Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In the meantime

The daffodils in my part of town are already fading and mostly gone, so I'm including this picture from my cousin's kitchen (taken last spring) to enjoy them a little while longer.

So, the blog is back. And I must continue my resolve not to spend too much time sitting here with it! That sudden disappearance was a powerful reminder to me that when you make a commitment, even if God is the only one who knows about it, you're supposed to keep it. In fact, those private commitments are often the most important ones, because they test our integrity more than the ones where other people are holding us accountable.

Anyway, I don't think it's coincidental that my time spent in prayer increased during the time my blog was not available, and I don't want that to change.

I love this photo because it shows a simple beauty. Yellow daffodils in blue vases. A kitchen sink with a window to the larger world outside. (Click to enlarge to fully appreciate it. I hope that works for your computer.)

I just noticed the Minute Maid container in the sink and was thinking how our lives are "made" by every "minute" we live. Every minute, I choose how I will live my life. Whether it's doing dishes, picking daffodils, writing a blog, or praying, I am building my life minute by minute.

And I want my life to have more daffodils and more time spent in prayer.

So, in the meantime, while my blog has been gone, that's what I've been doing. Walks in the garden, picking flowers, praying more. Even petting my dogs more.

Oh, and celebrating the anniversary. Stay tuned . . . .

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Forty and One Month

I've been told that I need to update my blog. It has been two whole weeks, hasn't it? And in our twenty-first century American way of looking at things, that is a long time.

I heard Lauren Winner say, giving a talk on the significance of the church calendar, that our American perspective on time is not just skewed, it is evil.

People who know me well won't be surprised that I agree with her. I know that for me, living in Italy and Croatia affected the way I experience America's time distortions. But it's not just that. It's that I've experienced in my own (American) life how the hurried, non-stop, fill-up-every-spare-moment approach can quickly drain life of any meaning and bring on all kinds of neurotic responses, killing love and joy and peace and just about everything that matters. (Yes, I know that "neurotic" is not an appropriate clinical term anymore, but has anyone found a better word for what we mean by it in non-clinical parlance?)

Anyway, since moving back to the States, I have worked hard not to be shaped by this culture's way of viewing time.

Which means that today, rather than rushing back from Brownsville to Memphis via the 70 mph interstate, I opted for a countryside ramble on the 40 mph Koko-Stanton two-lane road, where I saw cows up close, and old homes and daffodils. Took some pictures of an old church. (Keep watching this blog for photos later.) Even found a new business that had the same last name of my extended family. Stopped in and found that it is indeed owned by a cousin.

The work of resisting this culture's way of living in time also means that, as you know, I said openly on this blog that I turned 40. It's fun to me when people think I'm younger, but I don't want to even think for a moment that getting older means I'm somehow losing more than I'm gaining.

Today I'm forty years and one month, and I will report that in the past month I have grown wiser, I've spoken at a professional conference for the first time in my adult life, I've had lots of wonderful time with friends, I've walked among the daffodils, planted tulips and crocuses for the first time, and I've even gotten more compliments on my hair than I had in the past 5 years combined.

And I can't really think of anything I've lost that would outweigh those things. (Oh, yes, and I've lost a couple of pounds, too.)

So, from here the view looks pretty good.

(There, Lisa, I've updated it. And Happy Birthday to you, too!)