"My Genesee"

A dear friend died recently.
He was a poet.
It was my privilege to type out a bookful of his handwritten poems.
A few days after he died, I promised myself to honor him by honing my own, feeble poetic inclinations.
Below is today's attempt to respond to the book that lies at my bedside.  The writings of Henri Nouwen continue to be a source of spiritual challenge and inspiration to me...
from my journal page

First I Read; Then I Write

By God's great power
All things were made;
His purposes they serve.
Jer'miah's task? To clearly speak
God's warnings and His words.

Nebuchadnezzar, God's servant too,
"Until his time was up".
And we today God's purpose serve
And drink from that same cup.

False prophets still are many.
Liars all they be.
So hear God's word, submit, and live.
Be still. And wait. And see.
(8/16/2019, Jeremiah 27-28)

It's Not Just Tomatoes!

The bigger they get, the more creative (and desperate) 
my husband gets to support 'em!
I think that's kind of
how it is with projects,
organizations, extended family, 
events, and numerous other things.  
It's not just tomatoes!

The Master Cropper

Photo taken on the way home from prayer meeting last night...
 from the back seat
of moving car
through dirty windows.
Cropped to cut out
unattractive car parts.

Life lessons:
Keep your eyes on the beauty.
Don't wait for perfect conditions to pursue the goal.
The imperfect (man-made power lines) adds interest to the big picture.
My Heavenly Father is the Master Cropper!  Able to make masterpieces out of unlikely subjects.

A Purge Surge

Ever simplifying, I gained momentum in the Purge Department yesterday!
Adopting the challenge to jump start* my efforts, I went to the shelves that held an accumulation of vintage fabrics.  I posted them on a Facebook site, and by evening they were gone!
Likewise with a trayful of miniature and mismatched pieces of tea sets.
*I enthusiastically endorse the method of getting rid of 100 items gathered in a 30 minute "Purge Splurge"!


 Traveling home from Alabama,
I took photos from a moving car
 of two parallel bridges
while crossing a third!
I've never been comfortable
crossing bridges, and this time 
was no exception.
It DID bring back memories
of the early 70's song,
Bridge Over Troubled Water...
My husband won my heart
when we were dating and I was going through what at that time
seemed like "troubled waters".
He hand delivered the album to me
without any words, as I recall now.

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Before any fence is removed....

 These beautiful walls and fences
I see around me this week
at the Abbey of Gethsemani
 came to mind as I was reading
Ravi Zacharias' book this afternoon.
 I interrupted my reading
to take a walk...
 God HAS provided fences,
boundaries and walls for
our well-being!

Overcoming Negativity

 This meme was well-timed.  
Not only was I spending some time with a negative person or two,
I found myself becoming increasingly one myself.
(It IS my tendency.)
And so, while in conversation with a friend about this,
I had the idea to wear a rubber band around my wrist
and snap myself each time I caught myself
thinking a negative thought--
or having spoken one.
(You can see that I selected a pony-tail band...)
Already, it has helped!
I recommend it!

Throw Aways

Sadly, missing 4 pieces.
Imperfect, but beautiful.
(Not unlike our country...Not unlike ME!)
I'm reluctant to throw it away.
I enjoy finding unique jigsaw puzzles like this one at thrift stores.
For a quarter of a dollar or so, I've purchased many hours of relaxation.
To be honest, my husband puts in the most hours,
but there is something soothing to me about having a puzzle in process.
When we finish them, we pass them along to friends who pass along theirs to us
or return them to the thrift store.
If pieces are missing, we sometimes discard them.
This one is very hard for me to throw away...


How like me...
even at this late age
not fully open
releasing only a fraction
of the fragrance
I hold.
Don't mistake the fraction
for the whole.
Just wait with me;
the best is yet to be.

Living Woke

Living Woke
At the age
of seventy years
and four months,
I woke--
not in the vernacular
but the traditional sense.
Bestir oneself.
Get going.
Come alive.
With less time
to live woken
than yesterday,
I put sleep behind me
and rise from the dead
in Ephesians 5:14 style.

Easter 2019

 Morning dawned, dense with fog.
We braved it to attend the first service-described as "traditional".
Reflecting now (late afternoon), I realize one highlight 
of the morning was conversation with one whose name I'd heard,
but whose face I did not know.
I followed her on the way to the parking lot, 
watching her lone, bent frame 
and silently praying she would make it safely 
to her car.
I remarked on the sunshine that had replaced the fog 
as we had worshiped, and the conversation unfolded.
I learned that she, like me, was somewhat of an introvert.
She didn't need or seek out a lot of activity for activity sake.
"I've heard about you!" I said.
"And I about you," she returned.
And then we discovered our mutual lack of interest in
social activity and mindless chitchat.
Since our children live far away, my sister and brother-in-law were headed
to be with his side of the family, and I had failed to 
invite guests to Easter dinner,
we ate at the local cafe--thankful for the servers and cooks
who created and served our meal.
After naps, we roused ourselves for a beautiful walk
on a paved trail in the town next to ours.
Besides the sunshine, bird songs, croaking of frogs and budding out of trees,
a small patch of the two wild flowers shown here 
were the primary evidences of spring that I noticed.
I thought about my new acquaintance and wondered if she and I
were as rare among the crowd surrounding me this morning
as the two small patches of wildflowers  
among the dying excesses of winter....
Sometimes I feel that way.

Myrna's Treasure

It was Wednesday evening.  We were gathered around tables at our weekly prayer service.
She sat across the table from me, heart-heavy with the recent loss
of her best friend/sister-in-law.
After prayer, my husband led us in a discussion study of John 12
and the story of Mary anointing Jesus' feet 
with the precious ointment.
The discussion ended, folks got up to leave,
 and my friend across the table timidly motioned for me.
She handed me this treasure, wrapped loosely in Christmas paper.
She said she'd lost something precious this week and felt God directing her
to share something precious with me.
Only after unwrapping the "treasure" did the full impact (and parellel) of this friend's
timid and generous gift strike me.
Indeed, as did Mary's ointment THAT day,
THIS lotion's fragrance filled and CONTINUES to fill the room of my heart.
Dear Myrna.  I receive and return the treasure of love.

The Eye of the Coach

 We had a rare and wonderful opportunity
to watch one of our grandsons compete
         in the regional gymnastics meet near our home.
 I took a lot of photos--
many blurred because of the motion.
 When I got home and took a closer look at them,
I was struck by a common thread--
the eyes of the coach were constantly on our grandson!
The thought came to me almost immediately--
the eye of my Heavenly Coach
IS constantly on me.  
"His eye is on the sparrow..."
I draw great comfort and confidence from that realization.
The realization of my Father's watchful eye will remain
long after the photos fade.

About Prayer

My phone broke this morning and I can't get it to a repair shop until Monday so I will be out of communication for at least the next couple of days. Pray that it is fixable; I really don't want to have to buy a new one!

So came the Facebook message from a missionary friend in Indonesia.  I shuttered realizing how out of touch and discombobbled I'd feel if it happenened to me here in my comfortable, familiar environment.

I started to respond with something "spiritual", like "Aren't you glad communication with God is never broken?"

I deleted that when I remembered Psalm 66:18.  Instead I sent a sad-faced emoji alongside praying hands.  Then I did a heart-check and prayed for her.

It's a concept about prayer that I sometimes forget.  I'm so thankful the Heavenly Father forgives my acknowledged and confessed sin.  I'm thankful I don't have to wait until Mondays to experience restored communication!

Who Lists

Jack Graham@jackngraham recently tweeted: "We all have do lists. Things we do and want to accomplish. But let’s not forget our Who list. The people in our lives who need  love and support. And those who need Jesus. Who is on your list?"

The concept of a Who List intrigued me.  And as I reflected on it, I realized that as I've aged, my To Do List had progressively morphed into a Who List! So much so that I think I might need to give some attention to my To Do List!

It's all about balance, isn't it?  And discernment to recognize the what, the when and the who...

Ambiguity: My Thoughts

My thoughts about ambiguity this afternoon...

It tends to confuse, weaken, muddle, disappoint, excuse, overlook, mislead, whitewash, ignore, blink and wink.

I'm not a fan (as you might have perceived).  

As the Moon Sets

The lesser light
It shines so bright.
No light its own;
Nor does it know.

"He must increase; I must decrease." (John the Baptist)

One Old Lady's Perspective on Technology

One more podcast
One more link
"Cut time online"
"Don't miss a beat"
It's quite contradictory, don't you think?
"Follow me, text me"
Until I'm perplexed
Whatever are they going to
Think of posting next?
In my aging viewpoint
It's getting out of hand
In the country, in the town,
In the church, and all across our land. 
Only so many hours
In a person's day.
How did we survive
Before technology came to play?

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)