Friday, September 27, 2013

one about words

One day last week a friend sent me an email, asking my thoughts on Proverbs 18:21
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit."

So, I"ve been thinking about it. . .how this truth plays out practically in my life percolates inside-still.
I've witnessed how my words can either destroy or give life. I love the power produced or the affect my words have on others, and finally, I will taste the consequences of my words, for good or bad.

If I speak impatiently to my husband, in my sin I love the power my words produce.
But then I will eat the fruit. . . perhaps my husband will be impatient with me in return or he may grow distant from me; and certainly, if I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit's conviction, I will eat the fruit of shame for using my words to kill.

Every other week I get an injection at a local clinic; my appointment is just a nurses visit, and when the clinic is busy, sometimes I'm overlooked (little me sitting there with my book or knitting!).
One morning a few months ago, I waited, waited my turn and finally I spoke irritated words to the attendants at the desk. . ."I have been waiting a very long time; do you realize how often you forget me?"
 I loved the power of my words at the moment I spoke them, but then. . .  I ate the fruit of shame and embarrassment and the most wretched and bitter fruit -- I dishonored the Lord.

Ahhh, it seems that my sin is ever before me, but so is God's grace. . .encouragement, refreshment, revival, life is in the power of the tongue-
and I love its good fruit.

 They told us, "we have to talk privately. . .to work it out!"

Monday, September 23, 2013

time to give

 Basting is the final step before adding the tiny stitches to create a quilt; this one is for Titus who is already
 9 months old. .  slow but steady, I'll finish by his birthday.
Perhaps I'm a slow but steady grandmother-I totter a bit when trying to figure out exactly how to be one.
I know a few things . . .to give my grandchildren time and affection, to read and play, to share the gospel,  to show them how I love the Lord Jesus, to pray for them-and for their parents.
3 grandchildren live near and 11 live far away (actually I'm waiting to meet the 2 tiniest boys).
My grandmother Paula lived near during my little years and my grandmother Violet lived near during my middle years. I'm remembering my dear grandmothers and wondering how they stayed close even when far away.
 Lord, teach me . . . stitching quilts for my grandchildren is the easy part.

Last month a friend asked me to spend "grandmother time" with her children. of course- I have time to give.
So, one afternoon I packed some books in my bag and drove across town for a visit.
I listened to piano practice and recitations; we drank tea, ate sweets, and practiced knitting.
They sat close as I opened James Herriot's Treasury for Children. I read Moses the Kitten and Bonnie's Big Day and when we couldn't decide what to do next, I suggested we cast lots.
Really? they questioned,
"Sure, it's what we do at our house." I assured them.

Tomorrow  I'll carry Benjamin West and his Cat Grimilkin in my bag. . .(they will love it)

To be a grandmother, a woman should walk by faith--and be meek.

Friday, September 20, 2013

He loves righteousness and justice. . .

I'm reading through a favorite portion of Scripture, Psalms 31-37.
We use to sing Psalms 32 and 33 in church with our children- and even now in my mind I  sing . . . 
for the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice. 

I'm spending time with a good friend, a woman who personally knows the crush of human injustice.
I read Psalm 35 the other day, thought of my friend's situation and I prayed. . .

O Lord, fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of buckler and shield, and rise up for my help. . .
Let their way be dark and slippery- for without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
Let destruction come upon him unawares; let the net which he hid catch himself . . .

Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up!"
Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress. . .

Honestly, I surprised myself. . . perhaps I've never prayed with such vehemence?

 I turned to Psalm 37 and discovered my friend's name penciled in the margin of my old Bible, dated 2003.
Do not fret because of  evil doers. . .for they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good. . .

So, that day I called my friend, "dear one, remember, God has proved himself faithful to you for 10 years, and longer, and still. . .

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Even in laughter. . .

Last week I spent an afternoon with Suzanne; we drove to a medical facility and during her procedure, I pulled my chair close to her recliner.
My friend has cancer; talk was deep and open for both of us that afternoon. Perhaps cancer provokes transparency, but then Suzanne is like that anyway- 

Today I almost missed Proverbs 14:13- the words cling to the edge of a shredded page in my Bible.
Even in laughter the heart may be in pain and the end of joy may be grief.

I shared rich conversation with Suzanne last week, but what about the woman I greet walking at the park?  or the nurse who gives my injection every other Monday? or the woman sitting a row in front of me at church, or the one I disciple. . . . or my children?

laughter and pain, joy and grief. . .incongruous- but real in a world broken by sin.
Proverbs  14:13 begs me to go a little deeper, to listen, to notice, to ask about the inside. . .

 to admit that it can be true for me too, Even in laughter the heart may be in pain.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

about 2 mothers. . .

In our family, birthdays cluster in September.
So, last week, in my 90 degree kitchen, I strategized how to make a good crust for Gabrielle's birthday pie.

Step 1:  this time I began the process at dawn-the dough came together nicely and I slipped the flat little disks in the fridge to chill-
(then it was break time at Bird Bakery-2 mothers, Gabrielle, and our cheeky boy)

Step 2: I cooled my table top with ice blocks, rolled out the dough in a flash, transferred the lovely sheets from pie plate to refrigerator; working in shifts, I  avoided a melting buttery mess.
I added the rhubarb filling, the top crust and baked it. . . (just like the cooking shows, yes?)

Martha and I (2 mothers) joined forces in the evening, she contributed birthday dinner and I brought  dessert.
At the end of it all, we gathered up our washed pots and baking dishes, hugged all around-
And Amaleah exclaimed, " The 2 mothers are here together- both the grandmothers, and they're friends!"

God weaves families- I'm grateful for Gabrielle. . .and her mother.

Monday, September 2, 2013

and today. . .

                                (Berry Buttermilk Muffins from

Monday morning my husband began a new school year, "I've been doing this a long time but I still get excited for the first day!" he told me. 
 I packed his peanut butter and honey sandwich, and he was off, a happy man.

Soul, what does the Lord require of you today. . .to walk in all his ways, to love and serve him with all your heart. . .

So, I had opportunity to bring a meal to two families last week-I like to cook and I love to feed people, but I'm uncomfortable bringing meals. . . I hesitate, "Will they like my food?"

 Soul, Fear people less and love people more. . .and it was good, I'm not sure about my food, but I've learned that if I cook and deliver early, then I can sit and chat.

What does the Lord require of you. . . but to fear him, to love and to serve him. . .

And over coffee and lunch I had 3 opportunities to meet with women last week-that's where I'm comfortable.
One day I listened long and I cried with my friend. . .

comfortable, uncomfortable. . .teach me today to walk in your ways.