December 29, 2008

A Sad Day

The Simple Woman's Day Book
FOR TODAY: Monday December 29, 2008
Outside My Window...it's too dark to see anything - it's 11:22 p.m. I'm looking out a different window now, anyway, since we moved my computer from the dining room to my new office in a bedroom.
I am thinking...that I saw the bad news coming. I couldn't connect the home network, though I'd worked on it all morning. I left the house to get my workout and couldn't easily shake the disappointment I felt in myself. Late this evening we got the email that told of one of our family's marriages being in trouble.
I am thankful for...the fact that no matter how dark times have gotten in my life, I've never totally "lost it". I know, I just know, that God's hand is with me. That place of stillness is unmatched, and His presence often more keenly felt in the dark, lonely places of the night. He doesn't often speak to me in English - it's an understanding of the heart. But that understanding often comes after I've read the Bible in the quiet (with no clock ticking).
From the kitchen...we are blessed with cupboards and refrigerators full of holiday food.
I am wearing...lighter-weight clothes since the freeze has passed.
I am creating...on purpose, a deeper hungering in my heart for closeness with God. Right now that means that I am limiting my eating.
I am going...to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico before spring springs!
I am reading...the January 2009 issue of Prevention magazine.
I am hoping...to find that song in my heart again.
I am hearing...(in my mind) the scripture I read last night from Proverbs (see below).
Around the house...a bit of disarray. We've made a fine mess of rearranging and discarding!
One of my favorite things...little stashes of chocolate around the house - the ones Jerry hasn't found yet!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: to continue this "limbo-land" of days between Christmas and New Year's Day getting little projects done around the house with my husband: Replacing our tub's faucet, loading up sacks to take to Goodwill (already took one trunk full!), building my chickens a couple of nest boxes, and hopefully getting a good start on Amy's comforter.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...My family in 1966.

My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:20-27 NIV

* . * . * . * . * . * . * . * . * .

December 10, 2008

FOR TODAY: December 10, 2008

Outside My Window...three little kitties are scrunched together by my door waiting for their breakfast, huge dewdrops are clinging to the wire fence, mister rooster is proclaiming his roosterliness, and the fog is gripping the fir trees as the sun attempts to drive it away.
I am thinking...I would like a new camera, but maybe words can paint better pictures.
I am thankful for...a warm house and a hot cup of tea.
From the kitchen...I hear a sigh and I know why. My kitchen activities have been seriously neglected since fall term started. That will change after my FINAL final tonight!
I am wearing...my jogging suit and birkenstock sandals. I'll fix my hair after my swim.
I am creating...a list of contacts to pursue for more transcription work.
I am going...to my parents' house to add our gifts to theirs for my son overseas. Thank you for serving, A.P.!
I am reading...my medical transcription textbook.
I am hoping...that my part in the Christmas celebration at church will help encourage, heal, and show others the Father's love for them. I am also hoping that the money we have saved for my husband's dentistry will be enough.
I am hearing...electrical things running in my otherwise silent house. Thank you, God, for electricity!
Around the house...Oh, rats. I have to confess there are 3 laundry baskets full of items for me to fold and put away - and they've been sitting there since yesterday.
One of my favorite things...the sparkles in my grandchildren's eyes!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: 1. drag home a huge Christmas tree in my Toyota's trunk, 2. take my 2-year old grandson swimming, 3. threaten my hens that aren't laying (that works sometimes!)
wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

December 5, 2008

"Playing" Church at the Family Reunion

I'm seeing twenty-odd young cousins, ranging from toddlers to teens. A large, extended, musically-gifted preacher family all converging on Uncle Doyle and Aunt Helen's central home from Indiana, Texas, California, or wherever we'd scattered.

We're talking road trip here. Air conditioning was all the windows rolled down blowing hot air on your face till your eyes dried up, creating a permanent squint. That is, except for the window Mom needed rolled UP to hold the diaper over the glass to shade the cranky baby so she could sleep (on her lap - there were no car seats). From the Willamette Valley, we'd drive to Prineville to spend the night with Uncle Paul's family, then get up before the sun to head for Utah - in one day!

When we arrived, all we wanted to do was lay on the cool grass, and of course, eat, and eat, and eat, and play with our cousins.

Hot summers in Utah in a small house with few beds, small rooms, one kitchen, and ONE BATHROOM. The spill-over arrivals actually got to sleep in the church basement! Ah, the perks of being the preacher's kin! I was so thankful for that cool cement floor, and not because I appreciated a good nights' sleep. That just wasn't important at 7 years of age!

What can a group like this do to entertain themselves? We played church!

Grandma taught us a few songs, and cousin Steve (dared not call him Stevie again till after his twenties) was our preacher. He led us to Jesus again and again... He was genuinely good!

Grandma played the piano while we sang our "specials": Rocka my soul in the bosom of Abraham..., and It's me, it's me, Oh Lord, standin' in the need of prayer... I have to say these songs were not my father's favorites (still aren't), but they did a lot to unify a bunch of hot little children in August.

When we gathered together with the adults, it was for "visitin', meals, and singin'." Each family usually had something to perform for the group - the family song. It wasn't long and we'd be coaxing our uncles to perform their "Ha-Ha Song", and the "Grumbling Song". They were willing... and we would roll on the floor in laughter.

A few years ago, I coaxed them one last time. I flew with my daughter to the California desert to see all of Mom's siblings together for the last time that all five of them would be present, and though two of them could hardly do it, they tried to get those silly songs out - for me. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn't want to spoil the moment. My heart pounded as I realized the significance of this last song. Grandma had taught them to sing harmonies some 70 years earlier, and now I was privileged to hear their last earthly performance together.

There was no sweeter sound, but you know, our NEXT family reunion will be something else!
~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+