Four Generations

 Sharing house with four generations ofmen the past 48 hours
has been another* rare and wonderful experience!
*see St. Louis in a previous post.
 The latest teenager in our grandchild menagerie 
came with our son to celebrate with us a few days.
 The celebration included making a wooden project with my husband,
 games on floor and tabletops,
 a meal at Paradise Buffet
and great conversations.
I'm SO thankful for ALL these men,
their dedication to family and each other
and to our Lord Jesus.
For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100:5)

Ode to Spring

Well past sundown
and the birds sing on
as though determined
to make up for the time
they were silenced by rainfall
this first day of Spring.
Reluctantly I retire,
climbing  stairs
with a wordless melody
playing itself in my heart ---
my praise for the
Creator of this day,
Lord of its night
and Waker of tomorrow's dawn.
rlg/eve of 3/20/2017

Living this Dilemma

 
Borrowed.  Out-of-season.  But finished...

...do you sometimes feel it’s easier to write than to speak? I’ve always been like that, words can stop before they come out. I can think one thing, and suddenly when I try to say it out loud, it turns into something different. Not for me, but for the listener, who could be anyone I talk to really. And I guess it’s not just the listener who is a bad listener, but I can be a bad teller.
 
I’m not that good with words, I don’t trust I will be understood, and that alone can stop them before they get the chance to be spoken. Other times I have way too many words that probably shouldn’t been spoken… Anyone recognize this dilemma?  (Maren, here)

Dear Maren.  
Do I "RECOGNIZE" this dilemma?!?
I LIVE this dilemma!
A truly wise person uses few words;
a person with understanding is even-tempered.  Proverbs 17:27

 If you are silent, be silent out of love. If you speak, speak out of love. (Augustine)

St. Louis

 On a cloudy Thursday afternoon, I drove the 6 hour distance from our house
 to the heart of St. Louis.  Our two daughters and three of their girls were there for a volleyball 
tournament our oldest granddaughter was participating in.
 A fancy hotel it was --  in the heart of the city.
 The two youngest slept on the floor; the rest of us in the two double (yes, no queen or king) beds.

 I only stayed overnight.
The rest of them will be there through the weekend.
I enjoyed the "girl time".
It was rare and wonderful.

Working Out

 

"Love is WORKED OUT in lives of intimacy and care 
among the people in our families and neighborhoods and workplaces." (Eugene Peterson)

"Doing life together" is a term we share frequently with each other 
since my father has come to live with us.
It happens in a variety of ways--
most of them quite basic, very simple, and oh so daily...
(Thinking how THIS "workout" is not so unlike effective physical workouts....
basic, simple and oh so daily.)

Process

Hubby and I headed out to spend some free time on Friday.
The only specific objective I had was to visit a thrift store or two
in search of fabric to cover this old stoll.
To my happy surprise, I found this remnant for $.99!
Gary went to work this morning.
The process is complete and the project finished
to my delight and satisfaction.
Right now, I myself am a project
of far greater significance than a stool!
My Heavenly Father is in charge of THIS one,
and I'm sure that one day - when the process is complete -
I will be uber-delighted and satisfied with the result.

For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you 
will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Led Astray

Last Wednesday evening, I led a half-hour "singspiration" from the piano
at our weekly prayer meeting gathering at church.
During the afternoon, I'd jotted down some numbers and titles,
having grabbed the first writing surface I could find  beside my chair--
an old greeting card.
That evening I began with (what I thought was) the first one on my list.
To my surprise, number 5 was NOT "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
as I'd expected!
I puzzled my way through the rest of the evening
finding NONE of my numbers corresponding with the hymns I'd selected!
When I got home, I went straight to the hymnal I thought was the same
as the one we use on Wednesday evenings.  It WAS!
What then was the explanation?
I was quite perplexed.
Finally, I turned the card over and then realized my error.
To my chagrin, I realized the list that wasn't working
contained the numbers of pages in the book I'd been reading.
(I do this frequently, returning when I reach the end of the book
to copy significant lines into my journal.)
I had been led astray by referring to the wrong side. 
Do you do that (make notes while reading on random pieces of paper)?
I chuckled at myself in relief at having solved the situation.
I also made note of the potential to be led astray by inadequate, false,
and faulty information on subjects with far more serious consequences
than the one I'd just experienced!

Don't be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; 
for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by foods, 
since those involved in them have not benefited.
Hebrews 13:9
 

Repent, Remember, Rejoice




Neither the church of my childhood nor current affiliation formally observe Lent.
That doesn't preclude me from appreciating the symbolism OR reality of its message, however.
"Repent, and believe in the Gospel" 
and
"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".
Beginning today, Ash Wednesday, I embrace the message.
I rejoice in the reminders of this season.
I'm thankful for Jesus Christ,
the cross,
and the empty tomb.

Quarters and Quarterlies

I'm looking forward to the next "quarter" of studies in our Sunday School class.
Though our church has changed the term "Sunday School" to "Small Churches",
I cling to the former because I value the concept of a group studying the Bible
in a systematic way
and growing together in knowledge of and faith in Jesus.
Yes, we still use a "quarterly" in our "class".
And just look at the Bible books we'll be studying!
I suppose I'm showing my age in clinging to this particular tradition --
Sunday School complete with quarterlies.
This is one I cannot easily walk away from; nor do I apologize for valuing it.

A Remarkable Season

Too beautiful to waste the unexpected sunshine of these February days.
So we walk.
The three of us.
Thankful for nature's supply of Vitamin D.
Sometimes we sit.
To catch our breath.
To take in the view of quiet, Amish countryside.
This is a remarkable season.
I am so thankful for it.

Backseat Rider

Here's the gift of gratitude: In order to feel it, your ego has to take a backseat.
What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding. 
Instead of being frustrated, you choose appreciation. 
And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for.
(Oprah Winfrey)

It's easy to be a backseat driver.
It's even easier to be a backseat driver
when you're not even in the same car.  (Rick McCallum)


For me, self-gratification eventually took a backseat
to trying to do something collaborative with other people,
to trying to make something new. (Ariel Pink)




It was funny to just take a backseat and be like,
“Wow, I might be in this crazy place,
but maybe I don’t need to understand everything,
maybe I don’t need to be else.”  (Zach Condon)

***
As you can see, I frequently ride in the backseat these days.
Since Father came to live with us, 
he sits in the front seat with my husband, our driver.
It was strange at first, but now I kind of like it.
Along with Zach (above), I've come to realize
"Maybe I DON'T need to understand everything...
maybe I don't need to be else!"

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)