What’s the big deal about Ferguson?

Nearly three months ago, Michael Brown was shot too many times, for a potentially minor offense. His body was left in the sweltering Missouri heat for four hours before being attended to. His family, friends and greater community have been mourning in the wake of this immense injustice.

We have an epidemic on our hands…where young people of color do not get the same entitlement to grow up and become. Where young people of color must be aware of prejudice and false assumptions, must work harder, must prove oneself, must be better. I have a 15 year old son. I think of his life, growing up white, with very little fear of those who are paid and commissioned to protect. My children, because of the pale color of their skin, will not know the need to be that much better and work that much harder.

My husband and I attended a rally at the State Capitol in Denver last night…National Day Against Police Brutality. Before Ferguson, before this pit in my stomach became a permanent fixture, I had no understanding of police brutality. I knew nothing of the fear people live in daily because of their skin tone. I knew nothing of the fact that police seem to have little to no accountability…they are accountable only to themselves. I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t seem like the making of an effective business. We all need accountability..especially any of us who own power. After hearing stories last night from victims of police brutality in Colorado, I recognize the reality of the privilege my color (or lack thereof) affords my family and me. Hearing of police entering forcibly into homes, to kill a young man while family watched on; another young man, 19, African American, pulled from a car for a routine stop, requiring 45 stitches and broken bones, using the one phone call in jail to make sure his mother knew where he was. Local pastors who have been arrested for standing up for what is right. The question being asked, “How good do we have to be?” Good question. How good do our friends and neighbors of color have to be for us to pay attention? To believe they are worthy of the same rights and opportunities we white folks have by virtue of being born. For us to recognize our white privilege and stand in solidarity. How much are we going to ask of them?

One thing I am learning in my walk of faith is that the thing I must do is the one next thing…I cannot live in the future, wondering about this or that. I am required to do that which is in front of me. In the area of equality, whether we are discussing race, gender, sexuality, I must do the next thing. Educate myself by reading about the realities faced by our marginalized in America. It is so easy to snuggle in under my covers at night, to watch my shows, to hang with my people, to eat good food and drink beer…all of these things are gifts, gifts from God…yet, there is the balance. When it’s all about me, my comfort and rights, at the expense of another, there is something less sweet. I long to be engaged, to ask new and important questions, to educate my children in what is being revealed to me.

What is happening is not right. We are asked to participate in the life of Jesus…a life lived in justice, mercy and humility.

Broody Hen Ideas

What is a Broody Hen? Interestingly enough, my husband is the one who suggested this as my blog title.

According to Dictionary.com, to brood = to sit upon (eggs) to hatch, as a bird; incubate or worry persistently or moodily about; ponder.

We have a broody hen. She started to brood, even without fertilized eggs. Maggie sat on the nest for hours and we would have to remove her with a broom, to collect our daily egg allotment. She was mean, and would peck anyone who came near. Our neighbors also have a small backyard flock, including a rooster. Three fertilized eggs were given to our Maggie and instinct set in. She sat and sat for weeks. During the heat of the day she felt the freedom to emerge from the coop and engage in a dust bath, free range eating and some socializing with the others. Two of the three eggs hatched and out popped two black little chicks. Poor Maggie was torn…the chicks would jump out of the nesting box, while she was still trying to incubate the late-to-hatch egg. One afternoon I found her sitting on one chick in the middle of the floor, while the other chick was running around, and the egg was still in the nest. Poor thing…I know what it’s like to feel so frazzled.

My ideas are my clutch of eggs. I sit, ruminate, incubate on these ideas. Some I hold very close and some just pop out of my mouth to my deep chagrin. I fear the vulnerability of bearing these ideas to others, since they often are not fully formed, perfect or ready for the big world. This blog is hopefully my place to release these ideas, to let them grow wings and advance into the universe. I am not alone, these eggs are hardly new, but often times, the culture in which I live may or may not support these notions.

I lose sleep…my brain is rarely inactive…I read constantly, blogs and books, to learn, to navigate these new pathways, to grow courage, to see God at work in the lives, hearts and minds of others. I love watching my processes merge into those of others. I recognize the sweet relief of grace through this discovery, and in my thoughts. I realize the beauty of the heart of God for his precious children, regardless of our doing…it’s just in our being. So good!

First Things First

I can’t believe how clean my desk and house are at this moment as I find any reason to avoid putting words to page. My stomach in small knots, hands clammy, heart rate elevated. I have my people to take my honest thoughts, but now, to throw those carefully polished (and some quite rough) nuggets into the blogosphere feels…vulnerable.

I am Jen, wife of E, mother of three: the ABC’s. Our dwelling is in Boulder County, Colorado…almost one acre on county land with 4 chickens, 2 lambs, 1 rabbit, and a dog. We are trying our hand at living simpler (in some ways), wiser, and quieter…after having downsized from a lovely, spacious home in the local neighborhood.

I choose to stay home, but own a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. I have quiet in my days, but long for greater significance at times. I wrestle much with the expectations placed on my as an accomplished female, yet, I wonder often from where the expectations arise. Mostly me…although I will also say I don’t think women can have it all.. everything we want…without sacrificing in key areas.

I am an athlete…love to run, ride my bike, hike, backpack, walk, practice yoga and Pilates. I am a recovering triathlete…but reserve the right to reenter when time and desire allow.

I am discovering (or admitting) that I am a developing activist.  Social justice causes are regularly winding their way into my heart.

I am a Christian, in the sense that I love Jesus and believe He is the Son of God, having died on the Cross so ALL may have life abundant…whether it’s on this side of eternity or the other.

I started my first garden this year and learned how to grow (or more likely learned how to plant) beets, zucchini (holy cow!), carrots, tiny tiny kale, tomatoes, and others.

I am an introvert, yet that comes as a surprise to many since I can manage a conversation with just about anyone. However, a day at home, to myself is usually just what the doctor ordered after a night at a party.  My personality is identified by Myers-Briggs as INFJ.

I love naps, my dog, being outside, reading books and blogs, deep conversations, beer, my bed, watching my children become who they are, feeding my family (about 3 times a week), and snowy days.