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5 berries, 5 happy thoughts

1. Dean comes home tonight after 7 sleeps away. The cats are good company but their conversation skills are limited, they cannot pick me up and whirl me around with glee, and their smiles do not cause my heart to beat faster.

2. I have been reading some interesting blogs lately, one in particular that has much to say about how far everything in the church falls short of the mark. He moans about the lack of culture and excellence and depth in the evangelical community, pointing out its self-serving programs and mediocre art and music as examples of how far we have strayed. I agree, we are weak and poor and wretched, finding it easy to wander away from our creator instead stepping towards him. We are but dust. I wanted to argue: finer music, larger vocabularies, more complex paintings, and elitist cultural attitudes will not prove to be the church's salvation, buddy! Somewhere in the midst of my frustration and discouragement and anger towards the burdens these half-truths and slashing phrases were placing on the common follower of Jesus, I heard the Father say that he loves dust. He breathes life into dust (see Genesis 2). His Spirit can make the finest creation out of simple dirt. Dirty dirt. Shapeless dirt. Breathe on us again.

3. Saturday did not turn out the way I had hoped. Some days things just don't go according to the script in my head, and where I had hoped to leap and dance and live life large, I was bent low and disappointed in my weakness. Sunday morning I lay in bed and asked God what he thought about my performance the day before. This song floated through my head and continued serenading me all day: You take me the way I am (by Ingrid Michaelson). Weakness and shortcoming really have nothing to do with the quantity and quality of what is available 24/7 from the one who defines himself as LOVE.

4. I like going to the bathroom. There is something inherently satisfying and relieving about eliminating waste from your body. Of course, we do not talk about these things openly; we have sanitised these daily events and hidden them from view. But the fact is God made our bodies to take in both those things we need and those things that we don't (they are all mixed together in the foods we eat), and given our bodies the incredible ability to discern between the two and to take the valuable nutrients and let the other stuff go. He made letting go of waste an urge in us that needs to be satisfied and accompanied it with relief and a sense of well-being and lightness. How cool is that? Would that I could just as easily let go of all my emotional, spiritual, and personal waste.

5. Today was the first day of my intermediate French course. I sat beside Jean (the French equivalent for John) who sounds incredibly French to me, but admitted that after living here for more than 20 years, he still struggles to have a casual conversation. He is funny and friendly and made me enjoy the class that much more. I am blessed to have a patient teacher who wants to see us improve and learn, no matter what our level and insists that we never let fear or discouragement stand in our way. I look forward to more of the same tomorrow.

I am going to eat those blueberries now.

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