Sunday, June 26, 2011

not the Sunday we expected

Today did not go as we planned.  We woke up this morning and got ready to head into worship team practice.  Got the six kids out the door with everyone actually having eaten at least something before we left.  Got through practice and most of Sunday School when the word came...a little boy is missing at the lake we need searchers.  More than half the church left to join the search and the rest of us stayed to pray, worship the God who is in charge and to remind ourselves to give thanks even in the dark times.

Instead of having the birthday party we planned for today, we made sandwiches and brewed coffee to send to the searchers.  And we waited for news, tried to distract the kids who don't know what to do with the trauma of their buddy having disappeared.  We were going to have a picnic at the lake today and play ball, they're disappointed that this isn't happening just as much they are disappointed their friend is in trouble.  Their young minds don't differentiate between the two.

And we waited.

Finally, my husband drives up with two of the kids who were searching, bedraggled, tired, cold and hurting both in body and spirit....there is still no news.

We make supper...and wait.

Let the birthday boys open their presents in a very unenthusiastic party atmosphere.  It's time to head home, get the little ones to sleep, try to help the older ones study for exams tomorrow.  Tired brains are not taking in any information, they finally go to bed with prayers and kisses...still hoping for good news.

And we waited.

Finally the call comes and it isn't what we hoped for.  This little soul is no longer with this world.  In the morning I have to tell them their friend is dead.  We are supposed to go on a field trip tomorrow, there are supposed to be exams and learning and fun tomorrow and the rest of the week because summer is finally here.  But we are silent and wondering how our life gets to keep going when this one has stopped.

Where do we find the beautiful in all this ugly.  All I can think of is a Sunday morning a long time ago when some women went to the tomb where their friend was buried...but he was gone and they saw the glory of the resurrection.  I know where this little lamb is.  Last year he gave his heart to Jesus during VBS, I got to give him his first Bible, he was so excited.  Now he gets to live it and breathe it and touch it.

Lord, help us with all this...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

rambling thoughts

It's been quite a day today.  This morning I decided I better go plant the last flowerbed.  I had a few bedding plants left over from the containers that I couldn't put out because it started raining on me.  So I worked up that bed, pulled out all the grass and planted them.  I'm all done, I thought!

So I moved on to weeding around my cucumbers and mulching them, hoed around the potatoes and pulled out weeds along the stone stairs. Found the first strawberries of the season!  What a lovely gift for today! Definitely time for lunch.  While I'm making lunch I hear the sound of the small tractor right outside the window.  The farmer/shepherd comes in and tells me that he has roto-tilled the other flowerbed (the one I was going to leave to the dogs) and that maybe I should fill it up with something.  One more trip to the flower shop was in the near future.

Got that one planted and had a few plants left over so I weeded out another flowerbed I wasn't going to bother with and planted them in there.  Still had some left so I threw a few flowers into the vegetable garden.  I think I am really and truly done the planting now...I hope!

If you haven't noticed by now, I have a LOT of dirt in my yard to fill up.  My MIL was an amazing gardener and filled up all these flower beds each and every year and tended them with loving care and the yard always looked superb.  I am not so good as she!  I've been slowly filling some of them up with perennials.  I'm learning that if I want to transform my yard into something beautiful I'm going to have to work at it.  Yes, I realize that this should not be a startling revelation, but to a citified inside type of girl it's a bit of a stunner.  So this year I'm going to attempt to do the work of tending my yard...outside....

The little boys helped me plant the flowerbed and wanted to put little signs up so that everyone would know that these were 'their' flowers.  Sasha got a little piece of cardboard and wrote "Sasha's Flowers" on it and pinned it to the ground with a straight pin!  How cute is that?  Lady-in-Waiting found a nest in the old barbeque with tiny red eggs in it, I have no idea what kind of bird they are from, but they are so perfect and like nothing I've ever seen before!
*the yellow dot is the pin

Then we hiked it into town for the Rookie baseball wind-up.  Had fun playing ball with the kids, came home and finished up the rest of the planting, put some kids to bed, at least the ones that weren't scared of the thunder and lightning show.  Then I got to pull out some crafty stuff and made up a sample of one of the crafts we're going to offer at the Ladies Time Out this summer.  We're using recycled materials to make pretty things!  I think it should be fun...

 "Cookie Sheet Magnetic Noteboard"

rambled gifts of grace for today...
(1027 - 1058)
little boy helpers
signposts pinned to the ground
banana bread
enormous lilies
tight red rose buds
flats of flowers
pink roses blooming
the promise of peonies
editing the big boy's paper on the Etruscan's
helping boy#3 learn grace
fresh sheets off the line
snowy white linens
pots of flowers
reclaiming a lost flowerbed
the first strawberries of the season, sun-warmed and sweet
running into a friend on main street
the bigness of thunder
the sound of rain in the dark
tiny red eggs
gazing on something you've never beheld before
brother and sister comforting each other in their fear
campouts in the living room in the middle of the storm
quiet moments around the table, hands busy creating
little girl giggles in the sprinkler
piles of weeds no longer in the ground
freshly roto-tilled earth
flower containers overflowing with beauty
knowing 'your best friend in the whole world' thinks the same of you
bedtime prayers
transforming revelation

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sometimes Truth is a Bossy Big Sister

I love my big sister, I really do, but have you ever noticed that older sisters tend to be just a little on the bossy side.  I know I had to remind my older sister that she wasn't my mother on several occasions.  There was only one problem with her telling me what to do, usually it was because my mother had given her the instructions and she was the relay medium.  Then there is the smallish fact that she is older and wiser, supposedly.  If I knew what was good for me I would listen to her otherwise I caught it from mom when she got home from work.

Now I am raising my very own older sister, not my own sister, but one that exists as a girl that is older than her get what I mean.  So the other day I had given instructions to my children that they were to go to their aunt's house after school UNLESS there was a change of plans at which point they would be given that change by the school office.  Life being what it is, plans changed, I called the school and they came home.  Later that week the same scenario needed to repeat itself.  I wasn't home and so my sister-in-law called our house and gave the change of plans to my oldest daughter, the boys were to go home on the bus, practice was cancelled due to rain and she was substitute teaching in the next town, she would not be home.  Big sister told the little brothers but then there was a glitch.

Older cousin stepped in.  Older cousin really wanted the boys to come over after school even though he knew his mom wasn't going to be home and practice was cancelled.  So he lied and convinced them to disregard the nagging older sister who insisted she had the truth and they gleefully followed his lead, because they wanted to.  When my sister-in-law got home there were my boys, she was not impressed.  The two of us unraveled the story post-mortem and found out what had happened.

This is, unfortunately, how we live our lives quite often.  Truth is standing there with it's hands on it's hips giving us 'that' look like an bossy older sister and along comes an attractive lie that suits far better with what our sniveling, selfish flesh would rather do.  We push off the Truth and link arms with that attractive liar and head off into our own demise.  How important it is to know the Truth, it will set us free, will lead us into right living and give us life.   If we know what's good for us we'll listen and heed the instruction, because when we stand before the throne we won't have anyone to point a finger at except ourselves.

My older sister had no intention of making my life miserable, I think.  In fact, she was pretty nice to be with most of the time.  It also wasn't her fault that she happened to be born first and had been given this responsibility.  The truth was that she was just doing what she had been told to do.  Truth is truth and there is no getting around that, it is simply being what it is - Truth and it can only be ignored to our own detriment.  Let Truth sing the song that's been given her to sing, she wants to guide you into more Truth, Life and Beauty.  Heed her instructions and you will live.