Prayer

Yesterday, I asked my family to review what I wrote in response to the numerous rants on Facebook. I did not want to post something that would upset or embarrass them. I wanted advise on how to clearly express myself. I wanted to know their opinion on the delicate and divisive discussions that are being posted. Their thoughtful discourse was not only wise and sensitive, but made such an impression on me that I knew I must completely rewrite my blog. They all agreed that the most important point is this: we all seek to be loved and desire healthy relationships. We want to give lovingly to others and we need good role models to show us how. My family convinced me that they are capable of looking at problems with a logical perspective and finding solutions. It is gratifying to have adult children who are so helpful and reasonable. It is wonderful to have a husband that has consistently been an excellent role model for our family. And it is a blessing to have friends with which I feel a close bond of Sisterhood and can openly and safely discuss my concerns. Thank you, all of you for your constant support. I love to communicate and share and instruct and analyze. This seems to be true of Facebook friends as well. Forgive us when we over emote dear Lord. I have said things in print that sent me into a heart pounding shock at some of the negative responses that came back at me, mainly because I never thought anyone was really paying attention. Happily, most responses from those who read what I write are positive and cheerful. Thank you for that most of all. Please realize that those of us who are writing or scrolling are at home alone and looking for company. I truly miss those daily hugs and kisses from my sweetie girls. But oh how proud I am to see them grown up and conquering the daily issues of life with such finesse. Yes, we are still goofy together and share some private ventilating moments, but eventually find our center. I look forward to every chance we have to gather together. It is now the sisters in Christ that I rely on daily to pray with me over all our concerns. We could fill books with the prayers that have been answered in ways we did not expect. Let us pray without ceasing and rejoice in all circumstances. I did not know until recent years that it is prayer that is the most powerful connection and an action that leads to perfect peace. God bless our family and everyone in the whole wide world. Amen

Graded

Yesterday, I started reading my first book by Max Lucado. He will be the guest speaker at Seacoast Church this weekend, so I was delighted when my friend Stephanie was giving away some books and I spotted, “In The Grip Of Grace”. It begins with a story of four brothers and their response to the life their father offers them. One brother is described as the “judgementalist” which distracts him from experiencing the gifts he has been given. Lucado goes on to explain the trap of judging others and that we are warned in Romans 2:1 ” If you think you can judge others, you are wrong”. I am constantly evaluating everything in daily life in order to make the best choices. I know I am guilty of analyzing people as well. The second part of the scripture warning is that we will be judged in return. School has just started, and even though I am a retired teacher I have been graded twice in the past couple weeks. My Aunt Dori gave me an A+ on a lecture I gave to women who were interested in how I published my first book, “What I Learned From Children”.( I have now sold all the books I have, but they are still available on Amazon.) Then, my neighbor Tony was walking by and stopped to tell me I get an A on my garden clean up and new plantings. The week before he sheepishly announced that my weeds were doing better than my flowers. It is validating to be graded with high marks. This did initiate a self evaluation on the other areas of my summer endeavors. How am I doing on home organization, on hostessing, on building friendship in the community, and family connection. How am I doing on maintaining long distance friendship while I am away from my second home in Charleston? How am I doing as a wife and mother, caring for my husband and adult children who live far far away? How am I doing with generosity and inviting others to be part of my life? How are my writing and communication skills? How are my goals coming along; to build physical endurance, pray intentionally, and make God first in my life- caring for my spirit, soul, and body. I have a big report card and maybe a few of these things get an incomplete. Some of my sweet loved ones will give me high marks, but I want to improve on those weaker areas that may be blocking healthy relationships or good spiritual connection. We don’t really like to think that we are constantly being graded, but we most certainly are. People notice things and the bold ones will tell you when you have have more weeds than flowers in the garden. How motivating that is to kick it into gear and make improvements. It is important to give meaningful compliments and encouragement. However, we should be cautious of common remarks like, “You look pretty today”, or ” You look tired”, which can have a big impact on a person and their confidence. Please be gentle with your evaluations of others- and never judge them behind their backs. And let’s be generous with handing out a few more A+ grades when you see that someone has given their best. Now back to Max Lucado so other three brothers can tell me about grace.images

Sauced

Yesterday, I started my morning by picking up at least fifty apples that have fallen from our ancient tree- which only has one large limb left. The trunk of this tree is hollow from rot, but oh the tart apples make the best sauce. Today, I have picked up many more that have fallen after a little rain shower. I plan to make pie and apple crisp as well, but how do you do that when the 3 button is out of order on the oven? Certainly, baking at 299 or 400 will not give good results. I may have to freeze the pies and bake them after the new oven arrives. “Christmas”, did you say my darling husband? Today will be a sauce day. I have learned to do it all on my own but it is far more fun with the family helping, or with a friend to chat with as we cut up the apples. The sauce part is fun and easy with the new fangled machine that spits out the waste to one bowl and squeezes out the sauce in another when I manually turn a crank handle. We don’t add sugar as our parents did. We actually love the tart flavor of the Maiden Blush variety that we harvest. The labor intensive part is the apple slicing. I try to make quick work of it by making four cuts around the core and throwing only the apple and peel into the pot to boil. My husband is more meticulous- as he is in every job he does. Well, no matter how you slice it, the applesauce comes out delicious every time. I learned that the ones that were left in the sun over the weekend actually made a little sweeter sauce. The best part is delivering pints to the neighbors and those who are home bound. Applesauce Ministry we are now calling it. Our children might say, “World Peace through sauce”. When you have abundance, what do you do with it; store it up or share it? We have learned that when we hold on to some things too long, they go to waste. Freezer burn spoils the flavor of the sauce. Stuff in the cellar gets forgotten and moldy. Stuff in the fridge takes on a life of its own. Stuff in the attic gets infested with all kinds of critters ( no, I don’t put apple products in the attic, but have you seen what a mouse can do with a book?). So come on over and get some apples to make your own concoction and I will give you a pint of freshly made sauce. If you would like to share your oven for pie baking, you may keep half of what we bake. How do you like them apples?image

Tech Troubles

Yesterday, I was very frustrated with my cell phone. People were calling me and I was not hearing the phone ring. ( yes, I was wearing my hearing aids and the ringer was turned on).  People were trying to leave messages, but my voicemail claims to be full even though I have deleted all but the message from my daughter, Elise, singing Happy Birthday.  I am keeping that one forever and maybe one from my hubby so I can hear his voice whenever I want to. The day before I was not able to make calls from my Bluetooth in the car. The cell phone was not communicating with the car system and then after that I could not even call from the phone. image I shut everything down to start over. This is what Bethany my tech wizard daughter tells me to do. There is something on my voicemail that says, “Visual voicemail is currently unavailable”. Did someone try to leave a video message? I cannot seem to open it or delete it, and that is probably part the problem. My family has known for a while that the bigger problem is that I can press one button on electronics and something goes flooey. They may still privately think I did something wrong, but I know that it is the electrical charge of my touch. I don’t even have to scuff my feet on carpet to shock people ( well, I do that more with my words anyway). My husband confirmed through research that some people have static issues with technology and I must be one of them. I would like to think that same electron energy that causes tech trouble means that I have a healing touch when I am “hands on” with people. This is helpful in the prayer groups and with therapeutic clowning. There is no need to have sparks of frustration over my inadequacy because we all have different talents and we all are important to the “whole” body. It is off to the Geek Squad for my phone, but I will keep “in touch”.