Monday, May 26, 2014

up in the air so blue. . .

My mom was the quintessential kindergarden teacher; over many years she often recited
 "The Swing" to us, her children.

"How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it is the pleasantest thing
  Ever a child can do?"

I still love to swing-there's something about sailing up in the air so blue that clears
 a crowded mind; lately I've been pushing little boys up. . .

 Friday I pushed, pushed Aaron and Jonas in their back yard swing-
"Miss Darcie, can you give me and under doggie?" squeaked the little one.
"No, sweet boy, I'm too old, too weak!"

 Tuesday I pushed Eoin in the swing at the park.
"Eoin, before I push- just park your sword over there," I instructed.

Then Wednesday I pushed Landis- by now he knows  not to ask. . .
"You can't do an under doggie, right Gran?"

So- I push and tell them, "Boys, Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, so that you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. . .remember Jesus is the only way to life and truth!"

This week  I'm scheduled for a bone density scan- and I expect the doctor will say,
"Ma'am, your arm bones look good and dense."
And I'll say, "Oh, it's the little boys. . .I've been pushing them up in the air so blue!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

See what kind of love. . .

When my grandchildren visit they sit on the brown bench and play at the kitchen windowsill.
I wash dishes and watch their play; then they go home and I'm slow to pick up the remnants, enjoying the memory, thinking about next time. . . remembering how my little sons and daughters played at that exact spot at the kitchen windowsill.

Sometimes a dear person comes into my life for what seems like the blink of an eye. I met Cory in March and this week she moved away. I'm feeling a bit wistful about it, "Ahh, friend, why so soon? I will miss you!"

We've been squeezing in Friday morning coffees at Central Market, sipping and sharing. . . two small women, nestled in square, man size chairs under an outdoor awning.
So- eager to pack in personal stories in the space of a breath,  we trip over our words. . . and the other day we admitted a common heart struggle- you see, we're each vulnerable to hurt when others don't love us well, or when it appears they don't . . . do you know that struggle?

I told my friend that when the internal battle rumbles, desperate for love, I say inside, "Soul, love God more. . .reach out and love others fervently, intentionally!" True, very true. . .but first I have to bathe my heart here:

See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
(1 John 3:1)

Think of it- God chose me for his family and lavished his grace upon me because he loved me even when I was most unloveable. God says to me,

I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)

So, I tell Cory, "Dear friend, I'm a lot older than you are and I'm a slow learner . . . yet I yearn to understand that God's love for me, his child, is deep and abiding and forever, a love that changes me.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

in strength and in weakness

 Saturday morning I awoke revived, "A bicycle ride sounds nice!" I told my husband.
So, he jumped on the idea, always delighted when I suggest a ride. I expected we'd ride calmly along the river, but I've noticed about my husband. . .when I'm up for a bicycle ride, he's eager to show me all the places I miss when he bikes without me.
Really, we should have stopped at the Cinco de Mayo parade at Mission Espada, stayed right there, enjoying the scene, considering it just enough for half way, but we biked on; he pointed out favorite things that I would never notice on my own. He was sweet, delighted to have me along for the ride. . .I grew fatigued, discouraged- why so slow, feeling so old.
"Should I go back for the car and pick you up?" he suggested.
No, I can make it, but slowly, please no hills!" I said
Retirement is coming. . . can I keep up with this man? 

And in the afternoon we drove to the store and bought a new computer- imagine that? Thinking about retirement, thinking about what might be ahead for us, we made an investment. . .
Hmm, I love this new machine and I'm typing really fast.
My husband types slowly--in fact sometime I type for him.
We're fast and slow, strong and weak in different ways. 

Love is patient. . .love bears with the weaknesses, love rejoices in the strengths of others--and that's good because I keep learning to trust God more and more.

(and sometimes we just laugh together about our differences and about growing old together.)

Friday, May 2, 2014

to keep a quiet heart. . .

Every spring I'm compelled to document a bit of Texas beauty--especially for friends and family who live elsewhere (and to remind myself in the scorch of Texas summer. . .)

While studying gratitude I pulled some books off my personal favorites shelf, but one I borrowed from a friend- Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliott; the author shares thoughtful truths about gratitude but she writes so much more. . .
Elisabeth Elliot use to write a newsletter and for years I received it bimonthly in my mailbox, a paper newsletter when paper was still the norm; in her words, "the letter was meant to cheer and encourage--once in a while perhaps to nettle or amuse--those who want it." (and I wanted it, needed it . . .)

Keep A Quiet Heart is a compilation of lead articles culled from the newsletter; the chapters are 
short, the subject matter broad- but always, as customary with Elisabeth, she encourages, "Do what the Bible says. . . trust and obey!" 

So, I'm reading and gleaning and savoring and one sleepless night last week I did an internet search- Elisabeth Elliot. I learned of Elisabeth's decline with dementia beginning a decade ago. I read beautiful, compelling articles and posts testifying that when Elisabeth recognized her fading memory, she put into practice "what she had long preached".  She aptly applied a quote form Amy Carmichael to herself, "in acceptance comes peace."

She turned to Isaiah 42:3 for comfort and now at 86, unable to speak, this beautiful woman is still keeping a quiet heart.

And for me personally- somehow, knowing about her life today gives credence to her words, and I'm 
encouraged to keep a quiet heart today. . .and come what may.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, 
and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God. . .
Isaiah 43