Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE HEDGE

In 1966, The Singing Nun won the Oscar for Best Musical. Greer Garson, Chad Everett, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban – and one of my favorite movies. Tonight seemed to be a good night to watch an old movie. A movie filled with music, stars I loved to watch as a child, and tied to many memories in my treasure chest.

“Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods
And sings a little song
Never asking for reward
He just talks about the Lord
He just talks about the Lord”

The album played over and over on the little gray stereo that sat on our porch until eventually the scratches outnumbered the the playable rings of melodies. Loosely based on the true story of a nun from Belgium who achieved the number one Billboard ranking for her song “Dominique” in 1963, the movie hints at the serpent that waits in every hedge. Waits for an opening into his world.

“…and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”~Ecc 10:8

In real life, the Sister who became famous in 1963 broke the hedge and the serpent bit. Pulled between the two yards, the “Singing Nun” became more and more discontented. In the movie, the Sister reached her hand out to break the hedge, but turned away at the last minute to return to what had led her to build her tent in the first yard.

I have to admit, I loved the Debbie Reynolds’ version better than the real life story. The Singing Nun never had another song reach the pinnacle of “Dominique” and eventually, she drifted from the minds of all the people who lived in those two yards. The venom of the serpent blinded and deafened her to the peace of the covenant that was still there surrounding her. She just forgot the ancient prophet and the words of a resurrected rabbi that still cried to her to bend down and wash her eyes in the pool to find His peace.

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”~Is 54:10

Life is like that. We build those hedges around what we love – – hoping to keep the serpent out of our yards and far away from our tent. Yet sometimes, we forget and break that hedge by our own choice. It is then we need to pull up the mustard plant, harvest the seed into our hand, close our eyes and walk back through the hedge to the pool by our first tent.

God has promised He is always there. Yeshua Christus repeated the promise – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” – the humble – the broken – the poisoned – the outcasts from their own yard – the ones who tore down the tent and broke the hedge but somehow – by faith – remember the faint rambling of an ancient promise – “…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matt 5:4

The songs from the movie are still singing in my head. My eyes are heavy while the growing kitten is already out for the night (still mad that I gave her a bath today to kill some fleas). Our Chocolaty dogs are complaining because I haven’t taken them back to the coolness of the bedroom (but they are happy to be clean once again – for a little while), and I open my memory chest. A memory chest that holds the mustard seed necklace my parents gave me when I was a child. It is time to yawn, stretch and spend some time with He who always fulfills His promises.   [Google images]

“Grant us now, oh Dominique
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly life and truth on earth.”~
SOEUR SOURIRE, NOEL REGNEY (Jeanne Paule Deckers)

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

What can I say – it’s a High School Musical type of night.

Some nights are just designed to kick back, forget the aches and pains, the troubles of the world, and just sing – (come on – I know you know the tune) –

“We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true.”

Were you clapping your hands? Moving to the music? Couldn’t you just see – somewhere – in a magical moment out of time – the world rolls out the marching band – joins the curtain call – harmonizes chordal nuances until the the body just can’t sit still – fingers tapping, toes dancing – souls reaching hand to hand – making “all of our dreams come true.”

Can’t help but smile, can you?

And yet – – – some of you are sighing.

The world’s people could choose to dance instead. We could choose to find the hidden talents in each other. We could choose to not bully others to think the way we do. We could choose to throw away the team playbook or the dramatic clipboard. We could choose to reach out our hand to those standing beside us.

We could choose to sing in harmony and create our own movie musical – – a World Musical – – a Garden Musical.

“For we also from the first were without intelligence and without conviction. We were deceived and Servants to changing lusts and were employed in wickedness and in envy. We were despicable and hating one another.” ~Tiitus 3:3

It is easy to get caught up in the sniping these days – the undermining – the possessing of things – the bullying in relationships – the anger boiling in our bellies. Much harder to to be still and listen. Listen to the words. Listen to the pain. Listen to the dissonance. Listen to the soft voice inside of each of us that is still singing… “We’re all in this together…”

“But when the sweetness and the loving kindness of God, Our Lifegiver, was revealed, Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love [when] he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah,Our Lifegiver, That we would be made right by his grace and we would be heirs by the hope in eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Tonight, kitten is burrowed deep in the corner of the chair beside me – purring and occasionally stretching her claws to knead my leg. Dogs are snoring and Hubby has already retired into the coolness of our bedroom. Since i’m yawning, I know I’m not far behind all the other creatures of our quirky home. But tonight, after prayers have been said and I crash on the bed, I think I will go back to that magical moment out of time once again. When I will close my eyes, listen to the harmonies and remember…

“When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it – – –
We’re all in this together…”~Nevil/Gerrad

FETTERS

This time of year always makes me smile – A LOT.

Just before Memorial Day, the fetters would fall away as I ran down the steps – grade card in hand.
Freedom.
Dog and cat days.
Bicycle and adventure days.
Endless days of reading book after book from a library that seemed endless.
Play days with friends in the neighborhood and cousins across town.
Hot days before air conditioning and whirling fans.
Singing days with my heart sister.
Wading days at Riverside Park.
Hammock days – covered and screened-in Marine treasure – waiting for the storm or the softness of evening.
Days and days of “No more teacher’s dirty looks”

Who knew I would be a teacher with a dirty look as autobiography deadlines were missed?

The idea of living my adult life connected to the school calendar definitely appealed to my inner child. Even now, as I watch the Grands in MI graduate from high school and finish the final essays in this part of their lives or the tiny NC Grands count down these last days in Montessori, I still feel that smile bubbling up inside me as well. It helps off set some of the bittersweet things that I know come with the beginning of June.

“Surely, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”~IS 12:2

My last HMS class of 8th graders have posed for their final pictures at the high school. The last set of autobiographies have been stored on a shelf once again, and my connecting tethers to education are loosening even more. I have a feeling I will miss those tethers.

A few months back, I ran across a prayer. It was a simple prayer. A powerful prayer that caught my pen and found its way to the back of one of my note cards. Yesterday, as I was hanging some of those cards in my prayer closet, it caught my attention and the Spirit nudged hard..

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”~Robert Pierce,

Jewish sages teach that according to scripture there are two kinds of people that don’t mind being out-done by those they have been blessed to nourish – – – parents and teachers. When a parent watches their child stand successfully on their own or even build a life beyond the parent – the parent rejoices. In the same manner, a teacher who loves their student – smiles beyond measure when that student takes that knowledge and wisdom to soars beyond the classroom – – even when they soar even higher than the teacher.

My mom was like that. She rejoiced when I signed my first teaching contract. It was the first time, I remember being humbled by all her sacrifices. She cried over the phone as I told her how much I would be making because it was more money than she ever made in her life. I remember being dumbfounded – getting off the pay phone in the rooming house I managed,- and sniffling my tears into my Boo-dog’s fur. Don’t get me wrong, my heart was not really humbled yet – but in that moment – I understood the brokeness of God’s heart the first time. It is what I remembered as I prayed this prayer today.

June still makes me smile – just not in the same way. 2017 brings a mingling of those bittersweet memories and covering them in gold. Yesterday – a graduating class and graduating Grands. Autobiographies re-stored on a shelf. Tomorrow – a mother who danced into heaven 12 years as I held her close and whispered a song. The day after tomorrow – a 66th birthday to celebrate for this elder.

Different fetters falling away.
Tethers loosening.
Smiles to share.
Gotta love the freedom of the first week of June – no matter what year.

 

UNCLE MIKE

Bittersweet days are feathers. Feathers of thought. They drift and float on lazy currents of emotions and leave our “life boat” rocking too and fro – – – torn between tears and smiles. A love – hate relationship between two opposing factions that take us “Somewhere” different.

“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere.”

The sweetness started the day. Swirling dreams that left me laughing so hard, I woke up shaking. (Of course, that could have been the result of two dogs who were tickling my nose with their tongues). Chores and devotions accomplished easily except that the Hubby used part of the meal I was delivering to a neighbor for our breakfast. But that aside – the sweet currents of morning were large blessings that kept my mind and hands occupied.

“There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!”

The bitter currents were still there. Still swirling silently around the sweetness of my day until – eventually, I let the boat drift on into those salty waters and remember the things I had been avoiding. Remembering the small town where I grew up . Remembering my family and extended family. Remembering – – – my Uncle Mike.

When Our Father calls someone home, I think He blesses us with bubbling memories that break the surface of our mental waters, coaxing us forward into the deeper waters of life with their gentle effervescence. Opening my eyes wide as I can, I look at the bubbles, smile through my tears and re-watch those bubbles glide across my mind.

“Somewhere.
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

Remembering the uncle who made me laugh every time he walked in the house. Shouting, “Hey, Brynie” as he caught me in his arms and spun me around and round and round. Remembering the uncle who took me for car rides just for fun or took me to the lake where he bought me orange sodas and Correll’s potato chips. Remembering the uncle who took my cousin and I on our first grown-up date.

Yupper –  he was THAT uncle. He decided to take a couple of his little girl cousins on a date. He and his girlfriend (who eventually became my aunt) managed to talk my mom (his big sister by almost 20 years) and one of his other sisters into letting him abscond with their daughters – a 10 and 11 year old – in tow – on – a- date. We sang songs all the way to the theatre in Ashland (at least I think it was Ashland). And when the movie started, Bunny Lee and I were mesmerized. West Side Story changed our lives – which is a whole ‘nother story.

“There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere! “~Bernstein/Sondheim

So tonight – since I couldn’t be in OH with my family – I went to the movies. I sang with Anita. I fell in love with Tony (all over again). And – as I knew I would – I cried with Maria as her world fell apart. Later tonight – I will pull my prayer shawl over my head just as Maria covered hers at the end of the movie. It is not easy to adjust to the fact that my cousins and I are now the elders of our extended family, but I am full of thankfulness for Uncle Mike and all my aunts and uncles who filled my life with His golden bubbles. Bubbles that will buffer my “life boat” from the ugly currents and light the way towards smooth waters.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~ Jn 14:2

Blessings!Be! Michael McCaskey, Kerry Wood, Kelly Patton, Shayne McCaskey, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

ASCENSION DAY

I got to mow the grass today.

I know. That doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but it was. As the little Grands would say – “Seriously, Grandma, it was”. I’ve been waiting and watching, watching and waiting to mow this grass. Green. Lush. New. Barefoot ready grass.

Somewhere around Easter, Hubby smoothed the ground around his second retaining wall. NC red clay is really not conducive for growing much – even when it has been recently ground and aerated. When happy, hubby-grinder-man does his thing on leftover tree stumps, red clay doesn’t stand a chance. Add some rich, dark topsoil – – tiny seeds – – a cover of hay – – a friendly neighbor’s prodding to add some good fertilizer – – water – – another covering of prayer – – and wallah – – grass that begs for bare feet.

Seeds broken. Fruit emerging. New life.

When I finally sat down to rest and looked at the small patch of green and a 3/4 deck covered in stain, I remembered. Today is the 40th day since Easter. Today is Ascension Day.

For weeks, the risen Christ walked 40 more days upon this earth. Where He was and what He did during these 40 days has always intrigued me. I like to think He visited His mother – a lot visited- since I figured her pain was almost as great as His as she watched Him suffer such a death. Or maybe – He spent time talking with all those who rose from their graves on the day the veil was split in the temple. (Matt 27:52-53) Or maybe – He traveled the world to bring the Good News to all gentiles who lived far outside of Israel.

We do know that St. John wrote, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” Jn 20:30 We do know that He visited with his closest friends and family 10-12 times (depending on how you count some of them) . We do know that when He ascended to the Father on the 40th day, He went to prepare a place for us.

A New Jerusalem.

A New Home.

In ancient Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom and the bride would meet and be joined together – married. Then the bride and her groom would return to their respective homes. The bride would use this time to prepare herself for being with the love of her life. She would gather the things needed to bring joy to herself and her husband in their new family. While the groom would also use this time to prepare himself for being with the love of his life. A time to build a home and filled with the things needed to welcome his love into her new family with him.

Ascension Day is so much more than just our Risen LORD returning to His father. It is the day when the bridegroom returned home to prepare a place. It was the signal for the bride to begin her preparations. It was the day when the grass began to grow barefoot green all around the world. Almost like a new garden emerging.

That lush, green grass is still growing – – spreading and multiplying around the world. And as I walked around the sprinkler tonight, I felt its joy through my toes and looked up at the sky. Perhaps tonight – – perhaps tomorrow – – perhaps a decade from now. Whatever. The Bridegroom is there – – looking – – and waiting – – just like I have done all my life. And when the Father’s time is accomplished – – when the time of waiting is over – – when the rooms are finished – – it will be a time of such joy never known since the gates were slammed shut in that perfect Garden.

In the meantime, the grass continues to grow. I talked to Littlest and laughed. I cried a little over the oldest Grands getting ready to graduate from high school (how is that possible?). I replayed a video of my younger son walking down a street in Spain. Hugged on my daughter and the little Grands as they spread freckles on our deck and themselves. Sat in my war room for a short moment of prayer. And sighed over the growing laundry pile that will have to wait for a dryer part to arrive (thank you, G-d, for our quirky neighborhood that has a wonderful fix-it man right next door).

This bride is waiting tonight – counting the stars – and enjoying the wait…kinda…I still get rather impatient. Yet when all is said and done, I really do want my lodgings to be face-to-face perfect and full of unspeakable joy. Seriously, Father, seriously.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2  

ERRR….CRAP!

‘s a sad fact of life. Touchstones break. We call them “stones” because they have weight in our life. It is the “touch” part that we sometimes forget. Weighted stones that have touched our lives at some point We can look at them – or touch them – and they release the memories – the smells – the sounds – the music – the faces.

Most of the time a smile may cross our soul as we hold it in our hands. Sometimes a laugh may escape the confines of the binder that held it trapped inside. And sometimes – when we drop them – – – they break.

Errrr…

This morning I walked the dogs as soon as I woke up. We picked some flowers, threw some sticks, and enjoyed the cool of a perfect spring morning. Since I had only picked two small flowers this morning, I pulled out the two small shot glasses that probably were some of my first touchstones ever.

Mom had special glasses for party nights. They were colorful. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. They also had matching shot glasses. I can still see Dad and hear his laugh as he was telling jokes or getting ready to play his guitar and holding one of those glasses. Other times, when I would pick violets for Mom, she would take out the shot glasses, and we would fill them up with the purple and white blessings. She would pull the doilies she had made out of their drawers and place the glasses around the living room. Just thinking about those violets bring back the smell of her hugs, the smell of her perfume and her red-lipstick smile.

Over the years, all the glasses disappeared. And by the time, we moved Mom out of her house, there were only two shot glasses left. Yellow. Green. Today the yellow one dropped into the sink as I was running water to hold a small rose. Errrrr…I don’t deal well with breaking things that have touched my life. But – I reminded myself – they are just things. I rolled my eyes, looked out the kitchen window while having one of those — half prayer — half talk – conversations with myself.

Errr…I looked at the fragments scattered around the sink and said, “Crap!”

A short time later, I broke a tiny winged, patriotic figure that I bought the summer my mother died. I think Mom must have been born to be a politician from birth. She had all the smarts, charisma, and charm needed. She just was a slow starter in the field. However, once elected as village clerk of our small home town, she rose through the state ranks and on to national organization of clerks.

The figurine I broke – out of a set of six – was the one that said held the banner that said, “God Bless America”. So this was a double touchstone. Mom sang “God Bless America” so many times, that I knew all the words by the time I was 5 years old – – – including the introduction. “When the storm clouds gather…”

Errr…I picked the pieces up off the floor and said, “Crap!”

I decided it was more than time for devotions. Needless to say, they shattered my bad mood completely. I read about the “hupogrammos”. An ancient Greek word that basically means example – but more deeply – it is a concrete, hands-on way of teaching someone how to do something. In this case – Christ became the “hupogrammos”. He set his actions, his steps, his manner, his love before all of us that we might easily follow His steps if we just put our feet and heart where He put His.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example (hupogrammos), that you should follow in his steps.”~1 Pt 2:21

As the tears pushed the corners of my eyes, I read this last devotion. “You answered me, when I called You; with Your strength, You strengthened me.”~Ps 138:3

The lesson of the day? Forget the Errrr… and the Crap!
Touchstones of this earth break and easily.  They fall apart. Our Christ Touchstone is just the opposite. He is an eternal cornerstone that hold everything else together when the world seems to be falling apart. He is the “hupogrammos” for our lives.

BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

Ever had one of those days with your nose buried in a book, and you just don’t want to leave it alone…but you just have-ta?????

It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I just love to read. I love learning new things, pondering them backwards and forwards and inside out. It can be a fiction book – like right now – Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons – a Southern writer who blows me away with her in-depth narrative. A type of writer that you don’t want to skip even a sentence, let alone, a paragraph. She constructs a temporal porthole into the depths of the mid-1900’s South that has been dissipating with the influx or Northerners and the times of which we live.

How better to understand the culture of this new place I’ve chosen to plant roots? Re-reading earlier narratives to see an even older culture of the South is pushing at the back of my mind – even though I’ve read many of them before in college and high school, I may just have to re-read them. Hmmph – – -perhaps I knew that someday, I would have a need for a basic understanding to this culture. And if that premise is so – can’t wait to see how my scroll unfurls in the future since I’ve also been endlessly fascinated by books on Native Americans and the Holocaust.

Like usual though I can’t spend my entire day reading. First, I got interrupted by checking on the eldest daughter’s dog – only to discover Redding (aptly named for her beautiful coat) had caught a squirrel and was proudly carrying it around for all to see. Couldn’t quite catch her to get a picture of that moment, but did get one when she laid it at my feet.

Then, off to get the youngest Grandson who bibble-babbled all the way home about many things including a request that I write the makers of Cracker-Jack and tell them that he wants prizes like the ones Grandma used to get when she opened her boxes of Cracker-Jack. Can’t say I blame him. My prizes were definitely much better than the stickers that he gets every time he tears open a bag. Stickers that are usually the same.

I guess I have just added one more assignment on my to-do list tonight. I wonder if Cracker-Jack has a FB page?

By the time we ate lunch, read one of my old Golden Book about a shy, little kitten (which I just gave to him), watched lego cops endlessly and humorously catch lego bad guys, the neighborhood duo was at the door and Grandson was flying out the door. At least he remember to fly back in and hug me goodbye with a “bushel and a peck” phrase in my ear and a holler at his father that he was going to the neighbor’s.

I gathered my things and smiled. That part of my past hasn’t changed in my daughter’s neighborhood. Kids running outside – cutting through the neighbors’ backyards (who don’t seem to mind in the least) – bikes lying at their appointed drop-off places, laughter and screams from the creek (crick, to some of us) or tree house – and games of pretend that internalize their thoughts and perceptions of this crazy world…not to mention…the give and take of everyday interaction with friends.

It is good to be interrupted sometimes.

When I come home, I tackle the reading again. Pulling out old books – reading copied notes – googling new sites. Right now, it is the resurrection of Christ that keeps me seeking. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because I have noticed little things that I never noticed before. I’m sure that somewhere or at some time – a teacher-preacher mentioned these things, but they got lost in the crevices of the overall amazing change that shook the world 2000+ years ago and my innate awe of Our Father.

No matter how many times I’ve read the story – the verses – the words – I continually learn something new. Perhaps, after yesterday’s blog, I should say – that the scroll continues to unroll a few new things to enhance the goodness that I see in my day at this moment. However, I am glad I have books and websites to research. Can’t imagine how much more complicated it would be to have to unroll a scroll to find that tiny piece information that I can’t remember or hadn’t noticed before now.

So – with head spinning with new thoughts – I went out and collected some of God’s beauties. Put them in one of mom’s old vases while absorbing the song of the birds and the panting of tired dogs in the stillness of a late Southern afternoon. The smells and sights after a few days of clouds and rain always seem like a miracle in themselves. That old hymn rose to my thoughts as I arranged the flowers, and I felt blessed all over again.

“For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.”~Pierpoint/Kocher [google images]

SCROLL OF LIFE

Been a busy couple of weeks. Visiting days at the Grands’ schools. Planting new starts for the terrace gardens. Reading umpteen things that I find totally absorbing. Not to mention, Easter and the end of Lent. And – – – loving every minute of it.

Didn’t write much this year about where I was heading with my spiritual journey. I’ve said this before, bu I think it has just been my time to absorb and reflect on the blessings of this past year. I am somewhat healthier. Our new NC home feels so much more like home. Plants are flourishing – just like Hubby and I am. It has been that way since my 100 Day Ration and Advent writings – 140 days of writing and then a restful time by the sea. A time of enjoying the present moment and absorbing all I can as my scroll unfolds before me.

You see, the Jewish word that is usually translated as book in English is “sefer”. Sefer means scroll. Thus – “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your BOOK before one of them came to be.” [Ps 139:16] Would actually be – “…were written in Your SCROLL…”

Books are ‘a whole ‘nother thing’ as Mama Mick used to say. We can easily flip pages in a book. We can look back. We can skip forward. We can even take a peek at the very end so we don’t have to wait for it to unfold. And – while you can do the same thing in a scroll you can only see pieces of the one scroll that you hold in your hands.

“…and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ “~Lk 4:17-21

God wink moments happened to Yeshua, the man, and to all those people attending service that morning. He had to unroll the scroll the attendant handed to him – not the scroll He had choosen – and find the place that fulfilled the promise of that moment. Not the moments that lay in the past. Not the moments that would come in the future. But that moment. That moment when a promise was fulfilled. A wrinkle in time being lived to its fullest.

I like to think that this is what I have been doing in the past few weeks. Living my wrinkle in time. Talking with shut-ins. Running errands for those who are struggling to stand without falling. Playing with Grands that won’t be tiny munchkins much longer. Reading and printing things to absorb. Praying for family, friends, and country in my war room.

Speaking of which – this week – I cleaned off the door to my war room. All my prayer lists and Bible verses are filed away in one of my notebooks, so I can look back at them occasionally and see where I’ve been. Good use for a book. I seem to need that reassurance every now and then. A acknowledgment to myself, that my path – while somewhat crooked – is becoming straighter and easier to walk.

Today, I hung 3 new verses on that door. Verses that will reassure me on the dark days and challenge me to keep my path straight through the rainstorms of life. And, as the scroll unfolds a little more, I will write up a new prayer list which will be full of colorful names and requests. I like using different colors because that is the way Abba created everything – – – full of rich hues, vibrancy, diversity. Full of a little heaven on earth.

It’s funny. As I read back through today’s musings, this definitely wasn’t what I had in mind when I started to write. God winks are like that. The scroll unrolls – words leap off the page and into my head – and I just marvel at the path of thoughts that He plants with His WORD and Spirit. As always, I can’t wait to unroll the scroll a little more and see what He has planned for me this day.

Whatever it is – it will be for my good. [google images]

NEVER ALONE

It is Grands’ night. Hot tub – mac n’ cheese Papa style – Wii – 2 bowls of popcorn (half of it on the bed) – 1 bottle of Grandma water (a piece) – 3 peep Oreos each – 1 movie – drawing the last picture of the night in their little notebooks – a little Jim Brickman lullaby in the background – 1 Koayah puppy squished in the middle of them – and they are asleep. (and yes – Mama – they brushed their teeth extra good because I threatened never to spoil them again. Although – I don’t think they really believed me. They kept laughing.)

I don’t know who enjoys these nights more. We talk. We catch up on their ball practices and school. We talk about coloring duck eggs with their neighborhood besties tomorrow and laugh over a stubbed toe. There is nothing more precious than getting to spend a night with the Grands. I only wish I could have retired about 13 years earlier so I could have moved to MI to be with my older Grands…well…that is probably stretching it a bit since a MI winter is definitely not on my to-do-over-list.

It is not how I usually spend my evenings on Maundy Thursday. Growing up, we would go to church. Later in college and beyond, our family would go to church. Full of familiar rituals, age-old hymns, prayers, solemnity. In the past few years, this night has been more an internal day and today was an eye opener.

The Grands and I were on the bed, watching Prince of Egypt in honor of Passover when it dawned on me. This was probably a closer way to spend this Holy Day than anything I have everdone. The Grands and I shared a meal. We laughed and told stories. We remembered the Moshe and the first deliverence of the Jewish people. We sang a song – it wasn’t Psalm 118 which is the Psalm sung at the Passover Seder – but in my heart it was singing.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.”~Psalm 118:1

And now – in the quiet of the night – my prayers circling to the darkened, star-lit skies – Grands stretched out all over the large bed – dog snuggled in their own bed while Hubby snores softly in his – I find my cornerstone of this night. The stone rejected steadies my balance and holds me upright. Even has a yawn stretches up through my rib cage and my eyes grow heavy, I struggle to stay awake and pray with Him.

“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”~Mk 14:32–34

This is the part of the night that hits Rabbi Yeshua’s humanness – hits my humanness. I don’t do well with sacrifice. I like to think I do, but I don’t. I know my eyes – like the loved ones who shared the meal with their beloved rabbi – mine will also close before long, and my prayers will rise into the darkness above me.
 
Alone. He. Prayed.
Alone. He. Cried.
Alone…but not really.
 
The perfect lamb alone in a garden…waiting to become the rejected stone…waiting to sacrifice himself for the world that rejected him…waiting for you…waiting for me, straining to listen for His Father’s voice. No words came. No sign. Just the quite of the night. But that is where Yeshua’s humanness and mine are miles apart because even though he did not “feel” His Father or “hear” His Father or “see” a sign from His Father. He “knew beyond knowing” that His Father was very much present. Listening. Seeing. Loving. Eternally. 
 
The solemnity of the night has wrapped itself around me once again. I wish I always “knew beyond knowing” like my Savior. It is something I still a striving to find. Another yawn brings tears to the surface of my eyes, and I know it is time to check on the Grands once last time before I give in and close my eyes for the night.
 
Mothering habits don’t really ever go away, and I will probably wake up before daybreak and check on them once again. Tonight, I will remember that Rabbi Yeshua was still awake praying. Praying as he waited. Talking to His Father. Trusting His Father. Waiting. But not alone. Never alone.
 
Tonight that is what I remember when I think of Maundy Thursday. Never alone. Ever. Not once.

 

“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the LORD has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:22-24

MIRYAM

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Miryam. She was an only child – some say for a long time – some say for a shorter time. In any case, her parents were afraid to have more children. In fact – she was named for the bitterness, rebellion as a reflection of the times in which they lived. Slavery has a tendency to do that to people.

Eventually Miryam had a younger brother. Her parents named him Aaron, and the siblings grew as children tend to do. But shortly after, Pharaoh grew wary of the great numbers of Jewish children being born. How could he continue to enslave such a massive group if they continued to procreate in such numbers? An edict came down – “Kill all new born males.”

Hmmmmm….sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Some oral traditions say that Miryam and Aaron’s parents decided not to sleep together. Why bring a child into such a world? Unbeknownst to anyone up until now, Miryam had been blessed with a gift of music and prophecy. She told her parents that they were to have another child who would bring redemption to their people.

Obviously, she was right. They got together and Moshe was born. Most of us know the story from there. Miryam watched over the baby in the basket. She prayed against so many things as she watched the basket drift. Some of them answered – some of them not. Surely, she would not have wanted her baby brother to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter – or to be taken in by one such as the royal family and yet – that was exactly the plan of G-d.

I keep getting caught by the similarities between the two, world-changing Passovers. Moshe – Yeshua. Moshe watched over by Miryam. Yeshua watched over by another Miryam (yes – in Hebrew her name was written Miryam) – again a reflection of the times in which she lived. Two men who were threatened with death by just being born. Two men who brought redemption to their people. Two men appearing when needed. A people enslaved. A people occupied. Redemption needed by both. Two Passovers with two Jewish men in pivotal positions of faith AND with two women named Maryam who watched them grow into their G-d path.

There are so many similarities between these two Passovers, and I have a feeling that I haven’t even begun to see all that there is to see. G-d winks at us so often – trying to catch our attention – trying to encourage us to see what He has so clearly designed to show us – – – why Christ followers are so tied to the Abraham followers. Two groups of people tied by two Passovers.

Sometimes when I am writing these things, my stomach and head begin to hurt. Separating tangled strands in my mind is not always easy for me. Clarity elusive. But just when I’m ready to slam the laptop closed and delete it all, a fleeting picture forms in my mind that takes me one step further, and I sigh under my breath, ‘How did I miss that?” I push open that narrow gate, whisper a prayer and take one more step forward.

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”~Rv 4:8b [google images]