Thursday, January 17, 2008

Laundry: fighting a long defeat?

Today I fought the laundry beast, and for today I think I've nearly won! For today. Of course it shall rise again, in all its filth, wrinkles, and smelliness. But this, and other things, such as the ever-returning dirty dish, must be met with relentless courage down the years, knowing still they will come back.

This makes me think of what the elven lady Galadriel said about Celeborn her husband:

'He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.'

The long defeat. They were fighting and resisting evil for thousands of years, knowing they could not defeat it wholy, and yet they counted it not done in vain.

I suppose their sacrifice makes a few loads of laundry seem rather small.

"Pleasures forever!"

Thou wild make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fullness of joy
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
~Psalm 16:11~

This was the verse I copied down in my journal from my reading this morning. God's promises to his children are so amazing that often I'm too preoccupied to slow down and ponder them in all their weight. Too rarely do I seek His wisdom, His presence, His right hand! Yet His goodness and mercy keep following, following...

On top of the overwhelming promises, this verse is also lovely poetry! I highly recommend reading the Psalms out loud, since they were mostly songs in the first place. I don't do it enough, but speaking the words slowly and expressively sometimes helps me notice more things.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Elf "Magic" in Lothlorien

'If there's any magic about, it's right down deep, where I can't lay my hands on it, in a manner of speaking.'

'You can see and feel it everywhere,' said Frodo.

'Well,' said Sam, 'You can't see nobody working it. No fireworks like poor Gandalf used to show.'


'I fancy now that she could do some wonderful things, if she had a mind. I'd dearly love to see some Elf-magic, Mr. Frodo!'

'I wouldn't,' said Frodo. 'I am content. And I don't miss Gandalf's fireworks, but his bushy eyebrows, and his quick temper, and his voice.'

'You're right,' said Sam. 'And don't think I'm finding fault. I've often wanted to see a bit of magic like what it tells of in old tales, but I've never heard of a better land than this. It's like being at home and on a holiday at the same time, if you understand me.'

~ ~ ~

'And you?' she said, turning to Sam. 'For this is what your folk would call magic, I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy. '

~Colored-pencil drawing by J.R. R. Tolkein, black-and-white pencil drawing by Rael Henson~

Monday, January 14, 2008

Piper on Romans

While cleaning, cooking, and puttering, I've been listening to John Piper's sermon series on Romans. It's been amazing, because the gospel of God's grace is amazing! After listening to seven sermons, he's only covered 15 verses, so it's going to take me a while to get through them all. But I love going slow through the Bible, being able to savor and ponder and study powerful little words and phrases, and thus better understanding the whole chapter, book, and unified Scripture.

Piper revels and delights in God's glory and grace with a passion that shakes my soul. He's also one of the most wise and thoughtful men I've heard preach. And what he says is sometimes uncomfortably convicting. Oh that I can better come to know and love my Lord with that sort of rock-firm fervor, and that I will have a greater desire to share His grace with others!


When you hear good news about how to escape from a common misery, you become a debtor to tell the good news to others so they can escape the misery too. You owe it to them. Why? Because if you withhold the good news of grace from others, as if you were qualified for it, and they were not, then you show that you have never known grace. The grace of God which calls us (verse 6) out of our darkness and bestows eternal covenant-love on us (verse 7) creates what it commands. We don't qualify for it beforehand.

Grace is precious beyond words. It is our only hope as sinners. We don't deserve it from God. And no one can deserve it from us. When it comes to us freely, we are debtors to give freely.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Morning-in-the-Life of Rael

The following is a summary account of my day thus far. If it gives anyone ideas or encouragement, fabulous! But I expect its main purpose shall be informative, both to a few sweet ladies (Charity and Chelsa, who commented encouragingly on my last post), and to myself, in case I get frustrated later and need some encouragement. It sometimes helps to remember what one has done already by God's unending grace!

For breakfast I made Mommy and Whit an omelet, which they split. I fluffed up the egg whites by hand with a whisk, and was surprised at how lovely and poofy they stayed! I do need practice folding the things in half neatly. I filled it with cheese and already-cooked bacon. There was also toast. For myself I ended up with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich since I'd already put the whisk and bowl in the dishwasher... "Keep your station clean!" is indeed good advice, but sometimes it might be good to consider more use of the same dish before loading it.

Quiet time reading Bible and prayer journaling.

I planned to start off writing here, but found that after an hour of sitting I was restless. So I got up and puttered for about 15 minutes, opening blinds, feeding the cat, etc. My fidgets did get out, some, and then I sat down to write.

Wrote more of Nibbles' story. Didn't quite finish, but I'm practically at the climax! I had to go slow for a part to think up some rhymes. Took a small break or two somewhere in here.

Felt written out. Took a 15 minute break.

Cleaned both bathrooms. I have a list of big chores that ought to be done at least once a week, and this was the one I chose for today (because I'm not so fond of it, but expected to have lots of enegry today). I left an hour for this one, but finished by 10:50.

For this next chunk of time I wrote ambiguously, "Make lunch, eat, clean kitchen, check and answer e-mails, etc." I decided to check e-mails (and my blog for fresh comments) first. Answered one, which took a while because I love talking to the family. ;) After a few minutes too long reading a blog, I got up to investigate the kitchen for lunch ideas. I was expecting my mom home about 12:30, and wasn't sure what she'd like. We had some yummy soup in the fridge, which is quick to heat up, so after some deliberation decided to not cook anything fresh except maybe a desert. So I set about making a lemon-rosemary crumb cake. The picture looked so delicate and savory! It took longer than I expected, but came out wonderful, if rather subtly timid on flavor. While it was cooking I made a fruit salad. Yummy! I love it when I make myself take time to fix food, which has been far too rare in the past.

2:00 p.m.
Ate fruit salad and crumb cake. :-) By this time I knew I was not on schedule, having planned to be done with lunch and writing this post at 1 p.m. But that's alright.

I'm going to work at the MCA concession stand from about 3:30-5. Parents with kids in basketball have to fulfill a certain number of volunteer hours, or let older children fulfill them. :-) I might run by the library before coming home.

Stay tuned for more of my home-ish doings later! May the Lord recieve all the glory for anything good I do. He is more than able!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Thoughts on Coming Home

As I mentioned before in teeny tiny letters, I have officially graduated from college with a B.A. in English. Yay! :-)

How does it feel? Well, I'm thrilled! Ecstatic. Thankfully relieved. And terribly nervous, in a mostly good sort of way.

Ever since I was little I have wanted to follow in my dear mother's footsteps and be a homemaker. Over the years this desire has grown. Many of the decisions I have made, and hopefully many more to follow, have been practical ways of preparing for my future calling. Choosing English as a major, which is a useful area of study for anyone, any time or position in life, and not simply a degree only justified by a following career. Attending a university only 2 and 1/2 hours away from home, so I could visit frequently. Living with a close-knit, God-centered homeschooling family for my last three semesters who gave me unending encouragement, ideas, delight, and vision. Only taking small part-time summer jobs to leave room for time with family, at home or abroad. And finally, despite many confident assertions from professors that I was "graduate school material," returning home to live with and serve my mother and brothers.

I think it will be the best way to prepare for what I'll likely be doing the rest of my life once I get married (being a helpmeet and mother), but even if that never happens, I believe it will be the most sensible and fulfilling and God-honoring place for me to be.

It's going to be an adventure quite unlike my last big quest for a college diploma. Actually, it might be very similar to my old days of homeschooling! Here are some similarities:
  1. I'll be home a lot, working on self-motivation for lifelong learning.
  2. I'll have lots of chances to waste time, or redeem it amazingly.
  3. I'll be able to spend more time with my family and friends, to more freely serve the Church and the needy.
A big difference between now and my "official" homeschool days: I am done with Saxon Math! Um, that is until I have my own kids... hopefully they can get assistance from their father or a math-minded uncle. ;)

Another difference will be the new responsibilities I want to take on seriously (cooking), new habits to form (regular hours of writing each day*), and the challenge of sticking to my own schedule while still being flexible to allow for the bending wind-breath of the Still Small Voice. . .

Tomorrow will be the first day my family goes back to school, and my first official day of not being in school or working. Oh, wait, I shall be working! My job will begin around 5:15, because three days a week, Whit has basketball practice at 6:30 A.M.! I shall try to feed him, but he knows it won't be wise to eat much before a tough workout. Then I have the rest of my day divided up... I might post tomorrow on what my plan's specifics, and how things turn out. :-)

If anyone has advice, thoughts, or words of wisdom, I would more than welcome it!

*Because of course I still intend to write books. Long ones, and many, muhahahah! ;-)