Friday, November 16, 2012

Help Me: A Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving (and my husband's birthday) is a mere six days away. As I entered into this month of Thanksgiving, and especially as I prepare for the culmination through next week, I can't shake the conviction that my life was meant for more than what I offer up.

I cannot read my Bible, attend church services, and send up the occasional prayer and be comfortable that this is all God asks of me. Because in reading, listening, and praying it is glaringly obvious that I am called to be the hands and feet of Christ and I am not doing it. And, today at least, I am very frustrated and feel very alone in my conviction that the Body of Christ has grown disgustingly complacent. How timely our President/CEO sent out his weekly update today with this simple prayer that cuts straight to the heart of my inner struggle.

O God, when I have food,

help me to remember the hungry;

When I have work,

help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a home,

help me to remember those who have no home at all;

When I am without pain,

help me to remember those who suffer,

And remembering,

help me to destroy my complacency;

bestir my compassion,

and be concerned enough to help;

By word and deed,

those who cry out for what we take for granted.


-Samuel F. Pugh

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Things you probably didn't need to know

*30 Things*

Rumor has it this is going around Pinterest and since I think a little self-reflection is in order this week, here goes...

I. List 20 random facts about yourself.
  1. I am named for the Greek goddesses of victory and wisdom
  2. I wanted to decorate with owls before it was trendy
  3. I have only dated two people and I married the second
  4. I am the same height I was at 13
  5. For a short period of my childhood I had naturally red hair and I'm pretty sad it didn't stick around
  6. I have been in 22 US states
  7. I studied in Alicante, Spain for four and a half months - that wasn't long enough to become fluent in Spanish
  8. I have travelled to Mexico about 5 times, but have never been to Canada, which is significantly closer to me.
  9. I could live on sushi and mashed potatoes
  10. No matter how I have them, I cannot bring myself to enjoy onions of any persuasion (though I agree green onions are less offensive than red)
  11. My family has roots in the South, though no one in the last three generations has lived there, and that's why I'm so sweet. (I love collared greens, grits, real sweet tea, red beans and rice, and hush puppies.)
  12. Though I lived in Illinois for nine months, my permanent residence has only ever been in Oregon.
  13. I took my driver's test in a 5-speed manual transmission in three feet of snow, and passed, so I get irrationally frustrated with people who can't drive in a dusting of snow.
  14. I had short stories and poems published in Highlight and a Highlight-like magazine by age 9
  15. I only lived completely on my own (without a roommate) for the two months between my roommate getting married and my own wedding.
  16. I presently struggle with budgeting; I'm really bad at being poor.
  17. Childbirth has never been something I've feared.
  18. There was a time I really thought I'd be a big time AP journalist in Washington, DC.
  19. Lime green and dark purple is still one of my favorite color combinations.
  20. Most people don't realize how bossy I am.
II. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
  1. Abandonment - yeah, that happened
  2. Rattlesnakes - they may have rattles, but they're surprisingly sneaky buggers
  3. Dying in a car wreck - I'm not sure what triggered it, and I don't know if it can be described as a fear as I've accepted it as my fate, but for the last ten years I've come to the conclusion that is how I'm going to die. (Not to go all morbid on you or anything.)
III. Describe your relationship with your parents.
      My dad is my best friend and I have chosen not to have a relationship with my mother.

IV. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
  1. Seriously, learn how to study for math and science. You're good at it, but at some point it's going to get more difficult and you need to be prepared.
  2. Trust your gut, most of the things you wonder about in your journal come to fruition.
  3. Save half of every paycheck and listen to what Mrs. Ott is telling you in economics.
  4. You really do love him, but he is going to break your heart in a very real way and there are pieces you're never going to get back. First cut is the deepest and all that.
  5. Don't buy the ballgown for winter semi-formal. You are going to stand out like a sore thumb and your pictures look weird. It will be another six years before you learn what "semi-formal" and "cocktail attire" mean, so trust me on this one.
  6. You're going to end your relationship with your mother in nine years. I realize this won't come as a surprise, so go ahead and save your adult self some trauma and just say the things you're thinking and feeling now. Those things you hope change? They don't, they get worse and you get very, very broken.
  7. Don't be so afraid to forge your own path. You're made of tough stuff.
  8. There is a difference between fact and propaganda. Democrats aren't evil and God isn't Republican. To read some of the things you thought and believed at sixteen kills my soul a little now.
  9. Exercise is really important.
  10. You're going to be okay. Really.
V. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
  1. The fall colors when the sun shines through them.
  2. Comfy bed.
  3. All the pregnant people in my life.
  4. That Jason and I can do the hard things.
  5. Thanksgiving is less than a month away.
VI. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
  • Clinical Depression.
VII. What is your dream job, and why?
  • I want to be a midwife. I believe in women's ability to birth well on their own in an environment that supports them and want to be there to welcome new littles into the world.
VIII. What are 5 passions you have?
  1. Informed birth choices
  2. Comprehensive sex education
  3. Communication
  4. Healthy marriages
  5. Montessori/Waldorf education
IX. List 5 people who have influenced you and describe how.
  1. Abuelos - they have been married more than half a century and chose each other even when life got rough. They have such an incredible testimony.
  2. Dad - he put us kids first even when it meant foregoing a promotion or giving up something he wanted
  3. Jason - he taught me how to relax and not take life so seriously (something I still struggle with)
  4. Aunt Debbie - she has shown me what it is to live your faith and be a woman of prayer
  5. Colleen - I can't describe the ways she's influenced my life, she's affected the way I live my marriage, my faith, let go of the past, and view the future.
X. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
  • It involves being very, very ill at my in-laws my first Christmas as a wife.
XI. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
  1. People messing with their phones when they are in a social setting (or church, or at dinner, or...)
  2. Pet owners who don't clean up after their pets in public spaces
  3. Not acknowledging the person who is holding the door open for you
  4. When people say "Or-eee-gone" it's "Orygun," c'mon now
  5. Thanks to Laura and Lily from HIMYM, the word "moist" now really unnerves me
  6. When couples say "we're pregnant!" No, you plural are not pregnant. You are both expecting, but only one of you is pregnant. It's weird to pretend otherwise.
  7. Talking during movies (or playing with your phone)
  8. There's something Jason and I were talking about the other day that resulted in me saying, "I had no idea how much that annoys me until this very moment," but I can't for the life of me remember what it was When people interchange "sex" and "gender." They are not the same thing. You do not find out a baby's gender from an ultrasound, you learn the sex.
  9. Not rinsing dishes. I don't care if they're stacked by the sink, but for the love, please rinse them
  10. Uggs. I absolutely hate seeing people wearing Uggs. They actually make me a little angry.
XII. Describe a typical day in your current life.

Right now, I wake up multiple times between 1:30 am and 5:45 am and generally kick a cat while rolling over. The alarm goes off at 6:30 am and I get in the shower at 6:45 am. Attempt to eat breakfast, Jason drives me to work. I throw up sometime between 8:30 and 11:00 am. Have lunch at 12:30, do some more work, head home at 5:00 pm, change into my pajamas and read or watch a movie while Jason cooks dinner. Eat dinner, read some more, then go to bed and start the cycle over. It's pretty exciting round here at the moment.

XIII. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
  1. Caring too deeply about things I shouldn't
  2. I'm a people pleaser
  3. I don't follow through with things well
  4. I'm stubborn
  5. I don't easily forgive
XIV. Describe 5 strengths you have.
  1. I'm faithful
  2. I stand by what I believe is right
  3. I'm compassionate
  4. I'm tactful
  5. I'm not afraid to do the hard things to save a relationship worth saving
XV. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
        A pelican. They fly, live near the water, and eat a lot of fish.

XVI. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
  1. Graduating from college
  2. Marrying my best friend
  3. Recovering from depression
  4. Walking 110km of the Camino de Santiago (enough to have a piece of paper from the priest of Santiago de Compestella stating my sins had been forgiven)
  5. Actually, living in Spain was a pretty big deal
XVII. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
           Budgeting. I feel like I already answered this question.

XVIII. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
            The most difficult is still a work in progress. The second most difficult was forgiving Jason for his fall from grace this summer.

XIX. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
         Central Oregon, namely Sisters. It's warmer in the summer and colder in the winter than Eastern Oregon with the most beautiful countryside and backpacking trails. And very little rain.

XX. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
  1. When Dad brought Axo (our golden retriever) home. That dog was a saint.
  2. My mother walking out on my 9th birthday.
  3. Rollerblading at Sam-o-Swim skate park Christmas morning with Dad. All of us got rollerblades from "Santa" (Jillian got Barbie rollerskates; she was five) and it was ridiculously warm that year. When I see the pictures from the skate park I forget it was Christmas day.
XXI. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?
         Teleportation and first I would teleport to an sunny island and just relax.

XXII. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
  • 5 years - mother of two
  • 10 years - homeowner
  • 15 years - partner at a midwife-run birth center
XXIII. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
  1. Reading - it's a cheap vacation
  2. Fishing - I love fish and it's so repetitive it's relaxing
  3. Badmitton - it's just fun
  4. Settlers of Catan - it's always a new game
  5. Camping - it's the one time I get to eat as many s'more as I want
XXIV. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
            My brother and I are even closer than we ever were. My sister and I are just as distant and maybe more so than we were in childhood.

XXV. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
          There are so many interesting people... I'd love to have tea with the Bronte sisters.

XXVI. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
            "Do whatever makes you happy." For one, it's generally said dismissively. Secondly, one of the things most wrong with the world is we're all looking out for our own happiness instead of caring for our neighbors.

XXVII. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
             My ears. They neither gain nor lose weight and always look right on my head.

XXVIII. What is your love language?
              Quality time.

XXIX. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
             Contemplativeness for judgement.

XXX. List 5 things you would hope to be remembered for.
  1. I loved deeply
  2. I wasn't afraid to say and do the hard things
  3. My compassion
  4. My faith influenced my choices and the people around me
  5. I worked to make the world a better place for those who will come behind me