Tuesday, July 29, 2008

24 hours from now...

i'll be awake, jumping on my suitcases to make sure everything fits in. going over the ever-growing check list in my head, and on random sticky notes all over the place, to make sure i have everything i could possibly imagine needing in malawi, africa. i have a feeling i'll get over there and realize i completely overpacked!

if you enjoy living vicariously through other people's experiences then please check out the team's blog that i'll be updating while we're there:


i'll hopefully check facebook and maybe email once or twice while i'm gone. i'll be back August 15 with tons of pictures and stories to tell.
until then... love,

Monday, July 21, 2008

8 days and counting...

I leave for Malawi in 8 days. We had our last team meeting tonight. I'm completely overloaded with information, stressed out about what to pack, and i just realized I have no idea where my plane ticket is. I'm having a panic attack almost everyday. I didn't used to get so scared about traveling. I think there will come a point where I will relax, it probably just won't happen until I'm on the long flight, listening to Jim Dale read me Harry Potter Book 6 (i know, i'm way behind) on my iPod. I am trying to remind myself of a quote from Bono when he was being interviewed by Bill Hybel, "There's an adventure here. We mustn't describe this stuff as a burden, as a duty. It's really an opportunity, an adventure!"

I'm also trying to remind myself of a good verse in the Bible, Psalm 27:1, "The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

thrift stores & fair trade

i am approaching a season of change. i want to be different. i'm trying new things. thinking a lot. and i'm pretty excited about where i'm going with all this. it makes sense in my head, but it's not all quite to the point where it would make sense if i wrote it down. one part i can verbalize is a pretty simple concept. but i bet it'll be harder to live out. i'm wondering if it would be possible for me to purchase only second-hand or fair trade clothing for the next year. i've been hearing and reading a lot about the benefit of fair trade and about how so much of what we buy is made by mistreated women and children in 3rd world countries who are forced to work in awful conditions. i'm not ok with that. but i am lazy. it's so much easier to go to the mall if i need... ok lets be honest, WANT something. but with the economy the way it is, it would save me so much money to shop second hand. and then after hearing todd's message this morning on james 5 i am convinced that spending lots of money on myself is helping no one (there are exceptions... like spending money on therapy for myself and an occasional massage... those are helpful). spending a little money on fair trade items would be helpful to others.

ok, so maybe this isn't that easy of a concept. again, it makes sense in my head. i'm going to keep thinking. but not too much longer because i want to be a do-er, not just a thinker.

july 4th weekend

i learned two new skills this weekend:
how to surf and how to get really cool pictures with sparklers. both very fun.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I will inspire!

For far too long, i have looked to songs, poems, strong coffee, catchy quotes, strokes of paint, sunsets, sweet smells, and sad moments to inspire me. Like lust, inspiration is great, but fleeting. I have described myself on facebook or myspace as someone who is "easily inspired for a moment". I need it, I want it, I have to have it. It's great while it lasts, but i can never get enough of it.

I came home from a good day at work, excited about taking a bubble bath while eating grapes, drinking white wine (i know, they're kinda the same thing... just in different forms), and starting a book that I was actually thrilled about reading. I doubted my ability to read far into this new book. I was, after all, inundated in warm, soapy goodness. It's like trying to read while laying out at the beach. You have great intentions, but it usually lasts like 5 minutes and then you're asleep or uncomfortable in your book reading position, so you lay it down and play with a handful of sand instead. But on this shockingly not so A.D.D. occasion, I read like 60 pages. Jesus and Shane Clairborne explained to me what it's like to live as an 'ordinary radical'. As a generation of christians that have been told everything we are NOT supposed to do, we are struggling to find what we can do... what we can think... who we can be. I was reminded of a very prophetic phrase that my dad told me a few years ago. I was in the middle of a depressing, anxiety driven graphic design program, and was looking for inspiration. After listening to me complain about how hard it is to find inspiration for a project i don't want to do, he simply said, "maybe you shouldn't worry so much about how to become inspired. Maybe it's time you start inspiring others." It's something I'd known for a long time, but hearing him say it was like giving me permission to believe it. He was so right. It's almost like i'm being selfish searching for this 'minute-lasting' inspiration, when i have so much inside me that i can give to others.

So reading this book (it's called The Irresistible Revolution: living as an ordinary radical, btw), even though i'm only 60 pages in, I think i'm becoming aware of what i need to do. I need... i want... i have to inspire. I am an artist with a gut-wrenching passion for the world. I need to tell the world's stories. I want to rip open the glazed eyelids of the jaded individual. I have to inspire if change is going to occur.

By the way... if you are looking for inspiration, there are a few things that God has given to me recently that has totally worked. And i wasn't even searching for it...
Driving with the windows down with a good song on the radio when the sun starts setting
(it works best if you're in southern california :), running into a friend i hadn't seen in 7 years at the grocery store, a great hug from someone who loves me.