Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Whatsoever Things

 A daughter of an old friend shared a "story" on Facebook that she found on Twitter. I don't do Twitter. But I did find the Tweet from Hannah Anderson. Anderson said so many good things, but here's an example:

"We only have a certain amount of time, attention, & resources. If we devote them to being anti-culture, we cannot devote them to forming healthy culture. We're passing along something, to be sure. But it's not the gospel. It's not a sustainable faith."

Basically, Anderson is saying this: Be careful about being against things. Don't be against the culture, but don't be against the church. If your life is full of "anti-things" and "no," you will reach the bottom of that well and be empty. You can spend your life being against things (even evil things), but it won't fill your soul or bring you happiness. 

We need to spend our time making good things, beautiful things, joyful things, whenever we can. The gospel is the good news, not the anti-news.

Like Anderson, I was entirely brought up in a Christian culture that was against; we were all about rejecting people and ideas. It defined us. We were anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-Democrat, anti-drugs, anti-divorce, etc. You remember. We called ourselves pro-life, pro-marriage, Republican, clean-living, etc. But we spent most of our mental time being against things.

It's exhausting.

Now it's also popular to be against the church, against institutions, against whatever the other side is. I have friends on both sides of this pitched battle. I'm tired of it.

A scrap of paper on my desk reminds me:

Sometimes the ugly in life jumps up and bites us, and we must deal with it. Some friends feel called to be warriors in the Ugly Fight. I don't. Most of us are struggling to get our legs out of the quagmire of cultural sadness from all sides. I want a saving rope of beauty and goodness to come down and rescue me from the quicksand, don't you?

Perhaps this is why the part of Facebook I still enjoy is the groups -- "Spinning Fibers" and "Handy Women" and "Creating Hygge" and "View from My Window." All these groups consciously foster peace, beauty, or encouragement inside a community of humans. No meanness allowed.

It's hard to change yourself at almost-60. I was trained for decades to be against things, and was told to raise my children the same way. It's heart-breaking now to think of all the opportunities for joy I missed with them. (We did have many, but not enough.) I can try to change myself for my remaining years, though. This Bible verse has been rattling away inside my head for many days:

"Make it your ambition 
to lead a quiet life 
and attend to your own business
 and work with your hands." 
I Thess. 4:11

That sounds like a lovely life, yes? I'm trying. Wishing all you friends the very best, and if these words are helpful at all, I'm glad.

Hannah Anderson's website is here.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Height of Summer!

 It's been a little over a month since I posted -- too long! Apologies. I'll glance through photos, choose the best, and then chat with you about what's happened since the middle of June ....

We spent five glorious days together in the North Carolina mountains on vacation in the same home we stayed in last summer. It was warm, the river was cool, we tubed twice, and fishing was enjoyed. I took a chilly drive up to the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway with my son one morning for the amazing views.

I've been spinning a LOT. There's a casual online event in July for spinners called the Tour de Fleece (haha). I've set a goal to spin enough yarn to knit myself a vest for the autumn. Here's what the yarn looks like:
Shortly after the big family vacation, our son and daughter-in-law and grandson came for a visit here, which was absolutely delightful. Philip worked so hard on our property, but we also enjoyed a day at the beach.

I've been knitting and felting hats, and am surprised both by how well they've turned out, and how inconsistent they are in size. I need to practice more.

For reading during these warming days, as I hibernate in the air conditioning, I've plowed through two of Josephine Tey's books, Miss Pym Disposes and The Daughter of Time. If you want reading that will prey on your brain, make you debate with yourself, and generally cause you befuddlement, I recommend these two. I'm currently in Anthony Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds. I pulled it off my shelf for a reread because a group read/zoom discussion was going on in the Facebook Trollope group, but I started too late to participate. Still, a good read. Trollope's fortes are character crafting and plot development. He's a master!

Lastly, I have finally figured out how to put my little children's book, The Thanksgiving Mice, on my youtube channel as a read-aloud. I've been pondering this for years. Here's the link to the video. Please share it with the little children you know (maybe ages 5-9 or so?) The world needs more silly books about naughty mice, don't you agree? Lisa, I wonder if your sweet grandkids would enjoy it?

In addition, Adam has been sewing up a storm this summer, making hats, suspenders, trousers, and vests. He's revamping his wardrobe. Church happenings keep us busy with friends, and he has only a month left of his summer break before he's back in the classroom teaching middle school science. We are getting old(er), but we don't seem to be slowing down much!

Blessings to all of you! I will survive August, and then we will eagerly await autumn -- hooray!!