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April 13, 2010

Spring College Visits - Can you identify the universities?

Our family went on a college tour for our son over spring break. We visited five institutions in the Northeastern United States, just to get a feel for things, before our son decides where to apply in the autumn. Can you identify any of them from the photos below? Which are which? The last photo shows how the family felt after the rigorous regimen of informational sessions and long tours on foot, absorbing and processing so much information and so many options, features, and factors in a short time.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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April 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 11, 2010

A Cheerful Spring Symphony: Forsythia, Violets, Hellebore, Daffodils and Primroses

In our garden this week:

 Why are humans so creative? Because our Maker is so creative, and we are fashioned in His image. I bow to His limitless capacity for creating beauty with so many varied fragrances, shapes, sizes and appeals.

April 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 07, 2010

Whose kingdom?

Novelist Karen Hancock on unrealistic expectations for oneself:

I’m in the sewer again. [...] I see that I've had wildly unrealistic expectations for this day. I wanted to get up, make muffins, clean the house and work on [my novel], all before I leave at 10:20 to take Mother to the Oncology Center for her treatment. In each of those scenarios, I imagined myself as relaxed, pursuing the objective without distraction or worry, as a believer in Christ should. But I was also, I realize now, imagining them all happening at the same time. Get up, do the morning routine while making the muffins and cleaning the bathroom, one giant integrated process whose separate steps were intermingled… or maybe it was just an alternate dimension thing where things were just happening simultaneously.  

The reality is, there isn’t time to do all that. [...] I also need to go to the store, preferably before noon, since this is another task that was put off and now I don’t have food for lunch. [...] Hmm. It’s arrogance that wants to control everything, isn’t it? Arrogance that wants my way even though that way is delusion. It’s me seeking MY kingdom instead of His. 

And in my kingdom, one is required to do two things at the same time, be in two places at the same time and violate strictures of time and space. My kingdom involves the magic of traveling 100 miles in one hour while driving at a constant speed of 50 mph. In my kingdom you must do all required things, or disaster will befall you. What that disaster is, you aren’t allowed to know, only that it’s coming. Also, you must choose the correct thing to do if you insist you can only do one thing at a time. Choosing the wrong option leads off into that blank space at the end of the map where dragons will eat you.

So. In seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness (which is sane and sensible, unlike mine), I have only to stay in fellowship and seek His guidance, choose whatever option I’m led to choose and forget  the others for now. Which, weirdly enough suddenly seems to be housework. Okay then. I will now ignore the clamor erupting at the back of my head about my calling and how I should be ignoring all the accumulated domestic tasks so I can work on the book. I will go with my choice and trust that God can set me straight if I’m wrong.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time - I make a list of 18 things I'd like to accomplish in one day...and then a lot of them get cut. I love the freedom of knowing that God is only asking me to do things I actually CAN (with His power working in me, of course).

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April 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 03, 2010

Chickens and Cows and Pigs and Kittens and Children and a Golden Retriever, Oh My!

We just had a lovely luncheon reunion at a friend's whom I knew from college and hadn't seen since my wedding day 17 years ago... she and her husband own and run a dairy farm in upstate New York (directly between Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as it happens), with the help of their six children. Well, the 15-month-old doesn't help much yet. It was a delight to meet the whole family at last. They have 200 cows (90 currently milking), two pregnant pigs due in a week or two, a chicken house full of egg-layers, a bunch of cats (with two tiny one-month-old, oh-so-adorable kittens) and a golden retriever named Seamus. All the (homeschooled) children are very pleasant, respectful, intelligent, observant and friendly. Thanks for a great visit, Paige!

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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April 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)