Tag Archives: Madeleine L’Engle

FOR SOME REASON

Tomorrow, the “shop” will be started – again.

Tomorrow, the tree crew will be here to start widening the distance from our home to the woods around us.

For some reason – it is all – finally – coming together.

We thought all of this would done by now. We actually thought we started this process three weeks ago. Land leveled. Permits in hand. Inspections done. Materials bought and sitting in the trailer. But for some reason – the answer was “Nope” – “Nada” – “Not happenin’ “!

Although, Hubby isn’t as calm as I am about it, we really have quit questioning timing issues or even questioning when we have to throw out our entire set of plans and consider something completely different. We did it last year when we thought we were building a house and ended up buying a fixer-upper. We did it again and again and again this year as we worked on this house.

Our timing is not always the perfect timing. Our plans not always the perfect plans. Funny thing – when we back up and open our eyes a little wider, we suddenly begin to see the flaws of our plans and our timing.

It was rainy and windy the past few weeks. Not ideal weather for building or taking down trees. The new plans are – while not as fancy as we thought we wanted – they are more economical and just as practical. The land – that we thought was perfect enough – is even better now.

I’ve talked about this before, but for some reason, I feel pushed to talk about it a little more tonight. Madeleine L’Engle grew up with a father who had serious health issues from WWI. Often as a child, she would pray, “Dear God, do whatever is best for Father, do whatever is best.”

For some reason, this prayer struck a chord in me. It’s childish simplicity resonated initially on one level, but reverberated deeper and deeper into the depths of my seeking soul. I tend to think it has something to do with Matthew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

For some reason – this prayer has made it into my daily war room action, and before I close my eyes at night, it is one of the last prayers on my lips.

“Do what is best, G-d, do what is best.” For our land. For our home. For our friends and family. For our country. For our world.

Tomorrow – the tree guys will begin the process of removing trees.

Tomorrow – a new building will be erected.

Tomorrow – for some reason – must be the perfect time with the perfect plans – – – at least we are praying that is so. [google images]

Advertisements

ROOTS 2017

Tonight –

I am tired –

Tired of the hate memes –

Tired of the raised fists –

Tired of distorted ‘truths’ –

Tired of the political nonsense –

Tired of rampant disrespect –

Tired of the anger side-winding close to those I love –

Tired of disease decimating my friends, family, community –

Tired –
Tired –
Tired –
and then –
I went searching into the WORD. It is what I do when the twisting snake of this world raises its head once again in my tent, and my tears refuse to stop.

“But if a man will say, “I love God”, and he hates his brother, he is lying; for he who does not love his brother who is visible, how is it possible for him to love God who is invisible? And we have received this commandment from him: “Everyone who loves God shall love his brother also”.~1 Jn 4:20-21

Those two trees that stood in a perfect garden so long ago, still stand within the garden tent of myself tonight. I stand under their lofty limbs, looking up, shaking my head, wondering: ‘How do I ever choose?”

Like the “reality” game shows, do I listen to the snake of the clamoring crowd – cheering me forward to their choices? I swivel my head back and forth – back and forth – back and forth. Do I trust the loudest voice to guide me? Do I pick the fruit based on the color, the taste, the aroma that is perceived to be perfect in this world full of knowledge, training and acceptance?

Or – – –
Tired as I am – – –
Do I fall on my knees, scrape through the hard, rocky surface of my tent, fingers torn and bruised, as I struggle to loosen the surface enough to uncover and bury my nose in the roots of He who Loves and creates all tents? Tents all over the world – in all worlds. Tents that He wants to enter to bless and enhance the essence that resides there.

Roots.
Deep.
Strong.
Nurturing.
Grounded.
Roots.

My eyes are still heavy tonight. My tent buffeted and torn from the winds of this world. I sit upon the roots a little longer. Letting my fingers trace their woody paths. Soaking in their fortitude and nourishing ridges. Limbs curling around me to dry my tears. Unbidden, the prayers begin to circle: “Dear God, do whatever is best for this world, whatever is best for this world.”

Over and over. Over and over. Over and over.

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”~1 Cor 16:13-14  

[google image]10436363-the-silhouette-of-a-girl-with-root-stock-vector-tree-roots-silhouette

BITTERSWEET

“Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. “
 
A little shrimp.
A little cheese and chips.
A little crown and pepsi.
A little grilled mushrooms with cheese to share with a neighbor and his daughter who stopped by to wish us a “Happy, happy” and hugs.
A little sparkling wine – at almost the same time we said our vows – to toast the start to the 37th year of life in our journey together.
 
“To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom;…”
 
This is one of my bittersweet days. Initially, I thought I went out of my way to plan it that way – yet – the more I learn about Our Father – the more I realized that it wasn’t me at all – I’ve never been that wise. It was just one of those times, I actually had my spiritual ears set to high volume because in those days I was just learning to listen and was more often than not – deaf to His ways. Thus, one of the saddest days in my earth journey became one of the happiest days as well.
 
Bittersweet.
 
“…rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation.”
 
35 years doesn’t seem to cover much time when you are on this side of the 36. Back then – when the longest relationship I had ever had was 4 years with breaks here and there – I wasn’t sure I could make a commitment like my parents had.
 
You see. . .10 years prior to January 9, 1981, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary on January 8, 1971. It was a Friday night, and I had just called home for my weekly check-in. It wasn’t their real anniversary which was in June, but a God-wink blessing brought the celebration to them anyway.
A little champagne.
A little shrimp.
A little crown and coke.
A little toast with family and friends.
Dad died Saturday morning while I watched a Barbra Streisand movie in the dollar theatre at OSU.
 
“It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”~Madeleine L’Engle, “The Irrational Season”
 
A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
A common phone in a rooming house.
A tear-filled voice of my mother – then my aunt.
A friend who lifted me through each step of the journey home and hugs through the days that followed.
 
“Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.”~Prov 4:23
 
Bittersweet.
 
As it turns out, God had a plan – and go to find out – it was designed just for me. Crazy, huh? Parental Grandparents who got married on January 8, 1905 was a blip in that plan. The death of a daddy’s girl’s father, a much larger blip in the scheme of things. A whisper of vows at a friend’s Christmas re-marriage – another small blip.
 
All-in-all – Bittersweet.
 
It has been a good day. A day to renew my heart at the break of dawn and the sparkle of star light on a frosty night.
A day to look back.
A day to look forward.
A day to celebrate.
A day of love.
A day to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving.
 
A Bittersweet day of a tender heart.
 
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”~Ez 36:26

GOLDEN CALVES 2017

“Alas, institutions often become idolatrous in their efforts to protect and preserve themselves. Institutions do not like being vulnerable.”~Madeleine L’Engle “Penguins & Golden Calves

Just an interesting thought on this 3rd day of January 2017. Pondering all the institutions that surround us in our daily walk and potential institutions as AI looms closer. Google that silently waits, listens, records (?) for the voice to call out a search command. Political parties that continually seek ways to destroy other political parties. Business, church, banking, technology, sameness…the list is endless. L’Engle compared it to the religious institution that killed a man named Rabbi Yeshua who threatened the status quo.

Institutions are comforting. Humans like them because they tend make everyday life easier. After all – paving new roads is, generally, hard work. But – Institutions are driven by people – some seeking to help – some seeking power. Man-made institutions. Even God-made institutions – headed up by people – changed – because that’s just what humans do. We build towers. We raise our fists continuously challenging the One who Loves us best – His Son by His side – Grace in His left hand – Blessings in His right – Lighting a path to walk beyond the institutions – Eternal Hope – World without end – Amen and amen.

Always interesting to ponder things you discover in daily devotions.

Jehoshaphat’s prayer: “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”~2 Chron 20:12

#sinissinissin #Godismoving

Advent Hope #5: Lights Up

 ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”~Jn 1:5

Our quirky little house sits on the corner in our neighborhood. When I think of it, I still have to chuckle now and then because Hubby swore he would never live on a corner lot or in a modular for that matter. LOL – Mama Mick always said, “Never say never.” So here we are – on a corner lot in a modular.
 
As for me – I grew up on a corner lot in a little town with a wonderful screened-in porch, so this quirky home feels almost perfect to me. Now – – – if I could just convince Santa to bring me a screened-in porch, the quirky house might take a step up from quirky. (Hmmm…I wonder what that would be?)
 
During most of this past year, the trees wrapped us in our own cocoon. This too is like my childhood home. When I was a child, I was lulled to sleep by smell of pines outside my window, and in the summer, I had my choice of maple, walnut, and weeping willow to play beneath. The parents planted privacy hedges along the street sides of our small kingdom. When they were just planted, I was often a magical horse who would jump over them in a never ending steeplechase. As they got taller, I loved the privacy they afforded so I could sunbathe my teenage angst in private and get paid to trim them in the summer.
 
I guess it is the Christmas lights in our little neighborhood that have sent my mind skipping back to those long ago days. Days of caroling, playing carrom in front of the tree with dad, or lying on the floor playing with my horses and Barbies while my big brother’s Lionel train carried them to far away places. Christmas lights are, as my youngest son called them, “Miracles”.
 
With the leaves mostly off the trees, I can see the neighbor’s lights as I clean up the dishes. And now – – – if I look out my front windows, I can see our own lights on the quirky house’s front deck. Maybe next year, I will get inspired to do something to the back deck. But for this year, I am content.
 
The house that was cloaked in darkness last year is now filled with light. While the physical lights we turned on in our home brings light to this little corner of the world, it is the Son’s Light that I am really waiting to see when I look out our windows tonight.
 
#perhapstonight #AdventHope #Isaiah9
 
“Often we stumble along, not knowing where we’re going, but understanding that the journey is worth it because Jesus took it for us, shared it with us. Because the immortal God became mortal, we all share in the immortality as well as the mortality.… To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason.”~Madeleine L’Engle  [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #48

It is late. I’m tired. A front is moving in so my sinuses are complaining. But – – – it has been a productive day – and it was good.

Pulling out an old recipe to make a Grandma Mickey cake. Fussing with a “new” stove that doesn’t register the correct temperature or time. Laughing at a silly chipmunk who thought “daring” the dogs was a good idea. Taking time to read a few snippets from Madeleine L’Engle’s “Herself”, a book on the craft of writing.
There are many books about the craft of writing. There are few books that talk about “serving the craft” and the “Creator” who inspires our bumbling attempts to serve Him and the gift He has given us.
Today’s Ration is one of those few books that does both as well. This pocket-sized book served its craft during the war years, just as it can still serves us now. It also inspires us to seek the Creator who sustained them during the war years and challenges us to continue to seek Him still.
Great books don’t have to be thick tomes to impart wisdom that can last ages. Sometimes they are just 100 page in small print that can fit in a pocket of a person who has chosen to serve.
And it was a good day.
1942 Daily Rations: Read: St. Mark 12:28-34
‘Thou salt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’~St. Mark 12:30,31
“Many people have recently asked, ‘How can I believe in God with all this cruelty and suffering in the world?’ A keener thinker has said, ‘Had this world crash not come, I must have doubted God.’
“In a newsreel we saw the magnificent Tacoma bridge swaying ad buckling in a high gale. At last the tortured roadway cracked in two and whipped down into Puget Sound like a pair of giant flails. Why?
“The engineers know why. Nothing wrong with the great towers. The powerful cables held, but the sidesway, the tendency of the roadway to ripple under rhythmic beats and wind stress had been miscalculated.
“With biting cleverness Chesterton says: When a fool jumps off a cliff, he doesn’t break the law of gravity; he illustrates it!

“Our civilization had plenty of materials – – – more than any other age – – – but erected contrary to God’s purpose. The crash has cost untellable millions of lives. But what if the crash had not come? Could we still believe in a wise and good God, a God who is not mocked?”