Note: As part of my conversion process, my rabbi requires that I write my religious autobiography, which is made up of a series of essays. I’m posting these essays here, as well, to share my journey. I’m nearing the end of this process and will soon meet the beit din (rabbinical court) who will decide my Jewish “fate.” If my request for conversion is approved, I’ll then enter the mikveh and, when I emerge, I do so as a Jew.
Here is my first essay in the series, which is all about what compelled me to make this decision.
When starting out on my faith journey in my early twenties, I carried with me the God of my youth. This God was one that, if my prayers were sincere enough, my heart true enough, and my deeds good enough, would grant whatever it was that I wanted. If my prayers weren’t answered, it was because I had sinned or had fallen short of God’s plan for me. God was like a magical ATM in the sky, dispensing money, happiness, and an occasional new car to those that were worthy and devout.
Continue reading “Essay: Why I want to become Jewish”
Ahhh! Our new piece! Isn’t it spectacular? (Click on the image for larger resolution.)
More than 24 hours later, I’m still kind of in shock. Yesterday, we went to the Josephine’s Redeemed Revival Spring Market at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to shop for vintage/reclaimed/antique art, collectibles, and household goods. Continue reading “The new centerpiece of my home!”
I had to renew this web address this week and it made me start thinking – I miss this address! I’m going to start using it again and will slowly port my blog posts made in the interim on my other blog over to this one. I just can’t part with this web address!
That being said, I was recently promoted and my workload is WHOA MAMA CRAZY, so blogging is… infrequent at best, at least until I figure out work/life balance!
Being on the other side of the continent from my family – both close and extended – these past two years has afforded me a lot of freedom. I’ve been able to do a lot of soul searching and self-analysis without the family pressures of “maintaining status quo” or just going with established norms. This time has allowed me to come to terms with who I really am, what I believe, and solidify my core beliefs about what is right. Raised conservative, I’m now about as far left politically as a person can go, and close-minded people who spend their lives lobbying against the personal interests, private matters, and basic freedoms of other people are, in my opinion, not worth my time. I’ve also always been outspoken, but I’m now that way more than ever, and all of this leads up to what happened a few weeks ago.
Continue reading “When Enough is Enough”
30 miles further up the Kitsap peninsula from my home is the enchanting little historic town of Port Gamble, Washington. This morning was our first trip to this town, but it will not be our last. As we strolled down its main street (which is literally one block long, goes in one direction, and has a 10mph speed limit), I had visions of characters reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. It reminded me of the river towns of my youth due to its position of sitting on a small hill overlooking the mouth of Hood Canal, which is part of greater Puget Sound. The little town is preserved and pays homage to its history in the logging industry, and it’s filled with cute little shops, antique stores, and even a museum and cafe. Take a look at this cutie-pie town – there is a reason it’s on the list of US National Historic Landmarks!
Historic homes everywhere! Now they’re being utilized as businesses and tourist attractions.
Continue reading “I adore you, Port Gamble!”
We bought our cute little cottage-like house in Port Orchard, Washington last October. Her insides were perfect and needed no updating, but the outside was in desperate need of some love. Seven months later, the work is 95% complete and I am so happy with the outcome. I’m more in love with my cute little quarter-acre of solitude than ever. So – some before and afters shots below!
Continue reading “Before and after – the evolution of our property”
If I’m being honest, the hardest part about giving up Christianity was not the preaching or the Sunday services (or…you know…Jesus), but the music. I’ve been a massive fan of the contemporary Christian genre since I was in the sixth grade and listened to Michael W. Smith the first time.
The other genre I’ve always adored, thanks to both my father and Ricky Skaggs, is Bluegrass. I have sought out great Bluegrass for years, even when I was in my early 20s and my cohorts thought I was insane for jamming to “Country Boy” while they were listening to whatever ear-bleedingly awful pop song was popular at the time. With the new Broadway musical Bright Star out right now, Bluegrass is getting in front of fresh ears, as well as reigniting my love for the genre.
These past eight-odd months, first when I was distancing myself from Christianity and then later, when I realized that Judaism was it for me, I missed Christian music because, naturally, I gave it up. But a soulful melody has always been like a religious experience to me, and while I was finding snippets of music here and there that I liked in the Jewish world, I had yet to find something that made me sit upright and yell with glee.
What happens when you combine Bluegrass and Jewishness? Well, you get the self-titled debut album by Nefesh Mountain, and it is nothing short of MAGNIFICENT.
Continue reading “Album review – Nefesh Mountain”
I’m impulsive and driven by nature. Once I get an idea in my head about something I want or need to do, it won’t leave my brain until it’s either in my hands or it’s done. We’ve recently undergone (and are still undergoing) a lot of changes to the house we bought six months ago. We’ve painted the place, gutted and rebuilt the front porch (which is now beautiful and needs to be shared on my blog), demoed out our deck and finished off the privacy fence, and our outbuilding is currently being re-sided with fiber cement board.
Demoing the old, rotten deck was great, but it left us with a problem – what do we do with the 16’x16’ patch of dirt where the deck used to be?
Continue reading “Re-purposing old furniture into a vegetable “Victory” garden”