Thursday, May 27, 2010

all about kin. . .

So, Rachel's been posting on her blog about letting go- she's preparing to return to the States, accomodating all her possessions in 2 suitcases. What would I choose to include in 2 suitcases? Rachel's conclusion: reminders of people take priority over books-for books are replaceable.
But recently while digging through an entire suitcase of the Smith's books sent back to Texas with the younger siblings, I discovered this treasure: Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson. (creators of Story of Ferdinand)-it's inscribed: to Malachai, Josu, and Selma~love Aunt Rachel.
Wee Gillis lives in Scotland; he spends half of each year with his mother's people in the Lowlands where he's taught to herd long-haired cows, learning to call them in the heaviest fog. Then Wee Gillis spends the other half of each year with his father's people in the rocky Highlands where he learns to stalk stags, holding his breath so as not to make a sound.
Whether in the Highlands or the Lowlands, Wee Gillis rises early each morning and eats a very large bowl of oatmeal with his kin-each side is eager for the lad to settle down and adopt their ways.
this picture book delights me so-perhaps it's that huge bowl of oatmeal? or the freckled nose?
but really, I'm thinking about Malachai, Josu, and Selma in California with their father's people- on the Pacific Ocean, eating round scoops of ice cream in lovely waffle cones -how nice.
And very soon the children will be with their mother's people in Texas, here in San Antonio's southside, where the ice cream man rides his bicycle through the neighborhood, his bell jingling, selling Mexican style paletas for "un dolar".
we'll buy some and make a memory. . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010

zinnias in a little pitcher and thoughts on time

Today the young Newtons gave me a gift-Amaleah picked the tiny zinnias from her garden; she and her daddy planted the seeds.
I love little pitchers. . . hmmm, I collected many little pitchers-and broke them while raising little children. . .
I pray for the young women in my life- dear women raising little children, who struggle to carve out time to be alone with God.
I remember- endless distractions, crunchy time, but sometimes a woman just has to be ruthless with herself-15 minutes of quiet. . .the sinkful of dishes? or time with God? (I wish I'd been less concerned with broken pitchers and more commited to time in God's Word.)
I think, "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my heart." (Ps 94:19) You and I-we won't know the consolations of the Lord without time spent in his Word.
So, last week I talked with my sweet friend in Michigan- we're in the same season, children grown, new additions, keeping up. . .and our conversation wandered on to discretionary time, for we both have it now, discretionary time. And we agreed- with more time the challenge remains. . .we're tempted to squander time, we struggle to take our thoughts captive (the peril of too much time?), the choice remains. . .the sink full of dishes? or time with God (and sometimes a woman just has to be ruthless with herself. . .)
curious, isn't it-for the battle isn't about more time or less time, it's not about time at all-
Love the Lord your God with all your heart.

Monday, May 17, 2010

And I said, "Help yourself. . ."

My neighbor to the right knocked on my door the other day-the neighbor I rarely see.
she teaches school, lives alone, spends weekends. . . who knows where?
But this week my neighbor came with a little dish of cherry cheesecake squares- she commented about the cinnamon rolls I brought her last month, and the zucchinni . . .
It was such a brief visit, but she shared a bit of herself with me. . . her parents were migrant workers; as a child she traveled every summer with her family from Laredo to Michigan to harvest crops.
And again she commented about the hopeful beginnings of my front yard vegetable garden, and I urged, "Please. . . just come and help yourself, any time!"
hmmm, I hope she takes me up on the offer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

encouragement on a Sunday afternoon. . .

So, in March we were with Abi and Nathaniel in England on "Mothering Sunday."
Mum's Day, they call it.
-a sweet occasion to be with them, to be handed a little clump of daffodils at Christ Church, Bromley on Mum's Day.
I'm always a bit conflicted on mother's day. . .them honoring me, when it seems I should be celebrating these sons and daughters who have allowed me to mother them (and continue to do so) stumbling along, for 36 years.
And last Sunday was Mother's Day in America (in Mexico it's always May 10th, did you know?) We'd already enjoyed a great week with family-grandmothers, mothers, aunts, all together- and concluded that Sunday afternoon was a good time to do very little, if you know what I mean?
So John and I decided to spend the afternoon visiting our friend, Randy.
our friend who for years has endured 2305 St. Anthony in extreme heat and cold, for years on Mondays has eaten up and complimented my homecooking, who has shared our life, our church, our hope in Christ. . .our friend, who has been recovering, waiting, visiting doctors, surgeons, waiting.
hmmm, so good- to encourage the saints-and to be encouraged to endure for the glory of God.
(and mothers need that encouragement too, so I've discovered)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a good vinaigrette

on Monday, for my dear house guests, I made a new recipe for dinner (do you ever do that? new recipe for company?) -one from a favorite cooking magazine with all the best ingredients: couscous, asparagus, chicken, lemon juice. . .
the dish was fine- maybe next time I'll tweek it just a bit, however, the best part of the meal was the salad- lettuce and radishes from the garden. . .and I dressed the salad with Naomi's Vinaigrette.
And later we ate leftovers, the main dish, cold with the vinaigrette-yu-um
Naomi's Vinagrette
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar (1/2 balsamic)
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp worchester sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard
pressed garlic
3/4 cup good olive oil, emulsified with whisk
mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for the olive oil; then add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continually until the oil is emulsified (or using the food processor, slowly pour in oil while machine is running.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

scraps of paper, scraps of life. . .

Everybody has quirks, you know. . .
I write my thoughts randomly on scraps of paper, even already printed scraps-scraps scattered everywhere. . .
the other day, while reading on the internet, I scribbled: For in Him all the fullness of God dwells in bodily form!-scrawled large in red pen-across the order for my husband's colonoscopy, Sigh
(honest, I really did!)
And eventually, I gather the multiplying scraps into a neat pile-and begin to record the gems in some orderly fashion.
A torn scrap tucked in my Bible catches my eye:
The Lord formed us for Himself, to declare His praise! (why did He make me?)Lord, just to think. . . you created me for Yourself, for your pleasure (Isaiah 43: 7, 21).
Last week I talked to Abigail on skype; she and Nathaniel had been working in their little front garden and a woman from the neighborhood strolled by with her wee one in a carriage.
she stopped to chat-Abi knows her from the weekly outreach to mothers and children at Christ Church, Bromley.
So, the neighbor presented her newborne and invited Abi for tea.
"She invited me to her home, shared a bit of her personal life-a good beginning. . .but it's just a small thing", said my girl.
And I said, "indeed, it's a small thing, but not only that. . ."
-a scrap of life, and in my humble opinion, these are the mundane things which one by one, piled together, reveal the purpose for which we were created. . .for Him, for His pleasure
"The people whom I formed for Myself, will declare My praise" (Isaiah 43:21)

Friday, May 7, 2010

the house guests came. . .

So, John and I just enjoyed a week of house guests-3 sets of guests.
hmmm, so good-
I always tell folks that staying at our place is a bit like camping. . . we have the most gracious guests.
And I'm thinking about a picture book, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Ryland, our tattered copy, stacked among the books in the corner here-a favorite with the grandchildren.
As this wonderful story goes. . . in an old station wagon, with an ice chest full of soda pop and bologna sandwitches, the relatives came up from Virginia-they drove all day and all night. . .
and when they finally arrived, it was hugging time,"you'd have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room!"
The relatives stayed for weeks -playing, working, laughing, making music- and breathing together; it was good they weren't particular about beds because there weren't any extras. . .
And Our family. . .well, we've loved this book, a gift from Teri, my sweet sister, in 1989 after we'd been to their place in California for a summer visit; she wrote on the fly leaf:
"We couldn't resist getting you this book; it seemed so appropriate! I love the part where the relatives aren't particular about beds! We loved having ALL of you. Promise you'll visit again."
hmm, don't you love it when folks write memories in a book?
And today I'm musing about this summer-from June to August, when our friends and relatives will come to stay at 2305 St. Anthony (remember dear ones, it's abit like camping!)
I can't wait. . .talking, laughing, working, eating and breathing together-worthy pursuits, every one.
Aunt Beth brings crafts in her suitcase!