Monday, June 30, 2008

The Ohio Chronicles: Chapter One

I just returned from a week in the Ohio Valley, visiting the Fam. The Valley lies between Ohio & West Virginia, with the Ohio River running through it. It's an old place, full of rusted steel and brick buildings covered in aged coal soot, but there is a kind of vintage beauty about it.Since I went by myself and the purpose was to just spend time with my family, I sweetened the deal by renting a Sebring convertible! That baby had 4 miles on it when I picked it up at the airport and 683 when I returned it. It was worth every penny.
God blessed me with perfect weather and that top was down most of the week!

I guess most people who leave their home town see it differently when they go back. Some visits it all looked simply old and ugly to me and I couldn't wait to leave. There were other times though, when I actually imagined moving back. This trip, the hills seemed especially beautiful and I think I managed to drive on every one of them! Memories came flooding back of Joey & I taking Saturday rides, sometimes on his little Honda 150, stopping for ice cream, talking about the future.
We had no idea the road would lead us where we are today. But over the next few blog-days, I'm going to take you back to the past with me.

The Ohio be continued.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Night MindStreaming

Rock City, TN
SADI was so sad to hear about Tim Russert's death. He seemed like a decent person. The elections won't be the same without his commentary and whiteboard.

Star Trek Experience, Las Vegas
We're official Skypesters! How cool to be able to be able to talk to each other while he's on a missions trip and not be concerned about the cost. BONUS: we can see each other too! It does sorta remind me of scenes from 2001 Space Odessey. I could imagine HAL (DAVE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DAVE?) But it was Al, not Hal. Anyway, should have listened to my BFF, Deb, years ago. She kept telling us to sign up for Skype. When she's in China she'll tell me, "Bob skyped me tonight." Doesn't that sound like a prank? But I had a great time skyping Al tonight!

Chululy Glass Sculpture, Bellagio Hotel Ceiling
CREATIVE OVERLOADColor & Creativity have returned to my life in abundance! My new job is challenging and promises much future creative opportunities. The overload is coming from learning new software on top of tasks that are more detailed than my previous duties. Some of the brain strain is due to the fact that I've been doing basically the same job for 10 years. It would change enough to keep me interested but stay the same enough so that I always felt confident in what I was doing. But now there is SO much to learn and I just want to KNOW it now. Wouldn't it be great if we could just upload info into our brains a la The Matrix (but without the unsightly plug-in at the skull base).

Gemstone Display, Field Museum, Chicago (kinda looks like a brain, doesn't it?)

Is there such a thing? I love my hobbies but they're adding to the creative overload. There's Photography, Photoshop, Card-making, Blogging, Reading, my beloved Blu2, my new gym where I reward myself with 15 minutes in the massage chair... There hasn't been time to embroider, sew, or do any silk painting. Tuesday I wandered into a new bead shop by the gym. much beauty beckoned me; so much potential to create something new. The pretty little pink crystals and glass beads and glittering shiny things in all shapes, colors and sizes. Why yes they do offer classes. Must...Not...Take...On...Another....Hobby.... AAAAGH

Right now I'm reading the most fascinating biography of Golda Meir. I didn't intend to read a book about her but it was on the new arrival shelf and I was on a waiting list for the book I really wanted, so I picked this one up. So glad I did; I've learned a lot about Israel's struggle to become a nation and survive. I just finished "Charlie Wilson's War" which the movie was based on. VERY interesting. If you want to know just how far back the mess in Afghanistan goes, read this book. I have another one ready for pickup at the library and I'm on the hold list for 2 more. Plus here's the pile that awaits me at home.

My Bedside Book Stack

THE J.A.This person is still being my metaphorical photo. So much so, that after work today I went for some much needed...

I browsed around my FCS (favorite craft store) and bought a little crafty gadget at 40% off (part of the therapy is getting stuff on sale!) Then off to Barnes where I perused some magazines while enjoying a chai latte, grande, no water, extra hot. I came away much more relaxed and added another book to my reading pile.

new addition to The Stack

Ok, I think I'm streamed out. Have a good weekend out there!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Long Roads, Dry Spells, and Divine Love

Have you ever gone through a spiritual dry-spell? Those times where it seems God is far off; you can't get interested in the Word, and your prayer life is just ...blah.

I've been through more than one of those. Tonight as I was preparing for staff devotions, I remembered one in particular. At the time, I was very much into making banners, pageantry, and teaching about using visual arts in praise & worship. I loved studying about the royal, kingly aspects of Jesus. But during this dry spell, even those things could not shake the spiritual melancholy that seemed to have settled on me like a coating of Panhandle dust. One morning I prayed, "Oh Lord, if I could just have a glimpse of Your majesty, I know it would get me back on track."

The silence was deafening. So I dragged myself off to work.

On my desk was a pretty gift bag all fluffed with tissue from my 'secret pal'. Inside was a book by Max Lucado. I devoured all his books back then, so I looked forward to reading it that night. About mid-morning, flowers from my husband were delivered. No reason. People were extra kind and I received several compliments on different things. It was just a really nice day.

After dinner was cleaned up, homework checked, and son tucked in bed, I settled down with a cup of tea and opened my book. Now, I never just open up to page 1. First, I read the book jacket; I skip to the last page; I flip through the chapters; I read the table of contents. I saaavor the beginning of a good read. But this time, I first opened up in the middle and I swear to you, my eyes fell straight to this sentence:

Did you see Him? Did you get a glimpse of His majesty?

Grand Lake, CO
Wow. Selah Moment.

People, the High and Lofty One Who Inhabits Eternity has chosen to dwell in us. And He cares for the smallest thing that concerns us. His majesty is expressed in His love. Even in something as simple as a kind word from a coworker. That's why He left us this one commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. LOVE is the Majesty of Jesus. So should it also be our royal mantle.
Love one another
as I have loved you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Repentant Afghan

I feel kinda bad about my attitude lately...

Well, Hello Everybody! Blu2 here. I've been doing some thinking and realize I need to do a little damage control on my reputation. Especially after that last picture. And the headlines - "Bean-Head". Ouch, that one hurt. 

So, I've been working on my behavior. I'm trying not to fight with Harley (but he's so darn easy). And I even stood still for my brushing tonight. Hopefully I can keep up the good work, but ya gotta understand...I'm just a teenager. Gimme a break here. One thing I need to get back into is the regal, aloof image. I mean, calling me a "Smedley"?! No way jose.

That's all for now. Ciao, baby.~~Blu2