Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heather & cars: The Saga Continues.

So, my car is totaled. I don't have details or a number yet, since the number left to me by my insurance sent me to their 'Total Loss Division" (a depressing name if ever there was one), which is only open Monday-Friday.

So, I need a car. One that is safe and reliable, and easy to get in and out of. I also am collecting car shopping advice, and the numbers of reputable salesmen. Feel free to put me in touch with someone you know and trust.

And just for fun, this is what my car looked like after Monday's (low speed, stop and go) accident:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blog round-up, week two

It's time, once again, for the blog round-up! The theme this week is...

God, etc. 

I have met all the following bloggers in seminary, during seminary, and/or in close proximity to seminary. In no particular order...

Danielle Shroyer 

Danielle's "About" page says it well, so I'll just let you read it here:

Danielle is the pastor of Journey Church in Dallas.  She is the author of The Boundary-Breaking God:  An Unfolding Story of Hope and Promise (Jossey-Bass, 2009) and speaks often on issues of theology, church leadership and emerging communities of faith.  Danielle lives with her husband and two children in Dallas, Texas.

I discovered Danielle when she was talking about women's seminary experiences on Twitter, and I've enjoyed her blog ever since (Heads up--her *spoiler-free* post on Mad Men is particularly good.)  

Heidi Bay

Heidi came to Multnomah during my second year of seminary. In addition to being a delightfully joyful human being, she has a passion for missions and travel, and she's crafted a blog that's both theologically and stylistically solid (see Sept 12th's post for a uniquely good example).

Perpetual Anticipation

I met David in a fleeting moment in the seminary lounge, sometime in...2008? I think. I had just agreed to complete an internship with Compassion Connect, and David was introduced to me because of the work he was starting with their Apartment Complex Initiative

David's blog is a little bit of everything: theology, technology, cars, music, movies, life, and the occasional bit of randomness just for fun. Lately he's been going over Mumford and Son's "Sigh No More" song by song, and while I don't entirely agree with his take on it, I'm glad he's covering them. I only wish I had done it first. :)

Melodious Sonnet

Miki lives in my house. Connecting to her blog was like discovering a whole different side of a housemate. Miki is fun, and sarcastic, and a little wacky at times, and devoted to Guitar Hero and her hockey team of choice. Her blog posts are beautiful, poetic, and powerful. It's the pensive side of the passionate hockey fan, and I like it.  

Ask her to tell you about moon cakes sometime. 

They Call Me Pastor Bryan (or, my favorite blog title)

 I knew who BD was before I met him. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that our first conversation may have included me saying, "I know who you are." How's that for creepy? 

BD and I were also at seminary together, although he got there before I did. Right now he's a leader @ Sacred Roots, a new community in SE Portland. His blog is full of good stuff. Also, John Calvin was a hipster. Check it out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Do you feel scared? I do."

I didn't go to work today.

I started to, and then in the stop-and-go rain-filled traffic, there was an accident.

The front of my 2007 Toyota Camry is seriously crumpled. I am slightly crumpled, but only internally.

I have a 2010 Dodge Avenger while we figure out whether the Camry is alive or not.

I hope it is. Dented as it is, messy as it is, I really like that car. We understand each other.

I accidentally pop the hood of the Avenger each time I step out of it.

Also, "auto accidents" are going on my list of things that make me feel handicapped (an in-process list that includes "traveling in groups" and "historic sites", among others.).

Money and cars are two of the things that stress me out the most.

But, all will be well, and when I posted that "things can only get better", someone sent me this. At least it gave me a chuckle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blog round-up, week one

First of all, thanks to everyone who volunteered themselves up for the blog roundup. I'm going to try to group them loosely (translation: don't get too worked up over an outlier or two). For now, blog roundups will happen Wednesday nights. Late-ish.

I'm doing this for two reasons: One, most of these blogs come from friends of mine, and they're cool people and I want to brag on them a little. Indulge me.

Two, I really haven't felt like writing lately. and I don't like that. But I do know that other people's writing usually sparks and inspires mine, and so while I hope you enjoy the blogs here, I also hope it will kickstart me, so to speak.

The theme this week is...

Travel at home, travel abroad. And so without further ado & in no particular order:

My friend Jules is many things. She's beautiful, she's smart, she's shockingly funny, she's a globetrotter and a storyteller. Sometimes her tales make me jealous. Other times, like when she details a bout of airplane sickness, they make me glad to be home. But they always make me laugh. Also, on any given day, I have no idea where on the planet she might be. 

Jenni and Chrissi are sisters. I met them both at a recent weekend-long coastal bachelorette party. They're incredible women, and stunning storytellers. And they have this brilliant blog, which not only gives tips on travel and life in general, but has also been telling the beautiful story of a new family, as Chrissi and her husband are currently in the Philippines with their new daughter, Mary. Read it. 

If you've been following Stumbling into Grace for any time at all (and if you have, thank you for sticking with me through the dry spells), you've heard me talk about my friend Robin. I don't need to tell you she's fun, crazy talented, and beautiful because you know this already. But! Robin has a new project. The Portland Untourist is designed to help people rediscover where they live. Since Robin lives in Portland, the blog is currently Portland-centric, but fascinating no matter where you are (and I have brought her to many of the places she's highlighted, so you're welcome.) 

Robin's friend (and now mine as well) Jessica is currently living and working in Shanghai. This blog is honestly a must for anyone interested in travel, Chinese culture, good writing or life. Really, that should catch all of us. Oh, and Jessica just happened to snag a gig editing Hops Magazine. No big deal. 

Talented folks, these. Stay tuned for more next Wednesday, and hopefully some posts about other material in between. Happy reading! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

You can understand dependence when you know the Maker's hand.

I hung out with some friends tonight over wine, a killer vegetable soup and some rambling, mostly aimless conversation.

It was really good.

Driving home, Mumford & Sons playing for the millionth time in the cd player, I started thinking about God, and about how thankful I am that He is not dependent on me. His attitude toward me doesn't change when my attitude toward Him does. The fact that my faith is weak and frail doesn't diminish His strength. The fact that sometimes, lots of times, I don't believe in Him doesn't keep Him from believing in me and seeing me as a completed creation, rather than the partway-there, unfinished heap of stuff I tend to feel like.

He loves me, even when I don't love Him or others well, or at all.

He listens to what I don't say, can't say, won't.

And when I focus, and focus, and focus on myself and my imperfections and the imperfections of the world that make my life harder, he hangs around, and lets me fume, lets me cry, lets me throw my tantrums.

This isn't weakness, or laziness, or lack of concern.

It's grace.

For me, God has always been present and active. And so sometimes, I think I look for Him in the thunder, or the tragedy, or the big, loud, noisy moments. And He's always there, but it's not always where He chooses to show up.

I am thankful that God can stay strong and loving and powerful and active, and he can do all those things in the dark corners of my life. He can stay there until He wants to move, and He can work silently where He chooses, as slowly or as quickly as He likes.

I have no patience. He knows this. I want evidence of change, movement. He knows this too.

I am thankful that God is present when I can't be. However quiet, however slow.