31 December, 2009

new year's resolutions

2010 Resolutions, A Partial List
(Motivated by Grace, who is the most ambitious goal-maker I've ever met.)

1. Read as many books this year as I did last year (67). I was planning on reading 75, but then I got engaged.
2. Reinvigorate prayer life with more focused targets of morning prayer.
3. Memorize the Nicene Creed.
4. Run to the farmers' market every Saturday morning with Kelsey.
5. Work up to running three times a week.
6. Cut back significantly on meat and sugar. (I watched "Food Inc." again last night with the family and it changed my life for the second time. Go see it.)
7. Eat more vegetables.
8. Write a good thesis.
9. Continue the 365 project until Aug. 25, 2010.
10. Get a job.
11. Find a place to live.
12. Be a patient, loving wife.
13. Stop gossipping, especially with housemates.
14. Make all A's in my last semester.

Possibly going ice skating today with Guion, the fam, and the Flemings. Tonight, Guion and I are going to a murder mystery New Year's party with his "Ballers" contingent. Much busy happiness and all that jazz.

"For, Heaven knows why, just as we have lost faith in human intercourse, some random collection of barns and trees or a haystack and a waggon presents us with so perfect a symbol of what is unattainable that we begin the search again." Woolf, Orlando

22 December, 2009

pray continuously

How lovely it is to be home. I have so much on my mind, but I am oh-so-very happy. It's been something of a whirlwind break so far, but every day has been a joyful one.

To my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be a rather successful semester. I'm looking forward to the next one, although I feel like it is going to crash like a wave over my unsuspecting head. Classes + thesis writing + internship + discipleship + pre-marital counseling + wedding planning + finding a job + finding a place to live + saving money + having friends + actually getting to see le fiance = very easily the busiest semester of my life. And the last. So I guess that's appropriate?

"Is there anything I can't do? Well, I can't sing. But I am amazing."--my father, upon remembering that he knew how to tune a piano

The good news is that I am more in love with Virginia Woolf than ever.

Other things to add to the list of wedding don'ts:
* Writing your own wedding vows. (Good call, Chris. I had forgotten about that one.)
* Photos around the Old Well
* Photos in the middle of the road
* Spending a ridiculous amount of money on a dress
* Spending a ridiculous amount of money on stupid things

My darling Sonya sent me the sweetest Christmas package the other day. She filled this cute tin with a bar of soap, amazing spiced tea, a mixed CD and chocolates. I was so utterly delighted with the package and it made me remember that there are a few simple things that you could give me and I would be perfectly happy with if they were the only gifts I received for the rest of my life: tea, bars of pretty soap, and beautiful stationery.

While driving down the monotonous 220 to Southern Pines to visit le fiance + famille, I saw a wooden sign nailed to a pine tree. It read, in red, caps letters, "PRAY CONTINUOUSLY." Unlike most "Jesus signs" you see on billboards, I really liked this one. And it was a perfect reminder. During this hectic season of my life, that's all I really need to know right now.

14 December, 2009

don't list

So, it's been a while since I last wrote, but, believe it or not, I have a lot on my mind. The good news is that I only have one exam left and that I get to finally go home on Thursday night. I can't wait. Home is perfect.

I haven't really made many concrete decisions about what I want in our wedding, but I have made some decisions about what I don't want. I don't want:

* A tiara. For real. Not trying to be a Disney princess.
* Photos of the entire wedding party jumping in the middle of a road. So 2003.
* The garter ritual. I was not purchased with a dowry and this is super-awkward for everyone involved.
* A wedding cake.
* Bridezilla moments.

That's all I've decided for now. More to come. Put the lights on the tree!

05 December, 2009


Guion and I have a story to tell you...

We are so incredibly blessed by all of you and the affection and guidance you have shown us over the years. We're humbled by your love and really excited about this next stage of life together.

01 December, 2009

no thanks, john galt

This is a photo of my two favorite things about living in the Shoebox: 1) a glimpse of the giant tree that is wrapped in ivy and pressed up against the outer wall of this old shack, and 2) the thin, ancient windows that make the winter light so lovely.

I've never understood--and frankly find absurd--Christians who declare that capitalism is aligned with the gospel. American Christianity is too devoted to its health and wealth doctrine to believe otherwise, I suppose. But the life Jesus lived and the economic practice of the early church could not be further from the capitalist ideals of self-centered gain and every-man-for-himself prosperity. This is what I read this morning in my devotional time:

"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need" (Acts 4:32-35).

Of course I recognize that socialism doesn't "work" now; there are too many examples of its widespread devastation to argue for that. And I'm not so ignorant to believe that we should ditch the capitalist model, which has certainly propelled America--rightfully or not--to its (fast disappearing) empire status. I'm just tired of hearing Christians rave about Ayn Rand as if she had written the fifth gospel; I'm tired of the prosperity gospel. Jesus never acted like a capitalist. That's all I'm saying.

I'm reading The Color Purple now and it is staggering to read Walker's portrait of the tyranny of men over women. Celie's story actually amplifies many of Woolf's themes: enduring sexual abuse from male relatives, finding sanctuary and subsequent attraction in women, discovering personal strength in the face of enslaving patriarchy, etc. It's strange, but whenever I read African American women writers, I get the sense that they're inadvertently channeling Woolf--only in a grittier, more expansive American style.

I admire Walker for being able to write about the darkest evils of patriarchy (incest, rape, domestic abuse, de facto slavery to one's husband) without anger. Celie just tells it like it is and lets you make the judgments. In "A Room of One's Own," Woolf criticized women authors for succumbing to anger over male dominance and letting it muddy and dilute their writing. Walker lightly evades this inclination and instead writes with compelling clarity and directness of a very hard life.

My mother reminded me on Thanksgiving that I love the idea of yoga, but that I was really built to be a runner, in my father's image.