Sunday, October 22, 2006

Alive and well

I have definitely been out of it for a while. The blogosphere, I mean. I finally got to read up on some of the blogs I’ve been missing during my forced blog hiatus, and it has me a bit overwhelmed. Too much great information out there. But I am alive and well. And a year older (at least numerically) since I last posted. Yes, I’m a stalwart 26 now. Seems a lot like 25 so far.

Well, in the tradition of what one of my friends has been posting on his blog, here are three things that I’d like to write about in the future.

1. My fabulous birthday dinner at Devereaux’s with my wonderful, sweet, amazing, nearly-perfect husband. (Anytime you want to take me there again, dear, you know where to reach me. : )

2. The story behind my wedding ring.

3. This great sermon I heard this summer about living stones, and my theory about metaphors in the Bible.

For now, though, I must simply say goodnight.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Places I've been

Well, Kat has tagged me, and I’m happy to tell you all what states and countries I’ve visited. Here they are, all but Alaska.

I thank my parents for their avid vacationing. Now I just need to get to Alaska and Hawaii.

And countries.

My husband feels that I should not include China, but I did spend about 6 hours in a Hong Kong airport on my way to Thailand. It was actually the day after the United Kingdom transferred sovereignty of Hong Kong to China. It is by far my most interesting story about travelling to another country. I watched the ceremony in New York, and about 24 hours later I was in Hong Kong.

Making lemonade

You’ve all heard the saying—what to do with lemons. Well, today, Life gave me a few juicy ones.

The company I work for has decided to crack down on personal internet usage. That’s understandable. Apparently, a number of people were IMing for hours at a time. What I found a little hard to swallow was an email I received this morning telling me that we’re not allowed to use the internet during lunch either. My beloved blogging hour! The only time (due to no internet at home) that I can spend reading all of your blogs and posting on my own.

I felt pretty discouraged. I thought, What can I do during lunch? I don’t go out to eat (what nearly everyone else does). What do I do for this hour that I’m stuck at work?

And then I remembered what I did about six months ago before the summer heat kicked in. I grabbed my iPod and went for a walk. I got to enjoy the sunshine, the butterflies, the birds chirping—things I’ve seen less of lately since I’ve been spent stuck to a computer screen during lunch. And I listened to a sermon about the life of Adoniram Judson, which made me realize the insignificance of my small difficulties.

So, dear readers, though I hope it will not be the case, I may be blogging a little less. But know that I am enjoying some sweet lemonade.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Darkness and light

My carpool buddy and I pulled away from the house at an agonizing 6:23 this morning. Because daylight hours are shrinking, this means that almost our entire drive was in the pitch black of night.

I had encountered anecdotal evidence for there being more depression during these dark months, but I never understood it until last year. Last year when I started driving to work in the dark and driving back home . . . in the dark. It’s completely psychological but powerful nevertheless.

Daylight savings doesn’t help either. Not sure why it’s even called that—it doesn’t actually save any daylight. It just pushes it back. And for those of us driving to work in pitch blackness, it just makes matters worse.

Shorter days aside, last week was a rough one for me. Deadlines piling up so high I thought they were going to kill me.

But then I heard this. And it made a huge difference in my attitude.

It’s a section of Martin Lloyd-Jones book Spiritual Depression. He discusses what we can learn from the psalmist’s example in Psalm 42.

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you.

Now [the psalmist’s] treatment was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”

This self of ours… has got to be handled. Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him; upbraid him; exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you. For that is what he will always do if you allow him to be in control . . . We must stand up as this man did and say, “Why art thou cast down? Why are thou disquieted within me? Stop being so! Hope though in God, for I shall yet praise Him.”

I think this is especially important in light of our modern tendencies to “believe in ourselves,” which can easily slip into “believing ourselves” when we think things that are simply not true in light of God’s truth.

So this morning, stumbling around in the dark getting ready for work, I started talking to myself. And things got a little brighter.

Odes to commuting

What William Carlos Williams might have written if he had driven an hour to work every morning.

The Red Pontiac
so much depends
a red

glazed with rain

along the black

This is just to say
I have driven
the car
that was in
your garage

and which
you were probably
for yourself

Forgive me
it was fantastic
so fast
and so smooth

And a big thank you to Will for submitting the second poem.