Posts filed under Mighty List

2012: The Year of Reading "Biblically"

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I’ve always wanted to read the whole bible but somehow I never did. It was something like flossing, I knew it would be good for me but applying myself to the task seemed insurmountable. A few years ago I posted “Read the whole bible” on my blog’s life list. Like clockwork my mother produced a “Read it in a Year-Version Bible” from Costco. I said thank you feeling very pleased that someone in my family was reading my blog and then it sat on my bookshelf for another few years. I just could NOT muster the desire/energy etc.

So what produced the change of heart? A fellow blogger and AJ Jacobs’ book the “Year of Living Biblically”. AJ’s hilarious journey of following the bible literally for a year inspired me to finally dig in while Rachel Held Evans year-long series on “Loving the Bible for what it is not what we want it to be” challenged me. How I could make any decisions about the bible without reading it? I wanted to join in the conversation from an informed perspective so I did it. I actually did it! I sat down every morning of 2012 and read my “Read the Bible in a Year-NIV Bible that my Mom bought for me at Costco”. Even now that I am done I cannot believe that I did it! Did I mention that I DID IT!

And... it was great. It was ordinary and extraordinary all at once. The bible is a challenging book. I found it to be strange, beautiful, violent, insanely detailed and confusing. Some mornings I was moved to tears and others I was falling asleep but almost every day in 2012 I spent some time with my lime green bible with the big 365 on the cover. I read every single one of the Psalms out loud because they were the perfect prayers for a distressing year that oftentimes left me speechless. I got in there with what I believe to be the divinely inspired word of God and it was fascinating and much more than I expected it to be. Much more weird. Much more violent. Much more gracious and much more confusing. The bible is not simple, but it is full of grace and 2012 was a better year for having read it.

It's been almost a year now since I've finished and now that some time has passed I realize that the experience changed the way I relate to scripture. I no longer feel anxiety about engaging with the bible. I tend to avoid uncomfortable things and the bible is FULL of disconcerting passages. A few weeks ago during my bible study we talked about a passage that is not my favorite.  It's about mutual submission and is often used as justification to tell women to shut up (an oversimplification of the argument, but this isn't a theology blog). In the past I would've wanted to avoid the whole conversation but I feel more confident now to engage.  I know from experience that there is nothing in the bible that I need to be afraid of anymore. Instead of ostriching out when things become uncomfortable I feel a confidence that comes with having read the whole picture and that is worth much more than a years' investment

 

Posted on November 3, 2013 and filed under Mighty List.

Fail Big

photoComedy Improv classes are a strange thing. On the one hand it is a total blast. After a strenuous day in the office, and a crazy evening getting dinner on the table it’s both surreal and wonderful to spend the night pretending to be part of a machine that speaks Russian hip-hop (for example). On the other hand it is also rigorous. There are lots of rules to keep in mind. For example, in improv you should never asks questions. Asking questions slows down the energy of a scene. You should also always say YES or to be more exact “Yes…. And”. It’s the most famous rule; whatever someone says, you say yes to and then offer up your own suggestion. Did someone just suggest you are Charlie Chaplin reincarnated as a frog? Then get down on the floor, start hopping and maybe decide that you are also currently living in space. I mean, why not? It’s comedy improv. Anything is possible. The world is your oyster. It’s freeing and also terrifying. There have been days that I’ve struggled a lot during the classes. The overachiever perfectionist in me wants desperately to be A+ good at comedy improv, immediately of course.  I wish to be the GATE student of comedy improv. Unsurprisingly, I am not. The best way to get good at comedy improv is to totally commit and go for it. FAIL BIG they tell me!  Its another rule and one that I have trouble achieving. I fail a lot, but small style. Failing big is hilarious. Failing small is embarrassing for everybody involved. During comedy improv classes I try to get it through my thick skull “You are supposed to fail. They TOLD you to fail.” I think this has been the best lesson of all, that failing and taking risks is imperative to success, both on and off stage. I’m learning it slowly, one scene at a time.

Posted on February 26, 2013 and filed under Mighty List.

A Mighty Life

As I've mentioned briefly this has been a doozy of a year. There has been serious illness, pink slips, instability of all types and last week the incomprehensible death of a young woman I worked with and liked very much.  Christina was a "Let's saber the top off this champagne bottle and have some fun!" kind of girl and it's difficult to wrap my head around the fact that she is no longer here. How can someone so full of life be gone? After months of feeling paralyzed by the chaos around me her passing has flipped a switch in me: it lit a fire in my belly to live and love and devour life with joy. Right now I'm getting my LifeList ready for the upcoming Camp Mighty and in Christina's honor I'm trying to make it as big and fun as possible. I'm hugging my little boy, kissing my husband and not putting off fun for tomorrow when there is an opportunity to grab it today. Christina's life was far too short but she really lived it well. Today I'm writing this post to honor her and to remind all of us to follow her lead.

So tell me, how are you going to make your life Mighty? Leave it in the comments. I'm on a mission to have fun and I need some co-pilots.

Posted on October 19, 2012 and filed under Mighty List.

Project Nerds Unite!: The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

Random projects and biographies are like peanut-butter and chocolate: I just need them in my life. Enter AJ Jacobs who has my dream job. He makes up projects, such as reading the encyclopedia, or getting super-duper healthy and then writes books about them. Awhile ago I read his book "The Year of Biblical Living" in which he spends a year trying to comply with every single rule in the bible. I'm not sure if you've ever seen the bible, but following through with even one book of the Torah is a terrifying prospect. He is at a level of advanced craziness that I have not yet reached.  I was raised as an evangelical christian and AJ was raised as a non-religious Jew so it was riveting for me to see the bible through his eyes. During the course of the books Jacobs meets with people ranging from the most Orthodox of Jews to the most liberal, pentecostal Christians. His kind portrayals of very different people and hysterical prose had me laughing for days and I couldn't help longing for the opportunity to read the bible like he did, with fresh eyes.

Reading the bible has been on my life list for a long time but it was mostly conceptual, kind of like the way you think "I'd like to be more fit' and then sit down to watch Modern Family. Let's get real. I wasn't going to be like "Ooh, after my long day at work, I'll just sit down and read some Deturonomy" except that now I am. Never in my life did I think I'd be ripping through the book of Leviticus like it was a vampire novel but somehow Jacobs observations breathed new life into the Old Testament books I love to ignore.

For four months now I've been sitting in my car with my "Read the Bible in  Year" book every morning devouring page after page of wave offerings and all manner of boring chronology and somehow it is fascinating. Everyday I read some old testament, some new testament and some Psalms/Proverbs. I read the Psalms out loud and given the drama of the past few months it's been cathartic to read the words of the ancient kings begging God for relief and praising him for being the shelter in the storm. I'm not quite as advanced as AJ so I don't see a year of biblical living in my future, but I'm already into April and the year of biblical reading is going quite well indeed.

Posted on April 22, 2012 and filed under Book Reviews, Mighty List.