Sunday, May 30, 2010

Melts in your Hand, Not in your Mouth

I'd like some M&Ms to go with my own hard outer shell ... of cynicism. It seems that I have developed a little bit of an exoskeleton of cynicism, satire and critique. I think I have had a propensity for this since middle school, perhaps, or early high school. And that is not all bad, but to walk the satirical line is to walk a very fine line between entertaining and enraging. You see, I was reading this article which talks about the difference between cynicism and satire ... quite effectively, I might add.
For a person who spends so much time watching Jane Austen and chick flicks, I'm not sure how I've become so bitter, but I have. And now my women's group is doing a Beth Moore study about God's promises. I just did two days of the study at once (which is a lot) because I'm a slacker and because of the course of events recently, God has been breaking my heard over my pride, self-righteousness and disbelief in His promises. This study for me stuck a deep point. And I'm excited to talk it over with the women tonight and expound upon some of these ideas.
My only consolation, and it is not a good one, is that I am not the only one struggling with this. I am blessed with very good and honest friends who are open about their own struggles as I am with them. And we have been talking about how best to handle this bent toward the bitter that we seem to be taking. Isn't it sad that my consolation isn't in the faithfulness of God despite my own lack, or of His forgiveness of all my sins, that this disbelief in particular won't be held against me? No, my consolation is that other people are as terrible as I am. (Not that I think of my friends as terrible, just myself.)
So anyway, we haven't come up with a lot of practical solutions to this issue, but we have decided that being aware of it is a significant step and that we will try to encourage each other toward a positive manner.
But what about you? Do you struggle with this too? What do you recommend?
I've heard starting the day with smiling, and it's small, but I'm going to give it a go ... in good faith.
If I were an M&M, I'd probably be the green one because green is associated with jealousy, and that somehow seems appropriate. The difference between that hard candy shell and mine is that theirs tastes delicious and mine tastes ... well, bitter.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Review: I Am Hutterite

I have joined a program called BookSneeze where a publishing company gives me a selection of books from which to choose, I pick one, read it and write a review, to be published on my blog and a major retailers website. Then it happens all over again. So. Here is my very first review. Oh joy!

Mary-Ann Kirby’s book I Am Hutterite is an awkward but occasionally endearing look into a community most have never even heard of, much less know anything about. I was definitely among the ignorant prior to reading the book, and anyone I’ve talked to since has also been in that category. The Hutterites are a community of exiles from Europe/Russia to the United States and Canada in the late eighteenth-centry. Though not a completely isolated commune, the Hutterites pride themselves on a distance from worldly ways and with an affinity for hard work, routine, structure and community. Kirby’s first-hand knowledge of the life of Hutterite colonies is a treat for readers and the authenticity of what she has to share is clear. Sometimes, however, that authenticity also gets in the way of the delivery. The narrative is generally dry and matter-of-fact and frequently boring. But there are enough touches of humor and sparks of brilliance that make the book feel less like a waste-of-time and more like an education. The book varies in tone from a young girl’s diary to a light history book to a language lesson as Kirby inserts Hutterisch (the language of the Hutterites, a variation on high German) with inconsistent and awkward English translations. She does, however, include a lexicon in the back of the book. Despite its faults, it is still an honest and unique look at a way of life vastly foreign to the majority of the Western world. I am not entirely sorry I read it and I would recommend it to a friend interested in this sort of writing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Awake My Soul

Awake My Soul

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep totally free

Awake my soul, awake my soul
For you were made to meet your maker