7.02.2007

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes- part one

this is not going to be a too terribly crafty topic-ed of a blog today. it is also not going to be short. it also may not be terribly well written because i am in the middle of a migraine but am tired of laying in bed and really need to get this all out of my head.

this morning i was looking over some old blog posts and just noticing how my writing has changed since i began writing this, how life has changed, how life is on the verge of big changes even now for me and dave.

When i started this blog it was on (cringe) my space. I know. Let's move on now shall we... Anyway, then i moved it all over to blogger cause of the wonder of the google universe. and i really like it here.

I was in a hard and contemplative place in life. Pondering some big deep life changing things. Making some hard decisions and big moves in our life. Something you may not realize about me if you only know me from recent blog posts is that i am, i hate to use the term, a christian.

Now before you get all turned off by the term or all up in arms that I'm loosing my faith, hear me out.

Dave and I were missionaries for a year in eastern europe. we worked with mostly college age people. we taught english, worked with both protestants and catholics, set up discussion forums on some emotional, and spiritual topics. lithuania has a lot of scars from the damage soviet occupation did. they have an incredibly high alcoholism rate and young adult/teen suicide, high domestic abuse rates... we went there to help as best we could open up communication about these things and about God and to maybe offer some hope and tools to people. It was an amazing year. we saw people gain hope and perspective and joy. People being to ask questions they never had before and really begin to engage with life.

We learned so much about who we (dave and i) were while living there. how we ticked on the inside. what we liked. what we dreamed of. what we were passionate for. and in turn had a big-ass ton of questions pop up in our minds about what we believed, why we did things we did, what our motives were in things, why we felt guilt and failure in certain things but did feel right about having the guilt... heavy heavy stuff for us and a ton all at once. Pulling your self out of your culture for a while, even just your mini subculture, can do so much for growth in a person.

So not long after moving back to the states, i started this blog. It was a serious blog mostly. asking and working through all sorts of hard deep spiritual and moral questions. some gaiety too, but mostly deep thinking stuff.

we left church during that time for about a year or more. Just stopped going. we needed to get out of the cultural machine to get some clarity. to breathe and hear God's voice with out the cultural subtitles and over dubbing. to read the bible and books and poetry with out the commentary and disclaimers and just let God's voice speak, like we had experienced living in lithuania for that year.

then things calmed down for us. we are getting some rest and moving forward in the things we felt set on fire passionate about. I began creating and giving my self the room for it to be legitimate in the world and not something i made my self or let other make me feel guilty about spending my time on. I began to pursue it.

We began making plans to start a coffee shop with another friend of ours. we found that all 3 of us are passionate about the concept and action of community and connection. We found that is all we want to do with our lives is be in that and foster it and give safety to it's rise in the world around us and have decided that a coffee shop is the means we will do that by. to pay the bills and get to do what we live for. that is the hope.

dave began making and recording music. something he has always loved but never stepped into trying until recently.

So all that to say, we are at a place of rest and moving forward now. we have some things in life God has taught us and for now we need to run with them. i have no doubt that we will not stop growing or learning or being changed in this life, but for right now we are here and living and loving and moving forward and know it's right where we should be. Blogs have been lighter and more joyous. less contemplative and more fun. and it's nice.

I reason i don't like the term christian is because of what it had become to mean in our culture. I have seen the term come to be the only way ones faith is known to the people around you, a club member badge, a mallet and stick to poke at things from a far that make you uncomfortable, a way to sum up all you think, believe, vote, etc so you don't actually have to investigate the bible or the world around you to have opinions and stances on things.

I don't want to live like that. I also don't like to be pinned down into a group like that when i actually do think and delve and question and wade through things as best i can to have an opinion. And to be honest i'm fine with that. you can have issue with me because of my shying away from the term, but i refuse to let a term speak for me anyway. So to really know what i believe you have to know me and spend some time hearing my rants, resting with me in peaceful times, living life along as we go.

what i feel and believe is a complex thing. It's God for goodness sake. He's not an easy thing to pin down or understand. if i think that me, a created and finite thing, could possibly know all there is to know or have it all figured out in 29 years of living what God is all about and all that i should do and think in light of that, i would be an arrogant fool. a sad ignorant thing and miss out on so much of the complexity of the universe and God and life while i'm here.

So yes i believe in God, and Jesus, and the spirit, and the bible. Do i think i understand all there is to understand and know about them and the world and humans and how it all relates and goes together and right and wrong... totally and completely???? NO! Are you joking??? I have only what i have learned so far in life and I am by all means open to having God rock those conclusions too. I know that i can have some opinions and some guessed and trials and errors in how i live out my faith. i know i can love, albeit imperfectly, and try to make the suffering of others less, and the hurts of others have some healing, and things of that nature. I know i can believe without total understanding because that really is the only way to believe. we don't really have anything figured out totally and everytime we think we do another layer in the vast universe opens up and more stuff we don't understand comes out. so there it is, so far.

Whew! that was a lot in my head. i know. but thanks for hanging in there with me. So, i guess all that to say there are changes coming in my life. Our roommate is moving. we are one year closer to our dreams of a coffee shop. Dave is making and selling his music. I am going to divulge my secret, today in fact, before it's really even done. It's a good things for me i think. To let something out before it's perfect and finished. to just say it and show it and let it be. :) But I will make separate post or no one may actually read it cause this one is so freaking long!!!! so now, on to changes-part two!

3 comments:

  1. i read the whole thing, but really... why wouldn't i? you are a dear friend... one of the oldest friends i still have really. i'm excited to read the follow-up.

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  2. i love what you have to say. i have felt that tension for so long: desiring community but feeling claustrophobic by the presupposed definition that comes with the word Christianity. much of what you said my dear is my 410 wrapped into one lovely blog. thank you for sharing. not just this blog, but your life. i love you. and i am excited to know what your secret is... and oh, thanks for the "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!" reference! LOVE IT!

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  3. leslie11:07 AM

    I think you are really admirable for your beliefs and the action you take towards helping others :)

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