Posts Tagged ‘smile’

this weekend, and this week, have been full.

i’ve been surrounded by people- good, great, people but nonetheless, a lot of them.

i’ve been reminded to connect with the artist in me.

i’ve been reminded to be courageous.

i’ve been reminded that who i am is enough.

it’s been good, it’s also been pretty tough.

being at the summit, and just not knowing if i’ll ever see some of these people ever again… that was really hard yesterday. even if i only see them for two days, once a year, some of those people are precious for all that. because we are a family, we’re a community. and so i don’t mind giving up things for this family, i don’t begrudge the extra time. sure, sometimes i moan and complain about it, but hard work and long hours are in my blood, and when it’s something that i believe in, and somewhere that i love, and filled with people who believe in and love the same things i do… well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

i wrote some poetry, i made some art, i felt some connections.


it was good.

(i wrote this poem during one of the sessions when i should have been paying attention… but Jessie, from Miami, had given me such a powerful image that it just had to get out. so. here.)

(i couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the extra lines that keep getting put in there, so it’s a lot more spacious that i intended. well. that’s ok. the real spacing/ formatting is here)

a tree (inspired by Jessie. and Psalm 1.3, Jeremiah 17.8)

She will be like a tree planted by the river

sending her roots deep into the water.

She will be like a tree –grown from a seed, planted firmly.

She will be like a tree, strong trunk, firmly planted, weathering the storm, unafraid of drought, or heat, with roots… rooted in the deep.

rooted in the deep, deep water. wading through the shallows, cutting through the dirt, settled in the deep waters.


She will be like a tree grown by a river, ringed by sorrows.

ringed by joys.

fed on the dirt, the dank, the underbelly of the earth.

fed, rooted, planted in the dirt, in the reality of life, of community,

rooted through the throw-away, the decomposing, the shit. reaching deep, bringing forth the newness of life.

She is a tree, planted deep in the water.

currents move, things flow, seasons change and She.



She is a tree planted by the river with roots planted deep in the water.

heat and drought come, but She will still produce fruit.

ringed: ringed with life. ringed with the holy & the present & the mud & the dirt & the grime & the fruit…?

the fruit                       is good.

She is a tree, a tall, sheltering, productive tree, lined and ringed with a life fully lived.

planted firmly in the mire by a river, flowing, living, changing, and her roots go deep. and her fruit is good.


are a tree replanted in eden. bearing fresh fruit every month. never dropping a leaf. always





someones always coming around here

Posted: November 3, 2013 in life
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i just spent the better part of the afternoon reachig out to the world… from the little cocoon that i’ve made of my messy room. still in my pj’s, but i called a lot of parents about the allnighter tomorrow night, and i wrote to people about the messy place that i’m living in with visa things.

anyway, i wanted to keep reaching out, right? and there are a few things that i was thinking about the past few days that are awesome, and i don’t want to forget them, nor their shiny beauty.

-shydel. one of my first camp kids. he would come around just itching for a fight. talking about knives and people who had made him mad. hurting for a listening ear, and a soft hand on his head, and someone to care. so tough. so young. so responsible. the caretaker of his beautiful younger sister. wearer of too-big hand me downs.

-an eighth grader this year, who wrote a stinking beautiful poem about love.

be patient / and kind and / loyal too. before / you say those / powerful words / i love you / love is strong / and powerful too / you see loves [in] people / eyes in relationships to / show they really love each other / words are so powerful / and we never know / what state of mind / someone is in at any / time. you choose your words, / but you cannot choose the / affect they will have / on people. always speak / out of love or your heart. / true power does not / crush others, but helps / them to see their own / greatness. 


-Jailene and Adrianna talking about apples on the way home last night: Adrianna wanted to know exactly where an apple came from, past a seed, where did the seed come from? Jailene ‘i don’t know the whole history of a apple!’ (apparently we should be covering that in high school or college or something.


that’s really all for today, exceot the sky is so blue out of my window, and the leaves so red, and it’s just so much beauty.

on joy

Posted: August 4, 2013 in life
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these thoughts have been mulling around in my head for the last week or so. this is where i’m leaning into.

i wrote that last post amidst wrestling with the consequences of working with kids and teens who have never experienced loving boundaries. i wrote it from a place of scared frustration. and it is all true, these are the things that i am struggling with and learning from the most right now. but there are also so many things that are cause for great joy and celebration.

one ‘something’, that i’ve realised this week, is that i have gotten to be here for the long run. it is an incredible honour and privilege to be part of these kids lives on a regular basis. to know that the majority have seen the whole of me, that we’ve built relationships of trust, and that they understand that i’m doing what i can. it’s nowhere near perfect, but i’ve been given this gift of relational ministry time for this period of my life, and i love it.

it’s been four years, and i still love what i do. i think that says something. that even in the midst of the frustrations, and although there are days that i can i think of a million other things i’d way rather be doing, at the end of each day, i know that i’m taking steps toward creating safety for a group of kids who need it. and i’m getting to know them. and they’re getting to know me, and so see my heart, and hopefully something of what the kingdom looks like.

i was encouraged these past weeks by friends, and interns. i had sent out an email expressing some of the ways that i was being challenged and stretched this summer, and one of the responses allowed me to breathe again. it helped open up my lungs, gave me a chance to see grace, to feel justice. to move with mercy.

i think a lot about what to say to these kids, and so often i get caught up in the rush of all the other stuff we need to do, but this week, i took the time out to really talk to them, about the way that i’ve experienced Gods love, and the way that we’re seeking to show that to them.

living a life of mercy, walking the path of peace, generating justice, seeking grace? these are things that i hope i never forget to do. i hope that i will always seek Jesus face in the faces before me.

shake it off

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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is what i keep telling myself. life is too short to be ‘busy’ but unproductive. there are enough things that i actually can, need to, and will do that i don’t need the pressure of feeling like i’m not doing all these other shoulds.

in any case, life is getting ready to be really busy again. and i don’t know if this is just my thing, but i’m feeling underprepared for what i have going on.

i know i’m capable of teaching what i need to teach well, and of giving the interns a real idea of what it will take to be present and real and true this summer… but i also know that there are SO many things left undone.

and there are conversations that need to be had. this week has been full of thunderstorms. literal thunderstorms every afternoon. it’s been my favourite part of every day so far. the clouds, the wind, the rain. god, i love it. it makes me feel alive, and like a cleansing is happening.

i’m really excited for this summer. i have such good people around me, and i work with some of the most funnest (ahem) folks that there are. but there’s still… thunder in the air, maybe.

life is trotting along, as it does. four years here are almost completed. i’m dragging my feet on the visa- not intentionally- i just haven’t scanned my passport yet. shoot, i really should do that tomorrow. but i’m feeling the drag, the tension, the thunder in the air. i love what i’m doing, i’ve grown tremendously these past four years, i have a home. and yet, some part of me longs for scotland, for what is familiar and well-known and easily shrugged into. something that there’s no context for here.

friends get married- it happens when you all reach a certain point in life, babies too- and it prompts lots of statements like “when i get married…” which also necessarily prompts some introspection. when i get married. who said there would be a when?

thunder in the air.

here are some pictures of rain, and clouds. two from St Louis, one from the porch of the parsonage.
here are all my disjointed thoughts. sorry it’s been so long.

clouds are like explosions of joy in the sky

clouds are like explosions of joy in the sky

storm ahead

storm ahead

clear skies behind

clear skies behind


Posted: April 14, 2013 in life
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so, i got this app on my phone. it lets you put words on pictures. i thought i’d share a few that i made. it’s kinda fun. and reminded me of when mum had me do a bunch of these for posters for camp.




both of which are from when we were on spring break.

anyway. maybe i’ll actually get around to doing some work on gathering the pictures I’ve been taking every day, and put up some links to those. and maybe even get around to an update about life. don’t get too excited, i make no promises. :)

Spirit, Grace and Freedom do the harlem shake

Posted: March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
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if you’re like me, or my kids, you’ll appreciate this. we persuaded our workgroup, and ourselves, to get ridiculous in order to put a smile on the faces of our kiddos. dance, dance, dance.


Posted: December 5, 2012 in life
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well friends, i feel like it has been a long, long time since i posted anything of worth here.

and i’m certainly not going to claim that this will be ‘of worth’, but it might be interesting to the few of you who follow along here.

yesterday was a beast of a day, between unexpected teacher cancellations, the rising tide of people feeling frustrated and mis-used, and my kids uncanny ability to know when my last nerve is about to snap and to play on that… but then… it ended up a lot better. a few unexpected and sweet messages, dinner being ready when i got home, ice cream and roof chatting times.

this seems to be something of a pattern with me- things are evening out. i’m developing some routines, managing to start being more deliberate about how and where i invest my time and energy, and i think it’s a really great thing.

i start the visa application process this week, hopefully getting a consult with a lawyer soon to see how exactly this might go down.

(i started writing this, and then called my garage to find out if i can bring clancy in to get his exhaust leak fixed and they said yes! within the next hour. so now i have to go take my car to get fixed. no more boy racer noises for clance!)


i will begin again

Posted: January 14, 2012 in life, people
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…and it’s 2012.

i’m not sure how that crept up on me so fast, yet it did, and if it continues as it began, i’m going to be very busy.

i started out this year with a bus driving test, which i passed, and so i’m now, officially, a bus driver. whaaat?!

i’ve already worked a couple late nights, and the year has barely begun. what does that say about how this job is going to go this year? no less busy.

i did get a new office, and the chance to actually sit with whats going on at my program and make it good. i got the chance to start he year with a clean building, with the remnants of the past few years cleared out. which is so lovely. and means i can really kick butt with my interns. haha.

but the thing that i love most about the way this new year started? that i could be surrounded by friends and family. that even though many of my favouritest people are so far away, i can still be thinking of them, looking at pictures of their faces on my office walls, reading words that they’ve written, listening to music that reminds me of them, and even talking to them on the phone. (resolutions for this year? rest with people more often. take time to call or write or sit quietly with people more often. worry less about things not getting done. take more pictures. love myself well. love others well. be well.)

i’m looking forward to this year. i think it will all be spent in the US of A. i’m excited to see where i’ll go, who i’ll go with this year.

i think you’ll see more of me here.

i hope so, anyway.

hanging with the boys in NY

Posted: August 3, 2011 in life, love
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so we took a house road trip yesterday[ahem. wednesday, a week ago.]. we drove three hours to Goshen, NY, to hang out with a friend and her daughter. they’re currently in the midst of moving to south jersey, gloucester and possibly our house. so that’s part of why we were up there.

the other part, well, kent’s never been to NYC before…

we spent most of our time in Brooklyn, where all the hipsters hang out, (cough.) though we ended up actually being in the real jewish community area, since the pizza recommendation we had was a little joint right in the heart of that area.

we explored prospect park a little, were asked to move along by a cop in a glorified golf cart, and took the pictures that need to be some kind of band cover art or something.

so… here is our night, in pictures.

so here. you have the pizza consuming part of the evening. however there are more delights to come, fear not.

this is the start of the ‘sneak king’ attack that rob and jesus surprised jordan with… lets just say, you all should buy burger king games for your room mates birthdays…

and this is my house. [not our actual house, we’re in prospect park.] these are the crazy mad fools i live with.

a homeless guy was talking to us and asked me, ‘so which one are you in love with, princess?’ and i, after laughing, responded, ‘all of them’.

and that’s it.


Posted: March 13, 2011 in lent, life
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so i said i was going to tell you guys about my lenten disciplines a wee while ago, and now, well lent started four days ago, but i haven’t been online recently.

so. threefold:

take on the daniel fast (alongside Winnie and Jesus) as a way of being conscious of what i put in my body physically.

spend some time, 30 minutes-an hour every day with some solitude and a chance to pray and be with God, reminding me how i nourish myself spiritually.

take two pictures every day- one of myself, and one of the world around me, so i am conscious of who i am and the place i take up in this world.

to that end, i have been taking a lot of pictures, though perhaps not as intentionally as i hope to be doing from now on.

i don’t think i’ll be on here daily, but at least weekly to let you all see what’s going on.

so, week one:

day 2

day 3

(ok, i didn’t take this one, but i just realised that it’s the only one i have for friday…)

day 4

day 5