Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday Night Shakespeare

Now that I'm in transition between my former part-time job, and my current full-time job, I am now working full-time, and instead of an hour for lunch, my break is the fifteen minutes in my car between Job A and Job B, in which I cram my peanut butter sandwich in between shifting gears. I'm thankful to be working full time, but I will be even more thankful when those 40 hours are in the same place.

It makes the days long, and I now understand why my house was never consistently clean growing up, the lesson learned by every other adult. I don't want to clean my house when I've been working all day.

But, last night, Andrew planned for us to pack a picnic supper and a couple blankets, and we drove off to Sinkland Farms, where we paid $15, sat on our blankets, ate our sandwiches and pretzels, and watched an open air performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," as performed by New River Valley Open Air Shakespeare.

Working hard makes those quiet moments so much more enjoyable. Life lesson number fifty-two, I suppose.

Friday, October 21, 2011

all kinds of different

For some reason, every time I've begun to write this blog (which has spanned over several days), immediately that song from "Toy Story" jumps into my head -- when Buzz is taking over Woody's place. Strange things are happ'nen' to me... 

But really, strange things aren't happening to me. Just different. Such as . . .

It is cold here in Blacksburg. Fall was suddenly over in a torrential gust of freezing cold wind. I cannot feel my fingers, and I'm pretty sure I saw some snow yesterday.

Two weeks ago, I realized I desperately needed a haircut. After a few hours searching the all-knowing internet for salons nearby with good reputations, I braved a walk-in. Naturally, having picked one of the top salons in town, they were booked solid. All week. So I made an appoinment for Tuesday of this week. Tuesday morning, I had a job interview that ran 45 minutes over my hair appointment time. I was too embarassed to call and reschedule, so I tried for a walk-in at another highly recommended place the next morning. Success! I now have much shorter hair, zero split ends, more vibrant curls, and ... bangs!

And, the best change of all? The job I interviewed for? Bam! it's mine! 

I've been working part-time at a Christian school here in Blacksburg, working as a PE teacher and as the director of their after-school program. It's been a hard job, but I enjoy the kids; especially some of the ones in Aftercare. But, being a poor newlywed married to a medical student, full-time was needed. So, I've been applying and interviewing here and there, and today, I began part-time at my new job! I'll switch to full-time as soon as my school finds a replacement for me.

What is my new job, you ask? Well, I'm just as surprised as you are. It's here, at the Adventure Club Center. God continues to throw me curveballs, but this one I like. I never considered working in childcare, even with three summers of camp experience. I've wanted an administrative job, period. So God put me in a school, teaching PE (did I mention I'm not an athelete?), and playing freeze tag with elementary school kids. And I've been applying for full-time jobs, mostly administrative.

But ... God has again surprised me. I am now working at a daycare, of all places. With the toddlers (I'm going to get so good at changing diapers...), of all ages. And, here's the best part: I love it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


My dad's mother died before when my dad was a young twenty-something, before he was married. I've heard so many stories about Mildred, about the extraordinary godly woman she was, how she helped shape my family into one that served the Lord, how well she loved people.

You can see Mildred circled.

For a wedding gift, my grandfather gave me Mildred's cookbook. It's just an old Betty Crocker cookbook, but it was hers, and it has her handwriting in it. The most used recipe is obviously the waffles; the inside front cover is marked with "waffles, page 196", and she taped an entirely modified version over the original recipe over the page.

We've been eating waffles most lazy Saturday mornings like today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Splatter Paint

Pretend I have transformed the past few days into a blob of paint, and now I shall splatter it on here, just to share a few moments.

1. I had coffee and breakfast with my friend Andrea this morning; she asked me about my writing and I responded with some excuses why I'm not, or should be writing. To which she told me, in a very nice and firm way to get over myself and just write. Stop making excuses, just do it. Yup. I needed that.

2. You know what's delicious? Granny Smith apples with Nutella. (I thought this was an original idea, until I just found this nice picture on Google...)

Image via

3. One of my kindergarteners at school today informed me that he had to poop, so I give him permission to go to the bathroom. I assumed that was that, but then ... "I need you to come with me and help me wipe." Oh. Okay. He then apologized frankly for it being potentially "disgusting" (I informed him I have, in fact, seen poop before), and then took a full minute to talk himself through a system of how he would lock and then unlock his stall door to let me come help. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud; I don't think he was embarassed at all, and he's very precise in everything he does ("I'll tell you okay, and then I'll unlock the door, and then you come in."). For all the time I've spent around kids, I must admit this was a first.

4. Andrew and I joined Grace Covenant!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Autumn exercise

My feet are bare and chilly,
the sky untainted blue
so clear it aches my eyes
to take in such a view.

Reds and golds like sparks
set fire to reaching trees,
bobbing, bowing, rustling
in the changing breeze.

Cider mugs and sweaters
will usurp summer things,
for apple pies and chilly winds
are what dear autumn brings.

Image by StGrundy

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It really is good news

"I believe; help my unbelief!"

I've always read this response to Jesus in Mark 9 as a shameful admission, a confession of a sub-par level of Christianity. Which goes to show my arrogance and complete disregard of the gospel I claim to believe.

The man who cries this to Jesus in this passage stands out in stark contrast to Jesus's disciples a few verses before, who had been unable to cast a demon out of this man's son. The contrast comes, as expected, from the difference in the level of belief between the man and the disciples, but in the opposite direction I have always thought. The reason the disciples could not cast out the demon is not because they did not believe enough (this is crucial, reader), but because they did not believe at all. Jesus rebukes them later, calling them out for not even approaching the throne of grace and power in prayer before attempting to cast out the demon: he does not say that they did not pray enough, but that they did not pray at all. Having been given authority by Jesus to cast out demons, they trusted in the gift itself, the power itself, and not in Jesus at all. Hence, they tried to cast out this demon in their own power and, of course, failed.

The father of the boy, however, admits his unbelief -- but in admitting that, he also admits some level of faith in Jesus.

This, reader, was what cut to my heart during the sermon this morning:

The gospel is for those with weak faith. Communion is for those with weak faith. Heck, Jesus is for those with weak faith.

I have forgotten the gospel so completely that it was a joy to my heart to hear this truth today. To come to the Lord's Supper in absolute humility, to realize that it doesn't matter how long or how often I pray, how excellent my "quiet times" are, or how much I feel that I am growing. The level of my faith does not matter. There is no such thing as "having enough faith." Anytime I try to muster up enough faith to accomplish anything, I am resting in my own work, and attempting to manipulate God by my own accomplishments, as though He owes me something for being so great.

What matters is if I am resting (by any amount of faith) in the work of Jesus Christ.

It is not the excellence of my Christian walk that saves me. Let me say that again.

It is not the excellence of my Christian walk that saves me.

It is the work of Jesus that saves me. That, and nothing else.