Goodbye 2015

>Deferred Hope = God at workIsn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…

– C.S. Lewis

This has been more true for me in 2015 than any other year.

It began with passion, adventure, hope of love, and the Proverbs to guide me.

Corporate America hired me! Learning skills and paying bills took a prominent role for the year. God’s faithful provision in those 40 hours a week made it challenging to be content and disciplined every day (I am still working on this… maybe I always will).

I found Love like I have never known because I became an Aunt. With prayer and joy, we welcomed my nephew, Seph. The delight of our family heart.

I wandered the Oxford streets and English country side. Explored Cambridge and the Cotswalds where my heart began to dream again.

Hope deferred makes the heartsick; my “Say Anything” man dismissed me in Willoughby-like manner ( except with much better morals), leaving my Jo March self feeling shockingly like Marianne Dashwood. Heartache moved in and tried to setup house.

Momentary light affliction breeds contempt or gratitude; In His mercy my response was a humbled thankful heart.

The Psalms, Madeleine L’Engle, Catherine Marshall, and Kate DiCamillo have been working together to mend my heart, bringing tears, light, and laughter on this leg of the journey.

Stories end, hearts change, and the Word of the Lord endures.

Goodbye 2015, “I would not wish you back again.” ~ Yet another Jane Austinism.

Today, January 1, 2016, my heart is strong because my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus.

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Oxford Never Gets Old

Ancient spires holding centuries of wisdom and knowledge with dusty books and growing ideas…
IMG_1537Faith, science, and reason take walks together in the proudly manicured parks and quads – benefitting from the perspective of each other.

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It forever will be a place for dreams to come true. Where time stands still and magic is realized in stone, bronze, and ink.

We shall meet again… I can feel it! 
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And of course the little Hobbit size places just right for someone such as myself!

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P.s. It doesn’t GET old – it is always old… and always NEW at the same time!

Remembering Jack…

From Annie Mae's Library
From Annie Mae’s Library

50 years ago, C.S. Lewis, a.k.a. Jack, closed his eyes to the shadow of this world and woke in the glorious delight of what he described to be the Real World. According to Jack, it is in the presence of Jesus that reality can actually be understood. He so beautifully describes this in the book, “The Last Battle”. All that is good in this world is shown to be merely a reflection of the good found in the presence of God.

Thousands of people around the world continue to claim Jack as their mentor. Not to be left out of this absolutely inclusive and ever growing, elite group of people, I desire to learn from his passion and creativity. This last week the New York Times called Jack a “Polymath.” Brilliant. I want to be a polymath!

Aspiring authors know that we need to write about what we know. So what does it say of Jack Lewis that he wrote books like The Four Loves, Till We Have Faces, Narnia, and Mere Christianity? Lewis QuoteWorth asking.

If you haven’t read much by C.S. Lewis. Choose one – if you need a suggestion, start with Narnia and The Four Loves. The older I get, the better they are. And you must read the story by his step-son, Douglas Gresham, Jack’s Life. Its on my Must-Read book list.

The Job Hunter Diaries II – True Tales of Rejection

Rejection comes in all forms.

People get rejected all the time! Seriously its no biggie… kind of like –

– standing by a puddle and a bus drives by – soaked and walking for another mile – (that happened to me in Oxford, England, where it is a finable offense… but some has to care. They didn’t.)

– spinning a rock out from under the weed wacker and it hits you in the shin so hard it leaves a welt for 3 days.

– receiving  my first official rejection letter the other day from… Highlights magazine! I’ve been submitting things over the summer, and I have to say that it felt very official to get professionally rejected.

– asking this really cute guy if he wanted to get a bite to eat later and he said he couldn’t because he had to go mole hunting! Seriously, time with a beautiful, blonde (that would be me) or dropping flaming cyanide sticks on moles… tough choice.

Regardless of our sense of bravery… rejection still doesn’t feel very good. 

So below I have attached my official STARBUCKS rejection notice – Enjoy

Dear Annie,
 
Thank you for your interest in Starbucks and the position of 0000SJM – administrative assistant III, strategy Starbucks Bakery and LaBoulange – Seattle, WA.
 
We have reviewed your resume and have decided not to move forward with your candidacy for this position. We encourage you to continue searching our Career Center at www.Starbucks.com/careers for new opportunities that may be a good match for your background. 

I don’t need a mole hole yet… but ask me again if I get a few dozen of these.

Beware of Shrunken Heads!

Sometimes the Organization in my head seems to be as orderly or possibly as chaotic as that of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. There are old dusty interesting things on display EVERYWHERE! Tonight – that is my brain. And oh how I wish I could go and wander through the fossils and relics at this delightful museum. I like the shrunken heads because they’re so creepy!!

I may have to go the library to study properly… however then I would be terribly distracted by the books. One time I went to have a good study session in the Bodleian and I never made it beyond the poetry section!

I will find my quiet writing corner yet… until then – beware of shrunken heads! (That Shrunken head was used in the Harry Potter Movies!)

>Morning Magpie

>This picture reminds me of this one day…

                   One day when I was living in the magical city of Oxford, England, I awoke to find a magpie sitting on my windowsill. The room in which I lived was very small office room in #4 Banbury Road. Literally, they converted an office into a bedroom for me. It had just enough room for a bed, a desk, and a small nightstand. However, it had floor to ceiling shelves all along one side so there was plenty of room for my stuff and books. It had delightfully high ceilings and a wonderfully large window overlooking the back gardens behind Wycliffe Hall. We had been having cool evenings and warm Spring days so I had left my window open about 6 inches or so, to let in the fresh air.
                 Well, that morning I hear a loud ‘squak’ from the INSIDE windowsill. All I could think about was how frightening and icky it would be to have a very large magpie fly about my room. (It reminded me of George MacDonald’s ‘Lilith.’) So I sat up very slowly and said in a rather pathetic morning voice, “Oh, please fly away.” Well, he cocked his head to one side as if to say that I was being very rude for asking him to leave so abruptly… without tea or anything. One more ‘squak’ and out he went.

That was only a moment in a million on moments worth sharing from my adventures in Oxford. I’ll see if I can’t share more of them.