Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the everwatchful providence of almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I Want An Office

Frodo has an office. Three days a week, he works at home; one day a week, he rests; the other three days he goes to an office. Granted, he shares that office with two other people, and they have to balance office hours and such, but it is a place to go. If a student has a question, he can say, "Meet me at my office." Need to find him easily? He has posted office hours. But more important than having a place where he can go work and must be for his office hours, he has a place to not be when he is sick. If he's sick, he stays home. He does *not* go to his office. He has not only a physical respite, but an aesthetic/environmental respite.

I work at home. I am a mom, a homemaker, a homeschooler, a daycare provider, and a writer. All of these jobs are centered in my home... except when I escape to write at the coffee place, but they make me pay to go there. When I get sick, I stay home.... where I see the unwashed laundry and the dusty mantel and the piles of schoolbooks and the latest outline. I get that I chose these occupations (paying or no), but when I get sick, I realize the biggest benefit to having home and work separate - an office. A place not to go. A place to leave unfinished tasks where they cannot be seen unless I want to see them. A place to call and say, "I'm sorry, but I can't come in today. I need to rest." It doesn't have to be far away. I really don't even have to have someone there to call. I just need a place I don't have to go to.

Something like this would be nice:

Btw, this is David McCullough's office. That's Mr. McCollough himself standing in the doorway.He actually works in his office though... it's not really set-up for napping. I covet Mr. McCollough's writing ability in addition to his office. Just thought I'd mention it.

Maybe I need an office as a place to go when I'm sick? About a hundred yards or so out the back door. A bed/ window seat, comfy chair, sunny windows (with blinds), and a reading lamp. That's it. That's all I'd like. It doesn't even need to have electricity as long as I had batteries, a crank, or a little solar panel to run the light. I could bring a book and my MP3 player, snuggle under a blanket and get better.

Is that really too much to ask?

Monday, November 02, 2009


I was looking for a picture of a clock (I'll explain this another time... maybe), and my Google Image search brought be to the blog Per Crucen ad Lucem.

I was immediately struck by the top post on the site: Jaroslav Pelikan on the need for creeds.

We listened to the rebroadcast of this Speaking of Faith program a couple Saturdays ago. After grumbling about yet another rerun on this program (you'd think that after a pledge drive, they'd at least trot out something new so you felt like the money donated was being well-spent and truly needed), we turned up the volume and rediscovered why we added Credo to our wish lists. Jaroslav Pelikan's unwavering belief that Christians (humans, really) need creeds because they bind us not only in belief but to a community of believers that transgresses time is encouraging and contagious. He dispels the argument that those who find creeds divisive and quaint by arguing that creeds are simply an expression of tradition. Everyone has tradition. Those who say they have shunned tradition are, at best, deluded. "The only alternative to tradition is bad tradition," Dr. Pelikan argues.

So to find another who enjoys the tradition of listening to a repeat broadcast about tradition, faith, and creeds is a joyful occasion. Further reading of Mr. Goroncy's blog revealed a kindred spirit when it comes to an intellectual interest in the meeting of church and culture but enough difference to make reading his insights a learning experience rather than a meeting of the mutual admiration society (on first glance, Mr. Goroncy's - Dr? Pastor?- focus seems to be the influence of Reformed Christianity on traditional New Zealand belief systems and visa vera, but I'll have to read more to know for sure). I'll be adding him to my GoogleReader list and thought you too might want a heads up to an interesting, challenging blog to interact with.