new blog

Hey, I’ve started a new blog over at blogspot, and will probably do most of my posting there.  Here’s the link.

http://brooktalsma.blogspot.com

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In the last 10 years . . .

As I sit in Paul & Lindsey’s home, rubbernecking at the trash guys taking the last trash pick up that will happen in my name at 1608, the day I will put my first house on the market, I am reflecting on what I have done in the last ten years.

1. I have earned, yes earned, two master’s degrees.

2. I have lived in two countries, and two states.

3. I have had 4 different cars.

4. I have purchased my first home.

5. I have learned plumbing skills, including snaking a sewer system (thank you Scott Seebohm).

6. I have learned to brew beer.

7. I fulfilled a long time dream of being a barista.

8. I have had 8 jobs, 9 if you count plasma donation.

9. I guess I should add that I have sold bodily fluids.

10. I have been surrounded by amazing friends, including a surprising number of southerners, and over 20 roommates.

11. I have become a kayaker

12. I have seen friends marry and divorce, have children and lose them.  Life is harder than I thought it would be.

13. I have become a mac user.

14. The kitchen department of stores has become my favorite section.  I also like the garden section, storage, cleaning products, and home furnishings.  I get more satisfaction from researching and buying a fan, than a CD.

15. I have moved closer to knowing who I am and becoming more human.

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Living Levitical Loca

I have a two friends who have taken a class on the book of Leviticus this semester, and one of their assignments last week was to live according to Levitical law.  They needed to wear clothes all of one fabric, not touch dead things, not eat meat and cheese in the same meal, etc.  I really don’t know all that was entailed.  They both said they had to be consciously aware of the state of their hearts.

After a conversation with Emily (one of the participants), I have had something she said rolling around in my head.  She became aware that it is impossible for a person to remain “clean”.  If you touch someone who is unclean (and you have no real way of knowing), you are unclean.  You can live under the assumption that, try as you may, at the end of the day you will need to rinse off because of uncleanliness.  God has made extremely difficult, under his own law, for his people to be clean.

This may sound defeating, but instead it’s somehow freeing.  It makes us acutely aware of how much we need God’s forgiveness.  We cannot make it on our own.  Forgiveness draws us back into relationship with God, unable to deny that we don’t need him.  God has always been about relationship with his people, and since the fall we’ve been running away trying to be our own god.  Through his law he put in place a reminder system.

Emily also mentioned that if we examine what the underlying principles are behind the law, we see the character and heart of God.  It was never intended to be about dos and don’ts, but about being set apart in our character and hearts.

Thankfully, now we can slap some cheese on our burgers, and hug our friends after they have handled dirty diapers.  We don’t have to rinse off anymore at the end of the day, because we are marked with the Holy Spirit to remind us of our need for repentance and for God.  And that same Spirit is transforming our hearts that we might one day know and we are fully known.

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I don’t know what was better, the movie or the experience

This afternoon I ventured out to an independent movie theatre to watch An Education. What I have to say about the movie is that it is fabulous. The theatre is situated right next to Sacs Fifth Avenue, and the parking lot is full of Lexus, Minis, BMWs, Cadillacs, and the like. I felt sheepish as I parked my Pontiac near all the swank.

I arrived about 10 minutes prior to the start of the movie, and by the time I sat down, the theatre was about half full.  I was the youngest viewer.  By the time the previews began, I was still the youngest person there, and I’d say at least 95% of the audience was over 70. I woman directly in front of me had her hair set for the week.

Prior to the previews there was a timely and strategic Cadillac commercial, which I’m sure made more than one audience member soil their adult diapers with excitement.  It was a weird experience to say the least, but delightfully memorable.

Although you may not have a similar experience to mine, see the movie if you get a chance. Some might call it a coming of age drama, but I think they’re missing the film if they chalk it up to that.  It’s about a girl who loses her innocence, and comes back to find it. It’s about defining what living is. It’s about the humility of second chances. It’s about things turning out right in the end when you are cheering for it to turn out wrong. I hope that doesn’t ruin it for you, but it’s a snippet of my unfolding thoughts.

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dysfunctional therapy

I have lately been enamored with www.peopleofwalmart.com

It just feels good.  Check it out and laugh hardily!

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what makes a great morning?

This morning was amazing.  I got up at 6:30 and had the quiet to myself.  I brewed a french press of Birds & Bees shade grown organic coffee (I don’t like it because of the organic shade grown, in case Gina is reading this).  I ate some Trader Joe’s cheerios.  I read.  And, what makes the morning perfect besides that: listening to NPR news morning edition.

Tonight will be a great evening: beer, grilled burgers (my uncle’s beef), potato chips with french onion dip, root beer floats, good friends.  Can’t wait.

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Anxious Anxiety

I have had an extremely anxiety filled week.  I met my potentially future supervisor for my counseling internship (it was kind of like an interview), saw my first client (I’m pretty sure she wanted to hug me), set up my first couples therapy session, had a wretched group therapy session via my group dynamics class, and anticipate counseling and supervision today and tomorrow.

Anxiety creeps up into your stomach, and it sits there, hot and knotty.  I’m convinced it controls my heart beat and boosts my metabolism.  What I’m thinking about it what it communicates to me.  Clearly it says that I don’t feel at ease, but I also think it makes me question myself.  Am I good enough, likable enough, courageous enough, competent enough?  It makes me aware that I listen to the voice of pride telling me that I must be in control, that I can’t trust God.  It highlights my brokenness and the areas of my life in need of sanctification.

I hate how it feels, but I think I just may be thankful for it.

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