Happy Birthday To Me

Today wasn’t such a bad birthday; in fact, it was pretty good. Kristen and Mike bought us Three by Annie Dillard. Three is made up of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, and The Writing Life . On a tip from Toby, I got into Annie Dillard a few weeks ago. She’s wonderful.

The other day I found a neat little Catholic bookshop a few miles from my house. I came across Holy People: A Liturgical Ecclesiology by Gordon Lathrop, and I complained to Rachel that I wanted it. I’ve had it on my wishlist forever. It is a follow up to Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology, which is a great book. I already owned that one. My good buddy Nathan Blevins bought that for me. Nathan and I have been good friends since our days at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Rachel and I went to the Cathay Inn, a Chinese restaurant here in Spokane, and then we went to see Shanghai Knights. After that, we went back to my place to get my present. Rachel, the wonderful dear that she is, bought me Calvin’s Commentaries. You’d think I would have had them by now, being I have over a thousand books, but I didn’t. So now I do. How wonderful. :-)

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It’s Rick’s birthday today. It reminds me of this day last year, when I think the only thing I really gave him was possibly an e-mail or an IM or something horribly impersonal like that, just to wish him a happy birthday. But even a year ago, I didn’t want it to be that way. There were restrictions. Let’s just say that things have progressed a lot – probably more than we realize at times, since we’re always looking at how far we still have to go – but back then, phone calls were scarce, and the “friendship level” of our relationship was pretty strictly enforced.

Still, it couldn’t be helped. I knew back then, on his 22nd birthday, that I wanted to be his wife someday. I didn’t know that he liked his shirts and pants folded a certain way, I didn’t know that he hated some of the foods that I loved, and I didn’t know that we had hard struggles ahead of us; but I knew that I wanted to be his wife.

Today, I know how he likes his pants and shirts folded, I know what his favorite and least favorite foods are, I know so much better how to treat him, how to love him and serve him, and I know how completely worth it he really is. We probably have lots of struggles ahead of us still. No, we definitely do. But we’ve already gone through some together – and apart from each other, for the sake of eventually being together – and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s all worth it. He’s worth it. He’s my early birthday present.

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Taking Gods Name in Vain

Okay, though Tims post on bad language and taking Gods name in vain was a little . . . more shocking than normal, I have to say that I agree with a lot of what hes saying. However, even when it comes to taking Gods name in vain, people really have misunderstood what that means.

Its not about saying Oh my God when you dont really believe in God. Its not just about using Christs name when youre angry and cant think of any other words to express your frustration. Im definitely not excusing these things, but I dont think thats where the focus lies.

I think the commandment specifically speaks to Gods people, who are in covenant with Him and have been called to live a holy life. We have been called to bear the name of Christ. Baptized into Him, we are Christians with the duty to glorify Christ and never take this calling in vain. We have a certain status that we cant ignore. Through baptism, weve taken the name of Christ upon ourselves. Were not supposed to take His name in vain. That means living a faithful life, being pulled back to our baptism and our identity in Christ.

Thats what I think taking Gods name in vain is really talking about. This article by James Jordan is great – along the lines of what I was attempting to say.

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This is the thing I hate most about winter: I just don’t take as many walks as usual. I can’t handle the cold very well. Some people have told me it’s because I don’t have enough meat on my body, but I think I am just born to be in the summer weather all the time. Winter is beautiful and enchanting, looking out a window from inside, by the fire. But I just can’t stand the cold. Things are ever so slowly starting to warm up. The sun is starting to shine every single morning when I wake up. Almost every day it continues to shine until it melts into a sunset. It’s still bitterly cold.

I braved the weather this afternoon with my baby sister. We walked down our road, sat in the dead grass (come alive, grass! I wanna see green again!) and broke sticks into little pieces and made shapes with them. We laid on our backs and looked at the pink streaks of cloud in the sky.

I could say that Esther and I were just reveling in the moment of beauty – the fresh air, the silence and serenity, disturbed only by the distant sound of a plane flying high over our heads – but we were really just killing time, waiting for Rick to drive by and give us a lift back to the house. Yeah, I know we’re lazy. But even despite the cold, it was a beautiful day.

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Birthday Party

If you want to come to the Rachel and Rick birthday party on Saturday, email me. Some of you can actually make it. Like Jon. He should take his wife and son and come on over to Spokane. 4 o’clock. Be there. If you have accidently forgot to buy me a birthday present, my birthday is tomorrow. And Rachel’s is in between Friday and Saturday. I still have that wishlist ya know.

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Rick: “I’m inviting Tim as one of my friends to come for our birthday thing.”
Rachel: “Hey! He’s my friend too, ya know.”
Rick: “Yeah well, he’s more my friend.”
Rachel: “Whatever. I was his friend before you were.”
Rick: “Oh yeah? Well . . . do you cuddle with him?”

The cuddling isn’t nearly as disturbing as the fact that Rick and I were actually arguing over Tim.

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Clingy yet cute

Me: “Rick, do you feel tied down by me?”
Rick: “Well, at the moment, yes.”
Me: “Why?”
Rick: “Um.. maybe because you won’t let go of my hand and I can’t get off the couch.”
Me: “Oh.”

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