Monday, January 24, 2011


The beach has always been my refuge with sand that greets my feet with warmth, with water that is incredibly blue, and with gusts of wind that I can lose myself while I'm thinking, and while my feet walk parallel to the waves crashing onto the shore.
I love the beach, it's been where I go on days when I feel like singing so no one will hear, where I went when I got some soul stirring news...where I go to spend some time with my Papa.
It's where I rest.

It's appropriate that the church I find myself in is called, Shoreline. And just like my thoughts on the beach, Shoreline has become a haven. A haven in the middle of Westwood, amidst all the young college students who are figuring out life. I've found a haven.
Yes, it's completely and utterly different than what I pictured my church would look like after InterVarsity. It's not as diverse as I pictured, not as showy in it's love... but it's become the place where I rest.
Interesting, isn't it?
It's become the place where I anchor myself and ready myself for the week. It's where new, deep and real friendships have emerged from and where I grow with every new Sunday, every new teaching.
It's where I sing so that no one will hear, but that everyone might. It's where I am shyly learning to speak my voice and change the church with my gifting and insight.
I come here to spend time with my Papa, but also with my brothers and sisters.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Burnt Tortillas

I made tacos for lunch today. :)
If you know me at all, you know that tacos take the cake when it comes to any food. They're delicious, and simple to make.

It was nice to have a quiet apartment, be able to wake up late, lay in bed for a while and hear the sounds of the day. It was even better to walk into the kitchen and begin making lunch. Begin heating meat, cutting chiles to make my Mama's salsa borracha (translates to "drunk salsa").
I added onions, tomatoes, cut up some chiles, accidentally rubbed my eye and then cried a little bit, and finally added lemon and salt. It was pretty yummy.
After making sure everything was ready, I heated tortillas. This is probably my favorite part. I love watching the texture of tortillas change, them bubble as they heat up, and begin to brown a bit as they begin to cook.
Yes, sometimes I burn tortillas.
And yes, sometimes it's on purpose.

Burnt, crispy tortillas remind me of my Grandpa.
It takes me back to a time before sixth grade when he passed away, a time when we'd have barbecues what felt like once a month, and I'd help him stoke the grill.
He taught me that to have flames come up from the charcoal, you had to fan it and add a little bit of lighter fluid (don't worry, I wasn't allowed to help with that).
So as I watched mi abuelito, I would ask if I could have a turn fanning the fire with his Stetson as I had watched him week after week.
I remember that smile as he'd admit that he was tired and watch me fan the flames.

The fire would eventually be where it needed to be, weenies, onions, chicken, beef... they got cooked on the grill. Frijoles, corn, and some tortillas would come from inside. Don't forget the salsa! :)

However, my very favorite part of our barbecues was the very end. When everybody would exclaim that they were full, and begin clearing the table. We'd put stuff away, put what needed to go in the fridge where it needed to, our madrina (godmother) would pack us food to take home (the famous "To-Go Plate")... and while all that was happening, somebody would be heating tortillas.
Heating tortillas because even though we were all super full, we couldn't let the last of the fire go to waste. We'd heat tortillas and pass them around, making everyone eat at least one. And more often than not, the tortillas were on the crispy side; burnt a little, just the way I like 'em.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Cause I need more stuff?

During this season of looking for a job, applying for a job, interviewing for a job, and ultimately getting and starting a job, I've had to borrow a lot of money from folks.
I've also been convicted of how I spend my money.

I don't spend money on expensive shoes or dresses, but I am really irresponsible with money.
I eat out more than I should, I get excited having money, so I just spend it.
'Cause I can.

We never had much while I was growing up. We always wore hand-me-downs, shopped at thift stores, didn't go to the I guess I see having money as my own way to fulfill what I wanted as a kid. Getting everything I have my eye on, or just buying it 'cause there's money in my bank account.
'Cause I can.

However difficult this season has been, it has allowed me to observe and analyze my priorities.
The question was and still is, What will I do when I finally get paid?
Will my spending habits be the same?

Borrowing money from friends and family has caused me to begin to internalize the Truth,
this is not my money.
This is God's money that he has given me so that I might use it wisely to bless those around me.
Paying my rent on time so that I serve my roommate who fronts it every month,
paying utilities so that we can all take hot showers and host those we have over when they need to crash for a night,
having extra money in case someone (like me the past 4 months) can borrow if they need
you get the idea.

So, ask me about money. Ask me what I'm doing to discipline myself. I'll probably get uncomfortable, but remind me that the past 4.5 years have been unsuccessful in being responsible with the monetary resources I've been given.

'Cause, no, I don't need more stuff.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Word

A friend, Alece, asked me to consider having one word for 2011.
One word to focus in my year, one word that would allow me to see more of Jesus and what he has for me.

It came abruptly, but confidently.

Follow because I tend to think my actions only affect me.
I tend to make decisions on my own and then have to do a lot of apologizing for the same reason.
I get hurt because I do not listen for what He has for me, where He wants me to go.

Follow because there will be a lot of big decisions that I'll need to make this year.
Decisions affecting my future, community, relationships.

Follow because that implies actually following Jesus. Going where he goes, listening for his direction, leaning into him when I'm tired, letting him hold me when I feel scared or lost, and being disciplined in doing these faithfully.

I will follow.