Thursday, December 11, 2014



What a strange thing. Vulnerability. 

All of my life I was taught not to be vulnerable. I was reprimanded for crying. I was told to not put my heart out and give pearls to swine. I was shown that when things get hard you ought to go more into yourself. I was demonstrated that it is best to not breach the hard topic, and that if someone else brings up the hard stuff the best response is to put up defenses and to point out their wrongs. I was told that Jesus wasn’t vulnerable. That God doesn’t want us to be vulnerable. That vulnerability looks like empathy and that empathy is bad.

Then I grew up.

I tried to not be vulnerable. I took my anti-depressants. I put on a smile. I decided that it is better to work 60 hours a week for noble causes than to be present with individuals. I was insistent that I would never get married, and especially that I would not have children. I didn’t plant roots. I traveled around. When things got hard I moved again. When family was messy I stayed with other family. When friendships got complicated I check out. When situations were beyond me, I moved to a different state or country. I did what I was told, I self protected and put on a nice face and participated in great causes, so that I would never have to deal with that vulnerability shit.

And it was a waste of 10 years of my life.

Then I met someone who told me that even if I never change the world, I have changed his world. 

I smirked… that’s not enough. What a silly thing to say. To think that changing your world is consolation for failure. That being present with one person could be sufficiently important. That I could live a purposeful and valuable life with out being written in history books. That I don’t have to constantly be propelling myself to meet “more important need.” That I could love just one person well and still be ok.

I could not stop thinking about his comment. It seemed so inconsistent with my worldview; that impacting one individual could be enough. 

Then it hit me, I proclaim to believe that social causes are important, but if it’s not enough to change his world, then do I really actually care about the people behind the social causes? Or am I pursing great causes for an ulterior motive?

It became apparent to me that, even amidst the good motives, were some motives rooted in the fear of vulnerability. That not only was I unable to be present and value the individual (because that would require a level of empathy), but that I was seeking identity and value from the justice causes which I pursued. That I was unable to be fully present and to value an individual because I didn’t know where my own value came from, so I was constantly trying to do the bigger and the better. The individual wasn’t enough for me to be enough myself. I had gotten to this point because I was never shown or told who I am, that I can do hard things, that strong women are simultaneously the most vulnerable. I didn’t realize that I have identity and value apart from the way someone may respond to my vulnerability, as well as apart from the social causes that I champion. My whole world was challenged.

So I sat on it. It took years. But I became pregnant with these concepts. I didn’t know what it ment. I didn’t know how it would impact my life. I didn’t know how I was going to birth it. I just let it grow.

I married that man whose world I changed. He kept telling me silly thing like that I didn’t need to be written in history books, and that the purpose may not be about getting the most done for the most people.

I started to recognize that God’s biggest act in history was His most personal and most vulnerable. That Jesus was sent to empathize and to be vulnerable. How unproductive. He died. He didn’t start His ministry until He was about 30. Then He spent half of His time alone or with only three disciples. What a waste.

Or was it?

Maybe my life was a waste. Maybe I was completely missing the point. 

So I sat on it longer. 

I had a baby. It wasn’t in the plans. But it was good. 

It took a few weeks, but she slowly became more important than the dishes. Eventually she became more important then me doing big things like training for a marathon. I even stopped running all together for a season because that’s what seemed best for her… to be more present with her. I stopped planning to attend graduate school. I stopped thinking about all of the ways I was going to impact the world and how I was going to be written in history books. I stopped looking for my value in all of these things. I didn’t yet know where my value really came from, but I knew that she was more important than pursuing those grandiose causes.  So I put it all to the side… not knowing what the other side looked like. But I was willing to try it out.

Even writing this I feel like I need to defend myself. That I threw away my life and that I am wasting my time. I keep hearing the voices of a few individuals in my life who have always told me in words and actions that I could never do enough to be enough. That they will read this post and call me to tell me that I am doing it wrong. Maybe that’s the point… that all along they have missed my heart. That all along the lies they have lived and have pointed me towards were because they were not willing to be vulnerable enough to see my heart. They never empathized with me. They couldn’t . I forgive them. But I can no longer let them be my standard or my measure of living a wholehearted life. 

So today, I find myself on the journey to the other side. Whatever that means. I think I’m naked. Maybe that’s how it will always feel. If vulnerability is the goal, then this purgatory between no vulnerability and full vulnerability may actually be the best place to be.  It feels raw. It’s the best place I’ve ever been.

I know that I have gifting’s. I want to change the world. I want to run marathons. I want to go to grad school. I want to do these things with the right motives. And I will. But those things will never be enough. So I’m done chasing them as those that’s the purpose of life.

It is becoming apparent that if I am to do all of those things and more in a purposed and wholehearted life worth living, then it is worth sometime to align my motives. To learn value and identity apart from all of those things. 

I don’t know my vision or my plans.  And for the first time I feel like I’m changing the world in bigger ways than ever. I’m changing her world. And that will always be enough. I will always be enough; I have always been enough. She doesn’t make me enough. But she reminds me that neither she nor the ‘bigger’ things can ever give me my value. That Jesus came as a baby, and that He changed the world in just the right hour, after years of being present.  In His last breaths He was present. His greatest, world changing work was the most vulnerable act of them all… for individuals like me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Encountered by More than Existance

Infinitely diverse and infinitely complex. 

Your are Creator of everything and yet you are not Creator at all. Still, You are not not the Creator. 

You are omnipresent yet You don't exist at all. Not in the way that existance is defined by our human minds. Not in the way that I exist. You are existence, yet you do not exist at. Still, you do not not exist. 

Your are who You are. Undefinable by me. Undefinable by my community. 

Still, I seek to know You.

I seek to know what there is to know about this Entity that is everything in such an all encompassing way that It is nothing. Show me what there is to learn. Give me knowledge of You. Of what You've touched. Of the expansion of your Energies.

Even more, encounter me. Encounter me, as I can never encounter your Omnipresent Nothingness. Encounter me. Meet me where You have placed me. Meet me where I now find myself. Wrapped in Your arms. Not wrapped in Your arms. Not not wrapped in your arms.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mysterious Destany

My journey is a slow and long one because of the destiny that I am called to. It's taken a long time for me to learn to walk in that truth. I've felt like I've waisted time flailing in life due to the implications of that truth.

It's always seemed apparent to me that me walking in my identity and passions and destiny looks like a final goal... Not a journey. And it always seemed like this destiny should arrive at a young age because I worked hard for it.

Now it seems more evident that this destiny looks more like a daily choosing into a journey rather than an end goal. And, further more, I now understand that the big things that I am called to are bigger than a career or a job or a house or certain accomplishments. That I'm called to something bigger, longer suffering, life long, and developing.

This is a freeing revelation. That I haven't missed my destiny by not arriving where I feel I should be. But, rather, by being present in the journey, I am not just choosing into the journey but, actually, living out my destiny... Daily.

So, in my own awkward way, I am now choosing to live out my destiny in the little things and in the detached things. And this new reality feels more true to my heart than ever.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Liturgy is simultaneously one of the most mundane and exciting expressions of truth. It's a true expression of the natural manifesting the supernatural. It's mystical yet it is ordinary. It repetitive yet it's creative. It's empty yet it's truth.

So why the dichotomy?

The Creation Story. The beauty of putting spirit into physical form through spoken word alone. The dark became separate from the night; order was created. The night became separate from day; time began. The ocean became separate from the land; diversity was developed. Land animals, flying animals, and animals of the sea were cast into their homes. Mankind was created in the image of the creative community of the Trinity. Definition was given to the spiritual mysteries of community, creativity and existence. The act of creation in itself was a repetitive calling forth of beauty.

"Let there be light, and there was light, and it was good."

"Let there be separation from the waters of the heavens and the waters of the earth, and there was, and it was good."

"Let there be... And there was... And it was good."

"Let there be... And there was... And it was good."

"Let there be... And there was... And it was good."

Over and over again, words create and "good" is prophesied. 

The original liturgy was more than Spirit filled, it was actually Spirit encarnet. 

Yet today there is only "Spirit filled" or "litergy." What a manachistic, graco-roman, gnostic believe. Yet the Western church holds the dichotomy dear to its heart. 

Maybe that's why I am secretly enchanted by the post-modern Christian movement. Because, in all of its own broken short-sitedness, it recognizes the mystery, it relinquishes controle, and it admits a marriage of Truths. The grey, as some call it. The relative, as it is known. But at it's heart, I believe the post-modern movement, in itself not holistically Truth, is a reaction to the poor theology of the black and white. A philosophical reaching for Absolute Truth.

The brokeness in the post-modern movement is not that it is an overly open minded and "relative" philosophy, but that it is a proclamation that the only truth is that the Truth is relative. That the grey is black and white. That to dance between natural and supernatural is the only way. That there is no black. That there is no white.

But, instead of believing herasy, what if we embraced philosophical truth as just that... A lover-of-thought's perspective on something much bigger than the thinker. What if struggling through truth (little 't') is acceptable because the thinker knows his or her place in the arms of the full Truth. What if Truth (big 'T') is personal encounter and philosophy and theology and so much more (emphasis on the 'so much more' part)? What if Truth is something or someone that cannot be defined by mans perspective of Truth, but that Truth is beyond any humanistic knowing.

Seeking to live in this mysterious zone where Truth cannot be fully defined, where I relinquish controle to say that 'black and white are absolut,' just as 'grey is absolute,' I seek to live a liturgical-Spirit filled life that knows that the Truth is absolute. A life where the Truth is bigger than what I could ever understand, and where all words are powerful and prophetic just as Spirit is powerful and encounters me. Where black exists. Where white exists. Where grey exists. Where I can experience the Truth that is bigger than me. Where I can speak out words that are seemingly simple and mundane, but that can bring forth Truth in all of its forms.

Powerful are my words. Prophetically charged. Spirit emparting. Natural. 

So, I ask, what words are I prophesying? What truths am I calling forth? What dance am I dancing, and what is my rhythm drawing forth? What truth do I follow? What truth am I speaking? How can I dance amongst the colors and how can I live my life in spiritual litergy?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Roots of a Foodie Blog

The reasons that I ever even considered to start blogging was because people kept asking me about food. Food. Anything about food. Everything about food. Food theory. Food making. Political food history. Food serving. Food sourcing. Food for functions like loosing weight or gaining weight or building muscle or .... You name it.

It's true, food has become a passion. I'm good with food. I'd like to say that at times it is an obsession, but that's not at all true. Though it used to be.

To start, I'm 26 years old, 10 months post-natal and I weigh 105lbs. I know what your thinking... I've heard it all my life... Don't hate me, that's just ridiculous.

Ever since I was young I hardly weighed anything. I was so skinny that I was too embarrassed to wear two piece swim suits. I got made fun of a lot. And no one ever stood up for the skinny kid on the play ground. Making fun of obese kids is politically incorrect. But making fun of skinny kids... Well, we were all alone out there on the lonely playground surrounded by much larger kids.

People would always tell me that I should enjoy being skinny now because I would be fat when I was 30. Now, being closer to 30 than I am to the playground days, I realize that those women were just hoping I would be fat so that they wouldn't feel so bad about themselves.

Being the type of person that takes such comments as challenges, by middle school I determined in my heart to never be fat.

But, mean while my pediatricians told me I was in the unhealthy bracket and prescribed me to eat Ensure and milkshakes with meals on a daily basis. I was certainly confused.

All the while, I grew increasing interested in justice and social action and, ultimately, in where my food came from. And I was gravely disappointed.

So here I stood as a 5th grader. "Skinny as a rail" (as my grandfather would say), drinking Ensure with my veggie burger feeling the weight of this food world that was, frankly, just stupid! I had determination to stay skinny to prove to those fat ladies that I won't console their insecurities, yet force-fed milk shakes, and ethically motivated to ban anything unsustainable or potentially abusive of animals. And I hadn't yet even entered Jr. High.

Food became an obsession.

I can't say I ever had your average eating disorder by all conventional definitions, but I certainly had disordered eating. I knew I was skinny. But I didn't like my body. I didn't like where food came from. And I had those fat ladies to one-up. So I found it safest to bring extreme controle to my eating habits.

By the time I was in college, I was trying to calculate how much food I could eat to survive... Never asking what it took for me to thrive (though I never had valued myself enough to ask that question... But that story is for a different blogpost).

I hoped to save resources on food so as to donate the rest to starving children. It became a game for me. If I could live on just 1000 calories then I would donate the equivalence in money to World Vision. It was bad.

And to further belabor the issue, I was an avid runner. So I probably should have been consuming much over 2000 calories a day rather than less. It's called athletic anorexia. And no one knew I struggled with it. Not even me.

I won't bore you with my detailed journey of healing, but it has been just that... A journey. And it's been mostly through hard earned failures. And crazy grace. And my husband. I'm forever grateful for his perseverance my my life (he sees me for who I am, not for the baggage I carry).

But on this journey I have learned many things. The biggest being this: it it's not bad that I'm skinny as a rail and it's not bad that I care where my food comes from. It's also not bad that I am blessed to thrive and that I don't have to live off of 1000 calories a day.

I guess the hard earned lessons are the best, because I now have a store house of perspective from which I value communion. True communion. And I value locally sourced food. And I know how to eat good fats to loose weight. And I value eating those good fats. And I also value eating store bought pumping pie and cheap turkey when I visit with family on Christmas.

So, here is one of my first entries regarding food. That's my roots. And here are the fruits.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Voice

In the crowd in which I currently find myself blessed to run, the term 'voice' and the phrase 'find your voice' are commonly thrown around. I don't like talking about my voice. I have too much pride. I want to be ahead of the curve, not vulnerable enough to make it apparent that I'm just like the rest and learning about the same things. Maybe that's why I am so filled with questions and too often sit back in insecurity. Pride does that, you know,... Creates a false security that really manifests as insecurity.

I have been known to follow this same pattern in relation to many other topics. Which makes me a poor learner. Or at least a young and foolish learner. But I'm starting to recognize my error. So maybe there is hope for me after all.

The struggle for me is in feeling and in letting people know that I feel. I want to be composed. I want to be knowledgeable. I want to be independent. I don't want for you to know that I'm learning. I don't want for you to observe me grow. I want to grow and to learn but I don't want to do those things in community because then there's no facade that I have it all together. I'm not so sure why it's so important to me to be flawless.

There have been many an opportunity for me to be poured into by other women or men. Or for me to take a risk and ask questions, yet I choose to not receive or risk because I don't want people to see who I really am. Which is a strange fact for me to write out because I have always embraced questions in an academic setting. But maybe 'real life' is different? Or at least for me since I tend to compartmentalize.

The truth is this. It's a risk to grow, because to grow, one needs to ask questions and to take risks. To grow to ones potential, they need to be rooted in community. To feel and express emotion and intellect in community. Which is the struggle for me.

So, in bold attempt to counter the lies, I speak out my questions? What does it look like to find MY voice? What is my stage? What is my topic? What moves me the most?

I reflect and I think I know the answer. Or at least parts of the answers. Maybe it's silly that I struggle with these questions. After all, I write a blog that tries to dive into the topics of sustainability and intentional living... Rooted in the experiences of thin places, and the awareness of connectedness between mind, body and spirit as well as the natural and super natural.

But it seems to me that this blog is not a response to the knowledge of who I am and what I was created to do... But, rather, a seeking out and an awkward birthing of something bigger. It's my step into the dark. It's the active choice to push into the messy in life. It's the small attempt to do all those things I proclaim to be bad at... To be emotionally and intellectually vulnerable in community... To pose questions and to face answers... To find my voice. To sacrifice the pride,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


To begin, I applaud all the mamas who have chosen to breast feed for the healthiest length of time for their family.

In our age of microwave-generation-turned-adults, that's often longer than most mothers (and fathers, I might add) are willing to fight for. I'll let you determine with your own family what it looks like to fight for wholistic living in all things from nursing to formula, to resting to exercise, and every other paradigms that may exist. This is just my family's story.

For me, I always reasoned, "wow, it can't be that hard, why would one ever settle for formula?" And, now, here I am disclosing my own interactions with a REAL decision that REAL people face (no fairy take idealism grounded in unhealthy expectation).

My now 9mo has been nursing since birth. We had a home birth, so from the moment she was born she has been used to the warmth of nourishing herself in moms embrace, near my heart. We love nursing. My husband fights hard to make it successful for us. It is a team effort.

Things got a little more difficult, though, as she grew older and became more fascinated with the world around her. She seemed to be weaning herself. No matter what I did, she would always get distracted and loose interest.

I initially figured it was something she would grow through, but then she started skipping nursings all together. So I figured it was something I needed to grow through, so I started putting us in distraction free environments, but then she would just play with my hair. It didn't seem to matter what I did or didn't do. And the worst part was that since she wasn't nursing, my supply was going down and pumping didn't keep it up enough.

I tried fennel oil and nursing tea, and those helped me to keep my supply up enough to pump a bit. But it still wasn't sufficient.

So, after a week of her skipping nursing all together and only taking bottles of pumped milk, I went through my supply of frozen milk and had to figure out another plan.

Resistant as I was, I researched a lot and decided to start making homemade formula to give her on the days she wouldn't nurse. Of course, we would always start off with nursing, but if that didn't happen, I'd give her some milk in a tippy cup or bottle in between meals. It seemed to work. But we keep trying to nurse.

After a while, my patience would pay off and she would nurse and play on and off during nursing sessions. It became a new season for us, as I was no longer nursing an infant but a very mobile and strong willed baby. It was actually fun!

So now, at 9 months, she still seems to be weaning herself, but we've landed a compromise where we play and nurse rather than just play. And maybe in a few months we will be ready to stop all together. But until then, I still give her formula on occasion and she still nurses. And it feels right for us. Though things change so much, and tomorrow might be different.

Nursing is valuable for a number of reasons. There all sorts of research out there. There's all sorts if testimonies. I don't need to repeat them. But it is a good reminder that nursing our children is beautiful. If for no other reason than that it is how we were created, which means that each time I nurse, both Harper and I are choosing (yes, sometimes fighting) to be who we were created to be. Imperfect, distracted, messy, and all.

That each time I choose to make her formula, I'm also bringing that decision to the Great Physician, who wants to partner with me and with Harper in the middle of whatever season we find ourselves. I don't believe that God frowns on us (like many moms do and like I used to - #confession) for not exclusively nursing. I think He actually takes joy in the journey with us. Same as I also take joy in the journey of Harper becoming so mesmerized by the world that she is too busy to nurse 'perfectly.'

Way to go baby girl, for doing what makes you come alive... Even if I'm still convinced that nursing is healthier for your body than is formula.

But I guess being wholistic requires rolling a bit with the punches and doing what is healthy for ones body, mind and spirit (and community).

Here are the ingredients in my homemade formula. It's based off of a few formulas and nutritional needs that baby's have. Most of my inspiration was from the Winston A. Price Foundation, where you can find a more measured out recipe. I normally don't actually measure everything since I just make formula for one bottle at a time:

Black Strap Molasses
Sunflower Seed Oil
Coconut oil
Cod Liver Oil
Yeast / Desiccated Liver / liquid B-Vitamins
Elderberry concentrate
Acerola powder
Raw milk / keifer
Flack seed oil
(No you don't actually need corn syrup like is in many formulas, nor do you need hydrogenated oils... Those ingredients are nothing like anything found in breast milk)