Friday, October 31, 2014




I have a love-hate relationship with it...

I love falloween...

I love giving candy to those knock on my door in cute costumes...
and think pumpkins are best decorated like this,
I'm sandwiched between neighbors who go all out...
I confess, I misjudged my neighbors.  These are the neighbors who had a vicious rottweiller who broke through our fence in an attempted attack against my dogs and me.  These are the neighbors whose little boy came through those same loose boards to play but was bit by our dog trying to protect us still.  These are the neighbors who cussed me out and demanded we put our dog down: we did, even though we had a legal right to keep him, our precious pet.  These are the neighbors who called the pound about our "aggressive pug" jumping up on the fence and barking (I never left the house for a week, did not leave my dogs unattended, except for the two hrs. at the drs. when they called to report this.)  I thought these were the neighbors who must have called the pound again because we got a delivered notice about licensing our dogs. 

The check really was in the mail before the deadline and our dogs really do have all their shots.  When I called the pound upset, they said that no, these neighbors had not called to complain again, it was just a follow up visit from the pound and that these neighbor's little dog got a notice too.  It was the same day that all their Halloween display had been ransacked and stolen, hundreds of dollars worth: they had a worse day than I did. 

Some of their display...

I was too quick to blame.  Just because someone has caused you heartache before, it doesn't mean they are the only source of antagonism. "Judge not, lest you be judged."  That's about me.  I let a false assumption almost ruin my day, with a "how dare they..." attitude.  No, I said nothing to these neighbors.  I have tried to remain friendly, and have let them know how sorry I am about their decorations.  The giant spider is no longer there for my grandkids to pet.  Celebrating the dark side is not my cup of team even though I am sandwiched between two houses who go all out.  "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine...Won't let Satan blow it out..." well, I almost did. 

I won't throw stones...

Happy Halloween, my most unliked holiday, but I'm loaded up with treats anyway, even for the grown ups who come with their hands out.  (after all, who has been sneaking candy before Halloween at my house?  Me.)  I will try not to judge lest I be judged.
Hank said he prayed before the Giants game that they would win.
He said he promised that he would not tell a lie for a week if God answered that prayer.
Is parenting a reflection upon you?  Nurture or nature?  Yes and no.  Am I getting smarter at parenting realizing everything is not a reflection on me?  It's not all about me.  I will take some responsibility for how I handle things, but the outcome is truly out of my hands.  Our children belong to God.  He has entrusted them into our care.  However, hopefully, they learn accountability to Him with us stepping back out of the way.  They will ultimately answer to Him, not us.  Eventually, we can only offer prayer.  That is enough in God's requirement. 

I can be a proud parent or an embarrassed one as a child does or does not measure up.  I've been both places.  I am learning that a child's successes or a child's failure is not all about me.  Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.  I've had children who graduated high school early and had almost an AA under their belt at the age of my oldest one still at home's age.  They worked for a car and held down jobs at this age.  One was a scholar athlete in college while working hard at a job all the while.  I was just their cheerleader as they excelled.  Now I face another kind of challenge with the ones still in my home.

My boys have in one report card session more "F"s than Dr. Zeus' flufferfleffs.  How do you get an "F-" in art, especially when you are gifted?  It is not all about inabilities.  A lot is about attitude and responsibility.  They will suffer the consequences for that, some from the school, some from us, but mostly from life lessons: life is hard so don't make it harder than it has to be.  They may be fifty years old by the time they graduate, but that is their decision. My decision is to cut back on privileges such as Netflicks, etc. if they can't get their act together. 


Regardless, it is a relief to know that it is not all about me.  That self-centered parenting attitude is too heavy for me.  As I write this, my springer puppy comes over to my chair, puts her paws around my neck and gives me her warm nozzle for a snuggle.  Yes, I train dogs too, very loosely.  Some do get spoiled around here, you might say.  Treats are their rewards, but mostly affection.  I am reminded that above all, I need to let my children know that I will always love them no matter what.  That's our Father's heart.
You might give them the bike,
but they must learn to petal.
We can't spend our lives
holding onto the handlebars,
running along side them.
We must let go,
even if they crash.
"My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
And my inmost being will rejoice,
When your lips speak what is right.
Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but live in the fear of the Lord always,
Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
Listen, my son, and be wise..."
Proverbs 23:15-19

Thursday, October 30, 2014


SF Giants Championship
of the 2014 World Series!

but, the best is yet to come...


Because mine will crumble

Yours is an everlasting kingdom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I hope it is true that apples don't fall far from the tree...


"For I am mindful of the sincere faith within in you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure it is in you as well.  For this reason, I want you to kindle afresh the gift of God that is in you..."  II Timothy 1:5-6

This passage is very personally spoken to me.  Just insert the names, Ruby and Harriet instead of Lois and Eunice.  I remember meeting people who knew my mother and grandmother.  They would look at me and nod and say, "Yes, I see it in you, your mother and grandmother."  I believe they meant more than looks, but the very soul, for no one could think of my mother and grandmother apart from their very being, from the depth of their eyes deep down to their heart..   I took it as a great and grave compliment.  Furthermore, I took it as a divine gift, to be their daughter and granddaughter.  The women in my family were God's gift to me, and they are in me. 

There is no greater joy than seeing God shining in my daughters as it is passed on.  This faith is to be continually kindled afresh so that the gift can be handed down.  There are granddaughters who are budding with this gift.  My prayer is that they won't fall far from the tree either.

Where would you insert your name in this passage?
Are you the beginning of the shining apple ready for harvest... 
The grandmother, the mother?
Are you the sweet, ripe apple,
fragrant for the next generation to pick?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Giants, you're killing me!
I've got nerve problems you see...

Chicken Pox is for kids...
But its grip on me now won't let go!
And because of it, I am laid low.
I'm in its teeth until I shake
And my medicine I must take. 
Post shingles neuralgia is no fun:
After a year and a half I wish to be done!
Go away, or at least calm down,
I'm tired of wearing this frown.
These damaged nerves set me on edge,
Until my life is lived on the ledge
Of pain that ebbs and flows
But really never goes
So I pray for relief,
Yet it is my belief,
That through suffering I complete
This lesson I daily repeat
What is lacking in my faith I fill
With God's promises and God's will.
So in my frailties I rest,
And in small things do my best
And trust, what the Lord will give
And what He takes, to live
With all sufficient grace,
Until I see His face.

(Sad face because of bad poetry.)

Have you had your shingles shot yet?
Go get it, girl!




Tiny houses are becoming more and more popular for those who have empty nests in their future, like us, someday over the rainbow... Anyway, we can dream of living simply with less.  Don't get me wrong, I am tremendously thankful for my home and love, love, love it, especially with all its windows and light and space for all my collections, like books.  Someday though, I need to start letting go... 
A few years back, I read a book called I think, "The Simple Church," or something like that.  It had very good points of addressing whether what we do in church is necessary to our worship of God,
stripping down programs to make it all about Him, not us.  For the first time in our lives, we have gone from a small church to a tiny church.  It's not what we desire, as we must be about making disciples, but it does have some good things too.  It is a reminder of what is essential, letting go of the nonessentials.  I'm not recommending a tiny church movement, although it began house to house  in the Early Church.  If this is where we are though, I want to pare down my desires to His desires and invite Him where two or three are gathered.  I'm glad it's His church, not ours and He's invited, the welcome mat out.

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therein to be content."
Philippians 4:11
"Judge that only necessary which God, in His eternal wisdom and love, proportions out unto  us.
And when thou comest hither, thou wilt abide  in thy rest; and as thou abides here,
thou wilt abide in thy soul's true rest, and know the preciousness of that lesson,
and of whom thou art to learn it, even, in every state to be content."
Isaac Penington
I think of our dear friends the Marquis who have sold almost all in order to travel lightly so that their son may have the care he needs at Boston Children's Hospital.   They are our heroes as they roll  down the highway in their traveling home.
Though at times you may feel like sardines in a can,
remember that some of us like sardines!
May He continue to multiply blessings on this family as He did with the five loaves and two fish.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Fashion...

inspires this loveliness...

her crown of leaves
inspires this...

her pouring rain

inspires this lovely train...
 or this glory...

this beauty...


her dripping colors

 are the colors of casual comfort

 or the plated leaves

these plaids in a row
high fashion to comfort in the fall.
"For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation."
Psalm 149:4
We get a makeover from the fall,
from something contrary in our nature, the natural man that clashes,
to something divine, from the very being of God.