Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Bench

This week I found the need to take a time out. An issue came up that is desperately close to my heart. Recognizing my emotions were colliding with my spirit, I took a walk to a special place to sort them out.

I am sure I have mentioned the sweet little church and memorial garden behind our home. It is a place we often see visitors. There is a particular spot frequented by loved ones. It is decorated every single holiday from Christmas to St. Patrick’s Day. It is the memorial for two young women for whom time on earth was brief.

One might think such a place would be too sorrowful to find peace there. Certainly loved ones are left with grieving. You can also feel the strong presence of pure love in this place.

I sat for a while on a small bench. In the stillness of this sunny day I felt the warm breeze swaying a host of daffodils and other lovingly placed plants. Sitting there I quickly received a reality check. Get over yourself, put your big girl pants on, and get on with what God has called you to do!

We were rushing to get ready to leave for Wednesday night services. I know better. Neither of us hear as well as we use to. Dan was in the closet, I in the bathroom when I began a conversation.

Me. “Dan, the next time we go down south, I want to put a bench near our headstones.”

Dan. “You mean like a white picket type?"

Me: “What? No. Not a fence, I said a bench.”

Dan: “Vent? What kind of vent?"

When I realized my error, I turned toward him and spoke more clearly.
As you would expect Dan had a totally confused expression on his face.
Me: “I said bench.”

Dan: “Ohhhhh?”

It is often too often the way I find myself communicating with my Heavenly Father. In a rush, on the spur of the moment, not really paying attention or really listening, I rant rather than really talk to Him. But, when I am still and face to face with Him, things come into focus. His hearing is always perfect.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10


Friday, February 24, 2012

Love is in the Air

A sweet couple, Justin and Kelly, will be exchanging their wedding vows next week. I am super excited for them. I know you are all surprised right? The girl who loves loves loves weddings.

I attended a shower for her a few weeks back. There were games. As much as I love weddings I dislike shower games. This one was actually fun though. We were to give words of wisdom beginning with the letters of the bride’s name.

We were all thinking so hard!

We more mature ladies had a great time trying to fit the letters with all the seasoned wisdom running through our minds. Well okay. We were just trying to fit something with the letters. After brainstorming and putting our heads together, I am not so sure two or three heads are necessarily better than one. That would certainly be the case, if one of the heads is mine. It was still great fun laughing with dear friends.

Dana making Melba and I laugh - as usual!

It was all in all a joyous occasion. It was a making special memories day. All the many friends and family gathered with one common goal. That is praying only happiness, love, joy and peace all the days of the lives of the soon to be Mr. and Mrs.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.
Genesis 2:18

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mrs. Otter

Dan and I decided to take a walk on the wild side and have a date; on a weekday. Our dear friend Donna was performing in the play “Wind in the Willows”. Typically Dan is about as thrilled with plays as he is going to the ballet. But since it was our friend, in spite of my warnings, decided he really wanted to go with. I think the face book comment that Donna as her role as Mrs. Otter, would be available for “ottergraphs” clinched it for him. Now really, who could resist that offer?

Donna as Mrs. Otter

I called the box office for will call tickets. When I was offered a senior discount, I was taken aback. While appreciative of the discount, the reason was a bit daunting. My sister Rema says discounts are one of the very few advantages to getting older. I will just have to think on that for a bit Sis.

We were happy to visit with old friends at the performance we had not seen in a while. As they took their seats in front of us Dan and I spoke of how active they still were. I wondered to myself how many good years we have left to accomplish our goals and dreams.

Our sweet friend Donna packaged within her petite blonde frame has a huge heart. She is such a devoted, faithful and loyal little gal. Anyone should be honored to call her friend and companion in life.

Donna with fellow cast mates.

She always putting others first, we wondered for a time if she would ever endeavor to fulfill her own dreams. In this her latest role, we were happy to see a happy, confident and competent Donna. She is not only growing as a person but as a great actress.

Way to go Donna! We “otter’ known you would do it!

 "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." 2 Chronicles 15:7

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not Good but Cheap!

I worked with a fun loving group of guys in days past. This one particular group had a comedy routine called lunch. These office pals would come up with unusual places to eat always returning with some sort of hilarious tale. One day I asked how lunch was. One replied, “It wasn’t good but it was cheap!” This was a very typical response from this group always good for a smile.

Local friends of ours, both named Barb, have talked about one of their favorite eating joints in a neighboring small town. Last week we were in that neighborhood and decided to check it out. I texted one of the Barb’s for directions. Why we bothered her, I do no know. There is really only one street in this little town.

Completing the purpose of our trip, we headed for Atzimba’s Mexican Restaruant. It was a tiny little place but it was packed. In spite of it's size, it did not disappoint. The food was very good. The aroma from the moment you walk in makes your mouth water.

Arriving home, we began changing in to our pj’s (aka fat clothes). As I pulled my sweater over my head I could smell the heavy odor of a hot greasy grill. I handed it to Dan and asked, “Can you smell this?” He replied, “Mmmm! You smell good!” Sigh. Maybe the way to a man’s heart actually is through his stomach.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time Card

I can’t seem to get a handle on my time management lately. I have all good intentions of completing my things to do list; then I find the day has passed, list intact. One of my favorite hobbies, writing, has fallen by the wayside.

I have been working more hours than usual. The center I volunteer with has an awesome close knit group of volunteers. There has been illness, accidents, family deaths and the such preventing them from their usual shift.

Several close friends have lost loved ones; others are in a battle with late stage cancer. When I was in my personal battle, it was the day to day things I missed the most. So, now I do lunch. As I have said before, much can be shared offer a cup of coffee. In the comfort of friends we can let down our guard and share whatever is truly in our hearts. We have dubbed them “therapeutic lunches.”

Yesterday I was determined if nothing else, to dust the house. It is my least favorite chore. Why I don’t know; probably because it takes so long. I used the furniture cleaning recipe from a fellow blogger. The sun peeked through the window to find shiny clean surfaces. The recipe worked beautifully, but sadly I still hate dusting!

In our Bible Study Fellowship group, we ladies have discussed the subject of time management a lot. We are committing our time to the Lord. As we have our quite time, we are asking God to direct our time to best serve His purposes.

God does not intend us to be slave to anything. That includes housework and even ministry. Too often in my busyness I can forgot about what is truly important. Time is a precious gift; much too valuable to waste. Dust will be here forever. Those we love, no.

I am praying God will restore my gift of organization. It’s a process obviously. On our recent trip to Nashville, I purchased several lovely post cards. They are now in that safe place I cannot locate. In searching for them, I did find post cards from a trip from last year!

And there is my adult sized attention deficient disorder. My focus easily gets derailed. My husband likes a certain brand of socks that can only be purchased at a department store in the mall. I have wondered if it is because one foot has the brand name of the sole. That way he can remember left foot, right foot.

As I am shopping my cell phone rang. It was my sweet husband Dan. “What are you doing?” I proudly explained to him, super wife that I am, I was shopping for his socks. He replied: “Thank you honey! So have you found them there in the women’s department?” I was so totally busted!

4 O Lord, help me understand my mortality

and the brevity of life!

Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!

5 Look, you make my days short-lived,

and my life span is nothing from your perspective.

Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor.

Psalm 39:4-5

Friday, February 17, 2012

Breaking the Rules

One might think having a birthday next to a holiday like Valentines Day would be a real bummer. Our bodies cannot handle celebrating two nights in a row so we double up on one of those days! (Don't you love the new math?)

One of my gifts to Dan was taking my vehicle to the car wash. Those of you who know my Danno, this is a very big deal. He is not only a car guy; he is a clean car guy fanatic. Whether rain, sleet or snow, Saturday’s are for car detailing and polishing shoes. Apparently it is a Jackson tradition handed down for generations.

Dan had a great birthday.  He received many greetings from family and friends far and wide.  One particularly greeting came in the form of a card with fire truck sirens blaring; to put out his candles of course.  He called me at work for me to listen to it.  Our hearts are warmed and over flowing with your love and kindness to us.

This year his birthday fell on Wednesday, the night we travel to Grace Mission. Generally the guests fast from Wednesday night until the following evening. They were thrilled with Dan’s opening comments.

He told the group he had finally decided he may not ever be exactly six feet tall on this side of the earth, but he was content to remain “fun sized”. He illustrated by holding a mini snickers bar, another held a medium sized bar and the third a tall or king sized bar. The group was delighted when candy bars were passed around for everyone.

Unbeknown to him, the residents and staff had planned a special birthday celebration for Danno. A large German chocolate cake was prepared with the words, “R U six feet yet?”

One of the guests laughingly said, “Wow! We get chocolate twice on a fast day!” Sometimes it is good to break the rules.

Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green
Psalm 92:14

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aging Valentines

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today we celebrated another wonderful Valentines Day together. After all of these years it is just as sweet. Things are far from perfect in our lives, but our old hearts still fit perfectly together and beat in rhythm. I awoke to find roses from my sweetheart. He never forgets!

We celebrated with the old folks today. Dan met me at Fat City Grill (appropriately named) late afternoon for our celebration together. Since I had Bible Study Fellowship at 6:15 we decided to meet at 4:00. The place was already full of love birds having their special Valentines steak dinner.

The early arrivers were all older than we. We realized it was the rush hour for the Oldie Goldie group. You know those of us who need to be home before it gets dark?

Admittedly, we are not wild about aging. We often find ourselves frustrated when our bodies refuse to fully cooperate with our wishes. Tonight we saw sweet couples gently helping each other to their seats and ever so loving and patiently assisting in ordering their meals. They were obviously happy and still very much in love. Some were double dating; obviously friends for many years. Even though our bodies are aging, the love and compassion as it has with the guests around us, grows stronger.

It was so precious that I Corinthians 13, the Love chapter of the Bible was a part of our study tonight. Another reminder from above, Love, our greatest gift!

Happy Valentines Day!

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1st Corinthians 13:1, 13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.