November 4, Today’s thought – Remember

oct  28 010 I love the sunflowers in fall, also.

Good Morning

Psalm 77:10-13
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

The concept of remembering is an important biblical theme.
The command not to forget is fiven more than four hundred times. We are to remember.

The wonders of God’s creation and works of His hands:

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Deuteronomy 4:32

That the world belongs to God:

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. Psalm 50:10-11

The deliverance of His people from captivity:

And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.Deuteronomy 5:15

The sacrificial gift of Jesus Christ on the cross:

After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:25

Remembering keeps us from the sin of ingratitude.
It also helps us face the future with confidence.
from A Daybook of Grace

Today. . . have you remembered to remember?
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

Published in: on November 4, 2013 at 9:56 am  Comments (2)  
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Open Letter to the New Owner

One day I drove by this house, and everything I saw caught my attention. The house was empty. If a house is empty, I take advantage of the freedom to snoop. I looked in every window I could. What I saw was the fulfillment of a dream I didn’t know I had. I didn’t know I loved hardwood floors, river rock fireplaces with bookend bookshelves, sky lights and windows, Oh, I loved the windows. I loved the craftsman style and colors.

Later when I told the Farmer (who was then the Welder) about the House, I said, “It is everything we would want, but I know we can’t afford it. Please just come and look at it.” So we did. As we walked through the house marveling over the features we loved, we knew we could do this or this for the Lord here.
The Welder said, “Let’s try to buy it.” Fifteen days after we looked at the house on Lincoln Avenue we were signing papers to purchase the home.

I always wanted daffodils. Now I had daffodils.

As you walk through this door, I want to tell you a little about it. This House is a treasure box  filled with love and laughter, children and grandchildren, health and healing, sickness and sadness, singing and praying.

This House has been a house of parties, guests numbering from just a few to over 100. Emily’s never to be forgotten 12th birthday party held less than a month after we moved in.  Alex’s first birthday party was held on the newly finished 1ooo square foot deck. His grandparents and uncle from Hawaii came to celebrate with us. I can’t number the times after church,  “Come,  Bring your own snacks.” My father’s 70th birthday party as  he was entering into Alzheimer’s grip. Monthly family night get-to-gathers  full of good food, laughter, singing, games, birthdays, children, anniversaries, stories, thankfuls, and prayer.   The Crain Thanksgiving, 3 day event, often with 40-60 relatives and friends sharing much love and laughter. Ladies with their handwork and Gentlemen with their laptops.  Young People’s Class parties in October initiating the new members.  We even hosted a wedding!

This House was always seen in our eyes as belonging to God. We were the overseers. The House has been a refuge for family and friends who needed a home, or a time of care, or a place to stay between now and later. Some stayed for a few days, some for months. The House just seemed to expand and adapt and accept all that came through the door.

The door that was always open and the house always welcoming.

You would have had to see the gardens to believe them.

You would have had to taste the veggies to appreciate the freshness.

You had to be here to see how grandchildren and their fathers played.Our chicken pen

In 2010, we lost our business, we lost our home, but we did not lose our memories.  We did not lose our faith. We have not been forsaken or left alone. Our God didn’t need this house anymore, so it was time for us to move on. This was God’s plan. We haven’t understood all that has happened or why. We have trusted anyway, even in the shadows and darkness of sorrow and grief.

So today, I wiped down counters, picked up remnants of livingand put into the trash the leftovers of sorting. I vacuumed and mopped the hardwood one last time. (Use Pledge for hard wood floors, it gives the floor a beautiful satin glow) I remembered so many good times, hard times, and precious times of loving family and serving God.

Today I said good bye and walked out the door, and thanked God with my whole heart for the privilege of living and loving in the house He provided for us all to enjoy.

Dear new owner, if you will pause and listen carefully, you’ll hear whispers of love, children’s giggles, running feet, crackling fires, music loud, sometimes raised voices, questions, sighs, sobs…because real people have lived in this house.

I only ask: bring love and joy to this house, and this house will love you so much.

Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 12:09 am  Comments (6)  

as the Lord commanded

1Kings 17:9-16Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

Did God tell this woman ” my prophet will come and ask for bread”?

Or did God ask this woman to be my servant and I will never leave thee?

I think that by her response to Elijah she didn’t know what would happen but she did know the God she served. As she did her morning prayers don’t you think her cry to God was  ” O God, you see my need, you know my situation, Lord I’m depending on you to supply, but if you don’t supply I’ll serve you regardless. ”  Just as the three Hebrew boys said our God will deliver us but if he doesn’t we will not bow.

Serving God doesn’t come with a detailed  plan and explanations of all that is going to happen in our lives.  So that we can be prepared and know everything will work out okay.  Serving God is a commitment each day to choose Him again and again.

Matthew 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is what God asks and there is no detailed explanation of what “all” entails.

Marriage doesn’t come with instructions either, it is just a commitment better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health, choosing each day to love again. We aren’t given any idea about how rich, how poor, how sick, how healthy, how much better, or how much worse.  This week (under the sickness and health column) I needed to help The Farmer with a procedure; I did not see it on  my list 43 years ago. But the love that started then, that has gone through many of life’s circumstances, that is renewed by choosing helped me. And it wasn’t so bad after all.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

One Thousand Gifts and A Scripture – 2

One Thousand Gifts   February 19, 2011

11.  Curious cat named Buster

even more curious

12.  Cats are just special, especially their tails, love petting down their backs and up the tail.

13.  Bars of sun on the purple spring hyacinth

14.  Gentle reminder that God has ‘this’ day under control

15.  My shed in it’s winter attire

16.  Spring ready to shine

17.  My children, gifts from God

18.  My grandchildren, extra-special gifts

(Aren’t they the GREATEST!)

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:  Psalms 127:3,5

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;   Psalms 103:17

What a precious promise from the Lord.

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Gift List

I sit at work today trying to hold back the tears that come with the beginning of learning, opening and accepting the many gifts that God has given.

I am listening to One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. My mom and sisters follow her blog A Holy Experience. I have read some of her posts but have never been good about sitting down to read or follow blogs. A couple months ago, my sisters took up the challenge that Ann has proposed of making a list of 1000 things that they are thankful for. I thought I can do that, I have been writing my thankfuls down for years. In fact thinking on it now, I probably have thousands of things written in my thankful notebooks.

I began my list.

1. To be Challenged
2. Motrin – I got strep throat this week
3. Hot tea
4. Walks on brisk mornings
5. Flowers

To me it wasn’t any different than any other list, I would just continue the numbers instead of beginning at 1 every night. As I said writing my thankfuls was not new to me. My mom gave me a thankful book probably 15 years ago with the admonition that thankfulness and discontent cannot live together. I was faithful for much of that time to write 5 things I was thankful for each night. I still write them, only now it is on Facebook. I had the concept of thankfulness. I would be grateful for the good things and even those that brought me grief. At the end of the day I would read my Bible, pull out my notebook, find my place, and write the date and 5 things I was thankful for that day. I would close the book and be done. I didn’t put much more thought into it. I would be thankful for things through out the day in my mind and was thankful for all things, but didn’t really appreciate ALL the things and accept them as gifts of love to me from God.

As Ann’s voice is reading the words of her book through my headphones, I pull a piece of scratch paper close and begin a list.

1. The crunch of apples
2. The arrow of a mouse on the computer
3. Quesedillas full of cheese, chicken, and chopped bellpepper and onions
4. Ice Makers
5. Coke fountain drink machines
6. Rain trails on the windows

In naming each thing, I am seeing and receiving the gift. I am being thankful for that moment. In One Thousand Gifts, Ann describes her journey of being full of grace and living fully. It took hold with her list. Through her list of gratitude, she was able to live fully with joy in each moment. As I began to acknowledge each moment, each gift, my heart began to over flow with joy and gratitude to the big God that loves little me. I cannot tell you how many times I had to swallow back the tears and blow my nose so that I could continue work.

I begin to think on my life and the things that I have taken for granted in my thankfulness. And I thought of my house. A number has been put on the days that we have left in the house, and I could no longer wait. I thought of all the times we have had in the house, the flowers in the yard, the parties, the memories. It has been a good 14 years. I had to make a list, I wanted to picture so that I could remember. I don’t plan to forget, but I want to be able to think back to the wood piles, the rack of rain boots in all sizes, the bird houses in the trees, the creek and the green garage door.

How the neighbors must have wondered what the crazy neighbor lady was doing out in the rain, in rain gear and shoes too big with a bag that she kept putting to her face, but I had to capture the moments. Even though things look a little different with in the house from what it once was, that happens when the occupants change, the house is still my home. At least for a little while longer.

Come with me as I take notice of the little things that made this house a home.

If you were coming to our house, there a few distinct items that would help you to reach the correct home. Our famous mail box, with the chain stand my dad made. It has moved with us to every house as far back as I can remember.

Then there is the green garage door. How I remember the first time I saw the house, as we pulled into the drive way I lamented “A green garage door, I hate green garage doors.” But after looking in the window of the front door and seeing all the hard wood floors, I was in love with green garage doors. And it is a good green color. I think even if it was puke green, I would have been sold on the house.

Next to the garage there is the big tree…the cause of all the leaves in the yard.

And the rolling gate that dad made. (See the leaves and branches…its all from the big tree.)

The front yard was a wonder. I think it was one of the best on the street. I will never forget all the hard work my dad put in to it to make it beautiful. I would come home and find him with his bag of weeds and tools, carefully pulling all the little weeds that would cover the ground.

In the rain, the front ditch fills up with the run off from the creek. How many people drove into the ditch trying to act macho we will never know.

I love the spring. It is when the front yard bursts into bloom. Bulbs of all kinds and colors sprout up and reach for the sun.

The blossoms in the trees just starting to bloom.And the little purple ones that come up out of the middle of the ground.The bird houses hanging in the trees, welcoming feathered beings of all kinds to come and visit.The front walkway, 2 paths to take into the warmth of the home.

This patch of dirt from the driveway to the door was my mom’s section. The purple iris’ from a Great Grandma populated this corner. I love it when the bulbs pop up and show off their colors.

You can hardly see them for the leaves, but the Wondering Jew and Spider plants made a lovely combination of color in this section.

To the left of the front walk you can see where we had a walkway that led to a little stone seating area under the trees. Two iron rocking chairs and a little table, perfect for breakfast on a spring morning. You can still see where the stones had been laid carefully by my dad.

The hydrangea bush by the front door, right now it is all dry but in bloom it is beautiful. The plants have been in the barrel so long that the roots have grown into the bottom.

We believed that God had blessed us with this home, to help those in need. Just as Hebrews 13:2 says “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Our house was open to all those in need. And of course the grandkids and how loved they were by the Grannie and Grandpa found in this home.

The front door. It is green and black. Oh the number of friends and family that have walked through that door. We had an open door policy, we knew that if the door bell rang, it wasn’t a regular stopping by. Come inside and let me show you around.

This is the front entry way, from the other end. There is a little lip in the floor, don’t trip.  The front fire place that was never used for fire, except the little flames on candles.Right above the fireplace is the only professional picture of me and my siblings. It was taken about 15 years ago. Right behind the fireplace is the room that has become my studio. It has been my brother’s living room, my mom and sister’s sewing room, and a play room.

My wall of patterns, ideas of quilts to create.

My sewing machine and a table full of a quilt in progress.

The quilting machine that has made money, gifts, and ran lots of hours.

The table plant that mom left and I have remembered to water.

Here is the bathroom that I covered in frogs, all shapes and sizes.

And the room that was my brother’s a couple of times, my sister’s, and mine. When it was mine, it was yellow with 200 pictured thumb tacked to the walls.This room was mine also, along with a few other people at various times. Its the one with the stain glass window to the hallway.My room, for the second time. The bed is unmade, there is a pile of pillows on the floor, a basket of clean laundry and shoes waiting to be put away, but it is mine. I have grown up here, it will be hard to dig up the roots.The laundry room and the kitty bathroom all in one.A couple’s room, it was my parent’s, but now it is my sister’s. I used to come in at night and talk about all of life’s problems with my mom, we would laugh or cry and my dad would look up and roll back over. We solved a lot of issues there.The Kiss, a picture that reminds me of my parents, the love that was shown through out my years growing up. My mom had this picture in their bathroom and it will be coming with me when I go.

Back to the kitchen. The fridge used to be cream with no magnets, but this one is hear now. Nice and big with lots of storage and counters. And the upper cabinet on the corner that caught every one’s head.

The famous ball of mistletoe still hangs over the step before going into the living room. It hasn’t always been this one, but some of the kissing plant has been there for several years.

This was one of the best hiding spots in the house, it has often been full of toys and blankets. A wall of photos, a bookshelf full of books. The pictures may be different but it is the same love. The stories may be the kind you read instead of listen to but they are still books.Our room for living, the couches, fire place, and books. All have been loved. A place where life has been discussed, lived, laughter and tears. This is where the family would come together to keep close, to share, to dream and to pray.

The garage was once mine. I called it the dungeon. It has been the home to a brother and his family and the sewing room to many. All of my stuff now fits in one corner…I have learned to share, at least a little.

And the back yard. The deck we put on, it was brimmed with flower pots. The wine barrels that would grow sunflowers in the summer, the fire pit to light on nights of laughter, the modesty curtain for those in the hot tub, the piles of veggies for sale.

Right outside the back door were the mud boots of all sizes for the grand kids to use.The barn and loft, good hiding spots for kids and tools. The brick pile that has followed us from house to house, the wall that used to house old wagon wheels.

Hours of entertainment could be found in the back yard, a trampoline, marry-go-round that dad built…The slide and jungle gym from an apartment complex. I remember when the grand kids attached a hose to the top like we used to and ended up all covered in mud. A chicken coop made from mom, but not the pretty wood one that she wanted. But dad doesn’t do wood, he does steel. A see-saw from years and years ago, the garden, compost pile, fruit trees, grape vines. The harvest was an exciting time of year for us. Picking warm tomatoes off the vine, the first clump of sweet grapes. I can still taste them.The beauty in it all, the love pored into the ground that grew into blooms.

Thanks for coming and allowing me to share a pinch of the memories. Each moment captured is a moment of gratitude framed in the lens. I am grateful for the years we have had and will remember each time. My depth of gratitude has grown and with it comes joy and grace.

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm  Comments (7)  

One Thousand Gifts and A Scripture

One Thousand Gifts   January 29, 2011

1.  Sunshine breaking through an overcast gray sky

2.  Poinsettias polka-a-dotted with dew drops

3.  Seymore stretching to drink from the bird bath

4.  Roses pruned ready to blossom with the warmth of the sun

5.  Quietness in my home

6.  A shed ready to create and play in

7.  A heater in the shed to chase the cold away

8.  A kind hearted Brother Bob’s gift of a clock for my shed,

even though it frightens me, when it bird songs the hour

9.  A duplex across the fence still wearing Christmas lights

10. A spider web found in the top of an often used fence post

2Peter 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

 

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment