Friday, July 25, 2008

Hair Balls and things that go uck! in the dark

You can thank me later for not including a picture with this post.

What's uckier than stepping on a cold hairball in the dark with bare feet?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crown Wretch

See those pretty lavender pink flowers? They aren't really pretty lavender pink flowers. They are weeds. Pretty, extremely intrusive, weeds. A wolf in sheep's clothing to be exact. They are really called Crown Vetch, but if you are familiar with them, you can understand why I would call them Crown Wretch. They are insidious little things.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law, Sarah, and a friend saw these along the roadside growing wild. They thought they were the most beautiful things and could fill a large, empty section of garden easily and cheaply. So one evening, accompanied by friend and a favorite sister-in-law (me, of course!), Sarah set out to abscond with a few free clumps. Okay! So they filled the back of the SUV! As I said, they were growing wild along the side of the road, so I'm not quite sure why we got nervous and immediately struck innocent poses whenever a car chanced by, but we did. I think we felt like naughty little school girls getting caught in the act. Of what, I don't know. With the back of the vehicle loaded with these beauties, we headed for home. Sarah and friend set to work planting them in the empty spaces of their gardens.

Fast forward a year or two, maybe four or five. Sarah has had the garden weed exterminator to her house several times to rid her garden of this insidious beast. It has spread like crazy and threatens to overrun her garden. Still it thrives and weaves its little tentacles silently below the ground to rise up in unexpected and unwelcome places. It waves at us from beneath and around boulders. It pokes its nasty little head amongst the flowers. It wiggles its little fingers in the breeze, seemingly saying, "Hello! You can't stop me! Here I am! I'm ba-a-ack!"

So much of life is like this, isn't it? We pursue things of beauty or fun or temporary pleasure and somehow they come back to haunt us. We experience times of difficulty or tragedy and think it's over, it's ended, yet when we least expect it, it returns with a vengeance. We attempt to live our lives with integrity and kindness and love for others and we get used and abused in return. Crown wretch, crown wretch, crown wretch. I weed, I weed, I weed, yet the tentacles return.

My point is not to dwell on the weeds in our lives. It is not to lament ad nauseam. These things just make me wonder how people handle the Crown Wretch in their lives without a strong and abiding faith in God? It is the primary thing that gets me through. That and a little help from my friends and loved ones.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Oh, To Have the Heart of a Child

This is my friend, Megan. This eight-year old makes me laugh out loud and warms my heart.

Her mom sent me this picture with her cell phone yesterday. Megan was sitting by the street in front of her house hoping to make money by playing her guitar. She didn't ask her mom for permission. Mom just happened to look out her window and saw her sitting there. Megan has a major crush on my 20-yr old son who plays guitar. Dylan even played his guitar on Broad Ripple in Indy last summer and made $75. I don't think Megan knew he did that.

When Megan was two, she ran away from her mom and into the bathroom. She pulled out a drawer in the cabinet so mom couldn't open the door. When she was three, she would stand on the coffee table and talk about God. When her mom asked her what she was doing, she said she was "being Pastor Jim." When she was four, she would wake her mother in the middle of the night and ask her mother if it was Sunday. If mom said yes, she would say, "Then I will see Dylan?" However, whenever Dylan would try to talk with her at church, she would run away and hide. Her face still gets red and she gets flustered if he gives her attention.

One day, Megan was with her mom when they stopped by the house. Megan was sitting in the driver's seat talking to Jim while he hit a few golf balls into the cornfield across the road. Jim said, "Hey, Megan. Look at that deer near the trees." Immediately, Megan responded with, "Pastor Jim! Go get a gun and shoot it so we can have it for dinner!" Well, it actually sounded like this---"Pawstoor Jim, git and dinnoor." This is the same kid who called her grandpa one day because she felt like eating squirrel and she wanted to know if he still had some in his freezer. What a hillbilly.

Megan's dad is a county deputy sheriff. He drove by last night while we were watching the fireworks in my front yard and stopped to check on us. He was frustrated by rude people and was venting a bit. I didn't realize that Megan was paying attention until she said, "You just be the nice person, Dad. Just be happy and be nice so they can learn the way to be. Just be nice, Dad." How in the world did she get so smart? Her mom isn't that nice. :) LOL.

Scripture says (Matt 18:3-4)
...unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...
The footnotes of the Life Application Study Bible explain it this way:
Jesus used a child to help his self-centered disciples get the point. We are not to be childish (like the disciples arguing over petty issues), but rather childlike, with humble and sincere hearts.

I think I need to be more like Megan, with a sincere and innocent heart. We probably all should be. I love you, Megan.


Friday, July 4, 2008

First Day of Summer

Today is July 4, so it isn't really the first day of summer, but it feels like it is to me.

School got out on a Wednesday. On the following Sunday, Jim and I flew to Germany for 17 (almost) wonderful days. Nine days into our trip, my dad died. Because this trip was ALL about my dad, we continued. Flew home Tuesday, June 17. That Friday, I drove to Maine alone to deal with family stuff. Jim and the kids followed on Thursday. The service for my dad was on Friday, June 27. Jim and the kids left that night. I drove home Tuesday, July 1. Jim left for a retreat in Vermont with a group of people from church yesterday evening. Whew!

This morning, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I'm relaxing on my deck drinking a cup of coffee. This is the summer I long for. I'd take a picture to show you, but Jim took our camera to Vermont. The dog.

In the midst of craziness and sadness, I have much to rejoice about and be thankful for. I am.