Big News!

May 2, 2012 at 11:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

HA! I tricked you into reading my blog. I knew I had to come up with something good in order to pull you in. Now let’s see if I can create some content that doesn’t disappoint.

I have been thinking a lot lately about my MVS assignment and all of the things I wanted to do this year. I wanted to remove myself from the rat-race of the American dream and getting ahead. I wanted time to reflect on my skills and desires. But most of all, I wanted to do some good somewhere. In orientation we talked a lot about community and the benefits of being present. This appealed to me a lot. I envisioned myself attending community meetings/meals, volunteering extra time to community clean-up efforts, knowing all of my neighbors, etc. I thought I would immerse myself in getting to know more about Seattle and its issues, then venture out to save the city. (Or at least try.) As it turns out, though, I’ve only really met a couple of my neighbors.

I’ll give myself a little bit of grace and mention that I don’t just sit around inside the house all of the time. I meet a lot of great people at work and get to talk to them about what I’m doing and why I’m here. But I could do so much more to engage in the community. Occupy Seattle was less than a 1/2 mile from my house this fall and I didn’t even really try to seek out activism opportunities. So, the big news is I’ve renewed for a second year of MVS. I want to do more. I want to be more active in the community- and saying this here is my way of asking for folks to hold me accountable. Same house (new housemates, though…*sniff*), same job, new approach.

AND EVEN BIGGER NEWS! Our house welcomed 4 new ladies into the family a couple of weeks ago.

 

Our track record with animals has not been good this year. But Laura and I are co-parenting, and so far so good. The girls are adjusting well, love socializing, and provide the house with fresh eggs. Aren’t they so CUTE?!?!?!?

I am a proud mama. Have a great week, all.

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Flash Mob!

October 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Does anyone have a bucket list, or a 30 things by age 30 (40 by 40, 50 by 50, etc.) list? I’ve been thinking I need to create one. I’m not sure what all would be on it, but would probably include a lot of traveling. I do know that dancing in a flash mob is on my 30 by 30 list, and guess what? After this weekend that item got a big, fat CHECK! beside it. If the camera had scanned a little farther to the right, you would be able to see me. But alas, you’ll have to watch the professional mobbers in the center performing. Disappointing, I know.

What is on your bucket list?

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Double Dipping

October 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I just wrote this blurb about myself and my work at the University District Food Bank for our newsletter, and thought that it might make a good blog post as well. So if you still don’t know what I’m doing in Seattle, here you go. The unit’s website would also be a great resource for you!

I am grateful to have this opportunity to introduce myself to the University District Food Bank community. On August 16 I began my one year commitment to the Food Bank as the Home Delivery Coordinator. I am serving this year through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program and in addition to running and expanding the Home Delivery program, I’ll also be finding ways to connect our customers to benefits assistance programs through the new online portal “Washington Connection.”

    I come from a very small town in Northwest Ohio. I graduated in 2007 from Bluffton University, a Mennonite college very close to my hometown, with a degree in Music education. Upon graduation I worked as a Residence Hall Director and six months later began working in the Bluffton Office of Admissions as their Campus Visit Coordinator. Once deciding to enter Mennonite Voluntary Service, I left Bluffton in May 2011 to move to Eastern Ohio and worked in the box office for the Ohio Light Opera during their summer festival season. The Voluntary Service term then began in August and I arrived in Seattle for the first time ever on August 13.

    It has been a whirlwind of wonderful experiences since I moved to Seattle and began working at the University District Food Bank. Last year’s Mennonite Volunteer, Evan Miller, began the Home Delivery program for home-bound customers in need of food and really made it an easy transition for me. On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 we will mark the program’s one year anniversary and also log our 500th delivery. One year ago Evan, and his first volunteer driver Pat, drove a total of 3.4 miles in 45 minutes to deliver to our first two customers. One year later we have three routes serving 18 current customers (we have had 23 total customers) that drive an average of 30 miles each week. More people are on the waiting list for this service, so if you have some extra time and a car, we’d love to have you volunteer!

    There are so many other incredible things about being in Seattle and working where I do, but I feel most privileged for the opportunity to learn from and serve alongside my coworkers and the other volunteers. It has been overwhelming at times to think of the great need in our city, and then see everyone band together with their time, talents, and resources to try in the best way to meet that need. Attending the October 1 auction was not only a fun thing for me to do, but a very humbling opportunity to meet a lot of generous people and see them in action.

    I look forward to the rest of my time at the University District Food Bank and hope for future opportunities to meet you.

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Be Lost in the Call: From Seattle

September 25, 2011 at 8:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

For at least one year I have committed to live in community, practice reconciliation, and live a life more sustainable for the earth and all of its inhabitants. I am in Seattle through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program living with seven other people and working at a food bank. Why would one leave a community that she loves, a secure job and lifestyle, and then put herself three time zones away from most family and friends? That is a good question, and we’ll be exploring that in this blog.

“Be Lost in the Call”- by Rumi

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

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