Thursday, January 31, 2008
We got a bit closer when I was a senior and he a freshman in high school. My parents and sister lived in the U.S. for 5 months without us, while Jonathan and I lived with a missionary family in Nigeria. He says now that he was encouraged by having me there with him, at a time that was scary and lonely for both of us.
I'll never forget the way he starred in "Journey to Oz" that year at Hillcrest. He was the Scarecrow who not only sang fantastically, but did delightfully flexible and funny movements as he came to life (not always standing very well since he was made of straw)! I was so proud of him! After I left for college, he continued his acting and musical efforts, and I always enjoyed hearing recordings of him.
Now we're both parents. He married my wonderful sister-in-law Lori in August 2002, and now they have two cute little boys. As an , I've enjoyed visits with him, playing board games, talking about all sorts of things, hiking, reminiscing, singnig in my sister's wedding together, hearing him read aloud (his specialty is "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"). He visited us right before we moved to Scotland and helped me sort and pack my bedroom clutter. I visited him after the births of both his boys. It's fun seeing him be a dad!
So here's to you, Jonathan! I love you and wish we lived closer. Happy birthday!
The jogging is going so-so. I'd been doing it daily, but then didn't get to it yesterday and today . I could be doing it right now, but feel I really need to go to bed instead.
Which brings me to my next area of discipline that I'd like to improve: my sleep! I've been terrible about going to bed late and then being sleepy during the day. When given the chance, I can easily take a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. I feel like my lack of discipline in sleeping, keeping a schedule, and cleaning, all work together to make my life much less pleasant than it could be! It's a downward spiral, so I'm trying to make some upward changes.
Thus, enough talk. I'm going to bed. But first I'm reading my passage in Luke 8. Goodnight...
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I've been "temporary" all my life, and the truth is that each of us is "temporary" since we actually don't know what the future holds. We can't tell ahead of time when life circumstances will be such that we need to move. We might think we've settled, but it's never for sure.
And then there are people like me. Eleven years (with some 6-12 month gaps) is the longest I've lived in one area. I've lived on three continents, and even now, do not know what my address will be in 5 months. To think that I would be rejected from friendship because of this makes me very sad. I understand the fears and sorrows involved, but think that the love is worth it.
Right now I'm in a place where I sense that possible friends are purposely avoiding getting to know me. But this is the first time I've ever really felt this kind of resistance. For the most part, I've made friends quickly and they've stayed good friends for life.
A special case in point was the year I lived in Scotland. We knew we were only going to be there for twelve months. We found a church right away and told them we'd be there for a year. Yet people still reached out to us in an amazing way and blessed us with their genuine friendship. Dear women opened up to me without waiting the prerequisite months of "getting acquainted." I now have forever friends in Scotland -- all because they loved me despite my being temporary.
It's actually a benefit in my eyes. I have friends all over the world. I have people to visit when I travel. I have many who I can talk with at length, praying for each other and laughing as we catch up. Thank you, God, for the gift of good friends.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Naomi loves wearing her Little Mermaid crown so much that sometimes we wonder if it's actually attached to her head!
Ethan playing with some flour (while I cook). I thought he'd enjoy feeling it, but didn't anticipate it being dumped so quickly!
Grandpa and Ethan at Wendy's in Charlotte. The Sunday after-church wait at Cracker Barrel was WAY too long. We gave up and did fast food instead.
Naomi, Lisa, Grandma, Grandpa with Ethan, Steve, Josiah
on our last morning together Dec 28
Josiah with his face painted. The kids got face paints for Christmas and I loved doing them up!
Friday, January 18, 2008
In a fascinating exercise of journalistic creativity, Graham Fuller’s “A World Without Islam” (Foreign Policy, Jan/Feb 2008) argues that the
Take, for example, his argument that Western powers would have colonized the
It’s assuming a lot even to say that modern Western imperialism was inevitable in the
Fuller also does not take belligerence within Islam seriously enough; he too easily dismisses passages in the Qur’an that provide some key to understanding why so many Muslims hate the West. However one wants to interpret chapter nine of the Qur’an, this “sword” chapter, as Muslims themselves call it, was one of the last to be revealed to Muhammad and is extremely important for how Muslims should think about non-Muslims. Of course one should not look only at the Qur’an to explain Muslim antipathy for the West. Certainly Western imperialism in the past and the modern nation of
All this considered, Fuller might be right that the
Friday, January 11, 2008
Alex Hitchins is a private, secretive consultant who helps timid or awkward men find the courage and grace to meet and court the women they’ve been longing to know. Hitch is challenged when an accountant hires him in order to get to know a millionaire celebrity. But it turns out that Hitch’s biggest challenge is letting down his own barriers when he himself falls in love.
There are many moments of male/female humor in Hitch, poking fun at the different ways we communicate and understand. There is also good old slapstick and laughing at our own human foibles and weaknesses. Thankfully the humor is clean, even though the movie has its share of sexual innuendo and God’s name misused. If you’re sensitive about innuendo and language, this movie might bother you a bit. But I was really impressed by the emphasis on honorable, respectful behavior in Hitch.
For example, the mission of Alex Hitchins is expressly not sexual. When one potential client admits that he just wants to “bang” the girl he likes, Hitch goes through the roof. His job is to help people have the time to talk and listen to each other, growing in passion because of common interests. He has no sympathy for sleazy men who only want their own “needs” met. He refuses to work with this customer.
Also there are moments when Alex himself could have compromised his ideals for his own gratification, but instead pursued friendship. Throughout the story, he is shown to be mature and concerned about who women really are.
Hitch is not just a fairy tale movie. Hitch discovers the difficulty that past betrayal causes in present relationships. He is confronted with the choice between loving and risking, and staying “safe” but never loving. Friends of his are willing to speak candidly with him, challenging his assumptions about love and life.
I highly recommend this movie as one of my top romantic comedies, finding the innuendoes and language the only major drawbacks.
I enjoy thriller/action movies and
At the very outset, a Palestinian terrorist group kidnapped and killed 11 Israeli Olympians as the Olympics were beginning in
The unfortunate thing about
The wonderful and amazing thing about
The conflict is highly complex. Various characters throughout the movie question what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Is it right to be assassinating these chosen men without proof of their involvement in
Usually the end of a movie has definition and resolution, but
Sunday, January 6, 2008
They asked if they could eat their entire lunch outside at their picnic, so I said "Sure!" I made peanut butter and graham cracker "sandwiches," washed some apples and peeled one for Ethan. We loved being outside!
Ethan had a hard time sitting and walking on the hill. He kept tipping over! But I stuck by him and helped him walk on the slant. He loved seeing our cows and tasting dirt and grass again.
The older kids climbed fences, ran around, and collected dried up seed pods. I was grateful they could use their energy and noise outside instead of driving me crazy inside!
And I used my free weekend minutes to call some dear friends from Illinois and Scotland. I talked with five wonderful women and felt so refreshed by catching up with them and hearing their voices. Thank you, God, for small encouragements like "warm" weather and friends!