Thursday, May 05, 2016

Listening And Obeying--And The Surprises They Bring

Like my last post, this one's about seeking until you find, especially the times when God says start now, before it's too late. Most seasons don't last forever.


Have you ever read Our Only May Amelia?

Well, don't.

Heh. Okay, go ahead if you want, but while reading my copy yesterday, I was horrified. Purely horrified that this was a children's book and it had won awards.

Yes, it was well-written. I'll give the author that. And much of it was her family's story from the early 1900's. But still, to write a book for children and include lots of cruel people and verbal and physical abuse? An amputation? And many deaths of parents and children by disease and a (grisly) murder of a woman?

Good grief. I'm 57 and I was traumatized.(Rather than donate this yard sale copy to Salvation Army, I instead, tossed it into our recycling bin. "Why spread the trauma?", I asked myself.)

Then to worsen things, I clicked over to Goodreads to see what other readers thought about O.O.M.A. and the reviews were positive. Positive! People wrote (lots of) things like,

"What a treasure! The style is fun."
"A sweet story."
"This story, through it's heartache, always manages to bring me to a happy place."

Eegads. These were written by parents and my thoughts about Today's world became even darker and even sorrier for children.


You know what I'm thankful for? While we lived in Nevada, God nudged me to start collecting the books I'd loved my first 20 (or so) years. I began searching the dusty used bookshop in a tiny house where the desert heat always made my forehead drip. And yard sales, thrift shops and library book sales. Eventually the Internet came along and oh! Amazon, Abebooks and Ebay were this bibliophile's dream-come-true. I asked for Christmas and birthday gift cards and used my 'allowance' at those book places. 

In all our moving these past years, I've weeded-out lots of books, but kept the hundreds I still love. Yes, I said hundreds. :)

Then last week I made a shocking discovery!

Online I plugged my favorite authors' names into our 21-library inter-loan system and guess what? In nearly all cases, I own more of these authors' books than the whole system does! Meaning, I have the best library in our part of New York state.

Okay, okay. The best Books Which Debra Dearly Loves library. Yet still. Wow.

But my library began 28 years ago with an unheard-whisper by God who knew something ahead of time: that libraries were headed in a direction I do not wish to go. And I'm grateful I began my own book-seeking journey when I did before, in some cases, it was too late.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."  ...Matthew 6:33

"... all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be."...Psalm 139:16


And as with all my posts, this one is not just about what it appears to be about. :)


And you know? God knew exactly how to remove that yucky Our Only May Amelia taste from my mouth. My so-anticipated copy of Susan Branch's Isle of Dreams arrived yesterday afternoon (half-paid for with a gift card, but of course) ...

... and it's one of the most beautiful (and cozy and inspiring) books ever

Perfect. Just perfect, what with its dreamy artwork and photos of her first island home and old-time post cards, quotations, and her descriptions of the months after her shattered marriage. How inspiring to watch Susan become acquainted with herself and etch a whole new, thriving life.

Incredibly highly recommended! One of those books which can be read again and again.

                   "Where there's a will, there's a way."  ... copied


Monday, May 02, 2016

How Well Do You Travel?

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."   ... Matthew 7:7


So! It's a new week and Tom's back, though--get this--it took him 15 hours to arrive home from the San Francisco airport(!) A mule team might have been faster.

Yes, it was one of those nightmare plane trips where the only thing that went right is that the plane didn't crash. 

In fact, I giggled while Tom described his trip to a co-worker over the phone. Tom said, "And once we had to circle an airport for an hour until they ran out of fuel."

Heh. Think about it.

Oh, and they lost his luggage. Not just his, but a whole crowd's who sent up a collective moan. Everyone had to fill out forms--at 4:00 a.m.. But all's well now--a guy brought Tom's suitcase here to the house yesterday afternoon. A pleasant surprise.

Anyway, Tom's working from home today because his back got messed up in all the stressful craziness which was the trip home. 

But he still loves his job, so there's that.  :)


I believe in seeking until you find. Being a worshipper rather than a whiner if the seeking takes forever. You know, travelling within the peace of (real)faith even on rocky roads. In happy anticipation of what's ahead.

But good grief. 

You know those cozy, low-budget, dreamy documentaries I sometimes find for you guys at Netflix? Sheesh. Just unearthing one can require hours of searching. And, don't tell anyone, but often I find myself nearly cursing Netflix and the whole sorry 2016 film industry for cranking out drivel rather than beauty.

But yesterday I found one. A perfect documentary.

Another rare jewel, especially if you, like me, enjoy:

Gladys Taber
Cape Cod
Old wallpapered houses
Family seashore vacations
The beach
Family reunions
Tiny children
Home movies

Very bittersweet, though, but heavier on the sweet than bitter. Dreamy, soothing, mostly.

And I do apologize, Netflix. You're trying. I know.

                                           “Pleasured equally
                                         In seeking as in finding,
                                           Each detail minding,
                                         Old Walt went seeking
                                                 And finding.” 
                                                  ― Langston Hughes


You may be able to watch Starboard Light outside of Netflix. Check the links here. The first 11 minutes are here.


"He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord."  ... Psalm 112:7

Friday, April 29, 2016

Disappointments. Bleh.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. "  ... from Isaiah 40



So there I was Wednesday on the edge of my Prayer Garden, sitting upon our wicker chair, reading in the sunshine after two grey, cold days. Ahh. Finally, what I wait for all winter.

Then a dog began barking. And barking. Now, when you have a drummer daughter, you develop great blocking-out skills, so those worked awhile. But soon the trash sanitation workers drove up and it's a rare week where you can throw extra junk away, so it was roar-bang-rumble-crash! roar-bang-rumble-crash! for a long time. Cars idled behind them (cough, cough), a neighbor started up his lawn mower and of course, the dog barked more wildly at the parade out there.

Good grief. Probably downtown New York City was quieter.

So I grabbed my book and stepped back into the house where, oh dear, the kitchen looked like the cupboards had thrown up. Naomi's wet laundry sat in bags waiting to be taken to the laundromat, mixing bowls dripped beside the sink and Naomi stood at the blender whirling coffee (whriiiiing) while the electric ice cream maker was going screech-pop! screech-pop! And when I told her what's making it pop, she said,"I already know that now." (Later she apologized for snapping.)

You remember how Kevin in Home Alone giddily jumped on his parents' bed squealing, "I'm free! I'm free!"? Usually that's me during Tom's business trips. You know, in a playful, don't-have-to-make-dinner-or-get-up-early way.

Well, lately it's not been like that. 

And it's not really that Naomi's here--she's in and out or away most of each day/night. But the weather? Yeah, the April grey and cold are bad. And remember how Tom and I could barely communicate while he was in Toronto due to technical problems? Well, shockingly--even though my computer's fixed and he's in the same Country--it's been worse. 

I'll spare you the details, but really, I don't think it's too ridiculous of me to expect a 3 or 4 minute phone call each day, no matter how busy Tom may be. (You may want to pray for ol' Tom, that I don't snap at him when he arrives late tomorrow night). :)

The Disappointment Test! Gah. That's my least favorite one of all. You expect one not-even-unrealistic thing and get a bunch of rotten stuff, instead. And then you're expected to rise above it, calmly, because God is greater than all disappointments and He is in you.

Yet if you remember it's a test? And you do your best to be all, like, 'water off a duck's back'? And you ask God to help you remain calm and not smack anyone? Or hurt their feelings because yours are hurt? Then you grow. You die to self a little more and become stronger. And respond better the next time.

But only if we desire God's ways more than our own. Only if we want to become more like Him rather than doing our own thing.

 Early morning sunshine. How sweet it is.


"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”'   ...Psalm 91:2


The wild thing?  Wednesday night's episode of The Middle was about neighborhood noise in ones own backyard. It was almost like God saying, "See? You're not the only one. Lighten up."

An earlier episode, called Survey Says, was awesome, as well. Tom and I watched it twice and both times I cried. I totally got the parental angst and deep sentimentality of Mike and Frankie while they were reminiscing in Axl's RV.

 Both episodes were terrific.


I so enjoyed this book!

Highly recommended.


Were you able to watch (on DIY) Nicole's new episodes of Rehab Addict where she totally, lovingly overhauled her grandparents' old home? My, my, my. Each episode was a delight. My favorites of all previous seasons.

And speaking of Nicole, there's a local house for sale, just the type she would restore, and for just $85,000. If only Tom and I were 20 years younger!