Another wheel-bug

Friday, January 31, 2014

There has been an appearance of another wheel-bug today (the fifth). Four of his cousins are already residing happily in the freezer, waiting to be added to Ike's impressive insect collection, but nobody is really sure that his collection needs five wheel-bugs. The first one stuck around here for a few days and became quite an old friend; he would sit comfortably on the windowsill and gaze sadly out at the snow-covered landscape, then grow chipper when the sun came out. We have no idea where they are coming from, especially because the outside temperature ranges either below zero or just above; a  harsh life for a poor bug. But there is something comforting about the way they keep appearing, reminding us that spring will be here before too long. Well, perhaps Ike could use just one more in his collection.

What Rights?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Often I am struck by the words of a friend and mentor. "What do I have rights to?" he said. "What do I deserve? I deserve nothing, based on me, based on my goodness, or what I've done, or what I've earned -- nothing. It is only by God's grace that any of us have anything -- the breath of life this morning. By the mercy and grace of God I don't get what I deserve that is bad, and I get far more than what I deserve of what is good. It is all about giving up our 'rights'; I am entitled to nothing."

He spoke those words nearly a year ago, yet I think of them often and am ashamed to find within my own life that it is all too easy to forget their truth. I was reminded of them again as I read this morning in My Utmost for His Highest.

"Obstinacy and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Jesus.... All I do ought to be founded on a perfect oneness with Him."

May He cause my heart to be turned toward Him; may I be reminded of this daily. Truly I deserve nothing.

Dear Sister: your dish day

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's Friday. Your dish day. I know it seems long; perhaps that there are a hundred other more important things... And yet. Never underestimate the power of a cheerful spirit despite the ordinary or the mundane.

"We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed." (Brother Lawrence)

Take heart. Think not of the greatness of the work. And keep your bright laughs and ready smiles coming.

My Rock

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

He is my rock, and still I fall
And grasp out blindly in the dim
Yet He is there, my All in All
If I my blind eyes turn to Him

And He, who wipes away the dim
And showers blessings undeserved
Can cause blind eyes to see again
And make the stubborn heart to move.

Psalm 42:11

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him,
Who is the health of my countenance,
And my God.


Monday, January 13, 2014

It is late afternoon, and the sun is slanting through the west window. Somebody just pulled something absolutely tantalizing out of the oven, and somebody else is at the kitchen table, quietly writing a letter, and Mums is playing piano. It is the new piano, given to us by a kind Vermonter, and we are grateful. It has been used well and loved much in many homes before ours, and we are the next happy recipients of its warm tones. And Mums plays well. I could never grow tired of hearing her soft touch on those keys.

Another Psalm

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

Help me to be upright, O Lord.

Thoughts on Artisan Relationships

Monday, January 6, 2014

Artisans are all about excellence. In a book I was reading last night, I came upon this quote: "Before he was married, one of my friends wrote to his fiancee about what he expected from his future wife... 'she must challenge me to the highest degree by completely honest criticism of me... when she is disappointed in me, she must not withdraw her confidence... she must help me untiringly to overcome my weaknesses... she must never pretend, but must tell me honestly, when I have hurt her.'" (Trobisch)

An artisan relationship is a relationship of intentionality, of undying love and complete honesty, of steadfast care for one another. Girls who want honesty and trust in a relationship must be willing to invest the same in the lives of the people around them. The best place to practice before marriage is at home. Your parents. Your siblings. And then one day, your husband.


Friday, January 3, 2014

"We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure." (Brother Lawrence)
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