Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Imagine....a pondering of Advent and Incarnation.

Imagine, if you will…the love of a mother toward her newborn child. 

The awe as she gazes upon him.  The cuddles…kisses…tummy blowing….bathing…nappy changing….whispers of love and adoration. 

Delighted rejoicing when a milestone is reached- the first rolling over, sitting up, first steps…..


The love of a mother toward her child- there is nothing quite like it.
Remember, Mary was a mother.  His mother.

A mother who did all these things. 

A mother who loved Jesus, her child….God.

The Word made flesh.

The Creator of the Universes, giggling as his mom pretended to nibble his fingers and toes…

The Savior of the World, basking in the praises of first steps taken.

The Healer, playing peek-a-boo.

I ponder the intimacy of this mother and child’s relationship and can’t help but think how much God loved Mary.  How much He loved being loved by Mary.  To be so intimate- to be so adored, and cared for and known. To be the recipient of pure devotion and adoration.  Isn’t this all that God wants from us?  To be purely devoted and intimate with Him- to unconditionally love Him…for Him to be the Center.

That is my question.  How do we be still, how do we know?  Through the knowing will come the devotion and adoration.  How do we rejoice in every little thing?  How do we even tune in so that we don’t miss it?

How do we tune in so that we don’t miss HIM?

These are the things I ponder in this season of advent and incarnation- and in the season to come.
To abide, to listen, to love, to bask and rejoice in his presence.


Show me, O Bright Evening Star- guide me as I pray.

Selah and Amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 6....

What a week.  Tech is always an adventure.  This one is exciting in that we are dealing with a bunch of make-up issues that we've never dealt with before that are VERY spendy.  Egad.  It costs a lot of time and money to make things look gross.  Hopefully, tonight, we'll have the best options working....we'll see...and I won't be a kajillion $$$ over budget....we'll see.  There is always one show every year that I totally under budget for...usually the "small" shows, that are never really that small.  I've learned a lot of cool make-up stuff... but it's been a bit stressful.

That being said- I can't really say that I have had a particularly enlightening holy week thus far.  14 hour days have a way of doing that to you.  I'm still having my quiet time, still praying...but no grand Holy week revelation...I'm tired (no caffiene during tech, remember?) and a  bit cranky (no sugar- aka my drug of choice) and just feeling like I have people coming at me every which way-as I am trying to figure out some of this stuff which is WAY beyond my experience or expertise...  At one point, I kid you not, I was on my work phone, I had a person in my office doing a rental, my cell phone was ringing, and I was trying to answer an urgent email that I had ignored.  I wish I could say I handled it all with grace and flair, but I would be lying.... It was more like, "WHAT THE CRAP??? Y'ALL JUST SHHHHHH.  I NEED TO THINK!!!"  I didn't yell that- but boy howdy, that's what I was thinking! OY vey.  Of course, as usual, these are terribly first world problems...but there you go.  Then there are the people showing up with returns and/or donations without an appointment in the middle of tech...And then you feel bad for being irritated because their lives are challenging as well.  Trying to walk in love is a booger sometimes, especially when faced with imperfect, broken, insecure people in trying situations...  sadly, it is less likely to bring out my inner loving Jesus than my inner loving kindergarten teacher who is more like, "TIME OUT.  On your knees!  Nose against the wall!"  For real, there were a few moments....

BUT I still have not cheated.   Which is HUGE for me.  For real.  Not a single tiny cheat, in the face of countless goodies surrounding me and the stress of tech. Grace for self-control for this eating thing this week abounds.  That in itself is kind of a miracle.  Somehow, I usually and unthinkingly pop a piece of candy in my mouth when doing one of these kind of things...but no, not this time.

Other foodie things I have learned:
Raw apples are so my friend.  I will not tell you why, but they are.
Avocados work pretty well as a mayo type condiment- on sandwiches, for egg salad...who knew?
Put a little chicken broth in quiche or scrambled eggs and they become quite creamy.
Sweet potato fries, 425 degrees, 15 minutes- 'nuff said.
I drink WAY more water when I straw is involved.

I think I will keep this "7" diet in my repertoire for the future, do it a few days before or after vacations- it's a great way to clean your system without going completely bananas.  And I still think about how I have variety in my seven foods, but so many other people in the world don't even have seven foods to even choose from.  It's pretty humbling.  Well that's all for now.  One and a half (ish) days to go!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 4...

Day 4 begins.  No cheating thus far.  I took communion yesterday at church, however, I totally don't consider that cheating.
I miss tea.  Lovely, sweet, milky black tea.... but so far, that's about it for "missing."  Everything looks really good (walking through the food section of the Fremont Market was really interesting)...but somehow, the grace is there to keep going.
Still, I am getting a little bored.  Which is ridiculous.  Seriously.  But it shows me that I take food for granted, even when I think I don't.  This week I get to eat 7 foods (that I happen to like, by the way) prepared in different ways.  And it's a CHOICE.  I CHOOSE to simplify and cut back.  And I CHOSE foods that are, essentially, a balanced diet with all the nutrients I need.  I feel great- tech without caffiene is going just fine, I've busted through that "cussing" plateau at long last...all is well.   Because I have the luxury of choosing what I eat.

I can get raspberries ANY time I want to.  I may have to pay through the nose, but I can get them.  If I am willing to pay, I can eat anything I want to.  I have that kind of opportunity and option. I remember when friends of my parents came to visit from Russia, and they took them to a grocery store.  The Russians all started weeping because they had never seen so much food in one place.  And we get our knickers in a twist because we can't find the proper organic capers or whatever.  For real.  What is wrong with us?  I think it's okay to enjoy God's blessing and bounty.  Absolutely.  He is a God of more than enough.  Our problem is, we have no clue what "enough" actually that we can SHARE the bounty. That is the point of bounty, to share.  Now, please understand, I do not have clue how to go about this at all. I always have mixed feelings when homeless folks approach me. I am ALWAYS happy to share food or buy food, but it's hard for me to give money- even though, once I give it to them, it's their responsibility.  But I don't want to pay for smokes, I just don't.  I want to pray for food, and housing and NEEDS vs. addictions.  I trust the Holy Spirit on this one.  I just don't know what else to do- but I am determined to sort something out.

I mean, really, we are so spoiled...and fat, and unhealthy.  From a food perspective, I don't think I am shocking anyone when I say America is a hot mess.  Marty and I eat pretty well, as a whole, but even we have issues.  Marty needs to start watching his sodium, and lo and behold, it's freakin' everywhere!  In vast amounts!  In everything!  YIKES.  But we get to CHOOSE how we deal with that issue.  We have the means and opportunity to eat a healthy variety of food.

Some people on this planet live on beans and rice EVERYDAY.  Can you imagine?  I am speaking to you, folks out there who can't even handle a day of leftovers (I am sometimes guilty of this)  EVERY...BLESSED...DAY.  Rice, beans, rice, beans, rice, beans, rice, beans.  A LOT of people eat like that in the world.  Many don't even get that opportunity.  They live on nothing.  Children live on nothing.  It's pretty ponder that when you can't find your organic whatevers....
BE THANKFUL.  And share what you can, as often as you can.

Deep thoughts with Sarah.

Abba Father- help me to always be grateful and aware of the ways you bless me...they are abundant.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 1, the battle begins...

Well, I have been up for 5 hours and so far, so good.  Because, that is a HUGE accomplishment.  5 hours!  Wow.  Eesh.

Although- it's already been kind of interesting.

So- this week.  Food. 
I am eating only 7 foods for 7 days- to hopefully quiet my spirit, clear my mind, and if I am lucky- break out of this (cussing, bad words here) plateau I have hit with my weight loss.
The foods are:  chicken, eggs, whole grain bread, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples and avacados. I can use olive oil and salt and pepper and to drink?  Water. 
I was drawn to this particular mix of foods because it's pretty healthy and I like all the I figured- this will be easy!

Well, already- not so much.  For instance, when I was at Freddy's loading up on all my wholesome goodies yesterday- I just kept thinking how good all the OTHER food looked, I was particularly drawn to a $10 jar of pickles...seriously.  WEIRD.  And what the heck? TEN DOLLARS FOR PICKLES?????  Those pickles better freakin' fold laundry.  But I digress.   I did find it interesting- in the grand scheme of things- that by my very nature, the moment I "couldn't have" something, of course, I wanted it.  Which I think is pretty typical for all of us...why is that? 

Curse you temptation!  Adam and Eve, I blame you.  NooooOOOOooooo- harmony in the blissful perfection of creation wasn't good enough for y' now, I lust after a $10 jar of pickles...thanks a lot.

Then I realized, it's TECH.  A week of 14-15 hour days.
I chose to do this during tech week because it would have less of an impact on Marty, who only likes half of the list.  But then I realized, NO CAFFEINE...during tech.  What was I thinking???!!! NO CAFFEINE DURING TECH???!!!  I must be smoking crayolas!  But there you are....and here I am...with no caffeine during TECH.  This should be interesting.  Sorry if I get a little crankypants y'all. caffeine during tech.  Sigh.

But that is okay.  Another interesting observation,  over the course of the morning- as I prep for 1st dress this evening (with the help of my fabulous intern, Kelsey)  I am noticing that normally, I am a bit of a snik-snacker.  And while I do record those calories (I am working with, and have lost about 27-ish pounds since September) I do still snik-snack thoughout the day.  And I can't...I can't just grab a piece of popcorn or a Hershey's kiss...and it's everywhere because IT'S TECH.  Ah well, Bob's your uncle. So I sliced up an apple and snarfed that baby down.  Interestingly enough- even with all the food I will eat today- and in spite of the fact that I won't be doing Zumba, I'm still about 300 calories below my daily limit- all with very healthy food...huh.

So this 1.  Breakfast- a sandwich with egg, spinach and avacado (yum) - snack, apple.  So far, so good. 

OH.  The mountain of clothes on the couch, finally, on a wild hair- I purged all the clothes that are too big for me, and a third of my wardrobe is sitting on my living room couch waiting to be taken to a women's homeless shelter.  Embarrassingly enough, while no longer overflowing, my closet and dresser are still pretty full....and for your information, I gave away 3 of the 7 pair of sunglasses I mentioned yesterday, it would be 4, but I can't find the other pair....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The battle against excess begins...

I am on a quest.  I don't know if it's spring, and I always get the urge to purge in the spring...or if it's the fact that there have been 4 sizes worth of clothes overwhelming my closet and I just can't stand it anymore....or if I just need something "new" in my world...but I am ready.

I am waging a war on excess.  I blame it on my friend, Tanya.  She posted a link on Facebook to the blog of Jen Hatmaker. ( don't know why it's not linking- but that's me and computers for you.
 I blame her too.  So there was this wee link to Jen's book "7"- and I was intrigued.  So I purchased it for my Kindle and well, there you have it.  The war has begun.  I am only 3 chapters in and I am inspired, convicted...a wreck, really.  She took 7 months to tackle these various issues- I am doing a mini-version- and I'm going to take 7 weeks.  7 weeks to simplify, de-stress and make room for God in my world.  This might have been a great thing to do for Lent...but I'm a bit slow on the uptake- and I don't know that God particularly pays attention to our calendar anyway.  What is up with all the "NEW WORDS" that come perfectly coinciding with every new year?  Does anyone else think that's weird?
I think it's just a reflection of some of the things that I struggle with in the "Church"- I really liked what A.W. Tozer said:

Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered.  God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully on the whims of persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.

I suppose it could be comforting that there is nothing new under the sun....but I digress.

Meanwhile, back to making war on excess.....

So, in the land of the 99% and blah, blah, blah.  Imagine my surprise to find that I- who work in non-profit theatre in extremely spendy Seattle- happen to be in the 1% of richest people in the world!  Yep. I am affluent beyond what I can imagine.  We don't own a house- can't afford it.  We do have a nice apartment, a car (paid for, a magnificent gift of grace from me mum), running water, more clothes than we know what to do with (more on that later) and we can pretty much eat whatever we want and pay our bills.  More than enough.  But we live in a culture that tries to convince us that we NEED MORE.  And I buy it.  True story. The other day I bought a fabulous pair of sunglasses (Because the 6 pair I already own apparently aren't enough, but I do have a tendency to misplace them all the time, hence, I am justified...)  And a pair of super-cute vintagey 1940's-esque platform sandals because I had been watching them at DSW for over a month and now they were only $23!  Marked down from $100!  And, they aren't "high heels" but are super cute!  My justification?  My fat little feet can no longer handle high-heels (stupid middle-aged falling arches) and I NEED cute shoes...nevermind I wear tennis shoes most days.  Sigh.  I am part of the machine.

What to do?  I still blame you, Jen Hatmaker.  But you make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me want to walk out my faith in a truly tangible way.  So here I go...gonna fight excess for the next couple of months, and see what happens.  Gonna blog about it so that I have some accountability.
Tomorrow- we start with the first issue...

FOOD. For 7 days, I will eat 7 foods...I am going to eat the foods Jen ate- chicken, apples, avacados, spinach, whole grain bread, eggs, sweet potatoes- with only olive oil and salt and pepper to compliment.  Water to drink.  Bob's your uncle.
I am doing it during tech so that I don't torture Marty too much.  It actually sounds pretty good to me, we'll see how it goes by the end of the week.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the ginormous mountain of clothes heaped on our couch that will make my husband roll his eyes and shake his head when he gets home today....TTFN.