Monthly Archives: January 2016

WHOA!

Jan 28 2016aWHOA!!

HALT!!

STOP ALREADY!!

I am tired and weepy. Hubby is tired and grumpy which makes me more tired and weepy. We are – in no particular order – tired of lugging, juggling, adjusting – tired of being too hot, too cold or too out of sorts to care – tired of stepping over, around, under all things in our way – tired of not eating well and having to eat “out” – tired of delays because the first snow storm of the season just blew through and blew our time-tables to smithereens – tired of clinging furbabies who are way too uncomfortable to have any sense of home in this melee – – – just plain, no-other-way-to-say-it – – – – – – TIRED.

Praise the LORD, we still have a comfortable bed so we can start the new day – – – – – semi-tired.

Seriously, how did the pioneers ever find the gumption to keep on movin’ on? I truly think I would have looked at my hubby, rolled my eyes,and hiked my proverbial skirts up, gathered my dog, horse, goats or whatever and immediately started back to civilization. And how in the world Moshe ever kept the Israelites traveling in a desert for 40 years is beyond me. I probably would have been like most of the Jews of that day (in case you don’t know, according to Jewish tradition only one third of the Jewish nation left Egypt) and remained in slavery.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”~Ps 127:1-2

Which just goes to show you – we miss the best part of our life journeys when we stay in our comfort zone. My hubby and I have become creatures of habit. Like our furbabies, we like the routines we have established for ourselves in these “golden” years. It has been easy. It has been too easy in too many ways. Just like the Jewish fore-bearers of our faith, we have chosen to became slaves to “things” and a way of life. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself or that the WORD is full of boring myths of little consequence?

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”~1 Kg 8:56

That is probably what I love most about Our Father. He never wants us to stagnate. I have this crazy notion that “heaven” is not going to be just lying around and playing our perfectly tuned little harps ad nauseam. Just like I know He is still creating and teaching and parenting and loving and nudging us every day in this world.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not tired. I am. Then I come home and talk to the guys who are working on our house. Several of them are dealing with sick family members, broken vehicles, bills piling up, trying to find time to do their taxes so they can get a refund, working a hard job or two (ones I obviously don’t want or can do as well as they can) with their own versions of achy muscles and joints They are tired, too. They’re just on a different journey than me.

Almost a year ago, I began starting my day with a Jewish prayer in the morning. I’ve added Rabbi Yeshua’s 1st and 2nd commandments to that. Lately, He has been pointing out that I am not any where near perfect at observing those commandments in my life – especially loving my “neighbor”. This month in particular, He is working on me about this, so I’m trying harder. Asking for forgiveness more, Praying more when I’m out of my “comfort zone”. Trying to gather more wisdom for the journey that lies ahead. Somehow, G-d never wastes a chance to grant us more wisdom.

We have come a long way since we found this house in December. We are still tired and often grumpy and occasionally weepy. (Sometimes it is harder “to love jan 28 2016dyour neighbor” when they sleep in the same bed – sigh) But then there is a little night light that helps you navigate, with gritty, puffy eyes, to that space where there is something special (a stove and refrigerator sitting in your kitchen)- something created (a painted wall or tiled floor)- with a lot of planning (a bathroom sink and light) – with a little help from some friends – a clear space in the mess – and you smile. G-d has kept His promise once again.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

So as I rub my eyes and yawn my way through the same prayer with which I began my day, I know that those prayers will probably be interrupted by a snore before my head really sinks deeply into my pillow. I hope that your night will bring you a gentle rest as well. For the one who watches over all of us remains awake, watchful, loving and waiting.

Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have lairs and birds of the sky have shelters, but The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”~Matt 8:20

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Whoa

REGENERATION

“By wisdom a house is built;
it is made secure through understanding.
By knowledge its rooms are furnished
with all sorts of expensive and beautiful goods.”~Prov 24:3-4

Seems like a most appropriate verse for this week. Papers to juggle. Deliveries to receive. Workmen to consult. Wish lists compiled. “By wisdom a house is built…” I think we are going to need WISDOM every minute of every day (and probably even as we sleep).The regeneration has begun once again.

Definition of regeneration:  noun re·gen·er·a·tion \ri-ˌje-nə-ˈrā-shən, ˌrē-\

  1. 1:  an act or the process of regenerating :  the state of being regenerated

  2. 2:  spiritual renewal or revival

  3. 3:  renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (as a forest) after injury or as a normal process

  4. 4:  utilization by special devices of heat or other products that would ordinarily be lost

I re-read this verse a few times today. Underlined it. Circled it. Pondered it – and pondered it again. “…it is made secure through understanding…” The WORD is like that. I’ve read this particular chapter many times over the past few years. Mostly, on the 24th day of the month. Did you know there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs? A pretty easy read in a month. Even so – Jehovah Shammah manages to point out something new – – – if my eyes and heart are open.

Today – He did it again. He is seeking to change my inner home as well as my physical abode. {Gotta love the metaphoric language of a good proverb} When you start following “G-d-nudges”, you will find He just “nudges” you more and more.

Somehow re-doing – regenerating –  a physical house seems much easier than re-generating a spiritual home. Like most people, I seem to always find time to do what this world requires and live-in-the-land-of-later for when it comes to my spiritual home. So tonight, after running all afternoon in three different hardware stores, looking at rows and rows of tile, talking to various construction workers and hubby, I collapsed with my Bible in hand and found Prov 24.

God is good. He knew what I needed before I did…KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, DISCERNMENT.

Tonight I walked around the house again. Looking at the color choices. The design outlined in our heads for the kitchen. The tile for the bathroom that sits in the back of the car. “…by knowledge its rooms are furnished…” The physical house is taking shape, and with lots and lots of prayer, so is my spiritual house. Room by room. Piece by piece. I tear out this part and replace it with something more functional and vital to the home I want to create for my LORD to live in with me.

The forced quiet that the snow storm brought to both houses has already started to melt away in the NC warmth. “…with all sorts of expensive and beautiful goods.”   Tomorrow, the frenzy of our chaotic world revs up again. While we will try not to fill our home with too much of the expensive “stuff”, we do hope it will be beautiful. However, we already know that the price paid for our spiritual home is beyond compare and more beautiful than any treasure found on earth.

Just a little more work. Just a little more time. Just a little more trust. Just a little more listening. Just a little more wisdom made secure through understanding. It is truly a regeneration. Blessings!Be!regeneration
[art by Akiane “Regeneration” via google images]

A WEEK

I wish I was feeling brilliant and had lots of wisdom to share. It seems as if I have not written for a year. Yet, it has only been a week.

  • A week of changes.
  • A week of camping in a broken house.
  • A week of living out of boxes and repairing what has been damaged.
  • A week.
  • 7 days.
  • One day at a time.

I often wonder what Our Father was thinking as He created the world. Did each little creation change what He did next? Or did He have a plan from the beginning that was immutable from the first word He spoke?

Daily I walk around the house changing one thing and then changing my mind about something else. It changes daily. I change daily. The house changes daily. I wish I had an immutable plan that didn’t change daily.

G-d always has a plan and for the last few years I have been looking at the blue print He left for us in the WORD. It is not easy to understand. I give up quickly and get lost in all the translations of all the languages of all the words. Yet – with the help of Jewish wisdom and traditions – little bits are starting to sink into my dense brain.

Understanding is far from being clear yet – after all – I’m not brilliant. I am continually challenging Him, doubting Him and averting my eyes. I am not Miriam, an elder sister, a prophetess who never hid her eyes but trusted Him enough to watch for the miracle unfold that He had promised through her baby brother. I am not a brave disciple who chucks it all to follow Him – giving up home and family to walk with the Bridegroom wherever He leads.. I am more like the child who dares to creep closer – hoping – praying – wishing – with all my heart to just sit near Him.

As I looked out the window today at the snowy landscape and watched the children and their crazy parents run their sleds and 4-wheelers up and down the hilly road to the side of out new home, I realized that Our Father has a plan. He has invited me to sit beside Him as He shares a story to make me laugh. I don’t hear well, and sometimes, I get distracted. More often than not – I wiggle around waiting to get on with implementing my own plan and not paying any attention to His. But slowly – – very slowly – – I am trying to still myself and listen – really listen –  to the stories He is whispering in my tiny ears. His plan for me waits. All I have to do is open my eyes and push through the reeds to see His promised miracle.

  • One day at a time.
  • Seven days in a row.
  • A week of living in a broken home that He loves to repair.

A week of cuddling into His side, trying to be still enough to hear His whisper, and believe in the miracle. It is a start. It is an adventure that compares to none other.

“Lord Jehovah sent salvation to his people and he remembers his covenant to eternity; he is holy and his Name is awesome! The beginning of wisdom is the awesomeness of Lord Jehovah, and his Servants have good understanding; his glory stands to eternity.” Ps 111:9-10 [ABPE]
friends-zoom
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MASTER PLAN

Despite the first snow of the season, the coldest temps of this new year, a day that kept us pushing and pulling and driving forward, we are still alive and functioning. Our plan seems to be working. Daughter, Son-in-law, Grands, four large dogs, and crazy elders are still together as we are planning to sleep in daughter’s spare bedroom tonight. Grandson said, “Oh goody. Grandma, you can sleep with me tonight.” Needless to say, my heart melted.

last day 1 18 16Stuck truck (wasn’t the 4 wheel drive one, of course) in back yard did not take off the corner of the shed or the rounded edge of the stone patio (it did put a few ruts in the yard), hot tub is setting comfortably in daughter’s garage until we can fill it up again or sell it. Tractor waits to straighten out the ruts in yard, driveway, and then carry our giant eagles four miles to the new property in 30 degree weather. It will be another busy day tomorrow.

Dogs are feeling a little less than comfortable. Koayah is completely off her game and pooped in the kid’s playroom as she played with Redding, daughter’s youngest furbaby. Ryndiyah refuses to let either of us out of her sight. (The screams, giggles and running around after that smell kinda spoiled a quiet bedtime) While Cheyenne, daughter’s oldest furbaby, just looks at everyone with big eyes and love easing out of every pore.

Life is great even with a stuffy nose. Life is great when muscles ache and the list of things to do tomorrow seem as huge as the list we did today. Life is great when you’ve got a plan. Life is even greater when your plan lines up with Our Father’s plan. Our plan at this point is to claim one room in the new house to sleep – after all we have a toilet and a shower – what more do you need?

No matter how you look at it, G-d’s challenges are often where we learn the most. Knowledge, wisdom and discernment are the blessings behind everything that Our Father asks us to do within His plan for each of us. All we have to do is to weave “our” plans within the “Master” plan and enjoy the “fruits of the spirit”. I think I need me some fruit.fruit-of-the-spirit-tree11

 

MOVING FORWARD

moving-forwardIt is the week that just goes on and on and on. Days of packing, lifting, carrying, moving something out of the way, re-arranging one thing just to find that it is now in the way of something else that needs to be moved. Have I whined enough? Do you feel sorry for me yet?

DON’T…because….

I have loved every minute of this particular adventure. Rubbing tired muscles jan 16 2016 hot tub fiasco 1and achy knees. Reassuring crazy dogs who cling to my side while they watch me with big golden eyes. Waking up in the middle of the night to pray for friends and family that I was too tired to circle in prayers before my eyes slammed shut. Admiring the hubby who continues to push himself beyond what I would ever consider doing. Appreciating family who lift and carry when we are too tired to do anything more.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”~1 Cor 13:7

jan 16 2016 roller derby eAs hard as today was, it was another one of my best of days. Roller-derby Grands racing around on the moving dollies. Laughter circling in an echoing house. Barking dogs jumping in and out of the car. Driving from one property to another jan 16 2016 roller derby dbecause the tool we need is somewhere else. Pizzas from The Saxapahaw General Store. Lego toys to play with enhanced by Disney pictures and stories entertaining us more than the football game on TV.

It was a blessed day.

“And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house…”~Deut 26:11

jan 16 2016 roller derby aThe new house is still not a home. However, the garage is now stuffed with our “stuff”. A new toilet stands tall while a small patch of heavenly blue wall painted behind it is shining bright in the middle of a dingy bathroom completely torn apart. “Great” jan 16 2016 washing machine broom almost seems to be smiling with its new coat of paint. Best of all, new gas logs in our fireplace are being lit tomorrow and just might be the first real glimpse of the home that has been given at this particular time just for us. We are content, excited, tired and storing up energy for tomorrow.

We thank you for all the prayers covering us as we push through these last few days and can’t wait to start our lives in Eli Covenant at Haw River. Life is good. Our Father’s plan is better. Blessings!Be!

HUMPING DOWN THE PATH

100_0956This is definitely “hump day”. Hump over the mounds of stuff still waiting to be moved. Hump over the amount of days left to “git ‘er done”. Hump over the many trips back and forth (PTL it is only 4 miles away). Hump over getting all the workers to the house at one time. Hump as the dwelling changes from a home to a house. We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

hump/həmp/noun
1.a rounded protuberance found on the back of a camel or other animal or as an abnormality on a person’s back.
synonyms: protuberance, prominence, lump, bump, knob, protrusion, projection, bulge, swelling, hunch; More
2.a rounded raised mass of earth or land.
verb
1.informal to lift or carry (a heavy object) with difficulty.
“he continued to hump cases up and down the hotel corridor”
2.make hump-shaped.
“the cat humped himself into a different shape and purred”
3. (I deleted it, but you already know this one)

100_0954Hubby is already asleep on the couch. Dogs are restless. They bark at the least little thing and really don’t let us out of their sight unless they are forced to. Today, the car was “humped” with stuff, and they still found a way to squeeze their rather large bodies into about 10″ of space…together…both of them…not a pretty sight. They were not pleased to hear the stern voice of their mother ordering them “out”. I think they realized I was not in a mood to bicker with them because they got out really quickly – for them.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”~Jer 31:25

The house is shuddering a little tonight. Then again, perhaps I am just projecting the tremors I feel inside of me. The hump seems too large to swing anymore things over it. Yet, I know that as full as the new garage is, we are definitely at the crest of the hump and looking over the other side. Hubby still has a lot of larger stuff to move, but for the most part, closets are empty and only the master and kitchen remain to tackle.

I am humped out. I am tired. Where is my book?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”~Matt 11:28-29

100_0951This is the point I usually want to pick up my Anchor, bury my head in His lap, and ask to sleep for a month. Sleep comes easy to me when I put everything in His plan. Yesterday, I walked around the property; praying with each step that we will trust His perfect planning even when it is not in sync with ours. When there are a million and one things needing to be done, it is hard to rest and trust that things are being accomplished in His perfect time – not ours. One ceiling is painted. Water gets completely turned on tomorrow. Walls are in the first stages of being patched. Carpet is out and flooring gets started on Monday. The really interesting thing – we will be sleeping there by Sunday. “Trust and obey, there is no other way….”

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”~Ps 4:8

100_0953I have no idea how this works. Hubby wants to get things in motion and run away to FL for a month. I want to stay and keep my eye on things (I think it is my teacher nature). However it works, I know that it is my Anchor that will get me over the hump of taking a damaged house and making it into a home where He will live with us

Humps are those places where I really am challenged to learn to trust in Our Father’s perfect will and not mine. I would love to be able to move into a finished house, but that just ain’t happenin’, so I need to get over this hump and trust.

Today is definitely hump day and I’ve got this! Seriously – I’ve got this! I think – mostly – well – maybe……………….204637-Guess-What-Day-It-Is-Woo-Woo (1)

NUDGES

Marty Kaufman

If you had told me 35 years ago that I would be moving into a home that needed almost as much work as the first home we lived in after our wedding, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. If you had told me a year ago that I would be moving – period – I would have told you that not only were you out of your mind, but the world must be coming to an end.

Yet – here I am. Getting ready to move, and the world is not ending – yet..

We decided, after a very big and obvious nudge from the Man Upstairs, that the house we were scheduled to build was not our path. All the research, the financing, the permits and land clearing was not our path. It was a little frustrating. And yet – what can you say when nudge after nudge keeps pushing you down a different road? Especially when every home you have ever had has the name “Covenant” as it’s leading word?

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,”~Ex 19:5

Stan poisoning thorns

Hubby poisoning thorns

Right before we got married, we were clearing land of thorns trees and brambles. It was ugly work, but Pop Kaufman’s farm had tough tractors and brush hogs for us to borrow. Needless to say, we had our share of bonfires and aching backs. We set a worn out, delapidated trailer that had no running water, heat or

First garden on our land

First garden on Covenant BS Acres

bathroom. Tiny porta potties to empty daily. (Remember – January wedding) Water to carry twice a day from a stream down a hill (Did I mention it was an early January wedding?) Green wood to try to burn. (Seriously, did I tell you it was JANUARY?) Not to mention, our daily jobs. Hubby milking and farming. Me – grading papers and classroom planning (I know – not proper English).

“Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”~Josh 4:4-7

And yet – it was probably the most wonderful time of my life. It is when we found

Michael and Mysti

Michael and Mysti

a big rock that could not be moved that we decided upon the original property name that made us laugh even as we paid tribute to Our Father – – – Covenant BS Acres or Covenant Land of Milk and Honey. We were a little full of ourselves – if you get the drift of the BS double meaning in this carnal world. We adopted Joshua 4:4-7 as our Bible verse for our new covenant of marriage and land. Even though we were there for just a little over a year, it was long enough to marry, conceive a little sister for our son, Michael, and build a house out of two barns.

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”~Lk 11:28

Back of houseSo here we are – starting our 36th year of our life journey together – moving into a house that needs more work than I really want to do – moving more things than I want to move – and naming our new piece of land that Our Father has entrusted to us: Covenant Eli @ the Haw or Eli Covenant @ the Haw. We are still thinking about it? Got any preference?

jan 8 2016hEvery room needs new flooring and painting.

Non-functioning kitchen and heating system (and I do mean, NON-FUNCTIONING).

Holes in walls, doors to be replaced, disjointed areas that seemingly have no purpose whatsoever and on and on and on.

jan 8 2016bAnd yet – the nudges led us to this particular place. There is beauty there. There are miracles to be found. Gardens to be built. Music to be made. Laughter of the Grands and family to echo through it.

One miracle popped up today. The new home has a fireplace. We were trying to decide how to use it so that we will have heat next week prior to replacing the heating system (a really ugly monster that scares me – a lot). Looked at so many options – wood stove, gas stoves, gas logs – all of them way more than we wanted jan 8 2016ito pay and further than we wanted to travel to get them at a good price. Then another nudge this morning -,gas logs with a remote – cheaper than we had even dared hope, AND – brought right to the general store in Saxapahaw by the owner. We didn’t even have to travel to buy them. Our Father knew we needed this day to work and reassurance that His hands were still nudging us forward.

So here is to a crazy week of following nudges – of tired bodies and minds – of packing boxes – of working harder than we want to work – and – – – praising Our Father for the nudges that put us right at this spot at this particular space in time. Here we come Covenant Eli or Eli Covenant – – – hmmmm…still can’t decide. Time to walk the land and pray that we continue to feel His nudges and make sure the name fits.front housea

TWINKLES

My cousin shared a photo today of my Grandma and Grandpa Ferris.Mary Mamie Wachtel Charles Arthur Ferris 1 8 1905 They were married 111 years ago today, January 8, 1905. It fascinates me to no end. A young couple staring straight ahead at the path they had chosen to walk together. Home – love – struggles – children – grandchildren – illnesses – deaths – are all there in their eyes. Somewhere in there, if I look hard enough, I can see the twinkle that I will be – ready to ignite and merge my life to the one they started.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”~Matt 19:4-6

76 years later almost to the day, hubby and I started off on our own journey bc weddingtogether. We added smiles to our pictures, but our eyes were still staring straight ahead – waiting to see what the future would hold. Circumstances change, but the essentials remain pretty much the same. Home – love – struggles – children – grandchildren – illnesses – deaths. I look at the twinkles that I have been blessed enough to notice and smile. God is good – us – not so much – but luckily – He has given us enough grace to twinkle just a little.

I had no idea that my grandparents had gotten married on January 8th until this year (even though it is written in my father’s over sized Masonic Bible that sits in my living room). Just 45 years ago on January 8th 1971, my parents were sitting img603at home on a snowy night. My mom’s sister and her husband popped in the door with a bottle of champagne and a card wishing my parents a happy 35th anniversary. According to mom, they had a great party that night. Laughing, drinking champagne and eating shrimp that she pulled out of the freezer. The quinky-dink was this – it was not mom and dad’s anniversary. They were married on JUNE 8th – not January 8th. My aunt had gotten the number of years right, but the day wrong. The next day, my daddy died while working on fixing up a home for his sister.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28

Twinkles from one generation to another light our paths. When my hubby and I Grandma&pa Ferrisdecided to get married on January 9th, it was so mom and I would have something to make us smile on a day that held so much sadness for our family. She loved the idea, and so did I. Further, I chose to walk down the aisle alone carrying a single rose. My dad always gave me red roses on my birthday from the rose bush he grew outside our home. As I walked down that aisle, I knew Dad was walking with me every step of the way.

Twinkles are like that. They are the blessings that pass through those touchstone moments of our lives. They are that little piece of Our Father that lights our path since our eyes are too weak with sin to be able to behold Him face-to-face. Twinkles are the the hope that motivates us to keep stepping forward. Struggles – illnesses – death – still dog our steps – sometimes more than we think we can handle. But the twinkles remain. Little fireflies that dart in and out of our periphery and beg for us to hope once more. Hope enough to step forward and seek His face..

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”~Heb 11:1

I love God’s twinkles and the hope for things to come. Here’s to our 36th twinkle filled path of our journey together, Hubby.SarahStanley05

RUSHING IN

kingdom aMy heart has been heavy today. My mind reflective. My eyes watery. My prayers continuous despite the business of trying to line everything up for the move to our new home. You see, a friend decided to take a trip out of the fiery turmoil of painful days, through the rising waters that engulfed the night in a starless darkness to a place where she could walk with her shepherd in a beautiful field of wild flowers.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”~Is 43:2

Our English vocabulary is often inadequate. “Love” – “Friends” are words used often in our culture. Words thrown around helter-skelter until the wisdom of the word becomes a blurred image of what it should represent.

We have “friends” on Facebook. We have “friends” in the workplace. We have “friends” that we hang with every now and then. We “love” ice cream. We “love” the latest celebrity that has incited us to drool.

Perhaps that is why I am fascinated with Hebrew. Each letter, each jot and tittle, sways the meaning within the context of the other words around it. While a word may technically represent a definition, the subtleties of the marks and surrounding words change the connotation and interpretation.Wisdom hidden in the word – waiting to be found.

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”~Ps 18:28

Today, I am remembering my friend. Her laughing voice that carried a smile through every word. A smile that always traveled in her eyes. The way she introduced herself when she was the “new” kid in our small rural junior high school How she was always rushing in where I feared to tread and daring me to follow.

Like most friends, we laughed. We spent hours on the phone (you know – those contraptions with long cords and parents hanging on every word). We cheryl 1970 awhispered…over boys. We cried…over boys. We fought..over boys. I wrote poetry…over boys…when she was heart-broken, and she took me for long drives when I was in the same weepy state…over boys. We double dated. We married – I was her maid of honor and 10 years later, her second marriage to the same man – inspired hubby and me to pull off our wedding in just a few weeks. We raised our children along side each other.We went years without talking and then talked for hours as if we had just talked the day before. Our cell phones on speaker as we moved around – laughing about life – planning future visits – and crying when the pain was at its worse.

I can count on one hand the friends that truly “know” me. They have seen past the surface and know my ugliness – my pain – my sorrow – my love – just as I know theirs. They have walked some pretty dark paths with me and provided Light when I was sure I would never see the Light again because my chosen path was so bloody, filthy and littered. And even though I wasn’t always the “best-of-friends”, Cheryl was one of those friends who provided a Light unto my path when I needed it.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”~Jn 14:1-4

Our last conversations these past few months always circled back to Our Father pig roast 1993and His Son. She knew the Shepherd was waiting in the field just beyond the mist, and she had found the path home. I admire her courage, her fortitude as she walked this last path, and I can’t believe that she won’t be on the other end of my phone any more. Yet here I am – smiling as I write this because she has done it again. She has rushed ahead of me and I can see her daring me to follow. She is my friend, and she knows that eventually, I will get there. I’ll tell you this, when I do arrive, she better be ready to talk for a few hours. Hopefully – we won’t have to use a phone, her voice will be laughing, and I will be able to see that sparkling smile in her eyes again. Love you, Cheryl, and Blessings!Be! to your family.

QUIET NEW DAY

mountain1How can I not write a few words on this first day of the new year? It was a quiet day. Put all the Christmas stuff away which is unusual since I usually wait until Epiphany to pack away this special time of year. However, 17 days of packing lie ahead, and I need to motivate myself to keep organized. (Let us not forget that I am a day-dreaming, artsy Gemini, so this is not an easy task in the least.)

For those of you who do not know, we bought a house. At least, all parties have agreed in theory, and real estate agents assure us that it is in the process over this holy-day season. It is a repo on a road not far from the daughter and not far from our Covenant Pines. Convenient in so many ways, but a multitude of blessings in so many more. Hard work to come. Dreams to fulfill. Gardens to plant. A gift from Our Father when we didn’t know which way to turn.

I love when Our Father speaks in quiet ways. A nudge here. A breeze that tickles the back of the neck. A whisper that filters through the noise and buries itself in the heart. That is the gift of His holy presence in our lives, and I treasure it whenever I am wise enough to have a clue.

There is much more to this story and more to come in the next few days. For now, I am just rejoicing in the quiet of the day. A bounteous pork supper with the screaming, running Grands, 2 huge labs in hot pursuit, squeak toys leaping from hand to hand as every one jumps on Papa and/or the couch, yawning parents preparing for the next big event – a birthday trip to Disney, and happy, content elders loving family gathered round. Gifts to treasure. Memories to ponder. Love wrapping itself around this new day of the new year and tickling the back of my neck once more.

Blessings!Be! 2016. May the world hear Your whisper and bury Your wisdom at its heart.

17_elija___the_cave“After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.”~1Kg 19:12-13a