Friday, December 20, 2013

to learn about a good thing

 Nathaniel and Abigail came to Texas last month and they left their sweet children with John and me for an overnight and a day. "Ah, they trust us with their treasure!"

Eye to eye, the mother instructed, "Florence, while Dad and I are away, Gran and Grand Papi are in charge- they are the boss!"
The next morning John sat his grandchildren down at the little kitchen bench with cups of hot cocoa. Then he rode off to school on his bicycle and we waved.

I loaded up the children and set off on errands, just 3 short errand with just 2 little ones.
But short became long and oh, so slow. . .I only need thread, only milk and bread . . .

"Florence, we cant fit in the park this morning, Titus needs to nap at home," I explained.
(How did I ever do this so long ago. . .and with 8?)
Then I heard a wail from the back seat, "Gran, I am so sad. . .sad because you are not obeying me!"

"Ha! me obey you?" I thought.
But I answered, "hmmm, I love you, Florence!"

I'm still learning lots about them (while learning more about me. . .)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Contentment ~ soul business

Winter barreled south and Texans are piling on the layers-wool sweaters, coats, scarves, knitted hats, mittens, and  really, I think we look quite smart.

Last night  I slipped between the flannel sheets with a shiver. My husband reminded me that our body heat eventually warms the sheets; he's been telling me that for over 40 years but I still yelp with the initial icy shock.

In The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs writes that true contentment is soul business-  for example, to be content as a result of some external circumstance is akin to warming a man's clothes by the fire, merely temporarily and externally warm.

But true contentment radiates from a soul that trusts God . . .like a healthy woman  puts on her clothes on a cold morning and at first she shivers but after she wears her clothes  for awhile, they are warm, warm from the natural heat of her body!

 So, I told my husband all of that as we waited for the sheets to warm up.
 "I don't think I'm explaining it quite clearly," I lamented.
"Not at all, I understand perfectly," he assured me.

Then, as always, I felt the sheets warm. . .

Friday, December 6, 2013

just the 2 of us, again

This little bunch has kept me busy the past few weeks, delightfully so-
imagine the crumb piles and milk puddles under the old high chair, the plastic animals and Brio trains under foot.

In the hollow space upstairs John strung up a parachute tent for his grandchildren.
I love breakfasts, baths, and book time. . .

A few days ago they left us- our house is quiet, clean, and we miss them.
So, yesterday John and I moved back into our grown up routine--I met a woman over coffee and  cracked  a new book, By His Wounds You are Healed by Wendy Horger Alsup.

 I gently turned the yellowed pages of a very old one, The Rare Jewel  of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs ( I carry the pages in a zip lock bag, hmmm, did a mouse nibble the corners?)

And last night in our cold house, under the down comforter, we ate our dinner;
together we read an Advent meditation from Good News of Great Joy by John Piper. . .
just the 2 of us.

"Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!" (Jeremiah 23:29)
Gather around that fire this Advent season.  It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. 
It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark (cold) nights."