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Organizing.

One of the most frustrating things in life is clutter. Clutter of the mind, clutter of the drawer.. and most prominent, clutter of the bathroom counter. I was pretty sure that my bathroom counter clutter was under control until I was babysitting and used their bathroom and realized that they owned something that would even further reduce my counter clutter.
Tonight I went and bought my own.

Before:

After:

Now I’m ridiculously excited to wake up and be greeted with a clutterless bathroom counter. AWESOME.

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If we all get together, we can all change the world.

Tonight I was reading about the fire in San Andres, Philippines. It took me back to the Philippines and how driving past those little shanti villages, my heart would break and my eyes would fill with tears. I thought, then, about the little kids who would run up to me, assuming that as a white person I was well off and would buy necklaces from them. So I would buy necklaces. The more necklaces I bought, the more kids brought them to me. I ran out of money before I bought them all. It broke my heart.

As I was thinking about this my heart began to burn with injustice and the frustration of nothing being done about this. To be honest, my frustration should be pointed at myself. Frequently I will think of small things to do that would make a huge difference but think “That is so small it won’t matter if I don’t do it” and so I irresponsibly go on with life as I know it.

There are so many tiny changes.. “sacrifices” as we like to extravagently call them.. that could save lives. I don’t do these things because I’m too comfortable where I am and don’t feel my contribution is necessary.

No more.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
I must be the change I want to see in the world.

Starting now.

Who is with me?

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Love, love, love.

Right now I’m in Seattle with the Birks, my extended immediate family. It’s been so much fun. On Thursday I shared Emily’s bed, and last night the 3 kids and myself crammed into the bed.. it was hot and cramped.. and so much fun. What did I ever do to deserve so many blessings? 

We’ve done an awful lot of nothing, and that’s the way I like it. Just being is enough.

Graham’s at a concert.. we borrowed 27 Dresses from Mei-Ling.. ate way too many chips (Stacy makes the most incredibly salsa) and I’m going to go enjoy just being.

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Fun.

It’s hard to believe it’s already March. Wasn’t my house just filled with Christmas decorations yesterday?

I’m learning about community. Frequently we think of community as a closed circle – a group of 8 (or any number) of people who are always there for each other and pray and lift each other up. This is such a poor example of a community. Instead, my community is open. So many of my friends don’t know each other but are still important to my spiritual well-being. I’m learning to enjoy friends from a variety of churches and organizations, and allowing myself to feel in community even if there’s just two of us. The bigger picture is always so much greater than the smaller thumbnail.

This weekend we went to Spokane for our friends’ wedding. Here are some pictures of the fun. They’re not all the same size because I resized them using percentages instead of widths. Bad idea, and now I’m too tired to fix them.

Gretchen and I before the wedding.
Gretchen and I before the wedding.
Sarah and I. We were working on our slow dance.
Sarah and I. We were working on our slow dance.
Sometimes I deliberately try to ruin pictures.
Sometimes I deliberately try to ruin pictures.

Boys always take weird pictures.
Boys always take weird pictures.
Beth and I before the wedding.
Beth and I before the wedding.
Sarah was a candle lighter.. but the candles did not want to be lit. Sarah was very sad because of this.
Sarah was a candle lighter.. but the candles did not want to be lit. Sarah was very sad because of this.
Obviously there was dancing. Uniforms dont stop people from getting down.
Obviously there was dancing. Uniforms don't stop people from getting down.
For a cognitive learning class, Gretchen gave up sweets for 14 days. Mitch was trying to tempt her with a kiss.
For a cognitive learning class, Gretchen gave up sweets for 14 days. Mitch was trying to tempt her with a kiss.
DJ Aaron.
DJ Aaron.
Aaron was confused by the tiny size of his piece of wedding cake.
Aaron was confused by the tiny size of his piece of wedding cake.
..being a boy, he decided to shove the whole thing in his mouth.
..being a boy, he decided to shove the whole thing in his mouth.
Most importantly, the (BEAUTIFUL) bride and groom, whom we were there to celebrate.
Most importantly, the (BEAUTIFUL) bride and groom, whom we were there to celebrate.

The wedding was planned very quickly – Niki assured us she was still a virgin, though.. which I thought was hilarious – but it was so much fun that it didn’t matter anyway.

Gretchen and I were dance partners and officially decided to choreograph a dance for Beth’s wedding in a few months. We’d better get to work on that 🙂

After the wedding we spent some time with our Spokane friends Aaron and Sarah. There were so many beautiful and encouraging stories and ideas passed around that I went to bed with a full heart. It was a much needed trip.

Community is awesome.

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A few thoughts.

Giving up Facebook for Lent seems to be difficult only in that I feel I’ll be disconnected. Because of this, I’ve decided not only to follow Jesus but to also become very intentional in my friendships. Every day during Lent, not only will I abstain from Facebook (thanks to Gretchen changing my Facebook password for me) but I will also seek to rebuild relationships that have suffered because they’ve been reduced to convenient internet exchanges. Every day I will either call or talk to someone face to face about their lives, and I will also send one encouraging letter in the mail every day.

A few years ago I got one of my wisdom teeth removed (yes, just one). When it was ripped out of my mouth, the hole was then covered by a series of disposable gauzes to help control the bleeding. In that same way, when we take something out of our lives, we have to put something in its place to help promote healing of the empty cavity. Its replacement can be temporary and disposable, but it is so necessary. My letters and phone calls will replace my wall comments and status updates. Another thing I am adding to help fill this void (sounds so dramatic) is a picture. Every day, I will take a picture of a significant or even unsignificant part of my day. I’ll allow myself to be creative and unhindered in my creativity.

This past weekend was full of really great times with really great friends. It ended with Danielle’s random trip to the mainland. She lives in Hawaii. Thursday she called to say she was almost to the airport on her way to Portland. Sunday evening she came to the New Heights Ascent service with me and then we, along with Cassie and Katie, went to Shari’s. It was so good to be around her and to voice our frustrations and struggles and passions. I am so fortune to know such a beautiful person. Around 1:30, we were still sitting in my car talking and ended up taking a series of random pictures. When you never see someone, you have to make up for lost time. 🙂

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