I am taking a long time to read Susan Howatch’s novel Wheel of Fortune. It isn’t that it is not interesting or a good story. It is just hard for me to get blocks of time in which to read. However, I wanted to note a couple of similarities between this book and the other Howatch novels I have read (Starbridge Series, Wonder Worker). The characters in WoF are concerned about “setting things right” in much the same way characters in her other books were. They also make comments about “doing the done thing” and allusions to “earning prizes,” much the same way the characters did in her other books. I am also beginning to wonder is Ginevra, the main character, will be able to accept good fortune if it ever materializes for her (I’m only on p 176, and there are 1171 total pages).
I know this is not very interesting to anyone else at this point, but I am just using my blog as a journal of sorts to help me keep track of some thoughts. One also might wonder if I will ever finish the book. Mmm . . .
Not much on my mind to write about, but in an effort to blog more regularly, I thought I would just write for the writing’s sake. I did start reading a new nonfiction book today. It is an old RC Sproul book, The Holiness of God. I started it while my 3 children were in their hour-long gymnastics class. So far, I am enjoying it. I am reading it in an effort to familiarize myself with some of the popular books that might be helpful to some “newly reformed” friends.
I came to an understanding (at least the understanding that I have) of reformed theology through somewhat unusual means. At least compared to stories I have heard from other people, it seems unusual. From what I can tell, a lot of folks “become reformed” in their thinking after reading some book or books with reformed theology in it. Or, maybe they heard a reformed preacher on tv or the radio, and started investigating for themselves. I, on the other hand, had some exposure to presbyterian thought in college through a regional college ministry in western PA called the Coalition for Christian Outreach. [After meeting Mark, I found out that this group is influenced by a Dutch guy name Dooeyweerd (sp?)] I also attended an Orthodox Presbyterian church for a year of my college life. Then after graduating, I went to Florida to live with my Baptist sister and her husband, and they took me to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. It is a big PCA church that some will say is not really reformed, but the Sunday school classes are excellent there (or at least were), and that is what got me hooked. Three weeks after my first Sunday in worship there, I was working for Dr. Kennedy’s television ministry in the communications department. There, I edited all of the “pastoral correspondence.” I did that job for 9 months, and every day I read the staff pastor’s answers to people’s theological and spiritual questions. I learned a lot about reformed theology in that job. So, while I knew about a lot of the popular reformed books, I didn’t actually read many of them. Of course, after moving through various positions at Coral Ridge, I met Mark, who got a job for Coral Ridge 2 years after me. We worked together for 2 more years, dated for 3 months, got engaged, dated 3 more months, and got married. I learned most of the rest of what I know about reformed theology from him.
All of that was a long explanation for why I am just now getting down to reading some of the more basic stuff in reformed circles. For having nothing to say, I managed to ramble for quite a long time. Anyway, perhaps I’ll write a few of my thoughts about the book as I read it. Also, if anyone has any suggestions of good “basic” reformed theology books, feel free to let me know. I am looking at a couple other RC Sproul titles to possibly use in a discussion type Bible study with these “newly reformed” friends, but I would welcome other ideas.
Ok, I know that it has been a loooong time since my last blog. I haven’t even been taking the time to read many other blogs. But, I think I am back for a while now. Summer’s coming, so I probably won’t be running around as much as I have been–you know, carting children to school and school activities. So I am hoping to get back into blogging on some sort of regular basis.
Today, I mowed the back yard and used an edger for the first time. It is a pretty handy tool. Mark’s brother gave us his old one, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to try it out. I am trying to pace myself on the yard work–do a little at a time. But even that takes a couple of hours. After mowing, I only edged around the sidewalk that goes through the yard. I also did some weeding around the edge of the house. It didn’t seem like much, but I was out there long enough for my 3 kids to be covered with dirt from head to toe and to require baths when we got inside.
Ultimately though, I am just glad that the weather is finally nice enough for them to be outside. We are now at the beginning of the 2 1/2 month period where it is pretty nice to be outside in Oklahoma. Come the middle to end of June, it gets a bit hot for any lengthy time outside. I want to be able to take advantage of the nice days when we have them.
Perhaps my next blog will be a bit more philosophical or a comment on something I’ve read or spmething else more ethereal. But right now, I am just pretty focused on my surroundings and every day life events. I will note here that I am reading another Susan Howatch novel, Wheel of Fortune. It is interesting, and it will definitely merit some comments.
Yesterday, before heading to the grocery store with my 2 younger children, we stopped at a small department store. Four-year-old Nevin saw the male manequins in suits, and he said, “Look, Mommy, they are pastors.” Now, I have not yet told this story to Mark, but I suspect he would be a bit chagrinned by it. He would probably like Nevin to think of pastors as men who wear robes to lead worship, not business suits. But the reason I like the story is because even though Mark doesn’t do something that little boys think is really cool–like being a firefighter or police officer–Nevin and Calvin have a pretty good understanding of what their daddy does every day. And, they often say they hope to be pastors when they grow up. So when Nevin saw those manequins, he immediately thought of his daddy in a positive way. As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.”
It has been 10 days since I last blogged. And, even then it was me whining about sickness and housework. Well, most of us are better now, but the trips to the doctor continue for the boys as their antibiotics weren’t strong enough to get rid of their ear infections. So hopefully, in another 10 days my whining will cease! But at least the housework is at a more “normal” level now, so I can feel sane again on that front.
I rented Bridget Jones’ Diary for a second time on Saturday night so Mark could watch it with me. I enjoyed it again, but I felt like such an idiot for not having noticed all the similarities and/or references to Pride and Prejudice the first time I saw it. On top of the fact that Colin Firth plays a man named Mark Darcy, the whole reason for the strained relationship between Mark Darcy and the publisher rogue is quite similar to the reason for the strained relationship between Darcy and Wickam in P & P. The movie also seemed to say that women in Britain still put a high priority on finding a man–although it is not clear whether marrying them is necessary anymore. I definitely want to read the Bridget Jones books now.
We continue to be sick. Now it is everyone. Mark and Nevin made their trip to the doctor today. Calvin and Evangeline were diagnosed with bronchitis and ear infections. Nevin has similar symptoms, though not as bad. We opted to send him to the doctor anyway because we thought he might get the antibiotic in him before his symptoms worsened. All toll, we have had some sort of cold/flu virus hanging around in our house for 4 weeks. You know how horrible you feel when your house starts to show signs that no one is really cleaning it. It makes you feel sicker. But as I was diagnosed with a sinus infection yesterday and am now on super duper antibiotics and an extra strength decongestant and wonderfully powerful cough syrup, I hope to be making a dent in the housework. Goal #1, finish all the laundry. It is in a state of limbo currently–1/3 done, 1/3 folded ready to be put away, and 1/3 still in the hamper. For anyone who has to do the laundy for 3 people or more, you understand my obsession with it. Goal #2, file papers that have piled up–YUCK! When your children start going to school, they bring home paper everyday. I have a neat little system for keeping many of them as childhood momentos, but alas, someone must put the papers in the notebooks! Then there’s the mail and the bills, and the things you should keep. Paper is one of those things you should take care of everyday, or it grows into a scarey monster. I am at the King Kong level with the paper I have to deal with. Somehow when you are constantly wiping noses, taking temperatures, doling out medicine, making trips to the doctor, fixing meals, talking on the phone with doctor’s offices, etc., etc., filing papers and doing laundry fall by the wayside. Then there’s the vacuuming and the dusting, and all the projects you were going to get done this month. It starts to feel overwhelming. And, when you are sick and the sky is gray with snow clouds, it is hard to feel motivated.
But, now that I have vented on my blog, I can proceed. The children are watching a video, so I can move on to the laundry and the papers. After that, the sky’s the limit of what I can accomplish.
This is what most of the trees around central OK looked like after the big “Ice Storm of 2002.”
You can see the impact that heavy ice had on this tree. Pretty amazing!
This photo shows one of the many broken electrical lines in our town. There are still (now 8 days later) people without electricity in Minco. Some towns north of us may not have power for another 4 – 6 weeks. Most of the individual residents and small towns in this predicament receive their electricity from rural electricity co-ops.
The buzz of chain saws provided the background music for Minco today, as people began cleaning up the damage from the latest weather assault. Yesterday was full day of freezing rain and sleet that covered trees and power lines all over OK (and Kansas and Missouri, from what we hear). The result of the worst ice storm in OK history was thousands of homes without power and fallen trees everywhere you turn. Our home was among those without power last night. And, until this afternoon when our power was restored, we were hearing that it could be 7 – 10 days until the electricity would be back on. Of course, it may very well be that long for lots of people. The town has a Red Cross shelter set up for the many people still without power or any heat source as the temps dip into the mid-teens tonight. We are thankful for that development, as we weren’t sure there would be any place available to those who have no family nearby.
But the amazing thing about this was that ice on trees could pull them down as they did. Some were split right down the middle. Yesterday afternoon and evening when we would go outside, we would hear what sounded like faint gunshots. It was the sounds of trees being crushed under the weight of the ice. We took some photos that we hope to have up on either my blog or Mark’s in the next couple of days.
We are thankful for our electricity being restored so quickly. Please pray for those of our neighbors who are still without it.