Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

After 20 days, I attempt to catch up...

Well, now that I have lost all the followers I might have amassed by my unpardonable laxness on the posting end, I will now try to worm my way back into their lives with a post. Haha. In my defense, eight-hour work days Monday through Friday and a weeklong vacation does not a regular posting schedule make.
Anyway, this is what's been happening in my life lately:
- I work at a highschool close to my house doing summer cleaning of the facility. I am an expert at cleaning desks, windows and chalkboards along with the other smorgasbord that somehow collects dust and dirt during the winter months. I am still amazed at some of the things that have to be cleaned. Oh well. It's a job and it pays well enough for me to stay and not go out looking for accommodations more suitable to my tastes. I would love to work in a Christian bookstore or be a professional novelist. Sadly, I am not aware of any openings yet - most likely because I have not been looking for them.
- I went camping with my family, my mom's parents and my mom's sister and her family from June 19 to the 24th. It was cold and rained almost constantly every day but Monday and Wednesday and we, along with our games and paper towels, got rather soggy. To my chagrin, I had expected better weather and packed only one sweatshirt and no socks. Thankfully, I could borrow the latter from my brother and the former (with some careful handling) managed to make its way through the trip without getting majorly wet or dirty. On the upside, I did get better at softball and volleyball, which are sport staples on our trips, I won a mile-long round of Phase-10, I knocked off three or four chapters of Our Mutual Friend, and I learned how to play Big-2 (a Chinese card game).
- My summer reading resolution is tanking. I am stuck on page 161 out of 822 in Our Mutual Friend and progress further than that does not seem to be readily forthcoming. I did recently gulp down a book that is completely unrelated to any book-reading resolution I have made and was read because it happened to catch my interest and be within easy reach on my sister's desk. A Northern Light it was called and I would recommend it with emphatic reservations. Read here as to why.
- I forgot to bring Joyfully At Home with me last week and so my dear friend who lent it to me is going to have to wait a little longer to get it back. Truth be told, I completely forgot I had it until yesterday when I remembered.
- Yesterday, I took four orphaned baby birds to the humane society. If you have ever, ever driven a car with four squeaking baby birds in the passenger seat, you'll know how loud it actually is. Thankfully, they liked the talk radio host I had on or I would have gone stir crazy.
- I'm going strawberry picking in five minutes, which means that I must now end this delightful ramble and let you get back to whatever more constructive thing you were doing before you started reading it.

'Till next time,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Moonstone

Second book of the summer - finished!
I thought this one would never end. It was good, but lo-o-o-ng.
Mr. Collins, being an intimate friend of Charles Dickens (a fact of which I was informed in the forward that I wasn't supposed to read until I finished the book), must have had some of Dickens' irrepressible humor rubbed off on him. Because of that, I found the book enjoyable to read, despite its length.
My favorite characters were Ezra Jennings, Mr. Candy and Gabriel Betteredge. I'm afraid Rachel pulled out of her annoying slump and was redeemed a bit too late for me. I didn't much care for her. I was rather fond of Godfrey, but had a premonition about him that was a trifle disconcerting. Miss Clack, I suppose, should join my list of favorites as well - if only for her unwavering loyalty to her Christian duty and amusing tract-titles.
I'm going to splurge on some light reading now, having just gotten a list from my sisters of three books I have to read to keep up my end of our three-way bargain. Thankfully, another Wilkie Collins book did not make it to their list. A year-long break from his complex plots sounds very refreshing right now...

'Till next time,
-- Jamie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hands of the Healer

I've been having a rather apathetic time, lately, in my walk with God. I'm a fluctuater. Inconsistent. I'll have times where I'm singing in my heart over the overwhelming greatness of God and times where I feel so far away that I wonder if I'm really getting anywhere. Now is one of those times.

I just had my wisdom teeth pulled (a lovely experience) and got almost a week knocked out of my normal routine. I'm a stickler for routine, which presented a bit of a problem. I'm also a control freak when it comes to my schedule, but we'll get into that some other time. What's worse than a week of recovery, is that when I went in for my appointment three days ago, I found out that I had an infection in two out of the four incisions.

That really got me. I don't like my health being tampered with. I don't like it at all. Mainly because I envision the worst every time and am convinced that if something bad can come out of the smallest problem, something will.
I also place an inordinate amount of confidence in modern medicine and a doctor's ability to heal. Top that off with the fact that I tend to be a bit of a worrier, and you get the picture. Here I am with an infection in my mouth (gross), a dentist giving me antibiotics and mouthwash, and a description of the worst thing that can happen to me in my present condition. What do I do? Well, besides following the man's instructions to the letter, I start to worry. You can give me every verse in the Bible about not worrying or about trusting in God to work things out, but I'll still worry. But give me one word from a doctor or anyone that what's wrong with me won't be a big problem or it can be easily fixed, and I'll snap out of the worry-rut like a spring.

Last night was especially rough for me. I was frustrated with how slowly the healing process was going. I was tired of the complications. I was sick of the pills and pain and annoyance of not being able to eat normally and  the swelling in my left cheek. I started to mentally gnaw at the problem and (as is my usual course) think of reasons why things were going as they were.

It suddenly occurred to me, after a long, tiring while, that I was placing far too much confidence in man and not focusing on God as the ultimate healer. I had never realized with such clarity before that what was happening to me was allowed by my loving Creator to teach me something that I had been missing in my life. Doctors may do what doctors may do, but without God's healing, I could have a swollen left cheek forever. I'm explaining this all badly, but what I want to get across is how small my confidence in my God is. I always assume that when He holds out His hand to me, I'll get the back of his palm in my face. But last night I realized that that wasn't so. I have a God who loves me and knows what's best. He'll heal me in his time, despite my pills and washes and doctor's orders. My health is not in their hands - it's in God's. And for the moment, I feel content to leave it there.

Here, as an added bonus, is John Waller's song, from which I stole the title of this post.  

'Till next time,
-- Jamie