Tag Archives: Jacob

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #1

Yesterday, I got to play with the Grands, see the daughter and her family begin their “trick-or-treat”evening, but as great as all of that was – a little bit of heaven was waiting for me at home. Yupper – heaven. Heaven – in the form of a walk-in tub.

“The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.”~Ecc 7:8

After one year and 10 months of waiting, our master bath is complete. When you buy a fixer-upper modular on a woody, couple of acres with lots iron-rich water, things tend to move slowly. Over these past few months, I have reminded myself over and over and over that I really need to be thankful. After all – Sarah waited 90 years for a baby; Jacob waited 7 years for Rachel and then worked an addition 7 years after that; the Jewish people waited 40 years for the Promise Land, and all though it never says how long the wait was/is in the Bible – the Father of Prodigals waited and continues to wait for his offspring to return that they might feast together.

“Maxima enim, patientia virtus” – – in other words – – patience is the greatest virtue.

I really need to write that Latin phrase on my War Room door. It might have helped the time fly a little faster when that walk-in tub arrived in late August. Have you ever had a bathtub decorate your living room for 2 months? I will tell you that the kitten found it to be a great hiding place – not to mention all the dog hair that accumulated underneath it.

Thanks to our handy neighbors who pulled and replaced the water pump, made multiple trips under the house and to the store, fussed with the water pressure time and time again, replaced and enlarged the water filters, finally- cut holes in the wall and re-wired a few things to make it safer – the walk-in tub now works perfectly.

“You also must be patient. Keep your hopes high, for the day of the Lord’s coming is near.”~Jm 5:8

Last night as I tried out the tub for the first time, my achy knees felt like there was a piece of heaven on earth, and I was beyond thankful. Thankful for all the blessings that have allowed us to be on this adventure. It also made me spend a lot of time praying for others who aren’t so blessed. Soldiers fighting in far away lands. Homeless individuals standing at stop signs. Children without warm clothes. Spouses sleeping in plastic hospital chairs. Deeper darknesses that tear at the edges of our society, threatening to fray the whole fabric to its breaking point.

Blessings come in many shapes and sizes. They wrap around me everyday, and sad to say, most of the time I take them for granted – if I even notice them at all. But if I don’t acknowledge them, I miss out on the awesome gift that is buried inside each and everyone of them – the Love of a Father who waits patiently is in its heart.

So it seems only fitting on this first day of this month that holds a couple of national holidays to express our thankfulness, that I write how thankful I am for this little bit of heaven on earth. Thankful for the day that the shofar will blow across the world. Thankful for so much more than a walk-in tub, but I have to admit – the walk-in tub is a great place to start.

3 if 7:HOPE

gettysburg10One of the hardest things for me to teach in English was grammar. For most students, it is tedious, boring and a “When-will-I-ever-use-this-so-why-do-I-have-to-know-it” exercise. I understand that thought process. In Mrs. Swartzwalter’s 8th grade English class, I was thinking approximately the same thing – especially when we started diagramming sentences. But the more we did it, the more it suddenly began to make sense. Parts of speech began to organize themselves in my brain and the visual pictures of diagraming started sub-sets of categories that served as an invaluable resouce when I became a teacher.

Hope can be a noun or a verb. A person, place or thing or an action. Needless to say, because it has been used so often down through the ages, forms of it have also branched off into the adjective [hopful] and adverb [hopfully] forms as well. I can only HOPE this makes sense.

Moses HOPED to see the promised land. Jacob HOPED to reunite with Esau. David HOPED to build a temple. Zarcharias HOPED to have a child. Simeon and Anna HOPED to meet the saviour before they died. A woman HOPED to be healed. Jesus HOPED that He would not have to drink from the cup. We all have HOPES, dreams, aspirations. We all trust at some point in time that our aspirations or dreams will come to fruition in our life times..

“…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.…” Rom 8:24b-25

In the Bible, HOPE is more a verb than anything else. It is not a passive wish. It is not idle. It is not just sitting in our living room, watching TV, waiting for it to arrive in our lives. It is not an escape from reality. If our HOPE is Biblical, it is based on the trust that all God’s promises will be fullfilled. That kind of HOPE directs our paths into action – how we see ourselves – what values we hold – what we do with our time and gifts. Hope is active.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me. ~ Emily Dickinson, 1861light-hope_00332387

2 of 7: Hope

light-hope_00332387Wasn’t it just Halloween? Suddenly, we’re a whole month past that – past the days of gratitude and into the shortest, darkest days of the year. Just how did that happen? That old adage of “time flies” certainly seems appropriate these days. Wake up in the morning, do half of what was on the day’s list, and before you know it, the yawns signal that it is time for sleep again. Time is hastening by at speeds unknown on this side of heaven. I feel very small at times like these.

“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant…” Gen 32:10a

It is times like these I understand the word, “humble”. The first Hebrew word in the Bible verse above is “katonti”. It literally means “I am small”, Jacob said these words as he was returning home to re-unite with Esau after 22 years. It was a time of thanksgiving for Jacob. He was hoping for a thanksgiving dinner – a time with the family being all together. I wonder if time seemed like it was flying by for him as well?

During those dark days of travel, Jacob had hope. Hope that his brother had forgiven him. Hope that his gifts would be recieved well. Hope that the family would be together once more. It was the light that filteed through the darkness, lit the path, so that he could keep his feet on the road. Hope.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 Jn 5:14-15

We have Jacob’s hope living in us today. Hope filtering through these dark days in the form of a promise. Hope that our “Brother” will know our name when we walk before our “Father”. Hope that our gifts are recieved well. Hope that there will be a Thanksgiving dinner. Hope that the family will be together once more. This is what the first week of Advent is all about. The 1st of 7 days to concentrate our hope until it forms a point of the Christmas Star.16-shoot-of-jesse2

Awesome Day

What an awesome day. Tortoise back in the driveway (completely mud covered)…dogs to lake (completely wet and yappy)…watered my gardens (completely blossoming)….teeth cleaned (completely healthy)…found”Fred’s” subs (completely needed)…thunder storm (completely loud and raging)…finished a book (completely cover to cover)…played ball with dogs (completely tail-wagging and panting)…and now Pillow Talk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson (completely hokey, sappy and wonderful). As the old song goes…”I think I like it here”.

Albert Einstein once observed, “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”

Einstein was pretty wise. We walk through this world making decisions every minute of every hour of every day of every year not realizing how even the smallest decision changes the course of our life, the lives of those around us, and in turn, our county, state, nation, world…even though we may never see how one tiny decision does any of that. Quite a heavy responsibility, huh?

Andy Andrews in his book, The Noticer, described wisdom as “…the ability to see into the future, the consequences of your choices in the present.” I like that definition. Chess is like that My husband will tell you I really stink at that game. It’s true. I can see the consequences of my moves, but the idea of applying a strategy does me in every time. I like to do it my way (which doesn’t always work out well – especially in chess).  Same with Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk.  He makes the decision to lie to Doris Day who just happens to be the girl that his best friend likes (been there – done that), and the consequences start to tally up.  Lucky for Rock, this is a romantic 50’s romantic comedy.  He still gets the girl AND keeps his best friend.  I can tell you from experience, that this doesn’t always happen in real life.

In Genesis 26, Esau and Jacob were twins, born to a 60 year old father and mother (ugh – can’t imagine wanting to start raising babies at my age). Esau born first, followed by baby brother who was always holding on to his coat tails (kinda) caused all sorts of problems. The decisions that those family members made continue to vibrate even into our world today. Watch the news. Jewish teenagers kidnapped. Peace talks falling apart. Shells exploding into buildings. Children left on a border. Rapes, murders, wars, etc, etc, etc.

We tend to think our decisions are ours and ours alone. Einstein and Andrews disagreed. God disagrees. From Genesis to Revelations, He impresses upon us, in story after story, people making everyday decisions, and the consequences of those individual decisions.upon the family members, the nation and the world. Through it all, He is the constant. Over and over, he repeats, “Do not be afraid…” Time after time, He establishes a covenant between us and Him. Ever and ever. Repeating: Love, Grace and Mercy.

Today was one of those days when I could reflect back on not being very wise at times…of times making fairly wise choices…and times when I needed His Grace, His Mercy and – most of all – His love. All in all – an awesome day spent in His presence. awesome god