Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I just found out that I was chosen for a scholarship that will help fund my summer school classes!! The Arkansas Council for Women in Higher Education grants 4 scholarships annually to women currently working in higher education who are also pursuing post graduate degrees. There are three $500.00 scholarships and 1 $750.00 award/scholarship.

I got the big one!!!! Praise God with me!!!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!

I think I’m going to cry. I’ve had all sorts of “Can I really do this?” moments during the past year of grad school. I’ve always done well in school, but this is the cream of the crop. Am I on the same level with my little degree from a small university? I’m a book loving English major in a techno-intense field. Am I really up to this?

Thank you Jesus! For the money, yes, but primarily for the vote of confidence. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Proud Mom and Spring Reading Thing

First, you have to check out the write up about my daughter Noelle’s high school softball team. You can find it here for the next few days.

Soon I’ll post some pictures from my recent trip with my daughter Rebecca’s Forensics squad. No, that’s not a squad of future doctors, but rather a group of drama kids who compete in drama and oratory events. They call me their Drama Mama! They’re GREAT kids and I’m always proud to be with them when they travel to competition.

Don’t forget to check out the Spring Reading Thing. The idea is to commit to read a book you’ve always wanted to read but never have or to finish one you’ve started and set aside. Check out the details at Callapidder Days and be sure to sign her Mr. Linky to let other people know what you’ll be reading. I haven’t checked it yet today but I can’t wait to see what others are reading.

I’m planning to read CS Lewis’ space trilogy which consists of three books: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. If I finish those I’ll tackle either Life of Pi by Yann Martel or Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. The Lewis books have been on my list for a LONG time and the others have been floating around in my head for the last couple of years.

The weather is beautiful! Pick up a book and a blanket and go outside and read!!

Tomorrow is the day!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the beginning of the Spring Reading Thing! I’ll post a link to the host. Share what you’re reading and how it’s going!

See you tomorrow!

Beautiful words from John Donne

Most people read “No man is an island” at some point in their school years, but do not realize that John Donne — their author — was also an astounding poet. His Holy Sonnets are some of my favorite words ever put to paper. He was very scandalous in his day. Not only because of his poetry mixed spiritual thoughts with very human actions, but also because of his rather interesting personal life. Do some research. See what you can learn about Mr. John Donne.

Here is my favorite of the Holy Sonnets.

XIV.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

—————————————————–
Read it again. Read it out loud. Listen to the battering ram of God’s love as he breaks, burns, and blows our human nature away. Do you hear how Donne’s heart is torn between his love for God and the earthly things that pull on his flesh? Are we not all in love with God and yet betroth’d unto his enemy because of our own sin?

I plan to share more beauty from Mr. Donne over the next few weeks. Here is a website where you can find all his works — and even hear some of them read. Poetry really is meant to be read aloud.

Ahhh, John Donne.

Spring has sprung

I guess it’s official. In Arkansas, it is spring. The daffodils in my yard are blooming and we’ve had several day of 70+ degree weather. This week is even my spring break from both work and grad school so I’m enjoying some time at home. Yippee!!!

I would really like to encourage all of you to participate in the Spring Reading Thing. A few years ago my friend Denise can tell you that I rarely read fiction. I was all about self-improvement. After she and two other friends said, “Lisa, you really need to read Poisonwood Bible,” I gave up and tried fiction after a LONG hiatus.

I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up WAY into the night to read Poisonwood and then I was on a hunt for something equally good. I’d forgotten how much good, quality fiction can teach us about ourselves and the human condition. Next was The Red Tent (also amazing) and soon after that I tackled East of Eden. Denise and I eventually started a book club in our little SE Arkansas town.

So, all you moms out there — pick up a book that’s not about the pros and cons of breastfeeding or bottle feeding or about time management with toddlers in tow. Pick up a great work of fiction and feed your heart and soul. If you need some suggestions, try the list a couple of posts down. There are quite a few I haven’t read myself, but the ones I have are all REALLY GOOD!

If you’re taking up the challenge, drop a line and let me know how it’s going. What are you reading? What touched your heart? Do you agree or disagree with author’s worldview? Who’s your favorite character? Why?

And don’t forget — you don’t have to BUY the book to read it. Support your local library while improving your own mind! Oh — and they always need volunteers. Maybe you could start a book club of your own!

Spring Reading Thing

It’s coming soon. Hosted by Callapidder Days, Spring Reading Thing will be a time for us to finally get around to reading that book. You know. The one that’s been on your list forever. Or the one you started last winter and never finished.

Will you join me? I’m going to read CS Lewis’ Planet Trilogy. What about you?

For the bookworms out there . . .

I got this idea from my newfound friend Jana at sidetrackd.com Since I’ve been a HUGE reader all my life (and many of my friends can claim the same) I thought I’d see how I stacked up.

Here are the rules:

Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read (bold and italicized I’ve read multiple times)
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*leave alone the ones that you aren’t interested in.

Here is the list:

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

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