What’s in Your Closet?

BOO~!

 

Most decent, self-respecting closets only harbor clothes and shoes and occasionally a few imaginary monsters that come out at night and scare the dickens out of little kids.

Not my closet!

 

 

 

Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.

 

So, here goes!

 

 

Along with the clothes and shoes, I keep a coloring book in there!

And a big box of crayons.

(And Play Doh. Yes, for me. I like that messy fun stuff too.) Of course, I tell everyone that I have crayons and Play-Doh for when little ones come to visit.

Which is partially true.

And things were going well for my once-in-a-while secret, relaxing fun until  . . .

Eleanor came to visit . . .

and I decided to share

and the cameras came out.

So we’re all down on the floor, an adorable, almost-two-year-old great grandniece, my fun-loving daughter-in-law, Sarah, and me.

And there goes my secret.

But that’s not the end of the story!

 

 

Several weeks later, “You’ve got mail,” my better-half says, and hands me a package.

Two seconds later, I’m holding this! Coloring Book Secret Garden

My Bugs Bunny days have been challenged! Seems my wonderful younger brother, and sister-in-law heard all about my love of coloring and decided I needed an adult coloring book!

It’s gorgeous. A magical and fantastically cool gift! I may be 102 and coloring outside the lines by the time I finish it and probably won’t find all the “half-hidden creepy crawlies” lurking inside, but I’m already loving it—

How about you? Any little secret quirky things from childhood you still love to do?

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”
Plato

“Children always challenge me to live in the present.
I marvel at their ability to be fully present to me.
Their uninhibited expression of affection and their
willingness to receive it pull me directly into the moment
and invite me to celebrate life where it is found.
Whereas in the past coming home meant time to study,
to write letters, and to prepare for classes,
it now first of all means time to play.”
Henri Nouwen

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them;
but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it,
He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me,
and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.'” Mark 10:13-14

Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child
will by no means enter it.” Luke 18:17
Love,

Sally

I have to tack on a P.S. here!

I wrote this blog post several days ago, planning to post it late tonight, Sunday. And this morning’s sermon just happened to be titled, “Play-Doh”! Each of us who attended received a block of the fun stuff to work with during a profound talk that did a lot of focusing on softening our hearts.

I came home and took this photo of my package of Play-Doh, along with the front of today’s church bulletin, and the little red blob of soft Play-Doh that spent an hour in my hand.

Kudos to Molly Peterson, our vibrant young Director of Student Ministries, who did a fantastic job of delivering the sermon since our pastors were away!

Crossroads

It’s early. I hop out of bed feeling great after of a good night’s rest. A whole fresh new day is ready to walk into.

All is well,

until . . .

What mess?

I walk into the kitchen and find the mess . . . again. How many times . . .?

And no, the pup didn’t do it.

How quick and easy the glowery dark cloud descends with its storm of anger and frustration. So much for the higher functions of my cerebral cortex. They nosedive into a worse mess than the small, irritating one in the kitchen.

I should go back to bed! I need a do-over.

I don’t get angry often and when I do, it’s a quiet, internalized “mad.” I’m not the confronting, haranguing type. Maybe I should be.

I go outside. In my PJs. Pace the concrete sidewalk. Complain a while, then pull in breaths of the cool morning air and pray.

It helps, but when I go inside and settle into a devotional time, the Lord opens His Word. I pray and open my Bible at random (but in this Hand-in-hand walk we’re on, there’s no such thing as “random”). It falls open to Jonah, chapter four, verse four.

My eyes land on this “Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah’s answer was to go make himself a shelter, sit in its shade, and watch to see what would happen to the city. My answer is to ask, Why shouldn’t I be? But He makes me think.

To shorten Jonah’s story, the great city of Nineveh had devolved into a wickedness that the Lord could no longer tolerate. As His prophet, Jonah was to go and warn that city to repent, or be thrown down. And Jonah didn’t want to obey—he ran.

Jonah ended up having a whale of an adventure, literally, and doing exactly what the Lord told him to do. But when the people of Nineveh ended up being sorry and humbled themselves, God saw and relented. Jonah was not happy and wanted the city punished . . . which was why he was angry. Plus, he was probably tired, a little chewed up from being in a whale belly and all. Not to mention being worn out since it took him three days to walk through the huge city with the warnings. This time Jonah sat under a shady plant that the Lord provided.

So, I’m a little like Jonah sitting under the shade-giving plant that dies, only I pace the sidewalk and grumble, a lot.

There are many more comparisons and angles in Jonah’s story. We all have different levels of how we express anger and how we deal with it.

I’m reminded of my relationship not only with God, but to God.

In Genesis 1:26a it’s written “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”

We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made . . . in God’s image, according to His likeness.

Yes, things anger me—but like Him, I can be slow to anger, allow for compassion, give myself time to think, and try not to “sweat the small stuff” as my brother likes to say.

God created Jonah with the capacity for compassion for the plant that shaded Jonah. God created us with the same capacity.

The Lord had compassion for Nineveh. He knows every detail of my “mess,” and I can use some compassion and love and understanding. With the Lord’s help, I can talk with the mess-perpetrator again. Maybe things will change . . . or maybe I’ll just get better about not sweating the small stuff.

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” James 1:19 NKJV

How do you handle your anger?

Love,

Sally

Amazon Author Page for The Stonekeepers

 

White Rabbit Syndrome

“I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date . . .
And you know the rest.

It’s a cold Tuesday morning in January when my day begins to splinter, threatening to shred my best laid plans.

Uh oh. The red numbers on the bedroom clock blink through another minute. I zip into my skirt and shrug into my suit jacket.

A mini tidal wave of coffee sails over the edge of the mug, misses my hand and skirt, but sinks into the . . .
No!

Yes.
Into the carpet.
I grab a towel and mop at the mess, muttering something unkind regarding mug handles that totally ignores the truth.

Note to self: Don’t try to walk, balance coffee mug, think about dog food, and adjust bra strap at the same time.

Ready.

Not quite. I glance at my shoeless feet and rocket into the dark closet groping for my black heels.

I’m late, the last one to leave the house. The board meeting starts at 8:30 and is a twenty minute drive. My report won’t present itself and, ohhh, if I don’t get going, I’m not going to make it on time.

Purse and briefcase in hand, I shoot a passionate prayer for help heavenward and lock the door behind me.

Two hours later, Deb grabs the ringing phone as I walk into the office and through the reception area. We both mouth a whispered “Hi.”

I poke my head into Kay’s office. “Looks like you two are having a busy morning.”

Kay nods. It’s been crazy. How did your meeting go?” She hands me several call-back notes as the second phone line chimes. She answers and asks the client to hold.

“It went well; I’ll tell you all about it later.” I turn to leave, but Kay’s sudden peal of laughter behind me turns me around.

She points at my feet. “Did you get dressed in the dark this morning? Look at your shoes!”

I stare down at my feet. What’s she talking about? My shoes look perfectly normal. Black heels, closed toes. Identical.  

Already answering the phone with her friendly “This is Kay, may I help you?” she dodges my questioning look and grins at me.

I twist to look at the back of the heels as I remember the rocket-dive into my dark cave of a closet this morning. On my left foot, a sling-back. On my right, enclosed back. Great!

I shrug and shake my head, attempting to reflect Kay’s cute/sassy smile, and leave her to her phone call.

In my office both shoes come off and I hold them up. Heat creeps into my cheeks.
No one had said a word at the meeting, and now I sink back into my chair, trying to see the humor in all this.

At least, Kay and Debbie know the stress I’m under these days, running the business, care-taking my elderly parents, and more. I couldn’t do it without them. Later, the three of us share a good laugh, and since I never find the time to go home and change, I just wear the offending mismatched shoes all day.

But this isn’t the end of my story.

~~ the following Friday morning,

Debbie and Kay have set up an appointment for me, so I’m a little early getting to work. I walk into my office, and instead of the expected client, Kay and Deb are waiting for me, sitting in front of my desk.

“You might want to sit down, we have something to tell you,” Kay says.

Uh oh.

I round the desk and sit like a bump, looking at them, then at my desk. No birthdays on the calendar. What are they up to?Laid out on desk, three cups of fresh coffee, warm coffee cake, pink carnations and baby’s breath in a little crystal vase circled with a pink ribbon. A beautiful card tells me I’m appreciated and that they understand all the heaviness in my life right now, that they’re here for me—

And there’s no way I can stay behind that desk. I get up to give them each a hug. but before I can, both smiling like Cheshire cats, they point at their feet, laughing.

I choke back tears. There, on those four sweet feet are four different black shoes.

Kay looks up at me, dead serious, “Just one thing you need to know. We are not going to wear ours all day like you did!”

Talk about feeling loved and encouraged. There’s no better way they could have shown their love and support.

Thanks, God, for my staff—I love You—and them.

“Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart” (Proverbs 27:9 (AMP).

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).

Clock-watching translates into stress, equaling anxiety and big nerves. Oh, and spilled stuff!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . . translates into peace beyond understanding.

Walk with Him.

Do you have a story to share? ☺

Love,

Sally

Random Rainbows

Rainbows and Ripples

My idea worked great!” says he.
Me? I just grin at my son the “Wizard” and look around for the Yellow Brick Road!

 

Early evening pulls me into my open-windowed corner, my favorite place to #relax a moment after a full and busy day. The rain has stopped, but water still pools and drips from countless leaves. Birds call their final notes before settling for the night in some mysterious, secret place.

The white paper I’m writing on turns to gold in the reflected sunset. Joking, laughing men talk in the driveway of a neighbor’s home. Noise and chatter fade from the voices of children as they wring out the last bit of fun before the inevitable call to bath and bedtime.

Little Lisa and her brother, the youngest of several children in a family who are new to the neighborhood, ride their tricycles in the deserted road. Son, Jim, has dubbed them the Munchkins. Lisa calls to her older friend. “Zinda, Zinda, come and see, we found a rainbow!” An excited little brother jumps from his trike as Lisa gazes in pure delight at a puddle beside the road. And, of course, in the puddle, an oily skim reflects a rainbow in the evening light.

 

Ragamuffin Rainbows

Early this morning, his dad asked Jim to flatten some ground where we’d removed some large plants. Planning to add a new room, we’ve begun to clear that area.

Later, since Jim took his job assignment very seriously, when he spotted the mob of “Munchkins” playing outside, he had an idea. He’d save himself some time and trouble–and have some fun. He’d ask them all to come over and tramp the area down. They’d have a great time and he’d get the job done. So it was “Follow me. Do what I do!”

Well, I totally missed it, but what a sight that must have been. Six or seven little kids and a great big boy, marching around, trooping up and down, leveling the all that dirt!

“Worked great, Mom!” he says, looking all satisfied, with a “job-well-done,” expression on his face.

Me? I just grinned at the “Wizard” and looked around for the Yellow Brick Road!

It’s been a good day, Father. Thank You for every moment of it.

[Glimpses from my Notebook]

“Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord” (Psalm 96:12 NKJV).

“Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it’” (Luke 18:15-17 NKJV).

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV).

And within each day, there’ a story.

What are you rejoicing over and being glad for today?

PS: See that little cutie up there doing the puddle jumping? His dad titled the photo of him “Jack-in-the-puddle.”