Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Memoir of a Shower Head by Sean Weidman

From my limited understanding of humanity, it’s my general impression that children bathe and shower with the oversight of their parents until they can be trusted not to drown themselves. I have no doubts that I would do this with my children too, because how else could you appropriately ensure their safety while also ensuring that they don’t skimp out on properly washing and scrubbing everything that needs to be properly washed and scrubbed, or at least until they’re used to the incessant drip drop of a leaky shower head once they’re done? The parents just know better, and so they tell them to go, grabbing them by the arm if they have to, saying Get in the shower even if the kid doesn’t want to because dirty stains and smells only linger and accumulate and intensify until the children themselves are an infested mass of pungent putrescence decaying and crawling with the filth that their parents never helped clean from their bodies. 
So they come into the shower and hear my drip drop drip drop until the steady stream of water is turned on and it begins. And it gets hot, invariably too hot at first, burning, scalding, like thorns being thrust over their head; but soon a bit cooler and a bit cooler while the parent says How do you like that? after each correction, and eventually the child is forced to say Okay okay because how many adjustments does it take before it’s too cold, freezing, numbing? And sooner or later starts the soaping and shampooing, and the sponging and scrubbing, and the washing and rinsing, for some longer and for some shorter, each for as long as needed until the parent thinks them sufficiently dirtless and thoroughly cleansed. Then off goes the flow of streaming water, and they dry themselves to the relentless pit-pattering of a cracked shower head going drip drop drip drop drip drop. 
Though my deathless and rhythmical drip dripping was not always so, hadn’t existed at all let alone as a monotonous and interminable tale of the unspoken and unseen both steady and unending. It began how it always did, with a loud crash and a bang, screams, and the stomp stomp stomp of a feverish moving up stairs, a telling of the heavy rage which always lumbered and stumbled up the creaky wooden steps and eventually found its way to me either right then or later, whenever the nausea and perhaps self-hatred became too much and he finally couldn’t keep anything down anymore and had to drown everything away in a swirl with a flood of water. But he was not alone this time; this time his child was thrown through the bathroom door first, the father close behind and smelling of liquor and frenzied bitterness and maybe shameful deprecation bordering on madness, this not for any particular reason or another but just for the unrelenting dropping of a life lived but not lived, which didn’t even feel like living day by day but was more like dying day by day, hardening and dying, slipping and fading away from even questioning anymore. So him just accepting and so quitting, being sliced and marred pieces at a time and bleeding out with a dying drip drop drip drop of control gradually being wrenched from the hands of a madman disobeyed—all but old Priam, surrendering a defeated life bit by bit to the slow death which he watched find his wife and sons and city, to a slow death even if he had escaped the Greeks because it was just a concession of living to a lamenting despair, a powerlessness to correct that slithering mistake which was the opening of his gates to hell on earth disguised as an animal and a broken tree, a greenhorned oversight which never would have happened in the hands of a competent King, all because he didn’t have or couldn’t yet find a scapegoat to steal any of that lost life or redemption back from. 
But now the boy’s dad had one, and he picked up his little scapegoat by the shirt and threw him over the side of the tub shouting Get in the shower and our heads collided with a crash and spatter of red, and the father terrible towering turned on my water turned all the way on and it was hot, too hot, burning, scalding. Steam rising the boy squirmed and held his head and curling up started screaming because the water was too hot burning scalding and the father saying Is that too hot? dropping a kick, another booted stomp this time into the little boy’s side and again again again one two three like hammering into crosses on a hill. That was when I stopped seeing, maybe because of the steam expanding and thickening or maybe because I was trying to shut out what I was watching what was happening but even then I couldn’t escape the hearing the stomp stomp stomp once twice three times Is that too hot? and the boy’s screaming and wailing and burning, crying Yes yes please no please until my water turned cold, freezing, numbing and I could taste the alcohol and sweat and hear the manful heavy breaths and laughter alongside the repeated stomp stomp How do you like that? once twice now next to the boy’s chattering and shivering like the crowing of a faith and trust betrayed. And I could almost feel the father’s dominating drunken smile and his knowing that this is love.
Then the bathroom door slammed and I opened my eyes because I no longer heard the stomping or conquering, only the soft broken whimpering and the tears going drip drop drip drop onto the tub’s vermillion stained porcelain, the boy curled up, arms wrapped around his blue sides in a defeated bundle of flowing crimson. Slowly, slowly and painfully he crawled up the tub and turned off the water, still trembling in shivers from the pain and the cold, moaning as he reached up with his blood stained hands as if to say Dad why, why have you and used me as a crutch to pull himself up, excruciatingly up out of the tub and onto the bathroom floor. There on the dirty tile he collapsed, broken arms wide, unable to stop his dropping, falling in a ceaseless mess of purpled bruises and bloodied water and splintered bones, mouth open and head cocked to the side staring that blank stare, that lifeless stare of no longer knowing or comprehending Why have you, that never went away again because he was nailed to a heap of his father’s shame and deprecation and hatred for the world and didn’t understand why it was him, why he had to be so sufficiently dirtless and thoroughly cleansed. And the boy’s lingering blood slipped from my head and into the tub, whirling down the drain in swirls and streaks of red mixed with the same water in which I might as well have dipped my hands, a steady sound of a memory eternal, unvanquished, and sufficient, drip drop drip drop drip drop.

There were no other times, no worse times—that was the first and last of them, that one was all that was needed. That’s why water trickles through this cracked head and into the bath with a drip drop of no redemption, like a brokenness caused not fixed by this top-down rip in the middle, one soon to be replaced and then forgotten and then left behind: without any promises of rescue, without the time or faith which brought Simeon to his knees to wait and then to beg, without any salvation whatsoever. 
Just left, with memories stronger than any water or soap can wash away, still here with the boy, who now showers by himself but who can’t do so without sitting scrunched in the corner staring up with that same dead, empty stare, confused and not understanding why, holding his knees and his sides and then his head, shaking shivering in the ice cold water, whispering trembling sobbing forsaken me forsaken me.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Love Story

So, I have been working on writing about how my husband and I met...and then against all odds got married:)  I've been chipping away at it for about two weeks and then today, in a desperate search for something to post I found this piece that I wrote to my roommate about 8 years ago, in order to remember the story I am now trying to write.  It is so funny to delve into old photos, letters, and journals.  I could have never imagined myself where I am now, so truly and deeply happy.

Dear Roomie (Kind of embarrassed that I still call you that),

        So, I trust you remember the very beginning…the part when we met David Lauda, the most amazing looking guy I had ever laid eyes on. We were working on making those reception snails, when I still didn’t know his name and when you had to drag me over to talk to him.  Fortunately I found out his name before we went bowling…I’m still laughing about our crazy costumes, those stinking basket ball jerseys we borrowed from the rugby guys. I still am embarrassed by how badly I bowled and how David told the security guard he was “Twenty?” I thought he was lying for sure, he didn't look a day over 17.   Hmm…so that’s the start.  

        Even that fabulous night  hardly scratched the surface of getting to know David.  The day he was baptized I stayed late at church.  He made me laugh at his simple humility and crazy sense of humour.  I was struck by his straightforward faith and the way he opened up to me as we drove with Katie Anderson back to Westmont.  That was when his dad was still alive, and coming home in only a month or two.

     Then you left and Mayterm began.  That’s when I first became friends with Mina. She guessed my secret crush of David right off the bat.  I guess it wasn't that much of a secret. I was super grateful that she would always give me rides to the house to hang out.  She loved to tease me about how awkward I’d get.   I finally admitted to Val, that I tried avoided David because I felt so awkward.  She promply signed me up to do Sunday school with him.

Then Nate died.  I was in art class when Kirsten told me.  I came home and called Chase then I went for a run…I ran so long I got know how that happens to me.  I almost didn’t go to Reality I felt so bad but I mustered all my strength and made it to Calvary Chapel just in time to rush to the bathroom for another bout of sickness.  I came out and sat myself in the back of the room, I hardly noticed when David came late and sat down next to me.  After the singing and service we joked about his imaginary compassion child and I realized I was no longer feeling sick.  Kelly came rushing over trying to organize a hike to seven falls.  When David said, "Sure." I looked at him in disbelief.  “You like to hike?” I questioned.  “But I thought you were from the ghetto.”  He assured me that he really did like to hike.  And that was the end of that.  The next day I got a call asking if we should get together and plan Sunday school.  I was catering for an art opening and I called back later apologizing for stereotyping him as a thug and not a nature lover and saying maybe we could hang out at Liz’s.

And so it began, Sunday School, hiking, talking on the phone and perhaps most importantly sitting on the DP wall, talking.  I remember writing in my journal one night, “ I finally found someone who can out story tell me”  David’s stories captured my imagination and my heart.  I was amazed at the humor and bravery of his childhood. But I was so scared to care too much.  I wrote for and against my feeling, battling in my mind a war waged in my journal over whether or not caring about him was wise.  I convinced myself that after he and Liz dropped me off at LAX that would be the end.  I would spend the summer enthralled in camp and preparing for PC.  When I hugged him goodbye, I thought that was as close as we’d ever get…

Wow, we were soooo young

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lonely by Blake Harper

I’m lonely. 

I find myself feeling like nobody in the world really knows me or understands me. I get worried that even my best friends only get to see the parts of me that I want them to see. I sometimes wonder if the idea of completely getting to know anyone is possible. How can it be? I’ve often remembered Shakespeare’s famous line, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” and been convinced that no one has ever spoken anything more true. I can’t help but feel that I am just playing a part, and I fear that an honest and genuine connection with another human might not be possible.

I’ve tried to ignore my loneliness through a variety of distractions and means, but they have all proven unsuccessful. I’ve tried surrounding myself with friends all the time, as well as attempting to find that special someone in hopes that they would make me feel complete for the first time in my life. Both seemed to work for a time, yet ultimately loneliness has always found its way back into my life. I am not saying that I am against having friends or significant others, what I am saying is that you can’t expect these people to be the way that you escape the loneliness inside of yourself; you will only feel let down, because loneliness can’t be fixed when you see people as tools instead of as people.

Truly being alone is something that scares me, and that is why I find myself checking my phone every five minutes, especially when I arrive early somewhere and am forced to sit at a table by myself until the others come. I think people get it wrong when they say our need to check our phones all the time is a reflection on vanity and narcissism, because, for me, it has much more to do with the fact that the phone allows me to feel connected to others at all times, even if the connections are as shallow as scrolling through my instagram feed over and over. I would rather sit bored on facebook for hours than actually have to sit by myself. Because really being alone means I have to really look inside myself. It is amazing the means I will go to in order to keep myself from engaging in any self-reflection. Being alone is the enemy. 

Yet never being alone does not mean never being lonely. I have found that out the hard way. Sometimes the most terrible feelings come when I am sitting in a room with all my friends, smiling and laughing. And I am still lonely. No amount of friends will fix it, no amount of “likes” on a photo will fix it, and, no matter how hard I try, no amount of suppressing my feelings will ever make it go away. 

Often times I have wanted to reach out and tell people about all of this, but I’ve never been able to gather up enough courage to actually do it. I’ve thought about what would happen if the next time someone asked me how I was, I answered honestly: “Terrible. I have a crippling sense of loneliness and have no clue how to fix it. How are you?” There are so many times where I wish I would’ve just told someone, but that would involve letting my guard down. And that is not something that has ever come easy for me. Unfortunately, I tend to see vulnerability as weakness, and so I have trouble allowing people to see who I really am and what I am going through. Because I don’t want anyone to know I’m lonely, as that would be admitting that I struggle. I hurt. 

I am not saying this because I want anyone to pity me or try to “fix my problem.” I am not asking for anyone to make me feel better. The last things in the world I want right now are fake compliments or forced attention. I am not saying this to you, the internet world, for any of those reasons. Because the truth is it is that kind of mindset that has lead me to feeling this way. This idea that others are the solution to making this emptiness go away seems so obvious and appealing at first, but it has only left me feeling more alone and confused than I was before. 

The reason I am saying this right now is because I realize I have never actually told any of this to anyone before in my entire life, and I think that might be part of the problem. I am saying this because I think most of you get pretty lonely too. And you probably keep it bottled up inside because you’re probably as scared of legitimate vulnerability as I am.  I am telling you all I am lonely because I know I am never going to be able to deal with this problem until I acknowledge it is a problem. I don’t yet know how to fix this, but I think keeping it to myself while acting like there is no problem to anyone who asks is only going to drive me crazy.

So here is my confession for everyone to see: I’m lonely. And I’m scared. And I’m not going to ignore that any longer. So let’s talk about it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The most important parenting lesson my dad taught me by Keith Krass

Good news:  This week we have two guest bloggers.  Some of you may remember Keith Krass' post from his blog 1,000 good mornings about learning he was going to become a dad.  Well, his son his here!  Here is a new post from

Lukas and Mom taking a nap

Like most dads, I want to be a perfect parent. I have aspirations to become a first-class diaper changer, develop an unbustable swaddle, save enough money to cover all of Lukas college expenses and never, ever fail him.

I also know that most of these things are unrealistic. 

Truthfully, I'm terrified of parenting. Lukas is a week old and I already feel entirely inadequate and under qualified. At the moment it's 3:22AM, and although he's starting to (finally) fall asleep, I'm inexplicably wide awake. So I've been thinking about this parenting thing.

I've been thinking about what my parents taught me about parenting. For whatever reason, I can't shake one vivid memory of my dad. Ironically, this wasn't a great moment for my father. Actually it was probably one of his worst.

My brother was on his way to a local high school baseball game and my father, exhausted from radiation and chemo, told me he would like me to go with him. I responded with a terse, "That sounds boring. I'm not going." My father, in a rare moment of frustration looked at me, his face was bright red and with a rage I had never seen, and shouted, "THIS IS MY DAMN HOUSE AND YOU WILL DO WHATEVER I SAY!" 

I was terrified. It was the first and only time I had ever been afraid of my dad. 

I ran out of the house and into my brother's car and went to that baseball game. 

A few hours later I we returned to the house. I felt a bit like the prodigal son in that I had no idea how my dad was going to welcome me.

As soon as I opened the door, my dad scooped me into his arms, sat me on his lap and with tears streaming down his face said over and over again, "I love you and I'm so sorry." I remember thinking I was a bit too old to be sitting on his lap, but I also remember not wanting to be anywhere else. I looked at him--I was crying by this point too--and said, "It's OK dad, really it is."

He looked it me and said in the most firm yet compassionate way possible, "No Keith, it's really not OK. I never should have spoken to you that way and I am sorry." 

I should say, my mom and dad were great parents. This one story is an absolute outlier. I could counter it with innumerable stories about how they unconditionally cared for and loved me (1st place would have to be my mom's willingness to allow my high school band to practice in the basement. This by itself should secure sainthood for her). Because they were/are so great, I had a difficult time processing why this story is so engrained in my memory. Then (at 3:43AM) it dawned on me.

My high school band. We were...loud...
My dad wasn't perfect; but that's not the point. My dad taught me that parents will inevitably fail and disappoint their kids, but what's much more important is how they respond to their screw-ups. I never felt more loved after my dad blew up at me, and I think that's the point.

I still suck at changing diapers, and I have no idea how to put socks on Lukas' feet in such a way that ensures they stay on for more than nine seconds, but I know love this little guy. I just hope one day, no matter how badly I screw up, he knows it too. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Time for Grace by Marion Dietrich

Back by popular demand, my mom.  I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I have.

Now that our children are mature, gainfully employed, believing adults, people often ask if we had one piece of advice to give parents, what would it be.  Surprisingly, that question has never stymied me.  

I knew the answer when our children were little, as they grew, when they went through adolescence, and even now the same answer holds true.  It is quite simple, but not necessarily easy to execute.  

It is time.  Time is the one thing only you can give that though quantifiable cannot be qualified.  Children need to know that you love them, that you will be there for them, and that they are so important that you will put everything else beneath them on the list of “things that have to be done”.  N.B. I am not saying that they should be idolized, nor am I saying that they should take precedence over your relationship with your spouse, and certainly not above your relationship with God.  But I AM saying that “ministry”, “church”, “commitments”, “work”, “expectations of others” often cloud our understanding of what it means to be entrusted with the care and nurture of children.  I am also not advocating being a helicopter parent.  

I think if you questioned any of our four children, they would unequivocally say that we were “there” for them, but also aware of their need to become who God intended them to be, often through learning the hard lessons.  We cried with them the first time another child said, “I hate you”, when they didn’t get the part in the school play, when they studied so hard for a test and got a C, when they didn’t get onto the soccer team or into their first college choice.  We listened, sometimes for hours in the middle of the night, to their heartbreak over a young man or their confusion about their faith.  I learned early on from my husband to let them talk, not to try to solve their problems, to give advice when asked, and to hold my tongue when not asked.  Mainly, his advice to me was to be available to them whenever they needed to talk, even if in the middle of something seemingly more “important”.

I wish I could say that I grasped this wisdom by revelation, or in the Word, or by some great teaching or preaching, but it came through the method which is most tried and true: trial and error.  So the other half of my advice is, “Be ready and willing to apologize when you have been wrong, without qualifying your reasons for what you did.”  My first clear memory of doing that was when our middle daughter, Anne, was in first grade.  Her teacher had told me that Anne couldn’t read at all and that she thought Anne might have a learning issue.  I was incredulous…not my child…of course she can read.  So I drilled her and practiced with her, and harped on her until a learning specialist had me watch a movie called, “Fat City”. I was stricken as I saw on the screen a child who could have been mine, and then saw through her eyes what a page of writing might look like, how a picture could appear two completely different ways, how thought processes vary dramatically from one child to another.  When I got home, I took Anne’s sweet face in my hands and weepingly apologized for not “getting it”, and asked her if she could please forgive me.  Did I feel like a bad mother? You bet I did, but the truth was I was uninformed, I was ignorant.  Not that those are excuses, but they are reasons.  

Unfortunately, I was anything but a quick study in the parenting department, but I can gratefully acknowledge that by the grace of God and His kindness, I was continually drawn to repent and change my ways.  I learned to stop trying to make my children into the image I thought they should have, and to allow God to show me who He intended them to be.   Then He graciously invited me to co-labor with Him in helping my child walk in the good works He had prepared beforehand for that child to walk in.  These lessons continue as I watch two of my daughters and their husbands, my son and his work, and our youngest as she gets ready to graduate from college.  The upside is that now they come to us for advice and when we give it we recognize it as just that, advice.  

The bottom line to all this is an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  God graciously allowed me to learn what I needed to so that my children could learn what they needed to.    Time and humility… so simple, so hard.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hurting Ourselves

My son has horrible eczema and despite the fact that he knows it will hurt, he scratches at it until it bleeds.  I’ve begged him, bribed him, berated him but to no avail.  The scratching continues almost unconsciously.  

It is hard to explain to him too because he is only a toddler.  It is not that scratching an itch is always bad.  It is that the itch of eczema is not the same as the momentary irritation of a fly landing on your back or an uncomfortable fabric rubbing against your arm.

It is a condition, an ongoing problem, and the scratching can never help, it only makes it worse.

Although this is a dermatological issue, it mirrors a matter which is darker and more sinister.  Why do we as humans hurt ourselves?  Why do we have unhealthy habits, addictions and behaviors that we know aren’t good for us?

I think that lurking within our hearts is a voice the Bible refers to as, “the accuser of the brethren.”  It takes valid or invalid feelings of guilt and twists them into a morass of self-loathing.  Fear and frustration begin to dictate our decision making which is frustrating and frightful.  It makes you want to tear your skin off rather than deal with the emotional eczema you are suffering.

So how do I stop hurting myself?
How do I chose to not scratch the bleeding itches in my life?  

Perhaps my son’s favorite treatment is a warm long bath.  If he is particularly itchy I give him an oatmeal bath.  This serves to cleanse the wounds, oatmeal is said to absorb the dirt and bacteria that may be festering.  Oatmeal is also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  

After a bath I always put on protective lotion that stings a bit at first because the wound is open and raw.  The lotion nourishes the skin and helps seal the wounds from infection.  

Finally, it takes time, usually several days of not scratching before the wound heals completely. And still, he is prone to get it again.  Any dry climate is apt to produce new itchy patches on his fair skin.  To fight this, I make sure he drinks lots of water, stays hydrated and I don’t let up with the lotion.  His skin needs it just as much when it is healthy as when it is broken and bleeding.

As for me, I am realizing as I type that to figure out this analogy I will have to draw on one of the most disturbing and upsetting images in the Christian Church.  It is the blood of Christ.   This world is full of pain and discontent.  It is messed up.  Not only that, but I am messed up.  My life was ruined; I had no way of buying, building or bartering back my way into the land of the living.  But God’s love is extravagant.  He knew what I needed.  Jesus died my death and so I can live his life.  His blood payed for my mistakes.  When I itch to tear off my skin and replace the irritation and disease with raw pain the oatmeal bath I soak my wounds in is Christ’s blood spilled for me.  It absorbs the guilt and shame.  It cleanses me.  It is like an anti-inflammatory that counteracts the ever increasing gnawing at my conscience. 

And the lotion I use on my tender heart are the promises I find in the Bible.  “Not a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice and you are worth more than a whole flock of sparrows.”
It provides nutrients and nourishment for my soul.  “The fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control.”
It doesn’t allow my emotional wounds to fester. “His mercies are new every morning.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Over overtired

My daughter hasn’t been sleeping well lately.  Lately meaning the past 9-10 months, and I am tired.... so very tired.  When I am tired I have a habit of being a smidge overdramatic. Such as the following exchange with my husband, “I need to do something I’m excited about to get rid of these winter blues."
His response: “Good idea, What are you excited about?”  
My response “Well...umm...nothing...” and I burst into tears.

In those moments it’s very hard for me to delineate between what is true and what feels true.  When attempting to shift through this truth conundrum I often remember the words of a friend I highly respect, “Where is the evidence?”  

This is tricky because I often bring false evidence into play. For example, it feels true to say that I my life is totally devoid of excitement.  I can’t seem to stop fixating on the prospect of another day snowed in, or my dearth of creative crafts and games for my kids.  I point to my TV show obsessions and my internet addiction. 

 But somewhere deep down, below all of that, I know that life is a gift.  And not just “life” as a whole or as an existential concept but every single moment throughout the day.   
As for the evidence.  Well, it was an adventure to change my kids’ diapers today...I learned that if you are quick you can catch falling #2 before it splatters all over the rug.  It was a joy to go grocery son’s enthusiasm over mac n’ cheese is truly incredible.  

Before I know it I’m laughing and I don’t feel the hopeless gloom that surrounded me before.   

It wasn’t a waste to brush my teeth or take a nap because...and this is the great BECAUSE...because “God works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”  ALL THINGS, the mundane and the mistakes.  All of it.  He takes it and somehow uses it for good.  He makes beauty out of burned things (ashes). The truth is that God is good, even when it doesn’t feel like it.  He is.  Believe it or not.  God. Is. Good.    

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Second Breakfast

I am a little like a hobbit.  Well, let’s be honest.. more than a little.  I love to read, stay at home in my cozy chair and putter about by myself.  But the way in which I am most like JRR Tolkien’s imaginary people group is that I LOVE second breakfast.  

All through college I made sure I had time to dash into the dining commons between my 8am classes and the 10am ones because I knew I just couldn’t make it through the morning without second breakfast.  It usually consists entirely of carbs: toast, banana bread, english muffins.  I have carried on the tradition with my children.  We all wake up early so by 9 or 10 am it’s that time...time for second breakfast.  

Now, some of the best parenting advice I got was as a teacher at parent-teacher conference.  The father of a very bright young girl told me that the secret was to give their brains and souls food whenever you give their stomachs food.  That passing remark has changed my life.  

So, at second breakfast we eat muffins or whatever baked goods we have on hand and we also read stories.  We read the stories they send home from Sunday school.  You may know them, some are quite famous, Noah and the Flood, David and Goliath, Adam and Eve.  Surprisingly enough, even with the toddler group my church does memory verses.  More surprising still is my son’s aptitude for rote memorization.  I’ll never forget the day we were enjoying our Pillsbury “home-made” cinnamon buns and I asked him about his verse.  He sat up and recited, “En my beginning God cweated da heavens and da earf.”  Genesis 1:1   I was dumbstruck. 

All this to say, with great circumlocution (as always) that I am not making a 5 point checklist this year with 10 subheadings under each main heading.  I am trying to keep my resolutions simple.  I plan to write...a lot...and I am going to read the Bible.  I started tonight with Genesis 1:1.  My husband bought me the One Year Chronological Bible and I plan to read it.  Even as a religious studies major I don’t pretend that this will be easy.  It will not.  There will be set backs and discouragement and long long genealogies but I am still resolving to do it because in the end, “The Word of God is living and active sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and spirit, bones and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12