Posts

Showing posts from July, 2012

A Day of Domesticity

It has been one of those unexpected days off of work, when I hide out in the house, indulging my inner hermitess and relishing the idea that no-one outside my immediate family knows I'm home. Most of my family were either gone today, or bent on indulging their own inner hermit, so the two dogs and I pretty much had the house to ourselves. Yes, you read that correctly. There are two dogs now. We recently acquired a six-month-old white collie. He's a sweet-tempered, curious little guy whose previous owners had apparently not bothered to teach him anything. I spent a lot of time today trying to make him understand that it's a good idea to come when he's called, that drinking out of the toilet and chewing on the ornamental pine cones are not acceptable pastimes, and that, contrary to his belief, the stairs will not eat him alive if he tries to surmount them.

When I wasn't teaching Beau (new dog), I was spending time with Lassie (old dog) to keep her from being jealous…

On the Tightrope

Guilt. Anger. They seem to be popping up a lot lately. Not in my life, but in other peoples'. A conversation with a friend here, a blog post there. The recurring theme seems to be that people feel guilt and anger over having so much when most of the rest of the world has so little. They feel awful every time they spend money, because all they can think about are the people who are dying of hunger. I just sit there, listening and nodding, and thinking 'been there, done that, got the T-shirt'.

The process began more than a year ago...in Africa...

I really wasn't surprised by the poverty I saw in Moz. I was expecting to see it. I was more startled by the joy and life I saw springing up in the midst of, to my western mind, unthinkable circumstances. But, the fact remained that I did encounter a lot of people who were in very legitimate need. I did my best to help them. I'm sure that my tiny efforts barely made a dent, but I tried to be faithful to do whatever God lay …

Forbearance

Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Loved the wood-rose and left it on its stalk? At rich men's tables eaten bread and pulse? Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust? And loved so well a high behavior, In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained, Nobility more nobly to repay? Oh, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

More Thoughts About Suffering

My previous post couldn't quite encapsulate all the results of a year's worth of thoughts on the subject of suffering. So, here goes with another. I'm sorry if things seem to be getting really dark and gloomy around here. I'm sure it'll lighten up soon.

It is amazing how my increased awareness to others' sufferings has changed my life. The blood-and-guts action movie girl has morphed into someone who has to hide her eyes through the gory scenes because she simply can't stand the idea of watching pain (even unreal pain) for entertainment. The quiet introvert suddenly becomes bold when human suffering is involved. The girl who always wanted to do something big and showy has reformed her priorities to this statement: If God can use me to help, to heal, to encourage, even one person, then my life (and all that entails) has just been made completely worthwhile.

I have to stop and consider before I sing 'break my heart for what breaks Yours', because I&#…

Rachel Weeps...Forever

I look at the world around me. I listen to the news, to my friends, to my family. And, everywhere, I hear stories of sadness, see faces of despair...and my heart bleeds. I want to help, to heal, to love.

I read Matthew 2: 17 - 18 'Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.' I think about the fact that all of this was prophesied so many, many long years before it actually happened, and then my mind ventures on to God. All those cries, all that heartbreak, all that despair have been echoing through His mind since before the beginning. I realize that God is God and I am human, but still, I wonder 'how can You stand it? How can You exist with the knowledge of every suffering past, present, and future before Your eyes?'

Then the answer comes, like a gentle whisper to my troubled heart: 'Because I can also see…

One of My Fave Quotes

Image

Thoughts About Psalm 12

I read it, sitting out on the front porch, enveloped in my South American cape, sipping coffee, and savoring the freshness of the morning. Morning is a wonderful, suggestive time. Anything can happen during the course of the day, and the morning is a good time to sit and speculate about it. Morning is a time for adventures of the very grandest scale.

Psalm 12: 5 (HCSB) fit the mood perfectly: ''Because of the oppression of the afflicted and the groaning of the poor, I will now rise up,' says the Lord. 'I will put the one who longs for it in a safe place.'' I realize that other versions of the Bible probably translate the last part of that verse differently, but I love the fact that my translation says 'I will put the one who longs for it in a safe place.' What about those who don't long for a safe place? What about people like me who'd rather not bother with safety?

There are those who say that the center of God's will is the safest place t…

Thingummies

Image
This is what I've been doing lately when I feel bored, tired, and lack the necessary creativity to work on something more demanding.




My Latest Project

Image
So there I was, in the shoe section of Wal-Mart, agonizing over a $5 pair of sandals. I do things like this a lot. On one hand, I thought I should buy them. They were cheap, they actually *fit*, and, for a person who only wears shoes when it's strictly necessary to do so, I go through my footwear at a surprisingly fast rate of speed, usually resulting in a pair of well-worn shoes giving up the ghost at very inconvenient moments. On the other hand, I didn't actually need them. I already have one pair of fairly new brown sandals, and $5, though a small sum of money in today's America, is *still* $5 that I wouldn't be spending on something else if I bought the shoes. After standing there, trying the shoes on multiple times, marching up and down the aisles in them, tripping over the silly elastic cord holding both of them together, and generally over-complicating my life for several minutes, I had one of my few-and-far-between brilliant ideas. I could sew beads on the san…

Thoughts About Vulnerability

We want closeness. We want accountability. We want deep, true, relationships. But where do these relationships have their start? With one person. One person opens their heart. One person shares their dreams. One person admits to problems and failures and fears. One person steps out on the thin ice of a relationship, becomes vulnerable, says 'I trust you.' Maybe that one person is you.

Sometimes, you gather your courage into both hands, take the step of vulnerability...and the whole world slides out from beneath you. Your trust is thrown back into your face, your dreams are scorned, your weaknesses exploited. You are hurt, and frightened, and you retreat, vowing never to do that again.

But it is not long until you feel the tug. You look into another person's eyes, and think you can see a kindred soul glimmering in the depths. You listen to another person's voice, and hear the ragged edge of pain and fear beneath their smoothly confident words. You see someone who needs…

Guys and Lists and Stuff

Finding 'the one' (this was meant to be read in a very grand and pompous voice - hence the italics). That's what many homeschool/Christian girls are focused on. They talk about, think about, pray about finding the guy that God wants them to marry. When they reach a certain age, many girls have prepared a list of things they're looking for in a husband.

I'm no different than most girls in this area of my life, though I expect that I'm considerably less focused on the men than the majority of females my age. God, fictional characters, and hobbies take most of my mental energy, but the subject of guys and marriage does occasionally surface, as it did the other day during a conversation with one of my friends.

My friend and I have very similar passions and pursuits, so it stands to reason that we're both looking (albeit not very hard) for somewhat similar guys. Neither of us live in expectation of finding 'Mr. Perfect' or 'Prince Charming', but …

On the Edge of Something

God has gone silent. This isn't the first time, but it is unique. Usually, the reason I can't hear God is because I've stopped listening. But this time, it's different. I've been before Him, asking to be shown if there's anything I've done or failed to do that's pushing me away from Him. I've repented, reformed, confessed...and still, silence.

God and I used to talk to each other. A lot. I would ask a question, and He would give an answer, just like that. After a relationship of this sort, the past few weeks of almost-total silence have been unnerving, terrifying, lonely. 
Observe the fact that I said almost-total silence. I've gotten a few tidbits here and there. I started reading through Job, and have noticed that there is no record of God talking to Job until pretty far into the book. Presumably, Job suffered devastation, loss, disease, and the remonstrances of his so-called friends without any word of encouragement from the Lord. That makes…