Friday, August 24, 2007

Moving Day!

tomorrow is moving day! yay! this has felt like it's been a long time in coming, and as much as i don't like the packing, organizing, moving, etc... i'm ready to be in my new place! jessica came over and helped me get one load in her car, and then we hung out and talked about lots of different things, which was great. also, for any of you who may be helping, my soon to be old apartment kind of smells, due to an AC leak, and i apologize from the bottom of my heart. please forgive me, and thanks in advance for helping me. i'm ready to be in my new place, closer to the community there. i'm pumped.

speaking of community, last night we had our first dinner for those hoping to 'do' community in the '05. i thought it went well... we had some yummy steaks and good conversation. it was great to look around and feel like i was part of a family here. i'm excited about what is going to take place. i'm also really excited because today was my last day of work at the daycare center.... onto babysitting in the '05! hopefully i won't regret this decision later......

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sick List

I have been sick today... no fun! but it really is ok, because i've been reminded of all the things today that make being sick bearable. here's my list:

  • ready-made progresso soup. i swear by these things. they are yummy, and i can eat them after not being able to eat for several hours. really, i'd be ok not eating right now, but i'm sort of weak, so i know i need to!
  • people who are willing to bring me things-i called both beth and bekah and they brought me gatorade, saltines, and applesauce. these things are like a liferaft when your stomach just won't cooperate.
  • getting a chance to rest. i know that being sick is not a great reason to rest, but apparently i needed something to get me to chill out. on that note, i've had time today to have some good catch-up conversations.
  • breath mints and hot tea. did you know that breath mints help with nausea? it's true. i am never without them. and i don't drink hot tea a lot, but when you are woken at 5:30 in the morning by a violent tummy... i don't know of anything more comforting.

a couple other random notes: i move in less than a week! yay! i'm so pumped to be in my new place.

i saw the movie Jesus Camp on saturday night with peter, jackie, tawndee and jason. i will definitely be commenting on this viewing, because the level of disturbance it caused in my brain warrants an entry. but i'm still processing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Week in the Life of Maggie

My mind is a whirlwind these days! this is how it's been....

monday: go to work until 5. must finally go get something resembling groceries. go to lee and beth's to look at old things they don't want anymore. they have an ice cream maker that we can have, and that's pretty sweet.

tuesday: i plan on staying home to get packing done. however, meg calls to invite me to pray with their house, and seeing as how i've been wanting to pray with them for about a month (and because i seem to be completely unable to say no), i forefeit packing for the evening to go to lexington to pray. i'm glad i went. afterwards, i help rebecca get her car, then drive her car back. then i hang out for a few minutes with meg an jess, mostly because i don't want to go home.

wednesday: i work for 2 hours. then i go to a meeting about church planting where i have no idea what we're talking about, so i end up asking ridiculous questions, but am glad i'm there. then i go to church to pray. back to wilmore to work. back to lexington after work to hang out with the youth. later that night, i read an email from aaron about his thoughts on community. never ask me my thoughts on community if you don't want to hear a lot. so i write peter and aaron a book about all my thoughts, and now we have all these crazy ideas about doing community in the oh-5. crazy. between church planting and figuring out how to do life together and realizing that i need to move and start a new semester soon.... whoa! craziness. in the midst of this, i call chelsea to tell her she can live with us. and she seems very cool! i'm excited about this house of girls. it's gonna rock.

thursday: again, i think, "i'll have tonight to pack." i should just never plan anything. aaron calls me at 10 or so in the morning to ask if i can be at a meeting that night to talk about all our crazy plans for creating community. and i think, "i really need to be there." so i go. only, of course, after convincing him to change the meeting's location to coffee times. all is right with the world when coffee times is involved. i spend the rest of the day fighting off overhwhelming, swirling thoughts. again, glad i went to this meeting. i left feeling encouraged and excited about what we are trying to do. on the way home i realize i haven't seen my friend kathy in a really long time due mostly to moving and church stuff (and i still have a movie of hers), so i go visit her. she fed me watermelon, and then ginger came over. it was good. i then go home and try to be productive... i start working on a letter to some community members, and realize that my brain is a crazy place.

friday: work until 1. my sweet boss comes in and tells me i can leave early if i want, and i wanted. came home, took a nap, made phone calls, packed some stuff, called my mom. dinner later on 12th street.

tomorrow: i HAVE to pack my house. everything. must. get. done. please, someone call me to make sure i am doing this, because it's not done right now (and all before 4:30, because i'm going to the church picnic at 5!), and this place is not ready to go yet! =)

craziness. but in the best sense of that word.

Monday, August 13, 2007

And then there were three

it's official... we've found a third roommate! and one who is excited about hospitality and living life together.

it's like God planned this all out or something.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Random Notes of Interest

Random note #1:

I have been sad today, and i don't really know why. i tried to push myself into feeling ok all day, only to finalize with crying as i left the la roca community garden. and i feel silly. i'm sure there are multiple reasons for my heavy heart. but it's amazing what a visit from a friend can do at 11:00 at night. samantha webb rocks, plain and simple.

Random note #2:

we may have found a 3rd roommate (and maybe even a fourth!), and i'm so excited! if this works out, the little blue house on Highland Park will be the place to be.

Random note #3:

Having to wait 2 weeks to move is going to be a very difficult task! i definitely want to be living on Highland Park Drive right now. But patience is a virtue, i'm told, as is packing my belongings and cleaning my current house....i also realize that "finishing well" is as important as taking a first step of faith. i think it's definitely a lot harder. excitement can be troublesome sometimes.

Random note #4:

i had a crazy busy weekend. dinner with some fun folks on 12th street, measuring my new bedroom door (only to find that my beloved desk will not fit...sad!), pestering aaron, lunch with the jackster, shopping with a neighbor, church today, lunch with jackie and peter and kim, helping at the garden. whew! but it was good. it was nice to feel a part of my new soon-to-be home!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Packing Books

i'm in a mood tonight. and not a good one. not sure why. maybe it's that i am dreading going to work tomorrow. or maybe i am tired. or overwhelmed. or maybe it's because i'm at that beginning stage of packing where i've gotten just enough done to feel slightly daunted by the task, and i realize it may be a lot easier and perhaps even more productive to accidentally start a fire in my apartment. however, after 2 weeks of staring at the disaster that is my apartment and dreading the thought of this process of packing, I have begun. I packed my first three boxes tonight. I started with the books... i realize that's always the easiest place to begin, and it really helps set the tone for the ever-dreaded task of loading up all my earthly possessions (and realizing how many unnecessary things i have), and propels me towards greater motivation. i can say i've been productive this evening, and that's a pretty nice feeling. it's funny, though, packing books. i love books. i like the thought of so many words, ideas, stories, thoughts in something i can hold in my hand. But will i really read these books again? why do i keep them? yet something keeps me from parting with them. staring at my books also reminds me of the many different parts of my life and personality, and maybe that's why i keep them. they're sort of representative of me, and they remind me in a weird way of who i am, where i've been, and where i'd like to someday go.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Into the Garden

The church I go to has started this community garden, and it's a very cool thing. La Roca is in the middle of downtown Lexington, and so i think it's pretty significant that certain people have had the vision to produce life in the midst of noise, cars and overly accessible junkfood. What an incredible sign of life and goodness!

This garden was started a few months ago, and i always thought it seemed like a cool idea. However, I'm a slacker. I hadn't even seen the garden until last week when i went to help pick some beans. For the past two Sunday nights, i've had the honor of getting to help pick beans, tomatoes, peppers, and okra. And it's been such a great experience to get sweaty, get my hands dirty, and to fellowship with other church members while working on this crazy little garden. And I've met people for the first time that i've gone to church with for almost two years now.

This has all caused me to think about the significance of this simple (yet very profound) project. Fellowship is being built as we work alongside each other. New life is being produced. Healthy food is being provided. These, to me, seem like intrinsically Biblical values, and it's exciting to see them getting played out every week. Of course, these are just a few of the positive things happening as a result of this garden... i know that there are so many more.

More than anything else, I realized last night how grateful I am that I go to a church that is investing its resources in things like planting gardens instead of spending money on a building. Getting our hands dirty together instead starting a new program. Working alongside our neighbors instead of pushing them aside. Our perceptions of 'church' have the tendency to get very skewed, and i'm realizing that this is what it's about. producing life-particularly where there was once death. La Roca is certainly far from perfect, but i love that i am part of a body of believers seeking out creative ways of embracing and loving people.

And i get the feeling that God is in the midst of doing some big, big things.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Child of God or Child of the pigs?

The great thing about having a 3-month break from school is that I don't feel the need to rush through books that I am reading. I have been taking a long time to read through Return of the Prodigal Son, which is nothing short of bliss. I firmly believe it is one of the world's great tragedies to ever rush through anything Henri Nouwen had to say. With that said, here's a quote for your reading pleasure this bright Saturday morning:

"The younger son's return takes place in the very moment that he reclaims his sonship, even though he has lost all the dignity that belongs to it. In fact, it was the loss of everything that brought him to the bottom line of his identity. He hit the bedrock of his sonship. In retrospect, it seems that the prodigal had to lose everything to come into touch with the ground of his being. When he found himself desiring to be treated as one of the pigs, he realized that he was not a pig but a human being, a son of his father. This realization became the basis for his choice to live instead of to die. Once he had come again in touch with the truth of his sonship, he could hear-although faintly-the voice calling him the Beloved and feel-although distantly-the touch of blessing."

In diving deep into the story of the prodigal son, Henri Nouwen talks about the younger son's return and his willingness to be treated as one of the pigs, if only that could bring him into his father's presence. However, the father would never allow this.... he celebrates, he lavishes, he welcomes the son home with open, loving, strong embrace. Why? because the son is his child. It makes me think of all the times and of all the ways that I only allow myself to be treated as good as something less than a daughter of God. But that is indeed who i am-a daughter of God! I'm reminded that forgiveness is ALWAYS there to be received, but we must be willing to receive it. God longs to celebrate with us, hold us, party with us, remind us of our worth. But something has happened. We tend to say that this forgiveness certainly can't be true, and so we imprison ourselves in holding onto shame and guilt, thinking we're only as good as the pigs. God's not the one imprisoning us-He is freeing us.

It's been good this week to remember this-that God has good planned for His children. I think i've lived most of life believing that for something to be right, it has to be hard. And sometimes that might be true... but God also has joy in mind for His church! God longs for us to lavish in His presence, to enjoy the fellowship of all of His children. God has good planned, and yesterday was a great reminder of that. I can choose to live as less than a child of God, or I can choose to rise from sin and accept forgiveness and walk with God, and remember that before anything else...I am a child of God.

God is providing for me right now in so many clear and amazing ways. It is so easy to think, "no. i don't deserve this. this can't be right." and i don't deserve it, yet i am so loved in spite of that! And so-i am living in gratitude for: a new house (by the way, one with a PORCH!!), a roommate, a great community around me, people who encourage me, a church that is far from perfect but is certainly trying, God's grace and provision, ministry opportunities.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Late Night Confessions

It is 1:00 in the morning, and I cannot sleep. In fact, I've had trouble sleeping all week. I sometimes have weeks like this, and it stinks because I go through my day exhausted. Last night it was mostly due to the fact that there were three college age guys who decided, at about 11 at night, to stand in the parking lot of my apartment building (just below my bedroom window), and play guitar, drink beer, and talk in not-so-quiet voices. If i had any confidence, I would have gone out there and asked them to be quiet. but i'm a wimp, so i stayed up and stayed annoyed. and now i sound like an old woman. but i digress.

the real reason for my insomnia. life is changing before my very eyes, and it's causing many unsettling thoughts. i am moving in a month. i realize this shouldn't seem like that big of a deal, but it's big inside my head (and yes, i tend to overreact, but surely that is no suprise to anyone who knows me!). there are several reasons this is big. i am no stranger to moving to new abodes... this will be my fourth place since i've moved to kentucky, which was not even two years ago. however, this move is of significance for a few reasons. one, it's the first time i have had to find a place, sign a lease, make decisions, ask wise questions. i realize this is ridiculous since i'm 29, but i've just always had the good fortune to move in with others. learning how to be an adult stinks sometimes.

another reason this is slightly overwhelming me. i'm not just living somewhere to live. i'm moving to this particular locale in order to attempt to engage with the neighborhood and with folks from the church who already live there, some of whom i have a great deal of respect for. and i realize that this scares me. what if i disappoint them? i know that they love me now, but will they still love me when they see the real me? sometimes i feel like the real me is not that great... let's face it... i can be lazy, seflish, and i pick who i want to love. i realized tonight my fears of really allowing others to see the not-so-great parts of my personality. There are people who are extremely excited about me moving into this neighborhood, and i've realized that i don't understand why. i don't feel like i have a lot to give. i feel like i fake it sometimes....

and maybe that's why this move is a really great thing. maybe it's that i need to really understand that there are people who love me for all the parts of me, good and bad. and that i need to understand that God loves all those parts of me.

It reminds me of what Henri Nouwen talks about in Return of the Prodigal Son. He proposes that when we do not understand our Belovedness, when we do not understand that we are completely loved by and cherished by God, we act in certain ways. I'm realizing that for me, it's a whole lot of fear. Fear that people will leave or will be disappointed when they see the real me.

I tend to beat myself up for not intrinsically being who I want to be. For needing to be around others in order to feel motivated to serve, to love, to produce. Sometimes that feels like i am doing things only for others, but maybe it's also about others encouraging us to be the best versions of ourselves.