Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Steinbeck fan

I just finished reading John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath for the first time, and I am blown away at the author's poetic writing style and his depth and breadth of understanding of the human condition. What a beautiful work of art.

I had read Of Mice and Men and loved it, but for some reason I had never gotten around to Grapes. Steinbeck reveals the inner workings of a hard-working people who are close to the land. The mother in the story is an amazing testimony for the strength of woman during hard times. She never stops working and she knows the strengths and weaknesses of the men in her life. If she sees here husband is about to break with despair, she will purposely anger him to prevent the break. If she sees that he can no longer make decisions for the family, then she steps in to make them. She has the gift of keeping everything going, but not taking the glory for it, not stealing the pride of her husband.

Between the chapters that tell the story of the Joads' experience migrating west from the Dust bowl to California looking for work, Steinbeck fills in the gaps of the general mood and goings-on of the country in poetry. Only a poet can capture so much fact and feeling in so few words.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Caroline!

We had Caroline's 9th birthday party at a local hotel. She invited her four closest friends for swimming, dinner, and a sleepover. They had a great time. Jamie and I (and Eliza) spent the night in the same hotel room. We were pretty pooped the next day.
These pics are terrible...I couldn't find my camera in all the chaos, so I used Caroline's, which is bad about red-eye. But maybe you can get the feel for the fun they had.

And now my little girl is 9 years old! Holy cow!

Caroline Grace

back row: Caroline and Emma, middle row: Brianne, Jaci and Megan, front row: Eliza

left to right: Brianne, Jaci, Megan, Caroline, Emma and Eliza (the little sister)

time for bed: Caroline, Megan, Brianne, Emma

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Accepting Acceptance

I'm reading a great book right now called "Uncommon Woman," by Susie Larson. She explains how to accept acceptance.

"Accepting acceptance means having the courage to face your foibles without it diminishing your value. Accepting acceptance means refusing to let others define you, because God already has...We understand who we are by knowing whose we are."

I don't know about you, but looking my foibles makes me feel more insecure. What others think matters entirely too much. What does it take to know in every cell of your being that you are loved, called, accepted, chosen, cherished, and forgiven? What would your life look like if you could be in constant awareness of this truth?

Mine would include a lot less worrying. I would beat myself up much less. I'd just flush guilt and fear right down the toilet. I'd probably dance more.