Monday, April 21, 2014

What I Learned

So, Lent is over and I'm kind of back to social media. I've been thinking a lot about what I learned during my fast, I think Brother Brueggemann describes it best in his prayer Ourselves at the Center. His words best describe where my heart was when I started this fast and how I changed along the way. Without further ado, the prayer:

Ourselves at the Center
(Walter Bruggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People)

We are your people,
mostly privileged
Your people who make futures for ourselves,
seize opportunities,
get the job done
and move on.
In our self-confidence, we expect little
beyond our productivity;
we wait little for
that which lies beyond us,
and then settle with ourselves
at the center.
And you, you in the midst of our privilege,
our competence
our entitlement.
You utter large deep oaths
beyond our imagined futures.
You say – fear not, I am with you.
You say – nothing shall separate us.
You say – something of new heaven and new earth.
You say – you are mine; I have called you by name.
You say – my faithfulness will show concretely and will abide.
And we find our privilege eroded by your purpose,
our competence shaken by your future,
our entitlement unsettled by your other children.
Give us grace to hear your promises.
Give us freedom to trust your promises.
Give us patience to wait and
humility to yield our dreamed future
to your large purpose.
We pray in the name of Jesus who
is your deep yes over our lives.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Almost There

It's almost Palm Sunday, almost Holy Week, and almost Easter. Which means in a little over a week, Lent will draw to an end. When I gave up social media for Lent, I knew it would draw comments from people that it's not that big of a deal. On the surface, it's kind of a shallow thing to give up for Lent.

But here's the thing. It really is a big deal. Think about it. Think about why you use social media. Not on the surface, like keeping up with family or friends. But emotionally, what's your tie? I never really saw myself as someone needing affirmation. I've always felt pretty sure of myself, I never thought I needed someone to validate that I exist. But then I decided to spend 40 days cut off from on-line friends. Which may not seem like a big deal, but I'm by myself at least 15 days out of the month with Jeremy's work schedule. You try spending time alone, with no outlet to distract you from yourself. It's not fun. It's very lonely. And you'd think that perhaps during this time of loneliness that I would pray, or read my Bible, or just read. Instead, I think I've watched approximately 100 episodes of Supernatural. But you know, at least I've recognized that it is lonely being alone.

On the flip side of the loneliness, I did discover that while I miss the interaction with folks, that also I don't miss it.  When I first started using Twitter (seven years ago, when it was just a baby), I was in a really rough marriage. The folks on Twitter became my friends, my sounding boards, the place where I went when I needed to escape. Now that I am incredibly happily married, I don't really need it anymore (except of course when I actually do need it). I made actual friends on Twitter. People that I know in real life, and people that I actually spend time with. It's nice being affirmed but it's also nice being known by people. I've done a pretty good job of keeping in touch with my friends whilst being away from social media, but also, I've also seemed to turn into more a hermit, which really exacerbates the whole loneliness part.

So basically, in the past almost forty days I've felt all the emotions. I'd say that I'm really ready for this to be over, but I don't know that I've done enough work for it to be over. This next week, during Holy Week, I intend to stop all my tv watching and do some real work. I'm sure there's much more to learn from this time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Comeback Tour

My official Running Comeback Tour commenced this past Saturday. I got up before the sun to drive to Candler Park to get a parking spot, meet up with my best friend, and run the Atlanta Women's 5K. It was the first race that I've run since breaking my foot in September.

Oh yeah, did I mention breaking my foot. I did. The third metatarsal. All the way through. A bunch of weird stuff worked together to make that bone break. My knee was injured (which I knew and also didn't know) which made me use the wrong part of my leg, which made my ankle lock, which put so much pressure on my foot that the bone just snapped. And? It actually broke while I was on a nine mile run. It started hurting around mile 5, but I thought it was just a cramp so I just stopped, took off my shoe, stretched, and then kept going. I finished that nine miles. Then I went to the High Museum. Then I went shopping with my mom at the mall. Then I didn't walk the next day. But, I'm all healed now. I started PT back in December and then started my "back to running" training in January.

I finished the Atlanta Women's 5K in just 30:55, which is just twenty seconds off my best time on that course. So, that was pretty exciting. And I got to run with a friend of mine who was running her very first every 5K (she did great, finished in just over 34 minutes, and 16th in her age group). And of course my best friend was there too. She and I ran the first mile together, then she told me to take off. It was so great being back to racing. I'm not incredibly competitive (slash not competitive at all) but I love being with runners during a race. The atmosphere of a race just gets my blood pumping fast. I even ran two of the miles under 10 minutes, which was huge because I hadn't run that fast since before I broke my foot.

So, this was a big milestone in my healing from the break. Thank goodness for good doctors. And for the patience to actually follow the training schedule my doctor gave me. Next goal: sub-30 minute 5K (I'm looking at you Big Peach 5K!).

Gratuitous post race photo:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jesus Feminist

Remember how much I proclaim Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist as the best book there has ever been? Well, today, you can get the Kindle version for just $1.99 from Amazon! Go on over and get it. You really have no excuse. That's cheaper than a medium coffee at Starbucks!

Here's the link: Jesus Feminist

This book made me feel like Jesus loves me more than anything I've ever read (other than the Bible of course). The words were so incredibly freeing. I keep my paper copy beside the couch at all times just so I can pick it up and read it every time I sit down. I'm going to wear out my paper copy, so of course I went ahead and got the Kindle version too.

So go grab a copy, even if you're a man. This book will fill your heart with joy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dreary Monday Happiness

This past weekend was incredibly busy and I'm pretty sure that Saturday was really two days long because it certainly felt that way. I read one of Ann Voskamp's blog posts while drying my hair this weekend and she talked about how she has a journal for counting her gifts (that's not what the blog post is about exactly, but go ahead and click through because it's an amazing post as per her usual). Social media became such a place for me to complain about pretty much everything. Not having that outlet to complain has actually made me feel slightly less complain-y and a lot happier. So, in the spirit of Ann, here's just a little bit of the gifts for which I'm thankful this dreary, cold Monday:

  • An 11:30 minute mile pace on my run this Saturday. Coming off an injury is super slow going, and that's almost 45 seconds faster than my usual. Mainly because my dear friend BBQ came to run with me and she's faster than me, but she slowed down to run with me and keep me motivated. She's pretty awesome and I'm so glad I met her. And BBQ are her actual initials which makes me love her even more. 
  • Seeing land that had been a total thorn in my friend B's side cleared for the first time thanks to our little band of misfits in Crop Mob. 
  • Fresh greens with pickled vegetables dressed with mustard vinaigrette and a pimento cheese sandwich after working all morning to clear brush and invasive tress (which do NOT come up with out a fight).
  • A friend who rode all the way to Chattanooga and back in one day to go hear a band in concert that he didn't even know all because he knew I wanted to go and Jeremy had to work and I certainly couldn't drive all that way and back alone.
  • Planning meetings for our Advent service. Yes, Advent, during Lent. It takes a long time to plan large events. 
  • Long naps on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
  • Meeting a new person who was excited to meet me. I attended an anniversary celebration for The Homestead Atlanta. I walked up to a woman there and introduced myself as Amy. She said "OH, are you Amy Lastname?!!" I said, indeed that's me. She then proceeded to exclaim, "oh, I've been wanting to meet you forever. People always ask me if I know you and I always have to say no, but not any more, give me a hug!"
  • The look on one of my favorite chef's face when I told him that they should have weenie gravy on their brunch menu. I'm pretty sure it almost killed him. (Weenie gravy recipe: chop up a pack of hot dogs into medallions, fry them up, remove from the grease and then use said grease to make the gravy...yummy deliciousness) (Weenie gravy is one of my ultimate comfort foods and one of the favorite breakfast foods that my dad makes.)
  • The fact that Jeremy had the chance to go see a fancy pants airplane museum before it became a private attraction rather than a public one. He even got to meet the owner of all the airplanes and it seemed to make him incredibly happy, which made me incredibly happy.
How about you? What are you happy about today?