Monday, July 17, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me finds life,
and obtains favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 8: 34-35

Monday, July 10, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

"We cannot run our spiritual operations on the prayers of the past generations. Many people believe in the efficacy of prayer, but not many people pray. Prayer is the easiest and hardest of all things. It is the simplest and the most sublime, the weakest and the most powerful. Its results lie outside the range of human possibilities; they are limited only by the omnipotence of God." E. M. Bounds on Prayer

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray.
(Luke 18:1)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation."

Psalm 5:3

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The magnet of unconditional love

I met her when I was first married. She was my husband's aunt and what one might call, a real pistol. She was inquisitive, and honest. Boldly honest.

I remember her driving up to my house, unannounced, knocking at the door, expecting entrance. As an overly shy young wife, I didn't answer. I don't know why I was so afraid, but her boldness put me at arms length.

She and her husband never had any children, but as the "great" aunt, she mothered all of  her nieces and nephews. I can hardly remember a time when she did not light up a room she entered.

I lost my Mom when I was still in my twenties. Not having any siblings, it was a time that left me feeling very much alone. None of  my friends had lost parents. Yet here I was, young and newly married, feeling a deep sense of loss in my life.

Five months after my Mom passed away, this aunt lost her own 91 year old mother. Her loss drew us together like a magnet.  Three years later, when her own husband died, she showed her resilience during her time of deep loss. The bond between us grew even more.

What started as visits and spending time together, grew into a deep loving relationship. She became the "adopted" mother to me, and when my children came along, she became their "adopted" grandmother.  She came to every family event. Never failed to send birthday and anniversary cards. We enjoyed going to lunch or just out for ice cream. Shopping excursions became a fun day. At Christmas, my kids would decorate her whole house. For twenty five years, she was a fixture in our lives.

As her health began to fail, it became necessary to move her into an assisted living facility. My children and I helped her downsize from her home to a little apartment. Then came the day when she could no longer live alone. A caregiver was hired to tend to her needs.Visits became more difficult.

When a stoke finally left her with little strength, it broke my heart to see her struggle. Dementia started creeping in. But she never forgot us. Her eyes would light up and a smile would shine on her face whenever we came to visit.

Through all the years, the one thing that radiated within her, was her unconditional love. It wasn't just with our family, she loved and cared for everyone that came within her radar. She took meals to lonely widows, even when she was a widow herself. She visited anyone who was sick. She was a party girl, and loved being included with family and friends. Everyone loved her as much as she loved them. At times she would tell me she didn't think she was very pretty. But in my eyes, she was beautiful. Her smile alone was like a ray of sunshine.

In all the years we shared together, I only heard her speak once of a person who had hurt her. But she never with held her love.

We don't always seek out close friendships with people older than our peers. But my life has been richer for having experienced this kindred spirit.  I learned so much from her and deeply miss our times together. She will be forever in my heart as an example of sharing unconditional love.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51: 6-12

Monday, June 19, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel:
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Pslam 16:7-11

Monday, June 12, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

"For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s." Romans 14:8

Friday, June 9, 2017

All about boys

 Brothers, Kids, Family, Fun, Childhood

Twenty five years ago, our last child was born. A boy. Ten years younger than our first born girl, and seven than our middle son.

Having two boys was a challenge for me. I grew up without a father, and having no brothers, was totally clueless about the nature of the male species. So when these little boys came into our family, I had no idea what I was in for.
Toddler, Child, Kid, Infant, Playing

Things start our small. Like climbing and making mud pies in the sand box.

But before I knew it, things escalated.  

They go from this...
 Kid, Child, Young, Childhood, Happiness this
As Children, River, Enjoy, Water

Water Fight, Children, Water, Play

My memory serves me when my middle son decided that he would take his Dad's golf clubs and hit a few. His one mean stroke sailed through the air, and went right through my bedroom window. 

Yes, boys. They are a breed of their own. 
Boy, Playing, Leaves, Autumn, Child, Fun
 Fish, River, Boy, Water, Landscape

 Baseball, Runner, Scoring, Sliding

 Swimming, Children, Pool, Boys, Water

But life sure would be dull without them.

pictures courtesy of Pixabay Brothers, Boys, Boy, Play, Children

Monday, June 5, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

In a day of seeking after signs and wonders, when only the spectacular is considered miraculous, we need to be reminded that the greatest thing you and I can do for God is to simply believe on Him.

Ron Dunn

Monday, May 29, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

"I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.
I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did. "
~Benjamin Harrison

In honor of those who have fought and  those who died to keep our country free.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

So long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; 
and no man is useless while he has a friend.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, May 15, 2017

Love the old classics

A little departure today. I've read many books over the years, but I think I must be a romantic at heart.

I love to read the old classic stories.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice stole my heart. The love story between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy wrapped me up in their emotional interludes. Love/hate/misunderstandings/reconciliation/happy ending. How could I ask for more?

And then there was Emma,

the spoiled country girl who tried to be the matchmaker. Only to find that it was she who would lose in love. Ah! But there is also another happy ending.

Sense and Sensibility............

Two sisters, two loves, two broken hearts, two happy endings.

Jane Austen is not the only author I favor.

I recently listened to the "Little Women" CD's. I found this to be a most enjoyable book. With so many characters and story lines. The book has so much more depth then the movies.

And speaking of movies, last year I watched "North and South", a PBS made for TV movie. I thought the production was good, and ventured to find the book. It was very elusive. But I finally came across a paperback copy.

I'm telling you, I was gripped by this book. The movie is nothing compared to the story of Margaret and Mr. Thornton. One reason I love to read these old classics is that their emotions are written in such beautiful detail, and yet there is nothing unsavory.

Yep, I think I am a romantic at heart. Love the old classics. How about you??

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Words to Live By


It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store..

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling
pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam; He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it..' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right; And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!
Happy Mothers Day

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Forever in my heart

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together,
keep me in your heart,
I'll stay there forever."
Winne the Pooh
Diana Grace
5/9/53 - 9/26/04

Monday, May 8, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self-love...these are the reasons we jar each other.

Turn your eyes off yourself; look up and out! There are brothers and sisters; they have needs that you can aid.

Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their call, and your hands alert for their service.

Learn to give and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest.

Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of will find to your own glad surprise the secret of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus, and the fruits of the Spirit will all bud and blossom from out of your life.

"Joy and Strength"

Monday, May 1, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspriation

God's not in the business of pampering His children.
He's in the business of perfecting them.

Katie Ganshert
"A Broken Kind of Beautiful"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

God has given us a work to do and He has not committed it to anybody else.

Unknown author

Monday, April 17, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Share your life, and find the finest joy man can know. Do not be stingy with your heart. Get out of yourself into the lives of others, and new life will flow into you - share and share alike.

Joseph Fort Newton

Friday, April 14, 2017

It must be love


My hubby and I attended a wedding last night. It was not the prettiest or the nicest wedding we have ever attended. It was an outdoor wedding, the reception to be held in the barn. The smell of manure was a bit overwhelming. And the sun, setting in the west, flickered between the moss covered trees, blinding most of us sitting on the left. The bugs couldn't decide if this was their party or their feast. The poor photographer danced about, trying to capture shots as the sun played hide and seek with him.

The young bride, a gifted musician, planned the music. Which turned out to be too long, the sound mostly lost between swaying trees and airplanes flying overhead. We sat three rows from the back, and could not see anything but the two bridesmaids on the left, and the two groomsmen on the right. Missing all of the beauty of this sacred moment. The father of the bride married the couple. After attending the wedding of two of her sisters, we knew what to expect. The microphone warbled in and out, the jokes were not very funny, although people laughed to be polite. And truthfully, why did he have to bring up things about the girl that were not really relevant?

I'm sad to see so many young people throw off the traditions of the wedding ceremony. Maybe it's because we live in an entertainment driven society. Personally, I like saving the first sight the groom has of his bride to when she walks down the aisle. I like traditional wedding vows. I enjoy hearing the triumphant sound of the wedding march. I mostly like to be able to hear and see the ceremony, given that I usually shed an emotional tear or two. This time it felt like the sound was off, and the party was happening just out of view.

 But in the end, the two giggling kids are married and on their way to building their new lives together. I can attest that the years will fly by quicker than you can ever imagine.

I've turned off comments as this was a personal rant which is not meant for controversy.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Faith is accepting the ordinary as God's best for me when I want to be special.

Pamela Reeves

Monday, April 3, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

God sees virtue and character (wisdom) more valuable than knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15

Monday, March 27, 2017

Inscriptions for Inspiration

Yield in childhood to selfishness and you will find it the most enchaining tyranny on earth.

Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest