memoir

The Robins Still Sing

I never understood the ritual of grave flowers. The one you are planting them for cannot see, smell or find any joy in them. Dad was faithful to plant grave flowers at the foot of the stones, engraved with the names of the ones he loved.

In the month of May, he would gather up a trowel, rake and a basket of new red geraniums—always red geraniums. He said, they were hardy and could weather in the sun.

He would make his way to the old Stevenson Cemetery that sits on a quiet country road and while the robins sang in the trees he would go to work. Wiping the dried grass from the stones, he would carefully plant his fragrant, unseen and unknown offerings.

Flowers that would grow unseen by the grandparents he adored, the mother he lost as a boy, the father he lived to please and the brother who died too young. These were his people and they were gone, yet his love for them was as faithful as the flowers he planted each year. His love weathered in the sun.

I find myself weathering, the days, the weeks, the months, the almost two years since Dad has been gone. Grief is an aching, a longing, as memories come fluttering back like leaves on the wind. Grief is the price you pay for love, and the love makes it worth it.

In the month of May, Mom and I find ourselves making our way down the quiet country road to the old Stevenson Cemetery. We wipe off the dried grass from the gravestone inscribed with his name. The robins sing as we sink our hands down in the dirt, the dirt that holds his ashes, yet he is not there.

We plant the grave flowers, our fragrant offering of pastel impatiens instead of red geraniums, because red geraniums make us too sad.

We plant the grave flowers for him, for the ones he loved, but mostly for us. We need reminding, that the love that binds us is faithful, and the robins still sing their cheerful song.

Copy of Untitled

memoir

The Weavers

Not long after we moved into our home, we added a second bathroom downstairs and chose a small octagon window for that room.  I placed a candlelight in the window to give the room some warm character.   It turns out I wasn’t the only one who liked the character of the window.

An orb-weaver spider quickly took up residence and her large wheel-shaped web encompassed the window.  My once-charming window looked like it was continually decorated for Halloween. I was not impressed, but my husband and the kids loved her and her web. I would often find them staring out the high window inspecting her latest creations.

She was not the warm charm I was looking for and a battle ensued.   I was constantly heading outside with the broom, to sweep her and her web away.  She was much more tenacious than I, and by the next evening she would be at work weaving a new web.

She won the battle and gone are the days of me running out to sweep her away. In the summer we watch her in the evenings she weaves and repairs making her web ready for its nightly catch.  Watching her weave is a sight to behold, she does not miss a beat as she weaves her web with executed perfection.

I must admit the placing of her web is brilliant. The candlelight calls to her prey and they fly in as if hypnotized by the light. She waits, glistening in the candlelight, and then gathers her food, preparing for what she is called to do, bring forth life.

As I have been making a home here, so has she. Twenty-five generations of her, since her life span is only one year, and twenty-five years of me.  In the spring she mates and by late summer she is laying her eggs in a mass of golden silk.  She never sees those babies, for she will die soon after laying her eggs.  Life is like that, we don’t always see the fruit of our labor.

In early autumn the baby orb weavers will burst from her carefully woven sack, we are lucky if we see one or two.  They spin little parachutes and jump into the wind that will carry them to the place they will call home, where they will weave their webs.

For all these years she and I have been doing what we were called to do, making our homes and weaving our lives side by side.  We have had summer seasons of building and repairing, the making of a place where new life was nurtured. We have had seasons of autumn, when the fallen leaves blow and our children fly away on the wind, and the house sits quiet waiting for snow.

In the spring the next generation will arrive, a new hope will arise, and life will begin again.

 

Copy of Untitled

Uncategorized

Believe

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. 

Do you believe this?”

 John 11: 25-26

In this verse we are slipping into a conversation between, Jesus and our busy friend Martha.  When Martha took the time to talk with Jesus, He poured out who He was, to her and to us.

 I am the resurrection and the life

 First, Jesus declares that He is the Resurrection – The One who would rise from the dead

Second, He declares that He is not just Life but – The Life – One who would die, but yet live again

The life that Jesus is offering here is not only our physical life, from our birth to our death, but a spiritual life that goes much further than this.

 He (She) who believes in Me

Here is our only action step.  Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and The Life?

 Believe

 To accept something as true, genuine or real

To have a firm or wholehearted conviction or persuasion

 Do we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection, that He died and rose again?

  • Do we accept Jesus’ words as true, genuine, and real?
  • Do we believe wholeheartedly, that Life is really found in Him?
  • Can we simply believe?

 I’m not saying that believing is easy, many people struggle with placing their belief in Jesus.  His promise for our belief is huge.

 Though he (she) may die, he (she) shall live. 

 No surprise here, one look through old pictures will tell us that our bodies are aging and dying, life as we know it is dying.  Once we take our final breath in this life, we take our first breath in The Life, In Jesus.

 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

We see that living and believing go hand in hand, as we believe, we live.

Jesus defeated death on our behalf, through his resurrection.  When we place our belief in Him we step into a life everlasting. It can be hard to wrap our minds around this thought of our life operating outside of time as we know it.

Do you believe this?”

Jesus asks us to overcome our unbelief as He leaves Martha and us with one final question, Do you believe this?  

 Martha declared “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

What do you Declare? 

 

Loved

Life and Light

Life

a corresponding state, existence,

or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul

The Eternal Word – John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Words are important, they can speak life or death.  God chose to speak life.

  • God created all of creation with His spoken words.
  • He spoke life and life came forth
  • God’s written Word holds His Law and His message of Love.

How about our words, do they speak life?

Everything was made by God, including you. He breathed life into you.  You are unique  one-of-a-kind. God has placed gifts within you for His purposes.

If you choose to live without God –

you abandon the purpose for which you were made.

When you choose to live for God –

He works hand in hand with the gifts He has placed within you.

Let’s take an inventory of our gifts and abilities.

Dig deep, write them down.

Are we wasting them or using them for His glory?

Loved and Light pic 1.png

Light

The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible

Some days it feels like darkness is winning, overtaking everything around us. No matter how dark it may become, we have a source of light that will never go out.

When Jesus came, the light of men came.  A Light shining in the darkness, making everything visible.  Darkness cannot figure Him out.

Light will always overpower the darkness

Loved and Light pic 2

 John, Jesus’ beloved disciple was first a follower of John the Baptist.

Let’s look back at Jesus and John the Baptist when they were still in their mother’s wombs. Mary, Jesus’ mother and Elizabeth John’s mother were cousins and friends. They were pregnant at the same time. Before Jesus and John were born they had an encounter.

Mary Visits Elizabeth- Luke 1

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Once in the presence of Jesus, John the Baptist did a happy dance in his mama’s womb. I’m sure that was something Elizabeth had never felt before.

God put things in motion, two miracle births,  His timing perfect.  John the Baptist would go out before Jesus, preparing the way.

John, the writer of this Gospel,  would have the privilege to sit as a disciple under both John the Baptist and Jesus.  What an honor and a privilege.

Let’s listen as John speaks about John the Baptist –

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. John 1

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1

John is very clear that John the Baptist was not The Light – he was sent to tell people the Light that was coming.

There are a few things the world did not know yet:

  • They did not know the magnitude of who Jesus was
  • His own people would not receive Him
  • Those who would receive Him and believe in His name would become Children of God.

For those who choose to believe in Jesus, everything changes for us. We are no just born of man, we become born of God. We step into a glorious inheritance, we become God’s children. Stepping into His marvelous light,leaving the darkness, well… in the dark wondering –  “What just happened? “

Loved and Light pic 1

Art compliments of Happy Flower Printables