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Oh, and the pastor who used a dryer lint-trap to explain Lent (see Lint…and so forth) was none other than Charlie Lennard.  Thanks for the inspiration, Charlie!

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Don’t you love this photo for our assignment, LINT…AND SO FORTH!  My sister, Meg, has provided most of the photos, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart!

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I have found 8 Seconds to be transforming.  I’ve tended to think thatholy momentscan only come when I’ve got plenty of time, like a half-day retreat.  But what I think is about me, isn’t it?  The truth is that our loving Father can come close, and join us in a holy moment, if we’ll but turn our hearts toward Him for 8 Seconds.

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Are you learning something about yourself each week?  I sure am, and I’m not sure I like what I learned today.  (See Stand up Straight, Girls) Seated in Christ holding an armload of blessings was the assignment.  The image that formed in my mind was of myself clutching a small bunch tightly to my heart.  Quickly I amended this mental image–I know and believe that God’s blessings, poured out on billions of His children down through the ages, are overwhelming, never-ending, abundant, running over.  I know this.  My arms can not even hold all that He has blessed my small life with, so generously.  Lord, forgive me!  Heal whatever corner of my heart that feels the need to clutch your blessings as if you would ever be skimpy.  May I learn from the picture you have given:  Your life within is an ever-flowing spring from which I may drink my fill and share.  May I never be stingy with the water you give.

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With every week, I seem to learn something new.  Case in point, this week (Watch Your Step), it is ironic that I can do nothing besides watch my step.  Even though the cast is off my foot, I still need to think through every single step–from journeying to the loo to gathering laundry, I’ve attempted to plan so that I don’t waste steps.  But of course, halfway through my work day today, I felt the need to hobble across the plant just to pin a work order to the board.  Now my foot hurts.

Or, take my 87-year old mother, and I share this with utmost respect.  When she kept stumbling this weekend, I emphatically urged her to “Sit down, Mother; you’re so tired you’re stumbling around.”  At which she took me aside and with equal emphasis informed me she wasn’t tired; her bedroom shoes were too big.  As if that cleared it all up and absolved her.

What I’m learning is this–when we mis-step, we need to sit down.  Sip something warm and soothing.  Contemplate exactly why our walk has stumbled.  In my case, why do I do this to myself?  Why not just ask one of the boys to come get the piece of paper?

It can take as much grace to sit down…as to keep walking.

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Listen to the birds! (see IN THE COOL OF THE DAY)  This bright winter morning that feels like spring, I couldn’t help but listen.  A bird high in the willow tree was bellering the same three notes over and over.  I imagined that she was calling her mate, “Where are you, where are you?”  May I never be deaf to God Almighty’s daily whisper, “Where are you?”

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How to be grateful in a week filled with dinky things, distractions, and a small annoyance? I wound up with my foot in a soft cast and boot, thanks to tendonitis, the very week we are practicing gratitude (see ONE DOWN, NINE TO GO)  “Isn’t God in the dinky things?” my daughter pointedly asked.  Good point; let’s see how this theory works out. On day three of the boot, it was imperative that I take a bath. How to make it happen… Hmmm…where did these large heavy trash bags come from?  I don’t remember buying them.  And don’t I have some duct tape from last year’s hula hoop project?  Yes, indeed, God is in the dinky things, even a gal’s need to bathe.  May I learn to rest and be thankful in His sufficiency!

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The cool thing that happened to me while practicing WEAR IT WELL:  I began the day with a becoming scarf to let my “gentleness be evident to all.”  Had to take it off and don a drape and foil at the beauty parlor…you know the look.  While those highlights were processing, here came three ladies.  One was getting her hair cut short.  Loud laughter, sort of annoying.  But I prayed, “Lord, how you love women’s laughter!  Bless these ladies.”  As the haircut progressed, it became evident that the client was facing chemo, and her friends were there to support her.  I tried to be as gentle as I could when I took her place in the chair, and that should have been the last I ever saw those ladies…except, they recognized me in the grocery later.  “Didn’t we just see you in the beauty shop?  We should carpool next time,” one of the ladies quipped.  “I’m surprised you recognize me without the foil,” I countered.  And here’s where God blessed me:  “I always recognize a sweet person,” the lady answered.  So, maybe it doesn’t take a scarf, after all.  Keep WEARING IT WELL, my sisters, AS YOU GO!