Milestones & Monotony

Today we celebrated my Grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Incredible is an understatement. How many utterly ordinary moments must they have shared in sixty years of marriage–sixty years of bills, of dishes, of head colds, of lawn-mowing, of doctors appointments, of long work days. Yet here they are, still helping each other get about, still providing for each other, still loving each other.

They have been present in my life in a beautiful way, sharing countless stories of days long gone, of the trials and triumphs of daily life. They’ve taught me lessons in tenacity, hospitality, pie-making, humility, mindfulness, piano, canoeing, and cards–lots of cards. None of these were learned in a day, but rather represent their consistent presence in my life over the years (only a third of their married life!) I have been so greatly influenced by their faithfulness in the mundane–in service of each other, yes, but mostly in service of God. They are first to remind me of their imperfections in this, but it is so clear from their life and their marriage that Jesus is central. Glory be to God for sixty years of marriage, of bills, of dishes, of colds, of lawn-mowing, of doctor’s appointments, and of long work days.

And so I must away, to be faithful in the monotonous work of studying.

Happy 60th, Grandma and Grandpa!

a beloved nobody

Advertisements

Good Friday Tidings

Hello there,

This guy came for a visit

It’s another rainy Friday here, but this is Good Friday, so this must be good rain, eh? So far it has brought many birds to my back garden, and many contemplative thoughts to my heart. 

   But my recovery cannot spring from any cause in me,
     I can destroy but cannot save myself.
   Yet thou hast laid help on One that is mighty,
     for there is mercy with thee,
     and exceeding riches in thy kindness through Jesus.
   –from “Kept by God” in Valley of Vision

Have a good, Good Friday and a Happy Easter weekend.

a beloved nobody

 

Warm thoughts of Spring

Florida weather is always odd, but this February has been particularly bipolar.

That being said, it seems my pea plants have decided it is time for spring and have valiantly started producing blossoms. Last week the first couple blooms showed their faces, and then I came back this weekend after being out of town to be greeted by many smiling faces. My camera batteries died, though, and now it is raining so no pictures as of yet, but they shall be forth coming.

In the mean time, dream of spring.

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
      Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Thomas Nashe
~a beloved nobody

Happy Belated New Year

Hello there and Happy 2014!

Hope that this New Year has been treating you well thus far.

I am not even going to attempt to make up for lost time in any sort of detailed manner, but here are some photos of the garden and the holidays.

Image

the traditional Christmas photo

Image

the progressing garden…
November 22, 2013 Image

Image Image

...and the carrots deign to make an appearance... Image

Image

in need of some TLC after the polar vortex

Image

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. [Hebrews 12]

Stay warm and enjoy the Olympics.

-a beloved nobody

There and Back Again

As of today, I have been back in the states for exactly the same number of days as I spent in Britain this summer. Though it was only 65 days, it is a bit sad to think that from now on I am farther away from this summer rather than closer to it. Entirely unintentionally, I had a jolly conversation over mid morning coffee and a plate of biscuits (aka: cookies). My sweet old neighbor (old as in no longer my neighbor as well as in age) and I talked about my time in England, as well as her time there some 75 years ago. So much of what I loved most about my summer–biscuits, drinks, and chats–was brought back to my little old life in Florida merely by a break in the morning for neighborly love. 

“Elsewhere the …

“Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn–and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.
So let us drink tea.
…When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”
-The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Today was a day for tea.

Brain, Breath, Heart, and Body

heart drawing

The body is a beautiful thing.

Not only are people lovely, but the body itself is beautiful in form and function. Any anatomy and physiology class will tell you that it is at once mind-splittingly complex and gracefully elegant. We take each movement, each thought, and each breath for granted. So many generations of people have devoted their lives to learning more about the body, but we can also learn so much from the body.

For a healthy individual, movement is oftentimes subconscious. Even the unhealthy individual does not have to think about sending the electro-chemical impulses down specific neurons to the correct muscles in order to execute an action. However, every single action requires cells to work together. These cells need a constant supply of vital nutrients, such as oxygen, or they die off. These nutrients are supplied by blood pumped by the heart, which also clears away waste products toxic to the cell, such as carbon dioxide. But how does the heart know how to pump blood properly? The brain regulates it with a network of neurons and nervous impulses. Elegant, yet elementary.

What would happen if the heart stopped its job? Well, we all know that our poor hypothetical friend would die, but think about it. If the heart stops pumping, blood stops circulating and the cells no longer receive oxygen. Toxins build up, the cells die, as does the individual. Even if the brain continues to tell the heart to beat and the individual keeps breathing, the oxygen will not circulate if the heart does not play it’s part.

This seems so simple and obvious, but there are some incredible truths to be learned here! Take this same principle, and apply it to a Christian–hang with me! In James, there is a verse which states, “Faith without works is dead.” Remember the physical heart. If faith is the body, it must work or die, just as the heart must work or the body dies. Even if a person knows the truth (brain) and believes it (breath), they are at best gravely ill if they do not act it out (heart beat). Faith without works is unsustainable and unhealthy. Those works do not save a person (one cannot dig up a dead-man, insert electrodes into his heart, and bring him to life), but a person who is saved most surely has works giving evidence of life (movement).

I write these things not to be judgmental, but rather to share a revelation. That verse in James is one I am so guilty of glossing over and rationalizing, but when put in physical terms, I cannot deny it. I believe in God, and I believe I love God, but that should cause my heart to beat. My life should be full of movement, of works, which bear witness to the fact that I have LIFE. That life should multiply, not because I am better, worthy, or enlightened, but because I was once as dead as a decaying corpse, but have been given a new heart and a new life, and because the very same Doctor who gave me new life is more than able and desirous to give life to every dead man and woman.

For this reason, I will devote my life to Jesus Christ and let Him use the life He gave me to best share this good news.

I have seen the…

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-14

Turn, Turn, Turn

Today marked the first day of class, the end of summer, and 3 weeks since I returned home to Florida. I am in such a different place from  this time last year, but I am thankful to say it is for the better.

However, the whole “re-entry” thing has had me out of the loop (cannot imagine what it is like for people coming back after years), and I have let a lot slip by without comment here. It would be negligible of me to leave the rest of my stay in England undocumented, so here goes.

Mid-July  I headed out to Bath, where I spent 3 blissful days in Jane-Austen-and-Roman-History heaven. Soaking up the fashionable city with a fellow fan and friend made it all the more enjoyable. On another note, we discovered that it is in fact possible to max out on cream tea.
Image
Late July saw me frantically trying to finish up class assignments as well as my bucket list for the trip. I also got to spend one last weekend out in Wallington. My wonderful friends there were always so kind and hospitable–truly a home-away-from-home. I was able to say “thank you” in my own small, southern way by introducing my hosts to buttermilk biscuits. Nothing says love like flaky biscuits and sausage in the morning.

Image Image

On the last night of July, in addition to celebrating Harry Potter’s 33rd birthday, I saw my absolute favorite play of the summer, Gabriel, at the Globe. Not only was it an amusing show full of 18th century history, politics, and anachronisms, but it was centered around the music of Purcell and the trumpet in particular–featuring the masterful artistry of Alison Balsom! (Look her up if you don’t know her…now.)

Image

The first week of August, my parents joined me in London before all coming home together (hooray for hugs and travel companions!). It was fun seeing everything through their eyes, though it was odd to spend my last few days sticking out as a tourist when I had spent the summer trying so hard to be at home in the city.

Image

Alas, all things must come to an end, and mid-August saw my return to the States. Fortunately, my first weeks back have been filled with friends, family, sleep, and crazy middle schoolers (God love em’). Looking forward to all this year has in store.
~a beloved nobody