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.

In your stocking feet

Wool, cotton, nylon or spandex?

Now is not the time to dilly, dally around. The weather outside is frightful indeed. Get some warm boots on or grab your furs, those warm socks will be full of snow and ice in no time, child. You get your shoes on by the time I count to ten and close that door. You’ll catch the death of ye, chillin’, what are you doing out in your stocking feet?1

Rant and rave all you want mother-mine, but sometimes a child has to get cold before they appreciate warm.

Where is your favorite place to be this time of year in your stocking feet? And how well do you like the static shock of wool socks? Do those spandex compression socks even work to keep your toes warm? Who wears nylon stockings to the knees anymore, anyhow?

While some prefer inside fur boots strapped into snow shoes or skies, I prefer the carpet. However, with the new trend towards hardwood flooring, I am more often then not sitting in a chair that leaves my stocking feet wanting for slippers. These floors aren’t that warm you know.

I haven’t tried walking a mile in another person’s stockings before, but even if the shoe does not fit, trying to understand where another person’s trials is still relevant. There are so many kinds of stockings these days. One’s for heart problems, diabetes, pregnancy, drug addictions, cancers, and the many different occupations that there are in this world. My mind is so analytical, I am always trying to see the other person’s point of view. But guessing where someone’s heart lies is the business of God.

In my stocking feet is how I spend the majority of my days. In the comfort of my own home next to my doggie. There are times I strap on my boots for a jaunt outside, but the inclement weather drives me indoors. So life here in the frozen land doesn’t seem like much of a wonderland to me. Except for me wondering every morning just how cold it is outside and how many layers I need to put on to survive without frostbite.

This week I’ll be sending greetings to our many friends and relatives through the mail. We started receiving the Holiday Cheer just after Thanksgiving. It is so enjoyable to gather these people near to us once more. One night at a recent supper outing, I wore a plush jacket that felt like a teddy bear. So I offered all the ladies I greeted a “teddy bear hug.” It was effective. I reached my quota of seven hugs per day that evening. I made the decision that I should become a new kind of super hero: Super Soft!

The cabin socks have found their way into our bedding. Even though we have flannel sheets at a wool blanket, and an afghan across the foot of the bed, that initial shock when climbing into bed is not so bad with socks on. So we sleep in our stocking feet also! My mother thinks we should give up the sufferance with an electric blanket. But I can sense the electricity coursing through my body and I just can’t handle that feeling. Being falsely warmed has always bothered me. I can’t handle sauna heat, or hot tub temperatures either. An electric blanket in the arm chair is so addicting that I would never get up and do anything. Give me a hot cup of Joe, or tea, or milk. That works better.

In your stocking feet you might find that you would rather be able to put your shoes on. In your stocking feet you might find a whole new appreciation for summer sandals. In your stocking feet you might be getting waited on while you would rather be serving others. In your stocking feet you might be relaxing with a good book by the fireside. Wherever your stocking feet find you, may you know the warmth of another’s thoughts towards you this Christmas season.

Take up some tea, Thank God for the post man bringing you those greetings one by one.

Hang the stockings

Tradition monition

On the first day of Christmas this year my true love gave to me…

A few hours of labor as he turned the frame of the closet door around so that the door swings into the closet. For the past 18 years it has swung into the bedroom and always been a source of “ouchies” for me. Since we are not big at hanging all of our clothing, we use a set of dresser drawers for most of our clothing, it just makes sense to turn the door in. Of course I did not think of this when we redid the flooring in the bedroom. So it was a bit of a trick to remove the whole frame in tack and replace it at a complete 180. We also did not have the queen sized bed and an extra large dog mattress taking up so much of the floor space. A third of a foot of floor space makes a big difference now. Thanks truelove!

This past week I learned it really is true that a rescue dog loves you more. My phone did it’s lovely update thing and now I have Googledrive photos on it. In one of the albums it has full collections of facial recognitions from the pictures I have taken. There is a full album of Seymour. He was the rescue dog that after two years of discovering so many familiy members were allergic to him, we re-homed to another family. He is happy. Many days I still miss him. He was very grateful and loving. It makes me feel like a traitor at times. But he walked away with his new boy with such confidence and solid affection that my guilt is gone quickly.

Honey does not take pictures well. I had to put peanut butter on my finger and hand onto her collar and threaten her with a hot dog stuffed with a pill just to get this picture. She does not like the phone. Especially when the phone is on speaker and the “ghost” of the person is in the room… She gets highly agitated and has to leave the house. She is highly demanding of attention and cannot bear to think why anyone will not do her bidding. Nevertheless, she has not become the service dog that I had hoped and instead I have become her servant-opening and closing the doors at her command.

Christmas is now less than three weeks away. We have the stockings draped about the base of the tree this year. In all my life there has never been a place to hang the stockings. We had wood stoves and brick walls behind them but they were for utility. Stockings are a fire hazard. The only time the socks were next to the stove was after my feet were frozen from doing paper route in the winter time. I would try to warm my toes and my wet socks and get the feeling back while hugging the heat that blew out from the underbelly fan on the stove. My husband, however, grew up with wide fireplace that had stockings velcro-ed to the bricks at Christmas. The stockings were not stuffed and they were not used.

While the girls were home, we stuffed a stocking. A store bought red velvet soft one was used to hold gum, breath mints, chap stick, and gift cards. Sometimes there was an orange, a pair of socks, or a pomegranate. But there was never a very good spot to hang the stockings. I tried the window sill, the china hutch, the book shelves, the railing on the steps. Why are we trying to hang the stockings by the chimney with care, if we don’t have one?

So this year I say…

Hang The Stockings!

I mean “hang the stockings! Christmas is going to have to be done OUR way. Why do I keep trying to do things the way other people do things. Where is the fun and joy of doing Christmas that way that I can do Christmas with what I have?

Okay…

Here’s an example or two.

My dad put up Christmas lights on his new covered porch. My dad is blind. He has never decorated for Christmas. We never put up lights outside when I was growing up. Why did he have his friend take him shopping, and then hang the lights around the porch when he can’t see the lights? Because he is telling the neighbors that the spirit of Christmas is alive in him. The automatic timer tells his neighbors that joy of Christmas is for them. It is what he can give to the kids at the school that are leaving a basketball game. The twinkling of a lit porch. Giving at Christmas comes in so many different shapes and sizes.

My cousin does not have grandkids, but she works at a day care. She loves those kiddies and enjoys making crafts with them. Yet she is decorating her house for Christmas and having people over. She has not decorated for years, because no comes to see it. She decided to decorate for herself and her husband. Cleaning and finding room for the nativity and the tree. Christmas for her is new and fresh this year.

There is an elderly lady at my church (no names mentioned as there a quite a few of them). This particular one will not have any company over the holiday and will go to her granddaughter’s house in a nearby town. Yet she put out a little ceramic Christmas tree on her table in the window. Just to remind herself and the passersby what time of year this is… Christmas her own way.

So here’s my tradition monition: Hang the stocking and do Christmas to your own ability, in your own way. I am not an episcopal prophet or a Biblical nay-sayer, a seer, or a preacher. I am just telling myself what I should have told myself years ago. If you don’t have a fireplace or mantel, don’t hang the stockings. It just makes you and your hubby dear sad that you gave up the fireplace you built 22 years ago in the house that you sold SAD. Don’t remind yourself of what you Do Not Have. Think about what you Do Have.

Hang the stocking

Out on the washline

Use a clothespin

Or just nail it to the tree in the yard

Hang the stocking

Santa Claus only comes to town

Anyways

That’s what the song says

Hang the stocking

Why should I care

Iffen we don’t do the Santa thing

Anyways

Hang the stocking

As long as we can sit

At the table for a meal

To gather together and

Tell stories with laughter

Hang the stocking

Reading the story from Luke

And give up fairy tale flukes

Santa Claus is for the world

The baby in the manger is for me

Hang the stocking

Give up false hope

Put up true faith

Show off real love

–written this day December 6, 2019 by Yvonne Annette

P. S. I am really not trying to be Scrooge or bah, hum, bug! I am only trying to help myself get over the fact that life does not always hand us pretty pictures of “stockings all hung by the chimney with care.” This year my brother-in-law will be celebrating Christmas without his dad for the first time. My sister-in-law is walking through the valley with her dear sister. My nephew is still going through one monthly chemo treatments for brain cancer. My mom-in-law is wearing a neck brace because of a rare deterioration of the spinal column at the base of her neck. My little grand-baby is fighting the feverish flu this week. And there are so many other prayer requests that lay heavy on my heart. Life is messy. Sometimes it is ugly. But life is only what we have for the moment. Love the ones that you have to love. Do Christmas because God first loved us, by sending His one and only son into the world to show us His love. Believe the Christ of Christmas.

Stuff in the Stocking

Whimsy elf stocking hat

Waiting for another round of snow to blast away any holiday plans, I decided to crochet a whimsy elf stocking cap. So I looked up a few patterns, then did it my own way. The stuff in this stocking hat is a little different than the stuff under another’s hat. Here are the boring crochet details…

This has to be may favorite hat yet! The Elf hat crocheted in a totally new fashion. All the other patterns that I found had such large stitch designs. This one is done from brim to tip. The single crochet ribbing on the brim is down by working each row on the back loop. For this hat I did eight stitches per row. Then sewing the brim together at the desired head circumference, the hat body is begun with continuous rounds. The moss stitch is what I chose for the elf hat’s body. It is my favorite”warm” hat stitch lately. After doing thirteen rounds with no decrease stitches, the rest of the hat was done with a decrease every 25, 50, and 75 stitches. No real consistency, just gradually making the point appear. I finished the tip with more decreases at just eight stitches on the round. And added a tassle with the remaining twenty inches of yarn. Not a lot of guess work. And now this elf is ready to think about Christmas after Thanksgiving has been completed.

Now that I got all that our of my system. I am happy to see my “old” yarns stash dwindling. Until we went shopping the other evening and bought some cake yarns. Oh, well. I am trying to be diligent at cleaning up my unfinished projects.

Givng thanks for the ability that I have to whittle away the time by helping my fingers dance with a crochet hook.

We have learned that this energetic doodle could care less for creature comforts. We got a goot sale on the bed that she won’t stay upon all night. It still often wakes me to hear her flopping from one surface onto another. Of course the bed that she chose was rather large and we still have not found a good resting place for it. We have to move it to get into the closet because the door swings into the room. I think moving the hinges to the other side is an easy fix, but apparently I know nothing about carpentry. Sliding doors would be helpful in our small hallway house, but that hasn’t happened yet either.

Giving thanks for a warm roof overhead and a house that suits our purposes. Even if the dog won’t live up to our expectations of a “working” class mutt.

My husband put up our Christmas tree early this year. With my eyesight reduced to looking down points of a cone shape (never mind the reference to the hat shape above) it gets more and more difficult to get the decorations on the whole of the tree. Too many times they would end up all in the same area. I think he did a marvelous job with my tutelage. I was a good teacher wasn’t I? Everyone is having a fit about the trees up before the Thanksgiving holiday is complete. But this year it is so late that one month from today is actually Christmas Eve. I nee all the help I can get to get in the mood for the holiday shopping. (Everyone knows how much I love shopping.)

Gving thanks for my dear hubby who does ALL of the shopping in our lives now. He even takes instruction of yarn type and color. Now, if I can just get the list texted to him before the end of the work days that he wants to eat gas station pizza for supper. Haha.

This year I don’t think the Christmas letters will get the attention I use to give them. The news except for the news about my kids, is rather doldrum. Funny how life gets a bit that way in the “empty nest” phase. Pictures tell more than words at this stage of the game. So perhaps a picture card will have to suffice.

Giving thanks for my lovely daughters, their loving husbands, and my granddaughter. We are so blessed to have celebrated my dad’s eightieth birthday, an aunt’s 75th birthday, my in laws 60th wedding anniversary, and to hear my baby sister has entered motherhood and is expecting a wee one next spring.

My month of November was taken up with a study of the book of Psalms with one of my favoite radio preachers. Many of the Psalms that he focused on were one of my favorite passages also. My cousin and I have had some blessed spiritual conversations the last month and I am so thankful for my answered prayers in her life and having someone to talk to about my Lord’s presence in my life.

Giving thanks for sisters in Christ and the challenge to be more like Him. We all need that reminder that others are watching us to see how our faith holds up. Just remember that even when we fail, God’s faithfulness to us is not dependent on our faith in Him. God is always faithful.

Psalm 108:3-4 “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”

P>S> The snow arrived in the night. All 4 inches of fluffy white stuff.

If I say nothing at all

Letters become words

My little grand-daughter is in the “walk and talk” stage. I know, I told myself when I had children there would never be stages. No particular thing that I was hoping to get through quickly or without some mishap. Yet because my vantage point is more in weekly coffee break doses,the changes that she has are more in stages and more hops, and skips and noticeable. The new words that she learns, the mobility that she gains is different when I am not the mommy in the trenches.

The new words are fun: Swing, Nite nite, Josh, Yes, Mom, Huh?, and Dad are all part of her vocabulary tools. The sign language she knows helps immensely on communication. Things like more, food, wash, all done, oh no, too loud, and peek-a-boo make being around baby enjoyable. But when she learns to stand up from sit and won’t stay down for a nap, that’s on her momma. So to me she is still the cutest thing ever.

The last few years being unable to “drive” away from my isolated country life has been so hard for me. There are days when the empty black pit seems to come along and swallow me whole. Few people know what I mean when I mention that “black hole.” I am not talking about some space odyssey either. Not long ago, I had a series of books on my talking book library that put into action what “Stomping Out the Darkness” was trying to teach me years ago.

Spiritual warfare, mental battles, mind over matter is never a subject others prefer. Most people just want to avoid matters of the mind. Spiritual health and well-being are considered topics best dealt with on a clinical level. So while this lovely little one year old is learning the power of words, and language, dealing with my own mental battle with the strong words and weak thought-life… here we go.

When I was a young girl things happened within our family that would best be forgotten. Words that cut through marrow were flung and spewed from the figure in my family that should have been loaded with coaching encouragement. Dealing with verbal abuse for so many years left a mark upon our family. I am not playing the shame and blame game. This is just how it was. Being a girl as the offspring of the “incapable” should have been an obvious mirrored image to the tongue that spat, but those feelings were never-the-less planted.

So today when I deal with the spiritual topic of ask and receive, my mind does a complete 360 while I consider all the possibilities. It makes me dizzy to think of the people who have come and gone in my life. As a child we learn to say please and may I and thankyou. As an adult we learn that asking others often leads to be “shushed, ” “turned off,” “told no,” or simply considered a burden and ignored. Several times in my journey towards lost eyesight, people have asked if they could pray for healing for me. Then within a short period of time told me they could not give me rides places. As if praying for my healing gets them off the hook for not helping. This kind of response led me to quit asking. So perhaps I am much too human, but this turning away has taught me that perhaps God the Father says “No” more that He says “yes.” Mentally I tell myself that God is more loving than people. Yet, it’s hard to ask and be rejected so many times.

Words are creative. Or destructive. And yes, sometimes words are like creeping bindweed. Like the boa constrictor of weeds, it wraps around the soul, the mind, the will-power, the heart and these words and feelings are difficult to root out. And like russian thistles, their barbed thorns take flesh and soul with them as we try to deal with the ugly past. Right when the field is all cleared out, some nasty ragweed finds it’s way back into our daily existence.

Because of my library of book reading, I spent years training my brain how to do battle with these nasty weeds. Knowing that the power of scripture to overcome these old thought patterns is key, I have an MP3 Bible that I plug into at night. The words of the Father Creator are far stronger than any insult, or abuse ever endured. This keeps me going on the path to uprooting the dark matter.

I also know that giving the demons voice is the worst thing that I can do. So silence often invades my life. I say nothing at all. Trying to speak good and light in the face of evil dark thoughts is the hardest thing ever. Most times all I can manage to mouth is “Jesus, help me.”

By nature, I am a creative person. I like to see crochet art take shape. I like to watch the yearn take cloth. I like to hear music fill the space. Being creative has always been part of who I am. As a child I made cards, and wrote poems. I was always singing and soon began to play the piano with passion and possibility. When I wa not turning letters into words, I made music.

That girl that I once was, letting my voice ring in noisy play, or pounding away at the keyboard seems lost to me. Often I wonder if she is still under all this skin. The tent that covers me, is it really still me? Remembering how I once sucked nervously on a strand of hair, makes me wonder what anxiety do I let rule me now? Taking another step today sends me farther away from who I once was in that little girl.

So I cherish watching our little one learn how to blow kisses goodbye. The teacher in me rejoices when she discovers imaginative play and puts “Scout” in the box that she was just in, doing for the stuffed puppy what we had been doing with her. I treasure her little fingers learning how to put the lid on the cookie tin. I want to memorize how she plods back and forth figuring out the tupperware basket for her little three inch ball. I am amazed at her ability to put sounds into words. Yeah, the cycle of life tells me this is all repetitive. But to her- Everything Is New.

If I say nothing at all, that does not always mean that there is nothing good to say. Sometimes letters become words. But just like my little one year old specialty, letters can sometimes just be magnets that stick to the front panel of the dishwasher. Sometimes words just get all jumbled up and things come out wrong, like calling the giraffe stuffy a “zebra.” Sometimes there is not even any music that comes to mind when my fingers rest on the ebony and ivory. Sometimes I just watch other people, hoping I don’t forget what they look like. Sometimes it’s easier to just copy an old crochet pattern than to learn a new one. Sometimes… I say nothing at all.

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still pick me up when I fall?

will you still carry me?

Will we still walk hand in hand?

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still sit with me?

Will you feed me?

Will you still care?

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still take me to the zoo?

Will you still show me the ocean blue?

Will you sing to me “You Are So Beautiful?”

If I say nothing at all…

Will you still tell me about your day?

Will you still say you love me?

Will we still be best friends?

If I say nothing at all…

If I can no longer call…

If I cannot help when you fall…

Will you

Still

Love

Me?

-written by Yovnne Annette

Counting blessings

God bless my counting…

One thousand eight hundred minutes . Forty five minutes per row. Now don’t tell me that I don’t have anything to show for my time put in.

Gathering the shawls that have my favorite pattern made me conscious of the hours and minutes that I have sat “fidgeting” my days away. Looking at those stitches in terms of minutes, hours, and days, I wondered, “How could I count the blessings that have been prayed?” I have never considered my time in crochet and prayer. Why would I count what words I have uttered.

The truth of the matter is that God’s thoughts towards me are far more in number than the one’s that I have towards Him. Psalm 139:17 states, “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” This verse reminds me that no matter how much I could spend time in prayer for others, or send blessings for them Heavenward, God thinks even more of them than I could ever.

This does not de-value the time that I have spent counting God’s blessings towards me and to others. Rather it increases their worth. My prayer / crochet time is more than being creative and considering God’s wonders to all those in my circle of knowledge. It is a driving force that calls me to meditate. Blessing God both with my time and my talent.

And then blessing others. There are numerous shawls in my home and soon they will all take wings and fly away to bless others. Though I am not sure who the recepient is yet, I trust God to help me think of the right person. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8). Indeed, and the way that He thinks, acts, and moves is higher and loftier than anything we can ever imagine.

Keep on praying, I Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us. And don’t forget to be thankful in everything for this the attitude God will’s for each o fus.

Morning Mist

Fleeting faith

Hosea 6:4. “Oh (fill in with your name here) what shall I do to you. For your faithfulness is like the morning mist, And like the early dew it goes away quickly when the sun comes out.”

Who knew that the Bible has something to teach us about every thing that happens in our lives?

This morning while I did my morning chores, the fog rolled in and blurred my vision to return back to the house from the barn. Then my mind had to tell me “no silly that’s the fog, not your eyesight.” Sometimes this has to be clarified with my retinitis pigmentosia. There are times when the eyes dry out and that glass of water is one cup of coffee too late in keeping my eyes hydrated enough to see. Evening is the worst. So this verse about faithfulness and the morning mist is very real to me.

Another verse in Hebrews eleven tells us something similar. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is not what we see, rather it is the hope of things not yet seen. Hope and faith seem to go so hand and glove together. A glove does not keep me warm just lying there. I have to put it on. Faith does not become a working thing unless there is some hope involved. These concepts of spiritual and physical are very hard to grasp. It’s something like trying to squeeze the mist out of the air!

My lungs were just trying to get the air and not the water. I did have to come inside after a few frisbee tosses to my muddied up doggy. My “smoker’s lungs” told me it was time to leave the mist and opt for the dryer house.

So goes the clouds. So the mist evaporates in the sunshine.

This week my husbands plans to take a trip literally went south. His midnight vertigo turned into severe motion sickness and the plans were canceled. My plans for the week also ended up flipped upside down along with about a dozen other people that are close enough to be affected by his movements. Thanks to his sister for all the car rides as he got his stability back. A doctor visit, therapist, and chiropractor all had aid in helping him get back to upright. One ear can sure make the world go topsy turvy-literally.

So now with new plans, and another schedule in the future, we wait to see how that will all take place. Faith has to be both firm and flexible at the same time. How do we find hope amidst such feeble circumstances. Change in an instant can surprise or devastate. Faith cannot be placed in physical objects. Yet we place our faith in others hands all the time. We walk by faith not by sight. Once again this thing grips us and we must decide what carries us forward.

Hope that the sun will take away the fog. Belief that the morning mist is not a dim view of my Lord’s faithfulness to me. My God is sure. My God is steadfast. My God is here with me whether my eyes fail me, my ears give me vertigo, or my wits grow dim.

The substance of faith for me is the hope that God is here with me whether I can see the house through the morning mist or not. His Son is that ray of light that drives away the morning dew and allows my spiritual lungs to breathe once again. Ahh. Air. Fresh clean perfect air.