Monday, December 29, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: Hello, Third Trimester!


The last 29 weeks have flown by. It's crazy to think that I am 7 months pregnant. It's been funny, the last couple of weeks. I have heard about some people finding out they are pregnant...and due in August. I almost laughed out loud because in my head, it's still July and I am living in the shock of having a baby in 9 months and there is NO WAY they are pregnant and due in August. It's just not physically possible! Well, note to self, it's NOT July and you are only 11 weeks from your due date and it IS possible for someone to be pregnant and due in August. 

It feels like he's put on a lot of weight between 25 and 29 weeks. I have been feeling body parts poking out for a couple of weeks now. I think his head is underneath my rib cage and his feet play pitter-patter on my bladder. He must be a drummer. Or a dancer. (I'll take a drummer). 

I've really loved pregnancy. I told Mike a couple of weeks ago that if we lived in the midwest or some place super cheap, I would be a baby maker. (I couldn't really live in the midwest though, so I think we will just stick with 2, living in california). I get why women have kid after kid, especially if they've had it easy. Well, I did have it easy...until 28 weeks. 

BOOM! Here you are, third trimester and you have brought and onslaught of new pain. I literally woke up on my 28th week and had a new pain each day. Hello, back pain and pelvic pain that makes it impossible to walk! Welcome, waddling because it hurts to walk with one foot in front of each other! Welcome back, exhaustion that causes me to have to sit while doing my hair and holds me back from cleaning my house! 

I am really wondering how I will make it another 11 weeks with this. I'm only going to get bigger (I love how I've gotten comments lately of..."wow, do you think you'll make it to March? You're already so big!").  Um, I'm not really THAT big, I'm just not 5'10" and have an extremely long torso to hide a baby until 6 months. Anyway, Life is only going to get crazier (we have Christa's wedding this weekend, Theodyssey retreat the next, and a TON of work to do before I go on maternity leave...including planning for Easter). Mike thinks Jack is going to show up early. I hope so. Not too early, but just right on time, you know? But realistically, he will either catch me off guard and be born at like 37 weeks and I will have not had the time to prepare or he will be ridiculously late and I will be making jokes from upfront on Sundays about wanting this baby out of me (going on 44 weeks, people...someone help!). 

Either way, sometime between now and March 26th, I will have had a baby. I'm excited and definitely looking forward to meeting the little squirmer that's been in me for so long. I just can't believe it's almost here. Wasn't it just October? 


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: Preparing for Poop

Ok, so as you know, a baby creates SO much waste its first year of life. Eat, poop, sleep. eat, poop, sleep. Repeat. I am a big believer in doing my part to not kill the environment and...basically, I'm cheap. And I hear cloth diapering is cheaper than disposables and I am just fine going cheap. And if I help the environment at the same time, awesome! :)  

So, I am now preparing for poop. I hope to go cloth most of the time, knowing that disposables will be needed from time to time (long trips, staying at grandpa's house, if he's watched by a non-mom who's weirded out by cloth...you know, those things). I don't plan to use a diaper service, especially when Jack is young and I am home sitting on my butt for 6 weeks (recuperating). I figure...I am really close to the laundry room-I can do my own laundry (Nini...I hope you are not grossed out by this. I will be rinsing them before I wash. And I will be washing them on hot...err...i think). 

So, here's the question-are there any cloth diapering moms out there? If so, which brands and products do you use? Which brands have you liked as a newborn, infant, toddler, etc. I am just trying to...prepare. At least now while I have a couple of bucks to spend :). 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a long december

and it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be better than the last 
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself 
to hold on to these moments as they pass
-Counting Crows 

I remember my toast from New Year's Eve 2008. "2008 will be great" we all echoed as we clanked glasses and watched the ball drop in New York (3 hours later, of course). 

the next few months flew by. I felt like we were living out the saying although I can't even remember what exactly happened. The next thing I knew, it was Easter, and then April. I then spent a great weekend celebrating the wedding of Tristan and Sara, in a beautiful ceremony and reception in Arroyo Grande, remembering all the great memories I have with my husband. I even titled my photo album "I love April...so far", I guess preparing myself for the other shoe to drop. 

Soon enough, it was May, celebrating birthday #27, with a small group of friends. Made the best sangria I have ever had. :) it was the first time since I left Westgate that I felt like I had a community of friends. That God had brought to me one of my biggest needs and listened to my heart. 

I enjoyed watching time fly. I watched my Nissan of 7 years die, a slow, bitter death, as it lay in my carport for 4 months. It was truly an end of an era: I bought it when I was 20, the first car I bought without the help of my father or another man to help pick it out (on the heels of a break up as well), and felt that I bought a fair, gently used vehicle.  July hit and we bought our first joint vehicle together: 2001 Subaru Outback, our family vehicle for the day that we decided to add to the Martin 2. That was July 11th... and on July 12th, we found out we were starting a family. 

Shock and awe. Shock and awe. Shock and awe. 
That sums up July, August and September.

October and November are a blur to me, as I watched my waistband increase, so did my workload. We had a lot of projects during that time...sanctuary redesign, relaunching our 9AM gathering, artists potluck, Christmas set up...I somehow don't remember how I made it through this insanity. And yet, I did. And the end result was beautiful. During the redesign we moved for the 4th time in our marriage, for good (so i thought). I thought I was going to lose my mind, but somehow, we made it through. I was dreaming about how we would decorate the nursery and how uniquely "us" our new place is. And somewhere in between all of that, we found out we are having a baby boy. We watched him on the ultrasound screen, saw his little face even in 3-D. a baby boy to play with, to chase, to hug, to tickle, to love. We will give him everything we have. 
jackson. our baby jackson.

November left us with the sad note of Mike's 95-year-old grandmother's request for help as her 99-year-old husband fell and was immobile. We dropped our Thanksgiving plans, drove to LA and visited her that night. She shooed us out of the house, telling us that we needed to have a "real" Thanksgiving dinner, passing some money off to us. We drove around Seal Beach about to resign on eating at a gas station, but found a table at Mimi's Cafe. We had our "real" Thanksgiving that night, but thankful, in the end that Grandma was just scared from her beloved's fall, and they will, in the end, be okay for a little while.

As fast at those first 11 months came, the last 2 weeks have been unequally as slow. My first day back in the office after dealing with Grandma's scare, I had my own. The mood was solemn, and I could sense change in the air for weeks now. Each day was like breathing in and out of a balloon-you know something isn't right, but it's something to fill your lungs, something to satiate the innate need of breath, even if it isn't what is truly needed. In the balloon-trapped room, they sat me down. 15 hours less a week you will be working starting January and your workload will change. You will lose your insurance after the baby is born. I'm sorry. 

breathe.
breathe.
breathe.

i lived in shock for about 3 days. I could still be in shock now. I don't know. I've not cried this much since I was a raging, hormonal junior higher, scared to go to school each day for fear of being jumped or stabbed. 
You know, it all makes sense. Economy. It affects all. The things that effect business, effect church. If it effects church, it effects the budget. Which effects salaries. Which effects me. 

Deep down, it effects me at my core. Within Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I am at the bottom. I'm having a baby which changes everything. It changes how I view life. It's changing my values. And it's changing me practically. Every little thing that I was saving for, I can't now. I am 12 weeks away from my due date. I can't afford to take more than 4 weeks off now. We can't stay in our current place, especially after the baby is born, now looking for a room to rent instead of a home. Every little need I could take care of before, I can't now. 
I am scared. I am a scared girl, holding onto whatever I can. Holding onto the only Hope I know.

I feel like December has been in a time warp, where each day goes by slower and each moment that passes by gets harder. A feeling that 2008 may never end. The first 11 months were so good and went by so fast...and now I am realizing how much I took the good for granted. I'm just trying to breathe each breath now with thankfulness. Slow down and enjoy. And truly, although I am scared and have more unknowns than I have experienced in 4 years, I'm finding this time beautiful. Scary but beautiful. 

It's been a long December, but there is hope. 

i feel like all I have left in my hands are love and hope. The love and support and care of the Vintage community. How I need it more than ever. The love of my family. The love from Mike and Jackson.  My love for all of the above. And...hope. Hope that God will take care of my needs...our needs. Hope for a change and a future brighter than what I could ever paint. Hope for the tangible to be met and the intangible to change me for the better. for the sake of others. for the sake of God.
Hope that this year will be better than the last. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: Childbirth...part deux

Well...I must say, childbirth class (now that Mike is there) has been a breeze. So much easier to cope in fake labor knowing he is there. I have yet to make life long relationships with any of these people, but they all seem nice and excited about having a baby. One girl, who is due a month before me is having twin boys. (She also looks about 5 years younger than me, but that's beside the point). It's interesting to see people carry differently, gain weight differently, and overall have a different pregnancy than others. My belly has grown a bit since last week, but I feel a little self conscious. I am sure my belly will expand after Thanksgiving next week!

Ok, so question to my mom friends out there. Does anyone have recommendations on books on birthing and natural childbirth? How about books on preparing your birth partner? I am hoping to go a long way without drugs, if not all the way, but I need all the resources I can get. What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: Childbirth Class - week 1

Well, you know that you are having a baby for real when you sign up for a childbirth class. It sinks into deep reality when you actually show up to class (in all fear and trembling). "They" say you should take a class in your second trimester, when you are more comfortable and have energy, so we signed up for a class at Sutter Hospital in August, when we were just starting the second trimester. I remember thinking, "gosh, November is so far away. I'm sure I'll be huge by then" looking down at my lack of a belly bump. Well, time flies (in case you haven't heard) and here we are, in November, and here I am, taking a childbirth class. 

It was a nice Wednesday night. Unfortunately, Mike had the flu so he ended up staying home that night. I show up a few minutes early, sign in on the little "sign in" sheet and sit down. I look down at my syllabus for the class, try not to hyperventilate, realizing that I am sure I look like a single mom whose boyfriend left her at the moment she shared the news with him (nothing wrong with that, but just saying) and scan the room. Everyone looks more pregnant than me (for the record, it was cold so I layered that day, which I am sure played a factor in my lack of bump and all the ladies were all due earlier than me). Everyone. Even the men. There is only one other lady without a spousal/partner unit there and she came in late so we didn't have a chance to really say hi. I realize I probably look like a crazy who "shows" up to these things, psychologically thinking she is pregnant but isn't and just had a really big burrito for dinner that night. 

So, the first thing she makes us do it mingle. Ok, I know I make everyone mingle at Vintage at times and it can be super, duper awkward. I really do know and feel your pain. But there is NOTHING more awkward than having to play "baby bingo" with 18 couples who are much farther along than me, who are all thinking I'm a crazy who shows up at baby classes who probably has never been pregnant her life. Everyone was really nice, but I can't help but wonder what they were thinking. And all I think about is during this time of forced socialization is that I want the class to actually start and talk about the important things coming up, not playing bingo (for no prize, mind you) with men and women with real bumps. 

Anyway, the rest of the class does go by quickly, with large diagrams of full term babies, a video of the stages of labor (even including a crotch shot of a baby coming out! The mom cries, "that doesn't look like a baby!" when asked to look down at it), a time of class discussion, mostly talking about the questions the men had. Everything was going smoothly, practicing some breathing techniques until in came to a screeching halt. Time to practice partner-led breathing. Oh crap. 

I look for my single mom compadre and we both give each other the "want to be my partner?" look and we get settled to practice. But before we start, the instructor comes over to us and says, "so, you're flying solo tonight?" "Yes", we both reply. Then she splits us up, my friend practicing with someone's 2nd birth coach (yep, she brought 2) and I end up being teacher's example. 

Honestly, it was nice having her as the one to teach me the technique, because in turn I had to go home and teach it to Mike. At least she knows what she is doing. But it was also weird knowing that the whole class was probably watching me to make sure they were doing the technique right. Luckily, class ended right after that and I split as soon as I could and got out of there.

So that was my first week's experience. Can't wait for next Wednesday! I am thinking it could only go up from here, right?  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where have I been...?

Well, I must confess I have not blogged (really) in the long time. Here and there, thoughts popped into my mind but no time to actually blog. So, how was the month of October in Sarahland? Here's a synopsis of the last month. 

Early October: Find out that we have been accepted for a (bigger! cheaper!) apartment down the street. Jump on that. Start packing the house. Start Theodyssey. Get really excited to feel like I am at school again. My mom comes over to help me pack. I get stuck in the packing process. 

Mid October: Decide that moving during the sanctuary redesign while having a baby would be a really fun thing to do. Spend 11 hours telling people to rip out pews, build staging, set up chairs. Then get up the next morning and run gatherings. Decide to do it again the next weekend and set up curtains, prayer stations and more set up. Get up the next morning and run our first 9am gathering. Decide to never do a major remodel at work and move at the same time while pregnant.

Late October: Spend exactly one week without the internet or cable at my house. Try to figure out what to do with all the spare time. Sleep when not cleaning or moving. Spend 2 weeks packing, moving (what I actually can move), cleaning (what I can) at our old house, realize that I love our new house all the more. Mom comes over and helps again. I finally have the internet and cable. Slightly miss my fast. Decide to not go over to the other house unless I have to. Do a walk through with landlords after complying a few times to let them show the house at inconvenient times. Smile politely and cross my fingers that the house is in an ok enough situation to rent (it's so subjective, you know?). Do another walk through and find out we had more cleaning to do. Spend four hours cleaning the carport and vacuuming plus other things that Mike did. Crash. Wake up the next morning to hear that we will receive our full deposit back. Realize that working hard does pay off. 

So that has been my month. I am utterly exhausted both at work and at home right now. I'm barely functional. But I figure this is just training ground for when I have an infant and work full time so I better not complain. 

So now, I am going to now turn back our clocks and get my extra hour of sleep that I dreadfully need right now. But before I go, I will leave you with this...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: gender dreams

Ok, so it has been a little while since I last blogged. I will blog about my absence later. But in the meantime...I am currently 20 weeks along, halfway done with the pregnancy, and we find out the gender THIS THURSDAY! (as long as it isn't shy or decides to be a pain at the ultrasound).  It's been a long 4 weeks waiting for this!!

So, last night I had a dream about our sonogram. Mike and I were watching on our cool little screen, so excited to be there and see our baby again and the baby gave a wide open view...of a prenatal wiener. I was thinking, "duh...it's a boy!" So, we leave the appointment and I tell Anne, my friend who just had a baby boy in July and showed her a picture of the ultrasound (the boy was wide open, doing the splits-you couldn't miss it). She was ecstatic. End of dream. 

So, was this a prophetic dream? Will I be taking this kid to baseball practice and have to monitor video game intake? We have a pool going on at work-it's about 50/50 split. we shall see thursday!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pregnant diaries: Nesting...already?

Ok, the day leading up to the night of the horrible dream that woke me up at 3:30 am was probably the most fun I have had yet being pregnant. I had basically drank my first cup of coffee in, well, 2 months and had a day full of meetings which charged me up and I was rarin' to go when I got home. I knew there would be a chance we could be moving down the street and I was manic all day. I realized that I needed to harness this enormous amount of energy I somehow acquired and decided to go through our back closet, which has been full of boxes since July 2006. I haven't even looked at it since. 

I love caffeine. I went through 4 boxes in 3 hours that night and had so much energy, I could have kept going through things until the drugs wore off. But, needless to say, I was freaking out Mike who had a conversation with someone the day before who mentioned..."Sarah's going to change. She will be a different person the next 6 months and there is nothing you can do about it. So find an outlet." Lo and behold, he had his first interaction with Manic Sarah the very next day. 

I tried to recreate the amount of energy I had on Tuesday today, had a quick latte at the Abbey and went home to take over the world...and it just didn't work. I feel like i have been faking it. I have gone through more boxes and bags (because we are in fact moving down the street, super excited about that!) today but it's been lackluster. Oh, weird nesting energy, where did you go? Could you come back today? I have more to do!! 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Attention Moms - want your input!

Ok, so as I progress in this whole pregnancy thing, I am realizing there is SO MUCH STUFF out there for a baby that been in the world for like, 30 days. It's amazing. I am slightly overwhelmed by all the possibilities. So...as I start to put together the registry, here is the question: what shwag has been the best investment for you for the first year? I mean, there are bottle warmers, wipe warmers, swings, bouncers, jumpers, mobiles, you name it, they have made it. What actually worked for you? What did you think was not worth the time? I'd love to have your thoughts as I am so...brand new to all of this! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

pregnant diaries: protection

something odd happened to me last night. around 3:30 in the morning, I woke up in this panicky, full-of-adrenaline feeling pumping through my body after a bad dream that kept me up for hours afterward. I had a dream that my brother fell in the shower and lost his leg in the shower (I know, this could probably never happen). He started screaming for my mom (luckily, she was there in my dream), but I came racing in to help in this protective way, and the feelings I felt were as if it were real and Greg was actually my child. 

Ok, this is straight up weird. I have never been the "motherly" type. I just said to someone how much I will take from my parents parenting style and I won't shelter our child, that the kid will be loved but given plenty of room to learn on their own, that I want them to see the world as it is, not some rosy picture I ideally paint that gets crushed at 16 when their first boyfriend dumps them (or realistically, at 11). This person had said that I was in denial about the real feelings and issues I had about my parents parenting (for those who know my parents, they are wonderful, godly people now but I grew up in a pretty non-traditional, dysfunctional household). It's like this is manifesting in my dreams as I sleep at night. These new feelings I had never felt before are coming out. I feel like I have been injected with something. It's honestly, really scary to feel something you have never felt before. Protection is something that pumped through my veins at 3:30 this morning that kept me up for 2 hours. Protection is something that I needed as a kid, but did not know it and pushed it away. Something I will feel for years to come.

I feel like I am Ben Stiller in the movie "Zoolander" as he looks down into a reflection of a puddle and asks, "Who am I?" Except I am not a male supermodel. Didn't just lose a modeling award. And don't plan on working in a coal mine anytime soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Quick Analysis on the New Gavin Rossdale Song

Ok, I am not usually this picky about music (ok, I really am, I will be honest) but I have noticed two things about this new song. As you may know, Gavin Rossdale was the lead singer of the mid-90's band, Bush, who had major success in the alternative air waves, then met Gwen Stefani, decided to date, get married and be a house husband while Gwen toured the world with all her CD's she has made with her band No Doubt and in her solo career. If you remember, Gavin was a hot commodity in the 90's with all the alterna-chicks and post grunge kids. I was a big, big fan. 

Now, about 12 years later, he has released his first solo album (that I am aware of) with a hit song called "Love Remains the Same". My experience with this song has been on 1) soft rock radio stations and 2) TV commercials for "The Biggest Loser" and a new movie with Richard Gere and some other middle aged lady as they dance on the beach in their cashmere sweaters. Now, I know this pins me as a soft rock listener (only when I am stuck in traffic as they are the only stations that offer traffic updates) and a commercial watcher (i do watch TV, I will be honest), but I will let you be the judge.

But here's my question-has Gavin just sold out to what would make him a little bit of money? Or maybe he's aged and this is his new market? OR there are no other good songs for commercials since the Jay Leno lookalike from American Idol who sang the jingle the Ford commercials? Maybe some of these artists are not wanting to go the way of the commercial jingle or maybe commercial marketers are very particular whose songs they pick? Either way, I am a little sad to see Gavin Rossdale go the way of the middle aged movie and letting go of his youth. Yet...it was 12 years ago and well, things change. We age. And so does Gavin.

Pregnant Diaries: First Belly Rub by a Stranger

Ok, so this is a complaint for some, some find it endearing. I was in my chiropractor's office who shares an office with a cute older midwife. She seems so sweet. There was a lady who had a newborn (like under 8 weeks) with her. Somehow or another, I find myself in conversation with those ladies, who ends up asking how far along I am. The midwife, who probably touches bellies on a daily basis, touches mine ever so briefly and says, "what...16 weeks?" I'm a bit caught off guard thinking i might look farther along than I actually am, I correct her and say, "14 weeks actually" and then I was ushered into my chiropractor's office. It was a brief interaction but has now been a life altering experience as I know it will only get worse from here.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this. It wasn't a TOTAL stranger-I mean she's a midwife, and touches bellies all the time, but was totally caught off guard since I was not her patient and I am not protruding like a true, full term pregnant woman. I am slightly flattered. Slightly weirded out. Slightly intrigued. Slightly excited for the many more hands to touch the Martin baby. Slightly freaked out by all the guys who hit on pregnant women and wonder if I am next (I'm not kidding, I have seen it in action). But in the mean time, I am going to relish in this new milestone - I have officially had my belly touched by a stranger. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pregnant Diaries: Trimester 1






Well...yep, it's official. We are having a little thing called a baby. Honestly, exciting yes, but freaks me out. A little child that will need ME for the next 18-24 years (or beyond???) well, it's a bit scary but I'm taking the plunge and figured if I can't beat 'em, I'll join 'em. 

How I am feeling: Well, i'm nauseous every morning and have to eat the second I wake up. I have the hiccups more now than I ever have in the past. I get "one-liners" now-1 hiccup that is so loud that it could wake the dead, and then I'm done. I have a nose that can smell B.O., bad breath and any other gross bodily function from a million miles away. I literally almost threw up in line at Longs because of someone's bad breath behind me. That was a bad, bad day. Oh, I almost forgot-I sleep so much that I don't have a social life at all. Like 10-12 hours a day plus an afternoon nap (yawn). I feel like I am reverting to childhood. 

How I am doing: really, i am doing pretty well. I think i might still be in shock, but that's ok. Until I am officially showing, I don't think it will set in. And, I am a little freaked out by the fact that I will gain weight. I know, it's inevitable, it's just, well, counterintuitive to me. But hey, whatever is best for baby. I'm getting excited to meet the little spawn of Mike and me. What will it look like? Will it have Mike's haircut and my english toes? Will it be blonde like we were as kids and get Mike's curly hair during puberty? will it be taller than me? Will it come out with horns and a tail? Or worse yet, a Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater tied around it's shoulders, polo shirt and khaki pants, never cracking a joke in its whole entire life? Oh boy. I know, so many things to think about. All I am hoping for is that it's healthy, has Mike's intelligence and my sense of humor (or Mike's. As long as it's funny. That is all that matters).

Ultrasound: That was really crazy. We watched it and it already has symptoms of ADD. It lounged, flipped, sat on the other side, got on it's knees, waved...it was a trip. Our technician kept saying, "you have a rockstar in there!" over and over. Oh boy. The technician said she doesn't give 100% gender descriptions this early, but she thought she had seen some male genitalia. There's a picture that on the bottom, which has an arrow pointing to the possible...manhood. You can be the judge and we will see in 7 weeks if that is so!

Friday, August 29, 2008

i. am. going. insane.



If you have ever been to my house, you might know that I live across the street from a trailer park. Well, the park owners thought that it would really be amazing to repave the park as a sign of goodwill and cheer. About 3 weeks ago, I woke up to amazingly large trucks which sounded like they were right outside my window. At 6:55 a.m. It was a Friday, the one day of the week where I can sleep in a bit. 

Well, the last two or three weeks have been slightly torturous. I wake up in the morning, by 7 a.m., to the sound of trucks entering their driveway, horrible smells from who knows where, and easily 25 cars parked all along Mar Vista. Even people parked in my own alley way for over 2 weeks now! We left for vacation for 5 days and thought maybe they would be finished. We came home only to find it even worse than before we left. It had looked like they hadn't done anything. 

Anyway, all of this to say, it's disrupted my flow. Yes, I would wake up to the garbage truck once a week, or have had people park in my alley way before, but this has been ongoing. Never have I seen so many cars displaced from their homes. I'm sure this must be an inconvenience to those who are patiently waiting to get their car back in their driveway. I know, I know, I just be lucky that it's a repaving project with large trucks and not military tanks or bombs dropping from the sky. Hey, I know it could be worse. But it's slightly inconvenient to try to not hit the car parked behind me as I leave my driveway or hear "beep, beep, beep, beep" for 15 days now. Thankfully, it looks like they might be finishing up today (see images above). But I think if I hear any more reverse beeps, I might go insane.  

Saturday, August 23, 2008

10 Reasons Why I Like the Olympics

10. The smorgasbord of events that happen during the day. Yes, I hate basketball, but I know if I grin and bear it for a little while, something actually interesting will come on in the next hour or so. Say, synchro diving.

9. The fact that it is held all over the world each Olympic year. I think it is so neat to see so many nations come to one particular spot for 2 weeks. And the fact that cities beat each other to be the Olympic city. It's a war out there, people.

8. Who knew that "recognised sports" of the International Olympic Committee range from the typical (track and field, aquatics) to the...unusual (billiards, orienteering, tug of war, wushu). They may not actually compete in the 2008 games, but dang it, they are recognized!

7. I am usually on vacation during the olympic games, watching it on another TV other than my own, usually somewhere warm.

6. I feel a little bit better about my TV watching during this time than others-I mean, it's history in the making as I watch someone break a world record (much better than watching Project Runway reruns or "Jon and Kate plus 8" for the fifth time in a day).

5. Call me a dork, but I love the hype. And there is usually some kind of drama. I like drama. From far away and someone else living it out for me.

4. David Letterman's top 10 countdown is usually hilarious during the Olympics, when I can stay up late enough to watch it.

3. 3 words: Opening Ceremony outfits.

2. The fierceness of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Now that is a hard core sport. You can just feel Zoolander-esque staredowns.

1. The fact that it is only 2 weeks. Really, if it was 4 weeks or 8 weeks or 6 months of fierce competition, would we really look forward to the next four years (well 2 years for winter), like a lady in waiting? 
I don't think so.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blog...I Have Neglected You

Blog, I am so sorry. I haven't been spending quality time with you lately. You see, life gets so crazy and the weeks pass by and before I know it, I am away from the computer for days on end (vacation)...I mean, we all need a vacation, Blog. Believe me, every night as I go to sleep I think, "I should have spent some time with Blog today". I do miss you and think about you a lot. And I apologize for not being present right now. Life is just nuts, man, it is. I want more spare time, but I can't find it. And I mean, the Olympics is on. That's only once every 4 YEARS. 

So, Blog, I just want to let you know that when I am back from vacation, I will give you all the quality time you need. I will sit down with a cup of tea, listen to your feelings, and reconcile our relationship. Blog, I will see you in a week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

quick rant on politics.

Well, happy freaking 4th of July! I am awake at 12:20 a.m. because my "cute" neighbors are having a fireworks competition literally 15 feet from my house. What a fun way to celebrate the independence of this little country called the United States of America (a.k.a. "America, U.S.A., the U.S., united states, consumeristic country of the world, fill in the blank). Anyway, this day is a big day in the history of our country (so they say) and I have been thinking alot about the "p" word lately. 

Obama and McCain are vying for our votes. That is great. And I have always tried to vote in a sense, as a conscience clearing time. I think...ok, i have done my research, I think I am voting how God would want me to vote, my friends are probably thinking the same things I am thinking, you know-a sigh of relief. "Ahhhhh, ok, the duty is DONE, and I hope it matters". I would walk away feeling that I voted on my morals and ethics. Spending my duty, my half an hour in a cubby hole punching in my vote based on what I believe in on a larger, intrinsic level. And I still think I might do that-but do I vote on these larger principles even when it is an inconvenience to me?

Someone said to me, after being against universal health care for many years say, "Is it bad that I am for universal health care now that I am uninsurable?" I know this person was joking and wasn't necessarily he would base his vote on his current condition in the insurance coverage...but I can't help but think that there was a twinge in him thinking...I can't be covered now...maybe that something is better than nothing. I'm not arguing if universal health care is good, or bad, or indifferent...but that we vote mostly based on what's in it for us.

Take for instance..the multimillionaire who doesn't want to pay large taxes. This person will obviously not vote for someone who will raise their particular taxes.  The welfare mom...will probably not vote for someone who will cut welfare spending. The sick woman who has not had health coverage due to a preexisting condition will probably vote in favor for universal healthcare or something of the like. We think and vote according to our life, our lifestyle, and what will make US where ever we are at, the happiest and most comfortable. 

A few questions come to mind as we look at who we will vote for this coming fall. First is...are we thinking about what they repercussions of our vote will take on ALL the country? Every citizen? Even those without a vote? What impact will it have? Maybe a lot of us are thinking about this and make super educated votes, but mostly, I vote half-assed (excuse my language but there is no other euphemism for this), not taking the time to know all the issues and how it affects everyone in this country.
secondly...am I willing to stand for morals or ethics even if it means I am less comfortable? Am I willing to be selfless at the voting booth? Am I willing to sacrifice for something knowing I would not benefit? The example comes to mind is the call for caring for the poor. If it means I am taxed higher than ever, am I ok with this or will I dump my morals when it gets hard or impacts my life? Most likely...I'd look for the easy way out.

Mainly...I realized this week (maybe a little later than others) that voting is SO subjective. I want to know so badly how Jesus would have voted. If so, I'd just vote party line! I hope I am guided by scriptures and vote biblically and selflessly. But really, we have our own lens. Our own context we are making decisions in. With or without a Jesus filter to guide us. Each person comes from a different experience, a different socioeconomic lifestyle, a different place in life. Some of us will make the most objective vote as possible this Fall, but really, there is so much subjectivity within our objective vote that we can't help but vote for what benefits us. It's our nature. It's what our country was really founded on.. The life, liberty and pursuit of happiness sure looks different from the eyes of a business tycoon than a homeless man. 

Happy independence day, friends. 
 

Friday, June 20, 2008

what is your worldview?

take this quiz and share what you score in the comments!

www.worldviewweekend.com/test/register.php

take a guess on how I scored! the person with the closest score wins a prize! (1 - 168 is possible).

I actually thought it was a joke until I got to the scoring. Nope, it's not-it's provided by Focus on the Family.

Have fun taking the quiz! please, do share your results!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

personality driven TV

Something weird happens internally when a news reporter dies. Think about it. These people are in your lives every day at 5:30 p.m. reporting the important things you need to know that day. The warm glow from the television feels like body heat and it's almost like they are really in front of you. You begin a new level of camaraderie with this person as they share things with you that could change your day. They aren't playing a "part" on t.v.-they are themselves, with their own bias, sharing real information. It's reality TV at is best. It's like a friend, a stern friend, a matter of fact friend that speaks into your life whether you are ready or not. They usually hold the role as anchor as long as they can so you may see them over many, many years on the same station, listening to the same theme music. He or she is a part of your life - a part of this era of our lives - whether we ever watch the news or not. 

When Peter Jennings died, something inside of me changed. As long as I could remember, Peter Jennings reported the nightly news to my family (I started watching the nightly news around age 7). He shared, day in and day out, the news to my family. It was odd when he took time off and wasn't in the anchor chair-the stand in just couldn't fill the shoes of my nightly anchor. He was Peter Jennings, my news anchor. When he passed, it was like a part of my childhood had died. I had gotten so used to him sitting there, sharing the newest information. 

I relived this moment today with the news of Tim Russert passing away today. Tim was a devout Catholic, a man of honesty and integrity (or so the media says, since I didn't know him personally). I was saddened-even if I did change the channel on Sunday mornings so I didn't have to hear the "Meet the Press" intro music. An end of an era is approaching, like it did with Peter Jennings. 

What is an interesting parallel to me is the concept of the same pastor/teacher teaching in the same "pulpit" for however many years they serve. They show up on Sundays, and people expect to see that person (usually a man...just sayin). They get comfortable with that same teacher each week that when they go on vacation or spend a sunday out of the "pulpit" you usually hear things like, 'so and so did a good job teaching, but it just wasn't (name pastor here)'. Some people won't show up on a Sunday if they don't hear the teacher of choice, just like how I would change the channel if Peter Jennings wasn't the one reporting that night. 

Is this a bad thing? maybe not...but it really puts a lot of pressure on that teacher to not take too much time off, be prepared to have the most refreshing message each week. It also doesn't give the opportunity for other teachers to rise up and use their gifts, which just enforces the entertainment model, consumeristic mindset that unfortunately many Christians endorse (at least with their actions). And if that person moves churches or God forbid, dies-the church is then going through a huge identity crisis as it was personality driven. But there is something comfortable with the same person up there each week, sharing God's word to change my life. But...then again, it all comes back to me and my comfort.

I am saddened by the passing of Tim Russert today, but maybe with his passing opens a chance of a new leader to take his place. Maybe NBC will now rotate anchors, so not one person is so attached to the same warm glow, the same personality that is broadcasted each day. But then again... the news report is based on personalities. 

The church isn't. 

Saturday, May 24, 2008

yes

This little word is such a determining factor in our lives. Just think about how much of a turning point and life change that one word can bring. 

"Yes, i will help you move"...could mean a few less hours of work and some company before a trip ahead, which could mean leaving the road a little less tired and arrive a little bit earlier.
"Yes, you have been accepted into our university"...can mean the sphere of people you will meet, professors you will have, social issues you will face. 
"Yes, you have been offered the job"...means more (or less) pay...maybe a move into a new town...with new working conditions and circumstances. 
"yes, you are having a child"...can mean a whole lot of things and decisions if the child is wanted (or not), a planned part of life (or not), and a life change, nonetheless. 
"yes, you do have cancer"...changes how we view life, how we see our family and friends, our plan of attack to be healed, preparing for possible death, plus massive amounts of change.
"Yes, I will marry you"...can mean a lifetime of love and happiness. Or misery if it is the wrong person.
"yes, i will help you with this project, lead this team"... can mean a new endeavor in our lives, honing in on what we love (or highlighting what we hate), a new amount if energy going toward a task, a lending hand willing to sacrifice time and energy...

"Yes" is a word we all want to hear - for the most part. Yes means change. Yes can mean help. Yes can mean fulfillment. Yes means a lightened load. 

I can be impulsive. I see something I like, i usually will jump at the chance to get it. If I am invited to a function, I rarely say no. If I am enticed...I succumb to the pressure. I say yes. I jump at the chance of something new, fun, creative, goofy, lovely, wonderful, weird. I have impulsively said yes to dates that I should have said no to (and some I firmly said no). I have impulsively taken jobs I knew I would probably hate in no time. I have moved on impulse a few times. I do truly believe that I have mellowed out as I have aged-no longer to I blow paychecks on clothing or anything of the sort. But I do have an impulsive streak that has to be kept in check. To do so...I have to learn to retire the word "yes". 

I am realizing that "yes" is a word that should be uttered cautiously and decisively. 
And it should be rarely said. 

When I was 18, I was exceptionally excited to serve in ministry. I was serving in the junior high ministry, helping out on the events team, singing on the worship team, helping out with women's ministry, plus going to college and working 2 part time jobs. I realized I was on my way to burn out and no one was holding me back. I think I was a young, able bodied person (which as more of a rare sight at my church than it is now) willing to help and lead. But no one was willing to help me say no. 

I think it is a leader's job to tell people no sometimes. No matter how absolutely desperate we might be to have a spot filled by someone capable, everyone is vying for those people. And sometimes it feels like in the church there are about 2% of them and everyone has tapped them for their "thing". And then once everyone has tapped the same 2%, it's like 2% of the people are doing 80% of the work. and basically, it's unfair to them (lives, family, relationship with God, overall health, etc) and to those who do not have a place to serve now.

I have been in positions lately where I have just said yes to those who are very capable, mature leaders where I just needed someone capable to "git er done". Someone I can entrust it all and know it will be cared for and loved. But I am realizing so has almost every other ministry asked those same people and its unfair. To those people, I apologize! i should have said no earlier. Hindsight is 20/20.

yes, i should have said no. but like a good friend said, it is not taught in church. We are trying to hold the staff accountable for that, but i need to do the same to my leaders. It's something that is rarely taught in bible college. You don't have "Boundaries 101" or "How to Say No with Minimal Consequences" as a freshman requirement. And although it is talked about, it is so hard to actually live out. 

So for me..."no" is the new "yes". Let's use it deliberately, cautiously...and as liberal as possible for our own health's sake. 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

verbal vomit for the weeks of April 27th-May 17th

Ok, I truly feel like a verbal vomitter (not sure if this is a word) because I have not blogged in say, 3 weeks and I have bottled up all my thoughts. Ok, so the last two posts were just on the last two day alone. Here's a quick verbal vomit of the last three weeks:

1. I am increasing more hippie-ish and green as I age. I literally was upset that someone who drives a large SUV was just now thinking about getting rid of the vehicle - just because of the cost of gas. Not the fact that we are eating up a resource we can ever produce again or the greenhouse gases they are emitting...I digress. Better late than never. (my nissan, though falling apart, gets good gas mileage-just don't ask me to drive farther than Santa Cruz in it).

2. I am beginning to really love the beach. Ok, i know this is ridiculous. I live a half a mile and I rarely go down there. But Mike and I spent some time baking in the sun on friday, we went in the ocean for a short time in our swim suits (I screamed like a tourist), i laid out and got some color. I could live here forever. Really.

3. I am increasingly more excited about creative arts at Vintage Faith. Exciting things are happening. The artists in residence program has come out of hiding and is back! We created our first video in 2 years this week. I am falling more and more in love with art and its many forms. It looks like I am getting a Sacred Space team again. I can't wait for the teams to be healthy and functioning so I can dream more! I'm living a dream of mine here and it's coming to life! Right now is a good season-I am feeling less overwhelmed and tired. I am feeling like we are finding our goofy Vintage niche again. It feels good.

4. God's just really blessing me with the pure and simple things. I dont feel too caught up in a lot right now. I love life, Mike, the simplicity of summer, warmth, light summer dresses, good food, good friends, a great family and just pure joy. I'm not taking it for granted and truly know these great moments are from God.

5. I am feeling much more myself during this season-i think more than ever. I feel fully alive, fully feeling my emotions, senses, what I am intuiting, and sense what God is doing much more than I have in the past.

6.  I have limited my TV usage immensely. I dont even care who wins American Idol this time. I am not using it as background noise anymore. If i watch something, I watch it and put down the computer or book. If I am not interested, I am turning it off. (for many years I couldn't concentrate without background noise-TV or radio). 

7. I have been meeting A LOT of new people that i really really like, and hope to be their friend. People from different situations, faiths and lifestyles, and it is enriching my life and my view of the missional call. 

8. I HAVE to get back to the gym. I have been busy and tired, but I am lethargic and out of shape. And each time I take an extended break, I gain weight. So...back to the gym I go. :) 

9. I love to have my friends over. I never thought this day would come, but I really love it and want people to come over and eat all my food! I mean, spend time with each other!! I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday party this year and cant wait to have a bigger bash next year. 

10. I like blogging and I want to grow in it. I want to grow in my writing, my wordage, my experiences to blog about. I really want to write a book one day. Yeah. I do. 

11. I am SO tired of election coverage. Will someone just win? I know we still have delegates to fork out and primaries to win...but COME ON already. I can't wait for November. No...wait-i take that back. I can wait.

ok...that's a quick verbal vomit from the couch of sarah martin. Tune in next time...

home

last night i drove from my dad's house in sunnyvale to my college roommate/best friend/saving grace's baby shower in south san jose. I drove all the familiar streets to get to her party. It felt familiar, as though it hadn't been that long ago. The shower was at my ex-boyfriend's parents house (who are such great people), which I hadn't been to in over 6 years. It was literally a flashback. It was weird looking at the family photos that I remember noticing 6 years ago, and see the new ones, shouting the joy and love from the frame. Not bad at all, just couldn't believe it had been that long ago. I'm feeling old. 

The shower was a fun time reliving some fun memories and making new ones. I couldn't believe Anne and I had been friends for over 6 or 7 years now. I love making new memories now-not to replace the old, per se, but to enhance now. I am so excited for Anne and can't wait for her to have baby Tyrone :).  And I can't wait to continue to make new memories together.

i realized driving back that night that San Jose really is not home anymore. It hasn't been in 4 years. Most of my memories of those times are now distant, with new memories taking space in my brain. Is that normal? I don't want to forget those times, but I know that I am much more attached to these new memories with Anne, and all my friends and family-including you-than the old, and i feel at home more now than ever before. 

I love home. 

looking our nuclear best

I remember sitting in my room as a kid, whimsically thinking about what life will be like when I am older. I was one of two kid who grew up, in my early years, in a nice house, in a good area. Had 2 parents at home. Our house sat on a hill and overlooked the whole city. My bedroom as a kid was considerably girlie. I had a canopy attached to my 4 poster bed. Pink ribbon wallpaper adorned the four walls of the room, where I would sit and play dolls hours on end. I was definitely girlie; squealing at spiders and afraid of dirt. I played barbies and collected dolls (which actions were enforced by family members who were only allowed to buy me dolls with the name Sarah on it). I lived a whimsical, idilic, girlie life for the first ten years in a beautiful nuclear family. 

In 6th grade, I realized that the "cool" girls weren't girlie-they were hardcore. They grew up in the barrios. Their single parents were at work or doing drugs when they were walking home from school. They threw fist fights and used words I had only heard in movies and when my parents were extremely upset at each other. I tried as best as I could to be "hardcore": wearing wet-n-wild 578-a deep, dark purple, getting my first perm and learning how to "do" my bangs correctly, watching all the girls' moves when they'd start a fight. 

During this time, what my parents portrayed to me as a traditional family was just that-a portrayal. We weren't really a nuclear household, we just played one on t.v. And everything that I knew as normal was not. So, I threw it all out the window. I did not want to be traditional. Because most of my friends came from a divorced or single family home, I thought people who had a traditional home was lying. Lying to me, lying to themselves, lying to others. And to be honest, I loved it. I loved being non-traditional. I remember fighting with my grandmother at age sixteen on how I didn't plan to celebrate holidays with my kids because all the ones I experienced was not a happy ordeal. Oh, boy, was she mad at me! 

As I grew, and came to know Jesus, I continued to feel a tension. a tension that was beyond me. I wanted to love-love a man, a child, a family. But I wanted so much to not fold into the "traditional" mold, because frankly, it didn't exist for me. People I knew that were such were secretly unhappy when they closed the door for the night. I hated flowery dresses and was so afraid of losing my own identity. 

I rebelled: i refused to learn to cook, would not give up my dreams for my early college boyfriend whom I thought I'd marry (he believed in a traditional relationship, which meant that I'd have to find a career that I could dump once the kids came), refused to be the housekeeper as I was at my childhood house for many years. I was SO hoping Mike would be mr. mom. It was like I was a punk teenager (and adult, really) with my arms crossed mostly just in one area: gender roles. 

But wonder sometimes that this world that people created for me (intentional or unintentional) of whimsical dreams of girls doing "girl things" and boys doing "boy things" was well intentioned, but actually failed. Maybe only in a few people out there, people actually, happily, live out truly traditional roles. Maybe most of us live a hybrid lifestyle. Maybe because of my uprooting and shaking of all things traditional in junior high has left me a bit jaded. Or a lot jaded. 

I think I might be maternal somewhere inside of me. One day, it will emerge. I don't doubt it. I think it is starting. I think the pendulum in my life is finally swinging back to moderation. But I'm probably going to use a banana sling thing to carry around my kid, probably going to use cloth diapers so our kids will actually have a planet to live on, sing lullabies of Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana to them (Black Hole Sun works well on crying newborns). I'll probably write a book in the wee hours of the night while they are sleeping, never really quit drinking coffee (I have gone back to my wicked ways, friends), mountain bike til I die, hopefully travel part time for work with the other half in the office, baby in tow (ok...that might not happen). 

There are things that I probably won't do as a wife or mom...stay at home 24/7 without some type of outside fulfillment (otherwise, i'll probably go insane), do crazy deep cleaning (that's where Mike's government training steps in), run a Mary Kay/Tupperware/Candle/Pampered Chef company (not that it is a bad thing at all-I definitely will not miss a party, my consultant friends!), own a large SUV to hold all my kids sports gear and use up all the world's natural resources, join a moms-only club, forget to take care of myself for the sake of junior, wear an apron for extended periods of time or adopt male headship theology. 

I know-you are reading this thinking one of two things: 1) it's about time i realize that no matter how hard I ever try, I will never be Suzie Homemaker and am hung up on this whole issue or 2) I am highly opinionated.  And it's true. One and two are very true. and I have been ever since I was a little kid, waking up in my four poster bed, fighting with my grandmother as a teen over traditions, I have always been an opinionated non-traditionalist. And inasmuch as I have been so afraid of upsetting the norm of christian culture...it's ok. Jesus will not smite my family for not looking its nuclear best. We plan to love each other and Jesus, keep our commitments, and have fun. That's all that matters really. And it's ok.

And it's ok to be me. 

And to be honest...and I am enjoying finding out what looks like for us. 
(more twisted tales from the non-traditionalist to come!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

such big news!

Mike has a blog-AND  just posted his first post. Yep!

http://mjackmartin.blogspot.com 

Check it out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

twenty-seven

I am rapidly approaching wrapping up year 26. It's kind of weird-each year, about 2 months before I start to "get used to" the number coming up. 2 years ago, I accidentally said I was 25 to a few people when I was still a few weeks (or months out) from my birthday. Then Mike so lovingly corrected my age with them and it was as if I forgot that I was still 24. (Ok, this is ever so slightly embarrassing). As a kid I was always SO excited to be older (I have always wanted to "grow up" fast). 

This is the first year where it feels a bit different. I've been trying on twenty-seven for a while now, but been pretty attached to twenty-six. But I'm feeling as though I am shedding twenty-six faster than I am ready to let go. I'm a little slower on the "trendy" side of things than I used to be these days. I am realizing I don't know the newest slang and that my language is starting to become a bit more adult like (um, like, yeah, totally!). I am slower to speak, but still not quick to listen. I haven't gone to SF for a concert in YEARS. Yes, years. days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and here I am, shedding my twenty-sixth year faster than I can remember year twenty-five. or twenty-four. oh, man.

Here I am, looking to this next year and although I am slightly struggling, I feel like God's giving me new insight. And even though the external "mile markers" of where I wanted to be don't match the ones I dreamt up at age six, internally I am a new(er) creation than last year. And because of that, I'm excited, but not to be "older" but to hopefully gain wisdom. Not look "look more spiritual" to others, but to know that my faith (in secret, behind the door, when no one's looking) resembles what I portray to others in the public. Not to be more "popular" but to grow in deep, authentic community-even if its with only just a few people. Not to be more "happy" but to grow in true contentment (that's a whole 'nother post for another time). Not to have the coolest birthday gifts but to have beautiful memories to last me when I am partaking in another twenty-seventh birthday party 50 years from now. Memories to share with my kids, my grandkids (whether my own or just kids in the Spirit).  

I know I always "say" these things, because if you are a "good Christian" you will want these things. I have externally told myself and others for many years that this is what I should want, therefore those would be my "birthday wishes". But really, secretly, internally, I wanted just the opposite. I wanted it to be about me. Not Jesus. Not others. But me. But...this is the year I think I am not lying to myself. I truly desire this.

27 is growing on me. I am starting to like the way it sounds, feels, tastes. It's kind of like one of those mexican lollipops with a chili lime coating, but once you suck off all the coating, there's sweet mango inside. You may not like the taste right away, but it grows on you and getting to the center is worth it. I feel that this year is going to be such a big transition. Maybe not in "external events" but the internal processes that have shaped me to be me over the last quarter century. 

I'm taking off my winter coat and settling into the person God is calling me to be. I am finally warming up and it feels good.  

Sunday, April 20, 2008

mary in a martha world

funny that I named this blog as such. I think there's a book called this and i think i had to read it in college. 

But I digress. 

So I realize I am really impatient. When I was a kid, all i wanted to do was to grow up. Like, I could not WAIT to go to kindergarten. I wanted to grow up as an elementary school kid and to do so I had my daily dose of Oprah and Growing Pains. I was always looking for the next thing. Junior high. High school. College #1. College #2. College #3. Graduating College. getting married. Moving to Sacramento. Getting my first "real" job. Quitting my first "real" job. Moving from Sacramento. the list goes on (and on and on). I am like this with houses I have lived in. If I have lived in a home for more than 1 year, I go STIR CRAZY. I seriously could move to a new house down the street and quench this fire for the time being. 

I think that is also really resonant of my spiritual life as well. I am always looking for the next thing in my walk with Jesus. I think when I was a new Christian I thought that quantity was really what Jesus wanted. That if i sat at His feet for like, 7 weeks straight, in a desert, with only a bible and water, He would just unfold this scroll of what He wanted from me and how he wanted to use me. Then I'd know exactly each step I needed to take, what He wanted from me. Ha! Oh, Lord, help me now.

Now i realize that I have the attention span of a rat and I cant really sit at Jesus' feet for long, extensive amounts of time. I am actually currently blogging during a worship gathering now because if i dont do it now, I will forget (remember...attention span?). and it has really enhanced my blogging experience. I really felt as though God was really directing my typing. it was like a worship experience. What was I just talking about?

Oh that's right. So I have a hard time not multi tasking my relationship with Jesus. Doing more than one thing at a time at all times. I get caught up in the tasks of the kingdom of God and not the relationship with God that i need. Sundays I find myself wondering, "are the candles lit? how is the tech team? is the (fill in the blank person who helps out on a given sunday) ________ here yet? are we running late? should Josh cut a song? will he see my note? It's dark in the pocket, should I get a light? Oh, crap, I forgot (fill in the blank of something you would see at Vintage on any given sunday) ________! Who could run to (name any given store we shop at each week)  ______ ?". So...that's sunday, which really should be a work day, not a sabbath so I probably need to really "rest" on my day off and like fall off the face of the earth on saturdays or something. Again, I digress. 

Anyway...I want to be Mary. I mean, she just sat at Jesus' feet. Screw the dirty dishes and the unclean floors. I just want to listen to Jesus sing a sweet song to me. And, to be quite honest, I am Martha a lot. I am a Mary in my marriage and my family but I am a Martha with our church community and with our friends. I don't think I am by nature, but the environment my whole life, has been molded into Martha. Society and even Christian culture has molded me into Martha. And I have chosen to be Martha - probably to fill my self esteem, my self worth and maybe even to fill my pride. I admit it. 

Yet, I long for the quietness at Jesus' feet.  To be. just be. Not be impatient with Jesus when He hasn't laid out the scroll of my life of what He wants next. That's really what the whole relationship with Jesus thing is all about. And each time I have waited for the next "spot" in life, He's brought me to the next place- it's been so good. maybe hard. Ok, always hard. But so good. And when I sit at Jesus' feet, I know that good things come to those who wait. Whatever it is.

So tonight, I'm sitting, waiting, wishing. At Jesus' feet. For Him to show me the next steps. Whatever it might be. 

(ok, is this the scatterbrained blog yet?)

Monday, April 14, 2008

family

today was one of the most transforming sundays I have been a part of in a while. It felt like the focus was unintentionally on family. It was so neat gathering wise, as Justin and Josh Fox tag teamed the message on purpose, their mom Brooke led an interactive art piece and having most of the Fox family at Vintage Faith-I'm guessing is somewhat of a rare sighting, getting all of them together in the same room. In the coffeehouse at the 11, I think I counted 6 new babies being taken care of by their loving parents in the coffeehouse. I got to catch up with a friend who has a new baby and ask plenty of questions. At the 7, I caught up with friends who I haven't talked to in two weeks, hung out and just chilled. 

I realized today that Vintage Faith is my family. I mean, I have a biological family, which my immediate family is close. But there is something about the family of God that gives me a bigger purpose. I haven't felt like this since I was a young, green jr. high director at WestGate. I had missed having this bond for the last 4 years and wasn't sure if I ever would have it again. But today solidified it. Vintage is my family. I woke up SO excited to see people that I loved. People that mean more than a nonchalant "hello" in passing. I just couldnt wait - people of all ages and situations and life circumstances. I actually had a moment today where I knew I just love everyone, and I never want to leave this family. Things change and people are ALWAYS added to this family, but this is family (dysfunction and all). 

Thank you, God, for bringing me here, adopting me as your own, bringing me into this amazing church community. I PRAY that everyone can find community (words cannot explain how amazing it is) whether it is at Vintage or somewhere else. There's just nothing like it. 

That's all from me. I am just thankful tonight for this place and for something so beautiful to be a part of (pardon my incorrect grammar, I am falling asleep as I write this).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

expecting the unexpected

when Mike and I were dating, we thought it would be really funny to buy one of those really cheap Mervyn's plastic rings. You know, one of those that is a "diamond" in a "setting" (so funny writing about this 4 years later, as Mike now works a a fine jewelry store). And...we thought it would be funny to fake a proposal to one of our good friends, Dave and Nancy Larson. 

I believe it was a Sunday morning at WestGate, and we were in the video overflow room. I threw that cheap ring on my ring finger and my hand and said, "We're engaged, Nancy!" and I am pretty much sure she was in shock. we had only dated like, 2 months, and people knew that we were dating but didn't know how serious we were. She shouted "Congratulations!" and hugged us, and then we threw out the kicker: we were just kidding. We did the same exact thing to Dave, who was a bit less animated but did give us a congratulatory hug. And lo and behold, less than 3 months later, we really were engaged and she said, "you are kidding me this time, are you?". And she knew us, knew we were jokesters and we still got her pretty good. sometimes we just expect the unexpected. She expected us to do some kind of prank, but was still caught off guard and was not expecting it.

I sometimes act like this with God. I expect that he won't use me, and yet he does in ways that I can't be expecting Him to act. I expect something to work out a certain way, and he works in a way that it totally unexpected. I was cracking up reading my last blog when I was saying "I'm not even sure I will have any deep revelations during my hiatus from the world to blog" (I obviously did not send much time on my grammar-hah!). It was probably one of the BEST times where God has given me such clarity. Maybe not deep thoughts, but much clarity. 

I unfortunately went into vacation time expecting that it would be dull, boring and uninspiring. That I would come back to work tomorrow just as tired and weary. That I would be cynical during a wedding (not of the couple, i think they are great, but of the "romanticizing" of marriage. Hello, its a lot of work! Wonderful work. but it's hard.) That I would be cynical to the people I would meet and cling to Amy Boschen like I was in kindergarten and she was my only friend (sorry friends!). 

But instead, God did the unexpected. Every area where I did not expect Him to work to change my perspective, He did. I have fallen even more in love with my husband. I have fallen more in love with my job. I am feeling as though the paradigm has shifted and priorities went with it. I met and reconnected great people my age (with and without kids) who are making it (somehow). We were well taken care of by a little italian housekeeper and woke up to breakfast, coffee, orange juice, and a hug every morning (a bit more than usual-well, minus the hug). I was filled with a newfound hopefulness, a sense of being renewed and a new understanding on what it means to be taken care of by God. 

It doesn't just mean that there is food on our table and a roof over our head, although that can be part of it. But I am remembering this weekend that it is more than that-He comes to give us life and give it to the fullest. When we are weary and tired, He fills us. When we are thirsty, He quenches it for us. And He continually fills us and my soul is refreshed. Instead of a fake Mervyn's ring, He gave me the real deal. And while I expected God to do something, I didn't know exactly what and to what extent-and God showed me the unexpected. You'd think I'd know how He works by now-but He's caught me by surprise yet again. And I love that about Him.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm sorry, but I am not here right now

vacation. it's beautiful. it's needed. and I am purposefully falling off the face of the earth for a while. Please know, it isn't personal. But even though I am mostly an extrovert, i do need some down time and quiet. 

i have felt parched since Christmastime (instead of resting, I plowed through January and February without blinking an eye. Or much sleep). I get so excited (and a bit overwhelmed) with everything-all my projects, deadlines, the-next-big-thing-coming-up that I don't really...stop. It's about slim to none that I turn OFF my brain and rest. After imagining a yellow flag raised in the air, cautioning me that the rate in which i am moving will probably cause burn out, I...asked...for...a...break. Those 2 words are some of the hardest in the English language to type, let alone speak. In a conversation. To your boss. 

i have some of the MOST understanding co-workers in the world, who are the biggest advocates of boundaries (mostly for others). This was a no brainer for everyone else, but so hard for me to admit. I'm tired. Who, me? Tired? I have creativity and inspiration to keep me afloat!I never get tired or burned out. I have an amazing job and have the best team of leaders in the world. But, all of that, let's face it...it is not enough. Everyone gets tired (...right? Oh, please tell me, I am right...).

So, I have purposefully turned my brain off the last 2 days. Played on Facebook, caught up on America's Next Top Model, did a load of dishes. Need to clean more. (eek!) Did some shopping today. I am exercising as if I was on the biggest loser. Eating as if I wanted to lose the Biggest Loser. And basically, have done not much more than that. It's been needed. and, i want to blog, but i am not even sure that i have any brain power right now. I'm not even sure I will have any deep revelations during my hiatus from the world to blog. But I do know, I am going to be unplugging for a few days. No blogging. No Facebook. No email. This is a big deal for me, but I am glad. I need to do it. 

(So, side note, I do ask-do you have any good "refreshing" books to suggest to me? I'm bored with most of the ones I already own (classic ENFP in me is kicking in...) so picking up a couple new ones could be great. I am thinking about some Henri Nouwen, Brendan Manning-eque books to refresh me spiritually, some great leadership books to push me further, but before I raid Dan's office, do you have any suggestions?) 

so, if Blogspot had an auto responder, mine would say something like this: "Hi and thanks so much for reading my blog. I'm currently detaching myself from all things technological until April 7th. I will be back at my computer and returning all blog comments the week of April 7th. If you need immediate assistance please call the main office line and hit the "0" for the operator. Thanks so much and have a great week."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

hiding

when i was little, we lived way up on a hill adjacent to Alum Rock Park in San Jose. I loved walking down the street to the treehouse someone built where my friends and i would "tag" the treehouse with hearts and our current crush's name. my brother and i grew up in an irreligious household and went to church on Christmas and Easter about 5 times in my childhood. 

we had a house with a wraparound deck and big windows that were not up to earthquake code for the late 80's and early 90's (the house was built in 1950 and does not exist anymore). If you were to stop by, you could look into any of our windows and know if someone was home. To enter our house, you had to go up the front steps (about 10-15 of them). 

Every year or two, I would hear from my mom "hide!" as I would hear footsteps up the stairs, and a knock on the door. It was silly, but I loved this little game. I would hide in my mother's bedroom and peer out of the window to see who was there. It was usually two to three people, dressed in their best 80's suit or Laura Ashley dress, with a good amount of fliers. They would start at our front door and then peer into our windows and walk all the way around our wraparound deck, peering into each window to see if someone was home. All signs of life was apparent: i tried to flip off as many lights as I could as they walked up the stairs but usually missed one; our car perfectly parked in the carport and all my toys sprawled out in the house or in the driveway. after a couple of minutes, I could hear that they had walked down the back steps and from our front window, see them drive off into the horizon.

I had an interesting experience come up today as I was washing dishes and catching up on housework. I hear a rapping at my door and a feeling of fear wash over me: 
who is it? who is stopping by at 9:30 in the morning? 
I am still in my bathrobe. Oh crap, I'm still in my bathrobe! 
Is it "the cable guy" who is actually a mass murderer?  
Is it my neighbor letting me know that another duplex is on fire and I need to get out of the building? 
Will I have enough time to get out of my bathrobe? Do I have any clean clothes? 
What do you get when you have 1 minute to evacuate the building and only 2 hands?

"Who is it?" I ask with my ear against the door. "One of your neighbors," a lady answered as I opened the door. Oh, great, the building IS on fire, I think to myself. "I would just like to invite you to this," the lady continued. 

In her hands contained a flier of Jesus and Easter, that resembled something that the southern baptist church gave out during the Jesus movement. I recognized the flier right away as 3 saturdays ago, a gentleman stopped by to give me one. I politely took one 3 weeks ago, and briefly read through it. I was invited to an Easter service on Saturday the 22nd at the Kingdom Hall. Today, I politely told her no thank you, and to have a great day, and closed the door.  I didn't have the amount of brain power at 9:30 a.m. to invite her into my dirty home (that I was cleaning), have a conversation with her and relive every "apologetics" class I ever took. This morning, I really just wanted a really large window, where I could see who was at my door and hide in my mom's bedroom today. 

I know that isn't the thing to say, being that I work at a missional church but I am realizing my own instinct is to do so- to avoid uncomfortability. We have spent the last 4 weeks at Vintage talking about this very subject and here I am, wanting to go hide in a bedroom. I know that I so love Jesus and what he has done for me and want others to have that as well. It's a choice to be missional and to live outside our own desires and to live by the Spirit. And I am realizing it takes a lot of prayer. I know it seems so simple, but it is not easy to really live out.  

I wonder how many people will be attending their service tonight based off the personal invite. I wonder how 'effective' it was to walk to each house, knock on the door and personally invite people to their deal. I wonder how many people were intrigued, offended, apathetic. I wonder how many people hid in their bedroom and ignored the knock on the door. 

easter is tomorrow. it seems so early this year. i wonder how many people have seen our flier that we made and are planning to come tomorrow.  how many people picked it up and were intrigued. i am praying that many people would come and see the hope in Jesus' resurrection. That we might be able to change some stereotypes people have of the church and faith. i am also praying for those who, like me, are afraid of uncomfortability. who would rather go hide than to be a part of a church community or to share this hope we have in Jesus with others who might want it.  and when you think of it, pray for me, that the next time i hear a knock on the door, i will not hide, no matter what my desire might be at the time. 

Happy Easter. He lives. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

...in dreamland, Easterland, Summertime land

dreams are funny. i tend to have reoccurring themes in my dreams. Over the last year i have had easily 6-8 dreams about pregnancy. It's either me or one specific friend (who will remain nameless - but note - she isn't pregnant :)). It usually about one of us sharing the news that we were pregnant-not labor, delivery or anything else.

This last dream, the night of the 18th (night before Mike's 33rd b-day), I dreamt that i was rapidly approaching the 2nd trimester and was starting to show. I knew I had to start telling people and I was scared. In my dream, I felt the baby kick (which was probably gas from dinner that night). Anyway, I was in the hallway next to my office and I told both Josh and Lee that I was pregnant. Josh was excited-as animated Josh usually reacts to exciting news. Lee was not so ecstatic - in fact, his first words were "was this unplanned?" in a monotone voice. I replied with a "yes" and he stayed pretty stoic. Then he responded with "That's cool" and went on his way down the stairs. That was the end of the dream. I didn't wake up with any emotion but shock that i just had ANOTHER freaking dream about pregnancy.

i tend to get freaked out by these pregnancy dreams as I am warming up to the idea of a child, but not totally sold on having a kid until we are a bit more stable (do we ever get stable though, I ask?). 

Jung really thought that dream interpretation opened up the windows of our souls. I dont know if i really agree, but I am curious to see what "they" think. I wikipedia-ed dream interpretation and found some interesting things. (Don't worry, I don't put a ton of merit in dream interpretation, i just thought this could be pretty funny to hear about, that is all!)

The Curious Dreamer says that pregnancy dreams are one of these things:
  • a process or project somewhere in your life (they seem so show up during stressful periods at work where I have to really produce)
  • responsibility for another person somehow in your life (wow, it is kinda true-i feel a lot of responsibility for others in my life)
  • responsibility for self or for your inner child (i have been growing more as an adult lately)
  • a curiosity about pregnancy (I am sure there is some of that in this dream)
The Dream Dictionary says that a pregnancy dream symbolizes new life, creative, inventive,  that i should be prepared to produce something. (i think this is somewhat accurate in my life)

SoulFuture.com says that dreaming of being i may indicate: 
  • incubating a new project, relationship or cycle within (see above)
  • manifesting my desires (maybe a little bit)
  • a guidance dream heralding an actual pregnancy (haha, not actually possible)
  • a desire to be pregnant (could be)
Ok, I think it is a multitude of things, so this is my interpretation:
1. I am afraid of some unexpected thing to happen-I like controlling my life as it is. The unexpected scares me (when it comes to a child being dependent on me for 18-24 years).
2. I think the responsibility for self and others is true-I feel loads of responsibility at work that is hard for me to process at time or categorize. I am really learning about myself in this time frame and find that I am learning to take responsibility for my actions-as much as I can. But I am learning boundaries as well.
3. I am sure this is about my desire to one day be pregnant. It will be a joyous occasion. I know I am processing it and learning on how to be a woman, how to be me, and not just falling to the stereotypes of motherhood. I am really wading through the years of crap in the background that has held me back from motherhood. BUT, I am still processing and thinking. One day it will happen, but just not this week. :) 

Anyway, this week is exciting-it's Easter this sunday, which means 1) we celebrate hard core the gift of Jesus' resurrection and 2) i have a sunday night off. silly I know, but I am looking forward to being in my bathrobe at 5 pm, making frozen pizza and relaxing. I haven't done that in 6 months, so I can't wait. I like Easter-the new life of spring really accentuates the new life we have in Jesus. We just spent 5 hours setting up the installation in the sanctuary tonight and it is BEAUTIFUL (thanks team!). It was amazing. 

Back to spring and Jesus. slowly but surely, maybe I will shed my SAD (seasonal affective disorder). i love summertime-flip flops, shorts, and a tan. I can't wait!! 

Now, after I have spent almost 2 hours relaxing after a long day, I am going to bed. Night night my blog friends, nighty night!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Quirky, Quirky Me (Oh, how quirky I am...)

Ok, I must say I am new to this as well. I now must share 6 quirks about me via this blog.  I was tagged by Nini and I am now passing on the tradition to Colleen, Bennett and Shannon Marie. I am quirky, it's slightly embarrassing but it is true. Authentically Sarah (Bacon) Martin.

Here's the deal:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. 
2. Post the rules. 
3. Share 6 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. 
4. Tag at least 3 people. 
5. Make sure the people you tagged know you tagged then by commenting to them. 

1. I love the Weather Channel. I seriously could watch radar ("Your local on the 8's") all day. I am really intrigued as storms come in. I am excited when we get severe weather alerts. I listen outside for rain showers. Get a little freaked out, yet intrigued by thunder. I love to park by the beach and watch the waves as they crash. I love the rain and love curling up in a blanket, with a magazine and...the Weather Channel humming in the background.

2. I can hear the tone of a touch dial phone (as a friend pushes a button on the other side) and tell you which number you pushed just by the sound. I haven't been in practice in the last couple of years since the age of the cell phone, but I think it was the beginning of musical ear training. That was my biggest talent growing up. (just kidding).

3. I am slightly obsessive compulsive about doors, especially if I locked them and closed them shut. I hate the feeling of "did I lock the door...?" and so I check it...once, twice...three times.  I basically don't want to be responsible if my house was robbed or the church was broken into. So, i double or triple check at times. Call me OCD. I don't care. (I'm not totally OCD about anything else really, see number 5).

4. I am afraid of any body of water that I cannot control. So, basically, I am fine with swimming in a swimming pool but don't you dare throw me in the ocean (especially the freezing Pacific), ask me to go river rafting (almost drowned in a river once) or swim in the lake (I am perfectly ok with sitting on the sidelines, getting a tan while you go play with the fishies and kelp).  Although once, with a very trained boat driver, I did wake board and would do it again. 

5. I am notoriously known for starting things but not finishing them. I have many half-finished scrapboooks, half read books by my bed (which I do occasionally read), menus planned (but not shopped for or cooked), projects around the house to finish, personal goals to be developed. The Myers Briggs once called me an ENFP and they are pretty much known for not finishing projects. They can start them, but not finish. While I dont think I am a 100% classic ENFP (I think environment shapes personality), i have some of the traits. I am learning how to tackle big goals into little ones now. I think I can focus on one place at a time. I think I have work down, but forget the others. ENFP's They are known for talking a lot and having high goals but not getting a lot finished. i am working on it (see blog on little life changes) but its a process.

6. I am kind of a map lover. As a kid, I would sprawl a map over our kitchen table and memorize all the major streets of San Jose. Partially, if I ever got lost or was forgotten at the supermarket or dance class, I knew how to get home. My mom wasn't the strongest in the map department so I was really the navigator. ("Honey, do we take Highway 120 to Arnold?"..."Yes, Mom"...) Now, I love knowing exactly where I am going, how I am going to get there, how many minutes it will take (and I usually leave late to wherever I am going...another quirk). I love being the one who has all the info in a row, memorized and ready to go and "accidentally" take an alternate route or stop at the 7-11 for beef jerky. But don't put me on turn by turn directions-i need to see the whole, big picture. It must be the leader in me...? 

my paragraphs have gotten progressively longer and sloppier -that means I am tired and must sleep now. so...now it's your turn!

This was fun-THANKS Nini!

caffeination update

It's been 17 days of my accidental detox of caffeine. In those 17 days, I am pretty sure I have had 5 cups of coffee. I know...I know-but I only drink it (one cup) on days where I MUST be focused and functional to get my work done (so, that means, Sundays, Mondays and every other Tuesday).

So i have converted. No longer am I a slave to the caffeine. It's amazing. (I shared in the office during this conversion that I have been drinking coffee since i was 9 and that was my diet in high school: coffee and cigarettes. Such a great diet. NOT so much.) I am now in LOVE with green tea. I really am. I am not getting much in the area of caffeine, great taste and supposedly, it helps speed up your metabolism. Can't beat that! It's warm, good for you and I love the taste. Ok, so that is my quick update on caffeination. i am now off to cook some kind of dinner and rest before tomorrow! It's a big day-our first ever immersion baptism in our sanctuary! (please pray tonight that the water is warmed enough :)). 

Monday, March 3, 2008

little life changes

as i type tonight, i have the hiccups. My grandfather used to call them "hee-cups", and I thought that was cute. I say "hick-ups".
anyway, as i hiccup away, i have made some minor life tweaks this week. i tend to do them spontaneously, then stop in 2-3 weeks.
  • no more coffee. i know. day 5 (minus sunday). pretty amazing. gotta love advil.
  • i am bringing clothes with me to the office. I ran up high st. to the ucsc entrance and back. i am now making this at least a twice a week occurrance.
  • I am trying to go bed early. i think about it, and need to. Its 11 pm now though, and I am not in bed.
  • wikipedia everything so i can grow in my knowledge of areas shared with me. i know know that John Donne worked at a church later in life, married scandalously (14-17 yr old), and had 11 kids, including 2 stillborn, one died at 18. Thank you, Wikipedia!
  • eat healthier. i brought some food to the office today that was SUPER healthy. then i went home at had Top Ramen and Soy Chips (spicy)...and a good 400 calories, i am sure.
anyway, those are little tweaks i am trying to change this month. How about you? (the hee-cups have gone away now).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

caffeination

so i dont think caffeination is a word. i am making up words as i type. i have now gone a few days without coffee (colleen has inspired me). here's the log:

Wednesday the 27th-no coffee beans at home. fall for Starbuck's marketing ploy and buy newly practiced espresso for mike and i. pleasantly surprised at the taste.

Thursday the 28th-no coffee beans - day 2. have to get to the church by 10 to meet alex and yarek. no caffeine break. feels ok and resists red bull in the coffeehouse. crunches numbers: i could save money AND calories if i quit drinking coffee. no headache at 3 pm. thinks, "i can do this".

Friday the 29th-no coffee again but does get Taco Bell in a hurry over the hill. drinks part of Mike's Mtn Dew and feels good. Goes shopping for a dress for a wedding and can't decide. drive back home (after seeing men from WestGate [long story]).

Saturday the 1st-went without caffeine again. passed up the coffee at the bridal shower as well. had a pretty good headache today. thinks she is nuts and will HAVE to drink some in the morning to make it through sunday. wishes it was monday and dreads what kind of headache she will have on monday with no coffee and lots of meetings. rethinks whole concept. dreams of going to the store and buying beans and then the beans become alive and attack her and take her money in Aisle 4B. wakes up in night sweats. 

p.s. on public t.v. they are showing the Clash---- infomercial style. Public TV goes hip!
"I broke the law and law won!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

what a web (w)e weave

i am always awestruck at what a small world this is. Mike and I were at Mt Hermon this last weekend, hanging out with a life coach named Bob Nicholson, and "interned" under him to see if life coaching/counseling is something Mike is interested in as a future career. He held a seminar and a couple meetings where we observed. The very last meeting that day was a family from Loomis. 

"Loomis?" i shrieked, before realizing I just opened a (cool) but big opening for a conversation. "yep, we are from Loomis". 
I say (before holding my tongue), "we were from Rocklin! Just moved from there about 2 years ago!". 
"Really, i work at Sierra College", says the husband. 
"No way", mike says, "we lived kiddy corner from the school in the apartments". 
"We are renting right now, and we live in the same complex. I am currently looking for a few good babysitters", says the wife. 
"No way, we probably have some names for you-we were youth pastors before moving here", I say, again, thinking there is no connection.
"Really? What church?" asks the wife. 
"Sierra College Blvd. Baptist Church, now LIFEhouse Church," I said figuring they went to Bayside like the rest of the town. 
"No way, we just became members there!" says the husband. 

the conversation went on, past on names of babysitters, and went on our way. But it is amazing to see how we are all interrelated somehow. It felt like the 6 degrees of Mike or Sarah Martin. I think that makes the body of Christ so cool. I bet you I now someone, who knows someone, who knows someone from South Africa, who knows Mike or me. Or our churches we have served at. And the same is probably for you. 

TRIPPY! But fun. neat. and kind of scary.