Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Summer Afternoon

I'm out on the porch, reading and absorbing the book I mentioned the other day, A Woman's Call to Prayer by Elizabeth George.

The porch is shaded and there's a faint breeze. One of my dogs is out here with me and he found a sunny spot to lay in. He does adore sleeping in a sunbeam!

Here he is... remember this one?

Every now and then he decides to get up and see if he can get away with wandering off to the woods to rustle something up. He's very trustworthy, but still... that's a no-no, so I go check on him and encourage him to rejoin me. The movement on this upper deck causes the furry ones below us to rouse from their slumber and protest their separation, as they're relegated to the downstairs patio and fenced area. Poor ol' souls!

When we all settle back down I pause for a bit, before picking the book back up, to listen to the music - the music of nature. We're in a wooded setting and the birds' songs are amazing; a myriad of chirps and tweets, near and far. Below our house (we're on a hill) a small creek runs through our property out at the edge.

(early Spring, pre-leaves)

The sound of the moving water combined with the birds' singing and the slight rustle of the leaves from the breeze... it's pure music! Even the drone of the buzzing bees adds depth to the melody. And just for dramatic effect, our neighboring rooster throws in his occasional cockle-doodle-doo! The butterflies, though silent, flutter by and add their beauty to the song.

As I sit here listening and enjoying nature's version of quiet, I keep thinking about this recipe I came across recently. I'm not some big foodie that has recipes swimming in my head all the time - it's just that this one is so bizarre... it's Queen Ann's Lace Jam! Weird, right? I don't know if I can bring myself to make it. I can't get past the "...and somewhat flowery" description of it's flavor. Blech. That doesn't sound appetizing.

Queen's Ann Lace

However, we do have Queen Ann's Lace all over the place right now - and you can bet that I don't pass by it without contemplating harvesting some (about 2 packed cups worth)... just to see!

Oooh, we just had a strong gust of wind. Honestly, those trees in the distance look like they have holy hands lifted in praise to their Creator when they sway like that against the backdrop of the summer blue sky. "... Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy" (Psalm 96:11)

Okay, I'm going to get back to reading.

Happy Summer! ...and may it afford you many opportunities to be still!!

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." (Psalm 37:7)

Sunday, June 13, 2010


He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” Psalm 107:9

Yesterday I started reading a book by Elizabeth George, A Woman’s Call to Prayer. In the second chapter she quoted that verse.

It made me pause and consider the things that cause our hearts and souls to long…

My greatest heart’s desire right now is to live in close proximity to these three.

It grieves me that our daily lives are not intertwined. I can't conceive of the notion that if things stay status quo, that sweet little boy wouldn't be able to come over to his grandma and grandpa's house just for a bowl of ice cream (because he knows we always have his favorite stocked), or that we wouldn't have the privilege of taking him to the park or zoo for the afternoon while his mom and dad do whatever their hearts' desire. That I can't suggest to my daughter on a whim that we grab our cameras and go for a hike, or ask the three of them to come over for dinner and a movie... you get the gist. I don't care if the Lord moves us there, or He moves them here, or He moves us all to Timbuktu - I just yearn for us to be nearby each other.

Some long for a certain job promotion; or for recognition of a job well done and for their efforts to be rewarded. (While the center of my prayers these days is to obtain a decent job, it is not a longing of my heart and soul, it’s merely a necessity… albeit, an important one.)

Some may be lonely and yearn for companionship; a soul mate. Others perhaps have an empty nest and long for children to fill their home.

Some longings may be of a more whimsical nature. I have a few of those!

I long to photograph (nature, particularly, it seems), to paint (with acrylics and pastels) and to write (even if the only thing I ever complete is the telling of my grandmother’s story). Sometimes I think if I didn’t have a creative outlet, I’d just shrivel up. The thing is, though, I don’t want to just dabble in those things, I want to become really GOOD at them (classes, teachers and mentors will surely be required). After all, if I’m going to do a thing, I want to do it well.

The trouble is, our longings and desires can get us out of alignment... and we become so intent on fulfilling them, that we forget to seek God’s will - or at least we seek it only half-heartedly. Sometimes I find it hard to remember that His will is always for my best. Presently, God has me just standing firm in Him, waiting for His clear direction; that is, the longings haven’t changed, but the clamoring has. While I sometimes feel disappointed, I don't feel desperate because I know He is trustworthy, and I’m confident that if I’m never afforded the opportunity to hone my creative skills (what will be will be; these things take time and money, after all), and even if I never again live in the same town as my precious kids and grandkids (this one would require an extra measure of grace), I’ll survive. I may even be content, because… if “I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.

(hymn written by Helen M. Lemmel)

Whether soulful or whimsical, what do you long for? Do you need realignment?

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteous, and all these things will be added to you as well.”
(Matt. 6:33)

(These guys are at this lake every time I visit. I like that.)

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18