Tuesday, June 29, 2010

54 years of blessing...

54 years ago today, this sweet little boy entered the world.  About 34 years ago, I met him when he led my youth group bible study.  About 30 years ago, we were married. 26 years ago our eldest son was born, followed by his little brother the following year.  18 years ago he had metastatic cancer, and they told me to take him home and make him comfortable, and that he likely had 6 months to live. "They" didn't know him very well, nor did they understand God's plans for him to be a terrific father to his sons, a godly friend and elder, and a wonderful husband.  And today, on his birthday, I can't seem to do anything but praise God for the many blessings He's given me in this quiet, gentle man. Dave is my friend and confidant, my reality check when I want to be a drama queen, and my teacher and example in servant leadership.

Happy birthday, dearest. I love you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

All nature sings...

Yesterday we hiked about 3 miles round trip, up into the Jemez from the ski area, to Canada Bonita: and it certainly is a beautiful meadow!  Along the way we enjoyed many butterflies:

And many wildflowers, including heavily-laden locust trees in full bloom:
The hike was beautiful, and inspiring, and so close to home!  I think we often forget that we live in a place that ought to be a destination for vacations.  God has spoiled us with all this beauty!
This is my Father's world, 
 and to my listening ears 
 all nature sings, and round me rings 
 the music of the spheres.  
 This is my Father's world:  
 I rest me in the thought 
 of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; 
 his hand the wonders wrought.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Better than cherry pie...

On Monday I had a dwarf cherry tree just covered in tart pie cherries. A friend assured me that birds won't go after the tart cherries, but only the sweet ones. Well, I guess since all the sweet cherries in my neighborhood were killed by frost, the birds decided to make an exception, and they picked my tree clean by Wednesday. So much for the promising thought of a fresh cherry pie!

Have you ever noticed how often our ripe, juicy dreams get consumed by some sort of rapacious scavenger? That's when I am reminded, Gentle Reader, that the most important of all dreams is the one about the Creator and Sustainer of all. Nothing slips through His hands unnoticed, and nothing come into my life but through His hands. This produces not fatalism, but hope. God is good, and will turn all things to right. That's something better to hold on to than cherry pie....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Longing for good organization...

I am almost finished with a huge job: cleaning out the closet in our office/sewing room, including reorganizing all my fabric. This may seem like a small enough task, unless you are or have known a quilter. Dave calls me a "speculative fabric buyer". I have a LOT of fabric, but it is now all folded and separated by color, and most of it is put into bins, though I need a few more. It is good to be reminded of what I have. Now to clean out the rest of the closet so all the fabric will fit back inside of it!

Dave suggests that after I finish the office closet, maybe I should begin going through the bins in our sheds that are school work from all our years of homeschooling. My guess is, with one kid an electrical engineer and the other working on his doctorate, I will no longer have to prove that I really did teach them anything. So I guess it's time to ditch much of that. But there is some emotional attachment to that stuff. And I wasn't throwing away any fabric.

So, this is the summer to re-organize apparently. When I am not teaching is a good time to do it. My bedroom closet has been done, and the turn-arounds in my kitchen cabinets. And almost the office closet. So school work, you are next on my list. Maybe I will find some fun things to post from that job...

And one always learns from reorganizing: we collect too much "stuff", we save things that we'll never use, and we use things better when they are organized. But perhaps the greatest lesson of all is how chaos always reclaims this world's spaces. I long for a home where things are useful and beautiful and stay in order. But I don't think I'll get it this side of heaven. Maybe that's what the longing is for.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not for sissies...

The last couple of days I have been nursing a sore foot. It started becoming sore on Sunday evening. The only reason I can think of that it began hurting on Sunday evening is that I must have had it in a funny position when I fell asleep on the couch watching golf on Sunday afternoon. How pathetic is that? I injure myself while napping. I guess what they say about turning 50 and having things fall apart is true!

My son's former German teacher, a smart and tough former East German woman who escaped shortly after WWII (and who was a wonderful old-school sort of German teacher), once told me that growing old is not for sissies. And she was right.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This morning I went for a short bike ride in the cool air. I decided to make a little loop of a couple of miles, since I am still trying to get my legs under me. I thought my expectations were plenty low.

The firs thing I discovered is that, with my son-the-bike-mechanic gone, and my bike left unridden for several years, it isn't really all working as it should. I could only use one of the shifters, and couldn't adequately change my gear speed. But worse than that was the ever-so-slight incline at one part of my relatively-flat ride, which wore out my poor old legs entirely. I kept telling myself, "Don't stop, get to that next street, then you'll turn and it will be down hill again. Keep going." Well, by the time I was approaching the turn, I knew I had to stop or fall over. And as it turns out, I managed both.

I decided to pull up near the corner and get off the bike for a few minutes to let my legs recover, but somehow, as I swung my leg over the bar, I got tangled in the bike somehow, and we both fell down, sort of in slow motion, onto the rocks and the anthill beside the curb. I felt really stupid, but that was before I looked up.

When I looked up there was an elderly lady with a cane standing at her mailbox across the street from me. "Are you OK?" she asked. "Oh, I'm fine! I just decided to stop for a little rest and got tangled, err, I'm fine!" "I saw that front wheel start to wobble," she observed, "and I thought to myself, 'She's going down!'"

That's when the feeling of humiliation started. I know it's good for me to be reminded to be humble, and this was a low-cost reminder since I wasn't hurt at all. But I don't like it much. At least I brought something interesting into that little old lady's day. I bet over supper she'll be telling the story of this ridiculous woman riding a bike...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Balm for my soul...

Lately I've been loving the song "Your Hands" on the radio. Good words, catchy tune, balm for my soul...

Your Hands by JJ Heller

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Profound implications....

This morning, I rode my bike to the bank and the post office. This may not seem like a big deal-- except that before last night, I have probably not been on a bike for the last 15 years or so! But, inspired by my sister, and wanting to take greater advantage of living in a small town that is placed in a relatively flat area, my sweet husband pulled out the bikes last night. We rode around a few blocks, after I got over the fear of forgetting how to do this in the street amongst other traffic, and soon was remembering both the jelly-legged sensation of thighs well-used and the delightful feeling of the wind in my hair.

So today, I have confirmed an important truth: one really does never forget how to ride a bike. I'm sure it has profound implications...

Monday, June 14, 2010

What more could I ask?

Last Friday was my fiftieth birthday. I might hesitate to mention it, were I not on Facebook. But I am on Facebook, so half the world knows already.

I have never found it difficult to have birthdays come and go. They have never bothered me before. But this one had me gloomy. I simply felt like so much of my time in this world was gone, with so little accomplished for the Lord in the time I've had. Dave was sweet to keep reminding me of the many blessings I've had over these 50 years: family and friends, health and prosperity. And my friend Valerie reminded me to the students whose lives I've impacted, and told me it would be sin to discount the work the Lord has done through the years. And they are both right!

My birthday was full of sweet gifts, surprise visits, and a surprise family get-together in Santa Fe at one of my favorite restaurants. God has been very good to me, and even though the years have passed quickly, I look forward to all the Lord has in store for me, and humbly thank Him for my husband and children, my family and students, and my Savior. What more could a girl (even an old one) ask?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mini Finni I...

This is the quilt I previously referred to as "the ugly quilt". It is one of those that took on a life of its own, and went in a direction I somehow failed to anticipate. It was a bad matching of fabric with pattern, but since it matches Tim and Nikki's nursery, I figured I could finish it and let the baby-to-come puke on it. :-)
So here it is, done and ready, and I am calling it "Mini-Finni I". Now to sandwich the next one that matches the nursery, and which i like a lot better (Mini-Finni II)!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

My gal Thursday...

On Thursdays I spend time with my friend Valerie. She is one of those friends who I call when I need to be told the truth, or need to process things. I know she cares for me, and won't ever withhold what she thinks from me. Everyone needs that sort of precious friend, willing to wound in love when needed, and there to cry and grieve, laugh and dance.

On Thursdays, we usually walk and talk. It is a delightful highlight of my week. Today we walked in a beautiful (if extremely hot) spot near my home, and Valerie's lovely daughter, Alissa, came with us. It was a sweet time with these dear women, and left me feeling so grateful for their friendship!

Valerie and Alissa- you guys are great blessings in my life!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Delighting anew...

It's funny how life changes you, how things shift and reform over the course of life. The last few years have found Dave and I doing more to look after and care for our parents, doing less to look after and caring for our kids, and having to remember what we like to do when we are not constantly teaching and child-rearing. It's that time to remake ourselves again, recapture our delight in one another anew. What a blessing to rediscover a new time of life with an old friend...