holiday

The etymology of this word has it derived from holy days. But we call many days holidays, and ironically have made this word the politically correct word for many religious days– Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, Passover, to name a few.

But isn’t the whole point of being politically correct turning everything to cardboard? Not even vanilla ice cream, just flavorless, meaningless days. So we don’t offend anyone, right?

Well, maybe, but no.

A smile can be holy. Anything that moves the heart is holy. So visiting family and friends for a (secular) celebration like Thanksgiving is for me most holy. A reunion, a communion, reconnecting on so many levels. Opportunities to laugh, express concern, to share thoughts, hearts, gifts, walks, the same space.

IMG_0742.JPG  I visited my brother this year for Thanksgiving. He honors me, though he does not maybe know it, when he asks me to accompany him to his office while he works and I read a book. Occasionally he or I share a thought or observation but the space is sacred somehow. And he and his family and I shared dinner together, and his daughter is learning to drive and she wanted me to accompany them on a drive (not harrowing!). And my sister-in-law had car trouble and allowed me to accompany her to the car shop which allowed the two of us a rare few minutes to share a sacred space and time.

I guess I am older enough and have lost enough to realize how sacred our human connections are. The accepting, sharing, forgiving, laughing, understanding, opportunities to grow more dimensions. Funny how for so long people can be so taken for granted until you listen below the surface of what you hear, and see through the lining to the heart.

IMG_0745.JPGSomehow, even if the connections don’t bond strongly there is a cord that holds everything together and more opportunities come around again.

Every encounter is a grand opportunity to give cheer, hope, encouragement. To appreciate someone for something they may not realize others do see.

Hope. It does spring eternal.

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“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home, rests and expatiates in a life to come.”

― Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”   ICorinthians 13:4-13 NIV

Sad

Life is tenuous.

Death is part of life.

She is no longer suffering.

We will see our loved ones again.

I have heard these things all my life yet death never steals another person that I don’t doubt those words. I am maybe too literal, or too caught up in the here and now, but death is always surreal.

Or maybe it’s just frustrated anger.

I know it happens. I just don’t ever expect it to.

John Donne was right: “Any man’s death diminishes me,  because I am involved in mankind….”

You hear those stories about people in terrible accidents or illnesses who have gone, seen light, been in a tunnel and have come back. My own father had such an experience.

The late Rev. Billy Graham spoke of a dream he had more than once after his wife Ruth had passed away where he stood on the bank of a river and could see Ruth standing on the other side, and this gave him hope that he would join her someday. I like to believe he has.

But I know the strength of a dream, the convincing hoax of illusion so I am too skeptical.

Still, this person I never knew who played something of a role in my son’s splintered life is gone. I have to believe she is now whole again, now not suffering but filled with unimaginable, unfathomable joy at seeing her precious Savior.

Thank you to those who read my earlier post, or spoke about it or prayed for her.

You are those who keep hope alive.

❤️

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm: for love is as strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.”  Song of Solomon 8:6

too strong to cry

For years after my husband and I divorced I did not cry. I might say could not but since I cry easily these days I would guess I could have but for whatever reason just didn’t.

I did not cry for my failed marriage. I did not cry for our son who would be shuttled between two states and so many dynamics of family. I did not cry for abysmal relationship mistakes made years after. I did not cry when my taskmaster Father for whom I worked in business blamed me for any and everything that went wrong, personnel, technical, anything. I now realize as a business owner he wanted me to understand what it meant to take responsibility but I was in overload in that department already.

I did cry when my mother died, 7 years after my divorce. The floodgates opened. She and I had drifted apart because I had too many tightropes to walk and could not relate to anyone. But when she died I snapped back to reality. Six years after she died my little dog of almost 16, with an enlarged heart, enlarged liver, degenerative disc disease and latent seizures had to be put to sleep.

I cried harder for my little Piper than for my mom.

As my son grew and life came back into focus my perspective became more balanced. I suppose sometimes you have to go off the deep end to see what’s right more clearly.

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At first I moved very slowly because life was newer, fresher but not strange. Having come to the end of myself I handed me off to God. I knew at once how badly I needed Him, how much I depended on Him. For breath, for wisdom, guidance, peace, grace, comfort, understanding, forgiveness, life.

And though I was still somewhat confused that purpose and vocation could be but were not necessarily one and the same thing that, too became clearer. First I was a child of God. Next a mother. Then a provider, sister, daughter, friend. And nothing is compartmentalized but can interchange.

Life, I learned, is rather fluid.

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Sometimes we find a niche and alight for however long.

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Other times, we fly.

I write this post after my son called to tell me he is in Tennessee with his father. His step-mother, a woman whom I have never got to know (why would I have) is not expected to live through today. They said that though on Thursday when she was admitted to hospital for sudden pain that has turned out to be a super-resistant infection.  And she is still here.

So I told my son I will pray for her, this woman, a virtual stranger but she is important to my son.

So she is important.

And I will pray.

And I cried. For a woman I do not know.

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“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”   –Psalm 23:4

“For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”    —Psalm 91:11

 

Trump Confounds the Left and They Just Don’t Get It [Video]

Truth, in this case, helps. Some honest observations, reblogged.

TILJournal

Trump vs. Antifa Leftist protest against reality

In the first half of President Trump’s first term, political and cultural turmoil has seemed the norm. The consensus of opinion is that America is a ‘divided country.’ One can read that phrase in every news outlet from Left to Right these days.

However, far fewer would agree about the reason for the hostilities. The conservative would say the Left’s juvenile and violent behavior is the reason.

The Left would blame, surprise, (sarc) President Trump. In a manner, both of them are correct.

Blame could be assigned to the president because he has chosen to resist the mantra of the Left. He doesn’t fall into line as Republican Presidents have before.

In that manner, Trump is guilty of confounding the Left and motivating them to stir division and hatred, all the while blaming him for their actions.

Trump Confounds the Left

Inset.image.1.11.9.2018President Donald John Trump truly…

View original post 1,434 more words

it’s cold

I think I have never been so happy to see the end of a summer.

I love summer. Lazy, humid afternoons, cicadas singing, birds preening, flowers virtually drooping with the heat. But storms. Rains. This was not a typical summer. The entire month of July had one day with no rainfall here. We received our entire annual total in that one month.

Tonight will be kissed with frost in places. Grass will sparkle with it in the dawn sunrise. Sea oats will be fringed with shiny tassels of ice crystals.

Meanwhile nobody can give a chain of custody of tens of thousands of election ballots in Florida. Final results for several states’ elections won’t be known for days.

Southern California is in process of being incinerated.

Hate groups are singling out specific individuals and are terrorizing them in their homes.

Crazy people get their hands on guns and everyone decides the only answer is to take guns from everyone, even those who respect them and do not use them for insanity.

My son has assumed a persona of someone I do not recognize. I suppose to make his girlfriend happy, I can’t imagine any other reason, not that this is a good reason. I have never felt I could not relate to him.

So my world, or what I see, hear and read about, appears to have turned into a hostile, foreign place, unrecognizable.

Maybe it is appropriate that this Veteran’s Day marks 100 years since the armistice that ended the Great War. My mother’s father was a Captain in the Army. He fought in that war. I have the strategic map he used in France, pencil markings for his company’s maneuvers in the Argonne. I have the German helmet he mailed home to his father with the address hand-written on medical tape stuck to it. I have the bayonet he would have affixed to his rifle.

I have memories of his singing the refrain lyrics to “Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parlez-vous?” Only the refrain. Not that I would have understood any of the rest of it but my grandmother always stopped him.

We would watch twin-boom military aircraft that we’d see occasionally and called them Scotch airplanes. I have no idea why.

I loved my grandfather. I often wonder what he’d think and say if he were here now. Or my Dad. He was a straight thinker. No one ever wondered where he stood. On anything. Without these men in my life sometimes things seem confusing, distorted, horrible.

But God.

Because of God I have hope. I can cling to One who is true, real, and reliable to be who He is, to keep His promises, to be just, and to love.

Thank God.

And I thank Him for the cold.

proxy.duckduckgo.jpgfree stock photo — public domain

 

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:”  –Ecclestiastes 3:1

not the pumpkin

I can remember when I last participated in Hallowe’en. Fall 2008. I was living in northwest New Mexico. I had just adopted a new rescue dog, husky-mix Lily. She was the ideal dog! She knew all her commands– sit, stay, shake, lie down, treat, ride, walk and she could give you “five”.

Until Halloween night. I bought a huge amount of treats. I was so ready for this. Then the doorbell rang. Lily was apoplectic. She raced to the door, clawing at the door frame snarling, saliva flying– she was her own night of terror.  I had to find a way to hold her back, open the door and stick the bowl of candy out the door. Fistfuls were taken I am sure but I was so relieved to shut that door. Half a minute later the entire scene threatened to repeat but, though I heard Lily she was not at the door. I opened the door, gasped at the little monsters waiting their cavity-inducers and closed the door to see Lily standing on the baby grand piano barking in a complete frenzy.

Ok so this won’t work. I took the bowl, poured the other bags of candy and set it at the end of the walkway, turned out the lights and went to bed.

Lily was at peace.

So this year my son called me walking on his way home from work to let me know he would be nearby this weekend for a meeting and would like to come see me. I was so happy! But he sounded a little hesitant. The only reason I can think is because his live-in girlfriend and I have never actually found a common ground. Except my son, which she seems to lord over me. Why I have no idea because clearly, the relationship each of us has is vastly different. But the tension is there all the same. She is ‘New Age-y’, I am conventionally traditional. My son is stuck in the middle.

So we chatted about the weekend and he explained he was juggling a bag of groceries, the phone and a large pumpkin for Halloween.

That stopped me. The image I had was not the literal items he mentioned but the other things in his life– his girlfriend, his work, and me. So I said, “I don’t want to be the pumpkin.”

“What?!” he said.

I explained what he was doing right at that moment was kind of exemplary of other things he was also juggling in his life and I did not simply want to be something superfluous in his life that he would eventually throw away.

Sometimes my worry fantasies are a bit far-fetched. I guess this one was.

A little history: My parents were traditional in that they belonged to the country club, took the family to church (most) Sundays, every major holiday, saw to it we had a good education. Beyond that their lives were consumed with (Dad’s) executive jet-setting, Mom’s golf, book club, junior league, garden club, DAR, bridge club and travel with Dad. I do not take after them much at all. They were unconventional in that we the children fell in there somewhere but inconsistently. We weren’t the pumpkin but we were sometimes rather incidental unless and until we had trouble. My brother? Never. Me? often.

Anyway, sadly my son has nothing whatever to do with the life I knew growing up. He is innocent. Yet I carry this baggage around and sometimes say or think things totally irrelevant to a situation. Because of that history.

Insecurity factors in I suppose, but still.

I do not ever want to be the pumpkin

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Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”   
 –Psalm 139:16