1)  My dad made me a bird-feeder for Christmas, and it’s hanging outside my window, off my tiny back porch.  Tufted titmice, sparrows, and chickadees are bombing it, landing on it and exploding from it with enough force to make it swing crazily.  They come and go, flicking sprays of millet and sunflower seed onto the cold winter ground.

2)  My main part-time job is ending in a few weeks, I found out last night, and I had enough sense to avoid a panic attack.  I went into the next room and stood there for several minutes, fighting tears of frustration and fear.  This has been such a hard week, for confusing reasons, and when I said something to myself like, “Of course I had to find this out now,” I had to stop and consider the coincidence, by which I mean: whether it was a coincidence.  Which brings me to my real point:

3)  I’m reading The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard, one of the most eminently sensible people I’ve ever heard of.  After a hundred pages outlining the historical shifts in the Christian understanding of the “disciplines” for spiritual growth, he is driving the point home that they—whatever we may think, or wish—are salvation.  Not in the heretical sense, that our lives are saved by our works, but in the sensible sense, that you can’t speak Japanese unless you learn it first.  I could say much more, and probably will in another entry, but for now I want to say that I am trying to learn to live the Christlike life.  And last night, today, this means deliberately putting one spiritual foot in front of the other.  Which means, rejecting panic, and accepting God’s peace.

4)  Which is not as easy as it sounds, but is.  Somehow.  I am so poor.  Almost as poor as Elijah when he was fed by ravens, almost as poor as I was two Januaries ago, when I got out of the hospital to find that I’d lost my job.  And I have learned, as only someone thrust into poverty can learn, that God does, actually, feed the birds of the air with an incomprehensible generosity.  He does, inarguably, clothe the lilies of the field, and they are more beautiful than Solomon.  In these two years I have saved about $400 … but I have begun to develop a quiet spirit, I have learned the first things about the richness of life that comes in the clamorous midst of financial strain.  Rejecting panic and forcibly calling to mind these things, the times God has come through again & again, these things are spiritual disciplines.  If it turns into laziness or turns back into panic, then I have another opportunity to work toward a better strength of spirit.  This is the way of Christ, I am to suppose: the conscious exercise of memory, and the same sort of forcible practice you had to do when you had a piano jury coming up at the end of the semester.  I want so much to go where discipline & the grace of God can take me.

5)  These are several things that are knocking around in my brain, this morning.  I made a list because I thought there were a lot of things to say, but it turns out they were all mostly sub-points.  But it feels great to get them written out, a little.  A few of the little pebbles and grains of sand:

6)  What about another job?

7)  What about school possibility (since it turns out they got the transcript, after all)?

8)  What about how I’ve been such a hermit for a week?

9)  What about my utility bill?

10)  What about everything else?  What about that???