bad blogger

To state the obvious….I’m a bad blogger. I know it. You know it. Maybe if I stopped stressing about being a good blogger I’d stop being such a horrendous one. Ah well. I need to not care so much about things, because when I do they consequentially don’t get done.

My piano teacher once told me I was a perfectionist. And it’s true. I’ve just learned to ignore it most of the time and choose imperfection. It’s funny: if I make a conscious choice to let things turn out the way they do and not trash it when it doesn’t compare to God, heaven, and the garden of Eden, they seem to turn out better. Probably not in reality. But my attitude changes and I snicker at my mistakes and let my creativity be human.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone too far the other way and have started not to care enough. Possibly. But for now it’s better than the alternative.

So maybe I need to bring this approach to my blog. Just write. And let it be what it is.

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He Speaks in the Silence

A month or two ago I discovered this blog: He Speaks in the Silence

It’s written, for the most part, by the wife of the pastor that began my church. She has so much wisdom, is down to earth, and fun to read. Here are some quotes from a recent post on forgiving:

“The only way for the ‘forgive-and forget mentality’ to be practiced is through radical denial, deception, or pretense.”It is not possible for us to forget, only to choose to “not remember” over and over again.

You have an enemy who works with the offenses of others to smother us with untruth. Satan cannot stand our reflection of God’s beauty. He will use the hurts of others to try to convince us that we are ugly and awful and less-than. We need to separate those enemy-fed lies from what actually happened.

Forgiveness does not require years and years of professional counseling. It is not a process as much as it is a heroic act of our wills. The process part is the sluggish following of our feelings to catch up with what we choose to do with our wills.

i have no idea what this post is about. i felt the need to be a more consistent blogger…so I opened it up and wrote

The summer has been different. Good different. Also bad different.

Mostly because I transitioned from nannying four hours a day every day; to ten hrs a day, two weeks on, two weeks off. My work days are now opposite of Cody’s, so we essentially don’t see during the week. Which feels completely stupid.

On the other hand, the two weeks off have given me all sorts of time to visit people and be crafty. The craftiness isn’t going quite as I had planned. But the visiting has gone superb. I spent two nights with my dad and baby sisters. Then two nights in my hometown visiting five or so friends and some family too. Then a whopping nine day trip out to Montana to go on vacation with my mom, step-dad, and family, where I contracted the most impressive tan ever. I’ve also had a visit from my grandma, a visit from my mom and sister planned, a hopeful camping trip with my dad and another hometown trip in the works.

It’s been crazy. Which is good. It distracts me from my sad little self…usually. I found myself fighting tears for two days straight while on vacation with my family. Frustrating to say the least…sun, boating, tubing, and sisters should do the trick right? It reminds me that my depression is real. It’s not drama. It’s not overreacting. It’s life and me and my hard thing right now.

I start to feel like there is something wrong with me. I must be brain damaged. Or sick and delusional. Or crazy out of this world selfish. I beg Cody through tears to tell me what’s wrong with me. His answer is always: ‘Nothing. It’s ok for you to feel sad. It’s normal. Stop telling yourself there’s something wrong with you, because there’s not. Everything’s ok. You’re ok and God is good.’ I really should tattoo that on my arm so that the poor guy doesn’t have to repeat it so often. And I hope I figure it out someday for real. I hope it sinks in so that I don’t panic when I can’t reverse my sadness. But for now Cody will just have to repeat it.

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help

alrighty people. i need you.

as a kid i read a ton. then i grew up and got busy and didn’t read nearly as much. every time i intend to change that i run into this problem. i have no idea what to read. i immediately think of 5 children’s books i have always wanted to read, but although i have a firm belief that well written children’s books are worth reading at any age, i still need to act my age every once in a while and read a grown up book. but i have no idea where to start. i’m not overly fond of reading popular novels that don’t have any aura of ‘classic’ about them. so please no twilight. but sometimes the best true writers and artists are the most difficult to find…or pick out from among the popular ones. so please….ideas anyone?

God’s writing

‘Don’t you think it’s rather nice to think that we’re in a book that God’s writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right–in the way that’s best for us.’

‘Do you really believe that, Mother?’ Peter asked quietly.

‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I do believe it–almost always–except when I’m so sad that I can’t believe anything. But even when I don’t believe it, I know it’s true–and I try to believe it.’

Edith Nesbit
The Railway Children

how to write according to Lewis

1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.

2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.

3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”

4. In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make ussay “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me.”

5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

~C. S. Lewis, Letters to Children

motherly wisdom

very possibly the wisest wisdom ever given me was this:

‘god loves his children so much that he will stop at nothing to make sure they know that. he let his only son die so we would know that. how much less is my marriage, and our family than that?’

spoken by my mother after things fell apart. from there i first began to understand the incredibly different, vast, jealous love of god.

i began to understand how furiously hurtful that love is. how it will cut and take away and bend…mercilessly.

it is not like our love. we love by giving admiration, respect, affection, and affirmation. because we don’t know what is best in the ultimate end of time. we love for the necessity of companionship. to get each other through life.

but god knows what we need. he knows what is best in the ultimate end of time. and his love cannot let us stay who we are when he knows he can make us so much more.

it’s like a doctor allowing someone close to live under an ailment, knowing full well that some surgery and pain will bring complete new life to that person.

and so god crushes us. he crushed himself first. he knows that at the end we will be able to understand a bit more how great his love is for us.

and there is nothing better than to know the love of god.

just to be controversial for a minute….

The other day Cody and I were having our 673rd discussion on roles of men and women: Biblical verses American culture.

This subject really frustrates me. I have a hard time defining what really bothers me about our culture’s view of women. But something clicked for me during that last conversation.

Culture and feminism tell us that women can, and should, be successful and driven. We can become great leaders in politics and business and anything else. We can be strong, accomplished, confident, independent, and respected. However, being emotional, nurturing, sweet, humble, and gentle is weak and can be a detriment your success and fulfilling your potential. This mindset urges women to adopt masculine characteristics of strength, power and success, and suppress soft feminine traits.

Feminism’s message is cleverly disguised as inspirational. Behind the motivational: “You are woman, you can do anything”s, is the degrading message: “Men are more important. If you want your life to count, be a man.”

The problem with that is…we aren’t.

I realized that the world’s message is not in reality, “you are strong and successful, you are woman!” It’s actually, “you, woman, are worthless and cannot be influential when you are held down by an excess of emotions and compassion…so be like man. They are strong, successful, powerful, and influential. Strive for that.”

Feminism shames women’s true role in the world. It views our femininity as weakness…not difference. This was not God’s intention. He purposefully created women to be compassionate, nurturing, sensitive, and sweet.

1 Peter 3:1 & 4 “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands…let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…”

God made us equals. He does not value men and women differently. But He made us different. He values our emotional and gentle qualities. We are ‘quiet and gentle in spirit’ because we were  purposefully made that way; not because we just ended up with the secondary package of human qualities.

When God gives women the command to be subject to their husbands it does not mean we are in reality less or lower in value or skill. It means we are called to purposefully make ourselves less. To act in complete humility and put ourselves under our husbands authority and the authority of men in general.

“Subject” is not a word that describes what we are…it describes an action that God calls us to do.

The problem is, we women have issues with pride. We know that we can do many, if not most, things a man can do. We’ve proved it in history. We really can be strong, independent, and powerful. Not only are we confident in that, but we hold major pride in the fact that we can grow a person at the same time.

Because of that pride, submission, humility, and being the backstage helper of my husband’s life sounds like a drag. It seems lame, boring, and definitely not fair to my own passionate and talented self.

But fulfilling my grand dreams to prove I’m as valuable as a guy is not what God has called me to do. In fact, I think He’s called me to give up alot of those things, or at very least put them on the back burner. God has called me to be humble, allowing my husband the authority; to put his calling and dreams before mine; and to be compassionate and gentle and kind…because these qualities are precious to Him. In fact, He displayed them best when He died for us:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

So…to be clear…I’m not trying to tell girls out there what they should or shouldn’t be doing with their lives. I’m not advocating ‘stay-at-home’ as the best thing for all women. I’m not saying don’t follow your dreams, never do anything for yourself, and don’t take advantage of your talents and passion. I pretty much don’t care what you do. It’s your life and your decision.

I’ve just realized for myself, how totally screwed up our culture’s view of women is, and how sneakily it messes with me and my decisions.

I have no agenda. Just my brain of thoughts…which i hope is helpful to someone besides myself.

what to write?

lately Cody has been encouraging me to get back into writing, which makes me like him alot. but it’s kind of daunting. and it’s sort of that thing where as soon as i think about writing my brain goes blank and i don’t have any intelligent thoughts. that’s why i wrote about nonintelligent blueberries and vacuums.

therefore it is your duty as faithful gallimaufry readers to give me a subject to write about. anything. deep…undeep. boring…unboring. lifeish…unlifeish. theologyish…untheologyish. see? as long as it’s generally appropriate and such.

i would much obliged.