3.18.2011

feed me, seymour!

When I was in college, I read a little book called Fast Food Nation. I read it in bed at night while my roommate finished her musicology homework. This was a mistake of massive proportions. Consequences included food-related nightmares, bedtime nausea, and a roommate that thought I was insane.

No one likes to have nightmares about food.

The long-term effects of reading Fast Food Nation at nighttime is that I have no desire whatsoever to read/watch/consider any contemporary iteration of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.  Food, Inc.?  No, thanks. Omnivore's Dilemma? I'm sure it's thoroughly informative, but I have nightmares enough without information. Informing my food nightmares would be like Seymour feeding his man-eating plant.

Even still, reading Fast Food Nation is likely the most life-changing non-fiction book I've read that had nothing to do with Jesus. It didn't just give me nightmares, it changed the way I go to the grocery store. It taught me to think critically about what I put into my mouth. It challenged me to eat with higher standards, to see food beyond its utilitarian nourishment of my body.

If you haven't read such a book, get on it. Or I might give into Audrey II's demands.

Okay, maybe not.

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This post is written as a contribution to a friendly synchroblog. Please check out the writing and art of my fellow bloggers.

adventuresofalisha, Eat, Bake, Love
iwritetoberidofthings, the bad bag of cuties
M, Food
muddleddreamer, They don't call it the big white dress for nothing
Nightsbrightdays, Fish Food
Wordshepherd, The Meat of the Hunt

3.06.2011

cleaning house

Sometimes, I get annoyed with other people when I am tired. More often than not, I get annoyed with myself.
Why can't I pick up after myself?
Why can't I just get my work done and stop procrastinating?
Why can't I stop eating chocolate?
Why can't I get out of bed?
Why can't I put together better sentences?
Why can't I just get it together?
Yes, I am hard on myself. My inner dialogue contains 900% more curse words than my verbal speech. Sometimes I forget that people can't hear all of my cursing and I'm convinced they all think I have a dirty mouth. Sometimes, I believe that other people are asking those questions about me to themselves and snicker at the inevitable conclusion: big, fat failure.

On my better days, I convince myself out of the negativity and go on about my cursing and working and get a few things done on my list. On my best days, I convince myself into actually addressing the real problem at hand: I am not perfect and despite all of my negative self-talk, I will not be perfect. There's no use trying to convince myself through negativity than perfection is possible.

I've been living in some of my less-than better days and need to clean house and mouth and mind. I want to spend more time breathing in the joy of the Lord and less time breathing in the muck of my own creation. I've got some ideas of Lenten purges in my future, but I am curious about your methods of cleaning house, heart, and mind.
What do you do to make space for joy? How have you de-cluttered your emotional and spiritual landscape?

3.05.2011

into the darkness


If we’ve passed ways recently, you’ve likely noticed a hint of exasperation in my gait and whine in my voice. Life has filled itself with heavy reading, thick theological concepts, and inches and inches of writing.  On top of it all, several weeks ago, I came to a dreadful realization. It was time to ask myself the question of all questions: why am I here?

It’s funny, in preparing to move to North Carolina and begin school that question was a frequent flier, passing the lips of friends and family, co-workers and strangers. I had seventeen different pat answers, catered to the audience and truthful to my intentions: to grow, to learn, to become more myself. Those answers are still true, but the specificity surrounding them has begged to be examined in greater detail.

The complex relationship of my faith to my life and to my career often confuses me. Sometimes it feels like they are so tightly bound to one another that only the most skilled of knitters could untangle the web. Crawling into that grisly web has been a dark and scary process.

Am I ready to see the idols I’ve made of career and job security? Am I ready to depend on my faith in discerning my future? Am I ready to open myself to the possibility that others might not like my career choices? Am I ready to risk relying on the care of God rather than my own capabilities?

In the simple act of speaking those questions aloud, I realized that while this task may be dark and painful, it serves to bring glory and light to God’s grace in my life. What could be better?

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This post is part of a synchroblog with friends.  Please read their posts!

Adventures with Alisha, From Darkness, Light
I Write to be Rid of Things, The Senior Scramble
M, Further
Muddled Dreamer, Synchroblogging in the Dark
Nightsbrightdays, Dark City