Finding the Art in Everything

27 February, 2013

40-Day Bare Face: Day 13 - Waterlogged

Today, the awareness that I am not made for this place bears down on me with the force and relentlessness of a waterfall.

I picture the kind of waterfall  behind Cora from that powerful scene in The Last of the Mohicans.

I’m trying  to follow orders. At least I think I remember a point when someone  grabbed my shoulders and shouted, “Just stay alive! I will find you!” Was that real? Is someone actually coming?

Today, it feels like a real struggle to survive. I’m no more made for this wilderness than Cora was. I’m scrambling through the underbrush, looking over my shoulder, clawing uphill, and sometimes held captive by the enemy tribe.

Daniel Day Lewis in that movie is irresistibleI’d probably follow him if he called me into the wilderness, too.  

For a while, we’d be happy and I’d be delighted by the curiosity and novelty of life in the forest. But I could never make a home there. The day would come when I realized I’d signed on to living somewhere I’d never belong. And I’d get through my days and there’d even be good ones and eventually any memory of the old life would fade, but there’d always be this nagging feeling.

A nagging feeling that, on some days, would flood and spill over and pound me with its roar and anguish.

I. Don't. Belong. Here. 

Apparently, some people—many people—don’t have to live this way. A dear friend pointed that out to me last Friday.

She said “Perhaps there are some people who just struggle. Not because there is something wrong with them, but it’s part of what they do while they are here on this earth. It’s like their souls are closer to the surface, more exposed, or something. (I probably don’t know what I’m talking about here, but it sounds good, huh?) Things are hard because they already know they don’t belong here. The rest of us have to watch them sometimes to remember we don’t belong here, either.”

These words were a balm to my heart because, as I find myself in a dark and difficult place (again), I claw at the idea that I could have prevented this by living better. If I had learned the rules, followed them better, taken precautions, planned ahead, looked both ways before I crossed the street, listened to God more—I could have avoided the struggle. Other people aren’t in this place where I keep finding myself because they managed to do all that better than I did, so I just need to try harder.

This time around, I consider all the ways I went about trying to live rightly, and not a one of them saved me from being here. From being in a place where I bear my brokenness aloft because it’s all I have to show for myself.

It’s doesn’t matter what map I use—I could throw the map out altogether—if the terrain has a dark valley or a desert, I’ll find it. Without fail. I’ve mostly acquiesced to the possibility that “Trying harder” won’t spare me. And I don’t have to be surprised when I find myself back in this place.

I feel pounded, but then I remember it’s by a waterfall. This present day, on this planet, I’m standing under a waterfall and perhaps its grace after all.

This bit from Annie Dillard comes to mind:

“Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; you can catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall…These are our few live seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present…You don't run down the present, pursue it with baited hooks and nets. You wait for it, empty-handed, and you are filled.”

26 February, 2013

40-Day Bare Face: Day 12 - Prayerful

It's spring time, which means I crave Emerson and Thoreau. I read all or part of Walden about this time every year, which prompts me to check in with an Emerson reader I've had since college. I have a friend who's responsible for starting this in me 5 years ago, but now the ritual has become an important part of my yearly calendar.

I have also spent the last year examining prayer and worship and how we perceive the movement of God on Sunday mornings.I'm thinking even more about it lately as I struggle to feel at home.

I thought I'd revive this post because its been on my mind, and then maybe I'll go for a walk in the woods.

Emerson and Prayer

22 November, 2008 

Those of you who read The Strand might have noticed my attention to the topic of prayer, recently. A colleague of mine pointed out a familiar quotation by Emerson on the subject:

"Prayer that craves a particular commodity,—any thing less than all good,—is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end, is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action. The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature, though for cheap ends."

I struggle with parts of this passage (which I'll get to later), but I appreciate his definition of prayer, "the beholding and jubilant soul,...the spirit of God pronouncing [H]is works good."

I think so often we make prayer really small--what we have in the postmodern me-centered Church starts to sound like a conversation between 2 people, which is prone to the viciousness and selfishness of Emerson's concern.

By definition, prayer is the soul's communication with the master and creator of the universe, permissible through the redemptive work of Death and Resurrection. I think we too often get the scale wrong, which leads us to seeking the "private end," resulting in "meanness and theft." Prayer becomes a wish-list, or a script, or a manufactured emotional validation for an ungodly cause. When we approach prayer as a "conversation," there isn't much to keep us from projecting fallen human sentiments on something wholly and holy Other--because a conversation presumes we do the talking.

In this sense, maybe we get the scale of worship wrong, too. In church, we carefully select songs, with particular rhythm and notes, to call out specific emotions and intellectual themes.  Maybe this is too controlled. Maybe we need to better remember we are part of a much larger "conversation".

Prayer and Worship really happen when all of creation lives according to the fullest measure of its purpose.

This is how "prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar" could be heard "throughout nature".

What was the first worship like? What were the first prayers? What was prayer and worship like before power structures? Before perverted collectivism? Post-modernism? Tithes and small-groups and potlucks and simple guitar chords and Christian Radio? Before we forced it into our tiny practices and manicured liturgies? Before we made what connects prayer and worship the "me" of it all?

Dillard and Emerson have both driven me to seek examples in the natural landscape. I find an illustration of the true, simple prayer and worship in the trees of my daily routine.

The trees reach deep into the surface of the earth--depend on it to live and grow--to where they hold up the sky. The enormous trees on our school's campus are so big they seem to fully support the great blue canopy. And if the canopy fell, it could be a great wall of water, a tsunami that wiped out everything, the walls of the Red Sea held in place by the wooden staff of Moses.

We need the trees above our front doors, above the bell tower, above the dorm, the dining hall, the classroom building, or the sky might cave in and we'd be lost. These trees are pillars, sentinels. I walk among them, but they are separate from me. They live according to their great purpose, connecting the earth to blue infinity.

I can imitate the trees: raise my hands like branches in prayer and worship or I can climb a tree like Zaccheus to see Jesus.

40-day Bare Face: Day 10 - Unflinching

When I hear "Women's Ministry", I check out. Stop listening. Decide immediately that whatever comes next won't apply to me. So when I was asked to staff a recruiting booth for work at a conference,  I was less than thrilled. It wasn't just because it required a Saturday after a 5-day workweek.  I did everything I could to get out of it, especially because it required cancelling plans.

Ironically, the plans were my own women's ministry. Worse, I was complaining about the triteness and irrelevance of Women's Ministry, and not 24 hours before, two incredible women had spent the afternoon and evening ministering to me. But no one who shared my stereotypes would have been able to recognize that coffee, conversation, and SF City Adventure for the ministry that it was.

For as long as I've been connected to church or Christian subculture, I've resented "women's ministry." It felt like a place of relegation. It's where women have to go minister--there or the coffee bar or the nursery--because the "real" church work, the kind that isn't about kids or snacks, the kind that does theology and teaches and strategizes and cultivates, is "men's work".

But without wanting to trivialize the gift of domestic arts and the blessing of hospitality they can be for a church community, I know I am something other than a woman who cuddles babies, folds bulletins and makes muffins. I can't help feeling frustrated by the de facto roles women predominantly assume in church culture.

Truthfully, I'm not convinced that only a man is ever allowed in the pulpit.  I have a lot to say on the unquestioned status quo of the exclusively male voices in my church circles. But that's a topic for another day. I'm not asking to be in the pulpit. I am just wondering how we get away from such a narrow view of what women can contribute to the Christian community.

Today, I saw some important steps away. Today I heard conversation about women's ministry that was very encouraging: It was driven by the idea that "Women's ministry" is not only ministry to women in churches, but ministry by women in whatever context God has given them for their life's work.

It was about being ministers, and also being women.

I was really encouraged by a few particular moments as I watched teachers, strategists, nurses, non-profit directors, professors, athletes, scholars, travelers, retailers, directors, mothers, wives, and daughters explore what it means to minister simply out of  who they are as unique creations of God. 

I believe we're all called--men and women--to minister, to love in spirit and in truth, working to pass the Peace of Christ, out of our uniqueness. Each of us has holy work to do that can only be done by us the way we do it. And we have to do our best to figure out what that is.

It almost started to seem like the traditionally male church defaults put women in a place of privilege after all:  because women leaders have to struggle to identify where they belong in church more than men do, they grapple more readily and frequently with where they are truly obedient. True obedience is not just understanding what you have to do, but how to live fully as the person God made you to be. If women contend for something other than kids, choirs, or coffee, they're often required to defend their place.  Perhaps we identify our unique holy vocations more quickly and accurately because of it.

For  while, (and I mean years) I seriously considered pursuing the life of a nun. I would tell people this, and they would laugh, despite my own gravity. More often than not, they would quip, "Jess, you can't be a nun. Nuns don't wear red lipstick."

I thought, "So what? I could give that up."

This lent fast makes me think twice about the truth in that, and one of the women ministering to me on Friday confirmed it. The work of a nun is not driven to reveal beauty through color and art. Red lipstick truly is part of how I reveal the beauty of color and the unique beauty of womanhood.

Yeah, I can give up red lipstick. See? I'm doing it for 40 days. But as I live without it, I see more clearly that this is not what God intends for my whole life.

He has already given me holy work to do, and I don't need a convent to do it:  It may change someday, but for now, I know I will teach,  usher in God's presence with hospitality (relationally, spiritually, and practically), and that I must  reveal and preserve beauty at all costs.

As a woman, my ministry is to claim these and live from them without flinching.

What's yours? 

25 February, 2013

40-day Bare Face: Day 9 - Colorful

Confession: I have worn red socks 7 out of the last nine days. I even did laundry just so I would have red socks clean. I didn't realize I was doing this, until I found myself rooting in my sock drawer for another pair as an answer to today's make-up drawer bypass. When I had to put my socks down on the counter to open the toothpaste, I realized I had done that. I had been doing that all week as some kind of consolation.

I  miss the colors of my make-up bag very much. They have always been a joyful part of my day.  I was probably 25 before I knew I was supposed to be doing make-up to attract the attention of men. I always did it for my own delight because I loved the color and texture of it. A friend and I believe make-up is actually paint. For grown ups. That you can wear. Can you believe how lucky we are? 

This summer, I did some thinking about my relationship to creativity and color: 

"Beauty and celebration—no matter who you are— are two key components to a living, dynamic worship. Without them, we’re condemned to trite lyrics and rearranged C,G,& E chords. Exercising creativity is an act of participation in the beauty and celebration that God offers as part of the Abundant Life. We collect and assemble and color and contrast and words because it’s all wecando in response to what God has already made and done. Our creativity is a response to the Joy and Gift of being alive—being alive on this day, in this place, with these people.

What have we to do but hallow the hues? You know I’ve already done this with the color red. Red triggers in me joy and affection beyond all reason. I watered some geraniums this morning that were so red, I heard myself say “thank you” aloud. (Fortunately, I was alone and only the geraniums heard, but if anyone else heard and thinks I’m crazy, I cite the well-known fact that talking to plants produces carbon dioxide that helps them grow. So there.)

Living colorfully means re-naming every color in the box Emmanuel.God is here in the tangerine rose. Here, in the ombre blues of the bay. Here in these gold hills, in that emerald leaf—so very present in that perfect lipstick red that we are rendered helpless in the waves of Holy gratitude.

We create so that we can participate in that which is so beautiful, it is Holy. As we create we usher in the Holy presence of God with the colors, textures, sounds, notes, and words. We glue paper, wave paintbrushes, snap shutters, and pluck strings because, if we do it right, it can have the power of the ancient liturgy. With enough practice, we can see and hear beyond the color patches, beyond ourselves to the One who gave us this life, by His grace, in the first place."

 One of the things I'm most looking forward to in heaven is the possibility that there will be colors I've never seen, and that we might spend eternity discovering new ones.

Socks are not a sufficient consolation for having to live without some of my favorite colors. On Resurrection Sunday I'll get my colors back. I really can't wait.

But more than that, I can't wait for the explosion of beauty, joy, and color that awaits the end of our days when we behold the fullness of God's glory.

22 February, 2013

40-Day Bare Face: Day 8 - Marked

I read someone else's Ash Wednesday post  from last week today, finally winding my way down to that part of my feed. These lines struck me:

"These ashes are a sign.
A sign, like baptism, that it is time to go into the desert.
Come what may.
Come what may."

 I didn't get to go to an Ash Wednesday service this year, but I did, on that day, have a significant meeting. I confessed a heavy heart and my team and I prepared for me to step away (or down?) from the ministry we have all shared since August-- that some of us have shared for nearly three years. 
It is time to go into the desert
I told them.

If we had had an Ash Wednesday service at my church, I would have still had to tell them that, only I would have gotten to do it with an obvious sign smeared onto my forehead.

I think the ashes from the Ash Wednesday service are supposed to be from the burned Palm fronds from last year's Palm Sunday-- branches left over from a triumphal entry, riddled with mangled expectations and selfish hopes of Jewish people looking for something else-- branches charred and obliterated, the remnants of the herald for a King, now that we know how the story plays out, who came to die.

What is it that we're officially celebrating on Palm Sunday again? Why do we celebrate that as a church?  I can't remember.

Or maybe it's just that I can't remember right now. 

When I look in the mirror, I don't see triumph--I don't see the finish of the story. With a bare face and the barrenness of my ministry calendar,
 all I see are ashes and desert.
And I can't wash my ashes off. 
I won't wash my ashes off until it's time.
 I donned a bare face to try to answer the question "Am I enough?" I've gone into the desert to answer that question, but also a bigger one:
Is God enough? 
Is God enough when I can't see if there's anything beyond the desert? 
Is God enough when I've been so hungry I've mistaken the stones for bread? 

Those ashes are liturgically a mark of mourning--the Church family's collective mourning of its sin that needed the Cross.

But for me, they are a mark of love.
I've been counted worthy to wear them. 
Neither my sin, nor my bare face has the power to demand shame. 

 And the desert may be dry and dark, 
But for some reason,  I've been counted worthy to go.
And I know don't have to go alone.

20 February, 2013

40-Day Bare Face: Day 7 - Hallowed

This morning, I’m wearing black, white, and red, a favorite combination of mine. I really enjoy wearing something that is at once very classic and also vibrant and high-contrast. I associate black and white lines with text, which is obviously a favorite thing of me, and red with fire, power, passion, beauty, and love—so that color, anywhere, brings me great joy. I have a long and deep relationship with the color red, and my preference for it is insurmountable.

I don’t love many things as much as I love the color red.

I declared something else “my favorite” the other day, and a friend dismissed it with “Yeah, well, you pretty much have a favorite EVERYTHING.”
It’s true. I do. I declare “favorites” all the time, and it’s not just that I’m prone to hyperbole.

Declaring “favorites” stems from an innate impulse to hallow things—to take that which is good and declare it sacred.

Set apart.  


I want to mark something as so good it must belong to God.

Sometimes I declare someone to be “my favorite”. Often I’m referring to someone else, but sometimes I look right at a person and say, “You. You are my favorite.”  Another friend dismissed this as “Jess, you have a lot of people who are your favorites. That doesn’t mean much.”

But that’s not true. It means everything. What I mean is that in that moment, I have powerfully understood that you (my favorite) are fearfully and wonderfully made. I know it. Right here. Right now. I have seen that your presence in this day is a great gift from God to us so we must worship.

In that moment, a debt of gratitude to our Creator drives my affection for you. Or, my affection for you reminds me of my gratitude debt to our Creator.

(I also fear I can’t afford to run around spouting that hallowing speech without sounding like a lunatic. I temper my passion with the word “favorite” so people don’t run away and I don’t lose further opportunity to hallow them. )

To spend my days on the hunt for new favorites, as I do, is to mine my days for the sacred.

You see, I am hungry for the sacred—I believe sacraments of God’s presence are in the very ordinary, and the act of hallowing brings us present with His presence.

I just caught my reflection in the mirror, and my black, white, and red really calls attention to my lack of makeup. It’s a crime against the color red to wear this gorgeous scarf (from a friend) without its matching lipstick. Black clothes make my features even more pale and I can’t find my eyes. Discouraged, I suddenly recalled these lines, from a favorite poem of mine. “Love took my hand and smiling did reply/ ‘Who made the eyes but I?’”

That poem is one of my favorite representations of God's voice. I’ll let the poem speak for itself, but I offer it to you. .  

Maybe you, too, will feel compelled to make it a “favorite.”

by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
        Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
        From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
        If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
        Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
        I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
        "Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
        Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
        "My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
        So I did sit and eat.

19 February, 2013

40-day Bare Face: Day 6 - Outdoorsy?

Last night I met up with other people who had President’s Day off. They had spent the whole day hiking and eating and enjoying the beauty and adventure Marin has to offer. I told them they had a Teddy Roosevelt President’s day.

I met them for a bonfire out at Muir Beach, where we cooked Cajun sausage, made smores, and watched the moon come and go from view. Every now and then, the fog would part, revealing  the half-moon and star powder. That clear patch of sky would unfold out of the fog envelope, and as the fog came and went, we’d get the chance to read and re-read the exquisite letter of stars and moonlight. Moon-soaked waves spilled on the sand, and the bonfire tinted the sea-foam a shimmery gold as it landed. It was a great privilege to behold this kind of beauty—the kind that lays the soul bare.

I don’t love being outside, but it seems a crime to say that when nights like last night are in the mix.

At one point, a coal from the fire painfully flew in my face, which I went to brush away with sandy hands also sticky from the smores. I got the hot coal AND the sand in my eye, marshmallow on my face, and frustrated, in the midst of all that splendor, nearly snapped “This is why I don’t @*&#%$*@*&#* GO OUTSIDE!!!” By God’s grace, I was able to hold my tongue and not be too much of a jerk in my frustration.

As I was recovering from the earthy assault, I was suddenly grateful I didn’t also have to wonder if I had makeup everywhere. Someone handed me a bottle of water and I could rinse out my eye, letting the water stream down my face.  I didn’t have to worry that the renegade mascara and lipstick would make me look like my next question would be a hissing “Why So SeriouS?” It was freeing.

I started to think about my hostility toward the outdoors. It’s true I deeply despise the sensations of being cold, wet, and dirty. My hatred for those is ever present, trumping whatever beauty or experience is supposed to offset those. I assure you, there’s no way around it. I’ve always been this way. I simply won’t have my best time when those three are the conditions.

But there is plenty of being outside that doesn’t depend on being cold, wet, or dirty. I live in Northern California, where the weather is great and nothing in nature here, unlike Florida, is trying to kill you. Do I really have to hate being outside so much?

No. But I do have to confess that part of my resistance to the outdoors comes from not having my usual opportunities to prove myself with proficiency or appearance.

As a non-athletic asthmatic, I have never been able to hike as fast, climb as high, or endure as long as the people who did this stuff all the time. My daily life is slow, weak, and pretty low on oxygen as a rule. When my people do outdoorsy things, even if I attend, I fall behind and it’s a lonely, difficult experience. Usually, my proficiency in any other field reduces that burden. I can perform well enough on any indoor thing to earn my way out of the loneliness and difficulty. Not to mention, I can usually perform well enough to ensure my own safety.  

As a real girly girl, being outside renders some of my favorite things impractical or even detrimental. Last night, mascara and lipstick would have hindered a quick recovery from the ember episode. Hiking in high heels is suicidal. But even though being girly can be a celebration of color and beauty and design and care, it can also mean a sad preoccupation with material and physical comfort. In our quest for loveliness and caring for ourselves and people, we get lost in trying to control our circumstances. The outdoors far from affords anyone the chance to do that.

For someone like me, to love going outside means fully surrendering my performance self and my controlling self. It means putting my weakness on display for people.

Some of you hear me sputter vitriol at the thought of camping or hiking and you feel sad for me. As you should. You know what I’m missing out on when I insist on staying inside, and you feel the loss for me.

But we all  have a place where we rely on our own performance or ability to control our comfort in the familiar that keeps us from experiencing God’s extravagant Beauty and Joy.

This Lent for me has been about intentionally going to the place where the performance and control have to die. God has asked us all to do that. And because God is good, and He extravagantly loves us, we find the aching beauty of moonlight beach bonfires with loving family when we get there.

18 February, 2013

Around & about

It's president's day. And if you're one of those people (like me) stuck at work when the rest of your people are presidentially enjoying their day off, you might want for something to read.

If you are bumming around today, read these. It's a good way to spend some time off.

  • It turns out the Vatican was also contemplating Amy Winehouse.
  • Jason Morehead asks great questions about The Persecution Complex of the Modern Introvert.
  • 10 Lists That Read Like Poems 
    • I already have a psychotic compulsion for making lists. I now want to make a list in each category, especially one like Nora Ephron's and Isaac Newton's. Or I wonder if I'd get hired by making Da Vinci's list into a resume for myself.
  • Then I also found Thelonius Monk's awesome list of advice, reminding me he was as much philosopher as he was musician. How to be cool and be good and all that jazz.
  •  "The tremendous activity of a boy sitting still." The Fine Arts Museum of St. Petersburg, FL had a strong collection of Ashcan Art- paintings from early 20th cent. urban and immigrant life. I thought it was some of the best art I found in Florida.  These works are powerful and real. They make the Impressionists look like they drowned in their damned waterlily ponds. Read this great discussion of what they meant to America and art here.
    • Excerpt: ""People's houses," Robert Henri wrote, "get to look like them. There is more in a house than the materials it is made of. Humanize the house." The Ashcan School painters took this very seriously, finding ways to humanize nearly everything. In George Luks' 1908 painting, “The Guitar (a Portrait of the Artist's Brother with His Son),” a guitar is shown to be a tool by which the father will teach the infant son how to become a man. The guitar is an outgrowth of the father's character as it is being imprinted on the baby boy."
  • I am on the hunt for a used copy of Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem. I keep seeing it quoted and used about life in California. I live in California. I love California.  I want to write like Joan Didion. So I must read this classic book. It also needs to be a real copy. It won't be as real as she is if I yank it out of an Amazon package and crack the spiffy new spine myself.. If you're browsing second hand shops, and you see one of these, pick it up for me. Until then, read this great interview with her from Believer Magazine.
  • Have I mentioned lately that I love where I live? Look what's happening in a couple of weeks to the Bay Bridge--a bridge I try not to cross because it takes me to the wrong side of the bay (Oakland is NOT for me), but still!  How awesome will this be?
  • Maybe I would have been more athletic if I had known Scientists suggest beer after a workout.
  • Remember when I said that going to bars and seeing friends' bands was one of my favorite things to do? Some of those those guys from those bars in my twenties are still at it. Look. I even have a t-shirt with the lead singer on it.
  • .Making Art With 60,000 Woven Coffee Stirrers What a glorious use for them! Hooray for physics and art!

40-Day Bare Face: Day 5 - Liturgy & Lipstick

Alarm. Why. so.early. Who do I need to kill for this?  What day is it?

Sunday. Church. What am I going to wear?
I should have set my clothes out last night.  
I need coffee before I can solve this problem.

I have that red sweater clean. We’ll go with that.

 Oooh. That red sweater means red lipstick.

Yesssss…I love Today, I just decided.

Ok. Hair. I like the buttons on the back of that sweater, so I should probably put it up.
Hmm. It’s still curly from last night. Ponytail with a red ribbon. And a braid in front. Done.

I love this ribbon.  I think it came on that Christmas present from Mom.
 Man. I want to make things beautiful like she always does.

Wow. You can tell I had a good time last night. Those are some DARK circles.
Don’t care. It was worth it. That was a good beer. And everyone knows I’ll lose sleep for conversation like that, no question.  That thing he said… I wonder if he meant…? I must remember to follow up with him about that thought…eh. I’m probably the only one who’s still caring about that point. Still…

Where is my MAC concealer? That’ll help. Man. I love this Laura Mericer powder. It sure evens things out. I hope it lasts through this crazy day.
This reminds me of that conversation I had with Cortney about blonds having blotchy skin. Go ahead and try, you olive-skinned, dark-featured people. You JUST TRY to understand what we blondes are dealing with here. Yeah. “Blondes have more fun”, but we have to work a little harder to make sure last night's "fun" doesn’t show the next day.

There. That’s nice and even.

Even, but pale. Now some blush so I don’t look dead.

Ok, if I’m doing red lipstick, and this is church, minimal eyes.
 Don’t kid yourself. You don’t even know what “minimal” means. It’s all you can do to neglect those false eyelashes over there.
True. But I do NOT need false eyelashes for a Sunday. Technically, I don’t need them ever. #firstworldproblems and all that.

Besides, this is great mascara. I am glad the Sephora girl pointed it out.
Yikes. I look like a Kewpie Doll. Where is that lash comb? Ooh. I bet this other mascara will make them longer. And one more coat for good measure.

Eyeliner. Today? Like the Pan Am girls. Those are such cool cat eyes. I was born in the wrong era. Whoops. Too much. Fix that. We’re not going for Amy Winehouse, here. 

This MAC gel liner looks like a pot of fountain pen ink. I love that I get to put it on my face. Maybe that was Amy Winehouse’s problem. She liked the feel of gel liner, too.

No. That was NOT Amy Winehouse’s problem. She had bigger ones. She really needed Jesus. And less drugs. No drugs. She needed NO drugs. And real mercy for all that pain. Lord, I don’t know of  any, but I know there are people in Your church today with hearts that hurt like hers. Please have mercy on them. Bring them comfort and freedom. Show me how I can help.

Where is my eyeliner brush?  I have GOT to clean out this bag. I don’t need all this stuff.

I don’t need all this stuff. Now I sound like Lindsay.

But I DO need this new Urban Decay Shadow! I forgot I had that!
I can’t believe I’m donning an eye shadow called “Sin” for a Sunday Morning. I’m probably going to hell for that. Oh great. My other one is called “Midnight Cowboy Rides Again.”  If I don’t tell people that, no one will ask what he was riding… They might ask, though, why I have glitter on my face. Don’t care. This eyeshadow is pretty and I can wear what I want. But “Midnight Cowboy…” to church??

Ok. This is funny but it’s also Sunday morning. I need to get my head in the game.

God, grant me the ability to see Your people with Your eyes, this morning. Holy Spirit, please begin now bringing me present with Your Presence and the Father’s people.

Where's my...?  That’s right. I left my lipstick in my Kate Spade bag from last night. I think I’ll just keep using this bag today. It goes with my sweater.
It’s a good weekend when I get two days in Dior Red lipstick AND my Kate Spade bag. Remember Lord? Remember when you gave me this bag? And my lipstick was a gift from mom, too—or, YOU, rather, but through Mom. Thank you for blessing me with such vibrant beauty I can carry and wear. It's hard to forget you love me with these.

Oh! I can also wear my Kate Spade London Calling Bracelet from Beth! I LOVE that bracelet.  God, bless Beth and Ben today. Bless them the way they have blessed me.

Lipstick. I came out of the bathroom for my lipstick. Ooh. There’s a little coffee left. Ok. Finish coffee. Brush Teeth. THEN Lipstick.

Where’s my watch? Bathroom Counter. Damn. Is it really that late? 

Guess I’ll do my lipstick in the car.