Dense fog advisory

De-valued subsistance

Maybe some questions have no answers.

The alarm does not call me to rise up. Neither does duty. Most days it is the dog that signals my rise time.

Having no go-to-meeting alarms makes my life seem empty some days. The work of my hands calls my name certain days. The challenge to keep my fingers occupied keeps me going. Until the days that it does not. Even the idea that keeping house in order needs being done sometimes does not get me out of my corner to tidy another one.

Human being means that unless I find something to do I am not content just being.

There is no convincing that my evolution from some critter that could care less what design his kennel or cage has…. Well, no matter how hard they try I am not buying that by chance the human spirit began thinking up something more complex than a beaver cavern. Nope, not buying it.

More and more it seems that my “doing” has less value than ever to others. A recent scheduled something by one person, was erased by another and then completely overlooked by a third person. My idea or scheduled ability was tossed into nothingness and now I find my mind in a battle for the value of me. Is there anything that I do that is not simply overlooked by others?

The thoughts that want to take root are ones like – no one believes you are worth listening too. This thought especially has plaqued me. I use to write music and sing songs. Songs that I felt had been given to me to share. As time passed it seemed no one wanted to listen. I felt my thoughts turned to songs were waste of time. The supposed gift fell silent. The instrument that once said sung now rots in the forest.

When there is no opportune to share, why bother with the writing. At last love of my own music has left me. In fact not long ago, we burned all but a hand full of the discs that held my failed attempt at the music industry.

Almost the same in it’s gradual death is the joy of my crocheted creations. One person says something negative about one shawl and the happiness I had while making it goes “poof” like a popped balloon. Amazing what the power of words have over us.

My whole being-ness seems to be a finite breath of air that someone has determined to deflate. Rather than being a beautiful flower or grass I have become a small breath. A little peep of a chickadee that has been drowned by a deluge of rain water.

Dense fog advisory

No, the subsistence of self preservation has not boiled over. Self awareness has not rendered me completely speechless. However, the reality of my de-valued life is beginning to rub raw. There are times when it seems people “tell” me what kind of day to have while at the same time stealing all joy in the moment at hand. And the negative comments of others roll through my daily empty hours like freight trains. When one has onle four to twelve hours weekly with outside of the walls world, any little look, comment or other connection cam seem like an overwhelming flood of damnation.

How do I traverse the dense fog?

How do I find value in basic existence? When my life really is nothing more than taking out the weekly garbage and shredding all this junk mail?

This past week it came to my attention that life has been de-valued in several state legislatures. The Old Testament mantra that “Life is in the blood” has not been considered in half a century in our country,. The unborn have no more value that the dollar amount of their tissues for scientific research. What is sickening to me, is that I never heard one ward about it on the radio or in my media feeds on my highly intellectual device. Life no longer has the value it once did. Who ever though that the world would return to the ancient practice of sacrificing human babies to selfishness.

The dense fog of this value system will not be overlooked by the One who designed this breath-filled being. The vapor of a life so snuffed out by such unbelievable cruelty surely will not be overlooked by the Make of such weather patterns. While man thinks that he can control so much by taking life, he still has no power to create life. Life. The heartbeat of a being that will one day choose his or her own doings on an hourly, minutely decision making process.

The oppression of this decision by so many to devalue the human life in it’s existence from the moment of conception to the moment of first breath. How can one person go to jail for the rest of their life for wanting to quiet a screaming infant at a day care and another person has the right to silence the infant before he or she has the chance to cry out?

I do not understand this thinking.

Once upon a time I too had a voice. Once upon a time I made the choice to listen to the voice telling me to do… shall I sit in silence for the rest of my subsistence and never mention my own need to breath clean air? Shall I give up all rights to being someone who loves to do certain things? Or do I let the dense fog fill in every space of my surroundings until I am no longer heard, and no longer seen?

And this is all at the work of someone’s hands. How can this be?

Psalm 139: 2 “oh, Lord, you know my thoughts even when I am far away” even when I siet in my own dark corner and dwell on things too difficult for me and I have traveled into the deep unknown You know what I am thinking about.

Proverbial

More like a nightmare

On the 36th year of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I found me telling myself several times that it was unnecessary to check the mailbox. The day is a holiday in the USA and I was just a freshman in high school when President Reagan signed the declaration day. Not sure that very many people remember the man that “had a dream.” But finding a purpose for the day itself has been somewhat of a struggle lately.

Asking whether I have a dream is much to large of a concept when the days drag by in silence and the hum of washing machine or dryer. It finally mattered to me that this little creature lets her motor purr next to me. It seemed to relieve my anxiety for the day. Since the dog was doing nothing but add to my frustration. She has decided to find mud on these below zero days and track it through the house. Really? How is she finding mud when it is solid ice out there.

This past week my “lost” mind could not be found. Another book, another netflix television series, another How-do-you-do-that on youtube and I still feel like January has a very firm grip on my creativity.

I found a new hat pattern to try. My crochet project that is commissioned keeps calling me back. I just don’t want to do something that I have to do.

Ambition.

Where are you ambition?

Did you fly south with the geese last fall?

In the UK today is national “Blue” day. I would have to agree. But mine was probably last Thursday. My attempt to send Autumn out to live with the other cats put me in a literal tail spin of guild and downcast spirit. How could I do such a thing and have no empathy, compassion or whatever that feeling is for the poor little being.

Last night in the night, well, I had my own dream.

And it was not anything like MLK Jr’s dream. It was more like a nightmare.

Do you remember back in Sunday School when your teacher read to you the story of Ballaak and the talking donkey? Well, in my dream the dog and the cats and the horse could all talk. And they were telling God what kind of treatment that I had given them. The guild and shame seemed to pile on until I felt like I was standing in the dung heap.

Nut much for a dream.

I am not a prophet on my way to anywhere special. Neither am I some called messenger of God with sermons, stories, or special words that would bring someone to reconciliation. In this case, I feel more like Jonah on the way to Tarshish. My hopes that the cat would simply blend into the world that all the other cats live in was highly mistaken. I am not sure Autumn will forgive me any time too soon.

Yet the above picture seems to prove me wrong. She took less than an hour to find her place by me while I crocheted.

So todays lesson is all for me.

Proverbial.

Proverbs 12:10 says the righteous regard the life of their animals with compassion, but the wicked are always cruel. While my actions were probably not cruel, it felt like it to me. I never though of myself as a wicked person. But my nightmare sure held some proverbial footage, and I am sure glad there is no replay on that one.

Silence is golden

Can you hear me now?

“If silence was golden, then I would be rich!” For I would spin all my quiet hours into the most priceless treasures.

Indeed, for me those silent, golden treasures are the house spent in prayer. while my heart does not treasure the quiet, silence, there is something to be said about placing one’s heart where the treasure lies. So rather than focus on the deafening hum of the refrigerator, I choose to focus on the prayer list.

Santa Claus might have a list a mile long, but mine seems to grow forever in leaps of marathons. Every hour it seems I lay my burdens down, only to pick them right back up again. No thoughts of who is naughty or nice, just simply sending heavenward the supplications for God’s storehouse to open up.

But what happens when it seems that God does not answer? Or rather when it seems as if the answer is a slap in the face? Hugging a porcupine really does not work. And there seems to ve a viper in every stitch of those whom I have spent my hours in labor for?

Should I quit?

Should I write off the needs of those who chose to stab me in the back? How do I translate my hours of prayer into care for others when it is not accepted.

I feel like the commercial-

“Can You Hear Me Now?”

Sometimes silence is golden.

I haven’t arrived into a silence that feels very rich yet. It seems empty.

Wall flower

Silent, quiet, death

There you hang

Silent

No one notieces

Quiet

Drying

No longer fragrant

Death

But not defining

You were once soft

Silent

You were once fragrant

Crying your pain

Sharing your dying petals

Searching for water

Drinking emptiness

Silent

Quiet

You hang there in defiance

“Remember” you say

“Remember when” you say

“Remember when the day”

You say “the day”

As if one silent, death defining moment

The wall flower wants to live on

The dead, hanging petals cling

Cling to the once vibrant stem

Upside down they cling

Death defying

Silent

Quiet

Wall flower

–written by yours truly this difficult day

The past month has been hard. While the world buzzes around me with activity in preparation. I feel more like a plucked flower. Everyone is busy with something. Trying to stay busy, but never accomplishing any thing, well, just does not amount to anything.

Doing instead of being.

Being instead of doing.

Struggling to write something. I have nearly half a dozen blog drafts and nothing o show for them. The finishing feels like grasping thorny rose bushes. My mind just cannot seem to wrap itself around a complete thought.

Tonight my decision not to cry myself to sleep, resulted in returning to the living room where these hanging flowers on the wall greeted me as I sat in my chair.

In the olden days, a “wall flower” was the girl at the dances that no one ever danced with. I can relate somewhat, as I have not danced with someone on a dance floor more than a hand full of times. I relate to the one sitting in the corner watching the whole world go on dancing having a great time and never really noticing the wall flower.

This “feeling” has happened to me so many times that seeing myself tied up with a ribbon and hanging from some nail on the wall… yeah, you get the picture.

Going blind has it’s defining moments.

Today was one of them for me.

Sitting in a crowded room full of gathered bouquets, who would chose the dried petals over all of the one’s in the vases, or on the bushes, or in the planters? Yet here I am in the world of fragrant flowers, drying up. Clinging to the stem, yet receiving no water. No more life giving, fragrant potions.

The feelings are hard to explain. They are difficult to grasp. The tears come way to easily sometimes. Recognizing the death of a certain way of doing things. Defining myself as that blind lady over there. Some things are best put into poetry.

There.

Now I’ll go cry myself to sleep.

I’ll crush some old rose petals hanging on some nail on the wall. And be mad at myself for not remembering where they came from.

Cleaning out the cobwebs

Closers, cobwebs, and crochet

Going for a walk to clear up the confusion of my own muddled thoughts has not really been an option these last few weeks. What with the broken toe joint in my left foot and the onset of colder winter like weather. Maybe that is an understatement… if winter comes with negative wind chill factors then it is officially here.

When all the world was planning their Halloween celebrations, I decided to just leave the cobwebs up until after the date on the calendar. Since i hurt myself cleaning, the idea seemed fitting for the time being. This done, the days for continued clean ups has arrived. The first few projects on the clean up list were more loose yarn pieces. Something that I could do while sitting.

The above shawl pattern was born during the cobweb days. It is called the spider stitch. Rather fun for the brain to have something that really required little thinking. While my daughter may call it “lazy” crocheting… I call it prayer time. Lazy means that there is not a huge amount of counting and pattern checking. I can learn two or three rounds or pattern sequences and then go a mile of yarn an hour. Which means that prayer time is coming to fruition. Hours of low concentration thinking fiddling with the fingers, leaves the brain free to think of all those miles of “God Bless You’s” and such.

Leaving the cobwebs behind would be easier if my hours of free time were more fruitfully filled. But since one of my mottos should be “Redeeming the Time:” well, then, how dare I sit and rest my broken toe without doing something. I think crochet was invented for those who cannot sit still. Idle hands bring poverty, or idle hands are the devil’s gold!

Two more weeks passed of leaving the cobwebs; crafts came off the hooks end… a rug, a shawl, other beginnings, a kitten and now a spider stitch, the toe still hurts if I stand on it too long. We had a screening for life insurance, a doctor visit or two and someone suffered through that dreaded colonoscopy test. No names mentioned. There have been patients with cancer treatments, distant family members who lost loved ones, birthdays, and some with new jobs to pray for. Sometimes my lists get all muddled up and I actually have to write a list for the days prayer requests. Being a prayer warrior is still one of my top priorities and I will continue to take that job more seriously than the cleaning of cobwebs from corners.

This might be a really sticky messy writing, but that seems to fit my current state of mind. Don’t worry about whether all the thoughts are clearly connected, I tell myself… Just keep cleaning out the corners of the brain, come up with a few positive thoughts, and about all else keep mentioning those dear names through all those stitches. Sometimes praying takes my full attention, sometimes crocheting does. If the counts get off and the mistakes have to be pulled out and started over, oh well. Just start making a new cobweb.

Today it is just one week to Thanksgiving. We will surely be making a list of all the blessings our Lord has heaped a upon us. For now we heap cleaning duties and other tasks upon ourselves as we prepare for the weeks to come. The cobweb broom is out and so is the the wooley duster. Here goes-no injuries this time, please!

Good swift kick

Getting the boot

Getting the boot usually means…

The someone is getting kicked out. At our house lately the annoying little black kittens are getting the boot several times daily. They nave decided that warm, inside, and people must surely mean food. So like bungee cords, when then the door opens, in they spring. My husband doesn’t much like that behavior of cats whether they be a cute little kitten or not does not change his annoyance at such actions. So a good sweft kick as one walks out the door is helpful, but not entirely productive. They slip in faster than the cold air chasing them.

Getting the boot usually means…

One has lost his job, office space or other de-moting thing. While recently there have been a lot of “life” changes for some of my family members, the list sometimes keeps me prayerfully occupied for more than an hour. My sister was demoted when the large company she worked for did a sweeping restructuring of its financial management. While it may save them money in the long run, her pay cut and smaller closet work space, has left her with quite a financial challenge. My nephew had a life challenge change as he is battling brain cancer. This change has affected many people and the ripples in the pond around their family show that his life touches many people. My daughter recently got word that an internship that she has been planning for five years is now canceled for another year. The change was more than “the coins in the washing machine pump” to her livelihood. The “now what?” Has sent us all spinning like on the tilt-a-whirl at the fair. Then less than three weeks later, it may be that her car is totaled after a rear end collision with another SUV. What is happening in our family? Could someone please turn off the bad news reports.

Good swift kick in the rear

Feelings. is mostly what I have felt like Ineeded for the last few months. Some projects that I had wanted to do just seemed to be waiting for no other reason but to wait. Why did I put so many projects on hold all summer long? Waiting for someone else to do what I wanted seems like a never ending nightmare. Perhaps, I had decided, it was best just to do things myself.

After giving myself the “Good Swift Kick” talk one day, my beautiful antiqye recitation benches recieved timber oiled for the winter. The one day in the last two weeks that it did not rain, the benches seemed to call my name. After the benches were quick-sanded with some steel wool pads, that same day a paintbrush applied the oil. Then the wind came along at 50mph and tipped the one beach over four times! That was a swift kick to my own bottom each time the gust knocked it over. The bench was still wet that day, so out I ran each time to get it up out of the grass. Honestly, thoughts about Dagon the Philistine god fallen on his face before the ark of the covenant entered my mind several times. Miraculous moments do happen

The good swift kick in the bottom was not how I went about getting the boot in the picture above however…

Acrobatics at age fifty are not advised.

Cleaning is not my thing. Some piece of ceramic usually gets broken, or maybe a knick knack, or my toe. Well, after the tea cupboard was all organized and put back, it was my second toe joint next to the ball of my foot that took the hit this time.

Teasingly I had decided the best way to refresh the storage was to try each kind of tea. Which in the long relaxing run of the whole idea would have been better than jumping up and down off of the chair to put them all back. Pretty sure at one point that I had steeped on something sharp, I hunted on the floor for several minutes after the pain. No such sharp item. Just a bad landing. The second toe’s joint on my foot apparently wasn’t weight tested to handle all 108 pounds of me.

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps…

Is an old west saying to get up after a horseback tumble and get on with the chores at hand. To continue on life’s path no matter what lies ahead. The story of Job has always fascinated me. More in the response of his wife and friends than in his own. Many messages focus on Job’s response and God’s conversation with hime at the end of the book. While I understand the point of the book is that God is sovereign over all, and that our ultimate purpose is to praise Him whether in joy or in despair, I find meaning in a different thought process of the book. Yes, I know God gives and God takes and we are to bless His name always. Perhaps, another thought process for myself is in the care we give to others who are going through a Job-moment in their life.

How can I encourage my sister, my nephew, my daughter, and others during their moments of despairing? Am I acting any differently than Job’s friends, or his wife?

Good swift kick!

Giving myself the boot!

So busy trying to figure out how to care for the changes that have personally affected me. I have failed to really find the time to reach out and encourage others.Yep, now that I am down foor the count-literally, down, sitting far more than I think I should. Now, I once again am having to rely on others more. Perhaps now, I will get back to my real purpose.

Strap the stirrups on the boots and…

Get back in the saddle. Get back to your business. When Jesus was found in the temple by his parents, earthly father Joseph and mother Mary, His statement to them told them that he knew the truth. “I must be about my Father’s business.” Asking God to tell me His business for me is so important. It is my daily duty to ask.

Despairing of my inability to do has landed me in an even more inability to do. I shall be so glad to have my get-up-and-go back once this boot wearing is over, that my list is even longer now than it was before that invisible nail struck my toe joint.

Yes, Lord, I think I got this lesson loud and clear.

I have given myself a good swift kick in the rear, and I got the boot right out of my dull-drums. I’ll be moving along to the next lesson now, Lord. Hopping on one foot, wearing another two pounds (to add to my already gained eight), wheeling around in the kitchen chair instead of standing.

This boot thing…

Attitude adjustment by toe. Got it.

Epilogue… The day that I finished all the edits on this draft, accendentally deleting them all was not part of my plan. So I spent another hour fixing it all over again. Visits with my dad and my brother, who both live on the western side of my state, informed me about how much snow they had received. Today we are supposedly getting a few of the fat flakes in our area for a bit. That would be right in line with the homecoming parades that are scheduled for the day. My husband decided to take the other car to the mechanic the day after my daughter’s car went to the body shop. Feeling stranded and wishing the horse could pull a cart… but at this temperature the only positive outcome would be a natural icepack for my broken toe. Enough of the rambling. This fuzzy little furball found the piano, the plants, the spinning wheel, the top of my chaisse, and the bells on the door all in the matter of ten minutes indoors yesterday. I wish I could keep her on my lap.

Pretty Ugly

Banners of love?

There is a story that my mother tells. Sorry sister, but it’s mot about me. It is about my eldest sister.

When she was a little girl learning about language and the true essence of words, my parents were also learning about such things. They would do this little conversation bit that went something like the following…

“Are you pretty?”

Little girl nods her head in the yes motion.

“Are you ugly?”

Little girl shakes her head vehemently in the no fashion.

“Are you pretty ugly?”

Little girl hears the word pretty and begins nodding head yes, then gets confused.

When I heard that story the first knowledgeable time, I was so sad. Why would a parent do such a confusing thing? Children in the toddler stage don’t understand all of the word abnormalities that our language has to offer. It seems mean to me to be so confusing.

I wonder what my parents did to me along this same line. Oh yeah, there is this one…

“Do you want an ice cream cone?”

I would nod my head lyes.

“Maybe you’d rather have a hot dog?”

I would shake my head no.

“Are you sure?”

Sure?

I distinctly remember being asked this frequently… I had no idea what sure meant. My name, that I knew. My want for the ice cream cone instead of a hot dog, that I knew. Sure–I did not know.

I was not sure. I was not sure what sure was. Sure was a foreign word to me.

The first phrase that my daughter repeated that I said was a bit of a shock to me. While unloading the dishwasher one day or doing dishes, not really sure which, something spilled. Usually it was a plastic on the top rack that got flipped over from the force of water and then filled up. Somehow, this happened too often and then spilled all over the silverware or the clean floor. My natural tongue wagging during those days was the phrase “Dog-gone-it!”

One day while my little girl was playing with blocks or a toy, her frustration became apparent when she too voiced her disgust with “Dog-gone-it!”

Today however, the words only match my spirit.

It is downcast and I echo the psalmist who repeatedly asked, “Why, o my soul, are so downcast within me?”

Like the sunshine blocked by the clouds. Or rather like the clouds themselves. There is this dark ominous sky that says the storm has moved int and the showers are about to burst forth.

Tears. On the brink of tears. The mist is covering my face and the moisture is making my eyes blink. And on top of the darkness, it is cold. Bitter, ice driving winds fling the sharp mist into my eyes and face until it seems I am about to face plant on the rocky gravel under my feet.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining.

Where did it go?

Into the empty despairing silence. The chores were complete. The coffee was made.

The dog refused her breakfast.

What was I suppose to do? Ignore her need? I decided, that just because I am blind deosn’t mean that I had not seen her do her business in a few days. We have been trying to nurse her back to health. Perhaps she needed a long walk to get out. Her energy level just has not been normal this last few days.

Why did I think that someone might want to go with me. The morning had dawned bright and cold. Freezing to be exact. Fall is officially here. No one would want to take a brisk morning walk in the sunshine.

By the time I returned home my spirit was completely defeated. The walk had frozen my tears on my face. The bitter words I had uttered told me that in truth, I was pretty ugly this morning. No one wanted to go for a walk on the first day of frost. Not even y dog.

She’s back to sleeping at the foot of my chaise. I’m back to not being sure about anything. And I feel like the whole morning has been a “Dog-gone-it!” Kind of experience.

Beets for dessert

Digging up dirt

Lately my mind has been its own war zone. Anyone who spends countless hours alone will understand. Time alone means time with one’s own thoughts. Unless of course the entire time is spent drowning out that option.

Sometimes the radio or the television or the Netflix just does not have the right noises. Going for a walk in the rain isn’t a good choice either. So the battle rages on. The past, resent it future gain the upper hand and suddenly words are like daggers and darts that pierce the soul and spirit.

Today was another mud slinging mess in my brain. I tried to get the reality zone with reading, walking, drinking water… nothing seemed to dispel the dark mood.

Until I found out that we were actually habing beers for dessert.

Beets

Beets for dessert.

Ugh. How has the seasonal life “diet” rewarded us so fondly? Could it finally have totaled up to such a disgusting bowl of staining roots? What has becoming old done to us?

Beets have a powerful color. Beets-have a pungent odor. Beets have a mild flavor. Beets are not a dessert they are a side dish.

Out side dish took thirty five minutes to cook. Out leftover soup took four minutes to dish up and warm in the microwave and another two minutes to eat. We had a salad and some cottage cheese. The beets still were not done. So we had beets for dessert.

Digging up dirt

Digging fir the beets was actually pretty easy. We have had a couple of recent rains that washed the dirt away from the pleasant little purple pieces. The cold weather has flattened the greens some. So it will not be long and they will al have to come out.

My brain has been a bit like that. A cold snap from an unsuspecting person just wilted my pleasant mood The lack of hugs or smiles seems to make my jolly green happy yup right over. Tears of loneliness wash away the protective soil and pretty soon big red blotches are all over everything.

Strong, pungent odors waif up before my mind. Before I know it I am digging up dirt next to my pleasant feelings towards someone special to me.

Wow.

Beets for dessert.

Sure hope I di not have to repeat myself too frequently. I better go get the dish soap. These purple fingertips could use a bit of whitening.

Open, Empty, Ready

“Open arms are empty arms”

Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call out to Me, I will answer them. Before they even begin speaking, I will hear”

These days when I go to visit my young daughter and my infant granddaughter, I am reminded of this verse. The little infant barely begins to whimper and her mother is there to tend her need. Before Isabelle can even cry out in hunger her mother is there to feed her. The idea that God answers us quicker than a breastfeeding mother came to me as I heard this verse in a book I was listening too.

God, the Deliver.

The one who is so ready to come to our aid. To fill our hungering hearts with his supply. There are days when my heart aches incredibly with thirst for something. I imagine myself as an infant ready to cry out for filling with sustenance of faith, or hope and God gives me just what my longing spirit needs even before I begin to cry.

At the beginning of this year 2018, I made a plan to write a blog each week. To get into the habit of writing. By the time I had reached March, my planner in my notepad was filled for the first half of the year. As more ideas came rushing in, some of those plans got pushed into the second half of the year. I finished June with 29 blogs for the year so far. The plan had been for 26. Half the year, and the cup of inspiration had overflowed. My cup of ideas “overfloweth.” The second half of the year has plans-a-plenty. The idea was that July would begin with the cup half full or the cup half empty. The decision would be made at the beginning of the second half of my blogging schedule.

Half full or half empty?

When people ask for just a half cup of coffee, we often want to tease them and say bottom half or top half? I always want the top half filled. That way I can have a whole cup more! But when years ago God brought me to a an “open arms versus empty arms” decision, my thoughts were not very humorous at all

Open or empty?

Once upon a time I was a young mother with dreams to fill my home with the laughter of children. Many children. My husband said after the first, “one is good.” After the second came along, I told him “two is better.” Then I began praying for a chord, a third strand. It never happened.

For years, after the secondary barrenness arrived, I felt God had responded to my plea with empty arms. My arms had been so open to more children, to more than two. God answered my pleas with a number of early first trimester miscarriages. What was a mother to do? I focused all my attention on the two girls that I was blessed with. Never believing that any stage was something to get through, but enjoying even the teenage years. Our daughters were nothing typical. There was nothing normal to our family years.

Sometimes silence is deafening.

The quiet days that follow a home school mother’s retirement was nearly enough to deafen my heart to any sound that my Lord might try to whisper to me. What…? The days that came after the girls left for college became so empty and quiet. Sometimes I turn the television up just to drown out my own screaming thoughts.

The days that I longed for their company soon turned into challenges to my eyesight. Not long after I got used to nothing ever changing in my environment, then the things that they brought home became stumbling blocks. Finally I became to frustrated that I just sit down and watch then do the cooking when they come to visit. Otherwise, because of my eyesight, I spend all my time looking at the food, the table, the laundry, or the floor for things that could trip me. I soon realized, I didn’t get to see my daughters at all when they came home. I spent the whole time seeing things. These “face-less” visits left me feeling like my arms were empty rather than open to their visits.

How can I move from having that empty arms feeling to an Open Ams attitude?

This same empty feeling hit me one day hard when my emotional emptiness made me throw up verbally on unannounced guests. Explaining the idea of surprise being more like running into a brick wall than being a Christmas present is hard. Having a visual impairment like mine is difficult to explain to others. Another difficult, Christmas presents. But that’s a whole other topic.

Having open arms while walking blindfolded is not the best option. So having retinitis pigmentosa teaches one to put hands out in front (it is a saving face kind=of=move). Lately however, my darkroom expiences have exposed my tired brain’s lack of thinking. I am reminded of one of the favorite lines in one of our family’s favorite movies. ” We’ll just have to use our brains then.” Learning to concentrate on my dance moves while I step away from the sink isn’t easy. Especially since I was never a dancer.

One of the songs that I wrote years ago before the schooling days was titled “Are you ready?” In it the verse from Jeremiah is quoted “When you seek Me then you will find Me.”

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart.”

Searching…

That’s something I find myself doing far too frequently. I look for lost bottle caps. I hunt for dropped silverware. I find more that what I am looking for and quite frequently I find nothing at all. Looking down the center of a wrapping paper tube was once an imaginary game as a child. Now it is my daily lot.

With all…

With my whole being I long for a different outcome to my plight. But alas, I already know the end of the movie. The last chapter has already been written for the lives of those with RP. The epilogue is the whole story. The rest of the experience once the days turn to “after.” Right now i am still in the “before.”

Before…

Before I die I want to… This sort of thing is called a bucket list. There was a whole movie written about that. One fellow lives each day like it’s the last, the other like it is the first. One has a mindset of half-full, the other like it is half-empty. One person stands with open arms, another stands with empty arms. Or is it both…?

Are you ready?

Are you ready? / Are you ready to do My will?

Are you ready? / Are you ready to do My will?

When you seek Me, you will find Me, you will know My will.

Search for Me, / Watch for Me, / And be still…

Search for Me / Watch for Me / And be still.

(Song and poem copyright 1999 by Yvonne Annette)

So while I sit and listen to this old CD recorded in my “early years” at the fresh age of 30, I think about all that has happened in the last twenty years. Musically, my life has changed dramatically. Family wise well, a son-in-law and a grand-daughter have been added to our lives. Others have answered the call of the Creator to “come home.” What a change.

Have I really changed though? While I sit here, with open, empty, and ready arms I wonder what God will fill my hands with next. At the moment, it is an IPad tablet.

The year indeed has half-passed like the clock at half past the hour, the minutes, moments and years have been filled. Sometimes with what God planned for me and sometimes wasted away in my own lack of planning. Yet our Lord has always been faithful, filling even the lack with abundance. The year has been half-filled with memories and many more await to fill the top half of the cup. Or is it the bottom?

God is no respecter of persons and gives to all liberally (James 1:5). I have learned that to be ready with open arms means that they must be empty arms. I ask that God gives me a half-full attitude, and open heart, and hands filled with His purpose.