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 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?

Posted in Christianity, Life, Thoughts

Communication

Confession: As soon as someone starts complaining about social media, I start tuning them out.

This is a problem. I realize that. They could still have valuable insights and wisdom that I could learn from (maybe on this topic, maybe on other topics). And discounting everything they have to say is unkind on my part. I’m trying to work on it. At times more successfully than at other times…

Still. Allow me to explain a bit.

My close friends all live at least somewhat far away. Most of them do not even live in the same state as I do. I can’t randomly drop by for an hour to chat. I can’t give – and receive – regular hugs. I can’t help out when they’re sick.

But chatting on Facebook (and texting, though that’s not the focus of this post) lets me communicate regularly anyway. I can at least listen when a friend has a bad day. I can hear about the everyday sorts of events that happen in their lives. I can share things that I think will make them laugh.

These are all ways of reminding each other, “Hey. I love you. I care about what’s happening in your life. I want to spend time and energy on you even though I’m not around.”

And if you think these ways of communicating are inherently shallow, I will fight you. You will win, because I am not skilled at any sort of fighting, but you will not change my mind. Some of the most intimate conversations I have had with friends have happened over the internet.

So you see, when someone starts talking about how social media is useless, or only ever drives people apart, or is always harmful, I don’t simply disagree; they are discounting an incredibly important portion of my life. And since they are not taking my treasured relationships – and, by extension, me – seriously, it becomes difficult to take them seriously.

This mostly (not exclusively, but mostly) seems to happen with people older than I am talking to younger generations about the dangers of social media. The thing is, I would venture to guess that almost every one of those younger people who use social media regularly would agree that it has its problems and dangers (as does every other method of communication; it’s like all the people communicating are flawed human beings who sin and make mistakes in every area of their lives, imagine that…).

So here is my point: Disparaging social media is likely to simply alienate a large portion of the younger generations instead of creating an atmosphere where they might listen to what you have to say. That’s a problem on their part, yes, but the failure to respect a valuable part of their lives is also a problem. So, no matter your age, if you wish to successfully communicate with those in the younger generations, this is an unwise – and unkind – way to go about it.