Inventory

wood 2A good friend of mine told me about the local Red Cross blood drive that was happening here in town.  I hadn’t donated blood in a L-O-N-G time, and since someone dear to me in my family had just had a transfusion, it was obviously still in my frontal lobe.  That, plus I was on summer vacation, plus I have one of the rarest blood types (B negative), so no excuses.  Drink some extra water, grab a protein bar, and I’m off.

There’s a family story about my mom back when we were kids.  She had the rarest type of blood, AB negative.  That’s always fun, since if you’re in a car wreck or some such awful thing, and you need a lifesaving transfusion, you might be in a world of hurt.  Continue reading “Inventory”

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Why stay hidden?

wood 2I grew up on the edge of a large Midwest city (Indianapolis).  My graduating class in high school was over 700, and I attended the main campus of a Big Ten university immediately thereafter.  I have been to visit my daughters on both coast in L.A. and the Big Apple, and accompanied my husband’s small college on a trip to London several years ago. 

crowdAll this to say, crowds don’t bother me. 

It’s not that prefer them; I don’t.  In fact, I’m writing this on my somewhat secluded patio in my comparatively sleepy small town with my quiet mutt on the pavestones as the birds sing around me.  Yes, in a way, I’m hiding.  Intentionally.  Is that so bad?

But I’m quite adept at hiding in a crowd also.  I really like not 
Continue reading “Why stay hidden?”

In other words…

squirrel

In other words…Galatians 6:9

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Thanks to Nancy Ruegg for this quote!  Check out Nancy’s site!
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.

Zinnias, and other gifts

garden lastHere’s another status report on the new garden.  Writing this in June, during a hot/dry spell here in southern MO, but with my watering (and Bob’s sweet patience with the water bill…at least so far), color is exploding round about. 

Now, my sister-in-law, Bu, is quite the avid landscaper.  She advised that I start cutting these beauties so that more would continue to pop up throughout the season.  She’s usually right about this sort of thing, so I have trustingly clipped a few of my prizes to enjoy indoors and await a new crop as they come.

zenniacut

Pretty cool, huh?

It’s actually quite good for me, since I have more of a tendency to hoard things, you know, “make them last”.  Like books that set on the shelf, not imparting any knowledge, just collecting dust.  Or unused hanging planters, nurturing spiders’ nests in the garage instead of flowers on my patio.  Things you save “for a rainy day.”

I’m thinking we tend to do that with other gifts also.  Like health, and money, and talent, and those things we think we might make use of when retired, or on vacation, or….just later. 

Jesus said something about “burying it in the ground” rather than investing it wisely for a future return.

Not that timing isn’t important; clearly providing food on the table for the family is a more imminent need than being in a rock band (unless that’s what puts food on the table.)  Relationships take precedence over personal pursuits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are mutually exclusive 100% of the time. 

Here’s the point: 

“Send your grain across the seas,
    and in time, profits will flow back to you.”

And just for kicks, here’s the footnote for this particular translation:

Give generously, / for your gifts will return to you later. Hebrew reads Throw your bread on the waters, / for after many days you will find it again.”

Generosity is one of those hallmarks of Christianity, and it’s not merely money. Believe it or not, sometimes greenbacks can be the easiest thing to give!  Time and talent, gifts—both spiritual and otherwise—(and even making the effort to inventory what I have in my own storehouse), is incredibly important, because it’s not about “just me and mine”.  It’s about what the Creator, my Creator, has put inside of me to cast out there to bless and benefit others.

Right.  So some neighbors might wake up to find bouquets of zinnia blossoms on their front doorsteps in a few days….

Ecclesiastes 11:1 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.

Temperature’s rising…it’s the flu.

IMG_20150103_172451138flumap

This is the time of year, in my job as a school nurse, that I like to see where we are with the annual spread of the influenza.  Missouri has just recently been upgraded to “local” instead of “sporadic”, which is not bad considering it’s February (at this writing).

Understand, this is just about the true flu, not the stomach flu, not strep throat, not “just a cold”.  This is the one, if you’re smart (in my not-so-humble opinion), you get a vaccine for, especially if you work every day among all those walking petri dishes known as school children.

I once had a middle schooler tell me that it was okay with him if he got the flu, presumably so that he could stay home from school. 

Yet another evidence that the prepubescent frontal lobe is not yet fully formed.

The influenza is bad, like, r-e-a-l-l-y bad.  High fever, cough, aches, you feel like you’re gonna die, and sometimes wish you could.  And in fact, people still do, die that is, from the true flu.  So, despite what my sweet middle schoolers might think, I’m quite pleased about “The Map” for this time of year where I live.

I can only imagine and try to appreciate what was happening to Simon Peter’s wife with her mother being so very ill (and probably highly contagious) when Jesus came for a visit. 

“Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.”

Right.  No “don’t worry, Mom, we’ll just have leftovers, you go and rest.” No “here, Mom, let us take care of the dishes, you put your feet up.” I am fascinated by the woman’s response.  There seemingly was no sense of victimhood entitlement, no pity party, not even an inkling of self indulgence.  What was her response to this healing (or we could fill in “deliverance, provision” or any number of God’s other good, good gifts to us)?

Service.  Paying it forward by serving others was her way of paying it back to the One who cared for her the most.  Instead, we often find (including in ourselves, the church) an unhealthy sense of ownership, of what I feel is “due” me for all the hardship I’ve endured.  Or there’s the temptation to hoard my good fortune (truly a misnomer) for fear of losing it again. 

I don’t think Jesus was terribly concerned about where or what He was going to eat that evening.  But I do think He was interested in what that dear woman would do with the gift He had just handed to her.

We are blessed so that we can serve.  And serving is contagious also, but for a Christian, there is no vaccine.

Mark 1:30, 31   Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt Book 2) (Kindle Locations 5792-5794). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.