Annie

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Fairytales

In Books and Movies, Musings on October 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Reclined at the desk, devouring a toasty sweet potato, listening to the rain on the skylights above, I think about how life isn’t poetic.

No matter how I describe it, I’m still just eating dinner on a rainy night, wishing I had adventure in my life. I’m basically sulking right now. I want to do something awesome. I want to write something awesome. At the moment, it’s just not happening. My life is pretty boring right now. I don’t have many friends, and the ones I do have I don’t get to see very often. I have lots of ideas to write about, but then I sit down to write and I draw a blank.

I want to travel. I want to be a nomad. I’m too still. I need to move. My books aren’t enough, I need to live these adventures I pore over. I know they happen somewhere, but where?

I feel like Belle at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast. Consumed with books, living in a quirky house, waiting for life to begin while the world lives on around her, and brunette. I don’t exactly want to be captured by a monster, but that would be ok. I’ve always wondered how I would get along in a situation like that. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t just bury my face in my bed and cry like Belle does. There would be broken glass and probably blood. Actually, there would most definitely be blood, although I don’t know if it would be my captures or my own. Probably both. I would try to escape, but if I didn’t make it I would beat the stuffing out of the fool who caught me. If I didn’t win, and that’s a big if, I might pass out from blood loss.

But that’s not going to happen. Because life isn’t a fairytale. Not in this dimension. Maybe there is a dimension where there are still dragons. In that dimension I would probably be in the same situation as I am now, except with giant lizards. That wouldn’t help much. Even if the existence of dragons meant we were primitive and lived in conditions similar to the Middle Ages, I would just go about my business cleaning and cooking, probably wishing I could learn, but being a woman and a serf (or the other dimension equivalent) I won’t have the opportunity. I’m probably married to an old guy there. That’s kind of a disgusting thought. To make it even worse, I would know that somewhere, maybe somewhere close, there are glorious battles and vicious beasts. I’d like to think I’d be like Eowyn and go out to fight anyway, but in reality that kind of stuff didn’t happen all that often, and not to commoners.

I guess that’s why I like stories like Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Brave, and Lord of the Rings. People, specifically women, living their quaint little lives and then something terrible happens. Whether it’s war, a family crisis, or marriage, something happens to shake them. Part of me doesn’t want something terrible to happen. But, then, nothing big happens without tragedy. Tragedy hurts though. I don’t want to hurt. But, I need adventure. True adventure only happens with pain, or the threat of pain.

That’s where I am right now. I’m just past opening credits and we are still establishing the world. Something is about to happen, there is just no way to know when.

Change of Plans

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short on October 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

As I have mentioned a lot lately, I am very busy. And, what that unfortunately means is, I need to cut some things down. I’m not staying up as late looking at Pinterest or watching Youtube videos, and now, I am not staying up late to work on my blog. Honestly, I’ve tried! I start to fall asleep at the keyboard! Mom says I’m on a grown-up’s schedule now. The scary thing is, I’m getting used to it. I actually tried to sleep in yesterday, the one day this week I’m not working, but I couldn’t sleep past 9.

Enough prevaricating about the bush. I’m cutting my blogging. *runs in circles screaming* NO! No. Not completely! I’m just cutting it back a bit for the sake of quality and sanity. Starting next week I will go back to posting every Wednesday. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been posting twice a week for very long. It’s only been seven weeks, but I think it served it’s purpose. I have been writing much more than I was before I gave myself a deadline. I think that is a key to getting things done sometimes. Giving yourself a good hard deadline and sticking to it.

I was discouraged about quitting. It seems like I’ve done that more this year than ever. I hate that. I don’t quit! But, in looking back, I noticed something encouraging. I have been posting every week since July 2nd, and either every Tuesday or Wednesday since July 23rd.

So, I’m not quitting, I’m just changing plans and reprioritizing.

New Beginnings

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short on October 22, 2013 at 12:27 am

It was a big weekend  on the farm. It was super busy, but in the few spare moments I had on the computer, I found a new favorite band!

We had our first calf! Around noon on Friday (ok, not quite the weekend) Bunny calved. Around two on Friday it started sleeting. That would be just like Bunny. So guess what I did from around 2 to around 3? I tried to move a cow and her newborn calf.

I tried luring Bunny with her favorite feed treat, but she was not about to leave the calf, who wouldn’t follow, and she just wasn’t interested in it. I tried this for a while, and then called mom to see what she thought. We decided to try to move the calf. I was kind of worried about this, Bunny is pretty unpredictable. I picked up the calf and started walking up to the microbarn. The mama was the least of my trouble. Bunny didn’t really even seem to notice much. She followed a little and went back to eating. The calf, on the other hand, was very opposed to being picked up and moved. She flailed around, kneed me and whacked me in the face with her head. She is her mother’s daughter, that’s all I can say. I ended up carrying her a little and then herding her a little.

Once I finally got to the yard Mom helped me get the calf in the shed. By this time Dad was almost home from taking the kids to Co-op and I was pretty well soaked and freezing. Of course, Dad was able to get Bunny up to the shed right away. If she is capable of love, Dad is the only two-legged she has eyes for.

Bunny is actually a really good mama, despite how it might sound. Apparently cows can become attached to the place the calf in. It is so sweet to go out and hear mama and calf softly mooing to each other. A couple winters ago we got Bunny a molasses lick and she absolutely loved it. We decided that if she had a girl calf we would name her Molasses, because Bunny loves Molasses. Welcome to the world Lassie. Your name is very fitting, except you are anything but slow.

On Saturday Claire and I had a Bible Quiz. Neither of us placed as well this month as last. My team didn’t do as well as last month either, but Claire’s did quite better. This month we only have 3 weeks between quizzes. This will be interesting. I’m determined to get more memorized, even though there is less time to get it done.  Like my tag line in my email says:

Discipline is remembering what you want.

David Campbell

 

Kindness vs Arrogance

In Musings, Short on October 17, 2013 at 12:38 am

I’ve been notice something recently that is very alarming. Kindness is rare. And, it’s often replaced with arrogance.

The most alarming thing about this, though, is it’s prominence in the “Christian” community. I’m sure you heard about the big issue with a billboard that a certain creation ministry is putting up in NYC. It says it is to “Our Atheist friends; Thank God you’re wrong”. This is just wrong. On so many levels. It is not kind at all. It is not loving at all. It isn’t even convincing. It’s just contradiction. It’s just telling someone they’re wrong. “They will know we are Christians by our love”, “God is love”, “Remember now faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” This billboard doesn’t give hope, it isn’t a message with a loving attitude, and it isn’t going to bring people to faith.

Titus 3:3

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Excuse me, but you used to be wrong too. Is someone simply telling you you’re wrong going to make you think you are actually wrong?

4-7

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…

That is just the beginning of one very long sentence, but I think it is enough to convey my point.

I have pretty much gotten to the point where I can’t stand this ministry. Adam and Hannah were watching one of their videos this evening and I could only watch for a little while. The speaker is so haughty and shaming, even in a kids presentation. We are supposed to love and be kind.

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies… for [God] is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

You can’t have both kindness and arrogance at the same time.  Arrogance cancels out kindness.

Oh, look, you’re here too? I didn’t realize anyone else was reading. It’s rude to read someone’s journal.  😉

It’s Working!

In Actions in Activities, Books and Movies, Farm and Family on October 15, 2013 at 12:27 am

Or rather I am. I am so tired right now. This is the fifth day in a row that I have worked somewhere.

There is a corn maze just up the road from our house. Last year they sent an email to our homeschool group looking for teens to work there. I talked with the owners and we were all set, but because of the drought the maze wasn’t very good and they didn’t end up needing my help.

Saturday we were just sitting around talking and…  I don’t really know, doing our Saturday morning thing, when my friend’s mom (this is their second year working there) called saying they needed help at the maze. I jumped up, got out of my pajamas, and drove over there. The owner, Mrs. S asked how old I was and got excited that I was 19. “Can you drive an ATV?” Yeah, about 10 years ago I drove my great uncle’s for a few minutes, but I remember how and I’ve had my drivers license for 3 years, so sure, I can probably drive one.

Guess what I did for about 5 hours Saturday afternoon? I drove a four-wheeler pulling about 8 barrels-turned-train-cars. My thumb felt like it was going to fall off and I now have a fantastic sunburn on the backs of my hands. Once the sun went down and the train was put away, I worked in the concession stand for a few hours. I was surprised how many people came to do the maze in the dark.

Mrs. S asked me what time I could be back on Sunday, and basically, I have a job. I always knew this was how it would have to happen. All of my previous attempts had been fruitless.

It is so strange working this much. I’m hardly ever home anymore. I miss Josh and Hannah. I feel like they are growing up in my house as me, but I’m never home. I get up at 7 most days. Anyone who has seen me right after I wake up knows how big of a feat this is. I am not a morning person. By any stretch of the imagination. The sad thing I’ve found is that I can’t drink coffee in the morning. It makes me so jittery it ruins my day. My body is awake and my mind is not, or vice-versa. No bueno.

The only day I “have off” this week is Wednesday, and even then I volunteer at the library for a couple hours. Now, it would be logical to cut this out of my schedule. It isn’t an actual job, and it is my one and only day off. But I just can’t do that! I have thought about it, but only very briefly. I just love it too much. It’s quiet, relatively peaceful, and, basically, I get to be around books. Nope, library stays.

I know this isn’t my normal kind of post, but it’s what’s been on my mind. I am exhausted, but every day I am in such awe of how God has worked things together in a way that I never could.

 

Tradition!

In Farm and Family, Musings on October 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

Like most people, our family has traditions. We don’t have many, but we have a few. When someone has a birthday we put them in charge of the leftover cake. We might eat cake for a week, or just eat it all in one day, it depends on the birthday girl (or boy, as the case may be). When Dad leaves for work in the morning he comes to everyone’s bed and says goodbye, even though it is around 5am and everyone is asleep.

Everyone has traditions, whether they realize it or not. You may just see it as a habit, like showering before bed, but we all have them.

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Some traditions just happen, like the birthday cake. Others have a genesis, like Dad’s goodbye hugs.

Our journey as Christians can be that way too. If we aren’t careful, we just get into the habit of doing Christian things. It’s what our parents did, so we do it too.

I have grown up in a Christian family. In fact, Christianity goes back many, many generations and my grandfather was a campus minister. I became a Christian when I was around 5. There really wasn’t that big of a change in my daily life. I didn’t cuss or drink or anything like that. I was 5. I was childish, but I wasn’t demented.

I know there are many people with a beginning like mine, I’ve talked with several. It can be easy to have a “grandchild” mentality. You become a Christian because that’s what your family does. I’m noticing a lot of “Grandchildren of God” mentality in the homeschool community. Teens grow up, and don’t really know what they believe. They don’t have an original thought in their heads. They just regurgitate what their parents say on any given subject or issue. They have a birthday cake mentality. This is what we do. Why would we do it any other way? They haven’t come up against any real opposition yet, and when they do, they are shaken, sometimes to the point where they disregard everything they were taught.

Sorry parents, but this is your fault. Unfortunately, you don’t realized what you are doing. You are just trying to teach your children their faith, but what you are actually doing is teaching them yours. I know you really do mean well, so may I make a suggestion? Give them the tools and the raw materials, then let them build their own ideas. Give them guidance and an atmosphere where they feel free to ask questions. If they come up with something that you feel is off, ask them questions about it. How did you come to that conclusion? Start up a conversation with your teen. Please, remember this little bit of wisdom I’ve learned from my parents. Once a child turns 12-13 you can no longer tell them what to do. You can offer tips, but, unless it will harm something or someone in your charge, they really can’t be stopped (barring extreme force and police involvement, and in most cases that really isn’t necessary). Let them own themselves.

A life built on personal beliefs is a much more rewarding one than a life built on someone else’s. That’s what you want for your children. You want them to have “goodbye hug” traditions, not “birthday cake” habits.

Beautiful, Bald, Baby Sister

In Camp, Farm and Family, Pictures on October 8, 2013 at 12:32 am

Sixteen years ago I my life changed forever. My little Meglet joined the family. My incredibly comfortable life as an only child came to an end. I had no idea what it meant to be a big sister, in fact, I only recently have been learning what it really means.007

It has been amazing watching Megatron this past year. This practically bald three year old has become such a powerful young lady. She’s always been more of a lady than I am. She liked pink, horses, playing house and girly stuff like that. I liked climbing trees, making mud holes, playing surgeon, hiking, and wrestling. I dragged her along and she learned to like my stuff too, but she’s always added a touch of flowers and sparkle (we seriously were the Powerpuff Girls, even though mom wouldn’t let us watch the show).006

I was quite happy being an only child, and I did my best to get rid of her when we were little (subconsciously of course). As she was learning to walk, I used any opportunity to make her fall on her face. Mom was pretty sure that her 4 year old was going to be a convicted criminal (hasn’t happened yet…). When she was about 4, I covered her in mud from head to toe. And, not just a light coating, I caked her in mud. Oh, by the way, I think it was maybe March or something? It was cold outside. I guess it was when I was around 8 years old that I accepted that she was here for good. That’s when all our best stories are from. When we started working together to create our mischief.

Megara has always learned faster than me. When I was 7 years old and struggling to learn how to ride a bike, she stole my bike and rode away. She is the only one of my siblings that I didn’t teach how to ride a bike. She learned to read pretty much at the same time as I did. She watches me do something and fail, takes notes and then does the thing better than I ever could. That’s how it’s always been. Meg can do pretty much anything extremely well. She gets frustrated if it doesn’t work after 2 tries. This drives me crazy. If I get it within 2 tries, I’m shocked, and it probably was just a fluke.008

This summer at camp I was so proud of my baby sister. Her counselor and DD, both ladies that I love and look up to, would talk about her. They told about how she was helping the other girls in her cabin and how she was so mature. Every single time I heard them talking about her I started crying. My little Meg, blossoming into such a leader. I just can’t help but think of how fantastic she is going to be as a CILT and then on staff at camp.

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I love you my creative sister.

Megan, Megara, Megatron, Meglet, and most of all, Meg.

The Land of Make Me Believe

In Musings on October 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

Sometimes the best thing to do is pretend.

This is what I’m learning.

I don’t feel like a nice person most of the time. Others may see me that way, but I don’t feel like it.  I forget who I am. I downplay the parts of my personality that I like the most and have a pity party. This is usually subconscious, but sometimes I know what I’m doing, deep down.

Believe it or not, I’m actually an extrovert. I’m socially awkward, but I’m an extrovert in the base sense of the term. I’m one of those shy extroverts hiding in the corner hoping you’ll come talk to us. We are energized by social interaction sometimes, but in some circumstances it’s just too draining to be worth it. So, we hide and the world thinks we are introverts.

When something happens that just really pushes my buttons, like someone mocking me or not thinking logically, I have to pretend that I don’t want to go kick them in the shins. I have to pretend that I’m not raging at them. Blow up a balloon or blow out a candle as I would say to a little kid. That’s basically what I become when I’m angry. A little kid having a tantrum, with feelings too big for her body.

When we go to a party or gathering of some sort where I don’t have any close friends I have to pretend to be outgoing. This is one I have gobs of trouble with. It is so draining to talk to strangers or acquaintances that it completely neutralizes any energy I would get. But, if I don’t pretend I am outgoing it will be hard to make friends who I can recharge with.

When I’m talking with someone, in some ways, it’s easy for me to stay on the surface. It drives me insane on the inside, but it is less personal, and thus safer. I need to learn to pretend I am open about things that really matter. This is the hardest thing for me to pretend right now. Sometimes I will try to say something, but my mouth will not say it. As in, I am trying to say something and my mouth will not open. This has happened to me on several occasions. It’s usually the fear of rejection or judgement. When I am able to get the words out, I usually find my fears were in vain. I need to pretend I’m not afraid.

These are things I have to pretend. They are things that I know I can be, and probably am more than I think. I have to remember who I want to be and pretend to be that person. It’s kind of like that old saying, “Dress for the job you want.” Well, I am going to dress like a good big sister, a good quizzer, an outgoing person, a good friend, and a reflective, deep thinker.

What do you have to pretend?

Life Lessons: Loki

In Books and Movies, Musings on October 1, 2013 at 12:20 am

(Alliterations are always awesome.)

As I have mentioned before, I make some kind of “out-there” connections. Well, hold on to your hats, ’cause I’m about to do it again. Bear with me. (Rawr.)

One of my most recent fetishes is the Avengers. I have tendency to totally geek out about it. It’s not because it is a popular movie, I promise. I just really like it! It is an awesome story, and there are some good lessons. I’m not going to do what I’ve seen way too many people do and try to turn something Christian. It isn’t, even though Captain America does say “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t dress like that.” It has plenty of reason to be rated PG-13, but I still think there are some things we can glean from it.

After Loki and Barton break into the gala and steal some iridium, Loki then dons his gold armor and helmet and addresses the frightened crowd, ordering them to kneel.

Loki: Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.

Loki is an absolute jerk and an awesome Baddy. He is so easy to hate. But, he says something there that is actually immensely true. We do crave subjugation.  There is a reason all civilizations have rulers. We need to be told what to do. The Israelites begged God for a king. But, they didn’t except God as their King. We were created to be subjects of God.

I heard a story on the radio the other day about a man who was on a mission to make a banquet from scratch. As in, grow the corn and shoot the turkey. It took him all year to get everything together, and when the time for a the meal came he invited a group of friends over to share it with him. As they were about to eat, the man looked out over the table and felt the need to stand. He stood there. He was a decided Atheist, he didn’t believe in any god of any kind. And yet, he felt the overwhelming need to thank God. But, he couldn’t thank someone he didn’t believe in, so he sat back down.

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

But, then there is the little bit about freedom. This puts me in mind of the first part of James 1:25, where James speaks of “the perfect law, the law of liberty.” God gives us both. We kneel before Him and are subjugated to Him. But, unlike Loki, who would be a tyrant, God gives us freedom. He sets us free from sin and death. He created us and He loves us.

So, in some ways Loki is right, and then, he is so wrong. I love having a good, hateable villain. But he was right. In the end, we will kneel.

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