"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change."
My life never feels very complicated, we actually live with almost no drama, and we like it that way. Things just seem to hum along quite nicely, with the occasional hiccup that gives you just enough contrast so you appreciate and are thankful for the peace you have. Once in a while though, I do find myself swaying towards the techno world. I am sure, that with encouragement, I could be a full blown geek, when it comes to computers etc. I often have to just pull myself away from the computer and its amazing workings, and go dig in the dirt or make some bread. My children have been known to tease me from time to time about trying to get my attention when I am researching something on the computer or trying to fix one of the issues this non-living "friend" of mine displays a screen that bespeaks of a serious problem. I am known to carry my iPhone with me to make a "trip" in the middle of the night and check my mail and my facebook. When I feel that all this technology is taking over more of me than I think proper, its time to step back, sit by the fire and spin some wool, or go visit our friends at Homestead Heritage to be surrounded by the simple life. Take some time to fall in love all over again with the deepest desire of my heart, to live simply. To rekindle that love of doing things the old fashioned way. To remind myself of the satisfaction that comes from making soap from start to finish, not in a crock pot or just melting someone elses soaps, but doing it the way my great great great grandmother would have. Then it all comes back to me, those dreams of a 15 year old me, wanting to live in the woods, in a cabin, making quilts, growing a garden, foraging for berries, and then sitting in the evening by the fire, lamplight glowing, reading a good book while sitting in my rocking chair. Those dreams are my reality most days, on the days I remember to move away from the computer that is. Like most things in life, there is a mixing and blending of things, of moderation and balance. If the balance was ever to be tipped in one direction, I would much prefer it be in the direction of the simple life...days spent in the garden, or by the wood stove, hands busy with some hand work or head bowed in prayer for wisdom, for thankfulness for the life I am able to live. Thankful that my days are not rushed, or filled with stress. Thankful that long ago we made decisions to go after our goals, even though it meant swimming against the tide at times. Thankful I got to spend each and every day with my children, experiencing the joy of watching the children learn and grow in all areas of their life. With your children, there are no do overs. If you miss a moment, you miss it. If you miss an opportunity to sooth their wounds, you have missed it for good. Our moments are fleeting, no repeats. I love this simple life of mine. Its perfect for me and for my husband. We can sit together in the evening, quiet talk, some laughter, some planning, some sharing what we learned during the day and whats best, we can sit side by side and pray together. The simple life, yes, its best for me.
Yesterday on a facebook page that has to do with homesteading, a link was posted regarding the decision of the Copley Square store that removed pressure cookers from their shelves. Not because they were afraid there would be a rush of terrorists.clamoring to purchase one, but out of respect for the many victims of such a horrific event. If I owned a certain make and model of car, in a particular color, that was identical to the car that was driven by a drunk driver and wiped out the family next door, I would be mindful not to drive that car to the funeral, why, because I was afraid a second drunk driver might steal my car and do the very same thing to the neighbors on the other side of me, of course not, It would be out of respect, not wanting to produce any painful emotions to those people I want to comfort in some way. The same mindset motivated that store in Bostons Copley Sq, But on the facebook page regarding this link....fear blinded compassion. Fear motivated insensitive remarks about how stupid it was and how stores should remove backpacks etc. We have somehow, allowed this fear of having our rights stepped on that our thoughts of compassion have been pushed to the back and we forget to have feelings of kindness and sensitivity when we need them.
I hear all the time, people shouting about their rights being violated and how we are going to end up like Hitlers time. I hear people fearful of the world being over run by this group or that group. I hear people fearful of having nothing, so they hold on to everything, soon drowning in the junk they have collected. Buying storage space for things they have long forgotten about or replaced with new stuff. So many have put fear in the limelight. It often seems like the more religious a person is, the more fearful they are. Fearful of the "evil" forgetting who is in charge I think. Forgetting they believe in a powerful Creator that is a loving Father. Good fathers always make their children feel safe, even in the midst of chaos. A strong but loving arm can chase away all the things that could go bump in the night. God, certainly is a good Father, but we seem to forget the verse that says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love"
1 John 4:18
The state of the world should not remove from us, the ability to feel confident in the love that God has for us and shows us. The state of the world should not fill us with fear that is so pervasive that it can push aside our ability to understand compassion when its presented to us. The state of the world cannot be more harsh now than in the time of Christs birth when baby boys were rounded up to be killed just because they were born boys at a time when someones fear had pushed them to do so. The world will always have pain and suffering, we make it be so just because we are human. But living so fearfully that we cannot see clearly is a dangerous place. It is a faithless place, it is a Godless place. It is a place where we pile our own weaknesses by the cartload, over the words of promises, that God will care for us, even when things go bad. That He will shelter us under His wings, and hide us for a while in the safety of his arms.
Let your faith be stronger than your fear, let your heart see goodness in good, and not have it hidden by fear of misunderstanding. See the kindness that was shown to those in the bombing area for what it was. A store hiding a reminder of the pain. Not some fear driven action that you think it was, a reaction to your own fears.
If you are a believer, memorize these words and then believe them.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a] 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Last evening we were out in the garden doing some planting when we heard something strange, almost like an earthquake, but the air felt strange, as if it was rippling past us. We looked at the sky, wondering if it was thunder, but no, the radar showed nothing. I checked to see if it was an earthquake, nothing on the earthquake site. The phone rang and it was our daughter that lives just down the street, asking if we felt that, and she told us her house shook. In time we found out it was the explosion in West, TX. A town we love and go to just about every week. Always stopping at the Czech bakery there. Watching the news channel proved difficult to watch, they kept reporting on the two big stories, the bombings at the Boston Marathon and West. Two towns I love. My "back yard" in both instances. I grew up 5 miles north of Boston, grew up around the corner from where Krystal Campbell grew up, where her parents live, her mother is "Patty" also. I have walked past that house many times when I was growing up. My cousin was watching the marathon just a few miles from the blast, but thankfully had gone home before the disaster hit. I feel drained emotionally. My sense of security shaken, damaged. Last night while the storms rolled through and the thunder rumbled, I slept. But my dreams were frightening, I kept hearing loud booms, and in my dream state, people were asking, " what is that, its as though the heavens are at war." It was not thunder in my dreams but something like the sky splitting open. A nightmare that the world was coming to an end. It was every bit as frightening as reading the scenes recorded in the book of Revelations. In my dream, thousands of military tanks and planes fly past a bit like if a child lines up all his toys, were flying past me against a darkened sky. War had broken out in North Korea. Waking up was a relief. This morning as I watched the news, watched the Interfaith service, the words of comfort were welcome. It feels like for all of us, our world has changed in a way. I had to get up after it was over and go outside. The cold air that arrived with the storms hit my face and felt like a cool hand on a fevered brow. I needed to feel the damp cool air, see the bright green grass and see the roses in bloom, hear the birds sing. I needed to escape seeing the scenes of chaos and pain. I know we are strong people, and I know that the folks of Boston and the folks in West are made of tough stuff and will get past all this, but I also know that there will always be that hint of reality that stays with us all, knowing that there are no guarantees in life. Knowing that we now live in a world where our security cannot be assured. But, I also know that we are a nation that never lets something keep us down. We are strong, we are brave and we know that we are able to move past nightmares. God Bless Boston and God Bless West. Took a few pictures when I was in West a couple weeks ago. Such a great little town.
A little p.s. here
I feel no fear on my part ! My faith is strong, just my knees weakened enough to make me fall on them in prayer for those impacted by the disasters that have hit very close to home.
It seems to me that each stage of life affords its own very distinct and wonderful moments. When newly wed, there is a kind of new love that goes far beyond description. Each day so full of love that your heart feels like it might just explode. Then came the time of raising our family, a calmer kind of full heart. Moments of rocking a sleeping child, kissing their soft skin and feeling so full and complete. Growing family time of life, so full of fun and excitement and pride, all built on the foundation of that newly wed love that for us has never gone from us. Then there were the teen years and the young adult years of raising a family and the gratitude for working so hard when the children were little to ensure they turned into fine upstanding adults. Now, grandchildren, another layer of love that makes you feel like you could explode from the amount of love you feel. All the joy of little ones once again but this time without all the hard work. Mixed in with this, is the time to once again, spend quiet moments laughing and sharing dreams with the man I love so much. Time for tea on the porch together, no rush, time to do what we pretty much want to do, which thankfully for us is the same kind of things. Stay home and build a paradise of flowers and beauty to look upon as we sip our tea in the afternoons or just watch the birds feed or sing to us. We might even dance under the fairy lights to songs that speak perfectly for the mood. Life is good, and I am so enjoying having the time to enjoy it. All those years of simple living have laid the foundation for a time of peaceful pleasures.
The world seems like a different place tonight, less safe, less dependable in some way, but we also have seen that people are strong, compassionate beyond what we could imagine. There were many who could have run the other way, but instead ran into the danger. Strong people, dependable people. I don't like when situations are unstable, unpredictable, and today felt like that. I felt vulnerable for a bit, the I decided that I am stronger than a terrible moment in history..I refuse to be crippled by cowards. I will pull myself up by the boot straps emotionally and decide that I am going to count on the predictability of this countries strength, today, tomorrow and in the future.
District Attorney Dan Conley said, "Moments like these - terrible as they are - don't show our weakness - they show our strength."
The spring season brings with it the enjoyment of being outside in the garden just about every day. Weeding always needs to be done but also, there are roses to be picked and arranged and that is a job I adore. The roses are beautiful this year. Abundant and exceptionally fragrant. Of course, there has to be time for tea on the porch too.