Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hunkering down for the winter ...


We've been studying through Paul's first letter to the Corinthians as we worship on Sunday mornings at Calvary Church. I really really love this verse ... because it just says ... everything!

Another Christmas has come and gone. I haven't finished putting away our decorations yet. I'm holding onto the beauty of this season for as long as possible ... and I'm doing what I usually do this time of year ... I'm settling in for a long winter.

Other than a very occasional day-trip over to see the iciness of Lake Michigan, which is a completely awe-inspiring experience, I only take short little jaunts through our neighboring woods. The quiet is amazing. I really love it. I hope, sometime in the next month, to drive a little farther north ~ perhaps as far as Manistee ~ and just spend a day photographing winter in that location ...

What I typically do during these very cold months is ... read! And so I've finished a few good books this last week and have picked out several more to enjoy in the week to come. I usually read to escape, and I guess winter in Michigan is something lots of us like to get away from if we can ... but this year, I've decided to endeavor to read to LEARN ... at least a little bit more than what I've done in the past.

I recently finished Pastor Dobson's book, "The Year of Living Like Jesus." I loved this humble and very honest book about his journey of faith. I cried a lot as I read it. And I've learned a very simple prayer that is right from Scripture, that I have been praying a lot. I'm very thankful for it: "Lord Jesus Christ, be merciful to me, a sinner" which is what blind Bartimaeus prayed as he asked Jesus for healing. But I find this prayer just helps me focus on God's mercy for everyday circumstances ... the kind that I have trouble responding to with faith and hope and love.

Another book I recently read was, "C.S. Lewis: The Man Behind Narnia" by Beatrice Gormley. I had purchased it in the "slightly irregular" section of Eerdman's bookstore the last time I was there. What a wonderful biography about such a dear man! I learned a lot about him that I didn't know ... especially how he came to faith in Christ. And now, even though I have avoided reading it for years and years, I am going to tackle the book he is best known for, "Mere Christianity" and hope that I can get beyond my aversion to philosophy and apologetics and just ... LEARN!

But first, I have to finish reading "Pilgrim's Regress" (also by C.S. Lewis) because I am smack right in the middle of it and I can hardly put it down! This is the first book he wrote AFTER his conversion to Christianity and it is so well written! And I think, just for fun, I will re-read the entire Narnia series ... because I love children's literature!

And then after reading those, if it is STILL winter and we are STILL stuck inside in order to keep warm, I would like to read Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" because ... I've never read it and I am interested in the time period and would like to compare it to the movie version.

Also, after taking the entire month of December OFF from memorizing Ephesians, I have returned to it ... backing up about six verses ... and have a new determination to continue that endeavor.


In-between reading, editing pictures and making cards, and planning our March trip to Texas, I'll be over at church volunteering with the children's ministry. I'm anxious to get started on studying to teach the story of Job to the MOPS preschool class, as well as Esther's story. Those are the two I have been assigned! I'm not sure I would have chosen those two particular stories, especially JOB, to teach to preschoolers ... but I am looking forward to researching each story and re-telling it for the children.

We're also looking forward to hosting our Super Bowl party over at the Jones Junction again this year. I love entertaining friends at our house, especially these dear friends that have become like family to us. Everyone will bring delicious food, and we'll enjoy another batch of homemade ice-cream and let everyone make their own sundaes ...

Grandpa Jones and I eat lots of simple meals during the winter ... homemade soups and yummy breads ... hot tea (for me) and hot chocolate (for Grandpa Jones) ... and layer up inside our rather cold house! And I guess that's what winter is for perhaps. Slowing down. Studying. Having friends over. Reading.
And anticipating ...

6 comments:

Thursday said...

Sounds like you have the rest of the winter all planned out!

I taught Job to 3rd graders once and was surprised by how much they got into it. I look forward to hearing how you present it to preschoolers.

C.S. Lewis is a great introduction to both philosophy and apologetics. He has a friendly writing style--it almost feels like reading a letter from a friend sometimes to read his books. So you don't need to be afraid. :)

Mom Jones said...

HI Suz ... Hmmm, do you have any visuals or notes (?) that you kept regarding Job ... this MOPS class is about a 20-30 minute time slot for the entire story of Job for these preschoolers. We have SOME reference material at Calvary, but so far I haven't found much on Job at a child's level. And thanks for your encouragement about reading C.S. Lewis. I need to "grow up" a bit in my reading ... and I'm looking forward especially to "Mere Christianity." I check your blog regularly but don't often leave a comment. Your writing is too beautiful to add anything to! :)

karen gilmore said...

Carol... you are amazing!.. I am cracking up about an "old-memory".. about 24 years ago... when I had a new baby a one year old and a 3 year old... I 'tried to read "Mere Christianity".. now you have challanged me to think about tring it again.... or better yet after you finishied it... you could just explain it to me.! ... Love ya .. hope to see you soon .

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Mom Jones said...

Dear Anonymous ...

Thanks for the kind comment, but I'm not writing "articles" ... this is just a simple photojournal to chronicle events in our family ... so that when God takes me to Himself some day, my children and grandchildren can remember the stuff we did together and hopefully know how much I loved them.

sabrina said...

Now I'm wondering if I can find my copy of Mere Christianity to read.... I can't wait to see more winter pictures either. Sounds like you got a good plan in place and I have to be honest that my favorite part of the plan is a trip down south soon so we can see each other again soon!