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Monday, January 31, 2011

don't you just love the moments when you are transported back to childhood?

this morning i am sitting on my little girl's bed while she plays with blocks. and babies.

there is a cool breeze blowing in her windows. her butterfly curtains flap happily and reveal the green trees and blue skies just outside in the "jungle".

the slant of the light, the fresh morning air, and the cozy comfort of her room somehow makes me feel like a child again.

i didn't have much of a childhood; it was mostly filled with turmoil, sickness, and stress. as the eldest of 8 children, i carried a heavy load.

the rare moments that were carefree and beautiful, i treasure in my memory.

God has been gracious to me; with each of my youngest daughters, He's given me a fresh chance to be a child again, to have the sweet innocent moments when life is simple and good.

it's never too late to return to childhood.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

small things...

it's been a crazy week.

worries about my little girl's health...

worries about finances...

worries about big grandkids' spiritual lives...

it kind of makes me wish things would stay small. kids would stay small. ministry would stay small. houses would stay small. dogs would stay small.


the thing is-

as things grow, i realize this is the way the universe is constructed. to grow, to get bigger, to complicate.

a little child cannot stay small forever.

sweet puppies discover nasty nipping teeth.

churches must grow- or die- and the growth is messy and stressful.

finances must grow to keep up with the everexpanding need and inflation.

grandkids who once sat in highchairs and drooled now sit behind the wheel of my vehicle and beg to be allowed to drive. while listening to very loud music. (no, i didn't let them)

small things.

impermanent and changing.

"we shall be changed..." in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...

that's one growth i look forward to!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

on being "nice"

being irish, and have a high percentage of red-haired people in my family, i have a propensity for losing my temper.

"loosing" it, as my husband says.

that is actually not just a misspelling, but quite accurate.

i grew up in a house where there were two ways to get mad: RAGE and icy silence.

i liked RAGE better. got real good at it. practiced it a lot.

over the decades of my life (i just love saying that)

i've LOOSED my temper a lot.

i was a yeller mom. you know, the one who yells. forgive me, kids. young parents should not be entrusted with tender children. but for some reason, that's how it works.

with my little emma, i'm learning not to do that...she dissolves in a puddle of anguished tears if i dare even change my tone.

in pompous hubris, i've called it RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION.

blustering. howling. insanity.

righteous, not so much.

nothin' but a lack of self-control and vainglory. (isn't that a gorgeous old word...)

so i am learning, slowly- and it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks- to get things done NICELY. using quiet tones. whining a bit if necessary. smiling. persisting. pressing. being NICE.

to me- carrying generations of fiery temper genes- this is a struggle.

a discipline.

just plain HARD.

but i'm learning.

so, that said, i'll head over to my construction site and see how things are going...sigh...SMILE.

Monday, January 24, 2011

sometimes life swirls around me like a multi-colored psychadelic tornado.

no, i haven't been taking drugs, although i am a 60's child.

from every side, even from top and bottom...the pressures press- as their name implies- and my mind is constantly playing catch-up, as if i have one short leg and am just a bit out of step.

what to do?

in my 60 years of life, i've tried various techniques.

meditation. (not the TM kind)

smelling the flowers.

saying "no".


you know what?

i'm still not sure how to cope with the dizzying tumble of waves as life washes over me

and sometimes

catches me in the surf and tosses me every which way till i'm gasping and blinded by the turmoil.

but i do know SOMEONE who knows how.


Lord, i come to You with the bashes and bangs and bumps and blizzards of my life.

not sure how to cope.

hold me

settle me

be with me

and when this monster wave passes,

i know there will be respite and quiet and calm again.

thank you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

i drove home yesterday, just my little girlie and i...
she fell asleep in her carseat,
and i had a chance to listen
to something
other than
kids' music.

i put on some psalms
and quietly drove through the traffic
with tears in my eyes.

so wonderful to have those few minutes- 
about half an hour-
just to worship.
just to let it all out.

my soul felt cleansed and washed.

tears are a language
God understands.

"he washed my eyes with tears
that i might see..."

Friday, January 21, 2011

my 4-year-old daughter has been talking non-stop for an hour and a half. playing with her new littlest pet shop animals...inventing stories...drawing me into the conversation...using her imagination....and yakkity yakkity yakkity.

i have never heard a kid talk like this one does. she never stops.

i sort of tune her out sometimes-

but then i look at her little face and i think

"i'm gonna miss this" when the house is quiet and she is gone.

her little dimple is so adorable. she puts her finger to her cheek, tosses her little head, raises her eyebrows so expressively...and just chatters.


i've never heard the like.

chatter on, baby girl. someday this old house will be far too quiet, and you and your dimples and your chatter will be somewhere else

and i'm gonna miss it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

hidden horrors...

creepy, isn't it.

a nornet's nest, a couple of dead hornets, even an egg.


this is what i found in a most unusual place this week.

while performing routine maintenance tasks around my home (since hubs is out of the country) (read :fixing my wind chime) i discovered this horrible situation.

a hornets (wasps/bees- i'm not really sure) nest NESTLES inside my lovely wind chime.

once i stopped shrieking and swatting and freaking out, i had a think about this.

a hidden secret.

inside a beautiful musical thing.

a nasty, evil, dangerous creature's abode-

tucked away in something that makes lovely music and puts me to sleep at night.

those golden tones of the chimes hid the buzzing of the terror within.

isn't that like us sometimes:

inside of our beautiful sweet voices/lives/homes there is often a hidden thing lurking.

just waiting to be moved for cleaning to SUDDENLY SWARM and sting.

no, i wasn't stung.

but too close for comfort.


insult to injury:

once we thought they were all dead after our vicious spraying spree...

some of them tried to climb back inside the chime and START THE NEST AGAIN.

it's ain't right.

think about it.

when have i supposedly cleaned up something in my life, and WHOOSH...

here it comes back again, to make a nest in me again.


LORD, help me by your grace to drive out the hornets that hide in my life/heart/mind

and NEVER ever let them back in.


as in.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i could consider today a wasted day.

i drove in traffic for almost 5 hours.

the reason i was out in the traffic was not accomplished, despite sitting and waiting in a government office for over 4 hours.

but i'm going to choose to look at it differently.

it wasn't a wasted day.

i was with my baby daughter and a good friend and a wonderful helper.

we had a marvelous, cheap lunch.

i had brought my ipad along, so little girl emma was entertained while driving and waiting at the SSS office with winnie-the-pooh and fiddler on the roof and backyardigans.

when the ipad lost its favor, we found an indoor garden with a fishpond and lots of flowers that delighted my little 4-year-old's heart. and ours.

i stopped by one family's house to show my friend the new GH building, and lo and behold, i was just in time to drive the other family members home and have a quick supper with them.

we got home in time to see a beautiful full moon and smell the fragrant green grass in the crisp evening air.

nobody puked.

it was a good day.

the end.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

there's something about growing a bit of a garden.

emma is harvesting our beans in these pictures.

it was a joy to teach her how to twist the beans off the stem,
split them open,
wash them, 
and then cook and eat them with rice.

our little girl is learning to have a green thumb.

not a bad skill to learn!

cuz there's just something about a bit of a garden.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i still haven't packed away our Christmas.

partly because i've been really REEEEELY busy.

and partly because i hate putting it all away.

seems a shame.

shouldn't it be Christmas all year long?


Monday, January 10, 2011

as the family of a traveling husband/daddy, we are always saying goodbye's.

my little emma is struggling with this recently.

"i will miss you..." she sobs with tears streaming from her black eyes and her lips trembling.

i get teary-eyed watching her cry.

but i am older, and i know that he always comes back. ten days is not so long to me; it's really really long to a 4-year-old.

so we plan parties and shopping trips and fun activities, and we find ways to fill in the days with joy.

and then comes the wonderful day when daddy comes home.

pure joy! skipping, leaping into his arms, hugging him tight, and asking "daddy, what did you bring me?"

and my heart wonders...

do i anticipate His coming this much? do i miss Him this much? does the Lord have this much of my emotional investment that i am devastated because he's not here, and can't hardly survive till He gets back here?

Maranatha...come quickly, Lord Jesus. I miss you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

my little black-eyed dora look-a-like loves her new Dora Hut that someone gave her for christmas.

she crawls inside, with a pillow and stuffed toys and books and her little lantern, and she snuggles there quietly reading or talking to herself.

it's a hideaway for her...she feels safe and snug and surrounded in friendly pinkness.

i think that we are all a bit like this sometimes...we just need a place to snuggle for a bit, to rest our tired minds from the busyness around us.

we need safe places. quiet places. cosy places.

be a child again...find a safe place you can shut out the world, and just BE.

it's never to late to have a happy childhood.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

i heard a sad story today, such a shadowed tale...

a young woman whom i just met has a tragic life story. she was adopted as a child; in her teen years her dad died; she was blamed for her father's death by her mother, who packed her stuff up and said she was going to take her back to social services...this young woman is now a lesbian struggling with self-image (imagine that) and acceptance. 

how would this would you ever look in the mirror 
without seeing the darkness of the shame and guilt 
you carry on your shoulders?

there is light, though, for this darkness.

light in the form of One who is brighter than the brightest sun in the universe.

His face and His smile can wink out the darkest blackest horror.

i pray that this beautiful girl with the big smile- despite the tragedy of her life- 
will come to know Him. 

through me, through us.
a day of sunshine, of children, of laughter and good food and splashing sparkly water...

a day of joy celebrating the life of a "joy" girl- our precious granddaughter Sarah Joy...

and when all is quiet and everyone gone,

a gentle weary smile from daddy

cheerful chatter from tired little girlie

puppy kisses from bella doggie

and a sweet wind tossing star sparkles down on us...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

angels. sometimes we just don't know when they step in and help us.

look at this.

a little scrape on a helmet.

a little encounter with a speeding taxi turning into the wrong lane.

a wipeout on the street.

scrapes, bumps, bruises, and that's all.

God is merciful.

i'm thankful that this scrape is on a good helmet instead of my sweetheart's forehead.

it could have been so much worse.

angels...all around us...