With All My לבב

I just spent the evening with these two adorable children, my god-siblings. Listening to MJ talk about Egyptian history, while BabyGirl cuddled on my lap.  Memories I will never forget. I put them to sleep, prayed with them, then lay down until (I thought) they were asleep. Then, I got up and just watched them. I half-whispered a song of blessing...

May the Lord bless thee and keep thee
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee

MJ moved over, and I paused so that I wouldn't wake him up. Then a small, quiet voice finished the prayer.

And be gracious unto thee, may God be gracious unto thee
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee
And give thee peace.

MJ looked up at me and smiled. "I love you, cousin." Then closed his eyes and went to sleep. I'll never forget that precious memory.


I have been working on a word study that Clayton suggested, looking at the greatest commandment in Deuteronomy and then in the NT, and comparing the Hebrew with the Greek. It is so amazing. Here's just a bit from my notes...

The Hebrew word for 'heart' is לבב (roughly transliterated 'lebab'), and it means so much more than simply heart. One concordance defines it as: "the mind and every faculty - action, passion, disposition, thoughts, reasoning, memory, love, joy, and fear." It is not merely the heart, it is also the seat of the intellect, the very essence of our being.

I have been trying to find a way to explain לבב. One way to explain it is to think of a how a child loves. With full trust and confidence. It's simple logic for them to love. We were created for this purpose and this purpose alone - to love the Lord our God with all our לבב.

This may be the reason why the NT command has the additional clause "with all your mind" (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). The Greek word for heart - 'καρδιας' - doesn't have the same connotations as the Hebrew לבב.

Our English translations do not do justice to the original Hebrew. When I was reading it, studying all the definitions, I realized more and more how utterly far I fall from the mark.

But then I realize all the more the beauty of the Gospel. Christ came down and truly lived his life, his entire לבב, according to the will of His father. And He did so in order that we might also live and love with all our לבב.

(And I have a lot more upcoming notes on this word study :) )


Simple Poem

Tempt me not, o idle thoughts
With the airy sweets of dreams.
But give me hope, and on this hope,
The solid bread of reality.


On a Much Less Profound Note

It's St. Agnes' Eve tonight. 



Tertullian on Barack Obama

"We respect in the emperors the ordinance of God, who has set them over the nations. We know that there is that in them which God has willed; and to what God has willed, we desire all safety."

Tertullian, The Apology

May God bless our new president Barack Obama.


My Place

Sometimes, it seems like everyone is out conquering the world. Everyone but me. My friends are all in college or finishing high-school. I feel out of place talking with my friends. I'm so proud of them, but it's such a contrast when I think about their jobs, their wonderful classes, and then I think of my daily schedule: sleep, doctor's visits, operations, sleep again, try desperately to keep up with school (and, heh, not really succeeding). It's hardly the schedule I had imagined for my senior year. And it's pretty disheartening fact.

And yet.

I've come to realize that it is disheartening only when I let it be. For the first time in my life, I'm not spending all my time doing 'big' things like spending hours on the piano, or teaching Latin, or keeping up a fun load of classes. I spend my days resting, trying to gain strength, enjoying calm times with my family, learning to appreciate life from a much slower pace than I'm used to. And it is so beautiful. God has blessed my life immensely - with an amazing family, the dearest friends in the world, and everyday wonders. This is my life now. And I have absolutely no cause to complain. At the end of the day, no matter how awful the pain is, or how 'useless' I feel, my eternal Father has ordained this. And it is for His glory and my good. What more can I ask?


Daily Reads

You cannot surely forbid the Truth to reach your ears by the secret pathway of a noiseless book.

Every year I have some sort of general reading plan. Last year was Joy's 100 books-in-a-year along with my Great Books literature and Gibbon classes. Two years ago, I tried to keep my readings to Victorian and Medieval literature. This year, I'm taking a more day by day approach. I still have my ever-growing booklist, but I've joined a few book groups that I hope to keep with throughout this year.

Company of the Fathers

Two years ago, I joined this reading group that Mr. Callihan started. Our goal was (and is still) to read through the 38-volume Early Church Fathers set, and we've started back again (!!). We're going through Tertullian's Apology right now, and wow. He's amazing. I added the link to the blog on my sidebar.

New Albion Book Club

Mr. Jenson invited me to this group - and guess what book we're going to read? Witch Wood! It's one of my favorite Buchan books, and I'm looking forward to the discussions.

History of the Christian Church

For my Schola class, we're reading through Schaff's 8-volume History of the Christian Church. It's beyond wonderful. Because I've been so ill for the past few months, I normally had a "Schaff" day, where I would catch up on my readings, but I'm hoping to have read Schaff daily this year.

De Gestis Herwardis Saxonis

In an attempt to keep up my Latin, I've been reading this reallly fun Medieval work every day. I tried to keep up a corresponding notebook with an English translation, but that ruins the fun of reading it in the original Latin. I love reading it :-)

Tertullian, Buchan, Schaff, and Medieval Latin... this is going to be a delightful year.


Just a Memory

I limp along and watch the sky,
The pain brings tears, tears to my eyes.
The stars, they shine, heaven's best,
The sun, he lays his head to rest.

In my mind, I smile, I laugh
The pain is gone, my strength is back,
My thoughts turn to the summer past,
Sunlit days with friends and dance.

My tears, they fade away as I
Thank God for all the joys of life:
For aerials and barefoot feet,
For you, my friends, and your friendship sweet.

Certain pictures come to mind.
Ice-skating, your hand in mine,
A polka dance with breathless speed,
I try to follow as you lead.

Us girls, we stayed up until three,
Voice and piano in pure harmony
I played with you and marveled at
The beauty, we together had.

I open my eyes and hope to see
Their smiling eyes there with me
But gone is the laughter and the dream
For this is just a memory.


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