Harry Potter

I recently read all six of the Harry Potter books. And I loved them!

This news surprised my sister, but after a little explanation, she understood where I was coming from. So, please allow me to share.

These books are the story of a boy no one loved, who was lonely and seemingly forgotten. Then, one day, he learns he’s special, and that his life was spared by sacrificial love. Over the years, he faces obstacles, both mundane and extraordinary. He is pursued by an evil being who wants to destroy him. And the only thing that separates him from this evil person is the sacrificial love that has marked his life, figuratively and literally.

Throughout the novels, my mind kept wandering to Ephesians 6:12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

And that is just what Harry Potter does, and encourages us to do. I can hardly wait for Book 7, so I can see how the story ends.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

So, a few posts ago, I mentioned a review of this novel, which intrigued me. I promptly put it on my reading list and finally picked it up this weekend.

45 pages into it, and I’ve decided to close the book. I’m going to skip this one. Why, you ask?

Because it’s tedious and dull. It moves slowly – and not in a good way. This novel has bored me, and in doing so, it doesn’t catch my imagination or inspire interesting contemplation. I like books that make me think, that interrupt my dreams. This one does neither.

The review was better written.

I Got Tagged!

Lucy tagged me today, and I’m as giddy as a school girl. Because you know what this means? It means someone reads me! Yippee!

So here goes:

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1) Account Executive – technology sales to education customers. I love this job and the company I work for.
2) Business Development Manger – more sales. Loved the job but learned to hate the company.
3) Mathematics Tutor – for three years during college. Had too much fun doing this. And now you know what a nerd I really am.
4) Walmart Cashier – not much fun. But I met my mother-in-law here. It was an arranged marriage. That’s another story for another day. snicker

Four Movies I Watch Over and Over
1) Pride & Prejudice (the A&E mini-series) – not strictly a movie, but I’m counting it.
2) Pirates of the Caribbean – the year it came out on DVD, we gave it to half a dozen people for Christmas. Love it.
3) The Princess Bride – almost as quotable as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
4) My Fair Lady – this movie inspired me in high school. I watch it whenever I need a pick-me-up and whenever it’s on TV.

Four Three Places I’ve Lived
1) Austin, TX – moved here with Handsome after college.
2) Brownwood, TX – college living. Don’t care to ever go back.
3) Conroe, TX – lived in the same house until I left for college, across the street from my grandparents, at the end of a dirt road.

Four TV Shows I Watch
1) Friends – I got stuck on this one in college. My girlfriends are bad influences.
2) Seinfeld – I was able to get Handsome addicted to this one. I am a bad influence. hehehe
3) Star Trek reruns – I like TNG & Voyager best, but I’ll watch any of them. Again with the nerdy behavior.
4) Millennium (on DVD) – this show only lasted three seasons, but it haunts me. Handsome is a bad influence!

Four Books I Read
1) Pride & Prejudice – see also Movies I Watch Over and Over
2) Lord of the Rings – more evidence that I am a nerd.
3) Harry Potter – this is a new addiction, but these are such engrossing, entertaining stories. Can’t wait for #7.
4) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – all of them. Crazy and funny.

Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation
1) Paris, France (twice) – I want to go back!
2) South Padre Island, Texas (many times) – Handsome introduced me to this beautiful Texas beach, and we try to get back every year.
3) San Francisco, California – We have family here, and Handsome has taken me here every year for my birthday.
4) Grand Cayman Island – I could swim in those waters forever.

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1) Still Alive Momma – go sis!
2) Testosterhome
3) Lucy’s Island
4) K’s Cafe

Four Favorite Foods
1) Chocolate anything
2) Pan-seared sea scallops in white wine butter sauce
3) Homemade salsa with Tia Rosa extra thin corn chips
4) French fries

Four Places I’d Like To Be Right Now
1) With Handsome (I’m on a business trip)
2) With Handsome at the beach
3) With Handsome in Paris
4) With Handsome on a cruise

Four Boggers I’m Tagging
I can’t complete this one, because all my favorites already got tagged. Again with the nerdiness!

Not Funny

There hasn’t been much laughter in my life the past few weeks, and I realize that this dearth of humor is coloring the way I look at the world. It’s like gray-colored glasses, making the world lifeless and dull to my eyes.

But last night at the grocery store, I was in line behind a family with four boys – all under age 5 or 6. And they were acting like boys, much to their mother’s chagrine. So I made faces at them. And I laughed.

Here’s what’s really sad. A few minutes worth of comedy wasn’t enough to lift the fog. And that’s not funny.

My Mind Wanders

It’s not that it wanders really. It’s more like chasing thoughts…down a rat hole.

For example, today, I was reading a review of Marilynne Robinson’s novel, Gilead. One review says, “Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.” Did you get that?

The often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life. Consider that for a moment. Most of us live ordinary lives, all-the-while craving the extraordinary lives of saints and celebrities. But what of that unbearable beauty? Those moments that transcend time and seem to last an eternity.

In college, a friend expressed it well. “I’m having wonderful memories of this moment already.” And we were just sitting on a rock looking at a lake with stars above it. It was ordinary. And unbearably beautiful.

I must confess that I want to live an extraordinary life – to be accomplished, and perhaps renown, to leave a mark on this world, to be someone important, to have prestige, stature, and reputation. I have always been driven, and I learned recently not to apologize for that aspect of my personality. I’m not the only person who has this temperament – perhaps you feel it too.

And it feels cliche to say I want to avoid being driven by that which is merely temporal, and instead drive toward the eternal. It’s not just cliche – it’s the right thing to say, as a Christian. It feels artificial to say such a thing. (I appreciate Paul’s take on this topic.) My mind is at war with my soul. Still, I want to dwell on the unbearable beauty of ordinary life.

Like sunrise at the beach. My husband’s breathing as he sleeps. Sunlight streaming through freshly cleaned windows. The cat sleeping in that sun. Toothpaste just before it hits your teeth in the morning. The sound and scent of brewing coffee. Leaves blowing in spring winds. Washing dishes after a feast. My hand in his as he prays.