Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Time for Everything

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens …” 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The writer of those words in the Bible goes on to explain the joyful and tough events that can occur in the journey of a lifetime. Our Thanksgiving week 2016 was filled with so many life events, I experienced mental and emotional whiplash before the end.

A time to mourn:  One week before Thanksgiving, I boarded a plane to head to Western New York State to attend my brother’s funeral. I visited my brother, Jack, in May and knew it would be my last time with him. His passing was not a surprise and I am glad he is not suffering anymore. It was good to spend time with his extended family and cousins I hadn’t seen in years. 

A time to rejoice:  My annual check in with the liver transplant doctors was very encouraging. After 18 plus years, my liver is functioning better than anyone expected. I remain amazed at my second chance to enjoy a longer and productive life.

A time to feast:  It was a day to enjoy family members and a table-full of turkey and all the fixings with enough leftovers for the weekend. It always amazes me that women have energy after all the cooking and clean up to hit the Black Friday sales on Friday.  I did my shopping online. 

A time to celebrate:  My late bloomer husband’s birthday is always on Thanksgiving weekend. He received birthday cards and gifts and spent enough time with several of our children to make him not mind turning a year older. I’m very thankful that he continues in good health and can enjoy these later years of life.

A time to laugh: In the next few weeks our fourth great grandchild will be born.  Charles’ grandson Jesse and his wife will welcome their first boy after three girls. We laughed over some of the possible names they are considering for the little fella. I think they were teasing us and already have a great name picked out. 

A time to dance: My granddaughter said “Yes to the Dress” on Thanksgiving Day. Her family lives in Toronto, Canada and since they don’t celebrate the US holiday, they went wedding dress shopping. She’s been looking for months and finally found the right one. July 1, 2017 and that first dance seems more real than before.

What a week—A funeral, a potential wedding, a birthday, a future great grandson, a healthy report, and a national holiday. I am so thankful for the good health and the ability to participate in all these life changing events. 

The writer of Ecclesiastes sums it up in 3:11-12:

“He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Swinging On A Star

“Would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar …”

“Swinging on a Star,” by Jimmy Van Heusen & Johnny Burke was introduced by Bing Crosby the year I was born.  World War II was winding down and people were looking for lighter music and hope. That song was propelled to the top of the charts for much of 1944.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved to observe the stars and other celestial bodies.  As a child I was fascinated by the constellations and the Greek and Roman mythological figures that identified each one.

As I grew older, I was amazed by how the stars spoke of God’s hand in creation.
Psalm 8:1&3

“O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
    The moon and the stars, which You have ordained …”

My late bloomer husband, Charles enjoys going outside on a clear night to marvel at the expanse of the heavens and feel the presence of God. He often wishes we lived away from the city lights so he could have a clear and unobstructed view.

November 2016 will be filled with celestial events, with the most enjoyable being the supermoon that will appear on November 14. As the moon’s orbit brings it into close proximity to the earth, it will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular moon. The supermoon will be the largest it’s been since 1948–68 years ago–and will not make another close up visit until 2034. With clear skies promised here in Georgia, Monday should be a good night for moon watching.

As the moon fades and once again becomes a crescent in the sky, it will appear in close proximity to Jupiter on November 25. That sighting will probably require a telescope.

When you tire of watching the skies, you can tune into the National Geographic six-part fictional television mini-series about an astronaut crew on a mission to Mars, the red planet.  Or maybe watch the Comedian John Stewart pack for his outer space trip.  He told People magazine in August of this year that if Donald Trump is elected President, “I would consider getting in a rocket and going to another planet because clearly this planet’s gone bonkers.” Maybe he’d like to join singer, Cher, who has declared her intention to go to Jupiter.

When I look up into the heavens, I know without a doubt that God has it all under his control. I hope you will join me in resting in that assurance.