~~~~~~~~~ "We are here for only a moment, wanderers and sojourners in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace." I Chron. 29:15 NLT

Friday, December 23, 2011

Treasure and Meditate

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you:  he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.'"  Luke 2:10-12.

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:19

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Tuesday evening we went to our grandson's pre-school Christmas program.  It wasn't his first public appearance, but this was in a different church and in front of mostly strangers, rather than the crowd he's used to in his home church.

These "firsts" are really interesting now that I'm the grandmother.  You never know what a kid is really like until they're in front of an audience. Like any bunch of kids, these were a smorgasbord of personalities from the toddlers on up to the five year old preschoolers.

Priming these innocents for a program begins at home, of course.  Since our daughter and husband have four in ages six, four, two, and eight months, we went early (like mid-afternoon) to lend a helping hand in getting the family all pulled together to be there in time.  Actually, Papa and I mostly did a little housekeeping, diapering, making a tomato soup and salad supper,  and then cleaning all that up.

While we were getting supper on the table, Amy laid out goodies on the dining room table for teacher gifts.  I'm not sure of the total number of gifts she had to put together for all the teachers encompassing church and school.   Each of the three olders have a couple of Sunday School teachers, several Wednesday night church teachers because there's a lot of part-time sharing, and the first grader has a couple of teachers in public school.  I'm out of breath just thinking about it!  Amazingly, they got them done without eating all of the M & Ms.

Gone are the days when, with only a couple of kids, Amy baked up dozens of different kinds of cookies.  She's learning the freedom of keeping things simple.  I tell her once all of these babies are in school her time will be more her own again.  From the look of her arched eyebrows I get the distinct impression she doesn't believe me.  Or, perhaps she considers her sanity will be gone by then.  Na,  "you're going to be just fine, dear daughter."

But I digressed.  Back to our grandson's first really public performance.  I didn't think it was very nice that his teacher singled him out to complain that he hadn't talked to her this Fall, but at least she prefaced it with "Derek is soft-spoken," which was an understatement in a kind of flattering way.

Papa and I were wondering if he would be too shy to even walk onstage with the rest of his class.  He looked really snazzy in black slacks, a crisp white shirt, a plaid red, white, and black vest, and red cowboy boots like his daddy always wears (altho' Daddy's aren't red).  Oh, and I don't want to forget that he wore a black tie that peeked out the top of his vest.  He enjoyed the compliments we all gave him before we left home.

He did really well, even singing the "Twelve Days of Christmas," in which a couple of students took their turn with each day--he and a buddy sang the 11th day together.  The song got pretty long, and when he sat down in place I got to thinking that might not be a good sign.  Finally, it was finished and it was announced the boys and some of the girls had to get their angel and shepherd attire on.

I got to wondering why Derek didn't leave the stage with the other little guys.  Finally, one of the teachers noticed it too and escorted him out.  When he didn't return with the other "shepherds," Papa looked at me and said, "bathroom."  I wasn't sure because the teacher had made a point of mentioning Derek's name when she dismissed the boys to get their costumes on.

After that, it kind of fell apart.  I'm assuming Derek refused to dress up like a shepherd 'cause he was dressed to the nines, and he wanted to keep it that way.  The teacher came back with him, and had to pick him up and put him on stage.  He promptly walked to the edge of the stage and sat down.  Teacher put him back up.  He walked to the risers and stepped down to the front row (2 rows ahead of us) and sat down like any other spectator.  He was so deliberate about it all, so serious and "adult" about it, neither laughing or crying.  Maybe in a few days he'll share with me what was going on in that towhead of his.

Through all this, his daddy was trying to get his attention to stay and stand, but Derek wasn't cooperating.  Finally, his older sis, Alana, sat down with him on the front row and tried to talk him into returning to the program.  Not even she could persuade him and finally gave up.  In the meantime his class had finished the song and gotten off stage.

Now, the program was over, the stage empty.  Except for one little four-year-old in red cowboy boots who had finally climbed back up the steps and looked ready for the next number.  He finally came down with coaxing from his oldest AND younger sisters.

When everyone was trying to get Derek to stand with his class, his 2-yr. old sis fussed because she wanted to go up there and sing with him.  She was ready to show him how it was done.  It's going to be interesting next Christmas when she'll also be in pre-school.

The best of this, is that there's one more program to get through--the children's program at church this Sunday evening.  We'll get to watch the three oldest shine.  Last year Derek wasn't about to do anything, not even for his paternal grandmother whose class he was in.  Nothing is going to keep me away from Sunday night's program unless I'm running a fever.  Oops! pretend I didn't say that--don't want to jinx it).

Did I mention that it's so much more fun being a grandparent than a parent?


Monday, December 12, 2011

IF...What then?

I'm going to write this post before I lose my nerve.  It may not be pretty...and if it's not pretty, what then?

What if this post leaves the reader less than hopeful?  It would probably be no worse than what most readers are struggling with this time of year. I still have hope...barely!  Having hope is not something I manufacture out of the lonely recesses of my heart.  Only by the grace of God and His Word, with faith, do I lay claim to hope.

Certainly my faith and hope are, at times, as fragile as a spider's single shimmering thread that trails behind. Having thrown caution to the wind the spider flings itself out into an uncertain space to land on the first thing that stands in its way--another tree, a bush, a fence post, a person.  I've had the experience of walking into one of those sticky strands, admiring the four to six foot span, seeing from where it started and where it landed.  A ton of faith from such a small package.

I wouldn't make a very good spider.  For one thing, I'm too cautious.  I would spend everyday of my short life in the same place, too afraid to venture into the unknown. (Altho' I haven't always been that way).  For another thing, I have an innate fear/hatred of spiders and their webs. If I were one, would I hate myself?  Are humans the only creatures with an ability to hate oneself and express that hate in deplorable and terminal ways?  

One of the advantages of having a cane is that I can wave it back and forth in front of me, wrecking spider webs before I walk into one.  Hopefully, the spider itself will have been diverted by my cane so that I don't have the horror of walking into it face to face, as has happened to me (shivering).  I have repeated dreams of spiders vaulting off ceilings, with me trying to divert them from my bed, too horrified to move and escape the room. I usually wake up before the dreams end, left with the pictures of my dreams and a feeling of dread. There have been occasions where a spider really will drop down in front of my face--what a sense of humor!

On occasion, I've been awakened by my husband because I was moaning in my sleep, when in my dream I was having a terrible time trying to call for help and couldn't scream. I'm sure most of us have experienced that, like the dream when we're falling and wake up with a jerk without ever hitting bottom.  That's what I'm talking about.

So, by now, you're probably wondering what spiderwebs, fear of spiders, and waking from a frightful dream have to do with grace, faith, and hope, and why am I choosing to bring this all up now?

1)  First, does our normal life take a break during this sacred time of year.  In fact, we're in the middle of the bluest time of year when the skies are mostly cloudy and gray.  Life itself can be pretty gray, what with all the colds and flu bugs going around.  No doubt, we need something to remind us of hope, giving us a thread to hang onto.
2)  Aren't the Silver Bells and songs about Sleigh Rides all a publicity stunt for shop-owners  to get their greedy little fingers in our wallets. I'm ashamed to admit those gimmicks worked on me to make a Merry Christmas from consumable or non-consumable litter, and other stuff I thought made others or me happy.

Now, that I'm 65 (gasp, I just gave away my age!), I still try to make others happy because they give me a list of stuff they say will make them happy.  Harrumph!  Just call me Mrs. Scrooge.  If my retirement allows for the extra money needed to buy those items, than I'll be happy to buy and give.  Can any-thing I choose to buy or make out of my small means compete with Smart Phones, Wii's, and iPads, or Ipods?

3)  Perhaps it will be the thoughts and heart of the giver that will make the difference.  Of course the receiver has to be careful of their reaction (excluding anyone from one to ten who find it impossible to lie).  I can read several different languages: English, emotional response, those windows of the soul--the eyes, to a certain extent--the mind, and whole-body language.  Of course, how I react is most likely read by the gift-giver as well.  Reaction is more truthful than words--that's what I'm talking about.

Have I made any sense at all?  If you say 'yes,' you get an A.  If you disagree or find fault with any or all of it, well you still get an A for staying and reading my stuff and nonsense.

The Love of God, Jesus and His Spirit, and the Word be with you.

P.S. I'm not to be cynical about Christmas music.  I love to listen to it anytime of the year.  I especially love the ones with the real message of Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stopping By on a Winter's Day.

Yes, here I am for just a short span of time, in December, with Christmas music to inspire me.  These last couple of months it's been easier to put one day's worth of thoughts into the short uninspiring sentences of Facebook.  Not what I had dreamed I would do if I would someday write something, anything, worthwhile.  But at least my family and friends can check Facebook and reassure themselves I'm still kicking.  Sometimes I go back to Facebook to confirm my being alive, and the aliveness of others, on a certain day.

I thought I would light a candle on my site to increase my hope, and yours, that I will be back to resume my conversation.  I've enjoyed catching up on the posts of some of my favorite bloggers who have been much more faithful to their readers than I.

Right now I'm trying to write in spite of a certain orange tabby cat, who came to live with me after my sister died last March, trying to jump on the keyboard.  It wasn't possible for me to adopt the calico that lived in the same house with Sam E.  I'm wondering if that's why he continues to be restless--he misses Teira.

Our calico, Bunny, refuses to allow Sam E. a place in our house, having a hissy fit if they chance to meet face to face.  I had hoped they would grow used to one another by this time, but they sound like they're killing each other.  I truly believe Sam E. would be her friend if she would let him.  She was enjoying her singleness after our Siamese, Koko, died last year.

I hadn't planned on going on about cats, but they're influencing our life on a daily basis.  I can't seem to part with either one.  Bunny would have to be put to sleep as she has been imprinted exclusively by humans, namely me, since she was a tiny precocious kitten.  And, though Sam E. hated me at my sis's house, he's imprinted me on his mind now because he didn't have any other choice.  Besides, to me, he's an extension of my sis's life and he's a gentle giant as long as Bunny stays in the basement when he's out roaming, and in the office when Bunny is allowed upstairs to roam.  The extra attention I've given him because of his fate has undoubtedly spoiled him and made him a needy-feline extraordinaire.

What a tangled web we (I) weave!  Any kind of natural life has always been more to me than "just" a cat, or a bird, or a deer, or a tree (I'm a borderline tree-hugger).  They're as real to me as any human, and I delight in them when they're alive and mourn them when they die.  I personify them because I "see" their individual personalities which delights me.

Ah, well, I haven't alluded to the grand-kids which are one of my greatest joys.  Need to update my sidebar pictures as well.  Perhaps this isn't the best time to update a blogspot, with Christmas whirling closer and me not near ready.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  If I make it back before all the holidays are past, I will surprise myself.  Till next time, God bless.