Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Swift autumn

like a bonfire of leaves..."

E. Wylie

Autumn is unofficially out the door while Christmas is knocking waiting impatiently to come in.

Something about the season inspires creativity and a search, a longing for beauty. It began with paper chains & paper plate & cotton ball Santas. Even cooking takes on a special flair. How is it at your abode? The empty toters are back in the garage, and Christmas is spread over the whole house as if an avalanche of ornaments, lights, nativities, garlands, and candles has swept in covering everyday life.

"The creative adult is the child who has survived."

Ursula K. Le Guin

"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done,

the zest of creating things new-"

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Creativity is contagious. Pass it on."

Albert Einstein

"Everyone is born creative;

everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten,

Then when they hit puberty, they take the crayons away

and replace them with dry uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc.

Being suddenly hit years later with a creative bug is just a wee voice

telling you, I'd like my crayons back, please."

Hugh MacLeod

"So you see, imagination needs moodling longer,

inefficient, happy iddlings, dawdling, & puttery."

Brenda Ueland

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John Gardner

"May gentle breezes refresh your soul

and all the days of your life,

may you walk gently through the world

and know its beauty."


"It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive.

There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them."

George Eliot

Be inspired, decorate, create, restore, invent, bake, paint, mold, sew. We were made in the image of a divine Creator of all. The urge is strongest at Christmas. Bring Him your gift of your creative self even if it is in childlike simplicity.

...opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts..."

Matthew 2:11

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"I finally figured out that the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."

-Rita Mae Brown

"Far away, there in the sunshine, are my brightest aspirations.

I may not reach them, but I can look up

and see their beauty, believe in them,

and try to follow where they lead."

-Louisa May Alcott

"We" decorated the tree last night: the boys were distracted by cocoa and a Christmas movie while I dressed the tree. The cat thanks me for the new giant pine toy. Christmas is coming. Advent began at church Sunday, and our Advent at home begins Dec. 1 (which means I need to fill 25 little cubbies sooner than later). What's on your favorite things to do this Christmas?

a sleigh ride in the snow,
a Messiah concert,
Marysville Christmas parade,
Victorian Christmas in Nevada City,
Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley,
Ladies' Christmas Party,
Progressive Dinner & Gag Gift Exchange,
Children's "Cookie Cutter Christmas" Program,
Christmas Eve Carols & Communion Service,
Christmas with the family,
and when it's all done,
sitting by the fire savoring all the joy.

Every activity on the list may not happen,

but the beauty of the season

will come to pass.

"And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields,
and keeping watch over their flock by night."

-Luke 2:8

We received the wonderful announcement that another grandchild is on the way. Amazingly, they kept it a secret for five months. The good news of Jesus' birth was that common, ordinary people, shepherds of the lowest class, were the first to hear about the infant's arrival as heralded by angels.

a. They were in the same region: let us stay close by the Christ event in our heart this Christmas.

b. Keeping watch over their flock: let us guard the sacredness of Christmas as we share the beautiful significance with those we hold dear under our watchful care.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family...

I cannot but look upon every soul...under my charge as a talent

committed to me under a trust."

Susannah Wesley

My grandmother Ruby married at 27 and then had six children in short order. She and my grandfather wanted a large family even though sometimes it meant squeezing a family of eight into a small three bedroom parsonage. My husband's grandmother raised thirteen and said, "I don't know which one I could have done without." God's purpose, "Be fruitful and multiply," is not a specific mathmatical equation, but He certainly endorsed a family's strength in numbers.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." Grandmother Willa said Sunday at the baptism of two of her young great grandchildren, "I feel like Simeon and rejoice at seeing the child..." Every child is a blessing and a reminder that God has not yet given up on the world. We welcome the announcement of a new grandchild on the way with great joy! What better way to walk through the celebration of Christ's birth with the reminder of new life.

"Making the decision to have a child it's momentous.

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Elizabeth Stone

"Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections,

children tend to be sticky.

Fran Lebowitz

"Where did you come from, baby dear?

Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?

Out of the sky as I came through..."

George MacDonald

"Let a child's life be beautiful as God meant it to be,

by keeping it near Him,

by showing to its simplicity the things which are lovely,

and true, and pure, and of good report.

The knowledge of evil comes rapidly enough,

in the petty experiences of life;

but a child will soon love evil and grow old in it,

if driven away from the divine light of love;

if not allowed to think of God chiefly as a friend."

Lucy Larcom

"Many children were born that year. Jesus was one of them.

He came into the world as other babies come.

He came as one of us so that He could appeal to all of us."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Christmas was close at hand...

it was the season of hospitality, merriment, and open-heartedness."

Charles Dickens

Our family's Christmas tradition is to start decorating immediately after Thanksgiving. As the years go by and decorations have multiplied out in the darkness of the garage, it takes me longer and longer to get my deck-the-halls on. Hank and our neighbor boy, known fondly as one of "the Yellows," are my only anxious helpers. This isn't all the family gathered in the living room "oohing" and "ahhing" over the revealing of each treasured ornament, stringing popcorn chains, eating iced Christmas cookies kind of day. It's handing over cherished items into grimy ten year old hands that just put down their plastic weapons kind of day. But it became a holy moment when the Yellow said in an offhand way, "I forget what Christmas is for...we used to have a baby in one of those things -I don't know what it's called- (a manger?) with a couple of people sitting beside it, but I can't remember who they are." What better way to begin the celebration of our Saviour's birth with retelling the old, old story. The Yellows have heard it before, but in the flurry of life, it had become a dim, fuzzy memory. Pause this special season to share the good news to a world who hasn't heard or has forgotten the meaning of Christmas.

"...all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them..."

Luke 2:18

Friday, November 25, 2011

"I will praise the Lord while I live..."

Psalm 146:2

Perhaps this verse doesn't just mean I will bring praise while I am still breathing.

Maybe it means while I am living, in the everyday, every hour, every minute of my day.

There is a tug of war

called motherhood,

There is the "tryanny of the oughts:"

housework, cooking, raising boys:

"Did you brush your teeth?"

"Get in the tub,"

"Hang up your towel,"

"Put your dirty clothes in the hamper,"

"What! didn't you wear underware today?"

Then there is the idyll of the ideal...

The tree and lights,

candles, nativities,

garlands, ribbons, and delicacies

that tug for our attention.

Mothers live in the "tyranny of the urgent,"

like braving Black Friday mobs in the wee hours

to score Christmas gifts for the young'ns.

Here's a medly of music for such a time as this...

"Oh come all ye faithful..."

"Come ye thankful people come..."

"Joyful and Triumphant..."

"Raise the Song of Harvest Home..."

"O come ye, o come ye...

"All is safely gathered in,

Ere the winter storms begin..."

Motherhood is raising the song of the harvest home, praise,

while being a shepherdess who gathers her flock into His fold,

with a rod and staff. This is not an easy task.

These few days are the mixing of Thanksgiving and Advent

for being thankful, for looking back, and looking forward...

"Reflect upon your present blessings

of which every man has many--

not on your past misfortunes,

of which all men have some."

Charles Dickens

"Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,

for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times, you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations

because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge

because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,

because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also

thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for troubles,

and they can become your blessings."


In silent times: seek God.

In the painful times: praise God.

In the harried times: hallow God.

In the terrible times: trust God.

And at all times

Thank God.

Ann Voskamp, "One Thousand Gifts"

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything,

they just make the best of everything.

"...I will tell of Thy greatness.

They shall eagerly utter the memory of Thine abundant goodness,

And shall shout joyfully of Thy righteousness."

Psalm 145:6-7

Breathe deeply and live with praise on your lips.

"Birds sing after a storm;

why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them."

Rose Kennedy

Creation is a melody.

Those who refuse to sing

miss harmony with the Creator.


Christmas carols in November? Yes, yes, yes! They naturally follow the season of Thankfulness! Down through the ages, the last Sunday of November is the traditional beginning of Advent to meditate on the expectation of His coming. I don't resent any of the celebration; it is the world's unintended honor to our Lord's birth. There can never be enough praise and glory for our King. I have a smirk in my heart at the world's childish attempt to commercialize the remembrance of the great event of His coming. I give Him the honor. Put up the pine, the symbol of everlasting life. Adorn it with stars, candles, and little lights for the Light of the world. The Wise Men prepared long ahead to bring the King His gifts. Go out in the still dark morning, stay up late at night, gather the presents for all in the name of Love.

"Let your light shine among men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 5:16

Let your holiday preparations be a light to the dark world.


...Calm-eyed and inaccessible

The stars peer through the blue fissures of the sky,

Unperturbed among the panic of scurrying beams,

Twinkling with a cold, acrid merriment.

A. Brody, 1895

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmellows, cranberry sauce, ham, celery, olives, pickles, Gram's homemade yeast rolls, fruit salad, pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie..."God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food."

My dad used to say that our aunt and uncle and their four children could share one can of soup and be filled. Our family's appetite was a bottomless pit. As a pastor, he would often be called away from the table for a phone call and return to an empty platter. He remembered unhappily growing up in the depression when the kids' table at family gatherings meant they could only eat after the adults when leftovers meant slim pickings. Al's grandmother remembered trying to feed her family of thirteen with one chicken and her husband, Grandpa Fairless, ate its head and feet.

In my mother's family, the mealtime was usually a company affair. My grandmother Ruby never knew how many besides her six children she would be feeding after church since her mother always invited as many as she could leaving the work to her. One cousin of my mother's remembers when Uncle Buddie, my great grandfather, returned home from one of his evangelistic campaigns on a rare visit and invited fifty friends to a trout club, with a limit of two a piece, which she and my grandmother fried for the feast. Gram's refrigerator rolls were a mainstay, make ahead yeast rolls which could be left to rise in the morning.

Listening to the stories of Great Aunt Sally's family, breakfast together was a must before the school bus arrived at 7am at their farm. Each of her many children knew when it was their turn to read the Scripture lesson and lead the family prayer kneeling at their kitchen chairs.

Mealtimes are the blessing of family time, and I am grateful for this heritage. My mother used special dishes every day to set the table. I am grateful to use her Franciscan Apple Dishes every day as well to serve my family. The crystal goblets would only come out on holidays though to sing when their dampened rims were rubbed round and round. Grace was said at every meal, a constant reminder throughout the day of an attitude of gratitude. It instilled thanksgiving as "thanksliving."

"When we break bread together, we share good times, indulgences, friendship--

the important things in life."

Lucy Nicholson

The Lord has said, "Come and dine..." signifying the special fellowship of a meal. The very act of remembrance of Him is "Communion," a reminder of the Last Supper.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock...I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me."

Rev. 3:20

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, but it can't hold a candle to what's coming...

the marriage supper of the Lamb!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Those who are wise shall shine

Like the brightness of the firmament,

And those who turn many to righteousness

Like the stars forever and ever."

Daniel 12:3

My mother's maiden name was "Wise," very fitting for the wise woman she was.

My grandmother, Ruby Robinson Wise, used to say,

"My husband is wise, my children are likewise, and I am otherwise."

Harriet Wise was raised in her grandparent's home much of her life. Her grandfather,

"Uncle Buddie," was a well-known traveling evangelist who seldom was home. She described the great joy and excitement as they would all go to the train station to greet him upon his arrival. Last week my mother's family, parents, grandparents, a sister and a brother, and a granddaughter all gathered with great joy and excitement to greet her upon her arrival Home!

Best of all was her Heavenly Father's shining face.

"Children of the heavenly Father

Safely in His bosom gather;

Nestling bird nor star in heaven

Such a refuge e're was given."

Caroline Sandell-Berg. 1855

Sung to a Swedish Folk Melody

"Happiness is not a station you arrive at,

But a manner of traveling."

Margaret Runbeck

"Joy is the serious business of heaven."

C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Friend Indeed to a Friend in Need...

What if you have stretched your means over your needs like size A panty hose on a Queen size muffin-topped body? "If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall. You've downsized your Venti to a Grande to a nut cup; your mansion to a rental; your zoom, zoom to a putt, putt. What if you're both working two jobs, serving God, and still scraping the peanut butter off the bottom of the jar? What if you're the queen of your castle but the only crown you wear is on your tooth; the body breaks, the doctor says surgery; or the car seems to run only on money, lots and lots of money? What if you're down to your last dollar, and it's only Monopoly money. You prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread," and it's a heel. What's a Body to do?

The Body of Christ rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep. Some special people in the Body came over this week and wrote a generous check to a family in need.
God works in mysterious ways to perform wonders-full. He answers prayers by speaking to the hearts of people tender to His voice to become His hands. The Body of Christ was beautiful this week, Queen-sized, Grande, Venti!

"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."

-Tim Cahill

"Give the young & struggling a word of encouragement when you can.
You would not leave those plants in your window boxes without water,
nor refuse to open the shutters that the sunlight may fall upon them."

"A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows."

"If God answers your prayer, He is increasing your faith.
If He delays, He is increasing your patience.
If He doesn't answer,
He has something better for you."

"When I count my blessings,
I count you twice."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cameras don't like getting dropped on their heads and are unforgiving. My college grad present from my parents, a 35mm Minolta, worked like a charm through the birth of babies till they graduated high school and we began our second family via adoption. Oops, I dropped it: it was a death in the family. Fortunately, our new daughter Tifani was photographically gifted and beautiful pictures continued with her camera. Life goes on, they fly the nest, and I am camera-forlorn. Digital has taken over. Change is good, but digital cameras don't like a bump on the head either. Now we have a mechanical on-again-off-again relationship. I have a drawer graveyard full of cameras that no longer work. Time to welcome a new one to the family so I can upload inspiring photography to the blog. May I treat this baby more gently.

It is snowing in Colorado. I will be click happy!

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing something beautiful,
for beauty is God's handwriting."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at nighttime with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air."

-C.S. Lewis, "Chronicles of Narnia"

"The frosty twilight comes down
Through the thin trees.
The fresh snow
Holds the light longer than the sky."

-Kenneth Rexroth

"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year."

-Emily Dickinson

"As Imperceptibly as Grief

A quietness distilled

As twilight long begun

O Nature, spending with herself

Sequestered afternoon.

The dusk drew earlier in,

The morning foreign shone, -

A courteous, yet harrowing grace

As a guest who would be gone.

And thus, without a wing

Or service of a keel,

Our summer made her light escape

Into the beautiful."

-Emily Dickinson

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits...
Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion,
Who satisfies your years with good things...

-Psalm 103:2, 4,5

"Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
"For He himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust."

-Psalm 103:13, 14

I made new friends before 1am Sun am. I have been a student of blogging and finally found a Christian Women's blog I want to recommend, Internet Cafe Devotions. It will even point you to an emag. Christian women's magazine that I would have read from cover to cover if it weren't so late. Think of the centuries women could not read, or even have access to Scripture to hold in their hands. Now we have thousands of Christian books written for women, kindles, and blogosphere. Best of all, we have the Word, not just the book, but Emanuel, God with us, the Word made flesh. John Wesley once said, "I am a Bible Bigot. I follow all things both great and small." He also said, "If thine heart is as my heart, if thou lovest God and all mankind, I ask no more: 'Give me thine hand.'" Another of his sayings, "Though we can't think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?" Finally, "Many heads, one heart."

Happy Sabboth

"He who thanks God but with lips
Thanks God in part;
The full, the true thanksgiving
Comes from the heart."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I woke up this morning with the song in my head...

"Day by Day,
Oh, Dear Lord, these things I pray,
To see Thee more clearly,
To love Thee more dearly,
To follow Thee more near
Day by Day by Day.

"Certain thoughts are prayers.
There are moments,
when whatever the attitude of the body,
the soul is on the knees."

-Victor Hugo

"How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.

-Psalm 84:1-4

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul."

-John Muir

"Come," said the wind to the leaves one day,
"Come o're the meadows and we will play...
Put on your dresses scarlet and gold,
for summer is gone...
and the days grow cold."

-an 1880's children's song

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."

-Albert Camus

Colorado has an official season in a season, " the Color Season" wherewith a year is judged to be a good year or not. Aspen leaves add gold to the riot of colors. This fall's color has been spent, but there is no lack of beauty where we travel to lay my mother to rest. It is the Switzerland of America in Lake City, Colorado with fourteen peaks over fourteen thousand feet and the temperature in single digits. My brother has been plowing the snow over the passes for weeks now. It is the homeland of my heart: having been going there since a toddler, I have a lot of time invested over the past fifty years. Our immediate family has been condensed down to the three siblings making them more dear. We too are in the fall of our lives and desire to show a deep beauty of godliness. It is with passing of loved ones and change that we can appreciate who and what we have. The change of seasons is a reminder of this life truth.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thinking of my mother...

Thinking of my mother...

Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them."

-Chinese proverb

"There is a peculiar beauty about godly old age, the beauty of holiness."

-Alexander Smith

"We are not called to produce admiration for ourselves but to live a life in such perfect relationship to God that it produces a longing for God in the hearts of others."

-Oswald Chambers

"Blessed are the pure in heart..." Dr. Carradine, "Can anyone believe God would bless a class of people who can not or do not exist?" meaning, of course, purity in heart is possible, my mother was a wonderful example. (Dr. Carradine was a contemporary of my mother's grandfather and one of her favorite holiness preachers.)

He also says, "They that walk on the King's Highway must have pure hearts, gentle tongues,loving ways, happy faces, and restful lives."


I am heavy,
She is free.
I do not wish her back
but cling to memories dear,
to the aroma of her sweetness,
gentleness, kindness.
I imagine birds breaking forth into song
as she flew away with the angels
comin' for to carry her home.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity
with the body of His glory..."
-Philippians 3:20-21

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

He delights in unchanging love

"...He delights in unchanging love." Micah 7:18

That little bird has chosen his shelter.
Above it are the stars and the deep heaven of worlds.
Yet he is rocking himself to sleep without caring for tomorrow's lodging,
calmly clinging to his little twig,
and leaving God to think for him.


"When we are not concerned about what others think of us or what we will get for what we do,
the right words and actions will emerge from the center of our beings because the Spirit of God,
who makes us children of God and sets us free,
will speak and act through us.

-Henri Nouwen

The Saint Must Walk Alone

"The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all, he is a stranger and a pilgrim and the journey he takes is not on his feet, but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of His own soul, and who but God can walk there with him? A.W. Tozer

My mother had a beautiful garden in her soul.

"Tears may be dried up, but the heart, never."

-Marguerite De Valois

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You don't have a soul...

"You don't have a soul.

You are a soul.

You have a body."

-C.S. Lewis

My mother

Sweet heart,

Gentle soul

no longer has Alzheimers,

but she still has memory lapse:

no memory of tears or sorrow.

She has her new body in heaven.

"We all have our time machines.

Some take us back, they're called memories.

Some take us forward, they're called dreams."

-Jeremy Irons

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience...

we are spiritual beings have a human experience."

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's better than sliced bread?

What's better than sliced bread...

the aroma of a loaf of homemade bread, a good cup of coffee with chocolate-hazlenut beans in it, a fire to sit by, a leather chair, ancient books with frayed bindings, the ticking of a clock, fresh flower bouquets, the red of tomatoes from the garden, the loyal look of love in a dog's eyes, fresh air washed clean by the rain, sparkly glass containers, silence, the giggle of a child, the brilliant fashion show of fall leaves, heart knowledge of being loved and that God's in His heaven and all's right with the fill in the rest.

"It was November, the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines...'let that great sweeping wind blow fog out of (my) soul.'"

-Lucy Maude Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables"

"Twilight drops her curtain down and pins it with a star."

-Lucy Maude Montgomery

"Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody."
-Isaiah 51:3

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Avery, Ella, Addie, and Ezra

I am thankful for my happy childhood home with the love of a father and mother for each other, for us children, and for God. As we grew, imperfections were revealed, but my mother never fell off her pedestal for she was a godly woman and of a very gentle disposition. "Little Harriet," as the older generation called her, remembers being saved at four years old and walked with God so that she did not bear the scars of sin. She grew up in a godly home where her parents called each other Mr. Wise and Mrs. Wise, very much in love. Harriet was the first of six children born to this ministry couple, arriving May 20th of 1926. She followed in her daddy's footsteps playing the piano becoming the church pianist in her teens. If someone hummed a tune, she could pick up the song and play it beautifully in any key: reading notes was a chore for her. This is what I missed most when I left home, hearing mom play the piano. She was a respected Bible teacher as well. She was an avid reader for her own pleasure and for grandchildren who would bring a book for her to read. She loved beauty always making our home a haven. It was a great joy to come home for the holidays, to share this warmth with our children.

A roof to keep out the rain,
Four walls to keep out the wind,
Floors to keep out the cold,
Yes, but home is more than that.

It is the laugh of a baby,
The song of a mother,
The strength of a father,
Warmth of loving hearts,
Light from happy eyes,
Kindness, loyalty, comradeship.

Home is the first school...
For the young ones where they learn what is right,
What is good, and what is kind,
Where they go for comfort when
They are hurt or sick,
Where joy is shared and sorrow eased.

When fathers and mothers are respected and loved,
Where children are wanted,
When the simplest food is good enough for kings
Because it is earned,
Where money is not so important as loving kindness,
Where ever the teakettle sings from happiness,
That is home.

-Ernestine Schumann-Heink

My mother was a very intelligent, well-spoken lady. She was able to hide her Alzheimer symptoms successfully for a long time. However, her grandson Andy noticed Grandma always read the same chapter in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" series, never going beyond where they left off the week before. After one Christmas together, she mailed us back the things we gave her not recognizing the unfamiliar, even mailing us the string cheese we left in the refrigerator. Still trying to run a small antique shop, her record keeping became overwhelming. Packages of fragile items were mailed with one small wad of packing arriving broken. Finally, she was unable to cook or set her table with her lovely Franciscan Apple Dishes. Trying to help make a salad, she tore one piece of lettuce into smaller and smaller pieces until it was miniscule. She became troubled knowing something was wrong. She told stories of the fawn who tap, tap, tapped at the door wanting in, but she went out and petted them. We were worried she might try to pet the bears who sometimes came on the wrap-around porch to raid the hummingbird feeder. Once resettled into assisted living, she began wandering in earnest, walking into others homes, dressing up and standing outside waiting for her boyfriend to come pick her up, or trying to cook dinner for her father and brothers when they came back from fishing. Refusing to come to live with us, desiring independence, Dad moved with her into a care home where they both needed to be. We are extremely grateful for the loving care our mother has received at Colorow Care Center. Even though they are not set up for long-term Alzheimer patients, they kept mom. She was able to harmonize with hymns sung even though no longer able to play until three or four years ago. She kept her gracious tone of voice even when she spoke garbled nonsense. She seemed to know that someone who loved her was there even if she didn't know who we were. She was unable to tell us her pain from her lightly fractured back from a snowmobile accident. She was unable to tell them she never cared for refried beans. She never knew she had sixteen great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild or that her grandson had two sets of twins. Wouldn't she have been delighted! Strapped to a chair or curled up in a fetal position in bed, we are ready to let her wing her way with the angels to heaven, to the place prepared for her. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

"And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest..."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."

"Thoughts rest your wings,
Here is a hollow of silence,
A nest of stillness
In which to hatch your dreams."

-Joan Walsh Anglund

When was the last time you sat in quiet stillness?

"God carries in His heart the fulfillment to all the desires He has placed within yours."

"The riches of the glory of this mystery...Christ in you, the hope of glory."
-Colossians 1:27

"Others may be content with being kept from what is visibly and grossly sin, but the obedient heart, seeking to walk with Him in unbroken communion, cannot excuse the faintest disobedience or lack of sensitiveness to His will."
-Jessie Penn-Lewis, "Thy Hidden Ones"

"He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit i' the center, and enjoy bright day,
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
Himself, his own dungeon."

-John Milton

Friday, November 4, 2011

I have entered the world of bloggersphere

I have entered the world of bloggersphere. Many of the names are clever and intriguing. A few of my favorites, 52 Flea, my french country home, french essence, curious sofa, La Pouyette, Air Kiss, From the House of Edward, Miss Mustard Seed. I'll give more later. There are hundreds of lovelies out there. I am inspired by "Blissfully Content," based on Phillipians 4:11, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Am I? Are you?

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
-Theodore Roosevelt

"Come ye thankful people come.
Raise the song of Harvest Home..."

-Henry Alford

We can make our home a haven,
simply and beautifully.

The most important factor in making your home a blissful haven is you.

The woman sets the tone of the home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Godly Mother

My brother let me know they called again: mom is no longer eating or drinking. Three years ago when we received this message Robin, Laura, Al and I and all the young children in tow took the train to Grand Junction in January snow then rented cars to drive the three and a half more hours to my brother's. It was a wonderful memory for the young'ns. Mom rallied and now three years later, she is once again slipping away. She has had Alzheimer since our three oldest were in high school, twelve+ yrs ago. Four years ago she could still harmonize with me singing hymns. She hasn't carried on a real conversation for ages but managed to sound gracious in her mumblings until her voice grew softer and softer until almost gone. There is a better place. Dad went there leaving dementia behind last January. We did not expect her to last till spring and waited, planning on doing a combined home-going service. She's outlived three new roommates since then. Harriet Louise Wise Meredith has always been a gracious, godly, surprising woman. Thank you, Mom. Have a good trip going home. She is like the beautiful fall leave clinging to the branch which will soon fly away.

"She opens her mouth in wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

-Prov. 31:26


He who binds himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

-William Blake

"We'll be friends 'till we're old and senile...
then we'll be new friends."

Some people look for a beautiful place,
others make a place beautiful.

It was when I was happiest that I longed most...
The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing
to find the place where all the beauty came from."

-C.S. Lewis

"I have learned to love the darkness of sorrow,
There you see the brightness of His face."

-Madame Guyon

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some things are too beautiful for words

"Some things are too beautiful for words,
the evening sky at dusk,
the call of geese upon the sky,
the sound of crickets deep in the night;

Some things are too holy for words,
the way of God in the affairs of man,
the love that fills a child's heart,
the peace that passes understanding;

Some things are too wonderful to ponder,
the light of the day breaking forth from the darkness,
the eyes of God, running to & fro on the earth
searching for those who look for Him,
the knowledge deep within that
God is love & in Him there is no darkness at all.

Some things are too beautiful,
Some things are too holy,
Some things are too wonderful,
for words.


"The morning is a critically important time of day.
You must never face the day until you have faced God,
nor look in the face of others until you have looked into His.
You cannot expect to be victorious if you begin your day in your own strength alone."

-Streams in the Desert

"In the morning, O Lord, Thou shalt hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee
and eagerly watch."

-Psalm 5:3

"Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice,
that its tones may be familiar
when the sounds of earth die away
and the only sound will be
the music of Thy speaking."

-A.W. Tozer


There is something that quickens the soul in the crisping of the days called November,

the "season of grace."

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house."

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

"A little wind sang among the fir tassels."

-Lucy Maud Montgomery, "Anne of the Island"

"It's the nature of grace to fill
the places that have been empty."


"You can't reach for anything new
if your hands are still full of yesterday's junk."

Demise of the Months

The pumpkin rots,
the gourd withers from within
becoming a giant's warty rattle.

The Harvest Moon is weaned
from the night sky
leaving a sliver of silver
dangling upon her breast.

The wind plucks leaves
from full bodied trees
like feathers from a boiled gander
ripping away till only the bones remain.

The earth is laid bare
whilst hunters shoot
random prey of field and sky
darting from shrinking shelter.

The year is bent over
heavy with sorrows and woes,
till "in the fullness of time,"
a wee bairn is born in a barn.

Let go of sinful days,
snuff the candle at the wake of dead ways,
open the heavy door of hope,
and worship the tiny, kingly joy.

-Celia Jolley, 2011