Women’s March on Eugene

It’s a great time to be reading heavily on the Civil Rights Era. John Lewis’ books are great. And if you haven’t actually read Letters from a Birmingham Jail, they’re a must.
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There’s such a grace to the type of person who will rush to the side of the oppressed- a refugee, a minority, a victim, with a warm heart and kindness while also turning to the people who cause that oppression with strength and truth.
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The Civil Rights Movement made such an impact that their concerns had to be addressed. And the leaders that eventually gave in weren’t exactly naturally sympathetic. The Movement had to persist in spite of so many people in power who dismissed it as a criminal uprising. MLK wasn’t always a universally recognized good guy.
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All that to say, the need to march for things to be better is a long one that spans generations, but it’s fueled some great people and great moments in the not-too-distant past.

The PNW


It’s crazy to think that my days in the PNW just might be numbered. Maybe not… we’ll see where this job hunt takes me, but since we’re hoping to be closer to family, a lot of the opportunities we’re considering are back in California.
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I’ve long thought of the northwest as my favorite part of the country, and there’s a big part of me that hopes we don’t leave it. I like the simpler approach to life, the lower cost of living, the work-and-make-things spirit, and the seasons. Oh, and it’s crazy gorgeous.
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We’ll just have to wait and see… but at the very least, it’s been an amazing 2.5 years up here.

What To Do Now?


I can’t recall a time in my life that’s been as filled with tension, anger, and outrage as the past several weeks. Political drama trickles down and it’s made so many people quite unpleasant. A lot of the anger has been righteous anger- there really is a lot to be upset about. It often feels like that part of the movie where one thing after another has gone wrong, and it seems like the heroes are screwed.
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But this is no movie. What do you do when this is the world around you? Can it still be one tension building scene in a great movie?
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It’s a season like this one that makes me look all the more forward to having a job with an organization doing work that makes life better for people and to know where my long term home will be so I can begin pouring heavy into that community. I want to channel all of that uncertainty into action- even if it’s just trying to make sure I can do for 20 people what I wish I could do for the world. .
In the meantime, it’s a bit of a waiting game. It hasn’t been a passive waiting game, though. I’ve been discovering in random moments a strange sense of calm that doesn’t make much sense.
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I think it’s faith. It’s faith that the next chapter will begin exactly when it’s supposed to. It’s a faith that it’s coming, that I’ll have a role to play in taking care of other people, and that I’ll be ready and willing.

Women’s March


Adventure 71

I had such a blast participating in the Women’s March on… pretty much the World.
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Demonstrations have such an important role to play in things becoming better. Heck, we wouldn’t have a country if not for protests. And the best demonstrations aren’t the ones that are just against something, but for something, which is why I was glad to march in support of gender equality, diversity, and kindness. And they don’t always have to be angry demonstrations… it was one of the most positive and joyful public gatherings I’ve seen. And to hear no arrests were made– that’s awesome.
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Seeing people participate in D.C. and Eugene and Antarctica made it so encouraging to see that large masses of people want the same things– equality and justice. And it takes forever for those things to be realized, but that’s why these moments are necessary. They’re a reminder of these common desires and a refuel of the energy that it takes to keep on going.

Drive to D.C.


Spent the second day of the year driving through several East Coast states and the giant Burger King freeway exit that is New Jersey.
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We did it to get to Washington, D.C. to hang out with @ev_dorner and @kellyrosendall for a few hours and even though we weren’t able to hang out for very long, it was well worth it.
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I’m not always madly in love with Washington D.C., which is kind of a shame because in my field that’s where almost all the jobs are. But it does have its sweet spots. And hopefully next time the Stranger Things themed bar won’t be closed.

Aurora


“There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”

–Catherine Booth

I think I’m a pretty natural peacekeeper. In other words I often go out of my way to avoid confrontation. For the most part, I like that I’m stingy about expressing anger, but it is definitely both a strength and weakness.
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These days, I’m challenged in a good way to see the difference between peacekeeping and peacemaking. Peacekeeping makes a priority out of avoiding confrontation but peacemaking involves actively challenging the systems, people, and ideas that (intentionally or unintentionally) prevent others from experiencing peace— feeling safe from bigotry, feeling able to walk at night without fear, feeling financially able to give their family a decent life, and so many other ways.
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Challenging people in this way isn’t easy. You also have to earn the relational capital that it takes to be listened to, and you have to start by challenging yourself. But blessed are the peacemakers, and I think that calls for more than just peacekeeping.

The Future is Female


I’m the product of being Loved well and having strong, positive, encouraging influences in my life, and when I think of who those faces actually are, they are overwhelmingly female! Like… by a long shot!
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There’s Deanna, who has to fight every day to have some of the things most of us take for granted, but she doesn’t just settle there. She gives hers to lift kids out of some really dark places.
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There’s my mom, who managed to totally put everything she had into raising me after losing my dad and her dad almost within a year of each other without ever using that as an excuse for giving me anything less than the best she could.
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Then there are my Aunts, Ella and Fely. Auntie Ella hopped on a plane in the fifties to be one of the first in the family to move to the US and practice medicine. She then basically turned into Mother Teresa, using most of her earnings to support the rest of her siblings and donating her skills on medical missions. These two helped me get a car and a college education and are the most generous people you could ever meet.
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Oh, and my Lola, who passed last year. She had the original heart for orphans, the love of hooking people up with a good meal, and the willingness to cross borders for loved ones.
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If you think people who treat women like objects are fit to lead, you need to change that. If your vision for the future, the country, the planet, or the Kingdom of Heaven in any way inhibits women from full and equal opportunity, I want nothing to do with it because it’ll always be weaker than it could be with women empowered.