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The grass is always greener?

7 Oct

More REAP.

R. What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden of God laid on men, He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good where they live. That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in his toil-this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him…and I saw something else under the sun; in the place of judgment – wickedness was there, in the place of justice – wickedness was there. Ecc 3:9-15

E. This all comes after Solomon says there is a time for everything. God has planned everything. We are supposed to do good and be happy wherever we are. What dies that even mean? Solomon knows it is the desire of our hearts to find meaning in our work. He also knows that God created eternity and we can’t and won’t understand it on this earth. It is a promise that he has made everything beautiful in its time. I think this is difficult to come to terms with—that yes…our toil is meaningless…and just lean on eternity! Solomon was so much wiser that I imagine, and was probably that much more burdened by these truths. And he still trusted in them, understanding that God was more than the wisdom he could think up with his own mind. I think we often toil in our work.

A. We feel confused by if we’re doing the right thing, and burdened by attempting to toil with meaningful work, and not let it be meaningless. But Solomon seems to understand that it all can seem meaningless when shone under the light of eternity that is God. God places eternity and eternal desires on our hearts though we will never fully understand them. Maybe that is why the grass is always implacably greener on the other side? Because we are always seeking to understand more, to become closer to that end-promise of eternity. God does all of this so that we will see that on our own, our toils are meaningless. He does it so that we will revere him. That seems simple enough. He does all of these things, he creates all of these iniquities, and all so we will turn to him. So we will ask why, so we will not try to do this on our own, because we are not made to. Solomon recognizes that in place of righteous judgment and justice there is just wickedness. Our sin has bore nasty wickedness that is the cause for hurt and pain and injustice in this world. So it seems as though we’re not supposed to understand everything, but we’re supposed to lean on the promise of eternity. Looking back through all of this, it seems kind of ridiculous that I try to understand the meaning in everything that God does and that I can’t just rest in the fact that He has all knowledge and all power. It is a bit pretentious that I think my small mind, in my small body, in a city in a state, in a country, on a continent, on a planet, in a huge, huge universe, could easily comprehend the plans of the God of the universe.

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I can now nurture

26 Sep

a garden.

  

My girl shovel, from Garson Farms

From garden

Two weekends ago, Micah and Jon built Erika and I gardens. They are beautiful.  They were an adventure.  Micah and Jon tilled the land, hauled and laid railroad ties, and hauled and laid new soil.

  

Our garden

From garden

 

While they toiled amongst the land, Erika and I dressed up for and 80s kids party Long with her sister, Sarah, and then went straight out plant-shopping. Our scruncis, Erika’s blue leather boots, and my sparkle shoes got us some free plants. Please review the following list of what we are growing, multiply it by two to include the Knox’ garden, and then realize that we zipped home with all of these plants for about $20. We were very proud.

We are now growing:

Golden Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

Green Bell Peppers

Jalepenos

Fennel

Cucumbers

Acorn Squash

and Mint, Rosemary, and Basil.

Acorn squash is crossed out because he is officially kaput and the cucumber is halfway down death row. You get what you pay for with .98 plants.

The next day, we planted these plants and Micah and Jon built fences around our gardens to protect the fruits of the weekend’s labor from pairs of rambunctious dogs.

  

Here is the chard

From garden
  

And the bell peppers

From garden
  

And the eggplant

From garden

Everything is going smoothly. I will continue to water daily and try and talk my plants into producing some fruit. And I will coax them into pressing on with a hard days’ work with coffee.  Much like I do for myself.

  

If I give you these coffee grounds, will you grow?

From garden

Oh, and something is eating my jalepenos.

  

Jalepenos

From garden

and my squash bit the dust. It looks like something from The Grapes of Wrath.

  

acorn squash...rip

From garden

on boring, normal-ness…

21 Aug

Today seems dull. It’s drab outside and though impossible, it seems that silence of blah is causing me to fill my head with a cacophony of thoughts and noises, making the silence more evident. I want to do something fun, something different. Not sure what that is, and even if i were doing it, that I would feel fulfilled.

 Timely qoute hit my inbox this morning from my dear aunt:

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are… Let me not
pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. One day I
shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in my pillow, or
stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than
all the world, your return.

I will bask in my normality and pray that the latter day does not come any time soon.

 

Here are some photos from the last two months…as I post them, I realize that this sweet life is all but boring.

celebrating family…at saltlick.

 

celebrating love…central market for a date night.

 

celebrating friendship…roommates, best friends.

 

celebrating marriage…weddings.

 

celebrating youth…first time at the ocean.

 

celebrating suffering…new life.

 

celebrating wisdom OR potentially burning down the house. you choose.

sadness

27 Jul

I got an email today, and in the nice way that gmail does, it let me see who the email was from and the first line of the text before i even opened it. I was delighted. One of my oldest friends had shot me a note. It has been a long while since we really talked, which is sad, and almost unforgiveable as we live in the same city. Regardless, it was going to be great to hear from her. I opened her email and read, scaning everyword slowly, and then closing it quickly. The eagerness that had so readily overcome me was replaced just as quickly with hurt and sadness. Alison’s mom died. She died two weeks ago. And I shut the email because I didn’t want to see the words anymore. As if I didn’t see them, they wouldn’t be true. But it was too late. It seems like it is always too late these days.

I take the dog to go for a walk just to get out of the house. To hear something other than the hum of the refridgerator and see…life.

Mindy and Alison used to pick me up from the airport when I would come in from London. Mindy would take us to get Auntie Anne’s pretzles and parouse the latest sale at Foley’s. She had grown up a ballerina and had never seemed to really lose it. At 40 years old, she could stand on point and lift one leg aaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll the way up and affix it behind her head. She was limber and graceful and she was always Alison’s best friend. In the summers when I was younger, Alison would stay at her grandmother’s during the day, and sometimes I would tag along. Mindy always called her mom ‘grandmother’ and it always seemed so proper a name for the cool, calm, affectionate relationship that she and her own mother had. Grandmother would teach us to sew things and we would bake cookies in the afternoon, and Mindy would comy by after work and gather us up to head home. Mindy and Alison came to visit in London, and we saw Cats and scoured around the Tower of London.

I am not sure why people are dying. I mean, I know why in my head, but my heart feels sad. I feel like I have seen and known more death and pain in the last year than in the rest of my years combined. We are too young for our friends parents to die. We are too young for our friends to die. My head knows that God does all things for his glory, but I want to scream at times, where is your glory? my selfish eyes wants to see it. my vindictive, sinful heart wants you to prove it to me.

I am being shattered of this illogical thought I have kept tucked  away that I am invincible. I know that this sounds ridiculous, but in my head, really, I think we were born in America, we eat well and take care of our bodies. I exercize and I don’t smoke. We have plently of doctors that can fix us and money that can pay for it…yet, I am not really thinking all of that matters so much. It does matter, and God gave people the wisdom to be doctors and the precision to be surgeons…but that doesn’t guarantee me anything. Not Next year, or next week, or tomorrow. It is being revealed to me the power of God and the naiveity of myself.

We are talking about money at church, and in a carter-kind-of-Jesus-kind-of way…we’re not talking about five steps to get out of debt or how much to give to know that you’re doing your part…but we’re talking about where your money is…there your heart is, and vice versa. And my head spins thinking about all of this but I think most of what is hitting me now, is that we think so much about money…we really do, but isnt it the family and the relationships that matter?

Alison – thank you for letting me be a part of your mom’s life. She was a wonderful woman.

Happy Father’s Day!

16 Jun

Happy Father’s Day to my dad 🙂 who made it to every swim meet, brushed my hair 100 times before I would go to bed when I was little, let my cry on his shoulder any day, knew the best new music before I did, and never let me sell myself short.

I love you, dad!


New York City Part 1: Narcolepsy

12 Jun

In April I went to New York with my mom, and her friend, Becky. Becky and my mom have been friends since the beginning of time, or, atleast since before I was born. Becky’s daughter, Lauren, was born the day after I was, and once our family moved away from Wichita, Becky and her husband bought mom and dad’s house…so their lives have been ever-intertwined since. My brother’s going to university in New York and my birthday proved lofty enough excuses for a girls’ trip to NYC, then upstate to see Ben.

Wednesday:
Mom and Becky arrive NYC early afternoon. No one affected by AA flight crisis. See empire state building, dine with Becky’s relatives over pizza near Central Park. Back to hotel
Morgan arrives JFK a few hours late at midnight. Taxi line is about an hour long…

And this is where my journal picks up, precisely at the minute that I realize I will be standing in line for none short of 45 minutes, and I need something to occupy my hands and mind so that I can legitamitely ignore the shady men who are pointing to their sleek black cars and insistently letting me know they can take me downtown for just $45…so I start to write.

People say Texans are loud and obnoxious, but atleast if you’re standing behind one in line, you know exactly what they’re thinking. You about the expensive price they did pay to park their car at the airpoprt, and about the snack that they did not get on the plane. You know their favorite grandchild’s middle name, their opinion of the best queso in town, and about their yeast infection that they’re describing loudly on their cell phone to their mother in law, and to the whole world. But in New York, oh, in New York, there is silent animosity. Quiet and pushy women with longer noses and large coats. If Texas is short and blonde, New York is long and Auburn – all shades of it. Everyone who looks my age (plus or minus about 5 years but regardless of gender) wears a hooded sweatshirt, zipped up, underneath a pea coat. This is interesting to me. Texas would have nothing of the sort. We pick (usually) zip-up hoodie and (only on the three cold days of the year) pea coat. But still, we only have one or the other, there is never a need for both. These New Yorkers also take faster, the men dress well, and they carry real (or are they?) designer leather bags. With my linen (dare I say) satchel, thin leather-soled flats, I feel like I scream Texas. May as well call my mom to tell her I have landed and complain about something in loud fashion to fulfill my stereotype.

I finally get in a cab and argue with him about the fare to Manhattan. Turns out he is right. I can’t understand him but he finally points to a sign behind his seat that states the fare. One point cabby. Jextaposed to the sign with the fare is a TV screen. TV screens? in cabs? ok. I will go with it. The screen alternates between showing me the current weather (read: cold) and a satellite map of where my cab is in New York. This seems cool. If I knew where I was I would know that the cabby was taking me down some crazy trail to get to Grand Central Station. But I don’t know that, and naivity is bliss. Cabby is playing some sweet tunes, including “wake me up, before you go-go” and I like the fact that he is rocking his head back and forth to the music. What livliness at 1am! But wait a second, he’s not going to the beat of the music. And come to think of it, I know New York cab drivers are known for driving erratically, but we are clearly going 15mph faster than any other “crazy” cabby on the road. Is this some sort of extreme taxi driving? Well this doesnt seem safe. And what is he doing with his head, anyway? OH. I catch a glimpse of his eyes in the rearview mirror as his head rocks quickly back and forth. He is in and out of narcolepsy. Well this is fantastic. He starts to fall asleep and his head falls forward and then he comes back to consciousness and jerks his head back up. These two actions happen in about three seconds and then repeat in a monotonous (dangerous?) cycle.  Head goes down then up.

Doooooooown. uP!

Doooooooown. uP!

Doooooooown. uP!

I am now worried for my life. I contemplate yelling at him to stop the car, and I will get out and figure out how to get to Grand Central Station from an unknown location at now 2a.m. I run the pros and cons, and decide I am at a lesser risk of dying in the car than I would be if I were dropped off on the dark street on which we’re currently swerving around. I think New York City might swallow me. So I stay in the cab.

And I make it to Grand Central Station. Alive! Cabby doesn’t get out of the car to get my bags out of the trunk, but that’s ok. He is probably asleep again by the time I slam the trunk shut  anyway.

Not asleep, is my mom. Fourteen floors about in the hotel room my mom is ready with a glass of wine and a travelguide book. I drop my bags and pull out my ream of Google Maps printouts. And we plan for Thursday.

Mom

11 May

I have an amazing mother. She has always been such a supporter of whatever I want to do…while always being an example to me. She is an astoundingly beautiful woman, and maybe one day, I can be like her.

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

With tact, poise, and bags full of fake coach purses in NYC: my mom. Gotta love it.