In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

They Are Not Mine

I have no children of my own yet, wich means all of my thoughts come from the outside looking in, but I've been thinking lately about bearing children in the midst of the largest government takeover scheme since FDR (or maybe Jimmy Carter, I'm not very up on my 20th cent. American history). I'm also wondering how long it's going to take the government to move from essentially taking over such industries as automobile manufacturing to taking total control of our kids, communist style. I'm left wondering if having children is even a good idea when they could potentially be ripped from my arms and sent to state indoctrination centers leaving me with little to no influence over, or even contact with, them. I know about the demographic winter we're facing and, believe me, EJ can tell you how badly I want kids, so it says something that I'd actually consider not having any just so the state can't get their dirty, greedy hands on them.

But then I realize that ... I've been thinking about this incorrectly the whole time. My children aren't really mine; they belong to God. He gives them to us to nurture and care for and enjoy, but we no more own them than we own our bodies. Jesus never said to stop having children because times are hard. Certainly the persecuted Roman Christians didn't grow through conversions alone. Rather, Jesus said, "[R]ender to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21) Our children belong to God; they are His before they are ours. Ceasar may try to steal them, but God will ultimately triumph over those who reject Him.

Of course, you realize I'm only saying this in the context of the government illegally excersizing more and more control over our personal lives. I, in no way, am saying to literally abandon your kids, trusting God to take care of them. He ordered this world and we should follow that order. This also doesn't mean that we won't lose some of children psychologically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to the state. It's a sad fact of existence that not every person on earth is saved - and that will include many of our descendants. However, ultimately, we should be looking to God in all situations no matter what.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Huh. This is so odd.

EJ found out where he's being stationed today. He thought at first that he'd try and be funny and tell me he got unaccompanied orders to Japan for two years - and I hung up on him. Then he told me where he really got put and ... well ... it's not Michigan. It's in the south. I'm not a southerner; I'm a yankee to the core. =}

I've lived the majority of my life in Michigan. Sure, I've visited other places - a lot of places, in fact, but I can't really remember living anywhere other than the mitten. I'll miss showing people where I live using my hand. I'll miss the Michigan accents. I'll miss the snow. I'll miss the seasons. I'll miss making fun of the Canadians. Basically, I'll miss everything but the nanny-like, bloated government run by a former Canadian.

Ugh. I hate the heat.

Okay, I'm waxing sentimental. Sorry. I'll go reminisce about my home state alone.

At least I'm not leaving until May. =S

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Tear-jerker

It's official - I have the most amazing husband ever.

It's not even about the flatware chest he surprised me with (though it's perfect, darling!), it's the fact that he takes the time to know my likes and dislikes. He knows that I love surprises and he concocts such wonderful little treats for me every now and then that just make me choke up with love and gratitude - even if it's nothing more than a bouquet of flowers or even a little note tucked away where I won't find it until he tells me to go looking. The time and effort he puts into such things makes me love him all the more.

I love you, sweetheart!

...I'm still a little teary... =3

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What's that lurking, lurking, lurking...?

There is ... a stench ... in the computer corner of my room.

I don't know what it is or where it's coming from.

It began a few days ago when I noticed the smell of saliva over by my desk. That lasted through this morning when I realized that the smell had morphed into something new and even more unpleasant - subtle, creeping, mildly organic, and otherwise completely indescribable, yet I know I've smelled it before.

The trash was changed after the saliva smell began, so it's not that. It's in no other part of my room than this specific corner. For cripes sake, the priest blessed my room a week ago, what is going on?

With this on my mind, I'm now beginning to acutely notice other smells all over my hall - ketchup, bio-waste in the bathroom, steak - but nothing quite like whatever is in the little corner of my little room.
Holy smokes!

An excellent article about homeschool socialization found on Aspiring to Simplicity.

Also, I "discovered" Ofra Haza, late great Israeli singer of the 1980s and 90s. Take a gander at her beautiful rendition of Led Zepplin's already amazing "Kashmir".



Read her Wikipedia page here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In which I learn a nothing about humility

EDIT: Please read the entire post, so you don't stop halfway through and think I'm an arrogant northern snob.

~~

I just ... wow ... I can't ... jeez ... I can't really wrap my head around this concept.

I just got off the phone with EJ and he told me the most amazing story I think I've ever heard.

Most Marine bases are in the south, or at least the south-ish, and his is no exception. He's been telling me on and off throughout winter that its been nearly 20 years since the area has seen a snowflake and, guess what - last night half the state was buried under nearly 1/2" of the white stuff.

Horrors!

He said that it has basically crippled that portion of the state. Everything is closed. Everything. The base itself has shut down "all non-essential functions", which means no one is allowed on or off unless they're considered "essential." He isn't even allowed to drive within the base.

Half an inch, people.

His mother came to visit him over the weekend and she was on her way back to the airport when he received a call from her asking why so many people were driving with their hazard lights on. She also said she'd passed several accidents.

Half an inch of snow did this.

It's incredible. It made me laugh ... and then I actually got a little angry that such a miniscule thing could cripple an entire state. For instance, both where I live and where I go to school (only two hours' difference), we have not not had snow on the ground since November. The first three days EJ came home on leave we received two-and-a-half feet of snow - which I'm sure is kids stuff to Alaskans - and then it melted within a week or two, only to be replaced right back up to the original levels. We don't just sit in our houses looking at it, either. Unless it's really bad (and most of know how to judge whether it is or not) there's no problem with our being out and about.

Granted - and EJ explained this to me - the state he's in doesn't have anything in the way of salt trucks or plows. I suppose I can brag all I want about how my state doesn't let a little thing like three feet trip us up, but then I realize that it would be quite a bit more difficult without the aid of those trusty yellow trucks to spread their salt and shove the snow out of the way.

And, really, when you encounter something you've never dealt with before, you can't help but be clueless. I was clueless the first time I went to Arizona and realized they didn't have grass. That frightened me. Or the first time I went south of Ohio and saw red dirt. I didn't know something like that actually occurred in nature. Come on, dirt is black, not red. In fact, I still wonder sometimes if plants actually grow in red dirt. Like, is it real dirt? If they do grow, are they a different hue? Can you make a red mud pie? Is red mud the same consistency as brown mud? I'm not sure I could work with red soil. Ship in some black stuff and I'll be fine, but red? *looks askance*

And I'm sure they have all kinds of ways to deal with fire ants that I've never in my life had to worry about.

So, huh, in the end I really can empathize with those who don't understand snow verses not snow.

How to leave links in comments

I have yet to see if this actually works. If it doesn't, then let me know.

< href="http://aspiringtosimplicity.blogspot.com/"> AspiringToSimplicity < /a>

(Don't make any spaces between brackets, that's just so the HTML stays where you can see it.)

Thanks to the blog in the brackets. =)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Veil is Still Before My Eyes

I never realized how literal of a heralding of the crucifixion this Psalm was. I remember the prophecy within it of the casting of lots for Jesus' clothes, but I didn't see how shockingly detailed the psalm in its entirety is.

Psalm 22

A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
For the Choir Director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David.

(1) My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
(2) O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
(3) Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
(4) In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
(5) To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
(6) But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
(7) All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
(8) "Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
(9) Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts.
(10) Upon You i was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother's womb.
(11) Be not far from me, for trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
(12) Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
(13) They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
(14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.
(15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
(16) For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
(17) I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;
(18) They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
(19) But You, O LORD, be not far off;
O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
(20) Deliver my soul from the sword,
My only life from the power of the dog.
(21) Save me from the lion's mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
(22) I will tell of Your name to my brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
(23) You who fear the LORD, praise Him;
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
(24) For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him;
But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
(25) From You comes my praise in the great assembly;
I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
(26) The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
(27) All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
(28) For the kingdom is the LORD'S and He rules over the nations.
(29) All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
(30) Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
(31) They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has performed it.

Thanks again to Anastasia. =)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sulfur from Sodom and Gomorrah

An interesting little video, 16 minutes long, investigating the type of sulfur found at ancient city sites and comparing it with that found around geothermal areas. It's a bit difficult to watch, but very informative.



Thanks to Anastasia.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Class Schedule

My class schedule for this semester:
  • Contemporary Religious Thought
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Special Studies: C.S. Lewis
  • Early TV Westerns (my "easy A" class)
  • Seminar: From Beowulf to Berty Wooster (or "How British Humor Waxed 'Wode'")
  • Punishment and the Western Tradition
  • Beginning Spanish II
If it weren't for the fact that I don't want to be here, I'd say I love my school.

I'm starting to kind of panic because I need ONE more credit beyond these classes to graduate - just one - and I can't seem to find it anywhere; I haven't got much longer to pick a class.

I think I'd have a break down if I had to stay even the few extra weeks it would take for summer school. For real, pray God I find a class.

For Most People, College is a Waste of Time =)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm expecting flames from this one

Yesterday I had to finalize my name change in my school's computer database. It's so strange to see your old identity completely wiped out with only a few keystrokes, to be replaced with a name that will take you to the end of your husband's natural life and beyond. How long will it be before I'm able to think of myself as I am now, rather than as I was? I went into the wrong line at registration yesterday because I completely forgot that I have a new name now. The ladies who pointed me to the right line thought it was adorable. (^_^)

One thing bothered me, though. When I told the lady at the IT desk that I needed my name changed because I'd recently gotten married, a middle aged man standing next to her blurted out loudly, "YOU'RE MARRIED? YOU ARE WAY TOO YOUNG TO BE MARRIED. YOU'RE STILL IN COLLEGE!!"

(Check out Mrs. Anna T's article on this subject, also written yesterday)

Now, I've only been married since November, but I've already become accustomed to hearing this from people and my stock response has simply become, "Why?" Funny thing is, they can never answer or they just repeat that I'm too young.

Seriously, why, people?

I'm 21, I have a heart for my husband, I love God and the promise I made to Him to love and obey my husband in sickness and in health was not an idle saying. Do you think I'll regret it? Do you think I'll wake up in five, ten, fifteen, fifty years and wonder why I didn't put things off until I'd finished school alone, traveled the world alone, established a meaningless career alone, soaked my five cats' fur with my tears while downing a bottle of Riesling because I'm so so alone, watched children playing on the sidewalk and felt the ache of my empty womb, which has been sealed because of the HPV I contracted from one of my many silly flings alone, and finally settled for a mediocre marriage because I'm desperate and just.can't.stand being alone anymore?

I ask you, where is the logic? Where?

*The fact that I feel the need to put a disclaimer here is silly, but not every person uses their common sense. God's plan is different for everyone. He will not always have you settle down right away - or at all. This is directed at the silly women who ignore what God called them to do - whatever that may be - and pursue their own selfish interests early in life only to realize later on the mistakes they've made and the price they then have to pay - or, worse yet, those who encourage other women to do just that, regardless of doubts or uncertainties.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hello again! No, I'm not dead!

The past three weeks have been simply wonderful. EJ was able to get Christmas leave and we were able to spend the whole time together as husband and wife. It was so nice - so beyond nice.

Christmas was a blast. Thanks to the generosity of my parents and relatives, I now pretty much have everything I need for a kitchen. The only thing I can think of that we're still missing are steak knives, but that's it - heck, we even have tupperware. =P

I also got married ... er ... again ... sort of. We had a wedding ceremony for the family complete with wedding gown, dress blues, and a cake. It was really fun and I'm glad the family got to be there. I think it helped cement the fact that I'm married in their minds better than me just telling them.

The last week of break (so, last week) I spent at EJ's base. That was a bit harder, because I knew we only had a week left and he had to be in class until 4:30 every day, but it was still lovely. All in all, we spent 21 days together - which is as much as we've had together over the past 11 months put together.

Now I'm back at school, but, thankfully, I have only one semester left before I graduate. =D Finally, I'll be able to get out of here and be where I belong.