Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Loving Your Enemies

"...we might try to understand exactly what loving your neighbour 
as yourself exactly do I love myself?

Now that I come to think of it, I have not exactly got a feeling of
fondness or affection for myself, and I do not even always enjoy
my own society.  So apparently 'Love your neighbour' does not
mean 'feel fond of him' or 'find him attractive'...
Do I think well of myself, think myself a nice chap?  Well, I am
afraid I sometimes do (and those are, no doubt, my worst moments)
but that is not why I love myself.  In fact it is the other way round:
my self-love makes me think myself nice, but thinking myself nice
is not why I love myself.  So loving my enemies does not apparently
mean thinking them nice either.  That is an enormous relief...

Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me
long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions, but not hate the bad man:
or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.  For a long time I used
to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction:  how could you hate what a man
did and not hate the man?  But years later it occurred to me that there was
one man to whom I had been doing this all my life--namely myself."

C.S. Lewis, from Mere Christianity

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

End of an Era

I hope that today finds me enjoying a relaxing day at the beach with my family.  I don't think I'll be connected to the world wide web while we're away, but I don't like to leave my little blog unattended, so I'm taking advantage of the scheduling posts when I want them option today.  

Friday marked my last full-time day of keeping baby Luke.  Of course we took a few pictures.  He has grown quite a bit since the first afternoon I kept him back in November.



I kind of really love the pictures of Luke and his mama we took that day.  Mommy/baby sweetness is priceless.  Mommies pour their whole lives into their babies, and as someone once truthfully told me, "The days are long, but the years are short."  I think every mother needs pictures of herself with her babies to treasure when they're all grown-up.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday's Memories: Walking in Oxford

I loved this bridge.
I also love the nice gossip-y newspaper the man behind KJ is reading.

And the picture above?  This is where I had my narrow escape with a couple of bikes.  I was warned to "mind the bikes" in Oxford, but I really didn't expect to have to take that warning so seriously.  At the end of this road a guy on a bike came around the corner right at me, so I stopped suddenly and moved quickly over.  Unbeknownst to me there was another guy on a bike right behind me, and I jumped right in front of him.  I escaped unscathed.  KJ laughed.  If you ever visit Oxford...mind the bikes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

All Aboard!

There we are eight years ago this morning.  KJ's wearing his "vacation shirt."  I keep telling him the casual Hawaiian shirt has not made a comeback, but he still loves to pull that out when we go on vacation.  Which we're doing, folks!  We're going to the beach this week on our first official family vacation.  This is going to be the joy of our kids getting older, traveling and making memories.  I'm excited. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Little Lewis for Your Saturday

Well, hello, Blogger.  Your server was unavailable all day yesterday, denying my husband his post about The Eagle and Child.  

Maybe a few pictures from The Eagle and Child are still appropriate today since I've been indulging in Mere Christianity in the last 24 hours.  I guess it's not really connected to The Eagle and Child, but C.S. Lewis is, so...

I know I started Mere Christianity when I was a freshman in college, but I don't think I ever finished it.  I know my copy I bought for my Theology of C.S. Lewis class seemed pretty unread and unmarked.  It's just so, so good.  I think everybody feels that way when they read Lewis, though.  It's always just so good.

Late yesterday afternoon while the kids shot each other with water guns and ran through the sprinkler I read the chapters on Chastity and Christian Marriage.  I don't think I've ever read Lewis on the subject of sex before.  I loved this section on aiming for perfect chastity.  I found it so applicable to so many areas of my life.

"...perfect chastity--like perfect charity--will not be attained by any
merely human efforts.  You must ask for God's help.  Even when
you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help,
or less help than you need, is given.  Never mind.  After each failure,
ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again...For however important
chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this
process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still.

It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God.
We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our
best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in 
our worst, for our failures are forgiven." 

Find a seat, and place your order at the bar.

 That made me smile.

I fussed at KJ for taking this picture...
I loathed the idea of appearing too touristy.
He said he wanted to remember the atmosphere.
The Eagle and Child was so popular amongst Oxford students, the University now owns it.

The pub has been remodeled since the days when Lewis and the rest of the Inklings met here, I think, but they recreated the famous room of their meeting.

The place was crowded and dark, and the Rabbit Room was fully occupied, so my pictures aren't the best, but I tried to nonchalantly snap a few.  You know, I wanted to fit in there, not look like the American tourist I actually was.

I love that picture of Tolkien.

We left through a side door into the alley that exited from the little black gate on the left and went racing down the cobblestone streets toward the car park and our appointment at Lewis's home.  We did, however, make a quick stop in a shop to buy some Oxford gear.  It's probably appropriate for me to be reading Lewis while I make my way through these pictures.  The visit to his home was really special.

I'll close with a funny quote on the headship of men in marriage from yesterday's reading.

"If there must be a head, why the man?  Well, firstly is there any very
serious wish that it should be the woman?  As I have said, I am not 
married myself, but as far as I can see, even a woman who wants to
be the head of her own house does not usually admire the same state
of things when she finds it going on next door.  She is much more
likely to say, 'Poor Mr X!  Why he allows that appalling woman
to boss him about the way she does is more than I can imagine.'"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

(Ella's friend, L., gave Ella her phone number so she could call her
over the summer.  That made me laugh.  Girls.)

 Ella's grandfather gave the commencement address.

 Ella's brother stayed in the GENERAL area of his seat 
(and apparently didn't close his eyes for the prayer).
Apparently I didn't either; I had my eyes on him.

 Apple products also pulled their fair share of the load in keeping J occupied. 

 Ella ran to embrace James after the ceremony.
Add "Best Big Sister Ever" to her list of awards.

Class of 2012

 Ella with her teacher.


 Grandfather Love

So proud of her girl

 More grandmother love

It was a really fun night celebrating Ella.  We're so proud of all she accomplished and learned this year.  She's the best.  :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Graduation Party

KJ's grandparents were in town this weekend for a cousin's high school graduation, and we celebrated Ella's Kindergarten graduation on Monday night.  I'm thankful to T for throwing Ella such a wonderful party.  It was fun to celebrate our girl and all of her accomplishments.

The seat of honor

Ella got to sit in Big Daddy's chair at the head of the table.


Ella's pictures decorated the mantle for the night.

 I'm so thankful we got to celebrate with Grammy.

 Glow-in-the-dark swords
No graduation party is complete without them.

Last Day

The shoes and the skirt from the first day picture no longer fit, and she's missing a bottom tooth, but the lunchbox and backpack made it through the year.  Here's to the first day of summer!  (I keep pinching myself because I can't believe I get to keep her all day everyday again.) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Journey of Us

The First Hour

 1 year of seminary down,
I'm about to quit my job,
headed to the beach.

Leaving our first apartment,
working part-time for me,
KJ working at the softball field.

Daddy and Mommy to an 8-month-old happy girl,
Interim Pastor.

Seminary Graduate,
move back to Alabama,
a new life.

(Somehow that's all I can remember when I think about 2009. 
I was very pregnant.)

 Date Night compliments of Hillary,
tired, nursing, apparently watching LOST.

Year of Jubilee,
happy, content,
settled in as parents of two, 
going to England, baby!!

And tonight?
We'll be celebrating her.

Me + Him = One Fantastic Girl

"Your reading skills?  My memory?  Ella got the best of both of us."
- KJ