16 November, 2007

RGBP Friday Five -- Excellent Edition

Songbird writes:

Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. These could be people, organizations, acts, ideas, works of art, pieces of music--whatever comes to mind for you.

This is harder than it looks, but I'll give it a shot. I'm sure I'll think of more after I've posted.
  1. "True" I'm with Martin Luther, "We are beggars it is true." It is only grace that gets us through. We can do nothing on our own.
  2. "Honorable" Eating locally. Kingsolver's memoir is sticking with me. She honors the land, the animals, the farmers, and their own bodies.
  3. "Pleasing" My children playing nicely together. It makes my heart sing.
  4. "Commendable" The fair trade gift people. They are trying to help the small artisans world wide.
  5. "Excellent" Rembrandt's "The Return of the Prodigal Son." I love Henri Nouwen's reflections on the painting.

06 November, 2007

The Finnish Year, I

Lorna suggested that I blog about my year in Finland. Since it happens that it was 20 years ago that I was in Finland (actually 21, oops) it seems like a good idea.

First, why did I go? I decided to be an exchange student in the Fall of my Junior year of High School. I didn't know where I would go, I just wanted to go somewhere. My motives, as most are, were mixed. There was the fact that I had lived in the same place all my life, the same town my parents had lived in all their lives, and so it seemed time for someone to get out of Dodge and see the world. That's the more noble of my two reasons. The other was that I was so pissed off at my soccer coach that I couldn't imagine playing for her another year, and I couldn't not play if I was in town. It was a kind of "see how you do without me" thing. They ended up doing fine.

I applied to AFS, which had a strong supporter in a Spanish teacher at my school. I didn't know where I would end up going. I just said I had a lot of sweaters and wouldn't mind going somewhere cold. :) Typical high school depth, huh? I found out in the Spring that I would go to Finland. I certainly got cold.