Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tell me what you know...

My newest favorite musician is a woman named Sara Groves, who has actually been putting out CDs for many years. I discovered her, thanks to the Relevant Podcast, and have fallen in love with the way she interprets the world.

If you think about it, we are all doing this, every single day - in every action we do, we are interpreting the world around us. Some are able to do it through music, some through art, some with words... It is an absolutely essential part of our human nature. Every day we are figuring out how and why we exist in the world, and what our relationship is to the world. How do you interpret it?

With her music, Sara Groves makes beautiful connections to our humanity and God's nature. She tells stories and celebrates people. Music moves me, and some days I wish I had the gift of songwriting. But for now, I will have to simply enjoy the work of others. This is the chorus from my current favorite Sara Groves song, off the CD of the same name (Tell Me What You Know).

Tell me what you know
About God and the world and the human soul
How so much can go wrong
And still there are songs...

I thank the Lord in Heaven that I will always have a song to sing. I praise Him because we will always have songs to sing, despite the presence of so much pain and evil in the world. Through the darkness and desperation, there is hope. People are good. God is just. The world is beautiful. And I will keep on singing.

Tell me what you know...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Photos, Finally!

I finally uploaded the pictures on my camera to my computer. For you today: a visual tour of the past couple weeks in the life of Wendy.

For Christmas, my parents surprised me with a new digital camera! Okay, well they didn't exactly "surprise" me with it, since I had asked for it. But it was still a surprise! My mom did a wonderful job of researching and picking a really good one. My first real chance to play with it was on the way up to Chicago for a friend's wedding.

This camera is amazing! It does things that I did not know cameras could do! My favorite features are the macro mode (so you can take really close-up pictures of things) and the color filter mode, pictured left.

Once I got back to Pittsburgh, I spent New Year's Eve downtown, enjoying the First Night festivities. Among other things, we got to see a performance of the Balmore Highlanders (I think?) Scottish bagpipers, drummers, and dancers. It was really cool!!!
Also unique to Pittsburgh is the fact that at midnight, our New Year's ball goes up, not down. I wanted to get a video of it, but my camera was out of memory. Maybe next year!

I've had a lot of fun posting and arranging pictures on my new Flickr account. Initially, I got an account because I really like searching other people's pictures and saving them as "favorites" so that I have someplace to look for inspiration when I'm crafting or painting or writing. After a while, though, I decided that it's only fair for me to post pictures of my own, too! I am by no means a professional photographer, or even a talented amateur. But it makes me happy, and I suppose that's all that really matters! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

After-Christmas Update

Well, much to my surprise, my parents got me the first pieces of the Willow Tree Nativity set! I had told my mom about it, but I didn't know that she was actually going to get it for me! I now have the basics of the nativity - the most important parts, really. Joseph and Mary holding baby Jesus, a shepherd, two sheep, and a donkey. I've taken most of my Christmas decorations down already, but I think I'll leave that one up a little while longer...

Speaking of Christmas decorations, the one thing that is STILL up in my apartment is... the Christmas tree! We got a live one, which brought me great joy. The only problem is that no one was home the week before Christmas, and now that it's more than a week after Christmas, the poor thing is extremely dry and brittle. Yesterday I took off the ornaments and garland, but had to stop before I removed the lights because it hurt my hands so much! The floor is getting covered with a good carpet of dried needles. We have been warned, in a missive from the apartment complex, to thoroughly wrap our tree up before transporting it so that we don't get pine needles all over the building. But my mom's solution to the problem is much more fun: our tree is next to the sliding glass door, which leads out to our third-floor balcony. She thinks we should just drop the tree over the balcony, thus removing the need to wrap the tree up at all! I think my mother is a genius.

In related news, the other significant present I got for Christmas was a digital camera!!! My mom makes us give her lists every year at Christmas, and I put a camera down (along with a MacBook) as a joke, not actually expecting to get one. But I did -- and it is amazing!!! That camera does things that I didn't know cameras could do! The day after I got the camera in our belated Christmas celebration I had to drive to Chicago with some friends, and I spent pretty much the whole four hour ride taking pictures of things and fiddling with my new toy. I'd love to show you the pictures, but I'm currently in Panera without my camera and cord, so the next time I'm around I'll definitely let you all in on the new-camera goodness.