Monday, September 30, 2013

Something Special

This is the last day of Jenni’s Blogtember. Crazy how fast the month went! The prompt today is: share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.

There are a few people in one’s life who make an impact in a very small period of time. My Grandpa John passed away when I was only twelve, and I still frequently think of some of the most wonderful memories with him. 

There is one memory in particular which I am constantly reminded of. He had an old marble game in his house; the kind that just sits there as a decorative brain teaser and nobody really uses. The goal of the game was to jump over and remove the marbles in a way that enables you to only have one left in the center. 

On one of our visits he showed me how to play the game. I was only ten, and he spent hours going over it with me until I had mastered the technique. Then he told me, “Now you and I are the only two people in the world who can do this.” I was so proud and honored to be the one that he chose to share his secret with. He told me the game was mine and I was so excited to have something so special. 

As we were leaving he told me not to forget my new game and I distinctly remember my parents saying, “oh no its okay.” I looked at them with a lump in my throat, not sure if it was wrong to accept the gift. My grandpa was very insistent, and my parents saw that we had shared a memory and he was giving me something to remind me of it forever. 

I got home and wrote down all of the rules to the game, afraid that I would let my grandpa down and forget how to accomplish the goal. He died less than two years later. Now I was the only one in the world who knew how to play. To this day I still go over the game, making sure I can recall the process he taught me so long ago. 

The sixteen years since then has passed so rapidly. Now I am a grown woman with my own house. This game represents a special memory and a special person in my life. Because of that, It sits in a place of honor in my home. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Out of the Ordinary Day

Creative writing continues!

Well Johnson and I had a very challenging but fun time working on our first project. I must say that my little bro's "Blue Bicycle" was so creative and heart wrenching that he really must take the cake for "A Life Changing Experience."

Apparently we are of a similar bent of mind based on the content of our two stories. Both on the melancholy side (his far more than mine), both pointing to what really matters most in life. But I suppose the topic lent itself to a more serious composition.

Just because we have taken many weeks, doesn't mean we are giving up on our creative writing challenge. I will post both of our responses to a prompt every month on the "writer's corner" page. This month is going to be, "An Out of the Ordinary Day." Easier said than done, that is for sure (not that Johnson hasn't already informed me that he has a good idea). I am still awaiting my own brilliant idea, but it will come, even if I have to force it from my mind to my fingertips.

I have a feeling the content of this assignment will be on the lighter, more amusing side. But that is just a hunch. We will see what comes of it next Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Funny things teenagers do.... at least I did

Day 17 of Blogtember: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made. I didn't have the inspiration for a picture to grace this post. Then I came across this photo I took of my cute little niece and I thought she looked so..."Oops, I look so cute so you will forgive whatever I did, right?"

A mistake I made…. So once when I was a youngin of about seventeen (which, when I think about it now, seems quite old for this sort of behavior, but oh well, some people are late bloomers), I was sitting on the island in my parent’s kitchen eating ice cream. Don’t ask me why I was doing that, because in retrospect, I hardly know.

My friend thought it would be funny to push me around on the island (I guess it was more like a table because it had wheels). So I just sat there, eating my ice cream… oh those were the days when my metabolism was like that of a ten year old boy… but that is a side note.

My friend pushed me down the hall and alas, the wheels of the table got caught on a chink in the floor and the whole ensemble, the table top, the legs, the ice cream, and me (a very full grown woman), went crashing to the floor. I was pretty relaxed about the situation. I just sat there on the floor and continued eating my ice cream. From what I hear, it was a comical spectacle. 

So I screwed up. Somehow I broke my mom’s workspace in the kitchen. After a few moments consideration, we quickly realized the beauty of the situation: nobody else was home.

With that in mind, we put the table and the legs back together as best we could (which really means that we positioned everything in such a way as it looked like it was in once piece, but it definitely was not). I got a book, sat on the couch, and waited for events to unfold. 

One of my sisters got home and headed for the kitchen. She was on the phone with my mom at the time. I watched her eagerly, wondering if she was going to set anything heavy on the reconstructed table. Alas, it didn’t even take that. She bumped it slightly and the next thing I heard was a great crash and my sister standing there by the ruins of our furniture with panic in her face. 

When she was able to get some coherent words out I heard her explaining to my mom on the phone that she had broken the table somehow, and she was sorry. 

I couldn't contain my laughter anymore.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dickens' Friend Wilkie

Day 16 of Blogtember: Review a book, place, or product.

picture credit: Alan Bresloff

To any of you other literary enthusiast or classic works obsessed, I highly recommend Wilkie Collins. As a good friend of the brilliant Charles Dickens, his books come highly recommended by association alone. He was the very first author to write a sensation novel and so his works carry you through suspense, mystery, excitement, romance, and all of the best of fiction. To top it all off, these wonderful elements of literature are written in such a profoundly beautiful and eloquent way.

I am part of a book club and we recently finished his work “The Moonstone”. This book starts out a little slower than his other works, and I did not feel bonded with the characters right off the bat (I am one of those readers who become emotionally involved in the lives of those in the story). However, once it got going, the story was very entertaining, having the feel of a classic adventure novel. I learned to love the character of Betteredge as he looks for all of life’s answers in Robinson Crusoe. The story follows the trail of a priceless gem through generations, demonstrating the destruction the stone leaves in its wake. 

One of the most interesting elements about the narration of this work is that the story is told by many different characters, voices, and writing styles. Brilliant. 

I am not going to go into details regarding the plot of the story. I don’t want to give anything away to those readers out there who would enjoy a new classic novelist. Just know that he is a truly talented writer and this was a very entertaining piece of fiction.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lately

Day 15 of Blogtember: A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!

Life… what a wonderful thing it is. Sometimes I just feel so full of thankfulness for how amazingly blessed I am. 

Just this morning, while we were laying in bed (putting off the moment where we have to step out of the coziness into the frigid open air) Cory was saying that we have the most wonderful life. I couldn’t agree more. But you know, it is not as if we have a ton of money, or we are stress free, or we never argue, we are no different than the next couple in those areas. However, we (mostly Cory) try to make the most of every situation. Cory has the most incredible, positive attitude of anyone I have ever known. And through all of the difficulties and trials that life inevitably brings, he helps me to see things that way. And for that, for him, I am so very grateful!

With that being said our life is currently an adventure. Cory has been working in Tahoe for three weeks, so we have been tenting it in the wilderness. Although it gets chilly, we camp semi 21 century style. I have electricity (obviously), a heater, a fridge, a nice blow up mattress, bathroom… basically everything I need for a comfortable home in the wilderness. 

And so “life lately” is pretty great. We just take it one adventure at a time.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Little Monday Boost

Happy Monday everyone! I feel so refreshed after church on Sundays. Ever feel like Monday comes crazy quick? Sometimes the weekend come down starts for me before I am even in bed on Sunday night. However, the name of the day of the week should not dictate our attitudes :)

Therefore I have decided that I am going to begin each week on a very positive note. I am going to make a habit of jotting down a post for a little spiritual boost as we trudge on in this great thing called life. I may share something I have been reading, learning myself, or simply a scripture that has been particularly impactful.

Without further ado here is my little “devotional” for this fabulous Monday.

Jeremiah 1:4-9
The word of the Lord came to me saying, “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nation.” “Ah Sovereign Lord,“ I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the Lord said to me.  “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”

What an amazing passage! 

When I was a teenager I was not a very outgoing individual. Frankly, I would rather have stayed at home all day and read. One year I read 87 books. Extroverts just don’t make time for that much reading… but I digress.

Because it was such a struggle for me to get out of myself, I often wondered how I was going to make an impact for Jesus in the world. At that time I distinctly remember reading Jeremiah 1:4-9 and it drastically changed my outlook and level of confidence. I remember thinking I could exactly relate. I felt as if I were only a child! And yet God had formed me for a purpose; A purpose which I would fulfill because he would direct me every step of the way. What a God!

Yesterday morning I think the Lord wanted to remind me of that. Quite by accident I opened my Bible up to this passage and as I began reading, the familiar words jumped off the page and into my heart. It was not as if I had forgotten that scripture or how powerful it was for me and my life; but perhaps I had not been walking in the specific facet faith which this scripture should bolster.

So be encouraged today; in whatever goals you have set or challenge you are facing. You may feel totally ill qualified, as a child would feel, and yet God says “go” and he will guide you. More than that, he will put HIS words into YOUR mouth.
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