Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saturday morning Gabrielle and the children invited me out for bagels and then to the Botanical Gardens-lovely. I arrived home in the afternoon- John and the neighbors were working in the garage with crow bars, shovels and lifts. (our garage leans)
"You had a phone call-she'll call back," my husband said.
She called at 9 P.M. "Sorry. . . I only call you when my life is a mess."
"I'm glad you called," I said- and I listened.

No temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
That's what I wanted to remind her, for sure. . .that the way of escape is endurance and that God is faithful to give enough grace.
I told her. . . and she listened.
So, she's coming to my house tomorrow. I want to embrace her-and tell her that a woman who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream, that will not fear when the heat comes. . .nor cease to yield fruit-nor cease to yield fruit. (Jer 17: 7-9)

And I want to tell myself-

Monday, September 26, 2011

Violet's stool. . .

It seems like I have a new piece of furniture when I move an old piece to a new spot. . .
My grandfather made a tall three legged stool for my grandmother, Violet. I've heard that Violet would sit on her tall stool peeling carrots.
Now it's my stool, but I love to think about my tiny grandmother sitting on it, peeling carrots. . . did her legs dangle? did the stool todder?
So, last week I was standing over the recycle bin, flipping fast through magazines, and I saw this idea-Violet's tall stool could be a little table, maybe. . . it works next to my favorite chair; it holds my pile of books smartly, but will it hold a coffee cup-without a todder?
This week I've invited two women over for coffee. I'll try out Violet's stool first, with my coffee cup-and I'll watch for any hint of todder.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

good grammar

The other evening John and I drove our grandaughters home from an event, "Tell me about school." I asked.
"Grammar is hard!" Amaleah said.
"Oh, no, grammar is good (I love grammar). . . tell me what you're learning." I said.
"You know, about sentences- declarative, interrogative, imperative- and we're suppose to replace weak verbs with strong verbs. . ."
"Sounds good, no whimpy verbs allowed." I said.
The next morning I read Psalm 28, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults."
Listen sweet grandaughter, My heart trusts in Him, therefore my heart exults. . .
declarative sentence, strong verb-

Monday, September 19, 2011

a visit and a psalm

(ahh, a little metal pitcher with Peter and the cabbage leaves. . .)

Last week I visited my friend, Jennifer- we drank tea in china cups and ate little cookies and tender biscotti. . .special treats from Amy in Mississippi.
The house was quiet-nice (but not necessary) for tea and talk. Jennifer shared Psalm 13; I pulled my travel Bible from my book bag and followed along-
"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?. . .consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes. . .but I have trusted in your steadfast love. . ."
I remembered-no matter the season or circumstances, the challenges in a woman's life are the same-the clothes are different, the heart's the same. . .and God's Word restores.
Then Jennifer left to pick up her children and I drove home.
The house was quiet- at my desk I opened my worn old Bible and read Psalm 13 again; the page is wrinkled, words are scribbled in pen and pencil in the margin, "I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." (vs 6)
Worship. . .scribbled in the margin

Thursday, September 15, 2011

my mind rambles. . .

Women's Bible study started up on Tuesday, a new year- I can't wait. There are new things ahead for me, opportunities not planned by me. . .
And on Tuesday I met new women- so nice.
We circled the group, introducing ourselves, and I could only think of one thing to share; you see, Tuesday was Josiah's birthday, and Noah's birthday-they share the day, 5 years apart.
So, I told the women, "Today my sons share a birthday, born 32 and 27 years ago!"
Now my boys are fathers -I imagine my sons with sons, but God has given them daughters. I love to watch . . .
Boys! keep training and loving - supporting her head, holding her hand and all the rest. . .for a very very long time.
(Now I need to remember what those dear women shared with me about themselves. . .)

Monday, September 12, 2011

a space between each book. . .

Last week I visited Caroline-she showed me her clean, organized pantry.
"Lovely! Leave the door open for a few days." I said.
I told her about my bookshelf cleaning project-dusting, sorting, giving away, rearranging.
a clean bookshelf is nice. . .you know, a shelf with little spaces between each book. And I love that empty middle shelf. . .
I discovered some treasures and a bunch for the give-away box; Wild Alaska belongs to Josiah, sent from his dear grandmother who filled the title page with a personal letter; she also promised to send him an ample collection of books about Alaska. (I only found one)

So-John started a new school year and I started cleaning the bookshelf-I thought about Psalm 16, "I have set the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

I have set the Lord. . .not a person, or vision, or ministry or any good thing. Then day by day my children and grandchildren started back to school, teaching and attending-universtities, high school, elementary, home school. . .in Mexico City my 3 sweet grandchildren began a new school year.

I recalled past school days. . .with a hint of longing. So, I kept cleaning the bookshelf and I prayed for them, for me. . .

I have set the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken. (Ps 16:8)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

just a button

So, I'm writing a post about a button-curious, but then the tiniest details seem to weave our lives together, don't you think?
This sweater is ready to send off to sweet Florence, but it needed a button- just one.
So I spilled out the button jar and quickly chose 4 or 5 possibilities. Then I asked my husband his opinion. . .fully expecting that he would respond, whatever-all good. . .
But he didn't-instead he chose the large colorful button, and really, I love it- and I love that my husband had an opinion about my handiwork. . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Consider Him. . .

Friday night after Bible study I sat with a friend on the edge of the pool- our legs dangled in the tepid water.
surrounded by noise, splashing, laughter, conversations -she shared, "I want peace, this relationship is still broken, what more can I do?"
A tangled mess. . .that's what she described. we had discussed it before, her part in pursuing peace.
As much as possible with you be at peace with all men.

I hear my friend's confusion and feel her sadness; I want to smooth out the trouble for her, take away the hostility, somehow bring about reconciliation. . .
today I've been thinking about our world broken by sin- and about the gospel. . .
"Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." (Hebrews 12:3)
So, today I'll call and encourage my friend . . .remember the cross! the gospel applies here, now, Consider Him. . .

Friday, September 2, 2011

dry but thirsty

Amaleah called on Monday, "Gran! it's 102 degrees-are you and Papi okay?"
so sweet. . .actually, at 5 P.M. the temperature outside was 105 degrees and I was driving home from cool Starbucks. I stepped inside my house, slipped off my sandals-the hardwoods felt hot.
And such is south Texas at the end of summer, hot and dry.

Last week I ate lunch with a young friend, "I wanted to ask you about this. . .I feel spiritually dry." she said.
Dry?? I look around me and dry means cracks-like the ground cracks, walls crack, skin cracks. . .but I understand my friend, and I know what it's like to feel dry on the inside.
Sometimes I feel parched. And the inside struggle flares when I don't thirst, or when I thirst for what is dead.
So, I keep putting the living God before me- My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to your word. . . (Psalm 119)

It helps to cultivate thankfulness. . .for small things.

Today I'm thankful for a new screen door. . . John is building, piecing, repairing, painting it. There are still cracks all around me, but I'm focusing on the lovely door.

O God, my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Ps 63)