I just had to reblog this very appropriate poem. Cynthia Reyes is a delightful blogger and I am thoroughly enjoying her posts.
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
– Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926
We had snow and freezing temperatures last night, and I thought of this poem. Thank you, Mr. Frost, for saying it so well.
I really appreciate the message in this post by a friend of mine. What a wonderful thought for Valentine’s Day.
I have a favorite lunchtime sandwich consisting of at least two types of lettuce and a mix of tomatoes, peppers and cheese. My wife makes them for me, and if my schedule required me to need to take a lunch every day, I could eat them every day. Sometimes they’re on a Kaiser bun, and sometimes, they’re on a whole wheat bun like the one in the picture.
Not too long ago, I was having a post-lunch phone call with Ruth and I commented that the way she had cut the bun and placed the sandwich formed a heart shape.
“Did you know that today’s sandwich forms a heart?” I innocently asked.
“Yes…” she replied but there was something implicit in the short reply that I needed to pursue.
“How long have you been doing this?”
And then after a long silence, I said, “I guess I never noticed…
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How delightful to see this recently!
In a U.S. dominated industry, I often hear both customers and insiders asking what my store is doing to promote Canadian authors. So today, we kick off a series promoting three Canadian authors. The first is Diane Lindstrom, who I got to meet last summer and since then we have been corresponding somewhat regularly. Her blog is titled Nice One, Nana. Sisters in the Son: Reconnecting Older and Younger Women is her first book and is easily available to Canadian stores through Ingram/Spring Arbor.
Publisher Marketing: Women are inherently relational. They naturally respond to people, particularly other women. So, what happened to the days when older and younger women regularly met to work, play, and pray together? I get it-our lives are busy and our days are full-but we’re missing out on the unique opportunity to do life together.
In Sisters in the Son, Diane Lindstrom humorously weaves…
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The OVERFLOW! group met today and we had a great time! We missed you Lesley, Coco, Suzanne, Linda, Anneke and Elizabeth!
It took a while to coax everybody into the lake for a water walk but I set the pace, jumped right in and soon, most of the group followed. There was some moaning and groaning about the temperature of the water but we managed to get about a half hour of aqua-exercise before people started complaining about numb fingers.
It was a real joy to give each of the women a copy of my book, Sisters in the Son, because these ladies are the “stars.” The book is about the four year experience of this OVERFLOW! group and it was fun to reminisce about our wonderful times together.
We laughed, ate, told stories, learned how to tweet, (well, to be honest, it was me who was getting lessons from the sixteen-year-old women), we tubed behind the boat, jumped waves, sat in the sun, took pictures and thoroughly enjoyed seeing each other again.
Interesting end of the day — my husband was moving his car back into his parking spot after one of the women had left. He was surprised to see a dead raccoon, lying smack in the middle of his spot. The raccoon had been dead for quite some time and had apparently fallen from the underside of my friend’s car.
Thanks for the lovely hostess gift, Karen! 🙂
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. Philippians 1.9 NLT
A man in our community, who has worked at the local grocery store for years, died suddenly last Sunday night.
On Monday morning, I started my work day at 9:00 a.m. and as soon as I unlocked the front doors of the store, customers began to tell me stories about this man.
I also worked yesterday and customers were still sharing their grief with me. I have never met this man but by the end of two, nine-hour shifts, I knew more about him than most people in the community.
It occurred to me that when it comes to grief, if people feel they are understood, they can move on. Otherwise, they obsess because the mind replays what the heart can’t delete. Everyone needs to tell his/her story — it’s part of mourning.
Their stories establish significance and they need our ears.
People get insight as they talk. They feel better as they talk. We can not fully understand other peoples’ grief but we can love them by listening. We legitimize their feelings. We give credence to their thoughts.
This man’s death triggered memories for many customers. One woman wept as she told me that her family can’t understand why she is still grieving the loss of her friend, who died a year ago. They keep telling her to “get over it.” She asked me what I thought and I told her that I believed that the opposite to understanding is not misunderstanding – it’s trivialization . . .
. . . and the women hugged me.
People don’t want their grief explained away. Grieving is hard work and it makes the heart tired but it is to be embraced, not denied or trivialized.
So, I spent two days listening to stories.
This is what I learned about grief this week.
Be there. Presence is so much more powerful than advice.
Take initiative and ask. People need to tell their stories.
Listen. Two ears, one mouth, right?
Avoid cliches and trite answers. Even scripture can sound empty to a grieving person.
Silence is golden. More times than not, words can’t explain feelings.
Grief tells the truth – death is the enemy.
I hear people claim that,”death is just a part of life” but this statement is not truth. Death is not original to the creation; it is a curse added because of sin. In its unfolding, hideous and unpredictable way, grief reminds us of a biblical reality — that we have been expelled from the garden and are therefore under the power of death.
To admit this truth fully brings a sorrow that threatens to kill our hearts.
This is grief – when we lose someone we love, we relearn the world because we’re never the same . . .
and as Christians, we hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10.23 NIV
We do not want you to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4.13
I NEVER thought I would see the day when I would be on Twitter.
When I texted my son and announced that I had started tweeting, there was a long silence and then he responded with a sarcastic, “The end is near.”
We’re all still in shock — including me.
Yesterday afternoon, I spent a few hours learning the fine art of tweeting at The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter, Twitter for the Absolutely Terrified Newbie, Twitter Help Center, Mom, This is How Twitter Works and my personal favourite, A Dr. Seuss inspired Guide to Twitter.
I’m hoping that all of my 13 followers will enjoy my comments throughout the day. 🙂
Marketing a self-published book is tough.
It’s the “getting-out-there-and-promoting-myself” that is so difficult for me — I’m literally forcing myself to embark on a very steep social-media-learning-curve expedition this summer. The pain of it all reminds me of a very poignant moment last week, when I was standing in front of the Xulon Publishing booth in Atlanta at 9:00 a.m., holding a stack of book-selling cards and watching book store owners and distributers pass me by. I realized that no one was going to approach me — I had to get out there and confidently talk about my book.
So I prayed and I took a step forward (initially I did so because a kind and experienced woman told me that my feet would never last the day if I didn’t step onto the carpet, instead of standing in one place on the cement floor for eight hours) . . . but I did it.
A step of faith.
I can’t ask God to guide my steps, if I’m unwilling to move my feet.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1.9 NIV
I heard this second hand but. . .
Big Canada Day parade in downtown Beaverton yesterday afternoon. Apparently two fire trunks led the way, followed by a car full of politicians, a Lions float, a marching band and one antique car.
About two minutes into the parade, the volunteer firemen had to respond to a call so that left…well…not too much of a parade.
Ah, life in a small town.
Chris and I decorated the back deck with a big flag for all the boaters, kayakers, canoers and jet skiers passing by.
We also put pinwheels in our flower pots and flags in the front window boxes.
There’s actually a series of flashing lights in the mast of this Canadian flag . . .
Maybe I should have donated it to the parade.
Yesterday afternoon, Chris and I were able to take the boat out to the middle of the lake, jump in and swim to our hearts’ content. It’s an unspoken rule around here that we must experience the lake TOGETHER for the first time of the swimming season. I mean, it’s OK if Chris gets a little wet while he puts in the dock but intentionally and joyfully jumping into the deep, cold water? THAT’S something we do together.
After floating around on big noodles for twenty minutes, Chris climbed back into the boat to listen to some old tunes on the radio and I began a 40-minute water workout. We were both happy, doing our own thing, together, in the sun.
When we arrived back home, we worked as a team to get the boat back on the marine railway and apparently, our neighbour was listening to us talking back and forth. A few minutes later, I headed upstairs and started taking the fresh-smelling laundry off the line. I yelled down to Chris, who was in the boathouse — “hon, would you mind hanging these sunglasses on the cupboard door?”
Our neighbour walked over to our property and said, “Boy, it’s nice to hear your wife ASK you to do stuff. My wife just TELLS me what to do.”
Later on that evening, as we were having dinner, I reminded Chris that people are always watching. They’re observing how we treat each other and how we live our lives.
I’m so thankful for a healthy marriage — and the glory goes to God. Chris and I have been married for almost ten years and we’ve grown closer each year as we experience the ups and downs, the joys and the pain of life.
We just keep holding hands . . . and respecting each other.
We work hard at not taking each other for granted. We celebrate little successes and big accomplishments. We still write each other love notes, always stand at the door and wave when one of us drives away, always meet each other at the front door when we arrive home, and thoroughly enjoy being in the same room, doing absolutely nothing together.
People recognize good marriages.
I know I do. We have some neighbours who have a beautiful friendship and love for each other. I’m made comments about this because it’s so lovely to see two people loving each other well.
Chris and I don’t always agree. In fact, we see life from VERY different windows but the maturity in our relationship has come about by celebrating these differences, not resenting or merely tolerating them . . .
. . . and it’s always seems to boil down to being kind to one another.
Blaise Pascal once said, “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”
One of my favourite quotes about kindness is from Scottish evangelist, Henry Drummond. He reminds me that kindness needs to be a quiet lifestyle.
After you have been kind, after Love has stolen forth into the world and done its beautiful work, go back into the shade again and say nothing about it.
Love this comic in our local newspaper this morning.
I know our grandson is thrilled to be starting his summer of play! Phoenie will be coming to stay with us soon and I’m really happy about that!
Speaking of children, I have to tell you about an experience that I had in the plane on the way home from Atlanta.
There was a family of four, sitting in front of me and it was very obvious that the two young children had never flown before. They could not contain their excitement and their endless questions — and the plane hadn’t even taken off yet!
“Will my shoes stay on when we take off?”
“What are clouds made of?”
“When will we be there?”
“Do we get to eat candy on this plane?”
. . and my personal favourite — “I can’t believe we’re actually going to go up in the sky. I’m so excited, my hair is sticky and my eyes are sore!”
The plane was delayed for about fifteen minutes because one of the overhead compartments wouldn’t close properly so we all sat in our seats patiently, waiting for the captain’s “AOK” to take off. We couldn’t help but overhear these two children’s very loud and high-pitched voices. The mom and dad were constantly telling their children to be quieter but to no avail. No one and nothing could stop these children from expressing their unbridled and indubitable excitement and marvel.
And when the plane actually took off? Well, I only wish I had a recording of these kids’ voices, bedashed with screeches of delight and tears of joy. Despite the seat belts, I could see their heads bopping up and down.
“MOM, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I’M SO HAPPY THAT I THINK I’M GOING TO THROW UP!”
“MOM, I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO COOL! WE’RE IN SPACE!
“DAD, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING US ON A PLANE. I’LL NEVER BE BAD AGAIN.”
“THE SKY GOES FOREVER!”
I mean, it was priceless. Everyone sitting around these children got to sit back and listen to the excitement of a child’s first airplane ride.
No one complained about the noise.
We all just looked at each other and smiled. We got to witness childlike wonder and awe.
. . . and go on an airplane.
Adventures….here I come!
Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40.5 NIV
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. Psalm 89.11 NIV