Archive | April 2012

Let’s Move

Are you ready for an adventure?  Well then, pack you bags and let’s move! Oh! You should know we are going wherever your mother-in-law takes us.  Really! Won’t that be fun!?

There’s a lady who did that – packed her bags and moved to a different country with her mother-in-law.  No, she was not bribed or forced.  This lady was a young widow and ironically her mother-in-law was recently widowed as well.  Both were left husband-less in a land away from their own families.  Grief stricken, the mother-in-law wanted to go home, and thought it would be best for Daughter-in-Law to move back to her own family and home community.

What would you do if your were in this situation; go home or go with Mother-in-Law?

Daughter-in-Law, Ruth, flat out refused! She told Mother-in-Law, Naomi, “I’m going wherever you go. Your family will be my family.”

Wow! What devotion.

I honestly do not know how I would have responded.  I was blessed with a mother-in-law whom I loved and respected, and she is greatly missed. However, if I were in the same situation…….?

In the Biblical account of Ruth and Naomi, I’m intrigued by the love and devotion Ruth has for her bitter, grieving mother-in-law.  We know very little about these women prior to their husbands’ deaths.  What was their relationship like?  Had they hit it off from the beginning of the courtship of Son & Daughter-in Law? When Father and Son went to war, did that draw the women close? What was it about Naomi that caused Ruth to emphatically choose to go with Naomi?

I wish I knew the answers. I’d like to know the secrets to being a mother-in-law worthy of such love and devotion. I don’t want to take the place of my daughters-in-law’s  mothers, but I do want to be the best mother-in-law I can be.  As I grow in this role, I have much to learn! 

What words of wisdom can you share with me?

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To-Do

One of my Sunday afternoon activities has long been making my weekly To-Do List.  Do you have a To-Do list?  This has been a part of my routine for so many years, I’m not sure what I’d do without it.

I’m one of those people who gets great pleasure in marking off items on the list, and by the end of the week I can see all I’ve accomplished! 🙂

That’s not the only reason I make my list.  I’ve found that it helps me stay organized and use my time more wisely.  Although my children are all grown and gone, this time of year can get kinda crazy. On our home-on-the-range we are planting, spraying, irrigating, calving, and have office work. Added to that is my part-time subbing, yardening-gardening and Household Management CCL (cooking, cleaning, laundry)

Today as I try to prioritize, I’m a little overwhelmed with the To-Dos.  The lawn needs mowed again. Thank you, Lord, for the Spring rains. The weeds still need pulled. Thank you, Lord, for the Spring rains. There is a lot that needs done in the veggie garden, the sooner the better, and Hubby might (?) have a pair of clean jeans to wear tomorrow. From the looks of this list, I know I need help!

From whence cometh my help?

Number 1 on my list each morning is “Spend Time with God.” If I don’t complete #1 there probably won’t be time and energy left at the end of the day.  I have found that this keeps my focus not on all I need to do, but rather on Him who has blessed me with another day in which I CAN work. It really is because of God’s blessings that I have these things to do in the first place.

 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,  for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?              Ecclesiastes 2:24,25 (NIV’84)

Although busy, I really do enjoy this time of year! What’s on your To-Do List? Do you find enjoyment in what you do? I’d love to hear from you.

Oh, by the way, look what I found in the garden!

Yom HaShoah

It’s been nearly 70 years since the Holocaust, and the number of survivors are dwindling. To those survivors the Holocaust remains real and ever-present, but for many others, 60+ years ago is ancient history.

The Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew) was the Nazi’s persecution and planned slaughter of the Jewish people. Approximately 6 Million Jews were murdered which was roughly 2/3 of all Jews living in Europe during World War II.

You may remember from my post a few weeks ago (A Visit to Mauthausen) that I went to a concentration camp while traveling in Austria.  The Mauthausen was one of the worst! At least 100,000 inmates died or were killed there, and half of the deaths were in the last 4 months before the camps were liberated.  Thousands of prisoners were beaten to death, shot, murdered by lethal injection, or frozen to death in “death-bath-actions.” At least 10,200 inmates were murdered in the gas chambers.

Through the years, I have read many accounts of survivors, watched documentaries and movies, and even had the privilege to hear a few survivors speak.  One speaker made a huge impression on me as she recounted all she endured. Many years after the war she met the officer that had repeatedly abused her and her sister.  She said everything within her wanted to spit in his face.  Instead, with God’s help, she looked him in the eye and said, “I forgive you.”  This woman was not the only one who has extended forgiveness for the horrors they endured.  Many others have as well.

Could I forgive if I had been imprisoned and tortured?

Jesus has instructed in Matthew 5:44 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In Mark 11:25 Jesus states, “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (NIV)

Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins Wednesday evening, April 18, and goes through Thursday evening, April 19.  As we take time to remember the horror, may we also remember those who fought, survived, and FORGAVE.

Is there someone that you need to forgive?

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Contagious Laughter

Lately, I’ve been noticing laughter – contagious laughter.  You know, the kind that you hear and just can’t help chuckling or laughing along even if you don’t know what sparked the giggle, belly laugh or guffaw!

It’s hard not to laugh when twirling with a young one, round and round on a delightful spring day, barefoot in lush green grass. Especially when his  gurgle-giggles come bubbling out.

When there are three little cuties each on a swing calling, “Push me again! Please!” Giggles escape as under dogs tickle their tummies.  This make me giggle as well.

On a train ride recently, the conversations were mostly hushed except for the neighbors across the aisle.  A mother and grown daughter were having the time of their lives! I’m not quite sure what language they were speaking; definitely not English. Although I couldn’t understand a word they were saying, it was obviously very funny.  These women were not merely chuckling, they were cackling! Every once in a while, they realized how loud they were and would try to restrain themselves, to no avail.  They would again burst into loud high-pitched cackling and even a snort or two! Hubby and I sat trying to contain our own laughter, but failed miserably. It makes me LOL just thinking about it now; their laughter was contagious!!

This morning, Hubby sat at the computer laughing.  I told him it wasn’t fair for him to sit there laughing with out sharing what was so hilarious. I quickly guessed the he had received an email from Daughter On-the-other-side-of-the-World. They have this special language and humor that is only completely understood by “Sunshine” and “Moonshine”.  Emails between the two are incomplete if a corny joke is not included. They also seem to try to out do one another with lyrical poetry.Here is just a small sample:

“Hi Daughter, This is your Faughter (Do you like my rhyme?)
I hurt in my back
It was out of whack
So I got my back crunched
Now Its better a bunch.”
“p-p-p-PADREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!
yo father!
why do I bother?
cuz I miss you so!
how are you?
i’ll ask a few
questions then expect a reply!”
They make each other laugh and soon those around are laughing along with them. (Even if the joke really is not funny!)
There are days when life seems intense, and I really don’t feel like laughing. Have you ever had one of those days? Maybe a day when you didn’t know whether you should laugh or cry?  Laughter is refreshing, uplifting and healthy! In the book of Proverbs we’re told:
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face.”
                  “A cheerful heart fills the day with song.”
                                 “A cheerful disposition is good for your health.” (MSG)

Terrible Wonderful Day

My thoughts are heavy  and they range from remorse to gratitude on this terrible wonderful day. I’ve been thinking about the horror and injustice that Jesus endured.

Too many times as Easter approaches my thoughts center on the dinner menu, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, a new Sunday-wear-to-church outfit, Jesus’ Resurrection; and overlook what took place BEFORE Jesus’ resurrection. So on this day called “Good Friday”, I’ve pondered and reflected on the events that took place as my savior endured more than I can even imagine.

Throughout the day, I’ve had many questions run through my mind:

  • Judas, how could you spend all those days with Jesus yet plot against him?
  • Peter, James and John, was it really so hard to stay awake and pray for Jesus?  He was always there for you, why couldn’t you be there for him when he needed you? “Could you not keep watch for one hour?”
  • Judas, how could you? You betrayed him with a KISS! That had to sting worse than a slap in the face.
  • Peter, you told Jesus you would never deny him, but you did three times that night!
  • Priests, elders, teachers of the law, why were you so blind to who Jesus was? Why did you feel so threatened by him that you had to have him crucified?
  • Pilate, you could have let Jesus go! You were a coward! Why didn’t you use the power of your position to do what was right?
  • Soldiers, did you have to be so cruel? What did Jesus ever do to hurt you?

Then I was reminded,

“For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 NIV

I am ever bit as guilty as these people. I helped crucify Jesus because of my sin.

“Those were my nails, that was my crown that pierced You hands and Your brow. Those were my thorns, those were my scorns, those were my tears that fell down. And just like You said it would be, You did it all for me. And after You counted the cost, You took my shame, my blame on my cross.” On My Cross by Jeremy Deibler

On this terrible day, it became wonderful.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV

It’s been a terrible wonderful day. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much!