Find Felicity and Rare Rocks at http://www.felicitywhite.com.
Find Felicity and Rare Rocks at http://www.felicitywhite.com.
I remember watching this performance by Dolly Parton in 1989 and feeling the thrill of shared faith. I mean, there she was in her fancy dress and long nails standing on a huge stage singing about something that I totally identified with. I think later, when she presents the next award, she says, “lordy” when she can’t get the envelope open and then worries, “I don’t know, can you say ‘lordy’ on this show?”
Don Francisco is the writer of this Easter classic and his version on YouTube is great also, but this is the one I remember connecting with. Today is Good Friday, and I haven’t been very good at exploring the quiet somberness of it yet. I’m kind of stuck on getting to Sunday! However, this song is kind of long – the “Sunday” stuff doesn’t show up until around the 4 minute mark. But, like waiting through Friday and Saturday, the wait is worth it. If you try to skip to the end without listening to the reflective, repetitive verses, the end won’t mean as much. So, I guess I do get it a little.
Enjoy “He’s Alive” – one of my favorite Easter songs. And don’t skip anything – ’cause Sunday’s comin’!
At the author reading I attended this weekend I heard two bits of fabulous advice. One of them I’m saving for another post – it was just so lovely and affirming. The one that most applies to me (and probably you if you write at all) is this one:
He doesn’t believe in writer’s block.
OK – I like that. When an audience member asked him if he has ever faced writer’s block and how he handled it, he simply replied that if he doesn’t feel like writing he reads. A finalist for the National Book Award in 2008, he claims he has never missed a deadline following this advice. He has also never taken a creative writing class, which both irks me and thrills me. My English major advisor assured me this is often the case: the best writers are readers – they study writing by reading what and how others have written.
I know this is true for me when it comes to academic papers. When I feel stuck or don’t know where to start it usually means I don’t have enough information to craft a thesis idea out of. If I read for a while I almost always strike upon a brilliant (or at least satisfactory) idea.
So from now on, if I don’t have anything to post here, I might just copy a passage from a favorite book and call it a day. Afterall, you need to work on your writing as well! We’ll do it together.
Most of you know I’m finishing my English degree online. I’m married with four kids, a dog, and a full-time job. Oh, and I live in the middle of nowhere. Finishing this degree on campus was not even an option. I’m so thankful for the opportunity that I have to finish my degree in the hours after my kids go to bed and in all the other spaces I can find in the day (and the night and the afternoon and . . . )
My experience going back to school online has been so positive, that I didn’t even know I was missing something – until this weekend. I convinced Seren to jump in the car with me and make a road trip to a Verbal Arts Festival at my university, which turns out to be only about 2 1/2 hours away. As I sat at a long table in a charming cafe on Saturday afternoon, I got to chat with my advisor over chicken salads and a Diet Coke. Up until this weekend I had only known these professors through email and online course management systems. Sitting across from her at lunch I was able to admire her elegant silver hair and charming smile.
I didn’t only meet professors, either. One of my classmates came all the way from California! Meeting the actual person behind a Facebook profile is like the difference between the photograph of the menu item and the food itself actually sitting on a hot plate in front of you. It may not be exactly what you were expecting, but it is always more satisfying to be able to touch it, smell it, and taste it. I savored every moment with these friends.
When former socialite Margaret Hale (from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South) meets common factory workers Nicolas and Betsy Higgins she says she finds a reason to enjoy her new town because she has found a “human connection.” This is how I felt about my education this weekend. Luckily, I’ve always enjoyed my online studies, but now I feel so much more connected to them!
Try taking each one of the Ten Commandments and framing them as something to do instead of something not to do. Only two of the commandments do not use the word NOT anyway, the one about honoring the Sabbath and the one about honoring your parents. Refresh your memory on the other commandments here.
For example: “You shall not commit adultery.” What would be the DO of this commandment? If we aren’t supposed to commit adultery than what are we supposed to do? Love our spouse? Keep ourselves sexually pure? Interesting, huh? It kind of raises the stakes a little.
I think this might be part of what Jesus was doing when he said he came to fulfill the Law not abolish it. Remember, he summed up all these commandments by telling us to 1) love God and 2) love our neighbor. Do’s. Unfortunately, a lot of us think being a good Christian is more about what don’t do than about what we do. The reality is that just not murdering really isn’t enough anymore. Now Jesus expects us to love each other – even our enemies!
So what do we have to DO? Look at that list and make a new one. What will you DO today?
1. You get to see where you came from. I turned 34 on Friday and realized that I remember when my mother was 34 years old. But instead of making me depressed, I actually felt better. I mean, my mom is loving her life right now. Her kids are grown, her grandkids are cute, and she’s pursing her dream of writing professionally. At 34, I see I’ve got a lot to look forward to.
2. You get to see where your going. Dan was gone on my actual birthday. We celebrated the night before and I made plans for a pizza/movie night with the kids. The funny thing was how the kids kept trying to make the night special. I didn’t have cake, so Jesse wanted to put candles in my dessert pizza. None of my gifts had been wrapped since Dan took me shopping and my mom gave me money. This didn’t seem right to Ada. She wrapped up a tube of lip gloss that was ALMOST full and threw in a small package of SweeTarts. At 34, I see I’ve got a lot to look forward to.
3. You get really fun stuff. Gold earrings (from Mom’s money) mean I can wear earrings again – I have very sensitive ears which translates to needing more than $10 to buy earrings! A stylish gray scarf, coordinating gray pants (think Audrey Hepburn), and a night out with my husband means I’m recharged and refreshed. 3/4 a tube of pink glitter lipgloss means I’m the best-loved 34 year-old in my house! : )
Ever played the Seven Word Wisdom challenge? I read about it this week in some homework but found an old contest explaining the rules here.
For example, the author of a book on proper diet and nutrition writes, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
To play, you simply condense your wisdom into seven words using a 2-3-2 word sequence. Three short sentences. Here’s another one concerning food: “Eat pie. Very good pie. Not often.”
My challenge to you is to write a Seven Word Wisdom on the topic of fashion. Remember the mini-conference for teenage girls I mentioned earlier this week? Think of them as your audience and describe in seven words your philosophy on clothes and fashion.
Here’s my entry: Stay current. Keep it simple. Be modest.
Come on! Everyone play; I need the material!