There are times when I strongly identify with The Preacher in Ecclesiastes. I know I'm still young, but I often find myself questioning the cyclical nature of life.

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Why do I wash a dish and put it back, only to take it out and use it again? Why do I go to work to pay for the lifestyle that is maintained by going to work, which pays for the bills I incur by living?

What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

Why do so many things give but a fleeting sense of pleasure to a mind/heart/body that is never satisfied?

All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

I love to learn, but I find myself yearning to uncover an idea that has never been discovered before.

Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

My heart delights in many things, but the delight lasts only for a season.

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.
So what is the point, I ask myself? Even the conclusion to which Solomon came is disheartening.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink
and find satisfaction in his work.
This too, I see, is from the hand of God

Last Sunday, I was listening to Pastor Krogh preach on this passage (Ecclesiastes 1-2) at Grace Community Church, and he said something that captured my attention.

If you find within yourself a desire that cannot be satisfied here on Earth, it must mean you were meant for a place beyond this world.
That way of looking at it has been coming back to me today as The Preacher's words have cycled through my mind and as I have battled an oppressive sense of discouragement. I have so much to be grateful for, so I have been trying to understand why it is my heart still wants to question and probe and is not satisfied with these blessings. I have been feeling that my restlessness is a slap in the face to all the people surrounding me with their love and encouragement and generosity, and even more than that, an insult to the Giver who has showered His love upon me.

But, if Pastor Krogh's interpretation of The Preacher's lament rings true, then it might just be that what I am experiencing today is not ingratitude, but an acknowledgment that there is more to my existence than taking pleasure in blessings. My heart longs to understand the character of a God who gives good things to His children but does not allow them to be satisfied by it.
I don't know the answer, but I do believe that the pleasures I enjoy here on Earth are only shadows of something more.

With that in mind, it almost becomes like a game to try to imagine what good things will be better in heaven.

  • Could the scent of bacon frying possibly get any better?
  • Will we be able to eat salty foods endlessly without dehydration?
  • Will chocolate be good for us in heaven?
  • Will peppermint be even more refreshing than it is now?
  • Will everyone have the ability of perfect articulation?
  • Will I have a photographic memory?
  • Is it possible I actually will be able to dive into deep blue?
These questions just look ridiculous in writing ... but who doesn't have an endless list? I want to know the answers ... we all want know so bad.

When I was a kid I had a pretty vivid imagination and sometimes had a hard time distinguishing between the things I dreamed up and reality.

For instance...

I used to think the mourning doves cooing outside my window...

...were actually the toadstools greeting the day.

I used to think the chirping of crickets...

...was the sound the stars make when they twinkle.

And I used to imagine the moon... the pendant hanging from a giant gold necklace.

When you were a kid, what kind of things did you imagine?
I have some random smatterings bouncing around in the brain today. This will be an empty-me-out sort of post.


I have been reading a book published this year that I found out about on and NPR, called "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." It's the true story of the woman behind the HeLa cells scientists used to find vaccines for several diseases (including polio) and which have been kept alive in culture for decades. I'm planning to review the book on this blog when I'm done, so no spoilers for now, but here's a quick peek: Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) was a black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. The doctors took a sample of her tumor without her permission or her family's. The book probes the development of the question of informed consent in research. All along I have been thinking: Isn't that something that should be a no-brainer? But then I think of historical examples like the Tuskegee Institute syphilis study that started in the 1930s, and I wonder how humans get to the point of justifying acts that, in retrospect, seem like obvious examples of injustice.


Switching gears a bit... I love wordplay. Today I learned about a comedic technique called "Paraprosdokian." It's a figure of speech where the second part of what is said is surprising or unexpected and causes the reader/listener to reframe what was said in the first part.

Mitch Hedberg, a comedian who died in 2005, was master of this style. Some examples:

  • "I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."
  • "I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."
  • "I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
  • "This shirt is dry clean only. Which means... it's dirty. "

And some Groucho Marx:

  • "She got her good looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon."
  • "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."
  • "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."


Ever since attending a friend's Arbonne party on Saturday, I have been pondering the angles used to market cosmetics to women. (My friend Pam Elmore also blogged about women and cosmetics on Friday.) I want to be better at recognizing companies' sneaky half-truths so I don't get sucked into buying products I don't need. More importantly, I do not want our culture's view of beauty to shape my thoughts on the topic. Here are a list of implied philosophies I noticed lurking behind the sales pitch on Saturday.

  1. The way you look now is not good enough.
  2. You are foolish to use a low-grade product when you could be using quality.
  3. Using this product will change your life.
  4. Aging is shameful; youthfulness is desirable.
  5. Self-empowerment is key. This product will give you that power.
  6. This company is environmentally friendly. If you're using anything else, you're a part of killing the planet.

Those are just some of the arrows I felt flying toward me Saturday night. The funny thing is, I knew beforehand the whole night was going to be a guilt trip, but I went anyway, out of some sense of twisted obligation to support a business I can't even fully agree with. I think most women feel uncomfortable at these sort of events. Why do we go?


Last week I said I was going to try to blog twice per week, and I ended up only blogging once. Seeing how easy it is to let other things clutter my schedule gives me an enormous respect for writers who discipline themselves to write every day. I refuse to throw in the towel this week.


It might look like I am copying the "7 Quick Takes Friday" style started by the Conversation Diary blogger, Jennifer Fulwiler, but I only really had five things to say, and I like to pretend I'm original, so please don't mistake me and think I'm plagiarizing. :)