Tuesday, May 31, 2011

176 verses

Patricia invited me for an evening at her place last week.
And she invited Laura-we met for the first time.
There were treats-fruit, dates, hot herbal tea. . .and good conversation right from the start.
Every person's life story is unique, intriguing, don't you think? I love to listen. . .how does Gospel truth intersect here? I ask myself, because it does, always, I'm certain. . .
I've discovered that much of my life struggle has to do with the focus of my longing. . .
mmm, what if we read Psalm 119, aloud, right now? I suggested that night.
So, we collected 3 Bibles and started at the beginning. We read all 176 verses, taking turns, making observations along the way; we read for an hour. . . imagine that?

My soul languishes for your salvation. . . my eyes fail with longing for your Word. . . revive me according to Your lovingkindness, I will never forget your precepts. . .I anticipate the nightwatches that I may meditate on Your Word. . .O how I love Your law! . . .revive me, O Lord, according to your word, revive me. . .revive me. . .

Then we drank water. . .and I ate more dates.

A good evening, indeed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

what I do for a living

Another cup, another story. . .
one summer I visited my sweet sister in California; we enjoyed coffee at Pete's (mmm, good coffee)- then I purchased this cup. I take it down from my cupboard and think, this one doesn't fit me- colors too bright, cup too big, handle sticks out. . . But really, I love it- blueberries on bold yellow, shiney glaze and memories with my sister. (and the lip is chipped. . .)

Last week I met Jennifer and Amy for coffee. . . each is on the brink of unexpected life changes; for a long time I've met them 1 on 1, but recently we've been a threesome.
And it's been good-just taking in their talk, their mutual exhortation, and I interject a little. . .
How can we pray for you? they ask.
So, I told them about my appointment with a new doctor, about my dislike for those forms that ask personal information . . .
What do you do? where do you work? your employer?
I use to say, "I stay home with my kids." But the kids aren't home anymore. . .maybe she thinks I play bingo, that I'm spending my children's inheritance (silly)
Heart, it doesn't matter what she thinks -remember, the fear of man brings a snare.

And that day in the new doctor's office, it wasn't so bad, really.
"So, I see here that you mentor women. . .you're a counselor then. Is that what you do for a living?"
do for a living?. . .a counselor?
No, not really-I'm a wife, a mother, my children are grown up, I meet women over coffee. . .what I do for a living? Well, I'm a Christ follower. . .
thanks for asking.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

squash like candy

Our friend, Ralph, recently moved into the room above our garage. I'm not totally sure how this living arrangement will work out, but one thing is clear-Ralph needs us.
So, in Ralph's evaluation, I'm an A+ cook, "Sister Darcie, even when you're not home I can smell the cooking from your kitchen . . . and I think, she's that kind of cook, even when she's not cookin it smells like cookin!"
Last week a friend gave me a pile of collard greens- I cooked and served them up. "How are the collards, Ralph?"
He tells me, "mmm, just like my sister made!"

Tatume squash, that's what I have growing in my front yard. I planted it because the picture on the seed package looks like the squash that grows in the corn fields in Mexico. Indeed, the vine ingulfs everything; I carefully lift the vine while John mows.
Yesterday I sliced and sauteed Tatume squash; after dinner I overheard Ralph on the phone,
"How does sister Darcie make squash so good?. . .her squash tastes like candy."

garlic. . . the secret is garlic.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Psalm 106. . .and grace

Day after day I bump into grace. . .
God's grace confronts me in his Word, in books, in people, in circumstances, in creation. Ahh, God's grace is huge-and sometimes I'm surprised. . .

The other day I read Psalm 106-48 verses narrating Israel's rebellion and God's deliverances.

So, God's covenant people forsake Him, exchange his glory for a beast, despise the good land, grumble in their tents, forget his works, yoke themselves to Baal, eat sacrifices offered to the dead, rebel against His spirit, mingle with the nations, serve idols, shed the blood of their sons and daughters. . . their hearts are wicked verse after verse; and God gave his people into the hand of the nations- those who hated them ruled over them. . .

Then there was grace. . .
Nevertheless, He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry; and He remembered His covenent and relented according the the greatness of His lovingkindness. He made them objects of compassion. . .
And me? Well, last week I didn't sacrifice children to idols, nor join myself to Baal, nor serve gods of other nations. . .but honestly, I've known temptation, known my human frailty, grumbled in my tent- recently!
Nevertheless, He looked upon my distress, heard my cry. . .he made me an object of his compassion. . .


Thursday, May 19, 2011

sweet encouragement

Last week Amaleah spent the night with John and me-just one little grandaughter all to ourselves in this big house. . .so, we ran errands in the afternoon and stopped at a special shop for a little treat; then I asked Amaleah what she does with her other grandmother. . .

"Well, we have a sewing project and a cooking project. . . we always have coffee in the afternoon with a treat that she baked and saved in the freezer!"
I sighed, confessing to Amaleah that the treats I bake get eaten up fast or given away. . .I rarely think about saving and freezing for another day.
"That's okay, Gran, you are two different people!" she said.
Ah- sweet, impartiality. . . (and 8 year old wisdom)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

books in my bed

After breakfast one Saturday morning, I discovered this sweet group in my bed- So, I offered, "How about a read aloud, girls?"

Lately there's been a treasure of children's books at Half Price Books-most I give away, but a select few I keep in my pile-for occasions like this. . . Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a recent addition- "In the days when farmers worked with ox and sled and cut the dark with lantern light, there lived a boy who loved snow more than anything else in the world. . ."

So the story begins. . .Wilson Bentley, born in 1865 in Vermont, loved snow; with an old microscope, Willie caught snowflakes and studied the icy crystals-each one a small miracle! For 3 winters he tried to draw then, but they always melted. . . Willie yearned to capture the ice crystals' exquisite beauty for all to see, and one day, his parents spent their entire savings and bought their boy a camera with its own microscope. . .and the rest is history, literally. Willie told a friend, "I can't afford to miss a single snowstorm, I never know when I will find some wonderful prize." Ah, that I would examine each speck of creation with such wonder. . .
I love the story- and Mary Azarian's lovely woodcuts bring the book to life. I think I'll keep this one in my own stack for a while. (stop by for a read and some coffee)

Friday, May 13, 2011

in my house

hmmm, Friday-the end of the week, obviously. . .and I've been thinking about Psalm 101.

I read it on Monday, but the verses keep coming back to me-it's that way with the Spirit and God's Word.

And God probes me here:

"I will give heed to the blameless way. . .I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart".

My heart is a private place. . .and so is my house.

I live in my heart and no one sees (but God).

10 people use to live in my houses, but now it's just John and me-I walk within my house and no one sees (but God).

So. . .all week I've been thinking, praying, and talking with women about God's call and my commitment (how commited am I, really?) to integrity in the post private places- (do I slander my neighbor secretly in my heart? verse 5)

And I think. . . it's here that you and I answer the question: today how do I bring God the most glory?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

radishes with butter

The other day I pulled these lovely red globes from my friend's radish patch.
I thought of Malachai, my sweet grandson. . .he likes radishes too.
And he's having a birthday!
"Gran, can we have whole radishes dipped in butter like they do in France!"
Okay, okay, my boy- imagining that you were in Texas for your birthday. . . I would prepare a large bowl of radishes just for you and me-with butter on the side, like they do in France.
(Believe me, nobody else in Texas eats radishes with butter.)

then we'd eat cake!

Monday, May 9, 2011


This week I'm working to finish up all that is not . . .so, I added a little collar here-mmmm, not a perfect collar, but I doubt she'll notice. . .the sweet grandaughter we're expecting in July.
And next the buttons-maybe wooden or pewter?
And there's more unfinished stuff around here. . .yarn and fabric, reading and writing, sorting and sending; for me there's delight in the process aswell as the product-I love the feeling of a home in process-
(I think I wrote a post about that, once!)
But honestly- half-finished seems to be the theme around here these days.
I'm working on it. . .
Mostly, though, I don't want half-finished relationships.
Today-how can I bring God the most glory?
So, this week I'll make some phone calls, send some notes, set up some belated coffee dates, arrange some visits. . . and love the people in my life, wholeheartedly, until the end.

. . . a worthy pursuit

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

thirsty. . .

Aye, we need rain! The winds blow warm, the nights are hot. . .and it's spring.
My garden beds are green- I've been hose watering, but all around the earth is burnt and cracked. This afternoon John held the hose and I watched cardinals, finches, doves, mockingbirds in my front yard dipping water from the hose junction- a bright cardinal lifted his neck, bubbling down water. In south Texas all creation thirsts.

So, this morning our neighbor came for breakfast-a kind man, he grows and sells beautiful plants; his soul is parched-here, drink living water, water without cost . . .

As for Me? Keep thirsting, drinking-always. . .

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)