Thursday, December 29, 2011


I don't really have a good title for this post. I am not sure what it is really about except for the surprising ways beauty sometimes sneaks in and overwhelms us.
I lived in Indiana for the first 23 and a half years of my life. And, I am still convinced that some of the best sunsets in the world have been seen standing next to the big red barn in my parents' backyard. Reds and yellows, oranges and purples, pinks and blues. Absolutely breathtaking. I am not sure what those sunsets really represent in my life, but I do know that they continually remind me that the beauty of God transcends all time and space. I know that sometimes beauty is so overwhelming that it makes you rush out the back door wearing mismatched flip flops and no coat, despite the frigid temperatures. It makes you grab your camera in a vain attempt to capture the brilliance of color that cannot be contained. It makes you shiver in the cold and silence just to enjoy the secret that lasts but a few moments. *sigh*
And, then, the snow. I am not a lover of snow. It is cold. It is not fun to drive in. It melts and gets slushy. It gets dirty from exhaust and mud and becomes ugly. But, I cannot deny the wonder of a silent snowfall. I cannot deny the awe that comes when I climbed into bed knowing that it was brown and dead outside only to arise to a powdery, white world. Snow and I get along pretty well if out interactions take place in the manner that the above photo was taken--looking out the window with a hot cup of coffee or tea in hand. It is unfortunate when the beauty is spoiled with the mud and the dirt and the busyness of life. *sigh*

Sometimes I think beauty is meant to surprise us. Sometimes it only lasts a few moments before it is spoiled. The sunset is only really beautiful for a few minutes before it disappears. The snow is only stunning until the cars drive through and the flakes begin to melt. However, their beauty remains the same, whether I can see it or not, whether I appreciate it or not. I suppose that is reason enough to store up the beautiful things in the recesses of my heart, so I can pull them out after the sun sets and the snow melts. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I may have an obsession. It is certainly a weakness. It could be a personality flaw.
I love books. A lot.
I can't seem to help myself.
I love the scent of libraries. Used bookstores give me thrills. I like turning pages. I get lost in novels. I hunger to learn about the lives and experiences of others.
Generally, I would not consider this a problem, regardless of what others may think.
However, I am not sure this pile of books (along with my brand new Kindle!) are going to manage to fit in the limited suitcase space available to me. As I started adding up the books I got used, received as gifts, or purchased for the classes I will be starting in January, I was a bit overwhelmed. I had hoped that receiving the Kindle as a gift would help curb my need for physical books. I am still hopeful that it will, but for now I am stuck deliberating between shoes or novels, jeans or nonfiction, hair gel or classics.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a lot of talk

"For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power." 1 Corinthians 4:20

Oh, those verses that just stop you in your tracks. This verse was one of those the other day. I was reading along, and all of a sudden, Wham! That is absolutely right. The Kingdom of God is not just a bunch of talk, but we make it that way sometimes. We learn all the right answers. We can regurgitate them at all the right moments. We can tell people who are having a rough time to "just have a little faith" or "God won't give you any more than you can handle." We can talk about how all the world is filled with sunshine and roses...but it's not.
The world is not all as it should be. There is ugliness and darkness and pain. Life is hard, and it hurts sometimes. Things happen that we don't have any way of explaining. There isn't enough "talk" to make these things right. There isn't enough "talk" to bring comfort to the hurting. There isn't enough "talk" to answer the million questions that race through our minds.
But, there is still a Kingdom with an almighty King sitting on the throne. God's power is greater than our questions, our pain, our struggles. Living in God's power is what it is about, and living in that power is the only way to bring even a glimpse of the Kingdom of God to this earth...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


death can be so inconvenient
you try to live and love
it comes and interrupts

Death interrupted just over a month ago. My beloved Grandpa passed away. I wasn't expecting it. No one was. I think I thought he could never die. And, really, he didn't. He just moved on. And it happened exactly how he would have wanted it to...working on his farm, with his hogs.
He worked harder than anyone I have ever met.
He was tough as nails (though you may not know it from the pink hat and giant shades).
He was full of wisdom and life and knowledge and love.
He is what legacies are made of.
And, he was mine for the last 25 years.
Inconvenient, yes. Blessed beyond words, absolutely.