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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rooted and Established as Winter Lingers


My fascination with the intertwined trees continues.  Each time I pass these trees, I pause and take them in.  Sometimes I snap a new picture.  This pair...this couple has become representative of marriage in my mind; and there is often a new thought when I gaze upon them.  Sometimes it is a fleeting thought and other times requires some pondering.  I love their pose...they depict a lifetime of commitment...joined together...an embrace of sorts.  Us against the world, the elements, whatever comes...we will stand together.

With snow on the ground right now and spring imminent, our weather has been wildly unpredictable.  I don't seem to know how to dress for the day and realize I'm not the only one.  If you look closely at the trees, they are wearing buds...dressed for spring but standing in the snow.  Regardless of the weather, they are still together...making it work...planning for the next season...arms uplifted and praising their creator.

I know God has the seasons in His hands...not just for the trees, but for me and those I love as well.  I will try to enjoy each season, each day, looking to Him for what comes next and knowing that He will provide what is needed.

Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said:  "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him." (Daniel 2:21b-22)  


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Songs in the Morning...Unclouded Day


Many mornings I wake up with a song running through my head...usually it is a praise/worship song of some kind.  I feel like it is God waking me up...sort of like my Mom waking us kids up by singing "Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head. Get up. Get up. Get out of bed!"...but not exactly.  ha ha  As we grew older and were harder and harder to rouse, she resorted to an 8 track player located in our formal living room at the bottom of the stairway that led up to our bedrooms.  I haven't verified it, but I think she used Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass most often because she knew at least one of us would race downstairs to stop the noise!!  

The songs I hear in my head are a much more gentle wake up!

Now I know that at the last trumpet there will be all kinds of waking up happening (1 Corinthians 15:35-58); however, I'm fairly confident it will NOT sound like Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass (here's a clip in case you're curious)!!

So a while back, I woke up with a song playing in my mind from the previous Sunday's praise time at church.  It was an old song...not one of my very favorites...but a good one nonetheless.  We attend a church where you are likely to hear all genre of music at some point.  I think there may not be an instrument that the music minister there cannot play; so there is a place for everything from the cello to the banjo,the piano to the accordion, and the bongo to the washboard! When we heard this song, Unclouded Day at church, Pop leaned over and said that his mom and aunts used to sing this one sometimes when he was a kid.  Sweet memory for him. 

Anyway, I thought I'd share the lyrics and a snippet of this oldie for you.  I hope God wakes you up with a song in the morning...it's a great way to wake up.

Unclouded Day (listen to a clip here)
Words & Music: Jo­si­ah K. Al­woodcir­ca 1880


O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
O they tell me of a home far away;
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.
Refrain
O the land of cloudless day,
O the land of an unclouded day,
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.
O they tell me of a home where my friends have gone,
O they tell me of that land far away,
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the unclouded day.
Refrain
O they tell me of a King in His beauty there,
And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
Where He sits on the throne that is whiter than snow,
In the city that is made of gold.
Refrain
O they tell me that He smiles on His children there,
And His smile drives their sorrows all away;
And they tell me that no tears ever come again
In that lovely land of unclouded day.
Refrain

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quiet Time Interrupters...Kids

A while back DW told me that she was up early for some quiet time and one of her "littles" got up and interrupted.  (Heavy Sigh.)

I knew exactly how she felt!  I told her that when she was small (like three or four), she was my quiet-time interrupter. It seemed that no matter how early I got up for Bible reading, she would get up and "find" me.

DW commented that maybe it was her payback now.

Neither DW nor I really think that God works that way, but life seems to have those things that "come around"...as in "what goes around, comes around."

So I was enjoying some time in the Word recently and that conversation popped into my head with a new revelation/realization...are you ready???

Just as we are designed to sense our heavenly Father moving and active in our lives, our "littles" seem to sense us active and moving in their lives.  

THEY SEEK US OUT...They come to see us in action, they come to get their needs met, they come just to snuggle, THEY JUST COME!!!

I wish I had made that connection so long ago...I would have been so much more patient...I would have seen that my child loves and trusts me SO much that she feels free to come to me - anytime - anywhere - anyway - and for any reason.

Oh, Father God, thank You that we can come to you as Your "littles" and trust that You are always ready and willing to receive us.  Thank You for Your great love that You so freely lavish upon us.  Help us to see You in our everyday lives and in the lives of our families.  Thank You for not viewing us as interruptions to Your important work.  I love You, God.  Amen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Out on a walk with these cats...

is a great place to be!
 
As one of the mommas with a baby, I don't often get to sneak away with the big kids.
 
Lil' Ruthie and Q man were taking a nice long nap one beautiful afternoon at Four Sisters Farm.
 
I offered to take the four big fellas on a little walk. 
 
I needed the exercise and they needed the activity.
 
They each grabbed their buddy and away we went.
 
 
At one point, they huddled up and created some kind of plan. 
I was not privy to the plan but I did document the meeting.
 
Of course, no walk at Four Sisters Farm is complete without a stop at Grandkids' hill.  They climbed to the top and gave me their best "tough guy" look.
 
I was glad I had my camera handy for this walk. 
These are the kind of moments I want to remember forever.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Turbine Trouble

Our small farmhouse has four turbines on the roof (among other things).  They are designed to take the heat out of the attic space.  I guess they work.  I haven't checked the attic temperature to see and don't plan to.  I will just take the experts' word for it.  I think I need to qualify my statement that they work...they work when they are working...if you know what I mean.

We recently experienced the "Blizzard of Oz" which was snow accompanied by some really high winds and I found one of the tops of one of the turbines in the front yard.  It was broken and bent.  Pop is the one who knows about these things, not me; and since he was out of town, I called to tell him to see what needed to be done.  I did know that without the twirly-gig top, rain (and possibly other things) could get into the attic.  Before I called him, I checked the weather forecast and was relieved to see that there was 0% precipitation coming while Pop was gone.  I mean, it is cold and windy out here anyway, and I'm sure it is even colder and windier on the roof.  Please...don't make me go up there!

Well, Pop doesn't believe the weather forecast all the time (neither do I, but I sure wanted to this time) so he told me I would need to go up there.  He said I would need the BIG ladder as it was the only one safe to use...I would need to take some plastic up there...and secure it over the gaping hole left by the missing twirly-gig.  I told him I wasn't sure I could handle that ladder.  He said maybe I should call EJ to see if he could come out, but after talking to Farm Chick, I learned that he has been working a lot lately.  Hmmm.

Okay...so...I put on my fancy pink farm girl coat and my roof shoes (okay, there's no such thing...I put on my hiking shoes coz I figured they worked well at Yellowstone and should keep me from slipping off the roof), and I put on my "Handy Grammy" attitude.

The ladder wasn't as heavy as I remembered it.  I carried it out of the pole barn and put it against the house (carefully avoiding the snow).
I gathered up black plastic, some wire, my wire cutters, and my work gloves and went out there.

I stuffed all my supplies in my pocket since I was nervous about climbing the ladder anyway...and climbed up.  I also had my phone in my pocket to take pictures...partly to share this adventure on the blog and partly so there would be some evidence of what caused my accidental injuries and/or untimely death if I didn't make it.  I'd hate for my family to think I was just partying on the roof.

So I carefully climbed up and took a picture of the turbine missing its twirly-gig.  As I took the picture and assessed my position on the ladder versus the roof I wondered how in the world I would safely get on and off.  I am much better at getting on the roof than off.  Getting off scares me a little.
I decided to move the ladder over near the chimney so I could at least have a chance of grabbing on to something if I needed to.  I congratulated myself on not being too hasty and thereby hurting myself.

I couldn't avoid putting the base of the ladder in the snow but I decided that would be okay.  Falling off the roof into the snow surely wouldn't hurt as badly as falling onto the hard ground, right?  So up I went.  I felt like Dr. Seuss' Yertle the Turtle...being on the roof offers a nice view of the farm and the neighborhood.  Okay...I had my bearings...I was up safely...I had the things I needed to affect a temporary fix.  I documented the broken turbine when I realized I was not on the roof alone.  Our ladder-climbing farm cat, Snowball decided I could use some help.

Silly kitty.  

She did her own survey of the damage. Yep...here's the problem.  She quickly lost interest and did her own version of Yertle the Turtle.

So I got busy and put the plastic over the hole and wired it on.  

Then I headed over to work up the courage to come down the ladder.  Snowball came over to the ladder too; although I don't think she was ready to come down from her rooftop experience.

It occurred to me that I was not only going to have to get myself down from the ladder...I had to get Snowball down as well.  So I clung to the rock (not kidding) and got myself in place and called the silly kitty over.  She objected a little but I grabbed her and held her close to my chest with one hand and spoke softly to her as we worked out way down (okay, maybe I was talking to myself).  


We made it!  Pop will be so proud of me when he gets home and sees my handiwork...and the blog post...and me in one piece.  Whew!  Handy Grammy strikes again!

Friday, March 1, 2013