Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't You Know

It was a slightly overcast but hopeful spring morning as my daughter stepped off the back veranda like she had done hundreds of times in the past, to make her way to the little alter at the edge of the woods, but today it would not be an amble stroll but her little feet moved with confidence and determination. 

As she stood at the alter, exchanging vows with her young man, I  realized in a new way,  how beautiful she was.  How could I have have missed that ? And for the remainder of that day I was just simply captivated by her beauty and spell bound by how happy she was.

I also realized that her young man completed her in a new way; a new joy was given to her that radiated from deep within, on that day. From now on, she will sit with him, stand with him, and walk with him.  Marriage- an inspired gift from God,  teaches us ever so gently how to break our own selfish will for something bigger, something outside of ourselves, something sacred..a calling.

Sitting and watching, I could hear a farm vehicle lumbering down the road in the distance.  Life goes on according to the established order of God and His cord runs through the centre of it all, sometimes hidden from view.

The story of our lives, is the story of salvation, in and through us, ahead of us, behind us.  It is who we are,  because we are complete in Him.  The journey is to His Kingdom.

                                                   You will show me the path of life;
                                                  In Your presence is fullness of joy;
                                        At Your right hand are  pleasures forevermore.

                                                                                    Psalm 16

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It was a late moonlit dinner in the barn tonight. Dinner time in the barn is never a simple affair. There is much more to it than you would think.

After placing the hay out, I waited for a while, watching to make sure the shy and younger sheep got their share. It takes some effort to make sure that these gentle ones get their share of the hay. A nervous or smaller sheep will sometimes fall behind in weight which leads to other problems. And the dominant sheep keep getting bigger; the ones that always seem to step on my toes.
As usual, on cue, some jumped up on the feeding trough- standing on someone else's dinner; some nibbled away politely; some ran from feeder to feeder; the dominant ram pushed everyone else away to eat first; some ate the hay off another sheep's back; some put their front feet on the table.
But the important thing is that they all got fed.

However we do it, we all need to be fed.

"All scriptures were written for this purpose: that human beings

might grasp how much God loves them and grasp it so as to

become inflamed with love for him."
                                             The Mystery of God's Word. pg.72

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer worries

We live in the triangular area between two lakes and a river which means than when the summer rain storms move through, they often turn back on themselves and come through again. When you think you are finished with the storm; it returns. The rain today began softly and I thought perhaps I would sit under the umbrella and read, enjoying the delicious sound of a soft gentle summer rain.  But the wind came and the thunder came and gradually the rain pressed down hard.  My umbrella was threatening to turn itself inside out as I ran to the barn. The sheep were worried, the horses worried, the farmer down the road hurrying to get his summer wheat off the field was worried.  I was too busy closing doors to look up to see and worry about the strange green cast to the sky.
All inside after a change into dry clothes, we keep listening as the thunder is still moving about, threatening to return. But gradually the thunder moves off into the distance and the birds as if holding their breath, begin to open their mouths and speak quietly at first. The sheep, although they never really stopped eating their hay, relax their muscles and their eyes soften. Soon they will return to the field after an afternoon nap. The horses can now be taken out and saddled up.  But the farmer down the road, stands and looks at the wet hay, worrying about when he will get it off the field. 

(To listen to video, pause audio at the end of blog page...Thanks.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Be Thou the best thought of, by day or by night...Waking or sleeping, Thy presence, my light.

You wake up to a beautiful and still Sunday morning but you do not feel ready for the new day. Infact, you are feeling rather lost...can't quite remember your way to grace...feeling spiritually poor.  

You are daunted and overwhelmed by the rather long list of 'important' things to do. You are daunted with how you will find God today and please Him and love Him.  You have a great need to make this day beautiful in many ways but where to start?

So you start with something simple....the smell of coffee brewing; speaking kindly to those waking up, planning the next step in finishing the strawberries preserves and sending somone out to get eggs for the cherry clafouti.
Keep moving out towards the flower garden.

 Let your hunger for God be honest and raw. He is waiting.

There is a nose somewhere in the house that keep trying unsuccessfully to open the toilet lid as it bangs on and on.  Ignore Bertie, the cat, as he whines, noisy Hank as he bangs his food dish and barks for his toy because it is all music.  Keep moving out towards the flower garden.

Friday, July 8, 2011

In the life of the spirit....

He often deplores our blindness, and is always complaining that we are to be pitied for being satisfied with so little.  God, He says, has boundless treasures to give us, and a moment's sense of devotion is enough for us.  We are blind who so bind the hands of God, and we stem the abundance of his grace.  When he finds a soul imbued with living faith, into it he pours grace on grace, a flowing stream, as it were which checked in its proper course, and finding a new outlet spreads wide with force, abundantly.

...However, we must go on working, for in the life of the spirit not to go on is to lose ground.  Those who have the mind of the holy Spirit, sail on, even when they are asleep.  If the small ship of our soul is still beaten by the winds and the storm, let us awaken the Lord who sleeps in it, and he will soon calm the sea.

                                                      Brother Lawrence

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't Let A House Drop On Your Head!!!

When Issac had grown old, and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau, his eldest son,   to him.  He asked him to take his quiver and bow;go out to the field and hunt game for him; and prepare a savoury dish that he loved; that he might bless him before he died. 
Now Rebekah was listening and when Esau went out to the field, she said to Jacob, "Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you.  Go to the flock, and fetch me two good kids, that I may prepare from them savoury food for your father, such as he loves;  and you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.'
But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.  Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.'  His mother said to him, "upon me be your curse, my son; only obey my word, and go, fetch them to me.' 
Then  Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son; and the skins of the kids she put upon his hands and upon the smooth part of his neck; and she gave the savoury food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hands of her son Jacob.
So he went in to his father, and said,  'My father, here I am.' 'Here I am, who are you my son? How is it that you have returned to soon?' He answered,; 'Because the Lord your God granted my success.'  Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.'  So Jacob went near to Issac his father, who felt him and said, 'The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.'  And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him.  He said, "Are you really my son Esau?'  He answered, 'I am.'  Then he said, 'Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you.'  So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me my son.'  So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and he blessed him, and said,

'See the smell of my son
is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed!
May God give you of the dew of heaven,
and of the fatness of the earth,and plenty of grain and wine,
Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be every one who curses you,
and blessed be every one who blesses you!'

As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, Esau his son came in...and there was no blessing left for him.

Kisses of deception...betrayal...self seeking...hands tied with secrets...self seeking...lies with far reaching effects.... so many things amiss

intimacy...self seeking...touching...smelling...listening...self seeking...

We have no way of knowing how it might have been if Issac and Rebekah had obeyed God's plan. Though truth and blessings may stare us right in our faces, we go the way of self seeking.  It will take years for Jacob to  restore what should have been.  Rebekah will never see her beloved son again. Poor feel the cruel deception of his son's kiss; and poor Esau, was appointed to farm on the edge of the desert. The seeds of their  problems lay in their characters.  Their destinies did not operate as blind fate but were bound up with their personal choices and interests. What we hunger for most, may not lie within the will of God.

It is a hard lesson to learn. I have spent much of my life going my way and not the Lord's. 

If you should ask me what are the ways of God,  I would tell you that the first is humility,  the second is humility, and the third is still humility.  Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless.

                                                                               St. Augustine.

Now, getting back to dear Dorothy...
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North; You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Remembering Dorothy

As  thunder rumbled in the distance and the dark clouds moved closer bringing one of the early storms of summer,  Hank and I ran to  the barn, waiting until the very last moment to close up the doors.  As I stood there looking out at the swirling clouds, I thought of Dorothy.

The house began to pitch....

Dorothy:  It really was no miracle.  What happened was just this. 

 The wind began to switch-

The house , to pitch-

And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch-

 Just then the Witch-

 To satisfy an itch-

Went flying on her broomstick,

 thumbing for a hitch!

Muchkin:  And, oh, what happened then was rich!

Muchkins:  The house began to pitch-

 The kitchen took a slich-

It landed on the Wicked Witch -

in the middle of a ditch-

 Which was not a happy situation for the Wicked Witch!

We returned to the house and went up stairs. Everyone seemed to have claimed their window space to sit and watch the storm beat against the barn with swells of rain.  Hank hid under the desk.  The cats who I scooped up running back to the house, followed me from room to room.  My husband welcomed the storm by opening the balcony door and met it face to face until it forced him inside. And I, feeling unsettled as I watched the storm, returned to my work.