Friday, June 22, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

~Gracious Uncertainty~

"Spiritual life is the life of a child". 

"We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy."

"Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come."  

~ Oswald Chambers

True words that need to be held on to. Truth that I am learning, but still need so much practice.

Practice, practice, practice . . . 

In Grace & Life 101, I'm studying the textbook of Uncertainty- it's a big, fat book with lots of little print.
 I really didn't want to take this course, but it's a required class for whatever is next . . . 
of course that's pretty uncertain too. ;)

I'm doing the reading, but finding it hard to turn these pages joyfully. I'm highlighting a lot, getting excited over what I am seeing . . . and then forgetting it as soon as I turn the page. And this class seems to have tests right and left . . . at least, I think they're tests . . . kinda uncertain there, too.

However, every time I feel that sinking feeling of failing . . . 
the Professor comes over and gives me a little hint; a little grace. 
And I start to remember what I should know by rote now: when I admit this paper I'm working on is nothing but B.S.-
He does come in and He grades with a hefty curve.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

~The Way of Things~

My view of the garden these days . . . through windowpanes.

Really, it's the only safe way to do it.

Anytime the sun comes out and beckons I stir cautiously from underneath my dry roof.
I start with the back porch, still under some cover and admire the progress in the window box.

The sun shines brighter. Okay, down the stairs I go, away from my shelter.
Just a quick glance back upwards and the sun fairly dazzles my eyes.

And then, as if to bring extra reassurance, out comes a hummingbird-
I actually manage to catch him in mid-flight! Quite thrilling!
(he's very small, so click on the picture for a closer look)

And after that excitement? 
Why, it's as if the very hand of summer has lifted me up and is taking me wondrously through the garden!
Everything dazzles- 

What rain? Clouds? . . . sounds vaguely familiar . . . but what are those to me?

And the peonies? 

Perfectly framed against the deep green rain-fed foliage.

The azalea amazes.

The warmth of the sun hugs the garden quietly.

All is out and blooming.

And without so many clouds and endless rain, could they ever be this sweet?

I make my rounds; drink in the clean moist air.
Time for the trowel! The kneeling pad! The clippers and my gloves!

But . . . what is this? 
Quinn has left the warm patch of sun on the sidewalk for the cover of our porch . . .

 . . . hello clouds. 

Goodbye garden . . . I'll visit you from the windowpane once more.
Or at least until an hour from now when the sun comes out again.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

~Welcoming June~

~It's the magical month of June~ 
days as rare as the unfurled rose and just as fragrant.

The poem above captures in my heart the thrill of summer's arrival.

Mid-Summer's Day is nearly upon us. The sun stays up way past it's bedtime. 
The children wait impatiently for school to end and the strawberry picking to begin.
The garden becomes our playground; the porch our favorite reading nook.

Only . . .
 the weather has forgotten what dear June should look like, and has instead decided to fall back on what it knows best: namely, March.

Yes, I had to go out in the rain to cut the few peonies that hadn't been dashed to bits by the violent falling of rain drops! Here they are in my kitchen, bringing in what summer cheer I can gather.

We've had lots of thunder, lightening and hail in the last couple of weeks.
Intermingled with all types of rain: the spitting kind, the soft misty kind, the steady yet on-again-off-again kind, hard and cold heavy rain, and the kind that just reminds you of what the ocean poured into your backyard may resemble. The latter rain has thus resulted in our basement flooding twice in two weeks. When you get 1.42 inches in less than an hour, that seems to be what happens.

But we have had dry breaks here and there, though mostly overcast. Still, we seize the opportunity and pretend it's June and summertime- like last Sunday afternoon we took a long walk together.
I couldn't resist capturing the brightness of our neighbor's poppies- aren't they a vision of cheer? 
Especially contrasted with the clouds.

Our walk took us to the playground for 'parkour practice' for the boys and book reading for me.
I don't enjoy watching them doing their crazy, dangerous stunts so keeping my nose in a good book makes everyone happy (or distracted). 

Trying to finish "Elizabeth's German Garden" at the moment. Enjoying it immensely and would rather eek it out a bit, but it's overdue and has many holds at the library on it, so I find myself 'compelled' to finish it soon!

So after our playground time, we were a tad bit nauseous (it was the merry-go-round; the boys think making me sick to my stomach is great entertainment- only this time I managed to make them pretty sick, too. Not sure I can brag much over that one, but there you go).

So, what do three dizzy and nauseous people go walk over to in order to help themselves feel better? 
Why, Diary Queen, of course! Wouldn't you? I mean, there's nothing like the smell of deep fried, fatty food to bring out the best in a rotten tummy! And who wouldn't want ice cream cones on a freezing cold June day to sooth insides and satisfy our need for sweets? Ice cream is practically a cure for anything, right? 

Aren't we brilliant?!

Yes, in answer I think the Oldest here says it best, don't you think?

So, I make a plea to you, June: 
please, come soon! 
If we get any more desperate, I don't know what we may do!
(yes, if you see a mother and her sons out in a torrential downpour, picking unripened strawberries green as a granny smith and just as hard, you'll know who we are!)


Sunday, June 3, 2012

~Easy Like Sunday Morning~

"In tribulation. ,misunderstanding, slander,
 in the midst of all these things, if our life is hid with Christ in God, 
He will keep us at ease."

~Oswald Chambers~