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!

Out of Orbit

Our changing world

Office sounds in my house, white noise cafe chatter, constant keyboard clicking, and a new normal… what a changing world we live in now. This past week has been one for the history books. My son-in-law read a social posting from one of his friends that stated, “Does anyone else think that a fourth grader got ahold of our world leaders and is writing the news head lines right now?’ While it does certainly feel very surreal, our connections to the whole world through the social media outlets helps us to understand that we are not alone in this thing.

A friend of mine teaches on-line English lessons and was given the low down on Covid-19 from an eight year old. Along with the pantomimes and the demonstrations. It sounded something akin to the game Telestrations. Of course I remember our older version of Pictionary that use to bring us to the floor in laughter. These connections to international students and relatives around the globe help us to comprehend the needs of our time. They are also the reason the whole mess has happened.

Genesis chapter 11 is the story of the Tower of Babel and the Creator God who confuses the languages. In the story, the people decide to make a name for themselves and build a tower to the Heavens. God sees that His creation has forgotten Him in less than five generations from the events of the world wide flood. So He puts an end to the togetherness by confusing their communication. Imagine the chaos as workers in one part of the project do the exact opposite as another group. Imagine the driving discord as bosses and employees no longer understand the acronyms and decisions of the corporate leaders.

This whole week, I have been listening to the four or five chapter in Genesis and the beginning of Exodus at night. The Scriptures are always applicable to our day. We just have to open our ears and our eyes to the message behind every story. Why have I been so drawn to these two stories about the masses. The first is the story of God’s decision to spread people throughout the earth. The second story is His gathering of His chosen people from Egypt to the promised land. The next story that I am focusing on is the book of Acts. In this book the spread of the gospel is taken from the apostles to the Gentile world of that day. Acts tells the acts of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were only the tools of God’s flaming tongue. Each of these Bible passages have this in common: God is writing and making His story.

Today, we are a world on the fast track of travel to wherever, whenever we want. God has brought out planet of people to a screeching halt with a little tiny bug. This is not the story of “Because a little bug went Kachoo!” Or is it? Because a little virus makes people sneeze an cough-Oh, my!

How quickly a virus spreads has nothing to do with how the gospel is shared…well, maybe. My thoughts also turn in amazement and awe to the gospel of the Billy Graham era. Back when mass amounts of people gathered in woodstock fashion to hear someone from a stage tell them the need for a savior. Today the masses have been sent home to hunker down and what? They all spend time on the internet still trying to connect with others. People need people.

Gratitude ripples through the air as I hear people calling others on the phone. Sending text messages of comforting words. Sharing in the use of technology to gather via streaming church, conference prayer meetings, and on line portals. Thank God I live today instead of during the plagues of 1918 or earlier pandemics.

In my life, I have gone from home school teacher and kids club leader to the moment when my driver’s license could no longer be renewed. My eyesight gradually changes who I am on a slow eroding process. My feelings of loss and impending identity crisis plague me. However, I have never wished that everyone else could feel as I do. The sense of grief and the constant shift in my world often brings me to tears. I would never wish this lonely, exile, isolation upon anyone. Yet here we are. How can I be there for others?

Many people I know have immunity disadvantages. They have just fought cancer or some other illness and will not be able to fight this virus. Staying home away from other people who might share the bug inadvertently is their best option. Wow! Now there are people all over the globe in isolation. Now there are people everywhere trying to come up with things to keep themselves busy. Preoccupation is the best weapon we have against boredom. How long will the work last? Hopefully families can reconnect and learn the art of communication and proper scheduling disciplines. Those that are home schooling now? Well, there are even more resources than ever on line. Parents will be doing a little more homework, I suspect.

Today, if you feel like the planet Pluto once again taken off the planetary list, look for a new hope. Hope in Jesus. He often challenged his disciples to get away from the demanding crowds and pray. Now, once again the prayer warrior in me has taken up the battle cry for God’s story to be told. While the world waits for a hero (a vaccine against the virus) we who know Christ Jesus as our Lord can proclaim His name.

I already have my hero. I know whom I have believed in! Below you will find a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite old hymns. This hymn written by Daniel Webster Whittle from the late 1880’s. His story includes time in the Civil War army. His New Testament scriptures that he carried with him during wartime was given to him by his mother. Check out his story in The Story Behind the Song. Then go find the New Testament that someone gave you, or look up the Bible readers on line. Wow! We have so many tools available. Praise God!

I know whom I have believed!

Now give

Snags, snarls, and clumps

Woke up this morning to the weather report. Knowing how many layers for morning chores is critical to my survival. Not much to chores with just one scoop for the five or six mousers that we feed. Morning feeding for cats on a farm keeps them doing their job at night: hunting mice. Some times Honey the doodle-dog needs a reminder to get to business rather than herd the feline’s. Out we went with my wind breaker, hat, boots, and mittens.

Then it was time for my own fast breaking with a solitary muffin and some water. Next to the radio voices, mine was pretty dry and scratchy. On to the dog’s grooming routine. It will probably take all day. She was out in the wind and sunshine for a couple of warm springy days. So all that diving after the frisbee made for some pretty good tangles.

This week has a few scheduling trespasses. One for the horse and one for Honey’s spring spa date. Should have made a nail salon date for myself also. The problem is that the farrier for Coco is the same day as Honey’s salon appointment. Or maybe that’s a good thing. No dog to add tension to the pony’s anxiety.

The weather took a dive back into winter this week, so we are back to hats, scarves, and gloves. This bomber’s hat is a crochet version made from two previously not so warm beanies. The ear muff wrap attached inside adds an extra layer of warmth for my sensitive nerves.

Last week I spent some time writing about the changes that my eyesight did to my social life. It was rather depressing, so I tabled the idea for awhile. One of the hardest things for me to handle is the identity change.

Writing about the past brings a lot of emotional pain for me. There is a new note to myself on my white board in my library: “NOW.” We cannot live in the past, it’s over. The past is for books and history lessons. We do not live in the future, it is so very unforeseen and creates fear and anxiety. We live now. This moment. This hour, this day. I choose to live in the NOW.

Letting go of who I use to be means giving room to who I am now. I could go on and on about the me that wants to stay. Gripping the frisbee with all of her might does not give Honey the thrill of the next chase. She has to let go in order to give into her instinct of hunting the prey. The word that is on the training agenda for this week is GIVE.

Give the ball. Give the frisbee. Give the rope. Give the tug. Give the stuffie. Give. Give. Give. You think I would have gotten the message by now. But I still have a lot to learn I guess. Perhaps I should listen up a little better to my own repetitive voice.

The NewLiving Translation for I Peter 5:7 says it this way: “Give all of your worries and cares to God, because He cares about you.”

A little table talk

“Oma, Pray!”

Recently, my visit to my daughter’s house brought about a very hilarious reprimand. Here’s the short version.

We took the dog to the daycare for the day, so that she could get some social life in. It does help with the dog’s personality to have other dog firends, I am told. So at the end of the day I was anticipating a text message from my husband on whether or no he should get me first from the granddaughter’s grasp, or the go pick up the dog.

Meanwhile, the violin teacher had a long enough break to eat supper as a family, so I sat down with them at the table to join in the table talk. Just befoe the meal daddy was preparing to pray for the meal, and little 21 month old, granddaughter was obedintly folding her hands in ready. Just at that moment my husband sends his query though text message, and I was going to answer it. Not on little girl’s watch, however. She piped right up with her little voice, and said, “Oma!” Hands-together-pray! I got the message. Gving thanks for the day and her meal, and her family was more important than answering Opa. Bother. Reprimanded by a child!

It has been a difficult week. Any time their is a death in the family we all ache and grieve for those we have lost and for those left behind. Sometimes we just want to scream in agony and other times the tears flow softly. Mourning seems to be the topic settled on all too frequently.

Urgency in our communications and our attempts to love on others is a tricky balance. There is no magic when it comes to saying and doing the right things. Being with is probably the most important. Just sitting and listening can be the healing that is part of the time process. In our fast paced, media driven society, just sitting is something most people have a hard time accomplishing.

If there is someone in your life who has experienced loss recently, know that taking time to just sit with your loved one is the most importatn thing that you can do for them.

My life however, has been a bit full of just sitting.

To the point of about ten extra winter pounds. So yesterday I let the ants in my pants get me out of the house to roam the fields around the acreage with the dog. It was rather brisk and cold. The wind just tore at my skin. I did not last very long. About twenty minutes each time. Not much of an exercise boost.

Crochet praying has been my mantel piece for a number of years. And this past week has kept me focused on the needs. How do I express the pain to my Lord that I feel for those who are hurting? There is a Bible verse that has been on my heart lately.

Romans chapter eight was one of the Bible passages that we picked to study. The last year that the girls were both home schooled we took one verse each week for focus meditation. Becasue the chapter has 38 verses it lines up perfectly with the school calendar. There are so many awesome promises in the chapter it is highly recommended for memorization.

Verse 26 is the promise that has stuck with me this last week.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should ray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (ESV) Romans 8:26

While we try to make sense of the pain and the suffering that is part of life here on earth, I am so grateful that God has provided me with these promises. When my heart and my mind cannot come up with the right words to say, and when my words get all muttled up in my prayers and supplications, God has provided an intercessor. The Holy Spirit acts as the best defense lawyer ever in my case to get the right plea to the Master.

I know a lot of this might be really foreign to some readers, but I do take my role as a prayer warrior very seriously. And I am so thankful that while I pray, God has given me the grace to fidget with my fingers and create things of beauty with crochet.

Thank You, Jesus!

The run through

When music melodies crash like waves on the beach

This morning I played piano with my church praise band for the worship service. Most of the music is led by our pastor’s wife on guitar. Some of the pieces, we let the piano lead out the melody before the congregations joins in. The run through is usually about one hour prior to all of the other Sunday worship activities. This moning we began right on schedule at ten minutes past 8:30 am. It always starts late. Oops.

One of the songs we ran a bit fast, as it it is quite familiar. Then later just before the service, I spent some time looking through the praise song book to gather some familiarity with church music before playing the prelude. I do this because most of the prelude is all add lib for me. I find reading music quite tedious with my deteriorating eyesight. It is easer to play by ear. (Unlike my twenty month old grand-daughter who put her little ears down to the keys on the piano, my playing by ear involves fingers! But it was a funny she did one day.)

So needless to say a few minutes into the page flipping and tune reminding, I felt my brain was fully in-tune to worship at the keyboard and begin the prelude. Then, my memory played a trick on me. Suddenly, the tune to Chariots of Fire was racing through my head. Where did that come from, I wondered?

Perhaps, my brain in running through the tunes in full speed as fast as my fingers flipped through the pages, my brain had decided to play a funny on me! This was definitely not a church worship song! Now my spirit and the mood that I had tried to set was completely ruined. I had to move in slow beach running motion to the piano and begin my playing.

So much for getting my heart in tune with the Master before I sat down to help everyone else get ready for the sanctuary atmosphere.

I felt as if the atmospheric pressure was something like blowing up a balloon to the point of burst! POP!

Good luck with that!

There are so many things that go unsaid during the Sunday worship experience. This is one of them. And yes, I still go to church mostly for the children’s sermon. And today’s message did not disappoint me.

When we feel sad and alone as if no one understands, there is not a friend like Jesus. He knows when to the the Lion of Judah, of Narnia, or any other lion fierce and able to help in our time of trouble. He also knows when all we really want is a Great Big Teddy Bear to hug and make us feel loved and cared for. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus.

Now, about that concentration factor and the fast paced run through of music and tunes to get me in the worshipful spirit….

Oh, well. Just hope I don’t slip up and start playing some pop theme or inspirational piece more from the song select by my smart speaker personal assistant.

A new decade

Not for me…

A new decade brings to the speakers and columnists a challenge of the millennia. One that I did not necessarily like to hear. These will be the first words of the new year, the new decade. Once published they will be out there for everyone to read. Like the feathers of the proverbial puppy pillow. Just try to get them all collected. Just try.

Well, for me half the month passed and the holiday season long ago, I still cannot find the feathers that would best stuff this pillow. If it were only to be a pillow, I think that an easier task. Many days come and go with yet no words, and the day is gone to me. I wonder if perhaps some saying that I heard as a child is actually true.

“Choose your words wisely

for there are only so many words alotted to your tongue

and when those words are all used up,

there will be none.”

Of course, I don’t really believe that exactly any more than I only have so many steps in this life. Do I believe my days are numbered…? Well, let’s not go too deeply into the hairs upon my head, and that also God has just so many for me. Yes, but perhaps going back to the words is safer. It is all just too confusing. And deep.

This year at the dawn of the new decade, we once again neglected to make solid resolutions that would soon be broken. Instead, I chose to focus once again on my prayer life and the purpose of praying scripture into people’s lives.

The Christmas giving came and went with some disappointment but mostly counting the blessings of each giver. Having little people to share gifts with is more fun than the practical gifts given to the adult peoples. Their joy and pleasure is so contagious. (As was the seasonal flu for some relatives.)

Now marches in the cold wintery new year with it’s constant drifts of white snow. The deck sweeping and snow shoveling is consistent or the postal mail server leaves large print notes in the mailboxes that say SHOVEL. Out here in the country we are trying hard not to curse the snow plow driver for his deliberate hit on our mailbox. The thing is our mailbox is quite well constructed, so there is no fix until warmer weather arrives. The welding joints will have to wait for spring. For now, an industrial magnet holds unto the mail inside.

We sat down just before the new year to praise God for all of His answered prayers from the previous year. I will continue my “prayers in the bottle” process this new year. It sure reminds us of God’s ever present comfort and guidance when we look back over the requests.

And now on to the next year.

Plillipians 4:6 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. And the following verse I prayer for all my readers. That in so doing verse six, the “peace of God which passes all understanding” would be the guardian of your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus of whom we name our year. This the year of your Lordtwo thousand and twenty.