Friday, January 29, 2010
I awoke with the feeling of razor blades in my throat. I have not had a sore throat like this in what seems like years. All I want to do is curl up with my quilt on the sofa and watch mindless television. I got a fire going in the stove, made some tea and toast and sat by the window watching the birds try to eat between the rain drops. Made me feel very thankful for a warm dry house. Emery did my chores yesterday and this morning and I know he will do them again tonight, he is that kind of thoughtful man. Last night he ran out to the local store to get me a certain kind of cough drops and came home with a card and a container of Vicks Vapor-rub. I love that man with every single cell in my body.
Today will be another do nothing kind of day, which doesn't even frustrate me today, I feel that yukky. I might just watch the birds and mind the fire and call that my "work" for the day.
"God takes men as they are... They are not chosen because they are perfect, but notwithstanding their imperfections, that through the knowledge and practice of the truth, through the grace of Christ, they may become transformed into His image."
Desire of Ages, p. 294
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Perfect Dinner Table
A tablecloth that's slightly soiled
Where greasy little hands have toiled;
The napkins kept in silver rings,
And only ordinary things
From which to eat, a simple fare,
And just the wife and kiddies there,
And while I serve, the clatter glad
Of little girl and little lad
Who have so very much to say
About the happenings of the day.
Four big round eyes that dance with glee,
Forever flashing joys at me,
Two little tongues that race and run
To tell of troubles and of fun;
The mother with a patient smile
Who knows that she must wait awhile
Before she'll get a chance to say
What she's discovered through the day.
She steps aside for girl and lad
Who have so much to tell their dad.
Our manners may not be the best;
Perhaps our elbows often rest
Upon the table, and at times
That very worst of dinner crimes,
That very shameful act and rude
Of speaking ere you've downed your food,
Too frequently, I fear, is done,
So fast the little voices run.
Yet why should table manners stay
Those tongues that have so much to say?
At many a table I have been
Where wealth and luxury were seen,
And I have dined in halls of pride
Where all the guests were dignified;
But when it comes to pleasure rare
The perfect dinner table's where
No stranger's face is ever known:
The dinner hour we spend alone,
When little girl and little lad
Run riot telling things to dad.
The table set for two tonight, just Emery and I, and how I loved when so many eager voices gathered around the table when our family was young. Now, we enjoy when the family gathers together and we get a bit of the old days all over again.
Rain with storms complete with thunder, lightening and high winds made the afternoon one to stay inside. Plus, I came down with a cold yesterday. I had been fighting it for a while now and I guess the cold won.
Everyone was over for supper last night which was so nice, it had been a while since there had been so much going on with Melanie's health and the arrival of wee Yen. Good news with Yen, he only woke up once last night, so Melanie was pretty happy to get some much needed rest.
I spent most of the day being lazy without feeling one bit guilty for not accomplishing 100 different things : ) I did get some reading done which was so nice.
The cold weather arrives this evening so just got the fire in the stove going. It feels so good. Cozy winter kind of good.
Emery is going to do chores tonight as he did this morning. He didn't want me going out in the dampness with my cold. What a good guy he is ! I feel blessed by his deep kindness on every level of his life. Every day I think how blessed our children and grandchildren are to have him as an example.
Here are a few photos from last night as we captured on film some of the fun the girls had playing. Yen slept soundly through all the noise and talking.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
There is a little chill to the air this morning. Its not really cold out, but, still, your hands and your nose soon feel that winter coldness creeping up on you. The sky is full of amazing clouds this morning. I ended up taking about 40 pictures of the sky just on my way out to do chores. The clouds were changing so quickly, stretching and rolling into new and wonderful shapes right before my eyes. They are full of moisture and rain is on the way, you can feel it. The anemometer was spinning like Mei-Lings little pink and gold pinwheel. I thought about rain for a bit while I filled the chickens waterer. The very rain that will fall today or tomorrow, may be the same rain drops that fell on Moses or Jacob. God is the ultimate recycler, and I don't mean that to sound trite or sarcastic, but honest. Rain that falls, goes to our rivers, our lakes, the ocean, where clouds are formed from the moisture of the water. Those same clouds become heavy and raindrops fall. Over and over and over, this happens. Purification systems all part of Gods amazing creation. Nothing random about it. To think that the very water I drink this morning, is as old as the world. Profound really. I never tire to think of it.
I don't get bored with the ordinary, but seek to find the extraordinary in each thing around me. The barn door and how the wood tones change in time. Eggs freshly gathered, thinking about how they feed our family, and how beautiful the colors are. Garden goodness, even in January, the benefit of our labor, the blessing of the soil. Even Aya, our barn cat, so pretty and so useful. Keeping the mouse population under control in the feed room, the cycle of nature, so well planned, so perfect.
I stop to marvel at new life springing up right next to old life on the rose bush. Each containing their own beauty, in their own way. I feel deep and profound love for the Creator of such order and foresight, Honor Him for what He puts before my eyes each and every day.
Walking back to the house, with hay sticking off the arm or my sweater like porcupine quills, I stop to look at the worn and ragged basketball hoop that our boys played with, almost hearing their excited voices as they shot baskets in the still air, memories and thinking that in the years ahead, we will no doubt hang a new net and watch the next generation run and jump out there with a ball shooting out of their hands, trying to "get a basket" and laughing and yelling in boyhood pleasure. The cycle of life, it makes me smile. I suspect Mei-Ling and Elizabeth will shoot baskets too, like our girls did, like I still do on those warm summer evenings when Emery and I are done with chores but want to linger in the evening breeze.
In the house, the gray skies have left the rooms a bit dark and perhaps a bit dreary. I light the lamp and make a fire in the stove to chase away that dampness that comes on such days as this.
In the rocker, I will sip my tea, watch the birds out the window and pray a prayer of gratitude for eyes that see and for the ability to be outside, to work with my hands and have so much to enjoy around me.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Melanie came over with the children today which gave me the perfect opportunity to get the camera busy. So many blessings in life ! This Thursday, Yen will be 3 weeks old, how time is flying by.
Mei-Ling is an adoring sister, who shows nothing but gentleness and love towards her new baby brother.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Life has been busy for the past few days and somehow my blog was the one thing that got put on the back burner. There has been a baby to hold, and a toddler to play with while their mommy was resting or at least attempting to.
And now there is some news in the family that means an increase in the number of our grandbabies ! It seems September will be the month for a new blessing in the family. Someone else is going to be a big sister : )
Life is good, busy, but good.
Friday, January 22, 2010
As the sun sets this Friday evening and we settle in for a quiet evening this is the view from my front yard. I am reminded of this quote that I learned as a child......"The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul." EGW
The big cat is still on the prowl and has managed to stay clear of the trap set for him/her. So many of you have written asking about how Licorice is doing, so here is an update on her.
Most of her wounds healed without much of a problem, with the exception of her ear, which was so badly wounded. We fought infection for about two weeks and much to every ones dismay, part of her ear was lost. Two huge bites were taken from it and part of the ear simply atrophied. A major vein running through it was severed.
Removing the ear would have been a last resort as it would have left her vulnerable to all sorts of things getting in the ear canal and she would have had no ability to shake off insects on that side of her face, so leaving what could be left, in tact, gives her more protection then if the ear had been removed. She has a rather sad looking ear on one side, but iIt doesn't seem to be bothering her and she is as sweet as ever. Getting bigger every day with kids due in about 9 weeks. We lock the goats up in the barn, faithfully each evening as the sun sets and we feel confident that they will be kept safe that way. Still would like to find that big cat in the trap some morning so he could be moved to a more remote area.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
There has been cooking to do, babies to hold, knitting to be done, animals to tend to and yes, a bit of housework here and there. Books to be read, wool to spin, fabric stores to visit, (but I came home without any more fabric, I have enough for years). There are birds to watch, a garden to tend to. Music to listen to. Conversations to have. So many things going on right now and I love it. My life is full and to me that is a huge blessing. If I had nothing else to do but count my blessings, I would be busy all day long !Mei-Ling was over the other day for a bit, so Melanie could sleep when Yen slept. He has been quite the night owl so Mei-Ling got to do morning chores with Grammie. She puts her boots on like a big girl and is ready to get to work. She loves being out there with me and I sure love having her out there with me.
Yesterday Melanie was over here with both children and I caught Mei-Ling singing to her baby brother in the cradle. Life is good !
Life is a gift to be used every day,
Not to be smothered and hidden away;
It isn't a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best;
It isn't a joy to be sipped now and then
And promptly put back in a dark place again.
Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
And one that the humblest may well make the most of.
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don't keep it in niches and corners and grooves,
You'll find that in service its beauty improves.
From the book "A Heap o' Livin'"
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It seems the subject of being grateful is one I like. It comes up often on my blog, maybe because I have learned that by counting your blessings, most of life's annoyance's seem pretty small by comparison. Just waking up each morning is a huge blessing, even if you think your life is a mess and full of unwanted drama. Being alive gives us huge options to change what we don't like in our lives or at least to choose how we look at our circumstances. We also have the option to have faith, to believe that better days are coming and will come. At times there are people in our lives that seem to drive us crazy. They may get in your face, or they may just be someone you love that makes one mistake after another and never seems to listen to the voice of experience. Things like that can make us miserable but what really is happening is that we are allowing them to bother us. There is a verse in the Bible that I love, I memorized it years ago and I believe it, but don't always maintain the kind of peace in my heart that makes it happen. Psalm 119:165 says...Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Imagine that !
If I have a right relationship with God and His ways, then nothing shall offend me ! So that means the stupid boss, the wayward adult child, the man on the road with road rage, the rude person on the phone, etc, they really won't disturb our inner peace because we cannot be offended by their actions, we will feel compassion for them or be so strong that no one can take that peace in our hearts away from us unwillingly !
So often when we feel offended, we feel angry, the first thing we try to do is to label the offender. Match him up to certain verses in the Bible even and then sit back and feel a bit smug, thinking we are RIGHT and they are all WRONG. That is not having peace in our hearts that cannot be offended ! We have been told over and over that judging is wrong and that very kind of action even if unspoken, is judgement. How much better we would feel if we were not offended in the first place, but let the wrong just slip by us and rather than get riled up about it, just pray for the person with a sincere heart, not the "Dear God please convict this person in their heart of all the wrong they are doing" kind of prayer. Pray for their happiness, their freedom from the things that bind them to unhappiness or misdoings.
I am really talking to myself here, reminding myself to live more loving. More forgiving.
Something many Christians do, myself included, when we are offended or someone has had a major negative experience is to throw a text out to them without having to do one thing to make the situation better. As if words alone show love and compassion.
There is a tendency to quote certain scriptures to people when they are suffering or having a hard time with life, but maybe we should think about how trite that can sound and instead of throwing scriptures at them without any heart action, show them that love and compassion that was behind the verse in the first place. Hard stuff to do because it means we have to be in that very place that God asks us to be. Full of His love, full of the mind of Christ. Full of mercy and grace, more than just be full of memorized texts. We need to be more than lip service. More than judgements. More than bitter in our inner most thoughts. We need to be full of gratitude for all the good things in our life or even all the possibilities for good things. We need to find joy in the simple, find that fulfillment in our lives that has nothing at all to do with material items that can be taken away, rot or rust. Its not easy to do, I know that, I fail every single day but I keep trying, keep working at how I think, how I perceive people and situations. I want sympathy to replace when I feel indignant or offended. I want to have patience when someone I love is making a stupid life choice. I want to have the kind of love for others that Christ has for me every day, when I make stupid life choices or I am less than what I should be.
I want to fill every corner of my heart with kindness and mercy. Mercy is a big word, with lots of demand for selflessness.
Today I am grateful for a new day, filled with gratitude actually so I can have another shot at finding inner peace so great that I just can't be offended.
Today I am grateful for a new day, filled with gratitude actually so I can have another shot at finding inner peace so great that I just can't be offended.
Christ doesn't demand we be perfect or He will not love us, He shows us His wisdom and then lets us stand or fall, always there with a gentle hand to pick us up when we do fall. Oh to be like that !
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Emery and I were being silly and I put my foot next to his, so we could compare hiking boots. I told Mei-Ling to put her shoe next to ours.... I soon realized I phrased that wrong when she took off her shoe so it could be put next to ours. I should have said "foot" instead of "shoe". Toddlers are incredibly literal it seems !
Emery and I took Mei-Ling on a little hike this morning. We saw all kinds of wonderful things and had such a good time teaching her about the birds we saw along with teaching her about the plants and trees. It reminded both of us of our many walks in nature with our girls when they were small. We adopted the boys when they were older so they missed out on this kind of introduction to nature at a young age. I think like many things in life, the love of nature starts in the formative years.
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...