whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

Grandma’s Bible August 19, 2010

Last night my mom gave me a gem of a keepsake: my grandmother’s Bible.

You can just barely read her name down there in the righthand corner: Ruth Kees.

Immediately I noticed my grandmother and I had something in common when it comes to our Bibles–we like to write in them. Pages were falling out in several places from wear, with theological notes like “Christophany here” and personal notes like “always trust.” The first several pages have what seem to be signatures from people with verse references; we think maybe these were friends or professors from Bible school.

"The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you."

On these pages, in addition to the signatures, she wrote several meaningful statements and a poem.

She wrote, “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you,” and “Adversity tests the value of a friend.”

I can’t find the original writer of the poem she has here, but it reads:

Were all the earth a parchment made
And every man a scribe by trade,
Could we with ink the ocean fill
Were every blade of grass a quill,
To write the love of God
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

"The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed"

These must have been from her days in Bible college. (Grandma had an invitation to be an opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York but decided to go to Moody Bible College instead; this is where she met Grandpa.) One inscription on this page gives the date of Grandma’s commitment to follow Jesus: July 1932. She would have been 10.

"To get the far away vision is the only cure for the creeping blindness."

On this page Grandma wrote,

A task without a vision makes a drudge.
A vision without a task makes a visionary.
A task and a vision makes a missionary.

This must have been around the time she realized she was going to be a missionary. She and Grandpa served in Costa Rica shortly after they were enrolled at Moody. A statement similar to this is found in a few different layman’s missionary guides and partially attributed to a “President Mullins” at the National Congress of Missions in Chicago in 1910.

I can’t find a source for the other statement, “To get the far away vision is the only cure for the creeping blindness.” Grandma was a poet, lyricist, and songwriter, so she may have written this herself. Will probably have to write a blog post on this soon.

Another inscription tells us how and when she got the Bible– her mother gave it to her on her 16th birthday in 1938.

I can’t wait to go through it more to see the notes she wrote in the margins and which verses she underlined. These may give me even more clues and glimpses into her spiritual life.

I have a very similar Bible that I can’t wait to have passed on to my kids and grandkids. I hope it will tell them a little about me and my walk with God.

 

I want my crayons back June 28, 2010

So lately I have had this indescribable desire to be creative. I am a creative person (all people are in some way or another) but there are certain things I am not so great at, like painting. But even in college I would get a coloring book and crayons now and then, especially around finals!

Recently with my Mosaic ladies we had a creativity workshop led by two lovely, beautiful, and insanely creative friends, Lisa and Trae. They pointed out how our Creator God empowered us with the ability to create. Trae read a quote out of a book that really hit me. Basically it said that whenever we get restless and bored with life, it may be our inner Kindergartener saying we want our crayons back. We want to be encouraged and empowered to create, like we were when we were kids. Why did we ever stop being taught to imagine?

It’s interesting. I used to love to write stories. Even from a very young age, Anne of Green Gables was a hero of mine for many reasons, but mainly because she wrote stories and was a teacher. When I was in elementary school, I would write these crazy tales about my hamster’s secret nightlife. After my family and I were in bed, she would go on adventures to the animal mall, and she had fabulous accessories she’d don before heading out. And of course the stories were illustrated.

I can’t tell you how many ‘books’ I wrote as a young teenager. Spiral notebooks were my constant companion. Admittedly, many of my tales were more like retellings of whatever Babysitters Club Super Special I’d read most recently, only cast with my friends and me and slight adjustments to the plot. But I still had a great time writing them. I never finished them, though.

Then came high school AP English. Four years of it. By the time I graduated my desire to write had all but disappeared. I would write poetry here and there, especially when I was depressed, but no more stories. No more hamster escapades. No more outrageous summer vacations for me and my friends. No more hours wiled away with daydreaming and imagining and pretending to be Anne Shirley. The creativity in that area had been sucked away. Wilted like a flower long neglected.

So. I’ve been rediscovering this passion for stories. I don’t know where it will take me. I guess I’ll let you know. I read so very little fiction (only about 3 or 4 writers). But more and more I have learned that fiction is almost truer than nonfiction, if that makes any sense. There are things you can say and do with a “fiction” story that communicate more truth than any “nonfiction” way of writing ever could.

I’m finding other creative outlets as well. It kills me that I don’t have enough time or energy to do musicals right now, but I will return to that stage. I’ve nurtured a growing interest in fashion design ever since Project Runway season 1 aired (and I’ve watched every episode since) and am hoping to learn how to thread my sewing machine soon. I’ve become my own (quite amateur) makeup artist over the years, and recently fell in love with the book Making Faces. I learned to decorate cakes when I was a manager at Cold Stone, and am getting to take a fondant class in a couple of weeks. I started scrapbooking at least a year ago (and true to form have not yet finished even one album).

I keep uncovering all these reminders of my fleeting attempts at different creative endeavors, and fight the temptation to get down on myself for not finishing or excelling at any of it. But my how fun it all has been.

I think I got a couple of my crayons back.

 

wheel January 27, 2009

Filed under: parenting,relationship with God,words — Ash @ 1:19 pm

And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. (James 3:6, NLT)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:6, ESV)

And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. (James 3:6, NASB)

Just an interesting observation on a couple of words in this verse. The words translated “the entire course of your life” are Greek words meaning “wheel” (trochos) and “source, origin; used of birth, nativity; of that which follows origin, existence, life” (genesis).

As I reflect on this verse, it makes me think back to my childhood. My “wheel of origin.” Words were often tossed around carelessly and sometimes were aimed to cut to the heart, and not just by my family; I myself did (and sometimes still do) the same thing. One thing my husband and I have talked through together extensively is the importance of our using words for healing and building our future children. He has been absolutely instrumental in showing me the healthy way to use words, the calmer way, the more grace-full way. It can be so very easy to default to the “wheel” of living that was set forth for us by our families and friends growing up. I want our kids to start out with a healthy wheel, not one that is set on fire from the very start. I pray our future home will be one with Christ at the center of the wheel, one with His love spreading to every other part. We will seek to break the cycle of careless, harmful, abusive, unhealthy words that has existed in my life’s “wheel.”

Because our children will be the “tender grass” upon which our rainwords will fall.

 

rainwords January 15, 2009

Filed under: memorization,relationship with God,words — Ash @ 12:05 pm

My second memory verse for January:

“May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.”
Deuteronomy 32:2 (ESV)

Reasons I chose this verse:

I’ve recently begun writing and teaching an “Intro to Bible 101” class at my house on Saturdays. I need my “teaching” to be refreshing to the precious people who have committed to journey along with me. There isn’t anything in the world I love more than helping another person have a WOW moment with the Word and its Author.

I also struggle a lot with anxiety over words I’ve spoken throughout the day and over-analyzing my interactions with people. I rarely ever say something that I need to apologize for (as far as I know– I really hope a person would approach me if I said something that hurt them), but continually fear I have. I am not from the south, and I fear that sometimes what I see as just speaking my mind may come across as rude here. And that is the farthest thing from what I want to be.

Neat things I see about this verse:

Our words are like water… I’m not a scientist, but I’ve heard that water is the most powerful substance on earth. Like, it can carve through rocks and stuff. It is essential for things to grow and to stay alive. I can see a lot of parallels with our words. They can slice through a person. They can drown. They can refresh. They can put out a fire. They can cultivate.

I’ve always wanted to be a poet-gardener.