(a thought I wrote down last year about this time...)

I can hear the storm blowing in.
It does not take me by surprise
The rustle of dry leaves
Alerts me
That soon it will be here
One of the many virtues of Silence
I am ready for the storm

Solitude and Silence are close to God's heart. They draw me close to Him and allow space in my mind and heart for Him to draw close to me. Life without these close friends is no life at all.


MLK, Jr. Day

I was blessed to have been raised in Georgia among people of all colors. My classes have always been well-mixed. It astounds me when I remember that my own parents did not attend school with people of color. It boggles my mind to think about a world where a black man or woman could not vote or testify in court. We are really just about two generations removed (technically) from the Civil Rights movement. We have come a long way. But we have a REALLY long way to go.
Gaps in education and opportunity still abound. We need to work on the problem from all sides. The Lord still needs to heal some hearts in the area of racism...on both sides of the color line. There are no ready answers, but be sure the questions are myriad and deep.
I struggle with what I perceive about African-American "pop" culture...the media and art that comes from the most famous African Americans right now is violent, degrading to women, and unworthy of the rich artistry and history of African Americans. But it comes from people who have long been fractured, hurt, oppressed and who have had their families units ripped apart. How can we expect them to heal as a people in such a relatively short period of time? God alone can solve these questions...but he needs our hearts and hands and feet to do the dirty work of restoration, rehabilitation, and renovation. As we reach out across racial lines, our own hearts will mend, too. I have a dream, indeed.



Something of the DNA of January seeps into my blood and winds its way around until I almost must dream of some tangible thing that can be accomplished in the given year.
I am going to love well.
I am going to clear out some clutter.
Those are more ways of living than things to DO. Certainly healthy threads with which to weave my days.
But this year, I'd really like to PUBLISH. Something. Besides a blog for four people (thank you, four people!!) I have a finished young adult book (co-written by Tall One). I have ideas. It might be a story in our local yocal newsmagazine...where "news" is a flexible term and the emphasis might be on "yocal." I have no lofty goals, just a kernel of a dream. To write something that gets published or that I get paid to write.

Love. Peace. Publish. 2009
Sounds like a good idea for a tee shirt. :)


Compelled to Post

Mondays are a little like mini-new-years, and I feel compelled to post something. Like I have a clean slate and need to do the things I want and need to do.
My exciting weekend consisted of:
  • Having 7 friends over for a casual dinner and spending the entire time in the bathroom with a stomach bug. (extra fun)
  • Sitting on the sofa, hungry and thirsty, but afraid of solids and liquids. (super duper fun)
  • Watching the Panthers lose a football game that they should have won, while wondering if my soup would stay down. (mega fun)
  • Running down the hall to the restroom 82 times in one day. (more fun than I will tell you about. Really.)
  • Missing church (NO FUN!)
  • Missing two good days for working out (would have been fun)
Tall One is still afraid of me and hugs me with his elbows. He doesn't want to catch my fun. I don't really blame him. However, I did conquer both a sandwich and tacos today, and am starting to feel like myself again. I am inclined now to be more OCD about touching public things, since I don't actually know anyone who had the fun this week and could have given it to me. I either picked it up at CVS or Target.

Because it's been such an event-filled weekend, I'll also report that my scrolly-ball-thingie on my mouse doesn't seem to be working properly. It scrolls down but not up. (decidedly not fun)

And, I have to admit to watching "The Bachelor." It's that train wreck phenomenon. Can't. Look. Away. I am fascinated by self-centered drama girls and wierdo dating situations. This is the secret I carry. At least with my handy DVR, I can start watching it about 30 minutes in and skip commercials, which leaves more time for reading important things NOT centered around fantasy dates and swimming pools. Oy!

And those are my deep thoughts for today. I haven't any stored up, since my weekend was so dreary. We shall hope for a brighter week. And pray for healing for my scrolly ball. Now, Iris, go read the LOST blog. It's almost time!!!


Midnight Musings

It seems a cruel fate that I have to be at work at 8:30 am. Let me throw in the "I'm extremely grateful to have a job...that I like..." disclaimer and proceed with my thought. My creative time is about 9 pm - 2 am. I do my best thinking then. I have energy and juices are flowing. It's the day-to-day that drags me down into sleepy-land and kills my late-night dreams. When I'm on vacation (as I just was for two full weeks), my body reverts to Owl mode.
I am struggling to shake Owl mode as I get back into early bird mode. I have never been an early bird. I care nothing for worms. Who ever wanted a worm?

I lie in bed (like just now for 45 minutes WIDE AWAKE) thinking of great things to design, emails and blogs to write, songs, plays, etc. then fight falling asleep...then fall asleep, and feel that my best ideas get trapped in the neverland between conception and drool. Like just now. Had a great idea for something that I will do this year. Practical. Cute. Inexpensive. And I'd like to get started right now, at 12:15 am, thank you very much. (But there are worms for me in the morning if I go ahead and go to bed, right?)
I also laid there thinking about how to best reorganize my hall closet. I rearranged my den bookshelf in my head according to book color. I prayed. Prayer will sometimes lull me into a state of relaxation, and sometimes sleep. But tonight I crossed the hall to the big glowing screen and here I sit.
To reference my previous post, I had the oddest thing happen tonight. I am reading "A Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster (if you haven't read it, order it on Amazon today--I'll wait--it's that good). So the crazy thing is, the next chapter for me to read was on the Discipline of Simplicity. SIMPLICITY. OK, Holy Spirit...you trying to get my attention? Foster even mentioned the fallacy of gadgetry and the time-sucking traps that gadgets can lure you into. Yes, gadgets. (and as a side note, I did spend another hour and a half working on the wireless router that will not allow me to password protect AND actually use it wirelessly at the same time--arg! This was after an hour on the phone with my friendly Indian IT helper. So, free Wi-Fi hotspot at the Joneses! I will get it protected...but I need a tech breather for now.) Back to the disciplines. You see from this entire post that I must be in need of discipline in general. :) Simplicity. This practice is one that may well be the hardest for me to do. I see shopping as a challenge, an adrenaline rush, a problem to be solved. Jerod sees it as spending money we don't have for things we don't need. And usually, he's right. Jesus talked a lot about simplicity, too. He and his friends traveled pretty lightly. So, I really will be using those furlough days to clean out closets, reorganize, and reprioritize the place that "stuff" has in my life. I am tired of my stuff and the way it sits around lazily, occupying space and begging for attention. I am not taking a vow of poverty or anything, just really evaluating what I have and why I have it. And not just with pieces of wood and glass and plastic...what "stuff" is in my schedule and my life that is leeching my time and attention from the Kingdom of God? It needs to go out the door, too, so my home can be restored to order. Goodbye Stuff. Hello Life.


2008: The Year of the Gadget

We Joneses were not in the habit of "keeping up," per se. Trying to live a wee bit more frugally, we had not purchased a digital camera* (thanks to a hand-me-down that was working brilliantly), an ipod*, a DVR/Tivo*, and a number of other gadgets considered essential by most folk under 40. However, the year 2008 turned the tide.
The camera* was our Christmas gift at the end of 2007. Enjoyable to be able to record the most random or memorable moments. Now if I could just get all those photos backed up on the external hard drive* that's been in the package since September...
I started Jonesing for a DVR* after visiting Paul and Michelle's pad for Oscar night. I had heard of such things as pausing live TV and recording shows on a device other than a VCR (Free-vo!), but I hadn't EXPERIENCED the joy that is DVR*. Of all the devices we stumbled upon this year, DVR* has changed my life for the better. TV is now at my beck and call rather than my feeling tied to certain times when a fave show is on...and no more missing LOST because the VCR didn't comply with my wishes! Think what you might about my adoration for the DVR, it has freed up my time in a lot of ways. There is no love lost on the VCR that was a mostly faithful companion for 14 years.
The ipod* was the most suprising addition. It came free with the computer we got in the Fall, otherwise, I had few plans to add one to the family. I really thought it would change my life. Everyone I know has one. It seems to be the center of their universe at times. I always felt left out of discussions about downloading music and building playlists. Like I was the hairy, overweight uncool kid on the playground standing around picking my nose. (maybe I am!) An unfortunately busy Fall shattered my dream of ipod* glory. I have barely had time to add all those awesome songs I've been saving for a rainy day. I did manage to get a good Christmas playlist going, but aside from "Shelley's Holly Jolly," I haven't gotten my ipod* up to life-changing status yet. It's handy. But it ain't Jesus, you know?
Funny that the year AFTER the year of the gadget, I am yearning for simplicity. And after last night, when my fiddling with the wireless router for over two hours caused all manner of wireless confusion, I am STILL CRAVING simplicity. Gadgets never quite work for you the way they're supposed to. I will spend some time on the phone tonight with a NETGEAR representative explaining how I effectively cut off internet access to both computers, even though my cable modem is working brilliantly. I will be thinking of all the other things I could be doing. I will hopefully not cuss. I will try to wrap my NETGREAR customer service representative in the love of God. :) And I will never mess with my router again once it gets working.
Thus I march on, with a love-hate relationship with buttons, glowing lights, and microchips, fancy texting phones, bluetooths (teeths?), DVR, cable, internet, itunes, podcasts, and all adobe products. They don't define me, but they surely can try me and bring out a whole host of responses. Odd that gadgets play such a prominent role in our day-to-day.
Here's to 2009: The Year of Simplicity


New post. New year.

Silence is golden. Or some other such justification for my not having written for a spell. Here we are facing a new year. I love the expectations, and the clean slateishness of it.
I usually map out about 10-15 resolutions. This year I won't.
I hope to do the following:
To love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, and soul
And...to love my neighbor as myself
(an implication that I will love myself by taking care of myself...and love my neighbor too)
If I can't do those two things well, I really shouldn't attempt to do anything else--like read a bunch of classics, learn a new language, or take up knitting, etc.
The Year of Simplicity. I want to live simply and well. Reduce the noise. Reduce the clutter. Reduce distractions.
Let us love well in 2009.