May 28, 2009

Broken-Toothed Fan

It's been knocked around a few too many years, I suppose. The box fan that sits on my bedroom windowsill looses a piece of its plastic every time I bump it with the sliding window. It's easy to stick my fingers into its mouth to retrieve the pieces and toss them. But the bottom line is - it keeps doing its job!

Why throw some old things away? It's in my bedroom on a high windowsill, so my grandkids won't be sticking their fingers into it and injuring themselves. We have a lot of windows and a lot of fans to help us stay cool in the summer, so I could make do without it; but why should I? Sure, it's dusty and grimy, and broken in many places, but for now I find that charming.

It smiles its jagged smile at me when I'm laying in bed enjoying its breezes. It reminds me that my surroundings don't necessarily need to have the appearance of perfection in order to be appreciated (and perfect).

This week I am wearing two wrist braces to promote healing in my wrists and right elbow. The pain has only worsened the past few weeks, even after trying different strategies and positions at work to relieve the stress on my joints. Now I must put a halt to it all and take a break, before it causes more extensive damage. Aside from my homework and a little e-social activity (Facebook, email, and blogging), I will avoid working much with my hands for a time.

That might be really tough for me. I enjoy being a "doing" person, like my father. I love to put my hands to a task and see immediate fruits for my labors. I don't enjoy backing off and taking the easy way physically. It seems I've been doing that a lot lately... Surprisingly, though, I am not distressed by it! There's nothing wrong with living with my imperfections. I may be missing something, like my fan is, but I still get the job done.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1


May 14, 2009

My Face is Falling

My mirror image tells me I'm mad about something, or tired, or ornery. Can you believe that I was just whistling a little tune and thinking about some happy times? My face betrays me!

It has happened to every woman before me, and yet it surprises me. The muscles in my face just aren't holding it up the same way they always did. Though it's nice they are relaxing (I guess), it makes me look mean!

People look at me differently now when I drive down the highway. I thought it was just because I'm not as interesting to look at with gray in my hair. That's mostly true, but when I glance in my rear view mirror and see a crotchety face glaring back, I know I wouldn't want to spend too much time looking at that expression either!

I will be more careful to not judge an older person's outward expression too harshly.

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY May 14, 2009
Outside My dog stares back from the pasture - not believing I would DARE to put her out there alone today.
I am thinking...I need to confess to my dear family and friends that yes, I have neglected the important things in order to pursue too much work and education this spring.
I am thankful for...long-term, faithful relationships.
From the kitchen...the plants in the windowsill are slurping up the water I just gave them.
I am wearing...comfortable clothes to do my homework in.
I am creating...a heart at rest though I have regrets.
I am make a "to do" list to prepare for our weekend bonfire party. We will sit around the bonfire pit with our guitars and watch the children play.
I am reading...Basic Mathematics and Medical Transcription: Fundamentals and Practice.
I am hoping...I can maintain that place of peace when my guests are here and they see that I have neglected my housework.
I am hearing...Jesus saying to the storm, "Peace, be still..."
Around the house...the rivets on the Levis are bouncing inside the clothes dryer walls, and I am refraining from writing my initials in the dust on the piano.
One of my favorite excited chicken running across the yard.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Turn my heart back to trusting God in E V E R Y thing!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...(unable to upload picture today)

May 2, 2009

The Veins in Mother's Hands

The shiny brown pews in the church were solid wood, and too temptingly slippery for any wiggly little boy to stay still on. Little girls didn't wiggle as much, 'cause if they did the skin on their bare legs would screech like fingernails on a chalkboard!

My young mother patiently taught us to sit still and listen to the sermon. Sitting quietly was a tall order for sure, but she was patient and wise. Once in awhile she brought something in her purse to help; like a jar of bugs for my brother to gawk at, or a pad of paper for me to doodle on. I was keenly aware of my father's gaze from the choir, so I worked hard to impress him with my quiet reverence.

I remember my mother's hands folded in her lap, and how the veins on them would stand out as she rested them there. To entertain myself I would trace the veins and push on them under her skin. This would irritate her, and she'd draw them back.

As she grew older I watched her hands change. And when her mother, my dear grandmother, passed away, I determined to reach out and touch her hands. I told myself, "these are the hands that spanked my Uncle Paul" and "these are the hands that stitched little dresses for my mother." "These are the hands that held mine when she taught me to pray." Now they were cold, lying still across her breast. Now she won't need them any more, I thought.

My own hands are changing. Their skin isn't so smooth any more, and their grip is weakened. Sometimes it's difficult to find a comfortable position to rest them in.
My hands have a scheduled number of days, then they will be still.

Lord, here are my hands. I offer them to You to do Your work, until the day we don't need them as they are any more. My life is in Your hands.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait."

--the words to a song taken from Isaiah 40 that my Uncle Paul's family taught us.
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