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Holding Down the Fort

23 Nov
Have you ever heard a phrase that struck a cord deep within you, as if the words were made especially for the moment you were living?
I’ve never repeated a Bible Study that I’ve previously done, until now.  Recently I re-started “Crossings” as a way to introduce the study to a friend.  At first I was afraid the study would seem too familiar, since it has been less than a year since we piloted it for the group leader.  But now, only two lessons into the seven week series, I know it will impact my life as strongly now as it did the first time around.  However, this time around it has a fresh new meaning, and different  parts of the work are sticking with me than when I did it before.
Today’s lesson was about Joshua, the man who was trained by God to become a leader for his people.  During his training he learned from one the best: Moses, who often had the incredible honor and privilege of spending one-on-one time alone with God.  Joshua was a devoted servant to God and an invaluable aide to Moses.  During the times that Moses met with God, Joshua stood behind Moses, allowing Moses the full glory of the opportunity to be with God alone, but also protecting Moses from any sort of ill will that could have befallen him during this time of vulnerability.  Joshua was, in fact, “holding down the fort” for Moses.
Botsford Tree House, a photo by Voxphoto on Flickr.
It’s an issue I can relate to.  As the mother of three young children, I’m holding down the fort for them in myriad ways:  carefully keeping a watchful eye to shield them from harm, proudly allowing them to shine in their various moments in the spotlight, gradually encouraging them to grow in faith and spend time making their own godly decisions.  As the wife of a busy subspecialist, I am holding down the fort at home, keeping our house a safe haven to protect him from the pressures of a demanding job and a stressful work environment.  I am holding down the fort in our marriage, keeping things intimate, creating time for our relationship, finding ways to spend quality time together.  I am holding down the fort socially, as I navigate our calendar and make decisions on where to spend our most valuable commodity: time.
Sometimes it feels like I am left to hold down the fort while other people are able to enjoy life to the fullest.  But I know now that God is preparing me for all that He has planned for me, and that He thinks the fort is important enough to protect.  And I find it a great honor to be in charge of it.  In fact, I can think of no greater joy.
Holding down the fort: When I heard those words today I knew they were meant for me.  The next time I feel like life is passing me by, I’m going to clean up my fort a little, and make sure it is adequately prepared for whatever may come.

Babble talk!

1 Jul

July 2010 

A fly on the wall could get a well-rounded education around our house.  If we aren’t hooked on a brainless show like American Idol or Pawn Stars, we can find ourselves doing something totally dorky like reading a book (together!) or getting involved in some type of really deep discussion.   Lately we have been talking a lot about the history of the English language, which is one of my main interests anyway, and something that J2 has become interested in as well.  (Wait!  Don’t leave! 😉 ) 

J2 finds it amazing that he can read a letter or text from 300 years ago and it sounds almost just like we speak today, but everything before that is almost like it is a different language.  However, language is really a social phenomenon.  It follows the development of land and exploration of the world.  As the world grew bigger to the settlers, our language evolved too.  

Way back when England was barely even a country (it was called Angle-land because it was inhabited primarily by tribes called Angles) the language was more germanic and tribal. It was Old English, and barely recognizable to us today.  The letters are different, the pronunciations are not the same, and to tell you the truth, even the different tribes could barely communicate with one another, which may be why they were so quarrelsome!  

Do you recognize this text? 

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum;
Si þin nama gehalgod
to becume þin rice
gewurþe ðin willa
on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg
and forgyf us ure gyltas
swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum
and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge
ac alys us of yfele soþlice
 

Later, when life moved into a more castle-like lifestyle, due to the influence of the Norman invasion in 1066, our language took on more French and Norman influence.  It became Middle English.  The influence of outside trade with other countries took effect also, and our language grew more mature.  But, with some of the Old English letters still mixed in, and many French words borrowed into the vocabulary, it still isn’t very recognizable to us today.  In fact they did not even pronounce their vowels the same way we pronounce ours today. 

What about this one? 

Oure fadir that art in heuenes,
halewid be thi name;
thi kyngdoom come to;
be thi wille don, in erthe as in heuene.
Yyue to vs this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce,
and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris;
and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel.
Amen.
 

Still later, a movement called the Great Vowel Shift happened.  This was due to the breakdown of feudalism and the move from castle life to city life and the inter-mingling of people living among each other from many villages within cities, and heavy trading among these cities across a much more organized country.   Suddenly the vowels started sounding like we pronounce them today. And then the letters started looking like the ones we use today.  Even some of the letters started being differentiated so that a 26-letter alphabet was finally formed.  Sound familiar?  First it was Early Modern English, which is more familiar as it evolves into more familiar spelling over time, but still uncomfortable with its thees and thous.   

More familiar yet? 

O oure father which art in heven,
halowed be thy name.
Let thy kingdom come.
Thy wyll be fulfilled, as well in eth
as hit ys in heven.
Geve vs this daye our dayly breade,
And forgeve vs oure treaspases
euen as we forgeve them which treaspas vs.
Leede vs not into temptation,
but delyvre vs from yvell. Amen.
 

Later, once the country was fully realized, we evolved to Modern English, which is what we we’ve used for the past 300 years or so, even still today. 

Here it is! 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen 

  

As the globe became fully realized, our language became fully evolved. Language did not magically change over time, but changed as a result of societies forming more structured lifestyles and realizing the world around them.  As life became more organized, so did language.   

I hope you’ve enjoyed being a fly on the wall in our house this day! 

  

To Blog, or not to Blog?

8 Jun
I’ll admit, I am really struggling with this blogging thing.  As I posted in one of my original posts, I don’t really know where I am going with this blog.  I have been doing a little research to try to figure it all out. 

I do enjoy reading other people’s blogs; my reader contains blogs of all varieties: political blogs (some even differ from my own opinions), mommy blogs, blogs of friends whose families I like to read about, do-it-yourself project blogs, advice blogs, blogs on particular topics of interest. 

But when it comes time to write my own blog, I find myself feeling a bit narcissistic.  Does anyone really care that much about what I have to say?  Is my opinion really that valuable?  What could I possibly add to the blogosphere that would increase the importance level?

Well, then perhaps I will just use the blog to record family moments, I think.  I have three young children, and I am certainly feeling time slip away as we are creating memories faster than I can record them in my brain or on paper.  
 
 But do I need a public forum for that?  Isn’t a scrapbook enough?  My family and friends who know me well enough know they can see pictures on facebook or even just via email.  If they really care, they will call or email to find out about cute little stories or anecdotes about their lives…right?  Do we need a blog for that?
 
I’m a little worried about opening myself up to speculation or criticism as well.  I already receive plenty of criticism as it is, and I am sure to be opened up to a healthy dose of more if my mom starts reading!  (LOL just kidding, mom!) Seriously, do I really want people speculating about what I am really like if they don’t already know me that well?
 

The funny thing about this is that I might just be the most opinionated, outspoken person I know.  I rarely have a difficult time talking to people, and I am always finding myself giving advice, whether or not it has been solicited.  My mommy friends almost always call me for tips and tricks and even before I was a mommy people asked me all the time for my opinions about the best of this or the best of that…and I, of course, gave them freely!  But when it comes to writing on a computer screen, without any prompt or question, I’m blank.

In my blogging research over the past few days I have become overwhelmed by what I have found in the form of advertisements, freebies and product placements.  I also find it interesting how dedicated bloggers are to their blogs–posting daily really takes a lot of commitment.  Plus the aggravation of making the blog apear like I want it to takes an enormous amount of editing time.  I am still struggling to figure out what my own motivation would be. 
 

Maybe this struggle indicates that I am not cut out for blogging after all. Or maybe it is just God’s way of making me really think things through before fully signing on to another project.  Either way, I’m not fully signed on yet.  Just still playing around.  Trying to find my voice.  Maybe someone will still be left to listen after I figure this out.
 
 Here’s some more food for thought.  And if this post does not make you think, this link certainly will.  Read more about it on Velveteen Mind here.  I’m interested in your comments too.
 
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:8

 

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