i love this song, like LOVE it. in between services at church they always put on a hip little mix as background music while people mill around, talk, get a refill of coffee, snipe a last minute (or if you're just arriving, a first) muffin. the mix has sufjan on it and beirut among others. im definitely in love with my community of believers. i think beirut, iron & wine, great lake swimmers, frontier ruckus, and sufjan stevens should go on tour together. right? RIGHT!
speaking of church it was bangin yesterday. sometimes, in fact many many many times you dont know what you need until someone gives it to you or points out the void in your life. i mean to me that is the big point of gathering people together in church, to learn what you need, to be called further into the deep, etc. i stood in the back talking with jared about how i really need to get up in front of the church and rally for the justice gardens initiative more. during the summer we are wanting people to bring food from their gardens to donate, but during winter we want folks to donate fresh produce from the store. having panic attacks i cringe at the idea of getting up and doing this, however loving the group might be. i think my words were something like "i just need to get over myself and do it" no doubt channeling my dads get up and go attitude probably. i get down on myself in this way a lot. like, STOP FEELING THIS WAY. & IT IS WEIRD. etc. but intellectually i can wrap my brain around the idea that what i experience is not something i can simply will myself to stop. anyways jared blessed me with his words, basically saying that no, it's not always possible to just get over yourself and do something. that it's okay to accept that i might always struggle with limitations.
we had a guest preach on sunday, dave nixon from vineyard central down in norwood (cincinnati to non-ohio folk). i've been craving a sermon from him for about a year now, since stumbling upon Sustainable Faith. jeff called vineyard central our church's monastery which i enjoyed. he encouraged us to do two things which david and i are undertaking. the first seems silly but i can see how it will be a valuable tool in a few different ways. it being to for the next 6 weeks brush your teeth with your weak hand. we have put a sign up in the bathroom to remind us of this. the exercises basically is (to me at least) to take on a new skill, learn patience and endurance, etc. the second is of much more importance. we silently identified 3-5 moments throughout our day and committed to say a specific prayer during that time. mine being cooking & getting ready for the day/bed. that is at least 3-5 moments, more likely upwards of 15 times if you count snacks, meals, coffee breaks, elevensies, second lunch, etc. the prayer is as follows
My Lord, open my mouth to speak to you.
Open my heart to love others.
Open my eyes to see and engage suffering.
I want to lose my life, and find it again in you whatever the cost.
Through Christ amen
it's only been a day praying this and already i see the value in it. usually im pretty anti-standardized prayer. i dislike the routine nature of pre-written prayers and repetition. maybe im just not wise to the wisdom of my spiritual forefathers perhaps but i relate to God in personal prayers. maybe i should challenge myself more in that way, see how it comes out. any suggested readings for prayers? is the book of common prayer too obvious? we have printed off and posted around the house, two copies of the aforementioned prayer. it is a very nice way to recenter my mind on Christ and focus on what matters throughout the day.
in totally unrelated news i think im going to stretch my ears again.