Tag Archives: wisdom

REGENERATION

“By wisdom a house is built;
it is made secure through understanding.
By knowledge its rooms are furnished
with all sorts of expensive and beautiful goods.”~Prov 24:3-4

Seems like a most appropriate verse for this week. Papers to juggle. Deliveries to receive. Workmen to consult. Wish lists compiled. “By wisdom a house is built…” I think we are going to need WISDOM every minute of every day (and probably even as we sleep).The regeneration has begun once again.

Definition of regeneration:  noun re·gen·er·a·tion \ri-ˌje-nə-ˈrā-shən, ˌrē-\

  1. 1:  an act or the process of regenerating :  the state of being regenerated

  2. 2:  spiritual renewal or revival

  3. 3:  renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (as a forest) after injury or as a normal process

  4. 4:  utilization by special devices of heat or other products that would ordinarily be lost

I re-read this verse a few times today. Underlined it. Circled it. Pondered it – and pondered it again. “…it is made secure through understanding…” The WORD is like that. I’ve read this particular chapter many times over the past few years. Mostly, on the 24th day of the month. Did you know there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs? A pretty easy read in a month. Even so – Jehovah Shammah manages to point out something new – – – if my eyes and heart are open.

Today – He did it again. He is seeking to change my inner home as well as my physical abode. {Gotta love the metaphoric language of a good proverb} When you start following “G-d-nudges”, you will find He just “nudges” you more and more.

Somehow re-doing – regenerating –  a physical house seems much easier than re-generating a spiritual home. Like most people, I seem to always find time to do what this world requires and live-in-the-land-of-later for when it comes to my spiritual home. So tonight, after running all afternoon in three different hardware stores, looking at rows and rows of tile, talking to various construction workers and hubby, I collapsed with my Bible in hand and found Prov 24.

God is good. He knew what I needed before I did…KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, DISCERNMENT.

Tonight I walked around the house again. Looking at the color choices. The design outlined in our heads for the kitchen. The tile for the bathroom that sits in the back of the car. “…by knowledge its rooms are furnished…” The physical house is taking shape, and with lots and lots of prayer, so is my spiritual house. Room by room. Piece by piece. I tear out this part and replace it with something more functional and vital to the home I want to create for my LORD to live in with me.

The forced quiet that the snow storm brought to both houses has already started to melt away in the NC warmth. “…with all sorts of expensive and beautiful goods.”   Tomorrow, the frenzy of our chaotic world revs up again. While we will try not to fill our home with too much of the expensive “stuff”, we do hope it will be beautiful. However, we already know that the price paid for our spiritual home is beyond compare and more beautiful than any treasure found on earth.

Just a little more work. Just a little more time. Just a little more trust. Just a little more listening. Just a little more wisdom made secure through understanding. It is truly a regeneration. Blessings!Be!regeneration
[art by Akiane “Regeneration” via google images]

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Wonder

“Without wonder, learning was dead.”  ~ Taylor Caldwell, pp 34, Glory and the Lightning, 1974

Glory and the LightningClassic literature transcends generations.  It is embedded with truths that not only lived during the author’s time frame, but continue to live in each succeeding age. That is how it got its name. The cool thing about classic books?  They give you a tiny window, constructed in an author’s mind, that allows us to peek into the past.  The words.  The themes.  The struggles.  The technology (or the lack thereof).  The family structure.  The society and mores.  Elements of life that come alive once again through the words of an individual who took the time to open the window for the rest of us, and it allows us to wonder.

My husband, kids, and former students will tell you that I wonder a lot.  They will tell you I drive them nuts with questions that they can’t answer. A lot of times, I just wonder.  Sometimes, I’m driven to try to find an answer.  My favorite thing to do in a new locale is to go to historical museums or older areas of the town – longing to find a new window to peer through.  If I’m brave enough and strong enough, I may even open the window I am gazing through, and let the sweet breeze of knowledge filter through my essence and become part of who I am.  Wonder becomes the first step to wisdom.

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Prov 4:7 (NIV)

In college, I thought I knew a lot about the Bible. In fact, I was pretty sure I had a complete handle on it. I had “read” most of it by then (skipping over those really boring “begetting” parts and tedious laws of the OT…after all, what relevance did they have since Christ brought the New Covenant?), had gone to church, Bible school, Sunday school my entire life, and debated it many times with friends and family in my life.  Not much to wonder about in the Bible (or so I thought) since I already “knew” it.  What else was there? So I decided to  take  “Bible as Classic Literature” at The Ohio State University as one of my electives.  Should be an easy class, right?

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.” Prov 4:8 (NIV)

books of wonder

I didn’t realize how huge the window in the Bible really was until that class.  The professor wasn’t a believer.  He taught it merely from the words he “read”.  He didn’t understand Jewish tradition (I didn’t either at that point). He didn’t like discussion that disagreed with his viewpoint. (This is when I learned that sarcasm used by a teacher is not effective – at all) But the Bible he chose to use for the class was wonderful. The particular one I used for this class (with all its notes and highlighting) is long gone; burned in our house fire in 2009.  But the window I opened during that class carried such a sweet breeze that the book still exists in my mind.  The fine, tiny print in black and red. The sound of the  translucent, fragile paper as I turned pages. The corresponding stories listed side-by-side for easy comparison.  My black ink pen bleeding through to the other side of the page. Even so – the window was thrown wide, and I began wondering in earnest.

“She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Prov 4:9 (NIV)

Classic literature makes us wonder, contemplate, hypothesize and dig deep into our inner core.  It challenges our long held beliefs with new ideas and concepts.  Whether we adapt those ideas and concepts as “truths” is our choice – our free will.  It encourages…discourages; lifts up…tears down; opens…closes  windows; in other words, it offers new knowledge and the optional advancement of wisdom.

I still love to wonder and can’t wait to wonder even more when I get to the next phase of  my soul’s journey.  God created us in His image (Gen 1), so it has to be part of His character.  It makes me wonder what kind of debates go on in heaven.  Is wonder what led to Luciel (Lucius, the Fallen One) choosing to follow his own truths instead of God’s truths? Is there a point where wonder becomes destructive in heaven as it has done here on earth?  I wonder as I wonder as I wonder.

wonder

Google images

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Physically Harming a Person

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrev“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”~ Mother Teresa

A few weeks ago, the Grands came and spent their first overnight.  The air mattress took up half of our living room.   Piled high with pillows, blankets, stuffed animals  and an occasional, rather large, choc lab or two jumping into the mix, they played, drew pictures, giggled and laughed until finally…Grandma and Papa gave the thumbs up to the start to “movie night”.  Popcorn crumbs.  Stray pieces of paper.  A cold nose of  a lab pressed into tiny hands.  By 9:30, both were sound asleep and content.  Love danced, much as David did, around our home in a big way.

I love Mother Teresa’s quote for this reason.  Love in the home teaches love for those outside the home.  But as we all know, it is not always easy.  After all, people are different.  Different colors.  Different beliefs.  Different mindsets.  Different everything.  There is not one person that is the exact duplicate of someone else.  Buckeyes falling from a buckeye tree.  To love someone that we totally dislike is…sometimes…lol…most times, one enormous, challenging, overpowering test thrown into our life journey.  To kill – whether it is emotionally, physically, spiritually, verbally – hits all of us at one time or another.

“You shall not murder.” Ex 20:13

the-sixth-commandment-GoodSalt-lwjas0406In the Old Testament, God wrote upon the tablets a pretty simple concept.  Don’t kill anybody physically.  Jewish tradition still looks at in a fairly straight forward way.  Don’t physically harm anyone.  I like to think that these were simple commands because the Jewish people were babies in Faith.  When we are raising babies, we don’t use long complicated stories or sentences to get our point across.  Everything is stated in the simplest terms possible.  “NO!”  “STOP!”  “OK!” “GO” The Jewish people were the first to stand on their faith in Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu. By the time of the New Covenant when Rabbi Yeshua walked this earth, He could already see where we were headed.  There were already many ways to destroy a life.  So He used a more complicated parable to support and expand this radical concept – LOVE, PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES.  loveyourenemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matt 5:43-48

When we watch the news and see all the pain, degradation and mutilation that humans do to each other, we often feel anger and revenge thoughts enter into our sphere.  When a loved one shatters a vow, a trust we have placed in them, those thoughts appear just as strongly.  Yet, thankfully, most of us never resort to a physical murder. We’ve become pretty sophisticated.  We use psychological or emotional “murder” instead.  A FB post full of a few choice words – retaliation (an eye for an eye) – revealing a secret or two.  “Killing” words can be pretty damaging these days.  When I’m hurting I force myself to start looking for positive words instead of concentrating on all the injustice of the world that can be flashed across all our screens in high definition video – or living through a more personal bump in my life road (that feels like I’m watching a high definition video).  I kick my rear end in gear and into the book of Matthew and remind myself about the commandments of the New Covenant or cry as I sing the Psalms in my heart.  The promises that Our Father says over and over reassure me, and I can pray with a healing heart.

Jewish tradition has another neat way of looking at things.  Their Sages have written that as one sleeps, their souls ascend to Heaven.  While they are there, heaven-of-angelsthey record in Heaven’s books all the things that they did during their day.  Then they sign the book.  Traditionally, as practicing Jews say the Shema, (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut 6:4-5,)  they are also thanking God for returning their soul at the start of a new day.

If we all thought we were traveling to Heaven at the end of our day to write about all the things we did or said, would it make a difference? Would it make “Thou Shalt Not Kill” (meaning more than the physical act), more real to us?  Would it make it easier to obey?  I have found that I like thinking about this Jewish tradition. Traveling to Heaven each night, writing my part of the daily human existence in the Book of Life, signing my name at the bottom, and then thanking God when I awake in the morning seems like a fantastic way to start each day of my life.  Wisdom and discernment make the sixth commandment a little easier to obey. Just another choice.

(Google images)

 

10 Book Challenge

Labor Day.  Big party was yesterday at the daughter’s.  Took lots of pictures.  Got my needed hugs and kisses from the Grands.  Today’s plan…dogs to lake…read book…write a little…pray a little more… and just laze around.

Got the first two things started and then made the mistake of checking FB because I had some pictures to share with the daughter.  One of my friends sent a challenge:  “In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me, so I can see your list.”

hopalongI was not tagged – shame on this friend who knew I would love this challenge, but I tagged myself because I loved this idea.   Seeing as how I really didn’t have anything major planned.  Seeing as how the husband was off “laboring” on Labor Day.  Seeing as how books have entirely ruled my life from the time I discovered words on my childhood area rug that said:  Hop-a-Long Cassidy in big white letters (if memory serves, mine was a brown rug – but then again – that is memory for you).  I thought, “This would be a quick and fun thing to do”.   HA!

Hmmmmm….not so quick but definitely a great pursuit for the introspective Jewish month of Elul.  Because – just how do you limit it to 10 books?   I have since thought of at least 5 more books, I should have liked to squeezed into the original “ten”.  Must be Common Core is sinking into my logic – 10 doesn’t necessarily mean 10 – right?  

1. bibleBible (where would my soul be without it?  I read it everyday.  2 chapters of the OT, 5 psalms, 1 chapter of Proverbs, 2 chapters of NT and assorted side tracks into Daniel, Isaiah, etc.)


2. ifjesuscameIf Jesus Came to My House by Joan G. Thomas (1st book I remember reading over and over)

 


3. black like meBlack Like Me by John Howard Griffin (read it in Jr. Hi. and sent me on a quest; took the 1st ever Black Studies classes offered on OSU-Cols campus, read tons more favorites (Malcom X, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, Fredrick Douglas, Langston Hughes…oooh where do I stop???)


4. Edgar Cayce the Sleeping Prophet (found on the self of the Loudonvillecayce Library when I was working there as a page and started me on my own spiritual quest outside of my parents’ faith…and all books by Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Authur Ford, Jane Roberts, etc)

 

whitman
5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Thank you, Mrs. Robinson, for this one, the research paper I wrote on his life and all the poetry books that I devoured after that.)


6. atlasAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and all her books (changed my politics a little more and challenged my faith since she was writing from an atheistic bias)

 


7. Dialogue with the Devil by Taylor Caldwell handed to me by a stranger downloadin the Whitehall Library in Columbus who said I needed to read it (then I preceded to read every book she wrote, including her autobiography Growing Up Tough which I read portions of for our 8th grade autobio unit)

 

akiane8. Akiane Kramarik: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry (Added depth of thought on SOOOOOO many levels)

 


9.blessingsThe Path of Blessing by Rabbi Marcia Prager (continues to add so much depth of thought behind Rabbi Yeshua actions and words, even though she is not Christian, she is His child.  Thanks to my good friend who didn’t tag me for recommending this book)
10. And all classics – Children – Young Adult – Adult (doesn’t matter) – any genre (doesn’t matter) – after all – that is why they are called classics.

It got me thinking about how much reading has meant to me and continues to mean to me.  When my mom developed Macular Degeneration, we got her books on tape via the library.  She had a hard time operating the tape recorder, but she loved listening to me when I would read to her.  I read her newspapers, books, magazines and letters that my kids sent via e-mail.  It would make her laugh or cry or start a discussion that would last in my heart for many years.

Reading is like that.  It builds and elicits memories on so many levels.  Movies that exist in our heads.  New lands to visit.  New time periods to learn details that we never knew from the history books.  Emotions that we had forgotten.  Dreams to seek – as a child – an adult – a senior citizen.  Reading is all that and probably much more than I have remembered.

I love this Jewish month.  It is appropriate that school starts in this month as students start the long road of reading for knowledge, wisdom and discernment.  I love challenges.  I love a book challenge.

Wisdom is supreme:  therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  ”  Prov 4:7

SUPERMAN

“One step forward…two steps back.”

Adages are common in every language. Kernels of truth and common sense wrapped in short, sweet bites that hopefully make it easier to swallow than the longer, more complicated, and/or/sometimes/maybe/painful explanations. It has been an “adage” type of day as I listen to the news and watch the world swirling around me.

“Apply your heart ot instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” Prov 23:12

Swallowing “truth” is not always easy. In fact, if it doesn’t agree with the way we want it to be, we practically have to ram it down our throats with tons of sugary drinks as we try to make it more palatable. And sometimes – we’d rather starve than even pick up our fork. Who do we believe? Which side of the aisle will we sit on? The questions make my head spin, and I wonder if it has always been this way or whether it is just the times we live in right now?

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” Prov 23:23

When I was a child things seemed so logical. After all, I had all the Superman comic books. In the 50’s, most moms were not working yet. Mine was. In the summer, I spent many lunches alone where I sat on a stack of comics piled high on my chair- primarily – Superman (my favorite – btw). Comic books became my companions as I ate whatever mom hurried home to fix before she returned to driving the local dry cleaning truck for the rest of the afternoon. “The never ending battle for TRUTH, justice, and the American way.” engrained itself into my life without any effort on my part whatsoever.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled, with rare and beautiful treasures.” Prov 24:3-4

We spend our lives trying to figure out how to live…what to wear…what to do…who to believe…what path to walk…what adages to follow…who to trust… And because we live in a world such as this, we sometimes only get one step forward before we are forced into two steps back. That is when I cling to the only truth I know exists for sure in this crazy world. A truth that I learned in Bible school during long summers of books and heroes. Better than Superman and better than any adage. A sweet promise that I found easy to swallow…even when it seems at odds with everything our society says is the “bitter truth”. I cling to these words and pray for knowledge, wisdom and discernment for the coming days in a world that seems turned upside down.

“”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn 14:6

For_truth,_justice_and_the_American_way!!!!

Baby Sparrows

I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”Funny baby house sparrow 3

This old hymn has been bouncing around in my head all afternoon…mostly, because a couple of baby sparrows fell-jumped-pushed out of their nest today.

“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.” Ps 84:3

The grands and I had been watching the nest since school let out a few weeks back. We couldn’t see it very well since it was high above our heads – just up under the eves – crammed tightly between the drain spout and wall. However, we could see mommy and daddy bird flying in and baby sparrowsout as the chicks grew older. Soon their little heads were poking up over the rim of the nest, and we could hear them cheeping for more and more tasty morsels. The Grands loved it, and the teacher in me couldn’t resist tying it to a little science lesson here and there.

While it turned out to be a fairly decent science lesson for the Grands, it didn’t turn out so well for the sparrows. Feathers had not completely replaced the downy fuzz. The mechanics of moving wings hadn’t really kicked in yet. 20+ feet is way too far to fall when learning to fly or being pushed out of the nest by a sibling. If that wasn’t bad enough…roaming dogs, cat and hens just don’t understand that baby sparrows really aren’t a tasty morsel of food or a fun toy. sigh.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny, and not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father?” Matt 10:29

Facts of life: Life – death. Suffering – happiness. Righteousness – sin. Illness – health. Heaven – Hell.

Polar opposites surround us everyday. The good news is that Our Father’s love also surrounds us every day. In the things that make us beyond happy, but also – in the things that are too terrible to mention. He knows, He sees, and He loves. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand. After all, we are limited by the four dimensions that we were born to endure in this lifetime. “Things” get broken, but Our Father is not limited by such “things”. Most of the time, our humanness wants to help – change things – put the “birds” back in the nest – fix the brokenness, but because the nest is too high to reach, we often think it is impossible. Lucky for us, God is not limited by those funky little “natural laws” that govern us. Miracles can and do happen.

Today, Mommy and Daddy Bird buzzed our heads and tried to do what they could to locate the lost ones. By the way they were chattering and pecking at each other, they must have been having a very a serious conversation about whose fault it was that two had flown the coop (so to speak). One of the tiny ones didn’t survive the fall for very long. I’m not sure about the other one. It was still hopping along when I left, so who knows? Miracles do happen. The Grands were watching. Mommy and Daddy Bird were watching. Better yet, so was God.

Tomorrow, the Grands and I will probably be looking at the little feathers and talking about the over-sized mouth, the downy fuzz, and comparing it to the few feathers. Just as today, we were talking about the baby bunny that Monkey, their cat, had laid at their doorstep – minus its head. Life goes on.

Life is not easy, but there are lessons to be learned from all of it. Wisdom that lies behind the pain and ugliness. Discernment that will help guide our own future decisions. And the love of the Father who is walking through this mess with us. Sometimes I wonder why He doesn’t just put a stop to all of it, and then I remember – if He controlled everything, we would never be free to learn from all that is happening around us.

Hopefully, when we eventually jump from the nest of this world, our wings will be strong enough to carry us beyond our wildest dreams.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Is 40:31eagle

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

Grandma Mac

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.” Prov 3:1-2

Long ago, children were raised by a village.  Family was all around.  Teachers could be found on every little street, church and school.  Good teachers hold a special place in our memories.  Sometimes those memories swirl around in our head and emerge to remind us of some knowledge that we gained because of that one person.  One of my favorite Grandma Macteachers was Grandma Mac.  There are so many memories of this lady.  Mother 0f 8 and an additional still-born set of twins.  Strong matriarch after her husband died.  Loving Grandma.  There was nothing better than stopping to see her when I was out riding my bike or walking home from school. Her kitchen was full of aromas that never came out of our kitchen at home.  (Mom may have been her daughter, but she never could manage to cook like her mama.)   Homemade noodles, cookie jars full of un-burned sweetness (mom always “overcooked” cookies), chocolate-meringue-topped pies, sauerkraut setting on the back porch with the wine bottles brewing..and on and on and on.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”  Prov 17:6

In those days, we could ride our bikes all around our small town…day into night…at least…until the car horn beeped three times or the fireflies lit our way home.  Parents never worried about what we were doing; they knew that neighbors were always keeping their eyes open for mischief, and I could get spanked from them Grandma Mac retirementas well as mom or dad. Inevitably, there were the stops at Grandma’s house – especially after she got home from working at the Flxi (Flxible Bus Company). If she was not home yet, I would wander around her kitchen garden, sit on the porch and read my favorite book of the day, or explore the old barn behind her house.  To my way of thinking, the 50’s were the perfect time to grow up. Church on Sunday, family gatherings, bike rides, minstrel shows, a library full of books, and endless list of happy times, but at the top of that list was always Grandma Mac.

grandma's panYesterday, my daughter picked strawberries and shared some with us, so today I made shortcake. Grandma taught me her recipe as I stood on a chair by her side….flour, buttermilk, baking powder, butter, sugar and a touch of vanilla.  Sometimes she even patted it with powdered sugar as she put it in the baking dish…golden brown heaven covered with strawberries, homemade ice cream and real whipped creme.  Some of her grandma toolskitchen pictures and  tools remain in my own kitchen, and it makes me smile as I think about her hands holding the same ones that I hold.  Double boiler pan slightly colored on one side from our house fire several years ago, an porcelain funnel, a potato masher.  Simple things but so precious.

Memories bring us close to those who have traveled through this world before us.  They were our first teachers –  our touchstones.  Stones that are handled throughout many generations.  Stones that have been carved by the sharp knives of  knowledge, wisdom, and love.  Stones that are left behind for us to hold and treasure.  Now I have my own Grands, and already, they stand on chairs by my side.  We haven’t made any of  Great-Grandma Mac’s recipes…YET.  But summer looms ahead. and I think there will be a day – or hundreds of days – when we will chose one of her touchstones, carving a little more love into it, and passing on the skills that she passed to me.  And believe it or not, I believe the Grands will be teaching me much more than I am teaching them.

“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”  Luke 10:21me grandma 1954