thoughts


WHICH STUFF–MINE OR YOURS?

A friend told me that she is having a huge clean-out. She is tired of having too many things and having so much clutter.  She went to the sanctuary of her church and thought about this sincerely, praying that God would give her the ability to let go of Things.

I think it’s great. I agree with her very very much, and I wish for this in my life too.

But I’m still going to her yard sale to see if there’s any of her stuff that could become MY stuff.

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I’m still smiling about the English Country Dance ball I did for the college students a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t have any photos of that one, but here is one from the past:

The Pemberley Promenade, November 2008

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Have you ever had moments of sudden clarity, or times when you felt connected, wholly seated, with people of the past?  I get this feeling whenever I read Hebrews 11 and 12, where the writer enumerates a whole list of people, one by one, in whom faith worked in their lives.  And then he says:

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of winesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….” (Hebrews 12:1).

How inspiring that is!

I also feel a strong connection on Sunday morning, when we all stand up and hear the pastor call us to worship.  As we raise our voices in song, I look down at the hymnbook and I see the year in which the hymn was written, or the year in which the tune was created, and I’m deeply moved.  To THINK that centuries ago, people of faith stood and worshipped this way too.

What were they like?  What did they wear and eat, how did they live?  It doesn’t completely matter; the fact is, they were just like me:  raising their families, trying to make a living, striving to live a godly life in the middle of a fallen world.  And praising God in corporate worship.

At that time, I also think of my Christian friends in various parts of the world who are also singing in church.  Because of the time change, maybe earlier or maybe later.  But there we are:  together.

Dancing  folk dance is like that too–a connection to the past, where all people are alike in the enjoyment of simple pleasures.   As I call the dances and watch the ebb and flow of the dancers, the smiles and laughter make me laugh too.  “Nothing new under the sun”–and sometimes that’s a GREAT thing!

Contradance, December 2006

Contra W

img_2389-xangaIt interests me, that all through our lives–if we seek to think about others more than ourselves–we will give and adapt and adjust in order to sustain and cultivate relationships.

Parenting demands more of this than any other, perhaps.  I suppose it depends upon our personality, as to what amount of “giving in” we need to do in our marriage, our parenting, and with friends.

And of course there’s a fine line between doing what is needed, and doing too much.

And some of it is not “giving in” at all, but just plain pride in what our loved one has accomplished!

In keeping with my tradition of supplying scotch tape to my toddler, bread twist-ties to my preschooler, and countertop space to my semi-adult son, this weekend I changed the decor of my kitchen.  It will be so for a while, anyway.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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My Older Son has been taking a ceramics class in college this semester.  Given his serious passion with antiquity, he has produced all his pottery in the Anglo-Saxon style.

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This too shall pass?

He has signed up for Advanced Ceramics next semester.

Here is a homemaker’s version of “downsizing”–moving the leftovers from the large container into a smaller one:

You would think that an 89-year-old woman, who had remarried and moved to Arizona for 22 years and then come back to spend a few years in assisted living and/or nursing home wouldn’t generate much interest.  But the visiting lines for my mother-in-law at the funeral home were very long-and without too much sorrow.

One of the reasons is that she had four children, and they are all believers in Christ.  Five churches were heavily represented last night:  her own, and those of each of her children.  Add a lot of Christian relatives in there, and you have quite a gathering of saints-maybe a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

This morning my hand still smells of other folks’ perfume; perhaps that is a taste of heaven too.

Have you ever seen the opening sequence of the sci-fi Doctor Who episode called The Runaway Bride?  It’s very fun.  A woman dressed in complete bridal costume quite suddenly appears on the Doctor’s spaceship.

He looks at her, and she looks at him and he looks at her and she looks at him.  The conversation goes like this:

“What??!!”  he says.

“Ooo?!!”  she says.

“What??!!”

“Who are you?”

“Mmph???!!”

“Where am I?”

“What??!!”

“What the __ is this place?”

“What??!!”

I was thinking of this today when we were remembering the moment my mother-in-law died.  The pastor spoke about meeting Jesus and how He will be no stranger and I remembered Doctor Who, imagining what could happen when we cross over the threshold and see Jesus in person with our very own eyes.

You?

You!

You?!

You!!

You!!

You!!

Said in love and sureness and wonderment and excitement and thrill and triumph and joy.

My husband’s mother went to be with the Lord yesterday.  Isn’t that an amazing thing?

We were all able to be with her in the nursing home as she passed from this world to the next; her breathing was so labored, and still she lingered.  Then we sang that good old chorus:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus–there’s just something about that name.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus–like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim….
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name.

And the instant we finished, she stopped breathing and went straight into His arms!  We all cried with grief, but also with excitement, and yes, with a little bit of envy, too.

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