Monday, January 31, 2011

Florence and her family

Curious, isn't it. . .how it takes 2 grown women to dress an infant girl-gently guiding the ever-moving appendages into the garment holes.
We're opening boxes and Florence is wearing cousin clothes.
Aunt Rachel knit the pink ballet sweater, passed from Selma to Florence.
I snuggled her today, smooth baby skin against wrinkled grandmother skin, "Little girl, you have family. . .the sweetest mom and dad, 2 sets of grandparents, 30 aunts and uncles and 32 cousins -with more on the way!"
Ah, you are blessed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

bread rising 101

I've been making bread for a hundred years-almost. I love to grind the wheat, to mix, knead, shape, bake. . .and just like the Little Red Hen-eat it (but I share).
Bread from my kitchen doesn't always win the blue ribbon, but I keep making it and love to share tips and recipes with my girls.
Rachel and Abigail make bread up north in the chill of winter; Where's the best spot in your house for rising bread? I ask.
From frigid Indiana, Rachel says,"Upstairs in Brett's study, under the desk, in front of the heater vent." Imagine that?
And yesterday at Abi's house in upstate New York, I made bread -while snow fell steadily outside the kitchen window. Where to rise the dough? ". . . on the white chair, in the dining room, in front of the heat register", she instructed-good job.

We do it differently in Texas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

from 0 to 24. . .

Uncle Jeremiah is Awesome!

0-24 years in the blink of an eye. . .way to fast. I'm in New York and Jeremiah is celebrating his birthday in Texas-he's not the baby of the family, but almost.

This morning Nathaniel and Abi took little Florence to her first check up; I puttered and worked around, listening to a message on Psalm 119. . .How can a young man keep himself pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander. . .(vs 9,10)

hmm. . .these sons of mine, these young men-now I rarely cook them breakfast or fold their clothes (make a birthday cake)-but certainly, I can pray. . .

(thanks, Miah, for the bicycle gloves-I'm wearing them in New York in 2 degrees. . . )

Monday, January 24, 2011

fearfully and wonderfully made

Florence Eliana

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven n the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance,
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139

Saturday, January 22, 2011

travel one day. . . baby the next

I love my Dansko clogs. . .easy on and off, comfortable (stylish), great for 12 hours of plane travel and 4 airports, Texas to New York-in a day. And everything was snowy darkness when Abigail picked me up. . .Me, standing in my Danskos on the icy curb ( act like a New Yorker when in New York in January, right?)
How sweet to be here with Nathaniel, Abi and baby. . .I emailed John, " I'm here, but no signs of baby arriving soon- pray!"
Next morning I got up ready, washed my face, slipped on jeans, sweater, Danskos-and then I discovered that it was the baby's big day afterall, imagine that!
So Abi was doing the hardest work a woman ever does-like running a marathon- Mom, I wish I could push the pause button on this-hmmm, I vaguely remember.
Perhaps I encouraged endurance, trust-but I don't know. . .I was feeling so reflective, to think. . .I labored like this with her, and now 28 years later. . .oddly, I felt like I was doing part of the work- and with the final push there was sweet baby girl, born with dark hair just like her mother 28 years ago.
Feels like I just ran a 2 day marathon in my Dansko clogs ( in my 6th decade).
God is good and He gives endurance to the weak and faint. . .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

to the snow. . .

So, I'm getting on another plane (with a small book in my bag) -this time I'm heading East, to New York and snow. . .me, a California/Texas girl in New York in January, imagine that?
I can't wait-Abigail and Nathaniel are there-and baby.
I'm packing some gender neutral things for him? or her?
And I wonder. . .brown eyes and rosey cheeks like Abi? or blue eyes and freckles like Nathaniel?
Ahh-this little one, created in the image of the Great Creator.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Psalm 27 and a book in my bag

One thing I have asked from the Lord that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord.
hmmm, I love Psalm 27-the pages of my Bible in that spot are worn, wrinkled, written on-
I've been traveling a lot lately, and finally I'm facing up to the fact that I pack way too many books in my carry on bag. It looks like this. . . I settle my small self into the middle seat and then profusely apologize to the kind folks on either side as I wrestle in my bag, bumping them as I go. . .
I've resolved to carry less-so last month when I flew to California, I searched around here for a slim, light selection to tuck in my carry-on bag. From a stack of books that Rachel left behind, I choose A Shelter in the Time of Storm by Paul David Tripp (meditations on God and trouble from Psalm 27).
I considered, "I've never read it, everybody has troubles, I need God in the storms, and I love Psalm 27! "
So-I traveled to California and came home to Texas still readying this little book, determined to make Psalm 27 more my own.
Shelter in the Time of Storm includes 52 meditations, each about 2 pages long, concluding with 2 personal challenges. Last week I read meditation 26, "The Rejection of Rejection"- My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in (vs 10) The author points to my Savior's rejection as the ultimate rejection and then asks this question: "In what ways would your practical, daily living change if you lived with a deep and lively sense of appreciation for the horror of the rejection Jesus faced for you?"
a worthy pursuit-I keep thinking about it. . .

Thursday, January 13, 2011

my baby and me. . .

My girls loved reading the Betsy-Tacy books by Maude Lovelace-adventures of 3 little friends growing up in Minneapolis in the early 1900's, 10 books telling their story from kindergarden to marriage.
And the books are still loved around here-2 evenings last week Mercy and I stayed warm with knitting and tea and blankets while she read Betsy and the Big World aloud to us.

I'm thinking some more about this season of my life- on Sunday at our church meeting, my friend Patricia introduced herself to Mercy-my baby; it's curious that I live and work and worship side by side with lots of people who barely know my grown children.
Really, the transition has been going on for years-I'm getting use to it, slowly. I tell my heart, You didn't raise these children to pitch a tent in your backyard. . .
I remember my true identity-I'm in Christ, permanently adopted as his beloved child! (Eph 1:3. . .)
So- Mercy, my baby, began a new semester at college yesterday.
God is growing us both and I'm so thankful for His good plan. . .really, I am.

Monday, January 10, 2011

a day in October. .

The other day Gabrielle asked if I ever have posts stuck in the draft box. . .mmmm, right now there are 3-this one is from October, the week before Brett and Rachel's wedding.
I love thinking about that week- days full of work and play. . .and plenty of good books. Malachai always discovers the best ones, books squeezed together, hidden in my dusty shelves.

And then he reads. . .anytime- just about anywhere; this time he unearthered The Illustrated Pilgrim's Progress (from the original story by John Bunyan/retold by Jean Watson) and later, back on firm ground, we had a good talk. . .
So- I imagine that next time my little reader-thinker comes for a visit, he'll remember about Pilgrims Progress. . .and we'll talk a little more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

lavish forgiveness-10 (plenty of grace)

After a hiatus. . .this one is the last-11 posts about forgiveness, lavish forgiveness.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed." (2 Cor 9:8)
God commands us to forgive as He forgives and then He supplies plenty of grace.
So. . .all grace abounds, all sufficiency, in everything, an abundance. . .God's grace is an amazing, mysterious resource-and it abounds to you, to me.
I'm intrigued by the testimony of those who have been capable of supernatural acts of forgiveness-women like Esther Ahn Kim, Helen Rosevere, Darlene Debler Rose, each bearing a bold testimony of Ephesians 4:32.
But for you and me. . .when it seems impossible to forgive (or when I don't want to)-no matter the extent of the offense, God's grace abounds to me-all suffcient, abundant, all grace.

Once upon a time. . .a dear one was the target of wrongful accusations, cruel comments, slander; wrongfulness overflowed to me and continued with vengeance. . . a confusing, painful season 0f my life. But-all grace abounded to me, then . . . still.
And not because I'm good-but because He IS and His grace abounds, God inclined my heart to my offender, and we were reconciled, Amazing. . .
"The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter til the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble." (Prov 4: 18)
Plainly, when I refuse to forgive, I stumble in the darkness .
Ahh, but the light of dawn shines brighter and brighter. . .like the path of the Christ follower, obsessed with forgiveness.

Monday, January 3, 2011

worthy pursuits-2011

So-5 days before Christmas I returned home from a 3 week stay in California; John and I sat on the bed that night, opening and reading all the holiday cards and letters-he saved them in a box. I love holiday news letters-I'm that sort of woman. . .
hmmm-I haven't sent a paper copy of our family news in years; life keeps sprinting ahead of my pen-and then I wonder, what exactly do I want to write, anyway? there are always changes that define our lives in some way-like my mom went to heaven in November, and the delight of these added. . .
Josiah married Lindsey in July

Adalyn Grace born to Noah and Jamey-August 8

Rachel married Brett in October

Big changes indeed-but today I'm telling myself, "Remember, heart, the gospel defines you!"
He loved me and delivered Himself up for me. . .
I've been thinking a lot about living out the gospel in 2011-about loving others, not only with my tongue, but in deed and truth
(1 John 4:18) and about delighting. . . "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord." (Psalm 27:4)
hmmm, worthy pursuits-we'll see how it looks in 2011. . .
(thanks ever so much for the cards and letters!)