Friday, August 06, 2010

"In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don't imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try." -Gilead

I'm rereading Gilead this summer. I had almost forgotten how much I love this book--almost.

Can you believe it's August? I can't. Life just moves along, eh? August means a lot of different things for me...

Luke comes a week from Sunday.
Jake leaves a week from Tuesday.
I won't be going back to Moody--but Moody friends will be returning to the city (I look forward!)
No classes at COD
Time. I'll have time for...things...and I still don't really know what it will "look like" yet.
In a lot of ways I'm really excited about all these changes. In other ways I feel a little uneasy. Sometimes I feel purposeless when I'm not busy--or when I'm not "accomplishing" things (like papers, i guess).

My heart is in a million ways twisted up inside of me right now. The past few days have been an equal mixture of terribly difficult and incredibly beautiful. Isn't it strange how life does that--mixes the two? Sometimes it's a little infuriating because I can't be 100% happy and I can't be 100% sad. But I think I'm actually truly grateful that it comes to us this way. I can find myself on the floor before the Lord in a small pool of tears confused and frustrated in prayer and then I can find myself with the kiddos eating ice cream in the summer sun or laughing with C so hard about stupid things he begins to drool on himself. I love it.

You know what else seems to be a good mix of hard and beautiful? The way God answers our prayers. I've been rereading some old journal entries full of prayers I'd forgotten I'd uttered. And God's been answering them...and I've been frustrated with Him because I didn't think He was, or I thought I was getting in the way. Yeah, we can get in the way. But He's big enough to move us out of the way, too, and I think I'm learning that right now. So He's taken me up on some of those prayers, and now I have to learn contentment in the process. I'm having to learn contentment in new ways--ways I haven't really thought of before...I can't really explain how yet so you'll just have to take my word on it :)

Can I share a few more quotes with you? I'm working on a project that requires some review of books I've read and so I'm constantly sifting through great quotes, and I've come across a few that have just hit me in the face as purposeful and useful.

"To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,-to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament." -John Keats
(this is wonderful to me for obvious reasons)

"...there are certain attributes our faith assigns to God: omniscience, omnipotence, justice, and grace. We human beings have such a slight acquaintance with power and knowledge, so little conception of justice, and so slight a capacity for grace, that the workings of these great attributes together is a mystery we cannot hope to penetrate." -Gilead
(I've been brought low this summer in realizing how "big" God is but how very present He is at the same time. Sometimes in my embrace of His ambiguity and hiddenness, I push Him off when He is right here with me--not actually very ambiguous or hidden at all. We live in seasons, you know? Sometimes I forget that and so am unable to interpret the season I'm currently in)

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." -CS Lewis
(I throw this one in here because I've had to think this summer about what "Christianity" is--what it means to "be a Christian" and "live Christian" when I hardly appreciate the term on the one hand and, on the other, I can't escape it. I think I'm facing in demanding ways the reality that to follow God is not a matter of moderate importance, and so I can't play around with it, although I think it's perfectly normal--even healthy--to wrestle and struggle a bit. There's a lot to unpack here and maybe someday I'll post about it)

"Love is holy because it is like grace--the worthiness of its object is never really what matters." -Gilead
(I'm beginning to learn so much more about love: of God, of self, of others. That's really all I have to say about this one right now)

I'm sure that's enough to think about for now. I'd love to hear your thoughts back...

The afternoon sun has made our yellow living room most wonderful. I am so very happy sitting here. I think I might take a nap on this couch. Or maybe I should write some letters...

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