Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mondays

The alarm jolts me from the deep sleep.  A busy weekend behind us with a week of 4 schedules to keep up with before us.

Shuttling kids here and there.  Evening women’s events at our church.  Work. Cakes to bake and decorate.  The schedule seems impossible to the untrained eye.

Handing out lunches and good day kisses, I stop to look around me.  Dishes piled high.  Clothes mounted to the ceiling awaiting to be laundered.  Scratching dogs half heartedly wanting a bath.  I shake my head at all the stuff I need to tend to…….

Scream is more like it.  I just want to shout out from frustration.  It never seems to end.  Moping, sweeping, folding, putting things away, my head spins.

My attitude of “Good Morning!” turned quickly into yuck.  I didn’t ask for nor make the mess I had to clean up.  My “bless this house” prayer transformed into a burden I didn’t want to carry.  The toy lizard I thought my son left in the middle of the hall wasn’t a toy at all but a house warming gift from the cat.  The rattling of the dryer proved that storms are headed in this direction.  Then, the crash….. the crash that made my heart fall into the pit of my stomach. The light fixture above the sink fell.  I jumped like I was shot.

I wanted to sit and cry when the young cat brought another lizardy gift.  I had had it.  My days  are already blurred and over booked.  I laughed at the thought of a new co-worker’s comment, “You are so calm.”  Boy, if she could see me now.  Having a meltdown over my laptop’s keyboard because the “d” doesn’t work properly.

I take a bag of trash to the can.  Grumpy.  Throwing it and my frustrations inside the can.  I turn and see three red roses.

Their beauty.  Their perfect imperfections.  Three.  Like the crosses on the hill.  Three.  sharing such sweet beauty and a promise from God.

The morning chores seemed to fade away.  My heart softened and melted.  I caressed their beauty.  Smelled their sweet goodness.  Their thorns called up the image of the crown Jesus wore.  The pain.  The sting. Sin.  Love that hurts yet heals.  Something beautiful blossomed from the thorny stem of life.

God bless…..

 

Advertisements

A Sense of Community

I load the dishwasher. Lunches packed and “good day” kisses passed out.  The quiet hum of the dishwasher in the background and the cat perched in the window, I sat down to reflect.

Prayers prayed for months.  My answer yet to come.  Then out of the blue the quiet whisper floated into my heart.

Community.

My heart pounded with joy; but my mind, puzzled.  Jig-saw puzzle prayers flew from me.  I should know by now that God doesn’t just throw the box of puzzle pieces down for me to put together immediately.

For months I kept “Community” close to my heart.  Again, I questioned in my prayers.  But I was only reminded “Speak and Motivate.”

Then I began to pray on behave of my ignorance.  I reminded God how dense I could be.  I shouted how blind I am.  I wrestled with patience…….or my lack of.

Then wham!  There it was in my Beth Moore study.  She talked about “immunity to community and the loss of hope.”  We’ve been commissioned to serve in a community of believers, followers, and well, Jesus freaks……  Sometimes though, our brokenness causes the immunity.  We walk away.  We question.  We rebel….. or worse, stick our heads in the sand.

Am I exhibiting immunity?  Or am I to create a sense of community to make other susceptible to growth and healing?  Isn’t that what we are called to do?

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back,  James 5:19  

 

Memories of the Best Kind

Strolling through a flea market, I recalled such sweet memories.  My great-uncle Ernie knew junk.  Or at least that was my thoughts when I was a teenager.  Junk.  Old stuff.  Dusty stuff.  Just junk.  He even owned a store in Cornettsville, Ky called “Sanford and Son.”  It was wall to wall junk.

My Granny and Uncle Ernie would spend hours talking about their treasures.  See, as we drove up to Cornettsville, Granny insisted on stopping at every junk boutique between here and there.  My Pop would get so frustrated with her; but, always stopped.

Granny would take me by the hand and pull me through the stores.  She pointed out things that brought her memories of her childhood or things that were priced to high.  “They only think that is a precious piece.”  she would say.  She would buy up little bowls, teapots, or platters that where authentic “brown ware.”  Or….. unique wooden boxes.

Then, of course, she had to share her treasures with Uncle Ernie.  He would either tell her she was taken or if she got a good thing.  Hours they would spend talking “junk.”

So here I am strolling through a junk boutique and basking in memories.  All the while, my daughter is sighing and begging us to go.  I chuckled.  Oh, how much she reminded me of such behavior.  I know Granny is laughing in heaven as well.  “Paying for my raising!”

And funny thing….. my eyes were finding brown ware.  I picked up the pieces and did exactly what Granny did all those years.  Turning it over looking for authentic labels.  I had no idea what I was looking for….. but I just would pick it up and turn it over.  Just like Granny!!

Then I found something.  A covered brown ware bowl just like mine that Granny gave me.  She handed it to me and asked, “Don’t you remember when we bought this?  We were on a trip to Cornettsville, and now I want you to have it.”  Sadly and mostly ashamed, I did not remember.  Now, I hold it as a treasure.  Something valuable to me….. A memory of Granny.

Then I ran across something really special at a yard sale.  A kitchen prayer wall plate.  Just like the one my Grandmother and Mom had hanging in their kitchen window.  I ran my fingers across it.  I closed my eyes and could picture it hanging to the left of their kitchen windows.  How many times I must have read it while doing the dishes.  Memories.

Memories of gathering around the table in Grandma’s tiny kitchen.  The laughter and the fun we shared.  I could taste her fried potatoes.  Smell the apple pies.  I could see Grandma, my mom and my aunt at the kitchen sink.  Mom washed.  My aunt rinsed.  And Grandma put away.  I never realized how special that moment was as a kid.  The three of them doing what they always had done.

A memory before Mom’s sudden death, Grandma growing older and frail before her passing, and before a great divide between the sisters……  They chatted.  They laughed.  They talked about everything while washing those dishes.  A moment in time frozen.

My heart broke.  It grew heavy with sorrow.  I sighed and bought this 10 cent treasure.  I prayed that moment that hearts would soften.  Heartbreaks forgiven.  And restoration.  Something I have given up on over the years since my grandparents passed.  God willing thanks to a simple kitchen prayer that now hangs just left of my kitchen window.

May God bless you today.

 

Aroma

Hanging out the laundry this morning…. the morning after a night of storms.  Rolling thunder made me crawl under the covers.  Comfort in prayers as the wind picked up.

But this morning.  A blessing.  The sweet aroma of honeysuckle greeted me.  Fragrant and wholesome goodness tickled my senses.  The cool refreshing  droplets of rain still clinging to the greenery. Such wonder and grace.

With each clothespin, I wonder how the sweet darlings of dear friends are doing after a long weekend in the hospital.  My heart pains for my former student’s loss….. a sweet 10 month old.  Oh the pain she must feel.

Storms of another kind.  Seeking comfort under the covers.

The honeysuckle’s sweetness brings God to mind.  His savory sweetness…. how he pours it into our lives.  Is this how His blessings smell?  The perfume of heaven?  Such sweetness. The cool dampness of the fallen rain brings forth birth in so many ways.  Blooms blossom and greenery grow bright.  

Comfort of the heavenly kind.  The calm after the storm.  God’s comfort.  So pure and redolent.

As I made my way down the clothesline, I near the compost pile.  The foul stench of rotting waste.

Is this how God smells our sinful nature?  Waste and its vaporous pollution…..  Waste.  Wasting our time here on earth on sinful delights.  Wasting a moment to witness.  Wasting our oaths and vows on indulgence.  Waste.  Does God’s nose curl at the foulness?

The stench makes me run towards the honeysuckle and the rain drenched greens.  I gravitate towards the sweetness.  I want to stay in this one spot to inhale such goodness.

Isn’t that what we are to do?  Gravitate towards goodness and sweetness?  Do we want to bathe ourselves in the wasteful stench or adorn ourselves with fragrant honey?

May God bless you today……..

 

 

Pregnant

[I] who [am] pregnant with [thoughts of food] and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. Psalms 7:14

Round with thoughts of food.  My body scarred with stretch marks of the truth.  My mind pregnant with thoughts of food.  I have conceived trouble.

I think then I act.

The trouble comes in all sorts of venues…… guilt-filled eating.  Harsh resentment towards God for allowing it to happen.  Feelings of failure, betrayal, and physical discomfort.  Had, ahem, have conceived them all.

It all breeds disillusionment.  Pride.  I can do this alone.  Secrecy.  No one will know.  Worthlessness.  I am such a big fat loser.

The cure comes from Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

I want to miscarry those thoughts of food and impregnate myself with noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts.