Posted in Christianity, Life, Thoughts

Sounds

Last week I spent a few days working at church camp as a counselor.

I work the middle school age week. This year I had the weird realization that I’ve been doing this long enough that all the kids I worked with the first year I did it are now college age, so that was interesting.

Anyway. Late Friday morning, I walked down to the girls’ village to inspect cabins for cleanest and dirtiest (which earn you first and last place, respectively, in the lunch line). Since I wasn’t needed for other duties at the moment, I hung around for a little while to have some quiet time, sitting on the porch of the lodge where I was staying.

It wasn’t raining, but it had rained all night, and so much water dripped off the trees that it sounded like rain. I could hear at least two different kinds of birds tweeting. Occasionally I could hear kids shouting from up the hill. That was all.

But the sounds were so pretty.

God didn’t need to make the sounds so pretty. But I’m very glad he did and that we get to enjoy them.

Posted in Life

Mawwiage is What Bwings Us Togeder Today

Or, rather, last weekend.

My friend Maria got married on Saturday. She was beautiful. The whole day was beautiful and special and emotional.

I got to be in the wedding, and it was wonderful to play a part in such an important day. I’m glad I got to be near Maria for much of the day (and give her lots of hugs).

I feel like I should have lots to say. But I think it’s one of those things that’s important enough that I haven’t processed it enough to have much to share yet.

There are many lovely professional pictures that I’m looking forward to seeing. But for now, have one of Maria and I that I snapped on my phone because the occasion seemed selfie-worthy.

Posted in Life

Happy 4th of July!

Allow me to present to you the two things I always think of around this holiday.

1. This quote:
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. – Erma Bombeck

2. This Studio C sketch, because of the line, “I celebrate our breakup with fireworks, okay? I blow things up!” (Which kind of seems to contradict the first quote, but as explosions go, fireworks are relatively harmless.)

Posted in Christianity, Life, Thoughts

An “I Just Need to Write Something” Post

I have a headache. I need to do yoga and take a shower, and I would like to have time to watch a movie and do some fiction writing tonight. So overall I don’t feel like putting much thought into a blog post today. So have some random quotes I like.

 

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. – C.S. Lewis

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear. – Stephen King

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. – Dalai Lama XIV

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. – W.B. Yeats

The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. – William H. Gass

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody – no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe. – Neil Gaiman

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. – G.K. Chesterton

There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors. – Adrienne Rich

There is greatness in doing something you hate for the sake of someone you love. – Shmuley Boteach

Good writers are monotonous, like good composers. They keep trying to perfect the one problem they were born to understand. – Alberto Moravia

We’d get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all. – Sinclair Lewis

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him. – Henry Stimson

Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. – G.K. Chesterton

Hope does not leave without being given permission. – Rick Riordan

God has not baptized us into the drama of Christ’s Body only to forsake us when we stumble over some of our lines. – Mark McIntosh

There is no thought, feeling,  yearning, or desire, however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it, which, if it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay before God and be sure of sympathy. – Henry Ward Beecher

So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted in Thoughts, Writings

Writing Relationships

I recently finished rewatching the TV show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It’s a spin-off of the show Once Upon a Time, but I don’t think you would need to be familiar with that show to enjoy the Wonderland version. It only lasted a season, but they gave it a nice ending, so it’s pretty satisfying.

Unsurprisingly, it’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but it happens when Alice is grown up, going back to Wonderland and searching for the man she loves, a genie named Cyrus who has been wrongfully imprisoned.

Now. Cyrus is exactly the sort of character I should have a fictional crush on. He’s kind and sweet and thoughtful and has a tragic backstory that has helped him grow and has the tall, dark, and handsome thing going on. (Actually, I guess he’s not all that tall. But the vibe is there.) He’s just adorable and regularly makes me feel all melty.

But… the fictional crush isn’t there. Or it’s minuscule. He and Alice are just so happy together and so cute that it didn’t develop.

The lesson to be learned from this (you know, for the many TV show writers who read my blog…): Stable relationships are interesting, too.

Many TV shows (and movies and books and what have you) seem to think that relationships need constant fights, on-again/off-again, will they/won’t they to keep the audience interested. Personally, I find it obnoxious. It’s much more satisfying to watch a couple loving each other and working together and supporting each other as they deal with problems.

Not that the relationships have to be perfect. But they can be stable without being perfect.

So, all you TV show writers, go watch Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. And take notes on how they handle the relationship. Copious notes.

Posted in Life

Vacation

For the second half of last week, I flew to the Outer Banks to join my parents, aunt and uncle, and cousins on vacation. I had a lovely time. It was short, but relaxing.

Though it started out with getting up before four in the morning on Wednesday, which was not relaxing. The one perk to this is that sunsets and sunrises over thick banks of clouds are some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen with my own eyes. (My phone doesn’t take the best pictures, but it’s what I had.)

We didn’t do a whole lot. Thursday, when it was kind of chilly, we went mini golfing (I got a hole in one!) And we did take a walk on the beach, and then drank hot chocolate, which was an entertaining combination of activities. We also played some games in the evening, and I walked down to the beach to see it in the moonlight, which was beautiful.

Friday it warmed up, so we spent most of the day at the pool and the beach. (I believe this is also the day Dad and my cousins got up to see the sunrise. I did not join them.) The part of the beach we were on didn’t have many shells, but we did get some, mostly at low tide. It felt more like catching shells; they showed up at the very lowest point of the waves and you had to rush to grab them before another wave came in and snatched them away.

Saturday morning my aunt and uncle and cousins left to head home in the morning, and my parents and I spent some of the day walking around a town on the sound side of the islands. We saw many boats. Then we had dinner (seafood, of course) before they dropped me off at the airport to fly home (they are still vacationing).

I did not come home badly sunburned, so that’s a plus.

Posted in Christianity, Life, Thoughts

Life Never Quits

The world never really sleeps.

No matter what time it is, there are animals up and about living their lives. Some of them like the day time. Some the night. Some dawn. Some twilight. Different experiences, but all interesting.

And no matter what time it is, there are people up and about living their lives. Some early birds might be waking up when some night owls are going to sleep. Different experiences, but all interesting.

It didn’t have to be this way, I’m sure. God could have designed it so that for a specific 8 hours, everyone and everything stopped and slept in darkness and silence. But instead, life never quits; there’s always something fascinating going on.

Always.

Always.

How cool is that?