Posts Tagged ‘urban’

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.

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.

trees made of brass

Posted: August 14, 2011 in life
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well, this week was a long week. i spent a lot of it not sleeping, and not at home. we had all camp day at urban promise, which is a huge deal for all the summer camps, the culmination of all their hard work all summer long. albert roped me into helping spirit make their mascots (plural!) and josh asked me to direct the all camp day skit-featuring my roommates and fellow circle of hopers as shrek, donkey and lord farquaad. it was awesome. but then i was exhausted, and made no sense for the rest of thursday.

so, there was all of that. and there was also a job interview. (which went well, i think. we’ll find out monday or tuesday how well it went.) and there were new roommates. and there was cell. and there was a friend returning from sweden. and there were visitors. and it was altogether a pretty overwhelming week.

but delightful.

and so today, on this rainy sunday morning, when i should be working, but am not, i’m just going to sit, and rest and enjoy being.

*i’m not here. i maybe would like to be. beaches are great. i also just really like being right here.




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


love, love, love

Posted: August 1, 2010 in life
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so, here are your promised stories. before the first one, i want to show you a few a more pictures, particularly those that are important to this story…

so, pizza.

pizza usually just involves a phone call and a box, right? well, not on thursday.

on thursday, Justin and Jeremiah were in my house, as part of Bible Buddies (with a couple of interns from Faith) and they were supposed to be making brownies…. however, with six kids scrunched round one bowl, and only about three ingredients to add, they were getting restless…

i on the other hand, needed to make enough pizza dough to feed 16people… so i roped in these two beautiful 7 yr olds to help. They were over the moon at the prospect of making pizza and so we got stuck in. chopping up butter was the first task, which they accomplished admirably, (Jeremiah may have eaten a piece whilst he was cutting it up… but who am i to judge?!) and then… Flour.

as you can probably tell from the pictures, we got more flour on the table and ourselves than actually into dough, but the boys had a blast. cracking the eggs, mixing them up and putting in a pinch of this and a pinch of that (salt and herbs) just added to their enjoyment. (the pictures may not be perfect, but i feel like they just capture the excitement and energy of these two kids…)

by the end, i had a great big mess, but two very happy boys and two big trays of dough, definitely enough to keep our house (and special guests Bruce and Maddy) happy that evening!

yesterday, we took our last official intern trip to atlantic city. the weather was lovely, it was warm but not roasting hot, although the traffic was a nightmare. once we eventually got there, we had some brunch, a little worship, lunch and then we were free to wander… Heather and I decided to go try and find some of the geocaches in the area, but we failed miserably… instead we tried to play the slots (i was hoping to win big, but i only had $2 and all the games were $5 minimum… go figure), find a hotel pool to swim in (we found the roof parking lot, and about 8 used condoms on the stairwell down from it), bought a large amount of candy (i won’t even tell you how much.. i still have some -ok, a lot- left), drank really expensive beverages and made our way back to the group.

the second part of our adventure was at the outlet mall, where we all got the chance to go shopping for a little while. Heathuh and i were on a mission to find her some new jean shorts. we failed, but in Old Navy we had an epic win of a different sort. the sales assistant who was helping us out started to tell us her life story- she used to be an addict, prostitutin’, whatever. she got charged twice for prostitution, and she’s had four kids, none of whom now live with her. her eldest two, she hasn’t seen in 8 years (they’re 13 and 14). but she’s turning her life around, she’s holding down a stable job, she’s doing her best to talk to her kids regularly, be in a stable relationship… she was this crazy incredible lady who’s been through so much… it was a really interesting conversation. and a freakin awesome night!

ok, lest this get too long, i’ll leave you at that and post more stories later… :)

just gonna stand there…

Posted: August 1, 2010 in everything else
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so, there are a lot of stories to tell, i think Lizzie and i are going to have a date at panera tomorrow, so i will try and write up some of those stories, but so i won’t forget:

-being mistook for a boy -making friends with an ex-prostitute -failing to find a geo-cache -finding some geo-caches -cycling -meeting random friends in philly -camp (there was something really awesome about camp, hopefully i’ll remember it soon…) -uhm….. other things. (becoming ‘mom’) -pizza with 7yr olds

for now, though, here are some overdue pictures…. some are fuzzy (indoors, or kids taking them) and i definitely lost a couple because one of my kids opened the back of the camera real quick…

oh, and you see those sweet streetleader t-shirts? i freakin’ helped design them!

‘pologies for the lack of comments. i’ll tell y’all stories soon. :)

i really love people watching in panera. there’s usually at least one cute grandma type eating her soup and chips. several college students working away on their laptops, maybe a family or two out for some lunch, and then lizzie and i, each on our seperate tables, working away on our different things, contentedly enjoying the peace and AC away from the Urban campus.

i’ve been talking with some different people recently, about their lives, my life, just different things. it’s been interesting how often this idea of- this wasn’t where i expected to, but it’s good- has come up. relationally too, they may not be in quite the place they though they would be, but the possibilities that are opening up now are just so much more than they’d expected. our experiences really shape us into who we are. and i’m really grateful for this past year or that, for who these people have shaped me into, and i’m excited about how this summer and this next year is also going to shape me.

thank y’all for being part of this journey with me, for being willing participants, willing co-conspirators.. i really don’t know what will happen next, and i’m excited and scared. i think the transition out of urban (though it is a whole year away still) is on my mind right now, as i continue to make new friends, connections and roots in this area. phew. lots going on in my brain right now!

on top of which… i’m reading Peter Rollins book ‘how (not) to speak of God’. which is pretty intense. and then i have a Tolstoy (the kingdom of God is within you) to read after that… (michael, you moved away, i needed another person in the area to recommend and lend me books… but i think you’d really like kent. so you should come back and meet him. maybe in like, 2 years?! )

so, the old brain is getting a little overfull, and possibly overheated what with all the freaking sunshine we’ve had recently!

dare you to … dunk?

Posted: July 8, 2010 in life

today was the first day of Basketball season here at urban. Spirit (my camp- YEAH!) and Grace went head to head over three games: the girls league (spirit won) the 7th & 8th grade boys (spirit won) and the 5th & 6th grade boys (grace won). so far- a really good start to the summer for spirit! the winds are changing, we will win!

yesterday camp was cancelled due to ‘extremely high temperatures’ (105f with no AC!). tuesday it reached 106f but we had swim day, so we went, regardless. i thoroughly enjoyed messing around in the pool with our kids, getting dunked, being asked to dunk other kids… general mess around type stuff. but i was talking about yesterday, my day off, where i went for lunch with the ‘lunch club’ (aka the people that were around during the break, plus heather) to chik fil a, and then helped dana run the drama option for the streetleaders which was pretty awesome, the wednesday class were a lot more hyper and chatty than the tuesday class, but it was all good. really reallyt exciting to be back in a theatre/drama setting and helping kids appreciate and understand and enjoy the dramatic art as much as i do… so that was freakin awesome.

it’s been a good week, lots of fun people around, some really good conversations, some really good time with the kids and a bunch of time going crazy doing art. next week involves a lot of crazy paint! we’re having splatter day! it’s going to be amazing! i’ll be bringing my camera to camp tomorrow, finally taking pictures of all that’s going on around here… and maybe, one day, when i actually have some money, i’ll get them developed… :)

as if nothing really matters

Posted: July 3, 2010 in life
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sitting in panera, watching Glee, enjoying the fact that i have a day off with which to do as much or as little as i like… (shooting for the little!)

i received a birthday package from my parents today, which was great, but also made me miss them a bit, and miss home- probably, mostly, made me miss being around people who know me. who know me really well, and know my stories. i think thats probably what i’m finding hardest about this transition, and about having just had my birthday here- most of these people, they don’t really know me. i’m sure by the end of the summer, some of them will, but right now.. it’s tough.

anyway. what all adventures have there been in camden this week? well, thursday and friday we had camp- which was both mental and awesome.. these kids are freakin crazy! Art is going ok so far. i need to be waaaaay more prepared for classes than i currently am, and i’m trying to adjust to that as well.

it’s just been a time of transitions, of finding my way, and of re-adjusting. so…. it’s good, i just need to get some more balance. i’m really excited because Dana and i will be running the drama option for street.leaders, and i am so excited to get doing more theatre stuff. :) also excited because Jesus has access to a bunch of watersportsy stuff (boats, canoes, kayaks) and so we can get out on the water a bunch this summer… yesterday we went kayaking and then ate some five guys (burger… fries… delish!)

i guess there’s really not much motre to say about all this, except… i finally shaved off all my hair…

so i’ve gone from this

through this

to this