Last Post.

Let it be known: I'm killing this blog. Not because I don't love you all, but because I'm *terrible* at keeping up with it.

If for whatever reason you're still interested in my ramblings, you can follow my "micro" blog at http://mlizknight.tumblr.com. I can't promise well thought out posts, but I will at least share my thoughts.



Sharing the Wealth

I had read some of the most beautiful, intelligent and thought provoking books, papers and sermons since having started my seminary education. Unfortunately, I’ve read all sorts of silly things too, but the wisdom has thus far outweighed the folly.

I intend to share bits of it on this blog, as long as you permit me to do so. I’ll start including some quotations along with my posts; please find the first below. I hope that these small bits of wisdom encourage and impact your lives, as they have mine.

“The world of Scripture is not satisfied with claiming to be a historically true reality-- it insists that it is the only real world...The Scripture stories do not court our favor, they do not flatter us... They seek to subject us, and if we refuse to be subjected, we are rebels”

Auerbach, as quoted in Preaching the Old Testament

If anyone wants more information about where the quotations came from, or would like to talk with me about it further, just let me know. :)

I start school next week and about to be immersed in the world of Scripture like I’ve never been before. I’m taking two intense exegesis classes, two preaching classes and several other language and ministry classes. I’m excited for the challenge and the pace of a full load.
Love to you all. Knowing that there are people all over the country, and perhaps the world, loving you and caring about you is a really beautiful reality. Thanks for making it so.


Summer of Sewing

With Kenyon at his new job, a little more than a month away from school and myself occupied only by a part time / at home job, I have had ample time to devote to creativity. Though I am working ahead on homework and preparing for Fall classes, I tend to have plenty of hours in the day to spend however I want to. This is both revolutionary and wonderful.

Janelle (my maid of honor and a best friend) came to visit in July, bringing with her a generous amount of creativity as well as the all important knowledge of the inner workings of my sewing machine. She fixed it up, showed me how to work it, supplied me with yards of garage sale fabric and set me loose.

Since her visit, I have found such joy in sewing and creating. I've added decorative edges to otherwise plain pillowcases, learned to take in clothes that were too large, made curtains, throw pillows, and now- my personal favorite - I've created a little carrying case for my iPhone. The minute my sewing world met my Apple world, my life was complete.

Beyond that, I've been painting picture frames, knitting, re-arranging furniture, and having a generally creativity-laden summer. Couldn't be happier.

(Kilo has of course enjoyed the whole ordeal.
The introductionof any kind of moving string
into our daily lives is much appreciated by the cat.)


Kenyon's New Job

Good news, folks: after six years of Kenyon's dedication to the coffee industry, he is done working at Starbucks. ( *clapping * cheering * ) Though the company faithfully provided us with work as we moved about the country, our having temporarily settled down has allowed Kenyon to pursue different work.

As of yesterday, Kenyon is wearing suits to work. He is an employee of Chase bank, a personal banker, in fact, and we expect him to do very well. The job offers us everything we had at Starbucks, plus a larger income, paid vacation, and on top of that, monthly commission. The job is one Kenyon could grow in for years, and will allow me to work only as needed throughout school, so we can get in and get this degree done. :)

We're excited for the opportunities that this will create for us, and glad Kenyon will be in a position in which his hard work is tangibly rewarded. This is good for the male soul.


If I Could Be Anywhere in the World...

... it would probably be right here.

March has been a really beautiful month. Especially in the last couple weeks, I've settled into a routine that energizes, strengthens and calms me. Everything about "the average day in the life of Michelle" is pretty wonderful.

In the last couple of weeks, I've only been subbing once a week, and then tutoring later in the afternoon. I'm only at school twice a week, leaving two empty days at home. This has been a pretty wonderful arrangement, to which I am becoming quite attached.

On such days, I get up at 6:00.
I've discovered that I am the most productive between the hours of 6 and 9, as after 9 my attention is shifted tremendously. I have a horrible tendency to start baking without any warning. Recently, it's been strawberry muffins.

As early as possible, I work on homework. I've remembered that I need to spread out my subjects, working on everything a bit every day. Apparently, with marriage comes a terribly inconvenient shortening of attention span.

During homework sessions, Kilo keeps me company by sleeping at my feet, on the guest bed, or occasionally, sprawled across my keyboard. Coincidentally, the temporary title of today's Greek Notes is something like, Gre999999999999999999k Notttttttjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjes.

Homework is wonderful. Something clicked in my head and I've finally realized that I like to read my homework. I can now look forward to reading about Greek participles, amillenialism, the book of Colossians or church government. I'm finally in a stage in my education where everything that I read interests me, at some level.

I keep the blinds flung open and music playing often. Kenyon gets home around 1:00, when he's usually up to running a couple of errands and helping me tidy and get things done. We make dinner, we watch TV, see friends and relax. We go to bed early.

And then I get to get up early the next day and go to school.

I love this life.


Spring Break in the Volunteer State

Kenyon and I made our yearly pilgrimage to see Mom and Kenny in Sevierville, TN last week. They live about 45 minutes from Knoxville in a cozy little place called Wears Valley, at the foot of the Smokey Mountains. It's a really beautiful place, and we always look forward to the abrupt change in pace and time with great family.

Kenny always rises to the challenge of entertaining us with his out of the ordinary hobbies and unexpected skills. Kenyon always looks forward to the opportunity to shoot things, burn things, talk about knives, play with dogs and be all dirty, and Kenny truly enjoys the opportunity to offer such activities.

As always, Kenny took us out to the farm (Kenny's family land) where we got to "go shootin'." Kenny's respectable gun collection and wealth of expertise provides me with hours of target practice and Kenyon at least a year's worth of bragging rights. Needless to say, it's a fun activity for all of us.

Kenyon also had the unique opportunity to help Kenny and a colleague with a controlled burn. Nothing is weirder than watching your loved ones start a raging fire and set it loose on the side of a hill. But as it always is with careful preparation, the fire abruptly stops were it is supposed to, and almost overnight, lovely green things start growing with a renewed energy.

All of our flashy and testosterone-filled activities aside, I always appreciate the simplicity of our time in Tennessee. Schedules are lax, choices are not rushed and life is never something worth getting all upset about. With the calm resolution of 'mountain people', Mom and Kenny take things as they come- and with enough coffee, patience and time- things tend to work out as they should.

I hope that through osmosis, some of their quiet, no fuss strength seeps in through my skin.

For more pictures from the trip, click here to be redirected to our website.

Love to you all.


Insights into the High School Psyche: Confessions of a Brand New Substitute

Having substitute taught only three times, I have only recently re-entered the high school world. However, as in most life threatening situtations, I have quickly become familiar with my surroundings. My initial insights are as follows.

Three days in, I have learned the following about high schools students:
  1. Like elephants, lions, bears and tigers, (oh my) high school students can smell fear.
  2. Nagging, while ineffective with husbands, is extremely effective with the unmotivated student.
  3. No student really likes to look unintelligent.
  4. A high school student's reputation is precious. Damaging it through humiliation is deeply painful and should be avoided in almost all circumstances.
  5. Often when you say "please" and "thankyou," your students will too.
  6. The ability to laugh at oneself is a powerful weapon.
  7. The dean will always scare a student more than you will (at least when you're 5"3'). Let him (or her) do the yelling.
  8. A student would rather avoid a situation than fail in it, whether it is an assignment, a question or a discussion. Creating a safe environment for failure is essential to the learning process.
  9. Students are prepared to hate substitutes long before they are prepared to like them.
  10. Eyes in the back of your head are unreservedly necessary.
Three days in, I am totally glad I'm having this experience. I will never call substitute teaching easy, nor will I call it fun, but it is a great job and an incredible learning experience. I can now efficiently write my name in calligraphy, balance chemical equations and sufficiently explain the plot of Antigone.