Saturday, November 16, 2013


When I was like 19 I wrote this list of people who inspired me, that I wanted to write letters too, to thank them for being who they were and putting whatever it was they did out into the world, I don’t remember all who was on it, but the ones that come to mind are Bono, John Butler and Shane Claiborne. I don’t think I ever did write those letters, but tonight with my hand on my heart and the threat of tears at the corners of my eyes I got to tell Shane Claiborne, that through his book irresistible revolution, I felt like he was a friend of mine who walked with my in a time when I was getting to know myself and who I am meant to be. That was a pretty great moment.
I am in a bit of a strange place these days, struggling with what my faith means and with my general coping, not that this is new, but lack of community and “what it all means”
This weekend I went on a retreat, at Kingsfold, it was supposed to be two days but I couldn’t quiet my spirit enough to stay the whole time and ended up coming home after one, I am going to be okay with that, but that doesn’t mean stopping to looking at the hard things. On my one day, I read Henri Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved” the book is supposed to be a spiritual dialogue with secular humans, it was funny how this appealed to me, I guess I was looking for something not completely typical and Christian to ground me spiritually when lately I have been feeling extremely negative, (this is mostly because the religious people around me are fucking crazy)
The book defiantly brought things out to chew on, and to lean on. The premise is that we are the Beloved, and that living as the beloved requires being present in four elements and mindsets.
Taken. Blessed. Broken.Given.
I mean I suppose I could write out the book again in different words, but that wouldnt do it justice, there is this one part that talks about how, shattered glasses still reflects light...and that sits beautifully with me, and is a good way of summing up the book.

I do want to live the life of the beloved, and get back to my center, it’s a journey, and I’m tired but I’m not giving up yet.
Im glad this blog turned out this way because my original draft was a rant.ha.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Recently I saw a quote...and after just searching it now I see it attributed to a number of people, so I'm not entirely sure who actually said it, but none the less, I really like it...

"The Planet does not need more successful people. It desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds"

It stuck in my head for a few days and I realized these are words I really want to describe me, but what do they really mean, and how do they really look in real life?

CCharlie and I went for coffee the other day and I brought my bag of sharpies and my art journal and mapped it out. Something about being there with someone else, chatting and overhearing coffee orders helped me to really think of what these meant. And I wanted to share my musings with you. These are musing, point forms, things im still figuring out, things I do not claim to be but hope to learn...

Choosing to make peace and to live in a place of grace. Bringing positive energy to situations of conflict. Speaking up. Having courage to be unconventional in situations where asked to choose a side.

Putting your hand against a wound. Emotion or Physical. Being present during painful events and not letting people be alone. Valuing support and hard experiences. Using your bound with someone to encourage deeper healing, showing people they are worth more than what they have been through.

Very "step four" I think this is more about restoring broken relationship in ones own life, making amends when you see you've done wrong. But also living GRACE so that when others make amends this can happen. Encouraging restoration in others. Keeping your word.

How do you do this when its not your own story? maybe that’s the point...only telling your own story and not that of others. Inspire by telling your story. Create spaces where stories are safe to be told. Validate storytelling. Really listening. Having knowledge that words matter, that they hold immense power.

"I love because He first loved me.." live in this. Lover means give and receive. Knowing this is a wellspring.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the emotion of public transit

There is something about the bus that always seems to bring out my emotions, I think it’s because for me it’s a very solitary event, I can’t even think of the last time I took the bus with someone other than strangers. This is where I end up deep in thought and consequently I either become that weirdo who is laughing by herself on transit (shout out to Bri) or that girl who is trying to hide the fact that she is crying. I had this moment yesterday but it wasn’t because I was sad.
Story time.
When I started working at the seed I had a very extroverted person on my team who was very evangelical, he was constantly praying with guests, which I just thought was so beautiful! And something that I wanted to do, but I was kind of scared, praying out loud with people was still uncomfortable for me. So I prayed and asked God to give me a situation or a moment in which I could pray for someone. That night a women came and knocked on the door of the office I was in and asked to use the phone for a long distance call. When this would happen it was kind of hard because you want to give the person privacy but you are also there in the office… once she was on the phone this women started crying almost hysterically as she spoke to her partner, she promised him she was going to get off drugs and start doing better, she promised that she would do it for him and for their children. When she got off the phone she asked if she could sit with me for a while as she wasn’t ready to go back onto the shelter floor. We started talking and she told me that she told me about her life, several horrific details of addiction and poverty, of terrible abuse she had endured and she told me about her children and how she wanted to change so they could have a mom. I asked her if I could pray with her, which she agreed to. This is a moment that changed the rest of my experience at the shelter and quite frankly my life. This guest then went on to treatment and when she was finished was back at the shelter. I excitedly referred her to the housing program which she was accepted to and moved out , I heard of some bumps in the road for her from her housing worker but she was doing a lot better and headed in a good place. Yesterday my bus was stopped at a red light in my neighborhood and I saw her walking with her daughter and another mom with some kids and a stroller and I was completely stunned, 2 years later, this was the full circle, she was just a lady walking with her kids and a neighbor, she was not a recovering addict living in a shelter. She was a mother with her child. She looked happy. That’s when I become the girl crying on the bus.
When I left the shelter I compared it to breaking up with the love of my life…so I will continue with my cheesy metaphor, I’ve got those first date butterflies with housing and I feel something developing…working “street level” will happen for me again, that is undeniable but for now…this seems worth my time.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Street Art Project April 21: Appreciation

I recently saw this video and I though that I myself wanted to do something similar... I currently do not have the resources to pull off something fancy but I still wanted to pass along the general message, below is how I set it up and what might be considered creeper shots from across the road of people doing the project.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remember who you are

As a part of the leadership program I'm a part of through the Mustard seed we had a assignment to write our personal vision statement. This is something we are going to continue to look at, this is my first draft, but I'm pretty happy with it so I don't think it will change to much.

I am on a Love Tour....
This means to live a life rooted in Christ, fully committing myself to being present and aware that every situation and interaction is an opportunity to be love, accept love and learn new things about love.

To explore and be an active part of Community and Art.
To validate the worth of all people I come across, valuing the gifts that I have been given and the gifts of others.

To chase "goose bump" moments and to fearlessly pursue the "small voice" that is so often dismissed as impossible.

To reflect what I believe and to live with my heart just as visibly on my sleeve as the one on my face.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I didnt ask for Whipped Cream, but Thanks!

from the lovely cork journal:

"....Then I met with Kristal, and that girl definatly understands my vision! Because I, in my thoughts about school, I'm thinking more and more about how I don't feel like I need an degree for validation and how I truly truly believe God gives gifts and how that should not be discounted.

I was thinking how the things I want to do "professionally" I don't ACTUALLY want to do "professionally"
I want to be a part of a community. Community that takes care of each other, that teaches and learns, forgives and gives, community of equality, community that values worth and sacrifice and community of people seeking Jesus, of people loving Him and loving like Him.

And, for me, the idea of going to school, so I can make sure others see my gift? to ensure I can get a job in the future? That kind of thinking doesn't sit right with me.
Life is a whole opportunity for education. Every person and experience is a vehicle for my learning and personal transformation.

I wonder if school would cloud my natural instincts with theory. or if not having a "education" would cloud other people with doubts of my ability?"

*** the thoughts expressed in this post are very much of me processing this decision, I may very well end up going to school, I also don't think there is anything wrong with going to school and think its great when people make that choice, I am simply trying to figure out what I want and what is going to work best for the kind of life I am going to live, and ultimately what God is calling me to.

Monday, March 19, 2012

sage and sweet grass

a tear filled prayer time, a resolve to just "write the letter" to see what it feels like, a solid feeling in my heart that I know what I'm suppose to do, what God is speaking to me, an argument in my inner dialogue about how just going about what I normally do is not the right thing and that things will not change if I stay where I am.

a handing in of the letter, a deep breathe, disbelief, did I actually just quit my job?
This job that I LOVE, this job that has taught me so much.
Yes I believe I did. It came down to a decision of self preservation, what is more important, my emotional health (which is largely damaged because of the night shift)or preserving the identify I have created, preserving this person who is wrapped up in yellow.
I go back to a time when I sat under a tree dripping with flower in south Africa, noting the callused feet of a man who has walk much of Africa, being asked to outline my personal 10 the created not the creator... I know God has more for me, please don't misunderstand that I don't mean the shelter is beneath me,far from it,I will always value that place, I just know this is not the long term plan, and I've been holding on so hard for longer then the end of this journey was much like the start, I'm not saying me and the mustard seed are done for ever, my time as night team lead is done though.

This morning in my prayer time I found this prayer:

Good Shepherd, who finds the lost one
the "me" I have known has disappeared.

Will I ever recover the person I have been?
Will I ever find and feel good about myself again?
Will I discover who I am and who I am becoming?

Protect me in this great vulnerability.
Assure me that I will come home to myself,
even though "my self" may be different.

Silence my impatience.
Calm my worry.
Restore my joy.
Solace my distress.
Help me to befriend my new self
with tender hope and welcoming love

-Joyce Rupp