Pottery-loving People

On Fridays, I drive a friend to her hair appointment.
The salon is just up the street from one of my favorite thrift stores.
Yesterday, realizing I had very little cash in my billfold,
I almost read a magazine instead of checking out the shop.
I'm glad I went anyway.
I found this mug and spent twenty-seven cents for it!
"I have a hard time passing up pottery at bargain prices,"
I wrote on my Facebook page this morning.
Soon, comments were added to my post.
"Earthy, natural beauty."
"...something so 'real' about pottery."
'Midst the stream, I noted,
"It's interesting how pottery-loving people find each other!"
***
I'm thinking it's similar to genuine Christ-followers
and how they "find" each other...

Fun at the Farm Show

 We went to the Farm Show at our local coliseum yesterday!
Both my 93 year old father and husband had farming roots...
 There were over 1,000 exhibitors!
 On the way out, I noticed this large, Lego exhibit--
kind of out of the way of the main halls.
Sure hope it was seen and appreciated in proportion to the time spent
assembling it!
 As for me, my free treasures included these pens, several pieces of candy
(a couple of small Reeces peanut butter cups and a Wurther or two), the fine tote bag,
a yard stick and a notebook.
Everything was free except the parking!
Our outing was educational AND enjoyable--
a great break in our winter days.

Attention!


I chose a vintage recipe box to hold my hastily labeled dividers--
using the back side of some old alphabet ones.


A number and a word for 31 days.
I'll be using this system to gather quotes, notes and Scripture verses
throughout the year.
By the end of the year, this practice which I began during Advent 2019
just may be material for a book.
Maybe!


Here's my journal entrance for the 11th of January
which corresponds to the word "ATTENTION"
"Pay it!" I tell myself,
and proceeded to plan accordingly this morning.

How is YOUR new year unfolding?

A Paint-Over

Many moons ago I took an
unfinished painting I'd found at a thrift store to a painter friend.
I asked her to paint over it--probably
asking for flowers...
I'd forgotten about it.
Then just before Christmas
she called me to come over and presented
me with the finished product!
I'm  SO enjoying the cheerful and bold colors.  It reminds me to live cheerfully and boldly...
It also reminds me of Another who
skillfully paints over the unfinished canvas of my imperfect life.  
So thankful am I.

But That's Another Story

You may remember (I did!)
when I posted this photo a few days ago and drew attention to the 25A 
on the bottom left hand page of my journal.
I concluded that particular post with the words,
but that's another story.
I'd been selecting words for each day of Advent--
SPONTANEITY being one for the 25th.
Well, I've decided to add three to the 28
and try to focus on one to correspond to each day
of each month on 2020.
The words I selected in 2019 were
Hospitality, Beauty, Listen, Patience, Peace, Longing,
Availability, Vigilance, Intentionality, Obedience,
Attention, Simplicity, Humility, Silence,
Discernment, Moderation, Courage, Confidence, Compassion, 
Purity, Faithfulness, Clarity,
Dignity, Generosity, Spontaneity, Emptiness,
Serenity, Joy.
While typing these out just now,
I've already selected #29.
Authenticity.
***
So, it begins.
Today?  The first day of the new year.
The new decade!
And THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.
***
Hospitality.


All Together

For a couple of days, we were--
All Together.
As one family was leaving,
someone had the idea that we ought to take a family photo!
(Wish we'd thought of this in advance so as to clean up/dress up, etc.)
Hastily we gathered, handed a phone to a relative, and this is the result.
Of the four of us siblings, 
our family was the one 100% present.
Wonder when that will happen again?!?

Going on Seventy-Two

 Seventy-one.
 A portrait.   
(I turned 71 on Christmas Day.)
A long-time birthday tradition for me has been listing
blessings of the past year to match the number of that birthday.
Since my years are adding up,
I chose to begin on Christmas Eve
and complete the list on Christmas Day.
You might notice the 25A SPONTANEITY note
on the bottom of this photo.
I have been selecting and concentrating
on a word for each day of Advent.
I'm actually going to continue for three more days
since Advent can vary from 22 to 28 days--
but that's another story.

Christmas is not a Mood

Me, texting a friend:  "Good morning, Gail!  Happy Christmas Eve Eve!
Friend, responding:    "Good morning, Rebecca!  Sounds like you're in the MOOD!"
Me, texting back:       "Not one bit!  Thankful that 'Christmas' is not a mood!"

(To be continued...)

From the Lips of Children

Ollie:  “Look!  I’m making a train!”
Me:  “Be careful!  You’re going to fall over!”
Ollie:  “Umma!  Don’t make it not fun!”

This shared by my Facebook friend.  I couldn't help thinking of how many times God's Holy Spirit has cautioned me, and how many times I have thought He was squelching my "fun"...

Thanks, Eileen and Ollie.

It's Relative

(No.  This is NOT a Christmas post.)
He sat at the puzzle table and said,
"Boy!  It's hard finding all these border pieces..."
Meanwhile, I was at the kitchen counter
perusing a favorite cookbook in search of something to make for dinner.
"It's hard coming up with meals all the time," I said.
Then, under my breath--
"Hard is relative."
(Very relative!)

Hallelujah!

 
 It was a first for us--my sisters and me
 and their husbands...
 We sang from the balcony of this beautiful Lutheran  church.
 I went with my humble, personal copies
of the oratorio.

I noticed a great variety of covers 
among those used by my fellow musicians.
After posting mine on Facebook this morning,
my friend sent a photo
of her two copies
to which I responded,
I find the covers of the Messiah so interesting...
No matter their age, they are "dignified" somehow; 
suited for their significant content.
***
No sooner were the words typed
than I realized this is true about more than Messiah covers!
It is a Life Lesson!  A goal, as it were...
Lord, let my outward appearance--my cover--be similarly "dignified";
suited for my significant content...
for indeed I contain the Light of Jesus Christ Himself! 
Hallelujah!
My friend's copies...


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
sadness
failures
talent
wit
desires
preferences
plans
faults
fears
dreams
hopes
frustrations
knowledge
pain
emotions
loneliness
pleasures
failures
thoughts
smiles
tears
doubts
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.
wwwparacletepress.com

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)