Thursday, July 21, 2011


I mourned a loss today.  The loss of the only phone number I ever had.  A good, faithful phone number, it has stuck by me since I was 16 and got my first cell phone.  (This was before 10 year old's had cell phones.)  I betrayed it at the sprint store, sending it off into cyber space.  The sprint guy said, "now, are you sure?  because, when I click the button, off it goes for someone else to grab it in Chicago."  Heartless. He didn't understand.  (jk, he was actually really nice!)

My main near-future teaching goal is to teach private piano and voice lessons at our home in Lincoln (or in local studios, high schools, etc...) Several people suggested having a local phone number for advertising purposes.  As Ben's grandpa put it, people might feel like they're calling China if they call a random 847 number off an ad. I knew these people were right - it'd be easier to advertise with a local number.

We changed numbers right after signing a new lease for a rental house.  It all felt very symbolic - new state, new job, new house, new phone number, new season of life. (To tell the truth, I even felt a little emotional! I can't believe I'm admitting this on the internet, and I certainly didn't show it in the Sprint store...) but it's a new start.  In every season, though, the Lord is faithful.  And he will be in this upcoming one.  Of that, I am certain.

Meanwhile, my long time friends who probably have that faithful old phone number memorized, mourn the loss and then kick it to the curb because 847-840-4780 is out and 402-840-9160 is in.  (Nice of cyber space to randomly assign the first 3 digits the same isn't it... it knew I couldn't stand to loose all 7 digits I guess.)

Summers off = lots of time to read

As a teacher, I have the summer off.  No shame.  Among other things, I have REALLY enjoyed reading this summer.  I think I'm enjoying it extra because during the school year, reading felt exhausting.  Most nights, I was too tired to think enough to read for more than 5 minutes.  But this summer, I have loved reading again.

The Hobbit
Ben and I make a lot of trips back and forth between Omaha and Chicago (8 hours each way) and I often end up reading out loud while Ben drives.  He was reading the first book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I read part of it out loud to him.  I didn't really know what was going on, but the further I read, the more I felt intrigued.  So, I decided to take a stab at it from the beginning.  (Side note -I'm not usually into any sort of fantasy or even fiction in general, but it's a classic, so what the heck!)  I backed up and read the trilogy's precursor, The Hobbit.   By the middle of the book, I was fascinated by their adventure, and towards the end, I really wanted to know what happened next.  It's a really great story.  So intricate, and descriptive.  I especially liked Tolkien's tone and the character of Bilbo Baggins.  Haven't started the trilogy yet, but it's coming up soon.  Here's a memorable quote (note: Bilbo is a hobbit who has had an unusual adventure and Gandalf is "The great white wizard," always in the right place, rescuing Bilbo, at the right time)

"Then, the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!" said Bilbo. 
"Of course!" said Gandalf. "And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit?  You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"
"Thank goodness!" said Bilbo laughing.

The Weight of Glory
This is a compilation of sermons from C.S. Lewis, given at various occasions.  The sermons covered a wide range of topics.  In full Lewis fashion, the essays were practical, theologically sound, and challenging!  I love the way he explains things - sometimes broad and confusing, you can't quite tell where it's all going, and then one connecting sentence that makes the whole thought profound.  (a poor explanation of his writing - you're better off reading it yourself.)  While it's not as popularly publicized as say, Mere Christianity, I think The Weight of Glory is one of my favorite Lewis works.

The Film Club
I read this book per recommendation of a friend whose book reviews and suggestions you can read here!  It's about a father-son relationship and how it evolves as the dad gives permission for his son to drop out of high school on the condition that they watch 3 movies per week together.  I was intrigued by the premise of a father tried to give his kid, who was failing in the traditional educational system, a non-traditional educational experience.  It made me want to watch some classic films, and it made me feel grateful for my relationship with my dad.  It's interesting and a quick read, and while I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected, I'd still recommend it.

This book is probably the one I will recommend to everyone, probably to an obnoxious extreme.  It's about  an American man who is captured as a POW by the Japanese military during WW2.  I have  been trying to find the words to describe it without giving a plot-ruiner and I've decided to just say, go read it.  In my opinion, it's a must-read for everyone. One of my top 10 books of all time.

The Hiding Place
The autobiographical experience of Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place tells how Corrie and her sister spread love in the midst of evil, while imprisoned in a concentration camp during WW2.  As she writes in the book, "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still."  Another must-read.  Another one of my top 10 books of all time.
The Giver
I just finished this book today! A quick read that is often assigned to junior high or high school lit classes, it paints the picture of a futuristic regulated society where people live with very few choices.  (I guess I'm expanding my horizons with 2 fiction books this summer already...)  I really enjoyed it - I like how the author paints a picture of this society as if she is living in it, and yet it is so different from what we experience today.  Well written and thought-provoking.

What are you reading this summer?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

100th post...

I came to write about "one of those days."  Then, when I signed in to write about this particular "one of those days," I realized it was my 100th post on this blog.  Well that seems kinda fun.  I'll have a mini celebration with me, myself and I. 

Obviously I am partying with cartoon animals who are singing. (and obviously, i'm tired)

Anyway, that was fun.

Today was one of those days.  Where everything is up and down.  Plans, emotions, schedules, food, phone calls... you name it, it was crazy.

Today was also one of those days where God teaches you to rest. to stop. to be still. to listen. and to choose his peace over life's stress.

I'll be consciously making that choice all the way into my dreams.  (because if I don't, I'll grind my teeth in my sleep and wake up with a sore jaw and a lot of crabbiness!) too much personal blogger info?  I hope not.


Home Depot

Well I went to home depot today.  When I walked in the door (in my leggings, oversized t-shirt, no shower, headband - lookin ridiculous), the greeter guy looked me up and down, in a very not-subtle way, and laughed as he asked, "um, are you doin some home improvements?"  I mean, did I not look capable of making some home improvements?  So, obviously, I did not tell him I was there to get moving boxes.  Rather, I replied, "Yes. I'm gutting my kitchen and remodeling" and walked away.  Not sure if that was the right response?  Probably not. 

As I was walking through home depot, I really wished I was on one of those HGTV home improvement shows.  Ya know... spending someone else's credit card, designing something cool, capable of using power tools.  It's a goal (not to be on HGTV... just to be able to go to home depot and know what I'm trying to build and then get the right stuff and build it and do basic home improvement stuff.  anyway, maybe someday...)

Then, I walked passed the kitchen section.  It brought back memories of when my brother and I were little... we used to play hide and seek in the kitchen cabinets while my dad was at the store. 

Well, I ended up with 30 moving boxes and 4 rolls of packing tape.  So, I guess it was a success.

Back to packing...