Sunday, December 23, 2012

Life Abundant (the wonders of people, enthusiasm, and long talks about heaven)

This photo has really no relevance to this post except that it's nearly Christmas. And I love snow.

“...the sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him..." -C. S. Lewis

Trying to sum up exactly what I'm wanting to convey in this post may be rather difficult.  I'm afraid it's one of those subjects that is hard to bring up and harder to do justice.

I'm talking about Thankfulness For Being Alive and the Many Wonders of People and Relationships and Long Talks about Heaven and Literature and Unashamed Excitement about Many Things.

I've got some pretty crazy awesome people in my life.  It's easy in the middle of the messy, uncomfortable, dirty parts of my life to forget how I've been blessed, in small ways and in large.

For some small ones, take snow. It tried to snow a couple times this past week and though it didn't stick around, I wondered (again) at the beauty of it, arriving in waves from the sky and giving the air that crisp, vibrant wintery smell.

Another small thing: Meals with friends. I got to eat a meal with my Bible study group this week, and then another meal with a friend's family the next day.   There is something very simple and beautiful about eating together.  Especially when you pay attention to all the little details, the way people laugh, the jokes they laugh at, the little looks they give each other as sarcastic (but loving) comments make their way around the table along with the casserole and the cookies.

On to some of the larger things.  I had Bible study small group with two girls on Thursday night.  We ended up talking about emotions and fears and Psalm 25 and then we got to pray together.  I got a fresh appreciation for the way they loved Jesus and, by consequence, loved me.

Then on Friday night I went to a "nerd Christmas party" with my literature group.  We talked about everything from science fiction to music, but the part of the conversation that engaged me the most was when we talked about Heaven.  

C.S. Lewis talked about Sehnsuct in a few of his writings; the uncanny longing in every human soul for joy, true joy, and for something just beyond our grasp and not found on earth.  

"That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World's End, the opening lines of "Kubla Khan", the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves."

The conversation on Friday night gave me a fresh dose of Sehnsuct.   We have this promise that God has gone to prepare a "place for us."

Don't all humans want a place for us?  We seek it out in so many ways, but I would venture to say that many of our endeavors come back to this longing for a place.   What amazed me was contemplating afresh this.   We have this hope beyond worlds, this hope and faith that there will be a Place for Us, and that Christ himself, the chief Person we were created to glorify and love has designed it.

He painted our name on the door with His blood.

Doesn't that just drive you speechless?  It doesn't often enough to me, but it should, and when I feel Sehnsuct most deeply and realize that it's fulfillment is in Jesus, then the silence and the peace fill the rivers of my soul again.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” -Lewis, again (and I shall never stop quoting him, never)

Being with people that share this longing for a Place and a Person is one of the best things for my soul.  

These people are excited about Life and about Miracles.  They are unironically enthusiastic about stories and music and Truth in Literature.  They appreciate mysteries and mountains and the place above the tree line where the silence is deep.    They talk about Heaven and their eyes light up.

You can see in their smile that they are not talking about a place they are mildly interested in.  

No, in these people, I see the fire blazing because their souls are alive, and they are seeking after the Person and the Place they were made for.

I am ridiculously blessed by God in the gift of knowing them.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I will say that this has absolutely no relevance to the rest of this post.
So, I was tagged a few weeks (months?) ago by Micah at

Eleven Facts 
1. I am Canadian, which probably most of my followers already know.
2. I am an INTJ (Introverted Intuitive Thinker Judger) in the Meyer's Briggs personality type system.
3. My favourite TV show is Doctor Who for many, many reasons; one of the largest being that the Doctor gives me a fresh excitement for life, for adventure, and for living with meaning.
4. I love dystopian fiction and its ability to communicate Truth.
5. I began writing because I loved Narnia and wanted to write stories about it (2006-2008).  That grew into the writing of my own original fiction a couple of years later (2008-onwards)
6. My favourite book series is The Chronicles of Narnia, though Harry Potter is putting up a fight.
7. My favourite movie series is The Lord of the Rings.
8. I love the rain.  Where I live we get a lot of rain.
9. The first book that made me flat out cry was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
10. I own 8+ nerd shirts, including 4 Doctor Who themed shirts. 
11. I play unashamedly with my sonic screwdriver and my fez and I enjoy fish fingers and custard.

My answers to Micah's questions:

1. If you met a Boggart/found your room at the God Complex/were marched towards room 101 in the Ministry of Love, what would await you? If it's a too personal of a question, just tell us your favourite ice cream flavour. Unless, of course, your worst fear is ice cream. Then you can just leave this blank.
hardy har har.  I'll go with room in the God Complex-oh, but that is a hard question.
My Boggart would probably be a lot like Augustus Water's worst fear.  Oblivion.
I like chocolate chip mint ice cream.  

2. How did Sherlock survive?

Mind control.
I have no hypothesis this late at night.  I've heard the squishy ball theory, the TARDIS theory, and a bunch of others. 

3. Which do you prefer - nice eyes or a nice smile?

Nice eyes.  Eyes say so much.

4. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Sorry, was this supposed to be an educational question?  Cause it's past my bedtime.

5. What is the best smelling book you ever did sniff?

I'll say the box of old books that my Dad brought home one day.  They were all about 90-100 years old and smelled- oh, they smelled beautiful and ancient.

6. Are you the crying type? (The Fall, Doomsday, Toy Story 3?)
Nope.  Sometimes I wish I was, but I'm an INTJ and we don't tend to be emotional.  I can work myself up to being emotional, but crying is usually off-limits unless I'm dealing with something really personal.  Or I'm really tired.
(Or I'm reading Harry Potter or The Fault in Our Stars, to date the only two books that have made me properly cry.)

7. Which fictional villain makes you the most frightened or angry?

Loki makes me frightened, but mostly because I love him as a character and want him to be redeemed.  That's not really a fear of him so much as it is a fear for him.  Bellatrix Lestrange is pretty terrifying.  And Oblivion. Because Oblivion is really a 'villain' of The Fault in our Stars.

8. What would your dream room look like? ...Your dream house?

I'll just describe the insides because I'm not good at visualizing structures.  The inside would be crisp, cream or white walls with black or red lettered quotes scattered throughout.  There would be many bookshelves, some hidden in warm, rounded corners with large comfortable chairs.  There would be words everywhere, in the bedrooms, in the living room, tucked into the corners of the kitchen and the front entrance.   It would be like a large hobbit hole with hundreds of books, well lit rooms, and speakers to blare (or trickle) music everywhere.  Imagine "Don't Panic" blasting through an entire house and a cup of tea and jammy dodgers sitting on the kitchen counter.  Then imagine me with a Narnia book in my hand and a stack of books under my arm, guitars on the wall and the smell of cinnamon.

9. If you could only see everything in one font, from now on, what font would you pick?

Something like helvetica or times new roman.

10. Mac or PC?


11. You're a contestant in the Hunger Games. Detail this for us. What's your strategy? Training score? Do you win, or ... not? If you feel like it, give us even more. Outfits? Favourite thing about the Capital? District? What's the arena like this year?

Gosh, Micah, do you want me to write a book?
My strategy is to hide and trick other contestants and try to stay alive for as long as possible and defer a messy death.  I'm definitely more of the 'flight' rather than 'fight'.   I climb trees, gather food, stay away from the other contestants at all costs.   
I definitely don't win.  First of all, I don't know that I would kill.  Under those circumstances my resolve might be weakened, but I don't honestly think I can say that killing under those circumstances is any more justified than any other circumstances.  I'd prefer to die rather than have to be a part of death.  Even though there can only be one winner, even though my not-killing would not stop others from killing.   I hope that I would be able to hold that resolve. So I probably don't last long.  Also, there's the fact that I'm small and physically not very strong or agile or talented in anything that doesn't involve words and a computer.