Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just Think About It!

Imagine waking up every morning, wandering into the bathroom, rubbing the sleep from your eyes and finding this post-it-note reminder on the mirror....

Good Morning!  This is God.
I will be handling all your problems today.
I will not need your help.
So have a good day!
I love you!

.... an anecdote from Sunday's sermon last week at Covenant Presbyterian Church here in Naples, Florida.  It was part and parcel of a thought-provoking exposition of Romans 5 concerning the issue of how we are viewed by Our Maker in heaven.

Our 'RIGHTeousness' doesn't depend on us.
God's love is unconditional.
(We don't truly 'get' the term unconditional do we?)
His grace is sufficient.  
No matter how many times we falter, 
he will persevere with us to the end.
To the end.
No matter what.
Christianity is not about a religion that does good.
It's not even about religion.
It's about a relationship with the source of all goodness.
It's about helpless children of the first Adam RUNNING to the second Adam for the righteous life that they can NEVER manufacture on their own.

Jesus loves me, yes I know.
For the Bible tells me so.

Enormously comforting I'd say.

To My Precious little Peeps

 From the land of sun and rolling waves, a grandma reads a pop-up book to her grandest of peeps to bring comfort to her soul and (hopefully), a bit of sunshiny happiness to her little people while we await our reunion on a couch nearby and more familiar....

One of the glorious acquisitions from the Borders Bookstore Blowout sale.   A well-timed browse thru a bookstore gone bust.  ..... At least in MY humble opinion.  

By Mo Willems 
Paper Engineering by Bruce Foster (geniously gifted I'd say)

Big Frog Can't Fit in...
 She really wants to fit in.  But how??
Will Someone PLEASE show her?
 You see how poor frog doesn't fit in this book eh?
(Big frog is Canadian)
If only she were smaller she thought...
More bendable perhaps?....

But... sadly, she is not.  
And Big frog can't stand it!
Fortunately, Big Frog has a few fabulous little friends.... 

They are thoughtful and hopeful, as good friends generally are.  They are scheming up a solution.
It puts a little smile on her face...
 And here it is.
So Simple really.

Yeah.  Just Make a Bigger Book!

Aren't friends wonderful?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heaven is for Real

Just read it.
.... I'm still in a daze.
I have just been blessed in countless remarkable ways and find myself quite unable to comment further.
My mom has just entered eternity.  
Looking back, it seemed that she rallied to survive Christmas Day where she was given 
the strength & grace to briefly meet with & visit one last time 
with each one of her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

That night, (December 25th) we took her by ambulance to the hospital where she finally accepted the idea of taking some relief from the pain by way of morphine.  She got two doses several hours apart and then, when the Ontario Patient Transfer Mobile didn't materialize at 7am as promised, 
(she SO desperately wanted her own comfy bed/recliner) she threw back the thin sheet off the gurney 
in that emergency cubicle, 
ordered us to get her into a wheelchair and 
bust her out of the hospital ourselves.
  My bro Mark and I had stayed by her bedside overnight.  
He cast me a glance that read10% skepticism and 90% worry.  
Can we legally DO such a thing he seemed to be asking?
It didn't matter.  
Mom was already trying to slip off the gurney solo to put her boots on.  
Apparently, there would be no discussion.  :) 
Most of me was cheering her on.  Yay Mom!  You go girl! 
Who's got time for pomp and ceremony when time is so short? 
Mark went to warm up his truck; he pulled up curbside and together we helped our beautiful PJ clad momma into the backseat with as much dignity as we could manage.
She died five days later.  
Remarkably, though she was physically able to make heavily assisted moves from bed to recliner, 
she seldom spoke or communicated with us after that day.  
Her eyes were often open but focused to something beyond us.  
Approximately five hours before death - her friend Jane (from her Cancer support group) visited to offer those final gestures of good & godly love:  hugs, prayer, foot massages....
The room was very quiet;  
just a few of us were present when Jane looked up at Mom and asked her what she was smiling about.  Her one word answer? 
"Paradise" was Mom's final and pretty much solitary 
word that week. 
My Mom was getting a sneak peek if you will. 
My beloved and I have recently developed the habit of enjoying morning devo's online, listening to the radio ministry of Charles Morris of Haven Today.   
A ton of edifying resource material is recommended here and that is where 
we first learned about this book.  
It's the best $15.00 bucks I've ever spent.
I will quite frankly, 
never be the same.
.... I dare to wager the same will be true for you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Knitting Thing addendum

Here they are.
My first (and surely, ONLY) pair of socks made by my own hand.
What fun.  Seriously.
Competent knitter I am not, but still I enjoyed the process very much.
The thrill of accomplishment - the time it afforded me to simply sit quietly, creating * pondering * listening to music * OR best of all? * sharing comfortable conversation with those I love.  
I was really hoping to have them done before Mom passed away, but I missed the mark by two weeks.
Not that it ever carried the threat of fret;  by now we've learned a thing or two about this truth:
All things in the appointed time.
I first wrote about the Master Weaver here,
the One who knits us together in our mother's wombs,
the One who charts our lives and
carries forth every purpose laid out for us
The One of whom it is said:  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I still can't fathom it all.  And it doesn't matter that I do.
I can simply marvel instead.  That does matter!

I post the following picture as proof that at my great age, I can be found practising the liberating skill of laughing at oneself more often.  It was a quiet evening in early December around Mom's kitchen table, (the table with the really poor lighting) a decent enough place for six dice, not so for knitting on 4mm slick turbo needles.
After fixing the umpteenth slipped stitch, my little sister ran off to her place (it's attached to moms granny suite).
'Probably pouring herself a good stiff drink' me thought :)  
A unique thought to think about a teetotaller but, oh well.
'I hope she pours a stiff one for me too!' me thought again, more sensibly this time.

She soon reappeared and with a great guffaw (and no helpful libation in hand), affixed me with a miner's sort of headlamp to address the lighting issue.  She proceeded to play the iphone paparazzi and forwarded the end result.  It was a great moment of comic relief - I think we made enough noise to even rouse Mom's curiosity from the bedroom.  
We've spent quite a bit of time there again - at Mom's place.
It's so comforting to be at her place, among the things of Mom.
I will write about that soon, but I can't just yet.