The Pearl Rises

It’s been over a year now. Wish I could say I was holding out for a year on purpose, trying for a trophy; but the new record is an accident. One, of course, of busyness. Other parts of the oyster have crowded the pearl out.

N. D. Wilson says, “The truth is that a life well lived is always lived on a rising scale of difficulty.” Great thought, Wilson. But many of us make our lives difficult mostly through busyness. And just plain busyness does little to make a life well lived. What busyness does define about our lives is our priorities. So while teaching and writing and many other things have gone forward, blogging has not.

I appreciate the nudges you’ve given me over the last year. The comments to “do more”, the texts saying you have noticed that all has been silent for a year. (shout out to two of you.) You keep me from quietly folding this blog down into a back file.

It is the middle of Christmas break. I made a to do list a few days before school let out.

Christmas Break

  • Help Lamont
  • Work on fence
  • Work on CLE questions
  • Upload videos
  • Answer Suceava grade questions
  • Kindergarten curriculum

I spent part of a day mudding drywall in Lamont’s house.

I planted seven more posts and stretched forty more meters of fence.

This morning I answered all but one of the Suceava questions. While I was at school, I checked the resource room for kindergarten curriculum. And I filled out paperwork for CLE.

I also recorded more introductions and uploaded more videos.

Sometime before next Monday I need to cut my hair, write questions for CLE, finish uploading videos, have a meeting about changes at school, buy train tickets to Bucharest, make sure I have all necessary documents for the trip to Bucharest, pick up pictures in town, pay the water bill, and many other things I am forgetting at this moment.

Blogging wasn’t on my Christmas Break list. It should have been. So tonight, while I was brushing my teeth, the muse struck. I poured myself a cup of vitamin C water and splashed in some rose hip syrup. I grabbed my computer and made it this far.

Last year, all but one of my students finished school, so this year I have a younger set. It is different and fun. I am teaching grade four for the first time. I have 4th and 5th for Language, Reading and Science. I have 7th, and 8th, for the same subjects along with Math. And I have one high schooler.

I am loving Art and Science more than ever before. Other developments this year shall be saved for later posts.

Home schooling in Romania continues to boom. Many of the families are using CLE curriculum even thought their knowledge of the language is limited. For this reason, I have been propping my phone in the classroom and recording my Language Arts classes. I then edit them quickly and upload them to a pearl in every cowslips ear on YouTube. Check out my channel – like, subscribe….;) The videos are very raw, but so far seem to be of help to some people.

We also added another member to the family. Lucia Willow joined us in October and made us four.

I have made many dusty miles with Adam and Noah and Abraham. The Story of the Kingdom continues. I hope to keep you better posted.

We are happy and busy. May the New Year bring blessing to each of you.

The Bad Angel Messes it Up

The next morning, Adam and the woman went for a breakfast walk. The woman was carrying a basket with some freshly mashed lima beans. She wanted to visit the baby lions.

The morning was leisurely, and they stopped by some huckleberry bushes and tasted the berries, but they weren’t ripe yet. They picked some strawberries and two bananas. They weren’t hungry, but they enjoyed the feel of food in their mouths, and the feel of the early morning air blowing through this special garden.

They neared the center of the garden and had just turned toward the good lion’s den, when they heard a soft chuckle coming from a tree near the path.

“It’s the forbidden tree,” Adam said.

“And it’s you, ol snake,” The woman laughed. She caught sight of him crawling out a branch. “What are you doing in that tree?”

“What are you doing with those mashed lima beans, dear woman?” the snake answered. “Here you are, the whole garden nearly bursting with food, and you carrying your lunch of lima beans.” He smiled.

“It’s for the little lions. You know as well as I they like nothing better,” the woman replied. “Going to visit the little beasties, and I brought them some brunch.”

“You had breakfast already then?” asked the snake.

“We’ve been tasting every tree and most of the berry bushes. Plum full of fruit this garden is,” she tossed her banana peel up toward the snake. “What a God to fill this place with food and only a few of us to eat it!”

“Has God said you can eat of all of the fruit of this garden?” the snake asked.

“Not a thing here to make us sick,” the woman answered. “All the fruit except that very tree you’re climbing in. If we so much as touch it, we will die.”

The snake squirmed on his branch. He looked long at the woman. His put a foot out and nudged a ripe fruit with his toe. The woman gasped. “You shall not die,” the snake said. “See I just touched one. I’m wondering if there is something God doesn’t want you to know. What is this tree called?”

“It’s the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

“That’s just it,” the snake cut in. “When you eat of this tree you will know things. Good and Evil. These are things God knows. Here, try one.” He picked a fruit off and tossed it down to her, but Adam rushed in and grabbed his wife’s arms before she could catch it.

“Don’t.”

The fruit landed with a plop at their feet. “Don’t touch it,” Adam warned. But immediately a strange smell filled the air. It smelled like apples with cinnamon, only quite a bit sweeter and quite a bit more strange.

The woman hunkered over the fallen fruit. It had split in half and the flesh inside was white and very soft. “It looks good to eat,” she whispered. “And very beautiful.” She was surprised and excited and felt like she could not turn away. Adam knelt beside her. Almost without thinking, the woman poked a finger into the fruit and scooped some into her mouth. That taste of it made her groan. She grabbed the piece she had poked and took a bite, rolling her eyes back with the new sensation. “Have some, my dear.” she kissed Adam and handed him the other half.

Adam sniffed it. He looked at the woman. He felt a little bit lonely again. He took a bite. The first bite was very sweet. He hadn’t been hungry at all, but somehow eating it made him want more. He stuffed the rest of the fruit into his mouth. It wasn’t quite as sweet, but still delicious. He looked toward the tree. Suddenly his stomach felt full and heavy and different than it ever had before. He was afraid. The tree seemed full of eyes. He wasn’t safe. He looked at the woman.

The woman looked at him. “You’re….” she paused, puzzled.

“You’re naked,” they said it together. Adam took three steps backward. They crouched and quickly crawled into some bushes on the other side of the path. Adam was trembling. He felt cold and alone. The woman began to cry. Adam peered thought the branches. Her eyes were full of tears. Usually these tears came from happiness, but this time was new and different and not nearly the same. Adam did not like it at all. He wished she would stop.

The woman covered her face in her hands. Shame filled her. She cried louder. She wailed and the sound filled the garden. Huddled beneath the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Snake heard her. And he was smiling no more.

The Tricky Snake

But the bad angel was not happy. Satan was scowling. He hated that God was so good and could make things as good as the beautiful country. He had forgotten that long ago when God had made him, that he had been beautiful also. He couldn’t even remember what good felt like anymore. Back when God made the angel who became the bad angel, God had given him the power to choose and to create. In this way God had actually put a little bit of Himself into him. But the bad angel had taken that little bit of God’s own self and had chosen to make himself, the bad angel, full of badness. He hated goodness and happiness, he hated beauty, he even hated God.

The bad angel had been watching God create the beautiful country. Everything about it was disgusting to him. He especially didn’t like that there was no shame. But one thing puzzled him about the beautiful garden. He could not understand why God put one tree in the garden that Adam and the woman were not allowed to eat of. Adam and the woman didn’t think very much about this tree. There were lots of good trees to think about. But the bad angel thought only about the tree that was forbidden.

Except sometimes he also puzzled over Adam and the woman. Why had God given them the ability to choose? Why hadn’t God made them just like the bees and the buffalo? All of creation could do nothing but praise God. All of creation except Adam and the woman. They alone could choose to disobey God and eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The bad angel wondered if they would. He thought about this very much. Adam and the woman thought about it not at all.

Until one day, the bad angel asked them to think about it.

The bad angel wanted to trick Adam and the woman. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t like them, it was more because he didn’t like God; and he thought that if he could trick Adam and the woman into disobeying God, that then God would be very sad because the beautiful creation would be ruined.

The bad angel knew he would have to be very sneaky. And he also knew that he himself was so full of badness that if he tried to trick Adam and the woman, they would probably see right away that it was a trick. The trickiest things aren’t usually the baddest things.

So the bad angel talked to a snake. It is very hard to tell when a snake is smiling. It is also very hard to tell why a snake is smiling. The bad angel found the trickiest most smiley snake of all. “I have a job for you,” he said.

The snake smiled, “What is a job?” he asked.

“I am going to be very busy tomorrow,” the bad angel said, “I need someone to ask some questions for me.”

“What kind of questions?” the snake asked.

“Questions about God,” the bad angel said, “I want to see how much Adam and the woman know about Him.”

“Don’t they know enough?” asked the snake.

“Go tomorrow morning to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When the woman comes close by, lean down and ask her if God has told her to eat of all of the fruit of the garden. See if she knows,” the bad angel sniffed.

“Knows what?” the snake was not sure about the bad angel’s ideas. He turned and looked out across the beautiful garden.

“Her eyes see only part of what they look upon,” the bad angel squinted. “She has tasted of all the trees of the Garden. She has tasted of all the things God calls good,” he spat toward the snake. The snake turned back toward the bad angel who was speaking quietly now. “She knows nothing about evil, about me, about all the other things God knows. And the moment she takes one bite of the fruit from that Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, she will know it all, just like….just like God.” He had meant to say, “just like me,” but right when he tried, he remembered that there were things that he had forgotten. He decided he had better not lie to this tricky snake, at least not yet.

The tricky snake looked like he was smiling. But really he was thinking about Adam and the woman. They had been kind to him. Many times he had played fun tricks on them and they always scratched his nose or tickled his feet afterwards until he rolled on his belly with laughter. This sounded like a different kind of trick. He tried to frown. But the tricky snake liked jokes very much, and he didn’t think about it for very long. He winked at the bad angel and ran away to his home.