Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I often find that when I am working with my hands, my mind is productive.  This jives with things I've read lately about the lack of reflection in our lives, and its resultant absence of wisdom.  I find that if my hands are busy, but my mind can roam, my thinking can wander, be deeper, better, more productive.

As I picked tomatoes in my garden this morning, I found myself pondering something a high school friend recently posted on face book.  She is not just a gifted writer, but a working writer, and she posted something to the effect that she had to learn to stop hoarding her good ideas for some future project, but to use them as she thought of them.  As I picked Sweet-100 cherry tomatoes by the bowlful, it occurred to me what wise advice that is.  When I pick the ripening tomatoes, I make way for new tomato growth.  The more I pick the ripening cherries, the more the plant will produce.  If I leave them too long, the plant keeps pouring energy into them until they over-ripen and split.

When I pick the beautiful summer zinnias the stems divide and produce more flowers.  When I trim the roses and keep them from forming rosehips, they put out more buds.

And I wonder if it might not be so with ideas.  Pick them and use them, and make room and energy for more.  Don't hoard them, lest all your energy be diverted into maintaining the ones you have. Every idea, like every tomato, is a gift from above, intended to be savored.

And so, Gentle Readers, I return to a recurring theme: there is a gardening illustration for almost every truth in life!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adopting Ana

A young couple we know in Phoenix is raising funds to bring home their new daughter from an orphanage.  Won't you consider helping them, Gentle Readers?

Flashback Friday: Happy Anniversary Tim and Nikki

Tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of our son Tim and daughter-in-love Nikki.  In order to commemorate the occaision, below are a few photos from the week in New Mexico when the proposal occured.  There were hikes in the  Jemez:

And some lovely White Rock artwork:

And a cocktail party to commemorate the occaision.

Not to mention a trip to the top of Sandia peak at sunset.
Happy anniversary, Tim and Nikki.  We love you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A few health updates

 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of our God.
~Psalm 46: 1-4
People have been asking for updates, so I thought I would let you all know, Gentle Readers, that we have much to praise God for!

Our sweet daughter-in-law, Elsa, wife to Ben, continues to recover from the double-fracture in her ankle.  She will still be trying to care for a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old without walking on it until the beginning of October, but she is a steady girl, made of stern stuff, and has had the most godly and wonderful attitude about it all!  We continue to ask your prauers for a smooth recovery.

Elsa's dear dad, Chris Johnson, continues his long road to recovery after his spring tractor accident.  He is now walking with the aid of crutches/walker, or cane, and is driving, and working, and helping to host Ada while the Johnson grandparents give Elsa a little break.  This has been a long road following Chris' devastating multiple-fractures in his leg, pelvis, and back.  Elsa's strong and steady apple doesn't fall far from that calm and sturdy tree!

Our dear Emma, four-year-old daughter of Tim and Nikki, is improving as her parents and the doctors figure out what foods she needs to avoid.  We are grateful for fewer tummy aches and issues, and thank God for good doctors and parents.

My sweet husband continues to deal with side-effects from 23 years ago, but the good news is that we have made some headway in dealing with the headaches.  And, of course, that means he has been in remission for almost 23 years.  That is a miracle of God's healing, and I never want to take it for granted!

And as for me, I just completed my fourth maintenance dose of remicade, my auotimmune disease shows no sign of active disease, and we are to the point where we can begin discussing cataract surgery later this fall.  I am regaining a portion of my energy back, and for the first time in literally years, every item on my blood work-- including the illusive sed rate and c-reative protein numbers, which have been high for years-- are all in the normal range.   And there is no sign of a return of breast cancer at almost 3 years out of surgery. God's hand of healing and provision has been upon me, and I am grateful.

Thank you, Gentle Readers, for your prayers for us.  I know they have been answered faithfully!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A poem for the Sabbath

The Agony by George Herbert

Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathomed the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walked with a staff to heav’n, and trac├Ęd fountains:
 But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove;
Yet few there are that sound them, - Sin and Love.

 Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A Man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
 His skin, his garments bloody be.
Sin is that press and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through ev’ry vein.

 Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
 If ever he did taste the like. Love is that liquor, sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood, but I as wine.