Treasuring and Pondering

 I thought I was finished with my journaling this morning.
I closed my journal and began spending some of my daily 5,000-24,000 
(depending on which source you consult) words on my husband!
Some of my jottings had triggered additional thoughts, and I was eager to share them.
"In fact," I told myself, "I should post some of my profundity on Facebook!"
Almost instantly, a verse from the Bible came to mind.
I googled a few of its words to look it up for accuracy.
But Mary treasured all these things, 
giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.  
(Luke 2:19, Amplified Bible)
 Instantly instructed and reproved, I reopened my journal to write.
I need to do so much more TREASURING and PONDERING;
so much less facebooking and jabbering.

Friday was our Saturday

 Husband and I spent an hour or so this morning hiking a new trail.
 It was cloudy, damp and cool....
 and there were treasures to be seen.
Some time after a great lunch (chicken salad on a wonderfully soft & toasted croissant roll, 
potato soup and slaw),
we headed to our nearest library branch
 where I picked up two books that should keep me 
happily engaged this evening
accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate.
Friday was our Saturday this week!

Reading is Fundamental

My father wheeling my mother into the Activities Center where he and my husband would  play pool....
 I couldn't help thinking of this scene (and many others) when I read and underlined these words:
"The old are wounded too but more used to bearing it."

Reading The Duty of Delight: the Diaries of Dorothy Day is taking me a long time.  
For one thing, it's a long book (almost 700 pages).  
For another, it is intense.  
For another, it is timeless. 
For yet another, I have had similar thoughts, resolutions,
impatiences and yearnings.
Very few pages have been turned before I underline, star, or write a word or two in the column.
I want to absorb these words into my character.
I read slowly because I don't want it to end.

I'm in the 1970's part of her diaries  The last active decade of her life.
Here, in her mid seventies. she writes, 
"The fact that this may be the last year of my life should make me faithful in keeping this diary."

No matter how old I get (and I am 75 in Nov 1972, this year), no matter how feeble,
short of breath, incapable of walking more than a few blocks, what with heart murmurs, heart failures, emphysema perhaps, arthritis in feet and knees,
with all these symptoms of age and decrepitude, my heart can still leap for joy
as I read and suddenly assent to some great truth enunciated by some great mind and heart.
(Dorothy Day)

Without a doubt, MY heart still "leaps for joy" as I read
and contemplate the impact of Ms. Day's great mind and heart!
Reading IS fundamental.

Work, for the Night is Coming

My hour's drive home from Ohio last night was full of harvest scenes.
Corn and bean fields.
Combines, reapers, tractors and trucks.
As I rounded one corner, the sight above captured my attention.
As I transferred the photo from phone to computer screen,
the words of an old gospel song came to my mind and instructed me.
(1) Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work 'mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man's work is done.

(2) Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute,
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.

(3) Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;
While their bright tints are glowing,
Work, for daylight flies.
Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man's work is o'er.

We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. 
The night is coming, and then no one can work.  John 9:4, Words of our Lord Jesus

Other Peoples' Prayers

Several phrases in this morning's prayer challenged me 
and expressed my personal requests in succinct and poignant words... 
Francis Harvey Green, though dead, still speaks.

...we are not lonely orphans in the world
...prompt us to listen to Thy voice and to interpret aright Thy message
Save us from listlessness and laziness...
...fill us with cheer
...lengthen our love
...increase our usefulness 

A Morning of Leisure

 Scenes from a beautiful Friday morning
 spent on the streets and shops
of the quaint town of Grand Rapids, OH.
 Leisurely we strolled sidewalks and and the graveled river walk path.
 Pleasant shop owners
 and visual pleasures greeted us at every turn.
 Since his retirement, my husband work a few hours each week at a local
hardware store.  We enjoy the extra hours we now have to spend together.
 Grand Rapids was HIS idea --
 and definitely a fine one!

 The only cost involved was for gas to travel
and the price of lunch.  A most DELICIOUS lunch!
We chose a seat at the window so that we could engage in a bit of "people watching"!
A perfect way to spend a part of an early autumn day...

Friends Remember; Friends Know

 I met her for coffee.  (It ended up being an almost three-hour coffee!)
She surprised me with the lavender.
She's a TERRIFIC remember-er.  Some time ago, just in passing, I'd said,
"I'd love to have more lavender, but I'm too 'tight' to buy it."
She dug this out of her own flowerbed.  
Friends remember.
Then yesterday I came home from visiting my mother and found an envelope.
Another friend, one I've never met in person, had mailed me these quilted bookmarks!
"I know you like to read as much as I do," she'd written in her sweet note.
You're right, Claudia!
Friends know.
A friend loves at all times.  Proverbs 17:17

friends remember; friends know
thoughtful gestures, countless prayers
timely words
being there...
it shows

Hitting the Books

 Sunday, the 20th of September, we made a spontaneous five-hour trip
to attend the affirmation (installation) service for our son who will pastor
the Grace Fellowship congregation in El Paso, IL. 
(That's him in the middle with his family.)
After lunch at Pizza Hut and a few table games with our grandchildren,
we returned to the church to help unpack boxes and boxes of books
and hang a couple of pictures on the walls of his new office.
 I didn't return home empty-handed.
I'm very excited to begin on this stack...
actually, the Anne Lamott book and one of Buechner's are ours.
(Must have loaned them to him.)
I've gotten a bit slack in my reading habits.
I blame this on my laptop computer with its ease of access to blogs, facebook and twitter.
I've begun reading the diaries of Dorothy Day already and am alternating
between it and The Bookseller (Mark Pryor), a library book recommended to me by a friend.
Have you read any of these?  
And what are you reading now?

"If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were fondle them-peer into them, 
let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, 
set them back on their shelves with your own hands,
 arrange them on your own plan so that if you do not know what is in them, 
you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends, 
let them at any rate be your acquaintances."
(Winston Churchill)


Navigating the seven or eight miles between our driveway and the grocery store
has become increasingly difficult over the past few weeks.
One lane of traffic waits patiently (or not) for its turn to travel
while construction crews repave the road. 
This morning, an unfamiliar piece of orange caught my eye as I opened the front door.
Apparently, the road work is getting closer to home!
For some reason, thoughts of Jesus' return flashed through my thoughts.
Signs are being put in place.
His return is getting closer!

"Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, 
because your redemption is drawing near.”  (Luke 21:28)

Let us be alert to the season in which we are living. It is the season of the Blessed Hope, calling for us to cut our ties with the world and build ourselves on this One who will soon appear. He is our hope—a Blessed Hope enabling us to rise above our times and fix our gaze upon Him.”  (A.W. Tozer)

I Love You Sooooooo Bad...

Dementia has claimed a large part of my mother.
What remains captivates my heart and mind.
The hours I happily spend with her are filled with an odd assortment
of curiosity, compassion, concern and companionship. 
Thursday, she was unusually alert (for her).
I wheeled her outside to enjoy the flowerbeds and pleasant sunshine.
I fed her a snack - juice and a frosted cookie.
I played familiar music from my computer - Gaither, George Beverly Shea,
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, the DeZurich sisters, etc.
We listened to several versions of the ABC song.
We enjoyed watching each other suck on a DumDum lollipop.
Orange and butterscotch.
We joined her fellow residents to play a familiar game of balloon toss.
Mother was able to raise her hands to meet the balloon more than once or twice!
I wiped a tear mixed with joy and admiration for her effort.
I fed her supper.
It was hard to leave.  I kissed her and said, "I love you, Mom."
And then I heard it as plain as day--
"Oh! I love you SOOOOOOO bad!"
Rarely do her words make much sense anymore,
but I understood every one of these.

Do You Ever Go Back?

Speaking of "words failing me".....this describes my prayer life. I find myself woefully incapable of expressing myself in verbal prayers lately. I stumble. I grasp for "proper" words. I ramble and garble. I can't collect my thoughts or express them in an "organized" manner. It's very humbling.

The words above were my response to a post on a blog recently.
I, who used to find pleasure in finding "just the right word" to express myself,
find myself with fewer and fewer words more and more of the time.
I returned to the blog this morning.  Sometimes there is a follow-up comment
that brings clarity or consolation
(Do YOU ever go back to check for a follow-up comment?)
In this case, someone had posted a Madeleine L'Engle poem 
which couldn't have been more reassuring.
Sometimes it IS good to go back!

A totally unrelated photo....I'm trying to locate my autumn decorations and so far, this is all I've found.
 "I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended."
(Madeleine L'Engle)

Who Makes It Happen

I saw the dilapidated gun cabinet for sale on a local facebook buy/sell site.  Almost immediately I "saw" a possibility.  I posted the process of its transformation on my Thrifty Style blog.  In the process of composing that post, I realized it was not what I saw, but who made it happen that was important.

Immediately, I saw another Life Lesson!  Maybe you can see it, too...

God began doing a good work in you, and I am ·sure [confident; persuaded] he will continue it until it is ·finished [completed; perfected] ·when Jesus Christ comes again [on the day of Christ Jesus; the final day of judgment and reward]  Philippians 1:6 

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, 
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10

It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. 
What's important is that God makes the seed grow.  I Corinthians 3:7

It wasn't about what I saw, but who made it happen.
It's NOT about what I see, but WHO makes it happen!

Mid-August Reading

 After reading the light and totally delightful Unusual Uses for Olive Oil
by Alexander McCall Smith last week, I began another piece of light fiction that had been recommended on another blog.  It failed to "hold" me.
So after giving it what I thought to be a fair try, I decided to close it up and move on.
(Do YOU ever do that?)
I picked up a small paperback I had purchased at a thrift store some time ago.
I began by reading it aloud to my husband as we traveled yesterday.
It challenges my eyesight with its small print;
heightens my curiosity about that period in history;
brings tears to my eyes;
inspires me...
I read it with pen in hand.
I wonder if this will be one of the very few books I reread periodically?

"...the man and the hour were matched." 
My prayer:  "Father, match ME to the hour!"

Update:  Curiosity set in.  I googled to find out some information re. his family life
and became a bit disenchanted.  Sigh.  I shall continue the book, however.

Lake Days

 It doesn't get much better than spending a couple of days at the lake
 with good friends,
 good food,
 leisurely walks,
 unscheduled time,
 silence except for cicada songs,
thoughtful conversations, board games, sleeping on the sunporch
and watching a storm blow in and cross the water.

Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)