looking for a good book? head over to my page addict blog to read my review of Anne Jackson's Permission To Speak Freely.

and then go buy one.

you won't be sorry.


an anniversary

it seems that the loudest voices
are the ones calling
        to hate
        to destroy
        to burn
        to judge
        to hurt
        to retaliate.

if i listen only to these clamoring voices,
the ones i cannot miss
then i am tempted
        to believe that hate is the only way
        to deal with those who are different
        to handle those who disagree
        to protect myself from the unknown.

it seems simple enough
but that's because it's easy.

and this road i've chosen
if i truly believe in His promo,
was never intended to be easy.

separating myself
from the commotion
and listening to His voice,
both still and small
i find another way.

    love your enemies.
   give blessings to those who curse you.
   if someone takes something, give them more than they ask for.
   don't slap back, but offer the other cheek.

none of these things make sense
in the mentality of the loud voices

they only make sense
   of a God—
   turned carpenter—
   turned teacher—
   turned Savior.

* * * * *

long before this day became the anniversary of terrorist attacks, this day was a special one in my family. it was my Gram's birthday, then some 20 years later, it became her and my Gramp's anniversary. so long before it was a day marked by death and devastation, it was a day of life and celebration of love.

even though i still miss my Gram, more than i could have ever imagined after 15 years, i cannot help but be glad that she wasn't here in 2001, when her birthday became something entirely else. and i'm especially glad that she's not here this year, with all the hate sentiment flying around, especially from those who claim to follow her Jesus. she would not have liked it one bit… because my Gram was a woman who knew how to love. it wasn't always easy for her, but because she daily sat at the feet of her Creator, she learned how to love, and she practiced what the learned on our family, and on those whose lives she touched along the way.

i've not yet learned to love as well as she had. i'm still far too selfish, too often need to get my own way, and i really like being right.

but i'm slowly learning.



i'm always a little envious around this time of year.

the truth is, even now, beginning when august rolls around straight through to the middle of september, i want to go back to school.

i can list all the things i want to study and learn. my brain doesn't seem to understand, even though i have been out of school for longer than i was in it, that this is no longer our plan. school supplies have an almost magnetic pull.*

i loved the new beginning of the school year. even though i was never the best student, {the actual school work tended to get in the way of my social game} the new school year always brought with it the potential that this new year would be the one when i would be brilliant. i could finally understand math. {never happened} i would get projects and essays done early. {maybe the first one, after that, not so much}

fortunately, life as a whole is a learning process. if you pay attention, and be intentional, there is always something to learn. this year, i am going to focus on learning a new computer program, as well as refocus on learning french.

so, while today isn't the first day back to school for me, i'm starting the new year with renewed focus and energy.

what about you? did you love going back to school, do you still love going back to school, or does the sound of a school bell cause immediate anxiety?

*actually, i did purchase a new pencil case a couple weeks ago {it's pretty}.



last night, as i was listening to my almost three thousand iTunes songs randomly, a Christmas tune came on, and made me excessively happy.

september has always been my time to start listening to Yuletide tunes, but this year, with beginning Christmas projects in July, i started early. it's so much easier to get into the season while surrounded by its music.

when do you start listening to Christmas music?




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