May 2nd, 2003

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

Gacked from Moira's LJ, it's... the Age Meme!

20 Years Ago:
I was bashing out Scarecrow and Mrs. King fanfics on my parents' electric typewriter, and wearing out my tape of Rio. (The end of my Duran Duran days, however, was very near.)

10 Years Ago:
I was finalizing my plans to go to the Friends of Israel's Institute of Biblical Studies (now called Institute of Jewish Studies) in the fall.

5 Years Ago:
I was drawing up the guest list and sending out invitations to my wedding.

3 Years Ago:
I was looking at my swollen, puffy ankles and hoping desperately that the baby would come a couple of weeks early.

1 Year Ago:
I was thanking the Lord that I didn't have swollen, puffy ankles this time around and trying to brace myself for another six months' worth of chronic sleep deprivation.

I went to the dentist and had my chipped front tooth filed down and treated with a desensitizing agent. I also made a big batch of chewy chocolate chip cookies (recipe available on request -- it took me years to find a good recipe that would actually let the cookies stay soft after they cooled).

I will be dealing with the usual kid-related damage control issues, and maybe buying some blue paint for the living room (if I don't get that done today).

Wow, that meme sure makes my life sound exciting, doesn't it? Snert.
A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

I've just been reading and reflecting on the book of Romans -- I'm in Chapter Four at the moment -- and wow, meditation is hard.

By "meditation" I don't mean the word in its commonly understood, Eastern-mystical sense. No rhythmic breathing, or making one's mind an empty space, or visualizing water flowing between rocks, or murmuring "Om", or anything of that sort. I mean it in the sense the writer of Psalm 119 used it: quiet consideration of and reflection on God's truth, turning over Scripture in one's mind until you really grasp what's being said and can apply it to your life. But in a world full of distractions, and given a mind that tends to flit rapidly from one disconnected thought to another, not to mention an overactive imagination that kicks in at every possible opportunity -- I find meditation even harder than prayer, and that's saying a lot because prayer is very difficult for me as well.

If I really want to have a decent prayer time I have to a) go for a walk, so that I'm not tempted to get too comfortable and fall asleep; b) keep my eyes open, so that I'm too busy taking input from the world around me to get lost in imagination; and b) talk out loud, so I don't lose my train of thought. I'm finding that with meditation, I have to do almost the same thing (minus only the walking part, since I need to have the Bible open in front of me for reference and, well, I've had a few embarrassing accidents trying to read and walk at the same time).

I used to make detailed outlines and notes when I was reading a passage. But after several years of that I found my study had become very dry and academic. Like I was slaving away on some project for university in the hopes of getting top marks, rather than taking pleasure and benefit from the opportunity to spend time in God's Word. I felt that I was learning all kinds of things about God, but not so much spending time with Him or getting to know Him intimately. Imagine a woman who receives a love letter from an infinitely desirable suitor, but instead of reading it eagerly and treasuring every word, she sits down and picks it apart for grammar and syntax -- that was where I felt all my note-taking had brought me. But what was the alternative? I'm an inveterate speed-reader; I knew that if I simply committed myself to reading the Bible I'd just end up skimming over the surface and remembering very little. So for a long time -- I am ashamed to admit how long -- I did very little personal Bible reading or study at all.

Now, though, I'm getting back into it, and I'm trying this meditation thing that my father (bless him) always talked about -- though until now I never really listened because I was convinced that My Mind Just Doesn't Work That Way. And well, maybe there is still a grain of truth to that: certainly it's not easy for me to slow down and focus to that degree, it's not my natural mental inclination. (This is also why I am a lousy reader of poetry.) But it's possible. And, I'm beginning to discover, it's also very rewarding.

I'm just glad the Lord is so patient and gracious with me, because I really am thick as a walrus sandwich sometimes. Sigh.
A Pocket Full of Murder

Animagus Quiz!

Eagle. Proud and fierce.

What Is Your Animagus?
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't know about being fierce, but I like the eagle better than any of the other options.

P.S. to Chresimos -- I haven't forgotten your question -- in fact I'm in the middle of composing the answer, but the file's on another computer and I can't get to it right now. Some time this weekend, though.
A Pocket Full of Murder

I have created a monster

So I'm not exactly a rabid American Idol fan, but I've been watching episodes here and there as it gets down to the final few. Anyway, I was trying to explain to my husband what I meant when I said Clay hangs on to his consonants too much*, so I downloaded the video of last week's performance of "Build Me Up, Buttercup" from this site to use as an example.

Well, that would all be fine and good, but I made the mistake of letting Nicholas (my three-year-old) see the video. And the kid got instantly and completely hooked on the song and made me play it again about fifty times.

All of which means, of course, that Clay will be singing "Build Me Up, Buttercup" in my head for approximately the next two weeks. Agh. Why couldn't it be "Solitaire" instead? Not catchy enough for Nicholas, I guess...

*Don't get me wrong, I like Clay a lot. He's my pick to win, in fact. But he still needs to stop over-enunciating his r's.