and the grasshoppers trembled…

I watch my daughter playing in our backyard after my morning walk/run. She runs through the grass, with her drunken toddler’s gait, and the grasshoppers are going haywire trying to get away from her citronella scented legs and stomping feet. They’re parting before her like the waves parted for Moses, and I’m sure they are trembling. She stops, squats, and immediately plunges both hands into a pile of dirt. And since she is still at the age where everything interestingly textured, or new and unfamiliar, goes straight into her mouth, she begins to shovel the dirt through her lips like it’s a new flavor of ice cream (which she doesn’t know about yet, but that’s beside the point). I can’t help thinking, “she’s just about got it right.”

And what do I mean by that? I think that we are so disconnected from where our food comes from, disconnected from the earth in general, that it might be a good idea to plunge our fingers into some dirt every once in awhile (although I’d understand if you didn’t want to taste it like a one-year-old would).

This morning, a friend of mind mentioned that she’d been walking through her mother-in-law’s garden, occasionally pulling back leaves to see what kind of fruit the plant had produced. “The peppers looked weird there. They’re supposed to be on the shelf at the grocery store,” she said wryly. I remember having the exact same feeling when I walked through a vegetable garden for the first time and really looked. It’s a beautiful and startling revelation to have–seeds go in the ground, they grow into a plant, the plant produces fruit, and I can eat that fruit for nourishment, for life. Our forefathers, heck our grandfathers, would’ve been incredulous at our lack of knowledge regarding the very thing that is first on our heirarchy of needs (at least, according to Maslow).  As silly as it sounds to see a bell pepper “out of place” in a garden, we would do well by our bodies and souls to have more of those moments, moments where we recognize our own silliness and can watch the mystical and tangible collide.

I didn’t even get to talking about what I really wanted to, but I will talk more about supporting your local farmers in posts to come. For now, sleep beckons as it so often does this time of night.

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It’s Been Awhile

Okay, so I have no idea if I should even bother picking this back up again, but, I’m going to try.  No lengthy posts for now however, I’ve got to get my sea legs again.

So for starters:

Watched Bella last night, and it was one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen in a long time.

Been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I think it’s changing my life.  If you are even remotely interested in sustainable agriculture, you should read this!

Realizing that in losing the love for worship that I had in my youth (ha! I say that as if I’m an old lady!), I’ve been steadily repressing parts of my spirit.

I have a one year old!  Oh. My. Goodness.

You can only properly enjoy summer time when you are with a child.

Hurray for Obama for securing the nomination!

I have to check…did Tiger win the Open?

I guess so.

(Normally, I don’t keep up with golf!  But I have friends who are into it…and I got caught up in the drama.)

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Church and Communism

Sometimes I think that the church (the way we practice it–a pastor-less community under the headship of Christ) is ideologically much like communism.  On paper it looks good, but once you put it into practice, craziness is bound to ensue.

I don’t mean to sound negative about the way we’ve chosen to live–in the church, as the church–except that I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I love that we are trying to walk this road together.  I only wonder if we’ll work out, if we are “working it out,” with much the same detachment I might look on a some sociological experiment.

Well, I say that I am detached, but that’s not true.  I am very a-ttached.  Just doing some wondering is all…

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glad to be friends

I just ran across this verse today:

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my father I have made known to you (John 15:15).

And it made my heart skip a beat.  Jesus calls us friends.  And not only that, everything he’s heard from his father he’s made known to us.  Just think about that for a second.  That’s freaking amazing.  There are no secrets meant for just Jesus and his father.  He’s let us in on their relationship.  He’s revealed mysteries, depths, heights, shadows…Lord, give us eyes to see.

I just have to love a guy like that.  He’s so…so…freaking amazing!  I don’t have to be a servant.  I get to be a friend.  Which is ironic, because what do friends do?  Serve each other in love.  I guess the difference is we’re on equal standing, and he has no need to command me to do anything, since what I do, I will do out of love.

Equality.  The word has been worth fighting for, for some in my greater family of African-American brothers and sisters, worth dying for.  I am honored and humbled that I have a Lord, nay, a friend who could be a master, but chooses otherwise.

I sometimes wonder how it’s possible he can be as wonderful as he is.

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Finally, relaxation

Yesterday was Mike and I’s 2nd anniversary.  While talking about this fact with him, I happened to say (quite innocently I might add!), “Goodness it feels like a lot longer than that!”  I only meant that it felt as if I’d been connected with him and sharing life for much longer than a mere 2 years.  Ha!  I laugh in the face of the “cotton” anniversary.  We’re already gold, baby.  Already gold.

On my wedding day, I didn’t know what it would mean to love him more now than I did then, but it’s true.  If loving more means having a greater appreciation for, a greater depth of cherish-ment (yes, I just made that word up), and a better understanding of, then it’s definitely true.  I love him more now than then.  I can’t say that arriving here, in this place of greater love, was an easy road.  In fact, it was probably mostly a hard road.  But isn’t it worth the sore and calloused feet?  How else would you be able to deeply appreciate something like…

An evening of relaxation, complete with a couple’s massage at this day spa, followed by a cozy candlelit dinner in our bathrobes and slippers, and dessert.  I can’t tell you how needed and wonderful it was to slow down and take a breath, together.  We’ve been so busy with different things–Jubilee, work, school, church life–we’ve had little time to really relax, and do it together.

So if anything, this is a call to slow down, a call for appreciation.  A call for cherish-ment.

And on that note, here are a few things I am grateful for and cherish about my husband:

He is a good Daddy.  Jubilee lights up when she sees him

He fills my water glass in the middle of the night when I’m up with our daughter

He makes me laugh and roll my eyes every day

He makes sure I take care of myself

He practices a generous orthodoxy (hahaha)

Love you dear!

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2007 reflections

In 2007…

I mourned the loss of innocence in the world and in myself.
But I rejoiced when it was born anew in so many ways.

I fell in love.

Community took on even more significance.
My sisters and brothers in Raleigh grew more precious.

I faced some fears.

Mortality reminded me of its grip on me and the lives of my loved ones.
The great cloud of witnesses surrounded, and witnessed (which freaked me out).

I gave birth.

I cried more than I wanted to.
But nothing made me happier than the laughter of my child.

I missed family.

I gained new friends in unexpected places.
And even met up with some old ones.

Sleep became elusive.

Read a few good books, saw some good movies.
But mostly, any down time was spent wanting to sleep.

I learned to appreciate my humanity even more.

And my spiritual life grew out of the mundane.
Out of the ordinary, every-day occurrences of life on this earth.

Changed many, many diapers.

I cooked, and it became a creative process and an outlet.
My body was made food for someone.

I thought a lot about hunger.

And Jesus kept me.
In the light, dark, and the murky in-between,
he kept me.

Goodbye old year, I am glad for the things you taught me.

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all you need is love

So here’s Jubie meeting her first pastor. “Pastor the Conquistador” that is. She loved that dog! Thanks goes to Jenny for introducing them. I think it was love at first lick.

I have never loved anyone else the way I love her. It amazes me, what God gives–this good, challenging, growing thing of love. When Jesus said that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven, I don’t think he meant, “be more innocent or more pure…” Be more, be more, be more…this is what we are constantly telling ourselves and yet, I don’t know that he ever asks us to be more anything when he is more for us in us.

I think he was asking us to simply let him love us. Let him love unreservedly and extravagantly, even when we don’t deserve it, don’t feel as though we measure up. It’s a hard thing for adults to let themselves be loved and to admit to needing it, but children–they have no qualms about expressing their need for love whenever and wherever it suits them. Whether it’s being held, changed, fed, or played with, Jubilee tells me in her own baby way what she needs, and my response is always the same: I am here for you.

God is just like that, overwhelming more so! We just don’t always accept it. But–He Is. And just as Jubilee will get older and my expressions of love for her change in response to her growth and maturity, God takes me deeper into his love as I age in him. I suppose this is what relationship with him is all about.

I was feeling a bit down in the dumps before I started this post.
It’s been one of those “I could tear my hair out weep a thousand tears eat a pint of ben-and-jerry’s” days, if you know what I mean. And I won’t say that magically everything is better now, but I definitely feel my spirit lifted a bit when I think about the riches of his graceful love. It’s like digging your fingers into dark, loamy, soil to plant a seed. That seed may have fallen into its tomb of dirt, but it is there, surrounded by darkness, that it is given the nutrients it needs to break forth, sprout, and grow.

And because I love this song…because this is a feel good post…
All You Need is Love! Sing it with me now…

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