Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scribbled Thanks

171. Sweaters

172. The crisp, neat smoothness of clothes freshly ironed

173. Honey from friends' bees

174. An ever-patient, ever-loving, bearing-all-things mother

175. A second letter from Zach

176. The throbbing purr of Bella-cat when she flops down beside me cozily.

177. Conversation about communication

178. Enough cinnamon rolls to share

179. A safe weekend trip

180. Cool stories from my dad about Belize - especially the Indiana Jones cave, and the spot where they shot a scene from Star Wars

181. Brothers to pray for and help me grow

182. Cool night air drifting in through the open windows

183. Delighted squeals from a 3-year-old girl, feeding our chickens from her hand.

184. The invention of Playaways - so handy and enjoyable on trips and while puttering around the house!

185. A slivered new moon

186. The growing friendliness of the chickens (even if it is because they know who feeds them)

187. A surprise visit from old friends on their way through Texas

188. The bravery of such friends to adopt.

189. An evening watching TV shows with Whit and the Mother

190. Seeing a lady in the store console a little lost girl and help her find her parents.

191. The West Texas friendliness of smiling at complete strangers

192. Hearing someone who just moved here say it was better than California, and more like their hometown. :-) I don't hear that too often!

193. A sign for the "Open A Bar" Ranch. Hehe.

194. Madeline L'Engles's marvelous, thoughtful little book, A Circle of Quiet

195. Raspberry ginger ale

196. Lavender Blueberry Dark Chocolate 

197. Limited funds, to better enjoy the above by making it rare. ;-)

198. A reminder that Light Isn't Boring

199. Clean sheets

200. Home sweet home, and crickets singing softly into the night.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Back of the World

"Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world ... If we could only get round in front!" 

~ The Man Who Was Thursday, by G. K. Chesterton ~

I listened to The Man Who Was Thursday over at Librivox just recently. It's one of the strangest surreal books you may read, but at the bottom (or the back) is that deep, wise, childlike humor Chesterton was given that make his works a delight.

This idea that we only see the back of things intrigues me. It is a theme of the Great Story, and it shows up again and again.

Slavery ending in songs of joy beside the sea.

A smelly little shepherd who is actually a warrior poet, chosen as king.

Wandering strangers who eat your food - divine messengers.

And then, the main character shows up unexpected and in disguise. People hoping for rescue were disappointed, He claimed to be God, visiting as a lowly man the ones he made, bringing life to their sick and hope to prisoners... But all he said was so preposterously good, it could not be true.

He didn't even look like God! How were we to know?

He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Perhaps you disagree, but I think we have a gloomy propensity to believe the worst is happening rather than the best in disguise.

We expect the Lion to eat us, not invite us to a feast.

Like Syme, it seems the world is turned upside down, and anarchist will rule the world. Who is a friend? Is anyone real and substantial? How can we escape the never-tiring, enigmatic man called Sunday? Or how can we catch him and find who he is?

Like Orual in Till We Have Face, I go through most of life complaining, martyr-like, overwhelmed with the sorrows and horrors of the world and my own ugliness, seeking answers and the face of the Lover who eludes me in a dance of mystery.

Like Sam's moment of horror in The Return of the King, when Frodo declares the Ring is his, and Gollum wrestles him in the cracks of Mount Doom - Everything has gone wrong, and The End of All Things has come.

But then like Sam, suddenly we we wake up in surprise, and find everything sad has come untrue.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Autumn Has Come!

Hey, good people! I've neglected this poor blog lately, so here is an update sort of post. I have been working part-time at the non-profit organization which shall remain anonymous, and enjoying that.  I've also been busy with AWANA, youth group, and Bible Study.  And still, thankfully, I have some time to spend with some friends and my dear family.  Though we're all getting so busy, I may need to fight for family meals and make sure they happen.

The fall weather is here!  Cooler air brings lovely reprieve from West Texas summer heat.  People were decked out in sweaters at church yesterday, and hot chocolate, snickerdoodles, and fall decorations are making appearances.

On a more somber note - Lately I have been finally learning who I am.  I long knew I held certain core values, like homeschooling and openness to many children - not as law for others, but as things I see supported by Scripture, things I believe passionately to be good and beautiful blessings.   But it took a painful experience to help me realize, not just in theory but in fact, just how important these things are to me.  When it comes to relationships, I cannot ignore or quiet that part of who I am or think I can easily change it.  And I think if God gave those dreams to me, He did so for a reason, and He will show me what that is in His good time. 
So I'm praying boldly to the God who invented Romance to lead me where He will, and to bring good wives to all my dear brothers in Christ, wives who will perfectly complement them and follow them anywhere.  I know we still have choices, but He is also totally sovereign.  Oh the beautiful frustrating mystery of it!

And while I pray, I'm running into the Strong Tower, which is always serene and safe in the midst of battle.      

In summary: God is good, relationships are hard and wonderful... and fall is here!  Three nice categories for my list of blessings, which I have not been counting for several weeks. 

~ Fall ~
141. Sunday nap under a quilt - restful and cozy!
142. Fellowship with sweet friends in a coffee shop after church
143. Brighter stars (I think cold air makes them sharper, don't you?
144. A plaid wool skirt and shawl - heather grey, lovely, warm, and Scottish.
145. Spiced Chai
146. Cassette tapes of The Hobbit in the car- wonderfully dramatized, but with the most horrid Renaissance musical interludes. ;-)
147. Simmering homemade chicken and vegetable stock on the stove
148. Fall flowers from the garden - a sweet bouquet in a white pitcher
149. Chickens the size of doves (they're growing fast!)
150. October - the Birthday Month in our family!

~ People ~
151. Two-year-old people.  I kept a little girl this weekend so her mommy and daddy could go on a date.  I forget how disturbing it can be to have a stranger show up for the day instead of your parent.  I don't blame her for crying, and ordering me from her room, and sobbing "No Tankyou!" when I begged her to come eat dinner.  Sometimes I just need to crawl back in bed and take a nap, too.  Sometimes I don't want to be around anyone.  And sometimes I forget what patience mothers must have, and God infinitely more!
152. My dear co-worker, T.  She makes me laugh so much.  Not many people will break out in musical numbers with you while editing documents, or discuss the pointless aspects of Facebook, or commiserate over the lack of commas in AP style.  And she has the coolest hair, which she cuts herself.
one of my glorious occupations ;-)
153. Absolutely superfluous screaming during silly games.  Not that I do it.  But when others do, I'm learning to laugh instead of get annoyed.
154. Gentlemen who make sure ladies find their way to cars in the dark
155. Grandparents and Rosa's Cafe for Sunday lunch
156. Exuberant hugs from M.
157. The cellist and guitarist, lovingly lending their talent during Communion to remind us of Christ's beautiful sacrifice.
158. Hearing a mom complain about the infant-hood of her child, how exhausting it was, glad she was older now.  I was sad, because I've never had even one child, but I have heard other moms treasure those fleeting months.  I hope if I am ever blessed with one or more children that I can enjoy every moment of that beautiful sacrifice.  I'm thankful for the reminder that it will not be easy, but sad to hear complaints about motherhood.  And I think  - What am I complaining about that someone else longs for?  Am I enjoying my freedom to serve as an unmarried lady as God's current gift, fleeting as it may be too?
159. Compassion and forgiveness when I am weak, fearful, and unintentionally hurt others.
160. Abundant opportunities to minister to my little sisters in Christ, and grow myself from spending time with them!

~ God ~
161. Strong Tower
162. Everlasting Love
163. Shield
164. The Tender One who tends my soul
165. Love better than mine
166. Ancient of days
167. Fighter of Guilt Monsters
168. Coming King
169. The Prairie Maker
170. The Dream Giver

Happy Monday to you!  I still owe you a post on letter-writing. Hopefully that will come soon. Anything else particularly you'd like me to blog on?