Moonshine

Moon played
slow game of tree tag
with Venus
in the darkening July sky
daring each other
to leave the safety
of their tree bases.
I slept before the game
ended.

Venus

first and only
in mid-July nightscape;
loud
in its silence;
mesmerizing
in its singularity;
bold in its position;
framed
by my bedroom's window;
free in its sky.

Senior Days

Our Senior Days go something like this...
 Jigsaw puzzles usually in some stage of progress...
 Saying "Good-by" to a sweet niece (and granddaughter)
ready to set out for new career in Atlanta...
 Reading - Warriors of God currently.
 Paragraphs like the ones above keep me plowing through this challenging book.
A stroll through the local County Extension Gardens.
Always a delight...currently wearing a wide variety of blooms.
And...
 drives through our beautiful Amish countryside.
Here we watched a hard-working threshing crew in motion.
Oh!
How I enjoy these Senior Days!

Seasons

Harvest
Hot
Slow
Steady
Convivial
Rewarding
Natural
Fascinating
Peaceful

Seventy


With six months left to go until a significant birthday, I wrote this free-style poem the other day...
Stealthily it comes
along with subtle changes
that intensify
imperceptibly
until acknowledged, welcomed, and embraced.
Days unfold with fresh satisfaction
and quiet surprises
along with opportunities
yet to be recognized, welcomed, and embraced.

Gleaning



These we're a few of the sentences
that captured my attention
of this autobiography of sorts
by an author whose travels
I've followed with interest over the years.
Summer reading.
Oh, so fine!

Preferring Nothing but Christ

This is my desire--to prefer nothing but Christ.  Thankful to have almost five days here to read, reflect, pray and walk in a place so encouraging and conducive to being cognizant of God's presence and power.
Walking a path like that above, and
staying in the simple room below...
I am longing to "prefer Christ"
Until I prefer nothing BUT Him!

Process

The activity in front of our house this morning
gave me some opportunity to reflect on PROCESS.
In this case, I see it involves teamwork, trust,
knowledge, skill, precision, patience,
machinery, maintenance,
and - in this case - money! 
Fascinating! 
AND transferable to many other things in life 
that require process
including spiritual growth and Christian discipleship.

Sheep May Safely Graze

 I know.
I've turned quite rural on you!
Pastoral, even...
Definition:  adj.(especially of land or a farm) 
used for or related to the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle.
"scattered pastoral farms"

 Even in music I enjoy "Sheep May Safely Graze" (Bach)
when playing weekly duets with Donna
and "The 23rd Psalm" on my ukulele.
 Actually, we DO have a few fields of sheep around our small town,
but they are quite a ways off the road which makes it difficult
to get a good photo.
Meanwhile...
Sheep may safely graze and pasture
Where a shepherd guards them well
So the nation ruled in wisdom
Knows and shares the many blessings
Which both peace and plenty brings.

Contrasts

Though I live in a small town,
I'm surrounded by contrasts.
In front of our house, construction projects
result in a steady and heavy line of traffic when the workday is done.
Meanwhile in the country just a mile or so away...

These contrasts make those of a spiritual nature even more "real" for me...
Darkness - Light
Love of the world - Love of the Father
Lost - Found
God - Mammon
Heaven - Hell
Broad way - Narrow way
Day - Night
Life - Death
True - False
Pride - Humility
Good - Evil
Even as I think/type, the contrasts call for a deliberate choice.
And (at least, to me) the choice is clear!
I'm reminded of the prophet Elijah's instruction to the people of his day.
"How long will you keep hesitating between both sides?
\If the LORD is God, go after him. If Baal, go after him." 
But the people didn't say a word.  (I Kings 18:21)
What do I say?
Why would I hesitate?

To Crop or not To Crop

The other evening on a way to a meeting,
 we saw this beautiful cloud formation.
I snapped the photo through the car window.
When I got home and showed it to my husband,
he suggested I crop out the telephone pole toward the left.
I informed him that if I cropped it out,
half the beauty of the cloud that attracted me in the first place 
would be eliminated as well.
***
Almost immediately, a "life lesson" occurred to me.
I have my flaws.
Society suggests coverups.
And if those pressures weren't enough, 
something inside me wants to "crop" out my flaws from the eye of the public.
Now, I'm not advocating letting it all hang out,
but I AM suggesting NOT putting up a false front
to the extent that I cut out a good part of the beauty that lies within me
because of the life of Christ Jesus in me....
Indeed, "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me".

just ordinary stuff



"Nothing special; just ordinary stuff"
were the words I used to describe the day I anticipated
when messaging our two daughters this morning...

Opening my twitter account a few minutes later, 
I found these lines from a Robert Burns' poem:
And O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent 
 From Luxury’s contagion, weak and vile! 
Then, howe’er crowns and coronets be rent, 
A virtuous populace may rise the while, 
And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov’d Isle. 
("The Cotter's Saturday Night")

 And in response I pray:
Keep me simple, dear Lord.
Ordinary in my sight
immune from Luxury's contagion.
Virtuous, rising, and above all to stand...

A Perfect Day For...

A trail walk before the heat of the day...
 admiring wildflowers...
 hand-holding...
 breaking old habits (like crossing one's legs)...
 doing something practical to meet the needs of another person...
staying current with one's plan to read the Bible through in the year...
 day-dreaming a bit...
 finishing a book...
folding a load of white wash...

Warriors of God

I'm sure our fine library had to send someone
deep into the stacks to find this book for me--
but what a treasure!
After reading an essay (also by Walter Nigg) about St. Francis of Assisi,
I began reading THIS book.
I wish I owned it!  
I would be underlining and making other comments and marks
in its margins.
Quotes such as these challenge me from the chapter about the first "warrior"--St. Anthony.
"A pandering to the crowd spells mortal danger to Christianity;
Anthony pointed to the remedy.  I a Christianity of the crowd there ceases to be
any genuine relationship between God and the soul,
which, if it is to be real, must be personal."
And..
"The flight of the hermits in the age of Constantine was a movement
from the outward to the inward, a preserving of the content of religion
from the canker of superficiality, 
a withdrawal from futility into the center of being." 

What book(s) do YOU wish you owned?
And why?


Behavior Modification

Changes that seem small and unimportant at first 
will compound into remarkable results
if you’re willing to stick with them for years.
So read a twitter post from James Clear (whomever he may be). 
Funny it should appear today just as I am into DayThree of
an important behavior modification!
Not sure how many "years" I have left as I near age 70.
However, I DO know that I need to quit crossing my legs!
After a knee replacement and hip replacement,
it is well past time.
A couple of veins popping on the side of one leg near my knee
reminded me that I REALLY need to institute a "small change".
I sit awkwardly in church pews and other chairs
and it just feels good - or necessary somehow - to cross my legs.
Sunday, I stacked two hymnbooks and put my two feet flat on them 
throughout the church service.
It helped the awkward feeling.
AND...
I've called a silverware box into service at our kitchen table
where I sit for meals and playing games in the evening.
Old habits really ARE hard to break,
but I'm determined to establish this NEW one.

Boldy Departing

In a bold departure from routine,
I pulled the blinds up in both windows 
of my bedroom last night.
Now, the view of our busy street
in the middle of our small town
is generally not something I deliberately welcome inside...
and why I boldly departed last night, 
I do not know.
What I DO know 
is that I slept well 
and woke up marveling at the novelty
of it all. 
Here, smack dab in the middle of my 69th year,
I determine to boldly depart more frequently!

IF

IF I live to 91.5 years,
I wonder...
if I will be this active...
Inspired I am
to watch my father and husband 
work together to repair a neighbor's property.

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)