Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You are what you do regularly

You are what you do regularly. Jason Byassee recently wrote http://www.faithandleadership.com/blog/11-02-2010/jason-byassee-you-are-what-you-do-regularly-excellently with these words in the title. Its an inspiring piece and when I read it today I realized why I might be going through a difficult time.

I am not on bedrest regularly. I don’t want to be on bedrest regularly. I hope that I am never this tied to my bed again. But some things that have learning by
being on bedrest may help my regular life:

Life can happen without me.

We all know this most likely in our heads and maybe in our souls, but did I believe it? Probably not. However, I am realizing that good happens when I am not able to control it. Sitting out for a time helps me remember that other folks can do what I usually do.

Knowing when to say I can’t

After a week of bedrest and mostly without the use of my computer and phone thanks to the pain, I really believed that I could schedule a whole day of activities yesterday. Granted, spending 8 hours at the doctor and then having a meal with folks doesn’t sound like too much. I actually was able to say to those I was having dinner with, “Look I scheduled too much – I just can’t.” Yes, maybe I should have thought about all of this in the scheduling process – but being able to say no in the moment is a step in the right direction for me.

Asking for help isn’t a death sentence
My co-workers, my church, my Dwellers, and especially my friend Nadia and my husband Jim have been there for me in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. When I ask for help, I also can let people in. And when I let people in, I can ask for help. I am learning the importance of both.

Creativity can bloom unexpectedly when I can’t do the usual.

In the last week, creativity has had to happen. So, I can’t do my meetings over breakfast, but folks are welcome to my house to talk sometimes. Or instead of co-leading a retreat, I can be a phone presence for the leader when she needs it. If I hadn’t been in bed, there would have been no reason to think creativity – but now there is.

I still will be in bed most of this week, most likely. The time isn’t over. However, hopefully I can get these lessons can become what I do regularly, without the bed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vacation Reflections

I am starting to post a series of vacation reflections on my DOOR blog:

see the most current one, here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DC musings

So far - walked around the mall, eatten at all local to DC places, rode a segway, had tea time at the guest house, cried at a museum, seen the Archives, Air and Space, American history, and National History, and gotten ourselves around using the Metro.

When asked at Tea time this evening about the best part of the day? Both Jim and I answered the bus. When we first got on the bus we were joined by twenty 2nd graders. Many of the kids found a newspaper laying around. The kid next to us asked his teacher "is this a number or word puzzle?" And then to Jim, "Sir, do you have a book I could use to do a puzzle?" We gave him or tour book and then started to help with the crossword upon request. At one point, I was helping the little boy and Jim was assisting a little girl next to him. We continued this the whole ride - about 40 minutes.

We have eaten in the two places that Man v Food recommends in DC - one a real hole in the wall that we loved - but walked 2 miles for! This evening we hit a place with a 50 year history for chili dogs, and Bill Cosby and the Obama family eat free. Both were great!

Yesterday, I got picked out of a crowd to recreate the sitin at the counter in Greensboro SC (I didn't ask to get picked, I promise). I cried at the implications of what we were learning about. We have come this far by faith, but so much further to go

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Office #2

My offices are in no order - well this time cute came into play. Last week I went to Michigan to surprise a friend but I did do some work...and one thing I saw over my computer screen was this adorable kid.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Office #1

Last week, I got asked where my office was. My co-worker, Brian, laughed.

"Well, I have a home office with a desk and a printer, but really it is anywhere where my computer and phone are."

I office in all sorts of places, all over the country, and in planes going across the country. Its a great part of the job, I suppose. So, I am taking on a new project. I want to document where I office for awhile. I am going to commit to taking a picture wherever I open my computer and have my phone for awhile.

To start, I should take a picture of my actual desk - but instead, I started my assignment at the Garfield Park Conservatory last week, enjoy my favorite picture from that day above!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Week

As you walk this journey called Holy Week,
May you welcome Jesus into Jerusalem with palm branches
may you travel through all the emotions that the disciples did
may you imagine Jesus washing your feet, passing you the cup, and explaining bread
may you attend to Jesus as he carries a cross on which he then is hung
may you wait, wait, and wait
may you awake to a new understanding of what resurrection truly can mean.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Courage to Teach

While I am not a teacher in a school, I am surrounded by them in my life. I know that I have a teacher's outlook on things no matter what my title currently says. So, I picked up The Courage to Teach at a garage sale last summer and finally got around to reading it. WOW! Any leader, any teacher...this is a good read.

Thanks to Amy Dutt for introducing me to Parker Palmer, giving credit where credit is due.

Some quotes from the book that struck me:

Good education may leave students deeply dissatisfied, at least for awhile. I do not mean the dissatisfaction that comes from teachers who are inaudible, incoherent or incompetent. But students who have been well served by good teachers may walk away angry – angry that their prejudices have been challenged and their sense of self shaken.

The hallmark of the community of truth is in its claim that reality is a web of communal relationships, and we can know reality only by being in community with it.
We invite diversity in the (learning) community not because it is politically correct but because diverse viewpoints are demanded by the manifold mysteries of great things.

Becoming a leaders of that sort – one who opens, rather than occupies space – requires the same inner journey we have been exploring for teachers. It is a journey beyond fear and into authentic selfhood, a journey toward respecting otherness and understanding how connected and resourceful we all are. As those inner qualities deepen, the leader becomes better able to open spaces in which people feel invited to create communities of mutual support.

The decision to live an undivided life, made by enough people over a long enough period of time, may eventually have social and political impact. It is a deeply personal decision, made for the sake of one’s one identity and integrity. To decide to live divided no more is less a strategy for attacking other people’s beliefs than an uprising of the elemental need for one’s own beliefs to govern and guide one’s life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tights and a skirt

I often get looks at the airport. It happened again today.
I am fairly good about dressing up for the airport anymore – more professional, mainly because I am usually off to a meeting or some other event that I need to look nice. I usually think that is fake me. I am really the pjs and t-shirt girl, but I can dress up and act the part.
When I am not dressed up – today’s jeans and pullover would be an example, I feel more at home with myself and yet I get the looks.
“Uh, you need to go in that line, lady” was the line at the checkin today.
“No..you can’t come this way.” was the line at the security gate.
Both times, I was right. I have my “I’m special at Southwest ‘cause I fly a lot” card to get me through both the check-in line and a different security line. I am used to being mistaken for a misguided college student and just going with it. Though, today, the security line was really long….so I asked the woman at the security line…”if I show you my card, can I go in that line?” “Oh, yes, maam…I am sorry”, she said, as she let me in the short line.
I could talk about how young folks (or looking young folks) have to prove themselves, or talk about the misjudging that happens in our society for people of color. All good topics, all good journal and blog topics. But not for today…
Thanks for my spiritual director and personal coach (yes, I have both right now!), I have been thinking about two topics that are quite linked – What is God telling you by how you view God? And How to be authentic at work…so as this all is happening today at LAX, I think bingo! This is it!
I feel more comfortable being me – the jeans, sweatshirt, the caring, sweet, passionate church girl from Ohio that loves Chicago more than anything – I think that is the real me. Something that God is constantly asking of me – don’t pretend, Krista, just be you. That’s my image of me.
When I put on tights or even pantyhose and a skirt and look like a business woman, I feel like I am lying in a way….or when I go to these meetings and think – I can’t believe they want my opinion on this, or what do you mean this is solely my decision, or when people are nervous about how I might see them, I can’t believe it – because I don’t see me being anything but passionate church Chicago girl in jeans – that is what I want people to see.
But the thing is….it was me that flew all those freaking miles to get the “I’m special at Southwest ‘cause I fly a lot” card, I secretly like tights enough to wear them under pants sometimes, I am good at working through issues that I am asked to, I am good at paying attention to details in a mulitude of places, I wrote a book (in my jeans, but its. A. book.), I am good at what I do in my skirt and my tights.
Maybe I feel like I have left my true, my whole self out, because I don’t really acknowledge that I, in crass terms, “know my shit” instead of my previously held idea that people needed to learn to know me to find the sweet, compassionate, Chicago loving girl inside. Until I claim the power and respect that I already have, maybe I can’t be content in my skirt or my jeans.
Maybe I should do more tight wearing under my jeans……

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All in a week's time

The other day I realized a reason that my Mom and I may feel the need to go try new things other than just reading the paper (or in my case, blogs) and knowing about stuff. We really take seriously the authority of someone when they say, “You really should go see….experience…..eat….” I complain at times about being such a rule follower, but this may help me take seriously the need to experience and learn. So after that realization, I have been thinking about what I have experienced in the last while that I see as important – and in the last week, it has been a lot.

Last Saturday, I went to a Diversity in Missions Conference at Trinity International Seminary. I have lots of notes, but I found it to be a great way to do some more thinking about the work I am in, how exciting, how scary, and maybe at times profound.

After a day of thinking, I felt the need to veg but not at home where work loomed. Jim and I finally made it to Calumet Fisheries, a highly recommended white box of a place that serves seafood and fries – and that is it. Recently, this hole in the wall got recognized by the Beard Awards – sort of the Oscar of food awards. The funny thing is – the place is such a dive, the owner had to google the Beard Awards!

I also registered the KERK team in The Doughman – so we are officially headed to Durham, NC to eat and then run! The registration sold out in 15 minutes, so glad I did a little juggling to get it done!

Thursday afternoon, Becky and I went to a Sacred Spaces event entitled, “Discovering Chicago’s Religious Art and Relics” I was amazed at the time. First, what I really liked about the art we talked about was that it was used…vestments, altars, and pieces that were still used in worship. Useable art is important to me! I am also keenly aware of the importance of learning more about worship spaces for history and sacred sake.

Friday, Becky and I did a variety of things – none of which I have ever done. I was planning on us attending a part of “Redefining Neighborly Love” at Wheaton Bible Church – and so when it was a nice day decided we should take advantage of several other suburban options. First, we went to Morton Arboretum, one of those places that I heard was a must see. While, I want to go back in the Spring or the Fall – it was really cool and a great place to celebrate Chicago as it was going above 32 degrees. Second, we headed over to the Billy Graham Center on Wheaton College’s campus. It has a museum that tells the story of evangelical Christians since arriving in the US. It was interesting. While we were there, an exhibit was still being put up of work by Timothy Botts, an artist that I really find meaning in. This exhibit was of work that was based on Spirituals – Bound for Glory. Oh, I could have bought prints of each and every one. I bought two. I highly recommend this free exhibit.
Today, on the first nice weekend in Chicago, we headed to the Zoo. It was pig day at the Zoo, and I was able to get Jim to pose by this car that was a pig!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Poem in short

Words don’t come for moments like this.
Instead, they are stuck
A small screaming voice far in my head,
Crying is a must.
Hiding isn’t an option.
Faith is a must.
Solving the questions any other way isn’t an option.
Being there is a must.
Missing moments like this aren’t an option.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stories of the City

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging here lately is because I am trying to do a better job of blogging for DOOR.

Here is my latest post there.

At that blog, I tend to comment on news stories, share articles, and share news that effects and celebrates the 6 cities in the DOOR network.

Good soup

I haven't been posting a lot, and maybe its because I haven't been experimenting lately with food. I am trying to cook more "normal" food due to the pending kid in our house, trying to make good ole American stuff. Tonight, I threw all this in a crockpot and it worked well!

1 big jar of great northern beans
1 large tomato, chopped
1 dry packet of pesto seasoning
half of an onion, chopped
1 large chicken breast that I grilled several days ago, chopped

Low for 4 hours....yummy bean soup!

Served with warm tortilla - Jim had cheese on his, mine plain.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beautiful Quote

Margaret Mead's vision of a pro-child culture:

"Perhaps we shall also be able to develop a climate of opinion in which a mother waits with suspended imagination for her unknown child, ready to greet a stranger. And adoption may become so common that the drama of waiting for the unknown child with all the weight of longng that is part of having a child by a deeply loved person will be balanced by the drama of going with a loved person to choose a child already born and ready to curl its hand around its adopting father's finger. Children may face gladly the knowledge that they were chosen for what they could be seen to be, a boy or a girl with white or black or brown or saffron skin and with eyes bright as stars or tranquil as dreams. Or they may know, happily, that they came as strangers and that they were welcomed by their parents who had not chosen them but in whose being they had a creative part."

I copied this from The Paris Project blog