The "Real" Classics

You all know about my love of literature, and also then of my recent return to the love of the vintage books of my childhood. I neglect a very important genre with not writing about my love affair with the Christian bookstore. My mom took us to the bookstore with her quite frequently and it stood out from other stores in my little kid perspective. The walls were adorned with beautiful paintings, my absolute favorite being one of a glowing Jesus standing beside a garden wall knocking on an elaborate wooden door. Soft music floated on the air and it had the semblance of the library in the fact that one did not want to run or speak above a hushed whisper. It even smelled different to me. I had the suspicion that the back door really opened into heaven, it was that otherworldly.

I recently rediscovered some of my old Bible story books, and Emari asked me to read a few to her this morning. As I read aloud to her and she snuggled into my shoulder I was transported back, to the innocence of the times before. When those stories were just as exciting as Dr. Seuss and Snow White. The magic of it all was that I knew these stories were TRUE! Those stories began my own journey, this relationship that has stood the test of times unlike any other in my life. Emari had so many observations and important questions about Baby Moses and Jesus on the cross and the Parable of wedding banquet. I realized that she learns at church, and she learns at school, and I try my best to teach her from my example at home, yet I had neglected introducing her personally to this whole world of the real classics of literature. The villains, the heroes, the struggles, and victories!

Its not enough that she hears it elsewhere. She needs to hear it from me, to introduce her to all of my favorites and embark on this journey for herself...


Control Freak

When I was a kid, I loved riding on roller coasters. I didn't like the sudden drop sort of rides but anything with a track and loops and twists and hills, was awesome to me. Not that you'd believe it if you rode the thing with me though. Or you know those pics they take of you while you're riding? Well mine would definitely show a girl head turned to the side, eyes tightly closed, hands gripped in white knuckled intensity, and not a peep of a scream escaping her lips. What's that all about? Why did I ride the thing, standing in line forever, only to endure it?

This goes back even further to when I was a tiny little girl and my mom told me that one time my finger was accidentally shut in the car door and I wouldn't for the life of me let anybody look at it to assess the damage. I just held it and cried and acted like everybody just needed to move on and get where we were headed to.

Now I always held the notion in my head that as we matured, we would grow wiser, better, etc. etc. I had this image of myself as an adult with perfectly manicured nails and meticulously kept hair and the words that flowed from my mouth would be a wonderful edification of every one that heard them. The thing that I didn't count on was that God gave me my personality and He also set me in certain situations to help to train and mold said personality and unfortunately the two stories I shared above tend to be my go to ways of handling trials and tribulations of all sorts.

I'm up for the adventure, I plan, I pray, I prepare. Then I tuck my head and endure. I don't enjoy. When I get hurt, I cry about it a little it, but for the most part, its my hurt and I'm not gonna let anybody close enough to help me sort it out. Control is what I desire to gain, maintain, and keep.

Life can't be that way, unfortunately. I really don't have any control whatsoever, even when I think I do. When I try to grab it or keep it I end up looking like a real jerk. I think the key here is to realize when you're on the roller coaster and ride it out. Have fun, enjoy the twists and turns. Let a few screams out and laugh along the way. When you're in pain, let some people in to hold your hand and thank God that you still have the ability to feel and that there are people around who love you enough to help you get better.

I feel like its kind of late to begin, but I really want to start letting go. Stop worrying about what there is to lose and allow myself to gain some good experience instead.


Kicking and Screaming

I started reading a new book last night that I honestly didn't even know existed until I picked it up at the library. Its a tiny little book by C. S. Lewis called, A Grief Observed. It is actually a journal that he kept after his wife died to record those feelings that he was trudging through. So far, I'm loving it. He is such a great writer and champion for God, yet he makes human emotion a tangible thing. The Psalms in the Bible and even Job tend to make me realize that this relationship I have with my Father isn't a blase and unfeeling negotiation of wills. He completely realizes that I am His workmanship and He knows what makes me tick. Even when I rail at Him and spit and scream and kick, He can handle it. He loves me and I love Him and that's all there is to it. When I'm disappointed and disillusioned and just plain mean, He grabs a hold of me, sometimes by the collar, sometimes by the seat of my pants and sometimes He just scoops me up in His arms. At the end of the day, even in my worst experiences and most challenging trials, I can truly rely on Him.


2014 Here We Come!

Wow, I really can't believe that Christmas is over and we are in a new year! Time flies by so fast. For us here in the Goodman household, 2013 held a lot of milestones. Looking back seems like a flurry of changes and transitions and stretching. Phew!

I know that right now I am in the midst of returning to school and work and getting back into the old pattern after a much needed break. It was superbly awesome because right after Christmas my awesome in-laws sent us to the beach for a week and it was so refreshing. We spend a lot of time together as a family, but most of the time we are working together not just sitting around enjoying one another. From Zion all the way up to Tony, Joshua and I had the opportunity to spend some time with our kids and that it so special. As they grow and move away, each moment we have to be together becomes more and more precious.

Now we're back at the helm and ready for what's to come. I love it how God always shows me some things I need to work on and some things to look forward to in the coming year as one year passes by and the new one begins. I have my work cut out for me in the honing that He is requiring of me in the coming season, but I am also confident that He has some super duper awesome things heading this way too. Looking forward to what's to come. Happy New Year!
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