Noble, huh?


Punitive is the word that came to mindbut now having looked up that definition… I don’t think that’s the right word. I think it just sounded like the right word.

You see, tonight I have picked up a book. Not any book. Really just by chance. A book on a shelf of which many shelves and books exist in the household. Mountains, really. Why this one, probably because I knew nothing about the character. Nonfiction. Something tragic.

Love always draws me close- I want to understand it better. I don’t currently. But a sequence of words regarding love stopped me harshly. And honestly. And I think the word I was thinking of was simply just puny. But punitive sounds more complex, ha. Well, they’re not the same.

Puny is the word to describe the way I have recently loved. Other words- weak, feeble, limp, restricted, insufficient, fear-filled, incapable, pygmy, hiding, complacent, prideful, apathetic.

There’s no use in life to hiding. When my world becomes so small that I’m the center, that complete or even partial control of my life resides in… me… I’ve found that my use for life itself radically diminishes. I wonder often why things feel so… boring? Perhaps it’s because you’re hiding, dear.

Only following into situations that have been pre-conceived as non-threats, controlled social situations, comfort, limited dissonance… those are like my jam, you know. But in the heart of that, things are quite boring. Not saying we should prefer disagreement to beauty, rest, peace, grace, desire, love. But just saying that I am officially convinced we are not created to run away when their perilous opposites come calling. There’s really no right to do so once we know the Creator’s love.        

What started it all was a conversation between two people who love each other.

“Dana came into the room. She stood beside me, and we made eye contact. I mouthed ‘Maybe we should let me go.’ Dana started crying. She said, ‘I am only going to say this once: I will support whatever you want to do, because this is your life, and your decision. But I want you to know that I’ll be with you fort the long haul, no matter what.’ Then she added the words that saved my life: ‘You’re still you. And I love you.’”-Christopher Reeves in Still Me, pg. 32

What am I talking about here? Christopher Reeves thinks he’ll be a burden if he keeps his life. This conversation is right after his big accident in ’95, and right before one of his big surgeries. Asking his wife how about we cut the plug and just let me die. She’s letting him make the decision? Can’t say I would be able to say to someone I love – “it’s your choice.” I would try to make them stay for me. Real mature, Claire. Next thought, she said, “…I want you to know that I’ll be with you for the long haul, no matter what.” “You’re still you. And I love you.”

But the ideas that came in the next paragraph are what just about made me shit bricks like Manny at TOTA used to say. “If she had looked away or paused or hesitated even slightly, or if I had felt there was a sense of her being— being what?— noble or fulfilling some obligation to me, I don’t know if I could have pulled through.

I present my love as quite noble. Look how good… I… can love… you. Look how patient I am— nice, huh?  Usually pre-prepared and assuming the needs of those around me, in weakness and pride, I envelope myself in the pursuit fulfilling a bubble that I’ve created blindly and cowardly upon my assertions of other’s needs. But actually loving? No thanks, I’ve got this one in the bag. Being actually present is much scarier and stranger, but I’ve found that I have very little in life if loving in the way of pre-prepared love.

There is legitimately no way Dana could have pre-prepared it. She didn’t stop to be like this stoic lady and like milk all the nobility she could out of this one. She meant it— and on top of that to give him the freedom to choose? What? She is knocking this out of the park. It’s  notlike overly sappy. It’s just human.  To live in love moment by moment. I’ve noticed that this kind of living is actually pretty dang hard to notice. It’s really human, not that magical. We don’t have very much magic as humans when it comes to love. I have selective love, too. So I can “love” someone really well, while discounting others that I would say I currently loved “quite well”- negates itself wouldn’t you say?

Learning is really just unlearning everything you thought you knew.

Special thanks to Prof Ramm for editing this. #yallwillneverknowhowbadmygrammarishehe

Pine Nuts

the kids are so much fun. Yesterday, the oldest, Sa’ar, and I went to the store for pine nuts and I let him get a popsicle there, right before dinner. we traveled far once, only to find that we didn’t hear Mrs Alley state we would need a few more shekkels -ahh. so we returned home, grabbed a few more shekkels and traveled again to the shuk for Ima (mom in hebrew) recipe for dinner, so when we return we are just like laughing and having fun. well then I’m like hey dude let’s see if we can get the pine nuts in the window right on the ledge up to Ima (3 floors up). and of course he’s like YEAH!! so he’s like “Ima!….   IMAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!” but no reply yet. so i let him toss it a few times, catch it, then I’m like step aside, young one, let the real master try, he concedes. I miss first time, second time I toss up and miss, falls to ground and BUSTS in the gutter!! pine nuts everwhere. so like half the bag is still ok and we take it up to Ima like uhhh heh heh… sorry?  sa’ar’s like it’s claire’s fault and oh p.s. claire let me eat a popsicle before dinner.
I can only laugh reading this!!! Sorry Sharon!

Sunday Drivers


Had some pretty crappy darkness come in again today. So working on exposing that. hurrah- a turning point!! Also, now I want to focus on some hilarious things I came upon today.

p.s. sorry I don’t have pics.. maybe soon.

-I am on the lightrail (Rekkevet?). on for like 20 mins now, and I noticed some seats start to come available hellz yeah! So i take a seat. and then immediately this old fella staring at me, and then speaks hebrew a few times to me and I’m like oh gosh… only speak english. and he is like “THIS.IS.THE.LAST.STOP” (i.e. why are you just now sitting down?!)

-lol’d at hearing  Grease on the bus, Rav Kav and Justin Beibs blaring out of the sidewalk clothing stores

-there is this very amazing and unique staircase at the Yad Sarah house.

-This woman, probably a foreigner such as myself, makes a huge blunder, drives right into the light rail lane (driving through a cone fused to the street), subsequently understands she has done so, stops traffic when she tries to get back into regular lane, then can’t pass the curb, I did not want to look and embarrass her more. It’s ok lady. I understand youuu.

-This the coolest– a bench with an A/C vent underneath

-aaaaaand many, many aggressive and impatient drivers ha #sothankfulthatIclassifymyselfasapedestrian #pedestriansnevermakemistakesright


Strike While the Heart is Soft…


That sounds like I am trying to hurt someone. haha. nope. S/O real quick to my mama for creating a wordpress site and calling her username MOM just so she could keep up with me and read along. Thanks mommy! I love you! (p.s. she would do anything for me…)

I have recently been like stuck in this pit of guilt… but I KNOW that it would end if I just admit to being wrong. hmmm, so I sit there. Should not be that hard to have humility. But rather I have spent way too long wanting to sit in my pride and not say sorry. Praise the Lord that time has gone so so slooowwwww during this time. Like no joke. I am really like has it only been three mos.? PTL. So I am committed to rebuilding relationships, and would rather not sit in the mess…. all just so I can say I was correct and a poor situation just befell me… you’re joking right?! Just say you were wrong!!

So what I mean about strike while the heart is soft. is that I have gone back and forth back and forth, well, I basically when I have the softness in my heart need to run to my cpu and reach out. because check it out- I foreshadowed this- yesterday night I felt my heart getting softer again (I think it’s the result of living with a caring and loving family…. see it to me, to each other), and I thought, “Nah not tonight, but I bet tomorrow my heart will harden when I awake.” What did I find in the morning- “No! I’m not apologizing or reaching out hell no.” ha, good call. So this time I reached out when I felt the softness. Act when the heart is soft, because you may harden later (in my case, definitely). Goal is to keep the soft, can’t do that very good, so this is my plan.

So really… God can work if you allow your heart to be soft and maleable. That’s the best way he can work. But he does not call us to have this humility that drives us into the ground- which I get stuck in so often. Humble everything. I am wrong all the time. Often times apologizing for everything. Being ever-available. Expecting perfection from self. This is not the way. What I’m seeing is to go confidently in the direction you’re given (I mean I’m in freakin JERUSALEM right now! amazing.) But that when you’re given the thought from Him that something is not right- allow yourself to be wrong. It is OK to be wrong. Actually, I’m noticing that if some rebuke is not allowed into your life- then you are probably creating your own rules and crashing to the ground but just not notice it yet. And it’s almost funny how you have to remember that you are trying to be consistently salty girrrrl  get over yourself. S now I know what God means when He says He loves a broken and contrite heart. (Ps. 51:17)

Also – score – I finally remembered to bring my bible to Sabbath. wooh. But I still have not stopped picking my nose in real life #sorrynotsorry #youwinsomeyoulosesome

Picked up an awesome tip today. Sharon went to an osteopath…? a few years back to talk about a 19-year knot in her back, no joke!! Osteopath is kinda like a chiropractor, but they are more holistic. so like he looked into the blood and noticed there was more acid in blood. so then Sharon mentioned to me that her knees would crack when she would walk up stairs!! which is crazy!! because that began happening to Marie like 15 years ago. I remember the day she let me listen walking up the stairs and I was considerably freaked out and we just pondered what that could be due to. Well, the higher acidity content in your blood (BAC – blood acid content haha just kidding I just made that up) kinda makes your joints kind of brittle. Well, then maybe 7 years ago it began happening to me! So all this to say, I am excited to use the tips, the small changes Sharon uses in her diet. It went away for her! Includes goat milk versus cow’s milk which is more acidic.

I’m making french toast in the morning so I need to goooooooooooooooooooodnight

A few thoughts…


It is actually not that different here than I thought. Maybe I’m just scratching the surface. I find that I carry so much of my world within me, that I barely notice the world around me. I think that’s the N in ENFP. Sharon is INTJ. So we both talked about the N. It has you being off in your thoughts, goals, ideas, aspirations, dreams a lot. Ha ha. this explains so much about me.

I wake up early in the morning. About 4:30, maybe it will start sneaking later. I was so sick yesterday. That is the most sick that I have been in probably years. I couldn’t even keep water down!!! SMH! But as Gary said, it was a 24 hour thing.

Since I wake up early, and I am still downstairs across the hall from the boys- I look in there when I go to the restroom upon waking, and I see Tsemah just like balled up on the floor next to his bed. It is so cute.

We woke up early this morning, ate some bfast (cinnamon pebbles, oh hey do we have cinn pebb in america?) with goat milk (my fav spin on bfast over here). And read some more Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice (thank you Stevens fam!) Tsemah loves pointing out when he sees the mom and saying “mama!” Then Sa’ar came down and we finished watching Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Sela tends to wake up last. He was just waking as Sa’ar and I walked to school.

I continue to have dreams about Charles. It’s scary how dark the depths and lies can be. How much confusion. How many of my insecurities are exposed through dreams.

Leaving soon…


Well… I am leaving soon!! I don’t have much to say yet. Except thank you to Peter Marotta for letting me leave work for 2 months!!

And also Kathy and Russell for dealing with TDX while I’m gone :0

Allison often would encourage me to write it out! Writing is good stuff, so I will follow that voice that she’s encouraged.


Glass Box


Trapped in this glass box
I see out, I see down
I mean I see all around
Where the walls meet the ground
And I can even see up
But it’s rough
‘Cause I’m stuck
Left wondering how
I got placed in this rut
And I can’t seem to find
My way out of this maze
It’s all haze
The light fades
I want out but I stay
And I know I’m so close
To the air I need most
To get out of this place
It’s like I’m running this race
Of stagnation, no pace
And each move that I make
It’s like another’s erased
No step, no stroke
And this room fills with smoke
It’s in my lungs and I choke
It consumes every note
Of my screams as I fall
I am dead on the ground
You can hear the loud sound
Yes it echoes around
But no walls have crashed down
Who can save me?

Trapped in this glass box
They see in, they see down
I mean they see all around
They see me lying on the ground
But they have places to be
They’re not free
To help me
I’m just a person they see
Some stretch out their hands
As they pass like wind
But their hands hit the wall
Not one touches my skin
I can’t feel
Is this real?
I am numb but I still
Know this bitter cold metal
Like a January chill
Around my wrists and my feet
Leave me bruised, leave me beat
I am chained to defeat
I am tired, I am weak
I am yoked
I am slave
It’s all hopeless and grave
I can’t be brave
I can’t stand straight
I can’t look up
To see anyone’s face
It’s dark in there
The smoke is now thick
And I’m sick
And I’m scarred
And my skin is all charred
And my bones are all crushed
But no ambulance rushed
I’m just ashes and dust
I’m just crumbs, I’m just rust
Is my heart beating still?
Am I left there to die?
Could I still be alive?
Who can save me?

Trapped in this glass box
He sees up
He sees down
Yes He sees all around
He sees me lying on the ground
He seems far away now
But He’s coming my way
And this Man knows my name
Sees my agony, my pain
All my hurt and my shame
So He goes through the same
Right there on the street
He is mocked, He is beat
‘Cause He’s running for me
But the crowd likes my scene
The world wants me to die
Yes they cloud up the sky
But He wants me to live
And see blue.

Who is this?
Himself to give
My soul to take
Sacrifice to make
Why am I one
That He would chase after
And fight through seas of roaring laughter
Waves of slave masters
That build for disaster
Storms of oppression
Try to write the next chapter
My box floats in this ocean
I am tossed left and right
But He’s still in my sight
Coming swift and with might
Shackled still to the floor
But now my eyes see
What is in front of me
What I need.

The smoke clears up
With every step that He takes
So I wait
And I watch
Still bound and in chains
Yes, I stare now, amazed
He is racing toward me
Is this what I see?
He’s coming
He’s coming
So furiously
No, He can’t be stopped
He wants to get to this box
If it means He must die
So He does.

He waves His sword all around
But this sword is a tree
And with scarred hands
He swings
And my enemies flee
He pushes through every force
Every liquid, solid, gas
No He doesn’t just pass
He stares straight through the glass
And He sees His beloved
Lying broken and weak
I seek
And then our eyes meet
Can He save me?

Trapped in this glass box
No I’m trapped in Your love
Because You come
And You enter
And You blow this place up
And now the smoke is dissolved
And the walls they explode
As the glass shatters ‘round
And the Sun is exposed
Yes the ceiling is gone
I can see to the blue
It’s all new
But it’s true
And it’s all full of You
The chains fall off my limbs
As You stretch out Your hand
You bring me to my feet
So that now I can stand
Yes my body is healed
And my spirit’s revived
Just Your touch on my skin
And now I’m alive
I am loved. I am loved.
I never thought it was true
I’m in love! I’m in love!
And it has to be You
From hopeless to hope
From smoke to air
With Your breath in my lungs
I no longer despair
Now You’re not just a figure
I can only just see
You came into my mess
And You came into me
Like these walls I explode
Yes now I run free
But as I go ‘round this street
Oh the sight that I see
Ten thousand glass boxes
Set all around me
With lifeless bodies
And smoke-filled rooms
Eyes that can’t see the blue
So then what do I do
I cry out to You
Who can save them?

You say it’s for freedom that I am set free
You say open your eyes
You say now I can see
You say I can speak
You say I can run
You say there’s a fight
That’s already been won
I remember that sword
I remember that tree
I remember those walls
As they crashed around me
I remember that box
Before I met You
I remember that darkness
And that smokey room
But now I know life
All because I know You
Because You raced
And You chased
And You even erased
All my fear and my shame
And my hurt and my pain
And You lifted me up
Right off of that floor
And You told me there’s more
This proclaim to the poor
All the good news you’ve seen
Of that strife that I bore
That glass that was shattered
That promise I gave
That love that I have
Is the one that will save
You said take this and run
And bind up broken hearts
Repair daughters and sons
Take this light to the dark
So now I must go
I must set captives free
And do for Your people
What You’ve done for me
You saved me.

By: Lou Bankhead, 2012