Archive for August, 2012


What a delightful gift I’ve been given!  Last week one of my nieces (same age as our youngest son) came to spend a week with me.  She came for my help with a project she was working on, and I eagerly wanted to help her in any way I could.  To my surprise, I was the one who was blessed!

Courtney is a pastor’s wife with a heart for mothering her children as well as nurturing their church.  She gives of her time and talents and loves this church with her whole heart.  And so, I thought I might be able to share some of my own past experiences with her and possibly even help her in some small way.

But we both shared our hearts.  We opened God’s Word and dug into many issues together.  We prayed together and cooked together and played together and laughed and worked together.  And out of it all, I was so very blessed.

I was blessed to see a young woman with such a sincere heart for God; to see her looking into His Word regularly and seeking His face and His will for her life.  I was blessed by her openness with me as we discussed some family history and some hurts and some healings.  I was blessed to see her love of her husband and family and her strong love for her church family; to see her praying for them and carrying their burdens; sharing their loads.

And, coming from the same family, she loves games like I do and we made the most of our time together with lots of game playing also.  Talk about stiff competition!  We both play to win and love and laughter always makes it better when we don’t!

It was a good week, and I am thankful for it.  And the best part is that her husband has decided we should do this every year!  Me?  I’m all for it and waiting with open arms to welcome her back.  I only wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year!


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Our granddaughters are coming for a visit and I am as excited as a child at Christmas!  I have been planning activities, building a swing, arranging the toys, making beds and planning food.  These days will pass so quickly, and I want to make them as fun and memorable as I can for the little girls.

In the basement the ‘magic bowl’ is placed and ready.  I have a small dessert bowl with a few M&Ms in it that I place on the coffee table in the basement when the grandchildren come instead of the large tempting bowl of M&Ms that I usually keep there.  The children look for it immediately (and of course, it is always filled), they eat all the M&Ms, and then they continue to check on the ‘magic bowl’ throughout the day, because they have learned that after a while, M&Ms ‘appear’ there again.  We have found that this works better than the temptation of the large bowl, but it has also become a fun attraction at Grandma’s house.  When we see the grandchildren somewhere else, they often ask if there are M&Ms waiting for them in the magic bowl at Grandma’s house.

I know this long weekend will pass in a hurry, but the memories will linger long and warm.  And in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy every single moment!

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Late Summer Dogwoods

This is one of my favorite times of the year since moving to Virginia:  late summer and early fall.  I have come to love the dogwoods and enjoy all the different aspects of that unique tree.  This time of year there are berries that begin to appear above the downward-pointing leaves like a crown.  Most trees hide their fruit beneath an arc of leaves, but not the dogwood!

The leaves of a dogwood point downward and the branches do not reach up to the sun like most trees, but hover above one another in a horizontal type of pattern with the leaves hanging downward as if their weight is sizable.  And the berries?  Well, they are green little oblong beads for most of the season, but late in the summer the berries turn bright red and pop up above the crown of leaves, then the birds swarm in for the harvest.  Just before the berries turn red, the leaves begin taking on a burnished color and you know the berries are not far behind.  And once the birds come, those berries are gone in a matter of very few days!

Now once inside the birds, those seeds nourish the wee creature before being released in its own batch of fertilizer which weighs the seeds down enough so they drop to the ground, and it fertilizes the soil around the seed until the springtime when the seed begins to take root where the bird has planted it.  Would a dogwood seed take root if I picked it straight from the tree and planted it?  I really don’t know.  But as I’ve observed in recent years, there are precious few seeds given the opportunity to sprout on their own.

On my walks each morning I watch the dogwoods around our neighborhood.  There are many varieties and I enjoy them all.  And even though it’s still a bit early, one tree two blocks over, is already covered in red berries this year.  I have to admit to being pretty excited when I saw the color showing.  It won’t be long now until they are all frosted with red berries!  And then the birds will come in droves.

In the next few weeks we’ll begin to see the leaves change color and the mountains will really strut their stuff for a number of weeks.  Autumn in the mountains is breath-taking–like nothing I’ve ever seen before–and I find myself eager to watch that parade of color begin again each year.  Does it ever get old?  Well, I’ve been watching the seasons change for a good number of years now, and so far I must say not yet!  I still find myself waiting eagerly for each season’s changes; for the gifts of each season.  I love how the parade of seasons enriches my life.  I can’t imagine how boring it would be if there were no change!  I have to admit:  As always, God sure knew what He was doing!

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Have you ever felt completely worn out?  Frayed at every edge, and worn to a frazzle in the middle?  This summer has been one of those summers for me, with too much to do and too little time in which to do it.  We’ve traveled a lot (for both work and pleasure), slept in lots of beds not our own and enjoyed lots of visitors and washed lots of sheets and towels that are indeed our own.  We’ve enjoyed every minute—ok, almost every minute—but still it seems to have drained me and I’m ready for autumn.  I’m ready to slow down, to stop weeding and mowing and traveling.  I’m ready to work on a project again where I can see progress (and count the pages).  But it’s not quite time yet.  There’s still a bit more to do first, a little more travel and a few more visitors before the winter settles our weary bones into rest.

As I pondered the week before me and anticipated what’s coming up, my eye fell on a chorus sheet from one of our Church bulletins.  It’s an old hymn that’s been set to more contemporary music, but the words seemed to be God’s reminder to me this morning.  It reads like this:


Jesus, I am Resting, Resting

Jesus, I am resting, resting

in the joy of what Thou art.

I am finding out the greatness

of Thy loving heart.

Thou has bid me gaze upon Thee

and Thy beauty fills my soul,

For by Thy transforming power

Thou hast made me whole.

Oh, how great Your loving kindness,

vaster, broader than the sea.

Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness

lavished all on me.

Yes, I rest in Thee Beloved,

know what wealth of grace is Thine;

know Thy certainty of promise

and have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,

I behold Thee as Thou art.

And Thy love so pure, so changeless

satisfies my heart.

Satisfies its deepest longings,

meets, supplies its ev’ry need,

compasseth me ‘round with blessings,

Thine is love indeed.

Ever lift thy face upon me

as I work and wait for Thee;

resting ‘neath thy smile, Lord Jesus,

earth’s dark shadows flee.

Brightness of my Father’s glory,

sunshine of my Father’s face,

keep me ever trusting, resting,

fill me with thy grace.


Jesus, I am resting, resting

in the joy of what Thou art.

I am finding out the greatness

of Thy loving heart.

This song is my prayer for the week that is before me.  I want to rest in Him every moment of every day.  I want to trust Him to go before me and give me wisdom as I need it to act in His good grace.  I can’t help thinking that if I have a solid week of resting in Christ, perhaps I will not feel so drained after the weekend.  At least I aim to try.  Again.

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