Sunday, December 16, 2007

stealing thoughts:
I read the following article a couple weeks ago when i was beginning to contemplate how I felt as through God wanted us to go about communicating with others this coming year. should we continue blogging? if so, how much? for what purpose? under what conditions? we're not traveling anymore, and really - that was the sexy appeal to reading of our ramblings.

so here is my adaptation of the article cited earlier to help explain and put structure to these tangential thoughts and musings.

"(with many personal adaptations - just thought I would put the quotes here to make sure you all know that I am not this fluid with my words - these are mostly the words of others) Back when "blog" was a typo, I journaled. Since taking up this little bit of writing as means of sharing my thoughts on matters, developing ideas, and seeking to generate discussions on matters of love, community, poverty, politics, etc., I'm journaling substantially less. In fact, I'm really not journaling at all.

Lately though, I'm feeling the need to journal prayers because blogging is a little bit like public speaking: there's only so much you can write before it becomes an unhealthy dumping ground, which we all know I have utilized this space in the past for. And the very act of limiting disclosure creates an even greater necessity for a platform where one can be honest with God. The Psalmist calls this pouring out his heart. And the Psalmists, both David and others, did it well. The full range of doubt, fear, anger, praise, rest, trust, gratitude, awareness of beauty and ugliness, pain and healing, are all expressed, directly to God. I wonder: if David had known his work would be published, would he have been as open?

The danger with blogging instead of journaling, or keeping facebook instead of having people over for supper, is that these pixel and byte sized versions of ourselves can easily become confused with our real selves. But they never are.

My real self right now is profoundly moved by the beautiful early mornings, before the sun is up, because the air is invigorating and cold, and the hints of impending long winter genuinely create joy within. But I'm also profoundly aware of my own struggles and doubts right now, mostly centered around feelings of inadequacy for my calling to love my neighbors as much as I love myself. I know the right answers; know that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. And yet... I just feel awkward, even though I'm truly excited about the ever increasing communication and small miracles being demonstrated and the potential behind it. I'm also simply just experiencing an indescribable joy in response the out-pouring of grace, love and honor that has been given to both of us by our family, friends, neighbors, students, clients & co-workers. We also have been learning how to live within and gain energy from the struggles, anxieties, worries, grief and brokenness of those same very people. This area is affecting me more deeply than I'd care to admit, because I'm finding myself desperately wanting to make each day stretch longer, involve more love, be able to give more, give better. Yet, its precisely because of this that I have been biting off too much that seems 'important'. When I do this two things happen: 1) I feel so overwhelmed that I'm not certain what to actually do in the next moment. Long 'to do' lists of 'things' having a paralyzing effect on me sometimes, and 2) Relationships suffer. This bothers me, and I'm in the midst of talking with God about it.

That's why I'm going to begin limiting entries like this one today, with an effort to make them a rare platform and more less a sharing ground for you to see pictures and enjoy the light of our lives. I want to talk with you all more often, and if not talk - write personally. All other things, it seems to me at this time, belong in a journal. I'm thinking of the story of Moses, when the children of Israel, having been delivered from Egypt, are complaining to Moses because they think they're about to die. (Exodus 14) He speaks boldly in front of Israel, but it's clear that when he's along with God he pours his heart out, which apparently included his own doubts Moses isn't being two people - he's simply being discreet about where he expresses certain things.

I'm not even certain why I'm writing this entry, other than a desire to share with you that this isn't the platform where I'm going to pour my heart out any longer. I am different than movie and book reviews, ideas about the kingdom, politics and economics, hiking trails (although there are times when I feel most at home and like who I was created to be when I am hiking). I'll still blog because I think talking points on matters where love and God intersects life are important, and because I want to share what I'm learning through various experiences in hopes that others might learn too. But I am not my blog. I refuse to have a deeper relationship with a box and keys than with you."

On a side note:
We decided this year that we were going to gift our neighbors with love. making dozens and dozens of various flavors, types, combinations of muffins to give. Books are also flooding in for the kids; a couple other randoms for others including $10 worth of lotto tickets for Abuela; and amaryllis indoor growing kits for our widows, not to be confused with windows.

A couple pictures for the past month:

: jake's brother jason came down for a visit to pick up his new bike, not to be confused with our new bike covered up in the backdrop :

: yes, we went thrift store shopping. yes, I got a pretty dress & yes, jake bought a real chicago fireman jacket. his reasoning, "why wouldn't you buy a jacket that's wind proof, water proof, fire proof & high visibility." right. :

: Edgar & Jiaya on a lazy Saturday afternoon :

: the kids have been doing things around our home and for the neighbors to earn money for Christmas gifts. now i am beginning to see the perks of having kids of our own. for only $2 we got our entire 10' X 10' kitchen floor swept & scrubbed. we paid another $2 for the bathtub and toilet. yes, we had them clean our toilet :

: flip it yourself if possible - Christmas with the DeBoni's. Motorcycle jackets that honestly keep me toasty - a hard feat - and hot chocolate. Thanks parents! :

: Christmas lights at Lincoln Park Zoo :

: ...with the kids. and note: upon arrival, you receive these... :

: ...which allow you to see this! :

: and then there was Santa. A really skinny Santa :

P.S. We've also attempted to be diligent in "forgetting" our camera. sometimes memories are better left inside the imagination i believe.


Indian Lake Papa said...

I enjoy pouring over your thoughts and trying to blend them with mine. I find myself searching my own mind to see where my relationship with God and others is going. Thank you and I cherish your input into my life.

Merry Christmas Jake & Jess!

Indian Lake Papa

Robin said...

Hi Jake and Jessica,

I always enjoy finding out what is up in your world and miss seeing you in my world, but I know you are where God wants you to be. You are an inspiration...You challenge me to be a better me - thanks!

Merry Christmas and much love to you both!


Robin said...

Merry Christmas my friends!

Rachel said...

I learn from you.

I understand your post, though. It would be pretty easy for me to pour out everything for the public's eye. Oh, man. I could. But that's why I keep a journal.

So, once again, I learn from you. I expect much more opportunities for learning, in real life, over emails, everywhere. Pressure's on!

Indian Lake Papa said...

I hope you are having a great New year! Make 2008 a great year of service to others.

Indian Lake Papa