Measure Up

Lately, I have had trouble with measuring things. I ordered bamboo blinds for the windows in our family room from an online site. They arrived quickly, as promised. When I pulled them out of the box, I was unsure how I would install them on my own, but all the hardware was included. I held them up to the window and realized they were an inch longer than the inside frame. My hubby asked, “Did you measure first?” I absolutely measured twice and wrote it down! Luckily, I could send them right back, but I still do not have window shades for fear that I will mess up the order again. I also bought a TV console that was two inches shorter than I expected. Could there be a problem with my vision when I am filling out the forms online? This is a good excuse to invite experts over to measure and install my home decor. Then, I ordered four “photo” fans, but instead received four foot fat head photos on foam board. The internet is not my favorite way to shop. 

It is difficult for me to turn these events into a positive lesson. When I get out the yard stick, I stress about whether I measure up to other’s expectations and I am sure I fall short. How can I be a good wife when I am traveling out of town? How can I be a good mother when my children live far away? FaceTime and social media certainly help me to stay in contact, but the personal touch is missing. Quite frankly, I need hugs and kisses or I will wither away. How can I be a good friend when I divide my time between two homes? I practically nag friends for lunch dates or event gatherings whether I am North or South. No one really wants a part time friend. How can I measure up? 

Doubts about my value invade my mind when I spend too much time alone. Hubby reminds me that God is always with me even when I am home alone or lonely. He doesn’t try to measure me or I would smack him. He accepts me as I am and assures me that I am valuable. I am lucky to have been really spoiled by a family that filled my days with excitement and laughter. The days are so much quieter without them. Fortunately, this is perfect for the life of a writer or a reader, which I do quite a bit now. 

My prayer is to find a rhythm of life that is suitable for my health and boosts happiness without relying on chocolate so much. If you are looking for the same, let’s make a weekly date. A leisurely walk each day would be better than the hours I have been spending on the computer. Motivation starts with companionship! Sports are a big part of our life, but mostly from the couch these days. Please come get us out of the house for some dancing, golf, tennis, bowling, or hopscotch before my muscles forget their purpose.

I do have other outside activities. I still volunteer for charitable causes, and love all that the church offers for spiritual and mental well being. Once again it is hard to be consistent with my efforts when I travel so much. 

I may not always measure up to everyone’s expectations as a family member, volunteer, friend, or teammate, but I do really want to develop healthy relationships. Hubby still boosts me with daily encouragement. I anticipate his homecoming each day by putting down my cell phone (unless granddaughter Lilliana calls), and getting dinner ready. Needless to say I don’t follow a recipe that requires measuring. When it comes to numbers, I would like to put away the measuring stick and simply count all the things that make me grateful. We all can count on God’s love which is infinite.C3261A15-DABF-4CFD-AB45-3FB8E3AAA2EA

Advertisements

Angry Birds

Yesterday, the birds seemed to flutter around every time I went out the front door or into the yard. Cue the Carpenter’s song “Close to You”. Then, as I walked toward the apple trees, they started to squawk in a non melodic, scolding sound. I stood still. When I turned to observe what nest I might be close to, one bird buzzed past the back of my head and I felt its wing brush my hair. Hitchcocky to be sure. What could I do but talk to them aloud? “I am not here to harm you or offend you,” I said, “I just want to tend the garden and enjoy nature.” I took a video to see if could capture their tirade. Angry birds cannot be subdued. 

When people are angry, it is hard to talk to them as well. Defensive or passive aggressive remarks do not help the situation. Silence can be a killer. The worst of all is ranting to everyone else about a situation, which then poisons the well for not only the person who has angered us, but for everyone else who drinks in the words of gossip. This happens in families, in circles of friends, in the work place, and in neighborhoods. Unsuspecting people can be caught in the crossfire. 

Even though Jesus raised his voice and hands in frustration when the temple was used as a marketplace, we are cautioned to avoid angry encounters. There is a time when righteous anger is necessary to clearly state an injustice, and hopefully shut down wrong doing. If it leads to deadly battles, then I question how many lives must be lost to save the future of humanity. Sacrifice is noble, but I WISH IT WAS NEVER NECESSARY. The caps where accidental, but I decided to keep them as is. 

Proverbs has many warnings against anger: 29:11 “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Oh, to always be wise and never angry. Jesus also warns according to Mathew: “‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” We may always feel our “cause” is true and justified. Radical Jesus would suggest we put away the swords, guns and bombs, and heal the enemy. 

Don’t think that I am never outraged. When I see abuse or hear lies, it sets my temper ablaze. Luckily, my family has not witnessed this too many times. I tend to listen, process, and plan before I march into battle. When there are issues that are beyond my reach or expertise, I trust God for ultimate control of the things I do not like or understand. Disappointment and frustration always accompanies news of horrendous injustice that happens around the world. There would never be hope or peace without faith in a mighty God that desires the best for all humanity.

 I do not plan to battle with the birds or tell them they are ugly and unpleasant. Hopefully, they will recognize me as a peacemaker. If things escalate, I will have to call upon my friend Josh, the bird specialist at the Tampa Zoo, for advice. My sons-in-law will also remind me that we are guests on earth and will suffer the consequences for invading the space of animals. 

Thank you for sharing your songs with me dear flying friends. I promise to put fresh seed in the feeders and you might teach me to sing in harmony.087BAB16-DD30-41CF-B4B0-6CF1448176DB.jpeg

Equal Under the Sun

Yesterday, we went to the USGA, Women’s Professional Golf Open, at the Charleston Country Club. It was 90+ degrees, so we knew the greatest challenge would be to stay hydrated and out of direct sun as much as possible. The enormous live oak trees provided plenty of shade for the number of people attending, and there was a pleasant breeze coming across the bay that kept blowing off my hat. The MUSC First Aid stations offered free refills of water in our bottles, and the Teletron reminded us to drink often. We all sweated profusely.

The golfers, all young, fit and beautiful with their tanned legs and cute outfits, managed to look composed with every skilled swing of their clubs. Many did wear long white sleeves of performance fabric that were meant to provide protection from ultra violet light and wick away moisture to keep the skin cooler. The golfers were impressive even though we only saw one birdie putt during our walk around the course.

It is curious to me why women athletes don’t receive as much attention as their male counterparts. They do not receive as much prize money either. This is an area where women are still fighting for equality. I have been an advocate for equal opportunity for women in education and in the workplace- entertainment and sports included. Spectators and sponsors must be the first to show support so that the tournament revenue will increase the prize money. Great strides have been made but much work is still to be done.

The role of women in other cultures around the world still shows a lack of respect and equality for the hard work they do. My friend Mel the missionary explained that in the arid land of some portions of Kenya, the women are responsible for raising the children, making products to sell at the market, and minding the animals that provide food for the family. The men spend the money as they please. Women do not feel valued at all until they hear about the love of Jesus.

These situations remind me of one of my favorite biblical passages from Paul’s letter to the Galatian people.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This is a liberation message that has drawn people from around the world into the heart of Jesus. We all are equal in the eyes of God and we all have been set free! Empowerment makes us bolder to do the work God has planned for us: to love one another and serve others with a joyful heart.

The caddies for the women golfers carried their bag of clubs, held umbrellas over them to shield them from the sun, and advised them on each play. Many were men; sometimes brothers. Male or female, they had the role of servant that made it possible for the golfers to do their best. This is a great model for us too.

To serve others does not mean we are less than another. Jesus proclaimed: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” He values the one who gives freely and generously out of love and respect for others.

We are all given skills and opportunities. Our course in life may be hot and sweaty at times, or it may be hard work that requires us to “roll up our sleeves”. If we allow God to guide and protect us, it will be like the added white sleeves of the golfers that helped them to feel and perform their best. If the love of God is par for the course, the redemption by His son will even the score. Play on!

Duel with Duality

Yesterday, I was awake at 5:30 am, so I did what any respectful wifey would do and jostled my sleepy hubby awake.  I asked, “Do you want to go to the beach to see the sunrise?” You might think a man on a semi vacation would mumble grumble and go back to sleep, but my hubby said, “What time is it?” I told him and he said,”We’d better hustle.” I had checked the day before and learned that the sun was due to show its neon orange face at 6:15 am. We must be morning people.  We did encounter a few others like us when we arrived. Some were walking their doggies while others jogged. Everyone makes eye contact and wishes each other a Good Morning. Oh such joy I feel at the shore!

The beach is a place of relaxation and refuge for many people and animals, however, there is evidence each time we are there that is a place of death. Invariable we see jellyfish and horseshoe crab that are at the end of their life cycle. Yesterday, we saw our first sea turtle who had unfortunately met his demise. Hubby said, “We are in a place of great beauty and tragedy.” There is a duality to many situations. When the pain of child bearing results in great joy of new life, or the grief of a lost loved one results in their eternal peace or life in heaven; we celebrate both emotions dancing together in our minds.

The beach also is a reminder of power and serenity. The wind, waves and undertow have knocked me about and swept my children beyond my grasp. But the comfortable floating on top of the refreshing water is a renewing and rejuvenating experience. The power of the sun is a struggle we constantly battle. It feels like a warm embrace and with careful regulation will tan our hides to a delicious caramel color. The burn is real if we are overexposed to the power of the rays, and it seems each year that my skin is more susceptible.

 It baffles me how one thing can be good and bad. From this stems the whole story of man and woman living in a perfect garden. Corrupted by desire and selfish motives, the tragic overpowers the beauty. This is why every individual does well to understand their duality and the need to follow the perfect example of love that will conquer our pain, grief, and hopelessness. Jesus is that example. His radical forgiveness is the buoyancy of the ocean water. His sacrifice is the blood orange sun that rises to warm us. His promises are the life giving forces that swim in the depths and skitter on the sand dunes to our delight. The freedom of living in Christ is a breath of sea breeze that fills our lungs and empowers both our body and spirit to heal and renew. Our selfish desires are nothing more than the soulless carcasses that are left behind to decay and wash away.

When we choose to see only the good or the bad, and not recognize the dichotomy of opposing forces around us, we miss the reality God. Our journey with a loving Creator is a walk with beauty and tragedy. Our spirit will survive and our body will be cast away. Joy is continually present when we believe in the power of renewal and redemption.

Let us walk with each other and we shall marvel together at creation and the life cycle that is evidence of perfection. Even with our own dual nature, we too are made perfect in God’s eyes. 

Taking Toll

Driving would be so enjoyable if there were no toll booths, construction, traffic jams, detours or people honking their horn. I decided to drive to Iowa from Ohio, hoping it would be a twelve hour trip. A delightful overnight in Chicago would make it even more appealing and less tiring. It was a sunny start and quite pleasant through Ohio on Interstate 80. Indiana was relatively smooth as well, so I made my destination in six hours with only one small mishap at the toll booth. I forgot the “E-Zpass” at home and had to pay with cash, but could not get over into the cash lane. I will probably get a letter in the mail with a bill for twice the regular amount as a penalty.

I remember when there used to be a friendly toll collector to take my money and it was only thirty cents. Indiana cost me thirteen dollars and Illinois wanted a dollar fifty every fifteen minutes. Sheesh. It sure took a toll on my pocket book and my nerves while it added time to my travel. 

My GPS was on good behavior this trip, even though we are not the best of friends right now. The next leg of the trip would be an hour longer than expected and I got an early start so I would be in Emmetsburg by dinner time. In the first hour I missed a cash toll booth again, stopped for gas, used a credit card for the next toll and was honked at for taking too long. The sound of the horn made me fumble the card and nearly pee my pants. 

Onward and westward I traveled as the sky darkened to a midnight blue in the North and the temperature rose twenty degrees. It occurred to me that conditions were being set for a tornado. Then the rain started. Suddenly, I was the only one on the road as the downpour hampered the visibility of the pavement. I felt like I was holding my breath and swimming the length of the pool underwater. I considered what to do if I saw a funnel cloud and turned the radio on to listen for a weather report. A classics station played, “Driving my life away, looking for a better day, for me.” Oh Eddie Rabbit, please don’t be my prophetic word. 

It was at least thirty minutes later that the rain let up and the sky lightened. Then the emergency weather bulletin came on and said, “There is a tornado warning for your area, watch for flying debris, get out of your mobile homes and off the roads.” My response was, “Angels just led me through that storm. Thank you Jesus.” Deep breathing and meditation continued until the next toll booth. Several attempts with my credit card were futile and a receipt appeared like a tongue sticking out and proclaimed I should pay on-line.

Up next, to add to the anxiety level, was a detour off of route 80 and through a farm town of Iowa. We were processionary circus elephants plodding along. The temptation to find another route was present, but I resisted. The final two hours of the trip were effortless and the sweet reward of seeing the family will always be cherished. 

That which takes a toll on our lives cannot always be avoided. It can be managed with the attitude that good things come from considerable effort. Be it known that I believe disaster was averted through prayer and trust that divine forces carried me through the stressful times. Psalm 91 is written on my heart. “For He shall give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways.” 

The five star B&B is in Hinsdale  with Lise and Ed Spacapan.E246A424-2A79-4B9F-B446-C456DCE62181

Two Voices

Wednesday, a simple trip from Columbus, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana went awry due to two voices on my cell phone GPS. I goofed up “big time” by listening to the wrong voice. I could not hold my phone and drive, and I could not look at the directions with my sunglasses on. Two and a half hours turned into five and a half hours of driving, with only one stop in the middle of farm land to figure out why there were no signs or highways in view. It was a sunny Spring day drive, past pastures of new born colts and fields of grazing sheep. I enjoyed the first hour, truthfully, until I learned that I was heading due South and an additional two hours away from my Western destination. 

“Lord have mercy,” I said aloud, “what did my hubby do to me when he took my phone and set up my driving plan on Google Maps?” I really could not blame him because he clearly told me to find Interstate 70 and take it the whole way. I never saw 70. What I did see was a traffic jam off of Rte 315, so I thought the GPS was redirecting me to save time and avoid frustration. Nope. I will never figure out how my map app switched to the first route that I attempted to log in with Siri. She and I are no longer friends. 

How do we choose between two voices that constantly play in our minds? Should I have dessert tonight (I love the sweet endings to my meals), or should I stick to my goal of a healthier lifestyle that eliminates inflammation and unnecessary weight gain? It is obvious that healthy choices are the right ones. Then there is the voice of my desire saying, “Skip the walk today and stay home where it is warm,” while the wise voice says, “Get out and walk before your muscles turn to mush!” Similarly, the voice of the Holy Spirit gets drowned out by my own voice of worry, uncertainty, fatigue and apathy. God has plans for us to do good things together and I give up to often when it becomes hard work. 

My inner voice is the wrong one to listen to. My spiritual being knows better. Thankfully, I stop and reroute when I realize that I am not heading in the right direction. There was a moment when I thought I should just head back to Columbus where the hubby was in meetings. The greater reward of hugs from a granddaughter was waiting in Indy. I chose to move forward to my original goal and drive three and a half more hours without stopping. Boy, do I get good gas mileage. 

Our conscious efforts can be thwarted by the voice of others too. People can direct us wrongly even when they mean well. Others may have a strong voice that leads us to destruction when temptation takes over. Before I found an Interstate highway, I was delayed by a road crew. Two cars at an intersection dashed across the road right in front of me and crashed. Once again I called on the name of the Lord as I watched one car spin and crash again. NO ONE WAS HURT! This was quite the reminder for me to proceed with caution in order to get to my daughter’s house. 

I let my family know I took a frolicking detour, so I am pretty sure they were praying me to the finish. If you are ever unsure of which voice to listen to, it is probably the one guiding you to the harder task. Look at the map, write down the course, and travel safely my friends.95F0BAA2-81DB-45E2-96D4-F7458EB592DE.jpeg

I’m Floored

This week I used toothpaste to clean some of my hardwood floors. Unusual, but it is a remedy I found on Google. So I grabbed my tube of Crest and did a small trial patch (After all, I am not completely wacky and trusting of Google answers). The water spots disappeared, so I scrubbed a bigger area and it was working nicely. Now my floors smell minty fresh too! Some of the oak planks  were rough and not as easy to restore. The dampness must have been left on the floor for too long in the last mopping and it caused raised patches. We typically use Murphy’s Oil Soap and a sponge mop and have not had problems. One of my helpers likes the old style rag mop and I think it may have been the culprit that stressed out the sixty year old floor. Is anyone singing the funky song right now? RAGG MOPP Rag Mop. The next suggestion is to lightly sand and use furniture polish.

 

I also have some rough patches on my arms and legs, and have considered a light grade sand paper and Pledge furniture polish for that. If I smell lemony fresh you will know it worked. Truthfully, I am thin skinned and careful with loofas and razors. Emotionally, my family would say I am thin skinned, too. I don’t always know when they are joking, and sometimes I bruise too easily from the things that are said. Reflecting is important for healing in these cases. Is there truth to what has been said? Are there ways I can improve? Can I justify my actions without being defensive? How can I move past the offense and instead cover them with love to restore the relationship? Restoration usually starts with forgiveness and understanding. Sometimes it requires time and space.

 

Jesus forgave the worst offense that was completely unjustified. That is our radical example. So when others cause damage to a relationship, get out the toothpaste in the form of quiet forgiveness (not a public statement that is grandstanding), and polish in the form of gentle massaging of the soul (no bristle brushes). Let people know that you understand their view and want to work together for what is best. When our children become adults, they do not want to be parented, they want to be respected. Parents don’t want to be swept aside, we want to be appreciated.

 

Several of our hardwood floors were professionally sanded and restored. The smaller rooms and halls may need some extra tender loving care. When I pick up the area rugs, the floors look so pristine underneath. We can’t always protect the exposed wood just as we cannot throw a rug over our feelings. My hubby calls all the colors, dings and scuff marks “patina.” I hope his love will never waver as my own personal “patina” looks more weathered each year. Our love grows as we recognize the unique qualities of each other and our children. Too much scrubbing will wear off a fine finish. If you have a little mopping up to do, be sure to pat it dry when you are done. I always keep some Kleenex on hand.

 

 

 80118684-E376-4C7D-A99D-352585B97588

Overcome

Last week the unimaginable happened. Some of you have seen the picture on my daughter’s Facebook page already. Most of our family was gathering for the Easter holiday weekend. While we waited for more people to come, Lilliana, my seventeen month old granddaughter, was ascending the stairs. She is a steady climber. The descent is a little more treacherous and I sat next to her and held her hand as we took one step at a time on our bottoms, just as her parents taught her to do. When she spotted Auntie Hannah, she raised her arms and demanded, “Up”. Hannah obliged and picked Lilli up, then she pivoted in her stocking feet and slipped on the carpet. Without loosing her grip of Lilli, Hannah went boom boom boom boom on her bottom down the stairs. I yelped an “Oh my God,” praying that they came to a safe stop. Then Lilli let out an agonizing cry that would not subside until we made it to the Emergency Room and she fell asleep exhausted.

It was Good Friday, as it is known in the Christian world because it is the day we celebrate the death of Jesus. His death is the final sacrifice that removes all of our sins for all time when we believe and follow Him. It was not so good a Friday for Lilli. She has a fracture of her left tibia and now sports a purple cast. Thankfully, that cast prevents pain and she is no longer crying and unhappy. It was not so good for Hannah either. She loves Lilli so much and wants to protect her. She feels responsible and devastated that her niece experienced pain and suffering for a whole day before the problem was diagnosed and solved. Neither Bethany or Lewis, her parents, ever blamed Hannah or spoke any words of anger or upset. They remained calm and soothed both victims. This was the attitude that saved the day. They didn’t complain about missing lunch or time with family. They tended to the needs of the broken.37D22241-DC7D-40A2-9094-4B5F91C7AD07

Then there was the nightmare in my mind. I had the same accident with Hannah twenty-seven years ago. Different house, same scenario. I was in my stocking feet on the carpeted stairs and slipped. Hannah slid out of my arms and rolled down the stairs ahead of me. My Hubby rushed us to the ER and Hannah, who was silent and in shock I believe, suffered a fracture of the right radius. Seeing this replayed in front of me was horrifying and I wanted to burst into tears. I wanted to pray aloud, “Oh, Lord break this curse.” Bethany said, “If I see you have anxiety, it will increase mine.” That shut me right down. I was not going to add to anyone’s emotional state.

We may not be able to stop tragic events, or win against evil forces (like the Avengers do). We may not be able to stop disease and suffering, but we can fight against it. Jesus said, “ In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He calls us to be over-comers too. It is easier to overcome pain and suffering when you know the eventual outcome will be so good.

Forget the blame and ruminating about what should have been. Look at where we are and and how we can peacefully solve problems. We can make progress when we adopt the “over-comer” attitude. Fight against evil and not your family. Love the enemy and show them the way; one step at a time.

Shifting Forward

Last week I was visiting our good friends, the Barnetts, in Aiken, South Carolina. They have become part of the family and are the inspiration for enjoying life as octogenarians. They are wonderful hosts and delightful people. They have, however, a sinister mailbox that I backed into even though I was going straight back along the curb. My friend Linda was with me and has now witnessed two times that I have hit something while trying to drive backwards. I am not good at this maneuver. To my defense I must say that the box protruded an inch over the curb and was not visible in my review mirror or camera. The side wing of my car also protrudes an inch beyond the tire that was solidly on the street. I felt the bump and pulled into the driveway and got out to look at the damage of the mailbox. It was Fine.  We then took a look at the car and saw a one foot of black line and a dent. Not an easy fix. 

Driving in reverse reminds me of trying to go back to places in our life. Regrets often come to mind and the desire to go back and redo the past. We cannot change what has been. We might also try to return to happy places, but everything has changed and the warm feelings are lost. It is difficult to move forward if we get stuck on something in reverse mode. This usually leads to anxiety and negative thinking. No one chooses to be sad, it hits hard and leaves dents that are not easy to repair. Shifting to positive thinking is the only way to move forward and past those feelings.

There are steps to shifting back to a positive mindset. First, recognize that expecting negative outcomes even based on past experience is a defeatist attitude. Next, decide that you want a positive outcome because that will produce the happiness you seek. Third, focus on the all the good things that have occurred in your life. Some people write thankfulness journals. It is simple to jot down three small things each day for which we are thankful; from a good hair day, to a paycheck, or a miracle outcome that was unexpected. Another way to shift from the Debbie Downer attitude to a cheerful and optimistic disposition is to have a loving friend or family member identify things you say that are negative, so you can immediately shift to a logical and happy thought. “It is raining and my plans are all ruined,” can become, “Let’s shift into plan B and and have a great time inside!” 

The the methods that work best for me to shift forward involve music. I sing my way out of bad moods and thoughts pretty effectively. Eating chocolate and other comfort foods may have the same effect, but the consequences are fattening. That throws many people right back into reverse mode. Physical activity releases endorphins that make us feel better, so take a walk everyday.

If we find ourselves in serious trouble it is essential to ask for help. God and  people are ready to get us moving forward again. As for that scratch, it will remind me that repairs are expensive but necessary. My ability to focus on the road may waver but my focus on life will become more positive as I pray and see the power that God has given us to focus on Him. Don’t you think?52782E88-9E7C-4BB6-958A-9B4743619B06

Green Pastures

This week I hauled a pallet of sod from my next door neighbor’s driveway. I used his wheelbarrow and took about ten trips to carry fifty something pieces to my back yard. I wasn’t really counting because my adrenaline was rushing to get it all transferred before the rain. I unloaded carefully at first and then started dumping quickly. The last few loads were scattered in the misty rain. Today, I got done fitting them carefully together like monochromatic mosaic pieces. My neighbor, Steve, graciously offered his left over scraps when he witnessed me drooling over his new lawn project like a contented cow in a field of fresh greens. I have an easement in the back that is without grass and a large circular area that looks like there was once a swimming pool occupying the space. The sod was the right amount to line and define the garden areas where I have planted a dozen shrubbery. More sod or seed will be needed to complete the job.

My gardening skills have developed over many years of instruction by my father and possibly a genetic disposition for farming. I prefer this sweaty labor over workouts in a smelly gym. I hope to create a garden that is colorful and inviting. Hmm, inviting to people and bunnies, and not so much gators and other biting fauna. 

Sod requires a great deal of watering or hopefully rain to root and grow. This could be a problem if Charleston decides to have another drought this summer. We did not install a sprinkler system. The centipede grass typically lies dormant in the winter and makes a nice comeback in the summer, I am told. I probably should consult with my niece’s husband who is a specialist in this area. I had over seeded with Rye grass and now the golf course grade of sod will mean three kinds of grass growing together- harmoniously I hope. 

Living in harmony has been successful historically. Man, animal, and vegetation have had a lot of practice. Man gets out of control with building, but vegetation assures us it will take over if allowed. Christians, Muslims and Jewish communities have lived harmoniously in many countries. Then someone gets cranky and the music turns into cacophony,  a group is often oppressed or expelled. The music is missing an essential part. Harmony is so lovely that I wish it would last an eternity. Every culture of the world has music and gardens that are  a beautiful treasure to represent the skill of the people. Harmony must be highly valued. 

What will I do if my grasses fight with each other or die? I do not want to wipe out all of it to start over. I will be in repair and restore mode and pray for growth and renewal. Revival is promised based on past experience. This is something we are also seeing in faith communities. Our church is experiencing revival, tremendous growth and renewed faith. We are seeing the power of God’s love through healing countless people. We are hearing about God’s promise and desire for people to reconnect and accomplish astounding things to the glory of His holy name. 

The reach of this revival is like the shoots of grass that fill in the empty areas of soil. Reports and testimonies are being posted daily. 

Every blade of grass starts with a single seed. This is our Easter reminder that what was dead and buried has risen, is alive and growing. The body of believers will flourish. I encourage you to believe, be diligent, be consistent and behold the miracles that continue to occur. Happy Easter. He is Risen!8089CABD-62A4-4B34-B9CF-198A16AA912C