One Picture, a Thousand Words

a 90-year-old father,
a 9 hour journey,
a National Park,
a short hike,
a beautiful falls.

My Gethsemani

"My" desk - postcards, scissors, journal, tape, Bible, hand lotion...
View from "my" window
Hanging above "my" bed
Some serious reading pleasure


Sane, Simple, Sacred

 A beautiful day drew to a close.
After supper (and before table games),
my husband drug the cornhole frames out of the shed.
 The activity that followed was - all at the same time -
Sane, Simple and Sacred.
Thomas Merton once wrote:  "It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God."  
To "ordinary duties and labors of life", I'd add "ordinary daily activities".
I take great delight and pleasure in such simple, sane and sacred moments
as Life With Father offers me.

Putting and Chipping

 This season of life...
Not a chance; a choice. 
Not a job; a joy.
****
Spent Saturday evening watching my father and my husband
practice their putts and chips.
I took a book along to read,
but ended up just enjoying the scenery.
 I'm seriously enjoying this season of life
with its unique privileges and responsibilities.

Right Under Your Nose

 This week, some of the most beautiful sights
 are unfolding "right under our noses"*
 in our back yard.
It doesn't get any closer, simpler or more beautiful than this!
***
*Ever wonder about the origin of that idiom, "Right under your nose?"
It is said to date back to the 1500s...
 In 1641 in The Copie of a Letter sent from The Roaring Boyes in Elizium, these lines:
"Can you my worthy hosts sit and see those
That make you weare od money in your hose,
Under your nose triumphing?"
The phrase means being oblivious to something that should otherwise be easily seen.
(What the three lines from 1641 mean, is NOT so obvious to me.)
***
Lately it seems I AM frequently challenged
when it comes to finding things that are
Right Under My Nose!
Anyone else????

B

While the Clothes Dried

Inspired by two fellow bloggers this morning,
I decided to take the plunge while the clothes dried in the laundry closet.
The 20 minute soak passed quickly.  
I was reading the final pages in New Harmony Indiana: Like a River, Not a Lake,
a memoir of Jane Blaffer Owen.
But my thoughts kept interrupting--
going to the time when the Apostle Peter objected to Jesus
who, towel in hand, set about to wash the feet of His disciples.
After objecting, Peter submitted with the words:
"Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!"
(John 13:9)
YES, LORD!
Take MY life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take MY feet  
and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
(Frances Ridley Havergal)

Here and Now

The lone blooming poppy at the Extension Gardens on Mother's Day  
This morning, this phrase entered my mind and 
passed through my pen onto my journal page:
...living in the here and now for the there and then...
 It is a summary of my intention today.
And tomorrow, if the Lord wills.

Way Too Well

Somebody knows me WAY TOO WELL--
for example...where I sit most Sundays
and the fact that I am tear-prone.
(More on that subject here.)
This box of facial tissues was sitting in "my" pew last week.
 How observant.
How thoughtful.
How caring.
How gentle.
How anonymous!
The epitome of friendship.

I Enjoy Being a Girl

My quest to find appealing (to me) books to read rested recently on
The Lady of the Limberlost:
The Life and Letters of Gene Stratton-Porter
by her daughter, Jeannette Porter Meehan.
If YOU enjoy being a girl,
you may enjoy this except from a letter Gene wrote to a young friend, Cosie.
Begin on the page to the left at the paragraph beginning, "My idea of a dress"
and continue through most of the next page.
So much goodness in this book!
In this age of gender confusion with what I've currently read
includes from 63-90+ possible gender identifications,
I return to the Genesis account of creation
and the old-fashioned belief that there are only two.

Have a Seat

 Not sure about yours,
but our yard has several places to sit--
 positioned strategically
to invite relaxation;
to take in a view;
 to pause in an active day or at the end of one
and simply"smell the roses"...
 Thinking about all the possibilities for sitting in our yard,
I wonder
 why we so seldom actually DO.
Maybe - just maybe -
this will be the summer that we take the time
(or make the time)
to have a seat...

Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. 
John 6:3

Hold Outs

We are the "hold outs"!
Determined to control the weeds while all around us are giving in.
It feels like a losing battle sometimes, but that's what we do.
On my walk to mail some letters at our small town post office,
I cut through the bank's parking lot and noticed the dandelion in the mulch.
Struck by its beauty, I stopped to take a picture.
But no matter HOW intriguing its appearance,
I won't be lured into tolerating it in our lawn.
Sigh.
We will continue to be diligent and ruthless in our efforts.
Kind of reminds me of this challenge:
"For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone;
and along with this gift comes the realization 
that God wants us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures 
and to live good, God-fearing lives day after day  
looking forward to that wonderful time we’ve been expecting,
when his glory shall be seen—the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."
Titus 2:11-13 TLB 
Yes, I'm holding out by His grace and in His power.
Thanks be to God who gives the victory.  

Simply Put


"Though its roots grow old in the ground 
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
 At the scent of water it will flourish 
And put forth sprigs like a plant." Job 14:8-9
***
True of SO much more than our old lilac bush...

"You'll Understand When You're Older"

Monday, the men in our household went to the golf course.
While I thought my husband looked sharp in his outfit, 
I was a little surprised at the vest/short-sleeved shirt combo...
When I asked him about it, he recalled a conversation he'd had
with a golfing buddy several years ago. 
Marv was wearing a similar combination.
When Gary commented about it, Marv's response was,
"You'll understand when you're older."
I guess we're older now.
And we DO understand.
And so it goes...

 "I thought age should speak, And increased years should teach wisdom." 
Job 32:7

In the Beginning...



In the beginning was a blog post by a woman whose lifestyle and words fascinate and frequently inspire me.  THIS post, titled "Much comes from nothing".  (The title alone drew me in!)  The comment thread that followed included Gretchen's words, "As I get older, I sense my life becoming smaller, fewer activities, a tiny circle of dear friends, staying close to home, simple meals, simple life. it's quite lovely. no regrets."

In my response/comment, I copied these words from Pen's post itself and followed them up this way:  "...an important component in this is the presence of ‘nothing’. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no money. Having to wait, having to sit quietly, being by yourself."  How well said. I think I shall remember these lines for a long, long time. I rather identify with Gretchen above and actually instead of "having to", I frequently CHOOSE to wait, sit quietly, be by myself..."

To which Pen replied:  "Yes - interesting, isn't it. This does seem to be an emerging theme as we get older - the need for quietness and routine, the need to just be, to contemplate, to live slowly. One-event days, and occasionally no-event days!"

Sometimes, the comments are as important as the post in the beginning. 
That's the way it is with blogs, don't you think?
And that's the way with AGING! 
The need for quietness and routine, 
to just be,
to contemplate,
to live slowly...
and occasionally no-event days.
(I'm getting to experience all this for myself
AND
to observe it lived out in the life of my 90-year-old father
who has come to "do life with us" in our home.)

Tears

I sat a simple table for the brunch we shared with friends this Easter morn.
It followed a wonderful church service featuring triumphant music
and a sermon from John 20:1-21. 
My eyes wandered up and down, back and forth across the pages of my Bible
as I listened to Pastor Bill.
Underlines and circles drew my attention to notes I'd previously entered on the pages--
specifically about Mary who (after John and Peter had left the empty tomb)
stayed, stood, wept, saw, turned, saw, went, and announced!
"Wept" and "turned" were what caught my eye this time.
For some reason, I'd overlooked them in previous reads.
I turned them over and over in my mind, realizing that over the past few weeks
tears have become my treasured friend.
Not tears of sadness so much as tears of unspeakable brokenness,
compassion, gratitude and worship all rolled into one involuntary and very unpredictable package.
Reflecting on the morning and my tears, I welcome them and open my heart, life and home anew
 to the same Jesus that Mary saw  through her tears
that Resurrection Morning those long years ago.

Do You?

Thanks to the presentation of the Woodburn Missionary Church last night,
I have a new appreciation for the events of (what we sometimes call) this Holy Week.
I realize how inadequate my appreciation - however "fresh" and heart-felt it may be - is.
I know Jesus said, "Blessed are those who believe without seeing me." (John 20:29)
Still, I wish I could have seen Him.
I believe.  In spite of myself, I believe.  All of it!
Including that one day I WILL see Him.
Do you?

...these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, 
and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
John 20:31

Exercise, Organize, Prioritize

A while ago, I copied this Morning Blessing from Susie Larson's facebook page
to the top of a document that I visit frequently:

  May you be motivated to exercise, organize, and prioritize. 
May you embrace the grace to tend to the important things so they don't become urgent things.
 May God bless you with focus, clarity, and inspiration 
to live an anointed and purposeful life starting today. 
May abundant grace and startling clarity be yours today!
 
A few days later, Alvin Reid's tweet sealed the deal.  
If you reschedule 15 minutes a day from wasted time to productive time 
you gain nine 10-hour days of productivity (91.25 hours).
 It sounded too good to be true, so I got out pad and pencil and did the math.
Sure enough!
In one year I could accomplish 91.25 hours of work just by using 15 "wasted" minutes a day.
And so I consciously committed to this yesterday.
My 15 minutes were spent washing these enamelware pieces
that had sat on our porch all winter.
Having accomplished that task, I realized I didn't need all of them anymore.
I listed them on a local facebook garage sale site and within minutes they were pending sale.
Today I will meet the buyer and make the exchange.

~ exercise, organize, and prioritize ~

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)