Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Making My Splash

    My daughter Amy and I visit over morning coffee often. This is transient and we both know it. We treasure it. She told me this morning that in reading blogs of other girls her age she tends to compare and judge herself unfairly to have a boring life sometimes.But then, "I am making my little splashes in life, too."

What is your life? James 4:14 says this: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

            So I worry about writing. I write every day: in my journal, work lists, shopping lists, a note to a child, Facebook comments, texts to my man, or a post for Stonehousescribblings.  I worry that this is not my real, valid, forever style of writing … not the published kind that will reflect the true purpose of the writing part of my life. When the snail-mail, circular, writer’s group packet comes around I will not be ready with my own contribution. And that is truly worrisome.
            I have tricked myself into believing that my true writing is out there in the future when I finally have time and space and quiet to write for real.  I am not sure what I think is going to change, honestly. Why do I have these delusions? Why do I believe that someday I am going to know how to sit all day in a perfect writer’s atmosphere of quiet with woodsy breezes wafting over my desk? I will write real stories and real books? Really? Why then, if not now?
            I concluded, I do not want to live my life as if true purpose and meaning is still in the future after our ship comes in, or after we are retired.  I want to live with purpose and meaning now. Whatever I write is important and real, today, and it has purpose. Whatever I live has true meaning and purpose, today.
            So when the writer’s packet comes around I will print out a blogpost for my submission; because that is my real writing today and I know that this writing needs to be critiqued, too. I have so much to learn with the writing that I do now. It is as important as any of my writing will ever be. It fulfills the criteria of proper journaling and of sharing convictions for whoever wants to know that about me later.  What more can I ask? My stuff is valid now at my own ordinary level. Who did I think I was?
            Remember this:my real life is now. I must believe that my life will not have more purpose and meaning in some future circumstance or opportunity ...  Not any more purpose and meaning than it has now.


 April at Northwood Outdoor is spent unpacking new stock. We get to reset the store, stage new stock into freshly arranged "rooms", and this year enter all of the new inventory on a computer managed system of taking stock of our inventory. It's fun to see what new things our store managers have gathered up the during the winter buyer's shows. 
   Yesterday we unpacked an order of silk trees and potted flowers. Liz said that it will add a certain flair to our store. Yes.
   The messy picture below is the reality of getting new and exciting orders. But everyone hurried and we got this swept away and the goods tucked in before it began to rain. 
   Speaking of purpose and meaning in life. I'm realizing that the worky, messy parts are real life, too. The work and preparation for the showing part of life is just as important as is the dance itself. Making it happy. It all counts.
 One of my own little splashes in life that make me happy. Someday I want to get this framed. Elv and I found her on her nest while canoeing one day. She didn't run when we sidled up close to get her picture. How soon can we go canoeing?

 Here's my most favoritest person in my real life today. As I've said before, I have not yet spent enough time with him. 
I'm looking forward to a weekend up north with him soon. Especially since he has been working two hours from home with no phone reception for three weeks. 
   He has a whole other world for his life in this cab.  Logs, AC, audio books, food, soda, his thoughts, and more trees always.
Right now our real life involves long days of separate work worlds. 
   Purpose and meaning in our marriage is something we still work on. We both had notions that it would certainly get easier to relate and understand one another after 30 years of marriage. In some ways, it is easier. We know what each other eats and wears and enjoys and reads. And his music is different from mine. Sometimes I think his whole world view is different from mine and I resent that. But then what's the point of living with one's clone? Someone isn't needed then, was Ruth Graham's thought. 
I asked my mom about some of these things. Why are our differences even more apparent than ever? She said that what you need at fifty for your marriage is acceptance.  
    I guess that at last after 35 years I have to accept that he is always going to enjoy Johnny Cash's music even though it drives me crazy.  And he must accept my likes and dislikes, too.
    We have to realize that each our splashes in life are important today and we need to enjoy each other's views. It's not going to seamlessly happen some sweet day in the future when we get to spend all day together if we haven't figured out how to share and enjoy the story we're living right now.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Having My Say

I am about tired of Pinterest the last couple of days. Here's why. And maybe someone knows why this is. Maybe one of my "followers" or someone I am "following", whatever all that means exactly... it's rather confusing to me, is pinning these a lot lately. But this is not what I want to have my say about. Yes I do. How do I follow when I am being followed? Something isn't quite real about that. Media messes with my mind. Never mind the alliteration. It does.
So each and every time I open Pinterest these last few days there they are again. 10 Ways to Make Your Husband Happy, 20 Cute Texts to Send to Your Husband, 10 Things Your Husband Will Eat Up, 15 Ways A Woman Can Make Her Marriage Stronger or Sizzle or whathaveyou.
 All of these cute lists are on background pictures of awesomely beautiful and perfectly fit couples in each others arms kissing by the lake or the mountains.
It's not balanced by: 10 Ways a Man Can Tell His Wife She's Awesome, 20 Things Every Woman Needs, or 52 New Ways to Make Your Wife Wonderful, Try One a Week for a Year! I'm gonna boycott Pinterest pretty quick if we can't have some reality: 10 Ways To Say I'm Sorry, 5 Things That Strengthen Commitment For Men and Women in Marriage, or how about this: 100 Things to Stop Fussing About Because It Won't Matter 100 Years From Now, Anyway!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

 The maples were at this point at Easter time. A macro lens would let us see this even better. Do you know that the red hue of the budding forests is this, close up.  Clumps of tiny flowers. Leaves coming soon. 

 We had early church this year for Easter. And we enjoyed it. 
I need Easter celebration by the time it rolls around each spring. Everything has gotten tired inside just like the old, dirty snow and cloudy days. So to celebrate Easter is to welcome gladly new life in my heart and outdoors, too.
And to top it all off perfectly, there's a new baby in the family. We welcomed Sawyer William born to Lance and Kristine on Good Friday.  (Pictures to come later.) Of course, every new grandbaby is special. He is our eighth grandboy.

 Sunday evening, those of the family who were not sick with flu or still in the OB ward with a new baby gathered at the Stonehouse for a campfire. 
Angelie is rather photogenic, so I couldn't resist. She is two and full of naughty and nice enough to keep her two brothers and mom and dad hopping. You can see it in her eyes, right? 
Elv let them all pile on the platform and away they went for a ride. Nothing pleases any of them more as you can see by the smiles all around. 

To those of you at home with little ones and the routines of life that threaten to feel stale, know this: You are planting the happy seeds in the  hearts of your children's future today, during all those "mundane" routines. It takes perseverance and prayer and endurance, but it is worth it!  Remember to laugh often at yourself and with them. Celebrate everything conceivably celebratory today. 

I really wish I had thought to take a picture of Jube on Sunday morning, his cupped hands full and dripping of earthworms running around the church parking lot still collecting, Sunday togs notwithstanding. Delighted and dancing, Havilah and Laticia were helping him. It was amazing and fun and happy AND icky! This Marmee did not panic. I told them to please put the worms down now and come in to wash up; that we were almost done getting church ready and about to begin. 
What an awesome experience for the children! I remembered to tell Jube later that when we go fishing this summer that handful of worms will be exactly what we need. As a Marmee, it's so much easier to see that such moments are harmless and important and sweet, than it was when I was the mom.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trading In the Spirit of Heaviness

... for the garment of praise. My choice. An option among many, because it's already been appointed to me through Jesus. Isaiah 61:3
I heard a tidbit of gossip about me. I could have gone to straighten it up; but this time I chose to let it go unnoticed knowing that to pick up on it would only give the story undue credence.
It did give me a little lurch at first, threatening to take down my hard won good attitude. I decided that peace through God's grace (prayer) was a much better way to tackle it.
Disarming the perpetrator was as simple as forgiving and forgetting. This disarmed me, too. Bad story turned into no story simply by letting it go.
I have, myself, set in motion a bit of gossip by the recitation of someone's poor choice of words or naive action. How easy it is to misunderstand motive and then to create a story that is untrue. How can we better practice the grace of casting doubt when it is appropriate!
Finally, the question remains. Can we spread kindness and trust? How can I learn from past "hurtings" to pour the oil of healing instead of hurting others?

We need a personal new story to live. Our own Easter event that is worth telling the world. Let's spread the good news of eternal life. Gossip will not have a chance!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


These are the beginnings of the spring growth. Tender, yellow, and fragile. Hopefully nobody steps on them.
   Like new babies. We have three new babies coming soon in our church. Anticipation and celebration. Nurturing day and night.
   Like newborn saints. Clean hearts. New peace and joy. To walk in newness of life.
   Like changes in our ordinary lives. Spring cleaning. Fresh ideas for the gardens. Sparkling, lately washed windows. Tidied yards. Power washed woods machinery. Why? They'll just get old or dirty again. 
    What if because of the huge risks of being stepped on, God gave up on growing up any spring flowers altogether? 
    What if He took away grace ... we just keep needing more ... What if God did not renew His mercy each morning? 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring Transformation

 Spring is officially here even though there is no green outside yet to prove it. The lawn appears at this point to be dead. The only evidence of  life are the little daffodil spears showing through the ground. It's enough to comfort my longings for green. 
    It's been harder this spring, to believe, for me. Winter was ho-hum: no blizzards, not even a snow storm, no snow days, not much snow to speak of, no drifts. I felt robbed of my much loved weather drama. Yeah, just sort of flat.
   I'm weary in my soul about other things, too. I could use some Easter celebration inside. Been wandering around in the tomb of despair off and on for a few months. I've had a few expectations go unmet and I'm resentful of that. People are so ... people like, I guess. 
This week the girls helped me get this project of painting the knotty pine bathroom walls. It was a major transformation project. I had budget Grab N Go paint and an old brush. In the world of paint prowess this is probably one of the worst scenarios you can have along with a water based sealer on the knotty pine in the first place that was more intact that I initially had thought. I decided against sanding it first, as well. Bad idea. Well, actually, I tried a white stain first, which was a fiasco! The Grab N Go was better if that tells you anything. And I had a roller to keep it level. Sort of.
   We began to paint slowly, carefully, coat number one. If you've never tried to paint varnished T and G knotty pine, you are very smart. But I had plenty of grit and determination, so we kept on. The first coat looked pretty terrible. The paint dried very quickly and smeared if you got it too thick. It was just a mess!
   Coat number two went on with a roller and the old brush, too. Coaxing and cajoling paint is quite an act. Just about as bad as coaxing and cajoling messy people. But I was determined to transform this small, dirty bathroom into a pretty, trendy one. 
   I let it dry overnight. I had to switch to a new roller cover because yesterday's wouldn't thaw. Seems like the freezer dried it out which was exactly what it was supposed to prevent. It's weird paint. Budget friendly, too, don't forget that. So new roller, lots of vision, and a goal and I was off to the races again. I figured out that if I painted quickly with as few strokes as possible that it covered more evenly. I had to work quickly and steadily. No doubling back allowed, so I had to be sure about the drips immediately. Going back was too tricky. I could with the roller if I didn't wait too long. 
   This and other events got me to thinking about transformation or change in us grown-ups. Am I as difficult to transform as was my knotty pine bathroom? How many of you in my world are politely not telling me where I need to change because I'm varnished and satisfied with my own way of relating? Are you throwing your hands up and saying, "She has always been that way, why try telling her?" 
    Shouldn't we be ready and willing to make changes in our lives to be kinder and less difficult to live with? Shouldn't we WANT to change? Shouldn't we be willing to admit that we are wrong? I believe that age or position should not allow us to take exception.
     Jesus said that we could change by the same power that raised Him. The Resurrection power is ours.  We must get over ourselves and our prideful self-righteousness and entertain the fact that we NEED to change. It won't hurt us to exert a little effort and learn to speak less ... or more as the case may be. Or practice more self discipline or relax and stop fretting.
    As far as expectations go, I'd say that the bathroom has exceeded those for me. It is really nice. I got over my expectations during the difficulty of getting it painted. So I'm hopeful that by laying aside those pet expectations in my relationships, I will enjoy as lovely a result, eventually, as my new bathroom. I suppose it depends on how much resurrection change I am willing to undergo myself. 

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