Monday, February 27, 2012

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I picked up the book with a frown- I'd read it in High School and despised it. But I could get extra credit for reading and creating a write up of it, so I decided to plow through it as fast as I could.

Only, I couldn't.

Something has happened in the last five or six years, something that changed how I judge books. I think I finally grew up. My views on books have matured. In high school, I was discouraged because not a single required read was light, with a happy ending, and vibrant plot. I'd decided that there were enough sad and bad things in the world, and I didn't need to read to find that out. I lived it every day. If I was going to read, I wanted to enjoy myself. And now, while I still prefer the happy ending, I understand where the other endings fit. I understand their place.

I fell in love with Jem and Scout. Dill, too. Atticus is a wonderful father, who does his best to raise his son and daughter as a single parent. The first hundred pages are stories over three years that get us aquainted with the characters, the situation. And then the happy bubble is burst, and Bad Things happen, and Jem and Scout and even Dill have to decide how they will respond, how they will grow.

And despite her qualms against it, Scout turns into quite a lady.

Inspired to Aspire

So many things are building up momentum, so many things are starting to go right amid things that are starting to collapse. And there are shadows, flickers of doubt, but then I refocus on everything God is working. And it's amazing. It may be a castle on a cloud, but I'm still striving for it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Cleaning

 (couldn't find this one on youtube, so content yourself with reading the lyrics)

this song is along the same lines:

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Very similar to 1984, in that it is supposed to be the future. Except, in 1984, everything is structured to the maximum, and in Brave New World, all the rules seem to be unspoken. In 1984, you have to use doublethink to train yourself to think right, and in Brave New World they use a sort of brainwashing through the teen years, at night when they sleep. In Brave New World people are created, not born. People are given a life purpose and job, they do not find it for themselves. And in Brave New World, relationships mean nothing.

And then a new character is introduced halfway through the book who doesn't really understand these things. They call him Savage, but his name is John. I liked John from the beginning because he is different from the others. He has conviction, and passion, and he is scorned and shunned by everyone.  By the Indians on the reservation, because he is different from them, and because they don't like his mother. By his mother, because she'd never again be accepted in the 'real world', outside the Indian Reservation where the two of them are stranded.By the people in the 'real world', because he thinks differently than them, because he was born and not created, because he does not approve of they way they live their lives. But mostly I like John because he constantly quoted and compared things to Shakespeare.

Huxley uses an interesting plot to explore the meaning of relationships (be they romantic, a friendship, or a family relationship). He expressed how relationships mean more when they are earned. He showed how empty they are when they have nothing deeper than impulses due to physical attraction. There is even a great and interesting dialogue about religion towards the end. Ah, the end. Huxley explores what happens when a person is thrown into a culture completely different from what they are used to, and different from what they believe it should be. Will John accept it and learn to live that way? Will he find an escape? Will he pretend to accept it, but internally fight back?

Monday, February 06, 2012


I have insertional tendonitis. And maybe bursitis.
I just found out over the weekend.
Add that to the plantafasciitis I've had for eight years, and my feet are a bit of a handful.

It was starting to get to me, too. I was pretty much throwing myself a pity party on the one hour drive back from the doctor's. The doctor gave me a lot to do, and the healing process is going to take several months. In the meantime, lots has to change. Like the kind of shoes I wear, and by bedtime routine, and the activities I can participate in. It was almost too much to handle. I'm not going to lie- I cried a few times while I was trying to figure this all out.

But then God reminded me that I'm on his side. That his call on my life is still active. That if all these foot problems get in the way of that calling, I can call on him for healing. And if they don't get in the way, he still wants to use me. He still uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. I don't need perfect feet to do what God has called me to. And so long as I'm bringing the Good News, my feet are beautiful.

I'll be okay. God can still use me. I'm not going to let all these " itis' " get the better of me, and bring me down. There is something different about my life, and its times like this when it needs to show. It doesn't matter what 'Future' throws at me, I've  got God to help me through it. And suddenly, I'm able to laugh at the future again.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

It Gets Good At The End

my notes on Jonah 4:

"Jonah felt like he deserved God's grace and mercy and love, so he was bitter about it that others who so obviously didn't deserve it were going to get that grace, mercy and love. Don't get to the point where you'd rather die than see others get God.

God doesn't answer Jonah's prayer for death, instead He gives him shade. Talk about gracious and merciful God, who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster!

God caused the plant to die so Jonah would get angry, so He could make a point. Jonah cared about life only so long as it benefited and made him happy- God wanted all life saved and to know their right hand from their left hand.

God sure chose an interesting, flawed man to carry a message. And despite it, the message worked and the people repented in sackcloth and ashes! God used someone who didn't really want to be used the whole time. Woah! How much could he do through a willing person? Am I a willing person, or am I a Jonah? How is God trying to use me? Will I let him?"

will you?

When you

When you find out two and a half days before the exam that its not over the lecture at all- its over the text.

Yeah, that text you havn't been reading.

And suddenly all other plans go out the window.
(and you wish the book could follow ;) )