Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Well. What a crazy last two weeks. Between getting engaged, visiting with friends who are home, and celebrating two Christmases; a nice rest is long overdue.
Yes, I am engaged. It’s been quite the adventure. Levi and I sure have had our ups and downs but it’s amazing to see how God has been working in both our lives in the past two months. It has all been very exciting and I’m looking forward to getting married and being married to Levi. Engagement has been quite a change, a change in thinking, in spending, in praying, in priorities. I truly believe God has a lot in store for us and our relationship. But I really need to get planning. July is coming fast! We had our engagement pictures taken last week and they turned out great.
Christmas this year was quite a change. Levi and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with his family then went over to Christmas day with my family. Having Christmas for the first time with someone else’s family is nerve racking. It’s not your own space and it’s hard to make yourself comfortable, and people take bets on how long it will be before you have kids. What? Kids? Noooo thank you. Clare family Christmas was very strange this year. I think there is a lot of transition taking place for us with Andy and I both ‘leaving home.’ Mom was a little too busy this fall and winter I think. We’ll blame it on Andy’s wrestling J but it was good all the same. Maybe next year things will be more together and less busy.
Christmas gift of the year was probably the crock-pot from sister-in-law-to-be, along with a nice cookbook! Otherwise it would be the espresso maker from mother and father. Both very nice gifts! And I now have my very own Harvin jersey to wear to the Vikings games!
As always, it’s important to not forget what this season is about. It seems so easy to get caught up in shopping, wrapping, getting, gifting, and opening. It’s important not to lose sight of Jesus and God in the Holiday cheer.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Lately I have been thinking about love. What is love? Why do we use the word love so flippantly? What does love look like? How do we love someone? Why would we love our enemies as ourselves?? Is love just a figment of our imagination? Is it a feeling or an action?
I have come to realize love is a choice. I read “Blue Like Jazz” this past summer. It had a brief section on love and what love is yadda yadda yadda (get the book yourself, well worth it). But Miller talks about love as a choice. This blew my mind. I can CHOOSE to love. I can wake up every morning and decided to love people. I have always known that love is more than a feeling. I was brought up with the teaching that love is an action. But now I know that love is a choice!
I have also learned you need some pretty tough skin to love people. People will hurt you, they will disappoint you, and they will take advantage of you. Loving people involves a lot of hurt and pain to be quite honest. But making that choice to love them anyway is making the choice to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. And that is what we are called to do. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. How simple! How hard!
I’m currently reading The Irresistible Revolution. In it Claiborne says ‘We can live without sex, we can’t live without love.’ We need to reach out to people with arms of love. People are so hungry for love, hungry for Jesus. Making a decision to love people will bring about acts of compassion. Love has the heart of a servant and the courage of a lion.
In all honesty it can be quite the challenge to choose love, but it is always worth it.
Friday, November 27, 2009
It’s been a long day and I haven’t done much of anything besides listen to music and read a few books (Iowa is SO scenic!). Lately I’ve been listening to a lot (I mean a LOT) of Neil Young.
Neil Young you ask?
Yes, Neil Young.
I have literally burned through his music in the last few days. I’ve listened to Sugar Mountain dozens of times and Cinnamon Girl almost as much, as well as his ‘Harvest’ album. It hasn’t gotten old!, yet. I am currently watching ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ on my laptop as we approach home. It’s really great; the Ewoks, the lights, the music, the tuning fork, Neil, Crazy Horse…. Great. (If you’re REALLY bored you could watch it some night, otherwise just take my word for it.)
Sometimes I wonder why I like Neil Young… I think it’s a fair question… He’s not a Christian (to the best of my knowledge, but I guess I shouldn’t judge…), his songs are slightly depressing, his favorite topic to sing about is drugs, he doesn’t really encourage my walk with Jesus, and his lifestyle isn’t what you would call…righteous (unless you are a hippie, then it is righteous….). As my dad says, he sings like he’s had a sex change and ‘he has a lot of problems’ (Oh dad…, we ALL have a lot of problems!)And Neil young is ugly (I mean UGLY - NOT that ugliness affects your music).
But I really like his music, well…. most of it. I have decided to make a nice lyric compilation for those of you who know and love Neil Young as well as those that do not have the pleasure (?) of knowing who this man is. I’d like to call it:
‘Ode to Neil.’
Old man take a look at my life
I'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
A dreamer of pictures, I run in the night
You see us together, chasing the moonlight,
My cinnamon girl.
The drummer relaxes and waits between shows For his cinnamon girl.
There's a girl just down the aisle,
Oh, to turn and see her smile.
You can hear the words she wrote As you read the hidden note.
Come a little bit closer, Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin’, We could dream this night away.
You and I we were captured
We took our souls and we flew away
We were right we were giving
That's how we kept what we gave away
Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons,
Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.
As much as I would enjoy going on and on with this I think I need to stop. It’s getting a little long and there isn’t much of a story line… But I think love is a good common theme. Maybe I’ll take up praying for Neil. He needs Jesus as much as much as I do.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The KC travels are quite…… interesting. M has been insisting on taking a Christmas picture of And and myself. D was happy to go for a walk in the park. Some of the mornings dialog includes:
“How about one by the water?” M
“Mom, that’s the cities back up sewage system.” And
“Mom, quit taking pictures.” And
“Mom, I need NEED to take a picture of the albino duck.” And
“Mom, nobody wants to see a picture of us anyway.” And
“I hope I didn’t inherit any of your genes…” And
“I hope God blessed you with double of all my genes!” M
“Take a picture with the rock!” D
“You guys are pathetic.” M
So here I am on Thanksgiving Day sitting and blogging (heathen) in the middle of KC (heathen) without my family (heathen) at Starbucks (heathen!). I’m right on the plaza. The ritzy place where good-looking husbands in their Armani sweaters take there stunning, long legged wives out to fancy wine bars on Friday nights. I am a classy heathen.
There are numerous stores and restaurants all around me. Out side smells of barbeque and there are a bunch of men setting up a stage and lights for the annual lighting of the plaza tonight (lots and lots of Christmas lights). Christmas galore. Christmas galore that will start at about 11 tonight and not stop until December 26th. Sometimes I wonder if Thanksgiving shouldn’t be AFTER Christmas so we can be thankful for everything we received. These days we not only seem to overlook Thanksgiving (Halloween, football, food, black Friday, Christmas….what do you mean Thanksgiving, what IS that??) but also overlook being thankful in general. I have so much to be thankful for. My family, my friends, a hot cup of coffee, people who genuinely care about me, Twyla, literacy, an education, electricity, heat, running water!, my computer, soy milk, my health, many many blessings, and oh I could go on…. Most importantly I am thankful for the cross. I am thankful my life has purpose. I am thankful for love. I am thankful I have not been abandon to my life of sin.
A heart of thankfulness is the perfect place for joy to flourish.
I must now reunite with the fam…. A feast tonight! With lots and lots of fun people. I had the pleasure of meeting the newest baby cousin (she’s 9 months old?) today and she is adorable!, so much fun to have little ones around.