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Have you seen the show, Mythbusters?  For years a group of scientists and stunt men have been testing out America’s favorite myths.  Most involve explosions or robotics.  Some are gross.  Some are weird.  Many are preceded by “Don’t try this at home.”  You know.

So I learned something on Mythbusters the other day.  It is very exciting, and I know you’ll love it.  This one you CAN try at home.

For each myth, they write the name of the myth on a chalkboard.  And the other day I saw a clip where the girl was actually doing the writing.  She wrote the word once, and then started over and wrote the same word on top of that word.  It looked like this:

And I like that look.  It is simple and dimensional and different and loose.  I have already employed it in making a card.  It’s that cool.  You should try it, too.  And you can do it with any writing utensil: pen, pencil, crayon, marker, or chalk!

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I want to paint, to sculpt, to create. But my art is words. So I’m here. Not writing the ideas I had planned. Just sharing again. Being.

Not feeling much today. Spent emotion all last week. The response is still there, inside, deep.

Babies die and I speak words, numb from the overwhelming inadequacy – from how little my voice effects. Friends talk and I hear, but I’m not connecting. Too hard to shoulder their problems today. Speak truth I know even when I can’t think or feel.

God wants us to love. Forgive. Wait. And He is big enough to do those things in us. When we don’t feel it, don’t understand what’s happening.

Maybe we’ll look back and see His work through us. Laughter. This week I’ve run into people who like me. And I don’t know why. I shake my head asking God how this happened, that these new intersections in my life are friend-meetings. And His laughter fills me. Wasn’t I praying for this, that God would overflow me, blessing these people I meet even when I barely know them? When I wasn’t paying attention, when life and death weren’t before my face, I didn’t know His Spirit was filling me. Smile dipped in grace painting my world.

I say life and death wasn’t before my face, but I think now that it was. I take for granted the little things. Eyes are opening to the spiritual battle. Two weeks ago I told my brother, “It’s strange that there’s a spiritual battle, and you can go or not.” The battle is inescapable, war for souls, for joy, for peace, for faith – sometimes a defensive war, building up the weak and welcoming into strongholds. How frail our hold on faithfulness. No holidays from being carried by grace.

And what when the world crumbles around me? Though I hold tight in prayer, well-guarded by a Mighty Friend, fellow disciples fall, hurt, cry, tire. Call for back-up and I don’t know what to do for them. Pray more because I’m not just praying for me. Because I need my God’s eyes to guide me where next.

But the world keeps breaking, prayers not stemming enough the flood of attack. To pray for a day, fervently, all day, I can manage. Rebuke my doubt that God won’t answer so quickly; He could, you know. Then He doesn’t, and I wonder… and weary… and wane.

This feels empty, when I’m not winnowing with God. I ask for help praying, help loving, help persevering. Can God fill me again, spend me as His servant in these lives I see?

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Hurting

My heart hurts tonight.  It is sad for babies dying, especially when their parents kill them.  And I hurt for their parents.  Killing your own children is not good for you.  Nor is it good for me.

And I want to be sad, to feel the reality of the loss.

But today was draining.  There was spiritual warfare today.  I don’t think that I gave into temptation (not today), but I feel tired and drained after the fight.  Shaken by the flagrant evil.

Lies abound.  People will lie to your face, even when you just saw the truth with your own eyes.  And those same people are so deceived.

——

I’m better now, slept long.  French toast in the morning before I got dressed, grey wool sweater pulled close.  Tonight play with kids.  Laugh.  Protect.

God hears prayers.  God…  I need to know Him more.  Trusting Him is hard when I forget who He is.

Talk to you later.

To God be all glory.

Lisa of Longbourn

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May First

I had to buy Flowers!

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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It’s something I never think about. I just pick up my purse and sling it over my shoulder. And doesn’t everyone else?

No. At the mall today, I was trying to read a book but got distracted by all the different ways women carry their purses. Here is my list:
on their shoulder
short strap tucked under their arm
long strap at side
holding short strap in hand
arm swinging
hand also pushing stroller
hand also carrying three other shopping bags
dangle from elbow
arm bent straight up
arm bent across waist
tucked under arm
strap across chest
in front
in back
at wrist with hand pushing stroller
in stroller
hung on stroller
fanny pack
inside a shopping bag
backpack
hold in hand
clutched to chest
no purse… at the mall???
Bonus: I saw a woman with a rolling suitcase – no, really, a suitcase! And a man with a rolling briefcase.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Begging

 

Merry Christmas!!
A present I would really like is to know if you are reading my blog. Can you comment if you read regularly?
AND!! You can “follow” my blog so you can keep reading forever. I think this is the “Follow” link. If not, do let me know. Also consider subscribing with WordPress or other feeds.

 

So far for Christmas I have received hot chocolate mix with candy canes and marshmallows, an apron, a share of a bright green rug, a candle with a wooden wick that is my own miniature hearth, some silk flowers, chopsticks for my hair, and a gift card to Target.

 
Which is a lot more than I have given. I like giving, but must be waiting for the non-traditional moments of inspiration in order to give. Books are my favorite things to give, but I also like to give candy and silly toys like a Slinky, and homemade things like aprons and shoulder bags. And there’s always money. Some year I want to do Christmas as a charity event: scour charity catalogs for the perfect thing to give. Ann Voskamp and her family do Christmas like that, and it sounds quite fun.

 

Tell me about your Christmas. Has it been special? Wonder-full? Boring? Difficult? Jovial? Giving? Receiving?
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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I was watching a movie with my brothers last night, and the scene was one of those notorious “opportune moments.” The hero had a chance to confess his love – or tell the truth – or something useful, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to do it. But he had planned ahead and brought with him a little gift, which he laid on the table between himself and the lady.

 

My brother summed their plight with the poetic description: He laid a gift on the moment’s grave.

 

Tonight I was reading the dictionary – not just to read it, but as one does when one is trying to get somewhere in those pages, and must journey through dangers and distractions like those of Odysseus. (I’m such a terrible speller of Greek; is that right? I am only newly acquainted even with the story of Odysseus, and most disappointed in his character.) My brother is reading The Federalist Papers, great essays on government and history and economics, which employed the word “temerity.” It happens to mean foolhardy or brash, but before I discovered this, I saw a picture.

 

To be honest, I almost always get caught by pictures, and carried away by root words. That is the way dictionaries have with me. This picture was of a little hog-like rodent, and the caption was like a Boggle-champion’s dream: tenrec. How simple. How very likely to occur in Boggle. How unheard of. Honestly. Have you ever heard of a tenrec?

 

No? Well, I suppose that is to be forgiven, since it, like so many interesting creatures, makes its home on Madagascar. The tenrec is a hedgehog-like mammal that eats insects (thus the nose looking like a pig’s, though it could have looked like an anteater and made itself more obvious). Our dictionary’s entry reported that this beast inhabits Madagascar and the adjacent islands.

 

Adjacent Islands!!! Who ever thought? Almost an oximoron! I mean, we’re not talking about islands connected at low tide but not at high. Maybe they were connected during the ice age. But then they weren’t islandS; they were AN island. So my meticulous brother commanded (he’s the one with leadership skills) that I look up “adjacent.” And it turns out that “adjacent” has as its first definition, “to lie near.” Still, I think that “Adjacent Islands” would be a great title for something. The image is so poetic.

 

Movies are almost always on in my house, maybe coming from so many of us enjoying long movies, or maybe because there are so many of us who think we need our own turn at choosing the program. Tonight there was yet another movie, and it was simply horrible, because the message of the movie was that when grown ups lie to children, the children owe it to them to sort of believe, because they want to believe, and miracles happen when you believe… The end of the movie had very little to do with this subject, as it consisted of the main little girl receiving three separate pairs of roller skates for Christmas. The last pair came from a blind man. And the little girl responded that she had a gift for him, her arms now full of metal and wheels. The most natural thing to expect her to give was a pair of roller skates. But then we pictured a blind man skating down the road… Don’t give such gifts to blind men!
 
Oh!  I signed up for all sorts of restaurant email updates, and have coupons and freebies rolling in!  Mostly they just want to give me something free with purchase, but I have plenty of choices!  There is something so pleasing about having a coupon in one’s purse.  Tonight I used a Kohl’s discount they sent in the mail, and saved a whole $1.50!  The best sign-up’s so far are Coldstone Creamery, Red Robins, and Lone Star Steakhouse.  Wendy’s gives a coupon for a dollar off.  But I’m still waiting to see what happens on my birthday.  I’ll let you know. 
 
The movie from last night (Wednesday) was Sense and Sensibility.  There are 4 versions I know anything about.  The earliest was made by BBC in the 70’s or 80’s, and according to my brother, who picked it up by mistake, is acted by robots who sit on teeter-totters sideways trying to converse with each other.  Next in importance/quality is a strange version made in India.  In fact, I believe the English is dubbed.  Not anywhere near as good as India’s Bride and Prejudice.  Now we come to the competitors.  In the 90’s, Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility.  She also starred as Elinor.  Alongside her were Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet, the latter reporting that she scarcely had to act; her personality was so much like Marianne Dashwood that Kate simply had to play the part.  That movie is beautiful.  Funny.  Sad.  Thoughtful.  With the exultantly happy ending highlighted by the perfect score.  I have my objections.  Hugh Grant – he’s not handsome, and his stuttering is annoying.  Colonel Brandon (I should know his name) isn’t very handsome, either, and Jane Austen movies aren’t known for their realism, so we should aim for attractive.  Finally, the version we were watching is the latest BBC adaptation, made in 2008.  It is about 3 hours long, with pretty scenery.  Other than that, the characters are poor imitators of the really good Sense and Sensibility.  Andrew Davies failed to convey emotion with his screenplay, and I don’t think most of the actors understood their characters.  The movie has its moments of interest.  Anyway, the actor who plays Colonel Brandon was recognized by all watching, but we couldn’t place him, so I looked him up.  IMDB is great!  I have been spending a lot of time there lately, for one reason or another.  The actor is David Morrissey, whom I recognized from The Water Horse.  Ah, the relief of answers! 
 
Have a good night.  Don’t waste your day. 
 
To God be all glory.

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Today

There’s something enchanting about setting up a chess board. 

I love drinking water from a glass. 

Kitties asleep on the top of couches is so cozy.

“Let me explain: yes.” 

So I’m studying a chessboard, and all of a sudden there is a droplet of chocolate ice cream on a square.  I look up and there is a drop on my brother’s cheek, and another one on his eyelashes.  He was hand-stirring an ice cream shake. 

We’re playing chess.  He’s been practicing against the computer and I… haven’t.  I’ll let you know who wins. 

I won.  I am not a genius.  My brain slowly processed options, and got an idea of what could happen if I moved a certain piece.  But not the chess foresight genius.  No.  And I didn’t have to win.  The game could have drawn, I think. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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My Week

This Saturday is dragging on, much like my third stick of celery. 
 
I got up early this morning and went to sidewalk counsel at the abortion clinic.  I haven’t been around for a save in a long time.  Some fellow-counselors were saying how important it is to have a female voice speaking to the mothers – and I was the only of the 3 females talking at all.  Once I was the only person talking.  When the next mother came in and some of the men around came over to help, I was relieved.  And just a bit later another woman came, a dear woman who has been sidewalk counseling for years.  She encourages me and shares the load of pleading for the lives of the babies. 
 
Earlier this week I got to talk to a woman going in.  I told her that Planned Parenthood murders innocent little babies, and she asked “Before or after they’re born?”  So I got a chance, walking down the sidewalk with her, to explain that there is no difference, that we have all of our unique DNA at the moment of conception, and that the only thing added is food and shelter from poison or violence.  The woman went inside anyway, but I know she heard me. 
 
Last night at a Bible study some of us were talking about how it is hard to share the gospel with people who don’t want to hear.  God tells us to preach the gospel to every creature.  And Jude says to have compassion on some and to save some as though pulling them from fire.  Whatever that means.  Jude is confusing.  Whatever it means, our responsibility is not to make people respond, but to be sure that they heard.  “How shall they hear without a preacher?”
 
After the abortion clinic I came home and drank some chai tea with a new latte mix I just got.  It came from Costco, and I hadn’t tried it yet.  So when it tasted good, I knew the $10 was worth it.  I’ll have take-along chai tea powder for months to come. 
 
Then I cooked some leftover turkey, eaten with a homemade roll and real butter.  Special occasions!  My sister and Mom and I went to the mall, and the only thing we bought there was food.  We wandered through the Christmas stores especially.  And I took the highway home, so I got to drive fast: 65 miles per hour!  Sometimes I think I go to the mall just to enjoy the drive. 
 
Back home I did some mending, braided my wet hair (should last for a couple days!).  Casablanca was on, so we watched some of that.  And we already had supper, more turkey with grilled cheese sandwiches this time.  I decided that celery without peanut butter tastes just fine, but Mom objected saying that it has no nutritional value by itself, and I thought that was crazy.  I’m not putting myself through celery torture if it isn’t good for me.  But I googled the matter, and discovered celery actually has some vitamin c, some fiber, and is antioxidental.  But I’m stalled, half a stick left of my serving. 
 
No one is emailing me, which is ok since I’m not emailing anyone else, either.  But I wish other people would email me.  Or blog or something.  The other day I read Peter Pan, and JM Barrie compares Captain Hook to the pirate Barbecue, and I’m trying to find out whether that was a real pirate.  They surely didn’t have barbecue food back then, did they?  I mean, ketchup is even a recent invention.  But Barbecue, upon further research, is the cooking method (and it is rather vague).  The pirate is Long John Silver, whom Stevenson nicknamed Barbecue in his novel.  Who knew? 
 
The weather was quite a bit cooler today than I had anticipated.  So I tested my “natural” air-activated hand warmer, and it worked pretty well.  Still warm 7 hours later, maybe longer. 
 
This week I bought a new battery for my laptop, which has been power cord dependent for over a year.  And now my cell phone battery is dying again. 
 
At the mall I saw a picture frame made of wire, and I want to try making a few.  If they turn out, I’ll post pictures.  Copying an idea I saw on a blog, after our Thanksgiving walk I put a few of our autumnal finds in recycled glass bottles as decoration: just dry leaves and twigs.  It looks rustic and different.  *Shrug*
 
Babies are the best.  I love holding them.  Last week I held one all afternoon.  And this week I found out one will be moving about 5 minutes from me. 
 
My church search is slow.  I don’t know what to do next.  But God is faithful to provide me with encouragement and with challenges from the Bible both from my reading and from what others share.  But I’m looking for where God would have me do ministry.  I like to coach, but not sports.  I like to disciple/coach.  And I believe I have the gift of teaching.  And faith.  So using those would be good.  Working on improving my boldness in sharing the gospel. 
 
I am very very grateful for friends.  There are a lot, of varying closeness, who have encouraged me and taught me and challenged me and given me opportunities for love and patience and teamwork. 
 
The TV show Monk is almost to end, and I think Monk is going to find out what happened to his late wife 12 years ago.  Football is going relatively well.  I am going to watch the 2008 BBC Sense and Sensibility with my brother soon.  All 9 copies are checked out of our very good library system.  So we have to wait.  Meanwhile he is reading 1984, the Federalist Papers, and apparently rereading the Man Who Was Thursday.  I am nearing the end of Your God is Too Safe, and craving other books filling my shelves.  I love books.  Someday when I get ambitious and update my media list, I will upload the file to WordPress and post it so you guys can see what books interest me.  The books I own are for reading, referencing, rereading, and sharing. 
 
This week I will try to do a photo shoot for some of my Mi-Re-Do.com items, especially the hooded bunny bath towels.  A friend is going to loan me her beautiful old-fashioned style bathroom.  I’m excited. 
 
Talk to you later. 
 
Which reminds me: at the mall, employees want your attention.  “Are you finding everything today?”  “Shopping for someone special?”  “Can I help you?”  And I say, like a robot, “We’re fine, thank you.”  Fortunately, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, they are content to leave us alone and move on to customers with greater potential. 
 
I say “Talk to you later,” and “Nice seeing you again,” a lot.  So you can feel just like everyone of the semi-acquaintances I run across during my week.  Talk to you later.
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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I am not so good at evangelism.  In my imagination I have the boldness and the things to say.  But people never act their part prescribed by my imagination.  And “people” includes me.  So when at work yesterday I set down my book and almost heard God putting words into my head to open my mouth and say to the girl sitting there, I was quite surprised. 
 
Talking to strangers is never so difficult after I’ve opened my mouth at first.  She was wearing a head-covering, the kind girls wear in the Middle East.  And I suppose that is where her family is from.  She probably grew up in the United States.  Right now she is in community college, having earned her diploma in a public high school.  It is possible she knows the mainstream American culture better than I do.  But she has a little bit of that cultural slant that comes from being Muslim.  Whether she approves or disapproves, she is accustomed to their mindset. 
 
I told her that I had been reading about the story of Cain and Abel, and did she know it?  Muslims share some stories with Christians, so I was curious what she may have heard about it.  Actually she encountered the story in public school, when they read East of Eden and studied its influences.  She said that her class decided Cain was a pragmatist, and even though he may have been marked, was more likely to survive in the world, to do what worked for him.  The world, they agreed, was more like Cain.  He would expect what he found there, and know how to thrive.  Abel, he is the kind of guy who tells everyone what they should do, and God likes a man who wants to do what is right.  But people don’t like prophets, so he would probably be shot. 
 
And while most of my new friend’s high school class though that was sad, she said it made her laugh.  I think she was appreciating the irony. 
 
But I asked her why God would let the world be that way, where those people who please Him are more likely to get shot.  “I don’t know; I guess god knows what he’s thinking,” she said. 
 
That was the end of our conversation.  I don’t know what God was thinking having me bring up Cain and Abel with her, but I trust Him.  No objections. 
 
This morning I went searching for a quote by the Catholic, GK Chesterton.  And on one of the sites the sidebar advertisement was for a Muslim matrimonial website.  With the veil surrounding the face it is hard to tell, but the smiling woman on their ad looked a lot like my friend.  What do you make of that? 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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