Monday, March 23, 2015

Beauty in Books, an education revelation

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid"
-Northanger Abbey

From childhood, most of my cherished memories were really imaginings, created by a world of literature. After about third grade I had immersed myself in the written word. And never looked back. My love for good literature has only grown, a good book is worth more than diamonds! At least in the eyes of an avid reader. Long ago Beauty and the Beast became my favorite Disney movie.... the heroine reads, and how does beast win her heart? By giving her a library! Much better than riches or jewels.
                                                    Image result for beauty and the beast library

My love of books has had such an impact upon my life. The words of beloved characters entwined in my heart. I declared when I met a dear friend of mine " We are kindred spirits!" and I was right. I must reread all my favorite classics and relive again the joys found in Jane Austen, Alexander Dumas,Margaret Mitchell, LM Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder... to name but a few. How sorry I am for those who haven't discovered the joys and sorrows found in your average library!

If I give my children nothing but my love, a love for Jesus, and love for literature it will have been enough. 

 It is a great sorrow that our society continues to grow more and more illiterate. That once, titles like "Little Women" were aimed at young adults... and now have been replaced by such grand works as "The Hunger Games".  Although it certainly inspires my own writing. For certainly if such drivel as that can get published I should have high hopes! 

Self education really is the only education. For if you are not educating yourself you really aren't learning at all. In fact, you are actively choosing to be ignorant. If only all young people learned this one small fact. Or if only our normal education system didn't actually try to squash a love for books. I fear the future ... a generation of texters instead of readers. An entire generation of people who are far more comfortable behind a computer screen than sitting across a table. Conversation that is so far removed from real humanity it holds no meaning at all. They tweet, they facebook, they have their own YouTube channels. But they are ignorant, illiterate, and loveless.

Communication abounds in our society! Faster, more concise, more convenient communication than ever before. But, I fear, it becomes more meaningless, more inhuman, more empty. Information and education are more readily available than ever! Even my "sheltered" homeschooled children know if you have a question "Just Google it" and the magic Google God will supply the answer.  Yet ignorance and illiteracy are at an all time high. The world at your fingertips....but no desire to learn. Books, literature,information of every kind available on demand basically for free. However it is lost and useless upon a generation that worships entertainment and entertainers.

I will let you in on a little secret. Shhhhhhhh. I am not educated. Not "formally" anyhow. I have taken zero college classes. I have no degree... of any kind. Not even a GED.  -crickets-

Image result for cricket bug
 GASP! And I choose to educate my children?!  What!? What will people say?! What will people think?! How will they survive?! 

Ok.OK. Now stop and remember that people used to be educated.... with books. That education is not summed up in any degree, there are many fools with degrees. That a piece of paper never defines who you are or what you are. I have met many ignorant people with a high school diploma, and do you really think that half of those college students are really educated? Education doesn't take place in a building from a teacher. 

Original Webster definition of education :
EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio. ] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction

New definition :
Image result for books
: the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university
: the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university

Notice a difference? So by the new standard definition of education I have one not at all.
 But this allows someone else to define you, someone else to decide how educated you are. In a world where information and education are available to everyone, we have now packaged it with a price and a definition that you must attain in order to have the status of "educated". Student loans, private schools, certifications.... I am not saying that some of these things dont have a place. But I am saying you may attain all those things and still be less educated than I.
 Most people are quite taken aback at my level of education. I mean ... I DID complete freshman year in high school, from a small school, in a low income area.So you know... if you find my opinions offensive, illogical, or just plain incompetent I have now given you reason to completely ignore me.
 I quit school for a number of reasons, none of which was because I didn't desire more education. They were good reasons let me assure you. Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue higher education. I am speaking for lots of people here, not myself only. But I am thankful! I have had the opportunity to pursue my own education in the subjects that interest me and help me to improve myself and my position in life. I may have continued in school believing the lie that a degree will qualify me as "educated". Now I know better.
I will tell you one more little secret. All I did to educate myself was.... Read. Ahhhhhhh. I could now pursue a "higher education" if I so desired. But I have no need to prove to others that I have a degree. I have no desire to accumulate student loans and debts to conform to societies definition of education. I am confident and content to remain as I am... just your average southern gal with a love of books. And chickens. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Big Blessings

They come in small packages.

     Some of mine are blonde, and some are bald. Some of them greet me every morning, no matter how grouchy or tired I may be, with a " Morning Mommy!" as though its the first day of the rest of their lives! And some just smile up at me and gurgle from the crook of my arm (the only place she will sleep peacefully). Some of them display excitement at all the little things. As though nothing can go wrong if we are having doughnuts for breakfast! And some of them greet me with coffee and burned toast, " Look Mom! I made you breakfast!". Ahhhh. Big Blessings, small packages.

   Jesus said we are to be like little children. O how I envy them! The joy they find in the changing of seasons. The wonder of butterflies. The gratitude in small favors. The trust they have and sense of peace and stability. The fun they can have with simple toys. The love they give, willingly, abundantly, without restraint. Its the example God gave us. To be like children. How blessed I am to be surrounded with children! 

   But of course I don't always feel blessed. Some days are more difficult than others. The days where it feels like you just do "damage control" and clean up behind littles   all   day   long. Or where you have cleaned up more poop than you ever would have imagined. Or where you are reminded that Yes Indeed we are born sinners. The days where you feel very alone and in an uphill battle. Where you feel like you just want quiet. The days when you feel completely inadequate to fill everyone's needs.

   I think all Mamma's have days like this. Days that end in feeling defeated. Days that end in dirty dishes, mountains of laundry, and possibly tears. Close to the edge of despair. At least for me, that feeling of inadequacy, as though you will never quite be enough, that qualifying as a "good" mommy is just out of reach. That feeling is always bearing down, waiting for a weak moment to sweep in with every doubt and fear of motherhood, marriage, and just life that you have ever had.  That burden is so heavy. It waits until my weakest moment to fall upon my shoulders and whisper..."Give will never be enough... you are failing... your children will suffer because of you ...give up".

  "My burden is light and my yoke is easy" And I remember the gospel. I remember that I was made with a purpose. I remember that God doesn't expect me to be perfect, only to love Him and love others. That dirty dishes are not a sin. And that false guilt is deceitful and does not come from the fountain of Truth. And I feel that burden lift, sweet relief!  How quickly do I forget to live in the light of the gospel. And with eyes wide open again I can yet see my beautiful blessings.

  I have to say I had many more tearful days when I only had one or two children than I do now at four. The difference is not how many children you have, how much money you make, how well your marriage is, or how clean your house is. The difference is only in how close you are to Jesus. Jesus is the difference. That is it. It is living in the light of His Word, the truth of the gospel. And then walking out that truth. Grace,grace,grace. Remember His grace for you, and extend that grace to others.

  So Momma-who-is-overwhelmed, you are NOT alone. God has given you a special calling and made you with a purpose. His burden is light and his yoke is easy. Go jump in the shower and turn up the music. You will get to the dishes. Go grab your bible and absorb some truth. The laundry can wait. Really. And look at your blessings. Listen to them.

   One day your little blessings will no longer be little. And your laundry will no longer be big. And no one will remember if that closet was organized, or if their socks match. So pray. And then "Let it go.. let it go.." yep... you can sing that song one more time. And soak in your little blessings.

   Be encouraged! Have you had one of those days or moments?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Are You Done?!

The inevitable question everyone must ask when they see your four (or more) little ones.  "Are You Done?!"  I think every mother of a "large" family hears this question. Especially if you go out in public. But from friends and family too. Its a natural question isn't it? But ... does it really make sense? 

    Lets examine it. "Are you done?" First of all.  Are you done ..what? Certainly they can't mean "Are you done having sex ?!" Because, of course, that is an entirely inappropriate question for anyone, let alone a stranger, to ask. And to which my answer would be "No we quite like it, Thank You!".
    But of course what is meant is "Are you done having children?" (usually accompanied with a large eyed astonished look and a bit of condescension). I am not sure that people (at least of the general wal-mart variety) put much thought into this. So for that I try to give them grace.  I try.

    So if we give in to the assumption that I plan on continuing to copulate with my husband (and I do), then what exactly are they asking? They know we have sex, as evidenced by our "many" children, and will continue to do so. So really they are asking if we are "done" by questioning our birth control methods or lackthereof.
    Lets lay aside the fact that it really is an intensely personal question. Or that you don't really want to discuss your birth control options (or your sex life)with total strangers and generally not even with family and friends. Or even that most people are not actually interested in your prayerfully thought out life decisions, the theology behind it, and your conclusions. In fact most people already have made up their minds regarding family planning, birth control, and their worldview about children, and are not open to hearing a dissenting opinion (although they are more than happy to share their popular cultural one). When was the last time you asked someone how often they have sex and when or if they are fertile? No? Huh. Because that would be entirely too blunt and obnoxiously personal. And I do not think anyone is looking for a breakdown of my menstrual cycle and my ovulation rhythms.  
   What they are really asking is if you agree with their ideology.

 They are looking for reassurance that you aren't one of those crazy Dugger-ites.  They are really saying "Wow! FOUR (or whatever number you happen to have above three) children? That last one must be a mistake. I hoped you have learned from it, you poor ignorant fool. Surely now you see the wisdom of modern birthcontrol. I mean really... the world IS overpopulated. Which method of artificial contraception or sterilization did you opt for? I, of course, made the responsible decision to only have two children, thereby not increasing the population, and avoiding any financial hardships that may or may not come along with having more. I don't personally like children and can't see how anyone possibly could, so therefore your offspring must either be a mistake or the result of faulty reasoning and misinformation."
    That is pretty insulting isn't it? Of course, like I said, I dont think that most people put that much thought into it. I am sure of it. But some people do. They really think something along those lines.... and sadly even the most vague, ignorant, wal-mart variety curiosity contains the worldview that children are a burden and no one seems to really want them. Or at least not more than a few. I try to have some grace. I mean, after all, it's apparent that probably their parents didn't want them, so that is one reason to extend a little grace when they obviously think children are a nuisance.
   Possibly they are also looking for reassurance "She has so many children, they must drive her nuts, my own two children test every ounce of patience I have, I could never contemplate spending all day long with so many children, why would she do that?! Surely she is at her limits and has taken action to prevent further mistakes as I did. I need to know that she is agreeable with my life decisions and if not, I will happily educate her on her foolish unprotected sex."
  Of course the expected answer when asked "Are you done?" Is "O! Yes! I am SO done. We are so done that we were both sterilized AND we are on the pill AND we use condoms." Or... Uheemmm something along those lines.

    So what do you do when the answer doesn't fit? What do you say to the whole world (who for some reason is intensely interested in your most personal details) when the answer is "No"? As in "No... we like our children. No... we trust God to plan our family. No ... we don't want to sterilize ourselves or get "fixed" because <cough> we are not broken, in fact our bodies work exactly how they were designed! No. We believe children are a blessing (not a curse). No. We think "overpopulation" is propaganda spread into our culture from elite eugenicists."  Should you say any of those things? Grace, Tay, Grace. I have a few snarky answers. More than a few ungraceful responses. Probably none of which would be Jesus' response. Because... Im pretty wretched.

   Sometimes I would like to spin the world around, topsy turvy. Start a pro active campaign to question the cultural norm! What would that look like?!
     I think I will stalk the local Kroger and ask random women who only have two children some questions. It'll be great. It'll go  "Are you done?!" You are?! Well, good for you! I am SO glad you aren't breeding anymore. I mean your children were obviously a mistake, they are expensive, and keep you from contributing to our great nation through taxable wages. The world is overpopulated you know, and since you and your husband only had two ... well at least you aren't contributing to the problem. AND youll have enough money to buy them whatever plastic thing they whine for that they saw on the commercials! Don't worry. Soon they will go to school, and our great government can educate them for the next 13 years! For free! Then you can get back to contributing to society. "  But, of course, that wouldn't exactly be graceful. And I am sure it would offend local Kroger shoppers.

So for now I usually just let my children pipe up " No! we like babies!" as I gracefully walk away.

This post explicitly deals with the "Are you done?" question. The theology and misconceptions surrounding family planning and modern birth control will be addressed in another post. Mostly I just want to vent my frustration and illustrate the inappropriateness of the question in the first place.
For those people who are actually interested in our reasons and theology behind our family planning decisions I am more than happy to share with.
 For the awkward everyday passerbys who just have no manners I cannot apologize to.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Southern Hospitality


Southern Hospitality. Sweet tea. Billboards that just say "Jesus". A culture full of "Bless your heart" and big hair. Camo and crosses. Wal-Mart and accents. Real BBQ. Deep fried... everything. And Football. LOTS of football.

    Here we are back in the deep south! So many things I have missed... and some.. well not so much.
How did we get here you may ask? O the rabbit holes life takes us through! We spent about a year in Hawaii! It was grand. We snorkeled. We saw. We beached. ALOT. It was lovely.We took pictures. And for an entire year I enjoyed access to some of the best beaches and most amazing scenery in the world. At the end of our year we came to realize that as much as we love Hawaii and all it has to offer, it wasn't the lifestyle we truly desired. Although we will be going back on vacation. Hopefully often. So the decision was made to move.

    Piggggg Sooouuuueeey! Its been about 12 years since we have lived close to our families. And about 7 since we've visited. It seemed the time was ripe to come home. For so long I was very adverse to ever returning to the south. But over time, and with much growing spiritually, God has changed my heart and we returned with light hearts, feeling that we were directly in His will. My children have cousins and aunts and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents for the first time. And cost of living is low. The climate is moderate. They have "snow days" ( every things shuts down for a few inches of snow! Its quite a novelty for us!). And its very conservative.

    We welcomed our fourth child in October. We had another wonderful homebirth. Evalyn Plumeria has given us much joy! Moving, homeschooling,toddlers,and newborns! Its been a busy season of life for our family. But in the midst of all of our bustle I seek the solitude that grounds me, the "Be still and Know". Without which I am tossed to and fro.... a small boat upon the waves without a rudder. Everyday I learn more and more what it is to be a Mother, a Christian, a Wife. Wisdom is her own reward eh?

    So life takes us in so many directions that we would never anticipate. If you had pulled me aside as a very silly,ignorant, teenage girl and informed me that in ten years I would have four children, homeschool and live in the south, I am sure I would have laughed. Or cried. But certainly not rejoiced. However. My heart is full, life is, generally speaking, peaceful and I am content.
Most days. Some days I really miss the beach. And some days I am just plain ole cranky. Doesn't every Momma have those days? But with coffee and a little chocolate I can usually endeavor to put on my big girl panties and get on with gettin on.

So now that we have officially passed the approved 2-3 child max per family cultural law we get all sorts of fun, unsolicited advice. But thats a post for another day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pretense and Subtlety

      A short note on the delicacy of conversation. Your words truly express who you are and where your heart is. " Out of the heart the mouth speaks".

       I, personally, don't do subtlety very well. Not because I couldn't, but because I see it as a way to manipulate people and conversation. I also see it as cowardice. Simply put, if I believe something to be true I should be courageous enough to say so, regardless of the effect it may, or may not have, upon the hearer. I strive to be free from pretense. Pretense is really hiding behind a facade. Pretending you agree, pretending you are something you are not. If you feel the need to do that, I should say that you should re-examine what is really in your heart. I honestly quite despise this particular character trait in people. And I highly prize people who aren't pretentious, and have no need of subtlety.

       If you believe something, then believe it enough to openly state it come what may, because you believe it to be true. Because I think this way.( i.e Logically). You never have to "read between the lines" with me. I say exactly what I mean, and I mean what I say. Some people love this about me! Others... of the pretentious kind... don't ususally stick around very long. Also, I do not communicate well with people of the more subtle variety. Because, quite honestly, it is alot of work, and I have a hard time respecting them much. If I have to ferret out your honest opinion, and pry a definitive statement from you, then honestly it wasn't worth it. Because either A. You dont have a solid opinion on the matter, one that is thought out and helpful. Or B. You don't believe your opinion enough to state it outright. Both of which undermine any contribution you might have had.

      Sometimes I am purposefully candid. Because I almost feel as though I have a barometer that takes in how much artifice is in a conversation or group discussion. I am not purposefully trying to be disruptive. I simply can only take so much of it .. before I feel the need to just speak about the matter openly, decisively, honestly. I hold my tongue quite a bit actually. But I always ask myself... is it out of politeness? Or is it fear? Pretense is really just fear behind a mask of politeness. If I had a dollar for everytime someone says something about my "personal convictions" I might be rich. But all the people I love most are those whom I know speak honestly, about their hearts, about their lives, about their thoughts. I have more respect for someone I completely disagree with, but is candid and intelligent, than I do for a host of polite, agreeable, acquaintances who never truly say what they believe. Who secretly, quietly, judge you without a single word of dispute, or ever give you the opportunity to defend any misconceptions they have formed. So speak up! Be brave and say what you believe. If you don't really believe it, then by all means ... hold your tongue.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Safety is not for sale

            I love music, though not gifted with any musical abilities, I enjoy surrounding myself and the children with it and singing out of tune often. I figure God made me, on purpose, and wasn't looking the other way when He didn't give me an amazing voice. Maybe it was to have a greater appreciation for those who do (like a beloved friend of mine), or maybe to inspire other out of tuners to lift up their voices anyhow, " Make a joyful noise!".  So I joyful noise I do make!

It is always the lyrics that make or break a song for me though. J.J Hellers "In the end" is a favorite of mine.

             This a great song for this time in my life. My husband is working and planning and everyday I feel one day closer to the move. I feel like a pioneer, although I can be sure of running water and electricity in Hawaii, and I am not exactly going to homestead, I am leaving behind my life here. All of my belongings (except a few boxes I can ship UPS of pictures and memorabilia.. and my Bunn!) are being sold. I am leaving the best friends I have ever had and a wonderful church that I feel I belong in. My children have never even flown on a plane! Or been out of Alaska for that matter.

            A million fears and worries crowd my mind. Will I be lonely? Will the bugs drive me crazy?! Am I crazy to leave our comfortable, prosperous life here? My husband has a good job. We have nice cars. We have a big house. I have a yard and a deck. A good neighborhood. I like all my furniture and went through alot of time and trouble picking it out! It IS beautiful here. And safe. We have put roots down here, Alaska and the people I love here will always be in my heart. And I hope we have lots of house guests!

           It isn't so much about living "in paradise". But living the lifestyle I now desire. Simplicity. More time. Less stuff. Smaller house, more family time. Enjoying the creation year round. Learning new things, like surfing (for the children..C'mon now, you know I am NOT coordinated enough for that!) and the Ukulele. It's about warm days spent under the sun, and sandcastles, the small community, and slow pace.

 "Safety is not for sale....You cannot buy peace of mind...earthly defenses fail... there is nothing new under the sky... build your Kingdom all your life..and say goodbye".

            It is a risk.  A big one. But I only have one life. I want to live it, in color, turned up as far as it will go. Bright and beautiful, peaceful. I felt so at home there, as though I already belonged. I am an island girl. I pray, and I wonder if this strong desire to go is because it IS God's will. Maybe it's a result of the long dark winters here. I believe that God gives you certain desires for a reason and maybe He has plans for me there. I am excited and afraid. I feel confident though. As though it is right. I know it will not be a big, long vacation. I don't expect that. I know there are downsides. But the same is true for everywhere. I know lots of people will think I am crazy. I know lots of people think we are foolish. But. Just maybe ... maybe its staying "safe" that is foolish. Maybe it's spending a lifetime working 9-5 to build your empire that is foolish. Maybe it is all Vanity. Maybe we will die in an earthquake or a hurricane or a giant tsunami. Maybe I'll get bitten by a poisonous spider and die a long, painful death. Death by spider. Ewwwww.! Maybe we will come back in a year, when our lease is up, and live in our house, and everyone will say "Told you so". That is Okay. Pride is vanity. And I am not building an empire. And Safety is not for sale." In the end", after my death by hurricane/tsunami/volcano/earthquake/spider. I'll be with Jesus and I will be the one to say "Told ya so".

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ten years and still married!

       Ten years and we are STILL married. I know. I AM crazy. How the roller coaster has rolled in my marriage. I wont pretend its been an easy ride, or that I didnt want to jump off many times. I wont even pretend its ALL his fault, I now know that maybe some of it was mine too ( Jesus showed me that... in case you were wondering... totally missed that by myself). But through God's grace we have met the ten year mark. I am so grateful for His mercy to my family and I. This is the best year of my marriage yet and I hope for many even better ones to come. I am so glad God gave me the strength to love when I didnt feel like it, stay when I wanted to go, and comfort in all the tears in between. He is working in my husband and I all the time and bringing my marriage to a place of love and commitment I never could have dreamed when I said my vows at 16. David is the love of my life and I am happy to have shared all my best and worst with him.

        Through birth and death, in times of plenty and times of scarcity, we have been together. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses. And I know his. Sometimes I want to throw a mug at him. Or a shoe. And sometimes he deserves it. And sometimes I look in his eyes and think I could forgive him everything and anything, and the confidence of his love fills my heart to overflowing.
     So for our ten year anniversary he announces to me that he has decided to do it. That we are moving to Kaua'i! WHAT?! I mean... I have been dreaming about this for more than a year now. Always with the thought of  "Someday..". And maybe a little winter nagging ( like during the snow storm in May!). After a long talk about lifestyle change, slowing down, minimalizing (yes I just made that word up), and changing the direction and focus of our lives, the decision is official. In less than 1 year we plan on renting out our home and moving to Kaua'i. There are a few job and finance variables that we have to wait and see about, the timeline could be next June or as early as this October!

  Best anniversary gift EVER. Seriously I dont even want a Christmas present. If he forgets my birthday for the rest of our lives he is covered. Its like a "get out of jail free" card for every future date/holiday. And that he is so on board with a complete lifestyle change! He is going to quit smoking, and Im pretty sure he will sell his xbox. We are going to take almost nothing with us. A few boxes of memorabilia, a few suitcases, and a box of school stuff and a few stuffed animals. Amazing. He even suggested we look at houseboats! YA. Houseboat. I'm not so sure about that. But I am open to adventure and I definitely have a "lets try it out" attitude.

   If you're wondering how we can afford to move to Kaua'i, since most of you know we are certainly not rich or even wealthy, we DO have a financial plan. Don't worry. We are not moving with just our paychecks in our pocket and stars in our eyes! Cost of living there is high. But lets not forget where I live now. Its not cheaper here in Alaska. A few things like gas are higher, but other things like utilities and produce are less. Plus, I am pretty good at living frugally. Maybe Ill be one of those extreme couponers! I have always admired them! (Ok... that seems like alot of work actually and would really cut into my beach time).

     So this weekend I am having a BIG yard sale. The first of a few. I am not sure when we are moving, really, well know more in a few weeks. But I do know that we both want lifestyle change. And that can start right now. So the first purge is underway. How many pairs of sheets do I need to live? One. How many purses? One. How many toys? okay.. 5. The kids have shed their tears. But almost all the toys are going. Because I am not going to take all this to Kaua'i. I want less stuff remember? The less stuff I have the more time I have. My time is more valuable than my things. I dont want to love my stuff. I want to love my life. What freedom I will enjoy once I am liberated from all my things! I already feel happier and freeer :) I will use the money I make to pay off a few small debts and start our moving fund.We are selling our second vehicle as well. So its not just a move. Its a lifestyle Re-Do. Its a change in focus. No more materialism, no more consumer lifestyle. Good bye HGTV. Good bye 5th Ave mall. Good bye commercials. Good bye Adds. Good bye big box stores. Dont send me a postcard. Really... dont call me, Ill call you!

    What is it really? Its singing a Good Bye song to the American Dream. The biggest Idol in our country. Maybe the world. I am so done worshiping at the alter of the American Dream, chasing my castles in the sky, and using my time to serve myself. I am convinced that there is a much better way. That I could be richer than I ever imagined if only Im able to give it all away. Its the same concept of dying to self so that I can truly live.

Rom_8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 

Luke 12:15-21  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.  And he spake a parable unto them, saying,
  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:   And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?   
  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 
  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 
  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 

And so our journey begins.