Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No other music expresses the beauty of this season like Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring." Every year around this time I stare out my window as the leaves spiral downward; "Moderato-Coda" fills the space around me causing the hair on my arm stand on end, and I am lulled into an euphoric autumn coma. I have no choice but to respond. Great music forces you to be moved; forces you to feel.
To me, music shows the best side of humanity. It is a way I see God's imprint in our lives. Whether or not it is secular or sacred, I can express or experience something holy through it.
It is my constant companion. Even in silence it continues to play inside my head.
My family connects to music in a powerful way. My parents wanted us to learn it, understand it, and appreciate it as much as they did. Thus, it has formed who I am, how I feel, how I see things.
It is this incredible gift from our Creator allowing us, the created, to create something for ourselves that is nothing short of supernatural.

I am filled with awe.

Now do yourself a giant favor and listen to "Appalachian Spring" in its entirety. You will be enlightened.

"So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning." - Aaron Copland.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If you know anything about me, you know I love the seasons. Each one unique, each one beautiful, each one representing an end and a beginning. What a beautiful way to watch time.
Yet, nothing warms my hopeless romantic heart like Autumn. My eager anticipation for the turning of the leaves, the crisp air, the smell of pumpkin candles, and my mom's molasses brown bread confirms it is the fall I love most.
It is a nostalgic time of year. My thoughts turn homeward and waves of melancholy rush over me every now and again.
I am filled with a healthy balance of sadness and joy. I am much more in tune with my emotions, much more sentimental, but I do not feel weighed down. It makes me feel more alive, more....human.
What beauty.

And now, bike in tow, I head to Sauvie Island in search of a pumpkin patch and a great escape.
It's the simple things.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

newly old.

I am nibbling a raspberry cardamom scone and sipping a single origin espresso at Ristretto Roasters in NE Portland. It is sunny and the large glass garage door is wide open. A light breeze tickles my arm. It is my second summer as a resident of this city.

I see Portland differently now. I loved being new to the city last year. I loved those months of discovery. I was in the honeymoon stage of my relationship with this place. Everything was new, exciting and unfamiliar. Now, I am comfortable. I understand the rhythm of this city.

There is something to be said about familiarity. Newness is refreshing, but feeling settled brings a deep sense of peace. History has a richness to it.
I have my Portland spots. I know how, where, and with whom I want to spend my time this summer. Of course, as in any relationship, this city will still surprise me. I won't cease to discover new things or make new friendships, but it's nice to have my feet on the ground. I am firmly planted. This is my town now, and it feels good to be home.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This Friday is my year-versary with Portland. It's a little hard to believe, but when I hit pause and think on all the things that have happened over the course of 12 months, it's actually quite believable. Days quickly turn into weeks, weeks into months, and it gets hard to separate the significant from the insignificant. That is the beauty of blogging people. Forced processing. Start writing, and something's bound to come to the surface.

I came to Portland with hope.
That's pretty much it.
I didn't know if things would work out, I didn't know if I would find a job, I didn't know if I would find a real sense of community, but I did know that the Lord wanted me here for reasons of His own. So I packed my things and moved down.
Things didn't fall into place all at once. I had to be patient- again, and again, and again...and again...and...again. I am still being patient, or more truthfully speaking, being forced to have patience. Quite the reoccurring lesson for me.
I moved into the guest room of an incredible couple. They generously shared their home with me as I struggled to find my footing.
I got a job working part time as a barista in the Alphabet district. I made coffee, I made pastries, I made friends. It was a great job to start out with, and part-time meant extra time to explore my new city. Since it was Spring when I arrived, I spent a good amount of time outdoors which continued into the summer. It is beautiful here. Green. Lush. Scenic. I walked to Forest Park after work. I rode my bike around Sauvie Island. I read books in the rose garden at Washington Park. I strolled along the boardwalk by the river. Life poured into me.
Come fall I got a new job in the SE as a full-time barista. The extra hours, and higher pay made it possible for me to move into a house in SE Portland- the focus area of my ministry.
I love my house. I love that I can walk to work. I love the Clinton neighborhood- the places and the people. Oh the people.
I have met some incredibles here. Some share many similarities, and some could not be more polar-opposite, but I love them. They are dear friends who shape me, challenge me, encourage me, and fill me with life.
I love the SE. It is a gem of a place. Since working at the bakery, I recognize many faces. I can walk to the grocery store and wave to my coffee shop 'regulars' working in their yards. I go to Clinton St. Pub with my co-workers after work to visit our friendly bartender, Wade, and talk it up with the fellow Clinton street service workers. It's a close community. Very close (some of my friends will read into that and giggle. They know why).
I go running in my neighborhood and pass by the quaint old houses, each with a history all their own. I feel connected.
On Sundays I hang out with my fellow church-planters, share a meal, a beer, and study the Word. I'm excited about where the Lord is taking us. I'm excited to root myself here.
In the past few months I have also been investing my time with an nonprofit called Oncology Youth Connection. The idea was birthed a few years ago, and it is finally starting to take off. Essentially it works to provide a sort of social support group for young adults with cancer. I have been playing the role of event coordinator, and am loving it. It's an incredible organization. The people I work with inspire me and I feel blessed to call them friends.
Sheesh. What a year, right?
It may sound picture perfect. It hasn't been, but I'm not choosing to talk about the struggles and the disappointments. We already know life is full of those. This is not a time to be cynical, because though I've faced some bumpy roads, I really do have much to be thankful for. There are reasons to be joyful, so I should celebrate them. After all, it is my year-versary.
This city has been good to me folks. Very good.
It may not be a place for everyone, but it is a place for me.

Friday, February 12, 2010


New things are happening in my life.
Not necessarily things that I can identify as significant. Not yet anyhow.
I think it is more about the realization I finally have that there is always newness. That life is always stirring, never stagnant. New is a constant. It is something we can count on, but do not always see. It's a process we have to trust.
I have been thinking on this a lot lately. I am convinced my soul is connected to the seasons as I find it rather appropriate my thoughts are centering around the concept of "newness" on the cusp of spring.
Winter must be coming to a close. The light of Hope is piercing through the gray, and my heart is opening again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Every time I try to blog my mind draws a blank. I've been on hiatus for awhile now. I can't blog just to blog. I need to feel inspired. I need to feel a desire to share a piece of myself with a community. It's public vulnerability. A lot has been on my heart lately, but I want to keep it inside. I think it's the winter. It makes me process internally. It forces me into solitude. The darkness gets to me. The cold gets to me. I shut myself indoors and drown in tea and thoughts.
This can be a good thing, and a very hard thing. But, it's a season. I'm learning about myself...and maybe I'll have something to share about that..in the Spring :)