Spring Reading Thing Update

Over the weekend I finished reading Out of the Silent Planet. It was good, but it’s not my favorite piece of fiction by Lewis. Probably because I’m not much of a science fiction fan. I didn’t have the second book of the trilogy with me (I was on an airplane on the way to Baltimore) so I started reading Memoirs of a Geisha. So far, it’s fascinating. I discovered Pearl Buck a few years ago and it’s been interesting to see how many similarities there are between the Chinese culture represented in The Good Earth and Memoirs.

Reading books like these make me very thankful to have always lived in a culture so heavily influenced by Jesus. I’ve never been treated like property, never been sold into slavery, and never been considered less of a person simply because I’m female. I tell my daughters regularly to be thankful they were born to be women in America today. Any other time and culture and it’s very possible that they would already be “married” to someone twice their age.

Not with Jesus. Jesus treats women as individuals. Jesus sees no difference between men and women. He blesses each with gifts to use for his service.

Jesus is good. God is good.

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!

But since I *am* a mom . . .

I’ll go ahead and write about my kids today!

Rebecca is a senior at Searcy High School. Absolutely unbelievable! The baby that changed us from a couple into a family is about to leave home. She is a talented writer, actress, and thinker. She is planning to come to Harding next fall and major in English and minor in drama/ancient languages. Of course that could change a few times but she’s been pretty consistent about it so far. Until March 15, you can see her senior pictures here. Look for “Rebecca” toward the bottom of the page. On her facebook profile she said, “I want to have lots of babies and work in a library like my mom.” Made me want to cry!

Noelle is in the middle of her freshman year. She’s playing softball on the school team. Their first game is later this week. She’ll be starting on the varsity team even though she’s a freshman! She was really excited about that because the practices have been hard. Noelle is the tallest female in our family. Lately she’s been teasing me because I won’t say she looks sexy. 🙂 I told her it just had a completely different meaning to people my age than to people her age and I just couldn’t say it. Hey — I work with college students! I try to understand their mindset and see things from their perspective! I just cannot in good conscience use that word as a synonym for “pretty” or “nicely dressed.” Sigh — I guess I’m getting old.

Emily got braces today! She was looking forward to it, but I don’t think she was quite as excited after she actually had them on her teeth. Her mouth was achy and she seemed a little self-concious. Lots of her friends have braces so I think it’ll be fine once she gets to school. I’ve already threatened her brothers within an inch of their lives if they tease her. We’re going to have pancakes and sausage for supper tonight. That way she’ll have something soft enough she won’t have to chew if her mouth is still sore. Emily’s as tall as I am, by the way. I usually wear shoes with about a two-inch heel so I didn’t really notice it until today when I wore flats. It’s amazing how quickly they grow.

Caleb is nine and comes up to my nose. He loves helping in the kitchen and is fascinated with musicals. I think his current favorite is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It’s a great, fun family musical, but it comes with a WARNING! Get it on dvd and SKIP THE SECTION WITH MRS. POTIPHAR. Just skip it altogether if you’re watching it with your kids. You’ll be singing the songs forever, so it’s really worth the watching other than that scene.

Daniel is seven and you would never believe that he and Caleb were the same size at birth. He’s tall, but he not any bigger around than my little finger. He’s a great reader and loves dressing up like a superhero (hmmm — maybe I rubbed off on him?). The funniest thing he’s ever done is run around with his Darth Vader helmet and underwear on. BIG black, scary head, scrawny little body and tighty whities. Some day he’ll learn to wear clothes at home. I hope.

Well, that’s it. Those are my kiddoes. I’ll try to update you on them more often. They’re really amazing. I can’t believe God has blessed me so tremendously. Sometimes I feel like Sally Fields at the Oscars — “You love me! You really love me!” — when I look at my children. At one point in time I really thought I had to get it all right or I’d completely mess ’em up. Now we all admit we’re imperfect, do the best we can and love each other and forgive each other. Praise the Lord!

Injuries and scars

One of my favorite bloggers, Mike Cope, voiced what many people are thinking: did Anna Nicole Smith have any idea how much God loved her? We all watched her self-destruct in front of our eyes for years. She was the focus of many things — the paparazzi, reality tv, and porn addicts to name a few — but did anyone ever focus God’s love on her? My heart hurts for her emptiness and for the life that lies ahead for her newborn daughter. I know what emptiness feels like.

I’m not sure why, but her situation reminded me of a thought I had a few years ago. It dawned on me that Jesus kept some — not all — but some of the scars from his brutal death. Why did he do that? When we think of our glorified body, we envision a perfect body. No flaws, no scars. Why did Jesus keep the ones he did? Was it just for us? Because he knew we would need proof? Maybe it was just because he knew Thomas would need proof. Like everything else, it was for us.

What if you could keep a scar? What if a part of your glorified body included a scar from your physical life. What would you keep? Why would you keep it? Can you hear the conversations in heaven?

“Look, see this? These are the scars from being beaten as a child. I cried myself to sleep every night, but I was crying out to God. That’s when I learned that I had a heavenly Father.”

“This scar? Oh, I was lost in drugs and alcohol and I was in a car accident. Everyone else was killed, but I lived. In rehab I learned that Jesus died for me and that everything — everything — had been forgiven. Even though I caused someone else’s death, I was forgiven by Jesus’ death.”

“Oh, this? I used to cut myself when I got angry or depressed. I didn’t know that Jesus’ blood had already made up for all my shortcomings. “

Or maybe we don’t have to wait until heaven to share our scars with people. Maybe if we admitted that deep inside we’re all an Anna Nicole Smith waiting to happen, then we could keep a few people from winding up with such tragic lives. Our injures could keep other people from experiencing such pain.

John Newton’s last words were said to be: “My memory is failing, but I remember two things: I am a great sinner, and God is a great savior.”

What a weekend

Phone: Ring, ring

Me: Brackett Library, this is Lisa, may I help you?

Phone: Uh, this is Vincent over at the Circ desk. You might want to come check out the damage to the door over here.

Me: (Major flashbacks of angry patron breaking door last spring) Uhm, OK. What happened?

Vincent: I don’t know, but it’s off its hinges.

Me: (turning around to look and seeing LOTS of space between the door and the hinge) OH MY! OK, meet me over there.

So we journey to the door and find that it’s completely out of the hinge at the top. The bottom hinge seems to be missing the pin, which apparently caused the top hinge to pop out of place. Vincent, JT and I worked together to get it back in place and lock it. The lab worker is using the one functional printer to make a sign to put on it. I really don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s untimely demise due to being crushed by the library door. Vincent, JT and I narrowly escaped death .

So far this weekend I’ve experienced the Robert Randolph concert, a campus-wide electricity outage and firemen in the library, and now the broken door.

Who said life at Harding was boring?

A new semester

A new semester has begun at Harding University. The students are back, classes have begun, and the annual challenge to read through the Bible in a year has been issued.

It has been wonderful to see our student workers come back. Several new ones have joined us and I look forward to getting to know them.

Do you ever stop to think about how amazing it is to live during this time? Think of how many ways we can connect with other people. Just today, I’ve talked with people in person and on the phone. I checked facebook, email, and checked in on several blogs for work-related activity. Communication is easy.

Or is it? Words can be said or written, but are connections being made? My children like to play the connection game. “I can connect Corbin Bleu with Miley Cyrus. Corbin was in High School Musical with Ashley Tisdale. Ashley Tisdale is also on Suite Life of Zac and Cody. Miley Cyrus is on Hannah Montana and they did a show Suite Life of Zac and Cody, so Corbin Bleu is connected to Miley Cyrus.”

I’ve heard that you can connect any two people in the world with less than six degrees of separation. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that connections are important. How often do we truly connect to people? Really listen. Really hear what they’re saying?

My prayer for this year is that I will truly connect with the people in my life — my husband Keith, my children, my other family and my co-workers. I also want to be fully experience my connection with God. I love His name Immanuel — God with us.


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