Hello friends of La Bodega. A move is again in the works for me as far as this blog goes. Right now I’m experiementing and getting to know http://www.voxtropolis.com. An online “City of Voices”, dreamed up and put together by my friend Alex and group of bloggers that also happen to be church plantes/workers/kingdom advancers. I’ve posted a few things over there and probably going to be officially moving there as soo as find the time. Thanks for reading here. Thanks for reading there:
Last Tuesday evening I had the immense privilege of having coffee with one hmb. Having spent Christmas with her family in Coshocton, Ohio, she continued to see as many friends in the Midwest as possible, post holiday. That list of people included me, and we were able share some good conversation and a cup of coffee at Soma Coffeehouse in Bloomington.
Heather and I share a dream. And that dream is to be the mysterious girl in the corner of the room. There’s something that she and I both do in order to try and achieve this dream. Before we go into a social situation we give ourselves a pep talk. Well, actually, it’s really an anti-pep talk. She and I did improv comedy at Taylor together. One thing I noticed about those who ended up trying out for Rice Pilaf was that they were always encouraged by someone or some group of friends who told them that they would be good at it simply because they were funny in everyday situations. Funny on the fly, sharp witted, never to be out done. That’s us. Not because we want to be comics, but because we already are. It’s in our fashioning. It’s so natural that we just can’t help it.
The anti-pep talk goes a little something like this, at least for me:
Now Adria, don’t draw attention to yourself tonight. You don’t need to be loud, you don’t need to make everything funny. Just people watch and think. It’s okay if people don’t think that you are fun, or funny.
So many evenings have ended with me lying in my bed and thinking about what a moron I had been at whatever gathering had just ended. I was too loud. Too funny. Too honest, sometimes. What is it in me that makes me do this? I wouldn’t describe myself as attention starved or anything. It’s just a part of who I am, even if it is a part of me that is a little broken somewhere. And I’m okay with that. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep giving myself anti-pep talks. It doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying to accomplish the dream of being mysterious girl in corner. It simply means that I’m at peace with God and who I am becoming. Who he created me to be. Part of that person is mysterious girl in corner. Part of that person is just plain hilarious.
hmb, here’s to our dream of being quiet souls (which we already are) with an appreciation for our Father’s sense of humor.
Thank you Rob Bell for this and so much more. You make me want to study and talk to people for the rest of my life.
I suppose this is a milestone of sorts. I also suppose I could have reached this point a lot sooner. It has taken me almost 2 full years to finally reach 100 posts to La Bodega. To celebrate, I just want to write about why this place has existed and why it will exists in the future.
I started La Bodega in January of 2004 as I began to discover this new way of communicating with not only those who I know, but with the entire world. I began to write while my soul was in a place of despair and as life moved forward I continued writing as a means to find healing. I posted once in January, twice in April and once in May of that year. It wasn’t until June that La Bodega really took off with consistent posts. That summer I moved to Los Angeles to be a part of Mosaic. Many people were interested in what was going on out there and instead of doing a mass email thing I decided to just document some of my summer at La Bodega and people could check the site at their own convenience. As I read back through some of those early blogs I’m reminded of the life change that took place in those few brief months and how it has shaped me.
My intentions were to keep writing about life as a church planter, culture at large and the everyday ins and outs of coffeeshop life. I found, however, a hesitation in writing certain details or telling certain stories having to do with people I was getting to know. Trying to be a responsible blogger I concluded that it probably isn’t super ethical to write about people I was getting to know without their permission. Therefore, La Bodega lacks many interesting, hilarious and thought-provoking stories simply to protect the privacy of those involved. Perhaps at some point I will gain permission to write these stories. For now I will treasure them and ponder them in my heart. Or tell you personally if you ask about them : )
Today I spent some time with a good friend and was inspired to continue more consistantly with blogging, using it as a portal into the mystic . I’m not sure what the next 100 posts will hold. I am sure that life will provide plenty of topics. I only hope I’m paying attention to the details and that La Bodega is a place where the living God is honored.
Of the last 100 posts, here are my top five favorites, for your reading pleasure:
Thanks for reading. I’ve enjoyed the journey with you. May it continue.
I don’t know if any of you who read these thoughts that spill out of me from time to time ever click the link to where my good friend Heather Baker writes, but you should. And so to give some publicity to my good friend my post for today is actually one of her posts, to which my response was, "yeah, that’s seems just about right." Soak it up…A
Of Dostoevsky and Lesser Things.
Last night, when I returned home from my 20/30-something Women’s Bible Study, I sat down on the couch and wanted nothing more than to read The Brothers Karamazov. This is an odd feeling, because usually when I’m arriving home after an emotionally-draining day, I want some mind-numbing television and sleep. For whatever reason, last night was different.
I had woken up that morning frustrated and sad over of a situation with a student, in which I felt partially to blame…and I mellowly filled in the rest of my day trying to figure out what to do. After a series of staff meetings, I picked up a few students for a meeting and was finally able to grin and laugh with them about french fries and tanning. We had a good talk, but as I dropped them off, I could feel exhaustion setting in…
And yet I still had one more appointment and my evening Bible Study…later, Heidi and I were talking about whether or not we should go to Bible Study when we’re exhausted, and I recommended that we should not go if we’re not going to be mentally present….
Later that evening, while physically present at Bible study, I was rather mentally disengaged (disengaged enough to have spilled an entire cup of hot chai down my denim skirt)…and yet, we began talking about this concept again, of whether or not we should stop going to things if we plan to be ’emotionally unavailable,’ and I was reminded of something in Lauren Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath, or maybe it’s in Girl Meets God, where she talked about how in the Jewish culture, the practices of faith are important because they keep your body doing your faith, even when your soul and mind do not…that way, when you catch up, your body is already there to remember where you were.
It’s a beautiful concept to know that your body can help you to remember things your mind and soul might forget…and for whatever reason, last night, my body remembered that it used to sit on couches late at night for hours at a time reading Russian literature, and it directed my mind and soul that way. A few minutes later, I’m laughing outloud about a shaggy dog in The Brothers Karamazov, thankful that I have not entirely forgotten how to enjoy the process of reading, even though the book mark I was using had notes about Substitute Teaching on it, meaning it’s been two years since I have been a faithful reader of Dostoevsky.
Somehow, over the last few months, the process of hoisting up bookshelves and laying out my Taylor guitar in my living room has reminded me of who I used to be–before Washington, before kayaking, and before Verizon…slowly, my evenings at home have become about reading, knitting, and songwriting. Suddenly, it feels like our homes always need to be places where we build around us the kind of person we want to be, so that when we forget, we can return home and our bodies remember.
It’s been over a year since I lived in Los Angeles, yet I find that what I learned that summer always stays with me. I did a lot of growing up there, and I was poured into by people who are leading with their lives-heart, soul, mind and strength. I had a conversation one time with Alex McManus. One of many conversations that we had that summer. It is hard to explain unless you have it in you. This thing that pushes you forward. This sense of your life being powerful, meaningful. This sense that God wants to accomplish something great with your life. Alex calls it the sense of "must". I don’t want to be a "church leader". I don’t want to teach people and walk with them through the Bible. I don’t want to build relationships with people who don’t know Jesus. I don’t want to create a community of people who bring the kingdom of God to a broken world. I don’t WANT to do any of this that I am indeed doing. I simply MUST. It is not an option. That is what drives me to live the way I do. It isn’t a perfect life by any means, but it is a life conducive to the "must" within me. The "must" will haunt me until this is all over. It’s enough to drive a person mad. To think, I have 50 years or more (maybe) to live out this these longings that claw at me; that won’t ever go away. I’ve tried to quiet them. I’ve tried to ignore them. I have found that I have no free will to do so. Erwin said to me last summer that I am in the small percentage of people in this world who wake up thinking that they can and must change the world. Then he warned me: "Never under estimate one single act of faithfulness."
In a world full of people
Only some want to fly.
Is that not crazy?
No, we’re never going to suvive
Unless we get a little crazy.
Freedom has a scent
Like the top of a new born baby’s head.
The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile.
I’ve had enough
I’m not giving up
On a miracle drug.
-U2 [Miracle Drug]
Asheville is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. I’ve always heard great things about it. And, if one has ever been to North Carolina in general, one will know the feeling of always being pulled back. The beauty of autumn always enhances the pull. Well, the opportunity came for me to go two weekends ago. The weather and scenery were beautiful, and I am convinced that better company could not have been had.
We left on a Friday evening, after work. Three in our party of six had left earlier in the day, and Melanie, Blaine and I were left to catch up with them at Ridgecrest. Before anyone thinks that the weekend was full of deep meaningful and profound conversation about the mysteries of the universe, I must say that I would be challenged to find a group of six more sarcastic, cynical and witty folks to travel with. Much laughter was had by all. It is about a six hour drive from Nashville, and the topics of conversation on the way there consisted of Bon Jovi , Successories , Reading Rainbow , NASCAR and much more.
Not long into our trip, we decided to make a stop for some dinner at Chick-fil-A. We exited the interstate and drove to the restaraunt. We drove one mile…two miles…three miles…into Cookeville, TN. There was literally no sign of the Chick-fil-A. We drove back towards the interstate to get gas and Blaine asked the attendant where the Chick-fil-A was.
We were apparently supposed to make a right turn down a road that we missed. We ranted for a while about how they should have signs, and why didn’t they have signs??!! We wasted 40 minutes of our travels with that stop. We left the gas station, headed for the Chick-fil-A, finally, when we saw this…sign.
They should really have signs.
We arrived at our destination at 1:00 am EST and went directly to bed. Our lodging was at a conference center in Ridgecrest that Beth got us hooked up with through Lifeway, a Southern Baptists Publishing Company where she works spreading the good new of Jesus. It just so happened that a women’s conference was going on at the time AND we had a man with us. We apparently created quite a stir with the ladies…they asked Blaine if he was "the handyman". He made some lady friends and we all thought that maybe he should stay around the conference center and capitalize in his unique situation. Alas, he went hiking with us.
Since we traveled when it was dark the night before, we had no idea what our surroundings looked like. We stepped outside into God’s great autumn and the beginning of his creation resting for a season.
After a good breakfast, save one of the worst cups of coffee ever, we began our journey to Chimney Rock for a hike, which tooks us past sites where Last of the Mohichans was filmed. It was a wonderful few hours full of conversations, laughing, more Reading Rainbow stories (courtesy of Blaine) and Beth’s award for coming the closests to falling off a precipice. The day concluded with New Orleans cuisine for a well deserved dinner, and music and darts at Jack of the Wood pub in downtown Asheville.
Sunday morning we shopped downtown Asheville after taking in breakfast at an upscale greasy spoon, and then it was back home. The jouney home brought more in the way of profound conversation as Blaine, Melanie and I touched base on some important topics of this season of life and our journey as followers of Jesus. Peaceful, I would say it was. Quick, but peaceful. I saw what I perceived to be every star in the heavens from high on a mountain, listening to the wind swirl around and moving through the trees, speaking its mysterious language. And whatever it was saying in that moment, I knew that I had to move with it…we all do…
But you don’t have to take my word for it…
Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent
wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting..they were all filled with the Ruach
HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit
enabled them to speak.