My Beautiful Sister


What Happens on Break

Challenge for Thanksgiving Break: Read all of Shannon Hale's books.

Outcome: A very happy girl.

(And a completed challenge!)

Shannon Hale has absolutely delightful stories, she makes me laugh out loud and smile. A lot. I highly recommend her books - especially Enna Burning and Book of a Thousand Days. And the Actor and the Housewife is fun also. And The Goose Girl. And, well, I really like them all.

Two fun quotes :)

"I don't know how you persist in being so stubborn."
"It's a superpower. I was bitten by a radioactive mule."

- The Actor and the Housewife

"Jane sat beside Colonel Andrew. He had a dashing smile. It nearly dashed right off his face."

- Austenland


First Sunday of Advent

VENI veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

Veni, veni O Oriens,
solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas,
dirasque mortis tenebras.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

O COME, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel!

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,
to thee shall come Emmanuel!



For Faith

We're bright green and red. The sun brings out every little color detail about my home. My beautiful home.

My little brother sits on my lap, laughing rather contagiously. He asks about my bracelet - orange, teal, turquoise, purple. And I tell him our colors, then I tell him about my friend who loves color.

We both smile and then snap! The shutter closes, and the camera catches the moment in digital pixels. We're both little children, loving and laughing in this world of color.


Gratitude (1)

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Psalm 25:15-18

Gratitude for the man of God who penned his thoughts in such a human way, and gratitude to my Lord for placing these thoughts in His word. It's a comfort knowing that I'm not the only who cries in the night, who is just ... weak. And it even seems silly sometimes to have these thoughts. I'm not in danger of death, and I can think of so many who have it so much worse than I do. And yet I'm weak enough to cry and feel darkness and doubt press into my soul. I cry for my own weakness on top of it all.

I'm so grateful for the word of God, for my very own small blue Bible that testifies to my own weakness with its tear-splotched pages and (small) scattered rips. Even if I am just a weak and silly girl, I have a great Savior. And He has given me these words of life, these words which will uphold and lift me through my days.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 18: 1-2, 46

Here is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!


This Patch Of Sunlight

I'm in a world of sunlight and words. My brown dress has permanent wrinkles from being crushed in hugs all morning. The sun streams onto the faces of my sleeping sisters. And it's so beautiful. I fill my mind with a Shannon Hale's story or lay the book down and enjoy the calm happiness of just being home.

I love it here, love these small pieces of sunlight. Buoyant, joyful, I could conquer the world right now. The antibiotics help this feeling, no doubt, and I know this strength is temporary. It'll fade with the sun. But I still am grateful for it. These pieces of sunlight make the weakness and pain all the more bearable. I skipped down the side-aisles with my little brother at church today. I don't regret it now, even though I'm exhausted. It's definitely worth it.

Praise God for Sundays with sunlight.



Goodbye is hovering over us, just like the grey clouds that fill the sky. We're all wearing red, seeking comfort in the warmth of colors and our friendship. We know that it's not a final goodbye, but two months seems too long in our little corner of the present.

Home is waiting just a couple hours away. Home, time with friends and family, hectic work schedules, and the blast of Southern weather. But we'll definitely come back to our second home.

Love you girls.


Notes and Pictures

To mark not just a moment, but to mark the many moments that I'll never forget.

This day beauty split the sky, and the clouds scrambled around. (click)

This day the river reflected a blue that was brighter than the sky itself.

I spent a Saturday with these three wonderful friends.

HillAbbey girls walked around and pulled random reeds. Later that day, we had a huge bonfire that illuminated our smiling faces.

I love these moments.


Weakness and Strength

"Having lost everything, he gave his weakness to God, and it became his strength. In a way, all the tales are one tale, the tale of how God's power is found in weakness. But that is the story of the whole of life, if you know how to read it right."

- Penelope Wilcock, The Hawk and the Dove

"The fourth step of humility for the monk is that in this obedience under difficult, unfavorable, or even unjust conditions, his heart quietly embraces suffering and endures it without weakening or seeking escape. For Scripture has it, 'Be brave of heart and rely on the Lord."

- The Rule of St. Benedict

"The early Christian monks staked their survival on their willingness to be as God made them, creatures of the day-to-day. [...] It is all a matter of falling down and standing back up again, no matter how many times."

- Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me

"Are you in shadow? Are you in pain? Next to you, is Hamlet a happy man? Has the rock been lifted, removing the sky, tearing your life in half?

Do not cry to me. I can only cry with you. I will not die for you. I am still too young in the meaning of love. Talk to the Fool, to the one who left a throne to enter an anthill. He will enter your shadow. It cannot taint Him. He has done it before. His holiness is not fragile. It burns like a father to the sun. Touch His skin, put your hand in His side. He has kept His scars when He did not have to. Give Him your pain and watch it overwhelmed, burned away by the joy He takes in loving. In stooping.
In the end, when your life is of a different sort, your first flesh will be dust, and of your grief, not one grain of ash will remain."

- ND Wilson, Notes from a Tilt-A-Whirl

"And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

- 2 Corinthians 12:9


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