Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Unity and Promise

Please check out this blog, This video is amazing. Blessings as you start your journey to reflect on the heart of God.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Start of Lent

This quote was sent to the students at APTS from the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocations. It's comforting to me on the eve of Lent (Ash Wednesday). I don't want God to move slow...I want to know the meaning of things in my life, now. It's hard to wait. It's hard to discern. It's hard to wait for things to unfold. But, I know...that this quote brings the meaning of Lent to returned focus for's helps me actually remember to slow down and reflect upon God's nature and his love...and his direction. I ponder, is it because God does not move fast enough, or is because we are moving too fast and cannot hear God's voice? I wonder...Happy season of awakening the wonder, and moving slower and more quietly, all in the anticipation of coming back to the Heart, remembering the suffering servant, the sacrifice and the glory of salvation.

Here's the quote:
Patient Trust by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

"Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability - and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you. Your ideas mature gradually - let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don't try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give your Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cool People....Responses, etc.

I've told myself all week that I need to blog...I set this up to write everyday as a discipline, for me if not for others who might stubble across my page. I've had a bumpy start to the semester in terms of falling into a pattern and so here I am more than a week later since my last blog, and still needing to, a new start once again.

Statements of fact not just singing the blues...I was a shy and awkward little kid, not to mention pitifully ugly without a strong and loving family base. Namely, I was never even considered a semi-popular kid, or someone sought out...with the exception of a few friends, I was basically the odd kid out. Even though my adult life is not like this and I see the upshot of my childhood instilling in me a tenacity and independent spirit, some of those early attributes and self constructional perceptions catch up to me today.

Since giving up recently those things that gave me a sense of affirmation, career, home, etc., I've been a bit lost on my identity. In some ways through this loss, I've reverted back to those crazy childhood constructs. With that said, from start to finish, last Monday was an exercise in what constitutes a defeated day. Late Monday night, I posted a facebook status that said, "Laurel is definitely not accepted among the cool people, which leaves her no real purpose except to love God in her own very uncool way." I want to share my responses (to remind myself mostly of their truth) and explain what drove my writing of the status.
The responses:
*As part of the uncool crowd I welcome you. I enjoy what I learn from you.
*seems to me it was the uncool people Jesus spent the most time with :) you are a blessed child of God, just the way God knit you in the womb. that's my mantra for every day, along with my continual prayer to "let that be enough." plus what a**** and n**** said!
*Agreed. I am just not like other 'Christians' in the sense of 'values' and 'beliefs'? I guess I am more focused on Jesus and the Love He gave when He died for us... but it feels like so many Christians like to instead force their views and opinions on other, more weaker parties. If I become close with a Christian brother or sister it doesn't take long for their true colors to show, and their rigid xxxxxxxx chases me away.
*The cool people are over rated. Best to be at the seminary with the supergeeks!
and, I love you and I'm not cool.

Good reminders of truth. I sent the status because I felt a sense of being discounted, patronized and compared as lesser than. My feelings entirely and maybe not in absolute truth. However, this I do recognize....there are people I know who are excited about a direction/fresh possibilities attainable in modern American Christianity. That's wonderful, truly...but they do something that many people have done before them. In their thrust of excitement, they refer to themselves as "cool", they are drawn to what seems edgy and counter-culture, they become obsessed in their own construct and leave behind judgment. They can devalue tradition and morales that some hold on as trying to get past hurt, they rush past the good in history and the beauty that can be found in religion. The church gravely sins and people gravely sin. I want to forgive. I want to be loved. I want to heal. I want to love. I want to remember the cross and what it symbolizes. And, so do they. But there is no they...only we.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Week's Highlights

The week went faster than I thought and it left me slightly off kilter. I'm telling myself that all new semesters schedule, new teachers, new routine, new expectations...lack of rhythm and my own personal goals unfilled for the week. I know everything takes shape and root in time but my impatience with myself allows no time. I ponder perspective. With that all said, here's some things that have remained with me this week.

The description of a classic photo of MLK and other civil rights marchers. A noise distracts all in the picture except MLK, who remains looking forward resolute. The speakers words describing the picture, ending with these words in a slow yet staccato manner: Sacrifice. Eucharist. The textured liquidity of servitude being drank in small continuous sips instead of big gulps.

The MLK Commemorative service where the cross of gender, age, race and economic status came together for a hour to provide witness to the beloved community with all its grace and responsibility.

A new way of thinking and learning. The painfulness of Trust.

A reminder of the beauty and significance of the spoken word (especially God's words) and the highlight of that in performance.

The answer to prayer so subtle and gentle that one does not even realize the prayer is answered.

Reading a theory of where the world is in the growth and ideological waves of Christianity and being reminded that our tunnel vision of our suppositions often does not mirror reality.
.....and with that, the last one....
Faith is central to how people imagine themselves in relationship to one another, nature and the divine. Why is it then, through (any) society's way of domination and imposed demands of subjectivity, do people accept the construct as obvious reality?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


In the past couple of days, a memory has surfaced of a time when I was just 18. When I was 18, I lived for a short while in central California's San Luis Obispo county. I used to refer to it as where God lived because of its rich beauty and serene atmosphere. The crux of this particular memory I speak of is in a late night gathering. The setting of the gathering is sitting around a campfire on the beach of a cove located in DeOro State Park in Los Osos (Los Osos meaning the bears in Spanish and approx. 3-5 miles up highway 101 from the town of San Luis Obispo proper.) eating pecan sandies and drinking hot chocolate....talking about life. Sounds saccharin, fakey sweet (no alcohol ?...does that prove a good time) but nothing could be further from the truth. That time was a huge, huge transition for me. It was an emergence into adulthood and being my own person. This moment in my life combines meaning behind goodness in terms of friendship, conversation (and the give and take associated with), and the peace and joy only God can bring. Ironically, that's often felt when one is in the purity of nature and no one is around.

Flash forward to today and Monday marks the beginning of the Spring semester, my second complete full-time semester in seminary. My life has changed and very few facets remain the same. I miss my home, I miss being in close proximity to friends, I miss my former teaching colleagues. Of course, I even miss my students and teaching itself :-). I miss the familiar and the comfortable. I still worry about the future, often times a cacophony of fearful voices, but I see a brightness that lures me forward. New learning and growing, a hospital internship this summer, a possible church internship this coming fall......God to show his face in ways unimaginable and unsurpassed. If I sound optimistic, I'm trying to drone out the traffic of "I can'ts", "I don't fit ins", "I'm not liked", "I'm not smart enoughs". "I'm not good enoughs", and "I'm just not everything/all that enoughs". :-). This traffic is not God's congestion I have to remind myself.

I've crossed the threshold of a new Beginning. I'm on the other side of the door. I just need to now sit on the sand, in a cove, listening and interacting awake and attuned with gratitude. Here's to the testimony of thresholds and making life anew.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1st Round Answers

Heather writes:
1. What was your favorite of vacations you have taken?
2. Plaid or pinstripes?
3. If you could have one natural ability (like singing, dancing, painting <--not limited to those) that you do not currently have, what would it be?

Since, I do not take vacations per se, I'll go with 2 & 3...Definitely plaid; pinstripes play with your figure in a weird way, plaids remind me of lumberjacks and the Northwest :-).
Natural ability would have to be hands down singing and dancing. I think I watched too many MGM musicals as a kid.

Beth writes:
1. Do you think you'll ever teach in some way, again?
2. (This was my One-Minute Writer prompt today) What do you hope is around the next bend in the road?
3. How did you "meet" Darcy?

I'll start with #3. Darcy has her own website too where I tell the story of how I met her at the ripe old age of 8 weeks. (Darce puppy pic above.) Here's her site for the story, And yes, I am crazy about my dog. Now, I'll jump to number 1. I believe that each of us are born with certain skills and God-given purposes. A purpose and anointment, such as teaching, is always with us, just umbrellaed in different ways. Like for example, I might teach in a formal classroom or I might teach someone something when I'm doing something completely different than the classroom, like leading worship at the Trinity Center or doing philanthropy. I'll always teach in some way; it's my destiny.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back on Track: 25 Things and an Interview Proposal, My Way

Hebrew's over and now back on track......

The popular thing on Facebook is this 25 meme thing, writing things about you that others might not know about. I'm planning on doing this here on my blog with some modifications. I'm going to write 12.5 things and then offer you a chance to interview me. You can ask me any three questions and I will try my best to pick two to answer and then answer them in the best way I can. I saw this on another blog and I have an undergraduate degree, besides teaching it at the scholastic level for a number of years, in Journalism. So, I thought, hey, this might be fun. Here's how it works:

* The blogger (in this case, me) answers questions sent to me by friends.
* If you, a fellow blogger, want to try this too, reply to this post with the words, "Interview Me!"
* Then, I'll ask you three questions. If you want to post your answers to the three questions I send you, then you agree to interview your commenters if they ask for it, just as I am agreeing to interview you. Kind of like a crazy chain thing.
* If the chain thing is not your deal, no problem.

This might sound a bit strange. But, ask me anything. And, if you don't want me to interview you back, just say so, that's perfectly fine. I'm just trying to cast a wider net to introduce my blog in a fun way. So, once again, if you want three new questions, created by me, that you can answer on your blog ... just reply, "Interview Me!" Okay onward, here's my 12.5 random things about me.

1. I can't eat eggs and drink black tea.
2. I grew up in the sun-kissed beauty of California.
3. One of my favorite foods is cheese burgers. I would choose my last meal to be sitting on the deck at the Hofbrau in Morro Bay, looking out onto the bay as the sun is setting, listening to otters and seals play, watching the birds, while eating my perfectly made cheeseburger with all the dressings and works...hmmm.
4. I love the fancy dresses worn by queens and princesses in historical parades. In San Antonio, the Fiesta queen and her court wear the most beautiful and the most outlandish.
5. One of my most favorite memories of my mom is shopping in Artisans Alley and watching the Riverwalk Christmas lights being turn on the evening after Thanksgiving in San Antonio.
6. I was a photography teacher and talented photographer who did not own my own camera. Still don't have one.
7. I was in a movie, Waiting for Guffman, shot in the mid-90s in Austin. I was an audience member in one of the scenes and a stand in for one of the actors. Unfortunately, I'm shown alot in this one scene. Extremely curly hair in even worse humidity do not mix. I was a scary sight...maybe that's why I showed up in the final prints.
8. I took a picture of a friend, who was a cast member in one of the early Road Rules/Real Life Challenge shows, and the picture showed up on the side of their cast bus and subsequently in the intro to the show.
9. I'm a big day-dreamer.
10. One of my favorite memories of Austin is watching Camelot at Zilker Hillside Theater, eating at Trudys at 6 in the morning, and the old Aquafest. I've lived here for a long time, I need to get some newer favorite memories.
11. I love Duncan Sheik. Who knew his real calling success in music was writing Broadway scores. Speaking of Broadway, I wanted to be a Broadway musical star as a child.
12. I dream of love entering my life unabashedly.
12.5 Dar Williams, Mercy of the Fallen, is playing on my Yahoo radiocast. Doesn't the title of the song say it all. let me hear from you....