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Showing posts from December, 2015

I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love (2015 in review)

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[Three disclaimers: 1) The title is stolen from Mumford & Sons. 2) I know that it is, in fact, the 30th.  But I plan to be celebrating with friends tomorrow evening.  3)  There is a really gross picture from when my face met the sidewalk further down in this post.  If you're squeamish about such things, maybe don't keep reading.]

Let me be honest: 2015 had its rough spots.  Not measurable just in days, but in weeks and months.  (April, of course.)  There were funerals and near tragedies and conflict and drama, here in Btown and in the US and all over the world.  There was heartbreak.

And yet -- yet looking back on it, it was really a good year, and as I've flipped back through my journal and planner, it's incredible to me how much love and goodness and friendship and laughter and tangible evidence of the graciousness of God was crammed into a single year.

There was, to name one of the huge blessings, the Tautology Club, which sort of grew out of an evening where a …

Single in Church

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Recently I posted a link to this article, Why It Stinks to be Unintentionally Overlooked.  It echoed many other things that I've heard from friends and other pieces I've read.  It vocalized some feelings that I've had, but it also made me want to write a response and push back on it a little bit.

There is a danger of singles in the church falling into a mindset that they are victimized.  I'm pretty sure that everyone feels overlooked a lot of times.  Parents with little kids who really want to just sit and listen to the sermon, but instead are helping out in the nursery.  Families with kids with special needs that no one else in the congregation knows how to relate to.  Really, anyone.  You can think of times you've felt overlooked.  That's a common human condition, not special to singles.

The age bracket that me and a lot of my friends fall into really is just an awkward time.  We've graduated from college... but we don't really know what we're do…

Happiness and Courage

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Crumble is in its new space, and a lovely light space it is, full of windows and wooden tables.

Star Wars VII comes out in a few days.  The movie theatre had a warning on their site about what kinds of costumes would be permitted, which is probably equal parts funny and sad.  I'll probably go in sort of Han Solo-esque clothing, by default as much as by anything.  Boots, jeans, a vest -- but no blaster.  :)

George wants to eat everything always that may be food.  Especially if it's Laura's or mine.
Late on Saturday night, I got back to my apartment after a Christmas dinner with a few friends.  "You really are truly blessed in your social circle," a friend told me, and it is true.  It's almost an embarrassment of blessing, these friends who are so good that I feel like I've lived in Bloomington far longer than a year.  Having such a staggering abundance of friendships is incredible to me.  And since I moved to this place knowing only one person, I am simply …

Gaudete

This year when people have asked about my favorite Christmas carol, I've been telling them that I have a growing appreciation for I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and its honesty.

In despair, I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Because yeah, when ISIS and abortion and racism and war and abuse and stomach bugs are all things, when the presidential candidates leave me wondering if maybe staying in China forever would be a good move, when everyone in the Greyhound station has their own stories of heartbreak and lost faith and what's wrong with the world --

The tidings of comfort and cheer can start to ring pretty hollow.  I can start questioning is this enough?  Is it okay to rejoice like crazy, to party with friends and sing Christmas carols and laugh and make new memories?  

Today, the third Sunday in Advent, is called Gaudete Sunday (because of the traditional liturg…

TR in review

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Although my reading of Theodore Rex did not go according to plans, thanks to new friends experiencing Greyhound with me, I did finish the massive volume.

I knew it was going to be a great read when I was reaching for a dictionary within the first few pages. Catafalque was not a word that I knew.  Now it is.  I love learning new words in English.

The entire book was like that -- leaving me wondering about new thought and concepts that I hadn't quite put together before.  I appreciate that it did not gloss over some of TR's serious flaws as a man and as a president, particularly in how he handled civil rights of African Americans.

"Theodore Roosevelt by John Singer Sargent, 1903" by John Singer Sargent - The White House Historical Association. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
Here were a few things that really struck me.

TR made extensive use of his presidential powers.  I feel like we get pretty bent out of shape when a president now uses his powers to push h…

Those Best-Laid Plans (aka, the saga of my Thanksgiving)

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Two or three months ago, my sister Abbie and I began plotting how I could get home for Thanksgiving without letting anyone else in the family know ahead of time.  There were loads of texts, FaceTime, and calls going back and forth.  She sorted out her work schedule, I bought bus tickets; she made sure that our family was actually celebrating ON Thanksgiving, I made "plans" with a family from church and asked Mom for gluten free recipe ideas so that I could take a dish with me to their house...

We worked out every possible snag as well as we could.

Seriously.  We had such great plans.
Finally, on Wednesday morning, I was all set to take a few buses and get to Pittsburgh.  
And then.
The bus.
Was so late.
And there was nothing that I could do about it.
I've cried before in the Indy Greyhound station, but that was because I had to say goodbyes and there is not much in the world that I hate more.  I certainly didn't plan on crying there on this trip, but when I was told …