sunday night

it's raining, and there's a little bit of a thunderstorm going on too making it a cozy night. i've got hgtv on and i'm watching house hunters (a show about choosing what house or apartment to buy out of three choices. love it.). gonna go to sleep pretty early tonight even though i haven't done alot today. i just feel like resting. (well, i did have a six  day work week at school - that's a lot of time with teenagers - and a few intense meetings) spent some time with my parents this afternoon. watched basketball on tv tonight. talked a little with my love at various times throughout the day. i miss her so much. just wanna be with her so badly right now.

heard a song on a commercial and i loved it. so, after a few clicks on the keyboard, i found it on youtube. it's actually one of my favorite singers from american idol last season. the song makes me think of my amazing wife and the amazing life that we have already shared, and all of the time that is just around the corner. soon, it's forever. and i'm so in love. anyway. here's the song. i love it.

powerful expectations

Today is Palm Sunday in the Christian Church, and I love this day because it's full of contradictions and unexpected events.
"Here comes Jesus", shout all the Jews in Jerusalem, "Finally! He has come to save us, to fight the terrible Roman oppressors. The Savior has come! Now, we're gonna get 'em! They're gonna get what's coming to them! And Jesus is gonna lead the way!"

Do you think any of the people in the crowd realized that Jesus was coming into town, through the crowded streets of palm-waving, hosanna-shouting people, riding on a donkey? I mean, didn't that register with anyone? Here's their (hopefully) powerful, fearless leader, who's gonna take over & fight the Romans, and he's on a donkey. It's not even a horse! Shouldn't he be in a black suburban with tinted windows and secret service agents all around to protect him?! But, no, it's a boring, slow, stupid donkey. Didn't anyone think that was weird, or was disapponted that this parade only had a lame donkey in it? Didn't anyone notice the strangeness of this situation? The Expected One was trotting in on a donkey. 

Perhaps it's unfair of me to judge the crowd. I know that the week ends with the a crucifixion of their expected leader. The crowd didn't have that knowledge. Maybe also they were so into their agenda, when & how they thought Jesus was going to overthrow the Romans, that they just got caught up in the mob mentality and didn't care that it was a donkey and not a flashy, expensive entrance. Still, they were so wrapped up in shouting "Hosanna!" that they didn't realize what true power looked like. On the other hand, didn't they do exactly the opposite of what we would do today? We would realize that the One that we had put all our hopes in was only on a donkey, and then we would turn away...feeling let down and disappointed. The Jews on that day still believed in the power that Jesus had to save them from their oppression - even though he was on a donkey. They were desperate for hope. However, a few days later, when it didn't turn out the way they had envisioned it, they turned on the Expected One, and he was put to death.

The crazy contradictions and challenges are what I appreciate about today. I am reminded that true power is not where we expect it, or how we expect it. Real power and success, and even freedom, come not from money, hatred, domination, violence, intimidation, fear, control, threats, or the ability to win what "your side" wants to have in the new health care law. Real power comes almost unnoticed and definitely not admired in society... meek, simple, peaceful, calm, ordinary, determined, non-violent, open, forgiving, and humble. Real power comes ready to lead by serving. Real power, real heroes, real love comes in simply on a donkey and never gives up... no matter what. Even though the darkest darkness lies a few days ahead, real power, real heroes, real love knows and trusts that light always, always follows the dark.
Love always wins. And it never wins in the way we expect it to. But, it always wins.      


the health care reform bill passed!
(needed 216 votes)


i can't take it anymore!

it's not about those of us who have health insurance. it's about our brothers and sisters who don't have it!

i have heard over and over today that the vote tonight on the health care reform bill that extends health insurance to all people is not the will of the people. what?! who does not want everyone to have health insurance? and why? why would you not want all people to have access to the same that you have?! seriously? isn't another's life as important as yours? and why are we debating about a basic right to equality?

well, i suppose it's because we americans (sadly) do not really believe in equality. we believe in money, power, and success. i have heard people say that we should not reward those who don't help themselves. you know, america is built on the belief that we "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps", and if we are not strong enough to help ourselves, then too bad. we can't just hand out insurance. and if we do, then we will have to pay/lose some of our money that we've worked hard to get for ourselves. let's be honest. money. that's what this is all about. in this individualistic country, we all want to make as much money for ourselves as possible. and if you don't make as much as me, or if you don't make any at all, then too bad for you. i have worked hard. so i earned this. and i am blessed with benefits and health insurance. and i'm not sharing it with you, who have not worked at all. therefore, you don't deserve it.

but, then again, did i give you any real opportunities so that you might learn to help yourself?

you see, where we are messing up is in our belief system. instead of honoring and seeing the worthiness of a person because their humanity,  we are judging and rewarding based people on power, money, education, gender, age, race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, health, and disability. until we see that health insurance is a right of a human being and not a privilege, we will be lost. i'm pretty sure that the teenage girl in my class who just found out she is pregnant deserves to have health insurance simply because she is a human being! did she make a mistake? yes. does she need to be responsible for the consequences of her actions? yes. but, does she not also deserve love, support, equality, and health insurance to enable and empower her to give her child the best that she can? does she not deserve, simply because she is a human being, the chance to seize an opportunity, a second chance, and the education she needs in order to become an amazing mother, even in the midst of her difficult times? why do we want to punish humans who struggle? i do not understand this. i do not understand why some in congress continually say that we are disgracing our founding fathers and mothers. how are we letting them down by loving others and seeking a better life for all people? i remember something in our constitution that says that all people have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"...

so, on this night, as i watch these debates in congress...and the voting is now beginning. please, house members, please, for the sake of all people - of all nationalities around the world - vote YES for health care reform. let's honor human beings and work for equal rights and justice for all.

y e a h

downtown asheville on the first day of spring.

a peace rally at the "drum circle"

urban outfitters is now in asheville!

in 2009, "storm shopping" was "spring shopping" was born!


even zola's been waiting anxiously for the weather to change...

think i'm gonna celebrate spring by heading downtown asheville for a few hours with a friend. yay! then, perhaps a walk to take some pictures. who knows? but, mother nature has given us a beautiful first day of spring in nc, so i'm gonna enjoy it before bad & cold weather comes again tomorrow. (thinking of all my people in sweden still suffering with snow and winter...).

happy spring!

blue, not green

yes. i feel blue tonight. and i should be green! i've asked around for the last few days, and none of my friends are able to go grab a guiness to celebrate st. patrick's day tonight. meh. so, i decided to sieze the day and live life anyway...i stopped by the grocery store to get some irish beer to have with my dinner at home. (i had changed my plans to make dinner and have a cozy night at home). i got the food at the grocery store and made my way to the beer & wine section... WHAT?! there is NO beer and wine section in the store where i stopped!! unbelieveable. so, since this was the only store on the way home, no irish celebration for me. i tried to make the most of a not so great evening, and even that didn't work. i feel ugh.

time to refocus...

i have thought a little about st. patrick, the person, today. what i love most about this guy from the 400s, is his desire to meet people where they are. after being a slave in ireland, patrick returned to his captors to share love and hope. i don't really care why he did what he did. what i care about is how he did it. patrick decided to live with the irish, learn about their customs and culture, and then share with them the love that he knew about. the point is, he didn't come in telling them that they should be like him. rather, he met them exactly where they were, respected who they were, and because they built a relationship of respect and trust, love was shared. this is how i believe that hope and peace are created in a world filled with many different types of people.

i hope that i live like st. patrick. in my current role as a teacher of gang members, pregnant teens, disabled students, and kids with horrible home situations, i hope that i meet them where they are. i hope i respect them for who they are and then share with them the belief that there is someone who cares. i hope that a little bit of love and peace soak into their lives.

yes. i'm still disappointed and a little sad tonight. it's not how i wanted this night to be. but, to stop and think about patrick, the person, reminds me that i have nothing to complain about. i have everything. who am i to feel sorry for myself? i may feel alone, but i am not. and so many people are.

so, happy st. patrick's day to everyone. may we all recognize the joy and promise in every moment. even the tough ones. may we acknowledge and never take for granted the love that we have in our life. and, may we always respect each other, accept our differences, and believe in the possibility of peace.

sunday afternoon

i know that sundays are supposed to be resting days, but i'm bored.
slept late. check.
watched a movie. check.
snuggled with zola. check.
watched duke win a basketball game on tv. check.
did the laundry. check.
surfed facebook. check.
talked with my love (and will again). check.
it's been a pretty good, lazy day.

hmm...what now? =)

IKEA idag!

yep. i'm headed to IKEA with my friend, j today! it's been a long time since my last trip in the fall. gotta get a few things, and of course, the only place i can get exactly what i want is at IKEA. i know, i'm a shopping snob. *wink wink* it's gonna be really fun, i think, but weird at the same time. my love won't be with me and whenever i am in IKEA these days, i never know if i am in sweden or the states. hihi. IKEA looks exactly the same here... i mean everything is the same except the language on the signs. i'm missing sweden, so, i'm gonna give myself a little "swedish fix" today. yay! looking forward to seeing what the day brings!
mmm... my favorite!! and it's on my list!

IKEA in charlotte, nc, usa

a rainy day

the weather has been fitting for this day. it's friday night and i'm cozy at home listening to the rain fall heavy on the roof, with zola (our cat) by my side. it's good to relax now because there was no relaxing earlier today.

it was a tough, emotional day at work. one of my kids spent time in jail and in court this week (it seems some of my kids are always in serious trouble), and finally made it back to school only to tell me about the things that he did to get him in jail. he committed some serious crimes. that was depressing to find out. but, then, another one of my kids ended up running out of the school to get away from the school police officer and principal. since he's my kid, i had to get involved. i ended up chasing him around the school, running up and down halls. it ended with him being arrested and taken to jail. i usually don't witness what happens to my kids, but today i was right there for it all. and i couldn't hold back my emotions. it was so hard to see one of my students, who i have worked with so much, be taken off to jail in handcuffs. my heart was breaking. it still is. i wonder where he is right now as i am cozy in my home... i had a lot of paperwork to complete after that, classes to teach, other students to counsel, and then a meeting to lead before it was finally the end of this dreadful day.

my amazing wife called and texted me some throughout the day and evening, which helped to give me strength. it's so calming to hear her voice. and while it would have been a great day to be able to come home to her, she gave me so much peace and love just by contacting me. thank you so much, baby.

tonight it's been a little acc tournament basketball on tv and some junk food. yep. tomorrow i'm having a girl's day with j, and we're headed to IKEA for a little shopping! oh yeah. she's never been, so i'm gonna be the swedish tour guide. can't wait! and daylight saving time (summer time) begins tomorrow night/sunday morning. i'm looking forward to having it stay lighter in the evenings. although, it's always crazy to change times in the states when europe doesn't change time for another 2 weeks. my love and i get all screwed up when it's 5 hours difference between us instead of 6. still...this is one step closer to summer! and i'm really dreaming of summer with my love today.

anyway. i'm tired now, so i think i'm headed to bed after a long, tough day.
good night, world. i wish you peace.

they have bloomed

saturday school

yep. today is the first of i'm not sure how on saturday to make up for snow days. i would be complaining and whining, but... my love bought her ticket to the states for the summer!! YAY! so, three months from today we will finally be reunited! 10 travel planning points for my love!

saturday school? bring it on!


it has been an unbelievable, bizarre winter (as i have written about before). i woke up this morning about 5 different times. four of them were because of work: my regular alarm, a text saying school/work was delayed two hours, a phone call from the school system, and then a second alarm. that second alarm now actually has a name on my iPhone. it is called "2 hour delay day". there have been more days than not that begin like this.

*update in the middle of my blog*
just got a phone call saying that school are now closed.
they changed their mind...again! it's the third day in a row of no school.
more snow fell last night and i guess it was just too much for us to make it.
wow. this is unbelievable.

back to what i was saying (with a little twist/change now)... with all of these last minute decisions, changes in weather causing changes in schedules, days off of work, school on saturday, shortened school days, weird schedules when we are actually in school, missing classes, rescheduling meetings, and so on, it is impossible to count on anything. one of my co-workers and i were talking on monday about how our brains cannot comprehend what has been going on for over 2 months now. there is no night that we can go to sleep without wondering what might happen in the morning. we can't count on anything. not to mention, the students (especially autistic ones) have no consistency and it is causing more behavior problems. actually, all of us are suffering from heightened behavior problems...seriously. the stress level among my co-workers (and me) is really high. we have no routine and no expectations now. the learning/working environment has been compromised...big time.

all this to say that because of these circumstances, i am learning an old lesson all over again. life must be taken one day at a time. savor each moment that's good. face each moment that's painful. but take them all one moment at a time. plan for tomorrow, remember yesterday, but seize today. each day brings plenty of sorrow and plenty of joy. there are days i can't wait to be over and days i never want to end. but, each of them are the days that make up my life. while, i may get frustrated at the uncertainty of life, it also excites me and reminds me that the moments of life, the days of life are sacred. they are holy. and not knowing what comes next challenges me to stay open, to keep growing, and to hold on. more importantly, i remember to embrace the day - whatever it brings.

this bizarre, crazy winter is frustrating. still, these are the days of my life. it's up to me to soak up each day as it comes or not. so, today, i choose to soak up the quiet, relaxing moments. work will come again soon enough.

it's coming

flower buds from the farm.
they were peeking out from the snow.
proof that spring is coming. eventually.


it's crazy. i wake up early in the morning and find myself thinking about things that i'd really love to write about. but, it's freaking early, so i don't get up and turn on my computer or open up my journal in order to record my thoughts. lazy, i guess. and then, later on when i have time, i'm not motivated to write. i've been staring at my computer screen for about 2 hours now, wanting to write about my early morning thoughts today, but just not "feelin' it". and it was all so good...

but, now, i'm feeling a bit more motivated.

i'm cozy in a chair, listening to norah jones, and thinking about how my plans for the day have changed. you see, tonight i was gonna do something i haven't done in quite a while. i was going to meet a few friends and begin a theological study/group on the book of revelation (in the bible). church stuff, theological stuff, a disciplined schedule of meeting & reading...these are things i have not done since i was in denmark. and i guess it just hasn't been something i have needed/wanted for a while. but, now, i find myself craving some theological conversations and challenges. i am seeking out something to write about/reflect on. so, i'm gonna think about the book of revelation. but, not in a group tonight...the snow has caused a cancellation. perhaps, though, i will re-read the book or pull out my notes from seminary (if i can find them).

this morning, i woke up thinking about revelation - the book that john wrote. it is a book of hope, though many see it as a book of doom, of all the good and bad things that are gonna happen "when jesus comes back and the world ends". it's often mistaken for a prophetic book, and i mean that in the sense of a book that tells the future, like a crystal ball. i don't believe that at all. instead, it is a book of hope. a message to certain people at a certain time in their present situation. but, does it matter for us? of course. the truth of hope remains for us. it's a complicated, misunderstood book that i don't begin to say that i understand either. but, it fascinates me.  and it's fun to ponder its mysteries - even if i don't get it.

but, isn't that all that faith is? doesn't faith simply mean belief that how things are right now are not how they are meant to be/should be, that they won't be this way forever, and that we can even experience the way it should be in little moments of life today?

perhaps the revelation is that life always comes after death. spring always comes after the cold, dead, winter. our true selves, and therefore true life - a life of freedom and joy, is always revealed to us through little daily deaths we experience. when we put away the masks, fears, darkness, and expectations of the world, then a part of us dies. and a new part of us lives. being true to ourselves, following our passion, living in the moments of our lives - good or bad, being real...that is when we live. the darkness dies. hate dies. and light lives. love lives.

sometimes we are consciously fighting to live in the light. and then, sometimes, we look back and realize how the light, true life, has been creeping into our lives all along. this life is a long, amazing, difficult, heart-breaking, overwhelming, wonderful journey of discovering who we are. if only we have the courage to keep walking, holding in our hearts the revelation that even when it seems impossible and we feel like we are dying inside, the light will always win.

as i look back on the past 2 years of my life, what is revealed to me is my death. because i shut out the outside voices of the world and the expectations of others as to how it should be, i listened instead to the music of my soul. and i did not do this on my own. i have had the support and love of many people, especially my amazing wife. i have also had the challenge and pain of those who do not support me, but instead misunderstand me. as the time has passed, though, i realize that i have begun to live. truly live. true life is not always pretty, and definitely not easy. but it is real. living from your soul is possible. and even though we must first die, the life that we receive is far better than we could have ever imagined. it is not a perfect, pain-free life, but it is a true, deep, hope-filled life.

dare to dream. imagine. believe. be true to your soul. 

waiting... (update)

it's tuesday morning and i'm waiting again to hear how my day will shape up. the fate of my day rests in the hands of the buncombe county school system...will we go to school late (which is the plan right now) or will we be closed and go to school on saturday? well, they only have about 30 minutes to decide before i have to get in the shower and begin to get ready...

whew! just in time. i had just announced to my love (who unexpectedly called me a few times this morning. love it.) that it was time for me to get in the shower, when the school system "gods' decided that schools would be closed today. so, a cozy day is in store for me i hope.

i wish you all a good day too. peace.

welcome, march!

headed off to work now, but i just had to say...welcome march!!! i'm pretty sure that zola (out cat), while playing with ms. t (her toy turtle), just came over and talked to me and said welcome to march as well! my love is working, and i know that she is thinking about welcoming march too... after this month, it's a lot more smooth sailing till summer! today i welcome the month that brings life back to the world, spring, light, warmth (even if some cold weather is still here too), and a reminder that winter doesn't last forever. yeah.