Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jane Addams, here I come!

Tomorrow is my 1st day of grad school!

photo credit - Making it Lovely

Wont you celebrate with me, pray with me, get butterflies with me?

I have good things to share about my quasi sojourn in Chicago and I want to let you in but this past week has been so awkward and transitional, also I am currently without a camera, that feeling up to posting has been challenging.


Hold tight,
Good night

Sunday, July 26, 2009

StreetArt and Freedom

I ran across something beautiful tonight.


"My project deals with the representation of Muslim women and their social condition. I was been studying and dealing with this theme for years. As you can imagine, here in Turin, my posters are seen as an ambiguous subject. Some people mislead and rip them, while others love them. I would like to make people know that there is nothing strange with this particular subject: Muslim women are equal if compared to Western women. My Muslim women are represented in daily life situations: they are mothers, grandmothers and daughters, smoking, taking pictures and smiling. My message is: pointing out that Muslim women have the same needs and necessities of the majority of Western women. Certainly, the only exception is the veil. The veil changes in different countries, and here comes the sociological aspect of my work: I am very careful in rendering the different types of veil, the Maghrebi veil, the Afghani burga and the Iranian chador.

In my opinion, nowadays it’s crucial to conceive street art as a tool to spread social messages. Moreover, I made a deep research and I discovered that I am the only artist, in the street art movement, that deals entirely with this topic. Isn’t it strange? In general, the woman is the best source of inspiration for artists, why Muslim women wouldn’t be the same? I would like to create a network of artists of all nations, about this subject, eventually to compare the different viewpoints.

My posters are drawn and coloured freehand, each of them is unique. The subjects are not invented but real, I use images taken from newspapers, magazines and websites. Often they are portraits of important personalities of Muslim society (novelists, poets, entrepreneurs, feminists etc…), in order to make Western societies know who they are and what they do."... BR1


Check out Wooster Collective for more stimulating StreetArt from BR1 and other artists.

BR1 by BR1art.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Being home now in San Diego, I've further lost any sort of schedule. The first couple of weeks of being here I was in an emotional slump. Sometimes after mothers give birth they can suffer from Postpartum Depression. I felt like I was suffering from my own PostBiola Depression. I never understood why Biola alums would come back to campus so often, seek jobs at Biola, return to go to Talbot or ISF right after graduating. My thought was always, "your time's over, move on." Boy was I so critical and clueless.

Biola is an incredible place and I am deeply saddened that my time is through. In reflecting I realize that there were many times that I took Biola for granted, other times where I thought Biola was heaven on earth. Neither are healthy or advisable perspectives. However perfect I thought Biola was, I should never be so content to not strive for more, for something bigger. I don't mean worldly striving but Godly/heavenly aspirations. I cannot be content at Biola or in San Diego or in Chicago for they will fail miserably in comparison to being in the presence and communion of God.

Our lives are meant to be lived in tents and yet we spend our days building bricks.

As I grown in deeper understanding of who I am, I have come to realize that I work better when I have something to look forward to. I'm not productive on my own. Perhaps this is true of most people. All I had to look forward to in the first couple of weeks at home were doctor's appointments. I think I have been to six of them so far. I'm not sick or anything, as far as I know, but because dad has just retired I am no longer going to have health insurance through his carrier. So I'm stalking up on medical services. Even over the smallest thing I ask mom, "Should we make an appointment?"

Other than medical appointments I had a plethora of computer appointments at the Genius Bar. Within a week I had gone to the Apple Store about six times. Once I went twice in one day. However, on this day I went to two different Apple Stores due to shear embarrassment of having gone so often, knowing my Genius by name, where she was going to school and what plans she had for her future. After trip after trip and problem after problem, I folded in frustration; bit the bullet and bought a new laptop.

It’s a real beauty, don’t you think?

I have been up to La Mirada twice so far this summer. It's such a blessing to be only two hours away from the loves of my life. Visiting with Beth, Heather, Caitlyn (now back in NC), Chris (who is currently in NY doing a medical research with Cornell!!!), David, Aly, Mike, Priscilla, Jill & Mike, etc. and making new friends has been and will be a true highlight of this season. Spending time with true friends is a simple pleasure but often so under-appreciated.

*Pre-Graduation with Malerie* A little late in posting but I thought it was a precious photo.

It seems that we can define our time spent with friends by the activity we are engaged in. It is a measure to evaluate whether or not our time was well spent. While it's wise to consider how we use the time God has allotted us, what is important is not always the activity but the fellowship that can be had in that time. There are so many nuances and contradictions to this statement and even as I write it I have plenty of thoughts of opposition but I consider my last couple of weeks being at my house but not really feeling at home. While I'm not alone here I do often feel lonely. We were made for companionship not mere cohabitation.

So, if you're reading this and you have a roommate, spouse, sibling, or parent that you're living with, seek to dive deeper with them in relationship. Instead of settling on a movie to watch at the end of the day, go out for coffee date (you buy) and listen. Just listen. Listen to what's going in their life. To what's not going on. And if they're like many people in my life who need to be initiated before entering into a flowing dialogue, spur them on with a couple of questions. I guarantee the person will feel loved, cared for, respected and invested in. You may feel the same way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not forgotten

It's been a while.

Consistency these past few months has been a concept unknown. With the semester finishing, which meant the completion of my Biola career, my day-to-day lacked deeply in the routine I so desperately loved. In between last minute assignments, studying, reading and packing, I was able to spend some precious time with dear friends. It's incredible that one could become so close to individuals within such a short period of time. While only meeting many of these people within the last four years and only being more intentional about my relationship with/to them within maybe the last year and a half, I consider them my brothers and sisters. God has brought me into a deeper understanding and connection to the family that is the Church. These men and women challenge me, pray with/for me and are continually pointing me, sometimes carrying me, towards the Cross. How will I take you all with me? Has our time together expired?

Then came graduation and for the 1st time in my four years I would be participating in the ceremonies. Praise Jesus for His faithfulness in carrying my through! Graduations in general are always soo long and it's usually hot. The speaker tends to be boring, as a spectator you cannot see the person you've come for, and the seats are always aggravatingly uncomfortable. My dream was always to graduate in December.
My reasons why:
  1. The ceremonies are held in the evening. COOL
  2. The Chase Gym is where the ceremony takes place. What I love about this is that the gym is place where chapel was held every M/W/F. We would sit on the floor or on the bleachers and listen to Ron "Buster" Hafer open with prayer or Todd Pickett lead us in a lectio divina, maybe hear a word from Clyde Cook or Biola's new President Barry Corey. We would then listen to an exhortation to enter into missions or receive words of wisdom on loving God. We would sing songs of worship to God, your voice getting lost in the crowd of students. Sometimes I would just stop and just look around at all the people worshiping Jesus. Some people were sitting, others standing, men and women laying face down, arms raised, students dancing. Everyone giving glory to God, each in a beautifully distinct way. Each heart expressing the same thing in it's own dialect. I love chapel. I love community. I love Jesus.
  3. Because it's December the Biola Christmas Tree is all lit up! The tree is beautiful and right outside of the gym. Likewise, framing the doors entering into the gym are large pine trees. It's as wintry as SoCal could ever be.
  4. Again, due to the timing of the graduation there are substantially less people graduating which means a short ceremony!
  5. Family and friends sit in the bleachers and while they are also quite unbearable to sit in for long periods of time (try for over 4 hours...yikes) the visibility factor is substantially better.
  6. Following the ceremony there is a reception in the Cafe with dessert and coffee and it's FREE! What? Thanks BIOLA.
But I did not graduate early and I did not graduate late...
I graduated on time and therefore did not get my wish. However I have no regrets. Sitting right behind me during the ceremony was my very own Priscilla and next to me was Lauren Jalowiec! Ok God, no big deal!
George Verwer gave a beautiful speech. I gave BC a hug. There was so much excitement and energy in the air on the day of graduation. There was also intense chaos. Especially right after the ceremony ended. I felt like an ant whose hill had just been stepped on.
I did not have any set plans after graduation and that made the choas less chaotic. I didn't even end up going to any grad parties but the day was great and for the most part stress free.

I'm a graduate. I have a BA. I'm BA. I'm growing up and I desire to resist that at every turn.

Oh yeah, before I forget to mention it, I got into grad school!!! The
Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago decided to accept me. They also decided to provide me with a 94% tuition waiver which comes out to roughly $24,000.

God, you are so good to me and I don't deserve it. For this reason I am all the more grateful. You know what I need and you never cease to show up exactly when I need you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Leak

New insight on where my next book will not start

I received an email from BYU today informing me that they had made their final grad school decisions.

Their decision was to not accept me to the Master of Social Work Program.

My first rejection. Aly has also received her first rejection. From the U.
This means we will not be attending grad school together.

Now I wait and pray that God grants me the grace to trust in Him.
I don't want to be in a state of worrying about what will come next
or what I should do to insure my future. God is sovereign in all things. He promises to work out all things for good for those who love Him. I want my heart's response to acknowledge the goodness of where God is going to take me this summer, this next school year, etc. Even if that means not getting into any grad school and the possibility of moving home for a while. I don't like that last option. Especially not with all that is contained in moving home. God knows my heart and what it would take for me to look upon that option with contentment even when I don't and frankly cannot see the solution.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Release Date TBD

Today I mailed off my last grad school application.
I feel as if I'm at the end of one of the books in my series.

I know another book is being released soon.
But I don't know when...
I don't know where the story is going...
I'm at the edge of my seat in anticipation.

OK so I do have some ideas as to where the next book may start.
Three different options are in the works. This is the first option:

1) I get into the University of Utah's School of Social Work. I move into a lovely little apartment in Salt Lake City. Ideally I would like to live in either The Avenues or Sugar House. These neighborhoods are older, wiser, and with filled with ample amounts of personality. Some the houses and apartments have gotten facelifts and others have been left to age gracefully. There is also the grand possibility that Aly and I would be at The U together. This is actually the one and only option that would place Aly and I together.

SLC may be the most diverse place in all of Utah. While it is pretty small for a metropolis it does have it's own flavor and appeal. Set next to some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen in my life, which also happen to be snow capped the majority of the year, this city has great vintage shops as well as some nicely stocked consignment stores.
Likewise, though I've yet to test it's tracks, SLC does have a light rail that takes you through downtown, makes a couple of stops on The U's campus and I believe can even take you down to Provo (I may be wrong on this last point. Note that sometimes I speak without knowing all the facts)

Salt Lake also has one of the most modern libraries I've seen. It's exterior walls are made up of windows. This is one of my favorite parts about the entire structure and surrounding grounds. I love that while I read Pride & Prejudice or get filled in on the theories of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Goffman or Simmel I can watch the world around me in motion. Like a heart beating in perfect rhythm. I like to be caught in the balance of fiction or idealism and piercing reality. I think it's a healthy activity.

And I've digressed.

Returning to the city. I don't know her as well as I would like to. We have shared some fond memories as well as some painful ones. I strongly believe that this city and this beginning definitely have great potential and if offered this story line I would easily commit.

Option 2 we'll save for another day.