I know we have not been very communicative since I started school. I am being pressed on every side it seems. This is a good thing. I am not sure what season with the Lord you are in, but I believe I am in winter. The life has gone to the roots to prepare them for more growth in my life. Every once in a while, I see glimpses of what God is doing. Just like when the snow covers the ground, it is hard to know what is happening deep in the earth. Whatever happens we see it when spring comes. The earth seems to know just when to release the seeds that need to be birthed forth for our enjoyment. I am not discouraged nor am I encouraged. I am experiencing Him in a new way. A way I have not been before. The struggles are real, but here is what I know: 1. God is good 2. God is good no matter the circumstance. I hope this encourages you. The bed and breakfast is just about ready for YOU: those who need a place to get away. Let us know when you would like to make reservations. Blessings to you.
Finally! A goal reached! What you may ask? College. That’s right, college! I am 56 years old (December). I started my career in the Navy. College was a minimal thought as well as a different career path when I was younger. Now, looking at what is ahead of me, now is the right time. My father had a desire to see all of his children obtain something that he could not: college degree. Being a wife, mother and even grandmother is very fulfilling. Being in business for myself as well as helping others is also very fulfilling. So, why college? Because now is the right time. Now is the time I have to accomplish a goal that earlier seemed unobtainable. But I can tell you that it is not and you are not too old!
So whatever it is that you think has been delayed, think again, it just might not be time for you. But there is a time coming….wait for it. You will know when it is right.
(I chose this picture because it depicts how most of us feel when we have accomplished a life long goal.)
Finding a large rock in one’s garden is always an experience. You are doing what needs to be done in the garden. You are tilling or in my case you are finding potatoes. You are faithfully turning over the soil when all of a sudden, you hit something hard. I guess I could let my imagination run away with me. For instance what if it was buried treasure left from the Civil War or the Revolutionary War? Wouldn’t that just conjure a myriad of images and sounds! The gun and cannon fire! The marching of the soldiers! The soldiers coming home! What if someone in the past left a time capsule that they were intending on digging up? What information would we find? What would it tell us of those who once lived here. The Native Americans, the pioneers, the robbers, the moonshiners! Oh, the history that would be uncovered!
Back to reality. Stina and I were turning over the dirt to look for potatoes when I hit something hard and it sounded like a rock. We had been finding small ones in the garden and tossing them into the bushes and thought it was just another small rock. I put the shovel in under what I thought would be the whole stone. However, when I went to lift, it did not move.
My mom started collecting rocks for a rock garden when I was younger. I happen to love collecting nice sized rocks for the flower beds I have had. I especially like collecting rocks from river beds. To remind me of the good times our family has had there.
Stina put her hand in the hole and went to lift it out. She couldn’t do it; so I removed some more dirt from the area. It appeared bigger than what even she expected. We worked that rock right out of the ground! I was amazed at the size! It was the size I would normally get from the river and here was one in the garden!
When I was a young girl, we were at my aunt’s house. She wanted to plant a garden in a specific spot. So while we were there, we helped clear the area. There was a stone showing in the ground where she wanted to plant. My father started to remove the dirt around it. The more he removed the more this stone was turning into a rock and not just any rock. Through the use of a series of instruments – shovel, hoe, chain, truck and tractor – we finally removed the boulder that was in her back yard!
I shouted for my husband to come and see this rock we had found in the garden. He came and lifted it up and off he went to dust it off and put it in the flower bed. I believe every one should have a “rock in the garden” story. My rock is a lot like what we experience in life. We keep looking for things that may or may not be there. We found the potatoes. Some were still in great condition, some were small and some were rotten. Some of the potatoes were in areas that we didn’t expect because that is not where they were planted. Our journey has twists and turns in it. We hit those “rocks” in the garden.
The question is what will we do when we find those “rocks”? Some will be ones that we cast aside. Some will be ones that we will want to keep as a remembrance of a memory or some will be so big that we just can’t or shouldn’t do anything with them. Or should we? My aunt made that boulder part of her garden.
Jesus tells a parable about a man who found a treasure in a field and went to purchase that field. In deciding how to tell my story, I thought about this passage. My heart is the field that He purchased on the cross. His love is the shovel that continues to till the soil of my heart. The rocks He finds are the areas of my heart that do not align with His love or character. Yet He continues to work the soil of my heart. He is making something beautiful in me.
So, I just thought I would “rant”. I just looked up the word and I think this is what I want to do….bear with me.
So the first one I want to “rant” about is vocabulary. My daughter gets the books where you can do many different kinds of crosswords, puzzles, search words, etc. You know the types. Well, I have a confession to make. I need your forgiveness to start. I cheat! Yep, for those of you who know me this may come as a surprise. I have no excuses. I have been analyzing my motive for this defect. I have come to the realization that I do not have a wide range of vocabulary. There are these long words (50 cent words) that if I had learned them, I have not used them so I feel inadequate to understand them. Many of them I have to look up to see what they mean. Several times I have begun to relearn the meanings of words. The reason I am even bringing this up is because good friends of mine have opened a deli in our area. They are a couple of integrity. There were a group of people who sat outside one evening. As I was serving them, I commented on the fact that they had great weather to sit outside! One person commented on the fact that they couldn’t “cuss” inside. I was surprised by the response. I was speechless. As I thought about the person (whom I did not know) and the comment, I made a few observations. 1. This person was dressed business casual (why would he want to use ignorant language?) 2. Asian decent (nothing about this, just observation.) 3. Aren’t there better words in the vocabulary to describe what one feels than cussing?
Next “rant”. Children. I love mine. I would do almost anything for them. However, here lately, I have another confession. I had made them an idol. I know no one else has done that. As I have repented of my sin, the Lord reminded me that I needed to lay all down and follow Him. I have to trust Him with them and their decisions/choices. I have to move forward so that I can do as He has asked. It is very exciting to see what He will do in me. But I also know that as I lay them down, He will lift them up. He will accomplish His plans and purposes in me and them.
Third, technology. It’s great, sort of. Some have a concern about losing the “personal” part of life. A friend of mine has a radio spot called “The Microwave Moment”. That is what we have now. It seems that the younger generation is being trained to not think for themselves or develop fully because of what is available. (Again, I do know that technology is great for what it is.)
Fourth, the weather. Who really believes that complaining will make it either better or worse? This winter season has been long for our area and even longer for the north. Spring hasn’t even been normal. However, as I have tried to pay attention to this (yes, one should pay attention when things happen.) I can see the benefit of the change in weather.
Finally, (thought it was long enough…) Love! God’s love is for everyone. As I have sought forgiveness from the One in whom my heart desires above all else, His love has overwhelmed me. Because of what He did on the cross, He did for you. He loves you! And I love you. He is calling you to Himself. It will be a commitment of faith. If you are looking for a miracle, salvation is the greatest miracle you could have.
Della sat by her husband’s bed side as he slept peacefully for the first time in days. As she looked at him, she seemed to notice the up and down rising of his chest. The medicine had taken hold of him and now he seemed so peaceful. The doctor hadn’t given him much longer, but now she wondered, hoped he was wrong. In her heart, she knew it would not be long. As she looked at his face, her memory seemed to be playing tricks on her. She remembered the first time she saw him. She was 20 years old and he, a youthful 28. He came in to the diner where she worked. It seemed she had worked there seemed forever, but in reality was only several months. It was the first job she was able to secure after the burial of her parents. When he walked in, Sandy sat him at her table. She walked up as he was studying the menu. As she pulled her pencil from her ponytail, she asked what he wanted. He looked surprised as though he was in deep thought when he looked her in the eye and said “Tea, please”.
“Anything to go with that tea?” she asked.
“A date, perhaps?”
“We don’t serve dates here.”
“Could you make an exception?” he asked. Turning pink, Della tried not to smile. It played at her lips.
“I will have to check with the cook.” Moving to go put in the order, Della was trying to figure out if she knew him from somewhere, after all she had lived in town all her life. Sandy seemed amused at his forwardness.
“Who is he?” asked Della, “I don’t seem to remember seeing him around before.” Sandy seemed to be reaching into her memory. “Did you ask him his name?” Who could? Staring into the bluest eyes she had ever seen? “No.”
“Why don’t you when you take his tea over?”. Della chuckled at the simplicity of Sandy’s thinking.
Phil stirred under the covers. Della came back to the present. She placed her hand on his arm to let him know she was there. He looked in the direction of the touch. His heavy eyes opened only a slit, but he knew she was there. He smiled weakly. Della smiled back trying not to let the tears that had formed fall. His mouth moved ever so slightly, had she not leaned in, she would have missed his words. Love Dove. That was her pet name. Phil’s face filled with pain and she smoothed his graying hair. Making soothing sounds, she continued her vigil. Looking at him now, she remembered the first time he had called her that. It was their wedding day. He had found a place in her heart. As soon as the vows were said and as he brought his face close to hers, he whispered Love Dove and kissed her. Over the years, that remained his pet name for her. Phil was not the romantic type, but she never doubted his love. When life seemed to want to swallow them up, he would look at her, say “All will be well, Love Dove” and she knew as long as they had each other, it would be. Children were born, a son lost at birth, job changes, but still he stayed true to her and their family. Then one Saturday after having lunch with Joe, Phil came home changed. She wasn’t sure what had changed but she knew something had happened. There was a quietness and peace about him. A confidence she hadn’t known before. They usually talked about everything. There was nothing secret between them. She knew him well enough that this would be a time when she would wait for him to tell her what had happened.
Phil stirred again as though trying to get up. She laid her hand on his shoulder once again.
“It’s ok, dear.” she whispered.
“He’s here to take me home”, Phil whispered, “May I go, Love Dove?” Della knew she would have to let him go. He had served his Lord well since the time of coming into relationship with Christ. How could she let him go? Peace seeped into her heart, her soul, her mind. “Let me get the children, they are just outside the door.” Della wasn’t sure she could move. She wasn’t sure she was ready to loose the love of her life. Opening the door, Della simply said, “It’s time.” As she watched each of her three grown children come into the room, she knew she would cherish the memories that seemed to flood her. As she sat next to Phil, with the children around, she whispered, “Everyone is here.” Phil tried to open his eyes, but had difficulty. Della started to sing silently and reverently as each of the children joined in. Though silent tears fell as she sang, she watched her husband slip from this world to the one awaiting him as the last note was sung. A peace filled the room. Phil’s struggle was done.