Archives

It was a good day

When I got up this morning, while it was still dark, I saw a sliver of the moon in the pre-dawn sky with a star-like planet glowing close beside it. It was the start of a good Saturday.

I anticipated the “No Other Gods Bible study women” coming to our house at 8:30. After my own quiet time and coffee, I showered, dressed, and made muffins and a fresh pot of coffee. I peeked my head out the door and saw the sun shining and felt its warmth, a welcome relief after so much cold and snow.

The women came bringing their smiles and their Bibles. We shared a sweet time of fellowship and what we had learned during our week of study. There were some tender moments, some “yes, I know what you mean” moments, and some prayerful moments.

After the ladies left, Sweet William and I went to pick up my little black car and found that Bob Montgomery Honda is true to their word in giving good service. We were satisfied. Since I was only a hop, skip, and a jump away from my Dad’s house, we stopped for a short visit. He and Esther were glad we had come.

Afterward, Bill and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, China Garden, for lunch. It has been a special place for us since we were first married.

I got a chance to go to the Dollar Tree, a place that has a little of everything and where I could spend a lot more than a dollar if I let myself.

I managed to resist going by a thrift store, my personal addiction, because I really don’t need anything and I’m trying to save money instead of spend it.

When I got home, the day had turned so beautiful that I opened my kitchen window for some fresh air as I typed at the computer.

Daylight was fading but I still had time for a walk. I took our Maltese along, who has become a chubby buddy through the winter. Let’s don’t talk about his owner’s weight.

I donned my walking shoes and grabbed Buddy’s leash. It felt good to be out moving. As I passed a neighbor’s house, I watched the mourning doves doing some sort of dance in the air. A dozen or so of them twittered as they flew from one tree to another, from one yard to another. I wondered if they were enjoying this day like I was.

On the walk back to my house, a flock of Canadian geese flew overhead, honking at me below.

After a good stretch, I was happy to have made it almost two laps of my lane. Supper and a movie finished me off for the day. My snugly warm PJ’s feel good now.

My grandson, Ethan, has a standard phrase with which he starts his bedtime prayers when he spends the night. Tonight I’d like to echo them.

It’s been a good day.    

 

 

Please leave a comment and tell me about your day.

Advertisements

What’s your hurry?

 

It was snowing as I drove to work this morning.  A little more caution is needed on snowy days now that I drive that little black Honda.  My old car, the big blue Cadillac, was a tank on snow crusted roads, and I had no fear.  Well, not as much fear.

I left in plenty of time to get to work and still drive at a safe, slower speed.  That is until I got behind a salt truck. Actually, there were three cars ahead of me, and we all followed the truck on curvy Preston Highway.  There are only two places to pass on the entire journey.  There was no passing today.  And the truck was going at the rate of 25 mph.  Not kidding. 

Bill called while I was still a couple of miles from my destination and said, “I guess you are there now.”  No, I was not! I told him my predicament, and he explained to me that the truck needed to go slow so it could spread plenty of salt to make the road safe for travelers.  Travelers like me and the 15 or so cars that were now in line behind the truck.  OK, I understand.

When I realized I would not be able to go faster then 25 mph, I had to tell myself to relax and enjoy the ride.  You know, I have said that often as my life mantra, “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride.” Funny how I needed a reminder today.

As I drove past familiar places, I noticed things I’ve not paid attention to while doing 55 mph.  I observed the beauty of fresh fallen snow.  I prayed for people on my prayer list.  And it became a pleasant ride.

Why are we in such a hurry all the time?  Is it only me?  Often I buzz from one activity to another, from one appointment to the next.  Sometimes, I’m thinking about the next thing to do while I’m doing the present thing.  Can’t I just be in the moment and live it for what its worth?

We have become a people living in the fast lane, I’m sad to say. Sitting on the porch and waving to the neighbors is from the “olden days.” Playing sandlot ball with the cousins and the kids on the block has succumbed to organized sports and lots of scheduled practice days.  We boast of multi-tasking.  “I’m just so busy” has become our badge of worth. 

Today we have so many opportunities to do things and learn more.  Does that mean we have to do them all on the same day?

Is it any wonder we have trouble being still and knowing He is God?

The 23rd Psalm imparts these lovely words to those driving themselves frantically: 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.”

I need my soul restored quite often.  It has never been the Lord’s plan for me to run myself ragged. I need to take a breath, slow my pace and simply enjoy the ride.

Merry Christmas Eve

Speaking of interruptions, (see yesterday’s blog post) I burned the ham I was planning to serve our family for our Christmas Eve dinner. My Sweet William said, ‘Don’t worry about the money. Just go get another ham.” Interruption.

Bill struggled in the bathroom (he’s just had knee surgery) and knocked several things onto the floor. Nothing was broken, but water from a vase went on the floor. Interruption.

After bowls of oatmeal and raisins (the last good-for-us-food we will probably eat today), I donned my Neiman Marcus green felt fedora (a cast off from my cousin – a find for me), hoping to cover the bed-head hair, threw my cape over my PJ’s (actually sweat pants and an old shirt of Bill’s), put on my sunglasses, and set off for Kroger, hoping to see no one I knew.

I quietly asked the Lord for a close parking spot. He gave me one, bless Him! I rattled my memory for the four items I was going to get: ham, a package of dry yeast, whipped cream, and a replacement soap dispenser for the one in the bathroom that quit working this morning. Interruption.

I only saw one person I knew at Kroger. She looked at me with her head slightly turned, smiled and wished me a Merry Christmas. It was the hat, I’m sure.

I grabbed my items quick as I could, trying to be pleasant to other last-minute shoppers like myself. I bought chocolate cream puffs from the frozen section, a substitute for homemade cookies this year.

I went through the self-serve check-out and wished the young man stationed there a “Merry Christmas.” The car trunk popped open with the press of a button, and I deposited my purchases. I took two bascarts back to the store, and a Kroger employee smiled sweetly and said a genuine ‘thank you.’ I smiled as I walked to the car.

At home, I put the new ham in the oven, careful to follow the instructions this time. I went into a food preparation frenzy. In between recipes, I grabbed stockings and stuffed them, put gifts in bags and added some tissue paper hoping they would look OK. It’s been such a busy few days with quite a number of interruptions.

Before the family came, I managed a quick shower and change of clothes, fixed my hair and make-up. Soon the house was full of my loved ones, lots of smiles and laughter, hugs and hearts filled with thankfulness that we have each other. And after all, isn’t that the best Christmas gift of all?

Merry Christmas everyone. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

Interruptions

A sweet friend sends a daily message over the internet.  She said she gets them from different places.  They are meant to be uplifting, thought-provoking, and turn our eyes heavenward.  I enjoy reading them each day, and sometimes they hit me right where I live.

Recently she sent this one:

“Christ comes to us in the unexpected, in the interruption and not necessarily on our schedule.”

Life’s interruptions come often, don’t they?  The question is ‘what to do with them?’  You can’t go around them; can’t go over them’ can’t go under them; gotta’ go through them.  Wisdom sometimes comes from a child’s game.

My Sweet William and I had an interruption this week.  He went to the hospital for another knee surgery.  Neither of us really knew how the day would turn out.  As it turned, he spent two nights in the hospital.  Definitely an interruption and not on my holiday schedule. 

I am a planner, not very spontaneous.  Bill helps me be a little more spur-or-the-moment than my personality tends to be.  It is not natural for me to drop what I’m doing and go on an adventure.

So an interruption such as surgery the week before Christmas and two nights in the hospital really turned over my apple cart.

As I listened to the news with Bill lying in the hospital bed, I saw people in California dealing with flooding, mud slides, and houses drowning in the river of waters.  I heard about someone’s sister and her husband who were hit while driving to another state to visit family.  I got an email informing me a sweet elderly member of Little Flock died as a result of a fall on the ice.  Another friend’s wife underwent back surgery though she didn’t know she needed until this week.

Interruptions are the stuff of life.  All the planning we can possibly do will not stop the unexpected.  Sometimes it is an irritation, sometimes it’s a tragedy.  And sometimes it comes as a pleasant surprise and a blessing from above.  Like the pre-op nurse handling Bill’s surgery preparation reminding me she had been in one of my Bible studies.  Her presence gave us comfort in a stress-filled situation.  Like the sweet choir member who brought lunch for the Little Flock staff on Tuesday, and there was enough left for me to eat on Wednesday.  What nice interruptions.

The good news in all of this is that our God knows the end from the beginning.  He is from everlasting to everlasting.  What we face tomorrow, He has gone before and knows what we will need.

Proverbs holds wisdom about life’s interruptions.  Chapter 16: 9 says:

“In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

Another gem is written in chapter 19:21:

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Bill’s two days in the hospital were spent with a fellow patient who had just had knee replacement surgery.   He and Bill had quite a time talking, joking, laughing, and making the week before Christmas quite interesting for the orthopedic staff on duty.  The nursing staff actually said these two men made their job  easier with their positive attitude in spite of their pain.

Jeremiah 29:11 says:  “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.”

Even with all the interruptions I must accept and endure, God is sovereignly planning my life for my good, for a hopeful future.   I have a little card on my desk that I look at and pray, “Lord, I want to be part of Your plan today.”  And I really mean it.

God interruped the world and sent His only Son in a most unexpected way.  And I say, “Thank You, Lord!” 

 Merry Christmas everyone.

Driving Incognito

Just a couple of months ago, late October, I said good-bye to an old friend, my 1993 Blue Cadillac Deville.  Sweet William and I had purchased it used in 2001 from a couple who only drove to Southeast Christian Church on Sundays.  Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that.  We did, however, feel like we got a great used car that had been cared for and had low mileage for its age.  It was big and roomy, had leather seats and a few bells and whistles, luxurious compared to what I was used to.  And it had horsepower!

At the time of purchase, my two granddaughters fit comfortably in the back seat.  When the grandson came along, there was plenty of room for all three of them.  People who rode with me often said, “This car sure rides nice.”  And it did.  I loved driving that big blue car.  We became friends.

I was fairly recognizable driving around my home town.  Not very many people drive light blue Cadis, so I was spotted easily. 

As the years and the mileage crept up on the Cadi, more repairs were needed.  It was in the shop so many times our auto repair guy at Chuck’s Automotive came to expect us regularly.  The last time the Cadi broke down on the side of the road this summer, I didn’t know whether to call Chuck or the county coroner. 

Bill and I began to think about looking for another car.   After trying out several makes, models, and sizes, we found a pretty little black Honda Accord, 2007 with low mileage.  It was another gently used car that we hoped would serve us for many years.

Now I’m driving incognito, no longer easily recognized as people pass me on the street.  Have you noticed how many black cars are on the road?  Do you know how many black cars are in the parking lots?  A bunch, let me tell you.  I stood beside one, pressing the key’s remote unlock button over and over while nothing happened.  “Is the battery already dead in this thing?”  I thought, quite exasperated.  Then I discovered it was not my car. 

Recently I was walking through the church parking lot looking for my black car in the dark of night, pressing the button over and over hoping the lights would flash where I could see them.  Several cars looked promising until I realized people were in them with their lights on ready to exit.

It’s embarrassing.

I’ve been reading Matthew and Luke, reliving the story of the first Christmas. I find it so fascinating that God concealed Himself in the womb of a young virgin. His birth, though miraculous for certain, was still quite ordinary in most respects. Think of it – God Incognito!  The glory of the Almighty God was hidden, disguised, and undetected by most. 

Scripture tells us God revealed Himself to a choice few in the days surrounding his birth:  Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, Simeon, and Anna.  After that, Jesus lived an undetected life for about 30 years, walking the earth disguised and hidden.  Do you know how many Jewish boys ran along the paths around Galilee, how many were budding carpenters, hammering out wooden creations? 

People watched him grow up, become a teenager, take on his manhood, and yet they didn’t recognize that He was God incognito. John 1:10 tells us He was in the world, and though the world was made by God through Him, it did not recognize Him.

Just a few verses down, however, John says, “We beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” (verse 14b).

Ah yes, God is still willing to reveal Himself to those who have eyes to see.

There is a funny thing about my little black Honda. It recognizes me when I push the unlock button. It flashes its lights at me even though I may not always see it.

God recognizes those who are searchng, those looking for something they think they need, somthing they hope will satisfy.  And all the time God is flashing His Light at them as if to say, “I’m right here!” 

Over and over in the Bible God says, “Call unto me and I will answer . . . ”  It is His assurance that He does not want to remain incognito any more.  He wants to be found, to be recognized as the Savior who came in mystery, only to reveal His glory and His love on the cross.