joyful girl

we owe each other the world. the world owes us nothing.

106752665138576212 October 30, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:00 am

good morning, dear ones!
i realize that i have a habit of introducing topics in my writing, and then not exploring them as deeply as i could. maybe it has something to do with being “enigmatic,” as angie f. described me. i’ve heard that before, which intrigues me. i like to think that i’m an “open book,” but i guess we all have our own secrets and mysteries…really, though, i’m not always terribly deep. today, for instance, i’m wondering if their are any groovy halloween parties on friday night that i can go to. i have the best costume, and simply need a place to wear it! i am going to a vampire party on saturday, which will be lovely. my friend karen is opening her new photgraphy studio, and is having a big bash to celebrate. she’s even offering vampire portraits for $4.00! i love having creative friends!
creativity is a big topic in my recent thinking patterns. i have so many friends who are really, really good at their music or painting or writing, that it’s easy for me to just let those more creative parts of myself sleep in order to appreciate the work of my friends. but in the process, i start spending my time doing other, less substantial things – like watching waaay too much television – instead of creating beauty myself. how does one get into the habit of creating? i really do believe that we are created in God’s image, and God is the ultimate creator, so doesn’t it logically follow that there is a bit of creator in each of us, and we should be using it? then again, what is creativity? i can be creative in my relationships, or in the way i provide therapy to my families, right?

do y’all think that blogs lend themselves to becoming expressions of self-absorption?

 

106744561733561462 October 29, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 11:29 am

it’s a crisp, clear day, full of beauty. angie is reading my blog, and said some nice things on her own today. hooplah! i like her, too, and she happens to be an excellent writer. you can find her by clicking on the left.

lots of thoughts this morning…”every little thing is gonna be alright…” last night was strange. i’ve been feeling the constant battle between flesh and spirit recently. i convinced myself that it was too cold and rainy to go to house church, and ended up having a confusing, unsettling evening. i give up. i can’t keep trying to manipulate my relationships to get what i selfishly want. if i keep it up, i’m just going to feel even more crazy than i do already. sometimes it’s just so damn hard to let go, though! why do i keep convincing myself that what i know is true is just partly true?? am i making any sense?

i guess it all boils down to an ultimate selfishness, and fear of just giving up my own control.

 

106736166824036730 October 28, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 12:00 pm

it is cold and wet in the queen city today. i’m listening to the flaming lips right now…”do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? do you realize we’re floating in space? do you realize that happiness makes you cry? do you realize that everyone you know someday will die? and instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast. it’s hard to make the good things last. you realize the sun don’t go down. it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning ’round…”

do you realize, dear ones, that you have the most beautiful faces?

i don’t want to live in illusion. i don’t want to live in cynicism, although it may appear to be the opposite based on my recent posts.

oops – i need to go to a home visit now. happy day, everyone!

(more later, plus i’m working on a photo blog….)

 

106722653252259663 October 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:42 pm

i’m home again after an incredible weekend in muncie. jonathon and alison got married yesterday, in one of the most creative punk rock weddings i’ve ever been to. the setting was amazing, and the attention to detail that both of them possess was evident from the stark and beautiful winter stage set to the cds that they had burned for each of us as party favors. but the best part was knowing that this was a covenant that was meant to be. jonathon told me at the after party (you have to love it when the bride and groom stick around for a late dance party to play with their friends!) that “it just felt so natural to be up there.” that’s a good sign, i think.

it’s late now. much more tomorrow.

 

106700548176581066 October 24, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:15 am

elliott smith is gone. they think he committed suicide. newby and allison are getting married tomorrow. death and resurrection. the old and the new. it’s a sad, lovely world…”what a beautiful piece of heartache…”

it’s almost november. it was about this time a few years ago that my friend rob died, also thought to be suicide. he wrote aching, beautiful, melancholy songs, too. and he loved jesus. so, what failed?

are we failing our brothers and sisters? are we failing our children? there is so much hurt around us, so many wounded children in need of re-parenting by the father. i’ve been learning a lot lately about “authentic child” theory, and the need to re-parent the precious child that is hiding behind the wounded child in each of us, to walk with that child. it kind of relates to theophostic healing and prayer, too – the idea of jesus re-entering that wounded childhood and walking through it with us, healing along the way. because no matter how balanced we are, or how much we are loved by those around us, the wounds still exist.

jesus, come walk with us. teach us to walk with each other. show us the child in our brother.

 

106692163457810101 October 23, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:51 am

yesterday i wrote a fairly lengthy treatise on “what is prayer good for?” which was the question of the evening at our house church gathering the other night. apparently, though, my post must have been bordering on heresy, since it somehow got lost on its way to this page. 😉

my friend ken is awesome. he’s funny and super-smart and a bit melancholy. he’s the one who brought up the question in the first place, when he misunderstood the directive to write down a personal question to get to know another person in the group better last week. the poor guy who pulled out that innocent-looking slip of paper just said, “what is prayer good for?!” and seemed to have a near breakdown. we decided to make it a group discussion for this week.

anyway, i love my house church. we’re not convinced we came up with some solid enough answers, so we’re continuing the discussion. please feel free to share any ideas! so far, we touched on theories of linear and non-linear time, with ken proposing that prayer is our stepping out of linear time to join God in the nonlinear. (that’s a loose paraphrase, but i like it!) of course jesus’ statement that “whatever you ask for in my name, you will receive,” sparked some good talk, especially when r said, “but that’s just not true!” so, here’s my question for all of you: what DOES it mean to pray “in jesus’ name”? the idea was presented that if we are truly praying in the name of christ, we are praying in his will. but there have been many times that i’ve prayed deeply for people i love to know God’s presence in a real, tangible way that they can’t deny. and it hasn’t happened. surely, people knowing him is in his will!? and what about the people i know who are actively seeking truth, and asking god to show himself to them, but keep feeling like they’re talking to a brick wall? what’s up wit dat, yo? (um, i have no idea where that sentence just came from!) i have a friend who spent five years trying to have a real relationship with God before he simply gave up, believing that God exists, but really wants little to do with him, and i know damn well that lots of believers were praying for him. that’s the only situation that’s ever really made me yell at God. so.

what is prayer good for?

talk to me.

 

106674426600956888 October 21, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 9:30 am

good morning, dear sunshines! it’s beautiful in the ohio valley today. yesterday (before seeing david sedaris) i got a massage from my friend sandie, and the phrase “reawakened hope” came to her, and that is what she prayed for me. sometimes talk of “prophetic words” scare me a little. (we didn’t use language like that in my mennonite world!) but the actual word and concept of “reawaken” has been strong in my soul lately. (i know – i’m restating the obvious that i’ve been writing about lately.) it was just good to have it confirmed.
another word swimming around in my head has been “radical,” which also scares me a little. see, i have no problem with the ideal of attempting to live radically in terms of simplicity, service, working for peace and justice, etc. but when you start throwing the word around in church settings, i start to worry. the thing is, i love jesus. and to a lot of my friends, i’m a closet evangelical. but to the evangelicals, i’m sort of a closet liberal. i believe jesus is God. i believe that different people are gifted as prophets and healers and teachers, etc., and i even believe that i have a couple of those giftings, but when i start hearing that certain spiritual jargon floating around a room, i get an uneasy feeling in my gut. when someone says to me, “so, what has God been doing in your life this week?” the red flags start to go up. is this just my fear of my people, or of “radicalism”? or is it my own arrogance? hmm…a few things to think about today…

 

106670666648995766 October 20, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 11:16 pm

i think i want to marry someone like david sedaris, except straight. i went to see him read tonight, and it was so good for the soul! he has the kind of stage presence that just makes you want to be his best friend – intelligent, side-splittingly funny, endearing and melancholy all at once. dreamy! he’s also the kind of writer who makes you want to go home and burn the midnight oil writing yourself. like most of my favorite writers, he takes the ordinary and turns it into something spectacular, much like anne lamott and madeleine l’engle. and, like the simpsons, he has a gift for starting in one place and ending up on an entirely different continent. if you need to smile, read him now.

 

106666096569342674

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:28 am

still thinking about identity and calling today, and about the constant battle between responding to my emotions in the moment instead of setting the boundaries that i know are necessary.
this whole break-up thing really is hard to do, as the cliche goes.
it tears me apart to let go of someone who has been such a vital part of my life for the past year and a half. it feels like my soul is being ripped out some days – mostly at night, when i’m trying to sleep and it’s just my animals and myself in the house. it’s easy to convince myself that it will all work out eventually, but i think i also know in that deep part of myself that i have to move on…move forward. listen to God, whatever that means. i very nearly had a complete breakdown several times in the past week, and i kept finding myself wanting to go back to the boy himself for comfort. aargh! i’ve struggled with how vulnerable to be on this blog, but everyone who tells me they’re reading it are people who i love and trust. (shout out to nat, ang, and gina!) so. that’s where i am right now. sometimes i feel like the strongest woman in the world, and then i remember that there is no future for the relationship that i invested my future in. then i feel guilty for feeling so torn up, because i know people who are dealing with much more traumatic things than a break-up — death, the end of an actual marriage, etc. i certainly don’t want to become self-absorbed. but i also know that i need strong people around me. so don’t let me get away with isolating myself, dear ones!

i need to work now.

 

106657439334554437 October 19, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:25 am

i’m starting to feel like a computer-geek poser. i just figured out how to add comments to this thing, but if you’ll notice, it’s not exactly at the end of the post, where it is on most people’s blogs. oh well! i guess i should learn something about html… i’m also getting really excited about getting the updated mac os x “panther” system when it is released next week. then i want to get a digital camera. yikes! what’s happening to me?? my friend angie talks about the “laptop syndrome,” which hit her when she obtained a laptop through her job (she’s a teacher) and she started realizing how nice it was to just “pack it up in my little bag at the end of the day and take it home…” ah, i have so many ideals about simplicity, but i’m thinking of asking for an ipod for christmas. is this consumerism. or is it discovering a new approach to simplicity in an increasingly global culture? before i went to india, i hated cell phones. when i was there, a mobile was my only phone, and it seemed to make everything so much easier that now a mobile has been my only phone in the u.s. for the last year and a half. i have so many friends who live in other places, and am away from my house so often, that it just makes sense to pay the same price every month for the ability to make free long-distance calls whenever and wherever i want to. and, somehow, having a phone with me when i’m traveling makes me feel a sense of security, and it has helped me out when i’ve gotten stranded by an unreliable car. so, is this sense of security real? am i falsely justifying all of this technology? i guess it’s all about the idea of redemption. madeleine l’engle writes a lot about the concept of redeeming the good in everything. instead of viewing things as inherently “good” and “evil,” she plants the idea that everything has the potential to be redeemed for good and for God. so, if technology truly helps me to keep my community connected, and to develop my creativity, i guess there is something to be redeemed…or am i just talking a bunch of crazy? tell me what you think!