Saturday, May 24, 2014

That gentle and quiet spirit thing

It seems like mention of that verse in 1 Peter 3 on having a gentle and quiet spirit often makes women bristle, for varying reasons. As someone who finds it hard to project my voice, even when I am trying, I have never had a personality issue with the "quiet" idea, if volume had anything to do with it, but I have never been under any delusion that a quiet spirit actually did contain any reference to volume either.

Many and varied people have had a go at a definition of what this idea of a gentle and quiet spirit actually does mean, with many and varied outcomes. So when I came upon this blog review of True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre, I was interested to read their interpretation, which was timely:
A gentle and quiet spirit is not a personality trait. It is the quality of a woman who meets adversity—slander, sickness, rejection, and loss—with a calm confidence in God.
(It actually sounds like an interesting book, that doesn't simply dismiss all beauty as meaningless, which I might add to an ever-growing list.)

I appreciate what they say. True beauty isn't found in moaning about one's lot on social media, in panicking over scenarios and throwing other people under a bus to protect yourself, in taking charge of situations because you think only you can work them out well, in building up a catalogue of resentments against others ... but in a basic and humble trust in God.

Enjoy your Saturday. (I have so far wasted hours of my life on the phone to Apple Support and iinet Support, and am currently reinstalling my operating system, but I shall remain calm!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A little piece on homesickness

Dearly beloved readers, apologies for a long silence. I know I am not supposed to write such things, because I am supposed to privilege “real life”, but I can’t help feeling nevertheless that those who read this blog would have more of an idea of what it is that lights my fire than many I see regularly face-to-face. There is a fault of mine in there somewhere no doubt, but perhaps it is nothing other than making certain ideas and thoughts accessible and seeing who does or who doesn’t gather around, and my being rather too shy to promote this blog too widely. In any case, it won’t come as so much of a surprise to you as to some that I have put together a little piece on existential homesickness in the latest CASE Magazine (Issue 38). If you have been reading here for some time, you will have come across much that is in it before. It opens with a little poetry from Christina Rossetti and features some CS Lewis and Tim Keller and smatterings of philosophy and foreign words. Unfortunately you can’t access it freely online, but CASE is a worthy publication should you like to read it and have my name in print.

I won’t now offer the insult of telling you that other things have been more pressing than blogging, but to say that there is kind of mental loading that comes with learning a new job, and after being extinguished from the online system of my old job accidentally for a week or so, I had a good bit of freelance work to do to meet a publishing deadline I said I could meet to assist them while they find/train a replacement for me, which meant more or less doing my old job from home in the evenings as well. But hopefully I get back into the swing of things in time.

In other news, I bought myself a new bike! There is a lovely and mostly flat bike path essentially all the way from my home to my new workplace, a dedicated bike store-room in the basement of the building, and it seemed like the logical way to get myself there. I decided that I didn’t want to go there on my old men’s hybrid mountain bike, which requires a good deal of leg-throwing to get on and off, so I swung the pendulum and bought myself an omafiet-style (dutch granny) bike to peddle along in lady-like, if not rather hipsterish, style. It was only cheap from here (and they had a pre-Easter sale making it cheaper still), but at this point I considered that a bike that cost six-months bus tickets or more hardly made the whole endeavour worth the while, and so far I like it and it is doing nicely. (The only drawback is that it came in a box, and I have had to assemble and fiddle with it myself, and I’ve had a bit of a saga to do with the rack on the back not working, and the delivery of an alternative basket for the front, and then added another such saga involving clothing from Country Road, after my previous colleagues gave me a Country Road voucher as a farewell gift, such that I don’t want to buy things online for a very long time now, but we just won’t talk about all that.)

Here is my new bike, in the lovely Canberra Autumn sunshine (I took this rear basket on because I was basically sitting in it, as the rear rack provided was not as long as those pictured online, and I now have a front one to put baguettes and flowers in).

Hope you are all well.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The Always and Forever Love

There ought to have been a blog announcement made, with great fanfare, about this, but I did finally finish reading through the ESV Study Bible and notes. That was a very worthwhile exercise, but I am glad to be done with that monster of a book. My bible reading has been a big ad hoc since then, but I will start on some kind of system or other thing again soon. I have been reading from the Holman, and it is good to read familiar things in unfamiliar language sometimes. Also, Koorong had a sale this past week, so I got myself something I have wanted for some time, The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. You can miss out on all this goodness without children, but I decided I could have one for myself in any case. It’s so poetic and beautiful. The children's language chokes me up. I particularly love this page (if you click the picture it should get bigger).