On Being Faithful

Now Ornan turned and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves, but Ornan continued threshing wheat. 1 Chronicles 21:20

While reading this passage last night I was struck by the diligent faithfulness of Ornan. I think if I looked out my door and saw the Lord's Angel standing there with sword in hand, I would have hid myself too. Fast. I don't know what the views of escatology were in OT times, but had that been me, I would have been pretty sure the end was right in front of me. Unless of course, seeing angels was a common occurance. Doubtful. But Ornan kept working, unphased by the presence of God's Messenger. Apparently, Ornan knew what he was doing because later, he is rewarded by David.

This passage reminded me of Edith Schaeffer's position in her book Affliction (among the top five most influential books in my life). Mrs. Schaeffer asks what would be our response if we knew that Jesus was scheduled to return tomorrow. Most Christians she says, would hurry out and evangelize and try to make as many converts as they could, or do something to fix their problems, get right with God, etc, etc. But what we should do, she says, is to keep doing what God has called us to do and to do it well. Don't digress from the task God has placed before you. If you're doing what he's called you to do, then his coming shouldn't change your work, but rather reinforce the importance of it.

It's comforting to know that your calling fits you perfectly. When you're doing what God has asked, nothing can stop you from being fulfilled in your work. If we are at peace with it, we cannot be distracted from it, even if it's an Angel with a sword. I know for me, I hope I get to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."


The Y Factor

I love boys. I just spent the evening watching a movie with 5 of my favorite ones (Bro. & Co.). No matter how old they get they still make stupid jokes and giggle. And it makes me laugh. And I learned tonight that they talk a ton during movies. The wouldn't-shut-up-at-crucial-moments-in-the-thickening-plot kind of talking. Being the only girl among five eternal adolescents, there were some interesting and humorous conversations. Oh good times.
I don't love creepy old men who stalk me.

Tom (manager on duty): Can I help you, sir?
Creepy Old Man, completely serious: No, I only do business with tall, good-looking redheads.

Awkward Pause.

Tom, mirroring my strange look: Umm, Okay.

When moments like this arise in my presence, finding the correct response is faithfully evasive. I could be a) rude or b) flirtatious. Since neither of these seem like a good option, I create plan C. Smile fakely, answer sweetly, and focus on no eye contact.


Random Assortment

The bridge on West 38th Street is going to be closed starting next week until August 5th. That puts such a cramp in my style!
I ran into my first piano student ever today. He graduates from high school on Saturday. Wow. So strange. I taught him when I was a junior in high school. Long time ago. I'm old.

Chapter 17: In Which Meredith Discovers the Treasury of Dolls

Chapter 23: In Which Meredith Finds a Friend and a New Tooth

Chapter 41/42: In Which the New Resident Receives a Kiss and a Lesson in Economics


Who I don't want to be

One of those older women who have nothing to live for except their own comforts. They go shopping every single day, needing nothing, but wanting something to excite them. I had lots of people-watching time today at the store and this was my resolution. When I'm old I want to be gracious and graceful. I want to enjoy life, but I hope I have something more to live for than material things. And I want to grow old gracefully. Some women you see still try to wear clothes that are too young or hairstyles that looked ridiculous even ten years ago. But then you see some who are beautiful with their gray hair and appropriate clothes. I want to always remain feminine, never compromising my womanly priviledge to be beautiful, but I want to always maintain a bigger picture. I hope I can still minister and serve even when I've run out of energy. I think that as some people grow old their world grows smaller and smaller. But as life progresses I hope mine only grows larger. I hope I can have a better understanding of how God works in life and what my place is in his world, no matter my age.


Purifying, ie. Saying goodbye.

Since I am in the process of moving back home, I'm cleaning out and tossing away as I go. I figure if I moved it to the apartment and didn't wear it for a year, then I probably don't need it and why move it back. Just takes up space and think of all the great replacements I could find. Gone are the last few remnants of highschool clothing. I didn't like the sweater then, I certainly don't like it now. So in my bedroom is a stack of the unwanted and unloved (although some were loved but my baby-waiting curves don't love them).

But. There is this one that I just can't part with yet. A plaid flannel shirt. I don't know why I still have it. No one even wears flannel anymore. I haven't worn it in ages. It's seen quite a number of years but yet there it hangs. I don't recall any major memory attachment to it or any significant event surrounding it that entitles its persistent existence. My hand touches it to add it to my castaway pile, but it quickly retreats. Maybe I need it present to keep my style realistic. Deep down in my heart maybe I'm still a flannel girl. Maybe it's a psychological craving for simplicity and my younger years. Or maybe it's a tangible reminder of my undying love for campfires.


Shake, Rattle, and Roll

My life is a salt shaker right now. The things I had in my plans have been turned upside down. I feel like the contents of my life and heart have been shaken out and scattered around. I know God is in control and that whatever is happening, it is not outside of His working. I feel bewildered trying to understand what God's plan is for me and how He wants me to respond. I've been shaken up, but I'm trying to learn how to roll.

In spite of it all, my family has been the most supportive pillar I could ask for. They have taught me a new meaning of what love is like. I am so grateful for them and for their prayerful support. Thank you guys, you are the world to me.


In other news, I could get used to having a sister around again. Amy and I went to Bahama Breeze on Friday followed by a long coffee excursion. Fabulous food. I highly recommend the grilled chicken with butter sauce and mashed sweet potatoes. My tummy grumbles at the memory. It was the first girls night out in ages. Thanks, Amy.

I'm getting used to having baby Meredith around too. She's so adorable, and I say that without a hint of bias. :) She has been quite the productive learner this week. So far singing along to "Row Row Your Boat" and correctly identifying the eye are among her accomplishments. We're working on saying "bear" and "meow."


Spell it right, please

I really can't stand it when people use spelling shortcuts in advertising. I don't know if they're trying to be cute or simply oblivious. Like Nu instead of New. Kute instead of Cute, or like Kuts for Kids. Also annoying is when people think if they tag on a foreign word it immediately jumps the quality of their product up a notch. When Stacey and I were at the designer's show house recently, even they had named a couple of rooms in French to make you think it was more glamorous. Only problem is that they couldn't get the grammar right. Le belle chambre rouge. Le chambre et bain des invitees. Argh.


Quasi Book Review.

The History of Love
by Nicole Krauss

Some reasons why you might like to read this book:

--There's a novel within a novel. I'm sure there's a literary term for this technique but unfortunately I'm a music major.

--There are two storylines which get you turning pages and finally they merge at the end. The writing style is fascinating. The author uses constrasting techinques per story.

--All's fair in love and war.

--There are plenty of quotable insights on loneliness and the need for family to validate life.

--It's on Border's Original Voices selection.

--If you like reading novels that resemble art, you'd like this book.



my kind of perfect night

An evening of errands ended at Borders. Très Typical. I bought Pete Yorn's Musicforthemorningafter because I needed something new to listen to and because Josh Gillespie said it was good. It is. The earthy and acoustic quality makes it feel vulnerable to me. Suits my mood; I like it. I like the random instrumentation like organ, harmonica, and electronic noises. Maybe because it makes the music so unpredictable. I also bought The History of Love because it somehow landed itself on my "to read" list. I walked past it and it was 20% off; I couldn't resist. Sat in the cafe over a cup of Seattle's Best and read a third of it. I drove all the way home in the right lane going 60. I don't know why. Not typical.


Musical Musings and Vibrations

Today ended my course in Music Psychology (with the exception of my catch-up work). This is the first class I've actually enjoyed since starting graduate school. I know that doesn't say much since I've taken only nine hours each semester compared to my senior year of twenty hours times two, but still. I'm quite disappointed that my illness prevented me from keeping up with the work and I wish I could have absorbed more of the information. I think Music Psychology is a fascinating field of research, which is in summary, the power of music over the body, behavior, and the brain. It is overwhelming to understand just a little of how the brain works because it is so delicate.

The last paper presentation in class today dicussed the importance of vibration and how the universe is in a constant state of vibration. My colleague was making the point that musical sound can be defined as simply a vibration, therefore music is an inescapable entity. If all of the universe is in a state of vibration, then it is constantly musical. So educators, etc., who deny the importance of music deny the very essence of existence. While I think this is an incredible idea, I also think that as with everything else, it must be tempered. What would vibration be without the oppposing force to balance it? Anyways, I've been pondering this vibration topic since class.

I mentioned in class how in this sense life itself is music. My wise brother once encouraged me with the simple reminder that each time you lifted a finger, you affected every atom in the universe. If you have the mindset that every action you take can influence something or someone else, and that every action sets off another vibration, then every life action participates in the universal music. Implication or application? I think that if we were more aware of the potential affect our actions could have, we would be more cautious of how we spent our energies. Two great movies tackle similar topics, Happenstance and Run Lola Run and both of them have a unique spin. (Disclaimer: they're both foreign films.)

Sometimes though I wonder what it's like to see the universe through God's perspective. Imagine panning out on a massive zoom lens and viewing everything like little ants running around in their chaos. But the assuring thing is that it's not chaos; it is ordered. I would love to see how beautiful the universe looks with each vibration moving in its cycle just as God planned.

Life itself is music. Living life is a musical act.


Planning. Scheming. Hoping.

"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

My friend Dave likes this quote a lot and I'm feeling rather sympathetic towards it as well. I'm not sure what God's doing in my life right now, but He seems to be taking me through some growing pains recently. I've got plans for the summer but right now, I feel like anything could happen. I just want God to use me somehow this summer, even if my plans aren't the same as His.

My tenative plans:

1. Lots of reading. I want to catch up on some apologetics reading, so if anyone has suggestions, I'm open. Has anyone read "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview"? It looks heavy, but a good read. I also have a list of some fiction to read.

2. Research to complete. One paper for Music Psychology and one for my pedagogy independent study.

3. Family time. I think God is giving our family this summer for some serious bonding time. I actually have a new roommate starting tonight. She's awfully cute, but I might think differently when she wakes up at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

4. Teaching. The most number of returning students for a summer which is very good. Also doing both Butler piano camps this year. I might be teaching a class on Mozart operas. HA.

5. Williams-Sonoma. Same-o, same-o. Only I'm actually enjoying the store and customers this year.

6. Quality time with some certain girls.

7. Anyone up for a reading club or a movie club? My goal is to watch a movie a week or so, but of course it has to be thought-provoking. Not big into stupidity.

8. Cooking. Mom needs the help and I need the creative outlet. I have a list of new recipes to try.

9. Enjoying Indianapolis. Last year I didn't make it to any museums and very few concerts. Hopefully I can alter that pattern. Oh I also want to go to more farmer's markets. I talk big but never make it there.

10. Just enjoying life in whatever shape and spin God throws it at me.