OW!

warning-sign-304370_1280Ever heard of a tibial tubercle transfer?  Yeah.  Neither had I until our middle daughter needed one.  It isn’t fun either.  Layman’s version: the leg bone connected to the knee bone doesn’t move properly and has worn away all the cartilage; therefore, the surgeon goes in and moves one of the lower leg bones and screws it into place so it works better.  (That, plus they pasted in some cartilage cells to re-grow the necessary padding in there.  Let’s hear it for Elmer’s!)

Amazing.  Simply amazing.

The point is, knee surgery is painful.  Okay, not the surgery itself since the patient is asleep.  For the patient, the surgery is the easy part; it’s the recovery and physical therapy that kicks you in the teeth.  She ended up with four machines at home for recovery as well as some pretty excruciating exercises.  Hours a day, literally. 

Then there was the battle axe of a physical therapist, God bless her, who won’t waste time with whining about how much it hurts, isn’t afraid of a few tears from her client since she knows that pain is just part of the process toward complete healing.

Our daughter had to have a second surgery a few weeks later because internal scar tissue had built up too fast around the site preventing the needed movement.  I was here for that surgery, and saw the photos the doc took to prove that our daughter’s knee could bend the full 130 degrees.  (Of course, this was under anesthesia.)  Now it was a matter of pushing through the pain to get to that full range of motion.

Truth is a great motivator, because pain can distort the truth.  Pain can be deceiving if I allow pain to define my reality.  Sure, if I put my hand on a glowing hot stove, the pain tells me to take it off, thus preventing further damage.  (Ask me how I know this, a vivid childhood memory…)

On the other hand, just because something is uncomfortable, even painful, doesn’t mean it will always be that way.  Many times, (most times?), pain is just part of the process to full restoration.  Not merely physically, but emotionally, mentally, and—the core of it all—spiritually.  That’s where knowing Truth is important, allowing the truth, not the pain, to define the process and inform my vision.

I’m sure hanging on the cross was summarily unpleasant for Jesus.  However…

“Because of the joy  awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

This gives me pause to consider that His Truth is not relative, but sees beyond my immediate circumstances.  Like the photos provided to our daughter to encourage her to push through the pain.  It will hurt, but it will not damage.  In fact, it’s just an expected part of the gaining full spiritual mobility. 

Which is what Jesus has in store for all of us.

Hebrews 12:2  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

But it’s dirty!

dirt
Happy birthday to me!!

Thought you could get rid of me, right?  Uh, huh, I’m like that bad penny that keeps coming around.

Actually, my dad warned me about being busier after retirement than before.  My gracious!  Right now I’m sitting on daughter #1’s back porch in California as her daughter #2 is getting ready to make her world debut…the sooner the better as far as mom is concerned.  (Remember those days, ladies?)

From here I fly to upstate New York where my own daughter #2 is recuperating from recent knee surgery.  All this after returning from seeing daughter #3 and fam over in Scandinavia earlier this summer. 

Has anybody got the time??  My body’s not sure anymore.

Oh yeah, then there’s this manuscript I’m trying my hand at writing, like half of the world also does.  But hey, it’s retirement!

Now, both of my sons-in-law are gardeners at heart, and I like to take cues from them.  Sitting out here in the beautiful southern Cal morning, I’m appreciating some of Mike’s creative handiwork remembering how we talked about improving our dirt—his is clay-ish, and mine back in the Midwest, who knows.  As I walked out to the porch this morning, I note bags of nice brown mulch.  He has plans!

It reminds me how the top of my wish list for any gifts for the past several years as been: dirt.  Bob, however, does not find that particularly appropriate or romantic, as in…

“No, honey, I don’t want to buy you dirt for our anniversary!  Can’t you think of something else?”

“But”, I counter, “you like to eat the things it grows, right?”

It doesn’t work.

So, I continue to buy myself dirt, the good stuff, to improve the soil in my gardens so I can improve the crops I plant. 

My sons-in-law and I also enjoy talking about compost, how to make it better, how we create our areas, all that.  It might not make for engaging conversation at a red-carpet party, but nonetheless.

As the old saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  So true.  How often is something I initially see as unclean or unworthy of my attention actually show up as foundational to what God is trying to accomplish in my life?  My vision needs to be renewed.

“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!”

Now there’s food for thought, but first the food must be planted in the dirt.

Okay, family’s waking up soon and grandma is going to be on duty.  Hope y’all are fine and I’m still here.  God bless!

1 Corinthians 5:16  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Bigger boat for bigger teeth

shark-2317422_1920As I begin to compose this, I hear a raptor behind me.

No, I’m not imagining yet another Jurassic Park spin off.  In the pre-dawn hours here on my patio, there is an owl perhaps not less than fifteen feet in the trees at my back.  My dog, Buckley, seemed to be a tad unnerved by the sound.  I assured him he was too big to tempt the creature toward an attack, and I made some big human noise to assert my dominance and position as well.

This guy can have all the mice he wants, thank you very much; however, I have heard of owls carrying off smaller canines.  When it comes to enemies with teeth, to quote the old movie, Jaws, we gotta get a bigger boat.

Pardon the corny segway, but the disciples discovered a similar thing when they found themselves in a crowded and small vessel when a nasty storm blew in.  Thankfully, they had someone on board Who was bigger than the storm.  Interestingly, His being there didn’t prevent the storm, as in “oh wait a minute, there’s Jesus, let’s wait ‘til they all pass.”  (How convenient would that be?)   Jesus, did, however, have to assert His dominance in the situation to make it go according to His plan, rather than the storm’s plan.

Neither does Satan keep away merely because we bear Jesus’ name.  Sometimes that Name acts like a magnet!  Satan himself has some pretty big teeth, and he knows it:

“Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Nevertheless, we are in a pretty sizable boat:

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.  And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”

Which the writer (Paul) follows in the next chapter with:

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”

Part of being united with Christ is learning how to, like Christ, assert His dominance in and through me when I see the enemy.  “Take up your cross and follow me” includes that part; that is, not only the sacrifice, but the proper use of the authority and power which was paid in full by His own cross.

I can spend a lifetime learning how to fish in that boat!

1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

More than Deet

mosquito-1465062_1920I’ve had one or two people comment on the “number of mosquitoes” in our immediate vicinity, such as my back yard.  Well, my patio is circumscribed by English Ivy, and the border to my next door neighbor to the south is a combo of flowering myrtle and forsythia amid an old sycamore.  Then I have a variety of flora embedded directly to my north which is shaded by one of two colorful maples.  In other words, I love trees and flowers.

So do the mosquitoes.  Continue reading “More than Deet”

What’s in a name?

arrow-964733_1920I was just visiting with my brother this past week.  He mentioned the show “American Pickers”, which I thought was maybe something about guitar and banjo players.  I mean, that’s what the name sounds like, right?

Wrong.  Evidently, the show is about people who find treasures in junk shops. 

Ahhhhh!!  A show after my own heart! Continue reading “What’s in a name?”

That elusive hummer

hummingbird-691483_1920I’m smiling as I write this watching a hummingbird perched on one of the feeders taking his sweet fill.  They fascinate me, and since I’m not an Audubon, I’m dependent on the research and experience of others how to attract these little guys.

Originally, I had spent a few dollars on the store-bought red stuff to put in the feeders.  That can rack up some funds over time—do you know how much these hummers eat?! Continue reading “That elusive hummer”

The Importance of Being Ernest

woman-565127_1920I love that title movie based on the play by Oscar Wilde.  It’s a screwball comedy about mixed up identities and a starry-eyed young heroine who finally figures out who’s who.  And she’s quite earnest about figuring out who Ernest really is. 

If you haven’t seen it, do.  Good fun.

But the point is well taken, the importance of proper identity, that is.  The age old, “who am I really” with the corollary, “what’s actually going on here?” Continue reading “The Importance of Being Ernest”

Still checking the sign

Just got in about 1AM Monday morning from our grandparenting trip to beautiful Sweden, and my eyes have been feeling the seven-hour time difference.  Our number two granddaughter has been referred to by her parents as “half cowboy” (our daughter being American) and “half Viking” (our son-in-law being Swedish).  No problem—we bought the pappa an authentic cowboy hat a few years back and the momma is getting used to finding rune-stones sticking up out of nowhere in the fields. Continue reading “Still checking the sign”

Just part of the routine

home-office-336377_1920We have a break in the heat and humidity from the late summer weather here in southern MO.  That means this morning the AC is off and the fresh early morning air is coming in through the open windows.  Then I have also gone through my typical routine: dog out—check, oatmeal in the microwave—check, hot tea made—check.  You know, all the things you kinda do on auto pilot.

Another one for me is: open the computer to email, not to check my email, but just in case daughter #3 calls in from Sweden.  #1 lives in California (two time zones away) and #2 lives in New York (one time zone away), and naturally I love talking with them just as much too.  But the baby of the family had to move SEVEN (count ‘em, 7!) time zones away, so communication is a little more challenging if you want some face time. Continue reading “Just part of the routine”

Check marks

ok-1976099_1280As I write this, it is almost 5AM and I’ve been up since 3:45AM.  It’s called jet lag.  I’m wide awake, made more permanent by the nice black tea I bought while in Sweden (seven time zones away), and might as well start my day while my brain and body make the adjustments.  My “to-go” list is as follows:

  • Laundry
  • Groceries
  • Weed-whacking
  • Bug spray
  • Rake the grass
  • Fix the carrier
  • Thank you note to ____

And I won’t bother to write the rest.  (I did get the yard mowed yesterday, as it was looking more in need of brush-hogging after being gone for two weeks.) Continue reading “Check marks”