little darlin’, it’s been a cold and lonely winter…

1. I’ve had “Here Comes the Sun” stuck in my head, hence the title.

2. I tend to blog more when I’m in Houston, for the sheer fact that I have more time to actually think about things. When I get a more permanent job, it’s going to take more work to get in that headspace, but it’s well worth it.

3. Things I’ve been convicted about lately: “Rejoice!” is an imperative; sloth is a sin (and one I am unfortunately very prone to); I spend too much time meditating on things that aren’t the good law of the Lord, and Psalm 1 calls people who do that “chaff that the wind blows away”. Hum.

4. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m a little burnt out on U2.

5. Cause I am suddenly interested in: Human trafficking. Did you know Houston’s the #1 hub for that? Horrifying.

6. I have dreams like Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings of fighting battles, of doing great deeds. I wonder what it’ll take for me to realize that greatness is also found in supporting the ones off fighting. For her, it took almost getting killed and a guy falling in love with her while they were both convalescing.

7. *yanks off helmet* I AM NO MAN. *stabs witch king in face*

8. Sorry, all you non-LOTR people. (Wait…I don’t think any of you read this blog. Never mind.)

9. Had a conversation with Teacher Dave about how in a lot of ways it’s hard for Christians, and especially women, to know how to properly relate to our bodies. We’re caught between centuries of tradition, whether explicit or implicit, that says that thinking about your body is unspiritual, and the culture that tells us that your body is perfectly fine, but only if it meets certain criteria. How do we properly treat our bodies in light of the fact that Jesus had (has!) one and that our own bodies will one day be resurrected? How do we treat other people’s bodies, regardless of what they look like or behave like?

10. I’ve started watching this really interesting Travel Channel show called The Wild Within–this guy Steve goes out hunting in places like Alaska or Molokai, and he takes us along for the ride. He has this really articulate philosophy of hunting, how it keeps people more connected to the land and their ancestors and the origins of where their food comes from. It doesn’t have me wanting to go hunting any time soon (yet), but it’s super-fascinating. I recommend it if you have cable.

thursday 13

This week: Inspired by the blog To My Wife (by which I am utterly charmed, I might add), 13 notes for your future spouse (sorry to leave out you married folks).

1. Please, please, never grow a mustache, ironic or not.

2. If we have to get a minivan, I’m plastering the back with rock band stickers.

3. The hair is going to stay short. Trust me, it’s better this way.

4. I will, on occasion, feel compelled to quote The Princess Bride or Monty Python’s Holy Grail at you. It’d be funnier if you joined along, but whatever.

5. If you happen to be a Baptist, fine, we won’t baptize the kids. But while we’re dedicating them, I’m going to be thinking there should be a bowl of water involved, just saying.

6. There are people who loved the ending of Lost, and people who hated it. I fall squarely in the former camp.

7. If you want to go skydiving or bungee jumping or something insane like that, you can totally go, but I’m going to be a nervous wreck while you do it.

8. There are very few things in the world that outright irritate me. Not shutting cabinet doors is one of them.

9. You can call me “Mandy” only if you’re singing the Irving Berlin song to me. (Skip to 2:23.)

10. I fidget a lot in my sleep, so I apologize in advance for kneeing you in the ribs.

11. You know that thing with the stuff that you like? I’ll pick some up for you.

12. If I’m really upset–not angry, but frustrated or depressed or generally sad or worried, maybe, which happens a lot (just a warning)–the best thing you can do is listen and stroke my hair, because for some reason that helps.

13. I know my hands are tiny, but they’re strong, so you can hold them a little more tightly than you think you can.

this is not a blog post.

1. This is not a blog post; it is a bunch of light and pixels on a screen that we as a society have collectively decided to call a blog post oh my GOSH I hate postmodernism.
1a. I had a dream the other night that involved the title, “The Colonial Hegemony of Cap’n Crunch Advertisements in Post-Colonial Australia.” College ruined me, y’all.

2. Thought that is kind of related to the State of the Union address, but not really: C.S. Lewis, in That Hideous Strength, writes about this idea of the true Britain vs. the false Britain–i.e., the Britain of nobility and King Arthur and chivalry and true piety vs. what modernism and industrialization and elitism had made it. I wonder: The true America is what gets evoked in speeches like the president gave tonight–the one of hard work, revolution, equality, justice, promise, opportunity, prosperity, diversity. I fear, though, that it gets buried in the sense of entitlement, power plays, continued inequality, prejudice, sensationalism, anger, and triviality. What I really wonder is this: Where is the true America continuing to show up, how can the church encourage it, and will it–and the true natures of all the nations of the world–show up in the new heavens and new earth?

3. The thing about me is that I know I need the concrete, the tangible, the real, but i take the purely ideological instead, because it’s easier to control and therefore less scary. But it’s a poor substitute, and it just makes me want the real even more. Digital community, as Wendell Berry says, is mere metaphor.

Relationships are messy work; it has to be that way, at least for now, until we’re all turned into the glorious, majestic beings we were always meant to be. I am scared of the real, because it has so often broken my heart, but I have to embrace it precisely for hat reason, because, oddly, God wants to redeem both it and the very real me together. I’ve had to learn this the hard way the past few months, but it’s a good lesson to learn.

4. Okay, this has gotten a little too serious, so some questions for y’all:

a) What do you think of 2011 so far? Any big plans?
b) What’re you reading right now?
c) What’d you eat for dinner last night?
d) What is your biggest frustration right now?
e) What was the last fun thing you discovered?
f) What’s your favorite non-chain bookstore?

5. Finally, I’ve been playing this at least once a day:

forgive me
if it takes a while
to translate you
back into friend
from lover

those are such similar
but just foreign enough
to one another
to cause confusion
and frustration
between them

psalm: a blessing

and now
may the Lord bless you–

may He give you what you need
more than what you want

may He give you the desire to
seek what He loves

may He grant you many sons and daughters
though you may long walk in solitude

and may the Lord keep you–

may He hold you in His strong arms
and carry you through the night

may He guard you from the weariness
all around and within you

may He hold your hands and lead you
down the good paths He’s paved

and may the Lord turn the glory of His face
toward you so that you might see Him and live

for He has already poured His grace out on you
from His broken body, from His righteous throne, in holy flame

may the Lord give you the shalom
that is already here but not yet fulfilled

may He restore all your broken walls
may He rebuild all your broken hope

may He transform your words to action
and your dreams into His praise

may you ever be His
may we ever be His people



let the love of Christ surround us
all throughout the coming night
let His promises be to us
warmth and shelter and true light

guard us from the dark around us
guard us from the dark inside
let us rest within Your comfort
to the morning be our Guide

glory to You, righteous Father
glory to You, holy Son
glory to You, glorious Spirit
glory to You, three in one

meditation on the incarnation

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy
the deity in flesh
would give you sleepless nights
would ask you a million questions
would have to learn how to walk
would get skinned knees and blisters
would get startled by loud noises

did you know that he would just
take off one day to the wilderness

did you know you’d fear for his sanity
for his safety
for his life

did you know you would have to
watch him die

Mary, did you have to wrap
your head around the fact
that He came to redeem you
that one day even your knee
the knee where he sat
and listened to your bedtime stories
that knee will bow before him
in worship as earth’s true King

maybe not
but I suppose
that all of it
was worth it

and now i know
the way the apple feels
when the blade pierces
and strips away
its scarlet cloak
bit by bit

oh vengeful God
why must You give
only to take away
and i still bless Your name