Shall I Receive Evil at the Hand of God and not Good, Also?

Theology Thursday

Potter's HandsAlert readers will realise that title is not really how the Bible verse goes.

Job has just had all the good things of his life ripped away from him, and his wife (who, debatably, might not have been one of those good things) counsels him to “curse God and die.” Job, having been fairly newly–and excessively–bereaved, nevertheless says to her,

Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Later on, after being browbeaten some more by his unimaginative friends, Job maybe doesn’t quite curse God and he certainly doesn’t die, but he just as certainly gets really ticked off at the injustice of his circumstances, and he lets God know this unequivocally.

We could analyse the book of Job and protest that he was treated unfairly and point out sagely that the really unjust piece of the story is that God never even tells Job about the wager between Himself and the Accuser, and we might be right or we might be wrong, but right this second I just want to talk about Job’s question to his wife: Shall we receive good from God’s hand and then reject the bad times when He brings them instead?

Last week in class we talked about whether or not God was inherently and completely good, and our professor pointed out other passages in the Bible outside of this Job one, where it states that God “creates evil” or even “does evil,” even though elsewhere (sometimes in the self-same books, even) God is described as completely good and having no evil within Himself. I don’t believe these statements necessarily contradict each other or are mutually exclusive, but I do think they can bring up a huge load of questions, including all of the “Why me, God?” (or “Why not me, God?” depending on the scenario) ones. If we’re suddenly giving God the responsibility for the unpleasantness of our lives, those questions seem really well-justified. But I have another question.

I used to have an atheist friend who had an ex-wife who was, out of spite, going to prevent him from refinancing his house by refusing to sign certain papers to remove her from being a part of the proceedings or something. My friend was stressed and grumpy about his ex-wife’s hardheadedness and hardheartedness, but completely confident in it. There was absolutely nothing on earth that could change this woman’s mind, evidently, and he knew it. He also, as was his wont, used this as yet another nail in the coffin he was constructing for God. I, on the other hand, thought I knew differently, so I prayed that his ex-wife would sign the papers.

The next time I talked to this friend, his ex-wife had signed the papers. He couldn’t explain it. I thought I could. “I prayed for her,” I said, thinking, Surely he has to acknowledge God’s presence now . . . at least a little bit?

And he did get quiet for a minute, but then he said, “Why would God show me grace through my ***** of an ex-wife, instead of through you when you’ve been trying to preach to me about Him for so long?”

I wanted to bash my head against a wall–and maybe bash his head against one, too. First of all–why wouldn’t God do that? Who really cares who the instrument of God’s grace is, as long as the grace is delivered? In my experience, God prefers to utilise the unlikely in His plans. This seemed like a signature God-move to me, but maybe this friend of mine, who was so intent on not-believing, wouldn’t have known that. Second–God did show grace through me (also unlikely), because I prayed about it and He answered it–and then allowed me to be there to interpret the answer. I guess He hadn’t guaranteed that even the interpretation would be understood, though.

It was this interaction, and many others like it, both with this friend and a few others like him, that made me start reversing Job’s question in my head. I wasn’t simply reversing it in self-righteous judgment of my doubting friends. I was reversing it because of my long-term tendency to blame God when things go wrong, myself, and my equally long-term inexperience with gratitude to God for the things that go right.

Should I receive evil at the hand of God and not good also?

By which I mean–if I believe God is sovereign, maybe it’s fair to say God is somehow in or connected to even the situations I find unbearable, though it may not be in the way that it immediately seems. This is something that I need to work out, surely–and something I may still get in God’s face about from time to time because I haven’t yet learned how to be that malleable lump of clay that He can make into something beautiful. However, if God is in some way attached to the difficulties in my life, how much more is He responsible for the good in it?

I’m pretty sure God can handle my rants, but what I suspect is unjustifiable are all those times I rant at Him for the “bad” things (which quite often turn out all right anyway) and take the good things for granted. When it comes right down to it, it’s the good things which should take me by surprise–not because God isn’t good, but because I’m not:

Ranting or not, I rebel against God every day. And this isn’t a question of simple obedience or disobedience. This is about insurrection–about a created being trying in little ways to usurp the role of an entirely different kind of being–and uncreated one–the only Uncreated One. I highly doubt God is threatened by my feeble but stubborn attempts; nevertheless, trying to be something I’m not and trying to take over a role I cannot fill can’t be good for any relationship, not least the relationship with the One I’m trying to become. I don’t deserve the good I receive from God. But He still gives it and gives it and gives it, and it’s pretty arrogantly foolish for me not both to receive it and to thank Him for it.

I suspect, the more I grow in gratitude, the more beautiful and useful He will make me. And that is a good in itself.

Ready for service?

Ready for service?

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The Balloon Has Landed–Almost

But yes, by all means, happy birthday if it's your birthday. Or happy un-birthday, if it isn't.

But yes, by all means, happy birthday if it’s your birthday. Or happy un-birthday, if it isn’t.

Wordy Wednesday

You are a small child. You have been to a birthday party and been given a helium-filled balloon. You take that balloon home and bat it around for a few days. You tie the end of the string to your bedroom doorknob. Over the next few days after that, the balloon gets smaller and smaller and sinks lower and lower. Finally it is lying in a limp and shriveled blob on the floor. Unless, of course, your parents decided to put it out of its misery (and themselves out of theirs) days ago and popped it for you and threw it away already.

I feel that my hopes about my latest Favored One submissions are at the pre-popped-but-just-barely-hovering-over-the-floor-stage. Some of them have been out for two months already. Granted, the most recent one went out via snail-mail maybe two weeks ago, and the one before that may have only been waiting a month, but I think that agency also promised a two-week turnaround, so I’m not hugely optimistic. True, Cricket Magazine‘s publishing arm did have Trees in the Pavement for a long time . . . before rejecting it. Although the point is they did get back to me eventually. But is every literary agency and publishing company going to do that with all of my books? I mean, I guess it could happen, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

This, it turns out, is the downside of email submissions: with snail-mail you can send an accompanying SASE and be assured of getting at least a rejection letter back, which I actually think is better than not knowing until all expectations have died of natural causes. There comes a time, apparently, when the buoyant, helium-filled hope that comes from waiting more than a week to hear back, turns into the deflation of assuming that I’ll never hear back at all.

But don’t worry. That balloon is still just above the floor. Maybe I’ll still be pleasantly surprised. Maybe?

__________

P.S. Tech-moron’s note: Does anyone know why I suddenly can’t get my text to wrap next to my left-side photos anymore?

Marine Biology and Washing Dishes

Memory Monday

I hope this doesn’t seem like a cop-out, but since I found a stack of writing I did in high school, and since I find it entertaining, and since not only does it bring back memories but it is often about memories, I think I’ll be posting more of them for a while. I wrote the following for an 11th grade journalism class. I got an A+, to the disgust and ill-concealed jealousy of the 12th grade boys in the class, who I’m pretty sure felt they were the de-facto geniuses of the group.

 

8 May 1989
Where's the suds?

Where’s the suds?

Fishing around in the grey water, you search for a spoon or something to wash. Broccoli particles swim through your fingers, and carrot peels amiably attach themselves to your hand. Suddenly, you yelp–you just stubbed your finger on a fork.

To me, washing dishes is a unique form of marine biology. While most of the things you find in dirty dishwater are not alive in the truest sense of the word, it would make a fascinating study to determine what they would be like if they were.

Of course, dishwater never starts out being polluted. It begins as a sink full of beautiful soapsuds. But the moment you put a dish in it, things begin to happen. The least-populated dishpan is inhabited by a few plankton-like crumbs. The next step up (or down) is the sink of small pieces of vegetables and other food particles. I remember that in Honduras my mother’s dishpan really was like the ocean–there were always shreds of tuna fish floating around in it. I found it repulsive, but it could have been much worse.

As soon as the ordinary eating utensils and a few pots that only had vegetables in them are clean, it’s time to bring on the main course dishes. These include pots smeared with hardened casserole, a dish of spaghetti sauce film, or any other equally messy and disgusting container. Noodles slither through the cloudy depths like eels, and grave grease floats to the top of the water like an oil spill, leaving faint rings around your wrists.

But the all-time worst kind of dish to wash is that which contained pea soup. Because there’s invariably plenty left in it, that didn’t get put away, when it’s time to wash it. Amorphous green globs float off in your fingers, like huge opaque jelly-fish, and swim away–by themselves.

By this time, the water itself looks like pea soup, and it is impossible to get anything clean enough to pass any sort of inspection. Fortunately, this is a sure sign that your dishwashing ordeal (or science field trip, depending on your point of view) is nearly over. When it is, you can drain the sink and content yourself with a job well done.

Meanwhile, the now suds-less water will ooze away with a satisfied gurgle. Most likely, it will leave your town and head toward the coast, where it will be eaten–by fish, and other things.

Saturday Snippets on Sunday

Well, there weren’t any yesterday. Today there are. Today it is also snowing again, and this seems like a perfect quiet-Sunday-afternoon activity.

First on the agenda is the slideshow of our Winter at the Beach Day.

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Next, if you’re into this kind of thing, you might want to know that I’ve posted some new Stories Evaluated by a Third Party. One of them is the sermon I presented in class last week, and the other two are papers I wrote in seminary the first time around. Even though that time I thought I was in to get a degree in counseling, because it was a seminary I needed to take some Bible courses. Fortunately, two of the professors were imaginative and able to think outside the box, and so I managed to convince both of them to let me turn my research papers into dramatic monologues. One is based on an Old Testament story, and the other is based on some of Jesus’ parables. There are worse ways to spend a snowy Sunday afternoon . . . and if your church was cancelled today, like Now Church was, well, now you can say you got some Bible input anyway.

Winter at the Beach Day

Family Friday

My Paul and Alicia have a tradition. Every winter, they bundle up (usually with one of Alicia’s friends) and go to the beach. Today was that day and none of Alicia’s friend were available, but I’m part of the family now, so I got to go along. We threw the dogs in half of the back/trunk, and Alicia sat next to them in the back seat (new code name: Rides With Dogs; we may go with this here–we’ll see). Paul drove and I rode shotgun with the snacks.

It was good we had snacks because we didn’t leave that early and it took us a while to get to breakfast. We went to an adorable (and correspondingly upscale) breakfast cafe in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. We sat at a table, but behind us there were leather couches and a fireplace. It was cozy and the food was yummy and (fortunately, considering the “correspondingly upscale”) part, the coffee was actually delicious, which is not a foregone conclusion with breakfast joints generally.

After lunch we drove to the usually-private beach in Watch Hill; remarkably, it was open today, so we let the dogs out and went for a very long walk. We also went “shopping”–we came home with pockets full of seaglass and I also snagged two bits of driftwood and a plank. Hey–my Paul didn’t object, and I have a plan for that plank, so . . . don’t mess with art.

After that we drove around Watch Hill and fantasised about owning the ostentatious houses there, but shortly after that we came upon Misquamicut Beach. So . . . we all know what happened to New York and New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy. At least . . . we think we know. Sandy only hit Rhode Island with what my Paul described as a “glancing blow” and . . . man. Houses were boarded up, resting on pilings. The dunes were nonexistent. Enormous earthmovers were sifting all the sand of fantastic piles of debris, such that now instead of dunes, there are . . . pyramids? A little further down the coast again, the houses and the beaches were fine. It was very strange–a swath of destruction amidst late-winter beauty. But the human spirit is indomitable, I guess, and so is the American desire for profit, because not only was the beach being rebuilt–a beach–but the beach-front restaurants were, too, and construction crews were in front of many of the houses. It was–well, I can be cynical about the American desire for profit, but it was a little bit inspiring, really.

We wrapped up our jaunt by revisiting Jamestown and the site where we got engaged on 17 December 2011. The weather was exactly the same as that time–up to and including the sun breaking through the clouds on our way over the bridge as we headed back.

Dinner was slated to be at a family favourite: Wright’s Chicken Farm, a high-carb, all-you-can-eat roast chicken dinner restaurant. We were all very hungry after all that walking and breakfast so long ago, and so it surprised us that we didn’t need seconds on very much. But we were all feeling happily full, about ready to ask for the bill, and finishing up the pitcher of water. I poured my Paul a glass. There was really nothing left but ice, but I could see just the tiniest bit of actual liquid at the bottom of the pitcher, so I tried to pour it in my own glass. The ice spurted out the spout and I set the pitcher down with a laugh. Then the ice rearranged itself, so I decided to try again, with just about the same amount of success. My Paul and Alicia (RWD) thought this was quite ridiculous, and as I took a sip of the very small amount of water that actually did end up in the bottom of my glass, my Paul looked at me quizzically and said,

Most people would’ve only done that once . . .

I began to laugh, but there was water in my mouth and . . . in my lungs . . . and I couldn’t breathe . . . and my Paul was asking me if I was all right . . . and I wasn’t all right, but I couldn’t tell him this had happened to me three other times . . . because I couldn’t talk . . . and I couldn’t breathe . . . and my Paul was whacking me on the back . . . and it wasn’t making it worse but it wasn’t helping . . . and I was wheezing loudly for the teeniest of breaths I could take in . . . and I couldn’t expel any of them . . . and I think someone said to stand up so I did . . . and my Paul tried to give me the Heimlich three times . . . but I’m too tall and he couldn’t get the angle right . . . and the third time I actually vomited on the floor but after that, there really was no breath getting into my lungs . . . and people were freaking out around me . . . and I couldn’t see . . . and people kept saying, “Is she choking?” “She’s breathing–she’s not choking.” “No, she’s definitely choking” . . . and I couldn’t say what I wanted to which was “Guys! There’s water in my lungs!” but I thought, “Heck yeah, I’m choking!” so I finally decided to apply the universal choking signal, at which point, apparently, Alicia started to get nervous, too. I thought, “This has happened to me three other times and eventually I come through it, but I still don’t know how and what if I die this time?” Then I thought, “I always get better when I say Jesus.”

Then some other person was giving me the Heimlich, and they were taller like me, but I didn’t actually know who was there or what was happening and I had just had my thought about Jesus, so (in spite of some stubbornly cynical part of my brain which said, “Come on now–that’s just superstitious–and anyway, how many times is Jesus going to bail you out of this?”) I said, “Jesus!” No one could tell that’s what I was saying–or maybe that I was saying anything at all, because . . . well, it didn’t sound like anything to me, either, but just as I said it, the tall person shoved his fists into my abdomen and suddenly I could breathe again. (The other three times this has happened to me, there was no ordinary human assistance.) Turns out Wright’s Chicken Farm keeps an EMT on hand . . . which is probably smart since it’s a big place with lots of food and normal people probably choke on chicken bones, and not water.

The EMT and the restaurant manager hung around for a while to make sure I was okay, and the manager did a quick pass clean-up of the vomit. (Poor guy.) They both suggested that maybe I might want to use my asthma inhaler at this point. It was a good idea, although it was challenging since I couldn’t actually breathe with my mouth closed to contain the inhaler medication yet. But it did help a little, and more later. On the way home, my Paul said, “I kept thinking, I just got this wife!

Happily, he still has. Our first anniversary is in nine days, you know.

[There are photos from today–although not of the choking bit–but not on my camera. I will post a slideshow of illustrations when I get them.]

Words About Dogs

Theology Thursday

The last few Thursdays have been sort of heavy, and yesterday I sneaked some theology in on the wrong day, and today I listened to a rousing debate about the Problem of Evil while trying to will away a migraine (evil?) and then gave a sermon on the authority of Scripture so–my brain might be a little fried? Therefore, here’s something still theological but much lighter that I’ve thought of lately, but first, two really really general terminology definitions:

Calvinists – believe in predestination, that God’s sovereignty controls all. God destines some people for salvation, and some people not.

Arminians – believe that human free will has more play in the ordering of things. Humans choose God or not.

As you may know (or may not, since a lot of you are new here), my Paul and I have two dogs:

Exibit A: Oscar

Exibit A: Oscar

and

Exhibit B: Shemp

Exhibit B: Shemp

You can pretty much judge their personalities from the photos. Oscar is chronically worried, and Shemp? Well, Shemp . . . isn’t. I have decided that Shemp is a Calvinist, and Oscar is an Arminian. I know, usually Calvinists are perceived as much grumpier than Arminians (sorry, many, many Calvinist Friends-and-Relations), and Oscar is the moodier one of the two dogs, but here is what I mean.

Both dogs know exactly when Breakfast Time is, and equally when Dinner Time is–even though we no longer use Pavlovian methods. When I go over by the fishtank to get their dishes, both dogs do a little Yay-Food dance around my hands. I pick up their bowls and walk them over to the laundry cupboard where the food lives. At this point, the dogs’ behaviour diverges. Shemp remains happily anticipatory, sitting in the living room next to where he knows I will momentarily deposit his bowl of kibble. Oscar, on the other hand, darts over to the laundry cupboard with me and sits as close to me as he can get, as if watching to make sure I actually fill both bowls, with their respective amounts of food, in the right order, as if I might, perchance, leave him out for some reason, or, alternately, as if he could help.

The weird thing is, he knows and loves me enough to know I will always feed him–feed both of them–but still, he worries, and has to make sure I do it right. Shemp, meanwhile, waits confidently in the knowledge that, since I have risen and picked up his bowl, he is sure to be fed.

Addendum

(NOT a Theology Thursday post. Which may or may not happen this week.)

“Coincidentally” or something, on my way home today, this song, which seems strikingly relevant to the previous post, came on the radio:

I guess it probably doesn’t really answer any questions, but it was pretty sweet timing.

Writing Humbly – or Wishing To

Wordy Wednesday

I have a confession to make. Which is nothing new–I do that all the time over here. So, in keeping with tradition, I guess…

Sometimes? I like my own blogposts so much I read them over and over and over. Sometimes there will be a weekend like two weekends ago where my blog will get more hits in three days than it usually does in an entire month (okay–there’s only ever been one weekend like that, and probably it was because you were all snowed in and had nothing better to do), and I’ll look at the seven blogposts I wrote and think, “Yeah, that’s right. People are finally starting to realise just what a good writer I am!” Sometimes I’ll read a section of Favored One or Trees in the Pavement and be all, “Dang! I can write!

I know. Pretty obnoxious, isn’t it?

Also weird, given the last post about my abject childhood discomfort with praise and approval and people being proud of me. What happened?

So here’s something with which I’m wrestling. (Sorry–I’m about to get a little theological on a Wednesday, but I can’t help myself.) We’ve talked about this here before a little, maybe, and I’m afraid I’m coming from a very specific perspective on this issue, so if you don’t hold the same worldview I do, just bear with me. But here’s the thing. I believe God gives us our talents. As such, then, although He makes them a part of our individual selves, so we ourselves do, in fact, create things and design things and imagine things, for example, there’s at least a sense in which He still deserves the credit. Also, if God really does “love you and have a wonderful plan for your life” (which I believe but “do not think it means what [some people] think it means”), then it makes sense to believe that God gave us our individual talents for a reason, and that the reason has to do with the Kingdom of God–with furthering the reinstatement of God’s perfect rule on this rebel planet. It makes sense to think that God cares that we use our talents and how we use our talents. Again with the potential not-meaning-what-people-think-it-means, but still true.


So . . . regardless of the above-described moments of weakness I have, I don’t think I’m wrong that writing is one of my talents. For most of my life I’ve been sort of guiltily “hiding it in the ground” (we’re learning about the Parable of the Talents in Sunday school at Now Church, so maybe that has something to do with my musings lately, too), and every once in a while digging it up and looking at it and half-heartedly trying to do something with it, and then just tossing it back in the hole again. Every year, I go through a month or so where I tune in to the fact that I am, as They say, “squandering my talent.” Then I do NaNoWriMo or something and realise I don’t write well that way and go back to squandering. I feel like this dishonours the God who gave me the ability to write, but apparently I’m pretty tough to motivate.

So this year, although I am not writing a new novel, I’m genuinely working on getting Favored One published, and I have, as you can see, a much more organised and steady blogging schedule. Along with all that–I’m actually having fun! And I feel like I’m finally developing the gift God’s wanted me to use for a while. It’s just that, the more I work on it, the more opportunity there is for that obnoxious self-aggrandisement I described at the beginning of this post.

How do you work towards excellence in your craft, enjoy that craft, and yet maintain humility in the face of it? I realise asking this question creates that scenario where, as soon as you realise you’re humble, you’re not. But . . . I guess I’m sort of illogically hoping someone has some advice here.

Don’t Be Proud of Me!

Memory Monday

Last week DJMatticus was blogging about pride a little bit–if and when it’s ever appropriate and stuff. I don’t really want to get into that at this point, but I do want to explore this memory I have about pride. When I was a very very young child, if anyone ever expressed pleasure or approbation over something I had done, I  would cry out in consternation,

“Don’t be proud of me! Don’t be proud of me!”

It's okay, little monkey . . .

It’s okay, little monkey . . .

I still remember this sort of queasy, panicked feeling I would get in those moments, and maybe I even sometimes still get it–less noticeably–because every once in a while one of my parents (usually Dad) will say it to me, which must mean I’m providing some sort of (possibly) more grown up exhibition of the same discomfort with other people’s approval.

The weird thing is, I struggle with codependency, which is, as far as I experience it anyway, more or less an addiction to other people’s approval.

I’m still trying to figure out what fueled this anxiety. As a much older child (or maybe a very young adult) I remember having a sort of epiphany that pride is at the root of all sin, and  still think that (maybe with some qualification–but maybe not), but I’m pretty sure that as a two- or three-year-old I wasn’t thinking in those terms. I know I had a sense of God, and maybe somewhere, somehow, I had picked up some sense that pride was wrong. Maybe I viscerally supposed that if other people were proud of me and I just accepted it, I would become proud of me, too, and that would be Bad.

Or maybe I thought if I did something well the first time and people were proud of me, they would be disappointed when I failed to do it as well the next time. I’ve definitely had a lifelong habit of trying (not always successfully) to keep my own and everyone else’s expectations low, to minimise disappointment. The downside of this practice is that it also minimises genuine enjoyment of anything if you keep holding your breath, waiting for whatever it is to go horribly horribly wrong. Sometimes that mindset also provides the catalyst for things to go horribly horribly wrong.

Or maybe (and this, I suspect, is nearest the truth) it was some sort of hybrid of these two anxieties, where I desperately wanted the approval but was terrified of how much I wanted it.

Or maybe I just didn’t like being the centre of attention. Maybe I was embarrassed–I used to embarrass easily. There’s probably something to that, too. I’ve always wanted everyone to know who I was, but not to have to do anything about it.

Sometimes being human is just a conundrum. Or is it just me? What do you feel internally conflicted about? Or–if you’d like to keep your own neuroses off some random chick’s blog, you could analyse mine, I guess . . .

Saturday Snippets #2

Yesterday I went to the seminary library to work on a Confessional Paper and a Sermon I need to write. I expected to stay there all day (which I did), so I brought my lunch. It was leftovers from the Valentine’s Dinner my Paul and I had made for each other. Included in these leftovers was a half a piece of steak. The library is in a church, and churches, as we all know, inevitably have kitchens, so microwaving was not a problem. Let me just say, though: It is really tricky to eat steak with a spoon and a regular table knifeOut of a small round plastic container.

Seeing is believing

Seeing is believing

Next time I’m totally bringing my own silverware . . .

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There are various word-usage habits of other people that drive me absolutely bonkers. They’re not (at least in most cases) wrong, and I have no right to get my knickers in a twist over them but . . . almost inevitably I do every time. Which, as you may or may not know, is a little uncomfortable. Here are some of the offenders:

  1. Anyways. It seems like since college, outside of my biological family almost everybody I’ve ever cared about–platonically or romantically–has utilised this form of this particular verbal filler. I think God puts “anyways-sayers” in my life to teach me character and forbearance. I’m not sure it’s working. What is with the “s,” people?? I don’t understand the point of it. Now when I meet a new person and they start to say that word, I’m pretty sure I hold my breath until they finish it just to see which way they say it. If they say anyways, I become fairly certain they are slated to be my new best friend–and drive me nuts for the rest of my life.
  2. is, is. What this is, is awkward.
  3. E-Announcements. The seminary I attend is very good about sending out frequent announcements via email. That’s all well and good, but do they have to call them e-announcements? I suppose that’s what they are, but it’s so . . . well, I guess this one’s awkward, too, really. Just differently than is, is . . . is. If they were trying to be clever and called them E-nnouncements, I’d probably find fault with that, too (although that is what I would call them if I were writing them), but I still think it flows better. Or they could just call them Announcements. Because that’s what they are, too.

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Speaking of hybrid words, or hybronyms, as Rarasaur’s David calls them, apparently some chick named Kiley is hosting a Fictionary contest over on her blog. Because of this, I can’t actually think of any of the good ones I’ve ever made up, but I’m going to play along with my less-than-optimal selections (I’m trying to make a hybronym out of that, but it’s just too many words, I think), because it’s fun. You can play, too. Here’s what Kiley says about her game:

1. Write a blog post (or two or three) with your word or funny phrase, complete with part of speech and definition, à la:

Poopidemic (noun): 1) when all the babies in the childcare center poop at the same time; 2) when the one baby in your household poops several times in one day’

2. Tag your post  ”Fictionary.”

3. Grab a badgeFictionary copy

4. Link your post (and the badge) back to this post, using URL: http://thelifeofkylie.com/2013/01/01/lets-play-fictionary/

5. Enter as many times as you want.

The top ten will earn a much-coveted spot in my Fictionary™.

The grand prize winner will win a batch of my Recrimination Muffins.*

Game Ends: Feb. 28, 2013

Keep it PG-13, people.

Game on!

So . . . I guess Ennouncement is one of my entries:

Ennouncement (noun): An announcement conveyed by email.

Here is a similar one:

Enniversary (noun): The day on which you celebrate your first email contact with your significant other. Because that’s how romance starts these days.

I didn’t make this one up, but one of my Paul’s favourites is:

Cankle (noun): A woman’s ankle with no definition–simply a continuation of her calf all the way down to her foot. (Happily, I do not have these. I have actual ankles.)

Okay, now you. (On your own blog so you can win the vegan muffins. Heh.)

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Since we’re all about blog badges over here suddenly (although, I seem to be having sidebar image widget issues), now might be the time to tell you that I have another award to give out–which means I won it, too. This is the Leibster Award, and, like the man who gave it to me, I have no idea what that means. I also, I just realised, have no idea what this dude’s name is, but he writes a great blog called The Living Notebook, which you should totally check out.

Now I’m supposed to tell you some more things about myself (isn’t that what this blog is about every single day, anyway?), and so I’m going to tell you some things even I didn’t know about myself–the way Mr. LivingNotebook described me in his nomination. This is what he said:

She’s optimistic and energetic—a take-life-by-the-horns kind of gal—not to mention a woman of faith and a student of theology.

I’m totally on-board with the student of theology thing, and I hope that for the most part I’m a woman of faith, although I think it could always be stronger. What’s astonishing me is the optimistic and energetic part. I’ve always seen myself as a hopeful cynic (or a cynical idealist), which I suppose has some optimism sprinkled in there, but isn’t optimism through and through–and excessively low-energy. But you know how sometimes when people see you a different way it changes the way you see yourself? That could happen. Maybe. Anyway, I kind of like it. Thanks, Mr LivingNotebook!

Now I have to nominate some more blogs and since I’m not totally sure what this award is for, I’m not totally sure how to award this . . . award, but these blogs deserve awards, so . . . here:

The I-Don't-Know-What-This-Is-But-the-Badge-Is-Pretty Award

The I-Don’t-Know-What-This-Is-But-the-Badge-Is-Pretty Award

1. Sadie and Dasie – This woman takes fantastic photos, a theme a day. Also, she has really cute dogs.

2. Harsh Reality – By Opinionated Man. He may have opinions, but he’s not, I think, usually as offensive as he thinks he might be. Also, he’s got a good sense of humour.

3. O*PIN*ION*AT*ED MIS*CEL*LA*NY – Since we’re going with opinionated. I’m pretty sure “Liebster” has the German word for love as its root, but we can pretend it means opinionated if we need to. I haven’t been following this guy’s blog for very long, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about him, but that just means you should go over there and find out for yourself.

4. Rants from the Crib – This woman is an Ob/Gyn with a sense of humour. Also, apparently she just got out of a job she didn’t like very much. Congrats, my friend!

5. Fashion for Lunch – I never keep up with fashion, and I don’t claim to understand it, but it fascinates (fashionates? Hey Kiley–did you see that one?) me all the same. This chick’s got it down, though.

If you guys are going to accept your awards, don’t forget to 1) post the badge, 2) say thank you . . . heh, 3) tell us some stuff about you, and 4) nominate some other worthies. Have fun!