God...Somehow

"Just reading about the New Jerusalem with no more years or pain.  That promise should keep me going.  And so much more besides!"  Months of physical pain were the background for her text to me this morning.

"Yes," I responded to her message.  With a smiley face I acknowledged the typo in her comment, adding, "Neither years NOR tears!

"Some pastor suggested we'd be in our prime forever, and that's attractive once we've passed it."  she replied.
"HAHAHAHAHA!  HOW TRUE,"  wrote I, my shift key stuck in the capital position.  "I HAVE wondered about that actually..."
"I have too.  For the elderly whom we've only known as elderly and the young whom we've only known as young, prime is puzzling.  We'll recognize one another so God will work it all out somehow,"  she posited.
"God...Somehow.  I think we should write a book with this title!"
"Go for it!"  she directed.
Perhaps this WILL be the forward for just such a book--
a book with many chapters.
Each of them laced with examples of
God...Somehow! 
Have YOU a chapter?

Thankful

We drove through beautiful countryside
ignoring the dismal, cold weather conditions
and arrived at our destination an hour or so before lunch.  
Here in a rather secluded corner
we settled in to read our books.
Instrumental music played softly in the background.
I believe "The Lord's Prayer" was the first I noticed,
and I jotted its title in my journal.
After reading my through-the-Bible-in-a-Year portion,
I turned to essays in this interesting book.
Ms. Kingsolver is an EXCELLENT writer.
Intelligent, humorous, but a bit jaded in perspective, I believe.
We took a break from our reading to enjoy the buffet.
Das Essenhaus (Middlebury, IN) never disappoints.
We returned to the corner to read awhile before
braving the snow flurries to search out treasures at a thrift store.
$8 afforded us a pair of jeans (Gary), 4 shirts , a jacket and a skirt (me), 
and a jigsaw puzzle (us).   Oh!  And a pillow!
With time to spare, we found ANOTHER niche in which to read some more!
(At one of our local hospitals, no less!)
We returned home to a table set 
and family waiting for a chili supper followed by a game of dominoes.
(My Chicago-area sister and brother-in-law were in town.
She spent the day with Dad, and Brother-in-law joined us for the evening.)
A good day for all at so many levels! 
Thankful.

Bears and Me

I've watched this work in progress in our neighborhood.
It started with the eagle on top...
Today, there were three bears!
It reminds me of a couple of "bears" in the Bible--
"Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another,
forgiving each other..." (Colossians 3:13)
and
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
And this quote:
"It seems to me that trying to live without friends
is like milking a bear to get cream for your coffee.
It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it."
Zora Nealle Hurston

A Place


Two lanterns hang on our front porch.
Several weeks ago, we noticed a nest being built in one.
My husband quickly glassed in the one side through which the bird
accessed her construction project.
I left the nest there and filled it with a few artificial Easter eggs.
It never occurred to us to "fix" the OTHER lantern.
Wouldn't you know!  Now we have a nest and five eggs in that "other" lantern!
This morning I jotted in my journal:

Bird made nest - 5 eggs -
in the lantern hanging on porch.  NOT the one Gary glassed in.
What an enterprising bird.
Finding a way--
A PLACE...
to do what she was driven to do! 

As I wrote, I saw myself in that bird.
Just one step behind.
Still in some ways (at age 69) finding ways and
A PLACE
to do what I need do
as seasons change and "nests" are "glassed in"...
Hmmmmmmm.  Life lesson here!

Empty

A Facebook friend posted this photo close to Easter
along with her explanation--
She cleaned it out 
❗️She turned in the keys 
❗️The decluttering mission has passed a major hurdle‼️ 
🎈Thank You, Susan❤️ 

As I frequently do, I saw a correlation to a deeper truth here--
specifically the "major hurdle" passed with the resurrection of our Christ!
Decluttering at its best!
Empty!
Thank You, God!   

Fast and Furious

They were here and gone in less than 24 hours
(and almost 1/3 of those involving sleep)!
Time flies when you're having fun!
Here, in no particular order, are some of the moments of those minutes...

Fast and furious is how I'd describe it...

I'm thankful for this family...
for good minds and active bodies,
the Christian training the children are receiving from their parents,
for hip-hop dancers and gymnasts,
volleyball players and photographers.
I wish they lived closer and for one-on-one time with these children,
but thankful for what we have.
I'm thankful my 91-year-old father shared these minutes with us!
Four adults for six active children was a good ratio!

Takeaways

It's been awhile since I read a novel as good as I judge this one to be!
A historical novel in sense of time, setting, and some actual personnel,
it certainly held my interest.
Here are a few "takeaways":
"Love more. Not Less.
"Then let us be among those who hope that the future will be less cruel than the past." 
"My tears  brought me back to life."
And
"Old women are the fiercest of all."

What's the latest best novel YOU'VE read lately?

Let It Be

... make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting]. 
I Thessalonians 4:11-12, Amplified Bible.
Let it be, dear Lord,
let it be.
For more of the story about the nest, see my SceneInTheGarden post.

Small Changes

Last Sunday evening, around 9 pm, I was inspired.  "If I move the desk in my music room just 90 degrees then I can sit comfortably without bumping into the bookshelf."
Just a small change, but consequently other things had to be arranged as well...Monday I was pretty tired, but as I finished my day and gazed at the new music/work space, I was happy.  Small changes can be good for the soul.
That from Mary in Ouaga, an ethnomusicologist working in Burkina Faso.  And I can attest to that observation!  Small changes CAN be good for the soul. Small changes like:

  • reading the Bible in another translation
  • moving a pillow from one chair to another
  • straightening a picture frame or mirror gone awry
  • parting one's hair in a different place
  • writing a handwritten note instead of a text message
  • sitting in a different pew for a change
  • trying a new (or old, forgotten) recipe
These are a few small changes I can point to in my own routine lately.  They were not made for the express purpose of affecting my soul, but I CAN attest to that positive outcome among others. By the way, I also can identify with Mary in her observation that often, even with small changes, other things have to be "arranged" as well...

What small changes have YOU made recently?
What small changes do you plan to incorporate into your life?

Simple Stuff

 Simple stuff is what makes up our days...
I've been reading.  While the men in the house watch some basketball,
I have been enjoying this book (recommended by SOMEone).
I look forward to finding and watching an old British television production
about this remarkable woman living a most solitary and hard life in a remote place.
 This is the most recent puzzle that we completed.
Dad helps find the border pieces; husband works at the bulk of it.
I work best when alone - so finished the last 25-30 pieces while the men
were away.
 I said good-by to this sweet pair.
I'd listed them long ago on a Facebook page and actually had forgotten I'd done so!
Someone saw them and asked if they were still available.
They were.  Now I've decluttered two more pieces.
And we celebrated my sister's birthday!
Her husband was in Africa, and her daughter had to work.
She (my niece) asked us if we'd take Suzie out to eat,
and of course we complied.
Suzie didn't know WHO was coming to pick her up at noon,
so we shouted, "Surprise!" when she opened the door.

...Simple stuff make me happy...

 'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be
And when I am in the place just right
I will be in the valley of love and delight
When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed
To turn, to turn will be my delight
'Til by turning, turning, I come 'round right.
(An old Shaker song)

Taking Stock


Here it is!  Mid-March already...
I heard birds singing as I washed my face and brushed my teeth 
at my upstair's bathroom sink this morning.
Winter is passing. Quicker this year than last, it seems to me.
Why my thoughts wandered to June and our upcoming retreat
 to The Abbey of Gethsemani, I don't know.
But they did. 
Wistfully, I opened its web page and caught up with a few of the monthly happenings
there since the first of the year.
January found the monks themselves retreating.
Somehow, this brought me comfort 
and heightened my expectations and yearnings for my own retreat!
Marked by silence and simplicity, this was a summary of the retreat:
On the individual level, monks were encourage to discern
what they needed from this time of extra quiet and solitude.
For some, that may indeed have meant some rest.  
For others, it was a chance to simplify.
"For all, it is a time of taking stock," Dom Elias said.
...Sigh...
Today, in a smaller way, I too will seek to be silent.
To be simple and
to take stock.

Sweet Sounds and Good Sports

Did we have fun?
You bet!
Two of my siblings, a few in-laws, and our dad
spent a few hours at Sweetwater - an incredible company in Fort Wayne.
"Music Instruments and Pro Audio"

 It must be an incredible place to work!
In addition to these recreational features,
it has a barber/beauty salon, medical clinic, dry cleaning service
and food service on premises--
and these are only a few of the perks for employees!


 Plenty of fun stuff to do...



 and a great food service.

 Our party of seven consisted of seven good sports!

People-Watching

If ONLY I'd thought to record the conversation among these three lively women
who met across the aisle from us at Barnes and Noble yesterday!
The two standing had apparently walked the mall
before sitting down at the table where they were joined by the third lady.
Here, the two stood up to look admiringly at a magazine in which
the home of a niece of the white-sweatered lady was featured.
They remarked with excitement about the decor,
while agreeing that white was not for them!
 Their conversation included such lines as:
  • She's been on disability for a long time.  Some people just take advantage of the system!
  • I turned my ankle and it swelled.  So I heated some water with Epson salts in it and soaked my foot.  It feels so much better.
  • You should see my sink!  I ought to get a new one, but I could die by next year.
  • I bought new faucets at Menards and they are already pitted! 
  • I'd like to get one of those instant hot water heaters.  I have to run and run and run the water before it heats up.
  • So-and-so just got a bunch of new furniture.  She gave me several pieces.
  • Well, tell ME the next time she gives some away.
  • How old is YOUR house?
  • How long have you lived in it?
It was SO much fun to listen in to their talk.
I wonder who I'll be meeting when I'm 80 years old...
and who will be listening in to our conversation.
Hmmmmm.

Middlebury USA

 Another outing!
This one to Middlebury IN for a train show.
Trolleys were available to transport us to the three main display areas,
but the three of us braved the cold temperatures.
Canes in hand, we walked!
 We honestly didn't know what to expect.
As it turned out, there were close to 200 vendors...
 and less than ten operating train layouts.

 The most fun for me was seeing it through a child's eyes--
 THIS one, for instance, who was invited by the operator to ring the bell on the train
 when it stopped in front of him!
 Of course, there were plenty of BIG kids, as well!
 My dad (far right beside my hubby below) was a trooper!

After touring the displays,
we settled down for a super dinner buffet at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.

The way there and the way home,
we drove back roads through beautiful Amish countryside.
I love the relaxation and restoration a day like this brings with it!

"It is my experience that journeys rarely take us where we think we're going.  
As Steinbeck wrote 'we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.'"
(from Miles to Go, by Richard Paul Evans - my current read)

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)