Sunday, November 23, 2014

Advent......Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the four Sundays before Christmas. It celebrates the anticipation and the waiting over the centuries in the past for the coming of the Christ child to save our world. It also celebrates the waiting and anticipation of the second coming of our Savior. I love Advent in the church.
So today our church was busy decorating, getting some of the Christmas decorations up in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall in anticipation of the season. We were working together on several projects; everyone running around getting their part done. It was snowing out. Jon walked through the front door of the church. He and two other men had been decorating the huge outside Engelmann Spruce with lights. He had on his stocking cap and his heavy winter coat. He was covered in snow! I just had to laugh!
"Did you get the lights on!?" I was just like a little child! He told me that they had accomplished the task. So of course I ran out the door to see. When I opened the doors of the church it was a snowy, Christmassy wonderland. Snow was swirling and flying about. It was cold and the world seemed transformed in its new snow. Jon plugged in the lights so that I could see the tree. Of course the tree had snow on the branches enhancing the lights. I was filled with joy and I felt Advent stirring in my heart!
"Rejoice, rejoice Emanuel, shall come to thee O Israel!" My prayer is that I always watch and wait with anticipation like a child for the coming of our Messiah in my heart and in our world!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Great cloud of witnesses.......In the early hours of this morning, my sister-in-law's mother, Mary, went to her eternal home. It is a great loss for Monica and the family because we lost Megan not quite two years ago. But Mary left with us a great hope in her last hours.
AB, my brother, said that she kept saying I love Jesus, Jesus loves me and I love my Mama. At one point she said that she saw the people. Monica asked if they were saints and she said yes. Off and on she spoke in a Heavenly language. Then in the dark morning hours she gently stepped from this world to the eternal world.
We who love Hebrews in the Bible, know that the writer speaks of the "great cloud of witnesses." The writer uses the analogy of the Christian running a race to finish the course here on earth and that we are cheered on by this cloud of witnesses. He goes on to explain that these witnesses are the saints who have gone on before us. I believe that Saint Mary saw this crowd and has now joined them. So it is my prayer that I will finish the race here in this earthly realm and will hear Saint Mary along with the other witnesses cheering me on and welcoming me to the finish line which will be my true "forever" home!
Let us not forget that we truly are just passing through this earthly place. It is not our home. Our home has always meant to be with Jesus. Let Saint Mary's final day here among us be hope to us in what she spoke and in what she saw. Christian let us "comfort one another with these words....."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Back in Marble......this afternoon one of our younger churchgoers had a Birthday party in the fellowship hall of the church. They were running around the church laughing and playing games of imagination and having the time of their lives. The parents of the birthday boy planed original games and crafts. The fellowship hall was filled with laughter and Joy!
We live at the end of the road here in Marble. There are no McDonalds or arcade pizza places to have celebrations. We have no grocery stores or even a gas station. We do have the glory and majesty of God's creation, our small historical church, our small charter school and children who still enjoy games that are formed from their own ripe imaginations. There is Marble's heartbeat, a community church, a community school and children that still run and play freely in the great outdoors!
"......Suffer the little children to come unto me. For such is the kingdom of Heaven..." Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hands.....sometimes I remember especially poignant memories in the form of an image engraved within my mind. One of those memories was when we lost our young Megan. As they began to roll her casket out of the church, my brother, her father reached out and put his hand on the casket as it went by......his hand reaching out to touch her in the only way he could.
Recently I was visiting my Mother and Daddy in NC. Daddy has trouble remembering things and walks slowly with his walker. On my last night at home we went to a restaurant. As we were leaving I saw from behind my father trying to navigate his way out through the people near the entrance. And there behind him was my brother with his hand on Daddy's shoulder to steady him. It was the same hand and my mind went immediately back to Megan. His loving hand still offering that touch in the only way that he could.
There is another hand that reaches out to touch us, to steady us and to assure us that we are never alone. That hand holds everything that we are and everything that we could ever hope to be. That hand bares the scar of His sacrifice. That hand bares the scar of a nail.......Hands, O the power the touch of a hand holds!

Friday, October 10, 2014

To love people, to love a friend, to love a person with heart and soul is to feel their pain. It is that mystical thing, that is a God thing, that allows an individual to wrap their heart around another. When that love comes from God the time that you know someone matters little. For what is time to God? This love is an eternal thing and takes much risk. It is risky to love to the point that your own heart is broken in such a way as to lay open your soul before the All Mighty. Today as I was crying over the pain I feel for a friend, I asked God, "is there no limit or bottom to the pain we can feel on this earth that comes when we love others so much that we can feel their suffering?" In my spirit I saw the broken body of Jesus and I heard the familiar words........" Here is my body broken for you. Here is my blood shed for you." So there was my answer. And I was reminded of a "new command" that our Lord gave before He gave His life for us, "love one another as I have loved you."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Well......besides getting out and enjoying the first snow of our season, as Jon and I drove the Bob Marly (my jeep) up the trail, we also saw our first bear of the season. This sighting was on the way back from Lost Creek. Starbuck (my lab) and I walk this trail often. I do usually have a bear whistle with me to scare them away. But it was comforting to be in the Bob Marly! The black bear was very cute. He or she was a juvenile; larger than a little cub but did not look to be a yearling. Hey but what do I know about the age of a bear! Anyway he or she was quite afraid of us and after pausing to look at us, ran from us at breakneck speed. I can say from experience that a bear running away from you is better than one running toward you!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Aspens........ Until living here I was not always so impressed by the aspen tree. But seeing them in every season and learning about them, I have come to love them. Unlike most deciduous trees they are interconnected by a root system that spreads out and creates other aspens by sending out shoots. This helps them to survive and continue on. Even after a fire, due to the fact that the root system survives the heat, aspen colonies will reappear with the roots sending forth more shoots. They can be fragile as individuals subject to disease and other ailments causing the one tree to die but because of its connection to the root system, others will take its place continuing on the colony.......Are we not in the kingdom of Heaven called to be sort of the same? "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5

Aspens are tender green in the spring with a green that defies description. The white trunks with their dark spots called eyes due to their shape reflect the sun when they are hit by its light in all seasons. Their leaves quake in the wind sounding like little fairy hands clapping. In the Fall they turn either a bright yellow-gold or a peachy orange depending on the species; their Fall beauty takes my breath away. Should not the Kingdom of Heaven do the same in the midst of a world in turmoil; our every breath, our every season, our every sound calling out to the world, "come home, come to the One who offers peace that transcends all understanding?"

So as I sit in the midst of the aspens, or sometimes I even lie down among them looking through their leaves heavenward, my prayer is that I can be a citizen of hope and peace in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Monday, September 8, 2014

By the river.......We had a church retreat this weekend just around the corner from our Marble Community Church at Treasure Mountain Bible Camp. The first day was making the 13,552 summit of Treasure Mountain with three other church members. It was exhilarating to say the least! It was something that I was deeply grateful that I was able to do. I do not take these things for granted with all the things that I have experienced with my head! God's world is magnificent and I am so grateful that I can SEE it.

On the second day of the retreat I taught the women's session and one of the scriptures that we looked at was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazareth sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His words, His teachings, learning from the Master. I encouraged the ladies to have a time of reflection somewhere quiet in the camp. I went to sit by Yule Creek, listening to it as it ran across the rocks creating nature's music. With the procedure I am having this week and with some of the sorrow that friends and family of mine are facing, I had a lot in my heart. But I sat still by the creek and opened my heart to Jesus and felt the sun on my face as if it was God Himself warming me with His love. Off to the right I caught a glimpse of wild raspberries. There were only a few left. I reached for them, picked them and popped them in my mouth! I was amazed that there were just those few left. It is a little late in the season for them.........Then I heard the Still Small Voice, "I am your portion, child." and I knew and I know that He is my "all in all."

"Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better (or the better portion as some scholars say) and it will not be taken from her." Luke 10:41-42. .....We are blessed for we face nothing alone. He is our portion.

Friday, August 29, 2014

I saw the neurosurgeon. The news was better than expected. I only have two small brain tumors instead of three. They were concerned that the one in the front of my head in a place called the olfactory groove might reach the optic nerve or the optic chiasm of my left eye which is the only eye that I have vision in. But the optic nerve and the chiasm look clear of the tumor. The doc recommended that I get that tumor taken care of through a procedure called gamma knife which is a type of radiation. He said that it was not an emergency and that we could watch the tumor for a year.

I took a couple of days to pray about it. One morning sitting out in the back of my brother-in-law's yard with my dog Starbuck and a venti cup of Starbuck coffee looking at the mountain called Pike's Peak, I just felt this strong inner urge that I should get it out. It was the cool of the day. It was just God, me, my dog and a cup of morning coffee. I felt a peace that this is the direction I should take. So on the 9th of September, I will have the gamma knife procedure in Denver. Prayers are appreciated. I rely upon the prayers of God's people.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday in our historical Marble was a very sweet service for me as a pastor's wife here in our mountain village of Marble. As a chaplain's wife in the Air Force I have had the privilege to love many Air Force parishioners and to have them love me enough to pray for me, with me, and over me through some very serious health issues. By God's grace and the prayers of His people I was brought through those times.
Here in our small historical church in Marble I have the privilege of loving our parishioners and today felt their love in a powerful way..........
As many of you know, I have had 5 benign brain tumors in which one of them took the vision in my right eye. They were all successfully removed and I survived it all by the grace of our almighty God! Recently I found out that I have developed a brain tumor that is in a spot that could endanger the vision in my left eye. I go to the neurosurgeon this week to determine what is the best course of action to treat this tumor and save my vision.
Today, the parishioners led by one of the men of the church, laid hands on me and prayed for healing, guidance, and direction. It was a surprise to me and touched me deeply. It was as if Jesus, through His people, reminded me that I am not alone. I go with the confidence that once again I am held before the throne of grace by the prayers of the "saints!"
The service ended at the altar with communion following the sermon on "crumbs from the Master's table". O how sweet are even the crumbs from our Lord's table.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Today I chose miserable.......Wandering around Marble today with Starbuck (my lab) I chose miserable. We were on a walk with rainy skies, muddy roads and spectacular "moody mountains" with clouds above them and below them. In the middle of the walk I chose a different option than the one I had originally planned. I decided that we would go down a trail from the road and circle back to the Bob Marly (my jeep). The operative word here would be trail not road.

So we started down the trail and we were immediately in sometimes knee high vegetation and sometimes shoulder high vegetation. Did I mention rainy skies? Less than a minute into the trail, my hiking pants were soaked due to wet vegetation. My pants were a little too big and with the extra water weight, in constant threat of slipping down, not something I particularly wanted to happen. My feet got soaked, my dog got soaked.... I think you get the picture. Once at the bottom of the trail we had to walk a muddy road to get back to the Bob Marly. Almost to the said jeep, we ran into horses being loaded to go into the back country. Starbuck barks furiously at horses. Horses do not in general like dogs to bark at them. I had to drag her on a tight leash by the horses to load up and head home.

Yes, indeed I chose miserable. I could have finished my original course and avoided miserable. Then as God often does when I am on a hike, He led my heart in a spiritual application. How many times does He give me options and I choose miserable? The good news is that He often gives us options and gives us choices. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we miss the mark just a bit. The even better news is that even when we choose miserable, He does not forsake us but woos us back to the better trail or sees us through to the place where we can load up in our jeep and go to a dry home!

"...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:end of vs 20

Friday, July 18, 2014

Photo: On the trail that I cannot name, The Old Man of the Mountain.Old Man of the Mountain......The flower photo that I posted called Old Man of the Mountain is my favorite yellow flower. We have a joke around here about yellow flowers. Everyone says, "Oh, it's just another yellow flower." I think this yellow flower deserves some respect! This yellow flower grows only at the alpine level which is above the tree line. It grows in a harsher climate and in rocky soil. In spite of these circumstances, it blooms and turns its head toward the sun.

I can learn a lesson from the Old Man of the Mountain. In spite of my circumstances or the conditions around me, I can turn my head toward The Son and bloom even though I am just another one of God's creation or better said because I am one of God's creation, one of His beloved!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On the trail........We hiked a portion of Avalanche Creek trail today. As usual we were confronted with God's magnificent creation everywhere we turned from the wildflowers to the open meadows and to the roaring creek itself! I feel so alive on the trail and at times everything in my heart comes close to the surface.

On our way back, in the midst of the beauty I thought about my father's memories slipping away and wondered how I could hold on to the beauty around me. I thought about brain tumors and vision and wondered how I could hold fast to the things I was seeing. And I looked up into the blue of the skies between the canopy of aspens and conifers and yelled out, fellow Christian, " to hell with Alzheimers, to hell with brain tumors!!!. This does not define the child of God! The trail led up and I attacked it and allowed the sorrow to flow out with the effort of each rock-covered climb! I began to proclaim; "every memory we hold, every experience we experience, everything that we see, they do become a part of us!!! And the Holy Spirit knows every one of them! And Jesus Christ knows every one of them! And God, the Father knows everyone of them! Nothing that is part of us is lost because the Three in One experiences our lives with us!!! And one day when we pass through the vail of

death and through Heaven's gates into the arms of God, all the memories, all the experiences and all the things we saw good or bad will be part of the journey that led us into God's arms and thus are not lost but are held tenderly until that day we are made whole again before Him!"

So dear Christian friend, we do not climb the trail of despair in vain! We do not rest beside the roaring creek in vain! We do not see the beauty all around us that becomes a part of our soul in vain! We do not stumble and fall and skin our knees to sit there! No! We get up! We go on! We finish the hike! WHY? Because dear Christian, we still believe, we still have faith! And one sweet day we will finish the "hike" and hear the words,"Well done my good and faithful servant."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Jon preached a great sermon on having our hearts always open to being filled with the precious Holy Spirit and to know the power of living a life of repentance and faith in Jesus. He asked how many had ever been inebrieated by spirits such as beer, and he named some more, at one time or another. The congregation was honest and almost everyone raised their hand. We all laughed. Then he asked how many had ever been "inebrieated" by the Holy Spirit. It was a little quieter then. Then he led into on the day of Pentecost many thought the folks were drunk and then Peter set everyone straight with his sermon that ended with 3000 people being added to the church. He challenged us to always have our hearts open to the Holy Spirit and asked us if we were willing to join the 3000 who responded to Peter's sermon in Acts 2.
After church I returned to the parsonage in a cool refreshing mountain rain. I went out on our front porch and listened to the rain. I turned my face up to the mist that was gently blowing onto the porch feeling its wetness. I was still......I breathed in deeply the washed cleansed air.....I experienced the presence of His Holy Spirit and and the quiet peace of God that comes to a still and open heart.....My prayer is that I will stop often and lift my face to His cleansing "rain" and open my heart to His Spirit and His love.......

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sometimes we journey to places that we would not choose. I have been on hikes that had I known what it would be like, I would not have chosen it. Yet once on the hike you have to journey on to get back to "home." You have no choice but to sit down and quit or to keep moving along the trail. Life's journeys are sometimes like that as well.
Yet even on the Hikes from h## there are moments where you just have to laugh or at the very least it makes a good tale for later. And yes even on those hikes you will find places and moments of beauty that draw you into a place of peace.
So it is with life's difficult journeys, if we do not quit and sit it out but just keep moving along the trail, God will give us grace and moments of beauty that draw us into a place of peace. There will be tears and a deep pondering that is tinged with sadness that seems to want to linger. But even in those moments we have the promise that our friend and comforter, the Holy Spirit will sit with us and perhaps catch our tears as if they were precious jewels because they originate from our very souls.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Do angels wait for us as the sun sets on our earthly lives? I think they may. Do angelic choirs sing for joy as we, God's people go home? I think they may. There is peace much like the disappearing of the sun for the night as you sit by one who is meeting God. This I know, for God honored me by allowing me to be there in those final moments.......As we sang Amazing Grace very softly, did the angels listen or did they sing with us? I think they may. This I know... Jesus awaits us for He told us that He goes and prepares a place for us, that where He is we may be also. I know the Holy Spirit is all around as God's people take their final earthly breath because I felt His presence surrounding us as a friend, a child of God, breathed his last earthly breath. Do angels wait for us as the sun sets on our earthly lives?......I think they may.....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Words.......they have such power. They can change everything in just a moment.....You are not alone .........."I will be with you always." "Love one another as I have loved you." "Let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you."
I sat with a friend. The doctor asked me who I was and I responded without thinking, "I am her sister." And I realized I meant it. I heard the doctor speaking words that were full of gravity and truth as he knew it. Words....they have such power. They can change everything in just a moment.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." "Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." "I go and prepare a place for you." "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Words....they have such power. They can change everything in just a moment.

Friday, March 28, 2014

In search for of my goals for our vacation was to find a " traditional" key lime pie made with a graham cracker crust and a meringue! Most key lime pies are no longer made with a meringue. So since arriving in Key West I have been asking in every restaurant about their key lime pie only to be told they did not make the pie with a meringue. So on this our last day I was absolutely determined to find this elusive pie. Our poor friends were so patient with me in my quest!
Thus we found the name of a restaurant that still made the pie in the traditional way. We had walked all morning along the beach. We had walked back to lodging and back to the old town for lunch. Upon hearing that "The Blue Heaven" restaurant had said pie, I asked our friends how far away was this place. They responded that it was a mile and a half away. I became a DRIVEN woman! So off we went; I am sure by this time my friends could care less about pie of any sort but their patience prevailed. We finally arrived tired, hot and sweaty at "The Blue Heaven." We ordered the pie and believe me the pie was all that I anticipated it to be! It was its own blue or more aptly green Heaven! Every bite was a sensory pleasure!
Is there a lesson for this little tale? If there is, I guess it would be that some things are just worth the effort! Tenacity sometimes pays off. Do not give up as you seek "perfection" for "Blue Heaven" may just be a few steps away!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It is incumbent upon each of us to be aware of all the simple things that become God moments in our lives. Yet it is also incumbent upon us to open our hearts to those times. I am convinced that those moments become part of our souls. Our memories may fail us over time but I can only believe that the God moments become a part of the eternal within us and that we will always have the "Eternal"with us.
Today, here in Key West, our friends along with Jon and I wandered into a little French bakery. We ordered croissants and I had a cafe au lait. We sat out on the white front porch to enjoy our treats. There was a gentle breeze off the ocean. People from all walks of life were sauntering down the street. Tropical palm trees and flowers were displaying their lush colors to complement brightly painted buildings. I savored each bite of my croissant and each sip of my cafe au lait. I laughed with my husband and our friends. And I felt as if God took time to smile with us, His creation, His children.
Are those not God moments? Are those moments perhaps a glimpse of our eternal home? Are those moments not always a part of our souls?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tonight I took another step into the world of Marblelites........After volunteering at the Marble Charter School, I came home and did what everyone does, I cooked dinner or as we say in the south, supper. Many Marblelites live off the land in that they hunt and eat what they kill. So a neighbor gave us some elk burger. Tonight (being St. Patrick's Day) I made shepherd's pie. For the meat and gravy that make up the bottom layer I used the elk burger. It turned out to be quite good. Elk are beautiful creatures and I would have difficulty actually shooting one. However I have to admit they are not bad for consumption. Another day, another adventure becoming more and more a citizen of Marble, CO.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sacred silence.......Saturday, Starbuck and I took our earlier than usual morning walk. The world in Marble was a different place. There was two inches of fresh snow, blue skies directly above, but every single mountain peak around us was blanketed with clouds.....just the peaks. I marveled at this new mood that our world here had taken on.

It was a bit chilly because the sun had not completely popped up above the 10,000-13,000 ft peaks. As Starbuck and I got to our usual turnaround point, the sun made its grand appearance above the mountains. It immediately warmed up and I decided that we would continue by taking the winding curves that meander through the aspens up the old Ski Lodge Road. The sun turned the multifaceted snowflakes into shimmering crystals like a carpet of diamonds. The aspens' white bark with their dark eyes (that is actually what the dark areas on the bark are called) seemed to reach toward the sun.

We rounded a curve with a perfect view of the mountain, White House. Where the plows had pushed the snow back, there was a sort of chair formed in the snow complete with a seat and back. I sat on it soaking in the sun and marveling at White House. I watched as the last vestiges of cloud cover lifted completely off the peak revealing a magnificent view of the "snow" white mountain literally shimmering in the sun. I was so taken with what I was seeing that I thought I should praise God. I began with, "How Majestic is Your Name...." and suddenly I stopped. The words were interupting the moment and I felt as if God was saying Shhhh.

As I sat in the stillness, it felt as if Jesus sat beside me in our chairs of snow. The Presence was so strong that I whispered very softly, "hello." Yet I had the feeling that even that whisper was too much noise. Words were not needed. Did not my Companion know every thought, every prayer, every desire of my heart? Did not my Lord know me from my mother's womb? So I sat in a sacred silence.......a place where words were not needed.

".....Mary who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said....... 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Jesus Christ

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Awakening......I took Starbuck on a walk behind Beaver Lake to see the Crystal River. I haven't seen it in a long time due to our snow depths. However our temperatures have warmed and some of our 129 inches have melted down and frozen over again to make it easier to walk across the top without sinking down to above your knees. We were successful in crossing the bank to see our river flowing between snow fields. It was actually very warm with the 8000 ft sun shining over the top of White House (the mountain). The sun reflecting off the snow made it feel even warmer. So I took off my coat and sat on it in the snow. Starbuck was running willy nilly all around and finally came to sit by me. It was, with the February turn of the earth, a bright day with the sound of the river running and an occasional bird singing. I breathed in God with the crisp air......

It was then that I felt it. I felt the earth beginning to awaken from winter for a moment. It will not last for it is too early yet. But nevertheless it was there and I was part of it. I took off my sunglasses and kept my eyes closed against the brightness of the snow and lifted my face toward the sun. I lifted my heart to God. And just as I felt the earth awakening, I felt the vail of winter parting back allowing my soul to sing the songs of spring praise to my Lord and my God!

"What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see. And He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land. What a day glorious day that will be." An old southern church hymn.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Living in a wild country........Yes I say living in a wild country because Marble in many ways is just that. You have heard of my adventures and mishaps with bears. You have heard of what it was like to be lost in the wilderness. But this country is always unpredictable and demands respect.

Today I took Starbuck on a walk and of course ran into many of the neighborhood dogs, a couple of which had actual people with them. It is always interesting as they decide which one is the alpha. But hey, it gives Starbuck a little extra exercise. But as I was walking, I heard heavy equipment on the Quarry Road (again let me remind you -- roads in Marble are not actually paved except for one). I looked over and saw that an avalanche had covered the road. One of our mountain men was walking along and said that, sure enough, at 5pm yesterday the avalanche came down. Thus the heavy equipment to clear it out. And that is not the first avalanche to hit the Quarry Road this winter.

Yesterday our mail lady stopped to talk with us as we were walking. She is actually sort of a neighbor in that she too lives year round in Marble. The day before, an avalanche came down behind her house. She said it was cool to watch but was glad it did not cross the river. Her house would have been in its path.

I came home with Starbuck to find Jon and a parishioner on the roof shoveling the snow!! It was well above their knees on the roof. First time shoveling off our roof.

This place is a place that demands respect. It is beautiful beyond belief and peaceful with its "songs of silence." But if you take it too casually, there are dangers all around. It is not a place of fear as some would define fear but a place to be taken on its own terms. This place moves me with its many wonders and even with the awareness of its dangers.

Our Maker woos us with His unfailing love and with beauty beyond belief! Yet let us not forget that we are reminded that His ways are not our ways and that fearful reverence should be part of our relationship with Him. He calls us to intimacy but within that intimacy, we know that He is God!

"Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded and it stood firm." Psalm 33:8-9

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

So today I got myself into a mess.........We have been having a lot of snow! We returned from North Carolina to 2 ft of new snow. I started shoveling off the deck in the dark. Yesterday we had 8 more inches of snow and I spent all day shoveling to keep up with it as it built up. So as I had pushed more and more snow off the deck it had gotten to the point that I could no longer push the snow under the railing but had to heave it over the railing, making it a much more difficult chore. So another storm is predicted for tonight. I therefore decided that I should move some of the snow out of the way. (just me and a shovel)

When I stepped into the yard below the deck I sank to the very top of my thighs. Oh well..... I began to pull some of the snow away from the deck and down to my level shovel by shovel step by step thigh deep in snow! My boots wanted to come off with each step and imagine pulling your leg from one thigh deep step to the next! I was huffing and puffing at the labor of it all only to realize that I was burying my path back with the snow I was pulling down. What to do? It would be embarrassing to be stuck in the back yard until somebody came to help me out wouldn't it? Finally it dawned on me that the deck had raised flower beds just beneath it. So I pulled myself up by reaching out and grabbing the railing to be in only ankle deep snow because of my previous work pulling the snow down. Then I just shoveled my way back to the steps!

In life we often get ourselves in little messes. I am grateful that God teaches us to be persistent in prayer and to trust in Him step by step even if we are thigh deep in whatever situation! Then when He shows us the way out we must have the faith and discernment to grab onto the railing and pull up!!!!!

"Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." St. Paul to the Ephesians

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow death.......I suppose the 23rd Psalm is the first scripture I memorized as a child. It has always been my go to for comfort. When I have actually walked in the shadow of death before each procedure to remove brain tumors or to fix aneurysms in my head, I would recite the "yea though I walk through the shadow of death....."

However this week the scripture has taken on a different meaning for me. Monday, January 27th makes one year since my niece Megan died at the age of 24. As I have pondered this I have thought to myself, death of one so young casts a long shadow. Without her it seems like a valley "in" the shadow of her death. Her parents live in the shadow of her death. Her brother lives in the shadow of her death. Her grandparents live in the shadow of her death. Sometimes we laugh at some memory of her. Sometimes we simply smile as we remember. But sometimes we sit in the valley of the shadow of her death and weep. At those times there are no words, only our sorrow.

But that is not the end of the scripture; "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." So I am not alone in my grief. We are not alone in our grief. God walks with me through this valley, in her shadow. We are not alone in our grief. God walks with us through this valley, in her shadow. And in spite of all the sorrow I am eternally grateful that I am the aunt of Megan Autry. I am grateful for how she enriched my life. And yes in a way I am grateful to sit in the shadow that she has cast. Because it means that she lived and that I loved her and I still love her.

"The Lord is my shepherd....."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sweat.......there is one thing that I have missed since living in Marble, CO and that is the gym. All those years that Jon was in the Air Force I took advantage of the base gym. I always got to know the gym regulars and they knew me. We would all look at the January newcomers and make wagers on who would last till February. I have missed that because Marble has no gym. That shouldn't be a surprise because we have no grocery store, no place to buy gas and only one restaurant that opens only during the summer. We have no problem staying in great cardiovascular shape because we hike up everywhere. But I discovered today that I really and truly miss the gym!

My brother got me a week free membership at his gym while I am in NC. Today I went to the gym. I got on the treadmill and could run with ease because I am now at sea level from the 8000 ft. where I live. I got off to lift weights. I loved being able to bench press. I loved all the testosterone grunting as men lifted heavier and heavier reps. I loved the estrogen fueled softer grunting as serious women did their weight routines. I loved the smell of sweat!!! Yes there is nothing like the sounds of a gym and the smell of sweat as people get in shape! Who would of believed that I like the smell of sweat in the gym!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Harvey's Little Acre........ Memories are a tricky thing these days for my father. It is so frustrating for him as he tries to reach some memory only to have it missing or difficult to retrieve. I have been asking many questions to pull what I can from him and discovered a little jewel that both he and Mother could recall.

It brought images of the movie Grease into my mind. Daddy said that he had a blue convertible. Mother dated him for a time while he had the car. He told me of a place between Dunn and Benson that all the young people went to hang out on the weekend. He said a little "parking" would take place (both parents were quick to qualify that "parking" in those days meant just a little innocent kissing), a lot of talking and joking around, and in general just a good time to be had by all. This was in the 50s. So can't you just see it? Poodle skirts, pony tails, saddle oxfords, penny loafers, greased back hair and all. Then Mother remembered the name. "It was Harvey's Little Acre, wasn't it, Brewer? I saw my Daddy's eyes light up as he responded, "yeah,that's it!"

I saw it all in my head just like some teenaged 50s movie and marveled at the precious moment recaptured from a fleeting past!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo: Official Marblite; cross country skies on the porch with the snow shovelWoohoo!!!!! Went cross-country skiing for the first time in my life today. Just went off the porch and out into the road. I only fell three times! Hey! the skis are very narrow so don't laugh unless you have done it before. Besides which I was able to get up on my own two of the times and only needed Jon to help me up one of the times! Getting up on your own is sort of important. It was a little difficult but I had a blast! It's official! I am a true Marblite because I have the skis on the front porch along with the snow shovel! Life is good!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Memories........I have often tried to figure out how to hold on to a memory as if I could bottle it up and open it at any time so that it would flood my mind in such a way that it was never lost. Okay, so most of you who know me well know that I come up with some "unusual" ideas. But truly I have thought of this many times. Perhaps with the recent knowledge of how memories can completely disappear, I have revisited this idea. And perhaps because of this God is speaking to me in a different way. Live, child breathing in the moment. Live, child perhaps today is the last moments of any day you have.

The first of December we hosted the annual Marble Christmas ornament exchange. We had a raging snowstorm all day and the phone rang constantly asking if it was still on or not. I told everyone I would be there to greet anyone who came. I set the fellowship hall up for the people to come. Some of the ladies who came early to help looked skeptical at my preparations. But 25 of the 35 who responded that they would come showed up in the still raging snow. But more than that it was the laughter and noise of conversation and the stealing of ornaments and the taste of food that made the event. God was in the laughter and in the joy and yes in the snow. To be aware of that is better than holding forever the memory, isn't it?

December 15th we had the after-church treats in the parsonage. Every decoration was up and all the Christmas dishes out. The food awaited. Then 30 some people filed through our small but open home. There were oohs and ahhs over this certain decoration or that. Again the sounds of God's people filling our home. There were private conversations going on in different areas of people caring for the needs of others. God was in our midst, in our hearts celebrating with us. To be aware of that is better than holding forever the memory, isn't it?

Christmas Eve I again presented the character of Mary's Mother during our evening candlelight service. I had lived with her as I developed her for two months, memorizing scripture after scripture. That evening as I stepped out to present her, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit fill me giving the character meaning far beyond what she had started out. Then the lighting of the candles during Silent Night reminded us that Light had come in the midst of darkness. God was with us, Emanuel fulfilled. To be aware of that is better than holding forever the memory, isn't it?

I ask you the question, "Isn't it?" I am now well aware that memories can slip away from a mind forever. But God is!!!!!! So perhaps living each moment whether the moment is a good moment or a devastating moment is more important for our lives, realizing that God is in every moment, never forsaking us even when our minds can no longer hold even the simplest of memories.......To be aware of that is better than holding forever the memories, isn't it?