Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Caring



Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's
care.  Matthew 10:29

The thud on the window was sickening this morning.  A little pine siskin had hit the window and tumbled into the pile of snow below.  It's wings fluttered for a moment as it tried to get out of the hole.  Then it was still.

The resident fisherman went out and lifted it from the snow.  He carried it to the feeder and placed it below, scattering seeds in front of it.

The bird sat there for several minutes practically motionless.  Then it flew off.  Hooray!

Likewise we have experienced the care of our Heavenly Father.  I received my final check from Samaritan members sharing in the medical expense incurred when I shattered my elbow.

Paid in full.  

I'm so grateful.



Monday, March 09, 2015

Oops.

I guess it has been over a month since I blogged.
                  backyard friends - we have had up to 7 and a few fights have broken out!

Here is a brief update:

Making: a quilt for my premature grand nephew Evan
Cooking: homemade Mac and cheese
Drinking: water
Reading: Radical by David Platt
Wanting: to see the grands
Looking: for spring
Playing: piano at the nursing home tomorrow
Wasting: nothing.
Sewing: finished a pile of mending
Enjoying: a beautiful sunshiny day and all our backyard wildlife
Waiting: the snow to melt - it is starting!
Liking:my life
Wondering: how to beautify our little garden shed
Loving: my family
Hoping: for just the right words
Marvelling: at how good GOD is
Needing: nothing
Smelling: supper cooking
Wearing: the usual - tee shirt and jeans
Following: Jesus
Noticing: the wind in the trees, the snow melting from the roof
Knowing: no greater joy
Thinking: on the promises
Bookmarking: nuthin'
Opening: my newly arranged pantry
Giggling: at pictures of the grands
Feeling: wonderful and thankful


The birds:



And best of all:

The youngest grand......



Saturday, February 07, 2015

Firsts




Oh my.  It has been a while.  Almost three months since I have gone for a walk outside.  But yesterday, Pat and I followed the not-very-recently groomed ski trail that goes through the golf course and beyond.  This morning I ventured out by myself.  Yes, I wore my yak traks and I wore my arm brace.

I walked on top of hills and through deep ravines.   It was gorgeous and invigorating and fun and wonderful.  Loved every minute.  45 minutes of brisk walking in the woods.

We are so incredibly blessed.  As if our 1.5 acres isn't enough, and it is, it really is; we have possibly hundreds of acres right out our door to explore.

And explore I will! Someone else has too.  Can you see the paw prints above?

Two other firsts, at least since my 'elbow incident'.  

1. I was able to use the drive through at the bank!  I could extend my arm far enough to place and retrieve the deposit and receipt.  Oh, the things we take for granted until we cannot do them!

2.  I received my first check and sweet note for my surgery expenses.  A family from South Carolina.  The note made me tear up.  Someone across the country is sharing in my expenses and praying for me.  Amazing.

This is the first check of 37.  It is going to be fun to go to the post office to get our mail!

And fun walking outside again.  

Friday, February 06, 2015

car talk

I have been asked a few times recently how the resident fisherman and I manage to get along with just one car between the two of us.

Just fine.

  • In the fall of 2008, we sold our second car.  Pat worked from home, we lived just a short walk from my parents and I did not work outside the home.  Piano students came to me, I walked down to the folks whenever they needed me.  There was just one night a week when I HAD to have the car. Pat stayed home that particular night.

Pat scheduled his fishing expeditions around my calendar.  Because neither of us had to report to work anywhere at any specific time, it was actually quite easy to 'make do' with one car.

The advantages:
  • saves money, cars are expensive
  • saves insurance money, one car is cheaper to insure than two
  • saves money on repairs
  • saves money on gas
  • builds communication, we needed to be sure to let the other know when we needed to be somewhere
  • builds cooperation, we needed to prioritize our meetings and appointments so that the most important/urgent need would be met
  • we keep our volunteer work to a manageable amount, since we are not free to run to any and all meetings/events
The disadvantages
  • sometimes one of us has to miss out on something
  • it can be inconvenient, you can't always do what you want to do when you want to do it
  • sometimes you have to impose on folks, for example if Pat is out with the car and someone wants to meet with me, they just have to come to our house (hopefully not a terrible imposition)
  • I can't run off to see the grands whenever  I want
  • we can't do as much volunteer work as we might because we can't just run off to any meeting/event we please
So for almost 7 years we have made this work. It is not such a great accomplishment.  Communication, cooperation, deferring - these are wonderful skills to build into a marriage.  I love being at home too.  Plenty to do here.  I can stay home for several days in a row and never be bored.  Or finished with all my projects.

Just a generation or two ago, having one car would not have been a big deal at all.  My mother-in-law, who died in 2004, never learned to drive.  Only one car there.
I never saw my paternal grandmother drive, they only had one car (and a tractor! - give me a tractor anyday!).

Having the choice and means to have two cars is a modern luxury.  But not a necessity.  Even working families can make this choice if necessary by locating near jobs.

Getting along with one car is not a hardship. In many ways it is a blessing, freeing up funds for other things besides those which eventually rust away (Matthew 6:20).

Getting along with one car?  Yep.  For now..

Herbert Hoover's campaign slogan (above) indicates that having one car in the garage would be a great luxury.  A grand promise.  

When did it become a sign of scarcity?

Monday, February 02, 2015

Misfits

A friend of mine, who attends a different church than I do, referred to the kids in their youth group as 'misfits'.

This label bothered me and I pondered its meaning throughout the day, especially because two of our sons are youth pastors.

I thought back, w-a-y back to my youth group days.  Was I a misfit?  

Oh, honey.  YES.

I made a lot of my own clothes.  I was in band.  I carried my Bible around with me.  I taught Bible study to a handful of friends, once a week in a stairwell at our school of 3500. Didn't hang out with the popular kids, didn't get invited to parties.

I was a misfit with a capital mis.

Am I ashamed of that?  

No.

Not fitting in builds character.  I cared less about what the other kids thought and more about what GOD thought.

You see, this world is not my home:

Hebrews 13:14For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

And we are told in Romans 12:2:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

And finally:
I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

We are GOD's people, friends.  Conforming to His will automatically makes us misfits in a world that disregards and even mocks His word.

I'm praying for those misfit students to have strength to stand alone when necessary.

They won't have to do it alone in reality.  God gives us the strength we need.  And they won't have to do it for  long, either. 

This world is not our home, we're just passing through.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Something old, something new, something blue

                         

I just spent the last hour and a half darning two pairs of the resident fisherman's  wool socks.  If a new pair of socks costs $15, then I just saved us $30 resulting in an hourly wage of $22.50.

This is just one of the many frugal things I do to help us maintain our lavish lifestyle.  Another item on my agenda today is to hang laundry in the basement.  If you are a guest in our home and catch a quick glimpse of our unmentionables on the drying rack tucked next to the furnace?  Please do us the courtesy of averting your eyes.

As I wove the back and forth under and over strands of yarn it occurred to me that I had not put up a blog post for a week or so. It also occurred to me that many bloggers post pictures of their decor.  Now lest any of you be confused, this is not a decorating blog.  Not that anyone could possibly gather that from anything I've posted in the last several years.

Anyway, the view from the couch is the above cabinet.  A beautiful oak cabinet.  It languished in its unfinished state in my in-law's basement for decades.  After my mother-in-law passed away in 2004, it became ours.  We refinished it and have put it in prominent places in our homes because it is gorgeous.

The crock on the floor to the right is an old pickle crock that was my grandmother's.   Love.




                         

In the cabinet:
 Top shelf: handle-less cups and saucers we found in an old trunk of my mother-in-law's. We had no idea she had them, but she had a note nestled in one of the cups that they were from the 1880's.

Second shelf:  narrow-necked pitcher on left and tea pot on right were Pat's before we were married.  The heart-shaped dish in the middle is a piece of Polish pottery.  Jon and Kristi were in Poland a few years ago and brought that back for me.

Third shelf:  4 missionary biographies (remaining two of that set are on the bottom shelf on right).  This was a gift from my in-law's 15 or so years ago.  The clear jar is filled with sea shells picked from a Florida beach by Pat's grandmother in the 50's.  The teapot is from Holland, brought back for me by my folks in the '90's.

Fourth shelf:  a tea kettle that belonged to my mom.  Origin unknown.  The pottery bowl is handmade by my talented brother-in-law.  The books were gifts from Pat's great-grandfather to his great-grandmother in the early 1900's.

Fifth shelf:  books about American statesman that belonged to my in-law's.  Published in 1899.
Platter from Czech Republic when I was on a mission trip in 1995.  Two plates on top are Polish, purchased by my folks when Dad worked in Eastern Europe.


                         

So there you have it.  My intercontinental, inter-generational cabinet.  Amazing that all these things from a hundred and thirty year time span go together, but they do (in my opinion).

This cabinet does not give me the blues.