Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm Stealing.

From Sarah and from Kate - what they each found from Tolkien and from Tim Keller and from C.S. Lewis.

Fairytales move us in a way that realistic fiction does not (and can not). Because fairy tales speak to us of several deep human longings that we are almost afraid to admit and that we can never discard. We long to survey the depths of time and space. We long to get outside of time altogether and escape death. We long to hold communion with other living things, like angels. We long to find a love which perfectly heals and from which we can never depart. And we long to triumph over evil finally and totally. When you are in the middle of a great fairy tale, the fairy tale lets you live even briefly with the dream that love without parting, escape from death, triumph over evil are real and realizable. That’s why the stories stir us so deeply. And why we will go on reading and writing them no matter what the critics may say.  Tolkien on Fairytales

     and then Tim Keller writes,
But the gospel is better. For the truth of Jesus is this... the gospel’s message is that, through Jesus Christ, every single one of these things that the fairy tales talk about is true and will come to pass. We will hang out with angels. We will have loves from which we are never parted. We will see an absolute triumph over evil. There is a beauty who will kiss you in all your beastliness and transform you. There is a prince who will save us, forever. The reality leaves me breathless, and astonished!

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."- C.S. Lewis 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Recycling Used to Look Like, This Is True, I'm Not Making This Up, Seriously....

And it was simpler and I wish, sometimes, we could all agree to be that way again - but not always.

Okay, what made me think of this - today - when I was emptying my small trash cans and I began to think -   Is everyone that way - activities lead you to thoughts about other things, other times, other places - things people have said.....?

Emptying small trash cans in individual rooms always makes me think of a conversation I had with a college roommate - actually, we shared an apartment  - my friend, Martha - and we were both from our small town of Evergreen and our moms were friends and same agish....  so we were discussing, way back then, the task of emptying small trash cans - and how we didn't get it done until they were full to overflowing - at which point Martha talked about how her mother had done the task daily when Martha was living at home - how her mom, Addy, would never let the trash cans get out of hand - or so it seemed.  I remarked, with a smile, my mom either!!!  What a difference in their generation and ours... what's happened to us, we wondered - and continued to let the trash cans fill up.  I have no clue what we did about the larger "kitchen garbage can".

So I'm 61 now and my mind aimlessly goes back, on cue, to that conversation each time I empty my small trash cans - only.... today I thought more about it and how I think about it on cue - but I also thought about how we didn't have the small trash can liners back then.  No one had the liners when our mothers were doing that daily task nor when Martha and I were doing that in 1973 and 1974.  And.... on top of that they didn't have the liners for the kitchen garbage cans.

So here we come to my comments on recyclling and how it was done.

1.  Before Milk Cartons there were Glass Milk Bottles and the full bottles were left at our side door - to be returned, empty, on the requested schedule.  Replaced by more full bottles of milk.  We did the same with glass coke bottles.  Returning them wasn't required, as the cokes were not left at our door, but we didn't drink so much coke - only on special occasions - and - the motivation was that if we returned them to the designated location - usually the local grocery store - we'd get 2 cents per empty bottle.  You better believe my mother returned our glass coke bottles - as well as saving her S&H Green stamps which she got from the grocery store - to be redeemed for selected products at the S&H Green Stamp Store.

2.  Some innovative someone thought of the milk cartons and soon, no more glass milk bottles.  Then, of course, there were no plastic grocery bags, only the large brown paper bags which Mother definitely saved from her Thursday trips to the grocery store, doing her weekly grocery shopping - Thursday afternoons, coming in from school, were wonderful - I knew definitely that Mom had been to the grocery store and couldn't wait to see what I would have to snack on after school.  Okay - back to the brown bags.  Those were mother's garbage can liners - with a layer of saved newspapers beneath the brown bag to catch any yukky moisture - BUT - to cut down on yukky moisture - and we did not have garbage disposals yet - not in our house - Mother saved her cartons, opened them up to a square opening and she put her food scraps and coffee grinds in the empty milk carton.  If she'd had a garden, she could have composted that - but she didn't have a garden.  I'm small town, but I wasn't raised on a  farm, nor were Mom or Dad garden oriented.  Mother got fresh vegetables from curb markets and the local A&P.  Or from friends who gifted her with their overflow.  I definitely grew up eating fresh vegetables.  My grandmother didn't even grow her own garden - but there were always fresh vegetables to eat at her house.

That's really all I have to say about recycling.  We just had less to throw out, I think.  I like liners.  I love liners.  I do not like yukky garbage which leads to yukky garbage cans.  Let's keep that liner up and over the can.

Still - I have a fondness for brown grocery bags.  I prefer them, actually, but I don't request them.  I just always take the plastic bags which are not at all aesthetically pleasing.  Not at all.  Yet, with babies back in my world, the plastic grocery bags are perfect for dirty diapers - but when I had babies, I disposed of my dirty diapers in all of my saved bread bags.

Which takes us to cloth diapers vs. disposable - now there's a whole other way to recycle.  I totally went with disposable diapers.  Completely.

I succumb to all the conveniences, but if we could all agree to go back - all of us - I would, maybe.

Monday, September 24, 2012


We're all loving it, aren't we?  Thank you, Lord, for this season!!!!  How can one love a particular season so much? - when, actually, it feels like I love Spring and Summer equally as much - and then comes Fall.  Sorry, Mr. Winter, you have your place, too - just not the same feeling.  You are our rest - our repose - our calm before the wild burst of life and living and energy which abounds in the other 3 seasons.

So - this is all I have.  Pictures of 3 wreaths I've made and my display of pumpkins and mums.  Not very original, and I had planned not to succumb to the temptation of all those gorgeous pumpkins at the Market across from Calvary Baptist Church in Scottsboro, AL - but I did.  Yesterday was too perfect in temperature and sky and air and so I headed down to get my pumpkins.  Charlie went with me, and Ellie and Luke, and Sarah and Ann - and I loaded up.  We loaded up.  Charlie and I.  For me, it's a lot.  I don't usually buy so many all at once.  But they keep all the way through Thanksgiving.  They do, usually.

And so follows my parade of pictures of my hand-crafted wreaths and my display of pumpkins and chrysanthemums:

Happy Fall 2012.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Just saying....

This is true, it's too exhausting - so I don't even pretend at this.

I'm 61 and I've long ago passed that aha moment in a woman's life where she exclaims, 
"Oh my gosh! I'm my mother!"

I'm now one of those women who sighs and says,
"Dear God, please let me be my mother..."

How did Mother do 61 so great?  She did 61 great. She was great at 61.
Great, great, great.

Let's see, I was 29 when Mother was 61....
and expecting my first baby.

But I did see the above ecard on another blog which I discovered last night.

I recommend it.

I got it off another blog which I also recommend.

Both are good reading.

There are some intense stories behind both ladies which make their blogs so good.
You have to read the About part of their blogs.  

Meet Glennon  is how it reads on Momastery

That's it.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid of our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately upon them. —John Flavel

I had saved the following from Of First Importance which comes directly to my email because it gave me so much assurance:

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 05:07 AM PDT
Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’ (Acts 3:22)
Jesus Christ is called and appointed by God to be the great Prophet and teacher of the Church. The weakest Christians need not be discouraged at the dullness and incapacity they find in themselves. Christ is not only a patient and condescending teacher, but he can also, as he has often done, reveal that to babes, which is hid from the wise and learned (Mat 11: 25).
Yea, and such as you are, the Lord delights to choose, that his grace may be the more conspicuous in your weakness (1 Cor. 1: 26, 27). You will have nothing of your own to glory in; you will not say, as a proud wretch once said, “I and my God did this.” Jesus Christ will not divide the praise with any.
Well then, be not discouraged. Others may know more in other things than you, but you are not incapable of knowing so much as shall save your souls, if Christ will be your teacher. In other knowledge they excel you: but if you know Jesus Christ, and the truth as it is in him, one drop of your knowledge is worth a whole sea of their gifts.”
— John Flavel
The Fountain of Life

Then today, as I returned to it, to read it, I began to wonder who is John Flavel.  I was thinking he was a contemporary writer, but it occured to me, perhaps he's one of those older church fathers whose works are still blessing so many.  Sure enough - John Flavel lived from 1628 to 1691.  I'd never heard of him.  So - I found the quote above with which I began this post.

I am blessed and in awe how the God who is the Alpha and the Omega, Who was there touching and speaking and making life in the beginning and all through what we refer to as "long time ago" up until right now - has revealed and always will reveal to men and women - the truth - that we must be covered in the blood of Christ - that we are beggars in need of a Savior Redeemer - lover of our souls, and that it is about resting in Him - that we have nothing and He has everything. 

Let us look to Him.


Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Sorry, I Realize That My Posts Are So Serious if There Are Any Posts At All

Still, I have to put this here - and if you meet me on the street, my life is so very daily and my conversation not at all serious - in fact, you probably will find me breaking into laughter - just because I do that a lot and I find the ordinary rather humorous - and I probably will talk about the mundane - because this world compared to the next - well - good grief - 

I actually do have very heavy trials to observe, but not personally experience.  I have two friends who are each living through difficult situations (along with their families) - One possibly has ovarian cancer and the other a severe form of dementia - Both trials turn one's attention toward the eternal and the end of life.  Also - I keep up with two stories on CaringBridge - one, a young mother is fighting for her life and unless God heals her miraculously - then she will not be on this earth much longer.  She has two young sons.  She has a strong faith in God and understands her redemption in Christ.  

In my, what would appear to be, ordinary life, (but it is not at all ordinary since  I know that my life is ordered by the Creator of this Universe and the Creator of the Heavenly Realms)  I am preparing for the upcoming fall and winter and spring - in our church - to teach an art class for first thru sixth graders.  Also, I am gearing up to help Ann with her homeschooling tasks, by keeping her two youngest two days a week, to lighten the load a bit.  At my age, the concious intentional preparation of a task which has been given to me (the art class)  seems to be much more overwhelming to me than in my younger days.  In my heart I might be throwing my face into my hands and wailing, "Oh Woe Is Me! I Cannot Do This!"  But on the outside I smile and say, "Sure, I can handle it.  I'll be fine."  My kind, enduring husband, Charlie, hears what is in my heart.  He hears it out loud.  Actually, in my younger days, I did the same thing.  But I know that this is something God has given me to do.  I'm like those weak guys in the Old Testament to whom He gave tasks, and they whined all the way through the tasks - all the while God really doing the tasks - they were just His Whining Vessels.  I would that I was a Shining Vessel instead of a Whining Vessel.  :-)  See?  I like to laugh, especially at myself.  Well, I laugh at us all.  :-)

Anyway - there's other microscopic things going on.  My favorite thing to do is work in the yard.  Love the physical exertion of that.  I love it.  I don't do that very much, though - not these days.  Or my other favorite is work on a project, like a painting project - or any kind of personal project for the home.

All of that wasn't the serious part.  Below is what I love to read and know and absorb.  I want it to be in every cell - in my soul and body - I also want all whom I know and see and meet to read it and know it and absorb it. It's so true that we can't fully absorb that kind of truth.  I want to, though.  My humanity is all around me.  I'm entangled in it - yet, here is the real light and truth and reality. 

To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him.  Even so, Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega", says the Lord God, "Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty".  
Revelations 1: 5b - 8

To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 
Revelations 1: 5b - 6

"Is - is he a man? asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of a the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea.  Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man.  Is he - quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the king I tell you."

- from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Few Recommendations

Okay - 2 weeks since my last post.

I'm sick of seeing "Guess What I Did Yesterday" as the leading post.  It screams at me.  See?  I go to my blog regularly to see if there are new posts by other friends, family and various creative people.
The first thing I see is that loud title from two weeks ago.

So I'll share this.

I was listening to and watching, online,  an interview, yesterday, of J.I. Packer.  There were a few things I copied that he said.

Here is one:


Martin Lloyd Jones, how do you characterize his influence on you? (he mentioned other ways that Martin Lloyd Jones influenced him, as a pastor and teacher of God's word, but here is the one I copied down)

"In his sense that in the mind of God a church is the central concern and his insistence that no Christian ought ever to be content until the church is alive and cutting ice for Christ in the community, that emphasis is with me still, and I still think like Jones thought." J.I.Packer

Another quote:

If asked what reading I would recommend to anyone nowadays who wants reading that will disciple them I always say to start by getting Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress under your belt and go on from there to Owen and Baxter.  J.I.Packer

I have never read Pilgrim's Progress.  I've meant to.  He is referring to John Owen and Richard Baxter.  I have read some of John Owen but nothing of Richard Baxter.

Does the reader of this post use Google?  I do a lot.  If I don't know the definition of word, google it.  If I'm curious about a subject, google it.  Or a person, google them.  Sometimes it's a wild goose chase and I give up.  More often than not, my questions are answered.

I recommend googling Richard Baxter.  I just did.  I want to read some of his writings.

Another thing I recommend.  It's a cleaning product.  

Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner.  I have found it at Wal-mart.  It's one of those eco friendly cleaners and it smells delicious - like lavender.  Well, that's the scent I purchased.  Don't remember if there are others.  Ooh, so clean and refreshing to smell.  

Actually there are so many other scents because I just "googled" it.

The scent at the local Wal-Mart is lavender and I love it.
Makes me look forward, almost, to mopping my kitchen floor, 
or wiping down my counter tops.

One other recommendation
Besides beginning to read Richard Baxter or Pilgrim's Progress or John Owen,

daily go here:

This guy daily posts Tim Keller Quotes which are heart and soul and mind provoking.

Main recommendation.

daily say to God - "I want to know You.  I'm tired of me and myself.  Let me see You and love what You love.  Let me delight in what You delight in.  Show me Yourself. Draw me to Your Word. Give me a hunger for You and Your Word. Break my heart, cause it to be contrite and yielded to You."

Imagine God in Heaven and on Earth - creator of everything - and He loves us and loved us. 
God the son, became flesh and bore all of our sin and sorrow and grief and despair.
He bore our humanity so that we can be covered in Him, in all that He is and who He is.
He gave us all of His joy.

Say yes.