My life is not my own, for I belong to Christ.
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Thursday, June 03, 2010
The Last Days of the Blackwood Eight
It's two in the afternoon, and I've already been up for nearly 12 hours. We Blackwoods are getting used to these middle-of-the-night trips to the airport. Allen and Zachary are on their way back across the ocean, on two different flights. Allen's left at 6 a.m., and Zachary's was scheduled to leave at 10 but kept getting delayed and ended up not leaving until 11:30. So we all had a lovely stay in the airport, talking and reading and coloring and playing "tiggy" on the top floor of the airport parking garage. Then it was finally time for goodbye. I'm thankful that God has given our family the ability to handle these goodbyes a lot better than we used to. There were only a couple of tears today, as far as I could tell. It's not a completely indefinite goodbye for me, as I'll see the boys when I get back to the States at the end of the summer, but it will be hard having them gone. The house already feels much emptier, and I know that even when I get back, things will be very different. Zachary's apartment will be disbanded, I'll be moving into it, and Zachary will, Lord willing, be preparing to move to some other town to teach. Purdue life won't be the same without having Zachary's constant company, his listening to me trying to sort out my life, giving me much-needed reality checks, and dutifully fulfilling the role of "protective older brother". I'll miss all of it.
We kids threw a 100th birthday party for my parents (they're both turning 50 this summer/winter) last weekend, which turned out wonderfully, thanks to Maria's faithful and tireless planning and the huge outpouring of love from people in the three RP congregations here. I manned the barbeque, and we had an amazing lunch, followed by games, speeches and songs and then a huge and delicious chocolate/peanut butter cake in the shape of a 5 and 0 (with smoke billowing out of the 50 candles - we decided not to try 100). We kids had compiled a list of "50 Reasons Why We Love Mom and Dad", which we read out to them. During one of our sibling planning meetings before the party, all six of us squeezing into Tamara's bedroom, I reminded my siblings that this is probably the last time we will all be together for a while, especially while we're still single. Benji then exclaimed, "Who's single!?"
For our last few days as a family, we took a little mini-holiday to Kennet River, a little house along the Great Ocean Road that a family from Geelong rents out during the year. We had a grand time reading and relaxing, playing frisbee and a modified version of cricket (using a Coke bottle and tennis ball), and swimming and boogie boarding in the freezing cold ocean. Eight Americans, dressed in multi-colored wetsuits, trying to brave the icy waves must have been quite a sight. I'll try to post some photos on facebook at some point.
It's been lovely having our whole family together for a couple of weeks. I'm so thankful that it's still possible for us to have time together, even though we're usually separated by an entire ocean.
How blessed all who fear the Lord,
And walk within His ways.
You'll eat your labor's fruit, be blessed,
And prosper in your ways.
Your wife will as a fruitful vine
Within your house be found;
Your children will as olive plants
Your table gather 'round.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who truly fears the Lord.
The Lord from Zion grant to you
His blessing and reward.
And may you see Jerus'lem's good
All days on earth you dwell.
May you your children's children see,
And peace on Israel.
--Psalm 128 (we sang this for my parents at their party)
Charity | 1:23 pmComments-[ comments.]
Friday, May 28, 2010
It has been a very long time since I have written on this dear little blog. I got caught up in college life and completely neglected writing purely for the joy of it. I have been journaling a lot more lately, especially since I've been in Australia with so much time on my hands, but there's something about blogging that makes me feel more fun and creative. I've missed it.
So here we go, another attempt at recording my not-so-adventurous adventures.
As you may know, I'm currently back in Australia, spending the summer (well, winter, actually) with my family. I arrived on May 12th, completely skipping the 11th, and plan to return sometime in August. I don't actually have a return ticket yet, which is proving to be rather dangerous, as my dad has put a lot of effort into trying to convince me that I should just stay here. I've told him that I promised everyone back in the States that I would return at the end of the summer, so as hard as I'm sure it will be to leave, that is still my plan.
I'm finding that it's harder in some ways to be consistent in the things I want to do when I have so much "free time" on my hands. There's a lot going on in the church here, and between that and family life, I can keep pretty busy. But I have a whole list of summer goals that I'm hoping to accomplish, and I haven't been pursuing all of those goals with extraordinary diligence. I am looking for a job, even though it seems like no one really wants to hire an American with little work experience who is only here for three months. In my attempt to sign up with a few employment agencies who may be able to help me in my search, I called about 10 different places, asking for information about registering with them. The first four were very helpful, while the last several left me feeling a little hopeless again. One man said, "Sorry, I'm not in that business anymore." Then a woman told me, "I'm just going to be honest with you... I don't think we can help you." Next, a man informed me, "We don't do that here." I reminded him that they were listed in the employment services in the yellow pages, only to have him respond with, "Uh, okay. Bye." The next woman paused for a couple seconds and said, "We help people with disabilities find jobs." How she knew I wasn't disabled, I will never know. I'm not giving up yet, but I can't say I've been overly encouraged in my job search.
Other aspects of being here have been really wonderful. Having my family living in a different house and so many new people in the church makes it feel different than "home" used to, but I am thankful to be here. I'm still amazed by the fact that you can see the beach from my sister's bedroom windows, that people reckon my "accent's gotten thicker", and that it's pretty hard to re-adjust to driving on the "wrong" side of the road. It's kind of like a small dose of renewed culture-shock. I'm trying to fit here again, if even just for a short time.
I read this verse on the plane ride here and hope it will be a sort of theme for my time here:
"And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful."
Charity | 10:39 pmComments-[ comments.]
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
My purdue blog is now up and running! I'm not on the home page for the bloggers yet (apparently the admissions office people are super busy and haven't had time to update the front page with the new bloggers), but you can see my posts here: http://www.boilermakerlife.org/blogs/?author=27. I've been getting some comments from my family, which has been a lot of fun. Feel free to leave a comment, silly or serious, as well! I may try to find time to post some other stuff on this blog, too...but we'll see if that is possible as the semester goes on. I don't feel like I can post on my Boiler blog a lot of things that I enjoyed posting on here. But, hey, I'm getting paid to do something I enjoy!
Charity | 11:34 amComments-[ comments.]
Monday, August 17, 2009
When I started my blog at the age of 13, I had no idea that it might one day get me a job.
That's right, a job! Like a real paying job! I had an interview in the Purdue admissions office this morning, and they would like me to blog a few times a week for them. I still get to write my conversational posts about every day life, in the hopes of engaging possible incoming students. I can do long posts or short posts, include photos or songs, and I don't have to worry about making it formal or professional. I am pretty excited about it. Maybe I'll do double posts on this blog. We shall see how it goes.
I will start posting sometime next week, so please visit the Purdue blogging page and check out my posts!
Charity | 11:55 pmComments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Adultish things I've done lately:
But then, those things are always counteracted by the not-so-adultish things that I tend to do, including:
Charity | 6:44 amComments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
I so often put my hope in the wrong things. I put my hope in people. I put my hope in circumstances. I put my hope in the things that will pass and fade.
And I wind up disappointed. Every time.
There is a Hope that doesn't disappoint. Oh, how my longing soul needs to be reminded.
Charity | 1:51 amComments-[ comments.]
Thursday, July 09, 2009
By Shel Silverstein
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand—
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said—
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.
*gasp* I know, TWO POSTS IN A ROW! It happens.
Charity | 12:31 amComments-[ comments.]