A Glimpse of God’s Grace

This week we started out with our first biatch of English muffins on the new stove griddle. And a might bit of smoke and some discoveries of old mistakes. First of all, my Husband got brave and made the bread dough all by himself! Scary, right. It took 24 hours to let the dough rise and make them into the circles and then finally fry/bake them on the griddle. They are so good! My brother gave me his recipe to try.

The third biscuit later, I was suffering my yeast sensitivity. Wow. That is painful. So I haven’t had any more for a few days. Yogurt, carrots and smoothies for me to knock out the yeast overload. Ugh. I don’t like my body somedays.

Then we left the smelly house and went on a road trip to see my mother. It is not that far, but with the winter being a snowy record year, it was the first opportunity we had for the drive. She gave me this book for the “gifting” holiday. And I am glad for it, and it’s rich back story.

My mother claims to have come to the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of the way that I came into the world. Knowing that we both nearly died is quite a tale in itself, but this book tells another one. She was directed after her brush with death, to begin listening to a radio program called “Back to the Bible>”. You know the radio is what people listened to before there were podcasts! The main teacher on the broadcast at the time was Dr. Epp.

This is one of the first books that she purchased after coming to the Savior’s call in her life. It is rich with Bible facts and explanations of the Old Testament covenant. The idea that Christianity has it’s roots in Judaism is not often discussed today. I think the church today is missing out on all of this rich history. So after using ‘ms. Google’ to help me read the first two chapters, I remembered my blog promise.

The Portraits of Christ in the Tabernacle are full of symbolic tradition and hope ofr the believer. While at the same time we are trying to do the Chosen challenge and watch the series, my mind is full of scripture and my heart is being saturated in the depths of God’s great love for the world that He created.

Meanwhile, I am reminded that we all bear His image and His creativity is visible in each and every human being. This blanket does not have a name. The pattern is borrowed from one that I say in another blanket. So I decided to reverse and flip the maze and watch the affect as it takes shape in my lap.

And what better way to stay warm than to crochet an afghan? I just had to remember the “three little kittens!” This image is on the park bench in frount of our house. Kittens: Company, Lava, and Latte are happy to have the snow removed so that they could watch the happenings. I was out with the dogs playing frisbee when I spied them keeping watch on us. And I am also documenting the snow piles out by the greenhouse. It won’t be long and the pile will be as big as the geodesic dome garden room.

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” has been on my listening pleasuire this week. I don’t know whay I can never remember which on eis playing. So thin I have to repeat one of them to remember the differences. Perhaps it is because though the girls played them in chamber groups, I never did play the music. Just listen. It is always good to remember winter will not last forever. There are truly four seasons in the year even if it seems like one of them gets replaced by WIND. Last year we did not get spring, we got wind. And some of it over 30 mph sustained for days on end.

Glimpses of God’s grace are everywhere for me. I am so undeserving of all the blessings in my life. Yet He gives and gives His creation for me to look at daily. He opens my eyes to be amazed at how everything points to Christ if we just look for Him. I am thankful that while I can look back at history and see The fulfilled Messisah and can also look forward to the Hope of His return.

New year, new journal plan

A couple years ago, I decided to keep the yarn wrappers fro the whole year. 2022 gave me forty five wrappers from finished projects. We won’t count the unfinished symphonies in my repertoire. Haha! It is rather enjoyable to look at the wrappers and know that there is more yarn where they came from.

This year I plan to do more of the read/project/ yarn/ weather journaling than I have in the past. So while the hook size and yarn might not mean much to others putting them all into the journal together makes for an adequate memory bank.

The first of the year took me back to the Ellas Gems Legend pattern that I purchased last year. I have wanted to do a table runner and we liked the yearn that I picked out for it. The Peaches ‘n’ Cream cotton was the choice for a table top because it washed up so nice and can handle being a hot pad of sorts. So off white and summerfield ombre was the choice with a comfortable G size hook. It took me three tries the week end of the New Years Blizzard to get the first row of stitches correct for the pattern. I had no idea I could get it done in just a few days.

Having a book to listen to really helps me pass the time in complete ignorance. The book this time was “Paul A Biography” by N.T. Wright. It is a rather long book with lots of notes into the Biblical narratives. I actually sped it up a bit on my Talking Book reader because much of the content is not new to me. I did recollect however that for my high school senior essay paper I wrote about Paul. I never could have collected near as much information about the era as Wright did. My paper was pretty shallow I suppose. The book is good taking all of the epistles into context of the account in Acts. We also started watching the Chosen series and will have to include some review on that in the month to come.

Weather or not, the project was fun! And there was weather. The snow event gave us about a foot of snow total in one weeks time. My back got plenty of work out scooping all the white stuff off the decks and steps. I am glad we have a little skidster to clean the driveway off. I tried to scoop some of that one day and uff dah!

Meanwhile, I am cleaning up after our daughter’s doggy stayed while they vacationed. We are planning to have our little grand-kiddos over this weekend and the floors and surfaces all need a real good “once – over!” It will probably be more like a seventy times seven over. And hopefully Honey does not get into the presents AGAIN!

Christmas was really drug out this time. We started with a new appliances set for our selves beginning around Thanksgiving time. The television came first. The next new thing was the stove/ oven range. And then we installed the microwave with a miniature kitchen remodel. We just moved the cupboard up a whole foot to make room for the microwave above the range top. I love it! And I am getting used to all the newness.

January is almost to the middle. Our daughter’s birthday is this week and I sure hope I get to see her sometime. Not too long ago someone suggested that we have to lower our expectations so that disappointment is not so readily obtained. My whole mindset as a parent was to set the bar high or your kids would not have anywhere to aim. “You know if you try to jump to the moon, you might get over the barn. If you aim only to jump over the fence, you will land in the manure pile.” Well, I decided rather than expect so much of others to be their best, I would just raise the goals for myself! So here is to aiming for the stars this new year. I hope others will see I am expecting better from myself in my relations to others. I will treat the rest of the world like they need all the help that I can give them. May my attitude change be wholistic!

This year I am using I Corinthians 8:6 as my focus verse. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” I learned in the book on Paul that this is the new “Shamma.” The word Shamma itself is about “brain training” or teaching the mind to focus on eternal truth. The prayer itself from the book of Deuteronomy is the centerpiece of the Israelites prayers and this verse should be the centerpiece of the Christian’s prayer.

Training our mind to focus on God’s purpose for our lives is not new. Though it might be new for an individual to do this. For me this verse has taken on new meaning. Time will tell how high I have aimed.

My yarn year in review 22

My yarn year in review is just a peak at the projects that my hooks have created this year. Mosaic crochet takes the win with nine of the eleven projects having some mosaic stitches in them. Of course this is only the skimming the top of all the time I spent crocheting. And remembering that most of the time is also spent listening… well, I could maybe pick up the book with the project. This next year I hope to keep a better journal of the books and the projects. Journaling the books that make me “me” is also important.

January began the year with a prayer wrap. Making the mobias twist prayer shawl made me think of pretzels and the story behind the pretzel. Starting the year out with a prayer focus is something that our faith journey remembers well. We were involved in a church for about ten years that began the new year off with meetings in warm homes during the coldest first week of the year. Then February I finished my favorite project of the whole year. This “table runner” has graced my coffee table most of the year. The pattern is the first mosaic that I purchased. I really have to do another runner with this pattern.

My favorite patterns turned into not so good results in the next couple of months. March and April turned out struggles rather than fair prize winners. Oh well. Sometimes I actually don’t rip the results out and leave the bad vibes. There were a couple other hats and mittens but these were just ugly to me. And the wrap/poncho was not the best either with the angle in the middle of the pattern. That part is on the back side. It was hard work and so I left it in.

Favorite patterns returned me to another project that I have wanted to do for a while. The C2C is an old stand-by for me and this blanket is one of my favorites even though the colors turned out a bit wonky. It’s still warm and the “Linus” blanket is an real winner.

The hand bag or back-pack is a new fun one for me. Not really sure on the count ofr how many I made this year. Around six or seven. I forgot to take pictures of some that I gave away. There is an ugly browns one that I am using right now as my own what-nots bag.

Half the year would not be complete without another virus shawl completed. This yarn came from a thirty year old stash in someone’s attic. That was rather fun to sue such old yarn. The smell was a bit much for my nose. I ended up keeping some essential lavender oil nearby to rub on my hands so that I did not have to smell the old mildew.

And of course the year would not be complete without some hats for the grandees. These three hats were made by choice and request. It was fun to go shopping and let them pick out their own yearn and come back with hats that sort of match, but fit just so!

Making the C2C Linus blanket for my newest niece was really enjoyable also. This time I decided to make the color choices very random. I loved the outcome so much. And hope that as Texas baby in winter, she gets to use the blanket a little bit!

Fall came and went so fast it was hard to believe that already time for Christmas decorations and goodies had come without much of a plan for projects with purpose. Oh, well. Maybe next year I will plan ahead a little more with my crochet year. Meanwhile what better way to sandwich the year with another prayer shawl. This one had the right color choice for the season, but the goof up on the number scheme has me wondering if it might turn into a rip-and-redo.

Yep, my twelve months in review ended with only eleven pictures of projects. I probably could have found another picture, but I have just not been on my game lately. This past year the garden veggies were a bit of a flop, some of my attempts to seedlings were a white fly disaster, and I also added to my health restrictions. Though my health is not awful, taking away coffee and tea the last month or so has been tough. Coffee it seems is what gave me all that energy to do all those things. So I feel a little like an old stubborn mule with a halter that is too loose. Pull with all your might, but my days will still be a bit on the low production list.

I am so thankful that I have my hooks to keep me occupied. Life without crochet would be really dull. Life without coffee and tea might be boring, but there are still books. And if I can’t find a new read to keep me going I can always go back to the favorites.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” In deed I am thankful to find some pleasure yet in my year past and looking forward to the new year with renewed hope.

Wonderland

Not that life is extremely busy or anything, but writing has been a little bit “last” on my list lately. Not sure why. I did not even complete the story board that I put together on the dolls in the library. I did take the time to make my garden planning list. But write on the blog…. Just a little preoccupied, I guess.

White Christmas anyone? December is nearly at a close, and Christmas only two days away. We had some really beautiful snows the last couple of weeks. Some of it came with ice and misery. This last week the snow proceeded a deep freeze for the whole country. My heart goes out to all of the people that have to work out in the weather. My nephew is a line man. Electricity is always essential. My brother is a trucker and rancher. I just don’t know how cows and horses can handle those bitter winds. We had to coax our own hobby horse into the barn with some extra oatmeal and such. He was standing on the back side of the chicken coup through all of the weather.

Santa only goes to town… not the country. Not sure how that song ever got so popular. All those little farm kids and country dwellers have never seen a sleigh running across the roof tops. At least the fact that Santa Claus is coming to town has left us with a peaceful and quiet celebration out here in the barn lands. Honey would never let us rest if the man in red ever came to interrupt our slumber.

These two were not caroling this morning when I got the best picture of the year. Eva now 13 years old was not too happy about trudging through the snow behind me. Her poor little legs are so short, she was following directly in my footsteps. Honey who is five years old now was running around in the crazy eights like the inner puppy that she is always. Thank goodness that the cookie training that I have done all year worked well and it only took four photo takes to get the two in their prime.

The frigid temperatures the last few days are hard on everyone. The best way to keep Eva content is something to chew on, so she gets a rawhide chew to keep her in the heated huts. The cats keep her company. This morning only four or five came out to eat. There are eight regulars…. Autumn, Tabitha, Crush, Latte, Lela, Lava, Oliver, and Company left from all the mishaps of the year. It is hilarious that Eva likes to eat with a partner and Company is the one that she often shares her bowl with.

“Cuddly as a cactus?” Perhaps I might actually know what that means now that my house was gifted with a number of the succulents from a neighbor this last fall. The bunny’s ear is going crazy. The Jacobs ladder is nearly tipping over with height. The ugliest one is the alligator or mother of thousands. I put it in the most unpleasant spot for a plant in the house, directly over head of the dog’s cot. And yet it continues to live true to it’s name and there are hundreds of little babies in the soil at it’s base. Some of the family has been about as cuddly this past year also. Still wish I had bought the book when I saw it- “How to Hug a Porcupine.”

What really makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Friends don’t call, the happy family meetings get canceled, loved ones are only seen on face time, kisses under the mistletoe are few and far between. How do we make this Christmas merry when we miss so many traditional things? This year I decided to call some of the people on my phone contact list that I have not talked to in a year of two. That has been the highlight of my days and evenings.

The toys and goodies that make the holidays special for me this year is the new stove that I have waited a number of years for. And we did it up good with a new tv, and a new microwave to go above the stove. So tonight we will have another meal from our store house. We will use our new stove to five a delicious meal and I can be so thankful that we have our needs met once again.

“Way up north where the air is cold”… has been our life this week. But I do not live in a war town country, I have now run to find refuge in another land, I am not searching for a place to sleep tonight, and I have a family who is all well and sound. God has been good to us. Life might feel like a merry-go-round but each year when the holidays come around I can find much to be grateful for.

What does Christmas mean to me? A time to reflect on the past year’s blessings, a time to tell loved ones how much we love them, and a time to give God glory for all the peace that He has brought into our hearts because of His gift to us. So I promise not to get all wrapped up in the trappings, the boxes, and the traditions and miss the Greatest Gift that God has ever givin…

“And the angel said to them, Fear not! For I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” —Luke 2:10-12

Girl in the Glass

The looking glass V

Or perhaps “Girl in the Glass at One”. Is the appropriate title. Today is one of those days when we want to capture every moment, and not forget a single happening. My first thought upon waking was “no test messages,”. Then, it’s this little gems birthday. So I got out the video app and looked every one year old’s favorite singer… Elmo.

We had a video conference soon and I think she had more pleasure watching me do morning chores and feed all of the furries. Elmo seemed a little over-the-top for her little mind. Of course, I attempted to sing the greetings also. She has the most enjoyable little giggle. Her “acting” out the giggle is not fake at this age, it’s just how a one year old learns.

Meanwhile, the other day when I was there for a visit, I was able to capture this little play actreess in her element. She loves her sister’s makeup stand. And there is not one day that she does not spend quite a time at the mirror studying her “Beautiful” reflection. I am sure I heard her declare after a makeup session, “Oh, well that the items are all pretend, I am just as beautiful before all those things as I am after. Beauty is as beauty does!” I mean, she did jabber something that sounded like that…

Self image begins at such an early age these days. Little ones see their faces in the phone pictures, the video calls, and the mirror so much. The images that they see shape their sense of the world, self, and so much more. I wonder at the memories that we are creating as we face time and such. Distance may be shortened by the calls, but the moments are still far and few between every day reality.

The girl in the glass of my memory goes back to my nearly one year old self. The neighbor boys had come over to a game of “kick the can.” A version of hacky sack that involed an empty soup or juice can. Quite dangerous actually. And not the can, but another youngster (we won’t name names, but my elder sister by a bit) decided to try her hand at rock throwing. Little kids and rocks are such a magnet. Anyways back to the mirror…

My earliest memory of self is skewed by the reverse image in the mirror. The old brown towel catching the blood dribbling down my face is to this day on the wrong side. Though I know now that the scar is on the left, my understanding the “reverse” was not there and looking at others is not a reverse… If I look at you and we shake hands, your right and my right are opposite sides. If I look in the mirror my right is on the same side, The same goes for dance line learning. Dance moves taught from the front of the sting are done in the reverse. I never could move right and tell kids to move left. (No Christmas program action moves for me!)

Anyways, I have to think hard about which side my scar is on because of the mirror in the car. Yes, even back then we had mirrors on the back side of the visor. Though we won’t discuss the fact that I was not in a care seat, and that I was clearly standing up in the seat to look in the mirror and see the blood trickle down my cheek. And the voice of my mother, “put that towel back up there, or you’ll get blood all over the car.” Wasn’t there blood all over my shirt anyways?

The memory of the mirror is so vivid.

I wonder if my little grand daughter will remember her sister’s makeup play stand. I wonder If she will still see herself beautiful through the years as she looks into the mirror. Most days, I dodn’t even think about my marred eyebrow. Some days, I forget to look in the mirror.

Then, I think of those relatives I know who no longer see their image. The eyes have dimmed, the reflection has disappeared. Do we still see ourselves beautiful when the image no longer speaks to us?

So, here’s to that beautiful little one year old today. May happiness be yours as you look into the image that reflects the uniqueness of a Mighty Creator. May you see yourself beautiful all the days that He has for you!

On the outside (Annyta & Emma)

Looking around the butterfly patch the other day, I found this little flower it it’s escape mode. The seeds are exceptionally viable when there has been a little more moisture. And apparently the little bits of rain and the extra water sessions aided in it’s growth. This made me think of the the year of miscarriages three and four.

On the outside, I was very occupied by writing music, Bible school curricula and home schooling my two little preschool girls. My ITP was sinking to a new low and the doctors that I saw at the time told me that this was normal, and that some people just live with the low numbers for life. While I did not think was acceptable, several rounds of six weeks of steroids would only last so long. My body was in fight mode and my immune system was taxed to the “nth.” Of course during all that season of busy, I also suffered from migraines.

Debilitating migraines. Unfortunately the doctors thought that Zoloft would be the answer. That was one of the worst three months of my life. The head aches knocked me out for half the month, and the zoloft knocked me out the next month for half the month. And the third month a 38 day cycle ended up in horrible cramps like a miscarriage. What more was to happen?

The music I heard in my mind was constant during that time. God the Father was putting His creative tunes into my heart and soul. I almost could not keep up with the whole flow of events. I began to put together my CD “Are You Ready?” During that time of blessed presence, I knew that God was carrying me every step of the way inspite of all the challenges.

Multiplying Gerber daisies in my greenhouse today made me think of the days that I hoped to have another Gerber like baby. My first daughter had such a doll-ful expression I though she should have been the new picture on the little jars. Surely, God did not mean for me to have only two little “sugars and spice.” Yet, now looking back I wish I would have soaked up those years with my girls a little bit more. The challenging time for me of their early years is such a blur.

Annyta and Emma were the dolls that I found next. Though Emma is one who falls asleep while reading, Annyta is a constant mama’s girl. My imagination is strong enough to give them personalities and voices. But that is all I will ever have- a strong imagination.

The Geranium nursery this summer in the tire made me think of the years as a child I had a sand box in a tire. This was my early elementary years. Now i sill love to play in the “dirt.” but growing geraniums is my new love. I think some day people will call me “that crazy geranium lady!” That’s okay, it’s better than being crazy because I had secondary infertility.

Canning tomatoes thus fall has been far and few between batches. The drought really hit the garden hard. No beans. The zucchini’s took on worms and died. The onions were only twice as big as when they went into the ground. The only happy stuff is the cucumbers and the beets. And I am not much of a fan of either. I know that God’s thoughts are not my thoughts. Living through a barren season of “infertility” is not easy. On the outside it looked like my life was productive and happy. But on the inside I was crying for the hope of more children that I would not have. I found only a couple of other women during that season that I could visit about this. That part is hard also. So many just want to push it all aside and say “be grateful what you have.” Finding contentment took some time.

One more year of this ITP thing and two more possible miscarriages were yet to come. If only I knew then what I know now…

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain…” (I Timothy 6:6). This verse would echo through my mind so much. After this season, we left our house in the country for town dwelling. That did not last very long. The inability to see the seasons and the crops in the field brought on a whole set of emotions that I did not know existed. I was a “farm” girl stuck in town. We also had a dig Lady that simply was not happy as a city dweller. She had so much energy. So… we made a decision that would alter the course of life dramatically…

Thus far

Struggle bus rather than sleeping is one of my common life challenges. So the other night when my brain took off on it’s highway robbery, I found myself thinking about all these things once again. Setting up stones…. Our acreage is full of really large rocks. Many of them were picked up from the fields around and placed in the “rock pile.” Once years ago, someone lined the driveway with the rocks to keep drivers off of the lawn. My father-in-law still hates to see the rocks even in landscaping. My preference is to put them into the landscape and garden areas, rather than a pile that grows weeds and trees.

Not many people know what an Ebenezer stone is. Or even have ever heard of such a thing. Milestones are more commonly recognized, like growing and walking, driving, graduations, etc. Middle of the night statue building and laying stone walls while sleeping? Never.

My favorite Bible verse is from I Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name [a]Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” What makes this verse a Milestone Marker for me? The idea that one thing is ending and another beginning has always intrigued me. Marking transitions in life, whether they be new jobs, careers, or life changes is important. But most important is recognizing how you got there and how you will accomplish the next. “Thus far the Lord has helped us!”

New phones are never easy for the visually challenged. But for me, I simply put the new one down and it takes weeks rather than days to learn everything. We get use to doing things a certain way, and when that way “expires” life moves on in a different manner. Sometimes rather slowly.

Brain fog that follows a sleepless night is probably the worst The ability to function well and do anything with precision is hard. So I spend the majority of the time crocheting some pattern that is very repetitive. The past two weeks I finally finished my virus stitch shawl that I started two years ago. It is quite beautiful. And yes, it makes me look like I was born in the wrong century. I don’t care. I love making and wearing shawls

This little area of the yard is passed by daily. It is very strongly and “Ebenezer” for me. “The bridge that once was…. “. Has such a story. The wood was once a fort over the sandbox, then the fort in the trees, and now the bridge on it’s own island (haha). The wheel was found in the lilac bushes. The only wagon wheel we found on the place so far. The basket that came from my sister’s driver’s mother’s attic. The stones that were brought in years earlier from the field. Each piece has it’s own history. Then there is the tree stump planter we just made from one of the sixty plus year old trees in the grove that are falling one by one. This year being three years into drought, many of the trees are simply hallow and tired of standing up.

“Thus far…”. Birthday celebrations are in the works for both of our moms this year. My mother at eighty and his mom at ninety. Celebrating life is so important. “The Lord has helped us”. We can see the elderly living this even more so than ourselves. For them, it is sometimes hourly that the Lord helps them. Each day holds it’s own Ebenezer as they march from sunrise to sunset. Waking each morning requires a call to the Lord for help just to rise out of the sleeping chamber. Of course it is because of the tale of Christmas and Ebenezer Scrooge that many of us think of old as grouchy. But sometimes I make a mental list of all the challenges our mothers face each day just to remind myself that my milestones are few.

Last night I survived an allergic reaction without an EpiPen. And we made a symptom checker that told us “NEXT TIME” these things occur, it is time for the epinephrine. . It was rather scary, and though I new something was not right, it did not occur to me at the time that it was an allergic reaction. Now I know. Thus far the Lord has helped me, but my husband says, next time the Lord will have to remind us to use the EpiPen!

Beautiful dreamer (Chapter One in Good Grief series)

Sometimes we make plans, but the Lord directs our steps another way. Like for instance, today I very much intended ot sit on the bench in the greenhouse and enjoy the atmosphere for awhile. One minute after setting out my work zone, the “little messes” began to call my name. Soon I was spending an hour of time tidying up the house. I prefer to clean in the greenhouse than in the regular house. The sound of the pond fountain, the plants, and the fig snacks just keep me coming back. Most of the plants are in thier summer homes and so all of the transplanting material needed to be removed. Also, I had done some clean up last week and the garbage was due to be removed. My daughter gave me a phone call break. And becuase the sun was heating up the geodesic dome, I took my water outside to another bench for the chat.

The first time that my positive pregnancy test ended up in loss was in March of 1999. It was a bit shell shocked to have a positive result tun into such failure by my body. Just forty five days into the gestation. Though we already had two beautiful daughters, I hoped maybe a third would make our nest full. Many arrows make the quiver ready, right?

Looking back on those days, brings a rush of emotions welling up. What am I to do with this still small sadness that creeps unexpected? Back then it was something like how the weed night shade entered our garden during these awful drought years. The dust and wind so hot and dry yet powerful enough to bring grass seed, weed seeds, and the invasive night shade. My knowledge of the plant or my allergic reaction to it was unbeknownst to me during those years of failed pregnancies

How could my body decide to fight itself? It began in my early twenties as I was first diagnosed with ITP. The low platelet disorder took me to the hospital twice in the year nineteen ninety. Auto immune disorders come in so many shapes and sizes. Viral infections usually start the process. And the results are little discoveries of physical weakness and limitations that are sometimes not overcomed by any of man’s innovations or medicines.

Nora was one of the names I had in the “nesting” bank for future use. I think the only person other than my husband that even knew that it was a possible choice was my mother. She told me about all six of her miscarriages and how some had to be cleaned out due to mid-term loss. I was thankful that it was early enough no one knew that it had happened.

While I wished for more little ones, God was not to grant this want of mine. Psalm 23 begins with “the Lord is Shepherd, I shall not want…”. Those words were so hard to except. What were my wants? And what if my hopes and dreams never came to be. What was God trying to tell me in this newfound barrenness?

Learning to live without was a new thought process for me. Meanwhile my spleen was on it’s last leg of use for my body. My platelet count continued to drop into the danger zone. The ITP that I was diagnosed with at age 22 was plaguing my system.

Each day I walk by this cemetery cement ring full of flowers. When my father-in-law offered it to me, I knew exactly where it would go. If find it ironic that we have dreams that morph and change through our life and sometimes one dream is whisked away like clouds in the blue sky. Then another day the clouds take on a new shape and we have new dreams. In the last few of years of living with a spleen and suffering early term miscarriages, I would have thought it cruel to use this cement ring as a flower bed that I pass daily. Now? It is just another reminder that God replaces many lost hopes with His flowers of kindness. His mercies are new every morning. And His grace through the mourning process is ever gentle and new each time we need His comfort.

From My Park Bench

The whole month of June flew by and though there are four drafts in my file, nothing made it to print. The month was busy with farmer’s market, purging flowers and geraniums, trying to stay ahead of the weeds in the garden and some much needed family time. The local farmers market saw us twice. Then the work thing crept in and there just was not time to keep up with everything on the acreage and be gone from home for four or five hours on a Saturday morning. When all you have is the weekend to accomplish the acreage cleanup, the hours become precious. Also, the heat kind of kept us away a couple of times. Purging flowers and plants from the greenhouse took all of the month. I planted the last tomatoes when my niece came for camp weekend. They looked pretty worn out from their little containers. But are thriving in their “space” outside. Most of the larger geraniums are outside the greenhouse now. And thank goodness the wind has given us a break and things look wonderful. Staying ahead of the weeds also meant planting the old “potato” box grow bed into the salad box. It was so hot and dry the day I planted it all. But the thought of it gave me so much pleasure. With some appropriate drip tubing everything is up and green.

Family time this last month meant Sunday lunches with Gavin’s folks. I have been playing piano more at church these days. Though it is somewhat stressful to memorize the entirety, my mind wandered back to the day when as a thirteen year old I thought I would never be able to sit at the keyboard without a line of music in front of me. We had Christmas in June with my family and got together for the first time in over a year. It was so good to see everyone. We also celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday that day.

The month of June was also taken up with kitten care. I started a blog about the ferrel beastings and their little broods, but it seems to have lost it’s importance. After the family gathering, I spent much of the night in grief wondering where the years and time have gone. It’s hard to have the holiday blues in the middle of the summer. But thank the Lord, the days are busier and it did not last long. Nevertheless, I have nearly three drafts started all just in that week alone.

Good Grief!

Who ever coined that phrase anyhow? Grief certainly does not feel good. And there are many times grieving amounts to no good at all. This past month there have been a number of women on my prayer list that have had to deal with their share of grief. So, my mind took a play list of memory lane that I have not visited for some time.

The change of life comes in many different shapes and colors. For me, having early term miscarriages one after another for four years told me child bearing was not to be my main lot in life. I should learn to be grateful for the two beautiful girls that God had gifted us with. About the time I began to except secondary infertility, other things began to change the course of our lives.

Each of the beautiful souls that God gave me a glimpse of are commemorated in my library. The next few weeks I hope to spend some time remembering each of the “hopes” that I once had. I am so thankful that God brought Himself ever close at hand beside me during those days and the memories of His hand holding mine are special to recall.

From my park bench…

This July began with a family birthday gathering. God has blessed our girls with beautiful spouses and gifted us with grandchildren. They bring so much joy and pleasure to our days. I am so thankful that I can count the ways of our Lord in His goodness to us. We spent the fourth of July in quietness and in the heat my husband made me this lovely park bench.

We went to Boston the summer of 2010 and while there I ended up taking a walk on the waterfront by myself one evening. I saw a bench like this in repetition with many women in pairs sitting and catching up with each other on their lives. Of course much of the conversation was in another language. I thought that so particular to Boston. Then last summer my hubby and I took a motorcycle trip and found ourselves visiting a garden. There again were multiples of this particular bench.

I know that my hubby probably hated every minute of trying to measure and cut and assemble this park bench. Knowing his displeasure of carpentry makes the bench all the more meaningful to me.

So for the next six entries, come have a seat on the park bench with me as I share how God has been part of my journey form childbearing through miscarriages and into the present day of good grief!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God ; to those who are the called according to His propose.”(ESV)