Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From Chapter 11

I ran across this quote I had copied down from somewhere... all I had put at the top was Ch 11. After google searching the quote I discovered that it was from Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis. It struck me that it went right along with several conversations I've had about distraction, focus, and the chatter of the American world.

" Inner silence is for our race a difficult achievement. There is a chattering part of the mind which continues, until it is corrected, to chatter on even in the holiest places."

The lovely red tree I see out the window of my office

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Father's Care

Said the Robin to the Sparrow,
"I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so."

Said the Sparrow to the Robin,
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me."

~Elizabeth Cheney "Overheard in an Orchard"

How often do we live as if we had no heavenly father? Those of us who have been adopted into the family of God know that we have a Father who loves and cares more than we could ever know. Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them (Matthew 6:26).

Saturday, November 24, 2012


So, today I had plenty of time to exercise. But did I? No. I wasn't totally inactive: I swept and washed the kitchen floor, chopped vegetables, did the dishes. But I didn't go outside. Why? I don't know. I lack motivation. Where does motivation come from? It has to do with when you want something badly enough that it overcomes your desire for personal comfort right now. After all, what gets each of us out of the bed in the morning? So how do I get that to apply to exercise. I don't mind walking or even jogging once I've begun. How do I get to the beginning?

If I had an answer I would have begun already. But I have a few things I'm going to try this week. First, I'm going to go to the gym on the way home. I won't have settled in and curled up and have no desire to leave. Second, I'm going to put up some sticky notes. So... we'll see.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Day

"But "foodism" can also obscure the real point (and fun) of Turkey Day."

Today I read this in a news article. I don't even remember what the rest of the article was about because I was so flabbergasted by this statement. I find it amazing that a person could be so self-contradicting and actually publish it seriously. For if it really is Turkey Day and all about Turkey, foodism seems to be the most rational response. After all, we're worshiping food. But the author seems to imply that something else other than food (like maybe family and thanks) are really the point of this day. If so, why didn't he just call it "Thanksgiving"?

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Teenagers Do?

I was sitting in Einstein Brothers Bagels on Sunday afternoon journaling, happy in the feeling that I was writing again and that I was enjoying it again, and that my words seemed to be making sense (at least to me!).  I was being thankful, as we all should be this time of year... and every other time of year for that matter. But I digress.

There was a couple sitting in the booth next to mine. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation. They were speaking loudly enough that when my sister called she could hear the guy talking through my phone. They were obviously on first date. She was wearing a hot pink sweater and her make-up was bright to match. With his button up shirt and southern drawl, he paid for their bagels and coffee, making sure she had all she wanted. Their topic of conversation ranged from relationships and divorces, to hobbies, interests, and careers.He mentioned having seen a picture of her and she laughed and said it was taken in Fiji. At one point the woman mentioned that dating seemed kind of awkward and the sort of thing that teenagers are supposed to do, but that she doesn't want to be alone anymore. The desperation in her voice was tangible. From there the conversation took a rare direction for a first date as it turned to the ending of life, health troubles, bifocals, and cataract surgery. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that this man and woman were both rather gray haired and wrinkled. I both pitied them for their rough lives with divorces and grown estranged children. But I also sort of admired them for being willing to go out on a limb to find a relationship, especially after so much failure. I ended up having to go before they did. I was sort of sucked in like people get with TV shows or soap operas (so I'm told). I wanted to know about these people and how it ended up for them. I wanted to know if they would have a second date and how they would pursue this obvious gap in their lives. I never once heard either one mention church or God or anything personally religious. I wonder if they know that God is really who they are looking for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

High Spiders

This is what has been rolling around in my head for the last few months... I mean, this plus trying to figure out life in America and life after huge life-changing events.

Now take that and multiply it a few times and add non-profit organizations and draw lots and lots of lines of connections making something that looks like the web a spider would make when on drugs or maybe more like a group of spiders on caffeine...

(What are we doing to ourselves?)

But that's off topic, which reminds me... I am horribly distractable these days. I can't stay focused on anything productive. It's driving me crazy... or maybe it's a symptom that I'm already crazy. But I already knew that. What was my point?

Oh, yeah. American companies, logos, brands, and products along with all the things they support are incredibly complex and interconnected. Everyone is owned by someone else and everyone supports someone else. Economics, giving, and the government are not nearly so clear cut as we Americans would like.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Advertising is pretty horrible, I've decided. Recently I've spent a lot of time researching restaurants, and by the end of the day there are a handful of restaurants that I really want to try (or visit again). And it's all through the power of advertising. Food described or pictures of food can make you hungry. That's one of the reasons I wonder about all the pictures of food that people take with Instagram or post on Facebook or Twitter. It's a crazy thing that we are trying to do to our friends. No wonder the US is overweight! We all spend our time looking at pictures of food and getting hungry because of it.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I run a study hall once a week for some high school students. It can be pretty boring, mellow, quiet... probably everything a study hall is supposed to be. But some days, when the rain makes the room gloomy, or the Monday morning has fogged everyone's brain over, we play hangman for about ten minutes. It's fun, not entirely devoid of mental exercise and gives me the chance to interact with them a little on a personal level. They have yet to be hung. Even the word "why" (which is a great hangman word) didn't phase them. They almost got stuck on "genius" though. Next time I may not give them hands and feet.


  • Quiet respectful students even on Mondays
  • People who love me for no reason
  • Vibrant trees
  • My water bottle
  • Owning a rain jacket on a rainy day
  • Teenage girl giggles
  • Long fingernails
  • Last minute coffee
  • Einstein Brother's Bagels
  • Coloring books and colored pencils
  • Getting to use green and blue in my cross stitch
  • Giraffes that are selfish and get struck by lightning (Andy Griffith reference)
  • Tears in church

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I think life sort of got away from me. Well, at least this blog did. Most of my spare moments have not been spent on digging more deeply into the things I understand, but instead on trying to comprehend the surface of things I've never heard of or only have vague recollections of having heard once maybe a long time ago.

I find it funny that I ended up in the US on a year with a presidential election where everyone gets super involved in their own worlds of politics. I think it is hysterical that grocery stores have potatoes that are individually wrapped in plastic and called "microwave ready". I miss conversations with people who are not Christians, but I revel in how I'm surrounded by the body of Christ. I am annoyed that people always drive 10 miles over the speed limit and then tailgate me when I only drive 5 over.

But all that aside, I'm here. I'm in the palm of God's hand. I'm happy most days, blessed every day. And I'm going to try to write more, just to be in the habit of writing. So some of it might end up being nonsense--like microwave ready potatoes.