Sunday, April 19, 2009


It's Sunday, and My Hero took the Doodle to run errands, and I seem to have established a blogging habit, so here I am. Nothing profound, but this is deep:

Heh heh. Actually, this is the snow we got two or three weeks ago. I was all, "would have been nice to get some of this in January or February." Then, it did it again this week! So in the month of April we've gotten something like 20 inches of snow. We had no precipitation at all for January, February and most of March. Unreal.

This is what happens when my daughter dresses herself:

A turtleneck and a linen sunsuit, both on backwards. Oh well. It's a step in the right direction.

I'm knitting all kinds of things - a Christmas stocking for the Doodle, socks, and a cardigan. I might rip the cardigan; I think the yarn's too bulky. I've been the astonished recipient of a ridiculous amount of sock yarn from various Ravelers over the past month - even though I've made a commitment not to buy any yarn until June (at the Estes Park Wool Market), I've increased my sock yarn stash by enough to make at least four pairs of socks, and some fabulous wool roving, to boot.

I'm reading, too - I've discovered Terry Pratchett, who has a slew of books in his Discworld series. I'm working my way through them, both on audiobook and the real paper kind. He's a snarky, allusive, and intelligent writer - I find him most enjoyable. I've also been reading a bunch of post-Evangelical type stuff - Tim Keller, Frank Schaeffer, Internet Monk - but it's stewing and might be a blog post sometime, so I'll leave it at that.

And finally, can anyone tell me how to change the code in my blog so I have more width for my posts? I suck at html. Email me if you know my email address, or leave a comment and I'll get in touch.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


If you've been following my Lenten blogging, you'll notice that I've left off a Nouwen quote this week; mostly I'm lazy - I have a few books in the bedroom that I could pick from, but I'm in the living room and can't be bothered. My other reason, though, is that I really have little say today, at the end of my Internet fast. I avoided the web for the most part this week (I don't think renewing library books counts), and I'm happy about that. We were out of town for most of the week, which helped. And which also made me tired - in all honesty, I don't have the energy today to come up with some profound observation about the mystic implications of my fast.

I am glad I did this. The past 40 days or so have been one of the most meaningful Lenten experiences of my sacramentalist life. I am particularly struck right now with the way my discipline and my regular life coexisted - it wasn't ever a case of "now I'm fasting, and when I'm done I'll take out the trash", but it was both living and - dare I say worshiping? - at the same time. This is one of aspects of Christian life that I've always known about but had a hard time living. I tend to be black and white, either/or, pro and con. Both/and is a difficult concept for me, particularly in areas like "pray continually" or "give thanks in all things". But when worship or prayer or thanksgiving can be reinterpreted as silence or solitude or grace, I have an easier time integrating those activities with my daily life.

I don't know what I'll do from here. A quick check of my post history will show you that this is the first time I've blogged regularly, and while I enjoy being consistent, I don't know whether I'll continue to be so. Blogging feels really narcissistic to me, especially when it reads more like a journal than an update on my kid and knitting. I don't mind a little narcissism from time to time in the privacy of my spiral notebook, but there's an awful lot of upper-case I's in this post, and it's bothering me. All that to say, I will probably continue to post updates on the family and knitting, and I hope to pound out an introspective essay periodically, but it won't be all about me all the time (and cheers go up from the crowd).

Thank you for all your kind comments, feedback, and for just reading with me on this journey - it's been all kinds of fun, and I look forward to doing it again!

He is Risen!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


"To the spirit of Jesus Christ means to reach out from the midst of our pains and to let them be turned into joy by the love of him who came within our reach. We do not have to deny or avoid our loneliness, our hostilities and illusions. To the contrary: When we have the courage to let these realities come to our full attention, understand them and confess them, then they can slowly be converted into a solitude, hospitality and prayer. This does not imply that a mature spiritual life is a life in which our old lonely hostile self with all its illusions simply disappears and we live in complete serenity with a peaceful mind and a pure heart. Just as our adulthood shows the marks of the struggles of our youth, so our solitude bears the signs of lonely hours, our care for others reflects at time angry feelings and our prayer sometimes reveals the memory and the presence of many illusions." - Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out

Dudes. Lent is long. I'm not a very disciplined person anyways - I rarely make my bed, I never floss, and I can't stop saying "crap". I also have a track record of being successful at an endeavor initially, then getting cocky, slacking off, and ending up with a less-than-stellar performance. So. You know what's coming: I have been, uh, somewhat less disciplined with my fast this week. I've surfed, I've looked up stuff, I've had important things to take care of - all on the web.

For me, this is what Lent is really about: seeing my complete inability to save myself. I mean, my golly, if I can't stay off the internet for forty days, how do I keep myself from sin in the more general (and, to be realistic, more important) arenas? By the time Holy Week comes around, I always have this very present reminder of why I'm thankful for Christ's sacrifice on my behalf. It's more poignant to relive the events of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when you can see your own inability to give up your life, even on a small scale.

I've been trying to convince myself that Lent ends on Palm Sunday - I looked it up, and it does end on the Friday before Palm Sunday in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. However, I'm not Eastern Orthodox, and really, I'm just trying to have a reason to give up my discipline early. But considering what He did for my sake, I think I'll make it another week without the internet for His sake. It's a grace that I have a hard time accepting, this offer to pick myself up and try again with "no condemnation", but for me, that's what Lent's about. Sacrifice. And sin. And grace. In that order.