Tag Archives: treasure chest memories

VISION 2020: Sabbath

The house is a maze of throw rugs. Wood floors peeking out in between them. Rugs spaced just far enough apart that a certain four-legged, beloved lab girl feels more secure as she walks from one end of the house to the other. Truth be told, she mostly wanders just one side of the house during the day, but at night she wants to amble back to the other side to protect me and her kid sister. The good news – I’m tickled pink to have her wandering again and praising My Father for her stubborn heart.

Four days ago, the old dog seemed to be ready to leave. I’ve been around the block a time or two with old dogs. I recognize the signs. They don’t eat or drink. Their breathing changes. Their eyes change – as if they are looking beyond what’s in front of them. So because I didn’t want her to be alone, I slept on the floor – with her on one side and kid sister on the other. (Hard to believe that as a kid I used to find sleeping on the floor a treat.)

The great news – she is still here and showing some signs of her old ornery self. Still a little hard for her to get up. Still a little unsteady on her feet. But those big eyes are wide open and checking every morsel that I put in my mouth. Can anything be better than having those big puppy dog eyes watching every move of the spoon? I think not.

“I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” Jn 16:32

Rather hectic days lead this simple soul, to enjoying a true Sabbath. I didn’t do much. Didn’t go to the gym. Didn’t work on much of anything except to move a few piles or sticks and rocks. Washed a couple of blankets and hung them on the back deck to dry. Knitted a few rows of a prayer shawl. Read some devotionals. Walked the dogs. Worked a cryptogram. Laughed when the old lab girl wanted to come with me, carrying her ball and trying to keep it from her kid sister. Sat on the patio swing. Listened to sounds echo through the woods – all the while hoping that the smelly remnant of a skunk was exactly that – a remnant and not a warning of its presence.

GOD is good, all the time.

At some point, I fell asleep with the windows open and the sun shining through them. The rabbi I had been watching on YouTube had turned into a video of Akiane Kramarik. It had been awhile since I had watched one of her videos, so I watched a few more. If you don’t remember – she is the art prodigy that started her career at the age of four. Not only that – she led her family to faith in GOD.

“Heavenly music is always gentle. I can’t tell you how different it is from what you hear on earth! It feels like joy, it looks like love, smells like flowers and dances like butterflies. Music there is alive! You can even taste it.” Akiane Kramarik

Treasure chest memories were everywhere today. One of the videos showed Akiane milking goats – a goat that looked just exactly like our first goat, Ami. Then as I folded the blankets off the back deck, I buried my nose in them. My childhood and OH homes all had clotheslines. What is it about hanging clothes outside to dry that makes them smell so good?

This Sabbath was blessed in too many ways to count. Eldest son’s birthday. Old lab finding her way back to me. Carolina warmth and sun. Treasure chest memories. Kitty curled on my lap. God’s presence drifting over every second of this Sabbath. Just glad my eyes, ears, heart and soul were open to all He has done on this holy day.

Our Father’s promises always lead to Joy.

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Is 58:13-14 

CHRISTMAS: TREASURE CHEST MEMORIES (8 Days and Counting)

I love, love, love making things at Christmas. It seems that decorations made with a little love and time make the beautiful even more beautiful. A little glitter. A little help from Youtube. A couple little hands touching a couple big hands. A little creativity… and the world just shines just a little brighter.
 
The Grands were over for our Sunday morning gathering. We colored. We glittered. We laughed. We cuddled. We pulled out the two remaining German stars that my mother’s sister made when I was their age and hung them on our tiny tree. Then – we made our own German star. The oldest Grand persevered through all the intricacies of folding and had the biggest smile as she carried her star to the car. Littlest Grand had the biggest smile on his face as he cuddled in the chair next to me and told me he had just read the instructions on the printer, so it was ready to print his own creation. He also noted that he and his sister used to be able to sit in this chair with me and now it was crowded with just the two of us. (My heart ached a little with this tidbit of wisdom.)
 
Treasure chest memories…“‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things…”~Lk 16:25a
 
It is the same with writing Christmas cards. As time consuming as it is, it is something I love to do, and something I like to get. I love when my former students send me pictures of their families. I love hearing from my childhood buddies, family members, and teaching peers. I love, love, love getting a card from the few elders that remain in my life. Although I have to admit, part of it is the memory of my mom working late into the night as she wrote letters with her Christmas cards. She did this after working a long day and putting up with me. Then together we would hang all the cards around our living room.
 
Treasured memories…“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”~Lk 2:19
 
A few weeks ago I was over at my daughter’s home and saw my doll collection. Before I became an obnoxious teen, it seemed like every Christmas brought a new doll from some part of the world where my mother’s brothers were stationed for awhile. After struggling to write thank you notes, I remember just touching each doll over and over – wishing I could see where they lived and wondering what it was like…and most of all….really wishing mom would let me play with them instead of just look at them. Even now, as I held and looked at them, I remember my aunts and uncles and love the memories they added to my life.
 
Memories beyond worth…“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…”~Phil 1:3-5
 
Which I guess is the point. Christmas brings many gifts beyond presents under the tree – and yet – if you look – they all point toward the Father who used a little creativity, a little glitter, a bunch of love and sent a present from where He is “stationed” into the hearts of those who are ready. He reached His encompassing hands around our dirty hands and let His grace and mercy “glorious impossible” clean them.
 

Treasure chest memories gleaming like a paper star that points to a babe lying in a manger… “For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him” ~Matt 2:1-2 

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