Monday, August 28, 2006

a song

i first heard this song by Eastmountainsouth on a cheesy made-for-TV movie, Lucky 7 (please note that this was about the only website on which I could find this movie; also note what other movies people who purchased this movie purchased. AWESOME). Anyway, it came up on my yahoo station today. Makes me happy. It's a beautiful song (lyrics and melody).

As the music at the banquet
As the wine before the meal
As the firelight in the night
So are you to me

As the ruby in the setting
As the fruit upon the tree
As the wind blows over the plains
So are you to me

As the wind blows over the plains
So are you to me
So are you to me

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I'm starting the move from the transitional home for single moms back to the house with the family with whom I lived last summer. I came across this poem that somehow described the state i'm in unbeknownst to me until I read the words. from "Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet," by Tony Hoagland, from Donkey Gospel At this stage of the journey I would estimate the distance between myself and my own feelings is roughly the same as the mileage from Seattle to New York... A new resident and her 6 year old daughter are moving in today. The little girl is cute and so smart for her age. As she walks in the door, she says, 'Hey. What's up? I'm moving in!' That put a smile on my face. I'm not going to get to know them or walk with them through the ups and downs. That makes me sad (a feeling, an expressed emotion; yay). I'm also quite relieved, though, that I'll have my weeknights and weekends free. That makes me feel like I'm being selfish. But I know that my time is up here. I'm thankful for this opportunity I've had. I'm hopeful to what God's got in store. I'm starting the move...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

another man who stands out

It's the birthday of poet Robert Herrick, born in London (1591), the author of the lines, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, / Old Time is still a-flying, / And this same flower that smiles to-day / To-morrow will be dying." He worked as a goldsmith, went to college, and left London for the English countryside, where he stayed for many years and wrote most of his poetry. He wrote short lyric poems and songs. He wrote about seducing women and taking advantage of your youth, but he never married and most of the women in his poems were probably imaginary. He also wrote religious poems. His poetry was distributed among friends, and eventually reached people in higher places, making Herrick known throughout England. In 1648, he published Hesperides, which contained over 1,000 poems. He wrote:

Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score;
Then to that twenty, add a hundred more:
A thousand to that hundred: so kiss on,
To make that thousand up a million.
Treble that million, and when that is done,
Let's kiss afresh, as when we first begun.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

a new hero

perhaps I should read up on this a bit more before I make such a statement, but I've added another to my list of heroes:

It's the birthday of poet and short-story writer Dorothy Parker, born in West End, New Jersey (1893). In 1920, she was fired from Vanity Fair because her drama reviews were so harsh, so she put her cynicism and wit into her first book of poems, Enough Rope, and it was a best-seller when it was published in 1926. She went to The New Yorker to write book reviews under the name "Constant Reader," and she was one of the founders of the famous Algonquin Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan. She established a reputation as one of the sharpest conversationalists in New York, and she epitomized the liberated woman of the 1920s. Her poems were collected as Not So Deep as a Well (1936), and her short stories were collected in Here Lies (1939). When she was 70, she said, "If I had any decency, I'd be dead. Most of my friends are." And she said, "Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

Monday, August 21, 2006

beginning of Luke

Ezekiel is finished. On to Luke (I chose Luke).
Recently, I've been praying that God would give me a specific, clear vision about what he'd want me to do as a job when i move to Cali. this is what i'm adding to my prayer:
(Luke 1:45 "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.") that I would have the courage to believe and act upon what God reveals to me (having the faith that He will make it known to me).

...and that I would emulate Christ in this manner: Luke 1:77-79 "To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

women are representing in Luke! talk about devotion: Luke 2:37 "and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She (Anna) never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

humbling challenge

if you can't tell, i've been reading ezekiel lately. shawn and i were reading it 'together.' he's finished. i still have a few chapters left. but i've been really getting into it and chapter 33 really has hit me the past couple of days.
it's 'our' turn to lead morning devotion time at work (none of the profs are here, though, so it's up to me and paty, the other admin assistant).
so i shared ezekiel 33:14-16 "'On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, "You'll die for your wicked life," and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life—being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don't hurt others—he'll live. He won't die. None of his sins will be kept on the books. He's doing what's right, living a good life. He'll live."
i asked the non-rhetorical question, 'what does it look like to "be generous to the down-and-out"?'. one guy spoke up and said, 'Loren and what she does at the transitional home for single moms.' wow. i was humbled. but then i thought about the rest of that 'list' and how much i don't live in a way that cultivates life-nourishing ways that don't hurt others. that's my prayer...that i would moment by moment live that way. mostly with my words (or lack there of).

today's been a better day. i went and painted pottery last night. that is amazingly therapeutic. we went to Ceramics in the City to celebrate the summer intern's last night. We had such a good time. I'll get my piece Sunday. I'll try and get some pictures of it (if it's good enough) and share it. I'm not the most creative person in the world, but just focusing and following through from idea to finished product really puts me in a good mood. It's happy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

a word from the Word

i know that i'm taking this scripture out of context, but i'm not saying necessarily that God is speaking directly to my circumstances through this passage, but that if His heart was such towards the Israelites then, perhaps His desire is the same with what I'm experiencing. my hope and prayer is that He would be known among the city of Denver (and the nations) and that His holy name would be exalted above all else...

Ezekiel 36:22-23 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

My prayer today: Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

culture shock

warning: this is kind of long; i just needed to process a bit...
so the toll of living downtown denver in a transitional home for single moms took to me this weekend more than it has since i moved in last september. i was 'on call' by myself friday and saturday. we'd interviewed two women that are truly homeless thursday night (the women who've resided within these walls before now had all come from either other shelters or foster care, etc so it didn't seem as precarious).
one of the women we interviewed, michell, is 31 and has given birth to 8 children. she has custody of none of them. they all live with the parents of the 5 different fathers of the children. she has a felony charge out against her for selling cocaine to an undercover cop. she lives on the streets. she is the 'street mom' of debbie, the other girl we interviewed. she, too, is homeless. she's 22. she has given birth to two children, neither of which she has custody. she's pregnant. her due date is less than three weeks away. she has not had any prenatal care. she's been to the emergency room four times for 'check ups' during this pregnancy. she's been 'clean' for six months. she didn't know she was pregnant for the first three months. she stopped using when she found out.
after we interviewed the two women we decided to accept debbie (the younger of the two, who, by the way, has bleached orange-ish almost-buzzed hair, with long bangs in the front and a lip ring). since she's homeless, she didn't have a direct contact number, so we had names of those with whom she comes in contact periodically during the day at a shelter. i called and left messages with all three, hoping somehow we'd get a hold of her and she'd have a place to stay. no such luck.
then friday afternoon, i got a call from michell. i had to break the news to her that we were not accepting her. she got a bit defensive (and later on I found out that she got drunk that night; supposedly she'd been sober for 135 days) and then asked if i wanted to speak to debbie. i talked with debbie and told her that we wanted her to come live with us and that we'd accepted her in to the program. she said, 'right on' and then said, 'i need to call you back.' and hung up. i never heard from her.
brandi, the current resident in the house, felt strongly that she should go find her. she took a young married couple with her. they were walking down some street downtown and a lady approached them asking if they wanted to buy some marijuana. brandi says, 'no' but then tells the lady they're looking for debbie. the lady takes them right to her. wow.
so brandi comes home with debbie. debbie has nothing on her person (but had to get rid of the cocaine that she was carrying around in her bra; she doesn't use, just sells) when she comes; just the clothes on her back. i prayed for her. she slept until 10a. for some reason, i was scared all night while she was at the house. first time really since i've lived here that i've been scared.
when she got up, she wanted to go say goodbye to her friends and get what little stuff she has (two pairs of pants and another shirt, i believe). i gave her two hours. she was supposed to be back at 1p. she called about 10 til and was crying, saying she didn't know if she was ready to do this. the call was dropped. i thought that was the last i'd hear from her.
she showed up back at the house at 1p. we talked about how our program was about structure and about transformed lives. she didn't understand why she couldn't hang out with her friends and still be a part of this. i shared with her how the behavior of those around her really affects her and how hard it would be for her to be part of the community we strive to create here if she wasn't around. she tried to argue with me. i told her my heart wasn't to argue with her, but to provide her with a home and a program to turn her life around.
she asked to leave again (to go to a thrift store to get more clothes (i think she got some cash from selling some drugs the other night) and to get more of her stuff). i asked her to be back by 4. she never returned. she chose the 'comfort' of the streets over a roof over her head and people to care for her and her baby.
i don't understand so much about this scenario. i don't understand why she came to the interview. i don't understand why she didn't show up the first time. i don't understand how brandi found her and brought her back. i don't understand why she didn't come back. i don't understand how she's having a baby, may get to even keep the baby, when there are women out there who desperately want to have children and can't. just a bit of culture shock and misunderstanding...
and i'm leaving this place in less than three weeks and i feel like i'm running away, escaping the life of these women who've experienced so much more than i can even fathom dealing with, and with what do i come away? those answers are for another day.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


These aren't the greatest pictures in the world, but they're the only recent ones we have of us.

Shawn came last weekend for his birthday. Fun times.

I was gonna write more about it all, but I'm speechlessly overwhelmed at the moment at how wonderful he is and how right it feels...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

last 'quiz' of the day

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.
The Five Factor Personality Test

Your Personality Is

Rational (NT)

You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.
You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!

Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.
In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.

You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.
Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.

In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.

At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.

With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.

As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.

On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.
The Three Question Personality Test

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.
What European City Do You Belong In?