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 ~

Safeguards

In between showers today, the men in our household
created and installed some grab bars made of galvanized steel piping materials.
I'm thankful to have these in place 
to make access to our back yard safer for all.
As I thought about these (and other) safeguards
we're introducing to our environment as we age,
I was reminded that there are Biblical safeguards in place
for our spiritual well-being.
This one, for instance:
Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. 
I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.  
(Philippians 3:1, NLT)
I'm thankful for spiritual safeguards, too!
And so I choose to   
"embrace a joyful heart, not because of what your eyes see, 
but because of what your heart knows: 
God is good, He is for you, and He will not fail you".  (Susie Larson)

The Gift

"Oh, I really like that picture!  Would you sell it to me?"  I asked, 
pointing to a small one that hung with others much larger on her paneled garage walls. 
Stretching to reach it, she of small and frail frame herself, removed it and handed it to me
with sincere and obvious joy.
"I want you to have it," she said with great emphasis.
Embarrassed was I.  I was not asking for a gift.  
But she was giving one.  She'd painted it in 1988.  
This morning it holds place on our dining area wall as though custom-painted for this very day.
This very place!
So it is with God's Gift.  
Freely given.  JOYFULLY offered.  And as fitting today as if I was on His mind 
when He first thought of it!  (Which, according to His Word, I was...)

word





As sunlight
(blessed be the sunlight)
streams through our living room window
I welcome it
(except for the dust it exposes).
I grab a rag and a can of dusting spray
and go to work.
So with the entrance of God’s Word
(blessed be the Word)
I welcome it
(even the “dust” it exposes).
I determine to deal with it.
Acknowledge, repent, rejoice
and go to work.
The entrance of Thy Word gives light! (Psalm 119:130)
Blessed be the Word.
4/1/2017 rlg

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)