Wish I had some cute, catchy title, but, alas... It's been an interesting week here, including 2 extra days tacked onto our 3 day weekend when we set record low temps (Thursday was a low of -14F and a HIGH of -1F. Youch!). Anyhow, here are a few things I've been thinking about this week, in no particular order.
1. Blueberries. It is finally summer in Chile! Hooray! And how do I know, and why do I care? Blueberries on sale for 90 cents a container and grapes for $1.28. We are eating like kings, queens, and princesses in the middle of winter. Speaking of princess, even I played dress up this week - old church dresses and little girls can be a lot of fun!
2. Snow is good. In spite of the wretched cold that prevented us from getting outside, I am grateful this week that it snowed (covering ugly brown everything) the day before the cold snap hit. And there was just enough time to get the roads cleared ahead of the deep freeze. So we can still drive safely!
3. Flickering, worn out faith. Thinking about faith is hard on the brain sometimes. What on earth am I supposed to think, say, do? How do I live my faith when I feel confused? I found encouragement this week as I read these things though - "Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest... Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" Mt. 11:28-30 And when I feel horribly useless, like the person with the dimmest faith and usefulness for Jesus, I read - "He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle." Mt. 12:20 Wherever YOU are at in your spiritual journey, I hope that gives you heart as it does to me that even a flicker is worth a lot.
4. Forget the bathing suit. Need inspiration for your New Year's health plan? Or just January blues? Found in one of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light, I found words that describe what keeps me excited about exercise. "The most successful exercisers fall into the kinesthetic category. We've found a primary motivator for those who exercise regularly is that they feel better, because it's something they can perceive readily and from which they derive immediate reinforcement." Never mind worrying about summer, be active for that pick-me-up today!
5. Iran. Finally, interesting reading by my bed this week (month?!) - "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ" by Hooman Majd - kind of a modern history of Iran. I learned that Iran is almost completely Shia Islam (as opposed to Sunni). They are the more liberal branch, Sunni is the more literalist. (I'm reminded that Christianity isn't the only religion with fairly deep philosophical variety.) Shiites believe that their 12th Imam will return at Armageddon someday, with none other than Jesus Christ at his side. And the wearing of chadors (burqas) has come and gone over the years. Around the 30s, it was not allowed. Wearing it was rebellion. During the Islamic Revolution in the 70s, many women were actually glad to wear them again after years of being forbidden to exercise their right to modesty. Interesting perspective!
And so I will spend the rest of my day: eating blueberries, shivering, not too despairing about the flickering candle of my faith, happy from working out this morning, and learning about the axis of evil.