Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A long way off

I was reading in Luke 15:11-32 this morning and something really made me read this passage several times. You know the story, the Prodigal Son. Son wants what's his, asks his dad for an early inheritance, squanders it, nearly starves and then wakes up with the realization of what his bad decisions have done and goes home.

I know the story, we all do; but it was this one little bit in the midst of this story:  "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.(Luke 11:20b)

Did you see it? Did you get it? The son did not have to do anything for the father to be filled with compassion and run to him, the son. The son had not even yet opened his mouth to say, "I'm sorry, dad. I was wrong."

I know that I often put all of the pressure on me and hope for a "right" response from God. From this passage, all He wants is to see me come around the corner towards Him and He will meet me not just halfway, but all the way.

Turning around....again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Days

As the weekend before the first day of school looms large, I sigh. It has been many years since our last child graduated from school and moved into the workforce. This year, even though we do not have any kids to shop for any more, I could not resist the urge to buy and put away some supplies for "just in case".

I remember with a heart smile each of my kids first day of kindergarten, of junior high, of high school and then of college. I remember the day before and after my first child said "I do" to their wonderful wife. I now am adding the memory of my first grandchild getting ready to go to her own first day of school.

I am completely in awe of the ways God wove His way in our lives. There have been good times and heart aches. Memorable moments and regrets. There have been the times that still bring laughter quickly to our lips and times that we hope will eventually fade away.

No matter what, however, all is with a grateful heart.

At this stage in life there are not any "do overs" but there is a sense of being connected into something bigger than what one person can comprehend.

So, no matter where you are in the process, don't rush through the hectic schedules that you are and will be encountering. Say yes to the pony folder or the Spiderman pencil. That tshirt with the funny saying is okay. Sign up for PTO even though you don't know how you will fit one more thing in your schedule. Agree to volunteer with the band boosters or athletic boosters. Make sure your camera has new batteries and an empty memory (or film if you still use it).

This is a first day - for you and your child. Hold it close. Cherish it. You will need it in the future.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things On the Left and the Right

Okay, an exercise. Whether in futility or not is yet to be seen - maybe a scrapbook page, maybe just something to read for later. Who knows?

Things I like:
  • Walks on the beach in the fall or at midnight (empty beach/cool weather)
  • baby yawns and baby feet
  • smell of baby powder
  • smell of baking bread
  • thunderstorms
  • holding my husband's hand
  • smell of a clean house
  • cuddling a puppy
  • sound of the waves hitting rocks
  • color of waves on the Pacific Coast near Big Sur
  • view of the ocean from Hwy 1
  • Watching the sunset over a body of water
  • tulips
  • getting a bouquet of tulips
  • watching tulips grow and bloom
  • walking in the snow
  • reading a good book during a rain storm
  • laughing with friends
  • singing in church
  • making up a song and singing it into the wind
  • watching a baby sleep and seeing them smile
  • hearing the voice of one of my granddaughters say my name
  • riding roller coasters - especially smooth ones that take your breath away
  • cooking for friends
  • surprising someone with something they wanted and getting to see their face
  • looking down into Yosemite Vally and being totally in awe of God's creation.
Things I don't like:
  • sub woofers in a car 3 cars behind me
  • sad endings in movies or books
  • small talk
  • liver
  • cauliflower
  • being ignored
  • being yelled at
  • being a passenger in a fast car
  • washing dishes
  • crying
  • feeling powerless

Monday, August 2, 2010


I remember fishing as a kid. My brother and I would go get our bait - either worms from the garden, minnows from the pond, grasshoppers from the field, or cheese from mom's fridge. We would get our rods and reels ready, make sure our little tackle boxes were ready to go, pack a snack and a jar of water, and walk across the field to the pond behind our house we lived in. I was in second grade and my brother was in first.

The getting ready was only half the fun. Laying the line out just perfect in the middle of the pond and hope that the last storm had not moved the underwater log. The leisure of sitting in the shade on the side of a pond just waiting for a fish to take an interest in my hook. Watching every bob of the bobber, playing the line ever so carefully to invite nibbles that lead to bites, patiently waiting for the pull of a "bite" that you could feel with your hand on the line. Jerking back your rod to sink the hook and then the "fight" of pulling in a fish that you knew would be dinner tonight. Nodding my head at my brother - the competition now on to see who could bag the most and get the honor of bragging rights for the best that day.

Then, after several fish are on the line, snack time. If the wild plums or grapes were ripe  - on the walk to the pond we would pick some to go with the bologna sandwich in the bag. Some swallows of water and it was back to fishing. Need to wash our hands...no worries: the back of our pants was sure to have a clean spot.

I look at my life now and long for the simplicity and innocence of that time. No place to be in a hurry, no prize in sight, patience a virtue, and needs were simple. Fears of germs non-existent, concern about sweat and grime not a problem, competition was honest and for a good cause.

I know the whole story behind that glimpse of the past. The fish were a Need - they truly were supper. My brother and I both had fears, they just were not at the pond or in any of the fields we hiked through. Home was filled with hurry and heart aches - the shade of the trees were a refuge from more than just the sun. We were two little ones who played a part in a much bigger drama that consumed our lives.

I look back now to get a glimpse of how did I deal with the pressure of that time? How did I have the patience to wait for the next fish? What can I learn now to deal with my hurried world that I live in today.

Maybe, it's time to go fishing again.