Monday, July 28, 2014

i've been thinking a lot about privilege recently--and how privileged i am. it's like a physical weight that i attempt to remedy by working hard and not complaining and sharing what i have with others and doing things like simplifying my belongings and inviting people over to eat dinner in my home.

because i can't change that i have been very privileged. but i can share what i have with others and work hard to not let all these opportunities and head-starts go to waste.

Friday, July 25, 2014

just because they are pretty.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


image via

If you have ever wanted to help end the atrocities of sex tourism as well as sex/human trafficking (all gentle euphemisms for what is actually entailed), donating to Exodus Road is one truly effective way. If you have ever experienced "the sadness and outrage about the abundant inequalities between [your life] and the people around [you]", read the posts linked below.

"Many of you have asked how you can help, and trust me when I say that I know what it feels like to hear about these things and fantasize about selling everything, moving to the other side of the world and jumping in wherever you can, wherever you’re needed. Put me to work, I want to say. It’s what my mother said to me on Sunday afternoon. But the reality is that the overwhelming majority of us cannot leave our obligations at home. We cannot move our children or leave our jobs or stop attending to the tasks that keep the cogs of our life in motion. Couple that with the fact that the majority of us don’t have the expertise or experience needed on the ground. However, they do. You can send them in your place."

Read Heather's firsthand depiction of a red light district in Thailand and her conversation with one victim here.

And read more about how you can help here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

testimony + In Which I Write With Capital Letters

As a Mormon, all my life I've felt obligated to know what I believe, and to be able to spout out a complete list of sincere belief on cue. It was as if one could possibly know for sure everything about everything, and to be sure of your convictions meant you were doing something right.

But what about not knowing? What is there to be said for being honest--that plenty of people just do not know FOR SURE? What is there to be said for the vast unknown, the mystery, all that is bigger than me, what is there to be said for that?

As a Mormon, I have in the past professed to believe things that I sincerely did not know. At the time, I did not think I was lying. I thought I was being faithful and that I had a "believing heart". As my faith first began to grow heterodox, I would frequently attempt to make lists of Things That I Knew For Sure. And every time I got frustrated and gave up because I could not create The Right List and The Complete List. My Mormon obligation to Always Know what I believed was still driving me but I simply stopped believing many things I was supposed to believe. I began making lists of questions and doubts and soon those lists grew longer and longer until they were far longer than any list of beliefs I could be honest about.

My daily prayer became, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief." By the minute, that was my prayer. That Mormon obligation to Always Know what I believed was still driving me and I could not stand the thought of being called upon to share my beliefs and responding that I just did not know what I believed. The funny thing is that only in the Mormon church would I ever be called upon to share my beliefs, and on top of that, only in the Mormon church would I ever be ashamed to admit that I just did not know.

Eventually I made peace with my incomplete lists of belief, and very long lists of questions and doubts. And that peace grew into respect. I began recognizing the characteristic of "simply not knowing" in other people, and surprised myself by admiring it. Because it was honest.

And I began to respect that part of me, too. Because I was telling the truth. I did not know.

Today, I don't have a list of Things That I Know For Sure. Today, I can tell you what I'm sure I believe, but it's not much, and too ethereal to even be able to compile into a list. Today, there is no list. Today, I respect myself for not knowing everything for sure.

Today, I believe in God. A God who expects me to be honest, to love, and to do my best.

To be honest about what I believe, and what I don't.
To love broken people and creatures that have no voice.
To love not just my brothers, but my enemies.
To do my best with what I have and be okay with that.

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PS- I wrote an Open Letter To My Orthodox Mormon Friends, Family, and Loved Ones as a guest post on my friend, Stephanie's blog. You should read it here, if you're interested.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

posting for posterity--

let it be known that life is best when simple.

but when it's not, messes have a unique beauty all their own.

wild geese

you do not have to be good.
you do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
you only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
meanwhile the world goes on.
meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-mary oliver

Friday, July 11, 2014

just one of those dslr selfie attempts that's accidentally zoomed in waaay too close to your face.