It's a grey, blustery, dark Sunday afternoon -- the kind of day you resent on a Monday or Tuesday because it makes you want to curl up with cocoa and a book or a black-and-white movie and, instead, you must work. But for a Sunday, it's perfect. I put Ingrid Michaelson's Everybody on repeat to keep me company while I tackled the dishes left over from a happy day of long lost friend catching-up yesterday. Afterwards, I pulled out paper and pens and my vast pile of unanswered mail and started writing some letters. It was quite delicious, a happy luxury that reminded me of being seventeen and answering mail all the time, promptly and fatly -- because we all know fat letters are the best kind. And because I was in the letter-writing mood, and because my blog has been fairly wordless lately, I decided to write a letter to you all here, even though I probably owe paper letters to half of you as well. Never mind. One can never have too many letters, surely.
Today has been like a big round pause button freezing the frame in the middle of an otherwise hectic month. It is mostly the best kind of hecticness -- good tasks to complete, good roles to fill, good people to spend time with -- but I haven't been this tired and run down for a long time, proving that even the good busyness can take it out of a person. This morning I decidedly did not want to go to church. I wanted a sleep-in instead, and to completely shake the headache that's been dogging me since last night. But I went because I couldn't get that little verse out of my mind, the 'do not forsake gathering together' bit. Of course it was good and I was happy I went. One of the songs we sang this morning was Trevor Hodge's No Other Name. The chorus has been playing over and over in my head since:
So rich and so good.
My joy in sorrow’s tears
My strength to cast out fears
No other name but Jesus, Jesus
My hope in darkest night
My broken soul’s delight
No other name but Jesus, Jesus
I'm sure I've made reference here and at livejournal -- at least in passing -- to the near-churchlessness of 2011, and the associated agonies of hunting for a church home. Church hunting is a unique and awful pain, known deeply to those who have endured it, and never forgotten. I'll shelve my ramblings on that subject, though, and instead say how restful it is to have moved beyond that stage and actually be settling into a church, one that believes the gospel, preaches it, and knows how to love people. It's a very cool thing.
I'm still meeting for Bible study with a group of guys and girls who were also mostly wandering in a churchless wasteland last year (side note: what is this disconnect that twentysomethings are feeling in relation to church these days?). I really respect this little group of people and, though I'd consider us newer friends, we're friends nevertheless. This semester we're digging through John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life together and, though we're only two weeks in, already it's conviction city. And I mean that in a good way.
This week looks set to be a big one. There's another book review to finish for YLCF's March of Books, mountains of homework for uni (including an essay due three weeks earlier than I was at first informed, eep!), and then a bunch of very fun stuff: catch-ups with beloved and faraway friends and family, and the 12.01am opening night screening of The Hunger Games. To say I'm excited about seeing this film is a ridiculous understatement, since the books prompted such an emotional investment and are still my favourite take on YA dystopia. I truly hope the movie does them justice (I believe it will) and I'm also just a little bit giddy at the thought of seeing it before my northern hemispherean friends. Normally we get everything just a little bit later than you northerners. Not so this time!
I'll close here because this is bordering on too long by blogland standards. I'll leave you with three pictures from a morning beach photo-walk with Anastasia on Tuesday. Sand is really quite cool.
Happy Sunday evening, friends. Be cosy!
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Laura Elizabeth -- Kat made a very cool Daria indeed! Her only flaw was not being gloomy enough. She's too naturally happy! Your description of your little-girl reading habits made me visualise you as the subject of a cute painting by an artist (from the fifties, I think) who painted the most beautiful pictures. Of course I am totally blanking on her name but I cannot rest until I work out who it is -- and link to her art, of course!
Jess Axelby -- how funny if we did double up again! Just a case of great minds thinking alike, hey? ;)
Brenda -- I always wish away my seasons of wordlessness, but I'm sure they're just part of the natural ebb and flow of thinking and writing.
Un -- you're not the only one who thought it looked like the secret garden :)
Hannah -- yes! It truly is a gorgeous spot.
Natasha -- it's lovely to be able to have a place like this, a little bit solitary and a lot sunny -- even though I'm right in the midst of suburbia.
Katie -- spoken like a true reader!
Staish -- I only wish I got some clear photos of when you were actually receiving your award. You're just a blur with blue shoes!
MME -- children's books! Aren't they the best?
Sarah -- I honestly feel like the 90s weren't long enough ago to immortalise in dress-ups, but apparently they are!
Chantel -- pin away, by all means. I'm honoured :)
Gretchen -- it truly is a lovely spot.