Tag Archives | God

What is the Shape of Your Soul?

daydream papa nap dream

The only statement you really need to make is the sound of Your Name pressed against the never-ending skin of the universe.

When someone is striving to be more spiritual or more religious, all too often they end up despising their physical existence in the hunt for the metaphysical. I have been guilty of this. I understand the impulse. I want to rub up against something divine, to grant Meaning and Purpose to my mundane existence. I want to believe things happen for a Reason, that the monotony and heartbreak of everyday life isn’t all that there is.

I’m not supposed to talk about these things. It’s not polite. But, during tragedies, or in the quiet, lonely moments of the night, these feelings slink about in my heart, like never-ending questions. What is the meaning? Who am I? What is my purpose?

I don’t have answers, but I find comfort in words. (more…)

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Radio Lab, Musical DNA, and Surprising God

tech joy

My hands are in the sink. I am washing dishes. My family is off playing Nintendo. I am blissfully alone, and my mind is open. Radio Lab is on NPR.

The interview is with David Cope, a composer. When faced with musical writer’s block, Cope built an analytical computer program, named EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence). EMI is able to ascertain patterns unique to each composer run through its system. After analyzing scores of music, Cope applied algorithms from these composers to other works of music, giving them new and amazing life. (more…)

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Week 23 – The Sparrows and the Lilies

To be honest, I don’t want to write a blog post this week.  I’m not sorry I made the commitment to local food or to writing about it. The food is just not inspirational right now. We buy food from a farm. We’re convicted it’s healthy, good for local economy, good for the environment, cost effective, and a slew of other things. But this is not a week of revelations and insights about our wonderful CSA yummies.  This is a week where we’re not poets, philosophers or activists. We’re simply eaters, and the food is just our food.

This post isn’t about perseverance. It isn’t about finding a bright side. It isn’t about BS-ing my way into writing meaningfulness.  We like our food, but we haven’t been thinking about it much lately. It’s part of our habit, part of our routine. We don’t take it for granted, and we don’t expect it to be more than it is. In its silent, humble status of being, our potatoes are potatoes, our apples are apples, and our leeks are leeks.  We don’t need them to impress us. We’re happy with them just the way they are.

Do you know what I have been thinking about this week? My own identity. We’re 23 weeks pregnant this week, and I’m starting to really show. Everything is in flux: my wardrobe, my appetite, my sleeping schedule…even my work schedule and income are changing. Being pregnant is disarming. You lose a lot of self-control and self-reliance, and it’s easy to freak out over how insecure and “not yourself” it can make you feel. I have found the truest way to remain true to myself, to my family and to Christ is to allow the people who love me to help me and care for me.

Which got me thinking about the lilies and the sparrows. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus addresses our tendency to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). He uses the birds and the flowers as examples, explaining that they don’t worry about caring for their needs; God cares for them day in and day out.

This is what I was thinking about: if a sparrow doesn’t care for its own needs, what’s the point of being a sparrow? Well…to be a songbird and sing.  And, if a lily doesn’t care for its own needs, what’s the point of being a lily? To be a flower and look pretty. To BE a lily. Therefore, if the point of my existence is not to take care of myself, it leaves me asking: what’s the point of being me? If I can’t take care of myself, if I can’t find my identity in my independence and self-reliance, then how do I find identity? How do I find meaning? What’s my purpose?

And it struck me: I’m supposed to be me. To be real. To be honest. To exist fully and openly.

I think we can use self-reliance as a shield to keep us from opening our hearts to other people, and I think that’s a sad way to live. Think about the CSA where we get our food: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We are all part of a community, whether or not we realize it. We all need support from each other, whether or not we are willing to give it. Real food cannot exist without real people.

You don’t have to spend your life having mountaintop experiences in order to be real or feel real. Potatoes are just potatoes, sparrows are just sparrows, and I am just me.  But to be true to myself, to be real with you, I believe I am called to fill myself up with the songs of my souls, and then open the beak of my heart and let my being pour out. That, to me, is worshipful living. That is the foundation for community.  That is how to find true identity.

I don’t typically like to write deeply autobiographical posts, but this is what I have for you this week. If I were to write about anything else, I wouldn’t be true to myself or to you. Being real takes courage.  Being real leaves you open to the wind. But, being real is the only way to truly find the songs of your heart.

By ekwetzel

csa food organic washingtonWEEK 23
(Top Row)
2 Squash: 1 Delicata and 1 Kubota
2 Leeks
(Middle Row)
Frozen Raspberries
2 Onions
4 Carrots
(Bottom Row)

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Week 8 – Secular Calling

I believe the world is rich with value. You don’t have to be a lay person to glorify God in your labor.  A farmer can do so by growing good food; an artist, by creating beautiful works; a writer, by delving deep and being unwilling to settle for trite tropes when there are deeper and more meaningful matters at hand.  Some are called to be teachers and preachers.  Some are called to be artists and farmers.  We are all called to glorify the Creator in our own ways.

What does it mean to glorify the Creator?  This is a simplified vision of how I see it:

(1) The world was created by a good God to be a good creation.  This “good” aspect of the creation is a reflection of the Creator.  The creation is meant for goodness.
(2) There is hardship in life.  These are the “not good” or “evil” forces at work.  They tend to make amuck of things or simply make it more difficult to find or preserve the good things in life.
(3) aWhen we choose to overcome the hardships and fight to preserve the good things, we are choosing the side of Creation and Creator.  If you work hard and the fruits of your labor are of great quality, this is a way to glorify God because it reveals that your vision for the world is one as a good world, a vision that is shared with the Creator God. Being constructive (as opposed to destructive or lame and neutral) in our labor can be an act of secular worship.

I choose good food because I want the best for my family and our health.  This does not mean that I think I’m better than anyone who doesn’t choose local, organic foods.  In truth, I believe we all deserve good food.  My choice to eat locally grown, sustainably farmed foods is one way that I practice my expectation for good things for a good earth.

I choose to write these words because they are honest, earnest and come from the heart. Not writing them would to omit part of the mystery that I see in life.  .  Not writing them would lead to some trite, cute blog. There is no room for secret convictions in good writing.  You need to be willing to lay your soul on the table.

And, in an effort to have better pictures once again on my blog, I will try to find my lost digital camera.  It got packed last week as Mr. Wetzel and I moved into a new home, and I have missed having crisp photos on my blog ever since.  Fuzzy photos are just not a reflection of the glory that I hope to reveal in my work!

By ekwetzel

(Clockwise, from bottom left)
Yellow potatoes
2 Heads of Lettuce
Tokio Bekana
Summer Squash
Yellow Chard
(In the middle)
4 Apples
2 Cucumbers
4 Tomatoes
Eggs (again, the farm has new hens, and they are laying smaller eggs this week, so we received 18 eggs instead of the normal dozen)

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