You get serious about God and He gets serious about you.

Ok, maybe I've misspoken. He's always serious about us.

One of my favorite things about God? He's not afraid of my questions. The more challenging, the better.

One of my other favorite things about God? The mystery.

My dear friend Angela is a campus pastor (maybe that is not her exact title, but it is part of what she does) at an engaging, intellectual, question-asking college campus in the Vineyard Town. We were having a delicious little chat this afternoon and my Facebook Fast / Social Justice / Jesus ponderings came up. She said, "Not like you don't have anything else to read (o, Jesus help me ... of course I do ...), but you need to read Shane Claiborne."

Ang thinks about these things. Her students think about these things. Her husband thinks about these things. Her friends think about these things. She has an adorable 12 month old, and I'm pretty sure she thinks about these things too.

God may want to answer the questions we have.

I googled Shane Claiborne. I've ordered one of the books. I'm waiting.

What does it look like to step outside ourselves and really, truly, without reservation, love the people we're around?

I recommend looking here, and here, and here. The last one I threw in there for you public radio listeners.

I have some things to chew over. Lent is gradually coming to a close and I will not have all the answers I think I want.

I am looking forward to the final Lent posting. I have some things to share. Some of them make me looking pretty darn shallow, immature and full of hubris. Fun times. Stay tuned.

That's still happening. I'm just slow. Again, my book club posts will almost always contain spoilers. (Knowing is half the battle!)

Last book:

From the jacket:

"Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, following them on their epic journey from the Dominican Republic to the United States and back again."


Love, race, gender structure, immigration / multi-culturalism

So this is where I am with this book. It's not for the faint hearted. It's not. Profanity. Some violent scenes. And. Really. Very engaging.

This one got a thumbs up from all book club participants, but not all participants saw the reason for the Pulitzer Prize behind it. One of the women in the group claims that video gamers will adore this little gem of a novel as Oscar is completely entrenched in the gaming world.

(I did not understand most of those references. It is ok. I may be a video game ignorant, but I am pretty darn good at Mario Bros 1, 2 and 3.)

Also, many lines in Spanish. Some felt this detracted them from the focus of the novel. Personally, I felt like I was getting an insider's view to a previously unopened world ... almost like I was being let in on an insider's joke. Also distracting for some were the copious footnotes. Again, insider's joke. I like to be in the know - a completely big picture person.

Next book?

(postscript, we had actually tried to read Cormac McCarthy's "Suttree" for this upcoming meeting, but, void one, we all failed miserably. not a bad book, by ANY stretch of the imagination, but one with many layers. because most of us were attempting to finish up term projects for grad school, and one amazing woman is working on her doctoral dissertation, we just couldn't get into it. takes concentration, that one. i'm putting it on my summer list.)
I left the Vineyard Town because it was time. The plan had been set into motion; Shoes and I had not begun dating when I decided to leave. Strange times.

Lucky for me, Shoes thought the This that is Us was worth it. He has come through in a million different ways, been ever faithful in calling, texting and visiting. (Spell check, by the way, does not recognize "texting".)

It's been a year and a few months for us. We were reluctant daters at first, and it had nothing to do with our feelings for each other. It had more to do with: Is this ok? I'm attracted, but is this the right person? I'm leaving for grad school, and I'll continue to do so, so where does that leave us? I'm not really in a hurry to get super serious about someone; last time I did that, it didn't turn out so well. Shoes has had his fare share of serious relationship mishaps. We're almost 32. It happens.

We joke now that it would have been easy for Us to have never have happened. But it did. And now we cautiously use code words for the future. As in, will I be returning to the Vineyard town after school? Is there somewhere else that would be a better fit ... for both of us?

I will not be returning - there is no reason for me to. Shoes has taken a job in his super serious field in a different county, waaaaaay up north in Almost Canada. It's a good fit for him. I'm excited to see how his career develops.

Selfishly, it is a good fit for me. I've loved Almost Canada since I was in junior high school. Just the thought of visiting up there in that breathtaking country is enough to make me giddy.

Shoes has 2 more weeks to wrap up his time in the Vineyard Town. He's looking at rentals, but he's also looking at houses. He says to me quietly and very unassumingly, "I know you don't want to come back here. And I'm doing this for me. But. I'm also doing this for us."

This self sacrifice, maturity, generosity? I'm not sure what to do with it.

But I'll take it.


one paper (yes, all sources used. all cited. and triple checked they were cited appropriately).

one small group presentation that went down in flames and left me in tears for most of the night afterward. one more time i had to let go of the "grade" and hold on to what was truly learned (macro lessons, here, macro).

one poster session, to be presented to both SSW cohorts.

one additional mini micro-theory paper.

and one rooftop dinner at Departure downtown with Shoes, who is kind and wonderful and frustrating and amazing all in one breath; who drove down to visit with me for one night before continuing on with his weekend (big changes for us coming ... details to come ...); who tells me we can return to this wonderful place whenever I'd like; who is so ridiculously supportive and forgiving sometimes I don't know what to do with him.

and, soon, very soon, one large exhale forthcoming.
My co-worker Rachel, whom I share a tiny, tiny office with, and whom I think is a fantastic girl, tells me I'm "water" according to my birthday.

When I asked her what that meant, exactly, as I'm all Western-y and Jesus-y, not Eastern-y at all, she gave me A Look and said, "Emo. You're emo. All sensitive and serious."

She and the other girl I share the office (we're really crammed in there ...), whom I also love, are fire.

O, I wish I could be fire.

Too serious too much of the time, I know. It's kind of a problem. Even my hairdresser, Jacob, asks me "WHY?!" all the time.

As in, I say, "I really want an internship next year at Hospice" (and I really do), and Jacob responds, "WHY?! That's so DARK and DEPRESSING." Jacob has fun.

I had fun once. I think it was a year ago. I went to Hawaii. That was fun. Shoes is fun. A little serious like me sometimes, but that's probably why we get along so well (snaps for us - it's been over a year now.) Social Work school is, well ... you know, it's fun when we laugh at ourselves in class, but it's pretty serious.

As I was praying this week, even GOD asked me why I never took a break. Sigh.

Spring break is coming.

That seems like a good time to figure out something fun to do. Unfortunately for me, this is probably going to take a bunch of thought ....