My big brother’s phone GPS is set to a British accent, which I think is pretty cool.
It’s also appropriate, since he’s quite well traveled due to his job—China, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Great Britain, and more. Because of the well known company he represents, it’s important that he is culturally astute.
Naturally, that also includes the food that is put before you. This is where the manners our mother taught us comes into play, because Jim says there are three kinds of food: Normal, Risque, and Out There. Continue reading ““Recalibrating…””
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
1 Corinthians 9:19-22 Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
At this writing, March is decisively budding into April, and my initial bruises from the new garden plot are healed while new ones have emerged. The railroad ties are secured in place, sort of, and the new drill I purchased for that part of the project (with which I sprained my wrist—also healed) is put away for the time being. One thing I recognize is the importance of keeping my eyes on the prize—the vision I have for the productivity and beauty of this new green space. I’ve gone through my Plan A to Plan B to Plan C and might actually be ending up with something I like.
It’s good for one with my limited skill set to be flexible in these things, you know.
I’m now trying to fill in the terraced area with appropriate contents amenable to growing things, preferably flowers, and strategically place in a few containers for edibles. I’ve spent more than Continue reading “Good Samaritans live!!”
I’m sitting on the patio at our middle daughter’s rented reconditioned print-shop-turned-bungalow in upstate New York. At this writing, Christmas is but a few days hence, but my hopes for a white one are completely dashed since, opposite of last year’s white out, this year will probably be one of the warmest on record for this area.
Dang! I was hoping to be snowed in up here for a while!
No matter. Resiliency is allowing for me to be Continue reading “It’s beginning to look a lot like…(well, not quite)”
My garden, such as it is, does well with things that thrive on neglect. In keeping with this strategy, there are four spider plants hanging up and flourishing beautifully under the slight overhang of the garage. Er,…I mean they were, flourishing that is. One in particular was all but overflowing its expensive self-watering pot. And they all look(ed) really nice, too. This morning, to my non-gardener dismay, I noticed half of the biggest plant was missing, and the one next to it had only a Continue reading “Squir-R-R-R-R-R-els!!”
Microsoft Office Word 3. Yep, that’s what it’s come to as I write this.
It started a few weeks ago while we were vacationing with family on a mountain in Utah ten thousand feet up, give or take a football field. Take home lesson: always know where the nearest ER is located, and/or have daughters go with you carrying their very smart phones with GPS. As the old song goes, “I left my heart inSan Francisco”…but my appendix forever belongs to Utah.
I was the first thing to “break”.
We finally made it back home to southern Missouri, and not too Continue reading “Back to the future, sort of”
We are visiting my husband’s family, all of us on the edge of the continent known as the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Only a few rows of houses from the beach, we can hear the roar of the ocean waves and feel the breeze off the Atlantic. Right now, though, I am on the other side of the house, on the patio (of course) in the morning. Not much breeze on this side, except for the fan, and the morning dew is so thick that it’s dripping off the roof.
The view here, on both sides of the house is considerable different from Missouri, definitely “not home”. These are not the same people jogging, walking and riding bikes along the street and sidewalk. Back home I see Sherry as she strolls up Central Street on her way to work. Back home I see waving prairie grasses and bison, not cresting waves and beachcombers. In my county I see bass and catfish and perch jumping out of the lakes, not dolphins arching up from the ocean. At our local park I see turtles sunning themselves on the logs, instead of jellyfish remains drying up on the white sand.
Then I hear it—the call of the catbird, that unmistakable feline sound, easily identified even by my untrained ear. And I am reminded that, though I may not be in my familiar territory, God is still here. And everywhere, His voice is the same, immutable, unmistakable.
We are told that we go through seasons of life, rites of passage, some of which are culturally induced although some are admittedly universal. Personally, I feel almost that my “seasons” have been more like “spasms”—can anyone relate? Nevertheless, we move from one set of experiences inexorably into another. Not only do we have to navigate from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood—emotionally as well as physically—but we also have other times of joy and struggle:
- School—most of us in the United States have been blessed with the availability of public education, and many of us are still impacted by memories and experiences of those infamous junior high years.
- Moves—more and more frequently in the past several decades of our society have we seen the increase in the mobility of families. In the past, if you were a military family, that was a given. Now, however, it may seem quite unusual in many places for any child to start kindergarten and graduate from high school in the same place.
- Relationships—marriage, child-rearing, child-releasing. You just have to “be there” to really understand this one…
- Collateral damage—it is also becoming somewhat unusual to see family members that all have the same last name. Blended families, whether from death or divorce, bring special challenges all their own.
Certainly there are many, many more examples that could added to this list, times when being resilient and flexible can be most helpful. While resiliency is an essential quality to cultivate so as to survive and thrive this side of Heaven, true resiliency can only happen when there remains a stable reference point. Elastic is very resilient, but to retain that characteristic, it must have a place to snap back to. Flexibility is a good thing, but flexibility cannot even be defined unless there is a starting point from which to measure it. (At least, that’s what it seems like when my daughters try to teach me some yoga or Palate moves! Ouch!)
In a world of changes and challenges, of unfamiliar circumstances and scary possibilities, God has said that even though the heavens and the earth pass away, His word would never do so. (1) He also says that He, as God of the Universe, does not change. (2) He promises that He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. (3) Only with God can we find the perfect interconnection with resiliency and immutability, between flexibility and stability. Only in relationship with Him can we properly define our starting point and make it safely to the end.
Another one of these “seasons” is yet upon me, and although its unrelenting hold has become more gentle, I am aware that the hold of the Father has never changed. He is aware of this time in my life, anticipated it for me, knew the particulars would be unfamiliar, and sometimes unfriendly, to me.
And He sent me His catbird to remind me of His unchanging and unfailing presence, no matter where I am on earth, or in life.
- Luke 21:33
- Malachi 3:6
- Hebrews 13:8
(Excerpt from God Loves Birds, by Dawn Jones)