church is everywhere (and other small thoughts)

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my coffee was particularly good today, i must say. i spiked it with cinnamon and allspice and drank it with soy milk and agave. i ate a grapefruit, peeling away the membranes to eat those sweet little juice pods in their purest form. and also two fried eggs and gluten-free toast. consumed more slowly than my usual, whilst listening to some teaching from my home church.

t was at “dude church” this morning, eating breakfast with his guys and praying with them, as they do every sunday morning at 8 am in jake’s apartment. i enjoyed the stillness of the morning hour alone. i have been considering inviting a few women here who are becoming friends to start a “chick church” at the same time on sunday mornings, at my place.

i’m falling in love fast with “hobo church.” kiersty went with me today. pastor bill (who, as it turns out, has a day job as an art critic for a local television station and a long career as a journalist) preached about comforting the afflicted and reflected on the fact that in the church were he’s been put down to preach for 33 years, there aren’t a lot of comfortable folks needing afflicting, but rather lots of afflicted ones needing some comfort. in the basement afterwards, with our plates full of instant mashed potatoes, baked chicken, and over-cooked veggies, we found some seats , and we gathered some stories from the people seated at our table (this morning we ate with jean and george and kim and shirley and robert). if there’s one thing a person who is homeless and/or an alcoholic has a lot of, it is stories, and usually if you can pull on one thread of story, a whole spool will come tumbling out. this openness is so beautiful to me. on the way out, i saw our neighbors from the “chiropractic office” and introduced myself. they remembered t from the time a couple of weeks ago when he helped them carry some things upstairs. their names are dave and dorothy. i  want to bake muffins for them. i want to help them find a car, since theirs was totaled this week in a hit-and-run.

maybe we’ll go to africa one day sooner than we thought. not in an ultimate sense, as in picking up our life and moving it across an ocean, but in a shorter-term sense. there’s an invitation on the table to perhaps lead a team on a trip to algeria and/or uganda next year. though we’ve lots yet to find out about it before we can make a decision, i think our hearts are inclined toward yes.

this week t and i have been co-leading our first attempt at daily, corporate evening prayer in the boiler room community here. we’ve been trying just to have our ears open to the holy spirit and then to gently nudge the course of the hour in the direction we sense He’s taking us. i feel a synchronicity we have not worked at, but which is naturally present when we lead together in almost any context. i have also felt it when we’ve co-lead book discussions with the Transit students from last year, or when we spontaneously have opportunity to love on someone who is hurting. together, we find our way through and something rich and meaningful is given. so, the idea of also co-leading a trip to africa with him feels like a marvelous adventure, another opportunity to grow in our ability to partner in leadership, as well as to experience together a continent that we individually have concern for and history with. i need t. i’m better with him beside me.

evening prayer has been so very good. it’s like something broke and there is this release and this joy in seeking His face together. i am deeply certain of His presence with us and anointing over it. prayer this week has been the book end of each day. corporate prayer builds intimacy at rapid-fire rates, and i’m finding that my heart is opening up in deeper love for each person who shares that space with me each night. i feel this might be part of how He makes us into family.we are praying about whether or how to continue with this after the initially set two weeks. the Shepherd will direct us sheep into rhythms that are life-giving, but i have to admit that i hope He’ll lead us to continue on in much the same manner, only perhaps with one or two days of rest from it each week.

i get to go to Michigan this week. i get to hold claire and support her mom and dad. i’m a little scared to go. because i know it’ll rip the still-fresh scab off the wound of my homesickness. just when it starts to heal…

some smaller things:

  • the way the light comes through the south-east windows of our apartment on clear-skied mornings makes me feel beautifully melancholic.
  • i’m going to create a cookbook. it’s going to be gorgeous. wait and see.
  • a woman named Momma Ginger, whom i found on etsy.com, is making slippers for me out of orange corduroy and ivory-plaid flannel. they are so stinkin’ adorable.
  • i got a new cookbook for the day care, which means that this week the kiddos get to eat some new things like a risotto with greens and buckwheat crepes and carrot-parsnip soup with rye toast. yes, they eat this stuff!
  • t got an award from REM Wisconsin for his “spirit of support” with the developmentally disabled adults he works with every day. afterward, his supervisors went on and on to me about what a gift he is to them. i’m a proud wife.
  • still doing my morning photos quite faithfully (though today i missed my window of opportunity)
  • we got a trial membership to Netflix because we wanted to watch The Business of Being Born through it’s streaming option, but now i fear we may become hooked because we realized how many great documentaries and unique films we can get access to through it.
  • t scored a great hard-case guitar case through craigslist this week for pretty cheap, which we were able to pay for with an unexpected and late-coming wedding gift check. he’s thrilled with it and keeps saying so.
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