Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have been so busy these past few weeks that I had a bit of a breakdown at the train station.  So now, I'm trying to rest.

I wish I had a picture of the red wine chocolate cake to share, but I might still go out to the picnic that is later tonight.  But here are some pictures of the food I made for our community lunch and the altar flowers I did for this Sunday's African celebration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I wish I knew who was singing this so I could download it on my iPod.  It's absolutely stunning.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Say A Prayer, Say A Prayer In The Night"

For in truth, no one is really timid and weak who knowingly leans upon the assistance of God.
- Francis Xavier

If you remember or feel compelled, would you please say a prayer for me at 4pm (New York City time, 1pm West Coast time)?  God knows my longing and I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you all for your love and kindness!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Learning To Say Thank You

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My sister-in-law refuses to send thank you notes.  She says that, if you're going to see the person every day, you don't need to send a note.  I was raised that you sit down the DAY AFTER and you PERSONALIZE each one of those thank you cards, thankyouverymuch.

I will admit, I've gotten a bit lax at times, but I try my darndest to send out thank you notes.  Hand written, so that the person knows that I took the time to think about them with each pen stroke.

Thank you notes to God.  That is one that I probably neglect the most.

So I would like to make today's thank you note.

Thank you, Father!  Thank you for the good and bad, the happy and sad and:

1) For waking up
2) For sleeping in
3) For a great physical today
4) For being able to draw prayers on the doctor's paper on the bed
5) For a good lunch
6) For A lunch
7) For an unexpected phone call
8) For cleaning supplies that really work
9) For the kindness of a good friend
10) For recipes that I'm excited to make
11) For water, cold water
12) For a cat who drinks my water
13) For moments that are teaching me patience
14) For a husband who doesn't question that I NEED whipped cream vodka or supports me in moments that seem insane
15) For blood being drawn
16) For partial answers for beautiful friends, even though they are somewhat hard
17) For fully cooked potatoes
18) For random CDs in the mail
19) For hearing from Belinda
20) For bedtime stories
21) For Bible stories
22) For making stories every day

What are you feeling thankful for?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The 10th Anniversary

The thing I remember most about 9/11 was the confusion. My father was in Japan on business.  When could daddy come home?  My Nana had left from the D.C. airport.  Was she on one of those planes?

I remember sitting in English class in smalltown, Ohio and my classmate's mother told her to be careful.  She was of Indian descent and her mother said, "Be careful.  They won't know they difference, just the color of your skin."

But being in New York is a completely different story.

It's everywhere here.  My husband and I can see the World Trade Center being built and on 9/11 we can see where the towers once stood.

When we go for a walk on the boardwalk near our apartment, we are greeted by a large piece of World Trade Center steel covered in rosaries, funeral cards, American flags.  We take the World Trade Center PATH train to get to downtown Manhattan.  Our church is full of people who lived through that day.  The woman I once nannied for talked about how her life was covered in ash after that day, remembers nearly walking through the doors when the planes hit.

Now, it's not only the 10th year anniversary, but there is a credible threat, once again.  It's the time of year when people feel uneasy here, when we have terrorist drills, when the AK-47's come out at the subway station and there are many more dogs.

We are somewhat fearful.  It is scary to see those guns.  Or to know that the tunnel you are about to drive through has been targeted by someone who does not care about who you are or who you love, but that you are American.  I feel so conflicted about these things.  Would these things still happen if we just got out of all these wars?  Is there a way to love your neighbor when your neighbor will not listen?  What does forgiveness mean in the face of undeniable tragedy?

I do not have any of the answers, that is for sure.  But I pray for what Isaiah spoke of and what was summed up by Archbishop Romero:
We have never preached violence, except the violence of love, which left Christ nailed to a cross, the violence that we must each do to ourselves to overcome our selfishness and such cruel inequalities among us. The violence we preach is not the violence of the sword, the violence of hatred. It is the violence of love, of brotherhood, the violence that wills to beat weapons into sickles for work.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Pick-Me-Up

Things are a bit complicated and that's fine.  I'm still feeling joyful.  But I'm remembering my husband and I singing this in the car while we were in Ohio and it makes me smile.  So enjoy this song!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Cross of Iron

Have you ever heard of the Poverty and Justice Bible?

I really like it.  I got it through World Vision and it was a great "purchase."

It has a section that discusses what the Bible says on certain things, like job wages, women and war.

The one on war has always got to me and I wanted to share a quote that is in that section.  It's a line from President Eisenhower's "Cross of Iron" speech.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

I was thinking about this quote and about the crisis in the Horn of Africa.  The WFP was reporting that Congress is looking to cut aid by 75% for food in areas of hunger.  I know that many people have also read that the reason Somalia's famine is so bad is not just (or even mainly) because of lack of rain, but because of conflict, of militants who refuse to not only get help for their people, but who refuse to even admit that their people are hungry.

So what can we do?  Well, I'm not sure.  Other than prayer, I'm not sure.  But we have hope - hope that God will save us, hope that hearts will turn and that someone, on either side of the world understands the implications of war.  We can stand with the poor and whisper to those in power the needs of the world and hope that they hear.

If you would like to help those effected by war:
Collateral Repair Project - supporting Iraqi Refugees
SOA Watch - a group working to close the School of Americas that trains South Americans and is often tied to human rights abuses.

If you would like to help those devastated by famine:
World Vision
World Food Program