Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This was something I read today while doing research for my book.  
(I was researching Eden and the Great Flood and this popped out of my reading.)

"The names of the descendants of Adam through is son Seth down to Noah all have meaning.  Ray C. Stedman analyzes these names in his book Understanding Man.  

'...a way of escape (for man) is indicated again in a most fascinating way in this chapter by the meaning of the names listed.  There is some difference among authorities as to the meaning of these names, depending upon the root from which they are judged to be taken.   But one authority gives a most interesting sequence of meanings.  The list begins with Seth, which means "Appointed."  Enosh, his son, means "Mortal; " and his son, Kenan, means "Sorrow."  His son Mahalalel, means "The Blessed God."  He named his boy Jared which means "Came Down," and his boy Enoch, means "Teaching."  Methuselah, as we saw, means "His death shall bring;" Lamech means "Strength," and Noah, "Comfort."  Now put that all together:  
God has Apointed that Mortal man shall Sorrow; 
but that The Blessed God, Came Down, Teaching, 
that His Death Shall Bring, 
Strength and Comfort'

Then the author continues to say: 
"Is this book from God?  God has given you and me a life to watch just as Methuselah's generation watched his.  It is your own life.  God has written "Methuselah" on each one of us.  "His death shall bring it," or "When he dies, it will come."  How far is it till the end of the world for you?  When you die.  That is the end of the world.  That this the end of man's day.  It is fifty years from now, ten, tomorrow?  Who knows?  But at any moment, when he dies, it will come."

I think this is very interesting.  
First of all, the meaning of names is fascinating to me anyway - but that there is a line of names directly from Adam to Noah that sort of spells out the coming of Christ - pretty cool stuff.

Now, I get that there will always be people reaching to make connections and meaning out of something that isn't necessarily there - but the IDEA is what gets me.  The idea that there was some hand in the naming or the round about prophesying of  what was to come.  Scary and cool all at the same time.  

This is what makes me think about how fragile we all truly are.  That I could literally "meet my maker" in five minutes if that was His will.  Wake up twenty-somethings who think you're invincible!!!  Guess what!  You are mortal! 
This is what makes me think about my purpose.  What does my name mean?  And by that, I mean, what does my character, my actions say about my life?  How does that point to the inevitable truth that we are a) all gonna die someday relatively soon and b) we will all be judged for how we spent our lives.  Has my life been truly glorifying to God?  Or a major disappointment?  

And that leads me to ask the question of myself "am I ready?"

I don't know - maybe a little too deep, disjointed or a little too morbid for my usual blog, but that's what's on my mind today and I wanted to share it.  You know, just toss it out there into the void and see what happens.  And hey, it's not like I've got all of life's questions figured out.  "We write to understand," right?        

But I do want to leave you with this question:  Are YOU ready when that time comes?  Are you prepared?  


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Change of Plans

This year for Valentine's Day, Matt and I decided to stay in. 
It was actually really nice.  
We had planned to make dinner and get dressed up and have an in-house dance party with ourselves. 

We went to the store to buy some steaks and other things for our "romantico" dinner. 
On our way to the store, I saw an old little Cocker Spaniel walking around in the snow by himself.  Hours later, when Matt was walking Axle, he saw the Spaniel again, but this time, he was with a large (overfed) tank of a black lab with a purple harness on.  He couldn't find the owners anywhere near where the dogs were, so he decided to bring them home so we could see if there was any way to find the owners or possibly take them to a vet and see if they had been microchipped.  

When we brought the dogs home, Axle didn't like that there were two dogs in his backyard that he couldn't play with.  The Spaniel was so small and old (and going blind) that we couldn't risk putting our energetic one year old with him.  After looking over the little one, we discovered that the dog wasn't really in great shape, he didn't have a collar, tufts of hair were matted and coming out and we began to wonder if the little dog was homeless.
The black lab had tags linking her to a vet in Golden, but they were already closed for the day.
I was amazed at how quickly the two dogs had bonded to each other.  They were so very different (in size and personality), but already seemed to be great friends.  

So we fed and watered the dogs and called around to see who was open and who could help us.  When we tried to track the rabies tag on the black lab, no one could pull up any records - so that was a dead end.  We eventually found a vet that could help us scan the dogs (and seemed willing enough to help).  The only catch was, if we couldn't find a microchip or the owners, the dogs would be taken to the pound by Jeffco, (which would most likely be a death sentence).  
Matt and I had decided ahead of time that we would let the dogs stay with us until the owners were found.  But we were worried that we wouldn't find the owner of the Spaniel.  We took the dogs into the vet and the black lab had a chip!  We were so glad.  At least one of the dogs would get home.     
Not only that, but when the vet tech inquired further, she discovered that the two dogs belonged to the same owner!  No wonder the two seemed so comfortable together!  Upon hearing they would both being going home, I, true to form, got a little misty-eyed.  I was so relieved! 

After waiting for about forty five minutes, the owners came to pick up the dogs.  Apparently, they had been moving and the men of the house didn't realize the dogs were in the house (um, yeah, it was cold outside).  So the little Houdinis escaped.  I don't think the owners even realized the dogs were gone until we called to tell them we had their dogs.    

It was wonderful to see the dogs reunited with their people!    

Matt apologized for "ruining" Valentine's Day.  I was surprised.  This little adventure was perfect.  We were spending time together and I was being reminded of some of the reasons I fell in love with him.  Matt is so willing to go out of his way to help others.  He is so kind and generous and has a gentle, compassionate spirit. 

I am so lucky to have him!  



Monday, February 9, 2009

My Paintings

This weekend was nice and relaxing for my hubby and me.  
Matt finally had the chance to work on his 4-Runner and I finally finished a painting I've been working on for many months.  
It was sort of a procrastination for not writing this weekend.  Bad, I know.  But sometimes, it's good to step back a bit and just think about other things.  Sometimes inspiration comes from doing that every once in a while.  
My technique could be improved, of course, but this painting is of particular sentimental value to me.  The inspiration was from a photo I took of Matt on our honeymoon.  Matt has been good enough to provide me with feedback throughout the process of the painting and yesterday he finally said "It looks good, sweetie.  I'm proud of you." 
Here's a pic of the painting - which is a bit off since the paint isn't quite dry.  

And some of the detail...

The original photo is already one of the pics on my blog.  You will probably be able to see the similarities and differences.  As I said before though, I've never taken classes - so that might help me to improve a lot AND water is HARD to convey.  But, for the most part, I'm proud of it.  
Here's some of the other paintings I've been working on / finished recently:  

My girlfriend, Keely's birthday present, "Green Violin" (still drying):  
She hasn't seen it yet - unless she reads my blog.  Ha!  Maybe this'll get her on here.  

I'm not sure if this one is complete yet or not.  I like the translucency of the trees and the sort of ghostly unfinished feeling this painting has.

This one was created because I wanted to put some paint to part of my novel.  It's not finished - but I do like all of the vibrancy and color and movement of this.  I'm not sure if this is something I would display in my home or not.  

This is the first of my violin series.  "Red Violin."  Sadly, it doesn't photograph as well as the green (which was made specifically because Keely said she liked this one).  This one is pretty much finished.  I'm just waiting a little longer for it to dry so I can glaze and frame it.  

This is really thick paint - which can take up to a year to dry.   

There are some others I could share, but they are not quite ready yet.  This is an incredibly wonderful release for me.  I can be alone with my thoughts or music or something and just create.  If you have been looking for a creative outlet for yourself, I encourage trying something like this.  It's very freeing and, really, if you look at some of these, it does not need to be complicated.  

My brother and sister in-law gave me some watercolors for Christmas this year, so I look forward to testing those out. 
AND I think the next thing I'll try out is acrylic paint.  It dries a lot faster.  
I just really love the thick, vibrant paint that oil provides.  Maybe I'll try mixed media soon.  
I've got a series combining musical notes and fruit that I've been working on that would be perfect for that.  

Well, I hope all is well with each of you.  I'd love to hear what you think! 




Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Overheating in a Kickboxing Class

So today, I woke up and went to my kickboxing class.  I must preface this with the fact that I am not a morning person.  AND that I have been sleeping in the last two weeks.  (Insert slap on wrist here.)  I was good at first:  I was dressed an hour before the class; and then procrastinated and did some research for my book; and then ultimately got carried away to the point where I wasn't able to eat breakfast before I had to rush around the house to find my gloves and race to the gym.  

I haven't been to the morning class in a while, okay?  Let's say at least a month or two- so I'm punching and jumping and ducking and kicking and sweating and about half an hour in, I'm starting to feel a little light headed.  I do the half-hearted punching while trying to cool down a bit.  (I feel the eyes of the instructor burning into the back of my head as she wills me to bring up the intensity.)  There's even comments like "Harder!"  "Faster!" "Fire it in there!" - things like that that I knew were meant for me.  

I want so badly at this point to just keep going.  I have to be a good example for the others in the class, but I'm really starting to feel the beginnings of a blackout coming on, so I grab my water bottle and just go out to get some "fresh" air.  I think I had to sit down for 10 minutes before I could rejoin the group with my original fervor.

When I returned to the class, I caught the eyes of several people, some who threw me smug smiles that seemed to say "huh, you're one of the youngest ones in here" and "well, well - look who decided to rejoin us" and "I didn't have to quit".   

I guess it's the competitiveness of the whole thing that keeps me coming back to this class.  It's the judgement, really.  I am drawn to it, like a moth to a flame whenever I am challenged in this way.  It's one of the reasons I went into advertising, it's one of the reasons I stayed in it and it's one of the reasons I never allowed myself to drop a class in college on principle.  It is pure self-loathing, I guess; but it works for me.  Somehow other people not believing that I can achieve something just pushes me to do it, be better, be more. 

Well, today, it got the best of me and I overdid it as usual and nearly paid the price.  I always think that I can work out at the level that I used to when I was in better shape.  
The worst thing about the whole ordeal was the realization that regardless of factors like 1) dehydration and 2) overheating, it took TEN MINUTES for my heart to calm down.  
Now I have to rededicate myself to working out on a regular basis just to make sure that I have a heart that doesn't have to work too hard to do its job.   

I guess with the current lack of job, I have no excuse not to come out of this situation with a healthier heart and (hopefully) a little less jiggle.  And then, maybe I could wear those little booty shorts that say things across the butt.  Ha!  Just kidding.  I'm not sure I'd wear those no matter what state my thighs are in.