It’s working

Rather maybe I am

It’s working! The pattern is working. Or rather maybe I am working. Counting in sequence is fun. At least I think so. I can hardly wait to see this little table runner with the Christmas Poinsettia finished.

This past year has been a real challenge for many people.

With the healthcare crisis and the changes on the horizon, some of these challenges have entered my life. Others have not.

In my circle of friends and family, the pandemic has not changed the way that we live a whole lot. There are only a handful of healthcare workers in the family so I have to search the friends list to find those most impacted in that manner. But the rest of us have felt the ripple effect.

My husband has been searching for answers to his back pain most of the fall, and will barely get into the doctor before the holidays. Some healthcare systems are indeed taxed. It is frustrating to wait but that seems to the word for the year, and this season.

Wait

Was not the whole story of Christ’s coming the idea that a nation was waiting for the Messiah to come? Waiting for the Deliverer is not something people spend much time thinking of anymore. However, these days, there are a lot of people waiting for the vaccine for this nasty virus. Of course those in the initial receiving line, are not expecting mothers. And the vaccine is not a blanket of salvation to all those who wait.

Yet, wait we must.

Christmas time seems to be the appropriate time for this “gift of salvation” to begin it’s work. However, the correlation to the young virgin Mary in her expectant phase traveling to the little village of Bethlehem to attend the census seems so very fitting to me. She waiting for the child to come. The people of that time waiting for the Messiah to come. And the many people now hoping for some end to this world pandemic thing.

Wait

So while I spend the year waiting, I have not been idle. In the book of Esther, the young queen takes it upon herself to invite the king and his closest confidants to a meal. She does not sit idly by, but involves herself in the fast while preparing a feast. It all turns out well in the long run, and it is one of my favorite stories.

For such a time as this, it is no time to be idle. So I learned something new this year. Mosaic crochet was not on my radar as a new pastime. But it has indeed become my waiting activity. I never though that I could learn to read the charts with all of their little circles and dots and such. Give me a simple picture, and maybe I can copy it.

So here we go. As much as I loved the “sow in tear” prayer shawl, I now have many other patterns to choose. From my Prayer Chamber Shawl, to the Hope square, to the Mulberry Bush Shawl, and a pillow, now I have a Christmas Poinsettia to learn.

Having the worldwide web at my fingertips to find pictures and patterns has been amazing. I wish I could do the more complicated pictographs, but they are not usually simple mosaic crochet. So I will continue on through the designs that I find.

Perhaps all this waiting does have a purpose.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage. And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord.” (ESv)

Autumn falls into winter

From dry to snow to shirtsleeves again

Where else do we scoop snow on Sunday and mow the following Saturday? Wo, this land of infinite variety sure has us busy with all three seasons in one week.

Since when have we called this “God’s country?” Sometimes I think people are a little too proud of their place of origin and not giving full credit to whole scope of things. Oh, well, the soap box is all soggy and won’t hold me up any longer!

Years past I have collected the zinnia seed late in October, and this year I picked them off in September. The lawn is so dry that the grass is crunching under feet like french fries left in the fat too long. I was tempted to water the yard before it go cool again. We may be re-seeding more of the yard than planned.

A few years ago, my daughter’s retreat from wok place took her to the hammock while she was home. And then she had to work the weekend that we worked on the Greenhouse erector set. There are so many pictures of the construction in my pictures from four years ago. We just replaced the pond pump that filtered the water and added humidity to the room. It’s great to hear the sound of the water again when I walk in there. The plants will all soon be happy again.

Four years since we built the greenhouse and a name and a logo are still in the works. I have done some drawings or sketches but a marketing or graphics helper would be better at it. Anyone want to help? It is soon coming I hope.

Saving seeds and sharing goodies is my favorite part of the building. I hope next spring is even more generous.

Planning ahead for the next year, or the next growing season is so much fun. I know that I am a perpetual spring-aholic!! The plans always seem to be more in the head than on pater. I tried to keep things in a notebook once and got a little confused Suddenly it was three seasons later and I had not even looked at the list. Oops!

The beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. For some reason, I just love this picure of the dired cone heads after the harvest was all complete. Three days late it snowed and we were digging the carrots up in the snow. Brr!

So I am back to crochet. I take a “warm” break in the greenhouse in middle of the day. It is so lovely to go and get warmed to the bone. Hats and mittens take up a larger portion of my busy time and they are a great in between thing for the larger projects to be set aside and rest my brain some!

I am so grateful for the chance to watch plants that God created grow. And I am so thinkful for the ability to be creative with my yarn projects. And NO-I have no plans to rais flax and make thread from it. Nor hemp, or cornsilk, or any other plant material that might make my allergies go completely bananas! That is the honest truth, because I am allergic to those little yellow buggers now too!

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. The goose is still getting fat. Which in our case the goose might be the bank account actually getting smaller, so that’s not true either.

This fall, my poor hubby is learning the value of a good strong spine. An old injury that he had, has turned into quite a physical challenge. Physical therapy seems to be the answer in discoving most of his nerve impingement. My heart aches for him as he tries to figure it all out and get answers from medical staff during this world health crisis. I pray for his safety every time he has a meeting with someone.

My health improved considerably with the onset of cold weather. However, my eye sight continues to be an issue. So many things do not even get attempted because of it. And then when I do try something new, technology just does not seem to aid me as much as you might think it should. Oh, well.

Ecclesiastes 12:1. (ESV) “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ” I have no pleasure in [birthdays anymore] them.”

I am not picking on the birthday people really, it’s just that this month holds significance for some and this verse seemed appropriate for all the happenings in the world and the memories I have of all the people celebrating this month. I sure hope that Christmas still holds some excietement for you and that celebrating Christmas as the birth of our Lord brings you some pleasure this year. Even if you do spend the day alone. Find someone to call. Find someway to give something this Christmas.

Patina

I Chronicles 16:11 “Seek Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually.”

Weathering artfully is something that copper does naturally. by attracting the elements to its surface, the patina of copper has colors that change almost imperceptively year by year. When I look in the mirror, I wonder if my aging process contains as much beauty to the beholder. The verse from 1 Chronicles chapter sixteen also has the ending option of “seek His face evermore.”

During our recent drive-inn church service, our sister church’s Pastor gave a message about the likeness of Fathers and Sons. She shared how some father and son duos look so much alike, that in the year by year comparison it was hard to tell them apart. Through the week following, I thought about my family and who was like whom… I am not going to implicate anyone.

When we look at our face in the mirror, whom do we see? So much of the world is a comparison of images that we forget whose image we are really suppose to reflect. Genesis chapter one verse twenty-six says that God made people in His image. The message of the sermon was that we are to look for God in His Son, Jesus. We are to look for little rays of the Father in the images of His children.

Lately, with all that has happened in our country and around the world, we have to look a little harder it seems. Seeking the face of God the Father in the images of people as they flash past on the social media scroll is not easy. We are ever more scrolling through the latest news and we by pass the glimpses of an eternal God over and over.

While I am not trying to make my face into the most angelic figure ever seen, what do I spend my time “facing?” What do I seek? Once or twice a week, I am blessed to visit the little faces of my grandchildren. The rest of the hours I spend facing the task of filling the time wisely.

My newest age defiance is putting together the old and new yarn into a mix of stitches. The old and the new together unlike any other . Being creative is one of the joys of life for me. And I believe in a creative God. If you don’t, I am sorry for you. There is so much joy if searching our His creativeness in life and in others.

The wonder of how something will lokk drives me to work at a pace my back and neck don’t like. My breaks from the project at hand usually means house hold chores. So I wont talk about the constant clean up after our goings out and cojmings in.

Just finding this pattern was fun. There were so many plaid variations on the mosaiac crochet, but this one really caught my eye. Somehow it looks like the plug of the outlet, the buckle of the overalls, the continues flow of energy of a two year old grandchild. I love the mis of the old and new yarns. The Seafoam spray of the gray and the bold undertones of copper turning old… Fun.

The dogs and I are enjoying the cooler temperatures out of doors. I have kicked Honey outside more than usual and the two don’t seem to scrap nearly so often. Eva still won’t sit on command, but at ten years old, she probably won’t learn a new trick. She is so short it does not much matter.

The endless hours alone can be almost exhausting. Hubby spent more of his days on site for work rather than at home. It is understandable, with the majority of what he really does being an on sight requirement. But this morning after rising and seeking His familiar face in his temporary office and then not finding hime there… i was sad.

Pandemic isolation was not something that I saw in my life’s plan. I would not choose to give in the Alaskan wilderness. Watching television shows about the hermit life seems ridiculous. Yet some people seem to be making a living doing just such a thing. Selling their life choices on YouTube via video footage of the alone time.

While I do watch a number of “how to’s” on the channel, I just don’t see how sorting through hours of my go-pro footage would be interesting for anyone. My crochet story would have to be put into high speed to make it even remotely entertaining.

For now I will continue on in my endless hooking of yarn. Days will turn into nights. And weeks, and months end in project after project. This one more than likely will take about two to three weeks to be complete. However, while it occupies for its hours, there are other things to do also. The garden will soon demand harvest time. I completed two or three other little items in the last two weeks . And there is the library book time project that is nearing completion. That one is another blog.

The rest of the world seems to continue on it’s path to nowhere, anywhere, or somewhere. I’ll just stay here making my crochet hook march through time. Not having a spleen makes the virus epidemic seem really scary. So this distancing thing gets old, buts it is the answer for the moment on letting me age artfully. Haha.

Keep seeking strength from the One who gives it. And keep seeking for little glimpses of the Heavenly Father’s Image in the faces of those around you.

Not feeling it

The lucky penny poncho pattern that I found in April is one of my favorites. The crocheted design was a follow up to the driftwood poncho. I made two of the driftwood in late winter. One with a white base and hooded, the other shades of red and cowl necked. What I like about this one is the incredible sweater border all around the edge. And the border is made while making the garment. The only finishing touch is the cowl neckline, in the ribbed sweater stitch.

The first poncho that I made was for my great niece in April. While she may outgrow it before it gets cool enough for her, I find mine quite comfy on the cool mornings. Or in the shock of the air conditioning after being outside. I like the fact that you can mix lefties or two different ombres to get a variety of looks.

Pattern sizing is quite simple also. Circumference of the head times two equals the width, and the length is foot to neck with a few added inches on the back side. Such an easy , cozy moss stitch fills the interior of the garment that it can be used as a lapghan on chilly mornings!

This time of year the heat can take the wanna right out of us. They use to call it the “dog days of summer.” When the heat in the shade reaches 101 degrees Fahrenheit, I feel like a long afternoon nap, too. But the shade of the old apple tree is not quite cool enough for me. We take up the Library floor, chairs and cushions. Ceiling fan on high, and away the crochet hook flies.

So while I sit in my air conditioned house with the air feeling like the fridge door got left ajar, the dogs snore. When I come back inside after a mailbox run, and giving the flowers a drink, this poncho or another shawl sits ready to provide it’s shelter from the breezey air.

Here is the photo I took of my first attempt at the “lucky penny poncho.” For this project I used a wool blend that is washable. Lion Brand mandala yarn makes lots of different cakes to choice from and this peachy flavor was one that I could not resists. I think the child’s size poncho turned out perfectly.

Someone suggest going shopping and I am simply not feeling it. No feeling the hectic panic of having to wear a mask. No feeling the endless search for what I might have on my list. Not feeling the hours on the internet looking for the best price.

“Not feeling it” is how I think of the riotous civl unrest that has followed the protest movement. Of all the busy no good actors that have nothing better to do with themselves, I am sorry, but I am not feeling it.

My compassion is better spent on the local gentleman whose mother just passed away after a life filled with prayer and faith. My compassion is better spent on the family of a local boy whose body was recovered from a nearby pond. My compassion? What compassion have I, but that the Lord first lent to me?

Laminations chapter three is one of my favorite compassion passages. The idea that the Lord gives His mercy new every morning and but for His compassion towards us, He would consume mankind in an instant. Wow! If only people could see, that God’s wrath is just beyond the next wrong thing they chose to do… Then my anger is dosed like the embers of the evening fire. I think about the flood and how God was sorry that He had made man… Genesis six.

Not feeling it? God’s mercies are new, His compassion tender. I feel His banner over me like love. This lovely blanket shawl warms my cool skin. Now, perhaps maybe I am feeling it and I pray that the violence ends. That people who need Jesus will find Him. That God in His tender mercies will protect my family. That our garden will bless more than just our own family.

Compassion and empathy does not mean that I jump off the bridge when someone else does. It does not mean that I won’t call the foolishness of others out as idiocracy. And that’s how I feel about the lack of common sense these days.

I live a peaceful, quiet, country life. We are blessed that my husband has a job that he has kept through this whole pandemic time. We know that giving of our abundance is what God sees as a generous heart.

Why am I here and those there are there in the city and in difficult circumstances? I do not know why the choices we have made have not covered us over with a flood of riot gear. But I am thankful for every little act of kindness that our Lord lends to me while here on this earth.

I am not feeling lucky at all.

I have never felt lucky.

Not feeling it, nope.

Blessed beyond my own comprehension. Yep. Blessed by God and filled with His compassion for those who think that lighting someone else’s things on fire or lashing out at any person in their path is the answer. Not the answer. The people who go at life with their arms flailing, their eyes darting, and their fist and tongues blasting everyone in their path will eventually be brought down. For those in the way, the others that they pull down with them, I am also filled with sorrow.

Life is too short to spend at war with God, others or yourself.

Prayer chamber shawl

Stitching my way through prayer requests often finds me forgetting the sequence and making mistakes. Forgiveness, mercy and grace is something we all need and we should all give. I am so thankful that I learned about God’s grace early in my teen years and found out that forgiveness He offers is both for me and forgiving to others. It sure makes being open minded towards others in my prayers much easier. Oh, that Our Father’s mercy would extend to all. Our world has so much tension right now and a good healthy dose of forgiveness would sure cool off many a hot headed relationships. I recently found out about two couples who have ended their attempt to serve one another through the covenant of marriage. It made me so sad. I picked up my mission once again and reminded my loved ones that marriage is not the key to happiness. If you aren’t happy before you are married forget finding happiness in another’s misery. Happiness is an attitude something like the motto found in the olden days of the Pollyanna Club. Gratitude is Glad-itude! Finding old hymns and making them new is also one of my favorite past times. So when I found myself singing the old hymn of St Patrick’s Beatitudes, I went to the hymn-tubes to hear a newer version of “Christ Be Beside Me.” That kept my “God Bless You’s” on the round table for quite awhile. I love those powerful songs in prayer. I can hardly wait to see this shawl finished. There were so many mistakes in the beginning of the triangulation. Finally looked up my Tiaga Shawl pattern and used it as a guide to adding stitches at each row start and finish.

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There was no major problem finding the new stitches. With videos, pictures and images, I found what I needed on the internet. Mosaic is a difficult learning curve. But getting the straight line patterns not to curve while attempting a triangle on the pattern scheme was rather challenging. I have it figured out. Then of course the center point is accurate now. That involved a lot of counting. Counting in sequence is one of my favorite activities. Haha!Stress should not play a large factor in the crochet craft. If things are too hard to do, we find a different medium. Whether it needs to be larger yarns, larger hooks, different types of crochet, or simply taking a break and doing a different project altogether. Sometimes pulling weeds in the garden is a better option than getting the knots out of the thread or yarn that I am working with. This color sequence made it much easier for me to move from and towards the lighter colors. Contrast was key in the beginning of my mosaic studies.For now the future of my mosaic crochet looks pretty bright. I have already chosen my next project. It will be a shawl also. This shawl does have a name. The patterns are all border designs. Prayer Chamber Shawl number one was completed during the July heat wave.

Summer wind’s days

The under current in the air

Ecclesiastes is the book of vanities. The study of all that is whether, doing or being was the goal of Solomon’s wisdom. He wanted to, above all, be wise and able to lead the people of His Lord and his father’s kingdom inheritance. David’s legacy was not to end in the simple wisdom’s of one of his sons. No, while the biblical heritage that Solomon left to us is vast and deep, the physical lineage of the Christ child was the true source of all wisdom.

I enjoy reading the book of Ecclesiates. When I was younger, I thought the book very depressing. To be told that “all is vanity” when young and still in the pursuit of the stuffings of life… well, I did not want to hear that. Now that I am constantly trying to downsize, including my shapely figure, most pursuits do seem pretty vain to me.

Chasing after the wind…

So.omon likened the pursuit of earthly things to the chasing after wind. Wow? Watching a kitten try to catch a tall blade of grass the other day made me think of this goal. Runners trying to catch their breath after a long jog. Honey panting beside me while I pedal the bicycle. The birds in the evening diving after the cloud of gnats that are driven across the plain. A kite?…

Whoever decided a toyshould have the same name as it’s objective adjective? The word hyper describes my doodle girl to a “T.” Perhaps that is being a bit offensive for the cat or the dog or the fish. Who would name thier dog Hyper. Maybe they really meant hyperbole.

Saying that my dog is an obvious and intentional exaggeration as a pet is actually more accurate that saying she is not just hyper. Her exuberance while playing fetch with this particual toy would probably get her killed if was too close to oncoming traffic. Playing in the safety of our large meadow in the middle of the acreage is best.

This morning her aggression with the frisbee was like an eagle with a salmon. Her grip on the fabric disc was a locked vice. The visitors could not wrestle the toy from her clinch. Yep. Hyperbole city is on…

The video below was taken on a nice day. As opposed to wind’s days. The heat was just rising to the point of uncomfortable. Honey still went after the flyer at least twenty times. Some days it seems there is no stop in her. My hubby-dear can usually get the speed whipped up on the wind to take a sail out of her notch though. After a few of his tosses, she will lay down right where she caught it and ignore all calls to “Come.” This day it was just me and the birds. She came and went without a word or command for many a retieve.

It is a rare day lately that the undercurrent does not pick up the plate and grip it upward just before touching Honey’s teeth. This under current seems to have caught the whole of humanity. While some desperately fight for a cure to the Covid-19, others simply ignore the breeze and paddle on as if nothing has changed. Everyone has made up their mind on how they want to deal with the pandemic health crisis. But once a bug has come into existence, it is not going away on it’s own. Kind of like my greenhouse and the recurrence of the aphids. How do we get the pests out unless we use an insect fogger? Tear gas, pepper spray, mace, smoke screens, or firehose has not worked to stop the violent anarchists.

There is an old proverb about the wind and the sun arguiiung over who could get the man to remove his heavy woolen coat. The wind blue from every direction, but the man held on tighter with every gust. Finally, the sun asked if the wind had given up its war on the poor man. Yes, the wind would quit the battle. Out came the sun, in it’s full heat and brightest rays. Soon the man was dripping with sweat and gave up his grip on the heavy jacket. He removed the coat and glanced up aty the beautiful sky. His happiness at the wind’s absence radiated injoy as he whistled and continued on his way.

The objective of course is to find thte toys best suited to the use of your particular need. So if a dog is an over zealous tug of war fighter, don’t buy tug of war items they won’t easily relinquish. For instance, why would I buy a bone for an aggressive chewer? Really maybe the type of bone actually demans aggression and my dog just gets more upset while chewing on the bone than if perhaps I should.give her a soft bone instead. Sometimes I do not really understand the packaging concepts to sell dog toys and treats.

Yeah, well. I never gave this dog a balloon to care around for a week either. So it is probably my fault that I missed so many training opportunities.

She is hyper. Honey is a zealous greeter. Anticipation only gets her more wound up. I am still trying to get her to stay in some circumstances rather than “door dashing.” Does she have self control? Probably. Do I have control over her? Only in non-distractive moments. Do I still have to curb her temperament with a harness? You bet your ceiling fan, I do. She is a much bigger hand full than we bargained for.

Trying to get the dog that I wanted, is like chasing after the wind. We have had enough pets that I want to take the best memories of each and have that dog. We all have faults. All dogs have faults. There is no perfect pet. But why do I have to buy the “Hyper Pet” toys just to keep her exercised? Uff day.

(Meanwhile, the horse had is hooves trimmed today. The garden go a bit of a wind break as we put up the snow fence to block some of it. We still need to get more wood chips or moisture block on the whole garden to keep the plants from drying up. Hubby has been back on site for work more lately. The family is trying to have more gatherings, but we all get a bit nervous about the social distancing thing. Church is still a drive inn service that I have been memorizing music to play with the praise team. I still get to visit my grand children weekly. Our whole family has been spared from the corona virus to this date.)

Ecclesiastes 1:14 “I have seen all he worKs that are done under the sun, and indeed, all is vanity and a grasping for the wind.” NKJV

Place

Purple blanket in the grove

From this place in my grove, I can see a linear view of beautiful purple flowers. The wind did not ravage them much. They have dressed our grove in a blanket of lilac that can not be captured adequately.

Today the breeze demands a cup of iced latte under the deck umbrella. From this place on the deck, the world seems fair and beautiful. The wind is my friend on such a heated summer day.

The flowers are here. How do the June bugs know that it is June? How do those purple flowers in the grove know when to bloom? I wish I could share the families funeral flowers with you. My husband’s great grandma (I think) picked them from a cemetery or got them from a funeral. When they finally wilted from their viewing, she threw them out into the trees to compost naturally. She did not know that we would enjoy them for generations to come. While the lilac bushes and trees grow old of root, the beautiful funeral flowers bloom year after year. From this place on the forested floor, they gain nutrients and are regenerated constantly.

June flowers may not be the calendar normal, but because I was a June bride, I don’t seem to mind looking for a flower or two. In fact, the search for the latest bloosom drives me to keep my camera handy. The other evening on our anniversary we took a stroll around the yard to find all of the flowers that were in full array. No need to bring home some from the flower shop.

Anniversary presents come in so many different fashions. We received two very wonderful cards from some wonderful people. The excessive heat for early summer was a bit much. But the funeral flowers blanketing the grove were the best. From this place, it felt like a special greeting card from the relatives no longer with us. His grandmother’s blessing upon our special day.

The bird song is continuoys even in the high heat of late spring sunshine. My husband has become quite the bird watcher during these pandemic days. Being home more, means he gets to put out song bird grains and find a finch block to put their orange on. This morning while I listen to the symphony I am thankful that someone can see the birds for me. No need to see the dove. She is loud enough for me to invision with grand imagination!

The cat wanders under my chair every few minutes to tell me she is here. Her tail tickles my leg then out of the corner of my eye I see she and the dog are nuzzling noses. I am okay with having my two kittens outdoors. At least in the summer days I can pet a soft fur buddy when I want to. These two are such entertainers. And they have stayed away from the cars and the road.

The crunch of gravel under tires tells me that the engine whirl is the post lady pulling into the driveway. We share greetings while the I remind the dog that she does not have time for frisbee. We laugh and comment on the heat of the day. Though the wind whips hair strains into my face, I am grateful for the peaceful exchange.

The climate of our nations gatherings seems less peaceful than ever. I am asking our Lord for His intervention every time that I think of it. My life has really taught me that protest has no response. It’s best just to make cookies or do something nice for a nighbor. From this place it looks as if the whole world has gone mad.

Beauty of beholding…

These flowers above are growing under the trees that once held the fort. The fort that my kids and their puppies spend a lot of hours looking… Looking at what I do not know. If it is a clear day, they could see their cousins place just three miles as the crow flies to the northeast. The platform up in the trees was not much to look at, but it was a great place to lie on your back and behold the skyline. From this place, the boards ridges felt hard, the shadow of the waving trees seemed to massage away stress. They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Sometimes we say that in reference to a child, or family member. But lately I think God is saying that of his image bearers. Watching the news and the behavior of persons letting rage and anger be their dictator makes me want to cry. Surely such ugly feelings should not be allowed to have reign over us. Does anyone know what self control is anymore?

Behold the beauty of the heavens, the splendor of the oceans. Consider the depths of the human spirit and find beauty in another’s eyes. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Take some time to behold the beauty around you today. Look into another person’s life and find hope the bursts forth into a smile!

Little Shadows

Strength and energy

The energy and exuberance of little ones is sometimes overwhelming, sometimes joy filling, and sometimes simply beautiful. This morning as I reflect back on the past week, my Lord brought me to a passage in I Chronicles 16. Here Kind David is celebrating the return of the ark of the Lord to Israel. In the chapter there are several noteworthy considerations.

“To each was given a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins,” verse 3. In celebrations with large crowds, it’s usually just one person who is the center of all the attention receiving the gifts. Here in the return of the ark, it is the entire assembly who receives the celebratory brat in the bun, and fruit cake. This week our nation found ways to celebrate the high school graduates in this unprecedented times. Gone were the backyard barbecues of previous siblings. Gone were the crowds cheering the flying hats.

But my little grand daughter celebrated two years old in her own fashion. A few balloons and the grandeur of up and down action, soon had her hollering “Weehoo!” Each and every time the balloon flew up into the air at the hoist of her little arms, she cheered the flight of the pink balls filled with air. Until just a few days later she learned how to volley the balloons and keep them from touching the floor. Her simple joy and energy to play the whole day with four little balloons delighted my soul. This is true joy!

“To invoke, to thank and to praise the Lord,” verse 4 the appointment of the ministers. This verse tells the purpose of ministerial calling. In these uncertain times and the canceling of all gatherings and large group socials, our pastoral caretakers have taken a very differing approach to the viral disorder in the world. Some proclaiming the end of times, some changing all of their focus to the moment, others grieving the loss of community and the attempt to gather through social media platforms. Church has become a completely different body. As a church musician and through the years as a teacher, and now as a “time abundant” prayer warrior, I find it my call also to pray for others, to thank God for his provisions, and to praise the Lord for all that He is doing. Opening our eyes to the new reality of families, singles,, widows and orphans is just as important today as it was before Corona virus 19. We still have people who need each other, and people who need Jesus more than ever.

“First appointed that thanksgiving be sung,” verse 7 tells of David’s appointment to Asaph and the musicians. Even in times such as these, there are those who find ways to get their song sung. Listening to the music of pandemic expressions, I find both those who continue in the sinful, selfish ways, and those who use their talents to help others. The goal is not just to fill the silence that being isolated creates. Rather we are to sing thanksgiving to the Lord. Finding Christian musicians who are doing just that is not always easy. I am so thankful for the technology we have today. I can listen to the music of the past through so many means. Today’s musicians have no excuses in giving glory to the God of all these abilities.

David’s song of thanksgiving contains one of my favorite verses. Verse 11, “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually!’ We have been working very hard at keeping our doodle dog home. We hired a runner to come once a week, we bought bacon flavored toothbrushes bones, we play frisbee even while doing yard work. So far we managed to keep her from running away for nearly eleven days straight. As a person going bling, having the presence of my dog continually nearby is very beneficial. I never really know when her alert nature will be of service to me. But being able to just call out her name and have her immediately by my side is pretty amazing. Out little grand daughter is also learning the value of “Come.” But alas, for her it is not a simple command to the the receivers ears. It is a request. As her mamma’s second expectancy nears completion, the request for momma “Come” does not always recive the expected “coming” that her little ears want to hear.

Praise the Lord that His presence is always continually near. In fact the Bible often uses the words, close at hand to describe the Lord. This verse is one that I have shared with several this week. Praying that my loved ones will know the presence of a God so close at hand, so always, and continually present in their lives. Being alone much these last two months has led to some very sad endings for so many people during this present health crisis. Oh, how I pray that you will seek the Lord and His strenght and His presence continually in your life these days and always.

Verse 36, “Then all of the people said, AMEN! And praised the Lord.” These days our church and another have teamed up to do drive in service for church. The praise above “And all of the people said Amen” does not ring through my head without the constant beeping of many car horns. Before this virus hit the land, the sound of a car horn ususally meant an angry person at a stop light, or rather green arrow. People used the horn to express impatience and frustration. Today, we use it to express gratitude to our healthcare workers. It is used to shout solidarity with graduates, and birthday well wishes. The car horn is now the sound of an AMEN at our drive in church services.

Just this week, my son in law leaned a rough lesson on the parroting power of little tongues. Thank goodness I was not party to the expression. But a little two year old can be a shadow of parents whether we know it or not. Praise God that with some mild coaching she will forget the phrase of word nearly as quickly as she learned it. I will never forget my own lesson in such shadowing behavior by my young daughter. Little shadows though not identical to the larger figure still do a pretty good rendition. It all teaches us that others are always watching. But more importantly, our Father in heaven looks down upon the children of men, seeking for those who bring him pleasure. May we be the one to whom the Lord says, “Well done!”

And all the people said. “BEEP! BEEP!”

At new crossroads

Stop doing, start being

One month passed so quickly. For a whole month now the world is in park. The trains, planes, boats, buses, automobiles and even the stock market skidded to a halt. The busy business of human doings is at a cross roads. And so how are you fairing? Not everyone has a country dwelling to go hide from the pandemic. How am I doing at BE-ing?

The first week of quarantine began with the weekend of our little visitor. She tried so hard to be “boss” of our three year old doodle. She stayed for a couple of nights. We had a family supper in conclusion. I spent a day or two cleaning up the house and child proofing for a toddler. It was the beginning of such cleaning habits. My husband went from meetings between manufacturing plants canceled to packing his desk up and bringing work home. Still much doing in our lives. I cleaned up the kitchen and made room for him. We had no idea how much of our activities were shared with the whole world. I learned how to BE quiet during those endless conference calls.

The second week, we made the decision to limit our get togethers. We will only see our grand-daughter and parents every two weeks. We have only outdoor meetings with neighbors or other relatives. This keeps distancing appropriate. It also limits house cleaning to just our own traffic. We are so thankful for the video calling options available to us. We had our first family “conference” call on zoom. Some of the family has escalated anxiety. I began counseling myself to deal with my own losses. BEing more sedentary has led to some weight gains. We added lettuce and spinach to our shopping lists.

we rested more with the stillness of life. The weather was rather nice. We were able to take walks together and watch spring trying to awaken the grass, the trees, and the birds come back. We took a few drives to see the fields and the rivers. Taking in the local views helped us mentally process the global effect of this world pandemic. How do we process all of this new information. My counsel session was riddled with new homework to help me sleep at night. So far the best help is the melatonin. It takes such a minimal amount for me to sleep through the night. I am down to a quarter pill. It seems almost silly when it is such a small amount. But sleep improves my mood more than counseling. We had a short visit with our daughter one evening on the sidewalk. And ate lunch with the other daughter and family the day before Easter. BEing apart from family for so long is hard. But we say a prayer for those who have lost loved ones in recent days without the proper fair-wells.

Week four of this corona virus 19 unleashed, and we are now paying close attention to people in the plant or community spread possibilities. Through this past month, I am cleaning more frequently. Especially when new items come into the house, either by shopping or by shipment. My hands are getting use to being dry all day and rejuvenated with lotion at bed time. Allergy season is upon us here. Every sniffle or sneeze sends us running to the medicine chest to stop the symptoms. BEing overly cautious about everything that we do.

Holy Week 2020 will never be forgotten. We celebrated Maunday Thursday at our own supper table with our Pastor serving the elements of communion via video. It was all so surreal. The weather was nice up until Easter Sunday. With five inches of snow that is still lingering, the cold is not very welcomed. My mind raced through the Narnia scenes of winter and a cold hearts. The Lord’s command to BE HOLY because our God is holy has been echoing through my mind. All this hand washing reminds me that my heart will never be clean enough for a righteous and holy God.

Easter Sunday services, dinners, and get togethers all canceled was also surreal. Not going to church seemed easier with the snow blowing around outside. Our own lunch turned into just a fish sandwich which was rather disappointing. My emotions were all over the place that day. At times I was happy and content, and at other times I was jealous and angry. It was a battle all day to keep myself in check and know that everyone was dealing with the same things. I am so thankful that my parents are still here to remind me of life’s important lessons. My mother sent a text Easter Sunday reading “though my sins be as scarlet, He shall wash me white as snow.” Amen! I am BEing sanctified for God’s purpose daily.

Just like that four weeks have past in quarantine. Here in the midwest social distancing is a little easier because there are so many miles between all of us. We fight fear each time we shop for necessities or it’s my husband’s day to be in the plant. We grip tightly to our faith and attend every meeting that our Pastor sets up for us all. Praise God that we live for another to day to give Him glory. And we seek His grace in showing us how to extend mercy to those in our lives who do not know His love.

These uncertain times have turned us all into anxious beings. Finding peace in Christ and the promises of God keep us sane. This is so difficult to explain. When we don’t understand all that is happening around us. The world offers us so many empty promises, but God offers us His Son Jesus and promises based on an empty tomb. What hope!

I hope that I am BEing a better Human Being. I am learning that doing does not have to be just a “busy” bustling about to make the days pass. I am thinking more about how I am BEing with others rather than DOing all the time. BEing loving, merciful, kind, gentle, hopeful, and happy is definately not based on circumstances now!