another year, another blog entry

i think i have recovered from our christmas. there was little sleep, but everyone seemed to get along this year (for the most part - i had a hand in my small cousin's annual crying when i frustratedly told her to stop yelling at me to pay attention when we were playing capture the flag. dude. she's 9, she's getting too old for this behavior. time to get a thicker skin). for some reason i got one of those backpacks with a water compartment as a gift - apparently my cousin thought it was "so me." i don't know where they got that idea; i barely like hiking. ah well - it is pretty nifty, perhaps this will encourage me to get out more.

i haven't blogged in a while; i know. let's just say there are artistic difficulties. or something like that. trying to find some inspiration/motivation. trying to figure out what it is in my realm to change in this weird life i am in.

my sleeping pattern is all whacked out because the late night holiday partying. so, i play "call of duty 4: modern warfare" with my youngest brother. i ashamedly admit that i am rather addicted to it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

god bless us, everyone

music of the season: vince guaraldi's charlie brown christmas album & sufjan steven's christmas singalong CDs. favorite christmas song: wham's "last christmas i gave you my heart". this song also wins for most annoying christmas song, but is sure fun to sing along to. closely followed by this song.

i survived our broomball night with my immune system mostly intact, which is surprising. now on to the family brouhaha. i'm chugging airborne - i'm not totally convinced of it's medicinal qualities, but it's not a bad placebo.

more after the holiday. still in survival mode.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

come lord jesus

i'm getting sick. and with one more youth group christmas event party, and the christmas holiday still to get through. not thrilled about this. i have a sore throat, which is the precursor to other symptoms. trying to head this off - today i ingested probably 5000% of my daily allowance of vitamin c, not to mention several large cups of tea. we'll see.

struggling a bit right now ... for lots of things - the usual things, meaning, connection, inspiration, perspective, bladebladebla. i've got this job that i'm sort of good at, but is not something i enjoy or really feel called to. there seems to be lukewarm support from all ends. a thankless task.

odd that so much of my attitude concerning this holiday is negative. i really could do without all the extra trappings of this time and get down to the essential truth of the time: which is jesus came here to be among us. this sacrifice of power, this unexpected gift, this incredible love - this is what i want to be dwelling in. not rude parents, rude kids, oblivious bosses, mind-numbing commutes, cost of living ... these suck my will to live, to be thankful, to be observant.

of course, it hasn't been all drained out of me, my humor still exists. a featured part of the evening tomorrow: christmas pinatas. also: try this game - go to dollar store. buy tacky baby jesus in the manger figurines. hide said baby jesus figurines around church for kids to find. name the game "find baby jesus." when other staff members express mock horror prior to this game hide all baby jesus figurines around their office as revenge.

but operating in my strengths say 50% of the time... that number just ain't big enough for me. prayers as i discern what comes next.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


last night, in an effort to break out of this funk i've been in, i went to a young adult christmas party at church. i really had to gear up for it because of 1) the aforementioned funk; 2) my natural tendency to introversion and hatred of small talk (and lack of party "wingman" who would promise to leave early with me if it was lame; i miss dave aupps, best wingman ever!); 3) the location of the party was at church, which is the last place i want to be on my day off ("hey, i'm here 6 days a week instead of 5! sweet!"). don't i sound like a lovely person to be around?

despite my grinch-yness, i managed to have a good time. my group won in a crazy gingerbread house building contest. th
in spite a minor wardrobe malfunction - the seat of my pants wore through that night. i had to tie my long sleeve t-shirt around my waist for the rest of the evening. perfect.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


i have been in a fog for much of the past week, not understading how or why i came to feel this way. then i came across this quote today and it seemed to sum things up quite accurately.

We live today in a world of growing isolation, frantic activity, and desperate violence, where paradoxically, we find ourselves longing for both solitude and companionship, intimacy and community. Some of us may look back to times when life seemed to make sense and relationships were more certain. Whether or not such times ever existed, we nevertheless long today for relationships that acknowledge who we are and who we want to be. We want someone to hear us, to hear our hearts beating, to hear our deepest longings—even longings of which we dare not speak.
- Sondra Higgins Matthaei, Faith Matters

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this is me being cranky.

well, last night was the first bout of insomnia that i've had in a while. apparently, my avoidance of caffeine does not mean i am impervious to sleeplessness. that sucks.

i also had a lingering headache yesterday that continued in intensity through today. so i stayed home and slept. again, one of those mysterious afflictions that comes and goes. i think i'm okay now.

the thing with insomnia is that it is in those wee hours of the night that my anxieties and angst get the better of me. it is when i ask questions that i can't answer right away, the kinds of questions that have answers that unfold over years and simply by living. i hate those questions. they irritate me. i really really like sleeping; and i'd much rather sleep than think about those questions.

and, as you can see, by the time stamp of this post, i'm still up. oh well.

on another note: i like advent. but i don't like going to 50 different christmas party functions. with 50 different gift exchanges. or planning one of those party functions for a bunch of high schoolers. i am not a party planner.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


i went to a taize service last night, my first one. the day i found a service, a high schooler mentioned having to go to a taize service for her religion class at her catholic high school. so i went with her and her friends.

it had been a long time since i had attended a time of worship that incorporated silence, and simple melodies. time was not an issue. i sat before the altar in the darkened chapel for a time, holding a small candle. when i looked closer at the wick, i realized that it was curved into the shape of a question mark. "great, god, haha very funny," i though to myself, not appreciating or understanding the symbolism involved and the implications. mystery sucks sometimes, you know? it takes a lot more work to live with mystery than when you think you've got it all figured out. while i didn't quite agree with the theology of this church; a taize service is something i'd attend again; it's a good antidote for this high speed high pressure culture.

the kids fidgeted, doodling on their bulletins; some things never change. one of them took notes, the rest assumed she'd lend them a copy - some things really never change.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

xmas spirit

i don't usually enjoy the family guy, but the last song in this video made me laugh really hard. it's my new favorite christmas song.

Monday, December 03, 2007

substance free

well, since my troubles with anxiety, i have gone off the sauce. by sauce, i mean caffeine. if you thought i meant beers or other alcoholic beverages, well i practically have since i still lack the requisite drinking buddies. unless you count the stoic canine i took care of last week. he wasn't much on conversation, but sure was a good listener.

i miss caffeine. i have a much easier time falling asleep now, which is wonderful. but it does take me a bit more time to get up to speed in the morning. and those of you that have seen me in the morning know that is an arduous process already. it's almost not morning by then.

to flog my title metaphor a bit more ... i have also felt a bit free of substance lately. in a not good way. as i pass my days if suburban settings, with an upper middle class population, i wonder where the substance, the real nitty gritty of my life is. i long for more real things, for more than trying to speak the truth to a blank-faced student population. we are studying a curriculum put out by international justice mission right now. several times i have been convicted by what is being taught, while kids fidget in their nice clothes and go home in nice cars and claim to have no money. i know because i was/am one of them and have thought the same thoughts. and i want to get away from that. sometimes i think my head will explode with how much i care about what is happening in the world and how apathetic the kids are. the consolation is that i trust God is at work in slow and unseen ways with these kids and how they will live their lives. i'm eating that quote i put in an earlier post about how god moves at three miles an hour. kosuke koyama also mentions in that same book about how God moves so slowly that he took 40 years to teach the israelites a lesson as they wandered in the desert. i read that and thought, "oh great, i'm following this guy too. what did i get myself into?"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Saturday, December 01, 2007

out for a stroll

my week of dog sitting in the coldest apartment ever is almost done with. on one hand, it's hard to be tied to the routine of taking the dog out for walks. on the other hand, it's nice to see the neighborhood and scenery. there's the guy who's always doing tai chi at the basketball court, the community garden in a corner of the park, the red house next to the white house with the nice flower garden and so on. the neighborhood reminds me a bit of ol' point grey in vancouver a little bit.