it’s over.

it’s over and done with…and i am still awake. i had my first visit with the new DM [well the old and new one together actually] today, had my review after 4 months of being a GM, learned a lot, answered a lot of questions [ones that left me with work to do in figuring out the answers], and basically an entire day of being “on.” i left work exhausted physically and mentally, ready to relax and unwind, not to have to say another word or answer another question.

and i did that for a few hours.
until it was time for bed. feeling exhausted, i thought i would fall right to sleep…2 hours, 4 FB checks, 2 reads of news feeds, and 5 levels of angry birds conquered later i am still awake.

thinking about what i should have said,
how i should have answered,
what i shouldn’t have said…
you get the point.

i have noticed this to be true in my life with this recent life change that it takes me awhile [days] to unwind from the apparent stress i put on myself. when I think i have fully exhausted myself, here i am still awake…having to be at work in 8 hours, when i will really be exhausted because of not being able to convince my brain…
it’s over.



in the last 2.5 hours,
i have fixed my husband dinner [if you call heating up leftovers “fixing” dinner],
eaten dinner myself [if you call popcorn dinner],
watched the president on tv speaking about libya,
watched one routine of dancing with the stars [never before, never again],
watched various other things here and there,
and read this.

not a hard read…but one worth it.
and one that beckons to be read again,
marinated on,

it’s something we all deal with…numerous times, over time.
we all suffer. all of humanity.
and we all want to know “why?”
but those questions are hardly ever answered…if ever answered at all.
a better question, proposed by bell, is “what now?”

we all face it.
we all live with the ambiguity.
we all must deal.

and i love the ending.
drops like stars…
which makes me think about all the stars in the sky. each on important. each one unique. each one making a whole, a whole constellation, a whole sky, a whole picture. a sky, the sky, with all the stars [some seen, some not yet, some faded, some not at all]. each one used.
each one.
each time.
making good from the bad, healing from the suffering, light in the darkness…
like stars in the sky.

365 days.

last sunday, fk and i celebrated one year of marriage…365 days into a journey begun the 20th of march 2010. ironic how we began and celebrated this day in the same location, having met and begun our relationship thousands of miles away from where it officially began…and the place we [now] call home.

in order to celebrate our anniversary, i penned a collection of 365 things i love about fk, i have learned about fk in this first year, and memories we have shared. a collection of reflections on the first 365 days of being married, of living life [a new life] together. paper being the traditional first anniversary gift i thought this was appropriate…and would be something to read, reflect, and re-read along this journey only just begun…

we had the day off to spend with one another. nothing special, just exploring parts of our new surrounding. lunch. exploring [the new] downtown. taking pictures. talking about life as it was, and life now.

enjoying just being together.

creating a stir.

seems like there has been quite a stir of the posting of this…

and it’s subsequent content.
i guess i first saw it via someone posting the link on fb…or i guess i first saw it in response to the post and subsequent commentary. and it seems this random fb posting isn’t the only one offering commentary on the 3 minute promo of rob bell‘s latest book, love wins. you could be hard-pressed to find ones not talking about it, especially–but not limited–to those who answer to the terms ‘evangelical’ [in particular] or ‘christian’ [in general]…myself included. earlier this week, when i had just seen the video, i immediately googled about the dialogue others were having–or, for some, a diatribe on their own blogs. i read it [all i could find on the subject] then told my husband about it, we talked about it a little, then texted my seminary pal to see what her take was on all of it. i couldn’t get it out of my mind…and haven’t since.

i just don’t get it. i just don’t get the criticism, the hate, the unkind words…over something that has yet to be released. i have only read one blog posting of someone who has actually read the book…cover to cover. all the rest,
taken out of original context,
none actually having spoken to the author about such matters.
and to think some of these people making such assumptions, speculations, critical remarks, unkind words, and [unsolicited] prayers for rob bell, are in fact leaders that we look up, leaders that we feel have all the answers, and many times leaders who feel they are more dialed into god, know what he is saying, and what he thinks than most…it seems. such leaders are only standing up to another such leader making accusations that the latter is leading others astray…

many people propose rob bell’s theology to be liberal, which i find interesting. maybe i am [now] liberal. maybe i would fit these people’s assumptions as well. but i find many more people liberal than rob bell…many more. i find many more people asserting truths that sharply contradict those of more conservative theologians. many more.
liberal or not, one thing that i do know is rob bell speaks differently.
a different language.
to a different people.
in a different way.

language that tells a story,
language that asks questions,
language that is not afraid of the answers,
language that is ok with the unknown, the silence, the gray,
language that doesn’t just speak from the mind, doesn’t just rely on theology.

and i have been around some of those people rob bell speaks to…
some of those who didn’t grow up just like me,
who didn’t grow up hearing those stories,
who didn’t grow up being taught this and that,
who didn’t automatically accept said teachings,
who didn’t automatically assume they knew right and others who didn’t knew wrong,
who didn’t shun others because they were different, thought differently, or asked different questions.

it is refreshing.
it is invigorating.
it is telling.
it is awkward.
it is real.
it is messy.
it is life.
…and it is liberating.

so, since i cannot yet possess my own copy of love wins, i think i will spend this friday night curled up on the couch re-reading my worn copy of velvet elvis.

test it. probe it. do that to this book.
don’t swallow it uncritically. think about it. wrestle with it.
just because i am a christian and i’m trying to articulate a christian worldview doesn’t mean i’ve got it nailed. i’m contributing to the discussion.
god has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?
~as quoted by rob bell on the back of his book jacket,
velvet elvis

i am off to wrestle…

i found this article very helpful in what has turned into be such a huge debate…


i watched the oscars…big shock! and to some, it may be. but having lived in southern california and LA in particular for a few years, being surrounded by virtually everyone who is “in the industry,” i have become somewhat immersed in that culture. so, needless to say, the awards’ shows have frequented my tv screen lately.
this will not be a blog posting on the [new] hosts of the show…i have no words. more of a posting of what i learned from watching the oscars, this year in particular. it seems this posting was birthed sunday night as we fast-forwarded through many of the acceptance speeches, only to see the actual award winners…until tivo had caught up to real time and we no longer had the luxury to fast-forward. bummer. then on tuesday, the first email i read was my daily smartbrief on leadership, which first article was entitled “6 public-speaking lessons from the oscars.” done. this posting was only a matter of time. the article only seemed to validate the comments fk and i made to each other during the actual oscars…as well as brought to life some i had not even thought of.

let me preface this by saying the oscars are a big deal. no kidding.
of course all the awards shows in LA are, but the oscars take the cake by far. the sag awards, the golden globes, the emmys, the grammys…yeah, they are a big deal…but not quite this big.

and i know this because the oscar prep is in full swing nothing shy of a month before. the scaffolding goes up, hollywood blvd is blocked off, security forces are doubled–tripled, the entire block is secured, bomb sweeps are performed–not just of the kodak but all area businesses, the oscars statues go up, the red carpet gets rolled out–only plastic covering, the store fronts are removed from the area retailers, all stores are closed the day of. big deal.

it is a big deal. a big deal for regular people, a big deal for tourists, a big deal for the city of LA, a big deal for “the industry,” a big deal for the actors/actresses/
writers/producers, etc.

that being said, from having watched the oscars a few nights back, you might not think that the case.
let’s take melissa leo, for example.
already in the bag: sag and golden globe for best supporting actress.
she seemed somewhat clueless, out-of-it, speechless [save for the inappropriate f-bomb, which seemed all she could muster], or still acting. this is your big stage, the very moment you have been waiting for, leo, and this is all you’ve got. fail. it was a contrast to her acceptance speech with the first award win of the season. it seems you might have had a clue that you were possibly going to win–or even you were the definite win–here…it seems you might have prepared at least for the possibility. rather than admitting on the red carpet just hours before to entertainment weekly,

I did not write a speech. I hope I don’t regret that later on.

the rest of the posting, however, i would like to focus on the better speeches of the evening. the ones that seem prepared…even practiced. the ones who seemed dialed into the big deal of the oscars, the big deal nature to win one, and the probability of winning [given that these had won similar awards at ceremonies taken place already this year]. the ones who seemed to realize this was the big stage, the big role they have been waiting for…

colin firth. love him.
colin had us at the first…the little joke that began his speech about his career now peaking. the little joke that ran throughout his speech about him being unsure he could control the physical reaction to winning an oscar, regardless of the control he executed in speech. the class. the elegance. the confidence. the preparedness.

kirk douglas.
a man who seems, at present state, so un-hollywood, yet still so classic hollywood. now having to control his speech even more, it was evident how every word was so carefully thought out, planned, and executed. the way that he kept us on our toes with his continually interrupting himself to keep us engaged endeared us to him even more. brilliant. a man who knows his limitations, refuses to let them define him or keep him sitting at home, works hard to overcome them. a man who knows his audience, plays to his audience…having been here before.

christian bale.
sure, he’s had his moments…but sunday was one of his most shinning ones. the part of his speech where emotion almost took over, thanking his wife who he calls, “my mast through the storms of life” and his daughter who he claims “has taught me so much more than i will ever be able to teach her.” the part of his speech where he calls out dicky, the character he portrays in the movie, and gives a plug to his website [which subsequently crashed because of the high traffic following the awards]. surprisingly good speech, full of emotion, thankfulness, passion, appreciation…and love.

tom hooper.
acceptance speeches are about giving credit where credit is due, although the right people are not always thanked, nor is the appropriate amount of credit always given. i appreciated hooper’s ending of his speech, saving the best and most well-deserved thanks for the end…

My mum was invited to a fringe theater play reading of an unproduced, unrehearsed play called The King’s Speech. She almost didn’t. But thank God she did, because she came home, rang me up and said, ‘Tom, I think I found your next film.’ Listen to your mum.

it seems that it was all about the speech this year…
how to have one,
how to let one’s voice speak through,
the process of the speech,
and what we can learn from said process.