One of the reasons I love going to church on Sunday is because it forces me to get up early(ish), which gets my week started off on a good, productive foot. I especially love going because it's incredibly grounding, after six crazy days of work, fights, spending money, being too self-focused, and too tuned in to my cell phone and twitter, to sit, attentive, for an hour focused on something greater than myself.
And I'm not always sure just what that bigger thing is. Christianity says it's an entity with a human counterpart we can paint pictures of. Ok.
I went through a year where I wasn't sure if I wanted to be called a "Christian" because the labels seem arbitrary when my only real belief is that there is a divine presence in (of?) the universe, which is the common thread of most religious practices. One of the stories about the Dalai Lama that has always stuck with me, is where he told a spiritual seeker to focus on the religion she grew up in, Judaism, to channel her spiritual practice. For this reason, I made the decision to "stick with" (so to speak) Christianity, because the basic fabric of its theology encompasses my beliefs, and it gives me a specific, familiar practice to focus my own energies on.
Lennon and I had anticipated a lengthy search for a church when we moved to Austin, but we loved Central Presbyterian the first time we went. The byline "deliberately diverse and fully inclusive" was the initial bait, but seeing it actually in place in the church's population was the determining factor of our decision.
That, and when the head minister came to our house to meet us, aside from being very kind, he excitedly told us how one of the pastor interns had got him a gift certificate to a tattoo parlor, and he was already set on the large piece he wanted done on his arm. He's like 60. I love it. It's also great to be at a church that works with seminary student interns. Kasey, the tattoo giver, has one of her own: a portrait of Calvin. If you've seen Lennon's Calvin tattoo, you know we are fans.
One of our church friends, Elizabeth, also has a neat tumblr account, and writes for the Austinist. The list goes on.
Lennon told me he hates this dress, but he didn't tell me till after church, because he said he didn't want to wait on me to change. I'm going to wear it a lot now just to spite him.
Dress with belt: Banana Republic, bought for 70% off
Cardigan: Anne Taylor Loft
Ballet flats: Target
Feather pin: from Parts &Labour on South Congress
Cute puppy tied up outside the convenience store. I really wanted to pet it.