Thoughts on Community

I live in a community.  Literally, as in I share a kitchen and two bathrooms with six other people.  Seven people, sharing space, food, and a shower that you have to light with a match.  (That’s what “gas heated water” means in Guatemala). 

Community has meant lots of different things to me over the years.  Community has meant and summer cookouts and movie nights and Goodwill shopping.  Community has meant church. Community has meant shared meals and $3 bottles of wine.  

Last week in my little church in Guatemala, the lesson was from Romans chapter 12, and it reminded me of some thoughts on community I wrote a few years ago while I was living in Indiana.  Continue reading

Singleness and the Enneagram (New post for Single Roots)

I really hate it when people tell me I need to work on myself before pursuing a relationship with someone else.

Seriously, it’s probably one of my top ten pet peeves, next to guys who ask me out on Twitter. It always comes off as slightly condescending when another person assumes that because I’m single, I don’t possess some vaguely defined amount of self-knowledge and superior morality that every married person in the world must already have.

But even so, I am reminded nearly every day that a part of me is fundamentally broken. I don’t think this is a singleness problem, but a human problem. Continue reading

 

When Everything Goes Wrong

“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college.  I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me?  Continue reading

The Story of Hope and Heartbreak

I want to believe in miracles. 

I want to believe that crazy, unexplainable things are possible.  I want to believe that sometimes, life is so good that you want to laugh and cry and scream and sing all at once.  I want to believe that everything can change in a single moment and one day you will realize this is why.  This is why I love this place.  This is why my heart was broken. This is why I’ve waited.  This, right here.  I want to believe what Victor Frankl says about redemption—that while bad experiences cannot be erased, they can be redeemed.  Continue reading

The Stories of Right Now

At times in my life, I’ve had a definite sense of temporary-ness.  In college, I lived in an an unfashionable on-campus apartment with peeling paint and wood paneling and outdated linoleum.  Though it certainly needed some work, It wouldn’t have made any sense to re-paint or fix it up in any way, knowing I would only be there for a few months.  Just get through it, I told myself, and then you can move somewhere else.  Continue reading

The Story of Their Blood in My Veins

I have a root of evil inside me. 

It doesn’t take much research into my family history to see it woven through every generation.  Depression, alcoholism, suicide, domestic abuse — it’s all there.  This blood is in my veins.  This story is my story.  

I read about the tendencies of my personality type, and learn I am rated “Most likely to be depressed”, like it’s some sort of prize.  I am also likely to be idealistic, and must be burdened occasionally by the necessity of functioning in the real world.  I am likely to be overly emotional, to lash out in anger when things don’t go my way, and to base all of my decisions on feelings. When I read about how I long for close human connections, but don’t know how to get over myself long enough to really connect with anyone, I say YES.  That’s me.   Continue reading