Monday, November 14, 2011

A Job for More Than One Person . . .

What could be better than a good helper?

Raking leaves is a lot of work; it's a job for more than one person, if you can get someone else to help. There's the actual raking, and then moving the leaves to the curb or the compost pile, and of course, the jumping-in-and-reraking.

It's a good job for a grandpa and a grandson to share, with cookies and milk afterward, of course.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Lovely Stay . . .

     We had a delightful stay at The Mission Oak Inn, near Henry, Illinois this past week. The Inn is set in the middle of farm country, but nestled into an area where field and timber meet.
     The property includes a lake, complete with boats and fishing, as well as hiking trails, quiet docks and secluded places to sit and watch the day go by. A variety of birds visit -- everything from hawks to hummingbirds, and you can watch from The Bird Lovers Suite, or the dining room, or from a number of pretty places outside.
      Speaking of the dining room -- you won't go hungry! The breakfasts are inventive and delicious; dinners are available for a small extra fee, and well worth it. The Inn itself shows off the handiwork of owners Denny and Jan Reed; Denny is a craftsman who built much of the cabinetry and furniture himself, and it's lovely.
     Guests' comfort and wishes are anticipated -- everything from comfortable robes and blankets to fireplaces and whirlpool tubs in each guest room to cookies in the afternoon to go along with the cocoa, tea, and coffee thoughtfully provided. There are DVDs available, as well as a CD player and Dish TV. And if that isn't enough, there are antique shops, museums, and other attractions within a 30-minute drive.
     If you're looking for a nearby get-away, this is one we'd recommend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Under Construction

You can't get here from there, right now.

The bridge by our house is gone, and in its place is rubble, rebar, and debris.

We're getting a crash course in construction, and aside from the house shaking occasionally, it's been kind of fun to watch.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grace and Hope

Tulips are done blooming here, now; and so are the forsythia and lilacs. In their place, Bells of Canterbury bloom, and sweet woodruff. Walking in the backyard is a fragrant adventure.

The tulips are done, but we took pictures. We wanted a record of where tulips were blooming, and where daffodils migrated to, so that next fall we might re-plant bulbs and fill in the spaces that have gone empty.

It’s an optimistic venture, one that assumes by the time we’ve enjoyed a summer full of picnics and lawn-mowing and gardening, we will still be in the mood to plant bulbs for next year, bulbs that will disappear into the dirt, under the snow, into the cold of January, with the hope that they will push up through the mud in March or April with color and cheer.

Sometimes by the time autumn arrives, we are so busy or tired or indifferent that we skip planting bulbs. We always regret it. Optimism seems fool-hardy, sometimes, but in the biting cold and deep snows of January, the optimism of bulb-planting is nothing less than grace and hope.

We have pictures.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's Your Passion?

What is your passion?

I’ve been thinking about that question for a long time, but Mary DeMuth’s guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog this morning makes me think I need to come up with some answers.

Mary’s observations about why people hesitate to identify their passion resonate with me. At one time or another, one or all of them seem to have been true in my life. Fear and insecurity are powerful de-motivators, and they aren’t a good way to live.

So I’m setting them aside, and gathering up courage. If Mary’s prescription to Find Your Passion in Three Steps works, I’ll have my answer soon.

Will you help me? One of Mary’s suggestions is to ask your friends “What is my one thing?” Her idea is that our friends are “entirely insightful” about the things we are passionate about. What do you think my “one thing” is?

Another of Mary’s questions is about your three favorite movies, and the common thread among them. So here’s my question for you: what are your three favorite movies, and what’s the common thread among them?

What’s your passion?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

After Easter . . .

Easter Sunday is over, but the joy of it lightens up these drippy spring days.

It’s easy to look out the window, sigh, and wish for sunshine. It’s not so easy to remember that change takes time, and this year, spring is certainly taking its time getting here.

Yet, every morning, there is some new sign that spring is on the way. This morning, we had a bit of sunshine and blue sky – fleeting, to be sure, but bright and lovely, for just a few moments – enough to brighten the whole day, a promise of what is to come.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday, 2011

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

 Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 21, 2011

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.

Once we’ve been forgiven and renewed, we have choices to make. The question becomes “Where now, Lord?”

Asking God to lead us is an implicit acknowledgment of His Lordship over us. We are asking Him to show us His way, to lead us into the green pastures the Psalmist spoke of. We are also signing on to follow into the less pleasant places through which He might lead us.

By asking Him to lead us, we are signaling our willingness to follow Him, even if we don’t understand where we’re going, even if it’s taking a long time, even if we don’t particularly enjoy the journey.

We will follow wherever He leads us.

The end result of this is that we learn to delight in His will; we learn to walk in His ways, and He is glorified. That kind of delight is not dependent on our circumstances; it is dependent on our relationship with the One who leads us.

God forgives us; we can trust Him.

God renews us; we can rely on Him.

God leads us, and we can delight in Him.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 20, 2011

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.

The idea of renewal always seems to be popular in the church, perhaps because we recognize that we are always in need of it.

In this prayer of confession, asking God to renew us may mean something a little different from our popular ideas of renewal. This request for renewal is connected to our recognition of our own sin and failure. Does anything feel as uncomfortable as knowing we’ve failed?

Understanding the reality of our own sin and failure can leave us feeling completely undone. Most of us have good intentions, at least to begin with. We want to do what is right; we want to do what is good. Somehow, though, we don’t quite manage to do right consistently; our “goodness” is always lacking.

How utterly disheartening!

And when we are disheartened by our own sin and failures, the idea that God might renew us – might lift our spirits, encourage us, give us a fresh start – what a blessing that seems!

God’s renewal is a blessing, one of second chances and do-overs. Renewal is His pronouncement that He is still working in us. His forgiveness cleanses us, and His renewal gives us room to try again.

Renewal is yet another sign of His immeasurable grace and kindness toward us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 19, 2011

Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.

Forgiveness is mercy.

When we ask God to forgive us, we’re asking Him to re-set our relationship. We’re seeking restoration; we’re looking for a way back to intimacy with Him. His forgiveness for our sin is a necessary part of that restoration.

Sin separates us from God, who is holy. His holiness is not just an idea; it’s a reality. Our sin has real-world, real-time consequences, even if they are not immediately apparent. Over time, though, we can see how life changes as a result of sin. Relationships fray and break; we do things we don’t mean to do, and we don’t do the things we know we should; death comes. Indeed, Scripture tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

Forgiveness interrupts the effects of those consequences, and eventually cancels them. In Christ, forgiveness overcomes even death.

No wonder we ask God for His forgiveness every time we pray.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 18, 2011

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Mercy, for Jesus’s sake – this is what we are asking of God.

We can ask it because of what Jesus did for us – His willingness to become one of us, to take upon Himself the sin of the world, to die for us. Because of all that He did, we can ask for mercy.

Jesus did those things for us because we could not do them – would not do them – for ourselves, much less for anyone else. Jesus did those things for us because of His great love for us.

Jesus did those things for us because He is the very essence, the very nature, of love.

It is in the name of that love that we dare to ask for the mercy we do not in any way deserve.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 7, 2011

Loving God with our whole hearts, and loving our neighbors as ourselves – how are those two actions connected?

One simple, seemingly obvious answer is that it is more difficult to love our neighbors if we don’t love God, first. It is when we are in relationship with Him that we learn how to love others. We have His example of loving us, and we learn from it, even as we respond to Him in love.

But what if loving our neighbors is also a way of helping us to learn to love God?

I think that may be a big part of it. Loving the person I can see and interact with provides valuable experience in how love actually behaves. I hear from Scripture (1 Corinthians 13) what love is – patient, kind, hopeful – and I put those qualities in practice as I actually try to love my neighbor.

I read in Scripture that “love does not rejoice at what is wrong, but rejoices in what is right,” and that description affects how I relate to those around me.

I see that “love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude,” and I try to adjust my actions accordingly as I deal with the people in my everyday life.

And all the time, this practicing of the quality of love is changing me, and teaching me at the same time, to love God.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 6, 2011

. . . we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

How much do I love my own self? Let me count the ways.

I love myself enough to eat well, to exercise, to make sure I have a house to live in and clothes to wear. I love myself enough to seek out meaningful work, as well as opportunities to do things I enjoy, and to have fun. I love myself enough to take really good care of myself.

And how much do I love my neighbors? Do I love them that much?

If I apply Jesus’s definition of “neighbor” – the one He offered in the story of the Good Samaritan, in Luke 10:25-37 – I need to love the one who is in need as much as I love my own self.

Am I as willing to meet my neighbor’s needs as I am to meet my own? Can I meet their needs with what is left over from my own life?

Or does loving my neighbor mean giving up some of what I use to meet my own needs, in order to meet theirs?

I have not loved my neighbor as much as I love my own self . . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 5, 2011

Scripture offers us many ways to think of God: as a parent, as a king, as a friend, as a lover. We aren’t limited to just one way of thinking about our relationship with Him.

It’s interesting that each of those ways of thinking about God involves relationship: the relationship of a child to a parent, of a subject to a king, of one friend to another, or of two lovers learning to woo and love one another. No matter who we are, or where our lives have taken us, we can find a relationship model for our relationship with God.

Each of those relationships involves some kind of love, and not all of those kinds of love are expressed in the same ways. Some focus more on tenderness and care, some focus more on watchful concern for, or action on behalf of, the other, but all of them involve some kind of meaningful interaction with one another.

When we talk about loving God with our whole heart, we are talking about all these kinds of love. We are talking about how we offer our love to God, and how we receive love from Him. And all of these kinds of love require paying attention to the relationship involved.

To love God with our whole heart means being intentional in our relationship with Him. It means paying attention, being involved, staying alert to what is happening between us. It means risking our heart, believing that the reward of the relationship is worth the risk.

We have not loved you with our whole hearts . . .

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lenten Reflection, April 4, 2011

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

What does it mean to love God with our whole heart?

Jesus asked us to do this. In fact, He identified this as the most important commandment of all.

He was talking with a group of people, including some of the Sadducees, about some of the finer points of the Law, when “ . . . one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'” (Mark 12:28-30).

Even as we confess together that we have not loved God with our whole heart, I wonder: what would our lives look like, if we loved Him with our whole heart?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lenten Reflection: April 2, 2011

We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

Sometimes we sin by what we do; sometimes we sin by what we don’t do. There are sins of commission, and sins of omission. Sometimes it seems as if, no matter which way we go, it’s wrong.

This confession reminds us that we can sin by not acting as well as by acting. We are used to thinking of sin as something we do, not as something we haven’t done. Yet, how many times have we neglected to do the things God asks of us? How many times have we overlooked a chance to show mercy to someone, or kindness? How often have we neglected to care for the hungry, the imprisoned, the naked? How often do we intend to do “the right thing” but then forget to do it?

Recognizing our sinfulness is not just a matter of tallying up what we’ve done wrong; it is also recognizing the ways we might have honored, or obeyed, or loved God, but didn’t.

Righteousness is not just about who we aren’t. It’s about who we are.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 17, 2011

We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed . . .

Our deeds reveal the best of us, and the worst of us, and everything in between.

Who hasn’t carried a burden of guilt over something we’ve done that we knew was wrong? Or realized later that we’ve done something we shouldn’t have done? Whether it was something serious or something relatively “small” we still have to contend with the guilt of sin, whether we understand and acknowledge the guilt, or not.

Confession is the prescribed antidote to those sins we’ve committed, but sometimes our guilt overshadows our willingness to confess our sins. Regular confession, done as part of the body of Christ, is a cleansing thing, and as necessary as any other kind of cleansing.

Our willingness to recognize and confess our sins reflects our desire to draw closer to God.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 16, 2011

We’re all too familiar with the ways our words can be sinful. Sometimes it’s tempting to give up talking for Lent!
We can speak thoughtlessly, maliciously, foolishly – or we can use our words to heal, to comfort, to bless. The Apostle James observes rightly that, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing” (James 3:10).
Perhaps that is why it is so important that we regularly confess when those words are sinful, that we hold ourselves accountable before God for those times when our words are less than they could be, less than they should be.
We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed . . .
Words matter, because they give shape to what we think, and they are a blueprint to what we may do; because they themselves embody elements of both our thoughts and our deeds.
And yet, words have a place all their own, a place where they might become a blessing, or a curse.
We must thank God for the one, and confess the other.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 15, 2011

How can what we think be sinful?
Thoughts are private and personal. No one can see them, or hear them.
Yet our confession of sin includes confessing that even what we’ve thought is sinful: We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed . . .
Some thoughts might clearly be considered sin – lustful thoughts, murderous thoughts, greedy thoughts. It’s easy to understand why we need to confess them.
But what about other thoughts, the kind that might not be so easily classified as sinful?
Why do they matter?
They matter because sin is sin. Because what we think is the foundation of choices we make, and of what we do. Because being aware of what we are thinking is a spiritual discipline.
Sin is relentless. How easy it is, in an unguarded moment, to slip into thinking the wrong thoughts, indulging momentarily in a wrong attitude. Even our thoughts are vulnerable to sin.
And so we stay vigilant to avoid sin, and confess what we know to be true: we have sinned against you in thought . . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 14, 2011

We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed . . .

Here it is, with no excuse: we have sinned against you, Lord.

We have sinned against others, too. It might seem easier to understand those sins as sins. We understand that things like gossip, or arguing, or lying are sinful. We get it that what we think or say or do might hurt others.

But sometimes we forget that those things offend God Himself, even if no one else is affected. The Psalmist reminds us that “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Psalm 51:4, ESV).

We have sinned in what we think; we have sinned in what we say; we have sinned in what we do. It is our responsibility to recognize our sin, to acknowledge it without excuse, and to confess it to God, because in sinning against others, we have also sinned against God Himself.

With this confession, we acknowledge that sin permeates every aspect of our being: our thinking, our speech, our actions.

The good news is that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness . . . “ (1 John 1:9, ESV).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 12, 2011

Before we were married, my husband-to-be worked second shift in the computer center of a local bank. The computer center was located on the second floor, and of course, during second shift the bank was closed.
So when I had to deliver some papers to him one evening, I had to ring the doorbell of the side door to the bank, and wait for the guard, a gloomy man who clearly believed I’d come to disrupt his evening. He escorted me up to the computer center, where I delivered the papers in question to my beloved. I turned to leave, but the guard had also gone off on his rounds without waiting to escort me back out.
No problem! Or so I thought. I took off down the winding stone staircase to the first floor, thinking I’d let myself out. Until I got to the door leading from the stairwell to the vestibule. That door was locked.
I went back up the winding stone staircase to the top of the stairs, where I assumed I could just go back to the computer center and wait. The door at the top of the stairs was locked, too.
I was stuck in the staircase. I could not free myself, but had to wait for the guard to come by again – which took a long, long time. And since this was long before cell phones, there was nothing I could do but wait.
Needless to say, the guard was not impressed with my actions when he found me.
Sometimes our sins get us into situations we can’t easily get out of – we cannot free ourselves. We are stuck in a situation of our own making, with no way out.
It’s not a comfortable thing, to realize you can’t yourself out of a difficult situation.
It’s when you really begin to understand that you’re stuck – in bondage – that you begin to hope for help.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 11, 2011

It is because we trust in God’s mercy – because we know Him to be merciful – that we have courage to confess our sin.
And while it is necessary and appropriate for us to confess our sin to God individually, it is also necessary and appropriate for us to confess our sin to Him as a congregation when we gather together.
We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.
We confess – all of us together – acknowledge that we have sinned, and more than that, we can’t seem to stop ourselves.
We need your help, Lord.
As a group of believers, we are bound together by mutual need; we cannot consistently overcome sin by ourselves. Confessing that before one another is a good first step – we recognize the problem, and we recognize that, even if we try, we can’t quite fix it.
It’s not just me, and it’s not just you. It’s both of us – all of us – together. And one way or another, any problems we encounter can be traced back to our tendencies to sin.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Reflection, March 10, 2011

Almost every Sunday morning, we begin worship with a Prayer of Confession. It’s a way of acknowledging and taking responsibility for the sin in our lives. For some people, it’s mindless repetition, a rote prayer that doesn’t mean much. For others, mindful repetition deepens its meaning.
The season of Lent is a season of choices. We can practice self-denial by “giving something up” for Lent, or not. We can spend these weeks before Easter focusing on repentance for sin, or not. We can observe a season of quiet, mourning our sin and considering God’s provision for sin, or not.
I’m thinking that observing the season the same way we begin worship each Sunday morning is a good way to begin. This year for Lent, I want to spend some time reflecting on the Prayer of Confession from The Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness on Page 56 of what is affectionately known as “The Green Book,” that is, The Lutheran Book of Worship from 1978. It goes like this:

Pastor: Most Merciful God,
People: We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.

That phrase “Most Merciful God” is a good way to begin thinking about Lent. Even in a quiet, reflective season of mourning, God is most merciful. Scripture reminds us that His mercies are “new every morning,” (Lamentations 3:23).
As we begin to reflect on the presence of sin in our lives, God’s mercy is a balm for our mourning.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

When I was little, we lived in a house with a coal furnace. One of the household chores my dad took care of in the winter was to take the ashes and what we called the “clinkers” – that part of the coal that was left after burning – out.
The ash was messy. Dad always tried to contain it in something, but a fine film of ash always seemed to sift out to cover whatever he walked by, despite his best effort.
Ash is like that, and on this Ash Wednesday I’m thinking of how like ash sin is.
Despite our best effort to contain it, sin has a way of leaving a fine film over whatever we pass. If it’s left untouched, that fine film will become thicker, of course, and eventually it will cover over whatever it has settled on.
That’s the problem with sin: left untouched, eventually it will cover over whatever it has settled on – or in – obliterating the original finish.
Sin is often subtle, and might go unnoticed at first. During Lent, our task is to reflect on that fine film of sin in our lives, and what it might eventually obliterate if we allow it to go untouched.
Lent is about paying attention, and noticing what needs to be cleaned up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Testing Season

It’s testing season for a lot of kids this week. They will be sitting down to tests designed to see if they are learning the things they are supposed to be learning. It made me wonder what we would do, as adults, if our testing came in pen-and-paper form.
It doesn’t, of course.
Our tests come in the form of grouchy check-out ladies, or drivers who tail-gate, or banks that mess up our deposit. Our tests come in the form of temptations: to cheat somehow, to stretch the limits of honesty, to share that bit of news that shouldn’t really be shared. Our tests come in the form of difficult situations that never seem to change or improve, that require endurance and faith and grit.
Some schools are asking students to wear red shirts to school this week as a symbol that they are “ready” for their tests. Parents are reminded to be sure their kids get plenty of rest and nutritious breakfasts so they can do their best work on the tests. No doubt about it – these kids will know they are being tested.
But for us, tests seem more like everyday life. We don’t always recognize a test for what it is, and we don’t always learn anything from the results.
What if we did?

Friday, March 4, 2011

On Its Way . . .

The air was moist and warm this morning when we opened the front door. We opened up the kitchen window and enjoyed that indoor-outdoor feeling. After breakfast we went on a walking tour of our soggy backyard and found snowdrops scattered in the grass. Daffodils are peaking through, and tiny sweet woodruff is pushing up through the pine needles. The coral bells and hellebore are awake, and forsythia buds are swelling.
Not only that – we can hear a cardinal in the neighborhood, and occasionally a robin or two.
Spring may not quite be here, but it’s definitely on its way.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Mix

Where does time go?
I think it was Jennifer Rothschild who observed on Facebook that she could either live her life, or write about it.
I think I understand what she was getting at!
Since January, I've helped care for a sick family member, suffered through my own extended viral adventure, and worked diligently on a basement project. The family member is well again; I still have a cough but I think I'll live; the basement is looking better (although there are still lots of basement projects to finish.)
Now it's time to try to put writing back in the mix.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Catalog Illustration -- Me?

Yesterday's mail brought the first gardening catalog of the season, and it's a gorgeous piece of propaganda. John Scheepers does a beautiful job -- color photographs of ripe tomatoes, delicate poppies, and assorted other flowers and vegetables on the cover, with delicate line drawings and colored illustrations inside. Suddenly, I want to order seeds from every page!
But I can't -- a very shady yard and a very busy schedule mean container gardening at most, and that makes me a little sad. It also makes me look at the back yard with an eye to finally cutting down that big tree that is dying -- that would give us a lot more sunny area for real gardening.
The other thing this catalog made me think about is this: what if God published a Fruits of the Holy Spirit catalog? One with lovely color images of love, joy, peace, and all those other fruits of the Spirit? What if they were illustrated so beautifully that our mouths began to water just looking at them?
Then I realized -- we ourselves are the catalog! We are supposed to be living in such a way that the fruits of the Spirit are illustrated beautifully in our lives. We're the image that is supposed to make mouths water, and to make people hunger for that fruit.
So now I'm thinking of what I need to garden in my own life -- maybe mulch a little joy, or cultivate a little gentleness.
I want to look good in the catalog.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow . . . ?

Last year, I got suspicious: after Christmas, we replaced our Christmas decorations with snowmen. Snowmen are appropriate in this part of the country for January, and they make a nice decorative bridge from Christmas to Valentine's Day.
Once the snowmen were sitting around, it started to snow. Outside. A lot.

Was there a connection? I began to think so.
I noticed that when I put some of the snowmen away, back in their box in a dark part of the house, it quit snowing so much. Suspicious. Just to test my theory, I got the snowmen back out. It snowed.
This year, we've already had a lot of snow, even without snowmen sitting around. I'm getting ready to put all our Christmas decorations away, and I'm wondering if it's dangerous to free the snowmen from their box on a back shelf.

Will we get more snow? Will it stay cold? Is it the snowmen's fault?

Stay tuned.