Not So Sure

After several of my blogger friends cited this author as one of their favorites,
I put a request in for Pilgrim's Inn from the main library and awaited its arrival at our local branch.
I struggled to finish it -- almost didn't!
(Lately, I've not been OCD'd about finishing books that I started if they didn't hold my interest.)
This one didn't.  For many reasons.
Maybe the biggest was the print and layout.
This edition was published in 1948 (the year of my birth, incidentally).
 This (above) was a typical page.  
If I were editing it today, I'd find a way to break up the print.
More white space, etc.
The setting and medieval references in it were confusing to me also.
This is a reflection on ME - not the book.
I soldiered through it to the end, though,
because there WERE some great lines in it
as indicated by the page numbers I jotted down on a paper I used to mark my place.
 I think I'll post a few of them another time.
I found many thought-provoking and insightful enough to revisit them...
I'm not so sure that I'll read another of her books.
If  you've read Elizabeth Goudge, what is YOUR favorite title?

I wish

"I wish I was as good in person as I can be in writing,"
 I wrote earlier this morning to my daughters. 
It's true.
What's up with that?

More and/or Less

Is it just me, or has this been an unusually good season for roses?
This morning, the dawning of my 30th day of living the Fast-5 lifestyle, I finished the compilation of Thirty Days of More and Less.  My intention, being a wee bit obsessive/compulsive, was to wait until the first of next month and begin posting these one day at a time on my facebook page.  I may still do that, but I also faced the reality that the future - even next month - is not guaranteed to any of us.  And so without further ado, here they are:

More action; less talk.
More silence; less noise.
More veggies; less dessert.
More smiles; less frowns.
More reading; less television.
More exercise; less sitting.
More flowers; less weeds.
More complimenting; less criticism.
More saving; less spending.
More initiative; less boredom.
More prayer; less worry.
More others; less self.
More truth; less falsehood.
More faith; less doubt.
More concern; less indifference.
More blessing; less cursing.
More gratitude; less complaint.
More giving; less grabbing.
More talking; less texting.
More water; less soda.
More flexibility; less rigidity.
More compassion; less scorn.
More facts; less fiction.
More knowledge; less ignorance.
More humility; less pride.
More cooperation; less competitiveness.
More kindness; less rudeness.
More patience; less impulsiveness.
More industriousness; less laziness.
More Jesus; less me.
(rlg, 6/16/2016)

The Hours Passing

Her breathing
   and deep
The room
   and peaceful
The hours
   and profound
My heart
   and content
(6/16/2016, rlg)

The roses
      and pink.
(Seen in our neighborhood while walking Tuesday morning.)

Sweet, Sweet Silence

I shared the silence with this man as
we spent the past week at the Abbey of Gethsemani - Kentucky.
 Near perfect weather,
beautiful scenery,
simple and healthy meals,
 trails to walk,
 hills to climb,
books to read and quiet places to read them,

Prayers and the Psalms.
Solitude and Silence.
Sweet, sweet silence.

A Delicious Confection

Finished this one on Saturday, the 4th of June.
It was hard to read it to myself--
so many humorous passages, vivid descriptions of the small mediaeval Italian Castle,
its beautiful setting, and amusing characters
that  I wanted to share its deliciousness with my husband.
So I did.  Frequently.
Though written almost a century ago,
the wit and portrayal of human nature and relationships is timeless.
While recording it on the list of  other books read ("Reading" tab above),
I noticed that I read this author in 2012.
Believe me, I won't let so much time pass before I read another of hers!
True to the blurb on its cover, this delicious confection worked its magic on me.

It began in a woman's club in London on a February afternoon,--an uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon--when Mrs. Wilkins.....

What  delicious confections are you reading this summer?

So Much More...

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
(Luke 12:23)
The longer I live, the more I "see"  
in some of the most familiar Bible verses!
While struggling to put human words to some of my frustrations and emotions,
these divine words came to my mind and summed up what I am observing
on an almost daily basis.
Life IS more than food.  The body IS more than clothes!
Dementia makes ministering to that life (and body) a challenge.
I am convinced providing food and clothes is not enough.
There is more.  So much more.

Confessing and Repenting

A view of our newly painted front porch-totally unrelated to this post!

If you click on those words, you'll see they were written in December of 2015.
Now - six months later - I'm repenting again!
For the past sixteen days,
I've returned to a pattern of self-control when it comes to food choices and exercise.
I used to feel guilty about how many times I have "started over"
in this and a few other areas of my life.
But this morning as I walked in circles once again, 
I realized that - based on the definition that follows-
it's realistic to expect I'll need to repent DAILY.
And sometimes several TIMES a day!

Definition:  to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life

"The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works."
"In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You."
"If you excuse yourself in confession, you shut up sin within your soul, and shut out pardon“
--these three by St. Augustine
"The want of proper examination, true contrition, and a firm purpose of amendment, is the cause of bad confessions, and of the ruin of souls."  (And ruin of bodies, I might add!)
-St. Benedict Joseph Labre

This quote on Twitter this morning:
Whatever we fail to repent of we are destined to repeat. (Crawford Loritts)
and this:
 Q: How can you recognize repentance? 
A: Action not words.
The prodigal didn't sit with pigs saying "I repent" – he went home! Luke 15:17-24
(James MacDonald)

Busyness as Usual

The biggest disease in North America is busyness
(Thomas Merton)

Twice in a few minutes and from two different people on the platform last Sunday
came the exhortation or prayer that we leave "the busyness of our lives aside
as we come to worship the Lord today". These words were delivered with a heavy sigh.
Apparently the deliverer himself or herself was weighed down under the burden of busyness
and assumed that it was so with all the other weary worshipers. 
I made note of it, I did!
My intention was to reflect upon the oddity of it--that it should be twice mentioned
and that it should so capture my attention (which I did).
Then this morning, our pastor referred to it again.
This time in regards to how it interferes with the progress in one's spiritual life. 
In between these two Sundays, 
Jon Bailey blogged about busyness titling his post with words from C.S. Lewis:
Only lazy people are busy.
I read that and a few other things.
Here's what I'm thinking...
If busyness is a disease as Merton says, an hour in the pew is probably not the cure.
If only lazy people are busy as Lewis stated, then it's time for many of us to 
take a long and hard look at ourselves and the choices we're making --
particularly those of us who profess belief and relationship with the Lord Jesus. 
 "Occupy till I come," the King James rendering
 of the master's instructions to his servants (Luke 19:13),
was NOT a directive to "Busyness as Usual".
Rather, I believe Jesus delivered the parable to elicit
action directed toward eternal goals,
focused attention and happy obedience to the Master's purposes and timing,
and an altogether other-worldly engagement of our time, energies and resources.
This yoke is easy.  This burden is light!
This kind of activity IS our spiritual worship and
not something to be cured of, repented of or apologized for.
This kind of activity is NOT "Busyness as Usual"!

Trail Walking

 "I wish I knew where we are in relationship to where we started! 
 I guess I'll just have to trust..."
I said this out loud while walking a complicated network of trails earlier this week,
surrounded by beauty but feeling quite "lost" in the maze and perplexity of unidentified paths. 
Very occasionally, a trail marker appeared telling us we were on a trail.
Just not WHERE!
I would have much rather have known where our current position lay
in relationship to the start and finish!
As soon as I'd said it, I realized how much my trail experience was like LIFE!
How I'd love to know the beginning from the end--
and where I am in relationship to them both!
Most of the time, (as on the trail) all I can DO is trust.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

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)