Last night I dreamed that I needed to take a stand and to advocate for immigration reform. I woke up with a sense of urgency.
Lord, please help me to be a good steward of the blessings of freedom and privilege that You have given me. May I not let these be wasted on furthering my purposes. May my whole life reflect Your heart and may I fight for causes that I are so much bigger than myself.
I finally look forward to going to bed because I have learned how to enjoy the process of unwinding and relaxing:
jazz, “well rested” tea, a cookie or two, and a library book (currently What Money Can’t Buy by Michael J Sandel).
There is so much I could say, but I’m really excited to see what God is going to do this year. In His grace and mercy, the sweet Lord called me to come away with Him and start the year with a retreat. We got down to business, and He gave me the strength to give up the idols I had been consistently choosing before Him. He’s renewed my strength and restored my hope, joy, and even creativity. I’ve started my days in prayer, and He’s opened the eyes of my heart. Even at work, I’m no longer seeing people as interruptions but instead as God-given opportunities. My entire attitude has changed.
I am dreaming again. Crazy dreams that are so much bigger than me: projects, organizations, and revival.
I am caring about politics for the first time. Trying to learn what it means for me to truly be a voice for those who do have one.
I hope that the bits and pieces of my redemption story that I share may be of encouragement to you.
seeing: the warm glow of Christmas lights in my bedroom (surrounded by a mess of unfinished Christmas cards, work papers, and to do lists)
tasting: just got back from my house church’s Christmas party, where we feasted on flautas, arroz, frijoles charros, and gelatina
hearing: Nothing I Hold On To/Climb (United Pursuit Band)
smelling: leftover Christmas cookies
touching: my hands are cold and skin is dry
I just came back from a conference about Christian community development. This year’s theme was “Reconcilliation.” I left with a heavy heart. Our world is so broken.
Although I’ve been exposed to many different cultures in my life, I realized that I’ve allowed my upbringing to shape my view on church. What does a multicultural church really look like? How do we really allow others to come as they are instead of asking them to fit our mold?
What does justice look like? For the immigrant? In education? In health care? In politics? What is my role in all of this?
How do I reconcile my calling with my skin color? Am I always going to be viewed as an arrogant white/American person who is trying to save “the under-privileged?” How can I serve while truly showing the love of Christ and protecting the dignity of those served?
We live in the tension of the now and not yet. But I want to see the Kingdom of God here on earth.
I seem to be failing in all subjects (this semester).
Why do I still feel like a child?
-signing my lease to live another year in Little Mexico
-my boss forming a partnership/friendship with my pastor
-an invitation from one of my favorite 12 year old girls to attend the quinceñera she is in
-running into a former coworker at the store and following up with lunch
-cooking lessons from a wonderful woman when I thought it would never happen
-encouraging, challenging words from a good friend and neighbor
-a beautiful scholarship ceremony honoring 300 area Latino students
-an opportunity to repair a broken friendship
…what might next week bring?
I’m taking a break from being online. I’ve allowed the Internet to constantly distract me from God and others. Well, enough is enough. I hope to re-establish a healthy balance.
Keeping up with life is exhausting. My mind is overflowing with unorganized lists of every email I need to send and every phone call I need to make and the people I need to see and the errands I need to run.
I desperately need some margin in my life.
I’m still working on setting goals for this year. One category of my life that I’m trying to work on is my community involvement. The reason I moved here was to become a part of the community that I was serving. Kinship, as Gregory Boyle would put it. Now, I do work and go to church in my neighborhood, as well as mentor several area teen girls, but I want to expand my network and really get to know my neighbors who are not attending my church or not affiliated with my work or volunteer organizations. A couple ways I’ve considered doing this are through attending neighborhood association meetings and attending the weekly coffee hour hosted by a community housing group.
Tonight I went to help out at a local high school for a Financing College event, but I ended up sitting around for an hour with nothing to do. Right before I was getting ready to leave, another volunteer started talking to me and asked if I had a long drive home. I told her that I live in the neighborhood, and it turns out that she’s one of my neighbors! She immediately invited me to the next neighborhood association meeting and got my contact info so that I could be added to the email list.
I left work today feeling discouraged with how little I accomplished, but I arrived home feeling so encouraged and blessed. I believe that 2012 is going to be a really good year.
I just had a wonderful weekend away in the city that used to be mine with the friends who got me through college. It was so refreshing to leave the stress of a new job and to talk about our goals for the coming months and years.
I am exhausted. But I am also very inspired and grateful.