joyful girl

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

106990274653604767 November 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 9:49 pm

happy, happy day before thanksgiving, dear ones!

it’s been one of those giddy “last day before the holiday” days, coupled with pre-road trip excitement. i’m off to toronto in the morning with kenny o., and it’s the best way to spend the weekend that i can think of. i seem to have that certain travel bug that makes me so, so restless if i’m in town for more than a month or two…

so i think i’m going to take a trip to the u.k. and europe next summer. anyone wanna join me? (if i say it out loud, then it’s much more likely that i’ll actually go!) i’ll definitely have to trek to sheffield to meet the lovely viv, author of the love blog that i’ve added to the sidebar. AND, she’s returned the favor, so this thing has gone international. thanks, viv!

giddy, giddy, giddy…i spent my afternoon at the mall today with one of my 17 year old clients. immersing myself in a suburban consumer mecca is not my idea of fun. but it was fun–so much so that i found myself thinking it might have been nice to have a little sister after all. i’m amazed by the kids i work with sometimes. this girl grew up watching her father hit her mother regularly, and her mother lose herself in drinking as a result. but she and her brothers have all turned out to be great kids. it’s hard to explain resiliency sometimes.

i must pack now. i’m not sure if i’ll be able to post over the weekend, but will be keeping a running log of posts for monday.

give thanks this weekend, no matter where in the world you are!


106977044787485811 November 25, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 9:19 am

FRUIT is on my mind this morning, thanks to doug. (see his comment in yesterday’s post) fruit, function, definition, blah, blah, blah. where is our fruit? share it, please.

but birthday parties are also on my mind. the afore-mentioned doug’s mother-in-law, sandie, is having a 50th birthday party tonight, and it’s a life well worth celebrating. hooplah! happy birthday, mrs. brock!

the third thing on my mind is an npr story i heard this morning about the u.n. rwandan tribunals that are currently taking place in tanzania. three men who ran a radio station are looking at life in prison because, apparently, their radio killed people. i don’t know a lot about it yet, but it brings up a lot of issues about freedom of the press, propaganda, etc. the really big thing about the story for me, though, is that my friend beth is actually interning at the tribunals right now. i know such amazing people! i llived with beth in india, and she’s one of those girls who knows how to live incarnationally. so, see – it all circles around! 😉

lots to think about today.


106970665881116689 November 24, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 3:33 pm

the brilliant chris smith’s comment reminded me that nothing has to be an “either/or” thing. i wasn’t really trying to imply that the emerging church communities (for lack of a better term) aren’t incarnational in terms of being the church with each other. but sometimes it feels like it’s just another form of church – a good one, which enables us to live with each other more deeply – but one that is made up of those of us who haven’t found fulfillment in the more traditional church, but still don’t really live WITH our neighbors and the larger community around us. i would be interested in knowing how many house churches have actually drawn in family members who haven’t simply come from another form of the church. how many people are actually being introduced to jesus for the first time in our house churches? and for those “non-churched” people who do show up, how many are just a “nonchristian” version of our middle-class, educated, latte-drinking selves? i’m not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest – i’m just asking myself the same questions as i realize that a lot of people in my every day world tend to think quite a bit alike, whether they claim jesus or not.

i’ll have to chew on this for awhile…



Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:38 am

i found this article on theooze today, and it really resonated with me:
it asks the essential question “how burgeois is the emerging church?” you see, i’ve been reading a lot put out there by people in the “emerging church” and “missional communities,” and i like what people have to say a lot. but does this really relate to the people in our neighborhoods who can’t even think of affording internet access? we’re asking all of these huge, philisophical questions, but what about the simpler questions like “how is my neighbor going to pay for their groceries this week?” it’s hard for me to take the time to know my neighbor and her needs when we’re isolating ourselves in our ivory tower, putting forth questions that can really only be asked from a middle-class position of power. are our communities really incarnational in our larger world if we spend all of our time flying to conferences and roundtables? the early church “sold all that they had and gave to each as they had need…” but how can we do that if we keep buying plane tickets to visit “the emerging church” around the world?

just a few ranting thoughts for the midmorning.



Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 9:30 am

it’s monday morning, and yesterday was the official beginning of the holiday season for my emotions. it started by finally seeing “love actually” with sharon. scoff if you will, but that’s a movie that left me feeling good all over. i was near tears almost as often as i was laughing. the main theme seemed to be “if you love someone, tell them! and especially tell them at christmas time!” it did leave a few questions re: the appropriateness of sharing your feelings with someone who you have know right to expect anything from…but i won’t overanalyze it. i’ll simply leave it with a quote from the 10-year-old hero of the film: “what can possibly be worse than the total agony of being in love?”

after the flick, i purchased my first eggnog latte of the season, which always makes me happy. it also takes me back to last year, when i was working at a downtown coffeehouse and nursed my eggnog all day long. it was part of my year-long sabbatical from social work, and taught me a lot about connecting with people where they’re at. i just read a post from another blogger who asked how to connect with the “winos” on the street in his own city. when i worked downtown, i was on a first-name basis with a lot of those guys for the first time, and rarely got asked for money. (i get really annoyed when people talk about the big “panhandling problem” in cincinnati. what happened to the simple idea of “just say no” when you’re asked for something you don’t want to give? it’s always worked for me.) a couple of things stood out: 1)it’s much easier to build a connection with people when you’re a consistent part of their daily environment. 2) the importance of just taking the time to sit in one place for awhile can’t be overrated. most of my conversations that led to some semblance of friendship with people on the street started with a smoke break in front of the coffeeshop….of course, i’m certainly not advocating that you take up smoking if you don’t already, but do take some time to sit and be present!

but i digress. following the latte, i spent the evening playing dutch blitz with dear friends who are so, so good for my soul! i think it just might become a monthly event…we gathered at the brock home, which is a tremendous example to me of real, organic community…the kind i want to establish in my own household…

well. i must work yet again. there’s a lot to do before my very own canadian thanksgiving!


106942964006775016 November 21, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:45 am

oh, yes – next friday is “buy nothing day”! now, i know it’s hard to buy nothing on the biggest shopping day of the year, but wouldn’t it be so nice to avoid the chaotic shopping hoi polloi? i will personally be in toronto, so i may give in and buy a latte while i explore the city…does it count as long as i’m not buying anything in the u.s.? 😉



Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:34 am

good morning, dear ones! thanks to palmer’s blog, i’m thinking about “the resurgence of the anabaptist spirit” this morning. i remember this mennonite girl’s sense of coming home when i found vineyard central, which seemed so much more anabaptist than the menno church i first attended when i moved here. all of the things i was raised to love – simplicity, community, peacemaking, service, etc. – i feel my own personal anabaptist resurgence today…

it’s a happy, happy friday! along the lines of simplicity and community, i shared a great, simple meal with my family at the brown house last night. our discussion ranged from the existence of hell to the phenomenon of choosing a spouse on national television. oh yes – we also touched on the apocrypha! i can’t even begin to tell you how much i LOVE nights like that! i’m realizing that if i’m just a bit more proactive, i can re-establish some community in my life without moving…

gotta work now.


106935348109468019 November 20, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 1:21 pm

i just returned from lunch with my coworkers and ben, our old supervisor. it makes me a bit sad that i didn’t get a chance to work with him for more than two weeks. anyway, ben’s new job is with the covington community center, and a lot of what he does involves buying properties for responsible development. apparently, there is a covington program that allows a person to buy a house for $1.00, then receive a loan for any necessary rehab to live in the house. as long as you live in the home, the loan is deferred, and it seems if you stay for 15 years, the loan is forgiven. wow! the houses are in the kind of neighborhoods i would like to live in, and i’ve really been thinking about buying a house sometime in the next year. the thing is, all of my church community is in norwood! anyone wanna start a house church or live with me in covington? it’s way closer to downtown cincinnati than norwood is…

i have this tremendous anti-suburbs bias ingrained in me. but covington really isn’t a suburb. and i also have this anti-living-in-kentucky vibe going on. when it comes down to it, though, i was born in kentucky, and my entire family is from there…

we’ll see what develops. but, seriously, anyone wanna live with me?


106927487476844614 November 19, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 3:20 pm

last night i was in a really pissy mood. there were a few reasons for that – some indentifiable and some not – but i was not a happy camper. however, since i try to take responsibility seriously, and i was in charge of “discussion-facilitating” at house church, i went against my self-protective instinct to stay at home and dragged myself to the brown house. i’m glad i did. we hit the beginning of acts 2, and the one question that really went home with me is this: “do i really believe that God heals?” i mean, i believe that he heals on some gradual, logical level, but do i really believe in miraculous healing? then, this morning, i went to an amazing training for work on “treating the victimized client,” and was presented with the following question: “as a therapist, do i really believe that people can heal?”

themes much, anyone???

then there’s the other question that was asked last night: “do we have to see someone grow an extra finger to believe? can’t it be more simple than that?” i certainly hope so! because (i am fully aware that i really shouldn’t be starting a sentence with the word “because”) if i saw someone grow a limb, i know i would be pretty skeptical. but belief becomes much more alive to me when i see the simpler, yet more abstract things, like someone who has been deeply emotionally damaged regain some sense of their identity and worth, or when my family is FINALLY able to freely say “i love you” to each other. i find belief easier to comprehend when i see God use humans as instruments in bringing each other to healing – more so than witnessing some blantantly “super-natural” act. of course, i haven’t really seen very many outright signs and wonders. but when i hear stories of them, aside from in scripture, i always find myself looking for the scientific explanation, or some evidence that man is manipulating the cirucumstances. how is it, then, that i have no problem believing jesus actually raised lazarus from the dead? am i just lacking some damn faith? am i a bad christian because i don’t feel a need to ask God to show me some good, old-fashioned miracles? am i complacent if i am satisfied with the smaller, personal miracles i see most days?

next week we talk about the resurrection. any thoughts related on the resurrection as it appears in acts 2 will be greatly appreciated! oops – i guess it will actually be in two weeks. next week is a birthday party!

back to healing…i wish i had a way to draw a diagram for y’all, because dr. bassman (our trainer this morning) gave us a really good one regarding personality and all of the different roles, or personas, that we each take on. see, we each have these roles that are a part of us, but aren’t really our SELVES at the core. some of these roles are great and necessary, and some aren’t so much. for example, some of my roles would be daughter, sister, therapist, writer, pacifist, etc. we step into these roles all the time, but sometimes we get stuck in them. if we are stuck in a persona, we’re controlled by it. these roles and personas are imprinted in us, but they are not our true, authentic selves. as a believer, i would define that authentic self as the amy that God created in my truest, deepest form, and as the self that is best able to hear the holy spirit. so many times, though, we make our decisions and actions out of our personas, instead of going back to our selves. this morning, we discussed this in the context of the victim: if a person was abused as a child, they often life their life fully in the persona of the victimized child, instead of going back to their selves and choosing a different persona to act out of for the moment.
does this make any sense to anyone at all?? i know that it really resonated with me, and goes right along with some other things i’ve been learning lately (the “inner child theory,” leanne payne’s thoughts on the spirit versus the soul, etc.) and it ties back into my earlier mention of God using humans to walk with each other to healing…

oh, yes! another thing i’ve been tossing around is the idea of moving back into a bit more intentional communal setting. some moments i feel myself saying, “great! when do i move in??” other moments i’m saying, “um, maybe when hell freezes over?” if you’re a pray-er and could lift that up with me, thanks! also, j and i are needing some prayer regarding our relationship, since we keep finding ourselves in limbo regarding whether or not we should be in a relationship beyond friendship. this is a pretty personal thing, but it’s also pretty serious, and we need help finding some answers!

on the topic of hell – i’ve been wondering lately how many people i know really believe in a literal hell. thoughts, please!

that’s enough to chew on for awhile. i AM interested in knowing if anyone outside of cincinnati (and jeni, chris, andrew and angie) actually reads this. if so, let me know!

lovelove to all of you…


106917093557807956 November 18, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — amyjoyfox @ 10:44 am

so i’m not quite sure what i’m feeling this morning. the past few weeks have been ones of strength and growth, and now i just feel weak. there are a lot of questions in my life right now – many of which i can’t share to protect the privacy of people i care about. but i just get so frustrated with myself when i live in reaction to my emotions, and say things that i’m not sure i really mean. of course, i almost always mean what i say in the moment, but then my rational mind kicks in later and i wonder, “what the heck was i thinking??” i feel like i’m kicking myself today. sometimes i make bad choices. and i can handle that when i’m the only one that suffers, but it appears that most of our choices have consequences for others. but we can’t live in guilt, eh? funny, as i was writing this, i picked up acts 2 and started reading to get some perspective for tonight’s gathering, and this is what jumped out:
“therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your holy one see decay.
you have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

on acts 2, i have to ask myself what my response would have been if i were at pentecost, when the holy spirit came down with a violent wind and tongues of fire…would i have been one of those people who were “amazed and perplexed,” and just chalked it up to everyone being drunk? sometimes i feel like such a pendulum – on some days i could be the skeptic, but on others i think i could be peter, explaining the truth to everyone there.