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Archive for April, 2007

Doctoral Fun

If you were born after 1975–  you can probably hardly remember life without your personal computer.  I was born in 1970 and I have a vague recollection of getting Apple computers in my sixth grade classroom.   They were fun.  I think we played math games on them.   

My first real memory of using a computer on a regular basis was in my yearbook class during my junior and senior years of high school.  We were designing double-page spreads on graph paper and then transferring it all over to an Apple, saving it on a floppy and mailing the creation into the publisher.  The beginning stages of graphic design. 

I met my husband the next year during my Freshman year of college.  He was a senior and neither of us had a computer.  Oh, I had to take a general education course on how to use Word Perfect.  But like everyone else, I still did all of my English compositions and history essays on the electric typewriter that I had purchased the summer before with graduation money.  I thought it was very cutting-edge because it had a correct ribbon.  I didn’t even have to use white out!  Spencer finally broke down and bought a Commodore 64 during the last couple of months of college because he anticipated having a lot of writing to do when he arrived at seminary.  He never really did master that thing.  The last night of his senior year, he was frantically trying to get his paper to print as he and his roommate poured over the instruction manual.    In the end, he couldn’t get the dot matrix printer to print the text within the confines of the perforation.  The next day, he ended up handing in a twenty page paper that was all connected–  “accordion style.”   Incidentally, he handed that paper in to Dr. Bayer’s secretary at 4:59 pm, one minute before the Redford School of Theology was closed for Christmas break.  We ran across campus, shoved the paper into the unsuspecting secretary’s hands and piled into a crowded car with enough Keith Green in the stereo and enough change in our pockets to make  the eight hour drive toward  southern Arkansas for the wedding of close friends.  Spencer was to be the best man and I, “the wedding singer.”  Those were the days. 

The next semester, he embarked upon the seminary years  and as he had correctly assumed, he did have a lot of writing to do.  And he did it.   First with pencil and pad and then he would transfer it all (or get someone else  to transfer it all) onto his computer.  That’s right–   he had not yet learned the art of composing on the computer.  No joke.  He would write the entire length of his paper by longhand and then hand it to me for the typing.   This was all great fun until we started having children.  (We got married at the end of his first year of seminary.)  Now that I had babies waking up in the middle of the night, staying up until two o’clock in the morning was starting to losing it’s appeal.

Fast forward twelve years later, and all of those memories came flooding back at me last night.  I was remembering endless nights of my husband frantically ripping another page out of his spiral and running it over to my desk in the next room to be typed out on our Mac (yes, we finally ditched the Commodore) while  at the same time downing cups pots of coffee.  Spencer was supposed to turn in the first three chapters of his dissertation last Monday, but things haven’t changed all that much from the days when we were running across campus with the accordion paper.  His doctoral advisor graciously approved an extension, giving him five extra days to get everything together and now the paper is due today.  At noon.   

I stayed up with my husband until 2 am last night–  just like the old days.  No, there was no frantic ripping of pages from the spiral.  Instead he kept e-mailing me,  from his office to the house, attachments of chapters to be edited.  I would download, print out and mark them up with a red pen.  Then I would hop in our van, call him on my cell phone as I was pulling into the church parking lot and deliver the next  stack of edited papers. 

The technology has changed, but not the fun that came from the sense of camaraderie that we shared.  I just hope we can make it to Kansas City by noon.

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I’m Off…

Well, I’m off to go and do something I don’t normally enjoy doing, which is to travel without my husband.   The first three chapters for his dissertation are due on Monday, and I thought it might really be helpful to amscray, if you know what I mean.  (“amscray” = “scram” in Pig Latin for those of you not in the know…)

Actually, the real motivation for taking off, is a youth weekend at my former youth pastor’s church. He hasn’t been a youth pastor in over twenty years, but I guess I’ll always think of him in that way.  At any rate, I’m hoping that my kids will be challenged and inspired!  My dad came up with a plan to take me and the little ones to Sesame Street Live—  and I’m actually kind of excited about that.  (I must really be hurting for excitement, huh?)  I also plan on hooking up with one of my old best friends, Lisa.  We were both bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and used to sit around and dream about what it would be like to be wives and mothers.    Now we’ve both got a passel of kids and not enough time to sit around and dream.  We’ll probably be lucky to get two words in edgewise as try to have a conversation in the midst of eleven children.    I haven’t seen in her in nearly two years.

So, I’m off!  Have a good weekend, everyone.

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At present, there are fifteen situations  that I am either sad or burdened about.  I know it may seem unusual to know that there are fifteen, but it occurred to me the other day that there were so many prayer burdens pressing upon my heart, that I ought to count them all.   On top of all of those concerns is the added burden that my prayer life hasn’t produced the results that I’ve been wanting; namely for all of these burdens to be “fixed” or rectified.

I keep meditating on the verse:  “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”   I need a lot of grace and so I’ve been thinking about praying for humility.  I say “thinking about” because I worry that a prayer for humility will result in a chain of bad circumstances or events brought to me by God in order to produce that humility.  And I feel that I run into enough of these without praying for more of them.  (That line of thinking is probably the proof that I need a lot more humility.)

And so then my my mind turns to wondering if I can ask God to make me humble with a  caveat: that the humility would come without trials or testing.  And then my mind turns to fasting.  It seems to me that fasting would be a way to humble oneself on purpose.  My husband has fasted off and on over the years, but the truth is that I’ve heard very little teaching on the subject and so I wonder about the hows and whys of this little talked about discipline and then I stumbled onto Bill Bright’s website about fasting.

But as for me, when they were sick,
         My clothing
was sackcloth; 
         I humbled myself with fasting; 
         And my prayer would return to my own heart.
         Psalm 35:13

I’m pretty sure that this should be a regular part of my life.  And so–  these fifteen things that are weighing me down will be the impetus for a new discipline in my life.   May God pour His grace out on me.

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Easter Lillies

Here are my Easter lillies–  all scrubbed and ready to go.  It was below 30 degrees outside, but they all looked Spring fresh!  🙂

All_five_2

Me and my girls

Me_and_girls

Dad and the boys

Dad_and_boys

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He is Risen!

He_is_risen

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Our Saturday

Here’s my feeble attempt in making a tomb out of playdough.  I used to have a paper mache’ tomb that I made when my oldest children were small, but I lost it several moves ago…  Tomorrow the stone rolls away.

Tomb_4

Easter baskets filled with goodies.

Baskets

Goodies

 

Baby Jane’s first egg hunt.  “Where egg?  Where egg?”  And yes, this was an indoor egg-hunt.  I guess we could have bundled everyone up in coats, hats and gloves, but no one was up for that this year.

Jane

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Good Friday

Easter_egg_4

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