Friday, November 30, 2012

What I'm Into (November)

A number of blogs I read do this, and I thought it would be fun for this month. No promises on it's prolonged presence.


For School:  I read a LOT for school - but one I'm really enjoying is Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil by Emilie Townes.  Here's a random passage I underlined:

All that we really achieve with many postmodern categories is the production of constructs such as "center" and "periphery" that reveal our vexing fixation on making a complex world simplistic and on the messiness of diversity neat and pristine when it is really a mash pit of realities. Hence, we remain the same people who want to do justice but demand safety; who want to be prophetic but fret over status and postion; who search for truth but grasp at nettling shadows. (31)
Not for School:  In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes (novel).  Set in the 1960s and following the story of an American woman who moves to the Middle East with her husband to work for an oil company. Very interesting! 

TV: Parenhood has totally made me tear up a few times this season. 

Food:  I've been trying to incorporate less animal / animal-product into my diet. (But I'm pretty sure I'll settle into flexitarian rather than a vegatarian/vegan)

Here's a couple of vegan (or almost vegan) recipes that I've made and loved during this past month. 

In the name of using stuff I already had: I used butternut squash, the green lentils rather than black, and regular raisins rather than golden, and it was still good. I microwaved one half the next day and it reheated quite well!  There is mayo in the dressing - but if you swap that out/omit, you've got a yummy vegan main course!

Completely Vegan. This was SO GOOD.  I roasted on a silicone baking mat rather than on parchment paper. Browned/caramelized splendidly!

On my Blog:

Starting my orphan-advocacy! Meet Martin

And, something I'm really enjoying for a variety of reasons: Short Stories

Excited for December: 

Finishing my first semester of grad school! Time off from grad school and my job to visit family and friends in the home-town.  

Linking Up!
What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beauty Visible (a short story)

I'm very much enjoying crafting these little bits. I hope you enjoy them too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oh, Victory

Tonight I had the chance to participate in an election day communion.  Of the people I knew in the room I counted at least seven different Christian denominations.

A prayer opened in a language that was not mine - I could pick out a few words here and there - and I reminded myself of what it meant to be one in spirit.

There was liturgy - a concept I love but still mostly unknown for me. I called back the prescribed words with the rest of the congregation. Loving the one voice.

There was the bread. And the cup. And the murmured "his body, broken for you" spoken from a woman in robes as I tore of a chunk and dunked it into a goblet and heard, "his blood, shed for you." And all of those various people from various traditions did the same.  One body, one blood. One Body.

And we closed with a familiar song to me. For it was the song that we closed almost every service with in the church in which I grew up. I sang loud - Oh, Victory in Jesus! My Savior forever and lifted my hands. As a child the whole sanctuary would grab hands on "oh!" and by "Victory" there was a chain of arms lifted high into the air - creating together a sea of "Vs" with our arms.

Tonight and every night, there is indeed Victory in Jesus - our Savior forever.

That time I ran a presidential campaign

in 1996 Bob Dole ran against Bill Clinton for the presidential election and I was a young 8th grade student whose social studies teacher was organizing a school-wide mock election. Our class was split into campaign committees to run the show for Clinton, Dole, and a few of the third party candidates. 

The first thing I remember from this experience is that I learned how to spell "committee" after I had to go around the entire school adding the extra m and t to all of our campaign signs. 

But aside from spelling education, as I reflect back on that time of my life something else stands out to me:

When I told my parents about my school project and whose campaign I was responsible for, I remember a somewhat shocked look on their face but not much else. The thing that stands out to me looking back is how I had no clue about my parents political affiliations before that point. I had waited with them in line at polling stations and seen them pour over sample ballots. I had heard them talk about issues and what they liked and didn't like, but whatever they said was not enough to make me know if they were Republican or Democrat or who they were voting for.

I lived in a suburban area in Georgia. Dole took the popular vote in the actual election by about 30K votes and GA was a solid red. 

I remember that there was a clamor in the classroom to be the group who got Dole, that I didn't understand why at the time.  In the end, my group had Bill Clinton. We dove into endorsing our candidate with gusto. We researched his platform and campaigned hard. 

I have no idea who won our little mock election. I want to say Clinton, but that could very well be my selective memory. 

What is most striking to me in this hindsight is the freedom I felt as a teenager to evaluate a candidate and endorse him without worries about warring against family or cultural political sides. As I've seen numerous elections since then and watched the ever-present mud-slinging and what seems to be increasing polarization  I find myself grateful for the memory of that innocent engagement in politics and for parents who didn't root a political affiliation into my psyche. 

In a few hours I'll be participating in an election day communion. I'm excited about it and the chance for Christians to remember where our unity is found and to recognize that one is not saved by political parties. 

Blessings to you today: 

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

-St. Teresa of Avila