Archive | March, 2012

Adventures in homemaking

31 Mar

All of life is a rhythm of coming and going from home, to the world, and back. We make our homes and we seek adventure. Out in the world, we long to return home; sitting at home, we dream about wandering the world. Some make wandering the style of their lives, while others stay at home and imagine the world. Both ways are of infinite value, and both make life worth living.

World-wandering and adventure seem to please the spirit most, while homemaking satisfies the soul. The latter, like most things of the soul, is more humble and therefore might be neglected. But home provides the ground, the tether, the foundation, and that elusive quality necessary for psychological peace-security.

We could be better at making our homes. We could give them more attention. We could understand that a society in which people are homeless, any definition of the word, is one that has dangerously overlooked the one condition that leads to creative tranquility.

—  The Education of the Heart by Thomas Moore

I read this quote here. And was completely inspired by it. Inspired by every word in it. I am a “wanderer”. I long for the next adventure and I have a hard time staying put in one place for too long! For this reason, homemaking seemed so unappealing to me. However, a couple years ago something changed. I had my first summer off from teaching. And as much as I looked forward to it, when the time came it was so hard! What would I do at home?! Not too long after I learned that I could also use homemaking as a creative outlet and as a spiritual discipline even! During this time at the home I learned to live a slower life, learned to cook, sew, bake, and the list goes on. Perfecting this art of homemaking is a journey I’m still on and continue to learn. It continues to teach me to appreciate those ‘mundane’ tasks and use it as a way to glorify my God. I Corinthians 10:31 says, “… whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (ESV).

My spring break started today. And although all I wanted to do was sleep, watch TV, and veg on the couch, I opted out of it. My tasks today weren’t glamorous. Laundry, organizing, cleaning, taxes, and more and more laundry.  I put on my Shane and Shane Pandora station and my soul was satisfied as I worshiped/prayed through these tasks. Throughout today, God’s love filled my heart and his presence overwhelmed by soul. Ahh, God is so good. Soooo good.

Things have been very busy lately with work, church/ministry, other commitments, and thinking a lot about our future. Spring break came at just the right time. I wanted to fill my week with all sorts of trips/vacation (yes, I’m a travel junkie. I get a high looking through Travel Zoo deals). Instead, I’ve decided to slow down, catch up on reading, watch justice conference videos (again!), try new recipes, and do some baking (it’s been too long!).  After watching this video, I’ve become inspired to do lots of baking this coming week! Seriously, how cute is the girl from the video?! This is totally me when it comes to cooking. Give me some salsa music and a kitchen-and I’m set!

Vegas snap shot

29 Mar

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My husband turned 26 last week. I love growing old with him. To celebrate him, we spent 4 days in Vegas. He had never been, and we wanted to do something totally different. This isn’t a place we would normally be drawn too, since I usually prefer small, quaint, charming and quiet towns with lots of character. However, we had lots of fun! We ate (lots!!), walked, visited all the cool casinos on the strip, slept and relaxed in our hotel, enjoyed the sunshine, watched a couple shows, ate loads of sugar, tried new yummy drinks, and ate lots of yummy food (yes, again).  My favorite way to go through a city is through dining. Yes, i. love. food.

 

 

Head, Heart, and Soul Full.

2 Mar

Jeez. Where to even start? I just came back from the Justice Conference in Portland. For two whole days, my husband and I were immersed with wonderful God seeking speakers, authors, activisits, theologians, and the list goes on. I came back refreshed and inspired. My heart is so full.

My heart has always been sensitive to injustices. Growing up in a low-income area as a first generation Mexican-American puts things into perspective. Going and living among the poorest of the poor in places like Mexico, India, Brazil, and Africa, REALLY puts things into perspective. At a prayer meeting, at the age of 15, a person prayed over me and said, “I don’t know why, but as I pray for you the word compassion keeps coming to mind.” Not knowing this person, I saw this as a confirmation that my life’s work needed to be centered around compassion. As Walter Brueggeman, stated at the conference, “compassion, rightly-defined and rightly lived-out, should create an emotional upheaval in our gut.” God has put a compassion that “stirs up my guts!”

I was also reminded this weekend that my labor is not in vain. Working in ministry and the non-profit world, can take a toll in one’s spiritual, emotional, and physical life. However, why would I want to live an empty life, filled with just worries about myself, when one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor? James even tells us true religion is to take care of the widows and the orphans. Oh what a high calling God is calling us to! To rid of ourselves, so that others may increase. Wow.

Loving our neighbors. So simple, yet so deep. What does it mean? Rick
Mckinley, stated it perfectly, “justice in it’s simplest form means being neighborly”. As my husband stated, justice is about how we interact with each other. Justice and injustice wears skin and it’s personal. It’s the mom in Haiti that has to choose which child to feed. It’s easy to become numb to all this, when we become self-focused and self-indulgent.

Karen Spears Zacharias, said, “Justice isn’t a by-product of our faith. It is the hands and feet and eyes and heart of faith.” Oh Lord, that I may continue to be Your hands and feet bringing the kingdom of God here on earth.

I was wrecked this past weekend, but God renewed that fire in me. The fire in my soul that stirs up every time I read Isaiah 58.

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.

And as Francis Chan stated at the conference, I will not let anyone talk me out of the compassion I feel right now. My head, heart, and soul is bursting. Something is going to spill!