Thursday, July 30, 2015

Biblical Horizons, 2015

Last week, July 20-24th, Mom and I had the privilege to attend the Biblical Horizons conference in Valparaiso Florida. It was a week long event that started at 8:30 in the morning and concluded at 8:30 in the evening after a long break during the afternoon. 

Our esteemed speakers this year were; Jeff Meyers, Uri Brito, Richard Bledsoe, Peter Leithart, and James Jordon

The topics considered this year were:

The Book of Joshua by James B. Jordon
Wealth Management in the Gospel According to St. Luke by Jeffrey J. Meyers
End of the End: Orientation to Revelation by Peter J. Leithart
The Christian Counseling Movement by Uri Brito
A look into psychiatric drugs based on experiences as a chaplain at his local hospital by Richard Bledsoe (This one didn't have a title so this is the best I could come up with)

I had a good time, and although the lectures were a little beyond me I did manage to glean some good counsel and being exposed to new ideas is almost always a good thing. I met new people and had good conversations in addition to spending some quality time with my mother. I learned new music as well at the nightly Vespers services both by singing and, although it wasn't planned, playing the music because their original pianist had to leave town suddenly. We ate lunches with people, spent time at the beach, did a little shopping, and stayed late in the evenings at the fellowships/meals/parties afterwards.

Although it might not be exactly descriptive of the conference itself, here are some pictures of our adventures during our breaks in the afternoons.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tonight I Sit

Insomnia. I'm not sure if I have it or not but sometimes, like tonight, even though I am sleepy, I can't seem to fall asleep.

I tossed and turned in my bed. I curled up into a tiny ball. I hugged my pillow so tight that the feathers were about to burst. I talked to my sister. (One of the perks of sharing a room. Also one of the drawbacks if you are the one sleeping and your sister is the one who can't.) I got down from my bed and did some sit-ups in the middle of the floor. Finally I announced to my sleepy roommate that I was going outside to listen to some music.

Conveniently, I took a picture of this honeysuckle blossom a few nights ago. I can say that it is supposed to represent the sweet thoughts that came to me out of the dark night. ;)
As quietly as possible I opened the cantankerous piece of wood that we call a door and slipped out into the muggy Florida night. The air was heavy and the bugs were thick. I picked my way across the driveway to the sidewalk, being careful not to step on any toads, and sat myself down in the broken beach chair that was abandoned there after our last trip to the lake. Of course, because my hair is so thick and long and crazy, in the short amount of time it took me to get out there my earphones got all tangled up in my unruly locks. After extracting the wires from my hairy mess I was finally able to turn my music on.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What Have You Been Doing this Summer?

 "So what have you been doing all summer?"

That is the question I was asked yesterday at lunch that I never really answered. I started to answer by leaning back in my chair (or forward, I don't remember, I just know I moved around in my seat) and saying something like "Oh man, a lot has happened this summer. My life is so different now than what is used to be." I paused awkwardly for a second trying to figure out how to proceed but then my phone rang and I was saved from answering immediately. After the phone call I kind of avoided going back to the question and our conversation continued on swimmingly thanks to the "amiableness" of my companion.

Still I kind of feel bad for never answering. It's not that I didn't want to, I was just unprepared to answer such a simple question because I feel like I have a complicated answer. It's not that a lot has happened this summer, but a lot has come into fruition this summer. I mention often, in somewhat veiled language, the difficult life I had before and to be sitting here now in my current situation is something that is nothing short of miraculous to me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friends From South Carolina

Some of you may not know this about me, but I was born in South Carolina. I'm not sure if I am what people call a "Southern Belle" since my mom was from Missouri and my dad lived in Michigan - his mom however grew up in the marshes of Alabama so I tend to identify myself as a Southern girl. I lived in the foot hills of the Smokey Mountains and grew up seeing snacks like pig ears, onion rings, and pickled eggs on the shelves in the grocery store. We didn't buy them of course because of my mixed heritage but I ate them sometimes at friends houses. The dirt roads were orange and the pine trees were so tall they seemed always about ready to topple over on me. I painted T-shirts and fence posts with squashed poke-weed berries and I mashed the buttons on the elevators. My parents watched NASCAR and shouted at the TV screen while I played in the backyard. I loved watching the Dukes of Hazard and would try to pull the same stunts as the General Lee did on my little pink and purple bicycle. I lived the first story of my life there in South Carolina for eleven years until we moved to Missouri. 

It's not the best picture, but it gets the point across, we went canoeing down Clear Water Creek. Oh, and there's that one kayak in the back.
While we lived there in my birth state we had many adventures, adventures that were shared with in particular, the Courtney family. This past week two of these long lost "family members" came to visit for a few days. I won't try to reconstruct our week for you but I just wanted to share a few pictures here on my blog instead of blowing up my Instagram feed. I'm thinking of all a' y'all, my sixty-two Instagram followers, so thank me please. ;)