Daily Archives: December 20, 2011

Likes! and Spiritual Stuff

Lots of ‘Likes!’ to share today!

I like citrus.
I’m going ga-ga for citrus these days.  We went to the grocery late Friday night and returned to the apartment with nine pounds of citrus fruits. I love December for the ability to buy 3 pounds each of tangerines, navel oranges, and clementines for less than $6, total. 

I like blogs. Big and small. Loved and loathed. Lots of blogs.
List of blogs I didn’t used to read, that I recently started reading and must admit, I am a fan [all for different reasons, of course]:
> On Tap for Today
> Running Off the Reese’s
> Eden Eats Everything

List of blogs I used to subscribe to, had unsubscribed for one reason or another, then started reading again and really dig:
> Marta Writes
> Becoming the Odd Duck
> Finding a New Life Through Food

List of blogs I’ve been reading for a v. long time and I personally think REALLY know how to write for their audience.  These blogs all have strong followings, and you probably already either love them or loathe them.  Seriously, these are three BRILLIANT girls who I’ve been communicating with via email for YEARS now.  [they each have a v. special way of giving boy-advice, for the record 😉 ]  Love them. You might, too!
> Healthy Tipping Point
> How Sweet It Is
> The Life Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson

I like cookies.
Am also a fan of all the Christmas cookies in the land.  Apart from my own baking, I’ve received a few plates and tins from co-workers and friends this week, as well as a special delivery by mail from my Grandparents in Wisconsin!  I was super excited when I saw this tag on a box:

Open Now?!!  I know what THAT means – cookies from Grandma’s kitchen!!  I even see some kolache’s up in there 🙂   Thanks, Gram!!

I like adult beverages.
This past weekend, Nicholas and I went to a party.  I took Joy’s advice in the comments section of Refresher and purchased both the Angry Orchard’s Apple Ginger and Mike’s Hard Winter Blackberry.  Both were super refreshing and tasty, and as expected, the Mike’s was a lot sweeter.  I would say I prefer the Angry Orchard, because I could drink more than one without getting “sugar sick.”  [Do you know what I mean by sugar sick?  It’s a common issue I have with certain malt beverages in which any more than a bottle and a half and I’m ready to stop consuming ANYTHING.]

We also found out that we are fans of POM Wonderful Pom-Cranberry with Grey Goose. And by we, I mean it may be a new favorite of one Mr. Nicholas T. Boyfriend.

I like Pass the Popcorn.
At the party we played Pass the Popcorn, which has quickly made it’s way to the top ten favorite board/family games list!  I was especially a fan because I knew A LOT of answers, even though I hadn’t seen very many of the movies we discussed.  Pop Culture Princess, win.  Highly recommended.  [Especially if you are a fan of the Doug Loves Movies podcast! ]

I like Podcasts. and self definition. and a so-called spiritual journey.
Speaking of podcasts, I’ve been working on a list of “Ten Must Listen to Podcasts Part 2” [part 1 is here] for a few days now, and as it turns out, I may have to do parts 2 and 3 fairly close together.  There are SO MANY good ones I’ve been loving these days. 

One that I’ve declared my new favorite is You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes.  It’s part of the Nerdist Industries family of podcasting which shouldn’t be a surprise. You may remember my love for the original Nerdist podcast from part 1 mentioned above, and there are several other Nerdist Industry podcasts I’ve been listening too, as well.  But You Made it Weird has, unsuspectedly, been challenging my thinking and helping me process my beliefs and understanding of myself and the world. [I love how inspiration sneaks up anywhere it desires. Like comedy podcasts, for example.] 

A few months ago, I admitted to some friends that I knew I was on the verge of what I called a “spiritual breakthrough.” 

What I meant by this had little to do with what a bible-belt believing Christian might call a “spiritual breakthrough”, but more to do with MY OWN SPIRIT.  The spirit of who I am and what I believe and what I support and what I stand against and what I choose and how I live.  Of course, thoughts on God are included on the long list of “what I believe” definitions, but to me, this journey is SO MUCH MORE than religion.  I felt like I was approaching a season of enlightenment within my soul, [wow, this sounds really hippie-ish, does it not?]  but I knew I was pushing it off and avoiding it because I honestly felt completely unprepared to deal with any of the emotional junk that I knew would accompany it.

You know, one of the things that was said in the GOMI forum about THS [in this comment] really got me thinking about my lack of talking about my past life in the church and ministry, what I experienced there, and where it has lead me now. [Obviously, as that’s basically exactly what the comment in the forum says.]   I mentioned in September that one of my goals for the next year of THS was to give “a better explanation of the stories behind working in ministry morphing into avoiding the church at all costs,” because of how right that commenter is, but also because I am still working through the very twisted emotions and processing through the memories from that time in my life. It appears that I’m working on a better explanation for myself, as well. 

In the last few weeks, I’ve felt that I’m starting to really sort through some of this stuff.  [As I said before, the You Made It Weird podcast has unexpectedly had a large hand in this.  It has sparked many conversations and introspective sessions of “what do I think?”]  I know that I can’t rush it, and I know that this is a probably a season of my life similar to one just about everyone in their mid to late twenties faces – a blend of “who am I?” “who do I want to be?” and “how can I be that person?” on many levels.

It’s not easy, for lots of reasons.  A big part of it is probably pride, I am aware.  In sharing my stories, I will no doubt admit I was wrong a million times.  That’s not always easy, but almost always necessary, right? 

Also, opening up my past experiences with ministering will no doubt hurt some people in my life.  That’s never fun.  But, I know that if I am being  completely honest with myself, and with you all, that it will be the right thing to do.  I don’t want to seem attacking at all in my sharing of my past, but I do want to accurately explain the experiences from my point of view, and the emotions I felt both at the time and after the fact, and especially now, looking back.* 

And one more disclaimer, before posts about this journey I’ve been on start showing up here.  These stories are intertwined with stories of my past relationships, a topic a lot of people have voiced I should stop talking about. [and I clearly sort-of agree, as I’ve not posted about old relationships in several months.]  We met working in youth ministry and our lives were mapped out with the intention of working in ministry for the remainder of our lives. 

Being perfectly candid before diving into the muck: So much of what I believed about God and church was based on what I thought my ex WANTED me to believe, rather than what I truly comprehended on my own.  I was not at all secure in myself and my own choices or abilities.  So, there will most likely be SOME discussion about the ex, our relationship, and my lack of self during those years.  You’ve been warned.

After all that heavy, I need a drink.  Happy hour, anyone?

Oh! and don’t forget about the giveaway taking place over on the THS Facebook page.

[*Fun fact: at one time, when I was delusional enough to think I would be writing a book some day, I thought that “In Hindsight: Lessons I Had to Learn Twice” was the perfect name for my collection of essay-style tales of church and brokeness.  Now that I’ve wised up, maybe I’ll just use “In Hindsight” as a series name as I move forward in sharing.]