Friday, April 23, 2010

All Things New

My Super D Duper friend over at Adoptyuen, blogged recently about the Sabbath. Interesting. Old ways. Even when we think we “get it” we often don’t. Not for very long. Real change is really hard. One of my favorite all time sayings, and if you’ve known me very long you’ve heard me say it more than once: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

Why! Oh, why!.... Do we think doing the same thing over and over will work? Especially Christians. We have the NEW Testament, the NEW Covenant, the promise we will be made NEW and yet, like the disciples, we go back. Back to pain. Back to sin. Back to old habits that destroy us instead of putting on the NEW self, created to be like God.

Why are we prone to wander, Lord? Why do we always want to go back to Egypt?

I’ve been in the book of James. Heavy stuff. Heavy stuff on faith and works. Faith without works is dead, you know?

But here is the wrinkle I see. That passage in James identifies 3-4 key evidences of faith at work. And... it’s not what you’d naturally think. In fact, I’m looking at works in a NEW way.

James says, “Feed the poor, clothe the needy and visit orphans and widows.” That’s easy. What’s harder to work out in my mind about works are the tales of Rahab and the Spies and the story of Abraham and Isaac. Faith at work can be a high risk undertaking. Faith at work goes against the grain. Faith at work is sometimes a private matter. Faith at work goes against common sense. By these examples, faith at work often appears to be sacrificial. Yet, in 1 Sam 15 God says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Whoa.

Rahab’s and Abraham’s examples of faith are NO LESS SIGNIFICANT than the obvious instruction about serving the needy. Yet, because certain acts of faith are intensely personal, more relational than tangible, we sometimes fail to identify them as acts of faith. From a desire to be obedient, we go looking for concrete good works to do. Truth be told, we want others to notice them, too. We don’t always go looking for the good works GOD prepared for us to do, either. Been there? Done that?

We sometimes get hung up on our own ideas of what a “good work” is. If you read Jill’s blog, you hear her tell the example of how the disciples did that. Good works that complete faith do not come from ourselves. Good works do not come from the letter of the law. Whatever you make of acts of faith, make sure they are also acts of obedience. I guess that’s the point.

Perhaps, if I could remember all God did in the wilderness outside of Egypt, I wouldn’t want to go back to doing things my way. If I could hold on to the bright hope for tomorrow with both hands, I’d listen to God’s unique instruction, trusting Him instead of leaning on my own understanding.

Is anyone tracking with me?

Maybe God isn’t interested in us doing the same old thing because he explicitly said, "Behold I make all things NEW." (Rev 21)

Friday, April 16, 2010


W. H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,

And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

Can you relate?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April Showers

April Showers bring May flowers. What I really want to be doing is gardening. I have my new ladybug flag to keep me company. I did research on cerastium and the silene uniflora I bought yesterday (when it was sunny). I bought a new pot to go with Jillian's geranium she picked out. We should be planting. But it's raining today. I'm cold.

My house looks like this.
Dishes in the sink. Crud on the counter.

Laundry on the couch. Free curriculum still in the box and on the floor though I've looked through it three times. Photo boxes in the hallway for the framing job I was doing earlier. Messy.

Jillian doesn't seem to mind the rain. She is painting rainbows while wearing footsy pajamas. A life lesson is modeled before my eyes.

Here is my ribbon box. On a day like today, when laundry and dishes are staring me in the face and mini-messes are calling my name, what did I choose to do? Make a rainbow of my own.

What's important to you on a rainy day?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


One of the simple joys in Oakhurst is spotting the Bug Lady. It took me the longest time to figure her out. She drives around town in a red VW beetle with black spots. How cute! How clever! And I kept seeing her parked at the Western Sierra Nursery here in town. Duh. She owns it. I guess she drives around in a precocious vehicle just because..... I’m a bit of a ladybug myself. Red is one of my favorite colors and I don’t mind standing out in a crowd. For more on ladybugs, read Jill’s post here.

When Evan was turning 3, I purchased little magnifying glasses, plastic tweezers and bug cups for party favors. The night before his birthday, I also purchased a bag full of ladybugs and released them into our yard. My little bug-lover was born in March when aphids begin their attacks in the Bay Area and ladybugs are for sale. How fortunate that we could enjoy such a silly insect hunting party! What kind of cake did I serve? Bugs Life probably. Ahhhh... those were the days, when I went out of my way just because.....

Roses. Once upon a time, I had 8 on our little suburban parcel. Mr. Lincoln was my favorite and I miss him still. If you follow my blog you know that last year, the deer were having a field day with my new roses. New roses were my attempt to recreate the glory days of suburban living while living in mountain area hostility! The deer were reading my “out to lunch” sign and helping themselves to a budding harvest. Then came the voles... but that was a blog for another day.

Both pesky critters and ladybugs alike are plentiful here in Oakhurst. I’ll take ladybugs anytime! Last year they were ALL OVER my garage! Watching them transform themselves was wonderful. Have you ever walked through a swarm of them? I guess it’s another one of those local enjoyments. Not everyone has seen a rattlesnake, but many of us have a ladybug story to tell. I guess it’s why many of us live here, to commune with nature, endure its surprises and revel in its wonder.

Ladybugs. Not cacophonous creatures like the bullfrogs our friends have to put up with on their property or creepy like the bats in another friend’s attic. Ladybugs are polite (they don’t bite), protective (they eat aphids) and even generous (they let you touch them). For all the larvae they littered my house with last year, not a mark was left when they were gone. Eventually, they flew away home leaving not a trace, but a pleasant memory. They gave us enjoyment just because....... Ladybugs are friends.

Ladybugs. Pretentiously beautiful but humble in heart. You’ve heard the cry, “A ladybug!” Time stands still. Everyone wants one to have and to hold. Don’t you always count their spots? Don’t you marvel at their movement? Don’t you sigh when they finally fly away? Simple joy in a blessed moment.

Last week my friend sent me a garden flag. What can I say? It’s not my birthday. It’s not a holiday. My friend sends me something beautiful and sweet just because..... SHE is a ladybug and when I am with her, time stands still. I count her admirable qualities, marvel at her pure motives and sigh when she drives away. Such friends never bite, protect you from enemies and are generous enough to let you in to the treasure chest inside. Such friends are always more than welcome and every moment shared is blessed.

Ladybugs. Simple joy. Just because.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Contest Winner: Literature Trumps Winter Sport

The "Early Bird" Gets the Worm... so sorry this is a day late.

We had to hunt and peck for all the family members, finally corraling Daddy rooster to cast the deciding vote. We combed through our entries sharpening our beaks for inspection.

We clucked and crowed about the dioramatic entries for our Peep Contest. After viewing many pictures in which movies and tv shows were represented in aPeeppriate fashion, we finally decided that literature trumps winter sport.

Honorable Mention (pictured here) goes to Winter Olympeeps which gave us much joy and laughter as we all marveled at the Flying Bunny miraculously suspended in air and the all too appropriately named, Half Peep complete with Peeps!

But our winner made is positively “Mad! Mad I say!” Alice in Peepland reached the top of the pecking order with its highly individualized party. So many flock members contributed! So many chicks represented! So much imagination! Alice in Peepland demonstrated some kinda Pluck and it didn’t look Cheep! To see for yourself, click on Alice in Peepland. Fluid, organic, painterly and where in the world did those microscopic peepy tea cups come from!? (One last thing Alice in Peepland Peeple, can I have your address so I can send you your amazing wonderful Peep prize? We don’t know you, but we love you and if we ever meet you, we shall have tea, if you have the time.)

Yoke of the day: While making a Peep Diorama for the Schneider Annual Peep contest, young Jack ate several marshmallow peeps. Concerned over a possible tummy ache, his mother hoping to discourage further indulgences, warned him, “Too many sweets can make you sick.” Jack replied, “Sweets? I thought this is what they meant when they said, “It tastes like chicken”...

Okay. I heard you moan. I’ll stick to blogging.

For your information and edification, we recommend you check out the other Peep diarama entries. They were so much fun and even fowl. What could be more exciting than Iron Chef Peeps? and Jurassic Peeps? (spoiler: the Peeps die)....

I hope you have a good time chicking out the brave eggs that feathered their nests with creativity this Easter Season. Thank you for sharing the fun! I gotta Crow!