Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When your heart rips open and love pours out

Didn't I just say that blogs always come on days when I have a dozen other things lined up to do? Well, maybe it's a test to see if I'll be obedient to the Spirit or the flesh. That lends a slight spiritual emphasis to the tension, doesn't it?

Today I want to talk about Buddy...the little gray, some-kind-of-mix-of-mutt dog we took in over 10 years ago. He was found wandering in a town many miles from here and first adopted by a man Ted was working for. Unfortunately this match did not work out, so guess who brought the dog home? Let it be written and known that it was not me this time! For once I was in favor of passing him on...we had just returned from Mexico and I was burned out and felt I did not need one more thing to take care of.

But no matter how hard we tried, Buddy just wasn't meant to be anywhere but here. He joined our pack as the littlest, and maybe the not-so-brightest member. He never bonded with our other two dogs who had such a close relationship that when one of them died, the other mourned. Buddy hated walks with a passion, which is one of my criteria for a good match of any dog for us. He had no special attachment or interest in any of us. The only thing he really loved was food...any time of the day or night, Buddy was ready to eat. Well, now that I think of it, maybe he was a good match for us!

Anyway, Buddy wanted us and that was that. He made it known from the beginning that he would do things his way. For that reason, we had no high expectations for Buddy, and he liked it like that...a life of sleeping, eating, doing his duty, and an occasional turn about the yard made Buddy a happy and contented pup.

But time changes all things...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When you haven't loved well and you know it

They say honesty, openness, and transparency make for a good blog post. We shall see.

This is one of those written-from-the-heart-I'm-not-sure-what-people-will-think-but-I'm-going-to-risk-it-anyway blogs.

The humbling kind.

The kind that I will still include in my grandchildren's book someday, thankful that they can learn from my mistakes...probably glad that I will be gone by the time they read it. Grandchildren do seem to idolize their grandparents, don't they?

So, I've cancelled all my activities for the day. I've told my husband not to come home for lunch. I've nixed attending tonight's Bible study. All I want to do is cry. And think. And repent.

There are days you can run from what God is saying, and there are days you need to turn around and embrace it. This feels like one of those Jonah Days...when God allows you to slam into a wall and you realize that you have been running in the wrong direction...moving under your own power and understanding...

But now it's time to stop. Turn around. And repent.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The beauty of an ordinary life

Winter has a way of slowing me down. I'm not into winter sports...or any sports for that matter! Well, except hiking and walking if those are sports, but probably not as usually a sport involves competition...with someone else. It's just me and my camera and my binoculars competing with myself to see how far I can venture on my rambles and explorations. And that's the way I like it.

This slowing down during Winter is something I have learned to embrace. Our winters are milder in North Carolina than the ones of my childhood in the Northeast.  I have learned to bear with our four short months of gray and clouds and cold. As they say, "If you can't beat it, join it."  My gardens and all around me are at rest...any outside work has to wait until Spring whispers her invitation for the world to awaken.

Being forced to be inside has its being more time to read my stash of books and work on photography and blogging and other interests that bring me joy.  And I love sitting in the warmth of my home watching the variety of birds that flock in to our feeders for the daily smorgasbord I offer them. They are so much easier to spot without those pesky leaves on the trees!

Right now I'm working through the book, Magical Journey...An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Katrina Kenison. Most of the book has been underlined, which means it will take its place on a specific area of my bookshelf reserved for books that speak to me. Or, as I like to think, I could have written!

They are the handful of books that come to mind when someone I know is going through something I've already walked through...the books I want to buy them so they too can be blessed and encouraged by the truth within. True book lovers will understand this compulsion!

Today Katrina talked about the beauty of an ordinary life. Doesn't that sound lovely? After all, that's what most of us have...ordinary lives. And the idea that they can be beautiful...well, it just sounds so hopeful!

I don't know about you, but I have never desired to be famous. Well, maybe in my teens for some reason but I was delusional then. The idea of people watching me and following me and being in my face sounds nightmarish to me. I am an introvert who can be an extrovert for short sprints of time, but in the end am happiest when I can return, with a deep sigh of relief, to a hidden life. Please know that I'm not against people being long as it's them and not me!

So, the beauty of an ordinary life...what does it look like?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Bluebirds and sinners and grace, oh my!

I know years go by fast for two reasons. First, it's always Thursday night and time to put out the garbage. And secondly, The-Great-Bluebird-House-Clean-out-Time is upon us...again.

The garbage thing is no big's Ted's job to drag the loaded can up the gravel driveway to the roadside. If he ever dies I will just leave it there.

But the birdhouse clean-out...that's a 2 person to do the work, and one to write down the pertinent data. That be me.

Now, if you don't have 33 Bluebird houses to clean out you may struggle with understanding the breadth of this task. It started innocently enough with a few houses. And then the babies from those houses needed houses of their own. And every year this issue has grown exponentially until now it is akin to a nightmare. For us, not them.

So this weekend, if it doesn't rain, we'll drag out the ladders and heavy gloves, the screwdrivers and scraping tools, the drill and extra plastic entryway covers, and load them all into the car along with my trusty book and pen, and set out to see what the past year has wrought.

Don't get me wrong...I love Bluebirds and I love helping them. Not too long ago they were struggling to survive development and loss of habitat. Now the Nuthatches are feeling the same pain. Don't tell my husband, but this year I have plans to put up a few more Nuthatch dwellings just to lend a hand. I ask you...can I do any less?

Last week I was out birding with friends, and we were talking about I can't remember what and I shared how the Flying Squirrels have taken over some of the houses, and one of the women said, "Oh, how cool! I've always wanted to see them!" And I said, "Well, then feel free to come along because we've given up three of the houses to them and I'm sure they're there."

And I'm sure they are there. It's another case of "Aw, they're so cute (when they're not jumping out and flying in your face as you open the birdhouse door)...and look at their little tiny babies...even they need homes so let's leave them alone." Guess who said that?  wasn't Ted.

And that's what's got me thinking this things get into our lives that may seem good, but they aren't helping matters any.