Short

First Day on Campus

I’m sitting in the commons area. The ebb and flow of students is nearly fascinating. Nearly. People watching is actually an interesting thing to occupy yourself with here. It’s amazing how different the population is so close to home. The populace of our small town is primarily WASPs in camo hunting gear. The town where I work is fairly racially mixed, but also fairly urban. In one corner there are several tables of people playing Magic: the Gathering and other card games. Along the walls there are dozens of faces lit by bright computer screens, or they would be if the window behind them didn’t create such a glare. Sprinkled throughout there are groups of old friends, catching up after a summer away from school. “Ashley! I didn’t know you were going here!” “Hey Jason what are you taking?” This world is very different from any I’ve been in before.

People speak disparagingly of freshman, but then asking simple questions that make me chuckle under my breath. What’s the difference between you and us, other than the number of years you’ve studied? If those years haven’t taught you some of these simple things, what do they really mean?

As the clock reaches the top of the hour, the hall clears out and the volume level drops, but only a little. I only have two classes on Wednesday, but they are 4 hours apart. While having a math class at 8 in the morning, half an hour away from home is primarily a pain in the neck, it does get me a good parking space. This morning after class was over, I tried to connect to the internet. Whether the problem was with my computer or the network, I have no idea. I really don’t care at this point though. I’m just glad to be connected.

So far it’s been an interesting first day. Let’s see what the rest of the semester holds.

Poet Among Other Things, Short

Brightness Doesn’t Fear The Night

You’re still the little girl inside
With eyes so full of wonder
You see things no one else can see
They scare you when you tell them
But stand up and be brave
Don’t let your light go out
The brightest starA Dying Star Shrouded by a Blanket of Hailstones Forms the Bug Nebula (NGC 6302)Goes through the most darkness
You’re that crying little girl inside
Feeling everything so strongly
The pain, and sorrow, and hurt
The evil in all the world
To acknowledge it would kill you
But there it sits
So you ignore them all
Not only the world’s pain
You ignore the world’s Joy
But, little girl, feel them
They overwhelm the heart of one
Especially one like yours
But share that burden with Me
I love your precious heart, little girl
I can see the strength you can’t
For, little girl, you are brave
The world to you is Beautiful
You are free to feel it, little girl
Don’t fear who you were made to be
Take the Joy of the world
Don’t throw it out with the pain
Find My other little girls and boys
Show them who they are inside
Remind them of when they still saw Me
When the world glittered
When the world loved
Because, little girl, you see wonderful
And you can see it in their eyes
Use your light to brighten
Make the twinkle shine
You are Beautiful, Brave and Bright

Do not fear who you could be
Do not hide from the world’s pain
For you can see the Beautiful within

Camp, Poet Among Other Things, Short

Flying the Thread

I am getting ready to head to NeKaMo Camp for 2 weeks, so I haven’t had much chance to write. Since I don’t want to abandon my lovely little blog completely, I present for your reading enjoyment, Flying the Thread.

 

Mists rise from the cool, lapping water

The air is still

Yet the vapors dance among the reeds

Like slender forms

Like the spirits of vessels gone by

They drift ashore and lick my feet

The cold enters through my toes

It trickles up my spine

The wisps dance and twirl around me

The cool moistness overtakes my body

I become like the wisps

Lost in their eddies

Twirling in whiteness

Moving without effort

Never touching

Yet in one mass

Passing through each other

We fly over the grass

Droplets slide down the blades

Movement so fast and fluid

Neither water nor air

Cold but full of life

I leap from drooping flower head to drooping  flower head

Faster and faster

Further and further

Until I don’t need to land

I soar above the trees

I dive down into their green blackness

Weaving between sleeping leaves

Leaving in my wake shimmers of water

I dive faster

Skimming across the surface

Flying with the fireflies

The twinkle like the stars above

We dance and sparkle

I begin to shine

Though the tall, dry grasses

Like a star fallen to earth

I float high

Higher than the flies around me

Towards the darkness above

Joining the stars in their patterns of light

Shining brighter than the fire I left behind

Swimming through clouds of pure color

Twinkling, swirling, shining

We waltz together to soundless music

I look back on everywhere I’ve been

A pattern of water and fire and light

Like a single strand of brilliant thread

Connecting worlds so different

Yet they fit together

Like a puzzle scattered on a table

Some parts similar, many scattered

The thread ties them all together

And a Beautiful painting emerges

Books and Movies, Musings, Short

Desperately Complete

Well, I did it. I finished An Acceptable Time. I’m kind of sad about it.

It’s not that it ended poorly. In all honesty, it’s only partially because it is the last book. It’s a series I started when I was somewhere around 9 or 10 years old. That’s actually about how long I’ve been blogging, now that I think about it. I’ve been reading it for most of the time that I can remember. And now it’s over.

It feels kind of like letting go of my last ties to childhood. It’s funny though. I still read a lot of kid’s books and watch kid’s TV shows. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books. I was excited when I finally got “Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” from the library, and I plan to buy a copy for myself.

But even though I fangirl about Doctor Who, watch My Little Pony, and quote Princess Bride (and feel no shame about any of them), I can talk for hours about the need for Grace, what we can learn from and the fantastic literacy of the book of Revelation, or why we should be joyful. I realized the other day while playing a storytelling game that I have little to no desire to write fiction anymore. There are so many real things to write about, plus I’m kind of particular about stories and I can’t ever make one quite right.  I am finding that I love these things that I used to feel such an intense, burning indifference for (name that song).

So, why does this one thing feel like such a big turning point when this change has been happening for a long time? I really don’t know. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Sitting here, finished with high school, looking for a job, thinking about college, I can’t help but feel a desperate sense of completion. Finished with childhood and determined to start life.

I’m not sure how that works, but that is how it feels. Desperately complete.

Books and Movies, Musings, Short

A Boring Character

I often find myself in a position of slight self pity because I don’t have an epic story. I have grown up in a Christian family, I was saved at a young age. I don’t have one of those dramatic testimonies. I am making peace with that. It’s a work in progress. The fact that even someone who isn’t all that bad still needs Jesus is what I have to keep reminding myself of.

But this lack of back-story has also made me frustrated for other reasons. If I were a character in a story, I would not get to be the one that goes off to battle, even though she is a woman. That is always a character that has some tragic back-story.

Eowyn was an orphan raised in her uncle’s court. She went through the pain of losing her parents and her cousin, having her brother exiled and seeing her uncle become poisoned and possessed. She was able to go off to war with the army. She did what no man could do.

Then I think of Maid Marian. In the BBC version of the story,  as the sheriff’s daughter, she was raised as a lady. She didn’t have rough life. It wasn’t until Robin left and Sir Guy took over that Marian became an interesting character. Nothing happened to her. She saw what was happening to others and acted. She took care of the townspeople. It wasn’t her own pain that provoked her to action, but someone else’s. She ended up saving lives and kicking some bad guy booty, all with no other reason other than that it needed doing. I could do that.

I just have to keep reminding myself that my story is just getting started. So far it hasn’t been very dramatic, but I’m not even 20 years into it yet. I can’t let this slow time get me stuck. There is a lot of time left for a good story.

Musings, Short

To My Brothers And Sisters

A while back I posted on Facebook asking our friends for suggestions about blog topics. Someone said I should talk about purity. I don’t think I have ever addressed this subject that so many are obsessed with.

I don’t like the “purity” movement. I don’t think it leaves room for openness and honesty with our brothers and sisters. And, I think it has a lot of ramifications that go unnoticed.

I have noticed an alarming number of unwed 20-somethings. When found in the secular culture everyone assumes it is because they are avoiding commitment etc, but why are there so many in the Christian homeschooling community? Shouldn’t we be marrying and “taking dominion of the earth”? There is at least one issue with this. Guys and girls aren’t allowed to talk to each other much. In the immortal words of Widow Paroo,

“It’s a well-known principle that if you keep the flint in one drawer and the steel in the other, you’ll never strike much of a fire.”

The main reason is that in the quest to keep from thinking “impure” thoughts, guys and girls neglect 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters.

Since we only view a member of the opposite sex as someone’s future mate, girls and guys usually end up just, well, avoiding each other. This is so wrong! We are both created in the image of God, and are told by Him to treat each other like siblings!  

The worst part that it takes the focus away. Instead of focusing on walking with God as a family, we avoid each other and talk about how fantastic it is to do so! How about be open and humble with each other. We all have struggles, we all need grace, we all long for support. As children of the Most High King, we are not only princes and princesses, but brothers and sisters. Not all princes are Prince Charming, most of them are our brothers. Let’s treat them that way.

Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short

Change of Plans

As I have mentioned a lot lately, I am very busy. And, what that unfortunately means is, I need to cut some things down. I’m not staying up as late looking at Pinterest or watching Youtube videos, and now, I am not staying up late to work on my blog. Honestly, I’ve tried! I start to fall asleep at the keyboard! Mom says I’m on a grown-up’s schedule now. The scary thing is, I’m getting used to it. I actually tried to sleep in yesterday, the one day this week I’m not working, but I couldn’t sleep past 9.

Enough prevaricating about the bush. I’m cutting my blogging. *runs in circles screaming* NO! No. Not completely! I’m just cutting it back a bit for the sake of quality and sanity. Starting next week I will go back to posting every Wednesday. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been posting twice a week for very long. It’s only been seven weeks, but I think it served it’s purpose. I have been writing much more than I was before I gave myself a deadline. I think that is a key to getting things done sometimes. Giving yourself a good hard deadline and sticking to it.

I was discouraged about quitting. It seems like I’ve done that more this year than ever. I hate that. I don’t quit! But, in looking back, I noticed something encouraging. I have been posting every week since July 2nd, and either every Tuesday or Wednesday since July 23rd.

So, I’m not quitting, I’m just changing plans and reprioritizing.

Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short

New Beginnings

It was a big weekend  on the farm. It was super busy, but in the few spare moments I had on the computer, I found a new favorite band!

We had our first calf! Around noon on Friday (ok, not quite the weekend) Bunny calved. Around two on Friday it started sleeting. That would be just like Bunny. So guess what I did from around 2 to around 3? I tried to move a cow and her newborn calf.

I tried luring Bunny with her favorite feed treat, but she was not about to leave the calf, who wouldn’t follow, and she just wasn’t interested in it. I tried this for a while, and then called mom to see what she thought. We decided to try to move the calf. I was kind of worried about this, Bunny is pretty unpredictable. I picked up the calf and started walking up to the microbarn. The mama was the least of my trouble. Bunny didn’t really even seem to notice much. She followed a little and went back to eating. The calf, on the other hand, was very opposed to being picked up and moved. She flailed around, kneed me and whacked me in the face with her head. She is her mother’s daughter, that’s all I can say. I ended up carrying her a little and then herding her a little.

Once I finally got to the yard Mom helped me get the calf in the shed. By this time Dad was almost home from taking the kids to Co-op and I was pretty well soaked and freezing. Of course, Dad was able to get Bunny up to the shed right away. If she is capable of love, Dad is the only two-legged she has eyes for.

Bunny is actually a really good mama, despite how it might sound. Apparently cows can become attached to the place the calf in. It is so sweet to go out and hear mama and calf softly mooing to each other. A couple winters ago we got Bunny a molasses lick and she absolutely loved it. We decided that if she had a girl calf we would name her Molasses, because Bunny loves Molasses. Welcome to the world Lassie. Your name is very fitting, except you are anything but slow.

On Saturday Claire and I had a Bible Quiz. Neither of us placed as well this month as last. My team didn’t do as well as last month either, but Claire’s did quite better. This month we only have 3 weeks between quizzes. This will be interesting. I’m determined to get more memorized, even though there is less time to get it done.  Like my tag line in my email says:

Discipline is remembering what you want.

David Campbell

 

Musings, Short

Kindness vs Arrogance

I’ve been notice something recently that is very alarming. Kindness is rare. And, it’s often replaced with arrogance.

The most alarming thing about this, though, is it’s prominence in the “Christian” community. I’m sure you heard about the big issue with a billboard that a certain creation ministry is putting up in NYC. It says it is to “Our Atheist friends; Thank God you’re wrong”. This is just wrong. On so many levels. It is not kind at all. It is not loving at all. It isn’t even convincing. It’s just contradiction. It’s just telling someone they’re wrong. “They will know we are Christians by our love”, “God is love”, “Remember now faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” This billboard doesn’t give hope, it isn’t a message with a loving attitude, and it isn’t going to bring people to faith.

Titus 3:3

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Excuse me, but you used to be wrong too. Is someone simply telling you you’re wrong going to make you think you are actually wrong?

4-7

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…

That is just the beginning of one very long sentence, but I think it is enough to convey my point.

I have pretty much gotten to the point where I can’t stand this ministry. Adam and Hannah were watching one of their videos this evening and I could only watch for a little while. The speaker is so haughty and shaming, even in a kids presentation. We are supposed to love and be kind.

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies… for [God] is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

You can’t have both kindness and arrogance at the same time.  Arrogance cancels out kindness.

Oh, look, you’re here too? I didn’t realize anyone else was reading. It’s rude to read someone’s journal.  😉