My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gorgeous Vistas

Tonight, I held Noelle in my arms and sang her a new song before bed.

"Good night sweetheart, well, it's time to go - bah bum, bah bum"

She looked up at me, her big eyes reflecting back the small light in the hall. And she grinned with curious delight.

"Good night sweetheart, well, it's time to go - bah bum, bah bum"

Her little voice echoed mine, off key but delicious, "bu-bah, bah-bu, bah."

I couldn't stop. I didn't want it to stop. We just went over and over and over it again, just so I could hear that beautiful little voice meeting mine in the dark and I thought of a sermon I heard a long time ago - a pastor said that we think God has created such beautiful vistas in nature for our pleasure, but there is a universe of planets and views that we will never see. He enjoys gorgeous vistas that we will never know exist.

Sometimes, I feel that about Noelle. All the tiny moments in our day when she looks at me just right, or laughs in a certain way, or tells me particular story. All of these moments feel like gorgeous vistas, beautiful formations in the landscape of our day that only I will ever get to see. It feels like a wildly glorious gift from a Creator who watches with me, and I feel blessed. I feel so increadibly blessed!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The "I Wants"

"Oo - mommy! I found the mountain!" Noelle says reaching with her whole body towards the car window.

I know what's coming next because we have this conversation every time we drive East on Route 66.

"I want to hike up mountain."

I nod my head, and then the "I wants" spill forth triggered by that first utterance like a brook over little white pebble teeth.

"I want BopBop to hike up mountain. I want BopBop and NaNa to come in a plane. I want to see the nay nays. I want BopBop and NaNa to see nay nays. I want to ride the trolley. I want to listen to the yay-yay song. I want a pop. I want a snack."

Really the progression of her sentences makes no sense at all. She is just skipping from one desire to the next as quickly as they come to her.

It's hilarious. But always at first there is this knee jerk compulsion in me to give her what she wants, to rush to her each whim. Except of course, I am driving, buckled into my seat behind a wheel. There's no possible way I can appease her wants.

And so I'm let off the hook.

I sit in the front seat and listen as her "I wants" dissolve into whines, and fusses.

I realize that my daughter doesn't actually want any of those things. I realize that she's just bored and also excited to try new words.

I also realize that it is my job as her mom to make sure she doesn't always get what she wants because in denying her I am teaching her that she can live free of her every whim. And what an oppressive existence it would be to live at the every command of our desires, right?

Just as I am coaching myself through this line of reasoning, sitting in the car watching the foothills slip by, and listening to Noelle whine, the sound of her voice morphs into the sound of my own thoughts.

I can hear my own whispered prayers in her little mouth.

Dwayne and I are on the cusp of a change. We know in May that everything is going to transition for us. He graduates, and we have to move out of the dorm by June.

The tricky thing is that we don't actually know where we're going. This all depends on where Dwayne gets a job. Now, he's been looking at schools and submitting his resume and lining up interviews and literally these job opportunities are all across the nation.

In the face of so much of uncertainty, I've found myself grasping as superficial realities to try and navigate the change. These have been my spoken and unspoken prayers:

“Please, I want to live in a city. I want to live somewhere beautiful. I want to live somewhere I can still teach. I want to live somewhere with a good school system for Noelle. I want to live somewhere with a church that values the arts and isn’t exclusive. I want to live somewhere close to family. I want to live somewhere close to friends.”

Not surprisingly, I’ve been a spirit cycling around with as much calm as a tornado, whipping from one want to another. Nothing, not one of my carefully articulated desires has given me peace.

I’m scared to death of moving to a new city in a new part of the world and finding that there is nothing for me, finding that I am alone, unknown, and useless. All the relationships we have built here, all the work I’ve done, all the connections I’ve made, all the progress I’m mounting in my career swept away.

I mean, there’s no real way to prepare for that, right? And the irony is that while my “I wants” feel like a way to assert control in the midst of this chaos, they in fact are just depleting my soul. They are tossing me about on their tempestuous shoulders because they are not real, they are simply preferences painted across a future without clues or hints or signs about what is to come.

Really what’s left for me to do? but sit in the car, strapped in, watching the foothills slip by, and let all my fusing and whining boil over the surface and then evaporate leaving behind a residue that looks something like surrender.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haitian Threads

Dwayne and I wrote our first blog post together this week and it has been published over at Fresh Brew!

Go on over and have a look and if you are so moved, leave a comment.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Sometimes, I accidentally say the most absurd and inappropriate thing at the worst time. It's an embarrassing compulsion but one I've tried to get ahold of. It's as if my mouth grows a brain of it's own and starts operating autonomously from the rest of my body.

But last night it struck again, wild and out of nowhere, and left everyone in the room laughing hysterically, including myself. But I also felt terribly embarrassed.

This is how it went: We were spending the evening with new friends, an artist and a musician who work at a local church. They have a daughter a couple years older than Noelle and then a newborn baby.

We've met them through mutual friends and spent time together briefly in groups with others, but this wast the first time we've spent time with them alone, just getting to know each other.

They started the evening announcing the good news that they had just accepted a new position at a large church here in the San Gabriel valley. The position is full-time and will allow them to write music and be more creative.

We were all talking excitedly about this new opportunity when we stumbled across the topic of how strange working at a church is. How churches are not quite a business, but somehow need to be run like a business.

Everyone was agreeing and adding quickly to each other's comments, and a phrase began forming in the back of my mind....that churches are a unique organism.

Excitedly I lifted my hand in the air to emphasize my point, but somewhere between my head and my mouth the words got garbled and this is what came out, loudly, and right in the middle of conversation, me sitting perched on the edge of my seat:

"Churches are like an ORGASM!"

Sunday, January 03, 2010

What to do About Sex at Evangelical Universities

Do Evangelical Universities have a moral responsibility to provide safe-sex programs even if their policy is abstinence? I tackle this question over at Open Salon this week.

Thanks for reading!