Friday, February 16, 2018

When Your Mailbox Only Echoes--or--Our Life In 2018

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (I will ease, relieve and refresh your soul)."   ... Matthew 11:28


So I awoke on Valentine's Day morning and thought, "Yay! My favorite day of the year and later I'll find some Valentines in our mailbox since I've only received one so far."

The sun shone bright! 
Naomi came for a surprise 5 minute visit bearing gifts of flowers and (healthy, dark) chocolate!
Friends here and at Facebook wished me a happy Valentine's Day after reading my blog post!

Talk about your Valentine's Day high.

Then around 1:00 I saw the mailman in our front window, waited as he stood at the mailbox, then waited some more after he left (lest I appear like a mail-waiting-nut). Then I opened the door, reached for the mailbox lid and oh. my. goodness.

Inside sat only a lonely bill.

A bill? Just a bill? I looked again at the black depths, spied nothing else and asked, "But where are my Valentines?"

To which my mailbox echoed, "But where are my Valentines? Valentines? Valentines?"

Oooooo. Disappointment--how you irk me .

What happened to the other 4 or 5 Valentines I always receive? Hmm?

Well, I'll tell ya. I stepped inside the Disappointment Train and rode along a couple minutes. Then do you know what came to me? That blog post I wrote, the one where Jesus told Peter, "What is that to you? You just follow me."

And I giggled. Yeah, I needed that. What is this to me? I mailed the Valentines I was supposed to this year. I obeyed the nudge. Did my part.

And then? It was like Jesus urged me to do even more. As though He said, "How about if you email Valentine images and greetings to friends? Maybe even order Valentines for next year?"

Well, shopping always sounds good (heh) and I thought, "I suppose I'll swallow this tiny lump in my throat and send a couple cheery emails." So I did both. And truly, felt better.

That is, until the Florida school shooting happened.

Oh no. More. More of the Last Days evil which the Bible warned us would happen. So I prayed. Read bits of the details, but mostly prayed for all involved, including us, all of us whose hearts are more emotionally affected than we realize. 

And this latest horrible happening placed the correct perspective over my previous empty-mailbox-echo thing. The reason for my earlier disappointment appeared tiny now.

What highs, what lows this week, right?

And let me add: during these ultra-troubled days, please do whatever (biblically-permissible) thing needed to keep your mind and heart whole. At rest.

If you can't handle hours of bad news--skip it, even if your friends laugh/accuse you of the ostrich-in-the-sand thing.

If it comforts you to read old-fashioned books totally unrelated to our 2018 life? Read them.

If you must say no to some gatherings and say yes to coming away with God, instead? Say no to the first, yes to the second.

Keep things simple: listen to what God's saying. Then do what He's asking with the Grace He sends along. 

Even if no one else is.
Even if people tease you.
Even if what you're doing is 'so ten minutes ago' or odd.

Just do it. Just obey God. Let Him make you strong and heal your wounded heart in whichever ways He customizes just for you.

This way, you'll make it. You'll be ok.

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you..."  ... Matthew 7:12


Speaking of doing what one must-- I even walked to the coffee shop twice this week(!) And what a treat this morning to step inside and see four other people there, creating more of a 'Luke's Diner vibe' than ever before.

Often I pray this shop will do well and last much longer than the previous one.

Oh, and I've stopped wondering why I never did visit the first one, the one I'd prayed would appear. It's a strange, I-can't-figure-it-out thing so perhaps God was involved in my not going for reasons I may never know.

Sometimes God asks that we become comfortable with not knowing. With not understanding. It's called trust.

Or maybe I simply 'missed it'. But whatever, I've chosen to move on and just enjoy, enjoy, enjoy that I've a coffee shop so close by.


"I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care."  --- Lou Holtz


The Valentines I bought for next year? I found them here (though they were 50% off at the time rather than at their present 25%). 

So vintage. So pretty.


Does anyone else find this kitchen beautiful?

My, my, my. Be still my heart.


A friend who I've known since we were both 8-years-old, became a great-grandmother this week.

Oh dear. I read that bit of news at Facebook and immediately I felt like this--

Yikes!  😏


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day Wishes For You

Valentine's Day! Here's a peek at how this day looks at Hobbit Cottage, beginning with the roses, above, from Tom, then favorite old Valentines, below, with a new one, a lovely card from my buddy, Wilma--

Valentine's Day for me is also Friendship Day so please celebrate--if you wish--along with me.

Be creative.
Be generous.
Be happy.
Be ten-years-old.
Be colorful.
Be forgiving.
Be free.

And let's toss in some Charlie Brown, ok?

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

And may you also celebrate that Jesus loves you incredibly-much all the time.
All. The. Time.

No really, He is your Valentine for all days.
Think about that today rather than this old world-gone-wrong. Meditate upon what God's done so right for you and let the arguers argue amongst themselves.

Choose celebration today, instead. 
Then choose more tomorrow.
Then more the following day--for truly--God has done great things worthy of our daily thank-you's.


"Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing for me! Thou hast put off my sackcloth.
Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing for me! And girded me with gladness."   ... Psalm 30:11

 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.   ... Colossians 3:15


Monday, February 12, 2018

Lucy P. And Grace And Me

"I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  ... Isaiah 41:10


My buddy, Ann, shared at Facebook a photo she snapped and oh! Read the part in italics--

Wow, that's haunted me--in a good way. "She hath done what she could." 

Now personally, I'm planning to be cremated (deal with it. heh.), but if I wasn't? I'd choose that wonderful phrase for my own tombstone, but tweaked a bit--

She loved Jesus--
And she hath done what she could.

Why do I so appreciate the phrase given to Lucy P.? Perhaps because to me it says --

Lucy did her best, even on crazy days, then trusted God to do what she couldn't.

Lucy didn't waste hours moaning, nagging, complaining. She kept busy with good things.

On her sick days, Lucy did what she could, then leaned back upon her pillow and gave herself permission to rest without guilt.

Lucy did what God called her to do rather than make herself insane attempting to do what others could. (This realization helped her not resent anyone.)

Yep, Lucy's tombstone reminds me to reach out for Grace in all my tasks. To be faithful, yet not frenzied. Steady, but able to take breaks. And calm, reminding myself that God 'knows my frame and remembers I am dust'.

And how sweet to know that God and Grace daily help this 'bit of dust' so that--by her life's end--she'll know 'she hath done what she could'. 

With joy.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  ... Romans 15:13

Always choose to heal, not to hurt, to forgive not to despise, to persevere not to quit, to smile not to frown, and to love not to hate! At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built, not what we got, but what we shared, not our competence but our character, and not our success but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life that cares...

 Ritu Ghatourey quotes