February 28, 2010

Meandering again...still.

There are at least 6 or 7 different threads of thought trying to travel round in my mind right now. But the worst is that they all want priority...each thinks they should be first and foremost. Well, I am and have been a multitasker...I am a mom after all but thinking and doing are different. A couple are worries, one is guilt, others responsibilities, and not all are negative. But it still feels like chaos in here.
We'll be traveling this week and I'm praying for safety, if you read this, would you please do the same? I'm a little anxious about this trip, like how it will go and what it will mean. These last few weeks will probably have a big impact on at least the near future. Who knows how things will turn out.
Both of our cars are fairly old but they've served us well. I'm praying that we will be able to get a lot more time/miles out of them but I'm not sure. I know it's a blessing to have two cars and I'm ever so thankful for the service they've given us.
There is one responsibility that I should be taking care of at this stage in my life but it is impossible to do...or at least it seems that way.
How can you help someone who doesn't want your help; or does but refuses to accept it? How can you care for someone who is continually pushing you away?
Too many things. And I'm not content to put them down before the throne and leave them there. I keep going back and picking them up again, as if I can do a better job on my own. Hah! Yes, we can see how well I've done so far.
Swirling and whirling and meandering. Help!
Will there be a strike? Can I let go? What if things don't work out? How will we get by? What should I do? Why do I feel so terrible physically? Why can't I remember?

Only by His grace.

February 24, 2010

Is that you?

As I looked out over the thawing woodlands behind my home, I'm quite sure that I saw someone peeking out from behind a tree! The bright sunlight on the remants of snow reflected back at me, blinding me for a moment. When I looked again, it was obvious that I was being watched from a brush pile near the edge of the forest. And whoever is hiding there still is laughing because the brush pile is shaking!

Now I've narrowed down the possibilities and I'm left with just three. Either Spring has swept over the span of mountains to the south and has come to visit me earlier than expected... or tease me, which is far more likely...or Gimbledorf has moved down from his winter home to spend the warmer months flitting about mysteriously, overseeing the maple sugaring that will take place in the next few weeks...or it's one of those nasty wild straws come to spy on me! I shall have to investigate but I must proceed with caution so as not to frighten the welcome ones away.

Somehow, I don't think the wild straws care much one way or the other. Once you've met one in the gloomy forest,(that's the only way they show themselves because in the bright light they almost disappear because they are so skinny) you'll never forget it. Their mouths are full of very sharp and scary teeth! It's one of those cases where the inside of something is much bigger than it looks from the outside. Ooooooh!

February 22, 2010

Wandering ever closer

As sunshine warms the icy blanket that has covered a large portion of the landscape for weeks since the groundhog's proclamation of a longer winter, we watch in anticipation as the gray skies melt away in ever growing rivulets of sparkling water. Heralding the gradual approach of a timid spring, the smell of greening reaches into the recesses of my memory; tugging gently at increasing thoughts of pastoral scenes, laden with a bounty of herbal blessings. Once again my wandering mind returns to serious thoughts of tender, young shoots peeking sweetly from their bed of soil where they have slumbered peacefully since the last frost of a crisp and colorful autumn. So, too, do my meanderings take me closer to decisions which seemed to have had an eternity in which to be made but now are pressing, with a determined insistance, demanding my attention. The choices before me are exciting and at times overwhelming as I, again, peruse the pages of heirloom tomatoes and spring greens. The pungent smell of dandelions haunts my mind in anticipation of medicinal wine brewing in the corner and the aroma of greens smothered in bacon dressing taunts my tastebuds. Spring has made another attempt to gently overcome the beauty of crystaline whiteness with fresh new growth that brings with it the promise of another kind of loveliness, growing ever more abundant in the weeks to come.
As each new season melds with the previous one I often think that the sweet visions and smells unfolding before me are my favorite...until the next one rolls around greeting my senses with yet another variety that seems to me to be the most pleasing. Here in my little valley, where it seemed she had forgotten me, spring has sent a reassurance of her eventual arrival in the weeks to come. Wandering through the southern mountains, creeping ever closer to the Appalachians, gaining strength with each passing day, she pushes on with growing determination to find me here, ever watchful, pondering my meanderings.

February 21, 2010

It's been a long week. But a good one. We took our oldest to college for a weekend at the college she will be attending this fall. She is staying with a lifelong friend but it seems that due to scheduling, etc., the time they've been able to spend together has been short. It's a great Christian college that offers so much besides academics. What a great opportunity for her.
But I have to admit, it was hard to leave her there for 4 days so I can't imagine what it will be like leaving her in the fall. We've been blessed with a wonderful relationship which has only grown stronger through homeschooling. It's been a great pleasure to watch her grow into the young woman she's become. Her talents amaze me. She has a very sweet, quiet disposition that always seems to see the good in people, even when they've treated her badly.
But to see her on stage blows me away! She can adopt the personality of so many different characters and mimic them with such accuracy. Perhaps the exposure to singing Disney princesses and a multitude of classic literature styles has contributed to her love for drama. At any given time, we found ourselves in the midst of a well known story as the drama unfolded around us much like scenes from Little Women. From Ariel to Elizabeth Bennett to Harpo Marx and in many foreign lands both real and imagined like Siam or England or Narnia or Middle Earth or Toyland plus just about any period in time. Our local community theater has been a great blessing for her as she has gained experience and skills required for the theater and made many new friends from all walks of life. All the shyness and inhibitions melt when she walks on stage and she becomes this dynamic presence that everyone loves, with a voice like a songbird. I can't wait to see where the Lord leads her and I'm praying that she will always continue to follow Him.
Her life is really unfolding right now with college planning to complete and working as a nanny plus taking some measures to reduce her gen.ed. course load. In addition, she'll be doing a lot of traveling in the next few months. Great opportunites for someone who has had little experience in that area. Following her college weekend, she'll be traveling to NC with a friend for a visit and that includes a side trip to GA/TN. When she returns from that adventure, she'll be traveling to FL as a nanny. Then, in the summer, there is the possiblity of a road trip across the country and back. A very busy 6 months.
I'm so excited for her. Happily, I have another wonderful daughter who is still at home. She is very close to her big sister and shares her love for drama and musical theater. She will miss her as much as I do. I'm sure we can be a comfort to each other and will plan many trips to visit her sister at college. That brings me to a sobering thought. Times flys all to quickly and before I know it, it will be time for her to step out on her own path. Oh, my!!

February 15, 2010

tenderhearted burnout

Being tenderhearted can be a blessing and a curse. It allows you to be open and compassionate to the feelings and needs of others but also leaves you wide open to being hurt by others, too.
I know a very tenderhearted young lady. This gal has always had a sweet, compassionate spirit. Being game for whatever activity her family or friends may be planning, she just enjoys being with people and feeds off their interactions with her. Her feelings are often kept private because they are so precious to her; so to find yourself in the position of a confidant to this gal is a privilege. A position that could easily be lost if abused. She has a very open affectionate spirit and a side that has been hurt before which she guards carefully. Confrontations make her cringe and she will often suppress her own thoughts and feelings to avoid arguing even at the cost of conceding her opinion. At times, she may even be so passive as to allow others to take advantage of her or be lost in the crowd because she is the person that everyone speaks well of but no one remembers to talk to. The flip side of this is that she has very strong convictions and well thought-out opinions. This translates into a woman who is confident on one hand and very humble on the other. Not a bad combination but one that needs to be valued if it is to be shared. All that to say that if this gal trusts someone enough to share painful memories with them and they are cruel or uncaring enough to repeatedly disregard the pain she is sharing, the value of their friendship comes into question.
As is too often the case, our focus tends to be on ourselves and we miss the opportunity to be a blessing, a shelter, a friend worth having. If you find yourself in this position with someone you care about, maybe it's time to pop the bubble and step out of your own little sphere of existance so you can be there for someone else. Otherwise the burnout may overtake them and you'll find yourself hopping up and down, trying to look over a wall that has gotten higher with each hurtful, self-centered, thoughtless thing you've done. So, yeah...I'm just saying.

February 14, 2010


Today was stewardship Sunday at our church; the one day each year when we talk about what God has to say about being an obedient and cheerful giver to support His ministries through our church and other avenues. As I listened to the passages I began to think about other things that we are blessed with besides monetary gifts. As unique individuals, God has given each one of us a set of characteristics that make us who we are. If we apply the guidelines for giving back a portion of our monetary gifts to our personal gifts, what would it look like. As far as God and church goes it doesn't need to be said that we are to use our personal gifts or talents to build the fellowship of the body of Christ and aid the ministries and needs of our church family. But I think we can take it a little further...often we become guarded and maybe even selfish with the parts of us that are the most vulnerable and fragile. We hide our selves in an effort to protect our ego from being bruised, or our feelings from being hurt or even keep our emotions from being seen in case we look "silly" to someone else. The problem comes in when we hide those parts of our personality and soul from the folks we care about the most. But, who are we really hurting? What kind of blessings are we missing because we can't or won't let our wall down so we can share ourselves with those around us and experience the gifts they have to offer? Sure, we may be hurt or laughed at but maybe God has something else planned for us. What if we keep those walls up and never experience hurt or embarrassment or love or friendship because of it? Are we being good stewards of the gifts God has given us? I don't think so because the rewards of putting ourselves out there in the line of fire and maybe finding a friend or connecting with someone we love can be many, many times greater than anything we can experience if we stay protected behind our wall and never take a chance. God gave us those personal gifts for a reason; I think part of that reason was so that through giving joy and blessing others through our humble gifts, our spiritual joy will be multiplied back to us making us more effective for Christ. All the while our own personal joys and blessings growing to heights we could never have dreamed of or thought that we could never deserve. Joys that make the painful, lonely or stressful times a lot easier to handle.

So here's an assignment...make yourself a list...an honest list of all the things you have to offer those around you. Open yourself up, take a risk by investing yourself in people you care about, give back the gifts that God has given you by blessing someone else. Who knows, maybe you'll find a lifetime of love or a treasure chest of blessings just waiting for you on the other side of the wall.

February 12, 2010

Fairytale or soap opera?

Is God in control? Absolutely! But will He make us do things He wants us to do or will He allow us to make our own choices? The story of Jonah comes to mind. But Jonah's choice was in absolute violation of a directive that was clearly given to Jonah straight from God. It wasn't that Jonah didn't know who God was talking to or didn't understand what He wanted him to do. He just didn't want to do it.
That's different than someone who is faced with two or more choices, none of which violate God's Word. Is it a toss up? Does it matter which one they choose? And if a door in one direction closes, does that mean that the whole idea is wrong or that they're looking in the wrong place or that while that option seems open and doesn't go against any biblical principles, it's not the direction He wants them to go? Can He bless us with two seemingly opposite choices, either of which is ok to follow? How do we know?
What about a fairytale written by God's fingers? Sometimes story's look that way and feel that way. They seem to be driven by one open door after another. Of course it's not smooth sailing all the time but basically, God's hand can be clearly seen.

Here's the beginning of a little story that's been wandering around in my mind for a while.

Once upon a time, there was a valiant young man who studied the ancient lore of a land far away. The young man longed for a chance to roam the hills of the old stories and share in the adventures of his kinsmen from ages past.
Far away, in the northern mountains of the same country, lived a virtuous maiden. The old tales of glorious battles against an ancient foe, fought and won with great sacrifice, inspired her as well. There was one bard who's tales of the lands across the sea were favorites of both the young man and the maiden.
The young man's heart was full of tales of his own that came spilling out in streams of words that painted pictures of lands and virtues too often forgotten. He dreamed of becoming an inspiring storyteller, like his favorites of old, who would influence future generations to pursue victory over the enemies of the one true king. He realised the power of such stories in the battle against a foe who seemed only to be buried for a time but to reappear in another form, never fully overcome until the king returned.
A plan began to grow in the young man's mind. If he could share his tales of virtue and quest for truth with others whose desires were the same, perhaps he could begin to make a difference. Together with his kinsman, who lived in the north country beyond the mountains where the maiden dwelt, he forged a plan to spread their tales and request inspiring stories from others whose quest was the same.
The maiden learned of the warrior and his plan. Intrigued by the idea, she began to correspond with him and even told a story or two of her own. Over the next few years, the two wrote back and forth occasionally, developing a friendship, but never meeting.
One summer, the young man realised that his travels would take him through the lands near the maidens home. Expressing his desire to make the aquaintance of one whom he had only known through letters, he wrote to the maiden once more. His request came as a bit of a surprise to the young woman but desiring the meeting as well, she acquiesced.

Now the question is, "What happens to them? Does the fairytale continue to unfold in storybook fashion or do the trials and misunderstandings of life get the best of them and their story become a soap opera that ends leaving everyone with a great sense of loss?

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this saga of a series of events that could go either way.

I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder about 'things', ponder, if you will. For instance, why do some birds fly south for the winter while others seem quite content to stay right here? Why do cows always face the same direction? Why are men and women so different?

Heard a joke of sorts that always brings a smile to my face when I stop and think about it. Here goes...
God and Adam were walking in the garden one day. Adam seemed perplexed, he asked God, "Lord, why did you make Eve so pretty?" The Lord answered, "So you would like her." Again Adam seemed thoughtful and he said, "Well, Lord, Why did you make her so soft? The answer came, "So you would like her." Adam, still pondering asked, "And why did you make her so curvy?" The Lord wondered where all this was leading and He said again, "So you would like her. Adam, is there a problem here?" Adam looked up at the sky and then down at the ground. He rubbed his toe in the dirt thoughtfully. Then he looked up at the Lord and said, "Father, I have to ask, why did you make her so DUMB?" The Lord smiled and patted Adam on the back. He quietly said, "I did that, my dear boy, so she'd like you!" Teehee! There's some truth in there!

There's been a plethora of books written on the subject so I know I'm not alone here. When do they begin to learn to speak each other's language? Do they ever? Now that women are a great part of the work force and have studied alongside men in institutions of higher learning, they are a little more widely accepted in the career world. What does that do to the theory? Are the gut instincts still to keep those male/female guidelines in place? How does the fact that today's women want to be respected for their knowledge and not made to feel like they are "beneath" their mate in the area of intelligence factor into the guys' fragile world. Be it intellectual or physical, they still like to be the one in charge, the protector, the leader, the guy with the remote. And I guess when it comes right down to it, for the most part, we like it that way too. They wouldn't be who they are if they didn't feel that way...I would consider it 'beneath their manhood' if they didn't take on those roles. But I also think we should be more than just a pretty, soft, curvy, dumb female who likes them because we don't know any better...in their eyes as well as our own. Stepford wives may be the cookie cutter ideal of the submissive wife but they're not nearly as interesting as intelligent ones that you can have a heart to heart with. There is a happy medium in there somewhere. So, yeah,...sometimes I think about things...too much.

February 6, 2010


What makes a true friend? Someone who is always there for you in happy times and sad ones, tells you when you're acting stupid and even when you don't talk for a long time, you pick up right where you left off next time you're together.
I saw an old friend today. When our girls were small and in school together, we were together all the time too. But life often takes us on different roads and that's what happened to us. She's still right here in town but we don't see each other very often because we're always so busy. But the great thing about her is that I know she loves me even with all my faults and when we're together I can just be me. When we have a chance to visit, it's as if we were never apart. She's like the sister I never had. Hope she knows how much I love her! I guess that means she's my BFF! <3


It is my duty to report the sad news that Spring has gone to the Caribbean for an extended vacation! Driven further south by the brutal winds and massive snowfall that has covered the eastern US with yet another heavy blanket of frosty white crystals, she will remain out of reach of winter's icy blast until coaxed back to the mainland by whispers of melting snow and sprouting seeds under my grow light.

But until then,I plan to enjoy the lovely gift of winter's bounty by spending some time outdoors. The hungry little winter birds need some seeds to tide them over and I'm sure that Gimbledorf has used up his winter stores...Hot cocoa... and...Let's see...sledding, tubing, oh, and I think I'll get out the downhill skiis once the drive has been plowed. What about some sugar on snow? You know, I think I'm actually warming up to the idea! No pun intended!

February 3, 2010

Spring, roused from her mossy slumber by the soft chill of new fallen snow followed by flooding rains, has slipped quietly away to the south to await more favorable winds before advancing north. News of the prognosticators prediction of 6 more weeks of winter still ringing in her ears, she ponders her approach; wandering aimlessly round the budding bulbs that dare to peek their sleepy heads above the soft moist earth at the first signs of lengthening days. She kisses them tenderly to reaasure them that it won't be long now until the sun is allowed to spread his warmth deep into the sod, bringing more and more life and color to the lawns and woodlands across the landscape. Ever reaching toward the mountain peaks looming high above the quiet hollows from which she's recently been nudged, she looks longingly toward the north and the little valley, here in the Appalachians, where I make my home; knowing that I'm still here eagerly watching and waiting for signs of her arrival in the weeks ahead. Wander slowly, sweet springtime, until the hour is right for your peaceful march through greening fields and o'er grassy hilltops toward this quiet spot. Until then we'll rest, pondering the harvest of the sugary sap slowly creeping up through the thawing veins of the maple trees bringing nourishment to the lofty branches during the day and plummeting back to the roots at night to hide from the freezing temperatures. Thoughts of warming breezes ruminate round my sleepy head with visions of pancakes...topped with the sweet rewards of that harvest...and sugar on snow...with it's wonderful...strands...(yawn)...of sticky goodness... trailing.... from... my finger......tips.....

February 2, 2010


As I wander through the many thoughts that fill my mind tonight, I find that the different strengths that God gives each one of us amazes me. It's hard to understand how something that comes as second nature or plain common sense to one person can be so foreign to another. Often, these differences make understanding each other hard. Maybe too hard to deal with. It's sad to think about.
While there may be things that draw us to other folks, like shared interests or ideas, even blood, there can also be things that drive those same folks apart. Differences that make the friendship more of a strain than a blessing. Does that mean that we don't love them? No, but it might mean that we can't have a close relationship with them. Sort of like a form of self preservation.

February 1, 2010


Hello, hello. Is anybody out there?

Most of my musings are just for me; things I write down so I can find them again or things that came to my mind and made me smile.

Somedays I feel like I'm in a black hole and wish that I could just shout, "Hey! Can anybody hear me? Does anybody even care?"

But sometimes the things I write are because I'm looking for answers. Looking for...something.

Lord, can you reach down here and pull me out? Please.

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