Saturday, June 18, 2005

Light Switch

Company is coming Wednesday. So....I've been cleaning things that have needed cleaning for quite some time! Yesterday it was the corner turn-table cupboard in the kitchen. It REALLY needed to be cleaned!! You know, sometimes things have a tendency to get slung off when the turn-table is going around. Some *unknown substance* had done just that and it was really a sticky mess. So, I had unloaded all the shelves and started cleaning them. The top one was easy...there was nothing above it to drip down on it. And because it was the top shelf, I could easily see what needed to be cleaned. And the second shelf wasn't bad either. But then, oh my, the bottom shelf and the bottom of the cupboard. What things lingered there only the imagination could tell. I started spraying and wiping and the paper towel I was using was....well....disgusting! I couldn't really see what I was doing, where the gunk was coming from, or what it was. And THEN, it occurs to me. TURN ON THE LIGHT!! Rats! Why didn't I think of that sooner!! On goes the light. Amazing what a difference that makes!! I could see that on the bottom of the cabinet was a circle of the *unknown substance* where it had dripped from the round turn-table shelves. That was what was making everything sticky and disgusting. Much more spraying. Much more wiping. LOTS of paper towels!! But at last all of the gunk was gone and I felt good about putting everything back in the cupboard.

As I was spraying and wiping and scrubbing, the Holy Spirit kept whispering to me about how Jesus is the true Light and what He does for our lives. We all (and I certainly speak of myself above all) have some pretty disgusting *gunk* lurking in the dark corners of our lives. If we allow them to remain there, they simply become stickier and gunkier (is that REALLY a word??) by the day. We need to expose every dark corner of our lives to His wonderful light. And you know, things are much scarier and uglier and awful in the dark, but when exposed to His light, they lose much of their gunkiness (now there's ANOTHER one for you). When I was cleaning out the bottom of the cupboard in the dark, it made me shudder to stick my hand back in that far dark corner, but once I turned on the light, I could see what I was dealing with. Life is like that. We are often afraid to deal with the things that lurk in the dark corners of our souls. But when we expose them to His light--the light of His love. THEN we are able to deal with them.

Help me Father, to always let your light shine to the very depths of the darkest recesses of my life. Let me see the things that need to be cleaned. Help me to realize that when the light is on, that it is easier to clean. And then, dear Father, help me to fill those corners with things that are pure and clean and good.

"For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light." So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit...." Eph. 5:8-18

"So don't make judgments about anyone ahead of time--before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due." I Cor. 4:5

"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. when your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when you eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!" Matt. 6:22-23

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Faster & Higher!!

We're keeping 2 of our granddaughters this weekend--Addy & Ellie. What a joy!!

Addy (3) loves to swing. We just bought our neighbors wooden swing set to keep her from going to their house (we live in the country so it's more than "just next door")!

Grandpa went out with her after supper to swing and I stayed inside with the baby. Then we traded--he came inside and I went outside--to swing Addy, of course! As I started pushing her she yelled, "FASTER! HIGHER! FASTER!" And then she titled her head back and just GIGGLED! Her long blonde hair was streaming out around her face, catching the fading golden rays of the sun. c *GIGGLE* *GIGGLE* " I'm FLYING!! *GIGGLE*"This is SO FUNNY!!", she says.

Pure, utter, absolute, sheer JOY!! No wonder Christ loved children! How many of us still remember how to experience that joy in such a simple act as swinging with the breeze blowing your hair as you FLY back and forth?? Won't heaven be sweet, when we are all able to throw off the cares and burdens and hindrances of this world, tilt our head back and yell...."FASTER! HIGHER! FASTER!" *GIGGLE* " I'm FLYING!!

Jud 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy!

Rom 15:13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Dead Grass Carp

For the second time in 7 years, we've had so much rain that our pond has run over. And I don't mean just a little runoff--I mean a torrent around one end of the damn. The first time was in 1998, and the nearby town flooded BIG TIME. This time the town hasn't flooded, but the two rivers have both been out of their banks. But back to our pond.... For some reason when there is this amount of water going around the dam, the grass carp feel compelled to follow it, and then end up floundering around behind the dam without enough water to swim in. When it happened in '98, we found them in time, and Emerson was able to wrestle them back into the pond. This time, however, a very LARGE one--almost 3 feet long, and E said maybe 25 lbs.--went around with the water and we didn't find him until it was too late. Now just what do you suppose possesses a HUGE carp like that to swim in what had to have been pretty shallow water, to a place where he doesn't have enough water to survive??? And are we ever like that??? Do we swim in a rush of current and find ourselves in a place where we aren't able to breathe?? I've been there. The world rushes on, and sometimes it looks very inviting. But in reality, it's a pretty rough place to be. Thankfully, I managed to swim back into God's pond and the living water that is life to me. And you know, I think He is constantly scanning the dam looking for those who go around, and He is MORE than willing to scoop us up and carry us back to safety!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cattle on a Thousand Hills

I drove home from Jayme's tonight just as evening was beginning to settle into night. We've had so much rain--I can't remember ever having seen the flint hills (which are normally beautiful green rolling hills anyway) so lush and green and gorgeous. The sun had just gone down, but there was still that pink-orange-gold glow in the sky. There was not a whisper of a breeze. The many ponds echoed the colors in the sky. And there were "cattle on a thousand hills". I looked up that verse (Ps. 50:10) and I am reminded that what God really wants from us is RELATIONSHIP. He owns everything there is (I guess it would tough to buy HIM a Father's Day present!), and needs nothing. So what does He want from us? THANKFULNESS. Not money, though that's not a bad thing--he tells us to give of our means. Not time--and that's not bad either. But, THANKFULNESS! And to keep the vows we make to Him. And then I was struck by the result of the thankfulness and the vow keeping: "Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that's just a pretty good deal!! And pretty simple to comply. He's done all the hard work. And HE is FAITHFUL. I love His promises!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Lois Lane

I worked at the Gazette today. Ok, so maybe I'm not Lois Lane, but I like it at any rate. I just fill in occasionally now. This started when I worked for 6 weeks while a lady was out on medical leave. I do ad composition and whatever else they ask me to do. Today was a real shocker thought. I hadn't been there for about a month and they have gone to total pagination. We used to run everything thru the waxer and physically put the pages together. But while I was gone, they entered into a new era!! So while I remembered most of what I knew before, there was still a lot of new stuff to learn today! I enjoy the people there, and find the work fun, so it was a good morning. I just worked until about 1:00.

AFter I got off work, I dashed home, had a bite of lunch with E, and threw a few things in a suitcase. Then I had to have a little nap. I knew I would fall asleep on the way to Jayme's if I didn't. My RLS has been bad again lately and I was up until almost 2 this morning and then up at 6 to get to work. After napping for 30 minutes (when my timer went off I tried to answer the phone!!!), I loaded my stuff in the van and then made E and I an fruit smoothy. I made one for us last night to--fresh strawberries from our neighbors, a dead banana (over ripe), and mixed berry yogurt, pineapple sherbet, and some crushed ice. Boy are they yummy.

Then it was off to Emporia to be with Jayme, Neal, Addy & Ellie! We've had so much rain that the flint hills were really lush and green. Several of the rivers around home and Emporia are out of their banks.

Got to Jayme's house around 3:30. Its always fun to be greeted by the grandkids!!

We made a marathon trip to Wal-mart (I'm sure Neal thinks that's the only kind I make...hmmmm....I suppose he might be right, too). Came home, unloaded everything and went to eat at Carlos O'Kelly's. Then I kept the kids while Jayme and Neal went to the building to work on VBS stuff. Sweet babies.

It's really hard to type right now because I am twitching so bad from the RLS, so think I will close for now and try to be more clever tomorrow.

Grace and Peace to all.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Real Life Stuff

I was complaining to my very wise daughter, Jayme, that I might stop blogging because no one ever commented on my blog. (What happened to you MH--you were my only faithful commenter!! Did I do something wrong???) She reminded me that blogging is really for yourself. Hmmmm. Maybe so. She made some good points about it being theraputic and so on. She told me just to write about real life--everyday stuff. She said it would be interesting to look back on it in a year and see where I've been. How did she get to be soooo smart?!?!?

Today was just another Sunday. I just really have a hard time getting excited about going to church here, having been basically relegated to being pew warmers. But I guess that would be another blog.

Emerson just keeps on slugging away. Maybe we'll be disfellowshipped and we'll HAVE to go somewhere else. Today, in class, he sidetracked the whole class by starting a discussion on the work of the Holy Spirit. He contends (as do I BTW) that the Spirit is active in our lives. Everyone else in class thinks the Spirit today works only thru the written Word. Well, there was quite a lively discussion, and I (hating discordance) was very uncomfortable. I stared holes in the desk--don't think I ever looked up once during that discussion. Scary!!! E and I were talking about it on the way home and he said "It would be easier to just agree that the Spirit only works thru the Word". I must commend him for his boldness--and ask God's forgiveness for my own timidity.

We had a fellowship dinner after church. LOTS of good food. If there's one thing Church of Christ people do well--it's having fellowship dinners!!! There is a story about a grade school class where the teacher asked the students to bring something that represented the religion. One girl brought her rosary. Another girl brought her first communion dress. A boy brought his choir robe. But one little girl brought a casserole dish. She was the one from the Church of Christ! Heeeeehee! We were in charge today. Everybody helps set up because everybody is hungry!! But when it's time for cleanup, whoosh, everybody is out the door! Well, ok, there was a bridal shower after the dinner today, so most everybody was involved in that. I FORGOT about the shower. RATS. I'll have to take a gift later.

I cleaned this afternoon. My sister and her husband and son are coming on the 22nd. And then 3 of my sister's friends are coming on the 23rd and all of us ladies are going to go antiqueing! Thus, the urgent cleaning. I'm going to Emporia tomorrow and the next day to help with Jayme's girls while she gets ready for VBS. She might just have to return the favor the next week to help me get ready for company!! :)

Tonight E and I watched a movie on TV and I finally put away Easter decorations during the commercials.

E has promised me a massage, but I better go or he will be asleep!!


My daughter, Jayme, and I used to communicate by letters a lot when she was in high school. It sometimes seemed in those "tough years" we communicated better that way--maybe we were able to say more of what we meant than we could face to face. I ran across one today when I was de-cluttering a storage room (which still has a long way to go!). Jayme was in Drama in high school--so that is the setting for this note.

"Aren't you glad we don't have to audition for heaven? God has given each of us a unique part in this play of life--no one else can fill our role. And you don't have to worry if Summer S. is better than you are. Or Amber. And I don't have to worry if I am as good as Barb. Or Judy S. We are who God created us to be and He is the Great Director. he teaches us how to play our parts the best way that we can. This "play" called life is really only a dress rehersal for eternity. And, if we believe in Him and are obedient, we don't even have to audition for eternity, because Jesus has played His part--and He is the great equalizer. And He wants all of us to be in that Final Play where the curtain never closes."

Funny thing is, I don't remember if I ever gave this to Jayme or not. She'll have to tell us!!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Last Thursday was my Mom's birthday. She would have been 88. She died in 2003. I still miss her terribly. If you looked up "unconditional love" in the dictionary, her name would come right after God's name. She taught me many, many things--like what a soda fountain is (this after having pressed my nose up against the window of the drugstore many times), how to sing harmony parts (I learned this while doing dishes--we sang silly songs, songs in rounds, pretty songs, Christmas carols--you name it), how to make home made playdough, how to blow out eggs to make an Easter egg tree (I still have eggs that we made back in the 60's), how to make dried beef gravy (and almost everything I know how to cook--that was just one of the first), how to make Christmas cut-out cookies and decorate them, and countless other things for which I am very grateful. We had fun together, she and I. I remember her taking me to the "Buzz Inn" after school on Fridays (she was a teacher) and we would have french fries. We did craft projects together. When I got older (after I was married), we took a cake-decorating class together. We played together in a trio (she played violin, I played cello, and a wonderful lady named Wallace played piano). We went shopping together. We talked on the phone almost every day.

I miss her. I sang Happy Birthday to her on her birthday while I was driving home from El Dorado. I cried. I miss her. I wish I could hug her.