A Short Commercial Break

I have a major in Theology. It's not something I tell everyone I meet--often I'll just tell them that I majored in English so as to avoid explaining that I haven't found a practical use for it yet and might not ever, but I wanted to do it just for the heckuvit. I was interested. Why not? (And maybe it had something to do with the fact that I had taken courses towards a Director of Christian Education certification and didn't want them to go to complete waste...)

But recently the theology topics make me tired. I've been reading a novel that's on the bestseller list, and in it a man encounters God in a slightly unconventional way--or rather, the God he meets is 'unconventional' as compared to our typical assumptions. I know I'm only in the first few pages, but eventually I had to set it down in favor of recreational blog scanning, despite what everyone has told me about the book's redemptive story. It's not that I have a problem with it like some people do (some people call it new age-ish and name a laundry list of other theological problems) but for me, as a reader and a writer, theological dialogue with no action gets to be overwhelming after awhile.

At first I felt guilty feeling like this. I thought maybe it's because I've left the building, so to speak. I admit I haven't been attending church on a regular basis this summer. I've left the so-called "Christian nation" if there is one. And I've been hanging out with a lot of people who are not self-professed Christians. But it's not that I'm tired of God--I think it's more that I'm just tired of talking and conversing and thinking and hemming and hawing about 'topics' and 'subjects' and 'doctrine' and things related to God, like he's a book or a philosophy to digest.

The only thing i can compare it to is a workday spent sitting in an office chair versus a day of hard, sweaty, manual labor.


an experiment in iPhone blogging

For the first time ever I'm using Jonathan's iPhone to blog, which means this will be a short entry--probably with some typos. But still exciting! (In a mellow way.)

For the past few days Jonathan and I have been having a delightful time showing my parents around London. My mom was in awe of the weather (for good reason) and we've seen all the major sights. It was particularly relaxing to walk through the parks. It's amazing how calming it is to watch loungers, even if you're not lounging yourself. Today, after a hefty English breakfast at a local eatery, we saw them off to germany, austria and France. Then we'll meet them at Liverpool street for a coach to stansted where we'll take a flight to Dublin! We'll spend five days and four nights exploring the capital and the west coast--primarily the ring of Kerry and dingle penninsula. We are SO looking forward to traveling with them, seeing the sheep and castles and guinness brewery and towering cliffs and catching up on lost time! Hopefully we'll have pictures to share too. But all that happens next week,after Jonathan and I celebrate our 3rd anniversary on the 31st and mom and dad celebrate their 31st! It's an eventful month, to say the least. I'll be able to blog more regularly now, so those of you who decided to give up on me will hopefully change your minds!

Sent from my iPhone


Guten Tag!

Learning a foreign language has an interesting way of making one sympathetic to babies and their plight with a first language. When Jonathan and I went to Italy in May, all I seemed able to say confidently was "Prego" and "Grazia"--so much so that they unintentionally became a regular part of my vocab when we got back to the UK. Now I can tell you that the same thing happens with German. Jonathan and I just recently got back from traveling through Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Steinach, Rothenburg, Munich and Tubingen in Germany with our friends Brooke and Jamie, and when we got back I found myself disillusioned with fundamental communication. Danke and bitte were the closest responses on my lips, but every time the flight attendant offered me a drink or someone accommodated themselves for me I had to pause for a second to remember what country I was in. No wonder the flight attendant thought Jonathan and I were German. (But it doesn't explain why he later decided that we were South African. . . couldn't have been our tonal inflections that hinted towards 'Soth Of-ree-ken,' so I think it's officially safe to say that Jonathan and I no longer have an American appearance. We've assimilated!)

It would be impossible to adequately describe the grandeur of our Eurotrip, mostly because you have to know Brooke and Jamie and Jonathan personally to know that the four of us + hosteling in Europe = a perfect balance of scheduled unpredictability. It's hard to find friends you want to hang out with on a daily, weekly, even monthly basis. But to have friends that you want to spend day and night with in foreign countries is fairly miraculous. Welcome to miracle. We were amazed at how well we worked together. We discovered that the successfulness of a big trip like this one is reliant on MANY factors, including:

navigation skills and decision making--especially with foreign train schedules and maps

ability to recover from Munich beer tours ("Prost" to Jonathan for winning the best beer drinker award! Which only means he was able to drink beer and hold it and not run into stationary objects. He even won a stein for his skills)

a strong stomach for waking up in coed hostel rooms with a view of the guy across from you not wearing enough clothes (won't go into detail for those of you without strong stomachs)

ability to remain calm when mysterious black bugs fall from the sky and appear all over your clothes

skills to manhandle four pieces of luggage and a day pack slung on your front while the rest of your posse walks behind you luggage free laughing and taking pictures

fearlessness of bees--especially for the only male member of the group. . .

in Amsterdam: tolerance of weed waftings

discreetness required to video hardy German men singing and swaying to "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" in restaurant

successful face and name placing when the hostel clerk turns out to be the son of a pastor you worked with in Kenya last summer (Brooke)

an appreciation for heavy mustard on brats

BYOW rule in Germany: Bring Your Own Water unless you want to pay heaps of money for table water. Your money goes farther with beer

handy umbrellas and raincoats

squeezability of self and luggage in lifts

a taste for gelato

fast recovery from bleeding lip caused by Jonathan

ability to dodge train and tram doors when misdirected by someone who shall remain nameless (it starts with an 'A' and ends with an 'my')

Some of my favorite highlights (besides the mysterious bugs, of course) were the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House (definitely recommend it) and a canal boat trip--all in Amsterdam; our stay in the medieval, walled city of Rothenburg on the Romantic Road, Dachau concentration camp near Munich, mid-day stops at fruit stands for snacks (the fruit is so flavorful in Europe!) German streusel in the nowhere town of Steinach, and of course, eating and laughing and sleeping and seeing Europe with good friends. Nothing compares!

Now Brooke and Jamie are on a plane back to the States, and the marathon continues tomorrow when my parents arrive at Heathrow. They'll be here until the 8th to see London, Germany, Austria, France and then back to London to visit Ireland with Jonathan and I. More to come . . .


Weekend To Do List For Marathon Month

Pray THANKS for mom's good news that her tumor might not grow and they just have to monitor it closely!

Prepare bed for Brooke and Jamie

Buy return tickets from Frankfurt, Germany

Secure accommodation in Tubingen, Germany (camping or slightly expensive hotel?)

Plan Ireland excursion with parents and Jonathan

Print off directions to German hostels

Clean apartment (make sure all scary spiders are MIA)

Buy fresh daisies


Obtain extra towel

Visit bank for Euros

Top up mobile

Shop for groceries (plenty of brown bag food)

Plan tentative meals

Make Scottish scones

Finish reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Start reading Measuring Time by Helon Habila

Send dissertation tutorial work to tutor for next week's meeting

Birthday greetings for friends


Pop champagne from Editorial Director for successfully finished internship (and for the promise of future freelance work when we move back to the States)

Celebrate with Jonathan for his first official call into DCE ministry from St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lodi, CA!