maundy thursday: judas (not iscariot)

I don’t really say much.
Peter, and sometimes James and John,
they’re the talkers.
Matthew will write something down
every once in a while.
Me, I’m mostly just confused.
Jesus teaches in riddles sometimes
and I don’t even know what to ask him
so I can understand.

But tonight, after dinner, I get the courage
to ask a question: How are you going
to reveal yourself to us and not everyone else?
I don’t get it.

And he says: If you love me,
you’ll keep my word,
and my Father will love you,
and we’ll come
and make our home with you.

I don’t totally get that,
but I do get this:
Even though I’m bad at understanding or
at keeping the rules,
I understand that Jesus loves me,
and so I love him, too.

holy wednesday: the teacher of the law

I keep circling back to those two words:
“Not far.” Not far–not “in” the kingdom,
But close enough that there is, perhaps,
Some hope for me as far as you are concerned,

The first is a command that we have turned
Into a prayer: That we would love our God
By hearing and doing with all our humanity,
And the second is similar, that we would love
Our neighbor. I heard that you teach that
Everyone is our neighbor, even the people
We hate: The Romans, the Samaritans, and so on.

I do wonder, and this is maybe this is one
Step closer to the gates: What happens when
We don’t do that? There are lambs and doves
And bulls and goats bleeding dry every day at
The temple a few blocks away, but what if
That’s not enough?

Teacher, is that it?
What sacrifice could cover over our sin
If those are not enough?

holy tuesday: nicodemus.

I stand aside and watch my colleagues ask you questions,
Which are in actuality excuses to try to make you look foolish
Or heretical or treasonous. I have tried in the past to
Defend you to them, though ineffectually, even while I’m still
Trying to puzzle out what you told me that night several years ago.

I heard you talking to the Greeks earlier, too–was that
A kindness to them or a provocation toward us? Or maybe it was both;
I wonder at the implications of that. I heard you say that
A seed must die before it sprouts and multiplies, much like
You told me once that a man must be born again. Does that rebirth
Require death, too? And if so, what does that mean for me,
Still trying to decide whether I believe or not?

Are you asking me to come and die for your cause, rabbi?
Or are you offering some other kind of life instead?
Maybe it is both; I wonder at the implications of that.

holy monday: thomas.

This is the part, I think,
Where I confess that I have no idea
What’s going on–
You parade in to the city like a king,
Like a messiah, if I may put a point on it,
And this morning you put a curse on that
Tree, and then you stormed into the temple,
Almost like you were trying to get
On the bigwigs’ bad side on purpose–

Look. I know what I said on the way to
Bethany, about coming to die with you,
And, Lord, I’m pretty ready to do that. I think.
And all I know is that I used to feel like that
Fig tree, and you’ve reversed the curse on me,
And I am in some ways sprouting and growing
Where I once was withered.
But what do you know that we don’t,
That you are so intent on getting cursed yourself?

palm sunday: joanna, wife of chuza.

i left the courts of a king
all to leave and follow you
because with you i found a house
of help and healing
the Son of man has no place to lay his head
but i could at least make my home with you
and make sure all the family
had a little food and warmth at night

and now you come in on a borrowed donkey
into royal david’s city, and the gates
have lifted up their heads to let you in
King of glory, king of Israel
take up your place
one day in your courts is better than thousands elsewhere

(but why, my Lord
would i see you weep
even as you ascend
to your throne)

survey (lol)

I stumbled upon the original of this survey whilst going through my archives a while back, and thought it’d be amusing to fill it out for the present and compare answers.

15 years ago I:
1. was 17 and a junior in high school
2. had a crush on a guy who is now married and a dad
3. went to a megachurch
4. was about to take my SAT, I think?
5. filled out this survey the first time around (whoaaaaa)

10 years ago, I:
1. was 22 and a senior in college
2. had a crush on a guy who’s now engaged
3. was probably still recovering from the flu/bronchitis combo that I got during Sing
4. lived with my friends Ashley, Lulu, and Sarah, whom I miss
5. was trying to figure out what the heck to do with my life

5 years ago, I:
1. was 27
2. worked for Half-Price Books and lived with my parents
3. had a crush on another guy who’s now married
4. had recently started playing with the band at church
5. was thinking about going to seminary to be a counselor

2 years ago, I:
1. was 30
2. had just moved in with my friend Kelly
3. was in counseling because I was a hot mess
4. was looking for a new car since I had totaled mine earlier in the year 😦
5. had just started working for Houston Public Library

1 year ago, I:
1. was 31
2. had a crush on a guy I’ve never actually met in person
3. was still fangirling about Hamilton a lot
4. still worked for my church
5. had long hair

Yesterday, I:
1. had to go to work and was super-bored all day because the students were all gone
2. got a whole bunch of knitting done
3. ate a fried egg sandwich for dinner
4. went to bed a lot later than I should have
5. got some reading done for the extracurricular book club I’m in

Today, I:
1. sat in traffic for an hour and a half because Houston is trying to kill me
2. heard a really good sermon
3. ate an excellent salad at lunch with my friend Steph
4. am going to go to community group after I get done with this post
5. need to make my lunch for tomorrow

Tomorrow, I:
1. am going to a thing at my friends’ church, should be cool
2. will probably wear a dress to work (which I never do)
3. need to do some laundry, but probably won’t
4. want to get some more reading done for my book club, but probably won’t
5. need to respond to my e-mail…

Five snacks i enjoy
1. pretzels and hummus
2. banana with peanut butter
3. popcorn
4. chips and salsa
5. I shouldn’t eat these, but the mozzarella sticks from Sonic

Five songs I know all the words to, even without the music
1. “Wait for It” from Hamilton (of course)
2. “Konstantine” by Something Corporate
3. “Falling Slowly” by The Frames
4. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2
5. “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand” (the Indelible Grace version)

Five books I like:
1. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller
2. You are What You Love by James K.A. Smith
3. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
4. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Five things i would buy with $1000:
1. In truth, all of that would go towards my student loans, but if I were made to buy fun things with it–
2. a new guitar
3. this pair of red pants I’ve been thinking about getting for a while
4. new pair of Converse
5. OR…I could just scrap all that and buy a bike

Top five musicians lately (not in any particular order)
1. The Oh Hellos
2. Sho Baraka
3. The Hamilton original Broadway cast (maybe I’m still fangirling pretty hard over it…)
4. Tank and the Bangas
5. Johnny Flynn

Five bad habits I have
1. interrupting people
2. not drawing good boundaries
3. picking scabs (…sorry, TMI)
4. not getting enough sleep
5. going to bed without taking off my eye makeup

five things I would never wear
1. miniskirts
2. red shirts with khaki pants (too many Target flashbacks)
3. bikinis
4. most rompers or jumpsuits (why is that even a thing?)
5. overalls

Five tv shows i like
1. Doctor Who
2. Parks and Recreation
3. Mr. Robot
4. Parts Unknown
5. Not going to lie: Fixer Upper

five places i’ve lived
1. Seoul, South Korea
2. St. Louis, MO
3. Houston, TX
4. Washington, DC
5. Edinburgh, UK

my top five biggest worries at the moment
1. saving money
2. how to make friends that aren’t at work or church
3. how to get more protein and eat fewer refined carbs
4. when I’m going to get time to do laundry
5. when I’m going to get time to go work out

my top five biggest joys at the moment
1. church
2. work is pretty awesome
3. my friends
4. making stuff
5. books

five things that make you laugh
1. my friends
2. blooper reels
3. the BBC Dad video, which has still not gotten old
4. my colleagues at work
5. late night talk shows

five things you love
1. notebooks
2. music
3. hearing about what God is doing in other people’s lives
4. seeing all the ways the Old Testament points to Jesus
5. writing

Five things on your desk
1. computer
2. coffee cup full of pens
3. binder full of handy work-related information
4. book for work-related book club
5. pair of scissors

Five facts about you
1. I have extra bones in my feet
2. I’m semi-related to the guy who voiced the Sheriff in Cars
3. I have never been admitted to a hospital
4. I wrote a song that we sing at my church
5. according to 23andMe, I’m 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish (yes, seriously)

five things you can do
1. memorize large chunks of text
2. play guitar semi-competently
3. knit
4. yell really loudly
5. write in cursive

five things you can’t do
1. mathematics more complicated than very simple algebra
2. chemistry equations
3. sing bass (except if I have bronchitis)
4. write fiction
5. sew

five things you say the most
1. what?
2. “The assessment center is over by those windows, then take a right.”
3. hello
4. LOL (only in textual form, never orally)
5. “Have you heard of [insert book title or Internet meme here]?”


  • Loving this essay from David Taylor on Christianity Today, about Lent, art, and disruption.
  • I recently discovered the blog My Name Is Yeh and now I want cake.
  • It’s almost time for SXSW, which also means that NPR Music has released their annual list of 100 songs(!) by artists playing the festival. You can stream it, listen to almost all of it on Spotify, and/or download the whole kit and caboodle here. They’ve been doing this for years and I always find some favorite new music this way.
  • One of my work colleagues just introduced me to Canva and I am obsessed. I signed up to do a display in May and I’ve already got all my stuff designed for it.
  • Podcasts I’m loving: Nerdette, Pass the Mic, Food is the New Rock (they haven’t updated since September, but I’m listening to the archives)