it's late, but one mocha coconut frappuccino six hours ago might seem to be responsible for that. (there are definitely drawbacks to living largely decaffeinated.) which could have been item number one for this week's edition of random ramblings, but it isn't. (you just get that pointer for free.) ;) so without further ado - MORE random ramblings:
1) i've lately become completely addicted to YA fiction. there are some really good books out there right now. if i ever have the privilege of having daughters, a book i read this week (which i am ashamed to say i almost didn't bring home because of the cover picture - it's a little scary) will be assigned reading during their teenage years. written by a children's librarian (who are, btw, some of the most under-appreciated but most influential teachers of any child's life), this book is a MUST-READ for any girl junior-high or older AND their moms. set in feudal times and dealing with the fantasy world of mermaids vs/and islanders, it subtly but powerfully deals with coming-of-age issues, managing peer pressure, the importance of character over popularity, and self-esteem. all while creating an incredibly believable, historically accurate picture of the feudal system. it was amazing. and the cause of a very short night of sleep this week. i've GOT to stop picking up new stories at night....
(like that's going to happen...)
2) Madeleine L'Engle is still my hero. i'm reading Walking On Water this week, and again, learning so much from her about my faith, art, their interplay, and myself. i cannot wait to spend countless hours in eternity talking with this amazing saint, and am so grateful to her for her transparency and wisdom in all her books, both fiction and non-fiction. her writing and what i've learned from it is part of why i dare to write anything at all, ever. i would have given so much for one meal with her at Crosswicks. someday...
3) i am a horrible correspondent. this is something with which i am slowly coming to terms. i currently have at least EIGHT people who are waiting for long newsy letters. (some of you are among them.) they're coming, really. REALLY. it's just that i can't write shallow personal letters. i suck at them. (and it takes a lot of emotional energy - and time - to produce a non-shallow letter.) so when it finally shows up in your inbox, brace yourself. and schedule at least 1/2 an hour to read it. :) (and if you're not on that list and want one, please leave a comment with your email address. i suggest using the so-and-so (at) such-and-such (dot) com methodology, to avoid spam from web-crawling whatnot. i will add you to the list.) ;) For those of you who ARE on the list already - I promise, I haven't forgotten!!!
4) have i mentioned lately that i'm glad it's summer? there are so many things i am grateful for with the advent of summer:
- a slower pace of life (Thank You, JESUS!!!!)
- sunshine (why do i live in the mid-west again? oh, right. summer)
- road-trips. most notably to Michigan and BFFs in Indiana. plus a variety of others.
5) Sabbath. on-going learning process. on-going revelation. on-going quest. i began a new phase of it today. one of the dimensions of Sabbath which i find to be sorely lacking but incredibly important to/in my life is the dimension of community. the Sabbath was meant to be celebrated together. and to that end, hospitality - which is one of my gifts, but one i do not engage enough - is something i need/want to amp up, especially on Saturdays (my current Sabbath day). so, unto that end - i am investing in new dishes. i know that might sound silly, but the truth of the matter is, a well-set table isn't snobbery to me - it's investment. it's visible proof to my dinner guests that "i'm glad you're here." i'm not going all-out right away - but once a month, i've given myself permission to ditch a few more pieces of the $2 dishes i once owned (but of which i have now succeeded in breaking the majority) in favor of slightly more pricey dinner dishes. i bought 4 dinner plates today. June's purchase will be 4 dessert plates. July's: a 2-tier serving dish. etc. until i have beautiful place-settings and serving dishes for four. (which is all my current table can seat - down the road, that will change, too, i hope!!!) and in the meantime, i intend to (at least once a month) have people over for dinner. which requires cleaning my apartment. which is also on the task list for this weekend. ;)
6) i'm pretty sure that frappuccino is finally wearing off... (yay! just in time for Saturday....) ;)
7) if financial stewardship has EVER been something with which you've wrestled (or especially if it's something you wrestle with now), PLEASE: check out Andy Stanley's podcasts for "Balanced" - via Northpoint Ministries (dot) org. (also available on iTunes). Andy's wisdom is straight from the Lord and from His Word - and most definitely worth pursuing.
So there you have it. Random Ramblings, vol. 9. and on that note - good night! :)