30 June 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

I'm so grateful to God for providing Scripture at the perfect time. This psalm answered many of the anxieties or weaknesses that had been filling my heart over the past several weeks. As I was reading it, I could hardly believe that there was actually a psalm that said all of this at the same time. How kind of the Lord to direct me to this chapter. :)

25 June 2009

Thankful Thursdays: Major and Minor

Major: I have been getting more and more inquiries for the classes I teach in the fall. This is really encouraging, and I'm grateful for God's provision in that area.

Minor, but more entertaining: On Monday Mom and I decided that I needed a haircut. So away we went with scissors and comb. It didn't quite look right, so we played around some more. Then it looked kind of weird, so she cut another half inch off. And then egad, it looked horrendous. Great, now what? Fortunately, we made one final adjustment (which involved hacking another half inch) and now everything is just peachy. Thank goodness for that. For a while I was having visions of a pixie haircut as a last act of desperation. Miraculously, however, it's very cute and flippy . . . and a good deal shorter than before.

23 June 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: Summertime

It's finally summertime! In honor of the season, and because I am tired of my pasty white skin, I went outside to roast myself yesterday. It worked, and I managed to strike the balance between "not quite tanned" and "horribly sunburned." I do enjoy sunshine . . . and bluebells, and blooming hedges, and bees. In short, all the things mentioned in the poem below.

Unfortunately, its woebegone author is too lovestruck to enjoy summer. Poor fellow. He can't even eat normally; and that is a sad state of affairs, indeed.

"Summer" by John Clare (1855)

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover’s breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast;
I’ll lean upon her breast and I’ll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o’sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.

21 June 2009

Just A Few Reasons Why I Love My Dad

Because he works hard. Dad knows so much, and no matter what problem confronts him, he puts that knowledge to good use. Behold the masterful packing job he did when bringing me home from school; you never knew an engineering degree could come in so handy, huh?

Because he knows how to have fun, and he makes sure that everybody else is having fun too. While in Maine, he took the younger kids out in the canoe several times, so they could experience the lake along with the "big people." You can just pick out the canoe and kayak in the picture below . . .

Happy Father's Day :)

17 June 2009

Thankful Thursdays: That To Which I Am Addicted

I'm posting early because I may not have time tomorrow. :)
Okay, maybe I shouldn't give thanks for being addicted-- haha. But now that I'm hooked, I'm awfully glad the following things exist:

TIC TACS. Also ORBIT GUM. I love minty things that come in small portable quantities.

MY WATER BOTTLE. I feel rather lost without carrying water with me. Ever since my trip to Turkey, I've been a little camel, always guzzling water and stashing it in my purse or backpack.

CLASSICAL MUSIC. It's great for homework, cleaning projects, washing dishes, planning classes, dancing, dinner parties, and just about everything else. Pandora comes in handy here. My "Yo-Yo Ma" station gets a lot of use.

DOWN VESTS. Also PASHMINA SCARVES. If I'm going to be an icicle all the time (which it seems that I am), I may as well be stylish about it.

CAFFEINE. I'll take it in any form. Coffee, tea, or chocolate. You know that Kristen Chenoweth song "Taylor the Latte Boy?" That's me. Caffeine makes me happy happy happy.

Luke took the picture below while we were in Winter Harbor, a tiny and beautiful town in Maine. We found a great cafe with coffee and freshly baked pastries, and there was much rejoicing.

Incidentally, if you have never heard that "Latte Boy" song, you should. It's hilarious. Look it up on YouTube.

16 June 2009

Poor and Needy

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are toward us: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered . . .
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
-Psalm 40

I'm going through the Bible chronologically this year, and Psalm 40 showed up this morning, with perfect timing. After coming back from Maine, my teaching responsibilities hit me full in the face and I also got sick. So I feel extremely "poor and needy," wondering how I'm ever going to plan these classes out, and how I will be able to devote enough time to the summer tutorials while trying to structure all the stuff that begins in the fall, and if I can possibly spend more time with people instead of with my laptop, and when I will stop catching random bouts of flu.

"Yet the Lord thinketh upon me."

That is a comfort like no other. "Many, O Lord my God are . . . thy thoughts which are toward us." His thoughts are merciful and good toward His children. If it's His will, I can accomplish all of this on schedule, do it well, and do it with joy. He knows exactly what's going on. Therefore I will "say continually, The Lord be magnified."

15 June 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: Down By the Sea

We ran off to Maine for a week, hence no posts. Imagine, a house without internet connection! But it was lovely. We were on a small lake with canoes, kayaks, and suchlike amusements. Also Acadia nearby, so plenty of crashing waves and giant rocks to climb, which makes everyone happy. Some rain, mostly sun, and a lot of ice cream throughout the week. Couldn't ask for much more than that.

I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me.

And frigates in the upper floor
Extended hempen hands,
Presuming me to be a mouse
Aground, upon the sands.

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion's sleeve -
And then I started too.

And he - he followed close behind;
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, - then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl.

Until we met the solid town,
No man he seemed to know;
And bowing with a mighty look
At me, the sea withdrew.

-Emily Dickinson

04 June 2009

Thankful Thursdays: Visitors

We've had so many houseguests and dinner guests in the month since I have been home-- kind of crazy. I have loved seeing the Hillsdale folks, along with friends from home, and hosting these dear people whether for a few hours or a few days.

Here are the people we have had in our house, all in less than four weeks: Kathryn Williams, David Wagner, Emily Fisher, Richard and Lois Sensenig, Anastasia Ealey, Keaton Christiansen, Allen Zarcone, Tom Cox, Nathan Pullmann, Ray and Irene Randolph, Thomas Roe and his dad, the Bigley family, the Odell family, and the Howard family (the Odells' cousins).

(Jared doesn't count as a guest anymore. He is over here too often for that.)

Oh yes, and I know it's not Thursday, but I was too busy hostessing to post yesterday. The guys in Augmented Fourth stopped by for dinner, singing, and a brief night's sleep before they drove off in the wee hours of the morning, headed to DC to sing at the Kirby Center. It was wonderful to see them on their mad dash through the lower 48. Safe travels, gentlemen.