In the Backseat

Usually alone in the back seat.  Not THIS time!
 This quote from one very gifted, contemporary author 
sums up my life the past three years...
"How surprising to discover that devotion to God often grows best from the backseat, 
in hidden years, and in deserts." (Alicia Britt Chole)
Since my father came to live with us, 
I spend most travel time in the back seat!
Often alone.
It has provided an interesting perspective.
I'm not sure how to measure growth in devotion to God, 
but I AM trusting in His power and ability to "grow" me...

These Were the Days, My Friend...

 Two (of our thirteen) grandchildren came home with us for almost a week.

 There was work; there was play.

 It was wonderful to get to know these two teens a bit better.
We don't often get to be with them for an extended time,
so this was great fun--
for us, at least!

 One afternoon we went to see "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood".
Well worth the admission price, in my opinion!

A Poor Advent Poem

‘Twas the morning of Advent
And all through the church
Most folks were abuzz
With a few on a search.
The trees, they were lit up;
The words were just right.
But something was missing—
The mood was too light.
What connection have hula-hoops
With a season so sacred?
The searchers were puzzled,
And some were deflated.
While searching for peace
And a wee bit of quiet,
It was noise they were met with,
And they did not buy it!
They left a bit tearful
Feeling strange and alone.
Though met with festivity,
They weren’t in the zone.
So back to their homes
They thoughtfully drove.
And in the hours that followed,
One wrote this poor poem.
Just what it has come to
The poet did wonder
And planned to spend time
To prayerfully ponder.

"Let every heart prepare Him room."

Now It Begins

...and after Thanksgiving,
more to come.
Simple, though.

View from my Lazyboy

 I suspect I'll be a frequent visitor to my
 blue Lazyboy as temperatures drop and snow falls.
Here was the view from my chair yesterday.

November Skies

 These are the GRAY ones!
 In addition to some brilliant morning sunrises,
these gray skies have caught my attention over the past days.
The variety of God's skies is what catches my eye--
captures my heart.

Fading Fast

The tree in our front yard which only a couple of days ago
was vibrant in its fall splendor,
faded quickly as rain and winds took their toll on its beauty.
I thought of it as I bantered with a friend who'd joined us
for Sunday dinner at a local restaurant.
"Tell me I don't look any older than when we met ten years ago,"
I begged.
He was a good sport.
He knew and I knew that years take their toll on our outward appearance.
No wonder, the Bible has frequent reminders about beauty.
My ESV Bible says, "let your adorning be the hidden person
of the heart with the imperishable  (unfading) beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, 
which in God's sight is very precious".
 And Proverbs 31:30,
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting..."
Particularly, in this season of my life, I'm thankful for the truth of the Word of God
and godly examples of unfading beauty,
Though outwardly I am fading fast,
inwardly I am being renewed day by day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16


Sometimes I Hide...

Sometimes I hide
Sometimes I hide
but not very well.

Domestic Monastery

 It arrived today, and by late afternoon I had read it!  Short and packed. 
Excellent in STYLE.  Encouraging in SUBSTANCE.
Style-wise, author Ronald Rolheiser writes gently.
I found myself underlining softly, 
writing faint notes in the columns--
whispering as it were in response to the firm, quiet wisdom contained on the pages.
Style-wise, the illustrations were also quiet.
Plenteous.  Well-placed.  Reverent.
Style-wise, Rolheiser skillfully strings together phrases for optimum impact.  
For instance:  "Monastic prayer is simple, often rote, has a clear durational expectancy, and is structured to allow each monk the freedom to invest himself or hold back, in terms of energy and heart, depending upon his disposition on a given day." p. 43
Style-wise, the author chooses excellent illustrations for clarity.
These include the piano keyboard and a woman who visits her elderly mother in a nursing home.

And what can I say about substance?
Whether a faithful young mother or an aging reader such as I,
here is an invitation to monastery 
("a place set apart, period...a place to learn the value of powerlessness 
and a place to learn that time is not ours, but God's.") p 18
While I read all ten chapters with interest, those dealing with prayer,
time, the tensions of life, and the seasons of life 
were the four most challenging to me in this initial reading.
Ritual, rhythm, and routine are explained and recommended as essential
to the sane, simple, and sacred life I desire.
I WILL be reading it again.
Thanks to Pareclete Press for my copy.

Putting on a Front

For several weeks now, I've slowed down
to see the progress on this new house.
While plain siding is the finish 
on the sides (and I presume, back) of the house,
the front is covered with
 brick AND stone AND Shaker-style shingles!
I call this "putting on a front".
The Urban Dictionary describes this phrase as 
'putting on a fake or false personality not keeping it real."
Putting on a front is currently the style on houses these days.
When it is being fake in personality or personal appearance,
it's less desirable, I think...
It is right, therefore, that we not just be called Christians, but that we actually be Christians.

Hunter Moon

The window to my world 
is a small one, 
but large enough to frame the
Hunter Moon this October 
Sunday morning.

Absolutely and Especially

 We made time to
walk a local trail yesterday.
 I posted photos on my Facebook page.
"Still you find beauty with foliage and plants 
readying for their Winter naps!" 🍁🍂
a friend commented.
"Absolutely!" I responded.

Looking back on my reply to my friend later,
I wished I'd responded with a DIFFERENT word...
ESPECIALLY I find beauty with foliage 
and plants readying for their Winter naps!
Don't you?!?

Coffee, Me, and Thee

Maybe it's just me.
Maybe I'm just "old-school".
The coupling of coffee and church,
latte and the Lord,
is starting to trouble me.
"We have the coffee, now we just need you
#midweek in the house!!! Tonight @  7 pm"
read a recent announcement..
The Perk,
Higher Grounds,
Common Ground,
Connection Cafe,
you name it.
Personally, it leaves me cold.
And I like my coffee hot.
"Get with the program," I tell myself.

Now it Begins

Soybean harvest.
The beauty of it in my community
exceeds my ability to describe. 
 As the sun set last night,
I reflected on the pleasure
of our evening drive.

Oh, the peace of it all!
In spite of a late start, 
the Lord is blessing the labor
of our neighbors--
supplying their needs
just as He is ours.

Lest I Forget...

 It was just a little over a 24-hour getaway,
but oh, the delight!
 Three friends at a lake cottage!
(This was the sunrise...)
We played Qwirkle...
we talked.
We visited a thrift store where I found these two treasure...
The book is a Bible study I wrote years ago.
 One of the friends gave me the Sister Wendy book. 
 At home, it now sits next to my recliner with an older book of saints.
I even returned home with two dozen farm fresh eggs!
Simple, delicious meals,
a surprise meetup with friends from long ago,
and personal quiet time from 4:00-7:30 in the morning
were all parts of a wonderful, much-needed respite.
Thanks, Betty!

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)