Saturday, April 19, 2014

Death is Swallowed Up in Victory

Photo by Will
"Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.

Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.” Then he stood still a while, to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold, three Shining Ones came to him, and saluted him with, “Peace be to thee.” So the first said to him, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment,  the third also set a mark on his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the celestial gate: so they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing,

'Thus far did I come laden with my sin, 
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in, 
Till I came hither. What a place is this! 
Must here be the beginning of my bliss? 
Must here the burden fall from off my back? 
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack? 
Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be 
The Man that there was put to shame for me!' "

--THE PILGRIMS PROGRESS, By John Bunyan

Friday, April 18, 2014

You tore the veil, so I could be free

My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?'

"What manner of love is this that you would say
Your sin is mine - I'll take it to the grave (then rising)
Death oh death, where is your sting today?
Death is swallowed up in victory"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hope

Pueblo Zoo, Colorado

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Where I've been

I'm inspired to write here again. I've gotten right out of the habit, and I miss this little aerie. For starters I should tell you what I've been up to. Or perhaps show you, since I have a whole bunch of pictures.
It was brilliant to see mountains and hills again. Not to mention the sky. The depth of open sky, wisps of clouds and twitter of birdsong was a welcome rush to my winter-logged brain.
The magpies were a delight to watch, with their sharp black and white coloring, and their enormously long tail, their swooping flight. I also saw a golden eagle, and lot of ducks, including a hooded merganser.

So... I flew to Denver, Colorado to visit old friends, help out around the house, and babysit. There was great conversation as well, and plenty of adventures--they took me for excellent gluten-free pizza...
(at Beau Jo's, Idaho Springs) 
and out to Red Rock



Red Rock Amphitheater

with an incredible view, including downtown Denver, and bits of Kansas; magnificent rock formations and miles of sky; sunshine pouring on my skin and wind tugging at my hair and buffeting playfully.
We popped into the museum as well, to see the list of everyone who's sung here, from Ella Fitzgerald, to the Beatles, and dozens--hundreds of others.

And we visited the Nature and Science Museum...
The section on Egyptian mummies was particularly intriguing to me since I recently started reading the Kane Chronicles. It was solely because of these fun books that I was able to recognize the names of the ancient Egyptian mythological gods and creatures, symbols and stories. If I had learned these things elsewhere, I'd forgotten, and a great deal of the excitement of this sort of exhibit is the fact that you're seeing with your eyes things you know all about, but don't generally get to see first hand. So that was fascinating.


dinosaurs, whales, 

(I was having way too much fun)


........*........
Sunshine, tea, cozy house days...
ginger rooibos at a teashop

Did you know that the Celestial Seasonings tea factory is in Boulder, Colorado? I didn't either until a couple of weeks ago. But now I've been there! We were able to tour the factory and try all sorts of teas, breathe in a roomful of peppermint (clears your sinuses) and see the machine put plastic on the tea-boxes in less than a second (yes, the plastic that takes so long to pull off ;)

We even went to the zoo.
otters...
a dromedary camel
squirrel monkeys and macaws
lions!
African penguins,
and kangaroos.

And there, in a bunch of pictures, is most of my Colorado adventures! Thank you for the great time, my friends! (and for introducing me to Sushi)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

50°

:)
courtesy Pinterest, of course

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's raining!

this is cause for great rejoicing. It's almost warm, and it is definitely raining real rain!
with some tastey morsels on a fine, rainy morning.

And, to my great delight, my first try at Bara Brith proved a success!
I am very excited with its sticky deliciousness.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cabin Fever

I know. I'm one to talk, right? Of all the people who should be getting antsy after months of winter it certainly shouldn't be the girl who spent two and a half weeks in Florida.

But there it is.

I can't be terribly low on vitamin D, having gotten a respectable tan during my southern jaunt. Nor did my sojourn make me dislike Minnesota, or even snow. My brothers and I were able to go cross-country skiing for the first time, a week or two ago, and I enjoyed myself immensely.
 

The man who rented us our gear looked like he had stepped straight from the Yukon... ski-sweater, beard, polite explanations. There was a fresh layer of snow on everything. We figured out how to clamp boots into skis (my skis were blue with pink highlights ;) and eventually how to move along in a relatively smooth manner. It was gorgeous weather and we were soon warm. For a while the ski trail ran along beside the frozen, snowy river. And then coming out of the woods after ski-climbing a bit of a hill I found myself overlooking some of my favorite landscape ever. The ground fell away gently to my right into a snow-filled valley surrounded by tree-covered slopes. More snow fell softly around me. The air was still.

"This is why I love Minnesota." I said. "Can we build a cabin here?"

The U.S. also beat Russia at Hockey that morning, so it was an exciting day for winteriness. (Yes, we went on to lose royally elsewhere, but oh well. I'm glad Canada got the gold if the U.S. couldn't....)

So anyway, winter is fun but it does get long... and whether I can blame it all on cabin fever or not, these days I've been feeling a bit like hibernating till June.



In case any of you feel the same, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been doing to keep busy:

 
Making pretty things--especially out of neatly folded paper--can be highly soothing and entertaining at the same time. These are paper cranes of course.
'purple burst of paper birds' ~
(Owl City)

And I also made this fun poster of some of my favorite Doctor Who quotes. ;p 
Disclaimer: may contain*Spoilers!* 

 
Color is important during the dreary winter weather... so new English-looking mugs for 35¢ are a must. Also good British tins, and strong tea. (biscuits and scones go without saying). 

Pretty things and yellow things are extra specially needed. Making yourself pretty can also be important. Having a great hair day is really quite worth the bit of prep the night before; the same goes for sparkly fingernails. Of course it all depends on what gladdens your heart and brightens your days. For instance, I occasionally find great enjoyment in dressing all in black and pretending to be a ninja... you never know. Whatever floats your boat... or allows your spirit to glide serenely over mountainous drifts of snow. Either one....
 
I also rifle through hand-me-down travel magazines and rip out pictures of Venice... read children's fantasy novels... clean my room... go to basketball games and cheer my heart out... listen to John Mayer... or books on tape... or sermons online... brainstorm story ideas... make lists of what I want to grow in next year's garden...

How about you?