Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sara (Tea)sdale

This morning the little tag on my tea bag reads:

"I make the most of all that comes,
And the least of all that goes."
(Sara Teasdale 1884-1933)

Do I? Shouldn't I? Why don't I? Yikes, I wish she'd have really felt that way. It seems as though she wanted to live like that, but apparently didn't get around to it. I pray I can do better than she did in that regard, or that Wikipedia is kinder to me
Tea today: Good Earth Green with lemongrass

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rising from Destruction

My heart and prayers go out to the hundreds, no thousands, of people whose lives were torn apart, turned upside down, and tossed as many as 150 miles away by an F-5 tornado on Sunday, just 20 miles away from us. The pictures and stories of survival that are emerging are simply amazing. I'm sure many of these people are wondering WHY?, while many of them just forge ahead and do what needs to be done. Homes and trees that flourshed for decades were stripped from the land, leaving piles of matchsticks and sheer destruction. To those who have lost everything, I say, have faith in God who has given you the strength to rebuild, to carry on. May 25, 2008 was planned by Him long before you were on this earth. He will be there with you as you forge ahead - more resilient and hopefully more faithful than ever.
Matthew 6:25-34

Tea tonight: Imperial Dragonwell Lung Ching

Sunday, May 25, 2008


They look harmless enough - thin blades of grass, wispy weeds, compact single dandelions, gangly spearmint - wandering far from it's original home. Who knew (certainly I never considered) that these once-welcomed signs of spring could undo months of faithful stretching, strengthening, and coddling to an allegedly healing back? Blades of grass, thin, but seemingly stronger than the nerves that cause the knee-buckling pain that shoots and numbs and throws one's gait off balance enough to cruelly remind me that I am not the same person who once attacked these misguided sprouts with reckless abandon and put them into submission. They used to fear me. Now they mock me into feeling as broken and useless and beaten as I must have once made them feel. It's as if every time another birdseed fell to take up residence in a once pristine bed of river rock, an osteophyte grew on those vertebrae. Jagged edges of bone, refusing to give way to the bending, twisting, squatting that in years past left behind only gentle reminders of forgotten muscles. It's time. I've heard the message loud and clear - "Move on to simpler and less, while there's still time." Quickly now, don't "dilly-dally," as Dad used to say. Be ready for the unexpected. I'm intent on viewing this not as a punishment or a burden, but an opportunity to stay faithful. I must. For in faith is our only hope. And not everything that is broken must remain that way.
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:3.

Tea today: Genmaicha

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cinderella in her Prince's arms

As Steven Curtis Chapman and his family celebrate the life of Maria Sue and her return to God today, I'm sure this song plays over and over in his head. I am reminded of the special gifts we are given, and how they don't belong to us, but to Him.

Tea today: Bigelow green

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hi Dad, Me again - Slough foot :)

I spent some time with my dad tonight. I deeply felt his presence, or more than likely it was my Father's presence. Whatever, we were all there together. The night was chilly, and as my aching knees fell on the cold wet grass, I couldn't deny the comfort in the fact that after 11 years, the sod and seed have finally blended in nicely with Dad's neighbors. That pleases him, I'm sure. He was always so picky like that, and I'm sure the crab grass that had been there the past couple of years drove him crazy. As do the flowers that now adorn his headstone - "Weeds!" he always called them, no matter how beautiful. It's a surreal experience that never changes - reading your dad's name on the granite stone, with Mom's name right next to his, no date of her death. I love and miss you, Dad. Say hi to Buddy for me. I really hope you two are friends by now.
And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, Isaiah 25:8
Tea tonight: Cheap Hy-Vee it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We Plan, God Laughs (great book!)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

~Jeremiah 29:11

Tonight, just a simple prayer.

Tea tonight: Tazo Zen

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Back in His arms (again)

My friend Judy's funeral was today. Typically I don't like funerals, but this one put me in a whole different place. I think this is "the place" one is supposed to be at a funeral. Peaceful. Uplifting. Forgiving. (Can't omit tearful). Perhaps it was the way she died and how she lingered. Perhaps it was how she lived, always basking in Christ's love. On Mother's Day they took her off the vent and it was week before she landed safely in God's arms. Back to where she belongs. As I looked around the church and visited with so many people I hadn't seen in a very long time, I was reminded me of how disconnected I've become in the last couple of years with so many people I enjoy and who bring joy. Old friends, really old friends, and old "forever" friends. When I took my salad to the kitchen, I thought to myself "This is where I want to the church kitchen, communing and cooking with some of the most delightful, selfless, and giving women I know." There is so much therapy in a church kitchen. Something sacred and promising about stirring a roaster full of scalloped potatoes and ham.

John Lennon knew:
Life is what happens
When you're busy making other plans.

I'm really praying for life to "happen" right now. The days are so full, so busy, so worrisome sometimes, that I feel like life is just something that's happening outside of myself. I'm an observer and not a participant like I so long to be - like I used to be. My life is running me, and it's running me ragged. Autopilot, GPS not included. Oh, to get away from the demands of the daily grind and to share my time with God's earth, the dirt, the spring, the tennis court, the bike trail....I don't want excitement. I don't need to be entertained. I just want to stir the scalloped potatoes and bathe in the joy that God intended.

That's what Judy's doing now.
Tea today: Double Green Matcha

Monday, May 19, 2008

My favorite 'room in the house...

...but it won't be here long :-( It's morel mushroom time and the crop is beautiful! Mom brought me two big bags from her hunting expedition. We did the traditional "fry 'em up" this weekend, but tonight I had a wonderful morel cream sauce with wine over my tilapia. Yes, it's possible to make a healthy "cream" sauce with skim milk. You just have to be creative, patient, and know when to stop (eating). It was tough tonight, but since I was dining alone I only made enough for me.

When I'm 83, I still want to be able to hunt mushrooms. I still won't know how, I just want to be able to. That, and a thousand other things. Kudos to my mom for keeping on keeping on.
Tea tonight: China Green Tips

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hannah - and I don't mean Montana...

I listened to a great podcast sermon tonight as I exercised (or if I'm honest with myself - rehabbed) - Pastor Caroline on Mother's Day. She told of Hannah in a clear, poignant way that I was able to really embrace. And it simply reflected life - how everything and everyone belongs to God. It was a great "mom" talk, but also for daughters, beloved Gmas, and really anyone. It ended with a beautiful prayer as only Caroline can do, and a funny, uplifting song. Good thing, or I'd have been in tears all the way home from the gym. Some people just inspire the tears right out of me. It was the only way to end a week that was far from normal, far from fulfilling, and far from pleasant. But listening to God's word is the only way to end (or begin,... or sustain) any week.
Tea tonight: Earl Grey Green

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

i am not a "rock scientist"

Nor am I a brain surgeon, a computer programmer, a plumber, or a forklift driver. Therefore, I would never be so arrogant to tell these people how to do their jobs or what they need to do their jobs effectively. So after 9 years of college, 35 years of experience, thousands of patients, and the hard-earned accumulation of alphabet soup after my name, am I really an idiot? Or just the garden-variety idiot savant? Happy Hump Day. It's apparently my day for the pity pot. Hey job, have I told you lately that I love you? I think not.
Tea tonight: Revolution Acai green

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

O 2 B 29.again

I printed and framed this for my "baby" girl 8 years ago. I'm proud to say she's still learning and growing, and has also acquired lots of life's lessons from people other than me. Tough lessons. Messy lessons. Real lessons. But lessons we all need to learn eventually. I only pray that every now and again, she reads it. And if you're someone's child, you should read it, too, no matter how old you are. Because in the big picture, we are all God's children.

Reflectons of a Mother
I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life...and I will.

Never, never, never quit. (This was lovingly stitched on her tennis towel, also)
Love, Mom 5/13/00
(My apologies for not knowing the author.)

Tea today: Blue mango green

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So many prayers, so few answers...

Lots of emotions were flurrying in my head this weekend, and that wasn't my plan. I wanted an empty, calm head. A strong, relaxed back. A sound, long night's sleep. That was my plan, but not His plan. Like we can really make plans. Someone once told me that if you don't believe God has a sense of humor, just try making your own plans. For a day, for your life, for your family, for your friends - don't even waste your time stewing about whether yours is happening. Our challenge is to trust His plans and know they are better for us than we can plan for ourselves. As long as we make choices that bring us closer to Him (free will is scary sometimes, right Bruce?), we can still make an attempt. So many derailments this weekend that sabotaged my alleged plan. Dis-ease. A heart-wrenching video at church Saturday, watched in solitude. (Was I the only one crying? I didn't look around to see, but I doubt it). Sad news about a church friend today. Judy, I have prayed for you for many months now. And Stuart, you're the newest addition to my prayer list tonight. Add to that my kiddos and my husband and of course, on this special day, my own mother, and it's no wonder I'm up all night asking Him to make the Plan clear. Like that's going to happen. I can still ask, can't I? The intent is that I trust Him that His plan is better, faith will get me up in the morning and His grace will see me through one more day. One at a time. It's worked for me for almost 57 years - and a lot longer than that for others. 3 John 1:4
Tea tonight: Green with strawberries

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Week that Was

TGIF, but not in the true sense as I'm rather fearing the weekend. It's one I fear every year because it gets so built up and expectations are high, and then .... whump. I missed my walk tonight and my back is reminding me of that. I missed my supper because my gut said "no, leave me alone." I miss my mom because I can, even though she's just a phone call away. I always miss my Gramma B. and am not sure why she has been in my mind so much lately. Maybe I do know. Her life was a struggle, she lived simply and without fanfare (Little House on the Prairie comes to mind), she persevered through the worst of the worst emotions, physical struggles, psychological pain, and she was a survivor. She had next to nothing but wanted no more. She survived longer than she wanted to. Her faith was her life and she lived it day in and day out. She was the one I'd hop in the Corvair to go visit when things weren't going like I wanted them to. I'd surprise her on a Saturday, and the bread would always be warm and the sugar cookies fresh. She listened. She loved. She reminisced. I usually cried. Her face would light up when I asked her about "when she was a little girl." I see her in me so much lately because I want to go back to that simple, less complicated life. I have been reveling in solitude lately and that sort of scares me, but I enjoy DQT (thanks, Pastor Mike) and a seemingly more organic life. In some sense, it feels like surrender. I'm ready to give up lots of "stuff" for that simple life, smaller abode, cheaper gas, lower profile, hands-in-the-dirt sort of life. Tomorrow I'll start with the push mower in the yard and we'll see where that takes my thoughts, prayers, and dreams. The smell of the grass triggers all three.

I'm holding some high expectations for next week, that it treats me better than this one, that it brings some hope and promise and renewal for what lies ahead. There are plans, this I know - for wholeness and not evil, for a future and hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Tea tonight: Jasmine

Sunday, May 4, 2008


My arms are empty, I cried as I left DM, and I cried when the boys and their S/O's left Hudson. They told me they read this. Do I feel like they might feel if I read their MySpace pages? Naw, I have nothing to hide, only the occasional goofy random thought.This will get very boring very fast, so I'm sure my following is short-lived, except for you old faithful friends out there. Here's a shout out to all of you. I thank each of you for the time we spent together this weekend, and can't wait to see you again. I'm so proud of each and every one of you - for persevering, for believing, and for loving each other. Treat each other well, take care of each other, watch out for each other - all of you. God is smiling, as am I. But He's not doing it through tears...or maybe He is. If so, they are happy ones.
Tea time: Kiwi pear green (Republic of Tea)