Monday, October 4, 2010


Hey Loves,

though it pains me to tell you this I am moving blogs.

Hipster Christian Housewife

Cheeky, I know. But I couldn't resist :) Come one over!


Friday, August 27, 2010

About My Daughter

I am undertaking the careful, delicate task of transforming my living room/dining room from Sydney's playroom to a place where I can write. To a "writing room", a concept so deliciously indulgent I almost don't dare to attempt it. Space is a premium here, we'd be comfortable no other way, so by now we are adept at the quick transformations that can change the layout of our house. Dining room/ recording studio, Living room/child's playroom, writing room/ dining room. Depending on who is here and why, our house can have many identities.

This morning it's a writing room. I've collected all the tiny, plastic Polly Pocket dresses from the dining room table, floor and couch, sweeping them up into a re-purposed colander. Cleared away the magic markers and bits of half chewed Cheerios. Gathered up the myriad bunnies and puppies and attempted to make this space feel like mine, at least until I pick up Syd at 3 o'clock. My sense of joy is almost delirious this week. I wasn't sure what it would be like to have her at home two days a week with nothing but my own imagination to guide me in instructing and entertaining her. I haven't spent as much consistent alone time with her since she was an infant, newly arrived and utterly dependant on me. She is still, of course, dependant on me, and I relish this. I experience the full force of her independence, her desire to "do it by myself", and feel grateful that there are still many things she needs me for.

I was not someone who considered working, or working full time after I had Sydney, as some sort of medieval punishment. I all but ran back to work when she 3 months old, and started singing in worship again when she was about 6 weeks. I remember those early mornings sprinting to a far ladies room to nurse her then racing back to the sanctuary for a prayer time before the service. I would often say to Matt "I've never been this tired" and he would remind me that I said that almost every day.

The truth was, I was more than worn out from middle of the night feedings and the physical demands of being a new mother, which is, for everyone, exhausting. Something was going terribly awry in my system, my brain, my nerves, and I was edging into a full fledged bout of post partum depression. Of course, I didn't know this at the time. I simply thought I was a wimp and couldn't handle motherhood. A regular routine that involved being around other adults (i.e., work) eased some of it's early grip on me. I embraced work and continued to seek additional hours and responsibilities, trusting the nursery staff at the church to take care of my baby during those hours I attempted tasks I knew I could handle. In fact, I was sure that the nursery staff workers, all mother's themselves, were far more qualified than I was to take care of her, and it gave me some peace.

I wasn't completely nuts, not yet, but I was getting there. My coping mechanism was also meaningful work, and so it was no scandal that I was back at work, by my own choice, after having Sydney. I was raised by a working mother and I discovered that I believed in the early socialization that comes from a good, faith based child care environment. Sydney thrived, and her caretakers became like family to us. It all went swimmingly for quite some time. In the dark recesses of my heart, my middle of the night panic sessions, I feared that I was an inadequate mother. Nothing came 'naturally' to me. Often, the thought of spending a stretch of hours alone with my infant scared the business out of me. I was exhausted from not sleeping (even after she began sleeping longer stretches I would lie awake at night waiting for her to need me) and I felt that attempting motherhood was really an aggregious act of hubris on my part. Why did I think I would be able to do this?

As I recollect those painful early days I am shocked by the mother I've become. I'm confident. I'm careful. I think I'm even fun! I am a good mother, (twice this week people have told me that so it must be true) and I learned the hard way that I was neither lucid nor rational in the beginning. I was literally coming under a tidal wave of hormones, brain waves and physical exhaustion- the molotov cocktail of post partum depression.

The thoughts I had then were not rational thoughts, they were amplified projection of my own deep seeded fears. Like electronic pings, they honed in on my deepest insecurities and exaggerated them 1000%. The most devastating lies are the ones with a tiny grain of truth to them. The evilest evil is a distortion of the most beautiful good.

I have never more enjoyed Sydney than I have this week. I pick her up from school at 3 (though she is in a new school I can tell that she is still shocked that she is not the last one to be picked up). Twice a week it's just she and I for the whole day. We run errands, we practice numbers and letters, we cook. I adore her, which is no surprise, but I've learned this week that I adore spending unstructured time with her. That I can spend unstructured time with her. That I can be trusted with her. Though it's been 3 and a half years since the Post Partum (which after months of stubborn denial on my part was finally 'cured' with a small dose of an anti-depressant) I am only now seeing the deep wound it left in me. And I am only now embracing the joy of the victory I've won over it. A victory over more than just the emotions, but over the fairly binding choices it inspired. I don't need to work until I drop. In fact, it's better for Sydney and for me, if I pick her up at 3 o'clock.

Don't get me wrong, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this a luxury. A tremendous luxury. I still get to participate in meaningful work, but I don't have long office hours. Sydney get's to go to a terrific Christian school, and I can still pick her up at 3. This new arrangement, which I credit solely to the grace of God, is allowing us to try out something we've never done before. And simply put, I am enjoying it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pictures from Budapest

Friends- we're back!

Thank You.

Check out pics and tales from our adventure:

Love, Cameron

Pictures from Budapest

Friends- we're back!

Thank You.

Check out pics and tales from our adventure:

Love, Cameron

Saturday, August 7, 2010

You Give and Take Away

Today we learned that our friend Kimberly Richter, who has battled brain cancer bravely for several years, went to be with the Lord yesterday.

It's so strange to learn of this from the other side of the world. We are happy to know that she is healed and whole, but of course we'd hoped for those prayers to be answered this side of eternity. We are heartbroken for the Richter family and for the Grace Presbyterian Church family. Our prayers for peace and comfort for all.

Just last week we learned that our little friend Kate McRae is healing from brain cancer. A true victory. We rejoice with her parents and friends. It makes me think of that lyric- 'you give and take away.' I will be singing that song in my head for some time I think.

Today, we spent the day with a couple who are here as missionaries from Ecclesia Clear Lake. How exciting to talk with people who have the same ideas we have for reaching people- for a focus on long term relationships and discipleship with Hungarians. We connected on so many points, it was an exciting hang.

We've come to a place of maybe beginning to understand a little bit of why God brings us back to Budapest. We always thought we were just avoiding the call to come and live here full time- but I think we've realized finally that is not what God has for us now. It's more important, we hope and pray, for God to use us to communicate with our friends in the States the needs over here- and hopefully inspire more people to come to do long or short term missions in Budapest.

Here's the deal: The next generation of European and World Leaders are coming through Budapest. Hungarians, Russians, Estonians, Ukranians, etc.. People who are going to make up the next wave of influence in the world are coming from Post Communist, Post Religious countries. For now, material gain, as promised by the EU is this culture's religion. Under communism personal material gain and wealth was forbidden, so now you see people all but crushing each other to have it.

The work here is not providing basic human needs like water and food, as we see in developing countries. Instead the need is to disciple Europeans to want to, in Jesus name, provide a clean cup of water to not only those in developing countries- but to the marginalized populations in their own back yards. These "hardened, post modern" Europeans can and by the grace of God- will be- the next generation to lead Europe. We want to see them leading from a place of faith in the Redeemer. This means practically- a developing distaste for injustice, for greed, for exploitation. A developing taste for love, justice, truth and compassion.

Yesterday at the outreach there were breakthroughs for sure- again we saw how God uses our music to draw people in- to begin to ask questions of who, what and mostly WHY? Why are you in Budapest? Why do you like it here? Why do you want to learn our language?

Even though we might be drifting from this idea of "street evangelism" we cannot deny that the power of the Holy Spirit falls when we are playing music. It opens doors. We are grateful God allows us to be a part of this. So for this week- we will suspend our doubts and just go with it.

Another thing happened today to remind us that our financial well being is utterly and totally dependent on Him. :) How grateful we are for his provision and how totally in need we are of his grace.

To support us with prayer and/or finances - learn how here: GIVE.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Divine Romance: Update

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.
–Proverbs 16:9

Believe it or not we are almost half way to our fund raising goal of $2700. As it happened in 2008, I have learned more through this process of reaching out for support, than I have in almost any other adventure I've had with God so far.

Every part of each gift- who it's from, why you've given, etc., is a miracle to me. The faith that it represents in Him, in us, in this mission is stunning and humbling. THANK YOU.

My prayer is that we get out of the way enough for God to use us in the short time we will have in Budapest. I know that we will be changed and encouraged, as we always are in these situations. I pray that the people we encounter will be as encouraged as we are. I am thankful for the chance to participate in the miraculous things that God is doing in our beloved Budapest. I am so thankful already for being able to see what God is doing as he works through you who are praying and supporting us financially. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Again, here's the details. See ya over there. Don't forget:


We covet your prayers. During our three months in Budapest in ’08, your prayers opened doors, sparked conversations, and overcame darkness in so many moments of ministry. Your prayers for provision were answered in astounding and humbling ways.

1. Please pray for safe travels for us (August 2 &3- August 13&15).
2. Please pray for peace and safety for Sydney who will be staying with my mom in
New York.
3. Please pray that God will use us to both boldly and humbly plant seeds of faith for those we encounter by His divine appointment.
4. Pray the Holy Spirit will use our music to reach people’s hearts where language is a barrier.
5. Pray for financial provision for our plane tickets, and for our meals and travel while there.


1. We are needing to raise about $2700 to cover our plane tickets.

2. Your contribution can be a tax deductible donation through Ecclesia Houston, who will be supporting us on this mission.

3. To give online: From the website, click ‘Online Giving’ from the menu on the left side.

4. Enter the amount of your donation in the Amount box below.

5. Make sure the ‘Recurring Donation’ checkbox is unselected.

6. Click the ‘Make Donation’ button.

7. You will be taken to a Paypal page.

8. If you have a Paypal account, you can login with your email and password. Enter Hammon's Budapest Trip in the memo line.

9. If you do not have a Paypal account, you can click the link at the bottom of the page to use your Credit Card. PLEASE EMAIL JANA@ECCLESIAHOUSTON.ORG and let her know the amount of your gift, your name and "Hammon's Budapest Trip" so we can be sure your gift is accounted for and tax deductible.

10. Our you can send a check or put a check in the offering plate at Ecclesia Houston on Sunday morning. Please make checks out to Ecclesia Houston and put Hammon’s Budapest Trip in the note line. Mail checks to Ecclesia Houston, 2115 Taft Street Houston, TX 77006.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Island of the Misfit Toys

This weekend I had the great pleasure of participating in a poetry slumber party with some friends I met at University of Houston's Boldface Writer's Conference. I began writing poetry in high school (um, who doesn't write poetry in high school) but got serious about it at Carnegie Mellon where I majored in creative writing. When I started writing songs just after I graduated I stopped writing poetry- at least the non musical kind- and hadn't picked it up until a trip to Laity Lodge this past Spring inspired me to start writing again. Inspired feels like too flimsy a word. It's a valve that I had sealed shut, as the season's of my life turned me away from poems and toward marriage, moving across the country, having a child and the like. That weekend in the Hill Country the valve blew and poems have been flowing, for better or worse, ever since.

Today at Ecclesia, Chris Seay talked about divine appointments. About how sitting next to someone on a plane or in a restaurant can be an invitation to sacred conversation. Lives, mine and yours, can be changed because of a seemingly chance meeting. This is how I feel about my poetry friends. It's funny; I went to Boldface with the intent to leave my church stuff at the door. I had just left the church where I worked for 5 years and I needed a moment, a pause, to be among people who love the other thing in my life- words. Being around people who love God is awesome, but we all know the church can be a bubble. And bubbles are suffocating.

Not an hour into the workshop and the Jesus issues came out. I don't say this lightly. There were about 8 of us in our group and I can almost say for certain that each poet wrestled with the things of God in at least on of their four workshop pieces. Mostly these poets had been hurt by some part of the church- a priest, a pastor, a friend, a parent, a grandparent. It had left a scar, a wound that was still working it's way to the surface years later.

Sarah (not her name) is one such person. Sarah is smart. Really, really smart. Really, really, really smart and sensitive. She was a committed part of a church until as a teenager she went on a mission trip to Russia. She said it felt bad- invasive- condescending to the people of that country- to go in the way they did. I can only imagine it involved brightly colored t-shirts. She also didn't like how everyone at her church acted all happy all the time. She said "Nobody is that happy all the time." Other things happened to Sarah in regard to her life at her church and she left. But in her work, God is there. Working His way to the surface.

After our slumber party I spent a few moments talking to Sarah and her mother about Ecclesia. Her mother told me that her youngest child, sensitive and artistic, is being bullied in the youth group at their suburban church- for being sensitive and artistic. I explained how everyone at Ecclesia- or at least it appears so- is sensitive and artistic. Alot of people seem to be drawn there to rebuild their sense of self in the context of faith. It's a place where your sensitivity, your creativity, your weirdness and eccentricities are not mocked or ridiculed. They're celebrated.

So being someone who likes words, I described Ecclesia to Sarah and her mom as something like the Island of the Misfit Toys. And as I said it I realized that we were having a moment, a sacred conversation right there on a sweltering neighborhood street in Montrose.

For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about- remember that particularly heart wrenching part of the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Christmas special? (Which happens to be the longest running Christmas special in tv history, according to wikipedia at least.) King Moonracer is a flying Lion who searches the world each night for toys who are abandoned and unloved,bringing them back to his Island where they become a part of community. (Um, Aslan?) There is Charlie in a Box (misfit status= b/c he's not a "Jack in the box"), a polka dotted lion and a depressed rag doll- among other toys. Rudolph and his misfit friend (an elf who wants to be a dentist) find sanctuary among them while on a treacherous journey of identity. Even thought they're not toys, they fit in, and they can rest a while.

Ecclesia is a place that should have "All Misfit Toys are Welcome Here" above it's entryway. It's a place where you can let your freak flag fly and you will be welcomed. There will be no fake "Gap" greeting as you enter. Just a throng of other folks like you. Bankers, bus boys, doctors, artists and students. Prostitutes, pastors, carpenter's and millionaires. Come one and all.

Ecclesia is a church where my poet friends will come. They will sense something is different about this place. They will not stand out. They will not be asked to wear a nametag. They will fit in quite nicely. Heck, they may even catch a glimpse of a flying Lion, a spotted elephant, or a Charlie in a Box. It's Montrose, so you just never know who might show up.