previous post fixed

I just now realized that the blurb about Sergei Bulgakov didn't print out entirely so I just wanted to mention that it's fixed and it's a good statement about grace.
(just a few days back on the blogger)


look what i did!!!

What started out as this...

...soon became THIS!!!

2 weeks of painting and sanding, painting and sanding, painting and sanding.

Is it okay to be proud of myself?


from the heart of SERGEI BULGAKOV

Last night I was reading through a collection of autobiographies and I paused with captivation on some words from Sergei Bulgakov (1871-1944)
I've highlighted some of his statements that stick with my heart, and remind me of places I've been and the prickles that I've felt. I think these few paragraphs depict true and fervent honesty on the human end, and the richness of grace from the Divine. Please read through it, I know it's long, but it's really beautiful.

"In early adolescence, during my first or second year at the Seminary, I went through a religious crisis--painful but not tragic--which ended in my losing religious faith for many, many years. From the age of fourteen to about thirty the prodigal son withdrew into a far country to the sorrow and dismay of many, principally of his parents. I had a great deal to lose, and I gave it up with seeming ease, without any struggle (though in my godlessness I did think of suicide)...

In losing religious faith I naturally and, as it were, automatically adopted the revolutionary mood then prevalent among the intelligentsia. Without belonging to any particular party, I was bitterly opposed to the monarchism which was dominant in our clerical circles. In short, at that period in my life I went through the same experience as my predecessors in the Seminaries. I fell victim to a gloomy revolutionary nihilism, though in my case it was always combined with a love of art and literature which saved me. The general atmosphere of the theological schools, based on tradition and compulsion, was impotent to combat this nihilism and grew more and more unendurable to a proud and independent boy who genuinely loved truth and freedom.

How did I come to lose my faith? I lost it without noticing it myself. It occurred as something self-evident and unavoidable when the poetry of my childhood was squeezed out of my life by the prose of seminary education. As soon as I experienced my first doubts, and my critical faculty was early awakened, I realized that I could not be satisfied with the apologetics of the text-books. Instead of helping me, they further undermined my faith. My seminary education constantly raised before me many religious problems, but I was unable to cope with them, and the instructions given to me by my teachers only confused my mind. This conflict was further aggravated by compulsory attendance at the long services. Orthodox piety only irritated me, for its mystical side had ceased to exist.

I was twenty-four years old. For a decade I had lived without faith and after early stormy doubts, a religious emptiness reigned in my soul. One evening we were driving across the southern steppes of Russia, and the strong-scented spring grass was gilded by the rays of a glorious sunset. Far in the distance I saw the blue outlines of the Caucasus. This was my first sight of the mountains. I looked with ecstatic delight at their rising slopes. I drank in the light and the air of the steppes. I listened to the revelation of nature. My soul was accustomed to the dull pain of seeing nature as a lifeless desert and of treating its surface beauty as a deceptive mask. Yet, contrary to my intellectual convictions, I could not be reconciled to nature without God.

Suddenly, in that evening hour my soul was joyfully stirred. I started to wonder what would happen if the cosmos were not a desert and its beauty not a mask or deception--if nature were not death, but life! If he existed, the merciful and loving Father, if nature was the vesture of his love and glory, and if the pious feelings of my childhood, when I used to live in his presence, when I loved him and trembled because I was weak, were true, then the tears and inspiration of my adolescence, the sweetness of my prayers, my innocence and all those emotions which I had rejected and trodden down would be vindicated, and my present outlook with its emptiness and deadness would appear nothing more than blindness and lies, and what a transformation it would bring me!

(My readings were drawn from the book Pilgrim Souls edited by Amy Mandelker and Elizabeth Powers. It's a great collection of spiritual autobiographies from biblical writers to philosophical scholars. )

cat food

This is semi-embarrassing.

Last night I went to buy cat food for my darling pet. I'm trying to take care in buying him good food since he's getting older and I want him to live a long LONG time!

So I found this great natural food by a brand called Wellness. I was so impressed! Instead of putting a bunch of crap in their food they use human-grade deboned chicken, berries, vegetables, grains, and fish oil. This food has a 5-paw rating!!!

I paid a little extra for the food but I was happy to know that my precious pal would be eating healthy.

....so I finished up at Pet World, drove down the street and ate a delicious McDonalds Happy Meal. Yum!!! (so....what's wrong with this story?)


going crazy

Sometimes, all I can do is smile...because as Maxine so wisely suggests...

Lord, give me the grace and patience to work with frustrating people!


wicked is good

Sorry, I've been slow in posting lately, and I left you with some sad and yet intriguing musical lyrics by Mindy Smith.

So where have I been? Well in the midst of some highly involved home projects, some extra hours of work, milwaukee's summertime festivals, transitions here at the firm, and creating a myspace account (I know...I was shamed into it)...I have had my nose stuck in this fantastic book that I'm going to recommend to you.
I just finished it today. You should most definately read it!

I promise post some thoughts again soon...maybe some of them will be results of this book and my ponderings about the nature of evil, the soul, or what is "good".


currently listening to...

Raggedy Ann

These hand me downs I am wearing
Are worn at the knees, color faded.
All the little children are laughing.
I'm trying to find a reason to keep from cryin'.

I'm just a little girl,I'm Rageddy Ann
Making Believe I'm happy,
Rageddy Ann, Falling apart at the seams.

The tears that I covered with patches
Red and yellow paterns left in old matches.
Where I have them sewn with black stiches
are made exposed to be soiled and tattered.

I'm just a little girl I'm Rageddy Ann
Making believe I'm happy.
Rageddy Ann, Falling apart at the seams...

So when did I get so broken? I wouldn't notice...
Everything just breaks away from me.
When did I get so broken? I wouldn't notice...
Everything important leaving me.

Falling apart at the seams.

All the busy people keep walking away
Cause they can't see me...anything...
Everyday it gets a little harder to believe in magic and people.

I'm just a little girl I'm Rageddy Ann
Making believe I'm happy, yeah...Rageddy Ann,
Falling apart at the seams.


feelings for today

I feel disoriented. If I were a color I would be a burnt color, like the color of the back of my eyelids when I close my eyes and face the sun. And that's how I feel...like I am facing the sun with my eyes closed. I don't want to move any more. I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to breathe and let myself be bathed in warmth. I have this desire to be wrapped up tight, to be secure, to know that I'm doing okay, that my life is okay, that my dreams are okay. I want someone to tell me what to do, and then to take my hand and walk with me...just walk with me in the sunshine.


all grown up, almost

THIS is depressing!
(left to right: Karina Scott, me, Stacey, Caitlin Bogue)
This picture was taken a few weeks ago at Nick's graduation party.
These are the children that Stacey and I used to babysit! I changed their diapers! I remember when they were born! And NOW LOOK WHO'S THE SHORTEST PERSON IN THAT PICTURE?
I suppose this should make me feel like a proud parent or something. I should be proud that they have grown up into such special young ladies! But I have to grumble at least a little since I feel like maybe I'm shrinking or something.
...hey wait, Stacey, are you shorter than me?

picture in the bean

Okay, okay, I know I'm going through a posting frenzy. It has been a while since I've been able to work on my Blog so I had a backlog of stuff to put up here. AND it was a holiday weekend so I did 4 days worth of fun things.

This picture was taken at Millenium Park in Chicago. We were looking into the bean mirror thingy. Cool effect huh?

over the rhine

I saw Over The Rhine last night at Summerfest. They were wonderful, just as wonderful as they always are. Their newest Album "Drunkard's Prayer" has some quite meaningful poetry within it. I love the lyrics of their song "Born".

Over The Rhine

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear

Pour me a glass of wine
Talk deep into the night
Who knows what we'll find

Intuition, deja vu
The Holy Ghost haunting you
Whatever you gotI don't mind

Put your elbows on the table
I'll listen long as I am able
There's nowhere I'd rather be

Secret fears, the supernatural
Thank God for this new laughter
Thank God the joke's on me

We've seen the landfill rainbow
We've seen the junkyard of love
Baby it's no place for you and me

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I'm gonna learn to love without fear


When we were at the Taste of Chicago we watched a hip-hop dance and tumbling team do some street entertainment. WOW, we came back and watched the show a second time!
One of my favorite laughs was when they said,
"When the beat drops--everybody clap--rhythm or no rhythm
...so white people, pay close attention to the black person standing next to you!"

And last night at Summerfest, I stopped to watch some BMX stunt bikers. Sorry, the pictures are blurry and dark. If you look closely at the bottom picture, the guy has both feet in the air and is holding on to his handlebars.

In the words of the street dancing tumbling team....
..............TRY IT AT SCHOOL


taste of chicago and too much food

This past Sunday we went to the Taste of Chicago. As predicted, there were oodles and piles of people doing what Amercian's do best...celebrating FOOD!!!!
I celebrated with a mango rice pudding with dried cranberries on top, a chocolate covered frozen banana on a stick, some Asian pot-stickers, toasted ravioli, bruchetta, and whatever other samples I stole from Mom and Nick.
Nick and Ashley. Nick was on his second helping of bruchetta, and Ashley was eating something that had....cheese perhaps?
Can you see the lack of focus in people's faces? It's like they harbor hate against anyone who gets between them and their next helping of food!!!

The first 3 pictures are my own pictures, but being only 5'2 I have a limited view of things...a situation of which my brother is constantly reminding me. I stole this last picture to illustrate my statement about the "oodles and piles of people".

superman's view

Okay, time for a little bit of "Film and Theology".

This weekend I went to the Drive-In with my family and watched Superman Returns.
The movie was okay, nothing great. I think there were too many loose ends.
There was one part however, that made me stop and think...and yes, being the "GIRL" that I am I think there were like 4 tears in my eyes.

Lois Lane, out of anger/misunderstanding of Superman gets angry for him leaving and writes a prize-winning article titled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman". However, when Superman takes Lois on another romantic flight through the sky he shows her the fantastic view overlooking the whole world. And he tells her that all he can hear are voices upon voices screaming for his help.

I couldn't help but think about how many articles I've written in my mind that have titles like "Why I Am Better Off Without God", or "Why God Deserves Our Rebellion", or "Why I Just Don't Care".... But the truth is, I've never stopped to think about God's view of things. I am so quick to give up because I don't understand, but I DO need God, I DO need to care, and I know that God is able to fix me. And if God wore spandex...I might have to re-think things:)