a lenten hymn

I love the song Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.) by Monsters of Folk.

It struck me while listening to it this week, it sounds a bit like something like the prayers of the church in Lent. You can play the video for the sound and read along.

Dear God, I'm trying hard to reach you
Dear God, I see your face in all I do
Sometimes it's so hard to believe in
Good God I know you have your reasons

Dear God I see you move the mountains
Dear God I see you moving trees
Sometimes it's nothing to believe in
Sometimes it's everything I see

Well I've been thinking about,
And I've been breaking it down without an answer
I know I'm thinking aloud but if your loves
Still around why do we suffer?
Why do we suffer?

Dear God, I wish that I could touch you
How strange sometimes I feel I almost do
And then I'm back behind the glass again
Oh God what keeps you out it keeps me in

Well I've been thinking about,
And I've been breaking down without an answer
I know I'm thinking aloud but if your loves
Still around why do we suffer?
Why do we suffer?


crud and the Christ

Following Christ is easier said than done especially in our day to day lives. We have meetings and games and concerts and homework and more meetings and more games and practices and more homework and then it is bed time.

I feel this pressure to be busy, to live a life filled with all kinds of things that promise to make me a better person, a better runner, a better Christian, a better version of me.

Those things we do aren’t bad by themselves, but they will never fulfill their promises 100% and they often distract us from following Christ and serving his kingdom. The things filling our lives are no more than a snickers bar—filling us up, but getting us nowhere nutritionally. No wonder I need a caffeine run at 2pm just to stay awake with life. I'm filled with unsustaining crud.

Jesus lived a life full of service. Sure, he jumped from place to place (have you read Mark lately??) but not with the intention to make himself better (he didn’t much need that) but to point to his Father.

Are you pointing to the Father? Have you let go of the need to be a better version of yourself and focused in on pointing to Christ?

We have been forgiven of our failings, we are free of ourselves.

Now, let’s truly live—embracing the freedom, filling life with free things, sustaining things and things that bring freedom to others.


mighty life list

I like to read Mighty Girl (Maggie Mason)'s wanderings through completing her mighty life list. It's fun and it inspires me to take joy in random adventures in life. I made a life list this summer and have crossed a few things off the list. Here's the list as it stands today. (I'm all for additions and deletions over time; goals change!)

Alaina's Mighty Life List
  1. Have photo taken by noah kalina or scott schuman or someone just plain amazing
  2. sail the Grecian Islands
  3. attend graduate school full time
  4. successfully manage finances
  5. bike the wineries along Katy Trail
  6. read a book by a Russian novelist in Russia
  7. solve mystery eye allergy problem
  8. dance with a famous salsero, yet to be determined
  9. be a kicka** MOH to my sister
  10. visit the MOMA in NYC
  11. Check off the last 8 states on my list:
    1. Maine
    2. New Hampshire
    3. Vermont
    4. Connecticut
    5. Rhode Island
    6. North Dakota (?)
    7. Hawaii
    8. Alaska
  12. Take pictures that friends would like on their walls
  13. Make 100 soups from scratch
    1. chicken noodle
    2. Gazpacho ala Concha
    3. minestrone
    4. beef barley
  14. Call my elected representative's office informed and concerned
  15. Hike El Camino de Santiago
  16. Go on a Silent Retreat
  17. Visit Montreal
  18. Go on a sister trip every few years (other people can come too)
    1. Chicago 2009--U2!
  19. Write thank you letters to my favorite teachers
  20. Visit the Holy Land
  21. Grow, Can, and Eat Vegetables
  22. Help someone realize their dreams
  23. Re-learn how to sew
  24. Take up Vermiculture composting
  25. Mentor a young person
  26. Read The Stranger in August and Franny and Zooey in October
  27. see the taj mahal
  28. visit the pyramids
  29. share life
  30. learn to dance salsa on2 not great, but i can do it!
  31. attend SXSW or other cool hipster music festival
  32. take a watercolor painting class
  33. Write a memior that more than just my mother will read
  34. listen to all of the music in storage
  35. read all of the books on my shelves
    1. 7 storey mountain
    2. dante's trilogy
    3. ayn rand anthem
    4. a tree grows in brooklyn
  36. learn how to bake bread
  37. eat ice cream for dinner at least once a year (2008, 2009, 2010)
  38. Go paragliding
  39. visit Prague
  40. See the Northern Lights
  41. Drink a Mojito in Cuba
  42. Live more sustainably
  43. hike to Machu Pichu
  44. Read the Bible cover to cover
  45. See U2 live as many times as possible
    1. September 09 Chicago!
    2. October 09 Las Vegas!
  46. hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up
  47. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
  48. Throw parties to celebrate friend's accomplishments
  49. See Chuck Berry in the Duck Room
  50. Make 1000 wonderful things
    1. tshirt scarf
    2. painting on the wall
    3. streusel topped banana bread cobbler http://bakingbites.com/2010/02/streusel-topped-banana-bread-cobbler/#more-4294