it's been a while since i've posted my deeper thoughts

I've been doing a lot of fighting within my soul. I've been wrestling with my ideals. I've been resentful lately of past aches and disappointments. I have an ongoing aversion to the church, but I can't seem to disconnect my heart from it. And I don't want to disconnect my heart from it, I want to resolve my frustrations!
This is nothing new for me, it is the skin that I wear, it is my naked humanity these days.

I posted a quote yesterday that said "If there were such a thing as a perfect church, they certainly wouldn't want me there." Isn't this the truth?! I am so far away from perfection that I can't even see mediocrity in myself right now. How can I be so critical when I'm flailing my own arms in imbalance?

I missed church this past Sunday. I overslept. I had made a commitment to help out before service and I failed. Sometimes I sit through service and I never even hear one word that is spoken. Instead I spend my time journaling. Sometimes I go to church and I just sit out in the lobby and drink coffee and talk to people. I'm not always very reliable in my commitments, and I don't always make church stuff a priority. I have not done a very good job in cultivating relationships there either. I have definitely failed in being a friend to many of the people there. I don't always take time to make new guests feel welcome. I wish I was better at that.

Here I have spat out just a few of my failures. These are not traits and attitudes of which I am proud. In fact, I think I am so disappointed in myself that I feel like I have to make up some sort of excuse to soothe my guilt.
I carry this weight of self deprecation so much that it's all I can see at times. And you know what? I LOVE my church! I love it so much. It is my best family, my best group of friends here in Milwaukee. My eyes fill with tears sometimes when I think about it.
And you know what else? They love me too. Even though I am SO FAR away from the good and reliable family member, they still want me there, they still miss me, they still think I have something to offer. I don't know what it is that I offer; I don't know how that is possible.
But they really love me.

I have been thinking upon this for the past few days. Do you know that my guilt works so hard at trying to convince everyone else that I'm worthless? So what if I fail?! I am the only one who is expecting perfection of myself.
I'm so caught up in this struggle to be perfect that I can't even allow other people love me or accept me. I show up to church sometimes and it's like my guilt is just begging to be rejected. "Reject me please!!! I just can't sit with this imperfection, I'm so sorry that I can't live up to your needs and expectations..." That's what my guilt feels like as it is screaming. It's so foolish of me. I have a family that loves me, a family that can see beauty in me, and a family that can help me become a better person. Why can't I just accept myself and hold the hands of the people who care?

I am so tired of feeling guilty. I am so tired of fighting. I want to be a better person.

I know that some people from Mercy Hill read my blog. You have to know that your kindness and love has been an unbelievable source of hope for me. I am so amazed that I get to be a part of such a fantastic family even though I don't deserve it.


a thought for today

...from one of my favorite blogs One for the road.

"If there were such a thing as a perfect church, they certainly wouldn't want me there."

good morning monday

I almost missed my bus this morning. I catch the bus right in front of Einstein Bagels. I was inside getting coffee and the bus arrived outside. Crap! I was stuck in my money transaction and wasn't able to break free. I figured I'd just walk back home and take my car to work.
When I walked outside I noticed the bus was still sitting there and the driver was getting out. She was stopping for her breakfast. Are they even supposed to do that?
I had plenty of time then to pull out my ipod, grab my bus ticket and breathe in a little more morning air while rocking out to some Feist.
My Monday has started off well which is a relief. Yesterday was a 24-hour headache!


don't judge me!

You know it's time to clean your room when your cat finds the piles of clothes on the floor more cozy than your bed.
My room usually doesn't get this dirty, and in fact it is clean now. It has been a busy week.


let it snow let it snow more more MORE

It has been snowing all day. I decided to walk to the grocery store tonight so I bundled up and brought my camera along. Here are a few pictures I took along the way:

gallery night in milwaukee

Last Friday was Gallery Night in Milwaukee. It is a quarterly event where all of the art galleries and art schools in the city host an open house. It is my favorite Milwaukee event! Our church Mercy Hill also functions as an art gallery. We call it the Mercy Hill Gallery. This Friday was our second time participating in the Gallery Night festivities. We hosted two fantastic local artists Marie Scott and Shelly Rosenquist. I LOVE their work, so bright and colorful and inspiring.

The first two pictures are the work of Shelly Rosenquist and the latter two are from the brush of Marie Scott.

We also featured the music of three bands from Minnesota. The pictures here are the band Cedar Avenue. They are very good and I encourage you to listen to their music.

It was a great night, a great celebration of the arts.
Just one more reason why I am thankful for Mercy Hill Church.


skating our hearts out

Tonight we went skating downtown at Red Arrow Park. I've been wanting to skate all winter but I've been so busy. Tonight was a perfect night.

You should have seen, we were amazing. I'm thinking we have some skill that we should develop. When we let loose and started creating interpretive dances, people were so amazed that they stopped to watch us. I'm sure it was because of our astounding talent and grace!


That's Katie, my roommate!

And then there was Nereus. He had some great moves!

Look at him go!

I think I caught him at an odd moment. Oops. I have a knack for that.

I really love moments spent with good friends.

The ice rink is right outside of my work building. I thought this was a pretty cool picture of my office. I work way up at the top!

Please enjoy the following little videos of my grace and talent. I'm thinking about trying out for the Olympics! I'm sure there is a gold medal with my name on it.

And now you can watch Katie and Nereus perform their couples routine!
I love being here in Milwaukee. There is so much fun to be had!


a life saver

Life has been great. Christmas was fun, the snow has been lovely, the new year started off fresh, I've been enjoying the company of some good friends, I'm looking forward to some great upcoming adventures, I'm enjoying my new second job... Everything has been smooth, except for a few small details. It turns out that sometimes those "small details" aren't as minute as they seem.

The sock monster has finally conquered my drawer. The past few weeks I have been wearing mis-matched socks, or no socks at all. (Or shhh....sometimes I've warn the same socks for 3 days in a row!) I went to the liquor store the other day and I was in the checkout line and realized I had misplaced my driver's licence. That jumbled those plans! (That problem is solved, but it took a few days.) I have been having trouble sleeping lately. Even if I give myself 8-10 hours to sleep, I wake up at about 2:30 feeling restless. And the other day the numbers on my cell phone fell off and I couldn't find them. I was stressed out all day because I couldn't use my phone. Yes...all of these small details have been adding up to chaos! Chaos I tell you!!!

I have a pair of black tights that I've been wearing a lot lately. Since I've run out of black socks, the black tights are a nice alternative. They have also been a life saver on two accounts now and I'm thinking that after I retire them I may have to keep them for good luck!

1)The first life saving account was when I got that flat tire last week. It was 3 degrees outside and I was wearing jeans. That day I was trying to find some black socks but I gave up and wore the tights instead. They were excellent for a thermal layer when I was lying on the freezing pavement fixing my car.

2)And yesterday I was having a rushed morning so I pulled on those black tights and I wore a pair of black dress pants with a nice sweater. I was sitting in a department meeting yesterday and I looked down to notice a HUGE 4 inch long hole on the seam of my pants, yes...in the most inappropriate place! What the heck?!!! Thank goodness for black tights! The whole was hard to notice and I was able to make it through the rest of the day without being embarrassed.

This is the story of my life as of late.


and it went BOOM!

The other night I was driving home from work and there was an earth shattering BOOM!!! Then I watched as one of my hub caps flew across the road. Ugh! I blew a tire.
It was 10:00, dark, and freezing cold. It was 3 degrees outside to be precise.

I thought about calling a few of my guy friends. I knew they would have to come to my rescue but there was something inside of me that wanted to do it myself. Something inside me wanted to prove that I could be tough.

It took me an hour and 20 minutes. I was so cold. I got the tire off without a problem but I couldn't get my car jacked high enough to get the new tire on. I tried 3 times and then I sat down on the freezing pavement and I cried. The tears were freezing on my face and I looked down and the water in my water bottle had frozen. I decided to call my friend Kevin for some help but my cell phone was frozen. Then I realized that I looked like such a pathetic girl so I pulled myself together, gave myself a pep-talk, and I tried again. And I succeeded!

Now, I know it's just a tire change. It's not a big deal. It's not like I changed out the engine, or did a brake job or anything. But I was really proud of myself. I remember when I first started driving, my dad taught me how to change a tire, change the oil, and check the fluids. Those were the things that were important for me to know. I'm glad he did. Every other time I've had a flat, I've had someone stop to help me. But this time I was on my own, and I'm glad I was able to fix the problem.

It was so cold that night!

And just for some Monday entertainment, please enjoy this bird dance!