Friday, March 27, 2009

Lasagna helps, a little.

Today I stood in a catholic church and sang about heaven. I looked around at the people in the pews, most of them old - some with white hair, some hunched over, some with oxygen tanks, some with canes, others healthy. I looked up to the front of the stage where my Auntie Elsa smiled at me from behind the glass covering of a large framed picture that stood beside her ashes in a box. The priest spoke about heaven, and prayed for Auntie Elsa's soul. We went next door to St. Michael's Hall and ate lasagna and biscotti and drank coffee. And that's it. Auntie Elsa is gone. My Nonni's sister, my dad's aunt, our next door neighbor in Edgewood. I loved her, and I will miss her. I believe she knew Jesus, so I have hope I'll see her again. Right now, though, my heart is heavy for the people in attendance today who don't think they will see her again - or worse, think they will, but won't. Or think they might, but aren't sure. What a scary, uncertain feeling! I sensed hopelessness there today. What do you say when heaven isn't real to you? What do you think of death? When JB found out Auntie Elsa died, he said, "but that just wasn't on my calendar." It's never on anyone's calendar, and the lasagna after the service can only comfort for so long.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some of my favorite Scripture

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:24-28a

Ignored by the world but RECOGNIZED by God; terrifically ALIVE though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives but refusing to die; immersed in tears,yet always filled with DEEP JOY; poor yet making many RICH, having nothing and yet possessing EVERYTHING.
2 Corinthians 6:9-10

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blogging breeds narcissism... I think.

My fingers move across the keyboard in an attempt to prick morsels of meaning out of the air, out of cyberspace, out of my head, and meld them together in an intelligible, articulate, ultimately meaningful blog post.

What does blogging really accomplish, though? It enlightens others to my thought processes, makes them aware of what I care about and sometimes informs them of funny or interesting events in my life. Of course you want to know all about me and my opinions. Does this form of relaying information from my brain to your brain help define who I am? Maybe.

Sometimes, I get so fed up with my blog, email, iChat, facebook, I just want to delete it all and go climb to the top of a remote mountain and get all this cyber mumbo jumbo out of my system. I just want to extricate myself. Ahhhh. But the next day I'm usually right back at it. I put off another paper to post another quite unecessary blog. I can never bring myself to delete things either, because, maybe I'll want to read them later, right? (Thank goodness for gmail and it's archival capabilities... I never delete a single email. Currently I have over 3,000 emails in my inbox.) Why is it so hard for me? As if, if I delete it, I lose a part of my history or identity.

"I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies... it's exhausting. "
(from He's Just Not that Into You)
Why does my pulse quicken when I see that little red box in the bottom right hand corner of my facebook page? Who is talking to ME, who invited ME to an event, who was admiring a photo of ME? Yes, I enjoy sending other people messages and looking at other people's photos, but really it's all about that little red box.

When I think about it, it's exhausting to worry (even if it's subconsciously) about how I am projected through different mediums to all different kinds of audiences. I wish I didn't care when no one comments on my blogs, but I do. I wish I wasn't concerned about my various portrayals through the internet, or that it didn't really affect me, but it does... I haven't really decided what I'm going to do about it yet. Or if I'm even going to do anything at all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I wrote this story about four years ago when I was in England. I came across it tonight, and thought I'd post it. I hope my writing skills have improved a little since then, and although the lesson learned seems elementary, it is still applicable and a good reminder for me at present.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was not the most adventurous
person you would ever meet. She had lived at home her entire life, and
had never even been away for an extended period of time with the
exception of a week or two away here or there. She loved her house and
her town and her family and her friends. She had a car that she loved
driving around the area where she lived, or her little bubble, which
stretched for not very many miles in either direction. She, to say the
least, was comfortable.

When she was sixteen, she started a job. That was different for her
because it changed her schedule and tied her down; but she adjusted.
She grew to love her job and the people she worked with. She again became

When she was eighteen she started attending college in her bubble.
This made her nervous and she did not really want to go, because she
was unsure of what she wanted out of life and felt like she did not
have a solid goal to pursue. However, because her family encouraged
her, she went. She began to enjoy the classes she was taking and the
people she was getting to know. She again became comfortable.

Now she had been attending college for almost a year, working at her
job for almost three years, and she was perfectly content.

On an ordinary day in her ordinary life, her sister asked if she
wanted to move to England together for six months and go to a Bible
school. She thought about it carefully and realized that this
meant she would have to leave, or in more brutal terms, burst, her
bubble. On this ordinary day she decided to spontaneously apply. Both
she and her sister were accepted, so they moved to England.

She was nineteen when she got to the school, and did not know a soul
besides her sister, but she began making friends. She began attending
lectures. She began traveling around the UK. She became familiar with
her surroundings. She again became comfortable.

How can a person whose bubble was only a circumference of a few
hundred miles stretch overnight to thousands of miles? How can a
person who is nervous to get a job and go to a community college in
her area pick up and move to a different country to go to school
without having a nervous breakdown? It is because she serves a God who
is bigger than her bubble. He can break a bubble so fast you won't
even realize it's broken until you look back on its glistening remains
on the ground.

This story may seem boring to you, but it was a life changing
experience for me. I am the girl in the story. I allowed God to become
the center of my bubble. I say bubble, because I am still living in
one and so are you. No matter how fast our bubbles are popped, they
reform even faster. It may not be the same bubble I lived in a year
ago, but it is a bubble all the same. Staying outside of our bubble is
a constant state of action. If we really want God to use us with
eternal significance, we need to put Him in the center of our bubble
and allow Him to constantly be holding the pin...