25 December 2009

a stranger in a strange land.

i don't belong here.
here is not my home.
and although most times,
that can be confusing,
and frustrating,
and exhausting,

i am finding comfort in Your promise.

i am finding peace in Your mystery.



may i not be disheartened by those who don't understand me.
but, may i pray that they too would see Your glorious Light and Love.

24 December 2009

poverty.

"simple intention is a rare gift of God. rare because it is poor. poverty is a gift that few religious people really relish. they want their religion to make them at least spiritually rich, and if they renounce all things in this world, they want to lay hands not only on life everlasting but, above all, on the "hundredfold" promised to us even before we die.
actually, that hundredfold is found in the beatitudes, the first of which is poverty.
our intention cannot be completely simple unless it is completely poor. it seeks and desires nothing but the supreme poverty of having nothing but God. true, anyone with a grain of faith realized that to have God and nothing else besides is to have everything in Him. but between the thought of such poverty and its actualization in our lives lies the desert of emptiness through which we must travel in order to find Him."

-thomas merton.
[no man is an island]

16 November 2009

i can almost breathe.

good things are here.
good things are to come.

surprise visits from orlando friends.
neko case show.
wedding in tally.
reunions with tally friends.
a meal of thanks with dear friends.
cooler weather. (crossing my fingers)
long breaks from academia.
and a week spent loving haitian children as best as i can.

11 November 2009

americorps: new option for the future?...

08 November 2009

in every season.


[i know i'm filled to be emptied again.
the seed i've received i will sow.]

maggie: the little bearwolf.





a friend of mine is fostering her until she's old enough to go to the shelter.
i wish i could've taken her home.
i'd really like a dog companion.


maybe next year.

05 November 2009

a good conscience.

saved through water.
baptism.
the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
"healthy contempt for worldly comforts,
burning desire to advance in virtue,
a love of right order in your actions,
a spirit of penance,
readiness to obey authority,
self-discipline,
and patience to bear adversity for My sake."

Lord, i don't know anything.
except for one thing.
You are God.

and i want to spend the rest of my life loving you.

may i always have faith.
always trust.
always hope.
and always love.

04 November 2009

let the morning bring word of Your unfailing Love.

i am on my knees, Father.
hold me in Your arms.

thankful to be growing. and learning.

Father, you are to be praised!
i thank you entirely for the peace and hope that i have found in you, my Hope.

in the past 2 years,
you have strengthened me in so many ways.
and you have changed my heart.
no longer am i afraid of those things.
no longer am i insecure.

for my hope is in You.
my trust is in You.

i am Yours and there is nothing more beautiful than that.

03 November 2009

chapter 2: sentences on hope.

[Hope deprives us of everything that is not God, in order that all things may serve their true purpose as means to bring us to God.]

[Hope empties our hands in order that we may work with them.]

[All sin is rooted in the failure of love. All sin is a withdrawal of love from God, in order to love something else. Sin sets boundaries to our hope, and locks our love in prison.]

[It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair.]

[But I do not achieve the contact that knows Him, and thereby knows the Father in Him, until my faith in Him is completed by hope and charity:
hope that grasps His love for me
and charity that pays Him the return of love I owe.]

[Hope seeks not only God in Himself, not only the means to reach Him, but it seeks, finally and beyond all else, God's glory revealed in ourselves. This will be the final manifestation of His infinite mercy, and this is what we pray for when we say "Thy Kingdom come."]

excerpts from No Man is An Island: Thomas Merton.


deliver me, Father.

i have posted this prayer once before, but it is still just as needed today. and its words are still just as powerful.


pry me off dead center.

Deliver me from assuming that mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through an expansion of them
that will undamn me
and
unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and myself
openly,
and
my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion
until I
shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,
crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
a chance,
a choice,
my creativity,
your call.

Let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
to tears
or signs
or screams
or smiles
or dreams,

they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.

-Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle

02 November 2009

thank you for keeping my spirit alive, today.

28 October 2009

one path.

Father, take me where you want me to go.
i long to follow you.
let Your will be done.

and when i am led astray,
by my own selfish desires especially,
draw me in.
and set my eyes on You.

next year brings many possibilities. many paths.
help me to choose the one that will bring my soul closer to Yours.
the one that will bring glory to Your name.
the one that will bring heaven to earth.

amen.

27 October 2009

wow, what a night.

i thought i was going to spend my evening with some classmates at the alachua county fair, shooting photos for an assignment.
thankfully, the weather was terrible and we postponed it,
because i was now able to attend the UF Student Senate meeting instead.
and tonight, they were debating a resolution urging Aramark (a major food provider) to meet with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

i wasn't really sure what to expect; i had never been to a senate meeting before.
but, as soon as i arrived, i realized this was a far bigger deal than i had thought.

there were about 200 people there. half of which were UF senators.
immediately, it was brought to our attention that those of us who were there in solidarity with the CIW, were going to be there for quite some time.
one student senator mentioned that these meetings tend to go until 1 or 2 a.m. (it started at 7:30).
not to mention, the first motion made was to push our bill further into the meeting.

the first part was public debate, which was incredible!
so many people came out to support the resolution and say a few words.

it was incredibly frustrating though to watch a handful of people make snide comments and remarks under their breath or roll their eyes when students were speaking about the situation in Immokalee.
unfortunately, this one guy was directly in my line of vision.
and i am not proud to say that i spent a lot of my time being unbelievably angry with him.
i had to continually pray for a heart of mercy and grace.

thankfully, i didn't have to sit and listen to the first couple of bills, including funding for the gator skim club's special event. and yes, skim as in skimboarding.
(and no, i'm not even going to go on about how ridiculous it is that this was motioned to be debated before the CIW bill.)
a friend had brought wendell berry's "sex, freedom and economy," which was quite nice to read instead of dreadfully listening to funding for beach trips.
(i'll have to post some of berry's inspiring words later.)

anyways, about 3 hours later the CIW/Aramark resolution bill was brought to the floor for debate.
when it was previously debated in the past, a majority had voted for it, but a majority wasn't enough. we needed 2/3's of the vote.
so this time around, the debate was a fairly heated one.

several sponsors and authors of the bill began by presenting it to the senate once again.
next, was the question and answer section.
then the pros and cons.

all i could do was pray.
and pray.
and pray.

i prayed unceasingly as students debated back and forth on whether or not we should support ending modern-day slavery.

i prayed that the Spirit would move in those whose hearts had been hardened.
i prayed that the Father would enlighten those whose minds had been conditioned.
i prayed that His will would be done.
i prayed for peace. and justice. and mercy.

after what had seemed like the longest debate i've ever witnessed,
the decision was made. 57 to 19.

we won!

i can't even begin to explain the joy that filled my insides.
it was a tiny, yet sweet victory. so sweet.

every man is a part of the main.

"Every Christian is a part of my own body,
because we are members of Christ.
What i do is also done for them and with them and by them.
What they do is done in me and by me and for me."
-Thomas Merton

25 October 2009

life of the spirit.

being made aware of our own real selves.
and being placed in the presence of God.

discovering from within.

loving God.
loving others.
losing ourselves - a death and a resurrection.

[notes from No Man is An Island.]


justice in the fields.



The Coalition of Immokalee Workers are taking their Campaign for Fair Food a step further. The farmers, along with the support of the Student Farmworker Alliance and local friends, rallied yesterday at the University of Florida. The CIW is currently calling upon Aramark (the university's food provider) and Publix to sign an agreement for fair wages for the farmers of Immokalee.

In the past, the CIW has successfully made agreements with Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, Whole Foods, Subway, Compass Group and a few others.

They are asking for these corporations to pay the tomato farmers 1 cent more per lb. of tomatos. This may not seem like a lot to the average person, but it is a huge increase for the farmers' salaries.

They are also asking Publix and Aramark to sign an agreement requesting that they not do business with growers who partake in any form of modern-day slavery.

There have been many recorded cases of farmers being held against their will, beat, and chained up over night.
Not to mention the terrible conditions in which they are forced to live in.
Last night, a woman spoke of a two-room trailer with rodents and cockroaches. She said they typically put 7-8 people in each unit because they can't afford anything else.


Please, if you have any free time, use it to educate yourself a little more about this.
You can read all about their past and current struggles in the fight for fair food here.

i'll try to remind you.

20 October 2009

without You, everything is pointless.

nothing of this world matters.
and too easily do i dwell in these things that are fleeting.

may i only be comforted by You.
nothing else.

for nothing can satisfy me, but You.

lift up my soul, oppressed by the weight of sin.

may i be honest enough to face my weaknesses.
deliver me, Father.

may i always be found in sanctifying grace.
for that is the only pathway to Heaven.

may You be love in me and through me.

amen.

18 October 2009

short, but sweet few days.



texas friends.
orlando friends.
new friends.
porches.
storms.
surprises.
roofs.
fires.
prairies.
farms.
gardens.
adventure.
fall.
cool weather.
fellowship.



hold on to what you know is true.

life is beautiful.
i am forever grateful, Father.

14 October 2009

all of my life.
in every season.
You are still God.


and so i will bring praise.

07 October 2009

it's funny how inconsistent our emotions can be sometimes.

i read something she wrote from last spring.
i felt overwhelmingly uneasy afterward.
i think it's because i can identify with her.
with her feelings. her words.
so much so, that i acquire her feelings now,
that she wrote down on paper then.

i hope her heart is better now.



my daily bread.

[My child, the person who esteems anything for itself alone, forgetting My goodness and love, will always be small and inferior like the things which he values.]

[Let others seek whatever else they desire besides Me. As for you, let nothing please you except Me alone, your Hope, your Eternal Salvation.]

[No tongue can describe the peace which God gives to those who sincerely want His Will above all else.

Many never find this peace because they lack the trust and courage to live entirely God's way.]

Father, help me live each day, moment after moment, pleasing You.
help me to turn from everything and anything that displeases You.
help me to know Your will.
help me to love Your will.
Amen.

06 October 2009

new sleeping at last video.
it's beautiful. and amazing.


you should check it out.
you should.

03 October 2009

the field.

[...your fingers wrapped around me
and you cool me down
and i lay here as we're breathing
in rhythm now

and you hide me in your acres
in fields so green
no gravestones in the soil here
no choking weeds

lay me down there
while the sun's high in the sky
where the grass grows green and high

lay me down there
we'll share a common block of stone
just don't let me lay alone

maybe we'll have babies
and raise a family
and you tell me not to worry
because i will still be me

well i'll take you to the mountains
i will build a home
and you'll tend to the garden
kept in stone...]
-besides daniel.

01 October 2009

can't get enough of them.

23 September 2009

[weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.]

O Lord, be my help.

[in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.]

[but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
he will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
it does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
it has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.]


wishing i was somewhere deep in the mountains listening to this song:


20 September 2009

[love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don't want it.

love is a giving away of power.

love is a giving away.

when we love,
we put ourselves out there,
we expose ourselves,
we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

love is giving up control.

this is why God gives us free will.
His entire life is about the stripping away of power and control.


Jesus always chooses the path of love, not power.]
rob bell.

19 September 2009

easy essays: logical and practical.

What is not logical
is not practical,
even if it is practiced.
What is logical
is practical
even if it is not practiced.
To practice
what is not logical
though it is practical
is to be a bourgeois.
A bourgeois is a fellow
who tries to be somebody
by trying to be
like everybody,
which makes him
nobody.
To practice
what is logical
even if it is not practiced
is to be a leader.
A leader is a fellow
who follows a cause.
The Sermon on the Mount
will be called practical
when Christians make up their mind
to practice it.
:peter maurin.
"But the final word is love. ... We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community."
:dorothy day.

16 September 2009

tumbleweed houses.

a good friend of mine showed me this today:

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/

you should check it out.

how awesome would it be if everyone's houses were this size?!

14 September 2009

pry me off dead center.

Deliver me from assuming that mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through an expansion of them
that will undamn me
and unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and myself
openly,
and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,
crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
a chance,
a choice,
my creativity,
your call.

Let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
to tears
or signs
or screams
or smiles
or dreams,

they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.

-Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle

13 September 2009

my heart is dancing.

sunday adventure.

went with some good friends on a little adventure to the nearby town, micanopy.

after grabbing lunch at blue highway pizza,

it's such a cute spot with tons of organic, recycled stuff.
and the family that owns it and they are so sweet.
i'm pretty sure i'm going to do a photo story on them.

anyways, check out their web site.

12 September 2009

a fine frenzy.

"If you wish to act as you should, and if you wish to make progress, think of yourself as a stranger on earth, as a pilgrim. You should become a fool for Christ if you wish to lead a religious life."

-Thomas à Kempis

11 September 2009

i need so much help, Father.

i am so anxious to be done with school.
i am so discontent, so often, with being in one place.

help me to have peace here in this place.
help me to be patient.
help me to accept that i am in school for a reason.

help me to not just go through the motions for my last year,
but to seek You and to love Your children here.

amen.

07 September 2009

of what we are to do and say about all our desires.

[My friend, speak about everything in this way: "Lord, if it is pleasing to you, let this be done. Lord, if it is to your honor, let this be done in your name. Lord, if you see that it will help me and if you judge it to be useful, then grant me this to use for your honor. But, if you know it to be harmful for me and of no help saving my soul, then take this desire away from me."

"Lord, you know what is best. Let this or that be done as you wish. Give what you want, how much you want and when you want. Do with me as you think best and as best pleases you and in a way which will give you greater honor. Put me where you want me and use me freely. I am in you hand; turn me around whichever way you will. See! I am your servant, ready for anything. Since it is so, I do not wish to live for myself, but for you. Would that I could live only for you, fittingly and flawlessly!"

prayer that God's will be done:

Most kind Jesus, grant me your grace so that it may be with me and work with me and remain with me to the end. Grant me this: always to desire and to want what is most acceptable and pleasing to you. Let your will be mine, and let my will always follow yours and be in perfect accord with it. Let what I want always be what you want, and let me not want anything that you do not want.

Grant that nothing in the world might be as important to me as you are, and for your sake grant that I may serve you with deep humility and love, caring little for recognition or honor. Grant above all else, that I may rest in you and that my heart may find peace in you. You are the heart's true peace; you are its only rest. Apart from you everything is hard and uneasy. Only in this peace that is you, highest and eternal Good, do I find sleep and take my rest. Amen.]

Thomas à Kempis

04 September 2009

really beautiful video.
[unfortunately, it's an advertisement.]

03 September 2009

more pockets of hope.

atanga secondary school:


To date, support from Schools for Schools has helped Atanga with some of its highest priorities. Previously there was one school building that was built in 1983, which consisted of four incomplete and severely damaged classrooms. Bricks were broken around the non-existent windows, and there was no plaster or verandas. There were also no doors, preventing the classrooms from being secure at night. The average classroom consisted of 50-60 students per teacher with an average of four students per desk. Some classes were being held in storerooms. The latrines were waterlogged due to poor drainage and posed a great health risk.

With your support we constructed two dual classroom blocks, renovated the four classrooms, supplied them with furniture and a basic supply of textbooks, and refurbished an administration block. We have also drilled a new borehole, replacing the old one that was located downhill from the latrines and posed a risk for contamination. An additional two blocks of five-stance of eco-san latrines have been completed and a generator has been installed to provide a secure and regular power supply. We have also continued to invest in teacher training, including school development planning, monitoring and evaluation, psychosocial support for guidance, and counseling teachers. Furthermore, we provide training for financial management and planning, record keeping, and computer literacy programs.

Work is currently underway for the construction of two additional blocks of eco-san latrines. Underground cabling is being laid to connect the recently supplied generator to all the classrooms and other facilities. These projects will complement the two-story administration block that we will break ground on in the upcoming months.






awere secondary school:


Awere Secondary School was founded in 1982 and has since spent 17 years at a displaced location. Many of the 890 students live in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and walk miles upon miles to attend school every day. Some students live in hostels while others live with friends or relatives, leaving their families for the opportunity to receive education. A large percentage of the students are orphans, formally abducted LRA soldiers, or child mothers, and several suffer from HIV/AIDS. The facilities and infrastructure at the temporary site in Awere are inadequate and in disrepair. The classrooms are constructed out of split logs and wire, providing no protection from wind, dust, and rain. Termites infest the wood, there are no sturdy walls and the dirt floors become extremely muddy in the rainy season and dusty in the dry season. Awere’s original site is deep in the jungles of northern Uganda, and only a few bare structures remain.

We have completed three fully furnished classroom blocks at the school’s original site since the first round of Schools for Schools. A much needed laboratory block has been constructed and accompanying equipment supplied. A motorized borehole now supplies the entire school with clean water and all of the buildings on campus now benefit from a generator and wiring system providing a regular and safe power supply.
A limited amount of core texts and scholastic materials have been delivered, with more books and sports equipment on the way. We have also been able to assist the staff by supplying them with a limited number of textbooks and by arranging teacher trainings, psychosocial support for guidance counselors, financial management, record keeping and computer literacy trainings. We are currently finalizing the plans for a girls’ dormitory to be built, which we hope to complete using funds from Rounds III and IV. To augment the work that S4S has implemented, the dedicated Head Teacher Mr. Matthew Ottober has mobilized the school community to invest in the construction of an admin block and the beginnings of on-site teachers housing.







[http://www.invisiblechildren.com/theMission/schools_for_schools]

the war continues.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/03/rebel-group-wreaks-havoc-across-africa/?page=3


some good news though...
even in this war, there is hope.

a post by the organization, Invisible Children:

Anaka Secondary School was built in 1965, approximately 35 miles from Gulu. In 1996, Anaka was displaced from its original location due to the conflict. There are currently 916 students enrolled at Anaka. The school recently began providing housing to 290 students, 105 of whom are girls. Approximately 80% of its students come from the surrounding internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Most of the students and staff have been greatly affected by the war. Many students are orphans, former child soldiers, or girls who have been abducted and molested or raped by the LRA. The school is continually working to provide counseling and outlets for its traumatized students. However, only one of the five guidance counselors has received training.

Due to the displacement of the school in 1996, the original site needed a massive overhaul. There were cracks in the walls and floors, poor foundations, broken windows and open roofs. All of the classrooms at Anaka were in need of total renovation or demolition. Based on our research, the student-classroom ratio was 115:1. A lack of textbooks or a school library contributed to very poor reading levels. Anaka’s original site had no electricity, no latrines and only one borehole, which is used by the neighboring IDP camp and can provide only enough water for ¼ of the student population.

With support from S4S and the local District Education Office, Anaka successfully returned to its original site in February of 2009. Their return home signifies a huge step forward for the community. An improvement in attendance and punctuality has been attributed to the excitement of holding lessons in the new classrooms. To date, we have been able to build three blocks of dual classrooms and 24-stances of latrines, as well as drill a new borehole, provide adequate classroom furniture for the new classrooms, purchase a small amount of necessary textbooks and reference books, art supplies, and sports equipment and some basic laboratory equipment. We have also been able to provide the staff with training in many areas, including teaching techniques, financial management, computer literacy, and evaluation and psychosocial support.




30 August 2009

"my dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
james 1:19-20

"submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
ephesians 5:21

work in me, Lord.
Holy Spirit, bring me Your peace.

29 August 2009

i am thankful.

i have a wonderful family,
such sweet friends,
and an amazing boy.

last night was more than i could've ever asked for.

28 August 2009

i am anxious.

tonight is opening night for my photo exhibit.
my parents will be there.
my friends will be there.
strangers will be there.

i just hope everything goes well.

i hope people enjoy themselves.

i hope i'm not this anxious all day long.

26 August 2009

the people of gainesville are beautiful.

there's something about the people here.
the one's who have spent their lives in this small town.
growing as a community.
loving all. 
even those of us who come and go every 4 years or so.


i am very thankful for this place and its people.

especially the wards community : )


25 August 2009

from the imitation of christ.

[God wants you to learn to endure troubles without comfort, to submit yourself totally to him, and to become more humble through adversity.]

[And the more we progress in the spiritual life, the heavier our crosses will be, for the pain of our separation from God increases in proportion to our love of God.]

[And the more a person's body is weakened by affliction, the more his spirit is strengthened by inner grace.]

[To endure the kingdom of God, we must endure many hardships.]

help me to see my faults.
encourage me to grow in virtue.
let my sinfulness always displease me.
help me to willingly embrace every hardship and bitterness.

[Neither does a person show enough courage, who caves in to despair at the time of adversity, thinking thoughts and harboring feelings that show less trust in me than he should.]

24 August 2009

help me.
help me to hold this loosely.
so loosely.

to love You.
not myself.

to seek Your guidance.
to seek Your light.

to feel the Spirit.
to listen to the Spirit.

draw me close to You, Father.

psalm 143.

o Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in Your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
do not bring Your servant into judgement,
for no one living is righteous before You.

the enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
so my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed
.

i remember the days of long ago;
i meditate on all Your works
and consider what Your hands have done.
i spread out my hands to You;
my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.

selah.

answer me quickly, o Lord;
my spirit fails.
do not hide Your face from me
or i will be like those who go down to the pit.
let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
for i have put my trust in You.
show me the way i should go,
for to You i lift up my soul.
rescue me from my enemies,
o Lord,
for i hide myself in You.
teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

for Your name's sake, o Lord, preserve my life;
in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
in Your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for i am Your servant.

10 August 2009

hotel cafe musicians.






07 August 2009

a little reminding is nice sometimes:

"The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy.

It is already granted.

He need only receive it.

Total amnesty.

Gratuitous pardon."

-Brennan Manning
the ragamuffin gospel: visual edition

06 August 2009

i enjoy awkwardness.

a morning prayer.

Lord, i've been feeling really helpless lately.
i feel alone.
i feel frustrated. restless. tired.

i know that You are here with me.
i know that You will never leave nor forsake me.

and i believe that You are using this time in my life to teach me something.
because You are good.

i believe that You are trying to show me something.
because You are good.

i don't want to strive to figure out what Your purposes are.
i just want to trust that Your will is being worked out through me.
because You are good.

i want to be one with You.

i desire to be filled with the Spirit.
pouring out of me the light and love that i do not have on my own.

help me to take deep breaths.
help me to trust You.

You are good.
and for that, i am thankful.

05 August 2009

04 August 2009

cath...

cath, she stands
with a well intentioned man
but she can't relax
with his hand on the small of her back
and as the flash bulbs burst
she holds a smile
like someone would hold
a crying child

and soon everybody will ask
what became of you
'cause your heart was dying fast
and you didn't know what to do

cath, it seems
that you live in someone else's dream
[that you live in a dying dream]
in a hand-me-down wedding dress
with the things that could've been are repressed
[on the arm of a man you detest]

but you said your vows
and you closed the door
on so many men
who would have loved you more

and soon everybody will ask
what became of you
'cause your heart was dying fast
and you didn't know what to do

the whispers that it won't last
run up and down the pews
but if their hearts were dying that fast
they'd have done the same as you

and I'd have done the same as you

-death cab for cutie.




03 August 2009

i'm anxious.

i don't want to be.
but, that rarely changes the fact that i am.

i want to get away.
from everyone.

i want to be done with this part of my life.
i want change.

i'm not content.

i'm prideful.
and angry.
and jealous.
and sad.
and lonely.
and weak.
i am tired, Lord.

i need Your grace.
and Your help.

["...for i seek not to please myself but him who sent me." - John 5:30]

Lord, i have no clue what Your will is, but i pray that it would be done.
lead me. and help me to desire only You.
grant me peace, Lord.

02 August 2009

i assume that Heschel's prayer from my last post comes somewhat from this poem.


'As Kingfishers Catch Fire'
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 5
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.

Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces; 10
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces

01 August 2009

lately, i have been trying to gather my thoughts for an artist statement.
in the fall, my roommate and i will have an exhibit up in a local coffee shop.
the two of us traveled around europe a bit this summer and have some photographs we'd like to share.

i haven't really sat down and tried to write an artist statement,
because i don't think i can. at least not yet.
so, whenever i come across words or statements that speak to me, i write them down.

over the weeks, i've tried to collect my random thoughts and various pieces of text,
in hopes of putting together some kind of statement.

sometimes i find it rather silly that i have to write an artist statement.
i don't really know how to explain myself or my photography.
i don't know how to put in words what draws me to a particular moment
that makes me want to capture it.

but, no matter how difficult words and reason may seem to me,
i have been told that i must have this artist statement.

thankfully, i came across a prayer today when i was reading some more of the ragamuffin gospel.
somewhere in the middle of the book, manning shares a prayer of rabbi abraham joshua heschel.
and it's a prayer that, i feel, does a really wonderful job of putting into words what i feel.

"dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not His, to the Father through the features of men's faces. each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things without number. i do not ask to see the reason for it all; i ask only to share the wonder of it all."

30 July 2009

summer is almost over.

this summer's been pretty fast-paced.
i've done a lot of traveling. a lot of living out of a bag.
but, i'm back in gainesville.
and the days are slowing down.

today, i intended to spend most of my time reading and writing.
of course, that didn't happen.

after waking up late,
cleaning/organizing my laundry room/closet,
catching up with a few friends,
cleaning up my house,
and hanging out with roommates,

i finally sat down to read.

i've been reading the ragamuffin gospel: visual edition for a little while now. i think i like just reading a couple of pages at a time. i don't want to rush through it. something in me wants to save a little bit for each time that i pick it up.

here's some stuff from today that i think i'll sit with for a while:

"to be human is to be poor. our impoverished spirit gives us pause before we decide to become tyrants to ourselves."

"repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven."

25 July 2009


sleeping at last has a new album.
everyone should get it.
or at least give it a listen.

their lyrics are always beautiful.

08 July 2009

let only love flow from me.
let my words only be praises to You.

help me to be patient.
help me to know You more.

let Your will be done.

help me to move away from worldly things and toward You.



i do not belong to this world.
my home is with You.

26 June 2009

the practice of the presence of God.

"He requires no great matters of us:
a little remembrance of Him from time to time;
a little adoration;
sometimes to pray for His grace,
sometimes to offer Him your sufferings,
and sometimes to return Him thanks for the favors He has given you,
and still gives you, in the midst of your troubles,
and to console yourself with Him the oftenest you can.

lift up your heart to Him,
sometimes even at your meals,
and when you are in company;
the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him.

you need not cry very loud;
He is nearer to us than we are aware of.

it is not necessary for being with God to be always at church.
we may make an oratory of our heart wherein to retire from time to time
to converse with Him in meekness, humility and love.

every one is capable of such familiar conversation with God,
some more, some less.

He knows what we can do.
let us begin, then.

perhaps He expects but one generous resolution on our part.

have courage.

let us live and die with God.

suffering will be sweet and pleasant to us while we are with Him;
and the greatest pleasures will be, without Him, a cruel punishment to us.

may He be blessed for all.

amen."


~brother lawrence.

25 June 2009

today, i will rest.
i will talk with my Father.
and i will give Him thanks.

17 June 2009

let go, kelly.
just let go.
it's not that important.

12 June 2009

i'm home.

right where i want to be.
with my gainesville family.

11 May 2009

see ya in a month.

05 May 2009

travel blog.

i made a separate blog for my time in europe,
if you'd like to know what i'm doing while i'm there.

i leave on the 11th of may and i come back on the 10th of june.

my friend and i will be going from italy to germany to france to switzerland and back to italy.
then i'll take a little trip to ireland to visit some friends and family.

i'll do my best to keep you all updated.
: )

here ya go: more adventurous.
thank you, oprah.
for recognizing the children of uganda.
for encouraging others to recognize them as well.

the invisible are becoming more visible.

maybe this war will come to an end a little sooner.



also, here's a behind the scenes video from ic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg3P8Bt3AAk&feature=PlayList&p=151734DB47550A6D&index=0

20 April 2009

some new favorites.

marla hansen.
great lake swimmers.
caroline weeks.
laura gibson.

17 April 2009

let it be me.

15 April 2009

Lord, weaken me continually so that i may always be at your feet in need of your strength.



selah.

14 April 2009

a man and his dog.

he left his puppy outside the coffee shop.
no collar. no leash.

a girl explained that she was on the phone when it happened.
the man was there with his dog.
and then he wasn't.

so, naturally, i offered to take the puppy home with me.
i didn't have anything for him, but i would make it work.

come to find out, the owner was inside the coffee shop.

i continued to sit outside with the puppy.
i felt better knowing he wasn't alone.

about an hour later his owner came outside to check on him.

i introduced myself and we started to talk.
i listened to his story and did my best to love him as Christ would have.

he just lost his job.
he is without a home.
and he loves his puppy.

i enjoyed spending time and making a new friend,
but after a while i needed to get back to my studying.
the man continued to follow me around,
and this is when i started to feel uncomfortable.

now, i am at home feeling uneasy and a little worried.

i'm scared that i told him too much about me,
or that he's going to try and follow me around now.

and i hate that.
i wish it could have been as simple as two people sharing in conversation together and that's it.
but now i'm left with an uncomfortable feeling inside,
and i don't want that to be the case.

13 April 2009

is it what's right?
or is it what i want?

should i say something?
or should i be silent?

is it Your will?
or is it just mine?

is this really happening?
or is it just wishful thinking?

some clarification.

"i did not explain or justify my triggers because trigger implies weapons, weapons imply aim, aim implies combat, combat implies engagement. all i wanted was to feel less engaged, less stuck: i wanted to let go, which is so not my strong suit, any more than forgiveness is. i wanted to be a person of peace, who diminishes hurt in the world, instead of perpetrating it."
{anne lamott}

thanks, anne.

your words help me to understand myself just that much more.

09 April 2009

our father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us for our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
now and forever.
amen.

07 April 2009

new favorite.

thanks to last.fm, i've discovered good old war.

lately, i think i've abandoned everything else for folk,
which explains my love for them.

plus, i wouldn't mind marrying the one on the left.

new regulations at St. Francis House.

government regulations have been tightened on feeding the homeless at St. Francis House.
they now only serve 130 meals/day.

kelli brew, a friend at the Catholic Worker House, voiced what is on many of our hearts.

thank you, kelli, for saying what needed to be said.

06 April 2009

lies cannot nourish or protect you.
only freedom from fear,
freedom from lies,
can make us beautiful,
and keep us safe.

and may the free make others free.



of course, some days go better than others.



grace (eventually). anne lamott.

song of the sparrow.

05 April 2009

"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
ephesians 6:12

04 April 2009

i heart revolution.

31 March 2009

i cannot wait.

41 days until my long-awaited adventure begins.

i beg of you days, be short.

28 March 2009

gonzo journalist.

an inspiring and revolutionary journalist: Hunter S. Thompson.
do yourself a favor and read some of his stuff.

27 March 2009

some angry thoughts.

where in the hell did this country get the idea that it has the authority to rule over all or that all should obey its commands?

american empire. roman empire. i can't tell the difference anymore.



p.s. if you ever get the chance, watch the film "why we fight."

26 March 2009

give me one pure and holy passion: to know and follow hard after You.

22 March 2009

john carl is wonderful.

another sweet video of our time in lynchburg.
thanks, friend.

18 March 2009

why?

i don't want to be discontent.
i don't want to be unhappy with what You have planned for me.

14 March 2009

thank you, lynchburg.

thank you, lynchburg friends.
you all were so welcoming and generous.

i couldn't have wished for a better trip.

i would like to visit again one day.
hopefully sooner than later.

12 March 2009

hell...

C.S. Lewis understood hell not as a place where God locks people out of heaven, but as a dungeon that we lock ourselves into.

gates are not offensive weapons.
gates are defensive - walls and fences we build to keep people out.
the more walls and gates and fences we have, the closer we are to hell.

may we become familiar with the suffering of the poor outside our gates, know their names and taste the salt in their tears.

[Jesus for President, pgs. 292-93]

10 March 2009

a little rumi for the day.

Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.

Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.

Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.

Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.


-rumi

lynchburg, virginia.

i've been here for only three days, and i have fallen in love with this place and its people.

here's a little from our first night in town by a new friend, john carl.



A Night In Lynchburg / Canon 5D Mark II from John Carl on Vimeo.

04 March 2009

some clarity.

i am confident that i have been called to serve and fight for the children of uganda.
for the widows and orphans.

thank you, ic:
http://www.invisiblechildren.com/april2009/index-en.html

28 February 2009

yea, that's where i want to be...

living in a tree.




23 February 2009

new webcam.

i got a webcam.
i got a webcam.
i got a webcam.
hey hey hey hey.

thank you, sean dey.

i'm so pumped!
now i can see my long-distance friends when i talk to them.

22 February 2009

tu es gentil.

i really liked spending time with you today.

you make me laugh.
and i like that a lot.

you make me nervous.
and i like that too.

you are a wonderful person.
i am incredibly thankful for your presence in my life.

i hope you know that.

18 February 2009

last weekend, for valentine's day, we had a party. with a photobooth.

these are all of my roommates, but one.

here's some of our friends.

this is my lovely roommate, lindsey rebecca sarvis. today is her birthday. she's the big 20.

she's only happy in the sun.

did you find what you were after?
the pain and the laughter
brought you to your knees.

but if the sun sets you free
sets you free,
you'll be free indeed.
free indeed.

[ben harper].

16 February 2009

empty. [ray lamontagne].

why it's taken me this long to fall in love with this song, i don't know.

the fact that it grabs hold of my heart so tightly amazes me.
She lifts her skirt up to her knees,
walks through the garden rows with her bare feet, laughing.
I never learned to count my blessings,
I choose instead to dwell in my disasters.
I walk on down the hill,
through the grass, grown tall and brown
and still it's hard somehow to let go of my pain.
On past the busted back of that old and rusted Cadillac
that sinks into this field, collecting rain.

Will I always feel this way?
So empty, so estranged.

And of these cut-throat busted sunsets,
these cold and damp white mornings 
I have grown weary.
If through my cracked and dusty dime-store lips
I spoke these words out loud would no one hear me?
Lay your blouse across the chair,
let fall the flowers from your hair
and kiss me with that country mouth, so plain.
Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves,
to me it sounds like they're applauding us the quiet love we made.

Will I always feel this way?
So empty, so estranged.

Well I looked my demons in the eyes,
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."
There's a lot of things that can kill a man,
there's a lot of ways to die,
listen, some already did that walked beside me.
There's a lot of things I don't understand,
why so many people lie.
It's the hurt I hide that fuels the fire inside me.

Will I always feel this way?
So empty, so estranged.