Thursday, September 06, 2012

September Pause

Sweet Cherry Tomatoes


Late Butter Lettuce

Roma Tomatoes

Waterdrops on Spider Web

Spider Web, the Sequel

It's my hope that you enjoy the season which surrounds you!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

'Closed' to be Open

When I was a kid most stores were closed Sundays.

Until 7-11's came along. In their wake we, as consumers, learned that we had a safety net in case we forgot milk, eggs, or bread. The safety net caused our diligence to dull. One thing led to another and here we are, a plethora of open stores available every single day - and night - opportunities for shopping 'round the clock, which on its face doesn't seem like a bad thing, until we realize we traded rest for convenience.

Lately, nostalgia has crept into my soul. Sunday used to be a special day, and not just because my family and I are church participators. No, the whole country observed the notion of rest. As a child I didn't appreciate the cessation, the interruption of life's busyness. Today, I feel the loss.

Pleased to find this Sabbath Manifesto whose goal is to encourage us to slow down in an increasingly hectic world. I've printed up their Ten Principles for later perusal. I've taken The Pledge.  From sunset Friday, March 23, to sunset Saturday, March 24, I intend to unplug, to allow my soul the space to calmly realize who I am and what I need and want, to allow my mind a breather from the constant input of this technological age, and to allow my heart the opportunity to give wherever there may be need which I can meet.

We'll see how it goes.

For me, unplugging means the cell phone - which I only turn on when I'm away from home in case the kids or husband need to contact me - stays off. The computer can get along without me for a day. The television - and Netflix (that will be the hard one) can save electricity by remaining off for me. (It may be difficult if others in the household find my Pledge uncompelling, but this house has many rooms.) Avoiding commerce, easy. Getting outside, lighting candles, eating bread, yes! Connecting with loved ones shall mean more than asking them to 'throw another log on the fire'. No, it will be a pleasure to listen, share, seek mutual understanding, perhaps invite some friends over. Drink wine? Probably not. The effects of alcoholism in the lives of loved ones has slashed too much of my heart lately so this is best avoided for now. But a nice Draper Valley Juice would add much. Nurturing my health sounds like bliss - a brisk walk, eating real food, a warm bath, a clean bed, meditation in a dimly lit room. Giving back, yes. I eagerly look for God's guidance in this. Finding silence, not easy in a house full of adult children, a hyperactive husband, and a beagle. But I shall find it nonetheless, perhaps in the quiet morning hours while sleep restores bodies, or on a solitary walk.

This Challenge takes place on Saturday, and I will engage thusly. Sunday, however, is the day I intend to rescue from then on out. Sunday, a day of rest. A day to remember the resurrected Savior, to remember me, to remember you, and to remember the relationship which gently cradles the three.

'Closed' seems negative. 'Open' positive. However, in this case closed means freedom to be open. And I am eager for it!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Choose One's Own Way

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

~~~Victor Frankl

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Before a Fall

Proverbs 16:18

I had it coming.

Long overdue.

"Now that my family and I only eat good food and bla bla bla........we are never sick."

Haughty spirit.

It didn't begin that way, nope. Just unfortunately evolved from the joy of feeling better.

Will there ever be a time when I simply learn a lesson, tuck away its message, and move on?

Why, upon the upliftment of blessing, do I so often look around, compare myself to others, stick my nose in the air, and condescend? Simple graciousness would be a much better response.

Three years of not being sick. Three years of opportunity to practice gratitude.

But no. Instead, three years of arrogantly patting myself on the back, as though I'd achieved the feat on my own.

So, here comes a nasty head cold. A ten day doozy. "Well, I deserve this."

But it doesn't stop there. Nope, this comeuppance is only getting started.

Under lowered immunity pneumonia creeps in. Weakness, cough, aches, fever, chills, harder cough, sleeplessness, fatigue, more fever, swimming head, shakes, sweats, more chills, worsening cough. Entire family in various stages of the same illness. Meals become harder to come by. The less weak compromise their recovery to make grocery runs, prepare food. The weak become stronger. The strong-ish resume weakness.

I've been sick for a month. I can't adequately care for my family. I can barely do anything. But cough. And sweat. And pray.

And get a clue.

Nose no longer raised. Nose being blown. Lungs thrashed. Sleep eludes.




Pride goes before destruction.

A haughty spirit before a fall.

Just facts.

Got it.

For now.

Hope the lesson sticks this time.

I am never so weak as when I think I am strong.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January Sky

Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest knows that the winters can be soul crushing. It's not the rain that gets to a person, it's the gray. Sometimes blue sky isn't seen for weeks. It's like living under a soggy blanket, driving cheer away.

But this winter we in Western Oregon are enjoying Eastern Oregon weather, minus the snow. Blue skies during the daytime and freezing fogs that leave a white winterland for early risers to savor. A few good rain storms have come and gone with more expected on the way. But for a change the wet is the exception rather than the norm. I like it!

In addition to clear skies, last week we had a vibrant, breathtaking sunset that caused many to run for cameras. Including me. My humble point-and-click attempt doesn't do the pastels justice, but the photos give my memory a jolt. Magnificent!

Moments later the eastern sky displayed a large glowing moon in a just-after-sunset hover.

I don't know what the rest of winter will bring, and I know we need snow in the mountains. We may have a drought this summer, or a soggy spring and summer. Who can know these things.

May as well live in the moment and enjoy the gifts of January. Color, beauty, and cheer. Lots of cheer.