Monday, June 3, 2013

A Life Well Lived, part 1

Lately, I've been reading The Daily Connoisseur, especially the posts entitled "Comme les Francais." My sister-in-law turned me onto this lovely blog because the blogger, Jennifer, writes at length about the ten item wardrobe. (That alone makes it a worthwhile read because it is a revolutionary idea for Americans, I think!)

Anyway, she writes a lot about how the French live well. Because I am a fool for anything European, I was immediately drawn in. And it got me thinking: What does it mean to live well?

My Mother's Day tree in full bloom on a rainy evening.
Because, often, I read what someone else is doing (the French, in this case), convince myself that it is "right," and then try to emulate it. Of course, this never really works, the main reason being that I am not French; I grew up in the middle of the USA. I am American, through and through, so just trying to "be" French will never work. (Obvious, I know, but still I try.)

So, maybe the question is: What does it mean to live well to me?

And you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's been too long...

Here's the harvest the boy and I gathered in the last thirty minutes.  Not all that's out there, by any means, but still abundant.

And I'm reminded of Jame's words that struck me so deeply as the man and I planted in early spring:

"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls."  (1:21)

Would that His word would have such a harvest in my life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My uncle Jay

My uncle Jay died suddenly two weeks ago on April 6th.  Today's post is in memory of him.  Here's the slide show I created for his funeral.  He was full of life, and we will miss him.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

a quote & a blessing

I've recently been reminded of this quote by Henri Nouwen, and it has been rolling around in my head:

"The more you are called to speak for God's love, the more you will need to deepen the knowledge of that love in your heart. The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be. Only when your roots are deep can your fruit be abundant" (The Only Necessary Thing).

I wonder, is this one of the reasons God called me to memorize the book of James? (One chapter + one verse down today!)

And such a blessing, my sweet husband and boy surprised me with breakfast in bed this morning.

And God surprised me with a lovely view of spring blooms out my window. I couldn't ask for more!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It is early spring...

and Kelby and I began planting our garden. (Okay, mostly Kelby began planting; I only helped a bit.) We scooped dirt out at the right depth, gently placed a seed in the ground, and covered it with soil. We were careful not to plant the seeds too close together, for we wanted to give each plant room to grow. Crowding seeds means small, immature plants. And these plants are meant for sustenance; we want them to grow well in order to feed our bodies, to make us healthy and strong.

James writes: "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

It is early spring, and God is tending my soul garden. He has gently placed the seeds - His word - at the right depths and the right distance apart. Sometimes, let's be honest, most all the time, I fill up that empty space. But God meant it to be just that - space - room for His word to grow. My filling makes my soul garden overcrowded. Crowding seeds means small, immature plants. Crowding things means a small, immature me. And God meant these plants for sustenance; He desires (and so do I!) them to grow well in order to feed my soul, to make me healthy and strong.

Humbly, I wonder, is Hulu the only thing I've crowded into the garden of my soul that God so carefully planned? I don't think so. What else, Lord? What else do I need to put aside in order for Your word to grow, full and mature, in my soul garden?

It is early spring.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In one room...

Lives are shared. You begin to see...
the struggles,
the messiness that is life,
the hurts,
the celebrations,
the desires long forgotten.
You can feel the tension
and the release of finally sharing.

Stories are told. You begin to see...
your father's fingers stained from the Mulberry tree on Sunday afternoons,
your grandfather's little boy legs around the horse on his early morning ride to school,
your grandmother's strong young arms holding babies close,
history come to life.

Memories are stored up. You notice...
those hands work-worn like your father's,
the color of that cheek bright once more,
the slant of their noses just so,
the note a chuckle takes.

Four generations,
in one room.
A gift.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Joy x2

A few weeks ago I posted on considering all things joy. Yesterday, as I was reviewing my Bible study and beginning to memorize the book of James, God was reminding me of this.

Side note on memorizing the book of James: Crazy! I know. Beth Moore challenged us all to memorize this short book during the study. Of course, I, with a 3 month old, said, "Absolutely not, Beth!" And wouldn't you guess that in my vehement response, God would suggest ever so sweetly that memorizing James would keep me from losing all I had gained over the last seven weeks? I suppose I should have seen that one coming. Nevertheless...

God was reminding me of something. He reminded me that joy is my birthright. (Now, I hadn't actually forgotten this little - big! - truth.) Further, though, He told me that just because it is my right doesn't mean that it cannot be taken from me. In fact, because it is from Him, the enemy will try to steal it away. But, lest I get discouraged, He said to stand firm. In standing firm, I could refuse to let my birthright of joy be taken from me. I could, in James' words, resist the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
--Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, stand firm. And the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, for me in this case is consider it all joy (James 1:2a). Because joy IS our birthright. It is ours, not to be stolen from us. And that is worth celebrating.