Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Thankfulness of the Heart

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." ~John Henry Jowett

How I miss the mark and limp some Decembers. The upheaval in the calendar is a challenge to me, but I want to walk the best I can and not put a damper on everyone else's time. I long to cherish Christmas oh so quietly in my heart all year long. But my children with their twinkling eyes and joy of expectancy remind me that the 25th is one of those days as well. And so it is, and I join in and continue the count if you will put up with me again. My prayer is that the holiday is more in the heart and in the being, rather than all the doing; that it's about love and this awesome Jesus of my every day.

Gratitude swells up in my heart for:

healthy children in the winter
daughters who help make cookies
star gazing
buds ready to bloom
people of prayer
candles in the evening
making the Centurion laugh at the live nativity
the mitten tree near the stove
holly and evergreens
love, light and life
Jesus come as baby to this earth....

"Thanks be to God for this unspeakable gift." 2 Cor 9:15

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Love Letters

I’d know her handwriting anywhere. There sprawled across the floor in front of me is a pile of my late Great-Grandmother’s letters that fell out of my old Bible. She had made her life speak to her loved ones from the arm of her favorite chair in her last years. One by one, I picked up the pretty pastel bits of love and memories. Her writing, the ink and all look like no time has slipped away, but it’s been a good couple of decades. She never knew my husband or met my children but her words live on.

She spoke in scriptures, poems, in quotes and in prayers. Leafing through them the thought crossed my mind that just maybe I didn’t get my love affair with reading words from university professors, but this elderly women without a day of higher education. The last time I saw her was when I parted for my junior year of university across the states to the mid-west, far away from the family nest. Reading the letters and poetry now, it’s clear to me that a degree could never take the place of this kind of wisdom and deep love of family. While she may have sporadically attended a house of worship, she whole-heartedly attended to the Holy Spirit inside her. She was clearly one of the Christ-followers.

And she didn’t just send letters, she decorated them with color, stickers and her great big God love. There were flowers, butterflies, all things nature and hearts. Picking one off the floor, I turn it over and read my way around the pink heart the words "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Isn’t that the truth.

She was a farmer’s wife and raised seven children. She lived the Great Depression and fed the hungry. Several of her children still live today, in a row of quaint little homes near her old property. It’s a place of nurturing and love and I don’t have to wonder why. I recall what it felt like to be in her home. My Grandmother, who lives next door and still holds my hand during visits today, celebrated her 92nd birthday last month and so I am amazingly blessed.

Upon every visit to Great Grandma’s home, I’d sit by her chair on the floor and we’d chat and inevitably I’d end up getting to pick from her finest patchwork pillows, a new treasure for my bedroom. Before I’d leave she’d have given me the run down on what or where each patch square came from: so and so’s dress, skirt or left over fabric from a blanket or such. What a collection I had-as many pillows as stuffed animals. Next a bag would be filled of special food and goodies from her old wooden pantry out in the kitchen. I some how sensed it was more than food in that bag, but her way of giving love. And then I’d say my goodbyes and wait.

Wait for the mail truck to come to our long country lane. It was then I learned the thrill of writing and receiving letters, what seems like a lost art today. I share these poems, scriptures and words of wisdom with my children now and I take them deep into my heart and recapture the memories of those moments of safety and love. My girls have become letter writers. I some how feel that I’m to continue where she left off given that I’ve now got a favorite chair, a slower pace and a whole lot of loved ones that need to know my love for them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Preserved Land!

The girls at Goat Hill Overlook. We are thrilled this nearby property has been recently preserved as open space. It is now part of Washington State Park. George Washington used this hill to make sure the boats on the PA side were hidden well enough so that the British could not see them.

Looking north over the Delaware River. New Hope, PA is on the left and Lambertville, NJ is on the right. Washington and his army crossed the river here at Coryell's Ferry (between New Hope and Lambertville) for the battle of Monmouth in June of 1778.

Washington Rock looking north. Legend has it that this is the rock George Washington used to inspect the PA side of the river to make sure the boats were well hidden. It is a fact that he did this from Goat Hill-a legend that it was from this rock. This was before the famous Christmas crossing for the battle of Trenton. The actual crossing was at McKonkey's Ferry (now Washington Crossing, PA to Titusville, NJ) a few miles to the south.

One washed out photo of husband forgetting about our life insurance and out-dated will and pretending to be George Washington. I made it back home with just minutes to spare for online Meeting for Worship....
I must add, much love to my British friends who may read this!
Really. oxo

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friends That Thirst

Many people of faith speak about dry or dark times. Even Mother Theresa was found to refer to what was called the "dark night of the soul." I often wonder about these times as Friends where there seems no vocal ministry to be found, no leadings and difficulty discerning abounds. They are the times where we find ourselves waiting and hoping to hear any voice from God.

About three years ago or so now, I found myself desperately seeking any potential sparks of light. I’ve come to believe for myself after experiencing such, that throughout these extended dry times God remains the same and is always with us. That unchanging Spirit is the root we must step back and cling to with patience and devotion. God is love, not a mean God that turns on us, but rather a loving father who often works things mystically in our lives. He uses these times to draw us unto him and to thirst for him until we are experientially one. It felt quite barren at the time though.

I do not believe he intends to burden us further, but to eventually, in his perfect timing give us even greater Light. It is a preparation time of storing up greater strength and deeper knowledge to be used for his kingdom. Isaac Pennington wrote, "There is a time to want as well as a time to abound while we are in this world. And the times of wanting, as well as abounding are greatly advantageous to us."

Perhaps the most difficult to deal with is the feeling of abandonment. It feels like God has definitely gone MIA, missing in action. In reality it is really just a lonely, silent time–a place that is fertile ground to begin to rely less on feelings and more on trust and promises. Isn’t that faith–that we trust even when every single outward reality tells us there is absolutely no reason to. I felt for an entire year that I simply must in the end be obedient and blindly trust God through the darkness. It taught me how to wait. I am still learning to wait, but isn’t that what us Friends do?

None of us truly knows the mind of God, unless the Holy Spirit shows us. This has become a tenet of my faith. I believe the Holy Spirit has come to teach his people today and this is not to say it is an ending but a mere beginning. We must be open to continue to love, trust, obey and wait no matter how long his silences last.

In hindsight, I can see that I was granted protection, and renewed spiritual growth and intimacy that I lacked prior to this time though I have far to go. I can now see some fruits, though at the time I cried out like David did in the Psalms to God to please not hide his face from me. It was a comfort to me to know David complained too and that the Truth was that God hadn’t left him, in fact He said, I will never leave or forsake you repeatedly. I knew objectively that God was with me, but did not feel that mercy that is new every morning or answers to prayers. Certainly Job felt some of this dryness too, yet all the while remaining faithful. I think it’s quite biblical and I think it is important that these times are spoken about so that others can know that the light may dim, but will never ever go out. It’s often through such a time of hardship that one may be given more understanding of that which is Eternal.

"Light arises in the darkness... He is gracious and compassionate and righteous." Psalm 112:4

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Photo

It sits on the dusty shelf by our dining table all year long....
May your every day be blessed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Autumn Blessings

I pray, I give thanks and count. It’s another day aching in and I pull the covers up for a few more minutes. I don’t know any other way to combat this–the tears and fears that some times accompany chronic illness, that illness that will never ever go away. S-j-o-g-r-e-n-‘s. I actually have to spell it for some of my doctors.

Mornings have been a beast lately. I awake with the relentless pain from the night before and it greets me loudly. My eyes must be ever so delicately opened enough to put in the first drops of the day, a swallow of water washes down the first set of meds through my swollen throat. I burn. My stomach up to my throat, tongue, nose and eyes all burn and seem to over-ride the body pain these days. I wish I did not have to get up so soon.

Some days I wish I didn’t have to continue on.

Mothers aren’t supposed to think this way. Married wives are not to have these thoughts and certainly not the Christ-followers, or do we–are we simply human too?

I pray, wait for eyes to focus a bit and swallow the first words of the day as well. Then I pick up my pen and give thanks for.....

baskets of apples
autumn pictures made by my girls
long brown hair and pig tails
walking the dog at dusk
a listening ear
faithful friends from the past
a secret journal that is not secret from God
the scent of pies a faithful husband has made
the sound of walking through the leaves
family still willing to sit around my table
sheer white curtains
darkness so that I might greater appreciate the light
favorite verses
gentle reminders to live today

I know that God never promised his friends there would be no suffering, but he did speak a lot on fear. The much loved verses come to my mind in the early hours of silence and I cling.

"I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)

And so I get up and face the gift of a new day and some how the words come alive for me. Young ones are waiting on me for circle and schooling time and they teach me much about how to pray, give thanks and keep counting all the blessings.

"I know that today's discouragement will be replaced by tomorrow's joy."
Isaiah 51:11

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

From the end of the earth I will cry to you. When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2
Photos From "Fleeting Fall" Bowman's Wildflower Preserve

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love and Pain

" To love at all is to be vunerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxeries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." ~CS Lewis

She is wearing the locket with her memory of her old horse in it. The one she bravely comforted as she waited for the injection to work it’s way. Her days are now spent tending and caring for our two new horses. It’s a splendid sight to see as I peer out the kitchen window. It wasn’t that long ago she dipped into disinterest and put a guard on her heart about the decision to purchase and try once again. She didn’t want the pain.

"Love those horses and you are just gonna hurt," little one said.

"Don’t I know it girl."

Taking her tiny hand in mine, it is difficult at best, but I try to explain that love and hurt are unavoidable and that it’s all worth it still. This sensitive one, already coping with my illness and loss for a time here, looks up at me with her pale little face. I go on blabbering some thing to the effect that love is the greatest, as even when the pain comes-and it will-the pain cannot steal the joy. It hurts terribly at times, but it can’t snatch away all the memories loving brings.

I’m not sure the kid fully comprehends.

I ponder at times if adults fully comprehend. Can we tolerate being loved? Can we allow God to love us and reciprocate? I mean really count the blessings and live all loved?

For me, it is a courageous act, to exercise that trust muscle, to constantly live it and model it in front of children daily. It’s a humble task to be entrusted with, but every single step is a brave step, to risk love and to be loved as God gifts us with such joy. It does my heart good to see the little one leap back into the journey. She is out there now every free minute she has caring, training, and falling head over heels in love with those two little horses.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Friendly Question

It’s absurd, I know, but some times I am hesitant to ask Friends where they stand on issues or to share their thoughts with me. They are all nice enough, but it seems we all don’t have so much in common some days and stand for what we do not believe more than what we do. At times I feel alone viewing Christ as my Center. I do not want to bend someone’s nose or cause them to be uncomfortable or even possibly be angry, but I’m curious if I am a lone Friend living with a joyful belief of daily inner baptism and communion with the Lord and one another?

I know, I know...many of you will think I am ignorant. I respect we all differ and do not feel the need for outward symbols of these daily inward realities. I do not feel they are outwardly necessary either. But are they realities to us as a society or to any Friends anymore inwardly, is my burning question.

Here’s the thing. I awake each morning and I’m not carrying around a truck load of guilt, but by midmorning, I can realistically count my short-comings. It’s a daily adventure. I think about the body and the blood each day. And not a day goes by I don’t think about the ever-present baptism in the Spirit; that non-stop cleansing fountain. I think of it as a journey of grace with a love that bubbles up with laughter for the daily gifts, to be intimately cleansed in the water and to sip the cup, feast on the sacrifice given.

Perhaps I am odd. A definate quirk. I was raised in a Christian church that practiced these outward symbols. I did participate at the time, but I never felt them required to be a friend of God. I was happy. I now attend a Quaker meeting and of course, we do not practice these things. I am happy. I guess in truth, my position has not changed on this one item since being that itty bitty little girl in the back pew chewing gum and swinging her legs to and fro. I did those outward practices, felt I was loved and accepted not by the ritual, but by the Lover of my Soul. To me, it was reality and already done for my soul. The seed was planted back then and I knew I yearned to simply to live it daily. Adjusting to Friend’s ways in this just felt right.

I come for my own reasons to worship as an unprogrammed Friend, but I do not come out of a resentful background. Likewise, when reading some literature on the Society of Friends for the first time, I was not horrified, as some of my Christian cohorts seem to be with this non-necessity. Instead, I rather saw it as a blessing of freedom to be offered to and accept the gift anew each day. I was quite relieved when reading Jack Wilcut's book Why Friends are Friends, that I could identify with his position being similar to mine. So I shyly and hesitantly inquire, do any Friends out there have a voice on the spiritual sacraments?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


One glance at the calendar and all its squares we are passing takes my breath away. I inhale deeply, try to be brave and say goodbye to color. I’m waving my farewell and facing the realization of mid-autumn a little late this year. I want to slow down, make time stand still to celebrate and most of all let go of my racing thoughts to make more room for God’s. I so often pummel Him with words rather than rest in love.

I’m glad to live in an area that experiences four seasons. Some times they just seem to fly by too fast though and I realize I’ve not been intentional enough with my days and with God. Not about all the doing, but more about the being. The vibrancy of autumn has awoken me to this with all it’s leaves, fall mums in russet hues, pumpkins and the smell of fireplaces in the air. I’m memorized by the giggling I hear out amongst the mounds of leaves. But this time is so fleeting and it is soon to be winter. It’s time now to slow down, rest and cut a clearing through the mental clutter and our activity; make a way in, because the Teacher paints with the most awesome colors in the song of the Spirit in every season.

Looking at my end table, Resting Place by Jane Rubietta begs to be read. It’s a quiet escape that invites me into a more meaningful retreat of slowness and solitude. I can do this- start small and slow down a little more each day. It will help me to turn the pages in the book, the calendar and the leaves and just maybe turn my heart more as well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Memoriam to Christopher J. Klicka

Yesterday the home schooling world truly lost one of it’s most awesome advocates and greatest friends. This man, chronically ill with MS, never ceased to inspire me to press on teaching my children through my years of challenges through watching his accomplishments and courage. Chris was an attorney and lobbyist for HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association,) author and had seven children of his own he raised with his wife. What an example of bravery, working to the very end and even having two further books in progress at the time of his death. My heart goes out to his family. May they be blessed by peace and cherished memories. His life needs to be remembered and celebrated for the bravery he had to press on despite his circumstances and for the freedoms he helped grant to us today.

If interested, you may read about him here:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Christ Who Strengthens Me

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" came to mind as I tried to sit still with another bad drug reaction. No matter how hard I try to live this or any good, I cannot do it on my own strength. It is in this earthly vessel, the weakest of the weaklings and a coward really, he makes himself known to me. How shocking really. He gives me strength I could not have on my own. It’s about abundance-to still be here. I don’t know what each day will bring, but I know the Lover of my Soul does. How I love him.

Here is the poem I wrote in my journal in response to Philippians 4:13 a month ago when starting this drug. I wait and pray for another chance.

I want to be brave
and fly above
the dark clouds
of my oppressive
Not be captive
to it, but
like a carefree
eager to take
off into the
the next flight.
~JL 8/09

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have not been blogging much recently due to some medication difficulties which have caused me to be fatigued more than usual. During this time, I've been shown the truth that the little things here matter more than other bigger things and I only have so much energy per day.
So I am putting most my energy towards our schooling and home life. We actually began back to our studies since mid-August and rejoined our home school group. We've been to Park Days to celebrate starting up again and are looking forward to a few field trips.
It's year nine for us and it took a little convincing myself this year. It wasn't a sure thing with how I have been feeling, so many doctor appointments and considering the girls ages and needs. There's many good private schools in the area, but none affordable. Quite frankly our experience of the public school with our son didn't fit the bill for the upper grades. I'd like to avoid it.
After much conversation, prayer and getting other help, I was convinced as every year since this experiment started to continue. Possibly the girl's wishes and these summer photo memories clinched it the most for me. The girls are motivated to be home and together. We're on to another year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (Not really....)

Here it is--a rare photo of me looking like me in my glasses, no make up and no time to waste dying my hair with the new fragrance-free natural hair dye that actually works. Hair dye needs to be repeated though, which women do in a very timely manner ad nausum. In case you can't see, I've fetched my first autumn leaves and am elated with them and this is my faithful husband who stands by me with my odd glasses, chronic illnesses and quirky ways. He is still cute in my opinion, for 24 years later and fairly normal glasses.

We're taking a "staycation," which for those who don't know is a vacation at home this year. (Yes, I know some readers call it a holiday, but here we call it vacation and the word "holiday" makes me break out in nervous hives which I suppose is your festival or something but enough of that I do love you all.)

I am a New Jersey girl, but rural as in, very-close-to-Pennsylvania-rural-bear- territory. It is country here which is some times difficult to convince people who think that we are all one big exit off the turnpike. I can understand that. I've lived in several locations in New Jersey, eight to be exact. So, I may be country now, but still Jersey enough to have an opinion on topics from A to Z. I just don't always give them. I will be getting around to more home schooling and blogging eventually, but am taking a break now from the rush of life, routines and forums on the internet. Though with one confession-- you may locate me at times still on Facebook. This country girl is still intending to load in more photos and figure it all out. It is very funny over there, especially live chat. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Joy Habits

For about two years now, I've been keeping a gratitude journal. My sister gave me this great leather journal and it's become a loved one, showing it's wear. I've not always been what I would call a positive thinker, but more a "realist". Though little by little when I began this new habit, it became motivating and a good way to chase away the darker days. I began to see my days a bit different, look for the gifts, and record love's little mysteries. I thought I'd share my joy habit here from time to time here--so here goes:
1. The way they hum when they bake; the girls often take my place
2.The jump that begs for a momma audience
3. Late summer lightening bug chase
4. The stranger at the hospital with the walker who was willing to chatter away my nervousness
5. Faithful horses that nicker hello every time I return home
6. Long brown braids
7. Late vibrant blooming marigolds
8. Butter dripping down sweet corn
9. Smouldering sunsets
10. Finding purpose again

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Endings and Joy Habits

It is finished-endings. I never liked them. Like the end of childhood, charred relationships, last nights in homes, last carefree walk, last Italian dinner and drink. Now we are in the last days of the summer. You get the point.

Though sometimes what appears to be an ending is a new, different beginning. At times it is good, necessary, even celebratory in some way, this finishing. My mind is now more than ever, exercising this change muscle; this turning all into a joy habit. Saying goodbye to summer is really welcoming autumn, which I'm thankful for too.

The other night I had this mind thought that led me to correlate the cross to the ending–beginning stunt. The cross brings me face to face with Jesus’ suffering. He was alone. All his disciples had deserted him, except for his mother, 3 women, along with John. And his death was agonizing and humiliating. Sure seemed like an ending. His last words, “It is finished” however, expressed triumph rather than defeat. Even on the cross, in those circumstances Jesus knew the joy that was accomplished, though it did not appear sensible at the time. What the Father sent him to the world to do has now been accomplished. He sacrificed for us.

It-this-is finished, but it is the joy of victory.

Our lives in the eternal are now, here, and from today forward. Things may not appear great, and sure may not feel good at times, especially endings, but a new day has begun.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My guys having their beach time sun and fun......

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Looks Like God Built Ya a Pond Momma"

One year ago I had a simple wish of making a very small landscaping pond on our property. I actually wanted to do this as a home school project a few years back and was not able to. Life gets busy. We never built that pond, but to the back of our acre we’ve got endless untamed land and to the side stretches out more miles that has a wet, marshy area.

I’m in the habit of walking the perimeter of our property daily and choose that so that I can hear the birds in the thicket. It’s not unusual to see various critters along the way, tree frogs being one of them, but recently it seems to the side of our yard I was hearing a chorus of frogs with their deep thrill answering one another. I casually mentioned this to one of our kids and they said, “Oh, that’s the pond God built ya, Momma.”

The first thing that came to my mind was that the marshy area was increasingly saturated from recent rains, and was probably a stagnant mess filled with mosquitoes. Walking off the property along the back trail, sure enough for a variety of reasons, the area became damned on one side and formed a pond-like area and most of the wet land area seems to have disappeared. Still skeptical, I looked closer and certainly this little body of water was stirring with life–full of frogs, skater bugs and little minnow fish and grasses growing up in areas surrounding it as if to define it a bit. I caught myself continuing on with one of those ceaseless prayer whispers telling the Lord it was a whole lot bigger than I originally had in mind and chuckling to myself.....

It could be just one of those things that was bound to happen. But the natural progression of the wetland area or not, my child and I experienced it as a God thing, a little surprise, a delightful show of grace along the way.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Meeting for Worship in Cyberspace--Is It Authentic?

As the clocks in time zones change all over the world, Friends are getting ready for Meeting for Worship. Some are entering traditional stone Meetinghouses, with wide wood floors and worn benches, apparent simplicity all around. Others are filing into newer buildings or even homes, all having one goal in common. They have gathered to be still and listen; to seek the Light together and what may be revealed to them as individuals and collectively as a body. Over the past two years, I have pondered and experimented weekly with the idea that if Friends seek this Light and meet anywhere, could one meet this way in cyberspace?

Who is to say what in what context worship is authentic and where it is not. There are many aspects of meeting, worship and fellowship to consider. I am grateful for the Light’s guidance in my life. Yet, I certainly do not presume to be an authority on the Quaker faith and of it’s many changes and dimensions, but attempt only to share my evolving experience and how the Holy Spirit is leading in my life; how I have found others to share this worth while spiritual journey with.

Some may say the cyberworld is too complex and odd a medium to recreate Quaker fellowship in. Truth be told, I don’t think it replaces a local, physical meeting, but may help meet some of the needs of isolated Friends, those home due to chronic illness, seekers and those just wiling to experiment outside of the box, so to speak. There are differences in that one lacks the visual, voice, those innuendoes that help one identify and connect with ease. Internationally, there are language barriers to overcome and thus room for potential misunderstandings. Some have said that one does not truly ever get to know who one is communicating with and that there is no accountability or ability for this to work. To all this, I offer my experience to date and George Fox’s well known words, “Let us see what love can do.”

Quaker Faith and Fellowship as a internet entity is paving the way by joining hands with other providers, starting with offering Meeting for Worship 7 days per week. There is ability to schedule Meetings for specific times as well to ensure others will gather and seek unprogramed worship together. Much fellowship is offered through “tea and coffee” chat and the forum. There is plenty of discussion, connections and bonding to experience and knowledge to be shared. Individuals are encouraged to speak of their concerns to the community and to hold one another in the Light.

This process is unfolding similarly to physical meeting and members may look forward to emulating it through aspects as they are led. We have MfW in two locations, and I prefer to continue to participate in this experience, not with the differences in mind, but with the commonality and similarities as well as the uniqueness as it unfolds. I desire to live it with an open hand and heart. After all, “Where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” (Matt. 18:20)

I challenge all to consider this verse and the freedom it represents to us to experiment with varying mediums we have within our ability now and in the future, that may meet the needs of some Friends and as outreach capabilities and not to divide, but rather to unite Quaker internet entities. The Spirit will guide us across international lines and time zones. This awesome and powerful Light within will show us the way if we allow it to. So, I conclude with gratitude for all members, welcomed visitors and future members to come, to grab hold of this authenticity, embrace it and continue on in our sharing and our spiritual journeys at and all other Friends sites, as we are one society. All are welcome.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Freedom in God's Love

About 5 years ago, I began a journey of freeing myself from the past and allowing myself space and time for God to work his way a bit differently in me. I am often times not where I long to be and recognize my faults. But the more I allow myself this grace over discipline, the more my yearnings for the Living God become satisfied.

My mind keeps ruminating on the externals of discipline versus internal transformation. I genuinely believe God is ready to do a work in us when we offer all we are back to him; when we realize that it is his Spirit doing work in us and through us.

The past year with eye pain has conveyed to me that I need to lessen my amount of reading time. I have to care for my eyes scrupulously by putting drops in and compresses on them every hour. Without this experience, I don’t think I would have allowed myself the depth of unstructured days that I do now. All this means I have to be so particular with what I read, but it has also pushed me a bit further down this path of trust, that I am ok to worship directly with my Father. So I have once again been reminded to focus on the truth that the Holy Spirit has come to teach his people today. I am learning in a way I never dreamed I’d have to. I take time out to read scriptures, books, pray and keep silent time, I vary this daily according to my leadings and eye pain. Some days I must simply rest in the Spirit. I am striving to do away with any lingering old tapes of lists of "do's and don'ts". It is an amazing thing to think about that Christ has already done a work in us and will continue to. I can relax a lot more. As Richard Foster says in several of his books, these external disciplines are simply a means of allowing the Spirit to meet us more intimately and directly. I am feeling more and more the freedom of this grace in a new way.

This grace is not about measuring up, but rather the LIFE that the Spirit offers. The Spirit ALWAYS gives life, and life abundant. I was reading one of my newsletters last evening, and it's interesting how my thoughts, discussion studies and readings keep tying together. Within it were a few verses from John which I found renewing. I normally read KJV, but have picked up The Message out of shear curiosity and shock value this past year and it just so happened to be in that. It reads:

"But the time is coming--it has, in fact, come--when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself--Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. " John 4:23-26.

The freedom and the grace is the gift-- the Spirit connected to our spirit; our hearts joined directly in one. This love keeps me thirsting and coming back for more.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Worthy Read

I promised a fellow member and friend in Living Whole with Chronic Pain Network that I’d read his book this summer. I finally got around to that, and actually listened to it in audio book form, which was even more pleasant to actually hear Chris’ voice.

Chris Tatevosian wrote Life Interrupted: It's Not All About Me. This is by far the best depiction I’ve taken in on one’s first reactions of a serious medical diagnosis during those first few days and his ongoing acceptance of the disease. Chris has multiple sclerosis. It’s a honest, refreshing memoir of how Chris’ words, actions and self attitude cost him his first marriage. I’m so pleased for Chris to be happily remarried at this time and relying on his strength and faith in God. He stretches his readers to consider their relational patterns in a marriage or partnership with one or the other experiencing chronic illness.

This read is a eye opener to the fact that good communications skills for both in the relationship, no matter what form of chronic pain or illness is involved, is imperative. It’s really written to both partners who struggle with not relating “normal” due to chronic pain and conveys much towards what it is to live, love and sacrifice for the other. Chris desires to share what he has learned to help others avoid his situation.

I thank him for his transparency. Therein, I believe, releases much power and strength to help one another in the journey. This is a funny, sad, and real book. It is a book of hope.

Thanks Chris!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Twenty Four Years Ago Today

Twenty Four Years Ago Today
It’s July twentieth again.
God provides.
It’s our anniversary and God gifts us with another year.
He does what we cannot do ourselves.

Who would have known all the years would hold.
It was with overwhelming joy and a few growing pains to widen our
love circle, but I look around this old kitchen table and feel these walls talk.
I know how blessed I am with three children and this man,
who time and time again, turns me eighteen with a single smile.

I never imagined what it would be like to be married this long.
I never really knew how it could work.
It’s not as if one is given a manual of instructions.
Yet along the way, you realize it is about the ability to grow
individually, yet together, to share and to ride the bumps and
persevere and maybe most of all, to be open to fall
head over heels in love again and again and again.
It’s about holding hands through the years and living the dance.

God gives.
We circle arms around and pull us into one.
This music, this man, these children and hope
dance me out of bed
every morning
I’d say it again.

"I do."


Friday, July 17, 2009

Blue Sky and Green Leaves

"In solitude we voluntarily abstain from our normal patterns of activity and interaction with people for a time in order to discover that our strength and well-being comes from God alone." Richard Foster
I’ve walked along the winding creek and spread out the old pink and blue round -the- world patterned quilt again. It’s my latest trick on days I am well enough to gather a bit of solitude, as the girls are literally immersed in the water catching newts and minnows in their nets. I have come to claim my quiet time with a notebook and Richard Foster’s book Seeking the Kingdom.

A quick review of my "to-do" list, a few scribbles and scratches later, I pick up the book. It’s a good read for me, with it’s short excerpts, considering my eye pain currently.

But the trickling and the bubbling sound spoke to me about as clear as God would I imagine, or perhaps did, that my seeking the kingdom is here, right now and that it is alright to just take in the moment, to put my book down and just be. I’m attempting to rest more than my date book demands of me. Some days I am a complete failure at this slower pace and letting go just to experience, but I am trying with the advice of a good friend. Today was a success and it feels pleasant. I lay back, drop my books and look up at the blue sky through the canopy of green leaves. I am not alone.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Please Stand Up

It's been a long week. If you can show me some Quaker equality and tolerance at the moment, please stand up. I know, I know that sounds really rude, but I am at a loss on the topic most recently. This frustrates me, as it is one of the very testimonies in which attracted me to Friends. I have not dared to wade out into the subject before now, as I don’t know how to do so without appearing judgmental myself, but it is so heavily on my mind I determined to put my thoughts here rather in my personal journal hoping for some insight. I am thinking more of how the various branches of Friends themselves respond and view one another in light of equality, rather than in the broader sense of the word.

Equality is so at the very heart of our Quaker faith. It’s not hard to see why as the other testimonies such as peace, simplicity and truth really cannot be of proper emphasis in one’s life without equality. To me they go together like a neat little package and while I’ve been witness to a lot quick reactions and dissension amongst the branches recently online, I don’t believe anyone consciously undermines those they feel as equal to. I’ve come to the notion that our lives, our actions can and should display items of commonality rather than a constant underlining of a particular branch. Thus, I’ve even changed my description on this blog as I’ve come to realize it is not benefitting unity lately.

I rely heavily on the internet with it’s various forums and blogs for Quaker companionship. While involved, it does not take long to observe the sting, this seeming urge to cast one as "other" if not in a similar Quaker mind set. I wonder if within the cyberworld there are simply those who are more vocal or that it is easier to fall into critical introspection due to the more impersonal medium. I know first hand that it is not exclusive an experience to a more Conservative Friend, as I’ve watched some Liberal loved ones really get bashed as well and my heart hurts. Quite frankly I am sad at this very moment over it all, as I think love can cover it but I don’t know the solution of this equation in a practical method that could be applied within communities to make all feel equally welcome. I’m left wondering why and I think it is only human to have the need to express and be understood, but some where between expression and the mark we often leave behind, there seems a trail of defensiveness that can easily turn into unhealthy debate.

I can’t claim to be a great scholar in the study of various religions. However, in the overviews and a course I have taken, I’ve never seen historical founders of a faith so esteemed such as Fox and Penn while simultaneously those adhering to that original practice of faith, perhaps a more primitive Christianity referred to as "unlearned". Yes, I am guilty of painting with that broad brush here and I know it full well. But there is something to be said on this delicate ground whereby the case condemned is not always one with a closed mind, but rather a Friend asserting their right like any other person to be true to themselves without having that freedom discarded. To me after observing this for several years now I am finding it the antithesis of Friendly thought. I find it just as wearisome as when my non-Quaker Christian friends or family scrunch up their faces at my announcement of Quakerism and begin questioning my salvation in clever little ways or even bold out right questionnaire-like conversation. Then I watch it largely assumed that some of my more liberal Friends just don’t esteem the Bible at all or have any such knowledge of it, which is blatantly untrue. In fact, I find most to have superior knowledge. Short of all that, does anyone really ever know a person’s heart?

My concern does not fall short here as I am sensitive in nature to the core and I don’t think I am alone in that. Very deep some where inside me is a place, this place that lacks enough words but needs to embrace others who are not like myself. I learn from them, I enjoy them and yes, love them. It some how brings me more peace and heals my own soul. My husband often tells me that I suffer for it and to an extent I think on occasion, he has said it plain. It is in this place where I do not reject my upbringing of Christian heritage, but sift, retain, and gather unto it what I feel are my own individual truths which do very much contain Quaker orientation and testimonies. But I must say, I sit up on the fence like a school kid, wondering how to make others feel loved and their variation welcome and how to not jump off and away from what I’ve claimed as my own–my very own freedom of choice as I need this focus and form of worship. This Quaker way helps and completes me. The practice of unprogrammed worship meets my spiritual needs as well as my physical requirements as I am finally able to enter in to community worship without the constant pressures of being called upon with my painful voice, eye sight and physical demands. I can be myself, reflect and relax and even close my eyes while I seek the Spirit. When meeting is over, I feel I have directly worshiped, rather than been worn out. That to me is refreshing and how I would hate to give up on it. I need elbow room and I see that we all do. My thoughts keep turning to various labels being more of a hindrance than a help.

In my seeking, I can’t help but find myself at the feet of Jesus, pondering his teachings to love God and my neighbor as myself. He didn’t just tell us to love our enemies, he did it. In this society that often pushes Jesus further and further away, I embrace the fact that his teaching was against being judgmental. Many of his followers today ignore this. I have at times ignored this in my fellow Christians. I do think Friends have some thing very special to say to the world right now and though small in number can quietly lead the way, but I feel we need a coming together once again to see all as equal and valuable; we need an equality as portrayed by Jesus. I want the courage to trust and follow so that we can unite together without the constant emphasis of our differences, but living our experiences and truths instead. This thought strengthens my resolve a bit and I sit and wonder can we start with one another?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Seriously Now, I Need Holy Silence

A few weeks back I slowed down my internet time due to being over-extended here at home. I desired to get caught up, but even more than that, just needed some space and quiet time for reflection and renewal. I was not resting-at all. Though soon to find out once again, the work and interruptions never end. No never. Not when you are a teacher, a mom, a lover, a daughter, a sister, aunt, a house keeper, and friend. Wow, how those roles are not necessarily in the correct order here, nor am I am to fulfill them all as I’d like! They are all a blessing, but a busy one.

As a responded in one of my comment sections, I’m hard pressed here for any sort of quiet place and really have to steal away the time to rest daily or it doesn’t happen. Some times it can’t happen. That’s reality. At age 45 I’m smart enough to fight a bit for what I need and that’s a time for sacred holy silence. It’s tricky here, so I claim a few green fields as my own as well as the bathtub. I’m not ashamed to say it, I read, pray, eat, day dream and yes– commonly fall asleep in my bathtub. See, a shut bedroom door might work– but only for a while.
I’ve come to identify in William Penn’s words, "True silence is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. "

So, I’m making an effort to take the time and it helps me slow my thoughts which come to me at lightening speed often. It makes more room in life to expect to connect directly to God which is becoming increasingly important to me the older I become.

That being so, I thought I had my personal time nabbed the other day. Sliding into a rejuvenating tub to the brim, my muscles relaxed and with eyes closed I shut out the world for a while. Though in the distance, I hear my phone belting out it’s tune not once, not twice, but five times. This was a persistent caller and with that many consecutive rings, it dawned on me it could be an emergency. So, dripping wet, wrapped in a towel I go running through the house to search for my phone, which was of course, very deep some where in the abyss of my purse. At this point I was very aware of the puddles across the wood floor and oriental rug. Sure enough, a message from hubby telling me that the next door neighbor had called him at work and did I know that our two horses were loose in his yard?!? That was a relief, as it was no emergency, but one look out the window–still in the towel mind you–it evidently seemed an emergency to him! Being the overly reflective person I am at times, I chalked it all up to God letting me know that I’m not always in control and it just wasn’t time for my silence for the day. We precariously took care of that one here and mopped up....

I am not giving up. I need time for this daily renewal apart from the noise of the day and the internet that so easily becomes like a magnet in order to to reflect on thoughts that arise. I need to continue to rest and process what I've been through while recreating a new and different life today. I want to claim more time of expectant silence to experience God for myself. It can’t be done in noise and it has to be done in my own way, not necessarily how others do it. Don't get me wrong, I love time on the computor as well as most people, but more silence and more time in the green world to gently rock me like a baby may work best.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer is Here!

Summer time may have finally come to my part of the world! I believe we lost the month of June to rain, chest colds and completing our home school year. We finished up the year by boring the girls with the IOWA Test of Basic Skills. It was the first year for Teacup to be taking it and she finished almost every battery by standing up on her chair about half way through the timed test, announcing she was "all done"! Then we took a day to visit various museums in the area and a nature center. We brought the Principal with us. I have a 'thing' for him.....always did like nice looking educators. The girls liked having Daddy along too.

Our son also graduated from public high school. We are still reeling from all that involved and adjusting to the fact that we seem to have an adult child living under our roof. It's not a statement I say

So, I've spent most of June selling our old books and purchasing new ones for next September. I ordered a lot of curriculum, but also let the girls pick out several hands-on science projects and experiments. The problem there is they have just arrived in the mail and they want to do them now. I hope they are still as enthusiastic when I break them out next semester. I'm finally done organizing my files and records, breathing that sigh of relief, but lingering in my mind is we will never pass this way again. Grade 3 and grade 7, for whatever levels are worth, are officially history in our family.

And now, Ganeida over at Ganeida's Knots has decided I should get this 'True Heart Award' for one who with "true Quaker simplicity&directness chronicles the ups&downs of her life." Hmm...very kind and generous, two in a row, but my readers probably all deserve it more than me for reading about all those downs! LOL...anyways, I am grateful for this and cannot turn it down as it is a heart and I am so particularly fond of hearts!

"Those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. They are kind, friendly, funny, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave in their efforts to reflect Him to this darkened world. They are the kind of folks you're blessed to know, even if it's only in the bloggy-sphere."

I'm passing this award onto three lovely people who come to mind immediately after reading that:
My Autumn Years, Renee
Light in the Sphere, Farrah
Sufficient Grace for Suffering Saints, Marsha

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Blog Award?

I was given this blog award by Ganeida over at Ganeida's Knot's for writing with serenity and simplicity and the dear thinks I have a "lovely" style. Many thanks to her, though I'm not so sure as I just talk really, but I guess it describes my blog header photo! LOL..... To those of you that do not know Ganeida, she is from Australia and is a Quaker homeschooler who writes much more frequently than I am able and has a wonderful wit about her. Many a day her pieces just bubble up with joy, honesty and make me laugh aloud. To honor her, I will go ahead and share 7 things about myself here:

*1. I was a very quiet child who disliked school. I think it all may have started when I couldn't find a seat on the crowded bus, was told to close my eyes at nap time (never!) and when the art teacher told me my pumpkin had to be made over again as it was not round. Didn't make sense to me as we grew pumpkins and most were oval and some were odd shaped and I loved my pumpkin. Mrs. White, however did not love my pumpkin. Funny thing is I loved going to University and I never wanted to stop. Started talking a lot there too. I mourned the day I was done and still do. I want to go back and can't. That's life.

*2. My first memory is purposefully tipping over my highchair in the kitchen during family dinner. I recall being bored, not being hungry and wanting to get down on the floor so that I could spin in circles. Not sure what that says about me....!I still recall the color and pattern of that old linoleum floor. This falling chair act became a habit, so I confirmed and so did climbing furniture.

*3. I apparently see all sorts of things in nature other people do not. No, I do not hallucinate that I know of, but have at other times due to sleep deprivation. I often see hearts in leaves, tree trunks and in swans. I love to mingle with God in nature. Yes, I love hearts and I think I am in love with love. However, I keep this quote on my refrigerator that does describe me quite often though most people would not know it as I am peaceful and typically quiet: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world," by Robert Frost.

*4. I am probably the least competitive person I know. The suggestion of playing a game at a party makes me blush red. I don't want anyone to feel bad if I were to win either.

*5. I am allergic to animals but I have 9 pets. I can't help myself as I like to bring things home. On top of that I have a love affair with naming them. Our number of pets increased dramatically when we were no longer able to bring any more children home. I have an enormous list of left over names of boys and girls and so I like to name animals using them. Problem is, my family members usually do not agree with my names. This happened to me when naming babies as well.

*6. I prefer male companions. I think it all began in my mid to late teens when I got a job at a local mental hospital as a waitress. There may or may not be a correlation there. ROTFL.
Males are not catty, most are not as complex within relationships, and very fun. So sorry ladies, I truly do like you and feel so blessed to get to know my readers! When my brother gave me away at my wedding he told me I should stop various male friendships. I was a bit stunned. I've been told to work on deepening my female friendships and so I am attempting. It's hard some times.

*7. I wear 5 earrings. My husband is not thrilled with this fact, but still apparently loves me after soon to be 24 years! The fifth one is fairly recent and it took him a number of days to observe this happening. My daughter's had great fun waiting for that to occur. Neither of my daughter's have pierced ears. I keep offering to take them to have it done and they say no. The youngest has gone as far as saying that if God wanted her ears pierced, he would have had her born with holes already in them. I can't figure where these ideas come from as she does not get them here!
What I really want to do, is get a tiny little flower tattoo on my .....................ankle, yes really. But there again, hubby does not like them and it would not be good for my reactive skin problems so I'm not getting one, but I tell him it is out of respect to him. (Wry grin....) And it partially is.

In turn, I am to honor 7 people. This is a problem honestly, as most blogs I read I KNOW the writers would not want to do this. I had fun, but am opting out of awarding 7 and will just award 3 who I think will enjoy it. Here goes:

*Jennifer at Tree of Life Homeschool for her hand's on children's projects and unique homeschooling method with a heart for including Friend's ways into her day.

*Heather at Still Life for a really good Quaker read that is to the point, fresh and honest. She writes poetry I so enjoy as well.

*Jessica at Trivium Academy for sharing the most advice, schedules, book lists and helps to the general homeschool community through several years. She is a women of great courage and strength and I admire her especially now.

That's it and it gave me a topic to write on! Ok, you all are next.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Photo

Empty me
pour me out
simplify my life
that there may be
more room to fill
with more of you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sweet River

I scampered across the stream from rock to rock forgetting myself, my age, my some times funny balance problems. It happens, this adult turns to child out there; there in the green with the water bubbling and the sun and shade playing games too. Resting for a while, I’m thoroughly entertained watching the girls make their way all over this place as there is a strategy involved, a quick calculating of maneuvers to decide which way is best, which rock is too risky. I chuckle to myself as it’s a human chess game. A game of run the river.

Isn’t that what we do? We are running the river of time and it’s precious, bittersweet and some times there are no words that adequately describe watching yourself grow up and older, let alone your children.

Time to go and little one needs help on a teetering rock, all others ahead watching as I snap her up, forgetting myself. See, it’s not so easy any more, never the less there is that quick instinct to pick up my now 43 pound nine year old baby. We have ourselves a moment, that seems to linger on forever as I waver, slip and slide, and try to regain my balance all the while the others are just grinning ear to ear thoroughly entertained on the other side. All I care is that my baby doesn’t get hurt and the wetness from the unexpected dip in is nice once on solid ground. I think to myself, that may have been a "last".

Unexpected is that last diaper, that last time at the breast, last spoon feeding and last push of the bike, that final child. Who would have known those sacred moments were the last, etched as they are in my mind. Huge step across time and a bit of a challenge to maneuver, my firstborn that I could not pick up nor push on the swing during his young years graduates from highschool in a few short days! It’s a pretty big last, but I’m attempting seeing it more as a first. Who would have known the sweet grace granted unto me along the way. I’m skipping on rocks again, though paying for it dearly. I’m seeing more beauty that I over looked before and what is sweet when it does come to me is a whole lot sweeter. Though I did not fathom the boulders I’d have in the way now. Paul says to count it all joy, and so I attempt to through startling shade and brightening sunny days. I laugh and I cry so often that feeling of the same vein now.

What joy and what comfort to know that there are no lasts when it comes to the Lover of my Soul. It will never be over; there will be no finality nor any separation. God is loving me, holding me safe, while I lag behind them now watching them run the race on ahead. It’s the natural order of things. I am mentally cradling them in my heart cheering them on as they take steps, jump, and encounter risks. I am rejoicing in the truth of us all being held eternally. It’s not always easy, but it’s time to run unencumbered; keep running the river of time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quaker Book List for Children

We are at the end of our semester of home educating here and are looking forward to a good long break. Last week we finished up our standardized testing using the ITBS. It was my youngest daughter's first time taking the test, which went well other than her standing up on her chair and announcing "I'm done!" about half way through each and every subtest. Not to worry, I made her sit back down and review her work for a while and now we are all curiously awaiting the results in the mail. This week I am still swimming a bit in paper work and selling and purchasing new curriculum for next fall. I'm not assuming God is going to allow me to be well enough to teach, but preparing and attempting to live it with an open hand, recognizing ultimately it is God that is in control of the chaos of our lives for a purpose and plan. I'm trying to rest in that and slow down still.

Amongst my papers here, I have several book lists compiled and came across several books we have used in the past 2-3 years that are specifically Quaker in nature or at least a bit Friendly. I thought that I would share them here in case they may be of benefit to anyone. They are not alphabetized at all or complete in any way, but a good start perhaps to adding some Quakerly ways to our years. I'm finding the older my children get, the easier it is as so many books naturally come up as supplements during our history cycles, but by far my favorites have been the precious Obadiah books which I will never grow too old for!

Quaker Booklist for Children

How Does God Listen?, Kay Lindahl
A Little Peace, Barbara Kerley
Can You Say Peace? Karen Katz
Thy Friend, Obadiah, Brinton Turkle,
Obadiah the Bold, Brinton Turkle
Rachel and Obadiah, Brinton Turkle
We’re Going to Meeting for Worship, Abby A Hadley
I am a Quaker, Felic Blanc

Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad
Plant a Seed of Peace, Rebecca Seiling
I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children, edited Marian Wright Eldelman
Children Just Like Me, Anable and Barnabas Kindersley (very respectful look at kids and cultures, promotes equality, good for geography)
**Spinning Tales, Weaving hope: Stories, Storytelling and Activities for Peace, Justice and the Environment(stories and suggested activities)
MLK: The Journey of a King, Tanya Bolden
Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About, Margaret Read Macdonald (for wide age range really)
Betsey Ross, Designer of Our Flag, Childhood of Famous American Series

Upper Elementary:
Standing in the Light, Dear America Series
Thee, Hannah! Marguerite De Angeli
**Good Friends, Judith Baresel (stories and famous Quaker profiles)
When the Soldiers Were Gone, Vera Propp
Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
Arrow Over the Door, Joseph Bruchac
William Penn: Quaker Colonist, Kieran Doherty
**A Colonial Quaker Girl: The Diary of Sally Wister
Jared’s Island, Marguerite De Angeli
Friend, The Story of George Fox and the Quakers, Jane Yolan
*Growing in the Light Series-Good parent resource, simple but outstanding resource to prepare children for worship
**Books we have not personally read yet, but are scheduled for next semester

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not a Sound

I took a bit of a break from some forums I am on, announcing my presence would be a bit sparse over the next few weeks. I'm not exactly sure when I'll be back to full speed again or if I even want to be. I need a bit of room, a little margin in my life and more time to be in the moment here at home. I also needed to finish our homeschooling and all the paperwork that goes along with that and take some time to renew both physically and mentally as I have been a bit overwhelmed. The first few days, I still went at life with a fast clip just trying to knock out my "to do" list. But in the moments that followed with each task completed and just not being so connected to my lap top by the hip, I began to notice a calm, a silence come over me. This weekend I feel much better rested. I still have a long ways to go with my paperwork, but in a quiet moment contemplated the value of stepping back, disconnecting from electronics and rigid schedules. I even day dreamed a bit how life used to be as a kid, just hanging out at my Grandparent's homestead in lawn chairs, sipping ice tea and not necessarily saying all that much but enjoying the quiet. Kids today are missing a lot of that unstructured time and quiet in return for a hurried pace. I'm not a poet, so this came to me in a still moment more as a thought or ministry all at once and I thought I'd share it. I did not bother editing it, fiddling with it or anything--as I said, I am on break you see!
Not a Sound

Where did the silence go

the pause in the every day

The bow of heads at meals
the break at mid-day

Lawn chairs in a circle
porch swings that gently sway

The walk without words
hands intertwined

A slight nod
a glance come my way

When did it all stop
being worthy of our time

In this world today
where did the silence go?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Love comforteth like sunshine after rain."
- William Shakespeare

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Wanderings

Weeks go by quickly and before I know it, it is First Day again, or should I call that Sunday? In our family, right now, we seem to use the two interchangeably. Yesterday, I overslept and so our weekly dilema of whether I am well enough to go out to Meeting or Church became a moot point. Neither did we have to decide then which one we would head off to; that in itself was renewing. Instead, after a slow morning, we meandered around my favorite farm in our area, which is actually just minutes from our homestead. We feel right at home there as my husband and older daughter spent several seasons participating in a work exchange-education program at the farm. So when we go, we tend to allow ourselves to go to all the little forbidden hide-aways in these precious acres. Of course for me, that leads us along the straightest path possible through the woods and to the rocky creek below.

Memorial day denotes the official start of barefoot season at my house. It also means the big rubber boots that we water stomp in get tossed off and the first few steps in cold spring water are taken. Little one never hesitates.

I'm not convinced that God is offended by our lack of attendance, but rather may allow us to worship him along different paths in different seasons of life. Dear one often does devotionals of the girls choice and Bible readings for us on a Sunday, and so joined us and brought it all along with my picnic quilt. We set up our time for quiet comtemplation and devotions right there along the water.

Little one decided she could listen best from this rock that she affectionately named her "devotional rock." We all have our different learning styles!

Right there I prayed for the moment, for today, that the Spirit would come play in this place.....

......And to renew and strengthen us, bind us together to face the coming weeks ahead.

"For with You is the fountain of life; In Your Light we see light."
Psalm 36:8-9