Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today in the Little Apple

Ah, dear reader, at this very moment the dishes are finished, the floors are swept, some kids are watching a movie and others are doing puzzles with my mother-in-law (who is visiting with my step-FIL for a few days). Our new cat, Walter, is hiding from Kaz (our old cat is asserting his authority at present), and the baby bunnies that were born in our courtyard are now scattering throughout the yard as they search for water and food. It's a blistering hot day, and this morning I was able to weed for about an hour before I had to call it quits on account of the heat.

I'm in love with our house. I love how much room we have to spread out, all the wood flooring, our backyard, our front courtyard, and the beautiful windows in our living room.

I love our city! It is fun, quirky, and not too big. We have:
a library,
3 public swimming pools,
a top-notch university,
our own TV and radio stations,
wilderness parks,
a reservoir,
a zoo,
a hiking trail through the city,
an old town style downtown with dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafes,
many antique stores,
the best piano store around,
dozens of playgrounds,
a shopping mall,
the best used bookstore,
several museums,
an incredible variety of restaurants,
a huge statue of a Kansan tall-tale hero.

And we only have 56,000 people (or so) --it's the perfect city size, in my opinion.

I also feel like I have the best of the East and the West, here. I have big, open skies! Fields and meadows, rivers and farms as far as the eye can see... But there is also so much green! Trees, hills, fireflies, humidity, rain, rain, rain... The Flint Hills are just so beautiful! I love where we live.

I have a list of books to read that is a mile long and it makes me happy.

Last thoughts: As I was weeding this morning, I was pulling out some very stubborn thistles, and then I remembered (and pondered) this scripture (read verses 17-19): 

And I had the thought: What if the thorns and thistles weren't just in reference to the physical labor we would need to perform, but the spiritual and emotional labor we would face? I've heard the metaphor of sin being like weeds... but I'm not talking about that --our emotional and spiritual trials (temptations, struggles, doubt, frustrations, grief, pain, sorrow, depression, guilt, shame, etc.) are part of the plan, are they not? We are in a fallen world and we will be attacked from every side, simply because we are mortal. We will not suffer just because of sin. We will suffer because it will teach us, as nothing else can teach us, what we need to know. We suffer greatly at times, too! This suffering brings us to the feet of God and to the very One who can relieve our suffering. Through the very sweat of our faces, the struggle we go through, the pain we face, we will eat our bread! We will, if we desire, partake of the very Bread of Life. It's all connected, isn't it, dear reader? Sacrament, sacrifice, suffer, sanctified... 

Those were my thoughts as I was sweating, pulling, prodding, and sometimes hurting (blistering hands and obnoxious thorns!) while attempting to weed a flower bed. 

Have a wonderful day, dear reader! Don't let the thistles and thorns get you down. 

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