Archive - February, 2012

It’s always me

This week marked the beginning of Lent – a period of soul preparation before Easter.  While many are giving up chocolate or Facebook or something they love during these weeks, I’m refraining from fasting something specific in an effort to use this time to more intentionally examine my life and reorient my schedule/priorities.

I’ll explain more about my personal goals for Lent later, but for now I want to share what has emerged as the overarching theme of this season of introspection:

It’s me, isn’t it? 

Things that I’ve been reminded of…

  • Thinking that I am entitled not to respond to someone’s entitlement complex indicates that I have a problem with entitlement.
  • Comparing how humble I am with how prideful others are is a form of pride.
  • Withholding love from those who refuse to be loved reveals my inability to love.
  • Being reluctant to point out that others are reluctant is a display of my own reluctance.
  • [This list could go on for awhile... ]

Even armed with the best excuses and rationalizations, I’m still always the root of the problem. When I  critique the lives of others, I shouldn’t be looking for a list of ways they can change because my criticism isn’t nearly as indicative of their character as it is of mine. My problem is my entitlement complex, my pride, my inability to love, my reluctance, my ______

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a problem with the 7th Year: Anna.

I love the concept of the 7th Year.  I love spiritual formation. I even love how this week’s content features “a few key moments in God’s story that occurred in the 7th year.”

However, I have a huge problem with week two’s devotional thought. A list of moments where “divine purpose manifested in human history“ concluded:

“In the 7th year of her marriage, Anna became a widow who “never left the temple, but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”  (Lk 2.36) c. 60 BC”

Of all scriptures, why did you have to include that one? Upon seeing Anna’s name, I immediately started crying. How is it that a widow, whose name many Christians don’t even recognize, continues to haunt me?

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A valentine to myself: a short-term bucket list.

I fail at holidays- especially Valentine’s Day. I’m highly allergic to flowers. I don’t like boxes of chocolates. Expensive jewelry makes me angry. I almost hyperventilate at the mention of anything that involves formal wear. And, in the absence of a prince charming in my life, I refuse to spent the evening wallowing in self-pity or celebrating “Galentine’s” with a roomful of disgruntled women gorging themselves on fondue. [And let's be honest, even typing the phrase "prince charming"  made me want to throw up a little.]

Though I anticipate a time when I will no longer associate Feb. 14th with  Singles Awareness Day, I am perfectly content not being in a relationship at the moment. And yes, I’ll confess that part of it may be related to the fact that I’m haunted by the possible consequences of this warning in scripture:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” – Song of Solomon 8:4

I have no problem with the idea of waiting for love. And, over the last few days I have been thinking about how singleness can be a blessing and dreaming about the next few years of my life. There are so many lessons to learn, places to go, things to do!

The result was a valentine to myself: a bucket list of thirty things I want to do before I’m thirty.  [Note: I intentionally left "Get married to an awesome guy"off the list, but I am hoping that comes sooner rather than later. ]

In case you are curious, here it is…

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And so the e-journey begins…

Seven figures prominently in Scripture as a period of waiting, warring, warning, and seven speaks of an intentional time, a set-apart space, a moment kissed by the divine, a resting place… ” [The 7th Year- Week 1,  Alicia Britt Chole]

The 7th Year begins with an exploration of the significance of the number seven. Personally, I think it also carries a prophetic implication. As I set aside space to intentionally focus on spiritual formation over the next 52 weeks, I am confident that this journey is going to entail its fair share of waiting, warring, and resting in the presence of God.

Every Wednesday, I’ll share a reflection on what I am learning through the 7th Year. I promise to blog with transparency and integrity – which also means I’ll try my best to capture the essence of the experience without revealing too much of the materials themselves.

But, today is your lucky day!

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2012 Grammy Awards: Dance, Respect, Ignorance.

After spending all day looking for a full length recording of yesterday’s 54th Grammy Award’s, I finally found one!

Initial reaction: what alternative universe am I living in? Music I like actually won! Or more accurately, an artist that I like other than Eminem won!

Lady Gaga never took the stage. The most prestigious awards went to people that could actually sing! One of the biggest performances of the night paid homage to dance music! Country music had more performances than sketchy rap songs. There were more women highlighted than men. The woman of the evening was a beautifully figured, highly talented, queen of soul! And she actually showed real emotion on stage. WHAT!?!

Mind blown.

Perhaps inevitably,  there were some questionable moments too. The whole Nicki Minaj thing was weird- neither enjoyable music nor a  performance with a thoughtful message. Chris Brown’s repeated appearances baffled me. And, I’m still wondering when someone is going to tell Paul McCartney that his best days are long behind him.

Overall though, I honestly think that these Grammy Awards were monumental. Here are five reasons why.

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