"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Miscellaneous thoughts on Oklahoma

Sunrise on the northern horizon (from my parent's kitchen table)
  • After six and a half years in Canada, I am now a resident of the United States again. Even though I haven't been an Oklahoma resident for 20 years, it still feels familiar and comfortable. As though I have been walking uphill or swimming upstream for a very long time and have finally turned around.  I feel stronger for the effort of living outside my home country and culture of origin, but I also feel tired. It is a relief to my weary muscles to be back home.
  • It is so lovely and warm here when the sun shows her face. 70 degrees Fahrenheit in March? I'll take it.  I'm painfully aware that there is still snow in Calgary. Don't miss it one bit.
  • That being said, I appear to be allergic to whatever the wind blows swiftly down the plains. Can't. Stop. Sneezing. Eating copious amounts of local honey seems to be helping.
  • I can't express how blessed I feel to know I am still welcome here in my parents home, so late in the game of life, with the chaos and mess of a young family of four.
  • After a month on moving-hiatus, I sat down to write again a few weeks ago. Spent some time reading a bit of the newest draft to my mom, who loved it and said "just finish the thing! I want to hear the rest!" Glad for cheerleaders.
  • A friend recently hooked us up with some raw cow's milk. Because of my corn allergy, I  haven't had milk since before Julianne was born... almost a year ago. I had almost forgotten how it tasted. And this milk was so worth the wait anyway. Mmmm.
  • The organic whole wheat bread my mom buys from a food coop... tastes like cake. What is up with that?! I miss my honey whole wheat Prairie Mill bread from Calgary. :(
  • Quartz Mountain (about 30 mins from my parent's home)
  • We just found a spot for Lucy in the local Christian pre-school for a few months! The sweet girl is so excited she talks about it all the time. Can't believe she'll be four in July! And Julianne will be one THIS WEEK.  Impossible.

Currently reading: 

  • The Skin Map, by Steven Lawhead.  Loving this book for its imagination and fun fast moving plot.

Recently Read:

  • The Fields of Bannockburn by Donna Fletcher Crow. A fun historical novel that spans the history of the Kings of Scotland.  However, it was SO LONG and I have so little reading time these days, it took me five months to read (and I still didn't quite finish).  
  • I had better luck with knocking out the memoir Found by Micha Boyett. I read it on our Kindle in a couple of nights when Julianne was sick and needed to be held long hours.  Loved this book so much! So similar to my own story of struggle to find a new rhythm of prayer amidst the chaos of motherhood. Poetic, funny and a very wise book, its one of my very favorites in the Christian memoir category.
  • Also: with my friend Mike Yankoski's book The Sacred Year, which I have been reading very, very slowly because it is a) so good and b) so personally challenging you can't read a chapter without feeling inspired to let your life catch up before you read another.  I cannot wait until I can order a whole stack and lead a book group/discipleship group through it.  And I'm not even finished yet.  I'll write more when I finish it, because it is epic!

Recently watched:

  • It's been about a month now since Grantchester and Downton Abbey finished their runs, but I had so much fun watching them.  I'm putting the Sidney Chambers books (that Grantchester is based on) on my summer reading list because I just can't get enough.
  • More recently I've binged on Hallmark channel movies that my dad picked out to watch with me.  The Ron Clark Story we saw tonight was the first to make me bawl... it's an inner-city teaching story.  Reminded me of my own students so many years ago in NYC and their broken and beautiful lives.
  • Oh! And I saw and adored Cinderella. It really captured the beauty, wit and wisdom of the story well.  I could write a book on that one too re: feminism and fairy tales. But since I have another book to finish up... I'll save it for another day.

Picnic and playground sunny day
Have a blessed Holy Week! We've been low-churching it lately, so much so that I teared up when we said the Apostle's creed on Sunday visiting my brother's church in Oklahoma City. Like couldn't even finish.  Who does that?  I always remind myself in moments like that that the Medieval church considered tears a gift.  Those Medievals were smarter than we often think.

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