October was too short…

Life is too short to ice cakes; cakes are good without icing.
Life is too short to read all the church periodicals.
Life is too short not to write regularly to your parents.
Life is too short to eat factory baked bread.
Life is too short to keep all your floors shiny.*

October was too short.  Time passed so quickly this month– so quickly that I just couldn’t keep up with all our happenings here in real time and I must confess I’ve felt a little guilty.  [smile]  But October was too short… Full of little anniversaries of our first date and first kiss and bigger celebrations like my 30th birthday and our first wedding anniversary, October is already a busy month in our household, but happily we added a bit more hustle and bustle with a record total of 7 overnight guests this month (my parents and our seminary friends), the wedding of dear friends in Georgia, and of course Halloween.

Life is too short to let a day pass without hugging your spouse and each of your children.
Life is too short to nurse grudges and hurt feelings.
Life is too short to worry about getting ready for Christmas; just let Christmas come.
Life is too short to spend much money on neckties and earrings.
Life is too short for nosy questions like “How do you like your new pastor?” Or—if there’s been a death—”How is he taking it?”

October was too short.  The busyness of October bubbled over into our lives at work as well.  At the beginning of the month, Caleb celebrated his first baptism and we welcomed four new members to “The Church.”  What an exciting Sunday!  That evening at the prayer class I’ve been teaching, I had a hard time focusing our discussions because so much joy was spilling over from the mornings activities.  [smile]  “The Church” is slowly growing and we are blessed to bear witness.  This was my first full month in my new job with Appalachia Service Project and essentially I spent the whole month establishing and living into new routines.  Since October 1st, I have made trips back to each of the centers in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia.  I have loved discovering how I am being called to be present for these young adults who are serving in these centers.

Life is too short to be gone from home more than a few nights a week.
Life is too short not to take a nap when you need one.
Life is too short to care whether purses match shoes or towels match bathrooms.
Life is too short to stay indoors when the trees turn color in fall, when it snows, or when the spring blossoms come out.

October was too short.  The most brilliant transformation during the month happened to the mountains.  Slowly the greens of summer have been replaced by the yellows, reds, deep purples, and oranges of fall.  It’s really been quite a spectacular show!  We’ve tried to be intentional about using down time to take in the colors as much as possible.  We’ve taken long drives, biked the Creeper, and spent mornings just sitting by the great floor to ceiling window in our living room.

Life is too short to miss the call to worship on a Sunday morning.
Life is too short for bedspreads that are too fancy to sleep under.
Life is too short to work in a room without windows.
Life is too short to put off Bible study.
Life is too short to put off improving our relationships with the people we live with.

October was too short, but I don’t feel like we’ve let it pass by without taking in the fullness of this very special month.  So I didn’t write about it all until now… at least I have the memory of having lived this October in a way that I can happily proclaim with orphan Ann-(with an)-e Shirley that “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!”


*Poem by Doris Longacre, the author of the Mennonite cookbook More with Less and the book Living More with Less.


“Love is not a disease.”

"Beautifully written.  Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy." -Christopher Paulini

“Beautifully written. Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.” -Christopher Paulini

I just finished reading a fantastic YA crossover fantasy novel– Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  I categorize it as a YA crossover novel because while it’s intended for young readers it certainly packs enough action, suspense, and complexity to be appealing to a more discerning palate like mine.  [wink and smile]

Briefly an overview:  Seraphina is Hartman’s debut novel about a world where dragons and humans co-exist in relative peace.  I enjoy reading fantasy novels, but haven’t read enough to have come across many dragons or be very familiar with dragon-lore.  So I’m not sure if this compliment is misplaced, but one of the things I loved about Hartman’s treatment of draconian typology was that her dragons are able to adopt human forms.

This motif of degrees of humanness is what puts Hartman’s work in the top tier of fantasy writing because it is able to draw a universal parallel between this imagined world and our real world.  The complexities of living in a world where appearances are not necessarily trusted and that persons are judged by their parentage is reminiscent of our world’s continuing dialogue on race and privilege.

Love and friendship between species (human and dragon) is Hartman’s recurring theme.   The title of the post is a piece of wisdom imparted from one character near the end of the book when he begins to recognize that love between human and dragon is something to be celebrated and not condemned.  Fascinating thoughts and a good reminder that love is without borders.

Definitely recommend you pick up this engaging fantasy.  With the sequel due next year, I predict Hartman’s dragons are going to be the next “it” book.


His and Her’s: Poetry

His and Her’s: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together”

The “His and Her’s” post from last week was so fun to write and so many of our friends seemed to enjoy reading it that I thought I would try making it a regular occurrence.  It may piddle out after a while, but I’ll go with it while it works.

This week we are tackling poetry.  April is poetry month; don’t you know?  [smile]   I must confess that these are taken from our wedding website, but I wanted to share them here.  The purpose of the poems was to introduce each other to the friends who would joining in on our wedding that might not have met Caleb or me yet.  The poem structure sort of happened automatically.  They don’t rhyme, but if I remember correctly from my middle school poetry class poems don’t have to.  [smile]  Oh well, I guess that’s enough stalling.  Please read on with lots of grace.

My poem for Caleb:

Caleb and Kramer!

Caleb and Kramer!

I’d like you to meet my Caleb…

he’s the “George Bailey” of Embreeville, TN,
and by coincidence his favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life…

he’s a lover of all things Jimmy Carter and an Atlanta Braves fan
and I think it was his plan all along to end up with a Georgia girl…

there’s nothing more he loves than dancing to Tonto at a wedding,
and he’s the only person in the world who can get me on the dance floor…

he’s always pronouncing the in-breaking of the kingdom,
and I know he’s going to be a great UM minister…

he’s sentimental, caring, protective, loving,
and most importantly he’s the man from the mountain who swept me off my feet.

With love- Margaret

Caleb’s poem for me:

Only Caleb makes me smile like that!

Only Caleb makes me smile like that!

Allow me to introduce to you my beautiful wife, Margaret…

Margaret is a traveling star who has traveled and lived in many different places,
so it makes sense her favorite song is My Traveling Star by James Taylor…

Baking is her favorite thing to do, pizza is her favorite food,
and her favorite place in the world is in her purple room…

She loves to read and she is an incredibly gifted writer,
and I tend to believe she is going to write the next great American novel…

She’ been a Valedictorian, class President, Archeologist, Methodist missionary,
and I know her gifts and talents will continue to help change lives…

She’s hospitable, intelligent, nurturing, enchanting,
and I thank God that she loves to dance with me by the light of the moon.

With love- Caleb


PS- I just added a new page under the “About: My Blogging Bio” tab in the header.  Check it out!