Friday, February 27, 2009

Ode from a soapbox

I'm looking forward to the day when I can use my kids as an excuse to leave an event early. As it is now, it's lame to say I want to leave a basketball game (for example) just because I don't want to sit there anymore, but it's trendy to get to leave because the kids are tired and need to go to sleep.

What is this intro about? Will I get to use these excuses soon? No. I am not pregnant. And if I were, you would not find out about it via a blog post or a facebook status, so help me. Call me old fashioned, but I think there is an etiquette to sharing news like this, and it's more personal than broadcasting it for just anyone to see.

That's also not what this post is really about. But I'm getting to the point. Just had to get out the ole soapbox for a bit (not that it's all dusty and forgotten on the shelf or anything).

Here is something that I won't do when we have kids. And I hope this isn't one of those vows like, "When I have kids, I would not parent them like this or that," and then when you do have kids everything changes and you parent them in just the way you said you never would, because you really knew nothing before when you were childless and thought you knew everything about parenting. This, I hope is not one of those things. And here it is:
I will never worry about leaving the kids with Steve for the evening, or a weekend or whatever. Say I need to go away to some women's retreat. I won't worry that the laundry won't get done, or that no one will get a good meal. I won't have to premake things lest everyone eat cereal and sandwiches the whole time. I will be able to go to a Bible study and not have to leave after only an hour because Steve has been home with the kids by himself for too long.

Do you see now why I had to have the first paragraph? Excuses that I look forward to when having kids. I wanted to introduce that idea before I got into the excuses I think are lame that revolve around kids. And really, it's an ode to my husband.

He is perfectly capable of taking care of himself and others. I think it would be an insult to him to say that I am perfectly capable of taking care of a family and a household day in and day out, but heaven forbid he needs to do it for an hour or a day.

Before we were married, we had took an engaged-couples class and pre-marriage counseling and all that (should be required for all people who value the sanctity of marriage). One of the things I was concerned about was the fact that Steve and I both were so good at being single. We could take care of ourselves. Would that hinder us from taking care of each other, I wondered? Would we be too independant and not rely on each other? We were encouraged that it is actually a good thing. How can you take care of someone else if you can't even take care of yourself? And what a blessing it is to be cared for!

One thing I love is to cook together. Steve is a great cook. I am great at cooking some things. We often work together when making a meal. We both do dishes. We both do laundry. He mainly takes out the garbage. I mainly clean the bathroom. He is much better at neatening the living room, etc.

Sorry to go all mundane on you. But it's life. And I love my husband. Not only because he brings me on adventures on the other side of the world, and because he "gets" me...but because we are a team even through the mundane parts of life. And I would hope that we would continue to be a team as life gets even more exciting (or even more dull).


Thursday, February 26, 2009

For Shame

It's too bad that there's a whole world that God created, and most people will only see a little bit of it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Have a friend be a friend

Within everyone lies the desire to be liked. I'm not talking about love. You should love everyone, whether you like them or not. And I'm not talking about a junior high girl wondering which boys like her back.

I'm talking about the need to be enjoyed. The need to be thought of. The need to feel like people want you around.

Is this a part of being created in the image of God?

Now, moving from general to specific, I would like to comment further by saying that I am currently in the situation where I feel like I am not liked well by someone. The ironic part is that I'm not so crazy about this person.

Why the need to be liked even by people we don't like?

I think it is because I am self-centered enough that I turn back at myself and say there must be something fundamentally wrong with me, for this person to not like me.

Why am I aching for the attention of someone I think is difficult to be around?

Sorry to go all junior high. I'm done now. Don't worry about me, I'm fine. Just pondering these things that sometimes bother me that I sometimes dwell on.

Who knows? Perhaps the person who I feel like (a very important distinction) doesn't like me, gets that vibe from me as well?

I'm sure God has much to teach me on this.

A picture from simpler times. From L to R: Me (holding one of my then best friends Ricky the Raccoon), cousin Carrie, cousin Miranda
I'm sure we're at Pine Grove Park. Probably.

The closest to having blond hair that I've ever been.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I need to meet with one more reference, but other than that, I have applied to seminary.

It's in the mail.

If I don't get accepted, I will probably reapply.

If I do get accepted, I have written a haiku that I hope I remember.

Look in the mirror
Say to the theologian
Get over yourself

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rock Paper Scissors

I am working on a massive paper chain. So far, I've run out of paper, and I have links up to December 14. Here is a picture from when I was only on August 11.

Sorry for the lack of posting. Last week was incredibly busy.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Tonight during Bible study I concluded that we are blessed if we have a lot, and we are blessed if we have a little.
We read through and discussed the parable in Luke 12:13-21, the parable of the rich fool. There was a lot of good discussion and insight, and I wish I could remember it all. Sorry, but this will only be a glimpse.
We concluded that it's not wrong if you've been blessed with an abundance (of money, time, resources, power, energy, vision, etc). It just means that you've got the responsibility to be generous with that abundance. How great and how blessed to be able to give to and share with others what God has given you! We must not think that we can just sit on our "wealth" and keep it all for ourselves. We can't take it with us, and it certainly could all be lost!
On the other hand, what freedom to not be bogged down by greed! If we haven't been "blessed" with a lot, we have a certain freedom that others who have in abundance might not have (try to stay with me).
One example of this was our laptops. When students are here at school, they feel the compulsive need to be on it nearly all the time (I can relate). But when they go home, and they pack up their laptop for the summer, they are free to spend time with family and friends (in person, even!), or to read a book, or to play a game, or to catch up on what's behind, or whatever they need to do.
The example that I thought of was riding the bus. Most often I don't carry a lot of cash or valuables on me. Mainly because I don't really have a lot of cash or valuables. When I ride the bus, and I'm aware that I have some money in my pocket or bag, I'm always checking my pocket or bag to make sure that that money stays there. Usually I swing my bag around and carry it in front. When I ride the bus and I don't have anything of value (even if my bag is full), I can ride in freedom. If somebody desperately wants to steal my planner, the only thing I've lost is my schedule. Most of the items in my bag can be replaced (I'm not saying that some of them wouldn't be a hassle to replace).
So whether I have a lot or a little, I am blessed. I hope I don't ever have to build a bigger barn for my abundance.

This picture was taken circa 2002. It's most likely not edited.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What is Home?

In one or two of the most recent of the facebook-chain-letter-notes-where-you-fill-out-information-about-yourself-and-tag-everyone-you-know-so-they-can-do-it-too-and-then-tag-all-their-friends phenomenons, there was a question asked that I can't quite figure out the answer. The question itself raises many more questions than answers for me.
The question is something like, "What is the farthest you've been from home?", 15 hours?

What does this question even mean? What is home? Is it the place where you currently reside? Is it the place where most of your loved ones reside? Is it limited to an address, a building, a city, a state, a country? Is it the place where you keep your stuff? Is it the place where you feel most comfortable? Is the place you always go back to? Is the place you will ultimately end up?

When you say, "I'm going home." To where are you going? To whom are you going?

How long can you be at a place before it becomes home? Can one home replace another?

What is home? And then, what is the farthest you've been from that?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sweet Helps the Bitter Go Down

On an application to a job I once had (you can guess), one of the questions it asked was, "What is your favorite thing about coffee?" Sure, I could answer the typical, "The taste!" "The smell!" or, "The way I'm addicted to it!"
But moreso, I like the way coffee can bring people together.
To me, coffee means community. Yes, billions* of people are addicted to coffee and go out of their way for it each day. They'll drink it by themselves at 6:00 in the morning. Decaf even. I've seen it. That's true addiction. To them, coffee means life.
But there are also a good amount of people who go out for coffee in order to share good conversation, to spend time together, to have human interaction. Even those who are addicted so much that they go to a coffee shop every day get some sort of human interaction, even if it is for only a minute. Sadly it may be the best conversation they'll have all day.
And it's not just limited to coffee. Tea can bring people together too. One of my goals for 2009 is to develop a taste for tea. One of the ways I've been doing that is to say "yes" every time someone offers me tea (I've also watched the movie "Yes Man" in 2009). Trust me, I get offered tea a lot. It's a cultural thing.
Ironically I like tend to like the more fruity, herbal teas best. Which is saying a lot. I don't mind green tea. And I still need to choke down black tea. I don't know what it is about black tea, makes my throat close.
But how great is the feeling of community when you are able to partake in someone else's hospitality? To be able to say, "yes" when they offer you tea, and then to share the conversation that is likely to ensue.
When we visited Turkey, we drank a lot of coffee and tea. Turkish coffee is very strong and sometimes reminiscent of mud. They serve it in very small mugs, because that is all you need (can handle, in my case). But I learned to like it. Two things that helped were:
1. I immensely enjoyed the company of those offering the coffee (or tea. But mostly coffee),
2. More often than not, the coffee was served with a small bit of chocolate.
Early on I discovered that if I held the chocolate in my mouth while drinking the coffee (it's possible to keep it there for the entire cup, I've found), it makes the coffee taste so good. It really helps.
And the same is with community. To share both the sweet and the bitter together makes life so much better.
I don't care if it's cheesy. I believe it to be true.

*rough estimate.

Apparently there is a tradition that when you're done with your coffee, you're supposed to turn the cup over onto the saucer and let all the mud slowly make its way down. The design it leaves on the cup will tell you your fortune, according to tradition. With this cup, if you turned it upside down, you will see a city-scape. My guess is Izmir.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


My Church Bible is one that I got as a memento for graduating from Northwestern College. I call it my Church Bible because it is often the Bible that accompanies me to church. It is not the one I read from though.

Some reasons why I bring it to church:
1. It is small, and fits into most purses, bags, and sometimes pockets. Therefore it is easy to carry.
2. Since it is not the one I read most often, it is not full of pesky papers and notes and whatnots that fall out every time it is opened.
3. It is very nice to look at and smells like leather (it is not an ugly Bible, and smells like leather for a reason).
4. Is NIV, so therefore church compatible.

I don't read from it simply because it is not the translation I like the best. The translation I like the best is the New Living Translation, not to be confused with the Living Bible. The New Living Translation is an actual translation, not a paraphrase. My reasons for liking it are simple. When I was in junior high, one of my confirmation mentors (a dear old lady named Hazel) gave me a Bible as a gift for being confirmed. We also received big beefy hard cover NIV study Bibles (from the church). The Bible from Hazel was the New Living Translation. It was from that Bible that I realized my deep hunger for God's Word. The beefy NIV often got left on the shelf, only to be used for its reference qualities. Anyway. I don't really care what translation you use. That's not up to me. And really, this post was not intended to be about translations, if I look at the title of it.

Back to my Church Bible. One thing I really love about my Church Bible (other than how fancy it looks) is the red ribbon bookmark. I love it. I use it to mark two chapters that I like to fall back on and think about often.

The body of the bookmark marks Isaiah 55. The part that sticks out the bottom is tucked up into 1 Kings 17.

Both of them remind me that God satisfies my every need, both spiritually and physically. He feeds my soul and my mouth.

In the links above, I've sent you to the New International Version only because that's what my Church Bible has bookmarked.
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