25 June 2008

You-pick Cherries

While this picture doesn't do them justice, I had to share with you a supremely charming present I received this morning. A sweet lady brought me not only cherries, but cherries to pick, still on the branch. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything more adorable. The vase upon which they perch was a gift to me at my baptism in 1996.

As for the rest of my list, I'm finding I can't possibly get all God's gifts down on paper, for there would never be room enough or time. However, here are some highlights.

221. Flowers from a lady who visits my office, several bouquets
224. Clouds with definite lines against blue sky
227. Note from Dad: "So well done...to think that you are my daughter!"
233. Help adding radiator fluid
236. Playing a wonderful piano
247. Shoe boxes full of letters from childhood and high school
251. A mother, fasting and praying for me, her daughter
262. Church family
266. Drawing from little girl friend
274. Strawberries, sliced and in the freezer

24 June 2008

Letting in the Breeze

Even as the early morning light poked its way through the slits in my blinds, it dawned on me.

The window is open, but the breeze can't get all the way in.

Out of the bed, next to the window, I twisted open and hoisted the blinds. The air came in like a flood, where before it only trickled, and transformed the room in a moment. The light, too, bathed my chambers in a glow known only to the morning people, the birds, and perhaps to the vegetation.

In that light, I turned to another Light, another Wind, and through the Way opened the doors and windows of my heart, hoisted the blinds, and bathed my soul in His Word.

16 June 2008

Agony, but not Defilement

Sometimes it's hard to express to people why I don't see a vindictive or cold God when I see suffering in my life or in the people around me. As I remember how Jesus suffered for me, my suffering always seems inconsequential. How grateful I am for a Savior who bore all the worst for my sake!

Here is something I read the other day that expresses it beautifully.

"When the Savior finally appeared 'in the likeness of men' (Phil. 2:7), and began His ministry of grace, Satan could but bruise the heel, while by every act of humiliation or suffering Christ was bruising the head of His adversary. The anguish that sin has brought was poured into the bosom of the Sinless; yet while Christ endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, He was paying the debt for sinful man and breaking the bondage in which humanity had been held. Every pang of anguish, every insult, was working out the deliverance of the race.

"Could Satan have induced Christ to yield to a single temptation, could he have led Him by one act or even thought to stain His perfect purity, the prince of darkness would have triumphed over man's Surety and would have gained the whole human family to himself. But while Satan could distress, he could not contaminate. He could cause agony, but not defilement. He made the life of Christ one long scene of conflict and trial, yet with every attack he was losing his hold upon humanity." (Prophets and Kings, 700,701)

11 June 2008

I Had a Housewife (!?)

Yesterday at work, a friend phoned to see if I could join our small group for a last-minute meeting that evening. It would be the only time we could meet this week, and all were feeling a desperate need for some spiritual sharing.

Now, I had just returned from a long trip and still needed to make up about 5 1/2 hours of missed sleep--I counted. I needed to buy groceries not only for myself, but for a smallish event I am hosting this evening. Common sense dictated a resounding NO, I could not meet. I simply did not have the time. But that wasn't the answer that came from my lips.

"I could do it if you go grocery shopping for me ahead of time," I blurted.

What did I just ask of her? I thought. How adacious, how presumptuous!

"Oh, that would be perfect," she said excitedly. "We planned to be in town ahead anyway because my husband has an appointment. I can just pick up your things while I'm at the store for mine."

My list prepared already, I simply handed it to her with a few explanations when she came into my office. After work, I arrived home to a stocked refridgerator and just enough time to eat a quick bite and be off to small group.

And what a blessing the spiritual food was to me, in addition to the physical food my housewife friend bought for me!

10 June 2008

Gifts Counted

176. Clean dishes
177. Friend's sample wedding dress, sewn by her mother
178. Bridesmaid dress on order
179. Salt shaker as vase from an ageless friend
180. Smile from night-owl brother, upon his awakening
181. Trip to the beach
182. Touring parents' new house
183. Thrift store find: delightful new skirt
184. Spontaneous six-mile walk with a girlfriend
187. Home-made pin cushion from young-lady friend
190. Unexpected encounter with an old college roommate
191. Girl time
192. Help changing windshield wiper blades
193. Wisdom against the invading ants
194. Peonies and roses from another ageless friend
197. Roses to pick at the neighbors' yard
198. New flag stamps
199. Another writing assignment
200. Pansies in the salad
201. Baby bunny running wild
202. Pure friends
203. Bath confetti
204. Early-morning lupine fields, solid purple
207. Two friends as traveling companions, to another friends' wedding
208. Time with relatives
209. Lodging
210. Wanderings with Grandma: shops, fire, two trains, beaver dams, and a ship
211. Safe travels
215. Rest
216. Listing prime numbers to stay awake driving
217. Hiking in Donner Pass
219. Public restrooms
220. Invitation to campmeeting

04 June 2008

You're Welcome

Gratitude inspires a response. "You're welcome," we say.

I want to ask, "I'm welcome where?"

Perhaps in a store where I buy things, or in a garden with flowers to pick, a home with a good meal, a friend's schedule, or even a heart.

For every bit of gratitude I return to Him, God has for me an assurance that I am truly welcome in His heart.

02 June 2008

Key Moments

I have a dear friend on the verge of moving away. Every moment she gives me in the midst of life's hectic throes is a sweet gift--even when I'm the one who cooks supper to get it!

Friends sang their senior recital yesterday, all centered on the life of Christ and the story of redemption. A thoughtful hour on the life of Christ is never wasted.

A moment with a lizzard, a rabbit, a dog, a bruised lip--a person never need give up childhood, esepecially when one knows children as friends. (How many alligators have you eaten today?)