Friday, October 2, 2015

Times have changed.....

Now, we live in a place called Royal Estates.  Sounds elegant, and sometimes it is, but mostly not.  It is fiercely expensive, and has an activities director; whose job seems to be to keep everyone involved inmostly nothing.  Lots of bridge, poker, dominoes and some game with domino pieces with oriental stuff printed on them.  So, I started a book club.  we now have seven members, some of whom read rapidly, some slowly and some who almost can't see.  Oh well.  Its fun and stretches my mind and, I hope, theirs.
I also started a stitchers group, mainly because the director found me and a very young friend knitting up a storm and decided we needed a group.  No one comes but my friend, and a very young woman who lives here.  We are all old, but she is not.  She is, however, limited in what she can do. She  has asked me to teach her to knit.  No problem, except that she is a lefty. to YOUTUBE to find out how to do this.  She has a dreadful speech problem and I have thus far restrained myself from asking to look in her mouth>  (I am a retired speech/language pathologist, of 47 years)  and have much curiosity about why this is so and what can be done.  Back off,lady, I keep telling myself.  You are retired, remember?
Today I found a resident wandering around and she latched on to me and said that she didn't know how to find her room.  I told her we would ask, and she frantically said, 'no,no, they will be mad!"  So, off we went.  She remembered some numbers and we wandered till we found her home.  I read her name from her door and she beamed and told me I was the only person who had ever pronounced it right.
So, whattaya think?  Is this my new ministry?  Has God put me here to do just these things?  If so, off I go! 
Yesterday, we were having a sing along and I got up and had the whole group singing Mairsy Doates.  (ask your mom- she'll remember it)  We nearly blew the roof off.  None of our 'attendants' had any idea what we were singing.  Fun is where you find it....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More of my steam of consciousness stuff.......

I've not blogged in a very long time. Mostly because the computer refused to let me in to the site. I have learned not to argue with the computer - it always wins and it won't even argue back. Life is something like that. If we refuse to waste our time arguing, life become much more simple. In the past few months I am still in a recovery period from the back surgery I had. The inability to do what I want to do has had a salubrious effect. I no longer want to do the things I cannot do, so I don't even try. This is much more restful and the best thing to come out of this is that I have spent a great deal of time talking to God and best of all, listening to him. My life with Him has grown apace. I hear him much more clearly now and am totally willing to do the things He wants me to do. It is hard for me to pick up a book to read that does not concern my growing depth in Christianity, and wouldn't you know it? These books just seem to fall into my hands.
I will begin teaching the prophetic book of Ruth later this summer. All these years, and I didn't even know it was prophetic. I am no longer surprised at all I don't know, but I am soaking God up much like a starving person.

In other, much less important, things, we leave for Houston and Lake Jackson tomorrow to be with extended family and to celebrate Uncle Oliver's 95th birthday. Having such a large family is a great joy. I grew up with this situation and still have many people in Tallahassee to whom I am totally close in love. I was there recently for the service of burial for my only sibling - my sister. I cannot be sorry she has died - she was in constant pain and was very unhappy with her life. As she died her husband said she had a smile on her face, the like of which he had never seen. My priest commented that this is typical when we first see the face of Jesus. I know she is out of pain and is happy now. I also know I'll celebrate with her when I see her again.

I have the best kids in the world. I know all of you probably think you do too, and you may, but mine are just outstanding. They have all turned out to be such solid, loving, contributing members of our world and they take such good care of George and I. Thank you all.

Next time I will blog about my garden. It is worth a blog. Till then, God bless you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas eve, eve

Somehow the eve of Christmas eve has always evoked awe in me. Just the idea of what is coming tomorrow night is just barely believable. But it happened and without it we would all be doomed. Jesus came and did all the things He had to do and died in the most horrible way possible - and God left Him in the midst of all this - and we are the eternal benefactors. I am more deeply grateful than I can say. At least we have a face to put to God, in the person of Jesus. We know that angels are not people and don't even look like people. In fact they are downright scary in looks. One of them has a face on each side of his head - scary ones too. And one has three sets of wings in order to cover itself completely. They can be so scary that the first thing they have to say to persons who see them is "fear not" or "fear nothing" or words to that effect. They are personages and God is even more of a personage. I read a book this week in which I found these words. " No one who is a Christian can describe God. If anyone describes God, he is not a Christian." This is because, while we have attributes of God in plenty, both in old and new testaments, we have no idea what HE is really like. He has given us only two words to hold to - a verb and a noun. I AM. Just in case we wondered, God IS. And I really believe He cannot tell us more simply because we wouldn't understand a word of it if He did. I draw closer ever day to meeting Him and I hope I manage it with a modicum of grace. Just think - meeting the great I AM. It's enough to take away your breath for a very long time. As I get closer, I think about it more and more. One of these days we will all know. Glory, Hallelujah

Monday, December 19, 2011

After a wretched weekend,

with George having stomach flu and me having a sinus infection (grandaddy sized one) we are both better and glad to be alive. We decided tonight, watching tv, that oneof the nicest things about being old is that nobody wants to sell us life insurance.

Countdown to gift thingies, I hope to finish tomorrow. And my blessed Velma will do all the driving for me and run in and fetch things. We braved the grocery today and it was as bad as ever. We need a cop at every intersection. People are pretty nice about it and that is helpful

Blessings to you all in this wondrous season of our Lord's birth.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One of my treasures, as I promisedl See author at end

The Sounds of Silence

Escape. My house teems with evidence of attempts to escape from periodic attacks of panic, boredom and untidiness. There are multiple tapes and CD’s of waves lapping at anonymous beaches, which were supposed to ease me to sleep on those nights when it won’t come - and to calm me when I get a little frantic. Bags and sacks and boxes of yarns and fleeces mark an impulse to shake off the lazy me and turn myself into a Fascinating Woman of Artistic Vision. There are remnants of many different diets, booklets, cans of supplements, bottles of pills and supplements, etc. which testify to my abandoned attempts to drop weight or to become a healthier person. There was even a bottle of L’Oreal in case I decided to become someone else by changing the color of my hair. When I’m bored or frustrated by the lack of my body’s ability to rise to the challenges I see around me every day, or disgusted by the woman in the mirror, it’s easy to opt for the quick fix or the impulsive gesture. Rather than confront an unpleasant situation, I’ll start a new book. Rather than wrestle with my relationship with God, I’ll go shopping. More yarn is always good, and it’s so distracting. And the culture we live in is more than happy to accommodate my compulsion to avoid looking inside myself.

At times, the idea of being alone with my thoughts is about as attractive as treading water in a tank full of hungry sharks. Thought I travel often, I am never without a book or a bit of handwork - something to keep me distracted. Do I really want to hear God’s voice? Sure - as long as the stereo is on and there are folks around for company. God may very well speak in the midst of such circumstances, but am I listening?

I read recently about a monastery in the mountains of Colorado. Those seeking spiritual renewal make the trek to this remote place and stay for a week or more, in Spartan huts, without TV or radio. Seeking to supplant the noise of the world with a silence that listens only for the voice of God, they soak themselves in the Word of God and wait on heavenly insight. It sounds so beautifully ascetic. The mountains, the wind in the trees, all that nature. Unfortunately, something in my jittery self is ill at ease with all that unstructured time without the pacifier of civilization. My brain wants to make a plan, color it and hang curtains. I rush in with words to fill the awkward gaps in conversations. God, I want to listen, but I can’t stand the silence!
I don’t know if a forced silent retreat is what it takes to get us “noise junkies” in touch with God’s voice. It might do to ask ourselves what it is about silence that scares us so much.

Maybe it’s the intrusive voice of a critical parent. Or an image of a personal failure for which we can’t seem to forgive ourselves. Maybe it’s the ghost of a loss, which we have yet to mourn. We sense those images, those voices rumbling ominously in the distance, just beyond our wall of noise. And it takes all the emotional energy we have to hold them there. Sadly, until we allow the natural process of grief to invade our emotional wounds, neither will we experience the soothing hands of the Great Physician. His voice will remain garbled and indistinct - muffled beneath all those layers of noise.

In the Bible, we read about the prophet Elijah,
“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
(1 Kings 19:11-13)
And we see that the voice of God is still and small, but always there.

At this point in my life I have separated myself from the usually present noise in the background. In fact, I cannot stand what I call noise pollution. But this is only the first step in listening to God. After removing our need for noise to mask the uncertainties, then comes the hard part. I have to learn to shut out my mind and it’s need to constantly make plans, lists, decisions, what to have for dinner when we have guests next week, what to wear to church, what do I need from the grocery store, how shall I handle the difficulty in being around my dear friend and her obnoxious child without alienating her, and on and on it goes. When God says ‘be still’ he means both inside and outside, and he means for us to empty our minds of the daily interrupters and make ourselves ready to listen to Him when He speaks to us. And if we are really quiet, and really listen, we really will hear Him. It may take strong medicine to wean you and me from the noisemakers in our lives. But when it finally happens, I suspect we will hear the same gentle voice Elijah heard on that day after the wind had passed and the earth had settled. And what might we expect him to say? Perhaps he will tell us to forget about changing our hair and taking up all those hobbies which clutter up our lives. He might urge us to stop “looking for love in all the wrong places”. Unplug the TV and the stereo. Turn off the ball game. Stop running away from the silence. Make your mind open to His voice. Because in the silence rests our hope. In the silence, a friend is waiting.

In Psalm 46:10 we find the words, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Let us practice being still.
Credit Note: a great deal of this material came from the book: Playing the Tuba at Midnight by Roberta Rand