all painted up

hello, hello and hello.

well we bought the paint for our house this weekend. yay! i’d like to thank home depot, martha stewart and memorial day sales.

the three colors that will mostly be covering the house are: (from left to right: popcorn, spring melt, and anvil).

   

we also, bought a few accent colors. (left to right: lagoon, mossy rock, azurite)

   

the lagoon will be painted as a back splash in the kitchen and one accent wall. (i think.) the green will go in the downstairs guest bathroom…it’s must greener and amazing in person…it looks kind of goldish on my monitor. lastly, the azurite will be an accent colour (probably in the form of some sort of stripe) in dan’s office.

i’ll let you know how it turns out! :)

africa!

hello lovelies.

it has been a crazy long time!

i recently created a new blog to tell the story of my trip to africa this fall. check it: http://myafricastory.wordpress.com/

i’m traveling with the good folks at HELP. there’s a team of six of us (as of today, haha!) that will be adventruing in to cape town, zimbabwe and possibly zambia! YAY! i can not wait to get on the ground to put names with faces and see how we can help bring restoration to this area.

it’s going to be insane, intense, worth it, fun, sleepless and joyful.

te dua. love to you all.

why i divorced my car.

So, I sold my car. September 25, 2009, to be exact. A day that lives in infamy…just kidding. :)

I guess this all started over a year ago when I went overseas to work with an NGO in Eastern Europe. I saw the world through “other eyes” for the first time in my life and it changed me. It had to. You can’t be human and ignore something like that. Upon my return, I began to have this crazy, burning desire to live more simply. My first move of simple satisfaction, was making a home in a 250 square feet flat in Central Austin. I was so sick of owning stuff. I called Salvation Army and had them come pick up everything except for about half my clothes and shoes, half my books, a few keepsakes and my TV. I got rid of everything. Furniture. Bathroom accessories. More furniture. A brand new coffee pot. All my kitchenwares. Gone. I even lived without a bed for a year.

It felt amazing to purge and get rid of all these possessions that I didn’t need, and set up shop in a smaller, simpler place. I felt healthy after this transition. I was rid of years of useless junk. I discovered at the heart of this, God was calling me to live even more simply. Did you know that just by owning a car, you are more wealthy than about 95% of the world? Sick! I just felt gross that this was the truth. And then He said, ‘what about your car?’ Yikes! But, ok!

The thing is…I actually really love public transportation. It’s so Euro—and has always had an exciting appeal to me. I remember at one point, making a list of pros and cons and only coming up with one con. The day I actually sold my car, was one of the most liberating days of my life. I thought I would cry or be upset, but as I walked those three, hot, long miles home getting dust in my shoes and sweat in my eyes, I felt that fat check in my pocket, that I knew would bring blessings to others, and I was overcome with intense joy.

It’s funny the different reactions I’ve gotten from people. Some feel sorry for me, as if I had something terrible happen and had to give up my car. Others treat it like I have a disability. As weird as that sounds, they just can not seem to, in their minds, allow me to ride the bus. But I like for people to sit in this tension. I think it’s both challenging and moving. And then there are some who have also done the same thing, or that applaud the effort to live simply, be green, give something up because God asked me to.

Knowing myself for the past, almost 29 years, I can not believe that I don’t have a single complaint to give you about becoming car-less, but I don’t. I knew when I took this step that God would be faithful in providing me what I’d be lacking. It’s made me more disciplined, forced me to start thinking ahead, and humbled me greatly by having to ask for help every once and awhile. I need to do this more. It’s weird to tell you that I crave those walks I’m forced to take now. I see things and buildings and nature, ways I have never seen them before. “Beautiful” is not a strong enough word.

So many “good” things and emotions have come from this, but there are still struggles I am on the field with, battling. Here’s my dark confession part. Since being on the bus, God has revealed a lot of prejudice I have been harboring in my own heart. Man is it ugly, and raw. The bus has a certain unshowered stench to it. There are people who, omg—ask you for money and OMG, have to sit by you that might seem scary. God has shown me more compassion and love through these people than I ever could have imagined. He has taught me every life is valuable and purposeful, no exceptions. The size of God has expanded, as if that’s even possible. As He continues to break through this hardness, it hurts. It’s embarrassing. It breaks me down. But this creates space for true restoration to happen. He is more, I am less. It’s worth it.

Last night I had to walk about six blocks home from the bus stop. Not a long way, but it was pouring down freezing cold rain. My legs and feet were freezing, my socks were squishy, and my shoes were completely soaked. I surprised myself when I found myself, in the dark, cold and wet, praising God. I felt so alive and satisfied. That—is how it is when you make choices with Jesus.

This whole experience has evolved me as a person. I’m just in awe. It has affected me physically, spiritually, socially, intellectually and emotionally. Who knows if I’ll buy another car ever again. Maybe if I move somewhere I need it, but learning to live without it has become a one way, constantly moving forward street.

So if you see me standing at a bus stop or walking down a random street letting the rain fall on my head and the wind blow in my face, sure. You can offer me a ride, I might take it. But if I refuse, it’s because deep, rich sanctification is happening. And…get ready. I’m praying for you to join me.

Thanks for reading.

art actualized

for the past six months, myself, along with six other artists, have been attending coaching sessions with the fabulous jen spencer. through this process we have each had time to play, listen, talk and actualize art. i HIGHLY recommend this class to anyone who has even the slightest inkling to create. jen has been a great motivator and question-asker.

my project is called ‘100 portraits’. the process of putting together this piece has been pretty challenging for me. the biggest thing is actually allowing myself to THINK that i’m an artist. it’s hard!

i wanted to create something with photography, that represented community. at a service at st. david’s one night, i was struck with this idea of communing with God individually, within a room full of other individuals on the same journey. i wondered…what was their conversation like? what was God telling them? who are these people?

over the past six months, i’ve shot and collected 100 portraits from my personal collection. a lot of these people i know, some of them i have never met. i have photographed every picture, and edited using a method that mimics a style of photography called ‘ttv’ or ‘through the viewfinder.’

i hope you will come out to ruta maya, on nov 12 and see my completed work. i want to invite you to see yourself within the 100 portraits and let it move you.

here are a few favorites.

BLOG copy

resolutions, shmesolutions.

well, it’s that time of year again. you know…for a new one. oh, 2009…what’s in store for your heart and your soul? whatever will you bring to my friends and family? only time will tell.

well, friends, i have a statement/confession/testimony/declaration/announcement: i do not believe in making new years resolutions.

now, i’m all for honoring the natural cycles and seasons in our life, if you will. for example, traditonal chinese medicine teaches that the winter is a time to prepare for spring. i’ve had a bug this past week, to clean out my closet to get organized, and now have 6 bags of clothes, shoes and household items (plus a chair and a tv) to be carted off to goodwill. so i think for some, new years, is a natural time to rethink and review. rock solid. but let’s think bigger.

jacob said something, yesterday, that sort of confirmed it all in a nice, concise, phrase, “are you making a resolution because of a conviction or out of guilt and shame? because one will free you and one will enslave you.”

woo! that’s a truck load. but it’s truth. so many years and so many new years resolutions have been made out of guilt and shame and peer pressure (that’s right, kids!). these decelerations of change and transformation, almost always end in brokenness leaving your heart hurting more than when it began. i have believed the lie, before, that, ‘well, if guilt is getting me to do this than at least that’s something.’ no! no, it’s not!

so i propose this, instead, blogging world. how about we nix the new years resolutions and, instead, listen to our hearts every day. we can’t wait on a new year to wipe away the past, to leave something behind…we have to decide today TODAY!, that we are closing the door and opening a new one…or that we are standing still. either way, own it! and listen to the call in your life year round.

next monday, i will be sitting down with three other women, to talk about resolutions. ha! i feel like for our group, however, it just has happened to fall during the new year celebration. or at least that’s where my heart is. these ladies and i walk life together, and i look forward to the resolutions we will proclaim in the months to come.

i’ll let you know how it goes.

until next time, you should check out this thing called wine for Jesus…it’s flippin sweet.

it’s been awhile.

yay, i’m shooting some photos for the entrepreneur’s foundation today for a newsletter they send out to folks all over austin.

excited to fire up the old photoshop and lightroom and do some work.

here’s hoping the weather cools off a bit!

and here’s a picture of amanda and harley that’s my favorite.