Bob will confirm that I’m not very proficient at keep track of things. To parody the old phrase, he says that I have “places for things, and everything in their places.” Same with finances, and although I’ve improved immensely over the years, I do still generally pray prior to any attempt at balancing my checkbook. (It rattles Bob’s cage a bit if I do anything with his. I just don’t tell him about it until after the fact; it prevents anxiety.)
All this makes it even more incredible that I’m in nursing since we have to keep track of EVERYTHING, like when someone sneezes, and what color it was.
Okay, right, that was gross without warning, (so is nursing), and mild hyperbole, (depending). But you get my drift. I tell people that there is mass deforestation when I return to work as a school nurse in the late summer with all the required record-keeping and paper work that transpires. At least now with computers and email, some of that can be mitigated, but even so, documentation in some form continues.
Several years ago, I read a study synopsis from a well respected site indicating that the most influential power in a child’s life was his parents. (Golly-gee-whiz, I wonder how many man-hours and tax dollars went into that one.) Of course, ask any of the teachers in my middle school, and they could have told you that. Better yet, I have a Book that pretty well spells it out from years of experience and Wisdom.
Needless to say, there are some forces in the Universe that are inherently powerful, for good or evil, and parenthood is certainly at the top of that list. It’s not that parents can take credit for all the choice their kids make (positive or negative), but their influence is still credibly incredible in some capacity throughout a person’s life.
I remembering growing up and seeing those asinine tabloids in the check-out lines at the grocery store. I suppose they continue to make money, since I see them touting the same nonsense about who-knows-what alien got who-cares-what Hollywood starlet pregnant.
Clearly, enquiring minds still want to know.
What is it about human nature that makes secrets so enticing? Maybe the upside is the curiosity for the unknown which has also put us on the moon and brought us the cure for smallpox and polio, so okay, I’ll grant us grant. But, boy howdy, there sure is a downside! It’s the stuff of James Bond 007 as well as the local beauty shop gossip.Continue reading “When you know that you don’t know, but you want to know…y’know??”
Bob likes reading mythology, old and new, and even makes up some of his own. One of the classic old standbys, of course, is the hero in the Odyssey. Here’s my crib note version based on what’s left of my memory from required reading in high school and watching some old Hollywood interpretation on TV:
Odysseus has been away from the home castle for quite a long stretch; I can’t remember why, but “the rosy fingers of dawn” is mentioned several times. That, plus the fact that he and his very macho comrades go through all kinds of fantastic adventures with all kinds of out of this world creatures (today, I believe they are referred to as “meta-humans” in the Comicon universe). Continue reading “God of the bathrooms”
Being a school nurse to several hundred middle-schoolers, I sometimes feel like “the little old woman who lived in a shoe; she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.” Sometimes they grace my office with horrific things like hangnails, and chapped lips, and trampoline injuries from three days ago. Other times there are more significant issues to be dealt with, parents to be contacted, an occasional ambulance. Or an arm around the shoulder to dry a tear (hormones flow freely) or a high five on a test score. It’s just all part of being the person in the building in charge of the bandaids and Tylenol. (The DEA, however, frowns upon stocking Valium for faculty and staff.)
Heeding the call to stop concentrating exclusively on their own interests and start looking after God’s, the tide begins to change beneficially for the returning Hebrew exiles. But there must have been a discouraging note for some of the old-timers who remembered the good ole’ days of their beloved Solomon’s Temple, now summarily destroyed. As always, God realized this bent in our human psyche:
“Does anyone remember this house— this Temple— in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all!
But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”
All this began to happen when the people obeyed God in the very tangible way of laying the foundation to the new temple. Here’s what I glean from it:
God still speaks to me, and tells me to be strong.
I am not the only one “left in the land”, and I am not alone in this struggle. Granted, I may have to work to see who else is under the rock and rubble with me, but I am most certainly not alone.
I have a directive—get to work.
I can do this because God is with me, and He is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, a formidable ally indeed.
I have the power of God’s Spirit.
God is the same God—He’s brought me “out of Egypt” before, and He’ll do it again. His character and calling do not change. (Yessss!)
In this life, things tend to crumble, and not merely bank accounts. Relationships and families, dreams and plans, health and vitality,…and churches. There’s just no sense sitting around pining over the dust of Solomon’s Temple when God’s calling me to build something new. Stop comparing. Stop waiting. And above all, stop whining.
My son-in-law, Michael Greenholt, and Bob’s brother, Doug Jones, are both in “The Industry”. Now, to me the word industry (lower case “i”) conjures up mental images of 3-M, Lilly Pharmaceuticals, or General Motors; but then, I’m from the Midwest. Bob and I quickly learned that “The Industry” in southern California meant that which is the bread and butter for a large portion of the populous: the silver screen.
It’s actually a fascinating business for an outsider-looking-in. Mike took us into one of his work spaces and we were mightily impressed with his expertise and artistic skill as an animator. Naturally, we have followed Doug throughout his career as a prosthetics actor, and some of his stories of being under the heavy get-ups that can take HOURS to put on are pretty hilarious!
So when we go out West to visit, we inevitably run into writers, stage people, and those who are in various strata of “The Industry”. I still know so very little about the process, but I now have at least a small concept of part of it (and am certainly willing to stand corrected for those in-the-know…):
First, there is a story, perhaps from a book, which then is followed by the screen-writer who puts in much of the blocking and movement, which is followed by the actors who get “into character” and learn their lines, but who are then instructed by the director who tells them how he wants certain things to look, albeit it make takes several times for the players to get it just right as the director thinks it should be. (Naturally, this doesn’t preclude some personal interpretation on the actor’s part, which leaves their own distinctive stamp on the roll—who else but Ian McKellan could play Gandalf, I mean, really?!) At last the producer shreds much of the film onto the cutting floor and picks out only those pieces he thinks makes the movie just right, those things that will remain as the true story.
Ah, that life should be so clear cut….
And yet, to a degree that we are not fully aware of (yet), this is very similar to what God is doing in our lives.
God, the Ultimate Author, has given me a unique story, as well as all the other players with whom I have to interact throughout my life. God is also the Director who guides me until I get it just right, which can unfortunately mean several “takes”, (or sometimes, more than several…) This doesn’t mean He expects me to be a robotic automaton; quite the contrary, He has given me a personality with nuances that lend special “flavor” to my roll. (In other words, He wants me to play me, not someone else!) Finally, and this is truly amazing grace, there are parts of my life that (thankfully, gratefully) end up on the cutting floor so that the final reading in the Eternal Filmfest with that “great cloud of witnesses” will read just like He wants it. In fact, He’s just so good at what He does, sometimes He even allows that editing to happen on this side of eternity as well—check out how Abraham’s wife, Sarah, is set down in history as a woman of faith in the book of Hebrews compared to the historical account in Genesis! Now, that’s heavenly production at its best.
I’m saving for a new kitchen. They say the first rooms of any old house that should be remodeled are the bathrooms and the kitchen; okay, now that we’re 25-years into this already old house, it’s probably time. So I’m saving my dollars as I am hoping for a visit from the contractor in the months to come. (Bob, honey, take note.)
This past Christmas, our oldest granddaughter received a “new kitchen” from her father’s parents. I have rarely seen such an elaborate and beautiful play thing, and I’m thinking of writing them to request they send me one, only on a bigger adult scale! It’s magnificent!
Probably one of the most popular activities at church parties is volleyball; that is, volleyball in some form. Because we all know it comes in several creative variations: mud volleyball (a personal favorite, although I’ve never had the opportunity…yet), volleyball with a big inflatable beach ball, and even the old-fashioned kind is still just so much fun on a sunny day with the fragrance of grilling happening in the background.
Such was the situation one morning in our church, as we were setting up for our annual Block Party for the town.
With so many preparations whirling around, a small group of us were fixing the volleyball net, well-used as it was with its holes and tears and tangles and knots. It can make one appreciate just how L-O-N-G a volleyball is! There must have been some discouragement as to whether or not it was Continue reading “Fragrance of summer grill”