I read the Apostles Creed as my third piece of literature for Great Books, and writing about it has been one of the hardest assignments I have had yet. There was plenty of content to write about, but somehow I could never quite put my finger on what I wanted to say. I finally realized that I had subconsciously been stuck on the fact that everything I thought of to write led me back to the Bible. I could not write about what I believe without going back to Scripture for help, and leaving the Creed behind me.
The weather was beautiful yesterday! I joined Mom and the littles at the park that afternoon, and it was all kinds of fun! You don’t get too old for playgrounds, if you’re creative: I climbed around on top of monkey bars and walked on the fence rails. I felt like Dorothy. 🙂 (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch The Wizard of Oz again.)
Moving on, here’s Part Ten of The Sacrifice! I had good intentions of posting Part Ten before today, but it didn’t happen. Weird how I get busier when I’m on Spring break. . . Anyway, Part Ten:
Part Tenth: Never Forget
Penelope came downstairs to breakfast several minutes later and managed to choke down a small amount of food before going back to her room to find boots and a cloak. She had decided to go out to the dragon, instead of letting it come for her, and had convinced her family to let her. It felt like her choice then, not his, and that made it easier.
The Shepherds had told them where the dragon’s lair was—and assured her it would be impossible to miss. It would take her hours to hike up to it, not to mention the ride across the Valley. Henry had insisted on riding with her to the foothills, but she found herself now at the inevitable farewell with her parents. However she managed it, she struggled through without crying, and Eleanor somehow kept her tears at bay as well. Before they left, the Queen placed a thin, silver circlet on her daughter’s head. “Never forget that you are a princess, Penelope,” she told her. “No matter what happens.”
They stepped out of the Castle and saw that the whole City had turned out to see them go. At the door to the Royal Stables, less than twenty feet away, stood Henry. He was holding Captain’s reins in one hand, and Snowflake’s in the other—both horses saddled. Penelope thought she had never seen her brother look so grave.
Reluctantly letting her hand slip out of her mother’s, the Princess walked from between her parents; fully aware that every person in the City was watching her, and trying hard to be graceful. Henry helped her onto her horse and then mounted himself. She judged from his nod that she was supposed to go first. Stiffly, numbly (and rather clumsily) she urged Snowflake to a walk. Henry came several paces behind her.
People had lined the streets all the way to the Gate, waiting for them to go by. Like a wave spreading out before her, the townsfolk knelt down in front of Penelope’s horse—bowing to their Princess. Penelope blinked back her tears, and looked ahead at the empty road before her.
The Gate was opened wordlessly before them, and as they rode out into the fresh, green Valley Henry urged Captain forward beside Snowflake. Penelope turned towards him, and sorrowful blue eyes stared into sorrowful blue eyes for a moment before they both turned away. She looked out across the fields, and gasped in surprise: the grass was cloaked in scarlet, purple, and yellow; dotted with daisies like white stars.
The flowers were in bloom.
Jesus Christ is risen!
Our King is more powerful than death! Is that not worth celebrating?
Happy Easter, everyone!
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
-Luke 24:5, 6
P.S. Sorry I didn’t get any more of The Sacrifice posted–we were pretty busy on Saturday! Busy in the Spring-break, lying-around-on-the-couch-with-my-siblings, going-to-movies way. 🙂 Anyway, sorry I never got it up, I’ll catch up on Tuesday. Or maybe you could twist my arm into posting tomorrow. . .
Today is quite the day, isn’t it? Am I the only one who thinks it’s perfect that Good Friday landed on March 25th this year? One real, one imaginary anniversary, that celebrate the triumph over evil.
The day love won.
But the reality of love is the cross. Tears–pain–darkness–blood–sweat–grime–wood splinters in your skin. God is love, and He loved us even when it meant abandoning His son to torture and death. To love someone is not to be made happy by them. It means choosing to hang on and never let go, and let them drag you through things you never wanted to experience and don’t know how to handle. Loving people is painful. —My Valentine’s Day post
We say Valentine’s Day is the day we celebrate love. But I think that it is today. Today, that true love was revealed to mankind.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
I know, I should be posting The Sacrifice right now, but today is a big day in Middle Earth, and I need to post about it! Don’t worry, I’ll post Part 10 tomorrow.
“Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin’s fire nigh at hand where it was made. . . Fruitless did I call the victory of the Last Alliance? Not wholly so, yet it did not achieve its end. Sauron was diminished, but not destroyed. His Ring was lost but not unmade. The Dark Tower was broken, but its foundations were not removed; for they were made with the power of the Ring, and while it remains they will enure.” -Elrond, The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, page 273)
On March 25th the Ring was at last destroyed, and not by Isildur or any great hero, but by a group of unlikely hobbits.
“It was the strangest event in the whole history of the Ring so far: Bilbo’s arrival just at that time, and putting his on it, blindly, in the dark.” -Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring, page 61)
Strange indeed, but was it stranger than the events at Mount Doom? In the end, it was Sméagol—seeking only to regain ‘his precious’—that brought about the Ring’s final ending.
“Yes,” said Frodo. “But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him!” -The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King, page 926)
Today, Sauron was defeated, the Ring unmade, and the Dark Tower completely destroyed, at last; by a poor greedy creature and two little hobbits. One of my favorite things about Middle Earth is the incredibly real battle between good and evil, and the way unlikely heroes can always do great things if they never give up!
Click here to read my friend’s great post about Middle Earth!
I went into the bathroom to shower last night, and found. . .
. . . a few things in my way. Just a few. 🙂
I thought it warranted a picture!
On a more serious note, here’s Part 9 of The Sacrifice.
Part Ninth: Your Choice
The seventh day since the confrontation with the dragon dawned. Penelope’s first waking thought was how bright the sun was. The second was the wretched realization that she was probably going to die that day. She lay for a long while thinking. Then she got up and began getting dressed. She tried not to think about Abadalyx, but everything in the room brought dragons to mind and tears threatened every thirty seconds.
She put on a plain, white dress that reached to her ankles with a leather belt that had pictures of lilies pressed into it and pulled her hair into two braids. She glanced across at her vanity mirror and her eyes lingered there; filling with tears as looked back at her pale, simply dressed reflection. Its expression was so despairing.
Stop it! She commanded herself, resolutely turning her back on the mirror, determined not to cry. This was YOUR choice, after all!
Infuriated by the tear that forced its rebellious way down her cheek, she smacked herself on the forehead—hard enough to make herself reel. She sat down on her bed and laid her head on her hands. Being a heroine was so much harder than she had ever imagined.
Someone tapped softly on her door. “Come in,” she called, hurriedly wiping her eyes. Henry opened the door and slipped in, looking as despondent as she felt. “Morning, Penny,” he said dejectedly.
“Good morning, Henry.”
There was a moment’s silence before he began again. “I don’t want to rush you, but are you coming down soon? Mother ordered your favorite for breakfast!” he added proudly, perking up ever so slightly.
Penelope winced inwardly, but could not bring herself to tell her brother that she felt anxious and sick, and not like eating anything—much less rich, iced pastries she now regretted having said she liked. “I’ll. . . I’ll be right there.”
“Alright,” he answered, and went out.
Penelope collapsed onto her knees as the door closed behind him, folded her arms on her bed, hid her face in them, and prayed—more for strength not to cry in front of her family than for anything else. The thought of being saved slivered into her thoughts and refused to be forgotten, but she did not dare to voice it, even in prayer.
I was given a gift card to Sears at Christmas, and I used it today to buy myself an Easter dress! Okay, Mama and Dad might have paid for part of it. . .
It’s obviously been a long time since I got a new dress, because it’s not the fanciest thing I’ve ever owned, but I feel like Cinderella in her ball gown! 🙂 I think it’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever touched.
And Easter’s a whole week away.
It feels like forever.
But really, isn’t that a big part of what Easter is? Waiting for Jesus. Waiting for redemption. Waiting for the resurrection.
Easter is about new life, and things long hoped-for being placed in our hands as a gift, for today, and for forever.
Enjoy Part Eight! And happy St. Patrick’s Day, a bit late! How many of you wore green? I recently went back to re-read some of my older stories, and I found this that I posted last St. Patrick’s Day. Apparently, I didn’t wear green last year. I’d totally forgotten. I wore green yesterday. I even happen to really like green; why shouldn’t I? 🙂
Part Eighth: Getting Over It
In the following six days the family spent as much time together as they could. The Throne Room was vacant as long as it could be left so. On the fourth day Penelope and Henry went out riding together while their parents finally saw to a few pressing matters of state. They rode far out into the Eastern side of the Valley—away from where the Shepherds had seen the dragon’s lair. They rode for hours before they finally dismounted at the foot of the wooded hills. They lay side by side in the grass and stared at the sky.
Neither of them had said a word since they left the royal stables except to command their horses to go and to stop. Now the Princess broke the silence:
“Henry, when I go will you. . . look after Snowflake? Silly of me, I know, she’s only a horse, and the whole City’s at stake—but I can’t help worrying.”
“Of course, Penny, anything you like,” Henry answered submissively—and despondently.
“Find a nice girl to ride her so she won’t miss me so much?”
The Prince sat bolt upright. “No. Absolutely not. I’ll skin that creature alive if she ever carries any other girl after you. . . go.”
“Then,” said Penelope, sitting up straight in her turn. “I shall have to ask father to find some nice girl in a faraway land to look after her, and beg him to have you locked up ’til she is safely out of the Valley. She must learn to get over this—and so must you!”
Henry turned away from her, but groped for her hand and squeezed it. She rubbed her eyes and turned away also, but neither released the other’s hand.
So I found more music videos since my last post that I’ve been watching, and I thought I would share them with you all!
Once again, kids should check with their parents. Especially with the last video, as it has several scenes from movies in it, including several fantasy creatures that are a bit creepy. Thank you!
A friend of ours sang this song at her graduation ceremony, and I liked it so much I asked Mama to help me look up a video so I could memorize it!
I’ve sort-of known this song for years, but after hearing it again at aforementioned graduation, I decided I needed to find a version I could listen to!
Another song I’ve known for almost forever. We sang it at church when I was younger, but I could never get the order right, and I recently decided to fix that.
Another Middle Earth song. 🙂 After memorizing “I See Fire” I realized “The Last Good-Bye” was the only Hobbit credits-song I didn’t know. Needless to say, that was unacceptable. Still, I didn’t expect to find something this good! It has clips from all six movies, with video of Billy Boyd singing–and several behind-the-scenes shots! Also, Billy Boyd acted in The Lord of the Rings, so he’s singing, but also in some of the movie scenes in costume!
So, there’s what I’ve been listening to lately. The music videos I watch are actually a pretty good peek into what goes on in my brain! 🙂
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once. (29)
–Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
March 15th–it’s the Ides of March! Julius Caesar being the second Shakespeare play I ever read and one of my personal favorites, I had to mention it!
Alright, alright, the story! Sorry this is so late; Becca, Spencer, and I were at the zoo all afternoon (probably pictures forthcoming 😉 ).
Part Seventh: Satisfied
“Yes, Penelope. If you are willing, you may go.”
“But, Father!” Henry protested. “This is madness! As bad as surrender! We’re caving to the beast’s wishes entirely. Not to mention: how do we know it won’t break its promise?”
“I do not think that is a concern, Henry,” the King answered slowly. “Wicked a creature as it is, I do not think it would dare. We need not consider that. Penelope, are you going?”
The Princess stood up and turned her back to her family—mostly so they couldn’t see how pale she was. “Yes, I’m going.”
“But Penelope—Father!” cried Henry, standing up. “This is exactly what this creature wants us to do! We’re pleasing him!”
King Cedric leaned his head on his hand. “Yes, Henry, we please him greatly.”
Throwing up his hands in frustration, the Prince turned towards his sister. “Penelope, please, this is unheard of! I cannot let you die for me.”
“I’m not dying for you, Henry,” Penelope answered quietly. “Go to the highest tower here, and look down on the City. What would you see? I die for these people. You cannot save them by fighting.” For some reason the look of bewilderment in the dragon’s fiery eyes came to her mind. “He will be pleased—but he will not be satisfied. We are stronger than him.” She could baffle this monster—by surrender. The thought gave her strength to turn around. “I’m doing it. I want to spend as much time as I can with you, but I must ask you all not to try and persuade me—I don’t want to change my mind. Please.”
She turned away from them and stalked bravely out of the room—but as soon as the door closed behind her she ran to her room, threw herself on her bed, and cried her heart out.