Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holding On

I chose to dwell on the word "Hope" this year.  Last September, I wrote Fruition of Hope to explain how after Mom's passing, hope was hard to hang on to.  The gist of it was that I need to keep on keeping on trying even if it looks like I'm failing.
The thing is, I still haven't made hope a habit.   I think it was at one time, when I was younger, and both of my parents were alive.  But after Daddy died, it seemed like I was holding on to hope with one hand.  As mom would get sicker, I would feel it slipping from my hand, and no matter how much tighter I tried to hold on, I felt it fall from my grasp when she died.  (Fear not.  I had hope of Heaven for her and myself, but not much hope for me here.)
I'm beginning to think that hope isn't something I'm supposed to grasp.  My hand is supposed to be open in trust, and then it will perch there like a welcome parakeet (which makes me giggle, since "Paraclete" and "parakeet" rhyme), where I can tenderly embrace it rather than grab it.
Anyhow, I'm thinking that hope can't exist without trust.   If I trust my Heavenly Father, then I have hope that it will work out for the best.  So sad that virtues can't be worked on one at a time.  :-)

This post is in response to Faith Barista's Faith Jam: Hope

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crystal Tears

Over half my life ago, my mother and I watched a pioneer movie, the name of which I can't remember.    In it a little boy asks why it rains, and his father answers "God is crying."   Later in the movie, the boy's mother dies, and at her grave, he asks his father "Why isn't God crying for Momma?"   Neither my mother nor I heard the answer, we were both crying so hard for this fictional character's confusion and pain.

This memory came back to me on February 9, 2010, during my mother's funeral procession.  It snowed so hard that the hearse had to move so slower than I could jog, and that is quite a statement.  I thought maybe I'd try to write a poem to describe what I was thinking then.

Crystal Tears
by HRM
It snowed the day we buried Momma
A blizzard of frozen tears
mirror the grief inside my heart
God is crying for my loss
and suddenly I realize
His tears are so pure and beautiful
a reminder that my heart's winter
is the beginning of her eternal spring.

Friday, January 21, 2011

By Special Request....

The flame this was lit from was in no way harmed by the lighting of this votive candle.  :-)

I received this in a sort of chain email yesterday.

In memory of our moms, dads, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones of whom there are so many.

This year has been one with too many diagnoses too close to home.  For all the friends, family, loved ones, and those we don't even know...
Friday is world cancer day - I'd appreciate it if you will forward this request 

I usually don't pass these on or share them, but since there was no suggestion of curses or blessings dependent on whether this was passed on, and my dad died of lung cancer many years ago, and my mother in law to be from breast cancer a few years later, I decided I could share this short prayer on my blog.

Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer.  Amen 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pleasantly Disturbed Thursday: Bun Bun Speaks! (Well, Writes Actually...)

Today is a special day!  Bun Bun, whose twitter handle is @BunBunRabbit, has agreed to do a guest post for me today.  Well, actually, she has been bugging me to get her her own blog, but she needs help getting onto the twitter as it is... I just don't have time to school her in the ways of blogging!  Still, despite my selfishness, Bun Bun is gracious enough to share with us some of her thoughts on this Pleasantly Disturbed Thursday.
Hehehehehehehehehehehhehehe hehehehehe

First off, I have no idea what Helen is so busy with that she can not set me up with my own blog and guide me into the blogasphere!  It's not like she posts here all that much, and when was the last time she contributed to FOTTSP?   Even the recipe blog she shares with Miss Annie has gone neglected.  I can't see what the need for recipes are anyway.  Mix some delicious lettuce with delectable carrots, and you have a feast!  Who needs a recipe?
She says she is busy working on her New Year's Resolution, which is to organize one room in her home per month.  She started with the biggest disaster, the master bedroom and bath.  Humans are rather cute, even if they are silly.  You won't find any sensible rabbit worried about organizing her burrow.  She tosses out the dirt, then settles her kits (you darling humans call them bunnies) in, and voila, they have a home!
Her and her buck (his name is "Bob", and she calls him her "husband".   I can't stand that word because it makes her sound like a farm animal.) were really busy reorganizing a closet on Saturday.  If you ask me, I think they have too many clothes.  I have just the fur,  yet it serves me well no matter the weather or the occasion.  Helen and Bob could really learn a lot from me if they would only open their minds!
They went to see a movie about a lion in charge of a fantasy island on Sunday.   She said it was very good, but that I would be more interested in the trailer for a movie called Hop.   She then found it on YouTube and played it for me.

Candy chicks and rock and roll.  I can dig it.  Maybe I can talk Helen into letting me hop into her purse and taking me with her when she goes to see it.    Anyone know if they sell lettuce and carrots at the concession stand?

This is Random Musings contribution to Pleasantly Disturbed Thursday, where you will find many more perplexing posts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Abundance From Little

My friend Jason is hosting a sort of poetry circle today.  I'm not much of a poet, though I do enjoy reading poetry.   Today's inspiration is Jesus feeding the 5,000.  I love that story.   I love how he took so little, and made it more than enough.   The Word of God transforms what is meager to plentiful!
I'm not sure that by making it a conversation, I am following the format correctly, but the following poem is supposed to be a Tanka.  Tanka is a Japanese poetry type of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the rest of seven. Tanka is the oldest type of poetry in Japan. 

Abundance from Little
by HRM
"The people need food"
"Share with them what you have brought"
"But it's not enough for all"
"First place it into my hands
where it will become a feast"

Click here to see Jason's awesome poem "God Shows Up" and some links to other incredibly awesome poems about Jesus feeding 5000 people!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Broken, But Restored

Last August I told you all about my neurosis about breaking my mother's or mother in law's china. I treasure the china that was washed, dried, and put away by their own hands.  When I touch things which belonged to them,  it's the closest I can come now to touching them now.

But my most treasured possession is a bowl, much like the one at the top of this post which I found on google images that apparently sold at auction for 1 whole dollar back in November.  My mom used it for salad, and she would wash and dry this bowl herself.  She would tell me how that bowl was once her grandmother's, then it was my grandmother's, then hers, and that one day it would be mine.  She thought the bowl was really something special, and while we had a fancier fruit bowl from Europe that was given to my parents by his Canadian cousins, this bowl was her treasure.   She stopped using it one day when she almost dropped it, and put it way back in the bottom of the kitchen cabinet.  It was a treasure to be put away for me.

A few months before my Dad passed away, Mom came home from errands and found Dad worried.

Daddy:  I'm sorry Helen.  (My momma's name was also Helen)
Momma:  What's the matter, Frankie?
Daddy:   I thought I'd organize the cabinets,  and I took out your grandmother's bowl, and I dropped it.  It's broken.  I threw out the pieces already.
Momma:  Did you cut yourself?
Daddy: No.
Momma:  That's the main thing.
Daddy:  I know what that bowl meant to you.
Momma:  Not as much as you do...

While I wasn't there, this is pretty much how mom said it went, and I believed her because of my own experience with how she reacted when I broke treasured china.   She always was more concerned about the person in front of her than the meaning behind an object.

Shortly after Daddy passed, I needed something from the cabinet.  Mom hadn't yet told me about the broken bowl.  I guess she hadn't the heart to disappoint me.  Daddy had "organized" the cabinets so well that I couldn't find anything.   I had to get down on my hands and knees and pull everything out of the cabinets in order to figure out.  I guess I really didn't need to go into the very corner of the very bottom cabinet, but since I was there, why not?  I pulled out great grandmother's bowl and called mom to come into the kitchen and take it because I didn't want to lay this precious piece onto the floor.

My mother walked into the kitchen, saw the bowl I was holding in my hands, and she cried.   Then she told me how distraught Daddy had been such  a short time ago over breaking what he thought was that very bowl.  I told momma that I was sure she reacted with the same gentleness she always did when I broke something, and she relayed the above conversation and added with tears "Still, Honey, he felt so bad!"

What could Daddy have REALLY broken that caused him so much anguish for my mother's sake?  Well, being the chief apprentice in her kitchen, the only thing I can figure out that was missing was a green Corning ware bowl that was chipped on the handle anyway.   We had that hidden away in case we ran out of bowls and were desperate enough to shame ourselves with that one I guess.  He broke something that we never would have missed.  Something we should have thrown away anyway.

Believe it or not, I use that bowl.  I keep ornaments in it around Christmas, decorated eggs at Easter, and fruit or pebbles or something I change off the rest of the year.  I like to touch it and feel a connection between my great grandmother (whom I never met, but from the stories my grandma told, I'm sure I would have loved her), my grandmother (whom I knew and dearly loved), and my mother (whom I loved even more) and me.  It strikes me as funny that to feel that connection, I have to put it to use, risking that it could break.   Though I could apparently find a bowl like it online and possibly purchase it for a dollar, it wouldn't have held the priceless touch of three generations of women.

This post is my contribution to Peter Pollock's One Word blog carnival. Today's word is broken.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas

Yes.   I've been walking around wishing people "Merry _____ Day of Christmas" this year.  I've posted such on the Twitter and the Facebook, and have made the wish out loud to family, friends, and people at the grocery store.  Is it because of the song which, while fun, makes you wonder what she did with all those birds and the eight maids a milking?  Absolutely not.
Traditionally, Christmas is a season, not a day.  This season BEGINS on the 25th of December.  I think Christmas is such a let down for some people because they prepare prepare prepare only to celebrate it on one day.  Or they believe they should celebrate it all December while preparing for the big day at the same time, leaving them less time and energy to prepare.
We feel guilty if the Christmas cookies aren't made by December 25.  Why?  Unless you are hosting the First Day of Christmas at your house and need them for dessert, what is so wrong with making cookies to bring to neighbors on December 28th instead?  (BTW, I'm not knocking Cookie Party Exchanges.  That's a great idea, especially if you are hosting December 25 or bringing dessert).
I realize that people with children have to have everything "Santa ready" (insert your own meaning into that phrase, please), but if you give your child more than one gift, why can't a smaller one be given on one of the other days of Christmas?   Or maybe it wouldn't be so bad to buy Christmas gifts for people you won't see until after Christmas after Christmas?
Maybe it is partly because I broke my toes and couldn't do much before Christmas, but I am glad for the extra time to buy gifts for people whom I wouldn't see on Christmas anyway.  I'm also glad that we had some celebrations together after the "BIG day".  I enjoyed baking kolackys with my uncle this past weekend, and can't help but think of what a gift it is that we get more than one day!
Seriously, it is the retailers that want to make it one big day that you have to do big and perfect.  They count on this one day to make the most money they'll make all year, but for those of us who are celebrating the Incarnation of Christ, one day is not enough to contemplate, celebrate and communicate it!  Twelve days aren't enough either come to think of it, but there is always next year!
How are we going to celebrate the twelfth day of Christmas?  Before Bob goes to his Bible Study group, we will bless our house, as we have each year on Epiphany since we moved here.  
The Anglican priest on this blog seems to use a house blessing ceremony similar to ours.
Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas.  Be blessed by the mystery and wonder of the Incarnation of Christ always.  
Please join me in singing the last Christmas Carol of the season.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year And Merry Tenth Day of Christmas!

New Year's Resolutions... some people like them, some people don't.   I like the idea of a fresh new year.  I like a fresh start, this year especially.   2010 was a bad year.  It started out with mom in the hospital, then she died.  My husband's friend (best man at our wedding), who later married my cousin and became family, died.   My husband had some health issues, which are thankfully over now.   I broke my toes, which are now healed.   What am I thankful for from 2010?  THAT IT IS OVER!!!!   I have hope for a new year, a fresh start.
That said, my first resolution is a continuation of last year's resolution, which, when carried out, added up to one positive change a month, however small.  (Really, tea one month, wheat bread the next... not a whole lot to accomplish actually, but overwhelming if attempted all at once).   I know, I missed some  months, but I'm really happy with the changes I did make, and want to keep moving forward.
My second resolution is to organize one room in my home per month.    The idea of organizing my whole house seems overwhelming, but at one room a month, I should be organized before the year is over with part of the year to spare (maybe I should include the garage and cars, huh?)!    Even if I have last year's track record of achieving my tasks just over half the time,  that would mean half the house is organized, which is better than nothing.  (Did I mention it has been a tough year?  I may have gotten just a wee bit depressed and let things go.... Okay, I totally did...)
My last resolution, most tellingly, should have been my first, and I am already struggling with it.  It has to do with "first fruits".   Too often I start the day without prayer, and find myself squeezing God in somewhere at the end.  It's not like I'm that busy.  I just fail at putting him first.    I need to SCHEDULE prayer time, just as I schedule getting together with my friends.   Really, it's not like I pop in on them at 10:30 or 11:00 at night (ahem, 1:30 am) because I finally thought of them.   While God IS there for me at that time, and not exactly bothered by having to be up early and needing His beauty rest,  I can see that I have fit God into the borders of my life rather than the center.  The only way I can see in my head to remedy that is to give God some "Prime Time" if you know what I mean...  Time that I wouldn't infringe upon for just anything... (Because really, I'm sure that He'd be cool with "rescheduling" if need be, but if I wouldn't "reschedule" friend or family for whatever reason, it'd be a poor reason to reschedule prayer...)

Fellow blogger Sharkbait, did a post a couple of days ago where, though he himself does NOT like resolutions, he suggests choosing a word to focus on for the year.  I like that idea.  I choose the word hope, because I truly hope it will be a good year for us all.
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(click the above link to see Sharkbait's post.)