Sunday, September 21, 2014

Partying At The Atheists' House

Well, last night was rare. Tom and I actually went out.

No really, we did.

We were invited to a party (no really, we were) and the ride there! Oh, seventy-some degrees with orange-gold sunlight and we stopped for gas across the street from an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with people everywhere licking ice cream cones and laughing at the tables outside.



For 21 years we've driven past this ice cream shop, but have we ever gone inside? Not yet. Places like this are everywhere in Western New York and maybe we're waiting for the perfect time to visit this one.

Anyway, the party was around 20 miles away, at the home of one of Tom's bosses, and to get there we drove through the outer edge of the town we'd called home for nearly 15 years and well, I'd forgotten there's such a thing as an active world anywhere past 6:30 pm. and with that beautiful late summer sunshine, the memories flooded into my head-- raising Naomi there, chauffeuring her and my own growing-up emotionally there, hundreds of sweet memories tugged at my mouth, making me smile.

And for someone who lived in too many towns as a teen, I'm still delighted at knowing how things looked alongside that stretch of road 20 years ago and being able to note all the differences today and owning memories for both.

About halfway to the party, we stopped at a huge supermarket (whose beginning I still remember) and while Tom went inside to buy a pot of roses as a hostess gift, I sat in the car and watched happy parents and children walk past and recalled why I love where we live. Always the air has felt different, more joyful to me than it ever did out West. Or perhaps that's because I've felt more joyful here. Hmm.

As Tom sat the roses on the floor in back, a man said, "Oh! Your cart was rolling away. Here you go." Tom thanked him and the man said, "You're welcome, my friend."

Truly, I love New York and always I'll thank God for flying us here thousands and thousands of days ago.

The ride took us down the long road which I used to always take to the airport when picking up myriad visitors (or Tom or even Naomi one midnight), a route incredibly out of the way, but sane and beautiful with its old houses and woods and more memories on this night.

The party? Lovely, with three other couples in this beautiful home, all seated around an HGTV-worthy kitchen island, eating h'ordeuvres made by the sweet, young wife, enough to feed a village. We told stories about our past and train rides through corn fields and our children and African adventures and it didn't even matter that Tom's boss calls himself an Atheist.  I just silently prayed for him sitting there next to me and listened to his fascinating stories and noted his especial kindness to Tom.

Memorable, mystical night, even though you all know what an introvert I am. Yet we introverts need to mix it up sometimes, to get out, to remember there's a huge world out there who does not go to bed at 8:30, but who gather together to share their homes, their stories and themselves until the moon appears then tiptoes across the inky sky.




*****


"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   ... John 13:34,35

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hey. Jesus Said It First. :)


Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."   ... John 21:22

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Now there's a verse that set me free.


Peoples' crazy-to-me choices used to send me to Bad Lands. I mean, didn't I know the best (biblical, even) way to do just about anything? Why wouldn't others do things those same, best ways? What are they thinking? What's gonna happen now? (Control issues, anyone?)

:)

But no more! What is that to me if you make choices I never would? If God's not nudging me to say anything, then I'm the one making the larger mistake if I do. If He just wants me to pray, I pray ... and then do some soul-searching of my own:

What kinds of choices am I making? Are they wise? Biblical?
How well am I handling God's last bit of conviction? Am I making the right changes?
How closely am I walking with God? How well am I hearing and obeying Him?  Hmmm?

I can actually do something about my walk with God. I'll stand before Him someday and give an account of my life--not yours--and that's a pretty peaceful (though kinda heavy) thing, too.

And I can obey God and perhaps He'll make a difference in your life through my obedience, but really? Any changes you make will always be between Him and you. Your choices are yours, not mine.

Ahh ... feel the breeze, the serenity, the relief. "What is that to you? You must follow Me."

Yes, Lord. And thank-you.


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"Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself don't see the log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck in your brother's eye."  ...Luke 6:42


"...and make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands..." ...1 Thessalonians 4:11





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My Mom, My Hero

Road Trip to Redemption


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When I look at houses online which are even twice as much money as ours, I notice that so few have views of trees from their couch like Tom and I do here. We are blessed.


*****

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's Cold Outside! But It's Not Autumn Yet.


"For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” ...   James 4:14,15


*****


Minutes ago I stepped out onto our front porch into the grey, blowy 56 degrees and thought, "Brr! Another morning that feels like Autumn." (We've had a few already.)

But it's not Autumn. Not yet. My calendar says it's still Summer and I'm not one to push past a season's gate to begin the next one early. Life sails across my eyes too fast already, like the boats on the river down the street, and it certainly needs no extra shoves from my head.

I'm learning to stay away from the 'I'll be glad whens' (when winter is gone, when that appointment is over, when we have more shelves) and just live fully in the thousands of imperfect days I'm given so that no day is wasted by wishing it away.

These are still fragile, fleeting days of Summer and I'll view them as such, squeeze some more time out in my yard with my watering can and spade and hedge clippers. Read on the porch if when it warms up again, walk a couple bags of stuff down to the Salvation Army bin and sniff the marigold scent upon my fingers.

Because it's still Summer, the last few drops, but Summer nonetheless.


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If you asked Tom how many times I've reminded him at yard sales not to buy another small kitchen appliance, he'd reply, "About a million." We have no more room to store them and well, I find most handy-dandy kitchen appliances to be more complicated, time-consuming and flawed than just doing whatever task the old-fashioned way.

So guess what I bought last week? Another small kitchen appliance. (Blame our local Ways to Save Guy for recommending it.) Tom is still recovering from the shock.




It's a Greek yogurt maker and I know! Yogurt is one of the easiest things on the planet to make-- the only difficult part is when you stand over your stove and roll your eyes a hundred times while waiting for the milk to reach the perfect temperature without scorching. And I still must do that part.

And yet I love my new yogurt maker. It's cute and now it's ok that we have no pilot light in our oven and there's no relighting the oven every few hours and juggling a towel over the bowl and--

---it makes wonderful yogurt. Also, it fits just right on my handy-dandy roll-around tea cart. So there.  :)


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Today Naomi and her boyfriend, Jake, are flying to Idaho so she can meet his parents. Naomi and Jake are getting pretty serious so we shall see what we shall see.

Anyway, we'd appreciate any prayers for their safety and that they'll have a pleasant week there. Thank-you much!



*****


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A Love Surrendered

A Quest for More

Alaska Bound