This week I had my last “first” day of the kiddos returning to school. As if that isn’t enough to make a school nurse’s hair stand on end, add to it that I work at public middle school, where hormones run rampant and drama is just a part of life. Everything from “do you have any Super Glue for my broken [plastic, garishly painted, glamor] fingernail” to where-did-I-put-my-multi-page-child-abuse-form,…it tends to land in my office.
An early morning in June along the Pacific coast in Oregon is a little different than mid-summer in good ‘ole land locked Missouri. By now, the heat is already stifling and the humidity is beading the on the brow back home, even if I’m in the shade. Here up north on a family vacation, sitting out on the porch, I’m wearing sweats, sweat shirt, Bob’s hat, wrapped in blanket and drinking hot tea.
Does this place actually exist, or am I just dreaming?
They do have humidity, however. It’s in the form of fog, and lots of it. It hangs heavily over the mountains in the distance, and even the near pines are hiding on this particular morning. At least intermittently. I mean, they kind of come and go. Continue reading “The clarity of a foggy morning”
Best dating story: Bob and I were coming home from an evening out. As I was still in college, I lived with my parents in the summer, and my dad, as a stickler for protecting his family, always had the door locked if I got home late enough and they had gone to bed. Naturally, I also always had a key to get in when my soon-to-be finance would deposit me at the front step.
The key, however, only fit the main entrance, not the outer screen door…
What happened next was almost something out of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Bob, being the practical science-guy he is, couldn’t understand why I didn’t just ring the door bell, (which, to this day, seems like the most sagacious option), but in deference to my objections, he pulled his little Pinto (remember those?) around to the driveway and helped me go from the big wooden storage box, to the top of his car, and onto the garage roof which led to my own second story window. Thankfully, I had left the window open, but DRAT! There was that locked screen window (what is it with screens??) that I had to poke my fingers through to raise, hoping that the family dog wasn’t currently my room ready to sound the intruder alarm.
Having successfully deposited his future bride safely, albeit not conveniently, within her home, Bob took off and I went to bed, thinking I would relate the incident to my folks…someday. Until I got up that morning and they asked me how I had gotten in last night, as Dad noticed he had locked the screen door, and Mom was wondering what my shoes were doing in the garage.
At what point in a young person’s life does she realize that her parents are not stupid?
Now, Dad is a fixer; property is something that must be improved and/or maintained, so my screen window didn’t stay impaled for long, allowing for mosquitoes, bees, and other pests equal access to my room, (geewhiz, hadn’t thought of that one). And thankfully, I didn’t dent Bob’s car, pull off the guttering or slip and break my neck scampering up the shingles. In retrospect (sigh) I should have just rung the doorbell!
Which is kinda the point the writer of Hebrews is making when he says:
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
I wonder how much wasted time, energy, and (gulp!) destruction I have caused by not first coming boldly to my Father’s presence. What fears have stolen my peace, what anxieties have poked holes in my power, and what kind of hellacious peril I have put myself (and others) in due to my lack of faith in God’s most holy acceptance of me because of His Son!
After all, I’m one of the family. If I’m feeling locked out, I just have to ring the bell.
The first dogs we adopted for our young family were two “rescued” Pembroke corgis that our vet had received from someone else. We brought home Peanut, and within a few days we also acquired her sister, Popcorn. (Okay, so we didn’t name them.)
Peanut settled in quite well to family life; Popcorn was a different matter. She made it quite clear, in her unique doggy way, that she was not pleased with humans, period. Her defiant demeanor was manifested in several ways, not the least of which was a little brown pile on top of our bed (and that was a LONG way for a corgi to jump!) She would slink away to hide by herself, and even seemed to adversely influence our otherwise congenial Peanut.
She was angry, untrusting, and had clearly been hurt in the past. Even though she was now in a loving home, she just could not conceive the Continue reading “Doggy rehab”
Once again, I was outside conducting my annual experiments that I presumptuously refer to as “gardening”. This spring I put in a new plot, and dumped in a bunch of store bought dirt, sorta/kinda had a ever-expanding design of what to plant where.
I love fresh herbs. Even just watering them releases a beautifully refreshing scent into the air. One thing that I was wanting to add to my stash, but have had difficulty with in the past, was dill. So this year I thought I would just sow a short row of seeds (rather than already half-grown plants from the store) right into the fresh dirt, and “see what happens”. (Such is my typical gardening strategy…)
This is a poem that I got from Elihu’s Corner, by a poet named Amy Carmichael. I have contemplated the difference between holy surrender and apathetic resignation, and his particular post (in which I found Carmichael’s poem) speaks eloquently and insightfully to this issue:
He said, ‘I will forget the dying faces; The empty places, They shall be filled again. O voices moaning deep within me, cease.’ But vain the word; vain, vain: Not inforgettinglieth peace.
He said, ‘I will crowd action upon action, The strife of faction Shall stir me and sustain; O tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’ But vain the word; vain, vain: Not inendeavourlieth peace.
He said, ‘I will withdraw me and be quiet, Why meddle in life’s riot? Shut be my door to pain. Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease.’ But vain the word; vain, vain: Not inaloofnesslieth peace.
He said, ‘I will submit; I am defeated. God hath depleted My life of its rich gain. O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?’ But vain the word; vain, vain: Not insubmissionlieth peace.
He said, ‘I will accept the breaking sorrow Which God tomorrow Will to His son explain.’ Then did the turmoil deep within me cease. Not vain the word, not vain; For in Acceptance lieth peace.