Sunday, October 23, 2022

Slow Like a Sloth

 


October is the month where pumpkins reign as king. Everything from coffee to cereal is flavored with pumpkin spice. Colorful leaves on trees and crisp evenings and mornings are a welcome relief after a hot summer.  Fall festivals and trick or treating are other fun events for October.

October is also the month when we gear up for Christmas. Hallmark Christmas movies start this coming week. The stores are already filled with Holiday d├ęcor, and families begin to plan their celebrations. Other festivals celebrated during the month of October suit me better.

International Sloth Day is celebrated on October 20, 2022.  Sloths mostly inhabit Central and South America, but they are being celebrated worldwide during October. Their appearance and characteristics make them very loveable. People enjoy seeing them in zoos in their natural habitat.

The Bible talks about the sin of slothfulness.  It’s easy to fall into slothfulness after retirement and when you’re closing in on 80 years old. The temptation to stay in bed longer in the mornings and stay up later at night is real. Those comfy pajamas are harder to shed. The lure of interesting posts on Facebook and on my computer grab my attention and before I know it, an hour has sprinted by. I should’ve spent that hour in prayer or getting some exercise.

Procrastination is a first cousin of slothfulness. Putting things off until tomorrow is a deadly habit that I need to avoid. “Hanging around” like a sloth doesn’t get much done. There are some days when tackling the to do list is not an option. Aches and pains and brain fog puts me in my chair where I stay except to get something to eat. Thankfully, those slothful days are followed by several days of productive activity.

The sloth is very slow moving and it takes a month to digest a meal. God made that creature to remind us that He loves us on our slothful days as well as our productive days. 

  

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Long Lived the Queen

 


From her marriage to Prince Philip to her coronation as Queen in 1953, I watched the first woman since Queen Victoria ascend the royal throne in Britain.  Paper dolls were popular when I was eight years old, and with a set of her bridal party and coronation service paper dolls, I was a witness to history. It’s a shame they didn’t survive my childhood.

The grainy television and movie photos of both ceremonies were state of the art at the time and quite exciting to watch. I observed the colorful and beautiful live production of the whole funeral service—what a difference 70 years makes in the world of technology.

With King Charles III, Price William, and Prince George in line for the throne, Elizabeth II will be the last female monarch for years to come. Her incredible lifetime of service to God and her country was celebrated on Monday.

Yes, there have been scandals and troubles for the royal family along the way, but the Queen somehow seemed to rise above it all and restored dignity to the throne. Her Christian example will be a challenge to replicate by future monarchs.

Yesterday’s funeral was filled with pomp and circumstance, carried out with precision. The numbers of military officers who marched long distances and hoisted the very heavy coffin up the stairs to Westminster Abbey were amazing.


The poignant lowering of the casket after the graveside service at Windsor Castle chapel signaled the end of a life well lived. What a special moment indeed. It was a funeral for the ages planned many years in advance. Goodbye Queen Elizabeth—you were one special lady.

 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Goodbye Summer

 




Stuart & Ruth's House


Summer is on its way out. Cooler nights and mornings are in. Our recent trip to Western New York State to visit my son Stuart and his family was a reminder that Fall is on its way. My daughter-in-law’s beautiful summer garden will only last another month. Ruth has worked to create a masterpiece in the front and back yard of their house in Lewiston. Her showpiece will be a part of the Garden Tour next spring.

Our granddaughter, Belle, starts Grade 11 in Toronto after Labor Day. She is now learning to drive and is quite the young lady.  The climate is about to change to the beautiful Fall days of colorful trees and leaves.

The remaining 15 days until Labor Day will fly by and fall will soon begin. Soon, I will drag out my fall wreath and table decorations to welcome the harvest season.  Soups and casseroles are right around the corner. YUM!

In the next few weeks, I will be preparing a presentation for the Christian Author’s Guild Coffee & Quill Conference.  My talk will be about how to write two memoirs and not get a divorce.  Although challenging at times, writing our two life stories was a pleasant experience, and we are still together.

Enjoy the last fleeting days of summer and prepare for real climate change.

 

                                

                            AUGUST IS THE SUNDAY OF SUMMER (Unknown)




Wednesday, July 20, 2022

93 Days of Summer

 

Summer is my favorite time of year—usually.  The sunny summer days, warm nights, and the sound of tree frogs and crickets in the back yard.  Several days away from home for a vacation to the beach or a favorite mountain retreat. Well, maybe next year!!!

During the first few weeks of summer, we dealt with the death of Charles’ sister, Marion, traveling to Louisiana for her funeral. We spent a few days in Florida on the way visiting with my sister, Audrey, in hospice care.

After coming home, we rested for a few days and decided to head to the north Georgia mountains to celebrate our anniversary.  We didn’t make it far before we both got sick and had to head home. Our Covid diagnosis left us coughing and sneezing and isolated for a week. When our 16-year-old air conditioner quit, we suffered with the heat and humidity for ten days until a new HVAC system was installed.

Trying to conserve our funds, we stayed home, and I cooked until our oven and stove decided to take a vacation. Now we are in the process of looking for a new gas range.

It hasn’t been a relaxing or inexpensive summer so far, and we don’t know what the next few weeks will bring. We’re very thankful we had the funds to cover our major expenses.

Last Sunday in our Life Group we taught about the prophet Elijah on Mt. Carmel and how he experienced tremendous victory against the prophets of the false god Baal. On hearing of threats on his life from Jezebel, he ran away and hid from his pursuers, and from God. But God found him and ministered to his depression and gave him a new purpose in life.

I can relate to the story because I’ve had times I wanted to run away and hide. You probably have too. As we hear of the craziness in our world and in our streets, we shake our heads and fear for our future and our succeeding generations. God wants to give us a new purpose in life to be a willing witness for him and to do our part to spread his Word.  When we press through our trials, we set an example for others to follow.


So, here’s to summer—warts and all.

 

“Summertime is the best of what might be.” Charles Bowden

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A Messy May

 


May is usually my favorite month of the year. A coating of yellow pollen is no longer on the deck or my car. My eyes itch and burn less as spring gives way to summer. Mother’s Day can be a day of relaxation and reflection.  I remember May 12 as the anniversary of my liver transplant and am so grateful to be in good health most of the time. This year we were looking forward to a tour to Kentucky to see the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.

In early May, five days before our tour, we received word that Charles’ sister had died.  Expecting a quick funeral, we cancelled our trip. Then we learned that my sister, Audrey, had been placed on Hospice and Palliative Care. We needed to make plans to go see her.  Since the burial of Charles’ sister involved the national military cemetery, the funeral was postponed to the end of May. 

We will drive to Pensacola, stay at the Beach, and go to visit with Audrey. It will be hard to see how much she has declined in the past year.  Then we will head for Louisiana for Marion’s funeral and burial before we head home.

All the computer time involved in cancelling and changing reservations was quite involved. Somehow, we got it all done. This has turned out to be a messy May, but I am trying not to dwell on the negative. My daily prayer has one of gratitude for Audrey’s strong Christian faith. I know that she will be in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.

May that be true of each of us as our time on earth eventually comes to an end.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


Representation of Audrey and me growing up in Northern New York




Thursday, April 21, 2022

Seasons of Life

 

Everyone talks about the weather. It’s spring and we are all ready for warmer temperatures. Somehow nature hasn’t gotten the message. During the past week, we enjoyed all four seasons in metro Atlanta—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

We turned on the gas logs for several nights last week to chase away winter’s chill and almost freezing temperatures. By mid-week, we experienced the 80’s with more good days on the way.  Then it’s back to early fall and a late spring chill during the next weekend. Four seasons in one week gave me whiplash.

My spring-cleaning chore for the week was to clean out my closet. Darker winter clothes needed to be sorted, packed up, and moved to a different location. Brighter, cheerful colors needed to make an entrance. Then the dreaded task of trying on things to see if they still fit. It was a lesson in humility to put the ill-fitting stuff in the donation box to make room in the closet for a couple of new items in a larger size.

I finally settled on what to wear for a speaking engagement, my granddaughter’s graduation, and my grandson’s wedding. My plan was to be several pounds smaller by now, but my daily exercise has been put aside for more pressing activities. So tomorrow it’s back to lifts and crunches to whip myself back into shape.

 During my morning trip to the grocery store, I saw flowering trees and bushes that tell me that spring has arrived. All the goodies I bought for Easter will be eaten and enjoyed by others. I will stick to my low carb, low sugar diet.

That will not take away the promise of new life Jesus gives to those who put their faith and trust in Him. The promise of Easter is “WE WIN.” Jesus was resurrected and defeated death and the devil.

As much as I enjoy looking into my clean closet and choosing an outfit for the day, I need to investigate my heart and mind and determine to live for Jesus and put on the Christian virtues that I need to wear. Joy, peace, patience, and love are necessary to really embrace the spring.

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Heartbreak of Ukraine

 




Spring arrives this week with the promise of new life as the world awakes from its winter slumber. Tulips are popping up in my flower boxes on the deck.  Blooming trees, daylight savings time, and warmer days tells me that my favorite time of year is here. I agree that Christians can feel joy and sadness at the same time.

It’s hard to enjoy the beauty all around when the news is filled with death and destruction. Once again, an evil dictator has decided to go to war to seize land that doesn’t belong to him.  It’s heartbreaking to watch millions of refugees leaving everything behind to escape to another country.  

As the rockets and missiles destroy high rise residences, hospitals, and government buildings, the civilian fatalities rise. The good news is that the Russian military forces are floundering with tanks stuck in disrepair, and the Ukrainian soldiers are putting up a good fight. Ukrainian President Zelensky is setting an example of strength and courage in the midst of all the destruction.

Christians in Ukraine gather for prayer meetings, find food and supplies for their brothers and sisters, and show all of us how to serve under persecution. Under former Soviet rule, the church met underground and will do so again until they are free.

It is so frustrating to watch the United States play catch up in aiding Ukraine. Climate change is still the most important item on the President Biden’s agenda. Fixing our energy resources is not under consideration. In the meantime, we all pay higher prices for groceries, gas, and everything else. The people who can least afford it are bearing the burden as they live paycheck to paycheck.

Watching too much TV news is depressing. I try to remember that God is at work in the world and in governments. His will and way will overcome darkness and bring about his kingdom at the right time in human history. We all need to pray that He will come quickly to set everything right.