Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lord is so good to me! The other day, as I was finishing Mansfield Park, Jesus told me to read some literary criticism of Jane Austen. I wanted to cry, "Really? You think so too?" =)
Well, duh, He's the one who crafted us around a dream of His heart. He's the one who knows the exact avenue to tap to infuse our hearts with a holy passion for His dreams. But when He opens up those doors into wider spaces of dreaming, I'm still taken aback! He is just so good!
He said I didn't need to read anything terribly heavy--just some materials to supplement my own readings, studies, and musings about Jane Austen. He said simply that if this is what I want to study, I need to accumulate as much foundational knowledge as possible. I'm sooo excited to dive into it. Last year, I wrote a paper on musical and non-musical characters in Jane Austen. I picked up a book called The Innocent Diversion: A Study of Music in Jane Austen's Life and Writing. It was so fun, but I intentionally skipped over the portions that related to novels I had not yet read. So, I'm going back and reading that.
Another topic that I find so intriguing is the role of the clergy in Jane Austen's novels. She was the daughter of a clergyman, yet her representations of clergy in her novels range from Mr. Collins to Mr. Henry Tilney and Dr. Grant to Mr. Edward Ferrars. Anyways... there are a lot of positive and negative representations, I'm excited to look at them. So I got a book from the library called Jane Austen and the Clergy. That one is going to be especially good =)
I also am getting a book that compiles her personal letters. From the quotes I've seen in my little Jane Austen journal, they should be very fun. I love her letters to her sister Cassandra.
And as if those aren't enough, one of my bestest friends got me a great birthday present. It's Jane's satirical History of England which she penned at only 16 years old. Oh goodie!

If you couldn't tell... I'm a little excited about this!
You can look forward to quotes, anecdotes, and morsels of things about "Jane."
This is going to be grand... I'm so glad He knows what's best for us =)

Ok. The library just informed me that my books are ready, so, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read =)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm working on a response paper for my physics class and really needed a mental break from it, so here I am. I need 700 words for this open ended response to nuclear physics, and I have 504. I'm afraid the next 200 words may be quite a bit of "bs" but that's what they get for not even giving a prompt. Juuuust kidding. No, I try not to do that, even though English majors are notorious for being able to create bs. But I really don't know what to say about it. Nuclear energy is a good thing if we can use it safely... how many times can i say that to equal 700 words. hmmmm

Well, in happier news...

I am pleased to announce that yesterday I finished my quest to read all 6 of Jane Austen's superb novels. My final one, Mansfield Park, was a beautiful read. The Lord showed me quite a bit through that book actually... and best of all, yesterday, during all my excitement about having finished the books, I could hear the Lord say, "I'm so proud of you." I've been thinking about Chariots of Fire, and for the most part, i'm beginning to think that, "When I read, I feel God's pleasure..." and that is a glorious feeling.
This is the first quarter--the first time ever, really--that i've been in school but not in a literature class. But instead of getting sorry for myself, I decided that since that means my reading load is relatively light, I would take the quarter to read a few of the books I hear Him telling me to read. And as I've read, I can hear the power behind some of the words He is highlighting. I can hear His voice calling me deeper into understand His nature so that I can understand language. He cares about language and the more I learn about literature or communication--I see that so clearly. It's exhilarating. This is divine purpose. This is my destiny. And it is for now.

The only other thing I can think to share is that, thank goodness, today is my last day as a teenager.
This last decade (well, all of my life), but especially the last decade holds some very, very dark places for me. There are points that I don't even care to remember... times that He has cast into the sea of forgetfulness and that's where they can stay.
But tomorrow begins something entirely new! I fully expect the 20's to be the very best years of my life (just as I expect the 30's, 40's, etc... to be as well :) But I am so excited! I know Father has good plans! I know He has more good things for me this decade than I know what to do with. I have no idea where I may be 10 years from now, but just look at the possibilities:
- Marriage
- Kids
- BA
- MA
- (Ph.D. =)
- Teaching
- London
- Laughing
- Nieces and Nephews =)
- Sisters in law ???
- New friends
- Amazing times with Old Friends
- Weddings
- Travel
- Working
- Sunsets
- Walks
- Surprises
- And Physics Response Papers =|

Haha... speaking of, I should probably finish mine... But I hope you can take a minute to reflect on all the glorious things 10 more years of precious life may afford you =)

Bon soir!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Passages from Isaiah 42-43 in the Message:

"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way,
who can't see where they're going.
I'll be a personal guide to them,
directing them through unknown country.
I'll be right there to show them what roads to take,
make sure they don't fall into the ditch.
These are the things I'll be doing for them--
sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute...
Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name.
You're mine!
When you're in over your head,
I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you won't go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end--
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That's how much you mean to me!
That's How much I love you!
I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
So don't be afraid: I'm with you..."

Words that go straight to the heart of a pioneer daughter. It doesn't matter where I get lost--He is my guide. It's not the end of the world when I am overwhelmed--He is with me. It doesn't even matter when I mess up--He is my acceptance. He says, "You're mine... even when no one else would pick you. Even when you wouldn't even pick you--You are mine!!! I'm calling your name. Take my hand. I can lead you through the desert and I will never abandon you! Don't be afraid: I'm with you..."

And I am overwhelmed--but I'm beginning to be more overwhelmed by Him and His goodness and His abundant love than by my worries, fears, and responsibilities. I have felt this week that I was "between a rock and a hard place." But His goodness is leading me through. No dead ends. He showed me the depths of His love. He asked me to dance with Him in the desert. And so we danced...

I am finally convinced that no man's love could ever be enough. No man's attentions could satisfy. Nobody could ever bring the conviction I need or the comfort I so desperately crave. He is so much more valuable than a husband could ever be.
I never thought I'd get to this place! I heard other people who could say that, but I wondered if it could possibly be true. I've wanted to be married so long and so bad--and now, I am wholly content with Him. All I need is His presence. All I want is to see His face! One day with him is better than a thousand could be with my future husband. Everyone, everything else pales in the brilliance of His eyes and the glory of His face! I wish I could convey this weighty revelation with justice. But language fails...

This morning I read, Psalm 131 (Message), and this is what it said:
"Wait for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!"
I am in raptures over this verse! Not only is it so unbelievably incredible... It brings to mind one of my most favorite quotes of any book of all time: the final lines of The Count of Monte Cristo -- "all human wisdom is contained in these words: Wait and hope!"
The Lord so speaks to me through literature (i love it!) and I could so clearly hear Him speaking to me in this verse. All I need is to wait and hope and dance with Him in the desert...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"He knew not that he had a pre-engaged heart to attack." - Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

To provide some context, this line is about a man who is proposing to a woman who is already in love with another character, not that they were actually engaged--just that she could not be deterred. He is doing his utmost to persuade her but, unfortunately for him, her affections were sealed.
This line makes me fall in love with Jane Austen all over again. I am so in love with her prose that I have begun calling her simply "Jane."
"I'm going to spend some time with Jane..."
"Oh Jane is brilliant!"
Sacrilegious, I know! But, I adore her so much and this little line reminds me why!

But after re-reading this line half a dozen times today, I thought, "I want that to be said about my heart!"
When someone calls, I'm not planning on playing hard-to-get, but I do want to have a "pre-engaged heart."
Pastor Norm once said that you can't start courting until you're engaged.
I'm reminded of the beautiful yet nearly cliche line:
A girl's heart should be so lost in God that a man has to pursue Him to find her.
Amen amen!

I am so deeply in love with Him, but I want more. I want to get lost in the depths of His heart!
I want it to be said of my man, "He knew not that he had a pre-engaged heart to attack." :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I don't know how much longer i can go without seeing "The Notebook." :(

I don't think it would be good for my heart right now... but i caved and watched just a clip--bad idea.
Ugh! I love romance but it can be so detrimental! haha

Beauty in the desert...

I saw myself kneeling in a lush green place, like a wood or a jungle. He was kneeling beside me. Before me was a wall of flame, and, on the other side, was a desert.
“Must I go through there?”
“Yes, you must.”
I stared at the desert and then stared in His eyes. Those beautiful eyes totally melted me.
“This is for my kids, isn’t it?”
His silence served as more than an affirmation. His eyes said, "Yes, for them and so many more."
“Will you be with me?”
“No matter if you feel me or not, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“But will I see you?”
“You will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with all of your heart.”
I held His hand and squeezed it. “I really enjoy these sweet times with you.”
Without really knowing why, I started crying. His left hand caressed my face, “Your tears in the desert water the field of buried dreams. Samara, you have no idea what the beauty of the desert is.”
I took a deep breath… I looked back into his eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Samara.”
Pressing through my tears, I whispered, “And I trust you…”

"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her...
I will betroth you to me forever.." - Hosea 2:14, 19

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I just have to say...

... the best part of doing powerpoint is that you get to worship longer than everyone else. :)
this morning's was especially good.

Dear little Rossy,
I love you so incredibly much and can hardly wait to meet you!!!
I hope these next couple weeks go by fast!
I want to get to know you so badly--to finally see what you look like
and to hold you and to look into your wide eyes!
Ahh! Would you just come already? I'm dying to know you!
I'll love you forever and like you for always,
Auntie Samara

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

i <3 the freedom of childlike wonder... These are just quotes from Mr. Magorium's :)

"I know it's only natural to be sad, but not because of the words "He dies." but because of the life we saw prior to the words."

"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it."

"All stories, even the ones we love, must eventually come to an end and when they do, it's only an opportunity for another story to begin."

"We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery."

"Are you dying?"
"Light bulbs die, my sweet. I will depart."

"Now we wait..."
"No. We Breathe. We Pulse. We Regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. Thirty-seven seconds, well used, is a lifetime."

Monday, April 12, 2010

News in daily life

I turned in my application to the English Major today :)

Today was the first time this year that I saw Drumheller Fountain going

I just discovered the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility! Although I've only seen a few clips, I'm already in love with it!

I'm nearly done with my 1st response paper of the quarter. It's for my "Science and Society" class.

I scheduled a meeting with an adviser to talk about going above and beyond the 180 credits for graduating. (Melissa, if you read this, you can go ahead and say it: yes, I am an over-achiever :)

I am so excited for the women's conference later this week and Heidi Baker tomorrow!

I get to watch a fave movie tonight: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium... you can expect comments on that forth-coming! ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My 100th Post!!!

So I've been planning my 100th post for a good long while. Then, after a friend did something fun, I decided to compile a list. Here are 100 pieces of literature that have inspired and enthralled me, in no particular order. I hope you enjoy :)
  1. The Bible - Papa
  2. The Curate’s Awakening and
  3. At the Back of the North Wind – George MacDonald
  4. Northanger Abbey and
  5. Pride and Prejudice and
  6. Sense and Sensibility and
  7. Persuasion and
  8. Mansfield Park and
  9. Emma by Jane Austen
  10. Bright Star and
  11. La Belle dan sans Merci and
  12. Ode to a Nightingale and John Keats
  13. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  14. A Voice in the Wind and
  15. An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers
  16. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  17. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  18. Les Miserables (abridged) and
  19. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  20. The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  21. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. Silas Marner – George Eliot
  23. Merchant of Venice and
  24. Much Ado About Nothing and
  25. Hamlet and
  26. Taming of the Shrew and
  27. Macbeth and
  28. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  29. Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
  30. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle
  31. The Hobbit and
  32. The Fellowship of the Ring and
  33. The Two Towers and
  34. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkein
  35. Blessed Child and
  36. Blessed Man and
  37. Blink and
  38. Black and
  39. Red and
  40. White by Ted Dekker
  41. Screwtape Letters and
  42. Till We Have Faces and
  43. The Magician’s Nephew and
  44. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and
  45. The Horse and the Boy and
  46. Prince Caspian and
  47. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and
  48. The Silver Chair and
  49. The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
  50. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  51. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
  52. The Shack – William Young
  53. Scottish Chiefs – Jane Porter
  54. When Character was King – Peggy Noonan
  55. The Princess Bride – William Goldman
  56. A Psalm of Life – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  57. Strange Fits of Passion – William Wordsworth
  58. The Princess and the Kiss – Jennie Bishop
  59. The Iliad – Homer
  60. The Odyssey - Homer
  61. Phaedra – Seneca
  62. Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
  63. Hippolytus – Euripides
  64. Prometheus Bound and
  65. Agamemnon and
  66. The Libation Bearers and
  67. The Eumenides by Aeschylus
  68. Aenied – Virgil
  69. The Histories – Livy
  70. Veritas Conflict – Shaunti Feldhahn
  71. The Door in the Dragon’s Throat and
  72. The Tombs of Anak and
  73. This Present Darkness and
  74. Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti
  75. The Bridge – Jeri Massi
  76. You are Special – Max Lucado
  77. Beowulf
  78. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  79. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
  80. The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
  81. Carry On – R. W. Service
  82. Little House in the Big Woods and
  83. These Happy Golden Years – Laura Ingles Wilder
  84. A Cricket in Times Square – George Selden
  85. Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
  86. Our Town – Oscar Wilde
  87. Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
  88. Old Man and the Sea – Earnest Hemingway
  89. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  90. Fairie Queene – Edmond Spencer
  91. The Knight’s Tale – Geoffrey Chaucer
  92. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Road Dahl
  93. The Spectre Bridegroom and
  94. Rip Van Winkle by Geoffrey Crayon
  95. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  96. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  97. Last of the Mohicans – James Fennimore Cooper
  98. Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  99. Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  100. The Ugly Duckling – Hans Christian Anderson

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wisdom from Dr. Tong:

Gratitude is what we give for what God has already done.
Praise is what we give to God for what He is going to do.

...chew on that for a while

ps... 100th post is soon to be on the way :)