Archive for November, 2013

November 22, 2013

Linky Love, November 2013 Edition

Something New and Good: Our God Sunshines – This is an excellent post by a fellow RUF-worker-alumna about learning what a big deal it is to reflect on the glorious goodness of God. It’s not something easy to home in on for some of us serious, “nuevo-Puritan” types (clever descriptor is 100% Bekah), who are quite , and as you may have picked up on from my previous post, I was entrenched as a child – more than almost anyone around me – in the very type of severe gravitas Bekah discusses. I call myself a recovering legalist partly because I was so obsessed with sin – understanding it, digging it out, confessing it – sometimes confessing the same sin many, many times (not the same pattern recurring, but the same individual sins). And, like Bekah says, fighting sin is important. But the glorious goodness and magnificently generous kindness and the joy and laughter of our God are the point of the Gospel – not our disastrous messes. All that to say, go read it.

Giving Thanks: For Finding My Ring and Not Marrying a Pothead – My friend Missy is a delightful storyteller. This post made me smile a big, big smile, so I thought I’d share.

The Ridiculous Grace of Adoption – Marissa Cope, another cherished friend of mine, came out with this excellent piece on adoption over at The Gospel Coalition. November is National Adoption Awareness Month. (Yes, I know it’s also Movember and Native American Heritage Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month and National Novel Writing Month and NoShaveNovember and a host of other things, but it is also Adoption Awareness Month, and y’all know how obsessed I am with adoption.)

How to Date When You’re Sick – This is an uplifting post by fellow-endometriosis-sufferer Rachel Meeks, who has come up with some pretty creative ways to have a good time with her husband even when she feels like crap. (Also, they sound like crazy-fun people I would like to hang out with, which always makes posts like this more interesting.) Her blog, Do I Look Sick?, is a new favorite. (She even has a post on flaxseed, which I found immensely helpful. Because, believe it or not, flaxseed has actually become an issue in my life.) It’s encouraging to see how other women are making life work despite the uncertainties, pains, and frustrations of this disease.

Dot Dot Dot – This is internet-old (almost 4 years old) but it still has me in stitches every single time. A voice actor does a dramatic reading of a game review by some kid whose spelling and grammar don’t suggest much hope for our education system. Add in awesome graphic design/typography/craziness and some, um, mood music, and it’s about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. In case y’all missed this hilarious little video – well, carpe diem.

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November 5, 2013

Thoughts from the Edge of 29

My schedule these days is pretty bizarre. Since I work with students, who obviously can’t work with me when they are in school, I get to do things like go to Thursday Morning Bible Study (henceforth to be referred to as TMBS) at my church. We are working our way through Exodus (with some forays into Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and it has been really really good for me.

Exodus is one of those books I know pretty well – conceptually. But I feel like I’m noticing so much I’d missed before.  Reading the same passage 5-7 times each week is helping me do more than just absorb information. I’m getting a feel for Moses’ style, appreciating how the story is being told, mulling over things that are confusing (which, interestingly, I am noticing more, now that I’m reading the same passages over and over again), and picking up on different things with each read. I think typically, when I’ve read, say, Jude, 4 times in 4 years, I have noticed more or less the same stuff each time. But with such intense focus over the course of several days, I am gleaning more and more.

In addition to being excited about connecting with Scripture in a deeper way, I’m fascinated by this shift. I went to seminary largely to learn the Bible better – which totally happened – and to learn to love it better – which also happened. I am learning so much now that I would have loved to learn several years ago. But I don’t think I would be able to see what I’m seeing now without those years – all 29 (plus nine months, I suppose) – of learning. Everything that I’ve learned is somehow incorporated into a foundation of understanding, which frees me to pay attention to things differently.

This feels bizarre because I’ve become more childlike, especially in the way I am engaging Scriptural texts. That’s weird on a number of levels – like how complex and involved and mature the thinking I’m doing is. But the weirdest part, experientially, springs from the fact that I was a very unchildlike child.

It wasn’t until senior year of high school that I stopped trying so hard to be older and more grown up, that I stopped being quite so serious, so die-hard, so ready to go to bat for just about anything. A few examples: When I was about 10, my fashion goal was to dress (convincingly) like a secretary. I stopped reading children’s books (except where required for school) at way too young an age, and missed greats like The Westing Game, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and The Chronicles of Prydain. (I’ve been playing catch-up since I was 20.) I picked fights about philosophy with high school students when I was in 7th grade. (Ok, so that one has more to do with being obnoxious than grown up.) I was SERIOUS, y’all.

My dog was raised in a racing kennel. He was taught to run fast, go into his crate, and walk on a leash. But he wasn’t allowed to be a puppy; he didn’t learn how to play. Westley was injured in a racing mishap not long after he turned two, and when he came to live with me, I had to teach him to play. He’s still not stellar at it, but he does play every day. He has learned how to be silly and have fun. I think I can appreciate where he’s coming from, having lightened up significantly since my serious childhood. It’s probably one of the reasons we’ve connected so well.

Jesus talks a lot about being like little children when we come to the Father. I am trying to get better at it. Here’s hoping 29 looks a lot more like 10 than 10 did.

Well, in some ways at least.