books of late

things that have gotten me writing and thinking of late:

third culture kids: the experience of growing up among worlds, pollack and van reken

this book is about me, my brothers, my mom, cousins, my husband... anyone who has grown up in a culture that is supposedly "other" to their native one, or has raised children in that atmosphere, should read this. missionary kids, military brats, expats... this book describes the experience of growing up cross culturally, and what blessings and challenges it can bring to your life.

a return to modesty: discovering the lost virtue, shalit

her first book, it's been on my list for ages... brought me lots to chew on. read it.

amazing grace: a vocabulary of faith, norris

you want this one your shelf. if you have ever struggled with the concept of faith and religion... read it, refer to it, it's a good one.

sex god: exploring the endless connections between spirituality and sexuality, bell

sensational title, no? a good easy read, still thought provoking and/or reaffirming.

good things, observations, books and resolutions

not going to lie, the first couple months of marriage have been hectic. not necessarily because of anything... horrible, but a lot of shifting has been going on. i have just completed my fourth "move" in a year's time, and there will be at least one more before the summer ends!

good things:

- eric has been accepted to the graduate program at Wichita State University
- mom and dad are letting us crash in their basement til we've saved up a bit
- i have a job again - JCP, again - and am thankful for employment, however mainstream ;)
- we're going to look at a farmhouse that we might rent tonight - i'm very excited
- in two weeks, we'll have been married 3 months!

oh! and in family news:

- eric's sister graduates high school next week
- we're visiting them in Arizona, and seeing the Grand Canyon (a first for me)
- eric's dad, paul, made general - wow.

mom and dad are busily winding up for summer. vbs and camps and all that stuff. it's good to be near them. i didn't quite imagine myself moving back to winfield after all the fuss moving to tennessee and then ohio etc. being back, and before we moved - the prospect of being back - has made me realize how much i connect to this part of the US. oklahoma, kansas, texas - my american growing up places - i've underestimated their value and place in my mind and memories. i love being somewhere where i can tell the stories, where i know a little history, where i have "roots".

allison gave me a book at christmas that i've slowly pawed through, rolling each word around in my mouth before chewing: "amazing grace: a vocabulary of faith" by kathleen norris... it's reminded me of a desire for simple life and a life connected to people, not things and ambitions, and a life more prone to spiritual development. of course this awesome book would come from allison. ;)

looking over my last few posts, i've been a little wearied by how "dramatic" i sound. i'm hoping to: a. write more often, in general and b. talk about what is going on in the world outside my head.

furthermore, it has occured to me that successful blogs have photos. alas, i don't own a camera or have any desire to at the moment, but i do have photos... lots. especially since i just got married and stuff. so, more to come in that area.

'til then, i shall go and dream of my life on a kansas farm and of all the pretty things i want to grow.


my family

recently "friended" a few cousins - well, second cousins - from my mom's side of the family, both paternal and maternal. growing up mostly away - until "high school" age anyway - i didn't know them. not much anyhow. their world seemed so different, so connected, and so... american. it still does, but in a different way now.

american. it used to connote more disgust than it does now. i was so afraid of being "it". when we came back to the states, there were nights too many that i cried myself to sleep because i felt i would never be happy, and i would definitely never fit in.

then the point came when, in some ways in order to cope, i distanced myself. i created a persona that was above the pointless pop culture and peer pressure, where i looked down on the waste and limited mindset of "my" generation. it was easier. i couldn't get in, so i made staying out a paradise.

it helped to homeschool, and it helped to already be a missionary's kid... i was weird, i was an outsider... so i simply embraced the label i felt placed on me. i was wise beyond my years, above the growing up phase and spiritually mature in a way most teens weren't


and it hurt when i hit the point one day where i realized, i had no coming of age. i had no time to rebel... i'm still not sure it's necessary, but since then it seems to have become so. when i realized i was no more mature than those around me, maybe even less so, i gave up in a grand way. and i'm not talking about "knowing" more - that i was more naiive than some ( i was)... but that there truly were people my age who could make better, wiser decisions than i could.


on the other hand, there have been things that i've never wished away and never regretted. i love african childhood. i love my american childhood too. i am thankful for the family, both african and american who nurtured me and helped shape my unique identity.

it really does hurt sometimes, knowing i missed out, that there are "blood" relatives who missed out on knowing me, and i them. it is strange though, to even begin to imagine my life without the shade of the highland mountains... the beauty of the bvumba and the joy we felt when the rains returned to us... i cannot go back, but i can honor a time in my life that has moved me forward, knowing great joys and sorrows with great gain.

my family is all over. tennessee, oklahoma, estonia, zimbabwe, texas, italy... each place and each person hold a multitude of stories and memories that make up me.



i am homesick. grieving for losses i had not acknowledged before. 

loving the life i've lived, and hurting through the moments when no one knew me. 

home, africa, as i knew it - replete with love friends laughter music happiness and the smells and tastes i know best - is gone. 

what i had will never exist in quite the same way again. and since, i have struggled to find it once more, pushed and pulled to tearing the life i have lived so that i might eek out a semblance of what was. 

tonight i am a foreigner in the land i am bred from. this place, i am told, is home. i do not remember it. i do not know it. it does not know me. what i see hurts my heart, and fills me with sadness.

the waste. the anger. the selfishness. the silent secret gnawing and empty pain.

where am i from?

i am from my family's heart, i am from where i'm going to, i am from wherever i am.

but i'm weary, and tired of the going going going. the pushing pushing pushing. this world wearies me,

doesn't it weary you?


this is the week

this is the week where everything about me comes under question, where it all looms above and in a deep voice demands an account of me.

it does.

it's been this way four years running now. two years ago it paralyzed me, i was miserable, and those who loved me knew it - maybe even those who didn't know me knew it. last year, i pushed through, i demanded of myself a perfection that had yet to be achieved. i was brilliant, i was bold, and i got nine job offers out of that SETC.

this year, i am meeting so many things with different eyes. eyes that are less sad, still knowing, more hopeful. so many things are renewed.

i am determined that, if this week will always hit me over the head with bells and sirens alerting me to all my past sore points, then from here on i will glance up at the deep booming voice, grin, wave and say, "let's talk".

because, i am not afraid of what i once was afraid of. there was a time in my life when i thought god was bringing on me all of my worst fears, and that i would never be whole again and never be "good". someone i respect, who has faced more fear, pointed out this week that fear can turn into faith... and faith is,

"the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

the hurts happened, they healed slowly, awkwardly, and some still ache when the weather's not right, but they are past tense. they inform my present and future, but they do not define me.



good grief.

life is so draining/exhilerating/paused/pressured


costumes for another show... macbeth in the civil war? really?

and dreaming about the design process for the next. the little prince.

my resolve about theatre for this year: do not seek it out for one year, but if it hits you over the head, let it.

ouch. it keeps hitting me, and it's not even february yet.

i'm getting married in exactly 30 days. ... yeah.

overwhelmed. good. overwhelmed.