Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It doesn't seem appropriate to say Happy Memorial Day, when so many are awash with grief. Five years ago my third son went to Iraq...he came back, for which I thank God regularly. Tom and I have a close friend who served in the thick jungles of Vietnam. He witnessed too much, but God has sustained him. My youngest brother died of cancer in the month of May. He wasn't a vet, but I remember him on Memorial Day just the same. He loved life, and in his honor, I will enjoy this day with its parades, visits to cemeteries, and picnics.

Tom and I watched the Memorial Day event held in Washington D.C. on PBS last evening. There were some beautiful presentations, representing so much sadness, too much loss, offering hope and inspiration. The fallen are honored, lest their deaths be in vain. I imagine all of the survivors -- moms and dads, wives and husbands, children, friends -- are comforted, strengthened, buoyed by the outpouring of attention for their lost loved ones.

Tough stuff.

To all Veterans out there and to those whose memories we honor today, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

And Still...The End is Near

So much kidding around about the prophecy that didn't come to fruition. One of my favorites was: I guess on Sunday when people feel really upset that the rapture didn't happen, we can't console them by saying, "Cheer up, it's not the end of the world." But my very favorite was a weather strip by a meteorologist. It had all the days of the week with forecasts and appropriate pictures: Monday chance of rain, Tuesday thunderstorms, Wednesday sunny... up to Saturday -- rapture (picture of people floating upward) -- chance of judgement.

But for all the joking (and I did my share) -- according to the Bible, the end will come...and after that judgement. It may be far off or may be soon. Way back in the year 66AD Paul was saying that Jesus would return soon. Preachers have been warning their parishioners for hundreds of years. And godly men, even if way off base, have been predicting dates and times for what seems like ever. It leaves many of us wondering what part of "No one knows the day or the hour," from Matthew 24 is unclear. And the Bible is clear on this: all of our days are numbered. This world is finite, all of its days are numbered.

Some are taking a chance that there is no eternal life; when you're dead, you're dead. Others are quite sure they'll spend everlasting life with God in heaven. Either way, you've got to have faith. Faith that this world is it, all there is. Faith that the world made itself, complete with flora and fauna. It formed all of its inhabitants out of next to nothing, which evolved into us, our pets, and all things that creep, crawl, walk, and fly.

Or you've got to have faith that someone had a plan and created it all. I only have enough faith to believe the latter. Faith became reality. When I confessed faith in a creator, He revealed himself to me. What started as blind faith became as real as real can be. I wish I could show that reality to everyone, but I can't. I can only encourage others to look and see. If you look for Him, he will be found. If you want to know Him, he will be known.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

Clearly this is the kind of post that belongs on my other website. But when Tom and I were doing yard work on Saturday: mowing , weeding, preparing a garden plot, cleaning the pool, sweeping the porches and walkway, assessing the overwhelming mess in the barn --old junk and worthless clutter covered with bat droppings and pigeon poo-- honestly, all I could think was, "I hope Harold Camping is right." I felt like my corner of the world was all dirty. I was really hoping for a new one. But alas it's not to be. Yet. So we continue cleaning up, caring for,  redeeming what we've got.

As it turns out, the place cleans up pretty nice...

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Swim...

and then cold and rainy again. Spring brings vibrant colors, greener grass, sweet flowers, all kinds of renewed life. But it's cold again. Too cold to swim, and today I heard it's going to be a cool summer. That's not music to my ears, but oh well, we'll make the best of it.

For now, 2 sets of sisters, almost impossible to capture together...

Playing outside (not sisters)

Hiding inside (not sisters)
Climbing up (not sisters)
 Sharing tea ( sisters!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

All of my boys (and daughters-in-law) were with me in spirit, represented by phone calls, cards, and good wishes. But Adam and Alicia were here in the flesh -- the day before Mother's Day.
My very favorite card had Snoopy on the outside and a four-year-old hand printed names on the inside. (But honestly kids, each and every card, and each and every one of you is special to me...but, it's just that, hmmm... what can I say? Your nephews [or your kids] my grandkids are my favorites now. Can you live with that?)

Tom went hunting early Saturday morning -- he cleaned up after slaying a turkey, then we went out to eat.

We went out for brunch, took a walk in the woods, visited, chatted, caught up. It really was a fabulous day. The guys set up a tripod so we could get in a picture together.

The best part about the weekend was that the weather was gorgeous in spite of the forecast for rain both Saturday and Sunday. I love it when the weatherman is wrong about rain!

On Sunday morning I phoned my mom before church. It sounded like a party with Dad, Aunt Lou, Uncle Harry, and Aunt Ro laughing and talking in the background, and all of us trying to holler "Happy Mother's Day" to each other. Speaker phone -- not the greatest form of communication. They were having their own brunch and then heading out to the golf course. A good Mother's Day there too!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tuesday, Saturday, Thursday

What do did these days have in common?  April 26, April 30, and May 5 were sunny days. Lawn work, junk day, walks, catching rays...gotta love it! The weather man just told us that it rained 24 out of April's 30 days. Soggy.

But today (Thursday) was lovely...

Four little girls. My friend asked if it was kind of like the old days. I had four boys, spaced much farther apart than these four girls. And they stayed here all day, every day (and night). This part time nannying is just the ticket -- I get a nice baby/little kid fix, and then they go home with their mommies and daddies. So, no, it's almost nothing like the old days.

It's just...Betsy's Day Care. Open one day a week, by appointment. Afternoon naps encouraged.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama bin Laden is Gone

On the one hand...
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" -- Martin Luther King
On the other hand...

"I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." -- a quote possibly (probably?) by Samuel Clemens / Mark Twain (Sounds like something he'd say.)

In my own words...

I've been trying to sort out how I feel. Actually, I've been trying to figure out how to articulate how I feel. Certainly I'm glad that further threat from Osama bin Laden is gone. But how can I possibly celebrate the death of an enemy when God clearly commands that we love our enemies? 

If bin Laden's death brings closure or comfort to the families of his victims, I'm glad for that. I only hope it  assists them in their healing.  I'm satisfied that justice is served. But then again..."Vengeance is mine, says the Lord." 

Of course, I'm grateful to the brave soldiers who courageously took on such a mission. They deserve praise and honor for doing their job well. I'm beyond glad that they came home safely.

I wish there were no wars, no evil people, no man-made tragedies. I wish that all people were good, and that all good people were nice. But that isn't the world we live in.

Osama bin Laden is dead. My heart is not glad, but it is impossible for me to follow that with, may he rest in peace.