When Will I Ever Learn

I seriously did this!  
Tape over the mouth MIGHT have been a better choice.
It was when I temporarily removed the pen that I got into trouble.

I said, "I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue.  
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle so long as the wicked are in my presence." 
I was mute and silent.  I held my peace to no avail and my distress grew worse.
My heart became hot within me.  
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my mouth.
...
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!  
I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it."
(Psalm 39, selected verses)

Know this, my beloved brothers:  let every person be quick to hear,
slow to speak, slow to anger;
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. 
(James 1:19-20)

When will I ever learn?

Beauty

 Maybe it was the bad-timing of an earlier frost that thinned out
the lilac clusters this year.....
 No matter.
I'm surrounded by beauty on all four sides of our house!
This morning, I'm praying that the Heavenly Father will make ME
as beautiful inside as the exterior beauty of our trees and plants this spring...

 ♪ Beautiful, beautiful
Jesus is beautiful
And Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life.
Carefully touching me
Causing my eyes to see
And Jesus makes beautiful
Things of my life. ♪

Living, Singing, Seeing, Loving

We four siblings gathered from the four winds on Sunday.
Our father made sure we were all on the same page as we readied ourselves
to participate in the chapel service at the nursing home where our mother resides.
We ladies sang two songs;  Beyond Today and There's Something About that Name (Jesus) 
 Our father (retired pastor) delivered the sermon.
Brother Dave led some group songs.
After dinner, we gathered around Mother's bed for a sweet, sweet time of singing...
and then the long-distance siblings began their journeys home.
Later, my husband and I returned to OUR home,
under the canopy of a beautiful sunset.
I am so blessed to be living this life,
singing these songs,
seeing these sights,
loving these people...

If We Could See Beyond Today

After a run to the grocery store this morning for salad fixings,
I returned home to alter some nightgowns for Mother.
 This involves sewing up the fronts of some and splitting the backs of all.
I rarely get my trusty little sewing machine out these days...
As I scheme and sew, I find myself wishing Mother was here with me
(and that I'd paid more attention when I was younger).
She would know just how to do this, 
and it would be finished so much nicer than I can do with my humble attempt
to make these gowns serviceable and appropriate to her condition.
 I'm also working to write in the third part in one of the songs I may be singing
with my two sisters this Sunday.
Its words have taken on a whole new layer of meaning for me
in the past two years.
 If we could see, if we could know,
We often say.
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way.
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more

He leads us till this life is o'er,
Trust and obey.
(3rd verse)

Truth Walking

A very brief and cherished visit with our son brought a verse to my mind - 3 John 4 .  
So this morning, it was THIS verse I compiled from several versions
as #16 of 30 for my personal monthly challenge.  Here's how it turned out:
 “I (could) have no greater joy (grace) (greater joy have I none, nothing makes me happier) than (these things) to hear that (that I should hear of) my children (sons) 
are walking in (following, walk, living according to, living in obedience to) the truth 
 (that I may hear of my children in truth walking).”
 We crammed a lot of conversations into the less-than-24-hours
we had together and included a visit to my parents in Ohio.
There, our son, himself a very active pastor, 
spent time with his grandfather, a retired pastor.
The photo, taken by my husband (also a retired pastor),
shows our son poring over the typed sermon notes of his grandfather
gathered in a loose-leaf notebook.
It's true.
I HAVE no greater joy
than hearing of our children "truth walking"
  
It is the pastor's supreme concern to help his flock
know the truth and then live in the truth
(Alistair Begg)

Communicating "I Care"

Time was at a premium as I began the day.
It would include a noon meal with a few elderly 
(well, older than me) friends.
One had gone to great lengths to arrange the details, make the calls,
and communicate the time and place.
Outings were rare for these precious ones.
I wanted to bless them with something in addition to my presence and listening ear.
I copied A Morning Prayer from Patsy Clairmont's facebook page
that had blessed me as I started the day.
I cut them out, glued them on top of a few floral cutouts,
and attached them to a thicker paper.
I used the hot glue gun to glue a few sweet-shaped buttons to the cards,
and WALLA!
I don't consider myself to be creative or very artistic,
but this was a simple way to pass on a bit of encouragement to these special friends.
 ****
What other simple, inexpensive and uncomplicated ideas 
do YOU have for a tangible way to say, "I care"?

The Agony and Ecstasy


The ecstasy of Spring comes in the form of
forsythia's colors and birds' songs before dawn.
The agony of Spring is more personal, 
coming in the form of vigil at the bedside of our mother.


We accept both its agony and ecstasy.
We claim the promise of Psalm 32:8:
 
Psalm 32:8 - my personal compilation of several translations:  I will instruct you (I will give thee understanding, I cause thee to act wisely), and teach you (I shall make known to you) in the way you should go (about how you should live, concerning the path you should walk, and show you the way to go, and direct thee in the way that thou goest), will guide you along the best pathway for your life); I will (give) counsel (advise, direct) you with my loving eye on you (as I look you in the eye,  I will fix mine eyes upon thee, Mine eye being upon thee, as my eyes watch over you, and watch over you, I cause mine eye to take counsel concerning thee).”

Choosing Life

The actual details aren't so important for the public to know,
but the experience was a heavy one at a personal level.
Reflecting on it at the end of the day, I wrote:

I helped choose life today.
The choice was not uncomplicated.
It’s so easy when speaking hypothetically
to know exactly what to do.
It’s completely another thing in “real” time.
Things aren’t quite so simple; so clear then…
So I listened.  I looked.  I interpreted.
We felt quite confused and a bit helpless. We prayed.
And then we said “yes”.
Yes to tests and x-rays, blood samples and antibiotics.
Things that we might have said “no” to under hypothetical circumstances.
Things to which we might say “no” tomorrow.
But today, I helped choose life,
and the choice was very complicated.
3/27/2016

 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. 
Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. 
Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"  
Deuteronomy 30:19
(Interestingly, it appears the choices we make TODAY, make a difference
in not only OUR lives, but the lives of our descendants.) 

Storied

Living Pieces:  
BUCHHOLZBERLIN work storied wood into objects with character
This was the title of a new post at one of the sites I frequent.
It was the "storied wood" part that caught my attention.
What a GREAT way to describe many of the old pieces (like this miniature box)
 my husband has skillfully fashioned from "storied wood".
THIS thought led me to the next....
that at age sixty-seven, I'm not so much old as "storied"
and still very much a piece in process of transformation!
God is fashioning me into an "object with character".
 
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's own handiwork,
 created in Christ Jesus for good works which He has pre-destined us to practise.
(Weymouth New Testament)
 

All the Books in the World

Sitting at a table at Barnes and Noble today,
I marveled at ALL the new books available here
(not to mention those not in stock but orderable)....
A sentence from John's writing about my Jesus came to mind:

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. 
Were every one of them to be written, 
I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books
that would be written..
(John 21:25)
I wonder what some of those "many other things that Jesus did" were!
I wonder if John had any idea how many books the world would contain
when he wrote those words.
I wonder what what's behind the adult coloring book craze?
I wonder how many people will buy the adult dot-to-dot activity books I saw today?
I wonder about a LOT of things, don't I?

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)