Tag Archives: 1 Kings

VISION 2020: Quiet Time

Lately, I have noticed that noise filters through almost every minute of my existence. From the moment I open my eyes to pulling the covers up over my head at night, there is some kind of sound drifting into my ears. The constant pulsations of TV, radio, social media, podcasts, music, furnaces, dishwashers – even the once silent rooms of any library of our society are humming with sound.
Not sure why this aspect of life has started to bother me, but it has. I’ve also found, that old habits are hard to break.
“Quiet is the think tank of the soul.” Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist
As I considered this quote over the last few days, I thought about all the “Quiet Times” of my life. What made them so special that even decades later, the clarity of the experience is overwhelming? The emotions – the images – the thoughts are imprinted deeply and I would not trade them for all the noise that surrounds me on a daily basis.
I miss my “Quiet Time”.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” 1 Kg 19:11-12
Old habits are hard to break. When did noise have to start as soon as I wake up? Why do I think I need it to fall asleep? Why does a quieter version in the form of soft music fill my small library at school?
Today, I shut the music down in my library. I wanted to remember what it was like to work in silence. Long ago when I was a page for my hometown library, the nosiest thing I remember was the sound of a fan on a muggy, hot summer afternoon. The rustling of newspapers by the senior citizens who came in every day to read them. Students slumped at the round tables scattered throughout the narrow room, turning the pages of their notebooks or books (or passing notes back and forth),
When the head librarian whispered, everyone heard her, stopped what they were doing and paid attention.
That was the AWE of the “Quiet Time” being broken.
I think that is what has bothered me. It is harder to hear as we age. Noises side-track us, and we miss the small voice or certain pitches amid all the other sounds. The loud raucous noises in this physical world have gotten to the point that the windstorms of sound blast our ears; the earthquakes vibrate under our feet, and we stumble into pits of endless, repetitive auditory nonsense until the fire threatens to eradicate our hearing altogether.
The Whisper.
Sadly – we often miss His whisper. That gentle, soft voice that comes in the “Quiet Times” of our lives. The times when we shut the noise of the world away and open the door where harmony awaits.
Tonight, I shut off the TV, the music, the man-made chaos and went outside to check in with My Father. The peeper frogs were singing in the rain, and an animal was scuttling somewhere in the woods. It was not silent, but it was His creations that were making noise – and somehow – it was still a “Quiet Time”.
A “Quiet Time” in His presence amid all He had created. And it was good, because He waiting for me – just like He said He would – just like He always does. The dogs sat by my side in the rain, as we talked. Even the old girl, who hates getting wet, nudged the side of my leg as she wiped her head on my leggings.
I think I’m going to try to extend these “Quiet Times” into even more of my day … and night.

“The LORD is near …” Ps 145:18

“Make sure of that one fact, that my everlasting Father takes care of the hairs of my head; that my heavenly Father watches over me with a love that never falters and with a patience that is never exhausted.”~Rev Dr John Cummings, 1807-1881

friends-zoom                [Greg Olsen artwork]


“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth,….Enlighten the people, and tyranny of the mind and body will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”~John Jakes

The above quote was written in the front of one of my old journals from 1989. Hard to believe that 30 years ago (officially on August 29), these kidlets were starting their first day at school in our new home right in the middle of Covenant Woods. Even though we were homeschooling that year, we took the first-day-of-school pictures, but somehow over the intervening decades – all of those originals disappeared into projects or frames that traveled into the kidlets’ new worlds. So I substituted pictures from a few months earlier and later. Actually, this probably was more indicative of our days anyway.

Miss that table and the Light that shined in through all those windows and into our hearts.

The fun part? I kept a daily journal of our activities. Of course, as the year progressed, the writing got shorter and shorter, and by February – – – what can I say? I was way too busy having fun teaching them and loving every second of it, than to spend time writing it down. It was a special time in my life as I watch these precious souls given to my care begin to read, write, figure, absorb new things and pray together as we started and ended the day.

I had forgotten how much we did. Our school was full of Bible, art, theatre productions (that I wrote and directed) at various churches and schools, Loudonville/Mansfield library times, music lessons, Roscoe/Zoar Village, Cols/Clve Zoo, COSI, Kingwood Center trips, excursions into Mohican State Park, canoe rides and state-of-the-art computer education (You can remember what computers looked like in 1989, right? Radio Shack, go.)

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.”~1 Kg 8:23

30 years later, life is j-u-s-t a little quieter. Still a chocolate lab at my feet, but the home is different. The state is different. Even the energy level is different. What can I say? The kidlets are grown. And that kitchen island and time spent there? Just a very special treasure chest memory.

Sarah Young wrote a devotional back in 2004. I pulled it out earlier this year meaning to spend my year re-reading it. However, life sometimes gets in the way, and with all the emotional craziness of the past couple of months, I haven’t even gone back to sit at my desk until today. So when my neighbor gave me a desk chair, I took a minute and sat down. It is then I saw the 1989 journal, photo album and this tiny devotional book..

“Wait with Me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.”~Sarah Young, Aug 22

God winked. I blinked.

I love how He works. For whatever reason, I was meant to see this 2 paragraph devotion tonight.  Meant to pull out that old 1989 journal. Meant to re-watch the movie, Invincible. Meant to cry a little. Meant to laugh at all the energy and love that went into that year. Meant to observe all the changes that have occurred. Meant to absorb all the wisdom garnered. Meant to remember the One who never leaves or forsakes.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”~Gal 5:22

30 years brings changes. Some of them, make one smile. Some of them – – – not so much – – – not so much at all. But it is the wisdom – the love – the passion – the Grace and Light of the One who places His rock under the feet and shelters the injured under His wings that carries us through the decades when we continue to seek His face.

“Stay on the path of Life with Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.”~Sarah Young-August 22. 

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Ok – here it is – another “Fat Tuesday” – another Mardi Gras – another Shrove Tuesday – and I have yet to find Paczkis in NC. Oh – I could travel 50 miles and find some, but that isn’t really my idea of fun. Surely somewhere within a smaller circle of miles there must be a Polish baker who understands my pain. My former principal certainly doesn’t. She sent me a taunting text last night, and I cried myself to sleep…dreaming of those gut-busting, delicious doughnuts.

So instead – I went and picked up the Grandson, spread my metaphorical mantle over the both of us and rejoiced in his hugs and curious nature. (I’m not quite sure what I will do when he decides to be too big to hug on Grandma all the time. His sister is almost there and it is not easy on the Grandma – sigh)

I tend to think this was a much better way to spend “Fat Tuesday” since ingesting multiple varieties of ol’ Paczkis (can’t say that word anyway) would lead to me having to find a much larger mantle to cover the expanding gut. Soooo – as he curled into my lap (while eating mac ‘n cheese), we read a Pete the Cat book AND solved the major problem of all board games. We figured out that if one dice does not give you the number you want in a board game, there is another cube hidden deep in a drawer that may just be the lucky one you need.

“Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah.”~1 Kg 19:19-20

Today, I was reading about the passing of mantles in the Bible world. A mantle was more than just a physical covering that enfolded the prophet or rabbi’s shoulders. It was the spiritual calling, the anointing of God’s blessing and covering presence upon that individual for the Ivrim (Hebrews) and later for the world.

Moshe, as he ascended the mountain for the last time, laid his hands and his mantle upon Joshua. When Elijah dropped his mantle to the ground as the chariot of fire came and whisked him away to heaven, his disciple, Elisha, reached down and picked it up, The spirit of Elijah – the spirit of Elohim came upon him. Each leader – each prophet – each rabbi – passed on his mantle.

[Elisha] took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”~2 Kg 2:14

When Yeshua entered into the Jordan to be baptized, John passed the mantle just as his ancestors had done. And just as before, the Spirit of the Father descended and covered the man who had chosen to pick it up and carry it forward. But this is where it changes. The mantle Rabbi Yeshua carried could never be carried by just one man ever again. Instead, when He laid down His mantle, the Holy Spirit of God enveloped all who choose to pick up the mantle. We celebrate this day by calling it Pentecost, but in truth, whenever one God’s children chooses to pick up the mantle, to be born-again, the Spirit of God is present as well.

“And during the arriving of the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came out of heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them dividing tongues as of fire and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit was giving to them to utter forth.”~Acts 2:1-4

“Shrove Tuesday” – “Fat Tuesday” – Mardi Gras – however you want to refer to it – was all about spreading my own cozy mantle. Spreading the mantle instead of the girth of my belly. I guess, I’m not ready to lay down my mantle yet. He keeps tell me there are some more rabbi days left in me and most of the time – I tend to believe Him. I just wish he would be a clearer on the specifics of it all. Looking at the backside of a tapestry is a puzzle my brain doesn’t always decipher well.

In any case, day-by-day, I’m definitely spreading my own mantle out over the shoulders of those around me – physically and metaphorically. FB, blogs and Goggle docs keep me writing, editing and teaching in more ways than the traditional classroom allows, and I am enjoying it. I’m also enjoying cuddling under my mantle with the Grands – even techno cuddling via FB with my MI Grands. The blessings of His Mantle never fails.


Jan 28 2016aWHOA!!



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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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


img956It seems impossible to believe that one of my daughters is a teacher and now has a full schedule of classes of teenage faces looking to her for guidance.  Guidance in education.  Guidance in their peer groups.  Guidance in life.  She is a “teacher-woman”.  She has also become her worst fear – she has become her mother.

As I look at some of the pictures of her that hang on our livingroom wall, my mind img042drifts back. It seems like last week that her little face was looking back at me from our kitchen island where she learned to read.  Or an older version of that same face gazing at me from a desk in the middle of a junior high row, surrounded by her own set of peers. img041How is it even possible that she has become a leader in her own right? She is my baby girl.  My Littlest.  And yet – there she is.  A newer version of that same face – sadly for me – several states away.  She is totally out of the nest and seeking wisdom as her own version of a “teacher-woman”.

I am humbled.

Impossible things happen every day. It’s life. We “see” it happening,1978 but somehow – the miracle of the “happening” doesn’t register until the sun comes up some years later. The moon cast its pale light so many times that we lost track. The seasons rolled around and “suddenly” we open our eyes one morning and realize that time has escaped our notice, and we are left wondering just how that happened. Wasn’t I just teaching at OSU’s Campbell Hall nursery school?

This morning, I went down to the local gym, and stretched my knees. Watched the river flow for a few minutes and heard the birds chatter back and forth. Fussed in the garden and got buzzed by a couple of hummingbirds bickering over the feeder. Browsed through the paper and broke my night’s fast. Turned on the computer and read a few statuses and articles. Read two chapters of an old paperbook friend and thought about the start of school for me on Thursday. Then the impossible struck again – how can it be, that after 64 years, I still “see” the world through the school calendar lens?


The impossible becomes possible. God reaches out. “Teacher-people” appear. we hear His whisper and not His roar. (1 Kg 19:12b)

Just like all the nations around the world that are hurting right now, history teaches us that Israel had her shares of trouble.  Once upon a particular time, they had a king named Ahab.  He was not a righteous king who worshipped God in his heart.  He was not content to just ignore God by not traveling and worshiping in Jerusalem.  He decided to push the envelop. He married Jezebel and began to worship another God entirely.

That old adage comes to mind, “As the leader goes – so goes the country.”

So God did what He does best. He reached out and sent a “teacher-man”. Just one man in the line of many that God sent to His people. His name was Elijah. Elijah was a “teacher-man”. He did a little more than teach, but teach he did.  A “teacher-man” that saw no limits on what God could do.  A “teacher-man” that had faith that the “impossible” was “possible” with God in his life. Course Elijah wasn’t perfect, he did get a little scared of Jezebel for a while. Eventually though, he managed to turn on his spiritual ears, amped up his faith and got busy doing God’s work.

We don’t know how Elijah became a “teacher-man”. We don’t know what qualified him to hold that position – but there he was.  Was he a scholar?  A rabbi?Whatever he was, he was the right man — for the right job — at just the right time — a “right”eous man. That is the way God works. Creating the possible through the impossible. As the “teacher-man”, he asked a simple question, “How long will you waver between two opinions?” ( 1 Kg 18:21).

Sound familiar?

“There is no servant who can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will honor the one and he will neglect the other…” Lk 16:13

The school calendar on this earthly plane has started. Parents are buying supplies. Kids are getting excited about who will be in their class. “Teacher-people” are planning. But if we open our eyes, we may see that school has started for all of us – for all of God’s children – for the whole world. God is doing what he does best. He is loving His children. “Teacher-people” are speaking to those who have ears to listen. They are speaking to the “impossibles” in our lives. They are speaking to those situations where we are torn between our “masters” – between our “choices” – between the just and the un-just. Individually. Physically. Nationally. Spiritually. Worldly.

As a “teacher-woman” , I guess I am stuck seeing the world through a school calendar lens. Praying and having faith that my spiritual eyes are open.  Praying and having faith that my spiritual ears are listening. Praying and having faith that “impossible” is  “possible” to those who believe in God.


Rabbi Yeshua.

“Teacher-people” that still teach us to pray and have faith.

“…for the power of the prayer which a righteous person prays is great.” James 5:16bme 1978