Friday, April 23, 2010

G.K. Chesterton

No new sewing projects to post yet. My schedule has been so busy lately; the "to do's" seem to hang over my head, heckling me as I try "to get them done." Inspiration does not thrive under such circumstances, or at least not for me. Thus sewing and other creative facets have taken the back burner for now, until school is out (one more week!) and piano recitals are over (ah, the stress!) and I can sit down, take a deep breath, and know that I really don't have anything pressing to do.

All of that said, one thing I have been trying to do more of (in place of creativity) is read. Fiction has not been appealing to me lately, for some reason. I picked up Mansfield Park a couple weeks ago and was exceedingly surprised at my lack of interest in one of my favorite books. Ah, I guess we all go through phases. My current literary phase has been Christian classics. As I posted before, I have been going through Tozer's The Pursuit of God again, which is beautiful. I have also picked up well-loved copy of My Utmost for His Highest and have been reading through Chambers' wonderful bits of daily wisdom. On top of Tozer and Chambers, I have also begun reading an author who I have long meant to read, but just never seemed to get around to: G.K. Chesterton.

The only word I can think of to sum up my thoughts on his literary wit and wisdom is...WOW. I cannot believe that I have yet to read his works, and feel as if I have been missing out on a delightful well of inspiration all of these years!

Here is a taste of this gem of a book I have begun reading through, interestingly named Orthodoxy:

"...I offer this book with the heartiest sentiments to all the jolly people who hate what I write, and regard it (very justly, for all I know) as a piece of poor clowning or a single tiresome joke.
For if this book is a joke it is a joke against me. I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before. If there is an element of farce in what follows, the farce is at my own expense; for this book explains how I fancied that I was the first to set foot in Brighton and then found I was the last. It recounts my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious. No one can think my case more ludicrous than I think it myself; no reader here can accuse me of trying to make a fool of him: I am the fool of this story, and no rebel shall hurl me from my throne. I freely confess all the idiotic ambitions at the end of the nineteenth century. I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. Like them I tried to be some ten minutes ahead of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it. I did strain my voice with a painfully juvenile exaggeration in uttering my truths. And I was punished in the fittest and funniest way, for I have kept my truths: but I have discovered, not that they were not truths, but simply that they were not mine. When I fancied I stood alone I was really in the ridiculous position of being backed up by all Christendom. It may be, Heaven forgive me, that I did try to be original; but I only succeeded in inventing all by myself an inferior copy of the existing traditions of civilized religion. The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to fine Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."

-G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Yes, it is good. :)

I would love to write more, but must get on with things. I have got to finish putting together an Old Testament timeline project in the course of the day, which quite honestly ought not be as difficult as it has been for me. Suffice to say I have been extremely distracted. Alas! I must press on!

Good day to you all,

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Jane Austen tells it like it is:

"It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire"

-Jane Austen, in Northanger Abbey



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Goats and Tozer

The goaties. Jerry is a wiggle-worm, so I wasn't able to get many good pictures of him. But Dino stood very still, and even gave me a few regal poses!

The goats are doing great, and filling out nicely. Jerry's coat is coming in very pretty, and I am beginning to notice some lighter splotches standing out on his face and head that are very interesting. Dean is just a beautiful goat. The breeder suggested that I neuter at least one of them at about 3 months, and I am having a really hard time deciding which one. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. :p


So on to Tozer! I am going through his book "The Pursuit of God" again. Wow. Listen to this prayer at the end of chapter one:

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both
satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am
painfully conscious of my need to further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune
God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with
longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may
know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work
of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my
love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me
grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty
lowland where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus' name.

This is exactly where I am right now. Though I love God and never have doubted His character or His constancy, I have not pursued Him lately as I used to when I was younger. The result is a lack of desire in myself, and a feeling of distance from God (which is, of course, self-imposed).

So many times in my life I have slackened in my pursuit of God, and so many times I have come crawling back to His grace after my fleshly pursuits have failed me. Each and every time, the Lord has embraced me with open arms. His mercy and patience are unfathomable, as are my infinite inconstancy and forgetfulness. I wonder if I will ever learn to abide in Christ? I want to!

I am going to pray Tozer's prayer (or my version of it) every day, and not even move forward in the book until my heart is, once again, fanned into flame for my Savior. I know from experience that He will meet me in my pursuit.

Begin in mercy a new work
of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my
love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me
grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty
lowland where I have wandered so long.



Alright, enough pondering for one morning. :) I must off and read about the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. Woo-hoo!

Oh, and by-the-by, I am going to start sewing again. I promise. My next project is a pair of shorts from a really cute 50's pattern. The pattern is one size too small, which will give me an opportunity to make a shorts muslin and learn how to fit things better on the bottom half of the body! :D

Have a fantastic day,


Friday, April 9, 2010

Goats and mental blockage

Dean and Jerry arrived a week ago today. They are cute as can be and I am falling in love with them very quickly. In fact, it is almost rather pathetic. I spend hours playing with them in their pen and worry about them when I am out and about. Forget becoming a crazy old cat lady--I'm going to turn into a crazy old goat lady. Argh! Ah well, at least it's a unique sort of fate. Right? ;)

Really, though--I'm sure I'll chill out a bit once I start back to work on Monday.

So anyway, back to Dean and Jerry. The goats each have a very distinct look and personality. Jerry is black with a few white spots, and has a really nice dark brown coat coming in with lots of crimp in it. He is extremely friendly, and acts rather like a little dog (wags his tail, licks, and everything!). Jerry loves the kids, and cries like a baby when you leave the pen.

Dean, on the other hand, is a little more stand-offish and aloof. He was not bottle fed, so all of this human interaction makes him nervous. He's warming up though--today he ran to the gate when Sky went out to see them and seemed right friendly! Dean's coat is really thick and fluffy (and cream-colored), and his eyes are light blue. So beautiful!


I have a whole lot more to say, but I'm just not sure how to get it out. I guess I'll sign off for now.


"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden wit Christ in God." Colossians 3:2 What a delightful thought--to be hidden with Christ.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Country Life

I often feel like I am trapped in the "metro." We used to live about 35 minutes from everything--grocery stores, malls, parks, gas stations (ok, so there were a few gas stations scattered about). But the city has crept closer and closer in over the years, bringing with it loads of unnecessary shopping (i.e. a CVS on one corner and a Walgreens right across the street where a really amazing old house used to stand--why???), and thousands of cracker-box houses crammed onto what once were beautiful rolling pastures or stately forests. There are people everywhere. Traffic is much worse. I find myself--one who lives "in the country," according to city-folk--needing a drive up to the mountains on a fairly regular basis for the sake of my serenity. I'm not a huge Skynyrd fan, but I am definitely feeling their pain right now--

I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord, take me and mine before that comes...
(from "All I can do is write about it")

Whenever the stress of city life begins to taint my country heart, I have to take a step back for a moment and breathe. I remember how fortunate we are to live on a little homestead (however small) of our own, nestled into a small plot of farms and ever-rare two-acre lots. I need to walk out to the garden, pick some wild violets, climb a tree, sit in my goat pen, look at the sky, and let the fresh air wash over me for awhile. And then I slowly begin to remember that, perhaps, a country life can be lived wherever you are located--all you need is a country frame of mind. I can pine away for my dream 150 acres, or I can make the most of the two we have right now. Two acres is really a lot of land, if you think about it! Plenty for keeping a few animals and planting a few gardens.

So that's what I am going to do.

I am going to make our little homestead as farmy as possible, and learn as much as I can about raising livestock, building, growing produce, and homemaking in preparation for the day when I have a place of my own. And even in my own place doesn't turn out to be the beautiful farm of my dreams, perhaps by then I will have learned the art of country living so thoroughly that it won't really matter. :)


p.s. photos by my lovely sister Skylar.