Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog! Of course if we were visiting in person, I'd have the teapot out and we could sit and chat.
I'm honored you stopped by to listen to my thoughts and ponderings - and if you have a minute sometime, let me know you dropped by!

You can also find me on Facebook at Grace Notes, Thoughts and Prayers.

I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Poison in the Pot

There is poison in the pot.

The wasps have built a nest in my bird-feeder.

The ants have found a home on my deck.  

Dust settled in, once again, and stares at me, glaringly, from my window sills, causing guilt.

Ah yes, my world not as ordered as I would like.

This morning, my view, our beautiful view from our bedroom where we have our morning coffee, and talk about life... this beautiful view disappearing as a house rises in its place.  The sounds of hammers filter in, and saws... and I actually said to my hubby... I wish I could just go and knock that over, like it was a lego tower.  
Happens in my living-room, all the time.  My grandsons taught me that.

He laughs...my hubby,  and wonders if I would like a BB gun.  

No, I reply. I am a pacifist.  

But not really.  In my heart, anger can reside, a claim to my rights, of wanting a perfect view.  A world without wasps, just honey bees.

My hubby, a wise and patient man, said, "Sometimes adaptation is better than confrontation".

We were talking about many things...

How sometimes, actually often, things get spoiled.  In a family.  In a church family.  In our relationships.

Like poison, life becomes marred.  By an unkind word.  Wanting things my way.  Not seeing the other's point of view.  Control issues.  

Perhaps that is why love is our greatest commandment.  

Of course, there are stories where confrontation is needed.  Like Hitler, for example.  I get that...

But for the most part, we are called to get along.  To live peaceably.  To choose love above all else.

The antidote to poison... is love.

And there is the hope of the eternal... an unmarred heaven, where the views will be unhindered, and our views on how the world should be run finally settled. No more arguments.

The wasps won't sting, and there will be an abundance of honey.

No more sorrow, no more pain.  

But until then, love is a choice I make... daily.  I love these verses I've been dwelling on recently, which are really a prayer:

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.  And to know this love that surpasses knowledge."  (from Ephesians 3 17-19)

And that is my prayer... to be rooted and established in love... because love surpasses knowledge.  Good thoughts to dwell on today.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Day in Time

Seventeen years ago, my hubby and I were planning for our wedding.  Setting a date can be tricky, when considering the needs of those you love, and after much conversation and consultation with others, we settled on July 18.

"Is it written in stone?" he teased me, and I replied by giving him an actual stone... with July 18 clearly written on it.

We got married on July 25.

Plans change!!  And we adjusted quite well, I think, despite my little stone which I kept on my bookshelf for quite some time.

This week, July 18, another Saturday, another day in time.

We could be attending three memorials on this day.  Two precious women, unknown to one another, both died this past week, both in their 90's.  One of them I have known much of my life, she was a women of influence for me by her quiet way of living, and loving and giving.  We still exchanged Christmas cards!  Her memorial will be held Harrison Hot Springs, the home of my youth, and my heart will be with all who gather to remember her.

The other precious woman, a member of our church, and I have been privileged to know her through many hospital visits and more recently in the care home where she resided with her husband.  In fact, they were both at attendance at the last memorial service I held at their residence.  Sweet couple, side by side in their wheelchairs, joining in as we sang.  I've heard stories this week of her kindness to others, her sweet presence, and I know she will be missed.  Her memorial service also this coming Saturday.

But the service we will attend is for my hubby's father, who would have been 89 this August.  Amazing, after suffering a stroke more than twenty years ago that robbed him of communication as he had known it.  I was always sorry I had not met him prior to his stroke.  But he was still able to communicate in his own way, and today I can only imagine that he is having wonderful conversations in heaven!  So we will remember him, this Saturday, as the family gathers.

July 18, a day for remembering, and for celebration!

Our oldest grandson, coming up six, a serious little lad will be celebrating with his friends that day.  So my heart will be with him, and thinking of his special day coming up.

And a wedding!  July 18th is a good day for that, don't you think?  And someone we love dearly is getting married on Saturday, a small private affair, but our hearts will be with her and her hubby, on this very special day for them.

Ah, yes, a day in time.

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance..."  Ecclesiastes 3:4

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Grace Lens

It is easy to be critical.

I've had good practice this week, when I had a bee in my bonnet about a parking ticket... I will spare you the details but I bristled that someone had been given one - unjustly.

And because justice IS important, I set about to make it right.

But in this process, I began to realize that I was viewing the ticket-giver through a very critical eye.  And it was today I realized that even though he was the ticket-dispenser... my job was to be the grace-dispenser.  And I had failed.

My hubby and I were talking about this, this morning.  How do we choose to see people?  Often our filters are affected by pre-conceived presumptions, past hurts, stereotyping, even misunderstandings. We see people through a very small lens, of our own making.  We often don't take time to really know someone, or to hear their story.

To see someone from God's perspective however, widens the lens! God, the great grace-dispenser, who loves greatly, whose mercies never end, whose compassions fail not; can I aspire to see things from the Creator's perspective?

There is always a time for justice, but it cannot be of my making.  First I need to seek to understand, and to show kindness.  Because it is kindness that will often build a bridge to fuller understanding and communication.

I tried that today.  A conversation with a ticket-giver.  I heard a bit of his story.  I shared some compassion.  It was a small step.

In all these things we pray for wisdom.  Sometimes we need to seek justice.  But mostly, I believe, we need to pray for mercy, for ourselves, and for others, often wounded themselves.  And as God shows compassion and mercy, we can be ambassadors of grace in a broken world.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Gift of a Dream

The following story is one I have written for a new booklet I am hoping to publish this summer, a series of stories from my blog that will go into print, to encourage those who might be having a challenging time.
I hope this story will also encourage all who read it.

The Gift of a Dream

She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever met.  Deep color of ebony, radiant.  And very, very sick.
Her family faithful by her side, hoping, believing, waiting for a miracle.
Day after day, month after month, she lived her life as fully as she could, with a number of hospital stays.   I grew to love her, and look forward to spending time with her, as did many others who cared for her.
Her faith in God was real, and radiant.  As one health-worker told me. "She had no holes in her soul".  A beautiful description. 
But the disease raged on, and she was tired.  The battle long and hard.

The day before she died, her husband, whom she dearly loved, had a dream.  He longed for hope and healing, but this dream came to him.

There was a field.  It was a field of dying things, brown, withered. It resembled a war zone.  And in the midst of this field was one beautiful, red, ripe tomato.  Warm and inviting.  Full of life, and full of seeds to replenish the ground.
The dream, full of meaning, filled his mind and heart as he held his wife for the last time the next day.  And she slipped away to heaven.
But the gifts she left behind... seeds of love, hope, joy and faith, were gifts to everyone that knew her.  For her precious children and family, to devoted friends, to the health-care workers who cared for her. 
And her memory lives on, and the gifts she gave remain, to nourish those she left behind.