Tuesday, July 25, 2006

passing...

Posted by PicasaMy grandfather died on Sunday night. He was 85. I haven't really seen him since last May (2005) when we were home visiting. I suppose you could count going to the nursing home with my parents, but he was asleep. Even if he had been awake there's no way to know if he would have even known who I was. The funny thing about losing someone, especially when you're far away, is that it shakes you up a little more. You weren't there, and you feel like maybe you should have been. You never really got to say goodbye and it makes you feel like you got the raw deal--or maybe that the person wondered why they hadn't seen you lately. It's a completely different experience than being home close to where everything is happening. Almost like it's a bigger deal because you have to depart so drastically from your daily schedule to go home to be at the funeral.

The thing is...I haven't cried yet about this either. While I'm not sure how aware he was the last few years, since the dementia had gotten so bad, I know that my Grandpa was a believer. And the last six months he's been suffering a lot because of all of his physical and mental illnesses. My prayer since the day he fell and broke his hip was for God to heal him or bring him home. I'm not happy that he's gone, but I rejoice in knowing that he is no longer suffering.

There is comfort for those who are in Christ. We no longer live in fear of death, but look forward with anticipation to the resurrection of the body. Death does not have the final say. Christ's death and resurrection are for us a foreshadowing of what is to come in our own lives. Every person, believer or otherwise, will die one day. No one escapes that. But for those who place their hope in the Lord, death is passing from this into new life. It is passing from brokenness into glory. It is passing from a life that is fleeting into life everlasting.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

it's offical....

I am NOT a city girl. I've always told people that I'm more of a suburb/country girl than a city girl. I like open space, pretty landscapes, quiet, and clean air. I dislike not being able to see more than a square foot of sky when you are outside. Generally, I find tall building and skyscrapers to be ugly monstrosities, as opposed to beautiful architecture. I do not like taking my life in my hands any time I want to cross a street. Dodging puddles on the ground filled with who knows what makes me more than nervous. The thing that I realized most clearly yesterday, when Joshua and I went down to Harvard to register for a class, is that I do not like having such a large number of people so close to me. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not claustrophobic. But there's something about personal space that isn't being invaded that appeals to me. Instead of it being this wonderful adventure, it felt like stress in the form of a city. I can't even describe how wonderful it was to walk through our door into peace and quiet. Even being on the T (Boston's subway) was better than being outside on the streets because it was less crowded--since it was the middle of the day--and (sort of) cleaner. Not that Boston is dirty, don't get me wrong.

All of this to say, the Dixie Chicks' song "Wide Open Spaces" has been running through my head for the last 24 hours. The idea of a small town is alright with me...everything close together so you can just walk instead of driving your car. But a big city turns me off. I do want to be close enough so that I can have the opportunity to go see musicals, operas, symphonies, etc. But when it comes down to day in and day out--well, there's nothing like a few acres and a lot of grass to make me smile.

Monday, July 17, 2006

template frustration

Today I went on a quest to find a new and exciting template for my blog. I thought it would be nice to have something that reflected my thoughts and personality a little more than the standard options. All in all, I probably spent at least and hour or two searching for something that would be just right (like Goldilocks and the porridge). I found a few that would have been great, except for the fact that there was no way to download (or upload) them at all. There were others that were beautiful, but there were 800 steps you had to do before you could make your blog look like the sample. After all my searching (and even trying out a few of the standards) I ended up with the same template I started with. I guess sometimes you should just stick with what works.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

my family rocks

So, every year for as long as I can remember (and probably longer than that), my dad's side of the family has gotten together at Battleground Lake State Park. It's a family tradition that I absolutely love. We all settle into our camp sites, go out for pizza, swim as much as possible in the lake, play pinochle until we can't hold cards any longer, eat good food, and have an all around good time. Since Joshua and I moved out to the East Coast we haven't been able to go. This is mostly due to the fact that it is more practical for us to return to Seattle during May than any other time of year. Because we can only afford to come out once, I was really bummed this year when I found out that my brother and his girlfriend are going to be there. We were talking one night and Alex (my bro) asked if we were going to come out. I told him we couldn't afford it (in so many words) and he apparently decided that was unacceptable. Somehow between my brother's desire for us to come out (did I mention that I adore my brother), and my parent's desire for him to save the money he earns this summer, a plan was worked out. Unbeknownst to me, my parents decided to fly us out for a week in August so that we can come to Battleground. I almost jumped out of my chair when I heard this. Seriously, I was that excited. And it seems that other family members are stoked that we are coming out...My greataunt Dorothy sent my dad a check--a contribution to the "bring Joshua and Sarah home" fund. Awesome.

So really all I have to say is that my family is amazing. It's been really hard to be so far away from them, especially since we can only make it home once a year. This is a huge blessing, answer to prayer, some would say miracle. We are looking forward to being with family and getting to camp in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Did I already mention that my family is awesome? Because...they really are.

May you experience the joy of loving and being loved by those you treasure the most.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the mosquitoes of life....


*revised*


There are certain things that bother most people. Bugs such as bees, spiders, and mosquitoes usually are not high on lists of favorite things. Screaming babies on long airplane flights... you get the picture. True, not everyone agrees on what is annoying. For example, whistling makes me crazy. It doesn't matter if you are the world's best whistler with perfect pitch, for some reason whistling is for me what nails on a blackboard is for other folks. It takes everything in me to not smack someone upside the head and scream "stop making that awful noise!!!" Of course, if I were to ever do that, someone might have me taken to a mental institution. After all, it's not normal to scream at people who are happily whistling.

I'm sure that everyone can relate, since there is no one in the world who doesn't have at least one thing that gets under their skin...just a little. I am also sure that the Lord is stretching me in this particular annoyance. Perhaps more accurately, He is continuing to teach me patience. Generally speaking I am patient...but specifically I'm learning how to be patient with people and things that would otherwise make me crazy--whistlers, people who drive two miles under the speed limit, older folks who call me dearie and miss, you get the picture. I am learning that even though I don't often realize it, I am selfish and self-centered more often than I would like to admit. So when I say that the Lord is teaching me patience, I really mean that He is teaching me to die to myself and learn to experience and give to others the Love and Grace He has already given to me.


May you have patience for those things that bother you and otherwise make you crazy, and the courage to let God take you out of your self and mold you into His image.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ridiculous weather

I am definitely not one to look at happenings in the world around me and declare that the end of the world is at hand. Many people see the end of the world in the serious weather happenings (Asian tsunamis, devastating hurricanes in the southern US, earthquakes in the Middle East, etc) as signs that the End is near. I try not to get caught up in that, since Jesus said that even He did not know the day or the hour. However, when things like severe thunderstorm warnings are issued for the area in which I live--with tornado warnings about half an hour north of us--I do sometimes wonder. Yes, you did read that correctly...there was a tornado warning in southern NH earlier today. That almost never happens here in New England. Even now as I sit here typing, there is a ridiculous amount of crashing thunder and pouring rain outside of my window. People always say to me, "You're from Seattle, you must be used to rain like this." Well, let me tell you, people, it does NOT rain like this in Seattle. Back home I use a rain coat (sometimes), and don't mind if I'm wearing long pants that touch the ground. Unless you're walking a long distance, you usually don't get too wet. I didn't even own an umbrella for the last few years that I was in WA. Here...well, rain is completely different. I make sure that I always know where my umbrella is. When going outside, I zip up my raincoat, hike up my pant legs, and run as quickly as possible to my destination. Despite these measures, I'm often soaking wet after running even the shortest distance. Yuck. All this to say...I'm still not sure that I like the weather out here. Mostly I pine for the beauty and mildness of the PNW. Oh home... And to think, in less than a month I will be camping in the beauty of it all. Hooray! Let's just pray that the tornados and whatnot really aren't the signal of the end times...otherwise no camping for me.

May you all know the beauty of the Pacific NW, and stay dry even when the thunder rolls outside your window.