Until now, I have never lived in one place for too long. My daddy, before he retired from the Air Force and my late husband’s profession caused us to relocate, time and again, every four years. Once, when we did live in the same area for eight years, halfway through, we moved from the city to the country. My oldest, when in high school, was jokingly asked by one of his friends if he thought his parents would ever give up their nomadic lifestyle and finally settle down.
Moving was always an adventure. Besides the headache of packing and unpacking and finding those two ever-so-important-people in your life, your doctor and your hairdresser (you might think I’m joking about the later, but I’m not) it was downright fun. Living in the North, the South, the Midwest, and both coasts, there were so many interesting people around every corner to meet and wonderful friendships that were waiting to grow. Becoming part of the culture where we were transplanted—from taking on the local accents and vernacular, to adopting sports teams as our own—we enjoyed life, seeing the possibilities and the adventures, always in the present. But when my late husband passed away, as if someone had drawn an indelible line from the sky to the ground, we began to see everything through the lens of before and after. Continue reading
I had to laugh out loud the other morning while reading Scripture from my daily devotional. The disciples had just witnessed Jesus turning seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes into enough to feed thousands with seven basketfuls of pieces leftover. Several events followed, one being that the Sadducees and Pharisees in wanting to test Jesus, asked Him to give them a sign from Heaven. Answering their question with less than what they wanted, He left. Meeting up with the disciples a little later, Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
What happens next is what started me chuckling. Continue reading
When my daughter, Laura, was a little girl, she, like all kids her age, tried different sports to find which was her true fit. First, she went out for baseball. That wasn’t a match as many times, you could find her crouched on the ground doodling in the dirt. In fact, except for the pitcher, catcher, and other key players, you would see many of her teammates doing the same thing. And because she and her compatriots were totally unaware of what was happening around them, her daddy affectionately named them “The Barbies.”
Next was soccer which came to be known in our household, as “swarm ball.” Even though each child played a certain position and was supposed to man that area, it seems that no matter where the ball was on the field, defense or offense, everyone was right there with it. Scrambling around it like chickens attacking the feed when first put in the coup, all those little girls moving as one, were kicking and scrambling to get their foot on the ball. To get that much prized goal.
This past Sunday, my pastor began preaching a series on Genesis. Pointing out in the beginning, there was nothing—not even space—just darkness, it was crucial to him to lay the foundation that the Bible is about God. It’s His story. He was here before anything was, (Isn’t that impossible to wrap your head around), and will be when we leave this world behind. And because that is true, our lives in the here and now should be focused on Him. The point: Only those things that will last throughout eternity should be what we spend our precious time on. Continue reading
Over the past two months, my granddaughter, Lucy, who has loved music almost from the day she was born, has fallen in love with the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie. Asking to watch it almost every time she sees me—she knows I most likely will acquiesce—it was my sheer delight when for Christmas, Jerry and I gave her a wifi-enabled microphone that allows her to sing along to the music from the movie. To top it off, we also gave her a Barbie-sized, Belle. No matter what Lucy is doing, when she hears the music, she stops and begins to sing. (As a tickled-pink grandmother, I just know she is a prodigy. After all, she’s only two.) You can watch a video of it here.
But it did make me stop and think. Why is it, that almost every little girl envisions herself as a princess or as a bride in white waiting for Prince Charming? Even those, at an early age who are slapped down by circumstances in their life which buries the dream so deep it seems to disappear, still at some point have had some glimmer of it.
On the flip side, why is it that almost every little boy holds the fantasy of coming in to save the day? Whether it’s Luke Skywalker bursting on the scene in the X-Wing Starfighter, or Captain America bulking up with scientifically made muscles to right the wrong and defend the weak, this scenario is ingrained deep within.
Even though we define and pocket those images as fairytales, I think, one reason why they are treasured in the hearts of children is that they actually point to the truth. And as adults, whether or not we admit it, that ideal which children hold onto, is what we genuinely ache for also. We want someone to ride in and make the world a better place. We want a kinder, gentler day-to-day. We want the pain, suffering, and tears to go away. We want death to be no more. Continue reading
I don’t do waiting so well. Waiting for cars to move on down the road. Waiting with expectation for a phone call or response. For me, waiting on just about anything is tough. When I get an inspiration for something, that can be even worse. Leaving forethought in my dust and fueled by delusions of grandeur, not waiting on wisdom, I too often leap before the proverbial look. Sure that I can float or fly, more often than not, the wind flutters out of my sails. With my hopes and expectations fizzling to the ground, “What happened?” swirls around my head. Aagh! That’s the problem with us optimistic ones. If it seems like a good idea, it’s full steam ahead. After all, the glass is half full, never half empty. Right? Continue reading
With Christmas pushing through the door, seemingly shoving Thanksgiving aside, a small bit of anxiousness grows as I look at the still unfinished Christmas stocking for my grandson, Henry. When I last posted the picture of the woe-begotten state of affairs of my pitiful knitting project, I had actually come to a point of being a tad bit hopeful. Finishing the white trim on Santa’s hat, I left my friend—who is walking with me through this painful learning experience—with a quickness of step, and a lightness of heart, ready to jump in, sure, that this time, nothing could stop me.
I know how to knit.
I know how to pearl.
And more importantly, I know how to tink.*
What more could anyone want?
“You’re ready to start the black,” was emblazoned in my head and heart as I left Joan’s house that day. Sitting down later that night with knitting in hand, I grabbed the black yarn, knitting, knitting, knitting, pearling, pearling, pearling, then knitting again three rows back and forth. Looking at the stocking, because I was proud as punch—and the stitches did look nice—I noticed for the first time that something was terribly amiss. How could you possibly see black eyes in the middle of the black yarn? Bursting into laughter that was so hard I couldn’t speak, my nose running and my face covered in tears, I sent Joan this text: Continue reading
Well. Here we are again. Summer is gone and with each falling leaf gently dancing to the ground, the grey, chill days of winter move closer. Already, the rush of Christmas is in the background, with the anticipation of Thanksgiving just ahead. And while we are grateful and look forward to the joy this time of year brings, “Weren’t we here just yesterday?” moves in whispers around us—a startling reminder that our lives are fleeting and truly, just a breath. (See Psalm 39:5.) Continue reading
It seems, as of late, that our world as many of us knew it, is no longer. Unprecedented mass killings, terrorism, and nightly shootings broadcast on the early morning news, are more the norm than not. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires causing unheard of disaster and loss of life, are motivating more and more to ask, “What is happening?” People stand stunned as if in shock, and while moments of silence are observed, a pervasive sense of helplessness seems to blanket and thicken the air. While being silent is a reverential expression of respect, does this quiet solemn response bring hope?
Going on two years now, I have been knitting a Christmas stocking for my grandson, Henry. It truly is a labor of the deepest, giving-of-myself kind of love, for in doing this, I have made a painful discovery; knitting is not my forte. My hour of delving into this craft—I have been told that is all you should attempt at one sitting— goes something like this. Knit five. Tink twenty. Tink, which is knit spelled backwards, means to unknit or undo what you have just done. My knitting is more like a boat rocking back and forth caught in a sludge that allows very little headway. Instead of moving forward, it feels as if I’m in the Twilight Zone of the land of no progress.
It can be so disheartening. My dear, sweet friend, Joan, who is teaching me this fine art, has become my cheerleader. I don’t know quite why she puts up with me except that I must provide endearing comic relief. Encouraging my efforts, she often genuinely tells me, “You’ve got this now. You know what you’re doing. Look at you go.” And she’s right. For a minute. Until I walk out of her house and all by my lonesome stumble into my next mistake that I have no idea how to fix. Not even an inkling at all.
My real problem is not that knitting is so difficult, but that I have too many irons in the fire. It’s not that I don’t have the brainpower to succeed at this endeavor—which can be intricate and exacting, often resulting in beautiful sweaters, afghans, and yes, even Christmas stockings—it’s that there are too many commitments in other areas of life and far too many distractions. Like a kid in a candy store, there are so many fun, wonderful, and interesting things to try, to do, and to see. If I had a bucket list, it would be full to overflowing.
So what it comes down to is picking and choosing, deciding and making….
Choices. Continue reading
Jerry and I love to cook. We enjoy experimenting with recipes, adding ingredients that you normally wouldn’t, to what’s tried and true. For instance, a dash of cinnamon in just about anything, in my opinion—Jerry is not always on the same page with me on this one—brings about a wonderful flavor. Plop overripe apple chunks into a beef stew and—even though you might find this hard to believe—you will experience an aroma and taste that is superb!
Likewise, the smells of spices and herbs by themselves, are delightful. To pinch off a sprig of rosemary and rub it in your palms or pluck a leaf of basil and smell its pungent aroma, there are few things that are more refreshing. But when two or more opposing ingredients—that would normally cause us to raise our hand in protest—are mixed together, we sometimes are deliciously surprised. The outcome is far better than we could have ever imagined.
The same can hold true in our lives.
The television show, CBS Sunday Morning, featured a story a few years back about a man who decided to do an intriguing sociological study where he began to follow the lives of children, checking in with them to see where they were every seven years. One boy’s story really caught my attention. Continue reading