February 27, 2014

In God I dwell

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich to-day and poor to-morrow; he may be sickly to-day and well to-morrow; he may be in happiness to-day, to-morrow he may be distressed-but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God. If He loved me yesterday, He loves me to-day. My unmoving mansion of rest is my blessed Lord. Let prospects be blighted; let hopes be blasted; let joy be withered; let mildews destroy everything; I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is "my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort." I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.
~ C. H. Spurgeon 


February 21, 2014

Mother

Today my mother would have been 62 years old. 
She was a wonderful woman and I am thankful that the Lord chose her for me. 
I regret that I didn't realize her great value and beauty until later in my life. 
I am so thankful for her friendship, for her guidance, for her true love. 

She was one of my best friends.
and I miss her every day.


   


 Here is a link to my personal tribute to her and her generous life. 

February 16, 2014

Do your chores

The kitchen is easy to clean when this song is playing. 
Turn it up and make it your own prayer.


 

February 15, 2014

Hospitality and the Kirby Kids

I stood at the stove as I watched it pull up the driveway; an old maroon mini-van. It looked full.

"Mom! Someone's here!" The children crowded around the front door as two young people, a man and a woman came up the path. They stood afar off and handed one of the children a flyer.

"Hi, I'm Michael. You must be the lady of the house!" He shouted over the children's heads because I still stood at the stove. I could see him down the hall through the open door.

I wiped my hands on a dishtowel and came towards the door. The children parted as Michael took a step up, made a low bow, and offered his hand as if he was handing me a bouquet of  flowers. I shook it.

He and his partner were the new version of the Kirby man; skinny jeans, hair slicked back in a ponytail, and a leather jacket.

After making his introduction he offered to steam clean my carpets.

"Uh, I'm in the middle of cooking din..."

"Oh, it only takes half an hour to dry." Next time I will listen better. I never heard the words 'to dry'. Maybe he whispered them. Maybe he didn't say them at all.

"No, I don't think so. I'm not in the market for a Kirby."

"There's absolutely no obligation!"

We went back and forth for a while. "Michael, you understand that I will NOT be buying a vacuum cleaner, right?"

"Yes, Ma'am. Promise me! You WON'T buy a vacuum cleaner today!" He made another low bow and offered his hand. I shook it, again.

"Well, O.K." I consented. I thought to myself, "Dinner will be ready in half an hour, I'll cook, they'll clean."

A different young lady came through the door with many Kirby cases. She introduced herself as Kelly and offered her hand. Again, I shook it. Michael came up and introduced Kelly also, offering his hand, I shook it. It seemed any time Michael spoke he offered his hand.

He asked, "Ma'am, would it be alright if Tim just hangs around to watch?"

Silently, I think, "What? What have I consented to?" Out loud I respond, "Uh..."

"He's just a guy, he's in training, he's Kelly's shadow, he'll be no trouble."

"Fine."

Tim came in, made introductions, and offered his hand. I shook it. Michael thanked me for my time and planned to leave to find another Kirby victim customer. He offered his hand. I raised both of mine in surrender. "No more hands, Michael."

"Oh. Sure. Thank you Ma'am. See you soon."

The children ate the dinner I somehow made in between all the "Why don't you give it a try?" prompts and the obligatory swipes of each Kirby attachment. I think there were 485 attachments, give or take. I spent the next two hours, yes, two hours, watching Kelly pull enough dirt out of my carpets and beds to create a new island. Disgusting. People must buy a Kirby out of guilt - guilt that they have allowed their families to live in an invisible mountain of filth that only a Kirby can suck up.

I told them they were taking too long and needed to wrap it up. They obeyed. But something else happened besides enduring a lengthy presentation. A connection was made.

Kelly, Tim and I connected.

Both of them were 21 years old. I could be their mother and my heart was softened toward them. I saw how they were working so hard and Tim looked in pathetic need of a mother's care with his long hair slicked flat, flipping out behind his ears. He wore baggy pants that hung too low, large bulky tennis shoes, and a tie to give an air of professionalism. He silently took scrupulous notes and made kind comments about my "very beautiful" home. Kelly was sweating. I offered her something to drink and instinctively called her "Dear."

Michael didn't pass on my message, so dear Kelly kept lowering the price until she was nearly begging me to buy it. I gently but firmly explained (ignoring the guilt) that I would not buy a vacuum.

And then I asked them, "Are you hungry?"

Tim, forgetting any professionalism, answered, "I'm starving!"

So I made them some sandwiches to take with them when Michael returned. Only, he didn't return. Kelly and Tim ended up eating their dinner in the kitchen while we talked about their goals. I praised them on their hard work and professionalism. Tim said he enjoys writing music and wants to be a musician.

"My children and I recorded a CD once, a few years ago," I added.

"You did?! Wow. What kind of CD?" Tim asked.

I explained that it was an album of Bible verses put to music. "Do you sell them?" Kelly asked.

"Oh, no! I just give them away."

"Can I have one?" she asked.

"Hey! I want one too! I'm the musician!" Tim exclaimed as if he was a nine year old fighting with his sister.

"Well, sure. They are simple songs, almost lullabies. Yes, you can have one." I gave them each a copy.

Michael finally returned and they prepared to leave. It was late now and they still had another presentation a few blocks away. Kelly gave me a hug and said, "I hope I see you again." Tim shouted back as he left, "First thing I'm gonna do when I get in the van is play this CD!" I laughed. Funny guy. I wondered if the rest of the van would appreciate children's voices singing Bible lullabies.

Then, I prayed a blessing on those kids...I mean young adults.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Heb 13:2

February 14, 2014

A conversation with Middle Skittle

"Lovey, come and sit by me. I want to tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a little girl who was given a house."

"A real house, Mom?"

"Yes, but it was child's size...to fit her perfectly."

"Oh, goody, I like stories like this!" the daughter exclaimed.

The mother continued, "Well, her daddy gave her this house with a perfect little path leading up to it. It was very quaint. There were window boxes and a Dutch door, so pretty on the outside! Guess what?"

"What?!"

"He said that she could decorate it however she wanted. She could pick the furniture, the paint, curtains, everything!"

Doubtfully, the daughter questioned, "Is this a true story?"

"Yes! For furniture, the little girl picked out an old cardboard box and covered it with a moldy tarp. She rolled in some heavy, ugly rocks from the yard to use for chairs. They were very uncomfortable to sit on; they poked in all the wrong places."

"What? Why would she do that? Why didn't she get furniture?"

"That was the furniture she chose," her mother explained.

"I would never do that!" The daughter shook her head incredulously.

Drawing her daughter closer, she continued the story, "There's more! Her mother offered the little girl full use of the kitchen! Any time the little girl wanted to serve food to her guests she could go to the fridge and cupboards and take whatever she wanted."

"Anything? Even candy?"

"Yep, even candy. But there were pretty cakes, and spicy tacos, and colorful fruits also. She could have anything she wanted for her guests."

"I know what I would pick!" she said confidently.

With thanksgiving that her daughter was listening attentively to the story she said, "Well, let me tell you what she picked. She pulled out the broccoli and dumped about a cup of garlic salt all over it, until you couldn't even see the green. Then she emptied the dishwater into a clear pitcher and colored it yellow with food coloring. She pretended to offer sweet lemonade!"

"I don't like this girl! She makes bad choices!"

"Mmhmm. That's just what I think also. Do you know that we are just like this little girl?"

Offended, the daughter protested, "No we're not! I would never do that! I would pick the best stuff to fill my house, and it would be cozy and happy. I would serve yummy food!"

"Lovey, the Bible says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. That means you and I are like a house...a house where the Lord lives. When we choose ungratefulness or revenge or evil, it is like filling up our house with yuckiness. We have nothing to offer our guests except what would make them sick."

The light dawned on her daughter's countenance. She scrunched up her nose and complained, "This isn't a true story! It's a sermon!"

"It is true. Think about it."

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;  by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4

Later that day, Naomi shouted from the stairs to me, "Mom! Thanks for the story!" And later that day, I prayed to the Lord, "Father, thanks for the story."



February 10, 2014

Welcome!

Welcome to my little corner of the world. It is so nice to have you visit. My hope is that this will be a pleasant place and that you would be inspired to set your thoughts and affections on things above.

In this corner we will share stories, art, music, and little bits of wisdom gained along Life's journey.

It has been my experience that Life is full of pain and joy, loss and ecstasy, depths and heights. One is not greater than the other when they lead you to the Living and True God, our Creator.

“But we believe – nay, Lord we only hope,
That one day we shall thank thee perfectly
For pain and hope and all that led or drove
Us back into the bosom of thy love.” 
~ George MacDonald
Please feel comfortable enough to introduce yourself and let us be good friends!