After the rain, the leaves are down and the air is clean. There are puddles and mud everywhere, which delights Joaquin. We set out for our usual walk around the grape fields, but turned back after a bit because our boots got heavier and heavier with mud.
The photos of the falling down barns are not due to the storm. They are projects for our landlord and we suspect will keep him busy for quite some time. Nice for us because he often brings his 3 children with him and Joaquin loves to play with them. They are nice kids; I enjoy having them around. Until we finish up with our foster licensing tasks (build a fence, organize our "moving" boxes that are not yet un-packed, child-proof the house, get the well water tested, and finish up with our training classes), Joaquin is all alone here on the farm. We setup play dates for him, but it's not the same as having kids around to play with day after day. Soon...we hope to have at least 2 more children.
In cooking news, I tried this recipe for Korma and it was easy, delicious, and healthy! Win, win, win! I made salad, using homemade Grapefruit/Orange Ginger Marmalade in the dressing. We really liked it. Aren't we lucky to cook in an era of easily found internet recipes?
From my reading "The Prideful Soul's Guide to Humility" by Thomas Jones and Michael Fontenot (to work to overcome chronic peevishness (see previous blog entry)):
Humility is the way to God's heart. God doesn't receive us on the basis of our performance. He receives us on the basis of heart, and no quality of heart is more important to him than humility. Jesus said 'Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.' Humility is the fundamental of all fundamentals, the cardinal virtue, the only root from which the graces can grow. Humility is the most crucial attitude we can ever have. (This is bad news for me for I am terribly proud and it pollutes my whole life.)
The reward for the quest for humility is found in the fact that it draws us ever closer to the heart of God -- the very place for which we were made.
Pride is at the heart of all sin. Pride is wasteful. Pride is as wicked as it gets.
Chapter 1 Question: What evidence is there that you take seriously the sin of pride in your life.My answer: None; except the purchase of books on humility that are, until now, un-read.
I once wondered aloud to myself while driving down the freeway one late and stormy night: "Hey Kerri, do you think maybe pride is at the root of all your problems?" BAM! A log flew out of the truck on the road in front of me and shattered my windshield. I took that as a sign that God wanted me to know that I was onto something.
This concept that our reward for successfully creating an attitude of humility is that we will live closer to God--incredibly helpful to me and provides the first real hope I have felt in a long time. I have been very cut off from God even though I talk to him every day, throughout the day. I have felt completely without any hope that I would have any chance of getting into heaven. I mean this with all my heart, I'm not being coy. I just have felt that I am too unwilling to make the changes that are needed to allow my heart to grow into the kind of heart that would be chosen. I know that it isn't our deeds that will make that happen, it's our hearts. And mine has been cold, and without hope for a long while (much to the devil's utter delight, I am sure.) I am too much in love with pride and worldly things, take too much pleasure in being sarcastic and judgemental, and too unwilling to open my heart up to the things that are not of this physical world. And frankly, too afraid to let go. I cling, cling, cling to thoughts and things that are not pleasing to God. I've made little effort to change this, and each time I get started, I just get distracted. I've also felt that my efforts are just futile. Am I alone in this?
Focusing on humility might just provide a pathway to success. I am still very afraid, but now have some hope. Hope feels really good. A nice change.