It’s been one of those weeks that has been both filled and empty. Both speedy and long.
And now it’s over. (This week, I mean.)
You can have two funnies this week. Buy one get one free.
The Lego Batman movie. It was indeed rather hilarious – even to a non-cartoon fan such as myself.
And the second funny —
In our small group this week there was a neat activity where everyone had a piece of paper with their name on it. The paper was passed around and everyone had a chance to write encouraging words or a sweet sentiment for that person on their paper.
(I love these types of things. I did one once with some girls I taught in high school and I still have my note – probably from fifteen years ago. It’s just so helpful to be reminded in low times how other people see you and to read their words of encouragement over you.)
I was reading over the notes the kids received and couldn’t help but laugh when I read what Bergen wrote to his sister Mosely on her paper.
(Backstory – Mosely has a notoriously difficult time with fire ants. Our lawn is riddled with them and the fire ants especially adore and locate Mosely’s feet. They always have. It’s a situation.)
Mosely, in your honor – I curse the fire ants.
For real, this week — I have no fashion. And no thoughts about fashion. I’m calling a pass.
You tell ME what is fashionable this week.
Sometimes we like to go all out and make all of our meal from scratch. (And sometimes we go to Five Guys and buy burgers there.)
Actually, I pretty much NEVER make burgers at home. I don’t own a grill. I’m not a great burger cook and it takes a lot of ground beef to make burgers for the whole family so usually I choose more economical meat dishes where one pound of beef goes farther.
But not this week. This week we had a classic burger and fries dinner. Except we made our own hamburger buns. And London used her deep fryer to make homemade french fries. (I love homemade french fries. I love potatoes. Dipped in hot oil. Generously coated in salt. I like them when they get too crispy. I like when they don’t get quite done.)
It was a simple meal in theory, I guess. But it was pretty to us and an exceptionally large hit with my table mates.
I used this hamburger bun recipe. (And I did what one of the commenters did – lowered both the oil and the sugar to 3 T only.)
This week’s faithful notes and evidences of God’s grace and kindness: An entire group of friends who, without pause, offer to watch the kids while I attend a work dinner for this new Travelers Rest Here gig. A dad who calls from the road and talks and wants to know his grandchildren and to be part of the story of their lives. Kids who ask “How’d the meeting go, Mom?”. Opportunities to network and talk and connect for progress on the website. The generous guidance of skilled people who answer the myriad of ridiculous questions I ask about techie stuff that my mind cannot handle. Trusted church leaders who are kind enough to listen, brave enough to correct, empathetic enough to weep alongside me, wise enough to say “I don’t know.”, strong enough to guide me to ask better questions. Hot tea. Freshly groomed dogs. Genuine and deep conversations with children.
And the words to songs like this:
I take all the gifts that You have given and I stake my claim like they’re my own,
Will You help me when I forget to remember, the good I’ve got is yours alone.
Oh ’cause I don’t wanna tell some arrogant story
Or let myself believe I’m you!
I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing Your glory …
Will You help remind me of what is true?
The ONLY hope I’ve got, it’s You,You.
Or do I think I have anything to offer, when You have overcome the world?
Couldn’t take Your place, ’cause You’re the Author of the greatest love this world has known.
Well it’s only by Your grace…
That I heard You whisper my name.
I don’t have the power to save – to change a heart,
Could You come and change my heart.
— Ellie Holcomb
I like to reread books occasionally. After seeing Wendell Berry, I reread Hannah Coulter.
For the third time.
I figured, since it was the third time I’d read it, and being so familiar with the story line, that surely the tears would fall less rapidly. Maybe even not at all. I mean, it’s a tender story, but one that I know. That I’ve already cried over.
In classic me style, it was like 2 a.m. and there was a child snoozing in my bed and my sobs were so difficult to contain that I felt certain I’d wake the sleeping boy next to me.
I did not.
But I still struggled to breathe accurately and like a normal human as I read the words that are just so beautifully poignant, so full of truth and sweeping history and grief and gratitude. A love that reads more real and enduring than the love story I watch weekly on “This Is Us”. (Even though I adore Jack and Rebecca. Well. I don’t adore Rebecca. She makes me angry. But you know.)
Hannah Coulter has officially risen to the top on my list of Top Five Favorite Books. It has replaced Fair and Tender Ladies and Jane Eyre and To Kill A Mockingbird. I forget what book has earned fifth place – Man’s Search for Meaning or The Silver Chair or Turn My Mourning into Dancing.
For many reasons and for the grand and sweeping way that the novel covers a lifetime and yet takes place in one small town, really on one small farm, mostly in one character’s mind.
You think you will never forget any of this, you will remember it always just the way it was. But you can’t remember it the way it was. To know it, you have to be living in the presence of it right as it is happening. It can return only by surprise. Speaking of these things tells you that there are no words for them that are equal to them or that can restore them to your mind. And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment, in this presence. But you have a life too that you remember. It stays with you. You have lived a life in the breath and pulse and living light of the present, and your memories of it, remember now, are of a different life in a different world and time. When you remember the past, you are not remembering it as it was. You are remembering it as it is. It is a vision or a dream, present with you in the present, alive with you in the only time you are alive.
—- Wendell Berry