So sometimes I wonder why I even keep a blog, as I post rarely and few read it. But occasionally I feel the urge to write something, or post something, and so here stands my blog. Maybe it just makes me feel important, having "my" page on the internet? I don't know.
Much has happened since last I posted, but little of it is material for the public eye - sorry. Suffice it to say, this past semester has had both some of the best and worst moments of my entire life; times of great joy and peace, times of incredible pain and suffering. Through it all though God has been faithful, and it is evident to me that he's been using it all - the joy and the sorrow - to grow me in faith and trust. I can say with complete confidence that without prayer and without God's steadfastness I would not have made it through these times with any sort of emotional and mental wholeness. He is good.
I'm home now for the summer, and have spent this week sleeping in (noon every day? yikes!), settling back into home life, reading YA fluff just because I can, and doing some gardening and sewing. I varnished the picnic table and made myself a blouse -- and filled out more job applications than I ever wanted to look at. Unfortunately, that task is not done yet - Monday morning I'll be out bright and early, canvassing the neighbourhood - or rather downtown - for anyone, anywhere, who might be looking to hire an eager, capable 20-year-old willing to learn to do practically anything!
The other thing I'm doing this summer is consciously and deliberately weeding out and disposing of things I no longer need; organising those I do keep; and in general clearing out. As an aid to that general endeavour, I've made myself a promise: I'm not to buy any new fabric or yarn *at least* until I have completed every single UFO I possess. (UFO in craft-speak = UnFinished Object.) I'm photographing the results as a way of encouraging myself, and many of them will probably make appearances on this blog, so keep an eye out for photos!
I might, if I feel led, also do book reviews. More on that if I have time and inclination!
So the power has been out since yesterday in the wee hours. Yes, the power is out. Which means no water, no internet, no lights, but, mainly, no heat. This is Michigan. In December.
Yep, it's cold.
We're kind of living at the library right now, for the heat, internet, and flushing toilets. I hope they don't get sick of us.
Oh, yeah - they say it likely won't be fixed until Wednesday midnight. Joy of joys.
Post a comment here and, I will reply with:
1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you which song or movie you remind me of.
3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to eat with you. = (weird question? I think so!)
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. (if possible. If not, I'll say something that only makes sense to me.)
5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
8. I'll tell you my favorite thing about you.
9. I'll tell you my least favorite thing about you.
10. If you play, you should really post this on yours!
So I don't post enough....
I'm home (in MI) for the Christmas holidays and enjoyed a wonderful white Christmas this past week! It's warm and raining now, though the temperature is supposed to drop below freezing again tomorrow.
I'm spending my time at home reading C.S.Lewis and sewing Regency dresses. Fun stuff :) I'll be back at Union for Jan-term - I'm taking algebra (yuck!) and Literature of the Middle Ages (yum!)
I am thankful for life and breath.
I am thankful for my God who is all-powerful, who is in control, who loves me.
I am thankful for friends who will remind me of that; for friends to laugh with, to cry with.
For friends who will have 5-hour conversations with me and sit up half the night talking about important things. For the friend who has been instrumental in turning my trust back to God (Thank you!).
For good food and warm houses and clothing and computers.
For the ability to be at school.
For my parents who raised me and love me.
For my siblings, even if we do fight sometimes.
For the one who makes me laugh, calms me when I'm distressed, makes me less homesick, is always there for me.
For the gift of life and love, I am especially thankful.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Packing for college ought to be fairly easy, no? Especially the second year, when you know what to expect and what you'll need, right?
... at least when you have to completely tear apart, clean, and de-stash your bedroom before you can even start packing...
This is turning into such a huge project, and I only have one more day to do it in. And I NEED to be packed by tomorrow evening - there's no negotiation. I'm starting to get discouraged here....
In church yesterday we did a question from the Heidelberg Catechism as a responsive reading, and for some reason it really moved and convicted me, so I thought I'd share it....
How are you right with God?
Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God's commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ,
as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner,
as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.
All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.
This made me think... so often we feel that we "deserve" good things, that life or God or whoever is being unfair because we don't get what we want immediately, or because bad things happen to us. But really we don't deserve anything except hellfire and brimstone and the wrath of God. So is it really such a bad thing to trade eternal damnation for a life (temporarily) without true love or lots of money or the perfect body, or whatever it is we long for? I know I complain as much as the rest of us, but this really convicted me. I'm terribly selfish to expect anything more than God has already graciously given me. It's probably rude. I know it's self-centred and unreasonable.
So anyway, I've been mulling this over since yesterday, and thought I might share it. (Grrrr... I can *write* this sort of thing, but I am terrible at conclusions! And I don't want to preach.) Basically, think about this... :D
Today is the first day of school for my younger siblings, so I borrowed a tradition from the Betsy-Tacy series and made muffins. Blueberry muffins.
They were good.
They would have been even better if they hadn't been slightly burnt (not my fault!) and extremely attached to their paper cups. They couldn't bear to part company, but had to be pried from the depths. (David said he should set up a muffin excavation company.) But in spite of all that they tasted good.
I realised yesterday that our family has very few real traditions. Sure, we have some things - same decorations on the Christmas tree, same Thanksgiving dinner, certain recipes we use a lot or dishes that we always eat together - but we don't have many day-to-day traditions.
I think this is partly because we never have had much consistency in our lives - I've moved five times, my parents and older brother even more. We haven't grown up in the same place with the same people and the same back yard forever. But things like muffins on the first day of school, or having a holiday on the day of the first snow, just have never gotten started in our family.
Maybe this is all right. Certainly we've survived without them. But families who do have such traditions always seem to have so much fun. Books, like the Betsy-Tacy series, which are full of them always leave me feeling a little wistful. I think unconsciously I've missed the little traditions, the yearly or weekly or daily routines and rituals, and when I read about them or see them I get a little pang of - longing? Almost a homesickness, for a kind of home I've never had.
I don't want anyone to think that I'm complaining. My family is great! But I think when I have a home and a family of my own, I want to be careful to start some rituals, some traditions, some of those things you look at and say "but we always do this!" I want to be careful to perpetuate traditions that my (hypothetical) husband's family had, and to start new ones of my own.
I think of myself as an adventurer, always ready to try something new, not tied to schedules and regulations. But I think deep down I am (and probably most of us are) a creature of habit. The traditions make me feel safe, accepted, as though I'm where I belong. Traditions, after all, have survived for a reason.
So in the last week I've finished both "North and South" and "Breaking Dawn". Guess which one was better?