Wednesday, February 27, 2013

First Sign of Spring

      There is a gap in this journal, right here.  A car accident, a living history event, many text communications, a few injuries, little events of God's grace pouring down at the just the right times and a community stepping in to help together. Everyone has his or her own personal gleanings from all of these things.
     The gap will probably just be. Let it.

     New subject. Spring might be coming. Yesterday I used the clothes line outdoors. The breeze came up and gently shook little cracking sounds out of the sheets as they dried. I wanted to just stand there in the snow up to my boot tops listening and smelling. There was blue sky smiling behind everything. I am so glad that God has a constancy of love and gift giving. Beauty and peace show up at unexpected places and times between the mists of frets and burdens. Serendipity just for me from a loving Father.

Ephesians 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Faith is hearing God's "yes" and "take courage, I'm still here" from the little clothesline moments in our lives. You can do anything with that kind of backing.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good Things Can Come of Bad Things

   Part The First
   Just to show us that He is still the Planner and Arranger of our weeks, God allowed certain things to take place for which we hadn't planned or arranged. By Thursday, I was having trouble remembering which day of the week it was.
    Monday morning just as we had all nicely taken our places in the parade we were called away to a different one.  I spent most of my day in two different ER rooms and in waiting rooms with a friend. Despite the trauma that goes with having an injured child, I would say that the day was good for my friend and me. We had all kinds of time to catch up on each other's lives which hadn't happened for a while.
   The rest of the week centered around doing the house work and laundry for my family and hers, and sewing besides. I enjoyed the busy-ness of all of this, because it left little time to ponder our own problems. It also helped us to count our blessings in a new light for a few days. Somebody said that one good thing that would come of little Cassandra's accident would be that she would be weaned of sucking her thumb.  I was pretty sure that there were more good things than that for God to help us glean from such a nasty experience.
       I am still sure of it.  Many people dropped whatever they were doing on that busy Monday morning and bowed their hearts toward God in behalf of a hurting family. That was a good thing. A few of us completely forgot what we were doing and ran to the scene so to speak. Today someone mentioned how blessed we are to have "community".
   So how many good things have I mentioned? See, that is the kind of God we serve. He can use what seems so bad and show us how blessed we are after all. And draw us to Himself from Whom great rivers of blessing and salvation flow. And bring us toward each other in more understanding and caring and love. How does God do that?
   And right in the middle of all this busy week, we got news that someone we had been praying for salvation for years finally found the Lord. It was like God was again reminding us that He CAN and DOES and we ought to notice this answer to prayer especially. Why else would He have plopped it exactly in the middle of the audience of us who were standing around the throne so much of the time anyway praying for Cassandra.

    Part The Second
    It is a good thing for Elv and I that we have been married for thirty years and know that our love is based on more than having  a date on Valentine's Day. It did not hit our radar at all this year. And I am not dying of sorrows and tears and bitternesses. I believe we have grown up some.  This week was simply not a good week to celebrate our love in the form of roses and supper out and kisses by the fire. No time.  Our love is holding us together for the long haul and one of these weeks we will celebrate by going away for a day or two, alone. The calendar can go hop.
    We did have a sit down supper at a formal table Thursday evening.  The girls had brought flowers for the table and we made desert for a change.  So we had that much anyway and it was great. We love our family supper times around a decorated table and we had been missing it.  So this was special without the Valentine's Day part of it in the middle of all the hub-bub going on.

 We left the table and stacked the dishes for the night and when I washed them the next morning I put the stacks back on the table and got more pictures. We used Mrs. Madrey's plates which I inherited from my mom. They bought the plates from the Madrey's over 50 years ago and the farm where I grew up was thrown in. Sorta. The little pink desert bowls came from Elv's grandmother Graber.

Have a good weekend. Sunday when we meet for worship, communion, and a sermon about Abraham let us make good on all of it. Looking back on a week of having been close to the throne because of difficult and also joyous experiences. Then, looking forward to a week of living it out for Him wherever we are working and being community to each other.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Scribblings and Pictures

 Where my husband works every day. He got these shots with his I-phone himself. Seems to me that work and worship would be happening at the same time under these blue skies. A little too much saturation there, I know. 
 Last Sunday we had a new snowfall.  The scenes created by the falling and accumulating snow were irresistible. This is firewood of black ash, I believe. It is too beautiful to burn. But we are burning it. Oh yes, it is about the perfectest firewood available. It holds fire all night nicely and offers a lovely bed of glowing coals for the morning warming fires.

                                 Canoes wait patiently for summer waters.
 It is supposedly poor stewardship to leave the clothespins on the lines, I presume, from knowing that most people virtuously store them in those ducky little hanger dresses. But, I prefer having them handy like this rather than needing three hands to hang the laundry. They don't last as long but new pins are cheap. Weathered pins are nice too for other projects.
 The trellis is one of our happy things even in winter especially after a fresh snowfall.
 The children obliged me by coming out with me in the wet, falling snow to get their pictures taken. In ten years these will be priceless, even to them. Frankly, I think they are now, but moms are not supposed to brag, she whispers.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter In February

 A winter storm was predicted for today and tonight. Just a gentle snow fall would be a better description. On this Sunday afternoon the family is scattered and snoozing while the world becomes white. Every branch and ledge is piling up with snow. It is beautiful. Any vehicles going by on the road are muted and cautious.

 Just playing with Picasa 3 this afternoon. Amy and her friends had a slumberless party and I documented the event with this snowy morning picture of them together.
Whereas this collage is done in the weird and wacky just for fun, it has a certain charm. Hope you enjoy it.
A few of my current One Thousand Gifts: apples and lamps, a bottle of buttons, snow laden pine boughs through lace, thread and scissors, and a new comforter made of denim, an old but still crackly sheet and a very worn blanket, AND the innocence and joy of girlhood.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February Unfolds

      The week filled up. The girls planned one thing and another, until it's down to hour by hourly scheduling. Besides, Charlotte has that flu so we have Benny here for possibly two days.
      So far today: I put my computer and coffee cup down right after quiet time, dressed for sub zero weather, grabbed my purse and another cup of hot coffee and headed out the door to go pick up Benny. There was not time to let the van warm up because we had to meet someone about a cleaning job in exactly one hour. I drove down 27 with the visor just barely blocking out the big ball of the sun. Clark came out of the house with a smiling Benny in arms and buckled him into the cold car seat that I had just moved from his Jeep.  We drove back north and called ahead to Frank and Brad to be ready to roll the minute I got home. I gave Benny to Amy and picked up Frank and Brad. Drove to the little lake cottage (all wood and warm, pine floors, area rugs, furs, lots of alcoves, bedrooms around surprise corners, a great room full of northern decor, facing the lake) and met the owner who told us what he wanted to have cleaned. Leaving there, we called ahead to the dentist to say that we would be several minutes late for Brad's scheduled fillings. That was fine. During Brad's procedure, Frank drove to Wal-mart for two loaves of bread, a "think book"( lined, ring-bound note book) for Elv, floss for Brad, and contact solution for all the users at home. Frank handed me a yogurt and spoon when I got back into the car at the dentist. She knew my breakfast had been sketchy. Home again and Frank left to go teach her first graders. Amy is studying now since I am here to keep Benny out of trouble and otherwise occupied. Brad has fillings all over his mouth now, but he is done.
       This afternoon Frank has a meeting with Katrina about Sugar On Snow stuff.
      This evening the men have fire class.
      Tomorrow is school, that cleaning job and the church to clean, and then rest home singing and skating for the youth.
      Friday is school for Frank and Brad, more cleaning, this time Gladys' house for Amy and then we're going to escape to the cabin for a day. It will be just us girls and Brad going. Elv is jealous and wishes he could go. I wish he could too.
      We have visits with Lattin ladies and walks in the snow in store for cabin time. While we are there, I will stand at the windows viewing the pine boughs loaded down with snow and watch the birds. And wonder about simple living. :) We'll be home by Saturday evening.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter Roses In Wisconsin

Last weeks roses are dried, but giving us just as much home beauty as ever. I just remembered that they ought to be sprayed to last.  If I preserve them by applying a protective spray I can display them most anywhere. I am thinking about laying them among the old books on the hearth above the stove. There they will collect a lot of wood stove dust and dirt. This seems like a poor way to use up perfectly lovely roses, but the truth is that I will shower them with plain warm water at the kitchen sink with the spray nozzle and lo, we will have perfectly lovely flowers again. 

Have a lovely winter day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

It Is Not About You

We had a visiting minister this past weekend who hit the nail on the head for us in a timely manner. In a text to Elv last week I suggested  that perhaps God has something in store for us this the weekend. Did He ever! 

We learned out of Ephesians 3 the good news that it is not your party. Questions of belonging, self worth, and competence should be answered by being filled with Christ. Those words, "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" are a life line that totally obliterates the insatiable needs of me-ism.  Just the news I was looking for. It's all about Jesus. 

And we don't live the Christian life because of the benefits we receive from it but because He is worthy! Now that is worth while thinking. Besides being freed of performance based loving and living, we are granted grace to live in victory over self. It makes church politics and social tug o wars look just as pathetic as they are. I know my attention got whipped back into the proper position again to looking at Jesus to help me to overcome my own silly ambitions of finding fulfillment. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Little Boys

This post is dedicated to the boys. 

  This is the famous copy of Calvin and Hobbs that one of the girls gifted to Brad when he was in second grade at Christmas time. I don't actually recommend this as a way to get your struggling second grader to read better. But I'll confess it worked for Brad. He came back to school after Christmas vacation reading at least a fourth grade level. Not intentional but a successful nonetheless.
 We watched these two race and play and fight. I loved it. The moms and dads of them did a great job of refereeing.
We all pray often for this young man these days. I wonder sometimes what God is doing when He puts one of our children in a place of scrutiny and care like this. It's not just about what is happening now and how we are responding to the need; there is more to the story, I believe.
Matthias is enthused about running trains. And about life. This is great!

Somebody follow you,
Watching the things you do.
Walk in the light,
And be pure in His sight.
Somebody follows you.

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