Saturday, May 1, 2010





I know this is a shock... but...

Just here. :)

I'm sorry if it's inconvenient to those of you with only Google accounts.  I'm "moving" for different reasons.  At any event, that is the new address.  I will not be posting on here anymore... you can subscribe on the new blog and receive emails for new posts....

I'll miss this one very much.  I am not deleting it, it will always be here, just not in use...

Thanks for your patience, everyone! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Desk Pictures

*drumroll please*

Well, due to lack of working USB cords, I wasn't able to get the pictures into the computer right away... So I am sorry they are a little late. But for those of you who were curious as to see what  my desk looked like, I posed the following pictures - just for you! :)

The Desk. I think I should name it... any idears?

My dried rose! I have an obsession with drying flowers.  They make me thoughtful.

I put all of my poetry books on top of the Desk. I like how it looks. :D

Monday, April 19, 2010

Optical Illusions

Actually, I'm not quite sure what an optical illusion is.  I have a very faint idea, but I think that hardly counts.  My very faint idea is when the mental image is different from the physical image.  Is that very far off track?

This afternoon was one of those sleepy ones.  The kids were playing outside, and mommy and Chloe had a nap, so the kitchen was really quiet while I was making dinner.  But I needed help.  I require strange help... I found it in a dead person. (I think I hang out with dead people way too much.)  Dvorak lent me the support of his music, and I helped him along with my cooking.  The smells I created inspired his beautiful melodies, and the music he created inspired my food.  I realized that we had the same things going on.  He was creating something intangible by using so many tangible things... Something to hear that agrees with the soul.  By a string of notes, woven together, from different instruments, he made his symphony... I used spices... each one distinct in its taste, and yet when combined together gave one distinct taste that was (I hope) appetizing.  This was something tangible that was physically appealing.

I say a score on the guacamole!  Who doesn't like it?  Speak up! :)  My little sister Tirzah hates it.  She used to hate it with a passion, but I can't say she does anymore.  She willingly tasted it, and actually liked it!  It made me so happy!

And as a last thought from Genii:

"Oh look, it's Cleopatra and Caesar.  And look, they're bringing a salad!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010


April has such a round tone to it.  Something sweet and crisp, it describes Spring simply in its name.  I love to think of the earth as being old, shriveled up, cold, and dying in the month of February.  And the only reason I love that morbid thought, is because come March or April, a miracle occurs in the natural world.  I go to bed one night, and I hear the wind moaning outside, making the loose glass panes of my window rattle a little hauntingly.  I crawl into my bed, and shiver as I listen to the wind.  Outside, I can see the stark branches of the trees black against a dark blue night-sky.  My last thought is how I wish Spring would come.
The next morning, I can see buds on the trees that weren’t there before.  How is it that they could have gotten there overnight?  How did they do it?  Over the next few weeks, the buds swell, and eventually burst in a vibrant array of green.  This is not the only change.  Stubborn shoots are pushing through the cold hard ground, growing, ever climbing to meet the sun.  The delicate snowdrop, followed by the crocus.  How is it that so much beauty has burst forth from a cold and dead world?
Of course there are the cycles of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  But even these cycles are miracles.  God somehow wraps this world up in a garment of warmth and beauty.   He does much the same with us.  There was a time when, in mind and thought, body and spirit, I was the same as the dead, cold world.   And yet, it was not final.  It was not forever.  My case was not without hope.  Even as the earth experiences Spring after Winter, so I experienced life after death (in a spiritual sense.)
Ephesians 2 speaks so beautiful of this transition.   “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” (verses 1-5)
That passage is so rich… The language is so dismaying in the first few verses – when it talks about us living in the passions of our flesh.  But then God… he made us alive in Christ!  In Romans 6 there is the beautiful phrase – “Dead to sin, alive to God in Christ Jesus.” How beautiful! Somehow, God has made this glorious transition in us through Christ Jesus.  I was dead.  But I am alive. That word rings.  You can almost sense that it is alive itself… Alive to God. And this is what Spring makes me think of every year.  Even as the earth is dead and comes alive, so I was dead, and was made alive through Christ Jesus.  What a beautiful thought!
And why is this post labeled “Daffodils”? Well… Daffodils form a huge part of Spring. And we just read this poem by William Wordsworth the other day, that made me so joyous.  Here it is.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Books? Yes, please.

Alright, so, I think you all know my love for books.  And maybe you've even gotten tired of my talking about it!  Don't worry - this isn't a long article about why I think you should read and what I think you should read.  This is just about an experience I had with books yesterday.

It was the Shaker Heights Library Book Sale.  Actually, it's continuing all weekend, but it started yesterday.  Our good friends the Clarkes traveled 2.5 hours to come to it.  I think we started going three years ago.  Anyway, it was marvelous.  All the people were stamped, and cramped up waiting in hallways in a huge line that did u-turns and twisty-doos.  They had their boxes, their crates, their bags.  Here I thought that it might be a nice quiet thing, with people musing over the book selections, thinking about what they wanted to get.  But I was quite wrong. The moment we were let in, people rushed to the different tables, and raced through everything, grabbing what they wanted... looking for the best.  Of course it was necessary for them to do that... if one person didn't do that, then they might not get anything worth while.  I passed by the Religion and Philosophy table, and would've stopped but there were a lot of people there, so I went straight to the Literature and Poetry.  (I went to the first-mentioned table later when everything died down.)   I got a fine little collection of books to add to my library.  Here's my list:

  • Rebecca - Daphne de Maurier
  • Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Professor - Charlotte Bronte
  • Five Great Dialogues - Plato
  • The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) - Dante
  • The Idiot - Fydor Dostoyevsky 
  • The Brother's Karamazov - Fydor Dostoyevsky
  • Crime and Punishment - Fydor Dostoyevsky
  • The Iliad - Homer
  • The Odyssey - Homer 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
  • The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  • Lorna Doone - R.D. Blackmore
The Lorna Doone story is a fun one.  I read it two years ago.  Actually, I think I got my copy either from Half Price books, or this booksale.  It was kinda my prized book.  I forget what edition it was, but it had this fancy design on the spine, and was a faded light-teal kinda color.  It went inside a faded dessert rose colored case... I loved that book.  Well, after Peter (my brother) left for TX a long time ago... somewhere between then and now, he mentioned he didn't have Lorna Doone.  I proudly showed him my copy.  (Peter and I have always been book collectors, and he was always getting the nicest, oldest books... so I obviously got excited when I came into possession of one he didn't have.)  He said: "Oh! That's a nice one! I actually have several other books from that edition."  And in a moment of feeling sacrificial, I wrapped it up and gave it to him for Christmas or his birthday or something.  Well... Yesterday I found the exact same edition... except it has a neutral case, and the color of the book is vibrant teal.  It's in much nicer condition. .... haha. I told Peter last night, kinda laughingly, and he said: "Good! Now we can trade!" Book wars are fun. :)  But I was thankful that even in this small matter of a book, God gave back to me what I had given away. 

I wrote my name and the date in each of the books last night.  And I smiled too.  These books are a part of me now.... whether I like them, or not. :P

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Are You Cast Down?

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I will again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:5
I have been burdened down by the troubles of the world – which is, I suppose, natural considering our fallen state… But lately I have been recognizing things – whether it be flaws in relationships, or the “unfinished-ness” of the talents that I do possess, or the state of our country (which is very sad.)  And tonight, my heart spun around a few times, and thumped against my body as though it sent a message to my brain, for I immediately thought: “Why are you cast down, O my soul?”  And it amazed me because I’ve never actually memorized that verse, but the words hit me right there, and I was led to the Scriptures to find the verse.  The entire thing read: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I will again praise him, my salvation and my God.”  That triggered another memory.  ”Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!”  And I thought: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? What right have you to complain?”  I put my chin in my hands, and closed my eyes very tight.  The words rang in my ears – “Be still, my soul… be still…” And I could not help but think: “Christ has done so much for me… Why are you cast down? Why do you worry? Where is your faith?”  My mind reeled put on its brakes and I was jerked to a stop.  Where is my faith? Is my faith placed in the strength and power of men, or my imagination, or even the weather? Is it placed anywhere except in God?
The thought scares me.  It scares me as much as the blue hairy monster with yellow teeth under my bed scared me when I was seven.  And I was pretty scared then.  If my faith isn’t placed in God, what foundation do I have?  “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word! What more can he say than to you he has said, to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled!” And yet, if my faith is not laid in him (or his word) that is hardly a firm foundation.  No wonder my soul is cast down within me!  I have been guilty of not reading my bible, thereby feeding my faith.  My faith has weakened, and I have not trusted in God… It is amazing to me when I consider this wonderful thing: when my trust is placed in princes and chariots, I worry.  I begin to question the strength of men.  It is as though I have no stability.  When my trust is placed in God, I feel free of anxiety.  To me, trust is like a wonderful mystery. Something I cannot comprehend.  It means to me not only have faith that God will do this or that (or rather everything), but it means peace. A river of peace. Have you ever felt that wave of peace sweep over your soul?  Have you ever felt that, and had this knowledge – this mysterious knowledge – that somehow, He has it all under control, and nothing is beyond him?  That we belong to him? That we’re hiding in the shelter of his wing?
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roar – whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘it is well, it is well with my soul!’”
I want to say this.  I don’t want to say, during the sad times when I want to lament 24/7, “Ah, why are you cast down, O my soul?” I want to say: “It is well with my soul!”  There is a knowledge that allows me to say this… It is the knowledge of something too wonderful for me to grasp.  The knowledge that my Lord, my beloved Lord and Savior has saved me from something so terrible I cannot even imagine it… the fact that he loves me with an everlasting love, that he will never let anything come between him and me, that he sacrificed his only Son who was humiliated in his birth and death, that I might be saved.  Ah, ah holy savior!  I crucified thee, and thou hast saved me!  What love is this! What wondrous, beautiful, terrible love!
Why are you cast down, O my soul? Are these cares of the world so large that they loom up against the brilliant image of Christ, and seem to be of greater importance than what he has done?
“Hope in God, for I will again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
No, I have realized what is much more important.  My God has given me so much - what cause have I to complain?  he has already done so much for me - and why should I fret?  "Rejoice in the Lord always... again I will say, rejoice!"  I think I've found my answer.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"This is a world of dreams and reverie..."


I am in such a strange mood tonight.  I don't really know why.  I was so happy this afternoon... Maybe because for once I got enough sleep at night.  I'm too clumsy to dance, and walking is too slow, so I skipped everywhere.  Literally.  And now I find myself rather... what shall we say... pensive.  Like the air before a storm.  Right now I feel as though I ought to go out on the roof and sit in the rain and be very morbid indeed, or laugh and run in a field and think of absolutely nothing at all.  You know how in a cheesy part of a movie sometimes there will be a time when the main character walks into a public place full of people, and all of a sudden, there is no sound.  It's like they are there, but they don't see or hear anything.  Well that's sort of how I feel.  Rather distant from everything, lost and obsessed in the realm of my own thought.  I think everybody has a time when they feel a little lonely... and I'm feeling a little of that right now.  Perhaps because I yearn for the company of somebody to talk to.  Or somebody who wouldn't talk, but who would just sit and enjoy the abstract-ness of it all.  Somehow I feel like there would be a conversation in our heads - one we wouldn't need to voice. Haha. This sounds so strange!

For tonight, my companions have been G.K. Chesterton (of course), and C.S. Lewis and Arthur Pink.  Don't get me wrong, I love them all very much, but there's something so cheerless about the fact that they're all dead. I can't read the wonderful things they've written, and then ask them: "Why did you say this?  What do you mean by this?  Can we talk about this because I absolutely love the way you've worded that?!"

Sometimes I think that I shut myself in my own little thoughtful world way too much.  I think that talking to people about my thoughts, or even about the passions that sometimes I want to voice about the green mist that hangs on the trees, or the spring rain, or Chopin won't interest people the same way like it interests me.  I could go on and on, but I don't want to go on to someone who doesn't feel as deeply about it as I do, and because of that, I'm afraid to tell anybody.

People are interesting, aren't they?

I bottle things up way too much.  This blog is such a help with that, but there's always things that you shouldn't post on blogs.  It causes too much trouble.

I love people.  I love talking to people, but when people say: "Enough about me! What about you?" I'll immediately want to talk about the red stripes in the curtain.  Or I'll say something like: "Oh, I've been well. I did such and such a thing and will do such and such a thing and I've been reading and writing etc."  But that's all I'll say, and they seem satisfied which makes me very dissatisfied because I want to say so much more.  I think: "When I look around at the life I live, I wouldn't notice much change, even if there has been significant change.  I live so much in my thought, that there is where I find every change and every progression.  Everything I see, hear, smell, feel... it is turned over in this world of thought.  It is analyzed, torn apart and applied to various things, and fed by perhaps a saying of some great thinker or writer.  And yet, when I talk to people, I am suddenly jerked out of that world into another reality, and I hardly know what to do with myself."  So I say stupid stuff like: "Yeah, life is good...." when I would rather say:

"I absolutely love the stars.  Can you imagine a sky without stars?  A sky without stars would be like a song that lacks melody.  Stars add so much to the world, and yet we take them for granted every day.  Each of them is a burning globe in space, and to us they seem like harmless little butterflies.  I want to look at the stars all the time.  And the moon! Look, there he sits like an emperor on his silver throne! His light may be pale, but his milky white face with what looks like shadows makes up for it.  The moon is like a king, and the stars are his subjects.  The sky is his land.  He does not concern himself with the earth.  He and the stars spin a beautiful melody, one that is too beautiful for the human ear to hear.  It's intangible, it's unheard but they don't make it for us. Perhaps that's why they don't care whether or not we hear it.  I really am for a life where one sleeps during the day, and stays awake at night.  Night is the time to be awake.  And yet... it is the time to be asleep.  Must we sleep when so much beauty lies awake?"

I would much rather say something like that.  Because that is what I'm thinking.  Sometimes I really do think silly stuff, like who invented the name of a cleaning product, and what gave them the inspiration for that name. Who were they, and where were they. I do wonder things like that, and it's extremely odd.

But I don't say things like what I said up there.  I never do that.  Why? I'm not sure.  I can never bring myself to do it when I most want to. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not? Ah well.

Anyways, that's my ramble for the evening.  If you got to the end, I'm impressed. I imagine it was somewhat boring, and I'm sorry.  I'm also sorry that it was long.  I didn't mean to write such a long thing, but it felt good to get something out for once. :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Ruby... Do you know why you can't get to heaven in a rocking chair? Because if you tried, you would just keep going and going and going... You would only be in Space.  You wouldn't get to Heaven.  You can only get to heaven by Death... Dying is the only way, because it's like Heaven is a whole different world, and death is just the only way.  And sometimes I'm scared of dying, because what if I had a heart-attack... it might hurt.  I know it wouldn't hurt for long, because after I died then I'd go to Heaven."

- Luther, 7 years old.  It's amazing to me to hear him ramble on about what he thinks.  He's got potential to be a great thinker, and I am so excited to see his character and his mind develop!

Speaking of Death (it's so morbid, isn't it?) here's a quote by a Presbyterian minister who lived during the Great Awakening (he was preceded by Jonathan Edwards as president of Princeton University.

Samuel Davies -

 "The greatest number of mankind beyond comparison are sleeping under ground.  There lies beauty mouldering into dust, rotting into stench & loathsomeness, and feeding the vilest worms.  There lies the head that once wore a crown… There lie mighty giants, the heroes and conquerors… the Caesars of the world…  There lie the wise and learned, as rotten, as helpless as the fool."

It is amazing to me to think about this... Everything in this world passes away.  Everything dies.  Everything decays and disintegrates. It's depressing and almost sad to think upon.  The greatest of men die, and then... they're dead.  Dynasties fade.... well, the quote says it all.

Ever since sin entered into the world, and death by sin, this earth has been a vast grave-yard…  for her children.  In every age, and in every country, that sentence has been executing, Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return (1.493).

No matter what we do, or how great we are, we return to dust.  We rot in our graves.  It sounds gross, but hey, it's what happens.  We're only humans, that's what we are, and we decay just like everything else.

But Christ... We have a beautiful mental image here.  Christ died the most humiliating death of his time.  He was buried.  He continued in the state of Death for three days... But did his earthly body decay and rot and return to dust? No! He was resurrected! And it's in this way that he defeated death!  There's a chapter in Isaiah about God "swallowing up Death forever."  It's a glorious thought! If Christ had not been resurrected, then death would still have dominion.  (Not like there was ever a time when Christ DIDN'T have dominion, but by his blood we are redeemed, and yet what good would it be if he remained dead?) Man, I'm not sure how much sense that makes... I'm getting all confuzzled, so I'll stop now before I confuse you any further!! Would anybody care to share their thoughts?? I love to hear other thoughts/ideas, so PLEASE respond because quite frankly you people who read this blog are bad at replying with comments or anything! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Everything is So Much Nicer....

When you trust in God. :) And I know you've heard me say that a million times, but I'm telling myself constantly. Constantly. Over... and over... and over... again... because it's something I do so horribly, and forget to do, and don't want to do. And then there comes the battle of the wills... which Paul describes so well in Romans 7.  What I know I should do and don't, and what I know I shouldn't do and do. Something like that... And when I don't trust him, then I end up getting all bitter, and I snap at my siblings, and I go around the house all melancholy and when mommy asks me what I've accomplished that day, I stare blankly because quite frankly I did nothing at all.

Well I do procrastinate a lot but I think that's off the point...

But when I DO trust him, I experience a very hard crisis, and then I can close my eyes and I think "Be still, and know that I am God..." and my soul calms, and I forget everything, and I think: "He knows it all... He sees it all... He knows exactly what he's doing. He's not working for my destruction.  It's all for my good. He is God and who am I?"  And I experience the sweetest bliss because I am put back into my place of the Human, and my knees are bent to the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Anyways... That was just a thought I had.  As the hymn says... "'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take him at his word..."

He'll take care of us.  He has it all under control.  In fact, nothing is OUT of his control - and how comforting is that?!

I also have a story.

When I was a little girl... (was? what am I saying?!)

When I was oh... six or seven years old, I remember sitting around the table with my family on Resurrection Day.  We were having a Seder.  My father was, of course, explaining to us how this lamb that was roasting in our oven used to be a bleating white fluffy thing prancing around, without a care in the world.  And then somebody butchered it, and we bought it.  "Just think," he said, "this used to be living!"  My eyes opened wide, and I thought how cruel we must be to eat the poor thing.

A dead silence ensued around the table as daddy cut into the delicious smelling lamb.

And then...

I heard something between a moan and a "ba-a-aahhh."  I looked up with wider eyes still, and my father had a look of horror on his face, as if to say: "O goodness, what are we doing?"

But we ate the lamb, which was very good.

As I went to bed that night, I puzzled over this question.

"How did the dead lamb make the noise?"

Can anybody guess how many years it took me to figure out where the noise came from?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


"Other relaxations are peculiar to certain times, places and stages of life, but the study of letters [books] is the nourishment of our youth, and the joy of our old age. They throw an additional splendor on prosperity, and are the resource and consolation of adversity; they delight at home, and are no embarrassment abroad; in short, they are company to us at night, our fellow travelers on a journey, and attendants in our rural recesses." - Cicero

I think it is a very good thing to read... It develops our minds... sort of shapes them into something more defined. It allows us to see through a pin-hole the life of an Age before ours, it gives us a glimpse into the mind of man.  It allows us to see what others have thought before us.  The words are not just printed on the page, they are not just words... they mean something. Each one of them. And I don't mean a dictionary-definition-meaning-of-the-word meaning... I mean something that has to be found. Something you must look for. Sometimes it is plainer than others.  Ever thought fairy tales were stupid? I thought they were completely meaningless. But the day came when I felt a little stupid for saying so, and a little better for knowing the truth, because I found that there is something to be learned from each fairy tale. Though simple in its flow, you can see the deeper meaning. Take Beauty and the Beast... "love means loving the unloveable." (Chesterton.)  Even Jack and the Beanstalk, there is good versus evil, there is courage and bravery involved.  In every fairy tale you are sure to find a battle of good and evil, and in some of the most popular, good always prevails.  Isn't there something in that? Each book has a meaning behind it.  As ridiculous as it may seem, the author had a thought when he/she wrote it.  We shouldn't read merely to enjoy the story they put forth, but we should read to find the thoughts behind the story.  There very well may be a good lesson to learn, a little piece of information to store away.  Something to remember, and respect.

And yet, we must be so careful of what we read and how we read it.  It is not good to say that every book in the world must be read, and I am not here to condemn the things that people read, when I have not read them.  A few of the books I have read have left me sorry that I read them at the end.   I read Gulliver's Travels, and I cannot say that I liked it, but I was glad I read it because it taught me something.  I read another book and I wished I hadn't read it because apart from the fact that it was an awful plot, I learned absolutely nothing from it. I felt sorry for the characters, I felt sorry for the author. Although, then, I was not thinking so much about finding the meaning.  However, I don't really want to read the six hundred pages again.

I say we must be careful what we read because we cannot spend all of our time reading, and if we do read, why not read the good stuff? I say there is meaning behind everything, and I do believe that there is... Even in the Arthur books there might be something like: "being nice is a good thing, and we should share with our friends." And though that is true, does that mean that we should read these books all the time? But perhaps there may be a better something to read. Some philosopher may have written about why being nice is a good thing, and what made it good, and by what standard good is defined by.  They might have explained the thought behind the reason that we should share with our friends. They might have explained why we must think of others as better than ourselves. And they probably go much deeper than that. A child cannot be expected at a young age to understand this, and perhaps that is why they read Arthur and are perfectly fine with the meaning they are given.  But as we get older, our understanding has hopefully developed, and we start asking "How is that good? What makes it good? Why are they given the right to say it is good? What makes them think it is good?" etc.

Perhaps there is a specific book that shapes the questions you asks, and gives an answer. Perhaps not.  Maybe it takes three or four authors like Lewis Carroll, Aristotle, Jonathan Swift and J.K. Rowling to answer one question, but perhaps it may take only Plutarch to answer another.  It might be direct, it might be a revelation that you had while reading something they wrote.  I am not saying that all books are bad, but it is perhaps necessary to choose carefully what you should read.  It doesn't mean you need to read only Greek philosophies, or only Classical Literary authors such as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen... in fact, my point is that it might be beneficial to avoid that.  To have variety to what you read... A blend of authors.  You may say that C.S. Lewis made such and such a point but then you read that Plato made the opposite point... But you would not know there was even opposition to Lewis' point if you hadn't read Plato.  If you had, you might ask: "Which one was right?" (or even if you hadn't, you might ask if Lewis was right, but my point is, when you find another person that rejects the point someone else has made, it makes you ask which one was right.)  Well, where do we find who was right? By Truth we weigh everything. Where do we find Truth? Is it a standard we have made, something that we've written down that guides us?

God is truth.  God must be truth, because we prove ourselves every day to be irrational, irregular, and wicked.  Truth must come from Perfection, otherwise it might be tainted, and then it wouldn't be Truth.  God's Truth is revealed in the Scriptures, and it is through the Scriptures that we might discover that both Lewis and Plato were wrong.  Oh, and I should say this, I don't even know if Lewis made a point that Plato rejected.... and I am totally messed up in my time frame here... it should be Lewis who rejected the point Plato made. :P Anyway, I don't know if that happened, I'm just making things up here.  But it may very well be, and I want to find out now.

Anyways, everything we read should cause us to ask questions.  Asking questions should lead us to the Scriptures, and when we weigh everything by that, our ideas are shaped by Truth.

And I also just realized something else... the people who made it to the end are probably the people interested in reading. Oh well.

People have their tastes, their likes and dislikes with regard to reading.  If I could, I would read only what I want to, and then I would have a poorly developed mind.  My mind is hardly developed yet... I think of all my ideas and thoughts that come from reading as rather... uh.. raw. But I do so enjoy it, and I don't want to stop, and it is the passion I have for thinking and finding these things in books that moves me to read things that I wouldn't normally pick up on a Tuesday at 3:45 PM.  I am grateful for the ideas expressed in books, and I am ever ever so thankful that I can know that they are right or wrong by weighing them against Scripture.  Most times I can't know on my own.  It takes many deep conversations with different people, finding out their opinions and what they think, their ideas etc to find that a certain thing expressed in a book is right or wrong.  Sometimes I know right away because of certain Biblical truths grounded into my head, and I can recognize whether it is right or wrong.  But sometimes it takes awhile.

Okay, those are my thoughts for the... month. :P Oh, one more thing.  My mother told me that books without evil in it are... evil.  Because novels especially are a reflection of the world, and when there is no evil, that is a reflection of our world without evil in it.  It completely loses the need for redemption, as though Man has no need for it.  I thought this was a very interesting point, and something definitely worth thinking about.  I do agree with what she has said, and I'm glad that she told me because I probably wouldn't have thought of it. :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Mudness

There needs to be more mud on these boots... oh well.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reminiscence :)

I was just thinking about Olivia's birth today... When mommy got home from the hospital, we had all been watching "Rudy"... which, today, I could only tell you was about football. We were nearing the end when they pulled in the driveway, and to this day, no one has seen the last scene and a half of that movie.  It was a nice day... October 3rd.  And I remember not being able to wait for my turn to hold her, and when it finally came, I cried because I was so happy.  I loved babies... I still do, and I couldn't believe that I was holding my little darling sister.  

Chloe and I would lay Olivia on our bed when she was still days old, and we'd dress her in her little pajamas, and then we'd just smell her... There's something gloriously mysterious about the way a baby smells.  :) 

Anyways... that was then. This is now.

Olivia's bottom left. :)

Don't get me wrong, I'm still thankful for her... it's just amazing to me to watch them grow and develop characters like... hers.

Friday, March 26, 2010


                                   ...And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear, -- both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being. - Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey (excerpt :))

I am not quite sure what the entire thing means, but I can sense what he's talking about... If that makes any sense at all.  Whenever I look at the sun when it hangs like a burning globe in the sky in the evening or the morning, I immediately think of this passage... and this passage makes me think of the beauty of the earth, and if the earth is this beautiful, how much more so our Creator?

It's so beautiful - the entire poem is beautiful.  I really enjoy reading Wordsworth. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Hello all my fuzzy blog readers.

I am sorry for that, please forgive me.

I am back from...Lewisburg Pennsylvania.  I had a marvelous time.  Lewisburg is nestled in the mountains. I don't know what the mountains are called, but the sweet refreshing air was so... um... refreshing. And it's the kind of town where you drive ten minutes in any direction and you'll most likely be in the country or something. It was so lovely.  At night, I could look out the window and actually see a star-filled sky. I might be able to see five in Cleveland.  Oh, and I saw the big dipper for the first time in my life. And I could see the mountains from the window.  Altogether, it was a refreshing, calming visit...oh, I was visiting my grandma.

I thought you should all know that it is raining right now. Real raindrops from the sky! I woke up, and I heard the rain on my roof, and I felt a thrill run through my body. I'm sorry that y'all have to put up with my... uh... oddities, because I know that I have written about the rain over and over again on here, and you have had to read it. But where else would I ramble?  I've loved it ever since I can remember.  When I was extremely little, I used to say it rained because God was crying.  But then I learned the moisture rises and forms clouds and the clouds drop the rain or something like that...  but it's still fascinating to me to watch the rain.

I'm a little restless because I want to find something worth posting about and I"m not quite sure where to find it...

"The sober person lives deeply. His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses, like the pleasures of the drunkard, for instance, but those of the soul. He is by no means a stoic, on the contrary, with a full measure of joyful anticipation he looks forward to the return of the Lord but he doesn't run away from his task." ~ William Hendrickson

I'll just end with that, and perhaps this post will have been worth reading. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hold Your Horses!

I'm going away.

To the land where dreams roar.

To exist in an epoch of... of... scratch that one.

Okay, nevermind. This just is not coming out the right way. Ah well, I tried.

You probably won't hear from me for a week or two.  I don't know why I'm warning you, but I thought I would anyways, because I have a whole bunch of random pictures that I wanted to do as a last post. You know, in case I get killed or something.

Spring is coming, by the way.  Today was in the 60's.  I hope everybody got out to get their Vitamin D.  I stayed inside and cleaned my room... but the windows were still open.

I could say something like, "my lamp is blue, and my books are red" but that is completely unnecessary, however true.

This is my sister. And me. I can't wait till summer. My sister does wear glasses... sorta.

Why do I post pictures of my brothers eating black beans and rice? I don't know.

But it is cute that they sit in the same chair.

And that they love each other.

This is my daddy.  My daddy paints houses... sometimes.  He paints them in his sleeveless Pittsburgh sweatshirt.  And he gets cuts on his forehead. :(  He looks like a hard working man. :D He IS.

Oh look. A tower.  The sun made all the stone buildings look golden and sandy that day.  This is in Bath.

That's my sister. She's not posing.

This has a cute story.  We knew that this young man was going to do something very important... because he walked in the bus station.  He stood against the wall.  He checked his watch.  He walked in circles.  He sat down.  He stood up.  He looked out the window.  He checked his watch. Etc.  He was carrying a small leatherbound book or journal, and half a dozen pink roses.  Think me crazy, but it was so sweet I had to get a picture of him... and try to do it while he wasn't looking.  He was waiting for a very special person. It was sweet when she got out of the bus.

Oh look. There's me. Oops. That's a bad picture.

*sighs*  I love Autumn in the cemetery.  I love it when the leaves are this red.

We do the same sort of routine when we go to the cemetery.  We always go to see this statue, because it's one of our favorites.  And Chloe and I sit there and dream.

And we have a contest... whoever gets to the pillars last has to be Samson.  Since I was the designated photographer (bad choice) and since I was so enraptured by the... uh... graves... I was the last one. Oh well. I didn't even try that hard to break the pillars, as you can see.

I miss him.  He's been visiting Nana for a week.  I miss all his little theological remarks and questions... He used to bounce on my stomach as a baby as hard as he could saying: "Doctrine, doctrine!"

I'm on the phone... "Hello?" "Oh, hi Ruby this is Luther!!"

Talk about timing!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Desk

You aren't allowed to make fun of me. I forbid it.

Ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of having my own desk.  I dreamed of doing my math at it.  Maybe the desk would help math be more interesting, because to me, a desk was absolutely romantic and idyllic.

But I never really got a desk.  It remained as a sort of childish dream.  And a few days ago, when mommy and daddy said they thought I needed a desk, I grinned and smiled like a baby.

I was so excited.

The desk that I was to have belonged to my great uncle when he was young.  It was an old-fashioned roll-top desk that had three drawers on the side, a draw inside, and a drawer "beneath" so to speak. I. was. so. excited.

And I got that desk! My aunt and uncle were kind enough to bring it when they came to visit.  It has a little chair, and it's just perfect! It's not big, but I feel so nice and cozy when I sit down at it.  And the thing I love about it is that it belonged to my Nana's brother, that it's old and old fashioned, and that it's not perfect in its appearance.  This is my little idyllic desk!

I just had to tell you all that, because I am so excited to have a desk to do stuff at!  I can hardly wait to fix up the corner of my room where it's going to go, and put stuff in it... and... :D I'm happy.  God is so good.  Even though he's made me wait a few years for this desk. :D


Monday, March 1, 2010

Kind and Merciful God...

King and merciful God, 
we have sinned in your sight,
we have all wandered far from your way;
we have followed desire,
we have failed to aspire
to the virtue we ought to display.

Kind and merciful God,
we've neglected your Word
and the truth that would guide us aright
we have lived in the shade
of the dark we have made,
when you willed us to walk in the light.

Kind and merciful God,
we have broken your law
and in conduct have veered from the norm;
we have dreamed of the good,
but the good that we could
we have frequently failed to perform.

Kind and merciful God,
in Christ's death on the cross
you provided a cleansing from sin;
speak the words that forgive
that henceforth we may live
by the might of your Spirit within.

Kind and merciful God,
bid us lift up our heads
and command us to rise from our knees;
may our hearts now be changed
and no longer estranged,
through the pow'r of your pardon and peace.

Bryan Jeffrey Leech, 1973 (Traditional Swedish melody)

If nothing else, these words should humble us.  We are constantly straying, and yet God is always merciful to his beloved... such wretches as we are, we don't deserve such mercy and kindness!  It should make us bow our heads in submission... That he can be so perfect, and we cannot be anything but sinful... and yet, we are cleansed by this perfect God, that we may dwell with him in eternity.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Striving After... What?


I has been thinking. And yes, I know that is bad grammar.  I am in a sensational mood.  I do really love tea, and my lovely brother just made me some.  That, combined with a sort of somnolence that seems to hang over me like a shroud puts me in a rather odd mood.  And I start asking questions.  Questions that I know the answer to, but that I like to ask anyways... Because, in a rather odd way, it makes me rethink the whole philosophy, and then that makes me ask more questions.  It's rather bothersome, sometimes, but that's alright.  I don't mind today.

Today, I think the weather is affecting me.  It's so cold, it's so grey, it's so bleak, it's so hard... and so white.  It makes me passive, like it doesn't matter what happens.  I have the mindset: "Who cares? It's cold anyways." As if that will answer every question.  But it won't.  And I found myself asking...

How much is too much?

Where is the correct balance?  How do you know where to find it?

How little is not enough?

How do we find out our "brain" capacity before it's too late? This is a very me question.  In other words, I want to know how much my brain can tolerate before it explodes.

How do we find the courage to face a fear that can hardly be described as a fear?

How do we find the difference between sloth and really not being able to handle something?

I really don't know.  The only thing I know how to do is to trust God.  I know that courage comes from God, not man.  I know that wisdom from my own heart is bound to be deceitful, but I know that God will guide me to make the right decisions, and that the wisdom comes from him.

In fact, I know that nothing comes from myself, but everything comes from him.  He satisfies every need, he fills every gap, every chasm in our soul.   He binds up our brokenness.  Think about that.  We don't need anything, but Him.  He satisfies our every need... He fulfills our every desire... And it's not by giving us what we want, it's by showing us what we need, and that is himself.

That doesn't mean our life is struggle-free, though.  There are still these questions.  For me, it's this.

With regards to school, this constant studying that I must do in order to graduate absolutely horrifies me. Not that I hate it, but it makes me ever so tired to think about.  I wish that there weren't any set time for graduation, but that I could always be learning at a leisurely level, through all the years.... but that's the catch.  If it pleases God for me to get married, and have a family, I probably won't have time to study like that.  That's why I have only 2.5 years to finish all this school.  I know I have to finished it because, even though I don't know if I'm going to get married or not, I have no idea what my life holds, and I need to try and be prepared for whatever it is.  So that's how I know to persevere with my studies.  But how high of a level should I try and reach for?

So, for now, even though I have fallen behind due to health issues (grin), I have set in my mind to not try and catch up, as that might make everything worse and unbearable, but to continue at a slow, yet steady pace.  Fast enough to get done what needs to be done, and slow enough to let it sink in, and so that school won't be the only thing my life is centered around. :P

And I know that the title of this post has next to nothing to do with the actual post, but it was random, like my mood.

Thanks for reading. :D Leave your comments, please. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Day... And Pizza

Today started out like any normal day. I woke up, saw the snow with a bit of dismay, and with a greater dismay realized what time it was.  Then I went back to sleep.  That is how my normal day starts.  And then my five year old sister comes up carrying one of my mom's delicious strawberry shakes... "Ruby, do you want this now? Oatmeal is on the table." And I felt a pang of guilt.  A sixteen year old girl who stays up late and gets up late does not deserve a strawberry shake.  But then, do we deserve anything but death? So, I went downstairs and had breakfast.

I read for a few hours.  That's not uncommon.  I was reading Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow (highly recommended.)  And then I did my math.  After which my mother informed me I was going to help her in the kitchen.  I was told to reorganize the tupperware cabinet, and the pantry.  Then we started making bread.  Mother first made her sourdough starter, which has to sit for seven days, each day having more rye and water added to it.  Something like that.  And then we started making our basic bread recipe.  And mother said something about how she had gotten "that mozzarella cheese for pizza."  I had been cutting up pineapple. Because I love pineapple.  And I said: "Mommy! Can we have pizza tonight??" And she said, "sure, why not?" so she changed her bread into pizza dough, and we looked through the refrigerator to see what we could find.

Actually, we didn't really look through the refrigerator.

We didn't have any red sauce, so we made the alternative.

After the dough had been baked in shape, we rubbed olive oil on the surface.  Next, I placed a few slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (not the stuff mom got for pizza) and some bright red tomatoes.  Then I sprinkles some basil on top of this, and some freshly chopped garlic.  Mother sauteed mushrooms in lots of butter, so I put some of that on, and then bright green broccoli.  Then I remembered that we had apple sausage in the refrigerator, so we chopped that up, sauteed it, and threw that on.

Man, it was good.

Za Pizza.

Sorry they're a bit blurry... I had to take them with my computer, because all our other devices for taking pictures aren't at home. :P

So, that's my post for today.  You should make this pizza.  It was amazing.  Mom and I went on to make another pizza with broccoli, pineapple, sausage, cheese, basil, garlic and mushrooms. They were GOOD! :D

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm From the Department of Redundancy Department

So, I know that I've posted this before... I know I've posted a lot of things before that I post again, but I can't help it!  When I feel like it applies so well, I just have to use it again.  So, without further ado... Eagerly anticipating my favorite season, Spring, being so near at hand... and yet with everything still bare and dreary, here is a passage from Robinson Crusoe which fairly describes my attitude towards the weather. :)

"There are some secret moving Springs in the Affections, which when they are set a going by some Object in view, or be it some Object, though not in view, yet rendered present to the Mind by the Power of Imagination, that Motion carries out the Soul by its Impetuosity to such violent eager embracings of the Object, that the Absence of it is insupportable." (Robinson Crusoe)

I really want Spring. Really really bad. The snow is pretty and everything, but I love hearing the rain on my roof, and think of it cleansing the earth... and I love to think of the earth coming alive... and I love to watch the green tint on the trees when the buds are finally on the trees, but haven't fully developed into... uh... leaves.  And I love to feel the warm breeze on my face, and I love to wake up to the birds singing, and I love to hear the thunder, and... I just love everything about Spring.  It's the season of new birth... if you think about it.  Everything is cold, and dead, and hard.  And then in Spring, everything turns warm... everything is alive... everything is warm. :) 

Spring will come... I'm trying to wait patiently... but the "absence of it is insupportable."

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I .. am... a...uh... robot??

He's faking.

Epitome of exhaustion.  Except for Grandpa.  Notice Olivia's face.

Big Nose meets Little Nose.... And Little Nose gets scared.

Hi. Are you okay?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Euphoric Nostalgia

is that contradictory? I can't tell... but it perfectly describes what I'm thinking...

I'll explain.

I've been thinking a lot about Scotland.  I wish I remembered more of what I felt when I was there.  It was so beautiful, so rugged... and the hills looked as if they said—"You don't belong here! What do you know of us or our history, the history of this land?"—at first glance... If mountains could mock, these mountains certainly did.  But I came to love them.  I didn't understand the land, and I didn't pretend to... But I knew that I was drawn to it by something I couldn't quite place.  I loved the mountains in spite of their austere nature, and everything about the land.  The vibrant heather against the green, the green against the deep, cloudy sky... Everything contrasted so highly, and everything blending so beautifully.  In short, I believe I rather fell in love.

And I remember feeling rather listless when we boarded the train for London.  I remember thinking: "Why must I leave? Can't I stay here forever? Can't I wander on these roads, wander in the highlands, live among the heather, among the sheep... Why must I leave?"

All good things come to an end.  Except for the best thing of all—too good for our finite minds to comprehend... God never comes to an end.  He is forever.

Ever since I went to Scotland, I have been gripped by a kind a nostalgia... The mountains couldn't care less if I came or went, the land seemed to say: "thousands come to see this... we are here merely for a show." How I wanted to live amongst the people, to learn about the land, to discover, explore, and become part of it!  It was so beautiful... The most beautiful I've ever seen.  Whenever I think of Scotland I am accompanied by a wild, beautiful excitement.  This is the most beautiful land I had seen.  Then I saw, that I was willing to give up a lot... a lot... to fulfill this dream of actually living in Scotland.

Now as I'm thinking about this, I can't help remembering the most beautiful thing I saw when I was there.  We were standing high on a cliff, where Flora MacDonald was buried.  The graves were old and weatherbeaten.  The sea was gray and stormy.  The sky was dark, as if it was ready for a storm... yet it had been that way all day.  We could see the cliffs all around, the inlets, the waves crashing against the barren rocks.  And then.... through that gray, gray sky, there came light, filtering through and resting on an inlet.  It was the most beautiful thing.

"Beyond this labyrinth of darkness, there is a realm of light."

I was so captured by this lovely image.  All around was dark and stormy, and yet the light rested there on the calm water... There was no break in the clouds, and yet there was the light, soft yet strong.

I was blessed to get a picture of it.

And now, looking back, I see that I was willing to give up a lot.

And over the past few days I've asked myself...

"Have I been so willing to give up so much to follow Christ? Is following Christ more important to me than fulfilling my dream of someday returning to Scotland, to spend as much time there as possible?" Scotland requires me to give up a lot.  God requires me to give up all.  And all includes that dream of Scotland.  Yes, I am willing to remain with this euphoric nostalgia of that beautiful country, being content with that.  I am willing never to go there again, if that is what God's will is.  Because God is more important to me than a country that will pass away.  And as beautiful as it is, it will never be as beautiful as God's grace, or as glorious as he himself is, clothed in holiness and righteousness.  This is beauty.

But there was a time when I was unsure.  For awhile I wondered to myself whether or not Scotland had become more important.  I might be reluctant to give up a few things to follow Christ, but I could certainly think of nothing I was reluctant to give up right then and there to go to Scotland.  Just being there would be reward enough for all I had given up.

But I deserve no reward.  I would have given up a lot, but it was never mine to give up.  Everything I own is a gift from my Father... everything I have is from him.  Nothing truly belongs to me.  And soon, I will die, and the image of Scotland will be unimportant.  It would pass, just like everything else.  I will die, and it will be gone.  Should I give up everything for something that I can only enjoy in this present life—and have no memory of in after-life?  What about God? This life may be full of suffering... full of sorrow... full of trials and tribulations, but we can find beauty and joy in Christ.  He gives us light, just like the light coming through the dark clouds on the water.  And through his strength, we can be a light in a dark place.  If we give up everything—our passions, our desires, our relationships—EVERYTHING, and follow Christ, think of what we will gain afterwords—an eternity with our King!

That is much better than a few years in a rugged, beautiful land.

That is so much better it doesn't even compare...

And I decided that no, Scotland was not more important to me than the task that I have been given: to follow Christ whole-heartedly and proclaim his name everywhere.

It doesn't mean I can't remember Scotland as a beautiful place, but it does mean that it simply won't be as important to me as the life God has called me to live.  

Monday, February 15, 2010


Tennyson expresses so much. I love reading his poetry.

"Love took up the glass of Time, and turn'd it in his glowing hands
Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.

Love took up the harp of Life, and smote its chords with all his might
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, pass'd in music out of sight."

Isn't that absolutely glorious?? For a moment, it lifts me above everything, I forget that I'm human... I forget that I am... and I close my eyes and repeat those lines to myself, and I feel like I exist in a sphere of perfect sublimity... Well, okay that's going too far.  But it surges my inspiration and makes me wild with delight when I read it.  And then I come back to reality.... because I see a few verses later...

"O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine no more!
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore!"

And my soul cries out for the exclaimer of this verse...

And then I think....

"Well, thank goodness it's not for real."

Because otherwise I would be in agonies. That's just me, though.