Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Leaves leaving boxes in my garage.

Where did the leaves go?

            I have not blogged for a month.  Moving and relocating plays havoc with my writing discipline.  Since I have had guest for the last two weeks, I have been busy entertaining and painting with my sister. 
            Yes, I still have piles of boxes in the garage, but the piles are lower and fill less space.  I have had to  practice being in the "now".  Early in the morning, I think I need to pray, clean, wash, walk Dobie, check on ill relatives, and unpack more boxes. Then , I realize I must scurry to the grocery, get some treats for the girls, plan dinner, and come home to those boxes.  Then, a neighbor calls and asks if I would like to walk with her.  Another neighbor asks me to come in for a little visit.  I return and still try not to think of the boxes.  As I look around my little house, the cupboards and shelves and closets are full.  How will I find places for the boxes? 
            Next, sparkly blue eyes are at my door smiling and giving hugs.  They run to my art room, their playroom, and ask for cookies and milk.  Baby dolls and fairies are now my priorities.  Den peeps in the door and asks, “What’s for dinner?”  Oops, I forgot dinner plans.  The phone rings and it is my sweet daughter-in-law asking us to come for dinner.
            Yep, the priorities seem to be walking and playing.  I do make time for conversations with God and praying for my friends and family and reading the Word.  But, the rest of the day is like a whirlwind of surprises.  I guess I need my disciplined Muncie friends to help organize my day. (Lisa and Shauna)  However, these days sure are fun just like they are because I know that God has healed Den’s cancer.  On nice days, we sit on our front porch and talk of our sons’ visits, family vacations, and our future time to read and bask in the sun, and how grateful we are for God's intervention. 

            Will those boxes get unpacked?  Why, yes, in due time.  If they don’t the Salvation Army store is six blocks away.  Lots of blessings in those boxes!  So, in the meantime, I will be off with Denny on errands and visiting his mom.  I bet the boxes will still be there when we return.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Old Prayers

Old Journal teachings

In 2004 I wrote, “I have cherished Denny more than I ever have.  We are just cozying together and reaching a time where we are helping each other instead of working against each other.  I want him to have a long healthy life, Lord.  Please cover him with your precious blood, Jesus.”
“Help me to hold on to the truth that circumstances do not dictate our days but Your sovereign will. I ask that we can grow old together, travel and see more lands, experience more adventures, and our ministry will grow. Extend our boundaries for Your purposes. Amen. ”
Now it is 2012 and these are my same sentiments and prayers.  It reminds me how important our prayers are.  Who knows when Denny’s immune system weakened and he was susceptible to cancer?  Perhaps such prayers as above safeguarded him many years.  I think it is so important to take time to pray for our loved ones.  It is like a prayer savings account.  I add a little each day for my husband, family, and friends.  Sometimes prayers tumble on the pages of my journal years before I understand why I am praying for that person.  As life continues, these people may become ill, divorced, have financial difficulties, or  lose a loved one, or be blessed by new opportunities.  I don’t always write my prayers, but when I do they bless me years later.  I think I learned that from the Holy Spirit.  Storing up prayers for safekeeping on the throne is an investment we all can make for each other.  I am confident that the Lord knows those prayers and answers them.
He is surprised by nothing because He is the creator of our days.  However, we are commissioned to pray.  My walk doesn’t ask why, it just says to be obedient, we must pray.  In eternity, I will know the significance of my prayers, but right now I know it is talking to God and trusting His word, which says in I Kings 8:49, “…then from heaven, Your dwelling place, hear their  prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Changes within and without.

As you know, we have experienced so many changes and new opportunities in Fort Wayne.  Sometimes when I awaken, I get up and just look out  my window in unbelief.  The newly planted hydrangeas are in full bloom.  A visiting hummingbird is outside my window hovering over a hanging basket of pink geraniums.  My cement guardian angel sits in the middle of my shadow garden just as she did in Muncie.  She brings peace to my soul as she did there.  I enjoy my backyard stuffed with  hostas, coral bells, and pink astilbes  tucked under the cedars. A gray and white glider sits in the shade of two giant burning bushes beginning to glow.  I enjoy the girls’ fairy garden embellished with their special rocks and shells they have added. Just looking at the fairies riding a frog and a snail remind me of the girls' cherub like resemblance.  Hybrid lilies and recently planted perennials begin their new life with me.
I awaken early here.  It is quiet and I ponder and pray.  I ask God to stay close and hold Denny in his arms.  I pray for a supernatural favor and healing.  I look at Denny with new eyes.  I feel a hard knot in my stomach and wonder if our future will even be more different than our new home, new church, new neighbors, and new friends. 
This summer has been constant changes of patterns, people, roads, groceries, doctors, homes, and walking paths.  However, I am walking this journey with Denny.  We are happy finding our way around new streets, restaurants, theaters, and shops.  With Denny's  recent diagnosis of a tumor and infection, I wonder, what would I do without him?  How would I find my way across this big city alone?  It creates a deeper need to cling to Jesus.  I am trying to gain insights to His plan; His message in all this change.   
 We sold our house in a day, bought another near our son and daughter-in-law and granddaughters in two days.  We purged, packed, and moved from our home of 45 years in 47 days.  He gave us energy and direction in all of these steps.  I know He is with us here and now.  I am learning to just live today.  I thought I knew how to do that, but now I just embrace each day intentionally. Some mornings, life seems surreal; yet, I am sure God is here. 
My walks in Foster Park bring such pleasure as I pass people of different nationalities and hear the bells playing familiar hymns.  I marvel at God’s beauty as giant trees shade me.  I walk through a path of yellow, white, purple luscious flowers and become one with them.  The path follows a river that glides through the forest nurturing and watering the vegetation.  Ducks and birds of every kind fly above.  Rays of sunshine and soft breezes remind me, “God loves me and all is well with my soul.” Selah

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New walks and blessings

It has been a long time since I have written my blog.  In these six weeks so many things have changed.  Denny and I have a new address, new phone number, and a house that holds our possessions in new ways.  I do know where I keep the coffee cups, plates, and silverware.  Beyond that, I still have to open cupboard doors and check.
Our sitting spots are different; our windows hold a view of recently planted flowers and bushes contrasted against old oak and maple trees.  Our televisions are housed on the walls now, and every time I turn one on, I think of Fahrenheit 459, where the walls constantly disrupted the characters thoughts, so they could have no complete or creative contemplation.  However, Denny is loving watching the Colts on his new fancy smart television.
Dobie Gillis and I have different adventures on each walk.  We have explored tree-lined streets and looked in lighted windows and talked to different people.  Everything is different, but yet the same.
The neighbors are so friendly and take time to speak and wave at us as we are working in the yard.  They pop in for porch visits and bring their dog to meet Dobie.  The neighborhood is quiet and serene.  As Dobie and I walk to Foster Park in the mornings, I am caught up in the hymns playing on the cathedral bells. As I stroll on the bike path, I hear others singing those familiar songs repeated through the ages. 
I pass Asians, African American, Burmese, Hispanics and Caucasians on my walk.  I love the diversity here.  I hear many languages as Dobie finds different squirrel trails each day.  The hearts and spirits are the same, but their language and skin color remind me how wonderfully God has designed each of His children.       

Everyday our favorite visitors come bounding through the door with smiles and giggles.  Their hugs and tugs remind me why I am here.  We work on our fairy garden, which is now a hodge podge of little twig houses and rocks that the girls think the fairies need.  They talk of how the fairies will arrive and be welcomed by their feathered house and pretty rocks.  We swing on the glider and eat ice cream bars and talk of the first grade and the children.  Little Ellis chimes in that she is a big girl too and in preschool.  Life is good, different, and meaningful.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sad walks with happy talks.

Sad Walks/ Happy Talks

I have walked the streets of Country Village for forty years.  I know every elm, sycamore, and linden tree.  I know when pumpkin d├ęcor becomes the norm and to which house each autumn display belongs. Each time I walked in a gentle snowfall, I marveled  at the Christmas trees in windows with sparkling white lights.  I knew which neighbors would adorn their yards with manger scenes declaring the real purpose of the season.  I looked forward to the wild light displays of some enthusiastic home owners. 
I have walked my dogs Penelope, Ezra,Malcolm Forbs, Fergus, and Dobie Gillis.  Dobie and I have walked these streets together for ten years.  We seldom miss a day.  Dobie knows where each dog lives and the trees that hold his hunted treasure.  His prey flees at his presence.  Their shaggy tails and beady eyes gawk at his awkward attempts to catch them as they quickly climb a tree.   Clutching a nut,they watched him with little interest as he smelled around and around the tree.  He was never a threat to them ,  and they knew they could torment him with their chatter and scolding.
Suddenly, these daily walks are more important.  In fact, I have cried on each of the walks for the last couple of weeks.  On each walk, no matter what time, someone comes out to greet me or a fellow walker stops to tell me they will be sad not seeing Dobie and I on our walks.  Today, an old friend with her walking stick stopped to chat.  I told her we would be leaving in a week.  She teared up and said she understood why, but I would be missed.  We have been friends a long time and had history together.  Thirty-five years ago her husband flew her , Denny , John Foster, and me to Naples , Fla. to spend spring break with  my parents.  It was a chiller trek of near misses.  The plane was so small that John sat amidst the luggage.  We were such responsible parents in 1975. Even with our poor judgement, God saw us through fog, we missed a tower by few feet, and dodged an unexpected plane in our course, or were we in its path?  We just trusted God would protect and He did.
Once again I am trusting God to protect and guide us on our new move.  He has gone ahead of us every step of the way.  Selling and buying a house in less than a month seemed a simple task with Him in charge.  Now, Dobie and I will walk new streets alone.  No former students will wave hello.  Walkers won’t stop to ask for prayer requests for their family.  Neighbors won’t wander to the curb to tell me their latest story about their child’s success.  I won’t know who decorates until I see the orange pumpkins and lighted Christmas trees.  Dobie must discover  where the Fort Wayne squirrels hang out.  Our walks may be a bit lonely at first.  I will have ample time to pray and seek, but I will miss my morning and evening greetings from my long time neighbors, friends, and former students. 
I realize in one week this chapter ends.  These streets will be exchanged for new streets.  However, I know these neighbors can never be replaced.  The Bozes, Hills, Calverts, and Headricks have been my neighbors for forty years. We reared our children together and watched over them as if each were our own. They are my family and will be sorely missed. Newer neighbors that have occupied our block for the last twenty years include Davises , Hartsocks,  Ringos and Barb Norrick.  They too have fit into our Yosemite family and become wonderful friends .  This Yosemite  community has proven true  the proverb, " Love your neighbors like yourself."  When someone needed  laughter, consoling, help, prayer, a fresh tomato or a simple cup of sugar, these people provided those needs.  Thank you, Country Village, for giving so much love and support through our  forty years.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Words of Importance

Words : Reading, Recording, and Writing

As I have touched, read, felt, and sorted through the tokens of my past, I have discovered some consistencies.  I always kept kind and loving written words from those I honor and love.  I have discovered sweet messages from friends on birthday greetings, wonderful messages from our sons on holiday cards, and Denny’s and my love letters of forty-five years ago tied with a satin red ribbon.
            I packed boxes filled with journals, which reveal my activities, ponderings, faith messages, the prayers prayed over family and friends, and joys and sorrows on Yosemite Drive.  These journals recorded over forty years in Muncie with our crazy weather patterns included.  I kept them and it will be our sons’ decision what to do with them when I am gone.  They are me and I am them.  I cannot part with them any more than I can part with the endless scrapbooks recording our sons' life patterns.  Parties, games, trophies, friends, and family gatherings are all documented in these albums.  Hundreds of photographs show how our lives developed with the blessing of our children.  They created new paths, friends, and goals.  John and Adam shaped us while we shaped them.  Someday they can read the stories and see the photos and know that their mother savored each day of their childhood.
            As I cleared over fifty boxes of books from my library shelves, my search for deeper truths and an understanding of the character of God was obvious.  I could part with most of these books because I had perused and read them enough that they were within.  They could leave my shelves now and serve their truth to someone else. 
            Many of the ousted books held novels that I was “going to read”, when I retired and had long days to fill.  Having been retired over twelve years, I am still looking for those long days. I have chosen to use the Fort Wayne library for my fiction reading. Some of my" how to write" books were packed carefully, and others were distributed to writing friends.  I kept almost all of my art books because I am still on an uphill learning curve.  I kept a giant box of poetry books because their words pluck the cords of my heart.  
            I gave the Mission a large box of new Bibles.  Why new?  Denny and I had almost every new Bible that came out the last twenty-five years.  Some I marked up and wore out the pages.  Others have countless tabs and reference tags.  My favorite is held together by duck tape.  The newer ones were given away, so others could read through the precious words recorded so many years ago.  Those words are truth for a lifetime.  Those are words we will hear in eternity. 
This is what I have discovered in my purging and sorting.  I can part with almost everything except words.  Words create my hope, my visions, my oasis for my spirit, and my life’s landscape.  Because I have taken time to write descriptions of each day, each year, each adventure and trip, I can reread many of my memories. My journals hold the fragrance of happiness of our days past. I can leave my house, but I will take my precious memories in words recorded through the years.  Words have given me life and meaning.  I am so grateful for the Word of God that has read me as I read it.  I never tire of Biblical metaphors, mysteries, and messages. I have experienced wonderful seasons in Muncie and now will continue a new season in my spirit, a new season of listening and learning what God has purposed me to be, to do, and to learn.
Yes, I am sure I will record my emotions and my epiphanies in this next step of life. Journaling is a morning opportunity that keeps me grounded.  It is my time to smell the roses and dry them on the pages.