Sunday, October 28, 2007
Home Sweet Home, and Being Taught by Children.
Well, here I am again, rested and fresh, after doing the closing on the house. The next day was spent on a Home Depot power shopping trip, for household stuff, and repairs. Not that I'm complaining. No, not at all. I am still on a very big high, knowing I'll soon be living there.

There's lots of elbow grease cleaning to do, and I'm gathering up what I need to take over there to make the place pleasantly clean. I think of all the changes in my life, and so many moves I've stopped counting them. But this one has a feeling all its own, as if I'm closing some doors, and happily opening others.

Already the place is looking better, as each repair is found and done. It's especially encouraging that my children and a grandson are so willingly helpful. I suppose I could trim trees, and learn how to do indoor painting. But it's a huge relief to me, and probably to some of them, that I don't have to. I did notice some tree limbs are too close to outdoor utility lines. But I think I'l hire a certified tree trimmer for that.

When a washer and dryer are delivered and hooked up, I may wash shirts and jeans, for my willing workers. And after the kitchen is ready for use, my next appreciation for their hard work may be several big pans of homemade brownies for them.

In the meantime, since I've lots of it, I am meeting new neighbors, and one is especially interesting to me. I think he's probably nine, ten or eleven, and we call him Jer. He's the one a day or so ago who rushed up to me, loudly congratulating my moving in. Yesterday, when he saw me again, he waved his energetic little arms, for me to watch him ride his bike. So to be a kind neighbor, I did. After a few loops up and down the street, he parked his bike in the middle of a neighbor's driveway, and hurried over to me. Not thinking about where he parked, well, that's just what kids do, and why they need adults around. But Jer had more serious things to talk about. Carefully, and intent, he explained the differences in various settings on the bike, totally confusing me. When this child grows up some college instructor will be quite impressed with him. I hadn't thought a lot about IQ's, and stuff like that, until we talked more. The day before he had told me he's seen a live fox in the side of my yard, which I wasn't completely convinced about, until I mentioned it to a grandson who lives close by, who validated just what the kid had said.

So the next time I saw him I brought it up again. Then I, even though a grown up, said something so stupid. I said, "It was just a small fox, wasn't it," and "It's not big enough to hurt anybody, is it?" He paused a moment in disbelief, but maybe was trying to decide how to not sound disrespectful, then gave me a slow look straight toward my eyes, and said "We don't know that", then wisely changed what we were talking about. I am keeping up with how this kid turns out. It is comforting to know little guys like him will be leading our country.

  posted at 12:32 PM  

Friday, October 26, 2007
A Love Story
I haven't written for so long, it's feeling pretty bare here at Flight Song. But now I'd like to tell you a love story.

A request for prayer fits right in it. My grandson who got himself into trouble, completes his probation time in just twenty more days. I believe he's learned much from this, but like many almost grown up boys and girls, he may need to learn some more. I think he and his Dad are trying hard to work together. Please pray for both of them.

But I started out to tell you a love story. I'm sure you know about Barb at A Chelsea Morning taking such good care of her grandson, while waiting for his brother or sister to arrive. And who hasn't read about Bev at Scratchin The Surface, making another trip down South to help Sarah at In The Midst Of It, get through another tough time. The last reports on all of them sound like everyone's alright. So what could ever be going on here that's nearly as interesting.

I am much too old to consider one more unwise romance, or moving somewhere remote; you know, sudden impulse things like that. But there are laws that protect the right to do other things, and so I did one of them. Today I bought myself a house.

It's not huge, but how much room do I need? and if I want it to feel spacious, all I'll have to do is look outside at the several trees someone planted a long time ago. Work on the house is needed, and a son who does that very well is helping me figure out what's first on the list.

Another son and his outstanding partner are already planning how to help. She'll be steam cleaning carpet, and helping in many ways, while he checks all sorts of things, especially the electrical. The grandson I mentioned earlier will help his Dad clean out gutters, and trim trees, and do inside painting. Our Lord clearly knew what He was doing, when he sent me all those children.

Tomorrow we'll begin all this by replacing outdoor locks and keys. I'll need some new items, like an ergonomic snow shovel, but even that is helped out by the hundred dollar Home Depot gift certificate the realtor suprised me with.

Neighbors I've met are friendly. I think I'll be needing a lot of Halloween goodies. Three children and their Grandma made it a point to introduce themselves. One young boy emphatically told me "Congratulations on getting the house!" A young Mom and children live next door. And there are others I've yet to meet. An elementary school is down the street in one direction, and a Middle school close by, the other way.

One of my sons tried to give me a dog, and Bev, at Scratchin The Surface thinks I need to get a cat, but I'm declining their good intentions. I think they want me to feel safe, and not be lonely. I did get a cat, sort of. It's in a lovely frame, and looks like stitchery Barb, at A Chelsea Morning would do. Some say I have a weird sense of humor, but when I saw that self appointed arrogant cat outstaring me, I had a belly laugh all to myself, as other shoppers walked by. I hope no one misunderstands this humor, but right beside that creature with claws that can scratch things, it says "Why are you here", "and what can I do to change that"? I am thinking of hanging it in the kitchen, near the electrical can opener. Isn't that where cats like hanging out.

Can you imagine how much more holidays, or the ordinary everyday ones will be again, with all that childlike wonder close around. Getting the house was a good business move. I got a huge break in the deal, but I am richer, in ways dollars cannot measure, when I see this love story happening.

  posted at 10:40 PM  

Monday, October 08, 2007
Out Of The Valleys
For the "In Other Words" quotation, I intended posting about keeping myself focused on our Lord, instead of dwelling on concerns that separate me from him. When I checked to make certain I quoted it correctly, I realized we now have a different quote to post on, but that in several ways the two are related.

The first one encourages us to turn our eyes toward Jesus, "to look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, by the light of His glory and grace." (by Helen Lemmel)

The second quote, by Oswald Chambers, tells us "We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all", but he explains: "We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle."

Have you ever stood on the top of a mountain? There's opportunity to do that here in Colorado. Jesus' desciples thought it a great idea too, so much so, that they tried to convince Him they all should just stay there. But Jesus knew what waited in the valley, where His mettle would be perfected for us, and ours would be found out.

When Satan was testing our Lord, He showed Him the kingdoms of the whole universe, and promised them to him, if He would only worship him. Satan also had Jesus stand on a pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, and tried to get Him to throw Himself down from it.

After he finished using every temptation on our Lord, Satan left and Jesus returned to Galilee. But mountains and valleys still figured in His ministry. When he preached the truth about widows of that time needing to be fed, and lepers healed, the religious congregation became enraged, and threw Jesus out of the city, and intended to throw Him down a cliff.

But He passed through through their evil, and went on His way. How wondrous His mighty power is! What God intended for Jesus would not be blocked or denied. But there were some valleys He had to go through. He even prayed that if it were His Father's will, He wouldn't have to suffer any more.

You and I will experience things we don't think we can, but we need to remember there's reasons, God's plans, for being in our valleys. On a clear day in the Rocky Mountains, you'd be surprised how far you can see, but in the valleys that actually strengthen their postures, it's more difficult sometimes, to even find your way.

Occasionally, great music or paintings came about here, like the author said, from a quick moment of quiet inspiration, but unlike our Saviour, they are so rare, while Jesus is not, especially when He's with us in the valley's hard places.

I've seen the beauty of mountain scenes that would not let my eyes stay dry. Ancient rock formations you'd hardly believe. Wildlife you wish you could touch for only an instant, where migrating butterflies compete with wild flowers. But when we compare even all this to God's Love for us, all of it pales.

Storybooks and handed down cultures romanticize what valleys should be, velvety cushioned layers of green, for our comfort. But that's not what we fall into when we and the comfort of our worlds are challenged.

This reminds me of a quotation I recently found. A picture of a strong looking ship safely nestled in some harbor: It said: "A ship in the harbour is safe, but that's not what ships were built for." We aren't built like muscular giants, stomping all over God's green earth, but He gives us all we need to function anywhere, and especially in the valleys. He doesn't say it's easy, and that is just the point. We need refining, and He promises to always be right there.

While some of life looks murky and streaked, from the mess we sometimes make of it, Jesus strips away its veneer, and says "Yes, you were betrayed", and "I will dry your face, but No, you cannot continue to seethe with hate." "You must forgive what was done to you." "Yes, you were disregarded and not appreciated" "Find someone who's hurting like you, and be kind to them." I ask Him "When will the sorrow and regret about my son dying ever end?" and He answers in tenderness resting on the breeze: "When you turn loose, and let me hold him." I'm feeling more and more bare, except for a heavy package I haven't let go of. "What do I do with all this anger, I've been storing for years." A very quiet pause makes me almost hold my breath. "Pray for whoever caused you that pain."

Because I didn't trust Him enough, doing what He told me in the valleys took a while, some of it days and weeks, some of it years. But I would not trade the peace He's placed in my heart, for all the satisfaction I used to get out of feeling so wronged. God tells us we must love those we don't even like. When my earthly life is over, I don't want to be like Moses was, allowed to only gaze at the Promised Land from afar.

I must give up whatever distances me from my Lord. I must leave it where I found it in the valleys. Lines from a song sung by an outstanding singer, Nat King Cole, put an exclamation mark on it here. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."


  posted at 6:00 PM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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