Thursday, June 28, 2007
More Than A Monologue
In Bev's June 28 "Perspective from my Pillow", at "Scratchin the Surface", she says that she sometimes feels bad about bothering God with little requests, but discusses that more, and as the post grows, her words become almost a prayer, as she explains how praying (especially when she's restless and so tired she's weary) carries her into peaceful sleep. It's the best description I've heard of real humility, of not just loving the Lord, but accepting His Love.

I've felt much the way Bev describes about asking Him for small favors, and I notice from bloggers comments that they often feel the same, so I think perhaps this whole concept about prayer and petition may need a closer look.

Like a lot of things in our lives, not much is simple, or easily explained. I suppose out of all the creatures our Lord created, we may be the more complex of them, or perhaps it's also that we sometimes complicate it.

Little children pray like the Bible tells them to. They approach God boldly, and unless taught differently, reflect much faith. Some of this can be explained by remembering that children, at least at first, operate exclusively by thinking concretely. Everything is like it seems, and anything is possible. Santa can bring a real live horse to a child in the city. Never mind that it won't have a pasture to graze in when it gets there. All they have to do is just believe.

But somewhere between those innocent years, and the beginning of peer pressure, other things affected how we not only relate to each other, but maybe to our God.

I don't remember being taught much, even before my teens, about how to communicate with other human beings, except I somehow learned some respectful terms, like yes Mam, or no Sir, expressions we hear less and less today. I also learned a few of the not so appropriate kind, but at least understood that they shouldn't be repeated, not by a respectable Southern girl.

It's a very stark reflection of our time, that when couples end up in therapy, sometimes to try to save their marriages, one of the main things therapists try to get across to them is that listening to each other is so needed.

Other aspects of our culture lend to this in a positive way, or not, and from what I've seen, it needs a lot of fixing. How many people in your life do you feel really hear you, and how often do you have the patience to listen to what they say?

Have you noticed what's happening in the marketplace, and just about everywhere. At a recent trip to our town's airport, it somewhat resembled outer space, with two legged creatures walking around like ET, talking into their little machines, wired so they could receive messages, and leave their hands free.

I understand the need for what we call commercial progress, but I sometimes long for older times, instead of what seems to me is a not absolutely needed hurry up form of almost everything. The computer has instant messaging, as do the cell phones, and I understand other inventions about communicating are coming on the scene.

In Las Vegas, weddings and funerals are played out almost as quickly as ordering from Burger King. and as far as I know, you can still Dial the phone for a Prayer.

Many business tranactions, and other market place deeds are done by computers or other machines. It's becoming rare to actually connect with another human being, even in stores. If you use this form of relating to connect with our Lord, can you see that much may be lost, even though intentions may be well intended.

Over and over in His Ancient Words, He tells us He wants us to enter His Presence in prayer and with song, and that He's interested in our tears, and concerns, and like Bev said, it doesn't matter if they're big, or small.

We are like the children still in concrete thinking, but our Savior isn't confined to such limited ability. Every now and then, a caring thought seeps out of our hearts, like helping the poor, and may be more of a prayer than the ones we speak. But it must be more than a one way connection. This past week's Christian Women Quote dealt with our seeing and hearing and really caring about the needs of who we're praying for.

We say we want to know His will. We say we want to be more like Him, but do we. We ask how we can, but will we? He's already told us how. "Feed the hungry. Bind their wounds or sores. Visit those behind locked doors, and care about those who grieve. Forgive even intended slights, and do not judge". Many times those conditions for being close to Him seemed more than I could do, especially the forgiving and the not judging those who hurt or wronged me.

But selflessness like that comes only from God. How can we hold it in our human hearts, for even a little while, if we don't accept the Love He pours on us.

  posted at 7:49 PM  

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Finest Gift.
The coffee maker's ready for tomorrow's whirl at life, and that little clock I want to strangle the sound out of is set for 8 a.m., and uniforms hang quietly in the closet, wondering which one I'll wear to work. But except for drinking the coffee, I don't really want to deal with any of them. But I will, as soon as I tell you of a lovely chunk of life that seemed like a song of the road.

Some times we may not realize we're making special moments in our lives, but even before daughter Bev, at "Scratching The Surface" planned this trip, I knew it wouldn't be ordinary.

The main purpose of it was to be with Mandy and Aaron at their wedding, and we did. However, when you consider that Bev lives in Pennsylvania, and I am over the mountains, and family is strung out in between, and in other directions, visits are increasingly rare. And that's why her organizational skills and sweet imagination surfaced. When printed all out, her travel plans for this seemed a little like someone's running for office.

Sometimes I think God put Bev right where He wants her to be. Even though like me, she can't sing very well, she's very good at carrying Heavenly messages, like the one she surprised me with when her brother died a few years ago.

We were talking about our dealing with his death, and she'd decided how she could cope. To honor his life, Bev chooses to live life more, to appreciate sunrises and sunsets, even foods, special occasions, wild life, the outdoors, to celebrate all of everything she can.

So during this quickly fleeting week we set out to spend time with all our family members, but not the usual noisy gathering of clan, but mostly seeing them individually.

Sometimes I would run interference for her, so she could get more sleep, or not let others drain her, even though that wasn't what they intended. This woman's driven so much this week she should get frequent driving miles.

When there were get togethers with family, giving each one time to simply be, is what we did, though their individualities sometimes rub a little, or even a lot, This is what we did all week. All of we works in progress might show more improvement, if we did some caring things, instead of criticising. Bev did some little surprises, gifts to relatives who recently stopped smoking, totally unexpected recognitions of major accomplishments.

The week seemed to leave so quickly, and all of it wasn't serious family dynamics, although our spotting the frog near the front row seats during the wedding ceremony, was more serious than we needed.

And suddenly seeing deer cross a road in front of our car caused my adrenaline to fly. Being that close to them was scary, but yet it intrigued me.

Dealing with a lady police woman in Vail almost seemed like it was Candid Camera. There was much construction, so we weren't sure which ways to go, and a grouchy suppose to be traffic director was no help at all. I decided he should have been a bar bouncer, but Bev was more kind, saying only that he shouldn't run for any office. But the police woman was pleasant and very helpful. Still, the third time we asked her for directions, I sensed she was wearying a little of us. But she got us through the maze of that quaint little town, right past her traffic shack that had a sign over it that read "Check Point Charley". I am still wondering who named it that.

It seemed like a little alpine hamlet there. I didn't get to see inside stores, since we were so busy trying to find legal places to drive or park, but I did spot a place called Designer Furs, Ltd. with a display that looked like someone put furry animal tails, around the neck of it. This did not intrigue me, at all. I felt sorry for the animals who died so it could be made.

We made good traveling time, and got good gas mileage, and the only time this week that Bev seemed even slightly irked about the trip was when we found ourselves in miles and miles of Sunday evening going home traffic. Someone occasionally did something very stupid, like squeezing moving metal much too close to someone else's. But through the trip, Bev gave new meaning to "Cool Hand Luke's" patience. She really is a terrific driver.

With her true humorous attitude, Bev suggested she and I deliberately stop at every historic marker on the way, and spend a silent moment of gratitude for not having to blaze right past them. Perhaps we'll do that on another trip, but we were busy enough, without counting all those markers.

Before we got through with our off key singing to a Springsteen CD, there was no doubt at all we were born in the USA, and everybody in the whole world has a very hungry heart. I was hoping to sing about the Glory Days, but we never made it that far this time. Bev says we will do another trip together, and I'd love that. But even if we don't, her making this one happen will always be the finest gift, because she gave her time, herself, even her tiredness, to me.

Nostalgia became supreme, while we drove around Denver, searching for old landmarks she's connected to. We drove by the house we'd lived in long ago, and like before, seeing it again spilled out memories usually safely tucked away. Bev seemed more intent about the past while searching for a little house she lived in when she was first married.

We set aside time, made it our priority, to visit her brother's grave. It took time to find his in those long rows of stark white markers, and then suddenly, there it was.

Now that I know how to find where it is, I'll go back, sometime alone, but when I walk away I'll remember Bev's words, about honoring him by truly living.

  posted at 9:10 PM  

Friday, June 15, 2007
Ribbons and Lace, and Memories
Not being an analytical, numbers person, I'm not sure of the date, but the occasion is well remembered. Barb and Rob had just brought their second daughter, Amanda Kay, home from the hospital. I stayed a day or so to help out, and changed her so much, I almost used up all her diapers. It was time for me to go home.

My first glance of her told me she might grow up tall. After being around a number of newborns, it's easy to figure this out. Their little hands and feet will tell you,if you're paying close attention, and I was. This one already showed signs of growing long.

The next few years seemed to hurry so fast, as Amanda kept growing.

Before I hardly realized it, she was scurrying down the sidewalk on her skates, or getting good at riding a bike. Even then I sensed those years were hurrying by too fast, and they did. The next thing I knew she was walking across a high school stage, spurring her classmates on to proclaim it was their time to shine.

I remember something her father said that day, that graduation declares how well parents have raised their kids, and it spoke accolades of them. Miss Mandy did them proud.

While her older sister, Krissy, majored in a business degree, Mandy drenched herself in psychology. Later she would add an education degree, but first things first, Mandy didn't realize it then, but she needed to be in all those brainy classes so she could become a lifetime buddy to the psychology major she would someday marry.

The fist time I saw them together, over some board game, I think, it was so perfectly obvious how well they fit together. Even with all their psychology, they hadn't yet figured that out, but eventually they did, and that's why we're having a wedding in only a few more days.

Mandy's Mom, "A Chelsea Morning", seems to be surviving all the planning and preparation. And my part in this blending of hearts is so easy.

It began while I was still in Grand Junction last year, when Mandy and I were driving somewhere, and she told me she had a secret that she just had to tell somebody. They'd decided to get married.

No matter what events stood out in her childhood, or which ones may follow, the day she told me her secret is the one I'll most remember.

So Grand Ma's getting gussied up, in a beautiful new dress, a billowy flowing not drab beige, more a hint of light rose. A dropped away from the waistline layered satin effect, that hopefully will camouflage my older lady pouch, and if it doesn't, perhaps the irregular hemline will distract. But I don't think many people will be checking me out, when they see my Mandy in her wedding Gown.

So I'll just wear ear rings that match my dress, and shoes I can dance in, and travel over the mountains to see the used to be little girl entrust her life, her hopes and dreams, her future, to a very deserving man.

Congratulations A and M. Much Love, Grand Ma.

  posted at 12:08 PM  

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The News That Matters
I don't know why I did it. Maybe I'm just fair game for marketplace deals that offer something for free. But when the newspaper representative at the supermarket told me I could get Sunday delivery for half the regular price, all he had to do was reel in my check for a year long subscription.

Now that I'm getting computerized, I get most of the news right here where I'm sitting. But the subscription was only thirty nine dollars a year, and I could keep up better with local happenings, I rationalized. So I paid for it, and took my Sunday free copy home, and because I'm vintage Depression Era, and not likely to change, I decided if I'm spending that much, I should at least read all that free news.

And this is some of what I found in my buy one, get one free, Denver Post June 10 edition. But first I must note that I'm not giving more importance to one of these stories over the others. They are just news, and you get to decide their merit.

Some individual apparently owns Napoleon's battle sword, and it's up for auction, and estimated to bring 1.6 million dollars.

A tax fraud scheme is suspected in a State government department, so that's being checked out by audit.

And did you know (I didn't), that the popular snack food Twinkies has 39 separate ingredients, and one of those is thiamine mononitrate, which comes from petroleum. This information, and much more about food additives is offered in a paper titled "Twinkie, Deconstructed", by Steve Ettlinger.

He maintains there is petroleum from China in my beloved Twinkies. Not that I pretend they are healthy, but am really worried now. Petroleum does sound artery clogging, wouldn't you think. One of the strongest points of this study is that America doesn't know where various food additives originate, so how can they be monitored, or quality controlled, if you don't know where they came from?

And tucked way down low in the bottom left hand corner of page 10A, is a news note from Los Angeles, stating that a California radio show host, Bree Walker, is buying five acres in Crawford, Texas near the President's ranch, from Cindy Sheehan. Walker is quoted as saying she plans to create some kind of peace memorial that can include the names of fallen soldiers, and injured soldiers.

All through this free copy of the Sunday paper, I'm finding news stories, most of them not very inspiring, and am wondering why I'm willing to pay someone to bring me bad news.

But I did find a few. Diane Carman, in a Sunday article about Ryan McLean, calls her a "winner by example.... who navigates the world-on upper body strength."

This writer tells us that McLean was paralyzed below her chest when an SUV crashed on c-470. Her boyfriend, and the SUV driver were killed, but McLean didn't die. and plunged into rehabiltation, and getting more education, and coached children swimmers. Her teams were competitive, and won some championships. Her rehab after the wreck was rigorous, but she did it, even though she said it was five years before she felt confident again. Her teams were competitive, but what they learned most from her was sportsmanship. Mclean used her life in her chair to teach the children.

Diane Carman points out other things about this courageous woman. Years later, McLean was fired from her coaching job, but apparently she doesn't look back, and forges ahead, in her own house, with her new dog, and a lot of foreign travel. She has a new racing chair, and thinks about competing again.

Another story, more interesting than additive laden Twinkies or an ancient sword, even if it was napoleon's, is about the uncontested strength of a mother's love. Armenian doctors told her that her son could not be repaired, but Elmira Poghoseyon could not accept their opinion about young Arsen. With almost less than nothing, she searched the internet, and found a Denver doctor who could fix his medical condition.

And with so little that she sold even their clothes and suitcases to be able to come to Denver, and boarding a plane with their belongings stuffed in bags, this Mom never gave up, and just like miracles, even though seemingly so small, seem to kick in; When your're believing, and doing all you can, a man living in Dever heard about Arsen's need (do you sense an angel in this story?) and called a doctor here, and that one selfless act changed Arsen and his family forever.

The Ronald McDonald House provided needed housing. The article about this unfolding miracle says that families are asked to give fifteen dollars a day while there, but that none are turned away.

Arsen and his Mama, Elmira, who didn't know English before coming to our country, taught themselves by watching and listening to television. But the TV's turned off every evening, so this little boy can read aloud, in English, then in Armenian to his mother.( My kind of mom!) helping her son to do better in this new country, by learning its language, but also preserving his native one.

Dr. Nigel Pashley a pediatric specialist, and a Denver hospital are the hands and hearts completing this modern day miracle. Isn't it amazing what transpires when good follows good.

In this third newspaper story, freelance journalist, Marcia Darnell describes her grandmother, juanita, who is waving at her through a safety glass window of a nursing home. Alzheimer's disease has enveloped her for more than ten years. Mood swings mask her usually joyful disposition, and supervision is needed.

To Juanita, other residents and Staff are local natives from her past. Long term memory assists her in recalling childhood friends, and times they shared.

But this grandmother/grand daughter relationship reaches farther back than today. For twenty years Juanita was a social worker, and the grand daughter tells of her visiting her while she was in a crippled childrens' hospital for months at a time, for some years. Except for her parents, who couldn't visit often, the Grand ma was her only visitor.

In many ways she nurtured her, and this grand daughter has not forgotten her caring enough to be there. Sometimes the nursing home setting reminds her of the hospital that once enclosed her, and those memories are hard to shake, but she returns and returns, to comfort the grand ma who once nourished her.

I may have missed other good stories, but there'll be another paper this Sunday, as life keeps turning them out.

In it, as in nature, patterns return again and again. And in these, the giving of self for the benefit of someone else reigns, and just like our Lord, Who is Love Himself, the giver always gets more.

  posted at 11:25 AM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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