Monday, December 20, 2010

not very christmas-y, but whatever.

Freedom can come only from contemplating death, not from pretending it doesn't exist.  Not from running from loss but from entering grief, surrendering to sorrow. - Eve Ensler, Insecure At Last

Monday, December 13, 2010

a gentle reminder . . .

Everything seems new if you are ignorant of history. - Rick Warren

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

pressure cooker

it is a tricky thing sometimes to know what to post and what not to post; which struggles should be dealt with alone and which should be dealt with in community.

i think i may need help on this one.

i want to talk about my greatest fears, my greatest hurts, my greatest embarrassments, my greatest joys. i want to live an unabashed open life and to be unapologetically myself, with both pride and humility in my character's strengths and flaws. i want to be able to lay my fears out and pretend that i don't struggle with them alone, that i don't try to hide them anymore but find strength in unmasking them within my daily actions and reactions. i want to be able to actually love my quirkiness as much as i pretend that i do. i want to embrace myself in a way which honours and adores the beauty within my soul and my struggles and my shortfallings.

i want to not sound crazy when thinking of you all reading this.

i miss the mark in so many things, in so many ways. i want so badly to stop feeling that i need to be perfect, to not feel that daily pressure to do everything in the exact right way. i want to know that the world won't crash if i make a mistake. i want to know that i am loveable just as i am.

i want the freedom to act thoughtlessly just for one moment without feeling guilty or fearful.

Breaking bad habits, bad thoughts. Slowly methodically painfully. one step at a time...

Monday, November 29, 2010

spreading my angst around the province

so i was a guest on CBC Manitoba's weekend morning show last sunday - listen to part 3 here!

Topic was "church shopping." Though i sort of cringe at that term, I think it turned out pretty well.

Be well, dear readers/listeners!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


i want a purple picket fence and a sense of stability. i want to throw caution to the wind. i want. i want to live this life as much as i can and to live myself as much as i know how. i want to draw lines around myself when appropriate. i want to let those lines down when appropriate. i want to know the difference. i want to be cherished. i want to be held gently, to not question who i know myself to be. i want to give myself grace. i want to know truth and speak it and live it. i want to be known. i want to be known. i want to grow where i am planted. i want to control things which i cannot; i want to be in these children's lives unconditionally. i want to stop living under this cloud. i want a hamster. i want to fly. i want to be less selfish and less confused. i want to live joy. i want you to see me, and know that i am enough.

Monday, November 22, 2010


i've got nothing today that i have the freedom to blog publicly. sort of a horrendous week. ugh.

here's a cartoon to lighten the mood; copyright info included.

Monday, November 15, 2010

why do i do this to myself

so i posted this on FB this week, and have felt pretty naked and uncomfortable ever since. so here it is (slightly edited for mass cosumption), for the world to see. it was in response to some questions by a friend.

so i have this button that says Trust God but Question Religion. if i had a mantra right now in my life it would be that. that's where i am at, completely.

the bible was written by people at the top of the cultural hierarchy, for people in top of the hierarchy, mostly to support their ideologies. so it makes me mad. but there is some truth mustard-seeded within, here and there, so everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt i think and we can't discount the truths that may lie within just because some oppressive dude said it.

i beleve in the person and work of Jesus - i hold onto that. and i find meaning in that, though it is excrutiating and time taking and takes a lot of faith to sift through the cultural patriarchy and other things to really get to the real person of Jesus and what she stood for. but i still hold onto that person with my life - maybe an emotional need. but my life has been saved more than once within this belief and in this trust with this person-God who i don't actually understand or comprehend but hold onto dearly for meaning. and i find meaning within communities which struggle with these things too - SCM type communities - who wrestle with the inherent oppression found within Jesus, the bible, christianity and who struggle and cry together in this pursuit of some meaning in this upside-down life. they are hard to find, but they are out there. and give me hope and reasons to continue on with it.

this faith gives me hope. there is something inside of me which does not accept that what we see is everything that is going on. i want to pursue the erotic joy which audre lorde writes about in all that i do and all that i am (please read the article so that you understand my non-creepy use of the word erotic here). i have experienced and believe something very very very good and loving exists which we can't see, but we can FEEL. that is what i pursue. it is both my strength and my weakness, my tool and my crutch. it sustains me and kills me at the same moment. and what is more erotic than that? carpe diem. especially when the future is so uncertain.

Monday, November 08, 2010

up and down and up #2

so this is inevitably how every blog posting and academic paper i write go;

i sit and struggle and try to push myself as hard and as far as i can go
i write it down
i normally think it brilliant and super perceptive
i post it/hand it in
a day later i read it and freak out because i think it sounds the stupidest thing in the world and feel embarrassed about ever saying those things and surprised that i still have friends/teachers who respect me at all.

it is a cycle which has become sort of funny to me. is all part of the process i guess. self-doubt self-doubt self-doubt

anyway, i promised you a sequel. here it is.

last post was a long rant about my last year - challenges i faced, things i overcame, learnings i've learned, things i am still struggling with.

i didn't mention much about God, and that surprised me a lot. But that has been its own journey the last little while. so this is what's been going on.

somewhere in 2008 i felt i had somewhat of an awakening; a real understanding and picture of what the world could be and was intended to be - a place of justice and of true LIBERATION (that word still excites me, so i will yell it). There was a moment where all that i have been struggling with reconciling with each other - things which i believed in thoroughly but seemed to counteract each other - made perfect sense together - Christianity, spirituality, religion, justice, feminism, oppression. i felt reawakened, alive, excited about this new vision/understanding. I was once frightened of God and his violence; his unattainable demands; the biblical words and stories where justice seems to be perpetuated within its very traditions and words.

i felt an aha moment where God became ever-bigger and where everything i cared about made sense to me. A God of no gender, who demands and creates justice, a God of ever-love to all no matter what race, religion, gender, a God who truly reaches out to us in so many ways, who hates patriarchy, injustice, oppression, and all that dehumanizes people.

everything made sense, and i was passionate to work towards a world where the words Christian and feminism and justice are commonly understood to work hand in hand together.

this went super well, for about a year (but what a year!)

somewhere along the way i started to lose hope. to lose hope in real change, to lose faith in the church that i held so dear that it would ever break its own chains and patterns of oppression. i felt so estranged and marginalized from the community that was such a part of my self-identity. i couldn't stomach walking into a church anymore, hearing and feeling its inherent oppression - its hierarchical patriarchal structures which perpetuate injustices and are full of power struggles. i jumped around from church to church hoping for a place where i could really feel like i belonged, but gave up to find this, in Winnipeg at least.

i felt tired of being othered from both the Christian community for being a feminist, and felt othered from the feminist community for being a Christian. It is a battle that I am tired of, and needed to take some time off.

this is getting long. anyway.

somewhere i lost hope in God, in the church. the two seem so intertwined. how can i work towards such a hurtful, injustice-perpetuating place? how can i actually be feminist in Christian places, or vice-versa? I was tired of being beat up from every side. see last post re: bitch quote.

so i wandered my own desert. found great comfort in SCM. felt really disconnected from God and her church.

and, like always, my wandering has seemed to take me full-circle back to where i started. i do trust God. i don't trust the church, or any religious structure really, to not be a tool of oppression and colonization. and after about a year of not being able to pray, play, find comfort in, dialogue or dance with God without feeling so pained about everything, i have been back to exploring this relationship that her and i have. this perpetual dance we have with each other throughout life of discovering each other a bit more, gaining distance, getting closer, back and forth.

i have been praying again, journalling again, pondering her ways and seeking a connection with her, also feeling comfort and some fulfillment in her presence again. so am experimenting with this again, intentionally inviting her presence into my life, consciously trying to open myself up to what she has to say to me. its been fun - familiar but strange and frightening in many ways. trust is so difficult.

i recognize, even today, how crazy this might sound. i really believe in a divine being who cares about our daily lives, who walk alongside me and who i can interact with in fun and significant and wild wild wild ways. who i am trying to remember loves me no matter what, and how important it is for me to have that sort of daily presence in my life. i am excited about this, and humbled.

still estranged from the church, and largely happily so. but we'll see where that leads as well. likely the full circle will come again where i will once again feel welcome within its reach and feel that i can believe in what it stands for again.

we'll see.

Monday, November 01, 2010

up and down and up up up

hello readership

so here is the you - knew-it-was-coming annual birthday retrospective. buckle up.

i have been 30 years old for about 1 day now. most everything feels the same. i even got carded again, which is sort of amusing but also sort of embarrassing.

i was thinking back to my birthday last year and am really taken aback at how different life is now than it was then. last year i decided on a theme for my birthday day, as well as for the year ahead, to revolve around courage, movement, and self-love. K R and C, my good friends, put up with my wackiness on that day. and still ask me how my theme is going. Well, here's the yearly report.

absolutely stellar.

It is so weird to think about the place that i was in a year ago. so . . . stuck. in so many ways. mentally, emotionally, even physically in many aspects of my life. i felt like i was in a huge hole that i couldn't possibly climb out of. i wallowed in hurts and was licking my wounds, scared to interact with the world and to trust again.

Courage was really important because all i wanted to do was cocoon myself and protect myself from the world. so much hurt and pain from everywhere. when i was younger i used to feel almost no emotion about anything - it was a way to protect myself from so much confusion and hurt. in college, in community, i learned to turn the switch on and feel . . . . which was exciting for awhile but once things turned sour i felt i had no skills to deal with it. That sort of kicked my ass with a vengeance during this time. i am a sensitive soul - perhaps too sensitive - in shocking contrast to who i was in my youth. I could probably have a better balance for this now, and am working on that. this quote resonated with me this week, being the feminist Bitch that i am;

Not all Bitches make it. Instead of calluses, they develop open sores. Instead of confidence, they develop an unhealthy sensitivity to rejection. Seemingly tough on the outside, on the inside they are a bloody pulp, raw from the lifelong verbal whipping they have had to endure - the BITCH manifesto

so after this year of whipping from all sides, i wanted to lock myself in a vault and forget about everything. Courage was important for me to not give up and to keep moving forward with life. And somewhere I found it. Thailand was a symbolically significant time for this. And I couldn't have found this courage without my community.

Movement - related. My psyche was so stuck in this place that i couldn't see which way was up anymore. dark dark dark. so much happened that year, all at once - the details of which i can't put on this page because it involves too many people i love. i felt that no matter how i tried, i couldn't get over this damned barrier. but somewhere along the way i have. clearly. i am no longer stuck in that mindset or thought pattern. i feel victorious and i also feel exhausted. and happy. and bigger and stronger.

self-love - if there is anything i still need to work on, it is this. i just don't know how to. it is difficult to unlearn everything you have been taught since a child. feminism has saved my life in this way and has allowed me to realize and believe that my voice is important, that i am important, that i am worth being listened to, that i will not be treated like i am not important anymore. victory on that! less victory on translating those into feeling that i am worth love, commitment, loyalty, time, gifts. less victory over my overwhelming reflex of self-blame for everything that goes wrong.

so... this year has brought much change, and many blessings. courage and movement - check. self-love - mini-check; still working on this one.

upcoming 2 posts: how God fits into all of this, and my focus for this coming year. stay tuned . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010


my brother Chaitanya posted this on his FB:

An adult may come to love another because of the other's characteristics; but it is the other person, and not the characteristics, that is loved. The love is not transferrable to someone else with the same characteristics, even to one who "scores" higher for these characteristics. And the love endures through changes of the characteristics that gave rise to it. One loves the particular person one actually encountered. Why love is historical, attaching to persons in this way and not to characteristics, is an interesting and puzzling question. - Robert Nozick

Which created a mild flurry of discussion. well, not flurry really, but i posted questions a few time.

i've been pondering the nature of love lately. what the hell is it? commitment? chemistry? where does it come from? why to one person and not another?

Nozick's quote both comforts and frightens me.

i have no answers. do you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

a rumbly in my tummy

monday morning. it is 7:51 and i just finished writing a paper.

also just finished reading over the last month's blog posts, and am somewhat mortified at how they all basically say the same thing over and over and over again, and also somewhat mortified at how mentally unstable i sound. it made me laugh out loud.

i do feel like i am going a little bit crazy and do feel like my life is somewhat out of control and do feel at the end of my capacity for tasks. at the same time, i do feel like i am making some headway into figuring how who i am and how this life works and how i work within it. loneliness and exhaustion allows me to explore a certain side of myself which I don't often have the will or ability to acknowledge. a scary place but also really liberating, in a crazy way. it is liberating to see parts of myself which i need to acknowledge and accept. also frightening to feel like i am sort of close to cracking.

i started this blog years ago as a discipline for self-growth, a true journal of things which are going on in my heart and mind. i try to push myself to always post something which makes me uncomfortable to reveal to others; something frightening and vulnerable. At the same time, i have recognized within the last 2 years there are areas that i just can't write about which i am dieing to write about, because they involve people in my life or secrets that i hold from certain people (wow, that sounded dramatic, but it doesn't feel that way - really, there are some things in life that you just don't want your boss to know about you, y'know?) but now it seems so confusing as to what the point of this blog is if i censor myself so much.

i want to be honest and i want to be safe at the same time. also i want to respect other people and not air relationship problems to everybody. i posted once about my mom and regretted it - though it wasn't even a big deal.

so now i feel torn between this desire for self-expression (something i have really grown to value the last few years, strangely, and am sort of addicted to it and feel i need it on a daily basis) and this desire to be truly honest. these two do not work together at all.

so it seems under ever post now there is the stream of what I WANT to say and what i want to express, and what i hold back. or try to express in a really roundabout vague way which i know is maddening for people. and for myself.

all part of the journey.

thanks for all your emails, friends. comments on my post, either on the wall or in my inbox are welcome and allow me to really flush out and figure out my thoughts and feelings. i need more people in my life that i can interact with about these things which are so damned important to me. and chances are i can be more honest to you off this wall than on it. :-)

love and puppies,

Monday, October 11, 2010

brain puke

so. anyway.

this is what is rumbling around in my head today:

thanksgiving. christopher columbus - asshole. marxist feminism. Nellie McClung. CED Gathering (x 1000). the infestation of ladybugs in my bathroom. my desperate need to be in bed right now vs. my desperate need to be at work. platform for action. Rendezvous. my lack of interest in church lately. women's worlds. money money money. mexico. bell hooks. how can i smash the patriarchy today? fear. loneliness. exhaustion. turning 30. my sore foot. i really need to go dancing sometime. the chocolate cookie i am about to eat. my fear of never being good enough. my desire to be loved and accepted and cherished as i am right now. closely related, the thanksgiving meal i will go to today with my family. masks. terror at the idea of being unloved; my overwhelming embarrassment to admit this publicly. i should be stronger than that. my desire to be grounded combined with the feeling that i've lost myself somewhere these few months. or maybe i am growing into something new. either way i seem unrecognizable to myself. oscar romero.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

incoherent. i blame the grapes

perhaps i am too self-indulgent.
perhaps i am more messed up than i think i am.
then again, perhaps i have simply had too much wine.

i just wrote and deleted this entire post. it was far too naked, far too honest, and i sounded far too crazy. too much bre for one sitting, i fear. too safe.
someday i hope to trust the world enough to actually post something like this.

Monday, September 27, 2010

scattered like leaves in a beesnest

hello dear friends

it is a bleary-eyed monday morning.

i am going mental a bit. this schedule is ridiculous. every spare minute i have i run to one of my offices because i am consistently behind. i feel exhausted and lonely. i whimper a lot and am in need of lots of love.

but enough of me trying to get you to pity me. let's dig a bit deeper.

so i am turning 30 soon! crazy. a milestone i am looking forward to, except i was watching a tv show yesterday that promised me the second i turned 30 that both my eyes and breasts would immediately sag. we'll see i guess. perhaps some great before and after pictures are in order.

30 - is it a big deal or not? i find age to be is such an unhelpful measurement, in many ways. as a woman, it is mostly held against me - every minute longer i live i lose more social power. i was reading Gloria Steinem and she mentioned that woman often become feminists later in their lives because as they grow older they realize how sexist and unfair the world is to women, but they didn't notice the full effects because as young women they had the most social power they would ever have. They are desired physically, sexually, and are very desired as consumers. Steinem says that young women's worlds feel very equal to men, in the classroom and in the general world. it is not until we hold jobs, get traditional marriages, get older that we realize how patriarchal the world actually is, and every year lost some sort of our social power.

i think she's right.

but screw that. i want to embrace 30. i want to embrace wisdom; a new form of life. i want to embrace my life for what it is and how i have made it my own while i continually fight off this haunting feeling that i have failed because i am unmarried, still a student, and don't own a house. what is success? when i am healthy and clear headed i feel successful - i am following my understanding of who I am and who God is and try to honour those everyday in the ways i live. when i am unhealthy and exhausted (like . . . today) i feel a failure - in debt, unstable, and maybe making silly choices which won't help my future. how do you fight these haunting feelings? why is it that at every family gathering people are more concerned about whether i have a husband or a home, rather than what i am doing to make my life more meaningful? that pisses me off.

this has turned into a rant, when really it was meant to be a "hey, i am embracing life" sort of post. but such is my brain.

anyway, what i am saying is this;
damn, i'm glad to be who i am
damn, i'm tired of these social pressures
damn, i really need to work on that paper.

love to y'all

Monday, September 20, 2010


hey y'all

happy monday morning
i feel so busy, so harried, that i am hardly in touch with myself or my feelings or who i am. yesterday i forced myself to sit and feel and process for about a half hour and it was frustrating because it seemed to barely scratch the surface of all that is irking me. some days i feel i don't even know who i am anymore; others i have a very precise picture and walk with that confidence. i guess this is normal in many ways, and part of the process of constantly growing and changing and walking anew.

i read my bible yesterday for the first time in eons. this hasn't been an intentional decision to not read it - more of a shift to only come at scripture when i have an open heart to hear what the words are saying, and not going through the motions. but i wonder if this lack of discipline, this lack of regular engagement, has to do with my feeling of not being grounded lately. not just with christian scripture, but with christianity in general; my feelings of estrangement and as if i have no place to actually belong. i feel i have lost a lot of grace with churches and denominations and instead of seeing good people and good intentions i see only hurtful structures and hurting people. neither of these views are exclusively true, and they need to both be held in the same hand to see a true picture. but i feel burned out, frustrated, hopeless that this large beast which i care so much about will one day be a truly inclusive and liberatory space for all to engage the divine.

i feel like a broken record, as i feel like my life is a broken record, keep around and around and back to the same problem and the same blog post.

i feel unsettled, unengaged, unprophetic, and uncalled. i feel a bit lost today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

truly ramblings

hello friends. enemies. comrades.

quick life update: I AM GOING MENTAL.

3 jobs - 2 classes - my plethora of volunteer commitments. not sure if i will last until december.

don't tell my bosses . . .

things are holding steady for now. the frustrating part today is that i seem to stress out because I KNOW that I will be stressed out in October. I am pre-stressing in anticipation of coming stress. isn't that stupid? right now i am holding steady and doing pretty well.

old patterns creeping in. not particularly healthy ones.

the process of growing and learning and changing seems so ridiculous to me sometimes. never-ending! always struggling in some form or another, wrestling with my angels or demons or myself. finding the right balance of self-love and motivation for self-betterment is sometimes tricky, especially when life seems so necessarily busy.

once i had thought i figured out the point of life. now i can't even REMEMBER what I thought it was - it was either so ridiculous or so elusive that I can't really recall it.

but i am sure it has something to do with the internet.

Monday, September 06, 2010

labour day

and nothing makes sense
life seems hazy and confused
every path impossible except for the one that i don't want
and where do we end? and where do we begin
and if i am growing and changing and not static
then how can i say with any certainty who i am at any given moment
what sort of butterfly am i
and why is this all so difficult

and fear lurks beyond every happy corner
risks in family dinnertimes and prolonged hugging
i don't know how tightly to hold onto these hopes

i don't know how tightly to hold onto these hopes.

Monday, August 23, 2010


hey all
happy monday

i have nothing substantial to say today, really. this is one of those hard days where feelings have no words and i have a hard time expressing myself. emotionally constipated. in need of an outlet but not sure how to do that. especially when i need to pretend that i am a professional and need to go to work and lead workshops and the like.

it is only 6:38 am and i am wondering why i always get up so early to do activist work and whether it really matters in the end, whether change is happening. i know change happens in my own life, and maybe that's enough, but i also wonder whether it is worth the pain and sweat and tears and pathetic income. i wonder at the value of formal organizations, religious and otherwise, outside of perpetuating the hurtful status quo. i wonder how long i will be able to perpetuate this feeling of hope for a better world when everyday there is something new and heinous to struggle against.

william blake said that the struggle is the blessing. maybe. but if so, where does wisdom lie? does it lie in working and raging or in sitting back and drinking beer and accepting the face that it is human nature to be violent to one another and knowing truly that i can't do anything about that.


it is dark outside, and i don't know if its becuase it is cloudy or because the sun quite isn't up yet or because i just can't see the sunshine or its effects today.

should i walk away from the church?

Monday, August 02, 2010


Freedom can come only from contemplating death, not from pretending it doesn't exist.  Not from running from loss but from entering grief, surrendering to sorrow. - Eve Ensler, Insecure At Last

Monday, July 12, 2010

angst on a monday morning

so . . . day 12 of july. i am having feelings.

really conflicting ones - really hard to figure out. hard not to be frustrated and angry with myself for my seeming determination to always have such a damned complicated life.

really, everything is unfolding like a dream. my new job is fantastic, and allows me some time to chill and spend time alone and figure my stuff out this summer. i wouldn't want a better schedule. soon i will be leaving for a week to volunteer at a peace camp for youth, and in august mom and candy and i are taking a trip to moncton.

i guess i feel frustrated with myself because i always have this tendency to be so forward looking that i can never enjoy the moment that i am in. trying to be present is exhausting. i feel like i am always spending all of my attention trying to get somewhere else that i step on all of the roses which God is gifting to me today.

so this day seems so full of promise, but i know it will be somewhat full of angst. where do i find the balance between accepting and loving my neurosis and my drive to always move forward, to never be static, and finding contentment in today? how can i both love who i am and also try to learn about myself and be open to change? how can i both love who i am and who i will be at the same moment?

is this a stupid thing to feel angst about? anyway.

off to work! much love to y'all.

Monday, July 05, 2010

shakespeare and star trek

hello friends
i don't have very profound things to say today. except that i feel really happy. i guess that's profound enough?

july marks a new season of life - a time of preparation! for exciting stuff come september

i started my new job today at CCEDNET and it felt super comfortable. this working part-time thing is pretty glorious. i am typing on my new laptop - have been saving up for this for like 5 years. have been using my new ipod - the tools on it are way more useful than i thought, and i am super enjoying how streamlined it has made a lot of things in life. i am really shocked at how much i use it for practical purposes (i am not so shocked about how much i use it to play tiki totems, but am working on cutting down . . . ). i am looking forward to 2 months of really intense self-exploration and all of the anger, joy, release that brings. maybe my expectations are a bit high for 2 months, but i am determined to work pretty damn hard at this. i think i might need to buy a new journal soon...

september starts anew with classes and my job at UNPAC - filled with lots of new challenges and lots of exciting people. i am looking forward to everything. this is a very new feeling for me! i want september to be a rebirth in all ways spiritual. i am working very hard to reach that goal!

here's to the undiscovered country . . . i'll keep you all updated!

Monday, June 21, 2010

i haven't rambled lately . . . so here you go


I pretty much live at the toronto airport

Have been there, or through there, 6 times within the past month, while gallivanting across Ontario


I am reminded today

I am reminded of God, her graciousness, her beauty, and most of all, God’s promises. Faith is a powerful thing, and everytime I willingly step into it fantastic things happen. You would think I would remember this lesson, but I seem to have to often re-remind myself of Christ’s promises and continuous gift of grace. Stepping out in faith is so damned frightening – this invisible yet sturdy safety net

I have been finding much meaning lately in remembering, and in sitting in that remembrance, of who God is and who I am in Christ.

I have been thinking a lot about identity. Mostly because I feel I don’t have one – feel somewhat lost in some wilderness of my own making. Same story with me as always, I guess (am I stuck? Am I manifesting?). I think I find my footing and then it disappears and I remember again not to rely on things of this world (is this an actual lesson, or my counterphobic 6 paranoia creeping out again? I can’t actually tell. I understand this may not be super healthy . . . ). Anyway that probably didn’t make any sense

I quit my job. It was a frightening thing to do, but necessary. I think I was supposed to do that a long time ago but couldn’t find the courage. So I stepped out, and opportunities have been coming out of the woodwork to me in really humbling ways.

So I have a new job! Interim Coordinator of UNPAC, which is a women’s equality organizations, mostly focused on economic issues in Manitoba. How cool is that?

And some other opportunities have been pouring in

It is nice to feel so wanted, so affirmed in the work I do and who I am. I haven’t searched out any of these, once people found out that I am free they have been contacting me left and right. Really good for my sense of self-esteem.

I feel like life is shifting again and starting over . . . starting fresh! Super excited about that. Everything starts in September – pursuing full-time school again while balancing really meaningful employment which will make me excited. SO GOOD!

So this summer, this july and august I won’t have much on my agenda to do. Might pick up a part-time job . . . but most of it will be focused on me. (selfish much?) really. This seems like such a spiritual opportunity to flush myself out, dig out my demons, remember who I am. I want to become comfortable with myself again, to look in the mirror and see myself the way my creator has made me to be. To stop being so damned self-deprecating and so pushed and pulled by external forces. I WANT TO BE A ROCK. Sexy, no? I am tired of being swayed back and forth, and of not remembering who I am and who god is.

So here’s to summer . . . it will involve a lot of journaling, a lot of writing, a lot of babies (not mine . . . but cute ones I am related to), a lot of my mother and a lot of soul-searching. I am so thankful to Christ for this opportunity for intense self-reflection and to resurrect, again, anew and fresh. To leave the past in the past, and to look towards a future of windy, scary, blessed, exciting roads!

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Monday, May 31, 2010


I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system." - Peter Rollins

Monday, May 17, 2010

a remembering

At the end of April 2009 I was a guest speaker at a Christian college in Kansas. In their chapel I spoke about gender issues within the Church, and the day after I gave a short sort of motivational talk to the group of senior women.

Cleaning my office last week, I came across my printout of that speech to those women. And I looked it over and it shocked me! There were so many things in there that I said, that I was so convinced of, which I seemed to completely forget about just a few days later when life threw me a curveball. May 2009 began a year of much hurt, struggle, and confusion including my own health problems, family member’s health problems, money issues, and other deeply significant changes. Everything seemed so out of my control and unfair. And confusing and angrifying (did I just make up that word?). I felt so powerless over everything and didn’t understand anything that was happening. I still don’t.

These are the words of wisdom that I had in April 2010 which I shared with those women:

(my grandiose life plan of marriage and cats and kids and ministry didn’t work out). Did I fail? It felt like it. It really did. I thought I messed up my life, in a way permanent and unfixable.
I didn’t fail. I have come to understand that these twists and turns of life, of God, were such blessings, even though I didn’t consider them such at that time. Life will never go exactly as planned. And, though that is hard and somewhat painful, if you come at it with an open heart and your eyes on Christ, you will discover that these twists and turns are actually invitations to an exciting, faith-filled, life of adventure and holy discomfort. Without these twists, I never would have discovered my deep gladness . . .

It is now May 2010, a significant time for me and a beginning of what I hope to be a newly re-birthed adventure. I look at these words and am stunned (primarily because they sound so ridiculous and cheesy), but also because whatever wisdom I had that day that I spoke of was quickly discarded in the midst of hardship. Strange and discouraging. But also helpful in that I remember that this, too, shall pass, and remember that grace abounds in this world. That today, though difficult, will look vastly different to me in a few years from now. Now I see only a dark piece of the whole; someday I will be able to see the entire painting.

What I need to do now is to believe that, when finished, this mysterious painting will turn out to be beautiful. Breathtaking. This is my struggle today. But when I look back at the lines drawn so far, they’re not all bad, and have a lot of promise. This gives me hope. My community gives me hope. Winnipeg gives me hope. On even the darkest of days there are gifts around me which lift up my spirit and make me smile.

I am thankful that there is always some form of tomorrow. Thanks be to God.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Student Christian Movement

Conference. Conference. Conference.


Much happiness and liberation, tied with much sadness and challenge. This is my third SCM conference, and this seems to be the running theme throughout them all; they are always a time of significant life changes, new beginnings, and cutting endings.

I think I’ll focus on the joy and liberation. The challenge is too tricky to deal with via paper.

SCM is my family. These people are all so important to me. If I have a home it is with this community of people, these quintessential ragamuffins who are all so beautiful in their honesty and in our collective relative brokenness. Behold the bread and wine.

Part of my joy in this is my ability to serve in ways which I am unable to serve back in my real life. My church relations are so estranged and painful, and I have been kept out of full participation in my evangelical home for a number of reasons (mostly my GENDER, which pisses me off. Anyway . . . ). Being able to participate within worship by speaking, drumming, and administering communion was so healing for me. I felt supported, a vital part of a spiritual community, affirmed in my calling as a child of God and as a prophet of Christ. I gave and I received and I was healed and I had a part in healing others. ‘twas beautiful. And I feel hopeful about life and the church again for the first time in eons.

Sort of a spiritual refueling, a remembering of who I really am, who I really want to be, and a commitment to dealing with my oozing junk.

Feels good. Feels scary. Feels like myself again, or at least on the road back to engaging myself again.

Thanks be to God.

Monday, April 26, 2010

to boldly go where no bre has gone before

Real power is usually unspectacular, a simple setting aside of fear that allows the free flow of love. But it changes everything. - Martha Beck

there are lots of changes and challenges coming in my life! this quote means a lot to me today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

True Dat.

When you take the life of someone to eat or otherwise use so you can survive, you become responsible for the survival - and dignity - of that other's community. If I eat a salmon . . . I pledge myself to ensuring that his particular run of salmon continues, and that this particular river of which the salmon are a part of thrives. If I cut a tree, I make the same pledge to the larger community of which it's a part. When I eat beef - or for that matter carrots - I pledge to eradicate factory farming. - Derrick Jensen

Monday, April 12, 2010


"Pray with your legs." - Will Braun

i love this.
may i add?
pray with your spirit, your body. pray with your bike. pray with your hands, your soul. pray with colors. pray with diversity. pray with sticks and stones and peaceful gestures. pray with grace. pray with your computer, your pen, your mind. pray with your ears. pray with your music. pray with your integrity. pray for your nose, your eyes, your tongue. pray with the snow.

any more?

Monday, April 05, 2010

i don't know how to garden. but anyway.

I want to practice nonviolence. I want to practice joy. I want to learn from my enemies, even if all I learn is not to be like them. I want to get the last word. I want to do a little bit of everything, and when I'm not stirring some pot somewhere or creating some drama, then I want to be alone in my garden. - Donna Brazile

Monday, March 29, 2010

punch in the gut

If there is any definitive route to happiness, it is surely sense of place. - John Scoles

I feel somewhat homeless.

Proverbially speaking, of course. I am very privileged and blessed with a safe place to live. But I no longer feel the sense of place which I once felt.

Part of this is because my sense of place has been moved around from time to time, and because I don’t currently feel an anchor. At one time I felt wholly identified with Evangelicalism; within that body of people who understood God to be a certain way. Another time I felt anchored within the faith-based social justice movement, because God seemed more real and honest there than within the churches. I’ve tried other God-rooted groups. And Godly rooted relationships. Constantly looking for a home to rest in. These never seem to last, for one reason or another.

If I do have any true anchor, it is within Christ. But my understanding of who Christ is seems to shift so often. God’s bigness is difficult to work with. The more I know, the more I am convinced that I don’t know, the more intangible a relationship or a true understanding of the divine is.

Lately I feel like I have lost track of Christ. Like I have diverted my eyes for a second and Christ dissolved into the air, into the waters, into my skin. Which is cool, but frightening because it seems that Christ is so damned unknowable, so intangible, so frighteningly large and lovely and scary and I don’t know how to follow any longer because Christ is everywhere. Which is beautiful, but confusing, and I sort of long for the days where I felt so assured of heaven and hell and black and white and I knew the boundaries and where I fit in. I don’t know the boundaries anymore. And I definitely don’t know where I fit in anymore. And churches feel either exclusive and steeped in rules or inclusive and unanchored. And I love Anglicanism but I don’t think that it loves me. And I love the United Church but I don’t know how to do it – I don’t know the language and I don’t understand the discourse and I feel like an outsider looking into this wonderful group of graceful people. And I don’t know what to think about the atonement, or about communion, the sacrificial lamb story, the torn curtain, the mysterious parables, on and on and on.

I suspect this is good for me. But it feels like crap.

Monday, March 22, 2010


A child learns early there is a fashionable and an unfashionable in the world, an ugly and a pretty, a valued and an unvalued. Where this system comes from, God only knows, but it is rarely questioned, and though completely illogical and agreed upon by everyone as evil, it remains in play, commanding our emotions as a possession. It isn't something taught to us by our parents; it is something that comes naturally, as though a radioactive kind of tragedy happened, screwing up our souls. Adulterated or policed, the system can grow to something more civilized, but no less dominant as a drive of nature.
- Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010


So I don’t have a rational thought pattern, but there are a lot of thoughts and feelings and overwhelming confusion going on in my brain today. So I’m just going to get it out. I can’t guarantee it will come out as sensical. These are basically the things I am thinking about.

I am pondering the role that anger has in forgiveness. I have recently been discovering that it might be an essential part of the forgiveness process. This seems crazy to me, and I am trying to figure this out. It might make more sense than I first considered.

As sure as I think I am about my authenticity in my faith and my relationships, I am constantly haunted by the question of whether I am actually full of crap. Is my faith simply a crutch? Do I believe in God only because the alternative is so terrifying? Is there any substance to my faith? Am I actually as honest with myself and others as I pretend to be? Does my sense of self worth rely on you liking me, and thinking me a good person? Do I have strength, or am I full of garbage? Do I have faith? Who am I fooling in this? You? Myself? I am sorry to both of you. I am trying as hard as I can. Or at least I think I am.

There are too many things on my plate right now. This is my fault, as always. I am scared because I don’t think I have the capabilities to complete all of these tasks. I am also scared of disappointing people who are relying on me. See above point.

I feel stuck. In so many ways.

At the same time these last few days I have felt very liberated. Very free, very powerful, and very lonely. Why do these always seem to come together? Though…

…I feel less liberated today, probably part of the regular ups and downs of moving towards a stable life again. Which is a good sign, I guess.

I want community. And I want to be happy where I am right here right now. And I want to know that I am surrounded by people who will stand beside me through hell and highwater. And moreso I want to be worthy of being stood beside. My friends are excellent. I suspect they would stand beside me during trying times, but I am too afraid to tell them what’s going on in fear of being walked away from. I want to trust my friends. I want to trust myself. I want to love like I’ve never been hurt. I want to sing like everyone is listening. And I want to trust God and dance again. But I feel glued to the floor.

And I’ve been going to counseling which has been really good for me. I’m a big believer. But find it difficult to ignore my deeper issues now, stupid counseling. Mostly my struggle with liking who I am and being able to see any beauty in who I am and what I do on a daily basis. That was hard to say. I feel naked now. Oh well. Its probably good for me. My struggle with self love and acceptance is compounded in places where I feel muzzled and unable to be myself, which is basically everywhere in my life, in different ways in different circumstances.

I want to find strength in God, in myself, and always work out of that. When I am able to work from that place, it feels magical, and I feel strong and I feel myself. But I am haunted by the fact that I lack the courage to do this everyday. I hide and I roleplay and I pretend and I play it safe. Because this world is so unsafe. How do I choose between my personal safety and my personal liberation? I feel stuck in a little box in most of my daily interactions. I hope to one day learn to work out of my liberation, and not out of my fear.

And I fear how lame this whole post sounds, and I am worried about whether I am trying to manipulate you, and whether I’m just using this blog as another crutch and a cry out for some sort of misguided juvenile need for attention.

But I am going to pretend that I’m not worried about that.

Ok, I feel better now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Talking about cultural assumptions, passion, and flexibility in the Bible upsets many people, for it feels like the edge of a slippery slope. How can we depend on the Bible, if it's not consistent? I answer that the Bible is consistent, but not mechanically, mathematically consistent. The Bible is consistent the way a human personality is consistent. A person is shaped by her experience, has different moods, and waffles on certain issues, yet if we know her well, we can usually anticipate her reactions. Once in a while, of course, she will surprise us - it's the surprises that keep friendship growing. In the same way the Bible, for all her variety, shows generally predictable patterns. She also surprises us once in a while - perhaps even in a verse we have studied many times before. Could we expect less from eh word of a living God? - Marti J. Steussy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Biblical truth is not the unconditional truth of natural law, but a truth sensitive to the everchanging circumstances of human life (Note how the proclamations of condemnation and punishment in Jeremiah and Ezekiel change to consolation and comfort when Judah falls.) On the authority side, how do we square our image of the despotic lawgiver with a faith that proclaims God crucified, and whose chief apostle says, "all things are lawful" (1 Cor 6:12)? Marti J. Steussy

Monday, February 01, 2010

'bout time i'm a radio star

So I was on Wooden Spoons this week, talking about the Kairos funding cut.

Click above, go to show "wooden spoons" and its the January 29th, 2010 edition.

It was fun, although I wish I didn't say "Um" so damn often.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Check out this short movie, scored by local artist Cat Jahnke.


Monday, January 18, 2010

guns and butter

“What would happen if we were to do away with our armed forces?
If that sounds foolish it’s probably because the idea of disarming would be as unwise today as it would have been in ancient Israel. It doesn’t make sense to lay down weapons in a world where God has often used them to protect His people.”

These words, from the 1997 edition of Our Daily Bread (yeah, I’m a bit behind in my reading . . . ) were jarring to me.
Perhaps because immediately after I read the first line, I was filled with a feeling of peace and excitement. What if we were to do away with our armed forces? What if everyone was to? What if there were no guns or projectile weapons? This sentence enabled me to envision a world which offered more peace to people than the world we live in today.

But then I read on. And apparently I am foolish, and am denying God’s blessing of violent weapons, as this article states.

I simply can’t find God within violent acts. Or violent weapons. Or violent toys, or violent words. I cannot reconcile the person of Jesus with my country’s commitment to violence overseas, and violence to its own people.

The idea of ancient Israel laying down its weapons doesn’t seem foolish to me. Instead, it seems radical. Loving. Countercultural and meaningful. It seems embracive of a different way of living, a way in which all God’s children are respected and nurtured.

Unwise? Most certainly. Radical? Yes. Affirming of God’s life, creation, peoples, words of peace? Most definitely.

Friday, January 15, 2010


God, you are the one who gave me life.
Why are we suffering?

- Lines of a hymn sung among the survivors of Haiti's earthquake while camped overnight in St. Pierre's Plaza, Port-au-Prince. (Source: McClatchy)

Monday, January 11, 2010


Our real journey in life is interior: it is a matter of growth, deepening, and of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts. - Thomas Merton

Tuesday, January 05, 2010



I’m glad you’re reading this.

Anyway . . .

A number of people have asked me if I am making any New Year’s resolutions for 2010. I guess I just might seem like the type to do so?

Well, I am. Sort of. But I normally make these resolutions around my birthday, which I find much more of a significant milestone.

On my 29th, I made a commitment to pursue 3 things this year: courage, movement, and self-love. I also forced my close friends to participate in a bizarre birthday ritual focusing on these 3 pursuits (thanks for doing that with me, friends). These three words are very powerful to me, and have been shaping my life and my everyday activities over the past 2 months.

What is good about new year’s is that it comes exactly 2 months after my birthday. It is an opportunity to remember the commitments I have made, to refocus and regroup. What I LOVE about New Year’s is that it always feels so fresh, so promising, like an opportunity to start anew. It reminds me of the resurrection of Christ, of being reborn, of all the promises in Paul’s letters about who we truly are in Christ. New Year’s reminds me that everyday I have the opportunity to start over, to start fresh and clean, to remember that I am clothed in Christ and that through Christ’s person and actions that I am made brand spanking new. The imagry of being clean is powerful to me today, and sort of makes me cry. I guess that’s connected to my need to work on self-love.

So New Year’s reminds me of who I am. And the commitment I have made to myself to keep exploring who I am, keep exploring Christ, and to try and hold true to all that I have learned in this life, and to hold true to who I understand myself and Christ to be. And it reminds me of the abundant grace that has been offered to me, the wonderful gift that I have and my ability to wake up every morning with a clean slate. To be reminded that I am a forgiven and renewed being, free from any blemish deadly enough to separate me from the Love of God. Also theoretically free from anything significant enough to separate me from loving myself. Which I guess is still a lesson I need to learn . . . .

Grace Grace Grace