Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book lists

I have at last gotten around to coming back to where I would have rather been ... books, writing and music. I have added book lists of my favorites and those I am currently reading. I'll try to fill them out soon, keep them updated, and write a blurb on them as I finish them. If you have read any of them, let me know what you thought! Have any suggestions of other treasures?? Can't wait to hear!

Love in Christ,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Shepherd's Blessing

Brightly the sun shone, though the air carried a hint of snow. The mountains broke through their shroud and the city lay in peaceful strength in the floor of the valley. You stand in a position of strength and power, and your heart swells with the stunning grandeur about you. 'Tis wise to beware that it not go to your head. "I have strength and power (and not to mention, stunning grandeur :P )"

Back in January, I went hiking with a friend in that glorious setting and I was feeling very confident. And just a tiny bit proud. Well, maybe a bit more than that. I was scrambling on the rocks, up the cliffs, around boulders having a fun and thrilling time. I love climbing rocks. (I was not rock climbing: no equipment.) Determined to reach the summit of that shard of mountain, I tackled the last rise-- prolly some 20 odd feet, a grooved and uneven near-vertical. Bad move #1, being motivated by pride, a desire to conquer and to prove that I could do this "hard thing". Half-way up, I slipped on the crumbly rock and clutched at a projecting edge and slammed my knees against the sides; realizing that I would not be stopping at the last landing if I fell. Once my heart came out of my throat, I slithered to the top and began looking around. Down the up escalator was out of the question, the back showed no promise, and the left was worse. The right was........well, it was there, which was more than you could say of the left. There I was, a Borrower atop a coffee cake, and no good way down. Bad move #2--an obvious one: careless lack of preparation.

By this time, my friend had finished her phone call and was ready to start hiking again, and I was more than ready to go too. I chose the right, as it seemed the least of all evils(being only ~12 feet over and down, with a flat floor), so I slid over the edge, grabbing where the rock seemed less likely to come with me. My feet were searching, but alas, no foot holds with in reach without loosing my balance. I could have waited for my friend to come over, but I was rather embarrassed, like a cat, stuck in a tree, and I was too proud and in a hurry. (Bad move #3, NEVER HURRY) S0, being only 3-4 feet over the ground, I steadied myself to jump away from the rock, turn 180 deg., and land lightly on my feet. All was successful, except the "lightly" part. My feet hit and I was thrown to the right. *Snap*. Okaaay, no pain, just a funny feeling, kind of radiating/tingling/pressure, but no pain. I stood up and tested it, found I could stand on it, but the feeling increased...

By the end of lunch (which I ate on my head to keep the swelling down), the pain had begun and was slowly but steadily increasing. I wiped the bread crumbs out of my eyes, slid down the partly-dirt, waded through the scrub brush, and worked my way across the ditch toward the car. By this time, I was biting my lip to keep from crying out at each jolt, and feeling miserably embarrassed and sorry for cutting short what should have been a long and lovely hike.

And one last avoidable mistake I made... I was too... (what is the opposite of lazy, but still a negative?) and I did not follow Mom's very wise advice and stay off my leg for more than 4 days, and what started out as a simple brake which could have healed completely in 6 weeks is still not fully fused.

When shepherds have a wayward lamb, they will sometimes break its leg to restrain it and keep it safe. My Shepherd did the same for me. To protect me, to humble me, and to show me that I need to rely solely on Him; not only during intense trials, but also during every-day existence. Because if I look to my self for anything, I fail! I cannot support my self, protect my self, teach my self, save my self. Warning: This kind of thinking can destroy your self-esteem. (The whole self esteem thing looks pretty ridiculous when you think of how utterly weak and wretched we are and how wonderful He is. Though I am not saying we don't have an inherent self-worth-- we are made in the image of the Lord God Almighty. We have great value in Him. ... Sorry for the aside.)

I still aim to climb rocks, but in a different manner and with a different attitude.

Rules for hiking, adventures, and anything with risk (ie. most of life that is not resting.):

#1 Never do anything, small or large with the sole motive of "personal ambition", glory, or to fulfill pride.

#2 Never do anything that you can't undo with out weighing the worth of that something.

#3 Never do things (particularly stupid things) simply out of impatience.

#4 Always have good, loyal, honest, loving friends. (especially if you are going to break any of the above.)

#5 Always follow the advice of loving parents, whether it be in command-form or not.