Christ and His love:
What I want to celebrate most about Christ here is His constant welcoming of us into a new reality, a new way of life where the unexpected, impossible things are ordinary and the ordinary activities, people, places and objects turn into places and acts of worship and signs of Divine Presence. Where painting a picture, participating in a slow clap, living intentionally and simply, cooking a meal and talking to a neighbor are all acts of worship. Where writing a letter, knitting a scarf, smiling at a stranger and singing on a bus are all ways in which this new way of life is ushered into the world. I'm celebrating that Christ is full of warmth and peace and is constantly surprising me and holding me dear, despite the things that I find most dark and repulsive about myself.
The beauty and complexity of Creation is a reflection of who the Divine is. It is God's art work, God's creativity displayed to God's creation. Every part of Creation, the dirt, the smell of freshly cut grass, a horse's gallop, a lilie's hues, the sparrow's flight and the human's compassion are all reflections of Who God is reflecting at creation and back out towards God. We live in a beautiful place where there are soft little purple and red and yellow petals that are found in a variety of shapes and are attached to bright (or duller) green stems that are rooted to the ground that we give life to and in return, life to us. We can eat Creation, enjoy it, make things out of it, converse with it, pet it, laugh with it. Creation is beautiful and I am happy to participate in it.
My mother and grandmother:
My mother has the most laid-back and simple sense of humor out of anyone I know. My grandmother has a Hawaiian accent and laughs really hard at her own jokes. I grew up with women who were always proud of their womanhood and who taught me how to be honest and generous in giving myself to others. I've grown into a much deeper appreciation for my small family of strong women now that I've arrived at twenty. Being so far away from home will give you a deeper sense of love for your mother's comfort and your grandmother's very loud but powerful wisdom.
My dogs, Maggie and Jade:
Two soft and sweet bundles of heavenly joy and friendship. I'm an animal lover, a dog lover to be more specific and the ten years of best friendship that I've shared with my little beagle has taught me more about the Creator of this world than many sermons ever did. The loyalty, the joy and delight in their wagging tails and reaching paws when you come back from work or from a long time away from home. The sadness in their whimpers when they know you're leaving and not coming back for a long time. The way they lay with you in silence and comfort you when your heart is broken. They are there for you in the simplest of ways.
We are all so very different, but my community's presence has been a gift to me. Sharing life with six other people has been one of my most formative and beautiful experiences. I'm thankful for their vulnerability, their courage, endurance and love for God, for life and for one another.
-My chaplain in college who was such an inspiration and who was with me through my wrestling with tough questions and situations.
-Stray animals and their courage, strength and intelligence that helps them to survive on the streets. I'm encouraged by the care God shows for them.
-Feminism and the empowerment that God has given to me through it. It is truly transforming the way that I view people and a myriad of social issues.
-Theology and the things I discover in it about the Divine One, humanity, justice, love and myself.
-Cooking and the creative world we live in when we make something to eat.
-Books and the amount of other people's shoes that I have walked miles in through them.