Fireplace whitewash

I decided, before I went to bed last night, that I’d do all kinds of cool home-improvement type stuff while The Husband was at work today— maybe tear out the nasty shower doors in the guest bathroom, whitewash the fireplace, organize…stuff.

And then, I woke up. After noon. Oops.

So, I put a load of clothes in the wash and then the perfunctory facebook check… which lead to lots of Pentatonix-watching on YouTube all the way up to the time when Joel got home. Zero painting or organizing or demolition. The Husband, being the handy guy that he is, headed outside (after working—on a Saturday!) to pull weeds and chop down tree branches and whatnot. I felt guilty for sitting on my butt, even though snippets of Britain’s Got Talent was fascinating.

Whitewashing the fireplace seemed to be the most satisfying venture out of the available possibilities. Here’s what it looked like before:

fireplacebefore

This picture was taken at some point during Escrow. I’d admit—from the very first, I’ve hated this fireplace. I’m not a fan of wood burning stoves in the first place, and this giant hearth literally takes up a quarter of my living room. I have all kinds of (expensive) plans for knocking this beast out and installing a corner fire place, but for now, it’s got to stay.

When I first envisioned white washing this monstrosity, I found inspiration and tutorials all over pinterest. Mostly, I wanted my plain brick to gain some character, without being so whitewashed that it looked pink or…I dunno, washed out. Lots of tutorials suggested watering down latex paint to various degrees. The ones that seemed too white suggested one part water to one part paint, so I went with one part paint and two parts water.

I bought a sample jar of latex Cottage White from Valspar. The thing was under three dollars, which is awesome! I bought a little paint bucket too that had lines in increments of 4oz and used that. I poured the paint up the the 4oz line and then filled up to the 12oz line with water. Mix, mix, mix. And GO!

fireplacestart

I started out trying to clean the brick with the same type of stuff you wash walls with before you paint, but I soon realized the futility of it. The fact is that brick just soaks up any moisture, and it was just as effective to wipe down the brick before I painted as it would be jumping through all kinds of hoops. Besides, if the paint flakes off later, it’ll just look more weathered and have more character. Yep.

The whole thing was really easy, if not a little awkward and very time consuming. Brush paint on half a dozen bricks or so, then go back with a rag and blot/rub out the brush marks. Half of my rag was wet (for smudging out lines that dried too much before I got to ’em) and the other half, dry. It worked really well, I think.

fireplaceprogress

Oh—quick note: I stirred the paint pretty often. You could see it separating enough to look kinda swirly.

I’m telling you, the hardest part of this process for me was creating the randomness of it. My bricks aren’t as irregular as I’d like. They’re mostly smooth with fewer imperfections than is ideal, and this meant that unless I wanted them all to look the same, I’d have to do more paint in places than others, rubbing it off or allowing it build up. That’s where the wet rag came in: if things started to look too uniform, I just went back and rubbed around a bit.

fireplacefinished

Isn’t she pretty? I didn’t do the base. Why? Because my arms are tired. And the base is dirtier than the walls and top, so I’ll have to really wipe it all down first. I’ve got plenty of my paint sample left, so I won’t have to buy any more. 🙂 And if I slack off and never get it done, well…that’s okay too. 🙂

What do you think about the paint swatch, here? Is it a go? I want the wall to be kind of a silvery color. This has got a bit of green in it: paintswatch

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What is escrow?

So, The Swan House is finally, really ours.

The escrow process was excruciating. For those of you who may not know, escrow is the part of a legally binding transaction where a trusted third party is contracted to manage documentation and the transfer of funds between two (or more) parties of differing interests. In real estate specifically, escrow ensures

  • a contract regarding the condition, sale, and transfer of property is established and adhered to by all parties involved,
  • that funds for the purchase of said property is transferred from the buyer(s) to the seller(s), and
  • that titles and deeds (is there a difference?) are transferred to the appropriate party/parties and publicly recorded.

All of that is to say that escrow is around to make sure the sellers get what they want, the buyer gets what they want, that at the end of the day it’s all legally binding, everyone is (more or less) happy, and that it’s all a matter of public record. It’s…extraordinarily complicated. Incidentally, escrow is also the cause for the deforestation of the world’s rain forests. I’m positive our relatively short escrow period consumed several reams of paper.

There’s tons I don’t know about escrow (I was confused for most of the process, let’s be honest) and I’m sure it involves a lot more than what I’ve listed above. If you want to know more, Google it. Wikipedia isn’t entirely reliable, of course, but this wiki article helped me get some understanding of the process that caused me to lose sleep at night and time at work.

I’m told our escrow was relatively painless compared to what it might have been. There wasn’t any litigation and besides the need for a couple of extensions due to repairs that had to be done, most everything happened on schedule. The problems we did have were due to dealing with government agencies (The Swan House was a Fannie May foreclosure and our loan was funded by the USDA) and the fact that the company that did our escrow work is over 300 miles away. Escrow and Title is usually something that happens locally; it’s just easier to do business face to face. Instead, we were all communicating via e-mail with people we’d never met and who, really, could care less about our case. Their caseload priorities were established upon the nearest close date and up to the very end, we weren’t high priority at all. When we were down to the wire, trying to close, it became a mad-scramble to get things done last second because they just didn’t prepare in advance.

It felt messy. We felt like things were completely out of our control because honestly—government agencies can do whatever they want, even if that means disregarding the contract that is supposed to be legally binding. There were times we felt neglected and taken advantage of. In the end, it all worked out—we got our house, everything was paid for, and we didn’t end up spending too much more than we expected.

Don’t get me wrong. Not everything went belly up. Our real estate agent, Sue, was amazing and fought for us every step of the way (I think she might have mafia connections, actually). She explained every bit of the process to us newbs, and looked out for our best interests. Our mortgage broker, Darryl, made sure that our loan file was pristine so that the underwriters and USDA had everything they needed to establish our loan.

(I still think these people are mad for loaning us this kind of money. Mad, I tell you.)

It was all so stressful. It’s amazing how life events reveal things about who we are in truth; Joel and I learned that we suffer from temporary bipolar disorder under extreme stress. TBD. Similar to SBD…but different. We said bad words, thought bad thoughts, and honestly considered telling the bank to take their foreclosed house and shove it in a very uncomfortable place on several occasions. In the end, it all worked out and God gets the ultimate praise for it. Finally, The Swan House is in our names and we have her keys.

Time to get our DIY on.

Joel started today by replacing the locks on all the exterior doors. He did such a good job. 🙂 The doors will eventually be replaced, but at least we know we’ll be safe and sound behind our dingy, dented doors—doors that we own. It’s legit.

doorhandlebefore

doorhandleafter

The House on Swan Lane

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe how stark the contrast can be from one moment to the next—how life can change in an instant, in the time it takes to blink.

Sally Sparrow agrees with me.

Sally Sparrow agrees with me.

It’s been a little over a hundred days since the last I posted on blackfield. What has changed, you say? Only everything! We’re buying a house—a very, very, very fine house. Erm, there won’t be two cats in the yard (far as I know, anyway), and I can’t remember the other lyrics to that song so I can’t tell you how else The House on Swan Lane differs, but I’m guessing it does in some insignificant way.

I ramble. Never mind.

The point is that we hadn’t planned on buying a house. I mean, at one time, when we were newly-ish married and reasonably-sized houses in the area were priced at around 500,000 dollars, we had despaired of the possibility. Then, either as a coping mechanism or the realization that owning a home was a terrifying responsibility (no, really), we decided we weren’t really interested in buying; we’d be completely content to rent (I rhyme!) for the rest of our days. It really didn’t seem like such a bad deal—I mean, you pay your rent and when something breaks, someone else pays to fix it as long as whatever wasn’t your fault to begin with. With the minor stuff, the husband does the work (which is awesome and sexy…very useful) and we don’t have to deal with the landlords at all. No big deal.

A few years later, when the housing market imploded and real estate prices were dropping like the sky was falling, still—this did not inspire in us the desire to own a home. We were in quite a bit of debt (not so much we couldn’t pay the bills, but enough that we had little-to-no margin) and we quite honestly couldn’t imagine that any sane bank would be willing to loan us any significant amount of money after so many financial institutions struggled under the fallout of high-risk loans gone wrong.

It wasn’t until we began to be very frustrated with living in a condo attached to other people’s homes that we reconsidered our position.

One day at work, a friend of mine began to talk about re-financing her home. She said that over the course of her 15 year term loan, she saved a whopping $200,000. My eyes bugged out, of course, and I wanted to know how all that worked. I didn’t know anything at all about interest rates, you see, and how they are lower now than they have been since just after the great depression. All I knew was that 18% interest rates on my credit card means that I paid a lot more than 500 bucks for that camera I couldn’t wait to save up for back in 2003—the camera that I don’t even have anymore.

To make a very long story a little bit shorter—the bottom line is that I got tired of paying a thousand bucks a month for a two bedroom shoe box I hate living in when I could pay a couple (okay, a little more than a couple) hundred bucks extra for a three bedroom house with a garage and a yard that I’d OWN, with money loaned nearly for free at 3.5% interest.

(It’s not free of course; we’re still talking in the hundreds of thousands paid in interest, but still—that’s nothing compared to what we’d owe at 5% or 7 or 8.)

So, we’ve done everything we can to pay off debt. We found an amazing real-estate agent and a mortgage broker guy that works hard for us. We found a house we love and Escrow has nearly closed on the deal. The place has so, so much potential and it’s going to be fabulous. In the coming months (and years, probably), I hope to share with all of you the process of making The Swan House a home. Sound good to you?

-1

 

Flash Fiction: “Tall Order”

As usual, what I’ve written is only subjectively related to today’s flash fiction prompt; still, I think it will be very clear to most of you. I’ve got more planned for Day and her Friend, so check in again next week.

Also, a reminder: Flash Fiction is supposed to be unedited and unrefined by nature. However, because I’ve got OCD when it comes to editing, I just couldn’t leave the more obvious errors alone, but I’ll happily use the “flying by the seat of my pants” excuse for any mistakes you might find. 😀

In the beginning, The Creator packed rich, wet clay in his mighty hands and a multitude of worlds were formed. His lonely tears filled the seas; his hopeful breath, the wind. His smiles made laughing chimpanzees and chittering bluebirds, and beneath his toes, green, green grass and the deepest canyons.

Out of his heart and every last drop of blood came man, pouring into life and soul and viscera. She was the physical manifestation of The Creator’s joy, his person, his hope, and longing for companionship—a being perfectly suited to be friend to The Creator.

“What shall we do?” asked the woman whose name was Day, for though she was content to sit side by side with The Creator and watch the tumbling sea, she thought there might be something more out there beyond the horizon, some barren place to fill with goodness.

The Creator, knowing Day very well, smiled indulgently. “You wish to bring forth life, to be a creator as I am.”

Day, not at all afraid of The Creator’s wrath in return for her presumption (for she had never known it), simply nodded. “Everything you’ve made is good. I’d like to be like you.”

The Creator laughed heartily, so much so that the sea’s roaring stilled so the waters could hear. “Beloved, you please me—oh, very greatly! Here, give me your hand and close your eyes.” Day obediently held out her hand, and though she was curious as to what The Creator intended to give, she had no desire to peek or cheat because he, her friend, had only ever given beautiful gifts.

Once he was sure Day’s eyes were closed, The Creator reached into his own mouth and drew out a great light, one so bright that Day shut her eyes even tighter against the glare, and her nose scrunched against the discomfort the light caused her. After a moment, the light became dim and a solid object in his hand, like coarse raw sugar pressed into a little cube. When he put it upon the palm of Day’s hand, it weighed little more than a grain of sand.

“Creator? What have you given me?”

“Open your eyes and see,” he said, and Day listened to him. She looked upon the little object with wide eyes and was afraid to close her fingers around it. What if it crumbled in her hands? Not for anything did he want to displease her friend who had given something so lovely and important (even though she still wasn’t entirely sure what it was).

“It’s a part of me, a bit of my spirit. It’s sweet like honey, and when you eat it, we’ll be able to create together.” And because Day trusted The Creator with her whole heart, she placed it on her tongue without a second thought. It was indeed sweet like honey, a little gritty but quickly dissolving into a sweet juice that made her stomach feel contentedly full. They grinned a silly grin at each other, and Day threw her arms around his neck in gratitude. “It’s wonderful, friend. Thank you.”

The Creator squeezed her until the breath whooshed out of her lungs and they both laughed. He let her go and stood abruptly, holding out his hand to help her off the ground.

“Come on, then. let’s go try out this light of yours.”

Flash Fiction: “Creature Catalogue”

The room wasn’t pink like you’d expect a five-year-old girl’s to be. Renter’s-white walls, posters taped up. Can’t have nail-holes, you know.

“I’m so tired of this bullshit! When’s the last time you came home sober?”

There were toys on the floor—a vast array, really— and the carpet was old and a little dingy, though generally clean. The blinds covering the windows let in light and preserved privacy. There weren’t any curtains.

“When’s the last time you gave me a reason—a reason to?”

The child’s bed was her favorite part of the room, dressed in Ninja Turtle sheets a white California Raisins bead spread. Rainbow Brite was buried somewhere beneath the covers, along with what was likely to be the crumbs of a cookie smuggled before breakfast earlier the same day.

“I’m not the only one you’ve made promises to, Ben. For God’s sake, you come home smelling like a whorehouse and what? I’m suppose to just—”

Today, there were three little monsters hiding under that bed. Well—a cat, a girl, and Pee-Wee with his pull-string voice-box.

“You keep your mouth shut. You got no idea what you’re talking about. You want Jess to hear?”

Jess did hear. The cat’s ears lay flat against its head and Pee-Wee’s were covered by tiny hands.

“Oh, the way she hears you stumbling in drunk at all hours of the night? What am I supposed to say to her when she asks why you’re not home? There’s nothing I can say!”

“I don’t like it when they’re mean to each other,” she told the cat.

Julep Maven: July!

It’s sort of an odd thing, and definitely recent, but…I have a confession to make.

I ❤ Nail Polish. It’s true.

I love the endless possibilities, the subtle form of self-expression, and how for some (I haven’t quite managed it yet) nail painting really is an art form.

Anywhoo, since I’ve been working crazy overtime lately, I wanted to treat myself to something fun without making a huge financial commitment. I dunno…something around $20 a month? Maybe it’s crazy or wasteful, but when I saw that Julep had monthly memberships, I was totally interested. For $20 a month, I get two of their high-end, 4-free nail polishes along with some of spa-related gift, like pedicure cream or lip gloss, shipped to my house for no additional cost. All told, what I get is worth way more than $20 (according to their retail value, anyway), and it’s really nice stuff! No formaldehyde in my nail polish!

America, Kate, Daphne, and Mila

So this month, with colors in honor of our nation’s independence, I was sent three polishes (instead of two and a spa product), an additional glitter polish (free!), 3 fireball jawbreakers(fun!) and another coupon for a complimentary polish next month! 5 polishes (worth $14 each) for 20 bucks! There are four or five different style profiles to choose from, too, so you can get colors you want that are cute or funky or classic or sassy.  Eeeee! haha 🙂

The polish is so nice. You might think there isn’t much difference between one varnish and another, but all you have to do is compare Bonne Belle and OPI to know that isn’t true. Julep is even better. You should totally check it out. 🙂 If you sign up to be a Julep Maven through my referral, I could get a month freeeee! That would be the awesomest ever.

[/infomercial. 😀 ]

Ambitions.

In the spirit of consistency, I’m here again. Yay!

I had the opportunity to eat dinner with the lovely Renee and Trena at Odyssey tonight. I wish now that I had taken a photo of our time together (or of the food, at least), but alas, it slipped my mind. It was wonderful, though, to sit and listen to mature women talk about raising kids, about home-making and home-owning, about financial planning and security. These are things I’m sorry to say are somewhat foreign to me. I didn’t grow up prioritizing much of anything—mostly, life was day to day, taking it one step at a time, accepting what life hands you. In some ways, that lifestyle has made me flexible and easy-going; it’s easy to roll with the punches when that’s all you’ve ever done. I didn’t have a savings account, or a five-year plan, or long and short term goals. There was just today and then maybe tomorrow.

Now, as Joel and I diligently work toward the goal of debt-free living and the light is (sort of) shining at the end of the tunnel, I realize that there’s a whole world of possibilities out there, and responsibilities, too. Owning the home that we live in makes all kinds of financial sense, though to be honest, the idea of being staked to a single place on the planet indefinitely terrifies me. I’ve lived in this little-ish town for the last 20 years, and just the fact that I could go somewhere else if I wanted helps me to get through the days when I feel trapped, like I’ll never be able to escape this place. It isn’t that I hate it here, quite to the contrary! I love my friends, my family, and my church more than I can possibly express. Still, there are times when I long for rain and green and rocky northwest shores and I wonder…and long.

“Those times” tend to coincide with triple digit temperatures.

Anyway. The point is that I’ve come to the realization that I(we) have to change how we think about time and money and planning. There’s something to be said, I suppose, for going with the flow, but…I’m a grown-up now, and I don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. There are things I want of course, material things, but mostly I long for the freedom to be generous. I want to know that I’m blessing God with how my money is used. I want to be intentional about how it’s spent, not constantly making decisions pertaining to the future based on how I’ve spent money in the past. Maybe that means buying a house, or adopting, or tithing 20, 30, 40% of my income. I kind of hope it means all of those things, one day…

And, I wouldn’t mind maintaining my Starbucks habit.

😛

His Word in Principle, His Methods in Practice

(Since I’m posting more than once tonight, check out The INYPS post if you missed it.)

Selected Scripture:

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’””

-Luke 5:37-39

Observation and Application:

In the past, I’ve struggled with this particular parable and very much related to the confusion of various characters in the New Testament who wished Jesus would just come out and say what He means, already. I feel sort of dumb about it, now, but then, I always thought those people were dumb, too. There you have it.

In this scripture, Jesus addresses the various (and sundry) Pharisees and teachers of The Law who are needling Him to death about the way Jesus conducts His ministry and social life. They criticize His willingness to spend time with the more unsavory characters that they themselves wouldn’t be caught with, citing The Law (capital T, capital L) as sufficient reason to shun said characters.

What they don’t realize is that they were talking to The Law and The Word Made Flesh and The Creator (whole lotta capitals in there). Not only was he in no need of their clarification of the scriptures, but He was intimately aware of The Spirit of The Law, and the fact that these so-called religious men had sullied His Father’s commandments by “clarifying” and “elaborating upon” the law that was intended to reveal His heart. The most important thing, these men claimed, was to avoid the contamination of their own characters by proximity to those they considered sinful and unclean. They didn’t know that God’s heart, first and foremost, was to draw the lost to Himself.

So, what does that have to do with wine skins?

I confess that I know little about the wine skins themselves. They were made of leather or animal stomachs, I think, and new wine was poured into a new skin. As the wine aged and fermented, it would expand, thereby stretching the material of the bag in the process. Pouring new wine into an old skin was something akin to pouring the wine straight into the gutter, since the old skin no longer possessed the capacity to stretch and accommodate the volume of the expanding wine.

Jesus is here comparing the Pharisees and their cronies to old skins. They’re incapable of growing to accept the full measure of The Spirit necessary to do The Father’s will, namely, shepherding lost souls to their salvation through the Gospel of Christ. They’re shackled by the rituals they perceive it is God’s will they maintain, and I feel it’s pretty safe to say that few came to know the love of God by their legalistic methods. They were unwilling to see Christ as the fulfillment of The Law, and so, as it moved from a series of guidelines to the physical expression and manifestation of God with us, they ruptured—rejecting the one true God.

Alternatively, as we yield to The Spirit, His power and efficacy in our lives grows, and we grow along with it.

Prayer:

Father, I long to live as the expression of The Spirit within me, to do Your will as He directs, and to live/work/minister according to The Spirit, not my own notions of how things are to be done. I want to live by Your word in principal, and by Your methods (whatever they are) in practice. Don’t let me get so set in my ways that I can’t be used by You.

The IPNYS

I’m feeling it— the IPNYS. The Inevitable Post New Year’s Slump (and I apostrophized [do you like that? I think just made it up…or maybe it already exists] that because it’s a reference to New Year’s Eve, not bad grammar, thankyouverymuch).

I feel melancholy. I don’t know if it’s because my depression pops up for short stints on days that I least expect it for no discernible reason, or if it’s just that I’m missing the holidays and want them back. It’s frustrating, because when I feel like this, I want quiet and solitude and it feels as though I’d crawl out of my own skin to get it—through sarcastic, mean, nasty, and violent means, if necessary. It’s not a happy way to be for anyone involved. I just want to be left alone—something that is not conducive to a happy marriage when my happy spouse loves to whistle and sing and cuddle and watch TV. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wonderful, and I know this. I do. On any other day, I’d welcome and cherish it.

It’s just that today, I’ve just got my bitch eyeliner on. It’s the makeup I wear when I want to surreptitiously communicate that I’m not in the mood to deal with people’s…happiness. It’s like a blinking neon sign that floats over my head if you see it for what it is. I’ve never really mentioned the causality of that before, so…there you go. Now you can run for cover when necessary.

On days like this, I’ve got a startlingly low level of self-control when it comes to what proceeds from my mouth, and I hate it. I want to be kind. I want to make Joel laugh and just enjoy life. Instead, I feel frustrated with the futility of everything. I become a dog-kicker. Not literally, of course.

I don’t have a dog.

Not many of you are aware that I experience this regularly—or perhaps, if I am worse at controlling myself than I think, all of you know. I’m disinclined to care at the moment, which I know for a fact is temporary(ephemeral). I do care. Just…ignore me and file all of this away in your “things I’ve learned about Keri that I’d rather not think about” file. In the meantime, I’ll make a concerted effort to feel comforted by getting this all out on “paper” and move on.

Which brings us to my Life Journal.

I’m a few days behind, which I am, at present, attempting to rectify. I’ve just finished Wednesday’s reading and I wanted to post this before I move on to the rest. I’m determined to catch up before today becomes Sunday.

The Weakness of Another

Selected Scripture:

“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.”

-Genesis 9:20-23

Observation and Application:

Ham (maybe he was mean because of his terrible name) was happy to capitalize upon his father’s weakness by making a joke of his (sinful)condition and exploiting it. Maybe he was hoping to garner his brothers’ favor by making them laugh, probably hoping they’d agree with him since he (Ham) was the youngest and likely to hold the least esteem. Maybe Ham had suffered some insult or injury at the hand of his father and simply wanted revenge by making him look bad (Noah certainly demonstrated an ability to do that on his own).

Whatever it was, Ham’s decision did more to show the quality of his own character than that of Noah’s, which is something I need to remember when faced with the unsavory behavior of those close to me.

It isn’t that Shem and Japheth did the right thing by simply covering up their father’s problem; certainly, no good comes of ignoring sin or counting a man sinless just because they’re your elder. For the purposes of this entry, I’ll set that issue aside; I don’t intend to conjecture upon what should be done in the aftermath of such shameful behavior, rather, what I need to focus on today is that it’s never okay to openly expose the weakness of a person for the sake of elevating your own status. In protecting their father from disgrace, the two righteous brothers went so far as to protect Noah’s disgrace even from their own eyes. They could have gone barging into the tent; they could have thrown a blanket over him and beat a hasty retreat. That’s probably what I would have done, and I don’t think there would have been any sin in that. The point, I think, is that they went to extreme measures to keep Noah’s fall from grace on the down-low. The respect they held for their father was clearly evidenced, and what they had to gain from his fall entered nowhere into the equation.

I was talking to Joel yesterday, just before dinner, about a mild conflict I had experienced with a member of my team at work. I shared in lengthy detail about the nature of this person’s failings related to the particular conflict, how I was frustrated about various aspects of this person’s character and personality…you know, generally ranting and venting about things I’d no right to think or feel, let alone say.

Just as I had run out of steam, Joel had finished washing his hands so that we could have dinner. We were standing in the kitchen, holding hands, and he began to say grace. I honestly have no idea whatsoever what he said beyond giving thanks for the food because I was immediately struck with the truth of what I had done. Here I was, literally standing before the Father, and it occurred to me that I would never have possessed the courage to say to Him what I had just vomited all over my husband. Just like the Accuser of the Brethren, I had exercised what I perceived to be my right to expose the weaknesses of this person just because I had been annoyed and frustrated with how his mistakes (and subsequent denial of those mistakes) had affected me. Oughtn’t I to have more grace than the Accuser?

It’s humbling (and terrifying) to see one’s self in that sort of light, and to realize that you’re like the enemy of God on any level. Suffice it to say: I’m learning my lesson. Next time you hear me complaining about the failings of someone, just give me a little slap. Well, maybe not, but you know what I mean.

Israel’s consolation

So, I did read my assigned reading, but I don’t really have the time to do a traditional journal because it’s ridiculously late. I did learn something new and interesting, though, and I wanted to share it.

In Genesis 4, we learned that Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel. Cain murdered his brother and was subsequently banished, leaving Adam and Eve without any surviving children. The Lord blessed them with another son, though, and called him Seth. They considered him a gift from God because of the children they’d lost.

Then, when I was reading Luke three today, I learned that Joseph, the acting father of Jesus, was descended from Seth. I think it’s so interesting that Jesus’ heritage is that of God’s kindness and consolation to the fallen Adam and Eve, since Jesus is known as “Israel’s consolation.”

And the name Seth means, “appointed.” Jesus was appointed to be Israel’s consolation, and the one to remove our sin.

I love how God tells the end of the story at the beginning!