Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Twenty three plus...

As many of you may know, we're in the process of doing some construction in our house.  This time around, we've gotten new baseboards, new crown molding, are renovating the down-stairs bathroom, and gotten new carpet upstairs and will be getting wood floor upstairs and carpet downstairs.  Because of all the construction, we've had to move the majority of our belongings either to my parents' bathroom or to the living room downstairs.  
Yesterday since we had gotten new carpet upstairs, I got to move everything back to my room...including the several shoe boxes I had moved out.  Now I love shoes.  I love them a lot.  As in every time I go shopping, I look at shoes.  As in almost every time I see shoes that I like on sale, I buy them.  And since my feet are permanently stuck at a size 7, I haven't been getting rid of any shoes lately.  Therefore, I have amassed quite a collection of shoes ranging from tennis shoes to cute ballet flats to formal heels to everything in between.  So when I was putting my shoes back in my closet, I decided to count them.  Judging from the title of this post, you may be able to guess how many pairs of shoes I have.  That's right, I have 23 pairs of shoes.  And that's not including flipflops, but since my mom and I share all our flip flops, I figured I didn't need to count those, since that'd put the total at closer to 30.  
So yes, I have a lot of shoes.  I love shoes! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Conclusion to the Poll

Well, the results are in, the votes have been counted, and I have finally decided upon a name for my piano.  After much deliberation as well as some advice from some wonderful friends, the lovely lady known as my piano now has a name all her own.  Drum roll please...and the name is...ooh, the suspense is killing you, isn't it?  Please join me in welcoming Cecilia into the wonderful world of having a name!  Yes, I have decided to name my piano Cecilia.  I know, Molly did have an awesome story behind it, but Cecilia truly is a more beautiful name for a beautiful piano.  Perhaps pictures shall be forthcoming if you are interested...:)  Thank you to all who helped me in this momentous decision, Cecilia and I thank you.
Under the mercy,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Locke, Dante, Tolstoy...and Bartel?

Today, happiness abounds, for happy torrey classes are approaching but summer is still here.  Yesterday was my Torrey orientation at Biola, where I got my first assignment (ugghh), and found out who will be my guide through my head-life for the next year.  I've decided that orientations are much happier things your second year in Torrey, when you know many people there and can see friends from Bubbs who you rarely see in real life, and have the fun of already having heard rumors about tutors but don't know for sure.  Yes, orientation was a happy thing.   Thank you Grace, Amy, Cree, Ariel, Jessica, MaryKate, Paige, and Emily for contributing to this happiness :)
This summer has been a very productive one, I believe, especially after Wheatstone.  I've gotten to read many good books, which brings me to the title of this post...representing both the whence and whither of this year.  The what have you done so far, and what are you going to do.
1) Locke...first Foundations first reaction to him is a definite "what on earth are you talking about sir?"  With perseverance I am sure he will be wonderful but right now when I'm still in summer mode it'll take some work to make me read and *gasp* precis it before the first class.
2) Dante...thank you thank you thank you Gabriel for making me read Dante now instead of in 10,000 years.  Inferno was fabulous and eye opening, Purgatorio is amazing so far, and I really hope to be able to finish all of him before school starts.  His poetry is just sublime!!!  I love the Divine Comedy, I am so excited to re-read it in Faith now...*sniff* a very long time to wait
3) absolute genius of story-telling...I read Anna K for the first time earlier this summer, and am now re-reading it, the sure test of a good book.  His way of writing characters that are actually real people instead of representatives of a specific virtue or vice is absolutely phenomenal.  Anna, Levin, Kitty, Stiva, and so many characters just seem to be brimming with life in all its agonizing wonderfulness.  Tolstoy, you are amazing and I wish I could write 1/100 as good as you.
4) Mr. Torrey tutor for Foundations!!!!!!!!!   I am officially very excited for this year now, I have heard so many wonderful things about him and I'm hoping he can bring a new level of community to our class.  
Right now, I'm definitely looking forward to the school year...we'll see how happy I am in a month when I'm in full swing with precii (plural of precis?), reflection essays, discussions, Hobbes, economics and biology, prepping for Dominican Republic get the picture!
Happy ending of summer everyone!
Under the mercy,

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's in a name?

Following the example of my most excellent friend Gabriel (, as well as my own inherent tendency to name my most prized possessions, I have decided that my piano needs a name.  After having had it for at least five years, it is high time that it ascends to its rightful rank of beloved thing of mine.  Right now I have two names in the running, and you can vote for them in the poll to your right.  Your vote may or may not influence my decision, but I would like to see what everyone thinks.  And if you have another suggestion for the naming of the piano, please comment to let me know.
In addition to my strange penchant for naming inanimate objects (such as my pink 2ND generation nano whose name is Darcy) I like to have meaning behind the names I choose (once again the example of the iPod, a rather obvious meaning there I believe).  The two names I have chosen for the piano both have a story behind them actually.
1)Cecilia-a rather straightforward meaning...St. Cecilia was the patron saint of music and musicians, and I preferred this name to using the rather difficult to pronounce Greek name of the muse of music.
2)Molly-a rather longer story...For those of you who are familiar with the Millie Keith books, this name comes from one of those books.  In the book, the pastor of a frontier church is attempting to raise funds for a new church piano.  One of the wealthy families in town donates a cow which the preacher names Piano, since it was donated to the piano fund.  One of the older and rather eccentric townspeople suggests that as they have a cow named piano, the new church piano ought to be named Molly.  I found that highly amusing, and think it would be quite fun to have a piano named Molly even if I don't have a cow.

So, share with me your opinion and I will let you know shortly which name I have decided upon for the piano.
Under the mercy,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rejoice all ye who read this blog...

...for as of Monday the 4th of August, I am now a licensed driver!!!   Hip hip hooray for me!   So far since I've gotten my license I have...
1) driven to the grocery store for croutons and sliced turkey, and
2) driven to piano lessons since my sister was sick and not going.  
Oh the wonders of being able to drive by yourself wherever you long as a car is available.  Next enough to buy myself  a car :)
Under the mercy,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Media Multi-Tasking

Usually, multi-tasking is a good thing, especially for moms.  If we could only focus on one thing at a time, there'd be many things that would never get done because of time restraints.  Multi-tasking I believe is a valuable skill we've developed in order to allow overworked moms to make dinner, fold the laundry, talk on the phone, school a 4th grader, and monitor a preschooler without going crazy.  And usually, doing more than one thing at once is highly efficient as well as necessary.
But sometimes, it can get a bit much.  Stop and think about it for a moment.  When was the last time you concentrated on one thing and one thing only?  When did you last sit down to read a book without listening to your iPod, talking on the phone, doing homework, etc.?  For me, it's been a long time.  I think our culture has gotten so used to multi-tasking that we've almost forgotten how not to do it.  We feel like we're being unproductive if our attention isn't given to 3 or 4 different things at a time.  Silence becomes unbearable because we're used to being plugged into our iPods 24/7.  And especially with media does this become a problem.
At any given time of day, you can find me on my laptop listening to my iPod, having at least 2 online conversations, sending an email, posting in the Chatter forum on Bubbs, and updating my blog.  It's a busy life I lead, and sometimes, multi-tasking is good.  But I wonder if it isn't often harmful as well.  Dr. Reynolds has some good insights into this topic  
His suggestions are convicting, to say the least.  Although they sound simple, in reality, we've become so dependent on our email, music, etc. that we barely know how to function without it.  Starting two weeks ago, I decided to make Sunday a no-computer day.  It is definitely a struggle for me.  I hadn't realized how attached I was to the computer until I tried to give it up.  I found myself thinking several times throughout the day about my emails, and worrying that perhaps someone was trying to get a hold of me, or was insulted because I didn't reply to an email right away.  These past two weeks have really opened my eyes to the dangers of multi-tasking with my media though.  When my focus on a Sunday is not worshipping with fellow believers, studying God's word, and spending time with Him in prayer, but rather, "How soon can I get back on the computer?" then I am in serious trouble.  By the grace of God I pray that setting aside one day a week to rest my mind and focus solely on one thing and one thing alone will make it easier for me to do that every day.  
Now I would like to challenge you to do the same.  Don't feel the need to throw your laptop out the window, or give your iPod away.  But try it, sometime.  Set your mind to one thing only.  Go read a good book without any music on.  Listen to good music without checking your email.  Take a break from the computer and go outside.  Look up, listen, pay attention!  God is trying to get your attention, but how can He speak when you're plugged into your iPod and running 3 different online conversations with other people?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A title for this poem


Spoken into silence, the everlasting word

Out of nothing something; God’s holy divine light

From darkness o’er the world, God’s mighty voice was heard.

We were blind and speechless, but words we were assured

All the world lay silent, and darker than the night

Spoken into silence, the everlasting word

Coming down from heaven, realm of spoken word

Into world of quiet shone a single ray so bright

From darkness o’er the world, God’s might voice was heard.

“See my flesh, my Son here, who’s come into the world

Speaking words of wisdom, changing wrong to right.”

Spoken into silence, the everlasting word.

We looked for HIs coming, to hear HIs voice we yearned

Out of babble, clearness, Our of shadows, light

From darkness o’er the world God’s might voice was heard.

Though our speech is woven with words both black and pure

Only words from heaven are words that have true might

Spoken into silence, the everlasting word

From darkness o’er the world, God’s mighty voice was heard.

This was a new form I was experimenting with yesterday.  I can't remember what the name of it was, but the basic structure is A1aA2/abA1/abA2/abA1/abA2/abA1A2 where A1 and A2 are two different rhyming refrains.  So, does anyone have a suggestion for a title for this poem?

Under the mercy,



Questions, questions, questions.  As Dr. Reynolds frequently reminded us at Wheatstone, it isn't finding the answers to them that's important, but the process that we use to work through our questions, which often leads us to more and bette questions.  I've had a lot of questions lately, some of them good, and some less so.  I've been learning though that not knowing the answers isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Too often we want the answers to our questions, and we want them now.  If we have a question and we don't know the answer, we take that to mean that we aren't intelligent, that something is lacking in us or in our beliefs because we can't answer the questions.   The true purpose of education, I think, is not to hand us the answers or give us a once size fits all formula for finding the answer to any question that may come our way.  Rather, a good education will teach us to ask good questions, to explore these questions and think about the answers, and then to come up with more questions.  Learning the answers isn't the most important thing, but learning how to go about finding an answer is.  Torrey is one thing that I have found to be immensely helpful in teaching me how to deal with questions.  If you can learn not to become frustrated when a question doesn't get answered by the end of class, to be willing to take a question down whatever path it may lead you, to see that not all questions are good questions and that it is as important to ask the right questions as it is to get the right answer, than you will be well on your way to being a well-educated person.  
And so, some questions that I've been thinking about lately...
1) What is love?  How do we love someone truly?  What do you do when two different loves seem to come in conflict with each other?  Do we love God in the same way we love others?  Is there a right way and a wrong way to love someone?  What does love look like?
2) What sort of power do words have?  How does what we say affect others?  Can our words have the power to create, or can only God's words create?  What do words really mean?  
3) How does one fully integrate head, hands, and heart?  What does the well-ordered soul look like?  How do you live the good life and pursue goodness truth and beauty without focusing only on yourself?
Once, it would have bothered me that I don't have the answers to these questions.  But now, I'm learning to ask good questions without fear, to seek truth no matter how elusive it is, and to accept the fact that I will never have all the answers without ceasing to search for the answers.  
Under the mercy,