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The Bible Tells Me

I’m not the Bible scholar I should be. I know some verses; not as many as I ought. Still, I find most of my experiences can be framed or underscored, explained or illuminated, by Scripture. Or maybe a hymn or a worship song, a devotional or a testimony. Frequently, I have those “Oh, yeah” moments when I see God clearly in an event. Or realized that I should have seen Him.

These are the moments of “The Bible tells me.”

These essays reflect that. Do know that I can proof-text as well as anyone. I have a concordance, and I know how to use it. Well, truthfully, I do all of that online now, where I can quickly find a passage, see it in many versions, and choose the one I like best. I try not to be narrow, but instead broad, as I apply Bible words to my experiences. I know that your interpretations and understanding may be different than mine. But I also know that our God is big enough for all of us.

I have a friend who, in her prayer time, likes to tell jokes to God. “I know He knows the punch line,” she says. “But I tell them anyway. He likes it when I laugh.”

He likes it when I laugh. I’m going to hang on to that. It’s Biblical. The Bible tells me.

Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Psalm 126: 2,3 (HCSB)


How’ve YOU Been Feeling?

Two weeks ago, last Wednesday, Kevin phoned and said could I please come and be with Peter. He’d been sick with something that had swept through Fort Worth, knocking over kids like bowling pins. He was better, but still running a little fever, which meant he could not go back to preschool on Thursday, and Kevin, who’d been at home for a couple of days, and April, a teacher at Peter’s preschool, really needed to get back to work. “And,” he said, “if you get here by 5:00, April and I can go to church and teach Mini Maestros (their little preschool music group).”

“Sure,” I said. And I went on up. Peter wasn’t all that sick, except for a rather epic sneeze situation, with adult-type output. There were tissue boxes in every room of the house, at kid level, and trash cans. We played and read books and had a very nice time. There was one instance when he wasn’t near a tissue box when the parent-of-all-sneezes occurred. He looked down at the catastrophic pool on his tummy, and said, “I need to change my shirt.” Which he did.

On Thursday, I got a concert:

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

After lunch, I was falling asleep while reading to him and finally said, “Peter, Mimi has got to have a little nap. You can play in your room and I’ll lie down on your bed and nap for a few minutes.” He ended up getting in bed, too, with a box of tissues. I had put his trash can next to the bed. Just as I was falling asleep, he whispered, “Mimi. My trash is overflowing.” “Well,” I whispered back, “I’ll empty it after I nap.” “Where can I put my tissues,” he asked. “Just put them here on the bed, and I’ll throw them away after I empty your trash can.”

 

Saturday, I got some writing work done. Sunday, as I was getting ready to go to church, I felt a little bit of a scratchy throat. Hmmmm. If thing was as contagious as they said, then I did NOT need to spend the morning with preschoolers at church. So hurried up to church to leave things, contacted other teachers, and stayed home. And did some writing work. On Monday, also. I walked on the treadmill, but at half my usual speed, went to bed early, and on Tuesday, could not get out of bed. I would think, “I must get up and do some work.” And I would roll over to get out of bed, and fall asleep before I’d gotten all the way over. Except for trips to the bathroom (to check my glucose level and take my temperature), I stayed in bed all day. ALL. DAY.

I was quite a bit better Wednesday, and was able to sit up for extended periods, finish up a bunch of writing and send it off to my editor. But I stayed really weak, and, on Sunday, I was too woozy to feel secure about being in a room with preschoolers, and missed another Sunday. Monday I was quite a bit better. Tuesday, I was in bed most of the day with some intestinal thing. Seriously. No Valentine’s Day dinner out. Wednesday, I actually left the house, for the first time in over a week. I went to Target.

I called Jeremy a few days ago, for a reason I don’t recall now, but I said, “There was something rolling through Fort Worth.” Jeremy said, “It’s rolling all over the country.” He and Sarah both had it. TWICE! And, as far as he was concerned, the absolute worst part was that it snowed in New York and he was unable to go out and play in it. I had lunch yesterday with a friend from Corpus Christi. Where it also rampaged through.

The annoying cough is back, after a brief hiatus. As is the intestinal thing. My wastebaskets are overflowing, and I am ready to feel better. Lots Better! Maybe I’ll phone the doctor.

I hope you are having sunny weather and sunny health.

 

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

3 John 2 (English Standard Version)

Amen

 

They Really Don’t Make Things Like They Used To, Do They

Yeah, we hear that all the time, don’t we. Or, at my age, we say that all the time. Things don’t last. Everything seems to be the fad of the moment. Planned obsolescence.

My parents used the same telephones for, oh, maybe thirty years. You used things until they wore out or broke down.

Almost everything in our house now is something timeless and durable, from my parents’ or my grandparents’ time.

The desk where I sit to write (and play computer games, and watch videos, and listen to music and read e-mails) was one of the first pieces of furniture that my parents purchased after they married. If there’s a tornado, I should probably sit in the kneehole; it’s pretty solid.

I’ve been working on a writing assignment, and there were just lots of pieces of paper, with plans, and information, and a notebook, but I needed to have stuff more spread out. The small library dictionary table (where the paper cutter usually stays) just wasn’t spacious enough. I kept having to pick up the pile, shuffle through it, put what I needed on top of the pile, then, within minutes, need something else, shuffled through the papers, finding what I needed, and so on. And so on.

“I need a table, or chairs, or something…” I started to walk around the house, and walking by the hall closet, remembered. At the back of the closet, not exactly easy to get to, but not impossible, was the old card table.

Lots of parties, lots of game nights, lots of overflow seating for extra family and friends.

The new card table was round and had matching chairs. Mother got them with Green Stamps.

The new card table was round and had matching chairs. Mother got them with Green Stamps.

Mother and Daddy often had friends over on Friday or Saturday nights, to play cards. Then learned how to play bridge. They got a better card table.

Do I need to explain to you what S&H Green Stamps were?

And that card table saw lots of parties, lots of game nights, lot of overflow seating for extra family and friends. But, of course, Mother and Daddy didn’t get rid of the old, square, cardboard-topped card table.

After Mother was gone, and Daddy moved to a retirement residence, we had a big estate sale. But first, we went through things and decided what to keep and what to sell. JoAnne took the round table with the chairs. And I thought, oh, well, it doesn’t take up much room; I should probably keep the old one.

We get it out every now and then, when we’re working a jigsaw puzzle, or, just need some extra flat space.

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It was perfect!

You can see that the little library table was simply not adequate. It was full. The bed was full. And the card table, older than most of the people I know, sat on its stable legs, held up (on its saggy top) all my papers, all the information I needed just a twist away from the computer screen.

Kevin and Peter have arrived, and I’ve sent in almost all of the writing project. The few things left are easily managed. I’ve folded up the card table, and it’s ready to return to the back of the closet until next time. Maybe they don’t make things like they used to. But…they used to.

 

 

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 (New Revised Standard Version )

There’s always so much to rejoice about. Having what I need when I need it. Getting important work done. And Peter’s going to be here for a couple of days.

 

Ring! Ring!

(When I typed in the title of this, I made a typo, and put in “Ring! Rong!” instead of “Ring! Ring!” When, in truth, “Ring! WRONG!” was really more accurate.) Here’s what happened:

West Avenue School

West Avenue School

On December 15, I attended the Christmas program presented by students at West Avenue Elementary School, where I volunteer each Tuesday at lunchtime for Reading Club. I have three second graders this year. I asked them about the program, and two of them said they weren’t going to go. One said, oh, yes, he was going to be in the program. I like to support the school and the kids, and I said I was going to come.

Usually, the programs are on the school cafeteria stage, and the lunchroom is REALLY crowded! But, the younger kids sing first, and, as the Pre-K’s finish, their families get them and go on home. Then the Kindergartners sing. And leave. So, things thin out a little bit. But, it’s something of a fire hazard, I suppose, for a little while.

13631542_1062690100433815_5233553297212274195_nThis year, however, the event was at Waco High School’s Performing Arts Center. Big ol’ stage. LOTS of seats. Plenty of room. And lots of parking space.

The program was scheduled to begin at 5:30, and I arrived in plenty of time to park and get inside and settled in my comfy seat. Previously I would try to get to school to be able to park close, so I wouldn’t have to walk too far in the dark at the program’s end. But I would sit way at the back, so all those other parents and families could be close to watch their little kids perform.

I must admit that, in this larger venue, I chose an aisle seat, so I, too, could leave early. In previous years, I had fourth or fifth graders, so needed to stay until the very end, to watch my own kids and maybe get a chance to meet their families. This year, I looked forward to getting on home a little earlier.

The program was fun and the children were cute. I took several photos, to be able to print one out to give my Reading Club kid. I did stay all the way through the third grade group, but there was a lull while the stage was reset for the 4th and 5th grade play. I made my exit.

At home, I relaxed and did some work on the computer, and then looked for my phone to download the pictures. I patted my pockets. Not there. I looked around on my desk. Not in sight. And, instead of spending time searching the house, picking up ever single piece of paper and magazine and Christmas card, instead of going out and going through all the nooks and crannies of the car–I signed in to ICloud.

I’m sitting there, watching everything, waiting for the right screen to show up, and yes, here comes the map, and I’m ready to punch “Play Sound,” but THE PHONE IS NOT ON COLLINS DRIVE!!!! IT’S IN HEWITT!!!

OLLIE!!! MOLLIE!!! GOLLIE!!! WHAT’S MY PHONE DOING IN HEWITT?!?!?!!?

I then did the sensible thing–I called Kevin. In full panic mode. “MY PHONE’S IN HEWITT!!!” He was just about as alarmed as I was. But not screeching about it. I explained that I’d been to the Waco High Fine Arts Center, and that I was 100% positive that I had the phone there because I’d taken pictures with it. After that, I couldn’t remember anything I’d done with it. And, I’d seen the “Lost Mode” button, next to the “Play Sound” button, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that did. I was, however, pretty sure I didn’t want to select the “Erase Phone” button until I knew if I should.

We did discuss, briefly, the Worst Case Scenario version–that someone had found it and was, at that very moment, trying to sell it.

He signed onto my screen (because he knows how to do that) and activated the “Lost Mode” which puts a message on the phone that says, “I’m a lost phone. Please call this number . . .” and Kevin added my phone number. Then he said he would “Play Sound” every few minutes, to let whomever had the phone to know that we knew it was lost. After I’d calmed down a little (and handed over the phone-finding responsibilities), I said, “I suspect that that’s the principal’s house that’s showing up on the screen. I bet someone found it and gave it to him. Him or the music teacher.” That was really the most sensible scenario. Kevin and I hung up, to let someone who did have the phone call me. And, unbeknownst to us, the principal actually was at that very moment, frantically searching his house to try to find out what was making that HORRIBLE noise!!

Once he found the phone and saw the “lost” message, he called (and I said I would let Kevin know, quickly, so he would stop that awful pinging). I went to the school the next day to get it. And all was well.

 

Jesus told the people another story:

What will a woman do if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them? Won’t she light a lamp, sweep the floor, and look carefully until she finds it? Then she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found the coin I lost.”

Jesus said, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him.”

Luke 15:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

 

Ah, yes. I do understand, a little, about lost things being found.

I really am trying to be a better phone-minder. I’m trying to always purchase clothing with good, deep pockets. I’m pretty good about plugging it in regularly. But every now and then I’m caught off-guard. A few days ago, I was at the computer when it pinged to let me know a text had come. I also heard, down at my left-hand side, a text message ping from my phone. I touched my skirt pockets. No phone was there. I looked down on my desk. No phone. I moved papers. No phone. I moved a little basket w/coupons in it. Nope. I leaned over to look behind the computer. Nothing there. And then I noticed:

My shirt pocket was all aglow.Okay. So I AM responsible, after all. Usually. Often. Sometimes.

My shirt pocket was all aglow.Okay. So I AM responsible, after all. Usually. Often. Sometimes.

 

 

 

Why Is EVERYTHING So Much HARDER Than It SHOULD Be?!?!?

In our previous house, the fridge was several feet away from the stove and sink. In this house, the fridge is just an arm’s reach from the sink. As I organized the kitchen when we moved in, I put my kitchen shears, which I use really often, on a metal hook on the side of the fridge. And then I put my nice big strainer up there, too. Not so much because I use it all the time (the way I do the shears). But, it took up more room in a drawer than I liked. Then, I got these verrrrry strong magnet hooks, and stuck them on the side of the fridge to hold the shears and the strainer.

Recently, I’ve had to admit that the strainer had come to the end of its safe usefulness. There were sharp pointy parts at the bottom and things were wearing really thin. So, I threw it away, lest I say to myself at some point, “Oh, it’s not really all that bad. I can strain a few more tortellini.” It was that bad.

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I Had an epiphany

The capitalized, or upper-case, Epiphany, refers to Twelfth Night, or the end of the Christmas season, the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas (the one with the twelve drummers drumming), celebrated in some churches as the festival commemorating the visit of the three kings. The lower-case “epiphany” is defined as “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure,” used in a sentence like, “One epiphany came when a dozen engineers in northern New Mexico saw a lone, fading Xerox paper carton bobbing in a swamp of old motor oil at the bottom of a pit.” —Michelle Conlin, Business Week, 1 Nov. 1999 (This quote is from dictionary.com. And, I don’t know about you, but I intend to track down that article and find out what that amazing epiphany was**. But that’s not what this post is about.)

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Christmas Yum!

Yeah, I know. Christmas is made of yummy things. Too many yummy things. But those are some of the memorable things of which Christmas (and other holidays) are made. It’s just not Christmas if we don’t have: Mimi’s cornbread dressing/decorated sugar cookies/homemade cranberry sauce/pecan pie/mashed potatoes with peas/pumpkin pie/sweet potato pie/____(add your own family’s favorite here)___. And, to be honest, nobody in our family really loves those vegetable-based pies; but I know some folks do.

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