August 31, 2012

summer job

Watering at a cemetery.

Doesn't sound like the pleasantest activity, does it? Well, it's not so bad if the weather is alright. It has been a tough summer, though; my mom and younger sister, Emily, have been working with me at this cemetery, watering the flowers there. It's such a sweet relief when the job is done, and not at all unpleasant when the check arrives in the mail. ;)

We helped plant the flowers earlier in the summer; geraniums, coleus, ageratum, spike plant, marigolds, dusty... I have almost all the plants' names perfectly memorized (or at least their nicknames) and by now know exactly how to care for each of them. Don't get any water on the petals of the geraniums; it makes them brown faster. Look for baby trees sprouting up in the plantings and be sure to pluck them. If an animal pulls a plant out, press it back into place firmly before giving the planting water, or you'll have a muddy mess... And so on, and so forth.

It isn't always a fun job, but it's teaching me discipline, building up some strength in my skinny little arms, and providing an income for my various savings folders. I'm learning to appreciate work, even when it is hard; an important lesson indeed. If anything, this job certainly makes me appreciate relaxation more!

We couldn't finish the weeding the last time we worked (Wednesday evening), so we're going to return to the cemetery some time this morning. I actually kind of like this part; it's nice to get rid of all the dead buds on the flowers, and see the plants perky and colorful again. I don't know why, but there's a kind of pleasure even in just snapping off the dying limbs --- it's like twisting off a ripe tomato, snipping off some leaves of fresh lettuce, or the like --- there's simply something special about working in a garden. =)

August 30, 2012

answers

I love listening to Ken Ham. If I'm correct, he's the founder of the Answers in Genesis program. My mom sat Emily and me down to watch one of his videos one morning some time in June, and it was fascinating! He was going through why there is so much suffering and death in the world. I can't explain it very well at all, but he speaks so well and makes the most difficult concepts easy to understand.

So, suffering and death are the result of sin. Who sinned? The human race. People (mainly non-Christians) tend to blame God when bad things happen. Irony. It's our fault because we (humans) sinned against Him (God). We brought the curse upon ourselves.

I also learned something I never knew before: Ken Ham explained a correlation between the two trees --- the one that Adam and Eve ate from (see Genesis 3), and the one that Jesus was nailed to (see Matthew 27:33-50).

    I. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought death

    II. The cross (tree) on which Jesus died brings life

Now isn't that curious? I had never thought about it before. Two trees; one brought the curse, the other remedied it. But not the way some people expect. There is still physical death (there is still sin), but the spiritual death (justice from God which is condemnation and eternal punishment in hell) has been provided for; Christ has died so that we may live, in the sense that though our bodies die, we do not die to punishment.

"For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”"

-Romans 10:3-11 (NASB) 

camera

I have only posted on my blog one or two times since I got my new camera, and that was exactly one month ago. Weird... I can hardly believe that anything could crowd-out writing in my life, but I guess the novelty of a DSLR of my very own takes more time to wear off than I thought! To help balance this out, I have been taking a long break from editing photos the past several nights to finish writing letters to some friends, keep "plugging away" at my grad party thank-you notes, and baby-step my way to the end of my novel.

Even though I've graduated from High School, responsibilities and various forms of learning do not end. I'm taking piano lessons again (just started up for the season on Tuesday), and dappling in a few other subjects which interest me. I'm also starting to pick up my driver's manual so that I can hopefully earn my permit soon. I know it would be convenient for my mom to have another licensed driver in the family who can help run errands and suchlike.

I'm never quite sure just how to answer when people ask me about college or my plans for the future. The truth is, I don't really have any big plans yet --- I'm living life as it comes, continuing to stay at home unless and until God presents me to my own prince charming. I'm waiting for God to show me His own plans for my life. In the meantime, I may very well end up schooling myself in the areas of photography, writing, and useful homemaking skills --- all outside of college. Life seems filled to the rim even without college classes and a full-time job, and I'm content to wait on God's will for my life.

Having read a couple Medieval fantasies in a row, now, I plan to dig back into the Hunger Games trilogy. 'Catching Fire' is waiting for me on my desk, and I'm itching to open it! I have only a chapter or two of 'Dragon's Breath' by E.D. Baker to finish; so much reading, so little time!

My writing, as I have alluded to, has been mostly put on the back-burner of late, but I hope to put an end to this pattern. I'll try to return here often, now that summer chaos is beginning to subside.
    Along those lines, I also want to work on this one tough area in my novel; this sticky place that I've written and re-written more than once. I want that enormous section of the story fixed and behind me so that I can once again pour my heart into the more exciting parts of my work-in-progress.

Although my camera has crowded-out a lot of other activities in my life recently, it hasn't exactly been all in vain.






It may not seem very interesting, but I have to tell you... I took this photo out the dirty window of my moving car from the back seat. The fact that there is no blur, no sign of dirt, no anything bad is the reason why I love my new camera to death! ;)





I guess I have a 'thing' for leaf and sunshine photos. I can't help myself, though. The first photo is of a leaf I found in the public library parking lot. Nothing special, just your regular green. But the sunlight was perfect. My other leaf photo (directly above) is of a crunchy brown leaf, and the place at which I found it now escapes me. But the texture of it reminded me of a dragon's wing --- naturally I found the very idea irresistible.

This darling young lady is my younger sister, Emily. She was sweet enough to let me force her up into a tree and smile down at me. You professionals can tell I don't have much experience with portraits as yet, but don't worry; I'm learning. Em's just naturally a beautiful girl, so pictures of her, however poor the quality, are always lovely.

As I have said, I shall try to be more faithful in writing on Thirst For Purity. After such a long an eventful summer, there is now much to be said! Ta ta for now!
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