Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Status Report

Sorry for the serious lack of posting here. Life has really changed over the past few months, so I need to think about how this blog fits in and where it should go in the future. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

For those of you who are personal friends, I've been posting some things about mountain life on my MySpace page, if you want to check it out.

Bye for now!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thoughts on Faith

This post over at Teacher On Two Wheels got me thinking about Faith. I left a comment, but I'm thinking I'll have some stuff to say about it here too. The post doesn't turn to religious matters until the end, but it's definitely worth reading.

And really, the entire blog is worth a look. It's cool stuff!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Brown Boxes

I'm not really what you'd call a "stuff" person. I'm one of those people who does Spring Cleaning once in every season, because to me, getting rid of stuff is like getting rid of responsibility. I'm just not one to get attached to material things.

Our moving company is here packing us up today, and I am so glad I'm not the one doing it. I feel a lot more confident about everything getting to our new house in one piece, because they're probably being much more careful with things than I would be. But as little concern as I have about my stuff, I am finding the experience to be surprisingly emotional.

I feel like my entire life is being compressed into square brown boxes. It's certainly not that my life is defined by the things I own, but the stuff in those boxes helped create an environment where we've done so much more than just exist for the past 5 years - we've really LIVED. Our home has been a place of comfort and refuge not just for us, but also, I believe, for the couples who have belonged to our Home Group. We have laughed and cried with a lot of very special people in this living room, and seeing it all packed away makes me realize that an amazing chapter in my life has come to an end.

But, the good thing about coming to the end of one chapter is that you get to start another one. My stuff will soon come back out of those boxes, God will draw new friends close and old ones closer, and our new house will turn into a home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shelley on the Move

So, it's been awhile. What can I say - life has been a bit overwhelming lately. Around the 3rd week in January I was presented with an opportunity to take a promotion in another state. After interviews, negotiations, and MUCH prayer, we decided to go for it! We've been living in a whirlwind, trying to buy a house there, sell our house here, wrap up Home Group, and handle all the other details that come with making a major life change. Although it's been crazy, this is a great time of learning and growth. Here are a couple of things that have been interesting:
  • When people at work talk to me about my promotion, they are always super interested in what my husband thinks of it all. In fact, it's usually the first question they ask. I can't help but wonder if he (the man) was the one moving us if people would be as concerned about my feelings. I guess a relationship in which the woman's career drives life change is still pretty controversial.
  • A lot of people assume that the reason I'm not having kids is to pursue my career, and taking this promotion hasn't helped. I know they think I'm just a selfish person. Why, oh why can't people stop judging?!
  • The folks in our Home Group rock! I wish they weren't so awesome so I wouldn't miss them so badly. (Not really though.)
  • Selling a house sucks. I can't wait to be messy again!
  • This is so embarrassing, but a lot of the features we wanted in a new house were for the convenience of the dog. I can't believe I'm buying a house around a DOG!!! I must be crazy.
  • Moving away is a good way to find out how the people in your life really feel about you. I have discovered that we are more loved than I ever imagined! It's made me realize that I need to make more of an effort to let the people I care about know it more regularly.

There's so much more I could say, but I'll leave it for now. I'm sure I'll have lots more to talk about in days to come!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Still Kickin'

Don't worry - I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just busy finishing up the holidays and going out of town for work. I'll be back soon!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Bells

One of my favorite Christmas songs has always been I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Recently the song became even more meaningful to me when I learned the story behind its words, penned by the great American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Longfellow started the 1860’s on top of the world. He was happily married, living with his wife and five children in a lovely home on the Cambridge River in Massachusetts. But in 1861, tragedy struck both the nation and the Longfellow family. The opening shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12th, and shortly after, Longfellow’s wife was fatally burned in an accident on July 10th. While melting a bar of sealing wax with a candle, a few drops fell on her dress and ignited, wrapping her in flames. Longfellow unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the flames with a throw rug, and then frantically tried to smother them by throwing his arms around her. Unfortunately his wife died the next morning, and Longfellow was unable to attend her funeral, having suffered severe burns to his face and arms.The first Christmas after his wife’s death, Longfellow wrote in his journal, "How inexpressibly sad are all holidays." A year after the incident, he wrote, "I can make no record of these days. Better leave them wrapped in silence. Perhaps someday God will give me peace." Longfellow's journal entry for December 25th 1862 reads: "'A merry Christmas' say the children, but that is no more for me." Almost a year later, Longfellow received word that his oldest son, a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac, had suffered a severe bullet wound to the spine. The Christmas of 1863 was silent in Longfellow's journal.

But finally, on Christmas Day of 1864, he wrote the words of the poem, "Christmas Bells:”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled alongThe unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

I love this poem because it is a reminder that no matter what we suffer, no matter how long we languish in trials and tribulations, we always have hope in Christ. He will bring peace to our lives, and someday, peace to the world.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An Unlikely Childfree Zone

I've got a new post up at Purple Women & Friends called An Unlikely Childfree Zone. It's about NewSpring Church's policy of not allowing children into it's regular worship service. The pastor definitely has an interesting point of view!