Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the best of spring

Naomi wrote (here) about the delight of porch dinning as spring comes to Pamplona.. . . hmmm, I like porch dining too, however here at 2305 we don't have a porch.

So, this week I'm watching the Wisteria which grows over my bedroom window; every year as spring dawns, I wonder, "will it recover? is there wick in those dead looking branches?" Watching the leaves sprout on that Wisteria vine each spring delights my heart. . . and I remember that spring doesn't last long in south Texas.

Spring is full of the best. . . and one of the best of spring 2009 is the Bible study that's started up in our home this month. We meet every week, 16-19 of us-adults, youth, children. It's good to be together, sharing our lives, sharing the Savior; this week we plan to eat dinner together . . . .I love to see our dining room table crowded -the kind of dining that delights my heart.

Friday, March 27, 2009

early morning blessing

This morning I was reading Proverbs 27. . . my mind was distracted by a pleasant memory-does that ever happen to you while reading God's Word?

He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned as a curse to him (Prov27:14). . .John's frequent reminder to our rowdy bunch as they were growing up in our home. The memory amuses me, since my cheerful husband has a big voice-he's like Tigger early in the morning. . .just too bouncy for my preference.

So, Jeremiah is spending a few weeks with us this month, occupying his upstairs bedroom.Yesterday he commented, Mom, you were up really early this morning!

Really? me, early? how do you know?

Well, the neighbor's rooster woke me up, so I looked out the window; you were in the garden. . .

Now when our children come home to visit, they remind us of Proverbs 27:14; usually it has to do with that rooster, but sometimes it has to do with John and me (afterall, I make a lot of clamor in the garden). . .hmmm, life's changes are amusing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

one beggar to another. . .

Last week I met a woman for coffee whom I'd met briefly over the phone. . . hmmm, how could she pick me out in the crowd at a local restaurant? So, I described myself-short, 100 lbs., wrinkled, gray hair, gray book bag-she found me right away.
So, we had pleasant discourse about the get acquainted trivia; she shared her spiritual journey, and then I asked her about the challenges. . .
As my new friend shared her life with me, I thought,
No temptation has overtaken you put such as is common to man. . . (I Cor 10:13)
And the reality is. . .her challenges are my challenges-our temptations may wear different clothes but human struggles and responses are the same. And the answer is the same. . . but God is faithful (I Cor 10:13)

So, here's a thought. . .discipleship is like one beggar giving another beggar bread, and if I'm the one giving, I'd better be certain I'm passing on real bread. . .

And unless I let the Word of God richly dwell within me, I'll merely dish up palatable garbage to my friends. . .a scary thought, indeed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

good books. . .an extraordinary life

A few weeks ago my friend Aubrey invited me to her Sunday afternoon book club. . .5 girls, 5 mothers, and me! Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John was book of the day- I settled into an obscure spot in Aubrey's sunny living room and simply listened . . . setting, plot, characters, conflict; their talk included the book's theme, forgiveness and redemption; hmmm, it was all so good.

Then we enjoyed treats around the table- treats typical of Switzerland, the setting of Treasures of the Snow: cocoa and hot tea, sliced bread, butter, jam and cheese, and of course, chocolates!

Next it was my turn to contribute. . .for I was the knitting lady
that day-my fingers fumbled attempting to teach five pairs of eager little hands to work the knit stitch- still a worthy pursuit. . .

Patricia St. John's books for children are among my favorites-I read them aloud to my own children and hope to have another time around with the grandchildren. And recently I read Patricia St. John tells her own story, the author's autobiography; Patricia St. John boldly served God as a missionary to Morrocco, Lebanon, Rwanda, to famine torn Ethiopia. . . .on the one hand, I was totally surprised by her extraordinary life, but then, her wonderful fiction is a clear expression of her personal life of devotion to God and to the Gospel.
Patricia St. John was a humble, faithful woman who lived a radical life for God- I want to be just like her. . .
and Aubrey, thanks for the book club invite!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

kind of like babysitting. . .

Last month my friend, Lori, invited me over for coffee-she was getting ready to join her husband Zachary at a military base in Arizona for 6 weeks.

So, we talked about life while Lori prepared biscuits using her grandmother's sourdough starter and biscuit recipe. She shared memories of yearly trips to visit her grandparents in the Texas Panhandle-and memories of Grandma Jan's sourdough biscuits served with homemade raspberry jam (and I'm thinking, raspberries in Texas??)

Lori. . . You'll be gone from home for 6 weeks. . .what about Grandma Jan's sourdough starter? I inquired.

Then Lori asked if I might like to babysit her sourdough starter. . .this babysitting would involve using a cup of the starter weekly and then feeding it. . .And of course, I said yes--how could I refuse?
So, for the past 3 weeks, we've been doing creative things with Grandma Jan's biscuits. Amaleah and Julia helped me one afternoon, crowded around the kitchen counter, spooning, dipping, mixing, patting and rolling- Oh, my! . . .flour covered their little bare feet that day. We baked biscuits to send home for their dinner, and we remembered to pray for Miss Lori.

This week John is home on spring break- so, Tuesday afternoon I fixed sourdough biscuits, jam, tea and coffee-and we thought about our elderly neighbor, Dan. . .he lives alone and works hard everyday in his garden.
(sometimes Dan shows up at our door with part of the catch of the day- cleaned catfish!)

. . .so Tuesday we took Dan a plate of Grandma Jan's biscuits with jam. Thanks! I was just fixin to go inside for something to eat. . .

Hmmm. . .I'm wondering how I can be creative with sourdough biscuits next week?
So, Lori, everytime I feed your sourdough starter, I think about you and Zachary, and I thank the Lord in every remembrance of you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a good obsession

During the past week I've been thinking. . .writing. . .talking a lot to women about Philippians 3:12-14; I think it's become an obsession. . .

"But one thing I do. . ."(vs 13)
So, the apostle Paul pursued one thing-to be like Christ, a pursuit that was his obsession. I'm commited aswell in that direction. . . .

Remember Ferdinand the bull whose purpose in life was to meet the matador at the bull fight in Madrid? Then Ferdinand smelled the flowers in the lovely ladies' hair and he sat down in the middle of the bull ring-he got distracted, imagine that!

so-smelling the flowers wasn't bad. . . however, Ferdinand's one thing was to meet the matador in the bull ring; sadly, I'm alot like Ferdinand, I'm drawn away by the smell of flowers. . . and other good endeavors; I stumble on my past and grow discouraged; I'm distracted from the one thing. . .

"I press on toward the goal . . ." (vs 12, 14)

I've been married to a competitive athlete for 37 years (it appears we've raised some of the same!) and I've witnessed that kind of pressing on-vigorous, aggressive, intense- I watch my four sons, clattering home from a morning of mountain biking-scratched, bruised, black eye, bloody, exhilarated to have accomplished the goal. . .and I think-obsession!
And I wonder if others observe that relentless pursuit of Christlikeness in me. . .

So, one thing I do. . .forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. . .