August 26, 2016
Five years ago, I wrote a cheerful recap of summer. As I flitted from puppies to fairs, I was happy. I know then, just as now, I was wondering a good deal about the future. And then, as now, I know very little.
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
I love that mountain song and have for years. The reminder —often needed— that this world is not our home.
Another summer has come and gone. This one marked by an amazing trip to Europe. The intoxication of traveling, of new places, of history. The romance of a boyfriend at home.
Then a return to reality. A break up, different values and different directions.
Learning, growing. Recognizing that God is always good and sovereign —that is why I’m doing well.
Because, as much as I want a relationship. I want God more. And that means being single.
Single. Wayfaring Stranger. But not alone. Because God provides community. I’ve put down roots in the past years. A new season lies ahead. New adventures. Friends, old and new. It’s bittersweet, realizing it’s been 5 years.
I love Mercy Me’s song, Dear Younger Me. What would I say to the younger me?
Don’t worry, dear, that you don’t know the plan. Keep trusting. It will be so good. It will be so hard. But the best is yet to come. As the song says,
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that fair land to which I go
October 19, 2015
This will be quick. . . . Blogging every day hasn’t happened. I did try to post a picture of Illinois sky on October 2 —but my phone failed. However, despite the false starts and great expectations, I do intend to blog more!
Life is good. Life is crazy. The days are filled, and I am thankful.
I’ve been reading a lot over the past season. (More posts about books will follow.)
As it is, Jasper Fforde and P. G. Wodehouse both do a wonderful job of making me laugh. And on that note, I must be off to clean and listen to some more P. G. Wodehouse.
October 1, 2015
Happy October! Today was a beautiful fall day, and I broke out the fall layering wardrobe, complete with boots, for the first time. I love this season. And I love that it’s the first of the month. A new start, October 1st. I’ve been wanting to write a blog post for a while, but there’s something about starting at the beginning —so here’s to a month of blogging. (Yes, I love to make ambitious goals, too!)
I’ll try to post something each day —mostly books but also snippets of life. Tomorrow will be a snippet, if I can post. I’ll be making the drive home for a Wisconsin visit. . . . and I’m so ready to go!
Until tomorrow then, dear reader. —And enjoy the fall quote!
June 4, 2015
He’s curled on the bookshelf by the window —napping and feigning oblivion. It’s a sham. I know he’ll be up soon: bustling into the bedroom if I spend too long in there before returning to the living room. Or, he’ll start patrolling the apartment: pacing from room to room and vociferously complaining when I don’t let him out or refuse to fling open a window to give him a better view.
Oliver. The cat I didn’t want. God certainly has a sense of humor. This cat has more personality in the tip of his tail then some cats in the entire sum of their lives.
“I think he has some Oriental Shorthair in him; he has that look.” —Says Mary, our regular mail carrier and a fellow cat lover.
So, while he was in rare form one day, I looked up “Oriental Shorthair” and read their personality.
The Oriental has a . . . colorful personality. They are closely linked to the people they claim as their own and desperately want to share their lives with you. In the busiest moments, your Oriental will find a way to interrupt your activities.
They usually bond with one person and become extremely devoted and dependent upon their chosen human. Expect them to be at your side, in your lap, and at the door to interrogate you about where you’ve been. (Cat Fancier’s Association & Petfinder Breed Profile)
This explains so much, and it’s Oliver to a T.
And I didn’t want a cat . . . hah! God knew better.
May 30, 2015
It has been quite a while. All well-intended resolutions to blog were forgotten. The semester flew by, full of work, laughter, friendship, and adventures.
Three weeks were spent at home in another crazy adventure, manning the home front with five younger siblings while my parents finished an international adoption. It was a whirlwind: time with siblings, friends, books . . . greeting a new sister, packing the car and saying goodbye, heading back to Louisville.
Then, this week, I’ve been settling back in to the apartment. It’s funny how two completely different places can be home, but that’s how it is —unfortunately they’re separated by two states, but it does make life interesting!
There have been blog posts I have written, on paper or in my head throughout the semester: an In Memorium tribute to our dog, and a post titled, “Lord, I didn’t want a cat.” —That one about the sovereignty of God and stray cats. I will still write it, in some form.—
As I look ahead toward summer, I know that I will soon be looking back. Here one day, and gone tomorrow. And when I look back, I want to see a summer of blog posts.
So here’s to summer blogging and a return from silence!
March 11, 2015
There are some dates you will never forget. Today is one of those dates.
*Originally published on March 11, 2011, at the LEX Language Project blog:
It started with a faint rumbling. I could feel the floor vibrating under my feet. Around the office, people stopped work; there were exclamations, and then everything really started shaking. Within a few moments, I was sitting under my desk and listening to the sound of cabinets and everything else in the office being shaken by the earthquake.
This was my first earthquake in Japan. I knew Japan had earthquakes, so I was a bit surprised when my supervisor told me I should let my mom know I was okay. Wasn’t this a normal earthquake?
In the hours since then, and one powerful aftershock later, I have come to understand that this was much more than a standard earthquake. In fact, this was the largest recorded earthquake in the history of Japan . . .
I was in Tokyo when it happened. It doesn’t seem like four years ago. In many ways, it feels like only a short time ago.
Then, and in the following days, God was faithful. Just thinking back brings a rush of memories. Listening to Praise You in the Storm and not getting it, on my way to work that morning. Listening to it the next day, and understanding.
Reading Isaiah. Remembering Isaiah 41:10. Remembering God’s promises, and though I was scared, not being afraid.
Singing You Raise Me Up in Japanese with believers that following Sunday, joining hands and praying. The power in that calm moment. “Do not be afraid; I am with you. Be not dismayed . . . I am your God.”
Four years later, and all these memories can slip, but they come rushing back. They come on March 11. They come at other times. So please, take a moment, and do not forget. Remember Japan. And say a prayer because, 4 years later, many people are remembering this day.
March 5, 2015
Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.
March 3, 2015
I’m dating myself. . . . I love to listen to children’s CDs from the 90s or earlier. Babysitting toddlers has given me the
excuse chance to revisit the music of my childhood.
So, for a trip down memory lane, or for some fun children’s music suggestions: read on!
Raffi. How good does it get? “Banana phone,” “Biscuits in the Oven,” “Simple Gifts” . . . So fun! I love the really old albums. The newer ones, meh. “Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside . . .” I dare you not to start tapping your feet.
The Washing Machine Song! And “I’m Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor,” these are good. I may or might not have done some talent show skits using The Chenille Sister’s hokey pokey. That’s another story.
Yes, it was just like this! The cassette and the booklet . . . I have so many of these songs stuck in my head: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “Sweet Betsy from Pike,” and many more.
Oh yes, nursery rhymes. Don’t get me started on nursery rhymes: treasured BBC tapes brought back from England by Dad and listened to again, and again, and again.
Best thing is, they’re still around today. Check out The Wheels on the Bus. It’s wonderful, replete with British accents. I think I’m going to get this one for my iPhone . . . for the children’s sake 🙂
Entering the world of folk, there is:
Oh yes. Pastures of Plenty, Leatherwing Bat, and —my favorite— The Fox.
Back to early childhood . . . This is such a wonderful bedtime CD. I love Herdman’s voice: deep, gentle, and melodious. Favorites? “Autumn to May” and “Waltzing with Bears.”
Finger-snapping, toe-tapping fun . . . Just listen to Froggy Went a Courtin!
Just writing this post has been so much fun. Thank you, Mom, for a childhood filled with music! (And this isn’t even touching all the children’s classical music we loved!)
What did you grow up listening to? What are your favorite songs and albums?
February 28, 2015
My name is Hayley, and I’m a book-loving, Bible-reading, midwest girl transplanted to Louisville, Kentucky, and working on a degree in Humanities at Boyce College.
Q. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
At risk of sounding like Caroline Bingley extolling the merits of a true lady, a true heroine must have common sense and back-bone. She must possess a sense of humor and, if at all possible, she must like books! Even more importantly, she must be empathetic and care about others —not everyone, we can’t all be Jane Bennets— but she must have some connection with other people.
Q. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
- Elinor Dashwood —Definitely number one!
- Emma Woodhouse —I plead guilty of being all too like Emma at times
- Emily of Deep Valley —I’ve had a lot of waiting periods in my life, especially —like Emily— not going on to college right away. (Here’s a review written much closer to that time in my life.)
- Anne Elliot —I’m not as quiet as Anne, but I do hope that as I grow older, I emulate Jane Austen’s most mature of heroines.
Q. Five of your favorite historical novels?
- Sense and Sensibility
- The Hobbit
- To Kill a Mockingbird
Q. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why?
Elinor Dashwood . . . I understand her!
Q. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Mr. Knightley —he feels the most “real” of all Jane Austen’s men. He is a friend first and not afraid to call Emma out on her short-comings.
Q. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there?
I’d travel to the United Kingdom and visit battlefields, bookstores, castles, cathedrals, and museums —as many literary and historical places as I could cram into my vacation. (Fun fact, I lived in London for 6 weeks when I was 12. I can’t wait to go back someday!)
Q. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
Ooh, hard! Right now it would be Regency England, but I love Homefront Britain during WWII, and Pre-Revolutionary War Boston.
Q. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of?
I love poetry, so I’d be happy to recite something, and then I’d finish with a piano solo, probably this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UaHl3d8Rlg
Q. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
Hermione Granger; I have both the character and the bushy brown hair!
Q. Favorite author(s)?
Besides Jane Austen: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Goudge, C. S. Lewis, Angie Sage, Dorothy Sayers, Josephine Tey, J. R. R. Tolkien and P. G. Wodehouse. . . to name a few
Q. In which century were most of the books you read written?
20th century with several notable exceptions!
Q. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is…
Lord Peter Wimsey, my first literary crush
Q. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is…
Moriarty is a classic but, really? Lord Voldemort!
Q. Describe your ideal dwelling place.
Bag End, or a quiet farm in the country
Q. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.
Classic but relaxed: I love dressing up, but I also love my jeans!
Q. Three favorite Non-fiction books?
Taking the Bible as a given:
- Oxford Companion to English Literature (I love reading this reference book!)
- Tempted and Tried by Russell Moore (Wonderful, theological book)
- At Home with Beatrix Potter (Beautiful coffee-table book with gorgeous pictures)
Q. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
I’m imagining a summer day back home in Wisconsin —Kentucky summer days are far too hot! I’d go walking with Mom, then, after my walk, walk out to the barn to see the horses and go out in the pasture barefoot to socialize (being very careful to mind my feet!) After that I’d head inside, grab a glass of iced tea mixed with lemonade, and find a nice spot outside to read a book or catch up on journaling.
Q. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat – in such a way as will best portray your true character.
While I’d love a beautiful hat, I’m on the adventurous side, so I’ll go for a Australian oilskin hat or a fedora. If I didn’t wear a helmet horseback riding, that is what I’d be wearing!
Q. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
Joining Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville; I am so thankful for my new “home” church.
Q. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
I love how the psalms are filled with the idea and admonition to wait on the Lord. Psalm 33:20-22 so clearly ties this waiting with joy and hope in the Lord. I’m learning to live this daily.
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.