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Isn’t it weird to find something, tucked in the recesses of your computer, that you wrote ages ago?  It’s strange to be transported back to what you were thinking at the time.  I just found a poem I wrote a few years ago, while I was still single, still living in Minnesota, and still attending Bethlehem Baptist.  I find it, while to the best of my knowledge theologically correct, cumbersome.  It’s not a pretty poem, but it is interesting to see my thoughts from back then.  Very Piper-influenced, I’d say.

Can we understand love without
First truly knowing God’s devout

Love for Himself? Knowledge that He
Foremost considers His glory—

While offensive to some (for they
Would prefer to regard God’s way
As making much of themselves), is
Sweet truth to sages and pure bliss
To embrace. For otherwise idolatry
It would be for God to esteem
Another lovelier than He.

This truth, this reality be
To us but an invitation—
That we too may value the One
To whom all praise is due. In this
We find our commandments exist:
Love God with all our heart, soul, mind,
And to love our neighbor in kind.

What does love look like? In reading
Philippians 2, it’s being
Of the same mind as Christ. We must
Empty ourselves and become dust,
And in so doing, consider
Others around us as better
Than ourselves. We—so far below
Christ, who, in form of God and though
Exalted high, came not for fame,
Self-sacrificially became
The very form of a servant—
Thus, we must be of same intent.

His own deity He did not
Grasp, but came to give us blood-bought
Purity before the Judge. How
Can we, in self-importance, bow
Not our hearts in meek submission,
Finding our Holy Ambition?

Might this edict cause us to hear
And pray salvation-working fear
In us. And may God be gracious
To work, by His efficacious
Power, to will and to labor
To the end of His good pleasure.

I believe the beginning of my career in poetry ended just as it began.  However, I would like to recommend one of my favorite poems, written in this narrative style by a far better poet than myself.  It’s John Piper’s three-part Pilate’s Wife.  [[dramatic sigh to emphasize just how good this poem is]]  Of this narration, I could (and do!) listen to the third part time and again.

“What sense,”
The women used to say, “is there
In living with this man? We dare
You, Claudia, though he be rich
And powerful, there is no hitch
Unbreakable, and this one has
Been broken just as surely as
The man has failed in ev’ry vow
He made. You are not bound to plow
For this man like a heifer now,
Nor lie beneath him like a sow
To satisfy the lust of swine.
No Roman law has this design,
Nor any Jewish ordinance,
That you should keep your vow. So whence
This foolish faithfulness that keeps
You in the bed where Pilate sleeps?”

My own insertion here:  The next verse is powerful.  I turn up the volume at this part on the recording.  And with this, I conclude my Poetry Post.

And Claudia would answer them,
“O women of Jerusalem,
You speak as if there were no God.
As if there were no tender rod
To comfort me and lead me through
The darkest valley of my few
And painful years, as if there’s not
Nor should be higher aims than what
You’ve dreamed for man and wife, as if
The path were safe nor any cliff
Be close or any bitter wind
Be in my face, nor I be sinned
Against, or feel this constant grief
So long, my death would be relief.
How many women do you give
Such shallow counsel? As I live,
O, women of Jerusalem
Who counsel thus, I pity them.
As for myself, there is one love,
One covenant, one vow above
All married bliss or pain, and I
Once held the bloody price on my
Own lap, and heard him, dying, say
To me enough to show the way
A covenant is kept. Now go,
And learn what God designs to show
When Pilate crucifies his wife
And she is faithful all her life.”

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Blink, blink.

It’s bright out here in the blogosphere!  I guess it would be as I finally emerge from the dark hole I’ve been burrowed into for the holidays.  (See Frog and Toad Are Still Friends for current holiday status–she knows of four times as many holidays than I knew existed!  Therefore, I feel justified to still call it “holidays.”)  And if I see my shadow, we can expect six more weeks of blogging.  I suppose one can only hope…

And now, where does one start?  How about where I left off.  The beginning of holiday season!  I was so excited for my first married Christmas: my own tree to decorate, my own home to make cozy and yuletide-y, new traditions to make with hubby.  The day before Thanksgiving, I begged hubby if we could get our tree.  He consented, and we got our sweet, little “Charlie Brown” tree from Target.  We got home and as I was bursting at the seams with excitment, I gave him a guilty look.  He knew what it meant.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I put our tree up…the day before Thanksgiving.  Only the late hour stopped the faux pas from getting out of hand–I donned it with ornaments after Thanksgiving.  It was lovely, decorated in Swedish straw and red ornaments with a strand of white lights.  I had Twila Paris’ Christmas CD blasting from the speakers whenever I could, and I scored big time with a 60% sale on Christmas decor at JoAnn’s.  Whenever I could sneak a peek on the blogosphere, I loved seeing everyone’s Christmas posts, pictures, stories.

I know Christmas posts are passe now; we’re moving on.

The beginning of the year brought with it–among many other sundry items that so easily overtake schedules–hubby’s new semester, my birthday, an attempt at physical therapy for my back (great massages with no lasting effect), a trip to Las Vegas to meet up with my sister- and brother-in-law visiting from Nanaimo.

And Valentine’s Day.  The first day of a week and a half being bed-ridden due to my back completely giving out.  Not what I’d consider romantic, unless you consider the literary connotation of the word (I did feel, on occasion, I should be part of a BBC mini-series set in the British Regency or Victorian eras as the bed-ridden invalid confined to perfecting the fine art of crocheting…granny squares?).  Tomorrow will be the final day of my first full week back at work.

While it seems Christmas has been only a few weeks past, it also feels like we are quite on the other end of the year so much has been packed into those few weeks.  I do beg your pardon for such a dreary and whirlwind summary of our “holiday season,” but now we may move forward and…

Is that a shadow I see?

Yes, it’s true.  Two Wednesdays have passed with nary a post from me.  I told you I wish I had the consistency of those who wrote “theme posts.”  Yeah, I know.  That’s a total cop out.

Now in all seriousness, I have fallen behind due to a couple factors.  And I’ll shoot straight with you.  The main reason isn’t even a good one.

I’ve  become obsessed with Freecycle.  It’s just so exciting!  I’ve already gotten two large stacks of free (of course they were free; everything’s free!) magazines (more on what they’re for in a bit), and I’ve given away a couple of unneeded spools of ribbon.  See?  Like I said: exciting!

Also causing my posting to lack is the seeming insurmountable pile of homework waiting for me each night.  I believe all it takes is a little adjustment to this new nightly activity, but I’m still not there quite yet.

Excuses, excuses.  At least there’s always next Wednesday to be on top of things.  Perhaps next week I’ll detail what I’m doing with all these magazines I got from Freecycle!

Now, because of all of this [slacking], I feel I don’t deserve the blog award that Minnesota Mom so graciously bestowed upon me!  I am so very honored to receive my first award!  And it seems fitting to come from her.  The one who was primary in reigniting my blogging enthusiasm.  If I could, I’d give the award right back to her as her blog is positively delightful!

blog-award

————

The rules:

Put the logo on my blog
Link to the person you received your award from
Nominate at least 7 other blogs
Put links to those blogs on your site
Leave messages on the blogs you’ve nominated

————

My blog picks are as follows:

Mary-LUE at Life, the Universe, and Everything:  The first comment I left her in September when I came across her corner of the blog’verse stated that I was excited about finding her “treasure of a blog.”  It seems my first impression has proven quite true; I’ve found quite a kindred spirit in her!

Jen2 at jendaas:  My dear friend who writes posts that often seem to reflect the thoughts going through my mind that are unable to find expression in words; she finds the words for me!

bren j. at Stranger in a Stranger Land:  Not only does she write fun posts (and includes cute pictures of her adorable little’un), she’s a Canadian living in America–just like Hubby!  I knew I would like her immediately.

Whitney at Baby Tunnel Exodus:  She’s funny; she lives in Minnesota….  What’s not to love about her?!  (Plus, I think she was one of the first bloggers I started following upon returning to the blogosphere.  Fun!)

Jamie at Ohbecareful!:  I don’t know if this is against the rules, but the award has come full circle for her.  Nevertheless, I feel I must nominate her, because I love reading this (homeschool!) mom’s blog!  That, and she has better handwriting than I do; it’s true.

Emily at Lilies of the Field:  My sister has joined the blogosphere!  She’s just getting started, but what more motivating than an award to start you off?

And finally, Hubby (!!) at Watch Your Life and Doctrine or Armchair Theologian:  He started back into the blogosphere, but it’s yet to be seen which blog he’ll jump on board with.  Either one, I’m happy he’s a blog-mate of mine again.

Boy, is MY face red!

While it may not seem like anything short of insignificant, living through the dreadful hair-span of a moment was oh-so embarrassing.  Working in a Jewish High School, throughout the year, we have many semi-long-term visitors from Israel that set up camp with us.  Currently, we have a visitor—we’ll call him Uri—from Tel Aviv.  Late this afternoon, he was back in our very-tight, barely-room-to-breathe faculty room.  Not that I knew this when a caller came looking for one of our teachers.  I had to walk back through the faculty room to let this teacher know.  As I was shuffling myself sideways down the cramped row of teacher’s desks—and as I was inhaling as I was passing a standing Uri—my touchus got hung up squarely on his own.  Both aware of the situation, but not afforded much maneuvering room, there we stood for a good breath and a half with our bums caught on the other.  I mumbled a “pardon me” as I was finally able to un-stuck myself and continued shuffling down the room.  Doesn’t sound like much, but – AWK-ward!

Moving on, I am thrilled to officially state that as of last Saturday, I am a student again.  I have returned to school to finish up my Bachelor’s degree.  I am attending The Master’s College to obtain my BA in Biblical Counseling.  Oh, happy delight!  But with this excitement comes a load of homework that my schedule must adjust to support.  I’m not used to structured learning anymore!  Now, I’m not gonna lie; I’m a little excited about all the homework as well.  (coughgeekcough)  And while my blog writing has been infrequent and sporadic at best, I still love writing here when I do.  And because I secretly wish I had the organization and consistency to follow in the footsteps of those bloggers that have “theme days” to their writing – from Not Me Mondays to Works for Me Wednesdays to Flashback Fridays and all the ones in between – I’m going to have my own: Writing Wednesday.  With all the work that I now have to stay on top of for school, it doesn’t afford me much free time to happen upon a post (as I have hitherto now).  So I’ll try to structure my writing (I’m going to have so much structure in my life!) to write once every week.  On Wednesday.  We’ll see how that turns out.

Oh, and Minnesota Mom:  my Swedish blood is burning with desire to make a little LEFSE!

This morning I woke up and said devastatingly thrilled, “I’m sooooo glad it’s Friday…!”  Oh man, that was a hard one to have brutally corrected!

When it comes to housekeeping, do you have a firmly set routine or do you just do what needs to be done?  Do you have Monday Washing and Tuesday Ironing or do you tackle things as needed?  I’m wondering this because I was just thinking about a website I came across several years ago (that I vowed to remember when I had my own home–and I did remember it–haHA, take that, Forgetfulness!).

This website–FlyLady–instructs you with a very regular schedule of doing housework, as well as little tips to conquer the beast of clutter (or, I believe, she says CHAOS: Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  Has anyone heard of or tried FlyLady’s routine?  It looks interesting, doable, encouraging…except for the part where you have to shine your sink every night.  Ugh!  It’s the first baby step; that, and a pair of shoes.  That is to say, you don’t shine your shoes.  You put them on; you wear them: typical shoe-function.

It’s a very organized and structured plan (I love structure!), so I may try the little baby steps.  Hm, we’ll see on that front.

Now that we have that established, this post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of one supa’fly Rabbi.

Rabbi:  “My wife made me this.  I just wanted a cool vest.”

*crickets chirping*

Rabbi:  “…depending on your definition of cool.”

He is the one man that could pull off that look.  And he does it smashingly, don’t you think?

Is there anything more exciting than being tagged?  It’s my second time, I believe.  I feel like a real boy blogger, pardon the Pinocchio moment.  Jamie over at Ohbecareful! tagged me to complete a “six” meme (I still don’t know what that word means…am I the only one?), thankfully giving me a way to quickly throw a post up.  (Is that cheating?)

Things around our house have been a little hectic lately.  Hubby, being in both Greek and Hebrew Exegesis this semester, is pulling his hair out over the technicalities of those two dead languages.  My family is coming to visit next week from the Great State of Minnesota, so cleaning and continuing my “homemaking” has been a priority.  And if that wasn’t enough, stay tuned on news of me going back to school!  Pens, and notebooks, and folders!  Oh my!

Now, as far as this meme goes, Jamie “took” all my answers, so go read hers for what would be my serious one.  In an effort to be original, I’ll give honest, if not first-choice, answers.  (Is that cheating?)

Six Things I Value

  • Floss
  • Smooth roads (how I miss them!)
  • New, empty, expectant journals (I’m only slightly obsessed)
  • School supplies
  • Scripture verse memory flashcards
  • BABIES!

Six Things I Don’t Support

  • Temperatures in the high-90s in mid-October in SoCal (high temperatures in Autumn bear repeating…plus I’m suffering more than Jamie, heh)
  • Traffic (two words: Los Angeles.  It can be 1:00 in the morning and if there’s an accident, you know you’ll be in stop-and-go.)
  • Too much to do
  • Thick smog
  • Temperatures in the high-90s in–oh, did I mention this one already?  (I know this is cheating!)

As a side note, you know you’re a (going-to-be) pastor’s wife when you alliterate a list.

Six People I Tag

I only wish there were six people who read this blog…  I suppose if you stumble across this (and weren’t already tagged by Jamie), please feel free to join in on the fray!

Costco muffins are just too big.

Let’s unpack that statement.  Here’s what happens: you start out really hungry and the muffin looks so good.  But about four-fifths of the way through the muffin, you start thinking, “this is starting to get prettty gross…”  But you can’t just stop there.  You’ve already eaten past the half-way point, so it’s not like you can save the rest for tomorrow.  But it’s far too much to throw away; that’s just wasteful!  So you feel compelled to cram the last bites down.  By then, it’s become downright gag-inducing.  But forge ahead, you must.  After you’ve finally finished off the last bite (so dry, so hard to swallow), you kinda hate yourself and vow never look upon a blasted Costco muffin again.  At least until the next day, when you’re really hungry and the muffin is looking so good….

That’s what happens.

Hold the jam.

On Saturday, while Lyndon and I were rocking out at a concert, we practiced our clapping routine. 

We are so metal.

Scorpio.

Just kidding.  I don’t know enough about horoscopes to even know if that was a funny joke or not.  Probably not.

It does seem to be a good sign, however, that I have “blog brain” back.  Is this a common phenomenon, or am I ‘fessing up to something only crazy people do?  Back when I blogged over here, I developed what I’d call blog brain.  It’s when, instead of having a normal thought process like most people, I would go through my day with a running, narrative-style thought bubble above my head—developing, editing, percolating bloggable ideas.  I’d think in blog; I’d experience life in blog (“oo, this’ll make a great story; I can see it already!”).  Since dropping out of the blogosphere, I promptly lost the narration, as one would see it through the pages of a blog, of my life.

Now that I’ve picked up blogging again (and have been encouraged to continue), it seems my thoughts have taken on a particular narrating tone yet again (still working on the stuffy British man’s voice though).  While it’s yet to be seen if it’s here to stay, it does appear that deep down I’m still a blogger.

…See you again soon, WordPress…