Friday, July 31, 2015

Visions of eggplants had danced in our heads,
While nice tidy veggies lay tucked in their beds.
Lush, without a snail in sight,
No sow bug or aphid dared to bite.
Alas and alack, it wasn't to be,
Our gardens have all shriveled, are dry
While we are left only to heave a sigh.

We were bold faced honest with each other.  The sisterhood of the gardens shared woe as none of our gardens produced as we thought they should.  Nothing Pinterest-worthy to boast of.  Our visions of summer produce have shriveled on the vine.  In spite of weeds pulled and water sprinkled, they did not flourish in the ground as we hoped.  That's life, isn't it?  Sometimes dreams shrivel and die and don't produce what we hoped... 

"Come, ye disconsolate, where'er you languish,
Come at the shrine of God fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here your anguish--
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope when all others die, fadeless and pure,
Here speaks the Comforter, in God's name saying,
'Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure."
Go, ask the infidel what boon he brings us,
What charm for aching hearts he can reveal
Sweet as that heavenly promise Hope sings us--
"Earth has no sorrow that God cannot heal."
Thomas Morton
"Gems of Devotional Poetry"
I'm glad these lines of poetry have been picked up in a recent popular Christian song lyric,
"Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal."

What a truth to have echo in our hearts.  What sorrow do you bear, sorrows that have this earth's dirt  clods clinging to them, dug up in the field where you labor by the sweat of your brow? 

"Cursed is the ground because of you (the serpent);
In toil you will eat of it all the days of your the sweat of your face..."
Genesis 3:17, 19

However, this is not the last word. 
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Romans 8:18

There is a cure in heaven for all of earth's sorrows.
Cling to that promise in spite of the dirt under your fingernails and unproductive yields.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Superheroes Birthday Party
(I missed pictures of the birthday boy and his mom of whom I sing...) 
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes.
One perfect auntie and cousins galore celebrate a birthday. 
To see her is to believe in fairytales
 because she is Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Rapunzel all rolled into one.

There she is with her prince (and security guard).

Games were unending for superhero clad kids.

She was the pied piper they followed. 
Overheard as one talked with the other, "You just look in her eyes and suddenly there's a twinkle."  Or upon someone bestowing the compliment that "You have your auntie's forehead," another responds, "No fair that you have a fairy forehead and I don't!"

Clark Kent

Some people are special like that, have always been,
as near perfection as we are allowed in this world
while others' have to spit polish their redeeming qualities. 

Though the children's costumes were of super heroes,
truly she was the real one, the stand alone one, not a comic version, 
which hopefully rubs off on the next generation of superheroes. 
 Actually, I think it is being passed on...
Character in the characters!
He Man and Captain America to the rescue!
"She girds herself with strength
and makes her arms strong."
Proverbs 31:17
Never arm wrestle a fairy princess.
She sounds like a superwoman to me!
 Cat Woman and a Minion agree.
The Legend of Hollow Sleepy or Rip Vanities Wrinkles...

Don't you just wish sometimes that you could go to sleep and wake up in a few years hoping that this sad ol' world is better than you left it?  Wouldn't it be great?  Don't the times leave you with a hollow feeling that makes you want to close your eyes and have troubles melt like lemon drops?   Hollow Sleepy.  It feels like headless horsemen are riding around, the crazies.  What would you wish for to wake up too?  Not politics, not Iran with a nuclear warhead, not terrorism, not Planned Parenthood selling baby body parts, not the gay rights agenda.  Is anyone else distressed by this with a deep desire to close your eyes to it all?

If this nation were a person, we would call it schizophrenic.  We are so divided, even so-called Christians.  You are getting s-l-e-e-p-y, very s-l-e-e-p-y.  I'll just lay down for a little while by this lollipop tree. Let me close my eyes on all this turmoil.  I don't propose head in the sand-ism.  Sometimes I do feel like passing out bowls of sand to all those who are headless, floating above the fray.  Staying uninformed is contributing to the chaos.  Yet, I wouldn't mind a break from the troubles that compounded sin in our nation is causing. We have to remember who truly is in charge.  He never sleeps.  He never slumbers.  I can just rest in Him. 

I love N.C. Wyeth's illustrations, don't you?
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect your from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
Psalm 121
I guess everything is going to be alright since He will keep my soul,
not just over the rainbow, but here and now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Excuse me while I have a little nostalgia here...

Living in the fifties and sixties was cool, and we didn't even know it.  We had the kitchen table with aluminum legs and some kind of formica top where we pulled up ice cream parlor style chairs with curvy black cast iron backs and legs.  My mom wore aprons.  There were turquoise color accents, and the kitchen sink was in the corner overlooking the driveway of two strips of cement with a stripe of grass growing down the middle. 

I remember my mom mixing up chocolate chip cookies in her green pottery bowl or beating up stiff brownie batter or using the electric mixer on cake batter.  We three kids fought over who got to lick what: one got the beaters, one the mixing spoon or spatula and one got to lick out the bowl.  It's a good thing there weren't four of us kids.  Some how those drips of batter, which didn't kill us despite the raw egg in the mix, tasted better than the finished product.  That's the part I remember anyway, what I touched with my tongue, wiped clean round the bowl and sucked off my finger, not what I picked up with my fork.

Sometimes in life, we need to appreciate the process, the unfinished product, and luxuriate, revel in the drips and dribbles before it is all done, before you stick the toothpick in.  Maybe your arms get tired beating the batter.  Maybe something's missing and you have to have to knock on the neighbor's door to borrow an egg or a stick of butter.  Maybe you wish you could just go to a bakery and buy a cake, one that is fluffier, and prettier, and tastier than yours.  But then your kitchen won't be filled with the wonderful aroma of baking.  I think there's a parable in there somewhere.

Do you remember the ache in your tongue as you tried to wrap it around the beater?  Okay, so maybe I was a little greedier than you, but just saying.  Sometimes the aches are worth the licking. Don't miss out on one little thing.  Lick it clean.  Blessings come in little things, not just the big picture, the done product, the 8X10 cake in the pan.  Licks not gobbles, are enough to content us for now.

"O taste and see that the Lord is good...."
Psalm 34:8
Down here we only get the dribbles of what's going to be served up there,
and it's going to be good!"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What conversations would sound like if thoughts became words...

"Excuse me, but have we met before?"

"Why did you make me cry?"

"I love your scent.  Is it leather?"

"Don't leave me hanging."

"Out of all the others, so many to choose from, how did I pick you?"

I promise, wherever I go, you will go with me."

"We spent the night, but never slept."

"I love how you make me laugh."

"I love how we can always pick up right where we left off."

"I want to take you home with me."

"Why is everything always so black and white with you?"

"I made a fort and have a flashlight.  Want to join me?"

"I love to take you on the beach with a blanket beneath us and the sky above."

"I love to hold you while I sip my coffee in the mornings."

"You've opened up new worlds to me"

"I can never have enough of you."

"There's so many of you, I don't know where to put you all!"

"Nothing, not even a kindle, can take your place in my heart."

Yes, this is what we might say to our books if they could talk.  Have you hugged your book today?

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written."  Acts 21:25

Isn't it a beautiful thought that the best book ever written, page after page, could have contained so much more.  The Bible is still the best seller of all time.  It can be read over and over again and new things are found never seen before. Think how the world has gotten excited about the newly discovered Dr. Seuss book or Harper Lee's newest book.  No wonder books play such a meaningful part in our lives.  Perhaps, books are just echoes of The Book.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Without Thee heaven were but a wild..."

"My Saviour, can it ever be
That I should gain by losing Thee?
The watchful mother tarries nigh,
Though sleep have clos'd her infant's eye,
For should he wake and find her gone,
She knows she could not bear his moan.

But I am weaker than a child,
And Thou art more than mother dear;
Without Thee Heaven were but a wild:
How can I live without Thee here?
Take Thou the hands of prayer we raise...
"A tender child of summers three,
Seeking her little bed at night,
Paused on the dark stair timidly.
'O mother, take my hand,'  said she,
'And then the dark will all be light!'
We older children grope our way
From dark behind to dark before;
And only when our hands we lay,
Dear Lord, in Thine, the night is day,
And then is darkness nevermore.

Reach downward to the sunless days
Wherein our guides are blind as we,
And faith is small , and hope delays;
Take Thou the hands of prayer we raise,
And let us feel the light of Thee!"
Selections from "Gems of Devotional Poetry"
Some of my earliest memories at 2 &3 were taking the stairs to the attic at night time
braving them to go to bed because our mother was with us, holding my hand.
As she left we would call back and forth,
"Nite, nite, choo, choo!"
The night train

"O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child
within me."
Psalm 131:1-2
Some people sleep walk; I sleep write, write stories in my imagination.

Pardon me if I yawn.  I was up all night making up stories in my head.  Sometimes they put me to sleep, but other times they are too exciting and I can't wait to get to the end.  Usually though, the stories end up "to be continued."  So, tonight, I might not catch up on my sleep after all.  It's so good to know that I'm not the only one with this problem!

I am in this world often distracted by its pulls, but...

A Mid-Summer Night's Dream?

Caution: that may result in this...
One of my very favorite authors explains it so well...

Have you ever felt this way?

It is beautifully expressed by a classic author...

It all comes down to what is in the heart...
"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart
brings forth what is good;
and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil;
 for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."