Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter musings

Easter turned out very well this year in spite of its beginning. Mom wasn't feeling well so she couldn't come, David and Venessa celebrated up north with her family (easier on both of our dogs) and my brother wasn't coming whomever showed up. Oh well. Michael and I threw something together in the form of corn beef, sweet potatoes and cottage cheese. No dessert since I ruined the angel food cake (I'm not a very good cook - in fact I stink at it). Anyway after dinner we asked Daniel and Karen if they wanted to play cards so we played Hearts, drank a beverage of choice and had a marvelous time. The dog "crashed". We plan on making it a regular thing! I'm sure the dog will. All's well that ends well!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

God's Loving "not only" hands but arms!!!!!

Tonight was Easter vigil high mass at church tonight. As I sat up in the choir loft watching the new baptized members of our church receive confirmation God hit me square between the eyes. As they stood up in front of the congregation in front of the altar Fr. Bob goes to each one and as he dips his finger in oil and does the sign of the cross on their foreheads he says their name and says "I confirm you.... then he puts his hand on the side of their shoulder, looks them in the eyes and says, "peace be with you". As I watched this ceremony unfold I experienced a tremendous feeling of comfort passed on to them as if Jesus stepped in, picked them up and held them in his arms in the most gentle, loving, comforting way. The definition of the word "safe" cannot be matched or described any other way. It was almost breathtaking for me. It reminded me of when I was new in the Lord and I would watch people as they returned from receiving the body and blood of Christ. I use to feel guilty as if I should close my eyes and pray instead but what I experienced was so overwhelming that I couldn't help myself as if Jesus wanted to bless me in that way. I could almost see and feel the great presence of His love for them - sins and all. They would shine with His love for them and yet be so individual in every way as they came back to their seats with all their fears, happiness, insecurities, beliefs, lifestyles, where they lived, how they dressed, what they did for a living and yet His love for them was the same for each. You could almost see how He accepted them dirty or clean, happy or sad, joyfilled or angry. His love shown through to each of them. Maybe that is what heaven is about to a small degree. We are limited here on earth and the full extent of His great and powerful Love is revealed after we die and go to heaven. I hope so. The small amount of His glory that I get to see is "so little compared to the glory that is yet to be revealed" (paraphrase), Romans 8:18

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life Without Varicose Veins

Life is pretty good these days. I'm past the surgery for my varicose veins - not bad at all. I had 2 days off my feet at home with pain meds and then uphill from there. Dr. Mendelhoff was great. As he left he said, "Good job". Actually I thought he did all the work but in the medical field it is a team effort; patient, dr, nurses, medical secretaries that type up all the at-home papers and appointments, anesthesiologists, etc., etc., The weather is turning upward - 40 today and spring is on the way. Karen and I went to run some errands and plan on taking a trip to the DMV tomorrow so she can reapply for her permit. She really wants to drive mainly because she is tired of asking for rides. Even though it's going to cost her money, I can see her point. It is fun to spend time with her being my only girl. She has so many interests with her schooling, friends, trips to Europe with the band (I don't think she has come down off of that cloud yet), and her wonderful, gifted piano playing. I'm soooo jealous. :) We stopped at the library and she is playing all the tunes from the music books she got there. David and Venessa won't be here for Easter which is a bummer but I predicted this would happen eventually with them being married now. They have to choose which side of the family they are going to spend time with and I know it's easier with the Sophie the dog up north. Hopefully we can connect this summer for some fishing and down time with them and the Millers.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

He who sings, prays twice!

I was at choir tonight. Even though I have always enjoyed singing, sometimes I feel like I'm not really a part of the group. I have thought about suggesting a party or get together of some sort but I always chicken out. I don't understand how someone can be a part of something without really being a part of something. We all sing together Sunday after Sunday but we really don't know each other. I always have felt that it would be a much better world if we all knew just a little more about each other. Our joys, our pains, our gifts, our life experiences, even some of our secret desires for ourselves or how we feel about Jesus. But no one wants to "go there". Last week I had asked one of the choir members if she could call the choir director for me (I didn't know the email address) to let her know that I would miss the next practice and Sunday service due to surgery for varicose veins no one said one word to me at practice tonight and it made me feel bad. I blamed myself because I really didn't tell anyone out side of the director who for reasons unknown to me doesn't seem to want to know me at all even though she converses within the group to individuals when we talk together inbetween song practices. Then I started feeling guilty because I hadn't had a prayer time this day but knew that God would understand and forgive me. Then I realized that I was getting ministered to by the music I was singing in preparation for Easter. Singing those words and taking them in with their meaning made all the diference. It was like I was praying the songs as well as singing them and God was loving me right where I was at that moment in time through all the "dirt" I was carrying through the day and the self-pity I was feeling within the practice time. Surrounded by all those people that were mere acquantinces who didn't want to know anything about me, God who knew me before I was born surrounded me with His love and peace and security and I went home feeling okay.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Time Marches On

I just got off the Wood Funeral Home website to view pictures and condolences from my Uncle Bud's obituary. He died in February of this year (2008). The pictures are of a generation that I never met. He had 3 kids - Judy and Joy (twins) and Gary. Gary and I were the same age. They have all grown up and had kids and their kids have had kids. Wonderful thing, however, it is sad to see that time has marched on and the only person I know in the pictures of all those people is my uncle's. Yeah, I recognize his kids' pics but time and distance has done a real job on breaking down the definition of family and I feel kind of bad that distance and "life" keeps me out of the picture as they stand around him with all their smiling faces and they don't even know who I am or ever will for that matter. And yet I love him as much as they do even though I know him from a different perspective or generation. The definition of "family" has a new definition. We are all related in some way and my memories of him will be entirely different from theirs. It bothers me that the distance of our understanding of another family member will never even come close to being similar and that's being generous. Somehow it feels like such a loss for me but I find comfort in the fact that they too love him and he loved and enjoyed his time on earth with them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

And away we go

When I was a kid I use to love to look at clouds and see if I could see anything up there other than clouds like birds, UFO's, and planes. As I grew older I still enjoyed watching the 747's rise into the sky and disappear as they flew through the clouds and out of sight. Many times I would be at work or somewhere where I didn't want to be and I would wonder about where they were going and who they were. I would think "wouldn't it be fun to be flying high into the sky going somewhere that was wonderful and different and somewhere that would only take an hour or so on a plane as opposed to 5 or 6 hours by car. Those people are so lucky they can get away from the hum-drum of life and fly away to some other less stressful place". Lots of times i would wish I was them with all their money and time away from work to just "go". I share this because I just got back from 3 airplane rides in one day. I started in Greenville, Miss. at 5:30 a.m. Caught a plane to Memphis, Tenn. at 7:30 a.m. then an hour later on to Milwaukee, Wisc. at 12:30 p.m. and then hopped a plane to Minneapolis, MN. to finally arrive at 1:00 p.m. Needless to say I am ready to stay on the ground for awhile. It is interesting when something is at your disposal how easy one can no longer see it as something that you long for or think "how great that would be". It seems that the unattainable things in life are the things we crave. Possibly because we have never experienced them. Sometimes I long for that unattainable desire to be there. It tasted better than the one I have right now after spending most of my day on an airplane. Possibly because I can't imagine or dream about them as I see and hear them rising in the sky. I now know where they are going, what it's like to rise in the sky, and what it's all like.