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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Journey

We loaded up the kids and our one remaining houseplant joined me in the front seat as we headed north to I-80. I thought I was going to be lonely on the drive to Salt Lake. But a swarm of companions surrounded me. Some good. Some bad.

Here are those companions I will never forget:

Anibel and Ezzie giggling it up in the back seat as the palm tree plant bobbed precariously next to me. The wind bullying the Uhaul on the road in front of me while the white blades of the windmills whipped around and around. The lump in my throat that reminded me hourly of the dear people we were leaving behind. The butterflies in my stomach that anticipated moving into a new house I'd never seen. The lyrics, " And if our God is for us, then who can ever stop us. And if our God is for us, then who can stand against" escaping from my lips continuously for 8 hours. The caffeine buzz from too much coffee...something necessary in our battle against many sleepless nights. The overwhelming crowd of smiling faces that unloaded our truck for us in 27 minutes.

And the exhaustion afterwards... an exhaustion that comes from everything being new and un-usual. Exhaustion that I underestimated. Exhaustion that is going to take many nights of rest to overcome.

And yet I feel carried along. As if angels are holding me up by the arms and pressing us on with a smile on our faces.
Chris and I are officially in a new house, among new people, in a new land. But there is comfort in that we are doing it together.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How many boxes?

We are 2 days out from the drive to Salt Lake and who knows how many boxes we have packed. I am looking around my house, amazed by how much we have and how much we don't really need. And amazed by how messy the house can still be considering 98% of everything is boxed and in the garage.

This process of moving as been an emotional roller coaster. Chris and I had a whole week where we lacked any enthusiasm to do anything and just sat thinking about how sad we were to leave. Eventually that passed and we moved on to anxious frusteration as we awaited final loan approval. Now we have had a few days of denial followed by freaking out and topped off with excitement. If I didn't account for one thing, it would be how exhausting it is to have your emotions swing all over the place on you.

Anibel came up to us a few days ago and said, "What is wrong Dad?" "Well, moving is stressful Bells," Chris said. She replied, "Yes, but Dad, isn't it so fun to put things in boxes?" Oh, if only it was that simple.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Word for the year?

I was recently challenged in a yoga class to pick one word for the new year to grow in, embrace, or pursue. Being a lover of language this inspired me.
I think mine is:
tranquil- (adj) serene, peaceful, quiet, still, calm, placid, unruffled

What would be your word?

Monday, January 17, 2011

w&w 2011 - The Pothunters

I guess I can say that The Pothunters was a little like hunting for meaning but enjoyable nonetheless. Wodehouse has been criticised as a "fluffy" writer. I figure it a little like this: he writes plots that resemble the dime mysteries at the grocery store but demonstates his skill through his diverse use of language and style. He cannot, in my opinion, be compared with the "trashy" writers simply by fact that his literary skill is so far greater in nearly every respect.

Now onto my first impression: I nearly felt like I was in a Harry Potter novel. References to house prefects, head boy, house sports, and names such as Percival had me reeling in surprise. But I figure J.K.Rowling and Wodehouse know something I don't - a first hand account of schooling in England. I figure this is common place to the English, but it isn't to me. Having stated all that, I do wonder how much Wodehouse Rowling has read...

Favorite quote: "There are few pleasures keener than the pleasure of telling somebody something he didn't know before." pg 3297

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fruit in keeping with repentance

For quite awhile now we have been praying that Anibel would have a heart that in the moments after sin, would want to stop, recognize what she did was wrong and ask Jesus to forgive her and help her to change. These are the basics of repentance. Basic. But not a given. They do not come naturally.

What does come naturally is anger that she is being disciplined. Sadness that she was caught. Comparison in the form of "it isn't as bad as so and so or Abs sinned too!" Frustration that Mom and Dad always seem to know...

And sadness over her sin is not something we can force. We can't make it happen. It has to be the grace of the spirit in her life.

Yesterday we were on our way to Chris' work and our conversation went something like this:

Anibel : (singing really loud)
Mom: Bell, please don't sing that loud. Quieter.
Anibel: Abs, sing that song really really loud!
Abs: (starts singing really loud)

A Mommy mini-lecture commenced...

Things quieted down for a moment and I heard bells whispering in the back. I stopped to listen and this is what I heard:
"Dear God, I am sorry that I asked Abs to sing really loud when my Mom just asked me not to do it. It was sinful. I am sorry. Help me have a beautiful heart."

Isn't that just enough to melt anyone's bad mood. It sure did mine!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

w&w 2011 - Small Beginnings

First steps. Turn on Nook. Go to "shop" and type Wodehouse in the search area. Download the complete works of P.G. Wodehouse for $3.99 all from the comfort of my bed. Yay.

Open book. Glance at the bottom of the page.
Pages? 4744
At this point I sit bolt upright, nock my cup of decaf over and think, "what on earth have I embarked upon?"

This might be more of an endeavor than I intended for...
I decide to work chronologically. Apparently this means I begin with The Pothunters. I open to chapter one- Patient Perseverence Produces Pugilistic Progidies. Pugilistic? I have to pull out a dictionary before I read the first sentence? Not a good sign. Thank goodness I have a Nook.

Pugilistic - boxing.
Okay, check. I guess now I can move onto the first sentence.

Of Wit and Wisdom

I am embarking on a new adventure. No, not the one previously mentioned on moving to Salt Lake, but I am attemping throughout the next year to tackle a previously unknown author to me- P.G. Wodehouse. I must admit I know rather nothing of him. In recently reading The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, and discussing it in my fabulous book group, it was mentioned that his wit, command of language, and light hearted writing was quite similar to Wodehouse.

I figure three things. 1. I need more light hearted humor in my life. 2. I need to challenge my grey matter so that it doesn't wither away from lack of use. and 3. I will never do it unless I provide some accountability by making it public.

So for those of you who love reading, check back to see my progess, notes, and impressions. For those of you who don't- skip anything with w&w 2011 in the title. Cheers!

Lesson #4 in semantics - The fire alarm

Every year (at least so far) we attend the Faithwalkers Conference as a family. This year during one of the much needed afternoon naps the hotel decided it was a prime opportunity to do a fire drill. Alarms went off. Babies woke up. All except my son who slept through it.

The alarm became the buzz on the town... at least for the kids. One such conversation went like this:
Anibel: Is the fire alarm going to go on during the night?
Me: No Bells. It won't go off. I think they are done.
(Anibel starts to cry)
Chris: Why are you crying?
Anibel: I don't want the alarm to go on. It scares me!
Chris: We just said we don't think the alarm is going to go off. You don't have to worry!
Anibel : But if it doesn't go off then it will be on all night!

It took us a few moments to grasp her point.
Me: Oh Punkin, your confused. When we say the alarm won't go off we mean it won't go on. See when someone one says, "the alarm went off" it really means it went on...

Once again I am amazed at the language ironies I've never even noticed before.

word of the day - excrescence

1. a projection or outgrowth esp. when abnormal
2. a disfiguring, extraneous, or unwanted mark or part